Strange Days and… a Birthday!

Hi all,

This time, no apologies for not blogging recently. The world has gone quite mad.

Me Humans seem to have stopped going to work for no apparent reason. They are very gloomy and continually watching the ABC news channel, what’s that all about?

I do seem to be getting more walks than usual but it’s funny, the streets are nearly empty and when we do pass another dog walking his Human they make sure they pass each other so wide apart that us dogs don’t even get a chance to sniff and greet!

And whats with these toy bears appearing everywhere when you go out for ya walks?

On me walks in to Fremantle I have seen more cruise ships than I thought existed. Me Humans tell me there are a lot of sick people on board.

Another thing, all me Humans have suddenly developed a need to wash their hands all the time with some nasty smelling squirty-onny substance. They even use some cloth thingy to wipe down the groceries as they are unpacked.

If its about trying not to get sick then maybe there is a big upside to living in Perth, the most isolated city on the planet.

Anyway, it’s me birthday!! So to cheer me Humans up here are a few pickies from today and previous birthdays.

3 Years old! Germany 2015
Perth, Western Australia 2016
Down at the local park. Can ya guess me age?

And now for me 8th birthday here in Fremantle!

For me? And a prezzy too!

Smells yum!
You always gotta love a ball for ya birthday eh?

A big thank you to all the Humans and Dogs working on the front line in our supermarkets, in health and protecting our borders.

Hang in there and stay safe.

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

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

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.

Port Walking

Last weekend was such a lovely weekend. The late winter / early spring weather was perfect for going out for a walk. Coincidently me Humans discovered a guided walk around Fremantle harbour run by Fremantle Ports that was dog friendly.

Anyway although me Humans were a little sceptical being locals it turned out way more interesting than any of us thought. Anyone local reading me blog should go along, the walks are free, ya get morning tea chucked in (although me Humans scoffed most of it, all I got was a bitten off biscuit crumb).

The views are spectacular and the guides are really knowledgeable about the port both from a working shipping port perspective to the multitude of animal wildlife and ecological programs going on.

It did involve far to much standing around!
Any of you jokers gunna chuck me ball?

Now I love boats and ships and pretty much anything that moves on water. I know, I know, I’m a Border Collie but there is something captivating about so much water and so much activity on the water. Ya sometimes see dolphins too but sadly not today.

A few facts and figures about the Port of Fremantle in Western Australia. Most of this from the knowledgeable guides: The harbour was opened in 1897. It housed the largest submarine base in the southern hemisphere during WW2. In the 1970’s it was a major entry point into Australia for hundreds of thousands of European immigrants.

Sooo many Humans from Europe came to Australia through the port of Fremantle

Fremantle is a major container port but also hosts cruise ships and many ferries and private pleasure craft.

This Human Dude is C Y O’ Connor, West Australia’s Chief Engineer and responsible for the construction of Fremantle Harbour, something other engineers thought impossible. Sad story though, he was also responsible for building a water supply line to the goldfields at Coolgardie some 330 miles from Perth and is the world’s longest water main. However when first turned on no water flowed and myth has it he was so distraught he committed suicide. The really sad thing is a few days later the water did flow it just took a very long time due to the huge distance.

This boat is the Leeuwin II, a sailing ship based out of Fremantle Port, that is operated by Leeuwin Ocean Adventures a charity group taking young Humans out on 3 day training adventures. Lucky people, I’d volunteer!

That’s it for me this week, I’m off to find a Human to finally chuck me ball.

R

The Jacaranda Dog

Don’t know where I’m off to today… Hope its the local dog park!
Ahhh! The Jacaranda Festival. I like this!

The Jacaranda tree is one of my favourite trees and not just for peeing on!

We are coming up to the spring bloom in the next few months here in Perth. These are pictures from last year’s Jacaranda festival held in the nearby suburb of Applecross.

Looking pretty happy after a local vendor tossed me some fresh meat!

The fantastic purple blooms explode across these older Perth suburbs and is a brilliant sight. Not sure if you guys have Jacaranda trees in your neighbourhood, I’m told by me Humans they originate in South America.

Thats it from me this week folks!

R

Ralph’s Favourite Spots

Today I want to tell you about my favourite ball catching and swimming place. It’s the Point Walter dog beach and exercise area. The Point Walter area is on the south side of the Swan River which cuts through Perth City on its way to the ocean at Fremantle Port. It’s what makes Perth such a great city to live in, one of the most liveable cities in the world and I should know being the most travelled dog on the planet!

Point Walter itself is quite spectacular for swimming and picnicking and such but the Point Walter Dog Beach is even better coz us dogs are allowed to swim and muck about there.

A Dog on a Beach with a Ball, no change there then…

Now I am a bit artistic as some of you will know from my blog a while back “The Artistic Collie“! So the other cool thing about this area is the small park dedicated to us dogs. The park contains many dog sculptures from a brilliant new local Perth artist, April Pine. She calls this collection Spirit. Here are a few of me favourites:

Oops, that’s rather embarrassing…
Gee… the human sculptures even chuck balls for ya!

My worry is that these are not sculptures at all but some evil genius has turned a few of us dogs into these statues! Just my theory but it might be time for me to exit…

A dog exiting Stage Right… err… Left. Anyway the beach is just down here. Time for a swim Humans!

Bye until next time.

R

Last Summer…

Ok, it’s a bit chilly here in Fremantle due to the fact that it is winter. This means me Humans are a little reluctant to take me out to the Dog Park and beach for walks and ball chucking. So I thought some pictures from last summer might cheer me up! This is East Fremantle Dog Park and River Beach

Yeah, I know, the blue on me ball is the end of me Humans ball-chucker thing, I was a bit exuberant and bit the ball off complete with ball catcher cup, cool eh!

Right! Nobody move, the Border Collies got this!
Come on you lot! We got a beach down here and everything!
Do not move ball or I will have ya!

Me heading for the ball some dopey human chucked far too far away. Bloody seagulls dive bombed me on the way back too. Pity me Humans didn’t get a pickie of that.

Got it, sweet! And no seagulls or crocs got me either. Time to go home.

See ya next time

R

Life’s A Beach

Just a short little blog today. Me and me Humans found a new dog friendly beach near Point Walter on the Swan River in Perth. Very quiet and peaceful. Just right for chucking and catching balls. Oh and of course swimming. So I thought I’d share a few pickies…

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OK, I’m ready!

dogbeach03

Shark! What shark?

dogbeach04
I’m outta here…

dogbeach05
Can’t hear you, dog busy here…

Me doing a great impression of pretending not to hear me Humans call for us to go.

Have a great week everyone.

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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