The Oddest Pair

Harry’s suspiciously flushed cheeks of yesterday have morphed into snot and high temperature. The last 3 weeks he has been beautifully well, and it had been his longest snot-free period since Christmas. His blocked tear duct and sore eye even cleared up last week for the first time ever, as his inflamed little membranes had obviously been snotless long enough for the swelling and irritation to subside. But fluid came pouring back out of his eye this morning. Yummy. Poor little chap. He catches everything, and it just isn’t his turn again yet. 

Today was a local village scarecrow and dog show day, organised mainly by Hubby’s parents.



Harry submitted listlessly to being pushed around the village in Behemoth, but bestowed beaming smiles on no-one. Some of his stern glares, in which he can specialise even when healthy, were particularly ferocious today. It’s always a tad embarrassing when a local gurgling granny hunkers down for a nice coochie-coo, only to be met with the glacial facial equivalent of an icy blast in the unmentionables. 

By dint of a judicious mixture of quiet avoidance and barefaced disinterest, Hubby and I had managed to evade his Mother’s dragnet for volunteers; my mother was less fortunate, as she arrived alone and was promptly cornered. So, mother was pinned down on the raffle stall, and John and I perambulated down to the church where we were married.

This little lot were awarded second place, although only the organist seemed to have anything about her, to my mind. Slightly reminiscent of a beakier Miss Marple.



This thing came first.

Whereas my babies and dancer came nowhere! Wail!

The Sheik was, admittedly, looking a bit unfinished. He looked as if he’d fallen foul of Sharia law at some point, as he appeared to be minus any hands and awfully lacking in the foot department, but heigh-ho.


John and I thought that this chap had been robbed of a much-deserved first, as he was A) a classic scarecrow, and B) the scariest sodding thing we’ve ever seen.


We also thought that junior Spiderman deserved an honourable mention in the Funny Peculiar category, on account of his walloping great packet.


Slightly down in the mouth at our lack of scarecrow-rosette, Hairy Farmer Family returned to the social club where the dog show was drawing to a close. There was a ring for the serious kennel club classes, and a ring for the novelty, fun classes. We had missed the fancy dress, the waggiest tail, and the junior handler classes, but were all there ready to jump triumphantly into the ring for the final class of Oddest Pair and claim our inevitable First. Ain’t no dogs odder-matched than ours! 

Then some discordant notes began to sound faintly. It occurred to me that I didn’t recognise a soul around the now sparsely-populated ring, apart from the band of loyal friends we had rounded up to generate maximum applause when we cruised to victory. There weren’t, in fact, any local dogs at our village dog show. It was all… well, despite the straw bales we had furnished the rings with, polished, really. I have an aunt and uncle who are mad keen for showing dogs, and when I was small I often used to go along with them. It was dawning on me that we had stumbled unawares into a society clique that I recognised. The novelty classes were not yokels-bring-your-hounds-for-a-laugh classes. Oh no. They were deadly serious. We were surrounded by a fug of dog fur, which had floated away from the frenzied grooming taking place on all sides. The sun was gleaming off shining, glossy coats. I began to pick nervously at the dried fox shit on Maddie’s fur.

The delightfully camp flunkey called for all Odd Pairs to please enter the ring. Shooting a last glance at Hubby, who had also correctly assessed the situation as one in which we Did Not Belong and was clutching the camera with an enormous, expectant grin, I ducked under the tape. We made a grand entrance among the pedigrees, as Tebbit was gaily hacking his lungs up, and Mads was leaning against her lead at a crazy angle, scrabbling keenly towards the other contestants. Not one of whom was Odd. Not one. Beautifully groomed and impeccably behaved, they sat primly in a decorous row, whilst I circled at the end, desperately tugging against our two wildly lunging mutts, before I eventually jerked and hissed them into something approaching stillness. The sun did glint nicely onto the large patch of dried tractor-oil on Tebba’s back though.

I do wish I could properly illustrate the embarrassing disparity between them and us, but I’m afraid John under-achieved with the camera, no doubt suffering from total mirth overload, and only managed to take a (so hideous in expression that I have been obliged to obliterate my head lest you all run away) photo of us which included no other dogs. So you’ll just have to imagine.


Prizes were awarded 1st to 5th, and there were 5 pairs of dogs entered altogether.

Bloody kennel club. No sense of humour whatsoever.

8 Responses

  1. Those scarecorws are HILArIOUS! What a great idea!

  2. I have always steadfastly maintained that small children make excellent biological weapons. All that snot 🙂


  3. What fabulous looking scarecrows!! Spiderman should definitely have had an honourable mention!! 😉

  4. Oooo, I heard this morning that there were actually COMPLAINTS! I had arrived too late in the day to witness the disgruntled departure of our fellow locals and their assorted scruffy mutts, protesting about the pampered-pooch hijacking of their village pet show. I’d thought it was strange that only half the entrants for our class had showed up. Apparently we were the last of a long line of obvious doggie winners to come in an ignominious last!

  5. What a fun idea to have a scarecrow show. You certainly live in a creative area!


  6. You have such a great writing style! I’m really enjoying checking in on you. I feel bad for your little guy though – I hope clear, snot-less, healthy days are heading his way soon.


  7. Oh my goodness, here I was imagining the sterotypical bucolic and restrained English village and you go and show me scarecrows int the Church! The whole thing is hilarious and your belly dancer should definitely won. Boo, hiss to the judges.

    And as for the hijacked pet show, well what could I possibly say that you haven’t already summed up beautifully?

    Snorting into my bedtime tea, here.

  8. You was robbed. Also, bother the Kennel Club.

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