Thursday 18 February 2010

Total wipeout

Yes, I'm still in the land of the living, although recent events almost had me doubting that fact.

Whilst I was having computer hassles, it seems my human system was also not performing to its full capacity. Things came to a head after two weeks of vomiting and diarrhoea, resulting in me being admitted to hospital and put onto a drip. For someone who has always taken good health for granted, it came as quite a shock to find myself in such a poor state. I got home after a week and was glad of the chance to catch up on some sleep - how does anyone ever get any rest in hospital?!

I'm working at getting my energy level back up, I hate feeling so feeble, dog walks are gradually getting longer and hopefully it won't be too long before I'm back to normal. I am very lucky to have kind friends and family who helped out by looking after some of the dogs for me, thanks to all of you.

Weight loss was quite dramatic, I lost 10kg (22lbs) in 10 days but, for those of you interested in dropping a couple of dress sizes, I wouldn't recommend this method!

Saturday 5 December 2009

Lumps, bumps and a new addition

As promised, here's lumpy Jana and some puppy news. It's taken quite some time getting this post up due to computer and photo problems, hopefully these will soon be ironed out. Computers are wonderful...but only when they do what you want them to!

Jana-the-accident-prone-vizsla must have felt it was quite long enough since her last mishap (the wound which required stapling) and came out in quite spectacular hives last weekend. It started with a small lump above one eye and a slightly fatter lip and soon developed into more widespread bumps and a distinctly wrinkly-stocking look to the legs! Since she also brought up her last meal, I suspect it was an allergic reaction to something she ate, the most likely thing being a 'smoked barbecue flavour ' rawhide chip dog treat that she'd had for the first time. She won't be getting any more of those...just to be on the safe side.

Thankfully, the reaction soon subsided and she was back to her normal smooth-skinned self by the end of the next day.

EDIT I should add that Jana was promptly given a steroid injection by the vet and, although she got worse before she got better, she didn't suffer a prolonged itchy spell and has made a complete recovery. I suspect some form of added colouring in the treat was to blame but it's difficult to know for sure. The paps ate the same thing but none of them reacted.

Poor Jana

Now for the good news.

Pansy had a single dog puppy three weeks ago. It wasn't to be the conventional way of entering the world, Pansy did not get down to the serious business of pushing and so a caesarian was required. However, the pup was strong and soon sussed out where the milk bar was. His mother, still a little woozy during the first night, was quite horrified by this strange puppy which was being thrust upon her and had to be encouraged to stay still in order for him to suckle. She would run away from him to start with! That all changed the next day, she gave him a lick or two and then decided that of course he was hers and woe betide any of the other dogs who dared come anywhere near him!

She has proved to be a dedicated mother and, unlike her mother and grandmother, she does do bottoms.

Pansy and son

Three weeks old

He is tri-coloured, you can just about make out his eyebrows

The (contented) End

Friday 27 November 2009

Long time no blog

Where has the time gone? I can't believe that it's been almost a month since I last posted anything. I think my beach series left me all "blogged out", I've hardly even looked at my computer. At least LSH has seen more of me than just the back of my head in front of a screen for hours on end...we may have been married for years and years but he does still seem to want to spend some time in my company...hard to believe, I know, and I'm lucky to have him. He really does deserve a medal.

Time for a bit of a catch up. Ian, Lynne and Euan came up for a visit earlier in the month. We went out for a celebratory lunch as it was Ian's birthday on the 5th and he has also just started a new job - his dream job - instructing parties of youngsters in outdoor pursuits. Imagine getting paid to go rock-climbing, kayaking and hill-walking!

Birthday lunch

Euan was amused

Doing the actions for the Singing Kettle
(Euan has been to one of the stage shows and is now a big fan. The songs and actions are enjoyed by adults as well as children. I was quite taken with Little Bunny Fou Fou)

A late afternoon walk along the coast path

Jura stepping over some interesting rocks

The sea had a lovely, silvery sheen

Jana and Euan watch the world go by

We had some beautiful weather while they were here, really quite mild for the time of year. Roseisle beach was looking at its best.

Burghead promontory and the peak of Morven across the Firth

Euan travels in style

A funny moment during a game of "touch the nose"

Jana did a few water retrieves...but not too deep!

Jura went in much deeper...

... only to be mugged when she came out

Kyloh also ventured deeper...

... jumping the waves as he went

A lot of effort goes into a shake!

It may look like a black blob but it's actually a passing seal

Kye tries his hardest to bury Lynne

Ever the agility dog, Jura finds a "table" on the beach...

... and an unusual obstacle in the woods

A table for two

A trip to the farm shop and Euan's now big enough to enjoy the trampoline

And he's on to the bigger vehicles too

Steering the pirate ship

One advantage of having a birthday on November 5th, as Ian does, is that it is marked by nationwide bonfires and fireworks. Of course, we really have Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot to thank for all the lovely birthday displays we've enjoyed over the years. As usual, our local town of Elgin put on a great show.

Across the boating lake, the bonfire really gets going

The lake made for some lovely reflections

Although the display was great, I know fireworks are pretty scary for many dogs (Jura being one of them) but at least with an organised event you know when and where to expect them. I think the ones that are sold over the counter to the general public are much harder to deal with, they can go off at any time and sometimes for a fortnight either side of the event. I've included a video of the whizz bangs but don't play it if you have a sound-sensitive dog.

Another day of clear, calm weather and we took a trip to Millbuies. There wasn't a breath of wind and the loch was like glass, which made for some amazing reflections of the trees and their last show of autumn colour.

Jura found another "table"

Back soon with a lumpy Jana and some puppy news.

Sunday 1 November 2009

Beach seven and Teasel finds herself in deep water

For the last in the series of seven beaches, it was off to Nairn and Culbin Sands on Friday. This is another great expanse of sand, especially when the tide is out.

At one time this was an area of fertile land which belonged to the Kinnaird family but, possibly due to removal of marram grass and erosion, the houses and farms were covered by the shifting sands during a fierce sandstorm in 1694. Many years later, trees were planted to stabilise the dune system and they now make up the huge Culbin Forest, which stretches from just east of Nairn right up to Findhorn Bay.

The weather had turned dull so the beach and Moray Firth don't look at their best but it was still a nice walk and extremely mild for the time of year. We didn't have the place to ourselves, I think it is probably quite a popular beach.

Eastwards with Culbin Forest on the right.

Looking west to Nairn and the Black Isle over the firth.

These dunes are known as The Bar and make up a strip of sand which sticks out into the sea. The tide comes in quickly here and it would be easy to find yourself surrounded by water.

Teasel ran across what she thought was a damp patch of sand, she was not impressed to find herself paddling.

She was even less impressed when the next 'damp patch' turned out to be considerably deeper!
The face says it all.

Looking across the Moray Firth to the entrance of the Cromarty Firth.

The dogs always love to run in the dunes - plenty of rabbit activity there.

Rabbits or paddling?
"No contest" says Teasel.