Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wonderful critters

Residents of the Reptile House Melbourne Zoo. Fascinating!

Miss Dog is bright and happy today. Stealing food again- a good sign that she is feeling her usual self.

I had a good time in the garden today. Johnny ordered our greenwaste bin, but it won't be here for a couple of weeks. I can't keep on top of all of the weeds that I pull out with composting, so we need to send them away to be turned into compost by the Council. I'm glad that they will be put to good use, as we are good at growing them around here.

I feel like hunkering down in my craft room and creating tomorrow. By the way, I did manage a good walk today. I was almost groaning like Oscar on the way back. My back does not like uneven ground. I walked along to check out the horses down the road, but the paddocks had been prepared for resowing. No horses to be seen. Hopefully there will be lots of beautiful foals and their mummies later in the year.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Happy things

Miss Dog is feeling better!!! She ate really well today and had a sparkle in her eyes again. She loved lots of cuddles and tummy tickles, so I'm very happy. Her Daddy thinks I am spoiling her rotten, but it is worth it to see the joy in her eyes again. We don't know what is around the corner, so I want to make the most of each day we have together. I felt a bit mean today because I went out for a serious exercise walk, and she practically pleaded with me to be allowed to come too. I didn't think it was wise because I wanted to go a decent distance. As you can see from the photos, my girth has expanded significantly. Exercise has been tough because my back does not like it at all, and I love to eat. I decided that the only way forward with my back is to push through the pain and try to build my strength. The Crafty Neighbour was a bit disappointed that I didn't take her along too, but I said I need some time to work through the pain and prefer to suffer alone. I was very pleased with myself! All of the walking on holiday got me off to a good start. 

I didn't do much brisk walking in Freemantle. It is a lovely place. There were fish under the wharf and the water was clear enough for a good look. 
 Cottesloe Beach is so pretty and the sand is divine to walk on. It is a very popular swimming beach.
 The gorgeous couple- the reason for our visit to Perth. They were married at the golf club at Cottesloe. It was a stunning location and a very, very happy day.
 Oh dear- this sundress, while lovely and cool to wear, makes me want to deny that it is me exploring at Mandurah. We had lots of fun paddling in the waves. I got pretty soaked by a few rogue waves.
 Victoria Market goodies - Melbourne. We visited the market twice.

 I wanted to buy lots of fruit and vegetables - at these prices, who wouldn't?
 Today the sun came out and I managed to persuade Johnny to come to visit the horses with me. Oh dear Zanny! I think a makeover is required. All of the girls have been enjoying rolls on the muddy ground. It has been very wet here. Zanny and Tara have a tentative booking for a makeover with me over the weekend. Emily wants to bring the foals in for some handling practice, so I can tackle the mummies at the same time.
 Zanny is back to being my snuggly friend again. She has been very focused on being an awesome mother and she is starting to withdraw in preparation for weaning. Look how she cuddled up to me: Everyone wanted some attention.
 Emily invited me to go with Oscar for his swim today as well. You can see Oscar in action in one of the wee photos on the right sidebar. I've been wanting to go with him for a while. There is a big racing stable next door to the farm, so I following Oscar through a wee gate between the properties and was thoroughly entertained by the swimming action.
 As you can see, the pool is a good size, and Oscar can't touch the bottom, so he has to swim.
 Oscar makes long grunting noises when he breathes out while he swims, which is hilarious. It sounds like he finds swimming incredibly hard work, but at the end of his workout he isn't even puffing.
 After quite a few circuits one way, Emily turned him around and took him back the other way. Then he quietly walked up the ramp and out. What a good boy!
I vow to do my own exercise again tomorrow. Hopefully I won't be groaning as loudly as Oscar.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Guess where I have been ...

The Indian Ocean. Cottesloe Beach, Perth. This is where we went for my brother-in-law's wedding. 
Freemantle. She looks pretty good in a bikini and I love her bathing cap!
Perth City. We stayed south of Perth City so visited on the train, and while we were there we went to the Perth Mint, where I saw a one tonne gold coin, and watched a gold bar being made. I want to make my fortune hunting for gold even more now. 
 Wild kangaroo at Mandurra - south of Perth. She had a joey in her pouch. I also saw lots of wee lizards and even a shark in the surf on the beach down from the lookout. Two of us saw it- so we were able to insist that we were not imagining the dorsal fin appearing.
 I stayed on the path even though it was Autumn in Perth. It was very warm.
 And where is this? Melbourne- the view from our hotel down to the Yarra River.
 Sharks and rays at the aquarium. Amazing.
 Melbourne at night- the beautiful lights.
 The butterfly house at the Melbourne Zoo. Fascinating.
 The best bit of the Melbourne Museum- the spider display. These are shed exoskeletons from the spider residents of the museum, which have been mounted in this incredible arrangement between sheets of glass. They are huge. The actual spiders are even better.
 Prowling around the shops in Melbourne. I have a pair of shoes in that bag.
 Self-portrait in our hotel room. We stayed at the Crown Promenade, which was beautiful and a real treat. No wonder we look so happy. We ate like gluttons, walked miles and miles, jumped on and off trams and held hands a lot.
And we are so happy to be home, our little family reunited. Mousie was so overjoyed to be picked up yesterday he has hardly left my side. He even burrowed under the covers overnight, which he has never done before. The news about Miss Dog is not so good. She was taken ill while we were away and needed to be hospitalised and put on fluids for two days. An ultrasound yesterday showed she may have two masses in her liver. We can't get a definitive diagnosis without invasive tests like a liver needle biopsy, and as we would not aggressively treat cancer anyway, we are not keen to poke her with needles any more than we need to. She is going to need more blood tests as time goes by, and that seems bad enough. We are making the most of each moment with her, and spoiling her with whatever she will eat. It isn't like a Labrador to be off her food, so we know she is unwell. She is waggy and happy with cuddles but very gentle and quiet- not her usual exuberant self. 

More about the holiday next time. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Chilly air

It is definitely starting to feel autumnal around here. Time to hunker down and enjoy lots of books, crafting, cardies and winter warmth. I am a HUGE Twilight fan - and I don't care what anyone else thinks, especially people who haven't read the books. I loved the DVD of Breaking Dawn Part 2 so have started reading the books again. It hasn't taken long to get through the first three. 

Mr Mouse has been busy hunting his prey. He removes the green bird from my Easter display and mauls it merrily. Note the matching green Carltonware plate (he ignores the other birds). He is a cat of exceptional tastes. 
 Yes Mouse, enjoy while you can. I must put my Easter display away tomorrow, I think. Reluctantly though. I love the sugary colours.
 I had my longest ever cuddle session with the foals today. I won't see them for over two weeks, so I made the most of my time with them today. They are not easy photographic subjects when I'm in the paddock with them because they want to get very close to me. They both love scratches and cuddles. Fergie was a cheeky, playful girl today.
 Aria is growing so fast, and Tara seems to be a very happy mother. She seemed a little irritated by motherhood early on, but is back to her usual happy self now. I have shares in both of these beautiful girls.
 Fergie is 3 1/2 months and Aria is almost 2 1/2. Fergie is a lot bigger at this stage. They play together, which is just lovely to see.
 Of course frequent visits back to Mum are very important for quick drinks. Zanny is a very tolerant mother, even when Fergie fools around. I missed the shot with the camera when Fergie reared up high and draped her front legs over Zanny's back where the saddle goes. It was extraordinary seeing two legs hanging over her back. Zanny just stood there until she got back down, and then walked over to see if I had found any more carrots. I'll be riding Zanny again in a few months. I wore my riding gear today to remind her about her other job as my steed. (Plus all of my other pants were in the wash.)
 Darling Oscar was in the next paddock. He has recovered from a nasty scrape after he had a tangle with the wooden yards when he got a fright.
 I think he is very fond of the foals. Aria looks massive here, but she is actually tiny compared to Mr Oscar. The camera angle is deceiving. They were both very careful not to touch the electric fence. Very wise. It hurts. A lot.
 We had visitors today, including Molly, who is Mr Mouse's little friend.
 Mouse is very tolerant because she can be a bit silly at times.
Mousie just stayed there while Molly peered at him. She sometimes chases him, but he isn't really bothered. He is so much better with visitors now, probably thanks to our regular weekend visits from the Crafty Neighbours. They come over most Saturdays and Sundays, usually for afternoon tea. We love it. It feels awfully quiet if they go away for a few days.

Miss Dog seems to be a happy lady. She has started on painkillers, so we will see if they make a difference to the pain in her abdomen. She was very worried today when I wanted to take a look at her tummy. She has had some skin problems on her tummy skin, so I was trying to have a good look to see if I needed to apply any antibiotic cream, and she was so tense when I started trying to move her into a good position. She never lies on her back now, so I have to carefully look from the side, gently lifting her wee leggy up just a little to see her tummy. She was fine once she realised I wasn't hurting her, and her tummy looks ok. She developed spots on the balder area which are mostly dried up. She's never had those before. The sore on her face has healed so well with Betadine ointment. I would recommend it for hot spots on dogs.

We've got visitors coming out of our ears tomorrow, and a big adventure coming up. I need to do some sewing, lots of housework, washing, and hopefully a little crafty stuff too. But now it is bed time. By the feel of it, I'll be wanting my electric blanket on before too long.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Miss Dog news

Well, we took Miss Dog in for her tests today. She has something going on that isn't normal, but how bad that will be in the future is impossible to tell. She has a strange void below her spine and above her internal organs, in her pelvis. On x-ray there are very vague oval shapes within the void, but what they are is a mystery. She also has a nasty point of arthritis in her spine above that area, and has lots of other areas of arthritis in her bones, which we knew/suspected.

At the moment our darling doggy seems to be a happy lady, and once all of the blood results are in we can probably start her on some regular painkillers, as she has pain when palpitated in the tummy/pelvic area. Her liver function is a bit below par but her lungs are just old dog lungs.

She was a very good girl so didn't need to be sedated. We want to avoid that if at all possible. Ultrasounding her tummy may be helpful, but she'd need sedating. Needle biopsy can be done with the ultrasound. Basically what we'd like to do is keep her as happy and comfortable as we can, and deal with any symptoms of illness if they arise. I don't want her to have radiation or chemotherapy (unless it would make her feel much better). She is an older girl now and we just want her to be happy for as long as possible.

Hopefully we'll have her with us for a long time yet, but who know what is around the corner. We'll make the most of the time we have with lots of cuddles and treats.