Just a short update! I would love to write effusively of how much money I have saved in the past few days, or how many bargains I have stumbled upon, but the truth is it's been another eventful week in the Wise household - no time for bargain hunting! As if last year wasn't traumatic enough for our scruffbag Tibetan Terrier, Dudley, it seems as though this year is not going to be all plain sailing for him either. Whilst already coping admirably with just one eye, we couldn't believe it when he suddenly went completely blind in the remaining one last week. Immediately I was filled with dread - we had been warned there was a fair chance of this happening, but unlike last time, he didn't have any more eyes left to rely on. So off we toddled to the vet first thing in the morning and our worst fears were confirmed - the same thing had happened again and the lens of his one and only eye had 'popped'. It wasn't all bad though - a simple phone call later and I was told that a specialist an hour away in the city was waiting for for us in order to perform the essential operation Dudley required. $140 for the consultation followed by $1,500 for the surgery, which had less than a 50% chance of success. Not surprisingly Noel and I experienced a strange sense of deja-vu - this is exactly what we were told last time! Except last time we also had the added option of having Dudley's eye removed and putting an end to the problem altogether. Unfortunately this time removing the other one wasn't really an option, we had to consider what sort of quality of life the poor wee chap would have. By saying 'no' to the operation, I felt as though we were condemning him to an early grave, but one more phone call later and there came a glimmer of hope from the vet. We could try a week of bombarding Dudley's eye with medication in order to try and re-open up the pupil and help move whatever had come forward from the back of the eye to wiggle itself back to where it belonged again. It's too early to tell whether the drops, creams and anti-inflammatories we're poking in his eye every six hours is having the desired effect yet, but at $37 rather than $1,500 we're definitely giving it a go and as long as the little guy isn't in pain, we'll keep trying!
In my last update I mentioned I had ordered a new camera online. I have to admit, after I coughed up the money I wondered what I had done. I didn't know this company from a bar of soap! So I was very relieved and delighted when just two days later, my brand spanking new camera arrived in my hands. It's perfect, just what I wanted and I can't recommend their service highly enough, before and following delivery. I was particularly impressed with the speedy delivery as we were off to the big Super 14 rugby game the following night - our home team, the Chiefs against Ali's favourite team, the ACT Brumbies. I ended up thanking my lucky stars for that camera! After a traumatic few days with Dudley, we were all looking forward to going out, relaxing for a few hours and watching the game. Ali wore his new Brumbies beanie and jersey with pride and as soon as we arrived at Waikato Stadium I took him down to the front row to get a better look at his heroes in training. Only a few seconds had passed before a friendly voice rang out, 'Ali! Good to see you!' It was Ray McNicol, the Brumbies manager who had so kindly sent Ali his beanie for Christmas. He disappeared briefly and returned with a bottle of Powerade and handfuls of jelly snake sweets courtesy of the team. Ali and I were amazed enough at this gesture, but it got even better! Before we knew it, we were being invited to sit and watch the game from team's sideline dug-out and the players were all shaking hands and introducing themselves. I was feeling somewhat conspicuous in my Chiefs jersey and wish I had chosen something rather more subtle to wear!
'Can my life get any better?' Ali wondered open-mouthed as Clyde Rathbone settled himself in front of him. The answer was, yes! For once I actually found myself wanting the opposition to win and as they finished the game victorious, I hurriedly threw the new camera around Ali's neck and watched amazed as Ray led my tiny blonde boy down into the changing rooms to hang out with his idols. Some time later he was safely returned and the camera was full of precious photos of Ali with George Gregan, Stirling Mortlock and the rest of the team. He was still clutching his programme tightly as before, except now it was full of autographs and his pockets had been refilled with lollies. However, his best scoop of all was a pair of freshly discarded Brumbies socks, given to him by fullback Adam Ashley-Cooper. Even though they were soaked through from a hard game, Ali assured me they smelled fine and promptly put them on himself and wore them to bed. And all the next day. And most of today as well. I think I have finally managed to peel them off him now and am hoping to successfully sneak them into the washing machine before they walk there by themselves! Unlike Ali, I have never been a Brumbies fan before now, but the time and effort Ray and the guys put into making a little boy's dream come true has well and truly converted me and his dad. The old cliche 'money can't buy happiness' keeps springing to mind and it's true - it was the sheer spontaneity of the evening that made it so special. However, in true Simple Savings style I can't help but do my best to ensure the continued welfare of those socks. As it is, they presently pull up past his thighs - I reckon if we look after them properly, he might still be getting some wear out of them in 10 years' time!