Ten days ago I was enjoying a five day treat away at Center Parc’s Whinefell, Penrith and having a lovely time. The forecast did not sound good but I’ve never been one for living by weather forecasts anyway. Despite the forecast, the days were sunny, and sky slightly overcast but only the one day when we had a light shower. We arrived at Center Parc’s around 2pm on Monday and took our two dogs Susie and Chester for a walk up to the village. Bob was left to unload the car and return the car back to parking area. sheila and I managed to get lost our way back from the village. By the time we arrived back at the lodge, Bob was finished unpacking and looking pretty fed up having been left to do everything.
Having made the booking online, we noticed a good few of the days were fully booked. So we were unable to stretch our activities over five days. Due to this, our activities were mainly over three days. This meant we wouldn’t have a great deal of time between each activity to get back to walk the dogs in between. However, we took it all in our stride including having a spot of lunch. The Cafe Rouge was our first-night dining out which was quite pleasant, the Cocktails were quite large but very tasty. On Tuesday morning was the Geocache which we were all looking forward to. This caused a mixture of feelings as we thought there would be a group of us but this was not the case. We really enjoyed it just the same.. In the afternoon we did the Treasure Hunt on our bicycles and we were all over the place looking for clues. Despite a heavy shower, we completed it albeit a bit wet. When we returned with our results we learned we had won the Geocache. 1st Prize Game of Ten Pin Bowling. It was not hard to do considering we were the only team. Later that evening we went out for an Indian dinner in the evening.
On Wednesday morning our first class was the Hula Hoop session. Now I haven’t tried Hula Hoop since junior school days and that wasn’t yesterday or the day before.. It wasn’t very easy but Sheila showed us how it was done and she did some impressive steps. Next class was Bollywood dancing, followed by Lavender Relaxation. We felt as though it was never going to stop but it was great fun. In between, we cycled back to exercise our dogs and have a bite of lunch which Sheila prepared earlier. Bob had Pseudo Gout in his big toe but despite his pain, we didn’t hear a peep out of him.Bless him. Bob cycled everywhere and this made his life so much easier. The days seemed to fly by and by Thursday it was our Aerobic’s class first, followed by Pilates but we had forty-five minutes in hand and so we headed back to the lodge for an early lunch and walk the dogs. We had no sooner eaten before we were off on our bicycles to do Pilates.
At the end of the path were two gates staggered across the path, not unlike the rest but these were much closer. As I cycled along I didn’t realize how close they were together and as I cycled through the last gate lost my balance and down I went onto the timber fencing. Knocking myself completely out of breath. I managed to get myself pulled around and back on my bicycle in time to continue to the next class which was Pilates. I actually was feeling numb by this time but continued with the exercise. After class I managed to cycle back to the lodge but I was feeling a little stiff. Sheila was booked in for the Treetop climb in the afternoon and I wanted to watch her going around. By the time I reached the the climbing area I was feeling a little cold and shivery and took a seat in the hut whilst Sheila prepared for her climb. I explained the incident that morning and one of the attendants suggested I go via taxi to the Health Centre, but on arrival they suggested I go on to Penrith Hospital. After an examination, The Dr suggested I had strained my ribs and back. I was advised to take medication and take things easy. As the evening drew close, I was reminded of the Showtime Dance and Singing of the 60’s evening. By this time I was beginning to struggle with the cycling but we managed to arrive in time. We were amazed at how good these young singers and dancers were. They never stopped and had everyone joining in dancing and singing. It was a great night. We all thoroughly enjoyed it.
As we made our way back to the lodge I was beginning to feel sore and pushed my bike back to the lodge. As we were leaving the next day we spent what was left of the evening packing. as we were to vacate the lodge by 1000 hrs Friday morning. I couldn’t get on my bicycle and so I walked up to the village to go swimming as I thought the swimming would help ease my back and ribs. We had lunch at the Italian Restaurant which was excellent and shortly afterward we drove home. On arrival home, I could barely get into bed let alone lie in it, so spent my first night sleeping on the edge. Great holiday and no regrets!
In 1961, having recovered from a traumatic illness my parents were advised to take me for a holiday, where I could convalesce. My parents had always been keen campers and lovers of the outdoors. As we lived in Newcastle, they thought maybe two weeks holiday to Polperro, Cornwall would be nice. In those days, we camped on farmland, pitching a tent in a field which wasn’t always free of animals. Unlike the commercial holidays of today. My father drove the whole way down from Newcastle, in his little black Austin A40, which was his pride and joy. On this occasion, we parked in a farmers field having asked for permission on arrival. My father removed the tent from the top of the car. It was a heavy green canvas, which meant we all had to muck in but it didn’t take long and soon it was up. We filler the burner with paraffin lit it and sat the kettle upon the flames. The kettle was soon whistling a tune and ready for a well-earned pot of tea. Meanwhile, my mum and I unpacked the car and our sleeping bags were prepared for later. We had the use of washing facilities but they were minimal in those days. Once outside of the tent, the sun was rising and the dark clouds from the early morning light had disappeared but the temperature was warm. After we finished our tea, I went exploring and I was delighted to find a brook, a little way from the tent with small willow trees along its banks. The countryside was idyllic with high hedges on either side of the very narrow roads. Usually, it rained on our first-nights arrival and on this occasion we arrived around lunchtime. After a short walk, I could smell the bacon cooking on the burner whiff past my nose, which drew me back towards our tent and we sat on our waterproof cushioned seats and munched our bacon rolls. Boy o boy did they taste good!
As the days progressed, I became a little braver and I learned that there was an Equine Stud and Riding School a little down the road. At, this point I had no experience with horses or ponies so I was very excited. I took a walk along the road one day and a black horse came over to see me. He was enormous to me and was jet black all over. This was the day I met the owner, Her name was Cathy and we became good friends. I went out riding, with her one day on a grey horse called Hannah and occasionally, I rode another called Vida. Vida was more forward going and so Cathie suggested staying on Hannah, which I did. I spent every free minute I had with Hannah and enjoyed many hours out riding, much to my mum’s disgust. In her mind, she had almost lost me once and this new interest was going to have unexpected repercussions in her mind. She was not used to animals and these tall, long-necked beasts where terrifying to her and she always kept her distance. However, a seed was planted during the holiday and my love of this new hobby was growing at a fast pace and by the end of the two weeks, I was hooked.
On return home, I started going to a riding school near my home. It wasn’t as nice as Cornwall, but we rode around the Town Moor like cow boy’s n Indians which was fine. The pony I rode was a grey Welsh Mountain, called Silver. Due to my parents not being wealthy or landowners I could only ride on occasion as we didn’t have much money. I made up my mind to save up all the pocket money I had, to pay for my lessons which in those days was 10 bob, per ride out for an hour. I befriended some people who lived near my home with competition ponies and horses. I learned to groom, tack up and look after them. Occasionally, they would give me a ride. By the time I was fourteen, I was thinking long-term about the horses. My mum was in a major panic about them and me. However, I was determined and eventually, mum said they would buy me a horse and I could keep it a little closer to home. However, after serious thinking, I decided I wanted to learn how to care for horses properly and also be a better rider. With this in mind, my knowledge began to grow with every experience. I took a weekend job working with hunters whilst I was still at school. The horses were enormous but they were hired out for hunting with the gentry. Having left school my first job was working with hunters during the Autumn and winter season. Later when hunters were turned out to grass, the ponies came in for handling and showing in hand and I stayed two seasons. I went to Yorkshire and worked with small Welsh Section A but moved north to the Scottish borders later that year. Here I continued my horsemanship on with all levels, completing NPS Diploma. I learned a great deal from the head groom at the castle. I handled and broke all youngsters for a dear old lady and her husband and also her friends. I loved my job, I was passionate about them all. No job was too big, or too small. I worked for all kinds of people and they all gave me amazing recommendations. I moved around working, breaking, handling youngstock of all kinds. I even looked after a farmers dairy cows whilst his manager went on holiday for two weeks, milking cows in the early hours and when finished feeding piglets, taking milk to dairy and separating the cream for making into butter and cheese for the main house. I still did my horses in between. I worked with racehorses, Point-to-Pointers, breaking horses and ponies into traps. Schooling young horses for other people. which I loved, I did showing in hand and under saddle. winning rosettes galore.
“And that, dear reader, is how a 45-year career in working with horses began.”
Vets opinion first and foremost.
It is 10 days since Susie had what I call a stroke or a seizure as the veterinary calls it. I booked Susie in at the vets on the Thursday 27 October as they had nothing free on Wednesday. She had not been well that morning. After explaining my concerns, my vet said her condition could be connected to her heart murmur and he suggested putting her onto heart tablets. I was to give her half a tablet for two days and then increase it to one whole tablet each day afterward.
On arrival home, Susie had already had breakfast, and so I waited until tea-time to start the medication. Within two hours of her eating her food, she had vomited all her dinner and was very restless. So, I sat with her most of the night letting her out & in so that she could eat grass. The following morning she seemed a little better and ate all of her breakfast. She was good during the day and at 4 pm when I gave her tea with medication and within half an hour she was sick and once again very stressed all night and she wouldn’t leave my side.
On Friday 28 October, I contacted my vet and made another appointment that morning. At the appointment, he agreed to stop the medication. I brought her home and due to her sensitive stomach and the after-effects of the medication, her stomach was very upset. I took her back to basic’s by giving her boiled chicken and rice to try and settle her stomach. It is now the 2 November and her stomach is better My vet has recommended I take her back next Monday 6 November, and he will try another heart tablet.
At the moment Susie seems so much brighter and is back to her normal feed. Today, she wanted to go for a normal walk and was happy to roam around. I only have one concern about Susie going onto another heart tablet. Is it worth putting her through all of this again? She is happy as Larry at the minute and is enjoying her little life.
I have been told that if this next heart tablet doesn’t work, then she may have no other option than to go it alone. However, I have great respect for my vet’s advice and would always seek professional advice first and foremost!
I thought I would share an experience I had with my dog Susie earlier this year.
Susie was purchased approximately seven years ago by my father. She was supposedly 3 years old, but we did not receive any papers with her. We were told by the lady who owned her, that she owned several dogs and as she had been diagnosed with cancer she felt it was best to put Susie away.
My father had previously had a tricolored Cavalier King Charles who had died at a ripe old age and although he tried to be without a dog he felt he needed another to fill the gap. So this is how Susie came to live with us. In 2014, my father had a fall and taken to the hospital down in Ayrdale Hospital in North Yorkshire… From there he was sent to Ashington Care Home for 24/7 nursing care. My father has been in a home ever since then and Susie and I visit him whenever we can.
Over the recent months, I have noticed Susie changing and to begin with she has been getting slower and at times I have noticed her lose all sense of direction. Whilst out walking she would start following someone else just in time to realize this person was not me. A few weeks ago a parcel was delivered through, my letterbox and it was for someone on the other side of my estate. I decided to deliver it whilst out with Susie. As we reached the house, Susie was a couple of feet behind me when I ran down the path to push the letter through the postbox. When I turned round Susie was gone. I checked the path, then I ran further on to find her standing at the cross path on top of banking where the path goes down and under the fly-over. I shouted and whistled but she was totally oblivious to me or anything else. I decided there and then that she must always be on a lead. I joked with other dog walker’s about this and then recently something else happened. Susie had begun to sit down if we were going toward the field and she wouldn’t move. I checked her over and she didn’t seem in any pain or discomfort but she had made up her mind she wasn’t going any further. So on this particular day, we turned back towards home.
Today was a little more of a concern. Susie came into my bedroom when it was only beginning to get light and I knew this was her way of saying she was awake and breakfast would be very nice, thank you. I slipped on my dressing gown and headed downstairs where I found Susie on the small landing. Her breathing seemed harassed and she was panting. I picked her up in my arms and carried her downstairs. I noticed she was struggling to stand up on all fours. Each time she tried she seemed to fall down. I wondered if she would eat anything but Susie had no idea where the food was. I had tried several times to call the vet but the line was constantly engaged. As I’m a healer, I worked with her for approximately 15- 20 minutes and very slowly she began to improve. The sparkle in her eyes returned, she gradually began to walk normally, her breathing slowed down. The stressful look in her eyes subsided. Within 45 minutes to an hour, she returned back to normal, thankfully. I couldn’t get an appointment for her today but she is booked in for 9 am tomorrow morning, to see if they can find any reason for this. We have been for a short walk and she was fine thank goodness.
I recall many years ago when I had a much older dog and she was having mini strokes which seemed familiar with Susie today. I will know more after tomorrows visit with the vet. I wondered if anyone else has noticed anything like this with any of their pets. I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts about this.
He was very, very tall, as black as ebony.
His eyes were dark and small, with little mane at all,
He was green at the mouth and vicious to go near
He had every kind of vice, people begged me to stay clear.
He grazed in a field by day and night, guarding it with all his might.
Keeping anyone away, who came into sight.
At first, it was hard but still, I try to train,
Many a spill I had, but I always came back again.
Those who took a shortcut on their way home at night
Peppy waited from afar, where he couldn’t be seen, at all,
Then quietly tip-toe towards the gate, he’d go.
A mighty scream, a yelp, and some swearing, with strong words not for sharing.
At last, I did conquer that wild and lonely thing,
With darkness in his soul and fear of what it might bring,
But through tenderness and a firm hand
Many hours we spent together, He learned to understand.
Morale of story.
So never take a dislike to horse with a vice,
As Happiness and lots love is all that he wants
and he’ll turn out very nice and trusting.
Just like my Peppy.