Tag Archives: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Love is… A Dog In Uniform.

Last night, I found out that my dog Lady has an online boyfriend. So, today I’ve been processing the ramifications, and am going into what’s known in professional circles as “Harm minimisation”, but in the real world as “going into damage control”.  Just like parenting your own kids, there’s no manual advising you on how to parent your dog either. Only an educated guess, gut feel and prayer.

While conventional wisdom recommends to “let sleeping dogs lie”, I’m discovering that these so-called “sleeping dogs”, aren’t sleeping after all. Rather, they’re like those enchanted toys. They come to life while we’re asleep, and then there’s mischief. Pure mischief.

While food theft has always been high on their list of misdemeanors, the most recent survey conducted by Naughty Dogs Research, shows clandestine cyber activity is rife.  Indeed, many dogs have become so tech savvy, that they’re accessing our lap tops while we sleep. Not only have they taken to writing on their parents’ blogs and posting selfies and vlogs, they’ve also turned to online dating. So, while I thought Lady was little more that a sleeping ball of black fluff curled up in her bed, she’s beeen hooking up with Gavel, the Queensland Governor’s dog. No longer content with Maltese Max, she’s punching well above her weight. Gavel’s official title is: “Vice-Regal Dog”.

Lady & Max

Lady chatting with Max online.

Obviously, like any responsible dog owner, I’m taking steps to reign Lady in. I’ve changed my password, and now keep my laptop in with us overnight. She has to be stopped. As I said, zero tolernace. I’m even thinking that I might need to catch up with the Governor over coffee, and just set up a few ground rules. After all, I doubt Gavel will be able to perform his Vice-Regal duties after staying up all night.

Anyway, this all came to light last night when I caught Lady in the act. A simple trip to the bathroom, and she quickly tried to do that alt-tab manoevre you do when the boss turns up. You know, how it works. You’re on Facebook, and quickly bring up some spreadsheet to cover your tracks. However, she wasn’t fast enough. So, thats’ when Lady being Lady, looks up at me with her ginormous puppy dog eyes and says: “But Mum! I couldn’t resist a dog in uniform! AND… like me, he’s ALMOST part of the Royal family.”

By this point, I was well and over all of her blue-blood talk. Indeed, I was sorely tempted to remind her that she’s a “Working Dog”, and that her grandmother was apparently a Blue Heeler. Nothing but a farm dog. That indeed, she is a mix, and NOT a pedigree.

BUT, as usual, I said nothing. I could hear my husband telling me that I’d catastrophized AGAIN. What’s so bad about two dogs talking over the net anyway? She’s desexed, and they can’t even share their fleas.

But, what would he know? Just because he’s an IT guru for a university, doesn’t mean he knows everything there is to know about the dangers of dogs talking over the Internet. While this Gavel seems squeaky clean, he could be TROUBLE. He could be one of these dangerous stalker types and he could arrange to meet up with her at a park or the beach and we’d never see her again. Not that I’m catastrophising. I’m troubleshotting instead. Forewarned is forearmed.

Anyway, not unsurprisingly, Lady wasn’t happy when I took away the laptop.  Like a fuming, exploding teen, she errupted: “You just don’t want me to have any friends. I hate you!”

Then, she delivered this dramatic monologue with all of Hamlet’s gravitas:

“Gavel and I met in an online chat room for dogs in distress. While you humans seem to think you’re the only ones who miss Bilbo (our Border collie who passed away a month ago), I miss him too. However, instead of being able to express my grief and talk things over with my mates at Dog Beach, I’m having to look after you lot, feeling like I’m about to snap in four, what with each of you fighting over who’s going to have me on their lap. That’s hard on a dog, especially one who’s spent her entire like wagging her tail, making people happy and having to disprove all those stereotypes of black dogs being the bearers of depression, anguish and angst.

“Gavel understands me. He was recently sacked from the Police force for being “too friendly”. While he now tells me that it’s worked out for the best, like me, he needed to grieve. Ooze out all the nasties and learn how to enjoy life again. Of course, he’s grateful that the Queensland Governor kept him on, and has recruited him as the Vice-Regal dog. However, he’s still coming to terms with the knock-back and was concerned that the Gov had only kept him to be nice. Anyway, he’s had time to get his head around it all now, and knows he’s better off. That it’s more of a case of dogs for different jobs, than being a dud. That he’s the master of the meet & greet, not concentration. Indeed, since they interviewed him online, “his story’s gone viral. He’s a star  and he’s promised to light up my star as well…just for a very affordable $1000 per month. I’m going to be famous.”


What do you think? Am I wrong to be concerned, and take pre-emptive action?  Surely, that doesn’t mean I’m controlling? Treating her like she’s putty in my hands, which I can mould in any particular shape I like?

I don’t think so,  but clearly I have doubts!

Anyway, I almost forgot to mention that Lady’s been sending him postcards on our walks, sneaking them into the post box while she’s seemingly sniffing and I caught her posting this photo of herself, which she’d labelled as “My bed”.


Lady caught sleeping on my son’s bed while he was at school. 

Who does she think she is? Soon, she’ll be angling for her own TV show. Or, better still he own movie: Love Is…A Dog In Uniform.

Meanwhile, I’m heading off to yoga, following my a massage and a huge piece of chocolate cake.

That’s what’s known as “self care”.

If your  dog has been up to any mischief lately, please dob them into the comments below.

xx Rowena



Lady is not one to let truth interfere with a good story…especially when it comes to boasting to all her mates about her wild adventures at sea. She might have only kayaked 3 metres off shore with assistance but she’s still an intrepid explorer! All it takes is a good photo. Yes, that’s right. Lady is off to explore the world. Can’t you tell?

Move over Huckleberry Hound. Lady enjoying her kayak adventures.

Move over Huckleberry Hound. Lady enjoying her kayaking adventures.

Hmm…Lady doesn’t exactly look like the intrepid sea captain here. She’s certainly rather drenched and looks a bit scraggly but she’s actually been for a swim.

Okay, so I wasn't quite going solo after all.

Okay, so I wasn’t quite going solo after all.

Lady is thoroughly enjoying the Palm Beach lifestyle and like us, will be struggling to adjust when we return to the real world.

xx Rowena

My Dog Post: Lady at Palm Beach, Sydney.

Welcome to Summer in Palm Beach, Sydney on Australia’s East Coast.

Of course, this means that if you’re visiting us from frozen lands across the globe, you’ll need to turn up the heat…a lot!! It’s incredibly hot here and we’re all fighting for a bit of shade. Indeed, a little bit of snow and ice would be most welcome over here!!

Lady...A picture of innocence.

I’m such a picture of innocence.

Let me introduce myself. I’m Lady. Perhaps, you’ve met me before on Mum’s blog. If not, you can meet me here: Introducing Lady  https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/introducing-lady-our-new-dog/

and Portrait of a Lady: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/portrait-of-a-lady/

Perhaps, I shouldn’t have brought these damaging posts back up. Some things are best left buried in the past and never dug up. However, the photos are good and as for the words….I assure you, it’s all lies. Mum has an overactive imagination and a real gift for hyperbole. That might be good for her writing but it hasn’t helped my reputation.

You see, after all of her tales, I’ve actually acquired something of a reputation for being:”wild”, “mischievous” and an all-round “bad dog”. I wasn’t impressed at this complete lack of respect. After all, I was just a dog being a dog….nothing more, nothing less. Now, other mums and dads pull their dogs away whenever they try to say hello. I’ve been deemed a “bad influence”.

After all of that dreadful publicity, I seriously considered suing Mum and terminating her blog. However, if there’s one thing you soon learn as a pup, it’s not to bite the hand that feeds you…especially when bacon fat, BBQ chook and juicy bones are at stake. It’s all part of a dog’s modus operandi to encourage good relations with the family cook..even if that does involve suffering a few indignities on the  world wide web.

Anyway, Mum and Dad are serious disciplinarians. So instead of clearing the road of dead rabbits, I’m on a strict diet of tennis balls. These might thrill Bilbo and turn the usually comatose  mutt into some  sort of Olympic champion, but personally I still can’t see the point. Tennis balls taste nothing like rabbit! Yuck!

So here I am writing my first post on Mum’s blog. Once again, she’s off having a nap and I’m getting up to mischief… business as usual. I thought it was about time I had my turn and shared a few thoughts of my own.

You’ll have to forgive my elementary efforts at applying my paws to this a#@*#  keyboard. However, where there’s a will, there’s a way…thank goodness for spell check. Now, even a computer-illiterate, uneducated scruffy mutt like me can connect with the world. Amazing!!

That said, I’m much more adept at leaving messages on posts of a different sort and I can assure you, that they’ve attracted quite a lot of traffic. After all, I’m a very popular dog. At least, I was before Mum spoke. Although I only attract local traffic and 62 nationalities visited Mum’s blog last year, my stats blow hers right out of the water. I mean, if you want to talk about views, visitors, likes and followers, I’m the undisputed Queen. You might think that as a Lady, I might be getting ahead of myself but I beg to disagree. I’m hot and once I clear up all of Mum’s tattletales, I’ll be back to my old form.

Unfortunately, Mum doesn’t always appreciate my popularity. She’s always in such a rush and just wants to keep walking. Raves on about me lowering her heart-rate. That it’s all my fault that she’s put on weight. She even threatens to leave me at home.

But I’m simply a dog being a dog. That’s all. I can’t help it if  I’ve had an enthusiastic response on my posts. Of course, all these messages are terribly exciting for a dog. It’s the canine equivalent to “you’ve got mail!!” Being a deeply caring sort of dog and a good communicator, I just can’t give a stock standard reply to all my messages the way humans do. Oh no! Each and every message deserves a personal response and I must admit that I get quite thirsty after all that hard work.

However, while Mum doesn’t like waiting for me, the same rules don’t apply to her. When she’s chatting, she forgets all about her heart rate and has no consideration for getting me back home in time for my morning rave at the postman. Oh no! She only stops when she’s ready to stop. If I so much as nudge on the lead, then I’m a “bad dog”. Where’s the fairness in that?I know she writes all about egalitarianism and the golden rule but does she put any of that talk into action? Not on your life. I wouldn’t believe a word of her precious philosophical theories. Besides, she gets most of her material from me and the rest of the family.She doesn’t make it up.

Soon we’ll all be seeking royalties!

Need shade. Lady and Bilbo sheltering from the boiling summer sun.

Bilbo and I sheltering from the boiling summer sun in the shade of the boat house. We’re dreaming of a kennel conversion. .

Anyway, aside from trying to rebuild my shattered reputation, I’ve also jumped online to tell you that we’re on holidays at Palm Beach for a few days. I’m told that Palm Beach is where they film the hit TV drama series, Home & Away, except we’re on the Pittwater side, which is better for sailing than surfing.

I’ve been hard at work since we arrived investigating one of life’s perplexing mysteries.

High Tide, Piitwater, Palm Beach on the way out to go sailing.

High Tide, Piitwater, Palm Beach on the way out to go sailing.

For some strange reason, the water in our backyard keeps coming and going. One minute there’s water and slowly but surely it disappears and this whole new world opens up. I’m not talking about your ordinary puddle, which might just evaporate in the sun. This is a huge body of water….so much bigger than a puddle. Nothing, could drink up all that water. Moreover, that doesn’t explain how the water comes back…even when you factor in the waterworks  Humph! I just don’t get it. Where does it all go? How does it come back? Moreover, what are those scuttling critters who tried to bite me on the nose when I dared to investigate?


I was watching these critters this morning at low tide.


There are so many mysteries in this world for a little dog. My head hurts!

While we’re on the subject of mysteries, what happened to all the rabbits? I found one and as we all know, there’s no such thing as just one rabbit. Rabbits breed like rabbits. There has to be more but even I, the master rabbit hunter of the mighty Tenterfield Ranges,  hasn’t been able to sniff them out.

Humph! As I said, life is full of many, many mysteries!

Love & Doggies Kisses,







Introducing Lady…Our New Dog.

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you’ll know by now that I have a penchant for melodrama. So when I say that picking up Lady today was like bringing a new baby home from the hospital, you’ll know what I mean. I get a bit emotional.

We were all so excited about meeting Lady although I have to admit that I still had a few murmuring concerns. Were we doing the right thing? Taking a new dog sight unseen was certainly a risk, especially when she needed to get on with Bilbo, our 8 year old Border Collie. At the same time, as crazy as it seemed, the decision felt so right and as my Mum would say: “meant to be”.

Just to recap…Lady is a 2 year old Border Collie Collie x Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.From the photo we’d seen, she looked like a small BC with a touch of the Spaniel thrown in. While she looked cute in the photo, I wasn’t buying her so much for her looks but for the mix of breeds.  We love Border Collies but felt that our next dog needed to be smaller. Geoff had mentioned getting a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and I thought a combination of the two would be just perfect but thought my chances of ever finding one would be slim.

However, I had looked up both breeds on Gumtree, an online classifieds site, and suddenly ads of puppies for sale started flashing at me almost 24/7. You could just imagine the incredible temptation as puppy after puppy popped up s all imploring me to take them home with those irresistible puppy dog eyes. As much as I knew clicking on the photos was only going to make things worse driving Gumtree into an obscene frenzy, I couldn’t resist. That was how we found Lady. She flashed up on Gumtree…our dream dog turned real.  That was a few weeks ago now. Lady comes from Tenterfield in North-Western NSW which could be a couple of countries away if you were in Europe so we had to wait for her to come down to pick her up. Today, was finally the day.

Time is a traveler
Tenterfield saddler
Turn your head
Right again Jackaroo
Think I see kangaroo up ahead

Peter Allen:Tenterfield Saddler.

Well, Lady is our “Tenterfield Traveller”. It’s been a long journey for her to reach us. We were picking her up from McDonald’s in Heatherbrae. This was about 1 3/4 hours drive away so I took the kids out of school and turned it into a family excursion. After picking up Lady, I was planning to spend the afternoon in historic Morpeth near Maitland where my Great Great Grandmother, Charlotte Merritt was born in 1864.

The plan all sounded good but then it needed to be executed. As we all know only too well, when the rubber hits the road, it can fly off in all directions causing all sorts of collateral damage. My first hurdle was the long drive. I am not the most confident driver. I get lost too easily and I also get fatigued. Moreover, after all the stops we had on the way to the snow, I thought we’d better allow plenty of extra time for contingencies.

However, the drive was very easy and straight-forward. This meant that we arrived 90 minutes early… just in time to order pancakes and hash browns…a dreadfully unhealthy second start to the day but I rare treat.

Our son waves while waiting at McDonalds to pick up Lady.

Our son waves while waiting at McDonald’s to pick up Lady.

Of course, arriving early only served to heighten our anticipation. I was so excited. Sitting on the edge of my seat excited. I was about to burst. Where was she? Lady! Lady!

Then, all was revealed.

If you are old, or should I say “mature” enough to remember a dating show called Perfect Match starring host Greg Evans and his match-making computer robot Dexter which was popular back in the 80s, you’ll remember that moment. After the contestant had made their choice, the wall would slide back to reveal their dream date or perfect match. For better or worse, it was their moment of truth.

Finally, we were heading out to the car park to meet Lady and her Dad.

Our very first photo of Lady with her Dad on the left showing the initial madness of dogs on leads and kids in a car park.

Our very first photo of Lady with her Dad on the left showing the initial madness of dogs on leads and kids in a car park.

Wow! Good decision. Great decision. Lady was not only gorgeous with beautifully soft silky fur, she is incredibly affectionate and friendly. Her Dad was gorgeous too. Given than Lady is black with just a touch of white on her chest and back paws, I’d assumed that Dad would be black and white but instead he turned out to be the ruby colouring and so lusciously golden. The funny thing is that you assume that Dad would be bigger than his daughter but as you can see from the photo, Lady was twice his size. Despite these differences, you can still see quite a lot of Dad in her facial features and she has his really soft Cavalier fur. She’s so beautiful to touch.

I had wondered how Lady would go leaving her family as she was not only leaving her human family but also her dog family but after a bit of a look behind her and needing to lift her into the car, she’s been fine. That doesn’t mean she’s forgotten. She wouldn’t know that this supposed “holiday” is permanent yet.

We have all fallen in love with Lady. Indeed, she is sleeping on my lap while I’m writing this post and seems perfectly comfortable. She seems quite used to being a Laptop Dog.

Next stop: Morpeth. It’s a significant detour and definitely not on our way home but I don’t get up this way very often and I love the place.

xx Rowena

Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/peter-allen/tenterfield-saddler-lyrics/#czvYmwdirLfbFSzw.99

New Dog’s Eve

Tomorrow morning, the kids and I are piling in the car and driving a few hours North to pick up our new dog, Lady. Lady is a 2 year old Border Collie cross Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which in the tradition of Spoodles, Cavoodles and two-minute noodles, makes her a Borderlier. Now, that she’s got a fancy breed, she’s ready to strut her stuff with all the other “posh dogs” (as my daughter calls them), at the beach. Moreover, she can tell them tales of growing up on a farm and what its like to grow up in your own dog family. She will be leaving her mum, Dad and older brother behind. Her current owner is selling up the farm and moving on.

We are really looking forward to bringing Lady home and having her as part of our family. I’ve got a feeling that as a two year old, she’s going to liven things up a bit. Bilbo our 8 year old Border Collie has slowed down a lot over the last couple of years and at 56 dog years is on the other side of middle age. We’re hoping Lady will liven Bilbo up a bit but I’m not sure what he’ll think about the whole thing. He’s used to being an only dog.

That’s right. Nobody asked Bilbo whether he wanted “a friend”.

Personally, I think he’s doing very well. There is on the other side of middle age getting a much younger woman and he hasn’t even had to sign up for RSVP or any other form of online or I guess in the world of dogs telegraph pole dating in order to hook up. For him, Lady is like a home delivery pizza. She’s just turning up on his doorstep without any spade work whatsoever. Lucky dog!! I have a few friends who would be more than happy with that kind of service.

But Bilbo is no ordinary dog. Or perhaps he is after all. Dogs are quite territorial and Border Collies can be a fairly shy, introverted breed but he’s fiercely loyal and this is where things could get tricky with Lady. Is he going to welcome her as part of our pack or is she going to be classified “an intruder”? He seems to like some dogs but likes his space, which is quite typical of Border Collies apparently. They’re not so keen on dogs who are forward. At least, he’s certainly not.

Yet, as much as they say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, Bilbo has certainly ventured out in the last couple of years.  He’s been sailing, out on the kayak and he’s even started mixing with other dogs at the beach even if he still turns into a ferocious barker whenever my friend turns up to take the kids to school.

As an 8 year old dog, Bilbo is 56 years old. Of course, this doesn’t exactly make him old but he is certainly on the more mature side of middle-aged. He has what you could describe as love handles and some arthritis but is otherwise in fairly good health.

I guess the big question is: why are we getting another dog?

Our concern with Bilbo getting older and especially considering my own volatile health, is the whole issue of managing the passing of a pet and whether you have a cross-over or whether you wait. Of course, nobody has a crystal ball so it’s hard to know how to get the timing right. Our last two dogs died at around 8 so we felt the timing was about right. Hopefully, we’ll have Bilbo for years to come and he and Lady will get on well and run off into the sunset together although there will be no pups. They’ve both been “fixed”.

There are also a few other reasons that I’m excited about the new dog. As much as I adore Bilbo, he has become rather withdrawn. He usually doesn’t sit with the family much of the time and does seem to be in his own world. I’m not sure whether he’s on guard and I know he certainly loves lying out on the back deck in the sun and really heats up out there. He has started warming up to visitors but it’s been hard work. It really takes him quite awhile to warm up even to regular visitors.

Bilbo is a gorgeous boy but he got quite out of sorts when I had the chemo and is very protective of me in particular…and the kids. I’ve done a bit of research and read that Border Collies can get a bit anxious and on the look out for grizzly bears and that certainly fits his behaviour. He just hasn’t worked out that we don’t have grizzly bears around here…only the neighbourhood cats.

And we’re about to have Lady…!

So now there’s only one more sleep and it’s all happening. It all feels a bit like bringing a new baby home from the hospital except this baby isn’t brand new and should be a lot less work. After all, you can leave a new baby home alone. Not that Lady will be alone. She’ll have Bilbo.

Hmm…I wonder what Bilbo is going to think of his new friend…