Monday, May 18, 2015

Visiting dad and rescuing a dog

Sunday and Monday:

Our little country motel offered toast and cereal and the like for breakfast, but we decided to drive the few blocks into the centre on town for breakfast on Sunday morning. We parked and started to wander up and down streets and through the mall. Nothing was open. Siri found us one coffee shop but it wasn't the sort that sold breakfast, just coffee and a few cakes. After a cold and hungry fruitless search, we drove to the outskirts of town and went to McDonalds. I guess we're just city folk, used to everything being open all the time. Who doesn't have brunch on Sundays after a night out?

The good thing about this trip to McDonalds was that we found a beautiful park on the way. It was new since I spent my childhood summers in the area, a created lake and wetlands with a lovely walk around the outside and two children's playgrounds. So after breakfast we went for a stroll. There were lots of ducks and some pelicans in the water

and then we saw this little guy.
He was swimming around and diving, presumably for food. The tail was wrong for a platypus, we don't have otters in Australia as far as I know, and he was too big for a rat although he looked like one. In the end we decided he was a native Australian water rat of some kind.

Then we got caught up in the Million Paws Walk. This is a charity dog-walking event. There must have been 50 or more dogs of all shapes and sizes with their owners, walking along the path beside the lake. They ended up congregated at one end of the park where they held some competitions. Best trick, best costume;

And I thought there should have been a prize for the dog and owner who looked most alike;

After this pleasant interlude we went to the hospital to see dad again. The relief that he wasn't as bad as I'd thought had worn off a bit. He is very sick, and we still don't really have any details. We asked a nurse but she didn't know much. His blood sugar levels are still way too high and they are giving him insulin injections. (I decided against giving him chocolates!) I'm hoping if they can stabilise that then he'll feel better and can start eating more and maybe go home.

At lunchtime we went back to the lovely park. We had lunch at a café next to the lake, the food wasn't great but the view was.

We walked around (I didn't have my fitbit on because I didn't think to take my charger, but I'm sure I did 10,000 steps again) and the kids played while I sat in the lovely sunshine and Tim jogged around the lake.

Then we drove out to dad's house, some 15 or 20 mins out of town to pick up dad's partner Wendy. She doesn't drive so she's been dependant on other people taking her to the hospital and shopping. She must be very isolated and lonely out there without dad. My aunty Pat has been driving her in most days. We went and spent more time with dad. Tim took the kids outside for a while and they chased wild rabbits around the lawns outside the hospital. They both now want a pet bunny. We took Wendy to the shops to get groceries then drove her back home.

We got back into town ready for dinner. Only to find the same problem as we had in the morning. Everything closed (or non-existent) on a Sunday night. Siri directed us to places that had either shut down or were so closed and dark that we couldn't find them. We ended up going to a Thai restaurant even though that is what we'd had the night before. It was that or take-away pizza eaten on our motel beds. Luckily we all like Thai food.

Tim and I both slept very poorly our second night there. My shoulder was aching quite a lot. In the morning we blearily managed to find a café that was actually open, being Monday, then we hit the road early for the long drive home.

Seeing dad sick was sad, and the driving was tedious and hard on my shoulder, but some parts of the weekend were really nice. I hadn't seen dad for a few months so it was good to talk to him, and I saw my aunty Pat (some other family members who live down there were away, and I didn't feel up to seeking out the others) and the park was really nice. The kids would have happily spent all day there. Very glad we went, but it's nice to be home.


I had just finished the above at 5pm then Tim called me outside. There was a dog roaming around trailing his lead, and I am good with animals (and babies). I went out and called him and he ran over to me. I caught him easily and set to work calming him down.
 He looked like maybe a Rhodesian ridgeback cross, medium size but very strong. He was obviously very scared and worried. Once I had his lead he sat and leaned against my legs. He was agitated by someone walking down the path on the other side of the road and by a lady with a pram. My hand is still hurting from holding him! He barked and even growled a bit so I tried to keep the kids at a distance for a while but he wasn't actually aggressive, just scared (which is still dangerous with dogs). After a while he seemed comfortable with them.

We stood outside for a while in case an owner turned up looking for him, and gave him a drink which he seemed very grateful for, then after a while called the appropriate authorities. They said they could either pick him up at lunchtime tomorrow (!!) or else we could take him to a vet who could check his microchip to find his owners. He didn't have a tag. I didn't want to put him in the car, not knowing how he would react, and not having any appropriate restraint, so we walked him the 2 km or so to the nearest vet.
Tim had the lead, I just wasn't strong enough. He wasn't very obedient, pulling ahead hard or else stopping to sniff and urinate. But he seemed like a nice dog. At the vet, they said he had a microchip and his name was AJ (I had guessed Max), and said he lived in Evatt which is a couple of suburbs away over several main roads in peak hour! No wonder he was scared. They couldn't get through to the owner right away but took him out the back to hold him until they could, and we walked home. I felt like we did a good deed for the day. And got our exercise too!

I was very late starting dinner, Wendy called while I was cooking with some good news. They'd managed to speak to a doctor who thinks dad is improving a bit. He ate today (food Wendy took in, not hospital food) and although the hospital doesn't expect to release him until the end of the week, still it is good news.


  1. A very full day! That is so kind about the dog.

    And that is very good news about your dad. I wish him a full and speedy recovery.

    1. Thanks Martha. I'm really glad it looks like he's going to pull through this time.

  2. I'm glad things finally seem to be improving for your pops. Wonderful thing you all did for that dog. It sure did make quite the distance. Thank goodness for that chip, I'm sure that family is grateful.

    I take it you didn't bring your CPAP?

    1. Oh Brandon I was hoping no one would pick up on the CPAP thing! I did take it with me but didn't use it. No good reason at all, just couldn't be bothered. I guess I was emotionally exhausted, but I've got to stop making excuses about not looking after my health.