The Fluffbags

If you have read the “About Me” section you know we have 4 dogs because we are mental!
As we have so many and they are part of the family I thought I should dedicate a page to them….

The Fredster
Born in 2004 the Fredster had no idea what life had in store for him.  I’m guessing that he didn’t know that he would be dumped in a pet shop in a run with a bunch of mental Jack Russell crossbreeds.  They ignored the fact that they scared the bejeezus out of him and ran around him like nutters. 
One day along came a woman who was in the mood to defy her then husband and please her daughter.  In fact, her second husband had commanded that she couldn’t have a dog, being the worst example of a Jehovah’s Witness ever, and she was about to defy him because he had told her that he didn’t love her, quit his job and refused to move out of the house.

Little Fredster sat in the middle of the run, small enough to sit in a pair of cupped hands, with his little brown fluffiness stuck up everywhere with a forlorn look on his face.  His eyes begged you to take him away from all the noisy dogs and the pet shop owner knew that as soon as he was in the arms of a sucker potential buyer he was sold.
He sat in a dog bed on the front seat of the car while his new owner talked to him all the way home asking him what name he would like. The only response was when she offered him Fred, so thanks to a work colleague of hers, Fred he became. I’m thinking he probably wondered what this silly woman was doing thinking that a dog could possibly tell her what name he would like and that eventually he looked at her in complete disbelief....of course she took that to mean ‘Oooooh I LOOOOOVVVEE that name.”
She had to return to work so she put him in the kitchen with toys and lots of paper on the floor and returned to work.  Picking up Beautiful B from school she was grateful (for it seemed to be the longest car journey EVER) for the incessant monologue of her daughters school day because she was so scared that she couldn’t contain the excitement of introducing her daughter to her new puppy.
Poor Frester puts up with Beautiful B
On returning home, the woman walked into the house and straight to the kitchen door and opened it and her heart burst at the squeal of joy from her Beautiful B when The Fredster came running out of the kitchen with a funny run as he was trying to lift his paw up to say “How do you do?” – someone in that pet store had obviously taken a liking to him and spend time teaching him a few tricks.
Having been told that looking at the paw size of a crossbreed in proportion to their body was a good indication of how big they would grow – the woman has now realised that it is utter tosh because The Frester grew and grew and grew and by the time the then husband moved and requested time with our fluff bag to say goodbye; the woman took no delight in that, no she did not….the Fredster was tall enough to meet her mid thigh.

To this day The Fredster thinks he is a little dog when in fact he is a big fluffy giant.  He wants cuddles but is too big to sit comfortably on the chair with me and insists that he should sleep in a little dog bed and not the big one bought for his size.  He is affectionately nicknamed The Giraffe as, for a long time, his legs looked far far too long for the little body on the top. 
He is far too excitable and wants to jump up and welcome visitors.  He is a beautiful dog but can look scary when he comes up on his hind legs, being 5 ft and all, to say hello and hates being put in another room when visitors first arrive because it spoils his fun so barks his head off which some make take as a threat.
Hubby has spent time trying to teach him not to bark as much as he used to but The Fredster is a very nervous dog and will always bark.  A friend who was training to be a dog behaviourist confirmed what the mother already knew:   it is not normal for a dog to be scared of the wind and to refuse to go out of the garden unaccompanied for 2 years after returning from an overnight adventure (during which I cried thinking of our dog hungry and scared). Having said that; it does mean Beautiful B is no longer dragged up the road when he is on a lead.  Fredster can now be let off the lead on the local field to have a run around because being what the vet thinks may be part Lurcher/Greyhound (because even he is confused by the giraffe) he needs much more exercise than a walk on a lead – though the mother had a near heart attack the day Beautiful B came home and nonchalantly told her he had been off the lead.
He is loved by Abi, the baby fluff especially, who likes nothing better than tugging on his beard to get him to play or giving his eyes and ears kisses (yes, she obviously has not worked out that kisses are preferred elsewhere).  The Fredster sleeps with Beautiful B because she sleeps like the dead and is not woken up by the amount of times he jumps up and off the bed and he will move with Beautiful B when she decides to move into a home of her own.  The mother knows that Abi fluff will pine for him and miss him almost as much as she will when that time comes.


One day a mum picked up Beautiful B from school who was in tears at being bullied.  Knowing how much Beautiful B loved The Fredster and being on a mission to reduce the amount of sweets she gave her daughter she decided to cheer her up by taking her to the pet store where she bought The Fredster.  So off they trotted.

The trip did cheer Beautiful B up but the mother was stupid naive because she did not think about what would happen if when her daughter fell in love with another dog.  Walking around and looking at all the baby fluffers they happened across a pen with 3 little white toy dogs in.  These little toy dogs were very excitable and just looked like little teddy dogs but they were so noisy.  One especially decided to take charge and barked louder than the others.  Watching the little fluff turn and bark at the other two dogs the woman realised that the other dogs had fallen in line and moved behind the little noisy fluffer, just like she was their commanding officer.  She then turned to continue barking at Beautiful B and I, seemingly warning us to leave her 2 brother alone or she would chew our ankles off if she could just get out of this 4 foot high pen.  Naturally, Beautiful B fell in love with the noisy fluff that had ‘obviously been telling the others to get behind her so she could protect them.’ 

Ever watchful of a potential sale the shop owner informed us that the noisy fluff was a little girl and the other two were her brothers.  Beautiful B was not going home without the noisy fluff and the mother was weak because her daughter had been treated very unfairly by the now gone then husband and she wanted to make up for making such a bad decision in marrying him.
£550 later and the noisy fluff was on her way home with us.  The Fredster went to the vets less than a week later to have his bits sorted because can you imagine how much the noisy fluff would suffer giving birth to his babies when he was at least 10 times the size of her?!
The noisy fluff was called Lily and she continued to be noisy.  In fact, the whole house became noisy because The Fredster was only 11 months old and 2 puppies playing constantly all day make LOTS OF NOISE.  In fact, at one stage, Hubby who at this time had only just become a boyfriend to the mother secretly questioned whether he could stick out all the noise because he could not hear what the mother was saying over the noisy dogs.  The mother is wagering whether the Hubby would crave some of that noise to drown out the mother now she is his wife.

The mother’s brother C, who had become Hubby’s best friend, talked some sense into him and made him see that the mother’s nuttiness and child like mind was worth sticking around for and she will be forever grateful for that.

As a puppy Lily took to chewing like a duck to water.  She systematically chewed the edge of an entire garden bench when teething before progressing to the entire edge of the garden table when she was tall enough to jump on top of the bench.  Flowers in the back garden went by the wayside because she ate every single one of them; even one day being found in the large garden pot which housed the mothers beloved Aica where she sat eating the beloved Aica like she was a panda eating bamboo.  Thankfully by the time she turned her attention to the dining room chairs she had teethed enough to only want to bite them slightly though each of the 4 chairs bears tiny teeth marks along the ENTIRE bottom of the chair supports!

Anyhoo, Lily is very independent; while loving her cuddles she only wants them on her terms and usually that is in exchange for sweets or treats.  Being a Bichon Frise she feels entitled to a superior treatment than most dogs and considers herself above giving kisses on demand. In fact, it took Mother over 12 months to convince her that being told to “Sit” meant sitting with your whole butt on the floor rather than crouching just enough to get the treat. 

Lily likes her routine; in fact, if you haven’t cleaned the gunk out of her eyes within 30 minutes of waking up she will make sure that you don’t get any peace until you do because she has to have her little treat for being good.

She is a dead weight during the night and sleeps behind your bent knees on top of the covers so if you want to turn over you have to wake up enough to put enough force behind moving her weight.  That is no good for The Mother.  As a consequence, Lily now sleeps with Beautiful B who does everything in the deep sleep that helps her stay so beautiful.

The mother thought it would be a good idea to breed Lily because she loved the idea of baby Bichon’s running around the house and being able to pass on the joy to other families.  Hubby will let the Mother do whatever makes her happy but Beautiful B accused the Mother of ‘pimping out’ Lily and sulked until the babies came along.  Then she was happy, then sad again when they all went to new homes.  Lily’s second litter came along 2 years later and this time we kept a little girl whose eyes Lily still cleans to this day, 4 years later.

Not having bought Lily to breed her specifically the Mother had Lily spayed and got all her love and kisses from Cala, Lily’s daughter – did you see what the mother did there – Cala Lily – not very original but better than Hubby’s suggestion of Picca Lily, as in Piccalilli the pickled condiment for hotdogs and such.

The Mother still cannot teach Lily to say ‘How do you do’ likely because Lily does not see the point though Hubby has been more successful with Lily than Fred in getting her to stop barking when everyone comes home from work.  Instead she picks up a toy, runs to the top of the stairs and barks around the toy to muffle the sound, which when you think about it is kind of smart – she still does what she wants while making us happy.


Cala was the first of the dogs we kept after Hubby moved in.  As such, Hubby considers Cala his dog but I am putting it straight now – Cala is the Mothers; it is she who she goes to for kisses and hugs (possibly because the mother is as needy as she is), though she does love Hubby it is the Mother she goes in the middle of the night; to nudge her arm so that she can snuggle underneath it like a baby.

When Lily’s litter was born one of the puppies was not breathing and the Mother swung it in an arc as suggested in the trainers book and bought it back to life.  Mother does not consider herself a miracle worker, just grateful that she did not have to console Beautiful B who insisted on witnessing the miracle of birth.  It is questionable as to whether Cala was this dog and whether half of her brain cells were fried before Mother swung her in the air or whether Mother caused shaken puppy syndrome because Cala is a bit nuts.

Cala was picked straight away from the litter and immensely loving immediately.  Mother is not subjective though she has noticed that Cala’s affection can be too much for visitors but Mother loves it.  Needing to feel affection and be wanted herself (not high maintenance at all), Mother loves giving Cala the attention she craves and not a day has gone by in 4 years with Cala in a bad mood.  The first time the family ever heard Cala growl was when Fred dared to decide to lie on the upstairs landing when the newborn puppies were in the bathroom (not because we are freaks but because it is the warmest room in the house) and Cala got very defensive – in fact, she pinned him up against a wall despite him being 8 times the size of her. 

Cala spent some time as a puppy sitting in an empty dog food bowl for some reason though she did not chew furniture as her mum did much to the Mother’s relief.  Cala’s tail could provide sufficient energy to light a household for a month it wags so much constantly and the only time the tail does not wag is when she is asleep.  She snores almost as much as Hubby does and has woken herself up snoring on more than one occasion.

Cala has happily learnt how to sit, say ‘how do you do’, high five and high ten.  She doesn’t really want to learn anything else and the Mother does not see the point of teaching her but knows that if she wanted to Cala would likely learn to do anything for her.  (Sidebar: the Mother is now experiencing a mental video of Cala crawling across the floor under invisible laser beams to the Mission Impossible music to steal money from the bank vault for her).

Cala loves her walks round the 3 mile trail near home and has never needed a lead because she frequently comes back to check that we are okay.  It wasn’t Cala that decided, one hot summer day, to take off and find a pond to wade through and come back dark brown on the bottom half and white on the top, oh no that was her mother; not THE mother in case you were wondering.

After a while, the Mother decided that more babies were needed as she was getting broody for puppies.  After not being so sure about the first ‘pimping out’ session Cala was raring to go on the second.  Usually it takes a good 5 weeks to know that the dog is pregnant yet within 2 weeks the Mother was wondering whether she was imagining a much rounder Cala and those thoughts were confirmed by the unconventional dog groomer who stated “You have pimped that dog out haven’t you?!”

By the 4th week we could see tiny puppy feet sticking out of her belly and knew that either the puppies were huge or she was full of lots of puppies.  By the 7th week she was struggling to get up the stairs and by the 8th week she seriously looked like she had swallowed a bowling ball.  Cala went into labour a full week earlier and after refusing to tell the Mother any of the scare stories he had been reading on the Intranet Hubby and Mother helped Cala give birth to 7 beautiful puppies whilst vowing that Cala was not having any more babies because she may just burst next time.

Cala was much more relaxed with her first litter than Lily was with hers and after the first “I will kill you if you harm my babies” incident let Fred sniff at the puppies and left them for cuddles when she was happy they were fed and cleaned.  Watching her trying to clean the paper in the puppy pen through the bars as they got older was just wrong and watching her interact with them when they were old enough to run around the house was even more fun (at these times Fred moved his bag upstairs and lived there as he is afraid of little unpredictable things that move).

The agreement that Cala’s health was more important than more litters dictated the Mother’s need to keep another little Bichon Frise and so Abi joined the family.


Abi was a natural choice.  Although Mother bonded deeply with the tiniest of the litter as she had to help feed her  (no bigger than a baby hamster when born) she knew that she intended to give in to her desire to look after baby puppies again and so did not think it fair to keep her.  Of the other 2 females Abi was the most inquisitive, always trying to escape from the dog bed, climbing on top of toy boxes (or chewing the side of it) and generally making a nuisance of herself.  The only problem with keeping the most inquisitive is that there are problems once the siblings go to their new homes and families.
Having cried for 3 nights, all night in the pen at night Hubby relented and fetched Abi upstairs to the bedroom in her crate – she settled straight away and Mother admitted that Abi was going to test everyone’s strength of character.

Abi has a mouth like Zippy from Rainbow and ears bigger than her mother (and Calas are big!).  She thinks nothing of lying in the middle of the floor on her back demanding a tickle with her ears flopped back.  She has her own special way of looking cute when cleaning her eyes or itching a spot on her nose. 
Abi was easier to train because she followed her mum and grandma.  She was off the lead on the park by week 11 and happily followed all her doglet family around the trail (except the time she thought the nasty smelling brook would be interesting – by the time she got back to the car she was visibly hating the drying mud on her feet; in fact she reminded Mother so much of a doggie version of Beautiful B who used to run to her as a child with outstretched hands wanting them washed when 2 years old).

Abi is very clever, though hides it extremely well, and quickly identified that to get her to come back the Mother and Hubby were using treats.  Identifying she could use this to her advantage when being friendly with strangers wandering in the opposite direction to Mother and Hubby Abi would turn around and trot off after the strangers wagging her little tail.  On returning after being called back she was given a treat so she took to doing this at every available opportunity.
Abi sleeps under the covers near feet which makes her a very brave girl but regularly disappears on the floor to find Mother’s spare pillow and burrow under it like a snail.  She thinks nothing of jumping onto Mother’s chest at 4.30am demanding to go outside as she does not do subtle.  She has managed to get all 3 dogs to bark more than they used to before she came along and Mother is just immensely grateful that the neighbours think the dogs shouldn’t teach the dogs to stop barking because they deter burglars.

 Abi is the scruffiest dog on earth and looks like a white version of Spit the Dog for you English readers.  She purposely sits in a certain way to tell Mother than she wants her chest tickling or lies in a certain way to ask you to tickle her belly.  She adores Fred and randomly goes up to him 10-15 times a day to lick his eyes and remind him that she loves him.  Abi is the one that has fetched the child side out in Fred and she pulls on his beard to try and get him to play with her.  She lies in wait patiently for a toy or chew that another dog has and lies on top of chews and toys she wants to keep for a while.
And finally;
Mother has admitted that having 4 dogs in the house is one too many especially when three of them follow her around the house like little white sheep.  Abi will be the last dog that she keeps for a number of years however she does want to grow old with a Maltese as they look like little puppy Bichon Frise for their entire lives but that will wait because she is not swapping her dogs for all the tea in China.

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