You disturb my natural emotions

Some of Manchester’s finest for you this Monday morning.  Buzzcocks with Ever Fallen In Love.

In fact, not even Manchester’s finest, but Leigh’s finest. Leigh might be within striking distance of Manchester, but it is a world away. None of the cosmopolitan charm of Manchester, it’s still a pit village and a mill village that is accidentally connected to bigger places. I knew kids in Westleigh that hadn’t been to Leigh, let alone Wigan, Bolton or – dare I say it – Manchester. I remember explaining to some Leigh kids that I lived in Bolton, some seven miles away. I might as well have said I came from the moon.

Got to love Pete Shelley, anyway, who can still belt it out when needed.

He’s not the only old dude I’m loving this Monday morning. I’d like to introduce you all to someone.

This is Tobby!


Tobby is a thirteen-year-old Malinois Belgian Shepherd and he found himself in the refuge 14 months ago. He has very severe arthritis – a real Wobbly Bob – and while I have a space and he needs a home, I couldn’t not. Though he gets care in the refuge, and food, he was getting so bad that you had to wonder how long he would have left. He arrived on Friday, was impeccably behaved with Heston and has taken to following Amigo everywhere. Amigo’s having none of it. Tobby’s already on a double dose of metacam, an arthritis medicine for dogs, but I think the rest is doing Tobby the world of good. He’s much less wobbly in the mornings now, even though that’s the longest time from his medication, but he’s progressively wobblier as the day goes on. He really is a magnificent dog and he hasn’t done any of the things I let Ralf get away with. No holes. No grabbing food from the side. No lying in the middle of the floor like a giant obstacle. He doesn’t like being on his own, which he’ll have to get used to, because I can’t take him for walks, and definitely not the kind of walks that Heston needs. I hoped he was okay on his own, but I suspect he’s been doing a lot of barking and is a bit distressed. I don’t even think he would be bothered if he were with the other dogs as company.


It’s not a case of a space for anyone, this home that Ralf has left. No. There are plenty of other dogs who would just fit right in. I don’t need four. This is a space for a dog who doesn’t have much time left and needs to profit from it whilst he can. Watch him go on to make a miracle recovery now! I wouldn’t care if he did. He’s very welcome. I just can’t believe such a magnificent dog, like so many of the others, has found himself at the refuge. If I lost one of my dogs, I’d not rest until I found them or until I’d exhausted all the possibilities of finding them. Despite everything, his coat is still in good condition, though he is very thin – he’s always been so thin you can see his ribs. I just wish I knew a little of his history – he’s such a gorgeous fellow that you can’t but wonder who loved him all his life.


I’m sure Ralf would be very happy to know he paved the way for another oldie.

Tobby is very much enjoying the garden as well – the sun has returned and there is work to be done. You have no idea just how big my garden rubbish pile is now. I’ve done nothing but pull up brambles and thistles, cut down suckers and pick nettles. Nettles are fine – they will make a hellishly stinky nettle tea for other things later in the year. Brambles are a pain. Other stuff is much easier. This week will see temperatures of 27°C and aren’t I glad about that? Soon I’ll be moaning that it’s too hot. Truth be told, I am loving being back in the garden again. Nothing is nicer. I actually managed to spend a sit-down half-hour yesterday outside with a book and my lunch. Walking the dogs afterwards in 22°C, endless blue skies through the yellow fields and it’s days like that when you wish time could stand still forever.

Anyway, have a lovely Monday. Busy day ahead for me. The week is my last really busy one until the holidays start in two weeks’ time. Next week is a little more relaxed and peaceful and then it’s the holidays! Not that I ever have much of a holiday as I have probably 75% of my clients still, but even so, it’s a bit of a break.

Hope your blue skies are as blue as mine.

4 thoughts on “You disturb my natural emotions

    1. He’s settling in – doesn’t like to be on his own, and his arthritis is definitely not improving, but he’s in a home and that’s all that counts. He is very welcome!

  1. i still hadn’t figured out what to say about ralf and now you have tobby. we get senior dogs. as one lady told me “old dogs need to be loved too.” as you know the shelters love it. we get the bills and they can take care of more dogs. everybody wins but mostly the dogs. as it should be.

    we are 70ish. senior dogs fit in. we have arrangements for care if something happened to us. morbid

    my guess is that tobby will adapt quickly. with some of our dogs a radio helped. our dogs seemed to grasp very quickly that we were returning. side effect of metacam is “unexpected weight loss”. from also more weight may make the arthritis pain worse. just a thought.

    ice cream raz

    1. I’ve been keeping a careful eye on his weight – mostly because his hips and ribs were so pronounced and the lack of muscle tissue – I thought there might be other health issues alongside his arthritis. Looking back over the photos he’s had at the refuge, he’s always been ‘ribby’. It’d be a lot easier if his active mind would realise that his body’s needs him to be gentle, but he’s so inquisitive and so active. I love the seniors the most – they are such wonderful dogs. I simply can’t believe nobody ever bothered looking for this old guy, but then I simply can’t believe anyone would have had Ralf put to sleep just because he was not doing his job any more.

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