Sunday, 30 October 2011

A Good Day

Today has been a pretty good day, despite having to alter the clocks last night. Why do we do that? is it for the farmers? They could still just work dawn 'till dusk couldn't they? Surely it wouldn't matter what time they got's a bonkers job anyway, but their career choice. I find it messes with my head for weeks.

But I digress.... I should explain, poor old Murphy has been having some strange episodes lately at night time. Physically he is in fine fettle and doesn't look his age at all, during the day he is his usual self but has been having occasional panic attacks in the middle of the night. This is no fun! Having a 7 stone Alsatian crashing the doors open and running about in a state of terror for no apparent reason.

He's difficult to calm down, trembling and crying and on a couple of occasions I've had to sit up most of the night with him. Then, come morning he's as right as rain again. After much research and a few different opinions from vets and other experts, we've found that this is not uncommon in older dogs and come to the conclusion that it's a form of separation anxiety brought on with old age and triggered by the darkness! He's not that old really, just 9 but our experience seems to match several others we've read about. We've found that by leaving the doors open to all of the rooms in the house at night and leaving a light on for him it helps. He'll still wander about a bit, then come up to the bedroom and sleep by the bed for a while, but the level of panic is much less. I can't think what has brought it on, but a life time of being extremely ginger cam't have helped, poor thing.

So anyhow my sleep wasn't interrupted too much last night and due to the clocks going back I was up and out an hour earlier than usual this morning. Very few people on the beach when we got there, not even any joggers for Leon to terrorise so a very peaceful and relaxing walk we had. I got back in time to see the start of the Indian Grand Prix on the BBC and was enjoying that when an enquiry came in about my drawing 'Heat Of The Night'.

I'm pleased to say that the sale is now confirmed, so that's two good sales in the space of a few days which is very encouraging. The new owner is the proprietor of a local business 'Wild About Birds' whom I mentioned in a previous blog and who has teamed up with a very worthwhile charity project Ndege Wa Pori

I'll be having a small exhibition of my African wildlife at Wild About Birds in December, details to follow nearer the time, and also a permanent display in the new Fair Trade and Crafts shop once it's completed in the next few weeks. A portion of all sales revenue will go into the project's funds and I'm pleased to be able to help in a small way, a very worthwhile cause.

There's even a chance that I may get an opportunity to get over to Kenya as a guest of the conservation project early next year, now that would really be something and would be a great opportunity to get some first hand experience, reference material and inspiration for future work, as well as hopefully be of some use to the project.

After the Grand Prix and lunch, I'd arranged for Leon to go over to a friend of mine for a bit of training. She is doing a college course, something to do with dog psychology and I'd mentioned in passing that if she wanted a barking mad juvenile dog to practice on, she was welcome to borrow Leon. I hadn't expected her to take me up on it but she did so, while Leon was getting a bit of discipline drummed into him, I was able to take Murphy out on his own for a couple of hours. We went over to Aldeburgh, played in the park for a while before having a walk through the town and along the sea front. I'd almost forgotten what it was like to have him on his own, so calm and relaxed, really enjoyable. We called in at my brother's house for a cuppa before going home.

My friend Anne had worked wonders with Leon, managing to get him a lot calmer and behaving much better on the lead. So much so that Jenny had felt confident enough to take him out on her own. All went well until they were almost back before Leon spotted a strange dog who is staying at a house opposite us (a holiday rental) So he made a burst for freedom, took Jenny by surprise and dashed over there to play. No way was he going to be caught until he'd finished....ah well, can't win 'em all.

So not too bad a day....just need to see that annoying, talentless little prat Frankie Coccoza voted off X-Factor this evening to make it even better.


sue said...

Pleased to hear you've had a good day :-) and hope poor Murphy is feeling less worried now.

A trip to Kenya would be brilliant ... I went there (in a previous life/previous husband) but in those days didn't have a decent camera. I'd love to go again - the scenery and wildlife was stunning. Fingers crossed it will all work out as you'd like

Anonymous said...

Trip to Kenya, wow! Heaps of inspiration for artwork to be found there! I'm a customer at 'Wild about Birds' so look forward to seeing your exhibition there. Sorry to hear about Murphy, our GSD is 8 or 9, not sure cos she was a rescue, but we had to put lights on outside the house as she is scared of the dark too. Murphy must of enjoyed having you all to his self for a change. I'm sure Leon will calm down eventually, sounds like a real live wire!