With all of the bushland surrounding the local shelter it isn’t unusual to see a variety of creatures other than dogs, cats, birds and guinea pigs. Most days you can see a few wallabies, plenty of ibis, bush turkeys and magpies however, on occasion you do get to see green tree snakes or a python. I’m not sure what sort of python is residing at the shelter, it is possibly a carpet python or a diamond python, whatever the type it certainly has a full belly as you can see from these photos.
It is moments like this when I wish I had my DSLR, the iphone digital zoom is really not great and there was no way on this earth that I was going to climb the tree to get a better view. If you think you know what sort of snake it is, please leave a comment and let me know.
Australia Day is a day where Australians get together and celebrate the good things about our nation and being Australian. The date for Australia Day, January 26, was chosen because it is the anniversary of the arrival of Captain Arthur Phillip and the First Fleet from England in 1788. On this day, many Australians join their family, friends and communities for a BBQ, picnic in the park or a game of cricket at the beach, it is a National holiday and if the date happens to fall on a weekend then we get an additional day off to make the most of the event. This year Australia Day was on a Sunday (so I’ve got today off work) which for me, started like any other Sunday with time spent at our local shelter, cleaning up after puppies and dogs, getting lots of kisses and cuddles and taking the dogs out for a bit of exercise. At the moment I have a couple of favourites at the shelter, but there is one particular fellow called Curly whom I absolutely love, he is a British Bulldog/Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross (apparently) and he is loud, barking at everyone he sees and sadly, people find it off-putting and interest in this gorgeous guy is minimal. Curly has a huge grin, is a wriggle butt, a snuggler and a kisser, once you get past the barking and spend some one-on-one time with him it is almost impossible not to love him so my mission (when I am there) is to get him out of his kennel and walking where people can see the other side to this gorgeous little man. Surprise, surprise, I also take lots of photos of him to share on social media 🙂
Even wearing the cone of shame he is still smiling that huge staffy smile
Just look at that cute little butt!
Curly in his cone of shame
Curly’s kisses are frequent
Our two black dogs certainly didn’t miss out on the fun of Australia Day, once the heat of the day had passed we loaded them into the car and headed off to the lake for a walk and a (dogs only) swim. The border of the lake has an excellent walking path, rough 4 kilometres in distance, and off leash park, plenty of outdoor gym equipment as well as BBQ areas and playground equipment for children to enjoy. Being Australia Day, every man and their dog was out and about, the carpark was almost full and a variety of activities were being undertaken by the lake including kite flying. I’m not keen on the off leash area and Maxi doesn’t always react well to other dogs after the initial sniff and greet, instead we redirected our pooches to the water’s edge where they sniffed the rocks and reeds, scratched in the sand and paddled in the shallow water until it was time to go home. As we walk to the car we pass by the remnant of someone else’s Australia Day celebration, careless people had expressed their ‘Aussie pride’ by spray painting a rude gesture on an old lounge and leaving it for someone else to dispose of, this thoughtless and often aggressive patriotism is a side to Australia Day that bothers me and one that has been all too prevalent over the last 10 years. Regardless of the blight on the landscape, spending time together at the lake was a lovely end to the day, I stood and took photos of the setting sun while Bundy pulled on the lead in pursuit of a scent, Maxi was grinning like a fool and the husband stood by, rattling the keys in his pocket, his hint for me to hurry up and put the camera away.
Sunday I saw a sign at the shelter asking for someone to foster a couple of puppies for a few nights, as soon as I saw their faces I knew that I couldn’t leave without them. Jilly and Jarrah are Staffy Boxer X puppies and almost 8 weeks of age, so very cute and all I needed was agreement from the hubby 🙂
Once the puppies were home we set them up in our laundry, the shelter loaned us a crate and blankets and provided food, we bought a play pen and some toys and took the time to introduce them to our dogs. Maxi was not impressed, she’s not so great with other dogs and prefers to keep her distance with puppies and their sharp little teeth. Bundy played and sniffed and seemed quite happy, he even lay on the floor and let them climb on his face but after a day or two he seems content with leaving them be after a couple of minutes of interaction.
Jilly loves exploring and chewing on everything she can find, Jarrah is less adventurous however he also loves to chew and some of my plants are now covered in tiny puncture marks. Both love a snuggle after they eat and they keep their crate nice and clean, we just take them outside late in the evening so they don’t make too much mess in the play pen attached to the crate. My favourite time with them is in the evening when we curl up on the chair together and they climb over each other (and me) to get the best position on my lap before falling asleep. Mornings are fun too, I take them out into the yard to run on the grass and explore the garden, Bundy follows them for a while before he disappears on his morning walk with Dad, Maxi maintains a safe distance.
They have to go back to the shelter on Friday and hopefully some responsible, caring and kind people will make Jilly and Jarrah their own, I will miss their cutie-pie faces and the puppy smell.
Volunteering at an animal shelter gives me much joy, for several hours each week I get to spend time with dogs of all shapes and sizes, often going home covered in slobber, dirt, poo and a variety of dog hair. Whether my job is cleaning their kennels or playing ball in the exercise yard it really doesn’t matter to me but knowing that each dog has had some positive, caring interaction with a person makes me happy.
These are some of the beautiful creatures that I’ve been lucky to spend time with, some of them have found their furever family and some are still waiting but in the meantime I will love each of them.
My noisy little friend Aretha doing her thing, she loves a belly rub
Cute puppies, I just love how they smell especially after their kennel has been cleaned
Kirra the greyhound
ar the smiling American Staffy
Max the gentleman Mastiff
Cleo, a gorgeous blind, miniature Bull Terrier with a friendly exuberance you can’t help but love
A fluffy little cattledog pup who doesn’t let deafness hold her back, cute and loaded with attitude.
Aretha up close and personal
One of my dearest friends (who I refer to as the crazy cat lady) gave me a great book called ARFfirmations, Meditations for your dog by Ellis Weiner and Barbara Davilman and for this crazy dog lady, it was the perfect gift. This book is written for dogs, the aim is to inspire them to feel confident and to help them avoid feeling shame or guilt as a consequence of their actions (such as sitting on the sofa), I’ll leave you with one of my favourite ARFfirmations from their book.
I whine when you leave the home because I know how much you will miss me
Why do I whimper every single time you walk out the door, even just to get the paper? It is because I am blessed with empathic sensitivity. I know, even before you leave, how much you will wish you were back home, glorying in the magnificence that is I. It is only natural and fitting that you feel this way. I know, as you know, that I am the cutest thing in the universe. I combine adorableness and genius. If I were not myself, I would miss me, too.
Most Sundays you will find me at our local animal shelter, I volunteered originally as a dog walker but with so much to do, cleaning pens and feeding the dogs has also become part of my role. I love it! When I get home I am covered from head to toe in dog slobber, dirt, hair and poo and I stink, my own dogs don’t know where to start sniffing first. This morning I worked with one of the other volunteers to clean the row of pens containing lots of puppies and small dogs, trying to clean a pen filled with 8 week old puppies can be a challenge, they are like a swarm and follow my every move. At the moment there are six Shar Pei puppies waiting for their forever homes, they are the cutest, wrinklest, funniest little things and I couldn’t resist taking lots of photos as well as a rather shaky video – it is hard to film puppies when they insist on jumping all over you. Shar Peis aren’t for everyone, they’re high maintenance dogs thanks to a myriad of problems cause by their wrinkles, however, if you’re willing to put in the effort (and this really goes for all dogs) you will have a loyal friend for life.