Tuesday, December 27, 2022

A Post Holiday Post

I'll start by wishing you all a belated Merry Christmas! I hope this time of year finds you with family and friends and making the best new memories. 

I hope the holidays haven't been to crazy and chaotic for you. Todd (below) just wanted me to take the crazy hat off. 🙂

In the time I've been gone, I pulled off planning and putting together my office holiday party at a favorite restaurant. 

We were back at the vet with our newest arrival, Iva. It was just for more blood work, and a little longer wait for all test results to be returned. When we finally heard from the vet, it was to tell us that all the reports came back with good news, except for her thyroid, which we expected. Iva's back on thyroid medication and all of the usual supplements. I think in a few months, she'll be a whole new dog. Right now, we're working on removing mats and tangles, and using a pin-brush to buff away the loose hair from her coat. When that task is done, it'll be time for a good bath and blow-dry, that we'll of course do ourselves.

~Same photo of Iva, different day waiting at the vet~

Taking the spotlight off of Iva was Jack. One morning just as I was leaving for work (running my usual late of course) he found a dead mouse that he wanted to bring inside. I quickly grabbed treats and kept dropping them until he decided to give it up. It took 5 treats. I thought that was a real bargain because I would have given him the whole handful just so I wouldn't have to get it out of his mouth. 


Ree also had a birthday. She turned 6 years old. At six, Ree is of course the youngest in our household, and hands down the most mischievous dog we have had in a very long time. She was probably disappointed that she did not get a purse, but a cookie was always a fun treat too!

In between all that, there was work, and even an ice storm. 

And and this past Friday, high winds ushered in plummeting single-digit temperatures and a power outage that lasted about 13 hours for us. What a relief it was to have lights and heat again!

With the power restored, we cruised right into and through Christmas. At the moment, it's a quiet time at our house and I took the last of my yearly vacation from work. It was only one extra day off, but it was good to be home. 


Sunday, December 11, 2022

Iva Arrives at Golden Pines

When our dogwalker said to me that, "we are growing our pack again" I laughed because it was funny and she was right, because I was telling her about a new foster girl that arrived a week ago.

~On our way home - Iva's new chapter~

Eight year old Iva (pronounced eye-vah) now takes the top spot as the newest and the biggest Golden Retriever we have fostered in more than 20 years. She comes to us from a family that has given her up for reasons from a family members allergies to a thyroid problem that was diagnosed two years ago and she was never put on or kept on the needed medication. There's also a whole backstory of her having a shoulder injury that has limited her ability to get around as well as she used to. Whatever the reasons may have been, I'm grateful that the owner contacted the rescue, and Iva has made her way to us. 

Iva's new chapter began with a busy week. It was easy to see that she was a bit confused about her whole life being turned upside down, especially when she refused treats, and didn't want to eat anything. She would barely even look at us. But Iva met her new packmates with no problem, and has fit in easily. 

~Milo, is glad he's not the newbie anymore~

Iva's first week included a trip to the vet where she weighed in at 120 pounds. But with the help of the vet, we've got what I hope will be a good solid plan going forward for her, which will of course include a weight loss program -- However, we are confident that once she's back on her thyroid medication it will help with that. It was an exhausting visit and she was so tired once we got home. 

So, as we begin our second week with Iva, she's coming out of her shell and we're getting to know her. She is there in the crowd to greet us when we come home and anyone that comes to visit. She loves her treats, she easily learned where her spot is at mealtime, and she's following me around the house. And outside I got her to engage in a little game of ball and inside she's playing with a few toys. Yes, Iva is a bit of a "project," inside and out, but she is going to be just fine. We're glad that she's here. ❤

~Waiting at the vet - Look at that smile!~

Saturday, December 10, 2022

In Other News

My last post was about Ree and an unfortunate culinary choice that she made out of one of my handbags. I'm happy and very grateful to report that she has recovered fully. 

Todd is doing just "okay." He'd hardly been coughing/sneezing at all, but this past Saturday, it started again. By the third day when it seemed to be getting worse, I put him back on an antibiotic and Carprophen (generic rimadyl) for any inflammation. Two days later, he's not coughing at all. Again, it makes me think that all this could be allergy related because Carl had put some timothy hay down, and I wonder if that was the trigger? We raked it all back up again just in case. 

Then there's our almost newest addition, Milo. I can't believe he's been with us just over a month now. He easily settled in to his new life and routine with us. 

Milo's small size (about 50 pounds) and color is reminiscent of  the original Field-bred Golden Retrievers bred back in 1800s Scotland. In appearance only he is unlike our beautiful foster girl, Daisy who was bred more for looks and is bigger, stockier, and “big-boned.” 

~Milo and Daisy waiting for their treats!~

Field bred Golden Retrievers are natural athletes. They’re smaller and slimmer, and have body types that make it easy for them run, jump and even swim all day. This totally describes Milo who is a fun, active, agile and playful boy that is always wagging his tail and 'woo-woo-woo-ing'  telling us that he's totally ready for the next fun thing to happen. Even our other Black Lab Jack, who in the past hasn't been so welcoming to 'the boys,' doesn't mind Milo either - Another testament to Milo's carefree personality that has made him an easy dog to love. We feel so lucky to have him as part of our lives and household. 

And did you catch that I said that, 

Milo was our almost newest addition? 

Well, guess what ..... 🙂

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Ree's Culinary Adventure

As if the uncertainty of Todd's diagnosis wasn't enough on the week of November 14th, something happened that totally took the focus off of him. 

~Todd says if it's not about him, he's taking a nap~

It was late afternoon on Thursday the 17th - I remember hearing 'a noise' but instead of going to see what it was, I decided to ignore it. Big mistake. Huge mistake!  Because when Carl got home not long after that, he found that one of my leather hand-bags had been chewed up and eaten - Whatever you call it, I didn't have to try and decide which dog had done it, because this had Ree written all over it. I frantically looked for any pieces that may have not been eaten, and found none, but I was at least able to account for most of the brass-hardware that belonged to it. 

~What's left of my bag~

--- And this is where I'll add that the 'crossbody-bag,' a gift from a good friend a few years ago, has always hung in that same place in the spare bedroom when it's not being used -- Ree had to jump up to get it off its hook, which is the noise I heard-- Whatever possessed her to do it remains a total mystery, other than she's a Lab, and that's what they do. ---

So, back to my story.... With no signs of the about 6-foot handle/strap and the full leather flap gone from the bag, and fearing an intestinal blockage because leather of course doesn't breakdown, Ree and I were off to the emergency vet. 

Thankfully the closest emergency vet could see her -- We didn't have to wait long before they took Ree to the back to induce vomiting and take x-rays - which was done twice. After almost 3 hours, Emergency Vet came out and told me that she thought what was left in Ree's stomach, even a couple of the small brass rivets would 'pass normally.' 

With that news, I was able to breathe a little bit easier, but Ree wasn't totally out of the woods, and I was told to watch her closely, because a blockage was still a real possibility. So, for the next week, we watched Ree's every move, inside and outside. I'll spare you the graphic details, and just say that despite it all, we did see pieces of my chewed up bag again and I'll add that Ree was totally unaffected by it all and was totally herself. And as for me, I was totally exhausted. 

It's now 9 days since Ree's culinary adventure, and she still appears to be no worse for wear. I'm told that there's still a chance that an intestinal blockage could still occur. Of course I'm hoping, hoping, hoping that it won't, as I hope for a new Dooney and Bourke handbag for Christmas. I wonder what Ree is hoping for? 

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Todd's Diagnosis

It's Thanksgiving day and I'm looking back at the hurdles we've had to get over just to get to this day. I'm not even sure where to start because its not been the best few weeks for us. 

On the morning of the 14th, I dropped off a very nervous Todd for his rhinoscopy. The Internist called afterwards and said that his sinuses looked healthy and clear, and there was no evidence of anything lodged there,  no masses or polyps or inflammation. Biopsies were taken, and the wait began for those results.

After work I picked up a very "stoned and spaced out" Todd who wanted nothing to do with me, which was okay and understandable. And so we went home for him to sleep off the anesthetic. I'll add here that the vet said that as he woke up from the anesthetic, he was very feisty and chewed through his IV. 

The biopsy reports were returned a week later, and I spoke to the Vet yesterday about them. It was mixed news as there was nothing obvious such as cancer, (thankfully!!) or an infection. The diagnosis is "Idiopathic Rhinitis" which simply means that there's no specific cause for his coughing, snorting, sneezing, etc. It could be triggered by something environmentally or an allergic response to something airborne inside the house. 

The vet wants to put him on a very heavy dose of steroids', to see if that helps -- But I am reluctant to do that because of the dose, and the long-term side effects that will come with it. If I decide to do this treatment, Todd needs to do a "wash out" of the anti inflammatory medication he is currently on, (rimadyl) so I have about 5 days on my side to consider it. 

It has been 'crushing' that there have been a 2-3 episodes of sneezing and coughing. But Todd seems happy and in good spirits and he is continuing to defend his turf from all the gangs of marauding deer and that's what's most important.  

And finally for those of you celebrating Thanksgiving today - I'd like to take this day to tell you how much I appreciate your stopping by my blog, leaving your thoughts and how thankful I am for your cheering us on through our highs and lows. I hope that your Thanksgiving day is filled with the best new memories!

Photo above is Jack - It was two years ago yesterday that we met he and sweet Shelby. After what can only be described as a period of his mourning her loss, he is back to wanting to retrieve tennis balls again and be with us. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Milo Arrives at Golden Pines

With the losses we had this past summer, I'm so excited to welcome to Milo to Golden Pines!  

~Introducing Milo!~

At 9 years old, Milo does not come to us as a foster dog, but via a private owner who is working 2 jobs and feels that she no longer has the time to give Milo all that he needs. A friend had seen Milo posted online in September, and so I contacted the owner, and the rest is history. I'm grateful to her for giving us Milo and trusting us to give him a good home and be his new family too. 

~Milo's online profile-photo~

The intros to Milo's new packmates has gone really well. Usually we limit the dogs interactions with the newcomer just to give everyone time to get to know the new-kid and for them to get used to the vibe of their new home and not be overwhelmed. We didn't have to do that with Milo because he has fit right in and all of the dogs like him. And when I woke up and found Milo sleeping on our bed last night, I'd say he feels right at home. 

~Daisy showing Milo what to do and where to wait for treats~

Milo is really a nice boy, and has a fun playful side that you cannot help but smile at. We are enjoying getting to know him, and for the chance to be part of the next chapter of his life. 

Welcome Milo! 

Sunday, November 6, 2022

For Coppa's Girl

Dear "Coppa's Girl," 

I know this post is past due, but I hope you understand that I didn't want to leave a reply to one of your comments, because I worried it may be overlooked. 

But I wanted to let you know how sorry I am about the loss of your girl, Inca, in October. You'd mentioned her in many of your comments, and I felt like I knew your beautiful Lab through you. I know that Inca had a wonderful and full life, and your beautiful companion left this life knowing she was loved, adored and treasured -- And all that and so much more are what Inca took with her as she left this life for the next, and is and will always be a part of you both. It is that love and so much more that will always keep you connected to one another. 

I know your house feels empty without Inca. And so I hope that when the time is right, you'll once again consider opening your heart and home to a dog that needs someone like you to love and adore them, just as you did your beloved Inca, who's loss, I am truly sorry about. ❤

~A "Rainbow Cloud" from a storm we had not that long ago~

Saturday, November 5, 2022

At The Specialist

The start of another week is on the horizon and it's bringing an extra day off work. I have plans on how I'm going to fill my Tuesday, but we'll see what it turns out to be. 

Not that I ever have to worry about the use of spare time. This past week ended with Todd finally seeing the specialty Internal Medicine Vet. I made the appointment nearly six weeks ago, so it was highly anticipated. 

Todd has been feeling pretty well for the most part. He's had days where he didn't cough/snort/sneeze at all, and other times where it could be heard throughout the day and he couldn't breathe through his nose at all. This past week was a particularly difficult one for Todd, so I put him back on an antibiotic, and that seemed to have again knocked down what appears to be a reoccurring infection.

At the specialist, Todd was a pretty nervous boy. Unfortunately, we didn't get a 'confirmed' diagnosis as I hoped we would, and as they initially thought they'd be able to provide. The Internist really thinks Todd has some kind of an 'infection' that there's no real cure for, and so she wants to do a rhinoscopy-- so we've scheduled that for the 14th of November. Given that this whole thing with Todd's blocked sinus began suddenly, I am holding onto something being lodged in his big Scottie nose even though the specialist says this is very rare, and not likely. But Todd has no real symptoms of this infection she mentioned - no nasal discharge, swelling or tenderness - so we'll see who is right, and who is wrong. 

It was a really busy day - Todd and I were exhausted afterwards. We came home and took a nap. 

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Today is About Jaycee

Jaycee is still available for adoption via Lab Rescue. We've had a few inquiries, but so far, after 230 days with us, there's been no one that's a real match for her. 

Someone interested in adopting Jaycee came yesterday to meet her. I liked them very much, and Jaycee seemed to like them too. Unfortunately, their timing isn't right. They have two trips planned that are for more than two weeks before the end of November - Along with that, they didn't feel that 'love connection' for Jaycee, only sympathy for the life she's led.

~Perspective adopter walking Jaycee~

Yes, Jaycee is a dog that knew nothing about 'real-life,' except for giving birth to puppies before she came to us. And yes, she has had a lot to learn and has learned a lot since she's been with us. She has a bit of a quirky personality, and can be a little reactive with people that she should know she can trust - like our dog-walker, and my brother - We've tried to figure it out, but not being there when she reacts by barking and growling makes that impossible because when we are here and they're around, she's fine. I think it has to do with her not feeling safe and secure because with me and Carl, she couldn't any more affectionate, relaxed and happy too. 

~Ree and Jaycee, my kitchen helpers~

Jaycee is great with the other dogs and cats and is good in the house. Her 'safe place' is a moveable wire ex-pen to stay in when we're not home and to sleep in at night. She prefers to not sleep on a dog bed, and so we've put in a rug, a sheet, and she also has a dog-bed cover to curl up on. I have had to grin at her more than once because she appears to have a favorite cover and will drag it into the ex-pen with her if I try to change it.

We even did a little test after it was washed. We laid out two covers, same fabric, just different colors. The one on the left is the one that Jaycee prefers. 

It didn't take long before Jaycee pulled the cover into the ex-pen with her. She is clearly a dog that knows what she wants. ❤

THANK YOU  for stopping by today - I know I am so far behind on posting and reading blogs and I will post more of our news in the next day or so. 

**Happy Halloween from Daisy, who says she's a Princess, and doesn't want to be a pirate in a hand-me-down costume for Halloween!**  😊

However if you give her a ball to go with it. . . 

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Behind Closed Doors

It's true you never really know what goes on behind closed doors. But at my house sometimes you can hear it. 

This was as I was leaving yesterday. Not as many voices as in previous years, but still a pretty good chorus. 🥰

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Ree's Sneakiness

Our days start pretty early at our house. By about 5 o'clock in the morning, the lights are on as we get ready for a workday. However on the weekends and with the colder mornings it's so nice to sleep in a little longer. Most of the dogs let us do that - All except one... Ree. 

In the past couple of months, by 5 AM, Ree is awake and she starts to get antsy, whining, scratching, pacing from up and down on my side of the bed. Even if I don't open my eyes and pretend I am asleep she keeps making noise. 

Of course I thought that she needed to be let outside. So, I'd get up, and of course I'd be followed by one or two of the other dogs who were happy to be let out - I'll note here that Todd is usually sleeping in. 

But in getting the dogs out, feeding the cats, I don't go back to bed, I stay up and get the day started. And so I'm not sure when I finally noticed that Ree doesn't want to be let outside. What Ree wants is my place in bed. 

~On the bed - Ree's favorite place anytime of the day~

That affectionate, un-co-operative, playful, independent, never-shy, life of the party, laid back girl is pretty sneaky.  And I fell for that sneakiness. ❤

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Breathing a Little Easier

I have needed a break from everything. I think that the loss of George was the tipping point. I found myself enveloped in a sadness that is overwhelming. Even now, in these quiet moments, it's hard to not let it consume me. I just keep going. I have and had to. A few days after our good-bye to George, Carl left to visit family, leaving me alone with the dogs, who remind me every day that they are still here, and they still need me. Life somehow goes on. 

To keep me focused and dialed into reality, I've worked on a couple of my days off because my counterpart at work and another co-worker are not feeling well. They are both back to work, Carl has returned and I'm feeling optimistic that my life will return to its regular programming this week.

~Daisy makes every day better~

One thing that has kept me focused off myself is Todd. He's had problems breathing through his nose and has been having bouts of 'reverse sneezing.' It began at his last vet visit, when he was put into a crate in my van that had been stored in the barn. Carl had rinsed it off, but I did notice that there was still some 'barn debris' left on it. The sneezing started that day. 

~The day the sneezing started, with Jake & Daisy~

Concerned of course, I read that the sneezing typically resolves itself, so I didn't get too worried. Especially when it wasn't happening every day. But that sneeze turned into a cough and started to affect his breathing, and so we were back at the vet last week.

One of Todd's sinuses is blocked, so the vet prescribed antibiotics and he is breathing easier. But my vet and I agree that there is a slight infection that is probably caused by something lodged in his sinus. So, I've made an appointment for him with a veterinarian specializing in Internal Medicine to have his sinus 'scoped.' Given how and when it started, I'm hoping that if it is something that he inhaled into that big Scottie nose of his, that it will maybe dislodge before his appointment next month. Paws crossed.