Growing up too fast!
A poignant post about Dylan, the Welshie puppy. These dogs, all dogs, they change your life.
calamity, chicken keeping, Chickens, counting your blessings, Dogs, dogs mouths, listen to your voice, panicking, sanctuary never giving up, understanding good and bad, warm breezes, Welsh Terriers, Welshies
“Where there is life there is death, and where there is death there is life”.
You have probably guessed that for me everything has a counter balance. Last nightI had a difficult night. Another of our girlies has taken a turn for the worse, and Wiglet, a hunter born and bred, knows it, she smells weakness. Don’t let this butter wouldn’t melt look fool you, she knew that chicken is ill and is weak and so she was driven into a frenzy trying to get in to their enclosure to kill it.
As dusk drew in I called her and gave her the command, and she ignored me, no surprises there! So I went over to get her and shushed her into the house; but as I did so I noticed her rubbing her face. On initial investigation all I could see was blood, and what looked like a split from her mouth to her nose. I panicked and ran round a kitchen looking for something to wash her face, then I got a grip and bathed her face with clean kitchen roll and could see that there was no split, but she could not close her mouth and her teeth appeared to be out of alignment. I checked all her teeth and her tongue and could see nothing and I thought ‘Oh my God she has broken her jaw. At this point she could close her mouth because I had manipulated her jaw but she was still rubbing her face and whining, and she kept going to the water bowl to drink and then walking away. It was clear she could not lap up the water.
I grabbed a syringe and squirted water into her mouth, but most came back out, whilst I frantically searched broken or dislocated jaws in dogs; simultaneously videoing her and sending it to my friend. That was it we were both searching the internet then for anything we could find whilst she ate a chew, the cat food, and chicken and rice! But still she could not drink.
The plan was to take her to the vet first thing, and I took the syringe to bed with me and her and Harley pup, in the hope that I could get some water down her throat. It was pitiful to see when she walked up to the water bowl and stuck her paw in, and walked away.
So I searched a different search and asked ‘why won’t my dog drink?’ Up came various reasons, one of which was that dogs have very deep roofs on their mouths and things can get stuck, thereby preventing the tongue from working as it should and making it impossible to drink. That was it, she sat so quietly whilst I ran my finger along the roof of her mouth and found this embedded in the roof of her mouth width ways right at the edge of her throat.
I promised her I would make it right and I did, I pulled that bastard right out, and Wiglet promptly drank half a bowl of water. We went the the vet today for safekeeping, and her mouth has already healed and the vet confirmed she is one tough little bugger.
So as I sit here this evening, in a slight breeze, and warm evening sunshine, and glass of wine in hand I count my blessings, for all that surrounds me and with the thought that if I had left it through the night she could have choked to death, thank God I listened to that voice in my head, that said ‘Check again.’
And I count my blessings for this
Sadly we think we will have to Re-home the chickens we have, it is driving our princess too mad, I don’t think the sick chicken will make it meaning there will be only two girlies and Claude, but we have to know that they will not go in the pot, we could not just send them away to be killed. I do think our chicken keeping days are numbered.
Where there is good there is bad and where there is bad there is good…
I cannot believe that it has been two weeks since I blogged! Life has just seemed to take over!
My dear friend took all of my stock of ‘handmade with love in our barn in France’ wooden hearts, moons and much more, back to England to promote at an artisan market. I spent two days painting and embellishing this promotional board for her to use, and then sod’s law stepped in and the courier company did not deliver it in time!
But such is life and the stall looked stunning anyway and has generated a lot of visits to our Etsy shop petiteFrenchfancies.We are blessed to have such food friends who help us, and I always count my blessings.
As part of promoting a shop, and raising my media profile, because I WILL get that book published, I have twitter, Instagram, and PinInterest accounts, and spend quite a bit of time posting to these sites, but they do work and so it must be done. It was no surprise to me that the stars of the show at the Artisan Market were the moons because I have a moon board on PinInterest that has just gone berserk averaging up to thirty pins a day!
This has inspired me to develop that particular part of the range and branch out into moons and hares, and I love it…
Also Spring has kicked in and the clematis, and hydrangea needed feeding and rearranging quickly, and our pots needed to be fed and prepped for the summer. I plan to have a blaze of blory in my pots this year.
Adding to that we are still frantically trying to clear our garden of the trees that were felled in February, just so we can mow our grass and stop any ticks getting to our much loved animals, especially these two…
The grass has got so long around the tree branches that they are literally becoming embedded and that will have to be our focus for the next week in between working and the two bank holidays that are in France!
So bank holidays mean vide grenier’s where the French bring out all their old treasures,and often all their old merde! And sell them. This is the time I am in my element, searching for pretty little French things to stock my shop, only last week I found these beautiful and rare finds…..
I want to keep the shelf, vintage from the 1940’s but hubby has put his foot down and said it has to go into the shop. He is right of course, we have been without a kitchen roof for three years, so we have to focus now that life has sent good people our way.
But now they have been added to my long list of things to do, as they have to be put onto the shop, with photos to be taken, and settings to be made!
Sadly we also lost two of the girlies over the past two weeks, despite adding calcium to their diet, and rubbing their bellies because we thought they were egg bound they passed away. We could not kill them or eat them and we have had to have a funeral pyre for them so we raised a glass one evening this week to say goodbye as we sat by the fire bin they were in. Now Claude only has three girls in his life, where this time last year he had six.
Like I always say, the only constant in life is change….
So speaking of change Tilly did not return. Her bed still lies empty, and there is a big hole in our hearts.
Last weekend a strange thing happened, TIlly had a small toy bird, that when touched, or tossed in the air would tweet, it sounded just like a bird. It was up on her bed, and I had forgotten about it, but last Sunday, on a wet afternoon, it started to tweet, as if something was playing with it. For two hours it drove Wiglet the Welsh to distraction; perhaps it was Tilly’s revenge for all the times she had chased her! And then it stopped. There was a strong sense that our beautiful little cat was with us, in spirit. On the Monday it started again, and I looked up at the bed, with tears in my eyes, and said how much I loved her, and thanked her for coming to say goodbye. The bird stopped tweeting, and for me, she was gone. But not for Rich, he still hoped; and so on Monday of this week, as he was in the kitchen making the tea, I heard him say “Oh my God!” He came running in to get his shoes on, saying Tilly was on the windowsill crying to come in. I flew outside, frantically cslling her, but she was not there. Rich swore he had seen her, I believe he had, she had come to say goodbye, to tell him to let her go.
So yesterday as I was working on PinInterest this picture came up on my feed, it was as if to say Tilly is with Snowy our Westie Dude, and he is looking after her
i have to believe what I tell others, who lose their beloved pets, if Tilly could tell me this is what she would say….
And yes I do have tears in my eyes.
Have a lovely Sunday everyone whatever time it is for you in your timezone, treasure every moment…
I have thought about writing this post, because it may make things final, which I don’t want them to be. I have tears in my eyes as I type this, so forgive any typos I cannot see the screen well.
We bought this little bundle of fur home just under six years ago. So so tiny but the toughest of all of our five cats. Daisy, our black and white cat had been bullied by our rag doll cat Diddies ever since we had bought her home six months previously. It was so bad that I had to carry her everywhere with me (they are good friends now!) Then along came Tilly. I had been warned by the person who was trying to home her that she was the naughtiest of the litter, and when we bought this little bundle home we put her on the floor and she literally ran at Diddies screaming, she looked like a devil banshee all mouth and ears; and Diddies turned and ran. Daisy was watching her and marveled at her courage and confidence and from then on they became inseparable; our Black Hand Gang, and Daisy was bullied no more!
She was not viscous just didn’t want to be handled by children, and she loved cuddles and would lay on my lap most nights being stroked and shouting at me to stroke her some more. Always the most vocal of our cats she would sound as if she was shouting Oh! or Yeah! at you as you stroked her, when you asked her a leading question she would say “yeah”. She was so naughty I caught her hanging from my dress on the washing line as if it was a swing! She was a prolific hunter.
Always one to find an additional home she decided to adopt our friends and neighbours Jo and Mike, and would saunter into their home on a whim and just look at them and shout as if to say “What are you doing in my house.” If their door was shut she would sit at the window and shout at them until they let her in.
When we walked in the door with fish and chips (a common Friday night occurrence) she would smell them from wherever she was and be in the door in minutes to share our fish with her; if you dared to not give her a bit after you had some she would put her paw on your hand to stop you having any more until she had got hers! Jo and Mike loved her so much they asked us to leave her with them when we moved to France; but we couldn’t, she was our baby.
Sadly we lost Milly our fluffball the year after Tilly joined our house so when it came to putting the cats into the cattery we had only four. The man at the cattery fell in love with the ‘Black Hand Gang’, they made him smile every day when he let them out for a play in the run. So much so he let them out for longer.
By this time we had adopted Harley and he and Tilly rubbed along together okay, he is a terrier after all so he did chase her sometimes but never did anything other than make her run. She soon learnt to turn around and front him, making her tail big, but still looking tine, but Harley knew she meant it and would just run past her.
When we moved to France Tilly was in her element, and would spend hours at the edge of the pond of the house we had rented longing to catch a fish; and she did!! She came running across the lawn with this huge fish in her mouth to show us what she had caught, the fish was bigger than her because she always stayed tiny, she had been the runt of the litter, with the most personality.
I remember one morning very early, I was sitting in the sunshine with my cup of tea and over the lawn she came with a mouse in her mouth; when I looked at her and said “I don’t want it!” she looked at me with disgust as if to say “And I caught you breakfast as well, you ungrateful cow!” and spat the mouse out on the lawn.
But Tilly being Tilly she did wander and would sometimes not return for a couple of days. Last year she disappeared a number of times and one time she did not come back for six days; Rich found her running down the drive of the Chateau that is down our lane, where children go for holidays with their schools. She was clearly being spoilt by the kids and probably the staff because she still looked like a kitten, but she still came home after Rich called her.
But the problems started when we adopted Wiglet! She is from hunting stock and decided that Tilly, being the smallest, was prey and she would not leave her. I wrote back in 2015 how our Christmas day was ruined because she nearly killed Tilly who then ran along the open shelving we had then smashing everything in her wake along the way. We bought cupboards after that!
After that Tilly had her camp on top of our fridge, and we have carried her in when she has called us for the past two and a half years; but over the past few months she has wanted to be with her mummy and daddy and wanted to be part of the family. We tried, we put the Welshies to bed at night and called Tilly in for cuddles. She has always been at home when the weather is wet or cold.
Now we have not seen Tilly for a week., and this has been the longest time, and it has been generally wet and chilly; and I have a bad feeling. I reassure myself that she has reveling in living in France, and going off into the woods and across the fields. I suppose you could say,she has had a wonderful life for a cat, and that she has been luckier than most. I tell myself, we tell ourselves, that she is back in the chateau that has just re-opened its’ doors to holiday makers. I imagine her in front of a radiator or fire, or snuggled on someone’s bed saying “Oh!”
But she loves us you see and I know that she would not be able to not come home for any great length of time and I am afraid.
I tell myself that this is life, better to have had a free life, chasing all the wildlife that is out here, safe in the knowledge that she is loved by us. I know that we all go back to whence we came, and as I said recently ‘change is the only constant there is.’ But it does not stop the tears welling up in my eyes, or me looking at her bed on the fridge, or missing her sitting on the island in the kitchen every time we got chicken out!!! It was her entitlement after all!
So come home Tilly, because we love and miss you. But if you cannot then fly free my baby until we meet again, it has been a fantastic adventure with you.
Animal lover, Animals, Dogs, Dogs crying in pain, Dogs noses, Happiness, Harley, Important things, LIfe, Love of dogs, Reflections, Simple things, Spin Doctor, Welsh Terrier, Welshie, What is important in life
Being a firm believer that life show’s us the way, and that when we don’t listen life pours it over our head in buckets to make us see what we need to see, that has done that to us over the last three weeks.
As you know from previous posts things had been hard, we worried about money, work, bills all the things that you can overcome, that are not insurmountable but at times you let that little spin doctor in your head think they are!!; So we worried just the same and did not remember life’s lessons, that it will all come good in the end if you believe it and, do you know what, it can be worse, get a perspective!!
Therefore, because we did not listen, just after my last post on the 19th of November Harley our beautiful Welsh Terrier became ill. He became so ill that he was, quite literally, screaming in pain one minute and running around the garden the next. But as the days drew on the running around the garden became less and he just lay in his bed. Then one day he went out in the garden and just started to scream in pain. We had no money, and did not know what to do; but we did have a guardian angel who helped us and loves Harley theytold us to “just take him to the vet and do what needs to be done.”
We saw our vet in Ambrieres, who are really mainly agricultural vets, but they were lovely, gave him a thorough examination and found a bite where the skin had become necrotic and at this point he was not crying in pain at all. In fact he just wanted to get the hell out of there. So we were sent away with anti-inflammatory drugs and had to keep our eye on him. At this point our tinky tiny Tilly cat also went missing; so for four days we had a poorly dog and a missing cat and believe me we did not think about money once!! To say we were stressed to the max and crying in the kitchen without the other knowing was probably an understatement!
Our animals are our furry family,we love them all dearly and now our family was starting to fall apart.
On the Saturday Tilly came home and we rejoiced and thought good things are coming; but Harley got worse; and in the end I was putting a hot compress on his neck where the pain seemed to be. I had also looked up on the internet what the possibilities could be and knew it was likely that it was a ruptured disc or meningitis.
On the Monday we were back at the vets because our boy was in a lot of pain now and his neck was solid and hard. The vet again gave a thorough examination and called another vet to arrange an x ray; at that point, and being able to speak some French, I knew that they were discussing a ‘mass’ and were suggesting that they should refer him to what can only be described as a French supervet over an hours drive away. Being the type of girl who needs to know because if I don’t know I cannot deal with it, I looked at the vet and asked do you think it is cancer? He nodded and said it may be. And so it all came flooding back to me, the memories of when I was faced with losing someone I loved, and the reminder that NOW I was faced with something that was not insurmountable and something that I had no control over and that all the worrying over the last few weeks had been just a complete waste of time.
The vet gave Harley a massive dose of painkiller and I took him out whilst Rich paid the very small bill and got the details of the animal hospital. I did not care that I looked like a mad woman as I walked around the town with this beautiful little dog with his tail up, not looking as if there was a thing wrong with him, bawling my eyes out; praying that he would be okay.
We bought him home in a state of shock, Harley is only six years old. We prayed that it was not cancer but the alternatives were equally as scary and that night I lay on the floor with tears falling onto the mat as I told him how much I loved him. We did not want to go to bed, did not want the next day to come because it may mean that we would not have Harley any more. But it is one of the things in life you have to do, face the inevitable, and keep moving forward.
That night as Rich and I lay in bed I just continuously said a mantra “please let Harley get better, I have so much more love to give him.” I just did not stop saying it over and over again.
The next day in the dark of a very cold and damp morning, we left at 7.15am with Harley wrapped in a blanket on my lap and the Wiglet in the back of the Smart car; because she was getting stressed now given her history. I continued with my mantra all the way to Alencon.
When we arrived at this fantastic animal hospital it was a place to behold. The reception was huge and as we waited Wiglet entertained us as she barked at every dog that came in, set them all off barking, tried to get to the cats and got stopped in her tracks by an Airedale – seriously her mouth fell open when this huuuuuuuge dog that looked just like her walked through the door, and if she could have spoken she would have said “What the Fuck!!!” Despite our fear that Little Miss made us all laugh.
When the time came for Harley’s examination the Vet found his problem straight away, and Harley was truly screaming in pain. He had ruptured a disc in his spine near to his skull and needed an MRI and emergency operation to prevent paralysis or death. My poor big husband sobbed after having to hold him while they administered the unaesthetic for the MRI. After speaking to the vet we knew the best thing would be to leave him there but we were both relieved and terrified as we said our goodbyes to him, be was so vulnerable, like Bambi with his front legs buckling because of the amount of drugs he was on. The vet explained that despite all the drugs he was still in an incredible amount of pain and we had no choice, surgery was the only option with a ten per cent risk of death or paralysis.
The next day was so hard and boy did we hit the wine when at 6pm we finally found out the operation had been a success and we could pick him up the next day. I spent over two hours calling and messaging all of the people that were so worried about him.
He is now home with mummy,daddy and Wiglet, has just had his morphine patch removed and is now a frustrated Welshie who wants to chase the cats and doesn’t want to be an invalid any more. Mummy is providing drugs and physio and daddy is carrying him up and down the stairs, much to his disgust.
I always say that I try to live each day and enjoy each day, and that my dogs remind me of this because their lives are so short. Yet I think I had started to forget this and this was a wake up call for us both.
Now people tell us we have been unlucky with what has happened to us since moving here, but have we? I don’t focus on the negatives because here are the good:
We have a love for each other that some people search for all their lives, and for that we are blessed.
We have friends who will help us in our hour of need without question, because our dog would not be here today if it were not for them.
We have the love of good friends, our mini bus has come around and these people have got back on at a time when they need support also.
We have our beautiful animals and never least our beautiful Harley survived.
We are surrounded by beauty all around us.
Money cannot buy any of that.
We are not worrying about money or work any more, it will come good; and our little fledgling business is starting to expand, and work has come our way. Life has given us a slap around the head and told us to buck up because life can ALWAYS get worse!!!
But if you let it, it can get better too. Life taught us to remember what is important.
I love all my animals but there is nothing like a dog’s love, and boy have I been reminded of that over the last few weeks.
I am back now, sorry for my absence, I know you will understand….
The weather here today, grey and overcast, seems to sum up the way we feel; because yesterday one of the girlies died very suddenly. It was a beautiful sunny day and Rich went to let Claude and his girlies out, but the dark brown chicken was just standing on the water dish looking very vacant. She had been fine the day before but Rich knew that there was something wrong because she let him stroke her and looked at him as if she did not know what to do. She did not eat (and she was a girl who liked her food!) and simply lay in the doorway of the shed all day puffed up and asleep.
By the early eveningm when she still had not moved Rich, my gentle, kind and caring husband, went into the pen and gently picked her up to inspect her, there was no sign of anything being wrong, but she just let him look at her, made no sound or attempt to get away. So Rich carried her over to the water butt and gently rubbed her beak with water trying to get her to drink; alas she would not take any water. I will always remember her face though, as he gently rubbed her beak with water and she closed her eyes as it to say that is so nice, thank you for being kind. After that Rich decided to put her to bed and carried her into the shed and put her in her favourite place, but as he put her down she just fell over and he had to pick her up and place her in her nest.
Later as the night drew in he went to shut the chickens up she was laying with another girly, who was clearly trying to warm her up, but to no avail, as she had already died, her eyes were white and her head was lolling over her nest.
When Rich came back into the house we both had tears in our eyes, you see we love all our animals and she had been with us such a short space of time. But, as I said to Rich, she had a good summer with all her sisters and Claudy, in a huge pen, pecking Welshie noses (she was the feisty one!) eating snails, pears and she loved a chip or two!! She was always at the lead investigating grass tufts for insects, and she had the Hilton of chicken houses to live in. She had grass to dig into, and tree trunks to climb and lots to see with 360 views. Her last days were good days.
But today as I pegged my washing out the weather matched the mood of us all, sad and melancholy, another reminder to live every moment because things can change in a heartbeat. The other girls had eaten some food, as had Claudy, but they kept going into the shed to look for her, and were clucking at Rich as if to tell him that something was not right.
As if in memoriam the clematis that are growing by their run, had burst forth with some late flowers, as a tribute to the girl who had left.
We have decided that she will have a funeral pyre (in the burny bin!) as living in the countryside this is the best thing to do, to prevent attracting predators, we do not want to lose any more, and as she says her final farewell we will hold a wake for her in the garden, with a glass of wine.
I know that life is all about death, what goes around comes around, and it is poignant that she died at this time of year, when so many things are dying, and the land is going to sleep, the autumn took her with it. Another reminder that this is the end of another year, who knows where we will be next, any of us? So do me a favour, raise a glass to the girly tonight and wish her well on her way, she may ‘just’ have been a chicken, but she was our chicken and we loved her.
Last week after a hot day of over thirty four degrees, and a lovely cool evening of twenty eight degreesm we sat in the garden, under our walnut tree, looking across the valley. The sun was just setting and the bats that live in our roof had come out to play with a brilliant display of aerobatics right about our heads.
Rich and I have come to love bats (which is a good job as Rich counted sixty eight coming out of our roof the other evening) and the reason for this was a sad story from last year:
As is necessary in France we do have those horrible sticky things for catching flies hanging in our house, Sadly a necessity when you live in the countryside when the temperature is often reaching over thirty degrees. But last year a poor tiny little bat came down our chimney (this was avant log burner and chimney protector) and it got stuck on the horrible, horrible tape. We could not leave it there to suffer, this tiny little creaturem so I donned my gardening gloves and tried, as gently as I could to remove it from the tape whilst it cried piteously. It broke both of our hearts, this often misunderstood creature was so tiny and so pretty and we could not help it as much as we wanted to. We took it outside after removing it from the sticky tape but I am not sure if it survived. Since then, since coming so up close and personal with these creatures we have realised how beautiful they are.
So last night we sat watching these beautiful little creatures with smiles on our faces, and we felt blessed. In we trotted to have our showers and some food, it was so hot we left our windows open, and as I sat there watching the TV, whilst Rich was in the shower, drinking my red wine (of course!) I felt good. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye I saw something swoop, and there it was a swooping bat in the living room (No that is not a new breed of bat!!) For those new to my blog you may want to read my post from last year “The bat, the cat, the ninja and the welshie.” For those followers who have been with me some time you may remember this post!!)
Now much as I love bats, and much as I know, since holding one in my hand, how tiny they are, when they are swooping about your living room with a wingspan of at least five feet (or so it seems) they can seem pretty daunting!!
“Oh shit!!” I said as I calmly got up, ducked about four times and headed for the door. Then I thought “I need to help it, there is a bloody fly sticky strip up in the living room!” And I turned from ducking woman to woman on a mission. I went into the kitchen and found the bat we use to swat the flies and also Rich’s flat cap (much as I love bats I don’t want one caught up in my hair!)
In I went into the living room where pandemonium had ensued: The Welshies were jumping all over the furniture trying to catch the bat and barking their heads off, with me shouting “shut up, shut up” which was frightening the poor bat even more.
God knows what the neighbours opposite were thinking! I had all the lights on so they could see in the window and what they could see was a woman in a flat cap in temperatures of over twenty eight degrees, two dogs jumping all over the sofas barking the woman screaming shut up and ducking every now and again whilst swinging a fly killing bat in her hand!! I am convinced that they look out of their window sometimes and think “Oh! The mad English are at it again!!!” I am sure that they say “Come and look at the English darling, they are having one of their mad turns!
There I was swinging the bat at the bat (there is a pun there somewhere!) trying desperately to stop it flying into the dreaded sticky fly catcher. I had opened our big windows fully …
(Please note this is a before photo, I have not repainted them white!!)
And I proceeded to shush the bat out of the window. But then I got really brave and suddenly thought to myself, “take the hat off you stupid cow, it is only a tiny terrified bat!” So off came the hat, the dogs got chucked out in the garden and I proceeded to say to the bat “Please go out darling, please don’t get stuck on that.” With that Rich came down with a towel round his waste and said “What are you doing?!” The bat answered him as it swooped at his head!! “Oh shit!” he said “Quick I need to get some clothes on!!”
So off he stomped back upstairs, quickly got into some jim jams (pyjames for those from other continents!) and came back to help me rescue the bat. Bless it, it was so tired it kept landing on the beams, and eventually Rich the fearless caught it in a plastic container and let it out, to fly the night skies again. The bat lived to see another day.
As I have said before, all part of living in the country!!
Look out for more to come, and please share and rate this post with the star rating system at the top of the blog, I would really appreciate it.
As you know we have been really busy and the Thursday a couple of weeks ago was no exception. We were working hard with a friend in her garden in over twenty four degree heat, not getting home until 6pm; we returned to the house which looked like the “before” house on a programme where obsessive compulsive cleaners come to clean; the kitchen was full (and I mean full) of rubble, dust everywhere, I could stand it no longer so we set about taking wheelbarrows full of rubble up to our dumping spot (you all have a dumping spot in your garden in France!!)
By 11pm we were finally showered and ready to sit down with a glass of wine, dinner was in the oven, and watch one of our favourite programmes. Given the time, and that our neighbours have kids, Rich went out in his pyjamas (comprising of a pair of shorts and T shirt) to get the dogs in; they were nowhere to be seen in the garden! So he came running back in to get a torch (remember if you choose a house in rural France you need a torch because it is very, very dark!) and collect me in my pyjamas (consisting of a pair of cropped white trousers with white hearts on them and a pink vest top) to help him.
As we got outside we could hear a commotion going on in the ditch just outside our garden. (In rural France there are no main drainage systems unless you are in a town or city so most gardens have ditches at the side for excess water to drain away). Now picture the scene…..
…we had been remiss and not cleared our ditch since living here so it was waist high in nettles, grass, that sticky grass and brambles; and where were our Welshies? In the bloody ditch trying to get a hedgehog!! There was snarling and barking and grunting going on, neither of them had their collars on (because we take their “clothes” off when it is time for bed). So out of the garden we went and Rich, my hero, plunged into the ditch, nettles brambles and ticks and all!! My role was to shine the torch.
Both of our neighbours were still up and we live in a hamlet that is literally a circle, so they were looking at us out of the window and I can imagine the conversation now: “What are they doing now?!”
“They are running about in their ditch”
“What have they got on?”
“I don’t know they have their dogs in their with them! Perhaps it is a cultural thing!”
“Oh ze mad English!!”
In the meantime Rich had managed to get both dogs, who had moved a large log to get out of the garden under the fence, and we brought them in where I made them both sit and told them, in my best stern voice, that they were very very naughty.
Harley looked distraught, but Wiglet looked like she couldn’t give a shit!!
With that I opened the door for one of the cats and out she ran again, with Harley in hot pursuit followed by Rich and I. In my best stern voice I shouted “Do you want me to get cross again?” It worked! They both stopped looked at me and ran in, straight up the stairs to bed. Rich looked at me and said “you frightened me then!!”
So we went in and hit the wine, turned the dinner down and decided to watch the programme on +1!!
What happened to the hedgehog? It snuffled away.
What happened to the ditch, we cleared it out the very next day!!
And when we went to lunch with our neighbours? They thought it had all been hilarious and very entertaining, and they had wondered what the hell we were doing!
All part of the adventure….
When I moved to France , I had this idyllic picture in my head of me sitting in my garden in the sun writing. I would be surrounded by countryside and silence, and today what I imagined has come true; I just felt the urge to write about it.
It it is currently 29 degrees, at 17.05, I am I in my garden, the sky is so blue you really feel as if you could reach out and touch it, there is not a cloud. Rich and I have been laying on our sunbeds watching the baby swifts, that were born in our barn, flying above us, like little tiny spitfires, twisting and turning, diving and swooping catching all the insects in flight.
We we have talked about how we still look at our garden, out across the Chemin to our small field, and can’t believe it’s ours. The cherries are ripe for picking on our trees.
The welshes have been happily playing in the paddling pool, we have a glass of vin rouge, lamb in the oven, and friends who have helped us beyond belief.
Rich just said “this is the life”. He’s right, it is, dreams do come true if you let them.
This is Squiggles (Iona is her offical name but as with all Welshies she will answer to what she wants. Squiggs is her main name.
Some will already know we have a Welshie (Welsh Wire Haired Terrier) called Harley, who we re-homed just over two years ago. We adore him, he is very very handsome and as you can see he loves us lots. Here he is cuddling his dad after he got home from work.
Welshies have strong characters and personalities, can be independent, can put themselves to bed at 8pm without so much as a goodnight, and be known to chase cats. But do they love cuddles and loves.
We were approached to give Squiggles a home by someone who knows us. She is just over 2, but very puppyish, and had to be re-homed due to problems with other dogs in her house. She had already been re-homed once but they could not cope with her, as I said they can be headstrong, and she was given back to the lady that originally bought her. She likes us to sing the tune to “I’m sexy and I know it” especially the part where they sing “wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle yeah.” (think of the Specsavers advert) to her. Although initially when she first came to us (just under 3 weeks ago) I think she thought we were mad because of the way we treat our animals (they are our family) she has now come to realise that she will have many cuddles and loves and as you can see from her picture she loves them now.
To watch her and Harley in the garden, playing tug of war and zoomies around and around the garden is a joy. She is coming round with the cats, and although she was an escapee on the second day of coming to live with us we have bought 100 tent pegs and made the other side of our garden safe. Prior to that the garden looked like Steptoe’s yard with the gates leading to the chemin blocked with a palette, 3 flower pots, the bin, a roll of fence, an old oven dish and a lump of wood. Still the new “Oliver Twist” of the family found a way through! Now we have spent all of Sunday blocking it off she is not interested in going over there now!!! She is also afraid of the dark and at night you can here Harley over the other side of the garden but not her, she sits in the light of the doorway and doesn’t go outside of it.
We cannot believe that we are now a two Welshie family, but wouldn’t change it for the world. There is something about re-homing or rescuing a dog, or any animal, watching their personalities change, and feeling so privileged and, yes, good about yourself when that dog shows that they trust you. There must be something!