All posts for the month November, 2012


Published November 22, 2012 by lowercase v

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my U.S. readers. While this is an American holiday, it is still important for me as a South African to give thanks. Gratitude is important for the spirit and should really be practice on a daily basis all though it s all to often forgotten. Yes, by me. If you can list just 3 things you are thankful for each day, even in the darkest times, you will find the list grows. Even though last night was pretty rough, this morning I could manage ^ things.

Today I am thankful for:

GABI! of course Gabi. My little girl gives me so much love. She teaches me about patience and nurturing.

MY PARENTS. Although they frustrate the hell out of me sometimes, their love and support

TECHNOLOGY Although we can be to reliant on modern conveniences it makes staying in touch so much easier and brings information to our finger tips.

RUNNING WATER & ELECTRICITY at home (even when the water at times seem dubious) is a blessing when so many people in my own country and around the world have to carry water in buckets and use fire hazards for cooking and light.

Even though I feel my degree is useless most off the time. Even though I feel stupid and incompetent so  much of the time.  Even though I type using the hunt-and-peck method and have to look down at the keyboard… Being able to read and write makes life so much easier.

The real life dog friends who go to the park with us… and the blog and Facebook friends who love and support Gabi and share pictures, stories and advice.

Gabi’s Holiday Wishlist

Published November 21, 2012 by lowercase v

The festive season is upon us.  While I usually don’t buy Chirstmas presents, I’m a  (doggy) mom now, so Gabi might get some. Looks like I’m going to have to break out the piggy bank

1. Kong SqueakAir balls
Gabi likes squeaker toys and she likes tennis balls, so this one seems like a no-brainer.

2. A Treat Toy.

3. Cookies.
I’m thinking Isle of Dog… or I’ll just bake some Pumpkin biscuits myself.
  or  Home-made peanut-butter dog biscuits

4. Treats.

5. Rogz Grinz 
A proudly South African product. This would looks so cool in pictures and it also doubles as a treat toy.

6.  Aikiou bowl or Nina Ottoson puzzle toy


7.  Skudo
This is not something Gabi wants per se, but I think it could be handy in these hot summer months.  It is chemical free and keeps ticks and fleas away. A Healthy Pet is a happy pet

8. A Road Refresher Bowl
A non-spill water bowl for those car trips

9. A Doggy  Frisbee
Dog frisbees aren’t as hard on your dog’s mouth as regular frisbees I’m liking the proudly South African Rogz RFO as an option.

Her bark is worse than her… oh nevermind.

Published November 18, 2012 by lowercase v


This is not about Gabi. It’s about another dog. Our next door neighbour has two  very Jack Russells. Both of them used to bark at us whenever we walk past. Over time the one has stopped and now only barks when I have Gabi. The other JR, the one I call Brown-face, has kept on barking. And she barks long after she can’t see you anymore.

Yesterday, around 5 pm, I left our house to return a DVD I had rented. As soon as I closed our garden gate behind me to head for my garage, the two Jack Russells storm out through their gate, which wasn’t closed properly, barking all the way. I remained calm and firmly said: “No. Go home!” I headed toward their gate to get them inside and close the gate behind me.

The next thing I knew I felt something sharp on my bare calve. Brown-face had bitten me.  I said “No”. The dogs ran off. At least one into the courtyard.

dog bite

With trepidation I went to the neighbours’ house, not sure which dog might be in the yard. Our neighbours’ son came out on the porch. I told him what had happened. He apologized and then ran out to go get the dog/dogs.

I went back inside the house and told my mother what had happened  Gabi was such a good little girl throughout the commotion, just lying on the couch and watching with concern.   Poor Gabi, she was supposed to be going to a walk at that time. My mother went to see our other negihbour, the caretaker. I soon followed. The caretaker told us that their had been several complaints about the noisy dogs. Brown-face had also bitten her pant legs as well as someone else. Our neighbours had never gotten permission from the board to keep the two dogs at their unit. The also were violating the 2 Pets Only rule, as they have two cats.  Our neighbour’s wife had also told her (the caretaker) that the dogs would soon go to live with their daughter (their actual owner) who lives on a farm.

The son then came to see us.  He told us they’d be paying for my Tetanus shot etc, and he was waiting to talk to his parents so they could take me to the hospital. I made myself some coffee and while I was still drinking it the neighbour came over and said I could just go to the hospital and bring him the bill.

At the hospital I was asked some questions to make sure there wasn’t a Rabies risk (have had some cases in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Johannesburg). I didn’t think there was much risk, since both dogs had their shots a few months ago and Brown-face seems obnoxious and aggressive normally anyway. I was given a Tetanus shot (to prevent Lock Jaw) as well as pain med (although haven’t really needed it yet) and antibiotics. My medical aid (insurance) covered most of it (except for a quite large co-payment) and will send me a bill on Monday.  If you do get into a bite situation, go see a Doctor asap, because you have only 48 hours after Rabies exposure to get the medicine. It is also not readily available in South Africa, so make sure you go in time.

All though I wasn’t in shock or anything, I am still gobsmacked that I got bitten by a dog! The whole thing just feels so surreal. I’m just glad Gabi wasn’t there and that she didn’t get bitten.

If you have pets, please please make sure your gate is closed.

Stepped in it.

Published November 14, 2012 by lowercase v

iggy paw

As I was sitting on my bed, busy on my laptop, Gabi suddenly ran into the room. Like  usual, she jumped on the bed, full of energy and affection. She pawed me and licked me and bit (in a playful way) at my face. As I nudged her away I noticed wet paw prints on the bed cover. “What is this?” I asked.

I soon found out it was gunk. Ewwy, ewwy, gunk from the drain overflowing at the side of the house. Several drains in our townhouse complex have been having plumbing problems the past couple of days. Apparently some tree roots had overgrown and in time, damaged a  pipe.  Which sucks, because you can’t exactly trim tree roots.

So anyway I had to close the sliding doors to prevent Gabi from running around the house though the gunk.  No she can only go out the front.  

It’s a very unpleasant situation and I hope it will be fixed ASAP. Iggy needs to run.

Restless Night

Published November 6, 2012 by lowercase v

Yesterday was a very hot summers day and we didn’t go for a walk, today is pretty hot too. Despite yesterday being the 5th of November and Guy Fawkes, we didn’t hear a single firework or firecracker. Over all it was a pretty calm evening. I’m not sure why South Africans celebrated this at all. We haven’t been a British colony for many  generations now. Why do we need to freak out all the animals with unnecessary noise?

Guy Fawkes (13 April 1570 – 31 January 1606) and English Catholic who  planned the failed Gunpowder plot of 1605,  which was a plan to blow up parliament and the Protestant King James.  The plot was discovered thanks to an anonymous letter and on 5 November the cellars below parliament was searched. Gunpowder was discovered. Fawkes was arrested and tortured to give up intelligence. Fawkes and seven of his co-accused were found guilty of high treason and were executed.  On 5 November 1606 were encouraged to celebrate the King’s escape from assassination.
In Britain the 5th of November is celebrated as Guy Fawkes Night and entails bonfires, the burning of effigies and fireworks.  -Source: Wikipedia

I was up pretty late and watched some videos on my computer in bed. When I finally turned off the light to go to sleep I started hearing tummy noises from Gabi’s  bed. I got up and checked on her, rubbed her tummy for a while and went back to bed. The noises continued non-stop. I got up to check on her again.

I wondered if her tummy was noisy because it was empty. By that time she still hadn’t eaten the kibble I put on her bowl on Sunday night. There was also an uneaten piece of carrot (Gabi will normally try to snatch carrots out of my mouth). I went to get a bit of rice from the kitchen, but she wouldn’t eat it.

I took her underarm temperature  It’s not very accurate, but the reading was higher than normal so I was scared that she might have a fever. I then dropped the thermometer on the tile floor and it broke. I picked up the main pieces, but didn’t see any mercury. I then switched on the main bedroom light and looked under my bed. I didn’t see anything so I checked around the room. Gabi stirred in her bed. Then I saw it, several beads of mercury (poisonous) on the floor right beneath Gabi’s bed. She look like she wanted to get up, so I picked her up and carried her to the couch in the living room. I then struggled to pick the mercury up and throw it in a plastic bag. I really think I should invest in one of those digital ear thermometers, but they’re expensive.

After it was cleaned up and Gabi came back to her bed, I heated up a bit of pumokin and offered it to her on a spoon. She didn’t want to eat it so I added it to the rice. I kissed her head and went back to my own bed. After awhile, she climed into my bed. I was still lying awake and crying. The last time I saw the clock it was around 4am.

I slept late this morning. Gabi has eaten the rice and pumpkin and some more rice and pumpkin, but still no kibble. She seems much better today, so I haven’t taken her to the vet, but I’m keeping an eye on her.