‘The Man With The Can’ Continues…

If you are a regular reader here, you are probably familiar with our continuing saga of the cats at Ed’s late parents’ house.  I’ve posted about  ‘The Man With the Can’ HERE and HERE if you would like to catch up on the story.  Today’s story picks up where the last story left off.

 100_3920Trouble

Let me begin by saying that ‘Trouble’ is still alive and doing well for a cat of her age.  Ed began giving her 1/2 can of cat food, along with her dry food, after her last health issue.  Trouble absolutely loves canned cat food!  Every afternoon you will find Trouble sitting under the carport waiting for her evening meal.  Recently, she’s picked up the bad habit of coming to meet Ed’s car, which worries us somewhat.  Trouble knows our vehicles, and, sometimes, will start to head toward Ed’s car, while he’s waiting to turn in off of the busy highway.  It would be easy for an accident to happen now that she’s started doing this.  Sigh.

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Jo Jo

‘Jo Jo’, the gray kitten who found his way to our house, about a year ago, is alive and doing well.  He’s become a full-fledged tom cat, these days. He picked a fight with every cat on the place, once his testosterone kicked in!  I’d love to have him neutered, but he’s become a bit skittish since his hormones kicked in.  He’s not gentle and loving like he used to be.  Besides, I once had a bad experience while having a ‘skittish’ cat ‘fixed’, and I’m in no mood to go through that experience again!  (My cat attacked the vet tech, and it cost me a lot of money (and heartache) when they kept my cat under quarantine for 10 extra days!)  The bottom line is, ‘Jo Jo’ will not be getting neutered.

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the new kitty (at its worst)

Which brings me to the cream-colored kitten we adopted back at the beginning of the summer.  As far as I know, this kitten is the only survivor out of the litter of ‘Rainbow Kittens’.  If the circumstances had been different, and we hadn’t been able to bring it home, I’m quite sure this kitty wouldn’t be alive today.  It had a respiratory virus, a ton of fleas, and was nothing but skin and bones, covered with fluff when we brought it home.

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kitty growing and getting healthier

The kitty turned out to be a ‘she’, and after giving much thought about what to name her, I decided on the name of ‘Baby’.  It fit her perfectly, since she’s “the baby” at our house–and she knows it, too!  After a lot of time and TLC, ‘Baby’ has finally grown into a healthy, beautiful cat.

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Baby (a couple of months ago)

Now, Baby is technically Jo Jo’s niece, since his sister gave birth to the litter of ‘Rainbow Kittens’. They’ve actually got a family connection.  From the day we first brought Baby home, Jo Jo took a real liking to Baby!  Unfortunately, Jo Jo’s testosterone was kicking in about then, and he kept trying to do ‘nasty things’ to our little baby!  It was pathetic.  Poor Baby just thought Jo Jo wanted to play with her!  After much scolding, on our part, and some thinking on his part, Jo Jo finally figured out Baby wasn’t old enough for sex.  Since then, he’s become her best friend and protector, while biding his time for her to mature!  The two eat together, daily, and can be seen playing together each morning and afternoon.

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Baby and Jo Jo

Speaking of a ‘family connection’, Baby has a family connection with another cat at our house, too!  She comes from the same descendants as our cat, ‘Charlie’, whom we got from Ed’s parents, quite a few years ago. Baby and Charlie’s family connection is quite evident through their appearance!  The two, also, share the honors of being the youngest and oldest members of our feline family.

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 Charlie and Baby

The months have passed quickly, and, now, the time has come for Baby to go to the vet to be spayed. There’s no way I’d not have this done, especially with Jo Jo lurking around waiting! I’ve taken dozens of cats to have this procedure done, but it never gets easier.  I do not like caging my babies, then leaving them in a strange place!

Please keep ‘Baby’ in your thoughts and prayers (and me, too) as we begin our ‘spaying adventure,’ early tomorrow morning.  I’ll be glad when it’s over, and Baby is safely home again!  Actually, the real adventure will begin tonight, when I have to keep Baby in the house, but separated from the baby chicks!  Wish me luck 🙂

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Published in: on September 25, 2014 at 10:23 am  Comments (6)  
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Saying Goodbye To Another Old Friend…

Ten years ago, a homely little hound dog puppy stole my heart at the local animal shelter.  He was one of a litter of ten puppies, born to a red basset hound named ‘Bessie’.  While I was volunteering at the shelter, mother and puppies were deposited at the shelter by their owner, discarded like yesterday’s news.

In 2004, the show ‘Survivor’ was very popular, and, at the shelter, all ten of Bessie’s puppies were given names of people who were playing the game of ‘Survivor,’ at the time.  The brown puppy’s name was ‘Ethan’, named for Ethan Zohn, the  cute, curly-haired soccer player, who was popular on Survivor that season.

When I decided to adopt Ethan, I decided to keep his name, and thus began my adventures with Ethan, the hound dog. (Note: Only one of Ethan’s nine litter mates survived the shelter.  The others were eventually euthanized.)

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Ethan, enjoying a moment inside

I don’t know what kind of dog Ethan’s father was, but he must have been a big dog!  Ethan grew to be much larger than his basset hound mother, but he had many of her characteristics.  His most outstanding features were his eyes, his long floppy ears, four big feet, and a funny personality.  Ethan could hold his mouth in such a way, that he appeared to actually smile, at times.  When he wagged his tail, it went around and around like a propeller.

Ethan was raised, at my house, by an old brown collie, named ‘Hobbs’.  Hobbs was my first animal shelter rescue, and was the best dog I’ve ever owned.  The peculiar thing about Hobbs was the fact that he always ate his food while lying down.  It wasn’t long before young Ethan developed the same odd habit, which continued his entire life.

Ethan wasn’t always an easy puppy to love.  As a young dog, Ethan had a wicked attraction to cats, and killed more than a couple of my kittens before he finally outgrew his cat attraction and rough playfulness.  I’ll never forget the morning I looked out of the window to see Ethan carrying my favorite orange kitten, ‘Peaches’, in his mouth!  I cried and yelled at Ethan, who didn’t seem to have a clue that he’d just killed my kitten!

A few weeks after adopting Ethan, he became sick with Parvo.  I was pretty sure what the problem was, even before the vet diagnosed him.  (I may had inadvertently brought the virus home from the shelter on my shoes.)  I didn’t have a lot of money to pay for a hospital stay, so the vet told me how to care for Ethan at home.  I did everything the vet told me to do, and Ethan defied the odds and lived–but he was a sorry-looking sight for a while!

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Ethan, after Parvo

A few weeks after surviving Parvo, Ethan came down with a case of Red Mange, the result of his damaged immune system, the vet explained.  Once again, the vet guided me through the treatment process, and, once again, Ethan defied the odds, and was cured.  The mange treatment was painful, though, and as a result, Ethan grew to mistrust me. (The strong dip burns the raw skin)  Ethan would no longer let me bath him or put my arms around him in any way.  I wasn’t able to put any kind of medication on him, not even flea powder!   If Ethan ever saw me with any kind of container, he quickly bolted out of sight!  Ethan remained skittish the rest of his life.

When I adopted Ethan, we lived in our old house, next door.  We built our new house and moved three years later.  As a result, Ethan could never decide which house to call home!  He spent as much time at our old house, with my daughter,  as he did at the new house with me.  He’d often split his time between our porches.

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Ethan, resting in his favorite position (on my daughter’s porch)

Before my daughter moved next door, she lived just down the road.  At times, Ethan would roam down the road to visit with her dogs.  On one such visit, Ethan wandered out onto the highway, and was hit by a car.  Once again, Ethan defied the odds, and wasn’t killed, but one of his hips was injured. The injury resulted in arthritis, during his later years. In an effort to get more comfortable, Ethan often began sleeping on his back!

The thing Ethan loved most was eating!  That old hound dog would eat everything in sight, especially cat food. Ethan was notorious for stealing the cats’ feeding bowls, and carrying them off into the woods to lick them clean!  Ethan was a sneaky one, and he finally forced Ed to build the cats a ‘cat cafe’, high up off the ground, so the  poor cats could eat their food in peace!

Ethan had an internal clock, and if supper was running late, he’d gladly remind you when it was time to eat!  Many afternoons when Ed and I would be working out in the garden,  Ethan would call to us from the yard, telling us it was suppertime.  He had a loud, gruff bark that was impossible to ignore.  Ethan’s gruff bark would alert us about visitors approaching, as well.

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Ethan, a couple of years ago

Thankfully, Ethan eventually outgrew his wicked obsession of bothering my cats!  In fact, one of our younger cats came to love Ethan so much, she’d sleep with him every night.  Often I’d see the two of them curled up together, napping during the day, too.  I’ve even seen Suzie grooming Ethan, at times.   At times like that, I’d think back to how Ethan used to be, and say to myself, if Suzie only knew…

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Ethan and Suzie, BFF’s

Ethan’s health eventually began to fail, especially the later part of last year.  A host of  health problems seemed to develop all at once,  including a strange, unidentified bulge under Ethan’s abdomen.  Ethan still had a few good days, along and along, but most days he didn’t stir much–except at mealtime or for an occasional short walk. We knew Ethan wasn’t going to have a lot of time left.

Ethan’s health began to rapidly decline the past couple of weeks, and he really began to struggle more with each passing day.  The glimmer in Ethan’s eyes gradually became replaced by a dull look of constant pain.  Ethan didn’t seem to be able find comfort anywhere.  He could barely walk, and the bulge under his abdomen became much larger.  His breathing became labored. Yesterday, we made the choice to say goodbye to our friend of ten years.

Thankfully, today, Ethan suffers no more.  We’ll miss him, and things won’t be the same around here without him, especially at suppertime!  Ed and I laid Ethan to rest near Hobbs, the old collie who raised him. May the two of them rest in peace together, in a place where there’s no more pain and suffering.  If they’re eating together, somewhere, I’ll bet they’re both lying down!

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 Goodbye, old friend

Published in: on May 20, 2014 at 9:57 am  Comments (8)  
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Jack

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Until now, I’ve neglected to take the time to blog about our newest furry family member known as “Jack”.  Jack  is my daughter’s dog, which, I suppose, officially makes him my “granddog”.

Jack is a Chihuahua/Jack Russell terrier mix who joined the family back in September–and has been getting into trouble ever since!  It’s been eight years since we’ve had a puppy on the place, and we’d all forgotten how challenging having a puppy around can be.

Jack’s best described as a furry fireball of pure energy, always looking for something to get into!  If I’ve heard my daughter’s family yelling “Jack” one time, I’ve heard it a thousand times over the past seven months!  I can’t count the times I’ve seen someone chasing Jack around the yard trying to retrieve an item that he’s stolen.  He’s notorious for stealing granddaughter, Madison’s, toys and everybody’s shoes–but, also, for finding hidden plastic Easter eggs!  He actually found one of our prize eggs during our egg hunt this year.

My biggest pet peeves with Jack are the way he insists on running and jumping up on me every time he gets a chance, and the way he chases my poor old cats!  If only Jack would outgrow these annoying habits, we’d get along a lot better.  Since he’s less than a year old, I’m thinking there might still be some hope!

Of course, Jack does have his good points, too.  He’s made a good playmate for granddaughter, Madison.  He thinks he’s her brother!  Jack’s so expressive with his thoughts and moods, he can be quite entertaining to have around, too.  He has the cutest way of moving his ears around and turning his head sideways, and he moans and groans just like a person!

Jack’s very loving (to certain people), and seems to enjoy snuggling and showering his loved ones with wet doggie kisses, whether they want them or not!  Jack’s a great watchdog, too, and stays on high alert at all times–not just over his house, but over mine, as well!

Just yesterday, Jack wanted so badly to attack the Georgia Power crewmen while they were working in my yard to restore the power!  In fact, some of Jack’s antics finally landed him in “timeout” for a few minutes while I was spending time at his house.

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Just look at that face! Can you tell Jack’s not enjoying being in “time out”?  I can almost guess what he was thinking.

One thing I can tell you, without a doubt.  Life around here has been anything but dull since Jack joined the family, and you’ll probably hear some more “Jack Tales” in the future.

Published in: on April 16, 2013 at 7:25 am  Comments (5)  
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Saying Goodbye Is Always Hard…

If you are a  long-time reader here, you know that I have more than an abundance of pets!  That’s because have a soft spot in my heart for most animals.  Back in 2004, I tried to rescue all of the homeless animals at the local animal shelter–and then some!  At one point, we owned 21 cats, 5 dogs, 2 rabbits, a hamster, and a parakeet!  Our pet food bills were quite shocking in those days, and Ed was just about ready to jump ship.

Fast-forward nearly nine years later, and here we are–aging folks, left with aging pets!  Ed and I have already said “good-bye” to several of “our dependents” over the past several years.  These days we’re left with only 13 cats, 2 dogs, a parakeet and 6 chickens.  I’m not sure of the age of “Tweety”, our parakeet, since he, too, is a “rescue”, but I’ve had him for over 8 years.  He has to be living on borrowed time.

Several of our pets were older when I adopted them, so some passed away after a relatively short time.  Some of our younger pets developed  illnesses which cut their lives short, as well.  Such is the life of a pet owner.  Throughout the years, the area surrounding our home has become a virtual pet cemetery, with an assortment of  occupants.

No matter how many pets we lose, it never gets any easier.  After the initial shock of losing a pet has worn off, I always try to concentrate on all of the good days we had together, and the joy we brought each other. However, this doesn’t help to fill the empty void that losing a pet creates–even when many are still left!

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Honey Bun

A while back, I wrote about our struggles with our pet rabbit, Honey Bun.  Honey Bun  had been with me for over eight years.  I’m not sure how old he was when I got him, but he was already big.

Near the end, Honey Bun eventually became paralyzed in his hind legs, and remained that way until his death, about 2 months later.  We did the best we could by Honey Bun, but we were relieved (for him) when he took his last breath–the day before Ed’s 63rd birthday.  Not a day goes by that I don’t miss that old brown rabbit, especially when I visit the carrot patch!

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Eugene’s the gray cat, who’s looking at the camera

We lost one of our cats, named Eugene, to cancer, last year, too.  Eugene struggled with eating for a long time because the growth affected his throat.  We tried to make sure he had some soft food to eat, and let nature take its course.

In his final days, Eugene found a hiding place so he could be alone, but Ed found him, and took food to him.  Then Eugene found another hiding place, which Ed wasn’t able to find.  We assumed he’d gone off and died, as cats often do.

For several days Ed worried about Eugene, and said he just wanted to be able to give him a “proper burial”.  Then, one day I went out to the cat cafe'( a structure Ed built to feed the cats on), and lo and behold, there lay Eugene, dead, underneath it.  He was nestled among some junk that had been stored there.   (Eugene had been dead for a day or two, which is how I managed to spot him.)  Eugene had come home to die, and in doing so,  granted Ed his wish to give him a “proper burial”.

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Ethan (in younger years)

2013 isn’t looking so good for our old hound dog, Ethan.  He was one of a litter of 10 puppies that were dropped off at the shelter, along with their mother.  Each puppy was named after a cast member of the reality show “Survivor”, hence the name “Ethan”.

Ethan is about to celebrate his ninth birthday, but he suffers from a variety of issues, and is not in good health.  We’re not positive, but we suspect he, too, may be a victim of some kind of cancer.  A couple of weeks ago, Ethan was really sick, and I just knew the end was near for Ethan.  After a day or two, he rallied and is still with us.

These days, Ethan spends most of his time basking in the sunshine on cooler days, or resting in the shade on the warmer days.  Ethan LOVES to eat, and for the moment, his appetite is still good.  He knows exactly what time supper is supposed to be served, and he will loudly remind us if we run late!  Ethan is a bit lazy, and has always laid down to eat his food.  The day Ethan starts refusing to eat, we’ll go ahead and get the shovel ready.  It will take quite a hole to accommodate that dog!

Shakespeare once wrote, “Parting is such sweet sorrow…”, but, in my opinion, there is nothing “sweet” about parting through death.  It’s the unfortunate downside of loving something– or someone.  Saying goodbye is always so darn hard!

Published in: on January 29, 2013 at 10:08 am  Comments (6)  
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B-I-N-G-O and Bingo Was His Name-O…

Our family lost another furry friend this past weekend.  He was a black and white cat named Bingo, belonging to our oldest son and his family.   Bingo’s home was  just down the road from us, and he was my “grandcat”.

Nobody really knew where Bingo came from.  A couple of years ago, as a kitten, he just showed up at our son’s back door one day.  Since he “just showed up”, there was somewhat of an indecision about what to call him for a while.  The cat ended up with three names–Stupid ~ Toby ~ Bingo.  Name #1 was correctly descriptive, but quickly  got eliminated because it really wasn’t a very nice name.  Name #2 somehow just never quite seemed to fit, but “Bingo” seemed a perfect match–even if he was a cat!

We used to laugh and say that Bingo had nine lives because he sure lived a lifetime of adventure in just a couple of short years.  Some cats are just more prone to trouble.

Once, when he was still a relatively young cat, Bingo hitched a ride under Christina’s,  car, without her realizing it.  About a mile down the road, Bingo apparently fell out from under the car, and landed in the middle of the busy four-laned highway.  Christina didn’t actually see him, but heard the sickening “thud”.  When she returned home from church, and couldn’t find the cat, she knew what must have happened.  Bingo was nowhere to be seen along the highway, so we all assumed that he must have crawled off and died somewhere.

The days passed, and Christina decided to get another kitten to fill the void left by Bingo.  She chose another black and white kitty, and they named him “Spencer”.  Then, lo and behold, weeks later, just as mysteriously as the first time, Bingo showed up again!  He was very thin,  battered and scraped all over his head and tail,  but he was alive–and he’d found his way back home!

Bingo after his car accident

Because Bingo was so skinny after his accident, I began to make it a habit to carry dry cat food in my car, and often I’d drop an extra bowl full of food off to Bingo and Spencer on my way to town.   Before long, both cats began to run out into the road whenever they saw my car coming down the road.  Eventually, I stopped feeding them, for fear of accidentally running over one of them.

Bingo’s house is only about 1/4 of a mile from ours, and frequently he’d make his way down the dirt road to visit us.  I have more than a dozen cats of my own, so of course,  Bingo didn’t usually receive a warm welcome–with the exception of my black, bob-tailed cat named Suzie.  Suzie liked Bingo, and would often spend time with him.  The two became friends,  and Suzie would even help protect Bingo from some of our more aggressive cats.  Bingo didn’t really need Suzie’s help, he was small, but he could more than defend himself!  He was tough.

I was on my way to town, a couple of months ago, when I saw Bingo walking down our dirt road.  I noticed he was staggering, so I stopped my car and got out.  At that point, Bingo laid down near the edge of the road, and didn’t seem to be able to get back up.  His tongue was hanging out and he was panting for breath.  It was a hot day, and I wondered if he was having a heat stroke.  Bingo refused to let me near him, by snarling and growling at me.    Somehow, Bingo managed to make his way back home by that evening.  He wouldn’t eat for a time, and we all thought he was “on his way out”,  but  Bingo eventually overcame whatever his problem was.  Once again, he’d beaten the odds.

Sadly, Bingo wasn’t so fortunate this past weekend, when he wandered out onto the edge of the highway.  Bingo had thirty acres of land to wander in on our side of the highway, but I guess the grass just looked greener on the other side.  Doesn’t it always?

I was the one who spotted his lifeless body on the far side of the highway.  My heart sank when I saw him.  He was on the edge of the four-lane highway that runs beside his home.  Darn that highway!  It’s claimed far too many lives of our furry loved ones.

Bingo was laid to rest yesterday, in the pecan orchard, along with several others who have gone on before him.  Bingo will surely be missed, but he will never be forgotten!

Published in: on September 11, 2012 at 9:34 am  Comments (5)  
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Happiness Is…

Happiness is having all of your kids living a stone’s throw from you!

Unhappiness is one of those kids having to temporarily work out-of-state…

Happiness is going for six whole weeks without seeing any signs of “predators” in the garden!

Unhappiness is discovering “hoof prints” in the soil–the day after bragging about not having any predators…

Happiness is the excitement of rescuing and bringing home a warm and furry new pet!

Unhappiness is having to watch the pet get sick and die a few years later…

Happiness is eating a home-cooked meal of fresh veggies from the garden!

Unhappiness is having to clean up the kitchen afterward…

Happiness is successfully getting the new Magic Jack Plus connected!

Unhappiness is discovering we can’t have our old phone number–or any “local” number, for that matter…

Happiness is having three grandchildren, and having  them over to play together!

Unhappiness is having  grandchildren argue over the same toy, even though there are dozens of toys to choose from…

Happiness is getting a haircut every 5 to 6 weeks!

Unhappiness is seeing all of those new gray hairs every 5 to 6 weeks…

Tell me, what makes you happy/unhappy on this first day of May?

Have a happy May Day, everyone  🙂

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Published in: on May 1, 2012 at 7:42 am  Comments (6)  
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The New Granddog, “Newbie”

Ethan and Newbie

 It seems that my husband and I have become grandparents again!  We became “instant” grandparents a couple of weeks ago when Jennifer’s dog, “Newbie” moved in at our son, Brad’s house. 

Newbie became the victim of  changing times.  Jennifer is gone from home most of the time, between working twelve hour shifts, doing wedding stuff, and spending time with Brad.  Jennifer’s dad is gone a lot as well.  Newbie was basically spending a great deal of time alone, and Jennifer’s dad got tired of being her caretaker.  In other words, poor Newbie got “the boot”.

On the same day that Newbie moved in at Brad’s, she came to visit her new “grandparents” for the first time. Ed and I are used to “furry grandchildren”. For the longest time, we thought “furry” was the only kind of “grands” that we were going to have.  Our daughter blessed us with a variety of “granddogs” and “grandcats”, but the actual first grandchild eluded us for over five years.

Our yard is a bit like a “mini zoo”, so one more furry creature is barely noticeable to us.  We are used to our daughter bringing her animals to visit, before she moved next door to us.  What we aren’t used to was– how our old hound dog, Ethan, reacted to Newbie!

Ethan, our hound, is a very fat, somewhat lazy dog. Years ago, he wandered up to the highway in his younger days, and got bumped in the rear end by a car. As a result, he has a bit of arthritis in one hip. He spends most of his days looking for soft, cool, spots to sleep most of the day away. 

Ethan didn’t know quite what to think when Newbie the dog showed up! He began to act like he was a young pup again, trying to establish his territory, and impress his new lady friend all at the same time. He was hilarious, and he put on quite a show!   For a time, Ethan forgot he was old, and a bit crippled!

By the second visit, the two dogs had become pretty good friends. Every two or three days, Brad and Jennifer have been bringing Newbie by for a visit. Newbie gets to run around the yard and play, without being on a leash, while Brad and Jennifer get to spend time with us. Newbie has become so playful with Ethan that sometimes he hides from her–just to get a break!  I think Ethan’s body reminded him that he’s old!  Newbie’s like the little annoying kid at school, she’s always there! 

One morning last week, I received a phone call from a neighbor about eight o’clock in the morning, telling me that “Newbie” had dug out of her kennel! This wouldn’t have been such a big deal, if Brad didn’t live beside a four-lane highway! I quickly hopped into my car, and went to see about the dog, since nobody was home at Brad’s house.

Judging from the size of her hole, Newbie was trying to dig to China! She didn’t succeed, but she managed to squeeze her body under the fence in order to gain her freedom. After several minutes, I finally managed to coax the wet, muddy, hyper, Newbie into the front seat of my car!  Thank goodness for a beach towel on the seat!  Newbie spent the entire day at my house, until Brad could get home from work and fix her pen, late that evening.  I got to babysit our new granddog!

Newbie escaped several more times since that day, resulting in the addition of a wooden floor to her kennel! Brad has yet to take time to actually build the floor, instead he’s improvised by just laying the plywood directly on the ground and putting the kennel on top of it…Something tells me, Brad’s about to learn a difficult lesson about how easily plywood warps whenever it’s not nailed to a frame!  Experience is the best teacher, don’t you think?

Brad is already complaining about his “step daughter dog”! The constant filling in of holes…feeding, playing with, and exercising the dog whenever Jennifer isn’t around…He says the dog doesn’t listen to him… Ha  Ha!  Boy, has he got a lot to learn!  

My daughter once said, “Dogs are great practice for becoming a parent!” You know, she’s right, and they’re pretty good practice for becoming grandparents, too! 

Have a great Tuesday, and while you’re at it, why not take a ride on the Tuesday Train?

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Published in: on April 26, 2011 at 9:08 am  Comments (7)  
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Random Things…Photos, Pets, Cuts, Etc.

On Saturday, Brad and Jennifer traveled to Savannah to have some engagement photographs taken.  Historic Savannah has some beautiful outdoor scenery in and around the “squares”.  The photographer is a friend of Jennifer’s, and has shared a few photos with her already.  There will be around 300 photos when all are edited.  I’ve “borrowed” one from Jennifer’s Facebook page to share…

Only seventy-four more days until the wedding.  Time is passing quickly.  A bridal shower is being planned, and Ed’s pool room is strewn with silk flowers, napkins, dinnerware, and candles…I’m already preparing the centerpieces for the rehearsal dinner. I have to get things done when I feel like doing them.  I learned a long time ago, not to put things off because there are good days, and there are bad days.

Speaking of good days, believe it or not, I had another doctor’s appointment yesterday, and it was a good experience for a change!  I met my new primary care physician for the first time.  I’ve been seeing the physician’s assistant, so  I’d never seen the actual doctor before. I was pleasantly surprised!  He was kind, helpful, and caring.  He didn’t make me wait long, and I didn’t feel rushed when it was my turn.  I found it interesting that all of the doctor’s exam rooms are decorated with artwork made by his children, and a weekly bible verse is written on a dry erase board in each room.  A large plaque beside the exam table proclaims “Always Tell The Truth…then you don’t have to remember anything”.  Good advice, don’t you think?  I really think I’m going to like this doctor… 

After a lengthy ordeal of trying to get a kennel,  Jennifer has brought her bulldog over to Brad’s house to live.  She and Brad brought “Newbie” over to see us on Friday. We live in a fairly isolated area, and other dogs don’t ever come around.  It was hilarious to watch our old hound, Ethan, strutting around when he saw another dog!  He hasn’t moved so much in years!!!  I think Ethan could grow to like Newbie, but she wasn’t feeling the love!  The following day, Newbie wasn’t feeling the love again, when a snake crawled into the kennel with her!  She barked and caused a commotion until somebody came to help her!  Unfortunately, the snake got away.

We had some family drama on Sunday night when my son-in-law was taking his daughter to bed.  Nobody realized that a small ceramic shoe had fallen from a shelf on the wall, and broken–until my son-in-law stepped on a piece of it!  He cut a pretty good gash on the instep of his foot, and ended up going to the doctor yesterday.  In fact, he and I were at the doctor at about the same time!  No stitches required, fortunately, since the cut was long, but not very deep.  Thank goodness for that!

That will do it for this edition of randomness…my brain is just not being cooperative today.  Have a great day, and if you feel like having some fun, hop on Tuesday’s Train!

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Published in: on April 12, 2011 at 10:53 am  Comments (11)  
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So You Want To Talk About Pets!

I am a lover of animals, keeper of pets, and I take my job VERY SERIOUSLY!  Many people have various things that they are passionate about–my passion is animals!  My family would argue that I am maybe a little too passionate about them… 

a message left for me by my clever youngest son

Six years ago I was working at our local elementary school, and volunteering at our local animal shelter.  As a result of both jobs,  my list of pets became quite long…and it hasn’t changed much today! 

  A pond full of goldfish/koi,  two hermit crabs,  a hamster,  2 rabbits,  a parakeet,   21 cats and kittens of various ages,  and  5 dogs!   Yes, our house is known as a sort of “mini-zoo”! 

The pond and fish was an anniversary gift from my husband, which I wrote about in an earlier post.  We’ve had it for many years, but I still enjoy watching the fish swim around.  We’ve battled birds, snakes, and turtles for the sake of our fish in that little pond! 

The two hermit crabs and  the hamster were classroom pets– kept at school during the week, but brought home on weekends and holidays.  Every Monday and Friday would find me lugging my precious cargo back and forth.  It wasn’t an easy task, but the children loved our classroom pets! 

"Oreo"

  It was no wonder that our classroom quickly became a popular spot for other students to visit.  The sight of little “Oreo”, the hamster, rolling around in his ball brought squeals of joy to the children. 

"Sugar Pie" shelter rabbitI rescued our first rabbit, “Sugar Pie”,  from the animal shelter after somebody discarded her after Easter was over.  The second rabbit, “Honey Bun”, was a gift from a co-worker and friend. The rabbits share a large bunny hutch with a partition in the middle of it, so they can be near each other, but not close enough to make baby bunnies! 

My parakeet, “Tweety”,  is a rescued bird.  Another friend and co-worker found him lurking underneath her car port one day.  Her husband was actually able to catch him.  They did not want a bird, and didn’t know who he belonged to…so she thought of me, and asked if I’d take him.  I could tell that he’d been someone’s pet, and he even talks at times–especially when my daughter comes over.  However, his speech is garbled and we can’t quite make out his words.  I’ve had him for five years.  “Tweety” has to live on top of my curio cabinet because “Bobs”, the house cat,  has this strong desire to catch him and have him for a meal… 

Once I began volunteering at the shelter, my outdoor cat “herd” quickly began to grow.  There is always an abundance of cats and kittens at the shelter, and most of them get euthanized.  There was a time when I “tried to save them all”.  My assortment of  cats quickly grew from 4 to 21!  My husband dreaded seeing my car door open on Friday nights, for fear of another hungry mouth exiting the car! 

Outdoor cats live perilous lives, and our numbers have diminished to around 16 or 17.  One died of old age, while some were victims of predators,  lizard poisoning, etc.  Did you know that eagles will kill and eat grown cats?  If the cat is small enough, the eagle will actually carry it away… cats also eat lizards–and some lizards(blue tailed ones) are poisonous to them.   

Please note the “Cat Cafe`” in the picture below.  My loving husband built it for me, so my cats could eat without worrying about the dogs stealing their food.  It’s about four feet off the ground, and has a top on it to protect the cats from the rain.  My sweet husband also built the rabbit’s hutch. some cats eating at the "Cat Cafe`" 

Although cats are my first love, I am not immune to dogs.  Although we already had one dog, a dalmatian,  within six months I adopted 5 more!  We became the parents of 2 more adult dogs, and 3 puppies during those six months.  Two of the adults have since passed away from old age, as well as one nearly grown dog who eventually had to be euthanized due to incurable red mange.  We desperately tried to save the dog with red mange.  We put him through 3 rounds of treatment, but he grew sicker with each one.  Finally, we decided it would be more humane to end his suffering.  The vet agreed.  He’s the white puppy in the picture below, and his name was Freckles.  What a heart-breaking ending for such a beautiful dog!  Ethan, the hound puppy in the picture, also suffered from the same “red mange” but responded well to the treatment and was cured. 

Me sitting with 3 of my dog babies... in 2004

I suppose I don’t have to tell you that for a good while,  most of my paycheck went toward vet care, and buying food for all of these pets!  Every one of my cats and dogs is spayed or neutered.  Even though our vet gave me a discount, and the county paid half of the cost, it still cost a lot of money.  I don’t regret a penny of it though.  It’s the only way to control the pet population. 

Every two weeks, it takes a shopping cart just to hold the pet foods and supplies for “my zoo”.  I can’t tell you how many conversations have been started by the sight of my cart full of animal supplies!  It’s been especially tough to  make the money stretch now that I’ve retired, and the economy has taken such a downturn.  I try not to let my husband go shopping for supplies with me because he tends to get ” ill”  when he sees the total on the bill! 

The hermit crabs and the hamster have passed away.  I no longer volunteer at the animal shelter.  It’s too hard to go and leave so many “needy” animals behind each time.  I’ve decided that I’ve done all that I can do there.  Even though I don’t go to the shelter these days, sometimes animals still manage to find their way to my door.  Two more cats have joined our family during the past year. 

I’m determined to care for my pet population for as long as they live…or I live–whatever!  By then my husband and I will probably be looking for someone to help take care of us…do you think there might be a place for us at the shelter? 

If you are interested in reading more of my animal adventures– just click on the links “Shelter Tales” or “pets” at the top of this blog…

Thanks so much to Brent Riggs for hosting Tuesday’s themed blog hop.  Just click on the link below to visit more participating blogs.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Click here to enter your link in the blog hop and view the entire list of entered links…

Published in: on March 15, 2010 at 8:56 pm  Comments (8)  
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Shelter Tales…Gizmo II…One of a Kind

Have you ever met an animal, and formed an “instant bond” with them?  Well, Gizmo II was one of those kinds of animals.  I was volunteering at our local shelter in 2004, and as usual, the place was over-flowing with unwanted puppies.  In the first kennel on the right there were many puppies, but one little “homely” pit bull mix caught my attention.   

The first thing that caught my attention was his name, Gizmo.  Gizmo was the name of my daughter’s chihuahua that had been so special to us before a snake bit him and he died.  The next thing that caught my attention were his sad eyes…his eyes would follow me each time I passed by the kennel.  His eyes looked so sad…I’d always stop and chat with him for a few minutes each time, and I’d promise to try to find him a home.

Several weeks passed, and Gizmo was still stuck at the shelter.  By then, Gizmo was 3 or 4 months old, and had caught  ringworm from being allowed to roam in the front area of the shelter…along with a couple of cats…His age plus the case of ringworm sealed his fate–his name went on the “to be euthanized list”.

  I’d told my daughter all about him, and how special he was.  When Gizmo made “the list”, she decided to visit the shelter with me.  Once she met Gizmo, she sensed that there was something special about him, too.  Brandy’s an animal-lover at heart–just like her mother–suddenly–and just in the nick of time– Gizmo found his new home–with Brandy and her husband.

One trip to the vet cured the ringworm, and Gizmo became a house dog.  A very lucky house dog who loved to sleep in the bed with his new parents!  Life changed quickly for Gizmo…and it was a good change!

Gizmo never had to be “trained”.  Remarkably, he never had an accident in the house.  He was the most well-behaved dog I’ve ever seen.  Brandy or her husband could say “Gizmo, get in your bed”–and he went, immediately!  Ah, if only children would follow directions that well…

Gizmo was quiet, and never bothered anyone.  There was one time–when someone, I think it was our oldest son, was playing around with my husband, and pretended to hurt him.  Gizmo came to my husband’s defense!  He sprang to his feet and growled in a menacing way that got our attention!  We were careful never to play like that in Gizmo’s presence again.

Gizmo was just like a member of the family–a well-behaved member of the family.  Those piercing eyes…I loved his eyes.  They weren’t as sad after he found a home, but they were always watching…Unfortunately, Gizmo’s time with us was brief…less than three years.

We aren’t positive, but we think that Gizmo became a victim of dog food poisoning.  Remember when so many dogs were dying and they discovered it was contaminated dog food?  We believe that is what happened to Gizmo.  He was fine one day, sick the next day, then died during the night.  We had no idea what was going on at the time–except that he acted like he’d been poisoned.

Gizmo left us too soon, but his life was good while he was here.  Thanks to Brandy and her husband, Gizmo had a happy life, and he was loved.  Best of all, Gizmo was a great pet–I’m so glad that we all had the chance to get to know him and have him as a part of our family–even if it was only for a short while…  Rest in peace, Gizmo.

Published in: on March 11, 2010 at 12:50 pm  Comments (2)  
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