A Border Collie Easter

A slow week build up to Easter and school holidays. Only major thing in our lives was Curly-Human getting her wisdom teeth out. If they are so wise why do Humans have them removed? Looks painful and Curly sure doesn’t look too impressed with the whole deal. She certainly wouldn’t let us take her photo!

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Anyway here is a classic photo from Easter in me Germany days. In Germany many people have Easter Trees at Easter! Me I thought this was brilliant and was sooo ready to pluck a few for me ball collection whilst me Humans were distracted elsewhere…

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I’m not giving it up I tell you!

Happy Easter!

R

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They Forgot Me Birthday!

First thing this morning I was pestering me Humans for prezzies and birthday food… Nothin… It was like it was just any other day!

I’m 5 years old now, 35 in ya human years…and it’s me Birthday today.

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That’s me on the left, the handsome dude next to me sis when I was 3 months old. My very first photo.

Born in Ireland under dubious circumstances that I don’t remember and my Humans don’t know about. They rescued me from a dog shelter in the New Forest of Southern England in 2012.

 

 

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This is getting serious! Me day wears on as everyone disappears, going about their business. I’m still waiting for me walk, birthday cake, me prezzies…. Still nothin…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boss Human comes home in the afternoon and I smell a rat. Well not literally obviously (well actually I do outside but that’s another story). There is a suspicious bulge in her bag and the smell of new packaging… could that be me prezzy?

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After she dumps her bag and while my Humans are occupied I take the opportunity to check it out. I stick me head in the said bag… Yep, an undeclared package that me as the self appointed “Border Collie er… Control… Officer”, better have a closer look at.

But before I can inspect the mysterious package I hear the W.A.L.K. words. Me dim Human think by spelling it I don’t know what they are talking about but I do. I immediately head “stage left” for the front door at high speed deftly picking up a ball as I go. As me usual enthusiastic squealing reaches a fever pitch, the front door is opened and I burst out, heading for the car.

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We take-off down the road towards the dog park but suddenly turn right instead of left.

Oy! Humans… Dog Park… other way… Me Humans mutter under their breaths “at least he has stopped squeaking”. Hey I don’t squeak, I’m just releasing my inner dog spirit when I’m on me way to the dog park!

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OK, we have come to Quarantine Park, I like Quarantine Park, and its sunsets are brilliant too. Not as many dogs here because in general you are not allowed off-lead but a nice view and I love chasing me ball as it rolls full-speed down the hill (My Humans cheat and let me off-lead if no ones around. Hope that pesky ranger doesn’t spot me).

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And… Oh look! There is a cake for me, you bloody Humans tricked me! But I love ya anyway. It’s made of me fav ingredients too. Tuna sandwiched between chicken and rice rolls and topped off with cheese. I better watch me weight after this one me thinks.

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Heh heh… I knew they wouldn’t forget me prezzies!

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It’s the dimming of the day as the sun sets over the Swan River so we decide to head home to greet me other Humans and of course open me prezzies and eat me cake too!

 

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Cake smelling good me Family!
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I’m not good at puffing out fires lit on cakes. Me Humans do it all the time…
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Now that’s what I’m talking about

This is good tucker,  I need this more often! Now to me prezzies…

 

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Hard work this opening prezzies but I think I’m about done. It seems I have another dumbbell type ball and some flying saucer thingy, not sure what that ones about yet. Love em!

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I think you will find… that’s mine mate!

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And that’s it for a great birthday that got off to a rocky start!

See ya soon

R

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A Border Collies 14 Year Blog-A-Versary

Yep I’ve been blogging on WordPress since March 2015 that’s 14 dog-years mate! And besides that I will be 5 in human-years next month, that’s… er… 35 dog-years, just sayin. I’m feelin decidedly middle aged! Should I go out and get me Humans to purchase a flash ball?, I’m thinking something really big and flashy like …

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I know… one those balls you can actually get inside and run on water! Yeah!

 

 

 

 

Is it true, this myth that 1 human year equals 7 dog years? This seems a little unfair to us dogs. Anyway various dog breeds have different average life spans. Me I plan to live forever anyway, I have a big world to see yet…

These are the 16 countries I’ve visited in me lifetime so far:  Germany, England, Wales, Ireland, Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Bosnia Herzegovina, Italy, UAE, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Holland and Australia. Yeah, I know, the UAE is pushin it a bit but I did overnight in Dubai on me way to Australia! Who knew eh? I’m a BC rescue and this is my life! To tell the truth though now that we have moved from Europe to me Humans home in Australia we haven’t travelled so much, it’s pretty isolated out here and I’m getting itchy feet…

Anyway back to my blog-a-versary, here are some of me fav blogs over the last 2 (Human) years and a special thank you to all of you who followed me adventures in those early days. Here are a few that were deemed popular or were me own personal favs. Enjoy!

My very first post in March 2015

The Car-0 

 

Why I have a problem with The Car, April 2015

 

 

Border Patrol

 

Border Patrol, Lorsbach, May 2015

 

 

 

A border Collie at Castle Eltz

 

 

Castles in a Heatwave, The Rhine Region, July 2015

 

 

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The Airport Dog, September 2015

 

 

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The Rugby Dog, September 2015

 

 

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How to get Human Food, October 2015

 

 

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Snow White, A Wolf and a Big Cat, November 2015

 

 

 

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Eccentric England, December 2015

 

 

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Last German Christmas Market, December 2015

 

 

 

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Leaving Germany Forever, January 2016

 

 

 

 

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First Month In Australia, February 2016

 

 

 

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My Birthday, April 2016

 

 

 

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Those Western Australian Sunsets, May 2016

 

 

 

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When I found out who I am! January 2017

 

 

 

See ya soon

R

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Last Days of an Aussie West Coast Summer

Last Sunday I could feel in me bones the ebbing of summer and the first signs of a cooler autumn hanging in the air.

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Have ball, will travel

My Humans were going for a walk down to the local yacht club where there was an open day to sign up new members. A link to the East Fremantle Yacht club and picture gallery here. Now I don’t know why me Humans seemed so keen to go along as we don’t even have a boat! I have heard the food is superb at the club restaurant and reasonably priced too although as per usual in Australia us dogs have to stay outside.

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This must be the Yacht Club but I’m more interested in the river…

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There are great views out over the Swan River and boat harbour so I guess that’s what me Humans were going for. Me I just knew there would be a pretty good chance for a last summer swim…

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Now I don’t want me socks to get dirty… Swimming is just past the boats.
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Forget ya boats this is where we need to go…

 

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This is more like it, this is wot I’m talking about.
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OK, the ball can now be thrown, just sayin…
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Heh Heh… Lunch!

Now this was fun! I pretended I was a shark heading for this bird! The Cormorant didn’t budge though, just sat there sunning his wings and glaring at me.

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Just jokin…

The Swan River has an abundance of bird life. These Great Cormorants have to sun themselves after a fishing session as their feathers aren’t waterproof – bet ya didn’t know that did ya?

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It’s a dog’s life here on the banks of the Swan River that’s for sure.
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I think that bloody Cormorant damaged me ball! 

Have a great week all!

R

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Goodbye Murray

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Murray Ball dog cartoon 1939-2017 by Guy Body

Sadly Murray Ball, Uncle Dog’s drawer and writer (creator) of his stories passed away this week.  Goodbye me old mate and may your travels in that big paddock in the sky be an awesome one.

Link to tribute on ABC

R

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A Border Collie’s European Summer Adventure, Part 4: Lapad Bay, Dubrovnik

The previous instalment: Storms and Bubbles in Dubrovnik can be found here

Now that the sunny weather has returned. Here is my account of one Border Collies attempt to swim to Italy… Or at least have fun trying!

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Lapad Bay

So this is a picture of Lapad Bay, Dubrovnik. Out in the distance beyond those rocks is Italy and the sea is the Northern Mediterranean also known as the Adriatic Sea. Here is a Google Map to put it in perspective for you.

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Me, contemplating how far Italy is

Anyway first off for a dip in the Adriatic with me Humans

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Now this is what I’m talking about! Crystal clear waters, just me and me Humans, life is good.

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Now might be time for me break for Italy, can’t be far from here…

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Yep, Princess Human is distracted, I’ll make me break for it!

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Bugger. Caught!

Now I’m banished to the boat while Princess and Curly have all the fun…

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Actually this is not so bad, hey I’m captain of the boat!

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Now after all that nautical stuff and having failed on me attempt to swim to Italy its time for refreshments eh?

 

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Well that’s obviously left out for me then…
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And the beers mine Grumpy, keep ya mits off!

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And a lovely sunset over Lapad Bay to finish things off.

In my next instalment we go exploring Dubrovnik Old Town

R

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A Border Collie’s European Summer Adventure, Part 3: Storms and Bubbles in Dubrovnik

The previous instalment in our grand adventure can be found here.

On account of a rather large storm hitting Dubrovnik our first adventure was one more up my alley than my poor Humans.

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Catching rain drops, now I can’t emphasize enough just how much fun this is, and best of all ya get to photo-bomb ya Humans trying to take nice scenic photos of Dubrovnik… Anyway me Humans were just lazing around in the villa’s nice spa, boring…

I tried to hop in to the spa a few times but my Human were to vigilant to that. I don’t know what their problem was, they know I love swimming…

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Me  photo bombing Curly-Human testing her new snorkel – Well she can’t go to the beach in the storm!
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Last few rain drops, need an alternative…

And now that the sun has finally come out, stealing me rain drop fun.

Me Humans have kindly blown a few bubbles for me, even better than rain drop catching I reckon.

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Hey, more bubbles in here guys!

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In my next instalment we at last get out and explore Lapad Bay and I get to swim in the Adriatic!

R

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A Border Collie’s European Summer Adventure, Part 2: Zagreb to Dubrovnik

Previously: View Hofheim to Zagreb Here

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After an early morning start we hit the road for our 8 hour drive from Zagreb to Dubrovnik. The scenery is fantastic, we all would like to spend more time but Dubrovnik calls. My Humans resolve to come back to this part of inland Croatia. One of the places we missed out on seeing on this trip was the fabulous Plitvice Lakes National Park which is a wonderful national park, one of the best in Europe, missed in part due to our time constraints and something to do with having a dog with us… what? I don’t see the problem… What do they think I’m going to do, eat a brown bear? I suspect it would be the other way around!

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Its a long and winding road… as me Humans are fond of saying.

And as the day wears on, nature takes its course and I’m busting for a pee

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Help, I’m stuck!

Bloody hell these safety straps and all are a bit over the top, me Humans… Get me outta here so I can go checkout some greenery.

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And the never ending journey continues until its, what? only lunch time… Anyway it’s a longer stop to stretch the legs and have a look around. This time we have stopped just off the E65 motorway at a little town called Skradin.

 

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Himm… what’s down there then? Worth a quick squizz…

A nearby Christian Religious Shrine, the Gospa od Puta. It reminds my Humans of the religious difficulties in this region including some rather big recent wars when Yugoslavia broke up in the 1990’s and Croatia become independent. Yes Croatia is a very young country.

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Dubrovnik, you’re not so far…

Back on the road again and finally we see Dubrovnik on the road signs, was beginning to think it didn’t exist…

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Klek. In the far background the cityscape is the little (and only) part of Bosnia that has a coastline.

Finally we hit the Adriatic coast at the little Croatian town of Klek. This is where it gets a bit weird because although we are travelling in Croatia and heading south towards Dubrovnik one of Croatia’s biggest cities, we have to hop briefly into another country! When I mean briefly I mean about 8 km, that is it! Even weirder that country is Bosnia Herzegovina and it is not in the EU. That means border controls and passports and all sorts of faffing about. Well as the resident Border Collie I was pretty much ready for this of course…

I will blog more on Bosnia Herzegovina a little later when we went to visit the old city of Mostar as a day trip from Dubrovnik. What really disappointed me now was the fact I was all geared up to bark at the Border Officers and put them in their place  but as we approached there seemed to be no body interested in people with Aussie passports or even a famous dog with a UK Pet Passport. We passed the kiosk window and the Border guy was too busy reading his newspaper to even look up at us, just waved us through with a flick of his wrist. Now these guys need proper Border Collie border management training I reckon. Perhaps they need to employ the services of The Cop?

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The Croatian and European Union Border

Within a few minutes we were through Bosnia and at the Croatian Border, this time I guess because the EU insists on some form of Border Protection, our passports were inspected and we were waved on back into Croatia.

After all this international travel me and me Humans were a tad hungry and with still an hour to go before we would arrive in Dubrovnik a vote was taken that we should stop for dinner. Me and me Humans except Grumpy-Human voted for stopping. Now it has to be said that Grumpy had been doing most of the driving and he lovers driving  so if he didn’t want to stop  we could well end up not just in Dubrovnik but across the next border and on in to Montenegro and beyond! My solution, a bit of judicious barking to make it known… a stop for food would be good and a pee in the car probably not very hygienic, not to mention the smell eh!

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And we stopped in a lovely town not far from Dubrovnik, Slano. It’s beautiful and the food brilliant – or so me Humans said after scoffing down mountains of local fish.

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Me, I was stuck with me usual crappy German dog food bought along especially for me… how thoughtful of my dear Humans…

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You may well laugh Curly but I’m on holiday and need real food, not German dog biscuits.
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I hope you’re going to fill me bowl with fresh seafood.

Finally we rolled into Dubrovnik, more specifically Lapad Bay where we had rented an old villa for two weeks.

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Ahhhh finally I can relax, I’m even aloud in the villa which was something I worried about seeing as Croatia is not particularly dog friendly.

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Having said that the villa owners couldn’t have been more helpful to me although I did spot a certain Putty Tat which must belong to them, himmm…

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Next time I get back to blogging about this adventure I’ll fill you in on Storms and Bubbles in Dubrovnik!

R

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A Border Collie’s European Summer Adventure, Part 1

Now as I put paw to keyboard, it’s a rainy 16C here in so called sunny Perth, Western Australia. Second coldest summer day on record apparently!  So without a summer adventure to tell you about so far this year and feeling like I’m back in Europe I am reminded of one adventure a couple of years ago. It all started…

It was a hot Central European late July summer when we packed up the car at our home in Hofheim, Germany and headed for Croatia.

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Had I realised that it would be a 3000 km (1800 miles) round trip I might have said to me Humans – “.

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Nah, I’m good, you guys have a great trip!

To this day I never quite know if we have a 10 hour journey ahead of us or a trip to the dog park when I get in the car.

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Have me passport… Check! We are going to be crossing many international borders.

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The first leg of our trip, a 14 hour journey to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia started out with me being bundled into the car at some ungodly hour, way too early in the morning to be civilised.

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Cripes guys, its a little crowded. I tell ya wot, I’ll stay behind so ya have more room…
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Grumble… grumble…

Our journey wound its way through south eastern Germany to the Austrian border at a little village called Etzelshofen where the German A3 autobahn meets the Austrian A8 motorway. Since we were on a mission to get to Zagreb before night-fall we hardly stopped at all.

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I glimpsed some wonderful scenery out the window so it was rather sad that we didn’t stop more often.

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Sprinting through a small section of Slovenia we finally crawled into Zagreb in the late afternoon. After 14 bloody hours, I can tell you I was in need of a wee and a few refreshments…

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I could have killed for a beer me self… Actually you can get dog beer in Germany, check this out:

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Just as I was starting to relax at a local restaurant near our hotel and could smell the lovely Croatian BBQ’s being prepared I see the waiter spot me handsome self-curled up next to me Humans and I see his lip curl up with a disdainful look…

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Ohh oh… I sneak back under the table hoping he will forget me. But no. He starts telling my Humans that dogs are not allowed in his restaurant, something about the “Great dog debacle of 2005” whatever that was, it wasn’t me mate, honest!

After some slick negotiations with me Humans and due to the fact he didn’t want to lose the business of 4  hungry Humans and a BC we move down to a room in the basement  where I am allowed… grudgingly to remain hidden under the table.

A huge plate if lamb and other local meats arrives. Boy! Me Humans better let me have some that or there will be trouble!

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And as usual I do me rounds of me gullible humans who each sneak a tasty morsel under the table to me thinking no one else has, heh heh…

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It turns out Croatia is not as dog friendly as Germany but at least I’m aloud to stay at the hotel as I know me Humans checked and booked in advance. Lucky or I might have been sleeping in the bloody car, I had had just about enough of the car on that trip!

In the next instalment I will fill you in on our trip from Zagreb down the western part of Croatia bordering the Adriatic Sea on our way to Dubrovnik.

 

What Am I, The Results Are In

Finally after weeks of anticipation me DNA breed test results are in! Now I am a tad surprised to say the least… Turns out I’m not the Border Collie royalty I thought I was. First here’s a reminder of the guesses from my family:

  • Me:  100% Border Collie royalty of course. WRONG!
  • Boss Human: 80% Border Collie, 15% Greyhound, 5% Labrador. WRONG!
  • Grumpy Human: 75% Border Collie, 20% Greyhound, 5% Labrador. WRONG!
  • Princess Human: 70% Border Collie, 20% Greyhound, 5% Labrador, 5% beagle. WRONG!
  • Curly Human: 40% Border Collie, 40% Greyhound, 5% Labrador, 5% Golden Retriever, 5% Whippet, 5% Other [You calling me a mutt Curly? – R]. WRONG!

So what am I?

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Need me glasses

Well it turns out there is zero Greyhound in me. This really surprised me Humans. They were right about me having some Labrador blood though, probably where I get me sea legs from.

So what else? Before I reveal the stunning details I took the liberty of hunting down some photos of dogs based on the DNA profile I have just learnt about me. These are my long lost Birth-Parents (maybe):

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My Dad, a Border Collie / Labrador

 

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And my Mum was… wait for it… Drum roll please… A Border Collie / Spaniel!

Jeez better stop being such a Border Collie snob at the dog park after this gets out eh?

Here is the complete chart:

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I’m not disputing the King bit but really? I’m descended from a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel? They were bred as ladies lap dogs, oh the shame…

Now was it worth it? I think I liked it better when I knew I was a full on Border Collie descended from old Hemp.

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On the other paw it’s nice to know your parents. My Humans have mixed feelings too. They were so sure I had Greyhound in me and it turns out there is none. All their theories about why I run funny and why (they think) I’m the laziest Border Collie in the world were wrong. They were pretty happy to have the breeds mix in that it does help with my nutrition and exercise along with understanding temperament with children, putty tats and other dogs.

Was it worth AU$ 120? Maybe but my Humans think that this Advance product took a long time to get answers (my blood sample had to be sent to the USA from Australia). There are cheaper options with a DIY kit involving taking a swab from within my mouth and posting it off locally. It’s less than half the price of the Advance product. Perhaps it’s not as accurate?

Me and me Humans would be interested in anyone commenting on their experience with this one or any other DNA test products for canines.

For now this is Ralph the mostly Border Collie but still full on Grey Ghost (and definitely not a Greyhound or indeed a Weimaraner) signing off.

Oh and Happy Chinese New Year!

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R

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