I’m not missing, and those hard-working SAR heroes have much more important things to do!
Six months have passed since my last blog post, and for this I sincerely apologise. I’m self-employed, and my work is mostly seasonal. Summer is the main ‘busy’ time for my business, but I had all the right intentions to post a blog or two, in between the busiest times, but alas it (obviously) didn’t happen.
There have been a few highs and lows along the way. Our first event of the summer season was also the wettest event I’ve ever attended. Biblical amounts of rain – non-stop, relentless heavy rain for a solid 36 hours – but fortunately the event wasn’t a complete washout for my business. The weather that weekend did herald the trend of the summer though. I think I can count on one hand, and still have fingers left over, the number of events we did this summer that weren’t affected by rain. However, despite the unsettled summer weather my business enjoyed the best summer we’ve had since I was a fledgling start-up, culminating in a successful weekend at the biggest event we’ve ever done.
With regards to getting out hiking over the summer, well sadly that was big fat zero. My poor, neglected walking boots are sulking in the bottom of the wardrobe, feeling distinctly unloved. As a matter of fact, I didn’t get much waking done at all, not even my daily walks around the local lanes. I had a small surgical procedure done in June, fortunately during a 2 week break from business commitments, but not being a great ‘stay-at-home’ patient I only gave myself 2 days at home to recover before I was itching to get out walking the lanes again. However, that was too early and caused complications, making my GP force me to promise not to walk for at least a month. My business wasn’t really affected, mainly due to having a wonderful group of supportive friends that attend the same events, who helped me with all the heavy lifting that needed to be done. But the walking fell by the wayside. By the time I was ‘allowed’ to walk again, the summer events were in full swing, and when you’re only home for 2-3 days each week I found it really hard to get back into my daily walking routine again. I’ve gained a stone in weight since June, and I am kicking myself. However, now the summer is over, and I’ve a small break before the busy Christmas period kicks in, I’m working really hard to rebuild my daily walking routine, and get rid of that hateful gained weight that I had worked so hard to lose in the first place. The walking target of 550 miles in 2015 that I set myself is completely out of the window, but I’m setting myself monthly distance targets on Runkeeper, and hoping to slowly build my miles back up again. I can’t believe how unfit I have become by not walking these last 3 months, distances and pace that I found easy before are now a struggle and I’m a red-faced puffing mess as I stagger around my local lanes each morning, but that only makes me more determined to get back to where I was.
It as not my intention to end this post on a sad note, but I wasn’t sure of the best place to position this. Sadly, over the summer we lost one of our canine walking companions. Millie has always had a few health issues, mostly stemming from a dose of pleurisy she suffered as a young dog, leaving scarring on her lungs. In later years she developed a form of colitis which took careful management of her diet to keep under control. But despite all that she was always a happy, lively dog, and bright as a button. At the beginning of the summer she was showing early signs of congestive heart failure, which was made more complicated due to the lung scarring. Our vet was wonderful, and his ‘magic injections’ helped to quickly clear the fluid from her lungs and heart when she was struggling. I took her away for a sneaky camping weekend in early August, and on the day we were leaving to go home I noticed one of her back legs was hanging limp, she was dragging it around like it was a rag-doll. The vet feared that she may be showing signs of Degenerative Myelopathy, but that we would watch and wait and see what happens. He gave her a different magic injection, to stimulate the nerves, and she was walking around on all four legs within a very short amount of time. But I wondered just how much more this little girl could withstand. I was away at an event in Roscommon, the event was disaster from a business point of view, but it was a lovely event in a beautiful part of the country. On the final night a few of us were discussing whether to stay on for an extra night, just because. The rain arrived the following morning, so we scrapped our plans and all headed off home. I got home to find Millie in her bed gasping for air, the husband looking concerned. I took her temperature and it was through the roof. The vet started her straight away on strong antibiotics and a magic injection to clear her lungs. But it didn’t work. Her breathing never improved. I took her temperature hourly, and it just kept dropping. Initially we took that as a good sign. However, it hit the minimum temperature for a healthy dog and kept dropping. It dropped 7°C in just 5 hours. She was going into shock. We went back to our vet’s house at 11pm that night, and he gave her more stuff (forgive me if I wasn’t concentrating too well at the time on what he was giving her, we thought we were taking her on her final journey at the time, so we we’re relieved when our vet told us not to give up on her just yet). He told us if she could get through the night to get the 2nd antibiotic into her in the morning then she had a fighting chance. I stayed up with her, I couldn’t bring myself to go to bed, but she died in my lap just after 3am.
Run free little bear ❤
I have to sign off there for now, but not for another 6 months, I promise. I just have to go and hug my dogs.