Sunday, April 19, 2015

Pruning trees and caring for animals

I’ve been to the Vet’s with Blacky for his X-Rays. His tail bone is soldered and crooked so that is why he  doesn’t wag his tail like other dogs. I don’t know the right terminology seeing I am not a Veterinarian, so bare with me.
His pelvis is lowered and he has a hard time when he goes to the bathroom just to put it nicely. This is due to a few caudal vertebrae’s that are soldered therefore the dog can’t pull up his tail.
As for his knees, both have to undergo surgery. The left hind legs kneecap (Vet calls it kneecap or patellar luxation) is out of place and he is in pain.
The Vet suggested operating on both knees since the right leg’s kneecap seems to be moving around as well. I am worried mostly about Blacky’s epileptic seizures, he hasn’t had any for a while with the medication, but general anesthesia may be risky.
I have decided to wait a while and see if he gets any worse. Probably we will have to put him through surgery. When we take him out for a walk, he wants to run but then stops and lies down because of the pain in his knee. Did someone out there put his or her dog through surgery for the same problem? How did the surgery go?
Is your dog now running through fields as other dogs do? Can he jump up on the couch or go up the stairs on his own? Blacky can’t do any of these tasks now. Please let me know, thanks.

Blacky on his mat with a slightly crooked nose.

On a lighter note, my family worked hard outdoors this weekend. I am very proud of them. It has been raining most weekends so I couldn’t cut the grass. The forecast gave rain again this weekend but thank God, it didn’t rain yesterday. I practically ordered them to cut the grass and prune the trees.
My brother in law popped in with his gear to prune an old tree. The branches were far too long and were shading my little herb garden and greenhouse. We managed to save the green house. Now I have a week’s worth of work to clean up the garden. Have a look at the mess.

Drastically pruned tree to the left and my greenhouse and herb garden to the right.

I can’t do everything on my own; old age is creeping up on me as well. I can’t do what I used to do 20 yrs ago. Even if I do exaggerate at times I end up with aches and pains for a week. It means I’m alive I guess.
The good thing about working out in the garden is I get rid of tension. I may be tired after a days’ work but I sure sleep well at night.
My bunnies have dug a few rabbit holes. Holly, a female bunny made three holes dislocated here and there on the premises. I wonder which one she will use for her bunnies. I stalk her but she is clever, she won’t go near the nest but in the opposite direction as soon as I get too close.

This is Holly

My Lilacs and apple trees are in full  bloom I find  they are gorgeous.

See my lionhead bunny on the grass?                                           My Lilac plant
I have had problems with a hunter’s dog visiting us occasionally. One morning as I was getting ready to go to work I could hear my dogs barking. They were alarmed by something. I ran downstairs still wearing my pajamas when I saw Little Lord a hunting dog running after Holly. Holly ran faster than Lord did but I think my French hen got the worst treatment. I can't blame the dog, he is real sweet and is happy to see me when he visits, it's his animal instinct after all to hunt. It's the dogs owner that needs to be educated.

In fact, today I saw her perched up high on a basket behind the barn. I went up to pet her and noticed she was missing quite a few feathers on her back. She stayed still while I inspected her back and pulled up her wing. Indeed, the dog had hurt her. She has a bad scar that is now healing on its own. 
Poor thing, one of the roosters this autumn poked her eye while mating. She recovered during the winter. I had placed her in the tool shop where I would light up a wood stove now and then to keep her warm. I hope that she will survive it’s not easy to heal a hen. Most people tell me to snap her neck and cook her for dinner. They just don’t understand I couldn’t do such a thing. I can pick her up and pet her, I softly speak to her, and she seems to understand that she is safe in my arms. No, I’m not crazy I just love animals.

                                                                       The poor hen.
One of my three roosters.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Puppy must undergo surgery for his kneecap.

My poor little puppy, his mother is 14 yrs old, and he was born with a crooked snout, his tendons were not formed properly so he cannot stand up properly. He slips all over the place. His hind limbs criss cross when he tries to stand. He limps because his left knee hurts. 

My daughter in law brought him home one day, but little did she know  how sick he was. I ended up taking care of him. A week later, he had epileptic seizures. However, he is so sweet and lovable even if he’s not perfect.

We are now giving him some medications for his epileptic seizures and he has been fine for a few months. He is now 8 months old. We hope he doesn’t have any other fits it’s horrible to assist and not be able to do anything besides hold him as still as possible until he gets over it. 

Next Wednesday we are going for X-rays to see exactly what is wrong with his hind legs besides the kneecap. We are also integrating his diet with vitamins and integrators for his tendons. We have to pick him up when we bring him downstairs seeing he cannot walk up or down the stairs. Thank goodness, he has stopped growing, he is 11 kg. I hope he stays that way. 

He misses his companion. It was a male kitten a few months older then Blacky. They use to run after each other and sleep together on the couch. Unfortunately, in Italy the hunters drop poisoned bait in the woods in the spring. Oreste our kitten was poisoned; we had an autopsy done by the veterinarian and he confirmed the poison was pesticide.

Oreste hardly ever went out, but one evening he stayed out all night and the next morning I found him lying dead under a tree. The authorities said that they had more important things to take care of than go searching for whom were responsible for the pesticide poisoning. Imagine that. 

I have two other cats besides Willy and Giant, one is called Walter and the other “Macchia” which would be spot in English. Well Macchia disappeared, I hope he has found a new home and hasn’t been poisoned like Oreste. Walter disappeared but came back after two weeks, starving to death. I called them Ying and Yang because they were always together. Here’s a picture of them in their basket.

Do you have any similar problems with your dogs? Would you operate your dog if he had the same problems Blacky has?  I would love to see Blacky run as other dogs in the park but I am afraid to put him through surgery. 

It makes me realize how lucky I have been with my children. They are healthy, I was thinking imagine if I had a child with a handicap as Blacky has, it mustn’t be easy for parents whom have children that have handicaps.

Here are a few links to websites in Italian about poisoned bait. As I mentioned the authorities are doing nothing about it. It is very sad. The problem everyone seems to have is, not having enough time to be able to organize a task force and get something done.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Spring in Italy. Great time to pick your fresh herbs and work outdoors.

Ok, here we go. I’ve just created my Blog. Now what? I have been surfing the web on “How to write a Blog” for a while now. Everyone suggested I have a Blog, it’s a must nowadays. But seeing I am not a teenager anymore it’s not easy. I hope to be able to entertain you in the future writing about all of my interests and it would be nice to be able to communicate with you and see what your interests are and get some feedback about my blogging. Go see the “About me page” to find out who I am.
Any help or suggestions on your part would be great.
So now that you’ve read about me, do you have any questions or a particular topic you would like to chat/write about? Just for starters OR was I supposed to write Blog about.
Okay, I will start first.
Many people told me over and over again, that I must tell bloggers that I will post at least once a week. I will do that on Sundays. If you have read ‘about me’, you will have noticed I am residing in Italy. You can also write to me in Italian or French whichever language you prefer.

Oh, by the way, Happy Easter. This here is Biru our Lionhead bunny.

Today it is windy, and yesterday it rained all day.
My plans for this weekend are ruined; I had my equipment ready to work outdoors and now I can't.
I had my chainsaw all cleaned up and I put a new chain on it because last weekend it just burnt the wood instead of cutting it. Then I managed to get a new starter pulley for my brush cutter because that had broken as well and now I cannot use either of them. I guess I will just have to relax over the long weekend. I have a lot of pruning and cutting to do around the grounds. I am very late this year because of all the rainy weather this winter. We had a few floods this year.

See the stream in my driveway.

I don’t know about your end of the world, but in the north of Italy everything is blooming, it’s so beautiful.

My overgrown plum tree

 The spring and autumn are my favorite seasons in Italy. In the spring, there are so many wild flowers and herbs I can use in the kitchen. I pick the leaves of dandelions, primrose, burdock, and nettles. I wash them thoroughly and boil them for about ten minutes. Then I make an omelet. I also use nettles when I make my homemade noodles. The dandelion and primrose leaves are very good in salads.
In the autumn, I pick my grapes and rose hip. I make grape juice instead of wine and dry the rose hip to use in my herb tea in the winter. I miss the foliage we had in Canada. The next best thing in Italy, are the vineyards with their multi-hued shades of red, orange and yellow leaves.