Update and Comment January-10-2019

Memory has to be one of the strangest of cognitive functions. You only have to talk to any woman who has more than one child and she is bound to tell you that she totally forgot the hard work of giving birth until she went through it for the second time. It is probably nature’s way of preserving the human race.

Now, in a somewhat different vein, I need to tell you all about our current situation. It is almost 13 years since we last shared our home with a puppy and the memories are flooding back at an alarming rate.  Having been given the very kind and thoughtful gift of a new canine addition by our offspring at Christmas, we took delivery of Kelly just in time for the New Year.  She is a beautiful, very well bred German Shepherd pup who came from the same respected breeder as our late Rudie.

Kelly was the only one in her litter and, consequently, she has been “humanised” by the breeder and her family, since she had no siblings with whom to play.  She has settled very well in our home and is delightful and cuddly if she is tired enough to lie down and relax or sleep. When awake she is a ball of energy (with sharp baby teeth that are quite lethal) exploring every nook and cranny to find things to chew or drag around and loves to race around the garden resembling a battery operated rabbit. No amount of doggy toys is enough to keep her occupied all the time. One thing for sure, 2019 is going to keep me on my toes, and the puppy socialisation and basic training courses are a necessity. I need advice on how to break a few bad habits such as “answering back” when chastised!

Having a dog which is potentially going to be very protective, it is essential that she has proper training as well as a good dog food whilst she is growing – a strain on the budget, but a necessity! She is on a Royal Canin puppy food now and will start her puppy socialisation classes in the near future.   I will post some photos of our new addition soon – probably while she is having one of her naps!

Enough dog talk and I hope I haven’t bored you to death. On a more intellectual note, you will see that the section labelled “artists” has begun with the showcasing of a very talented South African artist, Craig Banks. The plan is, every couple of weeks, to try to feature other people whose artistic works may be of interest to many of you. Only time will tell how well this section is received.

Below is just one of Craig’s works which are shown in the Artists’ Section of Guest Contributors.

morgan freeman

R.I.P. our Loyal Friend

Just a few days ago we had the heart breaking decision to make to take our beloved 13 year old German Shepherd, Rudie, to our compassionate and trustworthy vet, for the last time. To take oneself out of the equation in order to do the right thing is never easy. The devotion and loyalty that Rudie has given us throughout his entire life meant that it would not have been fair to prolong his pain. He suffered from hip dysplasia which only came about a few years ago. Being on good medication which helped alleviate his discomfort meant that he was able to live an active and happy life until recently. However, he stopped wanting to eat and slept most of the time. I did give him some bacon that last morning which he devoured with relish- making me think of death row prisoners and their final meal.

Rudie came from a highly recommended breeder and his lineage was excellent. His mother had been trained and used to sniff out explosives in war regions and his father was chosen for his temperament and intelligence. We brought home the most gorgeous, fluffy 8 week old long haired pup who grew up into an amazing family dog. He was always wary of strangers – typical of this breed – and was protective to the very end.  I do believe that if one is going to give a home to a potentially vicious breed of dog then it is critical to know as much as possible about the parents as well as the history of the pup.  Even a young puppy who has been roughly treated from birth could potentially become a difficult dog to train and early training is so very important.

We miss him every minute of the day, but have some wonderful memories – not least of which is trying to get him to stop helping to water the garden. He constantly made holes in the hosepipe so the only solution was to give him a rubber chew toy to stop the destruction!

One day we will start the process once again of bringing home a fluffy baby, endure the puppy socialisation classes and give the new addition as much love as we gave to dear old Rudie.

RIP our trusted loyal boy. You will never be forgotten.