As we travel through life, we find many who walk beside us and share our journey. Some stay a moment, some stay a lifetime. And in that lifetime, there are lessons.
Lessons of love, lessons of laughter and lessons of loyalty.
My journey with Oscar and Stanley is just that: a lesson in love, laughter and above all, loyalty.
I wish I could talk to animals, my animals in particular.
In doing so I would be able to explain to my beloved Oscar and Stanley that I will be going away for 12 months. But as I cannot, they will be left to wonder where ‘Mum’ is, which breaks my heart and as such, since accepting my teaching role on Penghu, I have shed many tears.
I shared my concerns with my dear friend Amy as 18 months ago, she embarked on a similar journey that took her away from her beloved Lola for 12 months. On her return Lola had not forgotten her, Lola did not turn her back, Lola just continued where she left off. Loving Amy. Her words as usual, were comforting.
I know they will be well cared for as my parents moved into my downstairs granny flat a few months ago and they love them to bits, and Oscar and Stanley are also devoted to my son Rob, who loves them equally in return. But they are also highly devoted to me and if they can, they will be at my side 24/7, just as they are now as I write this post.
Oscar & Stanley are my much-loved wire-haired Dachshunds.
More often than not, when I’m on the computer, they will lie with me on my bed if I’m on my laptop, snooze on the couch if I’m at the desktop, wrestle at my feet, or in quieter moments, simply wait and watch.
This morning was no different, they lolled about as I posted images for this week’s photo challenge, and as I was engrossed in posting, I failed to notice their departure. It was only on finishing my post that I noticed I had obviously become the proud owner of two highly skilled, 4-legged interior decorators. And their choice of material? Toilet paper: here are a few snaps of their silent, yet somewhat creative handiwork.
In an earlier post I wrote about Stanley’s (my beloved Dachshund) issue with being left alone.
So I researched a number of different sites relating to separation anxiety to find methods that would help overcome his problem.
After following some of the suggested remedies, Stanley has improved, however I feel the main reason his behaviour has improved relates directly to the new addition to our family: Oscar, an 8 week-old Wire-Haired Dachshund.
Dogs can speak. Just as humans use sign language, I believe so do our 4-legged friends, but instead of using their paws, they use their ears. And if you take the time to listen to their ears, you’ll see they actually speak volumes.
With that in mind I decided I would write a post about doggy ear language. On deciding, I thought who better to demonstrate doggy sign language than my beloved Stanley? However there was only one problem with that decision: I needed Stanley to cooperate, but he was too busy sniffing, sleeping, catching a few winter rays or stopping to chat to one of his friends on our daily walk.
So please excuse the quality of the images, it was not an easy task to manipulate leads, IPhones etc to get that perfect shot. But I was persistent and did manage to capture a little of how his dogship communicates. Here goes, with a little caption ‘translation’…
And a final note: as Erica says; dogs definitely make everything better. ❤
‘Yes, it’s a bookcase Mum, do you have a problem with that?’
On a warm summer morning, with Stanley snoozing beside me, I’m taking the time to read some of the wonderful, informative and creative blogs here on WordPress: something I’ve not had time to do of late.
On reading, I remember why I should take the time.
WordPress a positive place, full of inspiration and a place that allows connection with so many people from many different backgrounds and people who I don’t know at all. But on reading, I feel as if I do.
It’s refreshing somehow…
Reading Edith’s write up on A sense of place has me thinking about my own place and how we often don’t see what is around us on a daily basis. I know I don’t sometimes.
Maybe I simply need to open my eyes a little wider as it’s become too familiar. Something it never was during my flying years when I was somewhat of a transient resident, filtering in and out, without seeing.
I’m heading to Malaysia next week to backpack through the highlands with a dear friend.
Maybe on my return my eyes will be wider and I will take the time to see…
I have a doggie dilemma and in need of advice on how to stop Stanley (my loveable pooch) from barking incessantly when I’m not at home. I believe it’s probably caused by separation anxiety and I’m at a loss as to how to solve the problem.
It only came to light yesterday afternoon when I returned home from my casual job. My neighbour approached me and said Stanley barks ‘all day long, everyday’, which is incorrect as I’m only gone a few hours, a few days a week . And whilst I agree it is very frustrating to have a dog bark continuously, to have a neighbour say ‘your dog nearly died the other day, I was ready to do it myself…’ was very upsetting.
So I now need to find a solution, as although he can go to a friends when I’m away, that is not always practical.
Obedience training perhaps? Or has anyone had a similar problem and found a solution?
Feel free to leave your ideas and thoughts as I would appreciate any advice.
Posts that highlight my loveable friend Stanley have frequented my blog and when Ailsa posted this weeks theme of animals, well I felt Stanley needed to star once again. Stanley’s typical day includes a fair amount of ‘travelling’ i.e from the couch to the bed, to the car, to the pool, to the table, to the beanbag, watching our resident kangaroos… ah yes, Stanley’s daily travels.
I’m starting to get a little worried. Do I have a penchant for collecting strange dogs?
For those of you who follow my blog you may recall my story of my beloved Sausage who disliked walks immensely and you may also know that after her sad passing I adopted another wire-haired dachshound of whom we named Stanley. Sausage always amused us with her absolute refusal to walk and her many other strange behaviours, now it is Stanley who has us wondering if we have a strange effect on our 4-legged friends.
The other night my son and I were happily gnawing on freshly cut watermelon when his Dogship, who not wanting to miss out on any human activity, jumped on the couched and sniffed excitedly in the direction of the watermelon. ‘Stanley, it’s watermelon,’ I said. ‘You won’t like it’. At those spoken words he inched his way closer and having nearly finished my piece, I offered him some.
To my surprise, he ate it. No sniff, no slurp, just one big grab and swallow. And there he stayed, hovering and salivating until he was offered and subsequently devoured more watermelon.
It gets better, or should I say gets stranger. As a vegetarian I eat a lot of vegetables (funny that). So the night following the watermelon night, I had made a delicious stir fry of chinese cabbage, carrot, potato and leek sautéed in a thai flavoured spicy sauce. Accompanied by a glass of Pinot and a good movie, I curled up the couch to enjoy my simple meal.
Taking a leap onto the couch and in very similar fashion to the watermelon incident, he once again sniffed excitedly. And once again I said, ‘No Stanley it’s cabbage you won’t like it’.
I really don’t need to say what happened next do I? Yep, he ate it. And the pièce de résistance? The night following the night of the cabbage, I was eating an apple. Yep, he ate that too, straight from the core.
And I could continue, as there are many, many more strange incidents and events. Making love to the broom, sleeping in, not on his doggy bed, playing with unwilling cockroaches and mistaking a dropped piece of rocket lettuce for a strange yet unique looking bug.
So the question remains: Strange dogs or just a strange owner?
A unique or should I say strange use of his doggy bed…
It’s been said that one should never work with children or animals and from my experience, I tend to agree. When editing my last post Travel themes; Red, I had a giggle to myself thinking about how difficult that shot was to take. Now obviously there were no animals or children in the shot, but what went on behind the scene was a very different story.
I set up the shot for a proportion assignment I was doing in my Dip Photoimaging course. I figured the capsicum and or fruit would look kind of cool in the miniature trolley and would demonstrate the photographic element of proportion. So with different coloured cardboard on hand to create a cyclorama, I placed the props where I wanted and proceeded to take some test shots.
Yep, you guessed it, just as I thought I had the perfect shot his lordship saunters onto the ‘set’. And as he’s not one to want to miss out and more particularly having the need to be in my presence 24/7, he felt it his job to make sure I had set up correctly. So he sniffed and licked, sniffed again then proceeded to plonk himself down next to the trolley and in doing so, knocked it over and sent the apple rolling away and in a flash was off in hot pursuit. Now I’m quite sure there are many dog lovers among us who probably feel as I do that our 4-legged friends would speak if they could and in the moment I just described had Stanley been able to voice his thoughts, it may have gone a little like this.
‘Oops, sorry mum, it’s all good, I’ll get it’, and off he bounced and on his return deposited the now mildly mangled apple complete with slobber and dribble back onto the cardboard, thus creating a very different effect. Feeling very pleased with himself and the fact he was obviously a great help he began wagging his tail frantically, which connected with the apple, which in turn sent it rolling all over the cardboard leaving mangled apple goo in its wake. Some may have become angry, but not me as I was too busy laughing at my loveable fuzzy faced friend whose only crime, so to speak, was to help. So I simply exchanged the soiled yellow cardboard for a crisp, clean white one and shot off more images whilst Stanley watched from a more prop friendly vantage point; the couch.