Friday, 29 April 2016

Whatever you want!

I was listening to the radio the other day and the presenters had asked a question. Normally I’m happy to listen to the opinions of others, but this time if I hadn’t been driving I would have phoned in to offer one of my own.

The question was what item of clothing would you ban? One woman called in and said she’d seen an elderly man on holiday wearing shorts. The shorts were fine, but he was wearing – shock horror - sandals and socks! He was also – aargh – wearing a vest!

But why the heck shouldn’t he wear socks with his sandals if he wants to? Why shouldn’t he wear a vest top? There was more of the same with people only too eager to call in and criticise the dress sense of others.

I thought of that man. Who are people to look at him and decide he’s wearing the wrong things? What do they know about him or his life? Hasn’t he earned the right to wear whatever he wants? That’s what I wanted to ring in and say.

I have several friends who have deleted their Facebook accounts for various reasons. I have taken a step back from mine over the past couple of weeks or so and I’m only logging in every couple of days, checking for private messages, then logging straight out again.  I won’t take the step of deleting it – not yet anyway.

I’m even finding myself warming to the less invasive Twitter.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Bin Day!

The gulls love bin day, especially if someone puts food in their black bags instead of putting it in the green food waste box.

This handsome lot were having a field day. The noise was fantastic, all the squealing and shouting. I knew as soon as I heard them that they'd found food.

If it hadn’t been the gulls tearing into the bag, it would have been the local cats, but they were all keeping well away.

Not everyone loves gulls. People complain about the noise and the mess and some even call for them to be killed because they are a nuisance, but I love them. I love the noise they make – even at 3 am on bin days if someone has put their rubbish out early and they hit the jackpot!

I think these were all herring gulls.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Vampire victim or stone?

As I’m kind of confined to barracks with Dusty at the moment, I’m relying heavily on the internet for the special bits and pieces I normally like to shop for.

I don’t always buy Writing Magazine, but I do pick it up now and then as a treat if I go out of town and I particularly wanted May’s issue as I knew Deborah Carr had a piece in there. Delighted to find I could buy a single copy online – so I did. A quick flick through the pages and I see three friends in there, Lynne Hackles, Deborah Carr and Susan Jones – all lovely writing folk. I think I am going to enjoy reading this issue!

How many nurses/phlebotomists does it take to get a couple of phials of blood out of a Teresa? I’ll tell you – six and no it wasn’t five to hold me down while one got the blood.

Have to say it wasn’t six all at once – it happened over about 6 weeks what with having to make another appointment with three different nurses at the surgery each time. I’ve always had awkward veins. Just the mere mention of a needle and they bury themselves deep.

They’ve tried in my arms, my wrist, my hands…

I was awash with water each time, so not dehydrated and I made sure I was warm.

This week I went to the phlebotomy department at the walk in centre twenty miles away (leaving Dusty in safe hands at home) and three lovely ladies tried to get blood – the third succeeded. They were so nice and very kind - and I came away without as much as a bruise which is very unusual for me. I’ve taken a photo of the sweet spot on my arm where the third lady struck gold so if I ever need another one I can show exactly where they need to look.

Must admit I felt like crying when I saw those little tubes fill with blood – at last!

Not looking for sympathy here, just thinking it’s a good example of, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Not that it was my success, but I was on the verge of giving up.

So whatever you're doing, if you want it badly enough, never give up! You'll get there in the end.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Spring - a new hope

Why did you wake me up?

Harley likes to relax inside the trampoline net. It’s her favourite spot and now Dusty isn’t allowed to chase the neighbourhood cats away (temporarily) she goes in there to feel safe.

I'm going back to sleep

I caught her mid yawn for this one and it made me happier than I can say. How clean her teeth look. I’m feeling very hopeful that we’re keeping on top of whatever it is that caused the massive build-up of tartar on her teeth when she was just a year old and which began to build up again quite quickly after they were cleaned.

Our vet suspects calicivirus even though tests for that were negative (tests can produce a false negative). We knew that things could get a lot worse and she may end up losing all her teeth – or she could just get over whatever it is. I was also resigned to the fact she would need to have her teeth cleaned annually. But she hasn't needed a dental since that first time. I’m not being complacent though and will always keep a close eye on her.

I’m keeping her on dental food as she prefers it to anything else and I will always sprinkle Plaque off (thank you again, Pat) on her food. Plus she has an l-lysine chew every day – I don’t know if that helps, but it is full of stuff that is good for her. She’s put weight on too - not too much, but she’s a lovely solid cuddle nowadays.

When Dusty is having his little slow walks round the garden, she hides in the bushes, then runs at him, boxes his ears and runs off again. She can’t understand why he doesn’t chase her and he doesn’t understand why he’s not allowed to.

So spring is here. A little bird told me so. A ladybird that is. There were two, but the other one was hiding under a leaf. What a welcome sight.

Hope spring has come to you too!

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

One Week Later...

Waiting for visitors

It is a week today since Dusty had his LPL operation. His wound is looking good – and when we went to our vet’s, she was very happy with him and said it couldn’t look better. We hadn’t seen her before, but she was absolutely lovely and made a huge fuss of Dusty which as you probably know, always goes down well with me.

Day 6

He had a special chewy as a reward for being brave when we got home. He shivered and shook all the way to the vet’s and I had to hold his tail out of the way when she looked at his wound as it was stuck firmly between his legs.

Reward for being brave

He’s using the leg a bit more now and is acting differently from how he was after the TPLO surgery. Then he’d had a bone cut completely in half then realigned and held in place with a metal plate and (understandably) he didn’t feel quite as well in himself afterwards.

This is him looking very sad and sorry for himself. It is his default look though and a moment after I took this photo, he was bouncing around – or trying to. My eldest grandson keeps working out how long this is all taking in dog time which is much longer than a few weeks.

Looking fed up

He does have lampshade free time when he has a chewy or his Kong stuffed with treats or just fuss and food time.


In other news – I used to be a very organised person – I used to make detailed lists of everything I had to do which caused me no end of stress. Then one day I cracked and tore them up and said I wasn’t going to be ruled by lists any longer and in future to hell with it, I was going to go with the flow.

Now I’ve become incredibly disorganised which causes me no end of stress (pass the Kalms). I don’t like computer organisers or the calendar thing on my phone. As part of my Mother’s Day present, my lovely daughter gave me this organiser. It’s a pad of sheets, so every Sunday I tear one off and write out my plan for the week and pin it on my board. This works better for me than having things written on the calendar as writing things down week by week puts it more clearly in my mind. It’s not as bossy as a list, but feels more like a gentle reminder.

My lovely organiser

This week Dusty and I have been sharing my office in the mornings with my eldest grandson so he can sit quietly and do his SATs revision. You should see the mountain of paperwork he has. It’s frightening! Afternoons are for fun though. We even got some garden time yesterday as it was so warm. Hope you are enjoying some spring sunshine!

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Goodness me!

Enjoying the bed before the op!

I have neglected this poor old blog (and all of Blogland) of late. Life in general and concerns about Dusty have kept me busy plus I can’t think of anything to blog about just now.

So I’m sorry, but it’s another update about Dusty – and another operation scar to look at.

Day 2

We took him back to Newmarket last Tuesday. He wasn’t limping, but did a little hoppity skip occasionally. Our own vet had already diagnosed luxating patella which he was sure would need an operation.

We saw two vets there. The first was lovely – so easy to talk to and he spent a good time talking over my concerns. Then he got the head of orthopaedics to come and take a look – it seems they’ve been discussing Dusty and looking at the x rays done by our own vet. He was very nice too.

Apparently his patella luxated to the outside which is unusual. When they examined him under anaesthetic, they found the patella moved even further out of place and said it would have caused him big and painful problems later on if left untreated.

So last Wednesday he had the op to correct it which involved deepening the trochlear groove (so his patella fits better into it – his was almost flat) and tightening his ligaments. While they were in there, they removed the plate and screws from the last operation as they are no longer needed (yay!). Now he has pins and wire holding everything together from the latest op and he’s hopping round on three legs.

It can take a while for them to bear weight after this operation.

So I’ve been cold packing his leg and using arnica cream for the bruising. I mentioned to the vet that I was concerned about what happened last time - he got an infection in his scrotum, I think from where he was shaved and his sensitive bits became irritated which meant he ended up wearing the lampshade for weeks while the antibiotic cream did its stuff. He made a note and assured me they would take care of “his little bits”. When we picked him up, he said they hadn’t shaved those bits at all! I know it sounds daft, but I was impressed that he’d taken my concerns seriously.

While he was there, we had two phone calls a day to let us know how he was doing. He’s always been very nervous, but I know they were making a fuss of him. He even licked the physiotherapist’s arm when she was talking to us before we brought him home.

He is to be very restricted for two weeks, then building up very gently to more use of the leg over the following four, then back for a progress check at 6 weeks post op. He has someone with him 24 hours a day – mostly me. I can’t even go to the loo without getting someone to come and sit with him. Sometimes I wish I’d cage trained him when he was a puppy so he could be left safely for a few minutes, but I’ve never liked cages for dogs. Anyway, it won’t be for long and we’ve been through it all before.

He has to wear an extra big lampshade as he is an expert at getting round them, but he does have time out not wearing it. You can see in the photo below that almost his whole leg has been shaved.

Cuddling with Lovely Grandson

While he was away, my lovely oldest grandson put all Dusty’s toys away and when I asked why he said, “I didn’t want you seeing them all the time and getting upset.” Bless him. When the grandchildren come round, they crawl in on hands and knees (so he can't jump up) and bring him a treat and lots of cuddles.

The support from family and friends has been wonderful. I don’t know what we’d do without them – you! Thank you!