On the road – stage one

We’ve made it to Brittany!

The trip to Poole was easy and painless and we pitched up for the night at Hunters Moon Caravan Site which was convenient for the early morning start for the ferry port. It’s a lovely little site, well appointed, well maintained and friendly. We plan on going back for a longer stay at some point.

The crossing was smooth and uneventful and the dogs were very comfortable in the car. Unfortunately we had underestimated the length of time it was going to take to get to our friends in Brittany – it was only around four inches on the map- however, in real terms it took about six hours with plentiful stops to view the countryside and exercise the dogs…oh, and a little nap for Himself.

I have to say there are some truly beautiful things to see, Mont St Michel is one and beats the pants off its opposite number at Marazion (heresy from a Cornish woman). We also want to go back and spend some time looking around St Brieuc, Utah Beach, Sainte- Mère Église nd the military cemeteries. Sat Nag held up well until the last 30k when she turned left into a parallel universe and got us totally lost. It was with a great deal of relief when our friends mounted a rescue mission and came looking for us as we were both getting a wee bit edgy.

Food, wine and sleep was never more welcome.

And the sun is shining!

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A Breton lane!

And we’re … off!

Finally, finally, finally we are leaving for Asturias!

The car and caravan are both packed fit to burst, the dog guard fitted to prevent any small Boy Dog or Girl Dog finding their way onto our laps mid-journey, tank filled with diesel, sat-nag keyed in with various destinations, No.2 son is doing a jig of joy…we are READY!

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            A glimpse of the Picos de Europa

Prior planning prevents…..

A decision has been made – we are planning on leaving for Asturias next week!

The logistics of actually how to transport ourselves, two dogs (one now blind), a caravan, all the stuff we ‘need’ for the summer and a motorbike in one trip  have left us a little dizzy. Originally we were going to use a trailer for the bike, but that was before we decided to buy the caravan. So after much thought and various contortions with bike, caravan, pieces of paper, bungee cords and elastoplast….

Himself whizzed over to Spain yesterday to drop off said bike, which he will  leave there before coming back in a few days. Well, that’s his story anyway. He’s gone with a friend and I do believe there is a little road trip planned on the side.

This now means I have space and time to sort stuff out and start packing without any distractions or the need to justify how much wool I do actually own – and for a final lunch with my Best Friend (fingers crossed).

As for Boy Dog: we have been told that there is no chance of his condition improving. However, he is adapting so well to his new world, shaming us with his “can-do” attitude. He is an absolute inspiration – he’s climbing the rockery, forcing Girl Dog out of ‘his’ chair, sunning himself in the garden, racing around all his favourite walks and is getting back to his cheeky, charming self. So the least we can do is stop moping about what can’t be changed and start getting back to what passes as normal in our household.

Needless to say,  No.2 son is delighted that we are finally going !

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Himself’s next bike?

Dia de las Americas, Oviedo, 2012

Life Changes…

The news regarding Boy Dog is not good. After an in-depth consultation and further tests/scans with the Specialist we were sent to an Opthalmic Vet at Abbottskerswell, Devon. Our boy is almost totally blind. Sudden Acute Retinal Degeneration (SARDS) is the diagnosis; the cause is currently unknown but could be due to an infection which, if it is, can be treated and some sight can be saved. He has been prescribed anti-inflammatories to see if they help and we go back on Tuesday for further tests. If he is not any better then he will need an MRI to check out his brain.

Now we have a diagnosis everything makes sense. All the symptoms he has shown: lethargy, depression, eating and drinking excessively whilst indicative of diabetes (mellitus and insipidus), hypothyroidism and/or Cushings’ Syndrome, can also be a precursor to SARDS.

He does appear to be adapting quite quickly; he is less sad and, whilst his sparkle is dimmed, the cheeky, obstreperous pup is still there.  Apparently sight is only the third most important of the dog senses, smell and sound being the first two. His cognitive reasoning is untouched and he is mapping his new world daily and learning all the time. He uses walls and cupboards in the house to guide him around and he’s managed to get up the stairs all by himself, although we’ve had to get a stairgate fitted as coming down is more hazardous for him.

We took him on one of his favourite walks this morning and he enjoyed himself enormously. He is a very intelligent little dog and will cope. Girl Dog is treating him as she usually does but with a little more care. We, however, are in bits.

The picture that accompanies this post is of Boy Dog sat on a picnic bench atop the Mirador del Fitu.

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Hitting the road (part 2)

Busy old week again.

We’re not sure when we are going to be able to get to Asturias, hopefully by the end of the month. Things have had to be put on hold as the Boy Dog still isn’t well. He remains lethargic and uninterested in anything apart from food and cuddles. Although he did almost revert to his old self when my best friend came around the other day – he greeted her with his usual charm and sparky yodel and made a lovely fuss of her.  It was good to see that he is still in there.

We had the results back from the tests he underwent – once again all results were within normal parameters. He is now a perplexing conundrum. Our vet (wonderful man) has referred him to a specialist centre in Somerset. Tomorrow we are hitching up to go and stay near the centre in order for Boy Dog to undergo a consultation and further tests. Worrying times.

However, the enforced stay has meant we’ve been able to enjoy a lovely Bank Holiday weekend, with gorgeous weather on Sunday – apparently it was the sunniest Bank Holiday for six years according to the weather forecasters – and we’ve been able to see the azaleas in bloom for a change!

We also voted in the local elections. The Unitary Authority has had numerous problems over the last four years with a coalition of Lib-Dem and Tory councillors running(?) the organisation. Now there is no overall control with the Independents, Tories and Lib-Dems all having around the same number of seats and in talks to decide how to proceed. However the good news is there is now a very strong Labour Group (8 councillors), meaning that there will be a chance of decent debate and responsible oversight, particularly as it has at its heart a former MP with experience of Government and whose passionate commitment brought Objective One to Cornwall.

Now off to sort out the caravan for the next few days. Fingers crossed for the Boy Dog.

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One of the azaleas  finally in bloom. There is also a new haiku celebrating May.