Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Me Again

Well it's all change here. We are getting a dog pup called Oscar but not the pup we saw last night. I've been thinking about it all day & his cautiousness, which is due to his lack of socialisation, has put me off. I'd rather a pup who has been raised in a home & used to noises & people rather than a kennel raised pup. As he'll be living in our home & coming on holiday with us in our caravan, we need him to be confident & happy to meet new people and encounter new situations & I just wasn't convinced that this was the dog for us. Annie loved him but to be honest she'll probably love any pup she meets as she's that sort of dog, especially if it's a boy.

I've found another breeder who has 3x 4 month old dog pups & we're going to see them on Saturday morning. I really like the breeder's attitude & think that her views on puppy raising are more in line with my own. These pups are used to the sounds of a house, have been handled every day since they were born & know basic commands already. I also liked that she said she vets the potential buyers & sometimes she rejects people if they turn up wearing unsuitable clothes or seem fussy about dirt on their clothes rather than just keen to sell the pups to the first person who shows an interest.

The other pup has spent his whole life in a kennel & had only spent an hour & a half in the breeders kitchen before we saw him. So he sniffed our hands but that was it until Annie came in & then he PLAYED but didn't interact with us at all. So an Oscar will join us soon but he has to be the right dog for us

However for now enough of dogs as I'm sure the knitters amongst you who aren't dog mad have probably given up on me recently. But before I can mention the fibre I need to update you all on the DD's injury. She is going to be ok & IMO doesn't need an operation She is now walking without crutches & without the splint at home without any problems. She is however wearing her splint at school out & when out just in case she falls & twists it. Her knee is still a bit swollen but she isn't in any pain which is fantastic. She has another hospital appointment next week but I've also made an appointment to see our Doctor tomorrow and hoping that he'll give her the all clear so we can cancel the hospital appointment. She's desperate to get back to training & her coach thinks she'll be back in a few weeks. I've been taking her to watch the antics in the pool once a week so she can catch up on the 'gos & she's so bouncy it's unbelievable.

Regarding the other stress I have had a full apology from the school. In future policy will be changed & all parents WILL be informed if their children have an accident. On another trip which ran the same week parents were informed but the guy who took my DD away took it upon himself 'not to worry us'

But finally back to the fibre. The second pair of socks that I started a few weeks ago are no more. I wasn't happy with the combination of yarn & pattern:

Waterfall rib socks
Waterfall Rib socks in Opal Rainforest Flamingo DK

So they were frogged & I've started another pair. With everything that's gone on recently I've not been doing much knitting but I am finally happy with the pattern I've chosen and a photo will be posted when I've got one to show.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Annie + puppy = success

We all went to meet the puppy this evening & Annie LOVES him.

Oscar: An Airedale Terrier puppy

I've decided to call him Oscar after a comment left by Cassidy the Airedale mentioned a previous ADT of that name & we all loved it. He's lovely & in very good condition but unfortunately isn't used to being inside a house so was a bit 'non-plussed' when we went in.

However when Annie came in he came to life:

Airedale play
Airedales at play!

He'll be joining our family on Friday morning & he'll be meeting the kittens & all the normal noises in a house so he'll have a bit of adjusting to do. I'll at home for 3 days so will be able to supervise contact with the cats etc & he will be crated at night & whilst we're out so he'll have a safe haven of his own. I am fortunate enough to work part time so he won't be left for long when I am at work.

I'll be socialising him to get him used to noises, people & all manner of experience as I want him to be able to cope with all situations. So even though he seemed a bit cautious tonight I'm confident he'll grown up into a relaxed & confident dog. We both noticed that there was no fear in his expression just a total puzzlement.

Annie has been growling at the kittens over the past few days but hopefully once she's got someone to play with she'll revert back to her normal happy self.

Knitting content will resume soon I'm promise.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Thank you

Thanks to everybody who left a comment or sent me an email regarding Blue. I've cried at every single one of them & am still very upset by her loss. Over the past year or so we've said farewell to too many animals or so it seems. However Tia, Monet & even little Vince had all long healthy lives & as they started to age I prepared myself mentally. Even though we were sad to say farewell we did it when it was their time to go. But I feel cheated about Blue as she was only 7 years old & far too young to die. She loved life so much & was such a clever dog. A couple of years ago I couldn't work out why I kept coming home to the kitchen door wide open until we saw her turning the key in the lock one day & open the door!

Annie on the other hand is a bit dense in the nicest possible way. She adored Blue & looked to her as a leader & playmate. She was howling whilst Blue was at the vets but is eating which is more than I expected. She's been trying to persuade the kittens to play with her which hasn't been at all successful. Lyra in particular adores 'her dog' but just doesn't understand Airedale Paw Slaps & Play Bows! Annie is bouncing around trying to get a reaction & the cats just look at her in a very superior way and don't bounce back much to her disgust.

I've found it really hard with just one dog as I wasn't prepared for Blue to go. The last week whilst we were waiting for her results I had a good idea it was terminal but it isn't the same as watching a pet slowly getting older & creakier. DH was at first very opposed to getting another dog citing finances (as prices have risen so much in the past year) but today I received notification of a decent bonus from work that I'd forgotten about so he's relented! I've found a breeder less than an hour away who has a 4 1/2 month old ADT dog puppy available. So DD & I are collecting DH from work tomorrow with Annie & we're all going to meet him. Hopefully the dogs will get along ok & if they do we could have a new recruit by the weekend. We've decided to get a pup rather than an adult via rescue due to the cats & also Annie's health problems. As she has severe von Willebrands Disease we need to ensure that she won't be attacked & I think a puppy is therefore the best way to go. I've decided to get a male this time as I don't want to replace Blue which it might seem like if we got a bitch & he'll give me something to focus on & help with the pain. In time I know that the photos of Blue will help but at the moment I'm still welling up every time I look at them.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Goodbye 'Big Dog'

Blue came to live with us aged approximately 12 weeks having been rescued from an awful 'breeder' by West of England and South Wales Airedale Terrier Rescue. She was full of worms, fleas & more but we got her over that & she was a fantastic dog.

Blue as a puppy
Blue aged 4 months

A year later Annie came to live with us as Blue seemed a bit depressed on her own & also came from the same 'breeder' via rescue:

Blue & Annie
Blue with Annie as a puppy

Blue was known as 'Big Dog' at home as she was extremely tall for an Airedale bitch at 26" at the shoulder, half an inch taller than Annie & also the Alpha dog of the two.

Blue always made us laugh when it was time for to be groomed as she hated being done & would run & hide whilst I did Annie & then collapse to the floor when I went to pick her up to put her on the table. However she loved the end result & would always 'strut' her stuff when out walking trying to convince total strangers to give her a cuddle & head rub:

Airedale Terrier
Blue relaxing after being groomed

We took the dogs all over the country with us on holiday in our caravan & she always enjoyed walking in a new place & finding people to fuss over her:

Blue & Annie
Blue being chased by Annie on Embleton Sands in Northumberland

Blue bouncing on Embleton Sands, Northumberland

Blue on Embleton sands beach at night, Northumberland

Blue & Annie
Blue & Annie on Lake Windermere

Blue & Annie
Annie & Blue at the border of England & Scotland

Blue & Annie in front of Soloman's Temple, Derbyshire

She loved everybody & everything apart from German Shepherds. After being attacked by 6 of them before the age of 3 she'd had enough & was determined that it wasn't going to happen again & would go for them if taunted. We put them both into kennels for a day when we went to Monkey World & when we got them back she was stressed to hell as they had been kenneled opposite a GSD bitch.

Blue & Tia the cat
Blue with Tia

She grew up with cats & was used to Tia using her as a hotwater bottle. The kittens were much loved & she was extremely efficient at keeping their food dishes clean.

Blue enjoying snow
Blue running in snow

Children were particularly adored & I had to teach both dogs the command 'No Kisses' to stop them licking faces & also so that parents didn't think that my two giant terriers were going to hurt their children.

Blue enjoying snow
Blue enjoying the snow

Today whilst walking Annie two different groups of children stopped me to ask where Blue was. She had a lot of fans as she was such a friendly dog & I think I'll be stopped a lot in the next few weeks as I walk with just one dog.

Blue snoozing in the caravan awning

She was suffering from advanced Stomach Cancer which had spread to her spleen so I felt I had to let her go. We were offered the chance to bring her home for two weeks to say good bye but it would have been selfish & I couldn't do it.

Blue: May 2000 - February 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It's Not looking good

for Blue

An ultrasound today found more 'lumps' on her spleen but we're still awaiting the biopsy results.

Monday, February 18, 2008

One hospital visit down,

many more to come....

At this stage the doctor couldn't determine what damage has been done but she thinks it's either the ligaments or cartilage & DD has another appointment in two weeks. Much to her disgust the new splint can be worn over her school trousers so she can still wear full uniform.

Blue is eating & we're still awaiting lab results.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Good vibes needed please

DD is home & very pleased to be back. She had a great time for the first couple of days & enjoyed the company of the other children but since she hurt herself she hasn't enjoyed being away. She's damaged the ligaments on the inside of her left knee & can't put any weight on it without a full leg splint & crutches. She hurt herself on Tuesday morning & spent the rest of the holiday in the hotel or on the coach. Another child cracked his collar bone & was offered a flight home but didn't take it. DD says she wished she'd been given the same offer as she would have loved to have come home.

We spent last night in the local Paediatrics A&E department & she now has an appointment to see the orthopedic specialists tomorrow morning. Hopefully she won't need an operation but whatever they decide to do she's out of action for at least 3 months swimming wise. She was entered for the regional swimming championships next month & had an Open meet at the beginning of April so is totally gutted. After breaking her foot last June it took her a good 6 months to regain her strength & speed & I think it will take the same length of time this time. Her football coach is also gutted as she's out of action for the rest of the season

She hasn't been able to have a shower since Monday night as she was scared of standing unaided in the shower & didn't want to ask the female teachers for help so was very happy last night to have a bath. I washed & dried her hair for her & then tucked her up in her own bed.

This morning she's parked on the sofa,happily chatting to her friends on msn & chuffed that she's got the day off school tomorrow

Blue also came home yesterday but only for two hours
I was told that she could come home as she was eating & hadn't vomited whilst being in vets & she was really happy to see us. Annie has been VERY upset to be her own & had to be held back as Blue came in as we didn't want her to knock her over. However Blue didn't want to eat & then threw up violently so I took her back. She's on so many different medicines that I was advised to keep a chart of times & dosages! Today the vet has told me that she has thrown up twice since I took her back so they're going to keep her in until the test results come back in.

If she does have an ulcerated tumour I've decided I'll have to carefully consider Blue's quality of life as I really don't want to keep her alive & under going loads of operations for our or Annies' sake. I've got to put her first and at the moment she's really suffering
However I am very relieved that she is insured as the bill over £1000 already.

Friday, February 15, 2008

It gets worse

Blue is very ill. She had an endoscopy yesterday after x-rays revealed nothing. She's either got a large stomach ulcer that is threatening to burst or an ulcerated tumor. The vet managed to get some samples of her stomach & they've been sent off for urgent testing. She has been kept in as she is no longer eating & they need to get her strength up to give her a chance of recovery.

As if that weren't enough I'm at home alone, as DH has had to go to an important meeting, nursing recently spayed kittens & a depressed Annie who is missing Blue. I opened the post to find a letter from the insurance company who have covered DD's skiing trip & they mention 'a problem which occurred whilst on holiday' but no mention of what has happened!

A few phone calls later & I've discovered that she twisted her knee whilst skiing on the 3rd of 6 days skiing. She visited outpatients but is ok. She'll be absolutely gutted. Not only has she missed half the skiing but she won't be able to swim or play football for a while either.

I don't ever want to receive a letter like that again.


It's unbelievable isn't it.

The letter read:

"We write to advise that we have been contacted by International Medical Rescue who assisted your daughter recently in connection with a problem which occurred whilst on holiday. To enable us to give this matter consideration on her behalf, please arrange to complete the attached claim form...."

I found out from the insurance company employee that she hurt herself on Tuesday & was taken to an outpatients department. I don't know if she just sprained it mildly & was skiing again the next day or if she has a bad sprain & will be on crutches for the next 6 weeks. The school knew nothing about it & I was told that she's home tomorrow night so find out then!

I'm furious but trying to stay calm until I know exactly what's wrong with her.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

We're free!

Dinner for two with a bottle of red...
Brugge tomorrow!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Catch up

My sock knitting has taken a change of direction recently. Remember my recent announcement regarding my February socks? I adore the yarn, achieved 8 spi with it on 2.25mm needles & am VERY happy with the fabric but unfortunately am not all happy with the pattern I chose. Can anybody see why?

Laburnum sock
Laburnum sock in Purple Koigu KPM

Here's a closer view:

Laburnum sock pattern
Close up of Laburnum sock pattern biasing

Could you put up with that biasing on the leg & foot? I decided that it would bug me forever so now that pics have been taken am going to insert a life line just above the toe increases & rip it back before experimenting with a new pattern.

However DH wasn't available to take photos a few days ago so I dug out the Opal Rainforest 6 ply that DH gave me for Christmas & commenced the massive wind off of yarn to achieve the necessaries for my two at once socks. This time I'm going Cuff Down as I'm loosely teaching The Yarn Yard & others to knit socks two at a time on the Crafty Threads 'n' Yarns Forum and next it'll be toe up!

Waterfall Ribs
K1tbl, P1 rib

After reading a thread of Ravelry I tinked back the 5 rounds of K1, P1 rib I'd done & did it again using 'K1tbl, P1' rib which I much prefer. I think it makes the rib 'pop out'.

For this pair I'm using Waterfall Rib also from Sensational Knitted Socks & here they after one repeat of the pattern:

Waterfall Ribs
Waterfall Ribs in Opal Rainforest Flamingo 6 ply

This pair will be my almost constant companion next week as I'm off work! DD is away on a skiing trip with school & DH & I are making the most of it & having a short holiday.

Normally I'd be really excited but the situation with Blue still isn't resolved. I had to take her back to vets today as she is still throwing up & she's now armed with anti-nausea tablets for the 4 days that they'll be in kennels. The vet is happy for her to go into kennels as is the kennel manager & if she gets worse they'll ring the vets who will send their ambulance to pick her up & bring her back to their hospital. I'd much rather she was in perfect health but can't cancel it as we very rarely get the chance to get away just the two of us (the last time was about 5 years ago & we had three days in Amsterdam). If she hasn't improved by the end of next week she's got to have an Endoscopy to find out what's going on inside her. So I'm keeping everything crossed that she'll improve & make a rapid recovery.

MIL is coming to stay here to look after the cats with her dog Molly. The kittens haven't met any other dogs yet & will get a shock as she's a very bouncy little thing. She won't hurt them but she's likely to try & entice them into playing fetch with her ball which I don't think will go down too well.

black & white Ginny
Worried Ginny

The kittens are used to our big gentle Airedales who wag their tails & sniff their bottoms.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Sick dog

Poor Blue is ill.

After a series of blood tests it's suspected that she has developed an intolerance to her food so she is on a bland invalid food.

Lyra is convinced that she'd be fine if only she'd join in with a game of 'patty paws'!

Friday, February 01, 2008

February socks

I've just started a new pair from stash:

Koigu KPM
Koigu sock yarn

The yarn was a present from my friend CL when we both took part in the Hot Socks Swap & has been waiting for a beautiful pattern to do it justice & I think I've found it.....