How I Coped in Difficult Times

It is just over a year since Covid came to invade and put us all on a testing time.Scientists from around the world worked endlessly to find a “Vaccine”, At the beginning of this year the break through came and as I write many had the vaccine, many more are due. Its not compulsory so there are a people declining. I have had both my vaccines but still abide by the government guidelines on “ keeping safe”

My daughter has been in touch frequently, my sons have been weekly. We have all aired out our opinions and view points on Covid. Hopefully soon we can see each other again.

The one thing I longed for in Lockdown was a hair cut. an impossible mop of unruly hair had grown. I’d get frustrated at not being able get it into any tidy shape or form. So pleased that when I did our daily walk,  a) met no one b) could wear a hat.

2 Weeks ago, when hairdressers here in Wales were allowed to open, I duly made an appointment and asked my hairdresser to cut in a short style. Just in case we go into Lockdown again. It did feel so,so good. easy to manage despite more grey hairs appearing.

My hair dresser kept to the covid rules. Put a plastic gown on me, she and I had our masks on, on arriving and leaving we did the hand wash. (in the spray to put put on hands and rub well in.

A majority of the time I was able to attend church. A shorter service, no singing, no greetings (in service), no passing round the collection box masks on, hand wash. A system of down the middle aisle and to exit middle aisle, past the altar  on to the side door. For communion we have stewards who show us when o go up to the altar. Last but no least every other pew was blocked off and 1 person sat on end and 1 the other end of the pew.

Shopping – this has taught me “how to shop on line” I have visited our town but so sad to see the state of it now. Many shops have closed , never to re-open again. It’s like a ghost town. The shops that remain open and our market do social distance. facemasks on and some one on the door to control how many in at a time. I miss our cafes being open as a shop to town would inevitably end up with going to my favourites café for a cuppa and chat. When I went to try out my make-up (after not using for a year) it did not smell good, so treated myself to new powder,  lipstick, eyebrow pencil. Only 1 of my perfumes was ok so , with the old make-up, all went in the rubbish.

Our local park is a pleasure to walk through at all times. The gardeners have been maintaining, cutting the grassy areas, weeding and re- planting the flowerbeds. Spring is just around the corner as up through the grass pop the crocus, daffodil,snowdrop. Trees are in bud, waiting to burst out their leaves.

At one point in this epidemic my medication would be delivered. As for visiting my friends and going to my knitting group this has been on hold. I have 1 friend with whom I made a bubble. When going for my vaccine she took me. We were lucky that we both had our vaccines at the same time.

Things are now getting a little easier. I have painted my bedroom. (my son was able to come over last week to paint the parts I couldn’t reach), I am now planning the garden and with some warm weather last week the trees and plants are beginning to prepare to  welcome the spring and summer months. But today cold weather again.

Suzie has been a true companion to me, I have been able to continue to knit and crochet various items for our charity’s. I am thankful to have survived through this memorable piece of history.

Keep safe and thank you for reading.

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In Difficult Times

2020 has been a very different year for ‘everyone’  world wide.  Covid – 19 took hold. We have endured lockdowns and through this time  I have has learnt patience when shopping as usually one has to queue. I do like the fact that many shoppers are not allowed in the store, hence much better to go round and be able to see what the shelves have to offer. I was never overjoyed at ‘Shopping on line’ but now find it beneficial and do a  monthly shop. I purchased a new phone and laptop with Windows 10. Well, new technology and me are not good together and I miss going to see someone about how to use it. Hence time has flown by and I haven’t blogged. But now, I think, I have grasped  how to transfer from phone to laptop the photos.

I missed not being able to get my hair done,feet sorted out, dog groomed, going to the library, visiting charity shops My health improved.

In the summer months I tended my garden, watching flowers and vegetables develop,going through their cycle..

My sunflower 2020

Its like the old days, when I was a child, and have taken up my old crafts. Everyone at Xmas benefited from home made cards which now include birthday cards too. I took up Cross Stitch, done jigsaw puzzles. I have just made my first childs’ poncho, in Granny Squares and a jumper for myself

Childs Poncho Jan 2021

Jigsaw Dec 2020

       

All this I could not accomplish had not a very special dog who came into my life on January 24  2020. We have had some lovely walks. The training, when looking back, was hard, times when I could have given up. I’m happy to say she’s turned out an obedient, loving dog

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About Suzie

I know I have not been in touch for a while but we are still here. Since the lockdown I have a new laptop with Windows 10 on. Getting used to it is frustrating to say the least. Before I could go to the local library or find a class that would help. I also purchased a new printer – wireless. That’s ok.  Yet on new things I am better when shown by a human.

I have been trying to “SYNCHRINISE” no joy. As for photos from phone to laptop and getting from phone to here –hopeless, frustrated. As you know I love to show my  “photos”.

Suzie is settling in well. Giving her lots of love and kindness and gaining her confidence was hard work but we have got there. In return she loves to obey. A favourite game is to play ball – good exercise for me too. She is a lap dog and loves to sit on my lap but I can still do my knitting/crotchet. She knows her commands and at night time sleeps on the end of my bed.  We have  a park close by where I take her. She runs off the lead on a big grassy area, using up all her energy. The bonus is that when we go up there it is deserted! Suzie has paddled in local streams, chased squirrels up trees. At this time we cannot travel on transport, train, bus, so all walks are within walking distance. I tried her once on the train to see my son in Swansea and she loved it. We can visit my special friend who lives just up the road and is my dog sitter. She has a dog Tizzy and both get on well together.

I will close now, Try to write again soon. Thanks for reading.

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Suzie at her forever Home

Suzie with her cracker                      Suzie helping in the kitchen 

Suzie in the garden February

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Garden Surprises

We are in Lockdown from Coronavirus. This means staying at home. As a gardener my concern was “Where will I buy my summer bedding?” Normally a trip to local supermarkets and other stores where an abundance of the many varieties of bedding plants tempted by reasonable prices. This year I would not have colour in my garden. Having to make do with the Perennials. Yet I was in for a surprise. Nature provides us with many things to delight.

As is usual for me I re-arrange the garden pots. The 5 fruit trees re-arranged on the Patio. 4 of them have come out in a profusion of blossom. Also, when sitting outside, I noticed Bees visiting and pollinating. There are also a few Hover flies around. A couple of days ago Brown, yellow and white (1 of each) flew about the garden.

My first surprise was to see the Lilac Tree ( still small in a pot) produce several buds. I had brought this from my old place about 4 years ago. This is the first year to flower.

Most of the pots have been weeded and the compost in them sifted and put back in. But again another surprise. I had 3 pots of Lilies and as I could see no signs of growth in 3 of them decided to clear the pots completely. Removing the Moss, to my great excitement, new shoots were growing.

I have lots of Forget-me-knots scattered around the garden. Last Autumn I  purchased Violas. They were labelled “Winter Violas” I thought they would only last through Winter but they are now coming out. The Hosta are peeping through I have some Sweet William which is the first time I’ve grown these

I have constant trouble with cats using the garden as a thoroughfare. But I am glad to say Suzie has the,m under control. Even so I have had to move my Rhubarb. In its new home its doing well.

Thinking ahead, I wanted to grow R. Beans, Peas, Tomatoes. I felt sad that I would not be able to get to a shop to buy the seeds. But life can treat us well. For 5 weeks I’d obeyed the rule to stay in, only taking Suzie for her walk. Anyway, enough was enough, so I visited Lidl and to my delight bought my seeds as  well as Gladioli. Over the weekend I planted the seeds in individual small pots – now another problem – I had run out of labels! Again I decided to venture out to town and when calling in The Pound Shop, had the labels. My motto in life is NEVER BE BEATEN LOOK FOR A WAY TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

As I am not able to get compost I’m finding all the ‘odd’ dirt as in pots and sifting and taking out the weeds. Its surprising how much I gathered up.

I have prepared where I will put the R. Beans and the sticks are in. Time now to relax and enjoy what my garden has to offer.

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Suzie Dog Blog–Introduction

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Hello, This is me – my new name is SUZIE 

I do not remember much about my early life. Only that I lived in a shed.They were bad times & I was not looked after. When I came to THE DOGS TRUST BRIDGEND a new, better life came to me. So the past is now hidden at the back of my mind and I don’t wish to remember.

The dogs trust carers named me Suzie and gave my birthday as 28 September 2013. 28 September 2019 was the date I arrived at the kennels. I am a Terrier Cross.

I was in a bad way when being admitted, also very frightened as to what was happening. I had only known a shed,dogs around,and humans who I later learnt, spoke in angry tones.

My fur was matted, I was covered in fleas, needing treatment they commenced to give me a groom, vaccinations against kennel cough/worms/fleas. I heard the word ‘operation speyed’ but had no clue what this was. A few days later I developed a cough.

Quote from my records 7/10/2019 Has started coughing + in vet suit, very difficult to examine as a very worried. Bright in self and eating. Carers to try and desense to vet suit.’

This was my new home and I had a place of my own with a bed, blanket, water bowl, ( I did not have to drink water from puddles) fed regularly ( not having scraps thrown at me and other dogs snatching my food) as well as things scattered around the kennel which were called ‘toys’. This was my space where I felt safe.I had to get used to a collar and lead and harness but that was ok. walks were daily and along the fields and hedgerows had some fantastic smells. My lead allowed me to run. I had so much energy to burn off. I had training classes too, every time I did something good or obeyed their commands I had treats. Everyone spoke kindly with only a harsh word if you didn’t quite get it right but hasten to add this was followed by the kind gentle voice because you had done what they asked.

By the 23/ October I still had my cough but in appreciation to those who were caring for me I was able to wag my tail to tell them I was getting better. At the beginning of January I had the ‘Operation’. and now ready for re-homing.

Talking to the other dogs I was told we don’t live here all the time. I felt sad as they were all so kind. Dogs were looked after until they were better and our photos were posted on the internet. From 12.00 midway – 4pm. people would visit to look at us in our kennel. We were out for adoption. When someone took a liking to us our carer came and put us on the lead and we went out  to greet and meet. With this in mind I soon found myself being adopted and went to live with a new family. It was not for very long and I was back at the kennels. They were not for me. I waited and enjoyed my time whilst waiting for some one else to come along. My new ‘MUM’ has written a few words. I will allow her to share my blog too – her writing not in italic. I like the ‘italic. I like to blog. ‘Till next time ‘woof,woof’

It was in January I began looking for another dog. I found Suzie looking at me from her photo. “Oh she’s the one for me” When I arrived at the centre she had already been ‘reserved’ Throughout the week until Thursday I looked. At 11.00 am s the ’reserved’ had been removed from the photo. I was able to go to the centre and the process of adopting Suzie began

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Part 5 Finding Love – Coming Home

Suzie sat on my lap and our driver took us us home. She sat looking out of the window, very alert and making no sound. Benji, my last dog, would sit beside me on the car seat and whinge all the time. Hence until  I had to give the car up, we did not go far in the car. This was a treat.

Holding her lead in one hand and the bag with all her food and paper work, I unlocked the door. Thanking the neighbour for taking me I closed the door and welcomed Suzie, took off her lead, and said “ Suzie you can now explore your new home.”

A very excited dog explored the house for the next hour and a half. She ran upstairs, went in the bedrooms. downstairs, front room, backroom (lots of toys), kitchen and then the garden.She would check that I was still there.

Whilst all this was going on I made a coffee, sat on the settee and watched. The next few weeks,  especially the first week, I would be carefully observing her, seeing what her habits were.

Throughout the day she would jump on my lap, let me stroke her, licked my hand. Played with her toys, enjoying the ones that squeaked. I sat on the floor and Suzie found a ball. She threw it to me then I to her. This gave me much happiness as this play continued for a long time.

Now began the SETTLING IN. At teatime she ate very little, (to be expected) For the next few days I put on her lead to go put to have a pee. We had a few accidents indoors (to be expected), it was like potty training a child and just as they were trained so was Suzie.

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SUZIE 1st EVENING (24 January 2020)

She slept that evening until it was time for bed. I tried her downstairs but it did not work. She wanted comfort and security. It took her a while to settle as she tired different areas, She did not choose the dog bed and even now she does not use the beds as she prefers laps, floors or chairs. Her final place was on my bed, at the end and where she has been ever since. It took me a while to get used to this as I am not used to having anyone in bed with me. Bedtime is a delight as we cuddle up to each other before finally settling, morning again a lovely cuddle.

But now I believe Suzie would like to write to you all. My next blog Suzie will tell you about herself and what happens in her new FOREVER HOME

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My Knitted Doggy Blanket

Recently I saw a pattern to knit squares, join up and hey presto a doggy blanket. This is not for Suzie as she has lots and not particular about blankets. Not like Benji who loved them especially his large blanket which would cover him completely, keeping him warm and safe.

The blanket will be donated to a dogs home. My knitting and crochet will now be kept until the Coronavirus epidemic is over and life is back to some sort of normality.

To make the blanket I used double knitting wool, size 4 mm needles and the odd balls were from my left over stash. I knitted 10 stocking stitch plain squares 23 sts  37 rows. The “Paws” pattern 5 squares of small medium and large.

Square doggy blanket           Knitted doggy blanket

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Part 4 Adoption

ADOPTION DAY . I had to be up early as I was being picked up at 8.15 am to be at the centre by 9.00 am

The Dogs Trust follow a very sensible routine. 9.00 – 11.00 am Adoption process and classes for dog training; 11.00 –12.00 mid-day Their lunch break; 12.00 – 4.00 am the public visit to view and those interested in adopting to speak with the staff and arrangements made.

Anxiously I waited on the door step. At 8.25 I phoned ‘A’ NO ANSWER. Next I phoned the centre to explain and told to phone back a bit later.

Still no sign of my lift and I spoke with my neighbour next door who kindly said he would take me over. It was now 9.00 am contacted the centre again and informed it was still ok to get there. In all my excitement I did not notice the time. Arriving at reception I was given a lot of papers to read and sign. Suzie’s medical history;how to help her settle in her new home; how to train with muzzle; rules regarding the adoption. Next, with others, we went up stairs where we had a talk on settling our dogs and should we need any advice or problems the phone number to ring at any time. Also some one would phone in 2 weeks, then in another week to see how our dogs had settled in. Now it was time to go and meet and collect our dogs. We had also been given a bag with dog food and more info to read at our leisure.

meeting Suzie she gave me a big smile. I gave her some treats and made a fuss of her. In the car she sat on my lap as we headed for her FOREVER HOME.

In my next blog Suzie and I will be telling you about how Suzie found her new home.

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Part 3 Finding New Love – Adopting

imageAt reception I informed the girl I had phoned earlier about Suzie.

“Ok. have you registered with us “

“No “

“While you do that I will send down to the Carer to have Suzie brought out to meet you”

The forms were filled in and I went down to the kennels where Suzie was waiting to meet me. We walked down to one of the fields and on the way she told me about Suzie. I talked to  gave Suzie treats. Suzie was not very good with other dogs so another dog was brought down to show me her re-action. She was fine went up and sniffed at her.Defiance. Usually a lot of barking and pulling to get near the dog. Back up at reception I said YES I would like to adopt and said we got on well. Arrangements were made to visit the following Monday. Tuesday the lady would come out to inspect the house and garden. Friday I would be able to take her “HOME”

The 2nd visit I was allowed to walk her on my own. We walked in another very muddy field. This time I had my wellies on. She pulled on the lead – I could work on that. After half an hour of getting to know each other we went back to where ‘A’ was sitting on the bench. I sat down, Suzie jumped up in between us. She snuggled into me, licked my hand and she allowed me to stroke her back and under her chin. The carer had said she did not like being touched or made a fuss of! Suzie returned to her kennel. She was in their ‘lounge’ which had settees  and toys in.

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