Sunday, February 28, 2016

Out and About

Out and about on a sunny weekend.
~Crossing the Potomac River into Maryland~
In the town where I live, even on a Saturday, construction workers are hard at work on the new "Town Square."  It was envisioned more than decade ago, but it ran into trouble during the recession. The Town Square will feature a distinctive Glockenspiel, or clock tower, that town leaders hope will serve as a branding feature, in tribute to the town's German heritage.  Just what businesses are being given leases have not yet been announced.  Town officials and the developer are holding those cards close to their vests.
Even with construction work picking up, there's no question, Spring is near -- It's chick-season at the local "Tractor Supply."
While there, a friend of mine asked me to look for "cow-magnets."  Silly me, I thought she was asking me to look for refrigerator magnets. Who knew that there was such a thing that would hold a heat cover on a car during field training.... and other (udder?) things?  Have you ever heard of them?  (**They feed them to cows and it picks up the metal that the cow may have swallowed while grazing.)**
Back at home, the dogs enjoyed being outside.  We took several walks....
Having gone from only walking a few steps and needing so much help, I am so happy with how well Jake is walking these days! (video below)
There's was time for frisbee...
And of course there's always time for ball..
Time for rolling... 
and just watching...
Not a bad weekend.  I hope yours was good too!
~The lovely Cissy~

Friday, February 26, 2016

Is it Todd, Jake, Cissy or Sunny?

Friday again!  Its been a quiet week, so to wrap it up, I thought I'd post a five-question trivia quiz about a few things that happened this past week. See if you can guess who did what.  The answers are at the end of the post.

1.  Do you think it was Todd, Jake, Cissy or Sunny that when kissed on the nose this week, quickly ran to a blanket and wiped their face?    

2.  Who would you pick as the pup that thinks chasing the new foster kitten is a great sport?  Todd, Jake, Cissy or Sunny?

3.  Who has decided that they don't want to come inside, even after dark -- Todd, Jake or Cissy or Sunny?

4.  Who was the alarm clock this week when we overslept?  Actually, this dog IS our household alarm clock, always barking at 5:30 every morning.  Do you think this task is taken on by Todd, Jake, Cissy or Sunny?

5.  I always give the dogs fresh fruit and vegetables.  Who do you think passed on the apples and oranges I had for treats this week?  Todd, Jake, Cissy or Sunny?

Do you think you've answered correctly? Well, lets see.

Question 1.  If you answered Todd, you would be right, he's done this before, but the answer for this week was actually Cissy.  I gave her a kiss on the nose, and she turned around, plopped down onto a dog bed and started rubbing her face.
~Cissy, a kissable nose!~ 
Question 2.  If you think it's Todd, you would be almost right again.  Even though he knows better, sometimes he just can't resist.  But for this week, the culprit is newcomer Jake.  He's still unsteady on his feet, but he tries to chase the kitten, so we're working on teaching him that the cats are to be watched and not chased.
~Jake had no idea chasing cats could be such great fun!~
Question 3.  If you answered Todd, you would be right, yet again.  He likes being outside any time day or night!  But this week, it's Sunny.  For whatever reason, he's decided that he likes to just sit outside.  I don't know if I should worry about his doing this or not.  Thoughts?
~A blurry Sunny after dark~ 
Question 4.  If you answered Todd, you would be wrong about this!  When the clock-radio comes on, Todd is a slow-riser.  He stretches, yawns and rolls on the bed and likes to be scratched and talked to first -- But when his feet hit the floor, he's all business, fully charged and more than ready to go!
~Todd, a little slow first thing in the morning, but once he gets going....~
HOWEVER, Cissy is our dog-alarm-clock.  She knows when it's 5:30, and I think that we could set our clock by her internal one.  She's like Todd, always ready to go and get the day going!

Question 5.  If you answered Todd, add that to your "got it right" column!  Todd will eat just about anything, but he doesn't like "that raw stuff" but he will eat raw carrots.  I did introduce Jake to fruits this week.  It's easy to see that he's a little confused about what he's supposed to do with an apple or orange slice. He'll figure it out, I've no doubt!
And there's no doubt its been a quiet week for us.  Thanks for playing along, and especially for stopping by!  I hope you have a good weekend!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Jake and Selma Plantation

I may have been off work today, but I was out the door at my usual commute time to do what I seem to do a lot on my day's off, and that's going to the vet. It was once again Jake's turn for a follow up appointment.  The Holistic vet came yesterday to do acupuncture and cold laser therapy for Jake and Josh.  I was anxious for Dr. E to see Jake.  Last time she saw him, it had taken both of us just to get him outside because he could barely walk or stand up on his own.  Two weeks later, thanks to the medications, rest, and (especially) your good vibes and the POTP, Jake is now up on his feet and getting around pretty well!  He still sometimes needs help getting onto his feet and keeping his balance, but there is no doubt that he feels much better!  Both my vets are really pleased at how well he's doing, and how much happier he seems!
The vet visit wore Jake out, and he slept through the errands afterwards.
On my way home, I decided to make a slight detour.  A couple of weeks ago, I was really intrigued by a story I came across about a deserted plantation not far from where I live. From a distance, the 110-year-old mansion known as Selma retains much of its grandeur and charm.  Preservationists say the far-off view of the mansion, which is on the list of endangered historic sites in Virginia, belies what sits inside: the ravages of time. With its three stucco-covered stories nestled against Catoctin Mountain and a portico entrance with Roman Doric columns, it is a pristine picture of the Old South.
Taking away from its beauty are newer homes which surround it.  However, it is on a 50-acre conservancy lot, which means the property can't be subdivided.  But unfortunately, there is no protection for the home itself.
Some of the out buildings are still standing as well.
The former plantation was best known as the home of Armistead Thomson Mason (1787– 1819), a U.S. Senator from Virginia.  He built the original house and lived there until he was killed in a duel in 1819. His widow and young son stayed on until a change in fortunes forced them to sell. The original house was destroyed by fire in the 1890s and the current mansion was built in the early 1900s. Despite passing through several owners and developers, nothing seems to come of efforts to bring life back to Selma.  I think this is really sad, because there's no denying its historic beauty.
And because there is no doubt, that just like Jake, it's worth rescuing.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Nice While it Lasts

An unexpected snow day closed my office today.  With no favorite snow day (junk) food, we made due with relatively healthy food instead.
With this unexpected day at home, I had plans at the start of it to get a few things done. But in the end, I didn't really do anything.
~New boy, Mohawk, watching the birds~
Todd never has days like I've had.  A Scottie stays busy and is sharp in any weather!
And a Scottie never forgets.  Todd was back at the same spot later, trying to catch the hidden trespasser!
While Todd and the other dogs were enjoying the snow, I was noticing how it had made everything look so fresh and clean.  But it's going to quickly disappear but not before freezing rain makes it all turn to ice. Tomorrow a predicted 30 degree warm up and rain is in the forecast.  We'll be back to the mud and mess.  It was nice while it lasted.
~View from our backyard~

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Hello Kitty and Restful Times

Flowers and chocolates this Valentine's Day weekend are always nice, but so are warm gloves and a maybe a dog (or two or three) to warm your feet!  The arctic-like air has blasted us with what is being called “the coldest air in more than a decade.”
No, (thankfully) we don't have the below zero temperatures that some people are getting this weekend.  But with icy winds, it certainly felt like it first thing this morning when I walked the dogs in single-digit temperatures.

Todd thinks the cold feels pretty good.
Or maybe .....  
...He just doesn't want to wear a coat.  Maybe both!
But despite the cold, there were still errands to run.  One errand we had today was to "swap out" one foster cat with another. Almost two weeks ago, a lovely kitty named Scarlet arrived.
~Scarlet, we hardly got to know her~
Today, as she went off to her new home, a little boy named "Mohawk" took her place.  I don't know where they get these names from.  But I had to grin that the rescue that our cat, the lovely Ms. Yellow came from, also featured a cat named "Mohawk".  Is that a trending name for cats?
~New boy, Mohawk~
Even with a new arrival, it was a quiet day at home.  These days, I think of winter as a restful time.
A time to take stock, and build up some reserves. I make less plans, I read more books, I look ahead and look forward to the active months ahead.
What do you look forward to?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Reggie, Sherlock or Sam?

I love when Thursday comes, and the week starts to slow down. My time belongs to me and the dogs too!  The below freezing temperatures today kept us inside.
~A bored Bella~
Except Todd, he doesn't care what the temperature is, he wants to be outside defending his turf!
Todd somehow hurt his shoulder last week, and was heavily favoring it.  The vet thought it may be a soft tissue injury and was recommending restricting his activity.  This meant not letting him run or jump.  That lasted about a day.... While I was at work.... If it's still bothering him, he's not showing it.
~Hurt shoulder? What hurt shoulder?~
This week I had a call from Lab Rescue about Sherlock/Reggie.  Apparently someone was perusing the rescue's website, and saw his photos.  Their dog was stolen 3 years ago, and they think that Sherlock/Reggie looks exactly like their dog.  With no microchip, the only way they can identify their dog is by a lump on the muzzle.  I was asked to look for a lump and call him by the name of Sam.  I looked Reggie over really well.  I even checked for scar tissue in case a lump may have been removed.  I found nothing.  He didn't respond to the name Sam.  Of course he doesn't respond to Sherlock or Reggie either.  But I don't think the dog I call Reggie is their dog.  I feel badly that their dog was stolen, and that after 3 years, they're still looking and no doubt wondering what happened to their dog.  Lab rescue will let me know if anything more becomes of their inquiry. **As a caveat, I'll add that Lab Rescue owns Reggie/Sherlock legally.  He did his hold and "stray time" in a shelter, and was turned over to them after that time was up.   
~Reggie, Sherlock, or Sam?~
Finally, thank-you all for your good vibes and POTP for our new boy, Jake, they are truly making a difference!  He's settled into his new life and routine nicely this week.  He's still unable to get to his feet without help. But once he's standing, he has better balance than he did a week ago and once he shakes off the cobwebs from having to be confined, he's ready to go.  
~A relaxed Jake~
Kind of like Todd is!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

A Diagnosis for Jake -- Good Vibes Needed!

Thank-you all for your words of support in my last post, and welcoming Jake to Golden Pines!

Jake and I were up and on the road early to see our primary vet.  Jake was nervous and shaking during the whole drive.  I felt badly for him.  With his world having been totally turned upside down, I had to wonder what he may have been thinking.  Once at the vet, the fuss the staff made over him, quickly reassured him that he was going to be okay. X-Rays were taken and very soon we had a diagnosis for Jake.
Jake has "degenerative spinal stenosis."  It's a painful condition caused by excessive bone formation in the spine, which causes a narrowing of the spinal column and puts pressure on the spinal cord.  It's a progressive and debilitating disease, and there is no "cure."  My vet, said it was the worse case she'd ever seen.  So we are going to try to relieve the inflammation along the spinal cord with a steroid, heavily restrict his activity for a month, (because we don't want to chance having a ruptured disc), put him on pain medications, and ask for you to send some good vibes for him.  Our hope is that by reducing the inflammation, it will improve his ability to get around, and give him a good quality of life for whatever time he has left.  If this doesn't work, the reality is, is that a decision about letting Jake go may have to be made.  But I do not want to think about that right now.  Jake seems happy and is settling in nicely.  So, the rescue and I feel strongly that we have to give him the chance that his previous owner wasn't willing to give him.

Thanks for sending your good vibes for Jake! 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Jake Arrives at Golden Pines!

Even though we are bursting at the seams with dogs at our house, I've always said that I would make room for a dog that needed a place to go, and that's what I did this week.  On Wednesday we welcomed Jake to Golden Pines.
~Jake's mug shot from the shelter~  
Jake is 12 years old, and was brought to a local shelter by his owner who wanted him euthanized because he's having problems walking.  Yes, you read that correctly.  However the Shelter felt  "Jake was a very happy, friendly, engaging dog and that he definitely had some quality time left."  So they convinced the owner to let Jake be turned over to a rescue.
Jake's is very weak in the rear end, and I had problems getting him outside first thing this morning.  Actually, I couldn't get him out at all this morning because he wouldn't stand up. Thankfully the vet that did acupuncture and cold laser therapy for our boy Gus last year, was coming to see Josh today -- The timing of Dr. E coming could not have been more perfect.  She helped me get Jake outside, and did a thorough assessment of his condition.  She's recommending he see a primary vet for spinal x-rays and blood work to decide the next steps to take.  Jake is now fitted for a "Help-em-up" harness, which is a big help in getting him onto his feet and outside.  He already seems like he's feeling more confident outside now, and was trying to play and acting silly when we had him out.  Good signs!  
The rescue of course approved the vet care, and Jake has an appointment with my vet on Saturday morning.  Paws crossed for our newest arrival!