13 December 2022



This is a new word I came across for the first time the other day.  I guessed straight away that it must mean "to make miserable" i.e. to inflict misery upon others, but it also means to impoverish.

There’s plenty of misery in the news just now.  The elitist tossers that pose as our government are bent on immiserating most of us, unless you’re very wealthy already and have a finger in the Tory pie.  

I am reminded of a conversation with one of the team of builders who fixed our roof and windows in September.  He's English but said he never comes back to the UK because everyone is so miserable!

Daisy is not too chuffed with life at the moment.  The sarcoma that she had removed by our French vet in June had made a reappearance and she has had to have another operation.  This time we saw a new UK vet and he said that they can't guarantee that it won't come back again, in which case she would probably have to have her left eye, ear and ear canal removed to deal with it.  We're thinking that we probably wouldn't want to do that.

Hugo has also had surgery on his eyes.  He has been plagued with ingrowing eyelashes for a few years and last year we consulted a canine ophthalmologist about it.  She said the usual treatment for the removal of ingrowing eyelashes, cauterisation of the lid margins, would not be possible for Hugo as the offending lashes were too close to the lower punctum (tear duct).  She also said they were very fine and would not cause any damage to his eyes.

Sadly she was wrong.  For the last year he has been rubbing his eyes furiously on anything and everything he can; his paws, furniture, grass, us.  The irritation caused his eyes to produce a sticky discharge which set like concrete on the fur close to the eye corners and the rubbing fetched the fur out by its roots.  He now has large, bald and red sore patches of skin just in front of each eye which becomes inflamed and bleeding every time he rubs his eyes, a vicious circle where the condition was getting worse rapidly.

Various vets in both France and the UK have recommended different products for cleaning off the discharge.  Keeping the fur around his eyes trimmed short helps but the constant messing with his eyes is uncomfortable for him and upsetting for us.  We got to the point where he would skulk around us, hiding, for fear of getting the cleaning treatment.  We were at the end of our tether with the problem for which there seemed to be no solution, just the certainty that it would get worse and worse.  Hugo is still a young dog at just over five years old and we found the prospect of having to cope with this for the rest of his life immiserating indeed.

We spoke to the breeder.  She is a local person who breeds standard poodles occasionally, keeping most of the puppies for herself.  Currently she has seven adult poodles and there isn't much she doesn't know about looking after them.  She said at the outset that if we ever we were struggling with Hugo, not to hesitate to get in touch.

She recommended seeing a different vet in town, one that she has been using for a couple of years and she was confident he could do something for poor Hugo.  So we went to see him.  He said that the damage to Hugo's skin in front of his eyes, caused by the constant rubbing and loss of fur, was far worse than any consequences of damage to the tear ducts might have been, and that in fact they were inflamed and not functioning anyway.  He was keen to operate as soon as possible and the next day Hugo had cryosurgery on the lower lids to destroy all the ingrowing lashes and follicles.

It seems to have worked.  In the sense that the lashes are gone and the constant rubbing has stopped.  Unfortunately the angry looking bald patches are still there and still need cleaning every day.  He is clearly more comfortable but the damage has been done.  We wish we had known about this vet a year or so ago and had something done about it then.  

2022 has certainly been a challenging year for us.  There were good times too.......


  1. I think you taught me that word fairly recently. It could be the word of 2022. It is refreshing to hear one more blogger who considers this wretched government to be tossers. There are not many of us here.

  2. I didn't realise that Daisy had already endured one operation for a sarcoma. That completely passed me by. Mind you, June was super busy for me. Anyway, here's hoping for the best for her now. And poor Hugo, and you both of course.