Animals


Isn’t this a great photo of Zeph? He was looking at some sheep in the paddock next to The Shed.

I’m biased but I think he looks magnificent!!

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I looked out the kitchen window the other day to see this wonderful sight. A bunch of cows gave birth to calves over the last few weeks and the photo below shows most of them all together.

I love the calves that are mostly white with black splotches. I must try and get a photo of them with Zeph. When I see them together (albeit sniffing noses from either side of a fence), they look so alike.

I find all the activity very soothing – watching mamas and babies bond, calves running around like lunatics. At least three calves come up to the fence as this paddock is adjacent to The Shed. They are SO curious and love to hear human voices. I talk to them and there’s one bold calf who allows me to touch it, then runs off. Too cute.

 

October 7 is Zeph’s seventh birthday. I am going to sound very cliched here but…where on earth has the time gone?

Below is his official birthday portrait. He LOVES that yellow bush (over to experts to tell me what it is). Bees love this bush too. Zeph goes to it every day to sniff and sit or stand behind it. No idea why.

As Zeph gets older, he is getting quirkier. If that’s possible because he’s always been a very quirky dog. He’s extremely expressive and loves to socialise with humans and other dogs. He’s a happy, happy dog.

I really feel he prefers the North to the South Island. We are spending most of our time outdoors here as the climate is warmer and less harsh. Zeph sunbakes after breakfast and then we walk around the property during the day. There is so much for him to sniff. I think his very favourite place is the forest or bush at the back of the property – mine too. He loves to search for rabbits (they always elude him) or just sit and look around.

I notice he does a lot of staring but this is a Pointer thing. Pointers stare at moths, butterflies, bees. When we are at the very top of the property, we have a panoramic district view as we’re high up. There is a hill he loves to sit on and just stare into the distance.

Happy Birthday to my Zephilicious.

I don’t think Zeph would approve of this photo with his ears flapping in the breeze LOL

Zeph sitting in the forest.

Official 7th birthday portrait.

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Poor Zeph. He had to get The Chop. A few months ago, he developed a bit of a prostate problem due to The Ladies. You may know that a whole male dog can sniff the ladies miles away (2km or 1.2 miles according to our vet). The scent of the female dog in heat enlarges the male prostate and this all pushes on the bowel, so the dog ends up with toilet problems.

So 10 days ago, Zeph had his operation. I was calm about it but when he came home well….vets really should warn you that animals coming out of anesthetic cry and are terribly unsettled. El Hubs picked him up around 4.00pm and I think he was operated on before 10.00am. Apparently, vets do cats first, then dogs.

We put him on our bed and basically we both slept with him all night. Thankfully, we have a huge bed. He was very hungry around 7.00pm but I only gave him a tiny amount of food. Didn’t want the poor thing to throw up. Next morning, you would not have known anything was wrong. He was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, as we Australians say.

Then began the “keep your dog quiet for 10-14 days business.” Well, Zeph wanted to run around like a lunatic and play with Zsa Zsa (who was a little provocateur!). I admit to being a bit of an hysterical dog mum, so I made sure Zeph remained as quiet as possible. Thankfully, there’s been no swelling or any problems and his toilet issues have disappeared.

We had a good vet down South and we’ve found an equally good one here. Can you believe we’ve been in the Far North for over four months now?!

I love this photo of Zeph and Zsa Zsa’s paws. When little ZZ wasn’t being provocative and trying to get Zeph to play, she sat quietly with him.

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At the top of our property is native bush. I’m still coming to grips with what the trees are but I think they are Totora. They’re very tall and are home to wood pigeon and harrier hawks.

In the bush (or forest as I call it) are these amazing rock formations. The Far North is volcanic so I’m sure these rocks have been formed by past eruptions. Only the North Island of New Zealand has volcanoes and there is a long history of eruptions. It’s said that Auckland is sitting on a super-volcano – let’s hope not!

I’ve been told that the previous owner of our property, when he was a kid, would play in this forest with his siblings and they built rock walls to play behind. Zeph and Zsa Zsa love to sniff around these walls because rabbits hide there. I’ll try and do a video soon – a walk-through of the forest.

Can you spot the dogs behind the wall?

 

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It’s just been snowing down south where we used to live. I think I’ve said it before: for the first year or so, snow was really magical for me. Coming from Sydney, where I was born and lived for a long time, I never saw snow (unless I travelled to Europe in their Winter or went to someplace in NSW like Cooma). When the snow melts though….nah. You also have to deal with feeding out in the middle of a snowstorm and breaking the ice on water troughs.

Over the years we lived in the South Island, we became used to it but I’m very happy to be here in the winterless Far North. El Hubs thinks it is cold here (albeit not as cold as the South); I don’t think it’s cold at all. Crisp in the mornings and evenings yes, but not bone-chilling like I’ve experienced.

My horses are still down South staying with a good friend. Miss Rosie is in foal and expecting in early December and Karma is keeping her company. My friend sent me a video of Rosie with the stallion she is obsessed with and I can’t stop watching it. Just magical the way the stallion moves and with the snow falling.

Press the play button and enjoy!

What do you call it when a whole lot of bulls come together? A conference of bulls? This looks more like a flash mob.

I looked out the kitchen window of The Shed early the other morning and was greeted by this sight. Not sure what they were all planning or why they were looking towards the window. Probably they are just curious cows. Zeph has been very curious about them but came a little too close for comfort – and decided to run off.

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