Friday, July 29, 2011

Hot Humor

It's too hot to think. I can't even come up with an interesting post today. Instead,here are  some pictures that I've received recently online. They made me smile.

This is a common experience around our house. We have a big, giant bed for Sky and who usually sleeps on it? Morgan. While Sky folds himself into a tiny little bed meant for a much smaller dog.

Aren't these Dalmatian pups cute? But, imagine taking care of sixteen puppies as they get bigger and start moving around. I was exhausted caring for eight pups and can't imagine doubling that number. They sure are cute, though.

Meet George. He's officially the world's largest dog at 5 feet tall and seven feet long, and he was the runt of his litter. George just was given a book deal, so we'll probably be hearing more about him.

Finally, what is this?
You'll find out soon. Have a great weekend and stay cool.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Problem solved-maybe?

I've been sleep deprived for several months now. Besides getting up at 4:30 to feed everyone and let them out, Samba has been waking me several times a night to go outside. I assumed it was a result of the Prednisone.

At her last exam I mentioned to Dr B that Samba can't sleep thru the night. He suggested that I try some Melatonin, but it didn't help. She seemed to have no response to it at all. He also requested a urine sample. When she was first diagnosed with MMM, I was told that infection is our biggest concern. Now he suggested that she might have the start of a urinary tract infection and we should check.

Now, getting a urine sample from a dog isn't as easy as handing them a cup and telling them to go fill it. Dr B has started recommending an annual urine sample along with an annual blood test. He feels they're tools that may show problems in the early stages before symptoms start showing up.

I decided to get samples from the three oldest dogs. Tsar was easy. When he lifted his leg, I held the cup under the stream and we were done. The girls were another story. I thought about my plan overnight and this is how I did it, in case you need to try. I have an old Tupperware container that is flat, it was originally made to store hot dogs or cheese slices. I never use it. I put each girl on a short leash and held it in my right hand so that the dog was directly in front of me. As soon as she squatted, I stuck the container under her from the back, under the tail. When she finished she walked forward and I had my sample. Just pour it into a cup or baggie and we're off to the vet.

Now, if you're still with me, Samba's test showed some protein in her urine, but it wasn't too bad considering her prolonged steroid usage, so we decided to repeat it in six weeks. Last week we repeated the test and there was a little more protein in the urine. Now we knew that there might be an infection starting so we sent the sample to the lab. When the report came back it was positive for staph. The report also told which antibiotic would be best for knocking out the infection. We started her on it for ten days.

We are now on day six and I am happy to report that Samba has shown no bad effects from the antibiotic and she has slept thru the night for the past four nights. We are both feeling better in the morning for getting more sleep and I'm happy knowing that Samba is on the road to recovery.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Got Cake?

Yesterday was our Dad's birthday. We gave him a card with a picture of a dog that looked just like Morgan on the front. Inside it said "Got Cake?"

Dad thought it was funny and today he went out and bought mini cupcakes to share with us. Mom said she didn't bake a cake because it was too hot to turn the oven on. Some excuse!

 So tonight after our dinner Dad gave us each a little cupcake. The girls and Noah eat first because they all eat fast. They all had to sit.

He handed each of them a cupcake.

Look at Tessie's tongue. I think she can already taste it and he hasn't given it to her yet.

After the girls were finished, the slow eaters came into the garage. First we all ate, then it was party time.

Morgan went first because she's the oldest.

Sky has the same tongue action as Tess.

Sky knows how to sit up and beg. Mom thinks that's real cute. I think he's sucking up.

I got a piece and it was so delicious.

Finally Tsar got his cake. He was the last one. The rest of us practically swallowed ours whole, but he set his on the floor and licked all the icing off before he ate the cake. What a doofus!
Thanks, Dad for sharing your birthday with us. Next time let's get those big cupcakes.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Our Food Bank

It's HOT!!!!

Ok, so it wasn't all that long ago when I was complaining that it was too cold.

Or too rainy. But now it's hot and dry and I'm complaining again.

At least  we and the dogs have an air conditioned house to relax in. The wildlife doesn't have that luxury. So we decided to help them out. This is the bowl we used when we taught the puppies to eat solid food. The bump in the center is supposed to prevent them from walking thru their food or falling asleep in it. It didn't work. They found a way to get themselves covered with food.

Now it's being used as a water bowl for birds and squirrels. The bump now is an island for birds to stand on.

We bought a new Hummingbird feeder because the squirrels destroyed the old one. They somehow managed to unfasten the wire hanger and throw the feeder onto the ground, breaking it.

Each morning we replenish the water and spread seeds on the deck railing for the birds.

We also fill the feeders, but in this heat, we try to make feeding as easy as possible for the little guys. Of course the squirrels help themselves, too. But they have to eat, too and they really seem to appreciate the cool drink.

In the back yard, one of the few remaining plants is the butterfly bush and it has lots of hungry visitors.

Hummingbird Moths.

Don't you love his dotted body?

Tiny little, big eyed visitors.

Battle weary Swallowtails missing one tail.

If you biggify this, you'll see a wasp feeding.

 My favorites are the blue butterflies.

Tsar says the sun is too bright and it's too hot for a black dog to be outside.

Stay cool everyone and don't forget the thirsty birds, squirrels and butterflies.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


While I was putting together the last post about Samba training her pups, I came across a batch of pictures that have never been posted. These were taken the same day. The pups were six weeks old and having a ball exploring the yard.

The rock pile was fascinating to them. They climbed all over it. Here Tess checks out the rocks while Gib carries a stick, just as his mama taught him.

Lola and Bailey.

Noah running across the yard.

Oh oh, my pants and possibly my shins are in for trouble from those puppy teeth.

Tess and Bailey

Wasn't Noah a cute puppy?

 Rock climbers Noah and Tess.


 Bailey on the rocks.

Baby Sky.

Noah was the smallest and when the others climbed on the rocks then jumped off, he followed them up, but was  afraid to jump down. He sat there and cried till I helped him down.

Playing 'chase'.


Tess and Lola.

 This is Gib. He went to live in Oklahoma.


Grabbing a little rest in the grass.

 Grace and Bailey heading for the action.

 This is Gib chasing Noah.

Those rocks are so interesting.

Noah, Gib and Tess.

Where is Norma Jean? With me, of course, begging for treats. She started early.

Sky and Bailey.

Noah gets a little snack from Mama. He got special treatment because he was so small. Tess is getting a bath.

Noah and Gib running across the yard.

Sky sitting on the hill.

 Gib, Lola and Noah.


 Norma Jean and Tess. They're still best friends.

This looks like Gracie just punched Sky.

I'm sure you recognize this. I use it as my header because it's one of our favorite pictures. The pups were all running with Samba. It just symbolizes joy to me.