i love licking thingsWhisky Portrait
i lick my master s feet and ankles
when he comes out of the shower
i lick his face when he sits down
particularly if he has food in front of him
i lick the water that falls on the floor
when my master is washing the dishes
i lick what my master calls my naughty bits
i don t know why he said
lick your balls goodbye though
but most of all
i like licking shiny things
like the desk legs
and the coffee table
however these things have a problem
they can t be moved
imagine my delight
when i found something shiny
that i could carry around with me

Whisky & bowl


Dogs eat meat. They have sharp teeth to rip and tear flesh. So why does dog food have corn and rice cereal as its main ingredient, and also contain corn gluten meal, soy bean meal, wheat flour, carrot and spinach? It’s virtually vegan. Anyway, that’s why I frequently give Whisky a little meat or fish or an egg. Since dogs have a poor sense of taste* I usually get the cheapest meat I can find. Yesterday I was boiling up chicken hearts for him. It reminded me of a beautiful, haunting song by Christina Perri whose career skyrocketed after it was featured last season on So You Think You Can Dance. I can’t embed the video, but the link is:


* When first picked up Whisky was wearing a red and white napkin tied around his neck in lieu of a collar. Red and white with those fur tones? What a fashion faux pas!


i find my master exasperating at timesWhisky Portrait

why do i have to
sit on the floor
when master sits on the sofa
and why do i have to
sleep in a crate
when master sleeps on a nice big bed

why does he inflict baths on me
for that matter
why does he shower
several times a day
just as i think i m smelling great
he dumps me in a tub
and covers me with lather
it takes a lot of rolling
in smelly things
to get your aroma just right

why does he cut my claws
i spend a lot of time and effort
making my nails grow
then he hacks them off
it s just wrong

why does he close the toilet lid
doesn t he understand
that the pretty blue water there
is delicious and cool
so much nicer that the stuff
he puts in my bowl
i feel sorry for little dogs
like that noisy pomeranian that
can never experience the true delight
of quaffing deeply from the loo

why doesn t he share his
food with me
we re both part of the same pack
i m happy to share my crunchy
dog food with him
he should share his steak
and chicken
and pork
and beef
and everything
with me

why does he tell me not to bark
when i see the postman
this man comes every day
and every day i dutifully scare him off
how can i do this if i m not allowed to bark

why when we go walkies
does he hold me back on a leash
if he can t keep up with me
and he is getting on a bit
he shouldn t use a leash

why does he tell me
to hurry up
when i do my business
doesn t he understand that
there s a fine art in locating
the perfect spots to pee and poo
it s essential to sniff around a lot
before you go
you can t go just anywhere

i work hard
protecting the world from
frogs and postmen
and licking things
i don t think master
is treating me very fairly



as an artist it s important Whisky Portrait
for me relentlessly to challenge myself
emotionally and artistically
no longer was i satisfied
with shredding single sheets of paper
i wanted to do something
on a grand scale
here it is
my latest work
i call it
torn up paper towel xxiv

torn up paper towel
Whisky, Torn Up Paper Towel XXIV, 2011

the parallels are obvious

Picasso, Siphon, Glass, Newspaper & Violin
Picasso, Siphon, Glass, Newspaper and Violin, 1912

Braque, Tenora
Braque, Tenora, 1913

though picasso and braque
only ever cut the paper up
with scissors
i apply myself body and soul
to my art
ripping the paper
with claws and teeth

there are also clear links
to duchamp
and his objets trouve

Duchamp, Fountain
Duchamp, Fountain, 1917

i find the source material
for my greatest works
in the wastepaper basket
however I think my master
must be jealous
of my great talent
because he s taken to
keeping the wastepaper basket
on top of the dining table
a great artist won t be thwarted
by the petty mindedness
of the little people
in fact the kitchen paper roll
for my latest and greatest work
was on top of a table
and so my master thought
out of reach
how wrong he was


have you missed meWhisky Portrait
well i m back

i recently took a short break
at a local spa
it was very pleasant
apart from a mad barking
pomeranian in the suite next to me
and the walls of the cages
are so thin
my master tells me a pomeranian
is a kind of dog
though it looked more like
a ball of fluff to me
a very noisy ball of fluff
i don t know where pomerania is
but i reckon they should
tighten up the immigration laws
to keep pomeranians out
they re far too noisy

i ve got a new hobby
can you guess from the picture
what it is

Whisky the destroyer
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!

yes it s tearing up plastic bags
i think of it as art

when i can t get plastic bags
i like to chew tubes
so far i ve managed a tube of moisturiser
and two tubes of medicine
they look so pretty
with little tooth holes in them
i think my master looks good
with little holes in his hands
and legs too
along with long bright red scratches
he says they hurt
but it is for the sake of art
so i ll carry on

as you probably know
i used to be a street dog
i just want to be clear that
that s rather different from
being a street girl
my virtue is intact
i ve never sold my body to anyone
however doggy prostitution
is a major problem
there s even a song about it

how much is that doggie in the window
the one with the waggley tail
how much is that doggie in the window
i do hope that doggie s for sale

it just makes me so sad
to think of those poor dogs
dressed up in red satin dresses
and black fishnet stockings
sitting behind windows
smoking in amsterdam
they deserve better than that



I’ve recently been on a short break in Chiang Mai. That meant I had to leave Whisky with the local vet. He wasn’t too thrilled with the barking (and possibly barking mad) Pomeranian in the next cage, but settled in pretty well. I’m not sure I coped quite as well. The first night I slept fitfully and had a number of dreams which featured Whisky.

In the first dream I dreamt that I was picking Whisky up and the vet was telling me that he wasn’t any good, citing a number of reasons, and recommending that I send him back and get a new dog.

In the second I was fighting robotic aliens with twisty pincers on the end of metal tentacles (all very Doctor Who). Fortunately Whisky was there to help me in battle.

And in the third I dreamt that Whisky had found a coiled venomous snake. (I knew it was venomous because it was black with coloured spots and had a diamond-shaped head.) The snake was readying to strike and I had to get Whisky away – preferably without getting bitten myself.

Even in the land of nod I’m not safe from the effects of that dog.


I had an hour to kill before the movie started, so I decided to have a pedicure courtesy of Garra rufa, better knows as Doctor fish.

This craze has swept across Thailand. There’s hardly a mall that doesn’t have a concession or two giving the chance to soak your feet in warm water whilst small fishes nibble at any dead skin. At 100 Baht (about £2) for half an hour, I suspect it’s pretty lucrative, too. (That’s more per hour than you might pay for a traditional Thai massage.)

The process started with my washing my feet in a foot basin. I then sat with my feet dangling in a tank of warm water alongside a few strangers. After a few moments the agony started: the fish, a few at first, then more, started nibbling. My face contorted as I struggled to cope with the prolonged, relentless tickling as the toothless Doctor fish gummed away at my feet.

Doctor fish and feet

After about 20 minutes a suitable distraction arrived in the form of a toddler opposite me who was being lowered into the water by his mother. The toddler seemed to have a reflex reaction to kick and splash the moment his feet touched the water. I would get wet. His mother would lift him out, and then lower him in again. He kicked. And so the cycle repeated.

At the end of the day, I was rather disappointed: I’d thought that the fish might tackle the thick layer of dead skin on my heels, but they were much more interested in the more ticklish areas of my sole and around my toes. At least that’s another experience I can cross off the list, never to be repeated.

And if I’m ever interrogated, the torturer can dispense with the rack and thumbscrew. Put my feet in a tank of fishes and I’ll sing like a canary – though they could also try making me stay in the Comfy Chair until lunch time, with only a cup of coffee at eleven. That would work, too.


Rev. Sydney Smith said that his idea of heaven was eating foie gras to the sound of trumpets. Being a strict trinitarian I’d settle for goose foie gras, belly pork and duck confit, but could well do without the trumpets.

Duck confit tends to be something most people don’t make at home. Though it’s pretty simple to make, it takes a long time and requires vast amounts of duck fat. In my household any fat that comes off a roasting duck is destined for frying potatoes. There’s never enough left for confit. I was therefore intrigued by a recipe by Michael Ruhlman (an American cookery writer, though perhaps better known for being a good friend of Anthony Bourdain, he’s also the inventor of the chicken fried confit belly pork caesar salad , a recipe that I’m still not sure whether serious or a joke) that confit’d duck in olive oil. That seemed more feasible, but olive oil here is very expensive. I therefore decided to experiment using cheap vegetable oil (soya bean oil to be precise). The results were phenomenal.

Duck confit with salad

Here’s my version of the recipe:


  • 4 duck legs
  • Salt
  • 6 black peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • 6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 bay leaves
  • vegetable oil as required, about 1 litre


  1. Wash and dry the duck legs.
  2. Liberally salt the duck legs on both sides.
  3. Press the peppercorns into the duck legs all over.
  4. Press the slivers of garlic onto the duck skin and flesh.
  5. Sandwich two bay leaves between pairs of duck thighs, with the duck skin on the outside.
  6. Put in a ziplock bag, expel the air and seal. Leave in the fridge for 24 hours.
  7. Rinse the duck legs to remove all the seasoning and then pat them dry.
  8. Place the duck legs in an ovenproof bowl which fits them snugly.
  9. Pour over enough vegetable oil to completely cover the legs. The legs might float. This isn’t a problem. They’ll sink once they start to cook.
  10. Put in an 80ºC oven, uncovered, for 10 hours. After this time the legs should be fall-apart tender.
  11. The legs can now be kept in the fridge, either in the oil, or without the oil in a tightly sealed container until you’re ready to eat them.

To Serve

  1. Remove the legs from the fridge an hour or so before you’re ready to cook them to allow them to come to room temperature.
  2. Preheat an oven to 220ºC.
  3. Take the legs from the oil and put on a baking tray. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the skin crisps and the meat is heated through.

Duck confit with vegetables

Simply delicious!


i think my master might be a witchWhisky Portrait
i m scared he s going to eat me

last night he told me a story
about hansel and gretel

it s a story about children
who found a house made of candy
who were then kept in a cage
and fattened up by an evil witch
so they could be eaten

well i m kept in a cage
and my house is delicious

the stairs are really tasty

and the concrete skirting boards
aren t bad too

Gnawed skirting board

as for the fattening up
the vet tells me i ve put on
almost 2 kg in the last fortnight
two weeks ago i was 5.8 kg
and yesterday i was 7.75 kg

the vet also tells me i ll
probably weigh about 25 kg
when i m fully grown

let me see
2 kg a fortnight
by the end of the year
i should be fully grown
by then the frogs won t
stand a chance
that is if my master
hasn t eaten me by then