Tuesday, July 02, 2013

RIP My Golden Angel

Yesterday I had to make that call I had been dreading for a long time, and just after 9.30 yesterday morning, Herbie died as the vet held him. It was old age, and pain, and the fact that he could barely walk, but mostly it was because I feared to see him in pain - he had started to pant at odd moments the day before, and that told me it was time.

He survived for six years with lymphoma, and over a year with severe glaucoma. He was never cured of cancer, but died with it rather than of it. He was almost thirteen and a quarter, which is a good age for a greyhound. He taught me so much, and I know I am a better person because of him. I am certainly a better greyhound owner. There will never be another dog like him. And I will never hold his foot again, and whisper "little Herbie feetie", something I did when he first came to me and was still recovering from third-degree burns on his feet, and that I carried on doing for the rest of his life. Run free, my golden boy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Twelve and Three Quarters

It's been so long since I last posted that Blogger has completely changed, and I feel as if I'm having to learn how to blog all over again - that'll teach me to slack off. Herbie's had a tough year, with going blind, and then breaking a toe on the ice at the end of November. We were at the arboretum, and it was both muddy and icy, and we were sliding all over the place. When we came home, he didn't want to put weight on his back right foot, so off to the vets again.

Herbie's been on restricted exercise ever since, and for once it's been easy, he hasn't wanted to go out much. He's slowed up anyway, and would prefer to recline on his couch, watching the world go by. He's just a very old dog now, and it's hard to keep the weight on him, but he enjoys my efforts in that direction. It's bitterly cold here at the moment, minus 10 last night, so he's on extra cheese rations.

Holly is her usual bouncy self, and the snow brings out her inner husky. She would like to tow me down the street, and enjoys running along, nose down, inhaling snow as she goes, then sneezing every few steps because her nose is full of snow. If only I could capture this on video!

Anyway, new year, same old us - for as long as it lasts.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012


The conjunctivitis that wasn't clearing up now seems to be glaucoma. This isn't good. Herbie seems to be trying to teach me still more about illness. I wish he'd ease up a little. If the eye-drops don't work, he might need to have his eye removed.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Dozen Years Old

Herbie was 12 on Monday! I never thought I'd see the day - but we did. His lymph nodes are big, he's getting over a touch of conjunctivitis, and his back end is weakening, but he's still here, and still springs to life whenever he sees a cat.

No excuses for not posting, it's all down to general idleness and nothing much to say. I did wonder if Herbie would make it through the winter - his 14-year old black Lab friend, Guinness, only just did, but she died with the first daffodils. Her dog-parents, Nick and David, are bereft, and now I don't see them on our dog-walks. Herbie hangs around their garden gate, and I don't know how long Guinness's scent would have lingered on, but with all the rain we've had, it'll surely be gone by now. The south of England may be in drought, but here I'm thinking of turning my lawn into a pond.

Holly is her usual weaselly self. And my car died, so now the dogs have to cram into something smaller. Holly has made a pile of the old "car beds" and is doing her celebrated Princess and the Pea impersonation in one corner of the living room. We made it through the winter.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas

Not a festive pic - Herbie has another histiocytoma, under his chin this time. He also has a new blanket, an early Christmas present. Underneath his bottom at the moment is the foil that I'd baked some chicken in. Holly would like it, even though he's licked it clean, but as he's lying on it, there's no chance she'll get it tonight.

Herbie is quite arthritic now, and as he suffers gastric problems with most anti-inflammatories, all I can do is give him painkillers and Cortaflex. At some point I expect his back end will go, and that'll be it, but for now he's still my rickety old boy. Who won't share his foil with anyone.

Roll on Christmas. Lots and lots of foil.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Almost Hallowe'en

The clocks have just gone back, and I've got a whole extra hour to do all the things I've been putting off. I took the dogs to Wigtown a couple of weeks ago, the Scottish book town. It was quiet, out of season, and I have to wonder how long they can hold out against t'internet. I hope we don't lose the joy of bookbrowsing entirely - there's nothing like finding the book you never knew you needed, or even that such a book existed, just in the course of wandering through a shop.

Galloway, where Wigtown is, is very green and full of cows. We stayed near Whauphill, where there was a big shiny red tractor factory, or dealership or something - we always knew we were nearly home when we saw a long row of tractors. There's not much in that part of the world, but there are good beaches close at hand.

Herbie is very creaky, but he comes to life again when he sees a cat.

Saturday, October 01, 2011


.. it's a scorcher, 27 degrees centigrade. This is the weirdest weather ever. Or else a divine punishment for buying three months worth of toilet paper just in case the snows come early this year. I might starve, but I will not run out of toilet paper in a hurry.

The dogs begged for a walk at lunchtime, so I took them to the arboretum. After a hundred yards, they both turned to me with a "Remind me why we came here?" expression, so we went home again, pausing only to sniff a very shaggy Scottish terrier who had obviously grown a thick winter coat that wasn't needed just yet. I find the expression on floor-level black dogs hard to read, but this one was clearly saying he hadn't bargained on this heat.

My sister's cat was hit by a car last week, and now has a broken pelvis, broken cheekbone, and one eye stitched shut in an attempt to save his sight in that eye. He's at the same age as the last one, Solly, was when he was hit and killed - that adolescent/adult border age, when they haven't quite understood about cars, or think they can outrun them. He's now on cage rest for six weeks. He looks a mess at the moment. Unlike my sister, who has hair again, and eyebrows.

At work, they have decided to reorganise, again. Parts of the outfit are still working through the last round. It's keeping us all on our toes.