Welcome to summer – maybe..

Hmm - Bought Benji a coat - not a success....
Hmm – Bought Benji a coat – not a success….

Saturday and the temperature today is due to be 41c with a cool change later in the afternoon. A severe weather warning was issued by the SA Police with the possibility of an electrical storm and the potential for  lightening strikes setting off fires.  I sometimes believe my dog thinks I  don’t love him anymore. I mean surely if I loved him I would take him out in the car with me – right?  Well,  no!  When it’s 41c outside it is going to be at least 50c in the car and even  with the windows cracked open, if you leave a dog in a car in those temperatures  he/she could go into heat stress and they could die very quickly – but of course you know this. Benji does not understand. He only knows that I am going out and not taking him with me – and I get that pained look that some dogs are very good at. And hardly a month goes by when a person does just that and leaves a dog in a hot car. But it’s not all bad in that people are now becoming more aware of the dangers of leaving a dog in a car on a very hot day and if they see this, they notify authorities – RSPCA or SA Police. Oh and by the way, this is not confined to dogs, people have gone in to shops,

The Foreshore
The Foreshore

and other places,leaving a child in the car and last year, sadly,  several children died.     In essence, if I go out today, and I will – Benji will not be coming with me and I’ll get “The Look” If we had been on our own, we might have gone down to the beach and had a walk in the sea but Yogi is not as well-mannered as Benji and barks at anything that moves. Perhaps after Yogi goes home – in five days – the Benji and I will  drive down to the Foreshore and have an Ice-Cream treat. I think he deserves it – not only does he have a WaWa to contend with, he has also had Yogi for a month. He has a small tub, I have a cornetto  and we sit outside under the shade of an umbrella.

Still Saturday and the temperature peaked at 42c: now the cool change predicted has come charging in with high winds – cooling down fast and some driving rain. We are expecting thunderstorm and possibly lightening  in the late evening. No dog walks and I will have to keep an eye on Yogi – he does not like thunder. Benji and the WaWa seem not to bother too much. Actually as I try to type a certain dog who shall remain nameless is sitting on my lap making life difficult because he thinks  I should be scratching his ears not making a noise on keyboard.  Before summer started and it was still raining – a lot – I bought Benji a waterproof coat. It was not a success. On the subject of not a success – the plants I bought  at the beginning of the week are all dead. I tried to get them established before the heat set in but it still killed them. The rain has gone but there is still a wind and the temperature has

The sky at night - after the rain.
The sky at night – after the rain.

dropped down to 30c a drop of 12 degrees in less than an hour.

Happiness is a fresh-smelling warm blanket! We decided that the blanket on the WaWa bed was a bit grubby looking so at about  8 o’ clock  last night we threw it in the washing machine. Washed and spun, I then took it out to the garage and the drier and  put it in there for an hour. It  came out all warm and fluffy ( reminder to clean the  fluff catcher on the machine), folded up and back on her bed in time for bed-time.

Sunday  a.m.  and it’s raining so no walk this morning. Well it did stop and we did go out and I did get as far as the end of the Carport before it came down again, so back into the house we went. I figured that they had been “out” so I did give them their after walks treat – I know, I’m a woose.

Walking, Food and a Million Paws

The Maltese Terrorist
The Maltese Terrorist

Saturday, 6;30 am and took the dogs walking. Heck it was cold. Glad I put on a jacket because had I not done so I would have had to come back inside for one. I was also wearing gloves. Last night I took the dogs out and had a heavy jacket, but it looked nice this morning and I didn’t realise how cold it was. I think winter is on its way. Time to get the fires out of the garage and dust them off, I think. – Actually winter (officially) is only ten days away.

Well, we’ve had no more visitors – which is good. I have also been  conscious of the debate regarding soft dog food. I realise there is a vast difference between being responsible for two dogs and being responsible for 12 ( or even (sigh) 13) dogs and I can’t for the life of me begin to imagine what the feeding bill amounts to. However, our “soft” dog food ( the dog food I use)  is in the form of a  roll – the name of the product being Prota Dog,  Dog food. I cut sections of this and then cut it up – the size of the final cut depending whether it’s for Chienna or Mannie. The point is I can very clearly see what I am cutting and  I’m fairly happy and the dogs are well and healthy – and my vet is happy with them.  This is not what you would call premium dog food – we do have “Premium” food which is very expensive, but as I said, my dogs are happy and healthy. I am not sure what “Kibble” is. I suppose I could Google it but I  think it’s simply what we call “Dog Biscuits”  – dry food.  I put a measured cup of the  biscuits into a bowl and leave it beside their water dish. They eat  this at their leisure – if they feel the need for a nibble, they will eat some biscuits. I also ensure they they have plenty of water.  Sometimes  the man is a “bit tired” so I will be a woose , sit down and hand feed him – put bits of the food in my hand and et him eat from there. Feeding my dogs  ( and I repeat they are fit, well and healthy) costs me about $45 a month, which I know some people spend every couple of days. That’s for the soft food roll and the dog biscuits. The rolls are 3 kilo  each.

This week is  the “Million Paws Walk” an annual fundraising event organised by the RSPCA.  A lot of dog clubs organise local A Foxy Ladyevents under the banner of the RSPCA and raise funds that then go to the overall  Australian total. It’s not a “Fee Entry” but rather a personal donation – you give what you feel you can afford and that might only be a dollar or two – with some children giving their pocket money.  I would like to take my two but it’s on a Sunday and I am pretty much tied up on a Sunday.  However, I made a donation.  And I have just been notified that my friends club in Adelaide raised $564.

Old dogs care about you…

20130515_123730
I sat down on a box and she just came and sat next to me.

This Elderly Lady appeared in my driveway and I talked to her. She looked  fairly well cared for and she had a collar, but no tag. I didn’t like the idea of this lady wandering around the streets so I invited her in for a meal and refreshments, She was gracious enough to accept.  I called the SADR and their advice – since she was a lost dog not a dumped or surrendered dog –  I had to call the RSPCA – which I did. All in the lady was with me for quite a few hours until  the RSPCA came.  You know how some dogs “touch” you – well this one did for some odd reason and I advised the RSPCA that if the owners did not come for her I would like to be notified with a view to adopting her. Then I put my arms around her and gave her a cuddle and she let me.  Good  for her (but  sort of sad for me!) the RSPCA called back later on that afternoon to let me know that the  dog and owner had been reunited. I do not know what kind of dog she is but I  really liked her – and – oddly enough – my Terrorist didn’t go for the stranger. Sniffed about then wandered off  back to his house.

Even herself was taken with her and she is not a dog person. She had been out all morning and when she came home and was dropped off, the dog went to her then sat down next to her. Certainly she went home (the dog that is) but I am happy with the  thought that if she gets out and wanders away again, she may well wander here and that’s good because it  will be a safe haven for her.

It’s now been two days since Adelaide changed its plans so that’s a positive step. Perhaps I will get home on Thursday after all. It’s not too bad in that the first session on Monday will not happen until the late afternoon, which gives me time to get down and do any shopping I need to, or want to.  I miss out this year because the district conference has been postponed to the 15th of June and the  “President’s Workshop” a two day course at  RFDS Central Operations takes place on the 17th & 18th June. I will miss out because  it’s too close after the State Conference, the District Conference, fuel costs, travelling expenses and hotel bills and I don’t think I could really justify another four days of hotel bills and fuel costs. At the current rate of exchange it’s about $US6.10 per US Gallon. Not to mention the 560 mile round trip each time.  It’s just much too much.

Lost dogs, Adelaide and Plan C

20130515_100259_1
This lovely old Lady turned up in my driveway. I looked after her for several hours until the RSPCA came to collect her.

Part of the problem for the South Australia Dog Rescue in this region is that most of the dogs are either throw away dogs – dogs that just get dumped either outside the vet or tied up outside the local supermarket, or dogs that have been fairly reasonably looked after but were bought as puppies for Christmas Presents and ” well we didn’t realise he /she  would grow so big and we really can’t afford him/her”.  Another reason is backyard breeders, and people who just refuse to have the cat or dog desexed – which leads to dumping. But whatever the reason we just cannot cope with the amount of dogs that  end up in the pound or the RSPCA. Sometimes we manage to get a dog rehomed in Adelaide and ask if anyone  going to Adelaide would be willing to take the dog down with them.  I try to help out when I can – when I go down to Adelaide I  take a dog with me if one is waiting transport. More often than not we don’t have a dog rehomed but we will get him/her transported to Adelaide to the  larger population area and hope that they can find a new home. Unfortunately, our pound is a kill pound.

Should try and put that in context – if you look at South Australia on Google Maps ( or even an old Atlas) you will see an area called “Gulf St Vincent”. If you draw a line from the head of the gulf – to the right and the State border, then the area below that line you have drawn comprises 85% of the total population of this state. The 15% of us are scattered across the remainder. In this state, 85% of the population occupy only 15% of the total landmass. More than other states, South Australia is metro centric. If it does’t happen in Adelaide, it’s not worth bothering about. Similarly, if it happens in Adelaide, it’s must be good for all of South Australia.  TeeHee, if the Defense Force took over five feet of land in Adelaide there would be the devil to pay – protests by the dozen. They take over 500 square miles up here and no one bats an eyelid – except the people whose land had been taken over by a  Compulsory  Purchase Order.

Plan A has gone by the wayside, Plan B is about to follow it, and we are now on to Plan C. An emergency meeting has been called at North Adelaide  for Wednesday afternoon – since everyone is already there.  So much for coming home on Wednesday – unless they change things again. It’s very possible since there is still a whole week to go.

Clay, Steps and Abandoned Dogs

The soil of this area is very shallow and beneath the shallow top layer of soil is heavy clay. This, I understand, is not conducive to trees with deep roots – so we end up with shallow rooted trees – i.e. Gum Trees. The bun fight  – native vs exotic  – has been lost and council will start planting  native trees.  They have, however, admitted that a lot of the planting in the past was inappropriate to an urban area (understatement!) and they have promised that they will be more selective. But that’s all well and good, but they are still messy and nothing will grow near them. There is too much oil in the bark and the litter and  all of that is toxic to anything that tries to grow near them. But anyway, the council will  plant native trees and accept the mess as part of the price of being environmentally  responsible. But here’s the thing, with all this mess and litter being carried into the drains and clogging them up, will the council accept responsibility for any flooding that occurs because of this?

20130313_092514I have tried to break things down and dug deep put in extra topsoil but still plants do not survive. Well some do, but most don’t and the slightest wind and everything is covered in leaves and by the time I get round to cleaning them out, it’s generally too late. In a week I can fill up most of a 6×4 trailer with leaves, bits of tree and assorted and associated  litter – and that’s just my back garden. Because of the high levels of heat and working, I have not  used the blower on the back garden for a couple of days, so I have leaves everywhere. I’l try and get them done ver the next couple of days. And yes, I have used large amounts of Gypsum to try and bread up the clay.

You may remember that I did say that I had ordered Dog Steps for the little man to get up on his bed. They arrived yesterday and I am very impressed. I thought – the description was not all that clear –  that they would be some kind of moulded foam, but not so. They are  moulded steps that I have to put together and then  cover them with a lambswool covering – pretty cool, I thought. And 70 pounds (31.7 kilo)

Was down at the shops yesterday and helped the manager with a distressed dog that had been abandoned outside the supermarket (again).  I looked after the  girl whilst he tried to contact the RSPCA – without success. We finally telephoned the council and the pound sent a van to collect the dog. Hopefully, it wont stay there too long before it is fostered out pending adoption.  However, the best thing would be for the owner to come forward and accept responsibility because it was not a young dog and she looks as she has had a few pups.  A very friendly and placid thing she was.

Dogs, adoption and Adelaide

Adelaide;

Why do we transport dogs to Adelaide for adoption?  Why not adopt locally? Ok. Only this week a little Maltese Cross was tied up outside a local supermarket in a shopping area. It was a very warm day and it was only when the little thing started going into distress that people realised something was very wrong. Dog owners frequently take their dog with them when they go to the supermarket, tie the dog up outside, get their milk or whatever, leave,  pick up the dog and go home. It’s common practice – but this character (whoever he may be), tied the dog up and vanished. Because it is a common enough sight, no one really paid much attention for several hours. Once it was discovered that there was a problem and the owner was nowhere in sight, the RSPCA (ASPCA??) were called.  Not so very long ago two puppies were tied up to a tree 10 miles from town and left there. They were spotted by a passing motorist who called the RSPCA and the dogs were taken to the pound.  To paraphrase the words of the late President Reagan ” locally is not the solution to the problem – locally is the problem.”  Backyard breeders are a problem and dogs – and kittens – get dumped on the doorstep of the local vet. The staff have frequently come to open up in the morning and found a box on the doorstep with two, or more puppies in it.  The other problem is that this is a kill pound. Two weeks is all they can stay, then they are euthanised. I cannot foster because of my own dogs but I  do what I can and help out with my frequent trips to Adelaide, but we do have a good number of people who cae enough to TasFirefoster until a new home is found. Oh but we are not uncivilised and  the council no longer uses a gas chamber, but uses a lethal injection. The gas chamber was taken out of service in 2009.

Queensland and Northern New South Wales are recovering from major flooding whilst  parts of Victoria and Tasmania are again having serious fire problems. I have a friend in Tasmania who sent me some photographs  of the fire in the hills above her property. They look quite disturbing and orders are out for evacuations. I said before, in this little corner of the commonwealth we are relatively free from real extremes of weather, fires and floods.

I find it interesting how attitudes change over time – well mine has.  I once looked on my trips to town as a bonus,  because  the early start to the Saturday Conference meant I  had to travel down on the Friday. However as the participants have become, over the years, more and more  metro centric ( if it’s good for Adelaide it MUST be good for the whole of the State) and have this belief that nothing of any importance happens beyond the Adelaide boundaries, I have come to look on the  Conferences as the price I have to pay for my frequent trips to the city. Sad, really. Still,  the dogs that I help to rehome benefit and that can’t be a bad thing.

Dogs, Pounds and Rescue.

This is my Main Man – the MalteseTerrorist!
“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.”
    -Mark Twain

This is Australia and we have a Socialist Government. Actually we have two Socialist Governments, one State and one Federal and one is about as bad as the other because both love to pass legislation that takes the fun and excitement out of everything – except crime. We’re good with crime, we smack people on the wrist hand them lollies and give them suspended sentences. And for those of you in a more enlightened society where you send criminals to prison,  a suspended sentences is where the Judge tells you how naughty you have been, you look contrite and say you are sorry and the judge tells you she/he cannot be swayed by this  (and then is) so he has to make an example and sentences  you to three years – suspended. This means you walk from court free, even if you have been drag racing, crashed into another car and killed someone, you can still walk from court free on a suspended sentence.

I have two dogs a Foxy Lady and a Maltese Terrorist. The foxy Lady does not like going in the car – we do not know why, but the little man does and when he is in the car he likes nothing better than to curl  up on my lap and go to sleep. He is not a barking, head out of the window sort of dog, he just likes to be comfortable and comfortable is sleeping in daddy’s lap. Legislation says that this is illegal. All dogs must be restrained  or kept in a dog carrier when being transported. Tried both ( to obey the law, of course) and the dog carrier just upset him and the restraint, using the seat belt clip,  had me pulling the car off to the side of the road and getting out and  around to the other side and releasing him because he just about strangled himself trying to get across into my lap. Ok, I confess, I is a criminal – I breaks the law – I have an unrestrained dog in my car – a full size, dangerous, bite your head off, Maltese Terrorist. As you can see by the photograph, he is definitely dangerous.  The only time I restrain a dog is when I am transporting a dog down to Adelaide for the South Australian Dog Rescue.(SADR)

The sad thing about this place is that people just wont get their dogs desexed and let them have litters, which they then dump on the RSPCA. They can’t cope  so they go to the pound – which is a KILL pound. Ten days and then the animals are put to sleep. The  SADR rescue do  what they can and try to find the dogs new homes – mostly out of here, so when I am going down to the State Capital, I generally have a couple of passengers with me.  I remember taking one dog and told the SADR that ” if this dog gets Dognapped on the the journey, don’t blame me – he was such a lovely little fellow. It’s ok – he arrived safely to be handed over to his new mummy.