I’ll let you into a little secret. Well, this is actually a huge secret for a tiny but massive in personality Yorkshire Terrier such as myself to be burdened with for all these weeks. My Mama J is a fully fledged superhero! She is Wonder Woman in an animal print jumper. That’s what she is wearing today so we’ll have go with that description. Before you think I’ve gone crazy with my imaginative brain powers, I have not. She saw herself as Wonder Woman when she went for hypnotherapy to calm her down prior to her heart surgery last week and the role sits very nicely indeed on her shoulders. Crown, wrist bands and all! Even the Hypnotherapist encouraged her superhero powers by buying her a Wonder Woman t-shirt and of course I have my superhero bandana which goes very aptly to transform me into Wonder Woman’s partner in universe saving action.
With her new powers of calmness against the odds, Mama J was able to conquer her nemesis, the hospital doors! We all got up a 5.30am. Yes, I know my eyes hurt when Granny turned the bedroom light on for Grandpa to take me out for my very early morning stroll. Was this more Bear Grylls survival training in the mix? I have a few riders for such adventures such as wanting treats on demand when I give a paw or a stern nod.
   Once Mama J was dressed we all jumped into the car at 6.50am and travelled the hour’s drive to the hospital. Mama J usually freaks out on arrival at the hospital entrance but this time she kissed me and Grandpa goodbye and ran in through the sliding doors, her superhero cape blowing in the breeze. Just kidding her superhero training hadn’t fully kicked in but her bladder sure had. She was like Anneka Rice on Challenge Anneka bounding in looking for the nearest toilet! She bounced passed Rachel who was part of the hospital’s psychological support team apologising for her unruly water works as she went. When she’d finished her ablutions Mama J and her entourage of Granny and Rachel went up to check herself into the health spa, sorry hospital ward for the duration of her stay.
   On being checked in Mama J had to run through the necessary paperwork with the nursing staff and an extremely cheeky Anaesthetist. The chap asked her for her address, date of birth and then bank details! Mama J being the feisty and security conscious lady that I know and love chirped back, “I’m not giving you that information. I’ve only just met you!” She had one concern that the Anaesthetist allayed which was getting the cannula in her hand. His reply was, “If I get it in there in one will you give me your bank details?” She looked amused and answered, “You’ve got to get it in there first to find out!” With the banter over with Mama J put on her hospital gown and paper underpants. Somehow I don’t think these knickers will ever catch on and feature in any of Marks and Spencer underwear collections any time soon! With that they called her through to the lab, yes the lab not even an operating theatre. Now come on was she really having an operation done or a beauty treatment? The procedure began to be very real.
   Now Mama J isn’t very bendy at the best of times but she had to get on a step ladder and hop onto a tiny bed. The steps made her feel like she was about to go horse riding again and this was going to be one hell of a different ride. Once on the bed all she discussed before she went to sleep was Yorkshire Tea. See a good brew really is the meaning of life after all. I thought the deep and funny stuff was meant to come out of your mouth after waking up from an anaesthetic not before.

Once Mama J came around and vital checks were done she was wheeled back through to the ward where Granny was waiting to greet her and tell her the good news. This was that her valve replacement was a total success and they’d managed to also widen an artery while they were in there too.
   Following Granny telling her this excellent news one of the doctor’s who performed the procedure came to say how delighted he was with he outcome, how he’d be interested to see how she was getting on in clinic in three months time and that to road test the new valve he wanted Mama J to go hill walking! Oh yes you know what this means for an exercise loving loon like me? I’ve got a partner in marching crime now! Thank you Doctor, I’ll pay you later.
   Mama J who was still dazed by the anaesthetic couldn’t quite take this in and started chanting in rhythm, “Hill walking! Hill walking. He wants me to go hill walking!” Granny looked on and just nodded along with her chanting as did everyone else on the ward. So that was the patients, their visiting friends and relatives and all the staff who came to check up on her, all nodding in unison at Mama J’s chanting or ranting. I bet it was like one of those annoying tunes you can’t get out of your head. The Hill Walking song. I might paw it and go on Britain’s Got Talent to see what Simon Cowell makes of it all.

Mama J tried to rest through the night although with all the monitors bleeping, (I’d have been barking away at them had I being there) blood pressure checks and patients snoring this was very difficult indeed. At 3.30am Mama J could take no more and made her way to the nurses station for a bit of quiet contemplation. On telling them of her stresses they made her a cup of tea, cracked open a tub of Celebrations chocolate and gave her the latest edition of Closer magazine to read. Mama J was slightly disappointed it wasn’t Hello magazine but beggars can’t be choosers at that time in the morning.
 After a half hour sit down Mama J went back to her bed for another session of staring at the ceiling then at the monitor and then back at the ceiling again.

Mama J was up with the lark at 6.30am and had her hair done and a full face of make up on by 6.45am. She was coming home after her overnight stay and couldn’t wait for Granny to arrive at 10am to collect her. Prior to that she had an echocardiogram and an x-ray to have which didn’t go without event. 
   On the way back from the echo test Mama J’s very tense and tired right leg turned rogue and grew a mind of its own. Don’t you just love it when a leg does that? It then kicked off completely and tripped Mama J up to the absolute horror of the Radiographer who was walking her back to the ward. He’d already told her about his pace maker whilst he was running the test so he knew he could jokingly tell her off for startling his pace maker into action. On graciously receiving an apology from Mama J for her legs misbehaviour he said, “It’s not every day a lady throws herself at my feet.” He scraped Mama J up, tucked her under his arm and frogmarched her back to the ward like a scene from war movie Black Hawk Down. Leave no patient behind was the order of that day. Poor man was as white as a sheet but Mama J knowing her legs unruly behaviour took it all in her stride and returned to the ward with a grin on her face. She was coming home!
Since getting home Mama J has had lots of cuddles from me. On the day of her discharge I even ran up the stairs and sat halfway up them just to make sure she got down safely. Mama J’s friend said she’d be treated like royalty and she felt she wouldn’t have received better care were she from The Royal House Of Windsor. All the staff did an amazing job and I’m so grateful to them for looking after my Mama J so well and giving me the opportunity to take her hill walking! Onwards and up wards literally from now on!


Well, I knew that upping the anti with regard to Mama J’s fitness levels was going to be a difficult and trying ask even for a hard task master such a myself. I’m the Lord Sugar of the dog world! Although when she came home from work for her holiday’s announcing that she’d had to perform a number of her afternoon’s activities whilst riding the store’s motability scooter, my first thought wasn’t exactly is she joining the cast of Benidorm as a racing rival for Madge?
   Mama J has suffered with lack of energy due to thyroid issues for the last month or so but this was going to be a disaster for my bladder and bowels whilst my Granny and Grandpa were away. A girl needs to limber up towards a number one (wee) and a number two (poo) twice a day with a little gentle exercise. I hardly think going up our neighbour’s driveway will suffice to adequately get my “movements” flowing!
Granny and Grandpa set off for the airport at 1.30am and I was most upset to be awoken from my dreamy existence, especially as I was dreaming about long luscious walks followed by scrumptious doggie treats. Now there really is the way to a Yorkshire Terrier’s heart!
   Mama J was ready for my wailing and ushered me into her room and onto her comfy bed. However I couldn’t settle and ran off around the landing to see if Granny and Grandpa were still in their room and it was just a dream like when Bobby Ewing wasn’t killed off and was actually taking a shower in Dallas. Sadly this wasn’t the case and I was left in charge of Mama J for a whole week. 

Well, I needn’t of worried about lack of inactivity on Mama J’s part as she absolutely rose to my challenge each and every day of Granny and Grandpa’s Spanish tour. I’m clearly good stimulation for the thyroid gland so can just call me Dr Elsie! On the Saturday I got so giddy with the sunshine that was flowing through our living room window. Yes, I know it was the end of September however Yorkshire was experiencing a nice dose of Vitamin D enhancing rays and Mama J and I were out and about feeling the benefits.
   I demanded a walk around our gorgeous village each and every hour on that Saturday and Mama J’s iPhone said we walked collectively 2.3 miles. Mama J needed a sit down and a cup of tea in between walking courses, however it will teach her for ever saying she gets bored on a weekend due to a lack of This Morning and Loose Women on the telly!

I did have a few diva moments along the way with Mama J and her behaviour. Don’t judge me people, you don’t have to live with her! The first one was when she tried to get into bed while I was already laid comfortably on top of the covers. How dare she come out of her bathroom, put her body lotion on her skin then demand to get into her own bed? I ask you, who the hell does she think she is? I jumped off the bed in a fit of rage, ran onto the landing and refused to come into the room for all of five minutes when I got tired and cold. I was still in a strop the next morning and kept showing her the whites of my eyes. They say it’s an elephant that never forgets, well I’m a Yorkshire Terrier with a good memory too!
   The second incident was when Mama J left me for four hours to go back to work. Now I know she hired me a lovely dog walker to give me my afternoon stroll but I thought we were a team! Once we’d had our teas I ran over sofa on the other side of the living room and kept peeping at Mama J in pure disgust at her money earning actions. She kept trying to call me over but I was having none of it… Well until a treat was mentioned then all was forgiven. I really must work on my resolve next time I get cross and shouldn’t be so easily bribed!
I did have a few incidents with doggies in my village when Mama J and I were strolling around and sometimes even my behaviour was slightly daft (Mama J’s making me write this section). We were walking down our road and we came across Watson, my handsome boyfriend. Instead of greeting in my usual friendly manner I barked at him. Then something went off in my brain and I realised it was Watson and I ran over to him and sniffed his nose lovingly. 
   The next incident happened when I decided to do a number two outside Noodle's house and World War Three nearly broke out. Noodle either heard Mama J cooing at me that I was a good girl for doing a poo or she sensed intuitively that I was there. With that barking ensued right at the moment Mama J was bagging up my doggie debris. I began spinning her around as I thought we were under attack as I couldn't figure out that the barking was coming from the other side of the gates. Mama J quickly moved me on to minimum safe distance and secured the bagged poo with a tight knot! Phew as we thought we were going to have a case of the flying s**t on our hands and paws!