Category Archives: dog

Let me solve all your problems


Bit of a stream of consciousness, this one. It might make sense, it might not…

Of course it’s dead easy to solve everyone else’s problems, isn’t it? I can solve all of your problems standing on my head. My solution will probably start with…”you should”.

Nothing I like better than being, as an old boss of mine used to say, ‘should upon’. To be honest not much will get my back up quicker than someone telling me that I should…

It’s not so bloody easy to solve your problem when it’s right in front of you and you are emotionally attached to the issue though, is it?

I have a well meaning, but somewhat bullying friend who has ALL the answers. At this present moment she is giving three of us the full brunt of her opinion. As we strolled along the beach the other day she told me that she is disappointed with all of her closest friends. Not wanted to engage in another nagging session, I simply replied, “I know.” and left it at that.

It’s not even that her opinion is wrong. Annoyingly, I know she is right.  However, what she doesn’t take into account is that it’s not always black and white. Except that for her it is. ‘Here’s the answer, just do it’, is her attitude.

So. What is it that has become such an issue. Obviously I’m not going to discuss the others, that’s none of my, or your, business. My issue is my big, fluffy, lovely  ball and chain, Douggie the doggie.

You all know I adore the boy and he adores me, he is my shadow. Most of the time it’s not an issue. Occasionally it is.  Occasionally, we have to go to places where he can’t go.  She’ll happily step in to dog sit and when I’d been in hospital she walked him almost daily for me. That was brilliant. The problem is that Douggie prefers to be with me and won’t settle terribly well at her house. That means overnight stays or holidays become difficult. Now, if Douggie was an ordinary doggie, he’d just have to toughen up.

But Douggie isn’t an ordinary doggie, is he? Douggie is an epileptic doggie who has fits when he gets stressed. Like I said, big, lovely, fluffy ball and chain. Yes, he takes medication, yes, I know she would know what to do in an emergency.  It sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

Except that I know any fit could be his last, the strain on his body is horrendous.  His last fit was a humdinger. The sight of a six stone dog thrashing about on the floor having a fit stays with you. He managed to kick me in the face last time as we lifted him off the sofa where his grand mal started. OW!

First, I don’t want to put him in a stressful situation, like being away from home. Second, I would never forgive myself if he had a fit (possibly his last) while I was away. The whole situation makes me feel ill. Even though I know that Boofuls and I desperately need to get some time together and not have a break that revolves round the dog and his needs.

So, my friend’s solution is to stop letting the dog follow me everywhere. Stop taking him up to bed when I go. Stop considering his needs. Basically ignore him so he doesn’t care if I’m there or not so he will then happily stay with her.

Um. No.

I really don’t think I can do that. I like being the centre of his world. I am aware of the strength of that sentence. I know, I know,  I am my own worst enemy in this situation.

We made a commitment to him when we took him on and I take that very seriously.  We are leaving him more often and trying to build up more independence in him but it’s very difficult for both of us. Since we took him in six years ago he has never really been left alone as he used to come to work with us.

It might be a while before we get this one sorted. In the meantime I’ll just have to put up with the sighs, complaints that I treat my dog like a baby, dirty looks and snide comments from Mrs Black and White

 

 

 

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Doggie and Kitty Revisited


Here’s a post from 2012. It was taken when Douggie the doggie was just a few months old and Shazza the kitty was about six weeks old.

I tried to repost the original but I couldn’t work out how to do it and it’s too ute a piture to just let it go so here it is:

Douggie & Shazza

They quite liked each other then but now that Shazza is all grow up she hates Douggie, even though he tries his best to be friendly, in the way that most dogs do. Funnily enough she seems affronted by his attention.

Golden retriever puppy and cute kitten

Douggie the Dancing Dog


It’s a little known fact that Boofuls and I are keen ballroom dancers.We’ve been dancing together for about 27 years.

Well, I say keen dancers, we used to be until Boofuls’ hips decided to give up the ghost. Now we just go along for a lesson once a fortnight but haven’t actually gone out dancing for quite some time. It’s never crossed my mind to find a new dance partner – until now, that is. A certain blonde haired young man called Douggie.

Move over Boofuls, Douggie Dancing Dog is here.

We actually made it to our club’s HTM competition last weekend and what a weekend it was. Even turning up was quite an achievement when you consider that of the four competitions we’ve entered, we missed one because of his epilepsy, we competed in one in May and gained a 6th and then a 7th place. Then we missed another competition because of his tummy upset, which he swiftly followed up with a major fit, that was a week from hell, that was. Over the last couple of weeks though all has been peaceful on the health front. I was quietly hoping that we might actually *whisper it* get to compete in our club’s competition. I kept my fingers and toes crossed and hoped for the best.

It’s not always been an easy ride this HTM lark. Douggie’s epilepsy quite often makes him tired so we have to go easy on the training with short bursts of as little as ten seconds several times a day. At the club we often sit out of the training out so he doesn’t get over tired. Other times he’s raring to go but he’s a sandwich short of a picnic and he forgets quite a lot so we have to go right back to basics. Sometimes we have a lovely time training and he amazes me with his skill and just occasionally he really can’t be bothered in which case we go and do something else instead.

It’s been challenging, frustrating, infuriating, joyful, character building, inspiring and downright blooming good fun. I know we’ll never get to Cruft’s but that has never been my intention, this is a just hobby and bonding time for me and my boy and we both love doing it.

On Thursday night, club night, he gets all excited while I get his treats ready and we make our way to training where he can see all his mates and have a great time.

I’d entered us into four rounds: starters heel work x 2 and starters freestyle x 2. I knew we’d have no chance in the heel work as we’d not even put a routine together, I just thought it would be good experience in the ring for him and we could use it as a training round and have a bit of fun with no pressure. Good job really, what a load of old cobblers we were in the first round. I don’t know about being a sandwich short of a picnic – the whole bloody picnic went AWOL. What a disaster. However, during his second attempt I thought I’d see it thorough to the end and we got 5th place! No one was more surprised than me.

The freestyle we’ve been working on for a while but it’s all a bit hit and miss. I think the technical term is an ‘on the the day dog’. We started the routine and he stayed with me but without much enthusiasm. I expected it all to fall apart at any moment and then – he decided he wanted to join in after all and guess what?

We won!! Both rounds! I’m so very proud of him that I could burst.

Douggie the Dancing Dog

Here’s the routine on YouTube. Remember if you watch it, it’s starters HTM. Don’t be expecting Ashleigh and Pudsey. Hey, I was just thrilled when Douggie joined in about halfway through, up until that point I was just dancing round like a twonk!

 http://youtu.be/_C9itToXqdc

Douggie and Shazza


Purely by coincidence, this photograph of Douggie the doggie and Shazza the kitty popped up today.

 copyright.

Douggie was about a year old and Shazza about ten weeks old when this was taken. Shazza’s all grown up now and hates the sight of Douggie. Poor pooch doesn’t know what on earth he’s done to upset her.
 Um? Hello? What’s happened to the font?
I can’t get it to change back. Heeeeeeelp!!!!!
 

Thought we’d cracked it


Apparently not. The fact that I’m sitting here crying ( not that that’s going to help) and waiting for the vet’s to open is testament that we have not in fact, cracked it.

In an attempt to find a gentler method to control Douggie’s seizures than the phenobarbital  that was offered, which has damaging side effects,  we tried a homoeopathic   and herbal approach to his epilepsy. I really thought it was working.   From January to April he was seizure free.

Then on 3rd April, Shaky Jake was back. Then again on the 12th April and again at 6.30 this morning. As I write this poor Douggie is flat out on the floor exhausted after another fit and  an hour and a half pacing the floor until he recovered his equilibrium.

Previously we could predict what would trigger a seizure but lately there haven’t been any clues at all, they’ve come out of the blue.  I hate that. At least if I know what might trigger a seizure we can take steps to avoid it.

One of the ladies at the dog club who has lost one of her own dogs to epilepsy gave me a stern talking to the other week, telling me that I was being unrealistic and that there is no cure.  I understand fully that there is no cure At that point I was still optimistic that we had found a good method of controlling it. Now I’m not so sure.

So, here we are. back in a position of having to decide which of the conventional medications will control his fits without destroying his quality of life too much and without causing long term damage to him. The choices last time were a medication that wouldn’t work or one that would ultimately cause him kidney damage. He’s only two years old for God’s sake. The thought of giving him medication that is going to destroy his health breaks my heart.

It’s Hobson’t choice really as he’s doomed if we do and he’s doomed if we don’t.

The Aristodogs


As you might imagine, having a home with a golden retriever in it I tend to seek out blogs that feature goldies. One of my favourites is The Daily Golden. There’s always something in there which is informative, interesting, makes me smile or just makes me say “aaaaaaah”.

I read with interest the other day this  articleabout cream golden retrievers.  As you all know, having seen about a million photographs of him,  Douggie the doggie is a cream coloured golden retriever.  “Well I never” I thought “fancy that” I said, “I had no idea” There was me thinking he just happened to be white and all along he’s really been an ‘English Cream Golden Retriever’ or  a ‘Rare White European Golden Retriever’ or  even an  ‘Exquisite Platinum Imported Golden Retriever’.  Better temperament, better health and altogether  a superior type of goldie? 

Blimey. I’d better not tell him he’s from aristocratic stock, he might get too big for his boots.

You can see it if you look closely, can’t you? Here he is on our walk today.

Copyright Copyright

Exquisite, eh?

I don’t know why he’s looking so blooming happy with himself.  No he hasnt found out he’s supposed to be from the upper classes. He’s  just been having a good old romp with Wilf the spaniel and they found a muddy ditch to wallow in. STINKY!

We popped round to Lashes’ house for a cuppa this morning, of course he and Teddy had a great time.  Looking for mischief.

Copyright Copyright Copyright

 

 

Pooh bear


Douggie the doggie, like most family pets I suppose, has a basket full of toys. When I say a basket full of toys what I mean of course is an empty basket and the toys are strewn all over the house. He doesn’t really do tidy, Douggie.

No one told me that having a dog would involve my house looking like a creche but hairier and smellier. Oh, the stuff I’ve found out since he landed on our doorstep. Towels, for instance, no one mentioned the endless washing of towels, did they? Oh no. They kept that one under their hats.  And the hair, I was expecting hair but with the amount he’s dropping lately I’m surprised he isn’t totally bald, how can he lose that much hair and still have so much left? It’s  all over the floor, rolling round the dining room tiles like tumbleweed, it’s in my food and all over my clothes.  Twice daily vacuuming is barely keeping it to a tolerable level.

Oh yes, and then there’s the  slobber. there’s another secret you don’t find out about until the pooch has taken full possession of your heart and there’s no way out. Geez, it’s like having a giant, hairy, four legged baby who needs massive amounts of exercise and entertaining.

I’ve been teaching him how to tidy up but he hasn’t quite got it on command yet. It still involves half an hour of training and ten pounds of sausages to get him to put the toys away, it’s cheaper, quicker and easier to do it myself. We’ll keep working on it and I’ll amaze you with a video of it when he’s cracked it.

The trouble with a big dog like Douggie is that he does tend to eat his cuddly toys. Our floors are garnished with kapok, little piles of it sitting like snowballs among all the white hair. It looks a bit winter wonderland ish in our lounge sometimes.   As you can imagine he gets through a steady supply of toys and I’m regularly seen lurking in  the charity shops of the borough stocking up on new ones for him.  I always check that there the eyes and such are sewn and not screwed in or anything  before I buy them but children’s toys  are generally stronger than the ones made for dogs  and last him a lot longer and of course they are loads cheaper. Not that I’m as tight as a duck’s backside or anything.

One of his favourite toys of late has been his Pooh Bear. He loves Pooh Bear and regularly sits nibbling at Pooh’s ears before grabbing him by the throat and ragging him mercilessly. Poor Pooh.

I walked in the other day to find that Pooh Bear had been murdered and eaten. His innards were all over the floor and I think it’s fair to say that Pooh was no more. I was surprised how little of him there was left.

The following morning I discovered why. Out for Douggie’s morning ablutions I was a bit surprised that it was bright orange and fluffy. Oh no!  Pooh Bear has become poo bear.

Poor Pooh. Or do I mean poo?

 

 

The poo incident


The vet’s remedy of choice for Douggie the doggie of her two options, the one that didn’t work or the one that could destroy his kidneys, turned out to be the one that could destroy his kidneys.

She phoned me to give me the news that I could pick up his tablets the following day and commence treatment.

I felt sick.

It seems like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Surely there has to be a gentler way than this to control his epilepsy?

I consulted with my old friend, Google and did a bit of research. Then it hit me. Homoeopathy! Of course!

When Lashes was a baby she had shocking eczema and we found ourselves in a similar situation, use potentially harmful and invasive drugs or find a gentler way. After many months of trying out various herbal cures, lotions, potions and pills with limited success we found a homoeopath. Within a few days Lashes’ eczema was  cured.

Referring back to my old friend, Google, I found a homeopathic vet about an hour away from us. One quick phone call to them and an appointment was booked. One quick phone call to my own vet to ask them to fax Douggie’s medical records over to the new vet left me with my ears on fire. Fair to say the vet wasn’t impressed. Funny that. I remember our GP having exactly the same response when I told him Lashes was seeing a homoeopath. He told me a was a bad mother and I was dabbling in nothing more than witchcraft. Bless him.

The night before our appointment I gave Douggie a wash and brush up. Since he’d spent most of the previous week wet through he was smelling more than a bit like particularly pungent cheese. He made stinking bishop smell like a rose garden.

About an hour before we were due to set off to the new vet I took him for a walk up the track. Off he went to try and catch a rabbit as he does, he’s never caught one yet, probably because of his habit of thundering up the hill announcing his arrival about 200 yards before he gets there. All the rabbits are safely back in their burrows long before he arrives.  I carried on up our track happy in the knowledge that he’s catch me up before the corner. I got to the corner. No Douggie.

“DOUGGIIIIIIIE”

In the distance I saw four legs waving about in the air.  Oh no!!

I set off running back down the track thinking he was having another fit. Then I saw a big doggie head pop up with a big stupid grin on it’s face.  At exactly the same moment I real realised he had buried himself in our neighbours twenty foot high pile of horse poo and was having a good old roll round in it.

OHHHHHHNOOOOOO!!!!!

Instead of the pristine white he’d been five minutes earlier an orange Douggie ran up to meet me, so pleased with himself. Not an inch of him didn’t have horse poo on it. It was hanging off him in clumps, there was bits of straw stinking out of him at all angles giving him a peculiar porcupine shape, lets not even talk about the aroma.  They say horse poo is good to put on the garden. I could cheerfully have buried him in the garden  – and there was enough poo on him to fertilise it for a whole year.

Nothing for it but to give him another bath.

I filled the bath and then braced myself to stand in it in order to shower him down and get the shampoo deep into his fur. While I was paddling around in dilute horse poo with the straw and clumps  getting between my toes it’s fair to say I asked myself some serious questions as to why I actually wanted a dog. That was between the heaving of course. Keeping hold of my breakfast was proving tricky.

We arrived at the vets just about on time, with Douggie still  dripping wet through and a bit whiffy. He really needed more than the once over I’d given him. What he really needed was a whole bottle of shampoo and huge amounts of deodorant. The vet was very polite about it and pretended she couldn’t smell him. Oh, the shame!

Our consultation lasted an hour and a half, during which time she asked me gazillions of questions about Douggie, about me, about his background, everything about him in fact. Every now and then she’d “Hhhhhmmmmm” and consult her book.  Eventually she decided on a remedy for him. Actually, two. One constitutional remedy and one acute remedy.  The acute remedy is for when he’s in stressful situations. It’s belladonna! I walked into the health shop and asked for it and they looked at me if I was trying to kill someone. “Belladonna? What do you want that for?”

Obviously being homeopathic it’s massively diluted.  Mind you,  if Douggie pulls any more stints like what will go down in history as  ‘the poo incident’ I may well be looking for a stronger dose.

Be warned, pooch!