Tag Archives: dogs

Ellie Campbell's Random Animal Facts

onmybookshelf – I Heart Chick Lit

To Catch a Creeper

The cat incident in To Catch A Creeper actually happened to a cat that Pam owned named Parker who closely resembled Cathy’s cat, Tic Tac.

Yes, we – Pam Burks and Lorraine Campbell (aka Ellie Campbell) – are total animal lovers.  Not that animals have always loved us back…

 Ellie Campbell’s random animal facts

1.      Lorraine drove 18 hours to Kansas City and back to adopt a whoodle (got to love that name) named Remy, a wheaten terrier/poodle cross.  His misdeeds include eating the passenger’s seat of her brand new car, killing rabbits and burying dead voles in the marital bed.  He is also unbearably cute.

 2.     Pam has a tiny border terrier called Milly whose life’s ambition is to battle rottweilers and capture a fox. One of the sisters in “How to Survive Your Sisters” was named after her, yet they look nothing alike.

3.      Pam and Lorraine’s first dog was a wayward mongrel called Tippy who chased motorbikes, fought with male dogs and amorously pursued every bitch in town, hopping on and off buses, unescorted.  When about to move to England, the parents seized the excuse to find him another home at a distant farm.  They dropped him off, despite wails and protests, only to discover him back at the house within hours.  Clearly his knowledge of the bus system extended also to rural routes. 

 4.      Pam and Lorraine also owned rabbits, keeping the two does in a large aviary in the garden, separated from the buck called Dylan, who still somehow managed to procreate, bringing the total from three to nineteen with astonishing speed.  Pam liked to walk them on a leash in the local graveyard and turn them loose for exercise.  They would follow her around, leaping in the air.

5.      The two sisters were always horse obsessed, galloping down the street on their imaginary steeds, slaving and mucking out stalls in the local stables to cadge free rides. After leaving school they pooled their meager wages to buy a hot-blooded Anglo Arab named Eagle Star, often borrowing a scruffy old mule so they could ride together.  Lorraine and Star once had the unnerving experience of a hot air balloon descending straight at them, with the occupant screaming to get out of his way.  It added a whole new dimension to “hazards of the trail”.

6.      Pam and Lorraine used to win money at local fairs betting on their friend’s donkey, Bilbo Baggins, until the bookmakers wised up to his talents.  It was still an uncertain race because although extremely fast Bilbo had trouble turning corners and his jockey frequently fell off.

7.      Beside the horse, Eagle Star, Pam has owned or lived with cats, dogs, goats, fish, hamsters, rabbits, budgies, Java finches, chickens, lizards, snakes and rats.  Her least favorite was the python that thanks to father/son collusion was purchased with her very reluctant consent.  As soon as the men of the family went away on a camping trip, the python escaped.  Pam spent the rest of the weekend being afraid… very afraid.

8.      Lorraine has owned hamsters, horses, rabbits, cats, dogs, budgies, cockatiels, chickens, Indian runner ducks.  Her least favorite were the Indian runner ducks who lived up to their name by running in a panic whenever she approached. 

9.      Pam once frightened a house guest when he awoke to see an escaped hamster gnawing through a hole in the ceiling.

 

10.    Lorraine once went to throw a stick into the fireplace and realized it was a huge bull snake that had come in unnoticed when she fetched the wood.


12.    Pam was the first rider to mount Lorraine’s young feisty mare Luna in her early days of training.   They achieved half a dozen steps before Luna threw a monumental bucking fit and ejected Pam into the dirt. Pam was not impressed by Lorraine’s training.

 

13.    Lorraine was once on an elephant ride in Rajasthan when she persuaded the mahout to let her swap places.  No sooner was she perched behind its ears, when the elephant whirled and charged a man walking close by.  She realized then it had no brakes and she didn’t know the command for stop.

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14.  Pam once galloped around the Great Pyramid in Egypt on a runaway horse. She enjoyed it immensely.

 

14.    Lorraine once opened her barn door with cat food in hand, calling ‘kitty, kitty’ only to see a very large face emerge from the hay, followed by the rest of a magnificent bobcat who casually hopped out of an open stall door.  Her barn cats were all in hiding hoping to avoid becoming that morning’s meal.

15. Pam once had her shoes chewed on by rats when staying in a crummy hotel in Burma.

Rat_noir

16.    Lorraine and Pam both have the dubious distinction of having being charged and tossed in the air by cows. Pam in Delhi, Lorraine in Scotland. Neither knows why.

17.    Since moving to Colorado Lorraine has encountered raccoons, coyotes, skunks, rattlesnakes, bullsnakes, black widow spiders, bobcat, bear, elk, moose and mountain lions.  The mountain lions were outside her bedroom window.  For a while she stopped wandering outside to admire the night sky.

18.  Raccoons used to frequently break into Lorraine’s laundry room every night looking for a free meal.  A nervous friend living temporarily in Lorraine’s basement once called the sheriff when she heard sinister dragging sounds.  Turned out raccoons were having trouble attempting to haul a 50 lb tub of kibble out through the dog door.

19.     Pam had a fabulous cat called Parker who lived to the age of twenty-one. He was top “dog” amongst the other two dogs she had at the time and would condescendingly pat them on the head if they deigned to walk past.  He was originally a stray and not pretty but as he’d been at the rescue centre the longest, he was next in line for euthanasia and she felt compelled to take him home. If you stroked him in the wrong way, he would turn and scratch you hard, showing no mercy.

20.    Lorraine’s husband is not a cat lover and for a while banned felines, claiming to be allergic, but somehow they now own five, three in the barn, two in the house.  The house cats like to bring live mice indoors and let them escape.  Remy, the whoodle, then goes crazy tearing apart furniture to find them.  Lorraine swears the cats are sniggering. 

Thank you for stopping by!!!

 via To Catch a Creeper by Ellie Campbell / Book Review + Guest Post | onmybookshelf – I Heart Chick Lit.

10 Things That Bring A Smile To Our Faces

reposted from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.  Click to see full article and giveaway.

Pam:

1.      Other people smiling

Or better still, other people laughing by themselves, for no apparent reason. Probably thinking back to something funny.  It happened to me this morning when I was out dog walking. Some girl was heading down the path as I was heading up.  Just ten yards from me she suddenly stifled a giggle. I checked my clothes, face etc. when I arrived home.  I don’t think it was me she was giggling at, but even if it was, it made smile. So that’s OK in my book.

2.      Chocolate

Especially when I’ve been scouring the house for some.  I know it’s bad for me, makes me overweight, terrible for skin, etc. etc.  But when you get that craving…  I’ve taken cupboards apart, searched through drawers and texted people late at night begging them to bring some over if I’ve been unable to get out.

3.      Those TV Programmes where they Reunite Loved Ones

I’m a sucker for them.  All that reuniting of friends, long lost sisters and brothers, mothers, fathers.  Those programmes partly inspired our second novel, When Good Friends Go Bad, about three women searching for their missing school friend.  After I smile though, I usually end up blubbing my eyes out. I don’t care that they’re made to wrench at heart strings, my heart strings are still well and truly wrenched.

4.      My Dog Milly

She does stupid things all the time that make me smile.  I walk in and see her wagging her tail in greeting and it makes me smile.  How can it not? She rushes to fetch her “tugger” and nudges it at me so I can play tug of war, and it makes me smile.    I mention my friend’s name (who often accompanies me on dog walks) and immediately she races for the window, leaps onto the sofa and peers out the window to see if she can spot her car. Whenever I’m down or worried about stupid irrational things, I only have to look at her and I smile.

5.      My Family

How could I not include them?  Especially when they’ve been away.  With five of us and the dog in the house, it’s sometimes crowded and usually messy.  And I often crave solitude (to write – not to clean I might add).  This year I didn’t join them on their marathon annual bike ride in freezing weather around France in April (wonder why?). Instead I went with friends to visit Hungary.  It was a fantastic experience but I did miss them. And I did smile when they returned.

Lorraine:

6.      My husband, Gary.

He chats to everyone, just like my mother used to, sometimes it’s great and sometimes embarrassing.  I sat behind him on a plane recently because we couldn’t get seated together and had to laugh as I heard him engage the women on either side in non-stop conversation, telling them jokes, finding out their life history.  Of course then he asked if they’d read this new brilliant novel, Looking For La La, and raved about it while I cringed.  (Need I add, he hasn’t read it yet.) I was dreading him pointing back at me and saying ‘there’s the author”.

7.  My beautiful horses: Sylvarr, Sugar and Luna.

I made a 20’ wide exercise track around my pasture and I love to watch them galloping around it, bucking and playing, three white Arabians with flowing manes, tails up and waving like flags.  There is no prettier sight in the world.

8.  My dog Remy.

He’s a woodle – part wheaten terrier, part poodle, even the name is comical. He’s  like a rasta muppet.  I love the way he runs full speed to his bed and collapses instantly into sleep, upside down, paws in the air, legs wide apart.  If you give him something good – a tennis ball or a nice juicy bone – he’ll rush upstairs and bury it in our bed. I once noticed a dead vole (something like a mole or rat) that Remy had dug up lying on top of the duvet next to a blissfully unaware Gary. Threw it out.  Next night Gary slid his hand under the pillows and encountered another, also dead. Two days later his feet touched something cold and furry.  Yep, another corpse.   Our boy was so proud of his hunting skills.

9.  My cat Cotton.

She’s part Manx, tail-less, was supposed to be a barn cat but when she got spayed I had to keep her indoors and she won Gary’s heart – and he’s not even a cat lover.  Funnily enough she’ll sleep in the dog bed in the same inelegant upside down, legs splayed position as the dog.   She loves to attack our feet when we’re in bed, pounding on anything that moves under the covers.  And when I let Sylvarr graze dragging a long lead rope, she’ll attack that too – this tiny cat using all her might to hold back an oblivious 1,000 lb horse.

10.  My Friends

Last but not least…my friends always make me smile and I include my family – sisters, nieces and nephews – among the laugh-makers.  I am lucky that we all share the same sense of fun and aren’t afraid to be silly, whether it’s dressing up for Halloween or a murder mystery dinner, dancing on top of the houseboat at Lake Powell dressed in evening gowns and feather boas (or sarongs and home-made masks), throwing down chips at a Las Vegas craps table, or holding an impromptu party for twenty of our nearest and dearest with about 30 minutes notice.  There is nothing like seeing a friend walk in with a bottle of wine to put a smile on my face.   Or even if they show up without one.

via Looking for La La by Ellie Campbell – Tens List & Giveaway.