The World Of Bren

My World Seen Through My Eyes And All Kinds Of Other Crap

She may be a blonde but she is NOT a Golden Retriever!

Her name is Cassey.

I love her with all my heart but she is the blondest dog that I have ever encountered. I think in Heaven when God called out “Please queue here for Brains!”, Cassey misheard and thought “Trains? Why would I need Trains?” and gaily carried on doing what she was busy doing and completely missed the opportunity of being given a full-bodied brain for Golden Retrievers.

I adopted Cassey by default and have had her in my life for about 4 years.  She was just on 2 years old when I adopted her.  You see, I originally had her litter-sister, named Coral, who I purchased from a breeder in Cape Town at the time. Coral also had missed the queue in Heaven for Brains but I think a buddy of hers loaned some to her because she was a tad bit brighter than her litter-sister, Cassey.

We said a sad and sudden goodbye to Coral when she was 1 year and 1 month old. She was knocked over by a car right in front of our house.  It was immediate without any suffering for which I am eternally grateful for.  We still do not know how or where she got out of our property as none of our other dogs have gotten it right in all these years.

Coral & Cassey with their litter mates.

Coral & Cassey with their litter mates.

After a great deal of grief Cassey came our way.  Same litter, same age, but less brain-cells.  The breeder had moved from Cape Town to Johannesburg and Cassey was not coping very well with the continuous thunder storms.  She was spending most of her life on medication for fear and anxiety.  Cassey (and Coral’s) breeder phoned me and enquired if I would be interested in adopting her.  I, of course, immediately said yes.  Why would I not want Coral’s litter-sister?

Cassey arrived at our small-holding amid tears from her breeder and very casually said hello to my other 4-legged FurKidz as if she had known them for years.  My FurKidz must have recognised a kindered spirit or maybe realised she was Coral’s sister because they accepted her with open paws.

Cassey is a beautiful angelic being – just like her sister Coral.  In true Golden Retriever style she has a gorgeous soft wavy coat the colour of pale wheat.  Her colouring is officially known as “pale gold”.  Her ears, tail and back legs are ever so slightly darker in colour.  She has medium length feathering on her front legs, back legs and tail.  She has soft brown eyes the colour of milk-chocolate.   And no brain cells.

Cassey - what an angelic face!

Cassey – what an angelic face!

Such a pretty smile

Such a pretty smile

She may look like a Golden Retriever, but she doesn’t always ACT like one. Firstly, Golden Retrievers are brainy dogs.  No offence to Cassey but she is lacking in this department. The word “sit” falls on deaf ears, “down” is non-existant and the best that she achieves is a hesitant “sit” (after 3 requests) and then gives a slow “high 5” with her left paw – but only at meal times.

Goldies are meant to be gutsy dogs that live for and love their food.  Cassey’s meal times are not exciting for her.  She wags her tail and perks her ears forward towards her bowl but that is the extent of it.  She also eats slowly and carefully which is definitely NOT a Goldie trait!  Secondly, her tail is all wrong. Goldie’s tails should lie on the horizontal with their backs and should wag lazily in this position as well.  Cassey’s tail is like a mast from a ship.  Straight up while standing, walking, running and wagging.  It is like a flag that announces her arrival to all and sundry.  We have very high beds and couches in our home and when Cassey walks behind them anyone can track her progress as the tip of her tail acts as a navigational beacon. Straight up.

Other things that she does are very obviously Golden Retriever so some of the traits have carried through from her gorgeous Goldie parents.

She is clumsy.  We have watched her run head first into a parked car on our property because she has been leaping and bounding along looking over her shoulder to see who is following.  A loud thump was heard as her tough head collided with the car door, she stumbled backwards onto her bum and slowly stared at the car with a thought of “Where did THAT come from?”, which was then immediately followed with the thoughts of “Oh well” after which she leapt straight up and carried on with her leaping around.  No harm, no foul.  She never felt a thing.  Her head is surprisingly solid for something that should protect a brain that is not there.  She has earned the nickname “Cascade” as she tends to cascade into things like an uncontrolled waterfall or “Cavalcade” because she has the ability to make it sound like a large cavalcade of horses is approaching when she is on top form.

She will lie like this for ages - on the grass, on her dog bed, anywhere...

She will lie like this for ages – on the grass, on her dog bed, anywhere…

She spends many happy moments rolling around on the grass or her dog bed on her back, making a desperate scrabbling action on the ground with her front legs and paws.  This is accompanied by the sounds of groaning and grumbling.  It is really very funny to watch but I have never managed to catch it on film.

She produces, what we call, popcorn noises when she cleans herself.  This is achieved by scrunching up her nose to reveal her incisors which she then uses pushed up against her body to gnaw at the desired area.  She breathes out while doing this as well which produces a sound not unlike a popcorn machine with gas.  Talking of gas….she will sit on her bum and happily wag her tail at you while producing small sharp farts with every wag.  Thankfully they don’t smell.  It makes us laugh but the other dogs are horrified and tend to all look in the other direction until she is finished.

She is a polite lady though and will always wait for you to go through a door first, let you lead up the steps and never push past you.  Very often she hangs back until you tell her it is okay and call her forward.

Her other FurBuddies love playing rough with her as her coat and skin are so thick that a good bite around the back of the neck doesn’t so much as get a squeak out of her.  I don’t even think that she notices the other dog tenaciously hanging from her coat.  She is always playing the ham in the sandwich to the other dogs – meaning that she gets pushed between Cheveyo and Kaci during running games with both of them trying to trip her up by grabbing her neck, shoulders or legs. They normally succeed.  And it is a humorous sight to behold as she tends to plough face first into the dirt.

She loves her water!  Just like all Goldies.  The beach, the river, the muddy puddle, the horses drinking bath, the bowl of drinking water…it does not matter how big or how small the water mass is, she will find it and make a plan to submerge herself in it.  She adores mud.  She often comes trotting inside looking like a black retriever and very proud of herself.  We regularly take the dogs to a deep muddy dam near to our farm where they can jump and swim and splash to their hearts content.  I love watching Cassey here as she submerges herself in the water and swims round and round looking like the Loch Ness Monster.

Cassey contemplating life at the beach

Cassey contemplating life at the beach

A selfie of Cassey & me at the beach

A selfie of Cassey & me at the beach

She is a little bit camera-shy when she knows that it is focused on her so her face tends to go all long which you can see in the photos.



Cassey & me on Christmas 2013

Cassey & me on Christmas 2013

Despite Cassey being an odd form of a Golden Retriever, she is unique, funny, gentle, respectful and a truly special lady in our lives.


Members Of The CPP

We have 2 members of the CPP living in our home.  They are protected. They are illegal. We could be arrested for harboring fugitives.  Their alias’ are many.

To their protectors they are known by various undercover names.  We speak in hushed tones about Millimeter and Centimeter.  About the Gobeebedbugs.  The Squish’ems, the Heartworms and the Weeweechews.  The Teetatick and the Mingtick.  There is a secret language filled with words like duppies, daretiz, whattadoing, whattawant and go peepees and poepies.

The members of the CPP are a small, exclusive, often misunderstood group – the members themselves are small in stature but large in attitude.   They have a level of bravery that rivals most. They are highly skilled, fierce, and protective.  Their skills and level of intelligence are similar to those required in the CIA.  They may be recruited one day to high-level covert black ops.

David Attenborough should have completed a documentary on these elusive but bold members of the CPP.  They are often found under the covers of beds, burrowed deeply to avoid the cold and the indoor light sources.  Upon being discovered, they examine you with large round eyes, and push themselves in reverse back under the covers away from the light.  A series of grumbles erupt from these tiny creatures when removed from under the covers.  They are tiny sun worshippers and will often be found basking in direct sunlight.  Their likeness to meerkats is uncanny.

By now you may be wondering what is the CPP?  Who are these small strange but bold members of this exclusive group?  What is their secret language?  What do their alias’ mean?

I will share this National Secret with you.  But I may have to kill you.

The CPP stands for The Cuteness Protection Program.  There are members worldwide but we are only Protecting 2 of them.  The members’ real names are Domingo and Damita and they are Longhaired Chihuahuas.  The CPP is so named as, surely, it is illegal to be so cute? The level of cuteness that these two creatures exude in such large doses should certainly have a legal limit and anything above that should be punished by law.  Their level of cuteness is so extremely high that they have had to be placed in Cuteness Protection – for their own safety as well as those around them.  Our property is their Safe House.  If anyone discovers them and intends them harm then those threats will be eliminated on sight.

Chihuahua’s originate from Chihuahua in Mexico so their names should reflect their heritage.  The members names are derived from Spanish and are true Mexican names.  Domingo means “born on Sunday” – he was born on a Sunday on 6 September 2009.  Damita means “Little Princess” – and she is one.  Damita was born on 2 May 2010.  Their names should be pronounced with the Big Corn Bites advert in mind as well as a strong Mexican accent – something like “Si, Senore’ Meeng, zis beeg corn bites eez beeg…”  They have, however, developed a large variety of nick names linked to their Cuteness and their Protectors (us humans of The Funny Farm Safe House) cannot control the sudden urges to talk baby-talk to them which is met by excited leaps, bounds, licks, waggy-tails, yelps and body-wriggles.  One will even get up and dance on stalk-like back legs.

It is vital that a Protector for the CPP understands the nick names as well as the language of the members.  It is considered rude not to speak their language directly to them as well as when referring to them in normal conversation.  In order to assist your understanding of the nick names and language I have reproduced the CPP published dictionary below for your perusal.

CPP published dictionary definitions of Nicknames:  

  • Centimeter (sen-ti-mee-ta) noun commonly known as Domingo; a slightly larger creature; common form of measurement for larger members of the CPP
  • Millimeter (mil-li-mee-ta) noun commonly known as Damita; a much smaller creature; common form of measurement for small members of the CPP
  • Mingtick / Meengtick (ming-tick / meeng-tick) noun commonly known as Domingo; small and round like a tick when curled up
  • Teetatick / Mitatick (tea-ta-tick / meeta-tick) noun commonly known as Damita; smaller and rounder than a tick when curled up
  • Gobeebedbugs (goh-bee-bed-buhgz) verb a shortened version of the question “Do you want to Go and Be Bed Bugs?”; meaning it is time for bed; small brownish creatures with large round protruding eyes found in beds, under duvets and blankets
  • Squish’ems (skwish-uhms) verb a word only used when CPP members are under duvets or blankets; protectors need to be careful that they don’t “squish’em” when sitting on beds, couches, etc; common form of speech is “Be careful you don’t Squish’em”
  • Heartworms (hahrt-wurmz) noun a parasitic creature so small and cute that it worms into your heart; a disease of the heart caused by small cute parasitic creatures
  • Weeweechews (wee-wee-chooz) noun derived from a Chihuahua joke; common form of speech “Weeweechew a Merry Christmas”

CPP published dictionary definitions of Language:  

  • duppies (duhp-peez) question shortened version of “Do you want to get up?”; used for “up” onto various items such as couches, chairs, beds, etc
  • daretiz (dair-teez) statement shortened version of “There it is”; used when finding a member of the CPP or a toy that a member has been searching for
  • whattadoing (wot-tadoo-ing) question shortened version of “What are you doing?”; used when asking a member of the CPP what they are up to / doing
  • whattawant (wot-ta-wont) question shortened version of “What do you want?”; used when asking a member of the CPP what they want or what they want to do
  • go peepies and poepies (goh) (pee-peez) (and) (poep-peez) statement shortened version of “Go out to make a pee and poo”; used at strategic times when members of the CPP must go outside to the loo

As a Protector I would like to share some important information with you, the reader, about our 2 CPP members and their lives, habits and funny quirks.  I am sure that by now you have realised the members of the CPP are extremely dependent on their Protectors.  They rely on us to pick them up onto high surfaces, to carry them when in dangerous areas, to lift them onto our laps for a sleep, and to help them burrow under blankets and duvets.

Domingo, being the little boy of the Safe House, is a true gentleman.  He eats his meals daintily without grabbing and gutsing.  He will very gently take food from our fingers when offered to him. Ming has very expressive eyes and when these little round almond-coloured eyes are turned in your direction you can read what he is trying to communicate to you.  They portray happiness, excitement, sadness, curiosity and love.



Ming has the ability to truly tug on your heartstrings, especially when any one of the   Protectors needs to leave the Safe House, his little round face manages to crumble with sadness – the little ears go flat and limp, the eyes turn into little slits that blink sadly, the face becomes long and droopy – and the Protector departs the House with a deep feeling of guilt for leaving such a helpless creature behind. If we had to give in to these desperately sad looks we would NEVER leave the House.

Ming is also a Landscaper and is often found assisting his Head Protector in the garden with planting, digging, clearing sticks, and mowing the lawn.

Ming is a qualified Ear Nose & Throat specialist.  If he is given half a chance he will patiently sit and clean your ears (if only we knew where that tongue has been…..), don’t try to fool him…he knows that you have 2 ears.  If you are not quick enough a lightning fast dart of the tongue shoots up your nostril and then quickly ends on your lip before you are even able to defend yourself. Unfortunately, Ming also passes his time cleaning cats’ ears so if you visit the members of the CPP think twice before you allow him to clean your ears!  Another quirk of his is to stand like a King with 2 front paws on your chest while you are lying on the bed trying to read and demand attention from you in his quiet sad way.

Domingo has a great love for motor-vehicles and when any protectors are cleaning their cars he is quite content to patiently sit in the car for hours on end, even if it does not result in a car trip up the road.

Damita, is a true princess.  Demanding, determined, strong-willed, spoilt, cheeky, forceful – words that describe her to the fullest.  Although she is a lady she does not act like one.  She loves her food (of all types) and eats with gusto, very often no chewing even takes place. The Little Chef will always be found in the kitchen with the Protectors at all times of the day or night.  She wants to enter MasterChef as a taster.



Damita has a problem with her nasal passages. There does not seem to be enough space for the tongue and the teeth in her mouth, this results in her continuously producing strange grunting noises through her nose. These noises have earned her the additional nickname of “The Spotted Grunter” and “Princess Grunt”.  Her tongue also sticks out of the right side of her mouth permanently. Sometimes her tongue dries out to a pink, soft piece of biltong when she has been asleep to the point that she cannot get it back into her tiny mouth and the Protectors have to assist her.

When Damita wants attention she focuses on you with her large round hazel-brown bug eyes, then launches her little body towards you with a playful gentle snap of her little jaws, examines you sideways out of those naughty eyes and moves her body in little jerks with a play bow until she gets the desired result.

Mita has extremely double-jointed back legs, the result is that it always looks like she is wearing high-heeled boots.  One of her little back legs also tends to turn inwards when she is standing still – this is what we call her “Ping-leg”, named after her half-brother Ping who has funny little stick-like legs which also turn in slightly.

Owing to Damita’s small size she is unable to leap onto the beds or couches and relies on us to assist her.  She has learnt to leap into our outstretched hands, placing her chest perfectly in the palm, and then clasps her front legs tightly around our wrist (to the command “hold tight”) which allows us to safely pick her up and deposit her neatly onto the bed where she immediately shoots under the duvet covers. Retreating into sleep and warmth.

Domingo and Damita provide the Protectors with many laughs on a daily basis.  Great levels of energy are released when they are allowed outside into the front garden where they rush around at top speeds in circles until completely exhausted.  They then collapse in the sun with big smiles on their faces and bright pink tongues hanging to the ground.  They also have a Good Dog Toy Box filled with little dog toys. They regularly select new ones for playtime and place those that they are no longer playing with back into the Toy Box.

I mentioned their many skills and I feel that these high-level accomplishments should be shared. They are both able to perform exceptional black-ops moves – they can both say hello (placing small front paw in your hand), give high fives (stand on back legs and place both paws on the palm of your hands), dance (jump around on back legs with paws in the air), sit and lie down.  Ming’s skills are on a slightly higher level as he can also spin (spin in circles), roll over (both ways), talk (bob head up and down while creating a rumbling bark) but Mita can also bow (bum in the air and front feet in down position) as well as performing a very difficult skill which is “look cute!”  This manages to disarm any human in the immediate area.

The Ringbearers at our wedding

The Ringbearers at our wedding

The members of the CPP need to be protected for their own security as well as for the safety of the world.  Their Cuteness is blinding and they have a permanent effect on all those that they encounter.  If you are brave enough to meet them, can speak their language and mean them no harm you are welcome to come and visit them at their Safe House – The Funny Farm.  Please ensure that on route to the Safe House you are not followed as there are many people out there that would like to unleash this devastating Cuteness on the world.  We need to ensure that this Cuteness is preserved for future generations.   Please join us in this cause.

We have just recently adopted 2 new members into the CPP.  They were mistreated, neglected and have lost their trust of humans.  They are slowly learning to trust their Protectors but it will take time. For their own protection their names cannot yet be released but one day when they are powerful again and brave and ferocious we will share their identities with the select few.

Thank you for respecting the Cuteness Protection Program.