Saturday, 30 January 2010

It's been a While so................

Well, when I got up this morning there was a dusting of snow.  Just a dusting, it was.  So little, in fact, I wondered if it might just be a hard frost.  No, snow it turned out to be and it was c-o-l-d..  Now it's lovely sunshine and the snow dust has all gone.  Pity really as we had promised ourselves a trip to the Farmers' Market a few miles away to look at the pinched faces and frozen breath of the stall holders.  The laugh was on us:  the market was LAST Saturday!

I did a Very Brave Thing yesterday:  downloaded Skype.  Technophobia kicked in big time as the mere word "download" scares the pants off me.  "So simple,"  said my sister, airily, many times.  "We can keep in touch even better," said my German friend Heike "And for free! Dead easy."  So, in for a penny in for a pound, and it did indeed turn out to be easy. There was just a little thing right at the start that was puzzling me so I thought I'd ask sis.  "Oh, I don't know," she said, "Our Kate (her daughter) did mine...."  Ha!  so anyway, I just ploughed on.  Having installed it I decided to give Heike a video call just to see if I could.  Well I could see her but she couldn't see me and  I wondered why that was.  "Oh, I don't know," she said (huh?  Deja-vu here!) "I'll get Julius (her son)..........".  Now I'm wondering what it is about being past 50 that causes the brain to go into meltdown at the mention of Technology.  Or why computers decline to co-operate.

Keith is beavering away right this minute redecorating our bedroom.  I would cook him some lunch but I don't want to interrupt or else the new carpet will arrive before he gets done.  I don't know how to tell our poor old Sally that she has to sleep somewhere else when her dad has finished the job.  Unless she can promise me that not one hair of hers will make contact with the carpet.

Which reminds me, speaking of Sally, she had her annual vet check last Tuesday and was declared in good nick for her age.  All the 38 years we've been married we've had dogs.  Only ever one at a time because we never had the space for more.

First there was Shan, a dobermann who only lived to 2 years old.  His rear end became paralysed and he couldn't walk.  In those days, the early 70's, we in this country persisted in the barbaric practise of tail docking where breed standard called for it.  And in the case of dobermanns it did.  That's what the vet believed started Shan's paralysis:  an infection of his spinal cord which had lain dormant since his tail was removed.  We never again had anything but waggy tails in our house.

After Shan came Juggy Singh, a big German Shepherd who came to us complete with heavy metal chain, thick, iron-studded leather collar and green-slimey aluminium bucket to drink from.  A Sikh bloke Keith worked with turned up on our doorstep and gave us the lot saying "You like dog, you have him," before turning on his heel and driving off.  With his half a dozen kids and assorrted grandparents and aunties all living in the same 2-bedroomed house, the only place Juggy had was a much too tiny kennel in the tiny concrete backyard.  I know about the kennel because the ex-dad came back next day and dumped it!  Well, it did for firewood!  What else could we do?  Juggy became a wonderful friend, companiion and beloved protector and died 8 years later.

Sophie was a 7 week old yellow labrador puppy who joined  us on 7th January 1979, my birthday.  Just shows how good Keith is at keepimg secrets:  he had chosen Sophie the previous November when she first came into the world but never mentioned it until he turned up at my office to collect me and said he had "brought a friend to see me too" and produced this tiny, fast-asleep ball of fur from inside his coat.  She was always a silly bundle of laughs.  Her hobby was collecting things.  I would put socks on the radiator to dry on washday and she would take a big sweep along the radiator and run round the garden with a load of socks sprouting from the sides of her mouth.  Unfortunately she decided one day to 'collect' a tee shirt, unbeknown to me.  I saw her straining in the back garden (this is horrible, this) and I could see something just hanging under her tail.(I told you it was horrible) and when I investigated I pulled out (don't say I didn't warn you) not the handkerchief I thought it was but a whole tee shirt.  How on earth she got that lot down we'll never know and what damage it could have done I shudder to think but she was none the worse for it.

Sheppy was another soon-to-be-homeless waif.  Again, it was somebody Keith worked with who owned him (he worked with some funny folk).  Sophie had died not long since and I had said, as you do, that I didn't want any more dogs.  Losing them was too hard.  Keith said "Well we'll just go see this dog....NOT TO BRING IT HOME, no, no, no...."  Famous last words!  We went to where he was about to be chucked out of and there he was - the most gorgeous rough collie (Lassie dog).  His dad was a little guy only about 5'3" whhile his mum was tall and willowy.  She had decided taking this powder puff (her words) out for a walk was not good for his image a\nd she wanted him to have a nice fierce Rottie.  And a tatoo.  But it soon transpired there was another reason:  Sheppy was a killer!  Oh yes  he was!  They had this budgie who was a great friend of the dog's and used to walk along on the floor behind him:  dog moved, budgie moved.  And so it was they had both stopped one day, the budgie close up behind the dog - 'dogging' his footsteps as you might say.  Sheppy took a step backwards and stood on his best friend, squashing him.  Mortified, he picked the budgie up and gently laid him at mum's feet.  By the time this stage of the story was reached I was nearly weeing myself trying not to laugh.  Well that beautiful dog just had to come and live with us.  Of them all he was probably the best behaved dog we ever had.  Terrified of cats and any vehicle with air brakes that go "pshshsht".  Come to think of it, cats do that don't they?

And so to Sally, our jolly geriatric.  She's a Heinz 57 big time and from the strays' home!  But she's arguably the most intelligent of them all.  Sheppy was thick as two short planks when it came to finding things but Sally, blind and deaf though she now is, has a heck of a nose.  If I won't give her a biscuit you'll find her head down, bum up looking under the dresser and reaching with her front paws.  So funny!  At 16 she's still going strong.  Long may she continue.

Gosh I really have rambled on a bit here so I'll go watch telly now.



I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It is always so good to hear from you! I've not tried Skyp but have heard it works well. Good for you on trying it out. I've had lots of dogs over the years and at one time even had 3 in the house. My oldest lived was 22 and she was a bit of a mixture too and dizzy as they come for sure. I loved them all but now sadly have none. I've decided for now it is easier that way. It sounds as though your entire house will have a makeover before your done with it all.
No new snow here, but the old stuff remains as we've been in the deep freeze here.

'On Ya'-ma

Andy said...

There was a dusting of snow where I was last night in York but according to BBC Radio York Scarborough and Filey were badly hit with up to eight inches (of snow!)and black ice.


Joan said...

Well don trying something new. You are lucky to have managed to get hubby up and running on your bedroom. Once this tennis is finish and forgot the Winter Olympic games maybe I can get mine to do something lol.Cold and sunny up here today Sunday watching Andy Murray over the top of my lappy. Hope he wins.

Jan said...

Ireally enjoyed your ramble this morning ,what a great sese of humour you have ,Im still trying to believe what I read about the tee shirt ooo err Jan xx

Jasper said...

Hiya Angie,

Glad to find that you're still blogging! We LOVED to hear about all those lovely dogs - how lucky they were to find a home with you and the K-man! What a great entry! Jasper especially liked the T-shirt story. He has been told not to "get any ideas"...!

We just typed a really long message to you and then accidentally deleted it and couldn't undo that. Noooo!!!

But fear not the Skype - we downloaded it when bro and sis-in-law lived in New Zealand, so we could have webchats with them (we first heard new baby Ewan's gurgles via Skype!). We used the vast, stinking dungheap that was BT Connect before that, but it crashed constantly. Skype was always reliable and is a trustworthy outfit.

Keep smiling sweetest!

Big love to you, Sal, and Keith
xxxxxxxxxxxx R & Jasper xxxxxxxxxxx

Kath said...

Theres been no snow here Angie thank goodness,but a very very hard frost this morning (Sunday) Brrr.Iv'e used skype to my Son in USA.Well done on the
download,downloading is so easy when you get used to doing it.I'm just about to do some more decorating again for the spring,I hope Keith soon gets a rest LOL!!!No rest for me i'm afraid i'm an addict for decorating.The T'Shirt story is unbelievable LOL!!Take Care God Bless Kath xx

Marie said...

No snow here Angie babie!! (Lots of frost though!) I am just as glad as I have had a full on day of work. The worst is over now though. Tomorrow should be back to normal! I hate when people call me on skype. It always sounds so echoey and blekkie. I seem to get a delay and it plays havoc with my hearing! I'd rather fork out the dough and spend 10 minutes having a decent I can hear it all conversation, than have my brother call me and talk for 45 minutes and not be able to make out much at all of what he is saying! I am impressed though with your tecchi savie!! I would love to call you on Tuesday night. is that ok?? xxoo love and hugs!

Marie said...

Wrong again, I meant the second one. The one you got from the Indian fella. Love that name!

Marie said...

Ok, I'll stop now. I promise. ♥ you!

StitchinByTheLake said...

I loved hearing about your pets Angie. We don't have a pet now but I hope after our next mission trip to get a dog. We last had a cat, Jackson, who was a large gray one (a Maine Coon) with long hair. Never again a long-haired anything! blessings, marlene

joolzmac said...

Hi Angie

We are more a cat family but I do liked dogs. My girls have always wanted a puppy but I know who would end up feeding and tending to it - ME! Our one little cat, Bonnie, is easy care and come and goes as she pleases. Loved reading your story of all those dogs in your life,

Cheers - Joolz

Grammy Staffy said...

My you have had a lovely assortment of four legged friends. We too are dog people. We have had quite an assortment through the years too. Sally is amazing to still be going strong at 16. We had one dog live to be 15 but that was the oldest we've had. Our Heidi is going on 11. So far she is doing fine. I hope she continues to be healthy for several more years. We are so attached to her as I am sure you re with Sally.

I hope that you are doing well. I send hugs.Lura

Sybil said...

Hi Angie, I have had such a good laugh reading your stories about the dogs in your life...They are such wonderful companions. I have had three dashhounds 1 a smoth red colour. 2 wire haired one red and Dee my present one is brindle. He is called Dee....for daft ! delightful, delicious, dog !!he is just 8 so hope he is around for a long time to come. inbetween dashound two we had the most delightful yorkie called Tomas..I think I lost my heart to him and was devastated when he had to be put to sleep whilst I was on holiday...we all love our animals and long may we do so.
Love Sybil xx

gwynbright said...

Boggins, the sister has just read all about the dogs. That was quite a remenice - how do you spell that - having lived through the good times and the bad with the dogs with you (remembering that awful day when Sophie died). Long live Sally!!

Blessings each day said...

Loved every word of it, Angie, you tell a great tale about great "tails". Even though it's so painful to lose them, the love is worth it all!

blessings and hugs,