These milestones seem to come around so quickly, Christmas, Gotcha and now my birthday. And I seems I am a whole nine years old. Thankfully mum tells me that I am still in my prime. See…
As this is an auspicious occasion I thought I should get off my paws and write a blog. Sorry I have been a bit lazy of late.
So what does one buy the dog who has everything? Well I am happy because I got a new toy who is called Mouse. I like him very much but I can’t help thinking he might have been ‘re-gifted’. Not so long ago I saw something very similar in the hutch of Willa (the rabbit). I think Mouse was there as a friend for Willa. Since then the toy has been replaced by a real life friend in the form of Dipsy bunny, hence the hutch toy was surplace to requirements. Now, oddly, Mouse is my new toy…who knows? I like him 🐭
Mum says I am going to get a new bed but I have to wait until I come back from my holiday. That will be lovely and I really am very grateful for anything I am given. But actually I am quite happy with the lounge floor which is secretly where I sneak back to sleep when mum and dad have gone to bed! They don’t know 💤
So, all is fine with me. Obviously I am a year older but even I can’t hold back time. Since I last wrote I have been on my holidays to Holland. I had a lovely time just cruising around and chilling out. It was very nice to see my lovely Juneau boat again. I don’t know why she has to be parked in Holland it’s a heck of a long car ride to see her. Never made, were going to see her again soon, but for the last time this year. If I get time I will blog again from there.
So, I am now just relaxing at the end of my special day. Do you know, it doesn’t matter what presents I get the thing I love the most (after mum and dad of course)…(oh and after food of course)…(and after my lovely Monkey toy of course, of course)…is my cushion. No matter how hard mum tries to hide it I can sniff it out in order to rest my head for the evening. I love this cushion ❤️
There you go a quick update on things dear reader. I hope all is well with you and that you also have a special cushion in your life.
Ps mum tells me that as a special birthday treat this weekend I may also get a bath…whatever that is!
Time flies doesn’t it? Here I am celebrating being Tex Saunders for six whole years now. Six years it only seems like yesterday that I arrived! This year the timing was quite good because, in celebration of this landmark event, the powers that be declared a double bank holiday so I got to celebrate with a lovely long walk. Mum did mention that it was also Easter but I like to think it was all for me J
Being creatures of habit mum and dad decided that we should head to the river bank for our walk, so we went in the car to Benson. In our house Benson is known as officially the coldest place on earth. I’m not sure that’s totally correct but if it feels cold where you are then you can guarantee it will be colder in Benson!
Anyway, it wasn’t cold, it was actually very pleasant when we went for our walk. We had to go on Friday because the rest of the weekend weather was planned to be rubbish, so this spurred us on and we were not disappointed. I was very excited because apparently we were going out for lunch. This is good because I don’t usually get taken out for lunch, actually I don’t usually get lunch. In the end it seemed I had misinterpreted the plan, I wasn’t going to get lunch but the humans were!
So we set off and walked to Wallingford. We met lots of dogs along the path some of whom were very very small and the health and safety genes in me classed them as a trip hazard! We also met a long haired pointer who was deemed to be very handsome – jealous – not me!
We found a rather ‘interesting’ pub for lunch. I liked it but it was quite ‘basic’! Never mind the humans were fed and watered and so we set off back to Benson.
I was feeling quite energetic on the way back (despite the lack of any kind of lunch) and I did a lot of scampering, not bad for an eight year old! Mum and dad tried to get me to sit on the bench but I didn’t quite ‘get’ that because it seemed like furniture to me and I’m not allowed in furniture so I just jumped over it, several times, maybe I should take up agility after all!
Anyway it seems they wanted me to pose for a few photos so I did oblige by sitting on the bench and looking as handsome as I could.
I had quite a few photos taken I think they must have quite a lot of photos of me over the six years, the camera is often out on walks. After a bit more walking and a few paddles in the Thames we were nearly back at the car.
Here I am back at Benson lock posing again, this time with mum.
And the day was perfected by me finding this fluorescent little beauty.
Sadly, despite it being hi-viz, I was not able to locate it when I got home, I think it may not have made it into the car. Oh well it will be some other dog’s find, you lose some you find some, that’s the way the ball market rolls(!) in the dog world don’t you know?
It was a lovely trip out and I am glad we could celebrate my 6 year anniversary in style. This was me when I got home, rounding off my day with a little snooze, (actually this is how I round off most days).
So there we go another year as Tex Saunders, I think we all rub along quite well together so I will stay for a bit longer.
I believe the holidays allocated to this important occasion apply to everyone. So I will also say Happy Easter to all my readers. Hope you have a relaxing break and haven’t eaten too many chocolate eggs – yet!
In the run up to Christmas I thought I should perhaps, you know, offer to help around the home a bit (and maybe earn a bit of cash for the old Bonio fund) so I have been asking about jobs that I could do. There is one job I really want but I’m not sure I am allowed it…
So after some consultation the first job mum suggested was the top job. She thought I could be Santa Paws. Not the real thing you realise but one of his deputies that sits in a grotty. I gave it a go and I think I quite looked the part
But in the end I don’t really think I suit a hat so I rejected that option…
If I wasn’t to be Santa then mum suggested that maybe I could be an Elf, helping Santa out with the presents, wrapping etc.
I quite liked the little collar uniform for this role. But being a thorough elf I did an ‘Elf and Safety’ check and classed this as a hazardous job
- Wrapping paper – high risk of ouchy paper cuts
- Scizzors – not suitable for an operative with no opposable thumbs
- Sellotape – well I could be de-furred with one small slip of the sticky stuff!
So…that was the end of that
But you see the real job I want is to be a Christmas post-dog. I am so good with an envelope… and I really like to take them around the house (if I get a chance) that I am convinced that this is the perfect role. Mum gave me a trial run with an envelope and as you can see I have the right skills for the job
I am very considerate with the post as I know it is important that it gets to the right address. So all in all I was certain that this is the job for me. Until, kill-joy mum pointed out a few flaws in this job plan. Mostly surrounding the fact that
a) I can’t read addresses (and not all post goes to Santa Paws apparently)
b) I don’t ever actually give the envelope up (same principle as I apply to tennis balls!)
c) When it is finally retrieved from the Retriever said mail item tends to be a bit wet and have teeth marks on it – apparently this isn’t common in the UK postal system!
Hmmm, as I lack thumbs teeth are my only transport option! Very sadly it seems the post-dog option is also a non-starter L
It’s so tricky, what is a dog to do? Having pondered this long and hard I have decided that I am fully qualified to be a pet, I am soooo good at it. In fact I feel I am the ideal pet dog. So I have put away my CV, stopped trying to be Santa Paws and instead will wait to see what he brings me in a few days time J
I hope Santa is good to you dear reader. I will let you know if he thinks I have been a good dog in 2015 and brings me some pressies (I am quietly confident).
Oh goodness, it has been ages since I wrote a blog. I’m sorry if you have missed me dear reader. I looked back and my last blog was about my birthday. Since that was back in August, and I have aged several dog years since then, I really have been very remiss!
So what have I been up to? Well of course I finished off my tour around Holland. My trip from Ackersloot (scene of last blog) took us through the outskirts of Amsterdam to Spaarndam. Those of you who followed our Facebook pages will know that Spaarndam is famous for (well famous might be stretching it a bit– known for might be more appropriate) its connection to the boy who put his finger in the dyke to save Holland from flooding. Sadly, as I read on Wikipedia, that’s actually an American fairy tale. However not wishing a good fairy tale to go to waste Spaarndam adopted the story and have claimed it as their own. Hence in their very little town there is a statue to said boy and here it is
I felt this was a skill I should acquire because, in the case of a flood, I would want to be of assistance. So I practiced my ‘Poot in Dijk’ manoeuvre…
It wasn’t needed that particular day but I have stored it away just in case…So from Spaarndam we went to
Haarlem – very nice restaurant where I was a hit
Katwijk aan Zee – very wet
Delft – very ‘potty’
Leiden – very nice Uitsmijter (apparently)
Uithoorn – very noisy party!
The Braassemermeer – very odd ‘welcome to the mooring’ gift – a jar of pickled gherkins which even I wasn’t tempted by!
Aalsmeer – very familiar! (as was the Rottie who was still there and still barked at me every time we went past and mum still barked back at him and he still didn’t look scared!)
That’s a brief run through the rest of our trip on Juneau back to base, but we had lots of fun along the way.
Sadly the day came when we had to come home and so it was another long sit for me! When we got to Calais I had to queue up with lost of other dogs to get scanned and my passport specially checked to make sure I wasn’t taking any Dutch worms with me (why I would want to take worms with me I can’t imagine, I don’t really like worms!). As with most queues there are usually one or two odd members. In this case there were a couple of canines who had no hair, except on their ears! Seemed a bit daft to me because it wasn’t very warm so they had to wear jumpers! A fur coat is a much easier approach I feel, no jumpers for me! Anyway they didn’t spot any worms on me (surprise, surprise) and I passed the check. Most odd!
We made it home and our trip seems a long time ago now. It is nice to be home, I have a bit more space to spread out than I did on the boat. Actually that’s not true, I spread out as much as I liked, it was mum and dad who seemed to lack space! Of course the added benefit is that I have full access to my toy box and I made a bee-line for my old friends – picking out, of course my oldest and bestest friend of all, monkey J. He was deemed to old to travel so I was very pleased to see him when I got home.
I also had to introduce my new toys squiggle (last seen on my birthday) and Robin.
Robin came from Albert Heijn (that’s a supermarket – Albert isn’t a personal friend) and he is a Hamstereeen – that would take a lot of explaining so just take my word for it J.
Life has returned to normal since we got home. We’ve had a nice autumn. Normally we’d have spent the time on the river enjoying the peaceful autumn days but Juneau is about to be tucked up in her Dutch winter shed so we have no water transport. Well there is the can-oo I suppose but no one seems too keen to break that out. Least of all me, it brings a whole new meaning to doggy paddle!
So that sums things up for the moment. I’m preparing for winter by doing a full on moult. It is at times like this that mum mutters comments about having a hairless dog that wears a jumper isn’t such a bad idea after all! But I am hoping that the coat I am working on will be toasty and warm, and most importantly ready by winter! I had another good brushing today as mum wanted to do an autumn photoshoot of me so I will leave you with a couple of pictures of me in the leaves!
Lots of love
Cross posted from Juneauboat.com – in case you have already read it 🙂
Well it has come to that time of year again. This is one of my favourite days (along with Gotcha Day and Santa Paws Day), but this is the most special because it’s my BIRTHDAY J And as it says I is Eight. Every year my birthday is special but this year is particularly memorable because, of course, I am spending it abroad. We’re still living on the boat in the Netherlands and I must say I am having a fine time J
When I last did a blog we (me and my small tick friend) has just left Kraggenburg and we were headed into Friesland. We had a nice time in Friesland, the ‘water capital’ of the Netherlands. First we took Juneau back home to Sneek, where she was built. We stayed there for a week. Sneek has a very nice park but it was quite a distance away so mum and dad put my Thingy training into practice and whizzed me down the canal to the park. This meant I could have more time running around and less time lead walking, so that was good. I was a bit confused because mum was talking me for a ‘walk’ whilst dad went for a ‘run’. I wasn’t sure who I was supposed to be with so I tried to keep up with them both for a while. I realised this was not going to work so I stuck with mum but I kept a very keen eye open for dad in case I could trip him up as he went past J. Here I am in the Thinghy. I really don’t like getting in it but I do quite like the ride as I get lot of cuddles whilst we go along. I think mum is scared of the Thinghy really and relies on me as her security blanket!!
For some reason we then left Sneek which was warm and dry and headed to the stormy north of the Netherlands. Mum was keen for me to see the sea, so we went to Lauwersoog (yes that’s right – Lauwersoog!). I saw the sea and lots of boats and a few goats, mostly through driving rain and in what felt like force 10 gales. I’m sure Lauwersoog is a lovely place to the Lauwersoogians but for the Wokinghamians it was pretty grim and I seemed to be permanently damp for the time we spent there (not nice for anyone believe me – especially me as you can imagine!) Here I am commiserating with the goats in Lauwersoog. At least I could escape. These guys are permanent residents of soggy Lauwersoog!
Seeking a warmer climate we headed south and encountered nice places such as Bergum. Where I got to visit the dierenwinkle (I suspect this may be the source of my birthday present)
And then the Auld Feanon national park which was nice but inhabited by a wolf, who tried to eat me. It wasn’t a native wolf – flipin thing turned up on a boat (…with a family – I know water is at the centre of Dutch life but no one would sell a wolf a boat of its own – would they???) Anyway we had a nice walk and it was generally a lovely place (wolves apart). Here I am on a sunny walk in the Aude Feanon.
Then we went to Joure where we joined a jamboree (good word eh?) of boats. We (well mum and dad) had a good lunch in Joure and I posed for pictures J One of my bestest poses I feel.
And then onto Stavoren. We all really liked Stavoren, good walkie territory, nice mooring with easy dog access (not so crucial as we have found out this week) and dad says it has the bestest ever kibbeling. Which is not Dutch for my food but is battered fish to which dad has become very partial J I think I would like it but I don’t seem to have been offered an opportunity to try it … yet!
Our latest leg saw us cross the big wide ocean (well it’s the Ijsselmeer – actually just a very big lake). All preparations were made and I was told to adopt my ‘big river position’ just in case. In fact it was very calm and I didn’t need to wedge myself in, so I just lay down for the journey. After a couple of hours we ended up ‘on the other side’ in Enkhuizen. Very nice place, dad and I posed for pictures on the wall.
And then we did another big river crossing to Edam. This time it wasn’t quite so smooth, I did need to park myself quite firmly and mum kept me company when it got a bit rough. We were glad to see Edam, not just for the cheese prospects but for some calmer water. This is me standing on the actual dam of E fame.
Just when I thought all my watery events were over for the day dad offered to take me swimming. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this as he doesn’t usually strip off and get in the water with me when we go to Heath Lake! However not to bypass an opportunity, in we went. I think dad thought we’d swim off together but in fact I was more interested in my normal game of catch the tennis ball and take it back to the shore for another throw. Unfortunately mum was my shoreside human so the throwing was pretty poor (don’t tell her I said it but her throwing is a bit rubbish!). Mum took her camera and dad took his special waterproof video camera and so many records of human and canine swimming together were created. Some of which I feel I should share with you. I warn you my fur is a bit messy in places – well what can you do with wet fur! Photo’s first
And then here is the little video of me in the water.
We well and truly ‘did’ Edam what with a long walk around town and some swimming I was shattered I can tell you. After all I am eight!!
However, we did create a milestone. You know the saying “you can’t teach a dog-in-his-prime a new trick”? Well this week I proved that wrong. In Edam we ended up in a mooring box. The Dutch like mooring boxes but we Brits are not so keen because they don’t have a pontoon at the side. So all access has to be off the front of the boat, which is not easy for me. Prior to our departure dad bought a dog ramp to cover this eventuality (also a lifting harness but we don’t talk about that!). They tried the obligatory dog-ramp training at home and I was having none of it! As a result ‘boxes’ have been avoided like the plague. HOWEVER…needs must, and all that, and when I needed to use the ramp (and avoid the harness) I did so. I don’t know why they were concerned, I was a pro I tell you. Here I am showing you how it is done.
On my way…
I’ve arrived… J
Now we are tucked up in Akersloot (yes Akersloot!) for the working week and we have a paws in all the excitement for a few days, but I will leave you with these last few pictures of me on my birthday and with my birthday presents.
Sorry that’s a long post, hope you were able to stick with it to the end dear reader.
Cross posted from www.juneauboat.com (in case you have read it already)
A week at our home base, Aalsmeer, is useful as it allowed mum and dad to take me to the dierenwinkle (pet shop) to stock up on kibble and treats. I think they also used to opportunity to stock up on human kibble to (but I am less interested in that as I don’t get to eat it!). However, the working week in Aalsmeer isn’t very dog friendly as there aren’t really any nice places for us to go walkies at lunchtime. We still go but we have to run the gauntlet of the shouty Rottweiler and various other hazards along the way. So when we left Aalsmeer to go to Friesland mum was on the lookout for a good, dog friendly, stop off place for the working week – which is how we ended up in the rather odd town of Kraggenburg.
Wokingham, where I live (usually), is known to exist in Saxon times. I am led to believe this is a very, very, very long time ago. Whereas Kraggenburg (where I lived a few days ago) was built in 1949, which is still a long time agoto me but not long in the life of a village apparently, before that it was under the sea! So you can tell it is pretty new and mum says it was pretty odd – a bit like the ‘garden cities’ built in the UK but with no people in it.
Anyway we didn’t visit Kraggenburg for its history or architectural significance we visited Kraggenburg for its forest J Somewhere nice for me to go walkies for a few days, and very nice it was too. We would have liked to explore more of it but it was very rainy at first so we didn’t go too far to start with. However as the days improved I did get to explore the forest a bit more. Although it’s a ‘new’ forest it is very nicely laid out with lots of soft tracks for a boy to scamper around on whilst chasing a tennis ball. I was pleased to see a tennis ball again as they are not much in evidence when I am on the boat – this is because mum says I will drop it in the canal and lose it (she may have a point!). Anyway I did get my tennis ball out in the forest and I did some serious chasing. See…
I also did some paddling/dabbling…
And generally as you can see I am smiling J …
So all in all Kraggenburg was a success for me and after a few days there I was sad to leave it. However I did bring a little friend along with me for the ride.
It seems that nice damp, warm woods with lots of luscious long grass are a prime hiding place for ticks and one of them joined me – right above my left eyebrow L I wasn’t too bothered but mum soon noticed little brown patch in my fur. She knew it was not naturally a part of me but appeared to be quite attached. Instantly Operation Tick-off went into action starting with the tick removal spray that mum brought from home. I’m not sure what it was supposed to do, maybe scare the tick into jumping off. Needless to say that was futile, it scared me to death but my little brown buddy remained firmly in place. Mum does have a tick remover but a) she has never made it work yet, thankfully she doesn’t get much practice and b) it’s at home…so that wasn’t an option.
Whilst giving the tick some thought mum was in a shop in Echtenebrug (as you are from time to time) when she spotted a tick remover, designed for humans but she decided to give it a go. It took all human hands to hold me still, and a very stoic approach from me, but with a couple of twists my friend was gone from my head, squished (like a pigeon) bashed and generally dismembered before going in the bin. It was a dead tick (which mum says is the best thing for a tick to be).
I, on the other hand, have lived to fight another day. During the process I did lose a few hairs and now I have a little bald patch. Mum says I should now be called Spot (because my skin shows through and the patch is white) but dad says it’s OK he can slick it down with a bit a Vaseline and give me a small comb over! Goodness knows why I have to put up with these two, first they pluck my fur out and then they call me names! Oh yes I know why – they buy me kibble – I refer you back to the start of the blog.
Anyway the job is done. We’ve left the odd and tick-y Kraggenburg behind and are now in Friesland exploring some further Dutch delights.
More to follow dear reader
Cross posted from www.juneauboat.com (in case you have read it already!!)
Before you read this blog I feel I should point out that there are three of us on the boat and we all like to blog from time to time. Some new readers may be surprised to read my blog because, after all, I am a dog but go with it you’ll enjoy it – honest!
I’ve been in The Netherlands for four weeks now and I thought I you would be interested in a few observations I have made in my time here. So here goes.
…don’t seem to like me. When I approach they generally start shouting at me, in Dutch, I don’t know why (well obviously I know why they shout in Dutch but not why they shout at all!) Mum says I give off the wrong signals by looking a bit concerned by them and that need to be braver. But brave I’m not, so I have to work with what I have! You will be pleased to know that I do not shout back. That would not be dignified (and they wouldn’t understand anyway because I only speak English).
One of the things about the Netherlands is that they have a lot of water and correspondingly a lot of bridges. It’s very civilised because as you boat along the bridges open. Whilst they are open the bit where the bridge normally sits is ‘exposed’. With it so far..?
During the course of our visit I came to the conclusion that the inner city pigeons of Utrecht are less evolved than those of Amsterdam as the ones in Amsterdam have learned not to sit on the ‘exposed’ bit when the bridge comes down.
For this reason one doesn’t see the evidence of multiple ‘pigeon expiries’ under the bridges of the capital that are really very evident in Utrecht. Clearly the ones in Amsterdam have developed an eye on the top of their heads or something. I would have supplied pictures at this point but then I would have to X-rate my blog for gruesomeness! You get the idea, many a squished pigeon was evident!
I’m sure it keeps the population down but it’s not a very efficient method!
Just to give you the idea this is one of the killer bridges of Utrecht, sounds like a film title (now there’s an idea – maybe not)
Goodness I’m getting to be bike savvy and I need to be. The flipping things are silent and deadly. Everyone has a bike over here. Maybe they have two or three, there are sooooo many of them, more than the population that’s for sure. They have their own roads and their own traffic lights and cyclists rule the roost. I have to keep my eyes open when out with mum because she can never work out what direction the traffic is coming from anyway, so adding in a silent enemy that can approach from anywhere and is top priority just makes things even worse! I tell you I’m glad I haven’t got my old job over here it would be a nightmare!
Of course, if you’re on the other side of things i.e. a bike owner that’s very different. But being one that gets around on four paws I am certainly not cut out for cycling. So I think mum should get one of these
It’s a Bakfiets and it’s designed primarily for transporting children around, we have seen up to three toddlers in one of these! However, I think it could easily be adapted for a Labrador don’t you? In fact I expect that if I went into one of the (many) Fiets-shops in this country such an adaptation would already exist, you know with an entry ramp, a non-slip floor, a dog bed interior, kibble holder etc. But mum said if I think she’s going to push 30kg of Labrador (x golden retriever) around on a bike I am sadly mistaken. She does nothing for me…
So there are a few observations on life so far. It has taken me a little while to find my paws but I am settling in to it all. I can be adaptable if I need to be and I have been a city dog and a country dog as and when required. (This is me being a country dog)
Living on the boat is different, but you know what they say, home is where the humans are (and where the kibble is of course).
On that note I will leave you with a picture of me in the lock at Utrecht where mum thought I looked very handsome and I’m showing off my Juneau boat tag which is set off quite nicely against my fur.
I hope you are well dear reader, more updates soon.
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