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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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…

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I am not looking at the camera

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I refuse to say cheese

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Who wrote this book?

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Another mystery

LIfe is full of mysteries, like how do they get the fondant fancies so equal and smooth? Some make us smile and some simply leave everyone puzzled.

Dad has been busy. He created a puzzle. One night he fell, gave himself a nasty whack on the head, and we went off to A&E where they were very nice, very kind and despite all we hear about hospitals today, relatively fast at getting him x rayed and examined. He had a fracture above his wrist and it was bandaged and he was admitted to hospital for a few days. Fast forward to his release, all went really well, I mean I didn’t lose him which was great but when I got home I discovered his heavy bandage was missing. I rang the hospital and no one could answer the question. He was brought back and a heavier brace applied. All seemed well until 6 days later, I was woken at 3.30am and found this…..

a perfect cast sitting on his pillow and he seemed relatively happy that it was no longer on. He couldn’t remember how he got it off. To everyone who deals with him, it remains the eighth mystery of the world.

This Simple Life

I believed, stupidly, that life would get easier as we age.

This is not the case and no one escapes, in this writers life.

I always wanted to write, that is a given with me, so I blog.

I am not competitive but have learned that button once pushed does not easily switch off. I try to get to the gym  2 or 3 times a week, to offset the bad habits I have i.e. slouching over a computer screen,  and the inherited family traits of heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy and high blood pressure. And have discovered it is addictive, sociable and exhausting but good.

As kids, we were brought up believing it is good to give back, so I volunteer.

I work with Ellie, who being a collie is all about being busy. Working with her led me to find a lab who also likes to work and now she has two sons who live to find anything I care to hide.

I almost forgot, I work not a full week but I work and now help to take care of Dad.

Add that into the mix along with a reluctance to say no and there is an explosion waiting to happen.

So I have decided to cut back but on what?  Housework is the tempting answer to that question, but I am a woman and we are programmed to only ignore the dust for so long.

Yes, this simple life I crave is a dream.

So any suggestions or advice would be gratefully received, mulled over and … tried out for a month or two.

Perhaps I should follow Bob’s example.

 

4 O’Clock means time for tea

I write this through a pleasant fog of tiredness….

shallow focus photo of orange ceramic mug on white saucer

Photo by Elle Hughes on Pexels.com

It has become a ritual.

At precisely 4 o’clock we have tea.

Tea and toast that is.

Dad suggests it, I fool that I am agree

The trouble with this plan is not plain for him to see

But I know that when he has relaxed and needs no more,

I alone am left to tidy, sweep and get on with my day while he simply starts to snore,

Left feeling that again I have been duped

Because it is 4am  and not 4pm

 

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.

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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!

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Ellie shook her head at me and moved on.

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

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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,

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BOB

Maria Matthews at at Meet Your Next Favorite Author

Thank you, Lieve, for giving me the opportunity to feature on your interview spot. It was a learning experience.

FotoBoek Lieve Snellings

I am so glad that I met up with Maria Matthews at the BookGoSocial Children’s Group and got to know her work. She has such a wonderful imagination.

IMG_0748I read the Runaway Schoolhouse. After being a decade in an Irish village, this small schoolhouse, called Clearie, wants to travel to France. He starts wandering with small steps to the beach. But with the help of the sometimes hilarious twins John and Sara, of Lancelot the crab and Aldo the Frenchman, Clearie lives the most amazing adventures. While reading, you know it is all fantasy, but at the same time, you believe everything did really happen as we see it going on before our eyes.

I really adore Maria Matthews fantasy and hope she will continue daydreaming forever.
Lieve Snellings

  1. Can you introduce yourself, what’s your name, where are you from… ?

My full name is Maria Monica Matthews. I was…

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