My friends, this will be something of a weekend in pictures, as I feel quite weary on the inside right now.
My lovely friend Vicki and I went along to the Northern Vegan Fair, which has (very happily) now moved into a much more appropriate venue, meaning one can actually breathe as one navigates the stalls.
The savoury food offerings were not the greatest on the overall, but there were the usual tremendous burgers from Manchester locals Teatime Collective, and some fantastic pies from Scots Cool Jerk Vegan Pies.
Also of note were this very impressive ‘brie’, and the delicious ‘cream tea in a bag’ kits from The Afternoon Tea Co., whose scones are delightfully fluffy, and whose ‘cream’ is some of the best I’ve tasted.
Vulpe and I visited Heaton Park in Prestwich for the first time on Sunday. Parents of reactive dogs will know that any new situation is often an exercise in terror and/or peaking stress hormones (both for Vulpe and for me). This was really no different, and the exhaustion of mothering a highly reactive dog really hit me. After nearly 5 years and: numerous training classes, one-on-one positive reinforcement training, Thundershirts, Adaptil diffusers/tablets/collars, zyklene and other ‘calmers’, avoiding triggers, books (I’ve read Ian Dunbar, Patricia McConnell, Sophia Yin, Sarah Whitehead, Karen Pryor, Debbie Jacobs) etc., etc., (as well as plenty of abuse from passers-by) I am fully spent. (I’ve been worrying about this for 3 years at least…..)
The dog-parent-guilt is getting too strong, and having considered speaking to the vet about possible medications for a while now, this article really pushed me to make the decision to do it.
As a human being who relies on medication to stabilise my moods and maximise my mental health and well-being, I feel like I’m neglecting my duty now if I don’t do all that I can to help Vulpe live a calm and happy life. Ideally, I would like medication to stablise her moods enough for me to really put all the great training techniques I’ve learned to good use.
It’s a good job she’s such an absolute peach the rest of the time really. I do love her so, and will stick by her forevermore, but she can be very hard work and I just want to do the right thing <3