Sunday, January 30, 2011

Too Much Excitement For Tanner

Tanner has laryngeal paralysis.  This means that he has this hard edged panting along with throat clearing that sounds a lot like a goose honking or a loud "HRRRAAACH."  When he inhales there is a harsh edge sound similar to the wheeze of an asthmatic. These sounds are more pronounced and prolonged when he's excited or stressed. On Wednesday as the storm was starting to roll in I got the dogs outside, and something caused Tanner to not be able to catch his breath.  After several minutes of nothing more than a squeak from him as he tried to inhale, he started foaming from the mouth, his tongue and gums turned gray, and he collapsed. You know as well as I do that time is critical and I knew I had to get him to the animal emergency.  He was totally limp and I somehow managed to get him in the van.  Typically the drive would take about 20 minutes but with the storm, the road conditions were quickly deteriorating.  I tried to not panic but I have to admit that I really thought he was going to die before I got there--Along the way the sounds stopped all together.  I pulled over on the side of the road opened Tanner's mouth and pulled on his tongue and I heard and saw him take in a breath.   In just a minute or two he had his head up and by the time I got to the animal emergency Tanner was fine...The vet, no bigger than a pencil and looked to be about 12 years old, did an exam and x-rays.  She gave him an injection of a steroid in case he aspirated fluid or irritated his vocal cords.  Within the hour we were on our way home with the instructions to keep him quiet.  Other than his bark sounding a bit hoarse, he's been just fine.  

Yesterday afternoon Carl and I finished clearning out the last of the snow from our driveway.  We had the dogs outside with us and someone stopped by. Tanner became excited and just as a precaution I got him inside and away from the commotion--I figure that it's better to be safe than...well, you know...   

All in all a quiet weekend for us.  Another storm is predicted for Tuesday, but there won't be a snow-dance for this one.  I think we have enough snow, at least for right now.  I thought I'd end this post with a picture of Hamlet.  I thought he looked a bit regal standing in the snow.     

Thursday, January 27, 2011

We Did It!!

Buses, cars, people--just plain stuck as snow, sleet and ice covered roadways and knocked down trees causing power outages across the region.  Many offices and businesses closed early.  My office was closed for the entire day.  The weather turned the evening commute into a seemingly endless nightmare as people were stuck in their cars for hours; many were abandoned on the side of the road.  Carl arrived home from work around 2 AM but had to shovel the end of our driveway because of plowed snow.  This morning we have about 10 inches of heavy wet snow on the ground.  Wow...That was one heck of a snow-dance we did!

The snow-storm as it started yesterday.
  CarrieAnne and Sheba this morning.  I hope you enjoy your day too! 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Truth in Urban Legends?

You may think nature makes snow happen. However, school age students know better.  Urban legend has it that by doing certain things, snow will fall, and school will be cancelled. 

The dogs and I have really gotten tired of being told over and over again by our local weathermen that snow is going to fall and having our hopes dashed. So with another snow fall predicted we decided to take matters into our own hands (and paws) and get that snow to come.  Since we all know that there is often some amount of truth found in legends, we have decided to put the student rituals to the test.

It started with the ceremonial snow-dance. 
Sheba excels at this, so we had her do it.
One of the most popular ways that is said to get the snow to come is that you should wear your pajamas inside out.  Since Hamlet is the only dog that wears clothing, we put his shirt on inside out...
Yet another way is to throw ice-cubes down the toilet...
Well, I improvised on that one, and I just put them on the ground...
 The dogs promptly ate them...I hope it will still count...
 It is also traditional to put a spoon under your pillow...I put one under a dog bed but Tanner found it...
And finally Charlie dug a hole...Okay that wasn't one, but he had a good time and we all figured that it couldn't hurt...We'll see if it works!
But if you know of something else we should try, let us know, okay--We're game!
Stay tuned!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunday-Monday Happy Days?

~Hamlet napping on Rudi~
With the rush of last week, one day that I was really looking forward to was Sunday. Our church was having a conference, which meant I didn't have to prepare a Sunday school lesson. I hadn't planned on attending because Carl was working. So, since Carl was going to be gone, I bought a favorite 'guilty pleasure' for lunch and was going to just enjoy the day at home.  But I woke up in the early morning hours with the stomach-flu...Day (really) ruined...I stayed in bed almost all day.  This morning I was feeling somewhat better, but I didn't think I was well enough to be bent over a patient all day, so I decided to stay home from work.  I very rarely call in sick, but I have to admit that even though I'm still feeling a bit under the weather, I've enjoyed the day.

Bubba had his own version of the flu last week, or a bad restaurant review, whatever you'd like to call it.  Along with it he had a couple of days when he had 3 grand-mal seizures. Thankfully there were none over the weekend. I happened to see my vet last week and we discussed what all this could mean.  She feels that because Bubba is having seizures (about) every 2-3 months, that perhaps it may be time to put him on medications for them. I disagree and feel that when or if they become more frequent then we'll discuss going that route.  I'm hoping I've made the right choice and it's not just the flu. 

Isn't it nice to have help in the kitchen when you're not feeling well? 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My 200th Post and an Award

In the last couple of weeks, I've been given an award for my blog and I thought that today, since it is my 200th post, (YAY!!) I would acknowledge it and thank the two bloggers who gave it to me--I hope you'll take a moment and stop by their blogs and get to know them.  The first time I was given the award it came from Sue, at The Portuguese Water Blog.  I love reading about her crew, their antics and their zest for life!  Behind the scenes, I've appreciated Sue's e-mails of friendship and advice.  The second time the award came it was from Victoria, at Beauty in the Ordinary  I am a new follower to this blog, and have enjoyed how two sisters, separated by geography, have taken the ordinary to a level of extraordinary!  I hope you'll take a moment and visit these blogs.  ~Thank-you ladies for thinking of me when you handed out this award!! I really appreciate your friendship and have enjoyed following your blogs!~ 

The rules of the award are that I'm to tell you 7 things about myself that you may not know, and pass it on.  I'll tell you my 'seven things' but I'm going to break the rule and not pass it onto any of you in particular--This is because I know some of you are suffering from 'blog-writers-block' so (please) take this award and use it for your next post until your inspiration returns!   

Here goes my seven things you may not know about me...

1.  You may not know...that dogs were not my favorite animal growing up, cats were.  We always had a family dog, but our cats were what I adored and couldn't get enough of.  
~My brother John and I--I was about 5 years old~
2.  You may not know...that I can be obsessive compulsive.  I constantly change and redo things, trying to make it perfect.  Even when I make comments on your blogs, I often rewrite my comment several times before I actually post it--Sometimes I just have to hit 'publish' and close your blog and not look back even when I know there may be a mistake, it's how I keep my 'OCD' in check.

3.  You may not know...that I collect rocks...My Mom used to paint them.

4.  You may not know...that I am six-feet tall.  

5.  You may not know...that I have never been to Disney World.  My sister-in-law has worked for Disney for more than 30 years, and I could get in for free and have a place to stay, but I've never gone.   
6.  You may not know...that I love secrets.  However since I was a kid, I've had a hard time keeping them, and still do...But I think this is why among my favorite books are the 'Post Secret' books where people create a post card and send in their secrets anonymously--I'll let you in on a secret, on an impulse, I did this, and mine was published in the last book.   
7.  You may not know...that I really enjoy being with friends, but my favorite place to be is at home--I'll bet you already knew that!
There's no snow in sight for us in Virginia, just more hand-freezing temperatures!  If it's cold where you are, I hope you're doing what my cat CC is doing and staying warm! 
Or, if you are enjoying your warm weather, send some in this direction, okay?  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Just Another Week

Monday thru Wednesday are busy days for me. These are the days I work and am gone from home all day.  Carl is working days as well right now and he gets home around midnight.  It leaves me to get everything done in the evenings.  But I start my days around 4:30.  First thing is to of course let the dogs out.  I always allow them to stay out as long as they want to--They enjoy barking at the darkness, their shadows, the moon, each other, and anything else that needs to be barked at!    
One day this week we had snow and ice.  Even with 'just' and inch of snow, we had a delayed start at work, which was a huge help.  It allowed me time to feed  the stray cat I told you about.  I really appreciated every one's thoughts on what to do--I decided I would just 'let it be,' with the thought that maybe it did belong to the farm that is across the road from us and was okay.  I thought that if it needed anything, I just hoped I'd be able to tell.  When I arrived home on Monday night, I caught sight of the cat coming out of the brush and going up the driveway. Carl said he had seen it also. I decided with the cold, rain and snow, I would feed it the next morning.  When I put out the food and got back to the house, I looked back and saw that the food had been promptly found and was being gobbled up by a hawk and a couple of crows.  
On Wednesday I put food out again.  When I came home last evening I stopped at the bottom of our driveway to get the plate I'd put the food on.  When I reached to pick it up, in the dark something I couldn't see that seemed about as big as a cat, brushed past me--I can only imagine what it was...I put more food out again today.  And as I write this I am watching the cat eat the food that has been left for it.  I don't know if it's the right or the wrong thing to do, but I feel like it's something I should do.  
~Stray Cat before it found the food I put out for it~
Now that I've told you a little about my week, perhaps you can understand why when I get home in the evenings, I feel like this...
And after everything has settled down, I just want to do this...
and more of this...
I hope you've had a good week! 
 I am looking forward to the weekend and catching up on your blogs!

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Day of Work or Play?

Today the United States honors the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the slain civil rights leader. However, some states also honor other men in history as well. The Commonwealth Of Virginia (where I live) on the Friday before, celebrates Lee-Jackson Day, a state-holiday to mark Robert E. Lee’s birthday and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. Both of these men were natives of Virginia and served as Generals for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Lee-Jackson Day became more of a controversy when, for a time, it coincided with the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birth, during that time (only in Virginia) it was called Lee-Jackson-King Day. When I first moved to Virginia the idea of Lee-Jackson-King Day seemed, to me anyway, to be a bit of a contradiction. While Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson may well have been honorable men, they fought on the side of a nation founded principally on the idea that one race of man was inferior to another and that human beings could be owned as property. I thought 'combining' it with the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., for some reason, just didn’t seem right--At least not to me. 


So if you are observing 'Martin Luther King Day,' and got the day off, or if you are like Carl and I and it's 'just another Monday,' and have to work, I hope your week is off to a good start!  I think mine may very well be--Snow is in the forecast! 
~Toby and Bubba~

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Just a Stray?

 I don't remember a time in my life when I didn't feel sorry for a cat or a dog that didn't have a home.  If you've felt that same way then you know how I'm feeling about a stray cat that we've had around our property the last several weeks.  I am quite sure it's feral because it runs away anytime it sees or hears me.  I feel lucky that I have been able to take a few pictures of it because it doesn't come too close to the house, but stays on the edge of the woods down by the road.  I read on someones blog that you shouldn't feed a feral cat.  But I have to admit that I couldn't not do that and I've put a bowl out for it a few times, but the meal mostly goes untouched. I am sure it's surviving on whatever it can hunt. Of course with the cold I worry about it and am wondering if I should try to trap it, (I have a small trap) or just let it be.  From what I can see, it looks healthy and who knows, maybe it does have a home or is quite content with the life it has.  What do you think?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Hamlet - The Movie

Our day is off to a good start!  The sun is out and I've had a nice chat on the phone with a co-worker (we don't get the chance to talk much at work) and Carl, who is also off work today, and I enjoyed my homemade biscuits for breakfast. 

I thought today I would share a 10 second video that I took of Hamlet this morning.  I've tried several times to capture on video Hamlet 'running' and today I did; even though it was a little tricky to balance the camera and hold 2 leashes at the same time.  It has been six weeks since his two surgeries and each day I marvel and am so grateful that he is doing well--A tribute to his spirit and resilience!  Hamlet is still taking the Chinese herbs, and today I pick up yet another refill of the antibiotic that he's been taking for the past 9 weeks. Only time will tell if everything is working to prevent the recurrence of the infection and the tumor.    

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

~Hamlet hoping for a bite of a biscuit~

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lost and Found

Another busy and hectic week is coming to an end. I've been off work today and have Friday off as well. I'd really hoped that the snow-storm on Tuesday night would bring something 'substantial' as the weathermen had predicted because I was ready for it--I bought new snow boots.  But Mother Nature only brought us about an inch--Maybe next time!  Even though we didn't get the snow, we did get cold biting winds and frigid temperatures that are below freezing.  I've noticed several times Hamlet standing with the wind blowing right in his face.  I wonder what he is thinking.  (You'll notice that he's once again wearing a shirt--This is because he started licking an area just above his elbow after he would come back inside. I don't know if the cold is affecting his mostly bare skin, but I don't want the area where he had surgery to become irritated and sore.)     

The week has also had me thinking just how useful our dogs are. While much of what they do is obvious to those of us who share our lives with them, a few things they do are sometimes overlooked and taken for granted.  Aside from serving as guardians of our home, our dogs have  expanded their duties to include barking at trees or anything else nearby that may be a threat.  They are also the greeting committee.  This afternoon when a UPS truck pulled into our driveway, 3 of the dogs jumped right into the truck to greet the driver, who thankfully wasn't afraid of them.  Our crew are also my companions when we go hunting--Even though I don't know what we're hunting for when we go on our walks, they usually let me know when they've found it by rolling in it, or eating it.

~Carl and Tanner returning home~
 But the most valuable role they have played, at least today, was helping me to find a couple of things that were lost.  This morning when we had the dogs out for their morning walk, Carl thought I was keeping track of Tanner.  Since I had my camera to take pictures, I thought he was. Needless to say when the walk was over, we realized neither of us was. Typically Tanner will follow the route that we always take on our walks and is easy enough to find. But this morning he must've gotten distracted by something because we couldn't find him. A bit of a frantic search was helped by Rudi who has demonstrated more than once that she seems to understand what 'find Tanner' means because I followed her and she found him for us.

As if that wasn't enough, a little later this morning as I was putting on some earrings, I dropped one--it was not just any earring I dropped, but one of my diamond earrings that belonged to my Mother. A careful search on hands and knees for several minutes turned up nothing. Just as I was about to give up, Charlie started sniffing at something buried within the down-filled dog bed, and I realized it was my earring.  I felt another huge sense of relief!

Now that things have settled down this afternoon, and evening is approaching, I'm wondering if with all of the dogs we have, if there is one or two among them who can help me find more time? 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Good, The Bad and the Cold

~The cold~
Howling winds and temperatures below freezing have returned to Northern Virginia. I've been trying to think of a few good things about the cold weather. All I could come up with is the wonder of  rich hot chocolate and the dogs not tracking mud in the house. We did notice yesterday while running errands the humorous array of interesting hats that have come out.  We even saw a teenager in shorts and flip-flops.  I'm sure if I had asked her if her feet were cold she would have told me she wasn't--Teenagers for some reason, never are!   

We did get just a light dusting of snow on Saturday morning.  The weathermen are promising us more by Tuesday.  I've found that living in Virginia, everyone gets excited and a little panicked about even the smallest amounts of snow.  So we'll just have to wait and see if they get it right this time.  I'm optimistic.  But even with just a little bit of snow, Charlie, looking a bit like a snowman, didn't want to come inside. When I called him, he just sat and looked at me and seemed to be reminding me that with his thick coat grown out, he's perfectly outfitted for the cold weather. 

~Charlie, the Good~

But we still have a couple of the dogs that would rather be inside where it's warm.  I sometimes wonder why I bother making up the bed at all--maybe this is the reason I've been looking for to not do it.  
~Josh, the Bad, okay not really~

~Hamlet & Toby~
I hope you're staying warm and having an enjoyable weekend! 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Cheesecake Anyone?

A Cheesecake shot of our boy Sam
There's nothing like the thought of lunch and company of a good friend to get your attention and make you feel better--Don't you agree?  I met my friend Eileen yesterday for lunch at 'The Cheesecake Factory.' 

In my opinion, what can be more soothing to the soul, tummy-filling and sociable than having lunch and a piece of cheesecake with a friend?  Or if you don't like cheesecake, something else just as delectable?  As always when I get to see my friend, it was really an enjoyable visit and just what I needed to forget that I wasn't feeling well.  I hope your week is ending on a good note too and that you have an enjoyable weekend!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Lucky 'Nuf


With Monday off from work, it was back to real life and reality on Tuesday. The holidays are done and it's time for some kind of normalcy, whatever that may be.  The talk with several patients was the 'Mega-Millions' lottery that had grown to over 300 million dollars. A few of the patients had bought a ticket and thoughts were on what they would do if they were the big winner. Now I do not consider myself a 'lucky person' which is why you can count on one hand how many times I've personally bought a lottery-ticket. But it was 'only' a dollar, and since my chances of winning were said to be 'one in 176-million' I fell into that dream of 'what if,' and I bought a single ticket.  Imagine my surprise on Wednesday morning when I checked my numbers and saw that I won a whole $150--I won the lottery!!  Okay, it wasn't the big jackpot, but I thought it was a pretty good return on my one-dollar investment the day before.  And I still have dreams of what I'll do with my winnings...Will I buy a new purse, or gas for my van?   I think it'll have to be gas--With prices going up and after taxes I'm sure it won't be enough for the purse.

(Our boy Sam)
I wish the luck had lasted. On Wednesday I was not feeling well and left work right after lunch and came home. Once home, I realized that while I didn't win the 'mega-millions,' when I see all the dogs and look around where I live, I know that I'm lucky enough. I just wish I felt well enough to enjoy it!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Trash or Treasure?

 Yesterday I was feeling either a little bit adventurous, or a little bored, (maybe both) but I decided that the day had come to go into our woods to have a closer look at something...For 3 years I have been looking at what appears to be an old cow trough upside down in our woods. I cleared the weeds away from it and had Carl help me turn it over. It's fully intact and very heavy--We 'think' it's made of cast iron. But thankfully there was no dead-body or anything living underneath. Carl really feels that it should go right to the dump.  He's probably right (don't tell him I said that).  But I think it's a sort of 'treasure find' and I think I'd like to put it on the backside of our barn and of plant flowers or something inside--What do you think it could be used for?

With that excursion done, the next one was the New Years meal of black-eyed peas. I really enjoyed reading your comments yesterday about your meal traditions for New Years--THANKS for sharing them! Our 'good luck' meal which was cooked with ham and a few vegetables in the crock pot, and served on top of homemade cornbread, turned out pretty well.  I'm all ready to face 2011 now and I hope you are too!

Rudi enjoyed the day as well.
Do you have any idea how many things
there are to smell, eat and roll on in the damp woods?  She does.