Friday, 4 July 2014

Adoption Day Anniversary

It's a year since our beautiful boy, Kale arrived at his furever home with us. Thank you to Starting Over Dog Rescue for ensuring such a smooth adoption and for all the amazing work they do for so many homeless paws.

He was called Bruce back then and on the hour long car journey home, Bruce became Kale. I recall he was such a good boy, settled down straight away in the car and dozed all the way.

Those early days must have been quite bewildering, already a big dog by most peoples standards, Kale was still very much a baby at just 6 months old.

He certainly looked forlorn at first but the love he received from us all was instant and he soon began to trust us.

He was such a good boy though, no messes, no crying he just seemed to be so grateful.

Hi older brother, Radish took him under his experienced paws straight away and within an hour of arriving home, they were inseparable.

Radish seemed to know that this young baby was feeling a bit lost and never took his eyes off him.

Radish was very much an only child so such instant acceptance was just wonderful to see and Kale thoroughly embraced it. Mummy and Daddy breathed a huge sigh of relief, we did the right thing.

Kale adores Radish with a passion or should that be obsession! Radish was quick to show him the ropes and he learnt a great deal from him. Not all of it desirable though such as bringing in huge twigs and branches from the garden and chewing them all up into teeny pieces on the rug in the lounge room!

With oodles of love and attention from Mummy and Daddy too, Kales fabulous personality soon began to show.

He is just a beautiful soul, he hasn't a bad bone in him. He loves his food, his cuddles, his walks, his playtime but I think most of all he loves his family. We are a tight little pack for sure.

Kale loves every human and every paw he meets and once they have got over his size, they quickly see what a big softy he is, playful and very loving. He wins everyone over.

He loves to stand up at the fence and greet all who pass by, he has quite a fan club now and of course he adores the attention. He has a cheeky side too and loves to spring a surprise on people by leaping up at just the right moment to make them jump 3ft off the pavement!


However for all of his 45kg, Kale really believes he is a little lap dog. He gives the best cuddles in the world, just so warm, affectionate and snuggly. Resistance is futile and he has his Daddy wrapped around all four paws!


Kale is quite a talker, he likes to express his opinion often and his vocal antics are a cross between Scooby-doo and Chewbacca. Absolutely hilarious!

We are all so blessed to have him and now couldn't imagine life without our big, goofy boy.

I'm the doting Mummy by the way!

No longer forlorn, no longer bewildered, never to be failed by humans again. Kale has his forever home with us and with our unconditional love, we now have a beautiful, confident and proud boy.
 Happy Adoption Anniversary Kale!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Johanna we still love you!

Our first trip to Johanna was in July 2012. Situated in the Otway Ranges near to the Great Ocean Road, we found a beautiful weekend retreat, wild, rugged and bursting with wildlife.

It was soon after my Mum passed away so it was a perfect place for thought and reflection and a spot where we could take our fur baby Radish with us.

We instantly fell in love with it.

Happy memories from our first trip to Johanna.

So it only seemed fitting to introduce the new member of the family, our Aussie boy Kale, to this fabulous place.

Once again we rented a lovely little cottage on the Blue Johanna Farmstead with gorgeous views of the lush, green hills rolling out all around us and the roar of the Great Ocean behind us.

There was nothing more joyful than having our boys off leash. They romped with abandon through the long grass, left huge paw prints in the soft sand and were in raptures at all the new smells they discovered in the rainforest.

The rain forest walk was very special, the bird life were in full voice and we were all delighted when ahead of us we spotted a couple of stag deer standing proud on the brow of an incline. Kale however was the most enthusiastic in his response and suddenly his instinct and Deer Hound genes kicked in. He was off like a shot and our hearts leapt out of our chests.

Thankfully when he realised we were not joining him on the hunt, he returned to his pack nursing a cut on his eye for his efforts.

Although it was a tense moment, it was still beautiful to see the stags in the wild. Needless to say with adrenalin coursing through his veins and the scent of the hunt filling his nostrils, Kale was popped back on his lead until we reached open pasture once more.

The boys were quite well camouflaged against the forest floor, the bush was very dense in places as everything competed for the sunlight.

The picture above was taken moments before the two stag appeared at the top of the hill.

The couple who owned the farm had a wonderful kitchen garden with plenty of hens roaming free. They told us to come in and help ourselves to as much produce and eggs as we wanted.

I really didn't need a second invitation and after a day filling our lungs with the refreshing coastal air, I ensured we filled our tummies with nourishing, wholesome tucker. Gareth tended to the log fire and filled our wine glasses.


At the end of each day, we would hunker down, watch the sunset and let peace and contentment wash over us in our special cocoon of "togetherness".

Yes Johanna, we certainly still love you!


Sunday, 27 April 2014

Easter Feasting

This Easter Sunday we were invited to the beautiful and somewhat stately like home of our friends Magda and Janusz. Being Polish it is traditional to serve an Easter breakfast/brunch with lots of traditional Polish fare.

However, this is breakfast with a difference, the alcohol is free flowing and being Polish that will most certainly include vodka!

We were joined by Maya, their daughter and her friend, Kifka and two very lovely couples, John and Katrina and Joanna and Ronald.

By 11.30am the champagne was flowing and by midday the vodka made an appearance too, Janusz was extremely attentive to his guest's thirst!

I put my hand up to be the "desi" that day (designated driver) and for that I am thankful as I would have struggled to have taken my seat at the table after such generous aperitifs.

Magda treated us all to a venerable feast and the table looked absolutely stunning; whole baked ham, cold smoked salmon, chicken liver parfait, Polish sausage, eggs and caviar, the menu was extensive.

The conversation was lively, fun and even though all the invited guests were meeting for the first time, everybody got on brilliantly. Aussies, Polish and Brits together provided for lots of animated debate and some mickey taking too. There were lots of toasts too to health, wealth, happiness and love which I thought was just lovely and no wonder the glasses needed refilling so quickly. (A Polish ploy I'm sure!)

Throughout the day the wine flowed and with the delicious desserts, out came the dessert wine too!

We had a super time and we all parted with hugs and huge appreciation for the effort made and the generosity of our friends.

I didn't say no to the offer of an ample "doggy" bag and noted that Hubster was rather merry on the drive back home. I think his seat next to Janusz at the table had much to do with that, certainly partners in crime!

Easter is all about the gathering of family and friends. I know Magda was very conscious that we were far from our own however it is true to say we were made to feel extremely welcome into their home and family.

In conclusion, thumbs up to the Polish traditions of celebrating Easter and next year Hubster can be the "desi"!