Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My blankie, My Typist and me.

A ridiculously simple, mostly pictorial guide to manipulating communicating with your human.

We may have a problem.

Excuse me please.

I know you're busy watching another riveting episode of Masterchef, and I'm SO sorry to interrupt, but may I trouble you to put my blankie on me again?


Thank you. So very kind.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Loose ends and last words.

There are so many niggly things I've been wanting to write about but, to tell you the truth, I've enjoyed being away from the computer. More than 1000 unseen [and mostly crappy] pictures will now be moved to folders and the recycle bin because the moment has passed to tell those stories.

But I must sneak a few in.

Loose ends.
3 evenings a week, I get on the temperamental Balmain bus that turns up as and when it pleases, and pass this lovely view on my way to capoeira class.
Despite the press of too many bodies [some apparently unwashed] crowded into an overheated bus, who can complain?

The last few weeks of autumn have been beautiful. Too cold for my old bones and stinky knee, but sunny and dry. Perfect for meeting old friends in the park.
Molly, Scotty, Kody and Delle.
Scotty cut his face 2 days ago while playing at Mort Bay Park and had to have surgery. Poor baby [as in distraught dogmom]. Poor Scotty too.



Georgie the lurcher and her friend, Stella the seeing eyedog, on her day off. Apparently Stella's not terribly good at her job because she gets to play with other dogs.
I'm sure she's happier though.


 Coco, still the BGF. Still loco.


Old friend Banjo made a rare appearance one day.


And could this be Serious Boyfriend #3?
Only if Ms Pea doesn't play hard-to-get. And what kind of a dogmom am I? I don't even remember his name.

This week, the weather changed again, sunny skies giving way to fog, rain and gusty winds.

Unlike many dogs, Georgia isn't scared of wind.
 But I don't think she likes it too much.

The Other Half made a rare investment and is now ready for muddy winter walks.

More loose ends.
Remember the magic orange tree? It's grown.
I'll have to move it somewhere soon so it can have its own space and stop being just an unexpected guest.

The basil I inherited from my neighbour, which came from her mum, is thriving, despite having been unceremoniously ripped from the ground.

It's not pretty like the basil from the supermarket and has a much more pungent flavour.
It's already been blended into garlicky nutty pesto, popped onto homemade pizzas, and tossed into Thai basil chicken stirfry. Yum.

The courtyard pavers have finally been stripped off their slimey green moss.
The last reminder of a time when an old incontinent dog and daily hosedowns kept the place constantly damp.

The backyard and the frontyard have been tamed.
The flowering plum and tulip magnolia have dropped the last of their leaves [thank god] and are already budding. Winter is on its way.

The Other Half had a quiet birthday.

Ditto The Never-Before-Mentioned Reclusive Brother.

The capoeira batizado is already a distant memory. If only I could say the same about the aches and pain.

A short break to somewhere balmy has been planned. The holiday camp gulag boarding kennel, organised.

Research has already resumed for a longer holiday later in the year.

Because we haven't been able to travel for 2 years, Georgia has never been boarded [unless you count the time spent at the pound as boarding]. I'm not worried that she won't be able to tolerate commercially prepared dogfood because we're talking about a dog that eats vomit and dead things off the ground. I'm not worried that she'll freeze though she probably will, being A Dog Of Little Hair. I'm not even worried that she'll miss us.

What does worry me, is that she may react badly to being in a confined space with many other dogs, all of which will be unknown to her. Some of them will no doubt be yappy, and may lunge or look at her in some way she finds offensive. Miss Pea does not tolerate dogs that smirk at her these days, and has become quite standoffish with strangers.   
 "Oh! It's YOU, Muddy!"
We've picked a place that does the inverse of what most boarding kennels do. The dogs have free run all day of a large grassy enclosure [which no doubt becomes a quagmire when it rains]. They get to wander on long guided bushwalks in a happy pack. They only get kenneled when it's time for beddy-bye. Most importantly, the place appears to be run by people with a history of working with dogs. 

At least that's what the website says. I shall duly be able to make a report.

Meantime, I have visions of Georgia snoozing contentedly under some shady tree like Fernando, surrounded by equally dozy new friends.

Hope springs eternal.

Last Words.
Many people have been asking us how Georgia's doing.

I was having a chat with the ladies at our local dogfriendly Blooms Chemist just a few days ago. One of them made me weepy by showing me pictures of Rufus tagged onto the counter. Another reminded me of how depressed Rufus had been after Jordan died.

Jordan left the house one day for a trip to the vet and never came back.

How do you tell a dog his friend isn't coming home? Or why his friend isn't coming home?

Rufus didn't eat properly for 2 weeks. Every night, he would wander about the house, panting heavily. Sometimes, if I was up writing, he would keep me company in the study. Most nights, he'd be in the bedroom, checking on us. He would walk up to black dogs on the street, in case one of them was Jordan. He spent a lot of time looking out to sea. One day, walking back from the park, he heard a dog barking that sounded very much like Jordan. He broke from his usual amble and pulled me up the street to the house where the barking was coming from. He tried pulling me into the yard.

Rufus was depressed for 6 weeks. I can be precise because that's when we decided the best thing we could do, would be to get him another companion.

He immediately perked up after Georgia came to stay. In the presence of a cute young thing, his chest puffed up, he started to walk more briskly and to play. He became his belligerent old self again.

We've had no such drama with Ms Pea. She does look sad sometimes, but she's always had a sad face. She's no more clingy than she ever was. There's been no loss of appetite. No signs of anxiety. No grieving. If Georgia were human, I would probably call her heartless. Lucky I'm not silly that way.

In fact, I'm very grateful for the way things turned out and can only conclude that the vet was right in telling us it'd be good for her to witness the end. Georgia got the closure that Rufus didn't. Georgia got to say goodbye.

Having experienced these 2 very different endings, I know which one I would recommend to anyone facing the same situation, and who has a choice.

It's a month today since we let Rufus go. Exactly. Already.
And those are pretty much the last words I have to say on the subject because it's time to be happy again.