Sunday, August 31, 2008

Nothing Much

It has been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, as Garrison Keillor always used to say. I have sniffles again, possibly as a post-Reiki training clear-out - they warn you to expect this kind of thing. Holly is shedding so much I may have to get her fur turned into something useful.

On the plus side, I have a permanent job with effect from tomorrow. Salary not great, but a step in the right direction after a year and a bit living off the proceeds of selling my house. This means I might be able to buy another house, instead of living/camping out in a family member's renovation project. I am immensely lucky to have such a generous family, but there are times when I'd like not to owe anyone anything, you know? So I've been looking at tiny houses online this week, and thinking: hmm. Deep breath. It's going to be OK.

Herbie is slowing up. He still dragged out Henry Kitten's (RIP) toy chicken from under the furniture at my father's, for a good shake, but I can see him pondering whether to race Holly to the far corner of the lawn, and deciding not to. One day at a time.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


It's been a week of medical education for me. On Tuesday, I watched Dr. Alice Roberts explain how a normal lymph node was no bigger than a baked bean. She had some bean-sized pig nodes to demonstrate, as well as a pig thymus gland (where T-cells come from). I still don't really know what a thymus gland does, but it was an interesting programme on the immune system.

I also received my copy of Dog Anatomy, by Peter Goody, that I'd ordered from Amazon, and can now be quite sure that Herbie's bulging bottom rib on his left side is due to his spleen. The ultrasound (way back in the mists of time) picked up that he had an enlarged spleen - and he still has. (For anyone squeamish, who doesn't want to see pictures of an enlarged spleen, don't look here.)

Herbie could show veterinary students where the lymph nodes are - every major node is lumpy. I wish he wasn't quite so educational.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Never Quite As Planned

I was going to take a photo to prove how well-furred Herbie's hind end is. When I try and take a front-end photo of him, all I ever get is a rear view, as he runs away, so this should have been easy. But no, Holly runs in front. Then he follows me round with the camera, blinking sleepily into the lens.

Then I remind him he was 8 and a third yesterday! He remembers, and runs upstairs.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Happy 4th Gotcha Day

It's been just over four years now since I went to see a tiger-striped greyhound standing in a paddock at his foster-parents' house. He was skinny, and nervous, but when they let him loose, he went flying round the field, then rolled onto the ground in front of me and waved his legs in the air. "Oh," said his foster parents, "he's never done that before." He was meant to come to me, and he knew it long before I realised.

Herbie was in poor shape - he'd been found on the roof of some sheds on an industrial estate, 12 feet up, unable to jump down. He'd been left on a sheet-metal roof, so he had third degree burns on all four feet, he was dehydrated, and close to death. He wasn't supposed to have survived, but somehow he did. I realise now he had an incredible will to live, and I'm seeing it for myself every day. He was skinny when found, six kilos under his racing weight (which is already light) and minus a lot of his fur. His foster parents warned me he might always have a bald bum.

Now old Fuzzybum is on my bed, after a large meal and a gentle potter in the sunshine. The bad days left their legacy and it seems particularly cruel that he won't live to be the oldest greyhound in the world. But I'm glad we had these four years.

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Day After Reiki

SO tired. I did Reiki 1 in York yesterday, a day of concentrating, and driving, and being with strangers, and today I can hardly move. The moral of the story is, book a day or two off work after a course. It was an amazing day - such an odd sensation, to feel your palms prickling as you run your hands over a stranger's aura. An interesting group of people, all there for different reasons - and all of us trying not to drop each other's heads back onto the therapy table...

I hate being away from Herbie for a day, when I'm already at work during the week, but my sister came and dog-sat, and fed them her left-over moussaka and gave long ear scritches. I hope I learned something that can help Herbie.