A Working Mother

Me and me Humans were down at our local dog beach a while back. While playing with mates… errr… I mean the ball… I overheard a touching story in a conversation between Boss-Human and another lady.

One of the dogs pestering me it turns out is the son of a real working border collie unlike us lazy layabouts. I’ll just call his mother Madre. Madre had nine puppies, including Digger, tucked away in a safe place on her farm.

During the night and morning she would look after her puppies in total secrecy. During the day she would sneak off and work the sheep on the farm as normal. Her Humans never even knew she was pregnant, let alone looking after her brood and working the farm!

Not sure if it’s a true story or not as you would think the farmer Humans would have noticed her getting a little chubby but the human telling the story insisted it’s true.

Anyway, in my mind, the prize for Best Working Mother ever has to go to Madre, a border collie, a solo mum with nine children and a full time job!

Take Care

R

A Rock n Roll Dog

Happy New Year!

It may surprise you guys to learn that I am quite fond of music, in particular Rock music. One of me favs is “Who Let The Dogs Out“ by Baha Men, a bit of a cliché for us dogs I know but you gotta like such deeply meaningful lyrics as:

Who let the dogs out
Woof, woof, woof, woof, woof
Who let the dogs out
Woof, woof, woof, woof, woof
Who let the dogs out
Woof, woof, woof, woof, woof
Who let the dogs out

Checkout the classic original video on YouTube here, its brilliant, especially the dog shots

Anyway, movin on, another great band I’m a great fan of is AC/DC and my absolute favourite is their song “Highway to Hell” and I have a story for you about that later. Check out the original music video on YouTube

But did you know there is a connection with this song to me adopted home of Perth, Western Australia? I bet ya didn’t know that the road “Highway to Hell “ is real and is the nickname for a road near to my house called “Canning Highway”.

The reason? Bon Scott AC/DC’s frontman grew up around Fremantle. Sadly he died back in the ancient history days of the 1980’s. Released in 1979 “Highway to Hell” was the final album Scott worked on. He would often walk from Fremantle along Canning Highway via the Leopold Hotel and on to the Raffles Hotel, both of which in their day hosted some truly legendary performances from AC/DC amongst others.

Canning Highway a.k.a. Highway to Hell stretches from the Containbow in Fremantle (see my blog on that iconic fixture) all the way to the Art Deco Raffles Hotel and beyond.

Whats a dog have to do to get a beer around here eh?

Now the fun bit I’m dying to tell you guys and especially anyone planning to be in the Perth region in March, 2020 is, as part of the Perth Festival, the southern part of Canning Highway (one of the busiest roads in Perth) will be closed to cars .

This Highway to Hell will be transformed into a 10km entertainment strip as a tribute to AC/DC. There will be live bands some featuring AC/DC and other music of the 1980s towed along on flatbed trailers. I hear there may even be a reunion of one of my other favourite 1980s Perth bands the Jam Tarts. I would love that!

Check out those Eighties dance moves!

There will be roving performers, food and markets along with plenty of dog friendly space for picnics too. More info on the festival here.

I can’t wait and of course next March I will post me pickies and tell you guys that can’t make it, all about the day!

Now while I’m no fan of Yoda dog costumes… can someone get me an AC/DC shirt that fits me! Maybe on that day someone will be selling em…, himmm…, wait… I feel a market opportunity coming on.

R

The Mystery of the Missing Windows

Someone stole the window! I told you guys something was happening. Ya shouldn’t have locked me out the back, this is what happens when the Border Collie is unable to protect the borders…

Me windows have been nicked!
Nine of em, all gone! Boy those thieves were really good…

[Human Editor] Ralph, don’t get your paws in a twist… these guys are repairing our ancient sash windows. They are in a sorry state you would agree? Before we couldn’t even open them and you get very hot on these Aussie summer days.

Ok Ok, now I get it Humans and I must say Jack and Luke did a fantastic job so a well-deserved Christmas plug has to go to the team at Sealasash Perth!

Oh, and ya might want to get some new blinds now that the windows are nice and white… just sayin…

R

The Duyfken

Recently Grumpy-Human has been “getting healthy” on some new crusade of his. He has taken to dragging me along on these exercising treks. Now normally I’m up for a walk even two a day but come on, 6:30am! I’m not a morning dog!

This morning’s walk took us to an area of Perth I’m not very familiar with: South of Perth Yacht Club and the Canning River foreshore. But honestly it turned out to be a fantastic walk and so many humans and dogs out walking too, I felt guilty for my reticence at getting up so early! And look its cloudy, we like cloudy, that means cool, not HOT weather, first in a couple of weeks!

Anyway, to me story, the big thing was coming across this really ancient old ship. And it has an interesting story all of its own. The ship is called the Duyfken, well a full size replica of the original ship that last sailed over 400 years ago.

Its claim to fame is a little known fact that it made the first recorded European contact with Australia in 1606. Most Australians believe that Dirk Hartog was the first European to set foot in Australia (some even think it was Captain Cook) but this is simply not true.

That looks serious

Captain Willem Janszoon of the Dutch East India Company sailed the Duyfken from Indonesia south east looking for gold in New Guinea. They came across an unknown land but never realised it was in fact a new continent, the island continent of Australia.

It wasn’t until Captain Cook charted Australia 170 years later that the land was recognised as a new continent and not part of Asia or another Indonesian island.

Sadly the Duyfken crew were also the first Europeans to come in contact with Australian Aborigines and it didn’t end well… A bloody conflict ensued and lives were lost on both sides. Not a great start to relations between the two peoples. Perhaps there should have been some European dogs on board, they could have met their Australian Dingo counterparts and showed the Humans how meet and greet is properly done.

Time for a swim then…

Today the Duyfken is used to educate Australia about this long forgotten chapter in its history. It does school trips and tours around the Swan River but has sailed as far away as Europe, dog it doesn’t look big enough for that, count me out of that adventure!

For those interested in finding out more check out the Duyfken website here.

R

Ralph Yoda Walker

Yep, it’s that time of year. The Chrissie Tree is up and I still do not understand why Humans hang perfectly good balls from the tree. I think I might sneak out here tonight and get me one of these…

Now Ralph Yoda Walker what? I hear you ask. Well it’s me full name alright… Well like you Humans I’m a bit embarrassed by me middle name if I’m honest.

I know it should have been on me passport but me Humans were a bit forgetful when filling in the form, lucky for me!

The Yoda came from me ears which me Humans thought were particularly Yoda like in me Puppy Days.

Yoda

I am continually teased by me Humans for Yoda. Never ceases to make em laugh! I might just let the word out that Curly-Humans middle name is ….

Guess Who?
Yep its me, oh the embarrassment

So as usual while Curly-Human was out Christmas shopping she spotted something funny and had to buy it… this doggy Yoda costume… And there you have it! Another Christmas… Another Costume for Ralph

This is what I think!

See ya soon

R

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

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.