Bit of a sad post, this.
It started off as a bit of black humour last week when Munki’s hamster died after only a couple of weeks.
“What the hell am I going to tell Munki?” Lashes hissed at me in a stage whisper over the phone so Munki wouldn’t hear, “She’ll be heartbroken if she finds out Herbie’s died.” Then in a moment of decision she said firmly, ”
I’m not going to tell her, I’ll just get a looky like replacement.” So after a bit of skullduggery and a clandestine trip to the pet shop, Herbie MkII was brought home and deposited in Herbie MkI’s suitably cleaned out and sterilised cage. It’s fair to say that Herbie MkII was lacking a couple of important features that Herbie MkI had but we didn’t think Munki would notice Herbie has suddenly turned into Herbetta.
The other think strikingly evident was that Herbetta has teeny tiny teeth compared to Herbie who was decidedly long in the tooth.
“They sold you a geriatric hamster. No wonder he popped off, he must have been 150 in hamster years.” And so followed many a joke about hamsters shuffling off their mortal coil and going to that big hamster wheel in the sky.
Lashes wisely left Herbetta to settle in to her new home and her new identity living life as a male. Checking regularly that food, water and clean bedding were all topped up, they haven’t really had a lot of dealings with little Herbetta till Lashes noticed last night that she seemed a bit wet around her little hamster face but otherwise ok.
By this morning it became evident that the poor little thing was very ill indeed. A trip to the vet was rapidly scheduled and the hamster was sedated so they could do a proper examination The end result was that little Herbetta lost an eye. What happened no one knows. Poor Lashes is beside herself that this poor creature has been suffering and she didn’t know.
“It’s only a hamster.” People have said. “Not worth spending a lot on vet fees for.” People have opined.
Sorry? Did you say only a hamster? I suggest you keep those opinions under your hat.
It’s a life.
It’s a life that has been suffering and unable to help itself. Yes, there will be a vet bill for more several times more than she paid for the hamster but you know what? The importance and value of a life doesn’t diminish exponentially with the size of the species involved. Your pet is your pet, a part of your family, no matter how big or small they are.
So, I’m going to ask you to say a prayer tonight for little Herbetta. If she makes it through the night then her chances of survival will greatly increase and she may very well live a long and happy life as Herbetta, the one eyed pirate hamster.
While Herbetta was undergoing surgery, I was out for a walk with Mrs Woofy, Velcrodog, The Rev, Gembolina and Munki.
Velcrodog launched herself at Mrs Woofy who did a very nifty avoidance side step and the end result was that Velcrodog tumbled down a slope, landing in an ungainly heap at the bottom in a muddy puddle.
Then the howling started.
He was liked the Hound of the Baskervilles. WOOOOO-OOOOOO-OOOO yelp! yelp! yelp! WOOOO-OOOOOO-OOOOOO!!
Everyone within a mile radius turned round to see what was going on. Like a footballer, rolling on the ground clutching their injured limb and shouting ‘FOUL!’ Velcrodog played it up for all he was worth. To the point where we all thought he’d broken his leg.
“Hello? Is that the vet? I need to bring my dog in straight away.”
While I was talking I was thinking, thank God I got the pet insurance sorted out good and quickly. Not like me at all.
By the time we got to the vet, Velcrodog was walking happily on all four of his legs and looking very chipper. After a thorough examination the vet declared him to be no more than a very talented drama queen.
Well, Drama Queen. That little performance cost me £43!
Pets, eh? It’s a good job we love ’em!
I’m sitting here all bleary eyed and knackered after being woken up at fecking twenty past fecking six afeckingain by the puppy who thinks the boiler coming on is a wake up call. Excuse my French.
Wandering around our field in my dressing gown and wellies is now a daily occurrence, I think our nearest neighbour, the one who’s house overloooks our field, thinks I’ve got Alzheimer’s or something. “Ooh look love. There she is again, wandering around in her nightclothes. Poor thing,”
The downside of these near naked, nearly nocturnal wanderings is that I’m now full of a cold and permanently knackered. I’ll be glad when puppy can hold his wee for more than a nanosecond after realising he needs one.
On our way back from yet another wedding fair on Tuesday night, I noticed that the sat nav map looked amazingly like lady bits. I wonder if the person who designed that road layout realised that it looks exactly like fallopian tubes, ovaries and a perfectly shaped uterus? That made me laugh all the way home.
Maybe they did it on purpose because that road is on an ancient fertility site or something. Or perhaps it was a joke. Although if I was going to make a joke road layout I’d probably have made it look like a huge willy. I know, I know, I’m a twelve year old boy trapped in the body of a middle aged woman.
Well, it’s a bit late since it’s been and gone but, Happy St Davids Day. I Hope you wore your daffodil and slayed a few Welsh dragons. St David’s Day is a sure sign that spring is on it’s way, and sure enough the weather has been gorgeous for the last couple of days. It’s precipitating persistently right now because I’m due to do two engagement shoots today and was hoping to take the couple to the local park. Ho hum.
As I sit here I’m trying to work up enough energy to get ready to go to my zumba class at 9.15 and failing.
I NEED MY BED!!!!!!
Me and my big mouth!
Our little puppy, Velcro, was once again sitting quietly, following me round the house and then flopping down next to e and watched me adoringly as I carried out whatever task I was engaged in.
“This is the most laid back puppy ever” I said to Winklepop yesterday, “If he’s the boisterous one then his brother must be positively catatonic. he could do with revving up a notch or two.”
Oh. Dear. Lord.
Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. Did someone feed my puppy expresso while I wasn’t looking? He was bouncing off the ceiling last night. Nothing was left unchewed, wires, skirting boards, my expensive designer sticks, the designer stones in their designer copper pot, my wrist. Chairs and settees were bounced on, imaginary cats were chased , cd’s and records (remember them?) were dragged from their shelf and thrown around the room. Nothing I tried to distract him with seemed as interesting as the stuff he was destroying.
In an attempt to burn off some of his energy I took him for a run on the field only for him to run full tilt off the edge of it and down a four-foot drop onto the patio while I stood there horrified seeing what was about to happen and desperately calling his name in an attempt to stop him or even slow him down a bit. Even that didn’t slow him down for more than five seconds while he dusted himself off and readied himself for another rampage.
After a couple of hours Boofuls arrived back from his meeting to find a sleeping puppy. “Aaaaaw, isn’t he cute?”
“Cute? Are you kidding me? He’s fecking possessed!”
Spring seems to have finally sprung. Isn’t spring fabulous? All the plants are just starting to wake up, the grass is looking green rather than grey and the temperatures have reached double figures. Bliss!
Now we can start the big clean up operation ready for putting our house back on the market and put into action phase one of the retirement plan.
Wish us luck!
It’s been such a busy week this week. Just about everyone has had something exciting, interesting or scary happen to them this week.
Lashes was driving along minding her own business this week when she got stopped by the police because she had a light out on the back of her car.
” I handled it in the time honoured way of sticking out my boobs and batting my eyelashes”, she said. I was a bit surprised at that for many a reason but mostly because she doesn’t have the kind of boobs that’ll take a bloke’s eye out.
“Really? How did you manage that? Did you stop a passing buxom stranger and ask her to do it for you? I mean you’re not exactly blessed in that department, are you?”
How to elicit a response in one easy lesson.
Her reply is unrepeatable but it made me laugh for ages.
Poor lashes, I always told her she’d inherit my big boobs but she never did. To be honest, I don’t know what she’s moaning about She has perfect half circle boobs. If she wants them bigger she can wear chicken fillets. Is she wants to go without a bra she can, those boobs are perfectly well behaved. Choices, see.
What choice do I have? Wear scaffolding in the form of a big ugly sheepdog bra or just kick ’em out the way when I’m walking if I want to be au naturel (I never do).
All three of the clingons passed their dance exams with honours. Even Munki as the youngest one ever to do a dance exam at that school at the grand old age of three years and three months. Well done kids!
Big N had his laser eye surgery on Friday. I’m so proud of him. That’s a really brave thing to do. Eyes. Ew. Squeamish.
The clinic is in the next town so I drove him to his appointment. We were told to allow two to three hours so my plan had been to stay till he went down for his surgery and then leave to do a bit of shopping and then pick him up after. Four or five times a nurse came through and called him away for another test. Every time he was back in two minutes. I waited till I knew it was surgery time. I wasn’t leaving my boy panic on his own. Once again the nurse came; ‘Do you want to come through?” Again I waited until I knew he was going for his surgery. Two minutes later he was back, red eyed and looking slightly shocked. “I’m done. Let’s go.”
My jaw fell open. I could see by the red eyed devilish look he was sporting, (incidentally, that is a difficult look to wear well) that he had indeed had his surgery – but in two minutes flat? Wow! Apparently it only takes 35 seconds per eye. Even with all the form filling and eye tests we were in and out in less than an hour.
You have to love anaesthesia. He was feeling no pain at all and very chirpy despite having had the front of his eye scraped off. I suggested we pick up some pain killers for later. “No, no, I’m fine.”
We got the painkillers anyway and I think it’s fair to say he was glad of them later in the day. On the journey home I think the shock of what he’d been through hit him and of course the sun came out so his extremely light sensitive eyes struggled to cope. he spent most of the journey with his sunglasses on, his eyes closed and his hands shielding the sides of the glasses to prevent any stray light getting in. Arriving back home he took himself straight off to bed and woke up yesterday morning with 20/20 vision. Glasses? In the bin.
Dance teacher has recovered well enough to turn up at his Saturday morning dance class and is going to a conference in London next week. That is nothing short of a miracle.
Our new pooch arrived yesterday, smelly, dirty and bedraggled and underweight the poor little mite cried all the way home.
One quick bath, which he wasn’t particularly keen on, a good meal and a lot of cuddles later he was looking, smelling and I’ve no doubt feeling, a lot more comfortable and settled. A steady stream of visitors came to greet the new arrival and he handled it all with ease. Whoever had him first had obviously made a good start on training him. He’s showing all the signs of being a cracking dog. It beggars belief that someone took him to a rescue centre. Well. All I can say is, thanks. Your loss is most definitely our gain.
The hardest thing of all this has been finding a name for him. I ran a Facebook competition to see who could come up with the best name. There were lots of responses ranging from the brilliant to the totally unimaginative to the downright stupid but none seemed just right. Someone suggested Merlin which I quite liked the sound of till I imagined myself in the woods shouting ‘Merln! Merlin!’ The chances are that the men in white coats would be there to pick me up in no time! Boofuls and me like the name Sacha but quickly got told by just about everyone it’s a girl’s name. Oh really? The explain Sacha Baron Cohen and Sacha Distel to me. Ok, it’s unisex but most people here seem to think it’s a girl’s name so we ditched that idea. Ho hum, Back to the drawing board. I liked Bailey. Boofuls didn’t. Boofuls liked Reggie. I didn’t. And so it went on. I looked on the internet at dog’s names till my eyeballs fell out.
On Friday night we went to Len’s Mum and Dad’s for a birthday party. After a few drinkies we decided to have a brainstorming session…oops, just remembered we aren’t allowed to say brain storm any more….I meant a thought shower- to find a name for poochie.
Pink Floyd was playing at the time so obviously Floyd came out as a name. Everyone in the room decided that that was a suitable moniker so we went for it. On the way to the rescue centre Boofuls suddenly blurted out, ” I don’t like Floyd.” Sigh. Second choice ( 583rd choice actually) it is then.
Welcome to your new home, Bentley.
Ok, you’re all dying to know. How did the interview go?
What interview? All that stress for nothing.
There I was all nervous and worked up, worried that they’d take one look at us and announce us to be unfit as dog owners. It was nothing like that.
We got to the lady’s house at exactly the appointed time. She came out to meet us, directed us to follow her to the kennels, jumped in her car and off we went for a nice fifteen minute jaunt through the countryside to the rescue centre.
“Well, they must be going to interview us there then.”
I must have done a good enough job on the phone as she really seemed to think it was a done deal. No further questions M’lud.
A little white ball of fluff was brought out to meet us. I’d like to say that he was gorgeous but he was covered in wee, smelly, wet and had obviously just been fast asleep as he was blinking his eyes against the sunlight and looking more than a bit dopey. He looked small, bedraggled and pathetic as he gave me a look that said, ‘I’m really scared.’ How to get straight to my heart strings in one easy lesson.
“Look for intelligence in his eyes” my sister had said. Not much sign of that initially but within a couple of minutes he had come round enough to have worked out that I had dog treats in my pocket. That was it – I was his new best friend. As he woke up more, and began to relax a bit with yet more unfamiliar people, we saw more and more of his personality shine through. I think we’re all going to get on splendidly!
While I was getting to know puppy no name the lady from the rescue centre was filling us in on his background. He and his brother had both been bought by totally unsuitable people as designer accessories ( she told us scathingly) early this month. It took the new owners about a day to realise that rearing one puppy is hard work never mind two. Last weekend they decided the couldn’t cope any longer and handed the pups in at the rescue centre. I think it’s fair to say she wasn’t totally impressed.
It makes me angry that people don’t think through these decisions before buying a dog. Once you have one it’s part of the family for a long time. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly. It’s taken Boofuls and me a lot of soul searching to decide to get a dog and now we’ve got one – or will have on Saturday when we can pick him up – we are committed to making that dog a valued member of our family.
I’m not trying to take any moral high ground or say that I’m a better/kinder/nicer person (I’m really not! ) than these people and I’m well aware that there are times when people have to get rid of dogs as circumstances change in their lives and sadly the only thing they can do is send it to a rescue centre That’s a whole different scenario to the one that these two little chaps found themselves in ie. nothing more than a discarded toy. Gggrrr. I’ll stop now before I start ranting.
So here he is, puppy no name.
We thought it would be fun to have a little competition to see what names people come up with. We have a couple in mind but you might have an even better idea. There will be a prize of a small amount of kudos if we pick the name you come up with. If we don’t like any of them then we’ll just ignore you and go with what we thought. Sounds fair to me!
STROLLING: Flanagan & Allen
Strolling, just strolling,
In the cool of the evening air,
I don’t envy the rich in their automobiles,
For a motor car is phoney.
I’d rather have Shanks’s pony,
When I’m strolling,
With the light of the moon above,
Ev’ry night I go out strolling,
And I know my luck is rolling,
When I’m strolling with the one I love.
Aah, the council organised, Wednesday walks are back on. How I’ve missed them.
From April to October between thirty and 50 intrepid walkers, and me, meet up in all weathers once a week to explore the hidden wonders of lovely Lancashire.
Tonight was week three. These walks are advertised as ‘a stressbusting two hour walk at a brisk pace.’
Brisk? A moderately paced jog is more like it – and strolling doesn’t even come into it. As for strolling with the one I love – it’d kill him!
There has been a definite improvement in my fitness levels though since I first started to do these walks, three years ago. Now I don’t feel like I am actually going to die as we race up every hill the walk leader can find, and I don’t often have to stop for a breather.
Tonight we covered five and a half miles and it was magbloodynificent!
The bluebells carpeted the floor of the woods, the sun sparkled through the trees and off the water of the reservoir, the birds sang and the overall effect was that there was just a hint of magic in the air. Half expecting to see a fairy peeping out from a mossy tree stump I walked enchanted through the magic wood and was sad to leave it behind as we climbed up the hill back on to the moors.
Sometimes it’s just about perfect. Sigh.
It’d be fantastic if I had half a dozen lovely photographs to show you but we don’t have time to stop. Loiterers get left behind. I did snatch a couple of photos on my phone and then had to run to catch up with everyone else as they disappeared into the distance.
So I don’t have a lot of photos from tonight’s walk but I do have a few photos from the photo shoot I did for my friend and neighbour the other day. The puppy is about nine weeks old and is a cross between a belgian Shepherd and German Shepherd. He’s going to be gorgeous later. He’s already quite gorgeous now.
The border collie is Mrs Woofy’s bezzie mate. I don’t know why as she took a chunk out of her last week which resulted in visits to the vet’s and lots of money changing hands.