Category Archives: Mr Spaghetti Legs

You Are Old

Little Monkey

A letter to Little Monkey

Well, I guess it was inevitable, even though I thought you’d never age.

I thought you’d make 15 easy. You aren’t even 13 yet!

But something’s not right.

After we’ve been out walking for a while, I give you the option as we pass the end of our road, to turn for home, but you choose to carry on and walk round the block.

Then with quarter of a kilometre still to go, you suddenly start walking as slowly as Mr Spaghetti Legs used to. And believe me, that was s-l-o-w!!

I’ve had you thoroughly checked out.

My amazing old Vet listened very carefully to your heart and said it was fine.

Your arthritis is minimal for a dog your age; just a slight stiffness in your right elbow and shoulder. (I got you young enough to take very good care of that, with good food, regular exercise and supplements for arthritis of omega 3 oils and chondroitin and glucosamine.)

But I have noticed with every other dog I’ve ever had, that you don’t age linearly; you age in leaps.

And there is a sudden leap around 10 years of age when you move into the Old category.

You didn’t do that leap when you were 10, or 11 or even 12; electing to carry on as Mad Cap as ever. You are my Domain Name after all!

Instead you waited till you were 12 and a half.

So there we are, my dear.

You are suddenly old.

And I must adjust my mindset accordingly.

But you’ll still chase a cat like there’s no tomorrow!

And no age limit!

.

HOW TO ADJUST YOUR MINDSET FOR AN OLD DOG:

Find effective pain management medication that works for your dog. Try a few meds and see which suits your dog best. PetCam is the most effective for LM, with the least side effects.

Take your dog on shorter walks more often throughout the day, instead of one long walk. It is important still to go on these outings, as dogs love to get out of the property. It is LM’s favourite thing to do, followed by food. 

Give your dog nice soft bedding. LM has always slept on comfy sponge mattresses.

Give your dog gentle massages round those aching joints. I’ve always done this rather than just stroking the dog. LM loves it.

Watch their weight. With painful arthritis dogs will tend to move less and the weight can start building up. You might have to adjust the amount you feed them, without letting them feel hungry. Just a few less kibbles in their bowl will make a difference. LM’s weight crept up from 23 kg to 24.7 kg.

Do carry on with most activities you used to do; but be aware that your dog may tire more quickly. LM still hares round the garden like a mad thing, of her own volition, but is not quite as fast as she used to be and doesn’t run for as long. The important thing is that she still does it.

So Little Monkey is old; Now what?

I expect she’ll carry on like this till near the end. She could still make 15!

After all, Mr Spaghetti Legs did.

Mr SL is all ears

.

post script: Many of you will be thinking of Lewis Carroll’s awesome poem, from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1865, so here’s the link – You are old, Father William.

 

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I Survived!

Erica 1

Look who’s back!

Mr Spaghetti Legs’ plant, Erica Quadrangularis, is in full bloom once again.

It has survived a whole year, of sun and drought, and of barely hanging on with its tiny little stem and measly root structure.

Erica 2

Now, as Spring approaches once more in the Western Cape, it is in full magnificent bloom. A myriad of tiny white bell-shaped blossoms adorn the dry stick-like stems.

Hooray!

Erica 3

For size comparison: in the above photo, those dried up brown leaves under the bush are from my oak tree. It really is a tiny plant!

 

And because I know that secretly you all want to see some photos of the old boy, here is Mr Spaghetti Legs.

Mr Spaghetti Legs

LM and SL

Mr SL 3

Mr Spaghetti Legs 8

Mr Spaghetti Legs

 

I Am Three!

Sea View

Yes, it is three years since I clicked the Publish button on the very first post of my brand new blog; and I haven’t looked back since.

Below are extracts from my first and second anniversary posts; because I really can’t say it any better than this.

First Year:

I’d like to thank the WP community for being so great. And I’d like to thank everyone who has popped by my blog and liked or commented on a post. I thoroughly enjoy seeing all of your amazing photos and reading your posts. I feel like I know some of my “regulars” as friends, even though we have never met, nor are likely to, being separated in most instances by vast oceans.

And Thank You to all of you out there who make the whole blogging experience a pleasant one. WP is a community, and if it wasn’t for feedback, likes and comments, what would be the point? I’d still be sitting here listening to the crickets chirp!

Second Year:

But just to reiterate; thank you to everyone who has followed me all this time and who continues to support me and offer words of wisdom and sarcastic comments. I appreciate them all! (You know people are your friends when they start being sarcastic!)

I thoroughly enjoy following all your blogs too.

Third Year:

I’d just like to say a very big thank you to all of my faithful followers, who like and comment on my posts, even when sometimes you don’t get my sense of humour, or British-ness/South African-ness.

To my old friends, thank you for sticking with me; and to my new friends, welcome aboard and I hope you enjoy the ride.

Without the interaction of my blogging friends, there’d be no fun in blogging.

And as long as I’m having fun, I’ll keep on blogging.

As a third year tribute to you all, I’ve selected some of my favourite photos from the past three years.

Just scroll down to enjoy the slide show.

Skies of Blue

Fluidity

Happy Little Monkey

Dandelion Clock

Baby Geese

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

Pensive – Little Monkey

Fuchsia

LM and SL check out the Puzzle Tree

England

Swans 1

Mr Spaghetti Legs

Photo Frames 1

Bloom 1

Pretty as a picture – Sunset Western Cape

You Little Monkey

Blackberries and Cream

Strelitzia 1

Owl 2

The Concerns of Guinea Pigs

Baby

Little Monkey Collapsed 1

Comfort Flowers 1

Cream of the Crop 1

Little Monkey

Thank You One and All.

 

Hang in There, Baby!

Erica 1

Erica 1

This is Mr Spaghetti Legs’ plant; a little Erica Quadrangularis my husband bought me when my old boy died. (I mentioned this briefly in Crunchy.)

It is still trying to get established and I have to water it a little every few days to keep it growing. I only have to be late one time and it will die! Hot summer days!

Happily, there is new growth, just at the ends of the fronds, but I have to watch this little plant very carefully and make sure the roots do not dry out.

Erica 2

Erica 2

You can see from this aerial shot that it is very small still. (That is grass on the left.) It will have tiny white flowers on it when it blooms, as you can see from below, when I was given it.

Erica 3

Erica 3

This little Erica is indigenous and therefore suited to our climate. All I have to do is keep it alive till the winter rains and it will do the rest.

After all, my Red Devil leucodendron is now half as big again as last year; see Fynbos.

 

post script: We had good rains on Friday! Yay! It didn’t fall in the catchment areas, so won’t have filled up the dams, but our lawns, and this little Erica, were very very grateful!

 

A Dog’s Last Will and Testament

 

Mr Spaghetti Legs

Mr Spaghetti Legs

A Dog’s Last Will and Testament 

– Author Unknown

Before humans die, they write their last Will and Testament, give their home and all they have, to those they leave behind. If, with my paws, I could do the same, this is what I’d ask . . .

To a poor and lonely stray I’d give:

– My happy home

– My bowl and cosy bed, soft pillows and all my toys

– The lap, which I loved so much

– The hand that stroked my fur and the sweet voice that spoke my name

 

I’d will to the sad, scared shelter dog, the place I had in my human’s loving heart, of which there seemed no bounds.

So, when I die, please do not say, “I will never have a pet again, for the loss and pain is more than I can stand.”

Instead, go find an unloved dog; one whose life held no joy or hope and give my place to him.

This is the only thing I can give . . .

The love I left behind.

 

Every rescue dog pines for their own loving home.

Mr Spaghetti Legs

Mr Spaghetti Legs

 

Thank You

LM and SL check out the Puzzle Tree

LM and SL check out the Puzzle Tree

I’d like to say a big Thank You to all of you who wrote such lovely messages of condolence on hearing of Mr Spaghetti Legs’ passing.

Earthstills wrote a beautiful special tribute post For Mr Spaghetti Legs.

I was very touched and comforted by these outpourings of love for an old dog.

You can read a little about Mr Spaghetti Legs’ origins here, Portrait of a dog #5 or any other stories about him by clicking on Mr Spaghetti Legs in the Wags (Tags) or Categories on my blog.

Apart from the sadness at the loss of a much loved friend, it was made harder by the fact that I had already booked Little Monkey in to the vets that day to have her teeth cleaned and a few lumps removed. So I took both dogs to the vets that morning and came home alone. The house was very, very empty; not even the solace of hugging LM as she was in hospital.

While LM was at the vets, we cleared up the heavy plastic sheeting that we had put down on the floors because of SL’s incontinence.

I went to fetch Little Monkey in the early evening, quite late because they had been very busy at the vets doing spays etc (they spay and neuter animals from rescue organisations) so LM was only operated on in the afternoon.

It was the most surreal experience to sit in the vets waiting room and have them bring out LM after her op. She was so calm to the point of being placid. She sat by me as the vet discussed the procedures and what meds I must give her and what to expect. I got a glimpse into what she might have been like with a different puppyhood, where her anxieties had been addressed and she had been encouraged to be calm and brave. So, yes, she was doped up on anaesthesia and morphine; but she was awesome!

Normally whenever I am at the vets, LM pants rapidly the whole time and her whole body trembles. She fixates on the exit and will not relax till she is outside and back in the car. It is exhausting for me to sit with her like this, as I absorb all her stressful energy.

When Little Monkey got home that evening, she walked all over the house and garden looking for her old friend, Mr Spaghetti Legs, and whimpering. It took her a long time to go to sleep that night.

I think that being drowsy from the anaesthetic, and the plastic sheeting not being there, made her more confused. The last time her old house mates died (Madam and TJ) four years ago, she didn’t react at all.

Also, it just goes to show how very much SL helped LM, gave her confidence and kept her calm.

They were a little pack, to which I had the privilege of belonging.

Mr Spaghetti Legs

Mr Spaghetti Legs