The road goes ever on ...

... and I will continue to walk the dogs after coming home from running.

But I will no longer blog from here.

But I will continue to chronicle my life with cooking and dogs and running and babies and relatives at www.verygoodcooking.blogspot.com

Thank you to everyone who was interested enough to visit here, to read or to comment.


ANZAC day.

Ninety years ago.

A full moon rose this evening and as it did I thought about the men who died.


Huey plays with dogs.

Took Huey the foster Greyhound to Princes Park this morning.

He was mobbed by dogs.

A Labrador-Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy leapt up and grapped his head with its front paws, just about climbed onto his face. Another did the same.

No reaction from Huey. That's socialisation. He's a great success.

However, once back home, he did bite the flower off a pansy in the back yard.



Why is it so hard to get the dogs to get off their cushions and go outside at ten o'clock at night when I have the Tallis Scholars playing low; performing timeless and magnificent harmonies unchanged since the fifteenth century, in some cases - on a warm autumn evening - the end of a beautiful, unforgettable day in which a new Pope has been elected, somewhere on the other side of the world?

Why? Because they are sleeping; and because they have no cares; and because the world of men means nothing to them as long as men are not cruel to them.

God's creatures, sleeping peacefully.

Sleep on, beautiful dogs.

God loves you.

ICBM in the backyard.

Into Crutch Ballistic Missile.

That's Huey. Man, is this dog exuberant or WHAT!

He lies at the top of the yard, in the shade of the tree. You can hardly see him. He's dark grey. When I open the back door, he launches.

He's like a rocket. Flies down the yard at a billion miles an hour and collides full-on with my groin.

I'm deflecting him and teaching him not to be so exuberant. It's starting to work.

Then he whines at the back door if Goldie goes in and leaves him outside.

I bring out the spray bottle and spritz him through the screen.

Oh, oh, he's starting to enjoy it. Last time I sprayed him, instead of backing away, he came forward, rolled his head around to catch the spray and revelled in it like a dandy in a hair salon having his do hairsprayed.


Weekend training.

9am at the university track. They describe this as a double pyramid:

Warm-up, stretch etc.

1 x 400, 1 x 800, 1 x 1600, 1 x 800, 1 x 400, 1 x 200.

Then do it all again.

Ran the first 1600, the 'peak' of the pyramid, in 5.36 and the second in 5.58.

This was my first Saturday morning session - never thought I could cope with speed training so early in the morning. It was fine. But hard.

Sunday, a leisurely ninety minute run along the Yarra trail with pick-ups towards the end.

Then an hour walk, late in the day, with Goldie and Huey through Princes Park as the sun went down, shedding gold everywhere amongst the autumnal trees. Beautiful.


Huey arrived at our house yesterday.

Huey is just your average washed up Greyhound.

He's five and he hadn't raced since late 2003, which means he's been cooling his heels in some concrete kennels somewhere for a year and a half. Just like an ageing lieutenant towards the end of a too-long war. Too old for active service but too young to be discharged. They come in handy for office duties, in stores or administration, mapping and the like. Old lieutenants, I mean. Old greyhounds are good for nothing. They usually get discharged by being put down.

Huey is dark grey, which is called 'blue', with flecks of grey, especially around the face. He came into the adoption program with worms, heavy dandruff, fleas and dirty ears and teeth. I'd call this benign neglect rather than outright mistreatment, but I could be wrong. Many of these hounds have had a structure to their early lives on which they thrive. Training, living in a pack situation, good food, occasional race, lots of travel and new smells, human contact. Many of these dogs have a better life than dogs who are consigned to a back yard with no human or canine contact for eight hours or more a day. I saw one recently - I'm tall and I could see over the side fence of a property into a very small yard. A rottweiler was chained to a rock, in hot sun. No shade. No contact. No nothing. That's cruelty.

Huey smiles. Huey loves food. Huey loves a walk. Huey loves Goldie.

Goldie doesn't mind Huey. She'll warm to him.

Huey is thin and we will counterract this - as well as helping to eliminate dandruff - by feeding him, along with chicken mince stew, sradines in oil, cheese, peanut butter sandwiches and lard.

Huey's in for a good time.


Posted without comment.


All right, I will comment.

No, we are not the higher species.

At the other end of the cruelty scale, some dumbass rang up the veterinary talk-back radio show segment and wanted a solution to her problem. (Today's guest vet. was an oncologist and tried to explain he wasn't going to be solving anyone's animal behaviour problems but DID THEY LISTEN? NO THEY DIDN'T. THEY KEPT RINGING UP AND ASKING HIM WHY THEIR DOG ATE CAT POO.)

The woman's problem: she had a 12 month old Labrador which had lived inside with her until she had recently moved to a smaller house where the dog's tail 'swished everything' so she shipped the dog outside and could the oncologist tell her how to stop it crying at night, please?

I don't usually curse but FOR FUCK'S SAKE. The dog is a pack animal. You let it live with the pack, then one day you throw it outside in the cold away from the pack because its tail might knock over the picture of Uncle Hamish taken at the beach in 1971. And then you wonder why it cries.

And I wasn't going to comment.

Oh, then a woman rang up with a complex question about heart surgery which the vet. guy was able to answer. They discussed cost and life expectancy and the radio host, incredulous, asked the woman how much she would be prepared to pay for surgery on her dog. 'Anything it took,' she replied, 'as long as there was a good prognosis and a reasonable life expectancy.'

Thank you, Ma'am. You restored my faith in humans. Against all the odds.