The Australian Shepherd FAQ

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Strangers approach me on an almost daily basis and ask about my dog. I’ve heard questions like “what breed is he?”, “will he stay this size?” or “where can I get one?” countless times and if I’d get a dollar for every time someone took a picture of Lumos I’d be rich, well not really rich but you get my point. I figured it was time to answer some of these questions on here.


Everyone, meet my lovely dog Lumos:

Blue Merle Australian Shepherd


  • Name: Lumos (von Blue Sansibar)
  • Date of birth: January 26th 2017
  • Breed: Australian Shepherd
  • Color: Blue Merle
  • Hobbies: running, sleeping, chasing other dogs

 


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  • Q: Do all Aussies look like Lumos?

  • A: No, Aussies come in four different colors:

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Red Merle Australian Shepherd

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Blue Merle Australian Shepherd

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Red tri Australian Shepherd

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Q: Do Aussies shed a lot?

A: Yes, they are heavy shedders and need to be brushed frequently.


 Q: Is it okay to keep an Aussie in the city?

 A: This is my personal view but Lumos lived in big cities all his life ( first Berlin, now London) and he does not seem to mind. He likes busy areas and tube rides.


Q: Do they need a lot of “outside time”?

A: Lumos enjoys being outside, however he also likes to sleep (all dogs sleep a lot). Some days we only go out for a quick walk around the block and he does not seem to care much on other days we go out for hours and he actually gets tired quite easily.


Q: Is it normal for them to have different colored eyes?

A: Yes, it’s very common for Australian Shepherds to have different colored or even split colored eyes. On Blue Merle they tend to be blue/brown where as on Red Tri and Red Merle they tend to be amber/turquoise. 

heterochromia on Australian Shepherd


Q: Are Aussies good with children and other animals?

A: Lumos is great with kids and other animals, my flatmates have a cat and a newborn and he is very good with both. 


Q: Do they have strong instincts?

A: Lumos has a strong herding instinct, he will try to round up other dogs, kids or people. He does not have a strong hunting instinct, he sometimes chases small birds for fun, however he does not “hunt”.


Q: Are they a healthy breed?

A: Yes, they are relatively healthy for a medium sized breed, however they tend to get bad eyes when they get older.


Q: How heavy do they get?

A: Lumos is small for an Aussie, he’s about 17kg. Normally males are around 23kg and females around 18kg.


Q: Are Australian Shepherds noisy?

A: Lumos hardly barks inside but when we are at the park he barks at other dog in order to get them to move and play with him. This is typical herding behavior for Aussies. He also is quite “talkative” and he will definitely tell you when he is not happy.


 

I hope this answered most of your questions, if you have any more you can comment below or visit Lumos’ Instagram page (@lumostheaussie).

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Blue Merle Australian Shepherd

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4 tips for dog owners in London

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It was never really a question if I would bring Lumos to London with me. He has been with me since he was 8 weeks old and he definitely is part of my family. A month after I moved here I brought him over. It all worked out , however I wish I knew a few things before I moved here.

1. Public transport is free for your furry friend

As long as you are able to carry your dog on the escalators you are allowed to bring them to the tube. They have to be on a lead, but there are no rules besides that. I was really worried that Lumos would be scared of riding the tube, but he is totally relaxed and usually sleeps during the ride. One thing you should be aware of is that while some people will love your dog and will ask to pet it, others might be scared of dogs.

2. You can let them run off lead in most parks

Unless a park specifically says to keep your dog on a lead, they are allowed to run around. London has many big parks and most of them are super dog friendly.

Here are Lumos’ favorite parks and green spaces:

  • Hampstead Heath
  • Battersea Park
  • Wimbledon Common

Australian ShepherdAustralian Shepherd runningDogs playing with tennis ballDogs playing at hampstead heathHampstead Heath in autumn

 

3. Areas like Chelsea, Shoreditch and Hampstead are really dog friendly

I originally got a dog because I always wanted one and living in Berlin at the time I saw all these dogs in coffee shops, restaurants and parks and it really made me jealous. Berlin is one of the most dog friendly cities.

When I first moved to London I found it very hard to bring my dog with me as many places don’t allow dogs. Now that I’ve been here for 9 months I know which areas are more likely to be dog friendly and which aren’t.

Shoreditch is by far the most dog friendly area. All the pop-up stores, vintage stores and coffee shops allow you to bring your dog. People there are really excited to have dogs in their venues and always give Lumos cuddles (and sometimes even treats).

Hampstead is located in the North of London and I’d say most people there own a dog. It’s very nice to grab a coffee or a bite there after a long walk through the Heath.

Chelsea is one of the “poshest” areas in London and many people there have a dog (though most dogs there are “handbag dogs”). You can bring your dog to most shops, including Zara, and most coffee shops too.

I will write a separate blog post on my favorite dog friendly coffee shops soon.

Spaniel at coffee shop

Blue Merle Australian shepherdAustralian Shepherd in Shoreditch

4. Get insurance for your dog

Where I’m from vet costs are really low compared to other countries, that’s why I never really thought about getting health insurance for Lumos. But when I moved to the UK and Lumos had his first visit to the vet I knew why people would get insurance for their pets.

Vet bills here can be REALLY high! I recently paid over  £120 for antibiotics and a check up. So do yourself a favor and get insurance for your pet, even though this might seem expensive too, it’s worth it. I’ve heard about several dogs who needed emergency treatment and the bill was more than  £2000, luckily their insurance covered the whole bill.

 

Bring back the 70’s!

I am currently OBSESSED with 1970’s clothing. Flared jeans, pinafore dresses, dungarees, everything screaming 70’s!

I recently went to Paris with two of my friends (I will upload a blog post on this shortly) and one of them had these really cool flared denims in mustard and combined with my outfit we looked like we walked straight out of 1973.

My outfit:

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70s look

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A day trip to Lisbon + my favorite cafés

daytrip to Lisbon

A few weeks ago my best friend Rabea and I went to Portugal together. Although we stayed in Cascais and not directly in Lisbon we went to the city a couple of times during our stay. I had never been to Portugal before and I did not really know what to expect. But I felt immediately at home in Lisbon. 

The cobbled streets and the tiled houses make this city so incredibly beautiful and a bit magical. Not to mention all the delicious food like the little custard tarts called pastel de nata. We walked about 12km in total during each of our day trips to Lisbon but the city is so pretty that you don’t even want to take the Metro.

When we went there it was about 26 degrees Celsius, which was the perfect weather. We walked around the city, sat down by the water and had brunch at some of the cutest cafes I’ve ever seen.

If you like little shops, cute cafes and amazing architecture and history,  then Lisbon is definitely a city you should visit at least once.

Old man at the beach in Lisbon / PortugalStreets of Lisbon / PortugalCocktail stand at the pier in Lisbon / PortugalView over Lisbon / PortugalFrontlawn in Lisbon / PortugalStreet of Lisbon / PortugalPastries in a window display in Lisbon / Portugalold Tram in Lisbon / PortugalBig house in Lisbon / PortugalGirl walking through Lisbon / PortugalBlue tiled house in Lisbon / PortugalHouses and stairs in Lisbon / PortugalPlaza in Lisbon / Portugal

And as promised here are some of my favorite Cafes in Lisbon:

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Dear Breakfast is located near the Metro station Cais do Sodré. You will have to walk up the hill and there you will find the amazing location of Dear Breakfast.The cafe is inside an old building with low ceilings but an interesting, cathedral like architecture. We went there for brunch but you could also stop by for just a coffee.

Dear Breakfast

  • R. Gaivotas 17 | 1200-719 Lisbon
  • Opening hours:  9:00 – 16:00
  • Instagram: @dearbreakfast

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You will find Nicolau right in the center of Lisbon, the nearest Metro station is Baixa-Chiado. There might be a waiting list, as this is a popular place for tourists. We had to wait 15 minutes and stayed for a drink before we continued our sight seeing trip (we went to Dear Breakfast earlier that day so we were already full and didn’t get the chance to try their food).

  • Opening hours:  08:30–20:00
  • Instagram: @nicolaulisboa

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Fauna & Flora was definitely my favorite. It is close to Cais do Sodré Metro station located in a residential neighborhood. We went there twice as we loved it so much. I had the avocado toast with mushrooms which was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and the other time I had the  açaí bowl ( which is always my favorite since it reminds me of Brazil) and of course I had an iced latte with soy milk both times. The first time we had to wait for a few minutes but the location is so cute that we didn’t mind. Both times we stayed there for quite a while as we just enjoyed sitting there. I will 100% go there again when I’m back in Lisbon as this has to be one of my favorite cafes in the world so far!

  • Rua da Esperança 33 | 1200-655 Lisbon
  • Opening hours: 9:00 – 19:00
  • Instagram: @faunafloralisboa

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If you want to see more pictures of my trip to Portugal please check out this blog post I did which featured some of the pictures we took in Portugal and feel free to check out my Instagram

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Restaurant Review: Bill’s Westfield

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View from the window of Bill's westfield

Bill's Westfield interior

Interior Bill's westfield

Watermelon juice at Bill's WestfieldMushroom, nut and carrot wellingtonAncient grain bowl at Bill's WestfieldAncient Grain Bowl at Bill's WestfieldLemon meringue roulade at Bil's westfieldMelting banoffee sundae at Bill's Westfield

Bar at Bill's Westfield

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[ Advertisement – I was not paid to write this post and review the place, however I received complimentary food and drinks]

I got offered the opportunity to review the Bill’s at Westfield shopping center. I’ve never been to any Bill’s restaurant before so I was very excited. The first thing I noticed was the interior which had this cute retro, exotic holiday style. We were offered a table right next to a big window and with the current weather here (30 degree Celsius) it felt like I was in some restaurant on an exotic vacation.

We ordered drinks and it took us quite a while to choose since they had so many nice options. In the end I went for a watermelon, raspberry and peach juice and my friend had a apple, carrot and ginger juice.

We didn’t order any starters since it was 12:30am and we already had breakfast.

I choose the Ancient grain bowl with additional halloumi and she chose the carrot, mushroom and cashew nut Wellington.

The grain bowl was great as I am the kind of person who doesn’t get full by only eating a salad, so the mix of rice, buckwheat and millet was perfect for me. I was surprised by their big variety of vegetarian dishes, as normally you will only find one or two vegetarian dishes.

When we entered we were asked for allergies and when I ordered the ancient grain bowl and asked to exclude the red pepper they were happy to change this right away.

For dessert I had the melting banoffee sundae which tasted like heaven ( !!! ) the caramel wasn’t too sweet and the cookies and the fresh banana really tasted amazing. My friend had the lemon meringue roulade which was topped with passion fruit and it looked so yummy.

Overall I had a great experience at Bill’s Westfield and I can only recommend it.

I know I will be back there soon ( I’m still dreaming about that banoffee sundae! )

 

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3 white mini dresses I loved this summer

White summer dresses

Summer is peaking and I might be a bit late but I definitely wanted to show my favorite summer trend with you. Short, shorter, the dresses this summer! Which is kinda nice for me since at my height EVERY dress looks suuuuper short.

I went to Portugal last week (blog post will be up soon) and it was the perfect time to wear all my favorite summer outfits. Besides jumpsuits dresses were my favorite pieces of clothing this summer.

The three outfits below are of my three favorite white mini dresses. I found two of them on sale at Asos and the other one at Zara. I love to pair them with either some cute sandals or either biker or some suede boots. On the last outfit I wore flip flops because I hurt my foot while in Portugal.

You don’t need to wear much else as I think they look the best if styled really simple. Maybe out your hair up in a ponytail and add a scarf, wear some jewelry and that’s it – Your summer look is ready!

Here’s a little life hack from me: Always wear some running shorts underneath so you don’t have to worry about sitting down or getting out of a car. No-one will ever know!

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white summer dressflowy white summer dresswhite summer dress with suede boots

Dress: Crescent (dress is sold out but here is a different colored version)

Shoes: Sold out but here is a similar pair 

white summer dress worn in portugal

white summer dress with miu miu sunglasses

white summer dress in cascaisPalmtrees and white summer dress from ZaraWhite mini dress from Zara

Dress: Zara (sold out but here are two similar dresses) 1 and 2

Shoes: Same as in the first outfit

Necklace: Bagatiba (sold out but here is a similar one) 

Sunglasses: Miu Miu

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Dress: Asos

Shoes: Hawaianas

Sunglasses and long necklace: same as in previous

Short necklace: Malaika Raiss

A day trip to Lake Como

Day trip to Lake ComoView of Lake ComoItalian houses at lake comoMoonriver Jumpsuit and rattan bagStreets in BellagioMoonriver striped jumpsuitPostcard and news stand at Lake ComoBellagio at Lake ComoOld hotel at lake Comoboating on lake comoView of Bellagio

One of the (more or less) hidden gems of Europe is Lake Como. Located in the north of Italy, about 40 minutes away from Milan, the lake is becoming more and more popular or it’s beauty, nature and it’s luxury hotels.

I first went to Como in 2016 and when I planned my trip to Milan this year I definitely wanted to go back to Como.

You can take the train from Milano Centrale to either Lecco or Varenna, it takes you about 40 minutes to get there. We decided to go to Lecco and then take the ferry to Bellagio and then to Varenna from where we took the train back to Milan. In Lecco we had some icecream at Groms (one of their stores has just opened in Piccadilly) and then we had a coffee at the ferry house. The ferry to Bellagio takes about an hour but it is definitely worth it. Bellagio has many colorful houses and it is really pretty. We went to a restaurant, had some pasta and then went to a walk across the town. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t too good that day. It started to rain and we decided to take the ferry back to Varenna.

Even though we just went for a few hours it was definitely worth it and I will come back again next year.

 

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