Thursday, 8 May 2008

Bear With Me!

This last week I can catogorically state there is nothing more to life than dogs and certainly sadly no time for blogs. I missed Fun Monday and catogorically appologise to Kitten. I wasnt intentionally not participating and it has played on my mind alot. There has been such a high number of dogs in immediate danger of being put to sleep this week that ive been working all the time I have on sorting them, either bringing them into Greyhound Gap's care or finding alternative placements and arranging transport to get them to safety. I *hope* by the weekend all will be where they need to be safe and sound. We took the most beautiful rough coat in yesterday as Trish one of our volunteers shot off their and then to collect him. He is gentle, sweet, loving and a joy to be around so why oh why does the throw away mentality of humans mean he was booked to be destroyed at 8.30am this morning.

Normal blogging will hopefully be resumed next week if things are less hectic but we are leaving tomorrow for a four hour drive down to Essex to fundraise at All about dogs for the weekend. At least the weather appears to be on our side as we are camping. Phew!

Tuesday, 29 April 2008


Eep indeed. Tomorrow I have to head to the hospital for a long awaited appointment with a neurologist. Last year I was diagnosed with pernicious anemia . Now although not that rare in itself its not that great either but is usually easily controllable. Its an illness that usually strikes people in older age and at 34 I like to think that im not quite there yet. In younger people its usually a sign of something else underlying. That something else in my case may be a clinical immune deficiency as my 13 year old son has a severe one. Ive always been amazed that when my son was diagnosed as his is so rare they never felt the need although genetic to test myself or his Father to find out where it came from.

Since diagnosis ive been receiving vitamin B12 jabs regularly. My levels to begin with were 170 and are now after a year only up to 340 and apparently this is still really poor and an indication that my body still isnt absorbing B12 how it should be.

The worst though is the other symptoms and hence my visit to the neurologist. Ive been getting really bad pins and needles in my hands and feet and at times they are so bad they stop me sleeping. Waking up feeling like ive been drinking about 2 litres of Old Rosie Cider followed with a couple of neat rums is another. My short term memory seems to be hampered aswell and failing to find the words I need in conversation. Those that know me well will tell you I have that amazing notebook mind that remembers everything important that needs to be done and when running a rescue thats alot of things, puts them in order etc and makes sure everything is sorted to deadline. Lately thats not happening and im finding myself saying "oh s**t!" more and more often when something again has been forgotten. Frustrating.

Whilst there I also have to visit the pathology laboratory for yet more blood samples to be taken.

Having had a son go through the hospital system so much I cant say im a fan. If im brutally honest im a little bit terrifed. Still at least after my system has taken a battering with this flu this week if anything is lurking below the surface and hiding they should well and truly pick it up.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Fun Monday #1

This weeks Fun Monday is hosted by AOJ over at The Lurchers

The assignment was " I'm going to make it a nice and easy Fun Monday this week. All I want you to do is take me on your favourite walk. In words or pictures. Or both of course! Tell me why it's your favourite and point out things of interest on the way.So go get your walking boots on!"

Now I have lots of different walks mainly because I have lots of different dogs, 8 in total here currently all with very different needs. Some can be quite norty out and about so need street walking, others cannot be let off lead, then there is Mummy's angels, the dogs who I can trust with all other dogs out and about. Sadly lol we only have two of them so ive chosen to take you on *their* walk as its a little more interesting than pavements and lamp posts.

I posted a little here already about the reserve near where I live last week but here is a few more pictures....

When you first head onto the fields this is the view you see. The pictures arnt the best as they were taken at 6am last week with my new camera which im still getting to grips with.

The reserve is split into different parts, open fields that go literally for miles up over the back there is an old slag heap which was part of the pitt. This is now a mining museum . Its a beautiful part to walk but is sadly also the haunt for all the local bunnies and hares which isnt the best when you have a pack of hounds so we stick to the field and the main reserve itself who's only delights seem to be fox poo!

Its funny how little things along the way catch your eye and although you see them daily you still somehow look at them each time as if its the first time.
Our first main point along the walk is this fallen down tree. Its been there for years lying like that. It never seems to rot or fade just stays exactly the same year in and out, it came down during a heavy storm.

Another thing you cant help but notice along the walk and one of my main bug bears is the burnt grass and singed patches. The local children seem to gather in the fields and regularly get great joy out of setting them alight. This again has gone on for years. Im 34 now but can remember when I was a youngster the same thing happening over and over again then. I hasten to add I wasnt one of the culprits. My Grandad is the one who instilled the love of animals and nature into me and I use to spend hours with him on the ruck watching the ground nesters and other wildlife. It annoys me as much now as I remember it did then. Not to mention the amount of hours the local fire service have to waste beating the ground down to put out the flames. It horrifies me everytime that somewhere someones life could be at risk.

The next point is the blue bridge. Everybody here knows what and where the blue bridge is. Again its been blue since I was a kid, ive never seen anyone re paint it and im down there all the time so its a bit of a miracle how it became blue and how it stays blue!
Crossing this links you to the main reserve.

After the blue bridge we head onto the first field or the small field. This is always where the *sparring matches* between Scarlett and Tzar take place. The mad chasing, the dashing oh and then the nipping into the thick to chase the mice that frequent the holes there. Due to the mice this is where the kestrels hang out. We currently have a beautiful pair and I stand and watch them hunt whilst the pups blow off some steam.

From there we cut through into the big field. Much the same occurs here as in the small field. More mad sparring and charging around. The back end of this field is the buzzards haunt so again more watching from me. Isnt it amazing that no matter how many times you see hawks in flight it never fails to take your breath? Almost the same as everytime you see a pointy especially a greyhound break down into first gear and run for the fun you just think WOW!
Coming out of the big field we walk round to the main reserve itself. Now the local council decided recently to add a path to these parts. Apparently its called a health walk . They are places that are being set up all around the UK to encourage people to get out there and get fit. Me? I much prefer to feel like ive really walked and not being caked up in mud on collapsing home doesnt feel like a *real walk* but I appreciate not all feel like this. Sadly though in our area its used as a track for motorbikes and the likes.
This path always seems to bring out the littlest hobo type qualities in Scarlett. She always walks along it, never off it and heads off in a stride.

Along this path is a handy fresh water area that the dogs love to stop at for a drink.

Onto the reserve itself. We are blessed with some beautiful wildlife and the whole place has been cultivated to continue encouraging more and more birds to the area.
Here is Mr Swan having a clean up session whilst wifey sits the nest. I spent hours watching them building it.

My tree. Probably the most poignant part of the walk for me. This is one of the most beautiful and oldest trees on the reserve. Its in a quiet off the beaten track area which doesnt get frequented much and is such a focal point to watch all the comings and goings. Its one of the oldest trees on the reserve and I use to sit for hours with my first greyhound Dizzy on a Summers day watching the world go by.
Then home again. On the right night at the right time you can see some of the most beautiful sunsets and moody skies to die for.
I hope you enjoyed!
Click here for more Fun Monday participants

Sunday, 27 April 2008


Well Yack is an apt way to describe how im feeling this week.
To say ive not been well is an understatement.
I started on Wednesday to get that hit by a truck feeling and by 5pm resigned myself to the fated flu and headed off to bed.
I next surfaced at 4pm on Thursday night feeling worse than ever. I dont think ive ever taken so many pills and potions in my life to try and bring myself back into the land of the living but all was in vein. So back to bed at 6pm, back out at 9pm and back again at 10pm.
Friday I felt lousy there wasnt an inch of my body that didnt feel it had been through the ringer and no matter what I did I just couldnt shake it. Im one of those people that would rather be too cold than too hot and the temperature was driving me insane. That dont know what to do with yourself insane overheating like being in some mediteranean country with no breeze.
Friday night got worse, my chest became so tight I couldnt breath. I resisted going to the Drs as it got worse and worse, I think you get use to having it drummed into your head not to head to the Quacks with flu because there is nothing they can do, rest, drink fluids and sit it out. Sadly by Saturday morning I was so tight on breath it was making me sick. So the Quacks it was.
Once there I got told off for not coming sooner! I give up! Narrowly avoiding being packed off to the hospital for a full checking out (other issues ongoing health wise) I was placed on a nebuliser for half an hour. It helped and so have the two inhalers ive been packed off home with. Today im finally getting some relief, some sign its shifting on. I just wish I could get rid of the feeling of being whacked between the shoulder blades in my back and my rib cage in my front I have everytime I breath, move, or speak.

Lets hope tomorrow its gone.

Loss of a loved one

Sadly this week saw one of my own hounds head to the bridge.

Lady 2006 - 20/04/2008

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple

With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired

And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

And run my stick along the public railings

And make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

And pick flowers in other people's gardens

And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat

And eat three pounds of sausages at a go

Or only bread and pickle for a week

And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry

And pay our rent and not swear in the street

And set a good example for the children.

We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?

So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised

When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Jenny Joseph

Run like the wind Angel but dont forget to stop by and say hello now and again
To read more about Lady and how she came into our life and rocked our world visit Greyhound Gaps Official Newsblog

Thursday, 17 April 2008

My Little Man

Or perhaps not so little man Jack my son. As mentioned in the first post to this blog he is actually 13 years old 14 in a couple of weeks time.
Jack has an immune deficiency that has always meant he is small for his age but the last few weeks he has started to mature. Gone are the days of the little stumpy sweetie teaming with puppy fat and that cute voice that even at 12 years of age made him sound about 5 and over the phone when I was away from home got him away with murder.
Now we just about manage a deep throated grunt and if im really lucky the only word he seems to know nowadays no! What is it that makes teenage lads loose the ability to speak? There is just this mad neanderthol quality that seems to have crept in, not only in his general appearance and attitude but his bedroom aswell. I say bedroom but its decidedly like the council tip lately and I wouldnt mind its his mess after all but I need to get in there to clean out the hamsters. I literally have to build myself up before entering and could do with getting some mountainering practice in aswell to help me navigate the piles that I need to climb over to make my way to the opposite end of the room.
Still I love him to pieces and having had a child who has at times been so desperatly ill makes you appreciate them more. Sadly in Jacks mind eye perhaps too much. We are also going through that inbetween stage in our relationship. He is currently trying to force me to cut the apron strings and allow him to go roaming the land with his fellow neanderthols and im trying to convince him that he still isnt old enough for the full on wandering the land scenario just yet. It doesnt totally lead to domestic harmony let me tell you, it also leads to act of physical violence towards in animate objects such as doors that are lucky not to be hanging off the way as the chanting scream of its so unfair is heard over the top of a banging door.

Im sure we will get there in the end I just dont like not knowing how to handle him at the moment. I spent quite an amount of time as a single parent with him so we have always up until recently been able to communicate without it turning into me balling like a fishwife and him slamming and grunting before clamming up and refusing to speak.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Where I live

I live in Stoke on Trent and am blessed that although in the middle of a big estate its less than 2 minutes to a wonderful walking spot near Ford Green Hall

So many big estates boarder the area but im always suprised by how few people use it even the local dog walkers never seem to be out in abundance. I dont mind its like walking your own private land most of the time and when you do meet people you almost feel incensed that they are there.
Tonight I went down with my camera. At the moment I only have a basic sony cybershot point and shoot BUT and this is a big BUT am seriously considering a SLR. Even second hand this is a big commitment because im still looking to spend around £400 for what I want. Ive never ever spent £400 on myself before ever! £400 on vets bills yes! £400 on my sons * needs * yeah right, yes. Myself, never! I figure maybe its time I did. Anything ive wanted that costs a decent amount of money before ive managed to stop the hankering. This hankering wont go away.
So back to the point.... before I make that commitment I wanted to try and get some decent shots with my point and shoot. I think I was trying to convince myself it really doesnt achieve what im wanting to achieve and that ive learnt how to use it and come as far as I can with it. I think im right and tonights walk and photo session made me even more adamant that I now am going to indulge myself and get a decent camera.

Still im quite proud of some of the shots I got this evening but I just know a better camera once ive learnt to use it I can acheive better. I dont have a hobby of my own, I want something to help me relax, get away from it all and photography I really do enjoy.