Dogs of the World – London’s Calling Lulu!

Lovely Lulu

Lovely Lulu

Hi Lulu!

Where do you live and what is it like there?

I live in London in the United Kingdom.  It is an enormous city with 8.5 – 14 million inhabitants depending which figures you agree with.  London is very built up but we have lots of green spaces with 8 enormous Royal Parks too such as Hyde Park, St James’s Park and Greenwich Park. 

We live on Gunnersbury Park which is in a place called Gunnersbury which is located between Chiswick and Ealing.  The Rothchild Family sold the house and grounds to the local Councils in the 1930s and they allowed houses to be built on the perimeter and we have one of those.  Our back garden fence has a door which opens up into the park.  This is very handy for dogs like me.  The park is huge – 23 football pitches in the winter, cricket pitches, tennis courts, boating lake, fishing pool, formal gardens, childrens’ playground, cafe and a Museum.

Us dogs can roam everywhere off our leads throughout the park except in the childrens’ play area.  Mum also puts me on a lead near the duck pond as she doesn’t want me to chase any ducks or geese.  She is the Queen of No Fun at times like this.

How long have you lived there?

I arrived here on January 18 2009 – so just over 4 years now.

How long have you lived with your family?

With my current/real family I have lived since I was bought here in January 2009.

I was about three years old at that time.

The time before that doesn’t really count, but I will tell you a bit about it.

I was been found tied up to the Central Reservation (North American translation – center median) on a motorway between Devon and Cornwall.  When they found me I had been kicked and had broken ribs and a gash across my mouth.  The Dogs Trust nursed me better and found a nice lady to live with in Cornwall.

Oh dear!  How did you end up on the motorway?

No one knows how I got onto the motorway and where I lived before and I’m refusing to speak about it, or I can’t remember or choose not to anyway.  My Mum thinks I was probably lost and had been kicked by a horse or cow as I have no fear of humans at all.  Someone at least had the decency to tie me up although not enough to help me otherwise.

Yes?

Yes?

So you moved in with a nice lady in Cornwall, and lived happily ever after?

Well, not exactly, you see…the nice lady in Cornwall and I did not get on.

You didn’t get on?  How come?

Well, it’s like this – I kept escaping and getting lost.

Kept escaping? Like more than one time?

Yes.  On three occasions I was lost for hours and was returned because I was chipped now.

What else didn’t you like about living with her?

Well, I also didn’t want to walk on the beach where she walked everyday with her other dog.  I simply don’t like wet paws.  Who does?

So, you, um, broke up with her?

Basically yes.  I think that last breakout was the last straw so she phoned the Bedlington Rescue people to find me another home.

And?

And the timing was just right.

This is me

This is me

How did your Mum find you there?

Just at that same time my Forever Mum decided the time was right for her to get another dog.

She’d had a dog before?

Yes, her last dog had died 2 years before at age 19.  She’d spent those two years of dog-less (read – sad lonely miserable times I’m assuming) time to travel to all those places she had wanted to see.

So having finally walked on the Great Wall of China (editors note – Which I bet is no fun without a dog) she was lonely for another dog, and I was lonely for a proper home.

But how did she actually come to select you?

Well, she decided she needed quite a small dog – she had had a difficult time coping with her large Border Collie when it’s back legs went, she simply couldn’t carry her easily.  She tried contacting Battersea Dogs Home but they had very few small dogs on offer and told her to try the Rescue Groups.

And then….

Having recently met an absolutely lovely little Bedlington in the park she phoned the Bedlington Rescue first.  They had two Bedlingtons that needed rescuing, me and a really old girl in Scotland who was going blind.

So she picked you?

No, not so fast.  What happened was, my Mum offered to take the old dog because she was so sorry for her.  She advised the Rescue but they decided the journey from Scotland would be too much for the older pup so they gave her the number of the lady who I was living with in Cornwall.

The one who kept losing you and insisting on long walks on sandy beaches?

Yes, that’s the one.  After several calls the lady offered to drive me up to London.  I am very good in cars, I just curl up on the back seat and sleep.

So THEN you got to your forever home?

Yes I did!  I arrived here with my bed, lead and papers.  I couldn’t help feeling that this lady was relieved to get rid of me!

Ready to run

Ready to run

And you didn’t run away anymore?

Well, my Mum took advice from the Bedlington People.  The explained that we are sighthounds and like to chase things so we should not be left unsupervised in the garden until the fences are really Bedlington proof!  They also told her that new dogs should be kept on a lead for at least three months so they absolutely know where their home now is.

Did you keep her on her toes?

Well, I tried.  She got the fences mended.  This became an ongoing project for some time as I am very good at finding any weak points.

Did you make a break for it?

Yes, several times I escaped into the park and had a good old chase!

Uh oh!  You didn’t!

Oh yes I did!  But this time I came back.  I’m pleased to advise, we now have the best fences in West London!

How did she finally get you contained?

She marched me round the park for at least two months on an extender lead.  After that she felt I wasn’t going anywhere as I wouldn’t leave her side.

And the relationship is better than the one you had with the lady in Cornwall?

Yes, for sure!  We are very cosy together.  Like most sight hounds I have bursts of energy and then sleep for hours.

And who is in your pack now?

I live with my Mum – who is old and retired.  This situation suits me as she doesn’t have to leave me all day.  I have a HuSis who lives about 10 minutes away in a place called Chiswick.  She is always here to see me.  It is obvious that she likes me very much.

Lulu face

What breed are you exactly?

Can’t you tell?  I am a Blue Bedlington Terrier.  I’m not actually blue, I am grey but they say blue.  Those humans are very odd at times I think.

s your city dog-friendly?

I guess it is we are allowed to run free in the parks and dogs are everywhere but not in shops.

Do they have designated dog parks?

I am not sure whether we do or not.  I have never seen one.

Are there any particular places you like to go walking?

I like our park the best.  I do not like walking up and down our road as very big vehicles sweep past us and frighten me.  Otherwise I walk anywhere with my Mum.  I won’t willing walk away with anyone else even HuSis. 

I am particular unhappy when we hit Motorway service Stations.  My Mum thinks this is where I got lost perhaps.

Are dogs allowed in restaurants?

In London, no unless they have gardens.  (Editors Note: In the UK a ‘garden’ at a restaurant means an outside eating area, not rows of carrots and corn).

When we have holidays out of London in the UK (the only place my Mum can have holidays now as she can’t possibly leave me) we have found lovely restaurants that allow dogs in areas such as Dorset and Whitby in Yorkshire.  Guide dogs get to go everywhere though.

Can dogs go on public transport?

Dogs are allowed on the Underground (Subway) and on buses if the driver agrees.

Say that again?!

Yes, dogs ARE allowed on public transit!

That is so cool and I wish it was the same here.

However, dogs are not popular during rush hour when the buses are crowded.

Do people there dress their dogs?

People in the UK do not dress their dogs on the whole.  Some young ladies and those not so young, dress small dogs in matching outfits but most humans tut at that.  Then small dogs and old dogs wear coats when it is cold in the winter. Now, obviously we all wear silly accessories – bunny ears, santa hats etc for photos and to amuse our humans.  In fact, I have a Santa set bought by HuSis, I wore the kerchief all over Christmas but that hat lasted two minutes!

Do most people have dogs there?

There are a lot of dogs in London but many more cats I think.  Many people live in flats (apartments) where animals are not allowed and it seems they can get away with cats more easily in those circumstances.  My Mum would not have a cat where we live because the roads are so dangerous.

What is the climate like?

Wet – we had torrential rain this year especially in the Summer and now we have just had the coldest Easter on record.  My Mum wants to know what happened to Global Warming!

What is your favourite local treat to eat?

I am not sure any treats are local.  My favourite is Picnic Jumbles Treats, they are Turkey, Chicken, Beef, Liver and Cheese moulded into little shapes.  Also, I quite like gravy bones but I am not very fond of milk bones.

Not fond of milk bones?  There are a daily staple here.

Well, best of all I like human treats, Chinese Prawns Crackers and Papadoms are my faves.  I get these when the humans get Take away (Take Out).  And then I love human biscuits (cookies) and sometimes if I nag enough my HuMum gives me a tiny piece – Chocolate Digestives are really great.

I love chocolate but someone told my Mum it is bad for me.  I once stole a box of chocolates from the coffee table and ate most of them and was fine, so I think my Mum was misinformed!

I’ve heard that chocolate is bad for dogs too.  I think to be on the safe side you should cut back on the chocolate digestives and forego the boxed chocolates Lulu!

What do dogs do for fun there?

They run around and chase each other and balls which they bring back to the human who threw them.  I am not big on chasing balls.  I will now and then but I don’t bring them back.  However, I do bring any balls I find in the park or garden into the house and hide them.  I also hide toys, bones and chews usually behind the sofa.

I also like to chase foxes for fun, there are lots in London, they run across my garden at night, and then the odd brave one appears during daylight.  So far I’ve yet to catch one.  I also chase cats and squirrels but they cheat and bolt up trees.

Most of all I love playing with children, I let them do anything with me.  I am particularly obsessed by babies.  My Mum has to stop me running up to babies in pushchairs (strollers) in the park and licking their hands and faces, for some reason the Mothers don’t like it.  My Mum thinks I must have been bought up in a family with children.

and that is all as our Tiggy would say….

Thanks Lulu, sounds like you are living in a perfect spot for an urban city dog who likes to roam!

Editors note – Lulu’s other unique trait is that she is photo-elusive, hence the limited pictures in this report.

Categories: West Coast Dogs | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Dogs of the World – Not so scary Sleepy Hollow!

This is me and some leaves

This is me and some leaves

Howdy Oliver Barkley!

You are very cute!

Thank-you.

Can you see me now?

Can you see me now?

What kind of dog are you?

Well, I’m an F1B miniature Goldendoodle.

An F1B?  That sounds like a race car, not a dog!

I’m a dog!  But I’m fancy like a race car.

Tell us about being an F1B, I’m curious now.

Well, my biological mom was a Goldendoodle and my biological dad was a Toy Poodle.  My real Momma and Dada picked me because Dada has severe allergies — and a pup like me can be perfect for allergy sufferers!

How ‘miniature’ are you?

Well, I’m fully grown now at 12 1/2 pounds, but everyone still mistakes me for a little puppy.

Out for a drive

How old are you Mr. Oliver Barkley?

I am 2 1/2 years old and will turn 3 in August.  My birthday party theme last year was bunnies — and Momma made me a cake for my party.  It was pawesome!

Birthday Boy

Birthday Boy

Dressed for the season

Dressed for the season

How did you get your name?

Well my proper first name is Oliver Barkley, but lots of people shorten it to just Oliver.  I guess it seems like a pretty formal name for such a little guy.  Momma only calls me Oliver if I’m in trouble, which isn’t very often because I’m spoiled rotten!  I have TONS of nicknames though: Poot, Barbar, Pickles, Barky…and some others that I’m too embarrassed to mention!

Yes?

Yes?

Tell us, where do you live?

I live in Sleepy Hollow.

Sleepy Hollow?  With the headless horseman?

No silly, Sleepy Hollow, Illinois, which is a suburb of Chicago.   It is a great place to live because I have the best of both worlds.  I can shop on Michigan Avenue or go for a romp in the woods and enjoy wide open spaces.

How long have you lived there in Sleepy Hollow?

I have lived in the Chicago area since Thanksgiving of 2010.  I was born in Fountain Inn, South Carolina and flew all the way to my forever home where Momma and Dada picked me up at O’Hare International Airport.

Arriving at the airport, home at last!

Arriving at the airport, home at last!

You flew on an airplane?

I sure did!  I even had a stopover in Texas!  I was well-traveled at such a young age.

Widdle baby me!

Widdle baby me!

Were you scared?

My Momma stressed about my flight, but I was very well-cared for all along the way and arrived healthy, safe and happy – although I was a little shy at first.  It was all worth it!  I had tons of toys and lots and lots of unconditional love waiting for me when I arrived!

Would you say that your city is dog-friendly?

We are pleased to have discovered lots of dog-friendly places in our area – hotels, restaurants and even an entire mall!  The first store I went to was Yankee Candle, and even our local Home Depot is dog-friendly so I get to help pick out supplies for projects at our house!

Wow, that sounds like a great place already!

It is.  I also took swimming lessons for the first time recently at a local indoor swimming pool designed just for dogs.  It was very exciting!

Swimming lesson 2

Swimming Lessons 101

Swimming Lessons 101

Do they have dog parks in your area?

Yes they do.  I live just a minute or two from the nearest dog park, but I’m always more interested in the people than playing with other dogs, so we don’t go there much.  I attend daycare 2-3 times a week though and have made lots of four-legged (and human!) friends there.  Daycare is my favorite place of all!

Adventurous me

Adventurous me

Can dogs go on public transit?

Well now that you mention it, I’ve never actually tried to take the train to the city.  I’m very scared of the vacuum cleaner, so the sound of a train might really upset me!  But that’s an interesting idea!  I bet I could charm my way into a cab or onto a bus with no problem since I’m so small and always being held in someone’s arms.

My absolute favorite is just riding in the car with Momma and Dada.  Sometimes we go on road trips to visit family and other times we just go for Sunday drives together.  I love it!

Are there any particular places you like to go walking?

Our neighborhood doesn’t have sidewalks, so I get really nervous walking in my neighborhood and will always ask to be picked up and carried instead.  We did discover a great place nearby called Beverly Lake where there’s lots of walking trails, rolling hills and grassy fields for me to amble through and explore.

Sometimes I get to go off my leash, but I am always aware of where my parents are at all times.  I like to walk ahead of them and then wait for them to catch up.  I’m very attached to them, so I never let them leave my sight.  My little legs still get tired easily though, and eventually, I always ask to be picked up and carried for a while along our journey.

Do people in your city dress their dogs in clothes?

Well, some people do, and my Momma is definitely one of those peoples!

She says I have more clothes than she has!  I have a winter coat to keep me warm, lots of hooded sweatshirts, sweaters, t-shirts, a St. Louis Cardinals baseball jersey — and even pajamas!  My Gangy and Pop Pop gave me my favorite sweater of all.  It’s a turtleneck sweater with blue stripes and a bone on the back.  I ask to wear it all the time when it’s cold outside!  I also won first place in a costume contest one year when I dressed up as a red crayon for Halloween!

Colour me red!

Colour me red!

Do most people have dogs there?

There are a lot of dogs at my daycare and lots of dog-friendly events, so we do see a lot of pups around town.  But I think humans probably have a wide range of pets around here — even horses!

What is the climate like in Sleepy Hollow?

Our winter is usually cold and snowy, but summer can be rather hot and humid.  Spring and fall are generally nice, and my favorite is crunching through the leaves and jumping in the leaf piles in the Fall!  We also have a fire pit in our backyard that we like to sit around during chilly weather.  I love that the seasons are always changing.  I even like to splash around in the rain!

What is your favorite local treat to eat?

I’m very picky about food.  Sometimes I will get a treat and just carry it around for weeks at a time, hiding it in different areas of the house (my favourite treat-hiding place is under the covers in my parents’ bed!), but I really get excited when we order sausage pizza.  I LOVE having pizza parties!  There are lots of great shops that specialize in yummy dog treats, too.  The last treat I was given was a frosted ginger snap cookie with sprinkles!  But I’m not sure how it tasted really.  I carried it around for a long time until one day I finally dropped it on the floor and it broke into little pieces.  Then it was thrown away.  I never really planned on eating it in the first place.  I’m silly like that!

Relaxing at home

Relaxing at home

What else do dogs do for fun there?

Oh, there are all kinds of things to do for fun, but the most fun of all is running around the yard barking at people who are walking or jogging by!  The best way to do this is by sitting on the back of the couch and watching out the window — then when someone starts approaching, you leap off the couch, run for the door, and then run outside like you’re super tough and just bark, bark, bark, bark while running back and forth across the yard!  That’s my idea of a perfect afternoon.

Sounds like our house!

Thank you for telling us all about Sleepy Hollow Oliver Barkley!  It sounds like you have a great life in a wonderful city!

Categories: West Coast Dogs | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Dogs of the World – Way up North to Alaska!

 

This is me!

This is me!

Welcome Rufous!

You are a great looking dog!  You look so much like our Tigs, are you sure you’re a Husky?

Yep, I am a genuine, happy, fun-loving husky.  And, I have been described as quite mellow, an easy keeper, and I don’t get excited too easily (unless I see a squirrel!)

Do you really live in Alaska?

You bet I do! I live in Alaska, in what we call the Interior.  The nearest town of any size is Fairbanks which is a full 140 miles off.  We also have a piece of land in Fairbanks, but only camp out there now, nothing built on it yet.  My Human has to work in a far off place, so I am a regular at my boarding kennel- lots of fun and friends there, it’s great!  Plus, when I’m there I can use the computer and visit with my friends around the world.

How did you get your name?

Ha ha! Not a very imaginative name, is it?

Well actually…we haven’t heard that name before.

When I first showed up at my forever home, I was just called “Red Dog”…when it was apparent I was here to stay, some thought was given to a ‘real’ name.  “Rufous” is an orangish-brown color, so we went with that.  My Human thinks I look like a “Rufous” anyhow, so the name stuck.

We like it.  Did you know Rufous is also the name of a hummingbird?  Maybe that explains why, well, no that doesn’t explain anything.

Good times with the kennel crew

Good times with the kennel crew

How old are you?

I came into my current home as a stray, so they estimate my age around 12.

A stray?

Yes, a stray.  Back in July 2003, I found myself homeless; I had been dumped off along this very rural stretch of road to fend for myself.

Oh no, that doesn’t sound good.

It wasn’t, but then one day my Human was driving along and saw me.  I followed him back to the homestead and he took me in and fed me; he figured I was lost, so spent quite some time looking for my owners.  He had an older husky named Ace, who was in poor health and wouldn’t be around to see another winter.  He didn’t realize it at the time, but I was sent to help him deal with the pain of losing his old friend – it wasn’t until Ace was gone he decided we needed to make it permanent.

Sounds like things were meant to be.

Paradise for pups like me

Paradise for pups like me

What’s it like where you live in Alaska?

We live on a remote 40 acre homestead- there are no close neighbors.  There is no power, water, septic, or other services many take for granted in the lower 48 states.

This world is mine, all mine!

This world is mine, all mine!

Wow, sounds like you’re roughing it Rufous?

No, not really.  We have learned to adapt, and don’t miss town life at all.  It is mostly rolling hills; we live on a pretty steep hill with a creek down at the bottom.  There was a large wildfire that went through the area several years ago- almost all the big trees were burned, but we saved our cabin and outbuildings.

My happily ever after home

My happily ever after home

That must have been awful, I’m glad that you were able to save your home.

It is very sad and lonely at the kennel, said me NEVER!

It is very sad and lonely at the kennel, said me NEVER!

Who makes up your pack?

It’s usually just me and Dad at home, but we sometimes bring a foster dog home to visit with us.  My kennel takes in fosters now and then, and we like to take them out to our place for a fun vacation (I told you it was a great kennel!).

Roughing it at the kennel

Roughing it at the kennel

That sounds great, I bet the foster dogs enjoy some time away with you.

Are you really a husky?

Yes, I am an Alaskan Husky- a rather loosely defined breed.  We are not recognized by American Kennel Club (AKC) but are quite common up North.

I know that your homestead is dog-friendly, but what’s it like in the city areas?

I’d say Fairbanks, Alaska is fairly dog- friendly, not a lot of problems with breed bans or anything like that.  There are definitely a LOT of dogs in town, including dog mushers who may have dozens of dogs in their lots.

Any dog parks?

Yes, there are 2 dog parks in Fairbanks, we go visit when we can, especially if we have a foster dog along.

Me and Foster Dog Toby living the rough Alaskan lifestyle

Me and Foster Dog Toby living the rough Alaskan lifestyle

What’s it like for you at home?

At home I am given the free range option, so I can go exploring any time I want.  I like to walk up and down our 2 mile driveway, looking for rabbits or squirrels to bark at.

So I felt like having a mud bath

So I felt like having a mud bath

That sounds like something we’d enjoy too.

In Fairbanks, are dogs allowed in restaurants?

I don’t know about restaurants, maybe service dogs can…sometimes we go through the hamburger joint’s drive through and I get a burger!

Yes, I would like fries with that

Yes, I would like fries with that

Lucky!

Are dogs allowed on transit?

No, not that I am aware of.

Do dogs in Alaska generally wear clothes?

Many of the breeds that are not used to cold weather wear jackets when outside in the winter.  We huskies are built for the cold.  I can be outside at 40 below without a lot of discomfort.

Autumn in Alaska

Autumn in Alaska

Do most people have dogs there?

I would guess about half the people do… some (such as the mushers) have LOTS!

What is the climate like there?  Is it ALWAYS winter conditions?

Well, this is subarctic, less than 100 miles from the Arctic Circle- winters can see temperatures of 50 below or colder.  In fact, it’s not unusual for it to remain below zero for weeks in the winter.  We do have summers though and they can be quite hot.  It can up to the 90’s, but usually 60’s.  We don’t get much rain, less than 14” a year, but summer thunderstorms not uncommon.

Some days I'm the Lion King

Some days I’m the Lion King

And is it dark all the time?

No, it depends on the season.  We only get 3-4 hours of daylight during the darkest part of winter.  But then it is light 24 hours a day during the middle of summer!

Some times I play in the snow

Some times I play in the snow

What is your favourite local treat to eat?

I love salmon!

What do dogs up in Alaska do for fun?

There is lots of fun stuff for dogs!

I like to chase bunnies and bark at squirrels, or sometimes at the occasional moose or bear that wanders by.

Moose or Bear?  Did I read that right?

Yes you did!

Then in summer I love to go for swims in our pond.  I also love road trips, and have been lucky enough to have traveled all over the state.  My best times are just spent lying on the front porch, watching the world go by.

Hitting the open road

Hitting the open road

Thank you SO much for sharing your world with us Rufous.  You aren’t really so far away from us here on Canada’s west coast but your world is entirely different from ours.  It was really great to learn about Alaska!

The sun rising at noon during winter solstice

The sun rising at noon during winter solstice

Categories: West Coast Dogs | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments