Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Some good news

Went to see Damien this morning. Emma's blood test results still weren't back, a real pain, but he managed to get them faxed through eventually, had to wait a while, go up the shops for half an hour and then come back, but the good news is that her level of urea is back to almost normal. Her protein level is still a bit low, so he wants me to continue with the Hills kD food as her main diet but to add some other things to it to increase the protein a bit. Sooooo, this means I can now give her the odd doggie treat or some chicken in her dinner or some proper dog food as long as it doesn't make her sick or have diarrhea again. Obviously have to be careful still and not overfeed. Got to take her every two to three weeks just to be weighed and then have another blood test in about two months time. Will make life a lot easier from now on, fingers crossed anyway that she doesn't get upset stomach again. I'm still going to keep her on two or three small meals a day instead of what I used to give her, which was just dog biscuit treats really throughout the day and then her main meal at around 6pm. It means that I shall be able to use up all the other dog biscuit meals that I have here in sealed containers bit by bit instead of giving them all away, will save me some money. She still isn't very keen on the tinned version of the kD food, so maybe will just stick to the biscuit meal version and I can add a small amount of proper tinned dog food. Yay. Relief.

So today, she's had her normal ration of the diet food, plus two mini marrowbone treat biscs, and a thumb nail sized bit of chicken from my dinner. Two walks, once while we were waiting for the fax and this afternoon up the farm with Kate and the collies. So now she's fast asleep down the side of the sofa, snoring as usual!

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Deja vue

Had a lazy day today, need to unwind, relax and get my head straight about things. (Not sure if I have with the latter but still) Watched the FA cup game on tv then afterwards I took Emma to my favourite place in all the world, have published many photos on my blog of this place over the past few years but never tire of it. You know, the spooky place where weird things have happened? None today, but just blissful peace, the only sounds I heard were the occasional bird singing, and the sound of rushing water.

Heron standing across was in the same place when I left as when I arrived - don't know if he'd managed to catch anything in that hour or whether he was just taking a nap!

Emma's blood test results weren't back yesterday. Had a long chat with Damien again and he will ring me Monday now or else go to see him again Tuesday to see where we go from here on. I asked him about giving her the occasional dog treat biscuit - big no-no if it is kidney failure. This time I understood the explanation, won't bore you with the all details but in simplistic terms, there's too much protein in normal dog food, and the kidneys can't deal with it, so it causes the upset stomach etc. He said really only fruit and veg has low or little protein, but I said what about human biscuits but he didn't know so I said I would check it out. Anyway, long story short, I looked on all the contents of various packs of biccies in Tesco and find that Rich Tea finger biscuits only have 0.4% protein per biscuit. So if I break one into four bits, it's presumably 0.1% as opposed to about 20% in a normal dog biscuit treat. So will ask him if its ok of course, but in the meantime, she's had some! She's also back to eating the biscuit version of the kidney food, but still off the meat version, although has eaten a little today. Damien was concerned when I told him that she'd only eaten about half of the amount all week that she was supposed to eat. Will try to update when I know more but in the meantime, she's doing okay, seems happy and lively enough.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Yet another update

Dunno what I've done since last time really nothing out of the ordinary I don't think, but latest on Emma is that she had more blood tests done at the vets yesterday, waiting on results till Friday. It's all pointing towards the kidney problems though and Damien thinks that the blood will show the same as before. It will mean she will probably have to stay on the kidney diet food, which isn't a problem for me, it isn't that much more expensive than her normal food although I can only get it from the vets. The trouble is Emma has about one day a fortnight where she just wont eat it. I'm hoping that I will be able to allow her the odd treat biscuit, and that it won't make her ill, otherwise that's a big no-no. Will have to see what the main man says. Had a very long chat with him yesterday and sorted lots out

Doing a stint up the farm this week, started yesterday until Friday. I wasn't really looking forward to it with the weather, but it was bloody lovely up there today, not a breath of wind, and walking the dogs was a sheer pleasure. Only taking Emma for the afternoon one, it's too much for her to do both. She loves going down the slopey field to the brook at the bottom and had a good paddle today, must've been bloody freezing though! Great fun feeding the main flock of sheep with their pellet mix stuff, it's so funny with them all rushing down to the troughs, and 24 of them trying to get at the first scoop that I put out, good job my boots have steel toe caps.

I expect there's more but I just don't seem to have time to do anything at the moment, I've still not watched the Sunday night episode of Lost I recorded, and its my favourite ever programme, just not time to fit in around other programmes, being on here, feeding animals, going shopping, shovelling snow, cleaning out animals arrggghhhh!

Emma after the paddling

The main flock eating their grub

The rams - Harvey & Woody

Skye and Barra in the snow this morning

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Down Yonder White Valley...

Yay, managed to escape for an hour or so today, roads all clear thank gawd. Only went to the next village and up to the farm/pet/bird food supplies shop and got a sack of sunflower hearts. Have been buying them in small bags up till now, and they aren't lasting 5 mins so I asked her to get me a sack. 50lbs sack £34! I can remember when they were £18 not so long ago. Mind you, I felt like I'd won the lottery earlier, because I need some more central heating oil and normally always use the local company as they are generally the cheapest, so you waste your time phoning other people. Just for once though I thought awww I'll try two or three others, and each and every one of them was slightly lower than the price before, and I saved a whopping £37 by making a 10p phone call! Yay, well chuffed.

Anyway, took Emma round the park on the way back from shops, and I know I am awful but I nearly wet myself laughing at a slight misfortune she had. She was on the extended lead, snuffling around on the snow, I was walking on the tarmac path, she broke into a little trot and then I heard a sort of "ugh" noise if you can imagine that coming from a dog. I saw out of the corner of my eye that she was flat on her stomach, she'd put her back foot down a hole where they have a fence in the summer to keep the cricket balls from going over into the river. Once I made sure she hadn't hurt herself, I just couldn't stop laughing, tears were rolling down my face, good job nobody else was around, I had a right fit of the giggles, it was just so bloody funny, I wish I had it on video. And there's more. We went out onto the main road and walked back round the one-way system and back into the park, else it means turning round and going back the same way or walking across the playing field and it was just too wet and horrible to do the latter. Anyway, we were walking along and I saw a black and white cat ahead, sauntering across and then went into a gateway. As we passed by, the cat had plonked itself down just inside the gate and had his back to us, but he must've seen Emma out of the corner of his eye, and it was like you'd given him an electric shock - he leapt from a sitting position about three feet in the air and shot down the drive like a rocket. Second time I nearly pee'd myself. Emma didn't even notice him lol! She's used to cats up the farm now anyway and wouldn't have bothered even if she'd seen him.

Took a couple of photos on the way back, the snow is still on the hillside, looks really picturesque.

More of Frank

Halloooo I'm here (again)

I've been everso good, honest

..but I'm really, really starving now

Oh goody, she's opened the window....

Yeah, gotcha, yum yum (insert puke smiley here)

Tuesday, 3 February 2009


It was coming down thick and fast last night. Woke this morning to about 5 inches of the stuff. Nice and peaceful though, village at a standstill. Glad I didn't have to go anywhere. God help me though if the day comes when I am disabled and can't leave the house. I think I will do myself in. I go up the wall if I can't get out for an hour or two. Although I have things to do in here, like cleaning and housework, yuck yuck yuck, I couldn't settle, and all I've done is pace from room to room looking out the windows. Driven myself mad. Apart from going out several times to do the bird feeders of course and seemingly non stop throwing stuff out of various windows for them, blackbirds begging for food in all directions.

Anyway, we have had several long blizzards, and some sunshine in between, so a status quo now. A lot has melted, but it's all due to freeze tonight, so I have been out with shovel and bucketfuls of road grit doing my paths, the back steps and the garage access incase I can get out tomorrow.

Took Emma for a walk eventually over the back fields for about 45 mins. She enjoyed it, so did I but now I really must get on and clean out the guinea pigs, budgies and run the hoover round. All of which I've been putting off for about 7 hours. Sigh.

Oh yes, I must just say I couldn't believe my eyes just now. That lazy, good for nothing git of a son of the old lady next door (she is about 84, walks with a stick) He has just strolled out to his car, and let her shovel the snow from the path, she nearly fell over twice as I watched. I really want to give him a piece of my mind. He is supposed to be her carer ffs! He does bugger all there, can't even cut the bloody grass for her in the summer, she pays the lad across the road to do it. The whole place is stacked up with his junk, poor old lady can't move in there. I feel so sorry for her, but I don't want to fall out with him either. I think I may try and have a word with the lady who comes round about once a fortnight to check on the old people round here, the warden, if I can catch her eye. He needs a bloody kick up the arse. He just goes out to do his horses twice a day, and rest of the time is sitting in there doing eff all, or probably in bed. Grrrrr.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Since last time.....

Below are some photos. Lots of Frank from today, he's been at the windows all day asking for food. I think he's missed me this weekend, although I've seen him in the mornings, and he's had a few worms and some suet pellets, he obviously likes my cafe and prefers the free handouts rather than go look for stuff himself. I reckons he's had about 25 live mealworms today and loads of pellets. He was a bit fluffed up, although it was bloody cold of course. Hope he's ok though.

Right so other stuff I've done since last time includes going to the vets with Emma again, have to take her back in another week now for the repeat blood tests. Damien didn't think it was worth doing them last week as she had the bad attack of diarrhea due to eating some cod. Ooops. Had to tell a porky to him and say that she grabbed some from New Quay and ate it before I could stop her, not that it had been given to her deliberately. I really thought a little bit of white fish without the batter and no salt etc wouldn't harm her, but obviously not. She's been on the Hills Kd tinned and dry food mixed for a week now, and she is doing well. Had runny poos once but then she always did have a bit of an iffy tummy. Hopefully she will be ok now and see what the tests show if her levels have improved. Maybe she will have to stay on this stuff almost permanently. It is very hard to make sure she doesn't scavenge though, having to keep her on the lead all the time when we are out so that I can jerk her away from food that may have been discarded, and of course, even out in the garden she may find something that a bird has dropped, its a bit of a nightmare. I'm hoping that Damien will say maybe we can try re-introducing her the occasional proper dog treat, like little biscuits etc because her little face when she is just getting this same old stuff all the time, it's sad. She was back to "I'm not gonna eat this crap" last Monday and Tuesday, but Damien said don't worry, she will eat it when she's hungry enough, if she doesn't eat for 24 hours no problem, 48 hours - big problem! So far, so good though, and her tantrums rarely last more than about 10 mins lol.

Been out with Alan three days, last Wednesday was fantastic here, really warm, and we took Emma to Sandy Water Park again, and then down onto the beach at North Dock. Didn't really even need a coat. Fed the swans and ducks and we sat outside in the cafe on the balcony and watched the sun going down over Carmarthen Bay at 4.15pm, and it was bliss. The cafe was packed again, can't believe it in January, it was like being in Spain!

Also went to Park Howard on Saturday, didn't take anything to feed the ducks and geese, felt mean, but plenty of other people gave them some bread so they didn't starve. Was wondering what the pair of birds is with the goose - looked like mallards, but about three times the size - any ideas Pete? Hybrids maybe?

Today we had another lovely day here, sunshine and blue skies most of the day with the occasional little white flake coming down, not enough to even settle UNTIL 5pm, then we had a very heavy snow flurry with HUGE flakes for about half an hour, and we have about an inch of snow now. Whooppee! (Not) I always feel bad for the poor birds and other creatures when we have weather like this, there's loads of little lambs around at the moment, and because of the mild weather last week, noticed lots of birds courting and preparing to breed, this stupid weather is creating all sorts of problems in nature. Oh well, not much I can do about it, only carry on feeding half the population of Wales' birds here. Hey ho.

Let's see if this one will print sigh.