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Tag: Dogs

Noisette, our dog, used to belong to my mother. She first got her as a puppy in 2004, and right from the beginning, I was around for most of Noisette’s life.

However, 2 and a half years ago, my mom left South Africa to go study French cooking at a cooking institute near Paris, France. Unfortunately, Noisette had to stay behind, so Noisette our dog (Claudia and Cole having now entered Noisettes life as well).

All in all, Noisette has loved being part of our family and is a very happy dog, having travelled with us from SA to the Netherlands, but she still remembers her past well….

Yesterday, my mother and brother (who both now live in the Netherlands too) came to visit, and it was only the second time in 2 and a half years that Noisette has seen my mom again (usually we visit my mom’s house and Noisette does not get to come with on those trips). She was overjoyed to see my mother and brother.

Noisette really took it hard when they left though. Last night, instead of sleeping next to us on our bed, she chose to sleep by herself on the bed in our spare room, which she never does.

She really misses my mother, and now, even years later, and living in a loving home, she still remembers her younger days and remembers her original master fondly.

On the positive side, my mother is planning on moving soon from Haarlem to Almere, thus making it easier for her to visit us more often, and for Noisette to see my mom more often.

You certainly would be hard-pressed to find anything quite as loyal as a dog….


Last night, Noisette (our neurotic staffie) was sleeping with Cole when she gave a single bark – which is normally her signal that she has heard something outside and wants to go investigate. When we ignored her, she came into our room and stood there next to the bed, waiting for us to notice her, for what must have been a good couple of minutes.

Then she did something I have never heard her do before. She gave a short yelp, and wanted me to follow her. She often wants us to follow her to investigate noises, but her yelp was a first, so up I got to see what was wrong.

Well anyway, she took me back to Cole’s room, and then stood looking at the window.

Lo and behold, standing on the windowsill, on the outside, was Garfield, our cat. He had managed to jump out the window, and then could not get back in, so was trapped out in the street (Cole’s room is street-facing).

The interesting thing about this whole story, is that Noisette seemed to actually show concern for the cat. I did not see the usual aggression when she was alerting us to the problem.

And to make it even more strange, Noisette and Garfield get along like…well…cat and dog. Garfield is always trying to swipe poor Noisette with her claws, and Noisette is always trying to chase Garfield. Your typical canine-feline relationship.

But I do think, after last night, that as much as they don’t get along, they are actually, deep down, fond of each other. Like most human families – they may fight a lot, but when it matters, they watch each others back.


Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and son often take a lot of flak for being seen as frivolous time-wasters, which, no doubt, tends to happen frequently, but they do have a positive side.

Most of the threads on Reddit, for example, are a waste of time, with people saying dumb things and getting caustic (and often witty) replies, but every now and again I find an exception. I just read a thread on Reddit now, where a woman with terminal brain cancer is asking what is the best thing she can do for her loyal dog once she dies in a few months. She is struggling to find out how to get a good home for him once she dies, and doesn’t want to have to put him to sleep simply because she wont be alive.

The amount of support from the community coming out in reply to that thread truly bolsters my faith in future of mankind, where us, as human beings, in this digital age, still do stick together as a community.

The only difference is the support might not come from your neighbour down the street as in the pre-information age, but rather could be anywhere else in the world.

I have also seen on twitter and facebook, how much support humanitarian efforts can get from the online community.

And think about it – even in old school local neighbourhoods, most of the communication was frivolous in any event. Just think of how much time you would spend with your neighbours gossiping about the strange cat lady living down the street, or the guys wasting hours debating the merits of a Ferrari versus a Lamborghini – cars none of them will ever likely be able to drive.

For me, I am glad to say, the internet is more than just mindless frivolity, but is turning into a true global community which supports each other, while still being able to get our fill of gossip.


I was completely disgusted when I heard the verdict on the worst animal cruelty case I have seen in a long time.

First, though, a little history lesson. In January, a teacher in the Eastern Cape decided to punish his dog, which had bitten his daughter on her nose, by dragging the dog behind his car for 1.5km along a tar road.

Needless to say, the poor dog suffer severe injuries, and had to be put down. Most of the skin on it’s right side had been scraped off,  his tongue was ripped loose, and his eye had been cut open.

The man was arrested when the SPCA laid seven charges of animal abuse at the local police. The scary thing is that the police tried to persuade the SPCA not to lay any charges as the man was “just punishing a naughty dog”.

The SPCA wanted the maximum penalty of R60000 fine or 2 year prison sentence.

The verdict was handed down yesterday. He is to have an 18 month prison sentence, 9 months of that suspended, or the option of a R3000 fine.

That for me is disgusting.
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Cars are not a natural part of life for dogs. Well, I would believe that, except they seem to have adapted well to these unnatural beasts.

Just this morning, I went down to the shops, and Noisette came along for the ride as she normally does.

Now, you would expect a dog to not know where they are going in a car, as the motion of the car is unnatural for a dog, but Noisette always sits up in the car and watches where she is going. If in her favourite spot in the front next to me, she will keep her gaze fixed firmly in front taking in the view, while when she sits in the back she will lean on the seat looking out of the window.

And to add credence to the fact that she knows where she is going, she knows exactly the route we take to the park for her daily run, or the way to the beach (her favourite place on earth), and several of the other places we visit. Often, even when we are still several kilometers away from where we are going, she will recognise the route and then start getting excited. This just goes to prove to me that dogs are aware of their surroundings and have a memory for routes even when travelling by car.

Another adaptation which Noisette has shown is that she is remarkably resilient to my rather bad driving. She has taught herself to lean into corners and compensates for my braking and acceleration superbly. She will sit on the seat and slip an inch.

Dogs truly have a great ability to learn.


The last few days I have been rather grumpy.  I am the type of guy that when I am grumpy, all I want, is to be left alone to think, and when I am ready I will bounce back.

However, this does not go down too well with Claudia, my girlfriend. She does not quite understand this and usually ends up making both of us feel worse.

But then when I came home, my mood immediately got better. Noisette, our Staffie, greeted me with her usual excitement. Unlike a certain woman (I don’t want to generalise in case I offend some poor woman out there) she doesn’t care whether I am grumpy or happy, she will give me the same joyful greeting irrespective.

Dogs have that special ability to understand their owner, and not hold against him his state of mind.  Maybe this is why man and dog has had such a close bond through the millenia. It is as though we are perfectly suited for each other. A symbiotic relationship like none other.