Monday, July 13, 2020

Celebrating Fourteen Years

I am humbled and grateful and so happy that on Monday, July 13th, we will reach what I consider a real milestone and a day of celebration and cheers.

The occasion?  It is exactly 14 years to the day that Charlie came into our lives. Fourteen years.  I cannot believe it. Fourteen years ago, I was serving as president of the Golden Retriever Rescue, and was helping out Old English Sheepdog Rescue whose president I'd gotten to know a few months before. She called and told me about a "sheep dog mix" in a shelter near me, and asked if I could get him for them. Of course I agreed.

~The shelter papers for Charlie in 2006~
The shelter had named him "Charlie" and he was certainly cute enough. But in my mind, 14 years ago, he wasn't a Golden Retriever, and I never, ever had any thoughts about keeping him, but I did agree to foster him until a home could be found.

Charlie was added to the "Petfinder" website and there were several people who were interested in Charlie. This included a movie production company that wanted to buy him - And I am not kidding, even Old Navy contacted sheep dog rescue about maybe "leasing Charlie" for an ad campaign they were doing. Of course we rejected those offers, ending Charlie's chance at stardom - I remember thinking, "movies and commercials? Really? Am I missing something?" 
~The Face of a movie-star? Really?~
Everyone was drawn to Charlie, and as I just said, I just didn't see it, or feel a connection to this white-shaggy-dog, despite 2 perspective family's telling me that they thought I should keep Charlie because they thought he was bonded to me.  But I didn't waiver, he wasn't a Golden Retriever, and I really didn't want to keep him.

I'm not sure when I changed my mind about Charlie. But I did, and it was some time in late fall of 2006 we made it official, and he became a member of our pack, and our very first, non-Golden Retriever.
~Our pack in the fall of 2006~
I've never looked back and of course, I've never, ever for a single moment regretted keeping him. Charlie is a companion, a friend, a partner, a teacher, a listener, a student and a connection to a past and our present. He is a true gift.

At what I am sure is more than 15 years old, Charlie sleeps more than he did, doesn't hear so well, his appetite can be compared to a finicky cat, and he's not as steady on his feet as he was even 6 months ago.  But this goal of 14 years together, as I said at the start of this post, has me humbled and grateful and celebrating.
~Charlie, 14-years later~

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Cookie-Cutter Days

The weather-lady said this morning that we are having "cookie cutter days."  I know she was talking about the weather, but the same could be said about our last few weeks. Each day seems like the one before, and passes just as quickly.

However, a very talented and kind friend made me a cake - For no particular reason. And no, Todd did not get any part of it.

We have had in the last couple of weeks several evenings of thunderstorms that have done a lot to frighten poor Leo. After a lot of discussion about Leo's storm fear, I've learned that this type of fear is most often "baked in" and not one that can be totally resolved. It's one that is managed.
On the positive side to Leo being so afraid, if there is one, we've found a way to manage him during a thunderstorm that makes him feel safe and he'll settle down. In the finished part of our basement living area, that has no windows, is a quiet place where we can sit with him, turn on the TV and wait for the storm to pass. This has worked out really well - In fact its worked so well that there has been no need to give him any medication to ease his nervousness and anxiety, which I think is another plus. 
~Leo a bit more relaxed during a storm~
Having this solution has really helped. So, knowing what works for him during storms, its been decided to make Leo available again for adoption, so stay tuned.....

At the vet was Hannah. Before we adopted her, I was concerned about her back leg that has had swelling around her hock. I brought it up several times, but the vet for the rescue, for whatever reason, never addressed it. It is actually (another) one of the reasons for adopting Hannah because I was concerned about it. But the first day I took her, Mobile Vets x-ray machine didn't work, so we had to reschedule. Mobile Vet wanted to try and stabilize her leg, so we tried a brace on it, that didn't stay on for too long.

Back we went last week, and the news was that her heart and lungs looked pretty good.

Of course I'd really hoped that the swelling on her hock wasn't anything too serious - But I had a feeling that it was. Unfortunately, just like Chip, it's bone cancer. With Hannah having heart-worm, mammary cancer, and eye problems, more than anything I wished that this girl could get a break in her health.
Mobile Vet said that given all of her health problems, we're really on borrowed time with Hannah. Of course, I don’t know how much time we’ll get to borrow. But however long it is, we’ll make it count. We all agree that with all she has been though, this sweet girl deserves that.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

A Not So Good Day for "Longtime Groomer"

Last Friday it was Todd, Charlie and Max's turn to be groomed. Like so many of us, they were well past due for a good haircut. It was good to see "Longtime Groomer" and I'm glad that she's able to open her shop again.
Unfortunately, it didn't end all that well. "Longtime Groomer" said that Todd seemed nervous when he was unable to see Max or Charlie. And, in a moment when he couldn't see them, Todd tried to jump off the grooming table. When she quickly grabbed him, he bit her.  Oooohhhhh nooooooo.....
Of course, I could not feel any worse about this!  But if there is one good to come out of this, and trust me, it takes a lot to find a good point, it's that the single bite was on her forearm, and not her hand. "Longtime Groomer" was as understanding and as forgiving as she could possibly be, and of course I appreciated that.

When I called a couple of days later to check on how she was healing, we decided that Todd may have been out of sorts because she was wearing a mask the entire time. Not that any dog should ever bite anyone - But I'd noticed that Todd was a bit unnerved and leery around me when I'd had a mask on a few days before and he was a little nervous when we arrived at "Longtime Groomers" that morning. So, that may be what led up to the bite, I just don't know.

We'll have time to figure it out though. The three of them won't be due to go back to be groomed until at least September. Plenty of time to worry about next time, right?

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

A New Co-star at Golden Pines

Even though I'm back to finally working only 3 days a week, the last couple of weeks have been fully charged with a lot going on.
~Todd, always a star, and always  fully charged!!~
My last post mentioned about my going out of town overnight. It came about when a friend in Kentucky was trying to find a home for a stray cat. I am really missing having an outdoor kitty and with a few days off work, along with just wanting to get away, I considered a 3 day round-trip to Kentucky to get this cat.
Okay, I'll agree, it was probably not my best idea. And just to help validate to my inner self what a crazy idea it was, I had that nagging feeling (again) that it wasn't something I should do. And for whatever reason, I said something to a "very cool and fun longtime friend" in North Carolina who by the way, just happens to have her own, non-profit, cat rescue.  So, can you see where this led me?

Yes, it took me to North Carolina instead of Kentucky to get a cat from Cool and fun Friend, G.
I stayed overnight in the small town in Virginia where Todd came from - and also the home of Lynn, of Rocky Creek Scotties. Unfortunately in these crazy times, I wasn't able to see her. Hopefully we'll get that chance in the months ahead.
Cool and fun Friend, G and I met around Winston-Salem, North Carolina in a shopping center parking lot. After more than 10 years, it was wonderful to see her again and it would have been even nicer to be able to sit down and just catch up. But again, these crazy times kept us from doing that. However, her great company via phone on the drive home was almost as good.
~Winston-Salem, North Carolina~
So, without further delay, please welcome Gerry to Golden Pines.
~Gerry's first photo~
He's a young cat, that was a stray, and a lady that he had picked for his very own, was moving. She had an outside dog, that he seemed to get along with, so that was a big plus.
~A photo from Gerry's first life~
Our plan was to have Gerry live outside, as Gino had done. But after nearly 2 weeks, he's adjusting nicely to living inside - And trust me, he has a pretty strong opinion about being outside - So I've decided to just let Gerry, our newest co-star in a big cast of characters, decide how and where he wants to live at Golden Pines.

Thank-you again "cool & fun friend, G" for your friendship, for all you did to for Gerry and to get him to us!!