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How I lead a green and frugal life by Lily-dog

Posted by on Tuesday 6 March 2012 in Featured, meta | 12 comments

It’s two years to the day since we brought Lily-dog home so I asked her to put some words together about how she leads a simple, green & frugal life with us.

Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Sorry, got a bit overexcited there, I do like meeting new people. Would you like me to bring you a shoe? Because I can go and get one if you like? Here! Here’s a shoe. I hope you like it. It’s my shoe. Don’t try to take my shoe! I like shoes!

Ok, ok, I’ll put the shoe down and start telling you what you want to hear. I’m not quite sure what the female feedy-huggy one has asked of me because I am a dog but I’ll try my best and will try very hard not to randomly woof. Although I am told I enunciate my woof splendidly, with a proper “wuh” at the beginning and everything. Wuh-oof.

So, yes, I have lived here for two years now and I think I lead a pretty green & frugal life. Well, a white-and-brown frugal life.

I grow my own fur so I don’t need clothes – 12 items in ’11? Pff! I had less that 12 items of clothing in 11 years! – and my fur can be composted when I don’t need it any more. I am also more than happy to snuggle underneath a duvet or a blanket too for extra warmth, no need for gas-guzzling central heating.

I do not – NOT!NOT!NOT! – like going in the car because they are expensive and noisy and sometimes involve journeys to the vets which are expensive, noisy and sometimes involve injections. If I had my way the tail-less ones would get rid of the car and we’d just walk everywhere we needed to go. Because the only place we need to go is the woods, right? Definitely NOT the vets, just the woods.

I like the woods. They are at the bottom of my garden. Walking in the woods is my favourite hobby and it makes me happy that we go there every day. If I wasn’t such a scaredy dog, I’d probably run around the woods on my own all day, making sure I’m instantly aware of any changes in smells and to check that those squirrels aren’t up to anything. Those squirrels are always up to something. That’s why they need barking at. “What are you up to, squirrels?” I say with one single well-enunciated woof. They know I’m onto them, that’s why they run.

I like eating things I find in the woods. Once I found a tuna sandwich. That was a good day. I carried it for about a minute to really savour it before I ate it. It was good. Mostly I just eat green things. My favourite green things are those sticky bud things which the curly haired one calls “cleavers” but I also like some bits of grass. The curly-haired one calls this “foraging” and says it’s a green and frugal thing but I just think of it as walking snack time. The curly-haired one is good and puts green things in pots for me to snack on in the garden too. They’re at dog-mouth height so they must be for me.

Inside the house, I am the good one. I’m the one that helps reduce food waste by SELFLESSLY cleaning up any scraps of food that drop on the floor, any food the cats might leave, and any eggs that get dropped or cracked. It has been said by a certain curly-haired person who shall remain nameless (because I don’t understand the concept of names really) that I sometimes cause the eggs to get broken by nudging them off a table or trying to trip up one of the humans when they’re carrying them up from the chickens but THAT IS DOWNRIGHT LIES. I am a good dog, I tell you.

Speaking of the chickens, they’re fascinating, aren’t they? Their home smells of such amazing things, as do their bottoms. I must admit that I did try to eat them at first (the whole chickens, not just their bottoms) but now I am just happy to watch them. Watch them and sniff them. Mmm, sniffing.

I like sniffing the cats too and they generally sniff back although I think their “eeeuggh!” faces are at least sometimes uncalled for. I do have soaks in the stream as often as I’m allowed so in my humble opinion, I’m very very clean and delightfully fragrant. And the curly one makes me have showers inside the bathroom rain box sometimes too. I prefer showers to baths, which I hear is a green thing: I like that they are shorter and don’t use as much water and that sometimes I can lick the water from the water thing. And after I’ve had a shower and am nice and clean, I help the two-legs clean the bathroom floor by wriggling on every single bit of it. No need for chemical cleaning gunk or even a mop. I’m such a helpful doggy.

I am also good at helping sort the rubbish. They sort it into “recycling”, “compost” and “rubbish” but they seem to miss that a lot of the so-called “rubbish” is actually perfectly reusable. No, I don’t mean reusable … what do I mean? Oh yes, chewable. I am very good at taking things out of the office or living room bins and “reusing” them into little tiny pieces. Sometimes it takes ages for the feedy-huggy people to get the picture: they put the perfectly chewable thing in the bin, I take it out again, they put it in again, I take it out again, they put it in again … I mean squirrels learn faster than these people. Wait… squirrels can learn things? Then they might get the better of me with their scheming ways! Oh no! I should go woof at them to make them forget!

To celebrate her two year anniversary with us, I made her a party hat – with brown-paper spaniel ears.

Some bribing with treats may have been necessary to get her to wear it.

Quite a lot of bribery ;)


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Jo

    Awww bless. The things dogs will do for a treat. Happy second anniversary of living The Really Good Life to Lily.

  2. Rachel

    This made me laugh at lot :-) Such a good, helpful doggy!

  3. datacreata

    I laughed out loud at this post. Mainly because my son and his girlfriend has a spaniel Sage. She also enjoyed foraging the pots of plants so much that the strawberries have had the shortest haircut ever! She is older and a little wiser now (and most of the pots are behind a fence which she can jump but knows not too) most of the time!.

  4. Candi @ min hus

    Cute post and very cute doggy. Enjoyed it!

  5. Clare

    Congratulations, Lily-Dog! You are a very good writer for someone who speaks in well enunciated woofs. Perhaps you’ve been reading Spaniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (it’s a book about the original Really Good Life).

  6. Hazel

    Hello Lily-dog, my name is Mabel and I live with a family of 2 legged ones, their cats, chickens, ducks and Stan. Stan is curled up fast asleep, so I’m posting the comment. (He’s part Saluki which means he is either curled up in a ball pretending we’re not here or he is lying next to me using me as a pillow. Dad says he’s sensitive but Mum says he’s high maintenance and sometimes threatens to swap him for a goat which would be far more green and frugal but I think that’s mostly to tease Dad. I just know he doesn’t always eat all his food…)

    Anyway, you sound just as green and frugal as me. I’m actually ginger. I match the floorboards, which means people sometimes don’t see me and I get tripped over (like you I will very helpfully lick up whatever food they spill) but it does mean my hairs don’t show on the floor! Less hoovering! (I’m not keen on the hoover. Noisy and expensive like the car. Stan hates it and runs to the next room if anybody moves it. But he doesn’t like the broom either, which is green and frugal and not noisy. Mum rolls her eyes and calls him a ‘fruitbat’.)

    I will happily eat scraps to make sure there’s no waste. Apparently I’m a bit too enthusiastic about this and will have no waist if I don’t share with Stan. I’m part Lab, so it’s not my fault.

    I keep my feet clean by walking in puddles. I don’t like baths or showers (I’m also part Whippet!) so that saves lots of water.

    I keep the house tidy by collecting things and putting them in my basket. You know, toys, pencils, knitting (that did get a bit messy, actually), wooden darning mushrooms, logs, plastic tubs (I can reach up quite high on my back legs), the mixer paddle from the bread machine (I can even reach the draining board) and things like that.

    I like sniffing chickens too. And cats. Two of ours come and curl up next to me, but I’m scared of the old one, she has very sharp claws. I’d quite like to be a cat, so I sit on people’s laps to keep them warm. Very green and frugal!

  7. PipneyJane

    Well that didn’t quite come out. It was meant to be a pat.

  8. Karen

    Happy “Gotcha Day” to Lily Dog from me and Lou Pine.
    (He is going to be celebrating his first soon!)

  9. sooz

    Aww, I love lily-dog, she sounds like she’s a very good girl!

  10. Betty Noodle

    Hello Lily and Mabel and Stan too!
    I’m Betty also known as Betty Noodle or just plain Noodle, I have a friend in the park called Noodle too. I live with the mother & daughter team, aka my ‘slaves’. I’m not keen on men so this all woman household suits me. I have only lived here for 5 months but I think I’ve trained them very well. My main green credential is energy conservation, mainly my own energy, though I do, selflessly, take the slaves out three times a day. Just so they get some exercise you know. Honestly, without me I don’t think they would get any exercise! But, I do draw the line at taking them out in the rain, wind, snow or worst of all hail, a girl has to have standards after all. I am always available for snuggling duties, preferably under a duvet or blanket,
    My slaves say that I’m not the sharpest tool in the box, but I don’t know what they mean, I don’t have any tools & I don’t have a box, I think they are getting a bit confused!
    I’m with Lily, those squirrels need a constant eye keeping on them, don’t trust them. Might I suggest Lily, that you climb the tree to get to them. I haven’t quite managed to climb ALL the way up the tree yet, but when I do those squirrels had better watch out!
    My slaves feed me well, so in return I don’t bother much with their food, even if they drop it, since the old one doesn’t eat meat, most of it doesn’t interest me anyway.
    Anyway I think I need to go and lie down again now. Bye.

  11. Kathleen

    Hi, Lily….hope you are doing well! Dog days of summer will be coming soon….will that make you happy? Love and kisses from Scout and JoJo (rescued Schnauzer dogs)…..

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