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    I prefer not to use PM, please email me instead :-)
  1. Well I happened to wander through here for the first time in a long time (looking for a user who also appears to have left), I figured I should at least give my tuppence. I was here pretty much from the start, when so many of us really were looking for a refuge, but it ended up feeling like a case of out of the frying pan into the fire. I finally gave up because I could no longer stomach the cliques and nastiness, which frequently went far beyond simply ignoring people's posts. It's interesting to see that some of the worst offenders also appear to have left as well, it's just a shame they were allowed to drive out so many others before they did. It's not like no-one complained about it at the time, but the replies were always that there 'were no cliques', or that anyone complaining was simply 'out to cause trouble'. So people continued to leave one by one, some absentees were missed, some went unnoticed by many, some went unnoticed by all. This is the net effect. I don't have any great suggestions on how to improve things now. I don't know the site well enough anymore to have an opinion on it. But I have no doubt that it will have to involve new blood rather than old. Time moves fast on the internet, I, and many others have already moved on, and people don't tend to go back again. I can't imagine a situation where I would ever post here regularly again, even if I were welcome, and it's been a very very long time since I felt welcome here. But I still have fond memories of it, the good times were really good, I met some amazing people here and made some fantastic friends. It's sad to see it so very quiet now.
  2. Sully gets red patches on his white bits where he chews at his joints, but also higher up where he rests his head on his legs, and the drool pools while he sleeps. It must be something in his saliva that causes the discoloration.
  3. pboae

    Cesar Milan

    So he has a natural affinity with dogs, they easily like and trust him, and then he takes advantage of that to physically and mentally abuse them to make a light entertainment programme. He is charming and personable with humans, and for his show to be so popular he must be excellent at judging what people want to see. The backlash / anti-aggresive training movement in America is reaching the stage where his highly lucrative show is starting to suffer, so now he's going to change tack and play to that instead. Charismatic, manipulative, sadistic, lacking empathy, deceitful. That would tick most of the boxes for ASPD and is a pretty good description of a psychopath.
  4. I grow potatoes in black rubble sacks, or empty compost bags turned inside out. I find them easier to manage then solid things like tyres (it's easy to roll the sides up when you are earthing up) and you can just fold the bags up out of season. Courgettes grow well in big pots, they aren't the prettiest plants, but if you water them enough you usually get tons of courgettes. Tomatoes also do well, and if you are short on space the cherry tumblers are great in hanging baskets (they are VERY thirsty though). I also mix things in pots, so carrots and lettuce are great, because they don't squash each other, and lettuce can cope with the sandy soil. With this weather, there's no point chancing things yet. Even covered in a pot these hard frosts will kill them most things off, but it'll only be another month or two before you can get started.
  5. Have a look through this thread on MSE for ham hock recipes They are cheap and really tasty, you can get a hock or shank at the butcher for a couple of quid, less at the market. I do these two in the slow cooker: _____________________________________________ I do cook mine first overnight in a 6l slow cooker, while soaking some soup and broth mix. Next day, I remove all the yukky fat from it and put about 1/4 of the meat and half the stock to one side. The remaining meat goes back in the slow cooker, with cubed potatoes, onions, carrots, root veggies, some shredded cabbage, chopped leeks, dried mixed herbs, veggie stock cubes, drained/rinsed soup and broth mix. That cooks all day and gets dumplings put in at the end. Next night, I soak a box of dried peas and some yellow split peas. Following day, those are drained/rinsed and go in the slow cooker with the remaining stock, remaining ham, some chopped onions and celery if I've got some. Two different meals out of one hock/shank
  6. As long as the Kansas lab is EU approved, she should just be able to have the old passport filled in, with the info at the back, and the new test results on the page next to the initial results (page 9 in my passport). The section is there for people who have to redo the process.
  7. pboae


    Thanks for the info snow. I have been concerned about the Tramadol dosage (hence never giving him any extra). My Step Dad takes them, and he can have a max of 3 a day, but I believe dogs have a higher tolerance. I'm kicking mysely now for not being more on the ball with it. Sully has never had a problem with Rimadyl, and he cannot manage without it now. If he misses one dose he struggles. He's missed 1 dose of Tramadol now and so far his behaviour is unchanged. But I will see how he goes tomorrow. Unfortunately he can't have steroids because they make him ravenously hungry, which is the worst possible torture for him. But that does limit our options a bit.
  8. pboae


    Thank you for all the replies. Snow, what happened when you gave Rimadyl as well? TBH I haven't noticed any real change in him since he started the Tramadol, it's for pain relief for prolapsed discs in his spine, and also for arthritis. But it coincided with the arrival of snow, and general bad weather, and I expected him to get worse then, but he didn't, so it's possible that the Tramadol has masked that. In which case when we stop it, we should know. The vet has said just to stop them for now, but put him back on half dose if he seems to be suffering. Like all opiates there are withdrawal issues with long term Tramadol use, they tend to be worse in humans than dogs though. We have an appointment on Monday. His meds are based on a weight of 90kg, but he has lost a bit of weight lately, probably only a couple of kg though. He always takes his meds with food, as he is very prone to having a dodgy tummy, his daily meds are: 350mg Rimadyl (150mg am, 200mg pm) plus he can have up to an extra 100mg on bad days, but usually only has 50mg 4 x Nutradyl Supplements (2 am, 2 pm) 500mg Tramadol (5 capsules am, 5 capsules pm), he can have double that (1,000mg) on a bad day, but never has. He also has cartrophen injections every 3 months, and we are trying him with acupuncture (but without any great success so far). I know that probably seems a lot, but we are at the stage of palliative care now. I should probably also say, that although we have increased his pain meds recently, I am not convinced he has suffered a pain increase. He had a period of fairly rapid deterioration, which the vet feels is down to increased pain, but I think it it mechanical, and that he is becoming increasingly numb in his rear end, so if anything there has been a decrease in pain. But I agreed to try more pain relief, because the vet felt strongly about it, and I thought I should at least give him the chance, because if he was in pain and I denied him the pain relief, I'd never forgive myself. But as I said, unless the Tramadol masked a further deterioration, I haven't seem any dramatic improvement, same goes for the acupuncture. One possibility is that the Tramadol needs to be spread out further so given in 3 or 4 doses a day rather than 2, but if that is what's causing the fits, I'd sooner just stop giving it to him if possible.
  9. pboae


    Sully had a grand mal fit today, and I think he's had them a couple of times before, but it was at night, so I didn't realise until now what was going on. They only seem to happen when he is in a deep sleep. I spoke to the vet who said there was no point taking him in, as long as he came round OK, which he did. So I've just been keeping him quiet and scaring myself silly reading all the stuff online about seizures. One thing I came across was seizures being a possible side effect of taking Tramadol. He only started on the Tramadol fairly recently, just before Christmas. I can't say for sure, but I think the possible fits were after that, but I couldn't swear to it. Because of his size he's on massive doses of the stuff (and of everything else he takes) and we were thinking of increasing it further I know I can't pull him straight off it, and I will ring my vet tomorrow and ask whether we can start weaning him off it, in case that's the cause. But I was wondering if anyone else had seen this with their dog. It's not clear from the stuff online whether this is a once-in-a-blue-moon side effect, (in which case the trigger is more likely to be liver/kidney problems) or whether it'a actually quite common.
  10. pboae

    Port Meirion

    There are a couple of cottages you can have dogs stay in. We stayed with Sully a few years ago. We picked Mermaid (I think) because it had virtually step free access so it was best for him, but it was a bit exposed, because it's slap bang in the middle of the garden. We had tourists just open the door and wander in a couple of times (until we learned to keep the door locked!) and caught a few people peering through the windows, which was all a bit off putting. But 'after hours' it was lovely, and we had a fantastic weekend.
  11. I bought some sacks of Dog food off them. One of the sacks was mouldy, and Zooplus gave me a right runaround getting it sent back. They were so slow to do anything. It took them ages to arrange a collection date, and then no-one turned up, then I couldn't get another date off them, all the while I had to store a huge sack of mouldy dog food. They wouldn't let me drop the sack off at a depot, and when they did arrange a date it was an all day arrangement, so I was stuck in the house waiting for them. I really wouldn't bother with them again, it was far too much hassle.
  12. pboae


    There's some seriously good bargains on there, thank you!
  13. Then you'll know accidents are more about inappropriate speed than absolute speed, which is why the efficacy of speed limits is so debateable.
  14. I haven't said it's 100% ineffective, I'm saying it's not effective enough to outweigh the additional negative effects caused by it being illegal. But, over 1/3rd of people have tried cannabis, less than 1/7 have tried a Class A drug. Both situations are illegal, so there is clearly another factor at work. The speeding example doesn't really work. On roads where there are no speed limits, like some in Germany and Isle of Man, average speeds are comparable to those in the UK, because more than half of people here speed on motorways anyway.
  15. The figures are for frequent use, not just any recreational use. The BCS is self report, it's not perfect, but it's the best there is at the moment. Their figures are comparable with the proportions admitted to A&E. Where's the evidence that most people don't? I absolutely agree, but I was specifically talking about whether drugs should be legalised or not, and I think the causes of binge drinking (or drug taking) is a whole different issue.
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