Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Last Day of August

The last day of August and it's Labor Day Weekend. The unofficial end of summer.  
This morning there was a real thickness in the morning air and the heavy humidity caused beaded droplets on the windows. This afternoon there have been heavy storms.  Each day we are losing a little light and it's now dark at 6 in the morning when the dogs and I have our first walk of the day.
Our last week of August was filled with work, vet appointments and single-parenting, with little time for anything else. Beau went with me to the office one day.  As you can see he was really excited to have to stay in our break room.  
But we left early because he had an appointment to see the ophthalmologist, for his "eye-lift."        
~Beau, post eye-lift~
The procedure isn't exactly what I expected, but we're hopeful that the surgical staples will stay in place and ease the discomfort for the months ahead.  If not, surgery may be on the agenda for him. 
Gus also returned to the vet to have his wound checked.  He continues to get around pretty well. The healing of the pressure sore is a slow process, and the reality is that it may never completely heal.  But Gus is happy and content, and that's what matters.
Finally, there's CarrieAnne. Her surgery to remove a mast-cell tumor is scheduled for this Wednesday.  I took her for a consultation with another surgeon. The removal of the tumor could be done less expensively at a clinic that has a good reputation, and does a lot of surgeries. However, a discussion with someone made me realize that something that's just as important as the surgery is the care Carrie receives when it's done. I've known for a long time that this particular clinic doesn't always provide the best aftercare.  And because in the past Carrie has had problems post surgery, I've opted to have it done at my vet's office, where she will be monitored more closely. I'm nervous for her, but am remaining hopeful that all will go well.
~CarrieAnne, YES, that's a plant growing through our porch!~ 
I hope all is going well for you this weekend!
~The lovely little Cricket~

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Test Results for CarrieAnne

The rush of life seemed to come to a full stop when I got a call I'd been waiting for on Friday from my vet about CarrieAnne.  The lab results of the aspirate taken from the lump on her chest were returned.  It was just as I thought, and just as I'd feared, it's a mast cell tumor. She'll of course need to have surgery to remove it. Because I have to balance Carrie's care and the cost together, there are decisions that will have to be made as to who will do the surgery.  I've called for a consultation with a surgeon who did surgery on Sheba, Josh, and our boy Hamlet a few years ago, who I like and very much trust.  Yesterday the vet that is doing acupuncture on Gus gave me some good suggestions and a lot of encouragement.  I'm trying to remain hopeful and positive, but in the quiet moments, I'm finding that right now, it's not easy.  

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Todd Hunter

I may have my fears, but Todd has none. Scottie's are nicknamed "the Diehard" in reference to their rugged character that is tough, determined and ready for action. Todd is fearless and feisty. He is also a hunter. Unfortunately.  Nothing in our yard gets past him.  Sadly the rabbits that built a nest right next to our fence didn't know that (and I didn't realize they were there) and two family members were lost last week, when Todd dug a hole under the fence to get to the little ones. The rest of the family remains safe as that area is now cornered off.
Turning his attention to something else, for the past several days Todd has been curiously and obsessively looking at something by our barn. I thought (and hoped) it was probably a mouse. Yesterday he began barking wildly and hysterically. It was a high-pitched bark as he ran back and forth along the side of the barn. I gathered my courage and went to see what he was barking at.  I saw nothing other than the hole he had dug by the fence. I asked him to come inside, which he reluctantly did.  A few hours later, thinking whatever was there was probably gone, I let Todd out again.  All was quiet for a few moments, then the frenzy and excitement began all over again.  Taking a deep breath, and saying a silent prayer for my bravery, I went to see what it was, and it was then that I saw it.

A box turtle, that was digging its way into the yard.  I breathed a big sigh of relief.  
I took it outside the fence, where Sheba, being a Golden Retriever, tried the more diplomatic approach to make friends. But the turtle would have none of that and it turned to leave.  
Then it changed its mind and turned back towards the fence for another encore from Todd, who gave him one.
I think I saw it take a bow as it  turned around and went back towards the woods. 
 Hopefully to never be seen again... 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Nothing to Fear??

I have a lot of fears. Well, maybe not a lot, but at least two or three.
~Todd, not afraid of what's under the barn~
One I've not made a secret about, and that's snakes. My toes curl and I hold my breath when I think about encountering them.  So, it's just best we move onto another that I have.
~On our porch this summer... YIKES!~
I’m scared of the dark. Crazy, right? Yes I know....  Being 50+ years old and being afraid of the dark, I really should know better.  But I have been since I was a kid.
However even as grown woman a teeny-tiny part of me remains convinced that something will emerge from the darkness to “get me,” even though my rational mind knows this isn’t the case. (is it?) But that’s the thing about fears, they aren’t always rational, are they?
~Sunny has a fear of the camera~
With Carl gone this fear seems to be a bit magnified.  I know, I have the dogs, and I know they'll scare anyone or anything away with just their barking.
But its happened anyway. Especially now as the nights are full of  the symphony of night insects. Hearing the buzzing, whirring and twirring at night is something that I love most about living in the country in the summer.
~Josh fears having his ears cleaned~
But not being able to see them and what’s in front of me leaves me feeling very unsettled…uneasy…uncomfortable. Which is why I don't step out into the yard and onto the grass after dark, I think it's just safer that way!  However, I did stay outside long enough to make a little video of the nighttime cacophony, while I stood (safely) on the back to the open door...just in case ...    Enjoy your weekend!  

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Small Town Renegades

The day started out normally enough.  I'd walked, loved, fed and medicated the dogs and left the house right on time.  Then, it happened.... On my road just before town, there was a Great Dane and a puppy in the road.  Cars were going past, and the older one knew to avoid the cars, but the little one was obviously confused as to what to do.  I honked my horn, thinking I could scare them both back into the yard of the nearby house, or alert the tenants that their dogs were out.  But instead, it startled the puppy who then ran as fast as she could into a nearby field. Without much time to spare, I pulled over to see if I could at least catch the puppy.  When I opened the side door to get a leash, the adult Great Dane ran over to me and jumped into my van.  I only had to catch the puppy, which was a little difficult because she was so scared.  But using my 'happy voice' and wanting to follow its partner in crime, I managed to get them both inside. Fortunately they were both nice and very friendly dogs. Of course neither had collars with ID tags on them.  The puppy quickly became playful and even ate my breakfast that I'd left on the seat.  The big-boy just seemed happy that the adventure was going to continue.    
After stopping several passing cars, I decided to take the duo home and put them into our yard.  Of course pandemonium broke out inside the house when our dogs realized that their turf had been invaded.  I was in such a rush, and so pressed for time by now, but I decided to post on two Facebook pages for our town about the dogs.  Then I took a few more minutes to make signs to put up around where I'd found the dogs. And somehow in all of that, I managed to lose my cell phone, and even locked my keys in my van.  At least something was going right because I was able to find my phone, unlock my van, just as I received the phone call from the one person who I knew could help me--Lydia, my dog-walker.  She knows practically every dog in our town, surely she'd know these two.  Unfortunately she wasn't sure who owned the two renegades, but she told me who she thought they might belong too, and she suggested that I call them and ask.

I very reluctantly made the phone call to the one person I didn't want to call, who confirmed that yes, their two dogs were missing. I was so relieved to have found their owner and I offered to bring them to their home, but she insisted that she'd have her husband come to get the dogs. I told her I wouldn't be there, so he could come anytime.  Our conversation was brief, to the point, and I was politely thanked for the call and keeping the dogs safe.  And just who was the owner of the two dogs I now had in my yard that had caused chaos to break out in my house, me to be late for work, and who'd gotten my clothes dirty by jumping and slobbering on me and who'd eaten my breakfast?  The owner was no one other than my former dog-walker -- You may recall that I had to fire her last fall after she was arrested for stealing prescription medications from (other) client's homes. What are the odds of that?  Do I live in a small town or what?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Single Parent Weekend

~Early morning from the front porch~
I've been playing the role of single-dog-parent while Carl is out of town for a few weeks.  It's going pretty well, so far, but there's no question, it's a lot of work for one person. At the moment, the dogs are no worse for wear, but I do think they miss having someone else to pour attention onto them.
~Todd looking for the bunnies, I mean Carl~
CarrieAnne (below) returned to the vet on Saturday to have her lump rechecked.  Just as I thought, it has started to grow again.  We've put her back on the medication, taken an aspirate, and will talk about the results when they are returned later in the week.  It does look like surgery to remove the lump is in Carrie's future.  
Beau accompanied us to the vet too.  The infection in his ears continues to plague him.  Fortunately, the medication and cleaning I've been doing has helped somewhat.  The swelling has gone down enough that an infusion of medication into his ears to help clear up the infection was done, and he's been put on an antibiotic. 
The weekend really was the perfect blend of errands and relaxation, solitude and socialization.  I especially loved meeting friends for dinner instead of staying home and eating something frozen and catching up on things around the house.
I hope you had a good weekend too!  

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Good and Not So Good

Well that week flew by! I had every intention of posting regularly this week … but summer and life happened instead, and it has been a pretty good week.  Not perfect, not always the most joyful … but pretty good. Life happens and I'll share a good and a not so good...
~A Hummingbird Moth~
The good... A photo of Cricket with Gus that I thought captured Cricket perfectly.  She continues to amaze me with her energy and spunk at more than 16 years old. At times Cricket is a little "fragile" on her feet and can lose her balance, but we help her up, and she just keeps going!
The not so good this week...  The lump on CarrieAnne's chest has returned after my vet and I decided it would be okay to stop one of the medications this past week. I was afraid that might happen.  We'll be back to the vet as soon as possible. Despite that little setback, I'm optimistic and trying to be hopeful she'll still be okay.
I hope you've having a week with more 'good' than the 'not so good!'   

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Eyes Have It

Another week has passed since I last posted.  Why and how is time, especially the summer passing so quickly?  When you're a kid every day seems like an eternity. This was true through most of my younger years. But all that seems to be changing now. There never seems to be enough hours in each day. Months are passing so quickly, and events of a couple of years ago seem like they happened yesterday. And lets not get started about how on some days I can lose my keys, glasses and my train of thought.  Am I the only one this is happening too?  
Enough of that.  The past week was a busy and pretty good one.  Each day taken up by work, and the evenings with appointments and the dogs.
~Cricket, who's doing really well~ 
Gus was seen a second time by the holistic vet for acupuncture.  The wound is getting smaller and is surrounded by new, healthy and pink tissue.  The acupuncture treatments already seem to be making a difference.  He's up and around a bit more and just seems to feel and be happier overall.  
This morning  I took Beau's to see the ophthalmologist. 
Beau waited patiently for an hour past our appointment time to be seen. 
The ophthalmologist said that the entropia has damaged Beau's eyes over his lifetime. Surgery to correct it could be done.  However given his age, (about 13ish) the ophthalmologist is recommending a less invasive procedure that can probably best be described as an "eye-lift"--Something our cat, the lovely Ms. Yellow (below) certainly doesn't need --But if the rescue agrees and approves, I think will make a difference for Beau.      

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Time Out!

The week ended on a pretty good note for Gus and I!  Friday began early with a holistic vet coming to our house to do acupuncture and laser treatment on Gus. Dr. E also gave me her thoughts and suggestions to help make and keep Gus comfortable, happy and content.  She and I both agreed that despite the progression of the DM (degenerative myleopathy) Gus is in an okay place right now.  It felt really good to have another set of eyes see Gus and validate that we're doing all the right things for him.
It was also so thoughtful of Dr. E to be concerned about how I was personally doing in carrying the load of caring for Gus. Her advice to me was the same as many of you have given me, which was to remember to take "time out" for myself and have some fun.  It was well timed advice because a friend and I had bought tickets a few weeks ago to see the musical, "The Lion King" at the Kennedy Center.
The evening began at a restaurant near the Kennedy Center with "Nana Sue's meatloaf," scalloped potatoes, bacon braised green beans with sweet onion mushroom gravy.
My friend and I couldn't and didn't finish our big dinner and so we had room for dessert.  I had warm fudge cake with milk chocolate caramel topped with a scoop of passion fruit ice cream.
We enjoyed a nice walk back to the Kennedy Center, noticing a 7-Eleven that seemed a little out of place.
We found our seats and waited for the show to begin.  It was an experience that no words can accurately depict. The beautifully decorated actors transformed to jungle animals proceed down the aisle.  The costumes and puppetry transform elegant actors and dancers into giraffes, graceful leopards, leaping antelopes, an elephant, strutting zebras, as the air above fluttered with flying birds all moving toward Pride Rock to meet the new lion prince, Simba. The show closely follows the story that we all were introduced to in 1994 (yes, that long ago!!) and seeing it literally come to life truly is amazing to see. (Taking photos during the performance is strictly prohibited--The below photo is from the internet).
From start to finish, the entire night was perfect -- And it was the perfect chance to not think (too much) about anything other than what a really fun and memorable evening it was with a good friend!  
~View from the Kennedy Center Terrace~