For Typist

We’ve all had to give something up at some point and Georgia Little Pea’s Typist from Little Dogs On Long Leashes recently had to say farewell to something she loved.  You can read about it here.

Typist, I’m not sure that this will really help but if nothing else I hope it makes you smile!  I took this photo when I was out in Brissie recently because I recognised the name of that thing that you do.  Perhaps your (drinking 7 days a week) past can meet your (ridiculously fit) present so that your future can still have capawhatnot in it.  Even if it is in alcoholy name only.  I am not suggesting that you embrace the drinking 7 days a week thing again.  Unless that’s what you want.  🙂


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Monday Mischief: Elsie’s First Night Of Freedom

Tonight is the first night that Elsie hasn’t been confined to either a crate or pen overnight. It’s half past eleven. Here are some pics of the early part of the night…

wpid-2013-05-06-23.31.39.jpgFive minutes in and Elsie’s bed is empty except for her little fluffy toy dog (it is NOT what it looks like)

wpid-2013-05-06-23.31.57.jpgNow we’ve got to go over and check that Flo is alright in her bed…

wpid-2013-05-06-23.32.49.jpg“So all I have to do is lie here all night? Voluntarily?”


wpid-2013-05-06-23.33.31.jpg“I can do that… it’s nice having all this room to stretch out”


wpid-2013-05-06-23.34.07.jpgMeanwhile, over at Flo’s bed…

Five minutes later…
wpid-2013-05-06-23.35.07.jpg“Psssst. You awake? Elsie’s not in her pen thing.”

Five minutes later still…
wpid-2013-05-06-23.35.30.jpg“I’m serious. She’s like totally unconfined. I think she’ll probably be up and down disturbing you all night.”

And another five minutes later…
wpid-2013-05-06-23.36.29.jpg“I really think we should pen her in”

I didn’t expect Flo to be the one who would be up and down!

Click on the link to Hop Over to Snoopy's Blog and join in the Monday Mischief Blog Hop

Click on the link to Hop Over to Snoopy’s Blog and join in the Monday Mischief Blog Hop

Posted in dogs, Monday Mischief, pets, Ridgeback, Ridgeback behaviour | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Monday Mischief: What’s Worse Than Finding A Rat In Your Golf Bag?

Today’s mischief wasn’t caused by any permanent occupants of Flo’s house, but by unwanted house guests.

I have known there’s been a rat in the storeroom for several weeks.  It was nibbling away at the lambs’ ears I had for the dogs.  In the past I’ve used an ultra sonic pulse thingie which is supposed to encourage rodents to seek out alternative living arrangements.  When that didn’t work, about a month ago I put a humane trap down, baited with the last of the ears.  The lamb’s ear is still there, untouched so I thought Ratty must’ve moved on.  That was until I started to get a distinct whiff of eau de rodent earlier on this week.  Thursday was a public holiday so I had a few jobs that needed to be done, one of which was waterproofing a couch that is to go up on the deck upstairs but which has, until now, been hidden away in the store room, out of reach of the jaws of destruction.  It’s removal gave me better access to the room, so George was brought down to earn his keep and find the rat.  Slightly surprisingly and to his credit, he instantly picked up on the scent and went off into the corner, where he sat and stared.  I could hear a little scritching and scratching but couldn’t work out exactly where this blasted thing was.  Until I moved my golf bag.  And George’s gaze remained fixed on it.  Let’s just say it was an interesting manoevre that saw me exit the door over the golf bag.  I did manage to get the bag out as well, without any rodents running up my arms or legs.  I lay it down on its side and out ran the offending beast, off into the bushes.  Phew!  To my horror another rat exited the bag while I was taking the clubs out to give them a wash and straight back into the store room, where I suspect it still is.  What if there was a nest of them?  Urgh!  I know, I know, I’m supposed to be a zoologist, but that doesn’t mean I want a family of furry, stinky little mammals living IN my golf bag.  The clubs were unceremoniously yanked out at arms’ length and the whole bag tipped upside down and banged on the floor.

At that point the snake skin came out.  Minus the snake.  The bag lay downstairs undisturbed for several hours while I poured myself a stiff gin worked out what to do with it.  Four gin and tonics later I eventually plucked up the courage to have a good look inside and am pleased to report that there was nothing else living in there.  I haven’t been brave enough to unzip any pockets.  I’m not sure whether or not the snake skin is an attempt at rodent humour and they’ve just found it somewhere and used it to line their nest, or if the snake was in there at some point too.  I’m also not sure where they found the skin, if it wasn’t already in the bag.

Proof, were it needed, that I don’t play enough golf.  🙂

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The Tyranny of Snot

Oh dear, oh dear.  What a slack a**e!  I have been suitably pulled up on a lack of bloggy movement by The Typist. As usual it is not the animals’ fault, they have given me plenty of laughs over the last while, my dull mind has just been unable to translate their activities eloquently enough to justify posting on the worldwide interweb.  🙂  I have spent a bit more time in in the garden, although you’d never know it – I’ve filled the garden rubbish sack so full that I suspect the bloke who comes to remove it will be swearing at me.  It amazes me quite how many palm fronds, leaves and other such ‘rubbish’ can lie around in there.  It has also been stinking hot and the pool looked more like a swamp, so I’ve been putting a fair amount of effort into getting that swim-ready, which I am pleased to say it now is. Flo doesn’t try to get in the water but Elsie was in a couple of times, then she couldn’t get out, got a bit of a fright and hasn’t wanted to get more than her front feet wet since.

All beasts chez Flo are in one piece.  We have, of course, had our trips to the v-e-t and we are, of course, hoofing back anti-biotics.  This time it is Elsie who is on medication, though sadly not the variety required to transform her into a calm puppy.  She has an allergy which usually manifests itself as dodgy skin and little bald patches in her fur.  The v-e-t has resorted to giving me steroids for her in the past.  I generally keep them as a last resort.  A few weeks ago, just before I started having to go away here and there, she had a bit of a flare up and, as she was due to go into kennels, I gave her a couple of her pills to settle her skin down while I was away.  Around that time she also started sneezing.  She was still at it when I got back so after a few more doses of the dreaded ‘roids she had lovely clear skin but they had had no effect on the sneezing.  The liberal and violent depositions of snot bullets on every surface, including the cats, began to wear thin.  In addition, every time she lay down she would rub her nose all over the rug, transforming it from lovely and soft to crusty and crunchy, so it was back to the v-e-t.  After a good examination he prescribed some anti-biotics in case it was a bacterial infection, plus some anti-histamines.  All it took was one dose of the anti-histamines and she stopped sneezing.  She has hardly had one nasal explosion since.  I have been able to put the mop away.  I think we might be free from the tyranny of snot.  🙂



Beware those nostrils; she could be loading up another snot bullet…

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Wordless Wednesday – My Dogs, Spoiled? How Very Dare You!


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Click here to go to BlogPaws and join in

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(Almost) Wordless Wednesday – Quiet Schmiet

Following on from Saturday’s post… we’ve just come back from the v-e-t where Elsie has had between 40ml – 50ml fluid drained off her wound site.  This is with keeping her relatively quiet.  The v-e-t has recommended sedatives.  😦


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Just Keep Her Quiet, he said…

Despite feeling nervous about getting Elsie spayed it is not something that I would ever avoid.  Living here where hunting pigs with dogs is popular and where, quite frankly, most of the people I’ve met who engage in the activity are half wits, I would never be responsible for allowing ridgeback puppies to come onto the market; I’m not going to sit on the fence here, I have an issue with hunting pigs with dogs.  If you met some of the types of people who did it up here you would probably understand.  Let’s just say that if some of these folk had another brain cell they’d be able to bark (without intending any offence to dogs).  I know not everyone is the same, but there are enough out there.  If you’re going to use dogs to hunt then both owner and dog have to be highly disciplined and trained.  That doesn’t happen here.  Below is a conversation that a local vet had with a pig dog owner.  It is not a wind up.

Ok I’m awake now – Just got off the phone from a surreal/stupid/funny conversation. Guy rings up all angry and ranting because he has just noticed his dog that he got CASTRATED (he used this word) a few weeks ago is “missing his balls”….I’m like “yes and” Apparently according to this guy desexing a dog if done properly does not involve removal of the testicles. (“your not supposed to cut their balls off”) When I politely explained to him that yes actually thats exactly what it involves. He then called me an incompetent vet who doesn’t know the first thing about castration….. While trying to discuss this with him it suddenly also dawned on him if his dog doesn’t have testicles anymore how is it going to breed. Which of course made him angrier – apparently its a top pigging dog and he wants pups from it – when I asked him why he got it desexed in the first place if he wanted to breed from it he then said if a proper vet had desexed it correctly then he would have been able to father puppies. When I explained to him that desex means DE-SEX he said he had plenty of dogs desexed before and they had all had their balls still in tact and were able to breed and apparently any half decent vet would know that. I tried to explain if they still had balls then they weren’t desexed. He again repeated I clearly know nothing about desexing. When I asked him what he thought desexing was for he just got abusive. He told me he would come down in the morning to sort it… so I decided to put a note on his file – turns out he didn’t get it done here anyway but at another vet clinic so he is going to have words with them in the morning. Not sure what to say or think – can anyone really be that stupid to not know what desexing/castration actually refers to? (end rant)

I rest my case.

Back to Elsie.  I really wanted to leave it as long as I could because, from what I have read, that is better for the puppy and, as bigger breeds tend not to come into their first season until they are a bit older, there’s been no pressure.  Ideally I would’ve liked to have been able to have it done when I could take time off work to be around for a couple of days, unfortunately that couldn’t happen.  I also have a couple of trips planned over the coming weeks which mean that the dogs are going to have to go into kennels and I thought it would be better to have her done and on the road to recovery before that.  Were I to have waited until I came back then she’d be a few weeks shy of a year, which might be cutting it a wee bit too fine.

So, I dropped her at the v-e-t’s early on Wednesday morning.  All went well and I picked her up in the afternoon.  She spent the rest of the evening channelling Jack Nicholson.  When the anaesthetic began to wear off properly she was obviously uncomfortable and a bit confused; most of the night was spent with me sitting in her pen with her because she was whimpering, so I couldn’t sleep anyhow.

I look at this picture and Dylan's 'Everybody Must Get Stoned' jumps into my head!

I look at this picture and Dylan’s ‘Everybody Must Get Stoned’ jumps into my head!

Now the mission is to keep her quiet and dry until her stitches are removed on Tuesday afternoon.  To help in this endeavour, Flo has been spending the day at The Furry Godmother Pet Resort, and to keep her dry Elsie has been confined to the deck, so she can’t access the pond.  I have expected to come home to destruction up there but she has behaved very well and so far so good – deck intact, puppy intact, puppy DRY.  The toys seem to be in pretty much the same place that I left them so I suspect that she’s just gone off to sleep.  I am VERY pleased to say that she has also held her bladder until I’ve got home each afternoon.  I had expected to come home to puddles and that hasn’t been the case.  My biggest post-op concern was her plumbing because Flo has leaked urine ever since she was spayed.

I will continue to try to keep them separated as much as possible due to Elsie’s propensity to use Flo as a trampoline.  Having said that, they haven’t tried any rough play since Wednesday.  Flo is a little under the weather – she’s had a bout of the runs… not a pleasant thing to have to be cleaning up at 4.30am, especially considering that the night before had been sleepless.

Roll on Tuesday.Life With Dogs

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Almost Wordless Wednesday – Bed? What Bed?

I wish she'd get us a bed.

I wish she’d get us a bed.

Apologies for the poor quality – it was night, there was no flash, George and Elsie were squirming… I did my best!

Elsie is at the v-e-t’s today being spayed.  She’s not like Flo (as well we know) and didn’t go with the nurse willingly but I’m sure she’ll be fine.  Poor little lamb.  😦

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A Letter To A Special Little Cat

My beautiful, special little Fergus,

You’re the first cat that is really mine.  I’d had another cat before you but when I moved out of home she stayed; not, you understand, because I wouldn’t have taken her with me but because, in the words of my father, ‘you cannae take her away from her little garden’… I got that cat in my teens and she died when I was in my mid-30s.  She had a good life in her ‘little garden’ with my parents.  Fergus, you are nearly 9.  I’ve owned you for 8 of those years.  SONY DSCTogether we have made 3 house moves.  You like to be outside and you’ve never been afraid to wander afar.  Do you remember when I had to go looking for you to bring you in overnight, and I eventually found you stalking around in the university grounds at midnight?  You set off one of the building alarms and I had to hide in the shadows bushes as the security people checked things out… that was a close call.  I’m not sure how I would’ve explained that one if I’d been caught – you’d run off by then!  When we first moved into our present house you spent a few nights stuck up trees before you learned how to make a controlled descent.  You also worried the neighbours the night you spent on their roof; I knew you would come down by SONY DSCyourself in the morning when you could see more clearly, and you did.  You’ve reluctantly tolerated George’s arrival and I think you might even like Flo and Elsie.  You don’t bite or scratch, no matter what.  You take everything life throws at you in your stride.  Even the accident that so very nearly ended it all.  I am sorry about that.  It’s put an end to your outside escapades and I know that is hard for you, especially when I’m gardening but let’s face it, that doesn’t happen very often.  Inside you have the run of the house, plenty to eat, toys with which you refuse to play and lots of window sills to lie on, relaxing.

I love the way you squeak when you are picked up – we used you as stand in bagpipes at our Burns Supper.  I love the way you run to be brushed and drool all the way through grooming.  I love the soft fur of your belly and SONY DSCthe smell of your paws.  I love that little noise you make when you’re really content.  I love that you try to bury your way under everything.  I love that you go wild over a damp towel.  I love that you mince around walk like Hercule Poirot.  I love that you surprise visitors by licking their feet.  I love that you endear yourself to everyone who comes through the door.

I will never move anywhere that I can’t take you.  I will never abandon you.  I will always feel dreadful about the accident.  You can do no wrong, so please, please stop peeing on the rug!


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Wordless Wednesday – I Know You’re There

Elsie - sits on Flo's head

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Monday Mischief – Elsie’s Collared

It is becoming a regular occurence for Flo to turn up at the door completely naked… Elsie has been honing her skills in collar removal, which is then followed by chewing them juuuust to the point that the buckle no longer fastens.  She’s decollared Flo twice in the last 12 hours.  It seems to be her new obsession.  Some time ago (months), working as a team, Flo removed and then Elsie chewed Elsie’s own collar, but that was before she was an expert in buckle decomissioning, so she’s still wearing hers.



SONY DSC These aren’t supermarket collars, they’re good Rogz ones.  One step further away from retirement again.  Thanks Els.

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Monday Mischief – Spot The Dog

October to May is ‘stinger season’ here in Darwin.  Stingers are box jellyfish.  It’s a good time to stay out of the water because it is not a creature you want to meet.  Most of the time it’s not a problem for dogs as they’ve got a covering of fur, but there have been quite a few jellyfish in the water recently and with Elsie being so young and curious I decided to give the beach a bit of a break, so we haven’t been for a while.  My fear is she bites one, which could be disasterous.  One dog was killed at our beach as a result of a jellyfish sting last year.  So we’ve been swimming at our favourite spot at the creek, and we’ve been to the dog park a lot which has a huge billabong where the dogs can swim.  This is Flo and Elsie in full ridgeback mode, spying their quarry, who carries on sniffing, oblivious.  If you look reeeeeeeeeealllllly closely you might be able to see the speck of dog on the other side of the billabong which caught their attention. There is some debate as to whether ridgebacks are sight hounds or scent hounds.  I’m thinking that their sight is pretty flipping good though I probably need to show them flash cards of african wildlife so that they don’t waste their energy on black dogs who couldn’t care less.  A little less of this mischief and a little more playing would be good thanks ladies.


Monday Mischief

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Monday Mischief – It Wisnae Me!

Elsie assures me she has no idea who dug about in all my carefully placed sand, but she thinks it might have been Flo.  Or George.  Or even Fergus.



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Wordless Wednesday – It Makes You Look So Much Younger!

This is all The Ritalin Kid's doing.

This is all The Ritalin Kid’s doing.

This is part of a Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop hosted by BlogBlogPawsWedButtonPaws.  Click on the link to join in.

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Wordless Wednesday – The Cone Of Shame

Flo's hurt her eye.  She keeps scratching at it.  Time for the cone of shame.

Flo’s hurt her eye. She keeps scratching at it. Time for the cone of shame.



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If You Could Have One Wish This Christmas…

Last year Fergus, George and Flo made Christmas lists.  To avoid clumsy repetition, this year we’re going for a Christmas wish.

Fergus would like to be furball free.SONY DSC

George wishes to be left alone.  Or for world peace.  Maybe both.

Flo would like the world to slow down and sleep a little more.

Elsie would like the world to speed up to keep pace with her.  Or Flo’s dinner.
What would your wish be?

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Monday Mischief. I Don’t Think We Need The Fence Any More

If you took that fence down, I promise I wouldn't do this...

If you took that fence down, I promise I would NEVER do anything like this…

If you took that fence down, I promise I wouldn't pull the plants out like this...

If you took that fence down, I wouldn’t pull the plants out like this…

... and I certainly would never splash around and upset the fish.

… and I certainly would never splash around and upset the fish.

So please could we take that fence down.  I'd love to be able to stand here admiring the cool water all day.

So please could you take that fence down. All I want to do is stand here admiring the cool water all day.  You do believe me, don’t you?

Not on your nellie Elsie.

The fence was put there to stop Elsie drowning in the pond when she was little.  She’s not little any more, but the fence is staying put.  I can’t think why!

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I Wish I Wish I Wish

A number of weeks ago we at the House of Flo received a lovely letter in the post from our friend Georgia, the fearsome pig dog, via her Typist.  In it were some fitas, which are ‘miracle ribbons’ from Brazil.  These ribbons are tied around something, be it a wrist, railing or, in our case, collar.  For each of the 3 knots you tie, a wish is made.  To read Georgia’s Typist’s post about these colourful ribbons, click here.  As I have been brain dead trying to catch up on sleep because the Ritalin Kid’s batteries are longer lasting than those of the Duracell Bunny taking a break from blogging for a little while, I didn’t want to do the gift a disservice by whacking out some ill thought out, whimsical post, cobbled together whilst thinking about from whence my next caffiene hit would be coming.  As it happens, I am thinking about a good, strong coffee, but hopefully the cumulation of a few days of being allowed to sleep for half an hour longer will improve allow a modicum brain function.  I also didn’t want to waste my wishes on something trivial, which I would be sure to do when frustrated by lack of sleep and puppy exuberence.  So, Typist, please forgive me for the delay in posting, but, it was for all the right reasons.

What is this thing that you're dressing me in?

What is this thing that you’re dressing me in?

I made my wishes for each of the animals, whilst knotting the ribbons on to their collars.  All except George, who will have to have his sorted while he’s sleeping – he’s too busy guarding his ribbon.  Even though Fergus doesn’t wear a collar any more I’ve tied a ribbon to her old collar, I think that’d be allowed.  I can’t share the wishes, but I feel they are adequetly cerebral not to have let Typist or Georgia down.  I can tell you that I didn’t wish that Elsie would sleep for longer, or that Flo would stop chewing the reticulation!  Hopefully Flo and Elsie’s ribbons will be able to withstand the ‘collar-grabbing/chewing with wild abandon’ that goes on during every tussle.

Pssst.  Flo.  You've got something tied to your collar.  Shhh.  Don't tell everyone, they'll all want one.

Pssst. Flo. You’ve got something tied to your collar. Shhh. Don’t tell everyone, they’ll all want one.

Come near this and you lose a finger... at best.

Come near this and you lose a finger… at best.

Perhaps I should also have wished that George’s collar could remain around his neck and not deposited in some secret hiding place in the garden!  We’ll see.  🙂

Thank you T and GLP.  xx

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Wordless Wednesday – Waaaaaaait

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… Are they back? Or is it just a one off?

Oh dear oh dear oh dear.  I never meant to be away for such a long time… whoops.  You’d think after this long I’d have something of substance to write about too, wouldn’t you?  Alas, ’tis an empty head that I come to you with!  This time of the year can be a little overwhelming at work with end of year assessments and reporting all taking place.  It’s all so serious!  However, it is all done and now we can just have some fun as the year winds down.  Hurrah!

Life in the House of Flo has been ticking over one day at a time.  Whilst somewhat more settled, The Ritalin Kid still refuses to sleep for more than six hours at a stretch.  I can’t bring myself to put her outside – Flo and I are her pack, and it would be cruel to separate her from us at night.  Especially at this time of the year when we are prone to loud, thunderous storms.  So, a routine has been established… TRK is taken down for a final pee at around 11-11.30pm (we will be trying to make this earlier as from this evening).  Then everyone toddles off to bed, air con on, lights off.  Somewhere between 5.30 and 6am the yawning and lip smacking noises start from TRK’s pen.  I get up, put her outside and go back to bed for half an hour.  Flo doesn’t raise an eyebrow throughout this proces. During this half hour Elsie finds something to chew or play with – she’s nowhere near as destructive as her big sister in such times of isolation!

It has been a hard road with this little pup.  I’ve made some mistakes with her – when I first started putting her out at 5.30 in the mornings I’d give her the command to go for a wee and then when she obediently went off downstairs to the grass I’d run back inside, close the door and go back to bed.  This resulted in a dog that would absolutely refuse to follow the command to wee, even at 11pm, no matter how long we stood out there being eaten by mozzies, and then within 5 seconds of getting her in her pen she would squat and pee on her bed.  It took a few nights of putting the washing on at 11pm before the penny dropped… DUH!  I can see Ian Dunbar shaking his head and tsk tsk tsk-ing.  It all seems so obvious with hindsight but I must also remember that I was seriously sleep deprived and exhausted by the little sod by that stage!  Anyway, a little bit of hard work and a lot of cheering and chicken treats later, she is doing fine in the bladder-emptying department.  I am also a bit more confident in how long she can wait.  We have now had about 3 or 4 weeks without any bed-peeing issues.

If I don’t let her out at 5.30am, this is what she does to her bed…

Fergus and George are both fine.  George is beginning to want to go out a bit more after seeking refuge in the house rather than run the gauntlet of being chased by Elsie outside.  I have a little bit of the deck penned off and he can go and sit there in peace.

And finally, just for entertainment’s sake, I’m going to try and embed a very funny safety ad by the Melbourne Rail folk.  It has nothing to do with anything, except that it might make you laugh, which is a good thing.  🙂

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Posted in cats, dogs, pets, Ridgeback | Tagged , | 31 Comments