Friday, 4 July 2014

The Day BooBoo Met Earl

When Bertie and I arrived at the gates to the park ready for our usual afternoon walk, we were surprised to see everything looked different. A plastic tunnel snaked across the grass, broom handles were balanced on barrels, and seesaws and hoops were laid out on the field. And there were dogs everywhere. I quickly found Zola, Frazzle, Masher and Mr Patou with Daphne at the café and asked them what these strange objects were for. Mr Patou said it was a dog agility competition, which is like a sports day for dogs. In this special competition, dogs played in teams to see which team could get round the course the fastest. We should enter a ParkPups team! I said excitedly and the others thought this was a great idea.
As the fastest in the ParkPups team, Frazzle went first. He was brilliant as he dashed round the course and scored us a great time. Masher was next and did well too, although he was a little frightened of the tunnel, so decided to miss that bit out. Then Daphne had her go and leapt through the hoops like shed done it a million times before. Mr Patou couldnt help stopping to wave at the crowd, which held him up a little, but we were doing well. Then I went around the course as fast as my little terrier legs would carry me. As the broom handle was quite high, I thought it was better to shoot under it rather than over the top but for a first go it wasnt too bad. Zola was waiting for her turn but then Mrs Bancroft, who Zola lives with, said it was time to go home. We needed six dogs in our team.
Just as we thought we were going to have to pull out of the competition, a friendly voice behind me said: Hello. Ill be on your team if youd like. The voice belonged to an adorable Border Terrier called Earl. Earl was very handsome and quite small. He didnt look like the big collies that were dashing round the course. Ive done these competitions loads of times, said Earl cheekily. Im pretty good. Ive got 50 awards and I can do loads of tricks too. Earl showed us how he could sit up and beg and walk on his back legs.
Earl made us giggle and with his shiny wet nose, deep brown eyes and silky black ears, we didnt care that he didnt look like the other dogs in the competition. We all agreed wed love Earl to be a ParkPup for the day.

Earl trotted out as our final competitor. The starting signal went off and Earl set off like an arrow. He darted through the tunnel, leapt gracefully through the hoops, flew over the seesaw. His feet were moving so quickly as he zig-zagged through the posts with his ears back and eyes focused on the finish line. We all gasped as he whizzed by in record time. Earl was a superstar, and ParkPups won in the competition. But it wasnt our prize, it belonged to Earl and his wooftastic agility skills. We were sad to see Earl go at the end of the day, but he can come back and play with us any time.

Thanks to Young Kennel Club member Summer from Lincoln for entering her dog, Earl, into the 'Star in BooBoo's Blog' competition in Fetch magazine. He was a fantastic inspiration and we hope you enjoy the story. 

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Friday, 4 April 2014

The Day We Played I-Spy

BooBoo's April Blog
Yesterday we couldn’t make up our minds what kind of day it was. It wasn’t hot enough to lie in the shade under the tree and sing some songs, which is was Mr Patou wanted to do. It was too hot to have races round the lake, which is what Frazzle wanted to do … but then it’s what he always wants to do. It was too cold to eat ice cream, which is what Daphne wanted to do, but too hot to stay inside the Park Ranger’s shed and paint some trees, which is what Masher wanted to do. In the end we decided to play Zola’s favourite game – I-Spy. So we set off round the park. I went first and I spied with my little eye something beginning with B, which Daphne guessed with her first go was B for BooBoo. I was going to change it to butterfly but couldn’t see any butterflies and besides I knew deep down that would be cheating. Then Daphne spied F for flowers, which Zola guessed. Then Zola said: “I spy with my little eye something beginning with TFD”. Well, none of us could see anything beginning with the letters TFD… until we heard a loud ‘ahhhhhh … hoooow … swwweeet’ coming from further down the canal. A group of people where huddled by the water’s edge. We walked closer to try and see what they were looking at when we saw a mummy duck and eight ducklings swimming down the canal towards us. “Oooh!” I cried, “look at the tiny, fluffy, ducklings!” Zola laughed heartily. “That’s it, BooBoo!” she said, “well done.” I said thank you but I wasn’t really sure what it was I’d done well. “Of course,” explained Mr Patou. “TFD – T for Tiny, F for Fluffy, D for Ducklings!”  For tiny fluffy ducklings they made a lot of chirping noises. We were all pleased that the new ducks had arrived and went to see if the swan’s eggs had hatched yet. They hadn’t. Then I heard Bertie whistling for me and we went home.


Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The Day it Rained Cats and Dogs

BooBoo’s February Blog – RAINING CATS AND DOGS

I was sitting by the front door waiting to go out for my walk with Bertie as usual. I’ve found this is the best place to wait as I can make sure they don't leave without me. Nora of course was sitting next to me because these days she copies everything I do. Bertie had put on his wellies and his coat. It was a sign that we were soon about to go out. I had one paw on my ball as I was very keen to take it to Victoria Park so I could play with the other ParkPups.
Bertie’s mummy came downstairs and picked up our leads. Bertie clipped Nora’s lead on and then mine. Things were looking very good, but I was a bit worried because Bertie’s mummy didn’t have her shoes or her coat on and was talking about where her door keys were.  I knew this bit could take a long time especially if her keys were lost or if her phone was nowhere to be seen or, even worse, the phone actually rang!
But the keys were found, the phone was put in her bag, she tied her shoe laces and zipped up the zip on her coat. “Bye, Sophie!” shouted Bertie’s mummy as she finally reached out to open the front door. “We won’t be long!”
This was the moment! We were finally going for a walk. I had my nose wedged up against the crack in the door as I always like to be first out. But then...
Sophie, Bertie’s sister, shouted from the living room: “You can’t take them out in that, Mum! It’s raining cats and dogs!”
I stopped dead. I withdrew my nose from the crack in the door. I’d heard of rain before of course. It was wet and quite fun at first when you were able to splash through the puddles and get really muddy, but then not so fun when you got wet and cold. But raining cats and dogs! That was something I had never heard of before. Many thoughts rushed through my mind. Why were cats and dogs falling out of the sky instead of rain? How far did they fall? Did they get hurt? Were the dogs allowed to chase the cats when they landed on the ground? Bertie, Nora and I raced into the living room to find out.
We all jumped onto the back of the sofa and pressed our noses up against the steamed up window.
“Mummy! Where are the cats and dogs?! I can only see rain,” said Bertie.
I was relieved that Bertie had asked the question. We looked at Bertie’s mummy waiting for her answer.
“It’s not raining real cats and dogs,” laughed Sophie. “It’s just a funny way of saying that it’s raining really, really hard.”
“But why? That’s silly,” said Bertie.
“We’ll be fine if we put BooBoo and Nora’s coats on,” said Bertie’s mummy.
I was pleased that cats and dogs weren't falling from the sky, but the down side was I hate wearing my coat. At least it meant we could go to the park even if it was raining 'cats and dogs'. 

There's an activity sheet to download at and a singalong clip 'I can sing a Rainbow' at our YouTube Channel 

Monday, 16 December 2013

The Day We Found the Magic Letterbox

I was with Frazzle, Daphne, Zola, Masher and Mr Patou in Masher’s shed making Christmas cards. We were talking about the things we would love Santa to bring us for Christmas. Frazzle said a bright blue coat with a number three on it would be the best present ever. If the number three happened to glow in the dark, then that would make it even more wooftastic. Daphne said she’d love a new chef’s hat. Her old one had gone a bit droopy and you can’t make up tasty, new recipes in a droopy hat. A new paintbrush was Masher’s choice and I would really, really, reeeeally love a new ball. Small, colourful and hopefully with a loud squeak. Zola said she couldn’t think of anything she needed. We suggested things like a new set of binoculars to play I-Spy from the balcony of the flat where she lives, but she said all she really wanted was for her owner, Doris, to be happy and well. Zola was sad that Doris was getting old and finding it hard to climb the stairs to their flat.
“I think I’ll ask Santa for a lift for our block of flats,” said Zola.
“But how will he know what we’d like?” asked Frazzle.
“Maybe we could write to him,” I said.
Masher handed out some paper and pencils and we all settled down to write our letters. I decided to copy Zola and asked Santa to keep my family well and happy but I added a bit at the bottom to let him know that if we were allowed two wishes I’d rather like a squeaky ball as well. “What are you asking Santa for, Mr Patou?” I asked.
“A notebook so I can write down my new jokes,” he replied.
“What’s your new joke?” asked Frazzle.
“What is black and white and noisy?” Mr Patou giggled as he asked the question. “A zebra with a drum kit!”
We sealed the envelopes and then addressed them to Mr S Claus, North Pole, The World.
“It’s all very well having a letter but where shall we post them?” I asked.
“A letterbox, silly,” said Daphne.
“You can’t just use an ordinary letterbox,” said Zola, worried her wish would not be received. “These are magic letters. They have to go in a magic letterbox.”
“Then it’s a good job there’s one right here in Victoria Park,” said Mr Patou.
“Really?!” said Zola, a big smile spreading over her face.
“Where?!” asked Masher excitedly. “I’ve never seen it!”
“Show us Mr Patou!” I said.
We picked up our letters and followed Mr Patou out of the door. He led us to a corner of the park near the gate just by the canal.
“Where are we going?” asked Frazzle.
“Wait and see,” said Mr Patou.
He stopped next to an enormous tree. At the bottom of the trunk was a tiny box with a hole in the front big enough for letters. If you weren’t looking for it you might never see it. It didn’t look very magical, but, as we posted our letters into the box, it made a shimmery, tingly sound and a puff of glittery white dust came out of the hole.
“How will we know Santa receives them?” I asked.
Mr Patou said: “You’ll have to wait until Christmas Day. Then you’ll know.”

I’ll let you know what happens in my next blog. In the meantime, I hope you all have a very happy Christmas wherever you are!

Friday, 15 November 2013

The Day We Played Shuffly Leaves

BooBoo's November Blog

It’s 1 month and 9 days since Nora joined our family. I’m not saying I’m totally happy with the situation, but I realise that being a big sister comes with some responsibilities like teaching her how to push her dinner bowl in the corner of the kitchen so she can lick it really, really clean, how to bark at cats and, most importantly at this time of year, how to play Shuffly Leaves.
The opportunity came to show Nora how to play Shuffly Leaves last weekend. We walked into the park with Frazzle and Mr Patou when I saw that the whole patch of grass was totally covered in leaves. Nora asked why the leaves weren’t on the trees any more and Mr Patou started telling her about a very strong wind called Hurry Cane, which must’ve blown them all off, but I was too excited to listen. I looked over at Frazzle and we grinned at each other. “Calling all ParkPups!’ we shouted. “Let’s play Shuffly Leaves!”
“What’s that?” asked Nora.
“Follow us! You’ll find out!” I said. As we ran towards the leaf-covered grass Daphne, Zola and Masher appeared out of nowhere. “Who said Shuffly Leaves! Wait for us!” they cried. 
“Let’s start at the bandstand and stop when we get to the path,” said Mr Patou. “The one who has the biggest pile of leaves is the winner!”
“We just have to run through the leaves?” asked Nora.
“That’s right. Just copy me,” I replied.
Mr Patou took a deep breath. “Ready! Steady. Shuuuuuuffllle!”
Off we ran, swishing through the leaves, tumbling over our feet, whooping, cheering and getting covered in leaves.
Now, we have played this game many times and the results are never a surprise. Because I’m the smallest, I always come last. And because Masher’s the biggest he always comes first. But this time I was pretty sure the result would be different.
Mr Patou measured the piles of leaves. “Masher’s the winner!” he cried. “Then Frazzle, me, Daphne, Zola, then BooBoo is last.”
“No but it can’t be me!” I declared. “What about Nora?”
I turned to where Nora should’ve been but all that was there was a small pile of leaves.
“Nora’s gone!” I cried, feeling like the worst big sister in the world.
“Don’t worry, BooBoo,” said Zola. “She can’t have gone far. Let’s follow our shuffly leaves tracks back to the bandstand. We’re bound to find her.”
I walked off, following my tracks and calling Nora’s name.
Then I heard a tiny voice calling my name. “BooBoo!” I looked around but there was no sign of Nora, just a pile of rustling leaves. I walked on and heard the voice again. “Here! Down here!” This time, I turned to see the pile of leaves moving towards me! It came right up to me and ran in circles around me. Then a tiny ball of fur jumped up at me and licked my nose. “Nora! It’s you!” I laughed as the others came over to see what the noise was about. “I thought we’d lost you.”
“I was just playing shuffly leaves!” said Nora excitedly. “I love it! Can we play again?”
We all agreed we’d play some more and took it in turns to make sure Nora didn’t get lost. Then my nose got cold and we went home.

As well as being really great fun, this game is particularly good because you get to see leaves really close up because they’re on the floor rather than up high on the trees. It’s amazing how many different shapes and sizes there are and if you click on the picture of the leaf, you can download Masher’s special Colour & Match Tree Leaf game.