# 17 Make room for what you love most

Our day one dog, JC, on our way to the beach at Taiwhakaea.

Our day one dog, JC, on our way to the beach at Taiwhakaea.

One is a pet, three is an adventure

We have three dogs. Our day one dog, JC, had 10 puppies, and we kept two, Hulk and Twitch. JC came to us around 9 weeks old, and from the start we knew we weren't a small breed kind of couple.

Last night we checked on the dogs before going to bed. There are two kennels, which was ok when the pups were smaller, but now it might be time to get another one. At 6 months, they're already as tall as JC, who is typical Labrador build. Luckily they grew up on biscuits and have kept a lean, almost pig-dog type build. 

JC was lying on the day bed, already half asleep. The boys were waiting for us on the top step, curious as ever. Something about patting dogs, especially when they are calm and ready for sleep, that brings about a wave of peace over me. No matter how stressed I was that day, cuddling with our dogs (even when they're in need of a bath), makes me happy. It's like effortless love. 

Lucky for us, the dogs love the beach, and during the summer months, they have been loving the water. I remember Morgan going in about knee deep, and all three dogs stood by his legs. JC was to his left, and the pups hiding behind his legs! In one invisible frame, my eyes captured a priceless moment and I felt overwhelmingly blessed.

Bargains at the Sunday Market

At the Whakatane Sunday Market we bumped into a couple we met at a party in Manawahe, and they had a stall with sweetcorn, courgettes, kamokamo and apple cucumbers. It was excess from their garden, spray free and picked that morning. We ended up going back to get some more and gave some to friends.

Shopping locally, or from produce markets brings back a great sense of community. I used to have a vege garden a couple of years ago, but haven't had one due to the dogs doing a lot of 'digging' on our yard. Maybe I will get onto a raised garden soon. 

Eating seasonal produce is easier on the budget, and with the summer almost over, I'm going to make the most of it.

Ronna Grace Funtelar

A thirtyish storyteller, hobby hiker, photography and sunrise enthusiast with a passion for mindfully helping others live beyond their comfort zone.