Category Archives: Dogs

Writing 101: Serially Lost

Day 4 and the challenge is

Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more. and
Today’s twist: Make today’s post the first in a three-post series.

I have tried writing a serial before.  It was about two women and their hats and their adventures.  I really enjoyed that.  But now we are asked to write about a loss and then to make this the first in a three post series,

So what to write about?  Apart from the great loss in my life, the next loss was that of my darling companion Miss Lotte. It was a beautiful summer day; I had just had lunch and was sitting down to a cup of tea and a new magazine when I heard this horrendous sound of someone in great pain.  I looked around and found my darling little Tibetan spaniel writhing on the ground.  She had been lying in the sun and once before she had been affected by the heat.  At that time the vet told me to pick her up and speak to her quietly so she would know all was well.  I did that but I could see we were in great trouble.  So I wrapped her in her blanket and drove to my vet.  Apparently she was very near death – he didn’t know if she had eaten anything poisonous, unlikely as she was confined to our garden, or whether she had suffered a heart attack.

I left Miss Lotte at the vets and spent a miserable afternoon without my loving companion.  But I was allowed to pick her up some hours later.  She was to be kept quiet, no walks just rest and hopefully all would be well.

Lotte sleeping after her trip to the vets.

Unfortunately, there was no happy ending for Lotte and me.  She had to be put to sleep a few days later,  She suffered another major heart attack one evening and I had to take her to the emergency vet, where I was told that the best thing I could do for my darling was to let her go.  How sad that was.  But although she had a very short life it had been a happy and full life with me, my friends and grandsons who all loved her.

So I said goodbye to my friend.  And farewelled her with the words I used when my husband died –

“Soar high; Fly free; Breathe easy”

LotteLotte Baxter
Loving friend
Faithful companion
2006-2013
RIP

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A New Companion

Firstly, I should like to thank all those who either ticked Like and/or commented on my blog about putting Lotte to sleep.  Your kind thoughts, words and hugs are very much appreciated. Now..

As you can imagine I have been looking for another dog, not to replace Lotte but because my family think I should get another companion.  So I have been looking for a dog to re-home  through various organisations and then this email landed in my in-box:

Brutus

“This is Brutus, a military K9 at McChord…He’s huge – part Boxer
and part British Bull Mastiff and tops the scales at 200 lbs. His handler took the picture.
Brutus is running toward me because he knows I have some Milk Bone treats, so he’s slobbering away! I had to duck around a tree just before he got to me in case he couldn’t stop, but he did.
Brutus was the recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor last year from his tour in Iraq . His handler and four other soldiers were taken hostage by
insurgents.  Brutus and his handler communicate by sign language and he gave Brutus the signal that meant ‘go away but come back and find me’.
The Iraqis paid no attention to Brutus. He came back later and quietly tore the throat out of one guard at one door and another guard at another door. He then jumped against one of the doors repeatedly (the guys were being held in an
old warehouse) until it opened. He went in and untied his handler and they all escaped. He’s the first K9 to receive this honor.

If he knows you’re ok, he’s a big old lug and wants to sit
in your lap. Enjoys the company of cats..
K-9 Congressional Medal of Honor Winner”

I think he is slightly too big for me.  I would have to buy a bigger property, a bigger car, larger couch and dog bed, change my friends and take him for walks about 6 times a day.  So I guess I shall just have to keep looking.

By the way he really is a big softie,  These instructions were included in the email:

Instructions for properly hugging a baby with Brutus

First, uh, find a baby.

Baby

Second, be sure that the object you found
was indeed a baby, by employing classic sniffing
techniques.

Baby2

Next, you will need to flatten the baby before
actually beginning the hugging process.

Baby3

The ‘paw slide’= Simply slide paws around baby
and prepare for possible close-up.

Baby4

Finally, if a camera is present, you will need to execute
the difficult and patented ‘hug, smile, and lean’ so
as to achieve the best photo quality.

Baby6

Back to the drawing board for another companion for me.  But isn’t he a big soft lovable dog?

Note – as the pictures are circulating around the internet I have assumed they are available to be used in a non-commercial blog post.  If this is not the case I apologise to the owners of the copyrights.

Very Sick Dog, Vey Scared Owner

Thursday was a normal day.  The sun was shining brightly and all was well with my world.  Just another Thursday, that is until about 2pm.  Lotte was lying contentedly in the sunshine, the painter across the road was listening to his quietly playing music and I had just sat down for a cup of tea after lunch.

Suddenly, the air was filled with an unholy screech coming from Lotte. my Tibetan Spaniel.  I rushed outside to see her and she was lying limply on the ground with her eyes way back in her head.  Once before she had suffered a seizure from being too hot and the vet I saw then said to sit with her for a while until she came out of it.  However, this time, she shrieked again and I knew she had to see our own vet Dr Michael.

Michael took one look at Lotte and rushed her into the consulting room.  There he agreed that I had a very sick little dog and when he checked her heart rate was 20 compared to the usual 136.  Very sick indeed, and when he looked in her mouth he declared that she was going blue and promptly rushed her off.  I was left to sit and wait for a verdict.

When he returned he asked several questions such as had there been any big changes to her diet, did I have problems with a neighbour who didn’t like dogs (apparently there have been a couple of poisonings in the neighbourhood);  had she wandered off and could she have eaten something poisonous; did I have any poisonous plants in the garden?  etc etc.  Well Lotte is confined to the premises and doesn’t go away unless it is with me, she rarely eats what I put down for her so she is unlikely to eat anything else, she doesn’t scavenge, my neighbours all make a fuss of Lotte and  so the answers to the questions were not at all helpful.

Dr Michael said he had given her adrenaline, oxygen and intravenous fluids as she was dehydrated.  He thought that she had suffered an anaphylactic shock caused by an insect sting, and said he would keep her in for the afternoon to monitor her.  As you can imagine it was a very subdued owner who went home without her dog.

Several hours later following a call from the surgery, I picked up a very docile, Lotte having been given the after-hours contact in case of an emergency and also was asked to bring her back the next day for a further raft of tests.  The evening and the night were spent with Lotte lying close to me, but thankfully there was no cause to call the emergency number.

Lottte with coloured boots

Lotte sleeping after her visit to the Vets

The next day she went back for a series of tests including a”blood tests, fluid therapy, radiology, ultrasonography and histology”.  The outcome of all these tests was the verdict that she had suffered a heart attack and as we knew had been very close to dying when I brought her into the clinic.

So now I have a very quiet little dog, who is not allowed any exercise and is confined to “House rest for 10 days”.  We are just spending the next few days quietly with each other – two best friends looking out for each other.

“If you’re alone, I’ll be your shadow.
If you want to cry, I’ll be your shoulder.
If you want a hug, I’ll be your pillow.
If you need to be happy, I’ll be your smile.
But any time you need a friend, I’ll just be me. ” Author Unknown

And here’s a rainbow in case you need one today

Rainbow

My rainbow

`

The Family Dog

Lotte tired

Wherever she had been she was now exhausted

The other day I received this from a friend.

Inner Peace:
If you can start the day without caffeine,
If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining and
boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat plain food every
  day and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when your loved
  ones are too busy to give you any time,
If you can take criticism and
  blame without resentment,
If you can conquer tension
  without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

…Then You Are Probably
  ………
The Family Dog!
     

Time for a change

Lotte has been looking a bit bedraggled for several weeks now.  She has needed a hair cut in the worst possible way.  I eventually managed to get an appointment with the groomer and guess what, it was for yesterday.

As I couldn’t drive my friend Carol agreed to take her for me.  This is a new groomer and so she didn’t know how I wanted the hair cut and so I had a conversation with her.  English is not her first language and so the conversation went something like:

Cecilia;       Hello Judis.  Lottee is here now.  How do I cut her?
Me:              I would like her trimmed for the summer.
Cecilia:        But how much?
Me:               Just tidy her up all over so that she isn’t too hot
Cecilia:         But 2, 3 or 5 and 6?
Me:                2,3 or 5 and 6 what?
Cecilia:          Size – most people have 5  for dogs this small
Me:                OK so I’ll have 5.

Well of course I had no idea what I would get and how my pooch would look when I got her back.

Lotte clipped

I don't know what attracted her attention away from the camera

And this is how she looks now.  Clean and shiny and sweet smelling once again.  But gone is her beautiful feathery tail.  You can’t see it from this photo but she now has a totally clipped tail with a ‘feather duster’ on its end.  Oh well, it will grow out in time – I know it will, I know it will!

“A person who has never owned a dog has missed a wonderful part of life.”
Bob Barker, Game Show Host

Six Word Saturday Again

Six word Saturday button

 Six Word Saturday  – the idea is to describe your life or a day therein in six words.  So it’s a challenge but fun.  If you want to participate please just click the link.   So

Went to the beach with Lotte.

As it was such a lovely day here, bright sunshine and warmth that we have had so rarely in our summer so far, I decided to meet with a friend and take our dogs for a walk.

Lotte and Major

Best friends

Close to where I live is this amazing surf beach and part of it is designated for dogs.  It is not blocked off in any way and the dogs, people, children (oh they are people too aren’t they) surfers, swimmers etc all mix and mingle.

There was a great mixture of dogs today, from Major (the Afghan) down to a tiny Chihuahua and every size in between – there were German Shepherds playing with Basset Hounds, Poodles and Bichons in amongst the Ridgebacks and Labradors and a once white West Highland Terrier that was rolling in the sand with a Griffon.  They all had such a great time and I am sorry that I left my phone in the car while I was on the beach.

All the dogs  enjoy the freedom afforded to them here.  Fortunately Lotte doesn’t like going into the water but her best friend does.  Can you imagine the state that an Afghan Hound gets into?  Running into the sea and then rolling in the sand.  Luckily I always have a towel for Lotte in the car and so it came in very useful for Major today.

Then round to a very casual cafe on the beach.  It is housed in part of what  used to be an Air Force base.  I think they have taken over part of the submarine mining depot barracks.  In any event it is well worth the drive and particularly on such a great day.

Chocolate Fish Cafe

Photo - Google Images

They have an unusual range of chairs.  Each has a different saying on it.  One I saw today said:

Woman drove me to drink

Photo - Google Images

Sorry no photos from me today.  Didn’t know this was what today’s blog was going to be about.

Our dogs will love and admire the meanest of us, and feed our colossal vanity with their uncritical homage.
Agnes Repplier
, American essayist. 1855-1950.

A Walk in the Bush

View of bush

Bush as it was before settlers came

It had been a beautiful morning and I had been at the computer for hours.  So I decided to take Madam for a walk in the bush.  What is ‘the bush’? In New Zealand, it is the native forest, which once covered most of the land. Dense and dark, it was alive with birds, insects and lizards, but sometimes impenetrable to humans.

Much of it was cleared by the settlers but here in Wellington we are fortunate to have the Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton’s Bush Reserve.  This is the only public botanic garden in New Zealand dedicated solely to New Zealand native plants.

BushwalkThe reserve consists of 100 hectares of native forest, and five hectares of plant collections. Some of Wellington’s oldest trees are here, including an 800-year-old rimu.  The reserve is owned and managed by the Wellington City Council

Bushwalk 4

The area now known as Otari Wilton’s bush was originally covered in forest.  The name “Otari” is Māori for “Place of Snares”.  The bush/forest was cleared by the settlers for farming and timber.  Then in 1860 a far-sighted local farmer, Job Wilton, fenced off a 7 hectare block of land from cattle.  This was the beginning of the reserve.

Bushwalk

Paths have been created to allow one to walk freely in among the trees.

Bushwalk

This is a native NZ flax with strange bright flowers growing on it.  I couldn’t find the name tag for the plant alas.

By the time we arrived it had started to rain but the dense bush gave good shelter to us.  At first I was surprised that there was little birdsong but once the rain stopped the birds came out and we saw many of them flying around.  Native birds here include tui, kereru, fantail, silver eye, kingfisher, grey warbler and morepork.

We spent about an hour wandering the paths and taking photos with my trust i-phone – how I love that small phone.  Then it was time to go home, but Madam aka Lotte and I shall return again soon.

Home again

Another exciting day for one small dog, comes to an end and she finds somewhere to rest her tired little legs.

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Dog on the run!

“Don’t let minor obstacles dampen your enthusiasm
for your current project.
Your energetic approach and eager attitude
will ultimately see you succeed in this venture.”

From Dog Wisdom – to lift your spirits and brighten your day*

Lotte

Please may I go out?

Lotte is an escapologist.  I think Harry Houdini was her grandfather.  She takes any and every opportunity to escape, although recently I thought she had decided against venturing out into the busy streets of the suburb.

After I bought her I looked on the internet to discover that one must never take a Tibetan Spaniel out for walks without a lead; they will take off and will not heed your call to come back.  This has been proven to me many times over the years during which she has owned me.  Once she gets free – she is off!

Today she was particularly well behaved while I ran the course on positive beliefs.  She sat outside the venue on a long lead for 2.5 hours.  We then went for a walk but when we returned home I had a problem with the front door keys.  One of the locks (that I never lock) had locked and I couldn’t get it open.  So I had to call on a neighbour.  He managed to turn the key and open the door.  Unfortunately when he left, he didn’t close the door behind him.  My fault. I should have checked.

I didn’t realise she had gone until I called her for some food and she was nowhere to be found.  I decided that there was no point in my going to look for her; I have done so in the past and it is a futile exercise because I have no idea where to start.

Another pathway

Maybe she took herself on our usual walk

Driveway

Did she venture up this drive

Bichon frisDid she meet up with a friend

About an hour after she left, I heard a very large dog barking and then heard her little bark and then suddenly she shot through the front door and greeted me.  I was very pleased to see her and she was equally pleased, I think, to be home.

I have no idea where she was for that hour and she has no way of telling me.  So I guess I shall just have to make up another story about that.

Lotte tired

Wherever she had been she was now exhausted

“Heroes take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the treasure of their true selves.”
Carol Pearson,American poet, author, screenwriter, and playwright. 1939 –

* Dog Wisdom – Published by Blue Angel Gallery, Australia—

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