Jul 21

Letter from exasperated Floss

Here I am looking dorky in my Elizabethan collar and with my leg in a bright green bandage.

Here I am looking dorky in my Elizabethan collar and with my leg in a bright green bandage.

Dear Readers,

Who’d have thought one little lick could have started all this? Dogs lick. It’s what we do. Then I licked again and again until – and I was fascinated by this – a lump formed. I’m just regurgitating what the vet said here. I usually only regurgitate after I eat grass, but these are unusual circumstances which are, apparently about flea treatments. Because I’m special and sensitive, some of the usual stuff doesn’t quite work.

Anyway, here I am looking like a dork. I know this because the lady at the vet centre who I used to like looked at me and smiled and said, “Oh Floss, you look so funny.” Just because people can’t speak dog lingo, doesn’t mean I can’t understand every flipping word they say.

My boss, who I’m also cool on at the moment, has been heard marvelling about my good nature because when she gets me out of my cage to pee and poo I can’t wait to get back in. I don’t do this because I’m nice. I do it because I don’t want to be seen looking like a dork and I can avoid Jas the puppy. They call my neck gear an Elizabethan collar which confirms that the royal family, who my boss finds fascinating, are dingbats.

My leg, meanwhile, has a few teeny problems because I’ve ended up with insufficient skin to contain it. Ugggh. Doesn’t bear thinking about.

The only excitement during my incarceration has been thanks to the farmer. Soon after I’d had my right foreleg bandaged he came home with his right forepaw in plaster. What a guy! He fell off a truck while loading wool bales – just to make me feel better. Some bone that links his thumb to his wrist, apparently.

Then, when the farmer let me out to do ablutions, he forgot to put me on a lead. I was off up the back paddock at a gallop – finally in a private place to do what should be done in private. Then there’s the dodgy door he made for my pen. I had many long hours to check out that door before the day of my escape.

As usual, my boss was walking Kate and the annoying puppy along the beach. But I could no longer overlook her disloyal behaviour because she was with her friend Fluffy. Some people get us mixed up and call me Fluffy. I love that.

Then Kate barked, “Come on, Floss. It’s fun on the beach.” That did it! I ripped some slats off my door, wriggled out and was off, peg legging it along the beach, not giving a dog’s biscuit who saw me.

Finally, on the same day, the farmer and I set off to get our appendages released from prison. He came home bare pawed, but I was still bandaged – and furious.

One night, I bent my horrible collar, gripped the end of the bandage with my teeth and pulled like you wouldn’t believe. I was free!

I love going in the car, except once again I found myself at the vet centre with the lady who tells me I look funny. Turns out I knew best. They let me come home with no bandages, but I’m still locked up. Something about my skin being very fragile. Let me tell you, it’s not nearly as fragile as my patience.

Your friend Floss.

About the author

Rae Roadley

Rae is a journalist, freelance writer and writing tutor. Soon after returning to her hometown to work for Northland's daily newspaper, she met beef and sheep farmer Rex Roadley. He lived in a historic home at Batley on the Kaipara Harbour and after moving there, Rae reported on farming then wrote a newspaper column, The Country Side. Her wryly amusing tales of country life earned many followers and led her to learn more about the local people, past and present. She tells the story of her new life in 'Love at the End of the Road: Finding my heart in the country'.


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  1. Jenn J McLeod | Simmering Season

    ROFL I LOVE Floss. What a great yarn. BUt interesting!! Are you suggesting the flea treatment has caused the obsessive licking? My Strawberry dog has been obsessively licking for a while – and we changed tick/flea treatment a while back to the ‘on skin kind’ kind rather than the tablet.

    1. Rae Roadley

      Different issue methinks. We changed from on-the-skin treatment (Frontline for other doggies, Revolution for Floss) to a new flea collar-type thing which is only available from vets and seems to work well with our other dogs. Apparently didn’t work for Floss and vet thinks perhaps a flea bite on her leg – she started licking that spot and a lump formed, kept licking – I had it tested, nothing sinister and hoped for the best, but it got bigger and bled one morning – operating the only solution. It’s taken ages for her to stop licking and I have only just this week taken off the Elizabethan collar when she’s resting – and keeping a close eye. Hope travels are going well.

  2. Maureen

    Poor Floss. Perhaps I should send Bert over to keep her company…

    1. Rae Roadley

      Floss is very friendly and would love Bert I’m sure.

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