P365 – Day 305 – the best dog in the world (01/11/2011)

Before Sleepydog, there was The Best Dog In The World.

Slabs and I got TBDITW when we were living in Canberra. We both agreed that we wanted a male, and Slabs was very keen on getting a blue heeler, so when we saw an ad in the paper for blue heeler cross pups for $50 we decided to go and have a look.

What appears to have happened in the creation of these adorable little pups is that the ridgeback breeder’s Mummy Ridgeback had an unwelcome visit from a local blue heeler x mongrel.

When he heard that some of the pups had got their mum’s ridge, Slabs decided that he wanted one of the ridged pups. There were only two boys with the ridge; one was running round madly in the hot sun, and the other one was tucked up well out of the heat under the guy’s trailer. Obviously he was the smarter one.

He was very cute, and we fell in love with him on the spot and took him home.

We never knew when his birthday was – all we knew was it was in early November, so we decided that we’d celebrate his birthday on Melbourne Cup day every year. 
Today The Best Dog In The World would have been 13.
Unfortunately he didn’t make it to his teens. He was only seven when he was diagnosed with lymphoma, a few months into my pregnancy.
We tried chemotherapy with him and he was okay for a little while, but ultimately we knew that his quality of life just wasn’t there and it wasn’t fair to put him through this for the very brief periods that he was OK. So we made the heartbreaking decision, just two weeks after Juniordwarf’s arrival into our lives, to say goodbye to him.
I don’t want to dwell on that, because it was an incredibly difficult time for us. I want to remember the good times we had with him, because they are precious memories that I will never forget.
Like the way he triumphed at dog training school on the day of the graduation test, after being almost impossible to train for the whole course – he came third, which surprised everyone there, most of all me. 
Our holiday to country Victoria where he came with us in the car because he was part of the family. The way he and Sleepydog used to wrestle, fight and chase each other round the yard. Just like human siblings!

The day a huge kangaroo came into our yard that set the duck off, but TBDITW only bothered to go and check out what was happening when I got up to find out what all the noise was about. The night he came home from the vet after his ‘operation’ and we felt so bad about what we’d done to him we slept on the floor in the lounge room with him. The way he’d got so used to travelling in the car that he hated going on the back of the ute when we got it.
So many fantastic memories of such a wonderful dog.


P365 – Day 281 – two metre tall (8/10/2011)

This weekend is the official opening of Two Metre Tall’s Farm Bar season. 
To celebrate, the Farm Bar is open all weekend.
Juniordwarf learns self-photography
Lil Sis kindly agreed to drive us, so we all squeezed into her car for the trip. We met up with some friends and had a great afternoon drinking the different ales and ciders. 
Designer of the ‘Norfick’ shirt, Samedog.
Two Metre Tall has been very busy over the ‘off season’ and there is now an undercover BBQ area for people to cook their ‘beer fed beef’ steaks and sausages that come straight from the farm.

We called the BBQ area the ‘Man Cave’ because, well, there were a lot of men there bonding over the wood fire and discussing tongs. I don’t know, it must be a man thing.
Men doing secret men’s business in the Man Cave
Juniordwarf found himself a new friend in Molly the dog, who seemed quite happy for him to chase her around the place (he took this photo).
Molly the dog
It was a beautiful day, perfect for getting some Vitamin D in this part of the world where apparently Vitamin D deficiency is a big issue. Then in true Tassie style, we were treated to a glorious rain storm, which meant we could all cram into the shed and continue our sampling of the ale-y goodness. (Some of us might have drank a few more than others . . . )
Mr Tall, Lil Sis, Juniordwarf, Me & Slabs
Ashley working the bar
Ale-y goodness
Discovery of the day was the ‘new and improved’ Huon Dark Ale, which now has 25 per cent apple juice (from Huon Valley apples), and is a really delicious drink. We also tried the new wild yeast ale, which is a variation on the Forester ale – my favourite. I’ve forgotten what it’s called, but my name for it was ‘Salty Forester’. And Slabs’ new favourite is the Derwent Ale, which now uses spelt instead of wheat.
I love Two Metre Tall’s philosophy of using ingredients that they grow themselves, or source directly from local growers. Having direct links to your food by growing it yourself or, if you can’t do that, then at least knowing where it has come from and what’s in it, is an appealing concept, although for me right now, it’s not something I can do as much as I’d like to right now.
It’s something I’m becoming quite passionate about! But I digress . . .
As you know, kids love rain, and today was no exception. We’d been warned that the ground might be a bit soggy, so we made sure Juniordwarf was kitted out in his gumboots. This proved to be a really good idea, and allowed him to participate in ‘puddling’. His attempt to keep his pants dry was very amusing, but rather futile in the end.
Somehow I let him talk me into going for a walk up the hill, which was a Mighty Big Adventure. If I hadn’t turned him back, he might still be walking!
It was a fun afternoon and I’m looking forward to the next time. Thanks Ashley and Jane for a great day out.

P365 – Day 260 – sight-seeing and partying (17/09/2011)

We went shopping this morning, then did a bit of sight-seeing. Or rather, we went to Parliament House. 
Juniordwarf loved the water feature at the front of Parliament House, and insisted on dipping his feet in.
After that, we drove up Mount Ainslie to show Juniordwarf Canberra from above.

In the afternoon we went to Aunty Purple Bee and Uncle Tee’s house for their birthday party and to toast them as they head off overseas to get married. 

Juniordwarf was especially excited because he was going to be allowed to sleep at Aunty Purple Bee’s house instead of coming back to the motel with us.

He’s getting a lot more confident dealing with Aunty Purple Bee’s dog.

Lil Sis and Mr Tall dropped in during the night too. They’re en route to Tasmania.

P365 – Day 257 – travel-log Day 4 (14/09/2011)

Today was the last day of our road trip, from Tumut to Canberra.

Goodbye Grandma & Grandad

We did the obligatory stop at the Dog on the Tuckerbox (where Juniordwarf, upon learning that we didn’t know the Dog’s name, decided that its name was Charlotte). We’d stopped there the first time we took Juniordwarf to the mainland for a holiday, when he was seven months old, and he’d seen the pictures of us with the Dog, so he was very keen to go back there this time.

The Dog needs a good wash!
Following that, it was a long drive on the Hume Highway, via a last minute fuel stop at Yass. 

We stopped in at Shaw Vineyard at Murrumbateman, which was in a lovely location and had some very nice wines. We had to buy some of course.
Then a quick stop at Hall for lunch, then full steam ahead to Canberra (or more exactly, Queanbeyan) and our motel, before heading over to Juniordwarf’s aunt’s place to meet up with Slabs’ family.

Juniordwarf had a brilliant time playing with his aunt’s dog, who is just the right size for him to run around with, without being knocked over.

Tomorrow it’s his birthday, and he’s very excited!

P365 – Day 200 – ham?

Juniordwarf and I took Sleepydog for a walk today. It’s a habit I’m trying to get us into now he’s bigger and I feel more confident he’s not going to take off somewhere.

Juniordwarf usually holds my hand on our walk and he narrates where we’re going somewhat in the manner of a NavMan. Actually he has the whole route planned in his head before we set out, which he describes to me in great detail:

‘We’re going to go right into Blah Street, and then right into ABC Road. Right into Lorem Ipsum Street. Left into Tuesday Street. Right into Labradoodle Road . . .’ and so on, until we arrive back at our house. (He also does this whenever we go anywhere in the car. It’s become something of an obsession.)

Every so often when we’re walking, he lets go of my hand and goes to have a look at Sleepydog or to pat her.

Today, when we were almost home, he was looking at the dog, and he said ‘Sleepydog’s tongue looks like ham!’

He’s come out with some funny statements, but this has to be one of the best ones yet.

I took this photo using Hipstamatic. I’m not really fond of it, for two reasons. One, because it’s the best of a series of hideous photos of the dog – she isn’t good at sitting still and posing, and two, because I don’t really like the way the colour turned out (I had to boost the saturation quite a lot because it had a rather bleached effect) – one of the downsides of having to pick your effects before you take the photo. But I will continue with learning more about this app – it’s early days yet, and I can’t expect every photo to turn out beautifully.

P365 – Day 172 walkies

Juniordwarf came with me again today on Sleepydog’s walk.
After Sunday’s walk I said to him that when he was (a lot!) bigger he’d be able to walk the dog by himself.
I said there would come a day when he didn’t want me any more, and he said ‘I’ll always want you’.

When I was putting Juniordwarf to bed I told Slabs what he’d said, and I told Juniordwarf that when he was bigger he wouldn’t want me around. Juniordwarf replied, ‘I’ll want you every day, when I’m little and big’.

How sweet is that? It brought tears to my eyes.

P365 – Day 132 bandaids

Ever since Juniordwarf began to get fixated on particular things, we’ve wondered (in jest, of course) if this is an indication of his future career path.

At a very young age he was obsessed with toilets, and everywhere we went he would find the toilet and spend an excessive amount of time looking at it. So we thought maybe he’d be a plumber (which his teacher suggests is still an option, given the number of times during the day she has to remind him to hitch is pants up).

He’s also been very much into hairstyles, leading us to believe that a career as a hairdresser might also be on the cards.

Just recently, things took a different turn. A few days ago, he told me Teddy’s knee was sore and he needed to put a bandaid on it, so I let him have one or two from the cupboard to apply to Teddy’s injuries. I told he we could buy him his own packet of bandaids so if Teddy hurt himself, Juniordwarf would be able to fix him up.

Today I finally remembered to do that. Then we had to take Sleepydog to the vet for her weekly follow-up visit after her surgery. She had her stitches removed today, and Juniordwarf helped the vet count them as she took them out (there were eight, if you wanted to know).

When we got home, Juniordwarf told me that Teddy had hurt himself and he needed a bandaid, so he took his packet and proceeded to stick a bandaid on Teddy.

When I say ‘a bandaid’, I actually mean ‘a packet of bandaids’.

Yes, he used the entire packet of 50 bandaids.

He told me he was Teddy’s vet. Then he tossed Teddy on the couch and said Teddy needed to get some rest. 
So while the care and attention might have been there during the medical procedure, the after-sales service leaves a little to be desired.