Monday, 30 July 2007

Happy Birthday J - 15 years of fun!

It's my "Baby's" Birthday, J turned 15 today. I cannot believe how the time has gone, it felt like yesterday I was pregnant with her. The thing is that when your kids start hitting numbers like means your own numbers are getting pretty much larger.........I am going to be 42 this year...Arrgh! J is now quite a bit taller than me and it feels a bit weird looking up at your kid.

We had a celebration on Sat evening for her and she got a "Kick Ass Camera" for her B.Day. unfortunately both she and I have had flu all weekend so weren't feeling the best.

I have been taking the dogs to the doggie park lately as the puppy, alias Destructor Dog, needs lots of exercise to keep her from shredding everything she sees. It is really cute to watch her run. She is very gentle and loves to play with all the other dogs, she does not always listen too well but always comes back to us after a run.

The photos are of J and A at a recent Greyhound Promo looking after the dogs... The joke is just cos I thought it was funny!


Thursday, 26 July 2007

Art - some got it...some don't

My Father was a very talented man. He founded surfing in South Africa and built a career for himself doing what he loved most. An aspect of his talent that not everyone knew was his artistic ability. He did leather work, woodcarving, macrame, painting and in his retirement took to hand making knives.

I am not very artistic at all BUT J has fortunately inherited this talent. In fact she is fortunate in that D's dad was a Cabinet Maker by trade and made the most beautiful furniture. So she has "Art Gene's" from both sides. As a tiny girl she started to draw and has never stopped. As the years have passed she has improved and is really starting to produce some good stuff.

I hope for her that she can make a career doing what she loves most....I have manged to do that! I am one of the lucky ones who has manged to make my greatest love- animals - my career. You go girl ... cos you got the goods.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Why Kids are "Character Building"... and Husbands sent to "Test Us"

I normally try to respect my family's privacy and not reveal too much on the blog BUT there are a few things I would like to "Get off my chest". I think I will expose them one by one...

J - She will escape my wrath to a large degree because of all the 2 legged family members , she is probably the one who helps me most. Will hang washing , mop floors, sort out animal needs, cook dinners and walk dogs...........But she is a very Arty Farty person. Her room looks like it has been hit by a SCUD missile and chaos is her middle name. She is rarely listening when spoken to, so often "misses out on instructions" leading to many "But I didn't know" conversations. Her artwork gets winning prizes and she is unaware it was even entered.......... She is however the warmest, loveliest person you can ever meet........and I am prepared to live in battle zone........she is worth it!

A - Hmm this little devil is going to cop the hardest rap from me. She is extroverted and people adore her but beware because before you know it you will become a slave to her like the rest of us. After she has made you sooo mad you can see steam coming from my ears.........she will say or do something so funny and endearing that you forgive her. She says she will help with chores but somehow manages to use her wiles to escape every task she is set. Anything goes from suddenly becoming ill to big tears welling up in her massive long lashed eyes......... Her chaos is not confined to her room, she manages to spread her untidiness through the house like flood waters rising. Before you know it we are all drowning in A's junk lying about. She indignantly denies it was her and blames it on everyone and everything except herself! She is so proficient at this that you almost start to believe that it must have been you who made the mess......... I do adore her despite the hard time she gives me.........she will go far... and have many adoring fans.

D - Hmm not really house broken yet after all these years. He should probably reside in an office as he does not always need to sleep anyway. He lives in the Virtual world and occasionally drops in and says "Hi". DIY is a big no-no and can even make him hide. Mowing the lawn is something that happens when I am threatning to leave. He is not the most social beast and is content with his own company most of the time. He gets very animated with the following :

World of Warcraft Battlegrounds
Formula One
Equations that no one else understands

He is very nice when he is on earth though and apart from getting weird tumours and trying to die at regular intervals, I do Lurrve him. Oh and also because he lets me keep so many animals...
Then there is me..........I do the Shopping,cooking,housework,DIY, garden,all accounts and bank stuff, open all the mail...........yep that's me.... THE LITTLE RED HEN!!

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

We are Siamese if you please..........We are Siamese if you don't please

OK enough about the dogs already. We have 3 cats. Two Blue Point Siamese and a Tortoiseshell Domestic Short hair. The Siamese are boys and their names are Blue (original Huh!) and Bindi (did not know it meant "girl" in aboriginal!) and the Torti does not have a name, we call her Kitten even though she clearly is no longer one..........

The Siamese are pretty "Snobby" about Kitten and so are a bit standoffish to her. This does not bother her, she was a feral kitten that I bought home from work for "A few days" to tame, and she is a survivor ... nothing bothers her. She eats as though its her last meal each time, of course when you are a house cat this means you start to get pudgy. I am too embarrassed to take her to work ( Veterinary Clinic) because she is so fat she has to squeeze through the cat door.

The cats were here first and they were very peeved about the arrival of DOGS in their home. Much unhappiness took place but now they have come to terms with the dogs and things are reasonably harmonious. Shani still cops a smack on the snout due to her exuberance but Karma is not hurt at all anymore.

The thing with cats is that they expect a certain level of servility from all other living creatures. Dogs don't always understand this. The Siamese are especially "High Maintenance" and demand that things happen when asked. IF I don't respond they will MEOW very loudly until I take notice. If they happen to get hungry at 3am and I have not left sufficient food out, they play games on my head and knock things off shelves until I get up and feed them.

I spend my days at work giving people advice on how to re-educate their animals behaviour....and then I get home and my 4-legged friends outwit me at every turn............

Maybe next week Iwill be FIRM and able to sort out who is the BOSS..........

Yeah right...........

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Why I am allowing a "Thief" in our midst

It's official, I am crazy , not a shred of doubt left in my mind.......or anything else for that matter. The little Black & White Greyhound Shonny is staying. We have decided not to change her name too much (she hardly listens to the one she has, better to stick with it). So from now on she is SHANI .... sounds the same as Shonny BUT is a Swahili word that means "Marvelous".

Pretty appropriate considering she is possibly the cutest puppy on earth. Note the use of "Puppy", she is very badly behaved and is a dreadful thief. Should probably should be named "Kleptomaniac". She steals EVERYTHING and puts it out on the lawn. Wake up in the morning and go to put your shoes on ........whaaa??? guess what .........they are on the lawn. Everything goes to the wet lawn. Items on the list include:

Remote Controls
Items from Recycle bin

The other night I woke up to the gentle sound of splintering plastic.....there was little bugger chewing up a book and a hard plastic covered diary. A's friend came for a sleepover and bought some Cupcake....she left them in A's room....I came in to find our little "Thief" with icing and little crumbs everywhere....she wags her tail when you discover her.

I wonder why I am doing this to myself? Well in amongst the destruction she is lovable to the extreme. Cuddles us gently and is so sweet. Also strangely Karma adores her?? Karma is not really a dog and so does not bother to play with dogs, she prefers human company. Despite Shani grabbing the limelight, Karma will share her bed, her bowl, her food and her humans....seems to me she has also fallen under the little "Witches" spell. It is to be expected as she is not even 2 years old yet, her birthday is on the 4th October.

Some afternoons we take the greys and go up to a local school sports field that is completely fenced. J holds the two dogs, I go about 300m down the field and then call them. J lets go.........and they're off.....two streaks of dog whizz past , do a big circle (can't stop when they are at full tilt) and then sprint back to J, and then back to me. They are then all tuckered out, on go the leads and off we go to "graze" on their favourite grass. Home to rest and no destruction occurs for about 2 hours. I must tell you they are fast...........even old Karma who I thought was over it.......she loves it and day after day she is getting quicker , who knows she may soon out sprint the "Whippersnapper".

So that's why I am going to allow this destructive pup to stay, she has stolen all our hearts. Karma's vote is yes so we have to go with it. She chases and plays with the cats. They just ignore her now or give her swat on the snout to remind her of her place. The Siamese are not afraid of her or bothered by her and this is a big plus. Kitten shares a bedroom with her at night and they are firm friends now. She will outgrow this chewing and stealing.........and then be the most stunning dog ...........after Karma that is.........

Wednesday, 11 July 2007


I'm not sure if it's just me or if others have this problem. I feel like someone has hit the FAST FORWARD button and my life is just hectic? I always think I can slow things down but its impossible.

Rush rush rush............wake up, work,get kids, feed multitude of other living dependant creatures, do washing, hang it up, feed human dependants, try to remember various engagements, shout at kids to do homework, walk the greys, shop,shower ,sleep..........repeat daily for 7 days???

What the? I am not sure if I remember my Mom being so busy? Are other folk this busy? Every week I promise myself I am going to get it all under control........but alas so far no luck.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.......


Monday, 09 July 2007

Why Greyhounds make "Greyt" pets......

This past weekend was the one that was crazy, my house was like Grand Central. The Beast count was:

2 Greys (Karma and Shani)

2 Poodle Pups (Franklin and Sophie)

3 Cats (Bindii, Blue and Kitten)

2 Cockatiels (Ella and Spike)

Assorted fish..........

Also had friends up from Sydney as well as assorted "Spare" teenagers visiting. The Greys were amazing, the poodle pups are tiny and they abused the greyhounds no end. Franklin would climb up onto Karma and run across her back, bite her ear and jump all over her head. After about 10 minutes of abuse Karma would growl softly and then stand up and walk away quietly.

No problem to Franklin and Sophie as there was a second greyhound to abuse......poor Shani (Shonnie) took it like a champion. She actually played with these itsy bitsy balls of fluff! I was terrified and put her muzzle on but it wasn't really necessary. She ran around the garden with two bits of fluff persuing her and was so very gentle with them it was incredible. She allowed them to climb all over her and bite her ears.........way more tolerant than old Karma who just hid from them when the going got rough.

We are hoping Shani can stay and be our forever dog........


Saturday, 07 July 2007

How life has a laugh at our expense........

I am an animal person..... D is a cat person, J is an animal person and A is a cat person. D has become a "Grey Lover" but still not too keen on dawgs that jump up, lick and bark. Pretty much anything goes with me. When I met D many moons ago and decided he was the one.....I was living on a Race Horse Stud Farm (just to clarify for Needlenose Toast Hater).

We had a small problem D is very very allergic to horses. In our young passionate luurve he would be waiting for me to come home from work...... a kiss & a hug later he would be sneezing, eyes swollen and streaming, nose dripping and best of all large red welts would appear all over his body. Now as you can imagine that could be a passion killer. Several large doses of antihistimines later he could breathe but had fallen asleep. We lived on the farm for 2 years..........he became an antihistamine junkie. I would come home , say "Hi" give him a wide berth, go shower the Equine Allergens from my nubile young body and then we could greet.........

In fact life loves having a good laugh, why of all the men in the world did I, a horse mad person , fall in luurve with someone who is dreadfully allergic to horses? Just to make it funnier, we have very little in common. In fact the only things we have in common is that neither of us eat mustard and we are married. Something must work though we have been together 20 years. Actually we do like the same music........ that has helped.

He has been very supportive of my horse habit and has spent many days and hours bored out his mind watching me ride. Both J & A also ride. J has ridden for years but A sort of decided it was a bit too dangerous and gave up. I have broken most bones in my body, been dragged, bitten kicked and even crushed by horses and I still want to ride and be around them as much as I can.

Don't get much opportunity to ride at the moment but who knows, that may change........the saddles are oiled and waiting ...........

Will chat soon

Thursday, 05 July 2007

Sick again..........

It is not friends have come to visit from Sydney and I am sick again. Thankfully I am going to see the Gastroenterologist on the 9th and hopefully he will be able to figure out whats happening in my gut.

The tiredness is returning and the pain is pretty full on. Oh well thats life I guess. Its been great to see my Sydney friends. The kids have picked up their friendship where it left off. Today was spent cycling along the Peninsula Waterfront and tomorrow its Australia Zoo.

Dogs are great, Karma loves Shonny and things are really rather sweet around here. Karma seems to really enjoy Shonny's company and even shares her bed and bowl with her(high praise from the Queen). Shonny is just a babe and still has a few teething issues...........chewed the shoe rack and steals beer bottles. But a quick reprimand and she stops immediately. The kids and D like her and want her to stay forever............we will see if that is a possibility!

I love her to, but then again as you may have noticed........I like em all!

Would be hundreds of dogs if I had my way.........

Gotta go lie down now.........not feeling to good.


Wednesday, 04 July 2007


OK I could not cope with the deaf doggie..........a very very sweet lovable boy with lots to offer. He needs someone around him a lot as he gets a bit anxious when he is left alone. He is also a bundle of energy and needs someone to play with. Karma is middle me.......and his bouncing all over her made her very upset. She has been staring at me with barely concealed disdain. She growled at him and snapped at him as well..............something I have almost never seen her do (only once at a promo she got cranky with dogs crowding her).

The Siamese lodged a formal complaint and have been walking around resembling Persians they are so fluffed up! I promised the cats that they come first and that if they are unhappy with a dog we will listen to their woes.........otherwise they start peeing in the house and exhibiting other unwanted behaviours........that I find very persuasive. Poor doggie he just wanted to play, the kitties just could not cope with 30kg dog barking a millimetre from their whiskers........and being deaf he has no idea how loud he is...........

Also this weekend is going to be a bit of a laugh.........I swopped the Deaf Dog for "Shonny" who I previously had to stay for a few days..............remember the dog that like to steal bottles.....yep she is back for awhile. She is fine, young and bouncy, but does not bug Karma and freak the cats out tooo much. Then I offered to babysit Dr R's 9 week old poodle pups for the lets do a beast count -

2 Cockatiels
2 Greyhounds
3 Cats
2 Poodle Pups

Definitely need my head read..............

My sister keeps e-mailing me to tell me I am certifiable........listen Sister I remember you with your Mini Daschunds that were so badly behaved........... Why Frankie even stole all the Christmas Pressie out my suitcase one year and devoured them...........and then vomited the contents on the bed I was to sleep in ..........

Will keep you posted on the how the madness progresses.............


Tuesday, 03 July 2007

Huh? Louder??

Hmmm........Well now I have done it. My goal was to find a soft gentle old companion for Karma. I am currently fostering a "Special Needs" greyhound. A very young........not even 2 years old yet white dog ..........he is deaf...........profoundly deaf.

This carries with it a few challenges. I have some time off for the next week and we will attempt to see if this lovable goofy puppy can fit in to our lives. He is adorable but pretty full on. Do not leave him on his own, he howls and barks...........he may not hear it but I think people for miles around can!

Karma is rolling her eyes in despair...........Mom why have you bought a 30kg puppy to jump all over me when I am trying to sleep? Of course when she growls a warning at him.......he can't hear it so he carries on bouncing around like a big clown.

He seems very smart though and I have been reading up on hand signals for deaf dogs. Looks like he will learn fast...........we a have a week to see if the Siamese and Karma can cope. I hope they do.........he is pretty adorable...........


Sunday, 01 July 2007

A bit of History.........

I have had a long association with animals. I grew up with English Bull Terriers and Italian Greyhounds as the family dogs. Our cats were Burmese and Siamese. From as soon as I remember I knew that animals were going to be my life. I have spent my life working with animals and still continue to do so.

We Lived in Cape Town in the city. My parents had a farm about two hours north of Cape Town where every weekend and school holiday was spent. So I was very lucky to have the best of both worlds, the city as well as the opportunity to spend time as a "Farm Girl", feeding the pigs, rounding up cattle and sheep and searching for where the chickens had laid their eggs. Somedays we would ride for 3-4 hours searching for sheep that needed to be bought back for counting and medication.

Many moons ago I left school and went and did a "Stud Management Course", I then worked with Thoroughbred racehorses for the next 6 years. During this time I met D and fell in luurve. We then moved to a very remote part of South Africa and lived on a huge Game Reserve. I worked on the reserve putting together a mounted Game Ranger Patrol System. This entailed buying 22 horses and training 10 Game Rangers how to ride and care for their mounts. I was also responsible for the translocated Game. ( These are animals bought from other reserves where they are too many and relocated to our Reserve which was not at full capacity)

Over the period I lived there we introduced 22 Elephant, a pack of Wild Dogs and 14 rare Roan Antelope to the Reserve. This was the most amazing time. Living on a remote farm on a Game Reserve where at night the Lions would walk past the house. Daily problems at home included marauding Baboons and a nest of Mozambique Spitting Cobras.

My then Siamese "Sambuca" used to catch baby Black Mambas and eat them........... After this wonderful few years we returned to Johannesburg where I then started my work as a small animal Veterinary Nurse. So as you see my association with animals has ranged from Elephants to mice. I have been fortunate enough to make my passion my job. I cannot imagine a day when I don't have to get up and feed, water and care for four-footed friends.

We emigrated to Australia in January 2002 . I worked in Sydney as a Veterinary Nurse for a couple of years and then we moved to sunny Queensland. I still work as Veterinary Nurse and am fortunate to work at a lovely practice with amazing people. My boss has a special love for Greyhounds and does a huge amount of work for Rescue Organisations promoting Greyhounds as Pets. So this is how I got to love the Greys............every time a Grey comes in they are so trusting and easy to work with. I fell in love and it was not long before I began fostering Greys and then Adopting them!

PS - These photos are of me in my youth........aaah. Don't ya love the 80's "Punk Hair"

Si :-)