Big Dumb Blond

ChiquiStPatrickWe have been blessed with a gentle giant for almost 10 years.

She was a small fluff ball when she joined our family, in the shape of a small St Bernard, and Beethoven era was upon us.  It was like a Gremlin hairy ball, who grew fast.

One important piece of advise, never go see St Bernard puppies with your kids!  That’s how we ended up with three dogs simultaneously; labrador, Bernese Mountain Dog and St Bernard.  Each dog become a bigger breed.

Nevertheless, we loved the dogs and they became part of our family.  Kids rode them like ponies, ran with them in the snow and cried as the parted us, walking across the Rainbow Bridge.

Chiquita (named after the banana for no apparent reason) was the last of the trio.  She was a gentle clumsy giant, who loved everyone she met.  Yes, she wasn’t the brightest bulb in the lamp shop, but that didn’t bother her or us.  It was the sheer love she gave us, in particular the kids.

It was a moving carpet and when she slept the neighbours could hear her snoring.  It resonated throughout the house.  At times I woke up in the middle of the night to move her, which only lasted a few minutes.  We had many fun filled moments with her … or at least on her account 🙂

  • If she was in the garden, and I would call, she would look the opposite direction.  Not to piss me off, but simply because she had no clue where my voice came from.  EVEN, if I would stand 10 yards from her.
  • When shaking her head, we would have slobber streaks on walls and ceiling, as well as furniture, windows, TV, furniture – that’s just part of having a large breed.
  • A few times she was running towards me, only to trip over her front legs, almost crash into the ground, but magically recover the fall gracefully.
  • We would throw her treats, almost hitting her head.  She either couldn’t see the treat or had not idea what to do when we threw them.  She just continued to stare at whoever was throwing it.
  • She had the ability to dig out treats hidden in her dry-food, and lick off all gravy, and still leave all the dry-food behind.  She was a picky eater.  In fact, she would only eat meats and treats while in heat.

You can imagine the sadness that fell upon the family, when we found her lifeless in the living room the other morning.  She had slept in during the early morning.  I gently petted her head and body, said a few loving words, and then woke up my wife with the sad news.

The girls woke up and broke into tears.  They knew she was old, but that doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye.  They hugged the fluffy giant while she slept, and my wife cancelled school that day.  It was simply too much for the girls.

keyringst_bernardLater that day, we carried her (not easy to carry 140lbs) to the car and I drove her to the vet.  One final visit and final goodbyes.  The girls had joined me, but couldn’t hold back the tears as they drove her away.  My oldest ran over to stretcher and gave her a strong loving hug, while tears were rolling down her face.  Then she came to me and needed a big hug.

Now the third dog has crossed the rainbow bridge, waiting for us to one day come across to play with them again.

Werewolf in the making

werewolAmidst a busy schedule with Eucharist, new school, moving house and work, we also welcomed Coco to our family – a little fiery chocolate Labrador.  She’s a little devil in disguise, but you cannot but help love her.  However, recent incidents have left me no way out but to put my creative mind thinking.

It’s not easy for three kids under the age of 11 to accept that a puppy this cute cannot play with them, without biting / scratching them with her small razor-sharp teeth.  As a result, we are now stockpiling bandages to cover finger and lower leg scratches.

Please understand, we are not condoning the dog biting the kids, but in the heat of the moment the dog may mistake a finger for ball, or attempt to tackle the kids from behind by attacking their legs.  It’s in her nature to hunt 🙂

Yesterday my 5-year-old asked why the puppy is constantly attacking her, attempting to annihilate her stuffed animals and decapitate her dolls!

I was at first a little speechless.  I wasn’t ready to have this conversation.  Nevertheless, I owed an explanation to my little girl, since I was the one who brought this tiny monster into our loving home.

Probably a big parental fail, and something that I might pay for later when she attends shrink sessions to repair what I caused.  But, I decided to tell her that our cute little Labrador was in fact half a werewolf.

The horror on her faces was priceless, and as I started to elaborate about my werewolf theory, she did show early signs of fear or perhaps just utter disbelief.

I went on to explain that the scratch marks in her kennel are in fact from her transformation, and not Wolverine visiting.  Her ways of swallowing her food within seconds is a typical trademark of werewolves as they eat quickly not to get caught.

Another giveaway is the way she hunts down stuffed animals and dolls, practicing the early kill, and her tackling my daughter is to perfect her skill of bringing down running prey.

I honestly thought it was a good explanation, and went on to explain that the dog was cheaper than her siblings because she was half werewolf.

Needless to say, my daughter was terrified for a few seconds, until the little adorable chocolate Labrador laid down by her feet, looking to be scratched on her stomach.  And, I did allude to the fact that werewolves don’t harm family, and she’s family so will protect us from the evil monsters lurking in the night.

Amazingly, she did not have nightmares, but respects the puppy’s teeth a little more now.

werewolf puppies

City Girl n’ Skulls

walkingdeadreadyHere we are, living in the wilderness of Bear Mountain, about one mile from civilisation and the stress that comes with it.  Surviving in these surroundings takes skill and perseverance.  We are committed and we will adapt to our new life.

Thankfully we have the necessary means to survive; over-sized SUV (4×4 of course), Apple gadgets, 8 garden machines, misc. KitchenAid appliances and plenty of popcorn.

Cone on wilderness!  We can take you!

Or so we thought.

My lovely South American flower called me at work, in a frantic state, bursting out she had found a skeleton. More specifically, a human skull.  She demanded that I returned to our Casa del Muerte to inspect the remains of this unfortunate soul.

Strangely, all while looking to buy the house, and throughout the many visits, we never actually met the wife.  So, the remains could be that of his missing wife!?

Instead of calling Grissom and Co., she decided to call the local Sheriff Coltrane to inspect the remains.  What if the killer was still at large and maybe this was a living dead scenario. She simply had to get this crime of the century solved.

Not too sure how I could help with cleaning up a crime scene in our little forest.  I would either get attacked by a bear or Bambi, pee my pants and then man-handled by a skunk.

Anyway, our amazing trooper quickly arrived to inspect the crime scene, only to discover that the actual skull was the remains of Bambi’s relative.  Nothing on the cranium, beside a few teeth, may have resembled a human.

The happy law enforcement officer smirked at my wife, took a picture for his scrap-book or mug shot catalogue, and then quietly drove off.  No sirens 🙂

It was a happy ending to a crime filled morning for my rebel wife.  She was shaken and stir-crazy after that experience.  She still demanded that I came home to save the damsel in distress, but I had to save the World at work … or so I think.

combat heelsA few days after this ordeal, the missus went for a stroll in the jungle again, in her combat high heels and new hunting dog (10 week old labrador), only to twist her ankle as she stepped into a groundhog tunnel, slipped, landed on the puppy who peed on itself out of fear.

I think it’s fair to state that her days of exploring are numbered.  The Disney forest we live in is not a place for a city girl.  She pretends to be the female version of Grylls, but it’s more like Miss Congeniality in the Jungle.  One day we can go trekking – trekking in the nearest super mall jungle.

Wish me luck as I’ll be the one who gets lost!

Rise of Coco

coco2I swore 2 years ago that, when our male Labrador passed over the rainbow bridge, we would not replace him and that we would not get any other dog when our St Bernard dies either.

It’s a lot of responsibility to have a dog(s), and you are bound to them all the time.  They depend on you.  This restricts you from doing stuff too spontaneously, as you have to plan ahead with a dog sitting and that’ll cost you extra.

Being the head of the family, I succumbed to my family’s constant pressure and we invested in a new dog.  It takes a big man to admit defeat and I’m not a big man 🙂  I’m under the thumb just like any other dad / husband in the World.

Here’s the insane bit, as if getting a new dog wasn’t crazy enough.  We drove 3 hours to see and pick the dog from the litter, then 3 hours back.  And, bring on asylum insane, we did the same trip two weeks later to pick up the puppy.

Drumroll …. and we love her 🙂

She was really well-behaved the first evening.  It took her a little time to sniff the house, considering she lived in a breeding box (4′ x 4′) before, and now she has 2700 sq. feet to cover.

We decided to place her in a dog kennel for the night, with blankets, and she was snoring away … at least until 2am.  At that point she woke up and realized she was in a strange place, with strange smells.

It was as if she screamed “Why am I in this prison?  I did not chew the shoe!  I need my mum!  I’m innocent of whatever crimes I’ve committed.  Why this cruelty?

I woke up to the intense winning and pushed my wife out of bed.  She had promised to look after the puppy, with our now 11-year-old daughter, and she stumbled down the stairs to be with the puppy.  I could get some more sleep 🙂

To my amazement, she’s actually well-behaved.  I have to say that as she’s our dog.  But, she eats well, sleeps better and is getting a lot of exercise from chasing the St Bernard.

The 9-year-old St Bernard is shell-shocked with the arrival of this little chocolate-colored labrador, who chases her tale and bites her paws.  She’s slightly apprehensive about letting the puppy cuddle up with her, and not too sure how to play with such a small thingy.

She has already bonded with the kids, especially my son, and is chewing their shirts and socks, much to the amusement of the kids.

It’ll be fine.  It’ll take some time for the family to adjust, but we love her already.

Just one minor problem – she has already attempted to steal my corner on the family sofa!

Who Framed Daddy

rabbitI’m a sucker and will do anything for my kids, including buying them cool stuff for their birthdays.  And, if I promise my kid something I will 4 out of 10 times honor that request.  You hopefully read my previous post were we were forced into giving our now 10-year-old daughter a rabbit for her birthday, but that’s what you get when making promises when she was only 5!

However, the rabbit quickly became a member of the family and adopted the very relaxed behaviours of farting and drinking at all hours of the day/night.  The biggest challenge was keeping the kids from constantly pulling the little fluff ball from the cage every few minutes.

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