Saturday, October 29, 2011

The First Snow

Old Man Winter made an early arrival in Virginia.  Even though we still have leaves on half the trees  snow is coming down.  Because its been so warm, it's only sticking to the grass.  The sun is to return on Sunday and the snow will no doubt disappear.

There's just something about the first snow of the year.  And there's something about watching a puppy enjoy their first snowfall. Todd of course, loves it and has enjoyed chasing the falling snowflakes.  This morning I took this 20-ish second video of him playing in it for the first time.

We've been out several times playing in the snow and now that my feet and my hands are warmed up, we're going back outside to catch more snowflakes and pictures. 
  Enjoy your day!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Rare Treat

Earlier in the week we were treated to a rare show of the northern-lights. Of course they are not as vivid or as beautiful as when we saw them in Alaska, but it was amazing and a bit of a surprise to be able to see them here in Virginia.  There really is no way a camera can capture the feeling of watching something like this in person.  Mother Nature can really put on a show can't she?
Jasmine is on the mend.  However the injury to her nose got a little infected and she was looking a bit like 'W.C.Fields' with a big round, swollen nose.  Thanks to antibiotics, she's looking a little better today.  Toby also hasn't been feeling well.  I'd hoped it was a 'bad restaurant review,' but I think because its continued for a couple of days and his appetite is waning, there may be something else going on. I'm hoping it's nothing too serious.
~Toby on the left, Jasmine the right~ 
It's a wet day here and the weather forecast mentioned that there might be some snow as colder temperatures and more rain arrives just in time for the weekend.  But for today, I've gotten all my errands done, and look forward to reading your blogs and keeping an eye on the dogs.  I wonder what Charlie is able to keep an eye on?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Resilience and Perseverance.

With the exception of the clouds that kept us from viewing the Orionid Meteors on Saturday morning, the day was a perfect one at home!  The clouds finally cleared in late afternoon and we caught up on things around the house. We even had this little visitor stop by several times, reminding me that I need to get the feeders filled.
This morning started out well too.  We had our first frost and took a walk at the start of a gorgeous fall day.
Funny how quickly things can change.  Getting breakfast ready for the dogs, there was a fight between Sheba and Jasmine.  Thankfully all Jasmine has is a bloody-nose and a sore ear.  Both dogs quickly forgot about their disagreement and as I write this they are sleeping nearby to one another.  
Riley was also 'complaining' this morning, but we managed to get her to settle down.  But then CarrieAnne got after Todd for something that I've no idea about.  Even though he was yelping and whining and there wasn't a mark on him, I still felt bad for him.  But things are quickly forgotten in 'puppy-dom,' and let's not forget that he's a Scottie after all.
I noticed this morning that the butterfly bush that was cut down to the ground in August because the stink-bugs totally consumed it, is blooming again.  I think the theme for my day is going to have to be 'resilience and perseverance.'

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Weekend Ahead

We have a weekend guest.  Riley has come to stay with us until Sunday while her foster home is out of town.   You may recall that she had her first surgery a few weeks ago.  She is doing wonderfully!!  The foster home that is now caring for her is doing an amazing job!  Riley is unable to walk without assistance, so she is walked with a sling to help keep her balanced and to not allow any extra weight on her knee that is still healing.

Riley will be easy enough to care for this weekend because she has to remain confined.  Although she lets us know she's unhappy about the accommodations, her complaints are falling on mostly deaf ears--Well, we may be deaf by the end of the weekend because she can really voice her objections!  It's times like this that you just wish you could explain to them that there's a bigger plan in motion, that this is only temporary and they'll be okay.
 But since we can't do that, we're letting the 'calming medications' do the talking for us.
Tonight in Virginia, there will be two events.  The first, is the prediction of our first frost.  The other is being able to see the Orionid Meteors in the early morning hours of Saturday.  It was reported on the evening news that we should be able to see a dozen or more meteors per hour as the Earth passes through dust left by Halley's Comet.  Because we have a crescent moon, it'll be easier to see least that's what they're saying...We'll see.
Enjoy your weekend,  
and the colors of Fall!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Todd's New Friend and a Favorite Place

A busy, hectic and stress filled week.  So today while I'm trying to get caught up on everything, including blog-visits, I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite pictures from Todd's day-care with you.  Posted daily on 'Belly Rubs' Facebook page are candid shots from the day.  The ones below are from Wednesday.  It was the first day for a Rottweiler puppy named Mattie.  There's just something about their expressions as she approaches Todd and the group.
Judging by all the pictures that were posted, Mattie's first day at camp went well and she had a good time with her new friends!  
Todd's favorite place at the day care is under this block, 
and on top of it.    
Finally, thank-you again for the continued good thoughts for Bubba.  He's had no more seizures but I was really feeling pretty discouraged earlier in the week because for some reason he was refusing to stand up on his own.  But yesterday he was up and about and today he is as well.  I think he's going to be just fine, don't you think?!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Feeling Better

THANK YOU all for the good thoughts for Bubba!!  It worked because we were able to get the Potassium Bromide yesterday and started him on it.  A few of you commented about the use of Phenobarbital instead. For more than a year, Bubba has taken Rimadyl twice daily for arthritis.  Like phenobarbital it can damage the liver and the vet felt that his taking the two medications may not be the best combination.

It has been a quiet weekend for Bubba and thankfully there have been no more seizures. Although he is still pretty unsteady and needs help to get to his feet, today he seems a little more stable and was able to eat his morning meal standing up. Progress!

I can tell that Toby is concerned about Bubba, because he has been staying nearby.  What a devoted companion he is.
On the flip-side the weather even though it has been windy, has been just gorgeous here this weekend.  Despite feeling pretty worn out,  I took Sheba and CarrieAnne for a walk up into the field in back of us.  I never get tired of the view at the top of the hill.
Of course it's totally wasted on the 'the girls' who just love
the chance for adventure and to explore.    
I felt better afterwards. 
Going on a walk, either with your dogs or alone 
has a way of doing that, doesn't it?  
If you were at home or away, I hope you enjoyed your weekend too!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Bumpy Road for Bubba

I mentioned in my last post that it had been a 'good week for the dogs.'  That was mostly true.  The one who really wasn't having such a good week was Bubba.  You  may recall that he's prone to having seizures.  I've kept a journal of them, and since he came to us in June of 2010, he's been having them every 4 to 6 weeks.  He would have 1-3 grand-mal seizures within a 24 hour period. The vet suggested starting him on medication for them.  Not liking the effects they can have, I felt strongly that we should wait, but I knew that there would be a time when Bubba would have to be on them.  The time has come.  On Sunday he had one seizure, another on Monday, another Wednesday.  On Friday he had 4 that we knew of. I took him to the vet after work on Friday, and I was given the prescription for Potassium Bromide.  It's often considered the first choice drug for any dogs with idiopathic epilepsy, and because it has no effect on the liver. Unfortunately the medication has to be 'compounded' and I won't be able to get it until Monday or Tuesday. Bubba is totally exhausted from the seizures and we're having difficulty getting him to stand. But he has a good appetite, and if we can all get our rest I think we'll be okay until then.  Paws and fingers crossed. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fall Color and Jasmine

Thank-you all for the get-well wishes this week!  It worked because despite a nagging cough, I feel much better and returned to work on Wednesday, ready to share air space with germa-phobic co-workers and dental patients. Carl did not get by unscathed and became the next victim of the virus.  He stayed home from work today.  Its a dismal, rainy day here in Virginia and while 'the patient' was napping, I ran a couple of errands, taking Charlie with me.

The fall colors on my road have suddenly started to pop.
They are also showing on this beautiful old maple tree
next to the church just down from us.  
Jasmine has settled in nicely!  She's a sweet little thing, and gets along very nicely with our gang.  I think she's feeling right at home because she has started barking with a couple of the other dogs who always tell me to 'hurry up' as I fix the meals for everyone.  She also lets us know when she wants to be let inside and out.  
~Jasmine and Bubba~
 Despite a week that hasn't been my best, I think its been a good week for the dogs. 
I hope its been a good one for you too!  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sick Days

I really don't like being sick, because I'm just not good at it.  I especially don't like to be home from work when I am because we don't have paid sick days at my office.  I did go to work yesterday and lasted until about lunchtime, and I stayed home today.  However I know that if I was at work, I'd be miserable, and so would the patients and my germa-phobe co-workers who would be hearing me cough, and sharing my air-space. So what else could I have done...Illness really frustrates me...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Little Jasmine at Golden Pines

You know that an empty dog bed does not last long around our house.  Today we welcome a sweet little girl Golden named Jasmine, who is 12 years old.  Her previous owner put her on 'Craigs List' to be given away.  Many of you may be aware that dogs that are given away in this manner are many times used for training dogs to fight, or sold to research. Thankfully there are people in rescue who watch for these ads and try to prevent this from happening and so someone contacted Jasmine's owner.  Even though she was a bit wary of giving her to a rescue, she finally agreed.  

The owner told me to come this morning around 9 o'clock.  I did just that, and ended up waking them. Its been a long time since I dealt with an owner first hand and I've forgotten just how cut and dry these things can be.  They came to the door with Jasmine in hand, signed the paperwork, gave me practically nothing for her, and I was gone in less than 5 minutes.  I always wonder how you can have a dog for so many years and give them up so quickly and easily and without a single item that belongs to them that you'd like them to have in their new home.  But I suppose that I should have remembered to consider their reasons for giving Jasmine up, which ranged from the owner having a skin problem, to not being to take her with them to their new apartment.

Regardless of the reason, Jasmine is a very sweet, small and petite Golden, weighing less than 50 pounds.  She's had several litters of puppies, and I think has problems seeing outside because she has stumbled on our steps each time she has been out.  Meeting our gang was uneventful.  Todd was very attentive to Jasmine, no doubt hoping he had another playmate--I think our cat CC probably hoped for the same thing.
Looks like CC will just have to keep hoping..
THANK YOU as always for stopping by my blog, I hope you're enjoying your Sunday! 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Update on a Girl Named Riley

Our weather here in northern Virginia could not be better this weekend with warm temps and lots of sun!  The day started out with a beautiful mist on the field next to us, and my having breakfast with two friends.  Carl is mowing for what we hope will be the last time this season.  The dogs have been outside soaking up the sun too.  The only thing keeping me inside are the mass of stink-bugs covering the side of our house and buzzing all around.  The good and bad of this time of year.

I thought I'd give you an update on Riley.  You'll recall that she's the golden that came to us and needed extensive knee surgery.  Riley had her first surgery on Thursday, and below is the update that I received from her foster home.  It's pretty good news, and I continue to be grateful that she's able to have the surgery and a chance at a healthy, active life. Here is a portion of the e-mail from the foster home:    

"I spoke to Dr Walker earlier today, he said Riley's knee was one of the worst he's ever seen.  Her condition was allowed to go on so long that the "fix" wasn't able to be 100%.  If she had come in earlier, there was a chance that surgery would have made her "normal" but as it is now, we're settling for a compromise. 
The malformation of the tibia was so much that he had to do three cuts instead of one, and the groove in the front of the knee where the tendon is now laying is very deep, a little more than expected.  Riley's patella is now back in place and her foot placement is 80% better but there was no way to make it 100% better because of what she had to work with.  The pain Riley will  feel is not so much what they did to her bones, it's the stretching of the muscles in ways they haven't stretched before."
I hope you will all send good thoughts and prayers for Riley as she begins this new chapter in her life.  She has one more surgery just like this one and a long, hard road to travel, and extensive rehabilitation which won't be easy for her, but it'll be worth it!

I hope you're having a relaxing and enjoyable weekend!    

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sheba's Wrinkle

As you may know, when you bring a 'rescued dog' into your home, you are accepting some of  the proverbial wrinkles that they may have in their personality.  Our girl Sheba is a dog with a wrinkle all her own.  She came to us at almost a year old in October of 2007 when the family who had young children, couldn't afford her hip surgery. I can only think that the kids were allowed to torment her, because Sheba in no shape or form likes young children.  Knowing this, I keep her away from them.  If anyone comes to our home with kids, I put her in her crate.  When I take Sheba anywhere with me, I am always watching so that we can avoid contact with any children.  It was no different today when I took her to the vet.

When we were waiting for medications and our bill at the end of our appointment.  I sat in the far corner of the waiting room away from everyone.  Someone came in with their dog, a stroller and a little boy that looked about 3-4 years old.  The little boy smiled when he saw Sheba and took a step towards her.  I stopped him and politely asked the Mother to please keep him away from Sheba, explaining that children made her really nervous.  She replied telling me that she didn't believe this because all Golden Retrievers loved children.  I told her that 'this one didn't, and it was best if she just kept an eye on her son and made sure he kept his distance.'
The whole time I am talking, I'm holding Sheba very close and I have her leash cinched up very short, and my other hand on her collar.  I could feel her growling.  When the little boy started jumping up and down and hopping in our direction, I tried to be polite and tell him that he needed to go play somewhere else.  The mother looked but did nothing.  Sheba continued to growl.  The girl at the front desk said something to me and as I stood up the little boy threw a magazine in our direction.  At that, Sheba started barking and lunging at the little boy.  Thankfully I still held onto her leash and collar and so I was able to keep her under control.  The Mother unleashed a barrage of accusations and threats, telling me that I had no business having such a vicious dog in public that was out of control!  I really tried to not show how upset I had become but told her that the only thing that was out of control was her son!  The rest of the incident is a bit of a blur that ended with the office manager (who had seen the whole thing) escorting the Mother and her entourage into a treatment room, and apologizing to me for their client.

Sheba, I think, is really a lovely dog.  There is so much about her that is everything that a Golden Retriever is supposed to be. So even knowing this, why am I still upset about the reminder of 'Sheba's wrinkle' and why am I taking this all so personally?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Back to Work!

The end of our stay-cation and back to work on Monday for Carl and I.  This weekend has been cold, rainy and dreary!  I even turned the heat on to get take the cold edge off the air inside the house.  Any thoughts we had about doing anything outdoors didn't happen.  But in the end, it was okay I got a few things done inside, and just relaxed.  We were able to reschedule our trip to Tennessee for early November. 
As hoped, it really did all work out in the end.  
For us and Todd.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Stay-Cation and Puppy-Doody

When I finally got over the disappointment of not being able to go out of town, our stay-cation become an enjoyable one. Yesterday a friend told me about an estate sale not far from me, so I went to that.  It began at 10 in the morning, and I arrived around noon. I'm guessing that I was a little too late because there really weren't a lot of things left that I could spend my money on.   I did however end up with this.
I'm not sure exactly what 'this' is, but it was only $4, so I knew I had to have it.  As you can see, it's a pretty good size, and weighs about 20 pounds.  It does have a hanger on the back, but I've no idea what to do with it--Any suggestions will be appreciated!   

Last evening we met some good friends for dinner at a place I'd been hearing about not far from us.  It's called Patowmack Farm.  It has a stunning view of the Potomac river and bridge at 'Point of Rock' between Virginia & Maryland.  
We felt like VIPs with customized menus, and other special unique touches.  The food is amazing and is 'farm to table.'  I had the 'Autumn Blend' as an appetizer, and 'Farm Beef Duo' as my entree.
I cannot remember when I've had a more enjoyable evening out with friends! 

Back on the home front, we are STILL on 'puppy-doody' as we look for the reappearance of the cap that went to the water jug.  I'm starting to doubt that Todd actually ate it.  But if it's going to show up, my vet feels like today will be the day.  I wonder if Todd knows that...
It's a new month and a new feel to the weather.  Our day is starting out with cold winds and clouds and some showers.  After a couple of errands, it'll (hopefully) be another quiet day at home, following Todd around.  I hope you have an enjoyable day too!
~Sheba and Todd~