Monday, 24 July 2017

Memorial Monday

#1 here, to tell you what I was up to last Friday. Several months ago, I was asked by the British Percheron Horse society, of which I am a member, if I would be willing to represent them at a very special event in France. An organisation called AWAMO (Australian War Animal Memorial Organisation) was going to unveil a memorial to the animals that had lost their lives in WWI, working alongside the military. There were many, many horses, both light and heavy, plus mules, donkeys, dogs and even pigeons. Whereas the people who died in that horrendous conflict have many memorials to them, the animals remained forgotten victims. It is the Australians who started the creation of these documents with help and sponsorship from many others.

This particular monument is in Pozières, in the Somme, the site of the greatest loss of human and animal life for the Australian army during WWI. It is a five hour drive north from where I live, so I set out on Thursday afternoon, so as to be ready for the event on Friday morning.

The ceremony took most of the morning. There were high-level military representatives from Australia, New Zealand, the UK, France, Belgium, and Canada, as well as several prominent Australian politicians and veterinaries. There were several horses there, plus a pony and a donkey. One of the horses modelled a spectacular rug of purple poppies (which represent animals that died in war) that had been handmade in Australia:

Four monuments were dedicated: one to Australian animals, one to New Zealand animals, one to all animals, and one to veterinarians. They were all beautiful:

It was one of the most moving ceremonies I have ever attended, and I have never seen so many grown men cry as they made speeches. Even more touching was this: The British army was in the process of moving some of its military dogs from Germany back to the UK, and they stopped by to take part. Meet the dogs of war:


Are you noticing something here? Yes! One of the most commonly used breeds by the British Army is the English Springer Spaniel, just like Tommy! They are used as search and detection dogs and are considered the best of the best!

Of course, they do use Malinois Belgian Shepherds also, as protection dogs:

Pigeons were used a lot in WWI to send messages, and it was lovely to see some there:

A team of draft horses brought pigeons that were released during the ceremony:

 Some of the military brass:

It was so touching to see these animals finally getting recognition for their work and dedication. I will finish with a video of the Last Call being played by a bugler from the Royal Army Veterinary Corps:


 It was such a privilege to be there. This was the wreath I laid on behalf of the British Percheron Horse Society:

PS: Many thanks for all the enquiries and good wishes concerning Vidock. He is coming home today and will be on box rest for a couple of weeks.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Any Snuggles on Sunday?

Tama-Chan: It's been quite a week with Vidock's operation and #1 being away Thursday and Friday, and so we are a little short on the photo front for our SoS post.

... Except for me, that is! I have been holding up my end of the bargain! I have been snuggling with #1 in bed:

And also snuggling with my Tommy!

Now, this is not a snuggle shot but me and my Beebs sleeping peacefully so close together is as good as a snuggle!

Here is #1 snuggling with Genji:

Now the colours on this next photo are a bit strange. #1 had mistakenly put her camera on the "art filter" setting, but it is a rather exceptional group snuggle shot with Tommy, Sei-Chan, my Beebs and Da Genj!

#1 has been doing some outside snuggling. Here she is with little Merlin:

And she is always snuggling with Miss Heloise!

 We wish you all a snuggly Sunday, and remember to join us tomorrow when #1 will finally reveal what she was up to on Friday of last week!

Saturday, 22 July 2017


Sei-Chan: #1 got home safely yesterday afternoon. She had to drive 5 hours to where she was going, then 5 hours back, so she was tired. We will tell you about what she did on Monday. In the meantime, we are looking forward to a nice, relaxing weekend. The temps have cooled down and it's quite pleasant once more.

I think I shall spend some time making myself even more beautiful (blush...):

And will then go out exploring:

Perhaps hang out a bit with Da Beebs (excuse the ongoing mess):

Just relax, you know?

I wish you all a lovely SEIturday!

Friday, 21 July 2017

Feline Friday

Da Beebs: #1 is away again until this afternoon. She left yesterday afternoon, on a mission that we all very much approve of and that we will tell you about very soon. In the meantime, Mr. G is looking after us.

I have been hanging with my half-sister Sei-Chan:

Mama Tama has been hanging with Tommy:

Da Genj has been sunbathing:

If you look closely at the next one, you can see me and Mama Tama!

Life is good!

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Thankful Thursday with Vidock

Vidock: Studly Neighs, EveryFriend! I am remotely posting from the Livet Equine Veterinary Hospital where I am being "held" for a few days.

First of all, I would like to than each and every one of you for the good wishes on the blog yesterday and all the nice, supportive comments on Facebook.

Before we set out, Mr. JP made sure I looked as handsome and clean cut as possible:

It was about a 2 hour drive and I had full in-trailer service:

#1 says I was looking particularly handsome on arrival:

I had the usual battery of tests:

The upshot was that the laser surgery I had last time was only a temporary fix and, to regain my breath and endurance, I would need a more significant surgery called "tie back". Traditionally, that surgery is done under general anesthetic, but  that is considered undesirable for big horses like me. By some extraordinary coincidence, for which we are all hugely thankful, there is now a new variant which is done with the horse standing and sedated rather than knocked out and lying down, and, amazingly, one of the pioneers of the surgery, Dr. Fabrice Rossignol, just happened to be there yesterday (he normally works at another, very famous equine clinic) and was able to operate on me! Isn't that just incredible? He is on the left in this photo:

#1 was so thankful that I was able to have the surgery at the hands of the best in the field! If you want to know more about my condition, and the surgery that was performed on me, there is an excellent article here in which they mention my surgeon!

So, I am here until either the weekend or next Monday, depending on when Mr. JP can come and get me. After that, I shall have to have box rest for a couple of weeks before I can go out gambolling i my field again. Of course, the big advantage of being in a box is that there are no pesky flies!

Thanks again, Pals! we will keep you updated on my progress.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Woofie Wednesday

Tommy: Today, #1 is leaving early so that she and Mr. JP take The Big V back to the big equine hospital for his check-up. It is right close to Livarot, a name which may be familiar to our cheese-loving friends. We are all crossing our paws for the Big V. I will be spending the time with Fernant when they are gone.

I have been out and about a great deal with #1 lately and met all kinds of woofies along the way. There was this really cute guy who looked like a cross between a spaniel and a saluki:

He had really great furry feet!

Then there was this French Spaniel. They look a lot like springers but are (usually) bigger:

We went wine shopping with our friends:

And hung out a a café:

Then we went for a walk in the woods!

We miss them! It's been really hot again the last couple of days so #1 and I have been going out very early.


Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Tama-Chan Tuesday

Tama-Chan: We really enjoyed the cooler sunny days we had for most of last week, although it has now gotten hot again. Despite having guests over the long July 14th weekend, #1 always had her camera at hand and managed some rather nice sunpuddle shots of me. This one is my favourite:

This one is nice as well:

Here we have a hind foot dangle:

In this one, I am very busy seeing what's going on outside and simultaneously doing a head dangle!

 And last but not least, a lovely sunpuddle snooze!