Thursday, 20 June 2013

Mawson's quirk #1

Mawson is our first GSP, actually my first dog whatsoever! I know! Easy choice...
So all I know about the breed is from reading books and blogs, and meeting other GSPs during our many adventures. Mawson has got quite a lot of typical GSP behaviour in him (mainly the goofiness) but he also has got some quirks that we have issues understanding. One thing that has developed just before he turned a year old is making both Martin and I shake our heads.

Mawson has always had some (!) toys of all sorts. Soft toys, chewing ropes, chewing plasticky things actually plenty of chewing things so that he uses that better than any of our stuffs. And to be fair to this Great Silly Puppy (GSP!), he has not really destroyed much at all in the house.
We always call Mawson a little sensitive soul because he is very calm and submissive as a dog (though he has his monster moments...) and tends to whine and cry (just a bit, not incessantly)  for no reason and certainly not from lack of entertainment or exercise... believe me... But nowadays we cannot give him any soft toys, they are instant melt-down inducers and I am not talking about a looking sad and quiet with the toy. We are talking full melt down like if we had beaten him for 24h straight beforehand: kneading, crying, suckling, big sobbing sighs etc. He can be the happiest puppy at the time in any situation, go get a soft toy, give it to him and you can be sure that he will be bawling his eyes out within 5 minutes without fail. So he doesn't get his soft toys anymore... But don't worry he has plenty of replacement toys...

I have looked and asked around and nobody seems to have that issue in any of their dogs. We think that might be related to a very early experience when he was a tiny pup before we got him but we're not sure. So if you read this and have a GSP that cries for some reason please do tell me that it happens... Or maybe Mawson is broken, but I'm not looking for the receipt to return him though :P

A double whammy of soft toy and 10 minutes delay
for his run due to pouring rain outside
=  distraught GSP 

Monday, 17 June 2013

It's hard partying all night long...

That's what happens when you try to put a party hat on Mawson and try to take pictures... You get a very underwhelmed GSP that stares at you. I just love the fact that Mawson has such an expressive face :)

exuding happiness...

It really looks like he had a heavy end of year partying. Maybe he added something to his pig's ears while we were not looking!

Looking decidedly hungover!!

Sunday, 16 June 2013


I know it's a bit late (or early) to talk about Christmas, but that will teach me to start this blog in May!
This year was obviously the first Christmas of Mawson. As an extra present for him, my parents visited from France for a few weeks which was great. Mawson was not too sure about the invasion of his house at the beginning but he soon warmed up and decided that two extra pairs of hands for cuddles were pretty darn good!

Christmas in Australia is special, at least it still is for my European brain. It is quite hard to reconcile Christmas with 40˚C temperatures and BBQ. But what I find the funniest is that they still keep a lot of the typical northern hemisphere traditions of Christmas trees and "snow". But also poor guys dressed in father Christmas sweating their way through the day and trying to look happy for the kids!
This year though I have seen a few modifications to the traditional full dress-up suit:

Father Christmas in shorts!

Mawson also had to play dress-up for the camera. He was definitely not impressed by my ideas but somehow succeeded to stay still for the millisecond it took for the pic (I am not showing the outtakes). 

The official Christmas postcard...

Father Christmas rewarded him with some fluffy squeaky toy that got modified rather quickly by Mawson. Apparently the hat and the threads were superfluous...

Christmas teddy
Anyway we had a great Christmas and we all had a lot of fun.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

The visit to forget

We got Mawson as a limited register dog. In Australia all dogs must be registered to the council, but there are also extra registrations for pedigree dogs. We do not want to enter Mawson in dog shows, mostly because we think he would be gorgeous enough to win everything, it wouldn't be fair to the other poor GSP entering :P ! Just kidding!!
We just want a buddy and we are not interested at all in breeding him or so on. So that means that at one time or another Mawson would have to go and have a fateful visit to part with something(s)...

As he is a big dog and it is better to wait a bit for them to develop their structure, we did not go straight at 6 months. Mawson has never shown any unwanted sexual behaviour such as humping (to the only exception of his mister broccoli plush toy... sorry mister broccoli!) or dominance, aggression, etc... so there was no urgency there either.

Then, Christmas was coming, we had a bit of time off or at least less crazy than usual so we thought it was going to be as good as a moment than any other. And we did the booking...
I must say, I had no intention of breeding and no issue whatsoever with the neutering, but we both felt like very mean parents on the day.

The nurse and vet had instructed to not give him any breakfast on the day. They also told us that he would be all groggy in the evening, so we would have a nice quiet evening. Then all we had to do was to keep him quiet for the next 10 days until his stitches were ready to be removed.

All went well on the day, and mister was starving when I picked him up later as he did not accept food from them...typical... so I went home with a slightly drunken Mawson. He wasn't paying too much attention to his wounds but just in case, they gave me a cone of shame. They didn't have his size so it was a bit too big for him. He ate like if he had never seen food when we arrived back home (though I gave only little bits not to overdo it). And I had to place him in the cone of shame...

I don't know if they were even aware of what a GSP is, but a quiet evening?? really??? Mawson was drunkenly trotting about the place not wanting to settle, and when he settled for a millisecond I was faced with this:

Can anyone look more miserable?

That was his face for the whole evening... looking at me like I was the meanest mummy of all time, moreover for putting that huge thing on him.

He then developed an attitude of: you are keeping that thing on me so I will make sure I bump into everything and keep trying to pass between your legs at full speed... that plastic cone is painful. Still we didn't give in both of us and by us I mean Mawson and me.... He was making a whole drama about trying to drink and eat too... anything he could find really and he has a big imagination.

Keeping a GSP quiet for 10 days is like trying to find a chicken with teeth under a flying pig, not going to happen, so we did walks lot of walks... with a head halter...
We succeeded to get through it all and was finally free from the cone. But I must say I loved to see Mawson carrying around his rabbit toy...

Mister rabbit keeping on with his duties.
So here is the new and lighter GSP from Oz.
And now we have his official papers and his official name: Moruada Mawson Gigolo!

Mawson the wimp vs water

Mawson came home in May, which in Australia is in autumn. I know it is still weird to my definitely northern hemisphere neurones. That means an interesting mix of weather from nice sunny days to torrential rainy days.
Very early on, we discovered that puppy Mawson hated the wet stuff. Did not want to put his feet in puddles, go out in the rain, nothing. It was actually quite ok with me, walks in the rain are not the best thing ever mostly when a bit cold. But that also means that Mawson did not want to put a paw outside for his regular toilet break... unless somebody was shading him from the rain...
Have you ever felt silly at 3am when you go out with a pup and an umbrella for his highness just because 3 drops of rains might be falling on him and you just want to go back to bed, no? So that's just me then...

The fact that Mawson wasn't fussed about the water didn't really bother us, however, I was thinking that we got a broken water dog! We tried a few times to go to beaches where dogs were allowed, even went in the water to show him and try to entice him... Nope! Mawson was always staying at a healthy 3m away from the edge. Crying all along because we were going in the water to drown and let him all alone on the sand... Yes he is a drama queen, that will become apparent in future post...

A huge first: the two front paws in 10cm of water!!

One thing you can also notice is that we had a huge infestation of curl grubs that destroyed our entire lawn last year, but that's another story...

Mister rabbit getting drowned

Blowing bubbles in the shell pool
And then one day we went to the beach again, and suddenly Mawson was in the water! For some reason unknown to us, he realised water was fun.
He is quite a good swimmer too. Martin was saying that he would enter the Christmas eve dog race between Church Point and Scotland Island. But that still remains to be seen! It is a 600m race where a dog has to swim with his human counterpart (who can be swimming, kayaking or rowing I think). there are two categories one for big and one for small dogs. The entry fee has always been a long neck of beer and a can of dog food, total prize that the winner of the two categories share! That's fun and a bit insane but has been going on since 1974. Hopefully, rules and regulations won't stop this though I think there was issues with the council or something, we'll see...

Fun at the beach

Mawson's favorite pastime, running like a hell hound and
getting all the dogs to chase him. Not the best example here,
but he is the ears and legs on the left coming towards me...

Being stalked, but IN the water!!!

Water is fun!!!!

Now that he has realise water was cool, we have the opposite problem: keeping him out of the water and the pool... (and also that he doesn"t send flying any of the tiny barely walking toldlers that some people insist in bringing and letting stumble around onto one of the very few dedicated dog beach in Sydney...)