A Weird Last Week In June

Weird June Ralph

It all started with Grumpy-Human leaving us for a short trip to the UK.

ICE Train  He took the ICE / Eurostar trains via Brussels but was back home 12 hours later. He says they turned his train back near Calais, France because of a strike by French workers. Also rather strangely there are thousands of Humans from other countries trying to sneak into the UK via the Channel Tunnel and ferries. Why the UK? I have travelled there a lot, yep they have great Boarding Kennels and stuff but the dog food is crap, the size of their houses are mostly tiny so us dogs get a bit claustrophobic, go figure…

Dogs playing in the UK. Ralph  The UK countryside is brilliant for us dogs though. This is me and me mates having so much fun in the UK last year, miss em I have to say, sigh…

I think the Humans at Calais need the help of The Cop, aka a Border Collie eh? Anyway there was such chaos with the refugee Humans taking the opportunity to sneak on to trucks and trains that the Channel Tunnel was closed and Grumpy-Human had to make the long trek back to Frankfurt. He WAS Grumpy upon his return to us too. His second attempt was to fly instead and that was successful.

Grumpy-Human returned home a few days later with a new car… Wot, I thought? What was wrong with the old Car, I only just got used to it! I have blogged rather negatively about The Car in the past I know but I hate change, don’t my Humans know this yet?

The really weird part about the new car is that the driver sits in the wrong place, he/she sits on the right side of the car because it’s a UK car. This I fear is going to make it tricky driving about Germany, I think I might insist on riding in the back for safety reasons…

Right Hand Drive Germany  On the plus side Boss-Human says its great at intersections, she likes to sit in what is normally the driver’s seat in German cars while reading a magazine. Heh heh, it freaks the German drivers out as they think our car’s driver is foolishly reading while driving!

Ralph and the Honda CRV  At least it has a tad more room in the back where us dogs get stuffed than the last car… And oh my god that’s a big tail gate…

To top off a weird week, last night or more precisely at 2:30am wild pigs come down from the forest and started a blood curdling screaming fit at our gate. I think a piglet had gotten lost. Well I tried and tried to wake my humans up, eventually Grumpy-Human came down to see what all the fuss was about. Now I am not a trained pig-dog so no way was I going outside as Grumpy-Human was suggesting.

I remember some advice from Uncle Dog about pigs: “Yummy when bacon, rapid exit stage right when breathin”.

Anyway they eventually left and me and Grumpy-Human retired for some well-earned sleep… that was until 7am when some bloody guys with chainsaws came and started trimming the forest across the road from our house! Can’t a dog cop a break? As you know I’m not a morning person but with an already rough night I had no qualms about barking the hell at them and with encouragement from Grumpy-Human too.

What a week, I need a holiday…

R

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A Crate Dogs Confession

Ralph

Ok, Ok, I have to come clean. I have actually been sleeping in The Crate.

Crate41  A rare actual picture of a dog named Ralph in The Crate

But in my defence I resisted for weeks didn’t I? In the end after all the treats and balls the Humans kept stashing in The Crate I grew weary of going in and out of it all the time and I missed sleeping somewhere soft. It occurred to me that it was actually quite comfy in there, I began to wonder what all the fuss was about.

Crate42   And now I have my old Living Room bed back too! All is calm again in my world.

Until that was I found out for real that my crate is a flight crate which will transport me to Australia! But it’s not as bad as I feared, my Humans are coming too. We are all moving from Germany to my Humans home in Perth, Western Australia in about six months.

Perth01 They have dogs in Perth already and they look like they are having loads of fun on the Swan River at sunset.

Dogs in Perth   Dogs chasing balls too! And not a dangerous creature in sight, unless they are lurking under the water of course…

We needed to get the medical stuff done on me now because Australia has very strict quarantine rules and dog import conditions. I would have thought my Humans would have to do something similar but apparently it’s just us dogs… Anyway now that I know this I will blog a little from time to time on the strange process so other dogs in my situation can gain some comfort from it.

R

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The Crate Continues

Quick update on The Crate saga for those, like me are having a slow Sunday afternoon. I.e. no bloody Human can be bothered to throw the ball for me.

Border Collie Crate  The latest is they have stuffed my old bed into The Crate in an attempt to get me to sleep inside. Not working…

Border Collie In The Crate Yes, I have been inside the thing as this rather grainy picture will attest. What you can’t see is a rather tasty treat my sneaky Humans stashed down the back, what was I to do?  However I have not slept in it oh no.

Border Collie banned from sofa  In fact, guess what? I have been secretly sneaking back into the living room after my Humans have gone to bed and jumping up onto the FORBIDDEN Sofa heh heh heh…

Sadly I got rumbled yesterday when Curly-Human snuck down early in the morning to watch one of her terrible TV shows without the other Humans rolling their eyes and hurumphing. I was sprung!

R

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It’s June

Smug Dog and Ball

Its June already, the longest day is nearly here.

Crate21  The European summer, all six days of it are nearly over… And we haven’t even been on our summer holidays yet! I don’t know where my Humans are taking me (better not be Australia), I hear talk of Spain and France, then they mention Northern Ireland so it’s a mystery I guess.

Its been a bit slow here the last week, not so much to blog about. I did spot an alien in my treats bin though!

Dog and a pigs nose  So who put the nose in my treats bin then? Seeing as it’s here I’ll have that thank you very much. By the way the cravat I’m wearing… Not me, bloody Princess-Human cornered me and stuck it on me… Anyway its not my colour.

Dog goggles doggles  And check these out, doggie goggles! I just love Germany, they have everything a dog needs here! Doggles eh… I’d be a cool dude with these on the beach this summer holidays, just saying…

dog and crate  The Crate Wars continue, my Humans think they are winning because I slept in my bed next to The Crate last night That was only because they moved the bed there in the first place. No way was I sleeping on the floor in the hard living room.

Chat later

R

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The Battle of The Crate Continues…

The battle of wills over my missing bed and the new Crate continues. I’m still sleeping in the living room but I have to say I am starting to lose patience as I like to get an early night and my Humans keep me up by watching TV to some ungodly hour like even 10PM, go figure! Normally I’d just put myself to bed but oh wait, I DON’T HAVE A BED ANY MORE!

crate10  The latest from my Humans was to put a pile of me favourite balls in a heap in The Crate to “entice” me in.

crate11  Well no problem I say, I just reached in with me four paws firmly planted outside The Crate and grabbed my favourite ghizzy ball, you gotta love it.

1 – 0 to Ralphie I’d say… Over to you my lovely Humans…

Actually my Humans say I did technically have one paw in The Crate so there is hope. We will see as the saga continues.

R

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I Want To Know What Happened To My Bed!! Part 2.

Crate04

No I am not going to be sleeping in the abomination tonight! I win, my Humans are letting me sleep in the living room, Yey!

Crate06 Look at the stickers on this crate will you! Live animals indeed! Crikey is there a chance of it being turned upside down? Even more reason to stay clear…

Crate05  I cant believe my Humans used a crate that has been used before! They just bloody well crossed out Matilda and put Ralph on. I wonder what happened to poor old Matilda eh?

R

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I Want To Know What Happened To My Bed!!

You are not going to believe this. I came up from the basement where I had been hanging out with Princess-Human, Went to fetch a ball from my crate only to find my bed and crate had disappeared! In its place a massive monstrosity.

Crate01

Crate02

These are before and after pictures proving the crime. I knew something was up when Princess-Human took me down stairs to play, she never does that…

Crate03  I’m beginning to smell a rat… Well a big meces probably… You see this new Crate looks awfully like a flight crate for transporting dogs on an Aircraft! Oh no! I must be being sent to Australia sooner than I thought… Woe is me…

Looks like my Humans put my old bed and everything inside, even a fav ball but I’m not falling for it. I aint going inside. No way, not happening.

I’ll try blogging later after bed time to let you know what happens next…

R

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I Love Germany

Having lived in Germany half my entire life, it occurred to me that I may have been giving Germany a bit of bad press recently. What with train strikes, withering looks and tailgating BMW drivers in all… so easy to comment on eh. I thought today I would blog on the things me and my Humans absolutely love about Germany.

Friendly People

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There is a lot of overuse of clichés about German people on their bluntness, sense of humour and stern demeanour, not to mention the food. We have found them to be the most warm and hospitable people we have ever met (bar the Kiwis & Aussies of course, biased there though Heh Heh…) .

Last weekend it was our neighbours 60th Birthday and they invited us over for the party. It was a hoot! Although my Humans unlike me (well I speak Hund-German) don’t speak a lot of the local language, it was still so much fun and very endearing to see three generations of one German family coming together. The food was traditional northern European cuisine and none the worse for that, yum (well from what I got of it from my stingy Humans that its).

From the warmth of Grumpy-Humans work colleagues to the help one gets in the street or on a train when in a foreign land, its heartfelt and genuine. I know just about every Hund on our street, I think I know more Germans than my Humans actually which makes them smile when we are out walking and we pass a perfect stranger walking his/her Hund and they will say “Allo Ralphy”!

The Culture

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It’s hard for me, a mere dog to appreciate I know but my Humans help me… Western culture runs so deep here in Germany. I know more recent events like two world wars in the twentieth century overshadow Germany and it’s palpable even today but this should not  get in the way of over two millennia of cultural contributions to the world. So many cultural icons of the Western way of life taken for granted elsewhere stem from this country. For instance the architecture and building styles,  folk tales of the Brothers Grimm (Cinderella, Snow White etc), music with composers like Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms. Then you have the scientific contributions from the likes of Einstein, Planck, Heisenberg, Humboldt etc.

And hey, what about dogs eh? The Dachshund is a german badger dog, Of couse we have the obvoius too like the German Shepherd. Us Border Collies are the best though, just saying…

Even the humble Christmas Tree is of German origins!

De1-05   That would be my prezzy Curley-Human, I do believe!

De1-06  Told ya, its a new bed for me, yeh!

Sport

Hey, the Germans won the Soccer World Cup, you gotta admire them for that right!

de1-07  Being a dog I’m not a great fan of soccer (I love their balls though) but it was so cool being here in Germany during the Cup Final. I think for the first time since the war the Germans finally felt they could show a more overt view of national pride. There were German flags from every balcony, fireworks, people beaming and cheering in the streets. You just had to feel for them in that moment.

Interesting and Beautiful Places

Me and my Humans feel so lucky we have been able to get out and see great festivals, interesting sights and places of great beauty in Germany. Here are a few favourites:

St Goar and Lorch in the Rhein (Rhine) Valley

de1-09   The Rhein  valley is so beautiful with its vineyards and castles at every turn. A recommended must see for any visitor to this part of Germany.

de1-10  Me and Curley-Human above Lorch

Cherry Blossoms In Spring, Frauenstein near Wiesbaden

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Such a lovely spot I thought this was!  With much jumping and racing around catching me ball with my Humans it was a nice afternoon. We didn’t (weren’t able) to read the signs and later found out this was a cremation site and the signs said no dogs and quiet please… oh dear… sorry guys…. Wondered why the locals were looking at us strangely. Beautiful none the less and well worth a “respectful” visit.

Wiesbaden Christmas Markets

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Hundreds of Christmas shops, yummy food stalls and ahhh…. the hot wine (Glühwein as the Germans call it)  in the special cups. Not that I got to try that of course. Then there is the  Flammkuchen which is a German style pizza which I have tried and love love love… Sorry I have not been able to find a picture of a Flammkuchen yet in my Humans photo archives.

Fasching Festival

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This is the German equivalent of Mardi Gra or Carnival  for Christian Shrove Tuesday. Its a great party time. The colorful floats throw sweets to the children, nothing for us dogs mind you. Get this though, they throw out little bottles of vodka to the adults, brilliant on a cold wintery day eh.

Limburg

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Medieval city that has some wonderful buildings and architecture as well as a great cathedral. See my blog on our visit there recently.

Baden Baden

bbApr15-15  I still remember the Black Forest cake I DID NOT GET TO TRY IN THE BLACK FOREST…

Ahhh, so beautiful, a retreat for Germans escaping the everyday stresses of life. A thermal bath & spa town set in the Black Forest. See my recent blog about our trip there.

That will do for today. I’m off to inspect me ball collection.

balls01  Now do I have a soccer ball in my collection? If not I’m sure I can acquire one from Princess-Human when she is not looking…

See ya next time.

R

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Hot Stuff

Today is the hottest day so far this year, so my humans tell me. Ok, where they come from in Australia 25C is nothing I know. But for me with my mostly black fur coat it’s BLOODY HOT Ok?

hot-2  Which reminds me, I have been hearing my Humans discuss more about official paperwork from German Government Vets and something about a dog import licence for Australia. Oh O… I think my Humans are sending me away to the other side of the planet.

hot-4  A place where there are ferocious animals that can eat you and even kill you.

hot-5  Crikey, look at the size of their meces will you!

hot-3  Good to see they don’t like the heat much either eh?

hot-6  And their dogs howl rather than bark. But at least he doesn’t have a black coat like mine, lucky bugger!

What am I to do? Are my Humans coming with me? When are we going? Do I get to ride in an aeroplane? That would be cool. [Human Editor: Little does the poor bugger know that sadly he will be alone in the planes hold for two 10 hour flights, quarantine for a further ten days then another 5 hour flight]

hot-7 I better catch up on some background about Perth, Western Australia then…

R

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“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Using My Voice

AKA barking as my Humans call it. I am quite confused at what I can and cannot bark at. I can bark to be let in or out of the house. I can bark if an intruder penetrates The Border, I can bark if I need food,

Bark-2  I can grumble bark if I’m snoozing and some inconsiderate sod wakes me up…

So why can’t I bark when I see a dodgy character or vehicle approaching The Border?

You see, usually if I hear something strange at The Border I immediately speed down to investigate and if it’s NOT one of me mates, much barking will insure to scare of the offender. This is then followed up by much yelling from my Humans. I mean they are yelling louder than I was barking anyway. OK, OK sometimes I will admit it turns out to be the kindergarten kids being taken for some fun at the playground near our house but come on they are not exactly scared and often tease me back with copy-barks!

My Humans have this evil oval ball toy thing that I absolutely hate.

Bark-3  It plays the most horrid music (my Humans say it’s the theme to the Oregon Ducks football team). They use it to “train me” not to bark by activating the ball knowing I hate it. Doesn’t work though!! Just on principle I try to ignore it.

They once resorted to attaching this water squirter thing to my collar. It would squirt me under the chin with cold water each time I barked loudly. Actually I quite liked it! Cool and refreshing heh heh… Although one day I raced to The Border because the evil DHL man was making a delivery. I raised my head and barked at him as you do and the water shot out and hit him in the face! I thought, I gotta keep this, this is a way cool border control weapon. Sadly my Humans removed it after that incident.

Bark-4  So I still bark at The Border and I’m still confused but the battle of wills with my Humans continues.

R

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