Thursday, January 14, 2016

What I would've done if I had won the Powerball. It's brilliant.

I haven't written since 2012. It's 2016, so there's no way I can catch up on 4 years of life in a blog, so I won't try. Back to the Powerball. It was 1.5 BILLION dollars and to be clear, I only ended up winning $15. The largest jackpot in history at least 3 people have won. I don't normally play lottery, but I figured it was worth a shot at so much money to be able to help out our family and friends.  When Jeff and I were discussing what we'd do with the money, the obvious stuff came up. Pay off all the bills for us and our families, set up college funds for nieces/nephews/God children, travel the world, donate to charities, etc...but then I had a brilliant idea that I have no idea how to make happen. 

There's so many homeless veterans on our streets who need help and there's so many animals in shelters who are facing death. Why not buy some land and build a tiny home community for the homeless veterans to live in? It would also be an animal sanctuary and the veterans "rent" is taking care of the animals. There would be a building for the cats, one for the dogs and a barn for livestock and the veterans could choose which animal they wanted to stay with them in their house for the night. That way, they get some company and the animals get some love, attention and socializing. There could be a garden that the veterans also tend to that would supply some food and we could have a cow and/or goats for milk and chickens for eggs. The houses would all be built with geothermal heat/air and would have cisterns to reuse gray water for flushing and whatnot. 

I'd name it after my grandfather. He was a veteran and also loved animals, so it seemed fitting. Jasper Meadows. Lucky Bastard's Village. Jack Haven. I don't know. I hadn't settled on a name yet because I couldn't figure out how to make something like that happen. Location would be important and it would need a shuttle to town for groceries and meds for the veterans, etc...but that's not self- sustaining. I wouldn't get any return for the investment without government subsidies or donations. Maybe the whole idea is a bit idealistic and a pipe dream, but then again, the same can be said for the lottery, right?  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Bee-lievable Story.

Today, I had a random moment while outside watching Jeff build the boxes for our raised garden. Jazz, our big black dog snaps at bugs while out in the yard. Sometimes she does it so hard you can hear her teeth snap together. As she laid on the deck, a bee flew by her and she of course started chasing it and trying to bite it. The bee just sort of hovered over the table like it was waiting on something..or looking for something and that's when it hit me. I'd bought geraniums (they repel mosquitoes) last week and moved them inside on some cold nights to avoid frost. I'd forgotten to put them back out. Oops. So, I brought them back out to put them on the table and as soon as the bee saw them, he flew away. I thought it was a little odd that he didn't go right for the flowers but I said goodbye to Jeff since he was headed out for more supplies and went about my business of putting dirt in some pots for my vegetable seeds.

A few minutes later, he came back and flew over the flowers..like he was doing recon or something..and then he left again. Upon his next return..he had a couple of friends. They all just hovered there..watching me. I was right next to the flowers.  I realized what time it was and that I had to get ready for work, so I went in but stayed just a moment to watch the bees. All 3 of them just hovered a few minutes and then landed, hopping from one flower to the next. I couldn't help but giggle. In my mind, I pictured the first bee bragging to his friends about the flowers only to show up and they're not there. He panics..flying all over the place to make sure this is where they'd been. They'll think he's a liar if he doesn't produce the flowers he promised. What if they kick him out of the hive? Then, there they are..as if they'd come out of thin air. He's not sure he believes it, so he does some low fly-bys. Yep..they're real..time to go get the gang. His friends are pleased. Dinner is served..if only the human would leave so they can eat in peace. =)

I love bees. Wait. I love HONEY bees. They're so important. Sweat bees can go to hell. So can hornets, mosquitoes and wasps. I've seen videos of 2 wasps completely destroying an entire hive of bees. =( So sad. Speaking of wasps, we have carpenter wasps at the house. They've dug a fairly deep hole in the wood on our shed. There's another hole in the fence and yet another one on the side porch. I hate them. Bees have a purpose. Do wasps?? I mean an important one. Their purpose cannot be to annoy people. I realize there's a food chain..but would the world really fall apart without wasps? Or mosquitoes? Maybe their only purpose is to feed bats...in which case, we need to start protecting more of them. There's a few at our house. Maybe we can take the wood scraps from our garden frame and build a bat house. Maybe that way the crows won't eat them. I've seen that happen..it really surprised me. The crows went after this tiny bat that was just squealing and they ripped it apart in mid air and devoured it. That happened in broad daylight. Little bat should've never left his cave. =(

Anyway, the flowers are in bloom, the bees are busy and we have apple trees to plant. I'm so excited to try my hand at gardening and I look forward to bountiful crops and my little bee friend bringing more of his friends around. Just so long as Jazz is too slow to catch them.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Flarp

Yes, I realize it's been 4 months or more since my last post. I've been too busy living to actually bother documenting any of it. I've also been a bit uninspired, you you can check out my Twitter if you really need to find out what I've been up to. In short: my niece's 3rd birthday, a trip to Kings Dominion which rocked,  a trip to DC which was awesome, the 1 year anniversary of my grandfather's death,  Halloween at work, my 35th birthday, my sister's 30th birthday, our first deep fried Thanksgiving turkey, a Christmas I spent at work, but I had multiple Christmases around actual Christmas..one of which involved a large metal chicken. Then there was New Year's sushi followed by a drunken redneck party that involved fire and guns, then there was a wedding in which I got completely hammered and fell on my face in the driveway after I got home. I met some awesome but unique people..one of which wore part of her pony-girl costume to the wedding. I won't explain. If you Google it..it's probably not work safe. I'll just leave it there. At some point I hope to elaborate on all this, but I don't have the energy for it right now. I'm at work and it's slow..and I've spent the past few hours playing with noise putty, or flarp as it's sometimes called. Goo in a cup that makes fart noises. Yep..you're never too old to laugh at farts. For right now, that is all.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11/01: Ten years later

How have I not written about 9/11?? The only blurb I can find is from a post about Jack:


"Then came 9/11. I was on night shift by then and had slept that whole day. I didn't find out until that afternoon when Jeff called to tell me to turn on the TV. I was in utter shock. I went through the motions of getting ready for work but I was in a complete daze. As I reached down to pick up my socks, the enormity of the situation hit me. As I crouched down, Jack pushed himself into my arms, put his paw on my arm and rested his head against my chest. He gave me comfort when I needed it the most. He always has. I just held him there, hugging him back, amazed at how in tune he was with my feelings."


I remember sitting on the couch in our little Durham apartment watching footage of the planes hitting, of the towers collapsing and was in a complete daze. It felt like days went by as I watched when it was more like an hour.  American Airlines flight 11 crashed into the north tower at  8:46 am. United Airlines flight 175 crashed into the south tower at 9:02am.  American Airlines flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon at 9:37am:184 victims.  United flight 93 crashed in a Shanksville, PA field at 10:03am: 40 victims.  There were 2,749 victims of the World Trade Towers, including the occupants of the planes. I was a newlywed, having just been married for 5 months and having just been to NY the previous January. I went in one of those towers. Granted, it was just to use the restroom..but still..I'd been there. How could it be gone? I knew people who worked in the Pentagon. Were they ok? And all those brave people who took back United 93 by rushing the cockpit and crashed it into PA to save the lives of how many others?? It wasn't just an act of terrorism, but it was a declaration of war against our country. 


After getting some solace from Jack and taking my shower..I left for work. I walked out the door and remember the silence. No cars, no planes..not even birds. Nothing. In the distance, I could barely hear some church bells.  There was hardly anyone on the road. Truth be told..I don't remember much of the days that followed. I remember research efforts trying to find people alive. I remember watching footage of people diving to their deaths from the towers rather than die in a fire. I remember the realization that there were still firefighters and police officers in that building. Lives of brave, courageous men and women...gone. Other firefighters and police trying rapidly to get to their fallen brothers...not knowing if they were alive and trapped or if they were just looking for a body.  


I also remember walking into work and seeing the concern on everyone's faces. I work in a 911 center, so the impact is a bit different when you're imagining what the NY and DC 911 centers were going through. I've worked some crazy, insane stuff..multiple car wrecks that were fully involved on the interstate, b&e in progress with shots fired, chemical storage facility fires..and many of those things were all going on at the same time, but I can't imagine how their centers were handling what was going on.  I remember a coworker who's sister lives in NY and works only 2 buildings down from where the towers once stood. She's still alive, but she suffered lung damage from breathing all that stuff in.


So what's changed in 10 years? A lot. The Department of Homeland Security was developed. The TSA really tightened down on who was allowed to fly, what you were allowed to take on the plane and really made it a complete pain to try to fly anywhere. They now have backscatter x-ray machines to take pictures of your body to make sure you're not hiding metal of any sort on you. Does it cause cancer? Maybe, but it's a LOT faster than having a full body pat down where they leave no crevice unexplored. 


We waged war on the Middle East. A war that still continues. Over oil, over religion, over foreign policy and a difference of life values.  We've killed Saddam Hussein and we've killed Osama Bin Laden as recently as 5 months ago. Someone's already taken Bin Laden's place and made threats to attack the US again on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. This country's economy is crippled due to the cost of this war. The cost of gas and oil has tripled. Before 9/11, gas was about $1.50 a gallon. Yesterday, I paid $3.52, which is actually down a bit. It's been as high as $4.35. There's an overall hatred of Muslims, despite the fact that many of them are just as against terrorists as the Christian next to them. Many in this country are ignorant though and stereotype horribly.  It's not as bad as it used to be though. The images of that horrible day haven't been seen much in the past 10 years. There's still even new footage coming out...different angles of the plane hitting, interviews with the people who survived, the journalists, the president, etc.  Even to this day, the footage is hard to watch. I still feel a sense of anger and dismay...a scream of," How dare they!?! How DARE they do this to us!! Attck the US!?! Who do they think they are?!"

Some of the hardest footage to watch is listening to the chirping of hundreds of firefighter locator beacons as they were trapped in the rubble of what used to be the towers. Everyone was just standing around helpless. Listening to the 911 stories was hard too. Phone lines jammed, endless radio traffic, trying to coordinate rescue efforts..then the 2nd tower came down and there was just silence. There was no more radio traffic because the people on the other end were gone. That lasted for about 2 minutes..then the phones started up again. 


I think many are just waiting on another attack. Every year it's expected..but that's exactly why it'll never come. They know we expect it and heighten security. I'm not arrogant enough to say it'll never happen again, but it won't happen on 9/11. Will we recover? Someday..but no time soon. Will we be attacked again? I think Al Qaeda will try, but they'll meet the same end as Bin Laden. Every time a new threat rises, we'll knock them down but not at a great sacrifice of our own. We all suffer because of what happened that day. The entire country changed that day. Our entire outlook of life changed..our way of living. Even 10 years later, I feel like we're still wounded...still bleeding. In the past, the war was always somewhere else. You can't compare Pearl Harbor to this.   We were already in war and Japan was trying to cripple the Navy. This was different. They were starting a war by killing 3,000 innocent people. 


Yes..even today the images of that day are hard to see. So much so, that even with all the 9/11 Anniversary footage on tv recapping that day and telling the untold stories, Jeff doesn't want to watch it. He left the room, but I think it's important to remember that day. To understand this was the greatest event in our history and know we lived through it. It was the first time such a huge event happened on live air. Even parts of the war were shown on live air..the bombing of Iraq and Afghanistan. This was the first time I realized that we weren't invincible..that we may not always be on top. It was a loss of innocence for the entire country. Our bubble was shattered and looking back, I barely remember what life was like before it. 


Life is described as "Pre and Post 9/11"..but the pre part is pretty hazy even though 23 of my 34 years were Pre 9/11. I just know I'll long for those days. The days of trust. Of innocence. I pray the next generation will know that innocence again, that they can overcome and keep us safe from this ever happening again. I have faith that's true. I have to, because I refuse to live in terror. Isn't that what terrorists want? Terror? Well, they won't get that from me. I believe in God and He gives me strength. I pray for the families of those who were lost that horrible Tuesday 10 years ago. I pray for our country's leaders who shoulder burdens that should never have existed.  I pray for world peace and an end to terrorism. I pray for the citizens of the USA and the children who can't have the happy go lucky childhood I had. I pray for God to protect us and I thank God for the blessings he has given me because the way I see it, In God We Trust. Always. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Milo's Surgery Update

Milo's surgery went great! He had his eye removed, 2 teeth pulled and was also neutered. Here's a reminder picture of what he looked like before the surgery.

Here's what he looked like when we brought him back from the vet.

This is Milo before he went back to the vet yesterday to have the stitches taken out and the cone taken off.


And here he is without a cone and no stitches!!
He was so happy to have the cone taken off! He did have to be taken back to the vet because his eye was bleeding as well as his nose. It's apparently normal and he was ok. We also had to have an extension put on his e-collar because his neck is so long he was still able to grind his eye against the carpet. He was running around playing the same day he got home though.

I have noticed some food aggression...and I'm not sure where that came from. He was fine up until he got back from surgery..so we've got to put an end to that quick.

Milo's Chip-in raised $53 and I sold a few things on Ebay. Thanks to those of you who helped out!!! I love him to pieces and I'm so happy he's doing well! I'll keep you updated!

Vacation and Other things.

I've been negligent again. Life is chaotic like that. Work, work, and more work. Even if I'm not at work I feel like I'm working. Laundry, dishes, pets, yardwork, errands...it all gets in the way. Plus..it is sooo hot here..I'm ready for fall! We've had a bit of a reprieve here the past week where it's only been in the 80's, but the sticky Carolina air still makes it unbearable to be outside for long. I can't wait for fall and some Hokie football! On to the updates!

The last week of July we took our annual vacation to Fontana Dam, NC. It's in the southern part of the Smoky Mountains near the TN border and it's Heaven to me. Every time we go we see something we've never seen and do something we've never done. It's remote and secluded, yet there's a never ending list of stuff to do in the area. We go for the Miatas at the Gap gathering every year and this year, we took Milo. He's such a small dog and we didn't want to have the expense of boarding a 4th dog knowing we had his surgery to pay for. Milo did great in the car! He either stayed in my lap or perched on the arm rest.

Hmm..let me rephrase and expand on the car trip. He was fine on the highway but once we got
on curvy mountain roads, it was another story. He was ok most of the time, but after a spirited run back across the Dragon, he threw up. I can't blame him..318 curves in 11 miles..I'm surprised I don't throw up every time we go across. I at least planned for this and had a towel in my lap. Shew!

We thought Milo would be a bit of a burden since we're usually on the go during our vacations and there's little down time, but most places allowed him in. We went hiking for a day and got caught in the rain. I wore the wrong shoes, so my foot was in severe pain and I stopped while Jeff ran with Milo the mile or so back to the car. He was worn out that night! As timeshare members, they came to us saying they wanted to discuss some changes, etc. and they'd give us $50 for our time. It was a sales pitch to upgrade our ownership and was the weirdest meeting I've ever had. I'm pretty sure the guy was high. He kept saying he was going to cut through the b.s. and get to the point. After an hour, he still hadn't told us how much or what we'd be gaining, so we left. We used the money to rent a bass boat and went out on the lake. I don't know that Milo necessarily enjoyed it, but he tolerated it very well as he does most things. He doesn't seem to like water very much and I don't see him being a swimmer which is disappointing, but I can't force it on him. We did dip him in the lake a few times to cool him off and he was ok with that! Side note: I didn't catch any fish. Again.
This is a short video where we tried to get Milo used to the water before we went out on the
boat. Um..it didn't work. He's not afraid of it..he just doesn't like it.

video




We drove across the Cherohala Skyway at sunset one night and it was amazing!

After the sun went down, the sky was so clear you could not only see multiple layers of stars, but an entire arm of the Milky Way. It's breathtaking! Sadly, my camera couldn't capture that and we couldn't stop for pictures anyway because we had to get back to the cabin to meet Jonathan and Candi. Candi is a good friend from college that I never get to see as often as I'd like, so knowing I had a weekend with them was fantastic! Mentioning my camera reminded me of something. Let me back track to the beginning of the week, before we left for Fontana.

The evening before we left, we were cleaning out the car, polishing the inside, cleaning the windows, etc. No wait..let me back up further..several months back I noticed a horrible smell every time I got near the porch. I couldn't put a finger on it..kind of like stinky stagnant water and maybe sewage. Jeff said not to worry it was just water under the porch from rain. I poured bleach and it went away for awhile..but would always come back. So..forward to the night before Fontana. Jeff comes back in and asks how much more laundry do I have to do because there's a break in the water line and the laundry water is just dumping under the house. Lovely. That would explain the stagnant water smell. Then it hit me. Sewage. That whole end of the house is connected to one pipe..so MONTHS of laundry, shower, sink and toilet water were just ending up under the house..not into the septic tank. Crap. Literally. It kind of put a damper on vacation knowing we had to come back to have that fixed. Just another expense.

Ok..so back to why the camera reminded me of all that. After we got to Fontana, we had my delicious Fajita Lasagna that I invented out of thin air and then Jeff goes to pick up his bag. The bottom half is for a camera and lenses, the top half for a laptop. The camera portion was open and his nice Canon Rebel XTI fell out and hit the floor breaking an $800 wide angle lens. He was LIVID. SO..that's why we don't have pictures of the Milky Way. The week didn't start off well.

Alright, back to vacation goodness. The day after Jonathan and Candi arrived, we went on a winery tour to Calaboose Vineyards and Valley River Vineyards with a rather large group of Miatas. Both were very hospitable, had great wines and it was a very fun way to spend a day.

Miatas at Calaboose Vineyards

The day after the vineyard tour, the men went to the Miata picture at the Dam while Candi and I stayed in the cabin. After that, some relaxing by the pool and lazy river while the men went running and did Miata stuff. They joined us at the pool later for awhile and then it was off to shower to get ready for dinner and the wine/beer swap. We met some great people who brought some home brews. One was like an orange wit-beer and the other was a pink hibiscus wit-beer. It was to die for! Floral, light and it was pink! But, if you mixed the two beers together..it tasted like ruby red grapefruit. I have no idea why because it doesn't make sense given what was put in them..but it was like the 4th of July in my mouth! I tried many wines and was tipsy. Maybe more than tipsy. Possibly drunk. Yeah, I was drunk.
Beer table. You can't even see the rest of the selections. There was a LOT!

The day after was a yummy breakfast and the trip home. Fantastic week that just solidifies my love for Fontana. It's not only the place, but the people too. It feels like home to me. I made new friends and got so see some old. My soul was smiling. After returning with some tan lines and great memories, we did get the pipe under the house fixed and for cheap..even if Jeff did have to crawl through crap to reseal the joint. Turns out the support hangers in that area were attached to the plastic and insulation instead of to the wood..so the pipe fell. Easy fix..just a hassle. The lens is still broken and I'm still peeling from the sun I got. SPF 30..and I didn't get hardly any sun. SPF 50..and I'm burnt. ?? Milo had his surgery..but that's another post. So now you know what I've been up to the past few weeks! =)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Milo Update

Fourth of July weekend, Jeff and I headed to the beach for Tucker's annual drunken party. We took Milo and I was so proud of him! We were around a LOT of people..it was loud, chaotic and busy..and he didn't flinch. There were kids carrying him around everywhere and he was ok with it. There were fireworks and he didn't react at all. We walked on the beach and he didn't like the water, but he LOVED running with Jeff in the sand. He's such a great and sociable little dog!


Then..it got weird. I was sleeping one day while Jeff was off running errands and he peed on me! In bed!! That makes the 4th time he's peed on me. The other 3 times were on my foot. I had to completely strip the bed and wash everything..even the pillow top cover. Sigh. No idea why he did it. We haven't had an issue since..at least not dominance peeing. He's still being housebroken, so I expected some peeing..but not ON me. Hmm. Don't know how I'm going to address that. I need to find a reason before I can correct it. I took him on a walk and he totally ignored me but listened to Jeff. The next day, he did exactly as he was told and I had no problems. Before Jeff got home from his 2 week trip, I had no issues...it was only after he got home that he started trying to claim me.

This past weekend, our neighbors had a fish fry. They'd just gotten back from Alaska and had some fresh salmon and haddock. It was awesome! There were a LOT of people and other dogs and Milo did fantastic. There was still loud music, fireworks and a lot of chaos..but he played with the other dogs, let everyone pet him and behaved like he was supposed to. So proud of him!

We've decided to schedule his surgery for week after next, after we get back from vacation. I am concerned about him though because tonight he tried to get in Faith's bowl while she was still eating and she snapped at him. He has a scratch next to his good eye and the white part above the eye is reallllllly red! His eye still responds to light and he can still see..but I'm worried he may lose his vision. Jeff says it'll be fine..that it's just bruised. I'd still rather take him to the vet and have him checked out, just to be sure. I don't know that I have it in me to be a seeing eye person. That's a serious challenge.

Since the incident, he's been extremely submissive. To the point of submissive peeing. He was laying on his blanket and peed while laying there...and then just laid in it. I put him in my lap and while laying there..peed. I went in the laundry room and he followed me in..and peed. Then he walked away with his head down and his tail tucked. He did it again in the kitchen..twice. Then in the bathroom, then at the water bowl and then in the living room. It's not like he's being defiant and going to go pee. He doesn't even take a "pee" stance. He'll just sit there and pee or lay there and pee. We put him in his crate and he just laid there. Didn't yelp, whine or bark. We even put him in another room and turned off the light..not a sound from him. It's like he lost all confidence and personality. We left him in the crate for a bit while he napped then we took him outside. I tried playing with him for a bit, but his heart wasn't in it. I gave him a piece of rawhide, then tried playing with him again. He seemed to be snapping out of it by bedtime, but I'm still worried. More about his eye than about his personality. I can work with him on getting his confidence back..but once he's blind, that's it.

I am worried that his run in with Faith with either make him afraid of other dogs or aggressive towards other dogs. I'm not angry with her..she was just claiming her food and putting him in his place. She didn't mean to hurt him and even came over to check on him when he went crying to Jeff. She acted genuinely upset that he was upset. He cowered in Jeff's lap for awhile. He had been showing some dominance and needed to be taken down a peg or two..but not like this. Jeff and I don't have children. That's a road we've been down for years and we always come back empty handed, so our animals are our children. As a parent, you try to protect them and prevent anything bad from happening to them. You don't want them to have any bad experiences that will scar them. You don't want them to know pain. I know you can't stop the world and can't prevent life from happening, but I still feel like I failed somehow. I didn't protect him. I was in bed when it happened. Jeff fed them and went back to work but he couldn't have prevented it any more than I could. No one's to blame..so why do I feel bad. Feel guilty? I'll call the vet today and set up an appointment to have his eye checked. Jeff will have to go because I have to work..but I hope he's ok.

I also did some research into Chiweenie's. The vet says there's another breed in there somewhere..that he had certain features that didn't fit chihuahua or dachshund. So, I ended up finding a picture of a Feist...and it fits. Almost exactly. Coloring, legs, feet, build, everything suits him. I'm sure he's still a mix..but that's the breed that we were missing. The eyes are chihuahua for sure..and he's long like a dachshund, but the rest is feist for sure. Jeff wants to have a blood DNA test done later on to determine his heritage, and while it would be interesting to know..it's not a great use of our money. We have other pressing matters. So, anyhow..that's my update for now. The sun is coming up which means it's time for bed. Yawn. If you pray, please pray for Milo and both his eyes. Pray that his good eye is ok and he'll keep his vision. Also pray that his eye surgery goes well in a few weeks. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Pet Overpopulation

I thought saving Milo would give me a sense of satisfaction..to know I'd saved a life but instead, I was filled with guilt over not being able to save them all. Half the ones I saw that day are now dead. This week, 3 owner surrender's were put down. One was dropped off b/c the owner was moving. Another was dropped off b/c he didn't want to care for her anymore. She was 9 and he'd had her since she was a puppy. She probably sat in that cage wondering what she'd done wrong and then had to die in a gas chamber with other dogs, afraid and lost. Her name was Shelby. It just breaks my heart. I've never seen a dog look so sad as her. I just want to clarify that NCAF is NOT the shelter. It's a separate group trying to save pets from the shelter. There was another senior dog who had a rescue, but they were trying to arrange transport and short term foster..but the shelter killed him because they didn't listen to their phone messages. It's senseless death. Horrendous. There's so many groups trying to ban gas chambers and promote non-kill shelters..both of which I'm for..but for now, I think their efforts are misguided.

I think the effort should be put into spay/neuter programs so that there's no overpopulation in the first place. There need to be programs in place to prevent backyard breeders, to require all shelter pets to be spayed/neutered, to develop low cost spay/neuter programs. More would be fixed if vets didn't charge so much for it. One place I called was going to charge $260 for a neuter. Seriously?? The mobile spay/neuter clinic SNAP is $100 and I've used them for 4 of my pets. At the time, it was only $60, but still, $100 isn't bad and it includes rabies, parvo/distempter and pain meds. There's also POP and they charge $95. There are places that offer $20 spay/neuter if you're income is under a certain amount or you're on Medicare/Medicaid.

If the population were under control, there would be no need for gas chambers. Once it's under control, THEN we can worry about the best way to euthanize. Focus on the cause of the problem..not the symptoms. Ok..I'll get off my soapbox for now. I just had to get that off my chest!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Milo's surgery


I know I'm missing a blog to explain who Milo is..but it won't post..and I don't know why. I lost half the blog because it wouldn't save and now I have to rewrite it.

Anyhow, in short, Milo is a Chiweenie puppy we took in 2 weeks ago from a kill shelter. He has secondary glaucoma due to a detached retina and needs the eye removed. It'll cost around $700..plus he needs to be neutered..so $800. I started a Chip-In so people who want to help save Milo from any pain can donate. Please go here to donate or click on the red box to the right. Even $1 can help us! I realize we're all affected by today's economy and you may not be able to afford to donate, but please pass this information along to someone who may be in the position to help. We have other animals that we've rescued and can use any help available.


See, isn't he cute?!? Don't you want to help him and prevent any future pain?


Friday, July 01, 2011

I'm late? Oh, I must be on Summer time!

The post from 6/30/11 that wouldn't post.
So much has happened since my last post! I've been to Switzerland and France, got a new puppy and had a LOT of training at work. Since so much has happened, I'll do my best do keep this a summary and then do detailed posts on everything another time.

First: Switzerland. It was amazing. The food is almost always a mixture of meat, potatoes and cheese in some form. My wine glass was rarely empty and my camera was always on. The air smelled of flowers, food or cows depending on where you were. They had self-cleaning toilets, took their dogs EVERYWHERE and it was remarkably clean. No litter or trash anywhere. We walked a LOT and visited Luzern, Schilthorn in the Alps, Interlaken, Lake Thun, Murren, Pilatus and stayed in Basel. The Marketplatz was very neat there. Because it sits in the corner of Switzerland that borders France and Germany, you'd be in one store where they spoke German and then go next door and they'd speak French.

Their version of Wal-mart had the best cart system ever. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who're too lazy to put their cart back and just leave it in a parking space. There, you have to pay to use a cart..and when you put it back, you get your money back. Brilliant! We also went to a futbol game between Basel and Thun where Basel won 5-0. Lucien and his girlfriend Katka were very accommodating and generous. They tended to our every want or need! I'd love to go back! One week just isn't long enough!

Since returning from Switzerland, I've had 48 hours of training at work for in-service. Half was online, the other was 3 days of class. Before Switzerland, we had another 12 hours of training through FEMA. I tell you, I'm trained out. Shew! It's so hard to take the online classes when you're at work and trying to do them between your other job duties. You keep getting interrupted. Eh, ok..that's enough about that.

Two and a half weeks ago, I happened to be looking on the Nash County Animal Friends (NCAF) Facebook page and re-posting the available pets for adoption. I've been doing a lot of that lately because there are so many who need homes. I had no intentions of getting another pet since we already have 7, but there he was..this cute little 3 month old chihuahua/dachshund mix with an injured eye. Nash County is a very high kill shelter because they're so small...and they use a gas chamber. They called him Pete and I knew by looking at his picture that his eye was going to need to come out. I thought, who's going to adopt a one eyed chiweenie pup?? No one will want the expense of having the eye removed and he was just too cute to risk letting him die. So, I kept watching for new posts about him since he wasn't going to be available for adoption for 72 hours. I contemplated my options and decided I was going to go save him. I got off work at 6am, got up at 10:30, left by 11 to be there by 1..which is when they opened. He wouldn't be available until 1:30..so I took the time to play with him. He's only 6 lbs and was basically bouncing off the walls. My actual plan was to be an independent foster and find him a home.

As luck would have it, another couple showed up interested in taking him, so I told them to go ahead and take him since I already had 7 animals. They changed their mind, even when I agreed to pay the adoption fee. Their thinking was that if I took Pete..they could save another one..but they left empty handed. Maybe they got one from another shelter. So, I scooped him up and brought him home. Jeff, who "hates" little dogs just loves him! We renamed him Milo and took him to the vet who referred us to an eye specialist. After seeing the specialist, it was determined that Milo has a detached retina which caused secondary glaucoma..so yeah, the eye has to come out... preferably before it becomes painful but after his skull has developed more to reduce deformity of it. They have no way of determining if it was an injury or if he was born with it. Both chihuahuas and dachshunds have a history of retinal dysplasia, but the good news is that his other eye is perfectly normal.

We've had him for 2 weeks and he's a cuddly little love bug. Potty training has been difficult, but he learned to sit within 15 minutes and hadn't even been home for an hour, so I think he belonged to someone and had wandered off. He did hike his leg and pee on my foot..twice. Today he also got so excited over dinner that when I told him to sit, he started peeing. It shot out in a stream across the floor from between his front 2 legs. I couldn't help but laugh! I'm still working on stay, come, heel, go potty and out. His eye drops every night are a pain in the butt though. I thought I could sneak up on the blind eye, but he can still see light/dark. I've tried different strategies. Some nights holding him down works, other nights I have to wait until he falls asleep and then open that eye and drop it in before he knows what happened. He never tries to bite though..he just wriggles around and I'm afraid of poking him in the eye.

The other dogs don't know what to think. I still don't trust Jazz to be left alone with him since she's been so snarly. Patches lets him climb all over her and she tries to play, but she just can't keep up. Despite my best intentions of trying to re-home him..I think we're going to keep him. He's well socialized, travels well, energetic but mellow and was a dream with the eye dr. and the vet. Jeff has this idea of taking him around on his motorcycle with him. A one eyed chiweenie on a motorcycle. Oh..yeah..Jeff got a motorcycle several weeks ago after taking a class for his license. He looks great on it!

Anyway, Milo is curled up in my lap sleeping as I type this and also despite my great attempts to keep him in a crate at night, it didn't work..he cried for HOURS. It's not like I gave up too easily..but 4 hours of crying when I had to get sleep was too much. I got up thinking he needed to go outside, but he cried for 2 more hours, so I let him in bed where he burrowed under the sheets and curled up by my feet. Since then, no issues. He runs through the yard with the other dogs, fetches and gallops through the house. The cats are warming up to him..but they're bigger than he is and have smacked him a few times. I do have a fear they'll scratch his good eye and blind him completely. I don't know that I have it in me to be a seeing eye person. I'm trying to schedule his eye removal and neuter the week we'll be in Fontana. That way, he can be boarded through his recovery and watched after. Jeff wants to take him with us, but since we're sharing a cabin with another couple, I think it would be rude. Plus, I go on vacation to get away from responsibility and he'd be in my lap in a Miata for 7 hours. It would be a great chance to socialize him more though. Eh, we'll see. We still have a few weeks to decide. Besides, I need to find a vet willing to do both surgeries and board that week.

Well, I think that's all the updates for now. I'll get into more detail about Switzerland later. There's just too much to write about to try to smoosh all this into one blog!