RIP DEVON (aka Prissy Paws) 2004 – 2014

So far I have to say that 2014 has turned out to be a tragic year. First we lost the lovely Rosie at the tender age of 4 years and then a few days ago Devon’s battle came to an end.

Devon belonged to The Help’s parents and used to visit us regularly. He never really liked us (or any other dogs) but he did get used to us and tolerated us. We realised that he was never going to play with us and after our initial greeting used to leave him alone. Strangely he used to enjoy the visits.

He would often just sit watching us with his big eyes. I think he thought we were the entertainment!

He had been a champion show dog until his breeders decided to give him up for adoption when he was about four years old. I don’t have a photograph from his show days to show you, but I have seen one and he certainly looked special.

Devon 10 years old

Devon 10 years old

About eight months ago we received the news that Devon had a heart murmur. By the time the vet saw him it was already grade 4 even though all he was showing was a bit of a cough.

We were very sad. The vet thought he had between 3-5 months. In fact he lived another eight months before he showed signs of being uncomfortable. He had a nice quiet life (except when we came to call), and lived a life of privilege. He slept with his people at night (do you hear that Help?), and always enjoyed going out for his sniffs around the beach or nearby reserve. Until the last few weeks of his life his routine didn’t waiver.

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He starred in a few of the Princess Tails Fairy Stories before we knew he was sick. His most commanding performance was as the Wicked Wizard Prissy Paws who ended up being turned into a rabbit.

Bunny Wicked Wizard Prissy Paws

Bunny Wicked Wizard Prissy Paws

He was on medicine of course and yet his heart became weaker and although he had a big spirit in that little body, eventually his heart began to cause him to tire and even the 4.00 pm sniffs became too much for him. Still he was allowed to be quiet and sleep when he wanted to. Some days he showed signs of energy and would grab his favourite toy wanting to play for a time before he would become tired again.

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Finally last week he went off his food and it became obvious that his quality of life was slipping. He went quietly over the bridge. It was almost as if he was so tired that he welcomed the idea of rest.

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Little Devon we are glad you are at peace and hope that you are playing over that bridge with Bella, your lovely Standard Poodle pal, the only dog you’ve ever loved, and you can enjoy feeling young and whole again.

We will miss your sweet nature and your huge eyes and the excited barks you used to give when you arrived to visit – not to mention the sulks when we came to visit you!!

RIP Devon, the house is empty without your quiet but solid little presence and your owners are mourning and missing you more as each day goes by.

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Goodbye Devon from a sad Princess Zena and Raffles

Romance in the Air?

I know, I know. It’s been ages again. I’m afraid for the moment that is likely to be the pattern. I can’t rely on The Help. She isn’t old, but like me her immune system isn’t good (unlike me inbreeding is not the cause!!!!!).

So for a while posts are likely to be random unless some new medication begins to work in which case she could be like a runaway train.

'We're doing a blog? Really? Finally!'

‘We’re doing a blog? Really? Finally!’

I’m sorry that we’ve been keeping you on the edge of your seats.

We haven’t?

You mean you’ve forgotten? You have a life apart from me? How is that even possible?

Well! I am shocked. I’m not sure I will recover. I had thought that I would be in your thoughts night and day. However. I will rise from the bitter blow. I will move forward and remind you of my dilemma.

In one of my last posts I met Prince, the vertically challenged corgi who I charged at making loud noises which is the way I vet all new dogs and which is really an invitation to play. It is. Honestly. Ask any dog. They never bother. In fact usually they ignore me so they can’t feel threatened. The owners don’t always like it though and The Help gets embarrassed. Anyway, I digress.

Do you remember now? Shall I continue with the story? It seemed appropriate to get everyone up to date especially at this time as the world is gearing up for Valentines day and romance. I am very current am I not? My story is probably being played out in a billion homes all over the world.

To remind you of Prince here is his picture.

Prince

Prince

Prince has been to the park a couple of times since our first introduction. As you know, I was agonising over our future together. Here was I Princess Zena, and here was Prince. Was he my Prince? It never occurred to me that I might not be his Princess, after all I am ….. Gorgeous.

You see? Wonderful. Who could not adore me :-D

You see? Wonderful. Who could not adore me :-D

He certainly wasn’t my idea of my prince, but then how often do we meet our ideal prince? Was I being sizist? Yes, I do know that isn’t a word, but you know what I mean don’t you? If he was a little taller would I feel differently? After all, we all know that the outer package is just that, the wrapping, it’s what’s inside that counts.

By the way talking about wrappings, here’s a quick shot of me at Christmas. Who’s the best present of all?

Spot the dog

Spot the dog!

Anyway, back to the topic on hand. I felt the pressure I can tell you. Something was lacking. I tried hard to generate emotion. I felt I should feel something.

But I didn’t feel IT. I have to be honest. I wasn’t bowled over and like any Princess I wanted to feel excitement, anticipation, joy. Something. Anything. Nevertheless I decided I had to give him a chance. If the universe was bringing me my Prince who was I to turn tail and run.

I thought and thought

I thought and thought

I gave him a chance. I gave him two. And nothing. Zilch. Nada. Rien. The last time I saw him I didn’t even want to rush at him I just felt a dreadful boredom and I could see he felt the same. He lives with another corgi called Pemba so I think they’re happy together and I’m so relieved about that. I understand it too. When I had Zac, I had my Prince. I didn’t need anyone else (except The Help, we still need the opposable thumb thing for opening tins).

Perhaps a girl only has one Prince. And do you know what? I’m okay with that. I had the greatest Prince ever and I couldn’t find another. I don’t want to find another. I’m happy to have the memory of my Prince and cherish the times we had. Now I’m happy to have friends.

Me, the pup and Ollie hanging out at the park (sorry about the blurry pic we didn't want to keep still).

Me, the pup and Ollie hanging out at the park (sorry about the blurry pic we didn’t want to keep still).

It has made me think though. I’ve deigned to play with Raffles a couple of times this week, not too often because I don’t want him to think he’s won me over, it’s only been 18 months. I have wondered about him finding his special somedog (it definitely is not me) but he seems happy having lots of pals. His bestie is Cassie but he has a special friendship with Ollie too.

Ollie & Raff have a bit of a bromance going on :-)

Ollie & Raff have a bit of a bromance going on :-) And yes, that is genuine licking, no sticks or anything in the mouth.

Sitting in the park the other day I watched the lad running and playing with Cassie, his bestie. He was having the time of his life. I don’t really run and play like that so much anymore, I like a supervisory role but I’m glad the pup has friends to play with. He has a great time with Ollie, they hug and kiss and then he runs and plays with Daisy and to be honest any friendly dog at the park can have Raffy. Yes. He’s that easy….. going :-)

I remember playing with Zac, it was cool. I remember playing sniffs in the garden with him and watching tv and seeing who could finish dinner first. Life was more fun with him. But you know what they say, better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

I have had my Prince and I’m not looking to replace him. I have some pals who accept me around and don’t hassle me. They accept me for who I am and don’t ask more from me than I’ll give. That’s a pretty good place to be.

Anyone want to tell the guy he's too big for my favourite bed?

Anyone want to tell the guy he’s too big for my favourite bed?

Love from Zena, the contented Princess

RIP Sweet Rosie

Christmas day with her pals at the dog park

Christmas day with her pals at the dog park

If I am Princess Zena, Rosie was the Queen of the Poodle Posse. She called the shots and sorted out any who might threaten her poodle pack.

Rosie took Raffy under her care when he first arrived at the park.

Laying down the rules to new pup Raffy

Rosie was rarely without her pal Ollie who was more than happy to let her take the lead and be the boss.

Rosie with best pal Ollie

Rosie liked balls and when she set her mind to it she could get one every time, even Cassie let her win – after all, Rosie was the Queen.

Look What I’ve Got!!

All mine :-)

But you mustn’t get the idea that Rosie was in any way aggressive. She was gentle and sweet and mothered us all. I went to her home recently to have a special hair cut and she was perfectly happy to have me there. She was always gracious.

Like any of us when the treats were handed out Rosie sat and waited her turn with impeccable manners.

Share and share alike. Rosie is the well mannered girl in the pink collar sitting at the back, she knows her turn will come.

A beautiful red colour, Rosie held her lovely tail up high and curled over her back. She was so happy and confident and it was actually Rosie and Ollie who was instrumental in our getting Raffles. They were so personable and made a good team.

She held that tail high and wagging until the last day.

Rosie was only a young girl and it breaks our heart to lose her. Her owner is devastated, describing her as the best dog she has ever had. In four short years Rosie has made an impression that will never be forgotten.

Beautiful Rosie

Just before Christmas we learnt that Rosie had lymphoma. Nothing could be done. It was aggressive. We saw her a couple of days ago and commented how well she was looking and how well she was doing. She had just completed a long walk, her tail was up and wagging and she even played with the other poodles, though we had noticed that for a few times now at the park she didn’t want to play.

She took a turn for the worse last night and today Rosie was put to sleep so that she wouldn’t suffer the pain that was coming her way. Now her owner is suffering.

Her poodle pals will all miss her. Ollie will be lost without her. Cassie will have no other female to look up to and adore and Raffy will never learn more from Rosie’s wisdom.

A prance of poodles with Rosie in the middle.

Beautiful Rosie, we will miss you so much.

Every time we go to the park we will see your shadow running after the ball, walking alongside the prancing Ollie with dignity and we will always see you walking at your owner’s side – the only place you ever wanted to be. There will be a gap in our photos, the pack will be one down and they will feel your loss too and that gap will never be filled Rosie because it is a gap that only you can fill. It will always be there but once the awful pain of grief has passed we will remember the golden red girl who was always so happy and tolerant of the rabble she presided over.

We take comfort in knowing that Rosie’s four short years were happy years filled with runs on the beach, walks through the bush and the stimulation of the poodle posse, but most of all spent with an owner who she adored and who loved and cared for her.

Rosie we will never forget you. You were one of the special ones.

We miss you Rosie

With love from the sad Princess

The Princess Meets Her Prince?

I knew this day would come. You know what I mean. That day when your eyes meet across a crowded park. Your pulses quicken. Your eyes brighten and your tail goes up.

Then, if you’re like me you charge growling and snarling and really make a great impression!

I was mortified. The Help was cross with me and right there in front of everyone she stopped me and made me sit as she told me off. I blushed with embarrassment, though you couldn’t tell under the black fur.

I don’t like The Help being cross with me but I can deal with that. I just do what we all do. I give her the ‘I adore you’ look and pretty soon she’s putty in my paws again.

FYI - This is my 'I adore you' look. Works every time :-)

FYI – This is my ‘I adore you’ look. Works every time :-)

I wasn’t so much embarrassed about the telling off, or even my behaviour if I’m honest. It is my job to police the park. Those poodles are so into their socializing that they let anyone join us and do anything.

Looking back I don’t see what else I could have done. I wasn’t to know was I?

I wasn’t to know that I had just met my Prince and his first memory of me is of a snarling black ball hurtling towards him! Not the impression you want to make.

Not that I recognised him as my Prince. In fact I am still a little confused. He is not what I imagine my Prince to be at all. I have to admit he is a little vertically challenged, he has very little legs. I always pictured my Prince as being tall, dark and handsome and if not tall at least a little bit like Zac.

However, fate has other ideas. Let me explain how it all happened.

It started off like any other day in the park.

We walked down and met up with the poodle crowd and Roxy. Well, to be honest. Raffy walked down ahead of The Help and I. I had to wait for her to get her tail out of bed. Eventually we joined them.

I'm in the middle of this crowd as we mingle and say polite 'hellos'

I’m in the middle of this crowd as we mingle and say polite ‘hellos’

I was there looking gorgeous which was just as well as it turned out.

Cutest Tibetan at the park

Cutest Tibetan at the park

Raffy was enjoying himself as always.

Doesn't he look happy?

Doesn’t he look happy?

Cassie, Raffy’s bestie was there.

This is Cassie. Hasn't she got the most gorgeous highlights?

This is Cassie. Hasn’t she got the most gorgeous highlights?

Rosie, the boss of the poodle pack was central to the action.

'My ball until I get bored with it' says Rosie

‘My ball until I get bored with it’ says Rosie

Ollie was doing his usual prancing.

Ollie with four paws on the ground for a change.

Ollie with four paws on the ground for a change.

Daisy joined us for the morning play.

Don't you just love Daisy's collar.

Don’t you just love Daisy’s collar?

And Roxie who is another non-poodle member of the group was there as usual.

This is Roxy. A most beautiful, petite Collie.

This is Roxy. A most beautiful, petite Collie.

Games were going on as usual. There was the ‘first to get the ball is the winner’ to begin with.

It's underneath you!!  Oh and I'm in the middle of that scrum.

It’s underneath you!!
Oh and I’m in the middle of that scrum!

Games of chase and bitey-face were in progress and this is when Roxy gets to play her favourite game – grab the tail!

As Raffy and Cassie play chase, Cassie is handicapped by Roxy hanging of her tail!

As Raffy and Cassie play chase, Cassie is handicapped by Roxy hanging off her tail!

For some reason Roxy doesn’t seem to like Raffy’s tail, but Cassie and Daisy are fair game.

Just a normal morning at the dog park. Rosie was a little thirsty so her owner put down her own private water bowl and we all respected that and let Rosie use it.

Next thing I know this short fellow we had never met before rushes up and takes a lick of the bowl.

It was too much for me. Such bad manners. So I did the unmentionable that I actually did mention above. I wouldn’t have hurt him but I guess I sounded fierce. Come to think of it he wasn’t bothered. He didn’t even run away or turn his head, but The Help hauled me over the coals.

The interloper

The interloper

I don’t think the poodles even noticed him.

After I had been chastised I sat down for a moment and then went over to the little guy and we sniffed and made up. Fortunately The Help was just to late with the camera to catch that one, it would have made me blush all over again.

Friends? Maybe.....

Friends? Maybe…..

Then his owner appeared and he had an identical pal called Penda. Imagine my horror , concern when I heard his name was Prince!!

Prince.

OMD. I am a Princess, he is Prince. Does this mean that all my dreams are wrong? Is he my Prince?

Prince

Prince

Getting to know him a little more as I did this morning I do acknowledge that he is an okay fellow. But my Prince??

I have a lot of thinking to do.

Love from a rather confused Princess Zena

I’M BACK………………… for now

Hi everyone and a huge thanks to those who wrote to me and encouraged me to continue on with my musings, pup rearing tips and tails of triumph :-)

Taking in the summer air

Still looking good :-)

Despite his diagnosis of heart murmur and fear he would only live a few months Devon, aka Prissy Paws, is still with us and we go gently with him. He still comes into our house and turns up his nose at us. Sometimes I find him gazing at Raffles with what looks like wonder in his eyes. I imagine he is wondering what he is. He isn’t really afraid. He lines up with us for treats and things and Raffy is the perfect gentleman around him. He doesn’t try and get him to play or step on him or anything!

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Devon.

Raffy is a pup no longer. He is now 17 months old and weighs in at 37 kilos. No kidding!! 37 kilos and he may still be bulking up a bit!! I tell you he is a giant. In fact he is literally a giant. In the States there is apparently a category of Standard Poodle called Giant Standards and he fits. That is so typical of my family. Not content with getting a bigger dog they have to get a huge one. Well they needn’t expect me to play with him however gentle he may be. 37 kilos against 12 is just not fair.

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Raffles all grown up

We spend most mornings at the dog park. Though of course I don’t go out if it’s wet. I have discovered that there is a plot for the Standard Poodles to take over the village. I warn you all now, it may even be a worldwide threat. Be alert.

When we got Raffles we knew of two other Standards at the park. Then we met Ollie and Rosie. Then Cassie became his bestie. Then Ringo appeared. Then Daisy came on the scene. Geordie and Leo made occasional visits and now there is Paris and Jack as well as Jacques and Coco Chanel. I tell you…… it is a conspiracy.

I occasionally run with the others but on the whole my business is to check the incomers. I particularly object to some of the labradors that dash into our group of pals expecting to grab all the attention and I usually have to tell them off until they improve my manners. The Help stops me doing this but I believe it is an important job. The poodles are just playing and would accept anybody, I am more discerning!

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Paris in front, Rosie the red and Ollie the black walking behind.

Paris is one of the smaller Standards and steals everyone’s heart (except mine). They are all taken in by the mooning looks and cuddles. I know she is just manipulating them and whilst all the other poodles run around she hangs about for hugs. Ollie does the same too but he doesn’t make big eyes at everyone like Paris and I quite like him.

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Supervising the play from a distance.

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Joining in the stick chewing game with Raffy and Cassie

Very, very occasionally I try to play with Raffy but it isn’t easy. Tug of war is no fun at all, one pull and I have to let go. I have been pulled across the floor by him once but I decided it wasn’t that much fun.

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Looking cool in his summer coat

Going out into the garden has become fraught with danger for me. Raffy is always hoping that I will feel like a game of chase. I do occasionally but I have to keep him guessing by not encouraging it too often. When we do I move too fast for The Help to get a photo and it usually ends like this below – a race to the door and my favourite hiding place, under the desk!

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Finally. Made it safely indoors!

The Help wanted to get a photo of us both together so you could see the difference in size, but I was in a very scratchy mood and I usually walk away from the camera. After all, I am a star and I’m not just going to give away my image ;-)

Raffles loves the camera and when it comes out he begins to pose.

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Spot the differences!!!

Whilst our games usually end with me running for cover, we have other ways of making life fun too. Like who gets onto the red sofa first. Usually we share it, but sometimes one of us hogs it and the other one has to lie in the bed on the floor.

The laugh on his face says it all - he got the sofa first.

The laugh on his face says it all – he got the sofa first.

And despite his size. This often happens at night:

Doesn't he look stupid

Doesn’t he look stupid

So there we are. A very quick catch up to bring you up to date. I hope I will be back shortly and with luck I’ll be able to keep The Help posting from now on.

With love from Zena, the happy Princess

The Present Princess

Yesterday is the past,

Tomorrow’s the future,

But today is a gift.

That’s why it’s called the present :-)

by Bill Keane

I came across this quote this week and thought it was good.

Over the last few posts I’ve been looking into the past, I cannot look into the future with any degree of certainty, but I can enjoy today. So that is what I decided to do.

Then when I was checking the blogs I follow what do I find? A present! Really! Isn’t that neat? It must be a sign. I must live in the present with presents. I’ll have to make sure The Help understands this.

Here is my present. An award from Savvy over at Savannah’s Paw Tracks.

My favourite Thing Award

My favourite Things Award

Isn’t it pretty? It’s even in my favourite red (my collar and lead are red). And all those gorgeous flowers, just what I need to brighten up a windy winters day.

So a huge thank you goes to Savannah’s Paw Tracks for picking me to receive this pretty award. It doesn’t have too many rules which is great. I only have to thank Savvy which being a well brought up Tibetan I would have done without the rules!

Then I have to tell you my six favourite things.

Then I have to pass it on – if I want to ;-)

So, here goes.

My Six Favourite Things:

1. My new bed. I know, I know. To some of you this may seem boring but I am a Princess. I like my comfort and my very special bed that was bought for me just after Zac ran away to the Rainbow Bridge got all squashed by the puppy. Last week The Help went out and bought me a new special bed and it goes under the table in the hall so that the big guy cannot smush it!

My new bed :-)

My new bed :-)

2. This sort of relates to number one. I love (and need) my hiding places. The places I can go to escape the big guy when he wants to play and I don’t want to be played with. He is usually pretty good and leaves me alone, I don’t get sucked quite as much as I used to but if he is excited I need my Zena only zones.

Escape Zone 1 - under the desk (can you see me on the screen?)

Escape Zone 1 – under the desk (can you see me on the screen?)

Zena Escape Zone number 2 - on the sofa in the lounge that the big boy isn't allowed on. I love this one :-)

Zena Escape Zone number 2 – on the sofa in the lounge that the big boy isn’t allowed on. I love this one :-)

3. My third favourite thing is puppies. Proper puppies. Not puppies like Raffles who come already bigger than me, little puppies. There is a spaniel puppy that comes to the park a lot. I think it’s lost it’s legs because it is so tiny! I love playing with that puppy and I don’t even mind when it hangs off my ears with it’s sharp teeth. I would like a puppy. I don’t have a photo of Barley the spaniel puppy yet, but I’ll have to remember to get The Help to take one.

4. My fourth favourite thing is evenings when I get to lie on The Help and she rubs my tummy. If she doesn’t get arm ache she rubs my tummy most of the evening. I like that.

5. My fifth favourite thing might surprise you. It’s Raffles. I know he can be a bit full-on for me when he wants to play but I have said before that I am not a Princess who likes to be alone and I rather like going to the park with Raffles. He is one of the biggest dogs we see in the park and it makes me feel very safe. He is very gentle for his size and sometimes when I’m getting a cuddle from The Help he comes up and begins licking under my neck and I make a sort of purring sound, I can’t help it! So I am glad he’s around and I’m not alone. It is good to have company.

Raffles - 10 months

Raffles – 10 months

6. My sixth favourite thing would be my collar. The Help has ordered me a new one, the same as Raffles. It is still red and I hope I like it as much. It is very odd but I am rather like Lady from Lady and the Tramp. I am proud of my collar and I feel undressed without it. When I have to have one of those horrible baths I am not comfortable until my collar goes back on again. I am naked without it!

This has been interesting. There are lots of things that I like and it was hard to choose six. I didn’t choose my family because I think it is obvious that for all of us our favourite things would be our people.

Now who to pass this onto who has not already received it…..hmmm…… tricky.

1. Little Binky at Angel’s Whisper. I would love to know your six favourite things.

2. Gizmo over at Terrier Torrent should have some amusing favourite things.

3. Easy over at Easy Weimaraner is bound to make you chuckle with his six favourite things.

Now to another blogville matter of importance.

Many of you know that Savvy has been doing an amazing job in helping Leo. Leo was sick and Savvy and family got him all better again. But Savvy has been through a lot in the past and is only just recovering from a lot of trauma and sadly cannot cope with Leo too.

This means that Leo needs his own home, his own castle where he can be doted upon and loved as he should be. Go here to learn more about the sort of place that Leo is looking for.

leos-castle-smallOkay. Perhaps Leo won’t mind if he doesn’t live in a castle with all those turrets (think of the cleaning). But he really does need his own place before he gets too settled in to what is Savvy’s home.

So if you know anyone who fits the criteria; loves cats, patient, calm, wants an indoor cat, currently without a furpal, stay at home and willing to be adored for the rest of their lives. If you think you are that person, or know someone who could be that person please contact Savvy’s Mom.

In our look back series we talked about a lot of pets who were adopted by The Help and with time and patience every one of them turned out to be fantastic. Leo will be too, he just needs to be given the right chance and the right castle.

I know we are a long way away, but I’m hoping some of our followers may be close to the area and you never know – perhaps even now someone is reading this who knows where Leo’s furrever home could be.

I leave you with a quick update on Prissy Paws who you may remember was diagnosed with a stage four heart murmur a couple of months ago. He is okay. He is sleeping a lot now and sadly he is still grumpy with us and doesn’t like us near him, but we understand that and accept him for who he is. He is not in pain but he finds it difficult to play with his toys now. Maybe he’ll figure in one of our stories again soon, but this time I might give him a more heroic role!

Devon or Prissy Paws last weekend when he visited us.

Devon or Prissy Paws last weekend when he visited us.

Have a great day everyone, enjoy the present

Love from Zena, the caring Princess

Fashionista Princess

Well, The Help wasn’t able to join the sunglasses blog hop on the right day because of the time difference. But even though it is now the 28th with us we’ll try to join Ranger and our other pals.

Which would you prefer?

Zena in shades

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pizap.com13723337574521

Love from Zena, the fashion-forward Princess

The Princess Looks Back For The Last Time

The Help and I debated this one. Should we? Shouldn’t we? As some of you have found the ‘looking back’ series a little sad we didn’t want to add to the use of tissues but on the other hand we eventually concluded that we couldn’t leave him out.

In this final look back we are talking about Zac. My wonderful pal. The Help’s soulmate. The one who got us into this blogging world and the one who left us too early. Most of you know about Zac, many of you followed him before you got to know me. If you didn’t know him this is his first post: A Mongolian Terror Is Born. And if you choose to you can read about his life.

He was my uncle. His mother and her son were bred together and unfortunately as they already had some strong crossovers in their pedigree it was not a good decision. This is why Zac suffered with so many health issues through his life. Sadly the breeders continue to produce puppies from the mother and son.

Zac catching the summer sun

Zac catching the summer sun

That said, The Help and I would not have changed him for a moment. The Help had him for two years before I came along to join the family. Zac called her his Beloved. He and The Help were besotted with each other. It doesn’t make me jealous, I was besotted with him too :-)

And for the first two years he was very black, and then the grey started and by the time I came along he was already silver!

Zac with 'Big Dog', his favourite toy

Zac with ‘Big Dog’, his favourite toy

They say a picture is worth thousand words, so we are going to show you a few of our favourite pictures of the greatest furpup The Help has ever known.

But I want a game now!

But I want a game now!

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Zac!

He loved television, all sorts of shows.

He loved television, all sorts of shows.

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When I came on the scene he wasn’t jealous, he looked after me. Wasn’t I cute?

Walking the dogs 8

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Zac & Big Dog 8 years on

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For Zac – the Rainbow Bridge is a richer place with you in it.

From your Princess and your Beloved

The Princess Looks Back – Part Four

Me - looking back!

Me – looking back!

I hope that some of you are still with me.

Until I started this I had no idea how sad some of the stories would be when written down in black and white and how they might bring tears. I apologize to everyone if I’ve made you sad. Please keep reading.

I will start today by saying a huge thank you to Angel and Chaos over at House Full of Dogs for giving me the super sweet blogging award. I do already have this award but it is lovely to be thought of and you can never have enough pupcakes!

super-sweet-award1-1Don’t you just want to scoff them all?

I then want to thank Little Binky and Granny over at Angel’s Whisper for allowing all their readers to share their Inner Peace Award. Who doesn’t want and need inner peace? I certainly want it. What with pupcakes and inner peace I am a very happy Tibetan right now :-)

Inner Peace Award

Inner Peace Award

I would like to do as Little Binky did and invite any of my followers to help themselves to this award. Especially those who have stuck through my ‘Looking Back’ series and have found them traumatic. You probably need some inner peace about now!

My last post left The Help and her family in New Zealand. I think she was born with a restless gene though because it wasn’t too long before they were moving again. This time to Switzerland. It was only for two years though so once again she was determined not to get any furpups.

As so often happens with The Help and her family, those two years passed and they began to put down roots. They bought a house over the border into France and as buying a house is a pretty big commitment the signatures hadn’t dried before she was already wanting to add another commitment – a dog.

Of course she told The Boss it was for the sake of number one and number two son. Ha! He wasn’t fooled.

She looked in the local papers and nearly bought a collie. Then they met with a breeder of Sheltie’s and learned that they could be very timid and had been a little over bred in that area so they decided that perhaps that wasn’t the right dog for two active boys.

The Boss didn’t want a big dog like a Newfoundland, Pyrenean or a Bernese Sheepdog which The Help loved so she had to look at smaller models.

They had a lot of children in and out of the house so whatever dog they had needed to be safe and friendly.

Really they were spoilt for choice. There are so many great dogs out there. Mixed breeds and what is termed pure breeds.

There were a few limitations though which made her look very carefully into the type of dog she got. As she was busy driving kids around The Help knew that she couldn’t take a dog for long walks as she had in the past so it had to be a dog which was happy with the large garden they had and the occasional trip out. It had to be friendly and safe with the unpredictable behaviour of children.

Although many of these things depend on training and safe exposure there is little doubt that there were certain breed traits which The Help didn’t feel suitable around children. So many things to think about.

Reading through a book she had come across a Tibetan Terrier and immediately fallen in love with the cuddly looks – well, we are gorgeous! She read about the kind temperament, how good we are with children and how playful we are. All of these things seemed positive, but she didn’t know where to get one.

One day she read about a dog show in a local town. That would be a good place to meet and maybe buy a dog she thought. They even mentioned Tibetan Terriers so she would get to see them.

So they turned up at the show and found the Tibetan Terrier class. These cuddly dogs were gliding around the ring and a strange couple over in the corner had a huge white rug in front of them which they were brushing. The family talked to a few owners and chatted to some of the dogs waiting around and discovered that they were friendly and all the owners were effusive about us.

The strange couple continued to brush the rug and The Help kept looking at them wondering what on earth they were doing. Towards the end of the competition someone went over to them and the lo and behold the rug got up and pranced into the ring! That did it. He was gorgeous and with that laid back personality who could resist getting one.

Whilst at the show they saw an advertisement for a 5month old Tibetan puppy being sold by a breeder about a two hour drive away. Not too bad a distance. The Help would have liked a younger puppy but there were no others nearby.

So a week later, the appointment was made and the family drove for hours to look at the puppy. The Help kept telling number one and number two son that they may not return with the puppy so they found the trip very tedious!

When they arrived at the house it was chaos. It seemed like dogs were everywhere. As well as breeding Tibetan Terriers these ladies also bred Briards, very large cattle herding dogs. Eventually they put the big dogs away and The Help and family were left with about a dozen Tibetan Terriers tearing around a small yard. It was like being in a cake shop for The Help – she would have taken every one but her eyes kept getting drawn to the only white one that was in the group.

She turned to her mother who was with them and expressed the wish that they’d take the white one away because it was the only one she had eyes for, she hadn’t taken any notice of the black and white pups running around.

The breeders eventually cut the white one out of the group and The Help thought that would be good because she could focus on the others. They put the white one on the table and told them that this was the puppy which was for sale. Apparently she was actually golden in colour and much prized. They had specifically bred their bitch with a dog from the UK in order to get a golden but her teeth had come through overshot and therefore she was useless to them. They were very disappointed. The Help not so much.

The first Tibetan for the family

The first Tibetan for the family

So of course the trip home was made with a squirming puppy who vomited into the gear box and got cuddled by The Help – so much for getting a puppy for her sons!

Toffee was a quiet Tibetan. She didn’t care for other dogs which was surprising as she had spent so much of her early life well socialized with the other pups, but she loved The Help. She loved all the family and would go out and play with the boys but The Help was her focus. One thing about us Tibetans is that we do tend to have a favourite in the family.

The Help apologises for the quality of the photos but she hadn’t mastered digital at that time and the photos have been on a few more travels since then.

Toffee loved her family

Toffee loved her family

She was definitely a family dog and was very stand offish with strangers and visitors. She had a great bark and frightened people coming to the door but then she would step aside and expect The Help to protect her. That’s what we do – we alert our people to intruders but then it’s up to them to look after us :-)

Toffee with her wide grin

Toffee with her wide grin

She was bigger than I am, but I know that Zac and I were small for our breed. I often wonder if she would have liked me if we’d ever met. As she wasn’t too keen on other dogs probably not, but you never know, perhaps she only liked other Tibetans.

Toffee hanging out with the family

Toffee hanging out with the family

When The Help first got her she wouldn’t eat very much. Within days though she realized that wasn’t a good idea and from then on the battle was to stop her eating! Every hair cut revealed whether she needed a diet or not. I’m glad to say I have only had that problem since the pup has been around and I’ve occasionally got some of his food.

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Like most of us she enjoyed her sleep! In fact she was a little too quiet at times and The Help actually took her to the vet at one point to see if she was okay. Everything came back clear so it was just that she was a passive dog.

Like me she did not like water. What is it with us Tibetans? She also hated snow which I haven’t ever seen. The Help told me that one day when the first snows came she decided to go walking in the forest behind their house. She drove up to the snowline and got out. Toffee was in the car and looking to stay there. She got her out and Toffee looked at her with scorn. Walk? In this? The Help set off, the sun was shining, the sky was blue and there was a little snow on the ground. Toffee trudged after her trailing a few metres behind. When The Help looked back Toffee stopped and shook her paws to get the snow off. After 20 minutes of walking with a dog in abject misery The Help gave up.

As soon as she turned around, Toffee turned and high tailed it back to the car and sat waiting eagerly to go home!

She was not an active dog. Many a time she went out for a walk with the family only to return in the arms of one of them as she refused to walk any further. Take it from me we Tibetans can be stubborn when we want to be :-)

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She went everywhere with the family and unlike myself never had a thought to go exploring. She hardly needed a lead and although the garden wasn’t fenced she wasn’t interested in leaving it. On their walks she would respond to The Help’s voice and if there was a cat or anything that caught her attention a quick word from The Help would make her ignore it. I could do that, I’m sure I could – if I wanted too.

Anyway, one of her favourite things was to go to the airport. The Boss was always travelling then and Toffee would go to the airport to pick him up. They would tie a bow around her neck and everyone would smile at her and for once she would wag her tail and was friendly. When she saw who it was she was coming to meet they would let the lead go and she would run to them – it was all very Heathcliff and Cathy if you get the picture.

When number two son left to go to University Toffee was almost twelve. She developed Cushings Disease as an elderly dog. Until that point you would never have known she was getting older. At first she responded to treatment but then didn’t. She became very weary and when the time came to put her down she was ready. You could see in her eyes that she just wanted to sleep.

For such a quiet girl she left a big space but it was time for The Help to move on again so she was in no hurry to try and fill the void. Toffee had been a great pal. She saw number one and number two son grow up and was a constant companion to The Help. She did her job and more and she did it beautifully. She is remembered as a lovely girl and all the memories are happy ones. So please, no tissues with this one!

Toffee was their first Tibetan and it is a tribute to her that they went on and got two more when next they settled long enough to be responsible.

Toffee, the golden Tibetan

Toffee, the golden Tibetan

Golden in colour and golden in nature., she was one of the good ones.

With love from Zena, the proud Tibetan