Friday, 6 July 2018

Enjoyed Chester but then a bad end to the week

Last week we attended a charity boxing match at the Roodee racecourse in Chester which raised £4000.  One of Amy's regulars at the pub was taking part and we all went to support him.  Its the first time we've been to a live boxing match and with 20 bouts on the program it was a full evening.  This also included a meal and a bottle of vino calapso all for £20 a head

One of the the bouts was the only not blurred picture I took.

Sadly Koowee (nickname for Cooper) lost his bout but he got all the support from his mates in loud calls of Koowee Koowee Koowee while he boxed.  This helped him on but to no avail.  Still he was in good spirits and is looking forward to next year's event.  We on the other hand had a great time and with great company with wine and beer flowing freely.

Koowee in the middle after his bout with is son on the right (straight out of Peaky Blinders I reckon) :-)

We then moved up into Chester after stopping for a shop in the new Aldi super store.  There are some convenient moorings outside the Bridge Inn to lay up so while the other halves go shopping the lads can have an ale or three.  A great concept there I think.

The moorings at the Bridge Inn.  Aldi is of to the left on the other side of the cut.

As we moved on the Sunday it was a rare opportunity for Chris to be with Smudge and I whilst we cruise.  She love this part of Chester so relished the trip in the warm weather.  I was grateful not having to single hand the locks of course but it is nice cruising together.


Approaching Chemistry lock

Once through the locks we reached Cow Lane bridge moorings in Chester.  We had intended to moor there but all the moorings were taken so we carried on to the basin.  Chris had to stay aboard as we found, once again, the towpath closed after the bridge and King Charles tower.  This is due to loose rocks in the walls that tower above the cut along there.


The closed section of towpath and section of dangerous wall on the left of frame.

Next was the bridge of sighs.  I've mentioned this before but I always feel there is an air about the place as you pass under it.  Still I do like this stretch as its moody and atmospheric.

The bridge of sighs.
 Finally we got to the Northgate staircase.  With no volunteer locky working them and the locks set against us it took a while to descend.  We found the basin with only a few boats moored there

In the middle chamber.
 We got our favourite mooring in the basin opposite the dry dock and stayed the week.  Whilst there we found this brightly coloured rock.  Seems a new craze is sweeping the nation.  Paint a rock and leave it for someone to find and re hide or keep.  The kids and adults alike love it and they are being found everywhere.

Brightly coloured rock we found and re-hid.

The weather has been so hot and our place in the basin made it just perfect
 It was that hot one afternoon so we tried to get Smudge to go for a swim but he was having none of it.  I think having fallen in off AmyJo when he was a pup has unfortunately given him a complex about swimming.

Trying to coax Smudge into the water but he would not go out of his depth

On Monday I moved the boat up to Cow Lane bridge and we had a couple of uneventful days there.  On Wednesday we moved back to Waverton.  There is a fete there this Saturday and we are ringing handbells in the afternoon so it will be quite convenient as the hall is yards away from our mooring.

All was well with our world until Thursday.  I had walked Smudge in the evening when it cooled down and was playing fetch with his ball on the green next to the boat.  I threw the ball for the sixth time and Smudge tore off after it as normal.  On reaching it he spun round and let out an almighty yelp and kept yelping, curling up into a ball.  It was an awful sound, everyone stopped and looked. When I got to him it was clear something was really wrong with his back leg. I yelled at Chris to lock up the boat and get to the car whilst I carried Smudge back.

After a visit to the emergency vet and X-rays next day it appears he has fractured his femur in his right hind leg, how we are unable to work out.  I think he tripped over the ball landing on it with his leg on top the ball and all of his body weight coming down onto it.  Yesterday we had to take him to a veterinary hospital where he was operated on to fit plates either side of the bone to hold it together.

We got him home this afternoon and the poor chap is not in a good place but coping well enough and not complaining as he is pumped full of pain killers, this helps as it makes him drowsy.

Here you can see the extent of the operation
For now we're keeping him dosed up on Tramadol and Pardale (paracetamol) for animals.  He is to have complete rest, only 5 minutes of exercise to go do his business outside.  No stairs or jumping on and off furniture for 6 weeks, then another round of X-Rays to check all is well.  For those of you that know Smudge this is going to be difficult at best.

This incident has really shaken me and I did not realise just how close the pair of us had become.  We both missed each other terribly and I was close to tears all night with worry.  His eyes lit up  when he saw me today will be one I'll never forget.  He has laid beside me ever since we got home.  Its good so to have him back.

As a result if this our latest cruise plans will now have to be curtailed as well.  We're not destined to have our usual summer cruise this year but if it means Smudge gets back to normal I'd gladly go without it.  Not sure what we'll do for a cruise but as soon as smudge is able to get about and his stitches are out we might plan a couple of weeks down the Shroppie and back, we'll have to see.

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