Month: September 2023

Exploiting the ‘No’ vote

The ugliness of those dissenting voices in the Referendum for the Voice has been brewing from the start but with three weeks to go it’s escalated. The Referendum has exposed a division that was certainly there, but which seems to have grown like a many-headed Hydra. It’s been politically hijacked by the federal Opposition, and is being exploited by various extreme right-wing groups for their own poisonous ideologies that seem to be based on hating anyone and everyone who doesn’t agree with their particular view.

As if the world doesn’t have enough hatred going on with conflicts and war in so many countries, never mind planetary reminders that we should all be turning our attention to that runaway climate change train that will force us all to put aside all these quarrels in the effort to simply survive.

It was fantastic to witness the support for the ‘Yes’ vote last weekend in so many rallies and walks across the country. I hope that support will be sustained and strengthened in the days to come so the polls are proved misleading and incorrect, and the ‘Ayes’ will indeed have it.

I expressed my view in a poem that was another entry in the Independent Australia’s writing competition. As with almost all these poetic creations, this one began life as a result of the weekly Word Expo word game. But I very quickly rewrote Exploitation and it’s now been published. I can only hope that it might just contribute to changing the minds of a few of those who read it – especially if they were veering towards voting ‘No’.

A dog’s life

All those who have a companion animal in their life, be it dog, cat, rabbit, horse or sheep, is fully aware that animal is likely to depart this planet before they do. I’ve buried several dogs and cats, and a couple of rabbits, and it doesn’t get any easier when it’s time to say goodbye. But who’d be without an animal in their life if they’re able to have one? Not me, that’s for sure, but realising the time to say goodbye to Della might be considerably earlier than we expected has come as rather a shock.

We’d noticed Della was carrying her left hind leg a bit a few months ago but thought little of it initially thinking she’d perhaps just sprained her foot. But it didn’t get any better, so we rang the vet. Paul had just left for an overseas holiday and wouldn’t be back for several weeks so we had to take Della into a different clinic. The young vet there was very thorough, and I’m sure knew her stuff but she couldn’t find anything definitive, so we left with a box of anti-inflammatories, and advised to come back if they didn’t do the trick for what we and the vet suspected was the beginning of arthritis or rheumatism. Della is around 11 years-old – she’s a rescue dog so the RSPCA could only estimate her age – so this diagnosis was entirely plausible.

Initially we thought they did do the trick. They weren’t necessary every day so the box lasted several months, and we also trialled Rosehip-Vital – a natural treatment to relieve arthritis and rheumatism.
Despite all our efforts though Della’s limp became more pronounced, so it was time for another visit to the vet. Our own this time. Paul explained the situation as tactfully as he could but it’s obvious he believes Della has cancer, and it’s in the legbone. There’s a chance it’s a badly torn and inflamed cruciate ligament but it’s a slim chance. We’ll known on Wednesday when she has an X-ray.

It’s true Della has slowed down a bit from her younger self. She was a very timid and subdued dog when we picked her up from the RSPCA in December 2013. We’ll never know the reasons behind her being found wandering the streets, thin, starving and with obvious signs of mistreatment, but the trauma has never completely diminished over time. There are triggers. But it was a moment to celebrate when she finally felt comfortable and secure enough to really run when we walked her on a neighbour’s property, and where she had the freedom of paddocks empty of livestock. And could she run! She went bonkers doing that crazy circular dash that dogs do a few times just for the pure joy of it. Whatever her exact ancestry there’s certainly some well-honed hunting instincts involved, adding to the basenji traits, that we’ve been told is certainly a factor in her parentage. She has characteristics that are common to the breed.

Next week we’ll know if it’s time to say goodbye to Della but until then I’m hanging on to the possibility it’s that 25 per cent chance the problem is cruciate.