*Names have been changed to protect the innocent*

A couple of weeks ago I was tied to a fence post and left alone in a back garden of cement, I was walked as much as the owners could but they went off to work each day, then suddenly on a nice sunny day this lady came and spoke to me clipped me onto a nice blue lead, called my name and opened the car door and I jumped in. I thought I was going for a walk, I was a bit timid and sat in the back looking at her as she drove out of the driveway.

I moved myself to the front seat and sat looking at her sideways, she spoke non stop as we drove and kept her hand on me. I was more interested in looking out of the window and smelling the fresh air than looking at her. It didn’t take me long to realize I she wasn’t going to shut up nor stop touching me, we drove for what seemed like l hours then she pulled up  at a park, put the lead back on and out we got. I was very shy and kept trying to run away, she kept talking at me and walked me round and round the park till I settled.

We talked to some kids who had to hurry back to school, she let them pat me, then we went into this place that smelt like cats & dogs and she wanted to put me on the scales, how rude. The nice reception girl came over and lifted me onto them, told me I was perfect weight and was a lovely boy (she gave me a liver treat).

The door opened and out another girl came, she smelt nice and I kept going to her. My lady holding the lead was talking to her and petting me, she talked about black hand. The vet lady started running her fingers through my fur and said I had black fleas and needed immediate treatment, she gave me a liver treat. My lady said great, lets do it, the vet lady got a machine and it beeped they were all happy I was micro-chipped but then not happy as it was not registered.They shave my paw and took some blood to test for some heart worm, it was clear and I had a liver treats.

My lady said check his ears please, so the other nice lady from the other room came in and held my head while they stuck this really long hard stick in my ears, I wasn’t that happy, they gave me a liver treat and I became suspicious. They then wanted my temperature and the next thing I know I’m having something put in my bottom, all I wanted to do was turn around so she could remove it, that was fine, they offered me a liver treat, I had to be asked 3 times, as I worked it out, they only gave me treats when they wanted to invade my orifices !

Then they came at me with needles, I didn’t take the treat and headed to go underneath the table. The last thing the vet girl said to my lady is we are going to have to put these 3 big pills in his mouth to treat his fleas and by the time you get him home, it will have started dying, he will need a bath. Then as I was thinking we were about to leave the vet lady came at me and opened my mouth and put these awful things in it, I spat 2 out, I didn’t want them or another liver treat. But they came at me again and did it so I swallowed and didn’t have a liver treat. I turned my head in disgust.

I traveled further away from the concrete home with the lady I was looking at her now, I felt better so I gave her hand a little lick on this part of my trip. I was still anxious as to what was happening to me. She pulled up outside this place, opened a gate and I watched her the whole time, she pulled into the house, put me on the lead and met this man and we walked into the bathroom. They lifted me into this tub and she turned the water on I cried out, I was scared I had never had a bath. The nice man came back and he held me and talked at me whilst she bathed me, all this dirt and dead fleas ran off me. I felt so much better.

I went outside and met these black four legged creatures who tried to lick me and the man walked me round the yard on the lead. I was exhausted, it was a very big day. They fed me – my own food and I didn’t have to fight off others to have it, then they showed me a thing, it had sides and a lambswool pillow bottom, they called in Bailey’s bed. I sat down it in straight away, I sighed, I was only use to cement. I also didn’t scratch anymore, they pulled it into the bedroom on my first night, I had a woopsie up the curtain and they didn’t yell at me or tell me off, I woke up 4 times and wanted to go out so they got up with me and let me in and out with out telling me off.

I am Bailey, I am a dog and this is my story of my life at Caloundra Farm. Yea and that lady that talked at me for the drive, took me for a walk in the park on my new blue lead, waited with me at the vet, gave me my first bath and inside bed, she’s still here let’s call her Bella




What the…

I have started traveling for work, I have taken been given the opportunity to be an agent for a start-up medical company and this being an exciting opportunity have decided to take it. Part of this is the fact that I can now travel again, visiting hospitals, procurement managers and Departments of health in other states.

This is something I know as I did it for nearly 20 years for pure financial reasons. As a nurse and single mum, (no child maintenance) I wanted to afford my child the same opportunity I had which was catholic schooling and working as a nurse you are financially restricted by your boss, in my case the Government, as I worked in a public system. Even doing shift work, it became hard to manage a mortgage, life style and school fees, so once given the opportunity to become a medical representative I did.

After nearly 7 years away from it I have gone back, though traveling to the those that don’t it looks and sounds glamorous it is for the first couple of days then it becomes a chore, everything you eat is paid for out of you own money and is expensive, no matter where you go.  Changing hotel rooms is hard as everything needs to be packed up and put into your suit case, even hiring a car is a necessity and an expense. Most employers if they have staff that travel are generous with these allowances, my motto always has been “if I am not prepared to pay it for myself I certainly wouldn’t as my employer” this always helps when Dr’s or nurses want you to have an open tab at the bar. My rule of thumb is 3 drinks is enough, then I will close the tab.

Now all of these expenses are mine, it is even easier to say no, but luckily there has been a shift in everybody to stop the “your company pays” mentality “I’ll drink myself under the table and order 4 courses”. As I use to say to people, you are actually paying for it, it is built into the price of the goods. It is rather pleasant to travel and sit in a restaurant or café and have a meal with people it opens the dialogue to talk things other than work. I don’t know if my week was successful yet but I enjoyed it and I got to stay with a great girlfriend for one night who though we talk regularly on the phone it is fantastic to share a couple and sit and chat.

Excited I was to also be heading home, you have to be on your best behavior when you travel, not that I sweat the small stuff often, but you are representing yourself or a company so one must be nice and informative most of the time. After landing I have a 3 hour drive home, which is not too bad, but having to stop and shop prior to heading up the freeway can add an hour to this trip.

It is nice to be home but what I don’t like is the fact that there are dishes (washed) in the dishwasher that I put in there last Sunday. Today is Saturday, and yes it is a small thing but it is also annoying as you know that the day after you arrive home or even the day (I got in at 915pm) you need to spend doing house chores, washing clothes etc, so yes it irked me that I have to do the dishes AS WELL.. Nothing more can I say about this to the women that travel, you will understand, to the men that travel, I bet it’s something that you do not think about… and there in lies the problem. Yes this may be a generalization about the sexes but hey ho.


Pets and Family

Pets are family aren’t they? When you get one, it is (normally) because you have chosen the animal to suit your lifestyle, exercise regime and hopefully space. Cats are great in small places as are small dogs, Cats especially are good in Aged Care facilities as they do not require exercise, they can always find a warm lap and will be pampered as much as they want. Dogs on the other hand big or small need to be exercised, even if it is just a walk up the road not a long run like kelpie’s need.

I have a Golden retriever that has survived despite the hazards of his life, he was purchased by someone else as a companion dog to a much older Lab, he was a puppy and this combination didn’t work so in a round about way – he came to me at 6 months, we had a funny time with him, he ‘ate’ 15 pairs of my shoes, only the leather ones though, pulled clothes line to wrap himself up in to sleep. He was hit by a car at three, after being walked and not kept on a lead, he developed a thyroid problem and has been on medication since this time, he relocated himself to the country and broke 3 bones in his foot when he slipped and jumped off the back of the ute, he now has 3 pins in that foot, he has had a grass seed penetrate his abdomen and had surgery, he has scratched his corneas on metal digging for rabbits and has had eye treatment – the scars are evident now and he is partially blind. All the while he has been a loyal loving dog, we have walked km’s on Brighton Beach – except when he chased a bitch on heat up jetty road to the train crossing – (someone else caught him – thank god) He has swam in the ocean with the Brighton Dolphin and had people chastise him, he has slept on the bed, in the bed and now has a single bed mattress of his own with a blanket on it that the 3 cats try to share with him. We have walked km’s on the farm till he tore his cruciate ligament and was too old to have major surgery to fix it, he is not limited with walking he just now no longer goes far.

He has done more car travel than most going from Adelaide to Keith & back, put up with me singing to him, talking to him and ignoring him. All the while I have loved him and he has loved us right back. He sits and waits for me to come home daily from work, he waits watching for my return when I head away for a couple of days and use to listen for the car before his hearing loss. Over 16 years his greetings have not changed, he gets up, wags his tail, comes to the car and barks at me. All I need to do is open the door and pat him and off we go. He has sat with my daughter when she has been ill and looked after her and loved her as well.

Now it’s coming to that stage in life where we need to look after him, I did the urinalysis today and it shows no signs of diabetes, this while good for me the nurse isn’t good. It has shown many other things and it is a good indication of the state of his aging body. We are lucky to have him this long and had him albeit despite the above mentioned things, healthy and happy. So he is family, a very long part of my family and to now know he is ill is heartbreaking. I have spoken to dear daughter about him and we have had a cry. I will await the blood test results on Monday and then will make the best decision for this wonderful family member then. I am sure there are options and will want to know all about them. Is there a right time to let go of your pet? we all know there is a wrong time and that is when they are suffering, he is not suffering and I won’t let him regardless of the diagnosis. DH asked will I get another one – we all know there is no ‘other Pete’ he is unique, but I will cross this bridge when I get to it.

the humdrum of life

It’s the thursday before Easter and the roads are frantic. I have been out and watched how busy the Dukes Highway is. People SLOW down, really is it that important for you to be early? The statistics are that 8 million vehicles drive on the Dukes Highway every year, so you have a high chance of having an accident if you speed. The roads in SA were fatality free last year so the police are hoping to keep them that way this year, so are we in Keith Hospital.

I have moved offices again and yet still paper seems to find me and multiply, it’s quite frightening how soon it accumulates. I know I have done them but I have lost my paper that has my footy tips on them. I got 5 last week and when I told DH he said to me God you are competitive. I still laugh when people who know me make statements like that as I feel I don’t hide this streak in my nature. I feel compelled to achieve and be part of a team and aim for the win. I think when one plays sports in teams at school, wining becomes part of the game.

Life rolls along and you get caught up in it, I read today a friends husband ate 6 grapes this week and he living on the edge must be a major achievement as they live in the river land and pick grapes. I wonder what the story is behind that? When I say humdrum I mean interesting, we do things in our jobs that appear repetitive and un interesting but they are interesting to others not doing the same role. We watch people with interest to see if something they do can help us in our own roles by making a task appear shorter, but achieving more when you job share and generally making things brighter for having worked with others. So whilst you are driving and travelling peeps, take time for breaks, listen to the traffic, drive to the road conditions though it may seem to take you longer you will arrive safely. I am lucky this week-end I have family coming – more family than I have seen for a long time, cats will be freaking out, dogs will be overfed (Pete will love it) and we shall share laughs and good times over a bonfire.

to flu or not to flu it’s up to you

I was awoken during the night as I rolled on to my left arm and it hurt and I couldn’t think why, then I remembered I have had my first flu vaccination in this arm. This is my first one ever and I was given a survey by the nursing staff after it and it asked me why I had it. I ticked the box that said ‘peer pressure’. As I now work in the Keith Hospital flu vaccinations are available to all staff so I was rounded up and it was insisted that I have a flu injection so for the first time in my life I have had it.

To flu or not to flu is it really up to you and up till this point yes I have been sick over the years but nothing like getting the swine flu last year to make me think it is time that I protected others from my flu. The vaccine is grown in egg so if you are allergic to egg do not have it, as this is one of the things I am not allergic to, there really was no reason not to have it. I for years have injected my parents and friends who have brought me the injection and yet I have never participated myself. Upon reflection I should have been having it for years, as I don’t think I have gone without catching a cold or a flu for years.

But now that I have contact with the elderly and the infirm I will be putting them at risk of catching a flu if I bring one into the organisation. The swine flu or any other flu can not kill anyone but the underlying diseases it causes can for example pneumonia and other respiratory ailments. The old and the young do not have good enough immune systems to fight these diseases and the more often they get them or are exposed to them the longer it takes for them to recover.

If you travel a lot, spend time in close proximity with other people, work in the health care industry or just want to get through the winter season without getting too sick and having time off work, then I suggest you get to the Dr and get your vaccination.

Tiresome Tuesdays

I get to this stage of my week and sometimes I am over it and others I feel invigorated to keep going and achieve. It has been a LONG month for me. I feel I haven’t really had a break despite closing the shop for the month of January. I think it just rolled over from last year with the Keith Hospital Ute Muster, I never really stopped and took stock. I just did, it is an exciting journey this volunteer business fund raising position that I do, but sometimes I feel the weight on my shoulders is too great.

I am an advocate of health care of ones self and others and as I feel tired & jadded, I went for some fasting blood tests this morning. Results will be in Friday, they will tell the picture of my inner workings not the outer. Today I may look ok, have a smile on my face, but I have had to pick myself up and shake it to restart the Keith Hospital Cook Book recipe drive, Arkaba Hotel Ladies High tea searching for an SA vineyard to co-sponsor it. I also need to follow up on the commitment from a local community member who has agreed to put up the funds for a car so that we can raffle it, chase the car company and ensure all of the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed in order to proceed. I have had assistance from a girlfriend in helping me to secure a travel prize as second prize but need to move this all along quickly. I am also writing a business proposal that will assist the hospital & community members in bringing services and clients to our hospital encompassing all and this needs to be complete by the end of the day. To ensure the launch on February 9th goes smoothly and the people we want to attend get sufficient notice of their required attendance.

Along with all of this I have to squeeze in time for my business and time to contemplate so today Tuesday has become tiresome already. At the moment due to a minor medical complaint I have been unable to exercise and I have been unable to do my morning walks for about 5 days now. I miss the freedom it gives me, the solitary time where I can walk without noise, see the beginning or the end of the day. There has to be a balance and today I do not seem to be able to find it, I have even had a coffee to ‘perk’ me up.

Reading this I think I have to move from tiresome Tuesday to toughen up princess, if I have time to write my blog then I have time to do everything else. Enjoy your day no matter what sort of a Tuesday it is for you.