The Princess Tails

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


Christmas Thoughts

Hello all,

It has been many months since my last communication and it has been a sad time. With the death of team leader the fun has gone out of the family a little and I haven’t felt like posting. Losing a parent is huge so I’ve cut Mum a lot of slack as she comes to term with her father not being there any more.

Things have been changing everywhere and it has been hard to keep up with it all.

At this time as we remember happier Christmas’ in the past I just wanted to send a Happy Christmas to everyone out there.

Zena Happy Christmas


So – okay, I’ve blown that because now it’s Boxing Day here in OZ!

Nevertheless I will show you our Christmas outfits, maybe they’ll come in handy next year.

Raffy delivering gifts

With the death of Prissy Paws a new dog has entered our pack. He is called Jazz and as you can see is a Raffy mini-me. As if one poodle wasn’t enough I now have to cope with a giant 40kg one and a small 5 kg one. He is a toy poodle but I don’t want to play with him so he’s really Raffy’s toy.



Some things never change and one of them is Raff. He hasn’t got braver, and I don’t think he’s got any bigger (thank goodness). Jazz may not reach is knee caps but he chases him around the garden and the only time I see him look worried is when Raffy gets excited. When Raff gets excited he tends to lose control of his legs and his brakes still haven’t improved.

Jazz’s favourite game is to hide under one of the garden chairs and wait until Raff walks unsuspecting and innocent up the garden. When he gets within metres of the chair a barking fury runs out and Raffy is off down the garden with a tiny cream fluff ball nipping at his heels. Needless to say they both love it and when they are not chasing each other, playing tug or hiding balls under MY bed, they are kissing and licking. Ugh. Get a room.

Raff and mini-me Jazz

Raff and mini-me Jazz

For some reason although Raff loves Jazz and plays with him way more than he plays with me (because I don’t indulge him), he doesn’t really like him sleeping in the same bed, maybe he’s afraid he’ll roll over and squash him, not an impossibility.

So Jazz likes to share my bed. I’m and easy-going Tibby so I let him squeeze into a corner of mine but I do think it’s a bit of a liberty. However, I was well brought up and taught to share so I do. Most of the time however I spend the day pretending neither of them exist as seen below.

All I want for Christmas is peace never mind good will.

All I want for Christmas is peace never mind good will.

I did get a bit annoyed one day shortly after Jazz entered our family. He and Raffy were playing tug. Tug! I ask you. 40 kilos of poodle against a cotton wool ball. The outcome is inevitable isn’t it? Every time I play tug with Raff, unless Mum joins in, one pull from him and I’m in the next room and Raff is strutting down the garden with the toy. Not so with Jazz. He could send him into the next village with a toss of his head but no….. when he plays tug with Jazz he stands there holding the toy and lets Jazz jump around between his front legs pulling and tugging until his energy runs out and then he LETS him have the toy! Is that fair? Mum even has it on film as they coo over how sweet Raff is to Jazz. How about being sweet to the one he lives with – ME. That would go down a little better in this quarter I can tell you.

This season we also have Tuppy staying with us. Poor Tuppy. She is used to a quiet life as an only dog and all of a sudden she has to cope with us. I am no trouble as you can imagine but Jazz is the little-poodle-who-never-sleeps. If he isn’t setting her off by barking at a shadow that passes the house he is jumping over us trying to get someone to play with him. Tuppy and I are dignified ladies of eight years old so we just put our heads down, screw our eyes tightly shut and ignore him.

The new improved svelte Tuppy

The new improved svelte Tuppy

Tuppy has lost a lot of weight since she’s been looked after by Number One Son. She is can actually run now. Her belly no longer scrapes the ground and she doesn’t limp. She could make a fortune with ‘Weight Watchers’ if she’d only followed one of their diets. She should be a celebrity but there is only room for one in the family and that’s me. However (some of you may relate – Mum does) although the body is thinner the mind is still focused and that focus is food. She lives for her meals and the one consolation of being away from Number One Son and his family is that we get way more treats 🙂

Tuppy waiting for the next meal

Tuppy waiting for the next meal

Christmas Day we went to the park and played with our pals whilst our people chatted, drank bubbly and ate cheese and strawberries. Each to his own. BUT Mum had made these fantastic cookies with peanut butter and bacon for us dogs so everyone at the park got a taster and everyone got to take a few home with them as a present.

Peanut Butter and Bacon Poodle Cookies

Peanut Butter and Bacon Poodle Cookies

We still have some left and we all love them so I shall be ordering requesting that she make those again. These however were in poodle shapes. I bet she couldn’t find a Tibetan Terrier shaped cookie cutter or she would have made them all TT’s. That will be another order request, that she find a Tibetan Terrier cookie cutter or maybe cut them by freehand what do you think?

We have a new pack at the park too. With Rosie gone we now have Lola (always want to sing when I say that name for some reason).

Lola 10 months

Lola 10 months

The gang Christmas day

The gang Christmas day – Geordie, a beautiful apricot standard poodle just walking off left, Raffy centre back  dirty and dusty from a roll in the dust, Cassie wearing fetching tinsel in the centre, Lola on the right, me in the foreground and some random strange miniature black poodle who I don’t know!

If I begin writing again I’ll tell you more about her and our other park pals later.

For now I just want to hope that you all had a good Christmas and that 2015 is a brighter year.

Remembering happier Christmas' and of absent friends

Remembering happier Christmas’ and of absent friends

Cheers from Zena, still a Princess


The New Princess

2013 is away and running and I have a new-look blog for a new Princess.

No. They haven’t swapped me and I’m not talking about Raffles. I’m talking about me. I am not the same anymore.

Before the infamous haircut and looking rather dishevelled after a 'play' session with the pup

Before the infamous haircut and looking rather dishevelled after a ‘play’ session with the pup

Those of you who started following Zac The All Black know the story. He was a very wise Tibbie. He was a world watcher, the power behind his Beloved and my protector.

He was everything to me and he filled the house with his quiet presence and his fun ways. I went from my Mum and brothers and sisters to my Uncle Zac who became my Mum, Dad, best friend and teacher.

I was the ditzy one. I got to have fun all the time. I played. I didn’t think about anything serious. I didn’t worry about anything. Well I did but I always looked to Zac for reassurance and he didn’t stress so that helped to keep me calm.

I was the one who pushed him to play all the time and wouldn’t let him rest. He was the one who would disappear under his Beloved’s desk for peace.

I would cry and bark until I got the last chew and he would let me steal it out of his mouth!

I would dash off to the leash free park and run amongst the strange dogs and if I got in over my head it was Zac who came along and put the rough dogs in their place.

When he went OTRB too soon we were devastated and I was lost.

A moment of peace

The Producer realised very soon I was not happy as an only dog

After the first weeks of intense grief passed I still couldn’t leave The Producer’s side. I began to stay in my lovely new bed and only got out to eat.

When we went to the park I would walk with The Producer and keep my nose touching her leg. I wouldn’t play.

When Miss Seven came to call with son number one and his wife I didn’t even wag my tail. I was so miserable.

Who was I? How was I going to cope? What was I going to do now?

All of a sudden pain had entered my world and I had never experienced it before. I had lost my innocence.

I feel the pain of Zac’s loss all the time and I always will. I sometimes think I hear him and I remember what he was like and loss fills me and I feel the grief again. It is a constant pain which I am learning to live with.

Looking back I realise that my life revolved around him. If he went into the garden, I went into the garden! If he went into the kitchen searching for treats I would run to be before him. I didn’t have a thought of my own. I just ran to do whatever Zac was wanting to do before him. I must have been annoying but he was so tolerant.

When he left me I didn’t know where I belonged any more. I knew I still had a loving home, cuddles, food, comfort, walks and all the things to keep me safe but what should I do with my day? Who did I turn to during thunder storms or the long nights alone?

Everything I had known and believed in and lived for had gone.

One thing The Producer couldn’t do was leave me alone. I was very vocal in my distress and she soon realised that I was not destined to be an only dog. I needed company, the furry kind.

And along came Raffles.

Seek and ye shall find! I am there - Raffles, not quite six months looming over me

Seek and ye shall find! I am there – Raffles, not quite six months looming over me

I admit he isn’t my idea of a puppy. He is almost six months old now and is about four times my size and three times my weight. Playing with him can be a rather overwhelming experience.

But if she thought that by getting me a companion things were going to go back to ‘normal’ she was wrong. It isn’t that easy.

I know The Producer had hoped that the old playful Zena would come back when she got Rafi but I’m afraid that Zena is gone. Once innocence is lost it cannot be regained.

The careless, frivolous, empty-headed Zena who shared her life with Zac has gone. That carefree Zena crossed over the rainbow bridge with Zac.

There is a new Zena in the house. A quieter Zena. A Zena who has had to take on more responsibility and I now find that I am taking on the role that Zac once played with me, though without his wisdom.

When I go out into the garden, Raffles comes too because he doesn’t want to miss out on anything.

When I have a chew Raffles lies in front of me and yips and cries until I turn away and let him have it.

He is often wanting to play and now I am the one running under The Producer’s desk to get some peace!

When we go to the leash free I try and keep up with him and check that he’s okay and not being roughly treated by the older dogs.

I am more careful.

Life has happened. What has occurred cannot be undone and I am not the same.

I am doing well, or at least better.

I am a better dog with Raffles around than without him. When he goes to be groomed I am a wreck until he gets home.

For a while I was his ‘guide’ dog. Because he was anxious in new environments they would take me to places to lead the way and give him confidence – fancy that! That made me feel proud and empowered. I was the brave one. I was the one who was leading the way. I was the wise one.

I am more mature now. I am a Mum in a way. I have responsibilities. I cannot just be the empty-headed perennial pup that I was once. I have had to grow up.

I know that The Producer misses the pup in me. Misses the playful, ditzy, silly Zena who fell off the table and drove her crazy with the squeaky toys!

She misses the Tibetan who sneaked into the bedroom in the middle of the night to join Miss Seven and who was so full of joy that the room would laugh with her.

I just don’t feel the joy that I used to feel, but I am having more moments of happiness.

When the pup and I play in a way that doesn’t involve my being squashed, chewed or jumped on – at those moments I feel a little of the old Zena stirring, and just for a moment I forget the pain of loss and the play absorbs me and I am happy.

Those moments are good and as the pup and I settle in together the good times are increasing.

We often share the same bed and that is nice. We enjoy our walks together and it is good to feel that I have a special pal again.

As Raffles becomes a little more mature and a little more able to control his limbs, playing is a lot less dangerous! So I expect these times of happiness to increase.

Sharing a bed and some comfort from a pal

Sharing a bed and some comfort from a pal

So I face 2013 as a different Zena. The old Zena is gone and I know The Producer misses her.

But the new Zena is stronger.

The new Zena is able to look out for a puppy four times her size.

The new Zena isn’t afraid of the big dogs at the park anymore because she has one at home!

The new Zena will stare down the big dog and say ‘No, it’s my chew.’

The new Zena is very fit and has learnt to run fast and turn quickly to evade the puppy ‘hugs’.

The new Zena remembers Zac with love. She misses him like crazy and she tells Raffles all about him so he is never forgotten.

The new Zena remembers some of Zac’s wisdom to pass on to the next generation.

The new Zena appreciates what she has a little more than she did and if life has taught her it can be cruel, it has also shown her she can survive and find a measure of happiness. This feeling is different than the joy of innocence that she expressed before but valid nonetheless.

The new Zena might just rock!

So come on 2013 – let’s see what we can do with you 🙂

The new Zena plays hard!

The new Zena meets trouble head on!

Love from Zena, the New Princess


The Super Sweet Princess

More cupcakes!!!

And these look gorgeous too.

Admit it everyone, you’re trying to fatten me up aren’t you?

Thank you so much to my pal Misaki for these beautiful cakes and another very pretty award to put on my blog 🙂

Don’t they look yummy? My last award was ‘One Sweet Blog Award’ now this one is ‘Super Sweet Blogging Award’ – I call that progress. I am sweet and I like pretty things of bright colours so these cakes fit the bill nicely and unlike some of the other pretty coloured things I have eaten in the past, these will not have me spending days at the vets as I slowly go from a black dog with pinkish skin to a black dog with yellow skin and then back again!

Now apparently with this award, as with most awards, I have to give credit to the one who passed it on to me – thank you again Misaki, you are a great friend.

Now I have to answer some sweet related questions. This actually made me realise how precious these gifts are because I do not have sweet stuff. Well, as I’ve said before, a girl’s gotta watch her shape these days. So I’m passing the questions onto The Producer to answer because that means I can have a good laugh!

The Producer Tackles The Hard Questions (and answers them honestly):

1. Cookies or Cake – Definitely cake and sadly the creamier or sweeter the better!

2. Chocolate or Vanilla – Chocolate, especially Lindt or Haigh’s violet and rose creams (put on weight just thinking about them).

3. What is your favourite sweet treat? Creme Brulee, chocolate mousse, profiteroles, black forest gateaux and vanilla slice – seriously, put all of those on one plate and I would swoon. I would fall into a sugar coma but I would go down happy!

4. When do you crave sweet things the most – Probably mid morning, after lunch, mid afternoon, after dinner and in the evening. Like Misaki, pretty much all the time!

Back to Zena

5. If you had a sweet nickname what would it be? Easy-peasy…… Princess Pumpkin Pie 🙂

Now for the part everybody loves and The Producer has gone awol so I can’t pass it onto her. The baker’s dozen of blogs I’m passing this onto and it’s in keeping with the spirit of the baker’s dozen because there might be one or two who have already received this award. If you have received it just know I thought of you and enjoy spreading the sweetness 🙂

1. Clowie’s Corner – such a sweet Pyrennean

2. Jasper’s Doggy World – two very sweet Maremmas who love life, eggs and everything

3. House full of Dogs – they recently had a sad event so here’s a reminder that their loss is not forgotton

4. Hutch A Good Life – Very sweet piggies deserve very sweet awards!

5. Angel’s Whisper – The very name of this blog is sweet, but the latest camouflage pics are better still!

6. Scottie Mom – Black dogs, Mr K & Heather they seem to be very busy so I’m sure a sweet break would be good for them.

7. I Love Schnauzers – Relate to the backpack issue Miss D, after that trauma I’m sure some sweet treats will be welcome!

8. First Puppy – If we’re talking sweet, they don’t come much sweeter than this

9. Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven – very cute grey and white curly ball of fluff, sweet, sweet, sweet. Almost as sweet as me!!!

10. Sandy Robinson’s Blog – A dog called Zak, need I add more?

11. I Adopted A dog Now What – Cute dog blog, kind of a theme here 🙂

12. Long Life Cats and Dogs – This is the blog of Lady Litchfield Love, Empress of Bordeaux and it always pays to keep in with royalty, plus they are having problems with the internet and deserve a sweet treat.

13. All that Jazz Cat – just to prove I am not prejudiced and I can find cats cute too 🙂

Okay, all done.

If you have received this before great, just enjoy the added sweetness.

If you receive it and want to respond you don’t need to comment on each blog, I’m just feeling chatty today!

If you HATE awards and do not want to respond I’m okay with that too.

Now onto a totally different subject. I GOT SPOOKED

Look at me all fierce

Me as you’ve never seen me before (or will again!)

Thanks to Mollie & Alfie for ‘uglying’ me up and making me look like Frankenstein Zena, this would give the dogs at the reserve something to be afraid of!


I am unstoppable today 🙂

Yesterday The Producer went out and bought another bed, yes, another bed! So now I have two and I lie in one when she’s at the computer and the other when she sits and uses the iPad.

Now normally, I wouldn’t think too much about it but there have been some other things happening which have caused me a little concern. I have heard them talking about how much we all miss Zac. We do. The house is so quiet without him and nothing fun happens any more.

I know that I have stopped playing, won’t touch my toys and just stay in my high sided bed sleeping all day except for when they take me out for a walk when I stay with my nose touching The Producer’s calf. I know I am a changed dog but I can’t help it.

I’ve heard them talk in whispers about depression and loneliness and there has been a lot of chatter over the Skype lines to other members of the family in far-flung places in the world. And I admit it, I am depressed but now I am a little worried too!

Because of our loneliness and my depression I sense that some kind of a decision was made about ten days ago. Then last Saturday I was taken over and left with Prissy Paws (aka Devon) for the morning and when they returned there was an excitement about them. The next day The Producer brought the new bed home. Since then I have seen a couple of new toys and the food and treat cupboard is being stocked up more than usual.

I suspect they are getting me a pal or a bodyguard. At this stage I am not too sure which. I thought they might be getting me a cat as a companion, then I thought they might be getting me a cute guinea pig like Basil but I’m still not too sure. Maybe you can tell what they are getting me from the bed The Producer bought:

Who is going to use this bed? Bodyguard or pet?

Love from The Perturbed Princess


The Unhappy Princess

This is me btw – I know there is a strong family resemblance.

As the days have continued we have done most of the ‘firsts’ without Zac. The first walk. The first trip into the village. The first drive in the car.

These are some of the hardest things. There are still more to come of course.

I am not sure how I will react to the first thunderstorm. Zac used to bark back at thunder, he wasn’t afraid, he enjoyed it. I didn’t like them but when I was with Zac I wasn’t afraid of anything.

For the first few days I was sure he was going to come back. I kept willing him to walk through the door, but I knew from the behaviour of His Beloved that something really bad had happened because she was so upset. I just didn’t want to accept it.

I could sense that she was shocked at the speed of it all too, so was I. In the morning we woke up, the usual happy family. By that evening we were devastated. How quickly things turn.

The pain was heart-rendering and then I could sense guilt in his Beloved. I heard her talking about what if’s. What if they had tried a different vet? What if they had used a different food? Useless thoughts.

This event has sobered me. The old me would never have given any time to think much at all but now the house is so quiet I have nothing but time for thinking.

I know his Beloved was worried about me after a few days because I wasn’t eating. I didn’t feel hungry. I felt sick all the time.

I still wanted to go out for my walk in the morning but I wouldn’t leave his Beloved’s ankles. I wouldn’t play with the dogs at the park. I felt isolated from them all. I felt so lonely and I didn’t feel safe anymore.

After five days I began to get used to the silence. I became used to that aching hole and the feeling of half of me gone was familiar. I don’t know if that will ever lift. I don’t know if I want it to.

I don’t want to forget Zac and I know his Beloved won’t forget him. It won’t be possible.

I found that I could eat again. It felt strange to stand at my bowl without Zac scoffing from his bowl next to me but I could do it. That gave me confidence.

When we went to the park I recognised some familiar furry faces and went up to meet them. I even had a quick run with one.

Wait for me!!!!

His Beloved and I are working through things.

My routine has changed a little but not too much.

I know that things will never be the same. I can never return to the carefree, untroubled Princess that I was, but I am beginning to accept that he has gone and I am beginning to cope. I am less frantic.

His Beloved has talked to me about Zac and she has stopped crying every time she thinks of him. She can laugh at some stories of when he was young and she can look at his photographs. That helps me too.

I still have pangs of guilt when I forget him for a moment and get immersed in a smell or a play.

Last night some dogs came on the television and I ran to the screen barking but there was no Zac to join me and I quickly stopped again, for a moment I had forgotten he wasn’t there to rile up, that made me feel guilty too.

Don’t think that I’m going to talk about Zac all the time. I won’t. It is just still fresh for me and I am still adjusting to being a single dog. It is quite a change.

For instance, I won’t be able to get away with anything any more.

They knew straight away that it was me who had rolled on Ajay’s bed and disarranged the pillows! When Zac was here there was always a certain amount of doubt about which one of us might have done such things, not any more. The buck stops at me!

I have realised that I can no longer push Zac into doing things on my behalf. I have to make it plain what I want.

If I want to come in from outside I have to ask. Before I used to rely on Zac to notice I was at the door and tell his Beloved.

And then there is the food. I always left that department to Zac. He was always more into food than I was. For instance I haven’t bothered with treats so much since he’s been gone, I’m not that interested. It was Zac who used to ‘assume the position’ and sit on his mat for a treat whenever he was brushed, cut or could think of a reason why he should be rewarded!

One thing that concerned his Beloved was the thought that maybe there was a special diet out there which might have helped Zac if she had known about it. So she is changing me over to a raw diet to see if it helps my itchy tummy. This is nothing like as serious as Zac’s allergy problem by the way. She had researched raw before but her old vet didn’t recommend it and sometimes it is hard to know what to do for the best. So instead she gave us special, no grain food made in Australia.

Now however she feels more confident about trying the raw diet and I’m pleased. I like raw and of course now I can’t rely on Zac to tell her so I had to let her know. This I did by not touching any of the old food she put out and only eating the raw. I thought that would be pretty obvious but she didn’t give me any more of the raw roo meat.

So I went to her, sat and looked up at her like Zac used to. It wasn’t a complete success. I didn’t get extra meat but I did feel that she understood. I shall have to wait and see what the next few days bring. There seems to be a lot of waiting and seeing at the moment.

I guess I am having to take on more responsibility for myself. I am having to be more assertive. I think the fun will come back in time but I haven’t felt much like playing yet.

I am not a brave and fearless Tibbie like Zac. I am his Princess, gentle and a little timid. And yes, I like pretty things. I step lightly, I can run, I am agile. Zac was not agile. I don’t mind walking on wet grass and whilst I don’t love baths, I don’t hate them like he did. I quite like to feel clean and tidy.

I didn’t need to think or worry or work things out. He did all the thinking (and more) for us both. He did bring me up though and some of his ways must be in me by nature (he was my blood uncle) and by nurture. Only time will tell how much.

One thing I have always done better than Zac, though he would never admit is, is to sound an alert. If someone comes into the drive I bark. Zac always thought that was rude. He thought everyone was his friend. I don’t. I will bark. His Beloved tells me I am good for doing that.

I have had to re-think what I will call his Beloved. Beloved was Zac’s name. He adored her and she him. She loves me too but we have a different relationship.

So I have been thinking of an appropriate title for her which is mine, all mine. Anyone have any ideas?

Love Zena, the unhappy Princess