I Miss Europe

These past few days have seen some pretty hot weather here in Perth, yesterday it was 42C (108F for you old school types). I hate it, I was born in Ireland so this is not natural to me. I have no Dingo, Australian Kelpie or Australian Cattle Dog in me to help. I hold my DNA test up as evidence of that!

So I just don’t cope well with hot weather.

To make matters worse, me Humans are renovating the house so we have NO air-conditioning! I know, I know, me wolf ancestors never had AC either and they survived. But no I’m not soft alright, they didn’t live in Australia.

Me Humans do understand and hose me down or take me to the beach to cool off which is great.

Now I hear some of you Northern Hemisphere dogs saying I have it way to good, mutter mutter as you suffer through winter! But I say NO. it’s not enough peoples! Where is the snow I ask?

Just a few short years ago at this time of year here I was catching snow balls in Germany for Christmas!

Or chasing me ball in a snowy forest!

Or building snowdogs

Or having fun catching the balls falling from the sky. Never understood why they seem to disappear though when you catch em in ya mouth…

Enjoy your summer or your winter guys.

It is hot but it is an Australian summer after all! But please spare a thought for all the brave firefighters here in Australia battling the bush fires across the country. We even have firefighters helping from as far away as Canada!

R

Containbow

My Friends, this week I want to introduce you to The Containbow! What is it you say? Well more in a mo.

I was on one of my walks with me humans the other day and we wandered past this thing and I think it’s absolutely wonderful. The locals either love it or hate it but I think its way cool. And the walk along the swan river and up the hill to the Containbow site is great for dog and human. The views across the river and port are stunning.

The Containbow is a sculpture by Perth artist Marcus Canning, installed on a spot overlooking the Swan River and the Port of Fremantle. It forms a rainbow with 9 recycled sea containers brightly painted in the colours of the rainbow.

The Containbow is the universal symbol of hope, welcoming visitors to Fremantle and acknowledges the city not only as a shipping port but as a place of art and culture and even counter-culture. Certainly it represents the unique style of Freo.

It creates some pretty good shade for a dog too! Summer has started in Australia and its already pretty hot.

Wild eh?

R

The Mathematical Dog

Humans live a lot longer than us dogs, not fair I say! On average a medium sized dog lives about 1/7 of the years a Human lives, hence the ole rule of thumb that you multiple a dogs actual years by 7 to get the Human equivalent. So as I’m 7 and half years old, in Human years that’s about 53, oh no I’m really old (but still good at math)!

Now a recent study done by the University of California, San Diego found that this is in fact incorrect. The University study was done with Labradors so I’m not sure how accurate that will be! Apparently dogs age quite rapidly at first then this tapers off as we get older. If you are interested, New Scientist ran an article about the study, here is the link.

This is the new formula, a bit of a doozie for us dogs:

Human_Age_of_a_Dog = 16 x ln(dog_years) + 31

So I tried this on me self: 16 x ln(7.5) + 31 = 63. Wait, 63! That’s older than even Grumpy Human!!! No way, I told ya they should not have done the study on Labradors. That was their problem. I’m going to keep using the proven x 7 formula!

Any way I thought it might be fun to test this on myself through me mug shots through the years:

Enjoy

R

My Favourite Place – Not!

The Palmyra Vet Hospital is not my favourite place. I was here a couple of years ago it it wasn’t a happy time. Don’t get me wrong, the staff are wonderful and they even give me treats. But I KNOW VETS! Ever since me days in Germany where I was pushed, poked and jabbed to get me marching orders to come to Australia. I can smell a Vet a mile off. Even read it in me Humans eyes when they are planning a visit. I usually skedaddle off some where safe and hide.

Woe… they found me. I gotta find me a better hiding place.

Apparently I have a lump on my side that me Humans are concerned about. Me, I think its fine, just a little golf ball but me worry-wort Humans have to make a fuss…

Are we done???

Nope. I felt this sting in me leg and nothin… I woke up to find me Humans gone and just the Vet staff. Just as I was planning me cunning escape my Humans turn up.

Actually I don’t think me escape plan would have worked since I could barely stand up, they must have slipped something in that treat I ate…. so groggy and tired. See these Vets do stuff to ya, not happy…

Back in the car for the ride home. Come on Humans get me home!
Still not speaking to ya!

Turns out the lump was just a fatty ball, quite normal apparently but the Vet took the bleeding liberty while I was knocked out to cut me toenails! I love me toenails just the way they are, thank you very much. NO VETS ever again peoples!

R

Goodbye Delta

Just a quick blog today because I’m very sad. My mate Delta, a Malamute sadly passed away this week after being bitten by one of those moving sticks me Humans call a snake.

This time of year (spring) is when the snakes emerge from a kind of hibernation over winter. In the Perth area the Tiger and Dugite snakes are the most common venomous snakes that can kill not just dogs and cats but humans too if not treated quickly.

Us dogs are just to curious for our own good.  One of the very few down sides to living in Australia. I even blogged about that a few years ago before moving to Perth.

Goodbye Delta, have fun running and chasing up there in the sky. We will remember you.

R

Bird Brain

Sorry me readers, busy dog this week watchin the Rugby. New Zealand vs England today. Come on NEW ZEALAND!!! Oops, sorry, got carried away… So this week I give you some birds from the dog park near us. Its Aussie National Bird Week this week so it seemed appropriate

They don’t call it the Swan River for nothing…
Magpie
Shag with backdrop of Perth CBD on the Swan River

Now back to the Rugby!

R

The Sporty Dog 2

Last weekend as I said, there was a huge storm heading for Japan and it was huge. Sadly over 80 people died. Of course it disrupted the Rugby World Cup but that is just a game, lives are far more important.

Although two games were cancelled, Japan’s team the Brave Blossoms went ahead against Scotland and they Won! They were through to the Quarter Finals in an amazing upset.

This weekend it was those Quarter Finals games in the Rugby World Cup. A real treat for a rugby lovin dog like myself! On Saturday we had Australia vs England, New Zealand vs Ireland then followed on Sunday by Wales vs France and Japan vs South Africa. That last game was a doozie but more on that later.

The biggest stuff up came with Australia losing to England 40 points to 16. Much as there was doom and gloom in our family I think England played brilliantly and were just a class above Australia in that match.

As was expected New Zealand easily won against Ireland by 46 points to 14. Ireland were one of the favourites to take out the competition at the start but they probably peaked too early. This means we are set up for a cracker of a game in the semi-finals next week between England and New Zealand. Some might say this is the real Final because these two teams arguably are the two best sides in the world right now.

On Sunday we had a thrilling match between Wales and France where France were ahead pretty much the whole game until Wales edged ahead by a single point to take the game. I was glued to the TV a can tell ya because whenever France are playing ya never really know what team they will bring but it’s always fun to watch!

The second game on Sunday was the host nation, Japan vs South Africa. Now I have to say I really wanted the Brave Blossoms to win as this was the first time in Japan’s history they had made it to the Quarter Finals but it wasn’t to be. South Africa played a brilliant game and deservedly took the win.

Oh oh, here’s trouble…

The Japanese fought well especially in the first half but really just could not compete against the pretty impressive South Africans on the day. The Blossoms lost 3 points to 26. In consolation through Japan is now ranked 6th in the world. I reckon it would be great to see them play with the big boys in the Southern Championship with Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina.

5 nil already!

Sorry for you readers who are not interested in Rugby! Enjoy the pictures!

R

The Sporty Dog

I can’t believe it, the Rugby World Cup is back! Last time it was on was 28 dog-years ago in 2015. I was living in Germany watching me fav team the All Blacks win the cup. With a little help from me of course as you can see from this “original” photo of the day…

I got this one!

I even talked about it back then in these two blogs:

A Rugby Dog and A Rugby World Champion Dog

A recoup for you Americans who probably don’t know what Rugby is. It’s a football game similar to your football, some say it was the origin of American football. This link has a rather humorous comparison of the two games that made me laugh me BC socks off.

In our family Grumpy-Human is a New Zealander and Boss-Human Australian so we have a bit of rivalry between the All Blacks (from New Zealand) and the Wallaby’s (from Australia). Only a problem when they play each other though! And guess who I go for? The All Blacks of course, I’m a Border Collie, all Border Collies support the All Blacks, it’s the law and we have the colours for it too.

Its early days for the competition but still some highlights… It’s in Japan this time and it’s in Japan during the Hurricane / Typhoon season. And guess what, a huge Typhoon is bearing down on Japan today! Yep a couple of Rugby matches had to be cancelled and that’s really annoyed some of the fans. I think safety is much more important than sport myself, but wadda I know, I’m just a dog!

Typhoon Hagibis

Another highlight, the Japanese team known as the Brave Blossoms (I kid you not) have again taken out one of the best teams in the world, last time in 2015 it was South Africa that they beat to the surprise and delight of the fans worldwide, alright perhaps not the South Africans. Hollywood is even rumoured to be making movie of the upset. Who could have guessed it would happen again? But yep, the Brave Blossoms has beaten Ireland, arguably the best rugby team in the world.

I can’t wait now for the next big Brave Blossoms match which should be against Scotland on Sunday but everyone is worried the Typhoon may cancel the match… fingers crossed it goes ahead.

These are the countries and their current world ranking participating in the Rugby World cup in 2019:

  • Argentina 10th
  • Australia 6th
  • Canada 22nd
  • England 3rd
  • Fiji 11th
  • France 7th
  • Georgia 13th
  • Ireland 4th
  • Italy12th
  • Japan 8th
  • Namibia 23rd
  • New Zealand 1st
  • Russia 20th
  • Samoa 14th
  • Scotland 9th
  • South Africa 5th
  • Tonga 16th
  • Uruguay 18th
  • USA 15th
  • Wales 2nd

I just think it’s very cool that in this sport many of the smaller nations can out rank the bigger nations

Well that it for me this week. Call me the sporty dog, any game involving a ball is all right with me!

R

A Dogs Flourish

I have a bit of a confession to make. I’m getting old! Yep, this year I turned 7, that’s near 50 in Human  years!

Look here’s a couple of pickies of me when I was 3 doing me flourish.

Note from Ralph: A flourish – “Catching the ball in the air on the full with all four paws off the ground”.

Now days I can’t jump as high and I miss the ball completely half of the time when attempting “The Flourish”. When I was 3, it was so easy!

Me yesterday, can’t even get me back paws off the ground! At least this time I caught the ball.

Whats going on?

I noticed Grumpy-Human has a new pair of glasses, maybe I need glasses like me Humans have!

I have been researching this on Google… as ya do… It turns out us dogs can have prescription glasses like Humans. Here are a few pickies of dogs wearing em, courtesy of said Google Images.

They made me laugh so hard I squealed like I do when I’m in the car on the way to the Dog Beach!

Way cool, I gotta get me a pair of these.

R

Kings Park

Now me blog visitors if you have never been to Perth you are in for a treat. Kings Park, in the centre of the city is possibly one of the most beautiful city parks in the world, certainly one of the biggest.  And, it’s elevated above the city to about 60 m which gives you wonderful panoramic views of Perth CBD and way beyond.

One of me favourite things about Kings Park is the botanical gardens, I just love the smell of all the flowers and plants.

Coming from Europe I had never seem most of these plants before. The Wild Flowers in particular are so cool and pretty much are native to just Western Australia. I have been with me humans in the countryside this time of year and you can see the Wild Flowers blooming as far as the eye can see.

These are mostly Kangaroo Paw and Pink Everlastings. Although me humans tell me the yellow one is a peppermint tree.

This is the Boab Tree, native to the far north of Western Australia in the Kimberley region.

This is a mystery because its closest relatives are in Africa and it’s totally unlike any other Australian tree. No one knows how it got here when its relatives are on the other side of the Indian Ocean 6000 km away. I tell ya it wasn’t us dogs so my theory is it was the first Humans 75,000 years ago who came out of Africa, travelled around the rim of the Indian Ocean to get here. Or did the seeds drift across the Indian Ocean from Africa? I love a mystery!

Guilty!

I will admit to a certain amount of wee-age on some of these plants, just could not help me-self sorry… But hey, its all for a good cause eh.

These stunning yellow guys are me favourite native Wild Flower, the Banksia. Named after Sir Joseph Banks, the botanist who travelled with Captain Cook on his first venture to Australia from England in the 1700’s. See I’m full of facts coz I’m a Border Collie! The Banksia plants are known for the prolific production of nectar which is great for bees and this little guy, the Honeyeater or Red Wattlebird, native to southern Australia.

I love this park and it great views of city and nature, if you ever get to visit Perth ya gotta come up here.

Now sadly after a perfect afternoon of wandering around the park with me Humans we have to go home.

But oh wait… one good thing about being up here is ya can see the traffic on the roads leaving the city…

and this is a Friday afternoon on a long weekend so every Human known to dog is heading south to the southern beaches, wine and food regions for the long weekend.

Oh well we will just have to stay up here a little longer! Here are a few more Wild Flowers to enjoy…

See ya and have a great weekend

R

Oh, and if ya want to know more about Kings Park and Perth, here is a great web site.