Monday, September 1, 2014

Goldens in a Pear Tree

My days of single-parenting ended when Carl returned from his trip.  The dogs, of course are happy that he's home.  They are also more than willing to tell him all the things that went wrong while he was away.  Todd of course being a Scottie and loyal to me keeps my secrets.  
Our Labor day was a quiet one spent at home. It was much too hot and muggy to do anything outside. But I decided today was the day I was going to follow the advice of some local gardening experts and pick the unripe pears off our tree instead of waiting a few more weeks. Its been a few years since we've had pears that weren't ruined by my nemesis the brown-marmorated-stink-bug, or just had enough to pick.
~Sheba, my pear-picking-companion~
You may know that pears are best picked green, and are one of the only fruits that don’t ripen on the tree. The pears in the picture below are all “green,” and are pretty hard. But since fruit produces a natural ethylene gas, I've put them into paper grocery sacks to soften and ripen them.
Sheba and Josh have been eating the pears off the tree for weeks now. How they have not gotten an upset stomach is anyone's guess.
~Sheba & Josh raiding the pear tree~ 
But I cannot wait to enjoy the first ripe pear. It always reminds me of an old wives tale that I've heard over the years says that the best way to eat a ripe and juicy pear is “naked in the bathtub so the juice can drip down your chin with abandon.”  I can and will definitely promise you that if I do this, you'll not be hearing about it.  How do you like to enjoy your pears?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Last Day of August

The last day of August and it's Labor Day Weekend. The unofficial end of summer.  
This morning there was a real thickness in the morning air and the heavy humidity caused beaded droplets on the windows. This afternoon there have been heavy storms.  Each day we are losing a little light and it's now dark at 6 in the morning when the dogs and I have our first walk of the day.
Our last week of August was filled with work, vet appointments and single-parenting, with little time for anything else. Beau went with me to the office one day.  As you can see he was really excited to have to stay in our break room.  
But we left early because he had an appointment to see the ophthalmologist, for his "eye-lift."        
~Beau, post eye-lift~
The procedure isn't exactly what I expected, but we're hopeful that the surgical staples will stay in place and ease the discomfort for the months ahead.  If not, surgery may be on the agenda for him. 
Gus also returned to the vet to have his wound checked.  He continues to get around pretty well. The healing of the pressure sore is a slow process, and the reality is that it may never completely heal.  But Gus is happy and content, and that's what matters.
Finally, there's CarrieAnne. Her surgery to remove a mast-cell tumor is scheduled for this Wednesday.  I took her for a consultation with another surgeon. The removal of the tumor could be done less expensively at a clinic that has a good reputation, and does a lot of surgeries. However, a discussion with someone made me realize that something that's just as important as the surgery is the care Carrie receives when it's done. I've known for a long time that this particular clinic doesn't always provide the best aftercare.  And because in the past Carrie has had problems post surgery, I've opted to have it done at my vet's office, where she will be monitored more closely. I'm nervous for her, but am remaining hopeful that all will go well.
~CarrieAnne, YES, that's a plant growing through our porch!~ 
I hope all is going well for you this weekend!
~The lovely little Cricket~

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Test Results for CarrieAnne

The rush of life seemed to come to a full stop when I got a call I'd been waiting for on Friday from my vet about CarrieAnne.  The lab results of the aspirate taken from the lump on her chest were returned.  It was just as I thought, and just as I'd feared, it's a mast cell tumor. She'll of course need to have surgery to remove it. Because I have to balance Carrie's care and the cost together, there are decisions that will have to be made as to who will do the surgery.  I've called for a consultation with a surgeon who did surgery on Sheba, Josh, and our boy Hamlet a few years ago, who I like and very much trust.  Yesterday the vet that is doing acupuncture on Gus gave me some good suggestions and a lot of encouragement.  I'm trying to remain hopeful and positive, but in the quiet moments, I'm finding that right now, it's not easy.  

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Todd Hunter

I may have my fears, but Todd has none. Scottie's are nicknamed "the Diehard" in reference to their rugged character that is tough, determined and ready for action. Todd is fearless and feisty. He is also a hunter. Unfortunately.  Nothing in our yard gets past him.  Sadly the rabbits that built a nest right next to our fence didn't know that (and I didn't realize they were there) and two family members were lost last week, when Todd dug a hole under the fence to get to the little ones. The rest of the family remains safe as that area is now cornered off.
Turning his attention to something else, for the past several days Todd has been curiously and obsessively looking at something by our barn. I thought (and hoped) it was probably a mouse. Yesterday he began barking wildly and hysterically. It was a high-pitched bark as he ran back and forth along the side of the barn. I gathered my courage and went to see what he was barking at.  I saw nothing other than the hole he had dug by the fence. I asked him to come inside, which he reluctantly did.  A few hours later, thinking whatever was there was probably gone, I let Todd out again.  All was quiet for a few moments, then the frenzy and excitement began all over again.  Taking a deep breath, and saying a silent prayer for my bravery, I went to see what it was, and it was then that I saw it.

A box turtle, that was digging its way into the yard.  I breathed a big sigh of relief.  
I took it outside the fence, where Sheba, being a Golden Retriever, tried the more diplomatic approach to make friends. But the turtle would have none of that and it turned to leave.  
Then it changed its mind and turned back towards the fence for another encore from Todd, who gave him one.
I think I saw it take a bow as it  turned around and went back towards the woods. 
 Hopefully to never be seen again...