Friday, February 27, 2015

He spoke to me

This was the first picture (left) that I had seen of Felix. It's such a nice face. It was on the Orange County shelter's website and it caught my attention. The next day the picture on the right was posted and I was hooked.

He looks like a miniature Dane. He's probably just a happy assortment of mutt genes that express themselves that way, but it's a good look on  him. His name is Felix and he's passing as a "lab-mix." He's only about 25 pounds at about 4 months of age, so he's not going to be a really big dog. He came as a stray along with two others who were already adopted. He had a few weeks of puppy training as part of a dog training program at Coffeewood Correctional Center, so he's crate trained at least and has had some beginning basic obedience training. We are fostering him with Promises Animal Rescue.

Felix is very friendly and affectionate.
Maya was a little jealous and wanted some too.

Inspection by Trooper.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

More snow?

Barkley and Ochie run like crazy in the pasture,
snow or no snow.
Ochie in front, Barkley on the right, and
Max in the rear with the ball in his mouth.

We had more snow Wednesday night and Thursday morning. It was a pretty snow, light and fluffy as it fell, but it was warm enough that it didn't last on the roads at least. The dogs enjoyed it anyway, except Maya because I didn't get her out to hike today because of it.

Ochie, Barkley, Daisy, and Max

Ochie and Barkley

Mad Max

Ochie, Barkley, Max, and Daisy

Max is always better with a ball in his mouth, or a stick,
or something.

He may be crazy, but he takes a nice picture.

Ochie with snow in his mouth and on his nose,
Barkley behind.
Max, Barkley, Ochie, and Daisy

Daisy with snow on her nose.

Daisy and Barkley

Daisy on the prowl.

Barkley and Ochie

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Catching up

The waiting is the hardest part.
I'll admit that I don't always get my dogs to the vet on time for their annual exam and vaccine boosters. I've been neglecting our own dogs lately but today took a couple steps towards bringing everyone current.

Maya has been sick the last couple of days, vomiting at night, usually from an empty stomach. She didn't want to eat on Sunday and I didn't press it, but Monday I made her some chicken and rice and that she ate. But she got me up again at 4:00 a.m. Tuesday morning with another vomiting session so I decided we'd go to the vet today. She has acted fine, never missed a walk, and she's still her usual perky self, but obviously her digestive tract wasn't happy. She had some diarrhea out on this morning's walk, but she was hungry when we got home and she even ate regular dog food again about noon, after having had chicken and rice in the morning.

We went to the vet and got her checked out but since things seem to be moving and she's eating again we didn't do xrays. She was due, overdue actually, for her annual exam, heartworm test, etc., so we got that done as well.

Since Maya was going I took Gigi along as well to have that spot she's been licking looked at. She was also overdue for her annual visit. so we got several things accomplished. She's got some medication for that raw spot, and blood work was done to check her thyroid because her coat looks so thin.

Most of Maya's pictures were blurry,
which should surprise no one.
When we got home, we cut Gigi's nails (she's surprisingly good about that), cleaned her ears, and slathered medicated goo on that bad spot on her left hip. She went straight up to bed when that was all done, while Maya and I went on another walk. We had taken Max in the morning and we took Daisy this afternoon, but the pictures below are from Monday's walk with Max.

Maya out with Max

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Slogging through middle age

I've had a couple inquiries lately about Max. He's a fine dog
indoors or on a leash. He needs direction; he's not an
independent thinker. He should be an only dog.
I've experienced three sure signs of aging in the past week.

1. I no longer look upon snow with childish glee and excitement. Instead, I wonder if the power will go out and how much of a pain that will be. I think about how much more difficult it's going to be to deal with 8 to 10 dogs with a like number of inches of snow on the ground.

2. Skin that could once have served as an alternative source of oil in my youth, is now so dry and scaly that I look and feel like a snake shedding its skin. It's particularly bad this time of year when the air is dry anyway and the heat is running constantly trying to keep the house at a habitable temperature.

3. The most telling of all, the third strike, the fatal blow, the death knell to any claim to youth:  on Wednesday we had a meeting with a retirement counselor. We weren't picking out nursing homes, it was just a meeting with the account manager of Clay's retirement fund, but it involved talking about projected retirement age, savings, Social Security, etc. To make matters worse, all too often these days when Clay and I walk into a bar, I'm the oldest person there. It's best not to think about it. I take solace in knowing that I'm the youngest in my family, so I just imagine how my two older sisters must feel.
Maya, proving that she can and does walk on water.

The Rivanna River. You could hear the river
flow because sheets of ice were floating and
would collide. It would have been a nice day
to be out in the canoe.
Daisy and Maya, heading down a trail
covered in snow. We were the first on this
trail since the snow.
The snow has really cut into my hiking this week. I've been out for a couple of short ones, 1.5 miles one day, 2.5 miles today, but walking through snow is tough going and not much fun. We've all been cooped up indoors much more than usual and it takes a toll. The dogs get bored and restless; I get bored, stiff, and irritable. The walking is tough, but we all feel better afterwards.

Diesel is doing well in his new home. I miss the big guy. He's a big dog and a big personality, so his absence is felt around here, but he's happy and adjusting well, and we will too.

The pics are from my short walks over the past few days.

Daisy, overlooking the Rivanna River
Maya, Trooper, and Daisy
Ochie out front, with Max and Barkley in pursuit.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Get along little doggie

We got him on Christmas eve and we went through a lot together in the past two months. We battled demons from his past, medical problems from his present, and managed to keep looking to the future. 

I'm always overjoyed when a foster gets adopted because I've generally been able to keep my distance from them emotionally. Consequently, when they get adopted the feeling is nothing but joy. But Diesel was different. I fell for him, hook, line, and sinker, so my feelings this evening are understandably mixed.

Diesel (affectionately known as "Cowdog") is three dogs in one in terms of his size, his needs, and his demands on human resources. With five permanent residents here and nearly as many fosters, I couldn't do him justice. It was time for him to move along. Not Wyoming, but Crozet will be his new home.    

I miss him, but he went to a great home and that's what I always wanted for him. 

He wasn't thrilled about it,
but he was good about it.

He had a bath before doing to his new home today so he
would look, and smell, his best.

He's a lot of dog.

That face.
Meeting one of the two new dogs
in his new home.

When Diesel speaks, everybody listens.