Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Peace of Sunday vs. Monday Cayouse

Sunday always brings peace and quiet to our busy lives for 70+aged souls. Thank goodness! because Monday the cayouse begins, at least for me. Since retiring, the frustration of Monday in business has faded, but replaced with as many, but different, frustrations.

Luckie failed to awaken me on time, but she spent the night doing just that, because we were having thunderstorms, which seems unsettles her. Early morning duties were late in starting.

Duties and responsibilities take up my the morning. First I had to update a calendar of a volunteer TeleCare group using City Hall , which led to a discussion of the distasteful events of last Friday with a city official. Nasty stuff...to start my day . Let's say we both raised our voices.

Then the day continues with Silver Sneakers exercise class for an hour, preceded by a trip to pharmacy to leave prescriptions. [Oops, I forgot to go back by, pay for and pick up Rxs.]

It is now noon, and I have not had breakfast or dinner, not exactly a Weight Watcher plan. I am fixing to catch up with fresh fruit.

My husband is preparing our fishing boat for spring fishing, which sounds like a very good idea to me, if wind and weather will just cooperate into one perfect, or nearly perfect day!

Now to see if I can really accomplish something the rest of the day around the house....after I return to the pharmacy for prescriptions. I need an organizer to lead this nitwit around.......

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Saturday success???

Just for the record Saturday, I did cook a complete meal of lean, trimmed chuck arm roast and mixed vegetables which fit into my Weight Watchers plan nicely with leftovers for today (Sunday) after church services.

I watered plants only to find ants (ugh) have made a home in one of the many Christmas Cacti (zygote cactus) in the large window box in the kitchen.

Since the number of root-bound plants were culled in February, I've determined all will have to go for the same reason, and I'll start over on a much smaller scale. Ant Hollow just made that decision for me!

For several years my little community has had ant invasions (not the big bad ones). The colonies seem endless and exterminators cannot keep up with the spread.

I cleaned a tad of clutter--all three of us clutter in our own way. Luckie's toys, both tattered and new, are scattered everywhere like landmines waiting for me to fall on my two knee prostheses. My husband's shoes and socks are in nearly every room. And Iam main contributor toa paper clutter, saving all my council, financial and personal interests papers. And I am a fanatic about paper shredding address on magazines, junk mail and even Christmas cards.

Then there was the usual time in the evening to TV, cruising the 'Net looking for interesting blogs, and ideas to improve mine. A blog workshop led me to try my hand at it, and it can be seen I need to do a lot more work, especially on my sidebar!

This afternoon is one of my two laundry days, so I will get some exercise points! Between sorting, folding, and returning articles to their proper areas, I will be watching Tiger Woods now in second place at a PGA tournament. Playing the game is not my forte, but I am always fascinated by persons who perform incredibly well at their chosen professions. Although football is my favorite sport to watch, I watch a little of everything-tennis, Olympics, basketball.....

My husband thinks I go overboard sometimes as I also like opera music, because I could never be able to master that music. I don't understand a word, but usually know the drama of the performance.

Monday is a 50-mile trip to a nearby town, for car tune-up, husband's doctor appointment and SHOPPING!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Rambling with Luckie

Luckie decided I should arise early after a difficult Friday, so I made the coffee and fed her; she promptly went back to bed--her mission accomplished.

So I have finished my coffee, while reading my favorite news sites, e-mails and blogs. Now I am mulling and stewing over the difficult Friday which involved, in my opinion, the difficult side of small town politics, and involved dismissal of a volunteer without transparent cause! Ah--I am adopting our new President's vocabulary!

But the day ended nicely with a fish-fry and a computer request at our closest friends' house. And I was able to put the meal in my Weight Watcher diet, because she provided me the menu and scale ahead of time. Isn't that considerate? Normally fried fish is a no-no, but advanced planning allowed it.

Our anticipated trip to Texas is postponed after several long conversations with my half-brother who really appreciated the concern and attention from me and my husband. The trip is what we call "in limbo" for now.

Since the weather is unsettled, today is designated "stay at home" and enjoy it, with many neglected chores awaiting my attention.

Maybe, I'll even plan and cook a balanced, hot meal---I dislike cooking and most duties associated with home which I attribute to my 36 years' in the job force. My husband does help me, especially with outdoor chores.

I achieved one small goal this week-Luckie received her monthly "beauty treatment"-Bath, nail trim, ear clean, etc. and came home with a lovely yellow neck bandanna, looking ready for spring.

Now that the rest of the household is up and moving, so must I.....

Monday, March 23, 2009

Luckie and I as kindred spirits....

Although there is much more to know about our adopted shelter dog, Luckie, a long distance phone call Saturday night from my biological half-brother, reminded me Luckie and I are kindred spirits in that we both have had two different, but bridged and blended life experiences. I like to call it a foot in two families.

Because of numerous health problems, and some interesting genetic physical features, I sought my biological roots. Most of my life I lived as a legally adopted child in sheltered and loving environment. This story will probably become a separate blog, but this meeting of biological family members turned out great. I have been blessed with two families, different lifestyles, and I am the oldest sibling in each.

But back to the phone call...my half brother calls me often, but this time he had some disturbing news of more heart problems including a scheduled angioplasty with camera and impending second open heart surgery with less than 50/50 survival. He is the youngest brother in both families but a multiplicity of health problems making any surgery risky.

A phone call to my half sister verified most of his discussion with me. So in some manner we will probably be taking a trip to Texas soon where both families and other friends live, separated in some cases by 200 miles.

I thought I said my "goodbyes" in 2003 when I visited everyone...but I guess there is only one last goodbye.

The discussion at home is if and when to go, debate between flying and driving, plus I'd love for Luckie to go with us, if by car. She is an excellent traveler and I dislike boarding her so much. I much prefer flying and renting cars. My husband is determined we drive, (without Luckie) which wears me out. I need an additional month to return to normal.

Therefore I may be absent for a short time but hope to return soon with more tales of Luckie and myself. I will have my laptop with me, but how I will be occupied and where I am boarding will determine how much I use it.

NitWit1 (Carol)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Luckie's "forever" home.

After the final decision to keep Luckie, we took her home from the vet clinic to recuperate from spay surgery, before initiating heartworm therapy. Also, she was about five lbs. underweight.

We loaded her in the back seat of our station wagon on a small rug. She meekly, quietly, slept a few minutes of the 20-minute trip home. At some point, it seemed she felt she did not deserve to be on the seat, so she got on the floorboard behind the driver for the rest of the way home. Best traveling dog we've ever had.

Arriving home, we opened the front door, and let the leash go. She slowly crept in, and circled the furniture in our living room which consisted of four lift chairs, a church bench, Moroccan round table, small table between two lift chairs and one lamp. She circled several times and meekly chose the oldest and most dilapidated lift chair. That chair is hers to this day. I cover it with sheets. She rarely ever attempts to use another chair.

The second important step was introduction to the dog door. One trip in and out--no problem and no accidents to this day, even when we rebuilt the back door and changed the dog door model.

We have dual adjustable king-size beds with additional back wedges. Since I sleep in a lift-chair she quickly began to adjust to her new found luxuries by claiming the vacant adjustable bed AND wedge.

However, she doesn't care for motion, heat and vibration. She quickly exits the room if you use these features. She often lays by my lift chair which has these three features. The controls hang down the side. She accidentally turns them on, and out of the room she goes. Not sure why she is afraid of these things. The beds also has vibration.

She is fed a good grade of dog food, but never seems full. I believe she would eat 40 lbs. of Pedigree if we free-fed her. It wasn't long before I was having to watch her weight!

Despite being abused by a man, she loves and seems to prefers my husband. This is wonderful for them both, because the three German Shepherds, who are known to be one-person dogs, tolerated my husband, and preferred me. Luckie learns that all men are NOT abusive.

Luckie did not know how to play with toys. but now she has a boxful, which are in various stages of destruction. In her other life, she probably just had litters of puppies and not much interaction with people.

Next: Luckie: toys, tricks and treats

Saturday, March 14, 2009

How Luckie acquired her name.

After signing adoption papers and paying fees, our dog was whisked off to a veterinarian of our choice for spaying. At this point her name was Altena, which neither of us liked.

Later I called to buy usual supplies like flea/tick and heartworm medications. The clinic informed me she had to have a heartworm test first, which I okayed without much thought.

When we arrived to carry her home we were ushered into an exam room and informed Altena/Luckie had full blown heartworm disease by the head veterinarian and member of the local Humane Society. He described in glowing terms treatment options and successes. All we could think about was euthanizing another dog soon after adoption.

At this point the dog still belonged to the Humane Society until we left with her from the veterinary clinic.
We have several Humane Society friends. One told us Altena would probably be euthanized if we refused her.

For three days our hearts were tugged back and forth between calls from the persuasive, optimistic veterinarian and advice from the Humane Society kennel master who described the treatment similar to chemotherapy. Meanwhile the veterinarian boarded the dog free. We thought we had finally, somewhat tearfully, made the decision to refuse the dog.
Then we received yet another call from the veterinarian five minutes before the Humane Society was to arrive, that if we accepted the dog, he would donate the shots and accumulated boarding. [After several conversations with us, he knew he would regain his investment many times over.] Pleading with us that this was such a sweet dog, going to a loving, "forever" home, he guaranteed 95% chance of cure.

I asked the facility if they would hold her one more day, and they agreed. My husband was not immediately available to consult. The finale is we took her. She deserved a better fate after so much suffering.

She survived the heartworm treatment, despite not resting as she should. She jumped out of a small pen we built to temporarily confine her exercise and allow for her personal hygiene chores. She was housebroken.
In a short period of time:
  • she scaped euthanasia
  • survived spaying surgery
  • survived heartworm treatment, despite her rejecting all efforts to confine her activities (she chased chipmunks and squirrels full speed ahead during convalescence- we gave up trying to confine her)
  • survived devouring a package of diet chocolate candy containing chocolate and artificial sweeteners - both can be deadly to dogs.

    When it seemed there was an interlude between crises, we drew a deep breath, and I told my husband, to give her a new name. He chose Lucky; I chose the spelling which I wished later I had chosen Lucki. Somehow it was an easy conversion; she responded immediately to her new name.
  • Later we discovered she is also epileptic and well controlled with the lowest dose medication. No known cause of seizures has yet been diagnosed. Maybe she is a tad like the cat--has nine lives.

    We think she has the most appropriate name, considering the bleak, dire future she once faced. Her fate was entirely in our hands; it was "yes" or "no." She is LUCKIE we chose YES! And we made the lucky "yes" choice, too.

    Next: Luckie takes over the house from Day 1.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Luckie's nickname: Meatloaf

One comment requested I regale the tale how Luckie acquired her nickname, MEATLOAF.

Luckie's life before becoming a shelter dog is mostly unknown: she had a least two litters of puppies, one of which accompanied her to the shelter; she was approximately 2.5 years old; she had been abused by a man, according to the woman surrendering her and her litter to the shelter. I think she may have run loose, hunting, perhaps a need to provide for her litters.

She was somewhat underweight when we brought her home, but that soon was remedied!

One day when I was particularly busy, I put half a frozen aluminum-wrapped meatloaf on the kitchen counter to thaw for supper. My husband and I went somewhere for only a brief period of time and returned. I did not turn my attention to preparing supper until some time later.

When I went to the kitchen to reheat the meatloaf, there was nary a piece of aluminum foil, much less meatloaf to be found!

We had to go out for supper. Either my husband is in cahoots with the dog, as he dislikes meatloaf from his Navy days, or local restaurants want more of our business.

A friend tabbed her MEATLOAF, and she responds---maybe a guilty conscience?

Since this early event in her career with us, we have found she is the worst sneaky food snitch we've ever had. When we leave home we put loaves of bread at least six feet high, clear all counters, tables, and ensure the pantry doors are closed, including where her dog treats are stored. Nothing happens when one of us is home, and that may be a clue.

If we forget or overlook something, we pay. Half loaves of bread including wrapper have regularly disappeared. She ate a whole package of diet Russell Stover chocolate candy (fortunately with no ill effects).

She empties wastebaskets and unlatched garbage bins. She once emptied a trashcan of coffee grinds and filters, slinging the wet filters with grinds everywhere, cabinets, chairs and floor of one room. She must have had a great time.

We can live with the snitching, but I draw the line to her hunting skills of chipmunks and rabbits, especially her bringing them in the house to share with us.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Luckie and all our dogs

Having married late in life, and only once, my husband and I led a 10-year nomadic military life, where we observed families coping, or not, with normal family responsibilities. I also had health issues not conducive to healthy birth. With this brief description of our background we turned to dogs for extended family.

Our 40+ years of marriage include three female German Shepherds, all registered and spayed, all dearly loved, and much grieved when the end of life good byes were needed. Our first black and tan Shepherd puppy, Snoopy (but female) was European with European registration, small in stature, and sweet in temperament. Her life was a fun-filled nearly 11 years. There are many humorous stories related to her as she was our "military child."

Perhaps these stories will be regaled another time.

We obtained our second black and tan Shepherd puppy, Cassie, in Missouri. Belatedly, we came to believe this was possibly a "puppy mill" and AKC papers contained false information. We still loved her, but I made the worst mistake of my life by protection training her, also with an unlicensed backyard trainer. Upon realizing the mistake, I quit the training but always had to be extremely careful with her. However, she had severe hip dysplasia and relieving her of crying 24/7 at seven years was easiest of all goodbyes.

We waited a few months and obtained Gabby, a sable Shepherd puppy in Arkansas, after researching blood lines. She was our Romaine lettuce, broccoli stalk eater. She gave us much joy for nearly 13 years. Parting was sweet sorrow.

By now we were older (in our 60s), had our own infirmities, and figured our dog days were over, despite the fact I kept a picture of Gabby by my computer for three years (and still do). My husband and friends knew I was in perpetual mourning.

One day, my dear friend, a newspaper employee, called to say a photo of a 2.5 year old small mixed breed dog with German Shepherd looks, weighing only 35 lbs had been submitted by the Humane Society. I pleaded with my husband to look at her. It was love at first sight, and our first adoption! We are now sold on shelter adoptions, where dogs are tested for adaptability. I did not have the joy of a puppy, but at my age I was, and am, just happy to hear four little feet running through the house and enjoy a dog's natural forgiveness and love for their owners' inadequacies.

Luckie answers our recorder as "Luckie, the hound from the pound."

Next post: How Luckie got her name and maybe a picture