Monthly Archives: September 2007

free stuff and childcare tips

I have just had my best google-search referrer in a while! #1 for “tethered clothesline toddler”. Hah! Don’t tie your toddlers to clotheslines boys and girls! It will give them an enduring aversion to clean clothes.

Pooka appears to have returned to normal, so all is well with the world. Miss Lisa she’s nearly 8 months old, so still in puppyland.

Today I went to pick up her heartworm tablets and came home with a ball thrower, a rubber ice cube tray that makes dog-shaped ice cubes, and a photo frame. They were having “let’s clean out the box of free stuff from drug companies” Saturday.

I am in two minds about the ball thrower. I already have two of those. One attached to each shoulder. But it came with a ball! And we can never have too many of those! And I’m not very good at throwing long distances at present, so perhaps it will help with that…

as I was saying…

A few weeks ago we had a paediatrics tute where it occurred to me that paediatrics is a lot like being a vet. All about being sneaky and distracting the patient or asking family members to hold various limbs down when sneakiness and distraction doesn’t work.

Pooka has been a bit poorly since yesterday afternoon. She doesn’t feel like doing much. However apart from that she doesn’t appear to have any signs of anything suspicious. She is eating and drinking, I’ve prodded and poked her all over and can’t find any signs of tenderness, no discharge from anywhere, other bodily functions normal, I don’t have trouble rousing her from sleep, I can’t find any signs of ticks (and she doesn’t have any weakness as far as I can tell. It’s hard to do neuro exams on a dog), her chest sounds normal I think…. She just feels like sleeping a lot. The top two theories are a) she did a lot of running around on Tuesday and it was particularly hot. She is probably exhausted and has sore muscles. b) She might have caught a virus of some sort from a dog at the park. Or I suppose c) both.

So keeping a close eye on her… if she doesn’t perk up I will have to take her to the vet…

People you meet #5 – Long lost acquaintances

Yesterday I came across one of the people who I’d observed in the #1 category (she’s one with a large dog and a small dog that likes humping other dogs). And she knew my name! Turns out it’s the mother of a guy that my little brother went to primary school with. And actually lives just up the laneway out the back of my house.

In other news, my little neighbour came by tonight with a card for Pooka, asking her to come and play tomorrow afternoon. I made a reply with a paw print and a nose smudge from her. I haven’t had an invitation to play for quite a while! She gets all the fun!

Some more pictures up at Flickr. Mostly dog-related. And one of a purple flower. And one of a tree that I used to think had my grandmother’s face on it. Having trouble seeing it now…


I was perusing a fellow med student’s blog last night and was interested to about her studies in the field of diarrhoea (it’s ok, she’s American and will be practising in America so she’s allowed to spell it without an ‘o’) and how it is actually quite strange to spend a whole day learning about poo. I must confess that I am a bit of an amateur scatologist, and although I do find it gross, it is sort of interesting, comparing what goes into the dog with what comes out.

This was on my mind a few minutes ago as I was on a poo-scooping. There were reports of three dumps under the clothesline, one under the bathroom window (her two favourite spots) and some on the FRONT LAWN. Now the front lawn is not in Pooka’s territory. She is confined to the backyard except when under direct supervision. Hence I would know if she had been busy out the front. So I took my yellow scoop out the front, grumbling about the neighbour’s dog having no manners and dumping on our lawn. HOWEVER I think a possum might be the culprit. I was wondering why Barky from next door was doing such weird poos, then I realised that they were actually very similar to guinea pig droppings. And the closest thing to a guinea pig that hangs around that area is a possum.

So anyway, I felt quite proud for being able to declare both Pooka and Barky innocent in the case of the front yard dump!

People you meet #4 – at 7am on a Saturday

No-one. Bunch of slackers!!

You wouldn’t meet me either except that I was working all day and no-one else would be home and I needed to go for a guilt-reducing ball-throwing session.

Today my father took Pooka to the park and she was recognised by every person-dog combination he encountered! I think that’s impressive.

People you meet #3 – An old man with a very old dog

These two arrive at the park by car. The man looks about eighty something. The dog is 14. His name might be Buster. He’s a heavy-set, medium-sized dog. His back legs don’t work so well. But they’re good mates. Buster barks at the other dogs, and the kind ones run over so that he can sniff them and bark some more.

They don’t stay at the park very long. Buster can only walk about halfway around the oval. His chasing ball days are over. Then the man lifts him into the car, and they drive off.


If I were to take Pooka for a walk now, I would be establishing myself as a hard-core dog owner. I would also then be able to write about other hard-core dog owners who take their dogs for walks in the rain.

But I’ll get wet! And Pooka will get wet! I’m sure she won’t mind that. But I will because she’ll get all stinky!

Perhaps I will wait a few hours…

Another dilemma as been brought to my attention. What about people who don’t like dogs but think they’d like Pooka? I think that’s entirely reasonable. There are many dogs I don’t like. For example the one that has been barking for the last half an hour (Pooka is not dignifying it with a reply). There are many aspects of dogs that people don’t like:

* crotch-sniffing
* barking incessantly
* dumping on nature strips
* shedding fur everywhere
* slobbering
* biting
* growling

Pooka has been known to dump on nature strips, but only under my supervision. And I then collect her donation in a blue biodegradable purpose-designed bag. There are no smears remaining because the food we give her results in poos with a firm consistency AND low odour. She doesn’t sniff crotches of people, or bark incessantly, or shed much. She licks people she likes, but with excellent saliva control (no towels necessary), and doesn’t bite or growl at people. At the moment she does sometimes accidentally play with me with her mouth wide open and teeth exposed… but I’m working on that one. Have to teach her that human skin isn’t as tooth-resistant as dog skin.

People you meet # 1 – The North Shore Mum

We will start the series with a composite person. I call her the North Shore Mum.

So I live in a part of Sydney where many people have lots of $$, send all their children to private schools and have small yappy dogs. Usually in these families, the father is the breadwinner and the mother goes shopping/to the gym/to the hairdresser/to tennis/etc. And walks the small yappy dog. Usually at about 9:30am, after dropping little Tarquin off at school. Usual attire is “lounge suit”. Make-up is flawless. No objects for the dog to retrieve are carried because a) that would mean carrying a gross tennis ball b) their dogs are too small to fetch a ball and c) these dogs have minimal training and are more interested in trying to maul large black puppies!

I have noticed that these women are extremely embarrassed by the more… “doggy” behaviour of their dogs. See, it is an unfortunate truth that even small dogs have digestive systems. True! And even small dogs are interested in the output of other dogs’ digestive systems. Also small dogs are just as interested in sniffing the rears of other dogs. And they seem slightly more inclined than larger dogs to hump anything that moves. Or doesn’t.

I don’t particularly relish my dog leaving a steaming pile by the path, although I am glad she has the good sense not to do it in the middle of the path, and I don’t particularly enjoy picking it up in a blue biodegradable bag. But it goes with the job. I have never been tempted to shriek “Oh! How embarrassing!! Isn’t it disgusting what they do?!” at random passers by, when my dog is squatting by the wayside. However I have witnessed said shrieking TWICE this week. One woman was seriously fretting because her dog was lagging a bit behind due to it being busy sniffing at something she would find unsavoury. But then her dog was called Bronte… I think it was a beagle puppy. Or a beagle crossed with something small. Actually seemed like quite a nice dog.

Will that be me one day? I hope not. I couldn’t walk along a fire-trail in heels. But then I couldn’t walk along a perfectly flat floor in heels….