Sunday, 1 April 2012

The Great Outdoors - Again

Well, we had a long tramp around the nature reserve yesterday, and it was great, as I had anticipated.  The only drawback was that the dog had to be kept on her lead, and she is not good on her lead - she pulls us all over the place.  I keep meaning to get her an extendable one, so that she can roam a little as we walk, which is all she really wants to do.  And after yesterday's experience I promised myself not to take her with us on Saturdays until I have bought the new lead. 

We went out again today, but this time without the dog - to Legoland.  I love it there - I am not bothered about the rides, I just like to see the kids enjoying themselves, and to walk around in the open air.  I keep myself busy people watching, or reading from my Kindle while everyone else is on the rides or queuing for them.  Very civilised.

We arrived early and left early today, to beat the rush and because we did not want to leave the dog at home on her own for too long.  We still had plenty of time there - I think these things are best done in short bursts, before everyone gets too tired and grumpy.  And one picnic meal out is plenty for a day.

What has this got to do with mental health?  Not a great deal.  But I do feel that I am continuing to change for the better - I am much calmer when we are all out, hardly ever anxious about anything, and as a result I enjoy myself much more.  I am constantly marvelling at these changes - it may still take some time before I truly believe that they are permanent.   

The poor dog has been suffering a bit.  She had a phantom pregnancy which laid her low for a couple of weeks, although she is better now.  It was sad to see her whimpering and fussing around the house.  Her symptoms were quite severe - she seemed to have put on a fair amount of weight and had even started lactating.  She really looked pregnant, although when I weighed her she had not actually got any heavier.

We will give her another chance at puppies in the autumn, and if she doesn't fall that time then we will get her spayed.  It just doesn't seem fair to let her keep on having phantom pregnancies - this was her second time and it was much worse than the first.

I suppose, thinking about it, a phantom pregnancy is a bit of a mental health issue for dogs.  I mean, I know it is hormonal, but if a human exhibited those symptoms they would probably be put on medication to sort their heads out, would they not?  They might even be left on medication for ages, even though the problem resolves itself in a couple of weeks.  I am not sure what point I am making here, except to say that it is lucky dogs don't have psychiatrists.  Well, they probably do, but not on the NHS.

Anyway, following that random, irrelevant and frankly quite stupid train of thought, I will sign off now, and get back to the important business of catching up on the Sunday newspaper.  We left so early for Legoland that it hadn't been delivered yet, but I was pleased to see it waiting on the mat when we returned.  Up and at it!   

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