Thursday, 22 June 2017

Summer Life

Since my last post we've been very busy travelling (sometimes with our dogs and sometimes without). If you follow me on twitter (@Michae11O) you'll see some of my photo's and you can buy them as Art prints at FineArt America or as downloads at Shutterstock if you like them.

The June heatwave has finished and yesterdays temperature of 34' C (93'F) has been replaced with a comparatively rather chilly 18'C (64'F). It's overcast and grey outside and rain showers are forecast; so it's back to a usual West Country Summer (the Glastonbury Festival has started so it's bound to rain this weekend even if it's not forecast).

My dogs are not too bothered by the heat and Buffy will often sit outside on a patio chair in the sunshine and after a while come inside and sit on the stairs. In the summer typically all our outside doors are open and the dogs can come and go as they please.

Bobbie (pictured below on Tuesday and who will be seventeen in September) alternates between lying on her soft memory foam bed and the tiled kitchen floor. I change their water on average three times a day during very hot weather.

Bobbie watching children dance
Bobbies arthritis continues to cause her mobility problems and she is on regular medication and supplements that help her (see my previous posts), but even so some days are worse than others and she struggles to lift her front paws high enough to get in the back door. Yet on a good day she will break into a run when she's out on our walks. She has become hard of hearing (I hesitate to say deaf) and so all walks are now on her long extender lead. Even though she is obviously stiff, if she sights (or scents) a rabbit, or an unwitting bird gets too close she will give chase and have every intention of trying to catch it. Border Terriers never lose the "chase" instinct however old they get.

Her intelligence spirit and character have not diminished with age and she is still a very loving attentive dog. I now count the days that we have left with her. I shouldn't, I know I shouldn't, but she is such a special dog and we all love her so dearly that I can't help fearing the day that we will lose her. I think as we lost Buster unexpectedly on 6th Jan 2016 to a stroke; which was very poignant as I'm a stroke survivor. It has made me even more aware of the fragility of life and we treasure every moment with our dogs and with each other. 

As a special treat Bobbie now sleeps at the end of our bed and hardly moves all night long. She has to be carried upstairs and carried back again downstairs. When the time for bed comes, she sits at the bottom of the stairs waiting without even attempting the climb. It's worth mentioning that if you carry your dog occasionally, you must always support their back legs. If you carry your dog with it's back legs unsupported you risk causing a back injury (especially in older dogs). 

Whilst it may read as if I'm overly fearful of losing her; I want to reassure you that the situation is that I'm a realist and that my focus is on appreciating her life and making sure she enjoys the rest of her days with us and us with her. 

Life is for living and a little pampering doesn't hurt.

Thanks for spending some time with me and my dogs.