Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cocoa's Achievements

So Cocoa is going to be 10 months old next week, and she has passed two levels of Obedience Training: Beginners and Level One. 

She does pretty well: she usually heels well, she sits and stays, she can stand and down on command, but staying in a stand for inspection and staying in a down are challenges! 
We have been held back in Level Two, and we anticipate staying here for some time. (No biggie! It's not just Cocoa, some of her mates haven't made the grade yet either.) 

It's an intense hour at 8.45 every Sunday morning, and  we try to take her to the adjacent dog park for at least a half hour before class to  run around and have social time with her classmates. We don't feed her that morning, (our dog club recommends that it will keep her "ingestively keen"), and the session at the dog park wears her out a bit, and usually makes her more compliant in class. 
She's a social little thing, though ---  and she gets distracted and distracts her classmates in the process. 
So, our keys to learning alongside her on these mornings: 

1. Coffee before leaving the house ( and sometimes again at the coffee truck at the dog park!!) 
2. Patience
3. Our sense of humour
4. Gumboots (it's winter here, and the field is a mud bath!) 

At home, her list of achievements is a bit different. No ribbons. Just a list. Of destruction. 

Countless holes dug. 
3 missing Kongs 
2 missing water bowls
(...probably all  in the holes. We have tried excavating, and no luck!) 
2 plastic garden pots
A rhubarb plant
This summer's basil crop
The strawberry patch
1 dog blanket
6 stuffed chew toys
3 plastic chew toys
2 ornamental grasses
The compost bin
A garden hose

Pictures to come! 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bombolinis for Scott

Scott's Birthday was in the first week of May, and we celebrated on the day with a special trip into the city for a gourmet steak dinner. We are systematically eating our way through all of Melbourne's top ten steak restaurants. Funny thing: we are guaranteed to be served by a North American every time. Last year, a girl originally from Duncan was our waitperson, and this year an American served us.

The following day, we had Bombolini (Italian donuts) from Sugardough Bakery with the kids; a choice of Jam, Custard, Cinnamon Apple or Chocolate.... yum!

Walking with the Dog

We found a secret dog park in Boronia, just a suburb over from us. It's a reservoir, with the most deluxe outdoor furniture I've ever seen in a nature reserve! Great views of the "lake" and the Dandenong Mountains in the distance.

Cocoa is still not too sure about bodies of water. This shot was taken just before she fell in whilst trying to make friends with some ducks.

How can you deny this face anything?!!! She no longer fits on my lap in the front seat.... too big and gangly.

Collingwood Graffiti

One day in our Easter Holiday break, Scott and I drove into the city for the day to poke around in shops around Collingwood, Fitzroy and Brunswick. Here are some choice bits of Collingwood graffiti we saw in our wanderings.

I think it's  a dog with an assault rifle... or a possum with a crowbar?

Cocoa @ 6 Months Old

She grows like a weed. At 6 months, she weighed 16 kilos, and is totally cute!

She went through a stage where she just wanted to crawl on our laps and fall asleep on the couch. Her own bed wasn't good enough. Here she is sleeping like log.

Cocoa Cuddles

The dog often gets a cuddle in bed before we take her on a walk in the morning. This is Cocoa at 5 months old.

Monday, January 20, 2014


The squawkatoos and Kookaburras woke us early almost every morning, and we heard a Koala grunting and snorting around at night.  This little King Parrot came looking for a handout one evening. 

Spotted on the pathway.