Saturday, 30 August 2008

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Poorly Bingley

Jane’s holiday began with Bingley giving her a black eye but it’s ended with us both having to nurse him through a nasty case of kennel cough!

We’re not certain where he picked this up, although it seems likely that it was during his last visit to the vet where he met a very exuberant German Shepherd – the only dog he’s been in contact with recently. Certainly the coughing began a couple of days after that visit, but it was only an intermittent bit of throat clearing and it didn’t ring any alarm bells. If I’d realised that he might have kennel cough and if I’d had any inkling of just how unpleasant it is I’d have returned to the vet immediately. But although I’d heard of the condition I was under the impression that it was simply a nasty cough that happened to be infectious. Nobody told me about the massive amounts of mucus or the projectile vomiting!

The cough remained intermittent all week, but on Friday morning it very quickly intensified and he started coughing up white pools of phlegm. By mid morning I was on the phone to the vet and by lunchtime we were back in the surgery. Though I couldn’t believe that he might have kennel cough, the symptoms were clear enough for the vet to ask us to wait outside once we’d arrived at the practice so that she could make sure that the waiting room was clear before bringing him in – this is an incredibly infectious illness.

A brief examination confirmed things and when he started coughing up onto the floor of the consulting room there was no doubt left.

The remedy is fairly simple and a course of strong antibiotics should take care of things. Frustratingly though, because he’s already on medication she couldn’t prescribe any pain killers and poor Bing’s sore throat was going to get even more painful.

By the time we returned home he was coughing non-stop. Although he ate his evening meal ok, and despite the fact that he was clearly exhausted, he couldn’t settle down to sleep. The vet had already warned us that we weren’t likely to get much rest for a couple of nights and she was right: I took the first shift and was up with him all Friday night by which time the vomiting had started (due more, I think, to the exertion of constant coughing than an upset tummy).

However, by around 4am he’d begun to settle down a bit and when Jane appeared at 5.30 she was greeted by a happy (albeit exhausted) looking pup and (I might add) a relieved Rob!

The coughing continued throughout Saturday but with nothing like the intensity of Friday. Giving him bowls of warm water and honey have helped to sooth his throat, but being Bingley he’s very discerning: cheap honey is rejected with disdain and only Tesco’s Finest will do!

Jane stayed with him on Saturday night, but both slept soundly.

Today his energy has begun to return and he’s been trying everything to get us to play with him. We would, but every time he jumps around or picks up the pace he starts to cough, so despite the fact that he’s clearly getting bored he’s going to have to stay quiet for a while longer.

As for me, I’ve once again been exhausted by Bing; and as for Jane – she needs another holiday!

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Frozen peas

Jane's on holiday at the moment, but when I went downstairs on the morning of her first day off I didn't find her sipping a relaxing cup of coffee. Instead she was clutching a small bag of frozen peas to the side of her head! This isn't something I've seen before so I had to ask her what was going on. I've had a bit of an accident, she told me; but a bit of an accident turned out to be a bit of an understatement as she revealed the golf ball sized lump above her left eye. I immediately looked at Bingley who looked back at me with a ‘don't look at me’ look; but he couldn't hide the truth.

Jane had taken him out for an early morning walk along the river, and thinking that no one else would be around had let him off lead. What she hadn't counted on was an early morning jogger, though why someone would want to go out jogging at 6am is beyond me. Innocent jogger comes jogging along and Bingley immediately recognises a kindred spirit in need of warm and enthusiastic greeting. I don't think that the jogger had counted on meeting 38 kilos of canine love and in the process of trying to separate dog and jogger, Bing's head thwacked into Jane's with a resounding bang and with force enough to make her see stars.

I'd say that Jane's accident was a one off if it wasn't for the fact that Bingley had given me a thick lip a couple of days earlier. On that occasion I'd sleepily stumbled downstairs first thing in the morning to be greeted by an energetic Bing who wanted to gimme five. Sadly he misjudged that one and gave me a left hook to my chops instead!

The frozen peas helped the swelling go down but didn’t stop Jane from getting a very impressive black eye, and along with my thick lip it looks like we’ve been fighting. No one would believe that we’ve both been beaten up by a pugilistic pooch.

It’s too late for him to qualify for the Olympics but I’m thinking of buying him some boxing gloves anyway. Actually Jane and I don’t like boxing, so we’re going to channel his boundless energy into athletics instead. I reckon we should be ready for London by 2012!