Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ginger and Spot settled into the house with Mouse and the dogs quite easily in Vainona where we managed to find a home. They found the walls around the property restricting and they were not used to the noise..but they adapted to being urban animals. Mum and the children had more trouble adapting though. Mum prowled around the perimeter fence of the property like a lioness looking for something to pounce on. Slowly she realised she had to come to terms with the changes that had happened. She started taking her dogs out for walks on leads. Leads?? They had never known what a lead was before but they adapted.

Mum has been a bit busy the last few weeks and so was really sorry that you were all concerned about her not blogging. Unfortunately her staff had put "two step" a chemical down to kill the rats that were eating the maize stored in her sheds and when a rat became sluggish, Ginger managed to catch it and eat it. Mum had not realised this poison had been used until it was too late and so she nursed Ginger until he eventually died a couple of weeks ago. She had helped to deliver him when he was born and he was really a special part of her life for so many years. A happy reminder of the years on the farm when he wondered all over with her and a happy reminder of the years of readjustment to living in town and then semi urban living again.

He is buried next to his brother Spot, who was ridden over by a car when he was wondering around on the plot when we first moved from town to a plot where we could finally rescue our horses (only 4 out of 15 had survived living wild on the farm for 18 months).

Cody in the meantime is getting very old and scraggly. I keep looking at him in wonder and thinking...will I live till I am 14?? Ridgebacks like Cody and Boerbulls like me don't normally live for that many years. Oh well, I still keep trying to remind him that I am the new boss of the house but he and Mum gang up against me and tell me to get back in my box!


Think Mum will ever let me rule the roost???

Keep blogging...and thank you for caring too!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

In 1996, when Mum was still a tobacco farmer in Raffingora, two little kittens were born in the linen cupboard in her house on the farm. Spot and Ginger soon took over the house and made it their playground. As the years went by and they watched Mum walk to the barns to check the Tobacco curing at night, they slowly became brave enough to wonder down to the barns with her on her daily rounds. They loved each other dearly and were inseparable. In 2002 when Mum was forcibly removed from her farm and had to leave with only the clothes she was wearing and the truck she was driving, the cats as well as all the other animals had to stay behind. For months Mum tried to get back to her farm but eventually realised that it was not going to be possible and so she settled into a little house in Harare where she went about trying to build a life again. She started from scratch again...pots, pans, plates, linen, furniture...all these things had to be found and put into her new home. On many occasions Mum would think...ok, I have got....and then remember...

As soon as she was able to do so, Mum arranged for a friend to go onto her farm and rescue her dogs and cats.....Le Chat had gone bush and was not to be found, but Spot, Ginger, and Mouse were still roaming around the house, where some staff were trying to keep them fed. The four dogs too, were foraging and were found and loaded onto the truck for trans-location to their new home in the suburbs of Harare.

Mum says she will be back... its a long story.
Lots of love

Friday, September 25, 2009

My very precious old friend...who has been around since I was born 2 years ago on 1 October, is getting very frail. Mum seems to have got wrapped up in caring for him, taking us for walks, getting the accounts done, making strawberry jam with the fruit that just doesn't seem to stop appearing at the back door. We have had sheep to slaughter, goats to slaughter, animals to take care of... phew the list seems to grow.

And then we have had a really exciting week!! 12 Baby ducklings and 2 baby goslings...oh soooooo tempting! Mum has to keep reminding me that they are "out of bounds, Musole" sigh!

The gardener, Peter, broke his leg last week ofloading maize from a big truck onto a trailer. So lucky we had Michael here! He splinted his leg and rushed Peter off to the Parirenyatwa Hospital where the doctor was able to see him and put the leg in plaster. With Doctor's strikes, no medicines available, shortages of electricity and food... Mum was really worried that he would not get the treatment he should.

Its weekend again and Mum has promised to take photos of us pets and the flowers. So here's hoping we will get more on line again.

And then she says she is wanting to add some pictures of Ginger, her cat and my not so friend, who sadly dies at the beginning of the month. Mum misses him madly but I will leave her to tell you all about him this weekend...

Till then, have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Side tracked!! That's what happened!!

Hey guys...I was looking through my pictures this morning and found one of the Old Man and Alex stalking a duck on the lawn!! They kept missing the ducks though and so I had to teach them that the easiest way to find food was to find the ducks sitting on eggs. Mum was NOT impressed!

Stella, my love, that was Cody relaxing on Mum's couch...he is old so she lets him sleep there!! Sometimes Cody jumps over the varandah wall just to prove he is not old. He strolls up the hill to the office with Mum every day just to "keep fit" but also to body guard her.

Cody tells me its not easy getting old! I think he is doing pretty well for "old"!!!!

Take care and have a lovely day!!

Hello all... Wonder who has looked outside at the evening sky and noticed that we are two days off full moon? Its a beautiful big almost round ball in the sky as evening rolls on and of course, I like to stand on the back varandah (stoep in Southern Africa) and talk to the moon, loudly with my deep bark.

I'm in really deep trouble with my mum at the moment cause I got angry with her for reprimanding me for chasing a man on a bicycle and watching him wobble off it as I gently rearranged his trousers....Mum's hand is sore and my bottom is also sore.

So....enough of that and lets talk about the grumpy old man instead. No, Not our esteemed President. I mean Cody! He really is getting very old. His ribs have begun to show and the big cancer growth on his throat is getting really bad. Its not easy in Africa to just fix these things and Mum has decided to just let him be. He is, after all, over 14 years of age.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Misty moo really thinks she is a human being...she tries to get into Mum's car to travel where ever Mum goes. She is nosey...well...she wants to know everything she can wherever they go. Mum has to keep calling her to come back instead of exploring too far.

But here she is sleeping...

I'll have some pictures of Cody next. He is a real old man. He does think though, that he is a 3 year old still sometimes when he jumps over a wall or runs up the hill after Mum.

Its so good to have time over the weekend to think and be and do... and of course have long walks with Mum!!!!

See you all this weekend guys!

Have fun.

Monday, August 24, 2009

From the very beginning when Alex and Bengie joined us, they were bigger than Misty. That didn't seem to worry her as she frolicked and played with them.
It's time to introduce other members of our family to you all.

Misty moo joined Mum's family about 5 years ago when her Mum had just died from a brain tumour and her dad was soo overwrought that he took a job in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He asked if she could stay with Mum for 3 months and was still here 18 months later. She was only two when she joined our family so Mum and Johnny (her dad) agreed that she would just stay with us for ever.

This little madam never leaves Mum's side ...and any chance to get in the car to see the world is jumped at! She is a funny soul.. look how she rests!!! She also hugs Mum by tucking her head between her feet and pushing against mum to tell her she is around.

Us big dogs just don't get so soppy...well...ok, only when nobody is looking. Then I climb carefully onto Mum's lap and behave like a tiny little puppy again...curl up and go fast a sleep!

Hope you are all having a lovely day. Mondays are fun days you know??

Saturday, August 22, 2009

As time passed and we began to realise our three months with Alex and Benjie were nearly done, Mum took as many pictures of them as she could. We went on long walks so that the boys would understand the work they were going to do and the life they were going to lead. Eventually they were ready, despite the time they had spent with us in civilisation.

aaargh...I tried soo hard to get Alex to stalk the horses... and then at the last moment he was so curious that lifted his head to chat to Rhondelle instead of trying to scare her. Rhondelle of course is a retired polo cross horse and has been around stranger animals than a 3 month old lion cub trying to stalk her!

But the cubs, Benjie and Alex were old enough now to join the other young lions at the Park. Its time for them to start their training as "walking Lions" Their job will be to take humans on nature walks through the Park. They do such good work making humans realise that lions are rough, tough, and dangerous animals BUT if they are treated with respect, they can be the most amazing companions.

Granny who lives with us was also beginning to find that Benjie and Alex were too big for her to cope with. Mum would like to show you just a couple more pics of the lions before she had to send them back to their real world to become LIONS!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Alex and I planning strategy... got to get that horse off guard you know!!

Hey, Alex. Come back here!

getting closer and braver...think Bowden can see Alex, I wonder???

As the cubs grew and became even more adventurous, they followed the horses into the paddock. The time was coming for the boys to start learning about stalking and surviving....

Thursday, August 20, 2009

As our little charges got braver and braver they wondered into the garden. Bengie and Alex, the first two babies we reared, became a very central part of our lives. Mum kept telling everybody they were time wasters cause everybody wanted to play with them instead of doing any work. Sigh, my work of course, was to look after the two little boys and make sure they didn't......oh dear........yes, you got it!!! So close....and then off went Alex to my side...hoping Mum would not notice! That duck was nearly nearly a duck in a pot!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Good morning all

Of course I fit into my basket!!!! I curl up tight and sleep like the babies next to me!!

Raffingora is the name of the district in which my mum farmed until it became politically incorrect for her to farm in Zimbabwe. I am not sure what the name means but I am sure mum will find out and let you know. One day, she tells me when we go on our walks around and about, we will go home Musole, and then you will be able to run wild over the veld, swim in the dams and chase me on my motor bike as I ride through the open spaces with the sun on my back and the wind in my hair.

Have a lovely day!
Hello all...
Remember yesterday I told you I would explain about the baskets the baby lions slept in?
Well Mum comes from a part of Africa where the Venda tribe live. They make the most beautiful baskets. Traditionally they were made from Mulala palms and the leaves were stripped and dyed with natural dyes from the veld but today they women have become very innovative. They use the twine from different coloured food and grain bags... black from potato pockets, orange from citrus pockets, green from gemsquash pockets, white from flour bags, beige from stockfeed bags...these plastic strips are twisted on the ladies legs and they use the twine to make the most intrinsic designs on their baskets, trays and mats.

Mum had some lovely big baskets from when the children were little. They stored their toys in the baskets. The lion cubs and I got lucky and inherited these beautiful beds to sleep in!! ;)

Such fun!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Good morning all my new doggy friends... this is soooo exciting. I just cant wait to get to all your blogs to see how, why, what and when you are all doing! But of course Mum tells me it's Monday morning and she has to go to work. Sooooo boring.

During the last year in Zimbabwe we faced terrible hyper inflation (that's what Mum calls it ...all I know is that the economy just seemed to crumble as the money printers made bigger and bigger notes with more and more zeros on them and each time Mum went shopping the bits of paper she had just bought less and less for us.) Like the humans here, the animals also suffered as the people tried desperately to hold value to their assets and their savings. As inflation struck and production dropped, food became more and more scarce. Our baby lions needed milk and eggs and meat and pro nutro and lots of cuddles. I gave the cuddles of course but Mum scrounged all over to find milk and food for our babies. The electricity became intermittent too as the national grid shut down more and more areas during the winter when demand exceeded supply. Very carefully Mum and Margaret and Miriam fed the babies every four hours and we watched them grow like spring onions. They slept in a lovely big basket made from mulala palm stems and recycled plastic bags (more about that in a later post!) next to the deepfreeze which purred all night! That let me have time off to go and cuddle up next to Mum in her room. Its tuff being the soldier in this house. I have to guard Mum and the lions and the oldies!

Have a lovely day... See you all soon!
Hello, back again! Mum has been helping at the Lion Park occassionally over the years and when they needed somebody to babysit some cubs last year she agreed to bring two babies to feed and care for till they were able to go back into the wild. The winters here are very cold out in the bush and the lion mums battle to keep their cubs alive over the cold months so two little bundles came to stay. And of course I was in my element.

Thank you all for coming to spend time with me on the blog...quite exciting making new friends and telling the story.
My human mum and I live on a small holding outside Harare where she has stayed since about 2003. We live with Jackie, a 15 year old Weimaraner, who has been with mum since she was a 3 week old pup, Codie, a Rhodesian Ridgeback who joined Mum after being abandoned by his owners in 2004 when he was, according to the vet who rescued him, 9 years old! That makes him the oldest, and sometimes the grumpiest, Ridgeback I know at 14 years of age!! :) Then Misty, a noisy little 6 year old Jack Russell joined us after her mum died from a brain tumour and her dad moved to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mum has this habit, you know of picking up strays...and in Zimbabwe many dogs have lost their homes as their owners moved to different countries over the past 10 years.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Musole baby sitting.....


Please leave a comment if you like.

Musole and two cubs....hunting in the garden.

Hi Max,

My name is Musole (the soldier) and my mum and your mum went to school together many years ago. I am a boerbull (3/4) and alsation (1/4) born on 1 October 2007 at the Lion and Cheetah Park near Harare.My dog mum raised me with a litter of lion cubs and so I think I am a lion or sometimes I think I am a human... but mum(my human one) keeps reminding me that she is top dog in my home. Sigh!

I hope to join you on your blog for a little while if I may?

Love Musole.
Welcome to my new blog, and thank you Caryl, for finally pushing me and my precious dogs to join the blogging world.