Wherever possible my adventures take place with the help of my trusty staffie sidekick so it’s only right that I introduce you to him. He came to us a few years ago with the name Bruce, though he usually gets called anything but. Not because I have an aversion to the name so please don’t get upset if you happen to share it, I’m just a fan of silly nicknames and most things in my life get one at one point or another.
Most commonly he gets called any number of variations on Pog, shortened from Pig Dog, because of the way he snorts, snuffles, and grunts. Well, that and all of his disgusting habits (no disrespect to any pigs miraculously reading this). He has absolutely no respect for personal space, farts in my face regularly, licks himself on my bed leaving massive wet patches that I ALWAYS manage to sit in, and likes to stick his tongue in my ear. Despite this, I love him anyway.
He’s a pretty strange dog, so much so that I often have my doubts that he is even canine. The problem is, questioning it just leaves me with yet more unanswered questions so I tend to take his woof for it.
Like most of his breed, he sits like a frog a lot of the time, leading to the nickname frog dog. Other names include block headed wiggle butt, wigglepottamus, and pogmadog (a variation on the giant Gogmagog from English folklore). I’m beginning to wonder who’s weirdest, me or the dog (don’t answer that).
Darcey joined my little clan recently when she landed on my mum’s arm missing a leg (something not uncommon for stick insects). I don’t know why she’s called Darcey and I’m still not sure where the name came from, it just popped into my head and makes me smile almost as much as she does. Like many of the names of wildlife that regularly visits the garden, it came out of nowhere and seems to have stuck.
She’s an unarmed stick insect (acanthoxyla inermis). Due to the swaying motion she makes, something that is thought to help them see as well as better sell their camouflage by mimicking the wind, I often call her Darcey Dancer. She is now fully grown, after about 5 moults since having her, and laying eggs (this particular species doesn’t need no man), which I find hilarious to witness as she literally shoots them out letting them ricochet into the air before falling to the bottom of her cage, though this is a recent development and none of them have hatched yet.
Many people don’t know this, but the southwest of England has a thriving population of walking sticks. You can read more about them here!