The fortnight that was

Firstly I am pleased to report Wiley is back to his normal happy, fun loving and playful self. I am so relieved. I didn’t realise how incredibly stressed I was until he was well on the road to recovery. I have started to reintroduce his normal food so fingers crossed his digestive system copes.

Here is a little summary of what else has been happening in the last couple of weeks.

Easter

Wiley and I had a lovely Easter break. We spent some quality time with my family, heading over to my sisters for some delicious food, great company and scrumptious dark chocolate. Wiley loved his Easter toy and treats. I often wonder what Wiley thinks of these special occasions, he certainly seems to enjoy them as much as the rest of the family.

Our walk and talk catch ups with friends were lovely, plus it was good to walk off some of the dark chocolate.  Overall we had a great few days

House Sale

The agent has had an Open House every weekend for the last four weekends. Each time we have had at least a couple of people come through for a look but so far no offers. I am getting quicker at getting the place ready for inspections. This week we might have a mid week evening open house as well as a Saturday one. The agent is confident my place will sell but said it might take a while.

Talks

The big news is that the Taxi talks are back on again. I will be going in whenever they have a class, which is most weeks. The content has been tweaked a little. I had a great meeting with one of my lovely colleague from Community Education in Sydney. We worked through new power point presentations for both the Bus and taxi talks. It was great having her support and assistance.

I also had a bus talk on Friday, the new presentation seemed to go down well. There are a couple of interesting talks and events coming up that I am looking forward to.

Dog Sitting

Last weekend Wiley and I had an enjoyable couple of days staying at my parents. (Well until Wiley ate something he shouldn’t have and became ill) Wiley and the wee dog seem to getting on better than they used to. It is funny when they try to play together as the size difference makes things rather awkward. Tug of war is especially one sided so I join in to help the wee one out.

I took advantage of having some extra space and gave Wiley a bath, not sure he enjoyed it but he was a good boy and let me do what I needed to without making a fuss.

Today Wiley and I enjoyed a lovely morning walk, he is now crashed out while I catch up on some bill paying and other admin tasks. This afternoon we have a lunch date then I think it will be a quiet afternoon before another busy week next week.

Here is a picture of Wiley and the wee dog taken last weekend.

Wiley and a wee friend

Wiley and a wee friend

An unwell Wiley

It has been a difficult week as my beautiful boy has been quite unwell.

It started last Sunday, We had just come back from spending the weekend at Mum and Dad’s looking after their wee dog.  My friend was driving us home and she commented that Wiley seemed much quieter than usual. We had gone for a 10Km walk around Yerrabi Ponds earlier that  day so I thought he was just tired – I was wrong!

About an hour after we got home Wiley started to whine and ran to the top of the stairs, I quickly put a lead on him and took him outside. He ran to the closest bush area and went to the toilet. It was obvious he had gastro. From then on we were heading out, or rather rushing outside every hour or two.

He had had an upset stomach before so I did my usual treatment of withholding food. He continued to need to go out every few hours during the night. I had to sleep fully clothed – well I didn’t really get any sleep as I was too worried about missing Wiley’s signal he needed to go out.

The next morning he was quieter than normal but not going to the toilet as often. We headed off to the office and everyone noticed he was off colour. Because he was so flat I made an appointment to see the vet early Tuesday morning. He had an upset tummy before but never seemed unwell. My biggest comfort was that he was still wanting to eat.

By the time we visited the vet on Tuesday he was much happier, I had reintroduce food (boiled rice and chicken) into his diet. I thought he was on the mend but figured it couldn’t hurt to have the vet give him the once over. She said he seemed ok, gut sounds were normal, as was his temperature. She suspected he had eaten something he shouldn’t whilst foraging around mum and dads garden. She gave him a rectal exam and said just to keep up with his bland rice and chicken diet and keep an eye on him. We left the surgery and headed off to work again.

Fortunately My Dad was very kindly driving me everywhere I needed to go so I didn’t have to use public transport or go anywhere in public with Wiley. I also didn’t want him to work when he wasn’t feeling well, so I went back to using my cane.

Things started to go downhill  once I got back from work Tuesday afternoon. Wiley was still keen to eat but was back to being very lithargic and he was going to the toilet even more frequently than  before. Tuesday night I got absolutely no sleep.

I called the vet Wednesday morning and we headed back in. This time they took some blood for tests and gave me some medication. His temperature etc was still normal, the vet said he was still clinically presenting as a dog who had eaten something he shouldn’t but the blood tests would rule out other causes.

As well as giving him the medication I had to keep up with the chicken and rice diet. It took about another six or so hours but he finally started to show signs he was feeling better. He was interest in his toys and wanted to play.Previously all he wanted to do was sleep.

By Thursday morning he was obviously improving. He had gone nearly all night without needing to go out – thank goodness as I was beginning to become very sleep-deprived. The vet called after lunch on Thursday to say his blood test results were normal, they were still waiting for the pancreas test results.

We had another good night last night, and he is pretty much back to his normal self. He was even able to do a little work today.

I hate it when Wiley is sick or unhappy in any way. I wish I could take all his pain and discomfort away.  He was very sweet when he was sick, he wanted to stay very close to me, it was nice to think that perhaps being close gave him some comfort.

So all in all it has been a long and stressful week – I am just so thankful for my wonderful and supportive parents, friends and colleagues. I would have been lost without them.

(I will do a catch up post on other things we have been doing over the weekend)

Bus talk and doggy massage

Yesterday Wiley and I went out to give the first bus talk of 2015. I hadn’t done one for a couple of months so it was great getting back into the groove. It was a reasonably small class, with friendly students. At the end of the class Wiley got to have a lovely play and cuddle with one of his favourite trainers.

Things got even better for Wiley today as he enjoyed his first doggy massage. A friend is doing a canine massage course and needs some willing subjects before she starts her own business. Massage for dogs has the same benefits as it does for people -it relaxes,   improves circulation, can identify sore spots, remove lactic acid, reduce stress and from the way Wiley got into I’d say if feels pretty good too!

She said Wiley was in great condition, his back legs were a little tight so next session she is going to work on releasing the tension a little more. We had a chat about the stairs and she thought that might be contributing to his tense back leg muscles. It seems my plan to sell and relocate to a single story house is a good one.

Wiley’s hips, shoulders and neck were all loose and she said she could tell he was well hydrated as his skin was very flexible. He has been sleeping very soundly since she left, that might also be because we had a nice long walk this morning.

Wiley’s vet visit

Great news, Wiley is in tip top health. The vet checked his weight, heart, ears, eyes, temperature, and joints. She said he was in excellent health, an ideal weight and has a beautiful shinny coat. He was 26 kilos (in harness) which is similar to his weight six months ago.

He had his kernel cough vaccination which was given up the nose, he didn’t seem to like it but was very well behaved. He did enjoy the treat the vet gave him afterwards. She also trimmed his dew claws for me, they weren’t overly long but as I find trimming them a bit tricky I ask the vet to do it whenever we go in for a check up.

It is always a relief leaving the vet knowing everything is OK. It is also reassuring being told to keep doing exactly what I have been as it obviosly works for Wiley.

Bon-voyage brunch

This morning Wiley and I headed out to ‘Cherryripe’ at Watson shops to join my family for brunch. It was to wish my niece and sister bon-voyage as they will soon be heading overseas for study and a holiday.

It was very exciting listening to all their plans – want they want to do in Paris, Rome, Venice, Florence and London. As well as traversing Europe they will get to meet up with some family members while they are in England. That last bit made me a little jealous as I’d love to catch up with everyone.

Unfortunately i don’t have the funds to plan an overseas trip just yet, I also wouldn’t want to take Wiley on a long plane ride to the other side of the world. Oh well one day!

As I harnessed up Wiley for the trip to the cafe I realised it has been almost a week since he has done any guiding work. That made me smile as I know I have enjoyed my holiday and I am sure he has also appreciated a decent break.

It is incredibly humid today, we had a storm roll through and I think there might be another one on the way. Unfortunately it hasn’t really cooled things off. I am already counting down the days until autumn.

Wiley is off to the vet tomorrow. It is time for his six monthly check-up and his annual kennel cough vaccination. He seems pretty healthy and happy to me but it is always reassuring to get a professionals opinion.

Making good use of our fans

It is hot today, not as hot as some other states but still warm enough to be uncomfortable if we spend too long outside. Canberra is fortunate as it cools down most nights so early morning walks are still enjoyable but by 7:30AM there is some bite to the sun.

I am keeping our wee walks reasonably short and making sure Wiley stays on the grass verge so he doesn’t walk on hot pavements. So far this summer he hasn’t needed to wear his booties or cooling gear but that might change when we head back to work and we are traveling more during the day.

Balancing the well-being and comfort of my dog with work commitments is a challenge and it’s why summer is my least favourite season. At least the office is air-conditioned and I have made sure all our summer talks will be inside – no standing out in the sun for us.

Another tactic to survive summer is to get a lift from my wonderful parents or use taxis on hot days so we get door to door transport. It is much quicker than catching buses. For example I can get to the office in Deakin in around 20 minutes in a car, whereas it takes almost an hour and half on the bus.

Wiley and I are loving our new fans. I have put Wiley’s bed under the one in the lounge. Lying there with a frozen kong makes him a very happy boy.  The fan in the bedroom is even better – it means we can get to sleep before the cool change comes through. I am not nearly as sleep deprived as I was last year.

At least we are already 1/3 of the way through summer, only two months to go!

It’s starting to get hot around here

Wiley and I have had another interesting week. It started on Monday when we made our way out to Fyshwick for Taxi Training only to be told it has been cancelled until further notice. In some ways it is good news as it temporairly frees up my Mondays so I can focus on various other projects.

Tuesday was our one non work day, we spent it running errands and I finally had some time to catch up on domestic chores.

Wednesday I attended another fall prevention talk plus an interagency meeting. It was great to hear what other vision impaired/blind organisation offer in the way of services.

Thursday was an office day, working with my much better half, the other Jo, on a long term project. We got a good start figuring out priorities and a timeline for what we want to achieve and when we want to achieve it by. Wiley loved Thursday as there were a couple of people in the office, plus some deliveries so he had lots of pats. I have worked out that my first job when I arrive is to check out all the bins and put any with tempting rubbish on a bench out of Wiley’s reach. Some things you learn from experience!

Friday we headed back to the office, this time I worked with our regional manager on another project. It was quieter in the office so Wiley spent most of the time snoozing. He was still tired by the time we got home as we had to catch lots of buses and it was a warm day. I put his cooling bandana on which helped to keep him comfortable, it wasn’t quite hot enough for his cooling jacket. I also took a mat with me to prevent him from having to lie down on warm or hot concrete. I have a feeling it is going to be a long summer. I expect Wiley will be needing all his sumer gear including his boots.

Because it’s so hot we have been leaving for our morning walk before 5:30AM. We can get a two hour bush walk before it gets uncomfortable.

The weekend was a social one, with birthday brunches, walks with friends and their dogs and my nephews family gathering for his 21st – where have the last 20 odd years gone?

On my mind at this moment is our big adventure next week. Wiley and I will be flying together for the first time. I am pretty confident everything will be fine but I am feeling a little nervous. I have all the paperwork and other equipment needed to board a flight set aside, it would be awful to forget something important. Wish us luck!