Archive | June, 2016

Bollocks be Gone

15 Jun

I actually wrote this post yesterday but it appears to have evaporated into the black hole of blog posts that don’t get ‘published’ – I thought WordPress automatically saved shit as you went!

Anyway, tis post about MAX getting his doggy bollocks cut off – or open or whatever it is when male dogs lose their manhood. Castrated? Spayed? Neutered? Ryu has been bitten twice now, and while I believe both were in extreme circumstances – like the time Granny K collapsed and we had the fire engine with all its sirens and lights, followed in quick succession by the ambulance with all IT’S sirens and lights, followed in even quicker succession by the neighborhood vestlings – with all their bloody sirens and lights and god damn, tis no wonder the dog was in a panic. Hub said if he bit anyone again he was taking him to the mountains somewhere – where he would definitely have survived for ever and quite possibly found his way straight back home, or perhaps he’d meet up with a lone 7-year-old and they’d become mountain friends or something.

We arrived at the scheduled time of 10am on Monday and the vet automatically got me to put him on the examining table so he could put a drip line in for the anaesthetic. Holy shit. MAX wasn’t having a bar of it despite being held rather firmly against my heaving bosom, so the doc gave him a shot to calm him down. We had to wait in the waiting room for ten minutes while it took effect and the dog got droopier and sleepier. He was so desperate to try and beat the drugs that at one point he went from sitting to almost planking like a legend before softly hitting the deck.

Took him back on to the examination table where doc put the drip line in and gave him a couple of shots for pain and antibiotics. He then carried MAX, who was at this stage completely out cold for the count, into the operating room, after which a nurse came out and said I could come back at 4pm to collect him.

So I dossed around meeting a friend for lunch, shopping for Shou’s birthday and wondering if there was something I could buy myself to compensate for impending doom of turning 40 on Friday. We share a fuckin birthday – and no, being in labour and pushing a big head out the saloon doors on my 30th birthday was  not the best fuckin present in the world. It quite obviously has resulted in me sharing a birthday with him (read as organizing kids’ birthday parties and molding jet airplanes out of fondant) every fricken year thereafter. I may also be feeling sorry for self because 40 is not a party celebration in Japan and the chances of my friends organizing something are zero to nil. 40 really just seems to be a year we get encouraged to start going for annual mammograms – which in itself is almost as traumatic as turning 40 as have such big boobs that they fall over side of machine and have to do two squashes for each boob multiplied by up, down and sideways.

But as you can see, I digress, quite spectacularly. This post is about the dog. (note to self – stop being a sour bitch about the whole 40 thing. You have had several birthday packages from NZ, including bubbles, chocolate, jewelry, lotions and potions, vegemite and gravy mixes – all of which I would pay for in their weight in gold. Have fabulous friends both here and everywhere else and tis not Japanese friends’ fault that they don’t know about the 40-equals-huge-party culture we have)

So, back to MAX. I go and pick him up at 4pm and get shown to the back room with the recovery cages, where he is looking extremely sorry for himself, albeit with a recovery plastic cone thing around his neck to stop him from licking his balls. The doc tells me to take it off and put his lead on. Max is not liking me but remembers that I’m the one that feeds him, walks him and gives him all the love so is at odds as to how to behave. Factor in the drugs still working and he was a very bizarre dog.

We drive the hour home and then I open his cage and let him out the back of the car – only we both didn’t think he wouldn’t make the 50cm jump. Oops and ouch. Shakey legs still in play 😦 I get him settled into his house and apologise for getting his balls cut open. Hub comes home after work and has a man-to-man with him, sympathizing about what it must be like to lose all of your manlihood… I even hear him tell the dog it bloody sucks that he can’t get off anymore… SIGH.

MAX isn’t allowed anything to eat the day of the op but the next morning I am to give some breakfast, but if he doesn’t eat it I have to take him BACK to the vets for a drip – hence why the vet left the drip line in his leg and taped with multiple amounts of medical tape. I have been told that if he eats breakfast then I am to, myself, on my own, carry out the medical procedure of untaping the tape and slowly then pulling the drip line out and applying ten seconds of pressure to stop bleeding. The doc must think I am a very capable person – that or he knows the 3 hour round trip is a hassel for something I could ‘probably’ do myself.

So anyway, he scoffs breakfast like I haven’t been feeding him for bloody weeks.

And so I am left with the aforementioned task – only the drugs have completely worn off and MAX doesn’t want me touching his leg.

Well, thank god I got up at 5am cause it took me a good 45 minutes to coax, slash brush, slash coo sweet nothings into his ear whilst trying to find the start of the tape – which the doc had conveniently made on the outside of the leg – only to have the bloody needle on the inside. Jeeze. What a fuckin huuha. I end up having to use the small tape scissors hub keeps in his box of medical shit under the table – to cut the tap and slowly pull it off and around, whilst giving MAX aforementioned massage and telling him everything will be OK.

Then a bloody child wakes up and ninjas downstairs and opens the kitchen door – scares the fuckin bejesus out of me, during which I rip the rest of the tape off – and along with it the needle. Medical procedure finished!! MAX and I are both a bit shocked but hey, it’s over, so I give him some more of the gourmet dog food he had for breakfast, and which I bought out of pure guilt, and tell him to chill for the day. I can’t take him for walks that are more than the short pee and poo drops for three days.

I get the tape cutting scissors inside and sterilised in boiling water and back in hub’s medical box before he wakes up – totally winning I am.

I then have a coffee and think fuck, what am I going to do all day? Taking the dog to the vets for a drip or taking the needle out of his leg were the ONLY things on my not-normal-housewife-shit list for the day and I’ve finished it – by 6am!!

So I get the kids off to school and then drive to the ocean to have another coffee and little cry. The days before my birthday are always hard as obviously birthdays shouldn’t be about us (I know. Pot. Kettle. Black) but about the horendous (or for a fortunate few a beautiful experience while bathing in birthing pool and listening to whale music) task of birthing us!!

Yay mum. Love you.

Sweet dreams, good health and quiet living.

xxxx

Mountain Boy Update

6 Jun

For people still interested in this story, a story which made the news in 30 countries!!! Bloody hell.

The boy is expected to hopefully be released from hospital today.

It turns out that a lot of factors were at play to help this story have the happy ending that it did.

He was crying when he got dropped back off and said he thought he was going on the road his father’s car had driven down. He thought he was running after them – but through the tears and panic he took the wrong road. Obviously this is both extremely unlucky, in that if he had taken the correct (of three) roads he would have indeed been reunited with his family in less than a couple of minutes, but also lucky in that he stayed on a road and a road, no less, that lead him to a Self Defense Force bunkhouse.

He kept walking for TEN km it turns out, making a few more road turn decisions along the way. His parents dropped him off at 5:30 and by the time he reached the bunkhouse it was pitch black. He tried one of the doors to the bunkhouse and it was open! Inside were a pile of old mattresses, two of which he got down and slept between like a McGyver sandwich. There was a tap outside that wasn’t turned on so he turned it on at the main first. He had water for 6 days but not a single thing to eat in the 135 hours he was missing. No wonder there is a photo of him scoffing down the rice ball the SDF dude gave him.

They reckon he was physically able to walk as far and survive for so long without food because of the fact he walks 40 minutes every morning to school. This isn’t uncommon here. I drop my 3 off at 7:20 and they are joined by four other kids who then all spend about 30 minutes walking the 2km to school every day.

The news showed the dad giving a very heartfelt interview from the hospital, during which he said the first thing he did was say how sorry he was, to which his son replied ‘it’s ok dad, you’re kind so I’ll forgive you’ (優しいからゆるすよ!)

The police have reported him to child protective services but it is unclear whether anything will come of that. I doubt it though and, as the news reporter said this morning, the father has been punished enough surely…. I’m sure there are personal opinions on this but I tend to agree.

It turns out that about a week earlier a 20 something year old mother dropped her 7-year-old on a mountain road in Ishikawa prefecture (mainland Japan) because he wouldn’t do his homework. He was missing for 2 hours before they found him. This also got reported to child protective services. I can understand her homework frustration however. Ryu (7 tomorrow) gets three pages of Japanese, a page of math and reading every day, with a picture and diary he was to write on weekends. He is pretty good at just getting down and doing it. Shou however, jeeze, for the love of bloody god – trying to get him to finish his homework when he was in first grade was like pulling teeth. perseverance however, and I’m sure a couple of threats of trips to the mountains, and he is now, in 4th grade, very good at getting it all done.

So, that’s the update.

Right, off to do my Monday house wifey duties before heading to the city to do daughter-in-law duties by visiting Granny K, before shopping for 7-year-old birthday prezzies.

 

SDGH&QL

7-year old boys

4 Jun

It is quarter to 6 and I am enjoying a cold one and some bloody peace and quiet, after hosting Ryu’s 7th birthday party. He was only allowed to invite 4 friends but fuck me sideways, jeeze. I. Am. Knackered. I teach all four of the boys English and while they go to three separate schools they all went to the same kinder and two play soccer with Ryu. The two that play soccer with Ryu are just lovely boys and come to think of it, maybe it’s all that bloody running around that lets them expend their energy. The other two aren’t bad kids but damn they are loud.

I mean they didn’t misbehave. They didn’t throw rocks at each other. I didn’t have to take anyone up to the mountains…

We played a few games, pass the parcel – which I play by stopping the music on kids in turn so they all get the same shit – until the end when I pretend to close my eyes and let the last best prezzie go to the kid who has been the least whiney, which of course then causes more whining but damn, stop the fucking whining already. Life is not fair.

There was a birthday cake – a very very anemic BB8 with pale orange and brown accessories as opposed to black and vibrant orange. The kids liked it though and had a bit of a laugh at the only 6 candles I could scrounge out of the used candle bag. I offered up a princess and a santa too but they were declined. I must say, I was very disorganized this year. Gone are the days where I spend three days making an elaborate cake with my hands thick in marshmallow fondant, sculpting jet planes with Lego ladders and a Lego Tom Cruise whilst singing ‘Thunder Zone’ to my three children under 5 – almost hysterically and quite possibly deranged.  Yesterday I bought two store-bought sponges, cut one in half, made some butter icing, did a rough ice over and fridged it – until after I had had wine, which was silly as BB8 was terribly neglected and I couldn’t be fagged rolling out fondant for his entire body so I just colored some internet ordered fondant into the aforementioned anemic orange and brown and cut out a few squares and circles and hey, Bob’s your uncle.

And anemic BB8 be your cake.

We saved the head for hub, Shou and Marina, who I had kicked out the house for the day because having siblings at your birthday sucks monkey nuts. They went and saw a movie and then visited Granny K in hospital, stopped for dinner somewhere and arrived home five minutes after I sat down with my drink…

It has taken me a little under an hour to write this much because I have had to referee the children and their children-ness-ness. In between of course questioning hub in length about why the fuck he would buy Budweiser and tell fabulous tale about poisonous ‘mamushi’ snake that came sliding up to the kitchen door during birthday party (possibly highlight as Ryu’s mad gaijin mum chased it away with a broom – which wasn’t good enough for hub, he asked why I didn’t kill it…. ummmmm, because five 7 year olds are watching and quite frankly I’m happy to tissue box a spider but I’m not sure I’m skilled enough in broom bashing snakes)

So, time to refill the glass and get the kids’ soccer stuff ready for a day of soccer tomorrow – quite possibly in the pissing rain. Only gets canceled if there is lightning.

Is there a lightning dance?

SGDH&QL

 

Bad Parenting or Bad Luck?

3 Jun

Thought I’d weigh in on the missing 7-year-old boy story…..

Last Saturday a family from Hokkaido, the northern most island of Japan, was on a family outing. They were playing at a park when the son, age 7, started throwing stones at passing cars and people. He got told off by his parents. He ignored them, as we know is not uncommon with 7 year olds and their painted on ears. His parents got him in the car and threatened to drop him off in the mountains as punishment.

(insert – I remember throwing stones at passing cars when I was about this age. My friend and I sat in tall grass on a slope on the side of her section and had quite a good ole time – until a stone went in the open window of a passing car and hit a pregnant woman. Shit we got in trouble and I’m quite sure I pissed my pants. The woman was fine but her husband turned around and came and found us and gave us a right telling off – which was of course deserved and I think mum grounded me from playing with said friend for a few weeks.)

The whole leave-you-in-the-mountaings thing This is not an uncommon parenting technique here in Japan – well, down here, at the complete opposite end of the country, we also use the ‘if you don’t quit being so naughty I’ll be driving you up to the mountains’.  Down here, like Hokkaido, we are surrounded by mountains, mountains which are, according to Japanese myths and legends, home to various ‘鬼’ or ogres/demons. None of this Billy Goat’s Gruff shit.

Hub has actually said to Shou, at about the same age, take your pick. Which 鬼 do you want to go visit? The red-haired one up in that mountain or the blue-haired one up in that mountain over there. Today I asked my 6 English students (aged 9 – 11) if they had ever been threatened with this. They all had but it was only ever threatened. Being locked outside is also not uncommon – and I imagine it stems from families all living together and not actually having a physical room you can put a child in for the Western version of Time Out.

So anyway, they drive up a mountain road that is very very rarely used, as in a local said they would go up there maybe once a year, if that. The father drops the boy off, then drives off only to have the son running hysterically after the car, as you do. So they stop, let him get back in, he obviously doesn’t say the choice words the father is wanting to hear so he makes him get out again. I can almost hear this conversation in my head. Hub has said some very not nice things to my kids and I feel like I have had to be the calming force amongst the storm. In another country this might result in ‘wow, your husband is abusing the children’ type comments… but he isn’t. Different country, different culture and people making generalised rash comments about how much of an asshole the father is is just fuckin annoying. That said, he could actually be a fuckin asshole but quite frankly the fact that he is even out on a family day and involved enough to want to discipline his child is a good thing in Japan, I think, in my opinion, cause I’m a journalist and deserve my 2 cents worth (joking about the journalist bit by the way, in case anyone was wondering).

The parents then drive down the road about 500m and wait for a minute or two before going back to COLLECT THEIR SON. They didn’t leave him in a bear infested forest to die. They didn’t neglect him so they could spend more time on their iPhones. They waited approximately 240 seconds and then went back to get him.

He wasn’t there. Cause he is 7, and he is probably thinking shit, mum and dad are well angry and if they come back I’m going to get like grounded and have no 3DSD or PSP or iPad privileges for a week.

So he scarpers in the opposite direction and just keeps walking or running until he reaches a hut. The parents search for about 30 minutes and then call the police cause they are worried sick. They are too ashamed to say they left him there on purpose so they lie and say they were looking for mountain root vegetables (a very plausible family past time here in mountainous Japan) and the boy got lost….

which immediately makes the search party think the boy is either injured or lost in dense mountain root vegetable bush.

By this stage he has reached his hut, has water, has shelter – but can probably hear sirens and helicopters and is thinking, holy fuckin mother of god, if I come out now my parents will go ape shit at me. Will McGyver slash hanker down for a few days. (the hut was about 5km away and some people questioned whether a 7 year old could walk that far in that time….. these people must not be parents of 7 year old boys. Shou could run 2km in under 10 minutes when he was 7. If his sole intention was for his dad not to catch him then I think he could easily have gone this distance before a search team had even been assembled)

So he does, while his parents are dying in pain over the stupid decision they made to leave him for two minutes. While hundreds of people are spending valuable time and resources to search for him… While the world is calling the parents child abusers, shit parents – I mean people like this shouldn’t even be allowed kids right? Who leaves their child out in a forest to be bear food… … (on the bear thing – mountain tis not populous bear country. One is sited once every two years or so)

This story has pretty much rocked the nation this week and caused a lot of debate on parenting and such. The father lied at first, so perhaps he is lying again….. ….. but this is Japan and he was ashamed to ask for help – something very cultural. You deal with your own shit.

The sniffer dogs couldn’t find a lead – but that’s cause the boy didn’t go bush. Seriously, they spent most of their efforts searching the bush within a 3km radius. The boy was already (like within the first two hours of being missing) 5km away.

There are probably a lot of parents who thought the father had done something to the kid and was making up this elaborate story. I thought this too at first. Even when they had just found him the news reporters debated over whether he had been somewhere else and just dumped back at the hut because the whole thing was escalating too much.

So, the boy is fine. His clothes are not dirty – suggesting he found the shelter on the day he got dropped off. He has no injuries – Huuuraaah, cause had he gone into the bush he would probably have been dead by now. He said his own name, said he was hungry…. the self defense force guys that found him gave him a couple of rice balls and called the police.

Must say here that the hut he found was on self defense force property – almost ironic considering the number of self defense force people out searching for him for the past six days! A routine check was done on a hut this morning and the dude opened the door, saw the boy and asked ‘you mast be xxxxxx?’ to which the boy replied yes!!! End game.

I am presuming that the boy had to get through some kind of fence to get into self defense force territory…..

 

That fence be about as useful as the fence at that gorilla enclosure.

But in this case, am glad was shit fence and boy had shelter and McGyver survived for an entire fricken week on his 7-year-old bad ass own.

 

His mum was making him his favorite meal tonight 🙂

Yay – not often a news story like this ends this happily.

SDGH&QL

Mrs D Is Going Without

Too much wine in rural Japan