This is the lovely boy who is ill:
As I have said before he is a German Shepherd cross from a local farm: crossed with Giraffe and Kangaroo, having stilt legs and a huge tail which can support him when he sits down!! The vets have commented particularly on what a lovely temperament he has: a loving, friendly, happy, six month old dog, in a middle aged dog’s body.
During the day he has improved a little from his drastic reaction to the steroids: I have had several conversations with two vets . The upshot is that if his problem is related to his immune system then steroids can send it into meltdown, so beware those of you who keep dogs, for the future. Some dogs also react badly to steroids anyway.
The blood tests are back from Germany and the US. He is carrying the gene for the degenerative spinal disorder, from both parents, so he will definitely get it at some time in his life, even if he does not have it at present. We are to rest him, keep him under supervision and feed him a diet to support his immune system. That will help him whatever he is suffering from. Lyme’s disease is also being considered as is some form of poisoning. Apparently lead poisoning affects the body in this way, beginning with weakness and paralysis of the hind legs gradually working its way up to the front legs. If he had grabbed and eaten some horse or cow dung just after they had been given anti- wormer medication, or if we had put some anti-flea or anti-tick lotion on his skin, these could also be the culprits.
Some years back we did have an elderly cat who reacted severely to the anti-flea lotion that works systemically through the skin, and died of kidney failure because of this lotion, according to the vet, so we never use that anyway.
So we are into a waiting game to see what happens next. At least the costly operation is ruled out for the time being: however we still have the valuer coming tomorrow to look through our stuff, so today has been gathering things together and dusting them down. A very emotional time: I found my grandmother’s coffee pots from Norway, my mother’s silver dishes from Sweden, a suitcase my mother had kept with my toddler clothes from France, including a couple of very pretty dresses and a little tweed coat, my great, great, great grandmother’s books of watercolour paintings of flowers, caterpillars and moths, a little C18 writing desk with notes from young children written to their pet dogs and parents, my father’s collection of snuff boxes, my Uncle’s flying logs from the RAF, husband’s father’s table from the Mauritania Liner, his grandmother’s jewellery, Aunt’s father’s papers from the White Star Line when the Titanic went down, a wooden tea caddy, Uncle’s flying journals of mapping expeditions in South America, my father’s ashtrays, a set of blue and white jugs with cats for handles, an old fashioned butter churner, a wooden policeman’s truncheon, a Silver Coronation spoon from Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, my box of farm animals, Edwardian childrens’ books from Sweden, USA and Britain, opera glasses, men’s white silk scarves, my husband’s first pair of proper baby shoes, a Victorian music box, etc. etc.
This is what happens when a large family comes down to just two people. So far there is no-one in the next generation who seems at all interested in family history or such objects so there is no point hanging on to things which could easily be stolen some time in the future anyway.
As one of my readers commented, “a roller-coaster of emotions” for me at the moment – boy, did you get that right!