Monthly Archives: August 2012

THIEVING FOR THE ANIMALS! Oh, and a Competition.

BLATANT THEFT APPROVED BY:

BABY SABRE

AND LITCHI – don’t mess with that face!

Yes, you read it right.  I am now turning into an outright thief, not OF but FOR the animals.

I may not always have been a thieving cheat but boy can I learn fast!

So, let’s make this interesting.  Let’s make this a smaller version of a bigger contest.  Yes Doggy, this is another competition you can enter.

Last time, I appealed to your sense of GUILT.  This time, I’m appealing to you on two levels:

  1. Your sense of PRIDE
  2. Your desire to WIN

Some of you may have noticed (well, probably not but that’s not the point) that I do not have a Blogroll on my site.  When first creating the site, I had no cooking clue what I was doing.  Since then, I simply haven’t bothered haven’t found the time to create a blogroll.

This will now change.  I am blatantly stealing Le Clown’s clever idea but on a much smaller scale (hats off – or maybe that should read fur-off – to him for being able to keep up with the admin but dog-alone knows how he manages it!).

Small Scale Blogroll Competition:

You can WIN your place on my soon to exist BLOGROLL by:

  • Voting for Long Life Cats and Dogs on Le Clown’s site
    • Hop onto the post HERE, scroll down to the bottom (probably) where I’ve put my thoughts for his “thinking bubble” picture, and vote for us to get 2 extra noses (never did I think the day would come, that I so badly wanted noses!)
  • Creating a post about this on your site.
    • I have no idea if I can order entries on a Blogroll but, assuming I can, you can WIN a HIGHER place on my BLOGROLL with this second option.

Note to Le Clown – please pay attention to the following list.  You created this admin nightmare for yourself, so you now have to go and add points, as these fabulous sites have voted for us on your Blogroll Contest page!

Current Winners of the Mini Blogroll Contest are (and remember, you can still get your name added):

Madame Weebles

Dockfam

Easy Weimaraner

Texas a cat in New York

Birding Zimbabwe

Henriettas Hippo

Serenity Spell

Oh Melvin

Granny 1947

The Misadventures of Misaki

My Small Still Voice

ShareChair

The Emes

Angels Whisper

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32 Comments

Filed under Begging, Competition

BRAZEN BEGGING – Dogs Do It, why can’t I?

IT’S FOR ME – NOT HER! See – I’m even sticking my tongue out in Brazen Begging Style!

It would appear that the blogosphere is full of shameless cheats (read Mollie & Alfie), competition addicts (definitely Doggy’s Style) and brazen beggars (that would now be me).  Apparently I’m not allowed to beg but, seeing as cheating appears to be the norm around here, I shall ignore that!  Anyway, it’s all for the sake of Dogs (+ all other pets) and they beg, so why shouldn’t I do so on their behalf.

Le Clown, a blog I had never heard of (tut, tut), apparently had a competition running for 6 blogs to appear on his royal highness’s blogroll.  Of course Doggy’s Style elicited my help and has promised to purchase me glasses (due to my new, soon to be fashionable, cross-eyed status – you’ll understand if you help!).  Doggy is not ashamed to bribe.

I, seeing this, immediately felt the earth shattering need to enter.  I have no idea why but, if it helps Rescue Animals, then let the Brazen Begging Begin.

I’m not going to make a big hoo-ha over this matter – you’ve quite enough work ahead of you.  Suffice it to say that this is not for me, it is for the animals.  I have received 2 fantastic, though somewhat surprising votes, from Madame Weebles and Dockfam.  I need, well, probably hundreds and so find myself just ever so slightly behind.

However, in a “never say die” attitude, I shall enter into the spirit of the competition and, who knows, maybe we could be the Surprise entry for this blogs’ Oscar equivalent – creeping out of nowhere to take the prize!

It’s all up to you guys now.  If you love animals, don’t let the guilt of apathy reign down upon you by ignoring my plea.  Avoid this terrifying plague by:

  • Popping over to the Post
  • Scroll down a few hundred miles till you see my comments (might be easier to scroll to the bottom and work your way back up!)
  • Click on “reply” under my entry saying why I should be on the blogroll
  • Simply write “like” (plus any other words of love and admiration – although not entirely necessary)
  • Press “Post Comment”.

You will then be gifted with the following:

  • A complete lack of guilt
  • A knowledge that you have done your bit to help Rescue Animals in need.

What more could anyone ever hope for?

Le Clown’s site had over 1200 hits yesterday and, to his credit, he found, read and replied to my comment.  For this, I have decided I want to be on his blogroll.

41 Comments

Filed under Adoptions, Begging

PAY IT FORWARD GIVEAWAY

Oh, alright then, it’s really a Paw it Forward – approved by:

SHADOW – The mischievous ballerina

And SABRE – Mr Big Ears (he’s the boss of everyone here, so I had to get his approval)

I’m joining Adventures of a Dog Mom in a great idea, a pay it forward giveaway!

The first three people to comment on this post will receive a gift, a little something from me.

Here’s the fine print:

  • Within a year, I’ll create something unique to share with the first three people to comment on this post.
  • But, in order to receive your prezzie you have to play along.  So spread the love on your own blog, promising to send a little special something to the first three people who comment on your post.
  • You get 72 hours to re-post, or I’ll have to move on to the next person.  Don’t be a slacker!

Join the fun and comment below!  Remember, if you’re not willing to pay it forward to others, don’t participate.

Isn’t it fun to get prezzies in the mail instead of bills?  Emily you share the best ideas!

74 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Can A Litchi Save Dogs and Children?

Well now, there’s a question!  We all know that a Litchi (Lychee to some) is good for you – it’s a fruit after all.  So the question is, how can a Litchi help children and dogs?

Yesterday, I was privileged enough to return to Rivonia Primary School, in Johannesburg.  Previously, I met with the Grade 5 pupils, which was fantastic.  This time, I met a very special group of children, from Grades 6 and 7 who, as an extra-mural activity, choose to give up their time doing charity work!

ROAM GROUP – LITCHI IS IN THERE, AT THE FRONT, REFUSING TO POSE PROPERLY FOR THE PICTURE

The group, called ROAM (Rivonians On A Mission) is an outreach program, focusing on giving back to the community, teaching children the importance of being helpful, compassionate and generous.  They raise funds and donations throughout the year for animal shelters, orphanages, old-age homes, etc.

This is where Litchi comes in.  Remember my “unadoptable”, supposedly “people aggressive” dog (Lady Litchfield – or Litchi for short)?  Early posts tell her story – pop back and have a look.

Nowadays this “difficult” dog helps me with such an important task.  We were invited to do our “Kids and Canines” course for ROAM.  Litchi assists me, demonstrating body language.  It’s a hectic course, covering the whole realm of dog body language and requires Litchi to move around with, in this case, 38 pupils plus teachers, staying calm, friendly and open to being touched and crowed by everyone.

Litchi loves it!  

LITCHI – BECAUSE SHE REFUSED TO POSE BEFORE. AT LEAST NOW YOU CAN SEE HER.

So, the answer to the question is a resounding YES.  Litchi is helping to save children from frightening encounters and dogs from frightening shelters.  No dog will feel threatened around these children, who now know the signs to look for – they speak DOG.

78 Comments

Filed under Adoptions, Dogs and Children, Litchi's Story

How to make LOTS OF BUCKS – The X-RATED Version

 

WARNING NUMBER 3563: As per my previous post, where this video was supposed to reveal itself, I take no responsibility for the utterly useless attempt made by an archaic cellular phone, to capture this incredible event.

 

WARNING NUMBER 3564: This video is X-Rated.  Starbuck, the buffoon / overly-proud Dad, was making baby’s first attempts at wobbly-legged standing, just slightly more arduous than necessary.  Being as new to this game as he was, there may be just the tiniest bit of swearing.  Once again, I denounce all liability.

 

NOTE (ONLY 1): Starbuck relented and allowed Mum to help baby get on its’ feet, as the photographs in the previous post prove.  I hope your eyes were good enough to be able to see anything.  Unfortunately, it’s all we’ve got from that encounter.

 

49 Comments

Filed under Adoptions, Sprinbok

How to make LOTS OF BUCKS – Let’s Do The Time Warp Again!

WARNING: The photographs in this post are awful.  I refuse, adamantly, to take any responsibility for this.  Babies have their very own agenda and timing.  No telling when they’ll decide to grace our earth with their presence.  At the time of their arrival, the only thing handy was a prehistoric relic of a phone and we were desperately trying to keep our distance, so as not to disturb Mum or baby.

JUST BORN – WELCOME TO THE WORLD!

However, there was a distinct interest shown in seeing these buck as small as humanly (sorry, buckedly) possible, so I’ve included the initial “make the professionals cringe” material, in the hope that you get some of the experience.

WARNING TWO: The audio contains slight swearing.  Once again, I deny all responsibility (I’m getting good at this).  Men, apparently, have no natural paternal instinct and, being the tough-guy Starbuck thought himself, he was somewhat over-excitable and kept knocking over the poor, wobbly-legged thing.

UPDATE TO ABOVE WARNING: No warning required.  I find I have no idea how to attach the video.

DON’T LEAVE ME BEHIND MOM, I’M RIGHT BEHIND YOU!

Alright then, as all the clever people that read my previous post now know, we are doing a time-warp.  If you failed to, fear not, I am not calling you stupid, but it might make a whole lot more sense if you popped back there for the update.

LOOK HOW SMALL I AM COMPARED TO MY BIG COUSIN ON THE RIGHT – MY MOM IS ON THE LEFT

Both girls had a baby each but not, as I may mislead you to believe, at the same time.  However, I need to turn the “time-warp” into a “sound barrier speed-warp” for fear that I’ll spend the next 365 days posting about buck and neglecting the current animals.

ONE MUM, ONE BIG BABY AND ONE SMALL BABY

The babies were healthy and happy and played together like real little cousins, learning how to head-butt and pronk like real little stars.

AWFUL PHOTO BUT SHOWS THE BABIES PLAYING “HEAD-BUTTING”

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Information Interlude – Making LOTS of BUCKS

We will take a short interval in our process of making Lots of Bucks, in order to provide what I feel to be pertinent information.

This photo has no purpose other than to give you something to look at.
OK – it’s actually so you can compare the Black, versus standard, Springbok.

As a fairly well established Non-Photographer, I take no responsibility for the shocking quality of the images below.  It is, however, the best I managed of a Springbok doing its’ Pronk (in Afrikaans this means to Boast or Show Off).  This is an extreme leap upwards, as high as 4m (13 ft) into the air, with an arched back, legs stiff and pointed downwards.  On landing, they immediately Pronk again (kind of looks like an Antelope on a trampoline – if you can get your imagination going that far.  In large herds, as one starts to Pronk, so do others, until you have the equivalent of a Springbok Mexican Wave.

                        THE SPRINGBOK PRONK – Photo, shocking.  Ability, incredible! (and this one’s still a baby!)

As we now all know, the locals thought me somewhat barmy.  Maybe they were right, considering that it eluded my mini-mind to bestow upon you the following:

Firstly, this all happened quite a few years ago.  Under no circumstances should anyone attempting to make either Big or Lots of Bucks, expect the process to be as quick as the previous blogs may have suggested.  As Misty Shores Chesapeakesone of my wonderful readers put it, we are seeing this all in something of a “time warp”. 

Secondly, it might be fairly useful if you knew what, in the universe, these animals actually are.  Well, I did say they were Springbok but, being a slight genetic variant, they are black, which is extremely unusual.  It might be easier if you saw one in its’ standard, everyday wear, with normal colouring.

SPRINGBOK – courtesy of Thomas Schoch off Wikimedia Commons site. (lets hope I don’t get sued for anything here – it wouldn’t really be worth it though, as I have nothing left for them to take).

The name Springbok comes from Dutch and Afrikaans with Spring = Jump and Bok = Antelope.

Thirdly, I figured it might be to my advantage, to give you a little insight into Caracal, before a group of quizzical-faced readers confront me.

CARACAL KITTEN – needed a baby picture somewhere for the Awww Factor.  Picture courtesy of Kristian Thy, off Wikimedia Commens (same addendum as previous photo re: sueing.  Basically, please don’t!  Thank you)

So, this adorable little thing becomes my Baby Thaba’s demise – hard to like it because of that but equally hard not to fall in love with it at the same time.

THE STUNNING FACE OF A CARACAL.
Courtesy of : {{Information |Description= Caracal or desert lynx (”Caracal caracal”). |Source=[http://www.flickr.com/photos/23566085@N00/216164029/ Caracal] |Date=August 15, 2006 at 11:19 |Author=[http://www.flickr.com/people/23566085@N00 € Van 3000] from belgium b

Notice the tufts of hair on the ears that I, rather cleverly for me, remembered to tell you about in my previous post.  I must be getting better at giving descriptions – this is good.  I am pleased.

THE FULL SIZE STRENGTH OF A CARACAL
This photo was taken in January 2007 by Nick and Melissa Baker in the Serengeti. Thanks go to Alex, our guide, and Green Footprint Adventures. See http://www.flickr.com/photos/nickandmel/419801669/

Now you can see the incredible strength of the Caracal.  Somehow, it becomes easier to understand how a cat managed to catch an antelope.  The males can weigh as much as 19kg (42lb).

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Filed under Adoptions, Sprinbok

How To Make LOTS OF BUCKS!

Part 1 – Some sadness, some gladness.

Tremendous!  You have now successfully completed the mind boggling task of Acquiring Small Bucks and nurturing them into Big Bucks.  But why stop there?  If you can have Big Bucks, why can’t you have Lots of Bucks?  So, with the knowledge that “it takes bucks to make bucks” firmly implanted in our brains, we now progress forward.

Me? I’m Beautiful – check out my eyelashes – aren’t you jealous?

This is not to say that it is easy to make Bucks.  In fact, not only is it hard work but it often comes with a certain degree of loss and tragedy.  This is Africa.  Wild animals have perfected their survival needs.  One such animal is the Caracal (known as the Rooikat in Afrikaans, which, translated means Red Cat).  An extremely beautiful, fantastic creature, with long tufts of hair protruding from the tips of their ears.  It is similar to a Lynx (which may help you to picture it).

It is also unbelievably agile, catching a lot of prey in flight, by using its’ incredible ability to do the high-jump.  Unfortunately, much as I adore these animals, I have to accept that, with its’ instinct to hunt, it found one of my beautiful babies simply too enticing.  My sweet baby boy Thaba was, to my great dismay, caught by a Caracal.

I was devastated and found myself in a complete, all embracing depression for longer than I care to mention.  However, in truth, nature would have picked Thaba off from the herd, being the smallest, weakest and slowest.  The locals were keen to hunt down the Caracal and shoot it!  I remained amazed whilst they continued to believe in my insanity status.  The Caracal was merely doing what came naturally.  It needed food to survive and how could it possibly have known that Thaba was my delight.  It is part of natures’ circle and the price I had to pay for the experience that I was granted.

Moving on to the “Some Gladness” portion:

Starbuck, being the real man’s man, went immediately to work.  He ensured that the ladies of the group were “honored” with his attention and it was not long before we began to see a change.

Although I’m as old as Starbuck, see how much smaller my girly horns are.

Naledi (meaning “Star” in Setsotho) and Pasela (“Gift” in Setsotho), appeared to be gaining weight.  Now, we all understand that, as a woman ages, all too frequently a little midriff mass moves in.  But Naledi and Pasela are still sprightly young things.

There was only one reasonable explanation, they were pregnant!

Notice the definite tummy?!

And so starts our process of Making Lots of Bucks!

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Filed under Adoptions, Sprinbok

How to make BIG BUCKS out of SMALL BUCKS – Part 4

You’ve done it!  You now have Big Bucks!

Starbuck – stretching to reach the leaves from an Acacia Tree

Isn’t it good to be able to tell everyone you have Big Bucks?  Mostly, they are very impressed.  Some, of course, are jealous.  Few, understand that you can have Big Bucks and be broke.  Making Big Bucks will, in all likelihood, make anyone both fit and broke.

My name is Naledi, which means Star in Setsotho – my horns are daintier, because I’m a beautiful girl

Starbucks bum-butting routine became a frequent game.  With rather spectacular horns growing longer by the day, he proved quite formidable at this sport.  Now, most will know that South Africa’s Ruby team is called The Springboks.  You may even know that our soccer team is called Bafana Bafana.  Most Springbok are brown and cream / white in colour but my unique little menagerie were black.  With Starbucks’ growing desire to play games, we tried giving him a soccer ball.  He loved it!  He would head butt it.  He would put his head down and roll the ball up onto his curved horns and then flick it a huge distance, chasing it down thereafter for some more fun.  He slowly took on two names, one being Starbuck and the other, Bafana – a Black Springbok.

I’m a soccer playing Black Springbok

Sometimes, one has to wonder about the human race.  Due to their increasing horn superiority, we kept the Springbok in a large enclosure.  This was designed to protect the guests from the buck and, more importantly (sorry guests), the buck safe from predators.

We put a sign on the gate, clearly informing guests not to enter.  Some, however, thought they knew better and one early morning, one such guest had been spotted, inside the enclosure, receiving some hefty rear-end rammingReally?  Did you think we put up that sign because we were jealous that you would spend time with our babies?  On going outside, he had disentangled himself from Starbuck and bolted out the gate.  There was no point in saying anything.  He was gingerly walking around, rubbing his rump and looking like a guilty, despondent child.

Would you want to mess with those horns?

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Filed under Adoptions, Sprinbok

How to make BIG BUCKS out of SMALL BUCKS – Part 3

Part 3 – Your Bucks are beginning to grow!

Even though I’m Black, you can start to see the Springbok Stripe now

After the first few days, they began to trust me, walking up to take their drink from a bottle.  I’m sure “assistant” was extremely pleased to see the end of his daily buck beatings.  I still needed his help.  It didn’t take me long to figure out that you cannot hold four bottles out at one time (see, sometimes I’m not that slow).

A tiny White Star is appearing on my Forehead!

At the beginning, they had all looked exactly the same but I soon found I could tell the difference.  No-one else could but I could see mild differences in size, gait and, most importantly, personality.  Starbuck, as he became known, was the biggest of them – the one who had “allowed” himself to be caught for extra feeds.  Thaba, which means “rejoice” in Sesotho (one of our eleven official languages in this country!) was my little baby boy.  He wouldn’t have made it in the wild.  He was too small and had something wrong with his mouth.  When drinking, half the milk would slither down his face – real messy baby he was.  The two girls were somewhere in between the boys in size and behaved like true ladies.  They would drink politely and then move onto the lucern (another thing I found out I had to source in order to get them grazing).  Starbuck, being the biggest, boldest, naughtiest and greediest, would suck on his bottle until it created a vacuum.  Then he’d start knocking the others off their bottles to get more.  I guess men of all species are the same.  Sorry guys.

See my Little Horns starting to grow!

At one point, Starbuck became so engrossed in his bottle that, once finished, he latched onto my finger and started sucking that.  Incredible!  I have never experienced anything that soft and velvety.  A Springbok’s tongue is the most delightful thing on earth.  Their fur is spectacularly but there will never be anything like the tongue.  I highly recommend that everyone attempts to grow some bucks and, in the process, rudely stick your finger in their mouths.

I’m a Girl, so my Horns a smaller

I managed to get to touch and stroke them but only while feeding.  No bottle – No cuddle.  That was their motto.  Thaba did take to following me around, though.  I could say “let’s go for a walk” and he’d politely follow me wherever I chose to go.  Starbuck, being the tough-guy man, approached things differently.  He decided that bum head-butting was a far more exciting enterprise.  I quickly learnt to keep an eye on his whereabouts at all times.

How Silky is my Coat?

The marginally insane locals, thought I was completely nuts, going to all this trouble for what seemed to be a perfectly good meal.  They told me, with great authority, that it was two weeks bottle feeding, followed by forced weaning.  What?  Have you met a baby that get’s weaned after two weeks?  So, I did my own research and found out that 4 weeks was the standard.  I stuck to this and, blow me down (gently, please), the babies started weaning themselves at around the 4 week mark.  They started accepting fewer bottles during the day and started grazing more.  Guess what, nature kind of knows what it’s doing.  Let it take its’ course and things work out far better.

48 Comments

Filed under Adoptions, Sprinbok