Thursday, October 30, 2014

Traffic Court

~On our road~
My day off today has been planned for the last several weeks. I was supposed to go to traffic court for a speeding ticket that I got in the town where I live.  I'll admit, that I was on the fence about going.  This was because I didn't have a compelling reason as to why I was speeding that would warrant the ticket maybe being dismissed.  But having not gotten a speeding ticket in more than 10 years, a friend of mine who is a police officer gave me some great advice, and suggested that I go. I really appreciated the advice and felt strongly that she was right that I should go.  So, I decided that I would make an appearance in traffic-court with other highway vigilantes just like me.
Then yesterday when I verified everything online about going to court, I looked at the amount of the ticket. The option to pay the less than $200 ticket online was practically glaring at me.  So, on an impulse, because I knew that court cost ($60) would be added, I caved in and decided to just pay the ticket. Now I'll never know if I would have been given leniency and if the amount of the ticket would have been lowered.  
But I got to meet a friend for an early lunch.
Take the scenic route back home and...
Spend time outside with the dogs. I got a rare photo of Sunny (below) where he's actually looking at me with the camera. Is it possible that he's getting over his fear of the camera?
And I just got to relax and do practically nothing -- All things you just can't do in traffic court.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Red Ball

It was the usual hurried pace at the start of the week for us.  However it slowed down by Thursday when I got to enjoy dinner with an out of town friend who I have gotten to know via blogging and facebook. I always look forward to the chance to get together with a friend or two, and I'm so glad that "she" made time on her busy trip to get together.
The week ended with my getting off work early and rushing home to get ready for the holistic vet to come and see Gus.  For some reason, this was no easy task.  It started when I gave Todd two new balls to play with. I went inside for a few minutes only to rush back out again because Todd and Gus were having a "disagreement" over one of them. Todd takes these disagreements pretty seriously, too seriously actually.
But with such limited mobility, Gus is no match for Tod; and thankfully there were no injuries. But with Cricket and the others on the sidelines taking bets and cheering on the fight, everyone was pretty excited. The scuffle was easy enough to break up, I just picked Todd up. Even in my arms Todd was trying to continue the fight; he's such a Scottie!  It did take some doing, but I finally managed to get everyone settled down.  All that only to have Dr. E cancel the appointment after she was already scheduled to be at our house. It was okay, another family needed her more, and I understand.
But even today Todd is still not willing to share that new red ball with anyone.
Not even Cricket, and certainly not Gus.  
Forget the other new blue ball, he wants the red one all to himself. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Fair Trade

It was in the high 40's when we woke up this morning.
For the first time in a long time, I was legitimately cold. Actually shivering. It was a welcome moment. Another reminder of how I love the fall and the promise of nights beneath heavy blankets with Todd or Charlie warming my feet.  
The weekend was spent mostly at home finishing up chores around the house and getting things stored and ready for winter.  I decided to tackle a flower bed that went untouched this year. The neglect started when the Phoebes built their nest nearby, and I didn't want to disturb them when they were giving parenthood a second try.  Then the black snakes, that I know are harmless were seen a few times around the porch and I just didn't want to chance an encounter with them, so I let it be.
The roots of the weeds were pretty deep and I was finding that with cold hands and a bit of arthritis, I was having trouble pulling them out. So I did the only thing I could do; I went and got Carl and asked him to pull them for me while I took the dogs for a walk and took some photos.
I thought it was a fair trade, and the dogs enjoyed it too.  

Friday, October 17, 2014

Safe at Home

~Over the hedge first thing this morning~
Our week ends with weather that could not be any more beautiful with bright sun and perfect fall temperatures. When I got home from work we enjoyed some outside time. Cissy (below) seemed lost in thought as she just sat and enjoyed the last rays of sun in the cool grass.
Cricket ends her week finally feeling pretty good.  I didn't mention it, but she was a little sick last weekend, causing her appetite to be a bit off this week. Because of her kidney issues when she doesn't eat, it concerns me.  Her eating habits can best be compared to a cats because she's so finicky, and because if I mix cat food with her kibble, she'll usually eat. So, that's what I've been doing. I don't really like her eating canned cat food, but if she'll eat, I'm all for it.  But I decided to enlist the help of one of the girls at the shop where I buy the dog's food to try to find something a bit more nutritious for her and not meant for cats.  We found something that at least for tonight fooled this little girl who gobbled down every single bite of her dinner for the first time in about a week.
Finally, this takes me to Charlie.  I really appreciated all for your thoughts and view points on what happened with him last weekend in the grocery store parking lot.  I did call our local sheriff's office about it on Monday. They'd not had any reports from anyone else about this type of thing happening. But the Deputy agreed that it could have possibly been an attempt to maybe steal Charlie from my van or to get money from me for him. And just as some of you suggested, the Deputy also recommended that I leave him at home instead of in my van unattended.  So safely at home is where my blue-eyed boy will stay for now.
Wherever you 'stay' this weekend, I hope it's an enjoyable one!  
~Todd and his Shadow~

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Seven Years

~Golden Pines in late 2007~
Today we are marking a little anniversary at Golden Pines.  It was seven years ago today that we moved to what we would later call "Golden Pines."
~Home Sweet Home!~
Its been an eventful and full seven years especially when I consider all that's happened in that time.  The other day I started to count all the dogs we've lost in the past 7 years.  I stopped when I got to 20 -- But that number is balanced by about the same number of dogs that have found their way to us, starting with Daisy, and pausing for Beau who came in September.  It reminds me that we bought this house with the hopes of giving a home to senior dogs like them.
~Part of the Gang in 2007, Charlie, Max, Rudi, Cubby and Cowboy~ 
Some people think we are crazy.  But the dogs have become a center pieces in our lives and have shepherded me through a sea of change of triumph and heart-break.  I feel more capable of handling life, thanks to them. My dogs center me, make me laugh, and re-teach me every day to love unconditionally. They remind me that during our short walk together on this earth to live in the moment and embrace life.

I don't think that we are crazy, I think we are truly blessed.  
~Sheba, Charlie and Josh the only three left of our original crew~ 
Here's to the next 7 years!  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

He's Mine, Legally

~Charlie in August~
With cooler temperatures I can now take a dog along with me when I run a few errands.  On Saturday I took Charlie. When I came out of the grocery store standing by my van was a man talking to Charlie who was sitting in the drivers seat. As I approached my van, he asked me where I'd gotten Charlie. As I opened the door to roll down the window for the two to meet, I briefly explained to him that Charlie had come from a shelter about 8 years ago when I was helping Old English Sheepdog Rescue. He told me that he and his family had a dog that looked like Charlie, named Sammy, and that they had lost him. He asked me my name and again where I'd gotten Charlie. When I told him the name of the shelter, he told me that he'd lived with his family in that town (that's not far from us) during that time. I told him that it was a pretty slim chance that Charlie was his dog, and I asked if his dog had a single blue eye.  He couldn't really recall if he did or not, but he *thought so.*  I said to him that Charlie's eye was a pretty unusual characteristic and I asked how he would not be able to remember that detail about him.  He ignored my comment, and was pretty adamant that Charlie looked a lot like the dog he'd lost, and said that he thought he was.
~A first photo of Charlie in 2005~  
I will admit that (for once) I didn't know exactly what to say.  I did think to say that I had Charlie legally-- He'd done all his time in the shelter that was required by law, no one came and Charlie was then made available for adoption.  I added that I'd met Charlie on his last day when he was turned over to Sheep Dog rescue. Ignoring what I'd said, he again asked me for my name, and I said to him that I wouldn't give it to him because there was no reason. By this time I was shaking a bit, and I told him that even if Charlie was his dog, he was mine, legally and had been for more than 8 years.
~Charlie in 2006~
He didn't even acknowledge what I'd said and instead again asked for my name.  I tried to remain polite even though I felt like he was bullying me a little, and all I felt I could do was to say that I wouldn't give it to him and repeated that Charlie was legally my dog. I added that if he was the dog he lost all those years ago, that he could feel good knowing that Charlie had a good home with us. I thanked him for the little chat, and told him I was going to leave. As I got into my van and started it, he didn't move for a moment, but stepped back and I drove off.

I find the whole encounter with this man really unsettling, bizarre, and a few other things.  I also realize that he could have taken down my license plate, so I'll admit to having been slightly concerned that I may not have heard the last of him. However today, I think it is. Just in case it's not, I found the paperwork that I have from the shelter when I got Charlie. Proof that Charlie is indeed mine, legally.
~Rerun of a photo from Thursday~

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Not Worse for Wear

Like most people, I enjoy the occasional rainy days. The cloudiness and gloom is really showing off the fall colors that are starting to appear.
~Sunny trying not to look at the camera~
However, we didn't have clouds on Wednesday morning which allowed us to get an amazing view of the lunar eclipse.  From our front porch, I had a front row seat.  Unfortunately because I had to get ready for work, I didn't have a lot of time to take photos. But I did get to see the moon drop behind the mountains as the sun rose in back of me.  Mother Nature can certainly put on an amazing show.  

Our weekend begins on a good note for Gus.  He's lost his balance and footing a few times on the two steps into the yard and has fallen head first. Thankfully it's not that far of a fall, but it's a fall nonetheless and a reminder to be more watchful of him going out.  He really doesn't understand that his body can no longer do all that his mind thinks it can. But the acupuncturist came one evening this week, and I think its helped him. He's up and around more and seems to be feeling pretty good and doesn't seem to be any worse for wear.  
Todd of course is never worse for wear. He is a Scottie after all.    

**But blogger must be worse for wear because I've been having problems the last couple of days getting to my 'dashboard' and when I do, it says I'm not following any blogs; refreshing the page doesn't seem to work. Is anyone else having this issue?**  

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Feeling Better!

~Playing with a favorite Williraye figurine on my driveway~
I was on my way to work, stuck in traffic and I realized I was going to be late.  It was frustrating to say the least.  I wasn't feeling all that well so on an impulse, I called the office and told them I wouldn't be in today.  I never do that.  But I was going to be off this afternoon anyway, so the schedule was pretty light.

I don't know about you, but even though I wasn't feeling the best, just realizing that I now had an entire day that I'd not planned on to myself, made me (suddenly) feel better.
So, since I was out, I stopped at the grocery store for a few things and bought myself a danish, just to help me to keep feeling good (or better!) for the day ahead.  
Afterwards I stopped at a nursery to look at the fall plants.  Pansies are a fall favorite of mine.
Once home, I realized that the bananas I bought a few days ago were now overripe enough to now make bread, so that was what I did.  There's something comforting about fresh baked bread on a cloudy, chilly day.
~Sheba, my baker's assistant~
After I was done baking, the dogs and I spent some time outside.
Then we all took a nap.  
It was a pretty good and pretty productive "sick" day.  I think I'm feeling much better.      

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Best Part

~Over the hedge~
I had today off work, and I was up early to get everything done before I was supposed to meet a friend for lunch, and to meet her family's new Golden Retriever puppy.  But at the last minute, my friend had to cancel our plans. So, I did the only thing I could do, pretty much nothing.
~Sheba, she's turning so gray~
The dogs and I did go for a nice walk.  I'm still trying to get that elusive photo of Sunny.
After lunch, I needed to try and get a few good photos of Gus.
I got distracted, and took more than a few of Todd.

~I am Scottie hear me roar!~
But the rescue had asked me to do a write-up with photos of Gus so he could be put onto their website.  This is because his acupuncture and vet bills are paid for by them (the rescue), and they would like to ask for sponsors for him.  I support this, and last weekend I worked on a write-up that tells Gus's story.  Even though I've written many of these types of stories over the years, I'm obsessive compulsive, and I worked on it for what I know was at least two hours.
When I sent it onto "the team" that helps me with Gus, I was feeling pretty good about what I'd written. However, I asked for an opinion and suggestions on a couple of sentences. It was returned to me by my "point of contact" edited with a lot of changes.  I felt like I was back in school and in English class all over again and had received a failing grade on my essay.  I know he meant well.  But I'm not sure how much of what I wrote they will use.  So next time, if there is one, I'll let someone else do the write up, and I'll just stick to taking the photos and caring for the dogs.  
It is the best part after all.