The Princess Tails

The Musings of Zena, a Tibetan Terrier sharing her life and wisdom with Raffles, a Standard Poodle


The Pumped Princess

Our pal over at Mollie & Alfie’s has been talking about exercise which The Producer has looked at but of course does nothing about.

As you know I recently got a personal trainer. He will fulfil the role of bodyguard as well one day but for the moment we are focussing on the fitness part of his job.

I hate to admit it but I had become a little unfit. I wasn’t fat you understand. I have always had a very slim figure, but I was a little slow on my feet and because my pal Zac couldn’t run, I had become a little sedentary.

Enter Raffles.

I am now very fit and I thought I would share some of our morning routines with you.

First of all warm up is very important before you begin a strenuous exercise programme. Raffles has me doing some gentle stretching in the house before we go out for the real work.

Stretch Number One

My first stretch involves lying over the stool, head down and back legs comfortably extended. Not too far back, don’t want to pull any hamstrings.

Second stretch position

From the head down position I gently slide my front legs forward a little and lift my head stretching my neck, back and chest a little.

I do this a few times and then we move onto the next stage.

At this point Raffles usually has me go out for a brisk walk.

We start off with a brisk walk

Sometimes motivation can be a problem so it is good to arrange to meet with some friends, that way you don’t find excuses to avoid the exercise.

Meeting up with some friends for a session

After a fair bit of walking we are ready to go for the burn and really get the heart beat up.

The heart pounding chase exercise

And still more running…….

He drives me pretty hard!

As you can see after the run I am pretty tired and then we enter the cooling down part of the routine which I love.

The roll and stretch

I personally enjoy the rolling and stretch to cool down, I find that my muscles really respond and I rarely suffer any stiffness.

Doing the same thing all the time is not only boring but it only exercises the same muscles so Raffles is careful to make sure I get other exercises throughout the day.

Shoulder & Chest work

He enjoys challenging me with new exercises that he thinks up.

One of my favourites working on the jaw muscles

He is not afraid to use whatever he can find around the house to make the exercises more interesting and keep the interest alive. If exercising becomes boring you are less inclined to do it.

Raffles makes sure I am never bored! He is turning out to be a great personal trainer and I am thinking of hiring him out to those who want a challenging exercise regime.

The end result!

After all that exercise reward yourself with a good rest as I have above. And yes, The Producer did have to check I was still breathing!!!!

Love from Zena, the fittest Princess


The Four Little Piggies & Princess Zena (based on The Three Pigs)

Princess Zena: As Princess Zena
Raffles: Raffles, The Personal Trainer
Doggie: Evil Doggie
Piggies: number 1 – Nutty, 
Piggie number 2 – Nibbles, 
Piggie number 3 – Buddy, 
Piggie number 4 – Basil

Brief appearance by: Mollie


Four little pigs were walking in a forest one day and they found a beautiful Princess crying quietly.

Beautiful Princess Zena crying in the forest

‘What are you doing here beautiful princess?’ they asked, ‘The woods are not safe. There is a big, black evil Doggie who roams about playing rough and peeing on things.’

Evil Doggie planning his next move

Princess Zena, for it was indeed that famous beauty, looked afraid.
‘I didn’t know he came here as well. He is the cause of all my troubles.’
Basil, who had become instantly smitten with the beautiful princess stepped forward.

‘We will help you Princess Zena.’ he said,  ‘We are the bravest piggies in the land.’

The four brave piggies: Nibbles, Nutty, Buddy & Basil

Nutty, Nibbles & Buddy exchanged looks. Their whiskers quivered. What was Basil letting them in for now? They were only little guinea pigs, how could they overcome Doggie?

Princess Zena raised her beautiful brown eyes still swimming with tears.
‘Can you really help me?’ she asked with wonder in her voice. ‘What amazing piggies you must be indeed.’

Basil puffed out his little chest and squeaked, ‘Whatever it is, we will help. Won’t we Nibbles, Nutty & Buddy?’
He turned to the other piggies who were shamed into offering to help too.
‘Of course, of course,’ they whiffled and were rewarded with a big smile from the beautiful Princess Zena.

‘So just what is the problem?’ asked Buddy feeling that he should be a little more assertive in this fairy tail.

‘Well, it is like this,’ shared the Princess. ‘Since my wonderful Zac died I have been so lonely and sad that I wanted to find another companion to play with me and protect me. So I put my profile on a dating site and waited to see who would contact me.’

Nibbles gasped, ‘Don’t you know how risky that is?’

‘I do now,’ said The Princess, ‘But I did think it was a good idea at the time. I was so lonely I would have done anything.’

Buddy nodded. He had lost a pal, he knew how it felt.

Princess Zena continued with her story. ‘I was contacted by quite a few possible candidates including Doggie who described himself as a cute cavoodle who liked to play gentle games and was willing to sleep on the tiles.’

Now it was Nutty who gasped.

Princess Zena nodded,  ‘As you know, he is nothing of the kind. He is a big Spanish Water Dog who likes water and mud and all the things I hate!’ she shuddered.

‘Before I knew who he really was I arranged to meet with him and bring him home with me but a kind Collie called Mollie warned me that he had lied in his profile, something to do with liking to win, so I politely declined his offer to move in with me.’

Basil quivered with indignation. Fancy trying to trick such a sweet and innocent little thing as Princess Zena.

‘After that experience,’ continued the Princess, ‘I decided that advertising for a companion was not a good idea so I withdrew my details and instead I employed a personal trainer to keep me fit. His name is Raffles and he keeps me running and working out all day!

When Doggie heard about this he was angry and he has sworn to get even with me because he doesn’t like to lose.

So Raffles and I ran into these woods to hide from him, but I am afraid and cold because we have nowhere to stay and I don’t like the rain. Princess Zena began to cry again.

Princess Zena & Raffles running into the forest

At this point Raffles came out from behind a tree and looked at the piggies rather nervously.

‘It is alright Raffie,’ said Princess Zena, ‘These Piggies are going to help us.’
She turned trusting eyes onto the piggies and they were filled with pride at her faith in them and became determined to outwit Doggie.

‘Wait a moment,’ said Basil, and he took his three friends to one side and they had a discussion.

They all agreed that the first thing that was needed was a shelter to protect Princess Zena but unfortunately they could not agree on how to build this shelter.

Nutty felt that a cardboard house was all that was needed and it had the added benefit of being very quick and easy to make which meant they would have plenty of time to enjoy some of the forest foods before Doggie came.

So he chewed and chewed and before long his cardboard house was ready. He tried it out. Perfect! And with so much time to spare before evening he could fill up on that wonderful patch of fresh grass he had seen.

Nutty working on his cardboard house

Basil inspected Nutty’s house but did not feel it was really strong enough to withstand an angry Doggie.

Basil inspecting Nutty’s finished house

Like Basil, Nibbles was not very sure that the cardboard house would be strong enough to stop Doggie, so he collected a lot of straw from the forest floor to build his house. It smelt so good too, and as soon as he finished the house he went ambling off to eat some dandelions he had spotted.

Nibbles’ straw house

Buddy looked at the cardboard house and the house of straw and thought that they were both a little flimsy. He wanted to build the best house.
‘I know,’ he thought, ‘I will build my house of sticks.’
So he collected a lot of sticks and built his house and he was very pleased with it. He couldn’t see where Basil was but he wasn’t concerned. His house of sticks would protect them from Doggie. He snuffled off to find some wild strawberries to eat.

Buddy’s house of sticks

Basil saw the houses his pals had built and was very concerned. They didn’t look strong enough to protect Princess Zena from the evil Doggie.

He looked at the angle of the sun and measured the distance from the trees and he spent all day building a villa out of brick with roof tiles, an open fire and double glazed windows because he was concerned about the environment and heat loss.
He worked all day and hadn’t eaten at all and when he finished his house he was very tired but he was also pleased. He’d even built a little pool so that Raffles could teach Princess Zena to swim and exercise!

Basil’s villa

Just as he stepped back to admire his house there was a crashing through the woods and he heard Princess Zena scream.

‘Quick!’ shouted Nutty, ‘Into my cardboard house.’

The little piggies, Raffles and Princess Zena rushed into the little cardboard house. It was a very tight fit and they couldn’t really move. Raffles was afraid.

From outside they heard a roar from Doggie. ‘I will not lose,’ he roared. ‘I will break down your house and I’ll pee on your heads.’

The little friends looked at each other in horror! Pee on their heads?

No sooner had Doggie uttered the threat than he swiped the cardboard house to one side with his paw and the Piggies had to cling to Raffles as they ran with Princess Zena to safety.

Raffles, Zena and the four piggies fleeing from Doggie deeper into the forest

‘Quick!’ Shouted Nibbles, run to my house of straw, ‘That will stop him. The six friends ran very fast into the house of straw.

Princess Zena’s eyes were wide with fear and Raffles was shaking as they crowded into the house. Princess Zena began to sneeze as her allergies reacted to the straw.
They had only just had enough time to catch their breath when there was another roar from Doggie and he laughed at their house of straw.

“I’m coming in to pee on your heads.’ he yelled, and then his nose twitched and he gave an enormous sneeze which blew away the house of straw.

Princess Zena, Raffles, Basil, Buddy, Nibbles and Nutty were too stunned to move for a moment and then as Doggie sneezed again because of all the straw in his hair they took the opportunity to run as Doggie demolished the house of straw.

Doggie destroying the house of straw

‘To my house of sticks.’ commanded a rather puffed Buddy and again the pals rushed through the darkening woods, Doggie close behind them.
They reached the stick house just in time and slammed the door. Raffles thought that it was a good job he was a puppy and very fit because all this running around with four piggies on his back was very tiring.

The Pals fleeing the house of straw and running to the house of sticks

Inside the house of sticks they quaked with fear as Doggie circled the house muttering threats and swearing.

‘Ha!’ He laughed, ‘Do not think you are safe for I am Doggie the Dastardly and I will get in and pee on your heads.’

He then began to dig at the foundations of the house of sticks and they could hear him chewing up the sticks at an alarming rate.

Before long a tooth protruded through the walls and Princess Zena screamed.

‘Now I will be proved right!’ shouted Basil. ‘Quick, run to my villa and you shall be safe.’

So once again with the piggies on his back and Princess Zena holding onto his tail Raffles ran through the forest, Basil shouting directions into his ears.

Doggie finishing off the house of sticks

At last they reached the lovely modern villa he had built out of brick and finished with render.

They fell gratefully into the huge room and Raffles lay panting in front of the beautiful open fire whilst Princess Zena fussed about organising beds and supper for everyone.

Suddenly they froze as they heard once again the mocking laughter of Doggie!

‘Do you think this huge, thick wooden door can stop me? I will get in and pee on your heads!’ he screamed and he proceeded to dig at the door and the walls.

But Basil had made the foundations too deep and Doggie gave up. He was very cross.

Then he tried to break down the door but it was too strong.

He tried to jump in and break the glass but he couldn’t reach the windows.

Princess Zena was so happy. She and Raffles were safe at last and it was all due to Basil. She gave Basil a shining look and thanked him profusely. He puffed his little white furry chest out with pride and Princess Zena gave him the ZAG – the Princess Zena Award for Gallantry.

Raffles, Princess Zena and the four piggies snuggle up together for a rest before supper.

The friends were chatting in front of the fire and nibbling the remains of supper when Princess Zena heard a whining outside.

She looked out and her kind heart softened. It had begun to rain and Doggie was sat by the door shivering.

Wet Doggie!

He saw her looking out of the window and his head drooped.

‘What shall we do?’ she asked the others.

‘It is a trick.’ Scowled Raffles. ‘Let him stay out in the rain.’

Nutty thought of his cardboard house and shivered. ‘I don’t want to let him in to pee on my head.’ he said.

Nibbles agreed. ‘After all, he brought it on himself because he won’t accept losing.’ he said.

But Basil and Princess Zena were not so sure.

It was very cold outside and Doggie looked very miserable and sad. Surely he had learnt his lesson?

Basil opened the window just a little bit. ‘If we let you in do you promise on your honour to be good?’ he asked.

Doggie looked hopeful, ‘I do, I do,’ he answered quickly. A little too quickly Raffles thought and he scowled. He did not trust Doggie.

He went to the window and showed his puppy teeth.
‘If you come in, do you promise not to pee on our heads?’

Doggie looked shocked.

‘I never said I would pee on your heads.’ he said, ‘That would be disgusting! I said I would pee on your beds! Peeing on your heads!! Yuck. I would never do that!’

And he looked so hurt that they had believed such a nasty thing of him that Princess Zena decided to open the door and let him come in but before she did she made him promise not to pee on their beds either!

Doggie looked a little shamefaced. ‘Alright,’ he said, ‘I don’t do that anymore anyway.’

So they let Doggie in to sit by the fire and finish off the supper and they all became great friends and promised to have lots of play dates and share Raffles as a personal trainer, so Doggie won anyway!


Zena rolling out the tension after a hard workout from Raffles!

Love from the Zena, the Playful Princess

Thanks to Hutch a Good Life, Doggy’s Style and for allowing me to use their photos and to Mollie for her brief, but important appearance!



The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3 Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them

5 You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience

6 As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favourite blogs – and even if they have already been given the award by someone else – you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

For more information check the FAQ on The Thought Palette.

I AM a star, I am, I am, I am. Misaki says so! I have to thank Misaki over at The Misadventures of Misaki for thinking of me for this award. I am of course a natural choice as you all know how much I want to be a star 🙂 Thanks Misaki for setting my paws on the path!

Like Misaki I think all the blogs I follow are great or I wouldn’t follow them – doh! So I would love to give this to everyone and say help yourselves, but again, like Misaki, I suspect most of you would be too modest to claim it.

So how do I choose? Not easy.

So I decided to list the blog-pals who have been with me from the beginning, through the tragedy of losing my best pal Zac and without whose encouragement I would never have continued to blog.

You see. I am already sounding like a star 🙂

I hope that I avoid giving it to those who hate having awards.

And you know what? To start my list I’m going to mention Misaki again coz then she can have two stars 🙂 Isn’t that a great idea?

So here is my blog list with a little about each one as instructed (I think!) and in no particular order:

The Misadventures of Misaki – A very cute Alaskan Malamute puppy, although I guess by now not so much the puppy 🙂 She lives in Essex in the UK. This is a place that has a lot of rude things said about it but I’ve never been there so I won’t comment!

JazzcatJay – All that Jazz Cat. A very cool tabby who takes some great pictures.

Animal Couriers – A fascinating blog about lots of animals who are doing a lot more travelling than The Producer is now!

A Word from Solo – Solo is a beautiful blue greyhound who lives on the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. Zac was in love with greyhounds and The Producer loves New Zealand so what’s not to love!

Mollie and Alfie – Mollie’s a collie and Alfie’s a cat, they are a beautiful colour matched pair with a fantastic sense of humour and a great bloghearts. You who know them know what I mean.

Clowie – A beautiful and smart Pyrenean Mountain Dog who lives in Spain. I know this will be at least your second star – I’m sure you’ll be up to six in no time!

Jasper’s Doggy World – The life of two active Maremmas who live in New Zealand. The bestest Maremmas in the land.

One Spoiled Cat – This is Sammy’s blog. Sammy was a cute kitten and has become a cute cat. Sammy is known for his wisdom and his good taste in Christmas Cards.

Texas a Cat in New York – A well travelled family cat from Paris who ended up in New York.

Easy – Yay! Gotta love Easy. You’ve got to love the humour that comes from the home of Easyrider, the Weimaraner with it all.

Savannah’s Paw Tracks – A Russian Blue (doesn’t that sound exotic?) cat who was rescued and looks very happy today.

Cat from Hell – Wisdom from a lilac point Siamese who was also a rescue cat.

Hutch a Good Life – Four little guinea pigs with big hearts and a clever Mum!

Long Life Cats and Dogs – A blog that promotes animal welfare and no kill shelters. It certainly has my vote!

There were a many other blogs that helped us at that sad time, and there are now many other bloggers who have joined us and who we are grateful to.

If I haven’t mentioned you it isn’t because I am not appreciative of your support, but I think I should stop before I create the longest blog in history!

Here’s hoping The Producer has all the links right and has followed all the rules correctly. It’s that Swiss training – gotta follow the rules!!!!

Love Zena – the Bedazzling Princess


The Delighted Princess

I didn’t really think about prizes when I entered Raffles into the Halloween competition and made him all gory and frightening. For me it was satisfying and a little cathartic. But guess what? We received a parcel in the post yesterday, which is actually rather odd because we have no post on Saturday so either it had been in the post box since Friday and The Producer was very lax or it had been given to a neighbour by mistake and they popped it into our box.

Anyway, that is not so important but the parcel was. It had come all the way from the wonderful Misaki in the UK for Raffles. I would have loved to have seen the faces of the local post office if the parcel had been addressed to Princess Zena 😀

As Raffles is still quite little (in age you understand, not in size – he is humongous), I got to check it out first and boy oh boy you should see the goodies inside!

First I have to mention that Raffles was quite okay that we share this prize as he acknowledges that this is my blog and it was my idea to make him all scary and nasty looking. I in no way took advantage of the puppy (as if I could), and the only thing I insisted on was that he not touch the part of the present which was so obviously mine. I will reveal that further down.

Raffles was very intrigued by the parcel. We had to check it out to make sure it was safe, we’ve seen dogs do this on the television. I’m not quite sure what we were sniffing for but it smelt good to us so we gave The Producer permission to open it.

Doing our best impression of sniffer dogs – as seen on tv.

Having ascertained that the parcel was not a danger, The Producer opened it and was amazed.

Wow! Look at all these goodies for us to share!

We were rapt! This was incredible. The Producer doesn’t get us this stuff at Christmas (I have now officially classed her as mean).

Flavoured crocodile chews

You gotta love these. I’ve never seen them before which is odd because the real things roam around up country. I told Raffles all about crocs and we enjoyed chewing these and getting our revenge back on all the real crocs who have chewed dogs up north. PS: No crocodiles were harmed in the making of these chews!

Because the reserve was flooded with a water leak today we didn’t get the run we usually get so The Producer thought it would be a treat for us to enjoy part of our prize. It was wonderful! I half chewed mine and the pup wanted it even though he had only partly chewed his, so I swapped and he got my half chewed one and I got another nearly whole one 🙂 Sometimes it’s fun having a puppy!

Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch. (Orson Wells)

I am not a glutton – I am an explorer of food (Erma Bombeck)

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well (Virginia Woolf)

Don’t these look yummy? Unfortunately I haven’t found where The Producer has hidden them yet!

Here’s the kid modelling the biscuits, he looks a bit grubby but he has his first groom tomorrow so then he should be ready for gigs don’t you think? Wouldn’t you buy from that honest face?

Then we came across something way cool that we didn’t even know existed for us dogs. Bubbles! I am so looking forward to seeing how the kid behaves with bubbles, but The Producer wants to wait until Magic M (our favourite 7 year old) comes over before we play with them because she reckons we’ll have even more fun then.


I am so excited, I can’t wait to see the kid fall over his paws and play with these. Magic M had better hurry up and visit soon 🙂

And finally, the pièce de résistance. The most important part of the whole parcel. The gift that is mine, all mine. My own BLING! A beautiful diamond encrusted heart for my collar, just what I always wanted and The Producer was too mean to buy!

I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond. (Mae West)

Paws off kid – these are not for sharing!

For the moment the diamond bling goes into a safe place too because Raffles is enjoying grabbing me by the collar and either chewing or pulling me around. When he is out of this stage I get to have a new collar (yay) and then the bling can go on 😀

So thanks Misaki. The competition was fun enough without any prizes, but we were overwhelmed by your generosity especially living on the other side of the world. The competition was held with Mollie and I really appreciate you guys and all you do to add fun to this blog world of ours. Most of you who know my blog will know Mollie, Alfie & Misaki. If you haven’t met them yet I recommend you visit their blogs. They will bring a smile to your face and make your day better.

Have a great week everyone and if anyone is concerned by the fact that Raffles is now twice my size and enjoys dragging me around by the collar, don’t worry too much. The Producer has pointed out a couple of ‘safe’ places for me when I no longer want to play so I’m okay!

Under The Producer’s desk and behind the door. This was one of Zac’s favourite places and now I know why!

Lots of love from Zena, a very happy and croc-filled Princess!


The Pleased Princess

Yes folks. Once again I am thrilled to announce that I have been recognised by one of my fellow bloggers and I count this as a huge achievement. Why? Because this time it is a cat! Yes. You heard me. A cat.

A cat has done me the honour of nominating my blog for the ‘Seven Things About Me’ Award.

This very special and discerning feline is Sammy from The One Spoiled Cat Blog. I have got to know Sammy a little from this blog and I have to say folks that I think the name is rather appropriate! Sammy is a rather lucky cat and he knows it. He is a rather smart and good looking ginger tabby, I do so admire his coat. He photographs really well which is a very important step to stardom. And yes, he is spoiled but it hasn’t spoiled him. So go and check Sam out if you don’t know him. He once chased a fox – really! I thought that was very dumb brave 🙂

Sammy and I did get pretty tight when his pal Mollie was kidnapped eloped stolen missing.

This is my new award which if word press is behaving itself  will appear to the right of my blog. As word press swallowed several of my awards last week I am now watching them closely. I think there is some sabotage going on. I do not think Doggy is behind it, he is innocent this time.

I think this is a pretty wonderful award because it gives me permission to talk about something which is very important to me. ME!

I get to tell you seven (only seven though) things about me. As this whole blog is about me you already know a ton of things. However, we never sit down and chat over a bone or a chew toy so you actually don’t know some of the simplest things about me. The sorts of things you would know about a close friend. So I decided to tell you some of those things.

1. My favourite scent: Possum Poo. Really, it is the best smell for miles and girls if you ever want to garner some extra interest at the leash-free, roll in some possum poo before a walk.

2. My favourite colour: This was harder. I love yellow because it’s a happy colour and red because it suits me, but in the end I have to say pink because Magic introduced me to pink and she taught me that it’s the colour for girly girls. But then I am black……. okay, I like lots of colours 🙂

3. My favourite film – Up.

4. My favourite film star – Higgins. Who you ask? Higgins. He was the star of the Benji film and a real cutie with a great story. He was a mutt who was found in a shelter and rose to stardom but he still remained faithful and had his paws firmly on the ground. Yes, I know. You thought I’d go for someone light and frivolous like Lady from Lady and the Tramp didn’t you? Well I admire hard won success and Higgins is a real success story. He made it against all the odds, without privilege or advantage and I take comfort from his story and hope that one day I too will be discovered.

5. My favourite song – ‘I thought I lost you’ from Bolt. That one always brings a tear to my eye.

6. My favourite bedtime reading – ‘Princess Zelda and the Frog’, The Producer changes it to Princess Zena and the Frog 🙂

7. My favourite hobby – That does change a little bit. At the moment it’s ‘Tease the puppy’. I like to grab a chew of some description and casually walk over to him, I drop it just past his nose and when I have his attention I scoop it up and quickly walk (or run) away. It works every time 😀

So those are some of my favourite things so I hope you feel you know me a little better now.

Now to name seven other blogs to talk about their seven favourite things. Once again guys, I have tried to check your blogs to see if you have the award, sorry if I missed it and have doubled up. If you have an aversion to awards, just enjoy the fact that we thought of you 🙂

Hutch A Good Life

Hey, It’s Jet Here

Jasper’s Doggy World

All That Jazz Cat

The Misadventures of Misaki

Texas, A Cat in New York

Easy Blog

I hope everyone has a happy Monday and rest of the week. I will leave you with a real time photo of me which The Producer just took. Not my best angle, but having just come back from another jaunt around the park I am just chilling and thinking about a few of my favourite things…..

Catching up on some well earned sleep while the puppy rests

Love from Zena – The Flamboyant Princess


The Party Princess

I am pretty impressed with myself. I think I should write a book about how to throw a great party or how to celebrate a new puppy.

It is only the third time Raffles has been to the park and already he is feeling at home and getting to know the guys and it’s all down to me – of course.

It is a new role for me. In happier times I was the one who was being looked after by Zac. I was the one who could play frivolously with others whilst he looked on with careworn eyes and scouted for danger. Now I have to warn some of the bouncier dogs to be careful around my puppy. He is only a baby after all and could get hurt. When he’s bigger and takes up his body-guarding role I will sit back and relax.

My first tip is to enter the park calmly. I am introducing him to some of my favourite sniffs and showing him the popular message boards in the park so that he learns to know who’s around. Being prepared is important. There are a couple of dogs who I like to keep a distance from and if I know they’re in the reserve I’ll look out for them. So this first step is essential.

A patch of grass with some really important information

After that I instruct Raffles to walk around the perimeter whilst I point out to him who is sitting around and who is running and playing so he begins to recognise them.

Here we are casually strolling down the path eyeing up the other party goers – me and my puppy!

Once we’ve had a good look around and sussed out the ‘guests’ we move in to the group we fancy is having the most fun or influence.

Here I am introducing Raffles to some of the ‘in’ crowd

Introductions are where I am on high alert. A rather high-energy Labrador powered into us today and I had to shout at him to back off. It was a total shock to me, The Producer and The Director to find I have become quite protective of the little guy.

I relax as I see that the mingling stage is going well and they are accepting Raffles as my pal.

The next step is a gentle game of chase which Raffles was invited to join in.

That’s my tail disappearing out of the picture – that’s how fast I am!

So I reckon my job as social hostess is pretty near complete. I do have a few more regulars to introduce him to and some irregulars too that I’ve got to know over the years, but the ice is broken and once again it is all down to me – the Party Princess!

We walk home. I lead the way to show him how you should walk nicely on the lead but I’m not sure how well he’s getting it because I can’t look behind me! When we arrive home I sometimes play with him and I sometimes don’t. It depends how I feel. But at some point this is what happens:

My beautiful new bed!

Now I ask you – is that a fair division of space? I think not!!

Love from Zena, park socialite