Thursday, June 30, 2016

Owner & Beloved Pet, Together

I know that it's Thursday (already?) but I have to tell you about a family memorial service that we attended this past Sunday.

Long time readers may remember the 16 year old spirited girl we met in May of 2014 named Crickett.
Crickett had been the treasured companion of "Flossie" who had passed away.  When Flossie was in hospice care, her niece had taken Crickett to visit her, and she promised Flossie that she would make sure Crickett had a good home after she was gone.
The Niece and I met when she turned Crickett over to the rescue.  We became fast friends, and The Niece would often contact me asking how Crickett was doing.  When Crickett passed away in January of 2015 we met afterwards and shared her loss; finding comfort that Flossie and Crickett were together again.  Knowing how loved and adored Crickett was by the entire family, I felt strongly that they should have her cremated remains, and so I gave them to The Niece.  

Fast forward to Sunday, and a lovely headstone (below) has just been put into place for Flossie and her husband. We were invited to a memorial service where family members gathered to remember them both and celebrate what would have been Flossie's 90th birthday.
And it took a little bit of doing, but in the same resting place as Flossie, there is also a new smaller marker for Crickett -- Her ashes are now buried with Flossie.  Beloved pet and owner truly together again.  Just exactly how it should be, and how Flossie would have wanted it.

I think that the cemetery may want to think about changing their sign.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Internet Fully Restored!

When the week begins, you just never know what it will bring.  Monday was uneventful, but Tuesday clobbered us with a severe storm that knocked out our power. There is nothing like a power outage to let you know how unprepared you are for one.
Of course, the dogs didn't care about any of that. But it was easy to tell they were a bit confused about the change in routine that evening. and they weren't crazy about flashlights (and my camera) flashing in their faces.
The power came back on in the early hours of Wednesday morning.  However we have been without a stable, reliable or fast internet connection until today.  I've missed not getting a "full dose of internet" but we're just grateful that was all we lost.  Some have sadly not been as fortunate.
With my eyes off the computer screen, on Thursday my eyes caught this little one wandering around our yard.  Smaller than a can of soda, I worried that he was too young to be adventuring on his own.  I called a wildlife rehab center and they told me that indeed he was. They told me to catch him (I have a net) and bring him into them if I see him again.  Fortunately I haven't, and I'm hopeful that he had just wandered a little too far away from his family and they've moved on.
This weekends highlight has been meeting good friends at a nearby winery for a picnic and wine tasting.  It was an enjoyable and relaxing afternoon,
It was just what we needed, and I so hope we are back on track for the coming week!
With our internet problems, I'm sorry I've not been able to drop by your blogs -- I look forward to catching up on your news!
~Our foster cat, Mo is *still* with us~

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Tea or Berries Anyone?

The weather and the weekend could not have been any better.
~A field near our house~
It began with me and four other friends being treated by another for our June birthdays to a three course "Manor House Tea."  
The tea was at historic Rosemont Manor, which was a respite for U.S. Presidents and celebrities as well as a previous estate of a Virginia Governor.
 The company, the tea and the setting could not have been more lovely or enjoyable.  

Back at home, just as she has in previous years, Sheba let me know that the wild-black-raspberries are ripening -- And just as it has been in previous years, I can't wait to make that first cobbler.   
The weekend also gave me the chance to focus on George.  I've ordered chinese herbs for him.  There are a couple of herbs which can be used to treat cancer as a primary therapy in cases like his because I've opted to not do surgery. I've had mixed results in using them. But they have very few side effects, and so I'm always willing to give them a try.

 I hope you had a fun and enjoyable weekend too!

Finally, thank-you all for your caring words on the loss of our boy Dusty.  Once again, you have made a loss easier by your sharing in our loss, and by your kindness and friendship. He is missed! 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Good-bye (for now) to Dusty

~The day we met Dusty, August 25, 2015~
Today we said good-bye to Dusty.  It was a day I had been dreading, but expecting.  Despite that, I just wasn't ready, not even remotely, which is crazy, because these past few months have been so tough for him.  The tumor on his back leg had grown to be quite large and he was no longer able to lay on that side.  And this week I noticed that he was getting a pressure sore on the other hip.  Added to that, his ability to walk and get around was getting harder and harder.  Dusty was clearly on a journey for which there was only one possible end.
~Dusty last fall, the tumor visible on his left hip~
I guess I was just holding onto hope that adding medications, or changing something else would make a difference, but it didn't.  And when the holistic vet came on Tuesday night to see Jake and I asked her to give me her thoughts on Dusty, I already knew what she would say.
Then Wednesday morning came and we sat on the porch together, I asked Dusty (and the cosmos) to let me know if it was time for him to go.  In the early morning there was nothing but silence as he quietly slept next to me.  I took the other dogs for a walk a few minutes later and it began to rain.  In the west, I saw a rainbow.  Some will say that it was just a coincidence that I'd see one.  But for me, seeing it before 6 o'clock in the morning, once again confirmed what my heart already knew.
~January 2016~
Dusty came to us in August of 2015.  He'd been given up by an elderly couple earlier that year after a car accident left them unable to care for him.  At the shelter, Dusty caught the eye of a mother grieving the loss of her son who had committed suicide.  By late summer her heart had healed enough that she felt she was ready to move on with her life, and so she gave Dusty to the rescue.
At Golden Pines, Dusty found his place in our home.  Inside he was a very quiet and unassuming Golden, that would gently nudge my arm for attention and twirl in circles at mealtime.  Outside from Todd, he learned to bark at the fence at whatever happened past.
His most content times were when he was laying in the grass.  The last few weeks he seemed to gain strength from the warm sun, and never wanted to come inside.  

This morning we had Dusty outside for the last time, and as he stood there in the bright warm summer sun, he raised his nose and sniffed the air before he collapsed onto the ground -- His strength to continue was gone.  I couldn't help think of the words another blogger had written about their own dog, "He stood tall but this morning the grass grew taller."
~September 2015~

The Mobile Vet would come shortly afterwards, and we said our good-byes on the front porch that he loved.
~Dusty sleeping on the porch in 2015~
A wren landed at the other end of the porch and started singing just as Dusty was leaving this life for the next -- Reminding me that there are other worlds to sing in. He is now free and no longer in pain.  I am grateful to have had the chance to get to know Dusty and to have had him as part of our lives for 10 months.  I will look forward to seeing him again one day; he will be missed and not forgotten.

Our candle has been lit all day to help him find his way to the Rainbow Bridge, where I know he was greeted by all those who have gone before him.    
God-speed my "DUSTy-Bunny." 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Axel Settles In

Thank-you all for the good vibes and thoughts for George.  I really appreciate the well wishes, thoughts and support for what's ahead.  I was reminded by an article I was sent on Friday that George doesn't know he has cancer.  So, life to him, at the moment is unchanged.  The goal will be to keep it that way for as long as we can.
Our new arrival, Axel had a good bath today and now smells of rosemary and lavender instead of  yeast.   At about 6 years old, he is painfully thin, and understandably very focused on food. Axel has come to us from a shelter in Charleston, West Virginia.  
He'd been taken there by his owners who no longer wanted him.  The shelter reached out to the Lab Rescue of Cincinnati Ohio and asked if they could take him.  Unfortunately they are "full" and were unable to accept him into their program.  It's not uncommon for neighboring rescues to help one another and so Lab Rescue of Cincinnati contacted Lab Rescue here in Virginia, and the trip of more than 300 miles (400+ kilometers) was arranged and Axel arrived last week.
Although it appears that he doesn't know any commands (sit, etc) he makes up for it with his charm and affectionate personality and that he gets along great with the other dogs and ignores the cats.  If we've had any problems at all, it's that he's showing some separation anxiety. He is getting better making me think that it mostly has to do with the unsurety of what's happening to him, along with being isolated in the shelter and in boarding. All in all, I think he's going to be just fine until his forever home finds him.
What has found us this weekend is high heat and humidity.  Summer is really here.  And from here on our front porch to yours....
I hope you're having a good weekend!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

George and A New Addition

A typical work filled week that included a call to the vet.  I'd taken a few pictures of George last weekend, and when I opened them on my computer, I noticed a lump in George's mouth.  I called "Mobile Vet" who came today and looked at it.
Even though George's teeth are in good shape, I was hoping it was an abscessed tooth.  But knowing what I do about lumps and bumps, I knew there was a better chance that it wasn't.  Mobile Vet does think that it's cancer.  We discussed all the options to treat or surgically remove the tumor. The majority of tumors like this one appears to be, invade the bony structures of the jaw and even with very aggressive surgical measures, complete resection (removal) can be difficult.  George is about 14 years old, and so it is a lot to think about.
~Bella standing, Jake, Josh and George this afternoon~
And finally, just because Lab Rescue asked nicely, last evening we welcomed a 6-9 year old Lab named Axel. He has traveled more than 300 miles (400+ kilometers) to get here.  He's a really nice boy, and I'll tell you more about him in my next post.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Art and Canine Independance

A quick trip for a gift on Saturday had me browsing through an art fair instead.
I always enjoy and admire the creativity and talent of artists,
But I have to admit that sometimes I really don't "get it."
Back at home I got to work in my flower gardens.  My neglect of them along with the rain we've had really helped the weeds to overgrow.  I still have a lot more work to do, but I stopped after a couple of hours because of the heat.  I'll also admit that I'm putting off and dreading the work to be done in the bed that has poison ivy growing in it.
~Sheba exhausted after watching me pull weeds~
Today as afternoon storms approached and before Berkley went back home we did get all the dogs out for a walk.
Cissy has been having days where she doesn't seem to feel all that well.  Today was not that kind of day for her.  Cissy is definitely her "own dog." She is the only dog in the house that doesn't have a place to eat.  I bring her bowl to wherever she happens to be.  Her medication is always tucked inside a piece of cheese, and she always eats it first, even if I've put kibble on top of it. In the morning she'll bark once at about 5:00 to let us know she's awake.  If we try to "encourage her" to get up and go outside, she'll growl.  A moment later, she's there and wants to be let out.  Once outside, you can't really tell her what to do, she is off lead, and so Cissy goes where Cissy wants, and comes back inside when she's ready.  She doesn't usually wander off, so this isn't a problem.  And today was no different.  I called her to come. and she just looked over her shoulder at me.
Then she sat for a few more minutes as if she was enjoying the view.  Maybe she was.  I can't help but chuckle at Cissy's canine independence that knows that a lot of the rules don't apply to her.
And can you guess another dog in our household who thinks the rules don't all apply to him?    
~Jake and Todd an examples of (Scottie) canine independence~

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Can't Help But Notice

It's hay cutting time here in northern Virginia.  Over the last few weeks despite the rain I've watched the hay mature and ripen in the fields and thought how beautiful it was as I drive past. The farmers here usually get two cuttings of hay during the summer.  But if Mother Nature cooperates, they might get three cuttings.  
Tonight the air is humid and as a light rain falls the smell of the fresh cut hay and honeysuckle fills the air. Along the treeline there is the flash of lightening bugs. It's truly a night where you can't help but notice that it feels like summer.  
I also noticed this afternoon that Berkley seems pretty happy and relaxed.  He fits in really well at our house.  His foster home mentioned that he has some separation anxiety, but I've not noticed any of that.  He seems to really like the other dogs, (and vice-versa) and he's totally "bullet-proof" with the cats.  I think its been a good week with him.  
I hope you've had a good week too!