The end of one adventure, and the beginning of another…

It is official, Graham and I have become Nomads! 

Not digital ones...not yet anyway.  But we have moved out of our rental property (saying goodbye to the best window seat in Matua) and started our journey as house sitters.  This has involved condensing literally two house lots of furniture and possessions accumulated over 20 years into two bedrooms! We have given away, sold and donated to charity most of our household furniture, saving treasured items and memories.  We are not quite ready to reduce our belonging to a single back pack each just yet :-)

Bed sit space economy!
How can we fit all this stuff in to one room?

We are lucky enough to have Graham's parents place to call "home" in between house sits. Thank you to Doug and Gretel for being so accommodating!  Without your support this crazy adventure would be much more difficult.

We watched many Kaimai sunsets from this sunny window.
Goodbye to the best window seat in Matua!

The last month has been a frantic combination of packing, repacking, trailer loads and choosing what items we must keep and what must go.  Along with spring cleaning a rental property from top to bottom. The new tenants will have a sparkling clean house to move into, and we hope they enjoy the view as much as we did.

It is a remarkeably theraputic process de-cluttering ones life of all the things one gathers together. Really, how important are these things  compared to family, friends and all the rich experiences life can hold.

Loading up the car
Moving all our (remaining) worldly posessions!

Continue reading “The end of one adventure, and the beginning of another…”

Rejected by my Siamese cat!

Siamese Cat

Our household is managed by a Siamese.  Not just any Siamese… is managed by Queen Esther the Lilac Point Siamese thank you!

So Esther supposedly is my cat.  Chosen by me, paid for me, road trip to collect her done by me, all expenses paid for by me, loved by me. So you think she would love me in return.  Unconditionally.


I AM REJECTED!  If there is Anyone else in the house, they have preferential rights for a warm snuggle of fur on a lap or a loud greeting when returning home at the end of the day.

Why? Why is this?  I bemoaned this sorry state of affairs to Graham ( the source of Cat Cookies and all things good for Esther).  And a very understandable reason was forthcoming;

You see, I work as a vet.  I go to work and spend my day cuddling cats, patting dogs, hugging bunnies and talking to the occasional bird.  Sometimes my patients are upset because they are hurt, sick or scared…and they communicate this by leaving pheromones (scents) behind on my clothes undetectable to the human nose.  Yet when I return home from work, I undergo an inspection from Queen Esther fit for any airport security screening.  She gives me the once over, sniffing me for updates on the daily news, and then walks off with that look on her face.

Graham explained things in a much more practical way.  Imagine if he went to work each day, and came home with some other girls perfume smell in his clothes and another chick’s lipstick on his collar.  What would I think of that??!!

Of course, I would be offended. Miffed. Put out.  Understandably!

So now I will resign myself to being loved in a slightly more distant way.  I am still a source of food and company that she will look to if needs must. And I do enjoy her typically Siamese quirks and idiosyncrasies, her antics when it is food o’clock, and her little habits and routines.  And of course, she is beautiful!

I would love to hear from you about your cat! What makes them beautiful, unique, and special to you?  Please do share with us!



How to fit a large dog into a very small car….Vanuatu Style!

Working as a Veterinarian (doktor blong dog) in multicultural Vanuatu is guaranteed to provide all sorts of entertainment, especially given my French is rusty, my Chinese non-existent, and the local Ni Van staff were laughingly teaching me Bislama.  One afternoon a petite Frenchwoman arrived with a very large Rottweiler. Him one bigfella Rottweiler!

It is not uncommon to have a canine patient weight more than me – the heaviest dog I have seen was a 105 kg Saint Bernard!  The problem here was that all 70 kg of Tyson was grumpy.  Very grumpy! Continue reading “How to fit a large dog into a very small car….Vanuatu Style!”

Blame it on the wind….

Last night was a howler – gale force winds across Tauranga that spread large polystyrene house construction blocks all over a farm, and knocked a small block of rat bait off a high up shelf…..

And the bait was investigated by two little terriers!  Luckily their caregiver spotted the crumbled bait block and whisked Fred and George* straight into the vet clinic.  Now rat bait takes a couple of days to start causing problems, so at this early stage both dogs were completely normal, full of beans and very pleased with themselves.  It was impossible to tell which dog had eaten any bait.

So the best thing to do is to make them vomit.  How do you make a dog vomit?!  Vets have a handy little drug available called apomorphine – pop a tiny piece of a soft tablet under an eyelid, the drug gets absorbed and low and behold the dog feels nauseous and vomits up any stomach contents.  James Herriot would be proud!

So who ate the bait?

Wonder drug that makes dogs vomit!

Well Fred just brought up his breakfast and went and curled up in the corner feeling very seedy and unsure what had just happened.

As for George, he vomited up a large amount of blue green bait.  And another pile of bait.  And another.  And another!  He had greedily gobbled enough bait to knock over a dog five times his size.

Emptying his stomach of bait was a good start, but the bait can get absorbed internally very quickly, and there was no way of telling if he had brought everything up.  More treatment was needed.

Dog vomiting up rat bait after being given apomorphine by the vet.

 Firstly we force fed him a large syringe full of activated charcoal – nasty black chalky stuff that goes everywhere!  George was marvellous, tolerating the charcoal even though it tasted awful, and the charcoal should bind up any remaining poison in his stomach.  Secondly we started vitamin K treatment; this is the antidote for the rat bait and we need to start treatment before the poison stops his blood clotting.  Lastly, we will do a blood test to check his blood clotting after two weeks worth of daily vitamin K, to check if any further medication is needed.

Rat bait can easily kill dogs through internal bleeding.  Blood transfusions and intensive care treatment saves some of them.  The good news for George is that the antidote is being given early, so we hope to avoid any bleeding problems altogether.  Fred and George can now get back to being curious little terriers!

Share this post with your dog lover friends – you may save a life!

*Names have been changed for privacy reasons.