A dog's life

Posted July 24th, 2007 by Penny Wise

As usual, things in the Wise household rarely go to plan. This long-overdue blog was supposed to be a rollicking good laugh, where I was supposed to woefully regale all our pets' recent messy mishaps and moan in general about how much time and money they cost me cleaning up after them. Like on Friday, when in the space of 24 hours Holly the cat brought in and plucked no less than four poor unfortunate goldfinches feather-by-feather in my laundry, leaving me no choice but to spend $40 on a new cat door to enable me to lock her out. This I should add was the last straw after weeks of at least one bird deposited this way every day without fail. Or like on Sunday - Ali's birthday, where instead of enjoying ice cream cake together and singing 'Happy Birthday', Liam was bathing a filthy, foul-smelling Hubble and I was stripping and washing all my bed linen after he had rolled enthusiastically in great lumps of cow poo and then rolled it even more enthusiastically all across my bed. Then yesterday, when Tui pigged out on something nasty and threw up on every couch and cushion, twice in my car and all over the freshly changed new bed linen Hubble christened the day before. Through all the washing, cleaning and electricity used I kept smiling and thinking how at least they would all make humorous additions to my blog. Unfortunately, over the course of a few hours, Tui's upset tummy turned into something far more serious and definitely not funny. Once I had noticed that the vomiting had turned into severe foaming at the mouth, alarm bells started ringing and I took her to the vet. Of course, being two minutes to closing time at this point, I was advised that I would be charged extra for after-hours service. I suspected that she had eaten some mouldy bread, pilfered from the neighbour's rubbish heap after finding two big lumps on the lawn. There was no way it could be ours - after having a near-miss with Ella over the exact same thing last year, we never threw our bread in the rubbish any more. Besides, this bread was 'posh' bread, which definitely couldn't be ours seeing as according to Mr Patel we eat 'poor people's bread'. Anyway, I took her to the vet and she was given a good going over. I was told I was being overly-cautious all things considered after Ella and that she had simply pigged out on something disagreeable but all being well she should come right.

So I took my slobbery baby home, where she appeared to sleep peacefully for the next three hours and I figured the vet must have been right. Until she started having fits. It was almost too late by the time we got her to the vet again but she was given some medication to stop the seizures and hooked up to a drip. We were told she had a 50-50 chance and they would give us a call in the morning. Obviously none of us slept very well but I knew as soon as I woke up this morning that she hadn't made it - I could just feel it and the phone call which followed shortly after proved me right. As I went around the garden this morning I found more evidence of mouldy bread scattered across the lawn, along with a plastic bread bag. Something so simple, yet so deadly. Tui had always been into everything and this time her foraging - and her appetite - proved to be her downfall. The boys went off to school this morning totally unperturbed; convinced that Tui will be 100% fine in the vets' capable hands. I wish they were right; I would happily pay all the after-hours fees and anything else that was needed if it would bring her back. So in around two hours' time I am going to have to tell the boys that their beloved, chaotic bundle has gone to doggy heaven. No more barging the bedroom door open every morning to leap on the bed with wet feet and a cold nose in our faces. No more noisy bumpity-bumps down the stairs. No more floppy-eared companions insisting on sharing the toilet cubicle. No more snoring under my desk as I work, or whining for a piece of my toast, or chewed-up toys and hats. Most of all, no scruffy black form huddled up at the bottom of Ali's bed every night. Our beautiful source of immense love and laughter, taken from us with a few lousy pieces of bread. It goes without saying that I am absolutely dreading having to tell them.

The week leading up to the last 24 hours has been pretty quiet, hence the lack of blogs. Sunday was Ali's 9th birthday and the pool table was a real hit, which was just as well as Noel and I were up until well after midnight trying to sneak the darn thing in without being noticed. We had originally planned for us all to go up to Auckland to see the All Blacks play the Wallabies but once the pool table idea came along we found that not only was it a much cheaper option but also a much more fortunate one, as the weather was diabolical that night and we would have got soaked to the skin. So we saved a considerable amount by opting to stay home and watch the game from the comfort of our nice warm lounge instead. An added bonus was the game turned out to be actually quite boring and uneventful - although the results were good *cheeky grin*! This week I also started keeping my receipts, so I could see more clearly what I was spending my money on and how much of it was on non-essentials. After carefully stashing them away for almost a week, it appears I can no longer find them but I DO know that I spent under $100 for the week and the only 'naughty' items I bought were two packets of bubble gum for the boys, so that wasn't a bad effort. I did find that keeping my receipts made me think a lot more carefully about leaving things on the shelves, as I didn't want to be faced with the evidence in cold black and white later! So that is a little trick I certainly aim to keep up and hopefully I can hang on to my receipts a little longer this week...

On the more positive side this week, I won a new recipe book in a magazine competition! I was so excited to spot my name as one of the winners, I don't think I've won anything like that before. I have also been keeping up my Pride Challenge and have been pampering myself with all sorts of free goodies courtesy of a friend of mine, who's an Avon consultant. It felt like my birthday browsing the brochures and trying out all the different creams and fragrances! Might need to use a good few of them to cover up my red eyes and blotchy face today though. My brain's really not functioning all that well today, so I think I'll sign off. Here's hoping for brighter blogging next time!

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