Wednesday, February 10, 2010

On the mend.

The patient is on the mend. Although Wilfs tongue is still numb from the caterpillar toxins his appetite is definitely returning. He had a bowl of lukewarm porridge this morning and managed to eat it all - it was a long, slow arduous process - but he finished every last bit . Drinking proves to be more difficult so the syringe system for getting water into him will need to be used for a few more days. Grooming, as you can see from this mornings photos, has not been a priority.

'The font' has arranged for 3 sets of tree surgeons to come today to quote on cutting down the infected pine trees in the garden and to remove and burn the caterpillar nests. The initial response from the specialists was 'we'll come some time next week', but when they heard Wilfs story they all agreed to change their schedules and come earlier. Kindness is a feature of life that is still very much alive. Protective clothing is needed to deal with the little critters so it remains to be seen how keen any of them are to take the job.

The ramshackle old farmhouse that is now our home was built about 300 years ago and still has the original clay floor tiles. The bottom photo shows one of the endearing features of the place - dog paw prints, of which there must be forty or fifty scattered randomly about . When the still wet tiles were being laid out in rows, ready for the kiln, the farm dogs curiousity must have got the better of him and led him on a circuit of exploration. In his wake he left a trail of muddy paw prints in the soft tiles that have survived until today. I wonder what sort of dog it was and what the farmers reaction was when he discovered what had happened ? For those of us with sick animals there is something rather comforting about an unknown old dogs naughty presence staying on as part of the natural fabric of the house long after he's moved on.


  1. So please to hear Wilf is recovering. A bowl of porridge always works wonders! And we love the new punk hairdo.
    Well your house does have interesting features. It it were in London, an estate agent would definitely used that paw print as a selling point and upped the price!
    Cheers, H.

  2. Hey there Angus...
    We are so glad to hear that Wilf is on the mend! (You?)... and we are extra glad about his 'tongue'. Like KB, I wasn't sure if you were serious, but it is truly a blessing that he's ok.
    I just love the gives a sense of "ubuntu" :) (Google it if you aren't sure)
    As for the caterpillars...we have some here in SA, called "Mopani worms". Ours however aren't lethal like yours but rather a delicacy in rural areas. Not only that, but they are served up in some "Traditional South African restaurants". Although I am generally not queazy, I have yet to pluck up the courage to sample them...flying ants, termites, grasshoppers, guinea fowl etc, etc, have been no problem.
    (Just to reassure you...I have been converted into more first world cuisine...whew!)
    Have a wonderful day and hugs to the boyz

  3. I'm so glad that Wilf continues to recuperate nicely, and I hope you are as well!

    I really love the tiles! You are right; there is something comforting about a dog of long ago "leaving his print," and being part of the history and spirit of your home!

  4. glad Wilf is on the mend! yes, he certainly is having a bad hair day! looks so cute!

    love the paw prints in the clay, how wonderful is that?!

  5. I'm glad Wilf is on the mend! Something about his messy hairdo this morning reminds me of Dennis the Menace.

    I love the old pawprints in the tile! It certainly adds character and a charming presence to your house. It almost makes it seem like a friendly ghost lingers there. Hopefully his spirit is looking out for Wilf!

    I'll bet those trees can't get out of there soon enough for any of you!

  6. I am so glad to hear that Wilf is recovering - I hope to hear the news that he is completely recovered soon.

    The tiles are fabulous - I love things that other people have loved.

  7. Loved the hairdo. Kind of punk.

    As for the paw prints, they are indeed endearing. We'd be so curious to imagine what kind of dog left his mark on the history of the farmhouse -- now the history that you all are adding to it.

    Gentle hugs to Wilf!!

    Wirey woofs,

    Jake and Just Harry

  8. i am SOOOOOO glad he is feeling better. you must be able to breath a little. :) keep giving him extra hugs from us at the farm. sure that won't be hard for you.

    now all you need to do is get his spiky hair colored orange... lol.

    those tiles and your comments about them went straight to my heart. the thing i will miss most about the house we live in is the cat paw prints all over our basement floor. i understand.

  9. Great news about Wilf the punk rocker. Be sure to stay indoors (maybe away from home!) on the day those trees come down, especially if the workers need to wear special suits. I love the pawprints throughout the house. How large are they? Could they have been made by PON-sized dog centuries ago?

  10. Yes, grooming should not be top priority for those who don't feel well! I'm so happy Wilf is mending nicely. And thrilled that you are planning to burn those horrid creatures away!

    The paw prints would be a comforting feature to me as well. Nice touch for an old house.

  11. Hamish - Thank heavens the previous owners didn't think the paw prints were a feature! They tried everything else.
    Max - Mopani worms sound dreadful. With things like that around I wonder why any of us venture out of doors. Certainly would not want to try them as a delicacy under any circumstances.
    Kim - Strange thing and unknown dog leaving his canine character in a house for 3 centuries. Kind of sweet and reassuring.
    KKS - He's got a major grooming coming.
    Shane Rocket - Yes, there is something about the paw prints that makes me think that nothing living is ever entirely lost. Footprints on the sand - pawprints on the tiles.
    Houndstooth - Dennis the Menace. Now that's a blast from the past.
    Rocky Creek - Wilf is certainly acting more like himself but I think the medication is taking its toll on him.
    Jake - Punk it is
    Petey - They certainly are PON sized.

  12. Hi from somewhere (far?) north of you! We occasionally come across those processionary caterpillars in the woods around here too and have been told how dangerous they are. Glad that Wilf is on the mend.

    Tommy in Le Perche

  13. I'm so glad that Wilf is on the mend - keep up the tender loving care. Don't tell him - but his first photo gave me a chuckle. He's having a bad hair day!

    Those dog paw prints are really intriguing!

  14. wilf,
    i wish my hair would do that!
    the booker man