My husband gave me the nick-name of ‘crazy dog lady’ several years ago when I was lying on the living room floor surrounded by our dear Maxi dog and two foster puppies, one of whom is now our boy Bundy. I have always loved animals, but never thought of myself as a dog person until we got Maxi, from then on I became slightly obsessed with dogs and the obsession reached a peak with the adoption of Bundy. We now have dog themed calendars, notepads, artwork, stuffed toys, photo frames and I spend alot of time reading dog blogs, sharing stories of dogs on Facebook, talking dogs with other dog lovers and walking dogs at our local animal shelter.
Bundy and Maxi are pretty used to me taking photos of their every waking (and sleeping) moment, Bundy can switch between completely ignoring me or cooperating completely depending on what his focus is at the time – me or a ball/bird/rat/treat. Maxi has the innate ability to be able to identify a phone camera, whether I have my DSLR, point and shoot camera or iphone she turns her head away from the camera as soon as I take the photo. Photographing Maxi has to involve treats or the beach, both make her incredibly happy and easier to photograph.
I took these photographs last year and am quite happy with the result, Bundy and Maxi had their props, soccer ball and treat which helped take the focus of me holding a camera. The post-processing in Lightroom makes them look less like an every day photo and more like a piece of art, at least they look like that to me but I know that it isn’t everyone’s ‘cup of tea’. One day soon I plan to get them printed on canvas, however I am also toying with the idea of recreating them using pastel or oil paint after seeing doggy portraits on Treats A La Bark.
Two Black Dogs sleeping
January 19, 2007 a litter of puppies is born to a staffy at our local shelter, the Animal Welfare League, five weeks later we fostered two male puppies from that litter and they very quickly steal our hearts. The nicknames we gave them were Cookie and Buddha, two round bellied staffy puppies that walked with a wobbly boot, their tummies so low to the ground that they dragged along the grass. Cookie and Buddha played and and slept together, never straying far from each other and we delighted in their presence, when it came time to return them we did so with heavy hearts because both had been reserved by potential owners. The joy we felt when the shelter rang to tell us that an adoption had fallen through and to ask us if we still wanted one of the boys was immense, it was a great big yes and our happy family went from one black dog to two black dogs in an instant.
A very attentive Bundy
Play time for Bundy
Cookie became Bundy, a popular drink in Australia and one of my husband’s all time favourites and life has never been dull with Bundy around. Maxi could have happily remained an only child and some times we feel bad because she has to share the love and affection with a rather demanding, often bossy, little boy. Regardless of their differences, they play together often even though she is now at the geriatric age of 10.
Waiting patiently at the front door
This week Bundy turned 5, which equals 35 dog years, with his penchant for chasing snakes and disappearing into the bush I worried that he wouldn’t make it to 5 so I have enjoyed remembering what life with Bundy has been like for the past 5 years. These are just a few of the strange, worrying and amusing antics of our little black dog:
- I hear the chink, chink of glass as the dogs run around the yard, upon inspection I find a drinking glass lying on the ground with at least an inch of the rim missing. It had been chewed off, leaving most of the glass intact.
- Barking incessantly at a carpet python making its way along the top of our fence into the neighbours yard, Bundy did not stop barking until the tail of the snake had disappeared over the fence.
- Bundy loves getting in the car, once in the car it is difficult to get him out and he is happy sitting there while the car is washed or the lawn is mowed.
- Chasing bubbles.
- Barking at balloons and trying to catch them, when they pop he looks everywhere for them.
- Sitting on my lap while I work on the computer.
- Sleeping on his back with one fang bared.
- Sitting outside and staring at the barbeque for hours, waiting for that pesky rat/mouse to appear even though it is long gone.
- Snuggling into my neck and shoulder when he is not feeling well
I could probably keep going with Bundy’s list, but instead I’ll leave you with this short clip of Bundy playing with a squeaky cup cake toy that Maxi got for Christmas. Maxi doesn’t play with toys anymore and poor Bundy didn’t seem to know what to make of this toy that kept ‘barking’ back at him, usually he just chews things until they pop.
Video clip: Bundy playing with squeaky toy
It is a little late but Happy 5th Birthday Bundy! We love you
Bundy and his cone of shame
Bundy or Buckethead as we have been calling him is not happy with his new situation, he had a couple of little lumps removed from his eyelid on Tuesday and has had to wear a cone since then. Once the grogginess wore off he has been pretty much his normal self, but the occasional sigh is expressed when he is trying to find a comfortable position in which to sleep.
Sleeping Buckethead Bundy
The cone is a weapon, Buckethead has no spatial awareness and is constantly rushing up to greet us and swiping us in the shin, he also like to follow closely and playing with Maxi results in her growling at him and then running away. All of us will have bruises after this week. Walking is also interesting, we can’t risk anything rubbing against his eyes or him stopping to have a scratch so the cone stays on, Buckethead is pretty low to the ground and the collar often get stuck on a step or gutter causing a sudden and unexpected stop. Eating and drinking requires a platform, the cone is just too deep for Buckethead to reach his food bowl or the water bowl, on the first night my husband had to hold the bowl up for him.
The bowl says it all!
From the outside looking in
Whilst the cone has provided a great source of amusement, we will all be glad when the vet gives the OK to remove it.
Yesterday I read a post on Twenty-Six To Life about being thankful, written in the spirit of the ‘Thanksgiving’ holiday celebrated in America. Although we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia, I was inspired to think about the things I am thankful for and have decided to share them with you.
I am thankful for (in no particular order):
- Having a free and easy upbringing surrounded by family who loved and supported me in all my endeavours.
- Growing up in the country where I could roam the hills with my friends, swim in creeks and ride horses after school.
- Being introduced to the joys of travel at a young age.
- My generous, loyal, hardworking and loving husband who makes me laugh, often.
- My parents, they taught me how to be independent but are always there when I need them.
- Having a brother that both frustrates me and makes me laugh, he is a friend as well as family.
- Our two black dogs, Maxi and Bundy, they give me great joy and entertain me with their antics.
- Good health, mental and physical.
- A good job that regularly drives me insane but provides me with many challenges and flexible working conditions.
- A roof over our heads, having a place to call home that we can afford to keep.
- Ability to travel and enjoy the occasional weekend away.
- An amazing holiday in Europe during the Spring, 2011. It was a dream come true for my husband and I and I was so glad that we could share the experience with each other.
- Working as a volunteer dog walker at our local animal shelter, giving each dog the chance to stretch their legs and experience love and cuddles as they wait for their forever home.
- The internet, it has given me the opportunity to discover other worlds and other lives, exposing me to inspirational people and educating me about myriad of roles they play in the world.
- The rain that is now falling, everything will soon be green again.
- The marks on the window left by wet noses as my two black dogs peer into the house, letting me know that it is time for a walk or that they’d be happy for a cuddle.
- My beautiful friends, I have known some of them all my life and they love me for who I am and not what they want me to be.
- Memories of my Grandparents: the smell of home baked cakes and biscuits, visiting the stables at the race track, mustering cattle and herding sheep in New Zealand, lots of cuddles and interesting stories of days gone by.
- Living in the ‘lucky country’, Australia has many advantages and opportunities, not to mention fantastic beaches, rainforests and fascinating wildlife.
- Looking out my back door and seeing magpies, rainbow lorikeets, cockatoos and the occasional wallaby or koala.
- Staffy snuggles from my boy Bundy and the soft ears and nature of Maxi.
- Seeing Vernazza, Cinque Terre before flooding and mudslides devastated the village. Such a beautiful place and so peaceful once all of the daytrippers go back to their hotels.
There is so much to be thankful for, sometimes you just have to remember to stop and think about the good things in your life because the bad often overwhelms every thought and makes you toxic.
Bundy playing ball in the backyard
Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate that holiday and Happy Thursday for all the Aussies and Kiwis!
Maxi, the reluctant subject
We live in a really good area for dog walkers, there are several good spots for walking depending on whether you prefer hills, footpaths, parks, or a peaceful alongside a body of water. The beach is great and our dogs love running in the sand and cooling off in the water but it is not possible to go every day so we stay local for the most part.
I usually take my iphone and listen to travel podcasts as I am walking, the camera is a handy feature even though the quality isn’t great. Our two black dogs are complete opposites when it comes to taking photos, Maxi can spot a camera from a mile away and will turn her head in disgust whereas Bundy is happy to sit and pose.
Bundy isn’t keen on swimming but he likes to wade…
Cooling his heels
…and roll in smelly dead things
This will make me smell nice
Just sitting by the waters edge with Mum is also good.
Relaxing and enjoying the view
Plenty of birdlife around, they live quite peacefully for the most part in an area where dogs can’t roam free.
Donald and Daisy duck?
Is this my best side Mum?