A ‘Hot Diggety Dog’ Hodgepodge

As I write this, I’m sitting here on a very hot and humid Georgia afternoon, very thankful for this distraction and for air conditioning!  I’m grateful to our hostess, Joyce, for hosting “The Hodgepodge” and I’m grateful to her for telling me how to revert back to the old blogging format!  Life is good, once again…

1. The Hodgepodge lands on National Dog Day this year (August 26th). Do you own a dog? Did you have a dog when you were growing up, or maybe some other kind of pet? Would you say you’re more of a dog person or a cat person? Neither is okay too : )

I don’t own any dogs anymore, but we had more than our fair share of dogs, during and after my stint of volunteering at our local animal shelter, back in 2004-2005.

 This was “Ethan” the first shelter puppy I adopted.  He survived parvo and led a long, happy life.

There were so many homeless animals, it was overwhelming to me!  I worked, tirelessly, for two years to find homes for as many dogs and cats as possible, including adopting five dogs and twenty-two cats of my own!  Needless to say, our pet food bill was quite large for a few years!  All of our dogs have since passed away (some were old dogs when we adopted them), as well as most of the cats.  However, we still have two of my original “shelter kitties”, both are almost 17 years old. 

Pictured above is “Kyle”, the oldest of our “shelter cats”  (photographed while sitting in a nest).

“Fat Susan” (photographed while waiting for her next meal at The Cat Cafe’). 

The above pictures were taken about 5 years ago.  These days, “Fat Susan” isn’t so fat anymore, although her appetite is still good.  “Kyle” now spends most days just sleeping on the porch swing.  I guess I don’t have to tell you that I’m more of a cat person than a dog person, do I?

2. Last time you felt ‘dog tired’?

Ed and I both had appointments with our dermatologist last Friday morning.  It takes almost three hours to drive there and back.  We also ate lunch, did some grocery shopping, and stopped by to visit friends for a while.  I was “dog tired” when we got home late last Friday afternoon!

3. It’s said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. When did you last prove this idiom true or prove it wrong?

I’m in the process of learning to use my new Moo Soo battery-powered stick vacuum, that I absolutely love!  It’s small and light, there’s no cord, and has only a tiny dirt cup/filter to deal with.

4. A favorite book, television show, or movie featuring a dog. Why did you love it?

The first book/movie that comes to mind is “Marley and Me”.  Both were funny and, of course, a little sad.  I loved how they covered Marley’s life, with her family, from beginning to end.  Our family’s version of “Marley” was a wild and crazy dalmation named “Lively Loveable Spotazz” who lived to be ten.  “Tazz”, as we called him, really lived up to his name!

Lively Lovable Spotazz in his later years



5. Last time you had reason to (literally or figuratively) exclaim ‘hot diggity dog’?

Last night, when we finally finished a 300 piece puzzle we’d been working on for over a week!  Oh, and did I mention there was missing piece?


6. Random: (long but worth the read)

The Story of “Flutterbee”

As I mentioned last week, we’ve had a flurry of bird activity in our yard, this year.  We’ve had a record number of cardinals, with many  trying to perfect the art of flying back in early June.  As a result, we had no less than three cardinals fly into the large “picture window” over my kitchen counter.  The second of these casualties flew into the window one night while we were eating supper.  Ed got up, went outside, and discovered a young female cardinal had knocked herself ‘out cold’ and was on the ground underneath our kitchen window.   

The bird remained unconscious for about 90 minutes.  Once the bird woke up, it became clear she was hurt badly.  Her wing and leg, on one side, were clearly broken.  We decided to place the bird inside of an old dog crate, and wrapped around the bottom of it in plastic mesh, so the bird couldn’t escape through the bars. I placed some food on the bottom of the crate, along with some water in a small jar lid.  We then placed the crate and bird in a closed section of our chicken coop, so it would be safe from our cats.  

For two days things looked grim.  The bird flapped and flopped wildly every time we came near her, but couldn’t do anything except scoot on her good side. She wasn’t able to sit up, so I doubted she was able to eat or drink.  Her feathers stayed wet from scooting through her drinking water, while going back and forth across the crate.  At one point, I told Ed he would be doing the bird a favor if he ended her misery.  Thankfully, he didn’t listen.

About this time, we decided to place a small, motion activated camera near the bird in the crate, in order to observe the bird from inside our house.  What we saw happen, next, was nothing short of a miracle.

It’s a daily occurrence for assorted birds to fly in and out of our old chicken coop.  Many have learned how to slip through holes in the wire. They help themselves to left-over scratch feed, then fly back out the way they came in.  Several birds had been in and out of the coop while our injured bird fluttered and flopped, helplessly, but on this particular day, day #3,  we saw something different.  A pair of cardinals went into the chicken coop, slipped in between the bars of the top of the dog crate where the injured bird was, and actually proceeded to feed the injured bird! (her parents?)  We were shocked to say the least, and this incident proved to be the turning point for our injured guest!

After that day, the injured bird figured out how to eat the seed I provided in a lid.  She began to try to sit upright, although not on her feet.  Random birds continued to come and go in the chicken coop, but we never saw any birds attempt to feed her again.  As our bird guest slowly began to recover, I decided to give her a name.  Because of the way she flapped and fluttered about, I decided to name her “Flutterbee”.

About a week after “Flutterbee” flew into our kitchen window, a third cardinal hit the kitchen window with a sickening thud, during suppertime  Once again, Ed went out and found a bird knocked out cold!  This time Ed laid the bird on the bottom of “Flutterbee’s” crate/cage.  After a while, the bird woke up, and immediately figured out how to get out of the cage!  (Guess who was watching, and figured out how to escape the cage?)  We let the second  bird go free, but kept “Flutterbee” confined to the inside of the coop. This provided her with a large area to re-learn how to fly.

“Flutterbee” continued improving, daily.  I’d read that it takes a broken wing about 3 weeks to heal.  However, I’d also read that a broken bird’s leg takes much longer, and may never properly heal.  As we began to approach the 2 1/2 week mark, it became apparent that “Flutterbee’s” wing had healed because she was now flying back and forth across the coop, constantly.  We’d put perches in each of the four corners of the coop, and she became able to fly and land on a perch, at will.  She could sit on a perch [at night] to roost, too, even though still a bit wobbly. 

We knew the time was quickly approaching when we would need to let our “Flutterbee” go.  It took three attempts before we felt the timing was right to let our guest go back into the wild.  It took a bit of doing to get her out of the coop, but once she went, she flew across the yard, low, but without faltering.  She landed in a nearby bush.  I placed her little blue jar lid full of seeds under a nearby tree and watched.

For days, afterward, “Flutterbee” would come, every day, to eat seeds out of that little blue lid and drink water from the bowl beside it.  She was easy to spot, with her messed up tail and her sideways hop, both due to her recent injuries. Other birds soon grew wise, and took over “Flutterbee’s” feeding place.  I’d quickly make her another feeding place, and she’d always find it.  This went on for several weeks.  Ed and I were thrilled to be able to see our “Flutterbee” every day and watch her continued improvement. 

It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve seen “Flutterbee”. (A lot of our birds have moved on)  The last time we saw her, she was still hopping a bit sideways, but her balance seemed to be getting better.  Her tail looked less frazzled, and  she could fly with no problems at all.  Wherever “Flutterbee” is, I hope she knows what a blessing she’s been to us!  She’s one of God’s little miracles from this crazy summer of 2020, and we were able to witness it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on August 26, 2020 at 8:04 am  Comments (7)  
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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. How wonderful of you to take in so many abandoned pets. We have birds fly into our sliders quite often. We bought an owl and that has helped. Our hummingbirds are going a little crazy here these days. Not sure if its the end of summer or the impending storm. They tend to get busy when a storm is on the horizon. Marley and Me was a tear jerker for sure.

  2. What a delightful and fascinating story of your “Flutterbee.” God provided you an upclose and personal opportunity to care for “one of the least of these.”

  3. I absolutely love the story of your little Flutterbee. I even teared up at the end. Thank you for always taking care of so many of God’s little creatures.

  4. Your pets are so cute. I think I would have a hard time working at a shelter. I’d want to bring them all home! That definitely sounded like a very long day. Just leaving the house these days seems like work! Yes Marley and Me was a great story. I saw the movie. Way to go on the puzzle. That is such a beautiful story about Flutterbee. Pretty amazing that they came and feed her. I’m thinking you might need something that makes noise or a hanging pie plate by that window.

    Last week you mentioned about walking outside. I don’t do well in the air outside with my COPD and we are also up at the top of a hill so everything is downhill which is hard for me to do. That’s why I would like to get a treadmill. I was doing that at the gym and it’s good for my lungs.

  5. We had a dalmatian when I was little. I think it just showed up.

    I like Ethan’s ears!

    God bless your day!

  6. Oh no…a missing piece. That’s the worst way to finish a puzzle. Many people have mentioned Marley and Me. Maybe I should track that down and watch it. I can see how working at a shelter would mean animals coming home with you. Hope the rest of your week goes well.

  7. Your pets are so cute. I especially loved the story of Flutterbee. Thank you for sharing.


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