Category Archives: Dlogs

Happy Birthday Mickey and Malory!

Today is Mickey (“The Mousse”) and Malory (“The Cake”) Mallett’s 12th birthday. We’ve come a long way (literally) since that kismet encounter at the veggie market in ‘Maritzburg. Mally was an instant hit when thrust at me and sealed the deal with a nuzzle into my neck… And first sight of Mick clarified unequivocally that they were a matched set that only the most heartless human would separate.

Their trip to their new home (several hundred kilometres away) was made in a box originally designed to house 5 reams of paper but, when lined with a fabric nappy, made for a premium puppy pad, complete with cotton wool bed, dining section, reinforced water and milk dishes and a sort of u-shaped seating amenity made from a rolled up facecloth.

They were SO tiny, each fitting into the palm of one of my hands. Way too small to be the outside dogs they were authorised to be. Night One they were allowed to sleep in the kitchen ‘to climatise’, but before long they were in the en suite… and then in the bed… where they’ve slept ever since (and, in fact, likely are right now as I type this).

Mick was quick to take Alpha male role, swinging off his big (Great Dane cross Labrador) step-brother Clyde’s jowels for fun and taking his responsibilities very seriously by doing a full perimeter curcuit in the morning to check that all was intact and then guarding the entrance of the Big Dog Igloo to make sure that they were up and manning the gates (Can’t call it ‘dogging the gate’. You know why)

Mal was all about adding to the décor. Looking beautiful and improving the aesthetics of any room she was in, simply by being in it. She never fettered herself with putting any effort into popularity, opting rather to follow a simple hierarchy of her mom… and then anyone with food and/or hands to tickle her with. Knowing that humans are less evolved, she’s quick to help us out with a nudge to the hand to remind us that we’ve stopped tickling.

Despite being as tightly wound as Scrat from Ice Age, Mally’s lived a charmed life, making the most of every lap, basket and bed opportunity (and there is always one of the 3 on the go) and enjoy the wide world of nature… through the sliding door from the comfort of the couch. She has had some troubles of late (too sensitive to be openly spoken about), but her rigid high fibre diet seems to be doing her the world of good.

Poor Mick hasn’t had it so easy. He had an unfortunate interlude with a BMW early on and was deemed a no-hope case by the vet several times over his recovery. But he’s a fighter. And he came back to life as good as he was before… but sans an eye and with some very butch war wounds. As if that wasn’t enough, he developed an allergy to dust (a real problem when your legs are 5cm), which went straight to his good eye. And if that wasn’t enough, the ophthalmologist found a lump on Mickey’s neck on his final visit, so he went straight from his clean bill of optical health to the vet to be checked in for removal of the growth. Although cancerous, it was benign and again, all was well. He’s had one last bout of cancer removal (lumps on his head), but besides that is a very happy and healthy little creature, with an air of sophistication from his premature greying, earning him the new mickname “Silver Fox”.

They’re a comical pair. As intro to birthday week, I took them to the Golden Harvest Park on Monday with the SA Gills. Mickey ran around like he was a Labrador in a perfume commercial, ears flapping all akimbo in the wind, leaping each step in the long grass. Every now and the he’d be in the distance and stop stock-still, look around, realise he had no idea where he was, he’d look left and right, then leftrightleftright, then whip around, looking everywhere for me. Of course I was shouting and arm-waving wildly… and as soon as he saw me he’d be off again.

Mal isn’t a huge one for the great outdoors – although she does like to win and is Rudolph-like in her dogged positioning as the lead dog when out walking in the neighbourhood – and isn’t subtle when she’s had enough. When she’d had enough at the park, she found an open car and hopped in. It wasn’t our car. It belonged to an ominous group of very suspicious looking fellows. Out in the park. During the day. On their phones. No sweat to Mal, she hopped in the car all happy and waggly. And then jumped into the back as I approached, as is customary (she doesn’t drive). I was horrified and mortified (especially seeing as we’d just come from the lake section so her feet were all muddy. But the men said nothing to my barrage of apologies and nervous giggles as we played the usual cat and mouse with her jumping in the front as I opened the back door and vice versa. And we’re still alive to tell the tale so no harm done really.

There are just so many anecdotes like the above. I wish I could jot them all down, but who has that kind of time?! It’s so busy at the moment that I’m postponing the Annual Hotdog Party even (who can forget the first one with wall-to-wall mattresses in the garage floor so everything was on the ground and the big dogs could party with us, the Barney tableware and conical hats, the hotdogs, the presents, the bunting…. Ah!) We’ve been through so much! I hope we have another 12 happy years together!

If dogs had blogs

Imagine the secrets they would tell!

There’d be a fair share of ‘Rags To Riches’ storylines, like “From Alexandra Dog to Top Dog at Cain Castle – The Lola Cain Story” or “I Used To Have A Little, Now I Have A Blog, I’m Just Billy From The Blog” and perhaps Lucky Gill’s life-story written under his nom de plume (which, having not been taught French at the SPCA, he’ll assume to be translated as his ‘other side of the nametag’), as Richard 082(something) and some more self-indulgent one-dog blogs (Kahlua’s Gill’s “Do(g)minating Lapland”, “There’s only one eye in Mickey… and it’s usually closed” etc)

But on the whole, once the Eliza Doglittle tales are told, there’s surely not a whole lot for them to say about themselves.

“Woke up. Well, more accurately, Human woke me up and ousted me from lovely warm bed to have breakfast. Chunks and mince. Again. Went through the ritual farewells (“Be a good girl and stay”? Like, where else am I going to go?!) and used the new dogdoor flap – that was pretty cool – to get outside to nap in the sun. And stayed there all day til Human came back”. Same everyday.

They rely on their humans for threads of colour in their lives… and there’d surely be a fair amount of ‘tell all’ blogs from the more highly-strung emo dogs.

“Dear Dogblog, It’s me, Malory. The Humans brought that big blonde dog here. Again. I really don’t know what they see in her – she’s all legs and ears! The new one’s not so bad, but that shade of orange?! Didn’t know we came in that shade… And all that messy saliva in the car?! Soooo embarrassing. That SPCA place they came from must be a special needs school since they’ve clearly never been taught that we’re only ‘sposed to drool for food, when Pavlova rings a bell. I think it’s time I take matters into my own paws and remind the Home Owners Ass(ociation) that this is a 2 Dog Per House complex! Am off to shout at the gate, Toodles!”

Of course, it’s all fantasy. Dogs are much simpler. They sleep when nothing’s happening, they’re quite uncategorical that their human is the centre of their world and they’re not afraid to demonstrate their unconditional love given the slightest of opportunities. They fiercely protect their territory and have every faith that they will be looked after, rewarded and loved in return. They’re not controlled communicators. They don’t have to gather thoughts and articulate eloquently. They sense threats and invasion of territory and shout about it right then and there. Get it out, do something about it, try and make a change right! …and hope the Human hears, understands and takes desired action.

On the converse though, sometimes to bark is worse than to write. Imagine if Malory was Malory-Anne Frankfurter and she was in the wartime attic. Then maybe not so great to be all shouty and “Mom! Mom! The Germans are coming! Mom! Mom! Mom!” (with Mickey in tow shouting “What? What? WHAT?!” as usual). 😀