Monday, September 26, 2011

Fairy Mushrooms

In a post earlier this month I inserted a rather lovely photo of a toadstool, which to me epitomises autumn.  Since then I've seen nothing but colourful mushrooms, fungus and toadstools wherever I go.  Not once have I stopped to consider the potential danger at large.  It's not as if I will take leave of my senses and suddenly take a nibble.  However, I forget that I have a new life companion, to whom these things are all new and interesting.  And the best way to explore this world inevitably involves his mouth.

And so I'm afraid to report that HHH appears to have consumed something he shouldn't have.  Last week on our daily foray around the university campus near our house, Horatio was seen munching something in the grass.  Nothing new there, except there were mushrooms growing directly adjacent.  By the time we got home, he was not himself.  Lethargic.  Sleepy.  And most definitely not the little devil he usually is at that time of day.

Over the course of the evening things didn't improve and by bedtime we were sure something was definitely amiss.  We carried him into his bed and hoped he'd be better by the morning.  Not so.  I now know where the saying 'sick as a dog' comes from.  Boy did he look rough the next morning... see photo below.

I made the mistake of googling 'I think my dog has eaten mushrooms' and gave myself a real fright.  We hot footed it down to the vets trying not to display the real horror we were feeling.  The vet gave him a good examination, checked all his vitals and concluded that he may have eaten something but at this stage we'd just have to wait it out.  He had a slightly elevated temperature for which he got an injection and I was to observe him for the next 24 hours.

No fear though, there is a happy ending.  HHH has recovered and is back to tormenting / loving us.  I'm still not 100% sure what he ate and if it was the cause but it has served as a timely warning.  This time of year is lovely but four-legged friends should be watched carefully!!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Jumping through hoops

And so the dreaded day of the party trick arrived.... Many thanks to Bouncing Bertie for raising awareness of our plight and to all who provided suggestions.  After much deliberation we went for the old jump through hoop trick.  Quite ironic I thought given that HHH normally has me jumping through them.

The evening didn't have the most auspicious start.  I got home from work late so we didn't have time for our full normal walk which aims to tire someone out.  This is generally a prerequisite for a quieter puppy class.  Well, at least for the first 20 minutes.  There must be 15 dogs or more attending the class from Mac the mad boxer to fiesty Daisy the collie/chihauhau.  Lynn the Dog Lady and her trust team of assistants have, over the past two months, done a tremendous job training the unruly mob, advising us owners and providing some much needed encouragement, when all hope had been lost.  Becky, our particular trainer has been brilliant in the face of much adversary from Horatio.

I digress.  The trick.  Well, dog number one performed a dance.  And I mean a real dance, like you see at Crufts.  All that was missing was the top hat and tails.  Classic case of the class swot.  Thankfully we didn't have to follow directly in those paw prints.  Our turn did however finally come.  Now, I admit we could have prepared more but my theory was, that if we practised too much, Horatio would get bored.  In short we winged it.  Boldly we marched out into the middle of the hall.  I produced the world's tastiest treat and had Horatio sit for me.  He can do this, however the world's tastiest treat was a mistake.  He didn't want to wait for the treat.  In short, we did finally sit long enough for me to shuffle backwards, holding the hoop and the treat, and Horatio came jumping though it!!  Much applause and great relief.   We have done better but could have been a lot worse.  Puppy class is an unforgiving environment and I think we got extra points for inventiveness and bringing in a prop.

To my amazement we passed the course and even received a congratulatory rosette!  Tony, the shih tzu won the class cup for most improvement - what a dark horse he was, keeping good behaviour up his sleeve til the last night.  We've been invited back for the level 2 course, which aims to consolidate the learning from level 1 and introduce some agility.  We're off to the Isle of Arran first for a week's holiday and then we'll consider our options...

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Autumn's a coming

Horatio and I went for a walk/run in the Pentlands today (it's my new sport since full running is proving too tiring). The upside of this new sport is that you notice much more around you. We discovered a fairy toadstool. Maybe one day we'll catch a glimpse of the fairy....