Sunday, July 30, 2017


A recharging and week of healing that did as it always does every single week, it passed way too quickly.
Todd returned to the vet to have his neck looked at.  It's healing really well, but just to make sure that doesn't change, he was put on a different antibiotic for two more weeks.
Add Bo to the list of those also doing well. With the return of his appetite, I took a chance and took him off the medications that the vet had him on for nausea. When Todd was seeing the vet she seemed a bit vague about Bo's cancer diagnosis.  But she seems pretty sure that there's a mass in his abdomen. I am not sure what to think. I've had his records sent to the holistic vet and I'll talk with her about everything when she comes on Thursday to see Jake.

Speaking of Jake. He went with me and a good friend on Thursday when I made my annual pilgrimage to see the sunflower fields in Maryland.
Of course they are no where like the ones found in the sweeping fields and rolling hills in the southern part of France.
But they do seem to inspire creativity.
And I enjoy walking down the rows of them and taking photos 
 How did we ever manage with a roll of film and a limited number of pictures?
You really can't help but feel better and smile when you walk among them.
Jake seemed to agree with that.

I hope you had a good week too! 
~A favorite photo from the day~

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Not So Good News

Hello Blogging Friends!  If you're looking for good news and a feel good post, you may want to move along, there's not much good news for us this week - However my hydrangeas are lovely this year...

It began when I got home from work on Monday. Just as I approached our driveway, a black bear was crossing on the other side towards our house.  In the 10 years we've lived here, I've never seen one, and looking back at it, maybe it was omen of what was to come - Because as the yard came into view, there was Bo, (our Black Lab) laying stretched out in the yard. He'd been fine in the morning, and Carl said there was nothing unusual about his behavior when he let him outside when he got home from work. But now Bo was almost totally non-responsive, and he'd gotten sick. We carried him back inside and put him back onto his bed.  He wanted nothing to drink or eat.  It was a mostly sleepless night with his vomiting several times. At the vet on Tuesday morning blood work showed some anomalies, and x-rays showed a  mass in his abdomen. More tests would be more conclusive but the diagnosis of cancer will not change.

Our vet, Dr. K recommended Bo be sent to the Rainbow Bridge that day, telling me that there was nothing that could be done.  I wasn't ready to make that decision for him, and so I opted to wait, hoping that with medications, he'd feel better, and it would give us, especially me, more time.

To add insult to an already injured heart, when I got home on Tuesday, Todd came to me, covered in blood.  All alone outside, we could only conclude that he'd  gone a round or two with something that had gotten into the yard.  Fast forward through an emotional several hours at the Animal ER and all that goes with that, by around 11 o'clock there was the report that he was going to be okay.  There are several puncture wounds and scratches on his neck. The ER vet wanted to put a drain in his neck, but I knew he'd not tolerate that. So, we opted for my being able to keep it clean and covered.  We tumbled into bed in the early morning hours and I was glad the dogs let me sleep in until around 10 o'clock.
~Todd - The day after~
Wednesday was supposed to be my catch-up day, but since they say things come in 3's, there had to be one more thing added to our plates, right?   This time it was me.  I will spare you all the details, and just say that when you're at a doctor appointment and he says to you, "I think this needs to be taken care of right away," since you're there, you probably should, so I had a "little surgery" Nothing worth telling about, and I'm fine (really!).

The anesthetic and change of focus was like a restart for Thursday and I was alert enough to see the intruder, Punxsutawney Phil Junior run across the yard and disappear behind some flowers by the barn that borders the inside of the yard. We found the hole it had dug, filled it in, and covered it up - And as the picture below shows, it found its way out on the other side.

As we rounded the corner to Friday, Bo was more like himself.  His appetite has mostly returned, and he's alert, taking treats, etc.  I'd say he's at about 85%.  We will take each day as it comes, and as we always do, we will let him set his own pace.
Todd, is back on patrol.
He'll return to the vet this morning for a recheck of his wounds.
Life somehow goes on at Golden Pines.

Thursday, July 13, 2017


G R U D G E — A word that sometimes says it all.  And it's one of those words you can grab on to because it can have texture and bite.  Kind of like Todd.
Last evening I accidentally stepped on Todd's foot. Kingston was right next to me, and Todd immediately started nipping at his face.  I scolded him, and put him outside to let him settle down. A few minutes later, I let Todd back in. But he was a dog with a grudge.  Because when he saw Kingston he went after him again.  Poor Kingston.  He had no idea what he'd done.
Today all is forgiven. But I think I need to say "thank-you Kingston for taking the blame for me."

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Peanut Butter Arrives at Golden Pines

Despite the holiday on Tuesday, it was a busy week. I worked on my day off, and stumbled across the finish line of Friday.
On Friday, we said good-bye to our temporary foster boy, Duke. He was a fun house-guest, and we enjoyed having him around. As he moved to a new foster home, we are cheering him on to find that perfect forever home he so deserves!
Backing up to Thursday, I received a call from Lab Rescue.  It was to arrange the timing of Duke's departure on Friday, and to discuss and arrange the arrival of another pup from Lab Rescue named Peanut Butter. With such a distinct name, I'd remembered posts about him on Lab Rescue's Facebook page.
He was found as a stray around Beckley West Virginia, did his shelter time and made a nearly 6 hour trip to this part of Virginia. After receiving vet care, lots of love and putting on more than 10 much needed pounds, he was ready this past week for surgery to remove a large tumor on his neck. However, at the last minute, just prior to the surgery, the vet recommended not to go forward with it.  It was discovered that along with the tumor on his neck, that he has several other mast cell tumors on his body.
There will be no surgery for Peanut Butter.  Instead, he will be spending the remainder of his life with us, in hospice care.  He's got great energy and is on a pretty good cocktail of medications that we hope will help prolong his days. And we will do our best to make those days the best ones for Peanut Butter, who loves a good game of ball!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Kingston and a Weekend Guest

We're starting our third week with Kingston.  I took the bandage off his tail, and it has healed up nicely, and it does not stop wagging.
 ...and he does not stop smiling.
We did have to make an adjustment of where Kingston enjoys his meals. It came about because he will take a mouthful of food from his bowl, walk off with it, put it down, eat it, and come back for the next bite.  As you can guess, at our house, that doesn't work.  Even though the dogs don't try to steal food from one another while they're eating, (an enforced rule), a bowl that's left unattended is fair game for whoever gets to it first.  And what is left, is usually eaten pretty quickly. I'm not sure how many meals Kingston didn't get to enjoy before I noticed what he was doing.  I guess all that matters is that he's enjoying his entire meal now.
We ended the week with Kingston at the vet for follow up blood work to check his kidney's.  There is some improvement, but not much. I'm waiting to hear back from Lab Rescue on how they'd like to proceed, and what the results all meant.

Speaking of Lab Rescue, I did hear from them prior to Kingston's appointment.  With July 4th it has meant that boarding space is a premium and unavailable at most places.  They were looking for a place to stash a dog for the weekend.  This has brought us ten-year-old Duke.  He was given up by his family who no longer wanted him.
He is another really nice boy, who is pretty confused about what's happened to him.  He'll be with us until about Wednesday.
With the holiday falling on a Tuesday it has left some people like me with only one day off, making it more difficult to carve out a three or four day weekend without expending precious vacation days. So I have to work on Monday. But I am not going to complain, I just enjoy any day I have off.