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


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The Stylish Princess

Winter has come to Melbourne.

Only for a few days, but unpleasant for those of us who don’t like getting our paws wet. Of course the big boy doesn’t care. It takes him about twenty minutes of standing in the rain before he realises he is getting wet!

What’s that saying? ‘No sense, no feeling?’

I wouldn’t wish to cast aspersions on him but….. you can make up your own mind.

Me? I am made of finer stuff. Never mind that my ancestors nimbly navigated the rocks of the Himalayas in the snow and ice. I don’t. And I won’t.

Take this morning. The big boy went out first because he was going on a longer walk. I stayed curled up in my bed and was more than happy anticipating my breakfast.

Suddenly Mum gets up and puts her coat on.

‘Oh, we’re going out’ thought I. ‘Fine.’

I stand up and move to the door. Mum puts on my new coat which by the way shows the enormous faith she had in my getting over the pancreatitis because she bought it when I was ill.

It isn’t just any coat either. It is a Pawberry. I’ll give you a picture, it is very chic.

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See…… Great Style 🙂 It’s the way you wear it of course!

Anyway. Off we go. I am looking fabulous in my new coat and I’m anticipating the lovely sniffs and adventures of each bush and pole. 

Then we got outside.

Ugh!

It wasn’t actually raining, but it was windy and rain was in the air. I couldn’t believe it. After all these years doesn’t Mum know me better than that?

We got to the first roundabout before she realised I wasn’t actually enthusiastic. Perhaps the fact that I was two paces behind her and shooting her reproachful looks finally got through. 

‘Do you want to go home?’ she finally asked.

Of course I wanted to go home. Who in their right minds wanted to be out with the wind blowing up places the wind shouldn’t be allowed and with everything wet and cold. I had a warm bed that was missing me, a breakfast that was overdue and central heating. Why would I want to be outside?

So we came back.

Gee. Sometimes Mum can be really dumb.

But I did look great in the coat and for that I thank her.

Raffy was so impressed with my new apparel he decided I was a great accessory and decided to take me for a walk. I am in great demand.

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Love from the Princess.


20 Comments

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

WHOOPS!!!!

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.

Jazz

Jazz

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


33 Comments

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


29 Comments

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 😀

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


48 Comments

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