Benji, Walks and Photographs

Benji – bright eyed and bushy tailed.

One week today since Benji was injured in an attack.  He is recovered fairly well and we are out walking again, but on a different route. Actually we are back on the original route which is in the opposite direction from the  area where  we were injured. He still has antibiotics to take twice daily  and I will take him back to the Vet on Tuesday as a follow up when the antibiotics finish. Apart from the surface wounds there seems to be no internal damage, for which I am most thankful. After three days in the stroller, he was ready for walking. He was glad to get out again and enjoying the walks and the fresh air. We stick mainly to the Ada Ryan Gardens, the Wetlands, the lighthouse and Stoney Point during the day when there are  very few people with dogs around. Since we are surrounded by National Parks and Conservation parks, there is not many places we can go to.  There are a number of places further down the coast that are pet friendly and the nearest of them is 70 miles away so just going there and then coming back again seems to me very wasteful. In order to justify travelling that distance it is necessary to make a day of it. At the moment I am not happy  going off and leaving Annabell. Yes the boys are here and that’s fine when I have to go to Adelaide for Presbytery, but leaving her on her own while I go off on an unnecessary  road trip with my dog is a different matter altogether,  I think the term self Indulgent kind of fits the bill.  When we have to go Adelaide and the Clinic, John usually looks after Benji, makes sure he is ok and feeds him. With the dog door, Benji can get in and out as he needs.

The weather over the last week has been great and the boy and I have got out and about. However, with the cyclone in Western Australia and the  effects  reaching to us, this will change over the next few days with forecast rain and high winds. Well yes, it was a bit on the  windy to very windy when we were out walking this morning but we didn’t get blown away and made it back to the house safe and sound. Sitting hear I can hear the wind rushing through the carport. It’s not constant and comes in waves.  Anyway, a very warm welcome to  Bogie. He is lovely and I did reply to the post but it seems to have vanished into  some void. I am finding this with a lot of things recently.

There is a photograph exhibition in May and I have been thinking of  submitting photographs to it. I like my photographs but I’m not so sure  others will. I was at  the photograph club

No idea what they are but I liked them

last night and photographs that I thought were good were  criticized  by the judge who found many faults with them. I guess the idea is that the criticizing and pointing out the faults – as the judge sees them –  is supposed to  assist you in  doing better, grow and mature, so to speak, in all the aspects of photography. I shall never succeed in this because I found many of the  comments, pointless and excessively picky. Just as well I had no photographs there or he would have had a field-day,  What I have is an excellent camera but I don’t know how to use it to get the best out of it. This group is  “Competition Based” with only some minor practical nights. They are really very nice people but this is not what I want and really not helping me much. Many years ago the TAFE (Technical and Further Education) ran  a number of Community Courses. A course on Photography – a Basic Computer course, the wife of one of the local doctors, ran a course on Indian Cooking, another lady ran a course on Italian Cooking. The fees were reasonable, cooking people brought the ingredients as required each week, and so forth. There were no Diplomas nor Certificates at the end, but they were well attended. But the Government of the day spent money on other things and when it needed money, it started closing down TAFE Campuses. It tore the heart out of the TAFE system and it never really recovered – it still has not.

Fitbit, Stroller and Benji

This was taken at 06:47 today.

Every time I went to the door, Benji was there already. It was clear to me that he wanted to go out but I wasn’t quite sure that he was ready for a harness and walking. So, I went to the garage and got the dog stroller out and  made it ready for him. I  got everything ready to go out and then lifted him into the stroller, clipped him and half closed the overhead cover. Off we went. Since it was a public holiday (Monday) the place was fairly quiet. I also decided to go back to our old route. Yes there is a number of barking dogs but I now figure that they can bark as much as they like – they are behind  fences and gates and  therefore no problem. Except to Dougal who goes ballistic when a dog barks. I don’t mind

Benji and Yogi in happier times

looking after Dougal. He is a lovely  dog in the house, but a real pain to walk out with.  A short tale for Fitbit users. When I took Benji out on the stroller,  I was upset that my Fitbit

did not record any steps. Pushing the stroller means that my arms were not moving and  the Fitbit needs movement to record. I mentioned this to my son and he suggested “why don’t you strap the thing round your ankle?” Yes, I dismissed the idea with a quiet chuckle. However, later on I thought about it and decided to give it a try – nothing to lose anyway. So, I did that – strapped it round my ankle ( the strap was long enough) and off we went.  Well, was I surprised! I have used that route for a number of years and know how many steps it should be – at least I thought I did. When we came back home and I  removed the Fitbit from my ankle I was shocked that it had recorded nearly 500 more steps than I  had expected. It was a double shock because I really (honestly) didn’t think it would work, but it did. However, it is back on my wrist where it should be, but worth remembering if I have to use the stroller again. However, I think Benji is ready for walking.

I have no idea why WordPress decided to change a system that was popular and working well. I don’t like the block system at all and I have already outlined the process I go through to get back to Classic. It’s long drawn and convoluted but it works for me – as the saying goes.

Benji is coming along well. His wounds are healing up nicely and he gets his antibiotic medication twice daily. Since his wounds have now closed, I will start taking him out to the Ada Ryan Gardens when the weather is not too warm.

I took Benji out  to the Ada Ryan Gardens this afternoon. We had a wander around the gardens and then drove to the foreshore where I bought us Ice Cream. Wont do that again!  Since the Foreshore Café was closed down and awaiting repairs and renovations,  food vans have popped up. It was to the food van that I went for the ice cream.             Turns out they

Benji in the Stroller
Same time same area.

use a machine similar to that used by McDonalds and it is not REAL ice cream – sort of soft serve stuff. Anyway,  it started melting almost as soon as I walked away from the van and to add  to that Benji just wouldn’t look at his. Well, he had a couple of licks but that was it. I  finished mine (not great) and was left with this other  stuff melting and running over my hand. Never thought I would drop ice cream in a bin, but I did, then looked for a water tap to clean my hands. Should have gone to the Wetlands where they serve real Ice Cream.  The reason we didn’t go to the Wetlands is that it was a warm to hot(ish) day and I felt the  Concrete Path would be  too warm on his paws






Not a good day.

This morning on our daily walk Benji was attacked by a much larger dog. When we are out walking at 06:30 and I see people approach me with a dog, I will move with Benji off the pavement on to the roadway and give the people with the dog room  to pass freely. I also do the same for  Joggers. That is what I  did this morning when I saw the girl with the Alsatian walking towards us. I took Benji off the pavement and on to the road allowing free passage. As they  drew close her dog started growling and  fighting to  break free and the girl was struggling with it. Sadly the dog broke the harness and before anyone could react she attacked Benji. (yes I did find out that it was a ‘she’.)  We managed to get the  dog off Benji and she used  what was left of the leash and tied it to the dog collar. Apart from being wet he seemed to be okay and I ran my hands along his  back and sides and he seemed none the worse for ware. He seemed ok and I was too much concerned to notice that my right hand was streaked with blood. He let me touch him without a mummer so I assumed that he was ok, but I lifted him on my shoulder and the girl got on her way – crying by the way!  I stayed where I was and let her get a fair bit away before I abandoned the walk and headed for home. By the time I walked home with him the adrenalin  in him had calmed down and he was starting to feel the pain. In the house I put him down, and,  with the lights on, I saw the blood on my hands for the first time. I tried to touch Benji and he snapped at me. I knew then something was wrong.

This is the Easter long weekend here and most things are closed down until Tuesday, but I called my vet’s after hours number, got through and explained what had happened. He said he would be at the clinic in 20 minutes and I was to meet him there. He opened the clinic for me and treated Benji. First thing was to shave the areas of the wounds  and having done that, gave him a pain killer injection. We let him calm down for a bit then  washed the wounds with a saline solution. Anyway, he is home here and I have antibiotics to give him and to clean the wound several times each day with a saline solution. Also to keep a close eye on the wounds and if there is any swelling or if they start weeping  I have to

Nice and peaceful on a happier day.

call and take him back to the clinic immediately.

So, that’s been my morning thus far. Benji is very quiet and he is here by my side. He is so quiet and subdued. Just looking at his wounds I feel so bad for him and for me. It looks as if I shall be walking on my own for a little while, which will give me time to work out a new route. “Brainwave”   I just thought in a few days I can take him out again and use the dog stroller, but I will work out a different route – not that there is much to choose from.

On the news this morning a vehicle was stopped  by the police. The female driver was breath tested and blew six times the legal limit. On checking,  the police discovered that the woman had never owned a license. The  car was impounded for a month, she was fined and she was banned for holding a  license for 12 months. Goodness but we know how to sort out those  law breakers. South Australia is still living in the days when a talking to by a Judge and you  never broke the law again.

I went out to the store for some things for Annabell. When I got back home, unlocked the door and walked in, Benji was there, tail going and waiting for me. What a boy!

I seriously dislike Blocks!

Seems about right.

I had already completed a post with over 800 words and several pictures but a malfunction in WordPress – or me – lost everything. It had gone back to blocks and I tried to get it and load again in Classic and lost everything. I  have no idea if this will survive. Anyway –  What I do remember from the lost post is that I  did recall on seeing an item in the news about a unit that is similar to a pacemaker only this unit is for the brain. Once activated it send signals to the brain and can reduce the trembling of hands as well as other aspects that are associated with Parkinson’s Disease. There was a demonstration on the news  and once activated the difference in the man’s hands and in his overall demeanor  was incredible. The reason I mentioned this was not really to highlight a breakthrough in Parkinson’s  but the fact that the Medical Scientists are looking further and feel with further investigation and development it could  be used to control and contain the effects of epilepsy. That would be some breakthrough.

Apart from a  few days here and there, we didn’t have much of a summer. However, this early weeks in Autumn  have been glorious, mild to warm and sunny – warm and sunny during the day, still warm in the early evening and cool to cold at night and in the morning. Yesterday Benji and I  went for a drive in the car out to Fitzgerald Bay and the Shingle Ridge, from there to the Lighthouse. From there we drove to the Foreshore – which was busy so we went to the Wetlands and had a good walk there. This was followed by Ice Cream , Vanilla for him and Almond for me ( but don’t tell  Annabell)

During the week  I attended a Memorial Service at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. Brian, a member of St. Mark’s, was also a good friend to us when we needed help. He died last year but because of Covid-19  nothing could take place.  As of Midnight Tuesday  most of the restrictions in South Australia were lifted and, with some assistance, I have put all the pews back to their positions and removed the seating tags.

Had a telephone call from Flinders yesterday and  the reports from our last visit and not great but not bad. The cancer is still there but not moved nor enlarged. However, we will go back down to Adelaide in about six weeks and spend a few days there,   There will be an investigation of what is happening and  day surgery to replace the units. They will be left in place for six weeks and  if there is no progress  then they will consider chemotherapy.

The weather since the beginning of Autumn has been great – this is the weather that we should have had over summer. Yes we had a couple of heatwaves that lasted a few days each time, but other than that it was not all that great. This weather coupled with the Easter Holidays has people swarming to the beaches and

Part of the Shingle Ridge from the roadway.
The Lighthouse – again.

holiday spots. After church today (Friday) I made sure Annabell was ok then took Benji for a drive in the car. We had a great time and went to Fitzgerald Bay, the Shingle Ridge, the Lighthouse and back to  the Wetlands ( no ice cream) – a pretty busy afternoon and since we went much further along the coast road, this time, slightly different from last time. I drove to the end of the bitumen and  went on the gravel until I was able to turn around and head back. When I go out I always make sure I have my  phone with me. When the hands free speaker tells me I am “disconnected” I will turn back and get my phone. It does this about 100 yards away from the house and out of range. If Annabell were to call me I am only about 40 minutes away from home and can soon be back.

Home for the moment.

We returned home on Wednesday after the unexpected second trip to Adelaide and the day surgery. Although as I said, I did manage to spend some time on Tuesday at the Marion Shopping

The Flinders Lodge

Centre. Now we just wait for the reports and the telephone call to let us know what is to happen next and if, or when, we are due back in Adelaide. When we left the hospital my intention was to push the wheelchair to the train station, get the train back into town and a taxi from there to the Lodge. The  Hospital were not at all happy with this arrangement in that  if anything happened you cannot turn a train around as you can a motor vehicle. So it was a taxi from the hospital to the lodge. Getting home was a concern in that we discovered that several dog toys had found their way into my case. No idea how they got there and the fact that they had Marion tags on them must just be a coincidence.  I’m sure Annabell believed me!!  On the Friday I went to the garage to see what was happening to my car. It seems the initial assessment was incorrect and it was not the ignition system as thought so the replacement was removed and my own system restored. The company called Ford and asked their advice on the problem. They suggested it was a unit that assists the computer to operate and that seems to have broken down – but whatever the reason, it was not working. So a new unit was sent up from Adelaide and to install it required two sets of keys – it also requires two people and the keys must both be synchronized, failure to do so, renders the keys useless and means a new set of keys and the programming and the cost of new keys.. And yes, before you say anything – I figure I might have been cheaper  and probably less stressful getting another car. However, all that aside, I may have my car back on Monday or Tuesday. I am beginning to feel really bad about having this car for so long. I did not think anyone expected it would be this long that I would have the  car.

We were due to go out to a function last night but Annabell was weary and tired and I will not go on my own without her, so I stayed at home. I

The normally placid Nepean River.

worked it out that it was better for me to stay at home and keep her company than have to field all the necessary questions about her health. :o)

Strange kind of day yesterday. I was out walking with the dogs and I thought about what I would write. I would remark that it is Autumn and the day was a very warm and sunny 32c with just the most gentle breeze.  That was in the mid-afternoon. As the afternoon wore on the sky darkened, the breeze became decidedly chilly and next thing we know we were in the middle of a major thunderstorm. Haven’t seen so much rain in ages. There is major flooding in several of the Eastern States and it is believed that the  major fronts are heading in this direction – one from the north and one  through Sydney. And Sydney is in  a bit of trouble in that one of the major dams is expected to overflow.— The dam has overflowed and the staggering amount  of 450 gigalitres will be released. There is talk of an evacuation of Penrith – and that’s serious. Thus far, 18,360 people have been evacuated

Up here there are no rivers to flood and if there is any flooding it will be at the roadways as the floodwater drainage system get overloaded. However, for the moment there is really no serious rain on the  present forecast.  Shortly after lunch I went  by taxi to the workshop and collected my car – all tickity-boo ( all repaired) So it is a happy Monday, now that I have my car back. This afternoon I will take the Toyota,  make sure the fuel tank is full and  then return it  to its owner. Annabell has bought Rene a small gift of Swarovski Crystal  as a “Thank You.”  Without that car we would have been in trouble and would have had to cancel Adelaide. We are most thankful for her kindness.

Return to Adelaide (apology to Elvis)

The trip down to Adelaide (Monday 15th) was again uneventful. Some problems in getting to the Greenhill Lodge and trying to cross lines of traffic on a main road. I am so thankful for Traffic Lights and I was able to do it very quickly before the lights changed. Once I got Annabell attended to I went for a short walk around he area to plan my ” Escape Route” for Wednesday and the crossing of two lanes of traffic on a fairly busy road. However, I do intend to start out at 05:30 so it should be reasonably quiet at that time in the morning. I will get her home and home ad hope this will be the last trip at least several months. I have to say through that this Greenhill Lodge is easier to get to that the Flinders Lodge irrespective of the traffic lane cross. Not quite as good perhaps since Flinders Lodge is newer and more modern, but Greenhill is currently being upgraded and half of the lodge is closed down which is why there were no places available at Flinders this week.

The other problem I have here is that there is only one bed in each room downstairs. There are two beds in each room upstairs, but there is no lift and stairs are just out for Annabell. However, there is a fairly large recliner chair which can make a half decent bed for me. Did that last night (today is Tuesday) and although it was not the best idea, nor the most comfortable, I did get a decent sleep. This morning we get the train out to Flinders Medical and she will be admitted for Day Surgery. I will wander off for a few hours to the large shopping mall at Marion. I’ll spend some time there and then get back to Flinders and wait there until she is ready to go.

Poor Benji – his people abandoned him for three days – then they came back – now they have abandoned him again for another three days. I hope this time, though, we will not have to leave him again for at least three months. Annabell and I have had a discussion regarding this tripping to Adelaide and we believe that the next visit will be the same as this one. We come down Thursday and Friday for tests and examination, go home and come back again on the Monday and we were considering staying down here for the duration. I worked out the costing taking fuel and accommodation costs and meals into consideration and we will be very much cheaper if we go home on the Saturday and return again on the Monday. Annabell expressed concern regarding me and the stress of so much driving. I am quite able to drive to Adelaide and back, every three months.

Wednesday 17th. Left Greenhill Lodge at 05:30 this morning and covered the 330 miles in a reasonable time, allowing for a half hour stop for coffee in Port Wakefield. It was a good drive home, clear weather all the way. Annabell managed to nap a couple of times.

Oh I don’t know with this new WordPress system. I am having difficulty in finding anything and doing anything. Don’t know why they changed it. There was nothing wrong with it in the first place. There must be an alternative somewhere.

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