I've been sitting here for hours trying to recall what's happened in Wiz and Lucy's lives over the past two months and the answer is, as is almost always the case, a collection of small instances and occurrences that all combine to make life eventful, even if it doesn't look that way from the outside.

Lilo had settled in. Yes, the perfect child had come to stay.  We proudly went out for walks, the New Kid on the Block was admired and talked about and it was all very jolly. People rightly and wisely advised that until Lilo had bonded well and I could be certain that she would come back to me, it was best not to let her off the lead.

Sunny (Ibiza Fling)  is settling in very nicely.  He and Penny (our Rottie) get on so well, they have not had one disagreement.  Sunny is now a Canine Friends dog (pet therapy) and has had 2 visits to the Rest Home.  He was very well behaved and the residents thought he was great.  He is sitting nicely and also does a "wait€ before he eats his food. He mastered the dog door within 4 days and was house trained within 2 days.

a'ngel (-nj-) n.1. Lovely or innocent being;

You might be wondering where all this 'angel' stuff is coming from. Well, that is how Lilo's last trainer described her for the GAP adoption process.

"Lilo is an angel, she has no bad habits€¦€¦€¦a beautiful quiet girl€¦€¦€¦the perfect dog€.

And later she wrote to me€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦"beautiful looking - a credit to her first trainer,€¦€¦€¦..raced like a champ€¦€¦€¦€¦€¦if human, she would be described as the perfect child€.

Smiler lives with his friend Bree the nuggety cattle dog just outside Helensville on 5 acres. They went down for their annual vaccinations recently and the Vet asked if she could take a blood sample from him.

The house was deathly quiet in the small hours, just as it had been for many weeks. No crashing dog-door (sometimes thrown off its apparently "robust hinges€ and into the garden), no more distant sound of a frantic cat-claw scrabble up the fence and no more slobbering lip-flapping snore coming from the dog bed. My much loved Boxer, Romeo had passed away and the silence was a deafening bottomless pit.

Lucy isn't talking to me currently, and Wiz, as usual, is asleep upside somewhere so without their invaluable input into the happenings at Casa Stevens (aka 'Tumbledown Manor€) over the month this will be a difficult blog to write but I'll try my best.

"Why is Lucy not talking to you€ I hear you cry, aghast and slightly dumbfounded.

Sunny has settled in extremely well and he and Penny (Rottweiler) have become great friends and are always together.  We took him to the Lake earlier this week and he walked into the water as if he had done it all his life.  He is walking very well on lead, does a "sit€ with a little encouragement and will go to his "mat and stay€.  He "waits€ for his food and he and Penny show no aggression while eating or playing with toys.  He is such a joy.  I am going to be using him for Pet Therapy and he has already been for his first visit.

Gypsy is enjoying the spring weather in the Wairarapa in her usual slightly loopy style! She's now an 'only child' so has been going on a lot of walks to keep her amused as she's still a very active girl at nearly 9 and loves chasing balls and her squeaky toys. The photo shows her usual anticipation at getting a treat - tongue at the ready.

SONY DSC

To start with, Wizard is now officially 8 years old. This has not made him more mature or intelligent as he still runs at breakneck speed through the house, from the lounge to our bedroom and back again while Lucy "hides€ in the kitchen doorway so that she jump out growling and snapping at him, stomping her feet and coaxing him into ever increasing turns of speed. Meanwhile the rest of us are left to leap out of the way and usually end up hanging on the curtains, sitting on the table or spreadeagle against the wall in an effort to take up as little space as possible.

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