Retiring Old dogs

I come back to my blog after a long absence, I did not stop writing because I didn’t have anything to say, I left because I didn’t know how to express the last couple of months in writing. The last of the summer months were hard on the farm and upon me, losing my beautiful old Pete has been upsetting, his presence has provided 16 yrs + of comfort and assurance without him it was difficult. My mother in law did a painting of him and laminated an old shot which is now on the fridge and every time I open it I give it a pat.


Moving into the drought and into winter certainly has us all feeling a little bit of relief and I openly (much to the farmers dislike) declare I won’t go through another drought. In fact I told a couple of friends in the supermarket on Saturday, I will move back to my house in the city. He didn’t comment till over 4 hours later and stated I shouldn’t be telling people as they will think I’m going to leave him … news is I will be for the summer. It’s a tough battle mentally watching the farmer and the farm going through drought, nothing looks fresh or green, we are lucky we have had more rain than some people we know.

With Pete gone, it has allowed us to take a breather from things, re-evaluate business and draw up another plan moving forward. I have always talked about moving to retire off the farm. It is something that we both need to agree on, I can see country communities are not great places for the elderly, especially if their families have moved away, the time to stop traveling or driving leaves many isolated and that is not how I want to be nor is here the place I wish to retire in.

I find it amazing when we talk about a plan with others, I get this comment “what will the farmer do if you retire or sell?” it offends me, when I gave up a career I loved, moved away from my daughter, friends etc  these same people never said to me “what will you do living on a farm, 50+kms away from anything, not knowing anybody” not one so as we come to moving our plan forward  I understand how difficult it may be for him, but he too can adjust like I had too.

With Pete gone we have also had time to re-evaluate our working dogs and have noticed Mandy our eldest one needs to retire, she limps on her front foot and looks sore in her back legs, many years ago she jumped in the sheep yards and dislocated her hips – we nursed her back to health and now that she is moving into being 14 or 15 it is time for her to become a house dog. I am sure it’s arthritis setting in and when she looks pained we give her medication to assist. She is transitioning to be an inside dog quite well, she comes in at night jumps on the couch and slept there quite happily for a while till she found her way into our bedroom and on the floor at night scratching for a blanket. This noise woke me up as I was worried she would be too cold and uncomfortable on the carpet, then in Bordertown I found this dog bed and purchased it. As of today Mandy is now the retired dog and today the farmer said she would have to stop traveling with him, it’s stressful  to have her sliding around the front of the Ute if he has to chase cattle, so she is now the inside dog.

Mandy in her bed

Mandy in her bed

Do we identify ourselves when it is time to retire, will we be able to look and see that retirement needs to be an option whilst we are fit, well and young enough to enjoy it? or will we be like Mandy – have that moment where you jump out of the Ute, get put inside and told that’s it, she doesn’t know she’s retired as she still wants to be with him, travel in the Ute and play the vital roll of a working dog.

Welcome to the office floor Mandy, I know I’ll enjoy your company and you can enjoy your retirement.


Life moves fast doesn’t it? taking the saying from Ferris Bueller’s day off and things change around us rapidly. Besides having to survive over 40 degree celsius heat with no electricity over the weekend. I have had lots of things change and some are permanent and others aren’t either way they have made me reflect and think about making changes to compensate.

I have had 3 friends battle significant health issues since December and sadly one of those friends we had to say good-bye to, the other two thankfully are still fighting on and inspiring many to change how they think and feel about their own health issues. I have had a male friend start to identify his weight as a problem and he is bravely and weekly putting this out on Facebook and from my recollection he is now approx. 25kg’s lighter and looking to lose another 20 or so more. He is inspiring others and I have told him he should blog about it as a male he would not be alone, but as a male they commonly don’t share this type of struggle never alone post the weighing scales weekly – what an amazing bloke, he makes me stop at the fridge door and ask myself why am I eating? Weight is something we all have a battle with mostly don’t we?

I have another friend who has had an episode of gout and referred back to the battle of one of our other friends saying it’s nothing compare to what she is going through. I did agree but it all becomes relative doesn’t it? But it was lovely to read and see that people wish to share, these are men and women from my high school days and it makes me feel part of their lives following our 1st reunion over 12 years ago. Facebook is great for this type of thing.

I look around me and see our farm and see how hard we are working in this drought and I know others are doing it tough, the business I opened in December is now virtually non-existent, it is 4 days per month, I had such big plans but living in a rural community where people spend money on food for stock rather than themselves I now need to wait it out till we get a break, it is distressing.

I also woke this week following horrific heat wave over 3 days to see that the beautiful Pete, my nearly 17-year-old Golden Retriever’s smoky eye has whitened up and he is having problems seeing. I have started eye drop treatment and hopefully it will help him either get better or retain the sight in his good eye. I don’t want him to suffer any pain, so I am lucky to be able to get medical advice over the phone and by text. I know that he will not live forever and I will be sad when he goes, but as I said to dear daughter, he can still find his water and food bowls. He needs a little bit more intensive care than previously.

This year has started with challenges and I hope doesn’t end with them, I love winter and am looking forward to cooler weather, happier news and great times with friends.



First Day 2015

Well it’s the first day of 2015 are you hung over? tired? full of energy? where are you placed today?. me I am doing fine, had a sleep in though, saw the New Year in with the TV & 4 cats. The cats only stayed till I started dancing around the lounge to some of the music from the Sydney Fireworks. We are lucky / unlucky with satellite TV we are 30 minutes ahead so we get it live on channel 2.

Cats and my dancing, I am taking no criticism from them for the fact that they ran out of the cat flap, almost at the same time, they had to line up and go one after the other. Phfftt I say, farmer on the other hand was asleep on the couch so he got up just on Sydney time midnight 1130pm here and went to bed to wake up at 3am (I think) to go back to sleep at 6am. Pete the dog also seemed to have slept through the noise of TV & snoring so he looks fine this morning also going into his 17th year.

I want to thank some of my face book friends for affirming that dancing on ones own does not mean I should be scorned by the cats, it is in fact relatively ok, no one mentioned the word sad, so that’s great. I perhaps taking cue from the cats need to improve my dance style to a cats ignored me or I need to do it more often so it doesn’t freak the bejesus out of them and all I see is bottoms as they run out the flap.

Perhaps needing to have a party – this year may be the year, there are people in my house who are turning 50 as are some really close friends (according to face book Guess your age quiz) I am turning 37 this year so I am young enough to party. We hope to celebrate all our friends good health, and many more celebrations not yet thought of. It is exciting to plan things and I like being organized so am planning on a few trips around Australia to see friends and family.

I hope you all had fun, held those you love a little closer, laughed loudly – I did when I saw the cats flee and woke up feeling happy to be alive and well. For those out there doing it tough, know that there is someone somewhere thinking about you and wishing for you nothing but the best. If you feel you need to be close to some one call them, even if it is a 5 minute conversation, say hi, doing ok, speak soon.

Happy New Years first day people, I’ll try to be more consistent with my blog this year, thanks to those people who have commented on it, written to me to tell me you enjoy it and those that read it and ignore it after that. As for the rude cats, sleeping dogs & husband I hope all of you are with me next year !!!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Gatsby looking relaxed today after his midnight dance fest scare !!



I’m back

I had taken to making my blog private for a while whilst I gather my thoughts on why it is I blog and open myself to negative criticism and gossip behind my back. a blog is after all just a blog, someone’s thoughts and opinions. They are objective as they come from a base of personal opinion.

So today I am re-entering a brave new world, one where I have to let go of those that do not wish to discuss topics with me that I have brought up. I am perhaps a bit too sensitive and the lesson being I should perhaps not post so much of myself on-line. I should choose topics that are safe, topics that do not discuss things, events or people and places that can not post a reply.

But then I feel this would not be true to myself, it would be conforming to please the minority not myself and as I started with a blog is just that a blog. written in first person as notes to one self a diary of snippets of one’s day or week, vignettes of a persons persona unless of course it is a business blog, where staying on topic is not only important it can be vital. Vital enough to bring money, clients and exposure to others.