Monday, June 10, 2013

An encounter in The Far North.

Dear Georgia, 

We're finally almost at the end of our road trip! Just 4 more sleeps to go before we're all back together again in our own comfy beds. I can't wait.
We were at the top of New Zealand a few days ago. Did you see me waving to you from across the Tasman?

It's been an interesting experience, looking for a new home for us. I think we may have found a few towns you'll like, and a couple you definitely won't.
We even found an extraordinary house, just a few roads away from where we are now! I know you won't believe me but it comes with a big waterfall, a deep pool and stream, and a forest with walking tracks! 
We visited it twice in 2 days and came very close to taking that leap of faith that Cushion always talks about. What fun it would be to walk on your own bush tracks! sleep on a hammock slung between 2 trees in your own forest! and bathe in your own waterfall!

Okay, maybe that last bit won't be so much fun for you.

But if we bought that house, Georgia, you wouldn't be able to walk in that forest because it's a special protected area, and we wouldn't be allowed to have more than 2 dogs at a time. "There are some new subdivisions here where you're not allowed to have dogs or cats at all," Mr Real Estate Agent said, trying to make us feel better. Imagine that.

Yesterday, we saw a dog running around in town. It almost got knocked down crossing the street. Luckily, it was Sunday and there wasn't too much traffic about. There was no one with the dog so we knew it was a runaway or stray. We called the SPCA but it was their day off and we got a message to call another number. We called that number but no one picked up. Someone gave us the number of a friend who worked with the SPCA but she turned out to be from an SPCA in another town, and she told us to call Council. An old man who'd seen the dog told us Council would put the dog down in a week if they picked it up. "I've picked up a few dogs from the highway myself," he said. "People drive them far enough so they won't know how to get home, take off their collars and dump them." A waitress from the bar where we were having lunch, told us she'd seen the dog many times and it belonged to someone, even though it was skinny and had no collar. 

We were in a fix, Georgia, and had no idea what to do. So we packed up some chips and meat from our lunch and drove around looking for the dog. It took a while but we finally saw it! It was a new mama. She was scared, ready to run in an instant, hungry for the food in my hand. She got close enough to touch, but we had nothing to catch her with.

Suddenly, from out of nowhere, an old woman came up to us waving her walking stick and shouting, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING? YOU CAN'T FEED DOGS AND CATS HERE! THIS IS COUNCIL PROPERTY. GET OFF! HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN HERE? A FEW DAYS? A DAY? YOU'VE GOT NO RIGHT TO BE HERE! GET THAT DOG AWAY!" 

We were standing in a public space, on a nature strip by the side of a main road, and were stunned by her tirade. Her daughter came and took her away. "My mother's not well," she said.

No kidding.

Across the road, at a petrol station, we saw a man with 2 dogs in his car. A dog lover! He'll have a leash, we thought! So Cushion went to ask if we could borrow it. But the man just told us, "A Council ranger will catch the dog," got into his car, and drove off. 

We were disappointed. Sad really. There was nothing more to do, so we drove off ourselves. The last we saw of the dog, it had already crossed the road and was trotting away. 

Back at the farm where we're staying, I went to complain to Gloria, Ariel, Roxanne, Noriko, Jamie, Carly...


and WeeWee.
"So what are you saying? You met one loony old lady and an unhelpful man and suddenly you don't like this place anymore?"
 "There are loonies and unhelpful people everywhere. You know that, right?"

Kicky, Kleksie and Fluffy came running when they saw us.
But I don't think they were interested in hearing about our encounter either.
"Did you bring food?" 

"How about a good scratch? I find a good scratch makes all my troubles go away."
It looks like we won't be buying the house with the waterfall after all, Georgia. Not today, anyway. We have a lot to think about. 

Please thank Mr O for his lovely email and photo. Did I sense a note of desperation when he mentioned your healthy appetite? I hope you're not bullying the poor man into feeding you more than you should eat. 
We'll see you on Friday, girl! Till then, be good. 

Much love, your confused and, quite frankly, exhausted humans X

P.S. Why do you always have a coat on? Are you getting fat?


What Remains Now said...

Thank goodness WeeWee was available to talk sense. I was feeling the same way, but what WeeWee said is true. Hopefully all the animal-lovers were at home spending time with their valued pets and you just didn't have a chance to meet them. I'm glad you've had a good time and can't wait to hear more. Particularly can't wait to hear from Georgia.

H and Flo said...

Oh my goodness, I can't believe you are coming to the end of your trip already. You must have a lot to think about. I like the waterfall thing but it's a shame that you wouldn't be able to go walking there with GLP. What a waste. Stoopid wildlife. ;) Safe travels home. xxx

Barb said...

It's always an adventure to travel and always good to get back home. I hope Georgia won't have to go on a diet. Each place has its own quirks and habits. I think many NZlanders are animal lovers - just not the ones you encountered. Besides - who wouldn't love Georgia?

Molly The Wally said...

Oh we hope the poor doggy is OK. You did your best. Maybe she has puppies somewhere near by? Good luck house hunting. The waterfall one sounded fabulous. Pity it had dog restrictions. Have a marvellous Monday.
Best wishes Molly

Pamela said...

Now I'm sad too. I heard NZ is paradise. But paradise without dogs is no paradise for me.

Safe travels.

Jean said...

So good to hear an update and to know the - um - spirits at the old hospital didn't get you! The waterfall place sounds lovely - now you just need to find something like that which is also dog-friendly!
So sad for the starvin' mama dog - thank you for attempting to help her. I hope she has angels watching over her, keeping her safe.

Peggy Frezon said...

That is a heartbreaking story about the stray dog. I know how you wanted to help her, and how frustrating that it seems that all the laws (and loony ladies) were against helping. I wonder if there are rescue groups around there? Have you heard of Eldad Hagar? He drives around rescuing abandoned dogs like that and has such a gentle way about him. I'm not sure how far away he goes...he's probably kept very busy in the California area where he's located. If you watch his videos you won't stop crying. Both sad tears and happy tears at the end. Then sad tears again because you know there are too many more similar stories.

Taryn said...

LOL! That last line was hilarious! Can't wait for the unveiling to see if Georgia lost her girlie figure :-)

Kirsten (peacefuldog) said...

What adventures you are having! Sounds like a gorgeous place you almost bought. Can you just move in with all the farm animals permanently? Bet that itchy wild piggie dude would be thrilled to have you around to scratch him.

georgia little pea said...

LORI, apart from everything that seemed to happen in that one hour, this was probably the most dog friendly place we'd seen in a month. Dog bowls outside shops, SPCA posters and fund raisers, some dogs in town as well as in the parks. We remain hopeful.

H, it's all about the kiwi :) ...though we were told none have ever been sighted in that patch of covenanted forest. They very happily kill possums here though! Went to a shop where they had a gruesome mini exhibition about these "pests" and how to poison them. The people there couldn't understand why we protect them in Oz. Possum fur is big business. Very warm.

That is true BARB. Though I did a bit of googling (a dangerous thing) and read that animal cruelty is on the rise here, quite horrific cases too. I suppose, because the country is so stunning and peaceful, you kind of expect it to be a giant Hobbiton when actually, like everywhere else, it's probably a little Mordor.

There could indeed have been pups nearby MOLLY :(

PAMELA, Somehow, we get the impression that there are more rules here governing dogs and their access to public places. We could be entirely wrong. Perhaps someone reading this in NZ will chime in with some thoughts :) Often, it's for the protection of the kiwi, which is entirely understandable. They are flightless and defenceless. ONE dog that got loose apparently killed 500 of them :( Other times, not so sure why. We only twice saw dogs playing in social groups (on a beach) and we went around looking specifically for dog friendly towns, from big to small. Maybe we should just head back towards that beach!

The woowoos JEAN! seems like a lifetime ago. Sweet place really. A property like the one here, which is dog-friendly would be ideal. It's bigger than some of our parks in Balmain and amazingly, cheaper than our tiny house to buy. Not exactly downsizing and simplifying I keep reminding Cushion!

PEGGY, there is an SPCA in the area, not sure about other rescue groups. It was a very frustrating afternoon! I've not heard of EH. I think it takes a special person to do that kind of work. I would be bawling my eyes out.

I can't wait either, TARYN! She'd better not be F.A.T.

Ahhh...KIRSTEN, no, I probably couldn't move in there with the farm animals. That would be kidnapping ;)

sagechronicles said...

I know there's going to be one happy dog in a few days! it sounds like you've had a long and exhausting trip with lots of things to consider. Maybe you should place an ad in the NZ newspapers--looking for a dog-friendly neighborhood with a lovely little house for sale.

houndstooth said...

What adventures your humans are having! I hope they find a friendlier place to move in to. It doesn't even sound like the people are that nice to other people. What a shame!

I think you look very stylish in your coat and I'm sure you're fit as a fiddle!


altadenahiker said...

I wouldn't worry about Georgia's weight until she starts wearing sweat pants.

Ruby said...

Wows, you guys just NEVER have a dull time, do you?! BOL
I thinks I met that old lady once...
Anyhu, Georgia, if your anythings like MOI, you are very good at gettin' peeps to feed you more than they's a gift. Til the Moms notices we've put on 'a few' and rations us! Oh, the horrors!
You better gets in all you can now... just sayin'

georgia little pea said...

SAGE, that is not a bad idea!

Dear BUNNY, that old coat...stylish? BWAH haha! It's a hand me down from Mr Piglet. But you're very kind to say so ;)

ALTADENAHIKER, I really can't wait to see what's under the coat. Wonder why Mr O doesn't take pictures of her with it off. Surely it can't be THAT cold!?

Dull time RUBY? Wazzat?

Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

Hmm, at least you've met some friendly animals over here Typist! New Zealand is a wonderful country with lots of unique flora and fauna. The Kiwi is the most well known and loved bird in NZ and also what NZers are known as:) Plus it's an endangered species as it's extremely vulnerable being flightless. So there are places where dogs aren't allowed to go even on leash ... because people can't be trusted! Possums are a pest. They destroy native trees and upset the ecological balance where they live in large numbers. There are plenty of beautiful dog friendly places in New Zealand, it's just a matter of you finding the right place. Why the far north? Personally I wouldn't like the climate or the ticks! Extremely relaxed way of life up there though. Oh, I think most places only allow 2 dogs to be registered at the same address but you can apply to have more dogs and as long as you and your property pass inspection your application should be granted. Dog registration can be very expensive in some districts. I pay $42 a dog, which is a discounted price as they are both neutered. It can be closer to $150 per dog in some places. If you want to know anything don't be afraid to ask and if I don't know the answer I can probably find out for you or give you an idea of where to go so you can find out.

GLP will be glad to see you back. I hope she doesn't have to go back on her diet when she gets home!

georgia little pea said...

Hey SUE! I'm so glad you popped by, I was hoping you would. I don't know why I didn't think of asking you for a list of dog friendly places to reccy. I guess I didn't realise I might need a list!

Totally understand about the kiwis and lizards and protected areas. We have the same in Oz (as you would know). We also just had dinner with a friend who told us the possums here are quite different from the ones in Oz, breed more times a year and are voracious destroyers of forests. Any idea why dogs aren't allowed in some towns (centres) though? Some locals we've spoken to reckon NZ has become less dog friendly over the last 10, 20 years. Do you find it so? Interesting about the 2 dog limit. How did that come about? Is that for the protection of the dogs? To make sure the owners can actually afford to have more?

Thanks for your insight! I'm just bashing myself now for not asking you earlier! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, a dog unfriendly place. How sad for the people. And the dogs.

ann @ studiohyde said...

Ohh, does sound like the place you are looking is Non Dog Friendly!, such a pity, the waterfall place sounds lovely. Hope you manage to find something.

Rose ~ from Oz said...

Yay,I thought it was close for your return.
You know, whoever would have thought that one day there would ever even be such a thing as a "dog friendly" park, town or anything else. It makes me very sad.
Possums were never meant to be in NZ so its no surprise the utter destruction they cause. Same as the cane toad was never meant to be here, and look what they've done.
Anyhow T, great to hear you're almost on the way home and sounds like Mr O has turned out to be a super manager of Doggie Camps!
I can only but imagine yours and Cush's reunion with Ms Pea!!!

georgia little pea said...

ROXY and ANN - actually, until The Encounter, we thought it was the MOST dog friendly place we'd visited in our month in North Island! As I said, we remain hopeful :)

ROSE! ROSE! That is a good point. We went looking for dog friendly towns/areas and now realise maybe Balmain is a bit special that way and it would be ridiculous to compare. We may be disappointed, but we also understand the reasons behind the restrictions. Any better at Lake Wanaka, you think? Cushion is already googling real estate there LOL.

I can imagine our reunion too. Ms Pea will probably run up to Cushion, totally ignore me, then resist getting into the car and run back to Mr O. It's happened before. She tried to go back with The Infamous Camp Commandant when she was dropped off the last time. We have a very loyal dog.

Rose ~ from Oz said...

You know this may sound crazy but an old fella who trains working dogs once told me during a conversation the some dogs readjust to a new 'boss' within 3 weeks, and can take several days to get their bearings again if returned. Then there's the other ones who will never accept a 'boss' other than the original one. Interesting stuff.
Aha, they would for sure be ultra doggie-friendly at Wanaka!!
I'd love to be a fly on your shoulder watching this reunion!! :))

georgia little pea said...

ROSE, there is no doubt in my mind which category our pigdog falls into. Off to the airport in an hour! X

Tootsie said...

Soon: Welcome Home and Wonderful Reunion, Ms. Pea, Cushion, and Typist. Tears all around. Your postcards have been marvelous.

Tootsie and Renee and Dachshund Daddy

Clark Thomas said...

You should have a alallotmentment to believe about. I like the waterfall thing but it's a shame that you wouldn't be able to go strolling there with GLP.. Challenge coins

Friko said...

So sorry you had such an unpleasant experience. Poo stray doggie. But there are nasty people everywhere, people who don’t care.
It makes your heart break.

If you are happy to come home why do you want to leave altogether? Ask GLP’s opinion, she may have a word or two to say in the matter.

Happy Homecoming!

GizmoGeodog said...

Oh Georgia such stories your typist is could she even consider a place that doesn't like dogs...Hope she comes to her senses...It was good of her & Cushion to try to help that poor mama but sometimes there really is nothing more to be done...You look sleek and happy in your coat but I know you'll be happy to sleep in your own bed again

Barb said...

Is Georgia home? I hope all is well. You're probably recuperating from your travels - and Georgia from all the eating...

Rose ~ from Oz said...

Welcome home!!


Ann Oon said...

dear Georgia.. are you home yet?

Ann Oon said...

i miss u most of all Georgia :D

sonia a. mascaro said...

New Zealand sounds a beautiful place!
Oh! Just sad that there are some place where you're not allowed to have dogs or cats at all!
I hope that the stray dog will be well... My heart aches when I see a stray dog...
So sweet of you and Cushion to help this poor dog.
Georgia looks lovely as always! Good and safe travels home!

Jean said...

Deah Georgia Little Pea, Eddie here. Mah mama is sitting here sobbing becuz there is no blog saying you are home yet and she is skared you runned away and will neber be herd from again. Ah hope you just had SO MUCH FUN at camp that u are still trying to write it all down. Yer friend Eddie who thinks you shud move to Kanada so my mama can looks after you when yer peoples go aways.

georgia little pea said...

Sorry sorry SORRY!!!

Georgia's well, I've just been busy (and let's face it, losing my mojo to blog). Thinking of you all though. Seriously :D x

H and Flo said...

Glad you're all alright. Hopefully you'll find your mojo soon... unless Georgia's eaten it.

Rose ~ from Oz said...

Good, good, all is good then - just read your comments to Jean and 'H' typist, was hoping nothing was wrong so yippee all is good. Hahahaha had this wild thought that you and Cush And Ms Pea had packed up relocated to NZ and the KAPOW you were going to do a post and knock our socks off. Wish I could put some of that imagination into my posts!!!!
-woof- -hug-

chandra said...

You made that dog's day by giving her your leftovers. That's all there is to say, really. I do hope the best for her as I know you do, too. In my dream world, she take her pups and move in with Weewee and the gang. Actually, I think I'd like to move in with Weewee and the gang, too.

Are you all settled back in from your adventure? Are you happy to be home? I remember returning from a hefty trip to Europe years ago and when I got back my little place just didn't feel like home anymore. It didn't help that we'd allowed a friend to house sit and his idea of thanking us was to rearrange the entire house. When we got home, he wasn't there and the house was locked and I had to climb in a back window. I really thought I'd busted into the wrong place! We moved about a month later.

GLP, please tell me you're wearing sweatpants.

-c at ddy.

Ann Oon said...

urmm.. we are in July... YOOOOOOOOhoooooooooooooo.. Georgia... yoooooooohoooooo...
i know we have not been blogging since forever but seriously... don't follow my silly cow.. she is just a cow.. and a lazy cow too.

woofs n licks,
Dommy who is 11 now.

Tootsie said...

Dear Typist:

Just wanted to say HI.

Hope you are recovered from your travels, and we're sending wags to Georgia.

Tootsie & her mom

Sherri said...

Dear Typist - just dropping by to say hi. And to tell you that when we took a trip last week, we got a house sitter to stay with the dogs instead of boarding them. It didn't work. Lightning is more pissed about having his home routine messed up than he was about being boarded. If anybody can relate to this story, I thought of you. Hope all is well.

GizmoGeodog said...

Just stopping over to say Hi! and that we've been missing you...Hope you are all OK and doing well

sonia a. mascaro said...

Hi dear Georgia,
Just stopping by to say Hello! I've been missing you... I hope all is ok with you all.
Muitos beijos,

Ann Oon said...

urmmm... are you guys ok? urmm.. we are kinda worried here.. urmm... let's do a post together? how about that? urmm.. how about a one month challenge..? of small tiny stones? even one liners are allowed. Hope whatever is keeping you away won't be keeping you awayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too long. We kinda miss Georgia.. and Cushion and you. Take care ya.

Rose ~ from Oz said...

Grrr, I'm so mad, I just wrote a great long, loving, miss you, hope ya ok type of comment and my connectivity dropped out and I lost it!!!!!!!

Ms Rose

HUGS PATS WOOF missssss youuuu

georgia little pea said...

Hello Rose, Anny, H, Jean, Sonia, Giz, Tootsie, Queen, Livie, Sherri and everyone else still checking in on this dead blog and its tardy typist -

THANK YOU SO MUCH for thinking of us. We're all well but BUSY! and stressed up to the eyeballs planning our South Amerca trip. Yes, even Georgia is crabby, perhaps feeling our anxiety.

I am writing this in Brisbane. Have been here a week. My brother is much better and back to being his opinionated and belligerent self. (Being opinionated is obviously in our genes.)

I miss reading about your lives and adventures and hope only good things have happened in my absence. I just don't have the time to blog at the moment. Once everything is more organised, I will try to do a couple of updates, including PICCIES from NZ, before we head off again. Believe it or not, I haven't even had a chance to look at the pictures myself LOL.

Until then, be good, take care. I miss you guys! :D X

Rose ~ from Oz said...

Great 'T' that you are just BUSY, and terrific news that your brother-dear is so much better!
The thing I hadn't realised is how soon after NZ you were heading off to Sth America!
When do you depart?
And yes I can imagine the stress!
Do what you have to do and just post when you can.

Rose ~ from Oz said...

You must be nearly ready to leave, just know you are thought of! Sending you good travel wishes!

sonia a. mascaro said...

Dear Georgia,
I am glad all is ok with you both and that your brother is much better! Just great!
Georgia will go to South America with you both?
I miss you so much.
Many hugs!

Jean said...

Dear Georgia,
We misses you a whole bunch. I hopes your humans are not neglecting you too much. It waz mah 10th birthday yesserday and I wud have invited you to mah pawty but Mama said you lives too far away. I think you shud visit Canada, speshally Vancouver Island, instead of Suwth Amererica. Love, yer pal Eddie.

Rose ~ from Oz said...

Dear T, Cushion and Ms Pea,

Noone has forgotten you ya know, we're all just waiting for when you're ready to post again.

Until then, lots love and good thoughts!

Ms Rose

Rose ~ from Oz said...

YIPPEE! T, Cush, Ms're all good! I knew you were over there already - and reckoned Ms Pea was back at MrO's. G-reat, to get your pics and post. Take care over there!
Post when you can, I can imagine connectivity is a challenge though!
OMG, the photo you have on the phone - eeek. It would do me in!