Dingo Hoooowling, Itchy Wombats & my Lobster Encounter!

IMG_1735When my human, Hsin-Yi’s BFF, Susie, came to stay with us recently from overseas, it was the first time she had ever been to Australia. So of course, we had to take her to go meet some native Aussies! :-)

There is a lovely place called the Caversham Wildlife Park just outside Perth which my humans had been wanting to check out as well – so they thought this was a great excuse to go altogether.

Sadly, doggies are not allowed in the park ‘coz it would make the animals stressy – so I couldn’t go. Anyway, I’m sort of glad I didn’t ‘coz can you see what Hsin-Yi was wearing?? Her Giant Embarrassing Hat that she got in Taiwan last year!!

Like lots of Chinese humans, Hsin-Yi is paranoid about getting sunshine on her skin so she’s always trying to find ways to cover up…but seriously, that hat is awful. (I will show you more pictures of it another time – from other angles. *shudder*)

Me & Paul walk very far from Hsin-Yi and pretend we don’t know her when she goes out on our walks with us wearing that hat!!! :twisted:

Well, as soon as my humans walked into the park, they met the most famous critter from Australia: the kangaroo!

Caversham Wildlife Park

The kangaroos in the park were SO tame – they just lay around snoozing or hopped around, completely unbothered by all the humans walking around them – and you could even feed them some special kangaroo pellets too from a bucket provided.

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IMG_1749There were some beautiful white ones. My humans thought at first that they were “albinos” but then a park keeper told them that no, these were specially bred white kangaroos – somebody had just decided one day to breed some white ones for fun.

But now they always have to stay in the park because the white gene is actually a “dominant gene” – this means that if a white kangaroo mates with any other colour kangaroo, the babies will always be white – and so this is dangerous because they could turn all the natural populations of kangaroos into white very quickly!

And of course, white is not a very practical colour in the wild (well, unless you’re in Antarctica! ;-) ) and so they would not survive – for example, they would get skin cancer really quickly from the pink skin on their ears and nose and stuff.

They were really beautiful to look at though – especially the joeys (babies)!

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They were scratching-scratching-scratching all the time though. Gosh, my humans said they never realised kanagroos were such itchy creatures! Even the baby joeys who hopped out of their mummy’s pouches would be scratching-scratching-scratching! My humans asked the keepers if they had fleas or something but they said no, this was just what normal kangaroos do! :P

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Baby joey scratching itself!

Well, after the kangaroos, my humans wandered around the park meeting all the different critters from around Australia – including some really weird & wonderful ones!

the famous 'Laughing Kookaburra' (which is actually from the kingfisher family)

the famous ‘Laughing Kookaburra’ (which is actually from the kingfisher family)

the spotted tail Quoll

the Spotted Tail Quoll

Hsin-Yi meeting a Spotted Python - she loves snakes and even got to stroke him!

Hsin-Yi meeting a Spotted Python – she loves snakes and even got to stroke him!

Fruit bats! One of Hsin-Yi's favourites...

Fruit bats! One of Hsin-Yi’s favourites…she thinks they’re so cute!

colourful parrots, cockatoos and galahs

colourful Parrots, Cockatoos and Galahs

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the real “Aussie doggie” – the Dingo!

Do you know – we never realised Dingos howl? My goodness, what a racket they make! Here’s a little movie that Hsin-Yi took of them howling…as you can see at the end of the movie, I wasn’t very impressed! Hee! hee!

If the movie doesn’t play, try here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVcdHV5hJYM

a potoroo

a little Potoroo – sort of like a cross between a kangaroo & a giant rat!

the famous "Saltie"! (saltwater crcododile - this is just a baby one)

the famous “Saltie”! (saltwater crcododile – this is just a baby one)

a Barking Owl

a Barking Owl

Paul meeting a Bob-tail Lizard...

Paul meeting a Bob-tail Lizard…

the Emu

the Emu

the possum (everyone always tells us that the Aussie ones are much cuter than the American ones - is this true?)

Susie meeting Buttercup the possum (everyone always tells us that the Aussie ones are much cuter than the American ones – is this true?)

a Tawny Frogmouth - weirdest looking bird ever!!

a Tawny Frogmouth – weirdest looking bird ever!!

the Southern Hairy-Nose Wombat

Neil the Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat

a little Sooty Owl - he was Paul's absolute favourite! He was called "Neo" - isn't that the perfect name for him? Hsin-Yi thinks he looks like something out of a Tim Burton movie!

a little Sooty Owl – he was Paul’s absolute favourite! He was called “Neo” – isn’t that the perfect name for him?

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Hsin-Yi thinks he looks like something out of a Tim Burton movie!

The park had a special place where you could get “up close & personal” with the koalas – you could even pet them! (very gently, on their backs only) My humans were told to be very careful not to touch the eucalyptus leaves, though, coz otherwise you get your yucky human oils from your fingers onto the leaves and the koalas think that’s stinky and then they won’t eat the leaves! ;-)

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Caversham Wildlife Park-001

To be honest, my humans found the koalas a bit boring. They looked cute but they just didn’t do anything! They just sat  hunched over in the branches, looking very sleepy ;-) The keepers said this is because they eat a very poisonous food (eucalyptus leaves) – and that’s all they eat – and so they have to keep all their energy to do the “de-toxing” – plus it’s not really very nutritious so they don’t get a lot of energy out of the leaves. What a dumb thing to eat then, don’t you think? But Hsin-Yi says evolution doesn’t always plan everything properly! ;-)

IMG_1908Well, the highlight of the day for my humans was actually meeting the Wombats!

Everybody always says that wombats are really grumpy creatures and you have to be very careful and they can get mean and nasty…but oh, they always look so adorable – like big, cuddly pig-bears!

Well, the wombats that my humans met at the park were lovely and friendly. There was one called Eddie who was the star of one of the shows and everybody could go up to have a picture with him. You could even pat him very gently – although only on his back legs.

Eddie was so placid and cuddly – he almost didn’t look like a real wombat! Don’t you think he looks like a giant stuffie? ;-) There are several different types of wombats – Eddie is a Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat.

Like all Aussie mammals, wombats are ‘marsupials’ which means that they carry their babies in a pouch on their tummy. They are also ‘nocturnal’ which means they mostly sleep in the day and come out at night – they’re quite shy and not really sociable – in fact, can you believe that when the European Settler Humans first came to Australia, they didn’t even notice that wombats were around for 10 years?! :P

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Wombats look so cute & cuddly and lots of people wish they could keep them as pets – especially when they’re babies! – but they make awful pets coz as they get older, they get less & less friendly, quite grumpy and even dangerous! And they’re awfully strong and can destroy everything – tear their way through doors, fences & doors.

My humans had heard a lot about the grumpy reputation of wombats so they were really surprised when the wombats they met at the park were so lovely and friendly! It was probably because these wombats had been socialised with humans from babies and had some special humans that they trusted as their friends…the best one was a wombat called Neil who started playing with his keeper while my humans were visiting his enclosure. Hsin-Yi made a little movie to show you…all that backing up & spinning around is apparently “wombat play”…my humans loved him and thought he was adorable :D

If the movie doesn’t play, try here: http://youtu.be/E7IkVHhOD_w

If you want to find out more about wombats, check out this great site here: www.wombania.com/wombats

Well, I hope you enjoyed going along with my humans on their visit to the wildlife park and meeting some Aussie critters. So which one was your favourite?

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Oh – and although I didn’t get to go along to the park, I did have a wildlife encounter of my own recently…with a New Orleans lobster!! ;-)

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It was actually a stuffie toy sent by my friend, Grendel the Black Dane who lives in Florida. Isn’t it so nice of him?

Honey-smileWell, it’s actually a weird stuffie coz it has no stuffing in it! 8-O It’s supposed to be specially made for doggies who might eat the stuffing inside and end up at the emergency vets…pretty good idea, huh?

I do like to pull out the stuffing on my stuffies although I never eat it. I just spit it out all over the room and make a big mess – hee! hee!

Grendel’s human, Melanie, went to New Orleans on holiday and got this toy for me when she was there (she got one for Grendel too) – isn’t that so sweet of her? And Melanie has been AMAZING and helping Hsin-Yi LOTS with her book – sending her encouraging emails and reading each chapter and discussing plot & characters…and just being the most awesome friend! We don’t think our book would ever have been written if it wasn’t for Melanie! :D

Big Honey Dog book update:

Speaking of the book…Hsin-Yi is writing the last chapter!!!! :P She hopes to finish it by the end of this weekend. Then she’ll start revising it and then sending it out to some beta readers…

Oh! And we might have some very exciting plans for my book…so stay tuned!

Manuscript progress:

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33 Responses to Dingo Hoooowling, Itchy Wombats & my Lobster Encounter!

  1. Cathy R says:

    Oh, Honey! Thanks for the wombat video! I’ve never seen one in action before. He was quite the goof-ball, wasn’t he? What do wombats eat?

    You are absolutely correct – American possums are scary, nasty, bitey, hissy creatures. I love all animals, but there isn’t much to love about American possums. I grew up in swampy Louisiana and they used to come into our yard at night. They tried to beat up our dog on several occasions. My mom was really brave, though, and ran them off with a flashlight and a big stick.

    OK, there is one cute thing about American opossums… the mama will carry all of her babies on her back when they get too big for her pouch. They hang off of her tail.

    • bighoneydog says:

      Hi Cathy – we’re glad you enjoyed the video! :-) According to this page (Wombat Diet) wombats are herbivores and eat lots of different grasses and also dig up roots of trees & bushes and things, plus they like mushrooms & other fungi too! And they like vegetables too sometimes.

      Gosh, the American possum does sound a bit scary & unlovable!! And they attack doggies?? Yikes! But oh – the picture of all the babies on the mother’s back is adorable! :-)

      Slobbers,
      Honey the Great Dane

  2. When that little Wombat ran backwards and smacked into that wall I thought I would choke laughing so hard. That was adorable!!!

  3. Seriously made Mom miss home today. Mom worked for W.I.R.E.S (wildlife rescue service) for many years as a volunteer – raising young kangaroos then their Moms were hit by trucks. She raised a white one but yes they are albino’s. Hers came from a grey Mom and had bright red eyes. He went to Adelaide zoo as they tend to go blind very quickly where he lived a long and happy life

    • bighoneydog says:

      Oh wow – how COOL to have done what your Mom did and help raise orphaned kangaroos. It must have been such a rewarding job!

  4. Melanie & Grendel says:

    Note to self — never, ever buy property anywhere near a dingo. My lord, that was loud and creepy! I loved the look on your face, Honey…. and towards the end it was like you and Muesli were trying to figure out how to make it stop ;-).

    Glad you like your “stuffless” stuffie :-).

  5. Judith Barbuto says:

    Dear Honey and Hsin-Yi. I am so excited about your book. I would love to be a beta reader if you still need some. I am retired so I have lots of time to do things I love. Watching you, Honey, and reading your blog give me so much pleasure. Thank you.

  6. Toni Etim says:

    Honey all so cool… look like lots of fun see all the different critters …the best part was you, computer, and Dingo and you trying to find out where it was coming from and what it was so funny! Thank you for sharing all the great pics.. i just love your blog get to see new stuff and learn new thing all the time with you so thank you so much for that ….and just cant wait to read Hsin-Yi.. Book… i just no it going to be great !

    Hugges and Kisses
    Zeus & Toni

  7. Angela Bethell says:

    Love this blog. Thanks for sharing the videos… I love animals. Actually, Hsin-Yi is the only other female I know of that likes snakes and bats!! Two of my favorite creatures. :) My daughter is 23 now but when she was in elementary and middle school I took our Python to her school EVERY year and did the Great American Teach-In on snakes and bats.

    • bighoneydog says:

      Oh wow – finally – another person who likes snakes & bats! So happy to meet you – ha! ha! :-) I always feel a bit like an odd-one-out when I confess my love of the creatures that most other people would scream & run away from! ;-) What was your Python’s name? Was it a boy or a girl? How long do they live to?

      Hsin-Yi

      • Angela says:

        I know… my friends will confess love for dolphins, cheetahs, etc.. and I’m like “bats” and “snakes” are really cool. LOL My python was male, his name was Damien. We had him from a couple months old until he was 15 years and about 5 feet long. They live approximately 20 years. When my daughter left for college my husband and I started traveling more and I felt like Damien was always alone so he is now living his retirement years at a zoo. I also had a prairie dog for 9 years. They’re kind of like the wombat in that as he got older he didn’t like people as much and would only let me hold him. His name was Kiko. Thanks again for keeping this blog. It always brings a smile to my face and I love learning about Australia. My husband and I are hoping to visit one day. It’s so beautiful!

  8. Dawn says:

    Hi Honey

    Thanks for the video. Max did not like the Dingo howling either though he doesn’t hear we’ll anymore ( he will be 16 on July 1). He used to howl like that once in a while but it sounds a lot like a wolf or husky. School is nearly done for the summer so I will have time to help with your book if you want a teacher perspective :-)

    Cheers
    Dawn

  9. Elisa says:

    Thanks for the lesson on native Aussie animals. Especially the “Bear-Pig”. Very strange looking birds.

  10. Gemma + Bailey says:

    There are some adorable pictures there! Out of the animals mentioned in this post, we have a few wallabies, a mating pair of laughing kookaburras, a couple of emus and plenty of different species of snakes at my college! As I live in England, I feel very lucky to have a chance to work with these animals (and many more that don’t feature in this post) for my course on a daily basis… walking round college is like walking round a miniature zoo :D

    Also, good luck with the book! :)

    • bighoneydog says:

      Oh wow, Gemma – we never realised you worked with so many cool animals! How lucky for you!! I wonder what those Aussie critters at your college make of the cold, damp English weather – hee! hee! Which one is your favourite out of the ones you work with?

      Slobbers,
      Honey the Great Dane

      • Gemma + Bailey says:

        It’s really a great opportunity :D I personally love the wallabies, recently we got a group of hand-reared Joeys who let us had feed and pet them which is cool! It keeps me busy though, doing that course at college and then coming home to look after my own critters, which includes snakes and geckos ;)

  11. Maria says:

    I’m so happy to have found your youtube and blog. Love the videos and all your adventures. Australia is beautiful and has so many wonderful animals. All the best to your Human Hsin-Yi and the book. I know it will be wonderful. Take good care of yourself. hugs from New York City, USA. Maria xoxoxo

  12. Niki says:

    LOVE the playful wombat video! So cute!!
    My Honey and Beau started howling with the dingo when we played that video, silly pups.
    Well done on the novel being nearly done! Good luck!
    Niki, Honey and Beau

    • bighoneydog says:

      Wow – Honey & Beau – you actually howled too? How cool! My human was hoping for that reaction from me but I just looked very puzzled! Hee! hee! :P

      Slobbers,
      Honey the Great Dane

  13. sprinkles says:

    Thank you to Hsin-Yi for sharing those pictures! It looks like a really cool place – I’ve never been to a wildlife park that allows you to actually touch some of the animals.

    My boys weren’t quite sure what to think of the howling Dingo’s. Their reaction was a lot like Honey’s.

    I think my favorite from all the animals shown here would be the wombat. The one looked like he was having fun playing with the keeper in your video.

    I’m excited to hear what big plans Hsin-Yi has for the book. Hopefully she’ll allow us a little preview!

  14. Hannah says:

    Thank you for taking the time to post all the beautiful Aussie animals! LOVED the Tim Burton owl!!!! I’ve never had the fortune of seeing an American possum in real life, but I’ve made the mistake of Googling them once. They have way too many teeth! NOT cute and cuddly at all like the Aussie possum! If you ever Google them, you’ll be glad thery are thousands of miles away!! :) And congrats on the last chapter~! Go, rockstar, go!

  15. Badger the Deerhound says:

    The dingo’s howling actually sound a lot like us Deerhounds when we all get together at a Specialty dog show and a firetruck or police siren starts up nearby — but my new little rescued Border Collie “sister,” Wren, could never bear this video; she came to us at the age of four not bothered by much of anything: thunder, gunfire, fireworks, lorries backfiring, that obnoxious “beep beep beep” when construction vehicles back up — NOTHING worried her, until one night some coyotes began howling in the distance and she FREAKED!! She ran from one end of the bedroom to the other, spun in circles, stared at the ceiling and the floor — poor thing. She must have had terrible run-ins with coyotes in her earlier life. But me — I think it’s music and I could listen all day. Also — you asked about Yankee possums, and you are so right: your possums are WAY cuter. My human had one on her farm a number of years ago who came to “visit” the chickens every night (hmm – wonder where those eggs went?) and would “play possum” when she came to close up the barn. Silly thing would be hanging from the chicken-wire wall, as if a dead animal could hang like that!!! No one was fooled, but my human would take the opportunity to pet him while he was “dead,” and he was very soft. But really not very cute — actually kind of creepy looking in the face. We like your Australian possum much better!

  16. Samantha says:

    Such lovely memories reading this post. I have only been to Australia once and spent limited time in Perth, but still saw a lot of this wildlife. And yes, one thing I really do remember is Australia has the cutest possums ever. In the US…not so much. Like not at all. I think technically we have opossums and I don’t know that they the same species as the Australian possums.

    Nim was unimpressed with the howling. Boy were they loud.

  17. Greta L. Radomski says:

    Hi, Honey
    Tell your human Hsin-Yi Thank you, for sharing the wonderful pictures of Caversham wild life park. It looks like Hsin-Yi and Paul and friends had a great time
    my favorite pictures were of the wombats and Tim Burton owl. “He also looks like the owls from the Harry Potter movies. I also like ” what the hell I love all the pictures and the videos they were all GREAT !!!!!” I do’nt have a favorite one. Australia seems like it is a beautiful place to live with alot of wonderful people and wildlife. Tell Hsin-Yi good luck with her book.

    Hugs and Kisses, Greta

  18. Interesting animals at the zoo. The aussie possum is way cooler than the american one. The american version one is scary looking. Loved your fun picture with you friend at the end of the post.

  19. Lilli says:

    Australian critters sure are peculiar. They are so unique. And most of them are so adorable! I wish I could someday come to Australia and see them myself. I don’t think there is quite many Australian wildlife in Zoos here because of the climate.
    Congratulations to Hsin-Yi about her book! I’m amazed how quickly the first draft took shape. I could never write that fast :D Even though I would have the time. But I’m lazy and not that good writer.
    Thank you for your comment about my singing. It’s always nice to know someone likes what I do because I’m most of the time very fussy about it. I don’t have lot of opportunities to perform to audience but I would really like to, so Youtube is like performing to somekind of audience. It’s still little bit wierd singing to camera (I really don’t know what I should do with my hands! :DD) but I’ll get use to it eventually, I hope. I’ll soon upload a video of the song ‘Colors of the Wind’ again, but in Finnish :) I really like the Finnish version of the song. In my opinion, It’s one of the best translated songs in Finnish.

    -Lilli-

  20. So many cool critters!!!!! Meowm likes all of them except for the snakes and bats. We think we would keep our distance from all of them! The Tawny Frogmouth looks more like an owl, than a regular bird. And yes, the Sooty Owl does look like a tim burton character!

  21. rhony says:

    Really beautiful pictures, and, as always, I love hearing about your latest adventures, Honey! :-) And yes, I’d have to agree that the “Aussie” Possum is much cuter than the ones we have here in America. :-)

  22. dawn and mikey the grey hound says:

    Happy Belated 4th of July Honey,

    I realize you are officially a Kiwi and living in Australia. I think of you as my renaissance doggy!
    I can’t believe I some how missed seeing this post in my email. You look adorable with a lobster head dress Honey. You are a fashionable dog, that is for sure. I didn’t think you were the type to eat the stuffing of your toys. The fun is spreading the plushy toys guts all over the house so your owner can find the pieces in the strangest of places. I would like to send you a prezzie— is there an address or P.O. Box that I could mail it to. I am not a stalker and live many miles away, and would have to cross the Pacific Ocean to creep and crawl around your neighborhood.
    Please tell Hsin-Yi that Poptarts just came out with a peanut butter Poptart. I remember her mentioning that she liked Poptarts. I have not tried the peanut butter treat because on the box it does not look all that appealing and I was wondering if she has tried it yet? I am still sticking with blueberry, strawberry and other fruity flavors. I guess I am playing it safe.
    I am sorry you didn’t get to hang with the bouncy kangaroo’s and other animals. I am shocked that anyone, including Hsin-Yi find the fruit bats cute. Yick! I would have underlined the word yick, or ick if I knew how. That way I could emphasize my complete and utter disgust at the bats. They are as gross as cockaroaches and so full of disease. Honey, you be sure you stay away from the bats and he roaches.
    If you want to see animal surprise, go to Youtube, and look up Impala escapes from Cheetahs in Krugar National Park in South Africa. Two Cheetahs were chasing a herd of Impala’s and about fifty of them leapt over the cars and ran into a forrest. One lone straggler got chased and ended up jumping into the open window of a Toyota SUV that had several people in it. One hears the thud of the Impala hitting the car, and it does make it inside the car. The Cheetahs wait outside the car for a second and than leave. The kids in the car let the Impala out after a while and go on their way. Some animals have the instinct to live and are smart. None are as smart as Honey, the Greatest Dane though.
    Slobbers and tail wags to you Honey,
    Dawn and Mikey the Grey Hound

  23. I think fruit bats are cute too!! Not many people think so, but I’ve always liked them. :) I also like crows which you mentioned in an earlier post. Maybe I just like the underdog hehe.

    The dingo video was awesome!!! Storm’s howl sounds similar to the closer dingo. I just love it! :)

    I did not know eucalyptus was toxic! I knew it wasn’t very nutritious which is why they don’t have energy but I did not know about the detoxifying. I learn something new every day. Cool!

    Oh and yes your possums over there are waaay cuter than our opossums! Google opossums if you want to see them. Most pictures are of them growling with their mouths open… not flattering lol.

    That wombat video was awesome too!

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