Friday, February 28, 2014

Under the Weather

I'm really sorry I've not been around this past week.  I've not been feeling well for most of the week and I have been going to bed early and sleeping in the spare bedroom with Ms. Yellow to try and keep Carl healthy.  Ms. Yellow doesn't mind at all, and Carl seems to have avoided getting sick (for now).
But unfortunately, Todd isn't feeling well either.  He didn't eat all of his dinner, and today while at work and three times this evening he's gotten sick.
I am finally feeling a bit better, and I just hope it's nothing more than a bad restaurant review that has put Todd under the weather.  
Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you are well...
~The lovely Miss Annie~
And I hope I can catch up on your news in a day or two! 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunny and Yellow

A bright, warm and very sunny Saturday gave way to Sunday clouds with rain and perhaps snow in the coming week.  Whatever the weather, you can be sure that the very shaggy Todd will be outside in it, and will probably need another bath afterwards.  
I'm sorry that its been so long since I gave an update on how Sunny is doing.  As you  know he came to us in late July as a foster-dog.  We were told that he was 12 years old, and taken to the shelter by his owner who could no longer afford to care for him.  The dog I met in July is not 12 years old, and with all that happened, he has changed our household in a way that no dog ever has.
~Sunny in mid December~

Today Sunny is doing well.  He is still doesn't like the camera and he still doesn't like stressful situations where he feels the pressure to do something.  Fortunately, they don't happen often, but when they do, we leave him alone, we don't say anything and we give him a little space that allows him to make the decision to do what's asked of him.  We work very hard at keeping things positive and as routine as we can for Sunny. It seems to be working because the dog I have gotten to know seems happy and is very relaxed, smart, vocal, gentle and a very affectionate boy.  
Yes, we remain very mindful of what is below the surface.  But the dog that sleeps next to my bed, loves his head scratched and that will now go outside after dark, and plays with Todd was a dog worth saving.  He was truly a dog that did not deserve the bad hand he was dealt.  I have no regrets.
If there are any regrets it's that everything that happened with Sunny and the rescue may have ended 14 years of fostering for them.  We have not been asked to take a new senior dog since this happened in September. Perhaps there just haven't been any dogs that need us, I don't know. But I do know that I have to be rescuing something, it's part of who I am.  So, on Friday, we welcomed a new foster cat, a two year old little girl someone named Ms. Yellow.       Welcome to Golden Pines Ms. Yellow....

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Transformation of Cissy

~Josh (left) and Sheba last week~
Bright warm sunshine is quickly melting our snow this week and making a huge mess out of our yard.  It's this time of the year when I wonder if, when and how grass will ever grow again.

On Tuesday, Dale our little foster cat went to his forever home.  The home was a single Mom with a young teen-aged son who I thought seemed to need a good friend.  I think that Dale has the potential to be that friend. I wish them all many happy years together. And yes, Shadow is still convinced that Dale is in our spare bedroom.
Someone asked a couple of weeks ago about Cissy and Sunny.  I thought today I'd take a moment and let you know how Cissy is doing.  I will post about Sunny in my next post this weekend.

It has been nearly a year since Cissy came to us from a rural shelter in Virginia.  
In my opinion, she is barely recognizable as the shell of a dog I met last March with nails so long she could barely walk.
~Cissy: March 23, 2013~
It has been quite the journey for her because it has been one filled with health challenges.  I never mentioned here on my blog but will now say that there were many weeks when I felt enormous guilt because I felt like I was failing Cissy; especially late last summer when she lost most of her coat and was having ongoing problems with her skin and ears. But with the expertise, encouragement and care of Cissy's vet, Dr. C, she pulled us through the worst of it.  Now after nearly 11 months, it is easy to see that Cissy feels and looks better than she ever has.  The ear problems are resolved, her skin has healed and her coat is soft and growing back nicely and is becoming thick again, just in time for spring!
~Cissy: February 14, 2013~
Cissy loved the snow we had last week, she loves going for walks and always has a 'roo-roo-roooo' for me anytime I say something to her. And no matter how hard he tries, and he really has, Cissy still won't 'talk' to Carl.
But its been humbling for me to see and be part of Cissy's transformation both on the inside and the outside. I'm very grateful to the rescue, our Vet, Dr. C who never gave up on Cissy who showed everyone not long after she arrived at Golden Pines, that she had an inner-spark that only needed to be ignited. And finally, I am grateful and thankful to you, our readers who have been cheering her on from your corner of the world.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Cat Person or Dog Person?

~Happy Belated Valentines Day!~
I read recently that "dog people," think of themselves as more social, outgoing and friendly, whereas "cat people" think of themselves as creative, philosophical, and nontraditional.  These are, of course, generalizations and I'm not sure if this is totally true or not.  But I do know that any discussion among pet owners is bound to reveal clearly that there are dog people and there are cat people.

Yesterday we spent the day with "cat-people" when we took Dale to an adoption day the rescue he belongs to was having.  I really made an effort to try and get acquainted with the people from the rescue that were there.  I meet new people practically every day at work, and I think that I'm pretty good at initial and casual conversation, but even I have to admit that it was a tough crowd.  Like their cat-counterparts, conversation with the people volunteering for the rescue was limited to few words and mostly silence.  We were there for nearly 5 tiring hours and I was feeling it was a total waste of a day because there was no interest in Dale and because I just wasn't getting the 'warm and fuzzy feeling' from anyone within the rescue.
Then as we were getting ready to leave, someone named Julie introduced herself as the person who began the rescue more than 10 years ago. We had a delightful conversation about Dale, cats, and continuing to foster for the rescue. It shouldn't have been much of a surprise when Julie told us she'd had Golden Retrievers for many years, and currently has two of them. Based solely on my own experience, I think that Julie's personality indicates to me that she's like me in that she loves both cats and dogs and has devoted her life to helping one over the other.  Which is why today I'm thinking that it's really all about the individual animal and the relationship you have with it and not whether you prefer a cat or a dog. What do you think?
~Dale's official rescue photo~

Post Script about placing Dale in another home.  After a lot of thought, we decided it would be best to put Dale up for adoption through the rescue.  It was a really hard choice to make because all of the the dogs, in particular Charlie, get along really well with him and he would be a good fit in our home -- but there's one dog that makes that difficult and that dog is Shadow.  Shadow has many, many good qualities, but like some dogs, he has a high prey drive that we are unable to redirect.  I know that we could keep Dale safe from Shadow (probably) ninety-nine-percent of the time.  But Dale has no fear whatsoever of the dogs and that one time when the two may accidentally meet could and probably would be tragic. And as sad as I am to think about Dale leaving, I would be even more sad if something happened to him.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow Days!

You all know how I love snow days!  Today we got another one when a little more than a foot-and-a-half of snow fell on our corner of Virginia.  Yesterday the doctor I worked for cancelled patients for today which caused the excitement to build.  For me, there is nothing like looking out the window and seeing big fluffy flakes of snow falling and seeing our yard coated in white.  It’s that moment when I just want to get outside with the dogs and take pictures -- And that's exactly what I did.
We were out several times today and all of the dogs loved it. (Sunny was even having a good time in the snow until he realized that I had the camera and then he couldn't get back in fast enough). 
The deep snow was a new experience for Todd because it covered his body. 
He was a little confused at first.  But then, a little Scottie led them....
And then they led the Scottie...
Of course no snow-day is complete without proper snow-day food--We enjoyed homemade biscuits and gravy for breakfast, and late lunch of pizza.  
We went outside one more time, and as I write this, it's nap-time for everyone.
Yes, WE love snow days.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


Outside it was a cold dreary day with what the weathermen called  'conversational snow,' which doesn't amount to anything or disrupt any plans.  

Inside Charlie.......
and Todd all were hoping for a 'conversation' with the kitten.  
Actually, I think that Todd is done with 'conversation.' 
He's ready to take his friendship with Dale to the next level.   
I wonder what Dale thinks about that? 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Saturday Memory

Some of my favorite childhood memories revolve around Saturday mornings. It was the height of luxury to be able to sit around in pajamas with my brothers and watch our favorite cartoons and indulging in some sweet, colorful cereal and getting more than our recommended daily allowance of sugar, carbohydrates and artificial color.  But then we grew up, and I'm sure many of you are like me and don't give yourself permission to be that lazy on Saturdays--We're too busy running and catching up on all the errands we didn't get to during the week.  This morning for me was no exception, I was out the door early but before I left I enjoyed a bowl of  Fruit-Loops in front of the television watching an old cartoon--It really took me back to those Saturday mornings from so long ago; I'm glad I didn't resist that urge to buy a box when they were on sale this week!  
Powered by all the sugar in my bowl of Fruit-Loops, my errands were quickly done and I was home before noon for the rest of the day.
All in all, it wasn't a bad day.
I hope yours was too.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Introducing Dale

An ice storm on Wednesday meant downed trees and slick roads for us.  However warmer temperatures yesterday afternoon made the drive home from work not nearly as much of a nail-biter.  My day off today has been filled with a lot of sunshine that is doing little to melt the ice on our driveway.
Of course the dogs don't care about any of it; their week has been consumed with getting to know the new addition. I have been very careful and cautious introducing 'Dale' to the dogs because I didn't know how any of them would react to a cat that wasn't CC.
Dale seems to have no fear whatsoever of the dogs so the intros have gone pretty well. And Charlie, for whatever reason has taken a real liking to Dale.
Charlie has claimed Dale as his very own, and wants to be with him every chance he gets.  Dale doesn't seem to mind all of the attention and if I didn't know better, I'd think he was enjoying it.    
Todd is of course very, very curious about Dale and wants to play.  I know it's only a matter of time before Dale runs and Todd chases him.
So I've limited his one on one interactions with Dale for now.
But I think that both Charlie and Todd enjoy just hanging-out in 'Dale's room'.     
We've still not decided about keeping Dale or putting him up for adoption. I think he could easily find a home because he's a young and pretty sociable cat.
The rescue that we are fostering him for, along with 2 other rescues managed to get all 100 cats from the shelter that Dale came from.  But I read on their Facebook page this week that they were trying to get 30 more cats from another shelter.  Sadly it never ends, and if we keep Dale our helping another cat will end too.  But the decision doesn't have to be made for about anther week, so we will see.  Watch this space!