Rolling Days and the search has started

In some ways, it seems like Dad and Bob only left us yesterday, in spite of this when it returns the pain at their loss can be intense at odd moments. But I know, am aware this is part of the process we call living. The bit I find the most distressing in all of this is how Ellie has reacted. Around our house she sometimes seems lost, wandering to odd corners where Bob used to go to, the strawberry patch being one and then coming back to join me. Her sighs and sad looks have affected everyone. At dad’s house, she no longer races to his back door eager to be let in and given her welcoming pet from him.

20190706_0927585265104364466281842.jpg

To offset her feeling of loss, I take her with me whenever I can or I invite other dogs to come and spend an hour or two in her company, but I cannot always be with her.

So, after almost 20 weeks with just Ellie, we cannot bear it any longer and have decided to find her a buddy. We can’t replace Bob but we can find an acceptable friend to fill some gaps.

We have discovered that adopting a dog is not easy. For one thing, our garden was inspected. We failed the first inspection. Though, we did explain to the gentleman that if Ellie chose a large dog the short section (4-foot long) of the wall which is only 5 foot six inches tall, (the rest being an impressive 6 foot high) would be raised to the 6-foot height needed. Our thinking on this is: the garden is secure, locked gates and if Ellie decides a Jack Russell is to be her new living companion then why raise the wall? But they were not happy with this answer.

Then you have The Form to fill in, some of the questions are so detailed and personal I expected to be asked how often I shower. However, we dutifully have filled in forms sent off photos of our garden.

In the past week, we have visited 3 rescue centres. They are all spotlessly clean. The dogs look well-fed but the problem is they are either not interested in us or they are female dogs and our main stipulation is that it is a male dog.

The question for you kind readers (all four or five of you) is, have you gone through a similar experience? Are we better off to merely concentrate on keeping Ellie healthy and happy or should we continue our quest?

I will keep everyone posted on Twitter and Instagram #FindEllieAFriend

Advertisements

Lessons Learnt

In our inconsistent world, some of the most powerful lessons we learn come from children and (in my case) our dogs. This is only my opinion before I get a truckload of replies all denying this is the case.

There is a tv program that tracks young four and five-year-olds at play. I love watching it as I am reminded or there resilience and love of basically having fun. They also say what they think, which is also a mind opener. If we say what we honestly think the only thing we often open is a can of worms!

I have had many dogs come and go in my life and they all taught me something different, some times about myself. The poodles my mum had basically taught me:

you cannot make someone do something just because you wish it to happen. Poodle number one often was dragged by me out on a walk and I inevitably arrived home carrying him!

Poodle number two taught me that simply giving someone time and sitting with them, listening or holding their hand is often all that is required.

Poodle number three; fun is important.

However, I was reminded of all of these things when Bob arrived into our lives. He was a great people dog. He loved to sit at the gate and wait for the children to pass by on the way home from school. This feat alone gained him many jelly babies, some crisps and a few extra inches around his middle, and a long list of admirers.  While he did this, Ellie and her collection of tennis balls would appear and she would push the balls through the gate while the children chucked them back.

He was patient, sitting calmly staring at me at 6pm each evening to remind me it was time for his food and meds.

He gave comfort to both Ellie and me whenever we returned from a long search cold and tired, with a wag of his tail and a lick across my hand and on her ear, he appeared to say, tomorrow is another day. 

It has become evident that Ellie continues to miss him but that too is another learning curve – dogs emotions run deep.

dav

From Ellie I have learnt a different set of lessons, never give up, don’t say can’t without trying. We have done some crazy things like swimming the river Boyne, or on one occasion climbed a great height (in torrential rain)to get around fallen trees and blocked pathway to find a missing person. Taking shelter from a snowstorm in a forest and then hitching a lift back to base in a tractor.

I would love to know what others have learnt from their canine buddies and what adventures they have taken with them.

 

Missing – Dad and Bob.

Of all the things I have ever written this is the toughest.

As this is Bob’s blog I will explain his story first.

On the 23rd of April, my best 4 legged buddy passed away. Bob has always been with me as I type my blog entries. His favourite position was to sleep on my feet and snore softly as I typed. It is an overused statement but – I miss him.

We were told, as many of you know, in March of 2018 that we would be lucky to have him with us for another month or two.

For me my emotions are like a daily rollercoaster as only four weeks before Bob, my Dad passed away. I was starting to come to terms with that loss when Bob left us.

I am still recovering from the shock of losing two strong well-loved individuals, (yes I know that Bob was to most – only a dog) who played such a big part in my daily life. In fact, in the past four years, my life has been centred around them and visits to Doctors and Veterinarians.

For Ellie, life has become a confusing place. She always had Bob with her except when she was working and even then when she arrived back home, he was at the back of the car ready to welcome her. Now when she gets out of the car she tends to stand and look around the yard as though expecting him to amble around the corner to say hello. She is not the only one who does this.

I really don’t want to stop writing the blog as I am still learning and working with dogs, but I am open to suggestions from the few who read my ramblings. But without Dad and Bob, the world has tilted.

I have visited the vets many times, as I stated above, but on that horrible evening, there was something that sort of freaked me out. The only four-legged client at the surgery was an Elkhound pup! Norwegian Elkhounds are not a popular breed here in Meath.

As always any and all comments are appreciated by me, and Ellie.

bob and puddyipppay attentioncropped-01-08-08_11393.jpg

Update on Bob

Mr Bob is becoming a grumpy demanding old dog! No other way to put it, I am afraid to say he is relishing the role. If there were a doggy version of Father Ted, he would be Father Jack!

He doesn’t call for whiskey though he did lick some off my fingers with great enthusiasm which would indicate that if a bowl or glass were offered it would not be refused.

Bob still makes everyone smile, as he plods about the house, walking under the visiting Brooke (Greyhound of a very leggy variety) as though she were not there. His meds have increased a little and on each occasion, I call to the vets to get a new batch, they express their surprise and delight that he is still king of the castle. I have attached a few photos of the grumpy, sometimes smiling old dog. Please note I did try bribery to get him to look at the camera, but…

20190302_190807

I am not looking at the camera

20190302_190813

I refuse to say cheese

IMG_20190401_130115

Who wrote this book?

20181225_1742291809793159266789311.jpg

Caring for a Dad and a Bob.

One question about sit and stay and ageing.

As carer to one 86 year old dad and one 98 years old Bob I have discovered they have one thing in common, they can move like Ninjas.

Ask Dad to wait for a second while you grab a coat for him and when you turn around he has not only calmly gone outside but left his Zimmer behind him.

Tell Bob to sit and stay while you open the gate to bring in the bin and bam – he has calmly walked through it and is making his way to whatever house the delicious scent of cooking is wafting from.

may-2013-022

Trouble is – how can you give out to either of them? Besides they won’t listen!

Curiosity

Now that the elder dog (Bob) no longer can walk beyond the end of the next house’s driveway, Ellie’s morning walks are a little more varied. However, we do see some curious things as we saunter along.

Take this pair, they would not stop following us or cock a doodle dooing!

20180908_0950257459106911265701368.jpg

Ellie shook her head at me and moved on.

Then we spotted this guy sitting at the side of the road:

20180820_0907456160210087328651653.jpg

She positively glared at him and turning on her heel walked home for breakfast!

A picture tells a story.

Sit and stay is a useful tool, especially when this collie likes to explore. (There were a lot of cars around.)

ellie in trailer 1Judy, the black labrador, appreciates a rest and will sit and stay forever.

 

 

She, was taught by the best sitter of them all,

img_6t3p8l1554022388.jpg

BOB

Hot days, Cool dogs.

August is in and the days are rolling by, Bob is astounding everyone with his determination to reach his 14th birthday. It helps that he avoids exercise, seeks the coolest place in the garden or house and ignores those visitors who have a high energy output.

20180806_123006default

 

 

We abandoned him last night to have a rare night out. We packed a picnic, rug, fold up seats and went to Tullynally Castle located just outside of Castlepollard. The aim of the evening was to be entertained by a Sherlock Holmes who dun it play. And entertained we were. So much so that few photos were taken. The evening was balmy, warm and not too sunny, perfect for eating and relaxing. The play was fast paced, funny and well supported by the enthusiastic munching audience.img_20180805_234228_9231074686668.jpg

 

Training in extreme weather

Irish heatwaves are a rare thing, but 8 weeks into extremely sticky heat and we are experiencing problems. For me and the four dogs, training now takes place at unlikely hours or at unlikely venues. We try to vary it as much as possible. Most days they are each given a task to do and so trained individually but then if the two-legged handler sleeps late, training takes place in the river. The dogs love this but I don’t as I generally end up the wettest of the lot.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ellie is on the left on the last photo in the slides she prefers to stand on the bank and manage the recovery – this collie only gets wet as the last resort.

20180701_0818592045961014.jpg

 

What if?

These are the questions being asked by those about me, and the answers are mixed. Some from Bob and some from me. I bet you can guess who answered what..

What if the sun burns itself out?

His next in command, the moon, will take over and our lives will be mellower.

bob

What if it doesn’t rain before September?

Irish people will become even more disgruntled and focused on the weather? Nothing new there. Their 4 legged tail wagging friends will wallow in the shade and be content with early morning walks in the woods.

IMG_9941

What if Breeze the ogre moves out of the wood in search of water?

More cupcakes for little old me!