Sunday, October 18, 2020

A Forever Home for Leo

I am still not feeling the best, but I'm hopeful that despite a "flare up" this past week, that a shot (ouch) and new medications will all work together to kick this stubborn infection and I won't have to see a specialist. Paws crossed! 

Behind the scenes, I have been talking to and meeting perspective family's for Leo. I have had this vision in my mind of the kind of home I'd hoped and wanted to find for Leo. But no one we've met were really family's I could be excited about. Looking at the photo below, can you see why? Notice how Leo is walking on the leash that's being held too tightly.

One lady (a widow) in particular was a bit too eager, and I kept finding ways to discount her. She lives more than 2 hours from me, and finding a place and time to get together was a bit of a challenge, so I kept putting it off  -- Added to the more than a week when I was totally out of commission, helped to delay our meeting. 

But I have to confess that I liked her. We'd had a few good chats on the phone, and her home visit report had nothing but positives things to say about her. She was persistent about getting together and meeting Leo. Her son lives just over an hour from me, and so when I'd run out of excuses, I agreed to bring Leo to meet her. 

I'll confess, that I was being selfish and I didn't want this meeting to go well and I didn't want to like her, and I didn't want Leo to like her either. He'd not really seemed to like the others that he'd met and he never wanted to go with them for a walk, and he always tried to get back to me. That didn't happen this time. Leo liked Annie, and he liked her son too. When they went for a walk, Leo was happy to go with them.

With that, I couldn't deny it. Annie was exactly who I was looking for, for Leo. She has trained dogs and given AKC's Canine Good Citizen tests, has done agility, she and her husband had Labs and Goldens, and she's had (Jack Russell) terriers too. On my way home afterwards, I felt that meeting with Annie was like meeting a friend. It was relaxed, and I enjoyed getting to know her a bit better. Leo enjoyed the visit too.

Annie sent me this message after our meeting...

Hey Kim, I want to thank you for coming to my son's house in Arlington so I could meet Leo. I know we said we would talk in a few days, but I want you know that I loved him. I absolutely would love to be Leo's forever home and now I just want to hear back from you what you think. I've had dogs my whole life. I have had multiple dogs. I've had big dogs, I've had dogs that have been destructive and afraid of storms like Leo, and I have loved them through all of that and I would love Leo through all of his storm fears too. I would love to have him in my life. Give me a call when you decide. I'll understand if you don't think it will work with me. Just let me know. 

So, after another week of dragging it out, on Thursday, Leo and Annie became official. Leo was adopted by Annie. 

Annie, on your right, Leo middle, and Annie's friend after signing the adoption contract

Leo loved Annie just as much the second time as he did the first, as did I. Leo walked so nicely with her on the leash - Unlike he had with others we'd met. The two really had connected.

I love Leo's that Leo's tail is up and he seems relaxed and happy to walk with Annie

When it was time to go home, Leo walked off with Annie and her friend, and he never looked back at me. It was a good sign. It was how it was supposed to be. It was how it should be. 

I'll miss Leo.




Post adoption updates have all been good. Leo is doing great, eating, having fun meeting Annie's friends and is even sleeping on her bed with her at night.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Sugar and Bear Arrive at Golden Pines

To begin this post, thank-you for the good thoughts and vibes for our girl Sophie. Several of you commented about her previous owner. *Judy* does know that Sophie and Tiggy found a home together. 

~Tiggy has found that the dogs make a great body-warmer~

Our groomer (who gave me Sophie), heard from *Judy* this past spring and texted her photos that I'd sent. And she also mentioned that the son called her in July to ask how the two were doing. Given how he felt about them both, we think he was probably being pressured by *Judy* to get an update. 

Sophie's update this week is that she's feeling much better. Her coughing will always be an issue and a worry. But the antibiotic seems to have taken care of the respiratory infection that had made it worse. knock, knock, knock on wood and POTP that we are over and well past that hurdle!

Looking back on the past week, it goes without saying, its been another busy week at our house. I am still in "recovery mode" with my knee and leg that had a bit of a set back this week. But it hasn't slowed down the changes that are on the horizon, and I'll tell you about them as they happen. 

One of those changes I'll tell you about now, was the arrival on Thursday of (Brown) Sugar, and (Black) Bear via Lab Rescue. They are a "breeding pair" given up by their owner who no longer wanted them, and are reportedly the respectable age of 15. 

Despite having lots of puppies, it was initially thought that the two are not a "bonded pair" and could be split up. So, the plan was for us to foster Bear, and Sugar would go to another foster home. When no one could be found to foster Sugar, I agreed to take her only because I didn't want her to spend any more time in boarding than she needed to, so she's here temporarily. 

Both Sugar and Bear are really nice dogs, and so far, are getting along with our crew. However their unknown history with cats has me a bit concerned. Bear won't stop barking at them, and I worry about their safety when we aren't around -  The cats, not theirs. 😊. It was first thought that at Bear's age, it wouldn't be an issue. But let me assure you, this boy (maybe a border collie mix - what do you think?)  as you can see in the video below, still has some speed under those legs!


Sugar on the other hand is a gentle and easy going girl, that I think will leave the cats alone and would be a better fit for our household.

Until it's all sorted out, both need some TLC and time to get over their skin infections caused by fleas and just poor diet and neglect. 

So, whatever their story ends up being, I'm glad we have the chance to get to know them. 



Friday, October 2, 2020

National Black Dog Day

Yesterday was National Black Dog Day which is a day aimed at bringing awareness of the plight of black dogs waiting for adoption who are often overlooked in favor of their lighter counterparts. Black dogs are less likely to be adopted for no other reason than their coloring - Regardless of behavior, size, breeding, personality, or age, the phenomenon persists. It's sad, I think. 

At our house, we only have one black-dog. Who happens to also be the only girl, and that of course, is Sophie. 

I've been going to write a post about Sophie this week. You may recall that Sophie and her counterpart Tiggy the Siamese cat, came to us last September from our groomer after the son of their owner took them to the vet to euthanize them both when their owner, who is in her 90's had to go to an assisted living facility. The son, I'm told, wanted nothing to do with either of them. 

With 3 of our dogs having respiratory infections (kennel cough) my vet put them on an antibiotic, and Leo, Charlie both got better pretty quickly. Sophie however, who has laryngeal paralysis (a condition that involves loss of normal function of the larynx that causes coughing and loud rasping breathing) seemed to have been hit a bit harder. Her coughing was really getting to be an issue, and because of her "pre-existing condition" I worried about her kennel cough turning into pneumonia. 

So, with Sophie's health history, instead of taking her to my vet, I decided to call her previous vet instead. I'm glad I did. Dr. S called the night before her appointment and we chatted about Sophie. He has seen Sophie her entire life. He knows exactly how old she is, 13 years 8 months, Dr. S knows everything about her, including the details about her cancer treatment, a softball size malignant thyroid tumor that was successfully treated with radiation in June of 2018, and that the prognosis was that it could extend her life by 1 year. So, Sophie is a 2+ year cancer survivor!  

And Dr. S who of course knows Sophie's original owner, told me that "she loved Sophie to the ends of God's green earth, and there wasn't anything she wouldn't do for her."  Hearing how much Sophie was loved, touched my heart, and I know that they were not just words, but how *J* really felt/feels about her. **And we'll see if those feelings remain because Dr. S told me he was sending the bill (almost $500) for Sophie's treatment to the son to pay. Of course I said I would pay the bill because we consider Sophie our dog, but Dr. S insisted. 

Dr. S took great care of Sophie. He did x-rays, an ultra sound, blood work, and a very thorough exam. 

I like Dr. S very much. He's a vet that I knew only by his reputation as a longtime vet in our area, that is kind and well known for providing good care to his patients. Now that I've met him, I have to agree with that. 

For the most part, Sophie is healthy. There are a few concerns like a nodule on her spleen, and of course there are the remains of the tumor on her throat. Dr. S gave me another antibiotic for her cough, that knock, knock, knock on wood, a week later seems to have helped. 

Shortly after her dinner last Saturday, Sophie did start coughing and choking and she collapsed - I got her to her feet, and cleared her throat to make sure she had an open airway, and thankfully she's been fine since then.  ...whew..... I am really hoping that Sophie, our single black dog, on the day after National Black Dog Day, will be fine for many days ahead. 

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Good-Bye to Alf, Another Lost Boy

My week has been spent resting and recovering. I'm somewhat better, and the advice from my doctor is that if I'm not "significantly better" by the end of the weekend, I'm to return to the emergency room for more IV antibiotics.  I hope that won't need to happen....

Again, enough of me....  I must tell you about the loss of our beloved Alf in the midst of everything last week. 

I knew weeks ago that Alf's health was starting to fail. But like that old car, we did everything we could to keep him up and going. For the most part, we were successful. It wasn't always easy, he could be a stubborn boy. 

But when I was sick in bed, and his health also took a turn, I prayed for that tender mercy that would allow him to hang on a bit longer. Carl took great care of him until I felt a bit better to resume his care. I'd gotten him out in the morning and I was encouraged that he was up and around, and had a bit of an appetite. However, by the next day, despite several try's his strength was totally gone and he wouldn't stand. I knew he'd waited for me to feel better to allow me to be with him for the last of his journey.  

~Alf, the first day we met~

Alf had truly been dealt a bad hand in his previous life. Found as a stray in downtown Baltimore, while in the shelter, it was recommended by 2 or 3 vets that this "lost boy" be euthanized because of his condition and health issues. However, he was turned over to the Golden Retriever Rescue, and the rest, as we can say, became HIS story (history?). 

The little more than two years with Alf went too fast. So much has happened, and Alf, in the background was a witness to all of it. He wasn't a dog that liked attention and fuss. And when I read the definition of a curmudgeon as being a crusty, ill-tempered old man, I knew this was Alf. He could be grouchy, moody, and more than a little stubborn. 

However, his head-butts to the back of my knees and his always wanting to be nearby spoke volumes and showed a gentle side of him. I knew he'd never allow me to hug him, so instead I would kiss him on his head, look into his dark brown eyes and tell him that I loved him. But I will confess to sometimes having a passing thought that he might snap at me for being in his space. But he never did. He knew my words came from my heart and I know how he felt in those moments too. Even now, thinking about them, brings out those tears and makes me miss him that much more. 

~Alf loved the snow!~

About a week before Alf left us, I took the below picture of a rainbow-prism that was coming through the window as Alf laid on the kitchen floor. Given how he was feeling, I knew that his angels and the rainbow bridge were near....

I think we've all heard it said that our four-legged family member stay by our side after passing away. The day after Alf left us, there were 2 prisms in the same spot. I found myself smiling and thanking Alf for that. I know that was him. I know he's nearby. I know he knows he meant something to us. 


Alf's color for the rainbow is the green from in his collar. Green is said to symbolizes unconditional love and forgiveness. 

It's also said to be a healing color and I know that being a dog, he forgave the neglect and treatment in his first life. With us I think Alf, another one of our lost boys, found renewal, and harmony that I hope healed his heart and spirit. 



God-speed Alf. You may be our 5th loss for this year but the ache and sadness of your loss is all its own, just as that place is that you have in my heart. I'm so thankful that you found your way to us and were part of our lives for two years and that I had the chance to know and love you, "my hot mess of a 'doodle!" 💓