Saturday, September 26, 2020

Good-Bye to Alf, Another Lost Boy

My week has been spent resting and recovering. I'm somewhat better, and the advice from my doctor is that if I'm not "significantly better" by the end of the weekend, I'm to return to the emergency room for more IV antibiotics.  I hope that won't need to happen....

Again, enough of me....  I must tell you about the loss of our beloved Alf in the midst of everything last week. 

I knew weeks ago that Alf's health was starting to fail. But like that old car, we did everything we could to keep him up and going. For the most part, we were successful. It wasn't always easy, he could be a stubborn boy. 

But when I was sick in bed, and his health also took a turn, I prayed for that tender mercy that would allow him to hang on a bit longer. Carl took great care of him until I felt a bit better to resume his care. I'd gotten him out in the morning and I was encouraged that he was up and around, and had a bit of an appetite. However, by the next day, despite several try's his strength was totally gone and he wouldn't stand. I knew he'd waited for me to feel better to allow me to be with him for the last of his journey.  

~Alf, the first day we met~

Alf had truly been dealt a bad hand in his previous life. Found as a stray in downtown Baltimore, while in the shelter, it was recommended by 2 or 3 vets that this "lost boy" be euthanized because of his condition and health issues. However, he was turned over to the Golden Retriever Rescue, and the rest, as we can say, became HIS story (history?). 

The little more than two years with Alf went too fast. So much has happened, and Alf, in the background was a witness to all of it. He wasn't a dog that liked attention and fuss. And when I read the definition of a curmudgeon as being a crusty, ill-tempered old man, I knew this was Alf. He could be grouchy, moody, and more than a little stubborn. 

However, his head-butts to the back of my knees and his always wanting to be nearby spoke volumes and showed a gentle side of him. I knew he'd never allow me to hug him, so instead I would kiss him on his head, look into his dark brown eyes and tell him that I loved him. But I will confess to sometimes having a passing thought that he might snap at me for being in his space. But he never did. He knew my words came from my heart and I know how he felt in those moments too. Even now, thinking about them, brings out those tears and makes me miss him that much more. 

~Alf loved the snow!~

About a week before Alf left us, I took the below picture of a rainbow-prism that was coming through the window as Alf laid on the kitchen floor. Given how he was feeling, I knew that his angels and the rainbow bridge were near....

I think we've all heard it said that our four-legged family member stay by our side after passing away. The day after Alf left us, there were 2 prisms in the same spot. I found myself smiling and thanking Alf for that. I know that was him. I know he's nearby. I know he knows he meant something to us. 

Alf's color for the rainbow is the green from in his collar. Green is said to symbolizes unconditional love and forgiveness. 

It's also said to be a healing color and I know that being a dog, he forgave the neglect and treatment in his first life. With us I think Alf, another one of our lost boys, found renewal, and harmony that I hope healed his heart and spirit. 

God-speed Alf. You may be our 5th loss for this year but the ache and sadness of your loss is all its own, just as that place is that you have in my heart. I'm so thankful that you found your way to us and were part of our lives for two years and that I had the chance to know and love you, "my hot mess of a 'doodle!" ūüíď

Sunday, September 20, 2020

We're On the Mend!

Two weeks. I can't believe that its been two weeks. There is really a lot going on behind the scenes. I'm not sure where to begin other than telling you that I've not been feeling well, and have even missed work - But not before I spent an entire day in the emergency room, something I hope I don't have to do again anytime soon. The good news is, is that I am feeling much better, and I am planning on returning to work on Monday. For those who might be wondering, yes, I did have a COVID 19 test, and the result was  negative...…whew....

Three dogs are also not feeling well. At the moment, Charlie, Leo, and the lovely Sophia each have respiratory infections. Yesterday they were started on an antibiotic, and I'm hopeful that they'll each feel better very soon. This morning Leo ate all of his breakfast, which I was happy about because he'd not done that since Friday. 
~Leo feeling better!~

I just mentioned that the dogs have a respiratory infection. Dogs typically get them from one another, and I could only conclude that it came from Lenny, who arrived just about 2 weeks ago. He started coughing shortly after he came to us, and he was diagnosed with kennel cough. He was already on an antibiotic, so a cough medication was added, and Lenny was good as new!  I'll add that with all that he was being fed, 3 times a day, he gained 4 pounds, the sores on his feet were healing so well, and he was already starting to look healthier! 

Lenny left us this past Thursday to have surgery to remove the "3 foreign objects" and to be neutered. The surgery went well, and he is still recovering at the vet. The picture below is one of the "objects" that was removed.  

Where Lenny will go to finish his recovery has not yet been decided because a new foster home has not yet been found for him. I will confess to secretly hoping that we'll be asked to take him back. But until our dogs are all healthy, we can't be, and won't be. 

So, send those healing vibes!

Saturday, September 5, 2020

LENNY Arrives at Golden Pines!

YES, you've read that correctly, for the second time in a week, we have welcomed a new addition to our bursting household.  His name is Lenny and he comes to us via Lab Rescue.
~On the way home!~
Unlike Buddy who was loved and treasured, Lenny is the total opposite. He is a "lost boy" that was found as a stray on a rural road on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. He couldn't stand because he was so weak and dehydrated and was described as "half dead."

Having been a stray, it was no surprise that Lenny's first exam showed an arms length of medical issues. He'll need surgery to remove 3 "foreign bodies" that thankfully are not causing any obstruction, he has terrible teeth, a problem with a hip that will also require surgery, and he's not neutered.

On the outside, he has multiple sores on his body and both his back feet are skinned up and infected.
And he's painfully thin.
Despite everything medically, Lenny is really a friendly boy, and eager for attention. The plan is for Lenny to stay with us until he regains his health, and gains a few pounds which he'll need before any surgery can be done. 

After surgery, Lenny will go to another foster home for his recovery - Lenny is being fed 3 times a day, so it should only be a few weeks. At least that's the plan.
For now, Lenny is being "social distanced" from our dogs while he gets used to being indoors, and gets used to the vibe of our house.

And for now, this "lost boy" that a shelter in Princess Anne, Maryland named Lenny, is safe. 
~The end of our first day - G'night Lenny, sleep well~

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Buddy Arrives at Golden Pines

A full and extraordinarily busy week that began on Monday with the arrival of our new foster boy, Buddy. 

Buddy who is 13 years old, was a very well traveled and treasured companion of a family that has lived in different places around the world. Unfortunately, a new job assignment in Australia, is one that Buddy, because of his physical condition is unable to make.
Buddy is an easy going, well socialized boy so he's settled in really nicely with his new pack-mates, which includes the cats too.
One issue we had right away was getting Buddy to eat. But I expected that. On Tuesday, he barely ate anything and showed his disapproval of the cuisine that was very different from his usual fare of canned food mixed with liverwurst. Sorry Buddy, but your days of eating liverwurst with your meals are over ...  And I was/am determined that Buddy's diet be close to what the other dogs eat, so on Wednesday, I offered him a dehydrated food mix, that he has eaten all of at every meal - (Yay!) So, I think that says that he likes it, so we can check "eating new food" off of our list.

Next on our list for Buddy was a vet visit on Friday.
My biggest concern with him is the muscle deterioration in his rear end. Buddy needs a lot of help getting to his feet, and doesn't walk all that well and was diagnosed with spinal-stenosis a couple of years ago. (As a part of normal aging, the spine can develop arthritis - the discs begin to collapse and bone spurs form, and the ligaments around the joints of the spine begin to thicken). Long time readers will remember our boy Jake a few years ago that was diagnosed with the same thing. We did acupuncture and cold laser therapy for him, and it made a huge difference. Lab Rescue Vet totally agreed with that treatment, so I'm really hoping that Lab Rescue will agree and approve the expense so we can do it to hopefully help Buddy too.

Buddy, welcome to Golden Pines
I'm sure Todd is glad you're here!