Saturday, 30 October 2010

Safely defused.

By Thursday morning, Ted was really unwell, and as the bloods had come back clear for pancreatitis, it seemed like the only option was surgery. They all had another feel of his tummy, and said the lump was much closer to his out pipe than it had been the night before, so they'd push fluids through faster, and operate after consults if there was still no change. At lunchtime Ted seemed much brighter, the lump had shifted even further down, so they thought it would clear itself, if he was supported with fluids, antepsin (which he hates) cerenia (which is painful and makes him cry...for anyone elses dog who has to have this antiemetic, it hurts much less if given freezing cold) and pain meds. They then checked his bum again, and pulled out a few more bits of Pella, which seemed too small to have caused any problem, but were very sharp. Sam had been telling me that the boy was very gassy, and I just knew that at some point, he was going to explode, and some poor bugger was going to be caught in a hail of Pella shrapnel. In a way I hoped it was me, because I really didnt need a law suit being brought against me by some old lady who just happened to be standing too close to Ted, when he detonated. By late Thursday afternoon, nurses, vets and receptionists, were taking it in turns to try and persuade my little time bomb to eat, and by the time he came home, he'd eaten almost a whole can of tuna. So not only was he going to explode, and cause facial disfigurement to anyone caught up in the blast, but his victim/s were also going to be picking fish out of their wounds. He came home late Thursday evening, as it was thought he'd eat more at home, and that would push the obstruction through. By this point, I was ready to call in Dyno-Rod, or connect the hoover pipe to him, or roll him up like a tube of toothpaste and squeeze it out of him, but they promised Ted would soon no longer be a danger to the public. He fell asleep as soon as he got home,( in his very pink bandage, that the nurses had put I love you stickers on...aww) but woke up at about 11pm, and went out into the garden. I was following him around with a bloody torch, but he certainly wasn't enjoying his new found celebrity status, and hated being stalked around the garden. He did a few pee's, and I did a few sighs, followed by, ffs shit you little sod, and like the well trained, obedient boy that he isn't, he assumed the position, and did the dump of his life. I really didn't want to pick it up and have a look, but I knew I had to... not a single piece of dear old Pella to be found, just enough Madge fur to knit a pair of ear muffs for every Spinone in the UK.
What we think happened, was, he ate the cats leg, and that slowed his tummy down a bit, because he didn't eat the day he did that, then the next day he had chicken wings, which dehydrated his gut a bit more, then on Monday, I spent ages grooming Madge, and had a huge pile of her on the floor, which he obviously helped himself to, and that combination of events, turned the boy into Surrey's very own, weapon of mass destruction.
He's now safely defused, and slowly getting back to eating and being a pain in the bum.
The practice sent him a present, of a camouflaged Kong Wubba this morning, for being such a brave soldier, but within twenty minutes, it became a victim of a random act of Ted violence, and joined an ever growing list of missing in action casualties, I keep in the, must mend one day drawer.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Poorly Ted.

Poor Ted's not feeling too good. It might be that karma has bitten his arse good and proper, as I picked up what I thought was a chewed up stick from the sitting room floor the other day, only to realise it was Pellas femur. Ted went to the vets yesterday, as he'd stopped eating and pooping,
after a thorough check over, he was put on a drip. He then had a rectal examination, which he fought like a real man, thereby dispelling all rumours about his sexuality, Sam pulled out a few tiny fragments of very familiar looking bone, so they carted Ted off to xray, but unfortunately, he was so full of gas and fluid, they couldn't tell if he had a blockage. He came home and stayed on his drip all night, in the hope that it would rehydrate his gut, and enable him to pass Pella, if that was what was causing the problem. It didn't work, so he's been back in hospital today, and blood test results have them now thinking he's got pancreatitis. So now Ted is having IV antibiotics, anti puke meds, and fluids, before having another xray tonight. If the antibiotics haven't improved his bloods overnight, he will have an ex-lap in the morning, to see just what is going on in his very skinny, very sore tummy.
He's not the bravest boy in the world, but he's my wimp, and I quite like him.
Get well soon big man xxx x

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Just Madge

I took the dogs out early, and let Madge take her tennis ball. I don't very often take it, because she just trots beside me, like one of those dancing dogs, in the very weird, boring bit of Crufts.
It was frosty when we were getting ready, so I thought I'd stick Madge's coat on her. I shouldn't laugh, because she really thinks she looks special (aint that the truth) but once it's on, she spends five minutes swaggering about, looking at her reflection in the bookcases, and Ted, being a true, redblooded, Italian male, spends just as long trying to get her naked.
Anyway, I shouldn't laugh, but I do, because I can't make up my mind whether she looks like Pamela Anderson, in Baywatch, or a reject from a long disbanded RNLI lifeboat crew. Either way, she thinks she looks good, and is nice and warm, and that's all that matters.
I tried to sneak the ball into my pocket, while she was busy on the catwalk, but she saw me, so we ended up walking all the way to the field with Madge glued to my leg in case I gave HER ball, to anyone other than HER.
After fifteen minutes of ball chasing, we walked over the Chimney Pots (it's just a big hill that overlooked the chimneys of the lime kilns, when they still dug chalk out of Box Hill) Ted and Pie were heading off for the woods, but Madge and the ball were right beside me, until she saw a pheasant fly out of the cover. Bloody hell, this sedate lady can turn on the speed when she wants to. Within seconds she was out of sight, but I could hear her crashing through the maize. No patient flushing from Madge, she put over two dozen birds up, and the noise they made, brought Dumb and Dumber over from the wood, to see what on earth 'the special one' had done. Poor Ted went into full gaylord mode, and clearly wasn't sure if he should catch them all at once, or one at a time, and if it was one at a time, which one should he choose first, decisions, decisions. Pie had taken a look, but took the opportunity of me being occupied with Ted hopping from one front leg to the other, and Madge on a murderous rampage, to go and eat a freshly made cow turd. After yelling myself hoarse, Madge finally, came huffing and puffing out of the cover, and STILL had the ball in her mouth. I took the coat off her, because she looked like she'd been sat in a gas mark 9 oven for three hours, and was getting crispy at the edges, then we all headed off towards home. In the last field we walk through, there's a huge water tank for the cows, that Pie and Ted always get a drink from, but I think in all the time I've known Madge, she's only drunk out of it two or three times. Today all the running about had made her thirsty, and she made a bee line for the water, jumped up on her back legs, with her front paws on the top of the tank, and started crying like a girl. I was crapping myself as I ran over to her, because I thought she'd hurt herself. She hadn't, but she had forgotten the object of her deepest desire was still in her mouth as she went to drink, and the ball was now floating about in the water tank, and all three dogs were playing apple bobbing, Madge was bordering on complete hysteria, and I was bitterly regretting the last cup of coffee I'd had before we left home, because I wasn't sure my bladder would hold out, and PMSL was becoming a real possibility.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Rambler ramblings.

I'm not very keen on ramblers. Probably because I've never felt the urge to walk the downs with a bunch of anally retentive people, wearing my trousers tucked into a pair of red itchy socks, with a laminated map, and Christmas cracker compass hanging round my neck. It also annoys me that they take up all the outside tables at the pub, to eat their own sandwiches (invariably Shippams Bloater paste, on thin white plastic bread) and share a communal half of shandy with twenty four straws.
So yeah, up until today, I wasn't keen on ramblers, but my tolerance was pushed to the limit this morning, and as a group, ramblers moved above wet socks, and just below okra, on my list of strongly disliked things.
Why? Because today, this bunch of intrepid explorers, upset Madge, and that really isn't going to happen without incurring my wrath. Not content with wandering around, dressed like Worzel Gummidge wannabes, these fishpaste munchers have now added walking poles to their endless list of must haves. Gaylord was skipping along, with a teasel stuck in his beard, tossing acorns, Pie was trying to get as much of a cow pat down her neck as fast as possible, before I could catch up with her, and Madge was bumbling along, with her nose to the ground, on the scent of anything that could potentially be dinner. We were just about to walk through a stile, but as I saw two people walking towards us, I made the dogs wait, because Pie's beard was dripping with green stuff, and I just knew she'd feel the need to sniff at least one of these strangers in an area where a green stain wouldn't be appreciated. The dogs were really fidgety, because as soon as they get through the stile, they know they are seconds from the river, but the ramblers were taking their time, and Ted wasn't prepared to wait any longer, so he squeezed through a gap in the hedge. The girls stayed with me, and finally the fishpaste munchers emerged on our side of the stile, complete with rucksacks, that looked like they were carrying enough crap to survive in the wilderness for at least six months, and a walking pole each....bare in mind I live five miles from the M25, and manage this walk with just an iPod, and a blue, made in Taiwan, Pets @ Home, tennis ball thrower. I really don't give a monkeys, that these people are as overdressed and overprepared, as I'd be, turning up at McDonalds in a cocktail dress, with a table cloth, silver cutlery, and a cut glass decanter to pour my milkshake from, tucked under my arm, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't seriously pissed off, when these idiots, started using their damn poles, like extras in some third rate swashbuckling film, to fend off two well behaved ladies, who just wanted to go swimming. What the hell was wrong with these people? I'll admit Pie wasn't looking her best, with cow shit dripping from her chin, but the only danger the ramblers were in, was the distinct possibility that she'd shake her head, and they'd get splattered with green spin gloop. Then the female rambler made a HUGE mistake, she hit Pie with her pole, and was screaming at me to control the dogs. It really wasn't the dogs she needed to worry about, but she didn't seem to have realised that. This stupid woman had walked towards Pie to hit her, but it wasn't Pie who was bothered by the whole bizarre event, it was Madge. She was leaning against my leg, shaking like a leaf, and drooling for England, while the ramblers continued to fend off a bemused Pie, who'd now been joined by a soggy, overexcited Ted. Mr Rambler, was yelling at Mrs Rambler, to stop being daft, Madge was having a breakdown, Ted was shaking the River Mole over both Mr and Mrs, Pie was prepared to go another few rounds with anyone who was up for it, and I had lost all sense of decency, and was explaining that we were on the North Downs, not the frigging foothills of Kilimanjaro, but unless Mr Rambler, wanted to see his wife skewered on her walking pole, he'd better drag her sorry arse out of my reach.
Yes, I know I've blown my chances of joining the WI, but I think that might have happened last week, when Madge ran into the allotments and took a dump on Mrs Meadows plot (head of flower arranging), and had Mr Rambler not carted his potty wife off, I could well have ended up being the second person from my village to stand trial at The Old Bailey, but, the rectal insertion of a four foot six walking pole in a rabid rambler whilst defending my dogs, is a marginally more acceptable crime, than the last person to appear there, who was accused, and found guilty of several close, loving relationships with pigs at a local farm.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Two Teds are better than one?.

I was adopted when I was three months old. My new mum died when I was nine, and dad went and did the same thing just before my eighteenth birthday. I'd never been that interested in finding out more about my birth mother, but years ago, Peter was working in London, very close to where the old public records office was at Somerset House. Unbeknown to me, he'd spend all his lunch breaks trying to find my mother. Eventually he did, and I met her. She lives in Wales, but had gone to London during her pregnancy, to save her family the shame of an illegitimate baby. It was a very uncomfortable meeting. I've never really thought about the nature/nurture thing, but it was freaky to meet this woman, who should have been the most important influence in my life, and feel nothing at all, except how weird it was, that we were the same size, had the same haircut, and were wearing identical clothes apart from the stripes on my shirt were blue and hers red. She wouldn't tell me anything about my father, but asked me not to try and find him. How could I, I didn't even know his name. That was the end of that, and I didn't give it another thought for a long time, until I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. Suddenly, I was faced with the fact that I might not be quite as immortal as I'd always assumed. Peter and I had divorced, and he had gone home to live in Australia, while I'd stayed in the UK raising our two daughters. Once I'd got through the surgery, and begun chemo, it became important to try and find out more about my birth family. I joined a site that aims to help people build family trees. I had so little information, apart from the names of my birth grandparents, and mother, that I didn't hold out any hope, which was just aswell, because I didn't hear anything for years. During those years, the girls finished school, I remained in remission, and Peter came back to the UK, and we remarried. Then out of the blue, I got an email from a man in Canada, who had been researching the family name. He sent me as much of the tree as he'd completed, and said I had an aunt in Kent, and an uncle in Wales. He suggested I contact the uncle, as that was where he'd got most of his information from....he even gave me this uncles phone number. After a few days mulling it over, I decided to call the number, and the phone was answered by a very softly spoken Welshman. It turned out he is my birth mothers brother, and knew nothing about my existence, or that his sister had even been pregnant at that time. He told me my mother had been dating a soldier called Stewart, who was a piper in a Scottish regiment stationed near their home town, and that shortly after the regiment returned to Scotland, my mother moved to London for a number of months, before returning to Wales, marrying a man, and giving birth to another daughter the following year. I could have talked to this sweet man for a long time. If I'd known him as a child, I think he'd have been my favourite uncle, but I doubt I will ever meet him, or even speak to him again. My uncles name is Ted....funny old world, innit?

The other Ted, was in disgrace today. He'd eaten his second laptop cable in ten days, and I was seriously planning a one way trip for him, to Battersea Dogs Home. I mean come on, I'd just found a nice Ted, did I really need two of them in my life? I decided to take pain in the arse Ted out for a walk, and my great big, stupid, clumsy, lolloping lump of a Spinone made my cheeks ache with laughter, as he played with his mate Oscar, the Manchester Terrier. For today the trip to Battersea is on hold, but I've saved the route plan to bookmarks, and will bring the page up everytime he wanders in here with that look on his face.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Happy Birthday Pie.

It was Pies sixth birthday yesterday, and as I had to post something, and the post office is in the next village, I decided to take the dogs with me, and stop off at the pet store on the way home, to get Pie a present.
The best part about going to the post office, is that we don't have to walk through any cows, which means Ted comes home smelling as bad as he did when we set off, rather than worse, after applying more Eau de Bovine Shite. So Pie was plodding along, still not able to run after the mortal foot injury, boy was throwing conkers up in the air and skipping after them (and BTW, why does everyone I know under 20, call Ted, gaylord, when they see my happy boy skip?) and Madge had gone into the maize after pheasants. A little bit further along, I saw an elderly lady walking towards us. I've met her many times before, but she doesn't remember, and always tells me that she's having a stroll before lunch. She's very kind, and used to make a fuss of Dooza. Ted was up for a snog, and Pie allowed her ears to be scratched, but Madge was still on pheasant patrol in the maize. I said goodbye to my elderly friend, and walked on, until we were almost at the road. I put Pie and Ted on their leads and had to yell for Madge several times before she finally gave up the hunt and emerged from the crop, without any sign that a massacre had taken place...bonus! Did what I had to do in the post office, bought myself some wine gums, and wondered why plum jam is kept next to the thermal socks. Where is the marketing logic in that? Do people who wear thermal socks, like plum jam? Does anyone like plum jam? I think it's probably to do with the village being in a valley at the foot of Box Hill, and a combination of air pressure and inbreeding.

We set off home, and Pie had worked up a head of steam, because number one, we were now going in the right direction, and number two, she knew we were going to the sweet shop. Walking back down the path we saw the lady walking home from her pre lunch stroll. "Which one of your dogs is called Madge?" I showed her which one, and she told me that her name was also Madge, and she'd thought I was calling for her to come, so I asked her if all Madges were deaf, stubborn old buggers, and she said yes! Human Madge gave Ted another pat, (after telling me her brother in law was called Ted) and then scratched Pies ears again, saying, "you're very beautiful Madge" The real Madge had long since disappeared back into the maize. I'm living in the bloody twighlight zone, and it's not doing me any good, but I quite like it.
Gaylord was still skipping along the path chucking conkers, Pie had a wriggle on that makes her look like a 20k walker in the Commonwealth games, and canine Madge was busy flushing out wildlife. Should I be worried that I'm really happy with my life?

We got to the pet store, and yet again the guy who owns it tells me he used to make bird feeders and tables, but the council put up his business rates, and that combined with cheap imports from China, were the reasons he expanded into pet food etc. I really wanted to go home. I have this conversation with him every time I go in there, which is about twice a month.....for the last six years!! Madge and Pie chose a pigs ear, and gormless balls picked up a can of Chappie. I was almost tempted to buy it, because although it smells disgusting, it would make a pleasant change from his current stink of choice. Anyway, I swapped it for a bulls willy, and all three dogs trotted home, ate their treats, and crashed on the sofa for the rest of the day.

If the person in charge of reincarnation is reading this, I've changed my mind about coming back as a bee, can I be a Spinone next time please? Thank you.

Monday, 11 October 2010

I'm a lumberjack and I'm ok...

As Ted's grown bigger, so has his hovel. It covers at least two thirds of the garden. He used to leave the stuff he dragged outside, under the willow tree, and 99% of the time, it was the first place I'd look for a loo roll or potato masher. Now it's almost as if he senses his kleptomania isn't healthy, because very few of the stolen items remain visible on the surface. I just make a mental note of where the most recent pile of freshly dug dirt is, should I happen to need the can opener, or feel an overwhelming desire to wear a matching pair of socks.

After the travelling gentleman tried to steal my treasures, a very strong, very expensive padlock, was added to the non existent security on the back gate. How happy was I, to have not only made my back passage secure from intruders, but also to have outwitted the traveller? I put the keys to the padlock on a keyring, and left them in a very safe place, and then temporarily (from that day until this) forgot where the very safe place was.

On the closest Saturday to November 5th, my village celebrates Bonfire Night, with a huge fire, and fireworks. From the last week of September, when they start building the damn thing, until the end of October, tractors drive around the village collecting everything from chopped down trees, to the seriously crap DIY projects, that Mrs Bailey, makes Gordon chuck away, before her mothers annual visit. If it's made of wood, and will burn, it goes on the bonfire.

Now, I don't like to brag, but I'm pretty handy with a saw. Hand saw, chain saw, circular saw, saws with big teeth that I don't know the name of, you name it, I'll have a go. Trouble is, once I start, I'm not very good at stopping. I went out to trim the hedges, and take a bit off the willow and conker trees. By four o'clock yesterday I was in lumberjack heaven. Thoughts crossed my mind about leaving the dogs in the house, and building myself a log cabin in the garden, with the results of my over zealous tree pruning. I'd pop in and see them a few times a day, but my cabin would be a Spinone free zone. No more waking up with someones beard in my mouth, or turning over to inhale the fumes from some spins gassy arse. I wouldn't have to share anything I ate, I wouldn't have to adopt the foetal position on the sofa, whilst apologising to snoring dogs for disturbing their afternoon nap by trying to curl up in the remaining four square inches. I could go to the loo without an audience, take a shower without seeing flaming great honkers pressed up against the door, while three tongues try to lick the water from the outside, as it runs down the inside. I was really starting to fantasise about my new life, in my cosy log cabin at the end of the garden, until I turned round, and realised I had infact felled what looked like an Amazonian rainforest, or ten, and as lovely as my life of seclusion hidden away at the bottom of the garden seemed, it wasn't really practical, and I owed my village the fruits of my mania, to ensure this years bonfire was the best yet.
One slight problem. I couldn't drag the rainforests out through the house, and although the sensible option was to take it all out through the back gate, I hadn't seen the keys to unlock the padlock, since the day after my victory with the traveller, when my back passage was made secure.
I'd have to sleep on it, and hope the whereabouts of the keys would come to me in a dream.
Well it didn't happen, and as Ted clambered over the fallen trees this morning, bursting for a pee, but being totally spoilt for choice as to which tree to cock his leg on, I decided to text Peter, and ask him to buy another padlock, and bring home some kind of manly gadget to remove my now useless defences from the gate. So, where's my phone? I tried calling it. It was ringing, but I couldn't hear where the ring was coming from. It couldn't be far away because I'd charged it on the worktop, in the kitchen.....right beside Teds breakfast. He promised me he'd be good today, so he wouldn't have taken it into the garden. I tried calling my mobile from outside, and sure enough, a muffled version of I hate you so much right now was coming from under the rainforests somewhere. I finally found the phone, still wet with spin slobber, partially buried in a burrow my rabbit had dug. This is obviously where Ted hides special stuff, so I had a poke about in the burrow, and found a $10 chip from a holiday in Las Vegas, a rubber glove, a pack of Blu-Tack, the lid of a can of Indorex, and two very shiny padlock keys dangling from a rusty key ring.
Oh yes!! Me 1, Ted is GOOD.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The trouble with Ted.

Ted's eaten the laundry basket. Well of course he has, why wouldn't he? It's been here all his life, and he's never payed it a moments he made up for it. The contents have been spread far and wide, but thankfully, all within the boundary of my own property. The trouble with Ted, is that he needs to be kept busy every waking nano second. Usually Pie helps out with this, but as I've already explained, she has suffered a mortal injury to her paw, which has meant she's taken to her bed to await the end. I swear if I hadn't seen the cut myself (all half inch of it) I'd believe her version, which is, that her leg is almost amputated, save for a very thin sinew thats barely keeping it attached to her shoulder. The drama surrounding this cut, is completely out of proportion, but this is Pie I'm talking about, so I'll wait for the Grim Reaper to come knocking, and let him in if I feel the time is right.
With Pie out of action, Madge can usually be rallied into a game or two, as long as balls aren't involved, because she doesn't share, and it always ends in tears. Today Madge was too busy to play. She looked like she was counting the hairs on her leg, and was far too preoccupied to give Ted the attention he needed. I think she smokes weed, because she seems to be spending less and less time connected to the planet. I must have a chat with her about it.
In the end I caved in to Ted's nagging, picked up the leads, and yelled the magic w word. Ted and Madge appeared within seconds, but death bed nellie stayed put, so I just took the enthusiastic ones.
Autumn is really here, and as we walked I was looking at the changing leaves, the acorns, conkers, sloes, blackberries, and the relatively new addition to the flora of the English countryside, that seems to have spread amongst the trees and hedgerows at an alarming rate, the plastic dog poop bag. They come in an infinite array of colours and sizes, and this year there seems to be a bumper crop. They will be hanging from the branches like some kind of exotic fruit, long after the leaves have fallen and the trees are standing naked for the winter. Why? Why go to the trouble of clearing up after your dog, packaging the crap up nicely, to fling it into a tree, where it will be preserved for all eternity?

Monday, 4 October 2010

Happy Gotcha Day, Bucket Arse.

It was about 18 months after our German Shepherd died, aged 14, that we started thinking about getting another dog.
Catherine had seen a Spinone in the next village, that belonged to the gamekeeper, and after reading about the breed, we all decided a brown roan dog puppy, would fit in perfectly with our family.
Long story cut short, an 11 month old orange roan bitch needed a new home. Pie arrived, five years ago today. She was one of the most pathetic things I'd ever seen. Thin, and scared, with eyes like saucers, the rubbish picture is the only one I have of her the day she turned up, and for whatever reason, it doesn't get any bigger....maybe just as well.
It took no time to get weight on her, but over six months before she stopped running upstairs to hide under the desk in my bedroom when anyone called in, and probably a year before we started to see the real Pie. She flinched if we moved too fast, she'd pee herself at loud noises, she'd shake and drool at what seemed the smallest upsets, and she'd cower if men wearing hats stopped to talk to her.
She was an only dog until we got Dooza, but from the day he came home, Pie's confidence grew. He ran her ragged, and she adored him. Pie encouraged him to swim, and Dooza showed Pie how to dig. She showed him how to open the fridge, and he showed her how to steal from the top shelf. She showed him where the loo rolls were, and he showed her how to eat them. Wherever one was, the other wasn't far behind. When Dooza first got sick, he was at home on a drip. She would lie as close as she could, without actually touching him. I think she needed to be near him, as much as he needed to know she was there.
The day he died, it was Pie who came and told me that he was in trouble, and although we brought his body home from the vets, so she could spend time with him, and understand what had happened, she still sat for days looking out of the bedroom window. I think, like us, she hoped it had all been a bad dream, and if she waited long enough, her boy would come home.
Since loosing Dooza, Pie's life has changed again, with the arrival of Madge in March, and Ted in May. I think for the first time, Pie is truly happy (although not today because she's cut her foot, and isn't impressed to be wearing a drip bag as a welly boot to keep it dry....drip bags are soooooo last year darling) She and Madge are the very best of friends. They seem to instinctively know when the other needs reassurance, they sleep together, eat together, play together, tease the boy unmercifully, get up to mischief, and always nudge each others faces when they've been apart for a while.
Pie adores Ted, and whilst it's always Madge he goes to when he wants his face washed, or his ears cleaned, it's Pie he nags when he wants to play. It's Pie who shows him where the pheasants are, and how to get the rabbits out of the hedges, it was Pie who showed him it was safe to jump off the bank into the river. Pie has a purpose. She has her very own canine family, who seem to think she's as great as I do, and she's thriving.
I love you Bucket x