Saturday, July 31, 2010

What does yours say about you?

I’ve been thinking about something most of my dog friends and also many of my cat friends have. Something we share in common, but which says something about who we are and how our family thinks of us.

What am I woofing about… collars.

You see collars are important. They are functional, but they also say something about us (and not just what is written on our tags). There are thousands of designs but somehow our family picks one and it becomes ours. Our collars become part of who we are, and are sometimes even kept by our family when we cross the Rainbow Bridge.

So today I thought I’d tell you about mine, and then learn about yours.

My current collar goes back to when my human mum first learnt she was actually going to get a puppy. I’m the first puppy she has ever had, so she was really excited, and the preparations for my arrival started many weeks before I arrived at my new home. Toys were sourced, puppy food was purchased, newspaper was stockpiled (put on the floor especially for me to shred!), my first bedroom (a.k.a. the laundry) was prepared with a new soft fleecy blanket (that I still sleep on) and my very first collar was bought.

How did she choose it? Now my dad would probably have just walked into a shop and bought the first puppy size one he saw, but mum puts more thought into things. If you have been following my blog, you will have already seen an example of how she things too much in her June post about the Koru.

As you know there are so many options these days...

Mum likes some colours and not others. For example orange was always going to be out because of her age - it’s a 1970’s thing I’m told, as my mum has memories of her own mother impossing a totally orange bedroom on her.

She also wanted something soft for me to wear, without bells (which I’ve learnt go on cat collars, so us dogs know when the cats are sneaking up on us) and without anything to fancy like jewels or brand names, and she didn’t think a golden retriever would suit one of those studded or spiky leather collars, but she knows there are lots of other dogs and cats out there who like these styles.

There are probably trends and variations of buckles and fabrics that mum was not aware of…

After much looking my mum finally found a collar she thought was really cute - a little blue denim one, and anyone who knows my mum knows that she is the sort of girl who is happiest wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

Ever since that collar all my collars have been blue denim – and that suits me as I’m a pretty laid back and casual sort of dog.

My first collar!

I can’t imagine wearing anything else now.  I go swiming with it on, I run around parks and wear it at home, and when my collar is dirty it gets thrown in the wash with her jeans, and fades, gets softer and acquires a well worn look.

So that’s I got a denim collar. Now I’d like to learn about your collar, so please leave me a woof or meow to let me know...

What your current collar looks like? (I can't always tell from your blog photos, as some of you have a furry chest like me).

What you think your family meant it to say about you?

Does it suit your personality?

And do your humans keep old collars that aren’t yours in the house (as my mum still keeps the last collar from her first dog) 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Winter days

Dad’s gone away. For some strange reason he wants to be on the top of this white covered thing called Mt Ruaphu with long things attached to his feet. The photos above are from one of dad’s trips there. He goes there as often as he can in winter.

Mt Ruaphu is one of New Zeland's active volcanos, and is beside Mt Ngauruhoe which is also active . Ruaphu has two ski fields on it, and last errupted briefly (for a whole seven minutes) in September 2007, but in 1996 the erruption looked like this as ash and rocks were spread across the mountain.

I've never been in snow but dad tells me it is nice, however I'm staying home where it is warm so I can get mum's full attention.

Before dad left we all went for a bush walk. It is winter here so there were lots of musty smells and puddles for me to explore. Do you think I will find any kiwis in the bush? What other dog smells can I find?

Mum decided to make a short video of me for my blog, as she says that my readers have only ever seen me looking flat and still like a cardboard cut out dog, but when I move my fur goes everyway and my ears flap. I was too busy sniffing to notice her filming (and I warn you that there really isn’t much to see in these 13 seconds) but now that mum has learnt how to do this YouTube thing maybe you will see more of me in action when I’m actually doing something!

I hope you all had a great weekend,


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Flying in the park

On Saturday afternoon I got into "my car" and was driven to a park that I’ve never been to before.

Meola Reef Reserve, in Auckland,  is part of a 10km (6 mile) lava flow that occurred many years ago. The lava flowed from the Three Kings volcano (about 8 km away) into the waters of the Waitemata Harbour (where it continues two-thirds of the way across the harbour to the land on the other side). Over time part of the lava flow has become a park, covered in grass and plants and has mangroves and other plants growing in the water around the reef.

When I saw the red part on the map above I learnt that there was a special area in this park especially for dogs. The plan was to walk to around the edge of the reef and end up in the red zone. I couldn’t wait. So I walked and walked.

At the far end of the park, I posed for a photo with the Auckland Harbour bridge behind me (if you click on this photo the bridge is to the right of my head). It is mid-winter here so to cope with the crisp conditions I wore my best fur coat! However it was only 12 degrees C so I was happy enough to be outside.

Finally I saw a dog - but it wasn't what I was expecting! He looked friendly enough, but didn't want to play.

He is a special rubbish bin for the waste that our humans collect from us.

Then we walked some more in the sunshine...

Don't these "Toi toi" plants look like my Golden Retriever tail?

Finally I found it - a big area with lots and lots of dogs! I could tell they wanted to meet me as lots of the dogs ran up to me to say hello.

The two other big dogs in this photo (with the things over their muzzles) are Maremma Sheepdogs.
There were all sorts of dogs, big dogs, small dogs, dogs with tails that pointed up (like mine) or tails that were level or pointed down.
They checked me out...
and I checked them out, and also got lots of pats from the other humans,
I even got to meet two other Golden Retrievers like this one named Honey. She was lovely.

There was so much space to run around, but the water was fenced off so I didn't get to go for a mid-winter swim.
However Mum said I was so happy meeting and greeting all the new dogs and people that I ran so fast with some of the dogs that it almost looked like I could fly!
So that was how I spent my Saturday afternoon. I hope you had a good weekend too.