Adventures in the Shetland Islands


Lerwick, Scotland is part of the Shetland island chain. At first sight, the word “quaint” came to my mind.  When in the city, it is bustling, but still, it has the quaintness factor.

The Scottish brogue is heavier up here, and the Scots are wonderful hosts, and very friendly – happy even.  Happy has got to be challenging this far North. It rains 250 days of the year. Temperatures in August are 59F, foggy, soggy and grey.  Being a California girl, this situation would crush my spirit after a month – maybe less.

We crossed a bridge over to a different island to see the Shetland Ponies.  Our group had an appointment at “Carol’s Ponies.”  All us senior citizens of various countries were excited like little kids.

The long uncomfortable bus ride was worth seeing those precious ponies! I think everyone was touched seeing those sweet almost mythical creatures.  Carol was a small energetic woman.  I could tell she loved her ponies and was proud of them by the way she introduced them to us.

She began at one end of the corral and called each one by name.  All female common names for the most part, like Lilly, Lucy, Marie, and so on. Then she pointed at the baby pony and introduced him as “Bob.”  I was concerned about baby Bob because he kept lying down.  Carol explained that Bob was only 11 weeks old and would run around and play, then tucker out – just like puppies do.

Poor Bob – each time he lied down, his mama nosed him to get up again. I wondered if she was doing that to show him off to the crowd.  I don’t blame her at all, he is a beauty!  Most of the group wanted to smuggle Bob home.

None of us did, though.

Baby Bob

♥  TTFN  ♥

Where’s An Exorcist When You Need One?

Dear Faithful and Patient Readers,

Pretending to not be chewing chair...
Pretending to not be chewing chair…

I have missed you this week!  It’s been a hectic, crazy life here. I can’t stand being in my own house because it was filthy before Ziva arrived and now it has no hope of being clean this winter.

I have tried several times/days to write this blog post. I cannot focus or put two thoughts together, not just in my writing, but in whatever it is I need to do. I cannot remember when I showered last. I keep falling asleep on my keyboard. I added a bazillion “k”s to this post last night.

You know, like this: kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk, kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk…and so on.

Puppies are babies and they need to be taught the rules of the household.  For example – not to eat the furniture, carpet, or their people.  The Bernese Mountain Dog is one of the smartest breeds, and they learn quickly. Not, however, as quickly as you would like them to. At least not before your hands and wardrobe are in tatters.

And the potty training is not going well. At all. I’m sure it’s our fault somehow, but we can’t figure out how we are being inconsistent. This “potty-talk” will most likely happen over dinner this evening. How romantic, heh?

My Ziva is a sweet, cuddly, fur-ball and very attached to my hubby and I. Already! I’m flattered since she has only known us for 7 days. BTW: Her 9th-week birthday is today!

I am NOT moving from this spot !
I am NOT moving!

Evil Ziva arrived on day three. She is just as cute, and as smart as Ziva, but you know when it’s her. The Tasmanian Devil on crack would not be as fierce as Evil Ziva.

When she decides she’s going to eat your lace curtains, yelling her name, scolding “NO!”, scary noises, or removing her from the scene of the crime, will not stop Evil Ziva. She knows what is OK and what is NOT.  And she does not care.  Psychotic stress, along with grief for her lost siblings, combined with teething, has created a monster.

We had to “re-decorate”.

Maybe this look will catch on...
Maybe this look will catch on…

Evil Ziva pretends that you are playing with her when you scream as she gnaws your arm, leg, foot, boob – whatever she can get into her jaws. It’s f#&*@g  painful!  So, we put her in a time out (in her crate) when this happens, and that usually calms her down.  Since Ziva is so cuddly when she’s calm, I opened the crate door and let her out.

In less than a minute, I hear Ziva terrorizing hubby in the living room. More of the same biting frenzy going on. I could hear his patience wearing thin.

What's That Smell?
What’s That Smell?

“It’s time for the hoof,” I tell him. His silence told me that he was considering this, even though he disagreed with me about it. (Long story, but basically the question all new parents face – “Do you give the baby a pacifier or not?”) Finally he decided to trust me on this one. He was so happy he did. I refrained from saying “I told you!” (even though I had).

Evil Ziva immediately left the building. Once she discovered “the hoof”, she forgot about our clothes, and the furnishings. She can gnaw on the thing for hours, while we watch TV, read, or write without worrying about a sudden attack.

I can hear you say “gross!” or the ever popular, “I would never let one of those nasty things inside my house!”

Oh… yes,  you would.  You would even pay hundreds of dollars for one, to prevent slowly being eaten alive by a large puppy (with little pointy teeth, mind you!).  I know you think I’m exaggerating, as I have been known to do – occasionally. I’m not.

Remember the “Oh, it’s just a little bunny” that lived in a cave, on Monty Python and the Holy Grail?  The one with the “little pointy teeth“?

That, my friends, is Evil Ziva without her cow-hoof.

15-pound terror
15-pound terror


Guess Which Puppy is Ours?

Ziva and her two sisters

Could you guess?

Don’t feel bad,
even we don’t know!

Our Ziva, yep – that’s her name, is one of these 3 girls. Aren’t they gorgeous? The breeder will be choosing today and our puppy will be “left-overs”.

Believe me when I say that is a relief! To have to choose would be so difficult. This way, fate will make the choice and we don’t have to.  🙂