This is not the blog I was hoping to write ….

Parker, my French Bulldog managed to get out of our front gates Thursday before last.

I blame myself of course, but it was an accident.

I replay that if I had not chosen to wash them, and blow dry them, and then put them on the drive way to have a wee and a what ever else, so that they would stay clean and I could bring them back in to the house to sleep, then this would never have happened.

I kick myself I did not just take them to the groomers.

The gate had been acting a bit “broken” and had been repaired.  But repair guy needed to come back and to the final “gate is not broken.”  He didn’t.

My friend had offered to fix the gate – and I had said “no” because I did not want to be the person who is always having favours done for.  I knew “gate guy” had to just pop along and sort it out.  Would take him 15 minutes maximum,.

We were using a short chain to secure the gate, and you needed to hook the lock on the closest link of the chain to keep the gate firmly closed.

Any way due to a series of happenings, the gate was left wide enough for Parker to get through.

Dexter – my Boston Terrier – is such a skinny arse he can fit through all the security gates.  After dog washing I took a quick shower and I was trying to put warm things on to go and let them in.  I noticed Dexter hanging outside my sliding door gate, and he just had this “funny” look about him.

I was no worried, I just thought he was acting “odd” because he had just had a bath and been subjected to a hair dryer.  And now was being made to stand outside.  I could see the contempt written all over his face.

But there was something else.  Something about his look that made me wonder if Timmy might be down the well.

At that moment, I just got a funny vibe – how many times must Timmy fall down the fucking well?  I shot out the room and called for Parker.  He did not come when I called and I realised the front gate was ajar.

My friend Judith dropped everything and took off at a speed down the road calling for him.  Running in her jammies.  And screaming.

I went to check kids were being watched, got in my car and off I went to search for him.  Our suburb is not very big – we drove around.  The thing that stood out for me was that the neighbourhood dogs were not barking.

It was silence.

If I walk my dogs, each home’s dogs run out to swear and basically make obscene gestures to my dogs.  This is normal.

If my dog was walking around the ‘hood, the dogs would be barking.  They weren’t.

I consoled myself that he had probably walked into someone’s home, parked his bum securely on their couch and was getting the spot behind his right ear tickled in just the way he liked it, and he was snorting in appreciation.

I was concerned.  I was not beside myself with worry.

I firmly believed he was warm and comfortable and that the person who had him would take him to Panorama Veterinary Clinic in the morning, to be scanned.

I reasoned that they did not realise that the Vet was open 24/7 and would do it in the morning.

I managed to cancel my meetings and my interviews for the next day – there was only one I could not cancel.

I was sitting in the meeting and I saw the phone ring and it was Alana (Aidan and Alana had the sire and the dam of Parker’s) – there was a very fuddled few minutes of conversation where I believed that Parker was injured and he was at a vet.  And as I ran with this premise I realised the tone of Alana’s voice did not match the “happiness” of your dog being slight injured and just at the vet.

In my madness I could not hear what she was trying to tell me.  I kept thinking I needed to just pop along to Tygerberg Animal Hospital and fetch him – he was injured.  Not ideal.  But not that bad.  Right?

I just could not hear what she was trying to tell me.

Then the penny dropped.

It was a slow penny, but the drop was earth shattering for me.

I could not continue talking to her.

I had a candidate infront of me, that I needed to finish an interview for.  I tried my best to appear professional, and get it done, say thank you, and then burst into tears as I sat with my head on the table.  I might not be permitted to McDonalds again.

Lori,the breeder called, and I sobbed.  I felt like my little heart had been ripped out of my chest via my cornea.  Lori – remained sane – she said she would meet me at the vet.

I wanted to see Parker one last time.  I wanted to push my face against his fur and breath him in.  For the last time.

I wanted to call him my chunky little monkey and tell him how much I loved him.

I couldn’t.  He was in too bad a condition for me to see him.  Lori suggested I remember him for the way he was and not go through the trauma of seeing him now.

I understand he is “just” a dog.  I get it.  I get that he is not one of my children.  I understand all of that.  But for me he was one of my children.  In his snorty, affectionate manner and his big brown eyes that seemed to just understand me.

Parker was there when Kennith told me we were getting a divorce.  Parker was there when Kennith told me he was moving out.  Parker was there when I realised that Kennith had moved on and was dating.  Like not casual dating but boyfriend and girlfriend dating.

Parker was there to cuddle against me, listen to me sob and rest his big head against my chest.  He didn’t ask me to explain, he was happy to lie against me and when I looked like I was sobbing a bit harder, then he just moved in closer – usually until he was lying on my head or my chest.

In his eyes he knew my pain, and he knew that all I needed was a cuddle, a love and a little bit of snot from his big nose to drip on my hand.  He just knew.

I am bereft and I am still inconsolable.  I try to talk about Parker and then I burst into tears.

I know he is a dog, but he is not “just” a dog – he was Parker, my guy, my chubby chubbs, my guy.

 

{I do want to say thank you to all the people who shared the post about Parker being missing.  People I did not know or have never met made the effort to send me information about where to search and what to look for.

People I have never met phoned vets on my behalf, reposted my “lost dog” onto various pages on Facebook.  I received so many emails of support and encouragement from people, again, who I did not know.  People who understood and understand what it feels like to lose a dog.

I can’t thank everyone —- but if you are reading this, and you are one of those people who just see the distress in others and get involved to try to help, thank you.  No, not just thank you.  But thank YOU!}

 

Parker is gone.  He will not be coming home again.

 

Dexter stealing my heart on day 1

IMG_9069

 

Parker and his dad Yoda — Parker has his tongue sticking out.  Yoda is wondering who needs to pay to get out of this situation.

IMG_0058

 

Parker licking Isabelle to death ….. such a dangerous dog

 

IMG_0232

 

Parker doing what he does best ….. sleeping and snoring …..

 

IMG_0326

 

Dexter and Parker … who said that French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers could not live together ?  Them’s wrong.

 

IMG_0513

 

Advertisements

For the love of Boston Terriers ….

1309_For-the-love-of_web

 

I know this is not a boston terrier blog —- but I do so love my dog, and unfortunately you will need to deal with the painful images of my dog.

I do also realise I post more pictures of my dog than my children ….

Dexter … has truly lost the last shred of dignity he may have once possessed …

Hills Pet Nutrition South Africa is running a lovely competition.

It is an opportunity to brag a bit with your dog or cat, and if you have a patient dog that does not mind embarrassing himself totally you can whack some pink bunny ears on him – and he really bedazzles the room.

Hills Pet Nutrition will donate a meal to a needy animal for each photograph entered, each LIKE on their Facebook Page, and every vote cast.  Easy as that.

You vote, a doggie or a cat gets food.

Please pop along to : https://www.facebook.com/HillsPetZA?sk=app_433967206653426&app_data=%7bAction%3a+%27View%27%2c+Data%3a+30901%7d

If that does not work search for Dexter or Boston Terrier.  Or vote for one of the other dogs/cats on the page.

This is the image you are looking for – I do want to say it was hard getting the ears on Dexter, but actually it wasn’t.  And they fitted him perfectly.

It made me suspicious that he might have been wearing them before.  He does have the “please gd kill me now” look about him.

Silly little bunny boy!

1308_Hills_Dexter01

 

New LIKES of the Hill’s fan page (www.hillspet.co.za/facebook) and new followers on our Twitter profile (www.twitter.com/HillsPetSA ) and retweets from 1 August 2013 to 30 August 2013, 10am will be counted for this charity donation. The number of LIKES and followers as at 1 August 2013 at the start of the competition and at the closing date of 30 August 2013, 10am will be noted and the difference calculated will be added to the number of photos entered, votes and shares – this number will represent the number of meals we donate.

Hills

Good people those folks at HILLS.

I think I caught Dexter watching p.orn

We are going to be having a chat this evening when Kennith gets home, about what is appropriate and what is not appropriate.

It is such a difficult discussion to have with your dog.  But I am so glad I caught him and can chat to him about what he saw, how it will make him feel, and that those feelings are okay.

But not on my laptop.  Or on my desk.

Silly boy!!

dexter_6575

Boston Terriers rock ….. and they are so damn cute!

I really adore Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs.

I have a Boston Terrier and they are as ridiculous as they look.  I am fairly sure that something in their breed makes them deny being a dog, and a small dog at that.

Dexter {Carogan I’ve Gotta Feelin} does not know he is a dog.

When he is with other dogs, he does not realise he is only yay-big *indicates hand height from the ground*  Dexter takes it upon himself to take on much larger dogs in a “hey, hey, you, come and say that over here ….GRRRRRR” kind of way.

I think most people feel passionate about their dogs, no matter what breed they are.  People who have Boston Terriers are nuts about them.  Obsessed nuts – they post photos of their dogs.  The best part is I can look at photos of Boston Terriers (and French Bulldogs) all day – I while away hours in this fashion.

The Cape Town Boston Terrier Club have a very active Facebook page. They do incredible work with regards to rehoming Boston Terriers, and trying their darndest to get dogs out of puppy mill situations.

Good folks over at the Cape Town Boston Terrier Club.

Check them out if you are thinking about getting a Boston Terrier, or would like to adopt one.

1306_BTlogo_web

The what ifs of seat belts

This weekend we traveled up to Oudtshoorn.

The reason for going was there were two Championship D0g Shows on.   I take Dexter to Dog Shows.

I am “that” person. It is a little like Toddlers and Tiaras, just less spray tan and false teeth, but other than that, pretty similar.

To be made up as a Champion, he has to earn 6 Championship Certificates.

Each show awards two certificates per breed – one for the best female and one for the best male in a breed.  There is a lot of competition, and it is about how your dog is perceived by the judge in accordance with the breed standard, how he appears on that day, how he m0ves, and how he compares to the other Boston Terriers there.

Part of the 6 CC’s you need to earn (to be made up as a Champion according to KUSA) is that one is awarded after he is 18 months or older.  You also have to earn at least one away from home – so you need to travel out of your geographic area to earn some of your CC points.

Three kids, a dog, and enough ‘crap and stuff’ to relocate to another country, and we were off for the weekend.

We drive the equivalent of a plumber’s van – it’s white, it’s large – the kids do not have to sit close to each other.  The two girls sat in the back row, and Connor in the middle row with Dexter.

I always check the kids are wearing their seat belts.  I am anal about seat belts.  I reverse the car out of the garage into the drive way and I wear my seat belt.

As I reverse, or when I am about to drive I always say (after I have done a visual check) “Everyone got their seat belts on?”

Then I sound out their names, and they each say yes.

We had stopped along the way, and everyone had got back in, and I had not done a check.  We were driving at at a certain point Kennith had to brake to reduce speed, it was not a huge shut-down-anchors-and-tear-the-tar, but it was a bit of a slow down – and it was enough.

Isabelle flew out of her seat with brute force, and her face slammed into the floor of the car.

She screamed.  I looked back and her face came up and there was just blood and snot bubbles, and some more screaming – initially I could not work out how she had got out of her seat and ended up on the floor.

It did not help she was in a sleeping bag, so her hands could not come up to break her fall, or protect her face.

We couldn’t pull over immediately as we were driving down a pass, and there was no where to pull over safely.  We had to continue driving for a few minutes before there was a safe enough area to pull over to the side of the road, with full screaming, me panicking, and screaming JUST GET YOUR SEAT BELT BACK ON!!! like a lunatic.

She was distressed, and had a cut on her top lip and it was swelling at a bit of a rate, and there was a lot of blood.  Smallish cut, lots of blood, I guess are synonymous with cuts on your face.

We sat with her a bit until she calmed down, staunched the blood flow, buckled her up and started driving again.

I cannot keep thinking of how much worse that could have been.  We could have had an accident, we could have been going faster, something could have happened, that made her slamming her face into the floor boards look like a walk-skip-and-jump in the park.

It wasn’t bad.  I got away with forgetting to check my daughter was wearing a seat belt by a stroke of luck, and a small wake up call.

Thank fk it was not worse.

Thanks fk that my child did not go flying through the windscreen.

Thank fk that our trip to Oudtshoorn will be remembered for the great road trip that it was, Dexter winning a CC and a BOB, and not my child being killed because I forgot to check seat belts.

If you do not buckle your child up, even for short trips, I hope you read this as a wake up call.

Buckle up yourself, buckle up your children.  No excuses.  No arguments.

Buckle your shit up!

dexter_roadtripping

Research Data and Statistics on the importance of Seatbelts / Child Restraints/ Baby Seats (Sourced here)

  • A review of research on the effectiveness of seat-belts found that their use reduces the probability of being killed by 40–50% for drivers and front seat passengers and by about 25% for passengers in rear seats.
  • A study in Norway calculated that head injuries make up some 60% of all injuries to vehicle occupants. The study concluded that drivers and front seat passengers who do not use seat-belts suffer almost the same percentage of head injuries as non-users in rear seats.
  • Ejection from a vehicle is one of the most injurious events that can happen to a person in a crash, with 75% of all vehicle occupants ejected from a vehicle in a crash dying as a result.
  • Seat-belts are effective in preventing ejections: overall, 44% of unrestrained passenger vehicle occupants killed are ejected, partially or totally, from the vehicle, as compared to only 5% of restrained occupants.
  • Seat-belts are approximately 50% effective in preventing fatalities in crashes in which motorists would otherwise die. It is estimated that seat-belt use prevented about 15 200 deaths in the United States in 2004. If all passenger vehicle occupants over 4 years of age in the United States had used seat-belts in 2004, nearly 21 000 lives could have been saved (that is, an additional 5800 lives).
  • A review of various United States studies has shown that child safety seats that are correctly installed and used for children aged 0–4 years can reduce the need for hospitalization by 69%. 
  • The risk of death for infants is reduced by 70%, and that for children aged 1–4 years by 47–54%. Of children aged under 5 years, 485 lives could have been saved in the United States in 2002 if all the children had been in child safety seats.
  • It has been estimated in the United Kingdom that new rules on the use of child restraints rather than adult seat-belts for children up to 135 cm in height or aged 12 years and above will save over 2000 child injuries or deaths every year .
  • It is estimated that within the European Union seat-belts currently reduce driver fatalities by 40%.
  • Wearing rates in European countries vary widely from around 70% to over 95%. If all European Union countries were to achieve a 99% wearing rate for drivers, 2400 lives would be saved each year.

– See more at: http://www.arrivealive.co.za/pages.aspx?i=2877#sthash.fY8lSzGC.dpuf

Dog Shows and Boston Terriers

I have Dexter who is a Boston Terrier.

I have been a Staffordshire Bull Terrier person for years, but two or three years ago, I thought I just need “less dog.”

I love Staffordshire Bull Terriers, but they get into your car and they become the car.  They do not so much get on the bed, as take over the bed.  For my household, it just became less than ideal with three kids and a dog, I needed a breed that was easier for my life style.

Staffies are not known for their ability to blend in with other dogs, and this is really problematic as we often head to Sandbaai and my mom has three dogs, which means I always have to leave my dog at home.

Any the who, I adore French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers.

I contacted a breeder about a Boston Terrier (actually I contacted several).  We hooked up and she had a litter (her bitch clearly, not her personally) and discussed Dexter with me (Carogan Ive Gotta Feelin).

I received him in January 2012, and he is gorgeous.  Dexter has been great, he is such a character, and really easy to throw into the car and take him pretty much anywhere.

I also love dog shows.  No really I do.  It is just one of those things I really love. I love ring stewarding, I love watching dog shows, I love having a dog taking part.

The idea of getting Dexter, was so that there was potential to show him.  I started showing him recently and so far he has done really well – he has been shown in the Puppy class and I have been really proud of him.  He does unfortunately think he is Cujo at a certain point of the show, which is not ideal, and is pretty much when everything goes pear-shaped …. fast.

I took him along to the West Coast Kennel Club Qualifying Show on Sunday, 4 November.  The idea was to leave the kids at home, and me head to the show with Dexter.  Isabelle saw me trying to leave and there was no way she was going to let me go anywhere.

I had to take her along to the dog show – Kennith is on a business trip to China/visiting is his other family.  Taking a young child to a dog show by yourself is sort of an okay idea in principle, but not a not great idea in application.

I walk in to the show ring, and Isabelle is running behind me screaming MOMMY with tears running down her face.  I could not calm her or get her out of the ring, so I just continued to show Dexter with a child SCREAMING running behind me.

Dog shows are meant to be really serious affairs, and one shows one’s job with a certain measure of seriousness.  One wants to win after all.

There I am walking around the ring with my dog, whilst my three-year old is running behind me screaming.  We did a triangle, and Isabelle ran behind SCREAMING doing a triangle as well.

Other than that, Dexter won Best Puppy and Best of Breed for his Breed. Of course he bombed out in the Group Competitions — he is just not a group competition kinda guy.