How do I turn the monitor on? Oh, there we go *purr*

Jessi, 2008

Waddya want?

Intro: In 2008, I gave the “kids” a chance to share their thoughts on my blog. The post below is one of five posts written at the time. I was archiving my old blog today and came across them, and thought I’d share them again 🙂 Enjoy!

Sadly, two of these “kids” are no longer with us; Jessi, and Baby. See the “meet the family” link for their stories.

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Hello, my dear underlings.  Mum left the computer on and promptly got distracted (poor forgetful thing), so I thought I’d grab this chance to jump on and say my piece.

The very first thing is all these dogs I see.  I’ve been begging Mum to give me my own page, but does she?  Oh no.  And yet all these slobbering mangy DOGS get their own pages?  Where’s the justice in that?  Aren’t I so much better than a dog?  Come on, their idea of a bath is to roll in MY excrement.  Have they no dignity?

And speaking of dignity, that ridiculous human of mine tells people she owns me.  I mean really!  I let her live in my house and feed me, and she has the gumption to say she owns me?  The very thought!

And then there’s those other so-called cats I am forced to share my home with.  The one Mum calls Tilly is okay, she minds her own business, and keeps out of my way.  But George, he really licks my fur the wrong way!  Parading around like he’s some kind of proud lion, and then moments later chasing walls and pouncing on thin air.  Really!  Where is his pride?

And don’t get me started on those two ridiculous little dogs.  Their only purpose is to show by comparison how elegant a cat is.  Not a prissy dainty wannabe like George, but a REAL cat!  I will concede, however, that they are good for warmth on a cold night.  Other than that, I cannot comprehend why my human keeps them at all.

Well, I have allowed you to bask in my glory long enough.  I am due for another bath.  And I don’t mean those ridiculous water baths the humans insist on giving us, either.  Really!  If it wasn’t for my lack of opposable thumb, I doubt I’d have very much use for those creatures at all.

Posted in Cats, Jessi, pet_blog | Leave a comment

Winter, Warmth, and Waggly Tails

Slept with a dog either side last night, Dud on the left, Joey on the right. Tight squeeze as it was (Joey, the Chihuahua, takes up as much room as Dud, the Belgian Shepherd. How does THAT work?), I felt completely safe, and I slept beautifully (which reinforces my belief that the insomnia is, in fact, a safety issue. I certainly had no problems with it last night).

It was comfortable in its own right, too; roll onto my left side, I could put my arms around Dud and snuggle. Roll on my right, I could do the same with Joey. Each time I rolled, the dog I was rolling away from simply shifted his position slightly to mould himself into the shape of my back, or neck, etc.

Dud sleeps under the covers these days, now that it’s cold and his hips are bothering him. I simply lift the covers on the left side, and he makes his way onto the bed, lays down, and the stretches out on his left side, paws dangling over the edge of the bed. And he doesn’t move again until morning XD

Saves electricity, too. With the electric blanket on low, I get enough warmth from these two to keep me happy and dreaming through the night. They’re happy, I’m happy, everybody wins!

Some people might say my dogs are spoiled. I say it’s pretty bloody likely *grin*

Anyway, it’s Sunday. That means school for Dud, and playtime with his friends. I got a video of him playing with them last week, so sweet! Graduation is next week, and Dud will officially move up to Grade Three. He’s been in Grade Three for about two months now, but it couldn’t be made official until graduation 🙂

Posted in Animal_Care, Dogs, Dudley, Joey, Obedience, Playtime, Weather_Protection | Leave a comment

Smart dog!

It was cold last night, got down to 6°C. Not terribly cold but some people’s standards, but I come from a place where 35°C is a ‘warm day’ 😉

So I had both dogs inside. Dud has arthritis, Joey is old, and I can’t leave decent bedding outside for them without Dud pulverising it. I kid you not, he doesn’t just rip bedding, he shreds it better than a blender! Thankfully he understands that he mustn’t do that inside the house though …

Anyway, I filled the two hot-water bottles (one for my feet and one for my back), climbed into bed, waited for the dogs to settle on the bed, and then got comfortable on my left side to watch YouTube videos on my phone. I was aware of Joey moving around and getting comfortable behind me, but I left him be.

About half an hour later I was sufficiently warm to attempt sleep, so I turned off YouTube and set my phone to “bedside clock”, rolled over, and found …

… Joey had snuggled under the covers, paws wrapped around the hot water bottle, chest and belly pressed to the bottle, and he was fast asleep and snoring. Smart dog!

I didn’t have the heart to move him, so I curled around him and turned off the light … as you do LOL

So warm!

P.S. I mightn’t have had the heart to move him, but Dud had no such compunctions. He, too, had made himself comfortable under the covers. I guess he got a bit hot, because all of a sudden he rose and walked off, taking all the covers with him. Poor Joey! And poor me, for that matter, I was comfortable!

Posted in Animal_Care, Dogs, Dudley, Joey, Ongoing_Issues, Weather_Protection | Leave a comment

Poor Roo

I killed a roo today.

As you may or may not know, I’m currently on my learner license. This entails 75 hours (minimum) of supervised driving in a wide variety of conditions. Some people do ‘fake’ the logbook, but I’m interested in becoming a good driver, not just someone who can pass a test. With this in mind, I have exposed myself to diverse driving conditions, many of which are not required by the licensing system.

Like night-driving on a country road, for example.

I was supposed to go for a drive on that road this morning, but hadn’t slept sufficiently to go. Instead, Mum rang at 5pm and asked if I’d like to do a night drive down that road instead? It’s two-and-a-half hours there and back, and really forces the driver to concentrate and be aware, what with the gravel roads, the multitude of side-roads and “driveways”, not to mention the wildlife.

So I agreed. Dad got in the back, Mum got in the front, and off we went just as the sun was lowering over the horizon.

Before I go any further, I must back-track; the first time I went out near dusk, Mum saw a roo on the side of the road, said “roo!”, and my response time was abysmal. It took me a good thirty seconds to react, and at least a full minute to finally slow down, and I never did quite stop. Needless to say, this is quite dangerous in areas where there is wildlife, and something had to be done about it. Thankfully that roo had stayed on the side of the road, but there was no promise that the next one would.

So Mum and Dad took me out on that road (a different road to the one we’re discussing today) during the day to practise. They would randomly call out “roo!” in order for me to practice stopping quickly and safely. After the first couple of “roo sightings”, I was getting to be quite quick and efficient at stopping to ‘avoid’ the roo.

So back to tonight. We were about 45 minutes into the first leg of the trip (so roughly halfway). It was full dark now, and I was scanning the road; far, middle, close, rear, far, middle, close, rear, while also scanning side-to-side, as I’d been taught. I saw the roo on the side of the road, still in the bush, a fraction before Mum called out. I reacted, pressing (but not slamming!) the brake, holding the wheel straight, and stopped quickly whilst maintaining control, as I’d been taught.

I hit the roo.

Nobody in the car was injured, but the poor roo was dead before we could even get out (or so Dad says; I reckon I saw him breathing for a few minutes after). There was very minimal damage to the car (a small crack in the left parking light, and the left bumper was slightly raised). But that poor roo … he was lying there, bleeding from his mouth, one leg clearly broken in at least two places, panting.

I felt so guilty!

My parents both said I reacted well, and I could have done nothing to avoid him, since he hopped straight out in front of me when I was already slowing down. They reckon every driver hits at least one animal in their life. They reckon that most accidents are caused by people swerving to try and avoid an animal. So I’m fairly sure I did the right thing.

But I’m sure that roo wasn’t too impressed.

Posted in Accidents, Animal_Care, Kangaroo, Wildlife | Leave a comment

What a day!

Today was a bad, bad day for Dud. I mean, it started out well enough; it was cold last night, so I had him under the covers with me, and he was toasty warm. At 3am I woke up with an upset stomach, so I let him out while I had some ENO to settle my stomach, and then let him back in. I noticed that he now had a small, soft lump near his nose that hadn’t been there when I let him out. It didn’t seem to be hurting or bothering him at all, however, and it wasn’t affecting his breathing, so I decided to wait and see. Not worth calling the vet out about something like that.

At 8:30am I woke up and let Dud out, took my pills and went to the loo (as usual), and then served up Dud’s breakfast. As I got to the back door and saw his upturned face, however, I realised something was off-kilter …

“Dud, your face!!!”

So I rang the vet, he said to bring him in at 9:10am (normal business hours for a change, yay!), and I put Dud’s breakfast away in the interim, just in case his throat was also swollen. No worries, we got him to the vet, vet gave him an antihistamine shot, and Dud’s okay. It was just a bee sting or something, nothing to worry about. Vet said the shot would make him a little drowsy and that he wasn’t to operate heavy machinary for 24 hours, and we took him home.

Mum’s friend “S” has a property just out of town, where she allows people to agist their horses. “S” is away for a few days, so Mum and I go out there to feed and exercise her dogs. To give Dud a treat, we took him out to meet Tank, S’s dog. No worries, they got along great and had a play, and I pooper-scooped Tank’s run. I then put Tank back in his run, tied Dud to the back of Mum’s ute so he had shade, and went into the shed to prepare Tank’s dinner. I was just getting the wet food out of the tin when Mum yelled out that some of the agisted horses were loose.

I put the food down, went through the side gate, and began to round up the horses. As I did so, several more got out of the gate I was attempting to herd the original two into, and next thing I knew, all seven agisted horses (who had apparently been left to roam the exercise ring) were loose. So I grabbed some hay and a length of rope and went the long way around to herd them all back into the exercise area. When I saw a gap in the fence leading to the road, I called to Mum to head them off there so they didn’t get out onto the road.

I managed to get them over to the hay bales in a nice little group, safely away from the road. I heard Mum calling out, and saw that two of the ponies were headed her way, and I ignored her. She could manage to head off two ponies, I reasoned, and continued to keep the bigger horses in a group. I heard her calling out again, and started to get angry; I didn’t want to yell back and spook the horses who were calming grazing on weeds and grass.

A few minutes later the wind must have shifted slightly, because I heard her yelling “Dud’s hurt!” So I left the horses and went over to where she was.

It turns out she’d driven the ute around to head off the horses as I’d told her to, but she didn’t know Dud was tied to the back. The poor dog had been dragged about 100 metres down the down, and he was holding his hind leg up close to his ribs as he did when he dislocated his knee. I felt sick, but swallowed it and checked him over. His legs were fine, his ribs were fine, he was basically okay, but his pads were torn and bleeding. Mum was sobbing and apologising and trying to explain that she hadn’t seen him, she didn’t know he was there, she felt guilty as hell. So I hugged her to reassure her, told her it wasn’t her fault (which it wasn’t, I was the one who had tied him there for shade, and hadn’t told her he was there), and then lifted Dud on to the back of the ute.

Anyway, the RSPCA finally came out, and with their help we herded the remaining four horses into the exercise area (I’d gotten the three ponies into their stalls in the interim; one of them got ready to buck me and I stared him down and said “don’t you dare!” and he backed down and walked placidly into his stall), secured them, and THEN the owner of the horses got around to showing up. The whole thing started because she hadn’t closed any of the gates, and I let her know in no uncertain terms that I blamed her for Dud’s injuries. I told her I wouldn’t be taking any action against her, but she MUST latch the gates from now on. If there had been a vet bill, I would have gotten her to pay it.

Thankfully Dud’s paws aren’t too bad, considering, and I could treat them at home with betadine and gauze pads. I did have to snip one loose piece off, but they should be just fine in a few days, the injuries are shallow. His claws are ground right down on two feet, though, and I’ll have to keep an eye on those.

But yeah, what a day!

Posted in Accidents, Animal_Care, Dogs, Dudley, Horses | Leave a comment

What a clever doggy!!!

I took Dud to obedience class this past Sunday, as usual. As usual, he had a bit of a play with other dogs, primarily Chillie, a 5-month-old Rough Collie bitch. All normal.

Just before class started, I was called to the fence by Pete, the Class Two instructor (Dud’s class). He told me that he’d been discussing me with Alex, the head trainer, and that I was to join Alex’s class for the first 15 minutes.

Well, I did as I’d been told, and joined Alex’s class, where he proceeded to run us through our paces. 15 minutes passed, then 20 then 25 … and then it was time to stop, the class over for the day.

Alex took me aside and told me that he was happy with Dud’s progress, and we were going up to Class Three, woot!!! Class Three had been my goal for Dud, you see.

I’m right proud of Duddit; it’s unusual to go up between classes, and he’s now done it twice! The next graduation is a few weeks away.

What a clever doggy! 😀

Posted in Dogs, Dudley, Obedience | Leave a comment

The scare!

I nearly lost Joey today.

On Monday, I took Joey (12-year-old Pomeranian x Chihuahua with a heart murmur) to the vet for a consult about an ear haematoma. For those who don’t know, a haematoma is a blood-filled swelling that is caused by excessive scratching (usually due to some irritant like an ear infection), which causes a blood vessel to burst, which in turn causes the blood to fill the surrounding tissue like a balloon. The vet booked him in for today (Wednesday) for surgery. This is the normal treatment; the haematoma is opened with a small incision, and the top layer of the ear is then stitched to the bottom layer to prevent the tissue from filling up again.

I dropped him off at the vet this morning, and discussed the possibility of removing the upper front teeth while he was at it. (Joey’s previous owner didn’t look after him properly, and he lost his bottom front teeth when he was six due to the long-term effects of poor nutrition in his developmental stages. As a result, his top teeth had become unevenly worn, and would require removal at some point to prevent feeding problems, infection, and nerve exposure). The vet agreed to do this if there was time; his surgery schedule was quite full, but he agreed that minimising anaesthetic at Joey’s age, with his heart murmur, was wise. To do both in the one surgery would mean avoiding an additional anaesthetic at a later date, thus minimising risk.

He had his surgery this morning (haematoma lanced, polyp on the other ear removed, plus one tooth removed), no worries. I picked him up from the vet, and he was coughing. I queried this, and was reassured that it was just a reaction to having a tube down his throat during surgery. In the car he appeared to stop breathing altogether (no sound of breathing, no chest movement), but after a moment he started coughing again, no worries. I kept an eye on him, but didn’t worry about it too much because I trust this vet.

I got Joey home, and he staggered around a bit and wanted to go outside, so I let him out and he peed, no worries. Then he sniffed around his food bowl. The vet had said he could have a light meal tonight if he wanted, so I gave him a small amount of the dog fritz (this has always been the advice, and there’s never been a problem with it before). He struggled to pick it up (due to the bucket), but seemed otherwise fine. To get around the difficulty, I held it in my hand and let him eat from that.

No worries, I left it for a bit and he had had no negative reaction, so I offered him some more. He stood there, eating from my hand, then suddenly stopped, convulsed, and collapsed.

I yelled for BB to help, and opened Joe’s mouth, where I found food stuck in the back of his mouth, blocking the airway. So I stuck my finger in to dislodge it (never do this if you can’t see it clearly and/or it’s in the throat itself; if it’s in the throat itself, push behind the jaw and slightly under with your thumbs to try and dislodge it from the outside or you could push it in further and make matters worse) and he chomped down.

So I quickly took the bucket off, pried his mouth open with my left hand, and stuck my right pointer in again to dislodge the food. BB was out of his room and dialling the vet by then, but Joey’s eyes were beginning to cloud and he was completely limp. He wasn’t even trying to bite me any more. I got the food out, made sure his throat was clear, and pumped the side of his chest. Thankfully he started to breathe again (I’ve done doggy CPR before, but I’m not a big fan of mouth-to-snout resuscitation, it’s just gross!). A few minutes later the clouding was gone, and he was drowsy but aware. BB hung up the phone (maybe he hadn’t yet dialled, I don’t know) and fetched the betadine for my finger.

Joey’s fine now, breathing steadily with his normal wheeze, but that was too close. No more food for him tonight, and I have him where I can keep an eye on him and react quickly if necessary. He’s gotten up and walked around since, though, so he should be okay.

I’ve done post-op care for dozens of animals in my time, and never had anything like that!

Posted in Animal_Care, Dogs, Joey | 2 Comments