Saturday, August 28, 2021

Jake Arrives at Golden Pines

I am still trying to decide about what direction to take with Ree. I've spoken with a coordinator at Lab Rescue and of course the rescue will accept her, I just need to sign my ownership of her over to them. I'm very grateful to have that option for Ree. But I'm finding that I'm not quite ready. A couple of people have networked her within their circle of friends, and there has been some interest. But so far, nothing has really come from it. 

Todd enjoying his time outside on these hot sunny days lets me do the worrying about everything - And he remained unfazed as a week ago today, we welcomed a new arrival, named Jake. 

Jake originally belonged to someone who had gotten divorced, and was serving in the military. The Mom and Dad took Jake, but they are and now retired, and are busy babysitting their grandchildren and are hardly ever home. They felt that Jake was lonely and they wanted him to be in a home where he would get a lot of attention. 

Jake at 11 or 12 years old, already has the claim to fame of being the biggest Golden we have ever fostered. I don't know what he weighs, but I have no doubt he tips the scales at over 100 pounds. He is a big boy. 

At first Jake was a bit overwhelmed by everything and for a day or so he stayed turned away from us. I was so sad for him, and of course I tried to reassure him. But then he realized that he was going to be okay, and the tail wags and smiling started. 

He's a nice boy that is getting along with everyone. He really does like attention, and is getting into the routine of his new life. Welcome to Jake. We look forward to getting to know him, and being part of his story. 

Sunday, August 22, 2021

My Plan Didn't Work

Home from overnight in Allentown Pennsylvania - I'm not quite sure how I got there, but we did, and made it home too. 

Thank-goodness for a GPS Navigation app (Waze) because I'd still be trying to find my way!

As I mentioned in my last post, we met Jodi, from the blog, Heart Like a Dog and her husband. They drove from where they live Connecticut -- Allentown was about 4 hours away, around half-way for both of us. 

We went into this knowing that Jodi and her husband may not be a match. But I'd really hoped that by staying overnight in a hotel, they'd meet Ree, get to spend some time with her, fall in love, and do whatever they could to make it work, and live happily ever after. At least that was my plan. 

~Ree did well at the hotel, she loved the bed!~

Jodi is struggling with back issues, and is sometimes not so steady on her feet. So, unfortunately for that reason, and Ree being a big girl, and a bit bouncy (sometimes jumping up) they were not a match. It goes without saying that I understand and totally respect those reasons. I know Jodi is also really disappointed. But I hoped .... We both had really hoped.  

Of course I am really, really sad and depressed about it. I think Jodi and her husband would have been a wonderful home and I really wanted them to be a match. So when I get over the disappointment that I'm feeling, I'll regroup and decide what to do next.

I know the cosmos is responsible for bringing Ree to us, and I hope you'll send some vibes back into the cosmos as we continue the journey to help Ree find her new forever home.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Ree Arrives at Golden Pines

I've been holding off posting this for several reasons - Because a week ago Thursday, we welcomed a four-year-old girl into our household, named Ree. 

Ree comes to us **not** via Lab Rescue, but rather through a series of crazy events that only the cosmos can take credit for. At some point, when the dust settles I will tell you Ree's story, that unfortunately involved people who lied and saw Ree as a way to make money. 

However, I will tell you that Ree's original owner could not keep her because her husband was going into long term care, and to be able to provide for his care, she needed to sell her home. This part of Ree's story is the part that the cosmos arranged, reminding me of what a small world it is, and how connected the dog-community is too; because last year at about this time, I became acquainted with Ree's original owner -- And that's all I can/will say right now. But I will add that I have full ownership of Ree, no strings attached. 

Ree is of course totally oblivious to what is going on around her, and what brought her to us. She's a fun girl, that is getting along pretty well with our crew. The cats however, are a different story. Ree thinks they are great fun to chase, so we're working on curbing that. Aside from cat chasing, and not wanting to instead chase a ball, she has pretty good house manners and is eager for adventure and loves attention. 

~Ree wishing there was no fence between her and Gerry, our outdoor kitty~

At 4 years old, Ree is a bit young for our crowd. And I am looking towards finding a forever home for her on my own, or Lab Rescue if needed. Next weekend, Ree is meeting a long time blogging friend, Jodi from Heart Like a Dog, to see if they are a match. Jodi thinks that Ree may be too young and energetic for her. She's been looking and hoping for a smaller Lab that is a bit older. I totally understand that Ree doesn't match any of that, given that she will be 5 in December, and is a big girl at nearly 90 pounds. But Jodi has agreed to at least meet Ree, and consider her. So, I'm hoping that the cosmos will continue to do their magic, and make them a match! 

Sunday, August 8, 2021

A Forever Home for Cooper!

Just as I hoped, Cooper found his forever home on Thursday. I loved the couple, John and Mari, both retired professors, who cannot be more kind, gracious, and perfect for Cooper.  Someone said, and I agree that given his separation anxiety, this is Cooper's best chance at a new forever home. 

Updates have so far,  all been positive ones. Cooper is settling in and they are thrilled and so happy to have him as part of their lives! By the looks in the photo below, he is comfortable and feeling right at home!

I do have to add a little caveat to this story. Lab Rescue asks foster homes to post information about our foster dogs along with photos on their Facebook page every week, just to give them some visibility and maybe get someone to notice them. With over 80 dogs available right now for adoption, and adoptions at an all time low, it's needed, especially now. And I'm not creative by any stretch, but I decided to do something different and add a little something to Cooper's photo two weeks ago. 

No one commented on it, and I'd pretty much forgotten about it. But when Mari and Jeff came to meet Cooper the other day, I couldn't help but notice, that Mari, who is an artist, had printed out that photo, and made a little notebook out of it. She said that was what made her notice Cooper. So, I guess a little flair can sometimes go a long way. Even if you're like me and not creative!

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Welcome August!!

 Goodbye July . . . Welcome August!!

I know I always complain about time passing me by. But this time, I'm changing my tune and am saying that it feels like July lasted forever! With my counterpart on vacation for a week, and then out sick for two weeks, and our 'back up girl' out of town because of family, it left me to filling in at work on my days off. However, I did manage a quick trip with Max to see the sunflowers in Maryland.

At home the arrival of Sheeba and the loss of Sunny of course added to the pressure I was already feeling. But through it all, I was grateful for my vacation in June; because even though I was really tired and worn out, after a good nights sleep, I felt like the next day I had the energy to keep going. 

Our newest arrival Sheeba hasn't come without her own challenges. I've been really worried about her. She wasn't eating, and was having problems breathing. She spent an entire day at the vet where they took an x-ray and kept an eye on her. They found nothing, which made my heart break even more for her.  And because Sheeba is considered a "hospice dog" there isn't much that Lab Rescue will do for her, other than provide palliative and supportive care. I feel like it has been left to me to try and find a way to keep her going.  But that's my job as her caretaker. And so it has taken 2 weeks, and knock, knock, knock on wood, she is finally eating pretty close to an entire meal again (albeit canned food). 

But I am so happy and relived that she seems to have an appetite for something. I'm giving her whatever she wants and as much as she wants to eat. And she now seems happy and much more comfortable. The short video below was her 2 weeks ago when she felt so crummy. If it doesn't show below, here's a link ....

All that aside, Sheeba is a really nice and lovely dog, and our crew like her very much. 

Looking ahead, I'm looking forward to getting back into the routine of a 3 day work week. And wish us luck, because on Thursday I am meeting a retired couple from Annapolis, who called today and are interested in adopting our foster boy Cooper. They seem perfect for him, and I'm hopeful. 

So, onto August we go. It's easy to see that the days are getting a little shorter, the leaves rustle a little different in the wind. I also noticed the other day that the stores are filled with school supplies for the upcoming school year. Fall will be here before we all know it. 

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Good-Bye to Our Sunny-Sunshine

Thursday was a sad day for us as we said good-bye to who I called our "problem child," Sunny. 

~A last and favorite photo of Sunny~

Sunny was a bit of a stubborn soul, with a sometimes short fuse and he would snap when you grabbed his collar or when he didn't want to do something or be fooled with.  

Longtime readers of this blog may remember that because of how reactive Sunny could be, the rescue knew that he could not be safely placed in another home -- and at the time, I didn't want to keep him. So, a decision was made by the rescue to euthanize him. It was a decision that I respected, understood and supported. 

But in the end, to put it simply, my heart took over and I couldn't go through with it. I felt that there was a lot of good in Sunny, and that he deserved a chance. A chance to live his life.  And so, Sunny became ours. 

We knew Sunny's limits.  And we respected him and those limits. Because we knew that with some space and a moment for him to decide, he would always agree to do what we asked of him. I know he would do it because he trusted and respected us. And if it was something he didn't want to do, like have his nails trimmed, or see the vet, we always found a way to keep him and everyone safe. 

Sunny loved meeting the newcomers, and he got along well with them and his packmates, especially Max. Being independent and a bit of a lone dog by nature, he stayed mostly in the background, not liking his picture taken, or being the center of attention, or part of a lot of activity - Sunny loved one-on-one attention, and our best moments together were just the two of us, not asking for anything from the other. 

And so, at about the age of 15, and for exactly 8 years + one day, Sunny lived his life with us totally on his terms; and when we kept him, we agreed to those terms. I would have lived no other way with him. 

God speed to our boy, Sunny Sunshine, who like the others before him, is missed and I will look forward to seeing again one day. ❤❤

~Sunny on the day we met in July 15, 2013~

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Sheeba Arrives at Golden Pines!

In the early months of coronavirus lockdowns, a lot of people found themselves with extra time at home -- leading many to finally welcome a dog or cat into their family. But unfortunately, with lockdown restrictions lifting, many are now surrendering and rehoming their “pandemic pets.” We're hearing on the news that some animal shelters are reporting increased rates of people surrendering their dogs and cats. Whether that's true or not, what I do know is that Lab Rescue the past several weeks has been bombarded with Labs in shelters that need a place to go.  Despite all of that, and a shortage of foster homes, I'd thought because we have Cooper, Jack and Shelby that we wouldn't be asked to take another dog.  But we were. 

On Saturday, we welcomed 14+ year old Sheeba. Her family lost their home, and surrendered her to a local shelter. She was being cared for by another foster home, but a busy summer schedule left them unable to continue to care for her -- Unfortunately while Sheeba was with them, she had to have surgery to remove a mass that was found to be malignant. The vets have given her a prognosis of 6-12 months .... So, she is a "hospice foster" and will be with us for the remainder of her life. 

On the bright side, Sheeba is an easy going and nice girl, that has easily fit in with our crew. After 3 days, she's still trying to get into her new routine - Which is really important because for the past two nights at about 2:30 in the morning, I woke up to find her standing by the bedside, looking at me and wagging her tail. When she sees that I am awake, she starts barking at me. I'm not sure what she was trying to tell me. Is she having bad dreams, is she lonely, are the cats causing some mischief?  Whatever it is, she doesn't want to go outside, but she is happy to get a treat and some attention. I'm hoping that this doesn't become a nightly routine. I'm hopeful we'll get it all figured out.

Welcome to Golden Pines, Sheeba. We're glad you're here, and we look forward to getting to know you.... At a decent hour!  

Monday, July 5, 2021

Back to the Routine

¸¸.•*¨*•*´¨).•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)

(¸.•´ (¸.•` ¤ Hi friends and happy July 4th weekend! I swear it feels like last week that I was talking about Memorial Day! Can we push a giant pause button, because as I always say, the time keeps going by way too fast. 

I've been back from Tennessee for a couple of weeks now, and I am still “getting back” into the routine. 

My time there could not have been any better, unless it was for a few more days. A longtime friend that dated one of my brothers in 1975 spent a couple of days with me. We ate too much of all the wrong things, and stayed up too late. All the things needed to recharge your batteries. 

Back at home, for the most part, things have settled back into a routine. We had a bit of a setback with Cooper and his separation anxiety that unfortunately caused a bit of damage to the house. Thankfully Cooper was uninjured. We could only think it was because of the change to his routine. So, the next day instead of leaving him at home alone while we were at work, the rescue arranged for me to take him to a doggie-daycare for the day -- I think the photo below says what Cooper thought of it all!

He had a great time and he got a good report too!

I decided that instead of leaving Cooper at home alone on the days when no one can be with him, my peace of mind is worth the price for him to go to daycare. So, I'm going to ask the rescue to let him go at least one or two days a week while we are at work. 

Summer really is flying by all of a sudden and I hope we can all take full advantage of every day that we can. ❤

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

A Few Days in Tennessee

Have you ever felt like the world was being just too much? Where things and life were pushing in, crowding out your quiet thoughts and you feel exhausted, overly tired, irritable ... Need I say more? 

Many of you know that's how I've been feeling the last few months. For me, there is no better place to remedy all that than to unwind in my happy place.... A cabin owned by friends in eastern Tennessee, where I've been with Todd and Max for the past several days. 

Out in this section of the hinterland, there are fewer people. 

There’s the huge sky full of beautiful clouds, mountains, and the people are always welcoming and warm as has been the summer sunshine. 

~The Smokey Mountains from Pigeon Forge TN~

In the morning, there are of course birds singing and there is the pecking on the kitchen window made by a male-Cardinal who we named John -- We have seen him at this window for the last 3 years. 
And for the first time since I was a kid at my Grandfather's in Kentucky, at sunset, I am hearing the call of a Whip-poor-will off in the distance. What memories that brings back!

All of this allows my mind to settle and those inner-batteries to recharge - 

And Todd and Max have fun too! 

So tell me, where do you go when you need to think? What do you do when you need to get your sense of humor and smile back ...

and restore yourself? 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Brood X -- They're Here!

It is the 26th of May, and we are really in the thick of things with life running at full speed. Whether I want it to or not. I'm working some extra hours and days to cover for a couple of co-workers who are out of the office. 

With today as my only day off this week, I'm using it to catch up on a few things, inside and outside. 


We are also in the "thick" of the cicadas, known as "Brood X." Most of the species we have are annual cicadas, which emerge every year and take only one year to complete their life cycle. But these are different. As I mentioned in a previous post, this particular "brood" has been living underground for 17 years. 

All in preparation that has been leading up to this moment when they have surfaced in droves -- up to 1.4 million cicadas per acre -- to climb whatever they can (mostly trees)

~The cicadas are making a pilgrimage up our old Maple tree~

to molt into their adult form, leaving the past behind them...

to sing their deafening love song in a loud chorus...

                           **A video below that I made today, or here's the link ....

and produce the next generation before dying in just a few short weeks from now.

I really find the whole cicada thing so fascinating, and I've taken a lot of photos. Maybe it's because it's taking place all around us, and because there are so many, we can't ignore them. 

And since their parents lived here before we did, and the ones that we are seeing did too, we are doing our best to not mow them, weed-whack them or step on them. Or let the dogs eat them, which is what some dogs in the area have been doing. Ours thankfully are not. 

Cicadas don’t bite or sting, or eat anything and so for the next several weeks, our yard, is their yard too!

I think there's enough room for all of us.