Friday, December 30, 2011

My summer holiday

The week before Christmas Enzo, my two humans and I went to the beach to escape the madness of Auckland. They have found taking a holiday before Christmas is wonderful as the beach is empty (as most New Zealanders take their summer holiday from Christmas Day for two to three weeks). This beach, which is 70 minutes north of where I live, is one of my favourite places. I have stayed there ever since I was a puppy.

Dogs are allowed off leash on the beach before 9am and after 7pm, but on the first day young Enzo proved how fast he can actually run when he chased a seagull. He runs faster than both of my humans, and while he is running he also forgets his name so for his beach time he wore a gentle leader and very long leash.

I come back when called (even if I see something interesting like people or other dogs or birds or a smelly fish that has washed up on the beach) so I get to be off leash.

Being leashed didn't worry Enzo and he took to the water just like a young retriever should...

though at times I worried he was out of his depth!

 Don't you just love my deserted beach - 3km of sand. The photo below is looking north

and this photo is looking to the south. 

Every so often I would meet another dog and get to run and play.

Back at the bach, which is the Kiwi term for the old 1970's basic holiday house I stay at (though if you lived in the South Island of New Zealand you would call it a "crib"), I had five star accommodation on my very own couch on the front deck. My mum has a retriever coloured anti-fur showing cover especially for me (she always says my furs show on her black clothes). It blends well with my colouring. This is where I had my R and R. This couch is my special place (and a treat for me as I am not allowed on the furniture at home).  I was so relaxed that they found me snoring several times.

 However the young one decided he wanted my very comfy spot. I was not happy!

Enzo (with the black collar - mine is blue) found it very comfy.

But eventually I got my couch back,

and returned to his "kennel" which mum had set up to protect him from our hot summer sun. She went quite mad working out the best breeze, putting tarpaulins and shade cloth over old chairs and even putting in a dual temperature ding thermometer inside his kennel so she could check he wasn't getting too hot while he slept. Plus mum had lots of water bowls on the deck for us to drink from.

I found his kennel cool too, so sometimes I slept there and Enzo slept beside me! Mum said the kennel was cooler than inside the bach or the deck, and told me that she even thought about crawling in our special area with us for an afternoon siesta while our dad was out fishing, but instead she stretched out on my couch and read a book while we slept here.

The observant amongst you will have noticed that in the couch photo of us both above Enzo looked dry and I looked like a salty dog. It seems that Enzo has a coat that takes three shakes to dry, whereas my fur takes all morning! Dad went on and on about Enzo's amazing fur, but my coat had advantages too as the slow drying of the water kept me cool. 

During the week we went for car rides to the shops and out to meals with my humans. Here is one of the places they had lunch.
My humans had an umbrella over their table and we had their table over us.

The service was really good there too, as when the waiter came out with drinks for my mum and dad and also had a bowl of cool water on his tray for us! From the little bits of food my humans snuck under the table I can recommend their  food too.

In my last post I mentioned the pohutukawa tree which is also know as the New Zealand Christmas tree as red flowers appear each December.
Here is a neon sign version of the pohutukawa flower that we saw on one of the local shops.

So that was my holiday. I had seven days of swims, daily grooming, long walks, barbeques and car rides to interesting places. Seven long summer days with both my humans and Enzo.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Seasons Greetings from a salty dog.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all who read this. I have just been away for a holiday at the beach with Enzo and my humans. I'm now back in Auckland and wanted to write about my adventures and visit your blogs, but it is Christmas Eve here and my humans have people to see and presents to wrap so things will all have to wait for a few days.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas,
Love and woofs,

PS The last picture is the pohutukawa (also known as the New Zealand Christmas tree as it is covered in red flowers at Christmas)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mum told me about Kate!

Today is Election Day in New Zealand and on our walk to the polling booth my human mum told about Kate Sheppard (1848 - 1934) and how thankful she is for what she did. In 1893, because of Kate’s actions, New Zealand became the first country in world to let women vote in parliamentary elections.

Of course us dogs don’t get to vote despite politicians holding puppies for the camera in shameless attempts (similar to kissing babies) to get as many votes as they can. Mum pointed out I could have been easily swayed by the golden retriever puppy being held up by a politician earlier this week, so perhaps it is just as well that I can’t vote.

Back to my quick history lesson - while some women in NZ were able to vote in Local Body elections (from 1867) the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, led by Kate wanted women to have the right to vote in Parliamentary elections. After many petitions, on the 8th of September 1893 their campaign was successful and a bill was passed (20-18) allowing women (of all races) to vote!

In other countries women could not vote until:

Australia 1902
UK and Ireland 1918
Germany 1918
United States 1920
South Africa 1930 (White); 1968 (Coloured); 1984 (Indian); 1994 (Black)
Brazil 1931
France 1944
Italy 1946
China 1947
Hong Kong 1949
Monaco 1962
Switzerland 1971
Iraq 1980
Kuwaiat 2005

Even now there are still countries where women don’t get a say in how their country is run as only male votes count. This is Kate on our $10 bank note. The flowers beside her are white camellias, which were given to members of parliament who supported the bill, and these flowers are the symbol of the NZ women’s campaign to vote.

So thank you Kate. My mum voted today and appreciates what you and the suffrage movement did allowing all women in NZ (including her ancestors) to vote in 1893 and every three years since then.

As for me, I’m having a lazy weekend. Dad is back from a week in Australia, so the pack is together again, and for now calm prevails.



Wishing all my friends a wonderful and relaxing weekend.


**For anyone who is interested in reading more see and  and for the dates that women were allowed to vote in other countries see's_suffrage

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Sunday in New Zealand

A car ride, water, open spaces and a chance to run free and play with Enzo and my friends - what more could a dog want?
(I'm already in the water whereas Enzo is just drinking it)

(That's me on the right, and the young pup behind.)

(Me second from right, with  my friends)

(I'm on the right in the two photos below, with Enzo beside me)

A very enjoyable morning followed by a refreshing (a.k.a.cold and smelly) bath at home.

Tonight "sudden death" as New Zealand play Australia in the Rugby World Cup semi-final game at Eden Park (in my home town of Auckland) to see who will play France next weekend in the final. There will be much nail biting, noise making and jumping up and down tonight and not just by me!

I hope you are all having a fun and memorable Sunday,


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Riley's rugby post

There is so much rugby at the moment in my country of New Zealand that my human thought I had better say something about it. The 2011 Rugby World Cup started on the 9th of September with twenty teams (Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Fiji, France, Georgia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Namibia, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, Tonga, USA and Wales) and only eight teams made it through to the quarter finals, despite some interesting upsets like Australia versus Ireland where Ireland won!

There have been flags everywhere (mum now recognises each flag, especially the Tongan flag as the Tongan supporters really got into the spirit of things).

This is the weekend of the quarter finals - two games (Ireland vs Wales and South Africa vs Australia) being played at the Cake Tin in Wellington, and two games (England vs France and NZ vs Argentina) at Eden Park in Auckland, so yesterday afternoon (before the Ireland - Wales game my humans decided to venture into town to see what "Party Central" was like. "Party Central" is one of the areas around Auckland set up for fans to watch the games. Unfortunately they told me I had to stay at home, but I get to show you the pictures.

First they walked through the Viaduct area which is at the bottom of Auckland's Central Business District.

The bars around the Viaduct had started filing up,

 as you will see if you bigify this photo.

Then they got to the ques on Quay Street to get into "Party Central" which is on a wharf behind the red gates. This is an area set up for before and after games for fans to get together. The road in front of the wharf is closed to traffic, and to get in they had to que for ages and then do a U-turn and go back beside the red gates on the left!

On Queen's Wharf there was space to move around, and this giant rugby ball which mum went inside. This inflatable ball has been by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, London, Tokyo and Sydney. There are videos projected inside (on the ceiling/walls) showing New Zealand, which mum really enjoyed.

They saw one of the old sheds that was left on Queen's Wharf, called Shed 10. There used to be two of these, and they left one as a bar area. It is set up with lots and lots of screens so people can drink (in a dark area, it only looks light as mum's camera had a flash thing!) and watch the rugby.

 Then they checked out "the cloud" which is a long white structure, that replaces one of the original sheds.

New Zealand is known as "The Land of the Long White Cloud" so some designers decided to make this long white thing covered in white film.

It is much brighter inside than the Shed, and there are lots of places to watch the rugby and buy food and drink. These photos were before the Wales vs Ireland game began.

There is also an area inside called "Taste at the Cloud" for people to sample NZ food and wine. Mum liked the look of some of the food, especially the Rural food (see the link above) and wanted to try some and sample a variety of our NZ beverages, but dad prefered  to go outside to watch the game and enjoy the RWC brand of beer which starts with an "H", so mum ended up outside drinking the RWC approved brand of wine in plastic cups (instead of a a nice selection of NZ wines poured into glass glasses inside The Cloud). 

In the wind and you can see some of the flags...

 and beside the wharf the surf life saving guys are on standby for anyone foolish enough to fall over the side!

There is also another huge rugby ball on one of the other Auckland wharfs behind them,

and at the end of Queen's wharf (where a band had been playing before) the start of the Ireland vs Wales game.

It was fun to see this side of the RWC, and Queen's Wharf is open every day while the Rugby World Cup is on until the wee small hours (so all the people who went to the Auckland game have somewhere to return to to party, and anyone not at the games can also enjoy the RWC atmosphere). There are other Fan Zones around Auckland, and also around NZ.

Yesterday Wales bet Ireland 22-10, and France bet England 19-12, so Wales and France will play a semi-final game in Auckland next weekend.

Tonight South Africa play Australia in Wellington, and NZ play Argentina in Auckland. The winners will play each other in Auckland next weekend, followed by the bronze final and final on the 21st and 23rd of October in Auckland.

Riley (the dog who has never heard so many people talking so much about rugby)

PS This is a photo off the The Cloud's website (see link to Queen's Wharf above) to show you what it is meant to look like at night.