Nuisance the wee dog

Shortly after the death of our cat, Lugs, last year in early October, a wee dog decided to mosey on up to our house to say “hello”.
This was her very first visit.

She wasn’t a complete stranger as she had spent the past few years visiting Ruby in the Orchard whilst she was thinning or pruning trees, during the months of Winter and Spring.
She rested against a hydralada wheel which made it difficult for Ruby when she had to move to the next tree. Often Ruby had to hop down off the hydralada to physically move the dog from the wheel.

Of course the wee dog would then wander up to the new position of the hydralada and slump down on the wheel. All rather comical but Ruby, who has the patience of a saint, thought it was no big deal.

 As this dog refused to listen to commands, trying to get her to go home was futile.
Sadly this silly little dog loved the road so if she wasn’t visiting Ruby there was every chance she would be on the road and the sound of the vehicles blaring their horns was always the indicator she was on the road.  So many near misses!
We named her Nuisance after her first visit to our home because that is what she became!

Lugs, our territorial cat would have given her the hiding of her life if she had the audacity to enter our home when she was alive.
Many a confident cat, found themselves limping out the gate licking their wounds after an encounter with her.
Furthermore Lugs had no fear of dogs, the bigger the better!  She even took on Pat the Pig Dog….the most kindest dog you could ever imagine. His crime being, sitting on the deck beside his owner.
I can still hear poor Pat yelping!

Nuisance’s first visit was most memorable.
She raced into our sunroom, leapt on the back of the couch directly behind a visitor who naturally assumed she was our dog.
She quickly leapt off, did a lap of the house and was gone.
I assumed this was a one off.
I was so wrong!

The next day she decided Ruby’s pet chook needed a scare so she jumped up and down on her cage, scaring the daylights out of her whilst barking uncontrollably.
I remembered at that precise moment a Policeman friend telling me many years prior, how he cured a nuisance neighbourhood dog of scaring his cats, a good squirt of the hose was all that was required. Of course this very day the hose wasn’t connected and I didn’t dare leave Dixie Chick’s side.
Eventually Nuisance gave up and disappeared.
But a few days later she was back.
It was raining heavily and this muddy dog leapt on my white duvet and velvet quilt.
What a mess!

Belle thought it was funny as Nuisance had leapt on her on the way to my room.  Her artwork was ruined but it didn’t worry her. It was Belle’s smile that made me laugh at how ridiculous the whole situation was and I didn’t mind chucking the bedding into the washing machine.   Worth it to see Belle have such another happy experience, as loosing Lugs was traumatising for me. 

The next day I was folding washing in the sunroom and she raced in, jumped up on the workstation in the kitchen, grabbed the chicken breast thawing under a piece of greaseproof paper and sped out the door.
By the time I got outside to tell her “not to come back” in obviously a polite way, she was well and truly gone, and so was Sam’s dinner!
A few days later, at 4am I found her asleep on the couch on the deck.
She wasn’t there when I closed the curtains at 11pm the previous night!
She looked up at me with a look of “what’s for breakfast?”.
This was probably the only time she listened to me as I yelled, “go home” into the calm of the morning.  She went rather hurriedly.
The neighbours farm dogs actually heard me shriek and started barking…….oops!!

Oh and did I mention when she leapt up onto the kitchen table and drank out of Belle’s cereal bowl….Oh my giddy Aunt….how did we survive this invasion!!
We endured many more fleeting daytime visits….Ruby, Belle and I…..never knew when she would pop in.

She was such a crazy dog with not an ounce of common sense.
One good thing came out of this saga…..Ruby was cured of ever wanting a wee dog as she was definitely leaning towards the idea before the arrival of Nuisance.

Nuisance finally left us alone early November, fairly sure she found another family to temporarily harass as for a couple of weeks after her departure we would hear her being called for, usually late afternoon and often well into the evening.
We always smiled as we knew that little Nuisance wasn’t our problem anymore.
But to be honest I did think it was a bit late for them to worry about their dog after it had wreaked havoc on our lives for many weeks.
Did they ever wonder where she was?

How very lucky they were to have her find us; animal lovers; and not folk who could have been less tolerant.
Her visits to Ruby in the Orchard are ongoing but that’s fine, as long as she never turns up here at the house again.
Just way too exhausting!
But then again if she needs a sanctuary again in life, we are probably the best place to choose as she will come to no harm.

Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

A few months ago my husband and I made the decision to care for my elderly mother who is mentally alert but very feeble so cannot live alone anymore and she will be moving in shortly.
Our adult son opposes our decision and has made it clear he will not visit us when she arrives. He has never liked the elderly and stopped visiting his Grandmother when he left school.
Are we being selfish?
What do you think?


Aunty S responds

Absolutely nothing to do with your adult child my dear.
Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated by him.
Enjoy your time with your Mum and if your son visits, well that’s nice; if he doesn’t, his loss.

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Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S 

My fit and healthy husband was struck down by a stroke a year ago and our life is boring now as he spends all his time in his shed working on the work bench as he can’t walk far and is on sticks.
We have always had a rocky marriage and we grew further apart when the children left home years ago but now it’s unbearable living with him.
I will sign the house over to him when I leave as we have enough savings for me to buy another home.
My son works in a local town and says he will move back in with his father so he has company. They have a great relationship and have always spent every weekend together.
Am I being selfish?


Aunty S responds

You are being honest my dear.

You have thought it through and the fact you will sign the house over to him with no legal drama involved, shows you are a decent woman.
As you’ve made your mind up, sit down as soon as possible and tell him how you feel and what you want.
Obviously it won’t be an easy conversation so if he gets upset or angry, don’t retaliate with unkind words, as your husband has been through enough already.
Ensure your son is home when this all goes down as your husband will need the comfort, support and love from your son.
Good luck with your new life.

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Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

My daughter’s husband left her for another woman, devastating her and the children. He bought her out so he could move his girlfriend and her kids into the house.

We bought her a house putting it in her name and now we have found out that the man she fell for a few weeks ago is telling everybody at his work that he will get half the house as long as he does the time.   He has no idea one of the people he is bragging to is a trusted distant relative of ours.

Her best friend also found out recently and wants us all to tell her together.

Is this wise or should my husband and I tell her alone?


Aunty S responds

Don’t delay, pick up her best friend, chocolates, wine, a huge teddy bear and a big bunch of flowers and tell her tonight and then help her pack his clothes and belongings and place them outside the front door.

She is very lucky to have wonderful parents and a true best friend.

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Orchard Update………. 22 October

After rather a severe Winter and an extremely windy start to Spring I am hoping the weather will play the game and act appropriately as obviously our livelihood is reliant on settled weather and it’s a long way to go before the fruit reaches maturity.

Growing fruit is not for the faint hearted; one must have nerves of steel.

Last Season we suffered a wee bit of theft so more security cameras are now up and running and our friends in the neighbourhood have assured us they will be on high alert during the Fruit Season and will notify us if they see anything suspicious. Thanks guys.

“Big Bertha” our bird scarer will be up and running once again soon, assisting us greatly in keeping the cheeky birds off the bird netting as their main aim is to “infiltrate and feast.”


The big Orchards have many bird scarers along with somebody riding round shooting most of the day, scaring them off the nets ……none of us here have the time to drive around and it wouldn’t be cost effective to hire someone so Big Bertha is on her own.

This Season she has insisted we find her a friend to help with the workload so Big Barry may join her before the Season kicks off.


I am often asked about ‘Little Toot’, our pump tractor.

Very pleased to report she has coped well with the irrigation and frost-fighting over the past few months but does get a wee bit upset when she hears the big motors, further up the Valley, start up during frost-fighting as she has an inferiority complex about her ‘’small size and her feeble roar.”

She may be small but she definitely has enough grunt to pull the water needed out of the dam via the pump to frost-fight our 17 acres. And of course she does the same job when it comes to irrigating.

Little Toot along with Big Bertha are both valued workmates.

Even after twenty-five Seasons, I still love the sound of the collective hum of the frost-fighting motors within earshot of our Orchard as I know it’s the sound of livelihoods and jobs being saved and at the end of the day it doesn’t matter how big or small our Orchards are, we are all in the same boat, just trying to make a living off the land.

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Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

My brother in law and I are in love and we intend to move to Australia to start a new life.

He is leaving his kids with his wife but we are keeping mine.

My husband says he will stop us from taking the kids out of the country and now they are saying they don’t want to go and want to live with him permanent.

My partner says he will go ahead of time as he needs to find a job but I don’t want him to go without us.

What should I do?


Aunty S responds

Why not leave the kids with your husband; go off with your boyfriend and see how it works out.

Your children are old enough to know what they want and it appears they don’t want to leave their Dad.

Over and out.

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Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

My father is heartbroken as he intended to leave the family home to my brother and had a Will made up over thirty years ago stating this but now his Lawyer has told him that legally he cannot favour one child as the others will have a legal right to break the Will and says he should make a new Will.

His father left my father in his Will and even though there were seven in the family; nobody was upset by the decision.

All my siblings are wealthy in their own right; all greatly assisted by my parents throughout the years so they want for nothing.

What should my father do as he is very upset by the harshness of his Lawyer who just happens to be the Lawyer for two of my siblings so surely there is a conflict of interest and I believe he should have pointed my Father in another lawyer’s direction?


Aunty S responds


An Estate only kicks in when one dies.

Quite simply, your father can do what he likes with his property and money up until his death.

Thank goodness he has a sensible daughter; trust me my dear I will put you on the right track so you can help your father achieve what he wants to happen when he dies.


First off, go back to the Family Lawyer or find a new one who will listen, and ‘Instruct’ said Lawyer to put the house into Joint Tenancy Ownership with your brother and father as owners.  There is not too much paperwork involved.

A Joint Tenancy will see the property; when your father dies, transfer to your brother. The house will not be part of your father’s Estate so your siblings have no legal claim on it.

This is the only viable solution to your father’s dilemma.

There are two main types of ownership:

Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common.

Do not allow the Lawyer to convince your father to put the house into Tenants in Common as your father’s interest in the property would then be included in his Estate and your brother would end up being a co-owner instead of owning it outright which defeats the purpose of what your father wants to happen.

Hence the incorrect ownership structure of a property can have serious consequences.

Contact me if you need more info.

Note: I am referring to New Zealand Law.

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Dare to Be

When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.

When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.

When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.

When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.

When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.

When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.

When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going.

When times are tough, dare to be tougher.

When love hurts you, dare to love again.

When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.

When another is lost, dare to help them find the way.

When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.

When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.

When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too.

When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best.

Dare to be the best you can


Steve Maraboli

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Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

My wife doesn’t like my mother and flatly refuses to allow her to stay in our home when she visits which is once a year. I always make an excuse and take her on a trip to visit relatives with only one day back at our home before she flies out.

I have put my foot down after many years and told her my mother will stay in our home and she has told me she’ll fly out with the kids if she stays. I am sick of having to visit the relatives with her and feel I am right on this matter.

What do you think?


Aunty S responds :

Suck it in mate!

She is your mother and your responsibility.

You have a good system that has stood the test of time so why change things?

From the added info I doubt I’d let her stay in my house either if she was my mother in law and I am damn sure I wouldn’t let her around my kids.

You have a very tolerant understanding wife.

Give her a hug, apologize, and act like a man, not a spineless wonder.

Over and out.

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Hi Sandra

Thanks for putting me onto The Bully, The Bullied and the Bystander by Barbara Coloroso.

Even though I have been reading your bully blogs this book gave me an added awakening and also to have a New Zealand connection in the book was a bit of a reality check.

My son has finished school and is in the workforce yet he is being bullied. I always assumed it was a kid’s thing so he was on his own with this for a year.

Your blogs show it’s not and so does all the other websites I’ve been on. Thanks for the links.

We finally validated our son’s feelings of despair last night which was long overdue, in a meeting which involved his Employer who thought something was wrong at work but was waiting for our son to talk to him. Thankfully, in this case, he had never been fooled by the Bully but knew he had a following in the workplace and was ostracizing our son but was not aware of the severity. In our case the situation is manageable, as it’s been brought to his attention.

Thanks again for your help.

You have my permission to include this in your blog.


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