Hospitalised hound

The promises of a picture of me in Jedi knight mode and extra instalments of that non-linear holiday tale are looking a little empty at the moment. For a change I have a valid excuse.

We took Kelty-dog in to the vet yesterday because he suddenly lost all strength in his hind legs. First he was walking funny, and then he just stopped walking altogether.
We rushed him to the vet whose diagnosis was grim. The vet suspected that one of Kelty’s discs in his back had ruptured, creating a build-up of pressure on his spine. He still had all of his reflexes, they were just quite depressed. His superficial and serious pain receptors were all working. These were good signs, but things could deteriorate fast.
X-rays and an MRI scan were needed and potential spinal surgery could follow. Depending on recovery times, the bill could reach up to R20,000.
Kelty is now competing with Bean for the title of most expensive dog.

Bizarrely the X-rays and MRI scans haven’t indicated what the vet was expecting. This is good because spinal surgery is bad, and spinal surgery will now be avoided.
This is bad because the vet doesn’t know what’s wrong. We are currently waiting for news.

Of course it doesn’t stop there. On top of Kelty developing an undiagnosed nervous/muscular condition, we appear to have inadvertently poisoned both of the dogs.
Bean had been refusing to eat the new batch of Pedigree chunks we bought for her and Kelty. This wasn’t necessarily weird. She’s a fussy little princess and sometimes holds out for chicken breasts or some other tastier faire.
Kelty had been eating them, but hadn’t been finishing the food (which is unusual). He also had developed mild diarrhoea (which has stopped since his admission to the hospital).
Last night we added tasting gravy to Bean’s food and she finally gave in and ate the whole bowl-full.
This morning, at 4:30 we discovered darkly coloured vomit.  She proceeded to vomit another three times between 5:30 and 6:15, at which point we rushed her to the vet.
While at the vet, extreme diarrhoea ensued. It was unpleasant for all people involved.

Bean is back home at the moment, and hopefully doing okay. Needless to say I’ve bought another brand of dog food. Looks like I’ll be phoning the Pedigree customer-care line in due course. I’ll do my best not to take out my fragile emotional state on the call centre person who has had nothing to do with the manufacture of the dog food. I’ll try, but it might be hard.

Tale of Three Cities — Part 2

At the end of our trip to Budapest we travelled a little out of the city to visit Memento Park (also called Szorborpark or Statue Park. Not called South Park, but they sold T-Shirts reading Marx Park and I bought one).

The Hungarians were clearly not all that impressed with the communist iconography and promptly stripped their city of all traces of it.
They weren’t angry though because, unlike effigies of Saddam Hussein during the er… “liberation” of Iraq, they didn’t get broken down and destroyed. Instead, they were simply taken down and deposited in a park outside the city.

The first few days in Budapest had magnificent weather. The day we visited Szorborpark was suitably glum and overcast. We couldn’t have timed it better if we religiously checked the forecasts at hourly intervals.

Tale of Three Cities — Part 1

What’s this all about then?

Angie and I recently went on holiday to the northern lands. Admittedly, living in South Africa one would need to visit Antarctica to visit southern lands. We had no choice but to head north. We kept going north until the plane landed at Heathrow, London.

My tale of Europe and Associated Islands is broken into a number of parts because I have much to say, and internet readers are given indigestion by significant chunks of reading material.
It helps when the words are nicely broken up by pictures. I will apply pictures to the equation and hope to keep the readership entertained.
We visited three cities (London, Budapest, and Edinburgh) but used one of them as base camp (London) from which we launched our other excursions. Expect a slightly non-linear tale as I relate this Tale of Three Cities, ordered by city.
Do not expect any further intentional references to the works of Charles Dickens. I detest Dickens.


People in London are in quite a hurry. I’m not entirely certain why, but it is quite clear that they are. They must have heartless corporate cutbacks to implement, or corporate slave duties to perform, or some other very important tasks that cannot wait a moment to be polite.
It should be clear by now that London isn’t my favourite place and us going there to visit friends hinged on us going somewhere else that wasn’t London. Yet, meeting up with absent friends is always good, and is so good that even the inherent blerghness of London could not sour it.

Our base camp in London was at Wendy and Saul’s place, and the day after we arrived (and recovered from the flight) Wendy organised a social gathering of all the humans we know, living in London (or who happened to be be there at the time). This gathering is best illustrated with a photo essay of sorts from the balcony of their place:

Angie snaps one of (from left) Frances, Rachelle, Lisa, and Wendy (and herself, reflected in the glass of the door). Complaints regarding your appearance to be addressed to the photographer.
Neil snaps Angie, Rob and Lisa. There is also a good view of Wendy and Saul’s rather deformed gas heater on the left.

Unknown photographer includes Michael and Neil (an other previously mentioned persons)

Louise with malformed heater-head as a hat

Long exposure after sunset with camera balanced on the balcony ledge.

Alas, late-comers were not included in the photo-shoot (people like Jocelyn and Saul). They were there. Honest. Scott was also there, but who was Scott? Who indeed (his knee is actually in one of the photos). Rachelle summoned him for torture at the hands of her friends. Most unsporting of her.
The evening proceeded late into the night, with a impromptu dinner at an Indian restaurant (London practically is a part of India) followed by dancing festively (and Saul’s traditional shooter generosity) at a nearby London cocktail bar. I haven’t danced like that for ages and it was good because it was holiday and I didn’t care.

I cared the next morning when it was necessary to get up, pack, and catch a flight to Budapest having only clambered into bed at 3am. Almost five hours sleep was woefully inadequate, but somehow we survived.

Next time on waffle group:

Join us again next time for the Hungarian leg of the holiday or possibly more of London, or arbitrarily a slice of Edinburgh. That non-linear story-line is quite a kicker.
I might even ignore it altogether and rant about the lack of pavements in South African cities (they have plenty of pavements in London).

Neil and Angie Spawn

I sent the text below to a number of people via email, but I think I’ll put it up here too so random people in Korea will also know.

A tiny new Robinson is brewing somewhere inside Angie.
This wonderful discovery was made yesterday [ed: being Thursday, 11 October]. We are excited excited excited!

Very soon we will have a being to worship us as gods, and after a few years, look down at us as idiots. I think this is why children don’t start off as teenagers, because it would probably increase the rate of infanticide.
They start off cute and defenceless, and by the time they become obnoxious you have too much of an emotional attachment to them to do them any harm.

I have news about our holiday in London/Budapest/Edinburgh, but it is a long story and may still be a while in coming. Plus, I still need to sift through the photos. Not a trivial task. Stay tuned.