Tag Archives: animals

A New Companion

Firstly, I should like to thank all those who either ticked Like and/or commented on my blog about putting Lotte to sleep.  Your kind thoughts, words and hugs are very much appreciated. Now..

As you can imagine I have been looking for another dog, not to replace Lotte but because my family think I should get another companion.  So I have been looking for a dog to re-home  through various organisations and then this email landed in my in-box:


“This is Brutus, a military K9 at McChord…He’s huge – part Boxer
and part British Bull Mastiff and tops the scales at 200 lbs. His handler took the picture.
Brutus is running toward me because he knows I have some Milk Bone treats, so he’s slobbering away! I had to duck around a tree just before he got to me in case he couldn’t stop, but he did.
Brutus was the recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor last year from his tour in Iraq . His handler and four other soldiers were taken hostage by
insurgents.  Brutus and his handler communicate by sign language and he gave Brutus the signal that meant ‘go away but come back and find me’.
The Iraqis paid no attention to Brutus. He came back later and quietly tore the throat out of one guard at one door and another guard at another door. He then jumped against one of the doors repeatedly (the guys were being held in an
old warehouse) until it opened. He went in and untied his handler and they all escaped. He’s the first K9 to receive this honor.

If he knows you’re ok, he’s a big old lug and wants to sit
in your lap. Enjoys the company of cats..
K-9 Congressional Medal of Honor Winner”

I think he is slightly too big for me.  I would have to buy a bigger property, a bigger car, larger couch and dog bed, change my friends and take him for walks about 6 times a day.  So I guess I shall just have to keep looking.

By the way he really is a big softie,  These instructions were included in the email:

Instructions for properly hugging a baby with Brutus

First, uh, find a baby.


Second, be sure that the object you found
was indeed a baby, by employing classic sniffing


Next, you will need to flatten the baby before
actually beginning the hugging process.


The ‘paw slide’= Simply slide paws around baby
and prepare for possible close-up.


Finally, if a camera is present, you will need to execute
the difficult and patented ‘hug, smile, and lean’ so
as to achieve the best photo quality.


Back to the drawing board for another companion for me.  But isn’t he a big soft lovable dog?

Note – as the pictures are circulating around the internet I have assumed they are available to be used in a non-commercial blog post.  If this is not the case I apologise to the owners of the copyrights.


A Letter to Mr Toad

Recently Val Erde aka ArtyOld Bird asked “What would you say to a fictional character”.  she referred us to  Letters With Character and suggested we try our hand at writing to a fictional character.  Well, Mr Toad has long been a favourite of mine, so here goes….

My dear Mr Toad

I am compelled to write to you regarding your recent quite erratic behaviour.

For many years I have followed your progress through various adventures and yes, cheered you on for the most part.  But now I am becoming concerned at your blatant disregard for not only your own safety but that of several of your close friends.  Of course, here I refer to Ratty and Mole. 

These two (and occasionally Badger and Otter) have stood beside you through thick and thin.  Sticking up for you when everybody else was against you, and how have you repaid them?  They have been hounded by the Stoats and Weasels, (the Wild Wooders), even having had their own houses broken into by these vagabonds.  And you did nothing.

While you were breaking out of jail and being pursued around the countryside, the Stoats and Weasels were harassing your friends,  And the only thing that Mole and Ratty were guilty of was that of being your friend.  On several occasions you have ruined the clothes lent to you so generously by Ratty and have also  lost him his boat.

Ratty has reminded me that while you were riding about the country in expensive motor cars and galloping proudly on blood horses and breakfasting on the fat of the land, your two steadfast friends, Mole and Badger were camping out in the open watching over your house and contriving ways of getting  your property back to you.  I think at the very least you owe these two good friends an enormous debt  of thanks even if they weren’t very successful.

And breaking out of gaol was probably the most foolhardy thing you could have done.  Oh I know that being in gaol was not comforting or comfortable to you, but really.  The gaolers daughter took pity on you and tried to improve your lot.  It was she who arranged for you to escape and how have you repaid her?  You have complained about the manner in which you had to effect your escape.  Shame on you.

So Mr Toad, may I ask you to reflect on these things and being the gentleman you are, make redress to these close friends of yours.  They are all feeling pretty well put upon at present and I know each would welcome a few kind words from you.

Yours very sincerely

Judith Baxter

Note Mr Toad is a character from The wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Graham.

Looking for Andy

Lotte and I have been waiting patiently for the arrival of Andy the Armadillo.  Andy belongs to Lenore Diane and she is letting him roam around the world visiting her blogging friends.   He is coming all the way from Georgette’s place in Texas to visit us here in Wellington, New Zealand.


Well where is he?

Lotte has agreed that provided he doesn’t take up too much space and doesn’t snore he can share her comfortable space on Mama’s bed.  There will be room or both of them.


According to Wikipedia “Armadillos are prolific diggers with sharp claws. Many species use their sharp claws to dig for food, such as grubs, and to dig dens.”  Lotte certainly won’t like it if Andy decides to dig in the bed.  Or maybe he will want to sleep on her favourite chair, or on her rug in front of the fire.  But he looks like a cheerful chap and no doubt they will sort themselves out.

Visitor visa

Georgette told us that she had sent Andy on to us several days ago.  We have a visitor’s visa in place for him; Georgette organised his passport and so all should be well.

The only thing I can think that may be holding up his delivery to us is that somebody thinks that our small friend should go into quarantine.  Here in New Zealand we are manic about protecting our shores.  When we first arrived in New Zealand some 40 plus years ago, our Cocker spaniel had to come by sea – some 6 weeks – because of the quarantine laws here.  I understand that these have been relaxed over the years.  But still..

Pet Quarantine

OMG do you think somebody thinks that we are smuggling unwanted pets into the country.  Poor Andy will never survive this.


Border patrol

Perhaps the parcel looks suspicious.  Or do you think somebody in our postal system has decided that they want this little fellow for themselves.

In any event, Lotte and I shall have to wait to hear of his arrival.  Maybe we shall have to go out to the airport to have him released from the clutches of the man spraying or the guys opening so that we can take him home with us.

No doubt he will be tired after his adventures.  Even being on the plane for so many hours will be taxing for him.  And we do know that armadillos sleep for up to 16 hours a day.  Maybe he slept all the way from Texas.

And we shall have to make sure the house is warm, the heating on all the time as we are told “Armadillos live in temperate and warm habitats, including rain forests, grasslands, and semi-deserts. Because of their low metabolic rate and lack of fat stores, cold is their enemy.”  It’s autumn/fall here and the temperature today only reached 19 degrees Centigrade.

We understand that armadillos eat beetles, ants, termites, and other insects. Well, unfortunately I have just rid the house of spiders and other bugs, so we shall have to go out and forage for Andy.

Lotte tired

Until he comes, Lotte will wait for Andy in her favourite autumn place

Meantime we will just wait for our visitor to arrive.

Watch this space for news of Andy the Armadillo.  The last thing we heard was –

Andy on the job

I’m working my way to see you soon, Judith.

Chasing Chickens and Cows

Man is rated the highest animal, at least among all animals who returned the questionnaire.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

I was reminded yesterday of a very funny incident in my life.

Fast backwards to 1998 when I was staying with my son and his family following the untimely death of my ‘not so young’ dashing Scotsman.

Their children were 3 and about 18 months at the time.  Two delightful little boys who thought their Granma was close to perfect.  How times change.  I wonder if they think that still!

My son lives about 45 kms from town and has a house that sits on 6 acres of land.  It is quite rural and it was decided that all that was needed to make this idyllic place complete was a couple of calves and some chickens.  James at 3 adopted one of the calves and named her.  Robbie was too small to even begin to understand animals vs people.

Anyway, there was a big rugby game on in town and my son and daughter-in-law took themselves off to that leaving me in charge.

It was a beautiful spring day.   The calves were in a paddock close to the house and the chickens roamed freely around the property.   While the little boys slept  a friend arrived to see me.  A peaceful afternoon in the country.

But no – when said friend  went out to her car she saw that the calves were wandering around the driveway.  This caused some panic as State Highway One runs at the bottom of this driveway.

Farmyard animals

Picture this – two 60 year old women attempting to get the cows back into the paddock while the cows were determined to get onto the road.  Much shooing and pushing followed accompanied all the time by six chickens flying around and squawking madly.  The dog (a young, quite large mixed breed) was running around barking and causing more mayhem.  And my friend who thought the whole scene hilarious, was falling about laughing.  Then of course, amidst the noise and laughter both boys woke up and the baby started to cry.

Eventually the baby was quieted, the bigger boy was given afternoon tea, the cows were back where they belonged although the darned chickens still roamed freely and two exhausted women sat and had another cup of tea.

“Right said Fred, both of us together, one each end and steady as we go
Tried to shift it, couldn’t even lift it, we was getting nowhere
And so, we, had a cup of tea

Right said Fred, give a shout to Charlie, up comes Charlie from the floor below
After straining, heaving and complaining, we was getting nowhere
And so, we, had a cup of tea”

Read the rest of this ditty here


I am definitely a  ‘townie’ and this experience confirmed it and brought home to me how different life in town is to life in the country.