Those eyes

15 02 2013

When we allow our dogs to put their heads out of a car window on a trip, we think that it’s really cute, they do love it. But people often don’t understand how that can lead to serious eye problems and a huge vet bill.

If even the tiniest bug or grain of sand hits the eye at high speed, it can cause a deep scratch that perhaps won’t bother your dog much at first, dogs don’t seem to worry much about their eyes like we do, so you may not notice any damage for weeks.

Now the hole can simply heal up without you knowing, but it can also turn into an ulcer.

A small ulcer can be healed with medication, prescription  eye drops and pills provided by your vet.

However, a larger ulcer may require an operation and this will be performed not by your regular vet, but by an animal eye specialist.

If this operation is held off, then your dog will most likely lose the eye, and in the worst case, die of infection, so it’s something which requires immediate attention.

However it is also expensive, you’re looking at a bill exceeding $1000.

So allowing your dog to enjoy a few minutes of fun is not worth it.

But if you’ve been following my story about Katie, well it probably wasn’t a car trip which caused the problem in her case, she seems to love poking her face into bushes with lots of pointy sticks in them. I’ve often pulled her back from spiky plants while we’re out walking.

Also, the breed of dog who is most prone to eye injury is the pug with it’s vulnerable bulging eyes, loveable, but a potential problem in waiting.

Wolfie!

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The Irrits

13 02 2013

The other day Carol Duncan played a song which I had never heard before, It was “State of the art” by Gotye”.

And the song is about one of those Hammond organs which they tended to flog a lot on television in the 70s and 80s.

The video, on the other hand, is a weird sci-fi cartoon where this computerised instrument takes over the family and turns them into robots.

Ever since I heard the song, it has become an earworm which won’t go away, I think because it touched a nerve.

You see, in the 70s and 80s, I knew this family, I’ll call them the Irrits, because that’s what they gave me, sorry, but I couldn’t stand them, and because one of them may Google themselves one day I’ll change their first names too.

And this is why, firstly I had nothing in common with them, The Irrits had four kids who I mostly found annoying.

I liked my own company, but suddenly, and often over Christmas holidays in the Aussie Summer, they would arrive at our holiday house and park their caravan down the back, I’m not really sure how a family of five fitted into a caravan, but they managed it.

They had all the luxuries at home though, they had a great car, and a house, which only got larger as they moved onwards and upwards, with a pool and a spa… and the six car garage… but then they did run a taxi service, so that’s fair.

They had the biggest black and white TV that anyone could afford, and a superb quadraphonic Hi-Fi system.

The lead Woman of this Family, Let’s call her Shazza, liked to boast that when she bought the Hi-Fi, that the Man in the shop said “You must really love your music” to which she replied “Oh yes, We love Country and Western” and the poor Man was nearly sick, “You mean you’re going to play Country and Western… on THIS!?”

Are you beginning to see some faults? bare with me.

Oh, there was that organ too, the amazing organ which could make all these incredible sounds, but of course the lead Man, let’s call him Bazza, Couldn’t play a thing.

The house, as fancy as it was, was crammed with the worst kitch at the time, a clock which looks like a cat whose eyeballs and tail would move, little animal figurines, string pictures on the walls, paintings of sunsets.

My Dad couldn’t see the forest for the trees, Dad loved Bazza, thought he was the dogs bollocks, But Mum saw right through the lot, and so did I.

You know how they got all that money?

They barely ate, that’s right, the three teenage boys were thin as a rake, and when they visited us, Mum would put on a banquet, food was loaded onto the table and it would all be sucked up as if by a hoover minutes later.

I remember once when I was a little kid, they looked through every drawer in my bedroom to find money, I was naive then, I thought they were looking for toys or something to play with, but I don’t blame them, I suppose if I was that hungry, I may have taken a risk myself.

We visited them once, and I was offered a drink of cordial, Shazza had diluted it so much that it may as well have been tap water, in fact I said it out loud “This cordial takes like water” well did I get scolded for that, By Mum… it was something she raised a lot when she was angry with me over the years… but eventually I said “Mum, it was the truth wasn’t it?” and she never picked at me over it again.

Once when They visited us, Their daughter, the youngest, really needed a drink, Shazza told me that if I give her a drink of cordial, not to make it too strong, did I listen? pigs to that, it was probably the best drink of cordial the poor girl had ever had.

Another time when we were sitting in their kitchen, their daughter very gingerly asked Her Mum if she could have some BBQ Shapes, a snack biscuit which is popular here in Australia, and often a kid would just take the whole box and eat them all in front of the TV, I know I did.

Shazza took a babies plastic bowl, opened the box, took THREE out and put them in the bowl, and sent the poor kid away with that. My jaw almost hit the floor.

Their clothes were all moth eaten, their shoes were from the local tip or the op shop.

Mum witnessed Shazza washing the dishes once, barely a dribble of Embassy detergent in luke warm water.

When we went on holidays to Queensland (From Melbourne) Mum would pack a hamper full of sandwiches and there’d be a thermos of hot water for tea, coffee or cup-a-soup, there was always an assortment of cool drinks and chips and lollies. we would stop around six in the evening at a reasonably priced motel, to bed down.

When they went, they took no food, despite having five people in the car, they would exist on a few cans of coke and I remember Shazza saying that they pulled over to where a bloke was selling fruit, they bought an entire box of passionfruit  and ate those, nothing else for the whole journey… and they never stopped, a full 24hr drive, non-stop.

I don’t know how they existed like that, I know we didn’t have that much, although we had the extra house… We ate well and our clothing was always good… though I use that word lightly after a review of some of the photos from back then.

How do you step from the front door of a huge home wearing the thinnest, oldest and cheapest clothing?

I’m pleased to say that the rest of my family were lovely and I often enjoyed being with them, but the best thing about the Irrits was when they went home.

Wolfie!





Under the bonnet

1 05 2012

Lately life has been very slow for me.

I’ve been on my own, except for Katie and Vicky of course, since Mum died in 2006, and although I never saw much of my Sister, I suppose things got a bit worse since she died in 2010.

In some ways things appear to have stopped, I spend a lot of my time home, and online. It’s true that I am a home body and enjoy my quiet time, and had it not been for the internet then I would have found something else to do on my own.

A strange thought occurred to me, I feel as though I have pulled the car off the side of the road and have decided to open the bonnet and see what makes things, in my life, tick.

And I’ve met a wonderful collection of people who were somehow always there, but just sort of unreachable.

They made things work in my life, they powered it in all sorts of ways.

I feel somewhat annoyed that it took this long to find them, but of course the ability wasn’t there.

Wolfie!





An essay on what I did on my holidays *sigh*

6 03 2012

The first day on the return to School was always the same.

The Teacher would say “Write me an essay about what you did on your holidays” and then there’d be a collective sigh from the class.

Years later, when I found out that I actually liked writing, I began to understand that the reason kids hate writing about their holidays is because they don’t enjoy writing, particularly if spelling isn’t easy… but also because most of us think our holidays were “boring”.

Emily thinks she didn’t do anything interesting, despite the fact that She spent a weekend with her Gran who is a well known pianist and very funny… She thinks of Jim, who spent two weeks in Italy… Despite the fact that Jim thought that swimming and sitting on the beach at his grandfathers home was “boring”, and He thinks of Kate, Who got to spend two weeks at home, with her friends, watching videos… despite the fact that Kate was actually bored out of her wits because it rained for two weeks and she didn’t get to go anywhere. (although friends stayed overnight a few times).

And this is what Teachers must raise with Children, our perspectives are always different, and we often think our own lives are a lot less glorious than the lives of others.

Now that’s settled, I want to talk about my holiday… and although my eleven year old self may sigh, I’m actually quite happy to write about it.

I got up relatively early, my bags were already packed and I had a shower.

I fed Vicky before I left and got Katie ready.

Deb turned up early, She’s turned up ready to take me to Her place, in her car. The drive would be something like four hours to the south east of our state, heading for a place which is somewhere near Heyfield in Victoria.

I had been telling Katie, My Malamute, that we would be going out in the car soon, and I think it did get into her doggy mind that she was going somewhere, and she was very keen to get into the car for a ride.

We did a few local things first.

Deb had been hanging out for a Turkish Delight Gelati at the Gelati shop (No spell checker, it’s “Gelati” here in oz, kindly piss off). But I also wanted to drop off a photo for a local photo competition, in Seddon, so we did that, then drove to Yarraville… but the shop was closed, Deb wasn’t happy.

But she did buy some small cakes at Heather Dell, a shop which has been there for decades, going back to when Mum was a kid.

Some people came out of the op shop and started asking me all the usual questions about Malamutes, I don’t mind, it happens all the time, how could anyone who loves dogs not want to talk to Katie? I am very lucky to have her.

We went back to the car and set off

We drove for about an hour, and then stopped at a big servo which had almost any sort of take-away hidden away inside it, No truckie would go hungry there.

I noted that they even sold soft porn DVDs.

I had a chicken sandwich there, and a juice.

Katie had a pee, and was much happier.

I don’t recall what Deb had, but we all had something good, and that was the main thing.

Then we piled into the car and continued.

*** Sorry dear reader, but I was very tired and fell asleep.

 

We continued on to Moe, Which is South-East Victoria, sort of… lots of hills and trees and houses, quite an active small city with a lot of shops.

We stopped for peeing and dropoffs and pick ups and I tweeted a message to Scuzzy that we were nearby and would be at his place in about 30 minutes.

I had known Scuzzi for quite a while, mainly via Second Life, But we’d never laid eyes on each other for real, so this would be interesting.

He tweeted back that He wasn’t expecting company and tore off to do some cleaning.

We drove off, and Deb showed me all the sights of Moe and the Shops, there were a lot of shops, it appeared to me that if you lived in Moe, then you wouldn’t have gone without. It was probably quite a nice place to live.

Confusingly, there was a shop at called Maccas, which wasn’t a Maccas at all… but something else. (Aussies call McDonalds “Maccas”).

We drove for another half an our and found a particular farm gate… Deb stopped and paused, then remembered I was a city boy, and opened the gate herself… I promised to do it on the way out.

There was this, and I’m hesitant to call it this, “road” leading through into the bush, into a gully… it was covered in what may have been quartz, and was full of potholes and bits which scraped the base of Debs car… this was not a place for your standard vehicle, a four wheel drive was what was needed here.

Katie braced herself in the back, and for a moment there was a scary bit where I thought we were going to go off the side of the cliff, but we didn’t.

We came to a separation of the track, one side leading up the hill, and the other down.

We decided to go up, and came to a run down home with lots of glass windows, but no wonder, the view was magnificent. as Deb went knocking on the home, I went outside and took a number of photos, which I made into a panorama once I got home.

I tweeted Scuzzi again, we’d gone up instead of down… oh well, back in the car we got and slowly wended our way down the track.

Scuzzi lived with his dog in a huge concrete house overlooking the lake, it seemed a strange place for a home, but excellent if you needed peace and quiet.

Scuzzi welcomed us, it was nice to see him… He was very informal, which was great because I don’t have a formal bone in my body either, old hippy that I am, and He welcomed Katie too.

Now Katie was looking a bit distressed, and I was thinking that it was just Her finding herself in a strange house… I really should have thought about her more.

Deb, Scuzzi and I sat around the table, and had a cup of tea and a few small cakes which She’d bought in Yarraville (near me) before we set off.

Then katie came romping into the room like a silly puppy, and I realised what had happened before the others had.

Katie had taken a dump inside the house, and it wasn’t a little dump, it looked as though an elephant had left it there.

Scuzzi handed me a fire shovel and I scooped it up and raced it outside, It was cleaned up quickly and forgiven, but still, I really hadn’t been paying attention to Katies body language, She had been in the car for quite a while and was quite agitated once she got out and I had taken her inside Scuzzis home (fearing snakes) too soon.

It was my fault.

*** I’ll write more later ***