Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Mr Moss

Picture of Mr Moss looking really happy

It’s hard to believe that it’s two years since Moss my black faithful old Labrador retired after many years of hard work. Friends and colleagues are regularly asking me how he’s getting on, so on this milestone of his retirement this is probably as good a time as any to bring you up to date with his progress.
For those who don’t know, The reason why he had to stop working a little earlier was because the arthritis in his hips was making it tough for him to work on any longer. So after some advice from the vet it was decided Mr Moss should hang up his harness for the final time in June 2010. This resulted in me having no dog to guide me about for a few months while the Guide Dogs searched for a suitable replacement.  I thought it would be best for Moss to stop rather than me working him while he was in pain. 

Moss loved working, but in the last few months of his working life, he had certainly lost his enthusiasm for slipping on his harness and hitting the road. He had slowed down so much, it would have been faster some days for me to pick him up and carry him. Plus at his peak he would run to get his harness on. By the end he would go back to bed and reluctantly come back down stairs to go to work. So the signs were clear, Moss had to stop.
Oddly, or perhaps not that oddly when he stopped working his enthusiasm for life returned. Keen to go for a walk, run around the park with other dogs, Moss certainly got his mojo back for a while. In fact, he was so full of life I was beginning to wonder if he had anything wrong with him at all. Perhaps I had retired him too soon. It could be he stopped liking me, because he perked up when he was at home with Christine while I was at work.  [Clearly, that can’t be the case] maybe it wasn’t physical, may be it was mental and Moss was suffering from depression. Then when he stopped working his depression disappeared. 
Unhappily, Moss is now really struggling to get up and down stairs. We’ve now had to significantly increase the strength of his pain killers. Their is no doubt in the last six months he has declined quite considerably.
The muscles in his back legs have wasted away at an alarming rate. The vet said once the current pain killers stop working their isn’t much left for Moss to take apart from very strong medication that would dampen his personality and would mark the beginning of the end of his life.  
Picture of Moss in the sitting in the sunshine

Picture of Moss letting the wind blow between his ears
However, he still appears to be up for a laugh and on a flat walk he still likes a good run and his zest for life hasn’t disappeared even if his muscles have. What makes it particularly hard about Moss and it’s something the vet has also said, Moss never complains, winces, yelps..he is one immensely stoical dog and it is really hard to tell when he is in real pain. We do get an idea from his body language, licking his lips and how he takes himself off to a quiet corner quite often now.
Moss is and has been, such an important part of our lives. His nature is second to none. We always call him Mr Moss because of his refined and dignified personality around the office   Fingers crossed we’ve still got some time with him yet.    

Friday, 18 May 2012

Adorable puppies

Add caption
Hello everyone, I'm helping my friend whose dog has had some adorable puppies...if you live in the UK and are interested in giving a puppy a good home please contact her directly.


CONTACT Jackie Houston

 07764 335312

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Who’s the most regal?

Renton befriending the Royal couple at BBC Scotland..Pic: by S. Mclundie

I don’t think they believed me at work this week when I managed to get my face on TV as part of a royal visit.
I had hurt my back playing blind golf..and trapped a nerve. Because of this, it was my plan to work from home. Typically, the very day I was wanting to rest my back, my BBC Laptop decided to stop talking to me. (I use a speech software called JAWS, which reads out everything on the screen to me]  So this meant having to drag my sorry painful self  into the office to get it repaired. In the back of my mind I remembered that there was a royal visit on, but I never thought it would affect me, I would be in and away quickly. I wasn’t in long, when a couple of colleagues told me.., “They’ll be coming past your desk and Renton”. I said, “I think I’ll head up stairs for an early lunch and get well out the way.”  Then I felt the hand of one of the producers pressing down on my shoulder as I began to stand. “Just you stay exactly where you are.” When Ali M tells you to stay, you don’t argue. She added, “I’ll give you a warning when they are heading your way. They are bound to stop when they see Renton.” 
Before I new it they were at my desk shaking hands and being all..well..you know... "royal".
We had a general conversation which moved quickly on to the topic of the other regal figure in our midst, that of Renton. They were very keen to hear all about him. All the usual questions. where was he trained? who trained him? how old he is? Then finally, “Oh he is a big boy” said Camilla. I assumed she was still talking about Renton, well, lets hope so…  
Then before I new it they had moved on to my colleagues on Newsnight Scotland.

Prince Charles and Camilla approach Ian and Renton

Renton getting a pat from Camilla, he was a really good boy.lovely crochted blanket curtesy of Aunty maureen
So you can imagine the amount of ribbing I’ve had since a short clip of me meeting them was shown on our local dinner time news programme.   My Aunty said...were you wearing a tie?...oops...nope..well I never thought that I would be meeting them....she's disappointed in me.....aw!  

All Paparazzi pictures by Susan McLundie      

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The Hamilton Filming Team Have Gone Down.

Would you believe it we've all gone down with something. I've got a trapped nerve in my back. [This proves reporters do have feelings]. Renton is limping around the garden with a painful paw. Moss can't get up the stairs because of his bad hips and our camera person is recovering from flue.

So when it comes to getting any sympathy I'm way down the line behind 2 dogs.

I'm going to try to get to work tomorrow. For no other reason than my laptop has gone on the blink again. Thank god for my iPhone or I would be stuffed. I've got more on iphones and technology coming soon in my next blog.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Island of Islay

My last film on Newsnight Scotland last night before the local elections.   This time I go to Island of Islay (off the west cost of Scotland) and findout some of the issues the islanders here are facing.   This link can be used for 5 days from the BBC iPlayer