Blogs by Vena McGrath
Sunday 11 February - 4 pm
2/10/2007 8:46:13 PM
A spot of rain for Sydney - yeahhhhhh. The gutters overflowed, what a waste of water! The ground is actually wet to walk on - and today was watering day so no watering needed.
It's a lazy Sunday afternoon in the outer west of Sydney, Australia. A storm front passed through this afternoon bringing some nice heavy rain, so heavy it sounded like hail.
The gardens are happy and so is the dried out yard that should be covered in green lawn. The rain was widespread up and down the coast and across the mountains. Let's hope some of it fell in the catchment as Warragamba Dam, the major water supplier to Sydney, is down to 34% capacity.
There have been floods in far northern Queensland in what is their monsoon time and floods in South Australia, while in the main, the rest of the nation remains dry. The drought is widespread across the nation with just some lucky areas receiving enough of the wet stuff to save crops and animals. What a country we live in with such harsh weather conditions.
The weather in Sydney has been more humid than hot in the last week, and the humidity is draining and makes everyone tired and at odds with themselves and everyone else. Summer always seems to make people more agro and stoney faced. I for one hate summer and love autumn and winter. Unfortunately, in my opinion, winter is far too short and autumn is mostly still quite hot.
I did a blog yesterday, in two stages of typing, and unfortunately after I finished it I lost the lot as it didn't save. I walked away from the computer muttering and didn't try to redo all the words that I typed. Today is another day so what I wrote yesterday is old news. Well except for some of it!
I went to doggie school last week (a friend reminded me to wear my collar). Shaye needs to learn a few rules and words to obey so that I can relax with him and not be afraid of a couple of things he does that worry me. If he gets a chance to get out the front door he runs out into the street and away. He has no road sense no fear of cars as he hasn't spent much time out and about.
I am fearful that if he doesn't get hurt someone will grab him and he will be gone. Sure he is microchipped but who ever checks dogs for their microchip? I take him to the vet and they never check, not even from his first visit to a new vet I had never been to before. So the only way his microchip would bring him back would be if the person who took him was honest and handed him in at a vets to check if he was microchipped.
He doesn't try to barge out the door when anyone goes out or in, but if he sees a chance to escape, then he is gone. This does worry me and scares me as I would be devastated if he was hurt or taken. I also want to break him from his habit of jumping on our visitors. He only does it because he is showing how happy he is to see them, but people don't like it. He is a big dog so when he jumps up his feet are on your shoulders and his face is in your face (I'm 5'8" tall and he can eyeball me). He also needs to learn that when I say to come inside he obeys and the same goes for going outside. I have the devil of a job sometimes getting him outside of a morning and I don't have time before work to play games with him.
The first week at school I had to go alone to pay the dues and sign up. We were read the rules of the club and told about the preferred leashes and collars. Of course I have the wrong ones! There would have been 30 people signing up so this Tuesday coming will see a large new class of naughty puppies that will be broken into 2 groups.
I am a bit dismayed about taking Shaye the first week as he hasn't been around more than 1 dog at a time and he will arrive at a place full of dogs and people. One good thing is he won't be the only Golden Retriever there as I saw quite a few out on the field in school already.
I didn't want Shaye to have his spirit broken or to become a robot doing party tricks. And so I did the best I could to allow him to grow into the doggie he is without too many constraints. He knows a few commands but yes, he is spoilt and he is obstinate and only listens when he wants to. He has to learn that I am the leader of the pack, not him, and hopefully we can do that quietly and without upsetting things. I love our relationship as he is very dear and adorable and would hate to see that disintegrate.
The receptionist at work, Cheryl, owns a female golden labrador. She gave birth to 10 puppies almost 2 weeks ago, with 8 surviving (2 females and 6 males). I decided, on the spur of the moment as per the norm for me at times, that I wanted to buy a puppy from her, preferably a female. One little lady was already spoken for, but I offered to buy the second sweetie and she will be joining us in a matter of weeks.
My younger son hasn't had a dog since his beautiful Missy had to be put down, and I wanted to buy him another dog, not a cattledog, but a labrador or retriever. I figured that maybe when she is old enough, she and Shaye could have a family. We would all love that :)
My son isn't sure about taking the puppy as he is living with his partner at his father's home. His father (my ex) is in a nursing home at 64 after having both his legs amputated thigh high as a result of blocked arteries and gangrene. My son hopes to bring his father home if at all possible as it depresses him to see him in a nursing home. There is nothing wrong with his mind, he is a disabled person who needs help during the day/night and the only place he could go was a nursing home.
My son isn't sure that his father would want a dog around, although labradors are trained as seeing eye dogs and even Shaye is a wonderful companion. He is happiest when he is near us and I think a puppy that would grow into a beautiful big dog might be an asset for my ex. But that's up to my son and his father to decide. If they don't wish to take on the responsibility of the puppy then I will keep her myself. I fully understand any hesitation because my ex has fallen out of his wheelchair on occasion and it is very scarey I'm sure to be on the floor without any legs to help you get back up. If the puppy knocked him over it could prove a big problem.
I have picked her name out - an Irish female name - Kyna (meaning wise). My eldest son isn't sure about the name but then he didn't like Shaye as a name either. I think both names are nice and short, easy for a dog to get used to, and easy for people to remember.
I like names that have a meaning and Shaye is an Irish male/female name meaning stately, courteous, hawk-like. Shaye is all of those things and I think I was so clever to pick that name before he even arrived here. I feel the same way about Kyna as I bet she will be wise too.
Oh dear what have I done? Another puppy to raise and this time I won't have someone here to look after her during the day while I'm at work. But I guess I will as Shaye will be here with her if she stays with me. He is lonely all day when we are at work, so this should make him very happy. Hopefully he will love her and not be rough with her. He can toilet train her lol.
I've been negotiating for a few weeks to find a house to rent for Easter and the following week. I want to get away near the water for a break, with Shaye and my old moggie Jasmine (cat). My family will spend time with me during the break, none of them will be there all the time. I look forward to doing a spot of fishing and just relaxing. I'll take the laptop and even though I won't be able to go online in that time, I will be able to do some writing if I want to. I managed to secure a house for much less than most wanted. The week, including all of Easter, is $850 for 4/6 people plus the pets. It is across the road from Wallis Lake, near Forster, on the north coast of NSW, about 3.5 hours from Sydney.
Most of the places I looked at on the water, or even streets away that allowed pets, were over $2,000 for the week, some $3,500! And yet in the off seasons these same places only charge up to about $600 for a week. How greedy people are that they charge so much at holiday times. The week after Easter is the first week of the school holidays in NSW and I think it's a disgrace that people who are lucky enough to have places they rent out near the water, take advantage (or try to) of people needing to get their families away for a break. Ah well it is a greedy society we live in where the rich get richer and the poor usually stay poor or worse off.
Back to work tomorrow after a week off on sick leave with ulcers in the cornea of my left eye. It's not better yet, I still have times every day when I'm in pain and have problems doing anything except sitting with my eyes closed. But I can't stay home for ever and I will just battle on at work and have breaks when I have to. After all, I've been living/working with this disease now for about 23 years.
I visited my eye specialist on Friday and the ulcers have cleared but the skin on the eye is still cracked, hence the pain. I have to continue using the antibiotic drops for a bit longer and visit him again on Friday next week. Each visit is $92 for this little affliction and I'm in and out his door in about 5 minutes each time. Out of that I get back just over $30 from Medicare because he charges more than the scheduled fee.
Problem is it's very hard to find an eye specialist that knows anything much about keratitis and how to treat it. This guy will fit me into his busy day if I'm in trouble and I ring up. Most don't understand the critical need to get treatment fast so I have to stay with a specialist that does and wear the costs. My glaucoma visits are another thing and are costly. Again Medicare pay very little of those costs. Each visit is close to $200 or over and I have to go each 3 months to have the pressure tested and do field tests twice a year. Then there is the cost of the drops and oh well, such is life.
I pay for Medicare out of my salary each year and I have private health insurance so I don't have to pay another 2% of my salary to Medicare. However, my extras in private health don't cover eye specialists. You wonder why the world is geared up the way it is with insurance. You have to pay it by law or pay double Medicare and yet you can't claim much on the private insurance at all.
It's like all insurance. If you make a claim you run the chance of losing your no claim bonus and you also have to pay an amount of each claim yourself. If you saved all the money you outlayed on insurances for the times when you need it, instead of buying insurance, you would be way ahead. And yet, there are times when insurance saves the day. If your car is stolen or in an accident, it could cost a lot more than you have put away. If your house burns down, or is broken into and a lot of your things are stolen, there is no way you could have that money put aside. So it's either pay insurance and just shut up, or don't pay it and run a big risk of going bankrupt or losing everything you own. Not much of an option is it?
On that sombre note I will close this blog. Have a good week and take care.
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