Sunday, December 31, 2023

Onto 2024

The last day of 2023 -- I've or rather we've made it through the holidays pretty much unscathed. 

I've been off work since before Christmas. And after more than a week of eating too much of all the wrong things, and sleeping a little later than usual, I'm feeling recharged, and okay, not so grouchy too. Back to work on Tuesday. 


Speaking of eating. We celebrated Ree's 7th birthday on Christmas Eve. She was sent a package from "Maria," her first owner and the person who loved her first (and still does). 

~Birthday girl, Ree~

Ree thought it was better than the half-box of baking soda she ate the week before.  

I want to say thank you to each and every one of you who has visited my blog and taken the time to read, and comment on my posts. 


My continuing goal is to be a better blogger next year than I was this year. There is a lot of room for improvement!!


That includes finishing the posts that I start writing that never get published to my blog. 


And so, I’m looking forward to a lot of things hopefully improving next year. 


And I wish you all a very Happy New Year and I hope that your 2024 will be a fantastic year for you and your families who are two and 4 legged!! 

Saturday, December 23, 2023

His Natural Element

What we have here, is a Scottish Terrier in his natural element. 

Todd could not have been happier on a recent rainy day. 

I had to bribe him with a couple of treats to come back inside ....

And I couldn't help but wonder what Todd was dreaming about afterwards?

Sunday, December 17, 2023

An Unexpected Diagnosis

A couple of weeks ago, I was off to the vet with Marley and Lily. Marley was just a simple recheck of an ugly ear infection that is mostly cleared up now. Lily has been with us for six months now, and so she was due for a 6 month senior-wellness visit. I'll confess to putting off this vet visit for Lily because she's a little high-strung, and because she was extremely nervous and anxious at her last visit in March. Which is why I thought it may help to have a calm companion like Marley along to reassure her. And it did - When Marley was taken out of the room, Lily's anxiety really showed until he returned. Poor Lily....

With that, I have to say that I never expected anything else to come from this visit to the vet. Unfortunately, I was wrong.  The bloodwork was returned and Lily has been diagnosed with cancer, specifically leukemia. This was totally unexpected, and we are sad and heartbroken by this diagnosis. 

There is treatment that Lily could receive for leukemia. But her general health, and her age (she's 13 years old) and any treatment if it were totally effective, would only prolong Lily's life by about a year. Since Lily is a 'foster dog' the Medical Coordinator and I talked through all the options and her vet's recommendations. And the Board of the Rescue discussed it as well and voted on Lily's care going forward. It has been decided that Lily will not receive chemotherapy, but rather palliative care, including seeing the holistic vet to keep her comfortable for as long as possible. 

~Lily left and Marley off to the vet~

Of course who would provide Lily's care was never a question. I am grateful for the trust that the rescue has in us to continue to care for Lily, and make this last chapter of her life one full of love, good care, and fun too. 

"Comfort" is of course also a big part of this last chapter for Lily. Lily being comfortable while she's resting has been changing the last month or so. This is because Lily has several very large lipomas. So, thanks to "Jean B" I bought Lily a new bed that better supports those key pressure points that the lipomas are pressing on.   **lipomas are benign (noncancerous) tumors of fat that can grow anywhere on the dog's body, even inside their abdomen.** 

~Lily totally comfy on her new dog bed~

Lily seems much more comfortable on her new bed. And we are of course thankful for that and are hoping for many good days of grace with our high spirited and fun, flaky girl. ❤

On a different note about Iva:

Thank you all for cheering Iva on as our search continues for her forever home. And I'm going to add a huge and very big thank you to "Gemma's person, Beth" who commented on my last post that she'd love to be considered for Iva -- Unfortunately, as you thought, the Golden Retriever Rescue that we foster for does not allow for adoptions out of the service area that centers on the Baltimore and DC beltways and surrounding areas of Virginia and Maryland. Beth, I'm so thankful and grateful for your interest and willingness to open your heart and home to Iva. ❤❤

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Full Speed Ahead!

Here we are in December.... Already. Another busy week is in our history book. 

As I mentioned in my last post, there has been a lot of focus on Iva lately. She remains available for adoption via the rescue. But  there hasn't been a lot of interest in her. One reason is probably her age. Another is that her needs are specific. But after all these years, I know that sometimes the home that doesn't look perfect from the outside, is perfect on the inside. 

~Iva in late October~

Keeping that in mind, I'd gotten a call from a couple living in "King George" Virginia, just over 2 hours from me. I liked them, and even though some things in their home visit report made them not a fit for Iva, I was willing to meet them. And I thought that Iva's best chance would be to take her to them, to see if they were a fit after all.  Okay, so you may be wondering, why they were not a fit on paper... It was that they have steps - Iva's broken shoulder before she came into the rescue means that she has limited range of motion and she has difficulty going up stairs, and can't control her speed coming down them. Thinking ahead, her size also makes going up and down stairs difficult if she were to reinjure her shoulder again. 

~Road trip for me and Iva~
So we were off on Sunday for a road-trip. I've never been to King George Virginia, and many people here in northern Virginia, have never heard of it. It is a quiet rural town east of Fredericksburg (Virginia) and let me tell you, it's way the heck out there. 

~Way the heck out there in King George VA

We found our way with only a few wrong turns. "King George Couple" were nice and welcoming. They are two people with big hearts and really do want to make a difference for senior dogs. And they are totally devoted to the 2 very senior Labs that they have. But as their home visit report said, they had very slippery laminate floors that Iva kept slipping on and the inside stairs were steep and Iva slid down them both times we had her do them. And then their 2 Labs were both not the fun and active companions that Iva really needs. There were a few other things that I won't mention because it'll seem a bit trivial and maybe I was being too critical and unfair... 

But I knew leaving their home, they were not a match for Iva. However, I decided to think about it for a few days, thinking that maybe the cosmos would tell me something different when the dust settled on a 4 hour road trip. Well, it didn't. The memory of her sliding down their steps and my having to practically catch her before she ran into the wall stayed fresh in my mind. So, I let them know. And onward the search goes for Iva and for King George couple too. 

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Abridged Version of Happenings

Hello Blogging Friends! Thank you to those who checked in on us to make sure we're 'okay.' In short, I will tell you that we are. From family, to work and my volunteer role with both the rescues and of course the dogs, I'm just being pulled in a lot of different directions right now with very little time to myself. 


But now that I can check Thanksgiving off my list, not forgetting that there is so much to be grateful for, I'm onto the next thing I need to do. And among a couple of other things, at the top of my list is catching my blog up and catching up with your blogs and news too.  

I do have to admit, that these past few days, I have been trying to write a post - The words are coming, but I'm afraid that as always, it is a bit too wordy for what you may have time to read, and for what I know will probably bore you to death. So, I'll TRY TRY TRY to do an abridged version to get caught up. 

Marley .....  He's much better. His arthritis has been bothering him. He's had a couple of visits to the vet for both his achy joints, and his infected ears. He came to us with double ear infections that had been superficially treated, and both needed more attention -- More attention than the first vet that saw him was willing to provide. But Marley saw a new vet that I liked very much because she listened to my concerns, and treated Marley like more than just an 'old foster dog.' 


Lily ..... You'll remember that she's a howler when she's left. But her howling seemed to have gone up a notch or two, sounding almost painful. She tagged along with Marley back to the vet for a 6-month check up. The same vet that sees Marley is now treating Lily too. We have a good plan for her going forward, and she's also on a daily anti-inflammatory medication which has helped, and we're seeing a much happier and even more engaging Lily. 

~Lily (front) and Marley her date for the vet~

Iva ..... There has been a lot of attention on her. One morning Iva was in obvious pain and was whining and hiding in a corner, and didn't want to get up onto her feet. I 'triaged' her, and found that the pain she was feeling was in her shoulder - The one she'd dislocated prior to coming into the rescue. I'm not sure what or how it happened. It was early, so I didn't call the vet, but just got her into my van and took her there. They admitted her, and I was off to work - What a morning! Before lunch, a vet called and said it was a soft tissue injury and he thought that with some rest and medications, she'd be fine, and she has been. 

In other news ..... 

Todd ..... He's reached a bit of a milestone of 250 days since he last had an allergy attack. Knock, knock, knock on wood - He coughed a few times last evening, so I'm hoping it was just because he was outside most of the day. 

Work ..... I'm responsible again for our office holiday party. We are an office of about 10 people, so I enjoy planning it, and I have for the last 5 or 6 years - I'll add here that I do it because no one else wants to. I worked a recent Friday for a co-worker who was traveling to Kaaba in Saudi Arabia. I arrived at the office before everyone else. That never happens! 

~Work on a Friday - Where is everyone?~

Me .... It actually hasn't been all work, stress, dogs and no play. One Saturday my friends that I went to the beach with did a 'scooter tour,' in Lancaster Pennsylvania. It was a fun 4 hour trip on Vespa type scooters on a beautiful day on the backroads seeing Amish farms and a few other sights. My friends had all gone before, and were comfortable on a scooter going about 40 MPH -- as for me, well, it took me a couple of hours, but it was great fun!

Oh, and as for the rest of the gang, they're all in good spirits as the holidays rush right at us! Milo in the video below seems totally relaxed about it. I need to follow his example! đŸ„°

THANK YOU again for stopping by and checking in on us while I was away. 
You all are the best and I've missed my blogging friends!! 

Friday, October 13, 2023

A Girls Beach Weekend

Yes, I have really been missing in action. A week ago today, I was starting my day watching the sunrise over the ocean. Seeing the day begin made me even more grateful for a kind friend who invited 7 of us for a *girls weekend* at her beautiful beach house in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

The house (with its 8 bedrooms and 7 baths) is rented throughout the summer, but our friend and her husband make it their home from September to about May. So many homes like this are solely rental properties. So, how nice for them that they get to enjoy this beautiful and comfortable home with its ocean views, and how nice that we got to enjoy it too.

We were treated to the best of weather, and a trip to nearby Cape Hatteras to see the lighthouse that was given its famous black and white stripe daymark pattern in 1873. The Lighthouse Board assigned each lighthouse a distinctive paint pattern (daymark) and light sequence (nightmark) to allow mariners to recognize it from all others during the day and night as they sailed along the coast. (Who knew?) 

On another day we went to Rodanthe Pier to enjoy yet another ocean view. The weather was calling for clouds and rain, that certainly was not what we had. 


Honestly, I just couldn't get enough of the ocean views. I took so many pictures with both my phone and camera.  

The weekend was truly a whirlwind of fun. There was plenty of great food, great conversations and being spent with friends, it could not have been any better, even if it had rained. But I'm glad that it didn't! 

**Photo below is our last night - dinner and a show watching the kite-surfers at sunset on Pamlico Sound. 

Finally .... Leaving Hatteras Island. This is why in a hurricane the island gets cut off, because the ocean is on the other side of the dunes. You can even see in one photo where a wave or two came over the top. 

The dogs were all in good spirits when I got home. But I was so tired and was glad that I took an extra couple of days vacation to rest up from this little vacation. 

Sunday, October 1, 2023

The Weekends

Last weekend, Ophelia, a tropical depression impacted parts of the mid-Atlantic after its landfall early Saturday with heavy rain, strong winds and even some flooding. It put a bit of a damper on the annual Oktoberfest that the town that I live in has every year. 

Ophelia delivered about 3 inches of rain for us. The clouds stayed around through the week, but we didn't get much more rain and we're still in a drought and short about 10 inches of rain. 

I was off to the vet again with Iva to have her ears rechecked. The infection has cleared up pretty well, but not enough for the vet. So, Iva's ears were cleaned and 'reinfused' again with an antibiotic. Another recheck in 3 more weeks. 

We did get some good news, in that Iva has lost about 6 pounds since her last vet visit. Her diet of canned pumpkin, green beans, and a little bit of dry food is doing the trick. The vet was very happy with that, although I can't help but joke and hope that she didn't have a foot off the scale. 😊

I've not mentioned Todd much because I'll admit to being a little bit superstitious and I don't want to jinx anything. 

But he's had a couple of bumpy days this past week because he's been spending more time outside and he has loved every minute of it. However, I should have known better than to let him stay outdoors for hours at a time, because its triggered his allergies a bit, and he's had short bouts of sneezing and coughing - But thankfully it has been nothing like it was in the spring with his having a totally clogged up nose -- knock, knock, knock on wood that it stays that way. 

Sunday, September 17, 2023

The Three Fosters

Two vet visits were on the schedule this past week. 

The first one was for Iva for a thyroid recheck. I'll admit to being a bit nervous about this because this appointment would also involve her being weighed. I was feeling pretty guilty because I had kind of fallen off the weight-loss wagon with Iva this summer and now it was time to face the scale.  The news wasn't too bad, Iva has lost 2 pounds over the summer. And now I've gotten a renewed focus and determination to get her back on her journey to lose weight. 


The second visit was to the ophthalmologist with Marley. The drive there takes just more than an hour, and just as we did the first time, we got there in plenty of time, even though I left a little later.

Its easy for me to see that Marley's eyes are not nearly as red or 'goopy' as they were initially. But it's good to have the Vet look at them to agree and make it official. Thanks to the medication, he's producing some tears in both eyes - His left more than the right. It's slow progress, KCS or dry eye didn't happen all at once, it's a chronic issue - But Marley will have another recheck in 3 months, that I'm hopeful will be even better news for him. 
~Marley waiting for the ophthalmologist~

Since we have 3 foster dogs for the rescue, it didn't seem right to not somehow included Lily in the weeks events. That was actually easy - I was reminded that Lily had a birthday. She was turning 12, so at the end of the week, we got to celebrate.  
~Birthday girl, Lily - now 12 years old! ~

I bought a cookie that was of course shared with the other dogs. Lily, being Lily didn't mind sharing.

~Lily: Is that for me?!~

It's an honor to have gotten to know Lily these past 5 months and celebrate her 12th birthday. Her sweet, gentle nature and so many more things remind me every day how lucky we are to have the chance to share our lives with Lily. ❤