Kamis, 20 Desember 2012

Dog Spasms or Muscle Spasms - Need Help, Please

OK, I'm writing again. What else can one do when there is a blizzard underway outside, the local TV station, which provides network access, is "out", and one of the owned dogs is having his fit. I don't know what else to call it. Let me carry on and describe it. Maybe someone has an idea.

Tripp, who is between 9 and 12, started gnawing at his "privates" a few months ago. It was ignored and written off as "...we just won't take him in public...". Well, it's gotten worse. We tried allergy medicine - nope. We tried Atopica - nope. He's had urine and blood work done: normal. And, yet, the spasms are occurring closer together.

It's not epilepsy. The vet says it's mild muscle spasms. They are lasting 3-4 hours now. He whines and/or barks for the duration. Eventually his hips start gyrating if we let him go. If we put a hand on him or use the vacuum cleaner, actually vacuum his back, front, sides, he's fine. The deeper into the spasm the more desperate the barks and he begins to pant relentlessly.

We give him calming medicine as soon as we hear the bark that signals a spasm session is on its way.

This is heartbreaking. We want to figure out what it is but no one seems to have a clue. I've watched YOUTUBE videos of seizures and this seems different. He knows what is going on and is very actively involved in it. It gets a bit odd, watching him "in the act" of having this. We know he is miserable. He barks incessantly as if he is trying to tell us something.

We are at a loss. It's getting worse. What was once every few weeks and for a short time has quickly become every couple of days (3 since 12/13) and lasting anywhere from 2-4 hours.


Kamis, 13 Desember 2012

My best friend and I have to do most of our communicating on the telephone rather than in person because we are hundreds of miles apart. Our conversations are always interesting and we both end up laughing till we ache about stuff that we find hilarious in our own strange ways. When she relays stories to me about incidents in her life she uses a prelude to the "punch line", "wait for it..."

Makes me think about all the pets in all the shelters who have to hear that in a not-so-funny way. There they are, day in day out, the lucky ones that is, hopeful that the footsteps they hear bring a person or people who will take one look and fall in love. They yearn to leave the cold surroundings, no matter how many workers or volunteers try to cheer up shelters, they remain cold, as in lonely. They want to snuggle up with someone and give out that extra large sigh of relief that comes when they know they are home. To them, "wait for it" is not good news. It means another day is crossed off; it may mean they run out of opportunities soon. We want to believe their water dishes are "half full" and that it means someone is filling out the forms to complete the adoption! 

How grand that would be! And, with that, what good fortune we have had to be able to help transport rescued pets to no-kill facilities again this year. Although 2012 closes out soon we all give that deep sigh of relief that comes when WE know so many lives are saved. For being able to do this we are thankful.

This past weekend I arrived at our pick up point early enough to go inside and grab something to eat. Lucky for me I found a single banana and that was exactly what I wanted. Not that I wouldn't have plucked one from the bunch but this was easy in a - grab & go - way. OK, it was a sign for me - GET SOMETHING HEALTHY. I took it straight to the self check-out (something creepy about calling it that now that I write it). Rang up my banana for a whole 20 cents, put in my quarter, got my nickel back and wait for it....


Senin, 10 Desember 2012

This week the sweetest reference to an older dog was given to me, oh, on someone else's Facebook posting. It's calling the dog "sugar-faced"! How darling is that? I have three sugar-faced pups myself and just love looking at how wisdom shows up in expressions. Now I see them as having been caught dipping into the sugar bag of life - loving every minute of it. As I sat with them this morning for our early morning pet-a-thon session once again I was reminded of how in the moment they all are, no matter what their age or experience. Dogs love us every moment they have us and we have them. What a joy it is to know that and to feel that.

How do I know? If you have a dog you're not asking that question. If you don't then it is simply this: Look into their faces and see the emotions. Watch how they huddle in to cuddle. They read us better than we read them. It doesn't take long for a dog to figure out a person. 

Saturday's transport was wild in that we had a big boy who had to stay in his crate because he was stressed. It took four of us to balance 130 lbs plus the crate and lift it into the car! He was relieved he didn't have to get in and out and up and down. He knew he could trust us. His face revealed it instantly. He, like all the others, figured out what we this group of humans does is good.

Thanks to all transporters and groups/individuals, coordinators, drivers, shelters, fosters and adopters. Personal thanks to Quincy K9 Connection for the dedication and success they have!

Make some critter's life better; be a pet parent, but do it before Christmas or after, not during the hectic rush! Why wait?

Jumat, 12 Oktober 2012

Two in One

Okay a pre-post note: Our internet service has been upgraded and I feel we have joined the 21st century which we all know is all about technology. Indeed, there are two postings today.

There's another friend in my life who you should know. Her name is Shawn. We have never met. The aforementioned technology brought us together, in fact it was blogs! She's been worse at keeping hers updated this past year than I have but that is not what has made her my friend. She's a special person and tackles monstrous tasks such as re-doing her home and yard, taking up running at a time in life we usually sit back and watch others, and travels with her work and for pleasure. Plus she simply shimmers and buzzes with life.

How do I know this since we've never spent time together? I see it in her writing. It's in the photos of her on FB and in her blog. She thinks positively and holds her friends in high regard. She is accomplished. She is surrounded by action yet is introspective and self-challenging. I greatly admire her.

Since I am committed to the title of my blog, my dogs and cats would love Shawn. She's the kind of person who actually is the kind they think I am!

Travels with Becky

Becky in Batavia

Ever notice how anticipating a visit with someone goes on and on and on? When the visit occurs time flies. Well, my best buddy, Becky, was here FINALLY just over a week ago.

I actually took time off from petsitting. I know I know. Hard to imagine. But I did. And, I didn't do rescue transport - Ed substituted for me while Becky and I traipsed around northern and central IL. We had a grand old time. Next will be my trip out to visit her in Colorado. It is with unending gratitude I give thanks for her life and friendship!

We went to Morton Arboretum in Downers Grove, IL, to Geneva, IL, to Long Grove, IL, and to Fabyan Park in Batavia, IL. Oh, and we had breakfast at my parents' favorite place, drove by the home where I grew up (yes, it is still standing), and visited the cemetery where they and my paternal grandparents are buried. This last experience had more of an impact on me than I expected, aka, lump-in-throat. It was a place I hadn't been in a few years and had never seen the stone we put up for my parents.

Funny or not?::::::So as I'm driving around, getting back into the routine, I really concentrate as now I have a 6-speed and it's small. Tough to do anything other than drive and notice how others drive. In two days I saw a woman driving Rte 29 early in the a.m., apparently going to do a presentation for she had her copy of her materials propped on the steering wheel and was either practicing or was also on the cell phone. Yipes. Then at noon the next day, as I crossed from the west side of Springpatch to get back to my home, I was followed by a man brushing his teeth. Yup. He pulled out of an insurance company lot, we stopped for a light and he commenced to brush. Thought he'd be done when we started out again but nope. He was fiercely committed to brushing. Double yipes. What's with this? You just never know who is watching and who will put it in a blog post. I will watch my own driving more, just in case.

Yes, it has been awhile since I posted and I have no excuse. Had all sorts of notes about other spottings and topics of interest to me but then it's not all about me. I know that and continue to work on applying life's lessons accordingly!  In the meantime, as I sort through scraps of paper I know I'll uncover all those topics, reflect, and determine if they are worthy of a post. If they have to do with a strong friendship or critters you may see them evolve!
Till we meet again, here's a few recent photos.

Batavia park

Sabtu, 28 Juli 2012

Down the Road to Decatur

There's nothing like a friend saying, "Liked your blog. Looking forward to the next entry." to inspire a person to write. I'm just sayin'...
to be me or not to be me?
Off we went today, on a playday. At our nearly or merely ripe ages that means taking a field trip to another town. In this case, Decatur, IL. You might ask, "Why?" or "Huh?" or even, "What's there?". Maybe you don't ask but let's say you do as I can tell you. Have I lost my head?
local architecture sample
There's a wonderful gift/office/gourmet/book/furniture store (H & E) to stroll around in and get ideas or even make a purchase of something unusual. Find the coffee house, down on West Main, called Wildflower. Goodies are from Pakera in Champaign and if you don't indulge you'll surely enjoy looking at them. It's a very eclectic setting and long ago I coined the word, "eclectian" as I am one! We had quiche (me), a croissant (Ed feeling French), a frappe and a smoothie. There's some energy! We did make it to the sunflower (only in French) gift shop where I purchased two books, but not to the art galleries :-(.  But I took photos - hope you like 'em!  Regardless, I am into these wonderful little books of big quotes, this time, well "Time" and "Peace".

Peace - "One by one we can be the better world we wish for." Kobi Yamada
Time - "Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and lots of time with them." (unknown but let me claim it!!)

See how important it is to read such inspirations? I'm surrounded by inspiring and wise souls - 6 dogs and 3 cats and 1 magnificent husband. Fortune is mine right there but golly-gee, I've got some terrific friends, have a great education, spent good year with wonderful employers, have my health and am doing all I can to give back to my community and beyond. It's not always easy but it is always rewarding. Sometimes it's as simple as saying to someone else, "Pay It Forward". So, do.
as in "what the...?"

Rabu, 04 Juli 2012

Summer Reading Program

Every summer the local library conducts a children's reading program. It always seems to be a load of fun and my traditional input is to request the same for the adult readers in the community. We have winter, with Cabin Fever - a joyful experience on its own but a summer program would be welcomed too. There doesn't have to be an end of the program potluck; we'd manage!

This year I've noticed a tendency in my own summer reading: there's always some sort of theme. One year, OK two or three years, it has been dogs and assorted other typically 4-legged creatures. When THE HELP was published I found myself reading it, along with several other southern novels, all which drew me to take a trip below the Mason Dixon line. 2012 finds me reading my second Young Adult novel! Mercy you say - aren't those easy reading?

They are not always easy reading if you choose carefully and I have chosen WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS and THE YEARLING. Both explore relationships with animals. Both have young people as main characters. Both include richness in dialogue, character development, and moral messages. Their appeal is not limited to the pre-teen or early teen group. I'm distanced from that age range by a good country mile.

So if you're hankering for some down-to-earth novels that every one of us should experience, check those two out. If you cried at OLD YELLER, if you are a friend of Flicka, if THE VELVETEEN RABBIT makes you feel real, if you punned your way thru THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH and found your way to the library then you'll love these books! Check it out. What a novel idea.

Kamis, 01 Maret 2012

Snoqualmie point walk with beagles

Kevin and the beagles
Bob with Mt Si in distance

Brew barking - not a surprise
Brew looking for dog tracks

Selasa, 07 Februari 2012

Brew and Bob Skijoring!

Can you skijor with beagles? Well, it turns out that it is possible.
Today, Kevin and I took the beagles skijoring. They had a great time running in the snow. We went about 4 kilometers with them. Surprisingly, once they were running, they pretty much went straight. The next time we go I think we will have a couple of additional equipment items - harness for us to wear so you don't have to hang onto the leash and at minimum an 8 ft leash.

Here is a video of Brew and Kevin. (click on links at bottom of pictures to watch the videos)

From Beagles Skijoring 2012

Here is Bob
From Beagles Skijoring 2012

I guess we will need to teach the beagles these commands as well.