Merry Christmas from me and Merlin! I didn’t bother posting on Christmas day as I assumed you would be inundated with Christmas posts from all kinds of social media. Plus, I hope you were spending too much time with friends and family in the real world to read my post!
We have seen a lot of lovely snowy northern hemisphere Christmas photos recently, and this is our response:
It has actually been a very mild summer here so far, and everyone is trying very hard not to say or do anything that will jinx it and bring the wrath of the summer gods down on us. This post is walking that line very closely! These photos were taken on Christmas day, which was a good 10 degrees (Celsius) cooler than normal. There are actually still hints of green in the paddocks and water in the dam (although there may not be after Merlin has finished with it!)
And now for the story . . .
Seeing as you already have a photo of Merlin, I’ll continue with the theme of him. I’ve already written to you about his win at the Royal Show. What I didn’t tell you was the adventures we had BEFORE the show! The show was on Tuesday. On Sunday night, we had people around for dinner and had a big roast lamb . . . and I then mixed some pan drippings (including a lot of rosemary) in with Merlin’s dinner. (Yes, I know . . . silly me!)
That night, at about 1am, he woke me up, fidgeting, trying to throw up (and only getting some white foam) and generally looking uncomfortable. Irish Setters are prone to bloat (GDV), which can kill a dog in under an hour, so I was alarmed . . but not panicky yet. I watched him for half an hour then googled his symptoms . . . which of course came up with bloat! I’m pretty sure you could google almost any symptoms and come up with bloat! I was slightly more concerned so got up, at which point he drank some water. Surely he can’t drink water if he has bloat?? No, google says “my dog tried to drink when bloating and just threw all the water straight back up again”. Oh good . . . . for 5 minutes until Merlin started spitting up all the water he’d drank! He was also quite uncomfortable and looking very unhappy by now. Panic time. Call the emergency vet and jump in the car. It was at least 15 minutes away, so I was driving as fast as I could (it was almost 2am by this point), trying to work out how fast I could go without losing my licence for speeding on a double demerits weekend! Then my GPS took me 10km further north than I needed to go. Aaaaarrrrggghh!!! All this time, Merlin was laying down in the back of the car so I couldn’t see him to tell if he was still OK.
When we arrived at the vet, he happily jumped out of the car and started running around the carpark sniffing everything, then ran around the entire vets, investigating everything. I had to explain to the vet that he definitely wasn’t this lively when I’d left home!!
Anyway, it turns out that he probably just had something irritating his throat (roasted rosemary maybe??!) so they gave him some painkillers and gel stuff and sent us home. We did get an X-Ray done just to make sure he wasn’t bloating. Back home, and in to bed by 3am . . . to get up for a rowing time trial at 5am! Yay.
Merlin was still unhappy and lethargic for most of Monday but at about 4pm, he decided he was OK again, and demanded to be taken to the park where he ran around happily for an hour. This gave me just enough time to wash and finish grooming him for the show the following day!
Here is a photo of his stomach as a momento. X-ray and vet visit: $300. Speeding fine: $200. Happy healthy dog: Priceless!