Today Maxi, the number one black dog, turns 13 which is roughly 83 years of age in dog years for a dog of her size and weight. Princess, as we like to call her, was our first dog and she was purchased on impulse from a pet store – everything I am now vehemently opposed to. We were living in an apartment near the beach, no dogs allowed and Maxi spent her first few days hiding out in our bathroom and avoiding the so-called wee wee pads that are supposed to help with toilet training. Early of a morning and late in the afternoon we would sneak her outside for a walk and a play in the park, she was frightened of everything and absolutely hated stairs. Thankfully my sister in-law was able to look after Maxi for a few weeks while we went house hunting for a pet friendly rental. They had a border collie pup called Murray and she was a few weeks older so the pair of them played and slept together, Maxi still gets excited when we visit my sister in-law even though Murray passed away long ago.
We made alot of mistakes with Maxi, walking isn’t always fun and she is frightened of so many things yet will take on anything or anyone that dares come to our front gate and as Maxi has gotten older she has become less tolerant of other dogs. With her greying fur, wobbly legs and poor hearing Maxi still retains the most beautiful nature and is loved by all our friends and family. She is great with kids of all shapes and sizes, occasionally bounding across the yard with them until it all gets too exhausting or unless someone offers her a cuddle and a treat.
Maxi loves a walk, her favourite places are the beach and the local park where there is plenty of smell duck poo to roll in. Her happy face is contagious and we always have a good laugh when she hits the ground for a roll on the grass (minus the poo), the look on her face is goofy and yet delightful. For her birthday she will have a yummy chicken dinner and a walk around the duck pond, there will also be lots of cuddles and kisses.
Happy Birthday my beautiful Princess Maxi and thank you for 13 years of unconditional love and loyalty.
Yesterday my little boy reached the ripe old age of 7, I joke that he is at mid-life crisis stage but without benefit of being able to drive a Harley Davidson or sports car although he seems pretty happy just to be able to hop in the back of our car and cruise down to the newsagent for the Saturday papers. The last time I wrote about Bundy’s birthday, he was five and looking back at the photos he certainly seems to have alot more grey around the muzzle and behaviour wise he is less likely to disappear into the bush next door as soon as the gate is open.
Celebrations were very low key this year, the dogs entertained each other in the morning and in the afternoon it was time for birthday liver treats and a new toy. Maxi didn’t miss out on the treats and she is no longer interested in toys (unless they have feathers and land in our backyard) so we played ‘Chuck a Duck’ rope frisbee with Bundy and eventually let him catch and kill his new toy, once he had that frisbee in his mouth he was off and racing around the yard in an attempt to keep us from getting it. We knew he loved his present when he opted to take it to bed with him and then spend time systematically pulling the frisbee apart, not satisfied until the toy was completely dead he kept returning to it during the evening. That night, prime position was between Mum and Dad as they watched television, lying close enough to ensure lots of cuddles and tummy rubbing.
Ok, so you might be wondering what the hell is going on when you read the title of this post, am I writing about a black dog in Tuscany or am I being deliberately obtuse? The answer to both would be no, I am simply sharing with you my latest artworks, one is of Cypress (I think) trees in Tuscany and the other is of my beautiful old girl Maxi. The time I have for drawing is limited, I have class once a week and not every week so it has taken me several months to finish both pieces, perhaps if I spent my weekends drawing they would get finished in a shorter timeframe however I’m not in a hurry, my weekends are full and my art is generally for my pleasure.
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.
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.
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.
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.