Tag Archives: Dog

Mother’s Day message

To all the Moms out there (with heart-felt thanks to mine and Dave’s), may your day be fragrant and full of flowers!

Yesterday Today and Tomorrow plant lining a walkway – Jhb, SA

These quotes are especially for you all:

“If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden.” – Attributed to Claudia Ghandi

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” – Elizabeth Stone

And two more to take the pressure off . . .

“There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one” – Jill Churchill

“Your responsibility as a parent is not as great as you might imagine. You need not supply the world with the next conqueror of disease or major motion-picture star. If your child simply grows up to be someone who does not use the word “collectible” as a noun, you can consider yourself an unqualified success.” – Fran Lebowitz, “Parental Guidance,” Social Studies, 1981

Although I’m not a mother in the full sense of the word, I love my stepchildren dearly – sincere thanks to them for the countless blessings they bestow on my life 🙂

Last but not least, because the four-legged members of our family matter too, here’s a special mention for the youngest, who turns 1 today: “Happy birthday, Quest, you handsome hound!”

QUEST – May 2011

Bones are on the way, boy 😀 Continue reading

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“Time to say goodbye”

As prepared as we may try to be, we never are entirely. That just seems to be the way of it. We bid farewell to Tex yesterday, shedding tears for the fourteen years of unconditional love that’s so unique to dogs. Despite dealing repeatedly with death, it’s still somehow inconceivable that one moment he’s with us . . .

TEX AT HOME – Johannesburg, South Africa

. . . and the next he’s not.

HOME WITHOUT TEX – Johannesburg, South Africa

There’s comfort in the peace of his passing, which mirrors the overwhelming majority of his life – apart from the terrors of our Highveld storms. Here’s a pic taken some months ago, before the rapid acceleration of old age, showing the gentle soul we’ll always treasure:

TEX – older

For the record, here’s another in younger years:

TEX – younger

R.I.P. beautiful boy. Our love goes with you, like in this haunting song by the brilliant Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman:
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Dog Whispering Decision

Full credit to Dave for making the final call and getting it done. In fact, his nickname among certain work associates is get-it-done-Dave. Not for nothing. I might well have faltered, muddled by a mix of emotions. I’m talking about returning one of our puppies, Quilla, to their breeder. Regular blogging friends will remember her pretty little face. Well, that disguised unmitigated mayhem – mostly due to the dynamic between the two.

Sibling rivalry resulted in her inappropriately submissive behaviour, and constant hounding of our cat, and older dog. That’s when the puppies weren’t riling one another up. The peace that was impossible around both of them, has been palpable since she left, a few months ago. (Roof of Africa, re-opening our photographic studio and hosting a constant stream of visitors put blogging on the back-burner for a while.)

Don’t get me wrong, though. Quest is no angel, as you may see from his expression:

QUEST with both his ears up!

He had his sister’s help to disassemble the entire electric gate motor and distribute the sorry pieces around our property. Not so for the heap of hose ends, drain pipes, assorted car parts and my special pair of Silhouette glasses . . . the list goes on, but we love him 😀

We’ve also learned something about canine behaviour. You’d think we’d get it first time around, with Tex and his sister Pippa. She never seemed happy, succumbing eventually to ailments that plagued her from puppyhood. We put it down mainly to her personality, and the fact that she was a far more hyperactive, working dog type than her brother. In hindsight it was probably, at least in part, from being dominated by him.

The same scenario was playing out with Quilla. Our fabulous dog whisperer, Justin Jardim of Echo Personal Dog Training, our vet and various others in the know endorsed the decision to let her go. While siblings together can sometimes work, it’s apparently not the best idea. Understandable when you imagine spending your whole life with your own!

She is no doubt happier in her new home and Quest isn’t complaining. He’s spoilt with personal attention and one-on-one training. Here’s Justin in action, teaching him “Down”:

JUSTIN teaching QUEST the dynamics of “Down”

He’s catching on quickly, but we have a way to go with the chewing issue. Vix vapour rub isn’t standing its ground, so we may try chilli, following a post by the hilariously brilliant Kate Shrewsday. Visit her blog for outstanding writing and a serious LOL!

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Teddy bears or Terrorists?

In reality, neither. Just regular puppies, but they sure blast a whole new energy through the home! We’ve had our German Shepherd darlings for two weeks today and much as we adore them, I can’t pretend there aren’t moments of madness. Take Saturday morning, for example. No less than four steaming piles and two large puddles placed on the dining room rug. All within a most impressive ten minutes, not to mention before breakfast.

House training aside, they’re quite restrained. Nothing but the best for this thoroughbred pair. Only brand new socks, barely worn, will do. Although they have also rampaged through our recycling bins. Mind you, that could be considered civilized rubbish, since it is rinsed and separated. Then there’s the dining room chair that used to match so nicely . . .

Still, no matter the mess, those teddy bear eyes just make you melt:

QUEST showing off his well bred ears

QUILLA after romping through our freshly watered garden

I may be a pushover, but our older dog and cat definitely aren’t. They seem convinced of the Terrorists argument. And there’s no way they’re conceding without a fight. This is Jina staking her claim:

JINA staking her claim

and Tex surveying his territory:

TEX surveying his territory

Tough that I’m conflict avoidant, squarely in The Dog Whisperer’s category of humans who need training. Perhaps it’s time to tape every episode! Nevertheless, in all seriousness, we got these two for their lovable natures. And of course there’s the side benefit that we get lots of exercise, like Saturday’s session introducing them to their leads:

Who’s leading who? Continue reading

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Mud ≠ Dirt

MUDDY WILD DOG - Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve, South Africa

Quotes to consider:

“The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.” – E. E. Cummings

“Two men look out the same prison bars; one sees mud and the other stars.” – Frederick Langbridge

“There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud” – Carl Sandburg Continue reading

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There is always someone worse off than you.


Quotes to consider:

“In order to keep a true perspective of one’s importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him.” – unknown

“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” – unknown

“The tragic or the humorous is a matter of perspective” – Arnold Beisser
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To all the other identical twins out there: a recent snippet on TV stated that dogs can smell the difference between all individuals, except identical twins…just when I thought I was an individual! I bet the quantum physicists have a … Continue reading

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Peace is possible, if not probable.

WILD DOGS - Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve, South Africa
WILD DOGS – Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve, South Africa

Quotes to consider:

“Peace is its own reward.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“There is no way to peace, peace is the way.” – A. J. Muste

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” – Buddha Continue reading

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Anytime, anywhere, anyone can be grateful for anything.


Quotes to consider:

“Gratitude is the memory of the heart.” – French Proverb

“When you are grateful fear disappears and abundance appears” – Anthony Robbins

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Unknown

“Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.” – Kahlil Gibran Continue reading

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