Saturday, 4 July 2015

Dear stranger in the park....

Dear stranger in the park,

You don't know me.

You don't know me:  so you don't know I'm about to turn 14 years old.

 You don't know me: so you don't know that although yes I am limping I still run and bounce and spin when the mood takes me.

You don't know me: so you don't know that when I'm panting and making that odd noise that bothers you so much it's because I have a serious health condition called Larangyl Paralysis which affects the way I breathe and could end my life at any moment. I'm not in pain, it doesn't bother me, I'm happy just to be alive.

You don't know me: so you don't know that I'm not "skinny" or "starved". I'm old now and I have lost muscle from my hips. I use to be extremely muscled and was once referred to as "Hench!"   I actually eat more than the recommended amount of calories for my size. I have 2 full meals a day (Once in the morning and once in the afternoon), I also have treats and snacks during the day and you can bet I get left overs too. I get treated to entire cooked breakfasts to myself and always get a special doggy cake on my birthday and at Christmas and sometimes "just because".

You don't know me: so you don't know that almost 3 years ago I was so unwell I wasn't expected to survive the weekend and was given just 6 months to live (maybe) if I was never allowed to run or play or get excited and was only given short on lead walks for the rest of my time. You also don't know that I hate my lead and I hate being restricted in any way, it stresses me and makes me sad so we agreed I would be allowed to play and be happy for however long I had left and so I get to go off lead, I get to bounce and spin on the beach and do all the things that make me happy. I think I'm doing pretty good.

You don't know me: so you don't know that when you see me walking in the rain in town or out during the winter without a coat on it isn't because I'm neglected or unloved. I actually own lots of coats for various weathers. A cool coat for the summer, a rain coat for wet days, 3 fleeces for when it's cold and a lightweight walking out coat for when it's just a little chilly. I'm not wearing my coat because I hate to walk in coats and I struggle to regulate my temperature correctly because of my health condition. I'm also very stubborn so if I don't want to put my coat on, I wont do it. I will put my coat on if I get cold. I know how to ask for it on just like I know how to ask for it to be taken off.

You don't know me: so you don't know that although I'm older and slower than my friends I love to be around them, I love to watch them bouncing and playing and running. You don't know that I love to go on walks and to meet ups just to be part of the fun even if that means just watching from the sidelines and finishing the walk behind everyone else.

You don't know me: so you don't know how far I can walk or when the walk is too long or too steep or too uneven for me. I know how far I can walk, I know when I've had enough. Some days just walking up the road is too much, some days I can walk for miles and do it with enthusiasm even if it is slowly. I'll make it very clear when I don't want to go any further.

You don't know me: so you don't know how I'm feeling, you don't know how tired I am or how much pain I'm in. You don't know when it's time for me to make my journey to rainbow bridge. You don't get to comment on my quality of life, You've just met me. If you knew me you'd know I'm happy, I'm loved, I'm not ready yet. I have so much more I need to do yet!


I'm Cat.

I'm a greyhound

I am almost 14 years old.

I love liver treats and ice cream

I like to dig holes in the beach and sometimes in the park too. I think it's clever.

I come from Ireland.

I was an athlete until I was 3 years old.

I had 8 puppies (in one litter) I loved being a mummy.

I was adopted when I was 5 years old.

I am retired NOT rescued.

I like to ride in the car, It makes me very excited.

I didn't know how to make friends until I was 10, now I have lots of friends. Even small breeds of dogs. I didn't even know they were dogs for so long.

I once picked a kitten up by it's head. It was fine I let it go.

I am very stubborn, I know my own mind and will sulk if I don't get my own way.

I love children. I always want to say hello.

I was diagnosed with a "pathological anxiety disorder" after someone popped a balloon near me, I got scared and decided I was never leaving the house again. I would shake and pant and freeze when I had to go out. I only felt safe in the car or the house. Even if there was no balloons near me. I worked very hard to get better.

I have a scar on my back left leg because I tried to be cheeky and ignore a command to go for a wee, I tried to jump up a small wall to get back inside. I misjudged the wall and hit my leg on it. I ripped a hole in my skin and had to have it stapled and my whole leg in bandage. My wound got infected and I ended up on anti-biotic for ages.

I only have 4 teeth so my tongue hangs out my mouth.

I like to visit lots of places but especially places with food.

I have been on boats and trains, I love adventures.

I once kissed a horse.

I like black dogs the best although I like to try and tease them too. I learnt this when I was a foster sister to a black lurcher who liked to shout a lot. I liked to annoy her on walks and make her shout and she always obliged. After that I decided to make it my special game. It doesn't always work out well for me.

DONT assume you know me or know what's best for me. If you're interested in learning about me just ask. 

Friday, 12 June 2015

The Pier Brewery Tap and Grill - Ilfracombe Harbour

We had been checking out menu's and signs that said they were dog friendly whilst waiting for our boat ride on the Princess earlier in the day and hooman girl had spotted something interesting she liked the sound of on one of the menu's near the harbour, we went off on our boat trip and then wandered around town for a bit as it was still only around 3pm then we remembered to go check on our parking and decided to go check out other local towns, on the way our of Ilfracombe hooman girl suddenly remembered she had wanted to stay there for dinner and so after a short trip to visit another town and beach we headed back to the pub we had been past earlier. There was a sign about their sun terrace (I dont think that's what they called it but yeah outside area!) and we decided since it was still quite nice out to go have a look, we had to go through the front door in to the pub and were greeted by a hairy retriever and a small hairy rabbity dog (I'm not 100%
certain what type of dog she would of been!) They both had a shout about my arrival but the hoomans in the bar said not to worry they were friendly just shouty and the called the little one "The landlady" which we liked and thought was quite funny. We headed out back to the outside again and chose a bench (There's no grass, just a level courtyard and then up a steep set of steps another little area that over looks the whole bay, it was nice but no way was I going to get up there at my age, with my houndie legs and lack of co-ordination so we stayed down the bottom!), both the dogs followed us out and continued to shout about the food and the view and then the bigger one went off to find something else to do whilst the little one who was called "Honey" I presume because of her colouring sat down across the courtyard to watch us, I took the opportunity to ask for my packed lunch from my bag since I hadn't eaten since I got up that morning and Honey thought what I had looked interesting so she came over and had a sniff, hooman girl offered her a piece of my dinner (what was just samples of 2 different kibbles I won at shows recently) but Honey said no thanks but she stuck around for ear scritches for a while before she decided to go back to shouting and the hoomans from the pub came out to tell her to be quiet and I think she got a time out coz she went inside and I could hear her upstairs after that shouting about being in prison.
A little bit later the hoomans dinner did arrive, Hooman girl had the shrohaloomi burger  (probably not how they spelt it) which was a mushroom with haloomi cheese and chedder cheese and salady bits served with chips and salad. Hooman boy had asked for the goat cheese pie coz he was intrigued by it however it was unavailable so he chose the bacon cheese burger instead. Hooman girl was so glad she remembered to come back coz the burger was delicious and the chips were extra delicious; no idea what they did to them but they were scrummy! Hooman boy also said his burger was really nice and was equally enthusiastic about those chips. The food isn't cheap but like they say "you get what you pay for" and the food was good and good sized portions to boot and the views from that deck in the summer would be pretty pawsome too.
We really enjoyed our visit and would love to come back again. Highly recommend a visit to The Pier.

Dog Friendly wildlife cruise - Ilfracombe

The Ilfracombe Princess @ Ilfracombe Harbour.        We went for a day trip to Ilfracombe recently  and thought we would check out the wildlife cruises they have on offer. We had to telephone in advance to check if/when they would be running due to recent bad weather. We called up in the morning and were told that they were in fact running today and so we set off with our bags for a day in North Devon. The drive there was uneventful and it didn't take long at all to reach our destination. We stopped for lunch on the way to the boat but there are lots of lovely shops, pubs and cafes where we can grab some lunch or a snack in Ilfracombe itself. There is plenty of parking in Ilfracombe, both short and long stay, we decided to go for long stay and park a little bit further away from the harbour itself which tells us it's a short stay car park, so we had to walk 5 - 10 mins through part of the town to reach the harbour where we spoke to one the men running the boat cruises and paid for our pre-booked tickets (The cruise lasts 1.5 hours although it
was closer to 2 hours by time we got back and costs 12 pounds for adult hoomans, 6 pounds for hooman puppies and under 4's and dogs go free). We had to meet at a designated point on the pier around 15 mins before sailing off time and then we walked down to the boat all together where we lined up beside Verity (she's a huge pregnant lady statue with no skin on one side) , Access on to the princess is via several steps  and a small hop to land on board although they do say that they welcome disabled visitors and wheelchair users and were going to help me get off the boat but hooman girl said it was OK and she hoiked me in the air by my coat so I didn't fall between the boat and the wall (which wouldn't of been good at all!). We got on and took our seats , it took me a little while to settle 1) coz I was excited and 2) coz I wasn't sure where to lie down but everyone was very nice and after my hoomans swapped seats with each other so I could lie down easier I settled down to enjoy the ride (on a mans foot - sorry to him if my cool coat got you wet, it was very nice of you not to complain about me sitting on you for 2 hours). We went around the coast and looked at lots of
building, rocks and beaches and a man spoke to us all about what we were looking at and then we went a bit further to look for some wildlife, we spotted some seals on the rocks and some in the water but they get a bit scared of the boat engines and so some were hiding. We didn't see dolphin or porpoise this time but rumour has it that these are also spottable on trips. After we had seen everything and heard all the history the boat went out further away from the rocks and we had a faster more splashy ride back to the harbour. It was a lovely sunny day and the breeze on the boat was nice and refreshing although we took on some water at times and a few hoomans had wet feet everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. The boat has a covered area if you need get out of the sun or if rain appears, a toilet for the hoomans and I do believe "refreshments" were mentioned. Oh and life jackets for the hoomans are available too. I took my own on board incase of emergency  too though luckily we didn't need to wear it.                                                                

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Holiday to Cornwall - March 2015

Heywo fwends and followers.

I thought it had been quite along time since I have written some bloggy posts and I recently got back from a few days in Cornwall with the hoomans. So here's some of the things we got up to.
Me on Porthmeor beach in st ives 

We went to St Ives when we 1st arrived and walked down from the car park across the beach at Porthmeor (its dog friendly "out of season" from like October until Easter) and then went around town looking in all the shop windows. We stopped in the town overlooking another of the towns beaches and ordered lunch from a takeaway (I cant remember it's name but it was the fish and chip shop that also sale fresh fish and has all the fish laid out like in a fish market.) We had fish and chips and more chips whilst looking at the sea and then as we were finishing we spotted a houndie coming, as we were walking across the road I said I was going over to say hi to him and the hoomans said I could (as long as I cross the road sensibly with them ofcourse!!!) This is Stewie! ---->
I know that coz it says so on hims coat! we did sniffs and then I got fusses from his hoomans and he got fusses from mine hoomans. We talked lots about all things hounds. Stewie doesn't have a very nice start to hims life though, he wasn't one the lucky ones! Once we had finished with our chat we went separate ways and I walked back through town, we stopped and bought cake and fudge from some the shops and then walked back across Porthmeor beach and the long way back to the car park before going to find our home for the week.

The next day we went off for a visit to The Minack Theatre we have been here before last year (although apparently I never got around to writing to you about it, so I'll tell you some things now!) The Minack is near Penzance and it's an open air theatre thats around 80 years old and was owned by Rowena Cade.   and it has had 100's of plays there and still does in the summer and evenings. We went during the day just for a look , you can see really good views from here.

After we had spent some time looking at the Theatre we got ice creams / lollys . We also went to The Watermill for dinner one evening.  We sat out in the garden as it was quite a nice evening when we went (I did wear my fleece ofcourse!) We ordered a sweet potato and chickpea lasagne and a chicken pie. The lasagne was nice but it was quite a dry one, it didn't really have any sauce in it. The Watermill allows dogs inside too but the garden is a really nice one with benches and a nice river and loads of space so if it's not too cold out then it's greyt to sit outside on the grass. We made a return visit to The Sand Bar at Praa Sands for breakfast and we witnessed the solar eclipse there too. We also bumped in to a houndie on the beach and guess who it was Stewie the boy we had met at the beginning of the week.
     We also visited a new park called Tehidy country park , it was quite nice but it was quite tricky to find where we were going. We found the car park easily but when we got inside the park we couldn't find the bit where dogs are allowed. We had to get some help, so you walk from the car park straight up past the cafe and toilets and dont turn left , go straight and you get to a road with a golf course to your right, walk up the road until you come to a gate and go through that and there you'll find the  rest of the park where we can walk around.

Ofcourse we also visited some beaches whilst we were away too.


Friday, 13 February 2015

The Grove Exmouth

The Esplanade

We visited The Grove on the 12th of February at lunch time whilst in Exmouth for a playdate with friends (my sisfur Tilly and Ontie Claire to be precise!). It was very quiet when we got there, we were the only ones there and we took up residence at a table that was next to the log fire (although it wasn't lit at the time!) and it had a lovely rug in front of it that looked perfect for 2 houndies to snooze on.
The part of the pub we sat in with the rug infront the fire

We all settled down to look at the menu's and ordered drinks. The hoomans took ages looking at the menu and picking what they wanted to have for lunch; in the end they decided on the mushroom and Camembert burger (for my vegetarian girl) , the cod cheek scampi (for my hooman boy) and the stuffed pumpkin (for Ontie Claire). Myself and Tilly had bought our own snacks so we settled down to munch those and then took a short nap.

When the food came out; which it did pretty quickly, it was all HUGE portions! The mushroom burger was a portabello mushroom, a inch thick piece of Camembert cheese , caramalised onions and spinach in a bun and it was served with chips (in a cute little bucket!) , the stuffed pumpkin was again huge, it was stuffed with risotto and vegetables and haloumi cheese and it came served with potato's and salad and the cod cheek scampi was a good sized portion and was served with chips. All the food was amazing, very good quality, amazing sized portions, hot and well cooked and a decent price (most meals were between 9 GBP  and 12 GBP but for the portion sizes that's a good value meal!)

There are dog bowls throughout (Although these were all empty at the time of our visit I imagine they will be well filled in summer months!) and dog biscuits on the bar (We didn't try these as we had brought our own snacks as I previously mentioned!) The signs outside indicate in several places that The Grove is dog friendly throughout (They are also hooman pup friendly if you have one of those!) The Grove no doubt gets extremely busy in summer months (You can book a table on their website or by telephoning them!), it has an outside seating area, is directly opposite Exmouth beach (although the entrance to the beach is a few mins walk up the road!) and a short walk from the main area of Exmouth with its shops, cafes and attractions.

We had a very nice visit and would highly recommend you pop in for a drink or some lunch. We will definitely be returning in the future!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Looking back on 2014 ...

... Like any year 2014 has had its up and downs, its pawsome days and its sad days, its been filled with fun and zooming and snoozing and nomming and lots of luffs. So here we shall look back at some of the things we got up to in 2014.

 Well the start of the year was a wet and windy one here in Devon and as most of you would of heard our railway line fell down and was washed in to the sea. Unfortunately my hooman girl duz live in one of the flats that stand on the road that was washed away and so she came home to stay with me for a couple of weeks and then she went and stayed in a caravan in a local holiday park until she was allowed to move back in to the flat once the important hoomans were more convinced it wasn't going to fall down and she got some electricity back. Alot of our friends were very helpy and sended money and clothes and things so that hooman girl and her neighbours could have some clean clothes and food and things and dat wuz soopa nice and makes us happy, These are some foto's from when the road fell down in February!

I got to attend a few southwest sighthound walkies with friends and got to watch some playful lurchers zoom and wrestle; I even tried to join in occasionally. I made new friends and got to spend time with some old friends and checked out a new dog friendly cafe/pub.

Me and my friends the Vincent Hounds went to a doggy show ; well we went to a few actually but at this one in particular we had a really nice time. Me and Georgie entered two classes for similar doggies and got placed in both, I won a rosette for veteran and Shadie got placed 2nd in his class too.

 Sadly a few days after this show Shadie made his journey to Rainbow Bridge after being poorly for a long time. here's the tribute video we made for him.<3

I had a very wet walkies with my pointy nosed friends in Goodrington - it was soopa soopa fun with lots of bitey face and zoomies.

We went up to Newmarket for the RGT Greyhound extravaganza and had a really soopa day, we saw friends, entered the show, did some shopping and tried some foods from the stalls. It was a reeeeeally long way to travel for the day but it was worth it to say I've been to the extravaganza and to see so many luffly friends. My friends Orla and Dixie are real life littlemates and they entered best pair and came 1st so they got to go in BIS and .... they won!!!! :) 

I had a little birthday party with some friends; we went to a dog friendly pub and the hoomans had dinner and we had cake and my friends brought me presents and we shared treats and fusses. 

I had to go visit my dogtors quite a few times this year as I am now 13 years old and I have a growing list of medical issues. I was feeling very old, slow and in pain by the autumn this year, I couldn't walk far and when I did walk I did it really slowly. I couldn't zoom or bounce any more even when I really wanted to play. We went to talk to the dogtor and see if we could get some medicines to make me less owey. Whilst I was at the dogtors we talked about some other issues, my breathing, my eyes and some wee wee issues. So below is what I have everyday now to help me feel less old. I take 2g of Seraquin to help keep my joints healthy, 40mg of Onsior (Robenacoxib) its an NSAID , it stops my legs and hips and wrists hurting so much so I can run and play. 1 scoop of  "hold-it" to help stop me doing wee-wee's in my sleep and I have 1-2 drops of artificial tears 2-3 times a day to help my dry eyes. The dogtor thinks I have Larangyl Paralysis which we have thought for a long time any way but we have decided not to formally diagnose or treat it as it would involve anaesthetic and surgery and pain and at the moment it isn't causing me much trouble, I still cough and wheeze and I do sometimes choke and need help to not choke so I need be watched when I have food or treats but *paws crossed* I'm doing OK.  I had blood tests taken from my arm and they listened to my heart and lungs and poked and prodded at my tummy and  took my temperature so I had a full MOT and they all came back clear so I dont have any underlying illnesses like cancer or kidney disease but I need to have 6 monthly blood tests now to keep an eye on my kidneys and liver because of my medicines can affect that. So I need collect my pawket money up so I can afford to pay for my tablets and tests. 

After my visits to the dogtors and starting my new medicine I took  my legs for a test run. 

As you can see the medicine is helping me get my bouncing legs back on (This was 4 days after starting my medicine.) I also did a spot of squirrel spotting / stalking at Stover. 

I have managed to squeeze in a few dog show classes this year too and managed to add to my rosette collection. 

We visited some new dog friendly pubs and cafe's - our new favourite is The Ship in Weymouth. 

We went on a 2 week tour of UK, 1st we went to woofstockuk, then to Southampton, Then to Nottingham for GGG and then we went to Weymouth. It was soopa fun but soopa hexorsting. We camped with other pointy noses in Nottingham and I won a rosette at GGG. Woofstock was my 1st festival/concert and I enjoyed listening to some moosic wiff mine hoomans. 

I even did a spot of swimming ... 

I took part in Dogs Unite - a sponsored walk for guide dogs and we walked 5 miles. Thank Dog fur mine new medicine. We raised 140 pounds ;)

Unfortunately some of my good friends have had to go to rainbow bridge this year and I miss them lots but I also have met new friends; although they dont replace my friends now at the bridge they are becoming greyt friends themselves. 

There's been so many memories to talk about I cant cover them all but I look forward to many more soopa memories to complete 2014 and in to 2015 too. 

Here's me with my friends and are hoomans recently at a pre-Christmas walkies and lunch in Stroud, Here you can see some of my newest friends. Bella the lurcher in the orange bandanna on the left of the picture and Teddie the black greyhound just behind her and the over on the right next to me is Lucy the moo greyhound who is Elfie's new sisfur.