Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Getting to Know Baloo

Hello Blogging Friends! Many thanks for those of you who have checked in asking how Baloo has settled in and sending your best of vibes for him.

The answer to your question is YES, Baloo is doing well and has settled in to his new life.  Of course there is always that learning curve as we get to know one another. Baloo still is quite slow on his feet and needs help getting up and down the outside steps so he doesn't stumble and fall.  Ideally, we'd like for Baloo to walk up and down the ramp that we have, so we're trying to teach him to do that instead of the steps. But one thing we have learned is that not all the dogs like the ramp, so we'll see what his preference becomes.
One thing we had no idea of, is how Baloo would do with the cats. At first he ignored them, and now, if they get too close he'll bark and snap at them. So, we're correcting him, and I have decided that the cats also need to learn to be a bit smarter around him too. So I hope that the longer he's here, the more they'll ALL learn to keep their distance from one another. On the flipside to that, he's getting along well with all his new packmates, and for that I'm always grateful.

In other news, there was the reality check late last week with Joy, who you'll recall has lymphoma. It began with her nose bleeding that of course had me quite concerned along with her not being able to get to her feet. A visit to Mobile Vet was made, and he said that it was being caused by what he was pretty sure is a respiratory infection. Easy enough to treat with an antibiotic.  And since we were there, I mentioned to him about my concerns with what looked to me like "muscle wasting" and I thought that it was because of the prednisone. But Mobile Vet said that it isn't what's causing all of it, but it's also the cancer consuming the fat and muscle that's stored within her tissues. He told me that sadly and unfortunately there's not anything that can be done. He suggested a few diet changes to help and said that I should take Joy home, continue to spoil her, and know that her time with us is coming to an end very soon.
I know, respect and understand that Mobile Vet has an obligation to be honest. But I was of course heartbroken with the sad reality check, and felt totally defeated. So much so, that I went to bed early.

But the next morning there was Joy, looking at me, alert, eyes bright and she was wagging her tail and eager to start the new day, just as she has every day since we met. She hasn't given up. And it's not time for me to give up either.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Baloo Arrives at Golden Pines!

Meet Baloo. A new arrival via Lab Rescue that arrived at Golden Pines on Monday. At nearly 14 years old, I have to say, his expression, at least to me, is among the saddest I have seen in a very long time. Bringing him home and all evening, his tail remained tightly tucked under him, and his head stayed down and his back towards us most of the time. It all broke my heart.
Baloo's previous owner was moving, and wouldn't take him with her. Did I mention that from where "she" lived she moved about 20 miles? My apologies. I need, want to, and should be kind, fair and not judge because I don't know her circumstances. What matters is that in the end, despite being dealt a bad hand, Baloo found his way to Lab Rescue, and has a place at Golden Pines, and (of course) quickly found a place in my heart.

And finally, I know, trust me, I know what you may be thinking  ......   The last thing we needed was a new addition.  But almost exactly a month ago, Baloo came up on Lab Rescue's radar and I was asked to take him if he needed a place to go. Ginger, our other foster girl for Lab rescue had several really good families interested in her, making me pretty sure she would no longer be with us when Baloo was expected to come. However, for various reasons, those perspective families didn't work out as we'd hoped and thought they would. But I know the rescue is continuing to work on finding Ginger her perfect match, and so I'm hopeful her forever home will come very soon.
And today my weekend starts, I saw what I **think** may have been a glimpse of a smile from Baloo this morning. He's up and around a bit more than he was, getting along with our crowd so I'm hopeful for a good weekend ahead.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

A Favor for Ginger and Ziggy

If the two weeks prior were a storm, this past week has been the calm.
Spring is finally coming, and the spring flowers are blooming everywhere.
~Rhett with a perennial smile!~
Easter that seemed so far away is now just around the corner.

As I was leaving lunch on Thursday with a couple of friends, I got a message from another friend who lives nearly 2 hours from us. Her 85 year old friend, Ginger, had a sick 30 year old (!!) African Grey Parrot named Ziggy that was being cared for at a nearby vets office. Ginger was understandably really worried about her and was unable to drive herself to even see Ziggy, (who was brought to this particular vet by someone else). Ginger was told by the vet that Ziggy, who was now on medication and feeling somewhat better could come home if she'd just eat on her own. Ginger was sure that if Ziggy just had her favorite food that the vet couldn't (wouldn't?) provide for her, it might just do the trick. Ginger was feeling really depressed and defeated because she knew of no one to ask for a favor, and so asked my friend if she did. THIS is where I came into the picture. My friend knew it was a lot to ask, but she wondered if I wouldn't mind going to the grocery store and buying for Ziggy, 2 RED apples, RED grapes, and 1 banana all of which are her favorites and taking it to her at the vets office, adding that they would pay me back for the gas and the fruit. Of course I said I would and told my friend that if they gave me anything for what I consider a small favor, I'd be insulted. So off to the store I went, and I dropped it off, also hoping it would tempt Ziggy to eat, and happy that I was able to help someone out. 
My friend sent me a message telling me that Ziggy immediately ate some of the fruit. And today I received another message that Ziggy was able to come home! Adding that Ginger is so happy and that the first words Ziggy said to her were  "Are you hungry? At hearing those words, Ginger said she cried. She was even cleaning her feathers, which Ginger says is a good sign. Ziggy, who she has had since she was a very "young chick" now has special food and meds for a liver issue and all are hopeful she will be okay.
~Ziggy at home!~
At the moment, we're all "okay" too. It has been a pretty good week for Bailey, (in the middle below) as well the others as I opened up a new 12 pound box of dog-treats today. For us, it's of course more cost-effective to buy them this way and I'm grateful that the shop where we buy their food will special order them for us.
And I was sure to give a few extra to Rhett who was a good sport and let me put the ears and petals on him to take a few "seasonal" photos.
Todd is enjoying the seasonal change and is really enjoying spending more time outdoors.  If spring has come to your corner of the world, I hope you are too!

Sunday, April 7, 2019

No Excuses Needed!

Oh my...it has been 2 weeks since my last blog post! To be honest, from the moment I wake up in the morning, I spend my days chasing the clock. From the time spent in traffic to get to work, stay on time with patients, and getting home again. Spare time at home really ebbs and flows depending on how the dogs are doing. But in the end, I guess the bottom line is, I am just a lousy blogger.
Lousy or not, I know you all understand and I have nothing to explain. But here we go on some of what's been going on at our house. It has really been a couple of weeks where time is taken up with something or some-doggie. 

One evening I attended a candlelight ceremony for pet loss. For those who have never attended one, it is a non-denominational memorial service to remember our companions that have passed away. Holistic Vet has organized one at a local church for the last several years. She does so much for us, and I went because I want to support her and her community efforts. In both the words that were spoken, and being among about 100 people that I didn't know, I left the one hour service with a different and broader view of loss and that it encompasses both personally and as a whole.
Helping out a friend filled another evening, and we landed on Friday. Alf had a 2nd dental surgery to remove an infected canine. I had noticed he was having problems eating and it seemed sensitive to the touch. The tooth had appeared healthy but we think there was an underlying infection that wasn't visible in the initial x-rays and exams. Having extracted the canine on the other side the first time, Alf is now canine-less on the top. By Sunday Alf was back to himself.
Last weekend had me playing catch up as I got ready for what I'd thought and hoped would be a quiet week ahead. Boy was I wrong about that!

Bailey began coughing a little on Sunday. We really tried to keep her up and moving, but by Monday night she was coughing and vomiting and pretty listless. It was a (mostly) sleepless night, and I was up every hour with her, making sure she remained as comfortable as possible. By Tuesday she took a small amount of food. I was encouraged. Of course we were both exhausted. She slept almost soundly through Tuesday night. I didn't get a lot of sleep because I wanted to make sure she was okay and comfortable. By Wednesday, the cough was all but gone, and her appetite had returned.  For that I was and am grateful.
~Bailey catching up on her sleep~
On Thursday it was off to the groomers with Todd and Charlie for their spring haircuts.
~Not so happy Todd?~
I'll spare you the personal drama when I arrived to find out that the groomer I totally trusted, and have taken our dogs to for more than 10 years, and who owned the shop was gone. The business had been sold to a young-ish girl named KeriAnne, who by the way, I'm sure I have socks older than, and her husband.  Feeling blindsided and not trusting our dogs to just anyone, I fought off the urge to leave, and give them the chance. They did a good job and I added $10 to the tip because they had to put up with me in the beginning.
~A Happier (and handsome) Todd~
But for Charlie, I think his spending a day at the groomer may be over. At what has to be about 14 years old, a whole day away from home is just too much for him. He was really wiped out. (Vicki get your clippers ready!)
Back to Todd. Those who have owned Scotties know their nickname is “The Diehard.” It was given to them by the Earl of Dumbarton to his Scotties in the 19th Century. Todd was, of course, true to that. Once home, he was charged and ready to go.
I'm hopeful we are also ready to go for next week too.
Rhett in the photo below that was taken last week, would just like me to stop taking pictures. He was ready for his breakfast!