Monday, August 23, 2010

A new song and our first flowers of the season.

Rufus B.
Rufus B.
My name is Rufus B.

I'm not an A.
I'm just a B.
But at least
I'm not a C.

Front yard

Callan Park
Back yard
Darling Street

8 more sleeps till Spring!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The curious case of Rufus B Thumper.

Mr Thumper has always been a medical curiosity.

As Dr Dog, who has looked after him for 6 years or more, would say - "With him, you can never tell."
November 2009

Mr Thumper was not too well in January 2010.

But things really started to go pear-shaped in April.
By June, Dr Dog declared to my sobbing humans that Mr Thumper would probably have no more than 6 months to live.
And it would be sooner rather than later.

Everyone started hugging him more, and telling him what a good and clever boy he was,
even if it wasn't exactly true.

But because everyone forgot to tell Mr Thumper the bad news of his imminent death,
by July, his appetite came back.

He supplemented his highly nutritious no-fat diet with even more nutritious possum poop.
He hogged water bowls to quench his constant thirst.
He felt much better after that.
August 2010
I still like to remind Mr Thumper that he's somewhat special, just in case.
But on a beautiful sunny winter's day like today, 
you couldn't really ask for anything more.
Saturday, 21 August, 2010
I'm sure if Mr Thumper could speak, he would say,
"If only I could have a chorizo roll filled with juicy fat bits, everything would be quite perfect."

Sunday 22nd August

An afterthought from my stay-at-home human:

Is it -
a. recovery
b. remission
c. second 'child'hood
d. the last hurrah?

Rufus is eating A LOT, chasing sticks, fighting for treats and behaving like a young dog again. Hmmm...

A line from this blog about another old dog, gave me something to think about -

"There’s not much holding Buster together right now except the will to be around those who recognise him and give him some love."

Friday, August 20, 2010

Aryan Dogs.

I live in a place that travel writers like to say "has a lovely village atmosphere". But living in this tiny peninsula has, without a doubt, driven some of the humans mad.

A few months ago, I met a dog at Birrung that had been abused at Punch. He was a skinny scrap but he liked to play rough, as some dogs do. That apparently so upset A Human at Punch, he told the scrap's human that "he would break his neck" if he came close to his dog again.

It wouldn't have taken much. The scrap was only a pup.

We took a collective breath when we heard that. Wasn't the Human well? Perhaps he'd eaten something bad that day?

Then we heard of another incident at Punch, where A Human had ticked off another human whose dog had been playing too roughly with his. They were both little dogs, so I'm sure you can imagine the enormous amount of damage they must have been causing each other.

But when the human came up to take his littlie away, he got punched FROM BEHIND by The Bad, Bad Human.

At Mort Bay, Molly and Scotty's human was recently given a hard time by a Human who was playing with his remote control car in the leash-free area of the park. Molly and Scotty got really excited by the car whizzing by, so their human asked if The Remote Control Human could stop for a while to let them pass by. Instead, he started to shout at her and to ram the car into Molly and Scotty.

Being a large [sometimes rotund] and playful dog myself, I've had quite a few humans yell at me in the 17 months I've lived in this pretty place. So, it was with great sadness that I pondered the many Incidents In Our Parks That Are Here To Share.

Then, last night, I met my very own Horror Human.

I was playing with Tara and Sammy at Ewenton when the Human jogged by with 2 cattle dogs. They were on the leash but we weren't because it was a leash-free area. When Sammy and Tara went up to say hello, the cattle dogs' Human got very protective and told our humans off.

"These are expensive dogs! They're Australian champions, not mutts like yours *^!!^*!"

Being only silly pound mutts that cost under 200 dollars [neutering thrown in], we weren't too sure what this had to do with coming up to say hello.

But it certainly made everyone there angry.
Apparently, some humans don't play with other humans because they believe they're better than them. Maybe, it's the same for their dogs.

All very sad really.

And to think, they send us dogs to school to learn manners.


Some words from my stay-at-home human, the would-be Mahatma, [she would be a Mahatma if it wasnt for her short fuse] who wasn't there last night:
"Don't abuse them back. There's no point in lowering yourself to their level. I can't condone that behaviour from anyone."

My out-at-work human, ever quick with the repartee:
"I'm not asking for your condolences."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Please congratulate me.

Note to humans: I don't think I'm getting enough sleep.
Oh yay. Our turn.
Pick something nice, okay?
A toy maybe? How about some treats? Are there any treats in there?
What's that? Is it a lamb bone? Did you get me a lamb bone?
Please give it to me now. Pleeease.

Poop bags. How very thoughtful.

p.s. My humans got me a puppacino for a graduation present but they were so excited, they forgot to take a picture. It smelt and tasted nothing like the one my stay-at-home human made. It didn't make me throw up. It is now my opinion that puppacinos are not made with chicken stock.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A feijoada for Uncle STeve.

Dear Uncle STeve,

I hope this letter finds you well, even if you live in Melbourne.

I finally got to see the picture of us, taken that foggy morning in June when you were up here. It's pretty bad so I'm not going to post it. I'm sorry but I'm trying to maintain some standards here. Yes, yes, I know there are lots of blurry pictures in this blog, and they are a thorn in my paw.

Anyway, can you believe it? It's only 20 more sleeps till Spring!
The tulip magnolia tree outside is already making a slippery mess and I suppose soon, the jasmine hedge will be blooming and making us all sneeze.

I'm very excited though, because as you know, I'm A Dog Of Little Hair and it'll be nice not to have to wear my blankie around the house all day, and be able to swim again without catching pneumonia.

But, back to the feijoada recipe.

My stay-at-home human is rushing it to you so you can enjoy it before winter's over [though it tastes pretty good in summer too].

She remembers the wonderful duck curry recipe you shared with her years ago. It's still her favourite. I've never had it so I can't comment.

She says to warn you that her feijoada recipe is NOT VERY AUTHENTIC but she hopes you'll enjoy it anyway.

She also says you'll be able to get all the ingredients easily at any supermarket, I'm sure even in Melbourne. Except maybe for those pesky little black beans.

P.S. You can see in the pictures that I helped make it today.

A Feijoada For Uncle STeve

500g black beans [little ones, NOT turtle, NOT the ones you get at Chinatown either. Try Brazilian/Portuguese shops.]
2kg of smoked meats and sausages [pork, pork ribs, bacon, bacon hocks, chorizos, pepperoni, etc. If you're going for authentic, I suppose snouts, ears and tails : p]
Garlic to taste [I use at least 1 whole garlic] - chopped
I large brown onion - chopped
4-5 bay leaves
2 tbsp vinegar - or to taste
Cracked black pepper - to taste
Salt - to taste

Rinse and soak beans in cold water.

1. Bring beans to boil from cold water, then simmer for about 30 minutes.

2. Cut sausages/pork/bacon into chunky pieces. If using hock/ribs, leave whole.
I got sent out of the kitchen right after this.
3. In a big heavy pot/dutch oven, fry garlic, onion, bay leaves in olive oil.

4. When softened, add pieces of meat. Fry till meat releases some oil/is browned.

5. Add whole ribs/hock to pot and enough water/chicken stock to cover the meat.

6. Close lid, bring to boil, then simmer for about 1 hour. Stir occasionally.

7. Add beans and enough water to cover the meat. [Use the water the beans were boiling in. Put aside any excess liquid. You can use this later if the stock in the pot reduces too much.]

8. Add vinegar.

9. Braise for another hour, or till beans and meat are tender [or falling off the bone if using hock/ribs].

10. If there is too much stock, lift lid and allow it to reduce [to your satisfaction].

11. Serve with steamed white rice or fried garlic rice, greens and orange/mandarin segments.

This is an old picture because my stay-at-home human was too lazy to take one of the feijoada she made today.

If you don't know how to make garlic fried rice, you'll have to write my stay-at-home human so she can send you the recipe. She wants to take a nap now.

Good Luck! Lots of love and say hi to Inky and Flash for me.

xox, your Georgia Little Pea.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Are you sleeping, Father Jack?

A Pretend Story    by Georgia Little Pea

I met Father Jack last night
when he came out to play.
He looked a little tired
and sadly, he couldn't stay.

"But WHY...?" I asked my friend,
"are you sleeping on your feet?"
"And WHY...?" I asked.
"are you walking in your sleep?

He turned to me and whispered, 
"Listen and you will weep -"

"It'll be a week this Thursday,
since I got any sleep
What's a poor dog like me to do?
There's no use counting sheep."

"I'd just hit the sack last night
when I woke up with a fright
screamed baby Riley!
Lord all mighty!
There was no more nighty-night."

"But instead of hushing baby,
my humans looked at ME  - "

"Shhh! Father Jack! There's a baby in the house!
Be quiet as a mouse, Father Jack!
No more bow-wow-wows!"

Then off went Father Jack,
softly into the night,
I was sad a long time,
until he was out of sight.

Now, as I go off to bed tonight
to count some ba-aa ba-a-aaa sheep
I'm thinking of you, Father Jack 
and wishing you some sleep.

C*o*n*g*R*a*t*u*l*a*t*i*o*n*s !
Anna Keith & Father Jack

Monday, August 9, 2010

I'm on my way to becoming a Third Class dog.

Every Monday, I wake up feeling a bit plump.

NOT rō tund′.

Just a little more well fed than usual.

That's because, every Sunday, I go to school and we eat a lot at my school. Yesterday, I had a small tub of kibble, schmackos, liver treats and beef steak.

I need good nutrition like that because there are a lot of exams at my school.

I had to sit for my exam to get into Second Class yesterday.

It's true I may have been a little nervous.
At the school, my out-at-work human found out he had to sit for the exam too.
Luckily, we both passed, and off we went to look for the Second Class!

Class started with an assembly.

I tried my best to pay attention but my stay-at-home human was very distracting.

It got much better after I learnt to ignore her.
During recess, there was a graduation ceremony. One of the teachers put a pink bag in the centre of the circle.

 Mine was the first name they called up.
My out-at-work human tried to find something nice for me. I'm not sure if you're supposed to do that.
There were many dogs and humans watching. They clapped too, which was very nice of them.
I thought I would get something I could eat. Maybe a lamb bone.

I got a piece of paper, and a squeaky toy that looked like a milk bottle but was called Puppy.

Puppy became dusty and soggy very quickly, but I like it. I think it's dead now because I haven't heard a squeak out of it since we left the park.

I don't know what I'm going to do with the paper so I will give that to my humans to show my appreciation.
After me, Poppy graduated to Third Class, so she is still smarter than me.

Sammy graduated too, and will be in Second Class next week. 
Tara didn't come. She must be too clever for school.

This is Humphrey. He's the teacher's pet and helps her train us.

He's the smartest dog I've met. He knows the difference between whisper and shout, and how to add 1+1.

He also knows how to pose for the camera.
My humans are in awe of Humphrey.

I am not so easily fooled. I'm sure Humphrey doesn't know what 5+7 is.

After they got home and looked at the pictures, my humans realised that Humphrey had come to check me out when I was doing my exam to get into Second Class.
At least they think it's Humphrey.

When classes ended, Sammy and I had a bit of a play.

Sammy was very happy she graduated. "See, mum? I told you I could do it!"

Sammy's human was very happy too.
 Delle came over to congratulate us.
Since Mr Thumper wasn't there, my stay-at-home human asked my out-at-work human to get me a puppacino for my graduation present.
I got into the queue with him but after 30 seconds, he decided it would take too long and gave up.

I am filled with regret that I will never know what a puppacino is.

The Best Present Of The Day was from my out-at-work human.
I love him a lot even if he has no patience in a queue.

The next best present was being told by Humphrey's human, my teacher, that I am ready for Third Class.

My stay-at-home human is a.p.p.r.e.h.e.n.s.i.v.e. But my out-at-work human is grinning from ear to ear and keeps calling me a star.

My stay-at-home human decided to make me a puppacino for lunch today. She doesn't really know what she's doing.

Homemade Puppacino

Liver treat slivers
Low-fat vanilla yogurt
A small amount of milk
Lots of chicken stock

Combine and shake well.

I can't wait to try it but I'm feeling a little a.p.p.r.e.h.e.n.s.i.v.e. I hope it doesn't make me sick.