Rupert: "Where is that dashing young Rupert pup we've come to know and love?" I hear you cry.
Sasha: You're right here.
Rupert: Ta-da! It is I, Rupert O'Lickey, international pup of mystery and master of disguise!
Sasha: But you weren't disguised, you just had a haircut.
Rupert: Yes, young Sasha-wan, you are starting to understand the power of the clippers!
Sasha:(Sigh) I had a haircut too. Here are some before and after shots.
Rupert: I know you don't think it's me, but look at these before and after shots - seeing is believing!
Rupert: Here's an additional profile shot - lady pups, you may wish to close one eye, so as to not be completely blown away by my extreme handsomeness.
Sasha: It's spring, so we got nudie cuts. That's to help stop grass seeds from getting stuck in our hair and then burrowing into our skin.
Rupert: As you can see, we are very liberated pups, what with all the nudie-ness, and all.
Sasha: Rupert! We are not liberated! At least, only every morning when we go off-leash. For the rest of the time we're completely captive at home, languishing on the furniture in the sun while our human's out. Anyway, back to me! Yesterday was my barkday, I am now two years old! When's your barkday, Rupert?
Rupert: I prefer not to divulge that information, being an international pup of mystery, and all. The Lost Dogs Home made a guess about my age, and gave me a birthday, but I'm not sure the date is auspicious enough. Perhaps I shall share your barkday celebrations.
Sasha:Why am I not surprised...? Anyway, look at all the goodies I got. Firstly, I received a parcel from my friend Honey, in Queensland. She was in cahoots with my two favourite boys, JD and Max, and forwarded me a present from them! Thank you so much!
Sasha:Rupert! Never fear, my new bling did not disappear down an international gullet of greed, and is even now attached to my collar, totally adding to my gorgeousness!
Sasha: I also got a new, indestructible green ball.
Rupert: I bet it's not that indestructible - give me a few minutes with it!
Sasha: And an indestructible blue toy.
Rupert: Actually, it's not very indestructible. It took me less than a minute to prove that!
Sasha: I never used to get all these indestructible toys. I wonder why I'm getting them all of a sudden.
Rupert: Can't help you there, I'm afraid. Let's get onto the foodie bits, I liked those bits.
Sasha: Yes, this was your present from a while ago.
Rupert: Our cruel human was deliberately depriving us of it, too! Just after I moved in from the Lost Dogs Home, my pals JD and Max very generously sent me a care package. They asked their human to check the interwebs to find somewhere in Australia that could deliver treats, because, as you know, the greedy Quarantine man steals our treats to keep for himself, if pups send them from overseas. This is the fabulous spread they sent us.
Sasha: We wanted to eat it as soon as it arrived, but our cruel human refused to let us have it.
Rupert: Some pitiful excuse about me vomiting.
Sasha: Well, you do vomit somewhat.
Rupert: It's important to have hobbies. But it's more of a blurp than a vomit. We are beginning to think it's physiological - it might be my osophagus not closing properly, because most of the time I blurp when I've been sleeping. Our human can tell because when she gets home from work the blurp stains are usually on the couch, in her spot. Or in her lap, if that's where I've had my head when I've been asleep.
Sasha: You vomit a lot less than you did, but you still do it at least once a day.
Rupert: We went to our cousins Bertie and Oliver's Chinese herbalist. Now I have herbs with every meal to support my stomach and liver. Our human was pleased that the herbs didn't make me blurp more.
Sasha: They haven't totally stopped you blurping, but now you have a lot more energy - no birds in the park are safe!
Rupert: Anyway, our human has decided that, because I'm only eating I/D food and small amounts of poached chicken at the moment, if it is physiological I might as well start getting a bit of variety. So she opened the care package and let us have half a cookie each! And I didn't blurp it up (yet)!
Sasha: It was a rather delicious cookie.
Rupert: Yes. I'm trying not to blurp it up, so she will give us more later.
Sasha: It's weird how what you eat at home is so carefully controlled, but she never cares about all the dead stuff you eat in the park if she doesn't see you doing it.
Rupert: And it's weird how the dead stuff doesn't make me sick, but just changing my food a bit at home does.
Sasha: Um, Rupert?
Sasha: I just wanted to say that with your new haircut, you look... well... almost handsome... And I don't mind you being my little brother.
Rupert: I... might be blushing right now... but if you tell anyone, I'll deny it!
Sasha: No. Well, yes, but that's not the main thing it means. What mud means is baths!
Rupert: Ooohhh... so that's why we got bathed the other day. We had to lie in the sun to dry off, it was very exhausting. I remember that licking didn't seem to make me drier.
Sasha: You are somewhat licky, aren't you. I may have mentioned this before.
Rupert: Speaking of licking, I love that new salad dressing stuff our human keeps putting on her arms and legs.
Sasha: Um. Do you mean moisturiser?
Rupert: That's the stuff, very tasty...
Sasha: I don't think she likes you licking it all off.
Rupert: ... but whenever I try to take a nibble she notices.
Sasha: She could hardly fail to notice that you are constantly on top of her or underneath her or licking her or trying to eat her. You are a bit of an attention hog - I may have mentioned this before.
Rupert: Attention hog? Moi?
Sasha: PS - Rupey was quoting from Dylan Thomas's Under Milkwood, up there at the beginning. Our human says she always thinks of it whenever anyone says "It is Spring", but she can never remember any more of it because she has the Richard Burton recording and his voice always makes her melt after a few minutes, so then all she's doing is listening to his voice and not to what he's saying.
Rupert: As an international pup of mystery, it's very important for me to be well-dressed.
Sasha: And as a skinny malinky, it's very important for you to be warm.
Rupert: Yes, that too.
Sasha: In fact, we recently got caught in the rain, didn't we?
Rupert: I think I recall the occasion.
Sasha: And what did you do?
Rupert: My street-pup reflexes snapped into action, I wriggled out of my harness and ran to hide under a hedge. Record time, extreme flair, score 10!
Sasha: And then you refused to come out from under the hedge, so our human had to crawl under and get you, then carry you all the way home in the rain. We got wet too, you know!
Rupert: Well, it's very important for a half-starved pup to stay out of the cold wintry rain. And it hasn't happened since, I may add.
Sasha: That's true - our human makes sure you wear your nice warm, waterproof coat whenever we go out.
Rupert: And when I'm wearing it the rain doesn't bother me at all, no matter how hard it's coming down. I love my coat - it's a Weatherbeeta Landa, and it's padded and waterproof, it fits me very well and the colour makes my fur look fabulous! Our human put a hole in it so she could attach my leash to my harness through it.
Sasha: And you have some other clothes now, too, don't you. Why don't we start with your jammies?
Rupert: Why don't we start with my cool new red coat? It's cooler than my Landa, and thinner and more flexible, so it's more comfy.
Sasha: You like it because it's red.
Rupert: I also like it because it's reversible, and it's got aliens on the other side!
Sasha: Our human bought it from fluppies.com.au - you can choose any combination of colours, they can do special colours for you, and they can also custom-make whatever you want if you're a weird shape or size.
Rupert: That's where your safety raincoat came from, isn't it?
Sasha: Yes. I hate wearing coats, as a general principle, but this one is very lightweight and the strap is very soft across my tummy, and I don't mind it so much.
Rupert: I also have one, but for when the weather is a little milder, or until I put on some more weight - for the time being, I'm sticking to my nice warm Landa.
Sasha: You also have new jammies, don't you?
Rupert: I don't think we need to go into the jammies. The whole subject is rather personal.
Sasha: But surely you want to show everypup how you stopped wearing the purple jammies...
Sasha: ... because they are mine!
Rupert: Oh, why did you have to go and do that?
Sasha: Please forgive me for being seen in non-safety coat clothing, but we'd been out in the rain, so we were a bit soggy underneath, and our human wanted to take us in the car which was very cold, so she made us wear our jumpers.
Rupert: They are very comfortable for in the car - we can just curl up. That's why I use my new red jumper as jammies.
Sasha: How about that time you wore my bathrobe? When I was a little puppy our Auntie Robin gave me a pink bathrobe, and now you use it every time you have a bath.
Rupert: I do not!
Sasha: Er... I beg to differ...
Rupert: Hey, come on, that's not fair! I was all wet and cold, and very vulnerable! And it has this nice hood to keep my head warm until I dry off. I was forced to wear it! Resistance was futile!
Sasha: I don't remember you resisting...
Rupert: Well it's not like our human makes us wear clothes for the sake of it - it's all there for a reason. No gratuitous clothes-wearing in this household!
Sasha: That's true. There's just gratuitous clothes-wearing at our cousins Bertie and Oliver's house. You did a bit of it there, didn't you?
Rupert: Oh, come on, I wasn't really wearing that costume, I was just experimenting, everyone was doing it, I didn't inhale!
Sasha: Huh? You didn't inhale? Why wouldn't you breathe?
Rupert: Um... isn't that what you're supposed to say? Oh, just forget it. Hey, did you see the email our human sent to Fluppies enquiring about getting a custom-made purple coat for you?
Sasha: No! She didn't! She wouldn't do that to me!
Rupert: It said something about having purple hearts on the reverse side.
Rupert: The other night I was all warm and snuggly in my bed, having warm and snuggly dreams.
Sasha: You do look all warm and snuggly there in your blanket.
Rupert: It's still all coldy winter here, and because I still haven't put on a lot of weight, I apparently resemble something called a "skinny malinky". So every night our human tucks me into my bed with my blankie and kisses me goodnight to make sure I stay nice and warm.
Sasha: And if you get cold then you can't sleep, and then you spend all night noisily licking your toes and waking up everyone else.
Rupert: I didn't sleep so well the other night, even though I was all warm and snuggly. I had a nightmare.
Sasha: What was it about?
Rupert: Well, I dreamed I was slowly being eaten alive by some sort of short, hairy, frog-like creature.
Sasha: Sounds scary.
Rupert: It was - it started on my blanket and was slowly working its way up to me.
Sasha: Well I'm sure you have nothing to worry about - it was just a dream. Things like that almost never happen in real life.
Sasha: Well, I would usually be inclined to agree with you on that score, but in this case it's not so much that she's been lazy as that she's been sickie.
Rupert: An awful lot of sickie - all that snuffling and snorting all night long. Why can't she learn to snore nicely like us doggies?
Sasha: It's more than just being sickie - you've kept her busy over the last few weeks, what with the midnight (and midday) vomiting all over the place.
Rupert: Yes, that's true, I have been somewhat vomity lately. Partially because my stomach can't take a lot of food since I was all starve-y when I was a stray, so if I eat too much at once I vomit it back up. Preferably on a soft furnishing.
Sasha: But that's not the only reason you've been vomity, is it?
Rupert: No, the vet human said I might have a deep-seated parasite which didn't get killed when the Lost Dogs Home gave me anti-worming medication. I've actually lost weight since I came to live with you!
Rupey (aka Big Head) - super-model or Bratz doll?
Sasha: So you've had a dose of Drontal and then some antibiotics for the last week or so.
Rupert: Those pills our human shoves down my throat twice a day.
Sasha: Yes, it's a pity you're on special food right now - you can't have your tablets wrapped in cheese.
Rupert: Is that what our human gives you every morning and night while we're eating? I never quite see what it is, because my nose is so deep in my bowl.
Sasha: Yes, I've had a urinary tract infection, which means I need to have tablets twice a day, too. I don't mind, because I'm very good at locating and spitting out tablets, so they need to be ensconced in enough cheese that I don't notice them. Mmmm, yummy! She can't just shove them down my throat, because I'm an expert at the "hold and twist-at-the-perfect-moment" technique.
Rupert: Our human's been coming home from work every day at lunchtime to give me an extra meal. Then she goes back to work again. She was muttering about cab fares being very expensive, and not getting a lunch break for weeks on end. Hey, I'm the one with the sore tummy, human, so stop complaining!
Sasha: I think she's getting Upstairs Girl to come and give you lunch next week. And give me treats, so I don't get jealous! You've more or less stopped vomiting now, haven't you?
Rupert: More or less. I still enjoy the odd blurp, just for old times' sake. I'm trying to help her by joining up all the clean spots on the carpet where she's had to scrub. It's a service I like to provide to those I love.
Sasha: And how's your tummy feeling now?
Rupert: Much better! I've noticed I'm getting more food in my bowl, too. She's been increasing each meal by 5g every day. If I vomit, then we go back to the previous day's amount. If I don't, then we keep going. I'm almost up to the full amount I should be having for a doggie of my weight.
Sasha: Then we have to work on making those meals bigger, so you can get to the weight you're supposed to be. And then get rid of lunch!
Rupert: What?? Get rid of lunch?? Nooo...!!
Sasha: You'll still get the same amount of food, just in two meals instead of one. And you can start having normal food as well, the same as me. And then we can start getting other stuff, like home-made chicken and vegies, and chicken necks, and sardines, and things that are too difficult when there's tablets and weighing, and all that other stuff to worry about.
Rupert: Speaking of going to bed ...
Sasha: What? We were talking about vomiting, not bed!
Rupert: Hey, a talented pup like me knows how to combine bed and vomiting - I've been doing it for weeks! Anyway, there's one thing about going to bed I've been curious about.
Sasha:(Sigh) What was that?
Rupert: You know how we're not allowed on our human's bed?
Not on the bed
Sasha: Er... yes...
Rupert: I know we're not allowed on her bed, coz every time I jump on it, our human makes me get off.
Sasha: ... and your question?
Rupert: Well, I have a nice, soft doggie bed with raised edges and a special blankie that our human tucks me into every night. It's on the floor by her bed, and it's very comfy and snuggly.
Sasha: I am familiar with your bed. I often have a relaxing gnaw on your blankie.
Rupert: Well, at bedtime you always go around to the other side of her bed, but there's no soft doggie bed there, just that footstool thing you jump up onto, so I guess that's where you sleep. It's not soft and there's no blankie, so I just wondered if you got cold or uncomfortable at night.
Sasha: ... er... well... um... no, actually, I sleep quite well at night.
Rupert: Well, you must be some kind of super-puppy to be comfortable there during these cold wintry nights. If you want, you can come and share my bed - there's enough room, and you know I quite like snuggling up to you on the couch during the day. It would be a very cozy way to spend the night.
Sasha: ... um... thanks for the offer... but... heh, super-puppy, that's me... heh... I'm quite happy with my current sleeping arrangement, no need to change it at this point... um... er... what do you say to a quick game?