"The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's." – Mark Twain, Letter to W D Howells, 4/2/1899

Archive for June, 2013

Heart of a Dragon

Once upon a time there was a man who came into the possession of a small dog. The little dog had the heart of a dragon but this dragon heart was rarely needed so he had to learn how to be serene until his dragon’s heart was needed. His master was learning ‘how to train a dragon’ but really they were learning together.
They had many adventures and learned many things but the most important thing that they learned was that they needed each other and that it was OK to make mistakes because mistakes are not a deal breaker.
The story continues.



Image 1



The photo is mine but the drawing belongs to;



Setbacks: Understanding Your Dog: The Foothills Newspaper.

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Understanding your Dog – Setbacks

June 21, 2013 in 2013AuthorsJuly August


Not my photo but he is seriously cute.

Don’t be worried about setbacks.

If you have decided to help your dog be happier by working on his behaviour issues never be discouraged by setbacks.

I naively thought that once we had achieved a change in behaviour that the change would be permanent.

What a fool I was.

Humans have setbacks when they attempt to change some unwanted behaviour, so why wouldn’t dogs?

Anger or disappointment are emotions that will slow down your improved relationship with your dog. Your dog needs a calm leader who recognises that it’s ‘three steps forward and one step back’.

Your reaction to the setbacks is very important.

Your dog needs to see that you are taking it in your stride and moving the both of you forward.

Remember it’s your body language that your dog hears, not your words.

A calm assertive leader; that’s what he needs.


This is an article that I wrote for the most recent edition of The Foothills Newspaper.

The inspiration for the article came from our experiences of retraining our two little dogs but the spark for this piece came from this amazing WordPresser, http://caninepsychologyschool.wordpress.com/

I also wrote an article about a lost audio tape and a helpful shopkeeper, you can read that piece here:



This little guy REALLY wanted me to take his photo.

As soon as I knelt down and pointed the camera at him he got excited.

I had people walking in front of me and very little light, so just when my ancient camera would get a focus fix on him he would move towards me and I’d have to start again.

His owner thought it was hilarious and I was freezing to death kneeling on the ground with my ancient knee.

Eventually I got this, and as you can see he is very proud of me for persevering.

Good dog.

Good photographer.


To dance is to live.


Good Dog.


Not my photo but I wish it was.


Photo by Theron Humphrey

A Steep Learning Curve.


When this amazing little creature first came to us we knew very little about looking after a dog.

It was a very steep learning curve.

We didn’t know that Honey’s breed needed to have her fur trimmed. It wasn’t long before her eyes seemed to disappear! You can still see them in this shot.


This was Honey’s first trip to the beach. You can almost see her eyes but she is turning into a fluff ball!


When she was younger Honey liked to sit at my feet; many years have gone by and nothing has changed.

A familiar pose, but not in black and white.



WARNING: these photos are many years old and were taken by my son not long after Honey arrived. I am heaps more handsome now than I was then!

When we finally worked out that Honey needed her fur cutting we were stunned by her appearance when she came back from the groomers. She looked like she was staring at us! It was really freaky!

We felt badly because we did not know that she needed grooming but feeling badly is a waste of time. As dog owners we do the best we can and we learn as fast as we can. All we need is good information and our love for our dogs does the rest.

Keeping Cool

This is pretty cool. Quite cold where we are but when it gets hot Down Under it REALLY gets hot. Thanks to Klip Joint for this.

Klip Joint Dog Grooming

Since the hot season is upon us, I thought I would share this infographic I found about taking care of your pets in hot weather. A good reminder for us all to make sure our babies are staying cool.

Caring for Pets in Hot Weather Infographic

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Zed’s Birthday

It’s been a year since I wrote this and it’s been a year since Zed’s last birthday. He had a good but quiet day with one extra treat to mark the occasion.

Understanding Your Dog


Yesterday was Zed’s birthday and as you know birthdays are a big deal for a dog.

All of a sudden you are seven years older, or, at least, that’s the way it seems because humans talk a lot about ‘dog years’.

I guess it’s because dogs and humans are so closely linked.

It is widely believed that Homo Sapiens became the dominant Human strain because of the partnership they formed with dogs. A wise choice as it turned out because the other Humans did not survive into the modern day.

We owe a lot to horses, cattle and sheep as well but you don’t hear any reference to ‘sheep years’.

“My dog was quite concerned when the latest cost of living figures came out as it showed that dog food had risen by 28 cents a can and as we all know that’s nearly 2 dollars in dog money”!


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Small Dogs, Large Leaves.




It’s that time of the year for us in That Great Southern Land.

As I mentioned in my other post on leaves, we have to be lucky to get great shots as the weather tends to stir things up and blow things around, and so it was this Autumn. I was lucky to get these shots, and yes the leaves really are that big.

Honey loves to run through the fallen leaves. I’m not sure if it’s the sound they make or the collection of great smells, but she she loves it.

Free Range Dog.


If you want to keep your dog safe from being dognapped by a Victorian era bad guy, keep her on a lead. 

Maybe it’s because my dogs are little or the fact that they get very excited when they see bigger dogs but I have never entertained the idea of walking my dogs off lead.

We don’t have any dog parks close to us but an early experience we had with Honey in an off lead park put us off the idea.

The world is full of good people and idiots and the idiots seem to be in the majority and some of these idiots own dogs, so it is unrealistic to expect that every owner in an off lead area is paying attention, so if things go pear shaped you will probably be on your own!

People who walk their dogs off lead always say the same thing as their dog rushes over to say ‘hello’ to my dogs…. “It’s OK he/she is friendly”. My reply is always the same also, “That’s fine but my dogs aren’t!”

It doesn’t take much for a friendly dog to turn nasty especially if he get bitten on the nose by a small white tornado who does not like his space invaded!

Walking off lead is simply not worth the risk of injury to your dog.

A friend of mine justifies it by saying she wants her dog to experience freedom. Her comments show that she does not know what her dog really needs…… calm assertive LEADERSHIP.

A stray cat, or a rabbit can see your ‘friendly, well behaved dog’ flying into traffic.

If you truly love your dog, keep her safe and trotting along next to you and on a lead.

And watch out for Victorian era bad guys.