Sunday, July 31, 2011

The End of the Weekend!

I"m so glad this weekend is over!!  Carl left on Saturday to take my brother back home to Kentucky and is leaving from there to go to Wisconsin on Monday.  But it does mean that I'm a 'single parent' for a week.  We got off to a rocky start when I had another, yes another flat tire on my van.  I've no idea how it keeps happening, but I'm glad that we bought the warranty that went with the tires!

This morning at about 3:30, Todd woke me up whining.  He'd been playing in the water, so it was only right that he would need an extra trip outside during the night.  Just as things were settling down Bubba started having a seizure. I sat with him and waited for it to end, knowing he would be disoriented afterwards and need some reassurance.  I'm not sure what time we finally got back to bed.

This direction continued when Rudi's day didn't start out well.  Her unwillingness to get up and seeming so tired and worn out, convinced me that today would be our last day together.  I sat with her for along time as she slept so soundly with her head on my lap.  I finally decided to let her be, because I had to tend to the needs of the other dogs.  I'd left the door open when we went for our walk and when we returned, there Rudi was, standing by the garage, just as I'd hoped.  As the day has continued, she has rallied to be with us another day.  She ate part of her meal this evening.  I can feel her spark dimming, but I marvel at her strength and determination to take in as many moments as she can.

I don't know what the week ahead will bring for Rudi.  But for Todd it will be a busy one because he starts 'day care' on Monday.  I hope he gets along with the 'other kids' and makes as good of friends with them as he did with the broom he dragged into the office this evening!  

Thursday, July 28, 2011

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

I've always been intrigued with old empty buildings and abandoned homes.  So the chance to visit Waverly Hills, which is a closed sanatorium in Louisville was something I just couldn't pass up.  In the early 1900's, Jefferson County where it's located, was full of swampland making the area a perfect environment for an outbreak of tuberculosis.  The sanatorium was built to accommodate 400 tuberculosis patients and opened in 1910.   During the thirty five years of its existence it was reported that 63,000 people died at Waverly Hills.  However, the county puts that number at around 10,000.  Either way it is an eerie place that sits on a hill over looking the city of Louisville Kentucky.  To me it looks a little like a reigning fortress of gloom.  But it has been given the reputation of being 'one of the most haunted places in the United States' by those in the paranormal field who have visited there extensively.
Over the years, Waverly Hills has been totally vandalized.  But the structure remains sound and work is currently being done to restore it and make it into a hotel for ghost-seekers.  As a way to make money for this undertaking, all kinds of tours are given from 2 hour tours to overnight stays.  The two-hour tour that my brothers and I went on Saturday night is touted as being a 'paranormal ghost tour.'  While most were there hoping for a ghostly encounter, I was there out of curiosity and to see the inside of this historical building.
~Down one of the hallways--If the walls could talk.~
One of the most talked about and famous aspects of the Waverly Hills Sanatorium is the Body Chute or Death Tunnel.  At the peak of the TB epidemic, many patients died everyday. In order to keep morale up and not upset patients, the hospital administration decided to use the Body Chute to discretely send bodies away from the hospital by the use of a rail-car wench-type system in the tunnel that transported the bodies of deceased TB patients to waiting hearses or trains.  Due to the lack of electricity, there is total darkness inside of the tunnel after about thirty feet down. The acoustics are interesting and there is a strong echo when you talk.
Waverly Hills was a state-of-the-art facility. The rooms were very nice, and many lead out to porches so the patients could get plenty of fresh air; many spent as much as 15 hours each day on these porches.  Electric blankets were used in the winter.  Patients even had radios with headphones on the porches and in the rooms so they could listen to music. The sanatorium had a chapel, a school for the children, and special housing for the hospital staff also.
Here's a picture of what the porches used to look like: 
The tour takes you to all the floors and you're told many stories including being able to hear voices of children chanting "Ring Around The Rosy" on the roof top terrace.  There is even said to have been encounters with an apparition of one of the two nurses who died in room 502, and of visitors who have crossed paths with the shadow people of the fourth floor.
One story is told of the spirit of a child that haunts the third floor who has been known to play with toys and roll balls.  With this in mind there are balls placed around each floor because they've been known to start rolling with no explanation.  In complete darkness we waited for a ball to roll...It didn't move until....
I walked past and nudged it with my foot!  I don't know what made me do it--But those behind me on the tour thought they were having that awaited encounter with the paranormal because when I glanced over my shoulder and watched them with their flashlights, and heard their exclamations, I realized they hadn't seen me bump the ball as I walked past.  I didn't have the heart to tell them anything differently and it gave my brothers and I a really good chuckle afterwards!

Next year, my brothers want to do the 'overnight stay.'  We'll see...Would you visit Waverly Hills?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday at Golden Pines

I'm back from Kentucky with my youngest brother who will be here until the end of the week. Rudi and Charlie went with me, and are great traveling companions!  Both don't seem to mind the almost 11 hour trip as long as they get their turn at sitting in the front seat.

The mishaps from the trip were a flat-tire on Saturday morning and on Sunday a fall at a gas station. I was so thankful that the flat didn't occur during the drive home, and that I'm only bruised and skinned up from landing practically face down on the pavement--Both could have been so much worse!

Carl did a great job taking care of the dogs including Todd, who I think grew while I was gone. 
On Wednesday I'm taking Reggie back to the vet for the x-rays of her chest.  She's doing well too, and I really think she's feeling better.  Her skin has really improved and is healing.  Her ears have cleared up nicely as well, all good signs!  There is a content feeling about Reggie and she seems happy.
Today is 'day 38 of grace' for Rudi.  She has good days and like today, some not so good ones. She's very quiet and subdued, but still seems to be 'okay.'  Whatever kind of day it is, I continue to cheer her on and hope for more, and I thank-you all for doing the same!    

Friday, July 22, 2011

Road Trip!!!

I wish I could say that I am going some place to cool off, but unfortunately I'm not.  Today I'm driving to Kentucky and right through the heat wave.

Accompanying me on this trip will be Charlie, of course.  I am on the fence about taking Rudi.  She didn't eat yesterday and I worry that something may happen on the way.  But she seems to feel 'okay' and there's a part of me that thinks this trip would be a good one for both of us to share because it'll be our last one.  Time together, even just in the car is always good.
I was going to take Todd with me too.  But I've decided to leave him at home.  I'm really going to miss him.  I'll be back at the start of the week, and will look forward to catching up on your news when I return.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Trying to Escape!

A National Weather forecaster called the heat wave gripping the country 'unrelenting.'  It's supposed to get worse by the end of the week.  I try to not complain about it because after spending 10 years in Alaska, I remember the days when I thought my summers were way too short and way too cool.  
But there's just no way to escape the searing temperatures.    
However Todd is trying to escape and doing a pretty good job!  
I hope you're finding ways to escape the heat!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Justice for Reggie

Off to the vet this morning with Reggie.  Her last blood work results showed some abnormalities and it needs to be rechecked now that she's finished a long course of antibiotics.  Also on the list are x-rays to see if there are any changes in her heart and lungs since June. As you know, she's doing well.  I find her to be endearing and it's not just because of her attentiveness to Todd.  I think it's just in how she looks at you; her big, brown soulful eyes draw me in, she is gentle with great character and heart.  A reminder of why I love senior Goldens.

Among the paperwork I received with Reggie are all papers related to the neglect charges that were filed against the owner and their name.  Thanks to all court cases in Virginia being online I was able to find the case and its result.  It appears that the previous owner spent 15 days in jail, paid all fees relating to the case, (which hopefully included Reggie's surgery), a fine, and they are not allowed to own a pet for two years--I personally don't think they should ever be allowed to own one, but that's just my opinion. But I do feel like an amount of justice was served in Reggie's case, and I hope 'they' are feeling regret over how she was neglected, and maybe, just maybe, they realize the treasure they've lost.    
Today our beautiful and cooler weather continues ahead of what will be another heatwave predicted for next week.  On the list today is the hopes and goal of catching up on your blogs--I so appreciate your stopping by and keeping up with us, I really enjoy reading your comments and hope you enjoy your weekend!!
~I just cannot stop taking pictures of butterflies~

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Late to Bed Early to Rise

This week I'm really tired.  I'm blaming it on advancing age, poor blood, lack of vitamins, air pollution, the heat and the hole in the ozone.  I'm quite sure it has nothing to do with getting up at 4 AM and staying up too late. But whatever the reason, I am glad the week is coming to an end!

Rudi is doing just okay.  She has been quieter the last couple of days and continues to not have much of an appetite. We are able to get her to eat a little, but I'm wondering if she eats because she knows we want her too.  However she still has that spark and will follow me around.  She seems comfortable enough and content and that's all that matters.
The only one whose not worn out this week is Todd.  He's been so good at work!  I think that Reggie misses him because she seems happy to see him and plays with him when we get home.
But Todd being crated all day shows when we get home.
He's energetic and into everything!  
We're finding that socks are making their way outside.....
But it's all okay...They're Carl's socks! 
I hope your week is going well! 
 I'm really trying to get caught up on my blog visits and look forward to reading about what's going on in your world.  

Monday, July 11, 2011

Dog Days of Summer

A quiet weekend.  Well, as quiet as it can be when you have a puppy around!  Todd is finding his place and forging relationships with all the dogs.  He and Charlie had a real bonding moment when the two of them worked on digging a hole next to the barn.  I think Charlie was probably digging it so Todd could escape never to be seen again, and Todd was just digging for the fun of it.  Whatever their reasons, it seems to have helped them to almost work out the differences Charlie felt they had.

Today we are at day 23 of grace with Rudi.  I have remained a bit humbled and grateful for each day, because I don't know if it'll be our last.  There has been a different look in Rudi's eyes the last week or so and I've noticed her watching me.  I even wake up at night and she's there on the bed looking at me.  I can't help but wonder what she's thinking or if she's trying to tell me something; I've always felt that if Rudi were a person she'd never be able to keep a secret.  Her appetite has decreased over the last few days, and we try to tempt her to eat with baby food--Sometimes she'll eat, other times she won't.  She sleeps more and wears out pretty easily.  Yesterday evening she hadn't eaten all day and didn't want to go outside with us for a walk, but I insisted.  She was laying in the driveway and on a whim I threw her, her most favorite toy of all, a frisbee--Suddenly she came to life and wanted to play.  A couple of very small tosses for her was all it took to lift both our spirits.  When we came back in, she ate her whole meal.

Mother Reggie is also doing well, and continues to watch over Todd.  I see a spark as she now anxiously goes for walks with us, never looking back towards the house.  She doesn't even mind being outside alone and is much more relaxed.  I take all this as an indication that she's feeling secure and has found her place here with us--Wait, wasn't she only supposed to be here temporarily?

I hope your week is off to a good start and you're getting some relief from the heat. Our news is reporting that the Washington D.C. area has been named the 6th hottest city in the nation--What an honor as we are currently in the dog-days of summer!

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Promise Kept??

For 2 days, I had Todd at the office with me.  I kept my part of the bargain that I made with the doctor.  I didn't take Todd into the waiting room...
Or let him near the front desk....
Todd stayed out of the sterilization area...
And didn't go any where near the operatories....
He was so good and stayed in his crate in the break-room the whole time ...
At least while the doctor was there and working...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Off to the Dentist!

Socialization as you know is really important for any puppy.  And since we are gone from home 2-3 days a week, I've been trying to find a day care for Todd during those times.  However I'm running into an unexpected problem in that while he has 'age appropriate vaccines' he is still missing a couple like rabies, which he is not yet old enough for, and bordetella.  The daycare that I really wanted to take him to  allowed puppies to come without their rabies and 4th distemper vaccine.  But 2 weeks ago they changed their requirements and now all dogs regardless of age must have ALL vaccines and must be immunized for canine influenza, which I won't give him--I learned from an 'insider' that they'd had a couple of dogs there that had it, so this was why it was added to their list.  (My vet doesn't give the CIV vaccine, and since I'm trying to limit the vaccines the puppy gets, he wouldn't have gotten it anyway.  Do you have any thoughts you'd like to share about this or any other vaccine, I'd be interested to hear).   

Finding another day care has been trickier than I thought it would be because of his age.  However I knew before we got Todd that this might become an issue.  So with a little bit of convincing, the doctor I work for agreed to my bringing Todd to the office.  However there are a few rules, one being that he must be kept in his crate in the break-room, and cannot be taken out (except by me and only to be taken outside) and is not allowed in other parts of the office--Of course I agreed, and I will be the model employee during those times--Wish us luck at the dentist!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Tod and Todd - What's In a Name?

A few of you have asked where we got the name 'Todd' for our newest, and youngest addition.  Today I thought I'd share with you where the name came from.

Carl and I got our first Golden Retriever in June of 1996.  Of course we wanted to pick out the perfect name for him.  I wanted to name him 'Fox' but Carl and the person we got him from, balked at that. Then I remembered a favorite Disney movie called 'The Fox and the Hound' which you may recall tells the story of two unlikely friends, a red fox named Tod and a hound dog named Copper--The name Tod means fox, so Tod it was!

Tod was as all Goldens are supposed to be, handsome, friendly, playful and easy going...Sadly though, he was diagnosed with lymphoma and died just before his 6th birthday.  
~Tod and our cat Drifter~
Being the sentimental person that I am, I thought of naming our first Scottish Terrier, Tod, after our first Golden Retriever, adding the second letter 'd' to the end, but I just wasn't sure.  Then when I was researching Scottish names, I came across a website that explained that Tod is a Scots word for fox. (In Scotland and the north of England a todhunter is a fox hunter.) While the doubling of the final letter is a 'corruption,' it's the more common spelling, and most of the 'Todd's' are Scots.  With that, I decided that Todd was to be the name of our new puppy!  
It has been a long time since I've called a dog named Tod.  And I  have to admit that at first its use brought back a lot of sadness because of its connection to a life that ended much too soon.  But now I'm finding that a name that was connected to heartbreak is changing with the antics of a little Scottish Terrier who shares the same name.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Life Goes On

A very quiet holiday weekend for us.  All we've done is spend time at  home with the dogs.  Rudi had been doing really well--Her appetite was good, and she felt well enough to go on walks with us.  But yesterday her abdomen again started to feel bloated, and the paleness of her gums returned.  With that brought a loss of most of her appetite and energy.  We'll take each day as it comes, enjoy them and let her decide the pace she wants to take.

On the flip-side we are of course enjoying the energy that only a puppy has!  Todd had his first vet appointment Friday, and our little growing boy weighed over 10 pounds!  There are also very brief moments when Charlie doesn't seem to mind Todd--Progress!!
Around us the fruit and vegetable stands are opening up for the season.    
And just as I decided that I liked the overgrown field next to us, it was cut for hay.  
Life, like Todd keeps moving on in our little corner of northern Virginia.  
I hope you're having a good weekend!