Sunday, August 28, 2011

Good Riddance Irene!

Just as it was forecasted, Saturday was a rainy day and a good one for catching up on things inside the house.  In the very early morning hours Hurricane Irene blew past us with high winds and pounding rain.  I was managing to sleep though most of it until a large set of wind-chimes crashed onto the front porch waking me, Charlie and CarrieAnne.  The others all seemed to slept right through it.

Today was a windy but beautiful day.  While I know that others have been impacted much more than we were, we are thankful that we never lost power, trees, or the internet!

We ended our day enjoying the nice evening watching a blur of dogs playing.    
~Sam & Todd~
~CarrieAnne (left) and Sheba~
 I hope you had a good weekend 
and all who were in the path of the hurricane are safe!
~Reggie & Todd~

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tropical Soupy-ness

Tropical soupy-ness as we start our day--We are cloaked in clouds and haze with humidity feeling like we're swimming in it.  It's very quiet, and I didn't hear birds singing when we were out this morning with the dogs. The county where we live won't be directly impacted by the hurricane. Right now they are predicting that we will only be getting the very edge of it with rain and wind increasing later this afternoon.  
It looks like the outdoor plans we had will have to be put on hold. 
 It'll be a good day to catch up on things inside. 
Enjoy your Saturday, and stay safe everyone!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Leader of the Pack

As with all dogs, there is a social system.  This goes for our dogs too.  In watching them I can see that it's actually pretty well developed.  I feel like there is an orderly relationship and 'communication' among them as they relate and interact with one another.  With Rudi gone, we knew there would be changes within the pack.  We don't force these changes, but let the dogs decide for themselves when and how these changes will occur.  It has been interesting to watch.  Rudi really kept everyone 'in line' and they followed her lead.  When one of the dogs didn't come when called, she'd chide them when they returned.  Even when she wasn't feeling well, they seemed to know what was expected of them.  After she passed, we had several days where there was definite discord and direction.  I really had to get after a couple of the dogs because they would wander off, or not listen when asked to do something.  There were a few brief squabbles and you could see that there was not a sense of unity among them.  

I knew things would settle down and eventually there would be a new pack leader.  Who would it be?  Well, we knew who it wouldn't be.  Within the group there are 'the followers' who are not really involved in the politics of the pack.  That is saved for a few of the others. 

The new comer to our pack, Reggie, is one of those followers.   
Wendy, (who came to us in 1999) at almost 15 years old is considered the matriarch of the pack. 
Even Todd has learned to give her that respect.  
   But at the top of the pack, is the fair and mischievous Carrie-Anne... 
Followed by Sheba who is very energetic, social, but can be bossy and dominant.  
She has often needed to be reminded of her place.
Then there's Josh.  Regal, proud, quiet and self assured.  
His confidence in himself often shows.  
While they could all fill that role,
if you think that our new pack leader is one of them, you're wrong.
The new pack leader at Golden Pines is...
Todd--Young and energetic and full of confidence,
he has us hopping and jumping to meet his every need!!  
But don't tell Charlie, he thinks it's him!
~Okay, I was kidding about Todd,
but as we expected, Charlie has become the new pack-leader~ 
But the cat, CC thinks it's her (actually it's her, but don't tell Charlie...)  
Whoever is 'in charge' of your household, whatever you're doing, 
I hope you're having a enjoyable day!
Rain here in northern Virginia today
and just as with the earthquake this week,
we may feel the effects of Hurricane Irene this weekend.   

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Tooth Fairy

I thought that when we got a puppy our life would be totally turned upside down.  I'm actually finding that (at least right now) it really isn't.  I can only conclude that our life must be upside down to start with.  Todd does what all puppies do, he gets into everything.  And just when we think that he couldn't get into anything else, he finds something to literally get tangled in.
But you may be able to imagine my concern this afternoon when Todd started whining and opening and closing his mouth.  I thought maybe the cookie I'd just given him had gotten caught in his throat.  But my finger in his mouth felt nothing but had blood on it.  He managed to get away from me and ran out the open back door.  I finally was able to catch him and I had Carl hold him as I looked down his throat...Nothing...
FINALLY my eye caught sight of what it was...
He was losing one of his molars--It was really loose and just barely hanging on, and so I pulled it out.   
Mystery solved and Todd did the only thing he could do after that kind of event--
Take a nap!!  
I wonder if  he'll be hoping for the tooth fairy to leave something under that stuffed animal?   

Friday, August 19, 2011

Good Feelings!

One of the first of many tenth-anniversary commemorations of the 9/11 terror attacks began today when almost 2,000 motorcyclists launched the America's 9/11 Ride.  It began in Shanksville Pennsylvania and will continue over the next three days taking them to the Pentagon and World Trade Center crash sites.  Part of their route brought them through Leesburg.  Even though I really wanted to get home, I quickly got Todd picked up from daycare and changed my route to be able to see them ride through town.  I'm so glad I did!  Along the way people stood with their flags waving and cheering as the motorcyclist rode by.  It was a good feeling!
When I got home, those 'good feelings' continued when I watched wild turkey's in our yard.    
Then I let the dogs out and CarrieAnne found something green and smelly to roll in and needed a bath...Good feeling gone...  
I hope you have a 'good-feeling' weekend!! 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Back to Life--Did You Miss Us?

I can't begin to tell you how touched I was to receive the many kind and thoughtful comments on the loss of our girl Rudi. Loss can be a lonely time, but your friendship changed that.  Saying thank-you for the cards, candles and e-mails doesn't seem like enough or express how you've made a difference at a sad time.  

Moving on from a loss isn't something we can always just decide to do and I found that I needed a little time to myself.  So that was what I did, I took a break from just about everything.  I didn't read blogs, I didn't cook, I didn't do a lot of things...

But yesterday I started to feel a bit better.  It's time to get back to my everyday life.  At just the right time, I was given the 'Versatile Blogger Award by jodi stone--Life with Sampson and Delilah….The 411  Jodi is someone I have just met and is an every day blogger who writes about her life with her two retrievers, Sampson and Delilah, and a supporting cast member, a cat named Bob. I hope you'll take a moment and pay her a visit!   

While I know they are not true awards I am happy to accept this one because it's given me the nudge to get me started blogging again.  This award comes with three rules which are: 

1.  Thank the person passing on the award
Thank-you Jodi for giving me something to write a post about!!  Also thank-you so much for your kind,  friendly e-mail!  I look forward to getting to know you and your crew a bit better!!  

2.  The second thing when you get this award is to: Write 7 things about yourself
I don't really like talking about myself, so I've decided to change it up a bit, and list 7 things about where I live that you may not know.  

1.  Our property is situated on 3.5 acres at the foot of the Short Hill Mountains in Loudoun County Virginia.
2. We have no nearby neighbors and are surrounded by 30 acres of open farmland. 

3. I didn't like our house when I first saw it.  It had been empty for almost 2 years and seemed so void of life.  But what I loved was the big front porch and the outside space which is still my favorite!  The house and I have learned to get along.

4. Where our house is now, was once a cornfield.

5. One of our oldest trees on our property is a huge, beautiful maple tree.  It's one of my favorites.  I love its big, long branches.  
6. I never grow tired of seeing the wildlife we have around.  The picture below is one of two deer that wandered through our yard this afternoon.  
7. A favorite, a Barred Owl has just returned.  Actually, there are two.
The last thing I'm to do with this award is to pass it onto 15 people whose blogs I have just discovered. I am really really bad about things like this. I have found several new blogs lately that I really enjoy but I have a hard time singling them out because I don't want to forget anyone...For me it kind of feels like having a birthday party and being forced to invite only a few friends instead of the whole class!  So, I'd like to invite you to look on the left-sidebar and look at the blogs that I have listed there.  Find one that you're not familiar with and pay them a visit, and make a new friend, just like I did in meeting Jodi!

I look forward to catching up on everyone's blogs!  
I hope you're enjoying your Thursday!  

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Tribute to Our Girl Rudi

Today was the day I'd been dreading for the last 56 days.  Today I held Rudi one last time, and sent her to the Rainbow Bridge. It was a hard decision, but was one made out of my love for her and compassion...

Rudi came to us from the rescue in September of 2003.  A homeless woman who lived in her car, had seen her in a shelter in North Carolina.   Rules were different at the time, and the shelter released the one year old Golden named Sandy to her. She had been returned to the shelter 3 times for her wild and uncontrollable behavior and was considered 'un-adoptable.'  She was renamed Rudi and in a car full of other dogs, she came to Virginia.  Not knowing her history, I agreed to foster Rudi because I thought that she'd be an easy placement.  She turned out to be anything but that.
~Rudi enjoying the cat-food~
There is so much I could say about the first months we spent together.  Rudi was an insecure dog with very high energy and never seemed to be able to focus on anything.  It didn't take long to figure out that others had not been as patient, and had mistreated her.  There were times that I doubted that I would be able to help her find her way or teach her anything.  There were days that I felt pushed to the edge by the seemingly uncontrollable dog that barked all the time who would jump up and nip me in the face.  She was always into everything.  Nothing left on a counter was out of her reach, the cat food was her favorite.  Medications seemed to have the opposite effect on her.  She couldn't be crated alone because she'd break out of them.  When many were telling me to 'give up' I just couldn't.  It was only because in my mind I had a vision of what she could become if given the chance. 
I have no idea when things started to change and come together.  I guess it was me that changed.  I stopped trying to fit her into a mold and just let her be herself.  Rudi had such a big personality, was very bright and was so eager to please.  She was very sensitive and was 'in tune' with my moods.  Rudi was a dog with great character. If dogs have a sense of humor, she had one and she loved to 'show off.'  She could always make me laugh.  When you asked her to do things, she would start barking at you or ramble on in high-pitched short barks like she was questioning you.  She always seemed to have an opinion of anything you did.  Her tail was always wagging and her eyes always sparkled with mischief and she would look at you like she had a secret that she wanted you to guess.
~Rudi (left) and Kasey--October 2009~
Rudi found mentors in Kasey and Wendy. When Kasey passed a few years ago, Rudi became the top dog in the pack. She took Kasey's place on the bed that first night and never slept anywhere else.  Her passion was the frisbee.  She was wildly crazy about it!!  From the start it was the perfect outlet that allowed her to get rid of all her energy and just be herself.
Rudi was more to me than 'just a dog.'  If I had to tell you all the things that she taught me, it would be hard to give you a complete answer.  She made me become a better person and a more understanding and patient dog owner.  To me, she was the essence of friendship, trust and pure unbridled joy and enthusiasm.  Life with Rudi wasn't ordinary, but then Rudi wasn't ordinary.  She was an affectionate dog that was my constant companion for 8 years.  I am going to miss her more than I've ever missed any dog.  Walks won't be the same.  Games of frisbee won't be as much fun.  Mealtimes will be quieter.  Life will be quieter.
God speed 'my little fruitcake.'  You will have quite a welcome when you reach the Rainbow Bridge...Waiting for you there are a three Goldens, Tod, Ben and Cougar that left us before you came.  But Kasey will be there and I know she'll be happy to see you.  Also there are Scout, Tosh, Tucker, Logan, Cubby, Cowboy, Maguire, Tanner, and Hamlet.  Give them our message and know that we look forward to the day when we'll see you all again.  I just hope there will be a frisbee there too.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What Did I Miss Most?

All is quiet here at home.  Carl is finally back from his 10 day trip to Wisconsin to see family.  It's kind of hard to say which I missed more, him or my good camera that he took with him, having his help with the dogs, or the good camera (did I mention that already?)  All of them I guess!

The weather today could not have been more gorgeous!  There was low humidity and lots of sunshine!  I sat on the porch for awhile with the dogs and we enjoyed one another's company as the sound of cicadas filled the air, and the elusive hummingbirds which I've been trying to get a picture of buzzed around.  
Todd who hasn't spent much time on the front porch enjoyed it too. Being overprotective, I've been afraid that he would try to leap off, but so far, he hasn't...At least not yet.
Rudi has almost totally lost her appetite.  She wants nothing except dog-treats, which I give her by the hand-full. Tomorrow I'm going to try to remember to bring home a fast-food-hamburger.  Dogs always love them, right?  I left work early yesterday when our dog-walker called and said that she was laying in the crate and wouldn't come out.  When I got home, Rudi was up on her feet but was very quiet and seemed uncomfortable.  I've started her on pain medication which seems to have helped because this afternoon she found the enthusiasm to play frisbee.
Each day that we have together is a good day!  
I hope yours has been a good one as well!  
(Did I mention that it's so nice to have my good camera back, and oh, Carl too?!)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Just What I Needed

The day has been just what I needed, quiet and uneventful.  It gave me the chance to get caught up on everything from the dusting to the laundry.  Todd's curiosity about everything continued as he explored the inside of the dryer this afternoon.
Last night he became acquainted with a big toad on our porch.
I silently gave a cheer and a prayer of thanks as Rudi reached day 50 of grace today. Each day that passes becomes more of a valued treasure, time more precious.  We quietly celebrated with a very, very brief game of frisbee.  Anytime she has one, she seems happy.  It goes without saying that I'm happy too.  
  I hope you've had a good weekend!