Tag Archives: dog

Golden Girl

Little Monkey Joyous

Belly up, my old girl reveals her true colours.

Little Monkey stretching 3

On the outside, she might look like a German Shepherd, but underneath the disguise, on the inside, she is clearly a Labrador Retriever.

You Little Monkey

A blonde if ever there was one!

I Love you Mum. Now can we go to the field?

My dear old, daft Little Monkey!


No offence to my blonde readers!


Little Monkey is 13!

Little Monkey – on the day we got her

Little Monkey is 13 years old.

I don’t know LM’s exact date of birth, but according to the rescue centre that we adopted her from, it is sometime around now.

For Little Monkey’s 13th birthday I present for your entertainment a collection of some of my favourite photos of this amazing dog; including never-before-seen footage! 

Enjoy the uniqueness and daftness that is our very own Little Monkey.

The first photo above shows a young Little Monkey on the day we got her, in February 2007.

LM – daft

She immediately settled in and showed us her quirky character by trying to squeeze through the bars!

LM and Madam

Above Madam, the alpha female, has an ostrich bone and Little Monkey, the omega, is not going to challenge her.

LM – bone

However, the moment no-one was looking LM would gather all the bones or hooves together and guard them!

Seeing Eye to Eye – Madam and Little Monkey

LM and Madam always had an uneasy truce, mostly because LM hadn’t a clue about the social rules of dog etiquette!

LM and TJ 1

Long before Mr Spaghetti Legs, Little Monkey was best friends with TJ, who was about 8 or 9 years old here and LM was 2 and a half.

The pale thing on LM’s legs is part of a chewed up pool noodle!

LM and TJ 2

You may recognise TJ as being my WP Gravatar and also on my About page; My Tail Too.

LM and TJ 3

I’m glad that LM had TJ in her young life, and later on, SL. As you all know, LM is an anxious dog and it’s very hard to find another dog who will tolerate her and that she is comfortable with.

The young LM

The above photo is of Little Monkey 10 years ago. She hasn’t changed much, apart from being a little hairier now and with more white around the muzzle.

If you scroll down you can see the various faces of Little Monkey, as she has appeared over the years.

Happy Little Monkey

Pensive – Little Monkey

Little Monkey Sunbathing

LM Walk 8

Little Monkey

Little Monkey – Always ready for Mischief

Little Monkey

Little Monkey stretching 1

Quagga Disguise – Little Monkey

Little Monkey 2

Little Monkey Collapsed 1

Little Monkey

Little Monkey 1

Little Monkey

And let’s not forget Little Monkey’s companion, dear old Mr Spaghetti Legs, who helped to make this blog what it is today.

Peas in a Pod – SL and LM

LM and SL check out the Puzzle Tree

LM and SL

LM Sundog 2

LM Sundog 4

Happy LM

LM 2

Super Dog

I hope you have enjoyed this special post on my very own Super Dog!


Charged but Not Guilty!

Little Monkey

Little Monkey is under attack!

From time to time when you are out walking your dog, you are going to come across loose dogs. Lately, there have been more than usual roaming free in my area. People seem to be getting lax in checking that their dogs are secure before going out for the day.


One incident occurred the other week when Little Monkey and I were enjoying a leisurely amble around the neighbourhood. It was a nice sunny day and a public holiday, so it was particularly quiet and peaceful.

We had nearly finished our walk when suddenly two large dogs came hurtling out of their property, charging straight for us. They didn’t like the fact that we were near their territory, even though we were 20 metres from them and walking away.

One dog was a German Shepherd cross, the other a large Rhodesian Ridgeback. The GSD started it by dashing up first, barking and snarling, lips back, teeth bared. It was anxious rather than aggressive, but that didn’t mean it wouldn’t bite. The Ridgeback was more dominant and came running to back up its pack mate; totally prepared to fight. They both wanted to attack Little Monkey. Two dogs are worse than one!

LM did her usual freak out, leaping in the air, shaking her head and barking.

I shoved her behind me and confronted the dogs, all in one fluid movement. (I have become adept at doing this!)

Facing the dogs I bellowed BACK OFF! while stamping my foot and thrusting my arm at them.

It was enough to get them to stop. Often that is all you need; stop the attack, let them reassess and calm down a bit.

Dogs can read body language and energies very well. If you can project a calm, strong, fearless state, you’ll be more in control of the situation.

They were still very keen on attacking LM, so I took another step forwards, my hand firmly indicating they should back up and told them, “Go Home!”

Finally, the owner called his dogs and they went back to him.

LM and I carried on our walk; she soon forgetting all about it, but I was no longer nice and relaxed!


The most recent incident involved another neighbourhood dog who had somehow been shut out of his property.

Little Monkey and I were walking back from my friend’s house and were nearly home, when suddenly a black dog came charging out of a side lane. This was also an anxious dog, but he meant business and again really wanted to attack LM.

I did the same procedure as above, which stopped him momentarily.

By this time LM knows I’m dealing with it, so unless the dog actually does get to her, she won’t react any more.

I kept myself between the two dogs as I tried to walk away. Continually telling the black dog to back off and batting my cap at it.

Luckily for me, there was a gardener on the grass verge of a house nearby, with a weedeater (strimmer). Once I’d got the dog to back off a bit the gardener revved his weedeater in the direction of the dog and the noise was enough to scare it back down the lane!

LM and I very gratefully made our get away!

The dog had come from a house down at the end of the lane and the next time I went past that way I checked to see he was there.

Yep! There he was, barking at us as we passed the end of the lane, 25 metres away from him!


Why do the dogs charge Little Monkey?

Some dogs are just going to attack anything that is near their property. Others will go for the more anxious dogs, like LM. You get to know your own dog and learn to control the situation as much as possible.

Of course, it is easier if you have a calmer more stable dog, like Mr Spaghetti Legs was.


Though these attacks were scary, they were not my worst encounter. That was with two extremely aggressive pit bull type dogs that charged LM in the forest, detailed in Little Monkey gets mugged – a Ten Year Anniversary post.


I Hate Winter!

Little Monkey

Little Monkey’s rebuttal to my last post.

Poor Little Monkey!

She is a Sun Dog and really hates the cold, damp, windy winters of Cape Town. So she puts herself back to bed in the kitchen and waits for the sun to return.

Lucky for her, our winter is short. (Like this post!)


Action Shot!

Little Monkey

Little Monkey is all ears!

Here’s an action shot of Little Monkey running towards me.

Doesn’t she look like a completely different dog, with her normally floppy ears sticking up like a German Shepherd?

And who would suspect that my daft old girl is 13 years old next month!


Neither my little Canon camera nor I had the ability to snap LM in focus as she charged straight at us! 


Pick On Someone Your Own Size!

Little Monkey

So Little Monkey got charged by a snarling, barking dog again.

Not as horrific as you might be thinking.

This particular monster was a very young Labrador puppy and barely came up to LM’s ankles!

It shot out of its house, ran right across the road and went straight for LM, snarling, yapping, barking and snapping.

LM was a bit surprised and was just about to react when I put her behind me and faced the little rat. I easily stopped it by bending down and grabbing it by the scruff of the neck and its harness.

A man working at the house (not the owner of the pup) came rushing over, picked up the puppy and took it back inside.

We were both laughing at the puppy’s antics.

It was hilarious!

But in a year or two, when it is fully grown and weighing 30 kg, it won’t be so funny!


Wall Flower

Flower Child 1


Haiku 56

Here’s your new best friend

Snuggle in the warm sunshine

Little Flower Child



Here is my very own little Flower Child; a furry hippy who loves to snuggle up with my flowers.

Flower Child 2

Little Monkey is often to be found lolling around, near – and on – my blue plumbago. When I take her for a walk I find lots of little blue flowers stuck to her coat. She looks very jolly.

Flower Child 3

We have recently had a new section of wall erected. To make it less boring I have planted three small honeysuckle plants. My others have done so well that I have high hopes for these too. The Sunbirds love them and I love the Sunbirds.

Flower Child 4

Little Monkey also loves them and couldn’t wait to get up close and personal with the new plants. It looks like they are her new best friends!


Split Second Reaction

LM 1

I was walking my old girl Little Monkey after the rains, through the local patch of forest by the soccer field.

I noticed a large number of Guinea Fowl milling about under one of the trees, so was watching them in case they did anything daft, when a black and white Border Collie suddenly appeared running straight for the birds. The dog saw us and was about to change direction and run up to us instead.

I had to stop this, so quickly put LM behind me and faced the collie, emanating in dog language, “Back Off!”

Fortunately my ‘dog’ is good and the Border Collie got the message and just waited.

By this time I had LM in a full down (with a loose lead, for all those people I meet on my walks who tell me that dogs react because they’re on the lead!)

Finally a young guy appeared, jogging. He ran straight past us, ignoring me and making no attempt to call his dog. I just stood there, between the two dogs. After a while the Border Collie ran after his owner.

Phew! Encounter averted.

We carried on with our walk, towards the Guinea Fowl that LM would ignore.

We had only gone a few steps when suddenly, again with no warning, there was a massive beige dog galloping towards us. It was just there out of the trees. This dog was bigger than my friend’s Greyhound. I’m not sure what it was; Greyhound cross Great Dane cross Hound of the Baskervilles?

It would have to run right by us to carry on down the path.

This is when I had a split second to react in.

I knew with absolute certainty that LM was going to charge this dog. The suddenness of its appearance and the fact that it was running towards us, was more than enough to flick that reactive switch in her little brain. It wasn’t its size, but these other factors. She would react the same way to a Chihuahua; and has done so in the past!

Here was my dilemma.

LM was going to charge the dog.

If I kept hold of the lead she was going to wrench my right arm and shoulder – again.

This was going to hurt – a lot!

I wasn’t going to go through that amount of excruciating pain again if I could help it.

I had that millisecond to assess the giant running dog.

I read it as not overly dominant and non-aggressive.

I placed LM’s lead over her back, in a vain attempt to save it from dragging through the newly wet ground and getting dirty.

She shot off, as I never doubted she would do, charging the giant dog and barking. AwffAwffAwff.

She stopped just short of it, without making contact, as I knew she would.

The giant dog stopped dead in its tracks.

Then LM circled round behind it, feeling a bit overwhelmed now she was so close to it.

The giant dog just stood there, no doubt wondering what was wrong with LM! Luckily I had read it right. It was well-balanced and non-aggressive.

The two dogs sort of interacted a bit, then the big dog ran off after his absent master, leaving LM dragging her lead through the dirt.

I called her and made her come all the way back to me (only a few metres) because she had run off after all.

LM Always looking for trouble

Then we carried on our walk, with me shaking my head again, over the behaviour of my ancient unbalanced dog, that is forever going to be reactive!

And though this has taken a long time for you to read and even longer for me to write, the whole incident was over in seconds; the decision on what to do, in a split second!


So just how quickly do we react? Apparently it takes our brains about 152 milliseconds to act on a thought.


post script: I have written many times in the past as to why LM is like this. Short answer, she was not socialised for the first eighteen months of her life, before I adopted her. That part of her brain did not fully develop and then never would. Taking her to dog socialising classes every week for the whole eleven years that I have had her, has definitely helped. Our own Dog Whisperer says Little Monkey is the most difficult dog he has ever come across; and he has helped hundreds of dogs over the decades. LM mixes with all sorts of dogs of all ages, breeds, sizes and social abilities, but she is never going to replace that “missing link” in her brain.

That’s OK though, because she is my Little Monkey and is very much a part of the family. After all, she accepts me just the way I am.


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!


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.


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.


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.



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?