It’s Hard To Blog When You Can’t Find Your Slippers

“It’s easier to put on slippers than to carpet the whole world.” ~ Al Franken

 

The mornings have suddenly turned cold here at the farm.
I’m meditating with a heavy prayer shawl around me for my 4am starts, and choosing to stay sitting up in bed so I can remain cosy.

Normally when my meditation is finished I’d pop out of bed, put my dressing gown and slippers on, go make a cup of tea and sit down at the kitchen table to write in my journal and then blog.

The early morning floorboards are too cold for bare feet. I need my slippers in the cooler months. But do you think I could find them today? I usually leave them under the bed. How odd that they are gone.

I’ve been searching everywhere for my slippers!
I eventually discovered one, tucked under the desk on the front veranda. Only one though.

Rufous the very good dog found the second slipper. He was obviously minding it for me so it wouldn’t run off again.

Good boy, Rufous!

 

Meanwhile, in Dog Land…

Rufous: Hahaha, this slipper is delicious!

Rufous: Why are they calling my name? I am innocent. Well, I will act like I am innocent.

Rufous: Oops… Would you believe I found it here on the couch? Is it yours? 

Sorry, Mum. It’s only just a bit chewed. And soggy. But it’s still good.

 

 

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… 🙂

Unforseen Technical Issues

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This blog is temporarily out of service due to unforseen technical issues.  Live updates are being brought to you via i-phone.

A certain dog is in deep, deep trouble….

Again.

Normal blogging will resume when new power pack has been sourced.  Thank you for your understanding at this difficult time.

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Nurse Bert

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“A nurse will always give us hope,
an angel with a stethoscope.”
~Terri Guillemets

 

Nurse Bert is very busy right now.  As well as looking after me as I travel through extensive and arduous Lyme disease treatment, he is now caring for young Harry as well.

Harry had surgery for his bottom jaw yesterday.  If you’re not caught up with my blog you can read about Harry’s problems here:

Will you still love me broken?

Here’s brave young Harry at the University of Queensland Vet Clinic, about to embark on his operation.

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Bert has always been a caring dog by nature.  He picks up the slack as my Business Assistant whenever the work is getting on top of me…

PA Bert

and he has been the Protector of his younger brother since Harry was a tiny pup.

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We’re so lucky that Bert found his way to us.  His own story is quite remarkable as well:

Treasure in a Cardboard Box

Well, Nurse Bert has my cup of tea and morning meds ready, so I must go. Wishing you all a fabulous weekend, filled with self-care, lots of rest, and a little bit of magic.  Bless ♥ xx

Will you still love me broken?

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“The choice that you, as a Soul, have in relation to anything is always to be loving. Do you understand that this is the divine purpose that all of us as humans have been given – to love unconditionally? “~ John Morton

We’ve always had rescue dogs; dogs that had nowhere else to go, dogs that desperately needed a chance at life. And then we got Harry. Harry was the first dog we hadn’t rescued. He came from the same breeder we’d received our old dog, Charlie from. But Charlie was going to be put down because he was a cross-breed and the litter of pups couldn’t be homed. Harry was a puppy from a pedigree litter, and marked for sale. There was no chance he’d end up unwanted. Harry’s the dead spit of Charlie in behaviour, and we swear our old friend’s come back to us in a new body.

But take a look at the picture below.  It wasn’t evident when Harry was a tiny pup, but he has a severe overbite – his lower jaw isn’t growing as fast as his upper jaw, and it’s presenting a range of problems.

2013-01-13 09.44.49Harry’s lower canines started to drill right into the soft palate in the top of his mouth, so we had to have them pulled. It was the perfect opportunity to have him neutered as well. The poor little chap took it in his stride, and since the bucket came off his head, he hasn’t missed a beat.

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He’ll need more surgery as he gets older and his adult teeth come through. It’s a wait and see game right now. We just need to make sure that his mouth is comfortable and that his teeth aren’t going to cause pain or further damage.

Harry comes from a long line of show dogs and working dogs, and we rang the breeder to let him know about Harry’s jaw problem.  Benson offered to take the pup back and replace him with another. And then told us if we were going to knock him on the head he’d give us our money back. Knocking him on the head was Benson’s plan for our pup. A dog like that doesn’t deserve to live, he said.  No good for anything.

Harry was originally intended for another owner – a man who breeds and shows dogs, and who needs perfection. There is no doubt in our minds that Harry would have been put down for being genetically flawed.

Well, that’s not going to happen in our household. We’re all a little flawed here, but that doesn’t deem any of us less worthy of love, less deserving of a chance at our best life.

Harry’s got a forever home here with us. And he’s going to be just fine.

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Wild Dogs and a little Philosophy

My morning meditation was interrupted by a sound no farmer ever wants to hear; the barking of wild dogs. It was still dark, and I could hear them close on the ridge behind me – quite a large pack in the paddock where my cows and their young calves are grazing.

Not long after, the dogs began a blood-curdling baying and howling. I gave up any idea of meditating, and sent love and protection to my animals instead. We have had wild dog problems in our shire for a few years now.  The dogs have maimed or killed much of our local wildlife, many farm animals and pets, and have also attacked humans.

When the dawn crept up, and the baying stopped I glimpsed seven dogs running along my front paddock in the rain, one limping, bleeding, lagging behind. These aren’t dingoes, Australia’s native wild dog, these are domestic dogs that have been dumped or perhaps run away from home.

One still had a tatty blue collar on. As much as my gut clenched, I felt enormous compassion for these animals as I looked at my own two dogs, curled up on the rug at my feet, patiently waiting for their breakfast. I wondered if my neighbours would be out with their guns this morning, and if any of the dogs would be shot, as so many of the wild dogs before them have.

As I made my morning pot of tea I pondered the plight of these wild dogs, and it led me back to thinking about people.

These dogs have fallen through the cracks. Dumped because their owners changed their mind, or couldn’t afford to feed them, or were neglectful and uncaring, irresponsible, or just didn’t understand what being a pet owner actually entails.

Dogs need a safe place to live, with food and care.  They need to feel part of a pack.  They need rules and structure. They will get by on the most rudimentary of surroundings and food as long as they have that love, guidance and bond.

The wild dogs in our shire have no one to care for them and no safe place to go.  In fact some of them are now so savage that it would be impossible to rehabilitate them.  They are traumatised and aggressive. Here are Labradors and Ridgebacks and Spaniels and Terriers, here are cross-bred dogs of all sizes and descriptions, and they are out in the wild, banding together to make their own pack, and it’s so much Lord of the Flies

They are running on survival instincts, there is no-one to give them safety or teach them manners and social rules and conventions.  They will never rise to what they could be. They steal to eat, they destroy out of boredom and anger, they turn on each other and us. And for that they are condemned.

It’s the same for people.

We all need to feel safe.  We need shelter and kindness and somewhere we can belong. We all need to learn the basics of looking after ourselves, getting along with others, having respect for the world around us, and learning our society’s fundamental values and rules. With security, guidance and love, even if our surroundings are rudimentary, and our meals basic, we can rise to find our best. We can grow and evolve in positive ways.

Not everyone gets the childhood they need to help them thrive.  But humans, like dogs, are resourceful and resilient.  We find ways to survive.

And thankfully there are good people in the world who step in to be the mentor, the teacher, the guide, the helping hand, the provider of safety for those who fall through the cracks.

But there are many, many wild dogs, and many, many lost children. There may be some among you who’ve grown to adulthood and look like they cope, look like they fit in a little.  And some will be openly wild dogs, snarling at the hands that come near.

Offer them all kindness, offer them all compassion, and if you are called to it, perhaps you may find a way to do more.

I hear the crack of a rifle echoing round our hills.  I hug my own dogs, and shed a quiet tear.