Saturday, 30 August 2008

Tommy's Tidings

Tom: Well, I have now been back home for almost 48 hours and I am busy settling in, which is hard when you are supposed to be very quiet. I am still taking antibiotics and also a mild sedative to keep me from bouncing around too much. I am also still wearing my Elizabethan collar most of the time...

... but the good news is that it gets taken off when I have my meals and for a while after that. One thing that has not changed is Sen-Chan trying to help me eat my meals:

I had a good time early afternoon today as #1 decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather to wash her car, aided by Ms. L who is staying with us. In order to keep me occupied when we were outside, she gave me one of my birthday presents which turned out to be the biggest bone I had EVER seen:

This is a lot of hard work!

Anyway, I am really hoping that when we go back to the vet's for a check-up on Monday, she will be pleased with my progress. I am really keen to get back to my long runs!

Before closing, I wanted to pay tribute to a lovely lady doggie who went to the Bridge yesterday. Her name was LISA and she was a mixed breed with a lot of shepherd/collie in her. She was 14 years old and was rescued three and a half years ago by Ms. A and Ms. H, friends of #1, after spending 6 years (!) at the shelter. She was much loved and indulged following this but sadly developed one of those nasty "C" illnesses and could not make it. #1 went out and helped her mom take her back home from the vet's and to lay her out so that the two other dogs could pay their last respects before she was cremated. It was very touching to see, according to #1. Last night, all the people shared a bottle of Champagne in memory of Lisa and also of IKKYU. It's good to remember our friends and raise a glass to them!

Friday, 29 August 2008

Remembering IKKYU

Sen-Chan: Before Tom and I were even around, there was another puss in #1's life, the one-who-came-before. His name was IKKYU and he went to the bridge on this day one year ago, just a few days before his 15th birthday. I will hand the keyboard over to #1 so she can tell you about him and pay tribute to him. From what she has told me and Tom, he was awesome!

#1: IKKYU came to live with me just before he turned 8 weeks old. He was a ruddy Abyssinian, born in Japan where I was living at the time. He settled into the small flat where I lived in Tokyo with amazing speed. Here he is a little after he arrived:

IKKYU had a great sense of fun and was very boisterous right from the start. He would climb up my pyjama legs, try to investigate the contents of the fridge, and was once found hanging from the middle of one of the curtain rails. He has a special passion for my printer, though:

Like all Abys, he was devastatingly handsome (although differently from Sen-Chan as he was a ruddy, rather than red, Abbyssinian). He always appreciated beautiful things:

What he did NOT appreciate, however, was anyone other than me. Most of my friends were nervous around him, if not downright frightened, as he had a way of growling and hissing if anyone got too close. But with me, he was hugely affectionate and protective. He loved sitting on the window ledge in my study in Tokyo, just supervising everything

IKKYU also was a world-class traveller. We were in Japan until he was 6, then spent several years in Chicago before moving back to France. All the way through, he would come with me to Prince Edward Island in the summers, and to France for Christmas when we lived elsewhere. I always thought it a shame that he could not get frequent flyer miles! Once, we even travelled together from Tokyo to Paris in an otherwise empty First-Class Cabin!

In those days, Air France was very relaxed about pets on board!!!

He had his portrait painted twice, the latest one being done last summer by our friend Ms. C, proud mom of the T'Abby Normal gang, Abby and Stygia. As you can see, IKKYU approved!

By the way, IKKYU was nicer to Ms. C than to almost anyone else he ever met! The portrait now hangs in the living room.

IKKYU was an extremely healthy cat who, mercifully (!), only had to go to vet's for his shots for many, many years. But, with time, his kidneys started to fail and he was eventually diagnosed with feline diabetes. He did well for  a while under the care of our wonderful vet, but there was also a silent cancer growing in his bladder, and he suddenly became very sick late last August. Within days, on August 29th, he had to go to the bridge. Here is one of his last photos taken a week before, while he was still home and enjoying life:

Life is fun these days with Sen-Chan and Tom who fill my days with love and joy, but I shall always remember IKKYU who was my very first puss, sharing my life on three continents and filling so many years with the grace of his presence.

Thursday, 28 August 2008


........Tommy's home but we have to be really quiet so he doesn't get all excited.

It was touch and go for a while. The vet called this morning and said he had suffered another relapse but after consulting with several other vets, she concluded that he should come home after all, so #1 went to get him late afternoon. 

He is still wearing his horrible collar and is not allowed to romp outside. He can only go out on the lead. But #1 can take the collar off when he eats and for short supervised periods. Paws crossed that he gets 100% better soon. Here is a photo of him taken this evening, chewing on one of his favourite pieces of bone:

We would like to close with a special thought for our friend TEXAS who is slowly preparing to go to the bridge. Our thoughts are with you. We haven't known you long, but we count you among our friends, and you have inspired all of us. Thanks for showing us how to be the best you can be!

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Thanks, TEXAS!

Sen-Chan: A big thank you to TEXAS for sending a wonderful award our way. We (that includes Tom) are very touched that he thought of us.

We are supposed to pass on the award to someone in another country whom we don't know all that well yet, so we would like to pass it on to Chance. In addition, we would like to pass it on to Goldie and Shade at Sumac Stories, our neighbour buddies at ABSharpeii, and to Angus Mhor. Thanks one and all for being our buddies!

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Toes on Tuesday

Sen-Chan: Now you see them....

Now you don't!

#1 and I would like to say a big thank you for all the nice messages for Tom. We spoke to the vet again this morning and he continues to improve (she said he was "very bouncy!") but he still has some stitches and they need to come out and everything check out before he can come home. So, it's probably going to be another couple of days.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Oh No!

Sen-Chan: You're not going to believe this but Tom is back at the vet's! He was very uncomfortable yesterday morning so #1 called our vet and she said to bring him back in. We are not going to give you all the gross details but suffice to say that what he needs, apparently, is a few quiet days in a quiet environment where all the the "bits" can get back to normal, and he just has too much fun when he is here with me and #1!

He is already doing a lot better, but this time, he is staying over there until he is 100+% better. He has his blankie with him, as well as his favourite cuddly toy and his new rugby ball. He is apparently being very good and everyone loves him there. We of course miss him but guess who is getting lots and lots and lots of cuddles at this end? Why, #1 of course. I have to take care of her!

We don't have any fresh photos of Tom for you so here is one of me instead:

I was having a particularly stressful moment...

Saturday, 23 August 2008


Tom: I'm home! I'm Home! After 24 hours at the vet's, #1 finally came this morning to bring me HOME!!! It was so good to see Sen-Chan and sniff all the familiar smells! I am much better although not completely A-OK yet so I am going to be a conehead for another 4 days at least. Boo hoo! And I am not allowed to play with other dogs or play Frisbee. Sniff.... Still, I have decided to branch out and I am going to play rugby instead!

I still have to open all my birthday gifts (other than the rugby ball), so more on that tomorrow.

Sen-Chan: Whilst Tommy has been busy dealing with his gross problem, I have been developing my artistic edge. Art appreciation to be precise. I have developed a great interest in a painting that #1 has hanging over her desk:

One handsome boy... two handsome boys...

Friday, 22 August 2008

The Day After

Sen-Chan: I'm in charge of posting today because Tom is back at the vet's yet again! He was doing great and really enjoyed the party last night but had a bit of a relapse in the night. Since we would all like him to be 100% functional again soon, #1 decided it would be better for him to go back for further examination. They found one more of those spikelets and suspect that Tom tried to get at it himself after the Elizabethan collar was taken off last night. Bad boy! He is staying over there under supervision until either this evening or tomorrow morning.

Anyway, it was a cool party! Tom was the star of the show and he played it for all he was worth. Here he is sneaking up on the birthday cakes:

and here is a close-up of his cake:

and him showing off his red bandana from Big Dogs:

He got lots and lots of toys, in fact so many that he hasn't finished opening the packages yet! He'll have fun when he gets back from the vet's!

I had a fun evening too. Tom's friend, Pie, was there and she is totally devoted to me ("obsessed" is what #1 and Ms. A call it). So she spent all evening chasing after me so she could cover me in kisses...

Here she is trying to lure me down from my favourite radiator:

and even bugging me when I was trying to eat:

#1 and Ms. A get worried sometimes that she will be too rough and will hurt me, but I have her covered!

Oh, and #1 wanted to answer the inquiry from Angus Mhor as to why she is called #1. It's because she is the #1 person in my and Tom's lives!!! Of course we think she's the best, but that's another story.

Thursday, 21 August 2008


Tom: Yes! it's today! My FIRST BIRTHDAY! I am now officially a big boy! Here is my birthday portrait:

Actually, I confess that picture was taken a few days ago. The reality, sadly is still like this:

But I am TOM, the guy who makes the best of every situation and I am having fun, lampshade or no lampshade! And #1, who is also celebrating her birthday today, has promised that the lampshade will come off for the party this evening. Yea!

By the way, I got photos today of one of my brothers and thought I would share one with you. As you can see, he is almost as handsome as me:

Happy Birthday, Scooby!

And a special thanks to my friend Petey for the great surprise he left for me on his site!

Sen-Chan: Happy Birthday, little brother! It's good to see you joining the "One Year" club at last! I am planning to take advantage of all the comings and goings at the party tonight to try and sneak out. Hee hee hee.....

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Tommy's Trials

Tom: We did not post yesterday because #1 ended up taking me to the vet's TWICE. The vet is 45 minutes drive away. You can do the maths. It is a little embarrassing to describe what happened to me in detail. Suffice to say that I got some spikelets (don't you love that word?) from an ear of wheat stuck in the canal of the most delicate part of my body. But they coulnd't figure that out at first. "They" thought I was just being an obnoxious teenager. Which is why I had to go twice and, in the end, I had to stay overnight, WITH morphine, after the offending items had finally been removed and the swelling started to go down.

It was no fun being away from #1 and Sen-Chan overnight and the most no-fun is that I have to wear one of these collars for a couple of days.

And Sen-Chan thought it was all very interesting when I was having my meal:

So that's my tale of woe.. But you know what? I'm glad it happened yesterday and not today or tomorrow, because TOMORROW IS MY FIRST BIRTHDAY! And..... it's also #1's birthday. Yes, we have the same birthday. So, we're going to have a party! #1 has promised to take the collar off for the party but she and Ms.C, my vet, were mumbling something about boxer shorts.....

Sen-Chan: Can you believe that story? How on earth do you get something like that stuck somewhere like that?! That Tommy just goes looking for trouble, if you ask me! Apparently, the vet said she had never seen anything like it!

I, by the way, am better although still not going out yet, the excuse now being that the weather is yucky. Still (whispering...) I must tell you it was fun having #1 ALL to myself for a little while. So many cuddles!!!

So here is a cuddly photo of me to close:

Monday, 18 August 2008

New Discoveries/Hanging Loose

Tom: Sorry we didn't post yesterday. #1 says she is still tired but the real reason is that she went off to an 80th birthday party for a very special friend and so was too busy having fun! Still, when she got back, she made it up to me by taking me on a run to a whole new field:

It's much bigger than the big one I usually run in so I can go like the wind and not run into anything. I was chasing birds (#1 says they're swallows) but just couldn't get close. Phew!

Sen-Chan: Glad someone is having a good time... I am still confined to quarters and this morning, I was put inside my carrier for 10 minutes with a steaming bowl of thyme infusion. It smells nice but who likes being locked up?

Tom and #1 are making funny comments about my preferred sleeping position of the moment. Can someone tell me what is so weird about having your bum on the back of a chair and your head on the seat? I find it very comfortable and of course, it makes the blood rush up to my head, making me even more outstandingly clever!

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Slow Saturday

Sen-Chan: It's turning out to be a slow day today. #1 has decided she needs to do nothing at all after all that running around, and that I need to stay in because I have the snurfles again. You may remember me mentioning that I had been quite sick as a baby, and I am still prone to upper respiratory infections. So I am spending my day demanding cuddles and looking handsome.

I would like to say a big thank you to my sweet Isis for the Brillante Weblog award she shared with me. You are too kind and generous!

I would like to pass on this award to "The 4 Bs" whose poodle antics always make me and Tom smile.

Tom: I am taking it easy in a very Tom-like way.... #1 says it makes her dizzy sometimes just to look at me...

That was me in my field this morning. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Friday, 15 August 2008

Settling Back In

Sen-Chan: Things are obviously not yet back to normal as, despite all her good intentions, #1 did not manage to post our posts yesterday. She spent the morning catching up with work, then we had overnight guests who arrived in time for lunch, then several other friends dropped in, and she also had to look after us, so poor #1 is looking a little bleary-eyed...

I, on the other hand, am anything but bleary-eyed. I am strong and sleek, and ready for anything. Just look at this:

#1 did have a fit yesterday, though, when I started heading towards the road at the bottom of the slope from the next garden. In fact, I was just trying to make friends with the two funny long-eared guys who live in the next field over. Have you ever seen anything so strange?

Tom: I have been enjoying getting reacquainted with my field. Some of the very tall grass is beginning to bend over so it is easier to see over it again.

I had another adventure this morning as #1 took our guests and me to an event celebrating our local Percheron horses. I wonder what Sen-Chan would have made of her?

It turns out her name is Nymphe ("Nymph"? Ha!) and she's an old friend of #1's. She did seem pretty easy-going, though.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

We're Back!!!

#1 and I got back home last night after 1,700 miles on the road and many adventures! We enjoyed typical English summer weather: one and a half days of sunshine to eight and half of grey skies and rain! But that didn't stop us from having a good time.

When I last wrote, we were in the Solway Firth, right at the north of Cumbria, on the border with Scotland. We then headed down to the Lake District which is in the middle of Cumbria. On our way, we collected Ms. G, a friend of #1's who took one look at me and fell deeply, irrevocably in love!

For those of you who are not familiar with that part of the world, this is what the Lake District looks like:

Wherever we went, #1 found me great places to run and I was able to pick up many sticks along the way:

And #1 introduced me to pub life. The owner of this pub, in a small town called Cockermouth, also has a Springer Spaniel, so she was delighted to meet me. I can tell you the hamburgers there are excellent!

And here I am in the car. I have an excellent hammock from Drs. Foster & Smith that covers the whole back seat, so it's a very comfortable ride for me.

After Cumbria, we headed south and spent the last couple of days with friends in a small village near Oxford.They have two Westies, Tara and Flora:

I suspect they thought I was too big to play with (in fact, everyone who saw me commented on how big I am for a Springer!), but there was a very large garden there, just perfect for Frisbee throwing!

#1 is telling everybody that I was good as gold and she will gladly take me on holiday again!

SEN-CHAN: Miss me? Did you miss ME????? Well I'm back and I'm staying! Actually, I never really went anywhere, other than the garden and up one of the trees (I'm a reall champ at climbing trees!). I was here for the duration with Ms. V and Mr.E, my sitters, and they were FABULOUS!. I was indulged, cuddled, loved and generally treated like a prince! Still, it was nice to see that big lump of a brother of mine back last night, and #1 too! The house feels just right again!

So, #1 has been invited to a wedding, and I think I should be the bride-cat. What do you think?

#1: And in conclusion to today's post, here is a picture of the two brothers reunited: