Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Full Plate

~My hydrangeas are in bloom~~
Its been  a very busy and very full weekend that began with Cissy and Josh both running after a deer on our morning walk. Usually this isn't a problem, but it became one when Cissy came back limping, and holding up her left leg.  Oh no...  Fortunately Cissy just happened to have a vet appointment where unfortunately the vet confirmed that her knee has a torn cruciate.  I'm not sure what the next step will be.  I'm hoping that with rest, restricted activity and medications, we can *maybe* avoid doing surgery to repair it. At the moment, Cissy is not able to walk real well, so we've put Gus's harness on her to help her get up and around.
~A carefree moment for Cissy last weekend~ 
Then of course there's our new addition, Bella.  She has come to the rescue via an owner who had recently moved to this part of the country. They said "they had no room for Bella in their new home, and couldn't give her the care she needs, or afford to take her to the vet."
Then Bella became sick. It is times like this when I try very hard to not judge people, but am just grateful they contacted the rescue and they were/are there for her when she needed someone.  As you can see (below) Bella is on quite a cocktail of medications.
However, on her third day, it's easy to see that Bella is feeling a lot better physically...
And emotionally too.  She still isn't thrilled with her new pack mates, but it is getting better.
Bella & Charlie, with a new summer hair 
So, I'm hopeful and trying to remain optimistic--for both Bella and Cissy.     
~Todd on Saturday, watching Bella~ 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Four Years and TWO Plus Ones

~Todd, June 25, 2011~
I've been going through all the files of photos that have been transferred onto my new computer, and deleting the ones I don't want to keep. Its been a fun trip down memory lane that has reminded me that it was four years ago, plus one day, that Todd arrived at Golden Pines. It goes without saying that he was the perfect addition to our home and we cannot imagine our lives without him!
~Todd getting acquainted with Sam~
In keeping with the plus one theme, today we welcomed a new addition named Bella.  She's about 8 years old, and comes to us with multiple health issues. She has spent the past several days hospitalized and so it's easy to see that she's tired and not feeling all that well.
~Bella during the ride to Golden Pines~
With people, Bella is a perfect lady and is eager for attention.  But with the dogs, even though the dogs ignore her, she's reactive when they are around.  So, for today we decided to forgo the one on one meetings to give her time to rest and settle in.  It has been a long, tiring day for all of us and I'm trying to be hopeful that tomorrow will be a better day for Bella.    

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Berries and Buddy

Under the hot sun and humidity I continued with the berry picking, while the Berry Patrol continued their berry eating.  Yesterday we added Todd to the group.  He isn't as crazy about the berries or as good at pulling them off the canes as the other dogs, but he keeps up.
This morning it was Sheba (below).  We are pretty much at the end of the season for them now. There are a few here and there, but we'll let the birds, bugs and spiders have what's left.  
~Sheba--Berry picking is hard work!~
This is probably a good thing since homemade cobblers like the one I made this morning are a favorite this time of year.  My favorite recipe is one that I like because it's simple, quick, and pretty good. (Recipe here)

And speaking of eating, Buddy is a dog that lives to eat!  This makes getting him to take his allergy pills, a snap.  This also means that Buddy will eat anything that even remotely looks edible.  I'd noticed a few days ago some white around his mouth that looked like he'd gotten into something.  I wiped his face and it didn't come off.  A couple more times I'd try to scrub it off with no luck. Finally I took him outside to get a good look at whatever it was that couldn't be washed off. It was then that I saw what it was...  Because of his allergies, Buddy hasn't had any hair around his mouth because he was constantly rubbing his nose and face, and now, it's finally growing back!  (Sorry about all that hard scrubbing Buddy!) But it does show that the itchiness, especially on his face, has gone away and the allergy pills really are working!
~Fuzzy hair growing back on Buddy's face!~
I hope its been good weekend for you too!  

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Berry Patrol

Growing around our property, we have wild-black-raspberries, and "The Berry Patrol" let me know that they were finally ripe.  We have one good-sized patch near the woods with more canes scattered here and there around the barn and along the edge of our driveway.
~The Berry Patrol, Sheba, Charlie and Josh~
None of these areas produce large amounts of berries, as they are not managed by us at all; they are overgrown and compete with weeds, opportunistic vines and other brambly-type bushes.  But there are plenty for us and even enough to share.  
If there's a down side to the berries it's that they're not the easiest to pick because there are sharp thorns and some of the bushes are buried so deeply in a thicket of brambles that it makes getting to them pretty tricky. Unfortunately.
~Sheba finding her way into the berry patch~
But still… wild black raspberries. I need to hurry up and pick them before they're gone so I can make my traditional cobbler, muffins or just enjoy them by themselves.
All of us are enjoying the warmth of the sun, and these summer days, especially Charlie (below) who is scheduled for his summer haircut in a few days.  

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Watch Out for the Quiet Ones!

Georgie fooled me.  He fooled all of us.  Underneath his quiet, relaxed, unruffled exterior lies the heart of a renegade.  On our morning walk, I accidentally dropped his leash.  Georgie immediately saw his opportunity to make a getaway, and he took it.  Off he went, just like an escapee, straight into the woods, leash skipping along behind him. I don't think I've ever seen him move that fast.  Okay, Georgie's not that fast, but given that I had Charlie and Sunny on leashes, and three others off lead, it sure seemed like he was -- Because those few moments that I needed to get everyone together were all Georgie needed to bolt to freedom and disappear.

I put Charlie and Sunny inside and headed into the woods, through thorns and thick brush to find him.  I eventually found Georgie, casually sniffing a tree.  He was, of course, totally ignoring me, and before I could grab him, he started off again. No doubt about it, Georgie was in the zone. But he made a rookie mistake and zigged when he should have zagged, and I stepped on his leash--He was caught!  I slowly walked the delinquent back home.

Thirty minutes later, after a little water, just like Todd was after his encounter with the toad, Georgie had moved past the whole experience.  And just like Todd and as he is every morning, Georgie was anxious and ready for breakfast.  The moral of the story is, watch out for the quiet ones. I think I'm going back to bed.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Todd Hunter

Todd, being the star of our household, took front and center stage this week!
We were just coming back from our morning walk on Tuesday when I noticed Todd vomiting. I'd taken the other dogs for a walk, leaving him unattended in the fenced yard, and he was fine 10 minutes prior to that.  I had no idea what happened. I got all the dogs inside, including Todd who had vomited again and was shaking his head and pawing at his mouth.  In between his getting sick, I managed to catch him and rinse out his mouth, and wipe his face and beard off, thinking (and hoping) I could wash off whatever he'd gotten into.  It was not an easy thing to do because even on a slow day Todd is pretty fast. Added to that, he doesn't really like being picked up, and he especially didn't want his mouth washed or wiped out.  In the end, he knew he had no choice.      

I'd noted to myself that Todd had gotten sick 8 times.  But by about a half-hour, thankfully the vomiting was lessening and he seemed to be getting better.  His ears that had been laying back were now standing up, and he was drinking a little water. Good signs!

After about an hour, Todd seemed to be recovered, and was taking small bites of food that I was offering him and wagging his tail.  I went with him outside and he led me right to the scene of his crime.  It was what I'd suspected -- a toad.
I think we'd all agree that toads are great to have in your garden because they dine on bugs and are a natural pest control. But a dog like Todd that loves to investigate and play with anything that moves, a toad is not a good thing to have around.  I'm sure the (now dead) toad would agree with that...  

It wasn't even 9 o'clock in the morning, and I was already feeling frazzled and worn out.  Todd however, was no worse for wear.  He'd moved on and forgotten all about the events of the hour before, and was back on patrol of the yard.  Something I wish I could have done!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Canine Expression

It was a good weekend both for us, and the dogs too.  The new allergy medications seem to be working for Buddy, and he's not had to wear the "cone of shame" since Friday.  Lexi is also much better too.  She did however, get sick this morning.  She seemed really hungry, so I gave her a little bigger meal.  I'm hoping that it was just too much food for a still sensitive stomach.
I think Georgie had a good weekend too -- Because isn't that a happy smile on his face?
Okay, maybe not...    
 Todd, being pretty observant, didn't think so either...

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Another Whirlwind Week!

The week began with the passing of my 10+ year old computer finally giving it up.  I've known for awhile that it was going to happen, so its passing came as no big shock.  *SHE* and I were together for a long time. A very long time for a computer who at times should have not been blamed for the faults and maladies that came with  her advancing age. They certainly don't make 'em like *HER* anymore, and that may or may not be a good thing.  By Wednesday Carl had my new computer set up and connected.

Life may have come to a standstill online for me, but it didn't for the dogs.  I know that I don't mention Buddy much. Some of you may have even forgotten about him.  He came to us in November because of his severe allergies.  We've had some pretty good success in working through them with a limited ingredient diet and over the counter allergy medications.  But even with a good vet, there have been some set backs too.  Buddy is still really itchy, and if we don't watch him, he'll chew and pull out his coat.  So, it was decided to take him to the dermatologist.
~Buddy waiting for the Dermatologist~
It was a productive visit, and I'm encouraged that with a change up in a few things, along with a new allergy medication called Apoquel, that has had some really good success, Buddy can finally put the annoying allergies behind him.  
~Buddy, still waiting for the Dermatologist and a treat~
While I was waiting for the Dermatologist, I got a call from our dog-walker about Lexi.  She's not been feeling well this week.  On Tuesday she had gotten sick, but seemed a little better by Wednesday morning. The dog-walker couldn't get her to her feet, and Lexi had gotten sick again.  I called the vet and thankfully they were able to see her. I took Buddy home, picked up Lexi, and we were on the road again.  After all the tests, including x-rays and fluids along with nausea medications, we were on our way home, and Lexi was smiling and feeling better.
~Lexi, feeling better!~
The test show nothing "too unusual,"  so we're not really sure what is causing Lexi's stomach to become so sensitive.  It could be her diet, so we're going to make a few changes. This evening she seems more like herself, and her appetite seems to be returning. A good note to end a busy week on!

It's all worn Sheba out, so I'm sure she'd agree!