sea legs

My god, you guys, having a puppy is HARD. And tiring. I do the late-night shift, and Mr. T does the early morning shift (which has been as early as 5.30am, not that I am awake for this). However, Brown Pup remains very cute and – surprisingly – super-good. He knows to walk outside to go to the toilet, and you may remember we have carpet. This alone makes him Awesome. He hasn’t had all his vaccinations yet which means we can’t take him for a walk (and anyway, he’s like a tiny bear with stumpy legs and can’t walk all that well anyway). So we’ve been taking him down to the beach at very low tide, where no other dogs have been. Mr T carries him, we walk miles out to the sandbars and let him loose. Behold the 10-second wonder below:

The grace! The co-ordination! The way my husband runs to check on his welfare! The way I just keep filming! We’re all at our best here, clearly.

quelle surprise


I’m not made of STONE, you know.


Thanks for everyone’s nice comments – much appreciated. I would have preferred not to mention it on here, but I think you’d notice. Less photos, for one thing. But I feel like all that’s happening around here is Animal Death, All The Time. I’m a bit sick of my pets dying, to be frank. STOP IT. STEP AWAY FROM THE LIGHT. Anyway, the two remaining cats are both hale and healthy (although Ginger Cat keeps being sick on the carpet, very loudly might I add, please STOP THAT TOO) and so I’ve got a New Year’s resolution: No Death Posts in 2010! Catchy, I think. Feel free to follow it yourself.

As well as all your condolences, we received many more – I think I alluded to the fact my dog has something of a Presence in his breed. He was a stud dog, the duties of which he performed admirably, indeed one might say eagerly. And so over time he had puppies and lo, they were good and bred from in their turn. (I feel all biblical over here. Verily.) (And it wasn’t us doing the breeding and such-like, by the way; we were his pet home, meaning he lived a life of sloth with us and occasionally we would get a phonecall requesting him for Stud Duty.) So his face and personality is well known in the small community of Brown Dog Owners, and upon his death we received multiple phonecalls and texts and literally dozens of emails of condolence. One of those emails, a few days ago, was from a woman we once knew well, and who knew Brown Dog well. She now breeds Brown Dogs, currently has a litter of puppies (unusual in itself, as there would only be about 3 litters a year in Australia) and wanted to offer one of the pups to us. We have been talking it over. We have checked out their backgrounds. We go to see the pups on Saturday.

A new pup will not replace our Brown Dog, and I didn’t want one of his offspring (the comparisons would be very unfair on any new dog). Our discussions have not been whether to get another dog – that is a given. Mostly they’ve been about whether to get a Brown Dog, or a Black Dog. I miss my Black Dog hugely, but for various reasons we think another Brown Dog is the right thing at this time. So… Saturday. We’ll see.

the returneth

Guess what? I wasn’t here. I was here:

I know. It sucks to be me. This is the Queen Charlotte Sounds, at the top of the South Island in New Zealand. Mr. T’s grandmother has a bach here (a holiday house, a crib, a shack, whatever your parlance may be) since about the 40s or 50s:

And we decamped with his family for a few weeks, including his ratbag twin nephews, as per below:

If you ever get the chance to go to the Sounds, do so. This particular bay is only accessible by boat, so you’re pretty much stuck doing nothing. I know, it’s terrible. There was wildlife everywhere, particularly wekas and other similarly unafraid ground birds:

I know that’s not a very good photo of the weka, and that’s because if I zoom out a bit you can see The Twinado approaching it at a very high speed:

We had fun. It was a good break. Well, maybe not for that weka.


I have just written a post about our holiday but really couldn’t find a good way to add this into it. I’m hoping that the quicker the better, right? Then I won’t have to speak about it again.

We went back to New Zealand over Christmas and while we were there, our Brown Dog died suddenly. They think it was a heart attack as the staff in the kennels found him lying on his mat, seemingly asleep. He would be 8 years old this week.

This is particularly hard as that bloody dog was fine when we left. There were no warning signs, so it was completely unexpected. And he died on his own, when we weren’t there. I don’t think there’s any way that it could be easy but that is the part I just can’t let go.

But four young Oysters hurried up,

  • Reading:
    “The Talisman”, Stephen King. Some light beach reading.
  • Listening:
    “Wonder”, Lisa Mitchell
  • Watching:
    Avatar in 3D. OooOOoo 3D. I am easily amused, clearly.
  • Eating:
    Full cooked breakfasts down at the Sounds. I could get used to this.
  • Liking:
    New puppies
  • Pondering:
    I want a new camera lens, but I don’t want to spend the money required for it. This will not end well.