Bumble watches me as I pick blackberries the road side of the gate to our property. This photo was taken by our daughter Molly.
Dolly lives on at Poundlane
Dolly lives on at Poundlane in her daughter Treacle and grandchildren Ernest and Lily.
Just going swimming
Children wanted to go swimming today. The bags in the photo are their swimming kit bags and I bought a couple years ago for them. Two years later after several trips to the swimming pool and around our washing machine, the bags are still in good order and I have to say, "The best kit bag I've ever bought, and with six children I've gone through a few kit bags." Easy to keep clean, can be washed along with a coloured wash and quickly line dried. and not such a breeding ground for bacteria as resin/plastic type swimming/PE kit bags can be. They are made by The Whale Company and you can find more Whalebags here
Dolly's time to go
Yesterday afternoon Dolly was gently put to sleep on the rug in front of our wood-burner, a place she had occupied through many an evening.
Time to go
That look, that glance is not by chance
You've asked. It's your time to go
I knelt beside you as you pushed life in to this world
And I kneel beside you now, as your last breath is unfurled
My shadow, my chicken obsessed little Dolly
The space you occupied at my knee,
now fills the space from my kitchen window I can see
Your resting place for eternity.
Just Sunday Roast
Bringing in the seed harvest
Hope for the future
I sit here at the computer with Dolly asleep at my feet. Dolly is dying from cancer and it's a struggle as you juggle her quality of life and when you feel death is the better option than life. Sorry, but it is a big deal helping a friend to the end of their life (even if that friend is just a dog) and it is you that will be donning the cloak of death for them. Fortunately, I can give Dolly one last gift a good death, but unfortunately, it's hard to find those that will really open up and talk about giving Dolly a good death. The vets skirt around the fact she is on the homeward straight. They seem very geared to keeping animals alive, but I wonder how much training is given to them in how to discuss end of life care with pets. I suspect very little or even none. I suppose what I'm just looking for and many people in my position is reassurance that letting go is okay. I don't want talk of Dolly being a fighter or she's had a good fight, this is not a fight. She's dying and I must find it in me to give her a good death at the time which is her time, and hope for the future.
Dolly is the fourth dog I've nursed with cancer. Cancer is one of the most horrendous conditions to deal with, because it can take a healthy dog and in months or just weeks they can be at deaths door. With Dolly she has it in an area that if it is allowed to run it's course will slowly suffocate her, so it's pretty awful watching an otherwise healthy dog slowly suffocating. I can see her cancer. I can see it growing by the day, it is awful and all I can do is keep her pain free, but the sound of her breathing is getting more noticeable, as is the constant snoring as she sleeps, which ceases if you just cup the cancer with your hand and take it's weight off her airway. Yes, I have already planned her death and where she will be buried. Luckily I have a husband David, that I can talk frankly and openly with about death. And that hope for the future is New Therapeutic Antibody for Dog Cancers. This is to late for Dolly, but let's hope it will help a lot of dogs in the future.
Primrose at 7 years old
Primrose (On The Girls page) turned 7 years old on the 18th August and she is the mother of our two girls Bertha and Sasha (On The Girls page), who are now 1 years old and their Dad is our Brittany boy Henry(On the The Boys page). Our oldest girl Ysobel (On The Girls page) is Primrose's Mum and Smudge (On The Girls page) is her half sister sharing the same Dad Charlie (On the The Boys page). Yesterday evening I was watching her playing with her daughter Bertha and after watching them for around 5 minutes thought, "Why am I not filming this?" I went and got the camera and luckily they kept playing, although a bit hindered by Treacle and her son Ernest who kept butting in. The yelp Bertha gives out at the end when Treacle ambushes her. Treacle just touched her side, but as Treacle is dominate to her the sharp yelp was more out of fear of suddenly seeing her at her side than being hurt and you will see serves the purpose that a sharp yelp plays during playing dogs and the attack from Treacle dissipates and there is a time out.
Roast lamb for supper later with those runner beans, parsnips and shallots. The blackberries will be cooked up and put through a sieve and used in a blackberry and apple crumble. I'm having to sieve them getting the majority of seeds out, as our daughter Florrie who loves blackberries has just had a brace fitted.
What's in a name?
Just turned on the computer. Checked emails and then just took a quick look on my website to see that yesterday blogging about Bertie going home that I had called Emma, Laura. Sorry Emma, I've corrected it now. One of my worst foibles is remembering names. If I muddle a name, it does not mean I don't care, it does not mean I'm just going through the motion, it's just me.
My worst faux pas with a name was with a friend's Mother and she is also one of our neighbours. In my early twenties I rented stables off my friend's Mother and Father. When her Father passed away a little while ago, I went up to see my friend's Mother and took a deepest sympathy card. She was not at home at the time, so I popped the deepest sympathy card in her letter box.
I got home and then realized that I had written the card out to "Barbara" and my friend's Mother is called, "Brenda." What to do? Should I say nothing and just let it ride? I felt so bad though, her husband had passed away and I couldn't even get her name right on a card. So I rang her to see if she was back home. She answered the phone and she thanked me for the card, not mentioning the faux pas with her name, but I felt so awful that I had to apologize for the mistake with her name. Thankfully she thought it very funny, actually thanking me for the laugh, and said, "I saw the card with Barbara written on the envelope and I thought that could only be from one person."
Bertie goes home
Bertie's family came home from holiday today and picked up Bertie this afternoon. As usual he has been no trouble to look after and although he has been settled and happy with us. It was pretty evident this afternoon though that he was pleased to see his family again. Thanks for the bottle Emma and Stu. Hope you all had a lovely family holiday.
Photos of Bertie taken by our son Thomas
Jessica after an accident had to have her back left leg amputated back in the Spring of 2014 Jessica is home. Having lost her leg we decided to not breed from her and she was spayed. She is our Cavalier boy Toby's litter sibling and at now over 5 years old is still going strong on her three legs.
Vets this morning with Dolly and she is now also on diuretics to see if we can reduce the fluid collecting in the tissue above the mass in her shoulder. She did not want to go in the car this morning, which is unusual for her. I understand. Home is where she wants to be now.
The lesser known Cheese Pointer
The lesser known Cheese Pointer is a dog of impeccable pedigree and was highly sought after in the Royal Courts of Europe and accounts of their cheese finding exploits can be found recorded from as early as the 17th century. Used in the Royal Courts to locate cheese after hunting parties had consumed copious amounts of Port and become rowdy displacing cheese from tables. They would locate cheese and would then sit pointing at it. It is said that one dog named "Stilton" was tested to see how long she would point at cheese, a week later she was found dead in a lying position with her eyes still fixed on the cheese. These dogs make ideal dogs for families who love cheese.
Just Lily and Primrose
Bertie with Lily and Primrose
Thinking outside the poop bag
Ever wondered whether you could find a good use for your dog's poop? Turd Reich: San Francisco dog owners lay minefield of poo for rightwing rally. If you are in that area and want to donate here's the Facebook page Leave your dog poop on Crissy Field and don't worry, because they will pick it up afterwards. Fighting crap with a whole load of dog shit. I just love it when people think outside the poop bag.
"Mum, why are you crying?"
I wasn't actually crying when my daughter Tilly asked me this morning, "Mum, why are you crying?" Although, I was as near as you can get without a tear rolling down your face. I had just been watching Dolly trundle down the side of our home and as I watched her she decided to stop and our eyes met.
The growth in her shoulder is growing rapidly now and drainage issues have started to occur above it in her neck. The growth has become very visible and with the drainage issue in the neck she looks like I've been a bit over zealous with her rations. We were lucky the first time removing the growth in her shoulder did not to cause her any major problems or her bleed out on the operating table, as it sits right against the carotid artery. Surgery a second time with a regrowth within a month bigger than the original growth removed, discussions with my vet, we did not feel was something that Dolly should be put through again, just to maybe if we were lucky, steal a few more weeks with her.
As our eyes met this morning it was not to tell me, "It is time now," but it bloody well told me "It is nearly time." As I turned from her gaze every animal I have held and nursed as they stilled came to me, and my biggest fear right now is missing the time, because the ones that come back to me and pain me most are those who I feel I missed that moment they asked me "It is time now." And then a little voice broke me from my self pity, "Mum, why are you crying?"
Poached salmon on a lightly spiced sauce with rice and steamed veg. I poached the fish in milk seasoned with white and black peppercorns, bay leaves, fresh parsley and onion. The milk the fish was poached in was then sieved after poaching the fish in it and used for the sauce adding coriander, marjoram, cumin and a bit of garam masala. The children must of been hungry or it tasted good, as they eat every bit of it up.
Doing a Princess Di
My son Thomas took this photo of me this morning in conference aka having coffee and talking to the children about what we might get up to today. Thomas caught me with what back in the day, we called "Doing a Princess Di." That upward puppy eyed look that she so perfected. The look for me is purely accidental, as is the matching shirt with the crocs. You've either got style or you ain't.
We've got apples by the bucket load and blackberries by the ice cream tub load. Although a catchy old summer the hedgerows and trees are giving up a good harvest.
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Me (Jane) with Puddin' and Teagol, waiting patiently to flush a patch of kale, December 2019
Hello, I am Jane!