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I had to abandon the blog for a bit, too much life stuff going on.

In June I began a plastic project with the school, I’ll write about that soon but briefly we, that is me with the backing of the Director of the school, his deputy and the residents association, are trying to motivate the kids to become more aware of the amount of plastic being used, offer them an alternative to simply throwing it away and hopefully encouraging them to reduce the amount of rubbish they and their families create. The project is on going and it will be the subject of my next post so I’ll elaborate on it then, watch this space.

Once the plastic project was underway I decided to give the house a long overdue coat of paint. It was meant to be done both inside and out but having completed the inside, I ran out of steam, my legs ached from all that going up and down the ladder (we have very high ceilings) and then other stuff got in the way, so the outside of the house is on hold for now. The inside looks pretty good though even if I do say so myself, with each room having a touch of a different colour, soft shades of blues, greens and purples, lovely.

We had a long-awaited visit from two lots of friends over from England with their children, coming to us for a few days before going on to meet up with the Brazilian side of their family. We went from a house of three to a house of ten but it was wonderful to see everyone and we did as much as we could to make the most of the time we had together. A short visit but a very, very sweet one which made us all very happy, except for the day my Alsatian dog Skahpolo disgraced himself.

Fireworks are often let off in the village to celebrate things, unfortunately they make Skahpolo freak out and literally climb the garden fence. The fence is there to keep him and the other dogs away from our old dog Billy who doesn’t like them any more, the cats (they don’t get on with the other dogs either) and the chickens. The fence isn’t that high and normally the dogs are happy to stay on their side of it but when fireworks go off, Skahpolo will do anything to get to me. Climbing up the wall to get into the house through an open window, or scratching the paint off the stable door as he scrambles over the top, or, he will climb the garden fence.

The dogs were in the garden, fireworks were let off and in his terror Skahpolo climbed the fence. He couldn’t find me because we were out but then he realised the chickens were in their run, forgot his fear of fireworks, ripped a hole in the run and massacred a whole load of chickens.  The death toll would have been much higher had I not come home while he was in the throes of it. As it was he got 8 birds including our beautiful new black cockerel. That was a very sad day indeed. As a result I am now building a new, hopefully more mad dog proof, chicken house and run (it’s not that long since I made the last one), as well as making a higher fence. Like I haven’t got enough things to be doing.

Neu is still battling along. He is having to do dialysis four times a week to keep all his levels in order. It’s tiring and frustrating as it takes up so much time but he’s alive because of it. The wounds on his stomach from his final surgery back in January of 2016 have still not closed over, mainly because his body is pushing sections of the mesh screen out through the holes.

A couple of months back the surgeon cut away some of this exposed mesh to allow the skin to close. As a result the holes did get a little smaller but then Neu’s body pushed out a bit more of the mesh, so that stopped any further closure.

In July Neu developed what looked like an infection around some of these areas and was given antibiotics by the doctors at the dialysis clinic. Unfortunately this didn’t help much and so fearing a more serious underlying infection, we went for an ultrasound  which showed 3 or 4 areas of “collections” between Neu’s skin and the mesh screen. Thankfully there is no sign of infection in Neu’s abdominal cavity which is a big relief.


Crack of Dawn on the road to Fortaleza

Yesterday at the crack of dawn we went back to see the surgeon at the hospital, armed with the results of the scan. Dr Eudes, who is a lovely man and a highly respected surgeon, pulled and cut out some pieces of the screen. This is not as simple as it sounds as the screen is partially attached to Neu and so any pulling is painful, Neu is very brave but imagine having your skin pulled off both inside and out, Ouch!

Giving Neu a consoling pat on the shoulder Dr Eudes explained that there is something going on in a particular area that he needs to investigate but it cannot be done without anesthetic (as he was holding a scalpel in his hand Neu was very relieved to hear this). Dr Eudes didn’t sound like he believes it to be anything serious but he needs to get in there, clean it out and as he quite rightly said enough is enough, these wounds need to be closed.

There has been talk of doing this “minor” surgery for a year now but Dr Eudes had wanted to let Mother Nature take her course, now he says it is time to give her a helping hand and so in two weeks time Neu will go in as an outpatient for a surgery which will hopefully see us very much closer to an end to all this.

And to top it off, one of our other dogs, Xadie, who has the most sensitive skin ever and reacts badly to just about everything, had licked and chewed a hole in her leg, possibly from a bad reaction to an insect bite. I had to make her a lampshade collar to stop her from making it worse. Fortunately I had some stiff-ish but flexible plastic, unfortunately I didn’t have a piece quite big enough so had to cobble it together. The end result works but is a bit of a dog’s dinner and completely freaked the other dogs out, poor Xadie, not only does she have a bad leg and is having to wander around with a disaster of a lampshade round her head, but all her mates run away from her too. Hopefully not for long Xadie.