Archive for the ‘Dog stuff’ Category

We walk (that is, my husband and I). In fact, we walk a lot. Primarily with Felix, the little dog, who doubles up as our personal trainer (I know a dog isn’t strictly speaking a “who” but Felix isn’t strictly speaking just a dog). So I thought I’d capture some of our love for walking, and show off a teensy weensy bit of our city and our ‘hood.

This is where we start our walks, outside our house, with a view down our street and into the city of Cape Town.

This is also outside our house, looking up our street to see a slice of Signal Hill.

This is our neighbour's car which sometimes runs, but not often. Most times our neighbour can be found working on it. Sometimes his father gives advice. Sometimes his teenage son lends a hand. Oftentimes his grandfather looks on. Mostly it's a talking point. Yesterday the teenage son washed the car. This morning it wasn't there. It seems thus to be in running order. For now…

This is a view of Table Mountain on our city-walk route. We have a sea-walk route as well. We think it's pretty special to have the option of a mountain or an ocean as backdrops to one's walks.

This is where we walk along Government Avenue, which is flanked on the one side by the Parliament buildings, and on the other by the Company Gardens.

This is one of the creatures that torment the little dog when we walk along Government Avenue. The lane is filled with squirrels, Egyptian geese and a trillion annoying pigeons.

Sometimes this is where we walk. When, like this time, I'm on my own then the photos tend to come out a bit blurry. I blame it on trying to operate the camera while keeping a tight rein on a Jack Russell Terrier in hunting mode. And that is why the people on the benches look like aliens.

This is who we mostly walk with. He only loses the leash when we walk in De Waal Park, aka Doggie Park, which is enclosed and a safe place in which city dogs can happily go mildly crazy.

This is when we take a five-minute drive to the Sea Point promenade for our sea-walk route. The signs clearly indicate no skating, cycling or rollerblading. Sometimes people ignore these instructions, which is when the little dog puts on his sheriff badge to ear-piercingly, persistently and somewhat sternly, bark them to order. Rules are rules.

This is also the Sea Point promenade. On a misty morn'.

If the stalls were open that early, and if we actually wanted fast food at 7am, then we could stroll to the end of our road to sit here after our walk. They're not and we don't.

This is the view from our balcony where we sometimes recover after a walk. We love this city. A lot.

This is where we sometimes really like to hang out after a walk. Felix doesn't mind, as long as he has a seat with a view.

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So the little dog and I went for a stroll into the city this morning and came across two new additions and a potential firm favourite.

New kid on the block is Stef and his Baguette Sandwiches bicycle. With freshly baked bread from Knead (100% rye, ciabatta, bretzel rolls and, of course, baguettes) and toppings such as black forest ham, salami, roast beef, chicken or ham, garnished with cheese, tomato and lettuce, and ranging in price from a mere twenty SA rand, these sarmies are sure to attract lots of attention. The idea is to test this one outside Deluxe in Church Street and then expand to other locations in the city. Be nice and go say hi to him.

Baguette Sandwiches bicycle, stationed outside Deluxe Coffeeworks in Church Street.

On our way back, after a quick Deluxe coffee fix (for me, not the little dog) we strolled past a new building upgrade, housing Liam Mooney and his fabulously amazing furniture and homeware; Honest Chocolate, which is ridiculously and habit-formingly good (it’s raw chocolate, so it’s fine); and Commune 1, a new gallery that is a work of art in itself. The building is on Wale Street, between Bree and Loop. I could quite happily drag my bed down there and move in – it’s altogether lovely.

Tilt your computer – it's not easy taking a photo from the middle of the road hanging on to a Jack Russell that is intent on catching a rat, any rat, anywhere…

And then we got to within a block of our house where a long-awaited new restaurant/coffee shop has finally opened its doors. Beautifully renovated building, lovely Bo-Kaapish colours, nice enough interior, fair attention to detail…yes, things were going along swimmingly but then, sadly, all came to a screaming halt when the signage went up and revealed the name: Wale Rose Lifestyle… for no apparent reason other than that it’s on the corner of, oh yes, Wale and Rose Street. Maybe if you’ve worked on a project for months, perhaps years, you just don’t have any energy left to think of a name for it… Must be that.

Wale Rose Lifestyle. Corner or, uhm, Wale and Rose Street…

Some time ago I stumbled upon amigurumi, the Japanese craft of crocheted stuffed toys and, for a while there, I was hooked. I made amigurumis for friends, for the kids of friends, for the friends of friends and for the friends of the kids of friends. I think I’m all amigurumi-ed out now – well, for a while at least. They’re great fun to make, though – mostly because they’re generally super small, so they work up super quick. The downside is that one can grow fond of them rather rapidly, which makes giving them away a little awkward…

One of the last amigurumis I made was this Felix lookalike. They met, but I didn’t get the impression that Felix was quite as enamoured with the little guy as I was.

Felix I meets Felix II

Felix II

Felix I strikes a suffer-the-little-children pose as the small dog kisses his feet

Uhm, excuse me, there's something hanging onto my leg...

Felix II goes to pot

My last-born, Felix the JRT, doesn’t do winter. Especially winter with a generous downpour of arctic rain. So I got him a fleecy coat from the vet shop. Only it’s about five sizes too big (it fits his ego, but looks decidedly strange on his body…).

Now, being an avid crocheter, I naturally launched an internet search for a manly, yet cozy, dog sweater pattern but, my goodness, did I get distracted by just the weirdest stuff people seem set on whipping up! Here, then, are some items you really, really shouldn’t crochet. Ever. As in never, ever, ever…

How to walk a dog in the city

Posted: June 14, 2011 in Dog stuff
Tags: , , ,

Oh, yes, there are some protocols attached to walking a dog in the city…

  • Get a harness. Don’t just go and attach the leash to the collar. City dogs are notoriously dof* and will challenge four lanes of peak hour traffic to a stand-off.  In any case, most dogs can spot a sewer rat three blocks away and will rip their necks from the collar before you’ll have time to screech “heel”.
  • Keep a tight rein. People who wander around cities are either workers in their office gear, tourists tripping over their camera straps or clubgoers still trying to figure out where they left their cars the night before. The first group will more than likely really really prefer not to take the residue of Buster’s gob into the boardroom, the second lot will fall over and sue you in US dollars, and the latter will retreat further into bewilderment as they attempt to use their remote controls to deactivate your dog’s bark. Keep Buster close to your side as you navigate your way through the throngs.
  • Stock up on pooh bags. Tie a few to the leash, stuff them in your jeans pocket or get/make a special holder, but don’t leave home without them. Stepping into someone’s dog pooh is yuck. Stepping over and around lots of someones’ dog pooh is just as yuck. So then, pick up after Fido. Don’t know how? Below are photos that will hopefully demonstrate, step-by-step, this delicate dance between bag and pooh which will see the pooh safely deposited, and your hands fresh as a daisy…

* dim, as in not-the-brightest-bulb-on-the-christmas-tree…