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Posts tagged ‘puppy’

A savage love (hope I’m not stealing a Mills & Boon title)

We’re down on the farm, and Agent of Death and Her Goatiness have a new puppy. Tex is about 8 weeks old and comes from a long pedigree of mutts. He is so small and fluffy and snuggly and outrageously CUTE! I want to pat a hole in his head and pull his little ears off.

I practice a vicious brand of love.

Canine hypochondria

Jed is generally pretty hardy – not that he has much choice. He is used to being slung down the stairs, getting his ears slammed in the car door and being dropped on his head.

We might redress our rugged approach to dog rearing if Jed himself didn’t regularly head butt trees, slide along gravel on his face, and pass clothes pegs and entire Meccano sets out his rectum.

Recently, Jed has been testing the outer limits of his existence – along with the tensile strength of our nerves. About three days before Christmas, we accompanied our neighbours Big Al and Action Man, their daughter, Luscious, and their dog, Smurfy, to Bethell’s Beach. Jed loves the sea, to the extent that he will insist on swallowing gallons of the stuff. His digestive system is evidently an industrial machine, capable of processing a vast range of objects (see above). However, it appears to simply collect seawater, compress it, then fire it explosively out his arse.

After two hours tearing up and down the beach, Jed had an impressive case of projectile diarrhoea. This being pretty standard, we took him back to the creek and encouraged him to drink more freshwater.

Halfway home, he boked all over the car. We were thankful he wasn’t standing between us in the two front seats. On the other hand, we wouldn’t have minded had he adopted his favourite position with his head out the back window.

We pulled over to bail out the boot, which was awash with water, driftwood, seaweed, sand and small crustaceans

Thankfully Jed suffered no further ill effects from the drink, but the following day he was out biking with Husband and grazed the pad on his paw. Andrew called from the beginning of the Sharpe Track, and I embarked on an emergency rescue mission – i.e. I drove down the road and picked them up. Jed’s paw was fine after we sprayed some antibiotic on it.

But all this was just prelude to the real Eddie the Eagle stuntage. On Christmas Day, in order to embrace the traditions of our adoptive land, we decided to follow the rest of the country to the beach.

Jed usually mounts the Hilux Surf via the back door. Since the back seats have been up since my parents arrived, Jed now leaps into his diminished boot space via the tailgate. We give him a good run-up to the car, putting him in a sit/stay a few metres away, then cheering him into the boot.

Perhaps he got carried away by the crowd fervour, because this time he took off from about two metres away.

His front paws hit the target, but he wrapped his hind quarters around the tailgate, giving himself an atomic wedgie. The men gave a collective wince. As Jed’s front paws slid off the tailgate, the look of bewilderment in his eyes clearly said, “I had no concept life could be this cruel”.

We didn’t realise he had hurt himself until we arrived at the beach, when we found he had weed blood all over the boot.

You will be glad to hear that he was just badly bruised; bloody wee is apparently a common response to a bang in the balls (I wouldn’t know; I read it somewhere). Jed’s little dickie is now back to normal.

I wish I could say the same about our car boot, but despite detaching the carpeting and water-blasting, Vanishing and extensively airing it, it still gives off an aroma that is less than fresh.

Then on New Year’s Day, we had to bring Jed to the out of hours vet clinic for an emergency operation.


090317 Porn star dog

So, you know how Jed recently blew away the competition to take the World’s Best Dog title? Well, here is your opportunity to own some of his genes. From the same breeder and parentage as The Esteemed Jedster:

Red curly coat retriever puppies

AREN’T THEY JUST THE CUTEST ITTY BITTY LITTLE FLUFFY THINGS YOU’VE EVER SEEN?! I’m working on Husband to get a playmate for Jed. I particularly like the little fella third from left, who reminds me of my late paternal grandmother – although I might have to find another angle to convince him

Greeting spring with a good wallow

There are hints of spring in the air (for the purposes of argument, I am choosing to ignore the rain dashing itself against the windows). But recently, the weather has been so much more clement, to the extent that we opened the bedroom window the last couple of nights and complained about the heat.

On Friday, after lunch with Husband’s grandparents, we went up to the summit of Mount Eden. The sky was a flawless blue, the breeze gently playful. Husband cracked out the sunglasses. Jed was moved to crap four times in a row. I lay on the grass, which was slightly damp but warm from the sun, and napped until attacked by a worm the size of a fucking snake.

Yesterday we went biking in Woodhill. It is great exercise for The Jedster, especially on the weekend when – in addition to tearing after bikes and snuffling around acres of woodland – there are plenty of fellow canines. This means wrestlefests galore, butt sniffing bonanzas, leaping and pouncing, and hint of humping.

About halfway round our favourite trail is an exercise area with jumps and tricks. In the center is not a puddle so much as a pit filled with viscous, slimy, foul smelling greenish-brown mud. Jed gambolled straight up to the mud hole, plunged in head-first, and – there is no other word for it – wallowed in it, like a baby hippo or apprentice pig.

090829 Wallowing

Mud + stick = heaven

090829 Mud stick heaven

Come on in!

090829 Let me at it

Hey! Whatcha doing? Let go! I’m only half covered in mud! Let me at it!

090829 Mud monster

See? NOW I’m covered.

090829 Fetch

Preferably rancid

Since the Puppy Biscuit Freakshow, I have fed Jed an essentially raw food diet. He’s a big fan of fish, particularly tinned mackerel; loves chicken carcasses, necks and gizzards; savages veal bones and lamb flaps; and will take your arm off if tripe or offal is on the end of it.

I have been purchasing his food from a variety of places. Chicken necks and gizzards, and lamb flaps from Pak ‘N’ Save; lamb bones and chicken mince from Countdown; chicken carcasses and lamb neck chops from The Mad Butcher.

In the meantime, I have been researching more economical sources of dog food, since it costs more to feed my dog than Husband (although this may be because there is no longer any room in the freezer for Husband’s food). Also, Jed eats anything up to 2.5kg of meat a day.

No, that’s not a typo. He now weighs 30kg. I am concerned he is developing love handles.

Last week we purchased an ancient freezer on Trademe for $50. It came with a fridge, so Husband’s food bill is likely to increase significantly now that he has somewhere to store beer. We installed the two appliances in the garage.

Thus equipped, I spent $100 on approximately 60kg of assorted animal carcasses from Bombay Petfoods. The grub arrived this morning.

Here is Jed surveying a months supply of food:-

0905 Dogfood

The weather was not as soggy today, so we pootled around the yard for a while. Here are some more pics:-

0905 Jed stalks rock

Jed stalks a rock from his favourite spot in the yard: on top of the trailer.

0905 Husband considers a dogs life

So THIS is what a dog’s life looks like: Husband tries out the kennel run.

0905 He is a catch

Husband stalks wife.

0905 Jed and bone

Jed and his favourite type of bone: old, manky, preferably rancid.

0905 Jed shows bone who's boss

Jed gets to grip with bone

Surprisingly cranky

Mountain biking in Woodhill today:-

Husband: Why didn’t you cycle down that hill?

Me: You mean, apart from the fact that it’s semi-sheer? Let me count the reasons. First of all, I don’t really fancy breaking a fall with my sprained wrist. Secondly, it’s been a while since I mixed it up at Woodhill, so I’m taking it easy. Thirdly, I have a puppy trying to jump through my spokes, which is distracting. Fourthly, I have a husband who stops dead without warning randomly and lethally. Fifthly and sixthly respectively, I am tired and surprisingly cranky. Finally, I urge you to bear in mind that I do not share your cavalier attitude towards life and limb whether mine or anyone elses’, OR your wilful disregard for the laws of gravity.
<note: I did not actually say all that, but I successfully communicated the gist>

Husband: But you rode down there before-

Me: Well I was younger then, and more carefree-

Husband: You mean last year?


Ode to My Puppy

Jed you are so cute and furry
Fetching sticks in such a hurry
Shredding them across the floor
Scoring scratches down the door
When you slobber, itch and snort
Juggle spiders for the sport
Dismember things because you can
You’re almost like a little man
But when I see you eating faeces
It’s clear you are a different species



Billabong dog



Jed guards stick






Jed makes friends easily

When circumstances warrant

Me: I was walking The Jedster today and doing the heel with lots of positive affirmation* and this woman passed by with a golden retriever, and she gave me this LOOK, you know, like she was judging me. And I wouldn’t have minded except that her dog was UNBELIEVABLY badly behaved, plunging around on his lead and not sitting and stuff.

Husband: Jesus. What was her problem?

Me: Hard to know, but she was totally minging one way or another.

Husband: I know – you should blacklist her!

Me: From what? Oh, hey! I could blacklist her from my life! FOREVER! NO REPRIEVE! NO REMORSE!

Husband: Wow, you’re cold.

Me: Well, I can be when circumstances warrant it.

* Note: this is a variation on the Snarfy Snuggle Monster riff, delivered at a pitch only Jed and overhead bats can hear, usually on the occasion of him taking a wizz any place other than my carpet, or collapsing on the ground five minutes after I tell him to sit for the fourth time


See? My dog totally sits.

Snarfy Snuggle Monster

Photos from Karekare Beach yesterday:


What next?



Jed trains Husband to throw sticks (so far, he is making good progress).



We got Jed a few toys to distract him from our furniture. Not too many; there’s Ducky, which the Outlaws gave him; Spotso, which Jed gnaws even though it is supposed to be a heat-retaining comforter; a ball, which he has no interest in, possibly because it doesn’t squeak; and a rubber chicken, which – I admit it – was really more for me.

So it still amuses me how many hours Jed can spend playing with a stick.



We’re working on his carrying technique.



Guilt written all over him (difficult to see with this resolution).



Team effort: Husband and Jed dig a hole.



Jed sits.




Husband won, but only because he tripped Jed shortly after this shot.



Husband in imminent danger of losing shorts.



This sort of shot makes me wish I was a better photographer.



Sand art (artist unknown, although Jed added the paw print on the bottom left)

Smoochy pooch

After only four weeks, I cannot imagine Jed not being part of my life. Yet there are still occasions when he feels like an intruder (usually after he piddles all over the landing carpet).

I still struggle with the weighty responsibility of being a dog owner. As an immature Shaw, I cared for (in the loosest possible sense) a series of goldfish, most of which – all right, pretty much ALL of which without much if any exception – started swimming the backstroke before curling up their flippers and dying.

A dog is a different prospect. First of all, when they’re not gnawing raw meat, they’re pretty cuddly – unlike goldfish, which are a bit slimy/smelly for tactile bonding. There’s more commitment with a dog, which lasts (hopefully) many years. I can already see how, if anything happens to Jed, the mourning process will be more involved than flushing him down the toilet.

The first two weeks after we got Jed home were particularly traumatic. Life is much easier now that I have figured out what he eats, which is: pretty much anything except puppy biscuits. His staple is still igneous rocks, garnished with grass, sticks, fish and raw meat.

When he knocks over cups of coffee or headbutts Husband in the crotch, he is referred to as: ‘your dog’. However, most of the time, it’s all: ‘Who’s the BEST DOG? Who’s the SMOOCHIEST little POOCH? The JEDSTER IS! You ARE! YOU ARE! HEAD THE BALL FLUPPY PUPPY! Aw, LICKS! THANK YOU! SNARFY SNUGGLE MONSTER!’

I have found that Husband responds equally well to this sort of encouragement, including having his ears pulled

Why can’t antidotes come in pill format?

Jason: Scenario. Husband and Jed. Critically ill. Fatally diseased. You hold the antidote, but you only have one syringe. You can only save one.

Me: Does it have to be a syringe? Why can’t the antidote be in handy medicine form, like a pill or a suppositary? Actually on second thoughts, forget the suppository-

Jason: Quit stalling. Which one?

Me: Oh come on, it’s an impossible question-

Jason <relentless>: Which one? Which one?

Me <still struggling with the ethical dilemma>: Ok, Husband. But only because Jed isn’t fully versed in car maintenance yet

It could have been a postcard

Early morning. Muriwai Beach. Swollen clouds bulge like dirty sails over the grey sea. Far off in the distance, the curving beach disappears in vaporized surf. A seagull ruffles its feathers indignantly and shuts its eyes against the salty spray.

On the bleak sand, a single mussel, gleaming like a jewel in the hollow specially sculpted by the retreating tide. The photographer crouches to capture the perfect shot. Just before depressing the shutter, a wriggling mass of wet canine lands on the shell like a boisterous puppy dog with approximately three times the number of legs he is supposed to have.

Actually, it was nothing like that at all. It was EXACTLY like that, to the point of being practically indistinguishable.

Ah, well. Here’s the result, complete with paw prints and sandy debris.


Difference between a holiday snap and postcard image: 0.01 seconds.



The culprit at full canter. Since he is not fully vaccinated yet, the only place we can take Jed for a good run is the beach at low tide.



Husband unperturbed at the prospect of being savaged by a wet puppy

One man and his dog


Cruelty to animals: Husband attempts to pull off Jed’s ear.



Call the RSPCH: Jed gets his own back

Expect more of the same indefinitely, apologies


Jed’s new toy. No, it’s a dish scrubber, not a toilet brush.


Note: scrape marks pre-date Jed; made by Husband. Image taken milliseconds before he decided my camera would make for a much better toy.

At 16kg and 80cm long, Jed’s already a champion heavyweight. He didn’t fit Mother and Stepfather-In-Law’s wooden crate, which failed to meet Pacific Blue’s crate specifications in any case i.e. large enough for the dog to express himself and constructed of metal or a polypropylene material.

Two days before flying to Auckland, I thought it would be a good idea to get a crate for him. Knowing little of the animal kingdom, apart from steering clear of large species with pointy teeth and/or small species with stingers, I thought procuring a crate would be a simple matter. Surely any old pet shop would sell a wide variety of crates? I was mainly concerned with tracking down the best value crate, preferably on special offer.

This delusion persisted until I had phoned all the vet and pet shops within a sixty mile radius of Oamaru, and a guy that ‘might be able to help because he owns a whippet’. Most pet shops do not stock crates large enough to hold an animal of Jed’s mighty stature, but one helpful assistant told me she could order one for Christmas except not right then because the shop had just closed for the weekend.

Pacific Blue does not rent crates, but PetMove does. Although it cost us more than a single flight, Shaune was wonderfully reassuring and helpful and agreed that Jed sounded like the best dog in the world possibly ever.

Before we left, we consulted a vet to discuss whether there was any way we could make the journey more comfortable for Jed. She did not advise sedating him, because there is a risk of putting the animal so far under they stop breathing. However, she sold us a homeopathic remedy to apply half an hour before the flight.

“$30 for a bunch of herbs and spices in water,” muttered Andrew.

“Look, it might be worth it,” I said doubtfully. The vet said it only worked for some dogs – and in truth, even she looked dubious.

Well, I don’t know whether it was the herbs and spices, but Jed went into his crate at the airport and sat there looking not entirely jolly, but certainly magnanimous.

That day – Monday – was a big day for The Jedster. He arrived at Auckland Airport like a dignitary, as if he did this sort of thing all the time, but when he saw us he abaondoned composure to caper around the place charming passers by.

To date, Jed has been driven sitting on someone’s knee, mainly for the purpose of directing vomit into a towel. (His, in case of ambiguity.) By the time we left Oamaru, Jed was pretty good at internalising his stomach acid, so for the drive home from the airport we installed him in the boot with his dog blanket and Ducky. Now he loves car trips – especially when Husband drives.

Our hard floors and two flights of stairs presented a challenge for him. When Jed stampedes down the stairs, he still skids halfway across the living room floor on his arse.

Glass is also a relatively new concept. Husband put tape across the floor/ceiling windows after Jed rebounded off the balcony door. At night, he tries to play with his own reflection, which is terrific fun for the whole family.

It is a fairly steep learning curve for us too: the projectile barf, the spine-chilling scratching in the night, the diarrhea and the accidents – two of the number 1 variety so far. I am not counting the time Husband crept up on Jed and he wet himself, because I can fully understand that.

Curly coats are renowned for being picky eaters; even the Outlaws’ dog Morty, a curly coat/lab cross, is a fine diner. The day after we got home, I called Stepfather-In-Law to fret about Jed’s disdain for his breakfast.

“He seems to be off his food,” I said.

Whereupon Stepfather said the equivalent of ‘No shit’, except that knowing Stepfather-In-Law, he probably said, ‘No <expletive deleted> shit’.

At least yesterday morning, Jed savaged a plate of mince that even Mother-In-Law would consider voluminous

Prepare to be brutalised by overwhelming CUTENESS

Please note: this site accepts no responsibity for extreme physical reactions or noise pollution emitted by you or any persons in the immediate vicinity that may result in viewing the following images. Viewing is undertaken at viewer’s own risk.


Introducing Jed, the newest addition to our family. He is a curly coat retriever, 16 weeks old, 15kg, and criminally adorable.


Jed shows piece of string who’s boss.

Having researched curly coats, I can’t understand why anyone would want to get any other type of dog, unless you have an interest in canine topiary. I have no idea why nobody has ever heard of curly coats. They are loyal, affectionate, evidently gorgeous, don’t shed hair (much), hunt and retrieve, and they actually dive and swim underwater (that was my first criterion in selecting a pooch).

When they met Jed, Sister In Law and her boyfriend, Taffy, were so enamoured they abandoned their plans to acquire a labradoodle. They drove back to Dunedin the following day and chose a bitch from the same litter.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any cuter (I’m tricky like that), please meet Jed’s sister Carlotta on the right.




Siblings share a tennis ball.


Jed contemplates life, love and the universe – or his next feed.


I had a similar relationship with my brothers.


Puppies contemplate the future and their place in it – or their next feed.


Lottie and her backside.


Lottie discovers her inner wolf

Frauen liebten seinen Punk

First impressions might last, but time itself has done nothing to reduce the MR2’s status as The Most Impractical Car in the World. After a trip to Mitre 10, where we drove home with a gas bottle balanced on my knee and mop sticking out the passenger window, I agreed to a second car.

Before you ask, I’m not sure why we didn’t sell the MR2. However, Husband had a dazzling list of valid and entirely plausible reasons not to, which worked despite our having just blown the month’s entire grocery budget on two tyres for said MR2.

Vehicles (management and maintenance of) falls under Husband’s job description, so I left it up to him to trawl in search of a second car. Despite my unhealthy relationships with vehicles, I had no passionate preferences as to choice of conveyance – unless we got a Mini Cooper, which evidently wasn’t going to happen.

Husband strongly advocated a 4×4 manual diesel. He marketed the advantages as being economic on fuel; large enough to carry bicycles, mops and rubbish bins in the boot; or a dressing table or bookcase; or up to three additional passengers. Brilliantly, he pointed out that it would be an ideal vehicle for puppy transportation.

He didn’t stress how useful a 4×4 would be to tow his motorbike around – in fact, he hardly even mentioned it.

Husband short listed a number of Nissans and Toyotas and we went to view a couple, but they were selling for too much. We didn’t want to spend more than NZ$ 6000.

Husband had an eyeball on a Toyota Surf on Trademe that was listed for NZ$ 6200. He thought the owner might let it go for NZ$ 5900 +/- and arranged to see the car the day before the auction was due to close.

“We need some way of communicating,” said Husband as we drove to Mt Wellington.

“How about talking? Or is that too intense?”

“No, I mean when we’re viewing the car. Some means of, you know, communicating what the other thinks.”

“Like a code?”

“I suppose.”

“How about: ‘The Pigs Are Flying’?”

“That might be a bit tricky to get into a sentence.”

“The monkeys are spanking-”

“Ok- NO- How about I ask you whether you like the colour? And if you don’t want to go ahead, you say ‘I’m not sure’.”

“Oh come ON – that makes me out to be a total girlie! Can’t I say something like, ‘The car burns oil’? Or: ‘Is the engine supposed to make that noise’?”

How much of a surprise is it that we had nothing agreed by the time we met Nishant?

We took the car for a test drive. Afterwards, Husband opened the bonnet and surveyed the engine, kicked the tyres, fingered a rust spot, and crawled under the car and rolled around a while. Then we all stood by the boot making small talk.

“So Niamhie,” says My Beloved. “What d’you think- I mean, for example- d’you like the colour?”

“It’s fucking NAVY,” I said somewhat charmlessly. “What’s not to like?”

I mean, REALLY.

“Look, it depends how much Nishant wants for the car,” I said. Then I waited for Husband to haggle like a Sagittarian car dealer.

And waited.

I was about to remind Husband about the airborne pigs when Nishant said:-

“To be quite honest, I won’t take less than $5000 for it.”

And I didn’t have to check the pig status to say, “Weeeeeell, all right then, I suppose.”

So we have welcomed a 1993 Toyota Hilux Surf into our family – shortly to be joined by a puppy. Husband might have the edge on cunning, but I will always wear him down with sheer single-minded persistence

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