Saturday, February 28, 2009

The One with the Update

It's Saturday night and we're still bath-free. Shh...

We did get a disturbing call today. Apparently Cali and Phoenix have appointments with Dr. Mitchell this coming week. Something tells me I'll be recruited to tag along for moral support. :: sigh ::

Mom spent most of the day working on chores while we barked at every suspicious sound. There were lots of those! I'm embarrassed to say that most of the noises were due to the wind but we did alert her to a critter in the yard AND a two-legger in the pasture.

Because of the quiet day, I figured I'd give you an update on the salt water aquarium.

We have a fish that, like Cali, is camera shy. Whenever someone appears in front of the tank with a camera - flash or no flash - this little one swims behind rocks. No paparazzi!

Heckles is still doing great! Papa made the observation that he is the first anemone we ordered in advance, so he was not introduced to the store tank. He went right into our tank, reducing the stress. Time will tell! As you can see, the clown fish still loves taking naps and breaks with him. If he's uneasy, like if mom's big head is against the glass from an odd angle, he'll retreat to Mr. Heckles.

The colt corral was shrunken for a good part of the week. Mom and papa think the heat from the pellet stove, which ran a couple of nights last week, made the water warmer than usual. As you can see, the corral is back to normal now! And all is calm in the tank once more.

Meanwhile, I've been on the lookout for papa.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The One with the Tick

It's the end of February but mom found the first tick. Ironically it was crawling on her computer and not on any of us. Regardless, it gave her the "heebie-jeebies" so we each got a good once over. The good news is we're tick-free! The bad news is we apparently all have bath time scheduled for tomorrow since it will be warm outside. As you recall, I hate baths. Mom doesn't understand it because I certainly don't mind the rain! Or the puddles, mud, manure, deer urine... I'll pretty much bathe in anything but shampoo! I'm still hoping for a last minute pardon. I'll keep you posted! Maybe the expected foul weather will postpone the baths despite the warm air!

Someone who looks hilarious before a bath? Mesa:

Obviously it's been a slow day here at the park. Papa's been away so it's been lonely around here. Not to mention none of us are sleeping well. I'm hoping to get some much needed shut eye tonight. I need my beauty sleep!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The One with the Screech Owl

Yesterday mom went to visit my good friend the Crazy Cat Lady. Lisa is a wildlife rehabilitator, thus the baby beaver she's housing and the various critters she's nursed back to health. She also volunteers her time and expertise at a local facility. She is a friend to all animals!

Mom was invited over to meet a screech owl before he was to be released back into the wild. The owl had been hit by a pickup truck. The driver heard a thud and when he got home, he gave the vehicle a visual once-over. That's when he noticed this tiny little guy in the bed of his truck!

Mom, of course, couldn't resist snapping a photo of three of the kitties. They all gather when company comes over - such social cats! And cute!

When mom got home a short time later, the smoke detector downstairs was chirping. Papa is working on the adjacent bathroom and has emptied everything into the room room with the alarm. Mom, balancing precariously on a chair amongst the disarray, decides to test the alarm after changing the battery and knocks a piece of the textured ceiling into her eye! Meanwhile, the alarm is screeching, I'm screaming at her to turn it off, Phoenix is frantically running to and from the room... and mom, squeezing her eye closed keeps pushing random buttons trying to turn it off only to elongate this ear piercing process! What is most annoying: when she finally gets it turned off and put things away, we start to walk upstairs and hear the chirp again.... from a different alarm!! All that screeching for no reason. :: sigh :: Cali was sneaking off to visit the horses and missed the ruckus.

Mom made up for it today though - we took a couple of walks outside during her work breaks. While it is still a little cold, the sun was warm and the skies were blue!

No sign of my nemesis today. But the cool air has cleared up the pond - look at all of the fish enjoying the warm weather! (They are a little hard to see, you may have to click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The One Where Phoenix Gets Caught

Another few days have passed since my last post. The weekend was quiet. Though mom is STILL busy with work, she managed to take off Saturday and most of Sunday. Saturday she and papa picked out fabric for the front window drapes in the camper. Mom runs a tight sweatshop around here. She had papa sewing late into the night on Saturday!

Sunday he had to leave midday for a training course and mom did some overdue shopping and household chores. She also started to work on a VHS to DVD program. She got it to work and burned the DVD in a round about way. Last night she decided to play it back - it's only the sound! No video. Haha... she was not happy but it was pretty late by that point so we just turned in for the night.

I slept on the bed with mom and Phoenix. We both wedged her in and feigned sleep at 4:30 when the alarm went off.... but she went to work anyway. She peeked in on us and caught Phoenix snuggled in papa's chair.

Tomorrow she'll work from home so we'll get lots of outside time. It's supposed to start warming up tomorrow and will be in the 60s on Thursday!

PS -
Papa Mike: Message received. Challenge accepted.

I will swipe a can and drop it in the mail to you as soon as get the chance. Want anything else? I see an old plate in the cabinet too. I'm sure Cali would create a diversion if I need more time.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The One Where Zona Returns

I'm BACK! After a bit of hiatus, I finally got some computer time. Mom has been SO bogged down with work - it's acceptance decision time in the private school world which, as it happens every year, is in the midst of the financial aid season with applications are pouring in every day - I haven't had any time to work on the computer myself! I spent some time catching up with LOL Dogs and various blogs. And now... I am here to update you on our week.

The weather has been cold and windy but the sky has been a beautiful blue! While at work, Papa was able to spend time outdoors most of the week and, though a bit windburned, loved being in the fresh air. Mom on the other hand was cooped up in her office or handcuffed to the computer all week and barely saw the outside. We had to beg and plead to get any walks in over the last few days. Lucky for us we've mastered the art of puppy eyes. That always works. Incidentally, she sends her apologies to those people still awaiting email responses.

Mom's week has been stagnant chore-wise but papa has been making progress on his projects left and right! He's moved on to spackling the downstairs bathroom - spackle, sand, spackle, sand - boring!

More exciting: he is making drapes for the camper!! The two-leggers looked into having curtains made but were a little surprised at the cost. So... papa is making curtains! They look awesome. Look at those pleats!

He has the bedroom curtains just about finished. We're just waiting on the clips to arrive in the mail. He'll sew those on in a jiffy and we'll hang them! Can't wait to show you the finished product. I think he'll do the same for the front curtains too. That will need a bit more fabric, which they haven't picked out yet.

Meanwhile, I've been babysitting as usual. The "baby pig" gets bored easily so my squirel and I entertain her when mom and papa are busy. She took a snooze on my back after mom took this photo - it's not as cute as it sounds. She's heavy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The One Where Jerry's the Man

The truth at last:

Dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms,
one of them's making a poop and the other one's carrying it for him,

who would you assume is in charge?

- Jerry Seinfeld

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The One with the Surprise

Something unexpected has happened within out pack. Cali has been acting like a puppy again! The two-leggers are both surprised and delighted! We suspect she had been taking her cues from Ginger and was possibly weighed down by Ginger's health problems. Cali has always been the caretaker of the pack. If one of us is in distress or she thinks we might be unhappy, she is the first one to the scene. I will have to ask her if she has been subdued out of respect and worry for Big G.

Regardless, now that she doesn't have to worry as much, she is having SO much fun! She's been romping with us more than ever, staying up late, being silly... it's been great to have Cali back!

As a group, we do bark a lot more with just the three of us on duty. Haha... mom is tiring of the many, many false alarms.

Today papa worked on recovering some of the valances in the camper today. I supervised.

Mid-day papa easily persuaded mom to watch a movie. Those of you who know her, know that this is a rare treat! It's not exactly easy to convince her to watch movies! Baby Pig and papa cuddled during the movie. Look at the twinkle in her little eye as she adoringly gazes at him while he talks to her.

We were certainly tired after out big day!

More tomorrow... :: yawn ::

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The One with the Steam Cleaner


The day is always pretty low-key here. Mom says everyday is like Valentine's Day for her. She's not joking, papa really does spoil her - and us! We're pretty lucky!

Needless to say, I am not writing this post from a secluded beach. We did not win the lottery last night. Not even a little bit. Oh well! Friday the 13th comes around again next month!

Mom spent the day cleaning the house. The main project was the steam cleaning of the carpet. With her incontinence, Ginger was very good about sleeping on the Chux (puppy tinkle pads) but did venture off the pads or her waterproofed bed now and then. Mom really worked that steam cleaner today so it is much improved. There is still one stubborn area though. She has a couple more ideas thanks to papa and the Crazy Cat Lady so that will be on the agenda for tomorrow. Sure is a noisy project . . .
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Today papa spent the day working on the camper. I do love jumping in there and checking out all of his work. The vanity and new sink are completed, the beds are set up on new the sliding drawer system, the tv and DVD player are connected (can't go anywhere without mom's DVDs), the radio is hooked through the existing speaker system for FM, XM & iPod use, the new water heater is installed and many odds and ends are finished! We're just about road ready!

This afternoon the Crazy Cat Lady and her husband came by for a visit. That was lots of fun. I love her, which is a great testament to her character! And her husband, who everyone says is the last person I should be nervous of, is growing on me. Finally!

Mom and dad went out to dinner to a relatively new place on Main Street and were pleasantly surprised. Meanwhile, we had some friends over to celebrate the day with a few hands of cards.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

The One with the Lottery

Loyal readers, today is Friday the 13th! Our week already had it's low point so the two-leggers bought a lottery ticket today figuring things can only go up and maybe the 13th will have a lucky affect! I'll keep you posted. Maybe my next blog will be sent from a beautiful villa on the beach. A secluded beach, that is, for a select few two-leggers and where all dogs are welcome. I hope we win!!

I had energy to burn today. So I did some interrogation training.

Grasshopper . . .

And then some playtime!

Phoenix listens very closely when papa talks!

Whew... her nails need to be clipped this weekend!!

After romping a bit, we were exhausted! Phoenix is sleeping Molly-style.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The One with the Blackout . . . Again

The power was out for most of last night and today. The wind today has been roaring! There is lawn furniture all over the yard. Cali said Ginger is probably kicking up the wind by running laps like she used to. She was fast in her puppy days but not as fast as I am. I break the record around here!

I'm in training after all. That squirrel is bound to slow down one day and then I'll catch up with him. I've been practicing with my toy. He has a squeaker in the tail - I LOVE to squeak it when mom's on the phone.

An update on the pack, as many people have been asking how us pups are handling the changes around here.... we're doing okay. I have been transferring my Ginger kisses to Cali to show her she is now the matriarch of our pack. Today Phoenix also gave her a few kisses. I think we have a new alpha, if Cali accepts! Sometimes the transition within canine families can be rocky when the hierarchy changes but we younger girls are allowing Cali to step forward without any ruckus.

I've been looking around for Ginger and smelling her bed before I remember that she's in a better place. Cali... we were all worried about Cali since she really depended on Big G. She's holding up very well. She knew Ginger was miserable in her final days with us so I think she made peace with what was best. She's soaking up all of the extra "making sure you're okay" pampering though! Phoenix... well Phoenix would love to be Alpha of the Universe but she's been gracious. I know she misses snuggling up to G's back but she's a mini-Ginger when it comes to being strong.

We all miss her but we're doing well. Thanks for everyone's concern and well wishes!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The One with the Celebration

Today began on the melancholy-side. We're still getting used to things being a little quieter. And then it began... a little Ginger joke here.. some pizza for breakfast there... and then the day began as usual. Except the SUN IS OUT! Not just any sun - a warm sun! It's mid-February and we have weather fit for late spring, Ginger's favorite season - 72, breezy and sunny. And the rain which had been in the forecast has dropped off the radar. I am certain that Big G is sending us a signal that she is happy, which makes us happy!

We're trying to celebrate her life and focus on those many good days. It'll be tough but things will get easier. Last night, Mesa wrote
a beautiful post about Ginger. It made us all weep but it was very well written and thoughtful of her. We appreciated it. I know they miss Ginger terribly too.

Soon after reading the post, a delivery arrived from our Arizona family.
Thank you!!

Some good news... despite the emotional roller coaster going on around him, Mr. Heckles III has survived his first week without any of the usual anemone drama. Here's hoping he can outlast his predecessors.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The One with the Rainbow Bridge

Mom once read to us, "If you are true to the love of one you cherished through the many joy-filled years, you may find that a soul - a bit smaller in size than your own - seems to walk with you, at times, during the lonely days to come. And at moments when you least expect anything out of the ordinary to happen, you may feel something brush against your leg - very, very lightly."

If anyone can do that, Ginger can. She was protective of us all and constantly teaching and comforting us - two and four legged. She was tough through to her final moments on earth. She likely had hemangiosarcoma, a splenic tumor, which we didn't know about. This is a very rapidly progressing disease, explaining the rough two weeks we've had. I think she may have been trying to make the decision easier on mom and papa.

After giving us each a few moments to say goodbye, they brought her to Dr. Mitchell at precisely the right time. She walked herself into the clinic, which was important to mom, papa AND Ginger. But they could see she didn't have many more steps in her. Not only could her spleen have ruptured, it was taking Ginger everything she had to keep going. Papa told her she could stop being tough and fighting everything life presented to her and she did, with Dr. Mitchell's loving help.
Mom and papa said that, in a way, it was peaceful.

In true circle of life fashion, in the room next door, a dog was having a c-section. Two of the pups didn't make it and I believe Ginger will be a good big sister to them in heaven. That's how she is, always looking out for everyone else.

Dr. Mitchell, as I've said before and will say again, is our saint. She was nearly as teary and sad as we were about losing Ginger, her enigma. Ginger was one of her first patients when she opened her private practice in late 2000 after leaving active duty with the US Army Veterinary Corp.

Ginger touched so many lives. This photo montage is a tribute to her. Though it feels like it's insignificant in comparison and cannot begin to capture how deeply she touched each of us, I believe she knows how much she is loved.

The opening song is by Faith Hill from 2001. Mom happened to hear it on the radio on Monday morning, as she prayed we could make it through the week, and I thought it summed up our feelings.

Click play arrow to view slideshow.

If It Should Be

If it should be that I grow weak,
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then you must do what must be done,
For this last battle cannot be won.
You will be sad, I understand;
Don't let your grief then stay your hand.
For this day more than all the rest,
Your love for me must stand the test.
We've had so many happy years-
What is to come can hold no fears.
You'd not want me to suffer so;
The time has come so let me go.
Take me where my needs they'll tend
And please stay with me 'til the end.
Hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time that you will see
The kindness that you did for me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I've been saved.
Please do not grieve-it must be you
Who had this painful thing to do.
We've been so close, we two, these years-
Don't let your heart hold back its tears.

Author Unknown

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The One with the Warm Days

I think God is smiling down on Ginger. This weekend was blessedly warm. We even had the doors and windows open for a nice cross breeze.... in February! We love it! Ginger especially loves it. Spring is her favorite time of year. This whole week is supposed to be lovely and I think it's a gift from above for Ginger, since she may not be with us this spring. As you know, Ginger hardly sits still these days. Here is a rare moment when she took a quick rest on the deck to enjoy the weather.

Meanwhile, I'm watching th
e last bit of snow melt away....

While Phoenix finds a n
ice warm spot in the sun against the house... and then later on her Magic Carpet.

Under the code of sisters, I can't tell you what this picture is about but I have titled it Secrets.

Papa did a lot of work on the trailer. I should have pictures soon. The bathroom sink and vanity have been completed. And the beds were also put into the camper on a handy drawer system to push the beds together into a king! The radio is now playing through the speakers, which was not as easy as it sounds! We're flying right along!

Friday, February 6, 2009

The One with Heckles III

This week the two-leggers picked up a third Sebae Anenome for our two Sebae Clownfish. This one is yellow and the fish seem to be very pleased with his arrival. This picture is just before the tank turned on and they woke up for the day. You can see the bigger clownfish snuggled into Heckles III and the tip of the smaller fish peeking out from behind Heckles. Cute, huh? Although, the shrimp slowly creeping up over the sand polyps is a little creepy.

Please forgive the algae blocking the view. Mom didn't want to scrape it off and disturb Heckles as he's adjusting to his new tank.

We were up early to take this picture. Mom and I got up with Ginger twice during the night. The first time was at about 2 and there was still some snow on the ground. I wasn't too tired so tried to entice mom to play. I tried all of my best moves - bouncing play bow, tossing snow in the air.... no luck. She did laugh at me though. That's quite an accomplishment when the temperature is frigid and she's standing in the yard in the middle of the night worried about Ginger. I'm doing what I can to keep everyone's spirits up right now.

So far there has been little to no change in Ginger. She's a little steadier on her feet without the Potassium Bromide but not much. Though not always, she still gets lost outside. Most upsetting, the pacing and obvious anxiety have been unaffected by the medication change. In fact, it may be a little worse. Her breathing is usually labored and she paces from 5 in the morning until about 10 each day. Not resting for more than a few seconds. Then she sleeps like a rock. The overnight and morning seem to be the worst time for her but then the afternoon she's just sleeping so it's hard to say. Poor girl. She'll be happier tomorrow. This weekend is supposed to warm up to near 60!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The One with the Animal Communicator

Well, this evening mom was very excited because The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother were aired today. That makes twice in one week! Mom loves her sitcoms! Meanwhile, papa's been busy making plans to renovate the trailer. It's currently at the doctor's office getting a full checkup. He will go in get an orientation tomorrow before bringing it back home. Can't wait to take our first trip! I'm a little nervous about the people we may encounter but mostly excited about the fun times.

Since they were both a little preoccupied, we ordered pizza. Ginger, who unfortunately hasn't improved much since changing her medication, really perked up. Despite feeling lousy, she certainly hasn't lost her appetite! That girl can eat!! She takes after mom, I guess.

Speaking of my big sister, we talked to the animal communicator yesterday afternoon. I think mom just wants to get as many opinions as she can. There were no surprises. We told her some things that only mom and papa would know to try to boost their confidence in the conversation. We are a quirky bunch so that makes it easy!

We all seem to agree with the two-leggers that if things don't look up in the next week or so, we may have to consider Ginger's options.
:: sigh :: We were all very upset but mom and papa reassured us that we won't rush any decisions. We want what is best for Ginger and someday that might mean humanely freeing of her body, which is pretty worn out. It was comforting to hear that eventually, even though she will not be here in body, she will still be available to us spiritually. On the upside, the Potassium Bromide is not yet out of her system so we pups still have hope that this weekend things will look brighter. Mom will check in with Dr. Mitchell on Sunday.

Our family jokes that Ginger is the real Phoenix of the pack. She's bounced back from some pretty dire situations. You never know what she has up her sleeve. We'll keep praying for her.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The One with the Thank You

A quick thank you to those who read my blog! Here is a recent map of visitors. Clicking on the map will enlarge it. It's exciting to know people far and wide are intrigued by my daily ramblings. Thanks everyone!

The One with the Tag

Okay, my challenge from the Cat Lady is to write ten honest things about myself.... I'm incapable of being dishonest so this should be easy!

1. I love sleeping in with mom using papa's warm space after he gets up.
2. I love breakfast, especially with a bit of egg or wet food on top as a treat.
3. I love playing in the yard on a warm spring day.
4. I love playing in the snow on a cold winter day.
5. I love playing any day.
6. I love snack time.
7. I hate answering machines.
8. I love my pack.
9. I love dinner and dessert.
10. I love sneaking up to cuddle with papa in his chair.

Mesa? TAG! You're it!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The One with More Snow

Well, that snow I showed you yesterday fell through the night!

We pups had a blast playing in it before breakfast today!

After awhile, mom said it was time to have breakfast. We decided to munch on snow to try to convince her that would sustain us.

It didn't work - we had to go in for a traditional breakfast. :: sigh ::

PS - I see my Crazy Cat Lady friend, Lisa, tagged me on her blog to give a list of things to my readers. I acknowledge the tag! I will post my responses in my next entry.
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