Ode to Ama – A Bush Ballad

I am reprising my poem about my little dog, Ama, for the NaPoWriMo prompt about dogs you have known, seen, or heard about.  It is the best poem I’ve ever written (if I do say so myself) so I can’t offer any better.  The poem is written in the style of bush poetry (ie. it’s long) and there’s a nod to Banjo Patterson’s iconic poem, The Man From Snowy River.  In that poem, “the Man” rides his mountain pony down a steep hill after a herd of brumbies (wild horses).  There is some controversy as to whether that poem was a true story.  Unlike Mr Patterson’s poem, I can vouch that Ode to Ama is completely true.  Enjoy. Read more

All My Trials – As I Was Saying

My little Finnish Spitz, Ama, was diagnosed with copper storage disease a couple of years ago. It has been a long and difficult journey to restore her to some semblance of health, with her blood test results again causing concern as little as four months ago. A new medication was our last hope and, hooray, so far, so good. Her latest test results have shown a dramatic improvement. We can see this in her sassy attitude. The ensuing ruckus is never-ending.

About a year into her treatment, I spoke to the vet about how Ama’s treatment was bankrupting us. The staff suggested I put her on YT (or something like that)! What the heck? Is that a thing? Does your dog go viral and then all of a sudden people want to buy merch? I suppose I could make some Ama “fan” T-shirts or I could make a fund-raising calendar of her cuteness. Is that how people monetise their pets? Anyway, needless to say, we are not doing that, even if she is ridiculously cute and loud. Yes, I am biased.

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Bright Star

This post is dedicated to my little dog, Ama, who is not well.  So far we know that she has copper storage disease but not how bad it is or whether we can mitigate it.  I’ve not had much time for blogging lately as we’ve had a lot of medical appointments and I’ve been researching treatments, including low copper diets.  It helps to be informed when talking to veterinary specialists.  It also gives me something to do while I worry. Read more

Leave It To The Professional

There is one thing certain about Australasian Grebes and that is they are very shy.  Come within 100 metres of them and they quickly dive below the surface of the water or they paddle away at a great pace leaving you in their wake.  Many a time on our holiday, we saw them in the distance and that is where they stayed, so no photographs (not good ones anyway).   It turns out that finding and getting close to these tiny waterbirds is a job for a professional. Read more

Book Review: My Everest: Thirty Years of San Diego Hiking (With Dogs!) by Martha Kennedy (2017)

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I have just read the most wonderful, life-affirming book – My Everest:  Thirty Years of San Diego Hiking (With Dogs!) by Martha Kennedy.  You might think a story about 30 years of hiking the same trails might be a little boring.  Not so.  This is a grand love story; a tribute to the enduring relationship between one woman and her wilderness, encompassing the creatures of the Chaparral that watched over and befriended her, and the dogs – her faithful companions – who were always by her side.  Read more