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Tag Archives: Recreation
Mind you, “Best Friends Forever” is in many ways synonymous with “Man’s Best Friend”, at least as it applies to doggie years. It’s just the lifespan discrepancy that causes heartache. Still, the joy supercedes, so we come back for more of the same magic. As our beloved old boy, Tex, gradually prepares for a graceful parting with this world, our whirlwind puppy, Quest, is developing his inborn flair for the successor role.
While Tex’s tired legs can no longer match the eagerness of his spirit, Quest’s energy is boundless. Nothing delights him more than a super social, team walk. We often indulge him at a beautiful local park, which also forms part of our morning cycle route. Here are some glimpses of this favourite playground:
Now for some serious opposition to the theory of dogs looking like their owners: the miniature, airborne ball of fluff (in the middle) is Max, the Pekinese who belongs to Simon, the big tattooed, tough guy! Or the other way around, depending on your perspective, as so eloquently expressed in the movie Babe – where the animals speak and their respective people belong to them 😀
Already the bond between Dave and his dog is unbreakable. Quest would forego his food in favour of a car ride, to anywhere and everywhere Dave has to go. Aside from being a tough guy (and closet softie), Simon is a talented photographer as you can see on his blog, GotMilk Photography. He took this telling pic of Dave and Quest together:
Although Quest excels as MBF, he still has time for his own BFF, and it seems there’s some truth to the saying that “opposites attract”. You guessed it: the German Shepherd and the Pekinese are best of friends. During a break from Quest tumbling Max like a dishwasher on full speed, Simon snapped this shot of them panting under a tree:
All told, however, I’d say Quest’s priorities are pretty clear. Dave is number one. They love hanging out together, engaged in male bonding, like watching sport on TV:
In case you’re thinking I feel left out, not to worry. I have a personal WBF, in the form our gorgeous Norwegian Forest Cat, Jina. What could be cosier than a pre-dawn cuddle under the covers, with her gentle purr vibrating beside me?
Finally, an aside, following my last post: Dave is cycling above because an old lower-back injury from his pro racing days continues to haunt him, making walking any distance extremely painful. Recent intensifying of the pain, together with loss of feeling in his foot, necessitates a spinal fusion, which is scheduled for the first week of May.
This means that I won’t be posting a host of enduro articles, since he’ll be off his motorbike for about three months. We’re still going to Cape Town for a wedding and to visit family, though, so I’ll certainly share some photo’s from the Mother City. Have a wonderful few days in the meantime, everyone! Continue reading
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:
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”:
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!
- Ontario pit-bull ban forces Dog Whisperer to leave Junior behind (theglobeandmail.com)
- Dog Whisperer unable to bring his own pet to Ontario (ctv.ca)
- Dog Whisperer’s canine companion banned (thestar.com)
- Cesar Millan Is ‘Whisperer’ to Both Anxious Owner and Dog (VIDEO) (tvsquad.com)
- Dog whisperer laps up puppy love in Toronto (thestar.com)
‘Come quick! She’s in the pool!’ Merriam calls – earlier this afternoon.
EEK! MAD DASH . . . phew, Quilla’s fine, frolicking on the top step 😀 Quest hovers on the deck, nosing his sister anxiously. He’s totally unsure what to make of this. Meanwhile, I’m torn in two – the camera or the swimming costume?? Temptation wins! In I go, despite the chilly water. It’s a spectacular Jo’burg day, but still EARLY summer here.
However, the cold can’t compare to the captivating fun! Quest responds to coaxing, so the puppies launch together into their first swimming lesson. Both are cautious, preferring the security of the steps, but with support and playful urging they get into the game. Turns out Quest is a natural, innately confident at anything new. Quilla’s her mildly haywire self, sending far more water flying than nearly necessary. But at least it works for her 😀
Within a few tries they get the drift, also grasping where the steps are located. I’m chuffed about that, although this summer seems set for loads of soggy mayhem!
No pics in the pool, but here they are afterwards, sporting the wet look:
And Tex looking on in his grandfatherly way. Swimming has never been his thing!
- Pool Safety (swimmingdiving.suite101.com)
- Chlorine in Swimming Pools and the Link to Asthma (mommygoesgreen.com)
Celebration ↔ Smiles
It’s nobody’s birthday or anything like that. Just an exquisite evening in a beautiful lodge on a gorgeous game farm. African style. That’s reason enough for a special occasion. This one comes with grateful thanks to Dave’s brother and his wife. ‘Cheers, Mike and Lisa!’ Chinking of glasses mingles with the music of vibrant voices. Smooth Cabernet caresses tongues, tinted with friendship and the mouth-watering aroma of roasting lamb. A humming log fire inspires reveries as it swallows time. Warmth swirls around relaxed bodies, casting a glow across familiar faces. Smiles adorn mouths, hinting at the Celebration happening inside. When all is said and done, does life really get any better than this?
Quotes to consider:
“Fly free and happy beyond birthdays and across forever, and we’ll meet now and then when we wish, in the midst of the one celebration that never can end.” – Richard Bach
“Tolerance and celebration of individual differences is the fire that fuels lasting love.” – Tom Hannah
“The thing about performance, even if it’s only an illusion, is that it is a celebration of the fact that we do contain within ourselves infinite possibilities.” – Sydney Smith
“Think of the magic of that foot, comparatively small, upon which your whole weight rests. It’s a miracle, and the dance…is a celebration of that miracle.” – Martha Washington
To help set the scene, here are two more pics of the lodge by day:
LODGE VERANDAH – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa Continue reading
A few years back, Dave and I were privileged to meet Lewis Pugh, most famous for being ‘The Human Polar Bear’. What a phenomenal, compelling man, who is harnessing his unique talent for the greater good. Most recently to lobby world leaders about global warming. He took on the Himalayas, learning that Mount Everest is not to be bullied, but rather treated with quiet respect. Much like the man himself.
Managing to raise his body’s core temperature with his mind, he is able to swim in freezing water, clad only in a speedo. The Himalayan stint in May was 1 km long at 2 degrees C. To find out more about this amazing feat, read about it on Lewis’ website: My Latest Expedition and watch Carte Blanche’s video: Carte Blanche: Lewis Pugh (Part 2).
Lewis’ message? “Conservation of the environment is no longer their problem or my problem but our problem.” Himalayan glaciers provide around 2 billion people with constant water, defying the thought of what might happen if they melt. Almost a third of humanity may be affected as radically as our threatened polar bears. You can see more about the Arctic issue on this stunning site: A Beautiful Lie.
Although polar bears don’t occur naturally here, we had a close encounter once at the Johannesburg Zoo, when Dave helped to clean their pool. Here are a few pics, just for fun. Note that, unlike Lewis, the divers all wore wetsuits!
SORTING COINS FROM THE POOL