Maybe this is temporarily a dog blog

Love and devotion.

How could you resist this? He doesn’t jump but he does sit and put his paw on me to get my attention.

But when I was sitting down this time I was a captive audience. How could I not love him?

Behaviour training

Onkaparinga River.

Was a great day on the beach the other morning for the dogs. There was nobody else there so they had free rein to run and run and run some more.

Dogs on beach.

Phoenix is settling into his life with us. However, there’s a couple of things we have to sort out.

One – he gets car sick for just about any trip longer than 20 minutes. I’ve cleaned up three car vomits so far. I’m hoping it’s something he grows out of but for now I’ve bought him some insanely expensive carsick medication.

The other thing is how he reacts to other dogs. He obviously gets on well with his mate in these two photos, and he gets on well with my sister’s dog. He’s also met another friend’s dog and they had a great time.

However, he’s not very predictable when it comes to unknown dogs. So I have to leave him on the lead when there’s other dogs around. There’s been a few times when he’s been fine and then there’s been times when he’ll meet another dog on lead, it will be fine to start, then Phoenix will have a go.

I’ve organised some private training. I need to be confident to take him out and about without stressing and I want him to feel confident too. I think his reaction stems from fear and/or anxiety so with some proper training I think he can get around it.

This is the only downside to not really knowing his history. Apparently he wasn’t socialised much, if at all, with other dogs before he was surrendered and that’s what’s made the difference with him. Hopefully I have positive things to report as time goes on. I’m sure I will.

Dogs on beach

Mourning

West Beach

I think yesterday was probably the last day I’ll stroll along the beach wearing summer clothes. It was an unseasonably warm autumn day.

I will miss summer but I do love the change of seasons.

Digging

The lad put his bathers on, but didn’t go into the water to get them all wet. See his short hair? It hasn’t been short for a while. That itchy head he’s been complaining of for the last week resulted in this haircut because of nits. I found them on Saturday as I was trying to prepare for a dinner party.

So I had an unscheduled extra load on my day of washing, cutting and combing hair, and making beds. I’d caught it early so there weren’t too many bugs to comb out. But my head’s been itchy ever since.

Running

I’m so glad we get a guest dog staying over every now and then. I really really miss having a dog around the place ever since Monty died. I dreamed about her the other night.

She was lying on the floor and I walked up to her. She started talking to me. I can’t remember what she said but just the fact that she talked to me, and that she appeared a lot younger than my last memories of her.

I woke shortly afterwards and cried. I had to get up just to calm down a bit. I hadn’t expected grief to hit me unawares in my sleep like that. It’s also a bit weird getting used to talking about her in the past tense.

RIP Monty: 1998? – 24 March 2013

Monty

I knew the day was going to come when I’d have to make that decision and that day was yesterday when we had to get Monty put down.

For the last few months she’d become noticeably skinnier and we couldn’t take her for walks any more because she didn’t have the stamina.

On Friday, The Surfer took her back to his place for the weekend because I was going away camping for the weekend with some great friends of mine.

I picked her up yesterday and he told me that she hadn’t moved since the previous night. When I went to say hallo she was just lying there and didn’t get up, excited to see me like she normally did. We picked her up and put her in the car and brought her home, and carried her into the lounge.

Jules and Monty

I made the call to the vet who came around to have a look and agreed that it was her time to go. She could tell by her the smell of her breath that her kidneys had failed.

We sat there patting Monty while the final injection was administered and went through quite a few tissues to wipe away the tears and the runny noses.

JJ was very upset as Monty has been there for his whole life and he absolutely loved her. He called her the Queen of Love. JJ cried himself to sleep last night and every time he starts crying he sets me off as well.

Monty at the beach. Day 36/365.

She’s gone now and I keep looking up expecting her to stumble into the lounge like she has been for the last few months because her arthritis meant it was harder for her to get around.

I know it’s going to take some time to get over her. It’s amazing how an animal becomes a huge part of your life.

I’m going to miss filling in the holes she used to dig. I’m going to miss taking her for walks. I’m going to miss her waiting at the gate for us to come home. I’m going to miss her loyalness. I’m even going to miss picking up her poo. I’m going to miss her.

Here’s some other posts I’ve written about her.

This is just for Monty

My Monty girl

Geriatric Monty

Feeding an aging dog.

Best friends

Feeding an aging dog

A peaceful moment. Day 296/366.

Our dog is about 15 years old (the one on the right pictured above). I’m not exactly sure of her age because when I got her, her then owner was a bit vague about her age – 2-2.5 years he thought. I don’t know if I ever said on this blog before but he committed suicide a few years after giving us Monty which was awful to hear and I’m glad she was spared from losing him in that way. Although she did lose him when we got her didn’t she?

Monty has had 13 years with me, and 11 years with my son and I hate to say this, but I think she might be lucky to make it past the end of the year.

Pretty much since I got her I’ve been buying her dog food from Bucket of Beef and she’s normally devoured it in a very short amount of time. In the last few weeks she hasn’t wanted it so I’ve had to come up with other sorts of food that she’ll eat.

I tried changing our order to doggy mince but she doesn’t seem too keen on that either. At the moment she’s having cut up bits of chicken or beef from the human food section of the supermarket. I’ve even made instant gravy to pour over the top to warm it up a bit and to add that bit of extra flavour. It seems to be working but she’s still not that interested in eating. She likes eating doggy treats like Smackos and she likes me hand feeding her small pieces of cheese. I’ve even been feeding her twice a day instead of once a day.

I spoke to a vet who euthanases pets in your home. I met this vet at my local oval when she was walking her dogs. She used to work at a clinic but has since left and started her own business. She was fantastic on the phone and pretty much said that I will know when the time comes. Monty’s yearly injections are due around now and I asked if it’s worth getting them done as they’re expensive and I doubt whether she’ll get her year’s worth. The vet said not to worry about it as it will stress her out and she’s still covered from all the previous ones. That makes me doubly glad because I’ve gone off my local vet surgery.

Monty is still following us around the house absolutely everywhere. When she stops doing that and appears to have lost interest in us, or when she physically can’t move around then I’ll know the time has come.

She is very wobbly on her back legs and stumbles all over the place. It’s excruciating to watch her pace back and forth in the lounge before she finally settles down on her mat or on the shag-pile rug. I think she forgets why she came into the room, hence the pacing.

She also wanders up and down the hallway looking in the bedrooms – previously out of bounds – but the rules have been heavily relaxed. And as she’s deaf, telling her to come or go out is hopeless.

I have to lift her into the car if we go out – jumping in is a thing of the past. And walks – even short walks are out now. I do want to take her to the beach one last time but it will have to be one that has a very short walk from the carpark to the beach.

So I continue to sweep up her molting fur, pat her as much as I can and love her heaps while we’ve still got her.

 

 

My Skylanders giveaway closed and winners have been chosen.

I will remember her

Jules holding Connie

The clock in my kitchen stopped today.

Time stood still for the time that Connie died. Connie was my mum and dad’s dog and she had become quite ill in the last few days and had to be put down late last week.

I found out while I was at work and it was a little bit hard to carry on as though nothing had happened.

I felt very close to Connie and her death day should also be a rembering day for the dog she was.

Dogs are an important part of many of our lives but unfortunately they’re only here for such a short amount of time. Then you get attached to it, it gets old and dies.

Why are dogs here for such a short time?

A six year old boy got it in one when he said about their dying dog:

“People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The Six-year-old continued,

”Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

I got to know Connie fairly well over the years even though she lived around two hours away and we didn’t see her that often.

She spent some time with us when Dad had his stroke five years ago and was in hospital and rehab for two months. As Connie was quite little, I had to make sure the little escape holes around the backyard were filled in as she could squeeze through and when I found her under my car hiding one day, and the wrong side of the gate it freaked me out.

She was great around people but put her in front of a dog she didn’t know she could be a bit vicious. In fact a friend nicknamed her Killer Connie. This was probably more to do with an ironic take on dimunitive stature than her personality, but either way it kind of fitted.

She had the typical small dog syndrome. At the park one day I let her off the lead and she ran straight up to a much much  larger dog barking at it. I don’t think she realised that this dog could have swallowed her as if she were a seed. Luckily that didn’t happen.

Monty and Connie

Even though she came to stay with her bedding, which was placed right near Monty’s, she would always take Monty’s much bigger bed. One time Connie was on Monty’s bed, and Monty tried to squeeze up onto Connie’s. That’s what’s great about Monty – she’s very giving like that.

Connie was a great lap dog and the only dog that comes to stay here that’s allowed on the couch any more. It probably helps that she didn’t moult like my other doggy resident and guests do. Mind you, Monty isn’t capable of hopping up onto the couch these days. I had to carry her down some stairs yesterday, but that story is for another time.

Connie no eyes

But while we’re on the subject of other dogs, even though Connie wasn’t very well socialised with stranger dogs, she got on well with her doggy pals like Monty who she’s known nearly all her life. Also, she got on well with my sister’s dog which was just as well as both Monty and my sister’s dog spent time at Connie’s house on occasion.

I’ve never been a fan of  little lap type dogs but Connie totally changed that for me. She was gorgeous and I’m going to miss her.

The clock in the kitchen started again two hours later, but only lasted for another couple of hours before it stopped again. I had to replace the battery. Time ticks on.

 

Geriatric Monty

Sunset at the beach

I’ve been going through my photos and posted a few to Flickr that I took with my Project 365 in mind, but didn’t quite make the cut. Or they’re photos I just took anyway. Here are a few of them.

One of the things I miss about not going out with The Surfer any more is the proximity I had more regularly to the beach. Plans are afoot – albeit long-term plans – to remedy this though. So photos like the one above probably won’t feature as much in my daily photos when I kickstart that again.

Monty in the boot

This is Monty in my car boot. I jokingly told (well gestured because she’s deaf) her to hop in and she did. I was quite surprised because while it’s not that high off the ground I didn’t realise she was still agile enough.

Now, of course, I didn’t put the boot’s lid down and drive off but as you can see I did take a photo. She looks quite content don’t you think?

Monty

Here’s another one of Monty. I have to fatten her up as she’s lost four kilos since she had her last vet’s checkup a year ago. And that’s a fair amount of weight for a dog that only weighed 22kg to start with. The vet said that ‘we have arthritis in our back legs and we might need some medication to make us feel better’. I swear, that’s how she spoke. I felt like telling her that she could talk about the dog, not us. We don’t need medication, the bloody dog does ok? She also kept calling Monty ‘him’ after I’d more than once referred to ‘her’.

This medication would have cost $47 per month. I’ve decided to go the natural route and give her glucosamine powder and fish oil. This way she won’t feel left out with what I take for my sore knees!

Monty, despite her 14+ years, still loves to come for walks with us and she potters around the oval while we’re there. Someone the other day commented that she takes shortcuts across the oval to catch up with me.

I notice that she’s constantly underfoot too. She follows me EVERYWHERE. She never used to follow me around quite as much. I don’t know if it’s because she’s hard of hearing and has to have me in her sights now. While it sometimes becomes annoying I know I’ll miss it like crazy when she’s not doing it any more so I put up with it.