Friday, July 30, 2010

The Redskins and a Road Trip

The week is winding down with my brother Jeff. We've done everything, seen everything, and eaten everything...So much for that diet! Today we attended the opening day of "training camp" for our favorite (professional) football team, the Washington Redskins! It's always fun to see the players and watch all that testosterone in action!

Carl and I always enjoy Jeff's visits, but it's time for him to return to his life in Kentucky. Charlie, Rudi, Sheba and I will be driving him back home on Saturday. Which also means I'll be taking a break from blogging for a few days. My brother Jeff and another brother John live in the home that was owned by my parents. While they do have a computer, it is an older one that is on a "dial-up" internet connection that is very, very slow and it takes what feels like forever just to look at e-mails. How did we ever manage before high-speed internet?

I really do appreciate your stopping by my blog and I will look forward to catching up with you and your blogs sometime next week! Take care!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

IT is Wednesday...

It looks like all the scavenging that the dogs do hit pay-dirt today when they found a leg this morning without a body attached to it...We looked for the rest of whatever it was...The only thing I can say to make me feel a little better and maybe you too, is that it wasn't human...Maybe it was a rabbit...We don't know...Carl buried it...Thank-goodness... A little later I went into the bedroom and saw this sticking out from underneath the bed. Who said cats don't have a sense of humor? The rest of the day, which included a trip to the swim-center with Bubba and a very nice chat with Roger the owner, were all uneventful. At the bottom of my driveway this afternoon I again marveled at all the butterflies all over on this plant. I am pretty sure it's called Joe-Pye Weed. Does anyone know for sure?
I hope everyone is having a good week and not finding any "missing parts" laying about!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lessons from a Storm

A powerful storm with high winds, sideways rain, that caused a 20 hour power outage Sunday afternoon is behind us.

Here are a few things I learned during it...

When you totally depend on electricity for everything, including water, don't take the dogs for a walk after the storm because they may roll in something and need a bath.
Hang out on the porch and notice the life around you instead.
When you have 2 hungry and tired travelers and no way to cook for them, take them out to a quality place to eat to make them feel better.
A full moon and internet withdrawal don't go together. In a power outage remember that popsicles don't refreeze, so to keep them from going to waste, you should eat them all.
No electricity is the perfect excuse to just relax and enjoy the company of those around you that you care about.

I hope you're all having an enjoyable start to your week!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sorry for Sam...

One of my favorite characters is Peter Pan. There's a scene in the movie "Hook" where Peter Pan (played by Robin Williams) is telling the older character Wendy (my very favorite!!) the story of how he came to Neverland. He relates to Wendy how he used to visit the window of the home of his parents. He explains how he felt when he looked into their closed window and saw that they had forgotten all about him, and had another child. This part of the story has really been on my mind lately.

Some of you may recall the story of how our 10 year old Golden named Sam, came to live with us. You can read it here if you'd like. The short version is that he came to us via a family at the church we attend who, for several reason found that couldn't keep him any longer. While they asked for Sam to be returned back in February, in the end it was decided that Sam should remain with us.

Well, a few weeks ago they got another dog. I have to admit that this has bothered me. Postings on Facebook (my other addition) have been glowing accounts of what a wonderful dog their new addition is. While I'm sure this is true, for some reason I was bothered by a posting of his picture and these words from Sam's former owner:

"This is Kodiak, AKA Koda. He joined our family yesterday after we met him at an adoption event. He is absolutely wonderful in every way. He just needs to gain a little weight to be where he needs to be. He is an absolute love and seems thrilled to have a family who desperately wants to give him the love and attention he deserves! My Kodabear!!"

I know that Sam has a good life with us, and I shouldn't feel this way. But in my heart, it doesn't keep me from feeling sorry for him. I'm sorry that they seem to have forgotten all about Sam and closed that window. I know that life does continue. I know that lives and circumstances do change. I also live in the real world, (at least part of the time), and I know that many families who have given dogs up, do end up getting another. But I guess this is different because I just didn't know about it.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Road Trip to Mount Vernon

A heat advisory was issued because of the blistering temperatures but it didn't stop my friend Sid and I from taking a road trip to Mount Vernon, which is the plantation home of the first President of the United States, George Washington. The 14 room mansion is built of wood in the neoclassical Georgian architectural style and is situated along the shores of the Potomac River. It is beautifully restored and furnished with original objects dating back to the 1740's. It is one of the most scenic attractions in the Washington, DC area.
You're asked to not take pictures inside the mansion, so I found the below photo online to give you an idea of one of the rooms. This is the formal dining room. The paint color is said to be the original color it was when George resided there. I personally don't think it's the most appealing color and it kind of makes me lose my appetite.
One thing that I found interesting was a key from the Bastille. In 1789, a Paris mob sparked the French Revolution by storming the Bastille, a political prison and symbol of absolute monarchy. The next year, Lafayette ordered its demolition and sent an original key to the Bastille to his former commander. They key is still where George Washington displayed it. (I probably would have just put it in a drawer and wondered later what it went too). Washington added a stunning two-story porch, or "piazza," overlooking the Potomac. Here family and guests would gather in warm weather to enjoy the breeze off the river. We sat and were cooled by the breeze too! Another Washington addition to the house was a cupola which served as both a decorative rooftop element and a practical device. With windows open, the cupola helped to cool the house on sultry summer days like the ones we've been having. After the war, Washington added to the Mansion its final crowning touch, a dove of peace weather-vane atop the cupola.

It's an amazing view to sit and enjoy! That's Virginia on the left and Maryland to the right. I'll let these next two pictures speak for themselves... The gardens are amazing! There are flowers for every season: hollyhocks, peonies, primroses, heliotrope, larkspur, and dozens of other specimens, all of which were grown here by the Washington's. There were butterflies everywhere! There are also many varieties of trees. Some of these magnificent trees were planted by George Washington himself. This Tulip Poplar tree was planted by ole George in 1785. I really love old trees and if this one could talk, imagine the tales it could tell!

I wonder if this little fella had ancestors that lived here when George Washington resided here...

The heat left us exhausted, so we needed a place to cool off! Upon arrival at the Krispy Kreme the "Hot Doughnut" sign was not turned on, so there were no freshly made doughnuts. However, this was okay; there's nothing nothing like a COLD Krispy Kreme Doughnut on a hot July day! I think George Washington would have thought so too!

It was an enjoyable visit with my friend! She left this afternoon and my brother arrives tomorrow. He comes every year, and as always, I'm looking forward to his visit. Carl is too because that means he'll be getting dinner every night!

I hope you've had an enjoyable weekend too!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Round Two for Bubba

The second swim-session for Bubba was on Thursday. It went so much better than the first one, and he was much happier and so was I! I've taken dogs swimming that haven't enjoyed it at all, and I've felt like I'm mistreating them because I know how difficult it is for them; especially when you look into their eyes which are asking you why are you making them do something that they simply do not enjoy? But we all know that therapy of any kind is never easy...

Bubba did "graduate" to the big pool and we doubled his amount of time in the water. He didn't seem to mind at all. He continues to have problems getting out of the pool, but it was made easier because the ramp to help them get out is not nearly as steep.

Bubba's second session ended with him smiling and wanting to go back into the pool, but this time it was us telling him he'd had enough for the day. I'm looking forward to taking him again on Sunday. This morning for the first time he was playing with a couple of stuffed toys. Maybe the endorphins from the exercise is making him feel better? Or maybe it's because Sheba wasn't playing with them.

It's a beautiful but very hot day here in Virginia. But my friend and I are going to brave the heat and go to Mount Vernon, which is the home of George Washington. It's a beautiful place and not far from Krispy Kreme Doughnuts--Do you think George and Martha would have liked that too? ~~Enjoy your Friday!!~~

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Winding down on Wednesday!

My Wednesday started out with a moment of "cuteness" when 3 young raccoons and their Mom were crossing the road in front of me this morning. They took their time and were totally oblivious to me and that I was in a hurry. After they'd gotten across I honked the horn to scare them away from the road so they wouldn't venture back--I really love the wild life and always worry about these young families.

It has been a busy start to the week both at home and at work. However, it's all winding down now as I'm done with work for the week! Bubba has his second session of swimming on Thursday and I'm excited to see how he does. Our friend Sid is also coming to visit us from Pennsylvania for a couple of days. She'll be here until Saturday and then my youngest brother comes on Sunday to spend a week with us--I can't wait! I really enjoy having company, but why is there always so much preparation beforehand?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Swim Therapy for Bubba!

The Northern Virginia Animal Swim Center where Bubba swam today is nestled in the middle of what is known as the Hunt Country of Virginia. It's an area rich in the history of Virginia and the heartland of the Virginia equestrian industry. The Swim Center is a place where horses and dogs swim for both rehabilitation and conditioning.

In my much busier and active days with the rescue, I rehabbed many dogs that had orthopedic surgery at the swim center. Roger, the British gentleman that owns the center is someone that I've known for about 8 years. His dedication and kindness to the dogs and his friendship has truly made a difference! I just can't say enough good things about Roger and how much I love his accent!!

Okay, back to Bubba...He has arthritis and has trouble standing up and doing steps. My hope in taking him to swim is that he can rebuild lost muscle, get a better range of motion from it, which will allow him to get around better and easier.

As I said, I've taken many dogs swimming, and believe me, not all dogs like to swim. Just because you have a Golden Retriever or another breed known to enjoy water, it doesn't mean they are lovers of the water. I've had some dogs that if they never saw another body of water again, they would just fine with it! Thankfully Bubba is not one of these dogs. He was just fine in the water, which makes it so much easier! We started Bubba in the small lap pool just to see how he would do, and get him used to the water.

Pretty soon Bubba was getting the hang of it, but he still didn't look like he was really enjoying it.
As expected, because of the lack of strength in his back-end, the biggest problem Bubba had, was getting out of the pool.
After about 10 minutes, a couple of breaks, and a few more laps, for a total of about 25 minutes, Bubba told us that he'd had enough, so we ended the swim session for today.
And so I took a wet and very tired Bubba home. We go back on Thursday and maybe he'll be ready for the big pool, we'll just have to see.
If you'd like to read about the benefits of swim-therapy, here's a link to the Swim Centers website that has a little bit of information:

Friday, July 16, 2010

An Award & Seven Things About Our Crew

I received an award from Tracey at "Tracey's Crafty Scraps" If you need a grin, you should stop by her blog, she has a really fun sense of humor and has given me a lift on more than one occasion!

For the award you are to list 7 things about yourself. To change things up a bit, I decided that I wouldn't list 7 things about myself, but would tell you 7 things about the crew at Golden Pines.

1. They really love going for walks!
2. But some of the crew doesn't always come back right away when they're called and will sometimes wander off. Rudi?? Sheba?? Tanner??

3. Just like kids, they sometimes leave their toys outside... 4. But CC (the cat) makes sure they pick them up and bring them inside.

4. They are not too picky and pretty much all like the same things.
5. They also like new friends like Toby and Bubba.
6. But they don't like friends like Patch that don't share. 7. And at the end of the day the crew likes hanging out together.
Finally, Saturday is going to be a busy day for us. Bubba is starting swim-therapy to try and build muscle in his rear-end and hopefully improve his mobility. I'll try to take pictures and let you know how it goes.
I hope you have an enjoyable weekend!!