Category Archives: Pets

Me and The Rock


SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

No, not THE ROCK. Rocky! Our doggy! Love my Rocky! So we’re off to the coast this weekend and we’ve had to book our pup into Doggy Hotel. Funny thing is… one of the reasons we got him was because we wanted a presence in the yard when we were away, but now that we have him, how could we possibly leave this little thing at home alone? Just look at him awwwww!

Did I tell you how sick he was? Can’t remember if I did.. he needed a BLOOD TRANSFUSION. Who knew dogs can get transfusions! You learn something new everyday. We thought he was going to die, the three of us stood in the Vet’s office doing the ugly cry as she explained how very sick he was.

But he is back to good health and terrorising us again!

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Rocky Horror Show continued…


So an update on Rocky.

I am going through all the phases that a mother to a newborn goes through: the sleepless nights, the frustration, which is then followed by guilt for feeling frustrated in the first place, the expense, the bad body imagine after giving birth… oh wait, no that’s there from when I had a real kid almost four years ago. Ha.

Ok seriously now. This dog has turned our lives upside down!!!!

Last week I was commissioned to find Rocky a kennel. Apparently outside dogs are less common than I thought. Finding a kennel is like finding a needle in a haystack, with most dogs sleeping indoors on fancy doggy pillows. I eventually found a man who makes kennels in Isando but he doesn’t deliver. I then had to spend money on getting a furniture removal company to collect said kennel because I don’t know a man with a van.

I was ostracized at puppy school this week when I complained about Rocky’s crying and whining in the middle of the night – apparently I am evil incarnate for letting a small little puppy sleep outside in the first place. Oh, I was also frowned upon because Rocky’s tail is docked and this is seen as animal cruelty in these parts folks. Who knew.

I found two big ugly ticks on him last week, I took gruesome horrible photos to show the hubby and made a video of the bonfire we started.. ticks don’t die, you literally have to burn them! He has already made himself a lovely deep hole in my flower bed and it’s in this sand that he is picking up ticks (and they want him to sleep in MY house?)

So along with his vaccine, de worming meds, a bloodsmear to ascertain that he hadn’t contracted Biliary from the ticks (it’s going around ya’ll, just like a nasty cough goes around pre-school) – we had to get some spray to keep the ticks and fleas off (he’s too young for the regular tick stuff). You can’t stop a dog from lying in the sand but you can prevent the nasties from sticking apparently. My mother also suggested spraying diluted Jeyes Fluid in the sandy patch for good measure. R788 later, Rocky’s first trip to the vet was successful. He has a clinic card just like the kids do, too.

Puppy school is going … um.. as expected. Rocky is the bad boy in the class, he and a gorgeous little Husky called Sheila, have taken an extreme liking to each other. They spend most of the class cavorting like two teenagers, it’s embarrassing. You guys know me, I expect straight As and no nonsense at school. He is not carrying the family flag high. All he wants to do is cavort with his girlfriend and eat all the treats. AND he runs to everyone when they are trying to call their own dogs. The minute you show any sign of wanting a cuddle, he rugby tackles you – whether you are his boss or not. EMBARRASSING. But cute.

Right. So after spending all this time, effort and MONEY organizing the kennel, we gave him a stern talking to and showed him his new digs. He was not impressed. I put his special pillow in the kennel, we put his toys in the kennel, I have taken to feeding him RIGHT next to the kennel  – no go. I suggested to hubby that maybe the area was too dark at night and he was afraid, so off to Builders Warehouse we traipsed, hubby installed a lovely bright light into the wall above the kennel, I mean seriously this dog is getting FIRST CLASS treatment here, but still he won’t go near the kennel.

His crying has come to an end at night but I still feel sorry for him laying on the grass all night, instead of in his nice warm kennel. I’ve started leaving the laundry room open  and put a nice big pillow down for him hoping he’ll creep in there, but nope, he prefers laying against a bucket in the middle of nowhere.

Yesterday he seemed particularly depressed. Not his usual bouncy bite-y scratchy ‘self… Not sure what’s up with that, but I’m not taking him to the vet to be prescribed antidepressants as my sister’s dog was HA! Dogs on ADs .. no man!

Not sure what we’re going to do with him at Liam’s party on Saturday, I believe the dog should be socialized, that’s what puppy school teaches us, Google told hubby that your watch dog shouldn’t be exposed to too many people because he becomes too familiar. We can’t even agree on parenting our dog, let alone the children!

I’m so pleased with how the kids have taken to him. Liam has gone from being terrified of dogs to letting Rocky get into bed with him when I’m not looking. He lays on the floor and lets Rocky nibble his ears and nose. I do think these two will be fast friends. Hannah is pretty blasé about the whole doggy thing and gets quite upset with the attention that Liam now lavishes on the dog instead of her.

Parenting three little ones sure is tough.

Planning a party for a 5 year old


Liam turns 5 on the 16  February. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that I am the mother to a 5 year old. Good heavens, I can remember being 5 years old MYSELF, like I have actual memories of being 5,  and it doesn’t feel that long ago (don’t laugh, I’m not that old). And now I am the boss of a 5 year old? Like I physically gave birth to, and cared for another human being for 5 long years – and he is still thriving? Excuse me while I pat myself on the back.

Although we have celebrated every birthday with a cake, candles and their cousins present, we’ve never really had a party where he has chosen his guests himself. This year he asked for a party and he was also very specific about who we should invite. And I think that’s the point isn’t it? It’s his party and it should be about HIM and he should be surrounded with people HE likes.

I had to curb his enthusiasm when he declared that he wanted to invite his WHOLE class. No ways, I was not prepared to have 18 five year olds running riot in my back yard. We had to come to a very difficult compromise of 6 school friends (only 2 have actually rsvp’d so I need to prepare him for that too). Oh, he battled with this… he didn’t want to offend anyone! I said to him that he should think about who his SPECIAL friends were, the ones he most liked to play with, and eventually we narrowed the list down. He chose his cousins and family friends and asked if his cousins in Australia and Port Shepstone would be able to make it. I said to him that they’d possibly make it for his 21st but probably not for his 5th birthday.

We decided on a pool party simply because it’s what he loves best, and it’s easy to execute – hey you just need a pool! I am NOT a party planning person and it will NOT make the grade for Rattle and Mum Show me the Party. No. There will be a pool, other water toys, sweets, ice cream  and cupcakes. And you may get a boerie roll for lunch. On a paper plate. I thought about planning games and activities, and that’s where that ended. At a thought. Ha. Easiest party planned in the history of party planning!

His one and only request is for a Walkie Talkie thingy for him AND Hannah (bless). Oh and Lego. Lots of Lego. I love this age where they just tell you what they want – SO much easier. We’ve discussed if this is the year he will stop sucking his thumb, but he has been very noncommittal. When he turned 4, he declared that he would stop sucking his thumb. HOORAY! And he was very good about it… until bed time when he reneged on that statement and declared that he’d stop when he turned 5. So no promises on this one, folks.

You can imagine how this birthday and party are the ONLY things we’re allowed to talk about at home. That, and our dog Rocky. I do think that Liam and Rocky will be fast friends. Rocky was even invited to the party. I said that Rocky may frighten some of the younger kids but Liam thinks his friends will get used to and love Rocky like he does (wise words from the kid who was terrified of Rocky when he arrived). I said we’d see how everyone felt on the day. He agreed saying that yes, sometimes people are afraid of dogs and he knows it isn’t a nice feeling because he was afraid before. Clever child, this.

So yes, Liam turns 5. More on how I actually feel about THAT to follow soon.

rocky
Love xxx
Yes, Rocky is in my flower bed.
Yes, Rocky is in my flower bed.

 

 

So. About Rocky our new Dog…


Let me start by saying this. Dogs are a lot more like humans than I thought. There I said it.

I’ve always been of the firm believe that animals are animals and should be treated as such. I roll my eyes when I see people carrying their dogs in little hand bags or wheeling them around in prams. I scrunch my nose in disgust when I hear people talking about how their dogs/cats  sleep on their beds and sit on their furniture. I tremble in hair-raising-fear when people discuss dog poo. Baby poo stories are cool, but when my work colleagues discuss dog poo I feel physically ill. I mean really, animal excrement is like poison, I don’t want to see, touch or hear about it. Ever. I am most unsympathetic to people who have sick animals. My friend Kim can relate – she had the most unfortunate experience of dealing with her kitten that had contracted some life threatening disease and after expensive treatment which included drips and staying at the vet for however long, the thing still died. My words to her were something along the lines of “don’t worry, you can get another one.”

Right.

So Rocky came home on Sunday. And this little thing is so cute. I cannot believe I am about to do this… but… I’d like to compare him to an 18 month old. OH EM GEE, I just compared a DOG to a HUMAN. He is exactly like an 18 month old though – the good, the bad and the ugly of an 18 month old human.

The bad:

The crying, whining and tantrum throwing. He is an outside dog, and as such, must STAY OUTSIDE. The first night he cried hysterically for about 20 minutes and then settled down. He woke up twice during the night for a little cry and then went back to sleep. He doesn’t know me, he doesn’t know I have the iron will of a mother who has tried (in vain) to sleep train two humans. I WILL NOT BREAK. You can cry, stand on your head, chase your tail, whatever  – you will learn to sleep through the night! And night two was much better! The whining and tantrums – YOH! The crying at night I expected, shame it was his first night away from his mother, I get that. But yesterday morning, Rocky threw a tantrum of note when I shooed him outside so that we could get done for work and school. He didn’t have a little cry, this dog was HOWLING, throwing himself against the door and scratching his little nails to the paw I am sure. I was like “HEY, ARE YOU THROWING A TANTRUM?!” Then he looked up at me with those big eyes (just like my babies used to) and I felt my insides quiver with what felt like tenderness but I quickly recognized that ploy from having a clever 18 month old who tried to manipulate me and I scolded him and left him to tantrum.

The ugly:

Well, I thought my potty training days were over. Cleary not. He has been very good, on the day we fetched him he waited until we got home and dashed out of the car to do his business on the lawn. But this morning, he was pottering around the house while we were getting done, and then he started whining and I didn’t know why and he was looking around in confusion and jumping on the spot and THEN I realised what was happening and I rushed to let him out but it was too late… arrrgghhh.. a POO on the passage floor. Now I have wiped poo off the floor before, scrubbed poo stained underwear and followed my nose to find a blob of baby poo behind the couch (this was Hannah’s preferred spot when potty training) but I never thought I’d be picking up dog poo off my wood laminate floors. Just gross man, gross.

The good:

Oh golly he is cute. And cuddly. And playful. And lovable. He loves to be the centre of attention, he loves to be made a fuss of, and loves to be loved. JUST like an 18 month old. He follows me around the house, right on my heels, and the minute I sit down he wants to hop on my lap or he drops to his back and demands a tummy rub. He doesn’t know his own strength. I remember 18 month old Liam pounding 3 month old Hannah and we’d all jump up hysterically to stop him. Same thing. He nibbles at the kids, and jumps up at them, almost bowling them over, and scratches them unintentionally. And he just can’t understand why they yell at him when he hurts them by mistake. He is terrified of the big dogs. We attempted to walk him yesterday, not a moment out of the gate and the neighbour’s dog went biserk when he spotted Rocky. Rocky shot between my ankles and pulled me back towards home. Poor thing! He gets bored of his toys very quickly just like an 18 month old. Did you have an 18 month old who preferred the TV remote over Fischer Price? Yup, that’s Rocky. He prefers to chew on my big toe, or ruffle a shopping bag, or rip a newspaper into a million pieces than to play with all his cute puppy toys.

So while I still don’t get people who’s pets are their lives, I can see how a pet becomes part of the family. I can see how easy it is for the lines to be blurred, I didn’t think I’d ever let a dog waltz around my kitchen (and he does the cutest thing: gets a fright every time he spots himself in the oven door and then stares for ages at himself with his head tilted to the side in confusion!)  but here we are. He will NEVER sit on my furniture or jump onto my bed, but I can already see that he’s getting way more human privileges that I ever thought he would. Because little puppies are just like humans! Probably nicer than a lot of humans too. Ha.

Our family is growing…


Well that got your attention didn’t it.

I think I blogged about our desire to get a dog over a year ago and that desire has finally come to fruition. Let me explain that the delay in getting a dog was all on me. The thing is, I know that bringing home a new puppy, is pretty much the same thing as bringing home a new born baby. There’s pee, poo, crying, sleepless nights and general mayhem as the family adjusts to having a new element. ALSO, the expense of having a puppy is (so far) comparative to that of having a new baby, it’s ridiculous! Then there’s duties that need to be drafted up – who will feed this new addition, who will bath him, who will pick up the doggy poo? Who will take him for walks, and play with him? Sounds just like having a new kid, doesn’t it? I WANTED a dog, I just didn’t want all the other chores that go with having a dog. Mainly because I know all those chores will come down to me. With hubby away, and the kids still too small to really be held responsible for anything, this dog is MY problem. Yes, of course, I am going to get the kids involved from day 1. Throwing pellets into a bowl, and making sure the water is always full is a simple task for them, picking up dog poo will probably be the most exciting part of their day and taking him for walks while he is still little enough for them to walk HIM versus HIM walking them in a few weeks (he’s going to be a BIG boy)  – ALL this stuff is still fun and exciting for 3 and 4 year olds to do. But I still have to monitor and make sure and pretty much do it myself while allowing them to THINK they are actually doing it.

So late last year when we had that little breach in security and someone got into Zoleka’s room, we upped the security by putting burglar guards on the few windows that didn’t have and we decided there and then that a dog was no longer an option, it was a necessity. We are the only house on the street without a dog – and not surprisingly the only house that had someone rifling in their garden, after checking with our neighbours and neighbourhood watch. A dog doesn’t prevent crime, but it is a deterrent. Also, the kids have been whining for a dog. Hannah LOVES dogs, Liam likes the IDEA of a dog, but is actually terrified when confronted with one. So last week we met with a breeder and I have to admit that I think I could have actually taken 3 or 4 of these little things home. They were all sooooo cute! But this little one sort of chose us, he was all up in our faces, Hannah picked him up and I don’t think she put him down until we were ready to leave. He is JUST like a baby, loves tummy rubs and being held in the crook of your neck! Me thinks he is going to be a needy little fella – exactly what I didn’t want, but you’ve got to see him… you can’t help yourself, he is seriously sweet. I am not an animal person, I like my pets outside and doing animal things, I don’t believe in treating animals like humans. But guys. This dog. I don’t know. He may change me.

So without further ado, I introduce to you Rocky. Well I think his name is Rocky. Currently it’s the only name we all sort of agree on. I want to call him Mufasa, Hannah wants to call him Bingo, Liam wants to call him McDonald and hubby wants a name that sounds like he is a beast, a killer, a dog you do not want to mess with. Anyway, I digress.. here he is!

 rocky 2

rocky 1

rocky 3

I was concerned about getting a Rottweiler, they just seem scary and unfriendly, particularly if you have small children. But so far, they (these dogs) have proven me wrong. We met two grown Rotties over the holidays, big and scary looking but playful and rather sweet. Then Mrs FF really put me at ease because she has two Rotties and she loves them (she did tell me many other horror stories about how they dig up irrigation systems and are TOO playful but I will turn a blind eye).  And then of course we met Rocky’s parents when we visited the breeder. They are big and scary looking alright, but surprisingly gentle. Hannah was all over them as big and scary as they were. Liam… not so much. He did eventually warm up and even picked Rocky up, check this out:

 rocky 4

 So we pick him up on the 26th January, he will be weaned, cleaned, dewormed, poked and tagged and all those other things. Can’t wait! Look out for many more tales about Rocky. Hope I won’t have to call these tales the “Rocky Horror Show” that’s all.