Raisin’s New Life

Little by little Raisin was coming around. There’s less cowering and more tail wagging. As he started to put on some weight and feel better he became more active. He was learning how to play with his toys and harass cats a little. The weather was getting nice and he wanted to lay on the deck in the back yard while I was working. I’d check on him once in awhile and found him sunning himself. Raisin was finally starting to relax and enjoy life.

It was Memorial Day weekend 2011. It  was such a beautiful day we decided to sit on the front porch and have coffee/tea. We put the baby gate at the entrance so Raisin couldn’t get out. There was a 2 1/2′ wall on one side and the rest was fenced. He could sit out with us and enjoy the pretty morning without being on a leash. We opening the door to go out. Raisin ran out the door and came to a screeching halt at the baby gate. He looked around, quickly turned left and over the wall he went. We were in shock. How did that little sickly dog with bad legs scale that wall? Over the wall I went. Up the hill into the woods in slippers and sweats. I could hear him baying as he gained ground. I followed him thru places only a rabbit could fit. I followed his baying over the mountain, down the other side. I called and called. No use. That nose had him and wouldn’t let go. I was in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone. I was soaked and exhausted. I finally caught up with him at a small creek. I called him. He wagged his tail and took off … nose down, tail up and baying. At least he was heading toward home this time. The baying stopped and I had nothing to follow. The only thing I could do is head home and see if he showed up. I finally made it to the road. Easier walking. Greg met me on the road and said Raisin was home. 45 minutes after this fiasco started, it was over. Raisin and I was soaked to the skin and filthy. It was 7:30 am. I’d already had my exercise for the week and almost no coffee. As much as I wanted to collapse, Raisin and I headed to the bathroom. Raisin got his bath and I handed him to Greg for drying while I showered. We spent the rest of the morning relaxing while Raisin slept in his bed.

By late afternoon Raisin couldn’t get up. I called the vet and they said to come right away. The on call vet would meet us there. We explained what happened as Dr. Geoff examined him. Raisin’s chronic cough turned into servere pneumonia because of his morning dash. He had to stay in the hospital. It was going to be touch and go for a few days.

Daisy Makes It Difficult To Keep Her Alive 

Puppies eat anything is certainly an understatement when it comes to Daisy. Unless she’s kept in her crate 24/7, she going to get into something she shouldn’t. At 11 months she still has to be watched like a hawk and we do. If you take your eye off of her for a nanosecond she’s into something. Her favorite things to eat are anything she’s not supposed to have or things that can kill her.

May 1st (2017): shortly after lunch we were getting ready to go to the barn. My husband thought he should take an allergy med before we left. He was sitting at the kitchen table and opened an Allegra D. It hit the table and bounced on the floor. He dove on the tablet, I dove at Daisy. We weren’t quick enough. She grabbed the pill and made her escape. It only took a few minutes to get her and take what was left of the pill out of her mouth. Calls to the vet, calls to the Pet Poison Hotline, induced vomiting and several hours of waiting/monitoring to see if there was a reaction. She would have been fine with a regular Allegra, but the Sudifed is harmful to dogs. Around dinner the uncontrollable sniffing and tracking arrived, along with dilated eyes. An hour truck ride to the emergency animal hospital led to an overnight stay. She was given a sedative and her vitals were monitored over night. We picked her up the following afternoon. She wasn’t 100%, but she was going to be fine.

Two weeks later Greg brought a guitar downstairs and put it on the sofa. No sooner did he turn his back when she stole a nylon guitar pick out from under the scratch guard. We have no idea how she got hold of it. He has a hard time getting it out. Just that fast, she swallowed. She was smart enough not to touch the hydrogen peroxide-peanutbutter mixture so we took her for a truck ride.  Like clockwork, 20 minutes in the truck and up things came. Everything except the pick. Since dogs can only regurgitate about 70% of their stomach contents we thought another 20 minutes may produce the guitar pick. More came up and still no pick. So we wait to see if it comes out the other end. After 4 days of watching her outside and looking for a pick I decided it was time to take her to the vet for X-rays to see exactly what was going on. No signs of the pick or any type of upcoming blockage was the good news. Another vet bill wasn’t. Still no signs of a pick, but no problems either.

A week or so later we were both in the kitchen. Daisy put her front paws on the refrigerator. Instead of getting down like she was told, she slid the calendar down the refrigerator door so it was low enough for her to steal a 1″ square magnet that was holding the calendar. Fortunately we got it back.

Since August 2016 our house has been continuously redecorated. If it’s within puppy reach, it leaves. The coffee table has nothing on it, the bottom 2 shelves of the book cases are bare, now the bottom of the refrigerator. As she grows, stuff goes. She eats books, magazines, furniture, curtain tiebacks, curtains, mini blinds, rugs, linoleum, rugs, baseboard, tags off of furniture, grass, mulch, rocks, weeds.  Is it ever going to end?

Daisy is making it very difficult to keep her alive until she’s old enough to outgrow this.

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Goodbye Farm

The farm was owned by an older couple. They bought it when they were first married and work it all of their lives. When they retired from farming, they built a house up the street on a different part of the farm. The rented out the original house. The land was farmed by someone else. He was very nice, she was a witch. We didn’t know what she was like until after we moved in and the guys next door told us.

It was summer and our neighbors had picnics. They always had friends over. We put signs at the barn to try to keep people away. Apparently they couldn’t read. We constantly found people messing with our horses. We talked to our neighbors about it, but that didn’t work and better than the signs. Having the horses with us was getting to be a problem.

We were there about 7 or 8 months. The owner had been coming down more and more to do things. His visits were during the day when everybody was at work. This would have been fine, but he found reasons to knock on the door and talk. I had work to do and really couldn’t deal with the interruptions. The more he came down, the bitchier she got. Then she started knocking at the door to yell at me. To this day I have no idea what she was yelling about. It was getting to be too much. We could see where this was probably going and we decided to move the horses to a near by boarding stable.

The horses were moved to their new home. It was a relief not to have to worry about people being around them. The fence came down and was stored in the barn with the rest of our horse things. We were still paying the extra for the barn so there was no hurry to get our belongings out. One night we came home from dinner out. I don’t remember why we went to the barn. We found the doors screwed shut and a no trespassing sign on the door. We weren’t sure what was going on. We didn’t do anything wrong. Nobody said a word to us. The following day we removed everything from the barn.

It was time to start looking for a new place to live. Life was getting more and more uncomfortable and I wasn’t happy about being home alone all day. The cats were no longer allowed out and my trips outside with Mocha were limited until Greg got home from work. In the midst of all of this we lost electric one day. The neighbors didn’t have any either so I called to report it. They said they never received our payment so they shut it off. I told them I’d give them payment over the phone but they needed to turn it back on because we had no water. Try to explain to an electric company employee from the city what a well was and how a well pump worked. I also told them they shut our neighbor’s electric off too. Within a few hours someone from the electric company was knocking at the door. We’d have electric back! They came to investigate why the neighbors had no electric and why none of us had water.  It turned out there was one meter for both houses. The boys had no idea because their electric was included in their rent. Greg and I had been paying for both sides of the house since we moved in. The electric company gave us a refund of everything we paid them since we’d been there and  sent the owner a bill. The bill would stay in his name until he installed a separate meter. To add insult to injury, he got a hefty fine for not having separate electric for each unit.

This s**t really hit the fan after that. Fortunately we bought a house, gave our written notice and just had to wait for settlement and moving day. It couldn’t come soon enough! Koko and Wrangler moved to a boarding barn. Mocha, Furball and Jasmine, Greg and I moved to our new house.

 

Daisy – Free At Last

The recovery collar is gone, the confinement is over and the hell raising has begun! Last night Daisy’s vet gave the ok for her to resume to normal activity. I’m not sure he realized what “normal activities” for Daisy are. No sooner did the collar came off, the zoomies came on. Four laps around the house, bouncing off the furniture and chasing cats didn’t take the edge off.

Almost 2 weeks after the collar came off Daisy is finally starting to settle at times. She’s still bouncing off furniture, chasing cats and trying to rob us blind, but at least there is some quiet time.

A month and a half after surgery it looks like settling any more isn’t going to happen. We’re grateful for what we got (which isn’t much). Daisy still runs around like a loon, chases cats and steals things she shouldn’t to get someone to chase her. Oh well … she’s a 10 month old Beagle puppy.

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Daisy – Growing Up and Settling Down

But it’s certainly not by choice! At 9 months it was time to be spayed. We dropped her off at the vet the night before. The house was so quiet I almost couldn’t stand it. I worried the following day until I heard surgery went well and Daisy was doing great. She could be picked up that night. She was still a bit dopey when we got there, but so happy to see us. We were sent home with a list of instructions, including keep her quiet for 2 weeks. I guess “If you want her quiet, you keep her” was the wrong response. She couldn’t walk a straight line from the truck tshe o the house, but hoping up one the sofa immediately wasn’t a problem.

Day 4 – Monday, rainy and the first day I had to deal with Daisy on my own. Unsettled and mad about being confined, this was a day of temper tantrums, fussing and seeing what she could get into in the two rooms she had to roam.  She was disgusted by being forced to sleep on the floor or in her bed and not spending all day on the sofa. She did t want to be on a leash anymore and pitched fits when she couldn’t try to rub her donut off in the fence. Somehow the little bugger figured out how to get rid of that donut. Collar still around her neck and Velcro still intact, but the donut was hanging off the side of her neck. It was like wrestling a wild calf trying to get it back on. Ugh … now she couldn’t be trusted to keep it on and I was a prisoner since I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. A trip to the vet and miss smarty pants was fitted with an e-collar and surgery site was checked.

Day 7 – Destructo pup has successfully demolished 3 recovery collars. Daisy has lost her patients over this situation and wants to play.  She wants to stay outside longer and not be on a leash anymore.

Days 8 & 9 – Another recovery collar (we’re up to 4 now), a ballistic pup and 3 cats that like to tease her. It’s going to be a really long 5 days!

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Furball – part 4

Life at the farm was good. It was on a quiet back road so we didn’t have to worry about traffic. There was a covered front porch to lay on, a back deck to sun himself on, a huge yard to play in, fields and woods to hunt. He didn’t have to worry about getting into fights with other cats. I left the back door open so the cats could come and go as they pleased. From my office window I could watch them play in the yard. When it was time for serious hunting, Furball would give Jazzie a smack for following him and send her back home.

Furball turned into a “puppy cat”. He’d follow us all over the farm. If we went to the barn, he was there. Me yelling let’s go for a walk brought both cats running. Farm life suited him …. until the horses arrived. Along with the horses came new hazards. He just wasn’t sure about those huge things that smelled funny and insisted on sniffing him. If he wasn’t careful, they’d give him a little shove. Suddenly the area that used to be open had this fence around it. Now he had to duck under. And one day he wasn’t paying attention. As he walked under the electric fence, he put his tail up. The fence zapped his tail, he yelled and took off like a grey and white rocket. We didn’t see him for 3 days. When he finally came home, it took him awhile to go to the barn again. He was more careful about the fence.

The Life of a Farm Puppy (Mocha – part 2)

Along with the standard puppy lessons, Mocha was learning how to be a farm puppy. She was pretty good during my work day. At lunch we’d play in the yard and work on her lessons. We’d walk over to check on the horses. After I was finished work we’d go out to do stalls. She learned another lesson that I wasn’t happy about – how to roll in and eat horse manure. oh well. She’s a farm puppy. She also learned that a bath with horse shampoo in the barn yard wasn’t as much fun as rolling in manure.

Mocha and Jazzy were becoming best buddies. They spent hours playing, which kept Mocha out of trouble for the most part. After dinner and dishes and after the horses were taken care of was now play time instead of relaxing time. Refusing to play resulted in her stealing something that belonged to the person she wanted to play with, finding that person and running off with her treasure. She had to be chased around the house. When she had enough she’d drop what she stole. Playtime was over and we could relax.

Mocha loved people and had to visit all of them. The oil man, the guys that lived in the other part of the house. It didn’t matter who as long as they made a fuss over her. She had the oil man laying on the ground one day, standing on his chest and licking his face. Wasn’t one of my reasons for a dog a watch dog? That wasn’t going to happen.

It had been quite some time since I had a puppy and I’d forgotten how stressful if could be at times. I also forgot about the middle of the night trips outside because puppies couldn’t sleep all night. I was quickly reminded about all of it. Getting a puppy in the winter wasn’t very good timing either. With temps in the teens at 2:00 am Mocha decided it was the best time to sniff the entire yard for a spot to go. Every night, like clockwork. I found it to be funny, but I wasn’t the one standing outside freezing at 2 am. I at least got to freeze at 6 am.

Winter finally turned into spring and we could get out more. We roamed the farm and found the stream and creek. Mocha and Jazzy played in the water. Furball had no sense of humor for the pup so he didn’t go for walks with us. She graduated to a 30′ line to see how well she listened and give he more room to run. That was going so well I decided off leash training could start. As soon as she was off the line the pup couldn’t hear a thing I said. The nose went down and she was off chasing scents. I was off chasing down Mocha. this was going to take quite a bit of work to get her to listen to me instead of her nose.

 

 

How Do They Do It?

It starts when you bring them home. They take over your sofa, bed, the entire house and somehow, when you’re not looking, your heart. Are they born with this ability? Do their Mamas teach them? Or is it something they read in the puppy handbook? I certainly can’t answer that question, but they all seem to have the ability.

We adopted a Beagle on February 15, 2010. They told us he came up from West Virginia with five other Beagles. There was a kennel fire and only the dogs in outside pens survived. They told us he was 3 years old and that he had been on meds for a cough. He had been adopted, but they returned him because he wasn’t a good fit. Underweight to the point of spine and hips sticking out and afraid of everything, we brought him home. Poor little guy did nothing but sleep, eat and occasionally go outside for 3 days. He was housebroken, learned his commands and eventually started coming out of his shell.

On Memorial Day weekend, just 3 months after we got him he got loose and took off  up the side of the mountain with me following in sweatpants and slippers, without my cell phone. Almost an hour later he returned home. It took me a little longer. After a good drink and a bath (for both of us) we resumed our day. Later that night he collapsed and couldn’t get up. An emergency trip to the vet and several days later he returned home to recover from pneumonia. It turned out his cough was chronic bronchitis and had to be managed with meds. He also turned out to be much older than 3. This was the start of Raisin’s medical issues. Over the years there would be 3 hospital stays for pneumonia and a couple of “we caught it in time and he can be treated at home”.  Change in weather, humidity and inability to test the fluid in his lungs to properly treat him were the culprits. We finally found the right meds and he was pneumonia free for over 3 years. That didn’t stop us from worrying that he wasn’t coming home every time he had to go to the vet.

At first both of us refused to get attached to him because we weren’t sure he was going to live. Somehow, when we weren’t looking, he took over the house and weaseled his way into our hearts. Instead of being afraid of being petted, he loved everyone he met and was offended if someone didn’t pet him. We took him everywhere we could. When I had a store, he went with me every day and greeted customers. Raisin told us when we were late with his dinner, when it was time to play and when it was time for bed. He was my best buddy. I work from home so he was with me all day, every day. We’d spend time outside at lunch. He and the 3 cats had a love/hate relationship. He’d chase them, they’d run. If they didn’t want to play they’d lift a front paw and Raisin came to a screeching halt (before he got smacked in the nose). Harlie watched over him like an old mother hen.

On November 16, 2015 there was another trip to the vet. He’d been on meds for what they thought was a bladder infection and things took a turn for the worse. It turned out to be an inoperable tumor. It was time to say good bye to our beloved Beagle. He visited with both of us. He knew what was going on and he was ready. He grew impatient as we said our goodbyes. Raisin had a wonderful life for the almost 6 years he was with us. The day we were always worried about had come. We went home without him.

The following days were difficult for all of us, but especially for me having to be home all day working without him.  The cats were unsettled, we were unsettled. I finally got a call from the vet. We could pick up Raisin any time. I didn’t want to go to the vet’s office and at the same time I wanted Raisin to be home, where he belonged. I ran over that day after work. The strangest thing happened when I got home. An eerie peacefulness fell over the house almost immediately. Unsettled changed to calm. A beautiful wooden box with a name plate, his paw print and a few very nice cards are in the curio cabinet with his collar. Harley sat on the step next to the cabinet every day for weeks. We swear she was visiting him. She still does, but not as often. I miss him every day. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. I know he’s still here. Once in a while I feel a nose touch my leg or his fur rubbing on my arm. He weaseled his way into my heart far deeper than I knew.

We can’t thank #Douglassville Veterinary Hospital enough for going above and beyond to take such great care of Raisin.

Reblogged from My Life With Horses. Originally published 3/12/16.

Jasmine – part 2

Jazzie was growing like a weed, but certainly not settling down. The bigger she got, the more things she could get into. Climbing up the screen was easy if you used the window to push against. When a window was closed, she’d sit on the top frame of the bottom window. I still don’t know how she didn’t fall off!

It was time to be spayed. The surgery went well. We were to keep her quiet for at least a week. You’ve got to be kidding! That was going to be an impossible task unless she stayed in a crate for a week. She was still a little groggy when she got home. I opened the carrier door and she immediately jumped up on the (chest) freezer and smacked Furball. This was going to be a long week! We finally got the ok for her to resume her normal, hell raising activities.

Furball decided she was old enough to go hunting with him. Every morning I’d let them out and she followed him across the back yard to the hedgerow. My daytime company left me and if was certainly quiet! They’d pop in during the day for a snack and off they went again, showing up in time for dinner. After dinner they stayed around.

On nice evenings both of them would go for a walk with us. There was a small stream on the property that only had water after it rained. Jazzy was fascinated by the water. One evening we walked to the bottom of the property where there was a larger creek. The silly cat started playing in it. The next thing we knew she was on a rock in the middle. Whoever said cats don’t like water didn’t know her! On the way back to the house I lost sight of Jazzy. I found her swimming in a small pool in the stream.

Summer or winter, rain or snow Jazzy was out, enjoying all the things that life brought. The horses got used to her blasting thru the pasture and into the barn. At night she’d crash on somebody’s lap or curl up with Furball.

 

 

Daisy – Puppy’s First Christmas

It was a week before Christmas. I had all the presents and they were wrapped, food was here, I was ready…. except for the tree. At 6 months Daisy was a complete terror. She was into everything she could possibly think of and she was very creative. Greg and I decided it was probably not a good idea to get a tree. Daisy’s track record for destruction lead us to believe a tree wasn’t going to survive very long. The antique ceramic tree was going to be our Christmas tree.

For the first time in my life there wasn’t going to be a Christmas tree.  I was depressed. It may sound silly, but having a tree was probably one of the things I look forward to the most. We get a smaller tree. It only gets lights and an angel on top (we have the worst cats in the county) and it makes my allergies go haywire, but it just wasn’t Christmas without it. We pass the place we always get our trees on the way home from the barn. I looked over and saw the cutest tree. Greg told me to go back to look for a tree. Home we went with our 3 1/2′ tree. Let the games begin!

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On Christmas morning we took our coffee and tea into the living room. I took Daisy’s stocking down and sat on the floor. She was so excited!  She took turns playing with her toys and taking naps all day. She got to visit with (maul) my Mom in the afternoon. Daisy was exhausted by bedtime. She has a great first Christmas!

The tree? Most of it survived. It had bottom branches missing, more pine needles down than usual and in more places throughout the house. It remained standing and the lights stayed on. It came down on New Year’s Day because I was really tired of taking tree pieces out of the puppy’s mouth.