The guilty dog

So I know that dogs don’t really experience a sense of “guilt”. They live in the moment. What’s done is in the past……forgotten…..not related to them. They react to our reaction….tone of voice ….body language.

Now we have 4 dogs and nighttime’s are complex. Maisie the collie likes to sleep on our bed and if the door is closed to her she’ll go to my son instead. Bertie the jrt x chihuahua needs a bed big enough for his ego so he has the spare room all to himself.

Tiny sleeps with my youngest (adult) son because he’s the only one willing to take the chance on a wee bladder accident during the night. ( hers…..he hasn’t had that problem in many years).

Finn (the elderly newfy) sleeps on the rug at the bottom of the stairs. This works well unless Maisie or Bertie need the loo. They then have to bark for someone to move Finn and let them out…..unless it’s an emergency.

Last night we had an emergency. I got up this morning to be greeted with a little runny “present” next to the loo.

Now my whole house was struck down with a pretty nasty tummy bug this past week but I was pretty sure as adults we’d all manage to make it to the toilet…..or at least we’d have managed not to leave the evidence of our failure behind.

Instinctively I said crossly “Who did this?” Looked around and saw Maisie watching me with the typical “guilty dog” look!

“Maisie” I admonished and she hung her head in “shame”.

I cleaned up without another word then said “It’s ok let’s go”

A little shadow emerged from behind Maisie, licked her face apologetically, wagged his tail then charged off happily………and I thought about which dog had refused to leave my side during the course of the bug. Which one had curled up against my tummy under the covers like a little hot water bottle? Which one had I noticed had a gurgly tummy last night ? ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜‚

I shouldnโ€™t happen to a vet

My husband tells me that one day my vet will write his memoirs and I will feature heavily in them.

I’m the owner who asked the vet to examine a tumour on the bottom of my little poodle. All I’ll say is I know why they are called poo-dles and the tumour didn’t need to be biopsies ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ˜ณ

I’m also the client who got her vet to meet me at the surgery for an emergency appointment for a cat with a blocked bladder who couldn’t pass urine. One looked at the vet and the cat flooded the surgery ๐ŸŒŠ

Then there were the visits with Finn the Newfoundland because

“He got the lid of a tin of quality Street and ate them all……papers and all!”

“He opened the fridge door and ate two dozen chocolate brownies”

“He opened the oven door and ate a dozen mince pies that were cooling down”

Or “He got the dogs’ medicine box and ate all Henry’s ( our boxer) beef flavoured heart tablets”

The vet told me not to worry too much about that one…… “They’re vasodilators…….like Viagra…….just don’t bend over in front of him for the next few days”

But not incidents were my fault. What about the time I took the two guinea pigs for a check up? The young vet listened to the heart of the first one and it promptly passed away! He refused to listen to the heart of the second guinea pig ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

Or the time the vet kept ignoring me as she walked back and forwards through the waiting room eventually asking

“Are you being seen to?”

“I’m waiting to see you”

“Do you have an animal out in the car?”

“No it’s on my knee” I said pointing to a very largesse doing leopard tortoise

“OMG I thought that was your handbag!”

This isnโ€™t my body!

I’ve always been tall and slim….well nearly always. Being tall is actually the trick to being slim… can eat more than your small friends and if you put on a couple of lbs it’s spread more thinly over a greater area!

But now I’m in my 50’s there are wobbly rolls appearing and dimply bits!

I know it’s still possible to be slim at 50 plus! I have slim friends but they eat less and exercise more and I haven’t yet accepted that this is the only route to restoring my body to its former glory!

So I tried Skinny Coffee. I mean …..I like coffee and I want to be skinny….perfect!

Slight problem- it’s disgusting. Soooooo I mixed it up with real coffee which made it drinkable. But I can’t drink coffee without a biscuit so I drank more coffee and ate more biscuits ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

A week later I’m not skinny. I am however very agitated and my concentration which previously measured about 3 on a scale of 1-10 is now

The things children say

You know how you always wish you’d written down things your children said but you don’t….because when they’re little you don’t have time to? So I’m going to jot down things my own and those I’ve taught have said as I remember them.

1. “We’ve a new dinner lady and her name is “Grease”. I know because because our teacher said “Everyone put your hands together for “Grease” then Grease wheels the dinner in” – I maybe needed to explain a little more about prayer to this one ๐Ÿค”

2. “My mummy has hair just like you Mrs Anderson….white with a black stripe in the middle”

3. “Teacher I remember now who you look like……Britney Speers” ( I’m only twice her age though ๐Ÿ˜‚ maybe I shouldn’t wear bobby socks and belly tops any more ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜‰)

4. Me “Class I have sad news. You know Mrs T took our little guinea pig to the vet because he wasn’t very well…..sometimes vets can’t make animals better”

Child “You mean he’s dead? Can we have a funeral? What’s for dinner today?”

5. When an 8 year old child is given a homework where he has to write a sentence for each of the list of occupations he was given so he writes “The steeplejack was sick and didn’t go to work that day” ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

6. “Teacher I want to tell you a secret but you mustn’t tell anyone”

Me mentally preparing to jot down word for word in my child protection notebook

“My daddy has Superman pants and he farted in them!” ๐Ÿ˜ณ

7. Me “Don’t worry you just got a little bit of yoghurt on my sleeve ….it will wash off”

3 year old boy -distraught “And will you be able to wear it to school again?” Nods

“Will you wear it with those trousers” Nods

“And will you wear it with your beautiful red, shiny shoes?” What else ๐Ÿ‘ ?

8. Child 1 “My mummy got a new kettle and it’s yellow”

Me to child 2 “Oh I’d love a coloured kettle do you have a coloured kettle too?”

Child 2 “Our kettle is black and white……and mummy didn’t close the gate right and they all got out of the field onto the road” ๐Ÿ„

Holiday tips – I know I should have published earlier!

1. Never wear a bikini on a super-fast water slide-both parts will travel at different speeds

2. Listen carefully to the plans for the day. Platform flip-flops and a big book to read are not essentials for climbing mountains

3. Learn the native language. When American customs ask you to remove all tablets from your hand luggage they want to see your iPad NOT youranti-histamines, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics and painkillers.

4. Learn local customs. In the US security checks “put your hands above your head and make the shape of a diamond” does not mean they want you to look like a teletubby with a carefully-formed diamond shape made with fingers and thumbs on your head.

5. Beware of local animals. Especially dogs. Particularly dogs around airport security belts. Apparently it’s not appropriate to call them over for a treat and you’re not even supposed to have dog treats in your pocket when going from one continent to another.

6. Bikinis again are not recommended for body boarding….You will not look like a Baywatch babe unless you have a figure like a Baywatch babe AND you know what you are doing. You will end up sitting with waves crashing over you trying to retrieve your bottoms and rearrange your top while your body boards sails merrily off into the distance!

7. Wear matching socks going through airport security.

8. Do not place your underwear at the top of your hand luggage – you will probably want to put other items in it once you get through security and underwear has a habit of trying to make a run for it the minute you unzip your luggage so don’t make it easy for it!

9. Make sure you lock the toilet door on an aeroplane no matter how urgent it is and how “they must have seen me go in”!

10. Don’t ever pull those strings “to see what happens” if you’ve been allocated a disabled room…… Definitely don’t do it more than once!

Safe trip, relax, have fun!

Weight for it

This morning I took the bull by the horns…..Or possibly the elephant by the trunk…….I decided to weigh myself for the first time in months! Oh I knew I’d put on weight. I had to go up a dress size ( well jeans) and even they are getting tight on me. I thought I was prepared for anything!

I stepped gingerly onto the scales and the numbers came up. Sigh of relief when I realised they weren’t in stones……A few more minutes of blissful ignorance until I made the conversion.

Then………aagghhhhhhhh……No that can’t be true I’d be going up a bus size not a dress size!

Took off my sketchers and PJs…..They’re very heavy …..Kept on my unicorn socks ( they give me comfort) and tried again.

The numbers dropped by 1 lb ๐Ÿ˜ญ

WAIT! 1 lb!!!!!! I thought I was weighing myself in kilos ๐Ÿ˜‚

Another conversion rate tells the truth……Not great but hey I lost over 10 stone just in doing the conversation so pass me some cake ……I’ll diet tomorrow

Losing your mind and finding yourself

I did lose my mind. I didn’t realise I was losing it. I thought it was right there guiding me. Trouble was it was guiding me in a different direction every five minutes until I couldn’t keep up!

It was like one of those superballs. You’d send it off one direction and with a few giant leaps it was somewhere totally different…..often taking a few casualties along the way!

Eventually ….as with all good things…..and thankfully most bad…..this period of my life came to an end….a fairly abrupt end at that.

The next four years were spent trying to put the shattered pieces back together again. Therapy…..drugs…..drugs…..therapy.

For me mindfulness was the key that finally reached deep inside me and found the tiny shred of my mind that was still well. The little bit that could regenerate and strengthen if given a lot of care.

I don’t sit crossed legged and hum…..but if that works for you then go for it. I try to keep bringing myself back to the here and now if only for a few brief moments at a time. Listening to the birds, smelling the flowers, tasting the ice cream, really feeling the fur of my dogs as I stroke them.

Photography has really helped me. It makes me really stop and think about what I’m seeing, the colour, the texture, the detail.

I love playing around with editing too- using different filters and techniques to distort the reality of what I saw before me. That’s what mental illness does. It distorts reality and my “work” reminds me of this.

So now I’ve decided to try my hand at painting. I’ve never painted- other than walls, fences, cupboards, chairs, tables…..ok I have painted…..but not pictures.

I’ll never be a professional photographer, nor will I be an artist ( all that cutting off ears and starving in attics isn’t really me anyway). But I’ve discovered a peace and a joy that has helped heal my tattered mind. It is finding the beauty in the here and now. Playing with it, distorting it, capturing it either exactly as it is or in how it makes me feel.

So losing my mind wasn’t such a bad thing. In trying yo find it again I found a me I never even knew existed ๐Ÿ˜Š