For The Love Of A Small Dog…

“Happiness is a warm puppy.”
~ Charles M. Schulz

 

This small red bundle of energy who we now know as Rufous Dog only came into our lives on Monday, but what a difference his presence has already made.

Harry hasn’t stopped smiling. He now has a playmate, a buddy, a brother. They play together for hours each morning and afternoon, wrestling and playing chasey.

My husband Ben’s happy too. Rufous is a lovely boy, he’s easy to train, and Harry (who in the way of cattle dogs bonding to one person is truly Ben’s dog) is also finally happy again after weeks of awful fretting and grieving for the loss of our precious Bert.

Rufous has even come on a Cafe outing and managed to behave reasonably well. Here they are at a cafe yesterday morning. Harry is staring at Ben. Rufous at me.

I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed, truth be told. This small dog has made me his important person. This has never happened before. All of our dogs have been Ben’s dogs. All Daddy’s boys, although I know they loved me too. But Rufous has decided he is mine.

When we go somewhere as a family Rufous checks to see if I am coming. If I’m slow he comes back and waits for me. If I don’t go he doesn’t either. He parks himself at my feet and stares up at me with these big soft eyes. Everywhere I go, apart from morning and afternoon dog playtime, Rufous is right behind me.

He even sleeps between my office chair and the wall or under my desk while I am working, one paw always touching me if he can.

It’s a love explosion in our house right now. Which kind of makes up for the newly chewed shoes… 🙂

Meet Rufous – Brother to Harry Dog!

“ Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.” ~  Marc Brown

A little over a week ago I mentioned in a blog post that we had just begun to think about getting a new baby brother or sister for Harry Dog, who has been mourning the loss of Bert.

Only a few hours later my friend Monique posted some pictures to my Facebook page of a young red cattle dog pup who had just been rescued that very day and who was in need of a forever home. It wasn’t the kind of thing that Monique would normally do, but she felt compelled to share.

I took one look at that puppy’s face and knew we had to try to bring him home. I immediately contacted Janine who was fostering the pup and who had posted the pictures, and then Sharon who runs Australian Cattle Dog Rescue. Many messages and phone calls later and it all looked like this dog could be ours. Just as soon as he had been vet checked and desexed.

On Monday we finally brought him home. I’m still not well, currently treating the tummy bug we picked up from our last overseas trip and now dealing with a resurgence of the nasty antibiotic-resistant superbug urinary tract infection I’d hoped that I’d actually beaten. I was too unwell to travel, so our friend Carly went with Harry and Ben on a nearly five-hour drive (and then back again in the same day!) to meet this rescue pup and see if he could be a good fit for our family. Of course he was! So now we have Rufous at home with us, and he is just a delight.

He loves cuddles and being close to everyone, and he’s simply the best of mates with Harry. They run around like mad things and then collapse in a heap together and nap.

Rufous even went on his very first cafe outing yesterday morning and was very well-behaved and happy!

It’s wonderful to have a puppy at home, and even better is the smile on Harry’s face. He hasn’t stopped smiling since we found him a new brother. <3

He Can’t Take His Eyes Off Me!

“When the Man waked up he said, ‘What is Wild Dog doing here?’ And the Woman said, ‘His name is not Wild Dog any more, but the First Friend, because he will be our friend for always and always and always.’”
~ Rudyard Kipling; The Jungle Book

 

Finally we are home.

Harry Dog was overjoyed to see us when we arrived back at the farm, and has not let us out of his sight ever since.

When I took a walk in the garden yesterday afternoon, to check on how things have fared since we’ve been gone, Harry followed me everywhere.

He kept staring at me with this look in his eyes.

Don’t leave me again, Mum.

He has gone backwards and forwards between Ben and I since the moment we first walked through the door, nudging us with his nose and licking us madly. When he sits beside us he sits right on top of us, pressing his body against any part of us he can reach.

This morning Harry was right on my feet as I meditated, but now he’s at the door, looking back at me.

Come on, Mum. Come on, Dad. Cafe time!

I’m sure you understand. I can’t write more. It’s been weeks since Harry had a walk on the beach and breakfast at his favourite cafe. We can’t keep him waiting.

Cafe Dog must have his outing! I’m still on a limited diet, but that’s not important. Family time and our old routines, that’s what matters today.

And soon, we think, it will be time to find a new puppy brother or sister for Harry. Even though he was well taken care of I don’t ever want Harry to be alone and without family again.

See you tomorrow!

Biggest love and hugs from Nicole and her happy dog, Harry! <3 xoxo

 

Standing Under Old Trees

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“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
―~ Rachel Carson

 

This morning, after a restless night, I slept late.

Instead of sitting in meditation, Harry Dog and I went for a long rambling walk.

We said hello to the cows.

We saw the old tree that cracked in half and fell over late last night.

We saw where the echidna has been digging, and where a new bush orchid has taken root, cradled in a hollow of a big old tree.

We walked and walked.

And when we came back to the house again we were happy.

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Terrible Horrible Good

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“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.

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Off to the Vet again!

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“Then they gave me a loaf of bread and told me to walk through the forest and give some to anyone who asked. I did exactly what they told me, and the second beggar-woman was a fairy in disguise, but instead of saying that whenever I spoke, diamonds and roses would drop from my mouth, she said that since I was so kind, I would never have any problems with my teeth.”
“Really? Did it work?”
“Well, I haven’t had a toothache since I met her.”
“I’d much rather have good teeth than have diamonds and roses drop out of my mouth whenever I said something”
― Patricia C. Wrede, Dealing with Dragons

 

So yesterday Bert got the bucket off his head. All his stitches are out and he’s healing nicely.

But this morning we’re back at the vet again. Harry has been drooling and noisily rearranging his mouth and looking miserable the last day or so – the cause; a broken back molar.

Off to the vet for surgery this morning. He’ll have the tooth out, poor puppy. No more chomping on the right side for him. 🙁

 

The Harry Emergency

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“After years of having a dog, you know him. You know the meaning of his snuffs and grunts and barks. Every twitch of the ears is a question or statement, every wag of the tail is an exclamation.”
~ Robert McCammon, Boy’s Life

 

Something’s not been right with Harry these past few days. He’s been quiet, out of sorts, and a little bit whiny. Not his normal Cafe Dog personality at all.

And he’s been smelly, which we thought was just his usual farm dog roll-in-all-the-filth style.

But no.

Remember when Harry had the terrible accident with the stick?

Last night at the farm he was restless. He went outside and came in smelling worse than ever.

‘I’m giving him a bath,’ I declared, and promptly put Harry in the shower. As I washed him clumps of hair fell out around his neck, clogging the drain. He had lumps and small hot spots everywhere.

‘It’s the stick,’ whispered my fairy friend Sokli in my ear. ‘Harry’s real sick with little nasty bits of stick. He needs the hostibul soon.’

So we grabbed a few things, packed the ute and drove back to Brisbane.

We had a sleepless night with our small hound. He was fretful and in pain, and one by one abscesses rose and burst around his neck. The only thing that soothed him was application of essential oils (Young Living’s Lavender, Melaleuca and Purification in some coconut oil) to the wounds and more oils (Young Living’s Valor, Helichrysum and Joy in coconut oil) on his spine. Ben and I took turns sitting with him until dawn came, so that we could get poor Harry ready for the vet.

We’re heading off now. Fingers crossed for good outcomes for our precious pup!