Birthday Boy! Eight Years Old!

On the 12th of February, 2012, Ollie was born late at night, in the house next door.

Three months later, he came to live with us, and has been my constant companion ever since. Hardly a moment of any day goes by when he is not close enough to me to touch, and the only time he is ever on his own is when he settles down on his bed at night.

He has mellowed my moods, given me reason to exercise and explore, and through him, I have met most of the people I know in Beetley.

Despite all his numerous surgical procedures and other medical problems, he has stuck with me loyally, and remained my best friend for those eight years.

Happy Birthday for yesterday, to the best dog anyone could ever hope to own.

Ollie At The Vet Again

Just over a week ago, we noticed that Ollie’s fur had still not grown back completely, after his last skin infection during the hot spell.
I took a photo of it, when we were out on his walk. You can make out the circle of bare skin, and the mark where a scab had formed.

Then over the weekend, his back got a lot worse. Hair was falling out in more circular patterns, and it was soon looking like this, with more scabs appearing.
(Notice his tail is uncurled, a sure sign he was unhappy at being photographed close up.)

On Monday evening, we noticed this awful sore had appeared on his neck, just above his right leg.

I rang the Vet on Tuesday morning, and managed to get an appointment for today.

Now we are back, with a diagnosis of a yeast infection of the skin, an ear infection in the right ear, and a sample sent away for laboratory testing in case it is Ringworm. Ollie has a week-long course of antibiotics and steroids, ear drops for the right ear, and the sore at the bottom of his neck has to be washed twice-daily with salt water.

I may have to bathe my wallet too, so it can recover from the amount taken out of it…

He was very well-behaved, and allowed the lady Vet to scrape, prod, and poke. For his good behavior, he was rewarded with some delicious cooked chicken pieces once we got home.

Let’s hope that it clears up soon, and he gets no more infections for the remainder of 2019.

Summer Moon

10 pm, last night. The rain had stopped for three hours, and we finally saw a full moon over Beetley. I went outside with my camera, but this was the best I could get, at 200 mm full zoom.
It is a poor photo of the Moon, but the point was that this was the first time it had been visible for over a week, due to the low black clouds finally disappearing. And it was still light, even at that late hour.

Next door’s cat spotted me, and came for a stroke. Alfie knows me well, as I feed him when they are away, and he likes to play with Ollie too. I call him ‘Alfredo Cat’, and he recognises his name. But he wasn’t exactly in the mood to pose for me, once he realised I had no food. So the photo is not in focus, as he kept moving.

After almost a week of rain, the simple pleasure of stepping outside with the camera is something to relish.

Ollie and the dentist

Ollie has lived for well over five years without any dental problems. His teeth have always been in excellent condition, even the Vet said so.

On Tuesday, he suddenly stopped eating his dinner, and sat down. He looked at me plaintively, so I checked his mouth, to see if something was stuck in his teeth. I was alarmed to discover that one of his top molars was loose. On further investigation, I could see that the large tooth was actually split in two, with the outer section easily moved by my finger. He wasn’t complaining though, and finished his dinner soon after.

The next day, I phoned the Vet. They made an appointment for Thursday, to check the tooth. Sure enough, it had broken in half, just held on by being secure in Ollie’s gums. The best guess was that he had chewed too hard on his plastic bone, ironically intended to promote dental heath. The Vet advised tooth removal, and booked Ollie in for an extraction on Friday morning. I took him in at 08:30, and he reluctantly walked off with the nurse, oblivious to what awaited, but undoubtedly suspicious.

I phoned at 1 pm, and was told it was all over, and he was doing well. I could collect him before 4.
When I arrived, he was dopey, and fed up. Not interested in pats or cuddles, he marched off to the car, eager to get in, and get home. Along with the enormous bill, (£300) the Vet gave me the tooth. It was a huge double molar, otherwise very healthy, save for the large split.

Ollie was not his old self at all. He took to his bed, and looked sideways at me, no doubt upset at his treatment, and being abandoned. Despite pain relief, he cried intermittently, and refused to wag his curly tail. I gave him his favourite meal, chicken and pasta, but he took almost two hours to eat any of it. He is now sitting grumpily beside me, in a half-doze. In ten days time, he has to go back for a check-up.

He’s not going to like that.

Five today!

This photo is a couple of years old. But he hasn’t changed much since, and it is one of my favourites.

Ollie was born on the 12th of February, 2012. Not long after that, I moved here for good from London, and we took him in full time. I have spent every day with him since, and established an unbreakable bond with our dog. He has always been a joy to have; well-behaved, good company, and popular with guests and neighbours too. He has never chewed anything he wasn’t supposed to, never stolen any food he wasn’t allowed to eat, and the only time he has had any ‘accidents’ inside the house has been when he was ill.

He has endured four eye operations, two tail operations, and endless bouts of treatment for ear infections and skin problems. He has been in an animal hospital, and made numerous trips to the Vet. But he never once complained. He didn’t snap, whine, or refuse to get out of the car. He trusts us completely, and even if he is left with friends or neighbours for a few hours he is no trouble, as he is confident that we will soon return.

Of course, he has also been the star of this blog, and more popular than the blog writer, certainly. His antics are always received with delight, and much joy is expressed at any photos of him as they appear. He is the heart and soul of beetleypete, without doubt.

As he is now thirty-five in equivalent human years, I tried to tell him that he should be acting a little more grown up. Perhaps he should be doing less sniffing around, and not bothering to run around the house with a stuffed lion clamped in his jaws. But he is having none of that, and is determined to carry on being the same old Ollie, even at the grand age of five.

He will get some extra treats today, and no doubt more fuss too. There will be some birthday presents of even more stuffed toys, and something very tasty to supplement his dinner tonight. He even got a birthday card, with a photo of two Shar-Pei dogs on it!
In every way imaginable, he is a ‘Good Boy’, and the best dog I have ever had.

Happy Birthday, Ollie.

The return of the crop circles

Almost a year ago, I wrote about a worrying skin condition that was affecting our dog, Ollie. His fur was falling out in a circular pattern, revealing a sore patch on the skin, and a worrying baldness in the area. After some visits to the Vet, it was eventually cleared up by a combination of creams and shampoos, as well as some antibiotics. Since last November, Ollie has had his fair share of ear infections, and some more trips to the Vet, but after his main moult, he seemed to have been clear of most problems.

Sadly, I have to report that the crop circles are back. And they are on his back too, running in a discernible line along his spine. As well as being unsightly, they have sore patches in the centre, and they are obviously causing him some distress, as he cannot reach them with his paws. I have applied the same cream, and been careful when stroking, but they are not going away. If anything, they are getting worse.

Last year, the Vet was unconcerned about them. He said that they were a non-infectious, bacterial problem, well-known in Ollie’s breed; that of a Shar-Pei. That doesn’t really help, when you love your pet, and don’t want him to suffer. So we make sure he is happy in every other way. He gets the same walks, the same food and treats, and also plays with his doggy pals over The Meadows. I know many of you think a lot of Ollie, so I can assure you that if it gets any worse, he will be going back to the Vet. In the meantime, he is still eating, still playing the same as always, and still seems to be as happy as ever.

Here is a link to the last post, in case you didn’t see it.

Just keeping you updated.

Two Today!

Ollie the dog is two years old today. The time seems to have gone so quickly, and it only seems like a few months since he was a ball of wrinkles, rolling around on his blanket. It has not been an easy two years for the pup. He has endured three major eye operations, countless visits to the Vet, and the recent amputation of the end of his tail. None of this has changed his loveable nature, or dampened his enthusiasm for playing with his toys, or pounding around the meadow with his doggy pals.

He has been with me every day, since I moved here full-time. He is my constant companion, and devoted follower. Whatever low mood you might find yourself in, he can lift it, with a wag of his curly tail, or excited scampering, rushing to show you his favourite toy. He has become part of our family, firmly established, and it is impossible to think of our life here in Norfolk, without him in it. He rarely does anything wrong, and even when he does, it is something of little significance; like not returning when called, or chewing the nose off his latest toy. His possessions litter the living room floor after a hard day’s play, and his slobbering has to be caught quickly, or it will go everywhere. He can smell awful when he has got wet, and when he has a drink, he slops water all over the kitchen tiles. But he is harmless, as it is all unintentional, and just part of him being the dog he is.

He has given me a reason to exercise, introduced me to people who have become good friends, and enabled me to see the world from the viewpoint of a dog, in uncomplicated terms. Go out, eat, play, and sleep, four simple things that he lives by. If he is left for a while, he just sleeps. He doesn’t bark, whine, or chew furniture. When you have had enough of playing, he senses that too, and trots off to lie across the room, awaiting your next burst of energy. He has an internal clock better than any Rolex, and knows exactly what time to expect Julie to return from work; and if she is running late, he senses that too, ears raised at any car noises. He knows what time he should go out in the afternoon, and never troubles you before then. He loves to go out in the car, but can be disappointed when the short journey ends in the Vet’s car park. His main joy is the daily walk to the local meadow, and across to Hoe Rough. He never tires of the same ‘beat’; even though I might find it dull and repetitive, he adores the familiarity of his regular stomping ground.

He loves to welcome guests and visitors to the house, seeing everyone, from the postman, to our next door neighbours, as his best friends. His gang of doggy mates are checked off as they arrive, and if any are absent, he monitors the entrances to the fields, wondering where they have gone. His world is small, and his expectations are small also. I sometimes think that we could all learn something from the happiness he derives, from simple lack of expectation.

He will have extra treats today, as well as new toys; a fluffy lion, and a stuffed tiger that he got this morning. He doesn’t understand that it is his birthday, but he will appreciate the extra fuss. He is our little friend, and still only two years old. We might assume that this is fourteen, in human years. We would be wrong. Like any two year old, he is full of the joys of his youth, has boundless energy, and an inquisitive nature. He is just a dog, but he is a great dog.

Happy Birthday Ollie.