Sunday, November 30, 2014

Todd's To-Do List

Our resident Barred Owl made a morning appearance on Saturday.  I don't hear the owls often enough, so seeing them and being able to take their picture is also a rare treat.  The past couple of weeks I've seen the owl sitting in this same place a few times where the birds are fed.  It's no doubt looking for its next meal.    
~Another visit before dusk on November 20th~
My long weekend passed uneventfully.  I wish I had some great photos to post and loads of information to tell you about an exciting weekend, full of fun, but, I don't.  I did, however, get a bagillion (really, a bagillion) things crossed off on my "to-do" list and the house is clean, at least for now.  
Todd always has a "to-do" list.  His list is "to-do" whatever he can to let us know whenever something comes a little too close to the house or fence.  Being a Scottie, he'll bark at everything and anything. I'll call him back inside if it continues too long, but I'll admit that I pretty much ignore him.  This morning however, the barks seemed different. I glanced out the window and saw that two labs had wandered onto our property.  They were friendly girls with collars that (thankfully!) gave the owners phone number. We were able to contact the owners who told us they were out of town. A call back a few minutes later, and Carl was speaking with the person caring for them, and the girls were on their way home.  Apparently the pet-sitter hadn't secured the gate when she left them that morning and Chloe and Abby were off on an adventure that took them to our place, via the muddy fields, more than a mile from their home.
Now each time Todd has gone outside, he immediately starts barking, patrolling the fence, convinced the two girls are still there.
He just ignores me when I try to tell him otherwise.  He'll figure it out in a few days.  

Friday, November 28, 2014

Maybe Tomorrow

~Sheba (left) and Buddy on Wednesday~   
Despite a few more flurries today, our snow is now history, as is our Thanksgiving. We had an enjoyable day spent with friends and their family. My contribution to dinner was the most simple of things, the bread. I've made these particular rolls so often over the years that they've become a specialty that I enjoy making.  This is partly because it's a (very) basic and easy recipe from a Better Crocker cookbook, given to me by my Mom years ago. (Does anyone besides me even use cookbooks anymore?)     
~My hot, buttered rolls just out of the oven~
Today was a non eventful day.  We ran a few errands, had a quick lunch and came home to avoid the Black Friday crowds.
~Gus deciding inside or out~
Since yesterday began early, ended late, and began early this morning, after a walk and a little playtime with the dogs we napped the afternoon away.  Maybe tomorrow I'll get more done.  Or maybe not. We'll see.    
~Charlie's day was probably more productive than mine~

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Milestone for Gus

An early snowy-rainy start for the day before Thanksgiving that began with the holistic vet coming to see Gus.  He really enjoys her visits, that really are helping him. Gus literally turns into jello during treatments.  I really need to take a photo of the visible smile on his face that radiates contentment during her visits.  Dr. E is kind, caring and compassionate. Those qualities are really needed when your vet practice is solely providing supportive care for dogs like Gus, who on the 23rd passed the six month mark that he's been with us. A milestone that one vet and a few doubters didn't think possible.
After Dr. E left it was time to venture out onto the snowy, wet and sloppy roads to do a few errands.
One stop was the laundromat to wash quilts, blankets and dog beds. With the change machine not working, I decided to go to a bank across the street to get $10 in quarters.  The bank wouldn't give it to me because I don't bank there.  A single roll of quarters, really?  I even had a $10 bill.  The teller seemed embarrassed that she couldn't give it to me, and asked another who didn't want to break the rules, and a third that the other two seemed to defer to, didn't want to be bothered by such a trivial request-- Because after all, I don't bank there.  I got the roll of quarters from the feed store where I buy bird food. Customer service at its worst. But Todd enjoying the snow, that's not going to last, the best!

To all of you celebrating tomorrow, Happy Thanksgiving!!  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Day Off

My day off work today took Carl and me to Old Towne Alexandria for a little business. We made the nearly 2 hour drive with no problem and arrived on time.  However, the trip home there were a few wrong turns that even our navigation app couldn't keep up with.  Eventually we found our way, but we were on the opposite side of town from where we needed to be, passing near the Washington Monument.
After stopping for lunch, we were finally home by late afternoon.
In the warmth of the late afternoon sun, we spent some time outside with all the dogs. Cricket was having a pretty good day today, but still seems to tire easily.
She has pretty much gotten over her bout with vestibular syndrome. However, she's has had a couple of days this week that haven't been the best. I think it may be her arthritis that's bothering her, because she sometimes has problems walking and staying on her feet. But her appetite is good, thanks to the added cat food! So, we'll continue to take each day as it comes for this little lady that has just less than 3 months until her 17th birthday.
I hope you've had a pretty good day too. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Buddy Settles In

~Josh and Sheba, playing their favorite game~
The colorful foliage is rapidly diminishing in our area.  Within a week or so, winter woods will prevail.  But on Saturday, we enjoyed autumn’s last colorful hurrah.  The crisp air felt more like mid-December than mid-November.
Today we still have the cold temperatures, but there are clouds that will soon bring us some much needed rain.
As I mentioned in my last post, Buddy has settled in nicely and is getting used to his new routine.  Yesterday we were off to the vet to have his staples removed from the fight in his previous foster home. I also wanted to talk to my vet about a plan to resolve all his skin problems and allergies. We were loaded up with everything from eye medications to shampoos, that all together I think will eventually make a difference, and relieve all his itchiness.     
Buddy is a friendly and affectionate boy with great house manners, and does what he's asked to do. Buddy may not have received his needed vet care, but it wasn't because his family didn't care about him, they simply weren't able to afford it. Below is part of an e-mail the volunteer who picked him up wrote to me when I asked her about Buddy's former family: 
 "Buddy's owner was genuinely upset when he handed Buddy over to me and was crying.  It was very obvious that he loved Buddy and was going to miss him terribly.  He has actually called and texted me to see how Buddy is doing ... he lived in a rather low-income area and jobs are pretty scarce so I understand how things could have gotten to this point with Buddy.  I'm sure the he was hoping that things would turn around for him and he could afford Buddy's care again.  I think Buddy was definitely attached to his owner, he said that he loved going for walks to the park.  The morning he brought Buddy out to me he said Buddy thought he was going to the park because he was so excited. I felt so bad driving away with this man's dog that he loved.  That was my first time picking up a dog from a give up owner, and I don't think I'll be volunteering to do it very often."  
My heart really goes out to this man that I've never met. It's a sad story, but one that in this economy is repeated all too often.  However, Buddy is going to be okay because of his unselfishness and doing what was best for him. I hope his former owner will be too.       

Friday, November 14, 2014


Relieved.  That's how I'm feeling.  Relieved that the long week is finally over and that a little excursion with Sunny is over too. I realized about a week ago that Sunny's rabies vaccine was nearly expired. Given Sunny's history, it's best to make sure that he's kept up to date on everything.  My regular vet is about an hours drive each way. So with spare time at a premium and knowing Sunny would be stressed out by the car ride and being at the vet, I opted to take him to a practice that's closer to home. The vet-hospital is a large multi-doctor, 24 hour-a-day practice. Because of my involvement with the rescue, I've taken dogs there over the years and am familiar with a few of the vets that work there.
There is only one vet that I prefer not to see for reasons ranging from his indifference, to what a co-worker and I think is just his total incompetence. What were the odds that he would be the one Sunny would be seeing?  Better than I thought they would be.  Of course "he" didn't remember me. I explained to him Sunny's history and asked him to please take it slowly with him because it was easy to see that he was visibly nervous. I suggested a muzzle to do the exam and to keep everyone safe. He rolled his eyes, explained to me that he was experienced with nervous dogs like Sunny, but they would muzzle him if it made me feel better.  Along with his arrogance, I'll admit that I also didn't like the way "he" related to Sunny when he was examining him, calling Sunny names like, baby, boo-boo, sweetheart, honey and precious. (blech!) But the exam and vaccine were given without any problem and I was relieved when it was all over.  I then offered to remove Sunny's muzzle, but "he" did it instead and when it was taken off, Sunny whipped his head around and snapped at him, and headed for the door.  "He" didn't say a word, and when I was paying the bill, I had to grin when I saw on Sunny's chart a bright yellow "caution" sticker. I do love a good "I told you so" and my good boy Sunny too.
Thank-you all for your continued good wishes for Cricket and welcome for Buddy. Buddy has settled in nicely and Cricket is doing wonderfully!  Look for an update on them very soon!  

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Buddy Arrives at Golden Pines

The four days I had off have gone much, much too quickly!  Tomorrow it's back to work with several things left undone that I'd hoped to get too.
Late yesterday afternoon we welcomed Buddy to Golden Pines.  He comes to us from another foster home where he and the residing dog had gotten into a fight. Unfortunately, Buddy was badly injured and the two were unable to get along after that. Before coming into the rescue, Buddy was living around the city of Baltimore Maryland.
Unfortunately his owner has come up against some hard times and was unable to care for Buddy who has been plagued with severe skin allergies for quite some time. His coat is really thin, and missing in a lot of places, including on his face.  Buddy doesn't feel really well, has a very poor appetite, and it's thought that there are other underlying health issues that will have to be dealt with very soon.  
 Buddy's introductions to his new pack went pretty well.  We took things very slowly because it can be overwhelming for a dog who may already be feeling stressed out.  But today, after a good nights sleep, he seems to be in better spirits and explored the yard and enjoyed some time outside getting better acquainted with everyone.
Which takes us to Cricket.  Many thanks for all your good wishes and vibes for her which have really helped. I would guess that she's already about 50% recovered.
Just as I hoped, Cricket is back on her feet, but still has dizzying moments and will stumble and fall over. We are hand feeding her right now even though she doesn't have much of an appetite because of the nausea she's feeling from everything.  It's all very tiresome for her and she's sleeping a lot.  But she did choose to spend some time outside getting to know the "new boy" this afternoon which judging by the smile on her face, (below) I think was a good sign and she kind of enjoyed too, don't you think?
I hope you enjoyed your weekend too!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Good Vibes for Cricket

Up early this morning to let all the dogs out on cold blustery start of the day.  I went back to bed, and the dogs let me sleep until about 8:30 -- Unheard of. I'd gotten all the dogs out again, and started the day. Just as we were settling into the morning Cricket who had seemed fine minutes before was suddenly unable to stand at all.  I got her to her bed and took a good look at her. With a very pronounced tilt of her head and because she was unable to stand, I thought it was canine vestibular syndrome. Cricket had a bout of it before she came to us, but for a couple of reasons, I didn't think that was what it was.  Fast forward past my phone calls and we were soon on our way to the vet. Cricket's regular vet is out of town, but my other vet was available.  Dr. D feels strongly that it is vestibular syndrome. Cricket had gotten sick a few times by then and she was given IV fluids, and an injection for nausea.

Back at home I've put Cricket on her favorite bed and she is resting comfortably. Cricket is not a gal that likes to be handled, but thankfully she has let me pick her up and move her as needed. But despite my holding her, the vet visit was stressful for her nonetheless. She is understandably exhausted from the day.  I'm hoping there will be improvement over the weekend and Cricket will be at least able to stand on her own by its end.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Productive Time Off?

~The lovely Ms. Yellow~
Today was the first of 4 days off for me.  It began with my getting the dogs walked and worn out for the holistic vet who was coming late morning to see Gus. Unfortunately, he's not had a good week. He's been irritable and has needed more help getting up and around. I'm hoping that the treatment of acupuncture and B12 injections will help. He's been quieter this evening, so I'm hopeful it's already helping him.
The rest of the day was a lazy one. I really need these days but I'll admit that I always feel a little guilty about not getting much, if anything, done. But I still have three more days, so there is plenty of time to be productive.
However, I was asked about taking a new addition named "Buddy" who is having some problems in his current foster home. He's 9 years old, making him younger than we usually agree to foster. He'll be coming to us with some medical issues. But I'm willing to give this boy whose photo is below, a chance and a new place to call home.  I'll let you know when he arrives which I hope will be this weekend.
So much for being productive with my time off!      

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Sixth Sense?

October said its goodbyes for another year as we welcomed a cold, cloudy blustery first day of November. Even though I was up and out before the sun came up, I didn't get as much done today as I had hoped, but it was enough.  I was a little tired from being kept awake by Cricket the night before. She is a creature of habit and usually after dinner, she goes outside one more time and puts herself to bed, sleeping through the night.  Last night she was uncharacteristically awake, barking.  From her bed, Cricket would bark once, and then silence for awhile, then she would bark again. A few times I got up to see if she wanted to go out.  She didn't.  She was fast asleep.  This morning I received a text-message from her previous owner's niece telling me the sad news that her father had passed away the day before.  Did Cricket know?
Whether you think that it's folklore or fact, many of us believe that our dogs are somehow guided by a canine sixth sense. Another case in point was just last week.  On Friday night, Sheba refused to come inside the house, and wanted to stay in my van that's parked in the garage.  I left her there with the intention of going back for her later.  I'm not sure how, but I forgot all about her, and when I opened the door in the morning, there she was!  After letting her outside and getting her a drink, she got into my van, and again refused to get out.  So, on a whim, I decided to take her with me on my early morning errands.  It was about six-thirty, and the first stop was the laundromat.
At that early hour, no one was around, except a lady who looked to be in her 70's sitting in one of the chairs, waiting for her laundry to dry.  She greeted us warmly and Sheba went right to her. She sat there and hugged Sheba as I loaded one of the big washers with all the dog beds.  I sat down at the end of the row of chairs, and when I looked at her, and I could see that she was crying a little.  I asked her if she was okay, and she explained to me that she lived by herself, and that her dog, her only company had passed away a couple of weeks before.  She told me how much she missed her dog, and having one to hug.  Needless to say, my heart went out to her.  We had a nice chat as Sheba sat next to her side the whole time. After she left, I couldn't help but wonder, was it "personal inspiration" or did Sheba somehow know that she should go with me?  Or was it just a simple coincidence that at six-thirty on a Saturday morning, I would meet someone who needed Sheba?  I'll never know for sure.
It is a proven fact that dogs have extraordinary senses such as hearing and smelling, but do they also have some other superior sixth sense? There is no real scientific evidence, but those of us who share our lives with dogs (and other animals) will agree that they certainly do continue to surprise us on a regular basis, don't they?