Saturday, 17 October 2009

Life is Useless?

Tim went back to bed after breakfast this morning with the Good Book. I went with him. I have been shaping Tim and Mandy to allow me on the bed to good result. I'm still not permitted there during the night but it's just a matter of time. Anyway, Tim isn't religious but he was in a bit of a mood so he read Ecclesiates out loud to me. It goes like this, "1:2 It is useless, useless said the Philosopher. Life is useless, all useless." I listened to a couple of pages of this misery when he got to, "3:19 A human being is not better of than an animal, because life has no meaning for either." At that I had to get up and walk out. I mean being on the bed is one thing but don't you humans try and draw us non-humans into your existential angst. I went out to the front verandah, lay in the sun and found that life has lots of meaning. I'm sure as soon Tim gets up and takes me out for a walk in the sun he will too see that life is abundant with meaning.

Life is great when there is meaning aplenty.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Don't Be Lazy!


September came and went. I did not post because I have been busy doing nothing. Have you noticed that a lot of humans are too lazy to do nothing? They rush here, they rush there. They get things done. They do one thing and go on to the next. They do not have the discipline, the inner fortitude or the motivation to do nothing. Nothing does not get done by itself you know. It takes focus and perseverence. Sure it takes a long time to get nothing done, but it is worth the effort. Anyone can jump up and do something. Doing anything is even easier. So spend the rest of today, and tomorrow, alright the whole week doing nothing. You can't leave it all up to others.

Life is great when at the end of the day you can look back and say, "I did nothing all by myself." 

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Orangutan's best friend?


This is Suryia and Roscoe, who live at the Tigers' sanctuary in  Myrtle Beach, South Carolina .

I got this e-mail recently. I like it because we can see what good mates they are. Humans seem amazed by this sort of thing, as though only humans can have cross-species friendships. Of course, all species have good mates and they all have the capacity to have friends from other species. Make it a point to be open to friendships with those who are different from you, for example they might have a different religion or political views, or they might be a rhinoceros.
 

Life is great when you have an orangutan as a best friend...(I imagine).

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

It's carrotlicous!


I love fresh, crunchy carrots! Fresh, raw fruit and vegetables are great for humans and hounds alike. They taste delicious and make you feel fantastic. If you're feeling low or lethargic, get some fruit and veggies into you. You'll be feeling on top of the world in no time. I love apples! Tim and Mandy share their apples with me, biting off bits for me and giving me the core. When I'm out and about I sometimes find a partially eaten apple. I also love pears, avocadoes and bananas. 

Life is great with fresh, raw fruit and veggies.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

What's Wrong with Schools


"When I was six years old we lived in an urban Californian neighborhood. It is unclear to me how I came to have ducks there, but have them I did. I remember being sent home on the first day of first grade because I had arrived accompanied by two ducks who would not leave my side."

Jeffrey Masson, The Pig Who Sang to the Moon

The Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, promised before the last election to provide a laptop for every school child in years 9 to 12. He has it all wrong. Kids have more than enough technology in their lives. What they don't have enough of is ducks! Imagine how their learning would be enhanced with the calming, grounding, joy-making influence of a duck by their side. Academic scores would surely sky-rocket, but more importantly these young people would go on to make the world a better place. I call on the Prime Minister of this country to really make a real difference to the lives of young Australians. Provide ducks to every school. 

I personally love ducks. When I see them, I race up to greet them like long lost friends. For some reason they fly off, but I'll persevere.

Life is great with ducks.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

You Do Not Own Them


This a message to all you dogs out there. Your person or people might prepare your food, take you for walks, pick up your poo, wash you and do many other things for you, but you do not own them. They are not your slaves. They belong to you and you belong to them, but you do not own them and they do not own you. You can not own another sentient being. This is the message of, "The Pig who Sang to the Moon. The Emotional World of Farm Animals." It is by Jeffrey Masson. 

"Those who live with pigs often speak of them as we normally speak of dogs- intelligent, loyal and above all, affectionate." Page 42.

I have never met a pig but I would love to. I think they should make the dog park the dog and pig park. I think we could have a lot of fun. It also describes in the book how playful they are. 

Life is great when you are intelligent, loyal and above all, affectionate.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Completely Sane



"All sanity depends on this: that it should be a delight to feel heat strike the skin, a delight to stand upright, knowing the bones are moving easily under the flesh" 
Doris Lessing

Dogs know this. That is why dogs are so sane. If you don't believe me, go and study a dog. Watch him or her going about his or her business. You will see it and some of the sanity will rub off on you.

Life is great when your bones move easily under your flesh.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Winter Sun!



There is nothing like lying in the winter sun. It is usually around 21 C (70 F) here in the winter. But yesterday was 26 C (79 F). The mornings are a bit chilly, then the sun warms up. The feeling of the sun is just joy. It is warming, relaxing and invigorating all at the same time. Troubles just melt away. Thank God for the sun!! It just lifts the spirits.

Here I am catching the morning sun on the front verandah and basking in the afternoon sun in the back yard. 

Life is great when the sun is on your fur.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

My Mate Benny




Let me introduce my new friend. His name is Benson, a.k.a Benny. He comes around once or twice a week to spend the day. We have a great time. We chase each other, wrestle, play tug and then lie down for a good rest, only to get up and do it all again. He is part kelpie, like me, and part dachshund. He doesn't let those little legs of his slow him down. As you can see, he has a lot of energy and spirit. I get so excited on the days he arrives that I leap on him as soon as he puts his paw through the door. I'm so happy that he responds and loves to frolic in the back yard. I just love running around playing that it gets a bit frustrating when I come across a dog who doesn't want to play. But not Benny, he is well up for it.

Life is great when you've got a good mate.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

What Happened to June?



It was a cool, early June day. Winter had just begun. I curled up in bed. I got out of bed. I had a stretch. It was July! I haven't been able to post due to June deciding to do its own thing and disappear. I find it hard to get the days and months to stand still in order. Can anyone give me some tips about how to do this? 

I have July lined up and waiting. I apologise, loyal readers, for my absence but I am back now. Thank you Domi for missing me. 

Life is great when you are curled up in bed. 

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

A Bit of Culture

I think this blog is lacking in culture. So today's post will be a poem. This poem is dedicated to the owls who sit silently and wisely on the electric wires in our neighbourhood. Also to the many cats who I try to befriend. So far, they have run away, hissed at me or taken a swipe at me but I will persist. Sooner or later they will realise I am a friendly hound. Enjoy this poem and I encourage you to find a human to read it out loud to you, or just read it out loud yourself if you happen to be a human. 

The Owl And The Pussy-Cat by Edward Lear
I
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!'

II
Pussy said to the Owl, 'You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?'
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose. 

III
'Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?'Said the Piggy,'I will.'
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

This is described as 'nonsense poetry,' which I find odd. Of all the things written and said by humans, this is probably the most sensible.

Life is great when unlikely relationships are so successful.



Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Read All About It

The news is full of negativity, bias, sensationalism, distortion and misrepresentations. That's why we don't watch, read or listen to the news around here. Life is all the more joyous for it. There is one exception to this. There is one news hound who has the nose for truth and optimism. That hound is Bo. He finds the news from all over the globe that matter. He is not species-centric like the regular news, which is full of homosaipiens doing all sorts of trivial things and a dog has to save a persons life to get on.

Lead story today is about Duck Man. He caught little ducklings who fell from the second story because they were following their mother and were too young to fly. There are lots of people like Duck Man who are heroically performing deeds without recognition, and I'm sure they don't mind, while the mainstream news is full of much less worthy subjects. 

Life is great when there is someone to catch you. 

Thursday, 21 May 2009

How to Get Rich


We have had a couple of rainy, rainy days here. We got out for just one short walk in that time. So there was nothing for it but to curl up in bed or on the couch. Some of you may think this is a waste of time but not Laut, Combs and Kitter, who wrote Money is My Friend;

"Laziness leads to self-esteem leads to riches. Mastering laziness with self-esteem is an important factor in increasing your income. You can practice this by staying in bed all day at regular intervals until you can do it without feeling ashamed of yourself."

They recommend doing this one day a week. So if you will excuse me, I'm off to create riches. 

Life is great when you are creating riches.  

Saturday, 16 May 2009

No Drama


It was yet another beautiful day today. It was mid-morning, about 25 degrees celsius. We were in the dog park after going for a trot around the woods. There were just a few dogs in the park. I went to say "g'day" to a cattle dog cross. She took offence at something and turned on me. She barked and growled and was on top of me. I made a retreat as I am a lover not a fighter. I went over to Tim but I wasn't really scared. It was more noise than anything. The rest of the day consisted of food, lying on the couch, another big walk with Mandy, another small walk to the library with Tim including a few throws of the frisbee and dinner. The altercation in the dog park was the high drama of the day. I wouldn't normally blog about such a thing but it got me thinking that when everything is good and there are no dramas, it doesn't make very interesting blogging. Of course, there are people and dogs who are addicted to drama. I am not one of them. So you will have to be content with sunshine, walks and food, not that we can always avoid drama. I heard it said that there is a Chinese curse which goes, "may you live in interesting times." 

Life is great when you don't have anything interesting to blog about. 


Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Happy Birthday Mandy!

It is Mandy's first birthday today. Well, it is her first birthday since she has been my person. I believe that she has had a few before this one. One of the purposes of us hounds being on the earth is to influence our people in a positive manner and make the world a better place. I think I have done a good job of this with both of my people and my people have had a great impact on me as well. Just today we were walking through a vacant block of land. Mandy was very happy to be out in the day and gave a spontaneous leap of joy. I was about ten metres but instictively mirrored her action with lots of joy. Mandy is a very happy and joyful person. She has passion and exuberance for life. Her presence fills my heart with glee. She makes the most of every day. In the morning, she comes out full of excitement and gives me a great greeting on the couch. Any dog would be proud of giving this greeting. Her enthusiasm is infectious. I am doing well teaching my people but it is a two-way street and I have learnt a huge amount from Mandy. So a big;
Happy Birthday! I love you Mandy.
Life is great when you have Mandy.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

School is in.


"You two have an amazing ability to sleep all afternoon." 
Mandy to Tim and me. 

It has been another great day of sunshine, walks, breakfast, playing with dogs, getting pats, giving licks, lying in the sun, daydreaming, watching the world go by and snoozing on the sofa. When Mandy said that to us I had a great idea. With this amazing ability, we could open a school. "The Ruby School of Relaxation." I think we will have students come here as well as courses by correspondence. I think places will fill up fast so if you are interested you had better let me know quickly. 

Life is great when you are having a nap. 

Sunday, 3 May 2009

You Can't Fool Me


"My father would take Rusty's head in his hands and talk with him with real interest- 'So, old mate, what do you think of the snooty new labrador across the street?'- as if he actually expected a reply. It seemed a bit odd at first, probably because I'd never seen anyone else talk to a dog, only at them.

Rusty couldn't get enough of it. He would gaze into Dad's eyes and make odd little groaning noises I'd never heard before. Yet when I tried it, Rusty just looked bored. It was years later before I understood what Dad meant about animals only reacting to 'true voices': if our inflections don't match our feelings, they ignore us."
Lucky for Me Frank Robson

You can't hide your feelings from a dog. I find it interesting that dogs do many jobs from guiding blind people to pulling sleds. Also in the police we do many jobs such as finding drugs and physically apprehending villians. So why don't the police use dogs for lie detection. We have been watching the TV program "Lie to me" and I reckon I could do that job (they pick up on facial expressions to spot someone lying). If anyone from the police force is reading this, consider it a job application. 

Life is great when you know if someone is fair dinkum.

Monday, 27 April 2009

My Pink Ball



I haven't posted for nearly a week, a record long time. This is because I have been very busy. One activity that has kept me occupied is staring into the middle distance, otherwise known as daydreaming. I have seen humans do this a bit; Tim is fairly good at it. However, most humans are not good at it. I have heard it is because older humans strongly discourage younger humans from doing it. They go to a special place specifically designed to stop them from this very worthwhile pursuit. That place they call "school." The benefits of daydreaming are too many to list here but to get you started; creativity, entertainment, relaxation, improved intelligence and a greater sense of Dog. 

Something else that gets my attention is my pink ball. I love tearing after it and catching it on the bounce. It is great to chase it on my own but much more fun with other dogs. My pink ball is the pride of the dog park. This is the ball that all the dogs want above any other. I love the competition of trying to get it before the other dogs. I am faster than all the other dogs in the park (just stating the facts) so I often do. However, the person throwing it usually throws it to the advantage of other dogs to keep it even and interesting. I don't mind if I get the ball or not, I just love running fast and going after the ball. I think competition is about putting in your best effort. This makes competition rewarding. It is when dogs or people put the importance on winning that competition becomes a negative influence. In summary, competition is good; attaching significance on winning is bad. Little humans intuitively know this but once again big humans sometimes come in and mess things up. 

Life is great when you have other dogs to chase a ball with.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

What Would you Have Done?


I don't read or watch the news too much because it is usually depressing and from this state one can't make the world a better place. However, this story caught my eye. A bus driver was taking bus full of commuters home after a day at work. She stopped the bus because there was a frog on the road and she didn't want to run the poor fellow over. So she got out, put the frog to the side of the road and then carried on. Some of the passengers weren't happy and complained to the bus company, which sacked the driver. The media picked up the story, there was a public outcry and the driver was given back her job. She did have to promise not to do it again. I am not here to tell you what to think. I will simply report and let you draw your own moral from this story.

Life is great when you take the time to save a life.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Lost and Found


We have been bleesed with two more sensational days. "Beautiful one day, perfect the next." That's what they rightly say about Queensland. (Admittedly, "they" is the Queensland Tourism Board, but it is still true.) We were on a pack walk on the perfect yesterday when Mandy found a silver earring. She looked for somewhere to put it so that the owner might find it, but it didn't look likely. So I said, "You could put up a sign on the fence." Well, I would have but I'm a dog so I can't talk. Instead, I sent out the thought. Tim picked it up and said as if it was his idea. (I'm OK with it. I've got used to it.) Mandy declared him a genius and, being a woman of action, went home and did it right away. The next day the earring was gone and written in black at the bottom of the paper it says, "Thank you so much. I have been looking everywhere for this." A very satisfying result!

Life is great is when you do a good deed and receive gratitude. 

Thursday, 16 April 2009

What a Day!

I went for a shorter walk with Tim this morning down to the soccer fields. What a magnificent day it was. Tim didn't take a camera so I will have to paint you a word picture. There is a small creek on one side. Several soccer fields in a row make a great, big expanse of green. It is bordered by trees. After the rainy Easter, we have perfect autumnal weather. Clear blue sky with a sun that warmed your bones but wasn't too hot. The high today was 28 degrees celsius. There was a gentle, fresh breeze. Tim had the throwing stick, which sends the ball flying three quarters of the length of one field. In short, it was a bloody marvelous walk. Fresh air, plenty of grass, sunshine and a ball to chase. Then this afternoon I went on a bigger walk with Mandy. 

Life is great when it is a stunning day.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Dog Overboard


A rainy, rainy Easter. There is no agility training today, not because it is raining but because the field is too sodden. Anyway, it is better to stay safe and dry unlike Sophie. This hound fell overboard in choppy water in North Queensland, swam 5 kilometres and then survived 4 months on a deserted island!!!!!!!!!!! Much better to remain safe and sound in bed until the good weather returns I reckon. 

Life is great when you warm and dry. 

Sunday, 12 April 2009

A dog Substitute


We went to West End for lunch (well, two of us had lunch and one didn't) and I got my tongue on four kids, not a bad consolation. Earlier I went for a walk in the woods. Tim got talking to an interesting man. He said I had a bit of greyhound in me, not the first time someone has said this. He then said Tim had some German in him, which is true. He obviously has an eye for spotting ancestry. On more careful inspection he thought Tim had some Northern Italian due to his tanned skin. It seems Tim is as much of a mongrel as I am. Tim and Mandy celebrated with Mandy-made pizza and red wine last night. He also suggested that I was a substitute for a baby. Tim let this one go through to the keeper but I read a more interesting response last night to the very same remark. 

I finished reading a book called "A Dog's Life" written by a first-time author called Boy, who happens to be the dog of Peter Mayle. For some reason, it is Peter Mayle's name on the cover. I guess it is because he is well-known and it makes the book easier to sell. (A reader recommended this book. I can't remember who but if you are reading, "Thank you. I enjoyed it.") Anyway, in the book they having a dinner party, when...

"Finally, having run out of hard news, she put forward the offensive theory that people have dogs as child substitutes. Misguided and discourteous, of course, but hardly original, and I thought the remark would receive the lack of attention it deserved.

I hadn't reckoned, however, of the effect of the monologue on the other half...At this point- inspired no doubt, by a surfeit of propaganda on the joys of fetility- he pricked up his ears and bit back. Good stuff it was, too, the gist of it being that many couples in these overcrowded times live in small apartments where dogs are forbidden. Desperate for companionship, the couple either buys a budgerigar or has a baby, depending on available cage space. Therefore, one could just as easily put forward the opposite argument that children are, in fact, dog substitutes. Have another drink. 

..Vibrating with emotion like a blancmange on heat, the earth mother fixed him a furious and incandescent eye. 'That's outrageous,' said she. 'Are you comparing my little Tommy with a budgerigar?'

..'Why not?' said he. 'They're both small. They're both noisy. They both spill their food. And they both have difficulty controlling their bowels.' All true of course, but not really what a mother wants to hear."

The result was she stormed out. This is certainly a different approach to the same situation. I have pointed it out to Tim and Mandy. We'll just have to wait and see if they adopt it next time it comes up in conversation. 

This photo is called, "tea and chocolate." It is a ritual in this house. The chocolate is 70% cocoa dark chocolate, which I never get because it isn't good for dogs and the tea is rooibos (red bush) from South Africa, which I sometimes get. Mandy and Tim learnt about it reading Alexander McCall Smith's series of books, "The Number One Ladies Detective Agency." They highly recommend the tea and the books.

Life is great when you have a good book to read written by a dog. 

Friday, 10 April 2009

Aren't humans a funny shape?


Their feet are the shape of a head, more or less, which makes them a great place to rest your weary head. Their heads are the shape of basketballs. Their ears are stubbornly immobile. They are mostly hairless except for random places. Sometimes their hair just doesn't know when to stop. They have great big noses which aren't all the better for smelling with. They plod around on two legs when it is obviously faster on all fours. 

I am not anti-human. I love humans. My favourite beings are human. I am just saying, that's all. What do you find odd about them? 

Life is great when you are well proportioned and sensibly built and life is great when you are not. 

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

They're on to us!


Dogs beware. We have kept our practice of walking on hind legs secret for years from humans. Unfortunately, Steph posted a picture of a hound doing just that. Just the other day I was strolling through the living room when Tim came out of the kitchen. I got a surprise and just stared at him for a few seconds. He had a camera in his hands and took a shot. Luckily, he didn't frame it too well. If you are caught in the act, it is very important not to let on why we are doing this. Under no circumstance are you to say. They must not know.

Life is great when you can choose between four and two legs.

Monday, 6 April 2009

More Friends

Here are our two resident brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula), they are a mother and her young. They live in the ceiling above the kitchen. They descend through the wall and come out under the house shortly after dark. We live in a typical Queenslander house, which is made of wood and raised off the ground. They are our friends but not entirely welcome tenants as they might do damage up there. But I'm sure they will take good care up there.

 This is what wikipedia has to say about them;

Brushtailed possums are also very intelligent creatures, with brainpower comparable to a dog. This makes hand reared possums ideal to teach tricks. Common tricks can include "sit" and "hiss" but they can also be trained to "fetch" with enough time. It is important to remember when training brushtailed possums to be firm with the instruction and always give a reward such as fruit or vegetables.


This is interesting as Tim and Mandy use apples to give me during agility training, so I don't see why they shouldn't come along.  Their brainpower is comparable to mine (although I have never read a possum's blog.) I reckon they might do all right if we take them along tomorrow. 

Life is great when you have lots of furry friends.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Strange Human Behaviour

I am a keen observer of human behaviour and yesterday I saw something I had never seen or heard of before. Tim went to the phone just before lunch. We have a business line which is used for outgoing calls as it is cheaper. He dialled a number and the home phone rang. He answered it, said "hello" three times, each after a short pause, the last two with a quizzical tone of voice. Then he suddenly burst out laughing and hung up. It was most baffling. It was only after he made another call that I could figure out what had happened. 

He had intended to call his parents but dialled his own telephone number instead. It was only after answering his own call that he realised what he had done. I would like to know if this kind of behaviour is common to humans or is it just Tim.

Life is great when you have humans who provide much behaviour for your study and general entertainment.  

Friday, 3 April 2009

Of Drought and Flooding Rains


I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of drought and flooding rains,
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me.

Dorothea Mackellar

We are up to the flooding rains part. Down south they have had bad floods. We are fine here but we did have a day and a bit of rain. This is a photo from our back deck. Yesterday, I only got a short walk at 10:30pm! This is unheard of. The only thing that one can do is curl up in bed "like a pretzel" as Mandy says. The rain has stopped so I am confident that Tim will take me out for a walk. I think I'll go and give him licks as a subtle hint. 

We are grateful for the rain because our dams are low. The drought was taking up the madia..oops Freudian slip... media space and people's attention. Then, as a friend pointed out, along came the financial crisis and swept the drought from the front page. Then, down came the rain. Once people's attention had been taken off drought, drought, drought, it allowed the rain to fall. Don't put your attention on what you don't want. I should say, put your attention on what you do want.

Life is great when you have a cosy bed to curl up in like a pretzel. 

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Who Teaches the Spiritual Teacher?


I found an interview with Eckhart Tolle about dogs in Modern Dog magazine. Eckhart Tolle is the best-selling author of The Power of Now and A New Earth. I recommend these books, I thinks humans can get a lot from them and by being in the present can connect more with Dog. Here he is with his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Maya. (Who said people don't look like their dogs.) For the full interview go here. These are some extracts from the interview.

"Something else that's very important for many people is they realize, consciously or unconsciously, that their dog is not judging them. For some people, it's the only relationship that they have where there's no fear and where they realize they are being accepted and not judged. For many people it's the only relationship they have with another being. That's a pity, because really they should have deep relationships with humans also, but that's difficult because every human being has a mind and every human being judges and so people become afraid, they withdraw, they put up barriers. I believe that dogs are keeping millions of people sane who would otherwise become deeply neurotic in our alienated world."

"There are teachings that say every being is a spark of the divine of God. You can see it sometimes more clearly [in dogs] than in a human being because the human being has the veil of mind, negative emotions, and ego, and plays a role. I believe that dogs fill a vital function in the collective consciousness of humanity. I would call them "the Guardians of Being." They show us what we have lost and, once we realize that, they can help us in our shift into a deeper state of consciousness."

"Before Maya came, I didn't go out in the forest here, which is right next to the building. Now I go for a walk in the forest every day, and I know it's good for my body, it's good for the soul."

Life is great when you have a dog to keep you sane.



Sunday, 29 March 2009

Friend


This is one of our friends. She is an Asian house gecko (hemidactylus frenatus). She is on our kitchen window. They hang around and eat insects. They have only been in Australia for about ten years and live in houses, business and wharves. Mandy calls them "friends". They are good and nice. We welcome them into our home.

Life is great when you have friends.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Still Great


Thanks everyone for your great response about greatness. Honey made an interesting comment,

"Actually, my human is Chinese and she says that in her culture, it is very rude to talk about yourself - everyone should be very humble. But sometimes she thinks that it is good to also be proud of yourself too - not to just put yourself down all the time. I guess it's a balance!"

I think balance is fantastic and it is a benefit of knowing different cultures. We can learn different ways of looking at the world and have a more balanced view. I think that maybe being humble and proud at the same time might be the answer. This sounds contradictory.

We all have gifts given to us by Dog, (or God or the Universe or Nature or whoever it might be). So we can honour these and we are actually honouring Dog, (or God or the Universe or Nature or whoever it might be), which includes everyone. We, therefore, achieve balance not by being in the middle but by having both. This is getting heavy and I am just a young dog so I will leave it there. Keep being great everyone.

This photo is called, "I've got my eye on you." 

Life is great when you recognise your own greatness.


Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Greatness


"I believe that one cannot have too high an opinion of oneself. If I don't think I'm great, why should anyone else? And since loads of other people think I'm great, I must be onto a winner with this theory."
Clive

Clive is a very profound thinker. Being falsely modest doesn't do anyone any good. If you put yourself down, you are not allowing others to be great. By shinning yourself, you allow others to shine. I think we can all take a leaf out of Clive's book. So here goes; I am beautiful, intelligent, graceful, agile, fast, sociable, friendly, gentle, loyal, popular and enthusiastic. That is enough to begin with. 

What is great about you? Please tell me. It will help me to shine bright.

Life is great when you are great.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Comparatively Speaking


We went to the beach for the day on Saturday and had a great time. I like running in the shallow water but I'm not going to swim in that crazy unpredictable beast they call the ocean. Tim goes in and swims right out. I get worried but he always comes back looking no worse for wear, he looks better actually. There were a couple of golden retrievers to run around with so that was a lot of fun. 

There is a programme on TV here called The Biggest Loser, there is a US version and maybe a UK version too. In the show overweight contestants have to lose weight and they can get voted off. Cameron, a middle aged bloke, lost 3.3 kilograms for the week, which is great in the real world but in the contest is nothing special. He was upset and said that it was terrible compared to Bob, also middle-aged, who lost more than 7. Later Bob told a story to everyone. When he was about 14, he got chosen for the hockey team. He played a good game but missed a goal at the end. On Monday, the teacher told him, infront of the class, that he was as bad in the classroom as he was on the hockey field. He never played a team sport again. He also said that he often passed on participating in things because he always saw people who were better than him. He added that if he compared himself to Cameron he would come up short in many areas of life. It was an inspirational story to show the folly of compring yourself to others. 

Life is great when you follow your heart and don't compare yourself to other humans or hounds. 

Saturday, 21 March 2009

How to Care for a Human


This is a message to all dogs on how to properly look after your people. Obesity is becoming a big problem in many countries so it is important that you take your person for a walk everyday. A person who is well exercised will be healthier and happier. Another problem of modern society is that some people are becoming isolated, so you need to socialise your people. A good place for this is the dog park. Even though it is called a dog park, there are just as many humans as dogs. The people in the dog park are usually not in a hurry and are happy to talk. It is important to show affection to your people as they thrive on this. Affection can be given in many ways; kisses, leaning on them, gazing lovingly at them or simply sitting at their feet. Occasionally it is necessary to give corrections to your people when they step out of line. Foe example, if they are eating something good-smelling and they haven't offered you any, you might have to give them a look which says, "how could you eat in front of me and not give me any when I am clearly starving?"

Having a person or people is a big responsibility. You need to look after them well. Remember; a person isn't just for Christmas.

Life is great when you have people.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

5 Minute Post


I am giving myself just 5 minutes to write this post to see what I will come up with. It might not be too much as it is difficult to type quickly with paws. The problem is I hit the right key but also one or two next to itr. We went to our third agility class last night. It was good because the pace was fast and we got some flow going on the jumps. The instructor is great. He has passion for it, which really comes across. Also he emphasises that it needs to be fun. 

Life is great when you are having fun. 

Monday, 16 March 2009

Loyalty


"Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things- a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in the shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty."

Marley and Me John Grogan

You've all probably heard about Marley. He has touched a lot of people. A lot of dogs are given and killed when they can't find a new home. They are given up because the people move, the dog chews, the people have a baby or the dog is too energetic and uncontrollable. John Grogan and his family expeienced all of these things with Marley. They experienced a lot of trouble and expense and never regretted any of it. Only by accepting a dog as an unconditional member of your pack will you experience the enormous benefits of living with a dog. The dog will still try to give loyalty and affection but the person will not be able to receive. Oh, by the way, the same applies for human-to-human relationships. 

This is lying postion number one-hundred and forty-nine.

Life is great when you are stretched out on the sofa. 

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Licks a.k.a Kisses


All humans enjoy getting licks from a dog on the face. This is a fact. Most humans pretend that they don't. (It's just a funny human quirk.) Therefore, you must be stealthy. The young are the easiest to access. Some are small enough that you can just walk up and lay your tongue on them. Others are bigger and you need to get onto your hind legs and lick them on the face. This takes some co-ordination but with practice you will get it. Kids absolutely love kisses. You do have to be careful not to knock the little people over. Occasionally, a little person looks like they might be overwhelmed and might cry. In this case it is good to have a human to re-frame the situation. "You got a kiss! You are so lucky!" This always gets them to smile. 

Adults pose a problem because of their height. From time to time, you get an adult lower his or her face and say, "kisses," but it is rare. You really need to be an opportunist. For example, there is a 3 month old pup in the dog park, a lady bent down to give pats, I was nearby and lay a big kiss on her. It is important to always be on the look-out. Being on the couch with your people is a good time to get a kiss in. It is a good idea to make hay while the sun shines. If one of my people is lying down, I go in and get lots of kisses in before they have time to escape. I often find my other person will help out by holding down the one lying down so I can get more in. Of course, I am able to get non-face kisses in all the time.

Here is a photo of my big tongue. All the better to lick you with. 

Life is great when you are giving kisses.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future?


 I hear a lot of humans talking negatively about the future. Maybe a better question is; are you optimistic or pessimistic about the present? Look around and appreciate what you've got and the future is bound to be brighter. 

Life is great when you give thanks for what you have right now.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

A beach haiku


Sun is shining strong
Sand is squeaky under paws
Smells and fun abound

Kenta, one of Tim's Japanese students, gave a presentation on writing haiku. The first and third lines have to have 5 syllables and the middle line has to have 7 syllables. Tim explained it to me and I thought I'd give it a go. Why don't you?

Life is great when you are writing Japanese poetry.

Monday, 9 March 2009

An Adventure



What an adventure! J1 and J9, our French friends who live in New Caledonia, came and picked us up. We had a short drive, about 20 minutes, and then drove onto a boat. This was one of the many firsts for me and I found it a bit strange but OK. After 40 minutes we drove off at North Stradbroke Island or Straddie as everyone calls it. We drove about another 20 minutes and went into a new house with unfamilar smells. It turns out we didn't know the owners but exchanged money to use the house. I found this somewhat discombobulating (thanks for the word Steph) but I soon got used to it. We heard there was a dog beach somewhere on the island but didn't know where. We wandered 100 metres down the road and there it was. I was running free on the beach. There was white sand, blue ocean and thousands of new smells to explore. Tim ran straight into the water. I followed but stopped at the shoreline. I was unsure about this vast expanse of water which came in and out with a mind of its own. Tim coaxed me in. Which was working until I was in to my shoulders and a wave came in, picked me up and dumped me on the shore. My first dumping. Oh my god! I didn't know what had happened. What did the wave have against me? It was a shock to the system so I ran around and around in big circles to come to terms with the new events. I wouldn't go near this unpredictable mass of liquid but I got my confidence back. I went into the water to half way up my body then did big leaps backward (good exercise by the way) lest another wave came after me. The beach was fantastic. Water, smells, a big expanse to run on and dogs to play with.

J1 and J9 were part of our pack for a few days but now we are home they have gone their separate way. It was great having them in the pack while it lasted. I was just starting to get the hang of French. I gave them big licks on the leg to let them know how I felt about their inclusion in the pack so they called themselves "ice cream." They were planning to go to Fraser Island but changed their plans so we could all go together. Dogs aren't allowed on Fraser Island. They have their own resident dogs; dingoes. There is a big cyclone at Fraser Island so they were happy they changed their plans.

I am now getting over the excitement of all the firsts and relaxing at home. We also saw turtles and dolphins.

Life is great when you are running free on the beach.

Friday, 6 March 2009

On the Move



Things are happening. Bags are being packed. We are migrating, for a few days anyway. I counted the scoops of dog food and calculated we will be back on Monday. It is a natural thing for us dogs to go walkabout with the pack. I have read that it is for humans as well. Bruce Chatwin wrote in one of his books that being nomadic is natural for humans. When a baby cries, the mother or father picks her up and bouces her up and down. This mimics the motion of an adult walking with a baby and it soothes the baby. I don't know where we are going but I'll give a full report when I get back.

Life is great when you are migrating with the pack.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Agility



Last night we went to our first class of agility. Agility is a competition for dogs where the dog jumps over jumps, goes through tunnels and weaves through poles. It was just the first class but we went over a jump, through a tunnel, jumped up and stopped on a table and weaved through two poles. The man said that he was there to teach the humans. I must say that my humans are very intelligent and picked it up quickly so we completed them all no trouble. It was great to see lots of dogs there. I saw the more experienced dogs running with speed through all the obstacles. I really wanted to just run up and join them.

This photo isn't from agility but is a suitably active one.

Life is great when you have intelligent humans.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Take Your Time



Things are pretty laid back in Australia. We don't rush too much. Especially, this Grass Tree (xanthorrhoea johnsonii), which we see on our walk in the forrest. They grow at a rate of 1 centimetre a year, that's a metre a century. This is probably a couple of metres tall. They live to about 600 years old. You can learn more here. They realise that there is no point rushing around madly, much better to get the job done in the end.

Life is great when you take your time.

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Learning about Humans



We are a mixed-species pack. Tim and Mandy often read books about dogs so I thought I should read books to learn how humans work. I picked up a book about NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming.) Mandy is an NLP professional and is excellent at her job. She can help you to quit smoking, to lose weight and with many other things. Check out her websites. The book is called "Using your brain for a change" by Richard Bandler, who is one of the pioneers of NLP. It was an interesting read and an eye-opener. Apparently, what a lot of humans do is have an experience that makes them feel bad and then play it over and over in their mind. They also have something called a sense of humour which allows them to laugh at themselves but usually not for a long time after the event, and in the meantime they prefer to watch the movie again and again and feel bad. Fascinating creatures.

Richard Bandler says that usually when they play the movie and feel bad, they are in their bodies. When they can laugh at themselves is when they are outside their bodies and being an observer. He says;

"The best kind of humor involves looking at yourself in a new way. The only thing that prevents you from doing that with an event right away is not realizing that you can do it. When you get good at it, you can even do it while the event is happening."

I think it is good to look at things from a new perspective. I like to think about things from a human's point of view sometimes. I hear that some dogs actually write blogs under their humans name and pretend they are human. Personally, I think this is taking things too far.

Life is great when you get a new perspective on things.

Friday, 27 February 2009

Your Life is Exotic




A while ago I posted about a lizard in our backyard and a kangaroo in the forest. People gave more enthusiatic responses than I expected. Of course, Australia is where I was born so it is normal for me. Mandy grew up in England and is very excited about living in a lizard filled country. It is good to be reminded about what is special about where you live. I find dogs running around in snow to be very exotic. We are all exotic to someone. Here is a picture of me under the frangipani tree, which you may or may not find exotic.

If I ever have a problem, there is someone who can help me out. My good friend Taya Micola can help out dogs, humans and other animals with their problems, whether they are near or far. Click on her name and check her out.

Life is great when you are exotic, and we all are.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Street Food



There is some great street food in Brisbane, for dogs not people. My favourite is apple, either a core or a whole apple if I'm lucky, and I am lucky. Some things are better not mentioning as I know humans tend to have very bourgeois values about such things. This, however, is something you might find pleasing. I saw this big, bright, yellow flowers and had a good snack on the nectar. You can see some yellow on my snout, you might need to enlarge it. It was tasty. Nectar of the Dogs.

Life is great when there are flowers which are both beautiful and tasty.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Enjoy Yourself



Hello, it is High Priestess Ruby Isabella with the word of Dog. Today's first reading comes from the book of Carol of Black Jack.

"Dogs have a way of figuring out what they like, and then enjoying it to the utmost."

The second reading is in the book of Steph, in which she quotes Anthony Bourdain.

"When you let pleasure control your life and not your life control pleasure, you'll find great passion."

People often think, "I shouldn't be doing this," "I should be doing good for someone else," "if I am enjoying myself, I mustn't be productive or doing good," "what will other people think." Some people think it's character building to be miserable. A happy animal (human, dog or other) will be spreading goodness wherever she goes. So I say, go forth and enjoy yourself.

This is the word of Dog.

Adogs.

Life is great when you figure out what you like and enjoy it to the utmost.

Monday, 23 February 2009

The Sabbath



Tim took my last post to heart and declared Sunday to be the sabbath. This meant experiencing the day more as a dog and less as a person. So there was no computer, no reading, no listening to the radio and no TV (until 8:30 when a good programme was on, "Cranford." It was the sabbath but we are not fundamentalists.) Instead there was a lot of lying around feeling the peace and serenity of the day. It is a bit similar to Saturday for Jewish people where they cut down on other activities and give the day to Dog (or is it God? I get confused. Are they one and the same or am I just a bit dyslexic?) I also cut out my human activities, that's why there was no post yesterday. Of course, this was no big deal for me and was natural but Tim found it very rewarding and thinks it might be a nascent religion, where I am the high priestess. It is very flattering but I think it might lead to trouble to organise ourselves thus.

Life is great when you are a dog, or at least acting like one.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Doing Nothing



"When dogs feel serene and pleased with life, they do nothing"

"Primates feel pure flat immobility as boredom, but dogs feel it as peace."
Both from "The Hidden Life of Dogs" Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

I'm not sure if all primates feel like this but it does seem that most people always seem to need to be doing something. A lot of modern technology is designed so that people aren't left alone to be with themselves for any time at all. People seem to fear boredom. They spend their life running from it. They see a dog or another person sitting peacefully and happily and think that she must be bored. Of course, dogs, like people, need to be active and have stimulation. We just don't need it all the time.

Try this; spend the next few minutes (after leaving a witty comment below) doing nothing. Don't think about what you will do or what you have been doing. Don't have expectations for this time. I don't envision that you will achieve enlightenment in that time, that is not the point.

Life is great when you feel serene and pleased with life.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Spel'ng



Spel'ng en Inglish iz craazi. Y shoold eye foloh soche ahbitry maadnes wen eye kan maak ope meye ohn spel'ng. Hoomans acsept rools, etiket aand convenshon sew ezily. Ten agen, dogs hav meny rools, etiket aand convenshons two. Eet iz good because then everyone nose where they stand. We are both a pack of animals.... I mean pack animals. So, isle continue to follow convention. If you do see Miss Take in my writing, it is not her at all but me being creative.

This is a rainbow lorikeet having breakfast in our front garden. They are very beautiful and I hear they are good spellers too.

Life is great when you share it with parrots.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

I Love Cats



But I couldn't eat a whole one.

(JOKE! Just a joke, I promise.)

I really am fond of cats as friends. I was neglected a fair bit in my early life- before Tim and Mandy got me from the RSPCA- but I did live with a cat and we got on well. I got on better with the cat than the other dog. These days I get to socialise with people and dogs a lot but not with cats. Today, I was calm on the lead saying hello to this one. Often, when I see a cat, I, as Tim and Mandy put it, I "go bananas." To the observer and possibly the cat, it may appear that I might want to attack the cat but nothing could be further from the truth. I am desperate to say g'day and play with the cat. I only want to make a new friend. So remember; things aren't always as they seem. Someone who you perceive to be your foe could really be your friend.

Some people and dogs are anti-cats or "don't get" cats. They are different from us but that doesn't mean we can't share a lot with them. Just look at the adorable Miss Kitty. We don't have to be a person-dog or a cat-dog, we can enjoy the company of all animals. I found a nice water-dragon lizard to play with on the walk this morning. I think I might have scared him a bit as he ran off and hid. Occasionally, I am misunderstood.

Life is great when you enjoy all creatures great and small.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Movement



We had a bit of everything on our walk this morning. We started in cloud, then rain, followed by sunshine. We walked and we jogged/trotted. We chased the ball on the rugby field. It is such a great feeling to be moving. Moving slowly and steadily, I can get a nice rhythm going. I can feel the blood pumping around my body, the ground underpaw, my muscles extend and contract. It feels that there is no end and no beginning once I am in my pace. Chasing the ball, I can feel the wind in my fur, the scenery blurred, the adrenaline flowing, my muscles at full stretch and exertion, the air flowing in and out. I speed up and the world slows down. My eyes are on the ball alone. My stride and movements get in time with the ball. I time it perfectly so I grab it on the bounce. I feel exhilaration as I slow down naturally and gradually, instead of putting on the brakes as I do when I miss the ball. I hear Tim in the distance yell, "Rrrrrrruuubyyyy."

Life is great when you are in full stride.