Monday 22 December, 2014
Back in the summer of 2000, Dan and I had just moved to our brand new smallholding at Longcarse, in Alloa. In fact, it wasn’t really a smallholding; it was a newly renovated cottage with some grass inside the fence (which we laughingly called a garden) and some grass outside the fence. But we had plans.
My birthday is in July so when Dan asked what I wanted, I said “a puppy”. He agreed and we spent some time discussing the merits of several breeds – but when it came down to it, I really wanted a Border Collie. So Dan duly tracked down a litter of pups in Comrie, Perthshire and, on the 16th July (a day late, which may have set a trend for the future), Tess arrived home. Born on 21st May, she was the only bitch in a litter of five.
Monday 24 October, 2011
I took Tess and Felix to the vet today.
Felix has an ear infection and a secondary bacterial infection, so had a long acting antibiotic injection and has twice daily ear drops. His cleft palate and cat flu predispose him to these things, wee man. I clipped his claws on Saturday. He sat on my lap, good as gold, and had his pedicure. One claw was digging into the pad, and he didn't like that one being done. I've never had a cat that needed this done, so it was a first for both of us, I think.
Thursday 3 December, 2009
Last night when I shut the hens in, I peeked inside and noticed that a few weren't perching. I got the torch and put them all up on the perches, nice and tidy. Tonight, I thought I'd better check again. Bear in mind that I had closed the pop holes - just as well I DID check because the bold Tess was shut in the hen house. Being a dog of independent spirit, she wouldn't have worried about it but I'm not absolutely sure that she wouldn't have had a midnight snack, had she got the munchies before dawn. To be honest, I don't know if I would have thought to check in there, had I gone back to the house and simply shouted on her - I would have assumed that she was in the garage, under the pig hut, or down a bunnyhole and then been frantic when she didn't come home by bedtime. Hey ho, that's what happens when you have a dog with too much in her head - having another one with nothing in her's doesn't compensate!
Tuesday 24 March, 2009
Words commonly used to describe Meg in this household include pest, menace, irritating, annoying, demanding, and nuts. When I'm not shut in my office working she's my constant companion, always there by my side or under my feet, doing all she can to help. Tess of course is nowhere to be seen, with her head down some rabbit hole or other. But Meg is always there. Like a piece of shrapnel. To illustrate. We had a few glorious spring days here last week, when the sun beamed and the wind was little more than a gentle breeze. We don't get many days like that at any time of year, let alone in March, so I grabbed a chair from the shed and took some time out to enjoy the weather. Meg came and lay down beside me, I closed my eyes, but it lasted about 3 minutes before I knew I was being watched:
Meg, border collie from asmallholder on Vimeo. On most of our videos you can either see Meg under my feet or hear her yipping in the background. She's always on the move when we're outside, helping with a stick, playing with a ball or just making sure we're okay. And although we complain about it we really wouldn't have it any other way.
Monday 29 December, 2008
We currently have two cats and two collies, which is really enough, particularly given their health records! However, both Dan and I have a fancy for a terrier. This fancy has never driven us to actively seek one, but if Serendipity was to send one our way, that would be fine.
A couple of years ago, I saw two terriers on the website of the local dog shelter. This was unusual since a) I don't check the site very often and b) the only dogs on it tend to be Staffies (which I know are technically terriers but not what we have in mind).The two terriers had to be homed together and one had a heart condition, which made it ideal for us!! Anyway, by the time I got through, they were spoken for - so Serendipity just dangled a carrot.
Monday 20 October, 2008
On Saturday, Dan and I took both dogs for a walk. Meg loves to play with a stick or ball, and Dan's got into the habit of playing "baseball" with her i.e. he hits the ball with a stick to make it go further (sometimes!). As we walked up the field, he swung at the ball just as Meg jumped for it. The noise she made chilled my blood - I truly thought he had brained her. She dropped like a stone and put her paws over her nose. Dan was distraught. After a few minutes, the noise stopped and Dan looked at her muzzle - he thought he had broken her jaw. In fact, her gum was bleeding a bit. A few minutes later, she bounced up, grabbed her ball and threw it at Dan's feet. And that was her! We've checked her teeth and all are sound; she ate her dinner on Saturday night and seems none the worse for her accident. The "bat" is now firewood, though.
Monday 20 October, 2008
I'm feeling quite sad. Our neighbours' dog, Linford, died last weekend. He was 12; a Weimaraner whose bark was definitely worse than his bite. I don't think he HAD a bite - he was even on good terms with the local bunnies. He was, however, a great watchdog, spending most of his time, and certainly all daylight hours, on guard, alerting us to any comings and goings along the road. He lived here before us; when I came home, he would rush out barking, then follow my car along to our house for a biscuit. It's really strange to drive along the road and no Linford. His owners found him dead in the garden, after he had asked to be let out last Monday night. He seems to have had a stroke. Their daughters have known Linford for more than half their lives; the whole family are very sad, but comforted, I think, by the nature of his passing. The road just won't seem the same anymore.
Sunday 6 July, 2008
Tess is lame. I have a horrible feeling that she might have a problem with the cruciate ligament in her left leg - she ruptured the right one earlier in the year and had surgery to repair it. She can't / won't put any weight on it, although she's eating and doesn't seem in pain. I'll get her to the vet tomorrow. Both dogs were at the vet for their annual check and booster on Friday, along with Cass, who had a lump on his back a couple of weeks ago and was going back for a final check. He's been a bit sneezy, so the vet had a look at his mouth, where he had a tooth removed a couple of years ago. It was a bit inflamed, so he's got antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory - we should have shares in "Metacam". She thinks there may be a tumour on the bone, but "Metacam" may have a retarding effect on it, so I suspect he'll be on it for the rest of him life. Other than that, he's in the pink, so we'll just have to wait and see.
Sunday 3 February, 2008
Our Collies will both be eight this year, so when Meg started sleeping a bit more, we put it down to middle age. Given her normal high energy hyperactivity, it was a bit of a relief. Then we noticed that her coat was thinning. She's never had a thick coat but we could see the dark patches of pigment on her chest, and her tail was "ratty". Although she was eating normally, the other end was fine and, for a normal dog (but not Meg), she was quite energetic, we suspected that something was amiss. So off to the vet! Turns out she has an underactive thyroid (it's the only bit of her that's underactive); so she's got to take one pill a day and go back for another blood test in a couple of weeks. Ten days into the course of medication, and we've got our old Meg back! Irritating, obsessive, hyperactive - but we love her! Just like the vet promised - I did ask for thyroid pills and a sedative!
Saturday 24 November, 2007
Tess finally had her surgery on Thursday to repair the damage caused by the rupture of her cruciate ligament. She seems to be none the worse for it apart from a bad haircut! We've taken the wee bandage off her front leg but we're not brave enough to remove the dressing from the site of the operation - hey, that's what we pay vets for!