Category Archives: Behaviour

Sunday Musings #189

OK, so you’re 10 years old, you have a laptop, iPod, Facebook and a Blackberry . . Dude when I was ten I only had one thing to play with – it was called “OUTSIDE.”

– Unknown

 

Yeah, Yeah, I know. There will always be the Generation Gap.

Still, I think that my childhood was a lot healthier than today’s kids will have.

 

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Sunbird on my Finger

Sunbird 1

Haiku 142

Sit on my finger

As light as any feather

Tiny green wild thing

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I walked into my lounge the other day and heard a fluttering sound coming from the window. On investigating I found a tiny trapped male Lesser Double-Collared Sunbird, desperately trying to get out of the closed window.

Sunbird 1

There was no time to take any good photos, as he was clearly distressed and I was worried he would harm himself.

Just approaching him to try to open the window freaked him out even more and the frantic flapping of wings increased.

Sunbird 2

Very slowly I reached past him and opened the window as much as it would open; which was not a lot. This window is never opened and was very hard to move.

I thought he would simply fly away, but he was too confused and still kept bashing against the window pane.

I tried to guide him gently towards the open part, but he panicked even more.

Sunbird 3

Finally, I cupped my hands around him very carefully and edged him towards the opening. He stopped struggling immediately and was perfectly calm in my hands.

I opened my hands to let him fly away, but he hopped onto my finger instead and sat there quite happily.

This was a wild bird! I felt blessed by his trust.

In the end I put my whole hand out of the window, with the tiny Sunbird still perched on my finger.

Sunbird 4

Finally he realised he was free to go and flew straight up into the Poinsettia tree. He sat there for a few minutes to get his bearings and recover from his ordeal. Then he flew off to be about his business.

This is the second time we’ve had a Sunbird in the house. The previous time I also had to scoop the poor bird up in my hands and take him outside and place him on the honeysuckle bush. (This is the first photo)

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Since these tiny birds are so cute, here are a few fun clips of humming birds, snoring and drinking sugar water.

 

I Wish I’d Been . . .

Dandelion Clock

 

I Wish I’d Been

 

I wish I’d been taller, thinner, stronger

Popular, athletic, younger

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I wish I’d been blonde, blue-eyed, prettier

Amusing, charming, wittier

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I wish I’d been able to breathe with ease

Able to run with the breeze

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I wish I’d been able to see like the rest

Able to stand the test

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I wish I’d been kinder, calmer, wiser

Had a patient adviser

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I wish I’d fit in with the crowd

Not always felt bowed

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I wish I’d been taught not to mind

The bully with back up behind

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I wish I’d been told it’s all right you know

Able to let things go

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I wish I’d been  .  .  .

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Never mind.

In the immortal words of Popeye

“I yam what I yam!”

 

Sparky on my Stoep

Sparky on my Stoep 1

Haiku 140

Hopping round my stoep

My very own little pet

Dancing for peanuts

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Several times a day Sparky the squirrel hops around our stoep, peeping through the glass door and waiting expectantly for a few nuts.

Sparky on my Stoep 2

I thought he was a greedy little thing, popping by so often, till I realised that there was more than one Sparky, when I happened to see two at the same time! One definitely looks fatter; and one has a straggly tail.

Sparky on my Stoep 3

The fat one sometimes sits on top of the stone rabbit, waiting for his food. He takes the nut and eats it on the stoep. The thinner one always runs far away to eat his.

All of them eat a few and bury a few for the lean times.

Still, I think that each does come by more than once a day. I should put little coloured collars on them so I can tell them apart!

Then I ought to get tiny little identity discs with their name and my telephone number, and then . . . .

 

Sunday Musings #187

Some people have their own bowling ball and their own bowling shoes . . . and no friends.

– Jim Gaffigan

 

Some years ago I had gone 10 pin bowling with my kids, my Mum and my brother and his family. We had a great time and lots of fun.

As we were leaving I noticed a man arriving, carrying a heavy sports bag over his shoulder.

In a momentary lull in the general background noise (of course) I said in a clear voice for all to hear, “Look at that guy. He’s got his own balls!”

The moment I said it I realised what I’d said and packed out laughing.

What can I say? I have a gift!

 

Waiting for Doggo!

Doggo Waiting Patiently on Mat

Chapter One  

It’s been seven months since Little Monkey went to play with Mr Spaghetti Legs and all my other dogs; Lady, Jack, Madam and TJ.

I have been looking for another rescue dog. While I wait for Doggo, my toy dog sits patiently on his mat, like Pinocchio, waiting to be turned into a Real Dog!

There are many rescues to choose from, here in Cape Town. I thought you might like to come along with me on my quest.

Rescue Doggo 1

My preference is for a calm, middle aged male, weighing under 20 kg. (But fate has a way of laughing at your plans and I might end up with a young female; who knows!)

LM weighed 23 kg and I had to help her in and out of the car as she got older. One time her back legs collapsed in the middle of the road and I had to scoop her up quickly and carry her to the kerbside. I rubbed her legs and she was good to go again. However, my days of scooping up 23 kg are limited, which is why I am looking for a smaller dog.

Rescue Doggo 2

First I went to the rescue organisation from where I adopted Mr Spaghetti Legs (and Lady and Jack before him.) It was under new management with different methods, but the dogs were still very well cared for and in good shape.

However, all the dogs they showed me were far too big and strong. They were street dogs with mixtures of Pitbull, Boerboel, Labrador etc and way bigger than LM, even though I told them what size I was looking for now.

Rescue Doggo 3

The manageress told me that dogs are not pack animals, so that’s why they were mostly kept in kennels on their own. This does not help them socialise.

Also, any clip you ever see on street dogs shows them forming into packs, round the rubbish tips etc. They do not go it alone, if they have a choice.

Rescue Doggo 4 and Cows

The whole experience was draining and I won’t be going back. I had been sure I could just walk in there and find my new soul mate, as I have done six times in the past.

But it wasn’t a total loss, as at least I got to see a few rescue cows up close!

Cows 2

There are other places to try and that’s where we’ll be going in the next chapter.

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post script: Waiting for Doggo is a pun on the Samuel Beckett play, Waiting for Godot. Thank you to everyone who has been asking about my search for a new dog.

post post script: They only used positive reinforcement here, so the dogs did what they liked instead of listening to the volunteers, who were trying to coax them with treats. Someone who does not normally follow me may start ranting about this and I won’t be responding. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I have no problem with that, but this is a post about searching for a new dog, not dog training methods. Positive reinforcement is perfectly fine and I use it myself, but to only use it with no correction does not help the dog.

If a dog is jumping on me, scratching and bruising my arms (which is exactly what happened here), I am not going to give it a treat when it finally decides by itself to get down. However, while there, I respected their methods and let the woman with me sort it out. She offered the dog a treat and repeatedly said, “Sit! Sit! Sit! Sit! . . . ” It did not sit. I walked away and it jumped on her!

To stop a dog jumping on me, I walk forward into its space, tell it calmly, stop that, and get it to sit. It’s done in a second, and the dog and I are both happy.

Scifihammy and TJ

You’ll recognise the photo above from my About page; My Tail Too.

Old TJ jumped on us when we first got him. He desperately wanted attention. I taught him in one day that if he stopped jumping up and sat nicely he would get instant attention. Thereafter, whenever I turned around, little TJ would be sitting beautifully, waiting for attention. I always gave it to him. In the photo above I have just returned from dog class with Little Monkey. TJ has missed me!

I learnt dog behaviour from all my dogs; particularly Little Monkey and Madam. After all, a dog knows how to communicate with other dogs far better than we do!

 

Sunday Musings #186

That fail moment when you pull your blankets up and punch yourself in the face.

Unknown

 

Haha Happens to me quite a lot!

I suspect that most of my readers don’t need blankets at the moment, as you experience summer heatwaves up in the North!

But down here in South Africa it is still winter; granted not like your winters; but still cold enough at night to warrant a blanket or two!