Before I regale you wish any tales of recent adventures, please spare a thought for our young dog, Macy. After days of sickness, lethargy, vet visits, then finally being kept at the vet overnight on an IV drip, Macy has been diagnosed with parvovirus. At only 7 months of age, and 3.5kg in weight, Macy is currently in a battle for her life. The diagnoses came as much a surprise to the vet as to us, as Macy has been vaccinated against parvo. It has been suggested that she has contracted f-strain parvovirus, a new and aggressive strain currently without a vaccination.
As you can imagine, having such a dear animal so ill over Christmas has cast a damper over our family. We spent today sterilising the house with bleach as best we could, as bleach is one of the only chemical cleaning products capable of destroying parvovirus. My dog, Sax, as well as our neighbours dogs are all at high risk. The hope is that, being older, Sax, Tilly and Belle will be better equipped to deal with the virus.
As for Macy, this is her fifth night sick. Hopefully our attentiveness to her condition and the early use of intravenously delivered fluids will provide her the best chance of survival. We should know within the next few days whether her immune system will respond to the virus.
Please spare a positive thought for Macy.
Well, in brief, here are the past few days in a happier light.
Picture of the day 18: Christmas lunch pavlova
I like food. It’s no lie. It’s the reason for my fat legs and hearty hiker laugh. But more than pork buns, more than salami, more than Turkish pizza, there’s this. Pavlova. Intensely good and the perfect follow up to any other dish, including more pavlova. While the marshmallow base for this particular pavlova was store-bought, the cream, fruit and strawberry sauce topping were all home made. The pavlova followed a beautiful seafood lunch. Even Sax, who has no sweet tooth whatsoever, enjoyed a tiny piece of this.
But the day wasn’t all pavlova. Here both Sax and my father try on their new hats. What Richard doesn’t know is that the hat was actually intended for my mother! I have another shot of him wearing it looking like a small snow-capped mountain.
After the traditional opening of presents and listening to the town band go by, I headed out to Little River. Our Christmas was by no means busy and I had a few hours to kill before the main event, lunch. Little River, part of the Goobagandra River, sustained heavy flood damage in the last two years, and last year the very popular swimming spot ended looking like this:
As you can see, more than a year later, it looks much the same. The bridge, seen as the cement slab in the middle, was once connected to a sealed road on both ends. The force of the water stripped away ten or so metres of the bank, obliterating the road on the other side and creating a second river bed. Damage similar to this has occurred for as far upstream of the Goobagandra as I have been. Some more photos of Little River…
These three photos all show the second river bed. At times this second river is flowing; today it acted as a lagoon and so largely still. The bank on the left was carved out of dirt and rock by the flood waters. In the last picture, you can make out a yellow sign on the far bank. It says “Road Closed”. No kidding!
Rock heavy enough in iron oxide to rust, and view downstream from the broken bridge. There are no concrete plans to fix the bridge. Tumut, the closest town, can be accessed from either side of the river. However, to my knowledge this is the only road bridge crossing the Goobagandra until way into state forest, upstream from Peak River. Later, when the Goob joins the Tumut River, it is crossed by two town bridges (only one of which remained stable after flood waters). It’s certainly a magnificent and wild area.
And just one more picture of that delicious pavlova. I miss you already, pav!
And some photos of the racetrack I’d forgotten about. Horses, preparing for the Boxing Day races, and above the mountains, our third storm in as many days.
Picture of the day 19: Sax watches fishermen on the banks of the Tumut River
Swollen and deep, the Tumut River overflows its banks and transforms swimming holes into hidden eddies. Sax, who loves to take a drink here where the water is usually 0.3 – 1.5 metres lower, finds himself wading over drowned grass. His attention is momentarily caught by the four fishermen casting off from the bank, while I cross my fingers that my fetch-happy pup doesn’t leap into the water after the bait.
Today, while the weather was genial, our household was listless. In the morning we sterilised everything from bedsheets to dog bowls in the hope of destroying chances of another dog picking up parvovirus. I visited the Junction early; however neither Sax nor I were to be detained, and we soon headed home. I read rather than eating lunch. I played Minecraft rather than work. Distractions are simple but short-lasting, although both Sax and I were glad to be outside again, playing a brief match of soccer before Sax systematically murdered the ball:
Gauging his opponent.
Victory at last!
The heavy storms we’ve seen in the past few days caused their fair share of destruction in town, mostly to trees. Tops off trees and whole young gums are down. Today I visited the wetlands/ commons, one of my favourite walks in town. I have probably done the circuit several hundred times. 😀 Today however I was surprised at the extent of the damage, particularly in the adjacent caravan parks, where the heavy elms had shed their tops frighteningly close to caravans and tents.
Despite the casual destruction, the wetlands, joined to the river, were as always tranquil and lovely.
And that’s been my Boxing Day!
Remember those positive vibes for Macy!