Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Snippet

Our Sunday started out with a beautiful bright full moon setting on the mountains. Because the parking lot wasn't able to be plowed, church was cancelled. I felt like I had a "found day" because I didn't have to teach my Sunday school class and instead got to just stay home and catch up on things around the house. The snow from yesterday is melting and the sun has been out all day. The dogs enjoyed being outside. Maguire continues to think that the snow is a meal to be enjoyed!

Speaking of meals...The birds have been all around for the last couple of days too. I really enjoy watching them. We have quite a community of birds that include cardinals, blue Jays, chickadees, nut-hatches, and wrens--Even the woodpeckers, crows and a squirrel have come. However an uninvited flock of Starlings has shown up and they really are a nuisance! I don't think they are a particularly pretty bird. Added to that they act like a street gang because they scare away the smaller birds and gobble up all the food I put out, leaving nothing for the other birds. Carl says they're hungry and have to eat too--Of course I realize that, but it doesn't make me sympathetic to them at all. Maybe my dislike for their being here is like the Wolf Spider from last week, I am not seeing their beauty and misunderstand them too.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Another Snowy Saturday

We've had about 5 inches of lovely snow today! Knowing it was on the way, I got up early, went to the store, the laundry-mat to wash dog beds, and the final stop was at the 7-11 for a Big Gulp--We got the dogs fed and walked just as the snow started to fall at around 9:30 this morning.

As I was unloading my van afterwards Charlie was sitting in the front seat waiting for a car-ride. Unable to coax him out I left him there. I have to admit that I forgot about him and remembered him about an hour later. He was still sitting in the front seat waiting and hoping for that ride...How could I say no to this face?
It was actually a nice little drive around our area. I took a road I'd not taken before and it was pretty scenery and we saw a fox and several deer.
Good to see that the mail was being delivered because sometimes in crummy weather it isn't. Charlie seemed much happier.

It was a nice drive. Charlie was right, we needed a little jaunt around the snowy country side.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Weekend in Picture Review

The weekend held one nice day for us and we took advantage of it! Our property is surrounded by farmland and we love to take the dogs for a walk and get some fresh air! The walk held everything..A great view at the top of the hill...

A couple of renegade dogs that eventually remembered their names and decided to come back....
And a BIG WOLF SPIDER waiting for us in the garage when we got back!!! Where in the world did it come from and does it have friends??!! Remind me why I love living in the country again? Yikes...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tanner's Eye-Opening Visit

Its been about six weeks since our 13 year old Golden named Tanner had an "Intravitreal Gentamicin Injection" to treat his glaucoma. He has easily cleared the hurdles that have come afterwards and each of his post-op visits to the ophthalmologist has gone well--Today's visit was no exception. He was taken off another medication; we are now down from 6 meds to only 2!! As you can see by the picture taken today there is a change in the appearance of his eye--I am told that these changes are why some owners opt to have the eye removed. But for Tanner, because of his age and other health concerns, I felt strongly that it wasn't the best option for him. I still think he's still a handsome boy!!

Tanner was also a bit of a celebrity today at "The Life-Centre" where there were "visiting vets" who for some reason were anxious to see Tanner's eye--I don't know if it's because this procedure is (maybe?) not done that often, or because it isn't always successful when it is. But I felt like I was in class as the Ophthalmologist detailed his history to everyone. Each of them got to do a little eye exam and his picture was taken as well. Everyone commented on what a handsome and nice dog he is--Afterwards he signed autographs in the lobby and was the envy of the other patients --Of course I was so proud!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Game of Fate

I believe in wishing on a falling star, heaven, dreams, and karma. What some call coincidence, destiny and kismet I really believe is fate when lives "accidentally" collide and change forever. I think this is what has happened to me so many times in my life. Over the last several months I've been trying to move in the direction of not being involved in the Golden Retriever Rescue. I've spent 10 years volunteering with them, and 4 of those years were as its president. But my life is changing, the rescue is changing, and I really feel that it's time for me to make my exit. Its truly been a life changing experience for us. I tell everyone that "rescue has broken my heart and touched my soul." Of course we will always support the effort of rescue. I would never turn my back on a dog (or any other animal) that needed help or needed someone.

Having said that, it of course goes without saying that I feel a responsibility to find homes for our two foster boys, Maguire, and Hamlet. Some of you may recall Hamlet's story. Pictured in this paragraph, he is about 12-13 years old, and was left behind in the garage of a home that had been foreclosed on. Left without food or water he was very ill and unable to stand when I first saw him. I was asked if I could "just" pick him up and take him to a vets office where he could receive overnight care. This is where fate unexpectedly showed up. I just "happened" to be going over to where Hamlet was and where he needed to be taken was on my way home...Even my adamancy or determination to not take another foster dog could trump the card that fate had dealt. I was instantly smitten with Hamlet, and it didn't take long to decide that he had a place as a permanent member of our household.

Which brings me to Maguire...For some reason, he has been a bit more complicated. I've appreciated everyone's vote and support for him to remain with us. I've been under pressure lately with the rescue to find a home for him. They have helped in this effort by highlighting him on the website and featured him in the latest issue of the newsletter. Then you'll remember that couple in DC that applied to adopt from the rescue with Maguire specifically in mind. Well, their home-visit was completed this week and they have changed their mind about him because of his age--Fate quietly dealt me another card...Today I had Maguire at the vet for his yearly exam and he didn't want to leave my side to be taken for blood-work. When the vet-tech returned, Maguire couldn't get back to me fast enough. I don't really know "Tracy" that well but she joked that he was really attached to me, and asked if I was going to keep him--Was Fate, the dealer, asking me if I needed yet another card?

After the vet visit, Maguire and I drove to Wendy's and shared a cheeseburger and fries (I didn't share the Diet Coke!) and as I looked into Maguire's sweet-brown eyes, I told him what you and he have probably known all along, and that's that he would be staying with us. Fate has dealt me enough cards! I know that there are some that say I am "not playing with a full deck" and while I don't know if this is true or not, what I do know without a doubt, is that I am holding a full-house!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Neck of the Woods

Today, I just thought I'd take you on a small tour of my neck of the woods--A couple of the pictures were taken in the fall, but most were taken today. Everything is not that pretty right now, but it'll give you an idea...

Lovettsville is not a big town...It's about 2 hours from Washington DC and almost an hour from Dulles Airport--I've no idea how many miles that is. In Northern Virginia everyone measures the distance to everything by how long it takes to get there in traffic. I don't know why, we just do. We're also very close to the Maryland border--This is the Potomac River this morning.
Lovettsville does have a few shops, a few places to eat, but no grocery store, which is what it really needs! The busiest place seems to be the 7-11 (below). A new post office is being built right in back of it. The current one is not open that often, so I wonder if the "new digs" will encourage the current postal workers to want to work more?

New homes are also being built. They seem a bit close together. I wonder why people would move all the way to Lovettsville and then live so close to their neighbors? That was why we moved here--To get away from all the people...Okay, and to have more room for the dogs.

We live just out of town on Mountain Road.

Mountain Road does have an old stone Methodist church that was built in the late 1800's. They always have the most interesting "thoughts" on their sign....One in the fall said "Fall Leaves, but Jesus Never Will." The one they have now (below) is a bit more direct.

Our road is home to several farms. We have cows that graze across the road from us and the peacocks and guineas sometimes wander into our yard.

This is our part of Mountain Road--You can barely see our driveway entrance on the left by the phone pole.

Below is the front and back of our house. We have two large fenced areas for the dogs, but we still take them for walks every day. We have a small two story barn too. I don't go in there much because it's the home to a couple of mice. I wanted them evicted and even bought the needed "items" to get rid of them, but Carl (husband) insisted that they be able to remain. We all know that they either invite their friends or make new ones, so when that happens, I will be able to gloat and say "I told you so."

Below is the view today from our front porch. We have a very laid back life that has given us the space we needed and the privacy I was craving. I love living in the country away from the rush of traffic and crowds of people. We feel very fortunate to live where we do...Life is good...Thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Okay, I just had to share this...For the last 20 years or so I've been collecting snowmen--I love everything snowman, snow-woman, snow-boy, girl, etc...Last year I started buying "Williraye" figurines. I LOVED the snowmen and started buying and bidding on them on eBay.

Around Christmas there was one in particular that caught my eye. I bid on it, and didn't win. I had a little bit of a chuckle a couple of weeks ago when I was unpacking some snowmen and saw that I'd forgotten that I had that exact figurine that I'd lost out on. Today I was putting away the very last of the Christmas decorations (I know, I'm a bit behind) and I pulled out a box, opened it, and guess what? Yes, it held that exact same figurine...I've absolutely no idea when I bought it since I don't even remember getting the first one! At least my taste is consistent!! But maybe this also explains why we have so many of the "same" dog; I just keep forgetting that I already have one--or two or three or...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Cat-Food Intervention

As usual, it's the end of a crazy busy and cold week that I'm glad is over! I worked every day, and Carl left early each day because of a class. Today I doubt I'm even going to leave the confines of our property!! It's too cold anyway, and that gives me the perfect excuse to not venture out and maybe take a nap later.

I do want to thank those of you who left comments about Maguire; they really were a big help and helped me to see in my heart what is best for both of us. I do think I know what I'll do...However, out of some sense of fairness, and my commitment as a foster home, I feel like I need to see this whole thing through with the couple that are interested in him. If Maguire responds to them, and there is a real connection, I will consider letting him go....Stay tuned...

I did have an interesting conversation yesterday with one of the employees in the shop where I buy dog food. About 8 years ago, I committed myself to feeding our dogs a good quality and healthy diet. However, in all my efforts to make sure the dogs are getting a good diet, I've totally neglected our cat, CC. I won't tout any brand names here, but only say that I've been feeding her a very well known and popular brand, which is a food that she loves! "Jon" told me that the reason why she probably loves it so much is because it's full of carbohydrates and she's probably addicted to them. What?! My cat a carb-addict? Does she need an intervention and rehab program? He told me "yes" that at her age of 8, I should probably switch her to something that's a better quality, with very low carbs--So, yes, it was indeed intervention and rehab time for CC. I was given some samples to start her detox...I filled her bowl with one this morning. When I went back a few minutes later, she was sitting on the counter, (where she's fed) and the food was untouched. Determined to not give in to the very hungry cat that was no doubt planning which chair she was going to shred with her claws if I didn't feed her what she wanted, I didn't give in. Another trip back to the kitchen a bit later I found Rudi (looking a tad-bit guilty) with CC's empty bowl on the floor...Do you think that CC deliberately gave Rudi her food in hopes that I'd and fill it with her usual cuisine and also give me a second chance at not having my drapes shredded? Well, it worked, because that's what I did, and CC was very happy about it. She is now napping on our bed...I know I have to be strong, so we'll try it again later, yeah later...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Dog-Dilemma

In January of last year I picked up a new foster dog named Maguire, who is about 12 years old. He was an un-neutered boy that came in as a stray to a shelter about 2 hours from where I live. He had a tennis ball size cyst on his neck that had ruptured and it was of course infected. I have to say, I've never seen anything like it, and neither had my vet!! If you are curious and have a strong stomach, and want to see what it looked like, here's a link to the shelter's website that still has pictures of Maguire on it and shows the cyst--scroll down to the bottom of their page for the photos, and you can click on them for a "better view."

Of course because of the size its removal required extensive and reconstructive surgery of his neck. When it was all done, Maguire had staples from ear to ear and I'm not kidding, it looked like a zipper! After several months of recovery, he was as good as new!

Maguire was posted on the rescues website to try and find a new forever home for him. He's a gentle, easy going and quiet Golden, that is a very comforting companion. He's not playful, despite our best efforts to get him interested in a tennis ball, rope, etc.. Maguire really just wants to be by your side. He doesn't bark much (just when we get ready to feed him, he'll woof a time or two) but he quietly, and I mean quietly wags his tail; there's no jumping on you when you come home, or getting crazy and excited. He's just laid back and just takes life very slow and easy. I don't think he'd ever been in a house prior to coming to us, so of course we've taught him everything that he needs to know about treats, and he's learned about warm dog beds, (the down-filled dog bed is his favorite!) and from the other dogs he's learned about ripping up soft-toys and what look to give you when he wants a nibble of what we're eating.

It goes without saying that I think Maguire is wonderful and Carl and I both adore him! But I've not had many calls about him--Actually, we've had only 2-3 in the last 9 months that he's been available for adoption. Right now there is a couple in Washington DC that has applied for approval for adoption from the rescue, because they are specifically interested in Maguire. Of course I know they may not be a fit for him, but it does bring up a dilemma and all of my emotions...

Right now we are approaching a year that he's been with us. I've been on the fence for a few months about just adopting him and making him a permanent member of our family. I think he's genuinely happy and settled in here. He follows me all over the house, and he gets along very well with the other dogs. However I ask myself if I'm being selfish to want to keep him for myself--Maybe he needs a place where he can be more of a "star" and not just part of the whole cast of characters in our household--I am really torn...But this morning before I got up, he was standing by the bed quietly wagging his tail and looking at me with those sweet soulful eyes...As I gave him a hug he gave me a tiny lick on my face--Of course my heart melted and I wondered "how can I turn Maguire over to another family and walk away from him?"

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Cold, Cold, and more Cold!!

We lived in Alaska for 10 years before coming to Virginia and Wisconsin before that, so I know what cold feels like! And "COLD" is exactly what we've had the last few days! Making it worse are high-bitter winds that blew down 2 sets of windchimes (what a noise they made when they fell) and lots of branches down around the property. We took the dogs out this morning, and for some reason, I didn't put my mittens on, which made it a quick walk! They say that if you want the best spot in the house to sit, move the cat. When we came back in our cat CC was on top of the stove--I had turned on the oven, so it was warm, and it was indeed, the best spot in the house!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Glad It's Friday

I'm so glad that it's the end of the week and we have a long weekend!! It was a crazy week at work--But then it always is when I'm "front desk girl" and the office manager is on vacation. Of course we were busy with college students home for the holidays. We had one college aged patient come in on Tuesday who was 35 minutes late for a 45 minute appointment. Just before she arrived the next patient came and was taken back a few minutes early. But the "late patient" argued with me that she should be seen despite being late--A long story short, I tried to accommodate her,with another appointment, etc., but it wasn't good enough...Then we had 2 college boys named Ryan come into the office to have their teeth cleaned--Not so unusual except one came on the wrong day and he was the one that was accidentally seen--We figured that out too and both patients never knew--I blamed it on 2 substitute hygienist and the office manager on vacation.

The dogs had a quiet week too. I think they were glad that we went back to work--However Carl was off on Monday and is feeling pretty crummy with a bad cold (that he got from me!). But I think they like being able to sleep their days away rather than feeling like they have to follow us everywhere.

I did take Tanner to the ophthalmologist for his last post-op appointment. There was NO change in his eye pressure and he is now off ALL his glaucoma medications!! Of course we're thrilled!! Because the condition (uveitis) which triggered the glaucoma is chronic, he'll always have to be on eye medications to prevent it from happening to the "good eye." But being down to 3 medications instead of 6, and only having to spend about $35 instead of $240 is good news for our wallet too!! When I got home I left Tanner outside while I went in to let the other dogs out. When I came back, I couldn't find him. He always stays close to the house, but I didn't see him in his usual places. I finally found him tangled in some vines--I've no idea what he was doing or where he thought he was going. But I pulled him loose, and he promptly rolled in the snow--I think he was celebrating being free and the good news from the ophthalmologist! I was so happy with his good news, I could have rolled in the snow too!