Saturday, March 27, 2010

One wounded soldier

We have a very sad Chico this week. On Wednesday morning, during our walk, he was hit by a car and has hurt his leg. The reason we take them over the campo each day is so that we can let them off their leads so they can have a good run, and they love it. They are of course, getting more adventurous, and go a long way up the hills following the scent of rabbit and fox (and tortoise!). Usually they come back to us when we call them, and a pocketful of treats is helping with this training, but if something really catches their attention they suddenly go 'deaf' and ignor us. And when one goes, the others usually follow. None of them are very street-wise and tend to chase cars, so we make sure we are well away from the road before releasing them. On Wednesday they had shot off up the hill as usual, but at the top there is a small hotel, still under construction as it has been all year, and very occasionally a little more work is done on it. There is a narrow sandy track leading up to it and we saw a red pick-up truck heading up there so we called for the dogs and they started to return. Unfortunately the truck only stopped up at the hotel for a couple of minutes and then it came back down the track, much too fast for the condition of the road, and Chico, who was still quite near to the road, started running alongside it. Fortunately the other two were back with us by then. The next thing we knew, the truck was gone in a cloud of dust and we could hear Chico yelping. He stumbled out onto our path and fell over and we thought he had broken his leg. Chris backed the car down to us and we lifted him in, and I sat on the back seat with the other two while we slowly drove home. I put an ice pack on his leg, and as soon as the vet opened we took Chico down to see her. She sedated him and we left him there looking very sad, and waited for a phone call. The vet rang later to say that an X-ray showed no breaks so it was most likely a damaged tendon that would heal itself. She strapped him up, and at tea-time we fetched him home. We expected the other two to get very excited to see him, and we'd have trouble keeping them away from him, but in fact they seemed almost afraid of him, and kept well away. They are still keeping their distance which is quite a good thing really as he is not up to playing with them. His foot isn't causing him too much pain now, but he won't stand on it, and seems unable to straighten it. I spoke to the vet yesterday and she said to take the bandage off to encourage him to use it. He is getting pretty good at moving around on three legs, but the damaged paw just hangs down and he drags it along. Just now I noticed that where he is dragging the front of it on the ground, he has worn away the claw and his toe is bleeding, and the one next to it is going to be the same by tonight, so I have bandaged him up again. We are taking him back to the vet on Monday, so hopefully he will be standing properly on it by then. I suppose it is early days yet, but I wish he was at least attempting to hold it the right way up. He, at least, should have a healthy respect for cars now, but I don't know whether the other two took the lesson on board. For now Chris is staying at home with Chico and I am taking the two girls for their morning run, but I make sure we are much further down the track before I release them from their leads.

It has been
a beautiful day today and we decided to start tidying up the garden. We went down to a garden centre and bought four troughs and some plants, so we now have a window box at Chris' office window, the sitting room, and the two small windows in the garage. I did take some photos, but of course they don't look anything special yet. I'm sure a couple of weeks of Spanish sunshine will have them blooming. We also bought a pretty lilac lantana, which is the same family as the vivid red-orange flower that we planted out the front last year. This is potted up, but we'll have to keep an eye on it. It is a vigorous plant so it may not thrive in a tub. While I was out with the camera I had to take another picture of our jasmine. As you can see, all those buds in last weeks photo are now open. The scent is amazing, and it is so pretty. It's even prettier when the sun is on it, but the front garden is shady by the afternoon. The funny little creeping plant I showed you is also a mass of flowers now. I think of it as the fire-plant because the flowers are just like little flames, but I have no idea what it is really called. We had quite a surprise out the back of the house too. There is a pretty orleander just below our back fence, with variegated leaves and pink flowers later in the summer, and this year we noticed it was much taller and the leaves are darker green. We thought it was just a freak spray of the orleander that had reverted to the usual green leaves, but we have realised now that it is a mimosa tree. It is really tall and it wasn't there last year, so it must have self-seeded from the one across the rambla on the car park, and all of this is one year's growth. This is a very fertile land, and when things grow, they really grow! It hasn't got a lot of flowers on it, but you can just see the first ones opening and there are quite a lot of buds forming. Someone told us that there used to be one in the garden but the previous owners cut it down because the pool was like custard when the pollen blew down, so we shall have to wait and see. Much as I like all these flowers they have brought on a bout of hay-fever and I am coughing and sneezing all day! My little hanging trough on the back fence is looking pretty isn't it? I bought the three little pansies a few weeks back, and the day I planted them, one of the dogs pulled out the purple one and ate all its flowers! I replanted it and covered the whole trough with pepper dust which lasted long enough for it to take root, and it has just about recovered though it isn't as strong as the other two. And before I leave the garden, just look at my Christmas poinsettia. It's as lovely now as it was in December. It is still on the front porch because I can't bear to get rid of it while it has so much colour on it. The Spanish people all threw theirs away after Three Kings Day. Right across the door from it my Easter lily has it's first flower just about to unfurl. It is sheltered on the porch and the plants don't suffer from the cold nights and high winds there like they do in the garden. I don't know how I am going to fit in all these photos, but I'll give it a go! Hasta luego.

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