At least not for February.  I’d been reflecting on my Summer of beer for a few weeks now and feeling a bit lardy about the whole affair.  So when I read about Feb Fast, giving up the booze during the shortest month of the year for charity, I thought ‘I can do that!’.  Hence on the weekend I gave the beers one last nudge for good measure.  Even though it was blisteringly hot I couldn’t finish my third beer and instead tipped it down the sink.  I think my body was saying no well before my head.  And today my head is screaming, just in case I couldn’t work it all out for myself!

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2-14102009759possums, that is.  The dogs have decided that we clearly need to have our own real live example of a feral possum.  Just what exactly they’d do with one if they caught it (apart from crap their pants) I’m not exactly sure. So now every morning and afternoon walk is devoted to the desperate search for one.  To date the locale has been narrowed down to approximately 13 trees that we must dash to at breakneck speed immediately upon entering the off-leash area of Darling Gardens.  After consuming about 95% of the poo the possums have thoughtfully left behind, we stretch ourselves to maximum height up the 30 foot high tree trunk to search valiantly and see if in fact we might be able to catch one unawares lurking near ground level (we’re really not that tall, see exhibit A at left).  At this stage possums : 3 and dogs: 0.  Thank god!

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It took a long time, I know.  But I take the re-naming of said pooches verrrry seriously.  After consulting baby naming books, dog naming websites, reading the names in movie credits and even the street directory I have now found a new name for the other dog.

Again in a nod to her origins, it gives me great pleasure to present Miss (Vespa) Paloma nee Rosealine.  But that too is a mouthful, so for now we’ll stick to Paloma, ok? 

Hajimemashite.

2-15092009681and not the pastel horsie racing kind.  It’s officially only week four of Spring and I’m loving the bouts of ever so slightly warmer weather, so is Willow.  What I am not loving is the insane hayfever I seem to have this year.  It has been on hiatus for two loverly years but this year has come back.  And then some!  Lately I seem to wake up at three hour intervals unable to breathe in order to sneeze or blow my nose.  And so it continues all day until I finally fall (pretend) asleep again.  The novelty has passed, trust me.  I’ve been going mad tring to cure it, hoovering up anti-histamines like they were lollies and even resorting to going back to Chinese medicine.  Anyone who has had cupping knows that ain’t pretty either.  But so far it’s in vain.  Might have to get the dogs a haircut too as the grass seeds in their coats are not helping.  I worked out I’ve spent over $300 so far on fixes.  How long is Spring again??

2-IMG_7862Yesterday my friend Indy Gurl and I decided to go for a wander with the dogs. We’ve been on the hunt for a dog friendly, walking-distance-from-home watering hole for a while and not surprisingly we eventually ended up in one.  It was quite a feat to get a table and we happened to be near another older, small dog.  The four of them checked each other out and existed in harmony for the next hour or so.  The sun was shining, the beer was cold, life was good.  Then mid-sentence I heard the most blood curdling series of yelps and whines that no pet owner ever wants to hear.  My little Willow was pinned under the other dog, I could have sworn she was trapped in it’s jaws at one point too.  My instinct was just to get my dog out of there and so I broke every rule there is and thrust my hand in to the mellee but I couldn’t tell head nor tail of one dog to the other.  I put Willow on my lap to check her for injuries and noticed some blood above her left eye.  Later at home I bathed it with hot salty water but it was starting to swell and had me worried.  When I checked on her at 3am it was very infected, tender and she yelped in pain as I tried to clean it.  My local vet didn’t appear to be open later in the morning so with no mobile phone to call around for an alternative I decided to go begging at the Lort Smith Animal Hospital.  They were great and managed to squeeze me in and little Willow just lay rather limp in my arms until it was her turn.  Rob the vet was ace, he did some tricky MacGyver test and turns out she has a graze on the eyeball as well as the cut on the eyelid.  She is now very jacked up on get better meds and will hopefully be back to her old self when I get home from work.  Phew, that was the most expensive beer I ever had!

3-14820017The primary school in my ‘hood has a no uniform policy.  I dunno how I feel about that.  The kids seem happy but I find it disconcerting.  I grew up in the era of compulsory uniforms with a childhood involving the never ending chore of polishing my school shoes and sometimes ironing my uniform (a task I was more than happy to let Mum do though).  Looking back I reckon it taught me a certain discipline in orderliness and pride in my appearance, all of which I am grateful for.  I still remember the time when school uniform was made non-compulsory.  I was in High School by this stage and while everyone was rejoicing at all the surfer inspired gear they could now wear, inside I was cringing.  Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a total nerd that didn’t appreciate a little fash freedom but suddenly this chasm opened up between who could afford the latest stuff or not.  A super intelligent classmate who came from a struggling family of seven now stuck out like a sore thumb with his hand-me-down shoes, shorts and too small shirt.  And many of the guys never let him forget it, teasing him mercilessly.  From a young age I’ve always stuck up for the underdog and would never hesitate to go into bat for this young man.  It broke my heart to receive a message inside a Christmas card one year from him that simply said ‘thank you for always being so nice to me’.  No kid should have to go through that over what they wear.  Ever.

2-13092009671The park I take my dogs to has a generously sized off-leash area.  We meet new friends, both the two and four-legged variety, every day and have oodles of puffed out fun.  Both dogs run around with their noses to the ground in search of treasure and, in between being bowled over by rowdy staffies and slobbered on by boxers, they sometimes find it.  I keep a pocket full of treats to bribe them in to always coming when called and also in the hope they ignore the personal trainer with clients in the mornings (alternating with a bark for him and a slobbery kiss for them – mortifying!).  Lately I’ve noticed little Willow chewing on things when under a particular tree.  In my blissfully ignorant state I thought ‘oh how sweet, she’s getting back to nature and foraging for nuts and seeds for extra nutrients’.  On closer inspection she’s actually gorging herself on possum poo!  Explains the unique err… frangrance she seems to exude!!