He’s Home!

2015-08-18 20.19.01

“When problems beat upon you like a raging storm, search for the eye. You might not be able to avoid misfortunes, but you can find the calmest spot within them.”
~ Richelle E. Goodrich


Our beautiful Bert is home!

His cruciate surgery was long, complicated and difficult. But it went well, and everyone is pleased with how it all turned out.

I’ve been very busy these past few days meditating and praying for our dear Bert, and for family members in hospital. It’s been a bit stressful around here!

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Thank you all for your love and good healing energy. Bert is resting well, on a grid of bloodstone, carnelian and mangano calcite. The stones are under the bedding, in a spiral. They are anti-inflammatory, promote circulation, tissue, nerve and bone healing, and give pain relief.

Bert has Young Living Valor essential oil on his heart, Peace and Calming Oil down his spine, and Frankincense at the base of his spine and on his crown. Within five minutes of application of the oils he was calm, and had relaxed enough to go to sleep. You can see the difference the oils made by looking at the first photo, taken before using the oils, and the middle and bottom photo, where the oils have been applied and I have given him five minutes of healing energy. (Want to give your own pets some healing energy? Go here to learn how.)

He’s resting easy now.

The hard part shall be keeping him quiet and confined for six weeks, followed by four months of exceedingly limited activity.

I’ll keep you posted on his progress.

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Bert’s Latest Operation!

2015-08-17 12.05.23

“Doctors?” said Ron, looking startled. “Those Muggle nutters that cut people up?”
~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

“I saved a man’s life once,” said Granny. “Special medicine, twice a day. Boiled water with a bit of berry juice in it. Told him I’d bought it from the dwarves. That’s the biggest part of doct’rin, really. Most people’ll get over most things if they put their minds to it, you just have to give them an interest.”
~ Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites


Nurse Bert is having a big operation today.

Our free dog, come to us through fate and a cardboard box prison, has already cost us thousands. But what price love?

As a young dog he had first one and then the other back leg’s knee reconstructed because of severe patella luxation. A genetic deformity. Our vet always joked that Bert was the luckiest dog alive to have landed in our household and under our care.

After years of Bert’s tender nursing of me as I have battled Lyme disease, I’m not so sure who is the more fortunate.

Of course there have been many more hospitalisations and close calls. A few years ago Bert took a bait thrown over the fence by robbers at our city house and almost died from internal hemorrhaging. Last year he ate a vast quantity of macadamia nuts and nearly croaked it. And then ate rat bait at a friend’s farm, and endured yet another touch-and-go experience.

Earlier this year he ended up in surgery again after developing a huge abscess thanks to an errant grass seed.

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And today? Today he’s having surgery to repair a snapped cruciate ligament. A situation complicated by his previous knee surgeries, and requiring a specialist vet surgeon. Surgery not covered by insurance, and one which will cost roughly the same amount as the holiday we would have had later this year.

But none of that matters. Bert is in pain, and as an athletic dog who needs to keep up with his younger brother Harry down on the farm, the surgery is needed. Neither of the other options were options at all. (Let him limp and suffer and try to keep him quiet while giving him vast quantities of anti-inflammatories. The pain would worsen and nothing to be done. Or euthanasia. Honestly!)

Keep our boy in your thoughts today. Send him a little love and healing if you get the chance. He’s been the bestest friend and companion I could ever hope for, and all I want is for his op to go smoothly, and for his outcome to be good.

I already have my essential oil kit and crystal grid ready for him when he comes home, to keep him calm and hasten his healing. And I promise to keep you posted about his progress!

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Terrible Horrible Good

2015-05-16 17.03.22

“You can avoid having ulcers by adapting to the situation: If you fall in the mud puddle, check your pockets for fish.”  ~ Author Unknown


Suddenly it’s cold again here at the farm.

Yesterday we dressed Harry in a dog coat. Last year he was so cold in winter, but there was no coat to be had. So we’re ready for the cold this winter. This new coat’s great! It’s soft on the inside, and has a waterproof covering on the outside. Perfect for keeping doggies warm, no matter what the weather. It fits snugly with a strap under his tummy and one across his chest.

And he hates it.

As soon as we put it on Harry decided that it was impossible for him to walk anymore, or to move at all. All he could do was squeak.

Eventually he managed to gingerly climb up onto the lounge, where he collapsed in a pile of misery.

He’ll adapt.

Bert was exactly the same when we first put a coat on him. “I hate it! I can’t walk! I’m a prisoner in a straight jacket!”

But now, Bert loves his coat. Perfect for snuggling in when the weather is chilly. When we put Bert’s coat on yesterday he grinned happily and then leapt up onto the bed to Harry’s usual spot (poor Harry being coated and unable to walk at all, let alone leap onto a bed…) for a cosy nap.

We can all learn to adapt to change. Sometimes the things we resist turn out to be not so bad after all.

2015-05-16 17.04.27

We Are All Exhausted

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“He’s our rodent control officer. He doesn’t catch mice, he just terrifies them.”
~ Lilian Jackson Braun


I’d love to be writing an interesting and wordy blog this morning, but we are all exhausted. We being Harry, Bert and I. Ben is lucky enough to be somewhere else just now. Of course. He always misses the excitement.

Shortly after I hopped into bed and turned the light off last night we heard a faint scratching noise.

And then again.

After which we heard a squeak.

Harry was prepared to ignore it. I was vaguely concerned but thought it could wait until morning.

Bert? Bert leapt off the bed (oops, shush, dog on the bed, don’t tell Ben!), and went snuffling and wuffling over to the wardrobe. He wouldn’t let up until I opened the door.

Snuffle, wuffle wuffle, and then to my surprise a tiny mouse darted out of a box Ben had recently brought back from the farm.

Bert raced after it, and so it began.

All night Bert and the mouse ran all over the house (Try til 2am!) until finally he cornered the little critter in the cupboard under the sink in the downstairs bathroom, whose door I had left open to remind me to replenish the toilet paper in that room.


We reached an impasse. Bert would not move, and in my sleep-deprived state I had no idea how to catch the mouse. I left Brave Sir Bert standing guard over the small rodent and went to bed.

This morning Bert was still guarding the mouse, which had died in the night, probably from fright.

Hopefully the mouse had no other friends, and tonight we shall all be able to get some sleep!


A Little Bert Update

hopeful puppy

“Good medicine always tastes bad.”
~ Ron Hall, Same Kind of Different as Me


Thank you everyone, for your love and well wishes for dear Bert.

The painful lump under his neck is in fact a very large and infected abscess. For now it has been partially drained and he has drugs. In a few weeks, if it has not resolved itself, there will be surgery. We think there may be a small foreign body, like a grass seed or a little bit of stick, from when he has been charging through the paddocks and shrubbery like a mad thing.

Bert loves cheese, and he was so hopeful that the magical cheese I made for him when we came home from the vet would be delicious.

Nope. It wasn’t.

But it is magical, being full of antibiotics…

Poor Bert! I’m making sure to give him lots of extra cuddles to help banish the misery…

Look at that little face. You can SEE the misery. 🙁
sad dog misery

Bert’s Amazing Adventure

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“Those who teach the most about humanity, aren’t always human.”
~ Donald L. Hicks, Look into the stillness


Bert’s been trying to hide it from me for a couple of days.

He has a lump in his neck, and all of a sudden it’s grown from the size of a pea to the size of a golfball. Bigger, perhaps.

Very early this year he developed the same thing. Off we went to the vet who thrust needles into the lump, biopsied it, palpated it and bothered it, diagnosed it as an infected gland and then prescribed antibiotics.

Bert was not happy, although the lump shrank down to almost nothing on the nasty medicine which we took to hiding in cheese or sausage so that we could manage to get it into him. If we hid it in his food he ate around it. If we tried to push it down his throat he clamped his jaws together and pressed his head into a corner so we couldn’t reach his pouty mouth.

This morning I’m bundling him off to the vet again. Hopefully the prognosis and treatment will be the same.

But poor Bert’s feeling blue. And very unimpressed, even though he’ll get his very own car trip and a dog treat or two. He won’t look at me or talk to me. All because I said the word ‘vet’. (That’s Bert below, already in the car. Now he’s in he won’t get out and there’s still at least an hour til our appointment.)

Poor Bert. Let’s hope he’s feeling better soon.

I  love his pouty-mouthed funny face so much! He’s the bestest kind of friend, my Bert.

2015-02-11 19.08.23


Harry Dog Update

2014-11-20 06.33.34

“Constant attention by a good nurse may be just as important as a major operation by a surgeon.”  ~ Dag Hammarskjold


Young Harry is feeling a little brighter each day, and if we get the all-clear from the vet today we will take him home to the farm tonight!

He’s still quite tender and sore, and needs his rest.

How do you keep a crazy cattle dog quiet?

That’s no problem…

Nurse Bert saw Harry not resting and hustled him back to bed.

Good Nurse Bert gets a biscuit!

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My Best Friend, Bert

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“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” 
~ Will Rogers


I’m in Brisbane for a few days. I’ve got some work to do, and some medical things. Ben needed to go back to the farm so he took Harry the pup, and left Bert here with me.

Suits me fine. Bert is fabulous company.

When I am sick at night, or in pain, Bert comes and lies right beside me with his head or his paw on me to let me know I’m not alone. He looks at me with his face full of love and concern, and I am always comforted.

While I’m writing he sits at my feet, and the moment I stand up he’s with me, going wherever I go.

Bert greets my clients at the door and sees them out again. He is particularly ecstatic when people greet him by name, and he laps up all their attention.

When I’ve been working too long, Bert reminds me that it’s time to play.

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Playtime, Mum!

I feel very safe with Bert here. When he was just a puppy, maybe six months old, I was alone in the house with just Bert, and our old dog Charlie for company.

Just before six in the morning I let the dogs out the back door for a wee, and then made myself a cup of tea. Thinking I might pick some mint for my drink I stepped out into the back yard, still wearing my little nightie. It didn’t matter. The back yard is very private and well screened from the street and the neighbours.

To my horror a large man stood only feet away from me, wearing a dark beanie pulled low over his forehead. He was no neighbour, and my heart thudded in my chest.

At that moment my two dogs came tearing around the side of the house, ready for breakfast. Charlie, my old Bluey, came and pressed up against my legs, positioning himself between me and the intruder. Snarling, he began to back me into the house.

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Bert as a puppy

Little Bert began barking at this mountain of a man, who took off through the yard and vaulted over the neighbour’s fence.

I hurried back inside and grabbed the phone, rushing to the front window to see what was happening. The big man was walking up the street with Bert hanging off his elbow.

Bert let go of the man at the top of the street, barked once and then pranced all the way back home.

Bert has been looking after me ever since.

What better friend can there be than a dog?

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Public Service Announcement

Ah-hem…  Am I on camera? “Hello.”

“This is a Public Service Announcement.”

Authorised by me. Bert. Nicole’s Personal Assistant.

“Nicole is writing. Not blog writing. Other writing. So we apologise for this interruption to the blogging process. Normal blogging will resume tomorrow.”

“We thank you for your co-operation and understanding.”


Did I do that right? I feel a bit shy now…

I don’t get paid enough for this!

Bert says sorry…

Hello, I’m Bert, Nicole’s trusty secretary…

And I’d like to say sorry.


You see Nicole wouldn’t play with me this morning.

I tried my best to look fetching, but she kept ignoring me.

I even tried emotional manipulation…

But she was still ignoring me!

When she went to do her yoga stretches that was the final straw.  I sat on her mat in protest!

So now she’s taking me for a walk instead of writing her blog. Sorry about that! hahaha

I’m taking my ball and my mum and I’m outta here. Bye! xx