Well hello 2020..and almost good riddance January (horrid month)! I thought it was about time to share a bit of a life catch up with you guys, but I want to start by wishing all of you, regular readers or just passers by.. a very happy, healthy and amazing new year! Yeah, I’m a little late, but having a new family addition is one of the reasons I’ve not blogged for a while.
Image Credit : Unsplash (Jamie Street)
I am a little late getting back into blogging, but who is really in the mood in January to do much tbh? It’s a long, grey, rubbish month. I have plenty to share with you looking ahead, plus I’ve just uploaded a new Bobbi Brown post. This one, concentrates on a little of the life stuff…
As many of you will know, we sadly had to say goodbye to our black lab Flynn last summer, just after a year of being diagnosed with heart disease/DCM (Dilated Cardio myopathy). My mum bred him, so I had handled him from the day he was born, and having him put to sleep was one of the hardest, albeit kindest thing, I’ve ever had to do. I lost my best friend, my rock, and 4-legged soulmate, and can honestly say it broke my heart. I can’t go into detail about things, as it still really upsets me. He was such a placid, loving and well-behaved dog, and I know that a part of me went with him!
RIP buddy, you really were a dog in a million! xxx
Flynn, aged 11, just a few weeks before we said goodbye. This picture always melts my heart.
It took me a long time and a lot of coaxing (from my family), to get another dog before I got really depressed. I thought of rescue, but you can’t be sure of behavioural issues which take a lot of time, energy and effort to work on. Plus, it would have to be okay with my parents and friends dogs, so we decided to go for a pupster. So, fast forward and meet our new addition, a little bundle of
trouble joy! LOKI : God of “mischief and mayhem”. He’s now 4 months old as I type this edit (think toddler and terrible 2’s!), and is teething, very bitey, and has certainly been living up to his namesake!!
He’s intelligent and keen to learn, has eye contact, sit, down, wait and other stuff, off to a tee. Although, he wants to do everything at the speed of light and is easily stimulated, so we are in the process of trying to teach him to be calm. Easier said than done, especially when he’s just launched at you, hangs off your sleeve (or leg,), made yet another hole in your clothes, caused bruising.. and even drawn blood. He’s crate trained, now goes all night without a toilet break, is loving and yet full of mischief, very bold and nothing seems to phase him! He’s is going to a fab dog but a bit of a challenge as he’s so high energy, and totally different to Flynn who was so laid back, compared to Loki!
Loki at 4 months. That face though!
We decided on this little bundle of life, out of 2 black and 1 light yellow males from the litter, and there was something about him and his little face. When we got home that night, I checked out his father’s pedigree, only to find his great grandfather was Flynn’s grandfather, with a few other relatives (all field trial champions), going back through the line. So there’s a little bit of Flynn in his blood..what were the chances? It had to be a sign, of which there have been a few leading up to getting him!
First week in his forever home, snuggled in his crate. Butter wouldn’t melt..hah!
Cuddles with Dad, at 11 weeks old
When we brought Loki home at 8 weeks near the end of November, it took him a week to settle at night, and was a happy, cuddly, intelligent little fella. Sadly, he then had colitis for over 2 weeks, which can be painful for puppies, so was a little unsettled..but he loved trips to the vets and our new addition was a huge hit with the team there. Once back on track, he found his feet and was absolutely full of it, only then to start teething.
They change and grow so quickly, so it’s nice to have puppy cuddles when they are young. Sadly this little fella was weaned off his mum, earlier than Flynn was from his, and, was on 3 meals a day rather than 4, at 7 weeks. So, when we brought him home, I got him back on the correct meals for his age. He’s a beautiful, healthy and well-bred pup, with all the relevant KC breed health checks passed, but he’s just had a bit of a difficult start.
So as his humans, we got him settled and well, then had to teach bite inhibition (as mum was taken away from the litter a bit too early and mums teach manners!). He’s a strong pup, fizzing with enthusiasm for life, who at times suddenly turns into a Tasmanian devil, going through the difficult stage of 42 adult teeth pushing against those baby shark ones. It’s no mean feat when you’re on your own all day, in pain and tired all the time..but it is what is. I was younger, fitter and with better health when we got Flynn, and years before that, had 2 German Shepherd pups. Looking back, they seem a walk in the park.
Did I tempt fate with his name? *facepalm* Ha…no, we’ll get there in time, with tons of patience and positive reinforcement training. Then, hopefully in the not too distant future, we’ll have a happy, fun and well-adjusted, four-legged member of the family again. If you love Labs too, you can follow Loki’s own Instagram account.
I will admit, there have been tears over the last few months. This is a hard time of year for many of us living with chronic pain illness. I’ve recently had both my ankles scanned as having hypermobility, I’ve had so many injuries over the years and problems are arising. Plus, my other hip is not good, so maybe a replacement for this one is not far off. In winter, my pain levels are at their highest from fibro and arthritis, plus I struggle with really low mood. So, trying to do everyday with all that, plus a full-on pup on top, has, shall we say, been a tad difficult.
I just make sure I do things I enjoy and try to relax, allowing myself windows of well-needed self-care time. Lots of aromatherapy baths, hot chocolate, reading/listening to music, facials and massage, plus making sure I get enough sleep. I love doing reformer pilates, but recently my sacrum locked up, and it has caused so much muscle spasm and pain, plus several osteopathic treatments. What with pup, any extra exercise (apart from a few little walks with him), has been a no-go. R and R, nest and flourish…is a January must at the best of times.
Just some of the things I use in my self-care routines.
I’m a fighter and don’t give in, and although I go through pain every single day, I’m still grateful for what I have and always
try to smile. I know I’ll come out the other side stronger, and hopefully having a bond/friendship with Loki, as I did with dear Flynn. I also have plans for the blog going forward, but my health, family and pup come first, obviously. Right now, I’m really tired typing this guys, so I’m going to leave it here. I need to go cook tea, feed pup and then relax with a hot choccy and a read!
If you’re also finding this winter a toughie, just remember it won’t last forever..there WILL BE better times around the corner. Roll on Spring… (and the end of teething, lol)!