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,