Summer Loving…

I am pleased to report that my skin has remained normal since I last spoke to you. I am still taking the Dorwest Mixed vegetable tablets and Garlic and Fenugreek Tablets dutifully and I will continue to at the maintenance dose to prevent problems in the future, just like Lola does.

This last weekend was awesome – Lola and I went running in the fields again and neither of us have as much as a tickle since. If the past few months have taught me anything, it’s that suffering with a problem is silly. Seeking good advice and sticking with it reaps rewards eventually. I need to remember that.

I cannot wait for a long lazy summer with Lola. We even overheard our people arranging a joint trip to the seaside soon. That is going to be EPIC!

Happy Summer to all and keep smiling everyone. I certainly will be!

summer campaign2

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Facing the music

It’s been a long weekend. A very long weekend. Lola wouldn’t say a word to me and then, as luck should have it, our people decided to go for a walk together in the park! Lola had no choice but to see me. This was it – my chance to explain!

I was nervous to see her but determined to tell her what an idiot I had been and apologise for putting her off so many times when she had wanted to meet up. I nearly lost it when we first saw each other. She took one look at me and turned away with her nose in the air. She was so cold – it was unnerving.

I pulled myself together though and, stumbling over my words a bit at first, I explained the whole story. I told her about the itching and the terrible state I was in and how I couldn’t bear for her to see me in case she went off me. I told her about the excuses and how I really hadn’t wanted to lie to her but couldn’t see any other way of not looking a) rude or b) really vain. It took a while, but eventually I had explained it all. So I stopped talking.

Silence. We both carried on walking but Lola didn’t say a word and I had nothing left to say. Then she laughed. It started as a little chuckle and ended as massive guffaws with her struggling to breathe. Then, when I thought she had stopped, she started up again! I wasn’t sure how to react – do I join in? In the end, I couldn’t help it – her laughter was infectious. Eventually we calmed down and she told me that yes, I was an idiot and asked me to promise her never to lie to her again. She also told me that how I looked isn’t what makes her like me (but that she actually thought I was very handsome indeed), so I should never worry about that.

The rest of the walk was lovely. We were back to ourselves again – running around and sticking our noses into everything. On the way back Lola suddenly stopped walking. I was gabbling away and it took me a moment to realise that she was no longer beside me. I stopped too and looked back and she had a massive smile on her face. “You do realise” she said “that you haven’t showed a single sign that your skin is a problem on this walk?” She was right, I hadn’t so much as twitched. In fact when I thought about it, I hadn’t been bothered by my skin at all for the past few days. I was so caught up in what was going on with Lola that I hadn’t even noticed!

Looks like Dorwest have done it again!

She’s alive!

Thank Fido, she’s alive and she seems unhurt. I say ‘seems’ as I haven’t been able to ask her myself. Every time I try, she goes over to the other side of the garden. I sent Trixie over to beg her to let me explain ‘in dog’ and Lola wouldn’t even talk to her. She just looked at Trixie, with this awful sad expression on her face. Trixie said she even saw a perfect tear roll down Lola’s muzzle and all the birds sang a mournful song but Trixie is prone to exaggeration.

How am I going to explain why I was avoiding her if she won’t let me talk to her? She must think that I don’t like her anymore. What if she never talks to me again?

What have I done?

A wake-up call

That’s what it’s called isn’t it – when something happens that makes you realise what really matters.

I had one yesterday after I posted on here. I had just had my dose of Dorwest Mixed vegetable Tablets and Garlic and Fenugreek Tablets and was busy intensely watching my lady person in the kitchen in case she dropped something on the floor that I could eat, when I was momentarily distracted by this massive kafuffle outside. My attention was completely taken by the sound that followed though; Lola’s yelp.

It was one of those ‘things are really bad’ yelps and without even realising that I had told my legs to do it I was up and onto the back of the chair to see what was going on out of the window.

The sight that greeted me was terrifying. Lola was motionless on the pavement. Why was she out on her own?! A man person was also lying half on the pavement with his legs all entangled in one of those two wheeled contraptions that people bomb about on. One of the wheels was still spinning. What really got my heart racing though was seeing The Captain – the crazy Jack Russell from down the road – racing down the street with a manic glint in his eye, straight towards Lola.

The Captain is known for being completely unpredictable. There are so many stories about how terrible his life has been – awful home after awful home, living as a stray, fighting other dogs… I don’t know how much is true and he’s in a great home now but whatever has happened to him, it’s left him pretty unhinged. He goes off on one for no apparent reason – he’s always taken out with a muzzle on and you can never tell what he will do next.

Seeing him running towards Lola – no muzzle on and fierce determination in his every move – unleashed my inner beast. Even I was surprised at the bark that came out of my mouth. More importantly, so was The Captain – I imagine my strange appearance and wonky bald bits added to his confusion but it doesn’t matter – it was enough to distract him from Lola, just as he was about to reach her.

Everything happened so fast after that. Lola’s lady person rushed out to her just as she was lifting her head, probably roused by my bark. The utter joy at seeing Lola move was quickly replaced by sheer burning despair when she caught my bright, uninfected eyes and realised that I had been lying to her. The look of hurt and disappointment on her face as she was carried indoors was terrible.

I knew I had to act fast. I ran to the back door and let my lady person know that I wanted to go outside, badly. She took the hint and started fussing about trying to get the door open with the little bits of metal. But she couldn’t find the right little bit of metal. I danced about, I scratched the door, I whined… It didn’t seem to hurry her up at all. She was gabbling away to me whilst fiddling about and I was losing precious time!

Eventually, the door opened and I shot out shouting Lola’s name. I was too late though. I heard the door of next door’s house slam and seconds later, the noise of their four wheeled machine starting up. I knew Lola was inside the machine, probably on her way to the vets, and that I had lost my opportunity to explain before she started coming to her own conclusions.

I haven’t seen or heard her at all so far today…

Some Little White Lies…

What a week! I still look a state with baldy bits everywhere after all the scratching. I mean, it’s getting better but I’m definitely not ready for Lola to see me yet.

I can’t tell her the reason why I am avoiding her because I am petrified that she won’t understand or will go off me but she needs something as an explanation for why I am suddenly so ‘unavailable’. This has meant that I have had to come up with some bulletproof excuses over the past seven days (communicated to Lola via Trixie) to keep Lola from being suspicious.

The initial ‘toy reorganisation’ excuse that I used to avoid meeting up and her seeing me went down ok – like I said, she knows how much my toys mean to me. There is only so long a dog can organise his toys though. The next time Lola asked about meeting up (via Trixie), I told her that I was busy looking for a lost treat under the sofa – one of those good ones with the soft centre and the crunchy outside that was definitely worth a good search.

Her return message reminded me that I wasn’t actually supposed to be eating treats at the moment – vets advice. I had totally forgotten that I had told her that! I sent her my thanks – “phew, that was close” and all that. I now needed something else as an excuse, something a bit longer lasting too so I told her that I had developed a terrible cough and that I didn’t want to risk her catching it and it was probably best to stay away from each other for a few days. Genius!

Lola was quick to inform me that apparently Dorwest Garlic and Fenugreek tablets are licensed to help with coughs too, so she reckoned I would be fighting fit in no time. I needed more than ‘no time’ – I still looked a mess! So I upped the ante – I told her that the cough had developed into a terrible eye infection. Gunky, sore and likely extremely contagious…

That got me some sympathy! Trixie said that Lola had seemed genuinely concerned so I stupidly decided to go for the big guns whilst I was on a roll – I told her that I had distemper. Really bad distemper. I tried to describe just how ‘distempery’ I was but I don’t have a clue what distemper does to you – I just heard the vet mention it once!

It was one step too far. Lola listens properly at the vets and apparently I am vaccinated against stupid distemper (which is apparently quite a serious disease – bad one to pick!), so there was little chance I had it. So I am left relying on the fictitious eye problem to keep us from meeting and Lola from seeing me in this mess – how long can I ride that? I’m running out of excuses… I’m not sure I can do this much longer…

I’m not vain, but…

My skin thankfully hasn’t got anywhere near as bad as it was originally but it’s still not right. It’s ‘live-withable’ though and we have all settled into the daily routine fairly easily. Walk, wipe, feed (new food – really yummy!), Dorwest Mixed Vegetable Tablets and Garlic and Fenugreek Tablets… I haven’t had one night upstairs and to be honest, I haven’t missed it as much as I thought I would. I rather like my own bed and whilst it smells a bit ‘fresh’ after it’s time in the clothes cleaner spinny thing, that is wearing off gradually.

What is bothering me now though is what I state I am. I don’t know how I didn’t notice it before – I was probably so focussed on scratching and then so relieved when it was gone – but I have scratched myself bald in a couple of spots! I caught sight of myself in the big reflector in the hall and I was shocked!

Now don’t get me wrong, I have never exactly looked ‘Crufts coiffured’ but now I have very much left my usual ‘bed-head rogue’ look behind and entered into the realms of ‘mutant dog’! I look all wonky where I have a huge patch missing on my side and my ears look HUGE (in a weird unsymmetrical way) where the fur from behind them is a bit sparse. Even my tail looks odd somehow – I vaguely remember nibbling it in the itching frenzy.

I can’t let Lola see me like this! She’ll run a mile! I have everything crossed that it all grows back ok but that is going to take time. Maybe I can do something to make things look better in the meantime? That needs some thought though, so when Lola sent a message to me via Trixie about meeting up, I sent one back saying that I was busy organising my toys but that I would see her soon. She knows how much they mean to me, so she shouldn’t suspect anything.

Time to get my thinking cap on – maybe if I rub the top of my head against the floor, it will move some hair behind my ears and make them look a bit less ridiculous…?

Update: Ok, that didn’t work and the cat laughed at me. I need a plan B…

Dorwest; saving the day again?

The itch is creeping back. It’s nowhere near as bad as it was but it’s enough to kill the good mood I was in yesterday.

The vet got back to us and there is some good news though – there is no sign of any parasites or infection. She suspects allergies (just like you all said!) and launched into a long explanation about the various options available to manage the situation. There was talk of blood tests and special diets and changing where and when we go out on walks. I felt my heart sink a little as she went on… Blood tests are one thing but when she was talking about strict special diets with no treats and maybe not being able to go for walks as normal… Well, it all sounded a bit full on!

The vet had loads of advice of stuff that we can do in the meantime though. She suggested that my people remember to wipe my feet and face with a damp cloth after walks to remove any pollen and stay away from the fields until my skin calms down. I also have to sleep downstairs all the time (no excuses apparently!) as it is cooler and dust mites – a common allergen – are less of a problem. My lady person put my bed through a ‘hot wash’ in the clothes cleaner spinny thing and I am apparently to eat as ‘naturally’ as possible and avoid common dietary allergens, such as wheat.

The vet also recommended some Dorwest products. My ears really pricked up at the mention of them as I remember how they helped with my fireworks phobia. Apparently, two of the Dorwest products – Mixed Vegetable Tablets and Garlic and Fenugreek Tablets – work to help relieve the symptoms of skin conditions and actually boost the effect of each other when given together.

I spoke to Lola about it all and when I mentioned the Dorwest tablets, she got all excited. Apparently, she takes them every summer since she had a terrible time with her skin a few years ago. She swears by them, saying that they keep her skin healthy and free from irritation.

It’s reassuring to hear from Lola that at least one element of the vet’s advice seems to work. I have to admit, I am a bit fed up though. It seems so unfair after all the stress with the fireworks last year, that I am having to face something else now. Why has my skin suddenly decided to be a problem? It’s never been a problem before! I was so looking forward to summer, to spending with Lola and being all carefree…

Listen to me whingeing! I need to pull myself together – I beat the fireworks phobia, I can beat this too. Dorwest helped before and there is no reason that they can’t help again. Positive mental attitude…