Monday, 27 October 2008

Monday 14 April 2008


Ah, sweet, oft-neglected blog, how much I have to bark to you. Alas, misfortune seems to be trailing the every move of my partner of late. I really don't think 2008 is destined to be her year.

Firstly, she had the 'flu. Then, the ill-timed dalliance with BC, for which I have still not completely forgiven the machinations of fate. Then there was her emergency dash to hospital, in fear of her life and looking like the Elephant Man, followed by several days on a drip and in inexpressible pain. Now, she has a severe head cold and sounds like Marge Simpson on dope. Her head aches, it hurts to cough, she has muscular pain and the regular nose-blowing has occasioned a weakness in her left nostril. Every morning for the past three days, a blood vessel in the side of her nose has given way and blood has, quite literally, streamed forth in several riverlets.

I have been interested to study this process and note that my partner's blood is somewhat lighter than mine. I'm not sure why this should be - perhaps mine is more pure. Anyway, I have been nobly doing my Florence Nightingdog bit, and administering what aid I can to my poor beleagured partner, but I admit that I grow weary of such constant misfortune. As if all this wasn't enough, I have now been informed that we canot afford a holiday this year. Bah! And I was hoping for a fortnight on Dartmoor this summer. We ARE going to Wales for a week next month - a repeat of last year's family getaway - but we are members of the party rather than taking it as a holiday of our choice. Ho well. At least I am in good health.

The saga of my diseased ear is thankfully drawing to a close. But before I get on to this - what in the name of sweet puppy Cerberus is going on with the weather? Today was a glorious Spring day - the most recent Friday saw thunderstorms (boo!) and hailstones the size of little peas - and this is me last Sunday, writing my name in the snow...
Joined-up writing, though, hee hee...

So, back to the ear. A further draining by the vet was required the day after the initial session, and was just as traumatic. Surgery was pronounced to be necessary. This prognostication was most troubling, and not merely for financial reasons. My partner did not wish to expose me to an operation and all the matters of shaving and anaesthetic that accompanies it. I wasn't too keen either. As it was then the weekend, I was closely watched for two days and my partner noted that my little "mermaid's purse" was slower to refill itself than formerly. At work the following day, my partner decided to surprise me with a little self-medication. She sterilised a pin and took me to the yard. I lay down compliantly and gritted my fangs while she pierced the sac and expressed its load of hot, foul pus. I shrieked and shrieked, but the relief was inexpressible. Almost straight away, the hot, angry throbbing in my ear faded away and the flap has now regained its normal coolness. With paw on wood, I am happy to bark that the infection did not return following this third trauma and all continues well. Phew! I was given a consolatory cuddle and a special biscuit on re-entering the office. Almost as soon as I re-entered the room, I was met by an excited Ewan (canine colleague of limited intelligence, as opposed to engaging nephew of partner).
"Jasper!" he yipped, "Did you HEAR that screaming just now?! It was AMAZING!"
"Yes, it was me." I replied, wiggling my ear at him.
"Oh, wow, really?!" he continued, "Brilliant! But did you hear it?"
I sighed, as he proceeded to explain how he thought it was the triple-nosed Beast of the Woods, whose fangs had fangs of their own and who could kill with a single drop of its drool.... I lay down at my partner's feet and pretended to snore. "Oh right." said Ewan, who promptly lay down and fell into a genuine doze.

Honestly, sometimes Ewan is SO stupid that I just want to take him outside and beat him into a ragged, sodden pulp, but he is just impossible to hate. He has not a shred of malice in him, and I daresay he cannot help whatever is lacking in his head. I'll admit that I was somewhat relieved to see him as, before my partner's hospital episode, I genuinely thought I might have caused Ewan some permanent damage.

I should explain that Ewan and I are encouraged to chase the evil squirrels that regularly plunder the bird-table in the workyard. As soon as one is spotted, Ewan and I are ushered quietly to the door and ready ourselves, like athletes in the starting blocks (we have to do this as the squirrels have learned the sound of the door-lock release. Little blighters). The door is then opened, and Ewan and I hurl ourselves at the receding backsides of the squirrels, yelling our foul battle-cries. Or rather, I do. Ewan dashes out towards the squirrels with me, but breaks off whenever he sees his football and tries to chase that. I have not yet succeeded in capturing one of the tree-rats. They invariably scamper up the wood-store to freedom and then stand in the trees jabbering incomprehensibly and waving their armfuls of plundered booty at me. Curse them.

After one of these excursions, Ewan ambled back from his football to join me as I padded towards the office door.
"I love chasing squirrels." he said, happily, "It's fun." I grunted in reply, slightly put out by my latest near-miss. After a few moment's silence, he piped up again. "Jasper,"
"Yes?"
"What is a squirrel?" I looked at him for a moment. I was feeling a bit cheeky.
"It's a bird."
"Oh, right. Brilliant!" He nodded, sagely, while I just stared at him. Then "Jasper?"
"Ye-es?"
"What is a bird?" I grinned.
"It's a squirrel." I replied. Smiling, and genuinely thinking this might have amused Ewan as well, I gained the door which was opened for me. I stopped and turned, only to see Ewan standing still, his face contorted almost in pain as he tried to comprehend my explanations. His lips moved, forming silent words, and when he starting walking towards the door again, with eyes glazed over, he tripped over his own front paws and fell on his face.
I asked him if he was alright, but he remained incapable of speech for the rest of the afternoon. I felt terribly guilty and made a mental note not to be smart with him again. So you can understand my relief at not having permanently broken him.

Good night.
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