Bryn's Recovery

My beautiful boy.

 I mentioned in a previous blog that my dog, Bryn, had undergone surgery (yet again) on one of his hind knees. For a couple of days after he refused to eat or drink. Then came the fight to get tablets down him every day, closely followed by the mystery of how he was able to vomit out much more than he was taking in.
Being pretty much experts in Bryn nursing, I took him off his post-op painkiller and back on to his pre-op ones. Vomiting ceased and Bryn began to show interest in food and water. he made it clear in the evenings that he wanted to play, (even though he still had to lay down so we made up lots of laying down games).
He has had visits from his favorite (human) Aunt and Uncles and, more recently, has taken himself outside to sit in the garden.
It's still uncertain how much mobility he will regain and he faces yet more surgery in the near future but, however old my boy is, whilst he is happy and playful and interested we will consider whatever treatment is necessary.
The hubby says that in choosing to have a dog you and the dog are entering into a life-time contract. The dog will be devoted to you, loyal, protective, a comfort and your best friend. You're end of the bargain is to ensure all the dog's needs are met and to love him.
Sadly for dogs, whilst they try to uphold their end of the bargain no matter how their human treats them, too many dogs (and other animals) end up with sub-humans/dicks/morons (insert derogatory word of your own choice) as their owners.  As the saying goes, there is no such thing as a bad dog ......


Another Hubby DIY Tip

In a previous rambling I told of my Hubby's technique for stopping a draft which in turn caused a water leak. It's time to add to the advice on what not to do in order to avoid further work or injury (injury in this case).

The advice is this : When unscrewing the fixtures which attach the no leg end of a one legged section of your computer desk, do not do so whilst laying on the floor under said one leg table.

My hubby tells me that a long one legged table will not stand up of it's own accord once the no leg end is not attached to anything anymore....Apparently, instead it promptly falls down, landing on top of anyone daft enough to be laid under it (such as my Hubby).

I am sure my Hubby will at some point provide other seriously helpful tips for the home handy person, until then I am pleased to say he suffered no physical injury, simply a high dose of embarressment.


A Strange Noise Erupteth

Harmony, the offending (& offensive) chicken.

Just a quicky because I need to tell the world (or at least anyone who accidentaly happens upon my blog ramblings) CHICKEN'S FART!!!!!!!

Or at least Harmony does...out loud....a right proper pump. (Also right in my face as it happens).

Cue one confused hen as I roll around on the garden in fits of laughter.


Fowl Play

On March 12 I chatted about the arrival of our new chicken, a Bluebell something-or-other who we named Trixi. The Hubby chose her.

Usually when considering something new or a change within the home, one of us raises it, we then discuss it and put forward each of our views, the Hubby then steps back and lets me have my way.

There has been the rare occasion when I have either given in or graciously said "You choose Darling." For example, I have always wanted a Rowen tree both  to remind me of Scotland and because I love the way their berries seem to glow in the Autumn sun. Finally we went to buy one.

It came down to two, one of which I preferred, the other of which the Hubby liked. Both were slightly different species of Rowen. Feeling generous I agreed to go with the Hubby's preference, even though I had pointed out to him that there were no signs of his preferred choice having had blossom on it and, therefore, it may not produce berries.

Four years on I had a chap dig it up and bung it in the front garden just to break up the open space as this thing steadfastly refused to blossom or berry. So much for the years of wanting a Rowen!

Same thing with our house. When were looking round at properties he kept showing me a picture of a house in another town and I kept refusing to go look at it, pointing out the brick box nature of it (as well as the town it is in). You have to bear in mind that we were moving on from our first house, a 150 year old cottage which I loved with all my heart. I wanted either something very similar or at least a house with some character.

Eventually I gave in and we went to view the place we now live in. Although the house was a brick box, the garden was a very good size and had lots of potential due to the fact that it was just grass and cheap pebbles at that time. One side looked over open fields (as has every home I have ever lived in) and there was even a walker's trail running past the back of it. The (then) owners told us about the trail leading to woodland and the river which runs nearby. The hubby pointed out that we would simply treat it as a short term stepping stone for a couple of years, then we would move back to an older property (house prices at that time were always going up). Thinking of the garden, our dog Bryn and the cats, I agreed.

Seven years on, still here. Waiting for some kind of long term house market recovery but with a new government in situ who have only ever previously evidenced massive rises in interest rates and so in mortgage rates, vast numbers of homes re-possessed, increased employment insecurity etc. I would love to trust it will be different this time, but the signs aren't there yet so it seems we're still stuck here.

So now we are looking for a chicken and Trixi is presented to us.

I had been very clear that I did not want either a black or a white chicken. The Hubby and the seller pointed out her lovely black markings amongst her dark grey (I wasn't as impressed as they appeared to be). My main concern was that our new family member should be a breed that is known to be placid, friendly and to quickly become tame.

Back to the present..... Trixi is growing, boy is she growing. I don't know how old chickens are when they stop growing, but I hope it's soon. I swear she is some kind of chicken/emu cross-breed.

She is being willful and sometimes refuses to play the role of Drew's baby, leaving little Drew frustrated and upset. Even worse, she keeps wandering off with our ex-battery chicken, Harmony. Drew visibly becomes anxious when she can't see where Trixi is.

Trixi is also a sprinter, she has long powerful legs and she can really motivate. Very recently she has added in wing flapping and when she takes off she actually looks like she's flying, unlike normal chickens.

I have also noticed that Trixi likes to be high up, sitting on logs and branches which put her much higher than Harmony and Drew, again worrying little Drew.

She does not like having to spend time in the chicken run, she thinks she should always be allowed the free run of the whole garden.

When I go to get the girls up in a morning, she has now begun to barge past the other two to be first out of the hen house. On top of all this, she seems to have become very territorial.

She has decided that she has no wish to share her garden with the wild birds who regularly come to feed and also nest there so the majority of her garden time is devoted to racing towards any wild bird who dares to try to land anywhere at all in the garden. She doesn't just take them on in one's either, not our Trixi. Bring on the flock, she'll have 'em all!

For the dozens of birds from a wide range of varieties who visit daily it has definitely become a case of "Bugger the Sparrowhawk, watch out for that bloody chicken..."

I blame the Hubby (and obviously myself for stupidly letting him decide). I also blame Trixi herself for not reading and complying with the rules of her breed.

What placid and friendly nature?? Tell that to the Yellowhammers..


Narcolepsy and Me

Thought maybe it was time to disclose a bit more about myself (other than as the carer of a crazy clutch of animals).

In my working life I am a child mental health specialist, although I am also a qualified General Nurse (something I usually don't admit to). In my career I have worked with ages spanning birth to grave and in a wide variety of fields; I am also a professional trainer and a semi professional artist and photographer. I am into vintage jewellery and clothes (my wardrobe is like a second hand shop). I totally love collecting pebbles and rocks; everyone I know has been trained to bring me back a pebble or a shell from wherever they go on holiday and that has lead to some amazing things. I can spend happy hours on a beach fossil hunting. I mess around at golf (I only go to drive the buggy really). Obviously I love animals and wildlife, however, I don't like things that fall into my category of "having no feet".

This generally involves arachnids and most insects. Some people try to tell me they have feet. No they don't. Their multitude of legs tend to end in pointy bits and I've never yet seen any of them wearing shoes. That's because they can't, due to having no feet.

Things that simply don't bother with legs either, such as snakes, I quite like. Oh, and by the way, spiders, no..... they are not more afraid of me than I am of them, otherwise they would run in the opposite direction instead of always racing towards me!

What else??? Oh yes, I have my nerdy side, I like D&D, I watch & read Sci-fi and fantasy and, even worse, I am a regular LARPer . There, I said it!

(P.S. My spellcheck has just suggested Leper instead of LARPer - maybe it has a point!).

I am married to my soul mate who I do not feel was conned into this in any way. We lived together for a number of years before I finally said "yes" so he knew full well what he was taking on....mostly.

How was I supposed to know that as well as me the person who is into all the previous, is crappy at the "housewife" stuff, can't cook, thinks fart jokes are funny, still spend hours chatting at him all these years on, (note the AT him), also came with an up and coming large dose of Narcolepsy?????

Narcolepsy, for those of you who are amongst the many who haven't heard of it, is a nasty and lifelong sleep disorder, (actually, sleep disorder goes nowhere near to describing what sufferers can have to put up with).

Like any other condition it can be mild, and it can be totally disabling leading to wheelchairs and all that stuff.
Of course, me being me I have to go ahead and have every symptom possible and even one or two that were a surprise to my specialist.

I have to say, getting to see a specialist when I first realised what was actually going on with my body, (thank you Discovery channel), was fun. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who's gone to see their GP and found themselves having to patiently explain to the Doc the difference between some of your symptoms and those of Schizophrenia in order to reassure them that you are not suffering the latter!

I'm lucky, despite the severity of the impact on me, through working with my specialist I am symptom free for 99% of the time thanks to drug therapy and I can pretty much get on with life generally, (although even with the medication there are still some comedians that I can't watch safely, they're too funny and guaranteed to cause a collapse).

Narcolepsy is believed by the experts to be rare (actually I feel it is more common that people realise it's just that many people don't recognise they have a problem, or they think it's down to their lifestyle, or they simply don't seek help and, therefore, diagnosis). For those people who are diagnosed, it can be quite isolating due to not being commonplace.

I personally don't know any other people who have Narcolepsy as part of who they are, I guess maybe that's partly why I've mentioned it. Is their anyone else out there???????????????????


Tiara's, Tantrums and Trauma's

Things have been a tad hectic of late for everyone, beginning with the arrival of Trixi.

Trixi is the new girl on the block who has joined the ladies, Harmony and Drew. Although only 16 weeks old, she was already as big as Harmony. Harmony however took but a split second to launch in to teaching the upstart just who wears the tiara around here. Three days. Three whole days. Drew, who had straight away decided that Trixi must be her new baby (despite Drew being a bantam and already smaller than Trixi) desperately tried to herd young Trixi into the hen house for safety. Trixi, of course, had only just landed so the hen house was not yet familiar to her. When Trixi failed to understand Drew's intent (probably due to being distracted by Harmony sitting on Trixi's back and plucking her - yes, P, for plucking) Drew began to tell Harmony off, very loudly and for a good long while. Trixi, meantime, found a small corner into which she stuck her head so that Harmony could only pluck at Trixi's behind. I think bed time was a relief for all concerned.

Finally the girls have now got the pecking order sorted, including Trixi accepting her role as Drew's baby. Two weeks on and this has become quite comical as Trixi is now nearly twice Drew's size, taller than Harmony and appears to have the legs (and certainly the running style) of an ostrich.
As my hubby commented, "we're gonna need a bigger hen house..."

It was also Drew who alerted me to our new (and currently regular) garden visitor.
All three of the ladies were having their free run of the garden time. As usual Drew and Trixi were pottering together whilst Harmony was off by her second favorite area, around the wildlife pond. (This used to be her favorite area, but that honour now belongs to the kitchen and lounge).

I was indoors when the peace was shattered by Drew's tantrum as she kicked off squawking and clucking in her "Eeek, warning, warning, everybody take cover!" voice.

When I looked out of the window Drew and Trixi had withdrawn into the chicken run (although Drew was keeping up her alarm call). Harmony was stood motionless at the base of our large spruce and, out in the open, sat as bold as you like on one of the decking posts was a very handsome male Sparrowhawk.

He was completely unconcerned about Drew's noise and simply sat preening himself in the sun..... for about half an hour! Eventually he swooped onto one of the branches of the spruce which took him out of Drew's view, at which point she shut up thankfully. Of course, poor old Harm now had a Sparrowhawk sat not far above her head. She quietly moved herself further back under the tree. In total the sparrowhawk stayed around an hour and seemed chilled and relaxed. I did have the opportunity to check for signs of a ring or anything around his legs but there were none, this is a wild bird.

Since then he has visited more or less daily, never bothering to show any interest in the chickens, I assume this is because they are roughly the same size. He has helpfully posed for the odd photo and seems simply happy to sit and relax for a while. All our other garden visitors quietly disappear whilst he is around but don't take long to return once he has gone on his way. He's starting to become quite a common sight and we treat him as just another of our regular wild bird visitors.

The trauma since my last post revolves around my boy, Bryn.

From being a foundling pup and suffering from long bone disease (he initially grew too quickly for the joints in his legs to keep up) we were warned he would suffer arthritis in later life. This was compounded when he suffered a traumatic injury whilst spinning to get away from a smaller dog who had decided to have a go. Bryn needed major surgery to the cruciate ligaments of one hind leg. Three years later the cruciate in his other hind leg finally gave way needing further surgery. Eventually the second surgical intervention became weakened and so he has just had his third cruciate op, with plans for more surgery in the near future as he also has a slipped disc, (Thank God for Petplan).

Since the surgery earlier this week he has really not shown an interest in much at all. More worryingly he refused to drink for two days and has only managed 3 small meals. He would simply not move from his bed if we allowed it. For my boy to be so uninterested in anything is totally out of character for him and extremely upsetting. Fortunately I took leave from work so I am with him all day at the moment. I have found that he likes me to lay alongside him and gently groom him. Obviously myself and my hubby are keeping a close eye and he is being monitored by his vet Louise. Updates as they occur. Signing off to go have a minor tearful moment now.