Old Dog, Old Woman, Old Friends

Once again, I am visiting my favourite dog. My son and his wife have left for 10 days to visit their youngest son who now lives in Brisbane in Queensland, Aus.

So now Daisydog and I have 10 days to relax close to the beach and beside the river. Neither of us walks very far or very fast these days and I think she quite likes it when I’m here because there’s no rough and tumble which always starts when my son and his son are here, independently, or together.

And now I have 10 days to myself. I visited each of my not-well friends last week, so nobody is expecting me this week. I do have one friend who’s coming to stay for a couple of days but she’s very easy to be around and she’s happy to do nothing as well

My plans for these 10 days are to read, rest and occasionally take a short walk with Daisydog. And of course, I might find a new series to binge-watch on TV. 

Now sitting in the sunshine with my book, the sounds of the birds as the backdrop, and Daisydog snoring peacefully, I am putting my plans into effect.

JB, Sunday, November 13,2022
Raumati, Kapiti Coast, NZ

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IF and Inner Peace

11.00 pm and I am supposed to write a post today. As you know, my alter ego Chris and I, write on alternate days.

But what to write? On and off during the day Rudyard Kipling’s stirring  Victorian Era stoic poem IF has been running through my head. Then I remembered writing a blogpost playing on/with this poem way back as a new blogger in 2012. So with little time left in this day, I will reprint it here –

Inner Peace: 
If you can start the day without caffeine,
If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat plain food every  day and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when your loved  ones are too busy to give you any time,
If you can take criticism and  blame without resentment,
If you can conquer tension  without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
…Then You Are Probably  ………
The Family Dog!    

JB Wellington, NZ
September 8, 2022

Walking With A Friend

“When I’m in turmoil, when I can’t think
when I’m exhausted and afraid
and feeling very, very alone, I go for walks.
It’s just one of those things I do.”

― Jim Butcher,  American author. 1971 –

I am enjoying one of those weekends with Daisydog.  For those new to this blog, or those who may have forgotten, Daisydog is my No 1 grandson’s dog.  As is so often the case, James moved on, Daisydog stayed with his parents.  And now I have the pleasure of spending occasional weekends minding her when my son and daughter-in-law are away.

Daisydog is getting old and she quite likes walking with me because we walk at the same pace – two elderly ladies out keeping each other company. As soon as I mention the word she takes off to get her collar from the handle of the drawer.

Yesterday, yet another beautiful autumn day, 20 we went for a walk along the river bank.  Even on such a lovely day, the pathway was almost deserted.  

Where was everybody?  Inside watching TV, sleeping in or maybe shopping.  In any event, we enjoyed our time meandering along, watching the pukeko family busily foraging for food.  We met a stray dog who took one look at Daisydog and decided to take off and find someone younger with whom to play.

By the time we had walked a km or about 1,500  Steps she was exhausted – as an older dog, she suffers from arthritis in a hip and so we don’t go on the long rambles we did even a year ago.  So I took her home and she settled into one of the many beds she has around the house.

As Tom T Hall sang “aint but three things in life worth a solitary dime, but old dogs and children and watermelon wine”

I continued my walk after she was settled down. But I miss those long walks we used to have.

My almost walking day

was rounded off by early drinks with new friends followed by dinner with old friends.

JB 05.01.22

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The Second Five Word Friday for the First Friday of March 2022

You may remember that JB and LA decided to start a Five Word Friday Challenge for the first Friday of each month. February was the first go around. My FWF is always the second FWF since JB, far to the west and in the southern hemisphere is a day ahead.

Five Words for today

Dogs in Restaurants Illegal – Ontario

Five more words for today:

Allowed on patios – not inside

There is a delightful cafe where I meet friends a few times a week (when we are not shut down of course)

There is a couple that bring a dog in that they hold over the food counter so everyone can appreciate it’s loveliness.

Discussion has taken place a number of times about whether or not this is appropriate. Other owners have started bringing dogs in.

Apparently the owners of Cafe and Pets have decided it is their personal choice.

But there is a law.

**PLEASE NOTE I AM NOT ANTI-DOG ANTI-PET – they are unconditional love, and don’t we need more of that?

So what does one do?

I can report them to the authorities. *I would not do this

I can go elsewhere but my friends like the Cafe – it is quite marvellous.

I guess that ends the discussion for me because I feel if I object to something but choose to do nothing about then I have no right to complain.

My friends are a bit at odds. Some feel that if you object to something you are obligated to complain. Some feel confrontation of any sort should be avoided.

I enjoy seeing these friends so I will keep my head down as we all agree that this is our preferred place.

What do you think?

Well that’s a big question from north of 43 over five simple words.

Chris G Friday March 4th’22

Sunny Summer Sunday

Just another day on the beautiful Kapiti Coast, north of Wellington.

I am dog sitting, as I told you, and once again the day has been hot, too hot to sit outside with my book and so hot that Daisy was interested in walking only in the shade. So we didn’t go to the beach, preferring the river today.

But after the pooch party on Friday where Daisy did far too much running and chasing, and playing fetch, she spent Friday afternoon and all of Saturday quietly resting. Even “get your collar” evinced no response. But today was different.

I was dictating into my phone a message to my sister in London. At one stage I said”comma” at which Daisy took off and brought her collar to me. I guess one hears what one wants to hear, dog or human, and so a walk was decided upon by my four-legged friend.

Then after the walk we returned for lunch. A quick bite and back to the book I found here and started reading this morning. It’s called the The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell. I have not heard of this author but the comment on the cover from Harlan Coben claims it “Her best thriller yet”. I note she has written 18 other thrillers, so plenty to read as the summer morphs into autumn/fall (as it will) and the days grow shorter, giving plenty of time for reading.

JB February 27, 2022

Five dogs Frolicking on Friday

Today, the sun’s shining, the temperature’s rising and dogs are waiting to go to the beach.

Today, Daisydog is to have a beach party with four friends. Annie and Bron are two corgis who come to visit from Wellington; Nicholas and Tyler are two Bichons who live close by my son, and all these dogs get on well together.

Get your collar, I say. And she’s ready to go.

Daisy of course, is the biggest, but not necessarily the loudest. The corgis get upset and bark loudly when Daisy goes too far out from the beach. Of course, her legs are so much longer than theirs. Very protective of friends!

Virtually deserted beach on Friday morning

The day started when the dogs and their owners, and one friend without dog, arrived for coffee. Kay brought freshly baked date scones and so we sat in the sunshine enjoying our coffee and making plans to go to see La Traviata by Opera Australia. Still confined to our two islands, we can’t go to see the opera, but we can enjoy the  live movie theatre transmissions.

We have seen several from the Met over the past few years, and so we are looking forward to the one only screening of this on March 5 at our favourite bijoux theatre in Wellington.

But back to Daisy’s party. Lots of energy expended by all five dogs. Daisy loves the water and one friend (one of mine that is) delighted her by throwing sticks into the waves to be collected and brought back, for Heather to throw again. Daisy can play this game for as long as you want to.

The two Bichons don’t like the water and stayed well clear.

After about an hour we decided that the dogs had all had enough and so we all got into our cars ad drove the happy dogs home.

Since. arriving home some four hours ago, Daisydog has done nothing except lie in the shade and sleep. I am glad we went out earlier as it is now far too hot for dogs to be running around.

A lovely start to the weekend.

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend.
Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” – Groucho Mar
ogs, beach

JB February 25, 2022

Old Dogs and Children

“Ain’t but three things in this world that’s worth
a solitary dime
But old dogs and children and watermelon wine”

So sung Tom T Hall and we did see him on his one only visit to New Zealand, so many years ago. My late DYS (Dashing Not So Young Scotsman) was a country music fan.

Well, I have never tried watermelon wine. I prefer a chilled Pinot Gris, thank you. Children don’t make a play in my life currently. My four grandsons are now in their twenties (how did that happen?) and there are no babies in any of their sights. But old dogs – well, that’s a different matter.

I regularly dogsit with Daisydog, a beautiful, gentle, loving older dog. James (grandson No 1) was 16 when he asked for a dog for Christmas. This was agreed to on the clear understanding that it would be his dog and so his responsibility. Daisy was rehomed from the local SPCA. Nobody knew just what mixed breed nor how old she was. But as we know, children move on leaving their animals for parents to look after, and of course, this is what happened here.

My son took. over caring, feeding, walking and generally looking after Daisydog. So everybody now refers to her as David’s dog. He works mostly from home so spends many hours and with the dog. And she is so well trained, obedient and loving. She is never on a leash because she immediately responds to a command. You understand there is no bias here.

Daisy gets her collar as soon as the word walk is mentioned

I am just coming to the end of a five-day visit while David, my daughter-in-law, their sons and partners are all in Taupo some 330 kms away. So an easy distance for weekend breaks, and as a friend remarked recently, they do seem to have several of these short breaks. However, I don’t complain. They live within walking distance of the river and a very short drive to the beach both great for Daisy walking. And she likes to walk with me as she is now slowing down as am I. Added to that is the delightful house, garden and pool and it is certainly no hardship for me to dog sit.

And in 10 days I will be here again for another 6 days. lucky me!

A deserted beach on a Thursday

“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures;
they give unconditional love.
For me, they are the role model for being alive.”
Gilda Radner, American comedian and actress,
1946-1989

JB February 13, 2022