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Grumpy old men and women!

OUR DOGS has taken a leaf out of a well known TV programme and asked our own set of grumpy old men and women (less of the old!) for some of the things that get on their nerves, both in the world of dogs and also in life in general....tongue very much in cheek of course.

Ah, the spirit of Christmas ……humbug!

Robert (Ebeneezer) Killick

Grumpy old man? What’s that all about?

Can’t be me! Can it?

Something that irritates me almost beyond endurance is the apathy shown by the majority of people in the dog game. When something diabolical happens initiated by the RSPCA, the Kennel Club or the government the doggie loving public leave it to small agencies or individuals to fight on behalf of dogs and abused owners.

Despite the fact we are deep into the 21st century the hobby of thousands, i.e., dog breeding and exhibition is run by a self elected private Club with circa 1700 members. It annoys me that abuse can and injustices take place against which the recipient has no redress for the simple reason ordinary people lack the funds to take the KC to court whereas the KC has seemingly unlimited funds to pay legal costs.

The lack of transparency of the KC. The fact that there is obviously one rule for certain chosen judges and another for ordinarily qualified folks.

The fact that the police can seize any dog and accuse it of being a Pit Bull type when to a real expert it bears no resemblance at all. It appears that magistrates favour evidence given by police and their quasi experts. Dogs that inflict serious injuries on humans are usually shot and the bodies disposed of before any an autopsy can find a reason. Perhaps a sickness, injury of even a brain tumour. There is a wall of silence.

I hate the fact that the Kennel Club, local authorities and the RSPCA have done little or nothing to curtail the activities of puppy farmers or smaller irresponsible breeders. It is easier to attack responsible breeders on the subject of genetic anomalies than it is, to get the source of the problem.


I can’t stand TV programmes like X Factor. The amount of electricity they use in one programme exceeds the amount I use in two years at least. What is their carbon footprint?

I dislike children singing in their adenoidal head voices drowned by loud music and then being told they are stars in the making. (Is this connected to 1? Ed)

Why should I tolerate untalented, unskilled TV presenters who so often boost their own reputation at the expense of ordinary people?

I hate the companies who sell the Internet! They speak a weird jargon of their own in an accent so bad it is almost impossible to understand them. And we sheepishly pay for it.

This is the last one of this series. I am writing a book! Who can bear that disembodied voice saying press 1 for invoices; press 2 for technical; press 3 for latest details of our money saving schemes; press 4 if you know which company you are dealing with; press 5 if you want to speak to a living person. So you press 5; the following are your options, press 1 if you want to speak to an outer Mongolian ironing lady. Have ready the colour of your grandmother’s eyes, your correct age to the minute, what colour are the shoes you are wearing? Which do you wear boxers or Fronts? (Do not answer if you are a woman “Hello, my name is Ling Pong Ichy Coo, our lines are extremely busy, please wait of two hours (days) Have a good day!

Liz (Pass the Bottle)Gay

Things that make me mentally reach for the small sherry proclaiming “is it me?”

Individualism: Where’s it gone? LKA used to be a vision of the proverbial bells and whistles. Even people who were very quiet in their dress throughout the year would parade a bit of tinsel here but no longer. A very demure black cardigan with just six snowman heads on it was complimented time & time again but compared to what used to be worn it was nothing! Many will undoubtedly say that things are more professional now but 85% of the time it is just an excuse for BORING. All praise to the Ibizan Hound exhibitor dressed as Mother Christmas in black knee high boots, red tights and a red mini-skirt with fur around the hem; you looked fun!

Prayer Mats: We are all supposed to support different ideas these days but why have some breeds seemingly decided to follow the way of Allah and take prayer mats into the ring? These dinky little bits of matting, varying hues of colour or rubber for the more adventurous, are, of course, acceptable for multi-faith Britain but does the Koran really ask them to be placed under the feet of dogs? If they aren’t for prayer, and a lot don’t seem to know which why East is, what the heck are they for?

Deeply Meaningful Judges: Why do some judges that stand looking at the same two dogs for minutes at a time do it? Do they think it makes them appear statesman like and thoughtful? Do they think it conveys to the spectators that they are having a hard decision between two equally superb dogs? Can’t somebody tell them it just makes them look as if they don’t know what they are doing? Judges, if you are at (particularly) a Championship Show do what you are supposed to do and that isn’t looking like a rabbit caught in the headlights.

Delayed Start Time: Did any show happen this year that didn’t have a delayed start time due to “hold ups on8585..?” Schedule something beginning just after the morning rush hour means most people will be travelling through it! Either start later and make sure non of the above have got an appointment or make it clear that 9.30am IS 9.30am!

Paraphernalia : Just what do people take to dog shows these days? For years a comb, water bowl, the dog itself and a benching chain was sufficient so why does the amount of luggage that comes out of the back of the car now suit either a trek up the Hindu Kush or three weeks on a cruise?

Sweaters: Why aren’t they seen anymore at Christmas? Who decided these warm, comforting garments should be phased out in favour of the fleece? Something, as a certain Joanie comments, that should only be seen on a sheep. You knew were you were when Val Doonican and Andy Williams (and their jumpers) were on the television!

Presents: The week before Christmas and it happens “what have we bought for8585?” WE never do anything; it is always I and usually at least three months previously. Why don’t men think of anything until the last minute?

Magazines: There they are in front of you; cover after cover giving ways to lose a dress size in four weeks. Real women know it is Christmas and the only way to get through it is by consuming at least half a box of chocolates a day plus a few glasses of something alcoholic!

Relatives: It usually starts in September “are we coming to you or what?” If you are over 21 you should feel quite free to say “or what”. Christmas should be spent as you want it and if that is with the dogs rather than the family we should just tell them85but we never do.

Food: Christmas dinner should be served by quietly attentive waiters in a beautiful setting. It should not be hours and hours of cooking things you wouldn’t touch with a bargepole the rest of the year. Nigella, Jamie and Delia should be taken out and shot.

Peter (Grumpy) Broadbent

My wife Anita and daughter Melinda consider me a grumpy old man! Nothing could be further from the truth.

Yes, I 'act' as if I am grumpy, but only occasionally, approximately 18 hours per day, but this is because I hate many things and happenings.

Politicians with large wallets and no bottle. Canine Politicians who are mostly on ego trips. 'Judges' who lack the knowledge and courage to critique dogs, they withhold from, yellow in stripes are their favourite colour.

Sportsmen who walk onto the pitch, run their hand on the floor then kiss it! I reckon we in dogs will avoid this trait! They also make the sign of the cross and kiss their rings - amazing skill.

I do grump at Judges who spend more time looking outside the Judging arena than in. You all know who they are.

Travelling Grump: You travel a good distance to a show, have a nice day, set off home, making good headway, then hit traffic jams - anyone know why, the obvious answers:- accidents, road closures, nope a total mystery.

Ringside non-behaviour, hooting and hollering because their mates won the novice class - how pathetic!

PS Grumpiest person I know is our son James!

David Cavill

From our publisher,
the ever optimistic and enthusiastic Dave Cavill, who feels that

“Victor Meldrew has nothing on me”

I hate in particular in the world of dogs:

Kitchen cabinets and cabals

Lack of transparency by organisations and committees - especially when they pretend they are transparent

The 75 year rule (HOW OLD ARE YOU Dave?)

The refusal of the KC to seriously consider radical changes to judging procedures and certificate allocation or to recognise that we need a thorough overhaul of the whole structure of dog shows, awards and judges education.

That section of the RSPCA (and other charities) who are more concerned with catching the publicity wave than doing the work they were set up to do.

Dave’s pet hates in general:

Filling in of (mostly) unnecessary forms with largely unnecessary information

The increasing tide of petty bureaucracy.


The condescension and arrogance of most banks, lawyers, young veterinary surgeons - and others. (What is the definition of a waste of space? A bus full of [insert your own pet hate group here] going over a cliff with an empty seat.)

People who are grumpy!

(Oh for heavens sake Dave!! Ed)

Vince (Bah Humbug)Hogan

Like most Grumpies of my age, the problem is knowing where to begin.

I suppose within the world of dogs, the Kennel Club are always going to get it in the neck from fellow Grumpies, but I’ll not go there. I tend to feel they end up not being able to do right for doing wrong85and that’s a feeling we sometimes get at OUR DOGS when you make a decision, you always seem to offend someone. Can’t win. So I wish people in dogs would be more understanding and less self seeking.

What does annoy me is when you see people leaving a show hardly before it’s started because they lost in their class. Gone are the days of staying to learn or enjoy the day, no, it’s belt back up the motorway ASAP.

The group judging at many shows is tragic in that there are very few people left to watch.

The RSPCA got my goat over the last few years; I agree with good old Robert on this one. Far too much time and effort (and money) seems to go on spin, PR, the headquarters etc and then the next minute another appeal is dropping through your door, saying they have no money and it’s a crisis. They continually knock dog breeders and the Kennel Club. Most breeders/exhibitors I know would die for their dogs, so I sometimes don’t get where the RSPCA is coming from. The American dog people think we are nuts to give them so much credence.

And finally, don’t ever make the mistake of seeing me in some far off land on the OUR DOGS stand where we have shipped a load of OUR DOGS papers at great cost and asking me for a free copy!! Aaaggghhhh, do you do that in W H Smiths with your Daily Mail or Telegraph? No, well, don’t do it to me then!

You have to start with the dreaded phone answering systems that seemed to become the vogue a few years ago with banks and credit card companies leading the way85whether all the technology was designed to ‘improve’ things (don’t make me laugh) or just to cut costs and put people out of work; well all it did was frustrate everyone from here to Mumbai and whether it added to bank profits or not was irrelevant, because the lying, selfish, two timing thieving bonus grabbing bankers blew it all anyway and left us poor unfortunates to pick up the tab! (Am I making myself clear?)

An on a completely different tack, what gets me at Christmas is this plethora of idiotic, unconnected dreamscapes that pose as adverts on TV for perfume, or after shave, or man musk or whatever you like to call them. Erotically shaped bottles containing skunk essence being sprayed over a lithe writhing body shrouded in silk! Hang on Doris it is Monday morning in Scunthorpe, doesn’t seemed to have the desired effect!

And I can guarantee that at this time of the year, if you go to an airport near you, there will be a flight returning from some sun drenched place and Wayne (you can tell from the tattoo) will be at the luggage reclaim belt wearing his flip flops and a Leeds United football kit, just before he goes out and faces the minus 3 degrees at the taxi rank outside. What is it with these people? Do they just have to show off their peeling red skin after a week in Disneyland?

Isn’t that an offence in the Health and Safety atmosphere we have allowed to be created nowadays? Elves and safety I can live with, but not this mad health and safety environment that we have allowed bureauprats to build up around themselves and us. Shouldn’t I be wearing a hard hat whilst operating this computer!

And so to Christmas, which is in my book Christmas: a celebration of the birth of Christ. Not the winter solstice, not a festival of light declared by a council in Essex, not a mid winter excuse to get bladdered for a week and then stagger back to work three weeks later wondering where the last 21 days went to. Hey ho85 And a happy one to you all85858585

PS There’s a sale starting at DFS on Boxing Day, just in case you need another sofa!

Ali (Manners please) Smith

Five things that annoy me about dogs & dog showing:

1. Face judging: we all know it happens, it’s a huge bugbear for many, though it’s often classed as sour grapes. Some times it’s more obvious than others, but it needs to be addressed!

2. Bad tempered officials! No amount of reasoning can shift some of them, the term jobsworth must have been coined following a visit to a dog show.

3. Quickie judging. We don’t pay entry fees for someone to have a five second look at our dogs, or worse still to move our dogs and realise the judge isn’t even looking!

4. Weeing! Yep, that’s right. Why does my dog always decide my leg is a suitable object to pee up when in the ring! I can still hear the laughter....

5. Bad sportsmanship. My real hatred, especially when the perpetrator has actually been placed, then goes on to throw down their award and flounce out of the ring! Unforgiveable and utterly disrespectful under any circumstances.

Five things in general...

1. Bad manners, please and thank yous cost nothing!

2. Smart alecs. ‘You’re going where? Oh, we went last year, terrible.’ ‘You’ve got that? Oh, I had one of those LAST year’, and anyone who says ‘You don’t want to do it like that!!’

3. Anyone who crosses the road when I walk my dogs, sheltering their children from imminent attack! Or anyone who says, ‘Is that a pit bull?’ Grrrrrrr!

4. Anyone who talks to me when I’m trying to watch telly. Yes husband, you know who you are!

5. People who block aisles in supermarkets to have a long-winded chat: that’s why we have houses, and bottles of wine!


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