Pupdate

Nov. 18th, 2010 03:16 pm
juliet: My dog Sidney jumping off the bandstand in the park (sidney jumping)
Sidney is back home & perfectly fine, thankfully. I'd like to think that she's learnt some kind of lesson from this experience, but I fear that that is monumentally unlikely :)

The vet nurses all think she's lovely, though, and curiously, she was much more relaxed on returning to the vet today for final blood test (she came home last night) than she has been previously.
juliet: My dog Sidney jumping off the bandstand in the park (sidney jumping)
Did you know that grapes & raisins are toxic to dogs? No, me neither, until Monday around midnight, when we discovered that the 0.5kg of raisins Sidney had stolen earlier in the day might give her renal failure.

So it was ho! for the emergency vet in Streatham (I have taken that taxi ride too many damn times, although this was Sid's first visit), where they admitted her and stuck her on a drip for 48 hrs. She was transferred to our own vet yesterday morning so I got to go and visit her in the afternoon, when she was clearly very perky, if a little stressed at being stuck in a small kennel in a strange place.

All blood tests have come back fine, she's peeing fine, she's eating & not vomiting, and she seems well in herself, so we've been cleared to take her home tonight. (This decision may have been affected slightly by the fact that while they were cleaning her kennel out today she bit through her lead and tried to go for a wander, in classic BORED NOW mode*. Thankfully, if slightly to my surprise, she hasn't tried to chew through the drip.)

Aaaaanyway. She'll be fine. But apparently raisins are (or can be**) toxic to dogs, so there we go.

I have probably been doing other things, but right now they have gone from what passes for my mind. Oh yes, [livejournal.com profile] dogrando & I went to Camber Sands the weekend before last, and it was lovely. Primarily featured were: reading, eating, having the odd beer, walking on the beach.

* She is apparently undertaking a tour of S London supermarkets, having bitten through her lead and followed me into both the local Co-op and the Morrisons in Streatham. She always looks terribly pleased about it as well. "I got bored! So I came to find you! And here you are!" I have now learnt better, yes, at least until we get around to getting a chain lead for her.
** No one knows quite why. The evidence to date is that some dogs have a couple of grapes & go into renal failure; others gromph pounds of the stuff and even without treatment experience only a dodgy tummy for a day or so. Obviously we didn't want to take the risk with Sid, hence the proactive kidney-supporting fluids. It's thought that it *might* be some sort of bacteria or fungus or... something, but it's all a bit of a mystery.
juliet: (australia - kata tjuta)
This is another of those bits-and-pieces updates.

I went to Glastonbury! I really am going to write a proper post about this (possibly when I have sorted the photos out & put them on Flickr) so I will restrict myself here to saying: SUNNY. ALL OF THE SUNSHINE. Awesomeness.

Sidney spent the week of Glastonbury with my parents, where she had a splendid time charging round their local park (far superior to ours, being about 4 times the size and containing a river, in which Sid accidentally went swimming), trying to drink from the sprinkler, and waking up far too early. She then came back and behaved like a total brat for about a week, culminating in dragging down and eating the head of Superted, my teddybear. (I've had him since I was 2, and [personal profile] doop brought him out to Australia for me last year.) I was *seriously* livid and very upset, but I've found a toy hospital who specialise in repairing damaged elderly bears, and for now he's tacked back together and bandaged up while he's on their waiting list. Sid has been behaving much better since. [sigh]

I have had a couple of stories accepted by non-paying venues, which is very pleasing. I will update you all when they come out! Possibly also other good news on this front, but I am waiting to talk about that for now (jinx issues).

I spent this last weekend at an *awesome* workshop on consensus decision-making and facilitation of same, run by Seeds for Change. Inspiring, informative, and bloody knackering. Plus I got to meet some really cool people, and hang out with some whom I'd already met. They're doing an advanced version in Oxford in October, which I'm seriously considering going to.

The Balcony Book meanders onwards (onto month 7 now already!); other sorts of work continue to occur; financial destitution continues to be staved off. I was entertained to read this blog by someone who's given up buying new clothes -- this year I have bought precisely one new clothe (a fair-trade cotton dress, at Glastonbury) and one second-hand clothe (a v nice tunic top thingy). I suppose this probably is partly due to my wish to reduce my carbon footprint ekt ekt (i.e. I continue to endeavour not to buy stuff, in general), but mostly it's just due to financial prudence. Clothes or (e)books? The reading matter has it, every time.
juliet: My dog Sidney jumping off the bandstand in the park (sidney jumping)
Splint came off on Wednesday (a week early due to the physio miscounting, but they said it seems to have healed fine so may as well get on with it). This is VERY PLEASING. It's still a bit achey (especially when I do the painful physio exercises to get the range of motion back), but I can, y'know, move it around and so forth. (Still not v good at holding things, sadly.)

This also means I can CYCLE again, albeit somewhat against advice. (My justification: a) it doesn't hurt, as long as I take it off the bars for potholey bits so it doesn't get jiggled, and the physio said anything that doesn't hurt is fine; b) I'm riding fixed so don't need to brake with that hand, just to balance a bit; c) it says 'sport' is not OK and I do not cycle as a 'sport'; d) yesterday I met someone who broke his leg in 3 places and is still riding fixed in the walking cast, so, um, I am not the least sensible person?). It is *so* good to be back on a bike and not reliant on buses/Tubes/etc, especially as fares are bloody expensive.

I do not think I will be riding long distances just yet, though!

ION: Sidney is currently snoozing under my desk in just the right place for me to warm my toes up on her. Bless.

IOON: the allotment has some weeds in, but happily also some actual veg. Also strawberries.

I am sure I have been doing things other than having a broken thumb and visiting the allotment of late, but apparently I have forgotten all of them. This is what happens when you don't update very often. This weekend I intend to visit the carnival thing that's happening in Southwark Park (no dogs, sadly, so Sid will have to miss out on the dodgems and tango lessons), and go check out the gardens on the barges at Tower Bridge (part of Open Garden Squares Weekend). So I hope it stops raining before then.

ouch

May. 5th, 2010 12:21 pm
juliet: My dog Sidney jumping off the bandstand in the park (sidney jumping)
I have broken my thumb. ouch. Was attempting to remove Sidney from a huge pile of bread scraps some idiot had dumped in the park, and got entangled in her rear legs. Hit the deck with a nasty crunching sound emanating from left thumb. After tea & chocolate failed to resolve the situation, took self to Guy's Minor Injuries Unit (which is seriously ace) where they prodded, xrayed, & then sent me home with a huge temporary cast and a hand clinic appt for tomorrow. (Which is all impressively speedy. I love the NHS!)

ANYWAY. Typing one-handed is a bit of a bitch, frankly, esp if you've been touch-typing since age 8 :/ . shall attempt to limit it & save self for upcoming deadlines. hopefully fairly soon I can stop having to keep it elevated & can at least attempt 9-finger typing.

Round-up

Apr. 23rd, 2010 08:14 am
juliet: My rat Ash, at 6 wks old, climbing up the baby-rat-tank and peering over the edge (ash exploring)

I have been meaning to make an actual post but keep totally failing, so here is a round-up of bits & pieces instead.

Sidney & me at the BP AGM last week. In further PUPDATE news, Sid is doing v well, apart from an unfortunate tendency to wake up at 6am (and when Sidney wakes up...). Ignoring her gets her to settle down until 6.30 but no longer than that. Also she chewed the laces & the Velcro off my bike shoes yesterday. She's getting pretty good at coming when called in the park, though, unless she's found something edible elsewhere (e.g. another person with *better* biscuits). She is, of course, generally utterly adorable. (Currently she is bugging me to go for a walk, but has given up and is killing one of her toys instead.) Another Sidney photo.

I have been ludicrously busy of late -- it's That Time Of Year on both allotment & balcony, & with the latter in particular as I am in the process of writing a book about growing stuff in containers I am having to make sure I don't let things slide this year! Having a bit more time to get down the allotment in the week is making things there seem more in control now, though, which is nice. Also the asparagus has started (v tasty although a slight odd bitterness to it; I have no idea why & the internet is unhelpful), as has the rhubarb.

Been visiting or being visited by lots of people ([livejournal.com profile] lovelybug, some old friends from school, C and [livejournal.com profile] ladyjulian), which has been lovely; and went up to DO RESEARCH (or to BE RESEARCHED ON, rather) by [livejournal.com profile] menthe_reglisse last weekend, which was great fun both in terms of the actual workshop & the sitting around chatting to nice people afterwards. Plus it was a seriously gorgeous day, just right for wandering up through the village and sitting out in the garden & later the pub. This weekend I am off to Bangface, so am hoping the good weather will continue.

Informative Things:

  • Petition to stop Kiana Firouz being deported. She's an Iranian lesbian, who's been refused asylum and now faces being deported to a country where homosexuality is punished by 100 lashes on a first offence and potentially death on a third. Apparently the Home Office believes that it's OK to deport gay and lesbian people in such circumstances, because they can be "discreet". Never mind that, as [livejournal.com profile] ladyjulian in a country where women are strongly expected and may even be forced to marry, "discreet" means at best a loveless marriage and at worst regular rape. Good to see the Home Office looking out for the rights of women and minorities, there. See also this short document from UKLGIG (link from [livejournal.com profile] ladyjulian) which had me raging.
  • LJ has started rewriting outbound links to include its own affiliate codes again. (see also here, which includes how to stop this happening to your links. Or if you want a Dreamwidth invite, let me know.

Right, I must away and finish packing.

juliet: My dog Sidney jumping off the bandstand in the park (sidney jumping)
Pete took some photos of Sidney in the park.

This weekend she has alternated between being really quite good, & being Very Bad Indeed (turfing the contents of the kitchen bin all over the kitchen & hallway). She is v cute throughout, though.
juliet: Part of a Pollock artwork in the Tate (art - pollock)
First up: this poem by Taylor Mali is seriously awesome, and this video of him performing it is even better.

Secondly: Pupdate! Sidney has now mostly got the hang of housetraining (i.e. she is now prepared to go in the square, which was FAR TOO SCARY for a while, & she will ask at least once to go out) except when on her own in the house. She has also got the hang of "opening the recycling boxes, dragging all the recycling out, and shredding it into tiny pieces". The recycling is now outside in the cupboard, although I am unsure what the long-term solution is.

Other things she is very good at include: demolishing a proper bone in sub-15 min; getting things out of a Kong in similarly short order; chasing the crows in the park. Yesterday PetPlanet delivered a squeaky stuffed sheep, which received a Two Paws Up result, and to date has remained both interesting and largely intact for nearly 24 hrs. Long may this continue.

She also jumped the fence around the lake in the park last week, in pursuit of a moorhen. And then, obviously, paid 0 attention to me calling her back. Happily she's still nervous of water, so she just stood on the bank doing her Alert Dog Is Alert pose, while I climbed the fence to hoist her back over. Then she belted off into the children's playground (which is No Dogs Allowed, though there were already two other dogs there which is why she went in), and I got a bit irritable. We are now avoiding that half of the park.

On the more positive side: she's getting v good at sit, down, "leave it", and we're working on stay. And right now she is having a nice snooze under the radiator next to me. Watching her hurtle round the park at speed is fabulous (and the walks are doubtless doing me good too).

In non-dog news: I spent the weekend mostly at the London Free School, which was awesome. I watched several films (was facilitating the movie space on Saturday), including Made In Secret (an anarcha-feminist porn collective! sort of) which I strongly recommend (watch the making-of in the DVD extras to get a different view of it). Sunday I went to one workshop on the experience & politics of the menstrual cycle (fascinating) and another one on feminist self-defence (massively empowering; the facilitator is probably going to do a series of sessions sometime soon, so let me know if you might be interested. Self-identified-women-only.).

Also chatted to many interesting people, helped carry a sofa+occupants through the house to resolve a debate about where the debrief session should take place, played Tag (it was really very cold in that building!), and facilitated the final debrief. It was the talking-to-interesting-people thing that was the best part; the weekend as a whole left me knackered but inspired. Hopefully there will be another one in a few months!
juliet: (tea)
Latest stage in ongoing housetraining attempts with Sidney: me staying up until 3am to take her out every 45 min or so (unsuccessful: she doesn't like going to the toilet when on-lead, & if let off-lead in the square at night she gets wildly distracted & goes sniffing round the rat-holes at the bottom). At that point I was sufficiently stressed that it wasn't worth keeping going, so I slept on the sofa in the living-room instead (until handing over to P at 7am & sleeping for a couple of hrs actually in bed). The good news is, she was clean overnight. The bad news is, I am absolutely knackered & drinking coffee for the second time this week :-/

Did go climbing yesterday, though, which was top fun. Did assorted 4* bouldering problems, and then worked out the first half of a V0, which I was pleased with . (And Sidney was left alone for 3 hrs & seemed fine with this, although she did rip up a bit of abandoned cardboard once she'd finished with her Kong.)
juliet: My rat Holly grooming herself (holly rats)
Does anyone (pref in the London area) have an aging blanket or similar that they don't need any more? I have been observing Sidney's behaviour a) in my room, where the radiator is on, vs b) in the living-room, where the radiator is not on; and have come to the conclusion that she's cold in the living-room. Given that I usually have a blanket over my knees in the living-room, it seems fair enough that she might need one too (she's much thinner-furred than Finlay was). I'd rather reuse than buy a new one, & the only blankets we have right now are ones we actually use ourselves.

ION: no more cheapy rawhide chews until her stomach settles down again. Cleaning puddles of dogsh1t off the hall floor at 6am is not my favourite thing to do.

(I feel I should note for the record am actually doing things with myself other than minding the dog; not that you'd know it right now. I went climbing on Saturday with [livejournal.com profile] uon which was top fun. And have been doing lots of work this morning after [livejournal.com profile] marnameow kindly fed me coffee.
juliet: Grown-up Bramble rat with baby Ash and Rowan rats (ash bramble rowan)

Things we have learnt this week from or about Sidney:

  • She can go through a Pedigree Chum Jumbone chew in 3 minutes flat (I timed her). After which she will evince gastrointestinal distress in the form of *unpleasant smells* for the next several hours.
  • She thinks 7am is the correct time to wake up. If the humans refuse to wake up at this time; well, she is resourceful and self-motivated. She can find ways to amuse herself.
  • Apparently, the Andrex puppy commercials are in fact documentary. Who knew?
  • DM shoelaces are fun to chew off. As are DM tags. Veggie DMs are apparently a lot less interesting (ha, SCORE FOR THE VEGANS).
  • Pigeons, when chased, flap off in a big kerfuffle. Crows, when chased, lift up about 3' and glide grumpily about 3' & then settle back down again.
  • Crows also *remember* you if you chase them, and then they send one of their number to divebomb you when you are trying to evacuate your bowels. (This actually didn't seem to bother her all that much. I was the one getting a bit worried. If it came to fisticuffs, I'd bet on the crow over Sidney.)
  • Chews are not toys. Chews are food. Thus, if you hand over a chew at 11pm (in the hope it will be morning entertainment in place of the DMs) a) it will not still be there in the morning to be entertaining, and b) what goes in the puppy must come out of the puppy again.
  • It is possible to fit a Sidney-sized dog through a surprisingly small gap in the banisters, if the Sidney-sized dog is feeling motivated enough.
  • Smaller dogs make excellent hurdles, if you have failed to decelerate fast enough on your way towards them.
I am bloody knackered atm, I can tell you that. (Woke up twice last night thinking she might need to be taken out; actually took her out once.)

juliet: Grown-up Bramble rat with baby Ash and Rowan rats (ash bramble rowan)
Sidney is settling in beautifully, bless her. Housetraining still a little erratic, but we're getting there. (For now, she is not allowed upstairs, where there is carpet.) She's basically very obliging/keen to Do The Right Thing, as & when she understands what the Right Thing is :) Her table manners are pretty good (i.e. she stands or sits and stares longingly at us, rather than sticking nose-under-elbow) although her human-eating-on-sofa manners aren't quite there yet (stands a bit too close for comfort!).

I let her off-lead in the park yesterday afternoon & this morning, on the grounds that a) she does know her name and her on-lead / in-house recall is good, & b) she was getting relaxed enough to start pelting off on the extending lead, & I was worrying that she might hurt herself when she ran out of lead. (If we want to use it much in future, we'll need to get a harness instead, I think; but being able to let her off-lead when she doesn't need to be on a short lead would be far preferable.) It went very well! Although there were a couple of occasions where calling her over for a treat was unsuccessful: just too focussed on whatever she was sniffing at to hear me. When I got her attention, she came back happily. Hurrah.

More importantly: she runs very, very fast, and she clearly loves just hooning around in circles, although it is EVEN BETTER if she has a thing to run after. She jumped straight over some poor dog this morning: pelted over to say hello & couldn't decelerate quite fast enough, so she bounced over him instead and screeched to a halt.

Sidney: Hi! Who are you? Hello hi hello!
Other dog: Um. Hi?
Sidney: Hello hello hi hello! Are you going to run? C'mon, come and run with me!
Other dog: Um. [looks a little worried]
Me: Hey, Sidney, I think he doesn't want to play.
Sidney: OH WELL fair enough [zooom off towards me]

I am bracing myself for the expected bad behaviour/boundary-pushing in a fortnight or so (lots of rescue dogs go through this once they've settled down a bit & stop being all "HELLO I AM LOVELY WELL-BEHAVED DOG PLEASE LET ME STAY!".
juliet: My rat Ash, at 6 wks old, climbing up the baby-rat-tank and peering over the edge (ash exploring)
[livejournal.com profile] dogrando & I went to Battersea again yesterday, and came home with a dog!

She is an 11-month-old mongrel (bit of lurcher, bit of terrier, bit of a lot of other things) called Sidney (she already knew her name & it suits her well enough so we're keeping it), & there are some photos of her on my Flickr.

She's fairly hyper in a young-dog-type way, but she's also very eager to please, already knows Sit (and is learning quickly that I don't think it counts as a Sit unless you have all four paws on the floor and are being still), and is currently having a snooze on her bed in the corner, so she is *capable* of being calm for a while. She isn't properly housetrained at the moment (although was clean overnight), so we're working on that (I actually think the major problem is that Outside is scarier than Inside so she's a bit too nervous when she's out there; so as she calms down it should get easier. In the meantime, it is Watch Like Hawk And Take Out Every Two Hrs time.). She's a bit overvigilant at noise right now as well, but again, that should calm down over time. And she only whined for about 10 min last night when shut downstairs, which isn't bad going.

She also likes playing the Fetch In The Hallway game, and is enthusiastic about training (because it involves treats!), and she reliably comes when called (because you might have a treat, I suspect, but hey, that'll do).

(Anyone wishing to recommend games-to-play-with-adolescent-dog, do comment; my dog experience is all of slightly older dogs, and while Sugar, the dog I had as a teenager, was up for playing, we mostly played "run around the garden" with her :) ).

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