Animal tales…

As I mentioned in my last post, we had a visitor come to stay with us this past week. She was full of fun, lively, affectionate and a joy to have around and the house feels so quiet without her. Her name is Dotty and she is a working springer spaniel 🙂

The week flew by. We enjoyed our daily walks to the park: sometimes we wondered who was walking who (!) as she pulled us around the park!


We played ball for long swathes of time, taking it in turn to throw the ball and Dotty never tired of it; she literally has boundless energy.



The park became her playground, but there were a few moments when we managed to  slow her down enough for a ‘photo shoot’



or for the children to rest a while 😉


or throw sticky grass onto each other!


I am not sure this breed of dog would suit us long term as we don’t always have the time or energy for such a lively dog. When my husband took her to work she was well behaved, but she kept distracting the men by nudging her ball towards them expectantly and persevered until she got what she wanted! We used to have a collie, Jess for a year and a half, inherited from a lady who was very sick and needed to rehome her asap. She was a lovely dog, but very similar in nature to Dotty and needed a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. I had a young baby (my eldest) and my husband was working indoors for a while, so she didn’t get the attention she really deserved. In the winter evenings, my husband often had to go out to the park with her after work to throw the ball around in the darkness!  It wasn’t really ideal! Luckily we managed to rehome her with an older couple,  who used to look after her when we went on holiday and grew to love her and she had a lovely rest of her life, with plenty of walks and a large garden in which to run around, not to mention roast dinners (over the dry biscuits we were giving her!). So that story has a happy ending 🙂

So if we do get a dog, we will have to think carefully about the breed. We are certainly tempted as it had a surprisingly calming effect on us all and was so nice to have those doggie cuddles!

Now we have other animal issues. One of our guinea pigs, ‘Pipkin’ is sick 😦 He has been out of sorts for days and I took him to the vet today as we noticed he hasn’t been eating at all or passing any stools, which is serious for a guinea pig. The vet suggested all kinds of investigations that really are out of our price range and I am not sure they are all warranted either. In the end, we are feeding him some special feed via a syringe and giving him various medicines for his gut, as his abdomen is distended and the vet hoped it would help with the bloating. We are also giving him water via a syringe regularly as he isn’t drinking either 😦 I gave him homeopathic carbo veg earlier as a ‘reviver’ and was thinking of lycopodium too as that is good for the kidneys and the digestive system. If anyone knows of anything that may help him, please do let me know as we are concerned for our sweet little two year old ‘Pipkin’.


The vet suggested we separate him from his friend ‘Bubble’ so we could keep an eye on him, so I set up half of our hutch indoors. When my youngest daughter found out her ‘Bubble’ would be alone in the outside hutch without his ‘Pipkin’, there were floods of tears, so I cleaned up the other part of the hutch and brought him in to be next to ‘Pipkin’.


They are so close, they immediately found each other and had a chat :-). It was touching to see (‘Pipkin’ is on the right hand side).


He has been so quiet and withdrawn, it was nice to see him more animated and at least he is close to his friend now. Everyone is happier that way. We shall do our best for Pipkin and pray he recovers as he is a valued member of our family.

We really love our animals here and wouldn’t be without them. They enhance our life and teach the children to care for others in a very natural way.


4 thoughts on “Animal tales…

  1. No suggestions about your poorly guinea pig, just hope he feels better soon, our rabbit was like this last year and wasn’t easy trying to convince him that syringe feeding etc was to make him feel better. Dotty looks adorable, it’s lovely when you can have an animal come and stay, we have a friend that comes and stays every so often with their dog, it’s lovely but always makes me realise we aren’t ready for all the work a dog entails.


  2. Yes a dog is a lot of work, especially for a young family. As our girls are getting a older now, I can see that they are helping out more with the animals, so it seems more possible. I certainly never felt that way before now. Let’s see. Thanks for your get well wishes for ‘Pipkin’. He is taking to the syringe pretty well considering and doesn’t mind being all wrapped up in a towel to take his meds, so that’s a good start. He is more spritely today so we are hopeful.


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