Well it’s that time of year again where the weather changes and the dark nights are drawing in to quote an old adage. This change of weather means a lot of changes to a ‘normal’ day regarding both myself and my dogs.
My dogs need taken out earlier for their last walk which seems easy enough but when your in a routine centering around your pain it’s not so simple. They need to be walked earlier in the morning for their first walk so that I have the same rest period between walks for my back to recover enough, which means getting up earlier, as it takes a couple of hours for me to get moving after getting out of bed each morning and for the medication to kick in, plus Coal & Tess are not morning dogs! They like a long lie – When I first got them both I tried taking them out at 6am so they could get all the fresh smells and seemingly smells are stronger early morning but instead of their usual excitement, jumping and running round in circles like numpties, they just stared at me and returned to MY bed and sprawled star shaped (so I couldn’t even go back to bed as they took up all the room!) also the mornings are dark. I hate getting up when it’s dark, I just want to pull the covers back over me and hibernate. So they need their light up collars on, so when they are off lead I can still see them, although this year I am changing their light up collars to lumitubes as the collars only have led’s on half the collar so when the collar slips round their necks you can’t see them ( I use harnesses on them both anyway but wouldn’t attach a lead to these collars as I don’t believe them to be strong enough), whereas the lumitubes have led’s all the way round so which ever position you can always see them. Lumitubes are a new led circular tube not a collar and at over £19 each are quiet expensive for something you only use half the year, but I have found similar ones cheaper on eBay (gotta love ebay!) made by Ancol and called dog safety Halo collar and cost around £5-£7 so you can buy 2 for a lower cost than 1 lumitube!
Another thing that changes on their walks is their balls, as I have lost enough chuck it balls over the summer with Tess dropping them in water and because of Coals eyesight, I have got them balls that light up on impact and stay lit for 5 minutes, from Pets At Home, so that both them and me can find the ball in the pitch black. If you are going to purchase one of these balls it is best to check that the battery can be replaced as these are the same price as the ones that the batteries can’t be changed! They also have the chuck it glow in the dark balls which are great if you are in the pitch dark but if you are anywhere near street lighting then they aren’t visible.
If I am taking the dogs a short walk with a friend I use a walking stick instead of my mobility scooter to try and remain as mobile as I can, so the walking stick I have has a wind up, adjustable angle light on it which is great for finding poo! But it also has a red alert light on it which flashes and sounds an alarm to let people know I need help.
The walking stick was courtesy of ebay again! I always check ebay before buying anything as I need to save money where I can due to bring reliant on P.I.P payments. I find most things are quiet a bit cheaper on eBay than anywhere else so it is always worth checking – millionaires do not become that by wasting their money lol! When in my wheelchair or scooter the windchill goes right through your clothes so I have what I can only describe as a wooly lined sleeping bag that comes to your stomach which keeps my legs and feet warm, a sheepskin cover for the seat so my back isn’t getting cold from touching the leather/plastic seat and heated handle bars on my scooter as there is nothing less enjoyable than being cold so you end up speeding round the walk rather than enjoying watching the dogs have fun. The dogs also feel the cold when on lead, not running around, especially Tess as she has a baldy belly, chest and behind her ears so both dogs have coats but when it is cold but not cold enough for their coats, I got a kids snood and cut 2 holes in it for her front legs so at least her chest is covered from the cold and it also prevents her getting scratches from the brambles and bushes, and if course there’s no show without punch – Coal has to wear a snood too, not that he needs it as he has plenty of hair to protect him, but what Tess gets he wants and vice versa! Lol
Back in the house the dogs get their hotter dog jumpers on which not only warms them up but also wicks away any moisture after they’ve been dried off – they both detest the rain and refuse to go out in it but if it rains when we are out they look so pathetic when we get back although they do still run around in it but I think they think that they are going to melt and become puddles the way they act if I open the door and it’s raining! Coal loves the heat and if the heating is on he is hogging the radiator so for his Christmas present last year he got an electric whelping mat for his bed which he loves, but he loves my electric blanket more especially the extra hot foot area!
All these aids are fantastic for both me and the dogs, but the real problem, for which I have found nothing to help is the air pressure. When it is dull and there is a low air pressure it feels like it is pushing down on my whole body including mentally creating extra pain, a depressive low mood and even less energy than normal. The cold and dampness really attacks my bones, again increasing the pain I feel. If it is icy/snowy then just walking out to the scooter shed is like I am on BBC’s Dancing On Ice without the high scores! Luckily my friend shovels the snow and grits my path for me, but once out the garden gate it is a nightmarial escapade which must cause amusement to others, seeing me in the scooter, sliding or get stuck with 2 staffies acting like huskies pulling a sled!
So……Hello Autumn/Winter I am as prepared for you as I can be but can’t wait to see the back of you, especially since the old farmers almanac predicts a harsh Winter this year! Brrrrrr…….