I am busily painting rooms at the moment, a winter maintenance task that until it becomes monotonous, and seemingly never-ending, I quite enjoy. I am still at the enjoyment and satisfaction time and had got into the swing of things, shut in a distant room, the dogs lying outside on the sun soaked private terrace both whining, wanting not to come in but instead my company outside with them. So I interrupt my painting rhythm go and say hello, tickle their tummies and return to putting paint on walls floors, windows and furniture (not true! I’m a tidy painter).
Bobby my English Setter had not been eating. Following a Sunday evening stayover at a friend’s house it was Monday morning that I really noticed he really did not want his food and was low and thin.
Even chicken broth did not appeal, he just turned his nose up and walked away at any offered food. Just imagine me down on my hands and knees proffering boiled chicken breast to a reluctant dog. This continued through to Tuesday and yesterday I took him down to the vet near Perugia. Dotoressa Carmella is a very competent and professional vet and a lovely caring person to boot. She and her team have cared for all my dogs, and I respect her opinion. Initial tests showed nothing particularly untoward and it was suggested that they keep Bobby in for the day for observation. Into the cage he went, he was certainly not his bouncy cheery self. The vet wanted me to return in the afternoon and evening.
In an attempt to distract myself from his confinement I hit several stores. It is the end of the sales here, but even substantial discounts could not attract me. The same with trade suppliers, I have a list of things I wish to change or improve for the new season for Bellaugello Gay Guest House, and some of the suppliers are based round Perugia, but I just could not get enthusiastic.
I returned home late and dogless, he has been kept in for observation overnight. The house seemed empty, soul-less. Unusually for her Jenny had been in her bed all day, not deigning to steal Bobby’s, we talked at length. This morning the vet reports he has eaten a little. She wants to keep him in a bit more to see if the food remains down, not exits either end, I will call back for news after lunch.
I now know why the vet was unable to take one of my calls later in the afternoon. Whilst blogging I have just taken a call from neighbours over the hill. They too were at the vet last night. Their black Labrador ‘Ollie’ was poisoned whilst out walking near their farm. He was shaking really badly, foaming at the mouth, and sick and all the rest, absolutely awful.
This is one of the times of years when hunters put down bits of meat laced with poison, either rat or insect poison, with the intention of killing foxes who eat small birds. Of course the hunters then go on to shoot the small birds. I side with mr fox, he does it for survival, the hunters out of pure destructiveness. What irritates me most is the utter thoughtlessness and arrogance of the hunters. Italian law means they can hunt where they like. To prevent the hunters from coming on their property a landowner has apply, always a lengthy and tedious process, here to fence off his land. There is theoretically a legal boundary of 100 metres from an inhabited house, but that is not always respected. The problem compounded if you complain or make a fuss, the hunters get more aggressive and uncooperative, and of course they just happen to know someone in officialdom who has the power to make one’s life intolerable. My friends are naturally very very upset, compounded as he said by him seeing a hunter with young dogs out of his kitchen window this morning tramping close to the house over his newly ploughed field.
So now Bobby and Ollie sit side by side in their cages at the vet. My friends are going down this morning hopefully to bring Ollie back home, Bobby is to stay a bit longer.