Monday, November 30, 2015

Old dogs and new tricks

I haven't mentioned Missy for quite some time.  She's almost 16 and is showing her age more and more lately. Her arthritis gives her trouble and stops her running about and playing with her toys as she once did. Now it's a slow stroll (except when food is involved then she bounces).  She doesn't hear the car arrive home or even my footsteps up the hallway, so gets a surprise when she sees me. Her eyes are clouded by cataracts and she sleeps for much of the day.
She's still in charge of the household.

What is it they say about teaching old dogs new tricks?
I'm guessing you can't teach them because they are very good at discovering new tricks for themselves.

Missy's "You just woke me up" look.
Missy has always had us well trained.
We know when she likes to be fed  --- 6 AM and 6 PM --- It can be earlier but never later. As an old lady she has started asking for extras.... the leftover milk from my breakfast cereal has become a necessary second breakfast rather than an occasional treat. Empty plastic containers (cream, dips, yoghurt, etc.) are begged for.
 Chicken, bacon, gravy and most meats are stared at to telepathically make them fall off the table. When that doesn't work, there's whimpering, more staring but now aimed at John or me rather than the meat, more whimpering... until the food is either taken away or she has a win. We have to be careful not to feed her too much because she isn't getting the exercise she once was. The vet did say the medication she is taking would increase her appetite - but really.... you would think we starve her. The problem is, of course, that sometimes we give in.

She has a number of favourite sleeping spots and goes from one to another throughout the day - usually near where we are. 

For a dog with poor eyesight and hearing, she surprises us with her ability to know when dogs are walking by. She looks sound asleep. She can't see them - even if she was looking in that direction, yet she knows and gets up to bark. Often she barks then a few moments later we see the dog. I'm guessing it's her sense of smell letting her know there's another dog nearby.
The other dog generally ignores her which must be frustrating to a little old dog who is diligently protecting her home.

Even in old age she's still the boss.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Adding more plants

Just a quick update on the garden -

We chose Macarthur Ptychosperma macarthurii and Blue Cane Dypsis cabadae palms for along the back fence. Both are clumping and should fit nicely into our garden. Interspersed in this section are a variety of cordylines and crotons from Missy's garden, a native hibiscus Hibiscus tiliacious rubra and a pink calliandra.

We watered them in with a Seasol/Powerfeed mix and we've mulched with partly decomposed garden waste from our local rubbish tip. The mulch is free but usually you have to collect it yourself, of course. We were lucky. The backhoe driver was working and tipped a bucket load into our trailer.


Along the other end, not so much is planted yet - the palms and two crepe myrtle which I'm hoping will grow quickly and provide some shade. I want heliconias along this strip but so far can't find the ones I want. (I can wait)
To the left is a wooden deck behind our bedroom. I can already picture sitting out there with my morning coffee surrounded by a tropical mini-jungle.

This is the flower from the hibiscus along the side fence - the flowers are huge and so beautiful. I may bore you silly with photos of them.

We are getting quite a bit of rain at the moment so the plants are settling in well and we're starting to feel like progress is being made.