Today, 1 April, is Dizzy and Sushi’s seventh birthday. While everyday in their lives is pretty special and they get (almost) as many treats as they could want any day, I always like a little celebration, so popped a bottle of bubbly in the fridge. We all had freshly laid, boiled eggs from Bridget’s “Ladies Retreat at 15 Miller Street” around the corner, for breakfast. The dogs get to peel their own eggs – fun food- and do an amazingly good job of it.
We always reminisce on their birthday and look at old photos – remembering when they were tiny scraps and thinking how lucky we are to have them in our lives.
I wonder how their siblings are doing, wherever they are?
When he was little, Dizzy was friendlier to other dogs and actually got invited to Kola Downard’s birthday party once. What a lot of fun that was with 5 dogs racing around and scoffing party treats! No one would invite him now – he’s far too rude.
Today, we shared carrot cake for morning tea with friends: Antonia told us about her dog Panjo’s first birthday party last year – he even got candles on his big cake! Sharon brought a gift of some chunks of beef. Laila sent birthday greetings by text. We did have a lovely day, although Sushi has hurt her leg and will need to go to the vet. Luckily they are not open today, because she loathes the vet and it wouldn’t have been a nice thing to do on her birthday. We chilled on the verandah in our usual spot. Paul poached free range chicken breasts for their supper and we had gnocchi with fresh garden tomatoes and basil.
For their first birthday, I wrote a story, which I share below.
AFRODIZZIAC AND THE SNAPDRAGON CELEBRATE THEIR FIRST BIRTHDAY BENEATH THE AUTUMN MOON
As the saying goes, time flies when you are having fun and this past year has been a very joyful ride! On April Fools’ Day, Sushi Snapdragon and the AfroDizziac (Dizzy) celebrated their first birthday. The occasion was marked with many treats shared with friends Chester and Dougal, Diesel, Darcy, Belle and Gus as well as Kola, Tessie, Mojo, Seeker, Rufty-Tufty, Echo, Nala and Mary, Nelson, Sheba, Purdy and Buck and Storm, the little white Alsatian pup, as well as our brand new cousins Mango (who is very spotty) and Milo (who is a bit of a terrorist)- pic below, playing with Rory. A veritable who’s who of the canine society in the Midlands!
Not everyone could come to play, so party bags were supplied to those who couldn’t make it. The morning began with a visit to the neighbours’ dogs and a spin about the garden, followed by a treasure hunt for scrummy big biscuits.
Later, a mad romp up and down the passage and all over the couch with best friend Chester left us all needing a short nap – whew! After this short break a long walk to run in the fields sniffing out interesting things followed by a refreshing swam and swam all over the dam.
Having two such wonderful companions has made meant a very different year from the past few dogless ones. It has however focused our attention on the marvel that is dog! Dizz is a classic African dog, tall and very handsome.
According to the African dog Guidebook, Sushi is “the short legged variety”! She seems like a bit of an oddbin special to us, but as they say in the classics – has a lovely personality. She was such a scrawny little thing when we found her.
They owe their good looks and taste for anything edible from ants, to earthworms and fallen fruit to the original African dogs. Visitors often comment “has he got a bit of Doberman in him?”, but we are convinced that it is the other way around. Dobermans got their colouring from our splendid black and tan breed!
Having Original Dogs has made us aware that they have given their peculiar traits to so many other breeds. To the Retriever the ability to carry the lead in their mouth and the newspaper up the driveway. To the Jack Russell the ability to dig tunnels in an attempt to unearth moles and to chase swooping birds.
To the Staffie the ability to do zero to 100kms in 3 seconds from a deep sleep. To the Border Collie the ability to jump over fences which are continuously heightened. To the Maltese Poodle the desire to curl up on a lap. To the Daschund the need to be carried around with a head resting on a friendly shoulder, to the Greyhound the ability to run like the wind.
The temptation to herd those chickens and the desire to round up the cows we have shared with Australian cattle dogs. To the Pointer the elegant raised paw pose while on the watch and to Beagles totally focussed following of an interesting scent.
To Terriers, the ability to excavate extraordinary amounts of earth and also good balance, useful for standing between the car seats to get a good view of the road, to the Japanese Shirba the ability to climb trees,
to Rottweilers the deep growl when anyone unexpectedly gets too close to mum, to the Laborador the joy of swimming and splashing in mud pools.
How dull the canine world would be without these influences!
Other species have had influences on our dogs. From the weasel they learnt to jump high in the grassland to see over the long stalks in case there are any rabbits lurking nearby, from the otter their swimming technique with swishing tail and sleek, shiny coats, from the goat and rat the ability to chew their way through almost anything and apparently digest it, to the magpie the need to collect shoes and clothes and glasses and watches for safe keeping on their bed. Snapping Turtles have given them the ability to snap their jaws madly and never let go when they have a grip on something.
Squirrels have taught them to nibble things held in their front paws. One big disappointment is their reluctance to howl at the full moon – they have inherited the wonderful wolf grin though.
Sushi Snapdragon loves to spend the early evenings frogging in the garden, an expert by now, she occasionally carries in (very gently) an unusual one for us to identify. She is also a soccer fan, playing for hours and is certainly a better defender than either of the Ferdinand brothers.
Doodlebug is happy to entertain himself with a tinkly bell ball (actually meant for the cats), throwing it in the air or up the bank so it rolls down for him to pounce on. He plays a lot with his imaginary friend, Soren Lorenson, too. Delicious first birthday meal included a chicken (which used to have a happy life) with organic rice and lots of herbs and veggies out of the garden and champagne (luckily for us, they didn’t like champagne so we skipped the chicken and finished to bottle instead). A whirlwind day but very entertaining! Here’s to many more.
Oh, and now we hope for at least seven more – filled with an abundance of love and lots of organic food to keep us all strong.