Tag Archives: dogs

The Tattoo

Folks have been inking their bodies for much longer than anyone can imagine.  The oldest discovery of tattooed human skin to date is found on the body of Ötzi the Iceman, dating to between 3370 and 3100 BC.  Today many people get a tattoo in celebration of the birth of their child, remembrance of a loved one, and of course expression of art.  Me myself, I have never been attracted to the idea of tattoos in the slightest on myself, however, I have no objection to anyone else having artwork on their skin.  In fact I rather admire the work the tattoo artist work does.  The first male love of my life, my Dad has one tattoo; he got it when he was in the army, it has a thistle on it and the name of my mother on it.  I used to kiss it and look at it lovingly and rub his arm and think to myself if someone loves me like my daddy loves my mummy I will be one lucky lady.  My And yes people for the record this has happened.   My hubby does have three small blue tattoos on his tummy, they are markers the radiotherapy he underwent for his testicular cancer.  In 1996 this is the way they set up the simulation and marked the skin and the patient is left with permanent reminder.  Mum and Dad were married for 60 years before Mum died, Steve and I have been married since 1986, following in their footsteps; happy with that.

Both of my brothers, Albert and Brian have tattoos, and my sister Helen has a tattoo.  After my our Mother passed away.  Albert had an image of Mum on his arm.  Helen got a tattoo in remembrance of Mum too.  We all cope in different ways with death and honouring loved ones.

I have a few friends who particularly liked to express themselves one way or another.  Whether it is eclectic dress, many colour hair changing, piercings, and the main discussion of this post getting a tattoo or five.

One of my friends particularly likes to get tattoos.  Louise is a very close friend who has became one of the family.  Lou and Keith, got one of Buddy and Bella’s pups from the first litter, he is the image of Buddy, they call him Gunner.  When the second litter came along goes without saying another puppy had to join their household.  Harris, now one year old may look like his Daddy, but majority of his characteristics are of his Mummy, Bella.  Lou, has been wonderful over the last three years, visits plentiful.  Giving lifts to hospitals.  Helping with fundraisers for Scotland’s Net Cancer Charity – The Ann Edgar Charitable Trust.  What fun we had at The Tea Party and The Music For Nets Night.

Lou is a busy lady, but if she says she is going to help – I can guarantee you she will be there.  The one thing I found harder than anything else was asking for help.  When I had to give up driving the reliance on getting a lift is essential.  The spontaneous hypoglycaemia and exhaustion means I like to plan outings in advance.  Not living on a bus route isn’t ideal.  But Ive got to admit, car travel is usually the best form of transport. So asking for help….. with Lou, you don’t need to ask.   For Many things, hubby Steve and I go together.  Both our sons, Tony and Stuart assist as and when needed.  My sister hazel helps out when she can too, which really lightens the load.

Lou messaged  me one morning Ive got something I want to show you.  Its a present.  But its only for you to see.  I really hope you like it.  I asked if she liked it.  She answered, oh i’m pleased with it.  Left me a tad bamboozled and yet looking forward, as always to her visit.

Later that morning In comes the smiling face, Buddy and Bella run up the long hall and cover our guest in a mountain of blonde hair while dutifully competing for a slobbery snog.  The kettle goes on as always.  I wait in anticipation for the ‘surprise’.   As I bring through the teas and coffee Lou takes off her sweater for the unveiling.    As I catch a glimpse of what I can see on her arm I almost drop the cup.  On her arm she has had a tattoo.  And what is it?  A Zebra.  I see her lips move, I can hear the words come out in an almost muffled way,  I got this for you.  For the first time in my life I can almost say I have a tattoo.  My heart skips a beat and brings a tear to my eye.  I had no inkling, what a lovely thing to do for me.  And to raise awareness for net cancer.  Thanks Lou.

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Why did she chose the Zebra?

In medicine, the term “zebra” is used in reference to a rare disease or condition, like Neuroendocrine (NET) Cancers. “If you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.” … This because in the medical community the term zebra is universally used to reference a rare disease or condition.

You can find out much more about neuroendocrine tumours, net cancers.  And particular support in Scotland by visiting Scotland’s Net charity.  This charity was set up by my consultant and a patient,  at Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital.  Her name was Ann Edgar.  The charity can be found at http://www.taect.scot

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Making The Most………

Wow its been a while since my fingers have tapped out a post.  To say I haven’t jotted down anything would not be true.  However, everything I have written recently has been very personal and Im not quite ready to share these thoughts.

It’s the beginning of July the last post was published in March.  Quite a lot has gone on in my life in the last 4 months.  The puppies have all grown, and gone to new homes.  They have left a footprint on my heart – they were jolly hard work but oh so lovely to have.  We kept one from the litter.  A stunning young lady.  We named her Bess.  And yes she is turning out to be just we hoped; a great combination of mum, Bella and dad, buddy.   Bess is already taking note to sit and wait when nurse Evelyn is attending to me.  She is intrigued in all the help that a grown up Labrador parent can be.  

We had the honour of attending and celebrating Sophie’s first Holy Communion in May.  What a wonderful day that was.  Alexandra and Grace were ever so happy to get into their dresses and drive through to Glasgow.   What a day to remember.  So happy, full of laughter and love.  Quite a memory.

Sophie trying to beat Stuart’s time completing the rubix cube. 

Sophie with Alexandra and Grace at her Holy Communion Celebration.

I felt far from my best in the last few months.  Seen my consultant, dietician, several hospital visits.  My wonderful nurses come to the house and cater to my needs.  I’ve lost weight which is a bit of a bummer.   My gastrostomy tube snapped which was slightly annoying- lovely staff from the hospital came out straight away with a new part.  Now that’s what I call service.   There has been a fault with the batch – there has been a run on broken tubes 😂 

On the 10th of each month I get the chance to meet up with net cancer patients.  Through the charity The Ann Edgar Charitable Trust.  We have a great time blethering away, sharing stories.  10th June my sister hazel drove me to haddington to meet up with the others for a coffee on a Saturday afternoon.  July 10th Steve and I went in style on steves BMW motorcycle to the evening meeting.  The meetings help me a great deal.  They give an opportunity to talk, share experience and most important be YOU.   Looking forward to the next one.  

Lanreotide Injection with a special delivery

As usual the run up to my injection was met with even more trips to the bathroom.  Bowels  working in overdrive.  The day my nurse suggested I get incontinence pads delivered, I was a tad reserved, now I couldn’t do without them.  Before I started getting the jab every three weeks I had total uncontrollable running to the loo, more than ten times per day every day.  Now its greatly reduced.  On a really good day, its three times a day, the week before my injection is due I’m met with a rapid increase of visits to the little room.   This week as well as my usual company of my companion dog, Buddy.  We had Bella getting up with us too.  Bella is our 4 year old labrador retriever.  Who is heavily pregnant.  And lets just say the puppies were moving around in a way that she couldn’t hold the loo in for too long.  Poor girl.

The night before my injection Bella starts getting even more restless, comes to me and gives me a big hug, goes into her large birthing box bed and starts digging the bed to make it comfortable.  She is going to go into labour.  Boy its going to be a long night.  Bella starts to pant and shows all signs of first stage labour and then second stage.

At 0045am the first pup is born a little girl.  She is a perfect fox red labrador retriever.  Just like her daddy.  Bella is so good, bites through the sack, cleans the little one up and welcomes her into the world.  I give Bella a reassuring cuddle.  And make sure the little and Bella are ok.  They are.  I take a photograph of them,  I tell Steve first of course, and then send proud messages of the exciting first birth.  My friend Louise lives three miles from me and asks if she can come and observe Bella giving birth and be of any assistance to me.  She is there for the rest of the litter delivery.

 

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By 0725am there are 8 puppies born into the world.   Steve comes in to see Bella and is there for pup number 9 and 10.  Bella feeds the puppies and a big rest.  Despite being on cloud nine and so happy I’m shattered and feel like I can hardly put one foot in front of the  other. I get myself washed and dressed my nurse will be here this morning to check over my gastrostomy tube, change my dressing, and give me my lanreotide injection.

10am my nurse Evelyn walks through the door.  At first Bella barks, only until she realises who it is.   Evelyn pops her head into the room to view the pups, and then walks along the hall.  She scrubs up and then does all the needful for me.  As my faithful labrador retriever, Buddy, sits by my side and watches everything my nurse does.  I get ready for this painful deed to get done.   Tummy first I think she says.  The soiled dressing taken off, site all cleaned, helan cream and cavilon applied.  And then my nice new clean dressing put on, carefully with tape not to touch my skin and cause a reaction.  Evelyn  then picks up my lanreotide injection.  I get this every 21 days.  Its your left side this time she says as I slip down my knickers.  I then have to work out which way to lie so evelyn can inject my left buttock, I have enough problems with this at the best of times, put lack of sleep into the mixture and we have a recipe for disaster.  I was this way and that way on the sofa. Evelyn said, just a minute and listen to me and then lie down like I tell you,  it worked a treat.  As she administered the injection of lantreotide buddy sat a few feet away watching all, making sure all was good.  Which it was.  All done.    Everything put in the sharps box.  A good discussion between me and my nurse, as always.  Notes written.

 

 

 

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Steve calls my name along the hall.  I take myself along inviting my super nurse with me.  Bella is having a contraction, and as in previous seems to want me to work with her as a team.  I rub her tummy and reassure her that I am by her side.  Come on Bella, one big push for mummy, I say to her.  I can see her body contracting, the pain in her eyes.  My lovely dog looks so tired.  I can see a little tail appearing and a foot, one last push Baby belle.  And so she did.  Out comes the most beautiful little puppy.  Puppy number 11.  Bella is exhausted, I hold it while Bella bites the chord, cleans him vigorously, suddenly a little squeal comes from the puppy.  Bella wags her tail.  He is perfect and she is happy.   Puppy number 11 was born at 1118am.   What a team, you both make.  Evelyn says to me.  I feel very proud.  Bella gave birth to 8 boys and 3 girls.  I’m so pleased that things have gone well.  My dog is well, her puppies are healthy and of a good size.  Buddy, the daddy, watches on eagerly, I know he is desperate to play with the little fella’s.

My nurse managed to see the puppy being born, she got more than she bargained for on her home visits for this Thursday.   I certainly do not doubt that she has eventful days but I guess she doesn’t have puppies making an entrance into the world very often.

 

My Shining Lights when the going gets tough!!

For most of us life is hard enough.  We all run along in the treadmill of life in our own way. Me, I try and make the best of it even on the bleakest day.  The last three weeks have been a struggle.  My father is in hospital, he has had life saving open heart surgery, his surgery was fairly extensive; a triple bypass, a valve replacement and a pacemaker.  He has been in intensive care, moved onto high dependency and now graduated to the specialist cardiology ward.  He still has a long hard journey ahead of him.  My Papa is made of strong stuff, he will fight all the way.   I am finding it hard, seeing him lie in the hospital bed looking so frail and lost when I am so used to seeing him going around the family home like a busy bee.  To let you understand my Dad is not one for sitting down, as you would say he has a ‘glass ass’.  He likes to keep busy, making sure everyone is looked after when they visit him.  There is always coffee and a sandwich on offer.

Ive been feeling a tad worse than usual over the last few weeks too.  On the medics advice Ive increased my steroids.  Whats keeping me going and giving me strength?  Love.  From particular special individuals: my hubby Steve, my sons Tony & Stuart and my granddaughters Alexandra & Grace.   They are my shining light, all of them fill my heart with warmth and love.   They light up my life even on the darkest days.  And make me smile – Always.  I love them so much and am so grateful to have them in my life.

 

 

 

The Pups Birthday

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Bella feeding the contented puppies

 

The 1st of March 2015 was a rather eventful day in our house.  Our loving Labrador, Bella gave birth to eight puppies.  Ever faithful Buddy looked on as she delivered each individual pup.  One year on and we are still in contact with five of the owners.  We hear how they are progressing.  It is a wonderful feeling to know that you helped delivered these little guys into the world and now they are part of another family.  We get to know what joy they are bringing to others and what their role is now they have left the nest.

 

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Buddy looking after Gunner before he leaves the nest

 

 

March 1st 2016 celebrated their 1st birthday.  I sent a message to the families to say happy birthday to the dogs and hope that they were well.  I got messages and pictures back.    It makes me feel good to know that the dogs are loved and well cared for.  And I am more than happy to be in touch and have made new friends through our dogs having a litter of puppies.

 

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Kai eager to get to his birthday cake

 

 

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Kai’s Birthday cards

 

Kai had a birthday party, with dog friends invited.  Kai got presents, cards and cake.  A lot for a one year old dog.  ‘a couple of the pics from Kai’s party. He had a great time, ran rings around everybody. Was hard to get some pics with the bedlam going on. He had 3 doggy friends in all going bonkers lol Wee Millie the cocker spaniel is knackered.  He’s totally spoilt but we love him to bits.’ Kai lives with a lovely couple who keeps up updated on his progress.  He is a lucky boy to be in this family; well loved and will always come first. You can tell by just looking at them that they were meant to be.  Kai fits into his home so well. He sits on the sofa, looking around like lord of the manor.

 

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Sandy went to live with a couple with a little girl.  He is loved to bits by the family.  I got a message that said ‘Hi Elizabeth we are all doing well.  Nobody can believe that Sandy isn’t one yet because of his height.  He has the square nose like his Daddy.  We will have to bring him to see you all, but will ring first.  This photo was taken at Halloween, he loved his spider, it only lasted a day.  Sandy loves cuddles and up at the school he barks if people don’t come over and pat him.  He’s a case, he patrols the back garden and barks if he sees something he is not happy with.  He loves the trampoline, you should see him and Aimme jumping on it, they are great pals’

 

Jake is a lovely Labrador that lives with his human parents (who love him very much) and two pussy cats.  He is a cuddly dog, who loves to be pampered and snuggled in.  He is like his parents and is quick of the mark in running around and playing with toys,  but equally likes to lie in and if you didn’t know them better you would think they were lazy and thought they were lying there all day.  Jake likes to tell you what he wants.  His folks sent me a message with a photo of him sitting up straight and it said  ‘that is the baby telling you he wants this’ and then a photo of him outside.  Clever dog.

 

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Jake sitting waiting to go gout for his walk

 

 

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Jake standing ready for the off…..

 

 

 

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Gunner and Brandy playing at the Beach

 

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Louise & Gunner

 

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Gunner & Keith

 

Gunner, is the only fox red Labrador exactly like his daddy, some of the others have similarities, but Gunner is a dead ringer for Buddy.  Gunner has gone to live with Louis & Keith, they have a boxer bitch, Brandy and a couple of cats.  Gunner has fitted in perfectly.  Louis and Keith have become our friends.  They pop down to see us, with and without Gunner.  Louise and Keith came to see me in hospital, they couldn’t bring Gunner so brought a beautiful framed photo, this fair cheered me up and let the staff see one of the beautiful dogs Bella has given birth too.   Its been a win win situation.  Louis and Keith take Gunner and Brandy on lots of outings, the dogs enjoy lots of walks .  Gunner is also getting trained to the Gun with Keith.  Merely as a hobby, both man and dog appear to love it.  Gunner is very protective like his Dad and follows Louise around the house and sits and waits whilst she has a bath, etc.

 

Harley, had a lovely birthday.  He got a cake and presents, as you can see in the photographs.  Harley left us at 6 weeks old.  He gets well cared for by Sally.  He has another Labrador as a companion, his name is Cooper.  Sally has taught Harley well, he does what he is told, gives paws on command, rolls over, does all sorts of wonderful tricks.  Harley loves long walks and running around with some of his other furry friends, but I think most of all he likes to get very wet and muddy: just to keep Sally on her toes.   We have kept in close contact and I get kept up to date with all his progress.  Sally has brought Harley back to ours for a visit.  They have visited to meet up with Gunner and had lots of fun with their parents, Buddy and Bella.  And they have visited for a quieter visit, just Harley & Sally.  Where Harley has had a cuddle and played with Buddy and Bella for a while.

 

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It was a big decision for us to breed Buddy and Bella last year.  Would we manage with the pups with the way my health is the way it is?  How busy Steve can be for work? We talked about it at great length.  Then decided to let nature take its course.  They mated on 1st January 2015 and Bella gave birth on 1st March 2015.  I’m not going to say it was easy.  Once the puppies got to the three week stage and they were needing weaned onto porridge, it began to get a bit of hard work.  But the first three weeks, Bella kept them clean, fed them and to be honest you hardly heard a peep out of them.  When they started eating the porridge they were like little gremlins – yum yum yum.  Got to say though, all well behaved, and kept to their own bowls.  The key was organisation.  Steve’s cousin, Anna, from Suffolk, came to stay with us for one week, she was a great help, washing floors, feeding pups, etc.  Steve and I had most of the feeding and cleaning down to a routine, Steve did all the manual heavy work.  I will admit it was hard work, however it was worth every minute of it.  The cuddles from the little puppies, the joy and warmth we get from both Buddy and Bella.  When the day came for the new owners to pick up their pup and take it home, you could see how excited they were, the looked at the puppy all doe eyed and eagerly told us of the items they had purchased for their new addition and how they could not wait to get home and show them their new bed.

When my phone texts or I get an email to say how well one of Bella and Buddy’s pups are doing I feel a sense of warmth and a big grin comes across my face.  My dogs are special to me and I’m so pleased their children are have a special place in the hearts of the people they live with.  I’m so happy we had a litter of puppies.   The company of my own dogs, the new friends and hearing how the pups are getting on and developing into fully grown dogs is great for me.  There are days I don’t feel well enough to go across the door.  The contact with others, communicating, happy stories – it all makes the world a better place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back home and boy does it feel good

I’ve been out of the hospital for 10 days.  It’s been a mixed bag of a week.  I’m feeling ever so much better – with worse episodes in between, if that makes sense.  The good periods make the unwell, sickly and painful events bearable.  I can go for that.

My amazing district nurses have been coming in and changing my dressing, cleaning and observing the leakage area.  Applying the appropriate creams; hydrocortisone first on the affected areas and then my saviour – the wonderful cavilon.  No matter how busy the nurses are they always make you feel important to them and they make time for a natter.  I have a vision of them chasing their tails by the end of the day.  Especially with gabby folk like me.

Community dietician was in for a visit this week.  With a student in tow.  This time the student was a mature male.  Keen, thoughtful and already has a good bedside manner.   My usual dietician noticed an improvement in my skin, but was concerned that I looked ‘wabbit’ I came back with I think I may have sofa and daytime TV fever.  We agreed perhaps a wee drive in the car and if I felt up to it, a small outing with Steve and the dogs might be just what I need.  Steve wasn’t too keen on me taking on something too ambitious – I agreed. The Labradors excitedly got into the car wagging their tails frantically.  Buddy panting heavily, Bella looked at him as if to say why are you making all that noise – you would think we never went anywhere.  I turned and looked at him and said don’t get too excited Bud – you never know, you could be going to the vet.  Bloody crazy we are; having conversations with dogs.    We stopped near Garvald and let the dogs out for a run.  They loved it.  Muddy puddles especially.   The cool crisp air was wonderful.  Watching the dogs run with endless energy is a beautiful memory.  The short walk for me was a tiring one, every step sapped me of energy.  However the walk did have its benefits.  My brain was re-energised.  The outing filled me with a feeling of warmth and happiness – I was with my hubby of 29 years and my loyal Labradors.

 

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