Must Love Dogs

A friend asked me the other day “Why do people have dogs?”. She doesn’t like dogs, and when I jokingly reminded her of this she replied “I do like them, I just don’t want them near, or touching me”.*

I get that. Dogs are generally filthy, wet, sharp nailed, muddied creatures of mass destruction.

I mean, my once cream couches look about a million years old and my rug in my lounge is never ever straight. My dining room floors are constantly covered in swimming pool water and sand, and there’s hair on pretty much everything.

If I had a nice standing floor lamp, it is long gone, and most of my wooden furniture has Boston terrier sized bit marks in the legs. My Persian carpet is missing a large chunk and my shower is always filled with tell-tale brown footprints.

New linen? Forget about it – anything lighter than black looks dirty within minutes, and the more expensive the throw, the more chance there is of a crusty piece of dog poo being stuck to it.

Love your garden? Learn to love it a little less – anything even vaguely expensive gets eaten or chewed. Case in point – A year ago my husband’s Granny passed away, and as a token of sympathy my folks bought us a Wild Olive tree to plant in our garden. The dogs took one look at the newest flora addition and decided it was an enemy that needed abolishing – needless to say they left us with a twig. Twig was subsequently replanted and dubbed ‘Big Granny’. Twig turned into longer twig which turned into leaf which then turned into something resembling a very small, happy and thriving tree. On Saturday, our new gardener assumed it was a failing weed, pulled it out, and threw it away.

Dogs take up your time and dogs take up your money. It’s very common for us to leave a function early to go home and feed the dogs, but where we can the dogs come along and gate crash dinner parties and braais. My boy dog has even weed in someone else’s house (you can immediately tell who the dog lover is by the way they react when your “I’msosorrymystupidfuckingdogjustpissedinyourkitchenandIswearheneverdoesthis” comment gets met with a “Shame look how remorseful he looks, he didn’t mean it, he was so excited, here Rupert, have a treat”.

Thank god for friends like this. I’m talking about you “my dogs kiss you when your mouth’s open and you love it, Clair”.

When girl dog was 9 months old, she was bitten by a puff adder. In Fourways. We are hard-core like that. 10 days and 20 thousand rand later we had her home with us, somewhat battered and missing a good chunk of knee, but she was home. For the 10 days she was in hospital we visited her every day – taking turns doing morning and evening shifts. At one low point, when we weren’t sure if she was going to make it, I sat with her on the floor of the vet, and she wrapped her limp weak body around mine, drip tubes, bandages and all. She had no control of her body and by the end of it I was covered in urine and vomit. All over my work clothes. You know what, I didn’t care. All I wanted was for my little girl to get better. When she eventually was released, we built her a fort bed in the bedroom and slept with her there (on the floor) for 2 nights to make sure she stayed breathing.

A few nights ago, I was having a very bad night. Sadness weighed upon me like a ton of bricks and nothing could get me out of my funk. Until my 2 hounds, who never (despite all evidence to the contrary) sleep on the bed, wormed their way out of their bed into mine, and lay with me for the entire night. The more I cried, the closer they spooned against me, until at one point I had Boston fart touching my nose and another Boston snore reverberating against my back. Dogs know, they just know.

When I get home, and I could have been gone anywhere from 5 minutes to 8 hours, there they are practically doing somersaults in the driveway. They jump up, scratch my car and try and absorb every part of me. They do this every single time they see me. Now you tell me, what human is ever that enthusiastic?

A few other reasons dogs are just so awful:

They are very needy. 

They are messy drunks

bad drunk messy drunks

They are never happy to see you

20150305_212638

They take up all the duvet

They are absolute sluts.

They always use your things

They are very bad at roadtrips

roadtrips

They are awful with children

bad with kids bad with kids 2 bad with children

really bad with kids

And even worse with other dogs…

pitbull

idiotic smiles confrontational

They’re not terribly well read

not very well read

Capture 2

They can never pose nicely for a photo

not photogenic

And they are so unfeminine

not feminine

Dogs are so nosey. Jeez.

nosey

And SO needy!

needy

They’re terribly lazy

lazy

Not terribly good at hide ‘n seek

hide and seek

hide and seek

They don’t look good in anything.

dog blog

nothing looks good on them

They can never just pose nicely for a photo

Capture

They hate extra mural activites

Capture 4

And group photos? They want NONE of that!

Capture 3

boston tea party

They despise shower time

bathtime

Capture

In fact, they’re hardly pat of the family at all.

20150321_064222

announcements

But in all seriousness, my absolute worst thing about dogs? It’s that I don’t have more of them.

—–

*Disclaimer, I in no way hold any grudges against my friend for not liking dogs. I don’t like many things, including people who suck their toothbrushes and centipedes, but our differences are what make us unique and lovely, don’t you think?

PPS – I would however hold a grudge against a non-dog lover who owns dogs. It’s one of my pet peeves. But that’s a whole other story.

Continue Reading

Help Hills Click2Feed Hungry Pets Over SA

This past weekend we took the dogs swimming, for a long walk to watch the 94.7 cyclists ride through our suburb, gave them a bath and then sent an inappropriate time cuddling them on the couch (not to forget then tucking them in to their bed for ‘sleepies’).

This is the norm in our household. Sadly, it’s not the norm in all households, and its definitely not the norm in pet and animal shelters around our country.

If you, like me, feel desperately heartsore at the thought of all the dogs who go un-loved, un-fed and un-homed on a daily basis – and like me don’t know where to begin in helping them – then why not team up with Hills and Click2Feed hungry pets around South Africa.

The festive season is one of the busiest times of year at animal shelters around the country. The Hill’s #Click2Feed campaign aims to give shelter pets a yummy Hill’s Christmas dinner. To donate a nutritious meal simply like Hill’s Pet Nutrition South Africa on Facebook (www.hillspet.co.za/Facebook) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/HillsPetSA) and share or retweet using the #Click2Feed hashtag.

You can nominate your favourite animal welfare charity as a recipient. The total meals accumulated will be shared between the five organisations with the most nominations.

The campaign is running until 27 November so what better time to become part of a pet loving community? Get clicking and help fill hungry tummies*.

Tweets

(126 characters)

#Click2Feed– follow @HillsPetSA, retweet this or like their Facebook page & help feed needy shelter pets http://bit.ly/1onITaO

(113 characters)

#Click2Feed a shelter pet a @HillspetSA Christmas dinner. Click http://bit.ly/1onITaO & help fill hungry tummies!

Hills Click 2 Feed
Hills Click 2 Feed

For more information visit www.HillsPet.co.za/Facebook or Twitter www.twitter.com/HillspetSA or www.click2feed.co.za.

Continue Reading

A Blog A Day Challenge – Your Earliest Memory – Day 7

Growing up on a small holding in Chartwell was tough for an up and coming socialite. At that stage, the closest shop was at Fourways Mall and to get there by ox cart took ages. I jest. We had a cream Jetta, but close enough.

Now, I’m not sure if this is my earliest memory, but its one of the strongest. 

It was a Saturday and we were harvesting the fields playing in the garden and I had been harassing mom and dad to take me to the pet store for a fish tank. I’m pretty sure I was close to getting a klap from dad after a while, so I’m still surprised by how he caved. Dad never caves, he has the resistance of 2 day old porridge left in the fridge.

“Fine, get in the car let’s go” he aid “We’re not wasting bladdy time there either” I also recall vague threats about bringing home another dog over his dead body. 

I couldn’t believe my luck! I was finally going to venture past the gates of the plot and go shopping – still a favourite pastime.

I had been saving up my pocket money (yes, all those R2’s cleaning the horse shed had really paid off) and was eager to blow my loot on a tank, a stand and a few mortally challenged goldfish. 

Shortly thereafter the tank was purchased, cleaned and set up in my room. I don’t think the fish lasted very long and were soon replaced with 2 tiny turtles given to me by our local GP up the road. You cant make this stuff up. Once the turtles lost their charm the hamster obsession took place and soon I was breeding the things like…well…rodents. One hamster in particular – her name was Mole – had several tiny babies the one morning. A few hours later I walked in to witness her eating the last of them. A few days later my dog Touser jumped into the tank and ate Mole.

The circle of life. Sometimes it just ‘aint pretty.

 

 

Continue Reading

Dear fireworks fan – I want to insert a tom thumb up your backside.

The first bang woke me up at abut 9 pm last night. The second bang followed shortly, and about an hour later I was lying in bed, fists clenched cursing at all the idiots in our area letting off fireworks over and over again.

Firstly, the sound of a firework is about as appealing as a car backfiring or a shotgun going off. Nobody wants to hear the sound of your jumping jacks late at night and I can almost guarantee nobody wants to wake up in a flat panic to the sound of gunfire outside their bedroom window. In South Africa. One of the most crime riddled countries in the world. 

If I , as a human being, despise the sound so much, imagine how all the animals (domesticated and non) must feel. The sound of a firecracker to a dog is 10 times louder than it is to a human. If we jump up in fright at the sound I can only imagine the terror it must cause in a pet.

My pets are spoilt. They sleep upstairs in their bed, under the covers and have us to love and comfort them in times of distress. Picture the other 99% of animals who don’t have that sort of protection – stray cats, dogs in shelters, pets who sleep outside, pets whose owners choose to let off fireworks in their own homes and wildlife – from birds, to bats to dassies. 

Yes, according to SA law there are 11 days of the year when fireworks are legal, this includes Guy-Fawkes and Diwali. Did you know, however, that even though these days are legalised there are still rules to obey if you are planning on using fireworks?:

“Unless special Council authorisation has been applied for and granted, there are only 11 days annually when residents are allowed to “light or ignite” fireworks. Guy Fawkes and Divali are such days. (R 500 fine on other days).

Except for New Year’s Eve, the only permissible time period for igniting fireworks on these days is between 19h00 and 22h00 (7 to 10 pm). (R 500 fine at any other time).

No person may light or ignite fireworks in any place where animals are present (R 1 000 fine). This includes domestic homes.

– Extract from www.environment.co.za

I’m willing to bet that none of the scum in my complex and surrounding houses bothered to obtain permission or follow these rules.

 

Sies on every single person who actively ignored all living creatures and instead chose to let off fireworks for their own pleasure. 

With Guy Fawkes coming up tomorrow, there’s bound to be more nose and fireworks, so if you are the owner of a pet, who is displaying signs of being in distress:

  • Eyes wide
  • Salivation
  • Frantic movement
  • Whining
  • Barking excessively
  • Pacing
  • Hiding in places they don’t normally go
  • Trembling, shaking
  • Cannot relax

Then here are some tips for keeping them stress free and calm throughout:

1. Preparation.
Arrange to have your dog in a place where there won’t be loud fireworks displays — a friend’s or relative’s home or a doggie day care with which your dog is familiar. If it’s an unfamiliar place for your dog, take him over there a few times in the days before the holiday so that it won’t be a surprise when you take him there on the Fourth.

2. Accommodation.
If you cannot take your dog to a place away from fireworks, then have a travel kennel at home for her to feel safe in. if you’re not going to be home, have a friend or sitter there to keep your dog company and take her out to relieve herself every four hours.

3. Acclimation.
The best way to prepare your dog for fireworks is to make sure he’s comfortable with the sound in advance. While this is a simple process, it can take time — possibly three or four months of playing the recorded sound of fireworks for your dog at an increasingly louder volume before he eats, before a walk, before affection and play, and condition him by association to hear the sound and interpret it as something good. While you can try this method over only a week or two, in such a short time span it should only be used in conjunction with one or more of the other tips. In any case, play the firework sounds.

4. Sedation.
If you do find it necessary to use medication to calm your dog during the fireworks, remember that you must introduce any such tool at the right time, conditioning your dog to understand that the medication is there to bring them to a calm state. This means that you must bring your dog to that calm state first, then introduce the tool — before the fireworks and the anxiety begin. If she is already at an anxiety level of 8 or 9, then her mental state will overrule the medication.The challenge is knowing how and when to connect the two.

5. Communication.
If you are going to be with your dog during the fireworks, sending the calming message that they are nothing to worry about will also help him to relax. Remember, though, while humans communicate with words, dogs communicate with energy, and will look to their pack leader for clues on how they should behave. If you’re not making a big deal or showing excitement about the fireworks, then he will learn to be less concerned as well.
In all cases above, expend your dog’s excess energy first, before the fireworks start, by taking her on a very long walk to tire her out and put her in a calm state. Most importantly, don’t think of this in terms of your dog as your child who is missing out on a great, fun time. That’s human guilt. Your dog won’t know what she’s missing. You’re being a good pack leader by not exposing her to a situation that will trigger her flight instinct in a negative way. When the booms and bangs of Independence Day are over, your dog will be grateful for you having made it a less stressful experience.

Extract from Cesars Way 

It’s also a good idea to encourage your complex or neighborhood to alert the residents if and when there are going to be fireworks and to prep your home and pets before.

 

Rupert Hates Fireworks
Rupert Hates Fireworks
Continue Reading

It’s a dogs life

Living in Joburg definitely has its limitations(money making traffic riddled city aside), and I’m constantly reminded how hard we have to work to find new and interesting places to visit. Walkhaven is one of those hidden gems that I have absolutely fallen in love with, and if you are ever looking for a beautiful spot in the countryside to bring your fur-mily, then this is it.

Rupert Gypsey and Holly – carpoolin’

Rupert and Bella braving the dam water

Situated in the infamous ‘wedding strip’ in Muldersdrift, and a mere 18kms from Fourways, Walkhaven is exactly that – a haven for you and your pet. From the moment you drive down the dusty road you are greeted by the sight of hundreds of humans and their wagging tailed friends. Walkhaven consists of 2 very large dams (sorry humans, swimming for pooches only) and vast open spaces, walkways and long grass. The perfect place for your furry kids to run free (Rule 1 at Walkhaven – no leads) and explore to their hearts content.

For the humans there is a lovely restaurant on the deck, plus several picnic benches dotted in and around the vicinity. The restaurant has delicious food, and on Sundays a massive buffet breakfast.

You would think that with so many dogs running around unleashed there would be absolute chaos, but the lack of restrictions allows the curious canines to explore, lick, sniff, swim and greet other pooches without feeling threatened or controlled.

My two dogs, Rupert and Bella, adore the place and after a few hours in the sun at Walkhaven they come home muddy, smelly, wet, but very very happy.

Need to know :

– R25 entrance fee per person. dogs are free.

– Complimentary water bowls all over Walkhaven

– Can bring your own food, drinks and picnic hampers

– Dogs tend to lose any hearing/training skills/sense of discipline when around so many other exciting friends. Be warned

– Dress casual, it’s muddy and wet and a whole lot of fun.

– Walkhaven is open Saturdays and Sundays from 7 am – 6:30 pm

 

The start of the walk

Bella en route home. Absolutely exhausted (and filthy!)

Dirty dogs!

Aunty Candy and Bella

Can we walk now ma? Huh? Can we??

 

 

Continue Reading