Thursday, 23 June 2016

Penny's sore elbow

Curator called by today to ask how Penny's been going since she caught her paw in her collar recently.

It's kind of complicated...

She does have a very sore elbow, and we're wondering whether it's a long-term injury from that incident. On the other hand, last weekend she visited a house in the country where she climbed up some steep slippery stairs, because she insisted on sleeping upstairs with her humans.

So, not liking seeing her in discomfort, we arranged to visit the vet on Wednesday. (She's been so sore she won't put her front foot on the ground at all. Very worrying.)

And then, the night before the vet appointment, she threw up - twice. First time sort of okay, and she was still hungry, so we thought it was normal. (I'm sure I don't have to tell you how we knew she was hungry... But we managed to hurry her away before she ate the thrown-up meal once again.)

The second time, the 'product' looked really horrible. Human Number Two even reckoned it looked like dirt. I said, 'No, it can't be. Why would she be eating dirt?' We looked around the garden to check whether she'd dug up that nice old brisket bone she had buried a few days ago, and thought maybe that was it, but no bone fragments in the pile of you-know-what.


When I went to the vet, he agreed that vomiting can produce something that might look like dirt. But since she seemed fine as far as her digestion goes, we decided to just concentrate on getting the sore elbow fixed up. (Back to the vet tomorrow to see whether the anti-inflammatories are doing the job.)

I'm a keen gardener. But I  wouldn't be so silly as to lay down a fine bed of delicious blood-and-bone and cover it with a delightful layer of highly enticing half-rotted compost, would I? Well, maybe, but I'd make super sure to do it in an inaccessible garden bed with a metre-high brick wall around it.

The latest theory about the sore elbow is that Someone has been digging in that bed. There are paw prints. Holes have appeared in the smooth layer of compost. Who could it be? If that Someone had managed to leap into the bed via a nearby upturned concrete pot, she might conceivably have injured her elbow as she leaped out.

Who knows?

But just in case, the garden bed now has a strategically placed garbage bin blocking access and it has a strong cover of wire mesh.

Now it just remains to get Penny well and active again. No walks allowed. No going down the back steps to the yard. Tedious trips down the sideway to reach the backyard without using the stairs.

It's a dog's life, that's for sure.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

take off the dog's collar when at home

Penny gave us an almightily fright this morning.

She had been doing her usual yoga routine - a few downward facing dog poses, the extended puppy pose, perhaps the sphinx pose and maybe even a cat pose. I walked past her and into the kitchen.

Next minute she hobbled past me with a seemingly broken leg. Totally broken, bent up near her ear. Even imperturbable Human Number Three agreed with my cry of 'Omigod, better rush her to the vet emergency hospital!'

How could such a terrible injury happen in one minute flat, in the lounge room of our home?

Well, I'll tell you how...

She had caught her toe in the metal ring on her collar. Can you visualise her, hopping along on three legs, with the right one bent above her head?

Poor Penny! It was quickly remedied, because the collar had a quick-release buckle and I don't think there is any lasting harm done. But she won't be wearing her collar in the house again. (We usually take it off when we arrive home from a walk.)

I do remember reading years ago about the danger of collars when dogs are at home, and just now I've visited another site with a horror story of a near-death experience that was worsened by the fact that the collar did not have a quick-release catch.

Monday, 6 June 2016

the new dog bed

You can lead a dog to a new bed, but you can't make her lie on it.

This will have to be my new saying, because I spent more money than I like on a fancy new bed for Penny today and she's NOT interested.

Here's the old one, which is looking pretty worn out.

And here's the new one, with Penny looking rather worried about it.

We have the new one sitting on the old one, in the hope that the 'nice' smell might rub off on the new one.

It's probably not going to happen, because the new one is really too small. And we can't return it because we let Penny play with it and toss it around the kitchen to help her see it as a fun place to be.

Oh, well. Better put it down to experience and scan the internet  for a bed that looks like the old one.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

An ordinary day

It's been so long since I posted here. Penny's life has been going along in a fairly calm way, thank goodness, with walks and food and pats. What else could a dog want?

It is the humans who've been suffering the ups and downs of life, with her number three person needing heart surgery and then lots of rehab. But life is returning to some sort of normality as Number Three Person regains good health.

Here are couple of shots from an ordinary day.

Visit the river to swim and fetch sticks.

Roll on your really good stick and then chew it to check it's definitely worth keeping.

Be amazed at the one large sweet potato that grew in the garden.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Penny and the avian visitor

I like to meditate for a while in the morning, when I can, and today it seemed possible. I settled, thought of my mantra, relaxed into the pleasure of the quiet moment...

then barking, barking, barking at the front door.

Ignore it...focus on the mantra...woof! woof!... okay, just a sound, hear it and let it go...

enormous barking...

What could it be? Penny's going ballistic.

So, quit the meditation, go to the front door.

Stand beside her and scan the street, the driveway, the carport where the cars are parked, the garden. Nothing. The humongous barking is rising in pitch...

Wait a minute. She's looking up, not outwards. I look up. What's that on the roof of the carport?

I peer at it. Surely not. A blue crane? Here, right in the middle of the suburbs.

Sure looks like it.

Eventually it decides to leave and Penny retires to her bed, satisfied that once again her barking has seen off an unwanted visitor.

On looking for a link to the bird for this post, I've discovered that it's really called a white-faced heron and that this type of bird has adapted well to city life. I've never seen one near our house before.

It's not a crane. Well, you learn something new every day.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

goodbye hot, dry summer and hello lovely autumn

Look how green the grass is already, after just two bouts of rain this autumn! The groundsmen must have done some great preparation during summer, so the soil could take up the rain when it eventually came.

But what are these strange long white poles leaning on the fence?

And what about these deep holes in the ground?

It must be time for the footy to start. Aussie Rules, of course. So they'll need four posts, two to mark goals and two to mark behinds.

Sunday, 13 March 2016


Only one day after posting a photo of Penny in a 'pretend' puddle, I was able to get a shot of her in a real one! Hooray for rain. The resilient plants are already sending out new growth. (I don't have the heart to whisper to them that it's too late for summer growth and that winter might be around the corner. Let them enjoy growing for a little longer.)