Geek Ink Updates: And I’m back… for the most part (part three finale)

The final part in my personal issues trilogy. Again, in case you haven’t read the other two posts, there is private drama to follow, so nothing to see here if you’re usually here for my other posts.

So between the passing of my gran, and the vicious poodle and resulting medical ailments, things haven’t been grand to say the least. To put the cherry on the top, my mother’s mum, who is in her early 90’s, recently had a fall. This occurred while my brother, sister, and I were on our way back home to complete the final set of prayers for the passing of my other gran. It turns out this wasn’t one of her usual falls. This fall was caused by a series of small strokes. Strokes which have left her bedridden and now very aware of the fact that time is not on her side, a fact that she is not very happy about.

Again, I am not close to my mother’s mom either. I seemed to have missed out on the bonding experience with all my grandparents (it probably didn’t help that my mum’s family lived in India), so when the inevitable happens, it’s not going to hit me that hard. The problem for me is my mother has just put one old bed-ridden lady in the ground, and now she has to deal with another. Adding to the stress of the situation is that fact that it’s her own mother, who is struggling to deal with her impending death. I have spoken to my mom over the last couple of days and she is taking tremendous strain. She tried to stay cheery when she called to wish me happy birthday yesterday but I could hear her voice wavering. She said goodbye and hung up just before she started crying. As much as I would like to be back home, the reality is my life is now entirely based in Cape Town. If things become very drawn out, I may be able to put a pause on certain parts of my life so I can go back home to help my mom, but I’ll have to see how things pan out.

On the plus side, at least a minor drama back home has been resolved. In early January, not long after New Years, one of the maids noticed a dog that was trying to get into our house. The dog, a husky cross, was sitting at the gate, pawing at it and whining to be let in. My mother had enough on her plate so she said to leave the dog alone. The dog disappeared shortly afterwards, but then managed to get onto a small ledge by the maids room where he could paw at the window. My father felt very sorry for the dog and said to my mother that he’ll look after it if we bring it into the yard. My mother was hesitant, but made sure he knew the dog was his responsibility and said he could bring the dog in.

As expected, apart from naming the dog Hatchi (yes, as in Hatchiko), my father has not been very involved. The maid and my mother have been feeding Hatchi, who has mostly kept to himself during the hot summer days since he’s not suited to the South African climate. At night he becomes friendlier and jumps to play with anyone who goes outside, or comes to sit by the lounge door. The door is left open, but the gate is locked because Hatchi is very specifically not allowed in the house. We already have two cats and they are very definitely less than happy about the appearance of this new animal.

Hatchi has taken to sitting in the shed area under our outdoor geyser.
Hatchi has taken to sitting in the shed area under our outdoor geyser.

So what was the issue? Well, apart from the fact that my dad initially didn’t really do much for Hatchi, he didn’t exactly arrive at my parents house in perfect condition. When I went back home for my grans funeral, I went to check on him and noticed he had sores along its back that needed medical attention. I spoke to my father and told him that he needed to take Hatchi to a vet as soon as possible (I was obviously aware that my father was grieving, but this doesn’t change the fact that he’s responsible for the dog). At this point, Hatchi had been at my parents house for at least three weeks, probably closer to a month. When we came back two weeks later for the final set of prayers for my gran, Hatchi still hadn’t been taken to the vet. At this point I was still dealing with a bit of anxiety around strange dogs because of my recent run-in with one, so I told my father that he had to deal with getting the dog to the vet.

Well I am very pleased to say that my father finally got Hatchi sorted out. It was very stressful for him, but he should have thought about the issues that come with raising an animal. Firstly, Hatchi is not leash trained so handling him was always going to be a mission (I checked this when I was home and he wasn’t scared of the leash, but he had no idea what it was for either). And secondly, we have no idea how he was going to react when he’s put in a car.

Knowing this, my father got some assistance from my cousins, who offered to help him out after he helped their mother. They got a very old bakkie (that’s a pickup truck for all my foreign readers) and my dad somehow managed to get Hatchi into the car (I still haven’t gotten all the details yet so I’m not sure if they carried him or managed to get him to walk on the leash).  My father then had to sit in the back of this very uncomfortable ride while my cousins drove them to the nearest vet. Once there, the vet shaved the dog, gave him his shots, and gave my father an ointment to put on his sores (fifty bucks says my mom or the maid will end up doing it).

In the end, I’m grateful that my father finally dealt with some of the not-so-fun stuff that comes with raising an animal. In our house, I was the one who took on most of the responsibility when it came to things like dealing with constipated kittens, and vomiting puppies, while my mother did most of the feeding.

Anyway, so that’s (most of) the stressful events that have been affecting me and my family over the last few weeks. Thankfully things are settling down to a certain degree and I will soon be back to my regular writing.

P.S. Only one family has come by to check if it’s their dog. I plan to put up a lost and found in the major local paper soon.





3 thoughts on “Geek Ink Updates: And I’m back… for the most part (part three finale)

  1. Worst part about pets is that they don’t understand medicine. Oscar (our lab) gets panic attacks anytime you go near him with a tube of anything (he gets itchy ear infections), and I had to perfect my Kung-Fu-Grip (TM) on Whisky (our mixed thing) to get her eye drops in recently. Never mind trying to get cats to swallow pills – they basically turn into a wriggling ball of claws… Still, love the whole mad pack :).


    1. Aye. I miss having animals 😦

      I often think about the two things I really want from life are easily accessible back home (a house and enough space to keep pets). Too bad Maritzburg is Maritzburg.


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