Wednesday, October 29, 2014

On Point

 Morning, afternoon and evening, Luna enjoying life. She's getting better at walking on the leash, not pulling so strongly, able to wait a little while I pause to pick up poops or stop to chat. At home she's almost permanently scrounging for food, in spite of getting lovely big portions of kibble...amazing she doesn't get plump and fat, her stool is good, so it's being digested...I'm off to the vet in a couple of days so I'll discuss it with him.
Meanwhile in the evening she's in my bed, while Claire and Nobu sleep close by in their own little beds...then she gets too hot, and I wake up in the morning to find her sleeping in a little ball at my feet...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Talia Cosmetics

 I'm very fortunate to be able to try out Talia Cosmetics through a setter friend: imagine my delight when after only three days using the Talia Age Defying Restoring Night Cream my face feels wonderful, my skin is really feeling smoother and more relaxed, and a friend even mentioned the difference on my morning walk. I'm also using the multi-mineral toner Nobu is holding, you can really feel the way your skin laps up the minerals and goodness when you spray it on. 
For a while in my forties I used Chanel/ Dior, but the price in Japan is prohibitive and it seems kind of 52, I've been trying out alternatives, I was using Shiseido Benefique and Kanebo Evita which do okay, but don't give me confidence and make my skin feel healthy and beautiful long term. I don't seem to do well either with L`Occitaine and even Neal's Yard, while I love the smell, really doesn't suit my I'm so happy to have found a skincare line that really makes my skin feel good.
 I particularly like the fact that the Talia night cream, which Claire is holding, has lots of natural oils along with the Dead Sea essence, among others there's Jojoba Seed, Cocoa Seed, Sesame, Grape seed, Sweet almond in the mix, all the kind of oils guaranteed to make your skin feel good, plus Geraniiol and Citronellol, it's going in the natural herb ingredients direction I'm aiming for.
 Talia really does help reduce the wrinkles! Wow! This is something else. If I'm feeling this good after only three days, I'm really looking forward to the long term. My aim is to be able to just forget about my face after the morning toner and moisturizer, based on confidence with the way my skin looks: I never use foundations and powders unless I'm dancing, although I confess I love playing around with eye shadow.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

 Autumn is coming on apace, and we've had such a dull week of rain, quite unusual for this time of year. Yesterday was a fine day, but with the yearend dance party coming up I left the dogs at home and went of to practice my moves, so the dogs are quite frustrated with just half hour walks morning and evening. Fortunately this weekend they get a good long walk in the morning courtesy of the other parent.

I introduced my three big rescue babies as I spoke with our local MP about making a local dogrun, even if only for a couple of hours in the morning. So much space in parks is locked up for baseball, they could let dog owners use it for an hour or two each morning no problem, I'm sure, as long as everyone minds to pick up poop. We'll see, he has a knack of getting things done to keep his local constituents happy. I advised him not to call it dog run, but pet owner communication space, that way no one can complain we're spending tax money on mere dogs (although they happily spend tax money on killing them, which I think should be paid for out of the owner's pocket-microchip them all, we'd know who's abandoning their dogs!)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Halloween Preparations

Rescue Anniversary

Today is Luna's rescue anniversary: according to her papers from the Chiba pound, she was brought in on the 18th October last year, and vaccinated three days later.   I notice because when we first took her to the vet and he took an ultrasound of her innards, he didn't have much hope. No invasive surgery, no spaying, just let her enjoy the time she has, he said. So really It's a bit of a miracle she's survived so far, a whole year of her luminosity: she's enjoying the ride and making sure we are enjoying it with her all the way. No wonder she's my first foster failure :P  Three cheers for this little bundle of happy lunar energy, bounding through life with great gusto and intensity, never a moment of hesitation. She might be a wee bit bony and knobbly, not putting on much meat, but she sure is a neat package of muscle and charm. Chiaro di Luna! We love you, sweetie.
Luna's miracle is a huge collaboration of setter-loving and dog-loving rescue groups and individuals. Valencia's Mum, CACI Gundog Rescue and CEO Rie Kaneko, thank you for saving her a year ago...and a huge huge thank you to all my friends, FB and blog followers and CACI setter-family who saved her again in the summer when she was lost in Nasu. This girl is a succession of miracles, and you all made it happen! Thank you!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Local walkies

 Been one of those days...doing the washing and the dishes, taking out trash, those regular chores, followed by local walkies, stopping to talk to friends and generally soak in the autumn. I had to sort out Japanese Granma's influenza shots, and went shopping to get her cotton knits as it's getting cooler mornings and evenings. Forgot to take her new bottle of face cream, so I'll have to pop by the old people's home again soon...

Thursday, October 16, 2014


 I was so tired on my way home from work, I used the local, got off too early, missed the next express out of Tokyo and waited stuporous for the next local...times like that, a day off in the dog run is called for...
 The sun was gorgeous, the air was crisp, the green was autumn tints in the hills yet, but some fallen leaves heralding the changing of the seasons.
 Now for a good night's sleep and tomorrow will be a new and exciting day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ange Dog Cafe

After a good post-typhoon run in the UminoKoen (Seapark) dogruns and a long-lead splash in the sea, I drove over to Konandai, wet shoes and trousers and all, to try out a new dog cafe, Ange.

Very nice arrangement, with two good parking berths behind the cafe, a spacious verandah area with flowers and trees to sit in the sunshine with the sandy dogs, and delicious food.
 They very kindly brought a bowl of water for the doggies, but there are no doggie treats or menu per se, so the dogs were a little bit nonplussed...not to worry, very simple delicious food, so it was okay to share some tidbits with the dogs...the lunch set was 1000yen with side salad and desert, quite reasonable.  I really wanted to taste their chick-pea soup, but I was disappointed to find it was sold out: to my surprise and delight, they brought me a tiny bowl on the house just to taste...delicious chickpea bean stew with chopped fresh coriander herbs! A must next time, if I can drag myself away from the tomato spaghetti... 

The pretty salad had a very unique mayonnaise and egg dressing, so I was able to share some leaves with the dogs. The spaghetti was divine, simplicity at its best, with sparse but inspired use of chunks of fresh garlic and basil leaves. The dogs had a feast with the slurpies, and when I mentioned I could do with a little less salt in the meal, they were so kind as to say they would be happy to oblige the next time I came.
 Good exercise, good food, and now we're back home ready for an afternoon nap...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Sunflower family

I was quite sad to see Forest Table, the dog cafe near the Shinrin Park, has closed. That makes five closed locally in the three years I've been writing this blog, Question, Anjin, Uda2cafe and now Forest Table, plus the B-wood dogrun across town. Maybe time to check out some new dogcafes, I think there's one in Konandai. Meanwhile Motomachi offers Slow Cafe behind Gap, and also two wee terrace tables at a Pizzeria near there. And Boutique for Dogs! which offers a treasure trove of gorgeous costumes and bags for dogs, and snaps your pooch when you drop by: see how Nobunaga, Claire and Chiaro di Luna look through their lens: 

 I think Nobunaga looks really dinky! Thank you Boutique for Dogs for these gorgeous pictures in your Halloween line-up blogpost .

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Aromatherapy and Healing Hands

Luna gave me quite a shock yesterday morning, after a 6am pottie break in the garden for the dogs, I fell asleep again and woke up at 8am to get brekkie ready: Luna was crashed in the doggie bed, unable to wag even her tail, and totally uninterested in getting up for food (the unthinkable, she is always jumping all over the place with excitement at mealtimes).  Even with some cheddar, she licked it limply and just lay there. I got ready to take Nobu and Claire, and she wobbled over to the door to come with us, but after a couple of weak steps to the corner park, she lay down in the dirt, so I picked her up and carried her home again before going out with Nobu and Claire. This is it, her time has come, I thought, and rubbed a lick of essential oils on her belly before going out to work. Ajowan is a strong antibiotic, marjoram soothes inflammation, palma rosa works on fatigue, juniper berry is great for the kidneys and waterworks, and chamomile relaxes and soothes, all based in calendula (marigold) carrier oil...
Fortunately she wasn't alone for long, as Tosh took time off work to sit with her, and towards evening she was eating and perked up. When I got home I asked for the help of the Hase Temple Kannon, and bathed Luna in golden healing light...
Fortunately today she seems right as rain, enjoying a lunchtime stroll in the Shinrin park with her usual gusto and it's my turn to get headaches with the impending typhoon...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


 Went for a walk round Kuraki Park after the typhoon. Although I stayed on the paths, some were streaming rivers as the water flowed down from the hills to the pond area, which was heavy with extra water. It is great to get out after two days of being cooped up in the house and dashing out in the rain for Claire to relieve herself on something other than the new carpet...I always think the air is so clean and fresh after a typhoon, the trees feel really forward-looking and new free from the dross of broken twigs and old leaves, and everything surges onward and upward!

Friday, October 3, 2014


 Luna honey you smell so good, you get me in the mood...
 Hey, have a little run together?
 Yes you, looking so good, little lady...I'm your man!
 Mum, he won't leave me alone...Mum, she's not interested....
 Sure knows how to break a guy's heart....
Towards the tailend of Chiaro di Luna's heat cycle, although it's over and she can't get pregnant any more, she still seems to smell good. Nobunaga gets very frustrated as the sexual tension has built up, and with quite a few intact dogs around, he gets quite excited and possessive and wants to lay claim to his three ladies... so we were careful to find a quiet unused dogrun just for us, or find a time when no other males were around. I had to be on the alert, sometimes moving to different space to keep things peaceful for Luna on this trip. My legs were quite bruised from Nobu's
attentions, he grips you tightly round the thigh with his forearms...