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Sunday, April 3rd, 2011 05:31 pm
Enjoying His Birthday Treat

He's fourteen today. He doesn't look it in this picture, does he? But what you can't see is that he's nearly blind and quite deaf and has quite wobbly back legs, and spends 90% of his time sleeping. But he eats well, and so far he's not having any problems with his bladder or bowels and doesn't seem to have any painful bits except his back legs...

Living with an old dog is so desperately bitter-sweet.

But today, he's fourteen, and seems healthy, and had a lovely afternoon puttering about in the garden. I appreciate every day I have with him.
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Thursday, January 28th, 2010 09:12 am
So, I'm 54 years old today! I can't believe that I used to hate birthdays, because I never really celebrated them but always felt like I should be self-consciously "happy" all day long. The last few have been so much fun, entirely because I have this delightful group of friends who help me to celebrate. Not to mention the legions of greetings here and on Facebook, which help to make the day special.

The major celebrations were last night. I joined [livejournal.com profile] lidocafe, [livejournal.com profile] superfoo, [livejournal.com profile] marri, kp, Eli, Eli's girlfriend Marinya, and Greg for extremely good Chinese food. We ordered much too much, but that meant that many of us left with boxes of leftovers for lunch today or future dinners. I was given beautiful cards and a book token (yay!!) and a gorgeous aquamarine scarf and a book I've been wanting to read and some nice smelly things to bathe with (and the promise of a hand-made toque from Eli, who KNITS, beautifully, among his many other talents).

Then Eli and [livejournal.com profile] lidocafe and I went a couple of blocks down the road to the Alex Goolden Hall to hear Great Lake Swimmers, and they were AWESOME. Here's a sample




And this evening, kp is cooking me dinner!
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Saturday, January 26th, 2008 10:49 pm
Have just returned from a thoroughly delightful evening spent in birthday celebrations (a few days early) with my dear friends [livejournal.com profile] superfoo, [livejournal.com profile] marri, Eli, [livejournal.com profile] lidocafe and kp. I am buoyed by their thoughtfulness, affection, humour, great conversation and just ... friendship. It's a wonderful thing. I came home with a small stuffed wolf called Virginia, a collection of fabulous books (I can't wait to try the Tao one, and am so grateful for the Alistair McLeod, and just love the Women and Dogs one) with some bookplates to stick in them, some flowering tea and a beautiful mug to drink it in (and some non-flowering ginger and ginseng tea, should I need a pick-me-up) and several well chosen cards (one from [livejournal.com profile] superfoo with a note saying such lovely things that I'm glad I didn't read it at the table, as it made me cry, but in a very good way). I'm so lucky! I'm still smiling thinking about some of our conversation (especially the braces and the judge's wig).

Oh, what did we do? We went to see Juno, which was funny and charming, and then had Japanese food and just ate and talked and laughed non-stop. It was perfect.

THANK YOU!!!!!
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Friday, July 13th, 2007 08:25 pm
My darling Chums is fourteen years old today.

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Wednesday, June 13th, 2007 08:46 am
Happy Birthday to [livejournal.com profile] lidocafe's daughter S! Many happy returns of the day.
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Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007 04:02 am
Happy Birthday, Robinson!

He's ten years old today: my sweet solitary blue. I know when I post in here I seem to write mostly about Cholmondeley, but I have a special, quiet place in my heart for Robinson. He really is the sweetest dog I've owned. He reminds me of a solemn little boy; if he were, he'd be a Christopher Robin type with tousled hair and gumboots, always off jumping in mud puddles and bringing home frogs in jam jars. He's not openly affectionate, or at least not as much as Chums, sparing with his licks and even with the wags of his tails. But because of this, you feel that he's sincere with his gestures of affection: he means it, and is not just conning you for biscuits as Cholmondeley will. When I bend over to give him a fresh bowl of water, he always lifts his nose to touch my face lightly, as if to say "thank you."

He can be as pushy as the next beardie, holding me to my daily routine of walks and expeditions to the garden. But if he ever gets shut outside by accident, he will just curl up, getting progressively more and more miserable, convinced that I no longer love him. He can be wicked; beardies are supposed to be escape artists, but Cholmondeley can be trusted outside on his own because he will never wander off. Not so Robinson - when in the garden he has to be watched, as he will jump the fence if he finds the opportunity and go off on an adventure on his own. On the other hand, he has never, in ten years, even thought about biting anyone, or even shown his teeth. The most he will do, when being coerced into a crate or put behind a barrier against his will, is a rather more forceful "HUFF" than usual.

Because of his quiet, undemonstrative nature, it's easy to think that he doesn't have strong feelings, My mum used to say that Robs didn't really interest himself in her at all, that he lived for my return home from work each day. Yet, it was he who more obviously grieved when she died. When I had to put them in kennels for the first time, after she died, Robinson wouldn't speak to me for days after I brought them home - he was so devastated first by her loss, then by my seeming abandonment. As a puppy, he chose me; the breeder had several candidates for "Robinson," but every time I went to visit the litter of puppies, if I sat down on the ground, I'd look down, and there would be the one who became "my" Robinson curled up by my side. Sometimes I think he would have preferred to be a working dog, that he dreams of real sheep and open spaces. But then I look down and see him curled by my side, and feel his soft nose nuzzling my hand, and I know he's right where he's meant to be.