Oh I know, here we go again. I've been trying not to make it sound as if I live at Crisis Central. There are some things that I haven't mentioned much. One of them was that as of October 2008, just before W's diagnosis, Ned started taking fits.**

Fits that were alarming to watch, not least because of the distress he was in during them. The fits would last about 10- 30 minutes, and involved much shaking, yelping, eye rolling, and saliva. Afterwards he would be disorientated for up to another hour; not walking straight, confused - think punch drunk and you get the idea.

So we went to the vet, who ran a battery of (expensive) tests, and declared it idiopathic - cause unknown. Rare in so young a dog, but controllable, as long as we gave him the right drugs. And brought him in to have his blood checked every quarter, because there were SIDE EFFECTS to these drugs.
For the past year, therefore, I have been feeding him drugs. Ned Likes DRUGS. Since he gets them with a blob of butter, he reminds me if I forget. But after a few months, because I was worried about SIDE EFFECTS, I started cutting down the dose.

So yesterday morning was all MY FAULT.

We were walking along our usual route in the fields behind Cheesetown, when Ned lay down beside the river.
Cute I thought. He's watching the ripples in what had been a stream, but was now a small river following the recent Cheesetown Floods.
Then I realised he wasn't watching leaves and twigs floating downstream, he was starting to convulse. And my only thought was - Keep him out of that water if he's having a fit. He'll drown in it.
For the whole of his fit, I managed to keep him out of the water. As he thrashed in the mud, I was guiding him away from the river. To hell with it. It's an old jacket. The jeans will wash.
It was only after his fit, when we were both filthy anyway, that he FELL IN.

Now every year, there are stories of dog owners drowning after jumping into frozen lakes, or fast flowing rivers to rescue their dogs. And I always thought - how could they be so stupid?
Well now I've got an inkling of what goes through their heads, because there was no way I could NOT jump in after him - though keeping it in perspective THIS water was only knee deep, just fast flowing and COLD. I had to keep his head above water, and stop the hound from being swept down to the reservoir.
And the only way I could do this was by getting in there myself, and trying to hold him close while 18kg of collie thrashed around.

We were both fine. Just wet. Very wet.

Going home through Cheesetown's suburbs though, we gave an old guy the chance to prove that his powers of deduction were as yet unaffected by age.
"Aye, yi been in the wattur then?"

**On hearing the dog was epileptic, W joked to the cherub, "Hey EVERYONE you know isn't well these days. Except me of course...."