Sunday, March 31, 2013

Good Signs

It was a beautiful sunny Saturday that included another visit to the vet.  This time it was for Sheba and Todd.  With the exception of Sheba's really bad ear infection, both dog's are healthy.  There's no doubt that Sheba and Todd share a connection to one another.  Todd always tries to get her to play with him, and while she does, at almost 8 years old her interest in a game of chase doesn't last as long as Todd's does. But yesterday I witnessed something that I've never seen before between my dogs.  Todd took his exam all in stride and there wasn't a single objection to the good once over or a vaccine he received.  But when the vet looked into Sheba's sore ear and she whined, Todd suddenly became protective of Sheba and started barking at vet and put himself between the two of them.  I quieted Todd, but when it happened again, it was decided to do the exam in another room.  Todd is a very territorial dog when it comes to defending his home turf, I just had no idea it extended to his pack mates too. The relationship dogs within a pack have with one another never ceases to amaze or interest me.
On the flip-side there is of course Cissy.  Your continued good thoughts for her are truly making a difference, and it means a lot!  As you may well have guessed, there was a really big concern early on that Cissy's diagnosis was going to be one that she could not recover from, or one that was contagious to our dogs.  Thankfully each of those illnesses have finally been ruled out. However there is no doubt that Cissy has a long way to go to become fully healthy again.  Her energy level is low, and she's still sleeping a lot of the time.  But there has been a bit of an increase in her appetite, and yesterday she spent a little time outside meeting our crew and soaking up the warm sun.  I'm taking all those things as a good sign.
Happy Easter, enjoy your Sunday!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cissy's Spark

~Our  snow covered road on Monday~
I have really, really appreciated all the kind words and much needed good thoughts for our new addition, Cissy.  Despite the snowfall on Monday, she was taken to see the vet.  First up on the list was to cut Cissy's extremely long nails.  I'm not sure how many of you noticed in her first photos, but they were so long, she was unable to really walk because of their length.      
Cissy took everything in stride through the entire vets exam and only whined once when her nails were cut. Her blood work results were all returned on Tuesday and nothing in those results was 'normal or okay.'  The only good thing is, if there is one, and that's that Cissy did not test positive for heart-worm.  On Wednesday she returned to the vet where she spent the entire day for more testing.  Hopefully today we will find out those results which will be put it together with the blood work for a final diagnosis.
~On the way to the vet Wednesday morning~
Despite trying to tempt Cissy with the tastiest of treats and smelliest of foods, I've been unable to get her to eat a full meal.  She's just not feeling well enough.  .  
Cissy sleeps most of the time. She seems to really like being covered up, so I've been warming blankets and towels in the dryer to put on top of her.  
But when Cissy sees me she wags her hairless tail, and also did for the girls at the vets office yesterday too. Showing me that even though it's a little dim, she has a spark.  

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cissy Arrives at Golden Pines

There is an Albert Einsten quote that I read several days ago that goes:   

"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, 
but because of those who look on and do nothing." 

For several reasons that quote stuck with me and it ran through my mind when I was contacted by the rescue on Friday afternoon about taking a senior girl that was in a Virginia shelter.  
The timing could not be worse with Carl still recovering, my feeling so worn out, and other things that life is demanding of me. But when I heard Cissy's story and saw her pictures like the one above, I could not "look on and do nothing," and so without any hesitation whatsoever, I agreed.  

So after a very, very long day on Saturday, we welcomed Cissy to Golden Pines. As you can see in her photos, she has been very severely neglected. She was turned into the shelter by her 'owner' and I will only say that I have counted yesterday among the days that I marveled at how incredibly undeserving of the label “human” some people can be. 
And with that I will also spare you the details of was matted within her coat, and just say that a friend met me at a 'dog-wash' where Cissy was cheered on by everyone in the shop that kindly donated everything that we needed to give her a really, really good bath.  
I do not know what Cissy's story will be. Of course I am worried about her.  All the dogs, including Todd, are very subdued around her.  I know she is really not feeling well, and has many medical problems that will hamper a quick recovery, if one is meant to be. But as I sit here and look at her sleeping soundly, I am taken by her sweet old face and I'm grateful because I know that she is safe and has a warm bed to sleep on.  And because I have no doubt that for however long she is with us, her story will end with someone who cares about what happens to her. And to me, that's what's most important.   

Friday, March 22, 2013

Stopping By

I cannot believe that it's Friday!  It has been an extremely hectic and busy week with work, and because of Carl who came home from the hospital on Tuesday.  Our house has become a mini hospital and pharmacy with our refrigerator storing IV medication and two home health care nurses who come to either check the equipment or to change the change the bandage on Carl's foot.
Needless to say, Carl and I are both really worn out.  But we are so grateful for all the good thoughts and prayers that have been sent.  We have been the recipients of kindness from friends who have brought meals and who have stopped by to see Carl and offered help for whatever is needed.  I love how the dogs have taken the change in routine in stride and don't seem to mind that their dinner was a little late a couple of times.  However they are totally convinced that everyone that has stopped by this week have come to see them.
I am hoping for the chance this weekend to 'stop-by' your blogs and catch up on your news--And maybe even catch up on some sleep.  Enjoy your Friday!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Psychological Snow

I was off work today anticipating Carl's release from the hospital. Unfortunately he had to stay another day, but we are hopeful he'll be home on Tuesday.
Our day started with what the weatherman was calling 'psychological snow,' meaning it didn't really accumulate or stick to anything, but it was *snow* nonetheless.  Whatever you called it, the dogs hardly noticed as there were workman visible at the edge of our property before it was fully light.
It didn't matter that I closed the gate in the middle of the yard, because the barking and the interest in what was going on continued for hours after the workmen were gone.
Todd takes his job of watch-dog very seriously!
Just as Lucas always takes his job of stalking the cat very seriously. 
I hope your week is off to a good start! 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Lucas and Carl's Week Ends

To begin this post, I will again THANK YOU ALL for your good thoughts and prayers for Carl! They worked because everything went really, really well and part of the repair to his ankle that was planned did not have to be done. If there was any glitch in the day it began in the waiting room where I waited an hour after Carl's doctor spoke to me about the surgery, to find out when Carl would be taken to his room--A nurse told me a room wasn't ready yet, and I was assured they would let me know when he was taken to his room.  I really didn't want to keep bothering the staff, so I waited until the 2nd hour passed before I asked again.  I was told by another nurse that they were still waiting for a room for Carl and that they would certainly let me know when he was taken to his room.  Shortly afterwards I got a phone call from Carl asking where I was.  He'd been in his room for over an hour and had even been given lunch.  We both wondered if anyone ever tried to let me know....
The day ended on a good note with Lucas as well.  Some of you may know that he has been on the 'available dog page' of the website for the rescue that I volunteer with for a year.  Of course we really care very much about Lucas, but for several reasons I felt that if there was someone else who could give Lucas a good forever home, then perhaps he should go there. But there has not been a single person who has expressed an interest in the senior dog with no teeth that is obsessed with cats. Now at about 14 years old, Lucas is showing his age just a little bit. Because of his age, the length of time he has been with us and a few other things it has been decided that Lucas will remain with us for the rest of his life.  This means that Lucas is now a 'full fledged member' of the gang at Golden Pines.
On our wall hangs a large picture frame that holds the photos in chronological order of each and every dog (and cat) that has 'officially' been part of our household.  Lucas's picture is on the bottom right between Todd's and Annie's.  For whatever reason I added his several months ago.  I think this was always how it was meant to be. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

One Down One to Go!!

THANK YOU ALL for your good thoughts for Lucas yesterday!  It was a really long and stressful day for him.  The vet-tech told me that Lucas became overly anxious while waiting for the surgery to begin, but as hoped, the extractions of his four remaining teeth went well.  Today his mouth is a little swollen and I can tell it's sore.  But he has plenty of pain medication and because he's up and around and back to eating, I've no doubt he's going to be just fine!
With Lucas's surgery behind us, we still have one more to get through this week. Unfortunately Carl needs to have yet another surgery on his foot and will be going into the hospital on Friday and staying for a few days. So he and Lucas can recover together!  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Good Thoughts for Lucas

Today Lucas is having his four remaining teeth removed by the dentist.
At his respectable age, and because of his laryngeal paralysis, I of course worry about the use of the anesthetic.  I'm hoping that the hardest thing for Lucas will be when he realizes that he isn't going to get his breakfast this morning.  And because he did so well with the two previous surgeries, I'm hopeful he'll be back to stalking the cat in no time!  If you have some spare good thoughts, can you send some for Lucas?  Thanks--Enjoy your Tuesday!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

One Thing Not Enjoyed

I am hoping that the warm weather we've had this past weekend is signaling that winter is behind us.  I find Spring to be an amazing season.  Not only can I see the world around me waking up from winter’s hibernation, I can feel my own energy level is increasing too.
Those feelings must be contagious. Throughout yesterday I noticed this little woodpecker as it built its new house in a nearby tree.
While I was working outside, the dogs enjoyed the warm sunny weather. Afterwards Lucas enjoyed a snooze on the front porch while stalking the cat at the same time.
But for Todd the day ended with a bath.  He enjoyed digging and running through the mud left by the melted snow a bit too much.
And trust me, the only thing he enjoyed about the bath was when it was over!  I hope you've had a good weekend too!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Snow Day -- Finally!!

For the past several days I have waited in anticipation at what I hoped would come, *SNOW*!!  A snowstorm is unusual for March, but the weathermen were so sure and I was hopeful they were right.  This year has been a good year for snow for everyone else, but for me it has had its disappointments where several snow storms were predicted to hit our area but they always somehow managed to miss us.  Finally, today we were blessed with snow and my office closed right along with everything else in our county!
As a kid growing up on an army post, I remember all the county schools would be closed because of the weather, and it was extremely rare that my siblings and I would get to hear those beautiful words on the radio that we so longed for, "Fort Knox Schools closed today."  So I think that's why that now, even at my age, the prospect of a snow day thrills me!
I have decided that the anticipation of a snow day is almost as good or better than the actual snow day; the idea of sleeping a little later is almost better than the actual sleeping in, that feeling of no responsibility for a day that allows you to simply enjoy being a person. Yes, you know that you’re going to have to think about everything tomorrow, but the load somehow feels much lighter and the pressure is taken off of you. It’s a psychological thing I’m sure, but it's a nice feeling to say the least.
So the dogs and I spent a lot of time outdoors today.  Their muddy and wet paw-prints from the quickly melting snow were all over the house.  But afterwards I enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate and we all enjoyed the comfort of a warm nap together.  All the things that this girl who didn't get snow days growing up, really loves.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Wag of a Tail

Coming from the office this morning was Todd's whining--It didn't stop, so I got out of bed to see what he was into--He was 'into' the cover of the dog bed in Carrie's crate and couldn't find his way out, and all that was visible was his tail--Whenever I'd say his name, he'd stop trying to get out and wag it--How I love that little carrot-tail and of course the Scottie it's attached too!!

Laughter and the promise of a big snowstorm later today, for me, has been a great start  to the day.  Enjoy yours too!!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Going Bananas

Just as we hoped, it was a 'calm' and a quiet weekend.  For the dogs, the weekend was all about walks and throwing the frisbee.
For me, the most exciting part was baking, and lots of it.  At the grocery store on Thursday I really took advantage of the ten-cents-a-pound for ripe bananas.  And even though I gave part of them to a co-worker, I still had plenty left for us.  I made five loaves of banana bread, two different kinds of  banana muffins, and a snack cake.  I've decided that I really love when a dessert is called a snack, because I think that implies that it's just that, a snack, and you can eat as much as you want....Because it's a snack....Right??
But banana bread is another one of my 'comfort foods.'  Growing up I used to love when my Mom made banana bread.  My brothers and I consumed it like we hadn't eaten in days and it seemed like it would only last about five minutes.  Maybe it did, because we were like vultures!
And then this morning I have to admit that I made banana bread into french toast--Okay, maybe that was too much, but it was really pretty good, even if it wasn't all that healthy.  Which is why it was a good thing that the dogs and I went for plenty of walks and played frisbee.  
 I hope you all had a nice relaxing weekend too!