Sunday, November 29, 2020

Hedges kitties and dog

 Hello Mum's blogger friends; this is Ambrose. I have had to wait to post about the kitties and our doggy friend. Mum has been worried about Skabby being ill (he's getting better now) and she has also been very sad. We, the Hedges pets decided to be good to help her! 

Chappie on the lawn
I, Ambrose with Skabby the dog who is healing 
Mama in another part of the garden 
Missy asleep on top of Mum's cupboard

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Update on my Skabby

 Good afternoon dear Blogger friends. As posted last week, Skabby had been to the vet. He improved during the week. Not once did he go off his food and never was his enthusiasm for his daily walk diminished. But he was a much quieter puppy; at times looking quite introspective. 

Here, after is daily swim in the dam, he had just nose greeted this cow through the fence 
I loved this cow's markings 

Friday morning early, I went onto the veranda, picked up Skabby's leash and clipped it to his quick-release collar. Normally at this stage of our walk, he is so boisterous and jumps up and down excitedly. Today he sat - actually sat - while I leashed him up, then walked alongside me to the car. Always before, I have had to have help to get him into the car; this morning I opened the door, and he jumped onto the back seat and lay down. 
Lying quietly  on the back seat for Mum
Note the introspective look! 
He put his head down and lay like this all the way to the vet 

Inside the vet, I was met by the same young vet who attended Skabby last week. Together she and our lovely Indian vet, Dr Arwa took him into the surgery and closed the door. I waited in the reception area. Within less than ten minutes, Dr Arwa brought him out. Skabby was dripping blood on the tiled floor. The vet told me that it wasn't an abscess but blocked saliver ducts. This caused the fluid to build up and gather under his chin. The vet had drained fluid as he could, inserted a plastic drain, secured with a gut stich and asked me to bring him back to the surgery on Tuesday. He has to continue on the antibiotic meds as well. 
Back home, I crushed his tablets into warm milk, added meaty chunks and set it in front of Skabby. He ate with gusto and at the same time, the plastic drain fell out of his neck onto the floor. As my doggy is quite well, I decided against going back to the vet. 

We will see the doctor again on Tuesday.

I am linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen here


In memory

 Good evening dear Blogger friends. Many of you may remember how, three years ago, I lost my darling husband, Grant very suddenly. You can read about it here

Today is the anniversary of his death and I have been inundated with wishes, phone calls and WhatsApp messages from friends and family. 

I scrolled through my external hard drive for photos and posted on Facebook. Here too, I was showered with loving comments and kind words about Grant. 

I thought I'd share these here too. 

Grant with his mum, Pam . She outlived him by two years
Easy Rider Circa 2002
Our first years as bikers 

In 2006, Grant moved an entire earthmoving fleet from a gold mine in Guinea to another in Mali. He traversed a distance of 1800 across the wildest and roughest terrain known to man. It took him 53 days. He kept a journal and took over 700 digital photos. I intended to write about his odyssey but somehow life got in the way. I hope to write it one day - soon! 
He was meticulous about the condition of his trucks and other machines; even in the wilds of Africa! He was approaching the his destination in Mali so the roads are kept in peak condition by the mining company. The previous 1600km were so rough that some days he only covered 25km and it always fascinated me how happy he was for this progress!
Grant was a keen on the outdoors and loved fishing. Here he is fly fishing in the Niger river, the border between Guinea and Mali, West Africa 

Grant and I spent two years in Khartoum, North Africa. I blogged extensively about our experiences at the time. Am I glad I did. I have had a few forays into my archives reliving these times. 
Grant and I spent many a Friday (Sunday in the Islamic calendar) touring the Nubian desert in his Landcruiser 
We attended a Sudanese wedding while we were there 

On our breaks in South Africa, we toured the country and neighboring states on our BMW motorcycle.

Namibia on two wheels 
SA national roads boast sweeping passes which are a biker's delight and architecturally superior bridges across our many major rivers. Photo ops of  the bike on a bridge was my forte and my old biker always obliged by posing in a relaxed manner while I clicked away 
Posing at the Tropic of Capricorn in Namibia in 2014

Grant and I at a friend's funeral in 2014 

Lake Victoria in Tanzania
Grant, project manager in Mwadui diamond mine doing a presentation 
At Grant's niece's wedding in 2013

At a motorcycle rally in Bloemfontein in 2017

On the farm in the Drakensberg 2017. Grant was my trusty gardener 
Day hikes in the Drakensberg 
Grant striding out at Parkrun early 2017 

Six months after Grant's death, friend and at the time, employer, artist, Steve Bull commissioned a painting of Grant. He said it was an honor and a pleasure immortalize his old friend on canvas 

Missed greatly; never forgotten

Monday, November 23, 2020

Sick as a dog!

 Good evening Blogger friends. I've been away from my laptop (as has Ambrose) due to a very uncomfortable doggie. What do you say when a dog is sick? Sick as a human? 

On Friday evening I noticed that Skabby had what I thought was, dewlaps. Huge extended skin under his chin. Of course, he goes into a frenzy if I bend down to look at him and spins around in circles. When I managed to calm him, and ran my hand under his chin, I felt two huge lumps like cricket balls. He didn't seem to be too distressed but my mind spun into overdrive. I hardly slept a wink worrying about the dog.  (who slept soundly beside my bed) 

Skabby enjoying his bone last Tuesday evening 

On Saturday morning I loaded him in the car (I was able to do this myself, which bodes well for when I take him to the groomers in future) and drove the 50km to the vet in Estcourt. A young woman attended to him. She drew fluid from the lumps and checked it out. She was rather non-committal about what it could be. I asked her if it could be a snake bite but she said no. She suspected they were abscesses which would drain naturally, but if not, I'd bring him back in a week, and the main vet would lance and drain this under anesthetic. 

She gave him an antibiotic injection and prescribed five days of tablets for me to administer.

After the vet's visit 

He's been very quiet. He drinks copious amounts of water and I see it's a challenge for him to eat his food. I have to crush the meds in milk warned with water and he manages to get this down.  

He loved his walk, as always

I took him for a walk today. He was very excited at the prospect and did all the normal things he does on this walk. Even dived into the dam at the end of the first part of our sortie. Back home, he lapsed into quiet mode again and lay under the shrubs until dark when he came indoors to lie by my bed. Ever the loyal guard dog even when sick as a dog! 

Quietly lying on his blankie by my desk 
Chappie attempts to cheer the patient up with her antics 

Roll on Friday when my poor boy can get relief. 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

My turn at last !

 Dear Mum's fellow Bloggers; this is Ambrose and at last I have a turn at the computer. Mum has been very busy but most of her work is done at home and we have her with us a lot now! 

I am sleeping on Mum's bed at night while Mama sleeps in the wardrobe. She and I still don't get on too well. 

I watch Mama from the top of Mum's fridge
A great view from high up!
 Mama socializing with Missy in a box 

Skabby the dog went away with Mum in her car. He came back all smooth and so happy he made a big splash in his water bowl 
Chappie enjoys the sunshine 
Skabby eating his bone in the rain

The Hedges pets are very happy  ! 

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Clear skies and another rescue mission

 Dearest Blogger friends; more than two weeks have elapsed since I blogged. I have been very busy at the farm office and of course, the accommodation keeps me and Thandiwe on the hop. We are eternally grateful for the guests, and have the stripping,  cleaning and sterilizing after checkouts and prepping for check-in guests, down to a fine art! 

As always Skabby and I still go out for our daily walk on the farm.

Early last Friday, it was very misty. At 8.20 that morning, when Skabby and I walked, the sun had burnt off the moisture;  the air was crisp and clear and the sky a deep blue. As I focused my camera on the majestic peaks, I realized that for the first time since I moved to the Central Drakensberg four years ago, the mountains were standing out in stark relief against the Lesotho highlands as their backdrop. 

Champagne Castle, Cathkin Peak and the Dragon's Back 
silhouetted against the mountains behind them 
I trust you all share my enthusiasm for this particular phenomena which I've not seen before  
And then it was upwards and onwards with the walk! 

I had to snap Skabby actually shaking himself in the water! 
And taking huge gulps of water 

I wanted to photograph the pivot spray in symmetry and managed another image of the mountains in the distance 
Skabby and I stopped to visit the newest born calf that day 

Back in the farmyard, Skabby and I passed the farmer. John, who was resting on his pick-up's tailgate with his shadow: little Dot at his feet. 
We spent a few minutes chatting before Skabby and I entered our garden gate 

Later that day, I was passing one of the many pet water bowls in the garden, when I saw a green movement on the surface of the water. I scooped it up; it was a little insect. As always, I wanted to photograph it. I set up my camera on my desk and held my wet finger with the little mite on it, in front of the lens. It took several attempts before I had a half-decent photo. I was also concerned I'd hurt what turned out to be a perfectly formed baby grasshopper! 
A teeny weeny, but perfectly formed, baby grasshopper

In my 67 plus years on this earth, I have never seen anything so cute 

After photographing the grasshopper, I took it into the garden and placed it on a blade of grass. I left it in peace, hoping it would hop off  to safety! 

Twelve hours after my first photo of the day (the mist over the farm) I walked outside to encounter the most beautiful sunset over the farm gate.
The perfect ending to a perfect day 

I'm linking my post to Saturday Critters with Eileen, here