Category Archives: carers

A poem for my foster dog

This beautiful poem by Diane Morgan was shared by Starting Over Dog Rescue on their Facebook page. It is such a moving poem, that I had to share.



Melbourne is shock after 11 year old murdered

Melbourne is in shock today after the senseless murder of an 11 year old boy by his father after cricket training last night. Although the details have yet to be released what we have so far heard is the the boys father attacked the poor child after his cricket training session in front of his team mates.

He brutally beat his own son with a cricket bat and then stabbed the little boy repeatedly with a knife. Police were unable to subdue the man with capsicum spray. When he finally turned on police they had no choice but to fire their weapons. The man died hours later in hospital. Counselling has been offered to all the children that witnessed this horrific event.

From what I have read the father had been estranged and had a history of family violence, in the last few years he had become homeless. Police believe that this was in fact premeditated.

As a parent I cannot get my head around this horrific event, it makes me sick in the stomach to think that a parent could do this to their own child.

Tonight as I check on my children sound asleep in their beds, I pray that they will always be safe and sound, healthy and happy. I pray too that this innocent boy will rest in peace.

Izzy’s Story


Today I came across a very upsetting post by in regards to some really criminal behaviour that the RSPCA in Perth, Western Australia has been accused of. According to this article a beautiful timid King Charles Cavalier and her four, four week old puppies were euthanised for no comprehensible reason.

It is really is a sad day indeed when people running animal shelters are found to be harming animals instead of protecting them.

Here is the article about the RSPCA and Izzy, maybe if more people hear about this, something will get done to prevent other innocent animals losing their lives.

The RSPCA WA is being questioned by the state government regarding their processes for euthanasia.

The WA Government has raised fears the RSPCA is destroying pets that could be kept alive.
Documents obtained by The Sunday Times reveal Agriculture Department boss Rob Delane was told of a case last year where medical histories did not support the destruction of some pets.

“It is unclear whether the RSPCA had sufficient grounds to destroy these animals,” a briefing note for Mr Delane dated May 2013 said

The notes prepared for Mr Delane warn the RSCPA’s processes were “inadequate”.

Even RSPCA staff seemed to have little faith in the ‘system’;

Revelations of the documents come as a former RSPCA regional inspector, who asked not to be named, also expressed concerns about the treatment of animals by the organisation.

The inspector, who resigned last year, said she would regularly try to rehome animals in country areas rather than bring them to the Perth shelter because she feared they would be put down.

“I wouldn’t take my animals up there,” she said.

“Some puppies would get put down at eight weeks and they would say they had behavioural problems,” she said……

The RSPCA remain unapologetic:

RSPCA state chief executive David van Ooren said no disciplinary action had been taken and the allegations in the report had not been substantiated.

An RSPCA spokesman said there were “very clear” and “well-developed” policies relating to the euthanasia of animals.

So how does this “well developed” policy work in practice?

The dog pictured above is Izzy. She was a breeding dog seized by the RSPCA under an alleged breach of WA’s animal protection laws. She entered the care of the RSPCA in March 2012. She was only a baby herself (probably less that two years old) but she was heavily pregnant.

Izzy was placed with foster carer, Cath (an experienced human midwife and dog lover) and her husband (a senior vet) so she couldn’t have been in more compassionate, capable hands. It was a new start to a happier life.

Izzy gave birth to four healthy babies; Izzy was ‘typical’ of many neglected dogs; sad, skittish and scared. She was terribly and heartbreakingly under socialised. The family worked hard to make her life peaceful, to give her good food and comfort, and to let her know everything was going to be ok. And under their care, Izzy showed she was a loving and competent mum – working hard to clean and feed her pups, growing them into cute little fat bellies.

Cath’s family worked hard to make sure these pups were getting all they needed to grow into healthy, happy dogs. Her daughter delighted in helping ‘socialise’ these babies and they learned to walk and eat solid food.

Not surprisingly, the family fell in love with these guys and considered adopting one themselves, but found that even as volunteers, the RSPCA adoption fees were prohibitive;

“We were going to keep one, but despite the fact I was volunteering my time to look after Izzy when she was pregnant and now raise a litter of puppies for them – they still want to charge me $700 for a puppy!!

Cath kept Izzy, and the four pups for a total of 4 weeks, before taking them back to the RSPCA for their scheduled check up. Cath assumed that she would drop them off in the morning, and pick them up in the afternoon, to continue her fostering.

“They simply wouldn’t give them back after I dropped them all in for a check over. I rang every day asking what was happening and when could I go back and get them. They kept fobbing me off. It was only after I asked for a meeting with the CEO and they realised I wasn’t going away that I was told they were already dead.

I had Izzy behaving and responding to us beautifully after a while. But they killed her and all of her pups. They didn’t indicate to me at all that they were at risk – they did it all without telling me.

My husband is a senior vet. We never saw the pups do anything strange behaviourally. Izzy was timid, but she was really coming good. And those pups were fine.”

Izzy and her pups were given a ‘behavioural assessment’ at the RSPCA kennel facility. All five failed.

Next, as is the procedure, each of these young dogs were held. Their leg was shaved. A syringe of poison was drawn. And then one by one they were injected until their lively, waggling bodies went limp and they were dead.

All under the RSPCA’s “well developed” policies.

The community has the expectation that animals entering RSPCA care will be given every chance to be rehabilitated. Pet lovers give tens of millions of dollars in donations every year believing that they are supporting life affirming processes. I don’t know a single rescue group who, if called, wouldn’t have found a place for these guys. But they didn’t survive being ‘sheltered’ by the RSPCA.

Izzy deserved a second chance. Her babies deserved a first one.
Our shelters should not be this way. They do not have to be. The killing has got to stop.

Polio Support Group

As the What’s On correspondent for two community newspapers I am very fortunate in that I get to meet many wonderful people through this role and to learn about many different groups, events and activities in my area and surrounding areas.

Only today I received a call from a lady who runs a support group for people who have suffered from Polio in their childhood (we are talking before the Polio vaccine was invented) . What these people are finding as they grow older is that the polio disease has caused issues for them later on in life. Tiredness, muscle weakness and extreme fatigue are all sides effects and a consequence of the Polio disease, this is called post-polio syndrome and affects up to 50% of all people who have recovered from Polio in their childhood years.

Many suffer so much that they are unable to work, or perform many of life’s simple tasks.

This support group therefore is a wonderful network for people battling the same condition and their carers (which lets face it have a hard a time as well ) to come together, share experiences, socialise and find support.

I had never heard of a Polio support group before, but I am very glad that something like this exists, and I plan on featuring it prominently in my column.

Six Simple Steps To Help Keep Pets Safe During Home Renovations

Construction work commenced today on our deck and pergola, and so our backyard now looks like a construction site. For the next two weeks we will need to be mindful whenever we are in our back yard. There is timber, bricks, nails, sand, and pavers everywhere.

Not only can this be a hazard for the children but for my pets also. Fortunately our front garden is also fenced in so we have an alternative for Dexter when he needs to go to go outside. Many people are not so lucky and don’t have an alternative space to use for pets during renovations which means they need to make the best of the situation.

This post is aimed to highlight some of things we can all do to help keep our pets safe during home renovations of any kind.

1). if you can securely fence off an area in the garden to use for pets than that’s great, if not and you need to leave your dog outside while worker are there make sure your pet is safely tied up.

2). Try and remove any electrical wires, most animals if given the chance will chew through electrical wires.

3). Do a sweep of the grounds, nails, staples, tacks and anything sharp can cut tender paws.

4). Secure any loose or wobbly items, animals like to brush up against things and may accidentally knock them over.

5). If you need to make changes to your pets sleeping or eating area during the time of renovations consider making the change prior to work commencing so that your pets have a chance to adjust. Most animals do not like change.

6). ID tags are especially important during renovation time, as your home may have doors and windows left open for long periods of time and this may lead to your pet wandering off and getting lost.

These are just six simple steps that anyone can implement to keep their pets safe during what can be a very trying time, but in the end it will all be worth it. We can’t wait for our new deck and pergola.

Arthritis in Dogs


It seems like only yesterday we were celebrating Bolts 11th birthday and today we are adjusting to the news that Bolt has arthritis something he will have to live with for the rest of his doggy life.

For those who are not familiar with arthritis, arthritis is painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints, and it not only affects humans but also one in every five adult dogs. It seems to be most common in older dogs especially the medium to larger size ones.

You may begin to notice that your best friend has slowed down a great deal, that he has difficulty getting on and off the furniture, stiffness in his legs especially if he has been lying down for sometime or after a sleep, maybe he no longer enjoys playing games he once loved like fetching the ball.

Arthritis occurs when the cartilage within the joints is worn away and the fluid which lubricates the joints becomes thin and watery causing friction and pain when your dog moves. The joints may also become swollen which adds to the discomfort.

It’s natural for dogs to slow down as they age just as humans do, so you may not think much of it at first but there may come a time as with Bolt that the pain of the arthritis is just so severe that he dare not try and stand up.

It’s hard to see a member of your family in pain, to fear they may be approaching the end of their life. Technically Bolt is not my dog, but he is a member of my family and we all love him very much. Fortunately the medication has kicked in and Bolty is back to his normal self, so we can all heave a mighty sigh of relief.

The good news is that with the proper medication such as anti-inflammatories and pain relief, together with low impact exercise like on leash walking and swimming, a healthy diet and maybe even some supplements such as glucosamine, your friend can enjoy a better quality life for as many years as he or she has left.



Today at work we had a professional development day on understanding Alzheimer’s a form of Dementia.

The three hour presentation was both informative and scary and completely sad. According to the figures the amount of people diagnosed with Dementia is set to soar, the prediction is that by 2050 figures would have risen by 300% that’s an alarming increase for sure.

There is no cure for Dementia however there are treatment options available that can help slow the progression of the disease down.

We heard how the younger a person is diagnosed with Dementia the faster the disease will spread, this is because as we age our bodies metabolism naturally slows down.

There is no one determinate that causes Dementia but it has been proven that a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in helping to prevent Dementia. Brain training exercises that stimulate brain development are also very good.

Tooth brushing was used as an example of a skill that needs to be taught, first one learns to hold the toothbrush, then place a small amount of toothpaste onto the brush and then to actually brush our teeth. Once we have mastered this skill we are able to perform it without having to think about the steps involved so it was suggested that we now teach ourselves to brush our teeth using our other hand. Learning this skill will create a new pathway inside our brains and in the event that we are affected by Alzheimer’s and the initial pathway for brushing our teeth is erased from our memory we will still have another brain pathway in order to brush our teeth.

Anything we can do to create new pathways in the brain will go a long way in the fight against Dementia.

Aside from short term memory which is the first thing to go in a person suffering from Dementia, they will also lose their insight, their ability to plan and their spatial awareness.

I cannot imagine how it would feel to slowly lose your life, apparently the disease begins well before there are any signs present.

We were shown a breakthrough video on a person so heavily affected by Dementia that she could no longer talk and the amazing way that Naomi Feil founder of Validation therapy was able to communicate with her.

Please note that this video is very powerful and extremely moving.

Starting today I plan on exercising my brain every opportunity I can, I’m sure once you have seen the video you too will feel the same way.

Thank God for Grandparents

Thank god for grandparents!!! My daughter has been unwell these last few days, fortunately nothing too serious just a cold, or at this stage what looks like a cold. She has a sore throat and a blocked nose and a very slight temperature but it has been enough to make her feel miserable . Things at work are pretty hectic at the moment and staff numbers are down so the thought of having to take a carers day was not so appealing.

Up step my wonderful parents to help me out of my predicament, my daughter spent the day being pampered by her grandparents as she recuperated in my old bed and I was able to go to work safe in the knowledge that she was in great hands.

It got me thinking about all the people who aren’t lucky enough to have their parents or in-laws close by to be able to offer them a hand when they need it. When you have kids there are lots of things that can go wrong needing you to take time off work. The more kids you have the more your chances of needing time off for sickness or injuries, or appointments increase. Therefore the question begs to be asked, are 7 carers days enough? Surely not.

I know that there are many people that wrought the system but there are many more that honestly just need more help be that by more flexible work hours, or more carers leave.
It looks like my son has now caught my daughters cold so I will be calling on my parents help again tomorrow. Until you actually become a parent yourself I don’t think one can fully appreciate just how much their parents do for them.