Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Best Day of the Week!


For the most part, I really enjoy the patients that come into the office where I work.  But every once in awhile one comes in that has a way of getting on my very last nerve.  The patient I'm referring to is habitually late for his appointments and is always talking on his cell phone.  Today it was the same thing, he came in late and was talking on his cell phone.  When seated, just as the appointment was about to begin, the phone rang and he got up from the chair to take the call without so much as a word to me.  Have you seen the Verizon commercial where the two guys are on a ski-lift and the other takes the cell phone from his friend and throws it?  That's what I felt like doing when it rang yet a second time--Fortunately for him, he let it go to voice-mail. 

But each week I realize just how much I just love Wednesday.  I think because it always reminds me that I'm half way through the week and I only have one day left to work and two days until the weekend.  But in thinking about it, maybe it's Friday that I love the most...Yeah, I just love Friday, that's my favorite day of the week!  What about you?  Do you have a favorite day and why do you like it so much?  

Sunday, March 27, 2011

All is Calm on the Home-Front

An uneventful week led to a quiet weekend.  If there is something exciting happening, it's not happening here.  It was sunny and cool on Saturday and this morning the day started with clouds and a little bit of snow.   
The most excitement we had were the dogs playing frisbee.
Hamlet could hardly contain himself...
 It got to be so much for CarrieAnne that she
took a break in the neighboring field...
Last night after dinner, Carl was cleaning up the kitchen (how nice was that??) And I asked him if he would bring me a glass of water and of course he said that he would.  After a few minutes into the office he came with a FLY-SWATTER...He really thought that was what I said I wanted.  Clearly we have a communication problem or someone has a hearing problem, I'm not sure of which.  (Below Rudi)
I know I should relish these quiet times.  As the weather warms up, peace and quiet will give way to work outside.  One of our projects will be to plant the 10 bare-rooted Scottish-Pine trees that we got from Virginia Department of Forestry a few weeks ago.  I know they are pretty small now, which may be the reason why they are so inexpensive ($2.00 each).  But I'm optimistic and hopeful I'll be here to see them grow into beautiful trees, providing a natural screen for the far side of our yard where the new driveway has been put in.  
I hope you've had a good weekend!!   

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Will They Stay and the Stray

Another non-eventful but busy work week coming to an end. I thought Spring was going to remain, but Old Man Winter remains tough and determined and is threatening us with snow flurries for the weekend.

 I've been waiting to hear back from the rescue about our foster boys, The Chub Brothers, Bubba and Toby. No, we've not officially adopted them and so they are still 'owned' by the rescue. I've known since they got here last June that they probably weren't going anywhere, but I just never did anything to make sure they would be staying.  Then when I wasn't asked for several months about them, along with all that was going on with Hamlet and Tanner, it just was easier to put it all on the back-burner.  But I came back onto the rescues radar a couple of weeks ago when I was asked about them, and if or when they would be put up for adoption, since that's the goal.  However we're facing a dilemma with Bubba. For one day about every 2 months or so, he'll have 2-3 grand-mal seizures. I've spoken to my vet about them, and I don't feel like it's time yet to put him on medication for them; but I know there may well be a time when the seizures will become more frequent and he will need to be. Along with Toby he is also unable to do flights of stairs. 

The 'adoptability' of both dogs in my mind is in question. The Chub brothers are a bonded pair and so one cannot be adopted without the other.  Can anyone be found (beside me) willing to take on a pair of 11 year olds that can't do stairs and one that has medical issues?  Add to that the expense of nearly $100 monthly for Bubba's medication for arthritis.  Having placed dogs for about 10 years now, I have my doubts about someone being found that will fill the needs for both these boys.  Thinking ahead, I know that we can't incur the expense of both dogs.  But I have offered to adopt Toby and take on his expenses if the rescue will allow Bubba to remain in our home as a 'long term foster dog.'  Meaning that he would remain in our home for the rest of his life and all his medical expenses would be paid for by the rescue.  I felt it was a fair offer.  However I know how the rescue sometimes operates and I know that 'politics' always goes along with this type of thing (which is why I prefer to stay on the sidelines) so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I've heard from no one. 

In other news, the 'stray cat' that I last saw in January sometime has returned.  I was so happy to see it!!  It came close to the house so this is the first time I've gotten a really good look at it.  I think that it's a pretty cat and a relatively young cat too.  And while this picture doesn't really show it, it's a little on the thin side as well.  The poor thing was eating the bird seed and stalking birds--So guess what I did?  Yes, even though I knew it would run off, I sent Carl out right away with a plate of food for it.    

Paws crossed for 'it' to find the food
and that the Chub Brothers can stay with us... 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tennessee, Llamas and Donkeys--Oh My!!!

We've had such a nice day!!  Blue skies and sunshine, but a little cooler than it was yesterday. But that didn't keep us from getting outside into the fresh air and taking the dogs for a walk. (below is Hamlet)
It was quite a change from the weather we had last week while in Tennessee.  We had everything there from snow to rain to warm sun--The view were just stunning; eastern Tennessee is really beautiful!
But the trip there was really nice!!  The cabin at 'Autumn Dancer Llama Farm' is just perfect!!  It has every comfort of home that you could possibly need or want!  It is the perfect 'dog friendly' getaway--Carl and I and the dogs felt right at home!  The miniature donkeys were really friendly but the dogs had a hard time being convinced of that! 
I really loved the llamas!  Unlike Carl (below) I kept my distance from them and admired them from afar.  I took a lot pictures of them--It was hard to pick out my favorites because the llamas seem to be photogenic--Who would have guessed that?    
Below is a French-Canadian Appaloosa Llama...
Even though we lost Tanner just after we returned, we really feel like our batteries have been recharged. 
I think it gave us the extra energy to get through the week. 
We can't wait to go back again, and may return in the fall. 
If you're looking for a really nice 'dog friendly' place to stay near Gatlinburg Tennessee, here's the link to where we stayed:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

From Darkness to Gray to Light

I know that it's natural that it has been a sad week for me as I've come to accept the loss of Tanner--Times filled with the realization that I'll never see him sleeping in the hallway, hear his 'woof's' as I get dinner ready, keeping track of him when we're all out for a walk, picking up his medications from the pharmacy...In the quiet times filled with grief, I've been comforted by the very kind thoughtful, encouraging e-mails and comments left by you on my blog, yours and others on Facebook.  Thank-you doesn't seem like enough as I've read and re-read them several times, feeling your friendship and support. 

Through it all, I've looked for that sign that everything was okay.  That Tanner was okay.  I've waited and watched and hoped that I would know it when and if it came...On Monday evening I was fixing dinner for the dogs, and as I was lost in a moment of silence and sadness, outside I heard a single goose honking as it flew over the house...The next morning I saw a fox pouncing and playing in the field.  When I stopped and watched it, it also stopped and looked at me...Then there was the cardinal singing so loud and beautifully at the end of the day, was that the sign?  I thought maybe it was a single daffodil that is blooming...Then again, maybe the sign came from Wendy, who always came in right before Tanner after our walks.  On Tuesday as I was getting everyone inside, I was thinking of him and Wendy hesitated and stared at me for a moment, cocked her head, barked twice, then went up the steps. Then on my commute this week the words of a song from 1984 that I've heard 3 times on the radio says, 
 "After my picture fades and darkness has turned to gray
Watching through windows you're wondering if I'm okay.
Secrets stolen from deep inside, the drum beats out of time
If you're lost you can look and you will find me, time after time..."

Could that have been it?  Is all of this 'the sign' telling me that Tanner is okay?  Finally, today when Carl and I had all the dogs outside this afternoon, we took a walk up to the field in back of our house.  I marveled at what a warm, beautiful spring day it was.  In the distance across the field at the edge of the pond was a blonde Golden Retriever.  It was unusual to see a dog because we typically don't see other dogs--However the people on the other side of the field have them too.  But I became caught up in the beauty of the moment and how stunning the golden looked as it stood there peacefully sniffing the air.  The thought again crossed my mind about Tanner and the hope that he was okay...I continued to watch the golden as it explored...Then I realized the dog that I was watching was actually our girl Rudi...She'd taken a moment and wandered off...That little sneak...Back to reality, home and our life that goes on without Tanner, but with good memories of him that cannot be taken away.   

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tanner at the Rainbow Bridge

It's with a broken heart that I post this evening and tell you that I sent our precious boy Tanner to the Rainbow Bridge. As you know, we had been giving him medication to try and control his laryngeal paralysis. Last evening when we returned from Tennessee, in the excitement he had problems breathing, but I was able to get him to relax by taking him for a ride in the van. This evening, he again had problems catching his breath and something told me that this time it was different. I put him in the van and I drove the entire distance to the animal emergency clinic; his breathing had not improved. After what seemed like an eternity a vet called me back and rambled on with a grim diagnosis, treatment options and possibilities. I'm not sure of all that he said, but I totally understood that when Tanner was taken off the oxygen for even a few minutes it again made it worse for him. In my heart I knew that the kind thing to do was to let him go...There was little time for a good-bye as I held Tanner thanking him for being a part of our life...He quietly left this life for the next taking a part of my heart with him and leaving part of his with me.  

Tanner was with us for almost 3 years and was about 14 years old. Our time with him wasn't nearly long enough--But I know that when we see him again, we will have all the time together that we didn't get in this life.

I hope he will be met at the bridge by our pups Tod, Ben, Cougar, Kasey, Tosh, Tucker, Scout, Cubby, Logan, my beloved Cowboy and Maguire...When I returned home a candle was already burning...Did Carl know before he went to work?  

God speed Tanner...

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Tales of Tennessee

We're having a really nice time here in Tennessee!!  There has been snow, cold and rain, but it doesn't matter, it's such a beautiful place!!  The cabin is just perfect and is well equipped with all the comforts of home; which means we have everything you could possibly need!!

Just outside our window are the Llamas.  The farm, called 'Autumn Dancer Llama Farm' is home to 17 of these beauties.  My friend Ginny says there's a certain protocol that has to be followed when you meet them for the first time.  So I've been admiring them from a distance because we've not been formally introduced--Who would have thought that formalities were so important to a llama?
There's so much to do, and we've enjoyed seeing a few of the sites.  The dogs have loved the walks with all the new smells.  The only 'downside' to being here is that with the rotten weather we've not been able to freely access the internet.  But that's okay, we've really enjoyed our evenings relaxing and visiting with our friends!  They've told us all about the local legends and their story of finding a body in the road (still alive), a parcel of property that has had a home built on it twice and twice it has 'mysteriously' burned down, and then of course there are the tales of those who make moonshine...What a place!! Unfortunately tomorrow we leave it all behind and return to Virginia.  I've missed  reading your news and I look forward to reading what you've been up to when we get home!  THANKS for stopping by my blog, and I hope you've had a good week!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ready or Not!!

My van is washed, blinker fixed, and all the needed food for us and the dogs has been bought.  The list of instructions is all written out for the dog-walker, laundry done and my house is all cleaned up.  We're 'almost' ready for our much anticipated trip to Tennessee. Heavy rain is expected for the drive tomorrow.  But the forescast improves on Thursday and Friday. Rain or shine, I am like a kid before Christmas and am really excited about the trip!  

However, with the rising price of gasoline that seems to be going up every day, I just hope we'll be able to afford the gas to get there and back without having to take a second mortgage on our house!
I'm really going to miss the pups that we're not taking with us.
We've never both left the dogs before, but I know they'll be just fine! 
(Carl & Toby)
One thing I can't leave behind is my computer.  As you may know, I'm an 'internet junkie' so we are taking one with us.  Hopefully I'll be able to post pictures of our trip while we're gone.  If not, look for an update by the end of the weekend when we return! 
I hope you have an enjoyable week!!  (Tanner below)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hamlet and Hope

Its been just over 3 months since Hamlet had his last surgery.  I marvel at how well everything has healed because I think I would still be recovering from it all.  But being a worrier, I'm still concerned about him.  

With each meal Hamlet is given three Chinese herbs which total 14 pills a day--In the evening Maitake mushroom is added.  All of this in hopes that it will prevent the regrowth of the tumor that I was told would come back.  

My only worry is where the tumor was.  I do feel a hard lump that I don't think was there before.  To see if it's growing, I've measured it, and four of my fingers fits snuggly around it.  I've no idea if it's scar tissue, since there is a similar one in the same spot on the other side that is softer and almost moveable.  

I suppose that I shouldn't focus on what could happen, but remember to enjoy our daily walks... 
 Our time together... 
(left to right, Rudi, Josh, Charlie, CarrieAnne, Sheba, Hamlet)
Just hanging out...
 And try not to worry...
At least not too much...And remember to have hope...Sometimes that's all you can do...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

In Search of Spring

Its been a relatively quiet week for us.  So, I'm sorry if you're looking for an exciting post because you won't get it here today!  That'll be next week when we take our trip to Tennessee.  I'm getting really excited about getting out of town!  To get my mind off of everything, I went in search of signs of spring this morning.  My daffodils are starting to come up! 

Rudi (standing) and Sheba weren't interested anything that was growing.  They went in search of their own signs of spring.  I can always count on them--It's nice that they are willing to wait for their turn to roll on something... 
We did have a tree fall in the last windstorm.  Today we'll try to get it cut up, save some of it for firewood and drag the rest back into the woods to eventually create a 'rabbitat.'  At least that's the plan anyway.  We'll first have to charge the chainsaw that we've not used since last year.  The only problem is, is that we don't seem to be able to find the charger.  I know I've seen it, and Carl knows he did as well.  Why is it that you can never find something that we've been literally tripping over for the last six months? 
Too bad the dogs can't talk and tell us if they've seen it.  I have a feeling Rudi may know.
But even if she could, I think she's much too occupied looking for those signs of spring to roll on.
I hope you have an enjoyable weekend!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Circle of Life

I posted this picture on my Facebook page, but thought I would share it here too.  The puppy, named Pork-chop (for now) is one of 11 puppies that were born in the early morning hours of Sunday.  Their Mom, Roxie, came into the rescue about two weeks ago.  All are doing well. 

Yesterday a couple of my friends sent their precious Goldens to the Rainbow Bridge.  And to me there's something comforting about seeing the face of a life that is so brand new--It reminds me of the beauty and circle of life.

God speed Lady and Cleo...