Rupert, the wonder dog – part I

**This was originally posted on tumblr, but I felt compelled to repost here. You can read Part II here.**

I don’t normally use tumblr like a journal or a diary, but I’m a bit miserable and needed to ‘write it out’.


Little Rupert is in intensive care. The hospital sent this photo on Saturday night. He’s spending his time between a nebulizer, an oxygen tent, and having endless blood tests. If he’s well enough for anaesthetic, tomorrow he will have an MRI on his brain, a barium x-ray and they mentioned testing the fluid in his lungs and taking muscle biopsies. Apart from the pneumonia, he has a mystery auto-immune muscle wasting disease.. they originally thought it was masticatory muscle myositis, but it seems to be affecting his shoulders and his ability to breath and swallow, too. The vets are confident that it will be treatable, but he has to get past this pneumonia first.

It’s not a nice or reasonable way to feel, but I wish this was happening to some other dog. Rupert’s biggest ambition in life is just to be cuddled, or sit on someone’s lap. He is so gentle and spirited, and his favourite trick is throwing his body weight backwards in your arms so you have to hold him like a baby.

What we know of his history is so awful – before we adopted him (free to a good home, in the classifieds), he’d had two years of being passed around between people who weren’t prepared to or able to look after him. Before that, he had been in the pound. He was free because of his separation anxiety – he is so desperate to be loved, he would go to crazy lengths to prove how submissive he was.. like peeing on the couch. We’re working on that! He still has some scars from his past life – some strange grooves on the back of his canine teeth, possible from chewing on a cage; if he ever sees a plastic bag on the floor, he immediately claims it as his ‘bed’; he loves his little sister, Posie, but he gets incredibly agitated around other male dogs. We don’t know when his birthday is, we don’t know what his first name was, or where he was born.

It’s so cruel and unfair that this should happen to him after everything he’s already been through. But if it had to happen, I’m glad it’s happening now – because unlike everybody else who gave him away when it got tough, we’ll stick with him through this.

the moral of the story is…

My main intention with this blog is to force myself to write. I find myself paralysed, all the time, when faced with blank spaces. Or having an idea that is so unusual, and feeling completely incapable of getting it down without destroying it. Like catching a goldfish only to smash it between overeager hands. Expect drivel and spelling mistakes!

Another intention (an easier one) is to collect all the bits and pieces of my life (and everything outside of my life) that inspire something. Memories have holes and vested interests, and they are very good at constructing lies and distorting things. So, this will provide a little time capsule for me.

Currently, I am working on a couple of pieces involving fairy tales. For uni. One of them is a fairy tale of my own design, the other piece is a school essay in which I tear a tale apart – Hansel and Gretel. It’s amazing that everybody knows this story, yet everybody gave different answers when I asked on facebook what the moral or ‘lesson’ was.

Don’t eat people’s houses.
Don’t trust kids.
Don’t trust adults.
Don’t trust your parents.
Don’t trust witches.
Don’t let your parents name you Hansel or Gretel.

I can’t pinpoint one overall moral either. It’s incredibly ambiguous, especially when you try to consider it as an instructional tale for children in 1857. It’s especially concerning when you consider the stepmother dies at the same time as the witch. Perhaps they are the same person..