Monday, 22 March 2010

Let me introduce myself!


I`m Perry and I`ve lived with Sandra and Jim for the last week. They`ve been looking for another labrador since they lost their beloved Jake in November. They have registered with rescue societies and have visited countless dog`s homes with no luck but then I came along. Sandra has an online friend who in turn has online friends, one of whom is a dog breeder. She made enquiries and found another breeder who wanted to find a 21mth old yellow male lab a good home. That was where I came in. I lived with other dogs and since I was very young I had been in the show ring. I had some success but I was never going to reach the top. I qualified for Crufts but would have got nowhere so I was retired. My owner was a very kind lady who was waiting for the right people to come along to give me a happy home, someone who had experience of my breed and someone who was LOOKING for a companion. When I first arrived here I didn`t know how to `sit` as I had been trained to `stand` for the show ring and had no idea how to play with toys. Now after just one week I sit at the kerb without being asked and retrieve a ball when its thrown for me. I`ve also discovered there is a furry creature called a cat, something I`ve never seen before. Now I give the next door neighbours cat plenty of exercise....

I really like Sandra`s garden and can`t understand why I`m not allowed to walk on the plants. Whatever the reason I get shouted at so I suppose I`d better stay off to keep the peace...sigh. I`ve met a young boy called Roman and I think I have a new friend there. There`s also a little girl called Sophie who is very small and she doesn`t seem all that keen on me...Oh well, I`m sure she`ll come round eventually.

Sandra is very busy these days especially since I arrived. She`s doing longer hours at work and when she gets home she takes me out for a long walk. She wants to get fit and maybe even lose some weight for her holiday to Florida in October. She`s also doing lots of work in the garden. I`ve been inside her greenhouse and theres new plants and bulbs everywhere. yesterday because the weather was nice she weeded some of the garden and this morning Jim widened one of the borders for her. I wanted to help but Jim said he needed to keep it in a straight line.

Anyway people, I hope you like the photos of my good self, I think I`m quite handsome, don`t you? :o)

Bye Bye and Woof


Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Time I posted

I thought it was time I posted something, I hadn`t realised it had been so long. Much has happened since my last entry, Christmas and New Year have come and gone and now we are heading towards the end of January.

I`ve been recovering from a bout of shingles which I first noticed on Christmas day though at the time I just thought I had an irritating rash as I had my hands full with the celebrations. Not so; I saw a doctor after Christmas and before New Year and he confirmed what Jim already thought. Kerry and Jim both had it years ago so I knew what it looked like. I was prescribed anti-viral tablets that I had to take FIVE times a day...I gave up after two because they made me feel worse than I already felt and all they are supposed to do is send the virus `back to sleep` as the doctor referred to it. I must admit that I felt absolutely exhausted for some time and to make matters worse I had probably the worst cold I`ve had in years at the same about feeling miserable! I decided once I started to feel better that a course of tablets to boost my immune system would be a good idea and I`m taking one per day and will continue that way right through the Winter or at least until I feel back to par. I`ve not taken any time off work because it wouldn`t have made any difference. I like to keep going because if I sat around at home I would end up feeling even worse than I already did. I must admit to still feeling some pain from the shingles but that will go in time. If it irritates too much I just take a painkiller and apply calamine lotion to the site, it does help.

Anyway, thats enough about me and my ailments. Now for something else a bit more cheerful. We`ve booked our flights and a lovely villa to stay in in for our holiday in Florida in October. We are trying not to talk about the arrangements in front of Roman where we can so as not to over excite him too much. He is really looking forward to it but October is a long way off when you are only 4. He keeps reminding me however, that he will be 5 when we go away. My grandson FIVE, I can hardly believe it. Mind you, Sophie is 9mths now and as different to Roman as chalk and cheese. They LOOK like brother and sister but where Roman is sensitive and thoughtful Sophie is loud and boisterous. When Roman was a baby he was shy of other children but Sophie loves their company and will reach out and grab them if she can, laughing as she does so. Even though she is 9mths she wears clothes for 12-18mths so that gives you an idea of how big she is. Not tubby but well built and tall. If she carries on growing the way she is she`ll be bigger than Roman before too long!

This was taken just after Christmas. I didn`t use a Christmas photo as Sophie had conjuctivitis and her poor little eyes were so swollen and red.

I took this one of Roman a fortnight ago in Black Park. We had a lovely time that afternoon.

We contacted Labrador Lifeline Trust in the new year to see if they had any dogs that needed a home. We were offered a young chocolate bitch but she wasn`t what we were looking for and it wouldn`t have been fair to take her on if we weren`t sure. So we are waiting. It is very hard being without a dog because Jake left a huge hole in our lives. We both miss him very much and another furry friend would help to fill the void. We are prepared to wait for the right one especially as we have the grandchildren to consider. No dog is perfect, especially a rescue but that won`t matter if it feels right. Any dog owner will know what I`m talking about.

Anyway, I`ll say goodbye for now. I`d like to promise that I`ll publish another entry sooner but knowing me I probably won`t. Take care all of you. :o)

Love and Hugs

Sandra xxx

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Hello Everyone!

Hello everyone,

I know it`s been a while since my last entry but it`s better for me if I don`t post too often now. I find I just don`t have that much to say of interest anymore but I don`t want to stop altogether.

I want to thank all of you who expressed sympathy and support when we lost Jake. It was a real hammer blow losing him so soon after the diagnosis and was all the sadder given his age. I can`t believe that on Christmas Day it will be a whole month since we lost him but I think what with work and the build up to Christmas has been thr distractions I needed to get through the sadness of it all. I still miss him terribly but I can now look forward to the New Year when we will get a new furry companion to share our lives. I have already spoken to the Labrador Lifeline Trust and they told me to call as soon as we`re are ready and they will find us a dog. They found us Jake and I know there will be another labrador in need who we will welcome into the family.

To change the subject, Jeannette kindly nominated me for a Valued Blogger award which I was honoured to accept. Now I have to nominate between three and five people who I value the most out of all of you, well that`s the theory. I actuall value you all but have decided after much thought to go with three people who have been there for me since the start. So here they are.

Jeannette of

I know Jeannette nominated me but I must nominate her back. She helped me when I started on AOL blogs when I had no idea what I was doing and have never looked back. Over the years we have become friends, exchanging emails, IM`s and phone calls. We even met in person once when Jim and I spent the day with her and her lovely husband Mike. So I just couldn`t leave Jeannette out of this however I look at it.:o)

Then of course I have to nominate Angie.

What can I say about Angie? She has a wonderful sense of humour in everything she writes. She comes over as very warm-hearted and is the sort of person I could be friends with if I only lived in Yorkshire! She has disabilities but never seems to let them get in the way of living her life to the full. If you haven`t read her blog, go over and see what I mean.:o)

And last but not least I nominate Ally.

Ally joined AOL blogs not long after me and I`ve always enjoyed her stories of the area she lives in, her family of course her two Jack Russell terriers who have special personalities of their own. Ally will often email me and ask after myself and my family which is a nice gesture. I always think the little things count for a lot don`t you? yep, Ally deserves this award. :o)

This is the Valued Blogger award for you to collect and place in your sidebars.

All you have to do now is nomate your own three to five Valued Bloggers. :o)

Life has been very hectic here. Work has been fast and furious with customers buying Christmas trees, wreaths, crackers and decorations. It had been fairly quiet but the last week it has really picked up. As for me I finished the majority of my present shopiing some time ago and its all wrapped and put away. The only thing I haven`t done is write out mt Christmas cards in time. I will apologise to all my American friends who usually recieve cards from me. I`ve decided that I`ll send ecards instead because I missed the last post for the USA last week. :o( As for my British friends you`ll all get your cards in the next couple of days if the Royal Mail keep up the good work. Fingers crossed then!

Last evening Jim and I attended Roman`s school Nativity play in which he played a sheep. He is one of the youngest pupils in the school and I think he did really well. Of course Roman was the most talented of them all and if you ask me it takes a lot of skill to be a really convincing! The eldest children in the play were only seven and the youngest, like Roman only four. Considering it was 6pm when it started they did very well seeing as they were all very tired at the end.

Sophie is 8 mths old today and is such a lovely little, well not so little girl.

Enjoying her dinner just like her big brother!

Anyway my friends, I can`t go without wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New year. Bye Bye for now. :o)

Love and Hugs

Sandra xxxx

Friday, 27 November 2009

Sad News

Hello Friends,

I`m sorry to have to tell you that we had to have Jake put to sleep on Tuesday evening. He has been getting worse over the last two weeks but not too bad, he certainly wasn`t in pain but had started to eat less and less and was sleeping more and more.On the Tuesday morning he had worsened drastically since the day before. he didn`t even raise his head when I got up in the morning and when he did he didn`t even attampt to move from his bed. I hand fed him some chicken wish he took slowly but gratefully. I knew he was just too weak and I knew it was time. I don`t know how I managed to work that day but somehow I got through the morning without making mistakes but couldn`t wait to get home to my precious boy.When Jim got home we had that difficult conversation, we talked and cried for an hour before the vet called us with Jake`s latest blood test results. They were as bad as its possible to be so it made the decision easier to make. We said goodbye to him at 6.30pm Tuesday 24th November. His head was on my lap the whole time and I`m not even sure he was aware of anything. I stroke his head, kissed him and told him that I loved him and he just slipped away. Our gorgeous boy....we miss him so much it hurts. I know it will get easier, today is better than yesterday, but it will take a while. One day soon another dog will join our household but for the moment it feels as though Jake is still here...maybe he is, who can say...

Run free precious boy, chase those squirrels and jump over fallen trees. Be happy. Thank you so much for being our dog, you enriched our lives. Love you always.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Jake`s Progress

I thought it was time that I updated you on Jake`s progress. he`s actually doing really well and doesn`t look ill at all. Last weekend he was a bit under the weather, refusing to eat all his food and bringing all that he did. On the Monday morning I was planning to take him to the vet but all of a sudden he was back to normal with no sign of illness whatsoever. I think in a perverse way if he looked ill and acted ill then I could accept that his time is short. I keep having to convince myself of the words of the lab report, @prognosis guarded to poor" and the chest x-ray that I saw with my own eyes, the tiny white dots in his lungs that look far from sinister but of course are just that.

HOWEVER.....Jake is with us and doing well and if I have anything to do with it he`ll still be here in a years time. While Jim was out with him the other day an elderly lady stopped to stroke Jake. he told me that she just kept saying how beautiful he was and what a lovely dog, Jim didn`t have the heart to tell her he isn`t well. How could anyone?

Everyone here is well, I say that because I haven`t posted for ages about any of them The only downside is that Danny has finally ended his relationship with Salina after 6yrs together. I won`t say anymore about it because it`s a deeply private mnatter between the two of them. At least now a line can be drawn and Dan can get on with his life. I want my son to be happy more than anything else whatever life throws at him.

Roman and Sophie are really doing well. Roman is in full-time school and loving every minute. He`s usually the first to get there and the last to leave. On Wednesday and Thursday last week he was given two "Teacher`s Helper" awards, the second one with a gold star, he was so proud to get them and so are we. :o)

Sophie is almost 7 mths now and is has been sitting unaided for a while now. She is totally fearless and nothing seems to bother her. Roman can be unintentionally a bit rough with her, as older siblings are at times but all she does is laugh in his face. Kerry says she`s much tougher than Roman ever was and that she`ll soon be wearing the! She even grabs hold of him sometimes and he calls to his mum that "Sophie is hurting me" lol!

Sitting in my living room.

Ready for his first day at school.

The garden centre is gearing up for Christmas and our display is all in place. Mind you, Christmas isn`t that far away now. I`ve done quite a bit of my Christmas shopping already because I can`t stand the crowds and I worry that I won`t get everything in time. I love shopping for the grandchildren because its such funny choosing toys that I know they`ll like. I know Sophie is only a baby but she loves her toys, especially those that make loud noises...poor Kerry and! And of course there are the clothes to buy. There has always been more choice of girls clothes so I am going to be in my element. I loved buying for Kerry when she was a baby but now there is even more to choose from, where will I start...? :o)

Jim has bought me a really good pair of secateurs for Christmas. He asked what I wanted and even though he thought it a bit odd that was what I wanted. With the amount of gardening I do I need good tools. I never thought I`d get excited about secateurs, perfume, clothes!

Anyway my friends, I`ll say goodbye for now. take care and have a good weekend.

Love and Hugs

Sandra xxxx

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

My Gorgeous Boy Jake

Hello friends,

Many of you will know by now that my gorgeous boy Jake is very poorly. He was diagnosed with cancer last week after he having problems with his front leg. We thought he`d just pulled something or maybe a touch of arthritis, alas it wasn`t to be. Our lovely vet Stella did a needle biopsy on one of his lymph glands as they were swollen and unfortunately it was the worst possible diagnosis.

The cells found were secondaries and even now we are not 100% sure where the primary tumour is. Most likely it is buried deep inside his armpit, out of sight and spreading its poison around his body. He had been doing a lot of things slower of late but then in dog years he is middle-aged and of course it seemed a natural progression.

The limp started just a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday. Come the Monday Jim was at the vets. The only thing that DID worry us was a couple of times while he was sleeping he let out a scream, not a yelp, but a blood-curdling scream of pain. Perhaps we knew it was serious but then you never want to think the worst with a beloved pet.

Jake has been given just 3-6 mths, such a short time left to spend with our boy but my goodness are we going to enjoy every minute of it. he`s on an excellent painkiller which has completely changed his day to day life. He has boundless energy now he is free from pain again and he`s eating really well again. The only thing is I`m making sure he doesn`t overdo things. I won`t let him lie on the grass in case he gets cold, the vet warned me about that. I have to watch out for any changes at all in his health. Last evening he coughed for the first time, just a soft, slight cough but still a sign that the tiny tumours in his lungs maybe growing. I knew they were there because I saw his chest x-ray but I had hoped they wouldn`t trouble him just yet.

After the initial shock and more than a few tears I decided not to get too upset yet, they`ll be time enough for that later. I will stay upbeat for Jake`s sake, if he sees me upset, (which he has done in the past) it`ll will upset him and there`s no need for that. I did get upset this afternoon at the park, watching him running around. How can such a healthy looking dog be so ill? Is the diagnosis wrong? Was it mixed up with some other poor dog? Somehow if he looked ill I could accept it easier, but he doesn`t. His coat is as shiny as ever and his eyes as bright. His labrador exuberance knows no bounds. Oh dear, what will I do without him?

Now I AM crying...........

Thanks especially to Jeannette and Frances, my dear friends. Jeannette for your support when we talked on the phone, you`ve been there and understand completely.
My thanks to Guido for putting an entry on Call for Support, many friends have rallied round because of it.
Thanks also to all of you who have offered up prayers and kind words of support for Jake. You are all so kind, bless you all.

For any who would say, all that for a dog. I say...absolutely!

I will keep you all updated as to Jake`s condition. next time I`ll most likely write about what`s been going on in my life.

Bye Bye for now

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

I`m Still Here!

Hello, it`s me!

It`s almost a month since my last entry and I`ve done so much in that time. The only problem being that I can`t remember exactly what, at least in the proper order of events that! Anyway, I`ll do my best and try to update you before my mind goes completely blank. I apologise now for the randomness (is that a word?) of the entry.

Right, since Roman`s birthday we have been to a theme park, Paultons Park in Hampshire. Perfect for young children and their famillies. None of the rides are really scary and Roman was able to go on most of them. Paultons is set in beautiful countryside, well away from main roads etc. There is a small zoo there, pretty gardens to walk around too. I would thoroughly recommend it to any of you who would like a nice day out with the family. We had a fantastic day there and Roman was in his element.

A few days after the trip to Paultons I had a weeks holiday from work and went to stay with Kerry and the children. Jim was working most of the week and I didn`t want to spend my days doing nothing, I just have to be busy and at Kerry`s there`s always something to do. I left strict instructions on what to do each day in the garden, what to water and when and to watch the tomatoes for signs of blight. As it happened the garden was to be the least of my worries but back to that in a minute. I enjoyed helping around the house, doing the gardening. Poor Slava`s tomatoes had the dreaded blight and we had to throw the whole crop away as it was too far gone to save. I put some new plants in as slugs had had a feast on the marigolds and they had little Summer colour left. We went out every day and I got to know Sophie much better and we came to an understanding. We were friends at last and she did me the honour of smiling for the whole time I was there. Somehow I think we have seen the last of "grumpy Sophie" and "happy Sophie" has replaced her for good! I managed to convince her that I, her Nanna was a nice person who would always be there for her the way I am with my Roman. While we were there Kerry showed me Roman`s school uniform that he will wear to big school in September. I must admit it brought a lump to my throat seeing his brand new grown-up boys clothes. When did my darling little boy become old enough for school and where did the last four years go? I just don`t know, he`s seems so grown up though he still enjoys a cuddle, though not quite as much as he did. Sometimes I say to him teasingly that he is still my baby. He says very forcefully, " No I`m NOT a baby Nanna, I`m a big boy now!" That told me didn`t!

My big boy playing footie with Daddy and Uncle Dan

Of course I mentioned the garden being the least of my problems, well you`ll love this.

What happened was on the Saturday, the day before I was due to come home I had a phone call from Jim. He had been calling every day but not first thing in the morning. This time he sounded worried.

JIM: I`ve been stung by a bee!

ME: Are you sure it`s a bee and not a wasp?

JIM: Well it`s lying dead on the floor and it`s furry so it must be a bee...oh and I pulled the sting out of my neck.

ME: But you`re ok?

JIM: Yes, but it hurts, where`s the AfterBite?

ME: Top shelf in the wardrobe.

JIM: Thanks, I`ll see to that first then I`ve lots to do this morning, I have to get the suitcases out of the loft for Kerry and Slava. See you tomorrow afternoon.

ME: Ok Love, take care, Bye!

Well Kerry and I went out for the day with the children and I thought no more about the phone call. We spent the day at Beale Park, a small zoo with a few kiddie rides set in lovely surroundings by the river Thames, there are some lovely places near to Kerry. Anyway, after the day out we went for a meal in a nice family restaurant, again set in beautiful countryside...Oh dear, there I go! By the time we got home it was 7.30 and almost as soon as we got in the door the phone rang...I just knew it was Jim and there was a problem.

Jim: You won`t believe what happened to me.

Me: Do I need to sit down?

Jim: laughs...No but I have to tell you I`ve had a bit of an accident.


Jim: Erm...well, when I went up to get the suitcases, the ladder collapsed on the way down, taking me AND the ladder with it....down the stairs...erm...I`m a bit bruised, well no, make that VERY bruised...and a bit battered...and I`ve sprained my ankle and my neck and shoulders are really sore....

How on earth did you fall?

Jim: Er...I didn`t tighten the ladder properly and it just gave way.

Anyway, this continued until I was convinced he was alright and he didn`t need me to come home, Kerry would have brought me home right away but he insisted I stay. I made him promise not to do anything even slightly dangerous until I was home again. He promised and said he was going to bed, the safest option in my opinion.

I spent half the night tossing and turning about his accident and what could have happened. He could have been seriously injured or even killed and he was on his own, it didn`t bear thinking about what the consequences could have been. The next day he arrived and I was shocked at the state of his injuries. He was covered in black, red and purple bruises. His ankle wasn`t sprained after all but was really badly bruised. Roman thought his grandad looked wonderful, a real hero. Not everyone`s grandad had bruises like HIS!

Over a fortnight on, the bruises are still there though faded somewhat, they are still sore and Jim hads decided to have a loft ladder an expert. There`s no way I will allow him up that ladder again...ever!

I myself had some blood tests last week. I`ve been having these waves of fatigue for the last few months and I`m fed up with them. One minute I feel absolutely fine and the next I feel completely exhausted. The exhaustion passes after about 30 mins but I want to know what`s going on. The doc says I might need some more vitamin B12 injections, oh great, they are really painful. Or maybe vitamin D, common in older people he says...thanks Doc! Or maybe diabetes. On a serious note, I really hope not. Either way, I will know for sure by Friday, I`ll let you know.

Kerry, me and Salina with Sophie...she weighs almost 16lbs now!

Kerry and family are in Russia at the moment and will be home on Monday evening. Kerry has called me a couple of times but has to call from her in-laws home so she can`t say to much. I asked her if she was enjoying herself. Her exact words were, "Oh you know!" In simple terms that means she`s not. Oh dear, I had a feeling she wouldn`t, she`s going to tell me all about it when she comes home. Anyway, after this long, rambling entry I`ll say goodbye before you all fall asleep!

I`ll be visiting as many journals as possible this evening and will comment too. I hope you are all well and having a good day. Bye for now. :o)