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  • FIRST POST
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 16th Jul 16, 8:03 PM
    • 3,186Posts
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    *Robin*
    Blowing in the Winds of Change
    • #1
    • 16th Jul 16, 8:03 PM
    Blowing in the Winds of Change 16th Jul 16 at 8:03 PM
    A brace of raptors soaring in the breeze over the Nest just after dawn on Solstice morning gifted me the title of this, my reprise into MSE's Diary-world.

    I'd had little sleep. Partly because, well, Solstice is a special day and the night had been filled with memories of happier years, and partly because it seemed that my faithful companion was rushing towards The Light, her paws galloping in the air as she dreamed contentedly beside me.
    I was exhausted. Fear of what might come to pass if my dear girl's last, eternal bed had not been prepared before she was ready to cross Rainbow Bridge loaned me energy I could not afford; each day a single bucket of stony earth was added to a pile beside the chosen resting place.
    Dear Vet had nothing more to offer beyond comforting words and her promise to attend should the need arise, any time day or night.

    DS1 rescued me. He called to offer salutations not long after sunrise; apparently I was making no sense at all on the 'phone which led to a prompt visit - tools in hand - and the job was completed before the day's end.
    Bless him.

    Although resigned to the inevitable at that point, Clever Dog was not in pain so I decided to delay departure from the Nest until she had no more need of my staying. Her behaviour in the van suggested she would not welcome another long distance adventure and obviously, I did not wish to cause her any distress during her last days in this realm.** Despite Divo Four and Dear Relative's increasingly urgent requests for my presence at homehome, the weeks passed and each day the mercury in the thermometer rose higher.

    Meanwhile I have not been paying attention to financial matters since giving up m' previous diary: A bank card expired so I could no longer check that account. The gizmo for signing into another stopped working, but CD and I have been living comfortably on our £400 per month allowance - half of it spent on her medications and the best diet, another £50 on storage for the camper-van, and the rest - well I can't really remember, but there always seemed to be funds left in our 'daily' account when it came time to turn another page on the calendar.

    There's nothing praise-worthy about that though; it's easy to rack up NSDs when one has no energy to go out except on essential missions, and there's a plentiful supply of veg in the garden (mostly planted for me by a couple of winter visitors).
    "Garden" is perhaps no longer the right description for the wilderness which surrounds the Nest; I have not had the strength to undo Ex-Gardener's neglect (I forgave him, vastly overpaid him, but he lied and then stole from me so there was no choice but to terminate his employment, alas. I still feel very sad about that ending).

    Eventually DS4 lost patience. He 'phoned with two pieces of wonderful news: A double-first [justifying his decision to rack up a relatively modest student loan], and notification of his imminent arrival!

    We brushed the spiders gently out of camper-van, and went for a trial night away locally. CD amazed me; apparently quite happy to travel and potter about when we stopped. Maybe her vocal objections to being in the other van [**] were due to the fact that most of her trips out this year have ended at DV's clinic, being prodded, poked and stabbed (for blood tests)?

    Plumber put on his Mechanic's hat to check camper-van's travel worthiness, resulting in a trip to the garage for a little preventative maintenance and a service - which wiped out all the cash saved by living parsimoniously over the last six months. Plumber was incandescent at the size of the bill when he saw they'd replaced some good parts while failing to fix the actual fault; must say communication between the booking-in chap and mechanic was appalling, especially given that this was at the regional main dealer.
    <sigh> Not very MSE but I just wanted to get out of there so paid up (after they replaced the faulty bearing!). Oh well.

    The thought of driving all the way to the Chunnel filled me with trepidation - just don't have enough strength for such sustained effort these days, and DS4 hasn't held a full licence for long enough to be covered by insurance abroad.
    So I called the ferry company. Usually, pet-friendly cabins are booked up half a year in advance, but CD is still remembered (it's partly due to her Houdini behaviour in bygone days that pet-friendly cabins were introduced).
    Result: They found us a cabin on next week's boat!

    Now I am [supposed to be] packing. Camper-van is parked in the village; CD and I slept there last night, and I started this diary to help m' poor-ol' brain-fogged mind keep track.
    The acquaintance who outed me at the beginning of the year has not been in touch since, although half a dozen RL mates around the World did express their regret that I'd given up my first MSE diary. So much for anonymity - have decided I really don't care, because the support of all you MSEers is of inestimable value..
    Last edited by *Robin*; 29-07-2016 at 1:20 PM.
Page 11
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 17th Apr 17, 5:20 PM
    • 3,186 Posts
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    *Robin*
    Been trying to update this for days..

    Get what you're saying, Dansmam - it is ruddy unfair on the bright but less well-off, isn't it?

    I still haven't been to see any more rescue dogs, Sun.A. It turns out that Grand-Pup will be staying with me again, because his owners arranged their flights before his transport. I was told, not asked. Do love him, every knobbly angle of him, and his limpid brown eyes clearly express his feelings but, oh - training a puppy is a lot of work..

    Am feeling very lost; too much is going wrong with the financials and there's nobody to share working out the problems with. When push comes to shove everyone I care about is getting on with their own lives - as they should - but it leaves me very alone. Sometimes wish I was four again and it would all be alright after a good cry and a cuddle from Mum..

    Stress is having a terrible affect on both mind and body. The relative who thinks I should look after him has made me his executor - he can't see the joke!

    The one good thing to report is that the only money I've spent since last posting was 20€ on fuel - another joke, as it was all used helping someone else to move furniture which meant I didn't even get to join the family Easter feast. That shouldn't have hurt as much as it did, but it's left me feeling that there really is very little left for me in this world - looking at my 'phone book there are now more dead people than alive ones in it.
    Last edited by *Robin*; 21-04-2017 at 12:53 PM.
    • maddiemay
    • By maddiemay 17th Apr 17, 7:34 PM
    • 3,175 Posts
    • 27,904 Thanks
    maddiemay
    Oh Robin, I wish that there was something I could write or do to make life happier for you, I am sure that all your friends in the box will think the same. Gentle hugs and furry cuddles coming your way.
    MM xx
    • Dansmam
    • By Dansmam 17th Apr 17, 10:15 PM
    • 530 Posts
    • 1,798 Thanks
    Dansmam
    Dear Robin - so sorry disheartening things are happening, or rather that heartening things aren't happening for you at the moment. All will come good for you soon, I know it will, but meanwhile here's a virtual lurcher for you to lean on till the pup arrives. Hope the vegetables are holding out ok? and that grandpup's company brings you much joy x
    • Knit Witch
    • By Knit Witch 18th Apr 17, 3:40 PM
    • 3,182 Posts
    • 29,200 Thanks
    Knit Witch
    Cairn Terrier snuffles, licks and snuggles coming your way Robin
    OS Weight Loss 5.26/10

    V3ry - £607.34
    • stepuptothepl8
    • By stepuptothepl8 18th Apr 17, 6:58 PM
    • 768 Posts
    • 3,623 Thanks
    stepuptothepl8
    And snuggles from a ever-so-slightly psychotic collie from here too. Do look after yourself x
    LBM 1st Feb 2015 £17902 to go
    my diary: time to step up to the plate. SPC#503
    2017 challenges:
    March - Bath Half Marathon DONE!!
    July - trailwalker 100km walk for Oxfam & the Ghurka trust DONE!!
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 18th Apr 17, 7:03 PM
    • 4,575 Posts
    • 26,804 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Robin I'm sorry to read you're feeling so down. I hope grandpup cheers you up a bit and takes your mind off things. I suspect you are like me - fiercely independent and a taking charge of things type of person. What people don't realise is that sometimes we need someone else to take charge for a bit and look after us. Virtual hugs from me and my little Jack Russell xx
    Virtual Sealed Pot £671.22
    November NSD 5/12
    Weight loss 2/7lbs
    Mr SA finally in remission December 2013
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 19th Apr 17, 6:16 PM
    • 8,351 Posts
    • 46,846 Thanks
    please-let-me-be-lucky
    Bouncy hugs from Oakley and I too. Hope you are feeling brighter today Xx
    Debts @ LBM £23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 £0

    NSDs achieved in November 2/5
    Lbs lost 14.5/107.
    • Bubblesmum
    • By Bubblesmum 20th Apr 17, 9:57 AM
    • 1,056 Posts
    • 6,128 Thanks
    Bubblesmum
    "Today have been grateful for a quiet day, for finding a home-made ready meal in the freezer for dinner, and the happy antics of my little visitor."

    I have not quite caught up with the diary Robin but I just loved this sentence ... I hope you find a new canine companion soon, as i think you would both benefit so much
    Mrs B Debt £1857 @ 13/06/2017, £1790 16/06/2017
    • Bubblesmum
    • By Bubblesmum 20th Apr 17, 10:07 AM
    • 1,056 Posts
    • 6,128 Thanks
    Bubblesmum
    Robin I'm sorry to read you're feeling so down. I hope grandpup cheers you up a bit and takes your mind off things. I suspect you are like me - fiercely independent and a taking charge of things type of person. What people don't realise is that sometimes we need someone else to take charge for a bit and look after us. Virtual hugs from me and my little Jack Russell xx
    Originally posted by Sun Addict
    Robin sending you gentle hugs, SA has said what I was thinking, and as we know when we are able to be sociable people have no idea the effort it takes out of us, and what goes on behind closed doors i.e being horizontal and brain fog. When life changes and we observe other peoples busy lives and they so busy, they don't think to stop and put themselves in our shoes.

    Hoping Grandpup has brought joy and love this week, I prescribe more bed cuddles !
    Mrs B Debt £1857 @ 13/06/2017, £1790 16/06/2017
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 30th Apr 17, 11:54 AM
    • 3,186 Posts
    • 12,706 Thanks
    *Robin*
    Aww, thank you everyone for your kind words and virtual canine huggles..

    M' last post illustrates why I shouldn't write when feeling wobbly.

    The Winds of Change have been blowing with wild abandon around the Nest, both literally and figuratively. More rain is desperately needed here so I enjoyed the storms, but my little thin-skinned guest was not impressed at all! Cabin fever has been a problem in between enforced walks; Grand-Pup turns into a cross between Tigger and a baby crocodile when he can't let off steam! He's disembowelled two dog beds and a chair cushion so far, attacked the fringes of one of my antique rugs, and reduced a box of kindling to match-sticks. ..Woke up to a sea of foam chippings and splinters all over the living room carpet.

    Bad news from the UK: Flat sale has fallen through for the second time, throwing my bank account back into the red. Financially am now in a very deep hole indeed - made worse because I've been spending.

    Terrible timing, yes, but my motives were good. There was a batch of dogs in a kill-shelter due to be put to sleep last week, one of them a snow-dog. Couldn't resist.. But someone else reserved it overnight, so already having made the decision to save a soul, I picked another from the half dozen still at risk.
    Gardener went to collect him as the shelter was too far away for me to drive there and back in a day, and still be able to function afterwards. The volunteer who was organising this great escape sent me a video of the saddest, most depressed canine imaginable being gently coaxed along a green-doored corridor by Gardener. There is no doubt the dog thought it was his Green Mile..

    Grand-Pup went crazy with joy when his new play-mate arrived. In less than a couple of hours the rescue dog's tail lifted and his ears pricked up, as he realised he'd got another chance.
    I still don't know how to put my own 'photos on here, but found one that bar a lighter colouring on his ears and nose, looks almost like The Musketeer [named by the rescue co-ordinators]:
    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/d2/69/c0/d269c0b04be647a4605dd6ee40685bfe.jpg
    Very much doubt he is actually an example of a Korean Jindo as they are rarely exported and if so are likely to be much too valuable to end up in a kill-shelter. His markings caught my eye - they're almost identical to those of the first pony I rescued, many many years ago, from the same fate Musketeer** was facing.
    His resemblance to that much cherished pony was heightened by the fact that he stank of horse stables when he got here!

    **Probably won't change his name. It's suitably different from Grand-Pup's that each will know when they are being addressed, and he already answers to it. He is incredibly patient with the pup, who frankly needs to learn better manners. We've only had one sticky moment so far; the first time Musketeer found meat in his dinner bowl, Grand-Pup tried to steal it. Fair play to him, Musketeer backed off as soon as I clapped my hands, so since then I stand between them at meal times.
    Added to the spending by ordering Grand-Pup a special bumpy bowl which should prevent him inhaling his food at light-speed (with resulting fetid wind from the other end afterwards ). While on The River site, it seemed a good idea to add a couple of K0ngs as they'll be a cheaper option than replacing most of the soft furnishings after Grand-Pup returns to his owners.

    Musketeer is very underweight; his sternum protrudes like an axe-head sticking out of his thin chest and every rib is visible beneath his fluffy white coat.
    If the rain holds off today and tomorrow, a trip to visit Dear Vet for a check-up and vaccinations is planned, when I'll also stock up on more high quality vittals for him - supplies left over from CD are almost exhausted.

    Today am grateful we've had more life-giving rain, for fate which has brought me a wonderful new companion, and the laughter his antics with Grand-Pup provokes.

    Spending:
    DS3 for strimming grass - £100
    Gift to DS3 & GGF - £100
    Groceries - £15
    Rescue centre fees and Gardener's wages - £150
    On-line purchases - £25
    Last edited by *Robin*; 30-04-2017 at 3:59 PM.
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 30th Apr 17, 1:00 PM
    • 8,351 Posts
    • 46,846 Thanks
    please-let-me-be-lucky
    Absolutely thrilled to hear of your new companion! Sounds like it was meant to be. I hope you have many happy times together.

    Sorry to hear about the UK flat though. Such bad luck Xx
    Debts @ LBM £23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 £0

    NSDs achieved in November 2/5
    Lbs lost 14.5/107.
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 30th Apr 17, 4:01 PM
    • 4,575 Posts
    • 26,804 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Bad news about the flat but fabulous news about a new canine friend. He is a very lucky dog indeed. So sad about the others, hope they all get rescued.
    Virtual Sealed Pot £671.22
    November NSD 5/12
    Weight loss 2/7lbs
    Mr SA finally in remission December 2013
    • kazwookie
    • By kazwookie 30th Apr 17, 7:04 PM
    • 9,352 Posts
    • 118,581 Thanks
    kazwookie
    Wonderful a new dog, good luck hope it all works out
    Sun, Sea
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 3rd May 17, 7:43 PM
    • 3,186 Posts
    • 12,706 Thanks
    *Robin*
    Robin sending you gentle hugs, SA has said what I was thinking, and as we know when we are able to be sociable people have no idea the effort it takes out of us, and what goes on behind closed doors i.e being horizontal and brain fog. When life changes and we observe other peoples busy lives and they so busy, they don't think to stop and put themselves in our shoes.
    Originally posted by Bubblesmum
    Bubbles - a belated special thanks for your comment.. It's awful that so many of us are in the same boat, therefore very important to help spread awareness when we can..

    Lucky, Sun.A and Kazwookie - Musketeer thanks you all for your welcome, with waggy tail and happy licks. It's obvious the kill station is receding in his memory as he settles in at The Nest. Hard to believe he's only been here a week, as he's already into a good routine - behaving very much better than Grand-Pup who has suddenly turned into a bolshy teenager (in addition to the bad behaviours mentioned above, he's keen to escape and romance the b!tch in season next door - if he were mine he'd be booked in for the chop alongside Musketeer! ..Still very cute and I do love him though).

    More changes have blown in on the wind that I forgot to mention in m' last post:
    Nasty Neighbour has gone!
    His land has been bought by a family with whom we have much closer ties; two brothers who are good friends of DS1. As their Dad and Uncle own the land on the other side of the Nest, they really want to buy it. So much so that they've offered to find me another house and garden of similar size, my choice, in exchange..
    In principle I have agreed, because it won't be all that long before I'm too disabled to live here anyway. Head over heart; there will be sadness, but it is a sensible suggestion really.

    Meanwhile, we've had another offer on DH's flat, which I've accepted. Fingers crossed, eh?

    Changes afoot re the family home too. Decisions to be made.

    Musketeer has had his jabs so now has a valid passport. Needs the op before we leave, but it must wait until Grand-Pup has gone so he can recuperate in peace.
    It was utterly exhausting taking both dogs into town; in the end I tied 'em together with a link-lead so that at least I only had potential hazards in a single direction to concentrate on (Pup is still at jumping-up stage, Musketeer follows his nose).

    Am very grateful for a quiet day today, for Gardener's offer to help me get ready to leave, and Musketeer behaving so well.

    Spends:
    Musketeer's inoculations, blood tests, flea collar, passport and food for both pups - £140
    Gardener's wages - £30
    Last edited by *Robin*; 04-05-2017 at 1:49 AM.
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 4th May 17, 2:07 AM
    • 3,186 Posts
    • 12,706 Thanks
    *Robin*
    Just realised; I gave in, surrendered - and things changed. Must remember that at times when everything ahead seems dark and chaotic.
    • Dansmam
    • By Dansmam 4th May 17, 6:49 AM
    • 530 Posts
    • 1,798 Thanks
    Dansmam
    Hi Robin great to see you back. Yep, sometimes the only thing that works is giving in and going with the flow (hard though isn't it, if you're used to being the one that keeps everyone else going��).And then look what happens - a Musketeer comes along!!!
    Big decision about the nest but you'll know what's right for you. Hope the flat sale goes smoothly now so you're back in funds and can make things happen.
    DD back on the road again but on her own again. I shall not be worrying at all ��������
    Last edited by Dansmam; 04-05-2017 at 6:50 AM. Reason: Emojis gone weird
    • stepuptothepl8
    • By stepuptothepl8 4th May 17, 10:29 PM
    • 768 Posts
    • 3,623 Thanks
    stepuptothepl8
    Glad to see you posting Robin, and thrilled to hear about musketeer! xx
    LBM 1st Feb 2015 £17902 to go
    my diary: time to step up to the plate. SPC#503
    2017 challenges:
    March - Bath Half Marathon DONE!!
    July - trailwalker 100km walk for Oxfam & the Ghurka trust DONE!!
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 7th May 17, 2:34 PM
    • 3,186 Posts
    • 12,706 Thanks
    *Robin*
    Hello MSEers; Spanish Mothers' Day greetings to all Mums,

    Dansmam - thanks for posting. Happy Travels to your DD - am starting to look forward to following in her wheel-treads while exploring with Musketeer..

    Stepuptothepl8 - thank you; think Musketeer and I are going to be very good for each other, although definitely need to tweak something in order to increase m' available energy - both Musketeer and Grand-Pup will pull me up hills, but even so giving them enough exercise is using more reserves than I have; cooking, cleaning, even personal hygiene isn't happening as frequently as is desirable.

    We've had a few hiccups in the last week, as the dogs and I have been learning how to get along. Musketeer is used to living in the campo, but also to having freedom to wander about as he chooses. That's both illegal and very unwise here; at this time of year local shooters put down poison for loose dogs and foxes to stop them taking partridge chicks - that's illegal too but knowing it won't save a pet's life.
    Musketeer can easily leap the fences which keep Grand-Pup close to the house, so at first I put him on the strongest extending lead, tied to the door. It lasted ten seconds; in the time it took to fetch m' cuppa, Grand-Pup had chewed almost all the way through the lead!
    After a hasty sewing bodge we nipped down to the village where I bought 20mts of light, fine steel chain (Grand-Pup can't chomp that! Granny 1 : Grand-Pup 0 ).
    On the way back we went for a walk in the river-bed. Warm ankle deep rippling water, birds, bees, flowers all around. Beguiling scents for the dogs to enjoy.. It was glorious for a couple of kliks until we met a pack of owner-less dogs who did not look friendly.
    Put Grand-Pup on his lead [am not yet letting Musketeer run free] and dragged 'em both back the way we came. Walking through a deeper channel I looked away from the pups to watch m' step, then four seconds later turned round to see Grand-Pup carrying a very dead, dried-up toad.
    Being on the lead at that moment saved Grand-Pup's life; I wouldn't have been able to catch him in time if he'd been loose.
    Half an hour afterwards Grand-Pup was smashed out of his silky little head! Gave him charcoal tablets and milk as soon as we got back to the Nest, and he didn't slaver or show any of the "Vet NOW!" danger signs, but boy was he stoned: Hurtling round and round the lawn like a loon, bouncing off the furniture, barking at everything and nothing, devouring carrots as if he'd never eaten before.. Completely manic for a couple of hours. Then he climbed on top of Musketeer who was watching from what has already become 'his' chair, wrapped his legs around Musketeer's neck, and fell asleep with a big toothy grin on his face.
    Can happily report that next morning Grand-Pup was fine, back to his usual cheeky self. Phew. Teenage adventures!

    The next day it was Musketeer's turn. Playing with Pup outside on his new chain when suddenly it went quiet. Pup started crying..
    CD's old harness was lying empty on the patio floor.
    Spotted Musketeer sniffing the ground on the drive. Called him, he looked up at me, wagged his tail then turned and trotted off through the open gate. Grabbed the harness and set off in pursuit, leaving Grand-Pup inside the enclosure. Pup began howling in desperate frustration and abandonment!
    I'd just reached the bottom of the steps when Musketeer reappeared at a gallop, responding to Pup's distress. Oh, he got lots of cuddles [from me] and licks [from Grand-Pup] for coming back.. Then found himself squeezed into Little Girl's smaller harness, which he hasn't managed to wriggle out of [yet].

    Interestingly, three dog-knowledgeable friends all made the same comment about Musketeer:
    "Oh, you've got another snow-dog!"
    Must admit there are resemblances in his general size and shape, but also differences. I think he's probably a Mastin x Podenco. Definitely a hunter though - he almost caught one of the partridges who live in the garden while I wasn't paying close enough attention.
    He has made great progress in a week; Musketeer's understandable food-aggression has completely vanished, he's learned his name, "Come," "Sit," and "Stay." Am hopeful that the chain won't be needed for very long; soon Musketeer will understand that his job is to keep me in sight at all times.
    One thing he did completely without prompting: On Grand-Pup's favourite walk there is a short section - only about five metres - where the path is very steep, with loose shale underfoot and no bushes to hang onto.. Musketeer braced himself beside me so that I could hold onto his harness, waiting until I'd taken each step before moving down a pace himself so that I could take the next one safely. To say I was impressed is a wild understatement.

    Today am grateful our escapades have had happy outcomes, for friends who keep in touch even though I can't often spend time with them, and for a glimmer of light at the end of the financial tunnel.

    Spends:
    Chain - £10
    Groceries - £12
    Last edited by *Robin*; 11-05-2017 at 12:06 PM.
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 7th May 17, 3:09 PM
    • 4,575 Posts
    • 26,804 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    What antics the pups have got up to. At least they're both unscathed. Musketeer sounds like he's going to be a loyal friend you you, I'm so pleased you got him
    Virtual Sealed Pot £671.22
    November NSD 5/12
    Weight loss 2/7lbs
    Mr SA finally in remission December 2013
    • Dansmam
    • By Dansmam 7th May 17, 3:36 PM
    • 530 Posts
    • 1,798 Thanks
    Dansmam
    Wow Musketeer - the ultimate assistance dog!
    Nothing worse than a dog that doesn't wait for you to get your footing (lurcher lad's ears should be burning...) and nothing better than a steadying hound at your side. Seems you both struck lucky when you found each other 😀
    Chilly up north today and DD says northern Spain is similar. She's on a bit of an explore while volunteering and glad of jumpers. Hope it's a bit warmer where you are.
    Flat sale sounds promising - will cross fingers and hope for a smooth sale for you.
    And that grandpup avoids getting drugged up again 😱😱😱
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