I Miss My Mate

DSCF7461.JPG

Today, it’s been a year since my best mate, Kirk, passed away from cancer…it’s been a year and I still miss him so much…

Little Kirk in Simon's Office.JPG

We raised him from a puppy…because I was able to take him to work with me -rank really does have its privileges – I guess he bonded more closely with me…I don’t think he was really that interested in doctrine or lessons learned but he clearly loved coming on base with me.

Undignified Kirk.JPG

He was always very dignified…

Big Bad Kirk gets stuck 002.JPG

…but not always the sharpest “Hey, look! I got up on the trailer…but now I can’t get down…” And in a situation like this he would cry and cry, not bark, just cry…

Raurimu snow 083.JPG

Puppy poses aside, Kirky really was very dignified…he would play with other dogs but I really think he thought of himself more as a person and, apart from Lulu his sister, he would associate with other dogs more out of politeness than anything else…

Lulu and Kirk 005.JPG

Kirk and Lulu snuggle time…

Kirk likes Thunderbirds.JPG

Nowhere was Kirk’s association with people clearer than in his favourite past time: watching TV. This started with a growing interest in It’s Me or the Dog and we soon realised that he would only take notice if the sound of dogs was live/genuine and not canned…it grew from there and his favourites were David Attenborough and B grade science fiction, especially the BBC rubber costume genre…

DSCF7128.JPG

I used to leave the TV on for him when I went out. This had to stop after the polar bear incident: a few years back one of the banks had an ad that featured a polar bear leaping ‘out’ of the screen. Kirk left three deep scratches on the screen where he ‘defended’ himself against the attacking bear…

Dogs  27-06-2012 8-31-53 a.m..JPG

Watching TV with Kirk was often like gettinga  seat at the movies behind the guy with the Afro hair style…

Around home 004.JPG

He may have looked big and scary to some but he was really just a gentle giant…so careful around small children…and all he really wanted was to be with me…if I went away he would sit by the front door and pine til I came home. The sole exception to this was when he went to the Creature Comforts kennel in Sanson – just at the end of the runway at RNZAF Ohakea, handy for me – I think Kirk was a little bit in luff with Irene one of the ladies who ran the kennel: normally he would get quite agitated at free-ranging stock (it probably offended his German sense of order) but at Creature Comforts which had free-range everything…chickens, pigs, sheep, alpacas, etc…he only had eyes for Irene and never batted an eyelid at the errant wandering stock…

DSCF7583.JPG

A rare Happy Meal treat…

Raurimu snow 055.JPG

Running free…wherever he is…

Mirror | The Daily Post

This week’s challenge is all about reflections. Show us a mirror. You can take this photo challenge literally, and find reflections in mirrors, or in the stillness of a natural body of water. Or, use this challenge to take a photo of yourself in the mirror. Self-documentation is important, especially for those of us who are usually behind the lens.

Source: Mirror | The Daily Post

Purakanui 037

Purakanui Inlet, on the coast (obviously), just north of Dunedin on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island.

dogs 028

Lulu loves the wind in her face…we finally got her to accept that it was a better idea to keep her feet inside the car. She’s an old dog now, but still loves going for a drive..she’s not quite up to getting up on the deck on her own now so we have a little loading ramp in the garden for her to board and debus…

DSCF3568

The prototype Fisher XP-75 in the old experimental hangar at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio…a memento of a brief era when a highly-polished surface equalled a few more miles per hour in maximum speed…

DSCF6407

I have no idea what this building is but it is opposite the Thon Hotel in Brussels. I always preferred to stay in town when working in Brussels: yes, it was a 30 minute bus ride to work each morning but the evenings, we explored all the eateries, bars and alleyways around the Borse…

Playful | The Daily Post

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

Source: Playful | The Daily Post

DSCF9411-001

This is Louie…our latest addition after Kirky passed away…

Louie is a clown.

Louie loves to play…and, having been brought up in a gated community, loves being here with ten hectares to play in…more so after we have had some long chats about boundaries…

Balls are his favourite toys…the average life of any Swiss Ball that he catches is about three seconds and tennis balls aren’t much fun unless there is someone to throw them for him…soccer is his game and he will happy kick around a soccer ball on the concrete – he just has to remember not to park them under the car because they go BANG! when Dad drives away…

Louie has tons of energy, being only four years old, and needs a good run outside every day to burn it off. That makes it a bit interesting when it has been so wet over the last month but these things have to be done – a lesson hard learned after he tried a couple of laps inside the house…as the twins used to say “uh-oh”…

Definitely a bit of uh-oh…I had to shift my bed as it used to lie perpendicular to the doorway: Louie would bound into the room, up of the bed and then skate across the room on it…a big clown on the biggest skateboard..!

It’s good to play…

Time | The Daily Post

This week, think about time and portray it photographically. Perhaps you have a fascination with clocks. Or maybe contemplating time takes you somewhere else completely.

Source: Time | The Daily Post

My first thought on reading the title was “…time is fleeting…madness takes control…” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s all-time classic track, Time Warp…yes, I know the second phrase is “…madness takes its toll…” but I like my version better…

My second was the temporal irony of the Star Wars saga…the second time I saw Star Wars (the first I was just too blown away for any coherent thought) I just wanted it to go on and on and never end…the first (and ever subsequent) time I saw The Phantom Menace, I just wanted the pain to stop, for it to be over now, now, now…

I can talk about time, I can write about time, but photo time…? Hmmm…

Lily Lullaby 003

Bed time

Brussels 002

Time for a cold one…

CJ Grey mugshots 054

Play time…

DSCF9506

Breakfast time

DSCF9114

The passage of time…

 

Treat | The Daily Post

Source: Treat | The Daily Post

This week’s photo challenge theme is “Treat,” an intentionally open-ended prompt. This week, share with us a photo of something that you consider a marvellous treat.

DSCF8826-001

Doing dinner with my youngest daughter and her partner….

DSCF7218-001

Any and all time with the twin terrors….

DSCF8763-001

Kiwi sign outside the office…

DSCF7584

About once a year…someone else gets a treat too…

nerdblock

Geeking out with my oldest daughter each once month when her Nerd Block fix arrives…

 

 

Helpless

Helpless Helplessness: that dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins. When did you last feel like that –- and what did you do about it?

Animal friends

Helpless is when your best mate suddenly comes down sick and you can’t do a damn thing about it.

This is Kirk, my best mate, from when we first met until recently when he became a fan of the new Thunderbirds.Kirk likes Thunderbirds

Kirk and his sister had their annual vet check at the beginning of the month and the only slightly unusual thing was their weights were within a kilogram of each other – normally Lulu is mid-40s and Kirk is around mid-50s – this time they were a tad either side of 50kg.

I didn’t think too much of it at the time but a couple of days later, Kirky went right off his food and would only touch offerings with very string scents. Even when we had fish’n’chips – where normally polite Kirk would barge his way in – he showed little interest in either fish or chips…initially, I thought it might have been a reaction to his vaccinations: he’s always been a bit of a sookie…and after a week or so he seemed to perk up.

Then he slipped right back, showing no interest in food and, without any energy, would just sit, too tired to even come up the stairs or walk to the end of the short driveway…we went into the vet yesterday, Kirk and I. He was very brave and let the vet poke and prod him all over and take samples, although I don’t think he’s very impressed with the haircut they gave him so they could scan his tummy.

The prognosis isn’t too good for Kirk: it’s either the big C; another internal growth or rat poison…my best mate who’s been with me for eight and a half years…not much you can do really…just wait for the test results to come back…can’t even slip him a bit of steak because he won’t even look at it…helpless…

Update. Test results came back this afternoon and Option B is looking good at the moment: some form of internal growth that’s causing the internal bleeding that’s making him so weak and lethargic. The vet thinks he is too weak at the moment for any sort of operation to explore further so it’s a waiting game. They gave him some steroids  – which get ground up and mixed in with a teaspoon of Nutrigel – he’s so good well-mannered that he’ll let me, with only a little resistance, smear it inside his mouth so he can’t reject or eject it.

It’s too easy to take false hope from this but only an hour or so after the first dose of steroids, he wolfed down some wet dog food – still not keen or dry food – and is sitting in front for the tellie watching The Professionals with me. The steroids only conceal the symptoms though but the vet hopes this will let him build up enough strength for an operation to confirm what’s going on inside and determine if it’s operable.

So just a waiting game for now, not really anything extra we can do for my best mate…helpless…

Happiness is…

…a big bone…DSCF8758-001 DSCF8739 DSCF8738 DSCF8737 DSCF8736New World Taumarunui was selling these for a dollar each – great for ‘staff’ morale and they last a lot longer than the average chew.

A couple of nights after they got these, Kirk woke me up around 3AM, whining at the front door. Sometimes he will does this when he thinks there is something outside – usually a deer – or when he needs to ‘go’. It was a clear moonlit night so I followed him outside to see what had piqued his interest.

We went up to the top of the house driveway and then a wee ways down the long driveway that runs further down the hill. About 20 metres along the way, Kirk stopped, and shovelled some leaves out of the way with his head. Satisfied, he turned around and trotted back to the house…no stray trampers…no dodgy deer…just checking that his bone was still where he had hidden it.

 

Silhouette | The Daily Post

Silhouette | The Daily Post. This week, share a photo with a silhouette.

DSCF8711Having a large dog that likes to watch TV is often like getting the last seat at the movies – right behind the guy with the big hair…

This is Kirk…his habit started with dogs shows like It’s Me Or The Dog and A Dog’s Show and we could always tell with shows used real dog sounds and which relied on canned noises by the level of interest he would show. His taste has slowly broadened over the years to include animal shows, especially Country Calendar; reality shows – possibly because of the uncanned emotion they display; and the lower end of ‘B’ science fiction movies – basically the cornier the monster costume, the more he likes it….

When we let the dogs inside, Lulu will smooch around for cuddles and attention but Kirk will race around to the TV. If it’s not on, he will sit up straight (because that’s how good dogs get what they want) in front of the screen if it’s not not and cry until it’s is either turned on for him or he’s gets the messages and slouches onto his mat to sulk. If the TV is already on, he will watch for a few seconds and pass judgement on the content by either going to sleep – with the standard of modern TV, he sleeps a lot – or arranging himself so it can watch from his mat…

There are three scratches on the screen. That’s from when he preemptively protected me from an on-screen polar bear. So he’s not allowed to watch TV on his own anymore…