May 22, 2013
Posted by thinkingshift under Animals
| Tags: Great Pyrenees
| 1 Comment
I was in Sydney for six days last week. I was there to speak at a conference and then spend a few days with my Aussie mate and God-niece, Emily. The conference was held at a hotel in the CBD – prime positioning for some shopping! But I didn’t have much opportunity to actually go shopping, boo. Late night shopping in Sydney is Thursday night, so I did whip out quickly in the Pitt Street Mall area and came across one heck of a giant dog.
From a distance, I thought I was looking at a miniature polar bear. Lots of people were crowding round this old chap and what turned out to be a Great Pyrenees dog called Snowbear. Well, I think this is right. I asked the old chap what sort of dog the massive canine is and he pointed to his cap, which was monogrammed Snowbear. I couldn’t get anything more out of the old guy; he was a man of few words but a quick Internet search confirms that the breed is the Great Pyrenees.
I swear this monster dog would have Zeph and Zsa Zsa for breakfast! Actually, can you imagine how much food this dog must eat? Maybe that’s why the old guy was smack bang in the middle of Pitt Street Mall asking for donations for human and dog. I offered up five bucks and quickly took some snaps to show you.
May 21, 2013
Well, I disappeared again Dear Reader. Last time, I was in South Africa; this time I was in Sydney, keynoting at Intranets2013. I spoke on issues around leadership and trust. Then I spent four days with my great Aussie mate and my God-niece, Emily. I haven’t seen them both since April 2012, although we Skype and email often.
El Hubs came along and it turns out that Emily adores him. This was the first time he’s met her. He’s super good with little kids. Little people tend to look at me, then burst into tears. Thankfully, Emily did not do this once. Phew! She’s super bold and the cutest thing is how she says uh-oh when something falls down or just whenever she wants to test the vocal chords.
Naturally, a lot of photos were taken and I’ll share these over the next few posts. I’m also behind in downloading some of my South African photos – note to self: get on with it!
El Hubs with little Emily. This was the first time they’d met and they adore each other.
May 12, 2013
You know my penchant for spotting spelling and/or grammatical errors. Well, South Africa was full of them. And here’s a classic:
Now, true to say that wafer (the crisp, thin, flat dry biscuit we often enjoy with ice-cream) can also be spelled waffer. So I’ll forgive this but Dilicious?
When I was a teacher (and later as a University lecturer), I was often appalled at the spelling mistakes I came across. What does it take to dig out a dictionary to ensure you’re not making an idiot of yourself? I have a great time on Facebook actually. Soooooooo many people don’t seem to be able to spell properly these days!
May 10, 2013
Zeph is four months older than Zsa Zsa. And it’s true to say he had four months of quality time with us before little ZZ came along. So she’s never really had time on her own with me or El Hubs. Zeph has always been there too.
The breeder thought it was time for diva dog Zsa Zsa to go out on her own with one of us. Luckily, a new dog walking group has started up in the area and so I took Zsa Zsa along for the first time this week. I decided to get to the meeting point about ten minutes ahead of time, to desensitize her. She doesn’t like truck or car noises – funny that, as she LOVES riding in the car.
She was a bit scared of all the new smells and noises but very curious. Then along came the first dog, Marlo, with his owner and then our friend, Stephanie, rocked up with her five Pointers. Zsa Zsa gingerly sniffed Marlo and they seemed to get along. But she decided to hang out with Stephanie and the other Pointers as we began our walk.
At first, she walked with her tail between her legs and was clearly unnerved by the passing traffic. But half way through the walk, she joined Edie and Rumour – two of my friend’s Pointers. Her tail was up as well as her confidence. She fell in with the other Pointers and, soon after that, she was taking the lead. Tail wagging and as happy as I’ve ever seen her. We all ended up at a local cafe that has a garden where dogs can run around. We’ll be walking every Wednesday from now on.
Zsa Zsa wasn’t ready to join the walking group yet. She was still a little scared. Zeph’s Dad, Sam, is the Pointer to the immediate right of Stephanie.
Zsa Zsa gains confidence and steps in with Edie and Rumour.
May 8, 2013
May 8 is my birthday. Happy Birthday to me! Many famous people were born on this best day of the year:
- David Attenborough – British naturalist who is 87 today;
- Enrique Iglesias – Spanish singing hunk;
- Kevin McCloud - British designer and thinking woman’s sex symbol who presents Grand Designs;
- Sid James - British comedian who had me in stitches with the Carry On films as I was growing up;
- Naomi Klein – Canadian author of the great book, No Logo;
- Harry S. Truman – 33rd US President; and
- Edward Gibbon – Historian (Decline & Fall of Roman Empire).
And, of course, ME. May 8 was also Victory in Europe Day in 1945 – a public holiday to commemorate the surrender of Nazi Germany. So naturally I consider May 8 the very best day of the calendar year. It’s also an even number, which I favour!
My French colleague in Rome was first to wish me a happy birthday and sent me a great birthday present from La Réunion where she is currently holidaying. It arrived a few days ago and I had to laugh. I’ve told you about Nivea Natural Oil, which I discovered whilst living in Rome. Because I couldn’t read Italian, I thought it was an oil for dry skin and used it that way for months. Then my colleague and I had to go to Stockholm together for work and I found the English version of the product there – only to discover it’s a shower gel. I’ve used it this way but it’s pretty ordinary, so I went back to using it as an oil for dry skin. LOVE.
I bought two more recently in South Africa and, when I opened the birthday package, another two fell out. Plus, she sent me two horse-shaped metal hooks to hang keys. The accompanying card was a great affirmation – we are very good friends and I hope to work with her again someday.
Then a package arrived from Bangkok from my Thai sis, Lalida. She showed me a photo a month or so ago of a decoupage wallet she did. The wallet was festooned with cute sheep and I told her it was lovely. Little did I know she had made it for me. She also sent some Zsiska earrings. This design company was set up by Dutch designer, Siska Schippers, who moved to Thailand in the 1990s. I love the bold, quirky stuff Zsiska produces and have quite a collection now.
May 6, 2013
Thankfully, Zeph seems to have (momentarily) given up on using our large mosaic outdoor table as a sunbaking platform. Since picking them up from the breeder’s kennels, they’ve been super clingy. Zeph is apparently a very dominant male at the kennels. He spends time with his mum, Vera, then the rest of the time he patrols the large paddocks or the kennel area. The breeder keeps all the male dogs away from each other so there are no fence fights.
I find it so hard to believe that Zeph is dominant because, at home, he’s a sweet, gentle-natured dog. But then it’s his territory and he has his harem of one, Zsa Zsa. Little ZZ lost of bit of weight whilst we were in South Africa. It’s very hard to keep her weight down because she breathes air and gains weight! Zeph is fussy with his food and is SO active, he never gains weight.
Our friend, Stephanie, who has five Pointers works at the kennels on Tuesdays and made sure Zeph and ZZ had plenty of cuddles and hugs. The breeder has now asked if Zeph could be mated with one of her champion dogs. Zeph’s father is a champion Pointer (or grand Poohbah as I call him) and Zeph has taken out prizes in every show he’s been to. And speaking of Zeph’s dad, Stephanie now has him – her male Pointer died at 10 years of age and so she decided to give Sam a home. He’s been a kennel dog all his life and is now settling in very well with Stephanie’s other Pointers.
I made the decision to take Zeph and ZZ once a week to the kennels for puppy day care. This was very wise on my part because they consider the kennel their second home. They rush out of the car when we get there and hardly look back at me or El Hubs! They sleep in the area where the breeder’s own Pointers sleep rather than out in the kennel area.
But they also love being home and Zeph is particularly keen to lap up all the attention we give them. It’s been raining recently (boo!) but now the sun is out and they are sunbaking on their outdoor pet beds – and not the outdoor table thankfully.