Archive | September, 2015

Welcome MAX!

25 Sep


This is Max, the newest addition to our family. Isn’t he adorable! He reminds me of the German Shepard we had growing up. A lot smaller and with a bushy Japanese Shiba-type tail, but the coloring is very similar.

We had talked about getting a dog after we got back from NZ and as luck would have it a friend shared a status from a dog shelter in Kumamoto not long after. Hub wanted a puppy but I was keen on the idea of ‘rescuing’ a dog from a worser fate than living with our family.

Max was going to be put down but the shelter thought he was such a neat dog that they tried really hard to have the date extended so they had more time to find him a home. And then we found them, a few emails back and fourth, some sex for the hub so he knew I was still thinking about him and not just about the kids and the new dog (hashtag the shit a wife has to do), and we were ready to go and pick him up .

The shelter is in Kumamoto so Ryu and I did a bit of a roadie, past Aso volcano (which erupted a few days later), and down to a highway rest area, the meeting point. It was all very quick and easy and to be perfectly honest I probably did go in rather blindly and without thinking about anything – like shots and vaccinations, and doctor checks yaddah yaddah.

I had bought a cage thing to put Max in for the 2.5 hour drive home. Half an hour in I stopped to let him out and pee, and maybe vomit if he was feeling car sick, which he wasn’t it would seem. He was determined not to get back in the cage so I tied his lead to a point in the back and off we went. No sooner had I taken off and he had managed to jump over the seat, where he spent the rest of the journey happily looking out the window and/or giving Ryu the ‘go on, give my head a nice rub,  look.

The kids were super excited to meet him and initially named him Jack. Granny K couldn’t say Jack though so he got renamed  Max, which Granny K also cannot say and has resorted to just calling him ‘hey wan wan’.

I ordered a kit set kennel online and three days later that arrived and I spent three hours screwing in screws and putting it together, albeit with a piece in upside down which needed re-doing, which in turn required a lot of swearing.

The weekend after he arrived Shou had two days of soccer – which included a stay over as the town was so far away. Hub, Ryu and I went down on the Sunday to watch his games and bring him home. While we were aways Granny K and Marina took  Max for a walk – in the opposite direction to my dictated ‘walk direction’. There is a Japanese Shiba dog about 100m up the hill. A lovely dog that lets the kids come in and pat him. Not so lovely when Marina tries to go in with our new male dog in tow. Max got bitten, couldn’t walk on it, I waited for a day to see if it was going to get any better, it wasn’t and, so decided to take him to the doctors on the Tuesday (remember I also had the ambulance trip on the Sunday and subsequent revisit to hospital myself on the Monday)

We got antibiotics for it and he is completely fine now, running around and having a grand ole time. Whilst at the doctors he got a blood test for Filaria, or heart worm.  Turns out his bloodstream is swarming in Filaria worms. The doctor said a normal sample of a dog with Filaria would result in maybe three or four worms in the sample blood size. Max had about twenty – which is causing a lot of strain on his heart. He doesn’t feel it yet but it basically means he will not live to reach old age, and that we should probably think he will live five years less than what you would expect (which considering he was about to be put down is about six years longer – albeit in an environment with my three children. Ganbare tolerant Max 🙂  )

He has numerous adult worms in his heart and no amount of medicine will kill these. They die off naturally after they reach the end of their 5-6 YEAR lifespan. We can conquer the worms in the blood but need to be careful as giving him a dose for his weight (11kg) would probably kill him, due to the share number of worms.  We need to start slowly by giving him a dose for a 2-3kg dog. There are side effects which also require drugs which I need to start this Sunday. He gets the worm killer meds on Monday and I effectively have all week to monitor him to see if he starts acting strangely. I have full faith in our vet and the program we have worked out.

Only after we’ve sorted this out can we start on his other shots. He has probably had the rabbies shots as they are compulsory and done by city offices –  and he did apparently have a previous owner and this is actually evident by his behavior and ease around people. I reckon the family must have had kids too. The mind boggles as to why they got rid of such a good dog. He doesn’t bite, he doesn’t bark unnecessarily – but he does ‘try’ and howl when the town music siren plays Edelweiss everyday at 5pm. He is picking up our English commands well and clearly I am the boss – but then I was the one that he first met, and I also don’t try and shoot him with the water pistol. The Filaria shot has to be covered by the owner, hence probably why his previous owners never got it for him. So sad though. Why decide to have a dog and then think 4,000 yen a year too much, or too much trouble to do!!

He is small enough for the kids to take him for a walk unsupervised – although we did spend the first week having ‘dog walking’ tutorials, in which I must have failed to mention that the man dog up the road might try and eat him if he got too close!

He finally sleeps in his kennel – it took about a week and then a day of rain. He waits to go to the loo on his walk, and while sometimes this can result in a big shit in the middle of the road which we need to bag up, at least he isn’t crapping on the lawn.

Right, I best go and get ready for English. Two week break what with the ambulance extravaganza followed by bloody Silver Week holidays.



Nee Naw Nee Naw

15 Sep

I am really only writing this post so that people on a long commute to work have something to read. Or maybe you want some gossip mag material with your morning coffee 🙂

Prelude: we now have a dog, called MAX. We have had him for a week and I will, in the near future (possibly tomorrow), dedicate a post to how we got him and his first week here. What you need to know for this post however is that on Sunday Marina and Granny K took him for a walk, during which the dog up the road bit him. Hub, Shou and I got back from soccer to a limping dog.


After a very long day on Sunday, that involved driving three hours, EACH WAY, to watch Shou play soccer (he had been there since the day before and the team and a few parents stayed in a nearby ryokan), we got home to our limping, whimpering dog and a story of walks and bites.

We got the kids into bed and sat down for a couple of post-long bitch-of-a-soccer-day-the-dog-is-injured beers. Hub, who had done all the driving, hauled himself to bed and I stayed up and had another drink and watched an episode of Masterchef. By no realm of any stretch of the imagination, or in any parallel universe, was I drunk – but the fact I had the drinks probably can’t be left out of the story. I probably wouldn’t have tried to take that particular exit out of the house had I been of 100% sound mind.

On Wednesday I put together the kit-set dog house we ordered and from what I could gather MAX hadn’t been in it. I wanted to see if our injured dog was asleep in his new house – but I didn’t want to wake him, or the rest of the house up doing so. The front door has loud locks, and the kitchen door opens straight out to where he is and I didn’t want barking and shite at 10pm at night.

Sooooo, I bravely chose to go where no man has gone before. Out the door in the room where I was watching my program. Two sliding doors exactly like the ones that go out onto our deck – only there is no deck, just a dumb Japanese construction dick fuck 30cm step down onto the compulsory 60cm wide strip of concrete that has to run around the entire house – or so it seems in our neck of the woods. If this had a purpose – like a moat with sharks for keeping out robbers – I’d think it was OK. But no no no no, the concrete slab, which has another step down straight onto our driveway – or rather wood pile and hose slash bike storage area – is just ready to fuck up anybody that tries to step out the stupid side door in the complete dark.

So I misjudge the height of the step down. Blame it on the drinks, blame it on the dark, blame it on my aging body for not having the same balancing skills I once had.

I can almost see this bit in slow motion. I go to step and at the precise moment I realize the step isn’t where it is supposed to be I think ‘oh fuck, this is not going to end well.’

And it didn’t.

I completely face planted the concrete slab, after which I don’t remember anything other than whimpering a bit and trying to call out hub’s name. Fortunately hub was on the toilet upstairs and heard a faint ghostly whimper coming from outside. He comes downstairs, sees the outline of my withering body in the dark, turns on the lights, wakes up Granny K, assesses the amount of blood and promptly calls the fuckin ambulance.

We somehow manage to get me back up the aforementioned bastard step who will remain nameless, cleaned up a bit with some towels and onto a waiting futon. I start to stress out as am just in nightie with no knickers on. I command that someone get me some undies. I try my best to pull them up myself, out of pure dignity, but said dignity flies out window as spanx Bridget Jones undies are too hard in state I am in. Granny K gets the delightful job of pulling them up for me.

The ambulance arrives. The entire population heard it and imagine a few heads were hanging out windows. I try to insist that I can walk – after all, I don’t tend to try and walk on my face. My feet are in excellent working order, bar a couple of scratches.  But, the two young dapper ambulance men insist I have to clamber up onto a stretcher or they wouldn’t be doing their job. They tried to lift me, bless them. I think I was gurgling ‘I’m fine I’m fine, if you want to touch me can you wait till I’m not covered in blood please’.

I then plead with them to turn off the fuckin siren. I’m not dying. In fact, I’ll probably even survive if they stick to the speed limit. In fact perhaps they’d like a drink and to stay the night and we could just go in the morning?

But that wouldn’t be any fun now would it. Sunday night in sleepy little Kunimi and they have a bloody gaijin in her nightie and spanx on a stretcher. Time to let this town know about it.

Nee naw nee naw nee naw fuckin nee naw

For 45 minutes. Thats how long it takes to get to our closest hospital that stays open past 5pm. I must admit that lying face up in the back of an ambulance though and it seemed like bloody hours.

I was in tears of embarrassment, blithering on about how I was fine and hub could just take me in the car and weren’t they nice boys and all but really there must be other people in need of more saving. I then felt the need to recount my first and only other ambulance experience – when I rode along with dad when he was getting transferred to the care facility.

Obviously feeling the need to make chit chat back one of the young lads told me how he lived down the road and thinks I might have taught him English at some stage about 18 years ago.

Praise the lord, like this piece of information didn’t make matters ten times worse. Jeeze.

The first thing they did when I was loaded into the ambulance was take my temperature, then blood pressure and is it oxygen levels? I don’t know, I was trying to make my boobs not wobble in his face but ya know, nightie, no bra, top button open. It was all just quite comical really – in that I’ve-just-fought-a-concrete -slab-and-lost-but-I’m-sure-I’ll-see-the-funny-side-in-a-couple-of-days kind of comical.

We get to A&E and I get wheeled in to be met by a doctor and a nurse with an attitude. She didn’t seem very sympathetic at all.

So you were drunk and fell did you? Mmmmmm, your legs seem fine – just run over there and jump up on the table will ya.

I tried to say I wasn’t drunk, I just misjudged the height of a step from a door I shouldn’t have tried to go out in pitch darkness, but she wouldn’t have a bar of it, so I gave up, and now have ‘drunk and fell’ on my hospital records.

I found out later Granny K told the ambulance men I was drunk and fell out of a ‘window’.  She told the same thing to Marina the next morning – who immediately thinks I must have fallen from the second story. Hub and I had a discussion on what a window was.

The doctor assesses my war wounds, takes a few photos, and then cleans me up a bit, before injecting a local anesthetic into the side of my face and producing a fuckin fish hook. I swear thats what it was, or perhaps when the needle is just that bloody close to your face thats what it looks like.

They had to stitch up a gash between my nose and upper lip. I got asked if it hurt. I said it was worse than childbirth – at which point the grumpy nurse laughed.

Glad to be of entertainment value.

At no time did I question anything the doctor was doing. I regret this. He had free reign on fixing up my face. While I haven’t seen the aftermath of the stitches yet myself, I imagine my doctor at the birthing clinic would have done a better job. He stitched me up so tight after Shou it was a fuckin miracle I got pregnant with Marina.

He finishes and then decides to put a few stitches in my lip. They were setting up to take a CT but I declared myself fine so they let me back out to see hub in the waiting area – he had driven behind the ambulance. We paid $50 as a ‘deposit’ as I didn’t have my hospital card or my insurance cared in my wallet at the time. We left with instructions to come back the next morning for a check.

We got home about 2am and both of us proceeded to get hardly any sleep. I was, and am, on painkillers and antibiotics and was just dozing off when it was time to get up. Hub said he would take the morning off and that I should stay in bed a little longer. I remember telling him to hurry outside and hose the blood off the concrete or the kids would freak out.

I had to be at the hospital at 8:30 so got dressed, put a mask on (Japanese flu mask, not in style of tiger, Elsa or wrestler), and hopped in the car to drop the kids at the walking bus meeting point, and Ryu to kinder. The good thing about Japan is that you can get away with wearing a flu mask 365 days of the year. You might have a cold. You might have hay fever, you might be wearing it because every bastard around you has the flu. Or you might be wearing it cause you decided to play chicken with a concrete slab. I mean, nobody knows!

And by miracle of miracles my expansive forehead missed out on the party entirely and with the mask and my glasses on all injuries were concealed!

At the hospital I get another check, they sterilize the wound and put a special miracle-heal bandaid on. I get some more antibiotics and told to come back on Friday.

At the ‘accounting’ counter I get the $50 back from the previous night and then given a bill for $62 – for the entire lot. The ambulance call out, the stitches, the drugs, the check.

I couldn’t eat anything yesterday and had to stick to drink yoghurt things and water. My lips resembled those of people who completely failed at doing the Kardashian duck lip challenge. I kind of had to dribble a lot and feel sorry for myself.

They had gone down a bit today and I did manage a piece of vegemite on toast cut into 25 pieces to suck on over a half hour period.

Having the mask on is hard because every time I breathe my glasses fog up, so I took it off in front of the kids tonight. They got a bit of a fright but were generally very good about it and very sympathetic. Marina kept looking at me and saying it didn’t look like me. Hopefully in about a week the scratches on my chin and nose will have disappeared and my lips decreased to normal size. At the moment they kind of feel hot and like I’ve ripped a big bit of skin off.

I really really want to brush my teeth but will have to settle with listerine mouthwash for the next couple of days – stings like a bitch.

I also really really want to have a cup of hot coffee but think this might result in a possible bit of howling and maybe a burnt boob.

I also really want to laugh, not particularly at the situation, but maybe at something funny like an episode of ‘Live at the Apollo’ – but I’m scared it will rip my stitches.

One old vestling from down the way rang up this evening. Fortunately Granny K was on speaker phone and we could monitor what she said when asked ‘soooooo, the other night I saw an ambulance stop at your place……’

Hub said it might cause DV rumors. I said he’d have a few fuckin scratches himself if he thought he could fuck me up this good. But, I agree, the ‘Oh, I tripped and hit my face’ line is pretty old.

Anyhoo, will save you the gory pictures.

I may or not go to the local clinic tomorrow to get the dressing sterilized. I’m too scared to take the dressing off myself as don’t want to see how much my face might be scared because the doctor on duty was an ear specialist with a fish hook. Not that I’m a vain person but ya know, its like my fuckin face an all.