Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Drunkenness and Dog Fights

The only thing of note to report over the last week or so is that my diet has failed utterly to produce results - probably, in part, because our neighbours completely countered any reduction in consumption by force-feeding me alcohol on Friday night. And I don't mean a little alcohol. Between 7 of us, we got through 5 bottles of wine, 2 bottles of champagne, a large jug of mint julep (containing a bottle of whisky), a bottle of port and a couple of drams of a delicious blended malt called The Dimple. Not surprisingly, I felt pretty horrid the next day - although not as horrid as I'd expected.

It was a great evening, actually. Ku'ula-kai, our neighbour but one (he of the venison) had caught this mighty salmon and proffered it to us at the barbecue. Unfortunately we hadn't got a freezer big enough to store the 7lb 3oz beast, so he took it home again - and his wife, Ina, offered to cook it for us. This she did, on Friday night, and we consumed it with the help of Epona, Shah, and our hosts' daughter in law. Hina made a fab job of cooking the salmon - all pink and succulent. Chat flowed free - to the point that, next morning, I had to frantically try and remember whether I'd got all mouthy and said anything stupid. Fisher assured me I hadn't, but the doubt still lurks. I do remember responding to Ku telling his wife she could only have a 'small' glass of wine by saying:

"We're going to have to give a 'just girls' dinner party, away from all these oppressive men!"

As it came out of my mouth I thought ... crap! I don't know these people well enough to make such ludicrous statements and have them taken as jokes. What if they take me seriously?

Luckily, they didn't. Howls of mirth followed. Less oppressed women than Ina and Epona you will not meet - nor could Shah and Ku ever, ever be considered oppressive. Especially as they were outnumbered 5 to 2.

Anyway, there were a couple of moments where I felt myself getting strident and rambling, but I think - think - I reined myself in enough.

We rolled home (actually, we were given a lift by Epona, who'd been the only sensible one of the whole evening) at around 1.30am, and were just about sober enough to consume dry muffins to help soak up the alcohol, and neck back pints of water. I'm pretty sure this helped. At least, we weren't found stumbling around the garden shouting in a confused manner for our spouse - who'd been inside for the past 30 minutes. This was the state Shah was in. And he had to get up and go to the Highland Show in a work capacity early the next day! (He was in no fit state to drive in the a.m and had to get a neighbour to give him a lift.)

We spent Saturday in a fug of hangover. God bless Wimbledon, that's all I can say. Wonderful way of taking your mind off feeling sick and shaking from the DTs. We were actually phoned by Epona to make sure we were alive! Bless. Nice to know she might notice if we died from alcohol poisoning - although it would probably be more useful if she prevented us from getting that far!

We had Dougal dog staying with us, and it was unfortunately due to his natural exuberance that we had our second dog fight of the Garry regime. Not his fault, of course - but as we let them all out together he started bouncing and jostling, knocking Baffie into Bridie. I was watching from the doorway, and I could see Baff and Bri starting to get a little tetchy. Then they started sniffing each other. God, no, I thought.

"Good dogs! Goooood dogs!" I cried, heading towards them ... but to no avail. They were locked in battle before I took more than 2 paces - and they simply would NOT be separated. I'm afraid we didn't help matters. It's very hard not to panic in this situation, but, actually, I think that trying to pull them apart only serves to make their injuries worse. This time, Bridie had Baffie's foreleg in her jaws and ripped a massive gash across the muscle. In the process, Fisher managed to get bitten by Baffie - not badly, but enough to give her a shock. I was calm, trying to sort everything out, and eventually both dogs were separated and quiet. Then I looked at Baffie's leg. It was horrendous, flapping open like a pocket. That's when I started freaking out. Fisher called the emergency vet, but I felt so shaky I wasn't willing to drive in. With Fisher bitten and panicky, she didn't want to drive either - so we called on Epona for aid.

She was brilliant - round in moments, bearing with her a full first aid kit, including ice packs and gauze to pack the wound. We were at the vet's in about 15 minutes, and he cleaned her up, gave her the usual injections - but didn't stitch her. He said stitching her wound run the risk of closing the infection in, which would only make things infinitely worse. Instead, we have an anti-bacterial gel we have to put in her wound, which keeps it clean and helps it all heal naturally.

Poor Baff. She always loses the fights. But it's not like she isn't equally to blame for starting them, so it's a bit of pisser that she always ends up with loads of attention, cuddles and 'quality time' with her peeps. Ideally, both dogs should be ostracized and taught that such behaviour is unacceptable - but it's kind of hard to do that when there's blood everywhere and holes to patch up.

The nub and gist is that I'm furious with myself for letting it happen again. After the first fight we should have known better than to risk another - and when it actually, inevitably, happened, we should have dealt with it better than we did. We should know by now not to drag them apart. The damage they do to each other is bad enough without helping tear flesh. From now on, they don't go out in the garden together, no matter how well they seem to be getting on. If they do need to be out together, they get muzzled - both of them, not just Bri. I know the muzzle makes Bridie worse, so it's not really a viable option on a regular basis, but as insurance it's a good idea.

'Nough about depressing dogs. Baffie is fine, despite the horribleness of her wound, and life ticks on. It's hot here, and quite unpleasant outside in a muggy, midgie way - but the garden is looking fabulous thanks to Fisher's weeding efforts, and I'm inspired to go out and plant the carrots, at last. The broccoli and onions are doing ok ... I think. To be honest, I don't really know what they're supposed to look like at this point - but at least they're not brown and dying, so I'll take that as a positive. Wish I knew how Spartan and Blarney are getting on with the Baby Belle, but they've been silent on the text front and we don't want to badger them, so we're just leaving them to get in touch when they can. To be honest, I don't really care about the baby so much. I mean - I do, obviously - but my concerns are for them, and their mental wellbeing. So, Blar, if you're reading this with bleary eyes and exhaustion in your heart - just remember, we can help. It only takes 10 seconds to send a text. Hell, you can send a blank one and we'll be down to take BB off your hands for an hour's perambulate, while you get some kip.

We're down in Edinburgh tomorrow to meet The Doctor for Dim Sum, which'll be luvverly. Maybe do some shopping, too.

More anon. Off to Tesco now.