The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space



Photo: Nasturtiums

Photo: Nasturtiums

The Contessa our senior Min Pin bitch is nearly ten years old. She is a beautiful dog and would have been a perfect show dog if her temperament was a little more grounded. Early trips to the vet meant that Dr Quito came too. She would only be examined if I was ‘examining’ Dr Q on the other end of the bench.

She has been through the mill in terms of illness too. A delicate dog with a huge personality. Once when we were away she tried to ban my mum from using the sitting room. My mum won, needless to say. And The Contessa lay on her back on the sofa pleading forgiveness and a tummy rub.
“How can she think that she is attractive waving those thin spider legs.” My mum confided later. Mum prefers the steadier Dr Q.

The one thing I have never worried about is her agility. Both Inca and Dr Quito have fallen into the ponds but The Contessa is a ballerina, acrobat of a dog. Neatly leaping over barriers like a tiny gazelle. She is superfit these days.

Min Pins tend to be one person dogs. Inca and Dr Q hang out with me. The Contessa prefers Danny. But since I’ve been ill she has taken to sleeping with me in the vast spare room bed. Sometimes she curls up with Danny for old times sake. So I wasn’t surprised when she wasn’t wrapped around my hottie at bedtime. I climbed into bed and fell deeply asleep.

Danny went to bed a bit later and after a few minutes had the sense that something was wrong with The Contessa. He got up and checked my bed and then dressed to search the garden. He found her in the small pond, with her front paws in the brick rim, unable to jump out.

He rushed back to the cottage and dried her with a fluffy bath towel. She was freezing and in shock. She crept into an igloo and he wrapped the little dog in blankets and put a warm hottie beside her. In the morning she seemed fine. But a couple of days later she has gone off her food – we reckon that she has picked up an infection from the pond. If she is not better today we’ll take her to the vet.

The dogs use a cat flap to get into the garden so there’s no last night run. Now there is and another head count before we turn in. Today I need to work out a way of making sure that the dogs can get out of the ponds – a simple ramp perhaps. It would be a shame to net them as a lot of wildlife come to drink and wash in the ponds.

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  1. Another post read with bated breath!
    Thank goodness that Danny found her.
    I hope that you decide to take her to the vet – I definitely would. x

  2. Do hope she’s OK. These animals can be a worry. Our Dobermann disappeared last thing at night a month or so back & it took over two hours to find him – then he thought it was a game. At 3AM I didn’t agree!

  3. Oh poor Contessa. How awful. We have such routines with our Jack Russell, and just take for granted that he sticks to them. We always know that something is wrong with him if he doesnt do things his usual way. I hope that she perks up today, and that if you do have to take a trip to the vets that its not serious. Much love.

  4. Michelle Sheets

    Knowing how in the past you break bad news to all of us, as soon as I saw the first line of your entry, my stomach clenched and I thought “Oh my God, Contessa died!”. I didn’t want to read any more!
    So glad your darling girl is all right. I’d get her to the vet, if she got some water in her lungs that could be very bad.
    Give her a snuggle for me, and hug Danny too! Respect those funny feelings, i’d rather look foolish than feel horrible that something bad happened.

  5. Get well soon, Contessa, and return to your good life and persnickety ways.

  6. Lucky Danny realised!
    Hope the poor little thing gets better very soon!

  7. Rescue Remedy flower essence might help. So glad you two are tuned into your animal friends…

  8. oh no! Poor little thing. You could do what my mum swears by “a drop of brandy” in some milk (I know terribly bad for their stomach), but it might perk her up a bit. My mum did this with my Grans westie. and she was 14. Frightened half to death by seagulls trying to kill her in the back garden whilst she was taking a snooze.

    But defo a trip to the vets if off food.

    Aww give her a squeeze from me.

    (secretly wanting a dog myself, but work full time. Would be cruel)

  9. magic cochin

    How lucky for The Contessa that Danny realised she wasn’t in the house! I hope she is soon back to full health.


  10. Glad Danny realised there was something wrong and reacted. Hope all ends well for The Contesa and she gets better soon

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