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.

 

A Dog Out And About In A Brand New Year. Part 2, the Water Collie

I still call Australia home! Some great pictures of me day out in Mandurah, a seaside town south of Perth.

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Keep ya eye on the ball Ralph, eye on ball… What ya don’t see is me backing into the water a few seconds after this shot was taken. Me daft Humans failed to warn me of the big drop into the abyss right behind! Good as this photo was, Boss-Human was not happy the photo wasn’t taken just a few seconds later. [Editors note. bloody funny none the less]

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Mutter… mutter… harrumph… pushed in, I bet I was pushed. Bloody Humans can’t live with em, can’t live without em…

 

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On the plus side it is rather cooling and fun in the water with this Aussie heat. I should just jump in and get that ball you know, me being the World Famous Water Collie in all.

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OK, get me ball please!

Nah, on the other paw, why bother when ya Humans have retriever things for that!

 

Bugger they threw me ball way out beyond the retriever thingy’s range, nothing for it but to make the long trek out and back, rotters!

 

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Sorry Curly Human but your splashy–splash arm-wavy swimming method is no match for me Water Collie dog paddle, I win!

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So from the famous Water Collie of Mandurah, this is Ralph signing off from another brilliant day out in 2017.

R

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A Dog Out And About In A Brand New Year, Part 1

Shove over Curly, I have a story to tell… OK, it’s a new year and I intend to get it off to a great start by getting out more.

 

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Have ball – check. Have Human anti-guishy throwing thing – check. Comfy towel –check. Car to ride in – check. Sand from last trip to beach – check. Me Humans to take me there – No Check. Hey! where are you guys???

 

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Love meeting me mates at the dog park. As long as they don’t steal me ball – it’s a real problem me Humans need to address with some of the dogs here let me tell you. But ole snowy here he’s harmless. One to many Human snacks me old mate, just sayin…

 

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Some of the locals. The Meces here in Australia are bloody humongous with long lanky legs and a tail like a tree trunk, ya don’t mess with em as I have found out from experience…

 

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Well guys thats me full 10 minutes of ball catching – extended edition. Time to go coz its too bloody hot mate!

 

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Ahhh… nothing like a swim at the local dog beach, just what I need to cool off after a vigorous work out at the park eh?

R

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Sunsets WA

Sorry Guys, I have been rather slack at blogging over the last month. So much has been happening in my real world that time has slipped through me paws…

I will be back in to it soon. Here in the mean time are a few choice pickies of those incredible Indian Ocean and West Coast sunsets that Perth is lucky enough to see almost every day. I never saw anything like this in my days in Europe.

Enjoy!

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Swimming at sunset eh… who knew the pleasures of this when living in land-locked Frankfurt!

Take Care All

R

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A Dogs Perspective: First Weeks In Australia Pt 3

The food in Perth is fresh and yummy both for me and my Humans. Don’t get me wrong Human food in Germany was fantastic (contrary to what a lot of Humans say) but its food for a cold climate. Here in Perth there are many fresh sea food options like snapper,  prawns, scallops, mussels and oysters. Then the local meats are brilliant too. Lamb is my favourite, well I am a Border Collie eh. I have to be very good (or very crafty) to score lamb though… The beef steaks are way up there as well (usually only score these as leftovers or sneak em off the BBQ).

month1-16Another favourite is real fresh Kangaroo from the local supermarket. Now funnily enough I did use to get the canned version of this in Germany as a treat from the local German pet shop but this is so much better.

 

Doggy pals. Now I knew many hunds in Germany and walked with them and their Humans in the forest all the time. My mates there were great and I do miss em all. Here in Perth the dogs all have funny Aussie accents, no kidding! I find em hard to understand at times but they are very friendly. I do wish they would stop adding an “O” to the end of their words and barks though, I’m now Ralpho apparently!

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Our local dog park has some times as many as 10 dogs all playing together, no squabbles. There is this one character, a red border collie called Jonny that gets up my goat though. He is the best ball stealer in the world. He knows just how to distract you when your ball is thrown, then catches it himself and won’t give it back. He often sneaks up behind me and nicks me ball. Very annoying mate! They are a great crowd, even Jonny and he is only a year old after all.

 

 

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We are still waiting for our container load of stuff to arrive from Germany. Grumpy Humans says the ship is currently near Hong Kong. Due early March in Fremantle.

 

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This means my precious Ball Collection is on the high seas and at risk.

 

 

 

I’m still nervous about all those nasty Australian critters that can kill you although I haven’t seen any yet I will admit. Having said that, these strange little bitey things the Humans call ants are everywhere and they keep eating my dinner when I’m outside! Australia has the biggest cockroaches I have ever seen, 3 or 4 cm long, Boss-Human screamed a blood curdling shout when she saw one the other day. If she is scared of em then that’s good enough for me too, I hid under Princess-Humans bed for ages. They look big enough to pick me up and fly off with me I reckon.

I did see a shark in the Swan River but my Humans assured me it was a dolphin. Curley Human was chuffed  that she could tell her mates back in Germany and England that she sees Dolphins playing in the river on her way to school in the morning! One up on the old story she used to tell her classmates about riding Kangaroos to school I suppose!

So bottom line? Has Transportation to Australia been good so far? Hell Yeah! I haven’t had so much fun since I was a pup at puppy school or the days I got to roll in fox poo.

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Sorry Germany, I love and miss you too but Perth is a pretty nice place to live, just saying.

 

 

R

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A Dogs Perspective: First Weeks In Australia Pt 2

A strange thing has happened to me in the last month, get this… I love The Car! Who knew eh? Remember my blogs on The Car in Germany? I hated the infernal contraption.

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Reasons I Hate The Car (From Germany updates for Australia)

Number One. Motorcycles.  Motorcycles, the most deadly thing known to man or dog, get them off the road I say. They zoom right past the car window with that dreadful racket they make, peering  in at you with that sinister helmet thingy on their heads. I just have to bark back to warn em off,  even if my Humans yell at me for my well placed comment on the demented thing. Update: Yep still hate em! And will bark vigorously to indicate this.

Number Two. The Withering Look.  There you are in The Car, parking up somewhere and I can see out my windows we are 1mm  on the white line, next thing you know the Human parked next to you gets out and give my Humans the “Withering Look”. I make a well directed  bark and this time my Humans do seem to encourage me. I mean what is the problem eh? I know  Humans in this part of the world, particularly older Humans have mastered this Withering Look but really, for parking? If you are not careful it will strike you blind I’m certain of that. Update: Not a problem in Australia, you should see how higgledy piggledy they park here and no one gets upset and so no need for the withering look.

I was wondering if there is an equivalent with Hunds. And yes it does happen! You go on a nice walk with your Humans, a passing  Hund and Human wanders by and as I have me ball (as you do) and the Hund does not (not allowed) I get a Withering Look as if I should give up my ball, come on mate it aint going to happen… Update: No withering looks from other dogs but they do try and steal your ball if you are not quick enough. Positively kleptomaniacs some of these Aussie dogs – yeah Jonny I mean you mate…

Number Three. Pit Stops (or lack thereof)   This is a biggie, when you get into The Car you just have absolutely no idea how long you are going to be in the thing. Once we drove 15 hours, admittedly with a few brief pit stops but come on guys… And when we do stop, I NEED greenery to do my thing (the odd tree helps), not concrete… And will you stop looking at me please, please… Update: Well so far no long trips so no worries. Longest trip in The Car has been  the 30 minutes from the airport to home when I arrived.

Number Four. Curley’s Music  That strange beat music Curley-Human listens to, it drives me crazy, especially through the tinny headphones, what about a bit of “Who let the dogs out, woof woof “, “Give the dog a bone – AC/DC”  or “Walking The Dog – Timbuk3” eh? Update, what can I say, still drives me crazy…

Number Five. Back Seat Drivers (and I really do mean literally in the back of The Car)

The Car-5 If you are riding in the back of The Car like me then there is almost always the nose cone of an Audi or BMW  a few millimetres from your head. You can see the whites of the drivers eyes as the Human tries to will you out of the way. Grumpy-Human just says “what’s behind me is not important” but he’s not sitting in the back with a obsessed manic trying to mow him down … Update: Perth drivers are even crazier than German drivers. They don’t know how to merge, they race through red lights, there is no lane etiquette  just “me first” any lane will do, but they don’t seem to tail-gate.

The main thing is that every trip I do in The Car is a delight now, it always ends in something exciting like the beach, the ball park, the river or picking up the Wee-Humans from school. And so far no car trips to the VET which is a plus too.

One last thing, Grumpy-Humans Jag was shipped to Perth from Europe a couple of months ago.

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The Jag back in Germany a few months ago

And has just arrived.

 

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The Jag and me in Perth. I could probably dive through that window while the Humans are distracted…

He never lets me ride in it on account of the fact that I shed my fur. It mystifies me as you should see the hair Curley-Human sheds! Anyway there is hope for me to score a ride now that we will be using it as an every-day car here in Perth. More later when I get that ride.

R

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A Dogs Perspective: First Month In Australia Pt 1

Ok, here we go. I have paw to keys, its been a month since I arrived in sunny Perth, Western Australia. Time for a review me thinks.

In late January after my flights from Germany and 10 days quarantine in Melbourne my arrival at Perth Airport was pretty traumatic.

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Yes my family were there to meet me, that was soooo goood. I thought they had abandoned me. I had a backup plan, buttering up the Quarantine ladies in Melbourne in the hopes they would take me home, almost worked too! Lots of hugs, kisses and tears from my Humans later and all was well in my world again.

 

Border Collie Ralph in a Heatwave

The second thing that was traumatic was the heat. In Germany the highest I experienced was 37C which I blogged about last year in Castles In A Heatwave. Sadly no castles like that here in Australia

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Perth was 40C when I arrived, now bear in mind I still had my winter coat and only 14 days earlier was whining about -4C and snow in Frankfurt!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And it got hotter, up to 47C one day (that’s 117F for me American mates). And I have to tell you this, my Humans new house is in need of a little renovation so NO AIR-CON! Well I flopped around the place trying to stay cool. Me and me Humans took many trips in the air-conditioned car. The thing that saved me though and is now one of my favourite things is me Humans new home is very close to the Swan River.

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Himmm, nice and cool but what about the sharks eh?

This is a pretty big river that even has its own beaches which are for the most part very dog friendly. So walks morning and evenings (when its cooler) with lots of swimming and ball catching in the water was perfect.

At home during the hotter parts of the day a good hose down does wonders too.

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I think I may actually love this place more than my forests in Germany… there I said it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More soon

R

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