Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Thank You, Penny.

It was mid-November in the year 2000.  I was about to take my son, Tristan, to a surprise, mystery location.  He was intrigued as we made the short journey to a house on the other side of town.  Upon entering the house, we were ushered into the living room.  A living room full of people Tristan had never met before.

The lady of the house entered the living room.  "Hello, you must be Tristan.  Please come this way", she said.  Tristan and I walked up the stairs.  The sounds of one month old little puppies could be clearly heard through a closed bedroom door.  "Buzzin'!", Tristan said, with all the boundless enthusiasm of a twelve year old boy.

The door was gently opened.  Before us, a wonder to behold.  Several Parsons Jack Russell pups were frolicking along the bedroom floor.  "Tristan, you can choose one of the puppies", I stated, with a huge smile on my face.  For I knew how much my son loved dogs.  Now was his chance to have a one of those little puppies become a huge part of his life, of my life.

Tristan and this one particular puppy made eye contact.  Penny, as she would be later named, chose my son as he chose her.  Three weeks later, Penny came to live with us.

And their adventures began.  They went everywhere  together.  A boy and his beloved dog, running free in open fields.  Indeed, a love so profound that there was a time when my son was near the edge of a hill and Penny put her teeth in the bottom of his trousers to pull him back.

The years rolled by.  The puppy became a fully grown dog.  The young boy became a young man.

The visits to the vets increased.  September, 2012, a vet checked out some lumps on her body and declared that she had some cancerous growths. The vet stated it was a high risk operation and she maybe had a year to live. The diagnosis didn't seem thorough enough and thus, we consulted with another vet.  It transpired that Penny, after a biopsy, had some fatty tissues.  The fatty tissues were removed and all was well with Penny.

September, 2017.  Penny seemed a bit poorly.  I took her to the vets that, after I moved home, was only a couple minutes walk away.  Upon examining her, the vet informed me that Penny had a tumour on her womb and a heart murmur. She said that Penny, most likely, had just a few weeks to live.  I was devastated.  I walked her back home.  The tears streamed down my face.  I sobbed uncontrollably.

Yet, Penny lived on.  Yes, at times, she seemed rather lethargic.  Her eyesight was fading and walks with her were becoming more difficult.  In between, were those wondrous, playful times where she seemed perfectly fine.  I truly believe that her love for us and our love for her, made her determined to share as much time with us as she possibly could.

Tuesday evening, October 23, 2018.  It was about seven in the evening.  I took Penny out for a walk.  Then, just like most nights, I headed off to the supermarket.  Upon my return, about eight in the evening, I realised something was very wrong with Penny.  I thought that taking her out for another walk might make her feel better.  Oh, how wrong I was.  I carried her back into my apartment.  I phoned my son.  I drove over to his place but noticed him waiting on a street corner.  We drove back to my apartment.

Tristan could now see that Penny was really struggling.  I phoned the veterinary clinic.  I got put through to the emergency vet but there was a fault in the line and she couldn't hear me.  My son phoned back and once again, the vet couldn't hear him either.  Tristan picked up Penny and carried her in his arms as we took the short walk to the vets.  Tristan banged on the front door of the closed veterinary clinic.  I went around the back and thankfully, there was a gentleman who worked there at night.  He managed to get through to the emergency vet.

The gentleman led us into a back room with a table for Penny to be placed on.  We comforted her as best we could.  Ten minutes later, the emergency vet arrived.  She examined Penny.  She looked at us, explained what had happened, which I wont detail here.  "It's time", the vet gently said to us.

Tristan and I lovingly caressed her as she went to sleep. It was the suddenness of it all.  Less than two hours had gone by since I first realised that something was so very wrong with our little angel.
Christmas, 2000.  A twelve year old Tristan with a two month old Penny. 💓
And a fully grown Penny with her human brother, now a young man. 💓
Penny the puppy with her human dad. 💓 
A fully grown Penny with her human dad.  💓

It has taken me over a month before I could finally write this post.  The waves of emotion have washed over me.  Especially in those silent moments when I'm all alone.  Yet, I truly know and Tristan truly knows, that during those silent moments, the love of Penny comes through in ways that touch our hearts and souls. She is always with us.

Penny was an ideal.  She taught us the lessons of non-judgemental, unconditional love.  I am humbled.  I'm deeply moved by all she did for us.  We both focus on all the sweet innocence she brought into our lives.  The joy she brought has no boundaries.  

In her passing, the bond between my son and I has never been stronger.  Our shared love for Penny, a powerful tonic of positivity.  She continues to weave her magic.

And now she has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge.  Roaming and running in the fields of freedom.

Thank you, Penny.  We love you, Penny. 💓💓











































October 10, 2000 to October 23, 2018. 💓

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Typing With Torn Tendons.

Hi there!  Yes, it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!  You may have pawhaps noticed that my human dad, Gary, has done very little blogging over the past several months.  Well, it transpires that he has a very good reason for not doing much in the way of typing.

Yep, my human dad has finally found out that he has torn tendons in his left shoulder.  His silly shoulder situation has been happening since the beginning of January.  He was using his vibrator and noted he'd yanked something.  Oops, I'll rephrase that.  He was using a vibrating exercise machine and was a bit too enthusiastic with his exercise regime.  He then realised that something wasn't right with his left shoulder.

He had hoped that the pain would go away by itself.  Alassie, sorry, alas, it obviously didn't.  So, my human dad went and saw a doctor in early May.  The doctor sent him for some physiotherapy.  That didn't help.  The doctor had him get an X-Ray.  That didn't show any problems.  The doctor had him get a blood test and the results came back normal.  In fact, it took an ultrasound to reveal the torn tendons.

My human dad has now seen a consultant.  The consultant got him to do a variety of poses.  She even asked him to try and flex his biceps, "Just like Popeye!"  My human dad, being a bit of a poser, was, no doubt, well into doing that.  She informed him that it was best he continued to keep his left arm and shoulder as flexible as possible.  He's told me that it might take about eighteen months before the tendons have fully healed.  If the pain continues to be extreme, he has the option of a steroid injection.

Oh, I would also like to tell you that my human dad is going to have the surgical glove routine that relates to a certain dude-type problem.  He told me he's okay with that until he found out that the doctor with the surgical glove is an ex-pawfessional basketball player, famed for his gigantic hands and fingers....

Now then, I've observed that he hasn't been commenting on blogs very much.  I'll do my best to come and visit your blog.  Of course, I'll type one of my highly collectable comments that have been known to cause bidding wars on eBay. 

Please note that the comments section is switched off.  I mean, really, my human dad might struggle typing with torn tendons.  However, imagine what it's like for me to type.  It's kinda' like you trying to type whilst wearing mittens.

Pawsitive wishes, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! 

Monday, 18 June 2018

Twenty Years Ago.

It was Thursday afternoon, June 18, 1998.  I was slumped on the sofa in my usual drunken stupor.  A frightened man barely clinging onto the last, fragile remnants of a shattered, battered and bruised dignity.  A frightened man waiting to die a sad, lonely death.

I heard a knock at the front door.  A sound so rare for I could go weeks without any human interaction.  My only interaction, the sharing of such a desperate time with Mr. Alcohol, my best friend, my lover, my worst enemy.

I stumbled to the front door.  A bedraggled mess of a man.  A man, bloated and heavily jaundiced.  I opened the door and there was my doctor.

He took one look at me and immediately phoned for an ambulance.  For, before him, was the worrying sight of somebody who hadn't eaten for three weeks.  The only nutrition, if you could call it that, was the consumption of three, two litre bottles of strong cider per day. Before the doctor, a man drowning in a sea of alcoholic despair.  I was stretchered away.  This would be my fourth alcohol-related stay at a hospital.

Near the end of the first week of what would be a five week stay, I had my ex wife and my nine year old son, Tristan, make a fleeting visit.  For they were about to go to Canada with her boyfriend and their baby boy.  Through tear-stained eyes, I hugged my son.  A hug that I cherish to this day.  A hug that saved my life.

After that, I had no visitors.  No visitors to note that during the first week I nearly died.  No visitors to be there for my birthday.  And yet, despite it all, despite me watching others having visitors and listening to the laughter, listening to the crying, I had time to reflect, time to change, one last chance to live.

That one last chance, further enhanced when a nurse came over to my bed and stated that I had a phone call at the ward's reception.  Very weak, oh, so very weak, I was taken in a wheelchair to the ward's reception.  It was my mother phoning from Vancouver.  Her words of comfort, resonate with love, twenty years on.

I could go into the harrowing details of how I ended up as a mere shadow of my former self.  A paranoid character swigging back two litre bottle of cider down back alleys.  But, that's in the past.  A past that taught me lessons that through such a potential demise, I could become better, stronger, more compassionate.

I'd had a nervous breakdown twenty years ago.  So much had happened and I tried to numb the relentless workplace bullying, the collapse of my marriage, compounded by the fact my wife had gotten pregnant by another man whilst still married to me.  I couldn't cope.  I was scared.  I was going insane and the insanity was made all the worse with the insidious evil of the alcohol I consumed.

And twenty years on, I'm still fragile, still raw.  I battle with debilitating depression and chronic fatigue.  It impacts me so much that my blogging has been sporadic.  It impacts me so much that I've hardly the energy to be involved with one of my vital lifelines, the vital lifeline that be the blogging community.

Twenty years on, I do know that the day I left hospital,  I left as a free man.  A man, most importantly, genuine in his conviction that alcohol would never again control his life.
I choose to live for my son, Tristan 
I choose to live for our beloved dog, Penny.

I choose to live for my mother, my family and friends in Canada. 



And I choose to live for me.  I listened to the wisdom of my inner child. 

Friday, 8 June 2018

I Can See The Sky!

Finally, at long last and then some, I can actually see the sky outside my apartment windows.  I also noted just how filthy the exterior of my windows truly are.  Then again, that makes sense considering the window cleaners haven't been able to get to my windows for over fourteen months.  As of June 6, 2018, the scaffolding was removed.  Thirteen months to the day that myself and the two neighbours below me, had to endure this most unfair, stressful farce.
No more of this view, from my bedroom window with its sky full of planks.
No more feeling trapped in by this scaffolding monstrosity. 
I can now look out the windows properly from my top floor apartment.
The view from my bedroom window has vastly improved.

The past thirteen months, feeling like I've been imprisoned by the scaffold monster, has taken considerable toll on my mental health well being.  My apartment was constantly trapped in dark shadows and was very hot, very stuffy.  The light has returned and the air is noticeably fresher.  

I shall be seeking compensation and expect a full apology for treating me and my other two neighbours in such a deplorable fashion.  All because of an insurance dispute as to who was responsible for the shoddy roof on an almost brand new building. 

And yep, once again, I shall endeavour to visit other blogs.  I'm certainly feeling better now that I can see the sky!  If only my left shoulder would actually get better so I could type twice as fast......

Friday, 11 May 2018

Scaffolding! The One Year Anniversary.

As of May 6, 2018, the scaffolding outside my apartment window reached its one year anniversary.  I'm up there in the top apartment.  Instead of going on about how such a monstrosity structure has impacted on my mental health, has cloaked my apartment in continual darkness, has meant that the window cleaners have not been able to get to my exterior windows for more than a year, or that during stormy weather, the damned thing creaks and keeps me awake, I shall not bother to mention that, or that I'm feeling Seasonal Affective Disorder, or that it's making me feel claustrophobic in this heat-trapped apartment, nope, most certainly wont mention that, or the fact I've just done a run-on sentence.

Baffling beyond any adequate adjectives to describe how  totally unamused I am that an almost brand new apartment building has issues with the roof.  Yes, I have stains on the living room and bedroom ceilings.  And no, I'm not bragging about the stains.  The stains were caused by rain leaking in from the roof.  Thankfully, well, hopefully, the leaks have stopped.  In the meantime, I wait and wait and wait while they try to settle an insurance claim dispute.

Living in such dull surroundings made me try to get another place.  Unbelievably, when I actually got to check out another place via my housing association, the place was left in an awful state.  It would of taken me a few weeks and a whole load of cash to sort the place out.  This was most unfair and I had to decline what should of been a good opportunity.

In other news, I've been experiencing the irony of physiotherapy.  Yep, you go get some physio and the physiotherapist makes the pain even more excruciating.  I've been told the extra pain is a good thing.  I'm hoping this to be true because it's a nightmare to try and type.  I've been told that by the start of June I should just about be okay.  Which June of what year, I've no idea.  I'm so looking forward to the day when my left shoulder actually allows my left arm to raise above my head without me screaming out like some spoiled diva.

I realise I'm getting repetitive but, once again, the comments section is switched off.  I shall try my utmost to comment on other blogs.

In conclusion, despite the ongoing issues with my apartment, I do know how lucky I am.  For yes, I have a roof over my head.  Having worked with the homeless, the rough sleepers, I realise that my problems are minor compared to the plight of some very noble people.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Emergency Blogcast System.


Hi there!  Yes, it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!  You might have noticed that my human dad, Gary, has been rather absent from the blogging world.  Actually, I've been rather absent from the dogging, oops, the blogging world.

The reason being is that I've been looking after Gary while he's been subjected to the pain that can be physiotherapy.  Since he started going to physiotherapy, the pain in his left shoulder has actually gotten worse.

I paw this pawst whilst using the "Emergency Blogcast System."

According to the "Blogger's Information Hotline", which after pawing the several options to actually get through to a real talking human, I've been informed that while Gary and I have been away, IWSG aka, "I Was Seeking Gary", aka, "Insecure Writer's Support Group", was up and running last month.  I was also informed  that the "Alphabutt Barrage, 2018", has reached its conclusion.  We now wait for the dreaded reflection pawsts about reflecting back about writing about the Alphabutt.  I reckon that might well take up the rest of May. 
"Hey Penny!  Thanks for writing this article on my behalf!" 

"You're very welcome, human dad!  Soon, well hopefully soon, you can write about the scaffolding outside our apartment window that, as of May 6, 2018, will have been up for one year."

Once again, the comments are switched off.  I hope you understand that, what with looking after my human dad, I would struggle to comment back.

Pawsitive wishes, your way, Penny and co-starring my human dad, Gary.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Off The Cuff.

Hi there!  Yes, it's actually me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar's human dad, Gary.

Before I attempt to type any further, I wish to thank Penny for having taken over the blog whilst I've been trying to sort out my latest physical issue.  It's been an ongoing, frustrating time.  Having recovered from the "tit" growing on my right elbow aka, bursitis, I'm now contending with an even more aggravating situation.

I believe my even more aggravating situation stems from getting into an exercise regime.  I may well have been a bit too enthusiastic with the exercise regime which involved using a vibrator.  I'll rephrase that.  I may well have been a bit too enthusiastic with my exercise regime which involved using a vibrating machine.

For the last two months, my left shoulder has been putting me through agony.  Just when I thought the pain had subsided, it would come back with a vengeance.  Thus, last Monday I finally gave up thinking the pain would just magically go away.  I went and saw a doctor.  She told me, based on checking my left shoulder, it was very likely a dislocated rotator cuff.

I'm now waiting to see a physiotherapist.  That's great because right now it takes about a week to put my coat on.  A weird wriggling manoeuvre that involves me attempting to raise my left arm up and slithering said left arm in to what is hopefully the left arm on my coat.  Thankfully, Penny waits patiently as I try to get my coat on so she can take me out for a walk.

Speaking of therapists, I recall when I started working for a mental health charity and I was introduced to the staff.  I asked this one staff member what her job was.  She told me she was a complimentary therapist.  To which I responded, "Excellent!  So pay me a compliment."  Thought I'd chuck in this paragraph, what with this post being somewhat off the cuff and bordering on disjointed, rather like my left shoulder.

Of course, despite it all, I somehow know I'm going to be okay.  I just focus on how grateful I am to have adoring fans.  Here's one of my adoring fans in the above photo.

It started with an elbow tit
I must admit
It continued with a wrecked-up rotator cuff
Aint that tough
I've had enough
I feel rough
From all this stuff
Physiotherapy
I shall see
If it works for me
I should mention
I've switched off the comment section
I hope you understand
Hard to type using just my right hand.