Sunday, July 28, 2013

New Foster - Introducing Olive, Mouse's litter sister!!!

This morning I made the trip out to the racing kennels where I got Mouse, and picked up two dogs. This lovely young lass, and an 8 year old black girl called Annie. I took Annie to her foster carer and then bought Olive home. 

Annie had been in cars before, and she actually jumped into the back seat with very minimal encouragement. I dropped her off to a place with two whippets and she seemed to think they were Greyhound puppies, they were jumping around and licking her mouth and she was very tolerant. 

Olive was in the back behind the barrier and she was very good the whole way. By the time we got home she was pretty exhausted and a little bit stressed. I introduced her to Bender and Barbie straight away, and Bender tried to get her to play. She didn't really want to though.

I introduced her to Froufrou through the baby gate, and even let Frou out and Olive had a sniff. Olive doesn't really understand the cats but she doesn't want to eat them either. 

Olive is quite different to Mouse, she is a bit bigger, and not as hyperactive. She isn't as confident either and she seems to be a bit freaked out when Bender barks. She isn't a fan of the neighbours coming and going. She hasn't gotten on the couch, preferring to lie behind the couch in a small space. She is very smoochy and very responsive. I don't expect she will be here very long! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

City Dogs - King's Park Botanic Cafe again!!

Barbie still has a sore foot. It has been going on for some time, she had an abscess, which the vet cut open and cleaned out, but the silly wench put another hole in her foot in a brief licking session. They put another bandage on her foot, and she has to endure at least another 3 days of not getting it wet.

It's winter so that means no real walks. We had to take her out though, so we decided a cafe visit would work.

We did go for a little walk on the pavement, then N took Barbie to the cafe, whilst Bender and I visited the bin to dispose of some poop bags.

N has just bought a real camera so it was a good opportunity for her to try it out. She has a lot to learn, but it takes some pretty good shots on 'auto' mode!

Not sure what Bender was thinking here, though perhaps he was just trying to look cute. He was a very good boy, lying down straight away. It would be handy if we could convince him to lie down underneath the tables though.

It was a bit colder than we expected - for some reason I thought the sun would be shining in the middle of the afternoon. Silly me. Barbie was a little bit cold, but soon all was forgiven.

Barbie: OMGERD! Look at all that food.... burger, and chips and.....MEATBALLS! How much is for me? I need food to keep warm!

I think chips are Barbie's favorite cafe fare - of course she is only allowed to eat a few, to make sure she keeps that streamlined figure of hers. There is nothing worse than a fat greyhound.

Bender stuck close to me as well. I guess he thought he was being helpful when I dropped something on my lap. He quickly cleaned my lap for me, but he left a big puddle of drool behind. Thanks Bender. 

Of course, they got some meatball too - Bender particularly enjoyed the meatballs, he is not quite as obsessed with chips as Barbie is.

So... what do you think of the new camera? Hopefully the quality of the photos on this blog will be onwards and upwards from here! Of course, I'm the writer so if you see any really good photos, I probably didn't take them! 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Zelda's Adopted!!!!!

Zelda met a family and two youngish couples last weeked who all wanted to see if she would be a good match for them.

In the end the humans didn't have much say in the matter. Zelda knew it when the right people came to see her. She attached herself to the guy's legs and enjoyed the pats and scratches he was giving her. When it came time for them to leave I had to tug on her collar so that he could walk! They told me they were going to have a chat about her, and I heard from the adoptions coordinator not long after they left that they had decided they wanted to adopt her.

My household was split 50/50 on Zelda. Bender, N & I will be sad to see her go, but Barbie, Froufrou and Mittens will be very happy to see the back of her!

Good luck Zelda, I am sure you will be very happy with your people and hopefully I will see you around.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

As promised, the Demark Roadtrip video!!

I tried to give all of the dogs equal billing, and I think it's a great summary of the doggie parts of the holiday. There are plenty of cute Zelda zoomies as well as a full-out run from Barbie at Lights Beach.  Enjoy!

Click here to go straight to youtube if the above video doesn't work.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Bender's City Farmers Heist

We went to City Farmers on the weekend, and Mr Bender grabbed this toy, covering it in slobber and putting holes in it immediately. Of course we had to buy it then, even if the price tag was ridiculous!

It has a cellophane type stuffing that makes crinkling noises when he chews it, and a squeaker in it's neck. I can see why Bender likes it.

Unfortunately it was destuffed in it's first evening with us, hopefully it will hold together as a useful toy for a little bit longer. We shall be keeping a closer eye on him next time we take him shopping!!! 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Road Tripping with Dogs - Denmark Western Australia

It has taken me a long time to write about this trip because I had to get the photos together, but we took Barbie, Bender and Zelda for a big road trip down to Denmark, Western Australia. We got a dog friendly holiday house so that we could have the dogs inside with us.

With three dogs in the car we didn't have much room for other stuff. We had Bender and Barbie on the back seat, and Zelda behind the cargo barrier in the back. It was a 5 hour trip, so we had to stop and get the dogs out of the car a couple of times. At our lunch stop I found a nice little park with some old play equipment I could tether the dogs to.

Bender and Barbie don't mind being tethered though Zelda didn't like it very much. I needed my hands free to eat my greasy road trip lunch, so I made no apologies.

It was really great to get to the house - a small place with a huge verandah and nice fenced in yard. The dogs were happy to run around after being cooped up in the car for so long.

The yard was really big and was a great place for the doggies to play. The house was fairly small and the verandah was massive. It had a nice reverse-cycle air conditioner for heating which is necessary in Denmark in winter. We had bought three dog beds with us, so everyone was effectively kept off the furniture.

Denmark is in a fairly dog friendly area, there are plenty of lovely places where dogs are allowed to hike with their owners. A lot of other country towns are surrounded by National Parks where doggies are prohibited.

Usually N had Bender on the leash and I had the two greyhounds. Sometimes though, one of us would take all three and they are pretty well behaved together.

We hiked with the dogs every morning, returned them to the house and spent the afternoon doing dog-less activities. We had a nice drink at the local brewery.

We also went to a few local wineries. My favorite place was Whitfield Estate and if you take a moment to pop over to their website, you will quickly figure out why. When we arrived the first thing I asked was where the dogs were. Yes, Whitfield is home to three beautiful Bernese Mountain Dogs called Bindi, Mac and Bud. 

Unfortunately the dogs were just leaving in their Range Rover as we arrived - they would never turn down the opportunity to go for a drive, so they were going into town. 

We were told that if we stuck around for dessert the dogs would be back. We ordered some lunch, and I had a lovely chicken pie. Then dessert was ordered and I was enjoying myself sitting in the sun. They actually phoned the dog-chaueffeur to check how far away the dogs were, and they arrived just as I finished my coffee.

Bernese Mountain dogs are from Switzerland and are commonly called 'Berners'. They used to pull laden carts. Bindi was very affectionate whilst Mac and Bud seemed more interested in the possibility of an afternoon snack. They were like big cuddly bears. 

The dogs got to enjoy a couple of beautiful beaches. The closest to town was Lights Beach. Barbie and Zelda both conquered some formidable skeleton stairs here. Zelda went straight down, though Barbie only went down after we walked around at the top for a while looking for an alternative route.

At Lights Beach we met another dog who was playing with a tennis ball. We kept Bender away from him so that it wouldn't be stolen and immediately punctured. They left and as we were walking back, Bender spotted something in the water. The other dog must have left his ball alone, floating in the ocean. Bender went straight in after it in order to rescue it. He killed it with kindness once he pulled it out of the water though and then he dropped it onto the rocks behind the stairs. We had to leave it behind.

At Cosy Corner, we discovered a cute little river flowing into the ocean. The dogs were thirsty and I tasted it to make sure it was fresh before we let them have a drink. It almost looked like a river of Coca-cola, the river water stained with tannins because of the leaves of native plants.

We even did a cafe visit at Cosy Corner with all three dogs. They were all a bit cheeky, I think it was just because all three of them were there.

Bender wanted to know when the food would arrive. When it finally did it was a bit of a struggle to keep Zelda away from my plate!

We had the inlaws over to the holiday house for dinner and we had a few glasses of wine. I left my wine glass on the table while I went to help in the kitchen with something. Father-in-law started laughing, and I looked over to see Zelda delicately dipping her tongue into my glass. She did well not to knock it over when I told her off. 

The drive home was very relaxed with Zelda lying down in the back, and Bender and Barbie snuggling. Overall it was a great little break and I can't wait to do it again. The holiday house we found is a true little gem and having the dogs along really makes the holiday complete! 

I made a video of the trip too, but I am going to leave that for the next blog post. 

Where is your favorite place to holiday with your dog? 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Barbie's Cafe Review - Partsian Cafe East Perth (and a walk on Claisebrook Cove)

We have been to Claisebrook Cove with the dogs before, and it was very busy, so we ended up going around the corner to Kinky Lizard Cafe (review here). 

Today it wasn't too bad, and we managed to get ourselves a nice spot at The Partisan. This place provides the ultimate in dog-friendly ordering as the counter is outside, so you can wait in line with your dog and put in your order.

There were quite a few other dogs there, including this little white yapper who didn't want Barbie to come too close. There were also another couple of noisy dogs that went nuts when they saw us. Barbie held up her head and ignored them like the good little Princess that she is. 

She enjoyed some scritches from me while we were waiting for her food, and a waitress came over to say hello. The waitress commented on how big Barbie was, which we found amusing because we always call her 'little Barbie'. I think it is important to bring big dogs into East Perth, otherwise it would just be small white fluffies. They are cute, but you need a bit of diversity, yes?

A lot of people also commented on Barbie's hoodie. It was overall a pretty friendly environment and there was plenty of room for her to lie down. There was no danger of anyone treading on her as everyone took notice!

We had a great breakfast, I ordered eggs benedict and kept some of the ham for Barbie. N got a bean casserole type dish with plenty of salty prosciutto for Barbie to snack on as well. She was very happy for the meaty treats.  

She had her cheeky face on hoping for more, but while the people next to us liked her and her cute little hoodie, they didn't have any snacks for her!

After being so good at the cafe, we rewarded Barbie with a short stroll around Claisebrook Cove. From these photos you can see how beautiful the view from the cafe was. 

The cafe is where the white umbrellas are in this photo, taken from the other side of the Cove.

We decided to have a bit of fun with Barbie and get a photo of us in this model boat - I had to lift her up there as she didn't want to jump in! I thought the photo was worth it.

Overall this cafe was great, and I could go there by myself with a dog and order my coffee without having to go inside. The food was good and the view was even better. 

Barbie says:
I felt like a celebrity at this cafe as people aren't used to seeing bigger doggies. I do wish that people whose dogs don't behave well in public didn't bring them along to cafes, but I guess it means people can see how good I am in the face of barking and yapping! There was plenty of room for me to lie down and I didn't feel like anyone would stand on me so I was quite relaxed. 
Overall human score 7/10 (coffee could have been better), dog score 8/10.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Zelda's Sweet Side

Actually all of Zelda is sweet. She is always sitting right next to Barbie, and usually also right next to a human.

When I get home she doesn't jump up like Bender and Barbie tend to do, she just comes and stands by me, quietly leaning against my legs and waiting for a pat. 

I like her snuggling next to me on the couch - it is winter so she keeps me warm, and it also means I can keep an eye on her and make sure she isn't up to no good. She went through a stage of jumping up onto the kitchen sink, sticking her head in and stealing the dish rag! She is also quite partial to the bin which she knows how to open. 

Mostly she isn't naughty though! She is good on the lead and I can walk all three dogs together. Wherever I take her people comment on how calm she is. 

She does play though. I got this video of her playing with some stuffies in the house - the light isn't that good but you get the general gist!

Click here to go straight to youtube if the video doesn't work. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Kitty-cat environmental enrichment - Kong Wobbler!

I haven't posted about the cats for ages because there are always so many dog stories to tell. Well last weekend I decided I would get the kitties a Kong Wobbler as they haven't been enjoying the same freedom now that Miss Zelda is staying with us.

When I first introduced the Wobbler to the cats they weren't interested at all. In fact, when I tipped it for them they flinched away from it a little. I wasn't sure how to get them interested, so I left it in the laundry with them, and also asked some advice from my dog trainer/friendly Kong representative. She suggested a lot of strategies, but when I went into the laundry I realised I didn't need to try any of them. The Wobbler had been emptied of kibble in my absence.

I decided I had to see the kitties using it and I wanted to know who was getting the most food out of it. I left my little GoPro on the floor recording and left the room. I have sped up the video but this is the result, Frou is definitely queen of the Kong Wobbler, but Mittens gets a go as well. 

Click here to go straight to youtube if the video doesn't work. 

They obviously didn't like surveillance, knocking the camera over during one of their little playfights. I am glad they like their Wobbler though. I think the next purchase will be a water fountain as I know that Mittens will really enjoy one of those. 

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