80. the one at the beach

i wasn’t sure we’d manage a holiday due to anakin’s continuing broken.
plus, the car is also continuing broken, so it was all a bit touch and go… but we made it!

me at the beach

we *aaaalways* have a good soundtrack for our roadtrips – it’s part of The Thing – but this time we couldn’t listen to anything apart from what is that funny noise? or is that a bit of car falling off? and for some terrible, terrible reason the only song my brain was letting me know all the words to, was ‘true’ by spandau ballet (wtf??! I MEAN WTF??!!!).
so i sang that for 4 hours (!)
and took photos of famous landmarks.
and huh huh huh hu-uh huh
i know this much is true.

angel of the north

huh huh huh hu-uh huh i know this. much is. true.
it was a long & painful drive for Husband and anakin :)

for most of the week, the weather was good. too good to do anything other than Beach.
beach, beach, pub, beach.
anakin at the beach

“hey, anakin! where are the guys? i’m not sure we’ll find them in this crowd…”

family at the beach

“oh wait, there they all are.”

the anakin dog was remarkable. she’s very tired, stiff & wibbly now that we’re home, but she wasn’t going to let a silly thing like stroke or arthritis ruin her holiday – she managed plenty of digging, splashing about in rockpools, clambering over rocks (sort of), running (a little bit) and walking (miles!)



i spent an awful lot of time letting my obsessive nature run wild helping my sister collect perfect rocks for her work, and building little stonehenges.


one evening i went down at sunset to watch high tide occurring, and found this
lol henge
“some c*** has ruined me stone’enge!”
“i think some wrathful god has smited your stonehenge with an asteroid, dude”

Husband: “OWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW my b*******!”
me: “mine are fine. i’m diving in”

“i can’t believe i got sunburnt yesterday, and today i’m wearing my winter coat”

happy collie
“are you happy, anakin? did you have a good holiday?”

collie driving
man in the next car: “i saw that program about border collies last night. i knew they were intelligent dogs… but i had no idea they could drive!”


79. the one where august occurred – part 2

part 2 – my birthday week! yay! (*contains more moaning)

while the all-consuming anakin thing was ongoing, august continued to race by. suddenly it was my birthday.

ani was much better by then, but loudly unhappy about being shut downstairs alone. i’m not a good sleeper at the best of times, so by then i was achieving 3 hour bursts of zzz & hadn’t left the house in weeks. i was also severely good humour deprived.
for my birthday treat mum & dad were coming to visit – the plan being to break the monotony of my pyjama dog carer days weeks… but

SURPRISE! birthday flu!

luckily, despite my fever, i had the good sense to warn my (en route) parents of contagion danger.
or i would have, if i could’ve gotten my stupid phone to work.

stupidberry 2

stupidberry 3

*** 1. ^ i thought emailing facebook screenshots to mom’s ipad was sensible.
i had a fever, remember – not just stupidity.
2. not just stupidity. honest.

is it weird to say i had a lovely birthday?

i was thoroughly spoilt by family, real life friends, internet friends … internet friends who’ve become real life friends … customers who’ve become internet friends who’ve … just so much spoiled. and all week long :)

the paradox of me, perfectly illustrated by the medium of birthday gifts.

and something from a cool little shop in belper that always has lots of odd things i covet…
metal mini

anakin approves.  (**for them’s that’s asking… metal sheep is from here sundial style )

Husband had ordered me some beautiful ceramic pieces from one of my new favourites, camila prada. but he knew they weren’t going to arrive in time, so one of his work colleagues made this to tide me over… *snorrrrrrrrrk*
crai prada

…until the good stuff arrived <333
camila prada

one of the best bits about Birthday Week, was finally leaving the house. even if i was dosed up, mildly infectious and had a box of tissues in my handbag. we went to a local pub for a lovely lunch (with fruit juice. meh) followed by – my favourite – tiramasu. i couldn’t taste ever so well, but the textures were lovely!

nipped in to buttons & bows for a fabric fix on the way home and…
(well, as of now, i have a few pieces in there. i’m pretty much done with stocking real life shops, but this is different – no faff,  just a few things made with fabrics bought from her shop, and it’s so very, very local :) )
robin sketchbook

meanwhile, dad and Husband had walked on ahead to see how anakin’d fared during her first Home Alone.
all was well! the dog that could not walk had leapt onto the couch, rooted around under the cushions, become entangled in my knitting, leapt off the couch, run around the room a bit… i wish they’d taken a photo of the devastation.
ah well, the big shredded hole in my new scarf will always remind me of Birthday 2013 :)


she does seem to like my NOT FOR DOGS knitted stuff.

78. the one where august occurred – part 1

part 1 – canine vestibular syndrome

*** i think i’ve avoided blogging because of this. i’d ignore it completely if i could, but it’s kinda impacted on everything every day since.
and i don’t want to understate How Distressing, but i’ve successfully blocked out most of my thoughts, feelings & emotions from that day, so do *brainskim* along with me, as we get it over with :) ***

way back in july, right after i last blogged, the anakin dog suddenly became very poorly.

we were heading up The North to visit my parents that day – my godparents were visiting from south africa and i was desperate to see them – the car was packed, electrical things had been ocd-checked & double checked, i was wearing clean dayclothes, we were ready to set off…
and then anakin staggered out.

she couldn’t walk, and when she tried to stand her legs kept collapsing under her. her head was tilted at a crazy angle, she was panting & drooling, and her eyes were flickering & rolling…
Husband had to carry her in to the vets and she wasn’t even arsed about the indignity of that.
i was expecting the worst.

fortunately, as soon as the vet saw her, “it’s not what you think. it’s not as bad as it looks”
like a stroke, but not a stroke (although maybe a little stroke). like the worst kind of vertigo. with nausea. inner ear somethingsomething. wordswordswords. she should make a full recovery. wordswordswords.

it was a really hot & humid day, so my sensible bit of brain knew the last thing we should do was put her in the car for a couple of hours. but rest of brain knew i couldn’t cope with sitting at home all weekend, just watching her and feeling helpless. so later on, we did go The North. anakin slept on my lap and i syringed water at her.
approx. 12 seconds after we arrived i burst into tears.

is it weird to say i had a lovely weekend?

anakin was happy to have all her people around her, we took turns lying on the floor feeding & watering her, and Husband slept downstairs so he could help her outside in a toilet emergency.
except, when i tiptoed down at 4am to check on her, they were both sleeping soundly. next to a little pile of sick. the funniest part, is that my parents only had the BRAND NEW CARPET fitted 17 days earlier. ahahahaha

accidental sick

^ it was the best i could do at 4am. sorry mom.

the next day, while the menfolk golfed, us ladies played at sewing. i made anakin these very smart carry handles…
collie carry handles

once they existed, it became a lot easier to help her walk – we used the handles to take her weight, used her collar to steer – and she was awfully pleased that i no longer had to hold her bum up while she pooped.

on the sunday, we were lucky enough to catch an impressive display by the red arrows from the comfort of my parents patio. both mom & godmom are from RAF families so that was a bit special. i didn’t have my camera to hand, but it looked a bit like this
red arrows *artists impression

home again, we covered our slidey tile floors in a jumble of carpet scraps, rugs & duvets so anakin would have purchase when she tried to walk again, and resigned ourselves to the fact we’d be living in the lounge while she needed 24 hour care. Husband and i took it in turns to sleep on the couch (i did 2 nights, he did the other 42)

head tilt

the first days were about tempting her to eat & drink – she couldn’t seem to work out where the end of her face was, so it was all by hand – everything saturated in drool, gravy & flakes of salmon. it smelt heavenly.
the weather was still being ridiculous hot, so i was cooling her down with ice packs. she was shedding great chunks of fur from the stress. it all ended up in the freezer but i didn’t even care.

improvements were gradual – her eyes stopped moving & she could lie down properly, after that she was able to sleep restfully. she could hold her head up a bit better, which meant she could drink. her appetite returned, and she was keen to get back on solid food (if i held it just right so she could bite down). she could stand up on her own, she could wobble-walk unaided. she still fell over if she tried to turn… so she realised walking backwards was sometimes safer, and that she could use her tail for balance.
she could chase cats. she could manipulate us.
but she still couldn’t go upstairs.

we fell into a new routine of no routine. getting up at 4am because she fancied a wander in the garden in the rain. getting up at 6am because she didn’t like Husband going off to work. 20 minute bursts of sewing time because she didn’t like being alone.

you've got thread on you zombie hobby horse zombie pandas

“excuse me, where are you and what are you doing? we have good games to play”
collie mong

(i had a little video to add here, to show how mobile, active, playful and happy she is now, almost 2 months on. but i was accidently in it. in my pyjamas. so, sorry internet, you cannot see.)