Sunday, February 26, 2012

Catching Up

So, it has been such a long time since I have had time and patience with myself to sit down and write - or had a single coherent organized thought in my head!  I was very recently diagnosed with Adult ADD.  Ironically, the medication I am on now is essentially the same stuff I used to take to cram for exams.  What  a difference it makes, the most notable of which is that I can usually lie down to go to sleep at night and actually go to sleep instead of making lists of stuff I should do, stuff I forgot to do, stuff  I promised or offered to do for people and haven't gotten around to yet, books I want to read, things I am worried about, things I should worry about, great ideas to solve the world's get the idea?

I think the loss of my beautiful mother was the motivating event for me getting to a counselor and eventually a doctor, which resulted in my diagnosis.  Mom's passing was not a huge surprise, but it was a huge loss, certainly to me, but to an awful lot of other folks as well.  The single most repeated comment I heard about Mom was that she was a lady.  She was beautiful, kind, loving and never had a harsh word for anyone.  I miss her so much.  On the right there is a picture of my mom with three of her her grand kids.  My daughter, age two at the time, is in her arms, and my niece and nephew are standing by.  Mom's huge smile is a great reflection of her heart, she loved her family and it showed on her face every minute of every day.  Her grandchildren and great grandchildren where the light of her life and she just loved to play with them and laugh with them.

It has been my goal for a long time to reduce the number of foster dogs here to just one.  A recent spate of illnesses made it obvious that I had to reduce the number of fosters here sooner rather than later. We finally managed it and  our one remaining foster dog is Salty the old coonhound over there on the left.     Salty is still reliably housebroken as long as he gets outside right after he eats and his favorite pastime is sleeping in the sun.  He is not a bit of trouble and hopefully he will find a forever home soon. In the meantime he is welcome to stay here as long as he wants.  He is a great old guy.

We have an adorable little mini-horse now at DogRush. A new friend gave us Breyer, the blind mini, in the hopes that the little horse would bond with my herd of goats and sheep. Well, it didn't exactly happen, but the little horse has found her way into my heart and I have bonded with her! Evenings, sitting on my milk carton stool in Breyers stall with a lap full of hay for her to eat are the highlight of my days. Breyer loves to have her eye ridges scratched and also begs for treats. She is a joy to be around and I am so glad she is here. I promise to post photos as soon as we have some spring color outside to make the little dun horse show up in the photo!

My new horse friends have been taking me trail riding and I am hooked.  I tried to learn to ride "english" some time ago - but my back and neck were not happy with me for my efforts.  However a gaited horse provides me with a very comfortable ride, so, I guess I am a cowgirl now.  Over there on the right is my official cowgirl's mount.  Loverboy is the horse I fell in love with and bought for trail riding.  He is a ,gentle eight year old Spotted Saddle horse and appropriately named indeed. I am looking forward to many, many hours on Missouri's trails while we explore the woods together.

There is a lot more catching up to do, and some more sad news, but it can all wait till next time.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Announcing a New Arrival - or two!

We have several spring arrivals at Dogrush Ranch.  The first is from our "oops" clutch of turkey eggs.  There were three full hatches from the original clutch of 15 or so eggs.  That is pretty good considering three turkey hens shared the nest, and that usually results in total failure.  In fact, I was sort of thinking that since the girls "tricked" me and had a dummy nest that they also laid eggs in, and I didn't want any more eggs, that I was just "humoring" them by letting them figure out the whole sharing a nest thing wasn't a good idea.  HA! 

My friend, Dorene took the first two to raise as "lap poults" I kept the third because I couldn't find anyone who wanted a pet turkey.  Imagine that!  So that is our new little guy or girl down there on the left.  He is

with one of the three moms.   You can see Wendell on the other side of the fence ignoring the goings on in the barnyard.  He's a good boy that Wendell!  The proximity of the dogs does worry me sometimes. We have used every inch of our tiny acre and a half and I have a terrible yearning for a bigger place with high pasture and wide open spaces.   Farm envy is a terrible thing. 

Which brings us to the second new arrival here at Dogrush.  When I went to get this new guy, his peeps had just moved to a new place.  They have lots of high pasture ( enough to bring in their own hay for the year) and wide open spaces.  The bulk of their investment seems to have gone into a huge, beautiful, pristine barn, fencing, huge  pens and so many beautiful alpacas it made my heart hurt.  Hopefully they will let me take pictures up there soon, and I can post them for y'all to see. 

Our new guy, Doc Holliday is over there on the right.  Isn't he a beaut?  Doc was having trouble with the other males at his home and was worried about them "getting to" "his girls".  Unable to accept the presence of the other herd sires, Doc decided to fight 'em all.  In a seperate pen all by himself, he was truely miserable, and it was decided to try to find a new home without girls to worry about.  Doc, is as happy as can be here!  YAY!  I call him Doctor Love, for obvious reasons. 

Doc has super soft fiber, a sweet disposition, big liquid eyes, loooooonnnnng eyelashes  and a beautiful face.  I am completely in love, and who  wouldn't be?  Of course he has already spit at my DH, but only because Eddie unwittingly made Doc feel trapped. 

Almost finished here but, here is a quick update on the four Toy Fox Terriers: They are all healthy and doing great!  Whew.  Now the big job is to get them socialized, crate trained and house broken.  That is a big, big job, one I am not used to. Small dogs are .....different, oh yes they are!

When the weather stays good for more than a day or two and I can get caught up with my outside work, I will have more pictures of a few more new residents.   Hope you are all surviving the awful spring weather we are having, be safe.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Windshield and the Bug

I have this little bag of woe.  I've been carrying it around for a couple of weeks and adding to it now and then and it's been getting bigger and bigger .  I think it is time to empty it out before it turns into a full fledged Pity Party and takes on a life of its own!

Sadly,  all y'all are about to witness the great "woe dump".    It started with Hazel Rose, the cutest little Frenchie from a Missouri puppy mill.  She was a pricey little thing for a rescue to buy, but I was determined to save her.  Good thing, because, as you may have read a few posts back, she had a rotten tail that was growing down inside of  her and pushing into her rectum. She had surgery to fix the tail, but the spay surgery was a bit more complicated and there were several subsequent emergency surgeries.  Little Hazel Rose had had so many C-Sections that her stomach wall couldn't hold together anymore and was splitting open right and left ( literally).  But, her medical issues all were fixed and her new home was already chosen and they were waiting for their new little princess to arrive. 

Unfortunately,  two really important things were over looked.  A DHPP booster, and ( maybe) a heartworm test.  I say maybe because the vet's office told me it was done, but it was not documented, and I believed them.  Oh, it gets worse, so much worse.  

When the new family drove from afar to pick up the new dog that they had been waiting so long for, I noticed that little Hazel Rose had a "poopy butt".  I thought it was unusual, since she had never had this happen before, but I IGNORED it because I was so happy that she was going home.  Then, after the family left, my DH told me that there was diarrhea upstairs in the hall.  OH NO - I had to call the family while they were on the road and tell them that HR was sick with the runs. It gets worse, so much worse.

The next day I heard from the new family and they had had HR to the emergency vet.  OH NO.  That means a big bill.  The emergency vet thought it was a reaction to her rabies vaccine and the change in situation and the change in food.  Ok I thought,  had changed her food myself a couple days before so, that could really be it.  It gets worse, so much worse. 

The next day, Easter Sunday, I had a Parvo outbreak at my house.   See, when HR was for sure scheduled to go to her new home, I went to a puppy mill auction and rescued four Toy Fox Terriers.  On Easter Sunday, one of them broke with Parvo and was taken to a local vet to be hospitalized, in an intensive care isolation unit.  It is a very pricey place and I have now cost the rescue something like a kajillion bucks.   I should mention here that one of the other dogs in the same group, a tiny two pound fella named Rebel, had  broken his leg, at my house, in my care, when he jumped down from my love seat.  He'd been to the orthopedic specialist vet where it was discovered that the leg had been broken twice before and not been properly vetted if at all  The leg could not be fixed and had to be amputated.  The specialist bill was added to the growing pile of bills my puppy mill auction dogs had incurred thus far and the stack was probably nearing the ceiling of Ellen's office. 

So, now to recap, we have Hazel Rose who has already had the tail surgery, the spay surgery and three emergency surgeries, but is finally in her new home, where she is sick and piling up bills there. One Toy Fox Terrier with an amputated leg and a regular vet bill and a specialist bill, and one Toy Fox Terrier  in iso-intensive care with big bills piling up.  And it is still getting worse.

I had to call the family that adopted Hazel Rose to tell them that she has been exposed to Parvo.  Remember that we have no documentation of a DHPP booster, and for those of you that don't know, one of those "P's" in DHPP stands for PARVO.  The new vet also has no documentation that a heartworm test was done, and of course no results.  When the vet clinic calls our vet to get the Heartwork test information she is told that a heartworm test was not done.   So, now we have a vet in another city who probably thinks I am, at best, a scam artist and, at worse, a puppy miller masquerading as rescue.  As embarrased, mortified and humiliated as I am that  I have made such an embarassing chain of stupid mistakes, it is also reflecting back ( maybe ) on the rescue organization that I volunteer for.  Notice: I can't bring myself to name that organization here, it is at least one kind thing I can do for them. 

And finally, the two Toy Fox Terriers at home, two sweet little girls who are in my bathroom...broke with parvo the next day.  Fortunately , they spent a couple of days at our vet and got to come home yesterday.  That's them, over on the left, and I am so happy they feel better.  They are wicked shy, though.  I am sure that they will come out of their shells soon.  The chocolate one in the back is Bunny.  She has the greatest eyes that are sometimes gold and some times green.  Beanie is the one in front and she is the shyest of the two.  She has a great personality though, and the cutest "airplane ears"!

We have recieved a few phone calls from the folks who adopted Hazel Rose.  So far she is still continueing to feel better and has not broken with Parvo.  Her new owners are unhappy enough with how the adoption went that Ellen refunded their adoption fee in an effort to show them that we are at least trying to do the right thing no matter how badly the volunteers screw up.

Rebel, the little guy who had his leg amputated is with a new foster home who will, no doubt take better care of him than I did.  Danny, the last little Toy Fox Terrier with Parvo is still fighting for his life. Keep your fingrs crossed for him. 

And while I have you thinking good thoughts for Danny, please say a prayer for the rest of the Missouri Puppy Mill dogs who were screwed over by the legislature and our country governor.  If you have a good thought or a prayer left you might pray for the good folks of Missouri who have just been told by the good folks they elected that their vote does not now, nor has it ever, counted.

And lastly if there is a good thought left out there and you can bring your self to do it, I would like some as well because in the middle of all of my bumbling with the dogs, I got some very sad family news.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hey! The pansies made it!

We had something like six inches of mushy snow ( it was pretty - and it melted fast). I was sure the planters would be toast, but they seem to have pulled through. Of course, the chairs I pulled out to paint didn't get painted and they are really hoosier-ing up the back yard, but maybe the two roos and the turk in the yard have that covered anyway, right? It will be a while before I get more planting done so, I really should do the painting. My friend Ellen found some really cool wrought iron in her woods and with a little paint I will have a free trellis. So , pictures of that will be ready for the next blog. There. I said it, now I have to do it!

I took some pictures today that I really like. Moses, ( the skinniest dog in the whole world), is always looking for someone to play ball with so I couldn't resist showing off how healthy and happy he is. He is really smart, too. I have been taking him off to the side to teach him some basic commands when I have time and he learns 'em in about 30 seconds. I just need to do that all over the house and in the yard to generalize his responses and, Presto! I will have a well trained pet. ;o) I don't usually have time to train the dogs around here so it is a relief when they are smart and learn a few things fast.

I also finally got a few good pictures of Nanabelle the Great Pyranees from our local pound. She is a beautiful dog - but hard to photograph because when ever you point a camera at her she wants to come right over and see, "whacha got there?". She did it today even though I was on the deck and she was out by the barn. I finally got this picture of her smooching Wendell on the deck. Isn't she sweet?

I got some new pictures of Hazel Rose through the always dog-smudged back door.

As embarrasing as it is to show my filthy back door, it is worth it to show you this adorable face. She is so cute and I am going to miss her when she goes to her new home. But that is just what rescue is all about, right?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Coonhounds are in the house and Winston has left the building

Coonhounds evoke mixed feelings in me. I fall for the sweet face and serious expression every time, I LOVE the sound of their voices, and the way they try so hard to make you understand what they want. And therein lies the source of the mixed feelings. These dogs are often called dumb or stupid, but they are anything BUT! When a coonhound drops its nose and picks up a scent, that enormous olfactory center in the coonhound brain turns on and the rest of the brain functions less efficiently. It is easy for me to relate to, because when I am involved in a good book with an enthralling story, I am dead to the rest of the world. Or, when you turn the music in the car down if you are lost and trying to figure out a map or written directions. Zeke Two, over there on the left is a beautiful Black and Tan Coonhound who came here emaciated and full of every kind of worm imaginable, including heartworms. Now that he is healthy, worm free and has gained some much needed weight, he has also found his VOICE! It's a big voice. Really big. Zeke loves his crate because when he first got here that was the only place I would give him food. He was desperate for food and would fight over any little piece of dropped kibble. Well, he has decided that the crate means food so when he wants to be fed, which is all the time ( coonhounds are pigs, and easily bored), he thinks that going to the crate door and sounding off is the way to 1) get fed and 2) have something to do. My normal training method for this would be to let him bawl and bawl and figure out that he is not getting what he wants that way, then reward him as soon as he is quiet. Well, since the master of the house works nights, that just won't work. It took me until this morning to realize that I needed to activate the nose. Long story short: I won several hours of silence by scattering and hiding pieces of kibble all over the basement. While the nose was working, the mouth was quiet. I am not sure how long that will work, but as soon as the weather gets better, I will begin to hide food outside for Zeke to find. I wish I knew how to train a dog to track/trail. This summer I can see me getting my little neighbor boys to lay track for me n' Zeke. They would love that! Our newest house guest is a return. Her name is Bella and she is a Redbone Coonhound. Redbones are cold nosed hounds, meaning they can pick up and run an older (cold) trail. Their trailing talents are similar to the Bloodhound, but they are a lot faster. I have an acquaintance in Kansas City who uses Redbone Coonhounds to trail folks with Alzheimer's. At least that was how she started out. Her dogs are so talented and reliable that she is now the "go to" tracker for the local police departments. Needless to say, she and her dogs lead an exciting life. I wish she would write a book! Bella was returned to us because she dug holes in the back yard. there were some other comments that I didn't understand about her being aloof and not fitting in. I suspect she was bored and spent a bit to much time in the yard, because here, she is leaping about and play bowing to all of the dogs trying to get them all to play. Bella also loves to eat, but she doesn't fixate on it the way Zeke does, and she doesn't howl and bawl for food the way Zeke does either.

Lets hope she doesn't learn any bad habits from her foster brother!

And lastly, Winston the French Bulldog terrible has left the building. When my friend Lisa lost her dear Michael Mcgee, she needed Winston more than I needed him. Lisa has a quiet household where Winston will have fewer opportunities to bite people. I suspected that Pinkie, the Toy Manchester Terrier that Lisa adopted from me was a bit lonely and shur 'nuff! That little girl is following her new boyfriend where ever he goes. This is going to be a very good move for everyone!

I will miss my Winston boy but I know he has a very important job to do at Lisa's house.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Just a quick note for you horse lovers

I realized today that one of my favorite blogs is not on my list of "Blogs I Follow". So I added it. It is called the "Life of Lynz".

I "met" this incredible girl at a dinner auction fundraiser for Ride On St. Louis, the therapeutic horsemanship center where my daughter rides. I "met" her because she had two incredible photographs in the auction, and I purchased one. She wasn't really there, but from the pictures she donated, I knew I wanted to get to know her.

Luckily her grandmother was present at the auction and came over to congratulate me on my purchase. I gave my email addy to the grandmother and hoped that Lindsey would contact me. She did!

Now you can read all about this fabulous girl and the horses she loves.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring! ( thank gawd)

Temps are warming up and I am desperate for spring to be here all the way. So, I broke one of my gardening rules and planted pansies this year. I used to figure: "why plant flowers that are guaranteed to fry when hot weather arrives?" But, I am especially sick of winter this year so, the deck "ice bucket" planters got pansied! The stuff in the middle is curly ornamental grass and I have two whole justifications for buying it. One: when the pansies bite the dust, I can put some petunias around it and it can live on the deck all summer long. Two: when summer is over it will live in the garden for the rest of it's perennial, ornamental, grassy life. So - it is a bargain!

Notice Henri Roo in the yard behind the deck post. He and Sirkhan were living in the bathroom for a while as they both needed a bit of doctoring, but now that the weather is warmer the "sick bay" is in the garden, where it belongs. Yay for getting my bathroom back to myself, it is really really hard to share a bathroom with two roos, they lack sphincter muscles, you know, so there is no way to get them to use the toilet even though they are living in the bathroom. Eventually, I gave in and got chicken diapers for them. Yep, chicken diapers exist and you can read about 'em here: if you are so inclined!

Hazel Rose, my little Frenchie foster girl, had a tail amputation. She came from a puppy mill auction and her inverted tail was sort of rotting inside of her skin folds. It was a truly horrific situation with the tail growing straight down and pushing into her rectum. Our vet, Dr. Ivan did her usual magic and amputated the tail bone, but saved a little skin flap so our little girl looks like she still has a tail! Hazel is going home after her spay surgery in two weeks and I am going to miss her like crazy, but I know she will be the Queen of Everything at her new home.

The little Toy Fox Terrier that lived loose in the wilds of Jefferson County and that I was finally able to trap, is now a permanent resident at our house. She is a tiny thing and I marvel everyday that she was able to survive on her own for seven whole months, including a freezing spring and a blistering summer. Although she is still shy as can be, she loves cranky old Heywood, my twenty year old farm collie. Here they are together on the deck. She had to have him with her to venture outside and will eventually gain enough independence to leave his side. Heywood growls when any of the other dogs bother him, but he can be seen sleeping on the rugs in the hallway with his tiny girlfriend curled up next to him. Go figure. At night she curls up on the pillow next to my head and I fall asleep to the sound of her tiny heart beating away against my ear.

And speaking of new dogs, we did get few more fosters. I saw Salty dog on a shelter rescue site, and it was love at first sight. I showed the picture to my husband and got the "go ahead" to pull Salty from the shelter. Actually the "go ahead" was more like a shove out the door, but bless his heart he worries about dogs in pounds and once the decision is made to save one, I don't think he can sleep until they are safe. Salty was listed as a girl because his "boy parts" were hidden behind folds and folds of fat. We found out he was a boy and all had a good laugh about that. However, the general state of Salty's health is no laughing matter. He is at least thirty pounds overweight and at his age, it is hard on his joints to carry all of that excess poundage around. Since he has been here, he has already lost four pounds. I think his weight loss because he likes to walk around and smell things. As you can see, he wants back inside and on the bed once he is finished with his perambulations, and if the door doesn't get opened fast enough, we are treated to the coonhound song. Salty's voice is very deep with lots of soft "airy" bass in it. Very Pretty Indeed! Unfortunately, we just found out that Salty has heartworms and because of his advanced age and his physical condition, our vet does not want to treat him. We are hoping that some weight loss, 21 days of doxycycline and Heartgard will make him a better risk for treatment down the line. Keep your fingers crossed as we were not counting on having another permadog!

I will leave you with the image of Gabe with his bottom feet on the rung of the ladder to the hay loft. I was climbing up to get flakes of hay to feed the goats and sheep and I guess I was not doing it fast enough. Gabe was trying to cllimb up to help!

You can see my leg and barn boot on the ladder and both of his front feet are on the bottom rung. Look at that impatient look on his face - I can almost hear him calling, "hey hhhuurrry up, mom, we are all hungry down here!".

The fields are all greening up nicely but my lazy boys don't want to walk out for fifty feet to get the new green stuff. After all, why walk when mama throws alfalfa/grass mix from the loft. Sigh. Hope you all are having a good time in the fabulous weather we are having - I'll be back soon with more news of the great goings on at Dogrush.