Monday, February 18, 2008


I haven't blogged for some time because a.) I have had some ghastly gastro bug that hung on for yonks and b.) my dog, Kahluah had to go. Let me explain. Kahluah is/was 12 years old and originally belonged to my daughter Nat. Then, as kids do, she left home and good ol Mum got custody, as I did when my husband nicked off. I always felt kind of sorry for that dog because she came into a house that already owned a highly intelligent, but slightly neurotic border collie - Tess. Tess took her role as top dog far too seriously and young Kahluah suffered rather badly from more than one savagings, cuffs about the earhole and general reminders that she was nobody and nothing on this earth. Now, I'm not sure if this is what made her odd or if her mother had, in fact, sat on her at birth, but she seemed somewhat, well to be kind not the sharpest knife in the drawer. She would wander off into the garden and stand there staring into middle distance for hours on end as if she had completely forgotten why she came out in the first place. Eventually, Tess got so old and crabby and arthritic from all her youthful fence leaping (as a sheep dog is wont), that the savaging became worse and worse and I put my foot down and said I could not bear it any more. Much as I had always loved Tess, it was poor little Kahluah that snuk into my room every night and snuggled up against my legs and God help her if Tess ever discovered it! I tell you, if looks could kill, Tess could produce some truly psychopathic ones. So, shortly before the separation, my husband and I had to have Tess euthanased and that was a horrible, horrible day.
So Kahluah has been my main companion really for a long, long time. Unfortunately, as she is a red cloud Kelpie (a cattle dog) she can dig holes from here to China, escape from any kind of barricade I could create and run like the wind. At one time, Nat had a cop as a boyfriend and K escaped, running all over the road like a lunatic and he could not catch her even though he was the fastest athlete in his group. For me, on my own with all my various broken bones and things, I had no hope of catching her or being strong enough (nor had the desire) to concrete the entire garden, which would have been the only hope of containing her. There were several consecutive episodes of my helplessly watching her (still, even at 12) charge like a rabbit up and down the middle of our extremely busy road, while the 70+ year old neighbours and some complete strangers walking/driving past tried to catch her. The only hope of doing so is when her intelligence deficiency trips her up and she accidentally runs away down the driveway and can be trapped. Every day for 2 years I have filled in cavities the size of the Grand Canyon and have tried every method I can think of without success in stopping her, including filling the holes with her own excrement. I have reconstructed and reinforced my side fences with everything from bricks and concrete slabs to barbed wire, but still she finds a way - sometimes she would just dig underneath and make herself a wee tunnel. For such a dumb, sorry, not so sharp dog, she sure was determined, if not wilful. Finally it came to a point where I physically could not go on and I was beginning to feel angry with her, even tho she's only a dog. I was constantly feeling quite nauseous at the thought of her being splattered across Cockman Road one day quite soon. So, after months of debate, I consulted with Nat, who offered to take her - but really, I told her it's a big challenge with two babies and your own idiot dog (yet another border collie) and who knows how the top dog thing would go (maybe the memory was sharper than the other brain functions and revenge can be sweet). She agreed fairly easily, so I took K to the RSPCA. Their assessment was that she was basically antisocial (oh, yeah, forgot to mention that she had recently taken to attacking other dogs nowhere near her own property and sometimes threatened poor old people walking on the pavement.) I grovelled, begged and pleaded to at least try to place her - maybe someone on a large property would be willing to take her. Finally, they agreed, but warned that I was aware what the alternative would be if they could not place her quickly and did I want to know how many days they could keep her before option b? No, I said, I don't even want you to tell me what option b is (although it's blatantly frigging obvious) and I certainly do not wish to have any idea when that will occur.
Now, as if this story isn't sad enough and I do accept, as my Dad once said to me "The trouble with pets, dear is that they will go before you." God knows, I certainly have had to say goodbye to my fair share over the years, including the cat that nobody could find for a week until I noticed four very stiff paws sticking up through the ivy near the mailbox and then had to bury myself, dressed like some kind of CSI lab assistant with Vicks under my nose to try to block the stench - because my great lummox of a son was hungover. When I informed my youngest daughter who has not lived with me for 3 years and asked her to let her brother know also, I got the cold and stoney silence of the mortally offended. Then again, that girl never really grew out of the egocentric stage of childhood. Nat later informed me that my husband's comment was "Typical of your mother to make decisions like that on a whim." Taz, my baby, rang me the next day to apologize for her selfishness and lack of consideration for my sadness and my loneliness - mind you, only after her sister had blasted living hell out of her about it. Nothing from son, STeve, but then again, I haven't heard from him in over a month (new chick on scene).
I just cannot get over the comment of my husband. I mean, how dare he even think he has a right to say anything at all. He hasn't borne the burden of looking after his own children, let alone any pets in the house. I have been trying so hard not to speak negatively about him and certainly never do to the children, but obviously he doesn't return that respect to me as their mother. I mean, I have never said that he is an emotionally cruel, mysogonistic, right brain lobotomized bastard, have I? No. I didn't even let him have it (tho in hindsight I should have) when he invited Nat and Steve to join him and Taz on the stage to toast her 21st birthday a couple of years back, while I stood like a lump of nothing with the "guests". When they all wrapped arms around each other I nearly puked at the fakeness, remembering all the times he has torn them to shreds and taken out his rage on them, while I have dealt with the consequences, bandaging up all the emotional wounds. Nat told me after that she felt embarassed and awkward as my husband was the one putting on the party and calling the shots and I understand that a scene was not appropriate at that time. It's not the kids I blame for this - I just don't understand why he feels it necessary to punish me this way, when he was the one who initiated the breakup.
There - it's out. I feel like I have dumped quite a lot in this entry and that I can leave it behind me now, it's buried and dead. And listen folks, don't worry too much - I am smarter than the average bear and right now I am just biding my time and waiting for the right moment to start the divorce proceedings. Believe me, it is in my best interests to be patient a while longer and I can say no more.
By the way, dumb - no, not smart as she was, you have to give it to Kahluah for patiently letting a 2 year old wrap her up in fabric pieces at her age!!!
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