89. the one where it’s suddenly 2018

< time passes >

suddenly! it is 2018 and i have a 3 year old border collie called cassie.

everything is different now, everything has changed.
but last week, we were back here again

colours and textures
and i was pleased to note
that, actually, everything is the same.

annie cassie

^ me & annie (2013)                                                ^ me & cassie (2017)

everything is different, but everything is the same.

annie cassie 2

^ annie (2009)                                                           ^ cassie (2018)


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!”

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.)

68. the one where i air my dirty laundry in public

well, not my dirty laundry. anakin’s.
and it is clean(ish) laundry.

we’ve had three (3) sunny days in a row (!!!!!!!!!!!) so i’ve been washing all of the things – today was the turn of anakin’s stuff.

as anyone with a border collie will know, they have quite an impressive vocabulary, so it’s quite easy to set them tasks and ask for specific stuff (as long as you have a pocket full of biscuits).
after she’d brought me all of her bedding (hey, 2 flight of stairs with a duvet in your mouth is no mean feat for an eldery, arthritic collie!) i requested some of her soft toys by name, which she grudgingly dumped in the washing basket..


here she is guarding the washing line until they become Ready.

i always wonder what the neighbours / helicopters / hot air balloonists / spy satellites think when they see what’s on my washing line :/
i hope they aren’t judging me for being a bad mom.

dog toys
l to r: dude the chick, woofy the dog, quacky the duck, dragon, vladimeerkat

anakin & direwolf

“but direwolf you cannot haz”