Tuesday, 29 May 2018

new places to explore

I've said it before... When you have a dog you find interesting places to explore.

Today we were looking around Alphington while we waited for Penny's appointment at the groomer.

We found Alphington Park, where there seem to be lots of rules.


Even if you must stay on lead, there are good smells to think about.


And since it was near a local wetlands, we were conscientious about staying on lead the whole time.


Tuesday, 8 May 2018

mental stimulation for an old dog

A  friend sent me a newspaper cutting about canine freestyle, and it reminded me of the fun Penny and I used to have when we were both younger.

I  sent my friend an old clip of us at a canine freestyle club, in the days when that was a new sport for Australia. OMG. It was NINE years ago! Now I know Penny and I are old...

Anyway, it got me thinking about the fact that I worry that life is boring for Penny now, because her creaky limbs probably aren't up to twisting and turning. We might have a go  at some modified canine freestyle, but our floors are slippery and I'd have to set up carpets.

In the meantime, an internet search for something to do has turned up this fun sport, canine nose work. This clip shows the progression of some simple home training and we're  going to try it soon.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Meeting Penny's brother

Once again we met Penny's littermate at Rosanna Parklands yesterday. It was great to see he's well and happy.



Well, we were interested. Penny wasn't.



Oh, alright, I'll say a quick hello.


Saturday, 10 March 2018

hot days in autumn

It has been hot the last few days, so we're walking early in the morning. The ground at Rosanna Parklands is dry and dusty. You can see in this photo that only the run-off from the doggy drinking bowl enables some grass to grow in one especially dry patch of soil.


Penny is a fussy drinker. Here we are trying to convince her she needs water. Look, we've emptied out the dirty old water and it's nice and fresh now.


No thanks. I don't do public drinking bowls.


Oh okay, if you insist. I'll drink from the running tap.


Saturday, 17 February 2018

dogs make us take note of interesting things

Penny and I had a look at the new bicycle path that is soon to open between Kew and Ivanhoe. We've seen both ends of it now, from Willsmere in Kew, to Ivanhoe.

In writing this blog post, I've come across the startling fact that people in Alphington won't be a able to get onto the path. Amazing. How could so much money - 18 million dollars -  be spent on the path and then not allow one whole suburb to access  it?

However, I do see that there is a suggestion of an entry in the future from Alphington.

At any rate, Penny and I are fortunate to be coming in  from either the Kew end or the Ivanhoe end.

When we set off, from Ivanhoe, we passed under a tree that we've never taken any notice of before.


But what were these things on the ground that seemed to look like tennis balls? Penny, of course, wasn't fooled, because they sure didn't smell like tennis balls. 


But I had to have a second look. 


OMG! Osage orange. I once spent ages trying to source one of these trees, because I was keeping silkworms in my classroom and the students needed lots of leaves. We were running out of mulberry leaves and I knew osage orange could be used as well. And there was this tree, right near the school!

Oh, well...

Penny was more interested in meeting other park-goers. 



We headed off along the new path, but Penny wasn't too keen to walk. We're never quite sure whether this happens because of her arthritis, or because it's nearly dinner-time. 

When we turned for home, she led the way by a long shot. 


Friday, 19 January 2018

too hot!

It's just too hot to do anything today.

Penny had a couple of ice blocks made of juiced vegetables earlier. She has plenty of water available. Thank goodness the power hasn't gone off, so we have the evaporative cooling on. And a fan.


She had a walk early this morning, followed by a bath in cool water.

Penny has us looking after her, but the poor creatures that share our world are suffering today. The Little Ravens were sitting near the doggy bowl of water, with their beaks open. I put a hose dripping into another container, but they didn't go near it. I think perhaps it wasn't in the open enough, so they couldn't tell whether predators were nearby. (Not that there were likely to be many predators out in 40 degree heat.)

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Penny's bad day

Poor Penny. After her lovely day on Thursday cornering a rat and eating her bone, yesterday she snaffled a piece of plastic from under some meat and had to go to the vet so they could induce her to vomit it up. She's okay now, but was pretty unhappy when she came home.


We do have some washing soda crystals on hand to provoke vomiting in a case of poisoning, but on reading this veterinary advice, I'm sure glad our own vet was open and could do it for us.

For one thing, our vet had to administer a second medication to stop her continuing to vomit, and that would have been impossible for us to do at home.

The above link has some useful advice. For one thing, it's necessary in a case of poisoning to assess whether you might do more harm than good to induce vomiting if the poisonous substance is corrosive.

Secondly, there's some good advice about using dishwashing liquid to wash off a substance on her skin. We had to do that some years ago when she had a bad reaction to Advantix, a topical tick medication.