Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Just Can't Say "NO!"

The word "no" might be a small word, but for me, it's not always been an easy one to say. For example, I have been asked on more than one occasion if I could help organize a dinner for our church--Of course I said "yes." Then there are the times when I'm asked if I can work an extra day at work, even though I have made plans for my day off and I'm exhausted, I almost always say "yes" to that as well.

I have found that saying "yes" might be the automatic, simplest response for me, even when I truly want to say no. But there is a price, at least for me, for not being able to say "no," because there are times that I know that it will inevitably lead to some stress and my blood pressure being raised a few points.

On the flip side of that, I have some "guilty pleasures" that I (typically) never say "no" to...

Like lunch with my friends--My hands-down favorite has been and is still a cheeseburger and fries, I really have problems saying "NO!" to one...
A visit to a greenhouse! I love to just walk around and look at all the plants!
A good yard sale! I can never say "no!" to a good deal!
This is our CarrieAnne on Saturday--She couldn't say "no" to rolling in something that smelled so good--I did say "no!" to her coming in the house until she had a bath!!
Finally, there's something else I just can't and have never been able to say no to...A senior Golden that needs a place to go--Meet our new foster dog "Patch" who came to us late last week. He's an active and bouncy, ball obsessed 12 year old boy whose owner left him outside for 14 hours a day and the neighbors complaints were finally heard...

Yes, I know, I know, I said I was done taking dogs in from the rescue. But I think the rescue knows that I'll never say "NO!" to a dog in need... "No" he won't be staying permanently, I'll be putting him up for adoption...Wait, haven't I said "no" to that before too? Hmmmm...maybe I AM better at saying "no" than I think I am!!

What can't you say "no!" too?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Healing Energy Needed for Digby

As you know, my pups and I have been the recipient of your well wishes, prayers and support at difficult times. Today, I'd like to ask you to please direct those same healing thoughts and energy towards France to a very endearing nine-year-old Polish Lowland Sheepdog named Digby who is seriously ill from a tick-bite. I know how very busy and chaotic lives and weekends can be. But I hope you'll take a moment to visit them and remember Digby. I know his family (and his brother Wilf) will really appreciate it! THANK-YOU!!

Here is the link to their blog:
Wilf & Digby discover France

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!!

Today is Earth Day! It was created with the intention of raising public awareness about a variety of environmental issues. These issues vary from year to year—air pollution, water pollution, habitat destruction, sustainable energy, climate change, species losses, and environmental policies. The list really is a broad one with complex solutions...On the flip-side, for most of us, if Earth Day is acknowledged, it's done so on a smaller scale, by acting on behalf of a single issue such as working to save an endangered species in your region or helping to discourage the use of pesticides in your neighborhood.
For me, I acknowledged the day by "celebrating nature" and all that was around me today...Here are a few pictures...
Our day started with a foggy sunrise...

And an interesting and complex looking spider web...

Then I admired how fast my flowers are growing in such a short time.
Of course the dandelions are coming up too, and I think this little butterfly is just fine with it!! Since it's Earth Day it was pretty appropriate that we had a bird come to the feeder that I've never seen before, and I was able to get a picture of. I found out from a friend that it is a "Rufous-Sided-Towhee." well, okay... Of course the dogs also enjoyed "Earth Day."

By digging a hole...again...

And eating grass...

And rolling in the grass... And running through the grass...

And refusing to walk on the grass...Gotta love cats...

Happy Earth Day!

What does it mean to you?

Thankful Thursday!

Today marks exactly two weeks since Hamlet had his surgery. We are leaving in a few minutes to go to the vet to have the staples removed. As you can see, he's healed quite nicely!!

I cannot express how very thankful and grateful I am that he's done so well! I have been telling everyone about a difference in him from before we did the surgery. When we are out he gets a little spunky and breaks into a slow gallop that actually has a little bit of speed behind it--In the short 5 months he's been with us, he's never done that, so as you can imagine, we are excited and thrilled to see this change! Carl and I hope that this is a sign of good days to come with Hamlet!!

Thank-you all for your kindness and concern and sending well wishes for Hamlet--They truly did and have made a difference!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Whose Afraid of a Little Mouse?

Last fall when Carl and I were putting away the last of lawn equipment we had a bit of a disagreement over what to do about two mice (that we knew of) that had taken up residence inside our barn. Knowing that the barn would be closed up for the winter, I told Carl that I didn't want the mice to be left in there all winter with friends they'd either create or invite during the cold months. Carl on the other hand, felt that it was "only two" and they should be allowed to stay, so I conceded.
Last week we opened up the barn and lo and behold, there were a few signs of the mice, but none were visible.
I was very much assured by Carl today that the barn was a mouse free zone!! Feeling that confidence, and having sent a couple of the dogs in ahead of me, I ventured into the barn to get out the rain-barrel that as you can see by the picture below was being stored right by the door.
When I moved the hoses that were stored inside the barrel, guess what? Yes, there was a mouse inside!! Okay, I'll admit that I'm not brave and I'm scared of mice and screamed like a little girl which caused our dog Carrie to run back to the house!! I had Carl remove everything, and this is what our little barn resident looked like. Hmmm, he really was much bigger and much more menacing the first time I saw him...
Carl took him over to the edge of the woods to release this little country mouse back into the wild--I sent Rudi with him to make sure it was sent on its way...
Carl said the mouse acted like it didn't want to leave the rain-barrel. I came over and took a peek and as I snapped the pictures he looked so scared and unsure. And, for just a moment I wasn't afraid of it and I thought that maybe I should just let him live in our barn and continue to be safe. But the feeling passed and he was evicted from his home--One down, how many more mice and "I told you so's" to go??

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Finally It's Friday!!!

We end the week at Golden Pines exhausted, but very thankful that Hamlet is doing well!! Below is a picture that I took of him yesterday afternoon. I let him go "shirtless" for a little while, but I put a T-Shirt back on because I didn't want his newly exposed tender skin to get sunburned.

I decreased his pain medication on Thursday evening, and this morning, he is happy and wagging his tail! What a difference a few days can make!! THANK YOU all again for your well wishes and healing thoughts, they have meant so much!! Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Concern + Worry = Hamlet

I have to admit that the rainy cold weather that we've had today in Virginia matched my mood. What caused the dark cloud? Hamlet...He had such a good weekend where he was up and about a little bit and I was feeling really (!!) optimistic that he was on the mend. So much so that I decreased his pain medication on Sunday evening and Monday morning. However when I came home Monday night from work, Hamlet was still laying in the same place as he was when I'd left in the morning. My dog walker said he wouldn't get up for her to go out. Of course he didn't try to get to his feet for me either, so I ended up carrying him outside--I'll just add that I didn't realize that I could carry 70-ish pounds of dog outside and bring him back inside, but I guess you do what you have too. I did feel better that he was at least eating and drinking normally.

However, my anxiety was kicked up a couple of levels when this morning he hadn't moved much during the night and he once again wouldn't stand on his own to go outside. When I fed Hamlet his breakfast, I decided to increase the amount of pain medication to the recommended dose and I added another one, (ok'd by my vet on Saturday if I thought it was needed). I said several prayers and went off to work. From my office I called my vet, and the surgeon. Both felt that he must have some kind of fever which sent me to the next level of worry. I have no doubt that I drove my co-workers crazy today with my concerns--Fortunately a few of them are animal lovers and understand.

When I got off work, I couldn't get home fast enough! Why is there always the worst kind of traffic when you're in a hurry? At any rate, when I walked in the door this evening, I was met by our crowd which included Hamlet!! Doesn't he look pretty good? He even took the 2 steps outside into the yard. Needless to say, I'm thrilled!! I said a few prayers of thanks for any divine intervention and there is a break in the clouds this evening!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Just a Sunday Snippet

Thank-you again for all the good wishes for Hamlet. Of course I am a bit worried about him. However I think it's a good sign that he has a pretty good appetite and he is up and around a bit. Yesterday we had the other dogs outside with us while we worked in the yard. I thought that if I left Hamlet him inside alone he would rest--No, that didn't happen. When I came back inside he was standing by the door which was what he did in the morning when we went out for a walk.

I'm hoping with the return to work this week and our regular schedule, Hamlet will get more rest and start to feel more like himself--All paws crossed.

While I thought Hamlet was resting inside, I took pictures of spring bursting outside...

Our pear tree is covered in blooms. I wonder if we'll have a lot of pears this year?
Blooming in several places around our yard are what I call "wild violets." Spring has also brought the return of life everwhere!!!
From the small things that are almost missed.
To the things you have to look quickly at or you won't get a glimpse of...
And spring has brought life that is often heard but not seen....

Life is truly all around...I love spring...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hamlet Says...

Hamlet says, "THANKS for sending all the good wishes, and there's no place like your own bed!!!"

As you can see, Hamlet is home, and is still pretty woozy. However, in his grogginess he thinks he stills needs to follow me around the house. So, I'm trying to stay put so he will. But that's quite an incision, isn't it?? I think it looks a bit like a zipper--Ouch!!!!!

Update on Hamlet

Thank-you all for the good thoughts and wishes for Hamlet, it's needed and appreciated!

The surgeon, Dr. Walker (pictured here) called me last night and said that he had just gotten done with the surgery and that it went pretty well. He said Hamlet was very, very sleepy and stable. I woke up several times during the night thinking about him. I couldn't wait, so I called early this morning (before 5 AM) and talked to the Tech that said Hamlet had just eaten a little and had been taken out, but was of course slow and still a bit groggy. She told me that if all goes well today, he may be able to come home later this afternoon, but definitely by Saturday morning. All good signs--With the hurdle of the surgery now behind him, I'm hoping that the rest will be downhill!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Needed: Healing Energy & Positive Thoughts

This week was supposed to be a week where I could relax and do things around the house. I had grandioso plans. I have a few walls that need to be painted, and I have my flower gardens to clean out. Of course Kenzie was a thought as well. All your comments really helped. I decided that I would go ahead and see if we could "try her" here at our house. I was going to call Shirley and arrange to get her, but that little nagging voice kept telling me to wait...I stopped listening to that voice and decided to make the phone call, and I'm not kidding, just as I was going to make the call, the phone rang and it was my vet...

Hamlet as you may recall is a senior boy that came to us as a foster dog via the rescue last fall and we later adopted. He was left in a garage of a home that had been foreclosed on. You can read his story here: http://lifeatgoldenpines.blogspot.com/2009/11/new-addition.html

Hamlet had a rather large lipoma on his shoulder when he came to us--You can kind of see it on the above picture. For those who may not know, a lipoma is a benign fatty growth. We had it aspirated to see if there was anything suspicious about the lump, and there wasn't, it was just big...However, over the last couple of months its grown and gotten tighter within the tissue of his shoulder; and about 2 weeks ago, it became infected. We hoped that 2 antibiotics would do the trick to get rid of the infection but it hasn't. My vet felt that Hamlet needed to see a surgeon about having it removed. (She wasn't comfortable doing it because of its size and location) I really don't like the idea of putting any dog under anesthesia, let alone one that is 13-14 years old, but there's really not any other choice.

I took Hamlet for a consultation on Wednesday. The first surgeon (recommended by my vet) listened to all of my concerns reassured me that it could be done safely, and gave me a quote for a little more than $3000 (£1950) needless to say I was a bit overwhelmed by that amount. I called a 2nd surgeon who happens to be one that I know from my time as president of the rescue. Dr. Walker, did all of our orthopedic surgeries for the rescue, (including my boy Josh and Maguire) and gave a very generous discount. I took Hamlet to see him in hopes that "maybe" he would be a little less expensive. We had the same discussion as I did with the first surgeon, and then we discussed the money. I showed him what my quote was from the first office and he told me he would do it for half. Needless to say, I was again overwhelmed, but this time by generosity! He told me that because I'd taken in Hamlet and so many other dogs, he wanted too.

Hamlet's surgery is scheduled for this afternoon. It goes without saying that I am really worried about him having such a tricky surgery at his age. So, I hope you'll send healing energy and positive thoughts for him that all will go well.

Finally where does this leave us with Kenzie?? Right now in the same place, because Hamlet has to be a priority. But maybe, just maybe I'll make that phone call and that'll change...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Road Trip -- Part 2

Here are a few more photos from my trip to Lancaster. My friend Sid took me to a little town called "Bird in Hand" and we did a little shopping.
They had a really good farmers market with just about everything for every taste bud!
No matter where I am, I can always spot a Golden, even a chocolate one!! We went across the street to a bakery, but not before I snapped a picture of this sign that gave me a little grin. For those who don't know, "Intercourse" is a name of a town east of Lancaster. I read that the signs for the town gets stolen quite a bit...Your own joke can go here...I'm not really one to make "off-color" jokes... Back on topic...Everything looked delicious in the bakery!!
We also visited nearby nurseries where garden fever really got me! All these plants and all the possibilities!!
There were tables with rows and rows of vegetable seedlings. But I resisted, and didn't buy anything even though I really wanted too...
At the next green house, the plants were literally talking to me, and I could no longer resist. With really (!!) reasonable prices, I bought several plants that are now residing on my front porch until I can get them planted.

After eating and shopping and laughing for two days it was time to come back to Virginia. As I crossed the Susquehanna River, I felt totally refreshed!! My visit to Lancaster gave me some perspective on my troubles and reminded me of the value of a good friend! I can't wait for my next trip! On my way home I go right past Gettysburg, so I took a quick drive through and snapped a few pictures that I will end this post with....

Thanks as always for stopping by my blog!! G'night!!