Sunday, December 20, 2020

A Forever Home for Sugar

 I read recently that some bloggers view blogging as a sprint, rather than a marathon. I'm not sure about the sprint, but I do know I'm here to try and go the distance with my blog, no matter how far behind I get.  And right now, I'm really behind on keeping it updated and reading your blogs too. 

Having said that, I want to tell you that our foster girl for Lab Rescue, Sugar, found her forever home a couple of weeks ago. I am never ready to let go of some of my fosters and Sugar was no exception. I felt a real connection with Sugar, and wanted to adopt and keep her. I'm not sure what kept me from going through with it.  Fate perhaps. 

~Sugar, the first week we met~

The senior couple that adopted Sugar, could not love or adore her any more than they do. The post-adoption updates have all been glowing reports about how much they love her and how well she's doing.  I did however mention to them several times that Sugar is a typical Lab, and will get into any food that is within her reach. And that she did. Sugar helped herself to an entire cabinet of food that included a box of granola bars, tortilla chips, bread and cookies -- I tried to warn them. She did end up with a pretty upset tummy. But she is fine now, and aside from that, I do think they are perfect for Sugar and I know she is where she is supposed to be. 

~Sugar and her new forever family~

But I do miss her.  

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Shelby & Jacket Arrive at Golden Pines

 It's the holidays and I have a arms length list of things that are keeping me busy. One thing the past few weeks has been the arrival of Shelby and Jacket. 

I was first asked to consider a hospice boy named Vaughn from the Golden Retriever Rescue. But a day or so later before he was supposed to come, there was a change in plans. The Foster Home Coordinator called and asked if we'd consider taking a 17 year old girl, named Shelby instead. Of course I agreed to the switch. A little later came another phone call asking if we would also take Shelby's brother from another Mother, a 10 year old Black Lab named Jacket. What's one more dog, right? So I agreed to that too. So, on Saturday, November 21, after traveling more than 200 miles, Shelby and Jacket arrived at Golden Pines.

~On the way to Golden Pines~

This duo came from a shelter in southern Virginia. Their original owner had a stroke and the two were rehomed. And when that owner couldn't keep them, he took them both to the shelter - full of fleas and "other things" that dogs should never have on their coats and skin. Both were also not in the best of health, and have just finished antibiotics, and steroids. However, Shelby is still on doxycycline for Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis. 

Shelby is absolutely delightful! I don't think she's 17 years old (an unheard of age for a golden) She has fit into the household and the routine really easily. All the dogs like her just fine. She's very overweight, and has problems getting to her feet and moving around. I've put her on a pain medication that has really helped, and she's willing to go outside on her own now, and doesn't need so much coaxing. Shelby is pretty picky with her food, but she loves green beans, so we're giving her plenty of those with her meals. 

~Shelby on her first day with us, tired and not feeling so well~

Jacket, or Jack as we're calling him is another story. He's about 10 years old, and is a really handsome Lab. He's eager for attention and friendly and does as we ask of him. He's also wonderful with Shelby and our girl Sophie. But Sunny and Charlie for whatever reason, he doesn't like at all and has attacked them both. He's not hurting them, (thankfully!) and the fights are easily broken up. But Sunny and especially Charlie being seniors, are easily knocked off their feet and do not fight back. Jack just has to see Sunny and he reacts to him. Because of that, we're not allowing him to interact with Todd at all, so we are keeping Jack separated from the group. As you can guess, Todd being a terrier is a fierce fighter, and I don't want to take any chances and risk him or someone getting injured.  

~Jacket or Jack as we call him~

Of course I am very concerned about all of this and I have my worries about Jack in the long-term as far as his and even Shelby finding a new forever home. But right now, I'm willing to stay the course and see where it takes all of us. 

~Taken yesterday - trust me, Shelby does have an inner smile!~

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Chuffed Up

Its been the usual crazy, hectic and busy the last few weeks. I've sat down several times to write a post, but the words didn't come as fast as the distractions have. In looking at my posts, I have 3 that are in "draft." This one will make it 4 if I don't finish and publish it.

Like so many, we had a nice and quiet Thanksgiving. I decided this year to not pick up a prepared dinner from our favorite grocery store (Wegmans) as I have the last 3 years, but instead to do it all myself. Except for the pies. The daughter of a friend of mine, made and sold homemade pies to earn some extra money. The apple pies were beautiful and taste as good as they look. I'm glad I bought two. It was for a good cause after all. 😊

Whatever is going on inside, doesn't keep Todd from being on patrol outside. We have woods along the back edge of our fenced yard and we see deer in there all the time - and of course Todd has to bark at every. single. deer he sees. 

The deer seem to know that he's all bark and can't bite, and they have learned to accept him because they go on living their lives as normal. At least that's how it typically is.

Cue the arrival of a big and handsome buck. (photo below) The other day this buck stumbled out of the woods right after another deer and right in front of a barking Todd. He must've thought Todd was after his girlfriend because he reared up once and then charged at Todd, hitting the fence. I saw it all from the back porch and went as fast as my gimpy knee would allow to chase the deer away. But not before he charged the fence at a very worked up Todd a second time. By the time I got to Todd, the buck ran off - along with his girlfriend who was watching close by. 

Now experts say that dogs don't feel pride because it's a human emotion and dogs have an emotional  repertoire of a 3 year old. I have to disagree with that. Because in that moment when Todd turned and came to me, I saw nothing but a confident, chuffed-up, and very proud Scottish Terrier - And I can't be sure, but I think he was walking on air, because he seemed about 2 inches taller as we walked back to the house.

He's a good Scottie. 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Charlie's Journey Continues

We had the perfect fall weather for this past week. Blue skies, and warm temperatures. The photo below was taken last Sunday, and by this Sunday, most of the leaves are now on the ground. 

The dogs have had a pretty good week. There were a couple of days where Sugar wasn't feeling well. I think it was just a bad restaurant review - she eats everything and pretty much anything. Thankfully by the end of the 2nd day, her appetite had fully returned. Sugar is really a nice dog, and she's now available for adoption via Lab Rescue. I've had no inquiries on her, and I think it's because her age is said to be 15 years old. I truly believe that's wrong, and she's more like 11 or 12, but not 15. I know what 15 years old looks like, and she's not it.  

Speaking of 15 year old's. That brings me to Charlie. 
In a previous post I'd mentioned for the first time, I wasn't going to take Charlie to be groomed. He's really been showing his age the last few months, and I just thought it was too much for him. So, after talking it over with our groomer Irina, she told me to bring him when I returned to pick up Max and Todd, and she'd trim him up for me. And so I did and she quickly trimmed up Charlie as she sat in her driveway. 

I appreciated Irina doing that for Charlie, and me too. You might recall that Irina was the one that originally found the lump on Charlie's bottom (anal-gland-carcinoma) more than 2 years ago. At the time it was removed, we were told it would probably return. We beat those odds, because the vets gave us a timeline of 6 months to a year before it would be back. Unfortunately, when Irina was trimming up Charlie, she found that the lump on his bottom has returned. I'd seen it, but will admit to hoping that I wasn't seeing what I thought I was. 😞
I discussed it all with our Holistic Vet, and we're not going to change anything we're doing for him. Charlie is feeling pretty well, he has a good appetite on most days, and is up and around. I feel like we're in a good place as our journey, this wonderful journey we have together, continues. 💓

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Blue Skies Smiling at Me

Another week where I've gotten **nothing** much done at home. I am sure that I've mentioned before that I am a political and news junkie -- And back in July, even though I have no paid vacation left, I decided to take the day after the election off work so I could stay up way too late and watch the returns and the day after news reports. And that was exactly what I did. Even after I'd gone to bed on Tuesday night, I woke up a few times to get the updates. There was no shortage of them, that's for sure. I was glued to the TV all day Wednesday. 

Then on Thursday as I ran the boys to Irina to be groomed, (40 minutes away) and I ran a few errands, I listened on satellite radio.
~The flag in our town center on Thursday~

As always, our groomer Irina, did a great job on Max and Todd. You may recall that last time Todd was groomed,  he jumped off the table, and when Irina caught him, he bit her forearm. This time Irina said more than once how cooperative and good Todd was. **I'll mention here that I gave him .5 mgs of melatonin before we left home. I guess it worked.... 

~Todd says, "you did what?" 

By Friday, I was feeling a bit saturated by all the news and turned off the TV and did a few things around the house. I even took some time to enjoy what was a perfect and blue-sky-day outside . 

It's now Saturday and even though the votes are still being counted, I'm so glad we at least know what the majority of the ballot results are. We are worn out! 

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Good-Bye October!

Are you feeling a fall chill in the air? We certainly are! 

It just seems like all of the sudden the leaves have changed and are falling. And can I just tell you how happy I am to have October in the rearview mirror?  In so many ways, it was a long, difficult and emotional month. But as November starts, I am feeling so much better and I have some of my energy back. I've just finished my 3rd or 4th round of antibiotics, I've lost track, but I guess they worked. I only missed one day of work last week so that says something too. Knock, knock, knock on wood, just in case. 😊

Today I was home by myself, for the first time in a long time. Being home alone, there just seemed to be so many possibilities of things to do. 

I did do some baking - pumpkin bread. 

After cleaning up the kitchen because no one was here to do it for me, I got an early start on fixing dinner. I was feeling a bit chilled, time to turn on the heat or close that window and so I warmed up in bed and did some reading which ended with a nap. What a lazy day!

Aside from being lazy, all the dogs seem to be pretty well. 

~George waiting for breakfast~

New girl Sugar has settled in really nicely. She's really a lovely dog and gets along really well with our crew. Now that she's learned to leave the cats alone, we've been able to give her more freedom in the house. But we still keep an eye on her because she is a counter-surfer and is a bit of an escape artist too.  Sugar did return to the vet for a follow-up to recheck her ears and skin, and she got an "all clear." With that, she is now available for adoption. 

~Sugar on her way home after getting the all clear at the vet~

Our other foster for Lab Rescue, Buddy will also be available for adoption in the coming days too. We've completed 5 sessions of acupuncture and the rescue feels, as do I, that he's ready to make the next steps forward to a new forever home. He's a nice boy, and despite not being able to get around that well, I'm hopeful that someone will fall in love with this charming boy and want to make him part of their lives. 

~Buddy having acupuncture on our front porch in September~

And speaking of adoptions, Leo is still doing really well. Annie could not be happier and I don't think Leo could be either. 

~Leo at home!~

It's a busy week ahead for us. Past due grooming appointments for both Max and Todd. 

This will be the first time that Charlie will not be going with them. But I think a day at "the spa," even though "Irina" takes her time with them, it'll all just be too much for Charlie. The photo below came up on my "memories page" on Facebook and is from October, 2010. It's a fun Halloween memory with missed faces! 

~October 2010, Charlie, with Sammy in the middle, Hamlet and a corner peak of Rudi~

 I hope you had a good Halloween and are doing well! I've missed you and reading your blogs!

~Our driveway on Tuesday~

  Now that I'm finally feeling better and have more energy, I look forward! to catching up on your news!

Sunday, October 18, 2020

A Forever Home for Leo

I am still not feeling the best, but I'm hopeful that despite a "flare up" this past week, that a shot (ouch) and new medications will all work together to kick this stubborn infection and I won't have to see a specialist. Paws crossed! 

Behind the scenes, I have been talking to and meeting perspective family's for Leo. I have had this vision in my mind of the kind of home I'd hoped and wanted to find for Leo. But no one we've met were really family's I could be excited about. Looking at the photo below, can you see why? Notice how Leo is walking on the leash that's being held too tightly.

One lady (a widow) in particular was a bit too eager, and I kept finding ways to discount her. She lives more than 2 hours from me, and finding a place and time to get together was a bit of a challenge, so I kept putting it off  -- Added to the more than a week when I was totally out of commission, helped to delay our meeting. 

But I have to confess that I liked her. We'd had a few good chats on the phone, and her home visit report had nothing but positives things to say about her. She was persistent about getting together and meeting Leo. Her son lives just over an hour from me, and so when I'd run out of excuses, I agreed to bring Leo to meet her. 

I'll confess, that I was being selfish and I didn't want this meeting to go well and I didn't want to like her, and I didn't want Leo to like her either. He'd not really seemed to like the others that he'd met and he never wanted to go with them for a walk, and he always tried to get back to me. That didn't happen this time. Leo liked Annie, and he liked her son too. When they went for a walk, Leo was happy to go with them.

With that, I couldn't deny it. Annie was exactly who I was looking for, for Leo. She has trained dogs and given AKC's Canine Good Citizen tests, has done agility, she and her husband had Labs and Goldens, and she's had (Jack Russell) terriers too. On my way home afterwards, I felt that meeting with Annie was like meeting a friend. It was relaxed, and I enjoyed getting to know her a bit better. Leo enjoyed the visit too.

Annie sent me this message after our meeting...

Hey Kim, I want to thank you for coming to my son's house in Arlington so I could meet Leo. I know we said we would talk in a few days, but I want you know that I loved him. I absolutely would love to be Leo's forever home and now I just want to hear back from you what you think. I've had dogs my whole life. I have had multiple dogs. I've had big dogs, I've had dogs that have been destructive and afraid of storms like Leo, and I have loved them through all of that and I would love Leo through all of his storm fears too. I would love to have him in my life. Give me a call when you decide. I'll understand if you don't think it will work with me. Just let me know. 

So, after another week of dragging it out, on Thursday, Leo and Annie became official. Leo was adopted by Annie. 

Annie, on your right, Leo middle, and Annie's friend after signing the adoption contract

Leo loved Annie just as much the second time as he did the first, as did I. Leo walked so nicely with her on the leash - Unlike he had with others we'd met. The two really had connected.

I love Leo's that Leo's tail is up and he seems relaxed and happy to walk with Annie

When it was time to go home, Leo walked off with Annie and her friend, and he never looked back at me. It was a good sign. It was how it was supposed to be. It was how it should be. 

I'll miss Leo.

Post adoption updates have all been good. Leo is doing great, eating, having fun meeting Annie's friends and is even sleeping on her bed with her at night.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Sugar and Bear Arrive at Golden Pines

To begin this post, thank-you for the good thoughts and vibes for our girl Sophie. Several of you commented about her previous owner. *Judy* does know that Sophie and Tiggy found a home together. 

~Tiggy has found that the dogs make a great body-warmer~

Our groomer (who gave me Sophie), heard from *Judy* this past spring and texted her photos that I'd sent. And she also mentioned that the son called her in July to ask how the two were doing. Given how he felt about them both, we think he was probably being pressured by *Judy* to get an update. 

Sophie's update this week is that she's feeling much better. Her coughing will always be an issue and a worry. But the antibiotic seems to have taken care of the respiratory infection that had made it worse. knock, knock, knock on wood and POTP that we are over and well past that hurdle!

Looking back on the past week, it goes without saying, its been another busy week at our house. I am still in "recovery mode" with my knee and leg that had a bit of a set back this week. But it hasn't slowed down the changes that are on the horizon, and I'll tell you about them as they happen. 

One of those changes I'll tell you about now, was the arrival on Thursday of (Brown) Sugar, and (Black) Bear via Lab Rescue. They are a "breeding pair" given up by their owner who no longer wanted them, and are reportedly the respectable age of 15. 

Despite having lots of puppies, it was initially thought that the two are not a "bonded pair" and could be split up. So, the plan was for us to foster Bear, and Sugar would go to another foster home. When no one could be found to foster Sugar, I agreed to take her only because I didn't want her to spend any more time in boarding than she needed to, so she's here temporarily. 

Both Sugar and Bear are really nice dogs, and so far, are getting along with our crew. However their unknown history with cats has me a bit concerned. Bear won't stop barking at them, and I worry about their safety when we aren't around -  The cats, not theirs. 😊. It was first thought that at Bear's age, it wouldn't be an issue. But let me assure you, this boy (maybe a border collie mix - what do you think?)  as you can see in the video below, still has some speed under those legs!

Sugar on the other hand is a gentle and easy going girl, that I think will leave the cats alone and would be a better fit for our household.

Until it's all sorted out, both need some TLC and time to get over their skin infections caused by fleas and just poor diet and neglect. 

So, whatever their story ends up being, I'm glad we have the chance to get to know them. 

Friday, October 2, 2020

National Black Dog Day

Yesterday was National Black Dog Day which is a day aimed at bringing awareness of the plight of black dogs waiting for adoption who are often overlooked in favor of their lighter counterparts. Black dogs are less likely to be adopted for no other reason than their coloring - Regardless of behavior, size, breeding, personality, or age, the phenomenon persists. It's sad, I think. 

At our house, we only have one black-dog. Who happens to also be the only girl, and that of course, is Sophie. 

I've been going to write a post about Sophie this week. You may recall that Sophie and her counterpart Tiggy the Siamese cat, came to us last September from our groomer after the son of their owner took them to the vet to euthanize them both when their owner, who is in her 90's had to go to an assisted living facility. The son, I'm told, wanted nothing to do with either of them. 

With 3 of our dogs having respiratory infections (kennel cough) my vet put them on an antibiotic, and Leo, Charlie both got better pretty quickly. Sophie however, who has laryngeal paralysis (a condition that involves loss of normal function of the larynx that causes coughing and loud rasping breathing) seemed to have been hit a bit harder. Her coughing was really getting to be an issue, and because of her "pre-existing condition" I worried about her kennel cough turning into pneumonia. 

So, with Sophie's health history, instead of taking her to my vet, I decided to call her previous vet instead. I'm glad I did. Dr. S called the night before her appointment and we chatted about Sophie. He has seen Sophie her entire life. He knows exactly how old she is, 13 years 8 months, Dr. S knows everything about her, including the details about her cancer treatment, a softball size malignant thyroid tumor that was successfully treated with radiation in June of 2018, and that the prognosis was that it could extend her life by 1 year. So, Sophie is a 2+ year cancer survivor!  

And Dr. S who of course knows Sophie's original owner, told me that "she loved Sophie to the ends of God's green earth, and there wasn't anything she wouldn't do for her."  Hearing how much Sophie was loved, touched my heart, and I know that they were not just words, but how *J* really felt/feels about her. **And we'll see if those feelings remain because Dr. S told me he was sending the bill (almost $500) for Sophie's treatment to the son to pay. Of course I said I would pay the bill because we consider Sophie our dog, but Dr. S insisted. 

Dr. S took great care of Sophie. He did x-rays, an ultra sound, blood work, and a very thorough exam. 

I like Dr. S very much. He's a vet that I knew only by his reputation as a longtime vet in our area, that is kind and well known for providing good care to his patients. Now that I've met him, I have to agree with that. 

For the most part, Sophie is healthy. There are a few concerns like a nodule on her spleen, and of course there are the remains of the tumor on her throat. Dr. S gave me another antibiotic for her cough, that knock, knock, knock on wood, a week later seems to have helped. 

Shortly after her dinner last Saturday, Sophie did start coughing and choking and she collapsed - I got her to her feet, and cleared her throat to make sure she had an open airway, and thankfully she's been fine since then.  ...whew..... I am really hoping that Sophie, our single black dog, on the day after National Black Dog Day, will be fine for many days ahead.