Category Archives: Little Monkey

Preparing for Winter

Little Monkey and Hair!

Little Monkey is shedding again; getting her new winter coat.

Judging by the amount of hair coming off her at the moment, I guess it’s going to be a cold winter.

Are you thinking snow blizzards and Beasts from the West (our weather comes from the south west) like the UK has had recently?

Unlikely. Here in Cape Town it rarely goes below nine degrees – centigrade!

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post script: Yes I know many of you will have shaggier dogs that moult way more, but this is still a noteworthy amount of hair from one brushing of a short-haired dog with no undercoat in a hot country!

Also, I love that she has her little front teeth! She is my only rescue dog to have good teeth like this. All the others had worn their teeth down to the bone by chewing; perhaps on wire cages, chains or stones. Those dogs would also have had poor diets most of their life and therefore worse teeth to start with. 

Little Monkey is lucky. Even if she did come from a rescue centre, she has never been on the streets fending for herself.

 

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Little Monkey and the Giant Pineapple

LM and Pineapple 1

Little Monkey and I have passed this Giant Pineapple many times on our walks and I’ve always thought of taking a photo. This time I had my camera with me, so once I’d safely secured LM to the lamp post, I crossed the road to get all of the Giant Pineapple in the shot.

While LM will do a stay beautifully, I couldn’t risk the chance that a CAT might walk by and that would be it: LM would be gone . . . And so would the cat!

LM and Pineapple 2

You might look at LM, notice the odd position of her back legs and think, shame man, the poor dog is getting old, look how wonky her legs are.

Actually LM has always sat inelegantly, with her legs all over the place. I guess it is the Labrador in her. She may look more German Shepherd from the outside, but her personality is much more Lab.

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Feel Good Epilogue

I was across the road from LM, bending down to get all of the Pineapple in, when a woman drove by in a large white BMW. She stopped her car by me, rolled down the window and asked me if the dog across the road was a stray.

I said, “No, No. She’s my much loved pet of 11 years; with collar and name tag, microchip and all. I’m just taking a picture.”

She said, “Oh, I can see the collar and lead now; I couldn’t from down the road. I thought she was a stray and if so I was going to put her in my car and take her to a rescue organisation.”

I was so very thankful to her for two reasons.

One: That she would stop to save a stray in the first place.

Two: That she would stop to save Little Monkey.

Why you ask?

LM is not a pretty pure bred like a Lab or tiny like a Chihuahua. She is very obviously a Mutt; a large street dog; and she looks like a male. People are more wary of males.

I always thought that if she got lost on the streets no-one would take her in, because of those things.

So this kind woman, who took the time to stop and check on my little Mutt, really made my year. After all, you and I know LM is harmless and just a big goofball, but she might not look like that to others.

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My title is a nod to the book James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl.

What do you mean, it isn’t a Giant Pineapple! Are you sure?

What is it then?

 

You Are Old

Little Monkey

A letter to Little Monkey

Well, I guess it was inevitable, even though I thought you’d never age.

I thought you’d make 15 easy. You aren’t even 13 yet!

But something’s not right.

After we’ve been out walking for a while, I give you the option as we pass the end of our road, to turn for home, but you choose to carry on and walk round the block.

Then with quarter of a kilometre still to go, you suddenly start walking as slowly as Mr Spaghetti Legs used to. And believe me, that was s-l-o-w!!

I’ve had you thoroughly checked out.

My amazing old Vet listened very carefully to your heart and said it was fine.

Your arthritis is minimal for a dog your age; just a slight stiffness in your right elbow and shoulder. (I got you young enough to take very good care of that, with good food, regular exercise and supplements for arthritis of omega 3 oils and chondroitin and glucosamine.)

But I have noticed with every other dog I’ve ever had, that you don’t age linearly; you age in leaps.

And there is a sudden leap around 10 years of age when you move into the Old category.

You didn’t do that leap when you were 10, or 11 or even 12; electing to carry on as Mad Cap as ever. You are my Domain Name after all!

Instead you waited till you were 12 and a half.

So there we are, my dear.

You are suddenly old.

And I must adjust my mindset accordingly.

But you’ll still chase a cat like there’s no tomorrow!

And no age limit!

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HOW TO ADJUST YOUR MINDSET FOR AN OLD DOG:

Find effective pain management medication that works for your dog. Try a few meds and see which suits your dog best. PetCam is the most effective for LM, with the least side effects.

Take your dog on shorter walks more often throughout the day, instead of one long walk. It is important still to go on these outings, as dogs love to get out of the property. It is LM’s favourite thing to do, followed by food. 

Give your dog nice soft bedding. LM has always slept on comfy sponge mattresses.

Give your dog gentle massages round those aching joints. I’ve always done this rather than just stroking the dog. LM loves it.

Watch their weight. With painful arthritis dogs will tend to move less and the weight can start building up. You might have to adjust the amount you feed them, without letting them feel hungry. Just a few less kibbles in their bowl will make a difference. LM’s weight crept up from 23 kg to 24.7 kg.

Do carry on with most activities you used to do; but be aware that your dog may tire more quickly. LM still hares round the garden like a mad thing, of her own volition, but is not quite as fast as she used to be and doesn’t run for as long. The important thing is that she still does it.

So Little Monkey is old; Now what?

I expect she’ll carry on like this till near the end. She could still make 15!

After all, Mr Spaghetti Legs did.

Mr SL is all ears

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post script: Many of you will be thinking of Lewis Carroll’s awesome poem, from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1865, so here’s the link – You are old, Father William.

 

Shaggy Dog is Over 100!

LM

Funny, but you can never gauge how ‘popular’ a post is going to be!

I know that I will get more likes if I publish a photo of food or a flower and that any posts and photos about Little Monkey my dog will fall way under the radar.

That’s fine!

I long ago decided to Blog for Myself!

Yes, I realise that might be considered selfish, but you have to ask the question, “Why am I blogging?

For me the answer is a resounding FOR FUN!

I don’t expect to generate income from my blog, so I don’t need to worry about what is popular (thank goodness!)

And I figure, if I am not having fun, how can I expect any readers to enjoy themselves?

So, regardless of the statistics that WP is so fond of broadcasting to us, I post what I find interesting. If my Readers also enjoy it, all to the good. If not, no worries; I had fun writing my post.

I put a great deal of time and effort into many of my posts; editing photos and supplementing the text with links to other info. Still, none of this matters in the real world! 

I am a small blog and my posts usually get around 50 likes; sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more.

My most popular post is (to me) a more boring post about afternoon tea, entitled Decadent High Tea. OK yes, the cakes did have gold leaf on them, but still – it’s tea and cake for Pete’s sake!

My dog posts usually fair the worst of all, in ratings.

So imagine my surprise on finding that a recent post A Shaggy Dog Story of my dog Little Monkey after her bath was now my second most popular post in January!

This is unheard of!

Decadent high Tea has 85 Likes

A Shaggy Dog Story is sitting at 82 Likes

Sooooo close!

Oh I’ve just now got to 84 Likes on Shaggy Dog! This is so exciting!

Further update.

Shaggy Dog has toppled High Tea and now stands as my Most Liked post at 90 Likes!

Whoa! Shaggy Dog is now at 95 Likes! What happened?

NEWSFLASH  Shaggy Dog has reached 100 likes!

Final tally as of going to press: Shaggy Dog has 114 Likes!

Wow!  This is great news. Little Monkey is overjoyed!

Hooray! 🙂

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This poses further questions; such as why is the post still being liked many weeks after it was published? This is unusual for me, unless it is a topic that people might be expected to search for, such as Winter Solstice for example.

Perhaps WP has been putting my post out there, for some reason?

I have no idea. But Little Monkey and I are very grateful to each and every one of you who popped by and gave Shaggy Dog a Like.

Thank you!

 

Contemplation

Little Monkey

Little Monkey contemplates the small amount of rain water that collected in our homemade rain gauge last week.

“Seriously? Is that all the rain we got?”

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I love how intent her gaze is. I was so interested in taking photos of the cut-off plastic bottle, I guess she thought it must be worth further investigation.

It didn’t look like food, but who knows?

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If you can’t see the line in the gauge, it’s below the 20 mark. We got about 1.5 mm.

 

Happiness!

Little Monkey 1

Little Monkey and Loggy. Could anything be happier?

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Little Monkey doesn’t have expensive toys; she has never really cared for them, especially if they squeak!

She prefers to make her own toys, such as this giant log that she carries round the garden in her mouth. She finds a nice spot to lie down and then proceeds to chew chunks off the bark and spit them out. It keeps her happy for hours and is good for her teeth too, I guess.

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Gotcha Day

I’ve never heard of this being celebrated over here, but I have read about it on other blogs. As chance would have it, today is Little Monkey’s Gotcha Day. I adopted her 11 years ago at the age of 18 months.

And my life has never been the same since!