Welcome to this week’s edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and with me in the studio today is a beautiful Jack Russel, Stafforshire cross known alternately as Buster and Moo. “Welcome to the show, and how would you like me to refer to you?”
“Is it okay to lick you, Lisa? I kind of have this thing about holding out my paw all the time and shaking it. Then if you don’t give me a treat I’m probably going to slobber into the microphone. What was the question? Oh, my name. Currently Moo.”
“How did you come to have two different names? Is one an alias of some kind?”
“Ha! Two names? I’ve had, let me see? Six? Maybe seven. There was the one my mother gave me, the one the guy who brought my dad to meet mum that time – she said he smelt of cardboard. Then… sorry, I do get distracted. The people who I was looking after last, before my latest move, called me Buster after the shape of my head being like some film character they liked. That was Sheri. Lovely b… oh sorry, nearly used the ‘b’ word. Female. She’s the only one who I understand, you know? Makes it clear what she wants and when she wants it. Tough, no messing about but clear. Not like her dog, sorry bloke, Dave. Right old temper he has. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a wrestle and a bit of tug of war but how am I meant to know when to stop if he doesn’t say? One minute it’s ‘go on boy, pull’ and then next he’s shouting and throwing me about. Means well but going away, prison, that didn’t help. Made him jealous too, you know? He eats this stuff she doesn’t like. Like icing sugar, up his snout. Weird and makes him all fizzing. They were getting to be a bit of trial, you know so when they said they had to move kennels and I couldn’t stay I wasn’t completely against the idea. I’ll miss them but not so much Dave, not until he calms down, yeah? Then I had to go to this place with cages and noise and it was hell.”
“That’s terrible, and it must be confusing for you. I hope you found some good pet parents to love you.”
“Pet parents? Yeah, I suppose that’s what they think but, Lisa, you have to understand that it’s my job to look after humans. They are just so away with the faeries, never focusing on the important stuff: food, walks, ear fondles, licks, tummy rubs and… did I mention food? Anyway, I was in this internment camp for a week when Landen and Mervin appeared. You could smell their problems a way off. To begin with Landen had a whiff of the Dave’s, you know what I mean? And Mervin was this gangly dreamer who never really says what he’s smelling. Mind you they have a great kennel with its own private park and loads of food – a bit dodge some of it, made me a touch gastric for a while until I sorted out what pate was – and their place is always warm. I knew straight away I had to work on Mervin – I mean you couldn’t feel his ribs, okay? Padded. She was off all the time, something funny to her smells. But walking Mervin was trial. I’d set off, you know, trying to get him to move, if we were ever going to shift his belly, and he’d be moaning at me to slow down but he was the one saying he needed the exercise. As I said, inconsistent, they weren’t like Sheri. I didn’t know what they wanted, really.”
“Wasn’t it better than with Sheri and Dave? Having someone home with you, and you get lots of nice walks, it’s warm, and good food.”
“Yes, but look then there was that thing, that meeting, Caused a lot of problems.”
“He likes this park, with this big lake in it. Me too. There’s a café nearby we go to after and share a cake. I think he thinks it’s healthy if he gives me half and I ain’t complaining.. Sorry, drifting again. That’s when we met Sheri.”
“The Sheri who you lived with?”
“Exactly. She cleans in this posh house, on the edge of the park, not that I knew. One day Mervin’s sitting on a bench and I catch her scent. I’d know her from a mile a way. I know these humans get all possessive and worked up about kiddies and roads and all that but this was park, just grass and some gravel between me and her so I set off to say hello. It would be rude not to. I got under this gate and gave her the biggest kiss. Then she met Mervin, when he wanted me back and there was a fuss about the key to the gate and they had a cigarette, not that Mervin smelt of cigs before then and that caused problems with Landen. Mervin fancied Sheri, right off.”
“How do you know that, Moo? No, please don’t lick me.”
“We dogs can smell 240 times as many things as humans so smelling when someone wants a bit of rumpty isn’t hard. She smelt of bathrooms and he smelt of bedrooms. Ha. Joke, yeah?”
“You said it caused a problem? Did Mervin make a pass at her?”
“Make a pass? Goodness, do you read Mills and Boon? No, see Sheri got me to sit, as I would cos she’s like that and he asked for lessons, said he’d pay. She needs the money, right, given Dave found it hard to work being out of prison. So we had lessons, but she knew Dave wouldn’t understand, her with a strange bloke, being the jel sort. And he told Landen he was getting lessons for me but not who with nor that he fancied her, mainly because he wasn’t getting any at home because she was smelling of another dog, sorry bloke. Not that he knew cos he couldn’t smell it like I could.”
“What else can you smell?”
“That stuff Dave sticks up his schnozzle, yeah? Sheri taught me to tell her when I smelt that and other things Sheri didn’t like him using. Landen likes a bit of that, you know?”
“Did you say she was a lawyer? Maybe she had a client who used these naughty things?”
“Really Lisa? How often do you get out? I mean there’s the benefit of the doubt and all, but come on.”
“But wouldn’t Mervin know, if she was using?”
“He wasn’t the sort to notice, frankly, that’s why I had to look after him. That and stopping him getting into trouble with Sheri. You only had to look at his puppy face when he saw her to know what was going on in his head. Poor thing. It all got a bit complicated you see. When Dave found out about Mervin and Landen found out about Dave. Mervin did these leaflet things for Dave – he mended stuff – though Sheri didn’t tell Dave where she got them and Landen found one and called Dave who came round. Of course, I was only being polite when I jumped up at him and he threw me around but I could tell immediately they were both angry at their partners. Landen got all moody and started staying home, something about her job which Mervin didn’t believe. And then I stayed with Sheri for a bit – and Dave was in a right state. I thought I’d be back in that awful place with bars soon as they all started fighting with each other. Dave moved out and Landen had this amazing news, but Mervin wasn’t sure about it…”
“They kept saying they mustn’t say so I won’t but it sort of changed everything. And then the police turned up, because of something she’d done, or not done, at work and she wouldn’t tell him and he got upset…”
“Oh my gosh, you poor baby. What are you going to do?”
“What I’m bred for, Lisa. To look after them and keep them together. It may take me the whole book but I will do my very best. “
“Let me give you a big old hug, and see if there are any treats left from Craig’s canine characters. Before we walk over to the cabin, do you have any closing thoughts for our listeners?”
“They’re like all humans, Lisa, just a bundle of complications which if they’d only lick each other a bit more and listen better then things wouldn’t have gotten to be so bad. They’re good people who make things difficult. But they can rely on me. Time for a lick?”
“You can read all about Moo’s conundrum in the book, Buster and Moo, by Geoff Le Pard. I’ll include all the pertinents on the website. For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.
“Come on, Moo, let’s go find you a cookie.
“Oh, before I forget, please use the sharing buttons today to spread the word about Buster and Moo. I’m sure Geoff would appreciate it, and Moo would do it for your character when you’re on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”
Buster & Moo – Blurb
With their relationship under pressure, is adopting a dog the best decision for Mervin and Landen? As they adapt to fit the animal into their busy lives a chance encounter with Dave and Sheri, the dog’s previous owners, develops into something more and the newfound friendship is tested to the limits.
Life is complicated when Landen loses her job following the discovery of her affair with a colleague and then she becomes involved in a police investigation into alleged money laundering and drug dealing at her old firm. She tries desperately to keep the sordid truth from Mervin as events begin to spiral out of control.
As the four lives overlap and criss-cross the one constant is their shared love of the dog named Moo. But the problems mount up. While Sheri and Mervin grow close as they struggle to help each other, it is the unlikely alliance between Sheri and Landen that leads to the dramatic climax. However, there is only room for one hero in this story – who will it be?
Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle is a coming of age story. Set in 1976 the hero Harry Spittle is home from university for the holidays. He has three goals: to keep away from his family, earn money and hopefully have sex. Inevitably his summer turns out to be very different to that anticipated.
This 30 story anthology covers many genres: fantasy, romance, humour, thriller, espionage, conspiracy theories, MG and indeed something for everyone. All the stories were written during Nano 2015
My Father and Other Liars is a thriller set in the near future and takes its heroes, Maurice and Lori-Ann on a helter-skelter chase across continents.
Salisbury Square is a dark thriller set in present day London where a homeless woman and a Polish man, escaping the police at home, form an unlikely alliance to save themselves.
This is available here