Saturday, July 22, 2017

Doggy sitting Muthi

Blogger friends have read in my posts about dear old Muthi, the legendary Jack Russell terrier here in the valley. On 12 July 2017, Muthi turned 21 human years old. He is now the ripe old age of 147 dog years. 

This past week, Steve (Muthi's yoomen dad) had to go to the city for a cataract procedure. He and Estelle were frantic with worrying about what to do about Muthi. Then they thought about us...and asked us whether we'd come and doggy sit the old gentleman.

We agreed and on Tuesday evening we tootled across the valley with an overnight back and arrived at Steve and Estelle's home. They were due to leave very early for the city so it was better we stayed over the first night. 

Muthi was still asleep when Estelle and Steve left home. Grant and I had breakfast and then he left for his newly acquired workshop in the valley. I worked at my laptop and at around 8am Muthi stirred. (he wears a bell on his collar so Estelle can hear him at night). I lead him through the house and onto the lawn. There he sniffed at several blades of grass and then obliged me by spending a penny! 

Dear old Muthi in the early morning sunshine

Then he did a little hop and skip and tail wagging, bounded (as fast as such an old man is able) up the ramp and into the house. 

Once I'd moved his soft bed into the lounge near me, and settled Muthi under the blankets, he put his head down and was soon asleep again. 

At around 2pm Grant arrived for lunch and we enjoyed a sandwich and cup of tea together. Muthi slept on. Grant had to collect a starter motor from an old friend and retired engineer, Alan a few kilometers up the hill from where we were staying. 

Meanwhile Estelle had asked me to sign in a young couple who were booked in to stay in their eclectic accommodation, The Zulu Hut. They duly arrived, I registered them and showed them their accommodation. 

Then lifting Muthi's bed with him in it, placed it on the rear seat of our pick-up and we set off to see Alan. Once he and Grant had done with their business, Alan insisted we have a cup of coffee with him. I'd baked him some scones which he enjoyed with his cuppa. Our vehicle was parked on the lawn nearby and Muthi and although he was awake, he just lay quietly in his bed on the seat. 

Once back home, Muthi got up and wandered of to his food bowl. It was empty but Estelle had shown me his stewed chicken which I heated slightly and placed in front of the little ole doggy. He sniffed at it, lifted his head and looked at me; then looking down again, he started to eat with gusto.

After he'd had his fill, he walked to where Grant was sitting on the sofa. Grant lifted his bed, placed it on the cushions next to him and put  Muthi in his bed. 

Then the fun started...

Muthi started to give small yelps. At first they were soft yelps with a period of time in between. Then they became louder and more frequent. We'd been in contact with Estelle all day and she'd told us that Steve had gone into theater at 3pm. Grant, who's had the same procedure, said you're wheeled into theatre but then placed in a long line of other patients in there for the same thing! 

At 6pm, Steve phoned us: he was cheerful and said he's wearing an eye patch and the op went off smoothly;  Estelle was driving and they'd be home in about an hour. 

At 6.30 the second lot of visitors arrived and I went outside to welcome them and show them The Cave. They consisted of a man his wife and two teenage daughters. Using a torch I led the way to The Cave and showed them where everything was (light switches, extractor fans, space for their luggage, the two plate cooker) The man then asked me if I could organize wood as they wanted to braai (BBQ) It was freezing that night and biting back voicing my thought of who-in-his-right-mind-would-want-to- cook-their-meal-outdoors-tonight, I went up to the main house to look for wood. The gardener should've done this job earlier that day but hadn't! 

When I got inside, the other guests who were staying in The Zulu Hut, came to ask if we could show them how to start their electric heater. Grant went up to their accommodation while I went in search of wood. When Grant got back, he picked up some kindling, an axe and a bag of self-starting charcoal. I'd loaded my arms with as many logs as I could carry and together we walked down to The Cave to drop the fuel with these guests. Fortunately they were quite happy with what we brought (I'd had visions of chopping up logs for them !) 

We got back inside the house and by now Muthi was yelping once every 10 - 20 seconds. We told him his Mum was on her way home. His reaction to this was to yelp even louder. '

Finally at 7.15 Steve and Estelle walked in the door and she came straight to where Muthi was sitting on his bed on the sofa and yelping. 

When he heard her voice, he looked at her and with his voice going up several decibels, yelped and yelped. We were all laughing and talking at once with this little dog yodeling in between! 

Finally after a good five minutes of welcoming his Mum home (not even a canine nod in Steve's direction!), Estelle took Muthi out onto the lawn for a walk. Then bringing him indoors, she settled him in his bed in her bedroom and he fell into an exhausted sleep! 

Steve then told us about the long wait to actually get into theater and that once he was there, how simple it all was. He'd been very nervous although every one who'd had this procedure, told him it was a highly successful operation. 

Grant and I packed the car and came back home to the farm.

Debbie and Namusa had kindly looked after our dogs and cats and all were very glad to see us home...

I'm linking to Saturday Critters here



  1. You had me worried. I am glad that Muthi was just missing his mum - and that his father's operation went well.

  2. I have never heard of such an elderly dog. He is well looked after by everyone in his life. His Mum is pretty special to him by the sound of it.

  3. Awe, such a cutie, enjoy your time together!

  4. OMD OMD OMD what a dog story and a people story and a kind friend story... poor sweet old guy missing his mom. you may have missed our story while you were away. I got so stressed over bob with blocked arteries and waiting 5 days for blood thinner to get out of his system I lost 4 pounds in 5 days, Jake's hair started to fall out in huge chunks. we thought he had mange, it was 100 percent stress, we are now almost stress free and the hair came back. but last week we had a clap of thunder that was so loud it shook our whole house like an earthquake and now when it starts to roll thunder he gets agitated and wants to sit on me, not bob. the pups love their dads but when something is wrong they want mommy

  5. Nie story - and you are entitled to behave just as you please at 147 years old!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Geneva, Switzerland

  6. That's amazing ! such an old dog and apparently still in good shape ! It seems you have really settled in now and Grant has a new workshop ??

  7. Great story Jo. I love that old wise dog, he has such a great staff to meet his needs. :)

  8. Sounds like you had quite the adventure. Muthi is certainly enjoying his long life.

  9. Hello JO, Muthi is a sweetie. He is living the good life, 21 that is a great age for a dog. You and Grant were busy during your dog and house sitting. Thanks for sharing your post. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!


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