Thursday, July 31, 2014

Beau Arrives at Golden Pines

 With fall like temperatures and a nice breeze, it was a perfect day for a road trip on Monday.
My drive was about a 3 hour round trip to one of my favorite small towns, Woodstock which is in Shenandoah County, Virginia.
There I met the third leg of a transport that began near the border of Tennessee, and it was there that I met a big handsome 13-ish year old boy named Beau.
~Settling in for the ride home~
Beau was unceremoniously turned into the shelter by his owner a week ago today (Thursday).  Stressed out and upset from being left behind by "her" and because of overcrowding, the shelter immediately contacted the rescue I volunteer with and asked if they would accept him. On Friday Beau was taken to a vets office,where he was bathed and groomed to get rid of mats and all kinds of little critters in his coat and he received treatment for severe eye and ear infections.  Beau is unable to hear because of continued untreated ear infections.  The opening to both his ears are so small that the applicator for the ear medication barely fits into them.

Beau also has entropion in both eyes. *Entropion is an abnormality of the eyelids in which the eyelid "rolls" inward. This inward rolling causes the hair on the surface of the eyelid to rub against the eye, causing pain --if you look at his eyes in the photos, you can see it. So Beau will be seeing an ophthalmologist for a consultation for treatment.
~My handsome co-pilot~
We are now on day three that Beau has been with us.  He's an easy going happy boy that loves attention and is constantly wagging his tail.  While our crew is used to meeting new dogs, my most nerve-wracking and stressful moments always come when they have to meet a new addition.  The first meeting went really well and Beau is getting along with everyone, even Todd.  He's learning the routine, has claimed a dog bed and is settling into his new life at Golden Pines.
~A comfy and warm bed at the end of a long day~

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Power of Doing Nothing

I have done almost nothing over this four day break, and I needed it more than I knew. I've gotten up early to let the dogs out, and then I went back to bed, sleeping until I woke up and then I've taken several naps. It's all helped me to finally feel rested.
My time has been mostly my own. Since Thursday, I've only left home twice for short periods to do very limited shopping, and to take Gus to the vet to have his wound checked.  
Spending time at home is just what I've needed. I enjoy being with people and I enjoy the patients we see in our office, however, as you know, I was just worn out.
Tomorrow I'll go back to work feeling rested and ready to take on the world again.
Today will end with an unexpected and unplanned road trip this afternoon.  Stay tuned...

Saturday, July 26, 2014

If They Could Talk

While I continue to rest-up and catch up, here are some random photos from the last couple of days of our crew that if they could talk, I think this is what they might say.

Todd:  Why am I in "here" if my full food dish is up "there?"  There's something colossally wrong with that.  
Gus:  Look at me, I'm standing on all four feet by myself--
I may be rattling, but I'm still rolling!!
 I even tried to do the steps...
Sunny:  I must get away from the evil camera...
Cissy:  Is this my good side?
Ms. Yellow:  I'm so pretty, oh so pretty....
Charlie to Todd:  You can't have this most favorite bone.  
Todd:  But Charlie, I won't say please, but I am asking with bent back ears and a wagging tail.  
Josh:  I do love fresh greens but... 
the cat food is one of my very favorites!
Cricket:  I came back inside when you called, can I have a treat?  
Sheba on Thursday:  I'm feeling a little lighter and cooler for some reason.  
Charlie after his summer haircut: I feel good, like I knew that I would! 
Todd after he finally got his breakfast:  It was delicious and worth the wait!  
But why did you make me wait??
From ME:  Thank you for your kind, supportive, encouraging comments and messages on my last post ~ And thank-you again for taking time to visit my blog, read my posts and leave your thoughts.  I’m really grateful to all of you.  How did I get so lucky?  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Life and Blogging

I love blogging. I look forward to reading blogs and love your photos and the glimpses into your lives and the wide range of topics from the weather to a new recipe you've tried.  I enjoy sharing with you things like the new critter that landed on our porch the other day (below) and telling you about the dogs.
~A Pandora sphinx moth on our porch~
As you know, I've had a lot going on recently. I'll admit to you that I'm very tired and worn out, and I’ve thought about taking a blogging break. Like you, I try very hard to balance blogging and living, and for the most part, I'm "mostly" doing it.  I know there are a lot of bloggers who, if they're not blogging every day, not tweeting, or not making whatever goal they feel they should be making, it causes them a lot of stress. I'm really trying to not be one of them.  We all know stressing and burning ourselves out doesn't get us where we want to be. And, I pride myself on never posting for the sake of it. I prefer to not write a post than do one that was half-hearted.
~Charlie's summer haircut~
However, just as I mentioned, right now there's a lot going on.  One is that along with Gus's wound, I'm really struggling to keep him up and mobile. When I left for work on Monday, he was fine. He was able to walk, and get himself outside.  But something changed during the time I was gone, because when I got home, he couldn't/wouldn't stand or walk.  Each day there has been a little bit of improvement.  He can almost stand on his own, but he's almost totally dependent on us to help get him up and outside and move him from place to place. I spoke to a holistic vet on Tuesday about Gus. She'll be coming next week to evaluate him and maybe do acupuncture. Also discussed was how Gus is coping with these recent changes.  Interesting that she would bring that up because I don't think Gus is coping well at all.  I would say that he's (understandably) frustrated.  He barks and whines a lot. I'm dosing him heavily on a couple of natural remedies to help relieve his stress. It seems to be working some, and he is seemingly a little more relaxed and content.  This afternoon Gus sees his regular vet to check his wound and we'll talk about whether this is the progression of his degenerative myleopathy, or something else.  I'm hoping Dr.C will have some thoughts and suggestions. I'll admit, this has me worried. But Gus is still wagging his tail so if he's not giving up, neither am I.  
Thank-you all for your kindness and friendship, and for being extremely supportive and understanding.  Please don't forget about "us" during this hectic time.  I have a three day weekend coming up, and I've got my fingers crossed that I'll get caught up on life and blogging.  But I'm frequently overly optimistic about what I can do in a weekend, so we'll see.

Friday, July 18, 2014

It's Official

Hard to believe it’s July, and typically our hottest days of the year, when our temperatures have struggled to reach 80. We enjoyed another beautiful, low-humidity day on Thursday, and Friday is expected to be similar. The heat and humidity will start its gradual return over the weekend, but the weathermen is saying that it won't "get its legs back" until next week -- And we're all okay with that!

The dogs are enjoying it, especially Charlie who is way past due for his summer haircut, which he'll get on Saturday.
Gus's pressure sore continues to heal and I'm so happy with how the wound is starting to look underneath the bandage.  I heard from the rescue this week, and it's official, Gus will spend the remainder of his life with us at Golden Pines.
As you know, the original vet that saw him said that she estimated he'd live 6 months or so.  The vet that first saw Gus about his pressure sore, saw no value in Gus at all.  But his current vet, Dr. C has become our hero for her great care, expertise, kindness and positive attitude that has restored my hope that this chapter in Gus's life, no matter how long it will be, can be one of comfort and contentment.
I hope your weekend is one of "comfort and contentment" too.
~Early morning in our yard~

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The To-Do-List

The end of another week where the number of things on my "to do list" was as high as the humidity. Here are just a few things I've done this week while I was gone.

Absolutely nothing was done on Tuesday evening because...  
~Charlie, doing nothing~
a fast moving storm blew past us and knocked out our power in the early hours of the evening. Thankfully power was restored about 3:30 in the morning. However, it was a quiet and enjoyable evening where all we could do was sit on the porch and watch the day end.
~Sunset from our front porch~
On Wednesday we were playing catch-up getting done what we couldn't do the night before.  
Thursday rolled around much too quickly and after work I was back at the vet with Gus. The pressure sore is slowly healing, but it still has a ways to go. Also on Thursday I guess Gus had decided that he'd had enough of being kept in our bedroom during the day with Sheba and Cricket because he chewed up the door frame and broke the door knob.  Necessity truly is the mother of invention because using a tee-shirt, I've found a way to cover Gus's hip-bandage that will keep the other dogs (namely Sunny) from bothering the wound.  He'll now be allowed to be with the other dogs during the day.    
~Gus with Cissy in the background~ 
By Friday, just as I always am, I was exhausted.... 
~Sleepy Cricket~
and we went to bed early.
Today we've just been relaxing, and spending a little time at home and with the dogs.
However you're spending your weekend, I hope it's been enjoyable!    
~Josh, enjoying a taste of ice cream~ 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

What July Offers

The July 4th weekend really and truly marks summer, doesn't it?  Summer weather patterns set in and we get thunderstorms -- Some are pretty severe like the one we had on Thursday which closed our road for a few hours when a tree fell.  As long as our power doesn't go out, I love to hear the rumble of thunder in the distance, watch the skies darken and hear the pounding rain.  I enjoy watching the sun come out again--Then there are those times when there is both both rain and sunshine at the same time.
In July, I think everyone slows down. After all, it’s too hot and humid to do much of anything but sit. Grab a cool glass of something to drink, put your feet up and relax.
To me, that sounds pretty good, and we did just that on Saturday when we met 2 other couples at a local winery.  The setting of the winery is lovely and it was an enjoyable afternoon catching up with friends we don't often get the chance to visit.
I think that every month, every season has its own pleasures. Though I like to complain about a lot of things...
I’m just going to be quiet, and appreciate what July has to offer.
~View from our front porch~
I hope you've had a good weekend too!  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Gray Skies Are Gonna Clear Up!

Despite the searing heat and humidity (it is July after all) its been a pretty good week so far.  It began with the first vet visit of the day on Monday for CarrieAnne to recheck the lump on her right shoulder. It's good news for her, in that the lump is less than half the size it was originally.  I am happy, relieved, and extremely grateful for all of you who have sent good vibes that I've no doubt helped make it possible.  There is still a little ways to go, the lump is a bit smaller than a tangerine, but we're optimistic. The vet and I agree that it's probably a tumor that has gotten infected. So CarrieAnne will remain on medications (and Chinese herbs) for a couple of more weeks when we'll recheck the lump again and decide the next step.
I got CarrieAnne home, relaxed for a little while, and then packed up Gus and took him to see my other favorite vet, Dr. C. The pressure sore is beginning to heal and looking healthier. We're trying a "honey-bandage" on the wound to help it to heal. I don't know about you, but I've never heard of using honey for anything other than for eating.  But when Dr. C was telling me about putting honey directly onto wounds, I felt that it was something we needed to try.  Raw-honey helps draw fluid away from the wound and suppresses the growth of microorganisms that can be resistant to antibiotics. When I changed Gus's bandage this evening, even though it has a way to go, it looked to me at least, that the wound was starting to heal.
The other dogs are doing well too.  Yesterday when my dog-walker came, Gus, Sheba and Cricket had somehow gotten locked in our bedroom.  The door has a keyed lock that we never received the key for and despite her best of efforts, she was unable to get it to open.  I wasn't worried, and knew they would be okay until Carl got home. But I just had to grin when she told me that slid treats under the door for them--Is she a gem or what?