Recent development

I apologise for my blog being updated rather sporadically recently. Nothing bad has happened to me or my family and we are all doing really great.

The reason behind why I’m spending much less time with my MacBook right now is because I’m concentrating on my girl Bella’s training. Over the summer, Hubbie and I were discussing how wonderful it would be if she could go off-lead completely in the park. If she will not be granted freedom because of the lack of effort on our part, it will be totally unfair on her, we agreed.

From the beginning of the August, Bella and I have been frequenting parks, mainly Regents Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, with a pouch stuffed with her favourite, cooked chicken. During the first two weeks of the training, I attached a 10m long lead on her and practiced recalling.

I was delighted to find that Bella really loved her new found freedom on the long lead but also a new routine of being rewarded with a tasty treat every time she returned to my side.

‘It’s an win-win situation for me!’

At the beginning, we stuck to a quiet part of the park, away from people and other dogs…

The area was so tranquil and peaceful, it could almost fool me into thinking that we were in the countryside if I chose to ignore the roofs of the slow moving traffic on Bayswater Road as they were almost obscured by the vegetation.

Then during the last bank holiday weekend,  I became confident enough to bite the bullet. While Hubbie looked on, I unhooked Bella from a lead…

She didn’t run away from us! Thank god.

We brought her favourite ball and played with her. For the first time, we chased after the ball without worrying about being tangled up with her lead and trampling on her…

She is a very skilled defender, I must say.

Her expression tells everything, doesn’t it?

I’m happy!’

Now, we head to the parks almost everyday as long as it is not raining. I am just addicted to see her being so happy, running and rolling on the grass and running back to me with a huge grin on her furry face. We have also updated our training using a small frisbee so she can practice fetching…

She impresses me with the way she anticipates where the disc will land. And 9 out of 10 times, she brings the frisbee back to me.

Another thing I have noticed is a change in her attitude towards me. I used to be very frustrated when she behaved like she was more into other people and objects. She got distracted easily and sometimes, she even ignored me. ‘Why does she behave like that? Doesn’t she know that I love her?’ I used to complain to Hubbie.

After a month of intense training in the park did change her (and me). She has become much more responsive, affectionate and less disruptive. And I definitely feel a bond of trust has been forged between us and it is strengthening every time we work together.

Isn’t freedom wonderful?

I am so proud of us, my furry buddy!

By the way, we saw a helicopter landing on a field nearby this morning when we were playing in Regents Park…​

 

The helicopter was in khaki green, therefore, it must have been a military one? I was hoping it would land near us but it didn’t happen. I guessed it was because there were too many football goal posts in the area…

P.S. I shall resume writing about my mum & daughter road trip soon as my memories of it are becoming less and less vivid! Oh no!!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Bella & Balloon

Is a dangerous combination.
She loves playing with it but it doesn’t last forever…

 

Her first encounter with balloons was at my neighbour’s son’s first birthday party which we attended recently. She discovered these mysterious objects – light, bouncy and elusive things, which were placed all over the room. First, she was alarmed and barked at them but soon she was hooked! Now, she plays with one balloon at a time, and I am rationing four balloons a day.

As you can imagine, the inevitable happens eventually. Hubbie and I were a bit apprehensive about a balloon bursting in her face for the first time. ‘Will she be scared for life?’

Our concern was needless because she was utterly unfazed! Instead of cowering, she appeared perturbed about the sudden disappearing of ‘the thing’.

Oops, you’ve slayed a balloon again…

 

Please do let us know if there is any Yorkie-proof balloon because it will save my money and lung…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

London Pride 2017

I must have a break from our road trip memoir today. There are yet bucket-loads to write about and I want to carry on while my memory is still fresh. However, today was a day for Pride in London, and Hubbie and I went to see the parade with Bella in tow.

Before joining a crowd on Regent Street, we decided to have lunch at SAID on Broadwick Street…

SAID has been a fixture of Broadwick Street for a number of years. They sell ludicrously tasty chocolates with amazing twists and also serve delicious Italian dishes. I just love the way they present their simple yet exquisite offerings.

I had SAID Salad – Honey coated roasted goat’s cheese with walnuts and dark chocolate shavings…

I must say, every mouthful was absulute joy. Who invented this amazingly moreish salad? Chocolate in salad? What a crazy but also wonderful idea!

The walnut had a hint of warm sweetness which went very well with the saltiness of the cheese. And the chocolate, it added another depth to the already colourful elements on the plate.

While we munched through our lunch, a group of drag queens were heading towards the parade…

 

 

They were gorgeous!

Later on, I saw them on London Live TV, performing in Leicester Square.

After lunch, we made our way to Regent Street via Carnaby Street and Beak Street. The street was really busy with the manifold of crowds lining along the barriers, waiting for the parade to commence.

‘Too many people here and can’t see a thing. Let’s move towards Piccadilly Circus!’ Hubbie suggested.

We weaved through the crowd, made a detour to an exhibition at Beetles + Huxley and eventually, made it to Piccadilly Circus.

Then, the party started!

 

 

Alas, I could only see moving flags and hear the beat and cheer.

‘Shall we move further down towards Pall Mall?’ We drifted along the crowd who seemed to have the same idea.

But our effort was in vain. Pall Mall was choking with the crowd too!

And Bella decided to sing along with the parade…

 

 

We ended up walking as far as Trafalgar Square but decided to throw in the towel. There was no way we could find any decent spot to see the parade properly anywhere along the route.

‘We should have planned it better.’ Hubbie and I agreed as we trudged towards Green Park tube station in the hot afternoon sun. Needless to say, Bella was fast asleep on my lap as soon as we were on our way home by tube…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Scorchio!!!

‘We long for it but also complain about it as soon as it arrives!’ We mused about the sudden arrival of heatwave as we licked ice lorries. Our atelier didn’t have air-conditioning but an electric fan, and the device didn’t help much other than it stirred up the hot air.

Early on yesterday, I met up with my old teammate from ice hockey and had lunch together. We hadn’t seen each other for almost a year, therefore, we had tons to catch up with. While we were busy chatting and eating, Bella was sitting on my lap quietly, no figeting nor begging for attention but looking around what was going on. A model behaviour. Well done, Bella!

Bella on my friends lap, looking at her pasta…

Oh my, it sounded like so many things, some of them were pretty drastic, had happened to a few of my teammates while I was in the thick of my own domestic affairs. All very happy and positive changes, yet, life changing decisions nonetheless! We both agreed that a summer social gathering would have to be organised before some of them disappear to the other side of the earth.

Let’s play with the bubble! I brought a secret weapon for Bella to play with at the studio…

Doggie Incredibubblles!

The bubble was absolutely harmless and peach flavoured. I could hardly want to see how Bella would chase the bubbles with excitement. Well, my good intention disappeared into thin air literally like “bubbles”…

She just ran away! She just hated it. Those bubbles were rather sticky and kept the shape for much longer than normal soap bubbles. She seemed to be freaked out by the bubbles sticking to her all over, especially around her furry face. Therefore, she rolled around the floor, trying to rub the residue off from herself, rather than chasing the bubbles for fun. Oh well, never mind. I will find another entertainment for you, Bella…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Pet London @ Wigmore St

Behold her hairy tum!

The video was taken at Pet London on Wigmore Street. We were there to buy Bella a new harness and had loads of fun during trying on different designs.

Pet London is a godsend to dog owners in U.K., especially of miniature-size breeds, such as Chihuahua, Yorkie, Pomeranian, etc. The boutique stocks a wide variety of products to satisfy all tastes and occasions, super cute or super sporty.

I pondered for ages before deciding on a fluorescent orange harness…

You look great, Ben Ben!

Pet London is also one of a very few model agencies specialized in animals – from dogs to more exotic kinds, such as snakes and elephants! My lovely Mr.B was one of their models before we discovered his heart murmur. Through all the assignments, from NEXT catalogue to Britain’s Next Top Model, we had lots of fun, and I cherished the memories forever.

‘How about Bella? Do you think she has the potential?’ the staff and I mused as we looked on Bella running around with a treat. ‘Nah, she is too excitable and also too sociable.’ I shook my head.

Unlike a typically extravert Bella, Mr.B was mildly introvert who was only interested in pleasing me. Never getting too excited by new things nor people, he was perfect to work in photographic studios and also on locations. He tolerated being handled by others, but his attention was always on me unwaveringly which was in turn great because he always stared at the lens as long as I was standing behind the photographer. Most of commercial photographers hate working with children and animals because of their unpredictability. We encountered a few individuals which did made us feel belittled by throwing negative comments prior to the shoots. However, we always won them over by Mr.B’s impeccable work ethic – no time wasting, no marking and obeying my commands without fail. By the end of every sessions, they were charmed and impressed by us, and gave the agency positive feedbacks. It was funny because I would never have dreamt of registering him to the agency if Hubbie didn’t joke about making him earn his own keep.

Am I not pretty enough to be a fashion model?

Ben Ben, you can’t sit still for even 10 seconds. I don’t think you can be a working model…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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