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Dog days Down Under Down Under

Its been a lovely day here in the beautiful Valley I call home. The photographs I have included are not from today, but they sum up all I am talking about.

The dogs and I all slept well and we rose fairly early in comparison of what seems to have become normal. (my medication after almost a year seems to be making me tired).

The dogs had their run.

For new readers I drive my car, and the dogs run up the road and back often with a stop at my neighbour on the hill for me to chat, and our big dogs to play together. Miss Treacle on the other hand my schnauser maltese cross who is 12, gets picked up and cuddled by Peter, and she just adores him.

His wife could not believe it when she saw Treacle in action. If we go up to their home and Peter is not out Miss Treacle will sit at their gate looking for him, and hoping. She cries with excitement when he is home and comes over to give her a cuddle. I swear she pines for him if she does not see him for a few days.

Miss Treacle is in heaven.
Busby and Toby Miss Treacle and Peter

Busby and Toby are bros, and we do believe they are having a bromance. There is much licking and happiness, They run towards each other in ecstasy. When they play it can look really rough, but they are both actually very gentle with each other when they mouth.

Toby is a 2 and adores Busby who is 4, Playing.
Miss Treacle and Toby play too.

Because Toby is a Springer Spaniel he has a soft mouth and is so gentle with Miss Treacle, though if he does get a bit rough with her, she will tell him off in no uncertain terms. He is a young dog, having just turned 2 in December. He has known my guys for most of his life. So he respects them both.

Dogs having fun.

It makes us all smile watching these three get on so well. We have been driving past each other in our cars and Toby has made such a racket that they have had to stop so all three dogs can have a play in the paddock before we each pack up our dogs and head off. It is quite lovely.

The Huon Valley is very dog friendly with most cafes allowing dogs in outside areas, and there are wonderful dog friendly beaches where dogs and owners can swim and run play off lead. Each of the main towns Huonville, Cygnet, Geeveston all have lovely fully fenced off lead dog parks. Thanks to co-operation and fund raising of the Huon Valley Dog group.

Dog Friendly Cafes
Dog Friendly cafes

Dog Friendly Beaches

Having a mental illness such as I have Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), my dogs are everything to me. They are my world, and if it was not for them I can be totally honest and say in my darkest days, I would have made a decision that I know would have been the worst decision I could have. Animals can make such a difference to people with mental illness. I have to get up everyday and feed them, let them out, play with them and cuddle them. Exercise them and keep them in good condition. I may go back to bed as I did in my worst days but I had got up..had some food and cared for my dogs.

My dogs know me warts and all. Miss Treacle is like my angel, when I am getting angry she will come and sit on my lap and push her body into me, she will try to nuzzle me and get me to make eye contact with her. She hates me on the telephone, as that is where she has seen me at my worst in anger. If I am getting frustrated with other drivers she leans into me. Yet even with all of this she loves me unconditionally.

Busby is my protector who is frightened of metal on metal noises, scraping chairs, wind, rain, thunder and lightning. We were out walking at Triabunna (a seaside town on the east coast, about an hour away, north of Hobart and a massive storm hit with wind hail thunder and lightning. It was horrendous, and understandably he has been frightened of these ever since. I had to pick up Miss Treacle, and poor Busby just tried to run off, I nearly dropped Miss Treacle, and dropped his lead, but somehow did not. I could not just stand there, with no protection. So we had to try and get to the car, about 100meters away. Needless to say we were all shaken up by this. My big gentle boy(41kgs/90lbs) now tries to climb up on my lap if we have storms and I have to close all the curtains if it is really windy. Which it often is as we live in the roaring forties.

So my dogs are my family, they are my constant companions. I have huge anxiety and panic attacks if I have to leave them at home, or it is too hot to take them with me. I have cancelled appointments and not gone to things because I have been to overwhelmed to leave them.

I make no apologies for this.

blessings Tazzie.

Christmas Day my way.

Please do not disturb us

My Christmas day was delightful we slept in a bit, I left my dogs lying on the bed. They might open an eye or raise a head a bit I ask if they want to get up…their response if very clear, so I cover Busby’s head over and pat them both. I leave the door open and I come downstairs, I open the curtains and see what the day has install (well at least the first hour or so ), turn on internet and TV, make coffee and some breakfast .

At some point I will hear the tap tap of Treacle’s paws on the timber floor as she comes down the hall, she stops at the top of the stairs and looks down at me. She waits for Busby and then down the stairs they race, tails wagging huge smiles on their faces straight to me. So thrilled to see me and say good morning! It is how all mornings should start it is very hard to be anything but chuffed with such love and delight in seeing you. Even if they only saw me 10mintues ago when I left them it always makes me smile or laugh at their sheer passion in seeing me.

After everybody has attended morning ablutions, the dogs will lay about in the sun greeting the birds, any neighbours walking by. I get my coffee and food if I have not already had it sit watch the news, and think what I must do today.

Next is the dogs favourite thing, their run. I get in the car, they race off up the drive. Busby is so good he looks for cars coming up the road. Off we go they run stop sniff, pop over to tease the neighbours dogs that they are free, and mark around their letterbox.

Onward up the hill sniffing spot and tracking scents, sometimes darting into the paddock I drive very slowly so they will catch up and pass me. The dam is always a spot that needs more sniffing. Often their is some extra special flavoured wallaby poo, that is enjoyed by both of them. Even though they have passed many this one is it! Further up the road we go. It is rare that we come across any other vehicles. We are known by everyone who lives here and the postman all know my car and slow down as they know my guys will be near bye. It always makes everyone smile to see them.

Past the pugs house who looks out the window and tells my two get off my property, don’t pee there ..I told YOU NOT to DO THAT. We pass by and he settles again. To one of their favourite spots to really stop and sniff and wonder in another drive way then off again up off the road into a paddock behind huge old pine trees sniffing and letting others no they passed this way.

We finally get to the journeys end where we stop and see if Busby’s bro Toby is home, and Miss Treacle’s man. Today they are both in luck. The gates are opened and Toby joyfully comes out and licks kisses and chews Busby’s mouth and ears, Busby looks so deliriously happy to see Toby, off they go into the paddock playing and licking and having fun.

just love each other

Miss Treacle sits waiting and I can see her looking towards the silhouette of her tall dark haired paramour, as he tethers the gate so it stays closed and he moves towards her and squats down she goes unashamedly and jumps up in his ready arms to be held and petted. It is a beautiful moment.

Miss Treacle just loves Cuddles with my neighbour

It always makes me smile to see the connection my dog and my neighbour have developed. This is the dogs time, and so we chat and watch the boys play and then Miss Treacle is put on the ground the boys are rounded up and we head home from whence we came. With some backward glances and Toby and Busby running along together with the fence separating them until the property boundary is where they must really part their looks say it all. This is a true bromance.

I watch driving very slowly as my two dogs are distracted by a smell on the road. I sit watching smiling as I watch, until they both begin rolling in something. Then I drive slowly near the dam hoping they will go in and have a swim, removing some of their new perfume off their fur. Along with a drink of water, to clean their poo scented breaths.

Wet coats and paws they are both now ready to race the last couple of hundred metres home. The speedometer hit 20km and they are way out in front. I let them go. We all go in our drive. Wet muddy paws and coats tongues hanging out panting tails wagging slowly they decide to abandon me in preference to lie in the sun. Which suits me as they will dry off and I can call them to the deck side of the house and brush the dirt and remove the smell hopefully.

I chopped some potatoes and put them onto boil for a potato salad to take this afternoon to the neighbours.

There is a lot of bird chatter not song, and I realise I am being informed in no uncertain manner that the bird bath is empty. I fill it, and go on to water the vegetable garden; it is warm already and only to get hotter. I water and notice that most of the seedlings I have put in are doing OK. With the hotter days they are beginning to spread and grow tall. The tomatoes in the garden are not so tall but have more flowers than those in the pots on the deck.

The corn is thriving as to the broccoli, a few of the beans have flowers already, and it seems that the capsicums have too. The poor egg plant I have moved twice has been in shock yet it is still alive and I noted a new small leaf. The cabbages bewilder me, they are not growing nor dying, they look healthy yet the same size almost as when I put them in several weeks ago. I picked a couple of asparagus and eat them as I continue to water and observe.

I hear a bird in the bird bath and look over and see a black bird enjoying itself so much water going everywhere. I notice the zucchinis and pumpkins also have a little new growth and my hope is with the warmer days this week they will begin to take off. Cucumbers are leggy one is not so good, I may loose it. There are two plants from last year that I think are chilies, they have a reasonable amount of new growth. The blueberries have not fruited as well as last year. I need to beat the birds to them. They got all the red currants, gooseberries and most of the jostaberries. The peach is looking good perhaps next week some will be ready.

The fig is growing and I still hope to have autumn figs. The passionfruit I transplanted is alive still and I followed a tip I was given to put banana skin in the planting hole, it was a good time I did it as I had two way to over ripe bananas. A bit of bash and smash the pulpy mass was spread into the soil and pushes about the root and planting area. Only time will tell. The apple trees have a lot of fruit at the moment. The plums seem to have no fruit, which is sad as they were covered in blossoms. I have a feeling the blackberries will be brilliant this year. So many flowers.

On my return inside, I take the potatoes off the stove and drain them, I add garlic sald and pepper, and some spring onion into the still hot potatoes, I mix them and add a bit of mayonaise with mustard to them stir again and I let them sit for a bit. I then place them in the fridge to chill.

I made and ate a chicken salad sandwich for my Christmas lunch it was perfect, with ginger beer on my deck with the dogs somewhere near, listening to bees working. I saw bumble bees, honey bees, and several native bees. I watched a dragon fly check out my flowers. Listened to birds singing and bathing. Watched a superb blue wren getting aphids off the kale ends of the flowers.

I than spent some time sitting in the sun cleaning my lemon and lime trees off aphids so mindful.

I had a shower and dressed in hang about the house clothes. I finished up the potato salad, called in the dogs fed them. I had a cup of tea played with the dogs outside, brushed them and we came back inside. They settled down for a sleep and I watched Netfilx. With another cuppa

I sighed feeling absolutely wonderful my first ever Christmas day spent exactly right for me. I felt no angst or guilt. I did not mind I had no gifts, since I had given none out. Yet others thought that was so sad. I need nothing! To many they will see me as mean, and sad. The truly positive and life changing thing for me as an outcome of my breakdown and diagnosis of Complex PTSD is I am strong enough right now to say no, I am growing more aware every week of what is best for me now. I have no children, my partners children are not much younger than me, and sadly my step grandaughter who I have known since the day she was born, is not part of my life as her mother requested. Christmas to my partner when he was alive was not a major thing as long as I made a fruit cake and mince pies (which he loved) that was all he ever really wanted for Christmas. To see his girls when they were available. no pressure.

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