Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Sorry About That!

I've left you all nearly a week without an update on the Barkalot Brothers. My apologies for that. I've not been feeling well, and have even missed work. I'm feeling a bit better this evening.
But thank-you so much for sharing your experiences, candid thoughts and support on my last post; they went a long way. They helped me to articulate my thoughts and feelings about returning George and Abe. They also gave me and the coordinator from the rescue, a few things to consider. At this moment, Abe and George being returned is on hold.

Abe returned to the vet on Friday for another glucose curve test.  He failed. His glucose was so low that they had to feed him to bring the level up. We've decreased the insulin, and increased his food.
~Chipper, on the left keeping George company while Abe is gone~
We all know that Labs live to eat, but Abe really is hungry and his continuing to lose weight is a concern too. The special/prescription food that Abe eats, I think, has no nutritional value, so it's not a surprise that he's hungry all the time. Abe goes back to the vet on Friday for another test.
~Abe~
Paul (previous owner) was contacted about returning Abe and George to him. He assured the rescue that he's financially able to provide for them. However, he was going back into the hospital today (Tuesday) for a couple of more days of tests and should be home in a day or so. This raised the nagging concerns I have about his continuing to care for Abe and George, concerns which the foster-home-coordinator for the rescue also shares.   
~George~
As I said, as it stands right now, we're on hold until the end of the week. Lab Rescue is in favor of their return to their former home.  However, the concerns we all share about Abe and George's ongoing care is first and foremost and will again be discussed with Paul.  And, the foster home coordinator feels strongly that we need to get Abe's diabetes stabilized as well. So, whether they will be back home in time for Christmas is anyone's guess.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Abe & George - Going Back Home?

Lab Rescue received the below e-mail yesterday from the previous owner of Abe and George. I spoke to the foster home coordinator last evening, who had discussed everything at length with the president of the rescue. 
DEAR LAB RESCUE MY NAME IS PAUL ******* AND I AM THE OWNER OF ABE AND GEORGE WHO PLACED THEM WITH YOUR AGENCY FOR ADOPTION. BECAUSE OF FAMILY PRESSURE , I WAS IN THE HOSPITAL AT THE TIME .MY (THIRD TIME IN N2 YEARS) THIS CREATED A HARDSHIP ON MY FAMILY TAKING CARE OF ABE AND GEORGE AS THEY LIVE IN *****COUNTY AND I LIVE IN ***** .IT WAS BECAUSE OF THIS HARDSHIP AND FAMILY PRESSURE THAT I REGRETFULLY PUT MY BOYS UP FOR ADOPTION. I IMMEDIATELY REGRETTED THIS DECISION .
        I NOW AM OUT OF HOSPITAL AND GIVEN A CLEAR BILL OF HEALTH ALSO I NOW HAVE SEVERAL PEOPLE WILLING TO TAKE CARE OF ABE AND GEORGE IN CASE I WOULD BECOME SICK IN THE FUTURE .SINCE I HAVE BEEN HOME I MISS MY BOYS GREATLY .I VERY MUCH LOVE ABE AND GEORGE AND MY HOME IS NOT THE SAME WITHOUT THEM .MY WIFE AND I HAVE HAD ABE AND GEORGE SINCE THEY WERE 10 WEEKS OLD MY WIFE PASSED IN 2017 AND NOW MY BOYS ARE GONE .PLEASE FIND IT IN YOUR HEART TO REUNITE ME WITH ABE AND GEORGE ,I LOVE THEM VERY MUCH AND MISS THEIR UNCONDITIONAL LOVE . I AM PRAYING THAT YOU REACH OUT TO ME AND I AM REUNITED WITH MY BOYS 
 Returning Abe and George to their previous owner is being seriously considered.  The foster home coordinator is going to reach out to the previous owner today and she will make the decision. I told her that I trusted her to make the best decision. But I am not sure how I feel about it. Of course my first concern is for Abe and George. They needed all their care updated when they first came into the rescue. Also to consider is that Abe is diabetic. Also diagnosed when he came into the rescue. Will the owner be able to afford and give him the care he needs?

What do you think?   


Sunday, December 1, 2019

The Christmas Hat!

One holiday down, one more to go as this weekend comes to an end with my wallet a little emptier. I've done a bit more online shopping than I typically do.
One of the things I try to get done is our Christmas card. For more than 20 years I've done a photo card with our dogs on the front.
This year I had an idea for our card when I was in the shop where we buy dog food, and I saw *a hat.* My idea was to take a photo of each of the dogs wearing it, and put them all together.
I chuckled as I took the first few photos.
~Rhett~
But then when I put a few of them together on what would be the front of the card
~Max~
I realized that none of the dogs were really showing that holiday cheer. So I decided to scrap that idea.
~The lovely Sophie~
However, I still can't help but chuckle when I look at them.
~Alf!~
Especially the ones of Todd.
Who I think  ....
given his expression....
and his reaction, totally hated the hat. Don't you agree? 

So, with that and the photos not showing any holiday spirit, I'm onto the next "great idea."

Friday, November 29, 2019

No Post Thanksgiving Energy

A much better past week with the Barkalot Brothers.
We're either getting used to their barking, or they're not barking as much. I think it may be both.
It was a quiet Thanksgiving day at home. The turkey just barely fit into a blue-enamel roasting pan that my Mom used for many years.  My brother and I always say that it's "all the love in the pan" that makes everything its used for turn out perfectly.
~The guest of honor at our Thanksgiving dinner~
And if we didn't have enough to eat yesterday or have enough leftovers, this evening we are enjoying another Thanksgiving feast with our good friends and their family.
~A full fridge of leftovers!~
It's coming around on 4 o'clock in the afternoon and I've not done anything all day.
~Alf, soaking up some sun~
Todd, as always is about the only one that feels like doing anything.
Especially if there are those gangs of marauding deer in the woods near our house.
But even without the deer, Todd always has enough energy for all of us. He is a Scottie.

What about you?  Are you feeling energetic on this post-Thanksgiving day?

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Lessons Learned and Remembered

Thank-you all for your support and great suggestions on how to curb the barking problem we're having with George and Abe. You have been a tremendous help by reminding me of some of the tried and true tricks that I'd not thought to try or remembered. Another thank-you to kruzingwithk9s who reminded me about "Composure." I've used it before, and had good success with it. The more potent and vet prescription of it, called Composure Pro, should be arriving on Monday; thanks to Mobile Vet for letting me order it through him via an online pharmacy. I've also got new Lavender essential oil, and added another that I like, called Serenity. Our house smells really good now!
~Our front yard on Thursday~
Longtime readers of this blog may remember a dog we had a number of years ago named Rudi. She'd come to us in 2003 as a foster dog for the Golden Retriever Rescue. At just over 2 years old, she'd already had 3 homes, and we were her 4th. Rudi had been mistreated, mishandled, and totally misunderstood. I struggled with Rudi for months. She was seemingly out of control, mostly because of her barking. Even a behaviorist considered Rudi unadoptable. I just felt like Rudi had so much potential, and I just couldn't give up on her. I tried every medication, including a citronella bark-collar, which by the way, made her even worse, because I think she liked the smell of it. But at some point, I stopped trying to control Rudi, and just let her be herself. Because when I tried to control her, her barking would escalate. Letting Rudi be who she was, was the biggest lesson she taught me. And this lesson became the cornerstone to how we have handled each and every foster dog since then - We let them be themselves, and add in the rules, the best we can, as we go along.
~Rudi on the left, Kasey on the right, with Cowboy and Charlie in the back~
I tell you this only because I was reminded of Rudi this week. I was out with Rhett and Max on a walk around our property when the two found the partial remains of a deer.
~On a walk with Max and Rhett~
A similar thing had happened several years ago with Rudi in about the same place. I remembered that when I'd told Carl about it, and asked him to dispose of  "the part" he'd asked how he'd ever find it in our big front yard. I told him to take Rudi with him, and she'd show him where it was. And she did. The photo below is of her rolling on "it" while Carl was trying to clean it up. The picture made me laugh then, and it still does now. . 
Okay, so if you're still reading, this brings me to the lesson I remembered this week. I understood Rudi, and I let her be herself. When I did that, it all came together for Rudi and for us. I've not let the Barkalot Brothers be who they are. We've tried to control them and their barking, which has made the barking even worse. YOU'VE reminded me that I needed to give and take time with George and Abe to understand them, and let them be themselves. So, I've started doing that, and believe it or not, things have been much better the last few days. No, it's not perfect, but perfect doesn't work for us anyway.
~Abe~
We still have progress to make. But I think the spray bottle, which I just have to show George, along with the essential oils are working, and I think the "Composure" will make a difference too. You know, it took me months to learn these lessons from Rudi. From the Barkalot brothers, it took me just over two weeks. That's progress. But it is a lesson that has come again because of a combination of my total exhaustion, your thoughts on my previous post and in remembering Rudi.

And so, as I sit here this morning, the sun is coming up and everything is peaceful. George is snoring on a dog-bed nearby with Abe. I am remembering my beloved girl Rudi and my heart is full of gratitude and I am humbled.  Thank-you all for your help and for cheering us on. I think we are going to be okay. I think Abe and George are going to be okay too.
~Adoption photos for George & Abe~

Now if someone could just help me to figure out Todd....



If you want a trip down my memory lane click here to read my blog post where I paid tribute to truly, one of the best dogs I've ever had, my girl Rudi.  

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Trying to Settle In

Whatta week it was!  It has not been an easy week with the Barkalot Brothers. Their constant barking is an issue. Nothing we say or do can get them to stop.  So if any of you have any tried and true remedy about how to stop their barking, please feel free to share. 
~George~
Abe and George know very few basics, and teaching them anything has its challenges. Can you teach old dogs new tricks?  I had thought so.
~George, what a handsome boy!~
Added is the pressure to make sure that Abe gets his insulin at the right time. On work days, I chase the clock from the minute I get up in the morning and of course at the office. Doing it after work is something I haven't had to do. But Abe needs to be fed as close to every 12 hours as possible, so he can be given the insulin afterwards. It adds to the stress I'm already feeling. I'm hoping as we continue settling into a routine it'll get easier.

Abe spent all day Thursday at the vet for a glucose curve test. Five blood-tests are done during the day to check the effectiveness and level of the insulin he's being given. We're adjusting his dose, and also giving him more food, which I think he needs because he's pretty thin. I'm also hoping more food will help to curb, at least a little bit, his obsession with it. I don't expect his fixation with food to go away, he is a Lab after all! 
~Abe~
Even though it hasn't been the best first week with the Barkalot Brothers, it has had its good moments.

They get along pretty well with our dogs.
There's no question that Abe and George are nice boys. They are bonded and they do love one another. Despite all their barking and chaos they have brought, Abe and George are easy to love too.

Monday, November 11, 2019

The Barkalot Brothers Arrive at Golden Pines

Part two of our weekend came on Saturday when things got bumpy. You may remember that I'd agreed to foster the pair, Abe and George before Sadie came. But they got sick, so that was the end of their coming to us. At least that's what I thought. Well, they popped back up on the radar again. After they were feeling better, they went to another foster home who quickly returned them. So when Sadie went to her new home, I was asked again about fostering Abe and George. They were in boarding and the foster home coordinator really wanted them in a home setting.
~George on the left, Abe on the right~ 
So, I met Abe and George up on Saturday. High drama ensued, because both dogs were so wound up, okay, they were crazy, because they were so excited to be out of boarding and to see each other. I had to call Carl and ask him to make a 40 minute drive to where we were to help me get them home in seperate cars. Once home we let them explore the yard and play together until it started to get dark.

We brought them inside, and put them in a large-ex-pen and George started barking. For about 5 hours he barked. Nothing we said or did could get George to stop. Both dogs finally settled down around 10 o'clock. The barking started again at about 2 o'clock in the morning, continuing until around 4. I've no idea what George and sometimes Abe were barking at. So, needless to say we were all exhausted, tired and worn out, and yes, I was stressed out. I contacted the foster home coordinator and she made a couple of great suggestions, one involved medication, and that did the trick.  And that made Sunday a very quiet day as all of us caught up on missed sleep.

Despite that rough start, both Abe and George are nice dogs. For obvious reasons, I've nicknamed them "The Barkalot Brothers." I think it fits.
Of the two dogs, Abe is the more outgoing and curious one.  He's diabetic and needs insulin injections twice daily. He is also mostly blind from cataracts. But that doesn't stop him, Abe is totally engaged in what's going on and wants to be part of it, especially if there's food. He's good natured, and his tail is wrapped up because he has "happy tail." **Happy tail is also known as kennel tail when a dog whacks his tail hard enough on a hard surface that it causes a cut or split on the end of the tail.
~ABE~
George, the more vocal of the two has problems getting to his feet. He is equally friendly, a bit more laid back and silly and all that comes with his not being afraid to let us know his opinion.
~GEORGE~
So far, they are fine with our dogs, ignoring them and the cats. That of course, suits Todd
And Tiggy the crazy cat, just fine!! 

Welcome to the Barkalot Brothers!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Good News for Sadie and Sophie!

Having worked every day the previous week, I was looking forward to Thursday and Friday and getting a few things done at home and catching up. But the end of last week could not have been more hectic or stressful.
It began with Sadie on Thursday morning. After a vet visit to have her staples taken out and a few errands, it was time to come home to pack her up. Even though it had just been a week, someone was coming to meet Sadie with the hope of adopting her. I wasn't ready to let Sadie go. She is such an easy going girl with a gentle soul, and there was a big part of me that wanted to keep her.
~I loved Sadie's smiling face!~
But, I had to be honest because as hard as I tried to find fault with Sadie's hopeful adopter, I just couldn't find anything. She is kind, caring and compassionate. There was a connection between the THREE of them right away. And so I said good-bye to Sophie, who now has a dachshund brother named Marshall and she'll be going to work daily with her new owner, who is a Registered Nurse.
I've gotten several reports and photos, and all is going really well. Registered Nurse couldn't be happier to have Sadie as part of her life!  Judging by the photo below, I think Marshall agrees too.
***And I'll add here the the tumor that Sadie had was a Spindle cell sarcoma which is a type of connective tissue cancer. The slow-growing-tumor won't metastasize, but because there was not a good clean margin when it was removed, it will likely reoccur. Despite that it may grow back, it's still good news for Sadie!  

We landed on Friday when Sophie went to see the holistic vet for her first follow up since she started taking the chinese herbs for her thyroid cancer. Holistic Vet was happy with how Sophie was doing and felt confident in saying that she thought that the lump on Sophie's thyroid hasn't gotten any bigger. Like Sadie, that's good news for her too!

With the good news for the girls, I'll end this post asking if you remember these two boys from a previous post? On Monday, I'll tell you about them.