And so Dylan invaded France….
…..With five cats, two without teeth!! And two mad Welshies…….
Monday: Get woken up by Wiglet the Welshie barking at the neighbours car that she hears every morning, but, for some reason thinks that they are going to kill us so she has to warn us all and wake us up!!
With no central heating it is essential I pull on socks and slippers, put on fleecy dressing gown and put the heater on in the bedroom. Off I go to make our first cup of tea in the morning. As I enter the living room I ensure that I put the light on, we have shutters so our room is pitch black, and our cats seem to take great delight in murdering as many mice as they can in one night; and there is normally a disemboweled mouse on the floor. I make my way around the dead bodies and into the kitchen to a choir of meowing cats all wanting breakfast – sod the poor mice they are dead after all!!
I put the kettle on first!! Feed the caterwauling cats and then go back in to the late departed mice with my grabber to throw them in the ditch – I am sure something will want to eat them.
I go back into the kitchen to a cacophony of cats calling out for milk and cream. I let the dogs in and feed four of the cats milk and cream (imagine an Iles Flottant) and then have to give it to the Welshies as well.
Peace – all is well with the world, lots of lapping, silence, and I get to have my tea.
Tuesday: Wiglet the alarm clock goes off and I get up – see above for slippers, and attire; I make my way down the stairs, cannot get to the door at the bottom because I have two Welshies, and a black and white fluffy cat standing in the way. I give up and go to the loo instead, where the cat proceeds to scratch at the door and shout at me to get out – sometimes I feel like Gerald Durrel, and his mad family in Corfu!
I come out of the loo open the door, put the light on and think eureka no mice!!! Then I tread on something hard that turns out to be a mouses nose!!! Seriously are they not a delicacy?
Said routine in kitchen goes ahead only this time it is joined by Harley deciding that he wants to eat the cat food, and Wiglet deciding that she wants to growl at him!!
I calm everyone down with the Iles Flottant of milk and cream – aaaaaa peace. I light the gas fire, call the snoring husband and have my first cup of tea. I have been up over half an hour now!!
Wednesday: Wiglet is snoring and does not hear the neighbour – hooray!! But she does hear the cats banging about downstairs about five minutes later than normal and proceeds to hare down the stairs with Harley in hot pursuit. I know that the cats just do it to wind her up for all the times she tries to eat them because they know she will get shouted at!!
Harley then realises that the door is shut as always and comes back to bed. That dog is Bag Puss!!
I get up, put on said attire, lift the blind and say Oh! It is raining how surprising!! Then off I go down the stairs to be greeted by two Welshie arses (and trust me there is nothing better than a Welshie Arse)
And yes! She is on the table, the dog thinks she is a mountain goat!!
I open the door and follow the normal routine of putting the light on and searching the floor. There are no mice, no noses, no entrails, no tails. Eureka!! I go into kitchen put the kettle on feed the caterwalers
It is like a military operation, the one we adopted with no teeth fights with the others (go figure she has no teeth, but she wants to take tham all on!) so I have to pick her up, another wants to eats everyone’s treats that are on top so I run round the kitchen moving the dishes, another is so old, bless her, that she is starting to get dementia and shouts at me even though her food is in front of her, one runs out of the front door with the Welshies, and one is on top of the fridge because one of the Welshies wants to eat her (guess which Welshie!!!)
I go into the living room light the fire, call husband and notice that one of the cats is now prowling around the sofa. ‘Oh no’ I think, please don’t tell me we have a live mouse. I let the Welshie’s in, sit down with my tea and mayhem ensues. There is a live mouse under the sofa, and now two cats and both of the Weshies are going mad trying to get it. Harley is crying, Wiglet is trying to rip open the back of the sofa, both nearly get electrocuted because they keep knocking a three way extension we have in our plug (French electrics! Don’t get me started!!) The lamp gets knocked off the table, the cat scratches the Welshie who then tries to eat the cat, the chair gets knocked over – another peaceful morning! The cats think fuck it! I am bored now! But,no, not the murderer known as Wiglet the piglet she will not leave it.
So I get dispatched upstairs with a second cup of tea and the two hounds whilst poor husband chases the mouse around the living room, catches it and the mouse lives to see another day. Hooray!!! Trust me we do this often!!
Thursday: I decide to go back to bed to have my tea, with the Welshies in tow. All is well until I get the chews out, then they begin arguing and barking. After calming them down Sophie the Sofa Loaf (the mad one with no teeth- see the cast- ) who is totally away with the fairies comes up the stairs meowing. God knows why, she knows we have two Welshies, she knows that Harley wants to kill her, but no, up she comes meowing to let them know she is on her way. Off the bed they jump in hot pursuit of the cat, my tea gets spilt, and husband goes back downstairs to make another.
Friday: Dog barks – check – socks on – check – Welshie arses at the bottom of the stairs – check – dead mouse in the living room – check – mouses nose in living room – check. All is well with the world!!
Dogs chase mad cat with no teeth – check – mad cat with no teeth still insists on sitting in front of the fire with the Welshies!! Why?!
Saturday: Check, check check, check!! Oh hold on, we appear to have something under the log burner because diddymandod the cat (don’t ask she is female!!) is peering underneath it as if to say come out little thing I won’t hurt you. She then gets bored and the murderess starts. We are in bed having tea but can hear her banging and crashing around, knocking over the coal bucket, all of the fireside tools, and barking as if that will make it come out!! Harley is bored he has come back to bed with us.
Then we hear the snarl and all is quiet. Rich turns to me ‘She got it then!’ Up she comes and goes to sleep in her bed. When Rich goes down for the second cup of tea there is the poor thing, soaking wet from her spit and dead with a broken neck. At least it didn’t suffer!
Sunday: Lets have tea in bed again, and lets shut the door so that the mad cat cannot get in! Let’s just relax. Bang!!! The guns from the hunters go off and the Wiglet is off barking……….
Seriously though do the mice not realise that we have five cats and two Welshies?!!!
Who doesn’t know that when we go to bed the cats get the cards, brandy and cigars out and play poker; and the silly mice are the aperitif!!
And, yes, we are mad, we love animals so much we try to save the mice as well!!! Imagine… I have only told you about the mornings!!!
Barrage, Damms, Frozen pipes, Inspiration, Love, Love of dogs, Nature, Reflections, Sun on the river, Sun on the water, Sunny Winters day, The wonder of nature, Waterfalls, Welshies, Welshies in the river, Winter in France, Winter's day
I have a few posts for you all this week – behind because I didn’t post last week and you will understand why soon.
But I feel compelled to write this one first. The ‘Beast from the East’ is upon us, and over the past five days the temperatures have been in the minus and on one morning we had a very slow supply of water (remember we have the water pipe above ground still so if it freezes!!!!!!!) So every morning we have got up and the first job is to check if we have running water, the second is to be thankful when we have; and be thankful for the lovely warm sunshine that we have also had that has clearly defrosted out pipe.
So after some busy days last week we decided that we would follow the French lead and have a Sunday of rest. The day started well with my husband waking me with a lovely cup of tea that we had in bed; he had lit the log burner to warm the house and raised all of the blinds to let the suns warmth in. I chatted to some friends whilst in bed and after another two cups of tea we got up, cleaned the kitchen (de rigueur when you live in the country) got dressed and out we went. I was determined to enjoy the beautiful cold day that had been given to us.
Hubby had had a ‘reccy’ recently and found a barrage – which is an electric damm, about a five minute drive from where we live and I wanted to go there for a walk. So we put the Welshie’s bra’s on (harnesses) and off we went. The skies were stunningly blue and clear, the wind was cold and crisp, and the sun was warm on your back – giving you the distinct feeling of the battle that was taking place with Spring and Winter.
When w arrived at the barrage we were not disappointed …..
There is a walkway across the barrage and as we walked across to the other side you could feel the power of the water thundering under your feet.
We then walked along the side of the river, where you could see across the river to the the next town from us.
The Welshie’s were in their element, there were so many smells to investigate that they even got there feet wet in the water looking for water voles, and chasing the ducks out of their hidey holes.
To see our beautiful boy braving the freezing water, enjoying himself despite the cold was a blessing after nearly losing him last year. Like I always say, dogs teach us so much. He was having such a wonderful time that we through some rocks into the river and in he went!!!
I just stood and looked around me and thought how blessed I was. I needed no money to experience the jewels that life can offer me, every day. The sun on the water literally took my breath away ..
We decided that we would come back to picnic on the side of the river, whatever the weather, and that we would bring our friends, who are visiting in April, to this place of beauty and tranquility. What a place to sit and be at peace with the world
As we wandered over to a little picnic area that was available we made a mental note that next time we would bring a flask of coffee and watch the world go by.
I just sat there and felt blessed
Not least because I am married to him, and he makes me laugh, every day…
So after a long walk we came home to our warm house (we had left the log burner topped up) got the flames going again and finished a perfect day with some wine and Toad in the Hole (perfect food for a winter’s day.)
When we got up this morning we had no water – after a temperature of -7 last night it was hardly surprising, and whilst I am ever hopeful the sun will defrost our pipe I know we will survive, we prepared for this eventuality. As I always say nothing apart from death or illness is insurmountable, it will all come right in the end.
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 is exactly what happened 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 they told us to “just take him to the vet and do what needs to be done.”
We saw our vet 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 him 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 had been given. 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 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 following 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….