Friday, January 31, 2020

My Days Off Begin

Another one of those typical weeks at our house where not much is happening. Of course I look forward to Thursday arriving because the tempo of the week changes when I'm done with work. And, I'm done with the nearly one hour (each way) commute.
~A recent drive to work on a foggy morning~
Since last fall, my days off begin with a 4-ish mile morning walk on a towpath along the Potomac River with a good friend.
But before any day really begins at our house, the dogs need to be fed. Todd and his shadow waited patiently, at least part of the time, for their breakfast.
Our newest arrival, Hershey has settled in pretty well and he's getting along with the other dogs.
Hershey's fixation with the cats continues. I think it's more of a curiosity than anything. If I'm worried about anything with Hershey, it's his appetite. He'll eat one day, and not the next. So un-Lab-like. I'm hoping now that he's done with an antibiotic, it'll improve.
And Charlie celebrated yesterday with a bowl of ice on **DAY 623** since his surgery to remove a tumor - Our goal is 108 more days to get to 2 years. Again, knock-knock-on wood and all paws crossed to get to this milestone!!

Friday, January 24, 2020

Hershey Arrives at Golden Pines

Hopper and Bean left us on Monday for their new foster home. I really hope it is going well for them. I liked them both very much, especially Hopper - despite that Hopper thought the cats would make a good play toy, (or worse) they were both nice girls.

With an empty dog bed, we were all set to welcome a 12 year old Golden from a local shelter. But he ended up getting adopted with his younger counterpart. I hope it's a good thing. But I'll admit that I was a little disappointed. But just after I read about one boy not coming to us, my next e-mail was from Lab Rescue asking me to foster a 14 year old chocolate lab named Hershey.
~First photo from the rescue of our new boy, Hershey~
Of course I agreed, and on Wednesday morning, via a transport from Maryland, Hershey arrived at my office.
~Hershey napping in my van on Wednesday - It was a big day!~
I can only speculate on Hershey's past. I only know that he was given up by his owner who had recently come here from Omaha Nebraska.
~My first photo of Hershey~
I do know that Hershey is a nice boy. He is getting along just fine with our crew.  But he's understandably a bit out of sorts and he has done a lot of pacing and panting, that has unsettled our dogs just a little. Added to that, believe it or not, Hershey won't leave the cats alone. I'm not sure if he's just curious about them, or if he really wants to harass them. Time will tell. And time and a chance to get settled in is what we'll of course give Hershey.

Welcome to Hershey.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Hopper & Bean Arrive at Golden Pines

Well, you all knew that it wouldn't be long before we welcomed a new arrival or two.  On Wednesday, that's just what we did. We welcomed a pair of girls, Hopper who is 10 years old, and Bean who is the respectable age of 14. This is the pair I was asked to take last week, and declined.  I was asked again on Tuesday since Bean is having some health issues, because of that, and feeling a bit recharged, I agreed to take them.
~First photos from the rescue of Hopper and Bean at the kennel ~
These girls come to us from North Carolina. In September their owner took them to a kennel for boarding, and never returned. After due diligence by the kennel, the two were considered legally abandoned and Hopper and Bean were turned over to Lab Rescue.

They are nice girls, and have gotten along pretty well with our crew.
Unfortunately after a couple of too-close-encounters with the cats, and their behavior when they're around, it's easy to see that the two have a very high prey drive that can't be curbed. Of course, I don't want our cats to get hurt (or worse) so I've asked for Hopper and Bean to be moved to another foster home.

Since they have been in boarding since September, and with Bean not feeling so well, I don't want them to have to return to a kennel. And since I'm feeling relatively confident that we can keep the cats safe, we've agreed to keep them until a new foster home can be identified.
I'm glad that we have the chance to get to know Hopper and Bean. Aside from their prey drive, I like them very much. Hopper, is what I think may be a Lab mix. She's very smart, does as she's asked, and is alert to everything happening around her. She was a bit reserved and tentative at first. But today she's much more relaxed and follows me everywhere. Hopper was so happy to have room to run in our big fenced yard. This is another reason why I've agreed to keep them instead of returning them to boarding.
On the flip side is Bean. At 14 years old, as I've already said, she's not feeling well, and she's having problems getting up and around. She also loved the chance to be outside soaking up some sun. She sat in the grass for a long time and sniffed the air. She is a patient and gentle old soul, who enjoys attention. I hope being in a home, on a warm bed, and some one-on-one personal care, she'll start to feel better before she and Hopper leave us to begin the next chapter of their lives.   

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Sleeping In

It has of course been a quiet weekend at our house as I've let the dust settle from the departure of the Barkalot Brothers. The schedule that we were keeping to make sure Abe got fed and his insulin on time is now out the window. On Friday morning, I got up, let the dogs out and back in, and went back to bed and slept until nearly 10 o'clock. Totally unheard of for me. The dogs slept too, so maybe the peace and quiet was needed for them as well.
When breakfast finally did come, Todd was outside barking at the deer (or something) at the far side of the yard, and my calling and trying to bribe him couldn't convince him to come inside. He had brunch around noon. None of the dogs seemed to notice the time.
On Friday I was asked by Lab Rescue to take another pair. This time a pair of senior girls whose owner left them at a kennel and never came back for them. Of course I want to help them, but at that very moment, I just didn't feel like I was up to it.

But I was up to taking a few fun pictures of the dogs eating some of Charlie's food mix off the spatula.
~Rhett - Sure, I'll eat anything!~

~Max - You want me to eat that?!~

~Todd - You called me to the door for this??~

~Alf - Sure I'll try it, why not?~

~Sophie - I like to see my food as I eat it~

~Chip - Just put the food into the opening~
I hope you had a relaxing weekend too!

Friday, January 10, 2020

The Barkalot Brothers Go Home

~A little bit of snow on Tuesday~
On Thursday, Abe and George, or the Barkalot Brothers returned to the person who loved them first - Their original owner, Paul.

I was pretty sure that I didn't want to be the one to return the Barkalot Brothers to Paul. But the cosmos had something else in mind because I was asked to do it. Despite my feelings, I knew I needed and should see this through and make sure for myself that Abe and George's return to Paul was the right decision.

I spoke with Paul the evening before and he was quite emotional about Abe and George coming home. He was really missing them. He said he felt right away that it was a mistake to give into the pressure by his family to give them up. But he felt he had no choice. Paul told me about what the two meant to he and his wife who as you may remember, passed away 2 years ago. And I'll confess to being curious about her afterwards and looked up her obituary online.  Abe and George were mentioned in it. 
George remembered Paul right away and whined and cried. He was not the only one. I could tell Paul's brother who'd come with him, felt the emotions in that moment too. Abe was a little bit aloof at first. I think it may have been because of his blindness, but after a minute or two, it was obvious he remembered Paul. Both dogs remembered how to get into his truck and with that, they were ready to go home!

Paul called me last evening to thank me (and the rescue) again for caring for George and Abe. He told me that they'd settled in and were sleeping in their old spots. I know it's how it should be and all is right in their world. And it's eerily quiet in ours.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Three to Six Months? What?!

¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•` ¤HAPPY NEW YEAR blogging friends! Your support and friendship has been one of the most valuable things in my life this past year. Thank you for that and so much more that keeps me here and blogging which helps me to focus. My goal continues to keep this blog going, and to work to be better at it than I was last year. 
But what was a better way for us to start off this 2020 year than with someone injured? This time it was Sophie's cat, Tiggy. He got tackled by George who chased him down the hallway. George is a bit unsteady on his feet and slipped on top of Tiggy. Tiggy wasn't putting all of his weight on his back leg, but he was putting some, and eating and drinking, which was a good sign. Since it was New Years Day, we opted to wait until the next day to have him seen by the vet. 
~Tiggy - Sophie's cat~ 
On Thursday, Abe had yet another glucose curve test. So after his breakfast and being given his insulin, I had to get him dropped off at the vet's office as soon as I could. While getting Abe to the vet, I was getting in touch with Mobile vet to get that appointment for Tiggy. Mobile Vet could see us right away. And as you can see on the map below, the vets offices are about an hour away from each other, (One in Maryland, one in Virginia) so it's a bit of driving, especially with traffic. 
 After reviewing all of Tiggy's faults with Mobile Vet ....He bites, he hisses, he doesn't like to be touched or handled, Tiggy was on his very best behavior during the x-rays and could not have been more accepting of being handled. He made a really good first impression with Mobile Vet. Cats have a way of doing the opposite of what you think they'll do, don't they? But thankfully nothing is broken, and he has a soft tissue injury. So, no dogs and restricted activity for a few weeks for Tiggy. For George, no more chasing him. Which by the way, is always the rule, no matter which dog it is.
~George - What's that about no cat chasing?~
But yet again, the not so good news is for Abe. This time, his glucose levels were too high. So, yet another adjustment has been made to his insulin, and another test is to be scheduled in about 2 weeks. Can I just confess to all of you, that I'm really frustrated by all of this?  I mentioned Abe to Mobile Vet and he told me it can take 3-6 months to find the right insulin dose for a dog -- What??!!  I did a bit of reading, and Mobile Vet is (of course) correct. Three to six months.
The owner, Paul, asked for Abe and George to be returned the first part of December. I have understood and supported the rescues decision to return the dogs to Paul, and to wait to do that. But 3-6 months?  I think that's too long. Since the decision has been made, Abe and George should/need to be returned to Paul, and let him incur the expense of the tests to figure out Abe's proper dose of insulin. If Abe and George had been adopted by someone else, it would be the same thing. This was all on Thursday and more than once I've asked the Foster Home Coordinator to call me, and that has yet to happen. I know she's busy and there are dogs with bigger and more serious needs than Abe and George. And so I'm trying to be patient.
~The Yellow Labs practicing patience - Chip/red collar, and George, left and Abe~
But I'm not always good at that. I think I learned it from Todd. Who by the way was already creating a bit of mischief this year when he somehow got onto the ironing board in search of Tiggy's food, that wasn't there.
So, onward to the New Year we go. With 2019 behind us, I'm reminded that all we can do is look back, relish the good times, learn from the bad and go forward. Or as some people, and maybe even dogs like Todd would say, “Bravely Onward.” Yes, indeed.