DorkyDog’s THR surgery: one month on

A brown and white spoodle photographed from above wears an elizabethan collar, and has a support sling under its back legs.

“Look back and laugh? I doubt it.”

DorkyDad said that the other day as he was leaving the room, and it has stuck with me. It’s the perfect summary of our current life.

It’s not often that our little family finds itself in a situation where we can’t see the funny side. Even in some of our roughest patches, we have been able to find moments of light and laughter to help push us through.

But right now? There are not a lot of laughs. With the exception of DorkyDad’s cancer treatment, I’m not sure we’ve ever been through such a relentlessly joyless spell.  Continue reading

DorkyDog’s total hip replacement

Brown and white poodle puppy

When DorkyDad was having radiation treatment, one of the things I really appreciated was how many other people had shared their similar experiences on blogs and forums. It was so reassuring to read about folk who had been through something very challenging and come out the other side, and to pick up numerous hints and tips that made our own experiences easier.

When our little DorkyDog was diagnosed with hip dysplasia, and it was confirmed that she would need surgery, I was hoping to find similar writing online from dog owners. But that hasn’t been the case. Beyond the official information on vet websites, I’ve been able to find very little.

With that in mind, I thought I might write a couple of blog posts as we make our way through this – in the hope that sharing our experience is helpful for others doing the same in future. Writing has also, always, been my way of processing hard things. And this is very definitely a hard thing, so I’m hoping it will be helpful for me too.

Back to the beginning… Continue reading

This is not a birthday blog post

A boy walking on the trail in Tasmania's southwest wilderness

DorkySon turns thirteen later this month (THIRTEEN!!).

If you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ll know that I usually write a birthday post reflecting on the previous year. In fact, this year’s birthday blog would have been the tenth one… but reasonably enough DorkySon is not as keen for me to spend 1000 words going into raptures over how great he is these days. You never know who might be reading.

So this is not a birthday blog. 

Instead it’s just a reflection on our summer, and an update for far-flung family and friends on how life is going in Tasmania. If I occasionally, accidentally, veer off into saying nice things about DorkySon please just ignore that and move quickly onto the next paragraph. Continue reading

Moving on up

Image shows a child's hand holding a pen. On a piece of paper is written 'Tom's book Chapter 1 adventures'

I have to be honest… when DorkySon left his infant school at the end of Grade 2, I thought I would never love a school as much as I did that one.

It had been such a perfect fit. The nurturing little community by the sea that helped us settle into Hobart; the place where we made our first friends; the school where a succession of kind, caring and thoughtful teachers supported DorkySon from the age of four through to eight.

It was the school where we watched him learn to read, to write, to make marvellously messy artworks that he would come running up to show us at the end of the day. It was everything you would hope for in a school and so, so much more.

But I have had to eat my words, because it turned out that his next school – the primary he has attended from Grades 3 to 6, ages 8 to 12 – has been every bit as good. Continue reading

Spring 2021

Last Saturday was DorkyDad’s birthday and it began, as all the best birthdays do, with the dog jumping up onto our bed and vomiting all over it.

We hurried her back downstairs into her crate to let DorkyDad enjoy half an hour’s peace and quiet – drinking coffee and opening his presents, which included a watercolour painting of a ukulele from DorkySon, a voucher for a stargazing event on kunanyi from me, and a personalised video message from Phillies player Jimmy Rollins. Not often I’ve seen DorkyDad speechless, but it’s nice to know we can still surprise him.

Continue reading