• Amazon bestselling mystery series for kids & dog lovers starring Honey the Great Dane!
    Have you read the books starring Honey the Great Dane & her friends? Available as EBOOK & Paperback. Buy on Amazon (also available on iTunes, Barnes & Noble (NOOK), Kobo and through bookstores)

GO WEST! (& Paul’s Scary Sickie…)

It has been a very scary time for us in the past several weeks and my humans have been very, very stressy.

Back in early Oct, Paul suddenly had to go to hospital for a strange sickie. He was exhausted all the time and his arms & legs went numb and he was so weak, he could barely lift his left hand up. He had to have lots and lots of yucky tests, like brain MRI & CT scans, blood tests, lumbar punctures, nerve tests, X-rays, etc, etc…while they tried to find out what the sickie was. This took weeks and in the meantime, Paul was just getting worse and worse…

…but finally, they finished all the tests and decided that it wasn’t anything super-scary – like cancer/spinal tumour or multiple sclerosis or other horrible things. Whew. That was a big relief. It was an awful time for my humans during those weeks as they kept waiting for the results of each test…wondering what scary thing it could be…but “not knowing” was also terrible too…

Anyway, the doctors think it was most likely a kind of Auto-Immune Sickie – basically, what happened was that Paul got a virus infection and his body made some antibodies to attack the virus – but then those antibodies started attacking his own nerve cells as well!Β  😯 It doesn’t usually happen – this kind of reaction is very rare. Only about 5 people in 1 million get this reaction every year (about 150 people in Australia each year) – and Paul had to be one of those…talk about bad luck! :-(

Anyway, Paul got some treatment at the hospital and he started getting a bit better…although it is going to take a long, long time now for him to recover. :-( He is now doing Physiotherapy and Hydrotherapy and Acupuncture and lots of other things to try and help his nerve cells repair and regrow.

Hsin-Yi says life seems so horribly cruel sometimes – Paul only decided to become a doctor at 30yrs old and went back to night school and got into medical school as a mature student and then went through all the years & years of training and exams and hard work and on-calls and no sleep…and then all this extra moving around and stressy times we’ve had in the last few years, for his extra training to become a specialist cancer surgeon…and now, finally, after 18yrs, just when he was almost finished…then this had to happen!! :-( (The good news is that this is just a one-off thing that shouldn’t happen again – it’s not a chronic auto-immune disease like MS – so the only worry now is whether the nerve damage is permanent…because of course, as a surgeon, unlike some other jobs, you really need perfect nerve control in your hands.)

But we are trying to stay positive and to keep hoping for the best, even though it’s been quite hard to put on the Brave Face and keep smiling…Hsin-Yi has been trying her best to keep posting happy stuff on my blog and Facebook pages but sometimes she just wants to curl up into a small ball and cry. You can see why she has not been feeling very sociable – which is why we haven’t been visiting any blog friends or socialising much lately.

Well, the other big news I wanted to tell you was about where we’re moving to next year: we’re going to Perth! Yup, we’re heading to Western Australia and that is where we are planning to stay, if Paul can hopefully get his Forever Job there.

Perth – view from Kings Park (image courtesy of ExperiencePerth.com )

To be honest with you, my humans have been very unhappy in Sydney this year and we can’t wait to leave. To get away from the ugly, dirty buildings and graffiti everywhere and narrow, choked roads with awful traffic and psycho neighbour doggies barking-barking all the time & attacking me through the fence every time I go in the garden and the terrible inconvenience of doing anything, going anywhere in Sydney and the ridiculous money paper we’re paying to live in this tiny, run-down, sardine can and people, people cramming everywhere with their rude, careless behaviour and the hours of driving it takes to get out of the city to get anywhere that’s properly”natural” or beautiful, with wide, open spaces (but of course, when you finally get there, you find that everybody else in Sydney had the same idea and a hundred other people are there too…! :roll: )

Well, they say a picture tells a thousand words – Hsin-Yi found a photographer called Simon Wright who took these two photos to compare popular inner city beaches in Sydney & Perth – which pretty much sums it up!

(Images courtesy of Simon Wright)

Of course, there are some parts of Sydney that are beautiful – the bits downtown & by the Opera House & Harbour Bridge, where all the Tourist Humans go…and of course, we always only show the nice photos on my blog (Hsin-Yi says you can make any place look nice if you know which angles to photograph!)…but “real life” in inner Sydney is not like the beautiful photos at all. And you have to pay SO much money paper to get so little back – compared to other places my humans have lived in.

Oh, Hsin-Yi feels a bit guilty because she knows lots of people love Sydney and think that we’re so lucky to live here – but she just can’t make herself like it. Maybe it’s not a terrible city – but it’s a terrible city for us.

Well, since we can’t go back to New Zealand, my humans have decided that Perth is the place they would like to live in all of Australia. It is much more similar to our beloved Auckland – with a lot less people and lots of wide, open, natural space and beautiful, EMPTY, clean beaches right in the city and lots of blue water all around and a much more relaxed pace of life…and you can get out easily into beautiful, unspoilt countryside all around Perth, within a short drive.

As they say on Western Australia.com:

“Perth is Australia’s only capital city where you can enjoy the beach lifestyle, relax in natural bushland, sample world-class local wines and watch an ocean sunset within just 30 minutes of the city…”

– sure, it might not have as many swanky shops and trendy cafΓ©s & bars and”award-winning” restaurants, blah-blah-blah as Sydney and it might be a bit more “backward” and not so “happening” (that’s what people tell us) but my humans don’t care about those kinds of things anyway. We’re pretty boring and like a simple life. πŸ˜‰

PerthΒ  (image courtesy of www.nothinglikeaustralia.com.au )

My humans visited Perth one weekend last year, when we were still living in Newcastle, and although it was only a very short visit and they only saw a bit of the city, they really liked the “feel” of the place. Of course, visiting is not the same as living there (Sydney is lovely to visit as a tourist! πŸ˜• ) so we’ll still have to see – but we think we will all be much happier in Perth.

In fact, Hsin-Yi’s one wish has always been for me to remain fit & healthy enough to make it to Perth, to that I can finally enjoy life the way I used to back in Auckland – when I had so many beautiful (uncrowded) places to go walking and lots of different (uncrowded, clean) beaches to choose from…

Kings Park, PerthΒ  (Image courtesy of www.spiritland.net )

…they’re looking forward to taking me walking in places such as the gorgeous Kings Park & Botanic Gardens in Perth – one of the biggest inner-city parks in the world, bigger even than New York’s Central Park.

And look – doggies are welcome! (Doggies are completely banned from Sydney’s Botanic Gardens – humph! – which is why I haven’t been able to visit & tell you about it on my blog). My humans were delighted to see a sign in Perth’s Botanic Gardens which gave doggies special privileges for once πŸ˜‰ (usually, us doggies are always the 2nd class citizens; the ones banned from everywhere – it was nice to see a sign showing the opposite for a change!…And in Brisbane, we were nearly killed by all the aggressive, psycho cyclists zooming through the parks there…it’ll be nice to walk somewhere where you won’t have to be constantly looking over your shoulder & have cyclists swear at you just because you’re on the path too! πŸ‘Ώ ) – and they even saw a doggie enjoying himself at the cafΓ© there…

…so yes, I hope I will get to enjoy all these things! πŸ˜› Our big move is planned for next Jan and I will have to go in the Big Flying Machine again…for 5 hours this time, which is an even longer flight than when we moved over from New Zealand. But don’t worry – I’m a Seasoned Traveller Doggie now! πŸ˜‰

Well, so paws crossed that Paul gets better and recovers well enough to go back to work soon…and so that we can make our big move to Perth with no problems! πŸ˜›

Bookmark the permalink.

82 Responses to GO WEST! (& Paul’s Scary Sickie…)

  1. Hsin-Yi, you will love Perth. Our Sissy goes there a lot for work and says it is beautiful. Some people say Adelaide is too quiet and boring too but we love it here. So, at last you can live in peace and find a lovely home and relax and enjoy just being together with no stress.

    Paul, we wish you good health. We’ve had you in our hearts and thoughts. Only wish we had lived a little closer during this stressful time.

    Honey, you know we love you we and can’t wait to see the photos of you in the Botanical Gardens!

    Hsin-Yi, thanks for letting everyone know what is wrong and how stressful it has been for you all. Somehow we think you are about to be showered with love!!

    No worries, and love, Carol (and Stella and Rory)

    • Michelle, USA says:

      I too am thankful that Hsin-Yi shared what was going on with Paul. So many people love them and appreciate her blogs. I too have an auto-immune disease and it helps to surround yourself with people who love you so me and my kitty, Toni, are sending a TON of love from the USA. <3 <3 <3

  2. Lilli says:

    Oh my, apparently everything can happen. I too had a quite scare the other day. My partner’s mother called me while I was at school and told me something about that my partner had to go to the doctor from his work because he suddenly lost his vision. We don’t know what that was but apparently he is now going for to exam it what it could be. Luckily he did get his vision back after a while. But now I’m concerned all the time. And at the same time I just decided to go to see a doctor because my throat is sore all the time.
    Why is it that everything has to happen at the same time?

    I hope Paul gets better, that’s just bad luck :( Let’s hope you all are happier and well in Perth when you move there. At least this time you don’t need to be in hurry, do you?


    • bighoneydog says:

      Oh Lilli – I’m so sorry to hear about your partner and all your health scares too…I hope it will all be nothing serious and resolved easily!


  3. Dear Hsin-Yi,

    We hope Paul is continues to get better and is fully recovered soon. Being a doctor must have made so many extra thoughts run through his mind about “what ifs”, and you must have been so worried too (which Honey and Muesli would have known).

    As for Perth DON’T GO WEST – GO EAST! Keep regularly looking for a job in Auckland… come back to where we live (even if it is a position with less hours/pay but more lifestyle) as you know what it is like here. Plus Riley would love to see Honey again, but if you do end up going to Perth we wish you all well.

    Riley, Enzo (and thier mum)

    PS Five hours in a plane. Since there is no ocean to cross, have you considered a relaxing road trip / holiday travelling across Australia with Honey instead?

    • bighoneydog says:

      Hah! πŸ˜› Yes, we did consider driving across and we researched it in some detail, especially as it would save us a lot of money too in transport costs of our car, Honey & our flights…but aside from the fact that Paul’s back issues mean that he can’t spend more than a couple of hours in a car at a time (remember he had back surgery a few years ago?) and we would need to drive at least 6 – 8hrs per day to reach there in 5 days…

      …but the main thing was that it would certainly not be “relaxing”! πŸ˜‰ We would have to cross the Narembeen Desert – a stretch of harsh, empty landscape which takes 12hrs to cross (driving without break) and no access to vet care in between…and I am just not willing to risk that with Honey, especially at her senior age. If she should happen to get bloat or some other emergency condition and we were in the middle of the desert, it could take us 6 hrs or more of panicked driving to get to the nearest vet clinic…6hrs when bloating could mean certain death.

      So all in all, I think flying is much less of a risk. She will be vet-checked before & after and she is very a laid-back dog who deals well with travelling in a crate, in strange places with strange noises, etc…so she wouldn’t be under any undue stress. She dealt with the trip coming over from NZ very well – hardly seemed fazed at all by the whole thing.

      I know people get freaked out by the idea of their dogs flying – but I personally think that if the dog is comfortable in the crate and not the neurotic, anxious type which might find the noises, etc, in the cargo hold stressful, then it’s not much different to them having to stay in the crate for several hours in other situations – such as at dog shows or at home when owners are at work, etc.

      Our main worry with Honey flying is her heart – but we’ve already checked with the cardiologist and she said that unless things change from her current condition, there should be no problems with Honey flying – it shouldn’t affect her heart at all. :-)


  4. Louise says:

    Hi Hsin-yi, Honey and Paul. I think you will like Perth. It’s laid back but has more culture than people give it credit for.

    My terrier Gary and I would love to show you a few of our favourite spots. You can see some of our beach photos on my blog. You can also see my old doggie Barney who has a silver-blue eye just like Honey’s.

    Best wishes,
    Louise and Gary

  5. Homer says:

    Hi Hsin-Yi,

    Sorry I haven’t been communicating much. I just want to drop a quick note to say that I am happy things are working out for you and Paul is on the mend.

    Good luck on your next move to Perth. It’s booming right now and I’m sure Paul will find a job easily.

    Kisses to Honey,

    The Missus

    • bighoneydog says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment – and it was lovely to hear from you! I’m sorry that we haven’t been very good about being in touch either. I hope that things are well with you & Homer and “The Mister” πŸ˜‰

      Hsin-Yi & Slobbers from Honey

  6. Melanie & Grendel says:

    Lovely post, Hsin-Yi and Honey!!! The photos of Honey and Paul are beautiful :-).

  7. sara says:

    That’s wonderful news Hsin-Yi. Breathing a sigh of relief here, and hoping that Paul’s health continues to improve.

    Perth looks amazing, love the comparison photos. I’d choose Perth too :)

  8. veronique says:

    Speak of scary! The main thing is that Paul is getting better, even if he needs time to recover.
    Going back to study as he did is very courageous, and he deserves to have his dream come true. He put so much energy in it.
    I’m sending tons of positive thoughts to you.

  9. Roo says:

    Honey, I am glad your eye is doing well.
    Hsin-Yi, very sorry to hear of Paul’s ill health. Very good news that his ailment has been properly diagnosed and his treatments are generating improvements! What a relief.
    Yes, crowded cities are for some and not for others. Mom and I would not care to live in Sydney. Perth sounds much better!
    Sending you positive thoughts that you are all healthy again soon and happily on your way to Perth.

    Waggin at ya,

  10. Hi Hsin-Yi…I have a friend who had a similar issue with auto-immune disease and he found great relief with a group of vitamins. I can get you the manufacturer name if you like. He is back his normal self now!

    • Michelle, USA says:

      It’s good that you are looking into alternative health care (i.e., acupunture, etc). I have used it in the past for my auto-immune disease and what a different. Also, I’m sure all the studing you have been doing plus working has put a lot of stressy (as Hsin-Yi calls it) on your body which made it come out worse. Glad you are doing better.

  11. Minabey says:

    Get well soon, Paul! And Hsin-Yi, hang in there. It must be so reassuring to Paul to have someone like you in this situation. I wish you all the best!

  12. Charlotte :) says:

    Oh Hsin-Yi what a shock! We had quite a scare with my sister a couple of months ago, when she suddenly had all the symptoms of Meningitis. She had to have a lumber-puncture too! It turned out she just had a really bad viral infection but it was really horrible…it makes you really count your blessings! Well good luck for the move to Perth! Us blog friends will all be here cheering you along! All the best to Paul, Honey, Muesli and yourself!

    • bighoneydog says:

      Oh Charlotte – I can imagine how scary it must have been with your sister! I’m glad it was nothing more serious and hope she is fully recovered now!

  13. Oh no. Poor Paul. We are keeping our paws crossed for him to get well soon!!! Love the picture of you on the airplane!!!

  14. Indy Bones says:

    Hi Honey – Indy Bones here. My human told me about Paul and oh my, we were all praying VERY HARD around here that they would help him get better. That must have been so scary and stressy for all of you. My human Diane often asks why bad things happen to such good people…..but she never gets an answer to that. She says that all things happen for a reason – we just don’t know what it is while it is happening to us. We feel that way about losing my human brother Jonathan. The holidays will not be the same without him here to make us laugh and to play ball with me. I sure do miss him.

    We are so happy to hear you are going to Perth! My human Diane found a wonderful person named Carly Marie Dudley – she lost a human pup many years ago and she will write your human’s name in the beautiful sand at one of the beaches there (I think she does it ay Mullaloo Point) – she takes a photo of it at sunset and sends you the picture. We have one for Jonathan and it is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Now we want to visit Perth someday.

    Sending you all big hugs from Baltimore,

    Your friend,

    Indy Bones

  15. Hello Honey, Hsin-Yi and Paul,
    We are sending you all our love and hope that Paul makes a strong recovery, and that the 4 of you get your smiles back on real soon!
    It must have been really stressful for you to go through so much in such a short period of time, and we feel like you haven’t had a break since ma ma’s op… Hopefully it ends now and you guys can relax a bit- I just realized how silly that sounds since you now have to plan your big move… Well at least it’s the weekend!
    Lots of love, from Indigo and Malach!

  16. Dear Honey, Hsin-Yi and Paul,

    Thank you for sharing the scary, stressy thing. My human, Cathy, can now relax a bit whenever she checks your blog. (I can tell when she is stressy and that is not fun). We have been sending really strong good wishes to help you during all of this.

    Oh dear! What a stressy time you must all be having especially living in a place that does not fit you. I know how much I love our little house in Calgary, Alberta and the great big “off leash” dog/human park all along the Bow River (it is many kilometres long) that is right behind our house. We really like it because if there are doggies whose humans have not taught them manners we can just move along and find more nice places and other better trained doggies! I sure hope you like the big doggy friendly parks in Perth.

    I wish you could move back to Auckland – my humans love it so much that they are going to move there in a few years (once Bill retires from the hospital he works at here in Calgary)! They say it is the best place in the world to live!

    We will continue to send you good wishes and if I were there I would try to play with you, Honey, to keep your mind off your stressy times.

    We love you all!

    Neck wraps and nibbles
    Daisy the Great Dane

  17. Hmmmm… we just clicked on the link that is supposed to go to my blog in our comment above and it was wrong. Here is the correct one in case you ever have time to visit. http://daisythegreatdane.com

    Bye for now, Honey :)
    Your friend from Canada,

    • bighoneydog says:

      Oh, that’s really strange, Daisy! I just checked and it happened to me too! I don’t know why that should be happening…I think it might be to do with your WordPress account – do you have one? If you do, perhaps you need to check the account settings to make sure that the “website” linked to your account is “daisythegreatdane.com”

      Honey the Great Dane
      ps. thanks for your lovely message!

      • Hmmmm… now the link is working to our old site. Cathy is trying really hard to change our first blog (the one that we still have) over to our WordPress account but never seems to find the time to change everything over. So she just adds anything new to the old site (she’s not very good about keeping that one up either!!). Right now she told me she is working on the sailing blog! I don’t even want to hear about that blog cause I can’t go sailing. Thank goodness there is all that cold white stuff lying around (that I like to eat by the way)… so they stay home with me – cozy in front of the fireplace where we belong!
        I sure wish I could come and visit you but I guess we just have to do it in this computer machine.

        Nibbles and Neck Wraps
        Daisy the Great Dane

  18. Michelle, USA says:

    Dear Honey, Hsin-Yi and Paul,

    I just want to begin by thanking you for sharing. I truly believe that is where healing begins. I too went through a similar experience. When I was 25 yrs old my husband walked out on me. I had a 2 1/2 year son and I was 9 months pregnant. A year a half later I started going back to college but it only lasted 1 year due to finances. But then I discovered $5.00 an hr was not enough to support 2 children by myself so I started working on my Bachelors Degree at 28 yrs old. At 32 yrs old I finally received my BS and started working making pretty good money. Unfortunately, 9 months later I started having seizures. Within 6 years I could no longer work and my 2 children had to move in with their father who lived 1500 miles away. Not only was I sleeping 20 hrs a day from the seizures I became extremely depressed from being away from my boys. It’s been 12 yrs since I lost my job and my health has only gotten worse. I spend most days home alone. I am, however, EXTREMELY grateful for the internet. I look forward to Honey’s blogs daily and they lift my spirits up beyond what words can express. The writing, photos and videos are God sent. I absolutely LOVE animals and enjoy every moment I see Honey and Muesli on screen. You help soooo many people, Hsin-Yi, I’m sure you don’t realize. I try to be grateful for every moment of every day even though it takes a lot of energy to find things that matter. I gratuated from college as a single parent in 1994 and I still owe $15,000 because I became sick right after I graduted. I felt extremely robbed for many years because I worked so hard at my dream then to turn around and I couldn’t work anymore. You have each other which is so wonderful. My family is not close and my children live 1500 miles away so I am all alone which is really hard sometimes. I’m sorry you are having to go through these tough times. You seem like such wonderful people and truly deserve better. May God give you strength in every obstacle that happens throughout the day and you find gratitude in the small hills you climb when night falls. Once agan … I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do on your website. It gives me pure JOY and something to look forward to each and every day!

    Michelle, USA

    • bighoneydog says:

      Hi Michelle – thank you for your lovely comment and for sharing your own story. I can’t imagine what a terrible time you have had to go through – you must be an incredibly strong person and an inspiration to others. I am glad that Honey’s blog is able to help you – if even just in a little way! πŸ˜› – and I hope that things will get easier for you.

      Thinking of you –
      Hsin-YI & Slobbers from Honey

  19. Kari says:

    I sure hope he gets a forever job there!

    Stop on by for a visit

  20. I’ve been a very bad blogger for a couple of months now and not only have I not been blogging but I haven’t been visiting blogs I love and I haven’t got any real reasons. Having said that, I’m visiting to say how sorry I am to hear about Paul’s health problems but I know you will all be working very hard to have him back to his usual self as soon as possible. Life throws some real curve balls at times.

    Just curious, why can’t you come back to New Zealand? I’ve never been to Perth but it certainly looks like a much better place to live than Sydney. I hope your shift goes smoothly, January isn’t far away! Good luck with everything:)

  21. It’s been nice to have you and your family in Sydney if only for a little while. I have a few Kiwi friends who have moved to Perth and love it and I’m sure you will too, it’s a much slower pace than the crazyness of Sydney. We will however definately miss you all at the next Great Dane Fun Day.

  22. Stephen says:

    Hello Honey,
    So glad to hear that your human daddy is on the mend. I bet you’ve been really worried too. Make sure to keep up his medicinal treatments of hugs and slobbers, as we all know that Great Dane slobber is good for you πŸ˜‰

    I think you’ll love Perth. I’ve never been myself but an old friend who moved there described it with such excitement that I wish I did live there. I remember him saying “You know how much of a small town county boy I am, but this place fits me like a glove. So chilled and relaxing like someone took Pally(his home town of 500 population) and whacked up a bunch of big buildings in it”

    Enjoy your new adventures and keep those humans of yours safe & well :)

    Pats & Cuddles,

  23. Andi says:

    Hullo Honey!
    We’re very sorry to hear about Pauls sickie. But we’re glad to here that he’s getting better! It’s going to be a tough road I’m sure, but we believe that Paul can do it!! Perth sounds like a fantastic place to live. Thanks to your blog all I want to do is tour Australia now!
    As always, sending positive thoughts!
    Andi and her Pyrenees Luna.

  24. Sam says:

    Perth? Wow! We will keep paws crossed Paul’s sickie goes away and things look better in your new home!


  25. Poor Paul – this is very stressy news, Hsin-Yi! We are thinking very positive thoughts and our paws and fingers are crossed that he gets better.
    Perth sounds lovely. We can’t wait to hear more about it!

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

  26. Wow, it really sounds like you have had a very tough time of it lately :( Paul’s illness sounds horrible!! We hope he gets better really soon and is feeling back to normal in the fastest time possible.
    Perth is beautiful, some of our friends live there and absolutely love it :)

  27. Nicki Kelly says:

    Sending some healing thoughts Paul’s way… I think it’s about time you guys had some good luck.

  28. So sorry to hear about Paul being sick. I do hope that he is able to heal completely back to normal and is able to continue working as a surgeon.

    I am sorry to hear that you do not like Sydney. I do hope that you can show me some of the nicer parts when I come!

  29. Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning says:

    You really did have a lot on your plate. We hope Paul continues to be healthy and we especially hope that things work out for the new position.

    Hugs and Woos – Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

  30. Grahma and lindy Carter says:

    We feel for you, dear friends. You have gone through so much. We are thinking of Paul and hope that his recovery is smooth and quick. Your move to Perth sound exciting. We are thinking of you all.

  31. I’m so sorry about Paul’s sickie. :( I have been really worried about you guys and was starting to think it was something really serious, but I never would have guessed it was Paul! I’m so glad he’s okay and getting better. I’ll send lots and lots of prayers and good thoughts that he heals up quickly. If you ever need to talk please email me. I’m not bothered by hearing the bad things along with the good. I’m good at cheering people up and encouraging them, at least I’ve been told so. Hang in there!

    Aww when you said you were planning to move to Perth my first though was “No! Why not New Zealand?” :( I hope you love Perth as much as you love New Zealand. It does look very beautiful in the pictures. I like the beach comparison one! I’m with you that I like country living and a more simple life. I don’t like cities at all!! I’m not even in the city I live next to right now and I still feel too close to it lol. At least we do have nice parks and a lake, but we can’t go off leash there. And they are always crowded. Anyway I’m looking forward to hearing more about Perth.

  32. Big hugs to you all. I cant imagine how stressful it all must be.
    Why can’t you go back to NZ?
    I feel you about living in such an urban place. Some of the biggest things I miss about Seattle is all the places we COULD take Darwin to and all her friends (people and dogs).

  33. onyablackdog says:

    There isn’t more I could say that already hasn’t been said by the lovely comments and good wishes above. Get well soon Paul, thank goodness you ARE a doctor, it would send most worried out their brain with all the tests and uncertainty. I love the thought of Perth as a place to live too. All the very best with the big move. Can’t wait to hear about your progress, to see more of Perth and all of you in it. Xxxxxx

  34. Dorothy S in Michigan says:

    It is nice to hear from you, but sorry that it has been under difficult circumstances, the needing to move again, and Paul not well.

    It sounds like you are making good decisions.

    I’m eager to hear how your “adventure” unfolds.

    You’ve been in my prayers. I will continue to pray that things continue to unfold just as they should.

    Everyone says “hugs and slobbers”, but this time of night the dogs are snoring and the cat is purring, So from here it is:

    Clicks of the computer, snores and purrs.

    PS. I’m glad it’s you and not me that’s been moving every year!

  35. Preston says:

    HUGS from us, Hsin-Yi! and a big pat on your back! We don’t know how you can stay so strong during this tough time. Thanks for sharing the story. We hope Paul get a full recovery soon. Perth sounds like a lovely place. We look forward to reading more about your new adventures in Perth.

  36. Nightshade says:

    We keep on hoping that everything will turn out just fine for you guys and keep on sending you positive thoughts.
    Hopefully Paul will completely recover and will be able to start working in a hospital in Perth. And we hope that you, Paul, Honey & Muesli will have a great life over there and that you’ll all be more at home there than you are in Sidney right now.

    There are places where you just feel more at home and at ease than in other places. I grew up in the countryside in a very quiet neighbourhood surrounded by fields and open spaces; but when I went to university, I had to move to the city cause commuting would be too time-consuming. Then I met my hubby and at first we rented a flat in the city after we graduated. In total, I spent 10 years of my life living in a city and I cannot tell you how happy I am to finally have returned to the countryside. I really missed the space, the fresher air, the fact that we can go for a walk and actually walk for hours without seeing other people. I love this and I know now that I never want to trade that ever again for a life in a city.


    & Slobbery kiss, Killian

  37. Ludo says:

    Thank you for letting us know what was wrong. We were very worried. What a tough. Stressy thing to have to go through. I really hope that Paul makes a full and complete recovery and can go on being a specialist and helping others. If you is one of those people who thinks everything happens for a reason, maybe you could think of it as being a way for Paul to be able to relate to his patients more.

    Perth sounds lovely and I can so see why you would not like Sydney very much. Nice to visit, but not nice to stay. I bet Perth will be great.

    Hm, i not sure if it just me or not, but the pictures seem to be past awards and not the ones you meant them to be… Don’t worry anout not visiting others all the time. You has tonnes of friends and can’t possibly visit them all, all the time. mum really rubbish at visiting at the moment!
    ~Lickies, Ludo

  38. Chingmy says:

    Sending get well Pei Vibes to Paul and …

    Chingmy Kisses

  39. Leticia says:

    We’ll be very happy to welcome you in Perth, Honey. We last saw you dancing at the RSPCA in Brisbane. We too made the very long journey in the big scary plane, but have been made very welcome here and there are so many doggy friendly places! Hope to see you soon, Simba and Nala

    • bighoneydog says:

      Oh my goodness, Simba & Nala – what a small world!! :-) How funny to have met at that RSPCA event – and then now to be living in the same city soon. Thanks so much for the lovely “pre-welcome”! πŸ˜‰ We are really looking forward to exploring our new home next year! πŸ˜€

      Honey the Great Dane

  40. Annemaria Lee says:

    Dear Honey, Hsin-Yi and Paul,
    What scary time for you all, and especially after Honey’s eye trauma. It is good to hear that Paul’s tests finally found a diagnosis you are able use many treatments to heal. We hope that he will be returned to excellent health very, very quickly. Good people deserve wonderful things and you are good people!
    We left Sydney many years ago for the same reasons you dislike living there, to the country for a long time and, 12 months ago, we made the road trip to Adelaide with 4 cats, 1 dog, 4 humans, over 2 1/2 days. Due to the senior years of our felines we decided the flight was too risky and they coped well with the road and the pet friendly places we stayed overnight.
    Perth is way further and a challenging journey through the desert.
    You will love Perth and its lifestyle. We have family there and they love it. A beautiful city and so many wonderful places to visit outside of Perth too. We wish you every success in getting that forever job there.
    May the coming months and 2013 bring you all a return to health, harmony, peace and an abundance of all you dream of in your life.
    Many blessings,
    Annemaria and Pippa and Holly, Tai, and Mandy (cats) and Rick ( husband wants a mention!)

    • bighoneydog says:

      Hi Annemaria – thank you so much for your lovely comment – and for sharing your experiences!! It is great to hear so many positive things about Perth from almost everyone I have spoken too – we’re really looking forward to exploring our new home next year.
      Honey sends slobbers to Pippa, Holly, Tai & Mandy (and maybe a little for Rick too! πŸ˜‰ )


  41. Michelle, USA says:

    Dear Hsin-Yi and Honey … your last message brought tears to my eyes. My family is not close meaning they do not call or visit me. So for you, as a complete stranger, to take the time to write me back means the world to me. Especially, since you are going through so many stressy stuff in your life. I hope Paul is getting the help he needs and Honey is doing better with her eye problems. I am sure Muesli can help her to get around if needed. I’ve seen that on tv when one animal loses their vision the other animal becomes the seeing eye dog, goat, cat, etc. You are always in my thoughts.

    Michelle, USA

  42. Dawn Bolger says:

    Dear Hsin Yi and Honey,

    We are sending lots of positive thoughts your way and hope that Paul gets better very soon!

    We know that you will love Perth – it is actually very very similar to Auckland. The only downside is that during summer it can get quite hot for doggies, but as there are ample places to roam/swim, its generally not too much of a big deal!

    We are from Perth originally (now in Sydney) so if you ever need some general advice about Perth or where the dog parks/beaches are etc, please don’t hesitate to ask :)

    Best of luck and get well soon Paul!


    Dawn, Aiko and Fasa

    • bighoneydog says:

      Thanks so much, Dawn, for your lovely comment! :-) And yes, we had heard a lot too about the hot Perth summers…so we will definitely be looking for a house with AC and also looking forward to making use of the beaches – both ocean & river ones! πŸ˜›

      Hsin-Yi & Slobbers from Honey

  43. Dear Hsin-Yi and Honey,
    I am so glad to hear that Paul has his diagnosis and that it isn’t anything like cancer. Mom and I have been thinking of you Paul and Muesli going through your stressful times and we are both glad that both Honey and Paul are on the road to recovery.

    Perth is your next destination? My mom has never been to Perth but has heard nothing but great things about people who have been there. And to hear that dogs are welcome in more places sounds great! That’s the only thing that annoys me about Sydney, that dogs and the people who own them are treated like second-class citizens. Mom says that when she eventually gets to have a dog that she plans on taking her on lots of trips (like you do with Honey) so they can visit beaches and forests.
    I can just imagine Honey strolling through the gorgeous parks in Perth (and perhaps a vineyard or two).
    Anyway I hope Paul feels better soon and gets his dream job in Perth.

    Rubs and Smooches,


    • bighoneydog says:

      Thanks so much, Tess, for your lovely comment! Actually, we think Sydney isn’t too bad in the “dog-friendly” stakes – compared to Brisbane & Newcastle, anyway! There are far more off-leash parks here (although most are pretty small) and more places that welcome dogs, than in the 2 previous cities we’ve lived in – in Australia. The only problem is the sheer number of people here, which makes any place crowded – and you know what happens in places crowded with strange dogs (bad recipe!!), especially with irresponsible owners.

      But what annoys us is the people – the awful irresponsible pet owners – who do things like let their dogs roam loose in the streets (into the road, causing traffic accidents, or attacking other dogs on leash) and poo everywhere without picking it up and run around the neighbourhood barking and harass children in playgrounds… that sort of thing…because that is the sort of thing that gives dogs a bad name and gets them banned from places and creats a lot of “anti-dog feeling”. I want to yell at those people and remind them how lucky they are to have what they have in Sydney – and that they should appreciate what they’ve got, instead of mucking it all up!! 😈

      Anyway, I’m sure your Mom will find lots of good places to take your doggie brother or sister when they finally join the family! We’ve had to be a bit more creative with Honey, to find nice places without tons of stupid people – but that just means that we get to go on more interesting adventures! πŸ˜›

      Hsin-Yi & Slobbers from Honey

  44. Blue-Sea says:

    Hi Honey,
    Glad to know Paul is well now. Hope you are also now getting better. Mom, too is going thru some ‘stuff’, so we are not able to comment or write to you that often now, but we do read every blog post. Our best wishes to you and your family. Love, Mom and I

  45. I am so sorry that Paul has been ill and you have been going through all of this! Hopefully everything will keep getting better and better. Perth sounds like a wonderful place to live.

  46. Wow, lots of news! We’ll all be thinking about you and Paul. I’m sure he’ll recover fully in no time. anywhere in Australia sounds like a great place to live to me! I would probably prefer quieter Perth as well though.

  47. Pursuit says:

    Hi Honey and hello to Hsin-Yi and Dad too (And Muesli, but she’s probably too busy being a Diva to read this. You can read it out loud to her if you like). Wow, these last couple of months must have been just crazy with stress and worry for your mom and dad. Lucky they have you and Muesli to keep them smiling when things were bad. I’m so relieved to hear Paul has a diagnosis which, at least, has an optimistic prognosis. I can only imagine how worried he remains but think his determination and underlying excellent health will go a long way toward his making a full recovery. Hugs and prayers for all of you. Pursuit

  48. I am so glad to hear that Paul is feeling better. Good luck for your move to Perth. I hope to head west again towards the end of this year or early next year to visit my brother in Albany (5 hours drive away – phew), where a lot of Perth people go to escape the heat of summer. I remember thinking you would enjoy it there as long as you can find a place with air-conditioning! Good lucki!

  49. Anne and Badger the Deerhound says:

    Tell Paul to get all well SOON, because it’s time to start getting excited about moving to Perth and starting a whole new adventure! Only — I thought you really wanted to go back to New Zealand, Honey! Oh well, anywhere your humans are is home, right? And it looks much nicer than Sydney. Hope your humans are both feeling better now — physically and emotionally. Love, Badger the Deerhound.

  50. Oh, no! We are so sorry to hear about Paul’s illness. Glad that it seems like a one-off condition. We play for his quick full recovery!

  51. Janne & Ais says:

    Hsin-Yi, I sent you an e-mail a few days before, did it reach you? There is some quite funny medicine, which repairs those nerve cells! I myself was nearly blind on one eye because of an optic nerve inflammation, but now I can see again! I wish Paul a very soon recovery!

  52. 2browndawgs says:

    Good luck with your move. That is quite a distance. I can’t wait to read about Perth. Hope Paul is feeling better and better.

  53. Dr. Liz says:

    We’ll keep our paws crossed that Paul gets better and there is no permanent damage! Perth looks lovely we’re all about the ‘relaxed, laid back’ lifestyle! Mom HATES big cities! So keep us posted and we’ll be thinking you good thoughts!

    *kissey face*
    -Fiona and Abby the Hippobottomus

  54. Oh dear we are so sorry to hear that Paul has not been well and at the same time Honey was sick too. :( Gosh when it rains it pours. Now that Honey is doing better we hope Paul will soon recover and get back to good health as well. We hope your new home in Perth will bring you all much peace happiness and good health :)

  55. So sorry to hear about Paul’s illness right at the heel of Honey’s eye problems. It’s OK to cry sometimes. Meanwhile take care of yourself. Pray that Paul will recover quickly and your plans to go west will be a reality.

  56. jet says:

    I hope Paul recovers quickly! Also, I know you are reading all this nice stuff about Perth but it’s very expensive to rent and I am not sure I believe the ‘access to beach AND forest’ within a 30 minute drive of the city!! πŸ˜‰ And PS I forgive you for making generalisations about cyclists as long as you promise not to almost run me over in your car when I am riding Kings Park… πŸ˜‰ thanks!

    • bighoneydog says:

      Hah! Yeah, I know – I’m sure the tourism sites always make it sound better than the reality…but whatever it is, I’m still pretty sure that it will suit us better than Sydney! :-)

      Oh – I wasn’t talking about ALL cyclists! Just the crazy psycho ones in Brisbane! :-) And if you’d ever met them, you’d totally agree with me. We were warned about them when we arrived there. A lot of the pathways are “shared zones” between pedestrians & cyclists – except that the cyclists tend to ride at CRAZY speeds down the paths – really dangerous, considering that people with children might be walking on them – and they get really aggressive if you’re on the path and you don’t quickly move out of their way – unnecessarily aggressive. And you know what it’s like when you have a large dog – you can’t always move out of the way very quickly! So I certainly didn’t appreciate being sworn at by cyclists who were going past us at ridiculous speeds on a public footpath – just because I couldn’t move Honey off the path fast enough. It isn’t just a dog thing – Imagine if I had a baby stroller or a toddler with me! So I stand by what I said – the crazy cyclists in Brisbane are a menace!!

      Oh – and as for driving, no cyclist has to ever worry about me! πŸ˜‰ I’m the original chicken driver – and I’m terrified when I see a cyclist on the road. I give them such wide berthe that I’m practically driving in the other lane and cause a pile-up behind me because I’m driving so slowly in order to crawl carefully past the cyclist – if I decide to try to pass them! Half the time I end up crawling along behind them! So yeah, if you ever meet me driving when you’re on a bike, you’d probably run ME over – ha! ha!


  57. Mina&Maks&Mo says:

    Dear Honey,

    it’s just awful what happend to Paul, especially after all the effort, time, dedication he put into his education. I’m so sad you all have to go through this horrible time, but I am very positive and I do believe that he’ll get better very soon. Hold on there and just don’t give up.

    It’s quiet difficult to say something cheerful, but I do like your hopefully forever home really much. It’s amazing, I like the beaches, the green parks and so much space it has. It seems really like the place you lived when you were in New Zealand. Hope it will turn out fine, and you’ll settle there quickly and you’ll be able to enjoy some nice weather and nice together walks on the beaches and in the parks.

    My thoughts are with you and I hope for the best possible news.

    Lots of love,

  58. Oskar says:

    We send you prayers for Paul’s quick recovery!

    Nubbin wiggles & hugs,
    Oskar & Pam

  59. Cheryl and Bella Sue says:

    OMG you guys now wonder everyone has been stressy. I pray for Paul to have a swift recovery and back to his old self soon! You will love Perth, my Nieces live there and adore the place!

  60. Lisa says:

    What a stressful time for you Honey and your family. Do you know yet where you will live in Perth? I’m a 7 yr old Dane and would love to show you a few extra nice spots to enjoy in Perth! I’ve got my paws crossed all will come together for the big move and it will fast track the recovery for your dad and give your mum a bit of peace too. Sending slobbery kisses. Odie. My mum Lisa says hi too. She also says if you have a choice of places and want to bounce ideas off her as to which you’re most likely to be happy please ask and she’ll give you her phone number to chat.

    • Suzanne says:

      You guys are going to LOVE Perth and all the awesome Danes and Daney people here too!!

    • bighoneydog says:

      Oh, thank you so much, Odie for your lovely message! We are not sure yet where we will be living in Perth – but probably somewhere close to the centre because Paul will need to be near the hospital where he will be working. Hsin-Yi has found some temporary petfriendly accommodation for us to stay in the first few weeks and then my humans are going to look for somewhere to rent…but they want to get to know all the neighbourhoods first and not rush into things, as they did in Sydney! πŸ˜‰

      Thanks again for your lovely welcome and hope to meet up with you sometime once we’re settled.

      Honey the Great Dane

      • Lisa says:

        Yep, great plan! We are very central and close to the coast so we’ll easily be able to do a walk together when you get here. Don’t worry central in WA is still leafy green suburbs : )

  61. Karolina says:


    I read your blog for about two and half years. I send you a comments only one time because my english is not so good especially in writing πŸ˜‰ but I decided to put one more note.
    I’m starting read your blog when I loss my dane Kaszmir, but I love to follow your adventures still because I can explore with you a wonderful part of the world that are very far from the Poland (central part of Europe). One of my greatest wishes is to be in Australia. I have a family in Perth so I hope that someday we will meet there.
    Going back to yours adventures: you know, I plan vacation in France using the comment of Hsin-Yi.
    I love to travel and taste a variety of regional dishes, and many of places I judge on restaurants, which is why the Hsin-Yi councils are priceless.

    Warm Regards from cold Poland πŸ˜€

    • Jessica says:

      I’m so sorry to hear of Paul’s illness. It sounds quite a bit like a disease we have here in the States called Lyme disease (which can affect humans and pups!). It is caused by a bite from the deer tick. Sending healing thoughts from Colorado.

      Best regards,


We'd love to hear your thoughts... (You can comment using your Facebook or Twitter account too!)

  • * Don't worry if your comment disappears - it's probably gone into the Spam folder but we'll fish it out!