Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dougies Dance with Death

Brindle Great Dane Sleeping
Well it has been quite a while since I have written anything here. Much to my dismay but as life is slowly getting into a routine and Josh and I are now the only two humans living in our house, I am finding time for all of my much neglected projects.

However an abundance of time is not the reason I was compelled to write.

Yesterday while Josh, Douges and I were visiting the farm where my parents are staying while visiting Australia we all went on a lovely walk around the property.

During this walk our little explorer gave a flying leap into the big pond at the base of the property. He does this every time he goes by it so we all thought little of it. However, Dougie hates water in his ears, I mean hates!

He loves water however, so he refuses to get out and instead starts violently shaking his head while in the water which subsequently causes even more water to slip down his big floppy ears. Normally this is comical to watch.

As I was laughing at his sillyness I realised he was beginning to panic, his head started shaking more and more dramatically as he tried, in vain, to shake the water from his ears. And then he started that typical splashing that we all do, human or K9, when we are distressed in water.

By this time we are all yelling and whistling to try and snap him out of his panic. And then his head went under…

That is when I lost it, mind you I didn't go diving into the slimy pond right away but my heart jumped into my throat and I had to force my feet to stay on the ground and not panic. I knew jumping in to save him right away would probably be bad for both of us as I am not a strong swimmer and he has claws the size of Texas that would very easily scratch me to death as he tried to get to safety.

Then I noticed Josh and Dad at the waters edge preparing to save Dougie if he didn't come up. Of course he resurfaced and then finally snapped out of it and whatever evil pond creature had curled around his leg had released him. I know his short little life flashed before his eyes, needless to say he stayed close the rest of the day, soaking up the affection and concern of his humanoids.

I know this seems like a complete over reaction to a silly little "almost drowning" experience, but I think God has sent this dog to us to prepare us for kids.

Yes we may not have to wipe his bum, but we do pretty much everything else for this dog. We constantly try to manage his insecurities and reassure him that he is safe and loved. We try to balance fun time with learning time. We try to be fair and consistent so it is not confusing for him. I know he is just a dog (not that he knows that) but this pup has seriously changed our lives over the last year and half and I know God put him in our path for not only his happiness but our growth.

Happy almost birthday Dougie! Please don't jump into ponds and try to kill yourself again. Maybe it was a cry for help.

The below link is a weird thing I found on preparing for the type of situation we were in yesterday. Useful info for dog owners.

Rescuing a Dog from Drowning

Thursday, May 10, 2012

DIY PillowCase Lamp

I'm annoyed that I didn't take more photos of this project as I went along but there was a movie on while I was doing it so I was a bit distracted. 

Anyway it isn't rocket science so you should be fine. I got the inspiration for this idea from Tater Tots & Jello but she cheated because she used pre-ruffled fabric. Just saying. 

So in order to do a project such as this you will need: 

Scissors (preferably fabric)
Glue Gun 
Pillowcase (preferably with a ruffle trim, it makes it easier) or some other fabric

Start by cutting your chosen fabric into inch wide strips, make sure your fabric piece is long enough to wrap all the way around your lamp. I was only using a little lamp shade so I didn't have to worry too much about this. You can vary the width of your strips depending on what type of look you want, I wanted a textured look so I made mine fairly close together when I applied them. 

My $10 lamp from Kmart. I'm sure you can find one at an op shop (thrift store). 

A pillowcase my boss was throwing out. 
Next you can start hot glueing your pieces of fabric around the lamp starting at the top and working your way down. Be sure to keep the strips taught as you go around if you want a "Mummy" type look. I wanted mine to be flat but if you want more of a "ruffled" effect just don't be so pedantic about applying it smoothly. While applying the strips you can go perfectly across and make straight lines or you can be a little messy and make them go up and down a bit, I chose the latter. J suggested I make them straight and even, but the lamp is on my side of the bed. 

Once you are finished wrapping your "mummy" strips around the lamp you need to cap off the top and bottom to give it a finished and neat look. I used a nice even piece from my strips for the top and just hot glued it over the top of the other strips. 

For the bottom I used the left over ruffle pieces from the pillowcase. I hot glued it on as a whole piece (wish I had photos) and then trimmed it down so it just barely hung past the edge of the lamp. J liked it with the long granny ruffle but I didn't because it looked like a jellyfish, apparently that is what he found appealing about it. 

The ruffled edge from the pillowcase that I just cut down.
I made it uneven because I like the roughness. 
I love it lit up, it looks so much more textured.
I had to use my phone for this photo so it isn't the best image. Sorry.
Adds some nice colour to my bedside table
(an old box that I covered with a vintage tea towel (kitchen towel) from J's mom's house. 
I am currently trying to find a pretty ribbon to tie around it to just finish it off. But for now I am happy with my funky little lamp. I think it adds some much needed colour to our bedroom. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Free couch

J and I saw this little beauty on the way home from church yesterday. With a big old FREE GIVEAWAY sign next to it. I wish I had got a before shot but pretty much it just needed a good clean and it was like new! We now have a beautiful music room couch. Isn't God awesome? :)

Can't wait to decorate this little room :)
Douges and Trip can't figure out why they aren't allowed
to lay on this couch. (it isn't leather)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Brenner Birthday Bash

Yesterday J and I went down the coast to visit the fat one (our niece) and her parents for her mum's birthday! We went to the Max Brenner there in BroadBeach I believe it was, anyway here is a map to it.

For those of you who don't know and honestly I don't know how you can't know what Max Brenner is, it is a Chocolate Bar. I remember my first encounter with 'The BaldMan,' it was during my first year at Avondale College  and I was out late with my sister (a chocolate Lover) and her friends.

The Bald Man himself, I always pictured him black...
for some reason.
One of them suggested we go to Max Brenner, and during the thirty minute drive to the place I got a complete review of how incredibly amazing this place was. To be honest I did love the atmosphere and the look and the chocolate of the place, but it was over crowded and expensive. Since then I have been back when I wasn't on a college budget and I enjoyed it quite a bit more, but it is still expensive.

Yesterday half of us ordered the Babka. I think that is what it was called, anyway it is essentially a tower cinnamon roll, just replace the cinnamon with chocolate and ad a little shot of dipping chocolate on the side. It is really quite delicious.

The Babka

I had the Mocha, which was very nice, very very sweet but very nice. And the birthday girl got a white chocolate Chai Tea, and she seemed to enjoy it.

Needless to say we were all on a chocolate high. Even little Faddi, she is pulling her chocolate face below.

Half the fun of Max Brenner are the funky cups and mugs they have made special for their store. One of which is called the "Hug Mug"  It just goes to show a few simple details can take a store a long way.

All in all this is one of the best Max Brenner's I have been to, the service is quick, which is rare for a MB, the it is not over crowded and has a lovely outside seating area. If you are looking for a special afternoon delight, this is the place to go. And they even have a few things on the menu for non-choclate lovers. J's favourite is the 'Pink Granita' (passionfruit and strawberry smoothie) even though he says it is a girlie drink.

Of all the Max Brenner's I have been to I recommend this one.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Douges's Cousin

The last couple of months J, Douges and I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of his cousin Trip. She will be semi-permanently visiting us for the next 6 months or so.

Douges nervously waiting for his new best friend.
Even got on his favourite scarf.

Trip is a sweetie but like most dogs she is not used to the amount of love Douges has to offer, and the amount of love he forces her to accept.

She arrived last night and although she is still telling him off when he gets to close, Douges has not given up and is taking her assaults as playing hard to get. It is cute to watch.

The below photo pretty much sums up their current relationship....Trip looking away and trying to ignore Douges and him desperately trying to catch her eye. I think Douges would like them to be kissing cousins, little creep.

brindle great dane
This sums up their relationship so far. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

My First Park Review

I know I have been saying that I would start writing more.....we all know how that has been going. So I have decided to start giving my silly opinion on things instead. And then when I have time, I will write for the sake of creativity.

So here is my first go at a review. I plan to make a regular occurrence of reviewing parks for Big Dogs.

Alexander Clark Park 

Alexander Clarke Park

This park is a bit of a cop out for my first review because J and I go there quite regularly with Douges, but that being said I would say I am an expert on it's facilities.

Although, when I went to take pictures today I discovered some new additions to this parks awesomeness. It also has a beautiful walking path that runs along the Western edge of the park, along the river (I pulled out my iphone compass for this one so I am sure it is that Western edge)

Logan River Walkway
This pretty little path wraps around to the far end of the park.
I counted four little gates that lead down to the water. Very safe for the kids.
Dog Park

Alexander Clark Park is near our house and quite conveniently has the largest dog park area we have visited with Douges. There are two parks, one for the little fellas and one for the big fellas. The larger park has quite developed obstacle courses for those smarter pooches. Douges....not so much, although he does enjoy running up the doggy ramp and standing on top as if he is the king of the park.

Dog Obstacle Course Logan
This is one of Dougies favourites, really it's the only thing he 'uses' there. 

Dog Obstacle Course Logan
Obstacle course for the smarter breeds. 

The grass is well maintained here and there is a lovely shaded area for owners, although we always find it a bit unfair that the "little" dog park owners have a lovely gazebo to sit under, while we only have two benches, but beggers can't be choosers.

The 'small dog people' gezebo. 

The main area for the big dog folks, there are
several more benches scattered around the area. 

The beauty of this place is even when you strike out and come at a time of day when there are no big dog owners, there is almost ALWAYS a little dog to run up and down the length of the adjoining "little" dog park and give your big dog some exercise while they chase them. 

Sometimes when this happens I feel it is a bit torturous for Dougie because he wants sooo badly to make friends with the little dog, but it wears him out none the less. 

There is also a tidy rubbish bin for their dirty little deeds and they also have an ample supply of poo bags on the post next to it. We go there all the time and both the bin is kept clean and the bags are kept refilled.

The tidy bin on left and the bag pole on right.

The regulars here are all very sweet, we often find that with a dog as big as Douges some people get scared he will hurt their dog when it is a little smaller than Douges (and let's be honest, that is most dogs) but here they are all relaxed and don't mind a bit of rough play which makes it easier to relax on our part. 

Outside of the dog park this place is gorgeous, the Logan River runs around the edge of the whole park and makes for a very whistful atmosphere. There are several different play areas for kids and tons of picnic tables for afternoon outings. 

This playground is located at the end closest to the water. 
This is a strange thing J and I often play on, but his legs are too long. 
The main playground located closest to the entrance. 
A look out along the Logan River path. 
There are many old trees at this park, it is so beautiful. If
by some fluke there are no empty tables, you can always
throw a blanket down and have a picnic. 

This is a very dog friendly park for big dogs and little dogs alike and even if we move someday we will always come back to visit. Check it out for yourself if you live in South Brisbane. 

And if you're lucky you'll visit on the Beagle Club day, I will post a video of when Douges got to meet the Beagle Club, it was insane! 

brindle great dane
Douges with his new haltie. He's still not sure about it.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Lobster Back

I am up at 6:30 am on a Saturday. . .

This may seem ridiculous because I have no reason to be up this early, we have no kids, Douges sleeps in, and we have no prior commitment to get up early and go hiking or something.

In order to answer the Why? question I have to go back a few days, it all started on Wednesday.

Josh and I decided. . . . actually hang on it started on Tuesday!

Alright so on Tuesday Josh and I went to work at the office, leaving adorable Dougsie all by himself for 8 hours. With nothing to do but think up ways to piss me off.

When we came home from work there was a Douges sized hole in our gate and one of our awesome neighbours had barricaded him back in. Now in his mild defence it had been raining for a week and when I say raining I mean hurricane weather, and no for any Australians reading this I am not exagerating, you guys are just used to disaster weather being the normal forecast, anyway the wood on the really old fence was completely saturated so the planks popped off like they were held on with sticky tape. Douges has gotten out before but this was a winner!

This is what we came home to the second time he broke out. Yes he did it more than once, I blame the rain. And his rebellious teens.
I later spoke with several of our neighbours one of which is an elderly woman and she told me he spent most of the day standing in the middle of our culdisac watching her weed her garden. Now I find that humorous, but apparently to some a 45 Kilo (roughly 100lbs) dog starring at you and drooling can be disheartening.

This is his grumpy lip face. This face is usually preceded by a drawn out sigh or low pitched or high depending on his mood whinging noise. This particular shot was taken from my bed where he likes to do his said noise and then stare at me and breath on my arm until I either notice him and tell him to get lost or invite him up. Needless to say I rarely tell him to get lost.

Anyway the reason I am telling you this is because it directly relates to what happened on Wednesday (by the way we boarded up the fence and put everything we could think of in front of that gate, the perimeter is secure . . . for now).

So of course all day the following Wednesday I was fretting and worrying that Douges would get out again and cause havoc to our neighbours, one of which I'm pretty sure thinks he is neglected (I am taking her baked goods this morning to let her know we're nice people that don't neglect our dog, I mean who do you know that bakes for fun that is a bad person right?). So I worried all day and then when I talked to Josh on my lunch I was worrying some more to him and as I do I was thinking ahead to the worries of the weekend. You see, Josh and I have a little BBQ get together we were going to on Saturday night, and Dougie especially loves to cause trouble at night time when he is left alone.

So even before I expressed that concern Josh suggested that we have the BBQ with our friends at our house instead of where it was going to be held because it would be easier for everyone, plus it would be our first "couple" hosted get together and there's the added bonus that Douges wouldn't be left alone. So of course I said YES!

Now here's where the story starts to tie together, because we were having people over to our house and because it had been raining non-stop the week before I decided I HAD to mow our ridiculously long grass on my day off on Thursday. Josh told me not to but I was of course determined. I spent all day weeding the flower beds, mowing, and I even left the catch on . . . oooo the catch, I have to share a story about the catch!

Douges making himself extremely helpful while I mow the entire yard!

I have only mowed our lawn about two times since we moved in because Josh is a good husband and generally tries to squelch my desire to do it cause it hurts my back. But I don't like him doing it on Sundays. Anyway I am not too familiar with it's mechanics, so when I go to put the catch on I just can't seem to get the little latch to hold it in place. No matter how hard I hit it onto the mower it just won't stay. I am just about to give up when I realise that I am putting it on completely wrong and all I had to do was lift the lip over the top of the mower so that it hooked on . . . sooo easy and I spent half an hour trying to figure it out. I even called Josh and he was like "Babe it's really easy I don't get what you could possibly be doing wrong." My first blonde moment for that day.

I spent five hours doing the outside work, taking my time to make the yard look great. About hour three I was starting to notice that I was beginning to get a little burned but I thought nothing of it because not even the Australian sun seems to get me too burned.

When Josh got home that night and I proudly met him and Aaron at the door to greet them with all my news of my awesome accomplishments I was met with two "OOO woah hahahahaha". Apparently I was a little bit more than sun kissed. Mind you I had been gardening in my bikini.

The Burn. Skin Cancer anyone?

This finally leads me to why I am up at 6:30am on a Sabbath morning. I have been tossing and turning all night from my itchy and burning skin and keeping Josh up and Douges even I think. And despite their patient understanding I have decided to get up instead of driving them crazy with my thrashing.

There are no pearls of wisdom to go along with this post other than maybe to wear sun screen, just me sharing my silliness with you. Here's to BBQing, in this case, my skin!
My extremely well done mowing job : ) I was proud even despite the sunburn.