The Sweet Dreams of Brutus


Aside from the fact that Brutus really did go in to hospital, the rest of the story is based on fictitious events and any bearing to anyone or anything in real life is purely coincidental.

The little white dog in the story is entirely made up but saying that, I could just imagine him can’t you?

This story is meant in good fun with no harm intended.  It has mild course language and content so parental supervision is advised with regards to its suitability for children.

It is a long read of nearly 5,000 words so you are probably best off reading it over a cuppa and a chocolate digestive or even a Tim Tam (that’s what I would do anyway).

Those darned nails again!

My Brutus has been a bit unlucky with his nails – in particular his dew claws.  On the Monday he managed to injure one of his front dew claws yet again and as it looked particularly nasty, I decided to take him off to the vet.

‘But I don’t want to go to the vet!’ Brutus sobbed as Rocky smirked behind his back and called him a ‘baby’ and then made crying gestures with his paws causing Gordon the cat to snort with laughter.

Rocky dogRocky and Gordon laughing at Brutus

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Ignoring his protests I bundled up his big brown self into the back of he car and drove off to the vets while blasting Usher out on the stereo.

‘I shall vomit any second now and then you will be sorry’ Brutus muttered under his breath as we pulled up outside the vets in the car.

11880405_10153077699183317_2151334692541059425_nI shall vomit any second now – said Brutus

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘No you won’t Brutus, you are too mean to part with your food’ I laughed.

Brutus looked thoughtful and decided that perhaps he was, in fact he definitely did not like parting with his food, especially through vomiting because he knows that there is many a dog glad of a hot meal.

‘Ouch, don’t touch them, leave me alone, I shall cry if you don’t!’ Brutus shouted before the vet had even touched him.  Brutus hates having his feet and wrists touched and I only have to look at them and he is doing the doggy Riverdance across the floor giving Michael Flatley a run for his money.

Brutus not being the brightest dog on the block fell for the old ‘give me a paw’ trick when the vet handed him a treat in return for his paw giving her a second to assess the damage while leaving Brutus fairly smug that he had not allowed the vet to check his paws which in all fairness to him, were bloody sore.

It was decided as he keeps injuring his dew claws, that it would be better to remove them as the injured one was pretty bad and Brutus was duly booked in for surgery for the Wednesday to give us chance to raise the funds (yes we had to pull from the mortgage – but hey, we love him and wouldn’t have it any other way, let’s hope the insurance pay up quick)

On the morning of the operation

‘Please don’t make me go, I am scared, it’s going to hurt’ Brutus cried like a baby.  Torn between being terrified of going in hospital and being mortified that he had been fasted, the gentle giant was so overcome with emotion that he didn’t quite know what to do.

Even the usual calm and and collected Rocky was nervous about his brother going to the vet.  Normally Rocky gets insanely jealous when Brutus goes in the car and he doesn’t but this time Rocky knew, he just knew and for the first time ever he avoided my car like the flea rinse at the dog wash.

At the Vets

Brutus stood with me in reception as I signed the consent form.  Clutching his little brown ‘Brutus-suitcase’ which contained his Tony Abbott doll, a book titled ‘How to be a good boy’ and a mouldy bone plus his blue and white striped pyjamas, his suitcase had everything that he needed for the day.

11873353_10153074559723317_1257505242758641125_nBrutus looks for a distraction

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

Brutus shuffled around from foot to foot and looked around for a distraction.  The smell of the vet hospital infiltrated his nostrils and he just knew that it was not a nice smell for any animal and usually heralded a thermometer up the bum or something equally horrific.

Tony AbbotBrutus and his beloved Tony Abbot doll that he really did take in to hospital

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

A little white dog sat in the waiting room patiently waiting his turn.  Desperately needing to be comforted and given some sympathy from a fellow canine, Brutus smiled gratefully at the little dog who smiled nervously back at him.

‘Dew claw removal’ Brutus said to the little dog and then demonstrated the horror of it all by holding up his wrists and nodding in the direction of his wrists.

‘They are cutting my balls off’ growled the little white dog and then flashed his bottom to Brutus just to prove it.  Although his testicles could not be seen due to all the fluff surrounding his bottom.

‘You win’ Brutus nodded vigorously.

‘Yes I think I do’ The little white dog replied in a resigned voice and then started to wash his testicles in a final act of rebellion while whispering ‘Goodbye old friends, it’s been fun’.

Brutus briefly remembered when he was de-sexed and had to say goodbye to his own testicles, he was kind of glad to get rid of them as they got in the way and promised to be the size of grapefruits had he been allowed to keep them.

‘We have made him up a kennel out the back for him, say goodbye to Mum’ The nurse said to Brutus who then gave me a wash on my neck.

‘Love you Mum’ Brutus said quickly and then trying to fight back the tears from nerves, dutifully trotted after the nurse dragging his little suitcase behind him.

On the ward

Just ten minutes later Brutus was tucked up in his bed wearing his stripey pyjamas, with the blankets right up to his neck and his Tony Abbott doll snuggled up beside him.

Not really being in the mood to read but thought it might take his mind off things, Brutus started to read his book ‘How to be a good boy’.  There was a marvellous section on there about how to get yourself out of trouble and make your owners forgive you.

This would have been useful last week when he jumped on the bonnet of Dad’s car but that was OK, he could save it for next time.

The white fluffy dog was in the bed next to Brutus and was wearing his own set of red and white stripey pyjamas and had a blue rubber bone beside him for comfort.  You see all the dogs like to bring in their own toys in to hospital, it is important to them.

‘Are you nervous?’ Brutus asked the white fluffy dog who was reading his own book on ‘How to say goodbye to your bollocks and still hump cushions’.

The white dog shrugged his shoulders and said in a confident voice ‘No of course not’ and then after checking to see who was listening, added ‘Yes I am, terrified.  Are you scared?’

Brutus sighed and bit his bottom lip to try and stop himself from crying and replied ‘Yes, I am and I want my Mum’.

Carry on bestBrutus in bed

(Photograph from Google images)

Nothing more was said between the two dogs, they both pretended to be engrossed in their reading material but both secretly hoped that it would all soon be over and done with.

‘Your turn Brutus’ said the nurse as Brutus was taken from his bed to go to the prep area for his anesthetic.

‘I want to take my Tony Abbott doll!’ Brutus barked and when the nurse wouldn’t let him, all thoughts of being a brave dog were forgotten and he cried like a baby.

‘But what about my Tony?’ Brutus sobbed as he was restrained for his injection.

‘Don’t you worry about Tony’ the vet smiled as she placed the IV drip into his vein so that he wouldn’t become dehydrated during his surgery.

‘Ouch, that hurt, I am going to tell my Mum, she said I am a good boy, I won the Good Boy Award so why are you doing that to me?’ Brutus cried loudly as his huge chunky body tried to resist the restraint of the nurses.

‘I am a good boy!, I am a good boy!’ Brutus sobbed and he kept on saying it because he hoped it would make everything stop and also because he believed it.

PurpleBeing a good boy is important to Brutus

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

But before he could say anything else, he found himself relaxing and sinking down to the table and was soon fast asleep dreaming of his Iggy friends Pippin Pringle and the gang, his hero Cop Dog ‘Rumble’ and Tony Abbott.

Later on….

‘Is he dead?’ a high pitched voice demanded.

‘Don’t be silly, of course he isn’t dead’ snapped another voice impatiently.

‘He looks dead, why is his tongue sticking out like a yard of Christmas ham?’ someone else asked.

‘Did someone say ham?’ another voice barked excitedly.

‘If he is dead then I want his Tony Abbott doll’ someone barked.

‘If he is dead I want his Christmas ham, it’s like a bloody famine here and I haven’t eaten in ten years’ said another voice.

Brutus could hear muffled familiar voices but could not quite recognise them.  He felt dizzy and unable to lift his head so he slowly opened one eye at a time and he wondered where the hell he was.  From the corner of one eye he saw a familiar hideously ugly face of his Tony Abbott doll that had been carefully placed beside him.

Then through blurred vision, Brutus saw a gang of pointy snouts surrounding his bed in the form of Italian greyhounds plus Chewy, Starbuck, Poppy and Vader.

‘Oh look, he has opened his eyes, he isn’t dead!’ Madam Gigi barked in delight.

‘I told you he wasn’t dead, don’t be so dramatic’ Pippin said impatiently and then looked at Brutus and said ‘How are you old chap, bearing up?’

Looking surprisingly tiny and frail in his bed with his sheets tucked up to his neck, his enormous radar ears sticking out and his blue stripey pyjamas rolled up on his arms to reveal bandages on both paws and his IV drip in his arm, Brutus could have melted the hardest of hearts.

Carry on 1Brutus fast asleep while his friends poke him to see if he is alive

(Photograph by Google Images)

It is amazing just how small and vulnerable any dog can look when it is sick or unwell.  I recall my little whippet bitch Rema when she was put to sleep due to kidney failure/old age and she was such a big character yet when I sent her to Rainbow Bridge, her huge character had literally left her body along with her heartbeat leaving the smallest of bodies behind.

‘Pippin, is that you? where am I? Who stole my Tony Abbott doll? Don’t let them take my Tony Abbott doll, who has got the ham?’  Brutus said in a husky dry voice.  Making futile attempts to sit up, Brutus just flopped back down heavily on to his bed.

‘Take it easy old boy, you are still half asleep.  How are you feeling?’ Pippin asked his friend.

‘My paws hurt, where is my Mum?’ Brutus said in a confused voice.

‘It’s OK Brutus; you don’t need your Mum, you have got us’ a familiar ‘special’ voice piped up from the back.  Clutching a bunch of stolen daffodils with most of them snapped at the stems, stood Vader the boxer (and his tongue) – Brutus’s good friend and partner in crime.

10850087_746985655389483_27126447455886745_nBrutus and Vader the boxer – best of friends

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

For those of you that don’t know; Vader the boxer has a fat tongue and like all boxer dogs, speaks in a slow boxer type voice.  Vader had sneaked away from his Mum to visit Brutus and felt quite proud that he had managed to steal flowers from someone’s garden even if half of them were only stalks – it’s the thought that counts.

‘Oh I say, he is rather nice’ Nica whispered to Madam Gigi nodding in the direction of the white fluffy dog that had just been desexed.

‘Not bad at all’ Madam Gigi giggled and then gasped ‘Oh my goodness Harry what are you doing?’.

Harry was now wearing a white doctors coat that he had found plus a stethoscope and had that draped around his neck.  Picking up the fluffy dogs medical chart that was hanging at the end of the bed, Harry nodded to the girls knowingly.

IMG_9089Fat Harry the Italian greyhound (I love this dog)

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘As there doesn’t seem to be one around, I am stepping in as the vet for today and you can call me Dr Harry’ and this dog isn’t a complete man’ said he has had his balls cut off’. Fat Harry said matter-of-factly.

‘That’s OK, he is still cute, testicles are so overrated’ Gigi said to Nica who giggled and then feigned disgust at Gigi’s comments.

The Iggies were really quite naughty and were running amok in the hospital.  Chewy had started up the ‘Hump-train’ and was busy humping Dash who was humping Apollo who was trying to give Mako one on the head.  All of this of course was being supervised by a disapproving Woody and Fletch who were shaking their pointy snouts so vigorously that they both looked like a pair of ‘angry biro pens’.

Bronte was busy admiring herself in the mirror while Rocco fought with his invisible friend and told it to ‘piss off’ and Fat Harry was still dressed as a doctor and was checking the vomit bowls for scraps and looking at the charts on the beds. Really they were being very raucous and badly behaved and how the nurses didn’t kick them out was anyone’s guess.

Suddenly they could hear a commotion coming from the bed next to Brutus.  ‘Someone stole my testicles!’ the little white fluffy dog sobbed drowsily from his bed and then started to make random prayers asking whoever had stolen them to return them instantly.

‘Totally understand mate, mine were stolen as well’ Rocco nodded towards the fluffy dog who was still off his face on painkillers and anaesthetic.

‘Shhh Rocco, don’t get involved in other dogs testicles, it could get messy’ Pippin said in a firm voice.

‘I am still a complete woman if anyone is interested’ Bronte said loudly making Madam Gigi and Nica poke her in her ribs to keep her quiet.

‘You never brag about that kind of stuff in the vets’ Nica said to Bronte, ‘It is simply not ladylike, it’s like taking ones collar off in public – you just don’t do it’.

Zara, Olive, Ari, Ayla and Bambi had all been instructed to sit in the corner and behave which was simply not happening as Zara and Olive had pinched some face masks and were wearing them while threatening to insert thermometers into each others bottoms.

Starbuck, Poppy the Chinese crested, Carlo, Cino, Pino, and Gidget were all having heated discussions about getting de-sexed and whether or not having testicles/uterus made you ‘more or less of a man/woman’.

‘I think I am a big brave boy and my Mum loves me and so does Rumble’ Brutus said in a sleepy voice.

‘What is he on?’ Rocco mouthed to Pippin.

‘Don’t know but I wouldn’t mind some’ Vader laughed.

‘Here Pippin, I dare you to put on a doctors coat’ Vader dared the little Italian greyhound who is known for being straight laced and sensible, well except for when he went ballroom dancing with Eugene the Angry Afghan but we shall say no more on that.

‘Go on Pippin, we dare you’ Rocco and Chewie barked.

Feeling up for a dare, Pippin looked around to check that nobody was looking and put on a spare white coat and then placed his half rimmed spectacles on the end of his nose.

Picking up Brutus’s medical charts to try and decipher them he replied ‘Oh yeah, he is just on drugs and stuff’ and then paraded up to Fat Harry and said ‘You are not the only doctor on the ward you know’.

Pippin and Fat HarryFat Harry (left and Pippin Pringle (right) playing doctors

(Photograph by Google Images)

Woody and Fletch were so shocked at Pippin’s unusually juvenile behaviour that they made a mental note to address the issue at the next Iggie meeting.

‘Nice work Dr Pringle’ Rocco laughed and patted Pippin on the back to congratulate him.  Pippin blushed becomingly because he was so rarely naughty that when he was, he did it so well.

All the commotion of course had disturbed Brutus who was rambling away in his own little drug induced world.

‘When I go for a shit I do monster turds bigger than you’ Brutus said to nobody in particular ‘I love my Tony Abbott and I love everyone, I am a good boy and I can shit dinosaurs’

Bronte, Madam Gigi, Rocco, Nica, Zara and Olive were now laughing.  All of the dogs had gathered round Brutus’s bed aside from Fat Harry who was now winding up the white fluffy dog and had convinced him that the vet had sold his testicles on eBay.

‘Harry will you come here now and stop teasing him about his testicles!’ Woody growled at Harry who looking thoroughly naughty; reluctantly went back to Brutus’s bed.

‘Rumble, it’s Rumble! My hero, I knew you would find me, have you come to save me?’ Brutus said drowsily.  His flappy jowls and deformed bottom lip drooped open, his tongue was so dry it kept sticking to the pillow.

‘Rumble? What is he talking about Rumble for, he must be hallucinating’ Bronte said to Pippin in a concerned voice.

‘Rumble!, is that you?’ Brutus said again.

‘Just ignore him, it’s the drugs’ Pippin whispered to the others.  Poor old Brutus was seeing things that were not there.

‘I am SO not going to let him live this down’ Rocco grinned at Chewy who was trying to look disapproving which is a look that Chewy does that look so well.

11096433_10152811819433317_9032761375785145492_nChewy does disapproving very well you know

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

‘Well well well Brutus, a little birdie tells me that you haven’t been very well’ A deep and authoritative voice growled from behind all of the Iggies.

Turning round to see who had spoken, Rocco splutters ‘Holy shit, it’s Rumble’.

Standing there in his cop uniform in all his glory was Rumble the cop dog complete with his gun and stuff (ask a cop if you don’t know what ‘stuff’ is).  Next to him stood the beautifully stunning female cop dog ‘Z’ in her cop dog uniform also with her gun and stuff.

Brutus and the cops‘Z’ is Brutus’s friend (left) and Rumble (right) is Brutus’s hero

Photograph by Google Images and Tameka

Brutus knew ‘Z’ from lure coursing and had chatted to her a couple of times when he asked about being a cop dog himself, but luckily ‘Z’ had talked him out of it on grounds that it was too violent for him.  But we all know that Brutus is not cut out to be a cop dog we just don’t tell him that.

Sounds of crackling could be heard as a voice was heard over Rumble’s radio. ‘Can you give me your location PD Rumble – over’.

‘Yes I am at the vet hospital just visiting a mate, won’t be long – over’ Rumble spoke into his radio.

CopPD Rumble – the finest cop dog in WA

(Photograph by Tameka and fit the cop under Rumbles head remains anonymous)

‘Oh my god he is totally gorgeous’ Nica gushed and then pulled out her make up mirror from her back and checked her teeth.  Tempted to remove her collar and throw it at Rumble the way in which women throw their panties at a Tom Jones concert, Nica thought better of it and just loosened it a few notches instead.

Even Zara was star struck over the handsome cop dog.  They had heard Brutus go on about Rumble and knew that Brutus kept a photo of Rumble in his bedroom titled ‘Rumble – my hero’ but they never thought for one moment that Rumble would take time out of his day to see Brutus let alone refer to him as a ‘mate’.  Little did they all know that ‘Z’ had organised this for her buddy Brutus, it was all down to her.

‘Hello there officer pleased to meet you’, Bronte extended her paw towards Rumble.

‘Pleased to meet you ma’am’ Rumble said politely as he tried to ignore Bronte’s impossibly short dress that flashed her Iggy bum.

‘I think I am going to faint’ Gigi whispered to Nica who couldn’t decide whether or not to faint or vomit or do both for good measure.

‘Rumble, is that really you?’ Brutus stuttered in shock.  Staring at Pippin Brutus whispered ‘Is that Rumble? Is that really Rumble?’

Pippin who was still wearing the doctors coat smiled and nodded that yes, it was Rumble and the other dogs were just as shocked to meet him as Brutus who had always managed to bring Rumble into a conversation whenever he could and continually spoke about him.

‘Yes Brutus it really is me, what have you been up to then?’ Rumble grinned at the sleepy brown dog who was still neatly tucked up in his bed with Tony Abbott beside him.

‘I have had my paws operated on, they took my nails away and they stole that dogs testicles’ Brutus said drowsily.

Shuddering at the testicle comment Rumble glanced round at the white fluffy dog who was now ranting about his balls being sold on Ebay – thanks to Fat Harry for telling him that.

‘Well I thought I would come and pay you a visit, ‘Z’ has told me that you have always wanted to be a cop dog’ Rumble said to Brutus.

‘Yes but it is a bit too violent for me so I don’t think I would be very good at it’ Brutus blushed and glanced down at his bandaged paws.

Brutus looked up at Rumble, he looked so smart in his uniform with his gun on his holster.  He had a real job to do and so did ‘Z’, they both served and protected their community.  Brutus couldn’t quite believe that ‘Z’ had organised this for him, he vowed to pay her back somehow.

‘I can’t believe Rumble and ‘Z’ have come to visit Brutus – OUR Brutus’ Rocco said to Fat Harry who agreed with him.

It was all getting too much for Zara and Olive who were now being typical teenagers and threatening to throw their panties at Rumble because they had seen the female dogs do it at a ‘Lassie’ concert once.  It was only Madam Gigi who told them that nice dogs didn’t throw their panties at handsome cop dogs but it was perfectly acceptable to drool though.

Suddenly Rumble’s radio went off ‘PD Rumble please can you get to Leighton Beach in Freo, a beagle is threatening to eat everyone’s lunch, a great Dane has done a shit on someones handbag and it is all getting rather heated – over’.

‘PD Rumble and ‘Z’ are able to respond and will be there right away – over’ Rumble said into his radio as Brutus watched him in awe.

‘Catch ya later Brutus, hopefully lure coursing next week if you can come?’ ‘Z’ winked at him.

Z copPD ‘Z’ – Brutus’s friend

(Photograph by Google Images)

‘I won’t be allowed to race but I can come and watch’ Brutus said in a husky dry voice.

‘Sounds good’ ‘Z’ the cop dog replied and handed him a couple of business cards and then mouthed the words ‘Call me’ as she demonstrated with her paws like a telephone.

Brutus could not believe his eyes, was this really happening? Not only had Rumble rocked up to see him – Brutus, but ‘Z’ had given him her business card and asked her to call him and even though Brutus felt sore from his operation, this had totally made his day.  If this was a drug induced dream then it sure was a good one.

‘Get yourself some rest, there’s a good boy and you lot, don’t over excite Brutus’ Rumble said to the others in his deep voice and when Rumble speaks, everyone listens as he just has that kind of authority.  Hell that dog could make me eat a bone myself if he asked me nicely enough.

‘Sorry officer, it wasn’t me, honest it wasn’t’ Fat Harry said in a guilty voice to Rumble as he walked out.

‘What wasn’t you lad?’ Rumble’s eyes bored into Fat Harry making him blush.

‘These are not my testicles!’ squealed the little white fluffy dog who was clutching two tangerines in a handkerchief and sobbing loudly, ‘Mine were in better shape than that’

‘What can I say officer, the fruit was in the bowl so I made use of it, it’s a fair cop!’ Shrugged Fat Harry.

Shaking his head at Fat Harry, Rumble sighed as he turned round to ‘Z’ and said  ‘Come on ‘Z’, let’s get going to Freo to find out about this beagle and the Great Dane’.

‘Take care Brutus’  Rumble barked at Brutus and gave him a pat on the head, ‘And you are a good boy’.

‘Goodbye Rumble’ said Brutus, he was torn between exhaustion and shitting himself from excitement – you all know Brutus and his bowel problems so you get the picture.

‘Pippin, Rumble said I am a good boy’ Brutus said to Pippin. Being a good boy is important to Brutus as you all know so for Rumble to say it made it extra special.

‘Yes Brutus you are a good boy.  How cool is it that Rumble and ‘Z’ came to see you’ Pippin smiled.

‘Pippin?’ Brutus asked Pippin sleepily.

‘Yes Brutus’ Pippin replied

‘Why are you and Fat Harry wearing white coats?’ Brutus demanded.

Fat Harry looked at Pippin, shrugged his shoulders and said ‘What are your thoughts?’

‘Well, it was like this…..’ Pippin started to say.

But that was as far as he got because when he looked at Brutus he was fast asleep with his tongue sticking out, his blue and white stripey pyjamas all rolled up displaying his bandages and in between his bandaged paws was his Tony Abbott doll.

‘Take care Brutus’ Pippin said quietly and then said to the gang ‘Come on you lot, Brutus needs his rest’.

As they all walked out all they could hear was the white fluffy dog sobbing to the nurse that his testicles had been swapped for tangerines and nothing the nurse said could convince him otherwise.

Back home

It was a drowsy Brutus that I collected from the vets that day, we even had to help him out of the car where he was put straight to bed.

Unimpressed with his ‘cone of shame’ Brutus sat on his bed crying but not quite knowing why he was crying in fact even to this day I don’t even think he remembers crying.

11917674_10153078421973317_3770795908447460476_nBrutus was actually crying in this photo – no kidding

(Photograph by Sam Rose)

The next day….

It was night time and the boys were in their respective beds chatting about Brutus’s operation the day before.

‘I had the most marvellous dream that Cop dogs Rumble and ‘Z’ came to visit me in hospital and Rumble said that I was a good boy’ Brutus said to Rocky as he lay on his bed.

Rocky raised his eyebrows and laughed ‘You had too many drugs I bet’ and then stood up and turned the several obligatory circles that dogs tend to do before they lie down.  Taking a deep sigh, Rocky quickly fell asleep.

Brutus sighed and snuggled up to Tony Abbott who still smelt of hospitals and disinfectant.  Feeling something prick his chest in his pyjamas, Brutus sat up and wondered what it was.

Tucked in his pyjama pocket were the two business cop cards that ‘Z’ had given him, one was ‘Z’s card with a message saying ‘See you at lure coursing’ and the other was Rumble’s card and on that one was written ‘Brutus – Catch up some time – Rumble’.

Tempted to wake Rocky up and tell him that it wasn’t a dream after all, Brutus decided against it as Rocky wouldn’t believe him.

But he did come and see him and he said that Brutus was a good boy and in Brutus’s eyes, that was all that mattered.

The End

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright August 2015

Thanks and Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the vets and nurses of Spearwood Veterinary Hospital for the excellent high standard of care that they have given to my Brutus with his recent surgery (and with all of my pets).

It means a great deal to me to find a good compassionate veterinary hospital with a great team that my dogs actually love going to and that I can trust.

The fact that even after his surgery and despite being a bit sore, Brutus was absurdly pleased to go back for his post op visit so he could see the staff there, that really says something.

So thank you guys and keep up the good work.


Cats in ‘The Hood’ and Gordon isn’t happy


Gordon says ‘Get off my land’ (in a Devonshire accent)

Taking the piss (literally)

As many of you know I have a 13 year old cat called Gordon whom I bought with me from the UK.  Gordon has always been an indoor cat and one would think that in the privacy and safety of his own home, should never and would never have to defend his territory.

Until now that is.

There is a large male cat in our street, I think he is owned or perhaps was once owned or maybe he is just a ‘free-range’ pain in the arse cat.

He has testicles like two tangerines in a handkerchief and a seemingly endless supply of cat piss that he enjoys spreading on my front door.  Cat piss that is so potent that within seconds of him doing it I can even smell its ‘warmth’ as it infiltrates my door and fills up my house with his scent.

It started off with him doing it the odd time a bit like feline graffiti spreading his art all over the door occasionally to be admired by other cats that may say ‘Nice piss mate’.

My cat Gordon likes to sit at his window and why wouldn’t he?  His home is his castle and he has never had to defend it against outside cats in leather jackets that threaten with menace.

In case you don’t believe that cats can talk and wear leather jackets, I am telling you that they do and they also talk very well.  Entire male cats for instance will always wear leather jackets and talk in tough accents – actually I think that all animals can talk if only we choose to listen to them.

Anyway, this rogue cat that I have named Kevin, is a right toughie.  He has a huge face, is built like a brick with attitude and he walks around our street like he owns it.

He wears a studded leather jacket and is a member of some gang – his own gang containing only him and his testicles and I think he would actually beat me up if I got too close to him.

Kevin frequently gets in to my garden and my dog Brutus has nearly pulled him off the fence by his tail on a couple of occasions as Brutus does not tolerate cats in his garden.


Brutus – no cats in his garden!

One time Kevin the cat told Brutus to ‘Piss off’ and threatened to rip his head off and crap down his neck and also threatened Rocky that he would chop his legs off and spit-roast him with potatoes.


Rocky on a spit-roast

So you must understand that Kevin is a hard nut but I thought somewhat naively that if we ignored him pissing up my door that he would eventually tire of such naughtiness and leave us alone and perhaps piss on someone elses door instead and oh how wrong I was.

This is my ‘hood’

My Gordon enjoys sitting at the door or the window and watching the world go by.  He is 13 years old and is an old man that sits in his rocking chair at the window with his half rimmed spectacles, doing the crossword and says ‘hello’ to anyone that goes by.  It is his pleasure, it is what he looks forward to and he does no harm to anyone as he is in his own house.


Gordons home is his castle

Well more recently (like every night) Kevin the cat has taken to flashing his anus up at our window and calling my Gordon a ‘ginger bastard’ and then taking spraying up my door and from what Gordon tells me, he can do all of this while doing cartwheels.

‘This is MY hood you ginger bastard and I am gonna get you out of this house and take it over’ Kevin sneered at Gordon one night.  I heard it with my own ears and smelt it with my own nose and I swear to god that cat can use his rear end as a pen judging by the shapes of cat pee on my door.

Cats hate citrus – yeah right

‘I am fed up with cleaning up after this cat and the house stinking of tom cat’ I moaned to my husband at the weekend after cleaning the door yet again.

‘I don’t know what we can do to be honest’ Hubby replied in a resigned voice.  He was  scared of Kevin in his leather jacket and his big fat tom cat face and testicles like space hoppers.

But no way would I give up and I would not give in; I frantically started to check the cupboards for stuff I could put on the door that would deter this big bully cat from stinking my house out yet again.

After checking the cupboards, I found some citrus cat deterrent spray that we bought last year when Kevin first started spraying.  ‘Ah ha!’ I said triumphantly, ‘This should fix the little bastard’.

My husband shook his head despondently and took a swig of his tea and carried on watching TV.  He had given up hope, Rocky had given up hope, Brutus had given up hope and so had Gordon.  But not me, no way no never – there ain’t no Tom cat going to launch a hostile takeover of my house with his urine.

I washed the door with detergent first and then I saturated it with the citrus spray and even sprayed the trees and the foot mat outside as well.  It was bound to work, surely?  I would like to tell you that, honestly I would but I would be lying because it didn’t.

‘Citrus shitmus’ Kevin the cat hissed at Gordon through the window, ‘Reckon that will stop me?’ and then did a ‘flash of bum’ on my freshly cleaned and sprayed door and took another piss down it and not only diluted my precious citrus spray but covered it completely until the familiar ‘warm’ smell filled up my living room.  I mean good God, where was all this urine coming from, did he have two bladders or something?

The war is on!

Tonight I was watching ‘Neighbours’ on TV when quite suddenly I could smell cat piss.  ‘Mum, he has done it again!’ Gordon yelled to me from the dining room.

Jumping up out of my chair I ran to the door and opened it in time to see Kevin in his leather jacket run off down the garden while shouting ‘Catch me if you can!’ with his testicles bouncing after him like hungry puppies chasing their mum.

Well I used every single cleaning product that I have in the house plus some citrus cat repellent that SO does not work, some Glen 20 plus some other stinky chemical cleaner.

In the end I got so desperate I considered spraying my new perfume ‘Beyonce – Heat’ that I got for my birthday that makes me sneeze.  Perhaps a dose of her perfume might make this cat sneeze but knowing Kevin he will probably like that as well.

‘Just you wait! I shall find a way to stop you’ I yelled to Kevin who was smoking a cigarette from behind a tree and making ‘cut-throat’ gestures to me.

‘You reckon?’ Kevin laughed and promptly showed me his testicles in an act of defiance.

‘Mum? He won’t take over my house will he?’ Gordon asked me as I glared at Kevin through the window.

‘Over my dead body’ I snapped and reassured my elderly ginger cat as he sat by the window.

‘That can be arranged’ Kevin smirked from the other side.

A few hours later

‘I saw that cat Kevin this arvo, he was wearing a leather jacket walking round like he owned the place’ My husband said to me this evening when I told him about tonights little incident.

‘He does own the place’ I replied flatly, ‘Watch him though, he carries weapons in the form of teeth, claws, attitude and testicles’.

Plan of action

With the door clean (for now), I am planning my next strategy and went on to the Bunnings website to look at an ultrasonic cat repellent.  We probably cant try that though as it will upset Gordon.

I also found some citrus spray that is meant to deter cats which we all know that is rubbish as Kevin is hard core and will probably drink it, bathe in it and cook his mice in it.  I am now thinking of getting some lion turd from Perth zoo because that might make Kevin believe that there is a bigger and tougher cat than him in the ‘hood’.

Or I could just join him in his own game and get my husband to pee up the door just to annoy him.  But knowing Kevin he would just beat my husband up, tie him up with Gordon, Rocky and Brutus and take over my house and claim squatters rights.

Either way – the cat is in the Hood, the piss is on the door and this is war.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright August 2015

Steroids – my friend, my enemy and my lifeline

BBMy dog Brutus is remarkably patient when I talk to him about steroids!

Sometimes, just sometimes I use my blog to sound off so forgive me but today is one of those days.  We all need to let off steam some days and today is my day to do it.

For those of you that have read my previous blogs will know that I take low dose steroids for an auto immune disease, they help with my joint pain, they help with inflammation and they to a point, enable me to hold down a job and live my life to a fairly good standard.

I take 5mgs of prednisolone and that 5mgs has become far harder to wean off than I could ever have imagined or believed and it has become the most important drug in my medicine box.

I used to take high doses of steroids many years ago for asthma which would see me suffer terribly from the side effects and I am well accustomed to the weaning process so when I say it is harder now than it was then, I am not joking.

I am torn between a state of needing the steroids because I know that they work and hating the steroids because I have suffered extensively from their unpleasant side effects.

From experience I know that getting below 5mgs will see me cold, unwell, weak, weight loss, confused, falling asleep at inappropriate moments such as on the toilet, at work or even while talking to someone.

At 4mgs I get stomach cramps, anxiety, nervous, sound/smell reactive as in everything is too loud and smells overpowering.  As for 3mgs – well let’s not go there because I believe it is just a pipe dream.

Once I get below 5mgs; it does not take long for a relapse for the original illness that I take them for to occur and then my adrenal glands proceed to have a party with my immune system and I am not invited.

I can almost envisage my adrenals chatting to my joints and saying ‘Let’s make her joints hurt like a bitch today and tomorrow we can make her mouth dry and flare up the rash on her face’, while my joints happily agree and I pay the price in the most harshest of ways – my own body attacks me from all angles.

Each morning I wake up and my bottle of prednisolone 5mgs are waiting for me by my bed silently taunting me to take them, which of course I do at 7am every morning.

‘How hard can it be to come off these, after all I am only on 5mgs and you can’t be reliant on that dose surely?’ I have said to myself on several occasions which has led to futile attempts to wean off and then run back to the steroid bottle with my tail between my legs apologizing to myself for being so cruel to my own body.

‘I shall never do that again, come to Samantha you beauty’ I would say to the bottle of tablets on my bedside cabinet in a grateful voice and then wash a 5mg tablet down with a cup of Yorkshire tea.

Once back on my 5mg dose, all is well in my world except for intense feelings of shame and ‘steroid guilt’ that I have fallen off the wagon and am back on my full dose.  I feel almost dirty for giving in, a bit like cheating on a diet with a large block of Dairy Milk.

‘I hate this drug, how can I possibly need them this badly?’ I ask myself and then make a vow to try and wean off again in a few weeks time.

Because my friends willpower is in abundance when you are getting the benefits of your steroid dose but you don’t realise just how much they do for your medical condition until you try to wean off them – and so the cycle continues.

It really is a ‘love-hate-loathing-need’ kind of relationship that I have with this drug and a very unhealthy one that is often made worse by other people and their total inability to keep their enormous, nasty and somewhat toxic mouths shut.

‘It’s a shame you are on steroids, you would have quite a nice face’ or ‘The steroids have made you so fat, will you EVER lose the weight?’

Or my personal favourite ‘I would never go on steroids, not after seeing what they have done to you’.

What on earth gives people the right to even say that?  Think it by all means, say it to their friends if they must but to say it to my face kind of makes them look like they have escaped from the ‘house of anus’.

But hey that issue lies with them and not me but as I say ‘house of anus’ and all that.

Synacthen test and those damned adrenal glands

Of course when you take prolonged steroids, there is a chance at some point your adrenal function will need to be checked and mine needed to be checked when I became very unwell when I started to reduce my dose.   This was done in the form of a Synacthen Test.

Short Synacthen Test

I have recently had my second Synacthen Test done to see if I am producing enough cortisol and in less than a 12 month period since my last test, my cortisol results have reduced considerably which kind of makes sense when I think of how unwell I have been feeling lately.

It appears that as well as having an auto immune disease, I now have fairly severe adrenal insufficiency for which I have been told is unlikely to get better as there is a possibility that my immune system has been attacking my adrenal glands.

So now I not only take steroids to keep my auto immune disease under control, I now have to take them because I am not making enough cortisol for on my own and have to supplement them with oral steroids.

Why do I hate steroids?

‘If they help you then why do you hate them so much?’ I have been asked a few times, well I shall tell you.

I hate them because my tolerance line between sanity, self control and boundaries has been blurred when it comes to steroids and now a dose of 10mgs can make me hate the world and everything in it – yes I am THAT sensitive to them.

I hate them because although I need just 5mgs for my disease, it is a dose that is not without the long term risks associated with steroids.

I hate them because if I have an asthma attack, the doctors will automatically reach for the steroids and give me a huge dose with zero regard to what the drug does to me in high doses.  This is usually rationalized by medical staff advising me that ‘you have to be on huge doses for years and years before you get side effects’.  Which of course anyone that has taken prolonged steroids will know this is utter rubbish.

I hate them because on high doses I am aggressive, unreasonable, twitchy, constantly hungry, I ache, I hurt, I can’t sleep and not only do I scare my husband with my 0-60 on the temper scale, but I also scare myself because quite simply it is like having a hostile and abusive lodger within my body and head when I am on this drug and I cannot evict them.

I hate them because they have forced me to be aware of my own endocrine system which is something I have never had to before.  Now the thought of diarrhoea or vomiting can leave me quivering in my boots and catching the flu is not up for discussion as that will involve stress dosing when in fact a normal healthy body copes with stress all by itself without the need to take extra steroids to compensate – except my body is not normal and it certainly isn’t healthy.

I hate them because due to my adrenal insufficiency,  I walk a very fine line between just being able to function to being completely exhausted, fragile and hormonally incompetent in the cortisone department.

And finally I hate them because for the sake of survival, to not take them is simply no longer an option.

Steroids – you totally have to be on them to ‘get them’.


Addisons Disease and Adrenal Insufficiency

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright August 2015

When Dogs Say Goodbye….

As you know I took the boys for a drive today and ended up in my old suburb to catch up with my very good friend who has a red heeler called Sunny who was actually Rockys first friend when we moved to our old house.

In the past Sunny has lived with me for a few weeks when his owner went on holiday and has spent a large amount of time round my house. Rocky totally adores him and he is the only dog that Rocky is totally comfortable with.

IMG_2337Rocky’s oldest and best friend – Sunny

The first thing that shocked me was how old Sunny was looking, well he is 16 years old but you know what it is like when old age catches up with animals and the sight of it shocks us.

Rocky totally knew where we were going and was crying with excitement even when I pulled up at Sunny’s and dragged me down the pathway.

Brutus is far too big and boisterous to play with Sunny and although he knows and loves Sunny and played with him when Brutus was a baby dog, it’s not possible now so Brutus was kept with myself and my friend while Rocky played with Sunny in the garden.

‘Hello Sunny my friend’ Rocky said affectionately to the elderly red heeler who was doddering around on his wobbly legs looking at nothing in particular.

Rocky waited for a response and looked somewhat confused as Sunny ignored him seemingly oblivious to our arrival.

‘Mum?’ Rocky whispered to me in bewilderment.

‘Sunny! How are you, it’s been ages?’ Brutus yelled from the car.

No response from Sunny.

‘He is nearly deaf and totally blind now and a bit senile’ His owner said to me in a sad voice and then told me quietly that it is almost time for Sunny to go over to Rainbow Bridge.

I stared down at the little red heeler who had a body shaped like a barrel, his legs unsteady with the ‘old man shuffle’, his eyes cloudy and opaque – he was with us but he wasn’t ‘with us’ if you know what I mean. The lights were on but nobody was home.

‘Rocky, Sunny is blind and deaf – he does not know we are here so go up to him and let him know’ I patted Rocky gently. Rocky looked hurt and confused by this but did as I asked him.

Brutus was pulling faces and shrugging his shoulders through the car window at Rocky and mouthing the words ‘What’s up?’.

We had to get Rocky and Sunny out of the way before Brutus could get out you see hence the reason Brutus had to wait in the car for a bit.

Rocky walked right up to Sunny and it was only when Rocky’s black snout touched the grizzled, elderly frail dogs face that Sunny remembered Rocky and realised that his best mate was there.

‘Rocky, is that you?, I can’t see you, is that really you?’ Sunny barked in his rusty old-dog bark.

Rocky wagged his tail looking absurdly happy at the recognition and gently cleaned round Sunny’s mouth.

‘I am blind Rocky, I can’t really hear you very well either’ Sunny said as he stared where he thought Rocky’s face was.

‘That’s all right my friend, let’s go to the garden, don’t worry, I know the way’ Rocky said firmly.

Both boys were led out to the garden. The garden that had seen many a wild game between Rocky and Sunny and even Brutus before Brutus learned to scale fences, a garden that held so many happy memories for my boys and Sunny.

As I caught a brief glimpse of the two dogs, I saw that Rocky was gently pressing his body into Sunny’s to guide him round the garden and Sunny had total trust in the little black kelpie as he kept him close to his side.

Where as when Rocky was a puppy and Sunny taught him everything he knew and protected him, it was now Rocky’s turn to protect and guide Sunny for what was to be the last time the dogs would see each other.

‘Rocky?’ Sunny asked in a rusty voice that all old dogs get when they reach a certain age.

‘Yes Sunny?’ Rocky replied.

You know it’s time don’t you?’ Sunny asked him.

Rocky took a deep breath and delayed his response for a few seconds, ‘Yes Sunny, I know’.

‘I am not afraid though, I am looking forward to getting my eye sight back again and my hearing and I have lots of friends waiting at Rainbow Bridge for me when the time is right’ Sunny said happily.

Rocky tried not to cry, Sunny was his oldest and best friend but like all dogs, Rocky knew that every single dog has to go over to Rainbow Bridge at some point – it is only fair and it is only right and it is part of the cycle of life.

‘Hey Sunny, let’s take you to our favourite spot and we can cock our legs together like old times – I piss, you piss, we both piss’ Rocky said in his kelpie voice.

Sunny looked up to Rocky’s face, Rocky stared back at Sunny’s cloudy eyes, his grizzled muzzle and his face that could tell a thousand stories.

‘Yes, Rocky, I would like that’ Sunny barked and allowed Rocky to gently continue to guide him round the garden occasionally using his bottom to lean in to Sunny to keep him in the right direction.

My friend and I discussed that when it is Sunny’s time to cross to The Bridge, I shall drive him to the vet as my mate doesn’t have a car and if he wants me to be there with them inside the vets then I will be. I love Sunny as much as my own boys so I am happy to be there if I am needed. I shall just await the call and be on hand when I am asked.

Soon it was time to go home and Brutus went in to the car first and then we went to get Rocky.

Rocky turned round to stare at his old friend and then without warning, Rocky dragged me to the car – he could not get away quick enough.

Rocky and Brutus sat on the back seat in silence but both looking out of the window at Sunny who was standing by his front door looking confused.

‘That was nice of Rocky and Brutus to come and see you wasn’t it?’ Sunny’s owner asked him.

No answer from Sunny.

Sunny had quickly ‘lost himself’ in his own head, looking confused he replied ‘Are we there yet Dad?’.

I hugged my friend and said goodbye and as I pulled out of the driveway I saw Sunny standing by the door wagging his tail at nothing and his cloudy eyes staring up trying to work out his position in his garden and more to the point, in his life.

‘Goodbye my friend’ Rocky said under his breath.

Brutus said nothing.

I said nothing.

I cried on the way home and I am crying as I write this because old he may be, and his time is coming but Sunny really is a fantastic dog that taught my boys how to be dogs.

In fact, every puppy should have a ‘Sunny’ in their lives and every dog lover should know a ‘Sunny’.

IMG_2397Dedicated to Sunny who will at some point soon be crossing over to The Bridge.

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright August 2015