And…We’re Back

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Back on Cornish shores…

Because we have a newly blind elderly dog, who has shown remarkable bravery and flexibility in dealing with his disability, we decided  to make other arrangements in travelling to and from Spain. This has meant long journeys down through Brittany and back a couple of times this year and the road home is becoming an old friend, albeit a warty, boring, expensive one.

So, as we needed to get home by mid-November at the latest, we once again girded our loins and set of back through France to catch the ferry at Roscoff. Only this time we planned to do it in one day and without the caravan. It took a  mammoth 13.5 hrs to do 1200km with a total stoppage time of 1.34 hrs. This would have been ten minutes less but I had a traumatic time trying to get out of a locked toilet on an Aire, to the bemusement of a very sweet Frenchman who looked most concerned when I finally broke free. Needless to say Himself, already grumpy with the cost of the tolls, was not impressed with me ‘wasting daylight’! This was then followed by a six hour, nausea inducing crossing, from Roskoff to Plymouth and 90 minutes further driving into the heart of Cornwall. Still, at least we made it home in one piece if not with all dignity intact as, unlike Himself and The Eldest (who is a Merchant Navy Professional) I am not a good sailor.

The Kids were pleased to see us. The Daughter yapped solidly for an hour without drawing breath and The Youngest, very well trained from childhood, had chilled the wine ready for me. The house was spotless, if you ignored the bathroom and toilet, where it looked as if a new life form had colonised in our absence. The dogs were ecstatic to see their human counterparts and even more so to go to sleep in a bed that was not moving forwards!

We are both spending time catching up with friends and those members of the family we like (come on admit it – there are always some family members we would rather not spend time with or talk to) and getting ready for Christmas. Oh, and Himself has bought a new motorbike. A big one.

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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