Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Eve

Photo of the glorious Dova in her Christmas regalia. Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Dova Now

I'm in hospital in dire straits at the moment as my swallowing has shut down. So tube feeding and waiting for yet more endless tests.

But, a current picture of glorious Dova. I have this one my desktop in hospital so she meets my eye every time I start it up.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Borzoi Puppy Dova Arrives

Our hearts kept hemorrhaging after losing our Lily, so much so when I told a friend and doggie expert the whole sorry tale, she told me about a top quality borzoi puppy that was available up in Queensland. She knew I had always loved borzois, and having a show quality puppy I could get me hands on was too much to pass up.

Dova has come in to our family and stopped up the holes and made me laugh more than cry.

She was transported door to door, and was a bit tired and confused as she was let out of her crate, but didn't take long to get some food into her and enjoying a cuddle.

She is a delight, with a gentle temperament, wicked puppy ways and huge intelligence. She is growing like a weed and has passed her standard poodle house mate Zara. I am sure when she gets up each morning, she has grown a few more centimetres.

Her close female relative in Queensland is just over 2 years old and has reached 31 inches at the shoulder. That's the height of the average dining table, so she is going to be a big girl.

Soon after she arrived
Loves her squeakies
Sneaking a snooze on the chair - not allowed!

Racing around with Zara

Taken yesterday for the Breeder to see how she's developing

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

"Where to Bury a Good Dog"

Put in my post box today in a card by a dear friend. 

.... "There are various places within which a dog may be buried. We are thinking now of a setter, whose coat was flame in the sunshine, and who, so far as we are aware, never entertained a mean or an unworthy thought. This setter is buried beneath a cherry tree, under four feet of garden loam, and at its proper season the cherry strews petals on the green lawn of his grave.

Beneath a cherry tree, or an apple, or any flowering shrub of the garden, is an excellent place to bury a good dog. Beneath such trees, such shrubs, he slept in the drowsy summer, or gnawed at a flavourous bone, or lifted head to challenge some strange intruder. These are good places, in life or in death. Yet it is a small matter, and it touches sentiment more than anything else.

For if the dog be well remembered, if sometimes he leaps through your dreams actual as in life, eyes kindling, questing, asking, laughing, begging, it matters not at all where that dog sleeps at long and at last. On a hill where the wind is unrebuked and the trees are roaring, or beside a stream he knew in puppyhood, or somewhere in the flatness of a pasture land, where most exhilarating cattle graze. It is all one to the dog, and all one to you, and nothing is gained, and nothing lost -- if memory lives. But there is one best place to bury a dog. One place that is best of all.

If you bury him in this spot, the secret of which you must already have, he will come to you when you call -- come to you over the grim, dim frontiers of death, and down the well-remembered path, and to your side again. And though you call a dozen living dogs to heel they should not growl at him, nor resent his coming, for he is yours and he belongs there.

People may scoff at you, who see no lightest blade of grass bent by his footfall, who hear no whimper pitched too fine for mere audition, people who may never really have had a dog. Smile at them then, for you shall know something that is hidden from them, and which is well worth the knowing.

The one best place to bury a good dog is in the heart of his master." Ben Hur Lampman

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Peace at Last

Cuddled gently in my arms, Lily slipped quietly into doggie heaven at 2.30am this morning, assisted by an exceptionally caring vet.

Woken by a massive seizure and seriously disoriented for a long while afterwards, it was a blessed release for us to help her end her suffering.

I got up early and went down to where my lovely man buried Lily at 3am.

The sun was just up, the breeze was still, the dappled sunlight trickling through our little forest onto the fresh turned earth.

My funny old lady sheepies came and stood around me, sensing something profound had happened,

and Chevy came and nibbled my fingers.

We all stood there together and listened to the birds' early morning chatter, and watched a kookaburra swoop low over her grave. Perfect peace and all is well in the world.

R.I.P. my darling girl. ♥ ♥ ♥

Sunday, February 3, 2013

People Are So Clever

Have a gentle cruise through this You Tube video. See Link below:

MRI Shows the Damage

Painted on Art Rage while I waited for the neurologist to call after her first seizure..

Lily's condition has worsened over the last month, and after seeing specialist DM at the Melbourne Veterinary Specialist Centre on the 11th of January, she continued to decline. The anti-convulsants she was prescribed made no difference, so he upped the dose.

I took her to have a trial acupuncture at Prahran Vet Hospital in the hope of settling the facial twitching, and we took home herbal tablets as well.

The next day, Thursday 31st January, she had two grand mal seizures, her back legs were no longer co-ordinated so she fell heavily over and over, and her facial twitching was almost non-stop. The specialist was contacted immediately and we made plans for her to see her neurologist when he returned on Wednesday.

The next morning, she had deteriorated so much I believed she would die if we didn't do something immediately, and after a desperate call, the Specialist Centre said to bring her straight down.

She went in for a CSF test and a MRI of her head, which showed a white flare over the optic nerve for her removed eye, indicating inflammation/ infection from the surgery. She has been so brave considering that she has had this simmering away since last July. Dogs are.....

Specialist Kate Heading is getting a radiologist in Sydney to view them to get a more definitive idea on Lily's condition.

She has been put on antibiotics and cortisone and we have decided to put her to sleep if we can't get her some stress and pain free life ahead of her.

We are getting some heartening results so far, her seizures have stopped, the twitching lessened, and she has regained the use of her hind legs, though she dropped like she had been shot after a big jolt this morning, poor dear girl.

The financial cost to us this past week is mounting fast, not counting numerous long trips from West Gippsland to Melbourne, but I am really pleased we decided to go the extra mile, and hopefully given her another chance.

This past week has been the most horrifying to me for a long time, watching my dog suffering the way she has. I never knew I had so many tears in me.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I was browsing through an old newspaper site the other night, put my old dad’s name in and came up with this!
1955 at Oakleigh. We lived there then and I was five. Talk about a weird serendipity!
Look at the gorgeous ad at the bottom right....

It just amazes me that you can put a name in and up will come some obscure photo from 58 years ago. Who works quietly in the background trawling through and archiving all this?

My dad's been gone since 1988, and he would have been amazed, and thrilled to have been in the news like that. I wonder whether he knew.

Trip Home

We went to see the movie 'Hitchcock' on Sunday afternoon, and to dinner with a much loved friend and hubby for her birthday. It was dusk on the trip home, and I was enthralled by the beauty of our countryside as we drove home. I memorised the colours, determined to reproduce them in AR today. I think I got it reasonably right.

Done on Digital painting program Art Rage, which I find very inspiring!

If you're interested, follow this link below to see where posting this work on the Art Rage Forums led. Lots of lovely people and a gorgeous poem by Lord Byron.

Monday, January 21, 2013

What you see is not always what you get.

Well, the dispute with the vets is ongoing, and I am learning a lot about what seemingly decent educated people will do to get out of admitting that they handled things badly.

Lily exhibited what I called 'startling' as soon as the anesthetic wore off, and was stumbling and falling, twitching and behaving quite strangely quite a few times through the days and now months that followed. At first I thought she was having trouble adapting to having only one eye, so just watched her and calmed her when she needed comfort. 

She no longer had the courage to come upstairs to sleep, and sadly put herself to bed in the lounge while her mate slept upstairs with me. She had a few slips on the timber steps, which left her very unsettled about falling all the way down. Indeed, she did come a clanger every now and again before she gave up totally, poor love.

I had emergency surgery with my thyroid coming out less than a month afterwards, so it took a while for me to focus fully on her again, but I was concerned to see that the symptoms were escalating

To cut a long story short, it really became obvious on a hot day recently, when we flopped around in front of the telly, and I filmed her while her left side of her face was jumping and twitching. Huge jolts would jar her whole body, and they would be the ones that have caused her to stumble and fall so soon after the surgery.

I  did a lot of research on the net, and consulted with a terrific online vet who advised me about what it might or might not be.

My research came up with Trigeminal Neuralgia, caused most likely from the surgery. In humans, it can be terribly painful, and the symptoms were identical to Lily's.

I made an appointment with a neurologist and took my poor little lady down to see him. Her symptoms escalated with the long trip and the stress, so he was able to watch it first hand. He was marvelous, and we spent a really interesting hour and half, tossing symptoms, possible diagnoses and treatments back and forth. He agrees with me that she has nerve damage. She has been put on anti-convulsant drugs and we are hoping to see some improvement soon, though 10 days later, she is still as bad. 

I did find some references to using Botox in humans, and it has been used safely on dogs for other reasons, so I have asked the specialist to look into that if the meds don't work.

I hate watching her, as she is really miserable at times, and her only relief is when she is heavily asleep, so I tiptoe around when she's dozing.

Back to the vets... They have been truly, truly disgusting, twisting facts, making up things that never happened, and trying to discredit me and protect themselves. I was lucky to get hold of their case notes, which displayed just how low they will stoop to get out of taking responsibility for this disaster. Fortunately I have lots of ways to disprove them.

My final submission is going in this week, but sadly, none of this will get Lily's eye back, or take away her suffering.