After my ramblings on the idea of setting up some kind of holiday exchange programme together with my eye buddies in my post RD holidays, I was amazed and delighted at how swiftly my first guests contacted me to book themselves in for a seaside break. My mum had decided to head to Cornwall with my aunt and her family for a week, leaving my sister to dog-sit. Naturally, my sister and the dogs didn’t see why they had to miss out on all the fun, so they motored down to their very own little holiday cottage on the Kent coast… otherwise known as my gaff.
Now, I know what you’re thinking… “But that doesn’t count – they’re not eye buddies!”. Ah, but that’s where you’re wrong! Okay, maybe not entirely wrong, as fortunately my sister’s peepers are practically perfect. However, much to our distress, poor Gillespie (aka Gill) had to have one of his eyes removed back in August 2016, due to keratitis. (Have a read of Canine eye removal for the full story.) Unbelievably and horrifyingly, Gill’s brother, Dizzy (aka Diz) developed the same condition earlier this year, leading to an extremely anxious few weeks, as it seemed increasingly likely that he too would have to undergo surgery to have his eye removed. Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea; an extremely painful condition which can progress rapidly and lead to sight loss if not treated urgently. Keratitis can also affect humans. Amazingly, the eye drops slowly worked for Diz and he didn’t require surgery, much to our huge relief. However, he’s still on several eye drops and there will always be the possibility of the condition flaring up again. So, you see, although they haven’t experienced RD, they are most definitely my eye buddies too!
As such, they were delighted at the opportunity of a relaxing, eye friendly holiday. After enthusiastically exploring the garden and fertilising the courgettes (the dogs, that is, not my sister), we set off for a walk along the sea front, where we had to discourage Gill from fertilising a couple’s stripey windbreaker along the way. As the dogs are rather elderly now, they have the additional problem of arthritic joints as well as dodgy eyes, so they can’t cope with much more than a few minutes walk in one go. It’s actually more accurately described as ‘a sniff’ rather than ‘a walk’, to be honest. So after half an hour or so they were quite happy to head home and sprawl out on the sofa for a well-earned rest, until they magically awoke on the very dot of 6pm and proceeded to clamour for their dinner. It has to be said, they were rather demanding house guests where food was concerned. And that was pretty much the pattern of the whole long weekend: sniff, wander, eat, sleep, repeat.
It certainly made a nice change to have a spot of canine company for the weekend… as well as sisterly company, of course. The only downside was that on the Tuesday evening when I returned home from work to a silent house, I opened my front door to the particularly pungent smell of DOG. It was probably stronger due to the fact that we’d all been drenched in salty sea spray the previous day during our seaside sniff. The whiff of wet dog is one that is hard to ignore. However, it was a small price to pay for a fun weekend, and nothing which couldn’t be cured by a few squirts of Fabreeze and windows thrown wide open. So, if any of my other eye buddies fancy booking themselves in for an RD holiday, just let me know…
Note: Fertilising the courgettes and sniffing around the garden is not obligatory.
Note 2: Please pack deodorant.