30 Jul 2012

More crazy adventures with the red dogs…

Since summer has struck with a vengeance in our part of the world, the red dogs and I have to go walking at the crack of dawn; otherwise all three of us would die of heat stroke, or spontaneously com-bust, whichever comes first.

This however means that the red dogs now expect to be taken out every morning early, and I cannot even move in bed without them trying to jump on top of me. Not a pretty sight for my white bedding, or my heart or health. So usually our walks start with jumping up and down (the dogs) and me swearing a blue streak and grumbling at them. For the record, future visitors may want to stay in their room during this time. I think I am at that time very close kin to Cruella de Ville.

We have, luckily, found some paths where we can take the dogs of leash and they can run like crazy chickens everywhere. However, this has led to some seriously unexpected behaviour by the red dogs.

Alex has suddenly developed the habit that as soon as she is off leash, she refuses to walk in close proximity to me, Cleo or the road we are on – she walks / runs / causes shit about fifteen meters into the field, parallel with me. This continues for the whole walk. Furthermore, she now has started chasing birds and rabbits. Now normally its fine, since she has next to zero chance of catching either (she is still a bit slow and too big to hide behind the corn and bushes), however a couple of weeks ago she did in fact catch a very small rabbit. I am not sure how the heck this happened, I suspect the poor rabbit got stuck in a bush, could not get out and got such a fright its heart gave in when it saw Alex reaching in to smell. The one second she was running, disappeared and the next she appeared with a rabbit in her mouth. Of course I don’t want to react, but hello, one cannot walk with a dog which has a rabbit in its mouth. I don’t also don’t want to acknowledge the presence of the rabbit; it could be considered as praise and I don’t want my dog to be a hunter! This then caused me to having to pry her jaws open to let go, and let me tell you, she is damn strong. I am sure I was not a pretty sight, talking softly to Alex whilst basically pushing her to the ground, trapping her, getting the rabbit out and still keeping an eye on where Cleo was. (Yes, I do sometimes envy people with smaller dogs who can fit in handbags. I am sure you have beautiful long painted nails, and I am sure your dogs don’t try to catch rabbits nor do you ever have to be stuck on the ground with your knees on your dog trying to get a dead animal out of its jaws) As such, we now avoid that area where the rabbits cannot get away, if all else fails I am a believer in a fair fight, at least. Furthermore, I now tend to, if I see her head go down to smell, shout at her to stop whatever she is doing, since who knows what the heck she is up to. Second note for future visitors: I could be seen to be a fishwife on these walks. I suggest, still, that you stay in the safety of your own room. Also, I still feel so guilty about the poor rabbit. I am now 1000 % sure I can never ever hunt.

Cleo on the other hand has turned into a watcher. Unless the rabbit runs and stops right in front of her, she will not run after it. I think she is quite clever, since obviously the rabbits are faster. She does however plonk herself down on every hill to keep an eye on the fields…you never know if someone wants to bring her food or pet her which you are of course born to do. She further has a nasty habit of walking on my little path, right on front of me, and stopping wherever she pleases to glare at things. This normally would not bother me, but some of the little paths are next to a cliff or huge bushes full of thorns. So Cleo does get a “soft” butt kick every now and again.

So, since living in Spain, the red dogs’ horizons have broadened somewhat, but for the record I would sometimes like to lie in just for a bit. Please!

14 Jul 2012

Dentist Smentist ... easy peasy? Maybe...

So after pondering what feels like a life time (which in reality was only really about one year, which, I am sure most people will agree is nothing), I decided I have no choice but to visit the dentist. 

Mostly this was due to the fact that I was developing facial spasm due to only drinking and chewing on the left hand side of my face, since I had pinching pains on the right hand side.

Now, firstly, I have an ungodly fear of dentists. I think wearing braces for a million years have something to do with it. Secondly, how the hell do I speak to a dentist in Spanish? The amount of vocabulary required is just beyond my brain. Yes, normally easy tasks such as making an appointment with a dentist, and having treatment, would not set your heart pacing. Try doing it in a language you are not comfortable with.

After some searching and a rather interesting experience with a dentist who did some whitening of my teeth (I recall photos being taken whilst I was lying on the chair, with cotton wool stuffed in my mouth and ultra violet lights shining on my teeth which he only later asked if that was ok - hello creep), I eventually e-mailed a dentist close to our house. Now most people will think this is insane. Normally I will agree, why don’t I just phone? I’ll tell you why. I turn into a stumbling idiot who cannot even say hello never mind ask for an appointment. As such, I prepare this e-mail, check my iffy translation and send it off into the sunset, not knowing what to expect. To my utmost surprise, I received a reply. This is one thing I can say about this country, I always receive e-mail replies. It never seizes to amaze me. After some backwards and forwarding, I eventually get an appointment.

And so my panic levels start increasing. I attempt to study vocabulary, learn phrases, memorise how to say “you’re hurting me”.

However, to my utmost surprise, the day before my appointment, I got an e-mail from the dental clinic – one of the owners speaks English and he will treat me. What a relief! We had some confusion when he told me he did not need to inject me because the hole was too deep. I had a heart attack then, of course.

This experience has given me enough courage to venture into the arena of going on my own for a haircut, without a willing friend in tow to translate for me. And to my utmost surprise, the salon had one senior Bulgarian hairdresser who actually spoke English.

To say that I feel empowered is an understatement!

But other than that, I learned a very important lesson. The people of this country will always try to assist and help you. All you need to do is try. If that fails, ensure you have Google translate.