Tuesday, 2 February 2016

evening walk

It's pretty hot today, so we saved our walk for the evening and kept it short. Now, to a human, the sight of this messy lane way is rather unpleasant, but to a dog...

lovely smells all over the place - hamburger wrappers,  soft drink containers, cooked chicken scents, and who knows what else. Only Penny knows.

And there was something worth rolling in. Which is a bit of a pity since Penny was clipped and groomed yesterday, a rare occurrence.

We're off to the vet tomorrow, to check up on the many lumps and bumps Penny has, to measure and list them, so we can know if they grow large or change in any way. It seemed like a good time to have her clipped, so we can find them all.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

What to feed the dog

I used to feed Penny only raw food, but nowadays we tend to mix raw and cooked. However, since her time in hospital with a bad attack of what seemed to be gastritis, we are super careful that she not get anything that might set back her recovery.

So it was helpful to get an email from the RSPCA tonight with a suggested feeding guide.

We feed her sardines, and I notice the guide says not to feed fish too often, so I'll take notice of that.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Loving our new doggy pool

So far the new foldable pool ('buddy and belle' brand, made in China) is a great success. I had put it away, and it folded up really small, and fairly easily, though of course I couldn't' get it back into the original box. Who ever can?

It fitted comfortably into an ordinary cotton shopping bag, 42 cm square (about 17 inches).

Today it's hot and the house is full of workmen replacing a damaged ceiling, so there's no cooling possible. It seemed like a good time to try the pool once again.

Penny doesn't do much jumping these days, due to a past operation on her left knee and to a degree of arthritis, but she leapt in and out today, having fun. We'll hope she doesn't pay the price tomorrow.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Pretty dry and hot here these days

Penny has her walks at the crack of dawn these days. (Well, we try to get back home before 9 am, which is the time we have to slop some sun protection on the humans.)

Yesterday we went to Rosanna, and walked in the cool of the morning, but it was still nice to have a drink to rehydrate ourselves. I was struck by the difference between the 'landscape' around the tap, where dogs spill water (messy drinkers, all of them!) and the surrounds where the poor soil gets no water.

It's a great example of the difference sufficient water makes to the plants.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Penny camouflaged

Penny was almost invisible recently, after she frolicked in a mud puddle, enjoying the rare experience of rain, and then rolled in the dry dirt where there used to be grass.

And now she's at it again, blending in to the indigenous grasses of another park.

Isn't it lovely to see how the native grasses can cope with the current dry weather? Thank goodness for the people who work so hard to put in appropriate plants that can support wildlife. (Volunteers, for the most part.)

It's hard to keep non-native grassed areas alive now, with such a lack of moisture, and you can see in the next photo what a difference it makes if the area is watered. The more distant part has received water, in order that sporting events can go ahead.

I used to be critical of the use of water on sporting grounds, until I went to a talk recently about how decisions are made when allocating our precious water resources. The speaker told us that in the awful Millennium Drought, suicide rates soared in many towns when sports grounds were allowed to go to ruin, and when consequently sports events were discontinued. The psychological value of such community events is incalculable.

I sure hope we're not creeping into another drought...

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Beating the heat with a new doggy pool

It sure is hot in our house since the day before Christmas, when the evaporative cooling on the roof flooded our lounge room. Water poured down through the light fittings and through the cooling vents.

And it did it again on Christmas Day!

So now we don't have any cooling, for the first time in Penny's lifetime. And she's feeling the heat. It's still about 35°C at 10:15 at night (about 95°F), and Penny's lying in front of a fan, worn out, as we all are.

But we did have some fun earlier in the evening with our new doggy pool. It's called 'buddy and belle' and so far it seems to be suitable. I like the fact that it folds away when not in use, not like those plastic sand-play shells we had when Penny was a puppy.

I wondered how the material would stand up to a dog's claws, but it does seem to be thick material. The man in PetStock, where we bought it, hadn't sold one before - I think it's a new product - but we examined it and it's the thick material used for lining human pools, so it should be okay.

Just in case it does spring a leak, I've positioned it uphill from a major tree in the garden, which could use the water, and also uphill from our goji vine.

Penny jumped in to fetch thrown toys, and out again, and normally I'm not keen for her to jump, due to her arthritis, but with such heat it seems worth the risk. She sure had fun. I guess we could try out a little stool for her to get in, but I think she'd ignore it. When she's after a ball she's focused on the task!

Monday, 28 December 2015

Penny's invisibility trick

Penny has a lovely new collar. She received it because her old one mysteriously fell off when we were walking. A kind neighbour read our phone number on it and called us to say he'd found it in the street, so we hurried around - well, in the recent heat it couldn't actually be called 'hurrying' - to collect it. But the clasp was broken off.

So we bought a lovely new one. And Penny christened it this morning in a mud puddle. (We won't be complaining about the puddle, because it's so thrilling to have had some rain at last.)

 And then she rolled in the grass, which is very yellow after the long dry weeks, and did a disappearing act. It's hard to see where Penny finishes and the landscape begins.