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.
Luna turned five months old on the same day that DorkyDad turned *coughsnevermindcoughs*. I’ve completely lost track of how many weeks we’ve had her. Twelve maybe? Anyway, it’s fair to say that dog ownership has involved dealing with a lot more bodily fluids than I was expecting.
Housetraining her hasn’t really been an issue, but she’s been unlucky enough to pick up an unpleasant stomach parasite – we are currently on our second course of medication to try and deal with it – and it’s been a bit swings and roundabouts with the bug itself making her sick and then the medication making her sicker.
Poor girl. We’ll get there though, and the fact that she has been such a sweet natured soul – even while we’ve been dealing with her digestive woes – gives me hope that things will be even easier and more fun in a few weeks.
We also graduated from the first level of puppy class on Saturday (lucky DorkyDad eh?! Who wouldn’t want to spend their birthday morning in a warehouse with fifteen barely-trained dogs?!). The classes have been really good for helping Luna behave more calmly around other dogs, but in terms of teaching her commands and obedience it has been a bit tricky. She’s on a very boring dry food diet and can’t have any delicious training treats – it feels a bit unfair when all the other pups are chomping down on roast chicken and she’s sniffing with barely disguised disinterest at another handful of prescription kibble.
We discovered this week that she loves cubes of steamed pumpkin – and they don’t seem to upset her tum – but I’m not really up for carrying a pocket full of orange mush around with me on walks. So I think we’ll wait until she’s fully healthy before we try and take training any further.
Other than that, we are enjoying the early days of spring. It hit 28 degrees here yesterday. Big blue sky, lots of birds around, and the second wave of blossom starting to appear on the trees. My step count has gone through the roof since I’ve started walking a dog three times a day, so the warmer weather will be a treat and will hopefully combat some of the cabin fever we are starting to feel at being stuck on this island.
There are definitely no complaints about that – we are incredibly lucky to live in Tassie, where somehow, so far, we keep escaping the need for lockdowns – but it would be nice to have a sense that travel will open up again at SOME point. Like most people who live far away from their family and friends, I think DorkyDad and I are both feeling the distance more than usual just now.
He is now fully vaccinated, and I’m halfway there. (My first ever visit to Blundstone Arena and it was for a jab in the arm!) And although we are still lagging well behind the US and UK rollouts, the current lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne have pushed Australia’s vaccine rates up significantly. So there are glimmers of hope.
I gave a talk last night at Pecha Kucha Hobart – an event format where you select 20 images and have a strict 20 seconds to talk about each one. My topic was islands, and one of the points I made was that islands teach you patience. Bad weather, broken down ferries, pandemic-induced border closures… sometimes you just have to sit tight and wait.
Meanwhile it is head down for us all and on with work, on with walks, and on with pulling all manner of forbidden objects out of Luna’s mouth.
Happy spring indeed.