An Update On A Cat and A Dog

I knew I was long overdue for a post.  It was on my mind to write one, but so is getting Narf77’s organiser finished and off to her.  Time for these things can only be snatched in small increments it seems when you have a puppy.  And a petulant cat.

But Laurie over at Life On the Bike and Other Fab Things asked how we were all doing this morning and spurred me into action.  So immediately I had cleaned out the potty, petted the cat, cleaned up the accidental pee from over excitement at the thought of getting at the cat – [Siddy, not me!], bathed the dog, dried the dog, brushed the dog, petted the cat, washed the floor, retrieved and put my shoe away again, fed the cat, thrown a ball for the dog and carried/danced the cat around the house with Bruce belting out on the stereo just because he likes that and retrieved the torn up paper scattered about the house by the dog whilst cat and I were dancing, played with the dog again because he obviously felt left out, IMMEDIATELY I had sorted all that, I sat down to write this post.

It’s nearly mid-winter here at the bottom of the world.  The days are short.  The weather is variable.  Four seasons in one day is common place – those Finn Brothers are after all from here, they knew what they were talking about!

I’m looking forward to the return of longer days.  My mantra is ‘When it’s spring Siddy will be able to ……..When it’s spring Siddy won’t do …….. When it’s spring Siddy will be ready to ….. When it’s spring Orlando will be able to cope with Siddy’s energy!’

Siddy has lived here for three weeks.  Just three weeks.

This was Orlando and me before

before siddy


This is us after

after siddy scaredy cat

Siddy still hasn’t had all his puppy shots and my vet strongly recommends keeping outings to a minimum until he is fully protected.  Isn’t it odd – I don’t believe in vaccinating babies – and didn’t – but I am doing as I am told with a puppy.  I live in an urban area and I don’t want to take any risks.  No dog parks or beach walks for us yet, just surreptitious little outings around the block when the coast is clear.

Also, our puppy classes have been delayed due to illness.  So I have to be creative in keeping my puppy exercised and happy and busy.  Luckily for me, Will over at Marking Our Territory got himself another new pup just recently and, as it was mostly his fault that I stopped thinking about it and actually went out and got my own new pup, I shamelessly follow along and copy everything he does.

Will is an excellent dog owner and he does ‘training’ sessions. So we do ‘training’ too.

‘Training’ works really well.  Siddy can ‘sit’ on command, ‘stay’ and ‘come’ when called.  He has learned to ‘lie down’ with the movement of my hand – no voice – and almost has the idea of ‘rolling over’ also with just a hand movement.

He is brilliant at training, possibly the cleverest little puppy in the whole world and we are both most pleased with him!

12 6 14 profile

Then someone else enters the house and it all goes over his head straight out the window, through the door and down the street!  We just have a mad whirligig of a leaping, yelping, whimpering, bum waggling, cannon ball of white and black fluff.

12 6 14  fluffy bum

We also do ‘leash training’.  Leash training works quite well too.  We do it in the house, up and down the hallway, round the living room, out into the courtyard and the car port area.  We walk beautifully together up and down the path between the two houses that share this section.  I walk along with a loosish lease, head up, a certain briskness in my feet and puppy trots along beside me.  Head up, close in, neither ahead or behind.

It is textbook perfection.  Someone should video this to show everyone else how easily it is all done.  Siddy and I are one, trotting happily up and down the pathway, a brief rest at each end for a treat and we head off again for another twelve metre stint.

When we do actual ‘leash walking’ it is entirely a different story.  There are smells, lamp-posts, distractions galore.  This photo is from the day he came home, nothing much has changed.

May31 First walk3

Siddy is now 11 weeks old.  He has almost doubled in size.  In no time at all he will look like a real dog and less like a stuffed toy.

Before he was unaware of anything except what was in front of his nose, now he is aware of outside sounds and noises and comings and goings.  He stands on alert when a car pulls up, a voice is heard.  He told me when a pot in the kitchen was boiling over. How’s that for smarts?

He loves to steal my shoes from my bedroom and refuses to believe I mean ‘No!’. Probably because I think the sight of a small rotund puppy, head held high, red suede shoe firmly held aloft, scampering down the hallway as fast as his little legs will carry him is hilariously funny.


He has been stood on a hundred and six times and still doesn’t get that being underneath my feet in the kitchen is not a good idea.  Every time he gets stepped on he yelps loud and long.  I expect to get arrested for puppy beating at any moment.

Siddy LOVES Orlando.  Siddy wants Orlando to play with him just as Mr Fox and Ms Bunny do


Orlando is still living in hope that Siddy will disappear as suddenly as he arrived.

“Oh, good heavens – it’s STILL here?”



Orlando has come a long way though.  Whilst still preferring high places, the top of the fridge and the top of the hutch have all been cleared of their pretty and useful things in order to make them pet friendly areas, he does come a bit closer to the floor from time to time:

I'll Stay Here3 20 6 14

Sometimes he allows his rather luscious and luxurious tail to droop towards the floor, which drives a little pup into a frenzy of leaping and whimpering and scrambling about for a foothold.  Yes, there is a bit of teasing going on because – well after all – there is always a wee pup not too far away………….

I'll Wait Here4 20 6 14

There is a nice morning ritual that has been in existence for about ten days now.  Orlando is on his kitchen bench, I pick up Siddy and hold him, waiting for him to become quiet – or at least quieter than moments before.  When he is satisfied at the energy level, Orlando stretches his head toward the quivering, barely controlled puppy and they touch noses.

Puppy usually explodes with joy at this point and is quickly replaced on the floor before he bursts and Orlando quietly sets about partaking of first breakfast.

The first time it happened my heart burst with joy too – it was a small miracle.  It felt like a  forward movement – maybe not peace, but at least a cessation of armed combat.  It’s been getting better and better ever since.

I no longer have to go and search for Orlando outside and carry him to his eating place or resting place.  He comes in the door now despite the capering, happy puppy standing right there.  He simply jumps over him and up onto a higher place.  He asks for hugs and dances and cuddles again and even acquiesced to a brushing, provided I did it on the table top and not on the floor.  I used to have a rule about Orlando and table tops.  It has been slowly eroded over the past year or so and now has vanished entirely out the window along with all Siddy’s cleverness at tricks when visitors come calling.

I feel my life organisation skills have been all out of sync lately.   I did a lovely make-over and then got a puppy.  Something is truly wrong about that progression!  So much for being an example to my clients 🙂

Yesterday when I was conducting ‘training’ with Siddy, Orlando lined up for treats too. Despite refusing to ‘sit’, ‘down’, ‘stay’ or ‘come’ he got some.

Time in the creative room is severely curtailed.  Last time I managed a couple of hours which pleased me greatly, but that was four days ago and, between pets, visitors and clients, I haven’t been back since.

One of my mantras is ‘When spring comes I’ll be able to spend more time creating’.

I live in hope that one day soon I shall publish a one photograph, no word post on this blog.  It will simply be a cat and a dog sitting side by side.

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

A Short History of Siddy and Some Other Things

There was life BS and now there is life AS.

There exists a photo taken the day before I met Siddy for the first time in which I am lolling back on my chair with a large, sleepy cat purring and wuffling softly on my lap. My YD was checking out her old camera prior to passing it on to me as she had just purchased her lovely posh new one.  Despite this being her old and now not good enough camera, it goes better than mine ever did.  She took a photo and shot a short video on a day that we did not then know was the last day of life BS.

I’m not going to show you the photo or the video as neither is the least bit flattering and I still have a modicum of vanity about my appearance!  Suffice to say I don’t loll well!!

I shall forever treasure that shot however for it records life BS and that may well be the last time I loll any where or indeed have a large and heavy Maine Coon purring and wuffling contentedly in my lap!

Yesterday Orlando stayed inside for the first time – though never in the lounge – at least on the kitchen counter or [poutingly] in his window or in my work room.  Every time he moved Siddy bounced joyfully towards him and we all went back to square one.

Orlando decided his window seat was the only place he could be

June5 14 AS

You would have to be pretty insensitive if you do not recognise that this is not a place he is staying because he wants to, but a place he must be because he is a put-upon cat and has nowhere else left to go – this is all that is left to him!!!!

It is very sad!  But then this afternoon there suddenly appeared to be this option too – which has a slight irony to it………Tig on fridge2

I spent an hour this morning re-housing containers of embellishing items and various photos from the top of the tall dresser in my work room and laying a sheepskin rug there instead.  After much coaxing I got Orlando to look at it and even to step onto it – but it wouldn’t do as the puppy was bouncing around on the floor whining that he was missing out on something and Orlando felt the need to exit the building again.

It is a week today since I first met my little black and white ball of fluff and went ‘sqeeeeee!’  The ‘sqeeee’ hasn’t stopped – he is totally gorgeous and when he turns those bright black eyes on me I just melt all over again.  I am sad about my big boy though, as I hate to see him so discombobulated and tense.  I really thought his natural tendency to zen out would see him through, aided by loads of extra attention and reassurance and all those good things – but now I wonder if he is just being bloody minded!

Despite all this tension in our normally content household I have begun a painting:


I hadn’t painted anything except organiser covers since February – I hadn’t even used my lovely new pencils that I purchased in Wellington at the end of March – I was worried I had forgotten how to draw and paint……..  But no, she’s got potential and I just have to become enlightened about what to do with her next.

And I have managed to finish this gorgeous thing as well, working away in the few quiet moments I get in the evenings – though I may decide to put another white double-row of scallops around the edge to finish off my finishing off  🙂

Bavarian Rug finished

Its rather large, coming in at 1.30 m [approx 50″ for you imperialists] and it is a square, despite the camera making it look like a rectangle.  It is texture rich, reversible, and weighty.  If I ever get my bedroom done up the way I would like to, this will look fantastic on my bed!

In the meantime I have to keep it safe from puppy love….

“Are you really, really sure you don’t want me to pull it? Tug it?  Shake it? …. I can you know, it’s no trouble at all…..  You don’t?  Unbelievable!!  What on earth is it for then?”

Siddy June5 14

If you want to have a go [and I don’t mean ‘a go’  in a Sddy kind of way – I mean in a relaxed and crocheting kind of way] at this gorgeous Bavarian Rug for yourself check out Dani’s tutorial.  I am just going to keep right on making things using this stitch – I love it to pieces!!

Bavarian Rug texture

Siddy went to make friends with the folk at our Veterinary Practice on Tuesday.  He was very happy to be there and went from person to person most amiably – I was happy to have a break quite honestly.  He had put on 800 grams in 8 days.  That’s 100 grams a day – in no time at all he will be a giant!  His big sister YD dropped in to see him after her shift last night and said she thought his tail was longer and thicker.  I hadn’t noticed, but this morning on really looking, I think that is where the 800g has gone!  I also wonder how much weight he would put on if he ever sat still………

As I have never given you the full details – and some of you want to know I’m sure 🙂 here is the background and story of how Sid-Arthur arrived in our lives.

Siddy is short for Sid-Arthur.  Sid-Arthur is a play on ‘Siddhartha’ the prince who became the Buddha.  The name came about because the first time we met the wildly energetic ball of fluff, I was allowed to hold him and he settled and became still and quiet in my arms and the pet shop owner observed that ‘he looks just like a little Buddha….’

Siddy’s mother is a Maltese Terrier X Shih Tzu, variously known as a Matzu, Maltzu or a Mitzu.  Dad is a Lhasa Apso.  All I know is there’s an awful lot of terrier in this boy!

Both the Shih-Tzu and the Lhasa Apso began life as Temple Dogs and are named after Lions, who are revered for their courage and large hearts.  Both these traits are easily seen in my little fellow.  Being just a babe he is courageous to the point of fool-hardiness, but time and experience will temper that.  His large heart is seen in his unabated joy and enthusiasm for EVERYTHING!

Sometimes I just stand and watch pure joy in action.  I thought I was good at living in the moment – I discover I still have much to learn!!  Courage is seen when he lines his tiny body up to get down steps or in the past two days, off the chair.  He jumps.  All four legs work at it, the front two go up and out and the back two propel him high into the air and he sails bravely forth with more speed and height than is really required and lands, increasingly gracefully, on the spot he set his eyes upon.  It is impressive, it is courageous, it is funny!

Siddy was born on Friday April 4th 2014.  I found him on Friday 30th May when he was exactly 8 weeks old.  He came to live with me the next day.  The moment my daughter knew he was coming home with me was a moment I missed.

I had met him and cuddled him and returned him to his pen with his two brothers.  We walked off with the pet shop owner to look at equipment that might be required if I was going to commit to a puppy.  Still deep in conversation we returned to the front of the cage where YD observed the pup stop still in the midst of his playful brothers and with a look of pure joy launch himself happily towards me, his eyes fixed on my face.

I thought he was the most gorgeous bundle of energy I had ever seen – but I was intent on getting an older, female dog – and I preferred a Bichon or Bichon-Shih-Tzu X; the ‘Teddy Bear’ dog, or a Labradoodle or a Spoodle.  I thought a girl and the more mature energy would be easier for me and Orlando to cope with.

Three weeks previously I had had an odd experience regarding an older Bichon girl who had been picked up by the pound.  I had made inquiries and been told she was not suitable for re-homing.  Three days later I found out the Dog Rescue people had taken her.  I made contact, saying I was interested, but heard nothing back.  Ten days later I discovered a message in my facebook message box which had somehow got buried beneath others and had been there for a week, advising me the dog would be re-homed and asking if I was interested in applying formally.  Of course I had responded immediately, but it was too late – she had found her forever home.

I was puzzled – this was the perfect scenario for us, why had it not happened?  Obviously she was not meant for us – but she had fit my order perfectly!

I wrestled all night long with committing to a puppy – a huge undertaking, no matter how cute he was!  Full commitment came when I was delivered a waking picture in my mind of a little black and white puppy all alone in a pet shop cage after his two brothers had gone to their forever homes and his intended forever home had said no.

I was In!  YD told me he was already In! and she saw the whole thing as being Inevitable!  And so Sid-Arthur came home.

My postcard prints of ‘Choose Joy’ finally arrived today.  Time to get those organisers made for those of you who are waiting – and then into the Etsy Store too!

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!





Contented Crafter Organiser – Winner

Finally dear readers and bloggy friends – we have the post you have just been hanging out for [yes? yes??]

Running behind I made my lists and checked them twice – eventually there were 78 strips of paper crammed into the coffee cup bearing names gathered from the comments section of the previous post and the beloved ‘followers’ of The Contented Crafter Facebook page.

Whilst engaged in this activity there was a petulant cat to try and mollify, pet, remind he was still my number one favourite, hand feed to prove that last statement whilst keeping a watchful eye on puppy as he stole my morning woolly socks from the bedroom, stole Orlando’s happy-bag from the basket, pushed his way between various barriers, chewed on the reading lamp cord and pulled a recipe book from the bakers rack and tore it to shreds.

The camera sat at the ready to take three pretty shots of all the names lined up neatly, piled into my morning coffee cup and the winning name proudly displayed for all to see.

I stirred and shook the contents of the mug as vigorously as possible, pulled out one strip, set it aside and tossed the rest while simultaneously scrambling to get puppy to his pee mat before he did it in the wrong place, then discovering uh-oh, not a pee,  scrambling to get puppy outdoors for his imminent poo….. picking puppy up and cuddling him because once again he got stepped on due to his not-so-endearing habit of running between my feet every time I move.

I spent some further precious minutes mollifying Orlando who had only just deigned to re-enter the house and would stay BUT ONLY SO LONG AS THAT THING DIDN’T MOVE!

Eventually I started writing this post and realised – oh dear, yes, the camera is still sitting at the ready……

However, puppy is snoozing on my left foot, and cat is sitting on the back of the chair on his blankie for the first time in five days….  A MIRACLE HAS JUST TAKEN PLACE AND THERE IS NOBODY TO SEE IT!

So I write dear friends.  A stillness has settled over the room broken only by the tap of my fingers on the keyboard and the deep, heavy breathing of Orlando who has not yet attained contentment enough to release his rumbley purr.  But who may, if he gets a wee sleep undisturbed, find his mojo again.

I dare not move!

The camera is on the other side of the room, the strip of paper is here beside me.

The strip of paper bears the name ‘Narf77’

I hooted with laughter when I saw that name – if you follow along with The Road to Serendipity you may be aware of the wonderful antics of the wonderful Fran when it comes to blog giveaways.  I always love her comments on mine and others’ posts as they are always in depth, humorous and often longer than the original article.  I’m not sure if Fran has won a giveaway previously, but I know that in recent times amongst the blogs we both follow, she has not, despite her fervent wish to do so.   Fran’s recent decision to ‘let the Universe decide’ has obviously been a wise one.

The Universe, with a tad of assistance from Orlando and Sid-Arthur has decided.

Congratulations Narfie, drop me an email with your cover choice and we will get her underway!

To everybody else who took part, thank you and I hope you had fun too.

And because there is a lack of photos today here is one just to remind you of the new little cuteness:

May31 coming home

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!



Meet Sid-Arthur

The pet shop owner said, as he cuddled into my arms – “He looks just like a little Buddha!”

meet the pup2

Well, that was his name taken care of then!  He came home the next day.

We went for a walk before coming inside – he ran like crazy for the first quarter of the block, walked the next quarter, was carried the third quarter and managed the last quarter at a slow pace.

May31 First walk3

He had a little something to eat, then settled down for a nap.  Orlando was not amused.  While I was trying to post some photos on face book this happened:

Day1 1 Day1 2 Day1 5 Day1 6 Day1 7 Day1 8


Day1 9

Day1 10

Day1 11 Day1 11a

We did five minutes leash training this morning, adding in ‘sit’ and ‘come’ to his name [which seems to be Siddy!].  Then I got this:

I may not have slept, my cat may not be talking to me, but isn’t this the cutest little bundle of fluff you ever saw?

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!