Monday, September 28, 2015

Wet weather

Posing on the new stage at Pleasant Grove
L to R: Maya, Max, and Mickey
The forecast is for wet weather all week. The rain held off until late afternoon today, however, so I got out for a hike with Maya, Max, and Mickey. It was wet but not really muddy because the rain has come very slowly and everything had been very dry.

Jumping a log across the trail.

Maya and Mickey

Mad Max

Summer and Jasso were both due for another medicated bath and I was already pretty wet after the hike so I decided it was a good time for dog baths. Summer went first and she was good about it. I left the shampoo on her for 10 minutes to work on her skin and the toughest part for both of us was the waiting. She let me clip her nails while we were waiting and that helped pass the time. 

Jasso wasn't as cooperative with the nail trimming but he was actually more patient and just sat with me until the time was up. The great thing about Jasso was that today he was able to climb the stairs to the second floor of the house on his own. He really is getting so much stronger.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Everybody gets out

Summer and Maya
Max and Maya
It wasn't a pretty day, but it was pleasantly cool and it wasn't raining. I walked 8 dogs today for a total of 10 miles and got all the rest out to the pasture for some good running and ball playing time. Everyone should sleep well tonight.

Summer (left) and Max (right) look more alike
every day as Summer's coat grows out.

Max and Maya repeated on the second walk but
we picked up Mickey in place of Summer.
Maya, Max, Mickey
Sticking close together

The third walk was Maya with Trooper
and Theo

Trooper, Theo, Maya

Barkley hadn't been out for a while.
He had a good time.

Maya and I covered 10 miles today.
My final walk was Maya again, of course,
and the rottweilers, Barkley and Sparky.

The only dogs left who hadn't hiked were Gigi, Vince, and Jasso. I took them out to the pasture
to run and brought out Mickey, Summer, and Theo for some ball playing.

Jasso and Theo
Gigi was really in the mood to run today.

Theo in front, Summer chasing him, then Gigi,
and that's Vince on the right.
Vince didn't really play with the other dogs,
but he ran around and had a good time.

Jasso is doing better all the time.

Theo the Great, with two tennis balls in his mouth.

Summer and Theo
Jasso in front with his ball, and that's Summer, Mickey, and Theo in back.

I think Vince's ears are getting better finally.
Summer catching a fly ball

Gigi doesn't play ball (that's for dogs), but she
wanted to run so she got Mickey to chase her.

Mickey isn't serious about the tennis balls anyway
so he was happy to play with Gigi instead.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Ears and other issues

Jasso may be deaf, but his nose works well.
Jasso had badly infected ears and he apparently had a long history of chronic ear infections that left him deaf. He went back to the vet today for another treatment on his ears. They were better but still had some gunk (that's a technical term), and he certainly looked better overall. I was disappointed, however, that he didn't seem to have gain any weight! He's been eating well, very well, both in terms of quantity and quality of food. It was pointed out to me, however, that he had a significant amount of edema previously, and that was now gone. So perhaps he had lost the accumulated fluids and replaced the weight with real meat on his bones. If that's the case then he should be gaining weight now so I'll check him again in a couple of weeks and hope for some significant gains. If I ate like this dog has been eating, I would have gained 50 pounds in the past week.
At least Jasso is good with the vet techs when
they work on his ears. Vince is another story.
This is not a good photograph, but it is a very
significant one because it shows Jasso jumping
up into the van on his own. I always had to lift
him up before. He's stronger even if he hasn't
put on much weight yet.

Our other dog with significant ear issues right now is Vince. I accidently kicked one of his ears the other day when I was moving my legs to get up because Vince is always laying right under my feet. He yelped and cried like I've never heard him, obviously in pain, and he did it again if another dog bumped into his head or brushed by his ear. Vince is the last dog you want to have ear issues because he's really difficult to help when he's scared or in pain. I've got him on some antibiotics and pain meds, hoping it will ease up enough that he'll let me wash it out and treat it directly.

Gigi doesn't have ear problems, but she barfed a few times and is off her feed, so she's been fasting for 36 hours and I cooked some chicken and rice tonight that I'll try giving her tomorrow morning. I've got another vet appointment for a week from tomorrow for whoever needs it when the time comes.

After the vet visit I got Maya, Max, Theo, and Trooper out for a hike. We only had time for 4.5 miles before it was too dark.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Farewell to summer

Max is always ready to move as fast as I can.
The equinox is upon us. Summer is gone. Although I hate to see time fly, I'm always happy to see the change of seasons, especially summer into fall, which is the most beautiful time of year in Virginia. 
The pawpaw fruit is gone, eaten by squirrel, possum, fox, raccoon and maybe even a bear, its seed scattered throughout the forest. Harvest of the acorns continues in earnest as food will become scarce from now until spring. 
Trooper, right next to my leg

I'm happy to contemplate the drop in temperatures, but the fact that night dominates day from this point forward is less attractive. I'll need to adjust my schedule because evening hikes are no longer a possibility. Today I started work early, finished by about 2:00 p.m. and hit the trails for a series of three walks.

First up was Maya, Trooper, and Max for three miles. That was enough for Trooper so I dropped him off at home and picked up Theo to take his place. Max and Maya handled another three miles easily, along with Theo, and then I brought all three back home and took out Summer and Mickey for another two miles.

Maya, Trooper, and Max
Although it was mile 7 and 8 for me, they were the fastest two miles that I logged today, which was appropriate for the first day of autumn, marking the transition from hot and slow summer to the cooler temps and faster times of fall and winter. 

In another month the river will be easily visible from here.

Maya, Max, and Theo
Beautiful berries, I don't know what.

This trail-side memorial appeared a few weeks
ago honoring a man with the initials JLB.
The inscription reads: "He loved biking the trails."
I'm not a fan or adherent of the lower case "t"
religion, but I think this is nice and tasteful. I didn't
know the man but I may well have encountered him.
The dogs and I remember him every time we pass.

Theo and Max

Summer and Mickey