Sunday, 29 March 2009


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


"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 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


"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


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.