Shameless Fashion

13 11 2013

I usually write my own stuff, but this was great.

Copied from Jacqueline Chambers Zakharia

Dear Santa,

For Christmas I would like a 6 week old ‘Shitalier’ puppy.
Preferably from the internet or a pet shop.

I want it to cost a minimum of $3,000 because as you know they are a ‘designer breed’ and are very exclusive.

This pup is to have a myriad of health issues including hip and eye problems and a good old fashioned grade four heart murmur.

Since you are reading this I would like to let you know what I want next year…. I would like you to take back that pup as I may be moving, having a baby or any other excuse I can think of except the truth that it is no longer cute anymore.

Please give it to a rescue group so they can do all it’s vet work and fix all it’s problems and pass it on to someone else to adopt it and deal with it.

Oh yes , and put me down for a Groodle, Pocket Rottweiler, Pomsky pup for next year …actually anything with the word ‘Doodle’ in it will suffice..don’t care which one it is so long as it is fashionable…

Many thanks Santa





Katie and I

24 09 2013

I’m considering everything that was done for Katie.

I rarely left her, and when I did, she was always safe inside the house, and four times she went to a kennel, just for a few days
when I was either on holiday or at hospital.

Katie had good food and fresh water every day, and had a big walk each day, unless I wasn’t well or the weather was too hot or cold, or wet.

The walks helped me recover too, and am grateful to her for that.

She wanted me to buy her a soft bed, she saw them at the local shops and so I got her one.

She took sick at one point and had a big operation, which she recovered from and probably had an extra five years of life as a result.

She hurt her eyes several times, and had an operation on one, and ongoing medication on the other.

Her teeth were bad, mostly because she chewed through a fence to possibly escape from her former owners, and to escape into the neighbours yard because I was there.

Katie was with me, the day I lost Mum.

She went to a friends farm twice, and twice to the beach, she loved that.

Katie loved furries, and adored Marko and Davids suits, and wanted one of Markos paws.

She was always the first person I would consider whenever I made any plans at all, and I would always prefer to stay here with her, than go out anywhere… unless she could go too.

She was my support dog, perhaps not officially, but I couldn’t have done much without her, she was very special.

I think she was the most loyal dog I’ve ever had, if she wasn’t at my side, she was completely depressed… and that’s saying something, because the last two I had, Benny and Laddie were exceptionally loyal too.

Katie was a rescued dog, had I not taken her in, then she may have been put down in 2005, simply because she was unwanted.

But she was wanted, and she wanted me, Her companionship and love was just magic, and I’d be very lucky if I ever had that again.

I will try this last effort to keep her going, because if I don’t, I will forever wonder if it might’ve worked, and I don’t want to be looking back to this time, thinking If only I tried harder, I would have had her a bit longer.

If she survives this, and has a peaceful life here at home, if she can eat and drink, and get up and go outside when she needs to, then I will keep up her medications and continue to look after her, I am proud of her, she is an honoured member of this house, she is my family, and I will give her as much love and comfort as she needs.

But if she doesn’t respond, then I’ve decided that I will let her go.

Katherine was without a doubt, one of the greatest things that ever happened to me, and I will love her dearly, for the rest of my life.





Today was a bit much

1 04 2013

I decided to go for a walk with Katie, but didn’t want to walk all that far.

But decided to cross our main road and walk to one of the larger parks nearby, which we did and that was ok… but that area is rather unfamiliar to me despite me living around here for 47 years.

So, we got a bit lost.

When I get lost, I begin to feel panic attacks coming on, although I’m pleased to say that I held together well.

Katie and I were pooped, and I was anxious to find anything that looked familiar, and yes I had my iphone with me, and was about to check when things started to look familiar.

We’d come to a park which was further away than what I had hoped for, but still, it was familiar.

There is a walk bridge over the main road, and we headed for that, but I was running low on energy (anxiety) and Katie needed a good drink of water.

Now before I get to the next bit, One of Katies habits, which is generally a good thing, is if she slips from her collar, she will sit and wait for me to put it back on.

Now sometimes the bridge “bounces” as we cross it, and the motion makes me feel worse, and with a panic attack only just being held off, I decided to cross the road… which wasn’t too busy, being Easter Monday.

It should be less stressful.

There were no cars coming, so Katie and I headed across the first part of the highway.

You guessed it, She slipped out of her collar, and sat, on one of the lanes, a car was coming but was in another lane.

I jumped back and grabbed Katie around the neck, and pulled.

Katie thought she was being attacked and yelped.

I pulled, pushed and encouraged her to safety.

My heart was in my throat, and felt like I was about to pass out, but crossed the freeway and we were ok.

Katie was exhausted and so was I.

I got her home, where she’s had a snack and has drunk most of her bucket of water.

She’s laying here panting like mad, but is probably ok.

Wolfie!





The Katie FAQ

3 03 2013

Whenever I’m out walking Katie, my Malamute, I’m always asked the same questions, not that I mind re-telling them, though I have often joked about writing a FAQ… Well here it is.

What sort of dog is Katie?

An Alaskan Malamute.

 

I have heard there’s a difference between the Alaskan Malamute and the other one, what is it? the Husky?

A Siberian Husky is a smaller breed, they’re strong and agile and mainly bred to pull people in the snow. An Alaskan Malamute is larger and stronger, think about Clydesdale Horses in comparison to a Quarter horse. Malamutes are used to pull freight through snow, and people too.

Is it hard to keep her cool in Summer?

It can be, Summers in Melbourne can be very hot, but Katie likes to be inside with me and we have a lovely air conditioner to keep her cool.

Does she eat a lot?

Not really, at least I don’t seem to notice it, a bowl of food in the evening seems to be enough, she has milk and eggs too (sometimes) and a snack in the evening. She will will also lick up whatever the cat (Vicky) leaves behind after her breakfast.

He meals mostly consist of 4legs meatballs which I get from Coles, and if I’m having pasta, Katie will share some of that with me. I might give her canned food now and then, but rarely… she sometimes gets dry food, but I don’t like it and mostly avoid it.

People say dogs should eat dry food, really? Have you ever heard of a wolf going hunting for kibble? and would you eat dry food all the time? I doubt it.

Where did you get her?

Katie had been running free around Puckapunyal military base in Victoria, Australia. She had been picked up by the local vet who loved Katie and tried desperately to find her a good home. She would load Katie into her ute and drive around looking for someone to take her, but nobody would.

I had sadly lost my beautiful dog, Benny, a Malamute too, to Cancer (and didn’t know at the time, but I had it too and would soon be in hospital) and had decided that I absolutely must get another dog.

I had contacted Bennys breeder on via an e-mail list I was on at the time, She had one puppy available, and I was considering buying her, but then the people on the list became aware of Katie.

I wasn’t quite sure of what to do, Buy the puppy or take Katie.

Katie had one day to go before being put down, the vet had kept her a week more than she should have, and the pup had been sold to someone else.

I said I’d have Katie.

Bennys breeder picked Katie up and drove her down to me, where She’s lived since 2005.

Does she get along with cats?

Yes, She lives with Vicky and things are mostly ok between them, though at first it was havoc, Katie wanted to chase Vicky, and Mum and I were forced to feed Vicky on the roof for a few weeks until Mum had enough, and so we began to introduce the pair to each other.

Does Katie bark or make a lot of noise?

No, She rarely barks at all, but will howl for me when I go out, often she’s so quiet that she will bed down somewhere and it will be as though she’s not here… it was the same for Benny.

I bet your carpet is covered with fur.

Yes, and so are all my clothes and every other surface you can name, well, it’s not that bad (though there’s fur on my keyboard as I type). People tend to dump these dogs for that reason in particular, but they make such awesome family members, who cares if there’s a bit of fur here and there? not me.

Does she dig?

Malamutes are known for digging, not just a small hole, but a den… Katie doesn’t dig much, but once I was out in the garden and fell in a hole that went up to my knee!

Is She friendly?

Yes, She loves to meet everyone, especially kids, but I have to watch them carefully. Katie had a disease called pyometra years ago, which made her very sore around her rear end, as such, her tail is off limits to everyone even though she’s all better now, but the kids all want to touch that big fluffy tail, so I try to keep them at the front end.

Wolfie!

 

 

 





Love comes quickly

20 02 2013

A good friend of mine was missing his dog called Zed who died fifteen years ago today.

I fully understand that, I’ve had five dogs, which were mine, as in not one of my parents dogs which lived with us, but one of mine.

Tina the Fox terrier, who I had in my childhood. Who survived being run over in front of our holiday house when I was somewhere around five or eight and she had a scar on her side for years where the hair never re-grew. I loved Tina, but didn’t connect with her as much as with the later dogs, I was only a small boy then and my feelings were still developing.

Bobby the cross… probably German Shepherd and Greyhound, Who would go roaming in the evenings and joined a pack of vicious males in the early 80s, one night he ran away and we never saw him again.

Laddie the German shepherd and Collie cross, He was the dog I really connected with, He used to sit with me while I played my records, or listened to the high energy disco show on RRR-FM in the 80s. He’d go to the park and bring back gifts. a kids squeaky rubber hammer, a pair of mens red undies, an entire bag of rubbish, and massive branches which had fallen from trees. Laddie would amuse himself by bouncing a ball on his own, He was mad for all kinds of balls, even his own.

Laddie was the last dog which we allowed to roam, although Laddie would only go to the park and come home again, I think he went out one day and didn’t come back so that caused us all to fret.

Then Benny came along, the only dog we had ever payed for. He was our beautiful Alaskan Malamute, You all know Katie of course, But Benny was our first. It took me years to love Benny as I was still loyal to, and still missing Laddie… it took a long time to really love Benny, although perhaps I did anyway and just couldn’t admit it. Oh I was proud of him, He was a beautiful dog, and he loved us madly in return. Bennys breeder is Italian and suggested feeding him pasta, which we did. Benny would get his own Spag Bol and devour it with gusto and would drag the spaghetti all over the verandah while he did so. Benny hated the heater and would sleep on the verandah all night if we’d allow it… we wouldn’t because one night, while Benny was still a pup, someone tried to steal him, but we caught them in the act.

Then Katie came alone, and of course loving her was hard too, because now I had loyalty for Benny… and still missed Laddie too. But She has been such a loving, and grateful dog, that of course she wormed her way into my heart.

Anyway I wondered, they say you always remember your first love, but perhaps we also remember our first special dog too.

But in my case, there was no human love, perhaps because I had been bullied so much during my teenage years that I could never really trust anyone my age.

I still can’t trust people that much, I adore my friends, but that part of my heart is and always will be reserved for someone with four legs, not two.

People are strange and you’re never sure where you sit with them, and I really can’t be bothered trying to figure them out.

Yes Brad, I do, really understand your grief for a dog who passed away fifteen years ago.

I think sometimes having the lifetime a human has, is quite a torture to bare.

As for love of the human variety? They say that sooner or later it happens to everyone… it’s not true.

Wolfie!





ALL OF THE PILLS !!!

20 02 2013

I’m writing this as a guide in the hope that it can help someone else, it is not however proper medical advice. There may be a reason that your drugs need to be taken at a particular time.If in any doubt about any of your medicine, contact your medical practitioner.

So there I was, sitting on my couch, typing away, when I looked up and noticed Katie, My beautiful Alaskan Malamute, squinting.

This worried me because she has an unfortunate habit of getting pokes in the eye, and I’m not sure how it happens… but the last time it happened it caused a great deal of worry and a vet bill of over $1500.

I checked her eye and noticed that it was blue, I’d known it had been blue for a while, I’d fobbed it off as just being a cataract which it is… except now the outer part of the eye, the cornea was also blue and the white of her eye was red, this wasn’t right.

Katie and I went to our local vet, who suspected the eye had been damaged by glaucoma, but then she also said there didn’t seem to be any pain. She didn’t have the right equipment to check and sent us off to an eye specialist.

Now for all of you who didn’t know that there were eye doctors for dogs, may be surprised to know that they do exist, I didn’t up till that point… The one I was sent to the first time Katie hurt her eye specialised in dogs, horses and native Australian animals.

There are specialists in other areas too, those who work with bones or cancer.

This time I was sent to a different eye specialist, I probably would have preferred the one I went to first as all our records were already on computer, however you can be waiting days or weeks for a specialist, and this one had time to see me the next day.

Another thing to understand is that Animal Eye Vets travel from vet to vet, they may not always be in your area, so that’s another, sometimes awkward, problem.

So I grabbed the opportunity.

After examination, I was told that Katie had poked her eye (again) and there was a very small ulcer there… but the blue cornea was a result of inflammation. The goal was to heal the ulcer and the cornea.

I was told that both can probably be healed with drugs, rather than an operation.

At that moment I breathed a big sigh of relief for Katie, and another, for my pocket, Though I’m sure everyone knows Katie comes first, I’d gladly pay to keep her in good shape, She’s my constant companion and I love her dearly.

I was to be given four drugs and an eye drop, everything was explained carefully and I received papers on what needed to be done.

However, I had never had so many pills to handle before, I was worried that I might get quite confused and would need a plan… I also realised that others may find themselves in a similar position, but may not know how to manage it… but after some thought, this is what I came up with.

This should work for anyone, but again, if in any doubt, check with your vet or your doctor. Your vet or doctor may have already told you to take a specific medication at a specific time, that wasn’t the case with me.

Firstly, let me introduce the medication I was given and what they’re for:

Macrolone 20mg (Cortisone) – Pill – 1 per day for 7 days, then half per day.

Doxycycline (Antibiotic) – Pill – 1 1/2 Twice a day.

Niacinimide (Vitamin B) – Pill – 2 pills, 3 times a day.

Tacrolimus – Eye drops – 3 times a day.

As you can imagine, this looks fairly complex, and I wasn’t sure how to plan it out, I started to think about iphone apps and things which could remind me, but then I realised that it was a lot simpler than it first appeared.

Firstly, which medication is to be used most often?

The Niacinimide and the Eye drops, ok, so that means there are going to be three times during the day when medicine will be given, even if the medicine changes in those times.

Next, As I am Katies carer, she can’t take the pills herself, when am I available?

I sleep odd hours, this is mostly due to problems I was left with after surgery, but am definitely available between the hours of midday and midnight.

And finally I needed three evenly spaced times in which to give her the medicine.

I settled on Midday, 6pm and Midnight… Sensible?

One more thing, to simplify things even further, I gave the drugs a “nickname”Cortisone (Blue), Antibiotic (Green), Vitamin B (White) and Drops.

So this is how it works:

Midday – Blue, Green, White and Drops.

6pm – White and Drops

Midnight – Green, White and Drops.

Easy?

At the moment her eye is looking slightly better, but she really hasn’t been on the medicine for much more than a few days so far.

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 ***