For once my utter laziness has paid off. I was going to cancel Betty’s pet insurance when it came through last year, it was about £250 for the year and we’d never claimed. I was starting to think it was a waste of time. She’s seven, healthy and only goes to the vets for her inoculations which of course aren’t covered by insurance.  But I didn’t get round to it and just kept paying it, as it turns out that was lucky!

And then three weeks ago happened, hence my lack of blogging….

I got up to make Sunday breakfast and for a change she didn’t immediately beat me to the kitchen to shout at me for food.


I went into the lounge to see her, she grudgingly got up, walked 8 steps and then collapsed. Seriously couldn’t get up and was crying. So I called the emergency vet and the nightmare began!


I managed to get her up and into the car – not easy with a large dog who just wants to lie on the floor!  She was seen, pronounced ok (because of course she was FINE by time we got there!), had to pop back the next day for blood test and urine tests.   Did that and they thought she had a UTI, course of antibiotics and she’d be right as rain. At this point I’d spent £350.

Midway through the course of antibiotics we went for a walk and she pee’d on some dry leaves and I glanced at them and realised it was blood!   So back to the vets and they decided that she should be scanned and x-rayed because at this point it could be bladder cancer.

I sobbed, sobbed some more, the whole family was in tears.  We took her on her favourite walk, into the field she adores and all had our photo with her so we have some good memories. Paul managed to get a nice photo of her and me, with me not crying which was an achievement that day!


She was duly shaved (look at that poor cold belly!), anaesthetised and scanned and there was a thickening to the lining of her bladder which could be either bladder cancer or polyps. Now bladder cancer in dogs it turns out is really, really horrible and can metastase very quickly if you disturb it in a biopsy.  So we have been referred to a specialist dog cancer vet at another surgery.  The scanning at my vets was another £550. We’re now at £900 at just one vets.


So we went to the cancer vets and she re-did all the original testing my vets has done so she could double check everything – yes another £550!  Then Betty took a turn for the worse went off her food and developed really, really bad bloody diarrhoea, and they gave her more antibiotics and some special food – I haven’t had the bill for that yet.  All being well tomorrow she goes for her biopsy and we’ll find out how to proceed either with medicine or with surgery. If it’s the cancer then she’ll have chemo and maybe a good 6-12 months, and if it’s the Polyps which I am SO hoping it is then it’ll be surgery to remove them I believe, but I could be wrong?

She’s insured up to £3,000 thank goodness, but I can now see that last £1500 being eaten up very very quickly. I honestly don’t know how you pay for it if you’re not insured? I really, really feel for older people or those on a low wage who need to get their animals treated. I know there are charities that will help, but they are few and far between and I can see now why more sick pets are being dumped.  Such a horrible situation and would certainly drive most people into debt.

Anyway please wish us luck tomorrow and I’ll let you know the outcome.







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The Tragic Bird Accident

**Don’t read ahead if your squeamish**

I’m so mortified by this, but I had to share it as a public service announcement for birds.

So as you know Miss L *loves* to feed the birds in the garden, we’ve got feeders all over the place, all types seed, nuts and fat ball ones – you name it we have it. Last week we stocked up with bird food and filled all the feeders up. One of the fat ball feeders, I moved closer to the house onto our rose bush so we could see the birds feeding from the kitchen window.

All good…or so I thought!

Tuesday morning, I’m standing in the kitchen filling the dishwasher and I look out and see a sparrow with his back to me on the feeder. I think ‘Aww look he’s enjoying those fatballs’. Think nothing more of it…..

Fast forward an hour later I go to make a cup of coffee…the sparrow is still on the feeder in the same place he was an hour before… this point something doesn’t seem to be right with this picture.

So I go outside and the sparrow doesn’t fly off or well even move.

I realise something really horrible has happened….in a Final Destination way the sparrow has put his head through the bars of the feeder and the fat ball had falled on his head, trapped him and he’s gotten stuck and died. OMG! I was in tears, I felt so awful that this had happened, our kindness had killed a poor innocent bird.

Thankfully it was before Miss L came home from school, so I disposed of the body, took the feeder down and put the food on the floor to feed the birds.

Here’s a picture of the feeder, before I throw it away.20120113-162832.jpg

It was the type that had large gaps,  in future I’ll only buy the ones that have tiny squares in them so that way they can’t get their heads in. I don’t know if this was a common accident or if this was some weird freakish one off? But I’m never buying on of these again!



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I should be working *waves to husband via RSS Feed* but I’m having a mini break while I figure out how to do something on the iPhone site.  I’m not really procrastinating – of course not!

But look, my ‘love’ birds are back!  They’re either collar doves or wood pigeons ( I can’t tell the difference!) but every spring and autumn they come back to have their babies in our apple tree. Beautiful aren’t they?

Okay back to work…or maybe a coffee and a sausage sandwich?  😉 Have a great day everyone!

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Smiley Dog

My little rather large black shadow has been even closer at my heels than usual this week. I’m not sure why, but she’s being very cute. So I took advantage of this as she was sitting still for once, I managed to get a decent shot of her. Normally it’s just a back blur running up the garden.  So here is a smiley Friday dog for you all – Have a great weekend!

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3 Today

Betty turns 3 today, and despite the fact that my house is covered in her hair and she eats us out of house and home we love her so much. She can literally cuddle you as she’s so big (and she often does when I’m washing up), and although she’s massive she tries to make herself smaller to fit on the sofa for a nap next to you.  She makes me laugh everyday, and loves us all unconditionally. Happy Birthday B we love you xx

Here’s a video of pretty much how much she owns me 🙂

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Cats & Dogs 2 – The Revenge of Kitty Galore Gala

Miss L and I were invited to the gala opening (which is a premiere with no stars apparently) of Cats & Dogs 2 in London this weekend.  I really enjoyed the first film, Miss L hadn’t seen it and neither of us knew what to expect at a gala opening. Now as desperate as both of us were to walk down the red carpet in a fancy dress, the dress code was smart casual and people were invite to bring their cats and dogs too.

We didn’t bring Betty with us, despite the fact she understands phrases like ‘I need to get a cup of coffee’ (she runs instantly into the kitchen) and ‘Are you coming over here for a cuddle’ (jumps on the sofa and gets her belly out), things like ‘heel’, ‘sit’, ‘stop barking like a loony’ seem to escape her!

However lots of people with well behaved dogs bought theirs with them (although we saw no cats) and the dogs were treated to a grooming session and creche while their owners enjoyed the movie.  The kids also were treated balloon animals and some fabulous looking face painting were available for the kids as well as some cool goodie bags, they were spoilt rotten!

Miss L felt very cool and grown up on the red carpet…..well so did I too – it was loads of fun! There were lots of photographers, who sensibly ignored us and got the guy behind us – no idea who he is but there is a photo below incase any of you know? But Gail Porter (looking fab with her new hair) and her lovely little girl were there, and Ruth Langsford (Eamonn Holmes’s new wife) was sitting in front of us with her friends and kids.

We finally sat down in our seats and saw the movie, we had the bonus of the pre-film Road Runner cartoon which was great (showing my age!). We’ve seen a lot of kids films recently ‘Furry Vengeance’, ‘Toy Story 3’ and a couple of others and while this was no Toy Story and lets face it few films are.

This was a fun kids movie for the summer holidays, Miss L was bouncing in her seat throughout and laughing like a drain – so I always take that as a good sign. The animals in it were amazing – obviously a lot of it was CGI but the animal actors were just brilliant and speaking as someone who can’t get her dog to walk in a lead without dragging me around town. I think animal trainers are just amazing.  I probably wouldn’t bother to see it in 3D unless you are a massive fan, but I would also say that about Toy Story 3 as well I just don’t think it’s worth the extra money. But all in all a big thumbs up from me and Miss L a fun summer movie.

Here’s the trailer if you want to see more.

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{The Gallery} Week 16 – Creatures

Tara at Sticky Fingers is in Florida this week (so jealous! :)) and inspired by visiting Seaworld her subject for The Gallery this week is ‘Creatures’ – over to Tara –

‘And so this week the theme is: Creatures.They don’t have to be exotic like the ones I’ve met today – there is beauty to be had in the bugs in our back garden, the pets in our homes or the animals we encounter in zoos, wildlife parks or in the wild.’

I did think about putting some of my Seaworld photos in but frankly I’m far too in love with the creature that lives with us Betty!!  So you know how some people are baby bores, I am a dog bore – she is just so adorable.  So I’ve also thrown in some video with the pictures so you can have a cute puppy fix.

This is Betty the day we chose her – look how tiny she is in Paul’s hand!

But then she grew and grew, and grew some more until she was a giant dog who thinks she’s still small! Her favourite things in the world are milk first thing in the morning, apples from the garden, belly rubs and lying on or next to me.  Here’s Betty over the last nearly three years.

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RIP Santa

Today was one of those days when I realised my girl is no longer a baby and that she’s a very observant 6 year old. Admittedly I thought I had at least one more Christmas to go.  Here’s what happened this morning over a pair of socks

Miss L ‘Mummy is Santa real or is it Mummy’s and Daddy’s wrapping presents and leaving them in a stocking?’

Me: ‘What do you think sweetie’

Miss L ‘ I think he’s not real and it’s you, did you wrap up my presents with the ‘Ho ho ho’ ribbon?  It was very nice of you’

Me: ‘Ummm yes it is me, who told you?’

Miss L: ‘ No one, I knew it!  I kept seeing him everywhere and you can’t be in more than one place at a time’

Me: ::Speechless::

Miss L: ‘So there’s no such thing as flying Reindeer then either?’

Me: ‘Umm No’

Then she looked all smug like it’d had been bothering her for months and I made her promise not to tell any other children under punishment of death.  All I need is irate parents on my chasing me for ruining their children’s lives.  I of course am traumatised that all my bargaining tools for her good behaviour are gone and she’s strangely fine and happy that it was all made up.

But we’ve not discussed the Toothfairy yet…..

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Dogs and Sofas


I screwed up..

We got Betty when she was 10 weeks old and she was the most adorable little puppy.  So on the first night with us, I popped her on my lap while we were watching TV and she snuggled up.  Paul warned me that it was a mistake, but I was stubborn and ignored him.  How could I not let the cute puppy sleep next to me in the evenings watching TV, after all she only took up a tiny bit of the sofa.

Fast forward 18 months and I have created a massive 75lb, 4 feet long problem.  Betty now takes up pretty much a whole sofa to herself.  And while she’s good about not eating the soft furnishings themselves, the hair, drool and doggy chews she consumes on the sofa is causing a disgusting mess and does mean that I’m having to wash the sofa covers on a regular basis.

But look at the stylish way she does it!

Obviously I’m not admitting this to Paul, but he was right I never should have allowed her up on the furniture.  So what to do?  I’ve a couple of sites which have some good advice about keeping animals off the furniture and training them to do so.

So following that advice, I’ve realised that first off she doesn’t have anywhere in the lounge other than the rug to lie on.  So I’m going to buy her a pad/bed to sleep on and we’re going to have to enforce the command to stay off the sofa and be consistent, which is going to be so hard when she pulls her cute dog face at me

Or I could just buy a massive throw – couldn’t I???

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Hiding a Dog Run

The dog run* is now up and Betty loves having her own home but…….IT”S SO ORANGE AND BIG!

So what to do?

I’m thinking of painting it this pale green

Cuprinol Garden Shades

And then growing some climbers over it and putting lavenders or rosemary around it?  Any ideas what else I can do disguise it?  All ideas welcome!

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