Sunday, 21 February 2016

Over Analyzing Dog Behaviour and Some Romance

What a title... and what a miracle two blog posts in two days. The other day when I was explaining to Chad, the theory (as explained further down) I have about Nala and her obsession with playing when she sees me he said "Seriously mom, it is a wonder you haven't written a book called dumb thoughts for dummies - I think I must get someone to write your memoirs for you"  My reply was "that's why I have a blog" "No seriously mom there is no explanation why dogs do what they do - they just do what they do without having a serious think about it." 

When Our Couches Still Looked Like Couches And Not Like Dog Toys

Anyway, besides my son being as witty as ever, when Miss Piggy was a puppy, her first Winter with us, our TV broke in the lounge and because it was cold we used to lie in our bedroom in bed, watching TV with all the dogs and cat on the bed with us and Chad bouncing around like a looney tune - he was around 12 then. Piggy is not a cuddly dog, even though she looks cuddly with all those little rolls of fat and squishy face and the top of her head is as soft as the down on a day old duckling - she is not a cuddly dog. I have a theory about that too and yes Chad has a cheeky retort to that as well.

Back to my theory, when she would jump around on our bed like a lunatic with Chad, I used to take my cigarette box and balance it on her nose - I used to smoke Dunhill Fine Cut in the black box and when the box was balanced on her nose, she would try and get it and bite it and fling it off her nose. I also had a Blackberry in those days and it was a black Blackberry. One day I walked into the kitchen and saw Miss Madame playing with my phone on the kitchen floor - trying to get it in her mouth. I could have sworn that I had left my phone in the lounge - I took the phone away from her and it had a bit of damage to it and I also saw that someone had called from an unknown number and it was not a missed call, it was an incoming answered call. Probably a telemarketer, because the person never phoned back, wonder what they thought of that call. Well, my phone was never safe after that. She got hold of that phone so many times there was hardly anything left of it, but hey it worked. One thing I have to say a Blackberry is one strong phone. Sometimes the keypad would type out random things and I would take the battery out for 20 minutes and it would work again. The only problem was that one day when she had a Blackberry attack she bit the lens of the camera and this blog is testament to the bad pictures I took, but photo memories are memories - blurred or not. I used the phone for over a year until it was time for an upgrade because it was new when she first √§nswered it and attacked the telemarketer. I always wondered how she got hold of the phone because I always put it on the table and she was too short to get to it on the table. One day Chad and I were watching TV as we always do and I looked up and there was Miss Piggy on the couch stretching out onto the table to grab my phone. Our lounge is narrow so the table is close to the couch, especially when Mark and Chad push the table to give themselves more legroom. We finally discovered how she got my phone - it was so cute I could not shout at her. She never touched any other phone but mine. When I eventually got my upgrade I chose a white Blackberry and have chosen a white phone ever since - not once has she touched any of my phones since, even if I leave it on the couch next to her. So what was it about that phone - was it because she associated it with my cigarette box and it was a game to chew on it, she never did it to my cigarette box ever or was it the ringing that drove her crazy the first time she grabbed it. Who knows but that phone was not safe with her.

Now my theory about Nala. The other day I was washing the dishes and Nala and Spike were both lying outside each with a ball by their paws waiting expectantly to play. I was walking up and down as you do when washing and drying dishes and packing away and they just lay by the open back door and when I took notice of them when it really registered, I thought they looked very cute and I walked to the room to get my phone. As I lifted the phone to take a photo, Nala got up and went running to the back to go and play. From the day she came to stay I have been taking photos of her playing - photos and videos. So my theory is that every time she sees my phone and as we ALWAYS have our phones in our hands, she thinks it is playtime and Chad thinks his mother is whacked.

Anyway, we have cut down her play time and she is OK with it. Now when I am done playing, I call her, wash her ball, give it to her and she chews on it, I go inside with the other dogs, give them biscuits and call her showing her the biscuits and if she comes inside she gets a biscuit. Piggy started the trend of biscuits not being a reward for good behaviour or a reinforcement for good behaviour - she gets them as a distraction usually from bad behaviour or just because she wants one and gets very vocal about not getting any when she wants. Nala is now getting them as a distraction from playing and it seems to be working. I don't take her ball away from her and hide it because it is like her pacifier or security toy/blanky. If she is nervous or unsure, she gets a ball in her mouth and settles.

At her other home, she was also given scraps and chicken including bones and apparently did not like dog food. I like to believe that our dogs don't get scraps, they most definitely don't get bones, but Mark and Chad do give them scraps especially Mark, so they do get scraps but not every day. I know she is completely at home with us, but just in case, she misses her food from her other home, even though she loves her Eukanuba, I started making them chicken livers cooked with rice and butternut, which they get on a Monday morning and a Thursday morning. Sometimes just rice and chicken livers. Rice binds their tummies and we had to give Piggy rice when she was a Puppy because of her ongoing tummy problems. She just gets the chicken liver flavoured rice, but not the livers. You will not believe how that dog (Miss Piggy) loves Butternut. She eats it like dog biscuits - pieces of cooked Butternut with no salt or butter, just butternut (Bull Dogs are not allowed salt - something to do with the way they perspire or don't perspire). So Nala is happy with her food and she is happy with her life with us and is OK with not playing as much, but does play hard when she does play. On Friday I thought she was going to break her neck or leg twice, she jumped so high and twisted herself to get the ball, after the second time I stopped straight away and ended the play session - no broken necks or legs, thank you. Her and Spike still absolutely adore each other and the other night, because she was in the lounge, I don't as a rule, give them any food or treats in the lounge, Mark and Chad do, I don't, she missed out on biscuit time so I took her a biscuit and gave it to her on the couch and she was a bit uncertain and then as she put it in her mouth, she eats very slowly, Spike gently took the biscuit out of her mouth and ate it - it was the cutest, funniest thing ever. When Nala came to live with us, I was going to start a blog called With Love From Nala to record her rehoming, but it seemed like too much effort and this blog is so full of Nala Tales, it could be called With Love Nala.

Nala and Garfield Finding Comfort During The Storm Yesterday

...And no romance has nothing to do with the dogs. It is Chad and JD's six month anniversary today and should be more than a year, but the first six months was fraught with uncertainty and breakups so it is officially six months today and initially Chad thought yesterday was the 21st until I showed him on the calendar Sunday was the 21st. My son is such a romantic and JD is a lucky lady. He arranged a lovely dinner at home and initially planned to have it in the garden with floating candles and candles all along to the table, but we had such terrible weather yesterday and we had the craziest rainstorm just after he set everything up outside, which in hindsight he did far too early, because the rain stopped when he fetched her. Just before he set up he asked me if he should have it next to the pool or in the circle as he calls it, in Clint's Memorial Garden. That is huge for Chad because any reference to Clint upsets Chad and he prefers not to talk about it. It also brought a huge lump to my throat and I hid the tears and surprise and said that would be better because it is more intimate and secluded than where he wanted to do it by the pool. Sadly, the rain put an end to that so he took everything out of his room and turned it into a romantic dining room. We were supposed to go out, but the cooking and setting up and fetching her became a bit too much, so we stayed and helped. They had Scotch Fillet and Baked Potato with Cheese Sauce and Bacon and Chocolate Mousse for dessert (her all time favourite food). He bought her a beautiful bracelet with a heart on it and red roses. Mark did their steak for them and I did the potato and cheese sauce and they both dressed up. It was very sweet and she was very impressed and happy and amazed.

They are both home bodies and Chad couldn't have found a girl more suited to him. She is quite mature and also doesn't like going out, they both love movies and if they do go out, it is out to dinner or movies. They didn't do much for Valentine's Day, they spent the day at home and I said to Chad that they are becoming like an old married couple, not realising what he had up his sleeve for their six month anniversary.

Mothers are not supposed to or rarely like their baby boy's girlfriends, but I do like her and she is a sweet girl. Chad likes to tease everybody, especially me and JD, so when we were sizing each other up, in the beginning, I said to her that if she doesn't believe what Chad says about me, I won't believe what he says about her, so we have this pact and every time Chad comes with his wit, one of us reminds him of it. There are times that she is like a little girl, like last Saturday I made crunchies and asked Chad if they wanted some and he said no. He then asked me to make her coffee and when I took her coffee to her and asked if she wanted crunchies she said yes please and I took her some crunchies. I did not know that she was on a diet and Chad was being her rock. She is tiny, but she loves her food and used to play a lot of sport at school, but their school doesn't do sport so now she does no sport and has to watch her weight from time to time. Just after I took the crunchies to her, Chad came into the kitchen and said JD said your crunchies don't taste good and they really don't. I said well put them back. They did not taste as syrupy as normal and I actually think I put too much coconut and too little sugar in them, but less sugar is good. I just carried on doing whatever in the kitchen - actually making Red Velvet Cup Cakes - and no I am not dieting. I am so disgusted in myself, I have put on weight again and can't diet and all that hard work will have gone to waste soon. Anyway I was busy and I looked up and she came rushing into the kitchen and stood there all forlorn and said Chad took my crunchies - she was flabbergasted and he probably thought she wouldn't come and tell me. I said Oh he said you don't like them and her reply was "You know Chad..." She got her crunchies and I told him to stop rationing her and when he cuts out all the cold drink he drinks he can stop her from eating junk.

Red Velvet Cup Cakes

Yesterday, I made these savoury Muffins for breakfast and Chad said they tasted horrible and today he asked me to make more of those muffins and I said no they horrible, he laughed and said yesterday they were horrible and today they good, but put more bacon in them. I changed the recipe a bit and I never change recipes, because I am not that good at baking and measurements, but the amount of Zucchini seemed too much and the bacon and cheese too little. They are really easy and quick to make and the most difficult part is lining a round muffin pan with pieces of square baking paper - next time I think I will just use muffin cups. I found the recipe by pure accident, I was searching for something for Chad and this advert for 12 Savoury Muffin recipes popped up and I had a look and these looked too simple and delicious to ignore. Don't you love it when you are searching for Forensic Data Analysist Courses (don't ask) and instead you find a yummy muffin recipe! I think the universe is telling Chad to become a Chef and to forget the current idea he has in his mind - haha not a chance!!!

And that is another week over and almost the end of February - wishing you a wonderful week ahead

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