Smelly Dogs

Sometimes  things just creep up on you, don’t they?

It was a lovely sunny morning and I was driving along with the Hound of Satan quietly snarling in the back, pondering to myself.

What a beautiful day.  What a clear blue sky.  What should I do for the afternoon?  What the fuck is that smell?  

But of course, I already know the answer.  This is not a doggie smell.  This is the smell of things that dogs roll around in when you’re not there to kick them up the arse.

If you have a dog, you’ll know what I’m talking about.  You’re out for a walk with your little four-legged best friend when suddenly he finds some vile filthy putrid piece of shit and rolls around on it, covering himself in a puke-inducing pong and laughing up at you.   Hey, look at me, human!

Dogs don’t have a gag reflex, and with good reason.

Get up off that pile of rotten crap, you bastard!

wild dogs

I once read that packs of wild dogs do this to disguise their scent so that they can creep up on their prey undetected, and of course, our domestic dogs aren’t that far removed from their feral cousins, so I suppose it makes sense.  Sort of.

Here’s a herd of gazelles, out there on the savanna, munching away at their grass and leaves.  Suddenly they all go stiff with fear.

– What’s that smell?  What?  What smell?  What’s that? Where?  What?  

– Wait.  It’s like a strange mixture of rotten fish and cowshit.

– But there are no fish or cows out here on the savanna.

– True, but at least it’s not a pack of wild dogs creeping up on us to tear us limb from limb.

– Good point.  Have another branch of this delicious and easily-digestible vegetation.

All well and good, I suppose.  Dogs can’t change their essential nature any more than I can, but my car is now stinking of whatever rotten, decomposed squashed rat-entrails my fucking pet has been rolling in.  And so am I.

On the positive side, if I should get a sudden urge to attack a herd of gazelles, my children will eat well tonight.




A Bad Day For The Dog

It hasn’t been a great day for my dog although I have to concede, it has its upside for me.

I think I mentioned to you before that the dog hates the postman and the postman hates the dog, fully, reciprocally and entirely in harmony.  They hate each other and that’s that.

Or should I say, they hated each other, if you take the word postman in the abstract rather than the particular, a bit like le Roi c’est mort, vive le Roi!

What am I talking about?  Simples.  We have a new postman and guess what?  He loves dogs.  He fucking loves them. I saw him pulling up in his van today and I thought the best thing would be to go out and meet him, so that’s exactly what I did.

Howya.  Look, maybe I should introduce you to my dog.  He’s a complete bastard and the last postman hated him and it caused a lot of hassle and I was just thinking —



Bring him out.   I love dogs.

You do?  

I do.

And so I did.  I released the Hound of Satan who charged straight at the the new postman and …


Well, did nothing at all apart from licking his hand.

Right. The facade begins to crumble, but things get worse for the Hound of Satan as time  moves on.


It turns out to be a simply beautiful day.  Roasting hot, with a clear sky above, so I invite my neighbour to go for a stroll.

Let’s go for a stroll, I invited, invitingly.

All right, but can we take this huge pile of wine bottles to the bottle bank on the way, please?

We sure can, but please explain to me why you’re throwing out half-full bottles of wine.  Is that not some sort of crime?

Maybe it is.  Let’s go.

And so we did.

Now, when we arrived at the bottle bank, the dogs jumped out of the car as they always do.  My friend’s dog blundered around as usual, while mine began scouring the vicinity for something to kill and what did it find?  I’ll tell you what he found.  The worst possible thing for a dog to find.   A big strong, muscular tomcat who wasn’t one bit afraid of an aggressive dog-thing.  Deal with that, MoFo.

How did the Hound of Satan deal with it?  Not very well, I’m glad to tell you.  He’s used to charging at cats that run up trees or dodge under bushes.  He is definitely not used to cats that stand their ground and say You wanna piece of me? You wanna piece of me?

This tomcat was not one tiny bit afraid.  This was one serious Alpha tomcat.  Fuck you!

He walked towards the dog.  The dog moved away.  He followed the dog and the dog looked confused.  He occcupied the dog’s personal space with absolute contempt.

Let me tell you, I would not have lightly tackled this big, strong cat.  This animal feared nothing.  After intimidating Satan, the cat jumped up on a fence and wandered away, but not too quickly, and certainly not too bothered.  The dog wandered around behind the fence as we deposited our glass in the bins, perhaps looking for trouble, but if he did, he certainly found trouble.

As we drove off, my neighbour remarked that Satan had blood on his ear.

Good, I said.  Nothing like a learning experience.

I turned to the dog.  Not so tough now, kid?

Miaow, he replied.



The Hound of Satan Goes to Town

I brought Dog Sothoth with me because I was going to be gone for hours and it didn’t seem right to leave an animal — even one with red eyes and cloven paws — alone in the cold all day.  I had things to do, mainly concerned with creating a pop-up gallery and a meander through the Market, but I was conscious that the Hound of Satan is unused to an urban environment and might well cause mayhem.  Throat-crunching and leg-mangling.  Poodle-eating.  You know yourself.

So I asked myself thusly: How bad can it get?

The answer is this: worse than I could possibly imagine, but not in the way you might think.  You see, for years I’ve been telling everyone I know how savage this brute is, how nothing is safe.  Not child.  Not neighbour.   Not dog.  Not cat.  Not postman.  Not policeman.

Savage.  Evil.

What happened?  Dog Sothoth spent the entire day gazing up at people with those sad eyes, cunningly turned brown instead of the normal red, snuggling up to credulous young girls.  Hug me.  Daddy beats me.  Licking my friends’ hands.  Save me.  Daddy is cruel.  Climbing onto strangers’ laps.   Won’t you please take me home? Daddy is evil.

I spent the day enduring the judgemental gaze of all the people I told about Dog Sothoth. 

Liar, their eyes said.  Evil, evil, cruel man.  Awwww.  Look at the lovely dog.   Awwww!!

Luckily, I bumped into Wrinkly Joe, who was present when Dog Sothoth raced across the road and dismantled a neighbour’s harmless little lap-dog before running up the road spitting out lumps of fur.

What? I implored.

Wrinkly Joe shrugged.  I know.  What do you expect when you have the Hound of Satan for a pet?



More on dogs



Feeding a Dog

My little dog, Satan, was looking none too happy.

Here, I said.  Eat this bowl of nutritionally-balanced, crunchy wholesome kibbles, packed with all the vitamins a healthy dog needs.

Grrrrr, said the dog.

Very well, I said.  Have nothing then.  And I folded my arms.

Wait a minute.  What’s that searing, agonising pain shooting through my leg and burning new pathways in my brain?  Why, that will be the dog gnawing at my ankle with sharpened fangs.  Grrrrr.

Alright, Satan, I soothed as I pepper-sprayed him into a calm, quivering little mass.  Point taken.  Literally.

It was time for new thinking.  Blue-sky puppy-shooting, going forward.  Oh, did I mention to you that I’d recently made a fortune from an innovative range of dog foods?


Well, I did.  Since launching my new brand, Real Food For Real Dogs, I can’t keep up with demand.  It’s hard to know which line is most popular, but my researchers in the vast cavern complex below the Bockschloss tell me that Meaty Postman Chunks is trending worldwide on Twitter.  For myself, I like Minced Burglar With Intruder Sauce but others have suggested that Free Newspaper Delivery Treats should be at number one. I don’t know.  That sort of thing is for my minions to work out.  The Meter Reader range is going well and so, surprisingly, is the speciality product, Garda Síochána in Guinness, with Chips and Doughnuts.

We’re hiring.  If you’re a young, motivated dog-food designer, put your CV through the letter-box.  All survivors will be interviewed.



The Hound of Satan

Dinner with the Hound of Satan

My Dogs

Working dogs

Hound of Satan Sick



Bock’s Hound Breaks Out

It was a beautiful day.  Simply gorgeous.  Only a man with a heart of stone could fail to wander out and enjoy the lovely bright skies and the warmth.

I have a heart of stone and my dog has a heart of pure sulphur which is why neither of us ventured into the morning sunshine.  We had issues to resolve.

Why do you attack postmen and tinkers?


Why do you attack neighbours’ dogs and run away spitting out lumps of fur?


When did you achieve such a mastery of deductive reasoning?


The first two questions were a trick.  What I really wanted to know was how a small dog with an even smaller brain-pan can analyse my defences and identify precisely the weak point to probe successfully.

I’ve had this minor battle of wits going on for a few years now, and I have to tell you, the dog is winning.

In the early days, it was simple enough.  There’s a hole in the wall.   That’s how the dog is escaping and savaging the postman.  Fix hole.

The gate isn’t closing properly.  That’s how the dog is getting out to murder the little corgi from up the road.  Fix gate.

But then it became more nuanced, like the time I was sitting in the garden enjoying a well-deserved glass of wine when I noticed  a small shape walking along the top of the wall.

A cat?  No — a dog.  My dog, making his homicidal escape.

Or the time I had to set up cameras on tripods and drive away from the house because the dog wouldn’t come out when called in case I’d see how he was escaping.

It’s driving me crazy.  Every time I close off an escape route, the dog sits down, lights a pipe, strokes his chin and says Hmm. Let’s see now.

Yesterday, I found another escape route which I closed off by building a section of fence and bolting it to a wall, ending forever any possibility of the Hound of Satan breaking out and terrorising those who live near me.


I left my car in town last night, very sensibly, because I went to see the incomparable Groove Junction in Dolans, a fine outfit of musicians and featuring the great Carlos Hercules on drums.

Now, as it happens, my neighbour nnormally goes to all these gigs, but he had a quiet night in for some reason best known to himself, and was up bright as a button before the birds brushed their teeth.   Decent fellow that he is, he kindly offered me a lift, but as we drove away he looked back.

I think your dog is following us.

You know what?  I said.  Postmen, tinkers and corgis can all fuck off.  I’m going to the market, and then I’m watching the match.  Normal service resumes tomorrow.


The Hound of Satan

Dinner with the Hound of Satan

My Dogs

Working dogs



The Hound of Satan

This fucking dog is driving me mad.

I know you haven’t heard about the bastard for a while, but he hasn’t gone away, you know.

He has not gone away.

He’s a small dog, but all the more savage for it, and also very intelligent.  This is not a good combination,  small, savage and smart, even if it does sound like a firm of Nama lawyers.

No indeed.  Not a good combination.

Where I live, there is a great amount of perimeter.  A combination of walls and hedges.  And over the years, as various policemen, bailiffs and irate neighbours came to my door, I have had to seal up the gaps through which the Hound of Satan escapes.

You see, this is no ordinary dog, but a deep thinker of his calling.  A dog who takes dogness seriously. This is a small dog who thinks nothing of attacking the three Dobermann Pinschers we meet on the river-bank, held back by a tattooed body-builder skinhead.  This dog attacks trucks.  A neighbour ran over this fucking dog two or three years ago with a big bastard of a jeep and did no damage at all, except the ridiculous cost of a night in the vet’s.

He costs me a fortune when he gets sick.


I came home the other day to find the dog attacking the bin-men when he was supposed to be securely locked away, since the last time I found an escape route and secured it.  Bastard.  The postman was off in the distance, rubbing his ankle and shaking his fist at me.

This is not good.

What to do?

What will I do? I asked Parkenstein.

How the fuck would I know? he answered helpfully.  Video?

Parkenstein, you’re a  genius.

And so I set up the video camera, pointing towards the corner where I suspected the Hound of Satan was escaping, and I drove off.

When I came back, the Hound was waiting for me at the front door.

Where’s that video? What does it show?  Was I wrong?

I was not.  Gentle and lithe as a cat, there’s the dog, climbing the wall, walking to the end, hopping onto the edge of a sheet of plywood no more than half an inch wide, balancing on it, turning around and leaping into the neighbour’s garden.

This is not an ordinary dog.

I hate this animal and yet, in a strange hate-filled way, I also admire it.

Would you like an extremely aggressive, highly intelligent small dog with a good sense of balance and the ability to climb walls?  I guarantee you’ll have no rats.

The Hound of Satan

Dinner with the Hound of Satan

My Dogs

Working dogs


Out For a Stroll

I went out for a stroll this morning.  You know, it was a beautiful day and the Hound of Satan looked to be in need of a walk.  There are only so many neighbours to attack in this world and so many pet Corgis a satanic dog can kill.

As it was such nice weather, I brought the camera and just happened to take random snaps of little things along the way — the sort of stuff I usually blunder past without noticing, and it occurred to me how little I know about our environment.

Here are a few things I took pictures of.  If you know the names of them, I’d be very grateful indeed to learn from you.

[scrollGallery id=33]
Bock's People Humour Pets

Cursing Jack Has Pups

As I brooded over a flat pint in the Filthy Skobe, my phone bleated painfully.  It was Cursing Jack.

Do you want a dog?

old_english_sheepdogA dog? I laughed. A fucking dog?  You’re insane. Don’t you know I already have the rottenest, meanest, houndiest hound that ever walked on cloven paws? The  Hound of Satan.

Ah, he said, this one is different. This one will be nice.

Will be? I interjected.  What’s this Will Be stuff?

Well, he shifted from foot to foot uneasily.

I can hear you shifting from foot to foot uneasily, I told him.  What’s all this about?

Well, he said, you see, the boxer got at the old English sheepdog.

Fuck, I said.  That’s going to a big bastard of a dog.

Yeah, Cursing Jack nodded.  An Old English Boxer.

Really?  I said, cheering up. Look, I still can’t take him, but at least I can tell you what to call him.

You can?

Cartainly, I assured him.  There’s only one thing you can call an Old English boxer.

What? he said.

Henry Cooper!


Hound of Satan Sick

The poor old dog is sick.  He had a lump on his head so I decided I’d better take him to the vet, and the vet said Jesus Christ, that’s a fuckin tumour.

I told you he was sick.

What to do?

Bring him in on Monday morning, said the vet, and I’ll cut it off.  Send it away for a biopsy.

And? I said.

It might be nothing.


Or he might be fucked.

I see, I said. Well don’t spare my fucking feelings anyway.

I won’t, he assured me.

This isn’t the same vet who patched Satan back together after he got rolled over by a jeep.  This is a much rougher class of individual, but he’s cheaper.

So I brought the dog to the small animal hospital this morning and deposited him with the vet from hell.  Call me about six, he said, and we’ll see how things go.

So I did.  I phoned about six o’clock.


I removed that, he said. But we did a scan while he was knocked out, and I’ll need to talk to you about it.

Fuck, I said. That sounds ominous.

We’ll talk.

Jesus, I hate it when they take that tone.  Do vets and doctors do a special module on patronising their customers?

An hour later I’m standing in front of him.  What’s all this about a scan?

We did an ultrasound, and there’s … well, there’s something inside his abdomen.  A mass.

Like, you mean, another growth?


I see, I said. And could it have anything to do with the fact that he got squashed by my neighbour’s jeep back in September?

Hmm, he grimaced.  Could be. Maybe a haematoma. Or an enlarged spleen.

So perhaps the hound of Satan isn’t yet finished.  We’ll know in a few weeks, but for the moment, the poor old devil has a row of staples across the top of his head.


The Hound of Satan

A movement at the end of the garden caught my eye.  A brief flash of colour running along the top of the wall.

That’s a strange-looking cat, I thought, but then I looked again.

Wait a minute!  That’s not a cat.  That’s my fucking dog!

The bastard has done it again.  He’s found a new way to escape, for the purpose of savaging my neighbours, their children and their pets.

Jesus Christ, what did I do to deserve this Hound of Satan?



Dinner With The Hound of Satan

Bock’s Dog Knocked Down

My Dogs

My Dog, Satan

Working dogs


Our new puppy