Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Tails of Jack 'n' Ralph

An Introduction to our Furry Kids

Let's keep this simple to start with.
We have two dogs.

And Ralph...We usually have a strict "no dressing up the dogs" policy (dogs are entitled to their dignity), however for Christmas those rules get thrown out of the window.

"While you sleep Mum, you watch, while you sleep"

A Little About Jack
Jack is a 5 1/2 year old Australian Kelpie.
I adopted Jack from a shelter when he was 5 months old.
He had been beaten, burnt and starved.
The shelter estimated he had been wandering through an Industrial Estate for 3 weeks.
The first time I met Jack he ran out of his cage, straight under my legs and gave me "that" look.
So after a week of continually calling the shelter to see if his owners had claimed him (can't believe they allow that!) they announced to me that he was mine to come and adopt.

When I adopted Jack his certificate said "Rotti X". I didn't really want a Rotti but he seemed very gentle so I didn't mind.
I took him to the vet for his booster shots for the vet to say "He's a beautiful Kelpie". Hmmmm. Interesting. Turns out I had a pure bred Kelpie.

When people buy a Kelpie they cannot fathom what is involved. This is why so many are abandoned and unfortunately mistreated. This is a working sheep dog. It needs at least 4kms of exercise a day and needs to be mentally stimulated; and I was short on sheep.

Jack and I spent a year together taking trips to the beach, running through the forests, going out for breakfast, lounging around watching Dogs with Jobs on Discovery - that was before I met my husband.

A Little About Ralph
Ralph is now a 3 1/2 year old Ridgeback x Bull Mastiff
When my husband and I decided to buy our house, he wanted a dog. We toured the shelters but he had a particular type of dog in mind. It was an unusual breed and we would struggle to find an abandoned one. So I started scouring the papers.

Finally I found a litter of 6 week old Ridgeback x Bull Mastiff puppies.
Hands up who knows what Ridgebacks are bred for? For those of you who said protecting women from Lions, 10 points to you.
Ready, one, two, three - Aaawwwwww.

How could THAT protect you from Lions? Not that we have an issue with that in Australia, but it's nice to know should the need ever arise.

Ralph's first night home and he decided to cry all night. He's a puppy, that's what puppies do.
I was used to this with having already raised Jack. Hubby thought otherwise and decided this was a job for a Kelpie.

So Ralph was put out with Jack and their bond was formed.

Coming up in future posts:
- He's going to get how big?
- The backyard
- The Rack or the Jalph?
- What's that smell?
- Getting back to one's roots
- What scares the crap out of Ralph?
- Grrrrrrrrrr
- When a dog's 1st Birthday goes bad

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Nature - 1, Humans - 0

April 2, 2008
It started with a beautiful sunrise.
Warm, calm, peaceful.

Standing in our backyard watching this sunrise it made you think, could the weather forecasters be wrong?
We'd heard they recently installed a larger window.

By 1pm everything had changed. Houses without power, trees falling, power lines coming down, a dust storm that anyone under 30 has never seen before and sadly, tragic accidents.

The bay had a 2m swell.
"Yo Bodi, come to the bay for a surf man. Nah, seriously. Yeah, just watch out for some yacht shaped water hazards."

Eltham is known for its trees. And also for a council that doesn't like to cut them down under almost any circumstances. Nature took it out of their hands.

Ralph and Jack were beside themselves with worry.

After 9 hours without power and amazingly only 2 people had died, the weather started to settle down. On a tour of our suburb the damage was far worse than we had expected. No traffic lights, no shops open, no lights on in houses or the streets .. a deathly silence.

Then something to put it all into perspective.

We spent the night in darkness around the chiminea.
We cooked up a well balanced dinner of bacon and eggs.
We sat and thought about how lucky we were to have avoided major damage and to always respect nature.