Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hark it's my Christmas bark

Seasons Greetings to you all. It seems that Christmas is almost here, though if the local shops are to be believed the season began at the start of October - two and a half months ago.

Preparations are underway in my big kennel. My humans have even put a tree inside! This is my first “real” Christmas tree.

Normally we go to the beach the week before Christmas (something about escaping the madness of Auckland), but because of work (a concept that I'm still too young to understand) they couldn’t go this year which meant they decided to get a real tree, as the tree wouldn't wilt with the Auckland heat while they were away - if that makes any sense!

My first pine tree smells really nice. So far I haven’t watered it or tried to eat the decorations, but I am still a bit confused as when I go outside I can water the trees out there, but I’m not meant meant to water this one. Only mum is allowed to fill up the stand with tap water.

Yes it is summer here. The days are hot (today it is 27 degrees C / 80 deg. F) and our "New Zealand Christmas Tree" the pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) is in bloom around the neighbourhood

(this is the one in my front garden)

and also lining the shores of many of our beaches. It flowers every summer and looks festive.
(photo off the web - see

'Tis the season of sandy beaches, the smell of suntan lotion and barbeques, swimming, boats across the waves, children playing games on the beach, the sound of cicadas in the trees and lazy days spent doing very little. Many people go camping or to their bach (a bach is the North Island term for a holiday home, traditionally a simple building at the beach but now many are like normal houses. In the South Island of New Zealand a bach is called a crib).

I went to a couple of Christmas parties with special games for dogs like musical mats, relay races, bobbing for toys in a paddling pool, egg and spoon races (we had to run and pull our owners with our leash while they carried a raw egg in a spoon in their other hand), and a game my humans were most proud of me for… a relay race where teams of dogs had to carry a piece of sausage in their mouth, with the team that got the most amount of sausages to the finish line winning. Unlike most of the dogs, I didn’t eat the sausage, so thought it very unfair that mum took out of my mouth at the end of the race, but I did get to eat some pieces of sausage at the barbeque later.

My mum is now up to wrapping presents to put under our tree, talking  to me about the people we are going to see soon and also telling me stories about the others (including her grandparents and her last Golden Retriever) that she still loves and misses but who can't be with us - and explaining to me how many of the special little things we do on Christmas Day are part of traditions from her time with them.

Also there is something called an advent calendar hanging on the dinning room wall, and my humans have been eating little chocolates from it every night. I’m counting down my meals (I have far too many "sleeps" to count them) until the big day when I can find out what is inside my Christmas stocking.

Can you guess which stocking is mine?

I've tried to be good this year, so I'm now spending  my spare time dreaming of what toys Santa-paws might leave me, the joy of shredding wrapping paper, the spoils of Christmas dinner (like turkey which is another strange tradition in NZ as many people have a roast dinner even though it's normally a really hot day – something to do with their English heritage) and I'm also dreaming of seeing my family and friends who are travelling from around the country to see us.

Thank you for reading my posts during my first year of blogging. I have really appreciated all your comments, and enjoy reading your blogs (even though sometimes mum and I get way behind in visiting you - next year we hope to do better) to learn about my new two and four legged friends.

Wishing you all a safe and Merry Christmas filled with peace, happiness and love,


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

You got me and I got you

Today is four years to the day since my family got me, so here are four photos to show you how I’ve grown since the 18th of November 2006. 

The first photo was taken during my four hour car ride home (when I was eight weeks old). Dad went slightly mad with his power tools cutting air holes out of the side of this temporary box (there was never going to be a lid on it), but I didn’t spend much time in this box as I was happiest sleeping curled up on mum’s lap while dad drove the car.

Here I am in the same box when I was six months old, during my long legged skinny phase. I didn't have my Golden Retriever tail feathers yet.

Then exactly one year from the day that they got me I'm posing for a photo in the same box – much bigger, furrier and four times the weight that I was in my first photo! I was too big to curl up, so had to stand instead.

You can see recent photos of me, in my posts below, showing what I look like now. I don't think I have changed much since November 2007. Can you see any differences?

My family are so happy they got me four years ago. They believe that they got the best puppy in the world, even though we all know that there are lots of you out there that also got the best puppy (or kitten or human) ever on your own Gotcha days.

I'm really happy I got them too.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

My Saturday Summer Springs Stroll

Western Springs – a spring fed freshwater lake which was the source of Auckland’s first reticulated bulk water supply back in 1877.  The water comes up through the volcanic rocks.

I had a 40 minute leisurely walk around Western Springs Park today; stopping frequently to check out the waterfowl. The only thing that prevented me from getting into the lake with the birds was the leash linking me to my human. There were also eels and fish in there. Perhpas next time I'll get to go for a swim with them.

(Mum likes the colours of this New Zealand native bird – the Pukeko)


Wishing you all a good weekend,

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday Funday - mud baths, friends and trick or treat.

This morning I caught up with a few of my Goldie friends at Waiatarua Reserve. This is an Auckland park of approximately 20 hectares where dogs can run off leash and play in the creeks and ponds apart from one area in the centre which is just for the birds.

My Golden Retriever Club was having a dog walk so we met at the car park.

I got lots of nice pats from this lady in the pink top.

A quick check of who I remember...
and I'm so excited to be there that I'm off the ground literally (I'm the one flying in the centre)
and running circles (in the centre) not knowing which way to go...
What's down there...
whatever my fur-friend is doing it looks fun...
so this is what she was after... I think I'll stand here for a while...
So mum, does my mud bath look suit me?

Then a cool dip in the first pond...
My "alligator look" - I'm the right of this photo below.
A quick drink - mum couldn't believe I'd actually want to drink this stuff!
Two of my friends
Me again standing at the back...
Half way through the walk and I'm happy

Then we were clipped up to our leashes for a while, as the centre of this park is New Zealand's biggest urban wetland (a big stormwater treatment area) where there are all sorts of birds which we are not allowed to retrieve. The path that we follow goes right around this wetland area.

Surely mum could have trusted me with those birds after my last blog post!

Off leash again.
Muddy water and water dogs... that's me on the right

Lots to sniff...
and to run from or to (I'm on the left)

Then the big pond...

Just in case you think we were there alone, our humans followed us round and a couple of black labs even gate-crashed our pond party!

Spring days - the water is warm. What more could I want!

My wet dog look...
and a quick shake dry! 

After the walk the humans had a barbecue in the park. Here are some of my friends in the shade, and just in case you think all us Golden Retrievers look alike the blond ones below aren't me! .

Having a barbecue afterwards was a great idea, as my humans got to woof with other humans and while they were standing around I got given bits of sausage to eat and some clean water!

Then a car ride home and it was time for TRICK OR TREAT only I got both.

Dad called me to the back yard and TRICKED me as he had shampoo and the garden hose.  He got rid of the lovely pond odours from this morning that I so enjoyed.  

However I got TREATED at the same time as mum hand fed me pieces of smoked fish as I was being washed. Smoked fish is one of my favourite treats.

Have a great Sunday, and if you are celebrating Halloween be wary of those tricks!