Friday, August 30, 2013

THANK YOU 'LUCKY DOG' and 'PET HEALTH CARE'!!! ...and a tribute to an amazing person.

Today, I would like to say thank you to 
and also pay tribute to a very special friend of mine:

A couple of Friday's ago, I entered my name into the PET HEALTH CARELUCKY DOG GIFT SERVICES Friday give-away competition on FACEBOOK. Guess what?  I won!!! 

I was really thrilled to win this prize because I had made up my mind, before entering, to donate it to a very, very special friend of mine (if I won) - Darryl Humphris - and his beautiful Golden Retriever, Hoby.

Darryl is one of the most amazing people I have had the privilege of ever meeting. No matter what the time of the day, Darryl generates positivity beyond belief.  He is always willing to help or offer advice and exudes a calm, gentle spirit to everyone who meets him.  But the most amazing thing about Darryl is his willingness to help and add value to this world, despite his afflictions.

I met Darryl about 2 years ago after the publication of my book - Maxdog.  He was in the process of trying to write his own story during that time - a remarkable story of strength, perseverance and overcoming affliction.

A few years ago, Darryl suffered an Auditory neuroma.  The resulting surgery left him hearing- and sight-impaired.  He was in intensive care for many weeks, life-threatened and had to learn to swallow again.  He took up the challenge and is learning to live a new life that accommodates his physical impairments. 

One of the profound events in this story is that Darryl had to give up his Veterinary practice (Yes, he is a qualified vet!) and shape a new path for himself. He does this with strength, endurance and an attitude of acceptance and generosity. I am constantly amazed at Darryl's vast knowledge of Veterinary Science and his continuous willingness to advise and help any pup (without payment).  He is the most giving person I know and an example to all of us!  Quite frankly, I am in awe...

Despite all these difficulties, Darryl has a need to give back to the world.  To this end, he has become a committed Guide-dog puppy walker.  So far he has raised 2 pups.  
(Darryl and Abbey visiting a nursery school)

Abbey, Darryl's most recent pup, is now in formal training to become a guide-dog for some lucky person.  Hoby, his 3-year-old Golden Retriever, didn't quite meet the high standards of GDSA and Darryl elected to 'bring him home'.  

The first time, I met Hoby, I knew that this was probably Divine intervention and meant to happen. Darryl and he have one of the most special relationships I have witnessed between dog and human. Hoby has effectively become Darryl's personal therapy dog - a beautiful, energetic companion with a happy, willing spirit. You may remember me writing a blogpost some time ago where I dedicated this poem to Hoby:

So, you can imagine my delight when Darryl won the PET HEALTH CARELUCKY DOG GIFT SERVICES give-away competition.  I asked them to send the parcel directly to Darryl.  On Wednesday, I received a message that it had arrived, so I went along to have some tea with the family and to take some photos. 

What a joy it was to be part of this event. Darryl and Hoby were thrilled ...

 Hoby took delight in helping inspect the box of exciting goodies - many different packets of treats and a special toy too.
 There was even a personal note inscribed on the box...
 Hoby celebrated like only a golden retriever can do...
 ...and he graciously posed too...

 Thank you Darryl for allowing me to be part of this excitement...
and a 

Please take the time to visit their
Lucky Dog Gift services: WEBPAGE
Pet Health Care: WEBPAGE

They certainly deserve some recognition. 

Sending lotsaluv to all our friends around the world and wishing you a wonderful, happy weekend.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Let sleeping dogs lie...

Hello there everyone,
I hope you've all had a happy, restful weekend.

Some people tell me that if there was a thing called reincarnation, then they'd like to return as one of the dogs in our household.
What do you think?
Here is a short video to help you make up your mind.  
(Be sure to watch to the end... :) )

Sending lotsaluv and wishing all my readers a happy week.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Spring has sprung... (well almost)

My heart is soaring...

Johannesburg is about to erupt in the abundance of Spring.  I simply love this time of the year. All around me, new buds are making their appearance - their colours are hardly contained within their buds.  There is new energy in the air and a sense of antcipation of the return of the sun.  

Every afternoon I venture out into my garden now, with my hosepipe, in a bid to revive some of the darkened stems in the flower beds.  Birds accompany me with their twittering melodies as Lexi runs around wildly trying to chase the elusive spray of water. She is a joy to watch - infecting us all with new life and energy.
If you haven't seen my recent video of lexi, here it is:

There is nothing more beautiful than the coats of Golden Retrievers in the sunshine. They practically glow. 

Our 'Princess' is ever-playful, ever-inquisitive and ever-keen to learn new things.  Toby remains her dearest playmate - they are inseparable.  

Dear Tammy also celebrates the new season in her own way;  she lies on the grass for many hours and watches the world go by. 
There is new growth everywhere... 
 The breaking dawn heralds in each new skies, streaked with pink greeted us this morning.  The question is on everyone's lips;

 "Did you see the sunrise?"

All around us pretty Namaqualand daisies are smiling on the pavements. 

 As you've probably noticed, I have a whole bed of them in my garden.  Their colours are simply stunning.
 Even my unattended daffodil bulbs have sprouted happily - which was a real surprise after all the neglect they've had to suffer. 

...And the white-stinkwood tree at the bottom of the garden is always the first to announce that Spring is imminent.

I love this time of the year, when my senses are primed and I anticipate new creative inspiration. Beauty surrounds me. I'm like a little kid, singing out the age-old song of praise:

"All things bright and beautiful
All creatures great and small,
all things wise and wonderful,
the Lord God made them all."

So, let me take the opportunity of wishing you, my dear friends, a wonderful, happy new season.  May God bless you wherever you may be and may you enjoy the abundance which He has gifted us all.

Sending lotsaluv

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Golden Retriever Centenary Celebrations...

Hi there friends,
This is a quick post....

I am posting this to alert my readers about a wonderfully written account of the recently held

This is a very worthy read for those of us who love golden retrievers and were wondering what all the fuss was about amongst our breeders.

Reading this article produced chills down my back as I, too, offered a quiet moment of tribute and respect to "Lord Tweedmouth" who started the breeding process all those years ago. Without his vision, I wouldn't have had the pleasure of the company of my own beautiful canine companions. Lexi's breeders -Wayne and Marycke Ackhurst - had the pleasure of being able to attend this grandiose event with other South African Golden friends. So, South Africa was also representative at the celebrations.
 What an awesome experience! You have to read about it!

(Photograph courtesy of Marycke Ackhurst)

If you want to read the full article, 

Perhaps someday, I may also have this privilege of visiting this historical place.

Sending lotsaluv

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Random post, birthday, and photos...

Hello there everyone,
Up until recently we have been blessed with a mild, pleasant winter.  The temperatures have been glorious.  Although our world is dry at the moment, flowers still find a way to cheer us up. The little planter in our driveway is sporting some happy floral faces...
However, there is nothing quite like a beautiful bouquet to lift one's spirits... 
On Saturday we had a surprise party for Miss "J"s birthday.
Everything was beautifully prepared for the occasion.

Although she had many guests, the canines were also part of the welcoming committee... 
 They waited patiently for everybody to arrive and settle in...before introducing themselves...
All the guests were well in time for the unsuspecting victim.
 Balloons and streamers too.

...and then the birthday girl arrived to everyone's delight...
 In true South African style, we had a 'braai' while the dogs scouted around for 'nibbles'

We wish you many more happy years. What a joy it is to have you in our lives.
We are so proud of you!

On a different note, our little Lexi is also growing up fast... 
 Isn't she gorgeous!?
She and Toby remain inseparable - cuddling up to me at any opportunity. The mornings, particularly, have some special bonding moments.
(Whose bed is it anyway?)
I know this is a random post...but it helps me to simply keep writing.
(I know you don't mind)

A cold front is expected to wave its chilly wand over our country this weekend.  
Keep warm everybody!

...And have a happy week.

Sending lotsaluv to all our friends around the world,