Ani’s Advent Calendar 2018! Kindness and generosity with Toby, Austin and Hugh Roberts

“Were you born in a field?” she says when I leave the door open a bit so I can lay down and guard the threshold as a dog is supposed to. It isn’t my fault you two legses are practically furless and feel the cold so easily! And anyway, I consider that remark to be close to insensitive. I almost was born in a field.

You all know that I was a rescue pup, right? That they found my father guarding my mother in a field in Ireland? She was already full of pups when they found them…but no-one knows why two pure-bred dogs were out there and homeless… whether they had run away together or had been dumped.

Mum and Dad

Passing over what they may have gone through to get that far, it turned out to be quite a romance, ’cause they were different breeds and made us, which makes me and my litter-mates unique.

Luckily, they were found and taken in by a rescue and we were warm, fed and looked after until we chose our two-legses. Sometimes the humans think they always choose us, but that’s not really true. I’ll tell you about that some time, but for now, I need to tell you about something else that’s important.

My pals, Toby and Austin, have a pretty cool pair of two-legses and every year they do something nice for Christmas. We sort of met because of what they put on top of their Christmas tree one year… and asked others to share pictures of their tree-tops. I shared our robin and Hugh, Toby’s two-legs (Austin hadn’t joined them then), donated money to help homeless, sick and unwanted dogs.

This year, Hugh is also running an appeal… and all he is asking is that you leave a link and maybe share the post where he tells you about it. It is a lovely idea and you can read about it, join in and share the page HERE, and why not think about doing something to help others this year, furred, feathered or two-legged. Some of us wouldn’t even be here without the kindness and generosity of others.

Meanwhile, Toby and Austin wrote me a Christmas letter of their own… and there is a mystery afoot at their home…

Toby and Austin’s Letter

Dear Ani,

What do you ask the funny looking two-legs, who pops down the chimney around this time of the year, to leave the two-legs who have everything? After witnessing some events in our house this morning, we think we may have the answer.

Our two-legs had the shock of their lives this morning when they opened the drawer where the feet clothes live and could not see a single pair of Christmas feet in there. We know it’s still a few weeks to go before Christmas, but our two-legs without Christmas feet is like chicken without cheese, walks without tennis balls, or a toy basket without anything in it that squeaks.

They searched high and low for their Christmas feet from last year and, when they couldn’t find any, they thought they’d must have worn them all out. Little do they know that we pinched them and buried them in the back garden in the hope that a magic feet clothes tree would grow. We thought they’d like that, but the big, hot, tennis ball thingy in the sky, that made it very warm this year, put a stop to that.

After two and half hours of turning the house upside down, they found two pairs of Christmas feet hidden in our toy basket. We have no idea how two pairs ended up in there – honest. However, it was a relief because by this time we thought we were going to have to call the vet to come and visit them because they were looking so pale.

Our two-legs said that all humans like Christmas feet at this of year. So, if any of your two-legs or any of your friends are looking for ideas to give to the funny looking two-legs who pops down the chimney around this of year, tell them to ask for Christmas socks.

We thought socks were only used for hiding tennis balls in, but it seems our two-legs also like to wear some at Christmas time.

Lots of barks from us,

Toby and Austin.


img_4261About the Author

Hello, my name is Hugh. I live in the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom.

On my blog, I write about all kinds of everyday life and what it brings to us all. Nothing too serious, most of the time just about the little things in life and how important they can be to all of us. Some of my posts will be humorous, while others may bring a tear to the eye.

I have always enjoyed writing, and the fact I suffer from a mild form of dyslexia has not stopped me from enjoying the passion I have for writing. Yes, I get things wrong with my reading and writing, but I always find those mistakes humorous and always laugh about it. I no longer allow dyslexia get in my way.

Now in my fifties, I thought it about time I let my writing become public. Becoming a blogger seemed to be the perfect way for me to do this. Blogging has put me in touch with hundreds of other writers, many of whom have been supportive and helped me with my writing.

I’m a member of the committee of the Bloggers Bash, a group set up to organise annual get-togethers for all authors and bloggers. Held in London, we had our fourth meeting in May 2018. You can read all about it on my blog.

I lead a happy life and always try to stay positive. I share my life with John, my wonderful civil partner, and our two Welsh Cardigan Corgis, Toby and Austin.

I write about life because I find it so fascinating. I have many stories to tell, some of which I have started to put into a book. I think my life has been incredible and I want to share it with anyone that wants to listen. I am also an excellent listener, and I love to be interactive with other people. I guess you could say I am a ‘people person’.

You will find some of my short stories, flash fiction, and poetry on my blog and I hope you enjoy reading them. Flash Fiction has become a big part of my writing, and I enjoy participating in various writing challenges.

I also write articles giving free blogging and social media tips. These articles have proved very popular. I’ve learned lots about the blogging world since I started to blog, and my free tips are a way of thanking everyone that supports my blog by visiting, reading and commenting on my posts. Click on ‘Blogging Tips’ on the menu bar at the top of my blog to see all the blogging tips posts I have published.

As much as I appreciate being nominated for blogging awards and tagged in blog posts, I took the decision a few years ago for my blog to become ‘award free’ and to no longer participate in ‘tagging’ posts. You can read why I took this decision by clicking here. However, I’d like to thank everybody who has (and who still does) nominated me.

I’m delighted to announce that my first collection of short stories is now available on Amazon. The book is called ‘Glimpses’ and is available as both a paperback and an eBook. The Kindle version is now only 99p.

I’m planning on publishing my second book of short stories at the end of 2018.

Find Hugh

Blog  Twitter  Instagram  Facebook  Pinterest  YouTube  Mix

Flipboard  Goodreads  Google+  LinkedIn  Amazon


Hugh. W. Roberts

After publishing some of his short stories on his blog, Hugh W. Roberts, who suffers from dyslexia, received numerous requests to publish his short stories in a book. Here, at last, are 28 short stories that will take your mind on a rollercoaster of a ride into worlds that conceal unexpected twists and turns.

‘Glimpses’ allows the reader a peek into the lives of everyday people who are about to have life lead them on an unpredicted path. From a mysterious deadly iPad app, to a hole in the fence that is not all it seems, to a strange lipstick that appears to have a life of its own, you will encounter terror, laughter, sadness, shock and many other emotions on journeys which promise a thrilling and gripping climax.

If you are a lover of shows such as ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’, then you’re in for a real treat with this first collection of short stories from Hugh. Here’s what one reader has already said about the book.

“If you’re looking for a thoroughly entertaining read, Glimpses is the book for you. Each story has been cleverly crafted; through Hugh’s wonderful imagination, he has the ability to whisk you away to many different worlds, past, present and future. Every story makes a compelling read and just when you think you know what’s going to happen next, Hugh masterfully reveals a brilliant twist. With bite-size and longer stories, Glimpses is a must-read. I loved it.” – Esther Chilton, Writer and Author. Dare you take a glimpse into the lives of these unsuspecting characters?

Glimpses is available via Amazon

Read author  Judith Barrow’s review of Glimpses here.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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51 Responses to Ani’s Advent Calendar 2018! Kindness and generosity with Toby, Austin and Hugh Roberts

  1. willowdot21 says:

    Christmas feet, whatever next 💜💜

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ritu says:

    You know what, Toby and Austin, my two legs wears an awful lot of funny things, she’s gone out dressed as one of us, i.e. a four legged creature, (though she still walks on two) a yellow bear… Wears Christmas hats, but I’ve never seen her in Christmas feet…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Beautiful dogs, Hugh! And yes, this two-legged has Christmas feet to wear. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hugh’s voice shines through in this post. His four legs are just like him. I hate to point this out Hugh but the book you promised me in your author bio above has not materialised in 2018. Much to the disappointment of your readers [grin!]

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Socks! I love socks! They’re almost as exciting as balls and chicken! My humans have some great ones. Well, a few less now, because they sort of got a bit… Well… See, I was playing with them and… It wasn’t my fault… I was just so excited that they left some unguarded and… Look, can I help it if my teeth are sharp? Yeah… Maybe that Santa Paws guy should bring socks for my humans too. Oh, and maybe some extra ones for me to play with! Lots of licks, Lilie

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Thanks so much for publishing our letter to you, Ani. Christmas feet seem to be popular in our house, again. We hope you get some, too. If not, we’ll send you some of the Christmas feet we have here, as we’re sure there will be plenty of them left by the funny looking two-legs who pops down the chimney around this time of year. They are great, too, for hiding tennis balls in, but don’t go leaving any cheese in them, otherwise, they may get thrown away.
    Merry Barkmas, Ani.
    Lots of barks and waggy tales
    Toby and Austin


  7. TanGental says:

    last year a junior Walker bought the Senior Stride a pair with my face on them. I wasn’t quite sure about that. was she suggesting something about squashing. In the end he said they were so lovely he wouldn’t ear them and I’m not sure about that either. Maybe he doesn’t like my face. Still this year they’ve made a poster with my face in it that they’ve given to themselves and best of all I know Senior Stride has organised recyclable mugs with my face on it (damn cats are there too – must have been a mistake in the printing) which is good news because one of the two necessary and sufficient conditions for a walk are those little plastic bags in his back pocket and one of those cups in his knapsack. So that’s a sign isn’t it chaps? Merry seasoning; hope all is well in Wales…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it is. We like the idea of recyclable mugs. Thank goodness there were no underpants involved, though. And if anyone thinks of an idea that involves putting our faces on those plastic bags the humans carry around when we go for a…well you know…they will be on the naughty list forever!
      Happy Barkmas to you and the humans in your household, Mylo. 🐾

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Mary Smith says:

    Ooh, I’d love some Christmas feet. Do they dance?

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Darlene says:

    Hi Toby and Austin. I love my human parents foot coverings and when they go away I sleep with them. There are some in my toy box too. Apparently they are no longer fit for humans after I’ve played with them. Have a great Christmas in Wales. Dot the dog from Spain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our humans told us the same when they found their Christmas feet from last Christmas in our toy basket, Dot. But how many times have we told them that if it’s on the floor, then it’s ours? In fact, we’ve tried telling them that everything in the house, apart from the DVD of the Aristocats, is ours. But they chose to pretend not to hear us. 🙄
      Merry Barkmas to you. 🎄

      Liked by 1 person

  10. dgkaye says:

    Lol, those cute little devils Toby and Austen. As for you Ani, thanks for sharing your birth story. You sure turned out very black considering your mom was spotty and your dad was beige, lol. ❤ xx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jennie says:

    Ani, I didn’t know about your Mum and Dad. Thanks for sharing your story. Toby and Austin, keep those Christmas socks for yourselves. They make for a great tug-o-war. And they really do hide those fun tennis balls.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Dale says:

    Christmas Feet! How wonderful! Wait… I’ve been wondering what to get each of my two-legses for Christmas….

    Oh, and Ani, thanks so much for sharing your birth story. It think you chose the perfect Two-legs for yourself.


    Liked by 2 people

  13. Ho, ho, ho (or woof, woof, woof), I’m going to get on to that funny looking two-legs just now. Christmas feet are warm and fluffy, right? Just the sort of thing I like to get hold of and give a good shaking about, before settling down on them with my head, for a long snooze 🙂 Thanks for the great idea Toby and Austin.

    What a story Ani, a homeless couple about to be parents, looking for shelter. Now where have I heard about that before. Don’t forget you promised us more.

    Love Ben xx

    Liked by 1 person

  14. noelleg44 says:

    Getting in the spirit!

    Liked by 1 person

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