* We’re adding a cool, new update feature on the progress of the Big Honey Dog novel – check it out at the bottom of this post!
You all know how much I love going to cafés and you’ve probably noticed that since we’ve moved to Perth, I haven’t really had a chance to – er – feed my muffin habit yet!
Well, my humans have been on the lookout for dogfriendly cafes to take me to (they’re quite fussy and only like taking me to cafes which have a lot of space around the tables, in a pretty place with nice views) – and they found a great place not long after we arrived in Perth: the Botanical Cafe in Kings Park & The Botanic Gardens!
Check out the fantastic views from the tables on the terrace!!
It was still mid-summer when we first arrived in Perth, though, and REALLY hot – the temperature was close to 40ºC (104ºF) on some days! Well, you know I don’t do well in hot weather anyway – and since they diagnosed my dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) at the end of last year, my humans have been super careful with me. Although I’m still “pre-clinical” and not in heart failure yet, my humans don’t want to do anything that might make my heart stressy and so they never take me out in any kind of hot or humid weather. Better safe than sorry!
So they decided that I would have to wait until the weather cooled down before I could go for a cafe visit…but in the meantime, they would go and check the place out first themselves!
Paul’s healthy fruitbowl breakfast which looks almost too beautiful to eat! (guess what Hsin-Yi had??)
My humans did see some doggies when they went – but they all looked awfully hot, with their tongues hanging out, panting-panting-panting like crazy.
My humans felt especially sorry for 2 Bulldogs that they saw who were drooling so much with their panting that they were practically standing in their own puddles! Poor things…and they were tied up on leashes so they couldn’t really move around very well, to stay in the shade…
Hsin-Yi thought it was a bit irresponsible taking Bulldogs out on a day like that – you know all the brachycephalic (squashed-nosed) breeds have to be REALLY careful with hot weather ‘coz they can overheat so easily and just drop dead suddenly.
That’s what happened to the famous Actor Human, Jeremy Renner’s little French Bulldog – who was out running around on a sunny day: he was fine one minute and then suddenly keeled over the next…and he was only 18 months old!
Anyway, so my humans thought it was a great place, with very dogfriendly Staff Humans and loads of tables to choose from on the roomy terrace – and they promised to take me as soon as the weather got cooler.
Well, now we’re officially in Autumn and the weather has finally started cooling down – so a couple of weeks ago, my humans took me to the Botanical Cafe for breakfast!
First, we had a little walk in the Botanic Gardens to work up an appetite…!
Did you watch my “Senior Doggie movie”? That was the wall we were playing on at the end of the movie. Hsin-Yi was walking along it so I wanted to do it too – but she was spoiling all my fun ‘coz she got scared that I might fall off the wall and hurt myself. She said I’m “old” now and maybe not so ‘sure’ on my paws as before and I can’t see so well anymore, since the cataracts are blurring up my remaining eye…so every time I climbed on the stones and tried walking on the wall, she started fussing around and making me get off! Humph!
Anyway, it was time to head to the Botanical Cafe for breakfast! We nabbed a great table on the terrace…
I had a nice spot in the shade, on my comfy Pet Futon (which my humans always keep in the car machine – so handy for going places and great for the “Bed” command, to make sure I stay safely in one place, without having to be tied up on leash) and I could look out and see all the way to downtown Perth!
Time to look at the menu now…ooh, they’ve got lots of different muffins! I decided to have the Pineapple & Coconut Muffin…
While we were waiting for our breakfasts to arrive, lots of people & human pups (as usual!) wanted to come up to say hello & give me pats…you can’t be shy if you’re a Great Dane!
I was more interested in these big, black birds that were strutting around, though – they were very cheeky and came awfully close to the tables and I even saw them snatch some leftover yummies from some of the other tables!
Hsin-Yi said they’re called crows and lots of people don’t like them coz they think crows are creepy because they hang around cemeteries and stuff but Hsin-Yi really likes them. She says they’re very, very smart and can learn all sorts of tricks, just by themselves! She studied them when she was doing the Animal Behaviour option in her Biology degree at University and she was amazed at all the things they can do, like bend a wire to make a tool to fish yummies out of a jar! (http://news.nationalgeographic.com.au/news/2006/06/060606-crows.html)
Watching a crow near our table…
Oooh! Breakfast has finally arrived!
YUM! My muffin looks good!!
I wanted to taste some of Hsin-Yi’s Egg & Bacon Roll too but she was a total pig and kept it all for herself! Humph!!
Time for a family photo before we finished…
…and then we went for another little walk before going back to the car machine. We strolled a bit down beautiful Frasaer Avenue, which is the main road into Kings Park & the Botanic Gardens…isn’t it gorgeous?
My humans like it ‘coz it reminds them of the beautiful entrance to Cornwall Park back in Auckland, NZ – one of their all-time favourite parks. (Well, Perth is the only place we’ve lived in Australia which really reminds us of NZ, with all the green, open space, beautiful water views, uncrowded places and friendly people). There are more beautiful views of downtown Perth and the Swan River from Fraser Ave…
My humans had got a really nice picture with the Perth city view when they came to breakfast last time by themselves… (and yes, Hsin-Yi got it by self-timer: she propped the camera machine on the top of a park rubbish bin! )
…so I wanted to get a similar picture too! I didn’t need to use self-timer to get mine though – hee! hee! – Hsin-Yi took it for me. What do you think? (it was a much hazier day so my pictures didn’t come out so well…)
Well, meanwhile, Muesli’s been enjoying the great outdoors too recently…at last! Remember back in Sydney last year, my humans were forced to make Muesli into an “indoor kitty” and only take her out on harness & leash because of our Psycho Neighbour Doggie – but they’ve been really looking forward to giving Muesli her freedom back! They felt so bad that Muesli couldn’t go out in the fresh air & sunshine and hunt bugs and eat grass and dig dirt and do all the “normal”, natural kitty behaviours. Well, thankfully, our new house in Perth has a lovely, quiet enclosed garden with NO psycho neighours of any kind and so Muesli can finally go out again at last!
But she didn’t get to go out as soon as we moved in – you see, when you move house, it’s best to keep your kitty indoors for at least 4 weeks before you let them out – otherwise they might try to go back and find their old home! A lot of kitties get lost this way So my humans made sure to keep Muesli inside for well over 4 weeks – and then finally came the big day!
Poor Muesli – she’d only ever had courtyard gardens in Sydney & Newcastle so she had never seen grass in her life!
She soon got used to walking on it, though, and chewing on it and rolling around on it! The best thing about the grass – Muesli discovered – was that it hides lots of CRICKETS!! Muesli had never seen crickets before – back in Sydney, she mostly hunted cockroaches but now, she spends a lot of her time diving and pouncing and racing around after crickets! Hsin-Yi hasn’t managed to get a picture yet but she’ll try to get one to show you Muesli in action soon.
Oh – and another new thing for Muesli is the kitty door! (aren’t we lucky that our rental home comes with a ready-installed kitty door?) She had never seen one before but she learnt how to use it quick enough – hee! hee!
Muesli is very sweet – if I go out in the garden, she always follows me out…and if I come in, she’ll be in through the kitty door after me in a few minutes! She doesn’t stay out in the garden by herself much and so far, hasn’t really tried to go much beyond it (she’s been going outside about 2 months now). She might explore more as she gets braver…although maybe not: unlike my first kitty sister, Lemon, Muesli is a Scaredy-Cat and always runs & hides whenever she sees any strange human or thing or noise. So she’s probably going to be one of those kitties who’s happy to just remain in her own garden all the time, where she feels safe!
My humans are really pleased that Muesli still remembers her Kitty Recall! Whenever they go to the back door and call her name, she’ll always come running from across the garden. It’s very handy especially for when they want to call her in, in the evenings when they lock the kitty door (kitties in our house are never allowed outside after dark).
It’s so nice to have Muesli outside with me now. We spent a lot of time in the garden together – sniffing things, pottering around, enjoying the sunshine…and the peace & quiet! It was a bit lonely when I was out by myself but now I always have company!
Big Honey Dog novel update:
Thanks again to everybody for putting up with us being anti-social while Hsin-Yi is writing the 1st draft of her children’s novel! We thought you might be interested in following her progress on her manuscript as she races to finish it before the end of May – so we’ll be adding little updates with my posts from now on.
Hsin-Yi hasn’t been doing so well in the last couple of days and not hitting her 1,000 words per day target, so she’s a bit frustrated…she spent 1/2 of yesterday doing research for one scene! But she’s hoping to make up for lost time in the rest of this week!