The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Snoozing with Min Pins


Dr Quito on my bed

Dr Quito on my bed

The Min Pins are not “tuck us in and we’ll sleep right through the night” dogs. They are miniature guards that protect us from rats and mice and stray broccoli. Yes you read that right. Last night Inca went hunting and caught a head of calabrese that somehow had become separated from the rest in the carrier bag hanging on the back door of the cottage kitchen.

I was alerted by an extra heavy thud as she landed on the bed, mouth clasping broc. Too sleepy to care I was lulled to sleep by the rasp of teeth on crisp broccoli. In the morning I discovered that she hadn’t been interested in the florets – yet another use for the humble stalk.

The Contessa is territorial with a capital T. Any bed that she sleeps in is her bed. We’ve had several disagreements about this as she has a tendency to snap and snarl if her beauty sleep is disturbed. And there’s also the question of The Contessa’s love hate relationship with Inca. If The Contessa ventures downstairs for a pee she often loses her nerve about jumping back on the bed. She stands in the doorway squeaking. She doesn’t give up if ignored – I timed her once. She squeaked from 4am to 7am. Min Pins have stamina that would challenge Sir Ranulph Fiennes.  I have discovered a new way to put an end to the squeaking banshee – the rustle of a packet of Rich Tea biscuits has her leaping onto the bed like an elegant gazelle.

Dr Quito is the perfect Min Pin companion hottie. Once ensconced he rarely moves. We sleep back to back as the girls bicker. Often I vow to have a Min Pin free zone at night but those soft bright eyes and unspoken promises snare me every time.

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  1. The back half. Luckily I heard him doing it and switched the light on to see what was going on. Otherwise I would have got up in the dark morning and pushed my bare foot directly into my slipper …

    Fiona, I’ve had the hearts as presents too — lovely!

  2. Veronica,

    But which half?


  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi S.O.L

    I’d hate life without a dog.

    Hi Pamela

    When I was much younger I moved around a lot and my dog Fly came everywhere with me. I’d put my jacket on the ground and he would stay on that.

    Dogs are expensive to keep and quite a tie too. My Mum was really upset when she found that she couldn’t cope with a dog anymore as she lost a good friend.

    Hi Wendy

    Dougal has a lot in common with the Min Pins. If they are banned downstairs they sit in a line on the sofa watching the stair door!

    Hi Michelle

    Zebbycat knows he is special. I reckon he thinks he’s sharing his basket with his human pet.

    Hi Mandi

    That made me laugh. Live frogs in the bed aaaargh!
    When I had cats they used to leave the heart of whatever they had eaten on the pillow for me.

    Hi Sylvie

    I have a hot water bottle too – the min pins love it!

    Hello Veronica

    A banana skin would feel so yucky underfoot in the dark. Typical cat – it would be a half rat 🙂

  4. I have never forgotten the occasion when my cat Minuit woke me at 3 a.m. meowing loudly (he always meowed to let me know he was home). I stepped out of bed and my foot landed on something horribly cold and clammy. eeew. I switched on the light and there was Minuit proudly standing beside … a banana skin! Knowing him, he had probably peeled and eaten the banana first. Other prizes included bits of string, twigs, stones, earthworms, bats (alive), socks, and someone’s freshly cooked pork chop. Worst was the half rat his brother left in my slipper.

    There are strong arguments for keeping cats out of bedrooms at night 🙂

  5. I don’t think I’d get any sleep at all with dogs in my bed. I’m such a light sleeper, so I guess I have to stick to the good old hot water bottel for some heat.

  6. Being a catty not a doggy owner I am used to all sorts of strange and wonderful items arriving in the night. Our youngest usually arrives with ‘ralph’ a rather chewed and bedraggled fake fur mouse she has had since a kitten. Named ralph after the famous sultana belonging to thermal in the famous deric longden books ‘the cat the came in from the cold’, he is often plopped onto my cheek in the middle of the night usually covered in cat spit, cat food or pond water, however I have been know to wake with frogs ( sometimes deceased) from our pond, empty cat food sachets dug out of the bin, the odd sock, bird or slow worm, all the usual gifts of a devoted feline to her mistress. But my friend who has 2 ragdoll cross cats still holds the record for weirdest gift, as one night she was presented with a piece of battered cod… no chips mind… cats don’t you just love em…:)

  7. Michelle in NZ

    Inca has excellent taste – the inner part of the main stem in broccoli is the most luscious bit.

    Zebbycat considers the entire bed is his through the day. At night he sleeps up on the left side. At least the Min pins don’t whack you in the face, claws out, as a wakeup call!

  8. I love hearing these doggie tales. Our Dougal thinks all chairs/sofas/beds are his to share too.
    I can see that life is never dull for you! x

  9. When Max comes to stay he manages about 30 mins in his basket on the floor in my room before he jumps on the bed, curls up by my knees and stays there for the rest of the night. By the second night he makes no pretense at all of using his own bed and hops straight up on mine! I do miss him when he goes home. There are times when I wish I had got a dog when I was off work ill. I did think about it but decided it would be unfair to have a dog who was used to having me at home and then to go back to work and leave him alone. As it turns out I work mostly from home anyway now so it wouldn’t have been an issue although I’m not sure how Max would feel about another dog around the place. Also, moving around alot as I do, might not be great for a dog. Plus I couldn’t really have afforded to keep a dog while I wasn’t working.

  10. awwww I miss my dog. one day I may have the heart to get another

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