Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Heat and Our Week

If you live in my neck of the woods, and muggy summer heat was what you were craving, the wait is over. A high pressure system with plenty of heat has moved in and given us plenty of humidity.

With the heat, the dogs have preferred to spend most of their time indoors with plenty of ice.  Even Taylor (below) has been enjoying it. She has really settled in nicely and continues to get along well with our dogs.  However we've had a few storms this week, and we discovered that she's very nervous during them. Experience has taught me that once dogs are her age, it's hard for them to get over their fear of storms, and so we do our best to find something that comforts them.  So far, we've not found what that "something" is for Taylor, but we will.  
Last nights storm brought a little cooler start to the day and the dogs were quick to find a cat that had wandered onto our property.  They chased and treed it, but (thankfully) didn't injure it.  I could tell it was a young cat, and after I'd gotten the dogs back inside, I put a bowl of food next to the tree, figuring that it was probably hungry.  When I left for work, the cat and the food were both gone.
Other than the cat and the heat, it has been a quiet and uneventful week.  And I think we're all okay for that.
All of us except for Todd, of course. He patiently looks and waits for anything to happen.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Berry Picking

It's summer and it's time for berries.  Around our property I always look forward to picking the black raspberries.  This is the second time I've picked berries this year and unfortunately we don't have as many as last year.  But you just have to know where to look for them because they are there, hidden at the edge of the woods, and along our driveway.

However Sheba always seems to be able to find them. She and the other dogs, really enjoy them and will eat them right off the bushes.  I actually like to have the dogs with me when I pick berries.  When I picked them as a kid, I wasn’t really worried about snakes and I never wore protective clothing.  But age has made me more than a little paranoid about snakes, so now when I pick berries, I wear socks, long pants, long sleeves and let the dogs go ahead of me  to scare off anything that may be under the brush.
Todd, who I've no doubt would be great at scaring anything in the bushes away, watched from the front porch.  
As you know berry picking can be a lot of work, even for the dogs and Sheba became pretty hot and tired.  I was glad when she took a break and watched me from the shade.
But I did pick enough to make a very simple cobbler. (Click here for the recipe)
After dinner, we all sat on the porch together and enjoyed it. Even without the ice cream to go with it, it was pretty good and a nice way to end the weekend!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Annie's Excellent Adventure

I am lucky in that I have a really nice Doctor to work for.  Along with being a pretty good dentist (I think) Doctor S. is really a kind man, who is also really supportive of my love for animals.  Some of you may recall how two years ago he allowed me to bring Todd to work with me until he was old enough to go to daycare.  And lets not forget this past May when he agreed to let me have 5 baby chicks in the office.  So when I read about "Take Your Dog to Work Week" about a month ago, I just had to ask him if I could bring one of my dogs to the office for the day.  It was no surprise that Doctor S. said it was okay.  However he clearly had his own ideas and opinions about where and how the dog I brought would spend the day in the office.
For several reasons I decided to bring Annie.  But one of the "rules" that Dr. S had about Annie being in the office for the day was that she should stay in the break-room away from the patients.
But since I was working at the front desk on the day she came, that's where Annie spent her day too.
Another thought that Doctor S. had was that Annie shouldn't have direct contact with the patients.  Almost every patient greeted Annie and visited with her.  A couple even played ball with her.
Dr. S was also pretty adamant that Annie not be allowed in the treatment areas of the office.
 "Well, okay, Dr. S."  ...  
At the end of Annie's day in the office everyone felt that our being a part of "Take Your Dog to Work Week"  had been a success!  Annie enjoyed her day, and she was a great ambassador for the rescue. Dr. S agreed to let me bring Annie again next year.  Providing of course, that we (again) follow the rules.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Taylor's First Week

Another week has flown quickly past us, and I'm confident that it's going to end on a good note for Taylor.  As the week has passed, she has become more and more confident and comfortable in her new home and seems happy.  She's gotten her appetite back, and is right there with the other dogs when treats are given and when waiting for her dinner.  While we're at work, she's just fine staying at home and is getting used to her new routine.
Taylor has a difficult time getting around, and I think the problem is her knees and hips. She has a very difficult time managing the two simple steps into the yard, and getting back inside always requires some help.  We are encouraging her to use the ramp that I set up for her, and I'm hopeful that the time will soon come when we won't have to remind her that it's there.

It goes without saying that I'm taken with Taylor.  She's a nice girl, with soul filled expressive eyes that are anxious to please.  She has great manners and even knows how to "shake." I think we're all going to get along just fine.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Taylor Arrives at Golden Pines

Saturday was really a roller-coaster of a day that ended with the much anticipated arrival of Taylor who came from about 4 hours away in West Virginia.  No matter what the time, and no matter how tired, all the introductions to the new kid need to be done properly to get things started on the right note.  I knew that Taylor was exhausted and stressed, because the person who brought her to me said that she whined during most of the trip.  But despite everything, she handled meeting everyone just fine, and in the early morning hours, we called it a night.
Taylor really seems like a nice girl. Her first day with us has been spent sleeping in our bedroom. But she has had quite the week. Her owner passed away, and she was left alone in only home she's known until arrangements could be made to get her to us. I've not seen her wag her tail, she hasn't eaten and doesn't want anything to drink.  I'm hoping that when she realizes that even though her world may appear upside down right now, she's going to be okay...I promise.

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Howling Welcome Home!!

We made it to Friday!  Yesterday's weather had everything from heat and cool breezes to sun and pouring rain, and it was topped off with a tornado warning.  But we made it through the storms pretty much unscathed.  
There are a few things on our agenda for the weekend, and one is that we will be welcoming a new addition to our household.  Her name is Taylor, and she's 14 years old.  When she arrives, I'll tell you her story.  But I'm hopeful that the dogs will give her a 'howling welcome' like they did for me when I got home this afternoon.  What's heard on the video below is not the usual welcome that I receive; I can only guess that the dogs have taken a cue from me, because it's how I feel many times when Friday and the weekend comes!!  I hope you enjoy your weekend too!!   
**The loudest dog heard in the video is Josh, followed by Sheba who is howling in the lower key, CarrieAnne barking with Charlie and Cissy singing the melody in a higher key.**  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Whatever it Takes!

We've been hampered by severe weather all week long, and we're still not through.  Today was really hot and fairly humid as a storm system to the west begins to get itself together. The weathermen are telling us that the ingredients are in place for severe weather on Thursday.  Of course I'm not ready for the possibility of a power-outage, but by the time the storm arrives, we will be.
With the heat, the seniors, like Annie have to be coaxed to go outside, preferring stay inside where it's cool.
Todd on the other hand, being an independent spirit, and not one to follow the crowd, has to be bribed to come back inside!
CarrieAnne however is finding her own relief from the heat.  Long time readers of this blog know that Carrie has her own little private swimming hole in a place that only she knows about.  Since construction began on the house in back of us, she's not slipped away to take a dip to cool off.  But I guess with the heat this evening she just couldn't resist.  She was gone for quite awhile and just as it was getting dark and I started to worry about her, she reappeared, happy and very cool!  
Whatever it takes!!  
Stay safe and cool everyone!  

Saturday, June 8, 2013

All That Matters

The weathermen were right and the rain blew out of our corner of Virginia in the early morning hours.  When the sun appeared, and because I'm feeling better, I decided we weren't going to be lazy and that things were going to get done around the house.  I cleaned half of the house and then told Carl we needed to head outside and get the yard work done. 
Even though Carl still can't really do anything other than drive the tractor, it's something.  He put it off for a little bit, and then decided he was tired of hearing me nag him, ask him when he was going to get started, and so he went outside, taking the dogs with him.  A little while later I came out and found that Carl wasn't mowing but was in the barn working on the weed-whacker and trying to figure out if it is still capable of fulfilling it’s lawn-care duties.  I could see CarrieAnne at the far-side of the yard, with Todd intently watching whatever she was doing.  Josh and Sheba were nearby playing with the frisbees.  
Cissy was laying in the grass. 
It was really one of those real, visceral moments when I looked around and realized that everything was as it should be.  
Everyone seemed happy, and that was all that mattered.  

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Week Ends

Another full and very hectic week winds down.  I've not felt well the entire week and left work early two days to come home and came late on another. Outside our warm summer-like temperatures have been chased away by clouds and rain ahead of the effects of Tropical Storm Andrea who is working her way up the east coast.  With rain predicted through Saturday, it should make for a really fun weekend for someone,  I wonder who?
I'm looking forward to reading what you've been up to this week.  Enjoy your Friday!

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Our Saturday was off to an early start with the dogs favorite game of 'chuckit.'  
Even at the start of the day, the heat we've been having quickly wore out the dogs. 
The rest of the day was spent mostly inside where it was cool. It ended when I let them out for the last time and my eyes caught the lazy, drifting method of flight of the lightning bugs.  Each year I write about the arrival of fireflies or lightning bugs as they are known in the south.
~photo via the internet~
Even though it was late and I was tired, I got a little excited because it just can't be summer without lightening bugs.  To me there is just something about watching their luminescent magic on a warm, muggy summer night with the myriad of stars shimmering overhead against the back-­drop of near total darkness.  I looked down at the dogs and said something to them about how good it was to see them for the first time this year.  They just looked at me with bored indifference. 
But just like when I was a kid, I am spellbound by them.