Friday, 23 December 2011

more about Christmas gifts for dog lovers

I've just seen a great Christmas gift idea for dog-owning friends. It's on a Kodak site. You print out a book of vouchers offering to do things for them. The example on the page is a voucher for five dog walks. A great idea if you have to come up with something in a hurry and don't want to face the madness in the shops - and, if you're in Melbourne, the uncomfortable summer heat.

The printables are free.

I reckon it could include things like a dog wash, or an offer to walk along with the human and pick up dog poo - or maybe even a play date with your own dog.

Oh, I just thought of another one...
If you are a competent photographer, you could offer to go on a walk with your friend and take a photo of them with the dog, and they could choose the best one to be framed.

There are endless possibilities.

a Christmas gift for Penny the dog

Just yesterday I was boasting that I had never bought a Christmas present for Penny. 'She's a dog!' I said to a friend on the phone. 'She doesn't even know it's Christmas.'

I will admit I have sometimes bought gifts for other people's dogs. But we all know they are really gifts for the humans, so they can have the joy of sharing them with their beloved companion.

But pride comes before a fall...

I've succumbed. I just bought Penny a gift.

A friend has set up a new business importing Polish tableware to Australia and I've come home with a pottery bowl for Penny.

Here's the story:

Hmmm...what's this in my eating spot? Is it edible?

No, it seems to be something shiny and hard. Not food.

Beats me what it is.

Nope, still no clue. Seems to be shaped like my old food bowls, but no food smell here.

Oh, well. At least this paper looks quite interesting.

Note from parlance - the tableware is gorgeous. When my friend gets her website organised, I'll post a link to it for any Australians who would like to check it out. (I don't ever do advertising, but when a close friend has made the brave move to set up an import company, I just have to give her all the support I can! It's all hand-painted pottery from a small family business in Poland.)

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

a gift for Penny

Penny received a gift in the mail recently, from Snooza. We bought a great flea-free raised bed from them some months ago and I must have given them Penny's (estimated) date of birth, because the recent letter said it was a birthday present for her. Such a nice surprise.

Penny spends a lot of time on her raised bed each day, and the first part of the night. Some time in the wee hours she usually moves to her Snooza Orthobed, which is at the other end of the house, near the humans' bedrooms. We bought that bed about eighteen months ago, after her cruciate surgery. She loves sleeping there, but I've noticed it's quite flattened, so I'll have to see whether I can get a new foam insert for it. I think I need convoluted foam, but I'll have to do some research on it. WiseGeek says:
Another common use of this material is in the manufacturing of bed pillows and mattress toppers. For one thing, the unique pattern provides more cushion than flat foam since the coned peaks absorb physical stress and provide for better weight distribution. The material also permits more air circulation, and many hospitals use medical grade convoluted foam as bedding material to reduce the risk of decubitus ulcers, or bedsores.
I don't recall getting a gift from Snooza last year, so perhaps I didn't give her birthdate at that time.

Anyway, back to the gift...

It's like a Ropee, but the fabric cover the whole circle. Penny loves it, and I love it because I can throw it low and flat and thus Penny won't be in danger of jumping to catch it and re-injure her cruciate ligament. Of course, we only do short throws for her these days. Gone are the days of racing around parks chasing thrown balls. But it's great that she's well enough to run around at all!

where did domestic dogs originate?

There's an interesting article at about a genetic study suggesting our dog breeds originated from South East Asia rather than from Europe or the Middle East.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Penny and the sticks

Penny loves swimming to fetch sticks and toys.

Early in February, 2010 she made a major breakthrough in her fetching technique and brought back two Whirl Wheels, but has never been able to replicate this feat.

Until recently.

Just the other day, faced with a friendly rival swimming in the Darebin Creek, Penny did it again - this time with sticks.

And here's the proof.

You have to look carefully, but there she is, clearly, holding two sticks.

She made sure she kept her paw on the sticks so no-one could steal them.

(Yes,I can see there's an extra stick in the photo. I don't know where that one came from!)

Thursday, 8 December 2011

dogs make us get out of bed at dawn

Now the hot weather has arrived, it's time to get up early and walk at dawn. Yawn...

We went to lovely Yarra Bend park this morning and this is how it went:

You swim out...

You get the stick and bring it back...

You juggle it and jiggle it to get it past the rocks...

and stay out of the way of the people in the boats.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

laboratory beagles set foot on grass for the first time

I've just wept all the way through a video clip of beagles taking their first ever step on fresh green grass after a lifetime in a research facility.

I saw it at Wizewomon's blog.

I won't post it here. Just follow the link if you want to see this heartrending but beautiful film.

I am further determined to make sure everything I buy is NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS.