Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Stay-Cation?

Our little getaway is being postponed.  This morning Todd decided that what looked like a fun play toy was a water jug.  He dragged it down the hallway and water got all over the house, which was not a problem.  What was a problem is that we were unable to find the cap that went onto it.  After turning our house upside down in its search, we could only conclude that Todd had swallowed it.  I took him to the emergency vet hospital where an x-ray was done.  Because it's plastic it didn't show up.  So we decided to give him Bariam to see if there was any kind of a blockage.  The first vet we saw told me to bring him back this evening to do the x-rays.  I left their office about an hour later and called my vets office.  I decided to take him there and have x-rays done at hourly intervals to see if the bariam was moving through his system.  By 12:30 it looked like everything had moved through normally.  I've brought him home and given him a little bit of food and water.  Thankfully he's keeping everything down and is acting just fine.  We're to keep an eye on him for the next couple of days and watch for him to have any signs of discomfort or vomiting.

Words can't begin to explain how terrible and how sick I feel about all of this. This water jug of distilled water had been sitting in our laundry room since June.  I never thought of it as a possible problem...That aside, I'm trying so hard to remain optimistic and praying so very fervently that 'it'll all come out in the end.'

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Riley and a Road Trip

The week is off to a running start.  Carl and I are leaving on Wednesday to go to Tennessee for a couple of days.  We visited there in March and we decided that we wanted to come back when it was better weather and maybe enjoy a few fall colors.  I'm not sure about the colors, but I think that the weather will definitely be better.  You may recall that our friends have a Llama farm, and they've had a couple of new additions born since our last trip. I'm looking forward to getting out of town for a few days and recharging my inner batteries.

We've also had another 'subtraction' in our household as Riley has been placed in a new foster home.  The rescue has decided to go forward with the surgeries, and her first one will be next Wednesday!  I was a little sad to see Riley leave us, but I am so excited for her and that she's going to get the chance at an active and pain-free life!  The foster home that has taken her, is the board member that also attended the evaluation with the orthopedic surgeon.  I have known her for more than 10 years and she has cared for several dogs with complicated recoveries, and there is no doubt that she will be able to handle Riley with no problem--She also lives close to the vet hospital where Riley will be having her surgeries and doing her rehab; it could not work out any more perfectly!

I hope you're having a perfect week too!!  

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's All About Todd

A few of you have asked how it's going for Todd at his new daycare. To answer that, I'll let a couple of the pictures that the daycare posts daily on Facebook answer that question.  

Todd is having a great time playing with his new friends!  I like that the staff interacts with the dogs, and knows each of them.  I have total peace of mind knowing that he's allowed to be himself!
~What do you think the dogs are saying in this huddle?~
Speaking of Todd being himself, he got his first 'big-boy haircut' on Saturday when he went to the groomer.  He certainly looks like a Scottie now, doesn't he?

I think he also looks grown up...
Enjoy your Monday!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I Feel Like...

What a week!  There has been a lot going on, and losing Reggie on Thursday, just added to an already emotional week.  Being who and how I am, I have run the gambit of emotions from feeling like I was hanging by a thread...
To feeling a bit beat up like this butterfly...
And just plain ole grouchy and mean like this snapping turtle 
that I tried to help get out of the road yesterday.
There was even a moment on Friday that I felt like I wanted to pick a fight with some unsuspecting person...
But (thankfully) that feeling passed.  
Then I felt like this praying mantis that was climbing up our down-spout to the roof, who didn't seem to know where she was going...Or did she?
I have to admit that more than once I felt like hiding from the world...
Okay, I did do that...
But then this morning I reread all your comments from my last post on the loss of our girl Reggie.  I'm humbled and grateful that people I've never met have again shown me such kindness and compassion at a sad time--You and your friendship have once again made a difference!  I am now feeling like that proverbial cloud that has been over my head and outside is lifting--And I have you to thank for that!
However YOU are feeling, I hope it doesn't keep you from having an enjoyable weekend!!  
~Toby, one of the Chub Brothers~

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Another Good-bye and a Celebration of 92 Days

For the fourth time in six months, I sent a Golden Retriever to the Rainbow Bridge; that Golden was Reggie.  While my heart is broken, I decided that instead of mourning her loss, I want to try and remember the good things of the 92 days that she spent with us...

I want to remember how happy Reggie looked 
the first day she arrived wearing 'Ugg boots.' 
I want to remember how easily Reggie settled into our home and 
the look on her face when she would roll in the grass.  
And how peaceful she looked when she slept.  
I want to especially remember how she was a Mother to Todd. 
She was so attentive to Todd and seemed to worry about him.
I want to remember Reggie's beautiful 'golden smile' and that we shared a great summer together. 
I will remember how thankful I am that she was part of our lives for 92 days.  
I will remember how thankful I am that her life didn't end on the porch of someone who didn't care for her.  
I will remember Reggie....  
God-speed my 'pretty 'Regimina'  ...
Until we meet again at the Rainbow Bridge.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Update on Our New Girl Riley

Riley was taken to see the orthopedic surgeon, who by the way is the same one who did surgeries on Hamlet, our boy Josh and Sheba too. There was a lot to digest and I'm thankful that a board member from the rescue attended with me to try and remember everything.  

Riley has, 'Grade 4 Medial Patellar Luxation.'  She was likely born with compromised knee joints so this wasn't from an accident.  What we're seeing today is a result of tendons being too tight, that has caused her knee caps to move to the inside of her legs, causing her legs to draw up.  Over time, the quadrecep (muscle of the thigh most responsible for walking) has tightened up and the tibia bone in the lower leg has become warped. The good news is, is that she's not in any pain, and surgery can be done to try and fix it.

The bad news is, is that it'll be 4 procedures done in two surgeries, and 6 to 8 months recovery at the very least. The key to success with these surgeries will be the months of physical therapy afterwards.  This includes an underwater treadmill, cold laser therapy, passive stretching, etc.  Dr Walker (surgeon) said that if the commitment can't be done to do the therapy, there's no use in doing the surgery.  It's critical because the muscles need to be stretched and re-trained.  As I said, it was a lot to digest.  

~Riley during the 'dirt debacle' on Saturday~
I spoke to the board member afterwards about everything.  I had to be honest with her and tell her that I feel stretched pretty thin these days.  I don't know that I have the time to be able to give Riley all that she will need.  I feel like it's her one chance to have a good healthy and active life, and I don't want to short-change her.  Of course I feel guilty, but this isn't about me, it's about giving Riley all the time and the dedication she deserves.  I'm hopeful that the board member understood.  

Finally, some of you asked about where the money will come from to pay for Riley's surgeries.  When we bring dogs into our home, we pay for all their food, etc.  But anything beyond that, like these surgeries, the rescue will pay for. The rescue that I work with is a large 5 state rescue that has generous donors and vets who give the rescue a discount for treatment.  Riley will be no exception.  The surgeon has offered to discount his service, and all of her physical therapy will be discounted as well.  (The rescues total cost for Riley will be around $10,000)

Riley has settled in nicely here.  But I do think that she will and should be moved to another foster home.  But until the Board of Directors of the rescue decides what to do, and who should take her, she'll be just fine here, living in the 'group home!'  
~In Our Yard on Sunday~

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Lesson Learned?

When it's early in the morning, and all is quiet and peaceful and you have a puppy, there's just something that you should always do...
That's check on that puppy and find out just why it's so quiet and peaceful...
This morning Todd knocked over the flowerpot on the back porch and as he dug into the pot, all the dirt was thrown into the house..
And tracked through the house...
Lesson learned??
I don't think so...At least not for Todd!
I hope you're having a good weekend!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Arrival of a Girl Named Riley

~Toby celebrating the return of the internet! ~
As you can see, our internet (and our land-line) have been repaired and I can once again step away from my world and take a peak into yours.  I've really missed reading about what you're up to and I look forward to catching up!  

It has been a busy few days and there has been a lot going on.  I was asked by the rescue on Friday if I would consider taking a new foster dog.  I have to be honest and say that I've really been trying to cut down on our expenses and decided to not take in another dog.  I'd received a mass e-mail from the rescue earlier in the week asking all the foster homes to consider taking an eight year old girl named Riley.  What first caught my attention was her having what could be considered a 'boy name' like our beloved Rudi, and Reggie.  But Riley had some 'special needs.' And as I read the e-mail about her, knowing foster homes are at a premium, I remember hoping that the rescue would be able to find a place for her.  I then forgot about Riley until I was asked specifically if I would consider taking her.  Not being able to say no of course I agreed.

Riley's story is of course a bit of a sad one.  Her family lost their home.  Unable to care for her, and unable to take her to the apartment that they were moving to, they contacted the rescue. Times were really difficult for this family, and another dog that they had, a Papillon died from heart-worm.  Riley had not been to the vet since 2007.

~This is how Riley stands~
Among some other issues, Riley is handicapped.  She is lame in her hind-limbs.  As you can see in the picture, she has a slumped posture and is unable to fully extend her back legs, walk or stand normally, and can't even be taken for a walk.  Stairs are very difficult.  Riley needed a home that was easy to navigate inside and out and on one level, a house like ours. I picked her up last night, and she's a nervous wreck.  She is pacing and panting and is so confused by what is happening to her that she won't settle down or eat, and has barely paid attention to the other dogs.  It's times like this that I wish I could just tell her that she's going to be okay.  But all I can do is give her lots of reassurance that hopefully she'll soon understand.

At the moment, Riley does not have a lot of 'outer beauty'  like Sheba or Reggie.  She has a severe overbite and because of the poor condition of her coat, she was shaved down completely.  Her eyes and face are full of worry.  However despite what's on the outside, I'm finding is that she has a kind heart and gentle personality.  For some reason, I'm finding myself humbled by her this morning.  I am hoping that the rescue will allow her to be seen by an orthopedic surgeon to see if anything can be done to help her.  I am hoping that I can make a difference for a girl named Riley.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

No Internet and No Land Line

Living in the country, at least for me, has had very few drawbacks. One drawback however, has been struggling to keep a good internet connection.  While we are on 'high-speed' it's pretty slow and only a little faster than dial-up.  There are many times where staying connected seems nearly impossible.  I've learned to live with it.  For some who live on our road, dial-up is their only choice. 

On Friday, we lost use of our land-line and use of the internet.  Our phone connection was partially restored on Saturday morning, and so was the internet.  But it quickly went out again.  Carl called Verizon and they have promised to come by Thursday....Carl, knowing my sanity was at risk, called again and they said they would try to fix it sooner.

Feeling a little isolated from the world, (and needing an internet fix)  I've come to my office this morning to catch up on e-mails.  But until Verizon makes good on that promise to fix everything, I won't be able to visit your blogs.  I'll miss reading what you are up too--But I hope you've had a good weekend!  Despite the dark cloud hanging over me because of no internet connection, our weather in Virginia has been gorgeous!  I've gotten things done outside, and taken the dogs for several long walks.     

Finally, as we all know, today is a day of remembrance as we remember the events and those that lost their lives on September 11th.  I know we are also keeping in our hearts the loved ones they left behind as well. 

There are many, many stories from that day.  One that touches my heart is written by a friend of mine who was living in New York City with her husband and two Goldens, Hope and Darwin.  I posted this last year, but I find Nan's story very compelling, because it is one of survival and determination.  I hope you'll take a minute to read about 'Two Who Survived.' 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Interview

Today was a big day.  Todd was going for his 'interview' to attend the new daycare. I could tell by the 8 page application and being told to expect to stay there for at least 2 hours, that this wasn't going to be an ordinary place for him to spend a couple of days a week.

We've had nothing but rain the entire week so needless say, Todd was smelling a bit 'doggy.'  So I remedied that this morning with a bath.  How could he be denied entry into a daycare being clean and fluffy and smelling like lavender and mint?  Todd was not particularly happy about the bath, especially before breakfast--Being a terrier, he had his own opinion and I think the picture below pretty much summed up his thoughts on the whole thing...
The evaluation went really well.  He did just fine with meeting everyone two and four legged.  The person doing the interview said several times how nicely he got along with the other dogs.  Thankfully there were no cats there!
After an hour-and-a-half, I was told that 'they thought Todd would be a good fit there.' I knew he would be, how could you say no to that face anyway?  I know I can't!  
Finally, I'll just let you all know that Reggie has eaten all of her meals today, and is up and around just a bit more than yesterday--A little golden ray of sunshine at the end of a rainy day!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Paws and Fingers Crossed

I've so appreciated the good thoughts for Reggie!  My concern for her grew when she hardly moved off the dog-bed on Monday and wouldn't eat.  I reluctantly left her on Tuesday when I returned to work.  However I felt that she would be 'okay'  because our dog walker was coming midday and she would let me know if Reggie wasn't doing well.  When I got home from work, Reggie was still in the same place as she was when I'd left her in the morning.  My dog walker had been unable to get her to go outside.  Thinking and hoping that the medications that she has been taking might be the cause for the sudden change, I decided that I would take Reggie off of them.

The vet that I have come to respect and trust for the past 6 years is currently on maternity leave. Until she returns we are seeing a recently graduated vet named 'Chrissy Johnson.'  I think her name fits her because she looks like she's about 12 years old, and is no bigger than a pencil.  We discussed everything and I was glad that she supported my taking Reggie off the medications for now.  This morning Reggie ate a little and met me at the door when I got home this evening.  While Reggie is still not herself, and her appetite hasn't fully returned, I'm really hoping that maybe we're heading in a positive direction--Paws and fingers crossed!! .
~Sam & CC~

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Our Girl Reggie

Its been a busy few days.  Despite not feeling well, we've had company come for dinner one evening and things to get caught up on.  One thing that I had to do was take Reggie to the vet.  She's also not been feeling well the last few days.  Her activity has decreased as has her appetite; which I've learned is unusual for her.  She has been limping and I'm hoping that it's just because her shoulder is bothering her.  At one time in her life it was broken and repaired with about a 7 inch plate, screws and a wire pin.  I've found that we have to not allow Reggie to pull on the lead or her shoulder starts to bother her and she can't put any weight on her leg.  We've put her on pain medications and stopped taking her for walks.  Today is the first day she's not limping. I'm really hoping that's what it is and she'll perk up.  It goes without saying that since we first met in June, I've gotten pretty attached this sweet girl named Reggie.  

Friday, September 2, 2011

Loss of Appetite

A doctor appointment took me to Reston Virginia, the place where our life in Virginia began in 1995.  We lived in what was then a 'small town,' for about a year before we moved to our last house the following year.  That small town has really grown into a large location for businesses and residences. The heart of the town is the Reston Town Center which has many upscale shops, restaurants and condominiums.  Large brand name companies such as Rolls-Royce North America and Google have offices in the town center.  I always look forward to going there and enjoying the shops that we don't have in the county where I live.
Unfortunately my doctor appointment didn't go all that well because the subject of my needing to lose a 'few pounds' was brought up.  I think that's just what doctors do.  I know in our office we stress brushing and flossing more to patients who are really doing pretty well.  But the subject of weight loss always bothers me.  So needless to say I was feeling a bit discouraged afterwards and I did the only thing I could do that just seemed to make sense...

I stopped at 'Einstein Brothers Bagels.'  
I hadn't been there since last year and 
I love their 'everything bagel' with cream cheese.  
   Then I went to 'Trader Joes.'
They have great produce and flowers!
The next stop was 'Whole Foods.'
They have a really nice bakery--Their cheese danish is a favorite!
Finally, I went to 'Wegmans' for the rest of the needed groceries.  
It's all good there!
When Carl got home from work he asked me what was for dinner.  For some reason, I wasn't hungry and didn't feel like cooking.  Doctor appointments do have a way of making you lose your appetite, don't they??