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Belle of the Slobbery Tennis Ball

I ran into my friend Steve at the cafe today. He’s adopted a canine companion since I last saw him – a young cattle dog cross that he’s (rather sweetly) named Belle. I thought she seemed pretty well trained, but Steve assured me that she hadn’t been when he collected her from the rescue centre six months ago.

Evidently, he’s been doing some intensive dog training geared towards managing her behaviour – it seems that Belle has quite a lot of energy, and some of it needs reigning in a bit. I hadn’t known Steve to be especially knowledgeable about dog behaviour, and he agreed that isn’t. He said he’d gotten some solid advice from a local vet in Moorabbin (puppy preschool, apparently, is something that some vets offer).

I suppose that this makes sense, as behavioural stuff has relevance to a pet’s wellbeing, at least to some extent. That seems especially true in the city, where there are so many hazards like cars, and poisonous mushrooms, and irate neighbours. Steve tells me there are other benefits, too – for example, keeping a dog entertained, which is nothing to be sniffed at (pun intended).

Belle, he says, seems to love learning and performing tricks, especially when they serve little functional purpose. Her latest is rolling over onto her back and lying still when Steve says ‘bang’ and raises his fingers like a pistol. The two of them demonstrated this move, which was impressive, but also led me to notice a fresh-looking scar on her belly.

Steve explained that she had undergone an operation recently, the official recommendation being in favour of desexing pets in Moorabbin. The animal shelter where Steve had found her is known for doing the deed before rehoming animals; however, it appears that the operation had been sort of botched the first time, as Belle had begun showing all the signs of being in heat after she arrived at Steve’s. She’d therefore had to check in at the animal hospital a second time.

Now I’m waffling. Long story short, I love Belle and want to give her all the cuddles. 

Posted in vet
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Dad’s Mate’s Mental Health

My dad just told me that he thinks his work friend might have OCD. My first reaction was one of exasperation, as in, “Dad, stop using that term to refer to Jimbo’s keen interest in fishing rod holsters.” But the more dad explained the situation, the more I started to wonder if he might be onto something.

Apparently, the friend in question has been increasingly engaging in repetitive behaviours that strike everyone else as bizarre, such as reversing his car back and forth over a particular mark in front of his driveway, even to the extent of holding up traffic. The guy has also been seeming uncharacteristically anxious – and not without reason, according to dad, seeing as he’s going through a divorce.

Dad brought it up because he wants advice on how to go about getting someone to see a psychologist without referral. Mornington has clinics, and I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to self-refer rather than going through a GP. I’m inclined to think, though, that his mate might cotton to the idea better if it was put forward by a medical doctor rather than by my dad. But who knows? I’m not a mental health professional, either.

It’s just that, if I know dad’s mates, none of them would take all that kindly to the suggestion that they’re anything other than absolutely normal. Then again, it’s more than likely that this guy is aware that something is up with him – if dad’s non-professional opinion is correct, that is.

Dad is currently on the internet searching for a psychiatric clinic on the Mornington Peninsula, apparently ‘just out of interest’. I’m guessing that he’s looking to pick up some terminology he can use in talking to his mate about his mental health without offending. I have to say, I do appreciate dad’s level of sensitivity around this.

The whole thing gives me uncommon pause for thought about the wellbeing of my various family members. It’s easy to assume that people have their stuff together when, in fact, they could well be struggling as much as the next person.

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Doors Are a Sacred Institution

You know, in SOME cultures, walking through a door is considered a great honour. Well, some doors anyway. There’s a certain ceremony in ancient Egypt where a young boy walks through a beautiful timber door, signifying that he is a man, and that he is blessed by the gods, and that the harvest will be bountiful.

I made all of that up, but the important thing is that it COULD be true, and so it is true…but it isn’t. But it COULD be.

Door renovations don’t grow on trees, and they don’t come super cheap, but I’m currently trying to convince my wife that they’re worth the money. Some beautiful timber door replacements, totally relevant and integral to our lives right now, just like how the garden needed to be landscaped because there was an ancient Mesopotamian ritual where a nobleman would have their garden landscaped, and this would signify that they have the favour of the king, and that they would not have to sacrifice their firstborn to the fire this year. Again, I cannot confirm nor deny the veracity of this claim, but there’s a chance that we’re actually following ancient rites here, which is a great reason to do anything.

I mean…timber doors just look great and I want them, and sometimes in life you just have to indulge, because it’s ‘self-care’. That’s an ancient 21st century concept that I happen to find very wise, and full of wisdom. ‘If you want timber doors, then you should strive for them’. I said that, and some scholars 1000 years from now will study those words and possibly use them in an argument with their wife about whether aluminium door replacements would be better than timber. And they shall win the argument, because the words from the past are always perfect and right and good, and so are timber doors. They’re terribly nice to look at.

-L