Had bit of a week of it last week. After starting the week on Monday seemingly flying, getting dogs booked in for health tests etc, on Tuesday I milked in the morning and accidentally milked a cow that was on antibiotic withdrawal into the bulk tank along with over 5,000 litres of milk, so had to confess my mistake to Adrian who I milk for at this farm (I relief milk for two farms).
I'm now in my third year milking for Adrian, after the farm I was milking for before stopped milking, selling their herd. This was the first time I have made any mistake of this kind whilst milking for them, accidents happen and it was going to be interesting how Adrian would react.
If I did not tell it would be hard to trace it back to my doorstep, as the milk is taken every other day, so four milking's go into the tank each time before each pick up by the milk tanker and with a couple cows on antibiotic restriction and busy calving a mistake could of been made without one of us knowing, but if you took that approach and the contamination was enough to right off a whole lorry tanker of milk the farmer can be landed with a hefty fine in the thousands and the loss of two days milk, things are tight enough as it is and if they know the milk has been contaminated, they are covered by insurance but only if the contamination is discovered on farm and the milk does not start to go into the system and then is discovered to be contaminated. Even if you risk a bollocking, you have to own up to your mistakes, better a bollocking first as last.
The testing system for farm picked up milk is, that every time milk is picked up on farm (most farms have every other day pick up) a sample is taken and when the milk lorry is full and gets to depot to empty the lorry, the whole tanker is tested before entering the milk system, if any trace of antibiotic is found, then each farm sample is tested to trace the contamination. All individual farm sampled milk is tested at least every ten days for quality of milk and cleanliness of milk. If the milk does not reach certain quality markers when tested, the farmer can be fined or a further reduction in price is paid depending on the contract they have. Both the farms I milk at, the milk goes in to cheese, so the quality is more important than for drinking milk.
Thankfully Adrian was just glad I had told him and thanked me for being honest. There was a chance that there was no contamination, due to the quarter on the cow that had been treated with antibiotics, I had hand stripped the quarter before accidentally forgetting when putting the cluster on to change over pipes for it to go in the dump bucket and the quarter was all but empty. The protocol for suspected contamination is to take a sample from the tank to the nearest place it can be tested, so leaving the farm that morning, I would spend the rest of the day wondering if I had contaminated over £1,500 worth of milk.
Time came to arrive back on farm for the evening milking and I noticed the milk still in the tank and then Adrian appeared and I asked straight away about the milk. He did not do an Alan Sugar on me, as I think he could tell I was beating myself up enough about making the mistake and said," We are very lucky, I have just been rang with the result and the milk is clear. Lucky you stripped the quarter before hand, as that must of done the trick." What a relief and I have just billed them for last month and offered to pay for the milk test and the time and cost of taking the milk sample to be tested at North Tawton, but they told me not to be so stupid and they were just glad I told them when something like that happened.
I arrived home last Tuesday evening from milking in a better mood than I had left, but then to find out my husband had yet again allowed Millie and Toby to beggar off (I wonder what Google translate makes of "beggar off" or what it would make of the ruder version "bugger off", you might think what do her dogs do, "Yikes ! dirty dogs," it is being used as slang for "go away" or "run away" in this case). It seems that they seem to escape when let outside when I'm not here and I am wondering whether part of it is they think they are going off to find me, so we can go hunting together because that is probably what they think I am doing when not home, if you think with a dog brain, for a minute, you could see the logic of that.
Wednesday morning I had to take Henry in for his hip x-rays for his hip grading and on my return, I set off to look for Toby and Millie, calling in on some of their regular haunts and leaving my phone number with several people. No luck though and I returned home around 2 pm and rung the dog warden for the Torridge council to report them missing.
Wednesday went and Thursday morning arrived with no sign of Toby or Millie still, or so I thought. I got the children to school bar one, as our oldest Bert had a dental appointment to remove two of his baby teeth, which although his adult teeth are down, had decided they did not want to naturally depart our sons mouth. On my return from the school run, Bert came rushing out from the front door saying that my sister, Claire had just rung and she had seen on facebook that someone had found two Cavaliers down at Umberleigh, Wednesday night and had taken them into Charter Vets in Barnstaple. I rang Claire back just to confirm my son had got the right vets and thank her.
This is where the fun begins. I rang the vets and told them I had found out that they might have my two dogs and they confirmed this fact and actually had checked them for microchips when they come in the night before, it was now around 9.30 am the next day and I asked, why no one had thought to contact me by now, did they not think I might be worried about them. They then tried to pass the buck saying, although the dogs had been brought in by a member of the public (which I have been unable to find out who took them in to the vets to thank them), the member of the public had rung the dog warden and out of hours they hold dogs for the council and it was for the dog warden to contact me. I then asked to pick them up, but was told that I could not pick them up until the dog warden okayed it. Which upset me, the fact that they would not allow me to see my dogs until the dog warden okayed it, two dogs who obviously by their condition and temperaments are well looked after and loved. I was a bit abrupt with the lady on the phone and a bit emotional, which took me by surprise, but I think it was due to the relief the two little buggers were okay and the frustration of the bureaucracy to get the two little buggers back now the council had them. I did apologise to the lady on the phone later when I was given the okay to pick them up and picked them up.
So I then rang the council and was told the dog warden would ring me back and yes, I was a little curt with this lady, who after thinking about how I spoke to her all weekend, I rang up the council this morning and offered an apology to her as well. Such things, if I know I have been a bit curt (When I say, "curt" I mean a bit abrupt and short, I don't swear at people, well, only in my head) with someone and they did not really deserve it, plays on me and I will try to put it right.
Now I had reported Millie and Toby missing to the council our property lies in, which is Torridge Council and we live right on the border of North Devon Council, the dogs being found had been reported to North Devon Council and it seems that the councils don't liaise between each other about missing dogs, only if they have been missing for sometime. At 10.30 am I finally got rung by the dog warden after these dogs had been taken in the night before. I asked why no one had rung me after the vet surgery had checked them for microchips and they had all my contact details. Her reply was it was a bit late, but I asked, "Don't you think I would be worried about them ? I would not be worried about the time, to know they were safe. That is why they are microchipped, so if they are lost they can quickly be returned, what is the point of having them microchipped otherwise ?" I told her they had been reported to Torridge Council the day before missing and asked why they did not contact them, as the dogs were picked up right on the border of both councils, she did not have an answer to that.
The dog warden told me she had okayed it for me to pick up my dogs (I think she just wanted me off her back) and there was no charge from them, as a member of the public had taken them in, but there would be a charge from the vets for kenneling over night. Sorry, you can call me an old cynic, I think we just had the answer to why after knowing the contact details, I was not contacted until the next day. The surgery is a busy town surgery, so always has animals staying overnight with night staff, so a couple extra small dogs in a kennel would of not incurred any expense to the surgery. I protested saying, "But there was no need to keep the dogs in over night, they had my contact details (They admitted that they had my details within minutes of the dogs arriving at the surgery) and if contacted, I would of picked them up."
I wanted my dogs back, so asked how much it was and she said, she would have to find out from the vets and they would let me pick up the dogs today and she would send me an invoice, which surprised me that without paying the vet, they would let me have my dogs back. I told her with my tongue firmly in my check (but many a true word said in jest), to tell Charter who I used to use for my horses, that in the past they had earned enough money out of me, that one night in a kennel for my dogs, they could give me that. Anyway we ended the phone call on good terms and I set of with my son to the dentist for 11.25 am and picked Millie and Toby up on route home.
Millie is such a pain, but as the nurse lead the two out to me waiting in the reception area of the vets, Toby and her showed their obvious delight in seeing Bert and me, any annoyance is soon brushed aside and I'm just pleased that yet again I have got her back along with Toby, safely.
I got her home and we have finally discovered the place they have been getting out, by me going outside into the road and calling them and in this process they showed us where they could get out, so we have re-fenced that area, as they were climbing the wire and managing to then squeeze between the top rail and the second down rail, it is now a solid would fence, and although I have put tags on them before and they rip them off in the undergrowth, I have put tags on them again and also used marker pen and wrote our phone number on their canvass collars. I have yet to receive a bill from the vets and I await that with interest. I think I might be turning into a mad old dog lady, Millie is certainly helping to get me there. Lol
This week we will see the pilgrimage to see the cardiologist vet with Smudge, Primrose and Toby on Wednesday. Primrose and Smudge are nearing five years old, so we are getting to the 50/50 stage for Cavaliers when it comes to the onset of Mitrial Valve Degeneration (MVD). Toby is now three years old and I would hope all is okay with his heart around a 30% chance of MVD at his age. Fingers crossed for the all clear for all three of them.
Henry was soon back to his old self after having his anesthetic last week when having his hips x-rayed. Last night Smudge and him gave me a photo opportunity of hopefully the two future lovebirds together. I really will be disappointed if Smudge fails her heart examination on Wednesday and it might take me some time in dusting my self off before starting all over again. Finger now going blue.Lol
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Me with Bumble and Blottie, waiting patiently to be unleashed, November 2018
Hello, I am Jane, you might of guessed, I love dogs. We are situated in the North Devon countryside, England, United Kingdom. Our home is occupied by my husband, David, our children, pack of dogs and me.