The Princess Tails

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


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Raffy Speaks Out

Hmm.

It has come to my attention that I have been mocked steadily by the self styled Princess in this blog and I thought it was time that you heard my side of the story.

I have listened to my uncle who is a Risk Director and I have learnt a great deal.

I see the danger and I’m not afraid to admit that if I’m honest it scares the fur off me!

The Princess is so blasé. She doesn’t see the danger out there. She thinks she is invulnerable and trots around with her tail in the air. So it is left to me to look ahead, look behind, fret and generally try to spot the hazards.

Survival is an exhausting job. I believe I am noble to take it on. We who live on the edge, who make the world more secure for others are so unappreciated.

Do you know how many hidden dangers there are in the world? A simple walk to the park is anything but. However if you listen to The Princess you’d think otherwise. You would be wise to listen to me.

I am a finely honed machine. I am ready and coiled. The moment danger strikes I am gone. Cowardly do I hear you say? A survivor I say.

Let me explain a few things to you sceptics. I go to the park and often I take my ball (no jokes about it being pink please, I also have an orange one). I am an equal opportunist, gender neutral poodle. I didn’t have a choice about that latter fact!

Raffy & ball

See my watchful stance – that ball is mine, all mine.

Anyway, as I was saying. I go to the park with my ball. Fun you think? Playtime? Let me tell you something. I have to be alert every moment.

At any time that ball can be taken from me by a limber labrador or a conniving cavalier. I have even had it taken by my own pals when I was distracted by a treat. A cunning tactic used by their owners to leave me vulnerable. It is a NERVE WRACKING experience.

Even when I go home with the ball it requires all my guile to hide it from thieves.

Hiding ball

A cunning hiding place. My bed. Who would think to look there.

Next I have to worry about desertion. Every moment I am trying to enjoy my breakfast I am aware that one of the adults could sneak out without my protection and venture into the great outdoors to who knows where. And then of course if I leave my food to check on them The Princess swoops in and eats it. I get no peace.

Towards the end of the day there is worse to come. I have to fight my way through dinner. I eat in a dignified fashion. The Princess, who has inhaled her meal, lies watching my every move and daring me to finish. My nerves are shot by the time the meal is ended.

And as for her accusations that she has to lead the way in new or scary places I readily concur. I am not afraid to admit that I do allow her to go ahead of me.

Firstly, you try stopping her.

Secondly, it is only sensible.

Stay behind your friends

My place. Right behind The Princess and able to escape at a moments notice.

You do not allow your best asset to get captured or damaged.

If I get trapped in a small laundry or slippery floors who is going to get me out? I can’t be picked up like she can.

I need to be free to show the others where the exits are.

It makes sense for her to go first and to leave me with my superior intellect to be behind guiding her.

Protection

And anyway, as you can see from the picture above I pay her protection. Look closely and you can see the biscuits I put on my table for her to enjoy when I have finished eating. That is our arrangement and I find it unfair that she should mock me when she has agreed to it.

What you must remember is that we live in a very dangerous part of the world. We have the huntsman spiders. Why are they called huntsman. I will leave you to work that one out. Obvious.

My cousin got trapped behind the barbecue with one of these once. He told me all about it and I’ve never gone near that part of the garden again.

And at night we have these, the ring tailed possums. Hundreds of them run over the roof at night. I think our house is a possum freeway.

Yes, I know they look like they are cute and cuddly but I can assure you they are not. If you heard their sinister hisses at night and heard the shrieks as they battle each other in the garden you would not fall for their ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ routine. They do bite, The Princess has told me all about them and she wouldn’t lie………Or would she?

Trickery. That’s another one I have to look out for now.

All in all I work extremely hard in this family to be the one who sheds light on potentially hazardous situations.

I am very aware of any suspicious people or dogs following me when we are out for a walk. I like to move to the side and let them get ahead of me so I am ready to react if I need to.

And I never mix with dogs I do not know or one who is not known by a pal. Everybody understands about stranger danger.

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Stranger alert!! Who is this tiny doppelganger? It turned out to be my new cousin but….. better to be cautious than sorry.

I like to have the doors locked and the electronic gates closed.

I do not like to draw attention to myself but it is hard being such a big good looking guy.

Handsome Raffy

Well aren’t I gorgeous?

I avoid going out at night unless it is with The Princess as a decoy.

Dark

Fear of the dark

I bet one of those furry big eyed possums things are out there….waiting.

I am also very suspicious of new items that appear in the house or garden. I know where everything belongs and if it’s out of place I am suspicious. There was a plant pot that caused me great concern a few years ago, fortunately due to my vigilance Dad went up to it and I knew that it was safe because he wasn’t blown up.

Then there is the table that Mum uses for her iPad which often threatens to leap out and bop me on the nose. I get out of the way when she has that out. And now she has started using a magnetic board for one of her projects. When she picks that up I’m off.

I could go on but I don’t have the time to outline all the threats. After all don’t they say that most accidents occur in the home? I have to be vigilant whilst The Princess sleeps on.

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But if you find yourself in danger I have found two very useful ploys to get out of trouble:

Play dead

Play Dead

Convincing yes?

Then Run

RUN

I am a blur of speeding poodle

Take care and keep safe. Raffy, Security Advisor to The Princess

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The Most Loved Princess

Ha!

The big boy had a birthday and guess what?

THEY FORGOT 🙂

They didn’t remember until two days later. Not like my birthday when Mum bought me a new collar. turns out it wasn’t right, they couldn’t get it to fit quite perfectly but at least I got something.

The Hulk got nothing.

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5 years old

I haven’t told him. I’m not that mean. Well. I might tell him sometime, especially if he throws up in my bed again. Then I’ll tell him.

He is now 5. By Mum’s chart that means he is about 36 people years.

As I’ve mentioned before, I think he should be thinking about moving out and looking after himself but of course they won’t hear of it. I guess he would be pretty useless.

I can’t believe he’s been around, a thorn in my side, for almost five years.

I suppose he does have his uses. I wouldn’t want you to think I totally dislike him. It’s more indifference with the rare moment of irritation and the even rarer moment of appreciation.

He is useful at night or when Mum goes out because I don’t like being completely alone.

He’s quite useful in the car although I have to be careful he doesn’t fall on me because he seems to prefer to take most journeys, even long ones, standing up which can be a bit scary.

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Totally unaware of his birthday. 

He can have his uses if we need to go away to holiday camp (aka Kennels), though mostly it’s me reassuring him. He doesn’t eat when we’re away so if I’m cunning I can get two meals, though I do think they were on to me last time.

He’s quite good when my nails are broken and bleeding because he licks them and keeps them clean whilst I lie on Mum with her rubbing my tummy. Equal to a health spa really.

He can be quite useful when we’re out because other dogs take one look at his size and tend not to want to engage him in anything other than friendly terms. Of course, once again if one is more aggressive it’s me that has to chase them off. He just runs away.

Best of all his uses is when he leaves me his biscuits which he does on a regular basis. Mum picks up his dish so I don’t get to them, but we have an arrangement. He always takes out a few and drops them on his table (yes, he eats from a table…sigh).

I think just on that fact alone he’s worth keeping around. Otherwise he’s dead space. A huge amount of dead space.

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Love from the best loved Princess.


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Birthday Blues

Happy birthday to ME

Happy birthday to ME

Happy birthday to ME-E

Happy birthday to ME

Yay!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉 Not

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I am just so excited

Today I am 11 years old. Eleven! Where has the time gone?

TBH I didn’t think I’d make this great age, not after Zac left us at just 8 years, but here I am.

According to the old fashioned understanding of dog years equalling seven human years I would be 77years – 😱 77 years! That is like………OLD.

I was about to panic when Mum told me that understanding has come a long way and now experts acknowledge that it is not as straightforward as that. We age at different rates to people and to other sized dogs – phew!

In fact they do say that the first twelve months is closer to fifteen years in people years. This sounds a bit scary but then we slow down and depending on our size we dogs age at different rates to each other.

This means that as a medium sized dog I am actually 65 years now. If The Hulk (aka Raffy) gets as far as 11 he would be 72 years. By the way he has a birthday next week and will be 5, about 36 in people years. I reckon it’s time for him to leave home and be independent, but Dad spoils him.

So I am 65 years. That’s not so bad. I see people of 65 who can work, run and seem to be pretty good.

I know I’m not in perfect health but with Mum being a member of the diet police I am doing okay.

I have some grey hairs but doesn’t everyone? Mum gets rid of her grey hairs but I like the natural look.

I can still jump onto her lap and still run (but I don’t often want to).

I still sound fierce and bark the alert at any strangers.

I can still catch bird-burglars when they break into the house and I can chase the possums up trees. The Hulk doesn’t even see the possums. He stands in the middle of the grass looking confused and waiting to see which direction to run in.

I am still a brave Tibbie.

I am not afraid of small children and they can pet me, pull my hair or sit on me. I know that if I ignore the bad behaviour this helps to train them and I can reward the good behaviour with a tail wag.

I guess that is what has come out of all these years of living. I am a wise Tibbie. I have learnt stuff. Some of it good, some of it painful but that’s life. Sometimes you suck on life and sometimes life just sucks.

Getting older means that some of your friends and family don’t get to stay around with you. I still miss my soulmate Zac after five years. That will never change and life is emptier without him. I have had to be more independent because he isn’t around for me to rely on. The Hulk is useless, in fact he relies on me. It is tiring.

I wonder if Zac ever found me tiring? No. I am sure he loved every crazy minute of being with me even when I pushed him in the pool! I am sure I enriched his life immensely and it was other things that made him grumpy.

The other problem with getting older is that some of the pals I used to know at the park have moved to the rainbow bridge and I miss them.

The new pups are just not the same. We don’t speak the same language.

But it is what it is.

So what did I get for this auspicious birthday you may well ask?

A big cake?

Bacon?

Liver treats?

Cheese?

No.

I got a new collar and lead. Oh wow! Help me to contain my excitement.

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Here it is. As you can see I am dancing about with excitement – not

It isn’t even sparkly – no diamonds, no bling. I’m obviously too old for bling in Mum’s eyes. That is sad.

I can see the difficulty.

Being older I have everything I need and most things that I want I can’t have because they’re bad for me or impossible dreams.

Getting older is challenging.

Getting older with ill health is tough. Things the other dogs take for granted like bones and fatty treats are bad for me. They can go to coffee with their family and enjoy tucking in to all sorts of things – not me. I have to sit on the sidelines of life and watch them have fun. Even some dogs that are older than me can have the stuff I can’t have and do the things I can’t do. It doesn’t seem fair.

Just watching them tear around the park after a ball or just running for the joy of it makes me feel tired. I used to do that, before I got sick.

Still, I guess I have to try and look on the bright side. I’m still here.

I can still walk to the park in the mornings, although I don’t always want to, and I do get to enjoy a comfortable house with lots of soft beds which I do want.

My house is warm in the cold weather and cool in the hot weather and dry in the wet weather. I like that. Mum knows I like it. Just as I like lying on her all evening so she can rub my itchy tummy and I can sleep, or watch television. There are still some good things I can enjoy.

Things could be worse. I acknowledge I am a pampered pooch – but then – I’m worth it.

So here I am on my special day enjoying my favourite activity – sleeping next to Mum and wishing time would slow down a little for all our sakes.

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Happy 11 years Zena

Love from the old mature and wise Princess


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Zena Looks Back

This is Zena, signing in again after another long gap.

I have finally managed to get her to sit down at the computer and think of me.

Zena 2017

Finally my indignation got through to her

I think she needs to go to one of these groups. You know, the kind where people with addictions go.

She told me it was finished. She told me it was over. She told me she wouldn’t do it again and that she was sorry. She told me I would get her back.

What happened?

She relapsed. I am ashamed.

I think I have to out her in order for her to come to grips with the problem.

She tells me now that it was the little green leaf hints that did it. Every time she opened her e-mails there was another list of little green hints, beckoning, calling her back.

Then one day, before I knew it, before I could stop her she had enrolled again.

She is back on ANCESTRY!!!!!!

She is back following up those little green leaves and trying to trace her family roots and all I can do is sit (or lie under the desk) and ride it out with her. She is clearly a lost cause.

I have to admit I don’t get it, but perhaps that’s because I know where I came from. I am Tibetan. The blood of temple dogs and wolf warners runs in my blood. My ancestors nimbly leapt from rock to rock shouting out a warning to their people if the predators came near. Perhaps some of the larger ones might even have been brave enough to fight to protect the flocks they ran with.

At night my ancestors shared the huts with their families, feeding from the scraps from the table (except of course they didn’t use tables) and at night they curled up, tails tucked around them to keep warm.

They were faithful, brave protectors of their families. Rather like me today. Okay so I don’t have to nimbly leap from rock to rock which is just as well. And I don’t have to shiver in the ice and snow which I would hate. To be honest I don’t even like the rain. And I get my food twice a day and never have to be hungry or hurt. And I have to admit I don’t have any flocks to protect. But apart from that I am just like my ancestors.

I really have to say that I don’t understand the obsession so I decided to look at my family tree to see if I could get any understanding at all.

Zena aka Bovais Ladyhawk

b: 30 June 2006

Mother:  

Aust Champ Bovais Stormie Moments

Father :

Aust Champ Bovais Takem By Surprise

Maternal Grandparents:

Schaka-ta’s Pascal A’Bovais

Caerlaverock Ja Bovais

Paternal Grandparents:

Bovais Takem By Storm

Caerlaverock Ja Bovais

Maternal Great Grandparents:

Schaka-ta’s Mankado

Schaka-ta’s Jazira

Boshanti Tyson

Caerlaverock Fan Maytock

Paternal Great Grandparents

Schaka-ta’s Pascal A’Bovais

Caerlaverock Ja Bovais

Boshanti Tyson

Caerlaverock Fan Maytok

Maternal Great Great Grandparents

Cheerio Ace of Hearts 

Schaka-ta’s Kymara 

Pinrow Black Flash 

Rebecca of Araki 

Boshanti Marconi 

Kashi Heavenly Hiraani At Boshanti 

Jemecs Briareus 

Caerlaverock Ba Norzin 

Paternal Great Great Grandparents

Schaka-ta’s Mankado

Schaka-ta’s Jazira

Boshanti Tyson

Caerlaverock Fan Maytock 

Boshanti Marconi 

Kashi Heavenly Hiraani At Boshanti 

Jemecs Briareus 

Caerlaverock Ba Norzin

Oh my gosh!!!!

I had no idea 😦

Can you see how many common ancestors I have. I mean they are not common, I’m sure they are of the best blood but they are all the same bloodline. I am totally shocked. I know there was a fair amount of ‘line-breeding’ but….. I have to look into this a little bit more.

AND I don’t supposed you noticed but I seem to have a relative from the Araki kennel in there which is the kennel that she got her first Tibbie from when she lived in France. We could be related.

I will have to look further into it and if it is possible maybe I could find some pictures….. and if only there was an Ancestry.com for dogs I could get some little green leaf hints too to help me go even further back.

Bye for now everyone. I have to have a nap before I do some more research. If you don’t hear from me for a while you know where I am. Following those little green leaves wherever I can find them…..

bye bye from Zena, your Princess 🙂

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Toe-tally Unbelievable

We had to dash to the vet again last night.

An emergency. Mum practically had the lights flashing. Bells, whistles and alarms.

And no. Before you think the worst, it wasn’t me. It was the big boy.

Raffy (drum roll) had hurt his toe! Yes folks, his toe.

He had a boo-boo on his toesy-woesy. Ahhhhhh. Everyone send roses.

Sigh….

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The greatest baby actor ever known

He just couldn’t bear to have me the centre of attention for a while. He had to try and share it.

So now he is on anti-inflammatories and told only to do little walks. He isn’t even limping today.

I have to admit yesterday it did seem more dramatic.

He was limping a little at the dog park and by the time he got home he wouldn’t put his weight on that leg (should have gone to Hollywood that dog!).

He didn’t eat breakfast and played the ‘I am such a sick dog’ all morning.

At one point he struggled to get to his feet.

He made such a drama of it that Mum and Dad weren’t sure if it was his paw or his joints. He did this funny side-wise motion with his front leg which made it look like he was trying out for a baton twirling competition.

At the end of the day they took him to the village vet.

I went too.

The vet was so pleased to see me (of course). He commented on my new hair style and said I looked younger than ever. He’s okay that vet. He has very good observational skills.

He examined the boy and discovered his toe was swollen. All those dramatics for a toe. I ask you. I was embarrassed, I’m not sure how Mum and Dad felt but I couldn’t believe all that fuss for a swollen toe. If it wasn’t for the vet giving me treats it would have been a total waste of my time.

 

Of course as soon as we get back Mum googles things and discovers that there is a cancer standard poodles can get that can start in the toe so she is on toe watch now.

What can you do with her?

Twice a day they squirt these anti-inflammatories into his mouth and praise him for standing there and being so good.

I would be good.

Squirt it in my mouth. It apparently tastes really nice.

If he thinks a sore toe gives him bragging rights over pancreatitis he is sorely mistaken.

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I am toe-tally out of sympathy!!

Love – Zena, the put-upon Princess