Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Wiggle - Day 196

Yesterday we had a trip over to Llanelli in Wales to visit Fi who runs the rescue where Poppy and Dolly came from. We met up with my friend Sarah and as we were leaving my car at the services, Wiggle and Sir H rode in the back with Flora and Bran.

Fi took in 8 Labradors before Christmas, two adults and 6 pups. All 6 pups - 2 yellow and 4 chocolate came in with very bad mange and are being treated while Katie, the adult girl turned out to be pregnant and the pups due any day very soon.

Wiggle and Sir H had not been to the Barn before but both had a very good time. Wiggle said hello to all the other dogs while Sir H found himself a comfy bed and was soon joined by two of the pups! For one who can be so grumpy, he seemed very happy being a grandfather figure to the little monsters and let them climb over him before they settled and slept.

Here's one of the pups, when they first arrived:














Thankfully, since being in Fi's care, the pups are all getting the treatment they need before they go off to their new homes.

Unfortunately, on the way home Sarah's car broke down and we ended up having to wait by the side of the motorway, west of Cardiff, for the recovery lorry to come and save us. The boys must have wondered how the car was moving, once it was up on the lorry, as we were in the cab of the recovery lorry! After a stop at the services to collect my car, we were home much later than planned but it was lovely to catch up with Fi and get some choccie Lab cuddles.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Wiggle - Day 194

It's been bitterly cold here again today so I wrapped up warm and took the boys off to Coate Water to meet up with Cheryl. She'd only brought Ella today as Lizzie had been a bit poorly so she and HenryNo were staying home.

Ella and my boys had a good run around though and as soon as she sensed water, Ella was off to get wet. Wiggle took a little longer to find the lake but once he found it, he was straight in after his tennis ball.










Sir H plodded into the water to wallow for a while, as he does.










Wiggle was still swimming around after his ball, while Ella skipped around at the edge of the lake.










Wiggle took the long way round, coming out of the water but as usual, was just happy running around!











Back on dry land, Wiggle was still running











While Sir H was taking things at a slower pace













Ella found something interesting to sniff but Wiggle was too busy with his tennis ball










Ella, keeping watch














Wiggle, wanting me to throw the ball, yet again.












We had a really lovely morning, despite the cold and the boys are both worn out, still in their fleece jumpers, sleeping off their mornings activities.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Wiggle - Day 193

Wiggle and Sir H and I have had a very cold walk up on the Downs this afternoon. It was so cold that I didn't take my camera as I didn't want to have to take my hands out of my gloves!

As usual, Wiggle did lots and lots of running, chasing after his tennis ball on a rope. Sir H even ran for a brief moment, but then again, it was going downhill which could have given the illusion of "Sir H at Speed". We met lots of other dogs and one chocolate Labrador who was so carried away running around with Wiggle that she lost her humans, but after I pointed her in the right direction, she soon caught them up.

This evening Wiggle has continued to work his way through the toy basket. If he keeps on flinging his toys around, he will have very few left as the flingable toys end up being removed!

Tomorrow we are meeting up with my friend Cheryl and her dogs Ella, Lizzie and HenryNo. Regular readers of Wiggle's blog will remember that we've walked with Cheryl and her dogs before. I shall brave the cold and take the camera.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Wiggle - Day 192













Wiggle and Sir H were both worn out after yesterdays long walk, swimming and big dinner! After our walk, I put their fleece jumpers on them to keep them warm while they dried off. As it was so cold here last night, they kept them on for their evening walk but not long after we'd come back, Wiggle was almost out for the count!

I knew he must have been very tired as when I went to bed Wiggle didn't even follow me upstairs and do his usual thing of trying to persuade me that he should be on the bed with me.

This morning I came down to find that Wiggle had been a little sick in the night. I suspect a combination of swallowing some cold water in the lake and a big dinner, but he's fine now.











Just after I'd written this entry, Wiggle decided to show how much better he was feeling - by having a mad few minutes with his teddy!

It all started off quite calmly, Wiggle looking handsome in front of the Christmas tree....














But then he noticed his teddy on the floor in front of him













So, Wiggle took his teddy to his bed for a session of energetic chewing



















Teddy was flung around a bit










And then Wiggle dived on poor teddy!












Once teddy was back in Wiggle's mouth, more chewing











Before some final flinging about














After which point, for the sake of Wiggle's safety and that of all breakable objects, teddy was removed to a safe hiding place!

Friday, 26 December 2008

Wiggle - Day 191

The boys had a lovely day yesterday - Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, an afternoon nap, Wiggle played with his presents and then a walk in the evening.

Today its been a lovely bright but cold day. We went over to the Cotswold Water park for our walk and the boys both had a fab time. Wiggle, tennis ball in mouth, did plenty of running and fetching while Sir H was happy to wallow in the water! When he wasn't in the water, Sir H found lots of terribly interesting smells to be sniffed.



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Thursday, 25 December 2008

Wiggle - Christmas Day

Merry Christmas!!

Wiggle and Sir H are having a fab day. We all had a lie-in this morning and after the boys opened their Secret Santa parcels, we headed off to the Downs for a walk. Wiggle did plenty of running while Sir H pottered around at his own pace.

The boys have opened their own Christmas presents from me and their friends. Now their presents are opened, there's only a few left for me under the tree!

I've no idea what previous years have been like for Wiggle at Christmas but he's very interested in everything thats going on in the kitchen! We'll be having Christmas dinner later - turkey and the full works. I've prepared enough of everything for the boys to have their own Christmas dinner and we have crackers too.

Here's some photo's from the boys present opening





































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Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Wiggle - Day 189

Yesterday I met some friends for lunch and took the boys with me. They waited in the car and on the way back we stopped for a lovely walk at Maude Heath. It seemed a fitting thing to do as it was one of Guinness's favourite walking places so it was nice to walk with my boys and enjoy the peace and quiet.

As usual, there was no one else there, well, apart from the cows! Sir H pottered about, sniffing the grass but Wiggle stayed on the long lead as he was showing rather an interest in the cows.

We had a quiet evening, with Wiggle getting plenty of cuddles. Wiggle often lays upside down on the sofa which is fine until he wriggles and I have to cling on to him so he doesn't fall off head first.











After some of his usual wriggling, he eventually decided to adopt a more normal position












I'm not sure whether Wiggle realises that the presents under the tree are mostly for him but he's been good and not touched them. I can't wait til tomorrow when he can open his presents!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Remembering.....

Today is a special but sad day for me. It's the anniversary of the day I had to say goodbye to a very special boy, Guinness, my first rescue Labrador.












Guinness was the best first dog of my own I could have wished for. He was 9 when I adopted him from the RSPCA after he'd been given up due to his owners marriage break-up. Guinness was a gentleman of a dog - well behaved, loved everyone and my best friend for 6 years. After a short illness, Guinness and I said our final goodbye on the 23rd December 2005.

When Guinness had started to get old and slow down, I looked for another dog to join us and found Poppy in 2004. She had been used as a breeding bitch in Wales and had been given up to rescue once she was no longer producing enough puppies to be kept.













Poppy had never lived in a house before and to start off, the world was a scary place for her. She gained confidence from Guinness and learned that life could be good and she didn't need to be scared any more. Poppy was kind and gentle and soon became my choccie shadow.

After Poppy came to live with us, I got involved with LRSE&C and the following year, although not really looking for another dog, I head about Jake. He was a 9 year old Black Labrador who was blind and had been in kennels for 3 months. He'd previously been rehomed but given up again due to his owners ill-health and despite being promoted on rescue forums, no one came forward to offer him a home.














The day in March 2005 when I met Jake I fell in love straight away - he was a happy, waggy boy and the day I met him was the day he came home. Jake soon became known as Bumpy due to his habit of bumping into everything, but being blind didn't stop him living his life to the full. Bumpy had to have an eye removed due to acute glaucoma but being the brave boy he was, he recovered from the operation quickly and was once again bumping around all over the place.














After Guinness passed away, for a while it was just Poppy and Bumpy but then I started fostering for LRSE&C.

Different foster dogs came and went but then in September 2006 Poppy was diagnosed with a heart condition. This meant that she was at the vets regularly for scans and then fluid drains as her heart wasn't working properly.

While Holly, one of my fosters was here, LRSE&C were asked to take on a 14 year old Yellow Labrador who was to become homeless. Connie was very wobbly, only had one eye but needed a retirement home for her last few months.

Connie was a character - a batty old thing but she seemed glad to have a comfy bed and company for a while, sharing with Bumpy. With them both only having one eye each, they were a good match!









Also in June 2007, a friend told me that there was another choccie girl in Wales, with the same rescue Poppy had been at and that she had come from the same 'breeder'. I put off meeting this girl, worrying too much about Poppy to consider bringing another dog into our home.

A month later, in July, I gave in and took Poppy to Wales to meet this girl. Poppy knew her already - the choccie girl who needed a home was Dolly and she was Poppy's daughter.















Dolly was more confident than Poppy had been and soon settled into life here. For a while the house seemed very full with 4 dogs! Poppy was happy to be reunited with her daughter and would happily curl up on the sofa with Dolly.

Sadly, in August Poppy's poorly heart couldn't cope any more and after the vets had done everything they could, we had to say goodbye. I was heartbroken that she'd only had 3 years living a normal life but through adopting her, in a round about way she had led me to Dolly.

A month later, Connie's time had come. Her hips had given up on her and I had to make the decision to let her go with dignity.

For a while, it was just Bumpy, Dolly and I. I had planned to take them both to France this year so started to get their pet passports organised. After the rabies vaccination they both had to have blood tests but Bumpy failed his and had to go back a month later. During this checkup a lump was found in his shoulder joint.

Bumpy went in for surgery to remove the lump and came home again, seemingly recovering well.














My worst fears were realised though when the results came back - cancer. The vets were confident that the whole of the mass had been removed and Bumpy seemed to be back to full health and was my happy, bumping boy. With Dolly, we went over to the Isle of Wight on the ferry to visit my parents who were there on holiday. It was a surprise for my mum as it was mothers day, but Dolly and Bumpy went on the top deck of the ferry and then for a walk on the beach.






















Bumpy had not long celebrated his 3rd homecoming day when the cancer had come back. Although I'd not been looking, a certain grey faced older boy caught my eye when I saw him on the LRSE&C database....













It was Henry. Or Sir H, as he was to become. He bore a resemblance to Guinness and knowing that if anything should happen to Bumpy, Dolly wouldn't be happy on her own, on the 18th April I took Dolly to meet him. Henry came home that day but sadly just a few days later, Bumpy took a turn for the worse.

Bumpy had been to see an oncologist and had started chemo-therapy but the following weekend suddenly became very ill. He spent the Sunday in the vets and I was able to bring him home in the evening, giving him his steroid injections. I slept down here with him that night but by the morning, I knew his body just couldn't take any more and on Monday 21st April had to make the decision to let him be at peace. Bumpy was such a brave boy with a huge heart, to see the cancer taking him away from me broke my heart.

I thought everything was ok with my furry friends until Dolly started to have breathing problems. Initially the vet thought it was Laryngeal Paralysis but x-rays showed a huge mass in her chest. Dolly went through scans, x-rays, CT scans and many tests but we never found out exactly what the mass was. It was obstructing her airway but for a while, medication did reduce the size of the tumour and she was able to lead a near normal life.














Until 20th June, it was just Dolly and Sir H here. Obviously you all know about Wiggle's arrival - there wouldn't be a Wiggle the Dog blog otherwise!

The arrival of Wiggle gave Dolly some extra fun in her life - someone to chase a tennis ball with and to cuddle on the sofa. Sir H had been rather standoffish since the day he arrived so having Wiggle was good for Dolly and very quickly they formed a special bond.











After all the test that could be done had been done, Dolly went for surgery to remove the lump, but sadly died at home the day after she came home. Wiggle seemed as heartbroken as me. After I'd come back from taking Dolly to the vets, Wiggle took himself outside and sat with his head down.

So here we are today, remembering my wonderful Guinness, the reason I have Wiggle here and Sir H and all the ones that have gone before them. The reason I got involved with helping Labrador Rescue South East & Central. This time last year I had no idea that I wouldn't have Dolly and Bumpy but I am so very grateful that I have Sir H, the grumpy old man and Wiggle, who is recovering from his years of neglect.....