Friday, February 14, 2014

A disturbance in the furs

January 2014
photo: Gustav

Munson has been shedding rather fiercely in recent weeks. Two days ago I raked enough undercoat off one flank to stuff a football, and there’s still more to come.

I hope we won’t get the fleece that arrived in June 2011, although I must say the flocks of birds hovering overhead at the park are doing more than just murmuring in anticipation. The first hairfall back in Australia was also in June, so this may be the first seasonally adjusted harvest.

It’s going to be interesting seeing how Munson’s flip-flopping between hemispheres is going to affect the timing of the sheddings: by the time Bondi was this age and had arrived in Australia, he was just beginning to show the symptoms of  Cushings Syndrome, and never went through a seasonal shedding again. I’m wondering if we’re just going to get a “moderate” drop, or one that will be spread out over six months, before resuming normal timing in 2015.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Munson the malameter


My new local coffee joint is also a spot where Munson can curl up under a pew and enjoy the buzz of conversation above his head, and the thicket of legs around tables.

I took him for a walk around Newtown this afternoon, which he enjoyed as much as usual until we crossed to the northern side of King Street and started walking downhill as if on our way home. He started becoming distressed – a continuing annoyance from an event two months ago which I didn’t recount.

Our friend Nick took his malamute Sceolaun on a walk up King St at the beginning of December, and she stopped to drink at the water bowl shown in this post. It was a wet evening and while the footpath sits under an awning, there was enough water on it to carry an electrical charge to it – most likely from a small junction box shaped like a squat green pillar outside HUM records a few metres away.

A few days later, I’m walking Munson down King St on a dry sunny day, and we reach HUM where I often visit to look at music and movie releases. Munson puts one foot on the steel entrance step, and jumps backwards in the air with a yelp. He’s really spooked and wants to get the hell away from the area.

I messaged Nick about it, and he suggests I call Ausgrid, the state electrical company, to report a fault as he had done. I recount what happened, and I’m told that they had investigated Nick’s report without detecting any problems. I said there must be something that can make a 50kg dog leap into the air, and a substantial risk to humans (particularly children) if barefoot. Given Newtown’s rather alternative population, that wouldn’t be an unlikely scenario.

About three hours later Nick messaged me back to say that the front of  HUM has been cordoned off as they had discovered the entire shopfront was live at 100V.

Munson was limping for a couple of weeks after that incident, and has been very wary of going with about 10 metres of the spot – generally pulling back or hurrying past. Today’s reaction was unusual in that we were quite a bit further away when he reacted, which made me wonder if he’s detecting some other electrical activity from other junction pillars on that part of the street.

Poor Munson, I thought that he’d be safe from this stuff away from the electric fences on the farm.

Monday, February 10, 2014

My fourth hemidemisemicentury

IMG_5790-001 I had one of those major birthdays  last week, celebrated quietly with a dinner out with Gustav, and Hugh visiting from Malmö, via his hometown Otago New Zealand. Although it was also New Zealand’s national day, we complicated the matter by eating at an African restaurant, and Hugh bringing me some wares from Sweden : a new Moomin mug and table runner.

Today Gustav concocted my birthday cake request: a pumpkin coffee crumble cake. Munson sang for me: admittedly it didn’t sound much different to his usual repertoire, but it was taken as kindly as it was meant.
Munson and Orbie in a tug of war

Monday, February 03, 2014