After a week we are starting to get a routine going. The routine is Bella chewing everything while we spend huge amounts of time outside trying to get her to “go toilet”.
Already the mats are looking a little ragged around the edges and feet – any feet – are fair game for chewing and chasing.
Our slightly chewed Poppie – ears and tail mainly – has worked out that height is the answer. Bella can’t jump up on to couches or beds yet so Poppie spends a lot of time on the bed or the couch – much to Bella’s disgust.
We have a new member of the family. An 8 week old puppy called Bella. She is a Bichon Frise cross Poodle and is, according to Jean, as cute as a button.
Bella has spent two days settling into home and already our routine has been turned upside down.
Poppie the dog doesn’t quite know what to make of her but is certainly making sure Bella knows she’s second in line.
Rosie the cat has spent a lot of time outside – voluntarily – but I suspect their showdown will come soon. Curious Bella with all the innocence in the world versus smart Rosie with claws.
And, of course, Bella is already the most photographed dog in Wellington.
Bella – day one
Bella likes chewing stuff – my slipper with my foot still in it
Bella and her first toy
If you think this blog is the place to come for cute videos of animals – you’re right.
In the past it’s been videos of our girls doing what Bichon Frise do best, but this time it’s a video, not of our family, but of other animals.
The lovely Jilly D posted this on Facebook and I couldn’t resist passing it on. It’s called “If animals ate fast food.”
It was produced as a trailer for FMX 2013, a conference on animation, effects, games and transmedia being held from April 23 to April 26 in Stuttgart, Germany.
Their site in http://www.fmx.de
Today I was playing with Poppie the dog on the study floor. I just happened to have my camera and a wide-angle lens with me at the time.
After about 5 minutes and 50 photos we both ran out of steam. Well I ran out of steam, Poppie just got bored and wandered off. But somewhere in the middle of those 50 shots was one I really liked.
Sorry, it’s another gratuitous dog shot.
Poppie went for her groom today. It was a bit overdue so we delivered a shaggy little scruff to the lovely Calley at Smoochpooch. We picked up, what looked like, someone else’s dog!
Poppie before her groom
Poppie after her groom
Yesterday we lost our wee girl Daisy. After fifteen years and seven months her big heart finally gave out and she slipped peacefully away. We will miss her terribly but we will always remember the stubborn and determined, but intensely loyal and devoted little girl she was.
Our lovely vet Laura has, for the last year or so, referred to her as our medical miracle – which she was.
We will think of her simply as our Daisy, our little girl.
Daisy 1997 – 2012.
Daisy asleep in the cottage on our clothes – Tuscany, June 2011
From the end of May to the middle of August our house loses the sun.
For the other 10 months of the year it basks in the golden glow but for the darkest depths of winter the sun teases us as it passes over the front fence never coming any closer. This was one of the reasons we decided to spend July in Europe each year usually returning just as the sun started to creep inside again.
Over the last few days we have seen the sun start to return – much to the delight of Poppie who spent this morning asleep on her recently adopted rug on the stair landing, warmed by the sun.
For Jean and I it means that summer is that little bit closer.
Two in a basket beside the desk
Yes gentle reader, another gratuitous dog shot makes it’s way into the blog.
Our old girl Daisy (on the right) has now reached the unlikely age of 15 years and 6 months. Despite her heart condition, her deafness and her bad eyesight, she continues to battle on. In recent weeks she decided that all the old foods she used to eat and enjoy are boring and unappetising and she effectively stopped eating. Now she will only eat all the things that are bad for her. If it’s high in salt and low in vitamins and minerals, she’s into it.
That means McDonalds McNuggets, Cherrios (cocktail sausages to all non-kiwis), store bought meat pies, pretty much everything that we would have been horrified feeding her before. But after talking this through with our lovely vet Linda the general feeling was – if she’ll eat it, then that’s good. Because if she stops eating, well, that’s very bad.
Having said that, tonight, along with Jean and I, Daisy enjoyed fillet steak – medium rare – cooked in garlic butter.
Daisy spends most of her time sleeping these days, in her basket, next to my desk in the study. It’s a safe, warm place and a friendly pat is never far away.
Yesterday I came into the study to find Daisy at one end of her basket – and our other girl Poppie curled up at the other. Poppie has been watching the extra attention being lavished on Daisy and maybe this is her way to remind us not to forget her.
Mental note – fillet steak for 4 tomorrow night.
Daisy the dog had a rough night last week. Part of her heart condition means that sometime she can’t pump enough blood around her system and without enough blood to her brain she faints.
This isn’t a pleasant thing and when she faints we always wonder if she will recover and be her old self. So far she has.
Before we moved back into our home she was fainting regularly but the return to familiar surroundings and routines has meant this had become a thing of the past – until last Wednesday night. She fainted twice and we were up until 3am making sure she was comfortable, relaxed, sleeping and, most importantly, still breathing.
And that’s where looking out for each other comes in.
Poppie is Daisy’s partner in crime when barking at the gate or begging for food but not the rest of the time. That changes when Daisy is unwell and then, somehow, Poppie knows.
Like last Thursday morning when Daisy was recovering. Poppie is the one on the right.
We’ve been back in our house for nearly three weeks and it’s amazing how quickly the daily routines of life take over. Having said that, in the last fortnight we’ve had a family wedding, my sister staying for a few days and the arrival of painters to turn the house into temporary chaos so maybe that’s not exactly routine.
The girls have settled back in as if they’ve never been away and are back terrorising those who dare to walk past our front gate. If you have seen our dear old Daisy in the last few months you would not recognise her now. Since coming home she’s had a new lease on life – in the video she’s the wagging tail on the right.
It’s amazing how long ten days is. The law change of January 1 meant that the quarantine for dogs coming to New Zealand went from nothing to ten days. Ten days, that’s nothing we thought. But now we are here and waiting for next Monday seems a very long time. We are amusing ourselves visiting the outlet shops in Otaki, heading to the beach – Waitarere to be precise, and generally soaking up the rural lifestyle but our girls aren’t with us.
It feels like the girls are doing time, porridge, a stretch, or whatever the term is for a prison sentence. Each morning we arrive and expect to find them sporting new tatoos or a really short haircut, or to be walking a little funny. We’ve contemplated a prison break or smuggling a file in inside a can of dog food as a way to shorten their stay. As you can tell our minds are wandering. We are really bored with this.
Having said that, the facilities are probably a lot better than the average prison (even an above average prison) and it is only ten days – well, only 3 to go now.
Daisy doing time
Poppie doing time
Poppie contemplates freedom
Yesterday I was putting together a storage unit for wee Jordan. It was from Ikea (what a fantastic retail operation that is) so was flat-packed and required assembly. Daisy clearly got bored with watching me exercise my limited carpentry skills and decided that Jordan’s beanbag chair was an ideal place for a snooze. So in amongst the chaos that follows a house move Daisy became an oasis of peace and tranquility.
Also an excuse for another cute dog photo.
The past week has seen two celebrations at Aspley Guise. Gill had a birthday and, quite rightly, became queen for a day, and dear old Daisy the dog had a birthday – her 15th.
Gill’s birthday involved champagne, a fantastic meal out at The Birch restaurant, presents from all over the world and a good old-fashioned hangover the next day.
Daisy’s birthday involved a cake with candles, doggie treats, presents from all the doggie shops we know of and a hangover the next day due to a late night when the whole team were visiting friends in Ispwich.
Daisy received a new winter coat from Jean and I which, unlike her current one, doesn’t need to removed by it pulling over her head (she bites anyone who tries to take off her current coat) and a new basket for her to sleep in from Gill, Andre, Josh and Jordan.
In dog years Daisy is, depending on the formula used, either 90 and 105. Not a bad effort for an old lady and she continues to battle on despite her heart condition, poor vision and lack of hearing. The heart specialist in Italy described her as “il cane di miracolo” and she continues to defy the odds and lead a happy and relatively healthy life. The difference between now and a couple of years ago is that her pace of life is much slower.
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
A birthday Devonshire Tea for Gill
Daisy relaxing in her new birthday basket