Wetlands and Dogs

These last few days Benji has been very reluctant to go out for out early morning walk. I can understand this – it  has been very cold. I thought that I would leave the walk to later in the morning – say 8am instead of 6am. I also thought it might be a good idea that we go to the Wetland instead of a local walk. It was a cold but lovely morning this morning and the  ponds at the wetlands were like glass – no breeze at all – not a ripple.

Wetlands this morning

However I  decided it was not such a good idea. There were a good number of people about and all of them had a dog, or dogs/. Benji does not get on well with strange dogs so the walk really wasn’t much fun for him. I think we will just stick to the local area in the morning and go to the wetlands in the afternoon when it seems to be a lot quieter. The interesting thing was that all the people with dogs this morning were males.  If I want to go to the foreshore I have to remember to take bags with me as the council has not yet replaced the dog waste bags that it removed for the upgrade.

Benji is a rescue dog and we have not known what his true age was.  In October of this year it will be

Hello peeple..

four years since we adopted him. At the time I was told he was three years, so plus the four we have had  him, that would make seven. I always felt he was older and it turns out I was right – he was born in November 2010, which means he will be nine years, not seven, this year. All of this is academic because in the end I don’t care what age he is, he’s my boy and I love him dearly. However, it may go a ways to explaining why he is so reluctant to get out of bed and get out of the house at 6am on a winter morning – and – I shall have to take the pace at which I walk into consideration and slow down a tad. Of course the reluctance to get out of  bed and get out of the house on a cold winter morning could simply be a kind of human trait, since sometimes we are pretty reluctant to do similar ourselves. I had out longer than usual last night and he actually did slow down and he seemed to me to be a bit tired, so I lifted him up on my shoulder and carried him for a while. One of the neighbours asked  “who was taking who for the walk?” After a little while I put him back down and he seemed to have a lot more energy

This coming weekend is the weekend of the Whyalla  Show (Fair). The RFDS will be on display again this year but  I will not be attending this year as I will be in Adelaide for a Presbytery Meeting. We have Yogi here! Jim took what is believed to be a slight stroke and was taken to hospital. Fay is spending much of the day there so she asked if we would look after Yogi for a few hours. I said I would and went down and collected him at 8am this morning (Wednesday) I  said before that he has not been a well dog and he has certainly lost a fair bit of weight and he is crying a lot, but that could be because this was all so sudden and he is anxious  and does know what is happening. At the moment he is a sad little dog, but Benji and me will look after him for a bit.. Yogi was only here for a few hours and he “cried”much of that time. I held him up on my lap but I had to be careful and not put Benji offside.

As it turned out, Jim did not have a stroke – not even a minor one.  He underwent a brain scan an ECG and various other tests and when they proved negative he was allowed home. When I took Yogi back home Jim was

Benji at the Long Beach

sleeping.  He will check in with the hospital every few days for a little while to make certain everything is ok. However they really don’t know what caused the turn he had. Fay was chastised by the doctor because she drove him to the hospital instead of  calling an Ambulance. Her comment was that  the ambulance can take too long to arrive and is was  quicker to drive him to hospital.  That’s a worry…

 

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Trips, Tag & Caught.

Only a week until the trip to the South East. Still not certain if I will have company or not but it kind of looks like not. What is about to follow will seem pretty silly to most people and you’re right – it is, but it’s fun. Herself and I play a game when we are out in the car. If a Police car passes, or turns off just as we turn on the road, the game we play is  “that they nearly caught us that time”.  From time  to time (not very often though – only once before  this year) we do “get caught” For example, we pulled into the car park of the supermarket

Tagged!!
Tagged!!

and I took herself shopping. When we came out, this was the picture: I think we were well and truly “caught”that time. It’s a sort of playing Tag with someone who does not know they are playing.  Ok,  so to all you serious minded people it’s probably silly, but I have friends who play at finding  a particular coloured car on a particular day. What can I say – it’s not of medical concern –  it’s a country town – there’s not a lot to do :o)  But it could have been worse – I could have had a bald tyre or something , or I could have had a sudden rush of blood to the brain and signed myself up for a half marathon. :o)

The Budget  was presented to Parliament and People and the general feeling is that it’s an  Election Budget” the sort of budget that a government produces when it’s looking to an election coming up and spends money to influence votes. The government denies that this is the case but considering the horror of last year’s budget and the fact that a lot of it has still not passed through the Senate, it’s very suspicious.  However, the likelihood is that this government will be elected and all the rage against it over the last year will vanish as the new  spending budget takes effect. Apart from which, the Opposition is full of faceless, bland people, with the leader being  the man who stabbed not one, but two Prime Ministers in the back. Did the dirty on Kevin Rudd, then backed Julia Gillard then stabbed her in the back and welcomed Kevin back into the job. Probably just as well that Rudd and Gillard  have gone from parliament or else Shorten would probably  looked to see which of his knives were still available.

I set off on Sunday morning for Naracoorte and according to the weather forecast it promises to be a nice sunny day. Assembly is due to finish on Wednesday morning and it

Chi, just a few days ago
Chi, just a few days ago

depends when it finishes. If it finishes late I will leave Naracoorte but may have to stay overnight in Adelaide. If this is the case, it may well afford me the opportunity to get some shopping, particularly  Bunnings, although Herself wants me to stop at the Bagman (it’s a company – not a person)  and pick up some sleeves of polystyrene  trays for the ladies  craft and baking tables. The update is that John will not be coming with me. His boss is away sick and John has to run the place until she gets back from sick leave. Pity, I would have liked his company.

Chienne is well. In fact she is doing great. Still drinking copious amounts of water, but eating and walking well. I am still taking her out every-night, so she is getting plenty of exercise but also plenty of rest.

Medical Tests and another Road Trip

Australia’s National Highway 1 was created in 1955 and is the longest National Highway in the world. It circumnavigates Australia, linking all the mainland Capital Cities together. It is some  14,500 klms. long, the nearest being the Trans-Siberian Highway followed by the Trans-Canada Highway.  We are not part of the National Highway Grid. We join the Highway 60 klms Northeast of here and then travel along its route to Adelaide. I said once that I would like to drive the National Highway, going where I felt like going and stopping where we felt we had driven long enough for a day. Sadly that never happened and with the state of herself’s health, it probably never will.

The garden has not quite been abandoned and I still have to go out every few days to sweep up  6 million tons of leaves – well, ok, perhaps not quite that amount it just feel like it at times. There is no point in planting anything at this time because the ground is much too warm and besides, I think it’s much too hot to be spending hours out in the sun. All I am really doing is sweeping up and keeping up the watering as much as I can. I have already lost a number of plants, including the Hibiscus, despite watering and mulching.

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The girls at the Barbecue

The RFDS simulator was set up in the Reserve from 9am – 4pm and we were fairly busy. However, I had to leave about 1pm to take herself to the hospital for tests. Likewise with Friday, busy,  but I was with herself at the hospital – this time for a stress test – which was a failure. Not that she failed the stress test, but that she could not walk at even the slow speed that they wanted her to do on the treadmill. The test was abandoned. But we did go for chest x-rays. Saturday and I  spent all day in the Woolworth Carpark with the simulator and a barbecue. Both areas were very busy and it being a hot day, Woolworth were good to us providing cool drinks and chilled watermelon.

Today the unit is down at the foreshore but I believe that due to the extreme heat it was closed down fairly early. Tomorrow ( Monday) it goes back to Adelaide. Four days and we were very luck to have it out of Adelaide for one day,let alone four. It is fully equipped  and is a training unit for medical personnel  new to the RFDS.

The Main Highway

On Monday (Tomorrow) I take herself back to the doctor and  see what happens next. In essence, nothing much can happen until the Specialist gives his report, but we’ll see what transpires tomorrow.  On Friday morning I set off for Adelaide and will be away until late Saturday. I will have to keep an eye on the weather because I really don’t want to be driving 400 klms in a 43c heat. True the AC is pretty good, but that’s not really the point. It puts a fair strain on the engine. However, I will take an extra container of  Coolant and a container of water, and if it is hot – no long sections – frequent stops. Of course I generally have two stops anyway, The Tin Man and Port Wakefield. From Port Wakefield into Adelaide it’s four land motorway all the way. But that’s good Adelaide only spends money on roads that benefit Adelaide – country roads generally get ignored. Oh well, election in five weeks.

Adelaide and Christmas Shopping

I liked this.
I liked this.

I said that the Thunder Shirt seemed not to be working for Chienne and whilst this does appear to be the case, I am not prepared to give up just yet.  I will try and work with her for a little while longer and see if we  can achieve some results. Who knows, it may very well work when there is a thunderstorm and perhaps she is just one of these dogs who really does not like being in the car. With her sensitive hearing perhaps she hears something when the engine is running that we don’t and whatever that is upsets her. I am also beginning to  worry about The Man. Twice now, I have taken to the groom and he has curled up on the front seat on the way there. The return journey, after I pick him up, has been very different these last two visits. He has been really stressed and agitated, crying and whining and  I have had to clip him down in the car  for safety reasons. He has been all over me as soon as I walk into the groom. We have been taking him to Naomi for years and this is only a recent occurrence and I wonder if this could be associated with separation. The other reason is that we know his back legs are not so good and perhaps the standing and the way he has to be moved when being bathed and clipped may be hurting his back end. He was not too bad when I took them out walking in the early evening, although he did go into the sling for a little while.

He’s not daft, you know, and last night he discovered an unexpected benefit of the sling. Normally he goes in and keeps his head out so he can see the world

This is similar to what I have
This is similar to what I have

about him. Now, as you know I have complained about the continual wind these last few weeks, so last night he went into the sling and after a few minutes he pulled his head in and curled up and had a quick nap free from any wind. Chi went a bit gaga for a few minutes because he had vanished. I lifted him for a bit to let her know he was still with us  :o)  I’m still thinking about wheels if he gets any worse but I very much hope that’s a long way off. Oh, I should have mentioned that there actually is an advantage to the wind – keeps the flies away  :o)

I will be driving down to Adelaide in ten days and already I am doing the  things the Old Fellow in the Red Suit does – Making a list and checking it twice  – and making sure the list goes into my Filofax. Herself was surprised since she thought  we had agreed to change the date of the meetings. We have,  but since the meeting dates and venues are set at the AGM in February, the time, date and venue of this meeting will go ahead – unless, of course, they cancel it. It will then be the task of the AGM to set the times, dates and venues for 2014.  Either way, I will still drive down to Adelaide , do some Christmas Shopping in Rundle Mall  and stay overnight.  One thing you can be sure of is that one of the dates and venues will not be here.

Rundle Mall, Adelaide
Rundle Mall, Adelaide

Traveling to “The Badlands”  (that’s any place outside of the city limits) scares them. As I keep saying, the drawbacks in living in a One City State.

Adelaide and back again – part 1

I didn’t know what to call this so I sort of borrowed  something from Tolkein  “There and back again” otherwise known as “The Hobbit”  I don’t think I have violated any copyright..

Not quite fully packed – but close. I will set off at 7am tomorrow and should, allowing for breaks, be in Adelaide by noon. The first session will start tomorrow night around 6:30. Sounds odd, I know, but that allows everyone to get there, get settled and for the general business of roll call and agenda to be gotten out of the way, a get together for light refreshments  and that concludes the Ist Session. From the 2nd Session onwards it will be full on for the next two days.  The Dinner is on the Tuesday night, but I will not be attending that. I will, instead, stay in my hotel working on things that I need to get brought up to days – like my  diary. I’ll probably go out and bring something in and have  food here in my hotel room.

Monday am

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Ah yes, they were built to last in these days. This was at the service station when I pulled in.

Our visitor dog (Yogi) is still with us and he should be going back home today. It is only 6:20 and I don’t leave until about 7am. I do not like travelling on the road out of here in the dark so I generally wait until the sun is up. In summer time this means leaving about 6am. As far as I am aware, Jim is doing fine after his operation and should be home tomorrow, however, I think his wife is coming to collect Yogi sometime this afternoon after she has been at the hospital.  He’s been no bother and my two are still ignoring him, although I have to say that they let him use their bed yesterday  :o)  Regrettably, my two, whilst loveable , are not really very sociable when it comes to other dogs. But then, they have always been with me, Chienna six weeks after she was born and  Mannie  since he was adopted ten years ago. They are very much family dogs and they like people – just not other dogs.

The drive down here to Adelaide was very quiet until just about ten miles out of town. There was a smash on the inbound highway and two of the lanes were closed off and traffic was backed up for miles. Took me longer to travel these miles than it took me to travel down from Port Wakefield – 100 kilometres away.   In the early stages of the drive I was thankful for my  instance of not travelling at night because there was quite a few Kangaroos dead at the side of the road, plus a couple of foxes. Ok for a big truck not not in my  Ford.

Tuesday

After the introduction last night the first real session starts today. Good sleep, but it’s cold down here. I think it’s colder here than it is at home. Glad I brought a really heavy pullover with me :o) Although I have to say that the conference centre was well heated, so that was not a problem. Calling home during a break I found out that Yogi went home on Monday afternoon. And on the subject of going home, we believe that the business of the conference  will be concluded by noon on Wednesday and since the emergency meeting has been cancelled, I may get home on Wednesday afternoon. Depends what I have to do here.

continued.

Adelaide, concerts and home to dogs

Scruffy - because she really was.  :o)The drive down to Adelaide was quiet and uneventful. It was a five hour drive – four and a half or less if you want to go  a fair bit over the speed limit – but I find that 110kph is fine and takes me where I want to go in the time I want to get there. Really excellent day – warm and sunny and being mid-week, little traffic on the road until the outskirts of the City. I drove into the city and met up with my son. We had lunch together. He is down at the corporate office for a while learning a different aspect to the organisation than what he is used to. I think they are going to change him from the mining section for a while.

I spent some time in the city before heading off  for a shower, change of clothes and off to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre for the Celtic Thunder Concert.  I have to say it was a great concert and it was all over far too soon.  I cannot remember when three hours passed so quickly. I really enjoyed the concert and it was a very good Christmas Present from my sons.  The only drawback is that they have to put up with the music – Hey!! It’s MY car  :o)  The drive back home was also uneventful and I did not get to the Garden Centre because I left early. On a warm to hot day it’s best to  do the driving in the morning before the sun starts to bite.  I didn’t have any dogs with me this time down and – barring incidents – I will not be back inAdelaide until late May.

My dogs are odd when it comes to cars. The little man curls up and goes to sleep – sometimes he comes over and sleeps on my lap. The other one, Chienna – she whines non stop. This is something we just don’t understand. We have had her since she was seven weeks old and she has grown up with us. She has never had a bad experience in the car but she does have ultra sensitive hearing and noises really stress her out, so perhaps that has something to do with it. We had her at the Vet. last week and changed the medication that she gets in the event of a thunder storm. We can also use these to calm her down if we ever have to take her for long dont Askdistances in the car. One of my very first dogs had cancer and the vet (at that time) wanted to put her down. I refused on the grounds that this was a pretty rough way to repay all her devotion over the years. I said I would be willing to nurse her, knowing that it would not end well. He gave her medication to  take away the pain and we nursed her, carrying her outside when necessary and just making sure she was comfortable. We only had her for a few months more but we all made certain that she was in no doubt that she was loved and cared for and one day I sat on the floor beside her, she put her head on my lap and she died. I was heartbroken – we all were because she went everywhere with us – making sure that anyplace we went to was “dog friendly’. Not as easy to find as you might think – although starting to become a lot easier today.