Yesterday we celebrated Bundy’s 11th birthday. A quiet affair, just the three of us, a bag of baked treats and numerous squeaky toys. It is hard for me to believe that he is no longer a puppy, far from it and yet he still bounces around the house with his toys, tears across the yard in pursuit of birds and loves to wrestle with his Dad.
My beautiful little boy is now my sweet little old man with the makings of cutest sugar face I’ve ever seen.
After spending two nights in hospital Maxi is now at home with us, she seems quite bright and her appetite has returned. Although the initial diagnosis was unclear, a second ultrasound revealed that Maxi does indeed have pancreatitis. It is worrying, but at least we know what it is and how to look after her, it also makes me feel better knowing that she hasn’t eaten something she shouldn’t. Maxi has a pain patch to make her comfortable and is only allowed bland, low fat food in small batches for the next few days and for the long term she will remain on a low fat diet. Bundy will be eating similar food, he has a tendency to be a chunky dog and being 7 he is more at risk of developing pancreatitis as he gets older. Most of the time our dogs get fed healthy meals of lean mince and dry biscuits but we have indulged them a litte with juicy treats on occasion, no more of that and it probably wouldn’t hurt us to reduce our intake of fatty foods as well 🙂
Thank you so much for all the good wishes and virtual hugs, it means alot to me and if Maxi could read I know she would be really chuffed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate that holiday and Happy Thursday for all the Aussies and Kiwis!