Monday, 30 November 2009

One year today

Today is Gangley's first gotcha day!

This time last year Eric travelled up to Lisa's home in Stoke (Greyhound Gap founder) and returned with Miss Whiplash. Gangley is a feisty stubborn little madam, who loves you most when you have food or if she’s cold. She spends her days sunbathing when it’s hot and hidden under blankets when it’s cold.

Gangley and Alfie Bear spends hours playing together but only when she says so, poor Alfie if he tries to start a game he soon gets told off but a few minutes later she’ll say okay now we play….

and she also lets Alfie snuggle up BUt only when it suits here LOL

We love you sweetheart .....

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Sandy's story

Again I find myself thanking you all for so many lovely messages. I can hardly believe in less than two weeks we have had two of our beautiful hounds taken from us.

Back in October when Sandy's tumour became really bad, she didn't at any point gave us the signal that it was time to throw the towel in and so the operation to amputate her leg went ahead. Yesterday Sandy did give us that look, the look that says I'm sorry Mum it's time for me to leave.

Poor little Gangley is beside herself with grief and spent last night laying next to Sandy trying to get her to wake up and howling quite literally.

This is Sandy's story
12/10/98 TO 28/11/09

After losing Poppit, Dill was so sad and missed the company of another greyhound, so we decided it was time to find him a friend. Our search took us to Ann at kama’s Cave. Ann had so many beautiful greyhounds all in need of a loving home but didn’t feel any of them were suitable to live alongside our smaller dogs Rocky and Rulu. We liked Ann immediately and admired the work she did, so we started to visit the kennels a couple of times each week to walk the hounds. This is when we met Sandy, poor Sandy never made eye contact with us never lifted her head not even when out walking she was completely and utterly closed down. After many weeks of walking her one morning as I went in to get her ready and I saw her tail give the tiniest little wag, that was it I was going to take her home!!! I told Ann and she said Sue she’s a cold fish and not for you but I was adamant and we took Dill and Rulu up to the kennels to meet Sandy. As soon as we let her loose in the compound she changed in an instant and became playful and I swear it was love at first sight, well for Sandy anyway, Dill was so sweet and gentle with her. He seemed to sense how fragile she was.

Sandy came home to us on 4th October 2004, and immediately made herself at home, all was well in her world until Dill died 6 months later, also of bone cancer. Dill was her safety blanket and she was always with him. Sandy once again seemed to withdraw and close down, demons from her past began to emerge with horrible nightmares. It took a long time for Sandy to once again find the courage to start to enjoy life again but with lots of patience she slowly re emerged and became the cheekiest little madam.

I remember saying to her shortly after she came home, you’re safe now sweetheart and I don’t care if you never kiss me it’s enough for me to know your safe, well true to form she never did give me a kiss, Eric yes, me no but it didn’t matter, she was safe and loved and she knew that. Other than Eric she adored Marc and would wag her tail like crazy when he came to see her. She was his special girl and woe betide any girlfriend who might try and muscle in.

One day we came home and found she had shredded a screwfix catalogue, oh my god it was like confetti everywhere, it took hours to clean up and from then on if we ever left paper or tissue out she would shred it. One day Eric left some important paperwork out and of course when we came home we found it shredded, she was very firmly told off and frog marched into the bathroom as a punishment, poor Sandy was so scared that she had an accident but when we let her out a few minutes later everything changed, it was like she thought to herself well if that’s the worst that can happen to me when I’m naughty that’s okay. From that point she decided life was okay.

Sandy was such a stubborn girl, when Eric would walk her and say “come on woo we’re going this way” she would stand still and refuse to move as if to say “no I want to go that way”. It became a regular battle of wills and used to make us laugh. When Sandy was happy she made little purring noises and you would say “Sandy are you happy” and she would answer with her happy purr.

Sandy eventually became the matriarch of the pack and as such certain jobs fell to her, like telling me at 3.20pm each day that it was time I started to get their tea ready, this was done by running up and down and barking very loudly. Another important job was to remind Eric when it was time for their walks, again lots of charging around and barking. Sometimes it was difficult to obey her demands because we would be laughing so much.

Sandy’s favourite place to lie indoors was in the hall, just outside the kitchen with her legs in the air or against the wall, this way she had every room covered and could see everything. Of course she also loved to kick her legs around when dreaming and eventually did a good job of wearing the wallpaper off. Outside Sandy loved to lie on the deck in the sun and roast, on hot days I would have to chase her in, she really was a sun babe.

Sandy started to limp in May and in June was diagnosed with bone cancer. By October we had no choice but to amputate or let her go. We chose to amputate as despite the horrendous pain she was in there was no way the woo was ready to give up. In the end we were only able to give her another 8 weeks, but boy did she enjoy those weeks, pain free and back to the wonderful, cheeky little girl that was Sandy woo.

We will always love you sweetheart……….

some of my favourite photo's of the woo (click on image to enlarge)

Saturday, 28 November 2009


A couple of days ago Sandy began to shows signs of pain and was very stressed during the nights. We took her to the vets and he said his pessimistic side felt the cancer had returned his optimistic side said she had hurt her back.

Last night we eventually discovered her pain was coming from the base of her back/tail, despite throwing our full arsenal of pills and potions at her, we were unable to control her pain and having discussed it through with her vet this morning we felt it was unfair to prolong the pain she was in. There simply was no where else to go.

Sandy deteriorated quite rapidly this morning whilst we were waiting for the vet to arrive, which in a way confirmed our fears that it was indeed the cancer.

Eric took Sandy and Jim for one final ride together and when they came back I watched Sandy clean Jim's ears and he in return nuzzled her and it was truly the most wonderful but heartbreaking little scene to witness, I truly felt they were saying goodbye to each other.

Sandy is now at peace with no more pain.

Sandy you were the bravest little lady I have ever met....and beautiful right up to the end.

Love you always....

Friday, 20 November 2009

Thank you

I want to start this post by saying thank you to everybody who has left and sent me such wonderfully kind messages. Many of you I don't even know but knowing other people cares means a lot to us at such a sad time. THANK YOU!

This is Ranger's story

Ranger came to us one evening for a short pit stop, before travelling on to Greyhound Gap’s kennels. A volunteer at a kennel who was appalled at the conditions he was being kept in had literally dognapped him. Luckily for Ranger, Gangley was poorly and couldn’t travel that weekend so the trip up to Stoke was put back a week. Of course by the end of that week we didn’t feel it was fair for Ranger to go into kennels having tasted life in a home, so Eric went to collect Gangley and Ranger stayed anyway.

Ranger has terrible food issues in the early days but once he was wormed and realised he would be fed regularly he very quickly settled down. He had several problems usually triggered by fear but slowly Eric was able to gain his trust and settle him down. This was the beginning of a strong loving bond between Ranger and Eric, they simply adored each other.

By April 2009 we realised Ranger was now ready to go up on the rehoming board but of course there was no way we could part with the beautiful soft lad and on the 24th April 2009 Ranger became an official Taylor hound.

Ranger was such a big handsome lad but so gentle, during the Summer we found him on several occasions standing under the willow tree and couldn’t fathom out what he was doing, eventually we twigged it, Ranger has discovered if he stood under the willow branches they would sway around and he would get tickles, how smart was that!

Ranger also loved to howl his head off if we didn’t answer the telephone quick enough and so by the time we did answer it, we couldn’t talk because we would be laughing so much.

Ranger was such a clever boy and could do the most wonderful sit and could stay staying sitting for ages, something most greyhounds can’t do BUT his best trick was standing up on his back legs, placing his front paws on his Dad’s shoulders and giving Eric a great big kiss. I lost count at the times I asked Eric not to let him do that for fear he would try it on me and send me flying but it was actually the landlord of the village pub who came a cropper when Ranger did his party trick just as John bent down to stroke him. Result one black eye for John.

Ranger loved everybody and would go up to people and give them the gentlest little kiss, such a sweet gentle dog. When he first met little Ben he was so scared of him but gradually with the help of treats we managed to persuade him their was nothing to be frightened of and one day Ben said Nanny, Ranger isn’t scared of me anymore, such a special moment.

Ranger may have been a big lad but that didn’t stop him being bottom in the pack order! We did worry because of his size and once he started to feel good about life that he might challenge for top dog but no, even Gangley would boss him around and never a murmur of complaint from him.

I remember not long after he came having to put all my teddy bears away because he would keep getting them and far from tearing them up he would lick them to they were soaking wet and as soon as Eric would go to work or go out Ranger would collect his slippers and cuddle up to them, even shoes and boots weren’t safe and we would often wander around the garden looking to see where he had taken them, always his Dad’s never mine.

Ranger you were only with us for 364 days and have been taken at such a young age, we love you, we will miss you BUT we are grateful for having had you as part of our pack. Sleep tight our sweet gentle brindle boy….. I’m so sorry we couldn’t save you, we tried so hard.

We will love you always,

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Sleep tight little man

Ranger passed away in the night.

the vet thinks it must have been an embolism 8-) we are numb with shock..

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Ranger will be staying in again tonight.

We've just been in to visit him, no reaction to us and wouldn't touch the food Eric cooked him!!!

Biospy back and confirms Osteosarcoma!

Vet will do bloods test tomorrow if no improvement overnight and may well have to put a feeding tube in...

All feels very sad and bleak......

Ranger still at the vets

Poor Ranger is having a miserable time, he has managed to go outside but apparently is still not eating and his vet feels he needs to the morphine injections as has has a lot of fluid build which will be adding to his pain and discomfort.

Vet will ring again at 3pm to discuss whether he stays in again tonight. If the soft lad has to stay in then we shall go and visit and take a food parcel.

Feel utterly miserable at the thought of Ranger at the vets, alone and in pain.....

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

We have just spoken with the vet and the they feel it would be best if Ranger stayed in for another night.

He is now drinking but still hasn't eaten anything .

Apparently he can stand unaided !!!! which sounds encouraging.

Hope when they ring again in the morning it's to say the soft lad is coming home....


Vet has rung and apparently Ranger is still very heavily under the influence of morphine, so they can't really assess how he is so no decision on coming home today will be made until later this afternoon.

However the vet was very pleased that Ranger didn't have any serious bleeds overnight so that sounds hopeful...I didn't really fully understand just how big an op this one was (head has been very firmly stuck in the sand) but he's young and strong, so today I am going to try and stay positive

Thank all so very much for keeping Ranger in your thoughts, I will of course update as soon as I hear anything else...

Sue x

Monday, 16 November 2009


At last the vet has rung.....

Bit of a mammoth op but it has gone well, Ranger now recovering, he's on morphine so hopefully will stay out of it for a good while yet.

Vet will ring in the morning, unless there's a problem in the night (I so wish they wouldn't say that) and depending on what sort of night Ranger has had to whether he comes home late tomorrow or Wednesday.

Thank you for all the messages of support xxx I will continue to update my blog as and when things develop...

Sue x


The vets have just rung and Ranger's chest x rays are clear !!!!

The operation to amputate his front leg is now underway.

SIX weeks today Sandy had her right back leg amputated.

FOUR weeks today Jim had his left back leg amputated.

TODAY Ranger is having his front leg amputated.


So worried

Ranger will be going into the vets at 12pm and will be having his chest x-rayed. If the x-rays shows his chest to be clear of any secondaries then we go ahead and have his leg amputated. If not then there is no option as his leg is already fractured but to let him go.

Ranger has been incredibly brave all weekend and hardly even whimpered despite his leg hanging off at an angle.The pain he is in must be terrible but he has already mastered the art of getting around on 3 legs.

I cannot even begin to believe that we are faced with this yet again and we both feel totally numb from the shock.

It's going to be a very long day!

Please say a little pray for this beautiful soft lad.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Unbelievably bad news

I can hardly take this in but just as Sandy and Jim after their amputations for Osteosarcoma begin to recover we find ourselves yet again in what is now becoming a familiar place.

A few days ago Ranger started to limp, so we treated him with metacam and rest, no improvement and I have to say alarm bells started to ring. Lunchtime I let him and the others out for a wee and heard this awful terrible screaming, I rushed outside and he was collapsed on the grass. I could see straightaway he was hurt badly so somehow managed to get him in and call Eric. With 30 minutes he was at the vets and they have just rung, A BLOODY BONE TUMOUR and pathological fracture (front leg).

Ranger came to us last November on what was supposed to be a 3 day pit stop en route to Greyhound Gap kennels but you know us and fostering! after a nightmare few months with him he suddenly turned the corner and has become the sweetest, gentlest hound you could ask for, we all adore him.

Now we have to decide tonight to pts or amputate...

Please pray for us to find the strength to do what is right for our lovely boy, he's only 6 ........


Friday the 13th eek!

On Wednesdaymy best cyber friend Shellie had to let her beautiful hound go to the bridge. Miss Flo O'Sausage as she was known by all on greyhound gap was a lovely old lady and will be so sadly missed by us all.

I and all on gap will miss reading about her adventures, she was a true Pirate Princess.

My hounds are all well and Jim is now on full walks and even chasing bunnies LOL. Sandy continues just having little rides in the car up to the meadow and then a little walk round but she is a very happy old girl. This afternoon, Alfie Bear, Lucky and Gangley are off to the vets for their yearly health checks and jabs.

Dawn and I finally got a full day scrapping yesterday, it's been weeks and weeks since we've managed this due to my poorly hounds. I had bought this DLO from papermaze sometime ago (designed by Wendy) and surprised myself and Dawn by doing it in one go LOL.

Left hand side

Right hand side

Photo's are of Vikki and Ben when we had a day out at Easton Farm Park in September. Good job I had so many kits saved up as there's no way I can find the time to actually put together my own stuff at the moment LOL.

Having a few problems with my hands, my right hand has always been my bad hand and had so many op's over the years. It has plastic knuckles and wrist but since I broke the plastic wrist in my left hand and had that removed, leaving me with no wrist joint and then trapped the nerve, my right hand has had to become my good hand eek!!! but it's really struggling and I now seem to have lost the use of my thumb it kind of looks out of joint and hurts a tad!!! think I need two new hands for Christmas LOL. Maybe I should check out ebay LOL.

Work on the porch and conservatory progresses albeit slowly, poor Eric is exhausted and is now at the point where he wishes he'd never started it but as they say the last mile is the longest....Don't think I'll have my Christmas tree in there this year after all. hey ho there's always next year.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Been busy

Few bits and pieces to share.

First a layout that was a kit, I bought it months ago from a difference source and when I finally got round to opening it last week loads of pieces were missing, I was thoroughly miffed !!!

I am not happy with it at all and ended up just making the best of a bad job !!! but it is a rare photo of me and Dawn so I guess it will have to do.

This one is a kit from Ang for Bramford crop, using papers from basic Grey Sweetpea Jack collection.

The photo is of Ben with his scary tiger face he had painted when we went to Easton Farm Park.

Next my first attempt at a tri fold card.

I was really chuffed with this as I am usually pretty hopeless at using a craft knife , so flushed with success I decided to make a maze book for Vikki to give to her MIL for Christmas and did this


and then made a box and lid to put it in, using a sheet of 12 x 12 for each bit and lots of folding.

Not great photo's but you get the idea.

Sandy and Jim continue to do well, with Jim already up to 3/4 length walks.

Ranger has a swollen front wrist and is limping, all very worrying especially as it's not responding to metacam......

Sunday, 8 November 2009

A normal weekend

At long last life slowly begins to return to some kind of normal !!!

Friday evening we had friends over for a meal as a thank you for the gorgeous stable door Chris has made me (photo's soon), then Saturday I went to Bramford crop and had a lovely relaxing day and finally today have pottered around and managed to fit in a visit to see Ben. Think he may have missed me a bit as he said "Oh nanny it's lovely to see you again" LOL it really hadn't been THAT long.

Anyway just have to share these two gorgeous photo's of the little man that Vikki had done recently at Mothercare.

How cute is he

and the next. what a poser

and I even have crafting things to show but they can wait as I'm cooking a proper Sunday roast well a veggie version LOL.

Sandy and Jim continue to make amazing progress and are both happy chilled out dogs, even the fireworks last night didn't seem to upset any of them for a change.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Jim has staples out

Yesterday Jim went back to see Mr Vet and finally got the staples removed. Mr Vet was quite amazed at the difference in him since Friday! as soon as Eric started taking him out on little walks and car rides he immediately perked up, started to eat properly and is now sleeping all night phew!

So Jim is now also officially discharged woohoo !!!!!!!!

Paws crossed they can now both continue to get stronger and enjoy a few happy pain free months.

Eric and I are also starting to feel better, sleep deprivation on top of all the worry and stress of the last month has taken it's toll on us both LOL, but life is slowing starting to return to normal or what passes as normal in a house with 6 dogs 3 of which are tripods.

As a woman of a certain age, I recently received a letter informing me I was due my first mammogram, so that's where I'm headed this morning DEEP JOY!!!!!