Sunday, January 31, 2016

Amazing Discoveries

Tomorrow is my birthday, so I've been thinking back over my life, the good times and the not so good, the dreams and the disappointments. As I've posted before, I was raised by my Grandparents. My parents were much too young when they married and they separated before I was born. I understand that my father came to visit me in the hospital when I was born, but I never met him or any of his family members.
As a child I had my Grandfather and my Uncles who spoiled me and I didn't miss not having a father around. But as I got older, I did feel a little resentment that none of his family ever showed any interest in knowing me or how I was.  I felt there was a part of me missing. Life goes on and I didn't waste a lot of time thinking about it.
Then a few years ago Rob gave me some genealogy software. I decided to play around with it a little and was pleased that I could trace my maternal ancestors back  a very long way. When I printed out my family tree, however, it was pretty lopsided. My maternal side went back to the founding of the country and the paternal side was  empty. All I knew about my father was his name,  the names of two of his siblings, and the fact that he'd been in the navy.
One day while surfing the net, I stumbled onto a military database and found my father's birth and death dates. OK!!! I took a chance that he had stayed in Syracuse where his family had lived, and emailed the Syracuse Public Library. I asked if they could look up an obituary. I expected either a negative response or a request for payment for a lookup, but instead, the very next day I received two obituaries from the two local papers. Thank you, librarian.

The obituaries included the names of my father's parents. I found my grandfather's obituary online and from there it took off. I made the totally unexpected discovery the paternal side of my family was quite famous in the founding of the country. In fact, my 14th Great Grandfather was one of the founders of Hartford, Connecticut.
My Father may not have ever sent me a birthday card or acknowledged me in any other way, but he gave me a fine heritage.

After filling in my tree, I learned that I qualified for membership in several heritage societies. I looked over the list and settled on two. First was The National Society Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America. I had to prove thru accepted documentation that I was directly descended from a founder, someone who had been here prior to 1687, and a patriot, someone who had participated in the Revolution. Once I had the documentation together, I submitted it for review and it passed. I was admitted to the Society.

With that success at hand, I decided to go for admittance to the Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford. Again I went thru the steps of documentation which was much faster and easier the second time, applied and was accepted.
 I was really surprised how this affected me. I suddenly, for the first time in my life, felt whole. I did have a known heritage and it was a good one. I can't really explain how deeply changed I felt,  but I wish I'd started this research years ago.

 There were a few extra, really neat discoveries along the way.  First I learned that my Father had remarried and had other children. I had a half  brother and sister that I had never known about. In trying to learn more I posted to a family chat list and was totally blown away when I was contacted by a niece that I didn't know about. We even arranged to meet and still stay in touch.
Then a short time later I was put in touch with my Father's only living sibling. My 96 year old Aunt and I chat on the phone and correspond by mail. She also sent me a copy of a book she wrote about her life. I learned more about my Father and Grandparents from her.

Now surely that would be enough to satisfy my needs, right? No way! For a couple years I left my research where it was, but two weeks ago I was feeling restless. I moved my records to new software and decided to poke around a little more. It paid off big time. Though I had some prominent people in the tree already, I went looking for more. I already knew about the Adams cousins, John and Samuel, but I wasn't ready to stop there.

I kept looking and sure enough I hit the jackpot. I found a Mayflower connection. I am descended from John Alden and Priscilla Mullins Alden, who arrived as a teenager on the Mayflower. You've heard of her, she's the "speak for yourself, John", Priscilla in the Myles Standish story.
 Now I've gone about as far as I can go without access to documents in England, but I'm trying to figure out how to get to them without actually making a trip overseas.  So here's something I never expected to say, Thanks Dad, for the birthday present.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Mom Messed Up

I believe in routine for my dogs. I think it helps them to feel confident and safe. Besides if you ever try raising eight puppies at once without good routines, you'll go stark raving mad. So we established routines early and still keep them.
I feed my dogs about the same time each day or close to it. I feed them in the same place each time and they each know where they eat and go directly to that spot.  I feed them in the same order so no one panics thinking they might not get fed.

They go outside approximately every two hours and know that they'll be let back in. They each have a place of their own to rest and be left alone by the others, if they need it.

At bedtime we also have a routine. Around ten I take them to the garage and they form two lines on each side of the refrigerator where I keep the yogurt. They chose their positions in the lines by themselves but sit in the same place each night. I then feed them in the same order each night, and no it isn't the order of the lines. They each get three spoons of yogurt, then we walk to the back door and they go out for their last chance to pee before bed. When they come in they go their sleep places, some in crates and some in the bedroom, they each get a cookie and then it's sleep time till morning.

Our routines work well because each dog knows what to expect. Each knows where to go, where to sit and what will happen next.
A couple days ago I was having one of those days where I was out of it. All day I seemed to be moving in slow motion and felt like I wasn't fully awake all day. At bedtime I called the dogs and we went to the garage together. I walked to the back door and opened it, but only Tess was with me and she just sat down and looked at me. She wouldn't go thru the door. I looked over my shoulder and all the other dogs were sitting in lines beside the refrigerator. Oh yeah! I forgot the yogurt. I was just distracted and forgot the established routine, but they didn't.

Dogs are wonderful and smart!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Chewy Review Coming Up

Hi Everybody
Today it got cold again, what a crazy winter. Dad and some of the girls were in the yard because a strange man was here fixing the garage door openers. They hung around to keep an eye on him. The rest of us stayed upstairs with Mom. We followed her around while she watered plants and did other stuff. We all went in the bathroom while she took a shower. Norma Jean tried to get in the shower with her, but Mom kept her out. So Norma Jean went to the kitchen and played in the water bowl. She splashed water all over the kitchen floor. Mom was so happy when she saw it!
We were starting to get a little bored even though we did run to the window and bark every time we heard the garage doors going up and down. And they went up ad down a lot. Finally to distract us, Mom opened a treat from Chewy. About time!!

These are some of my very favorites and that's why Mom reordered them this month. These are Wellness Petite Treats. Mom got my favorite flavor, too, duck with mango and coconut. Yum!!!
 Here's the best part. Can you read it? It says "over 150 treats per bag". Do you know how many that is, it's almost millions! They're little, Mom says that's what petite means, but there are so many that we can have more than just one at a time.
 We were waiting while Mom opened the bag and took some pictures.
 Then it was time for the big taste test.
 Oh man, these are so good!!! Tell your peeps to order some of these. Remember there are almost millions of them in the bag and you can get lots more that way.
 Mom says I have to tell you that Chewy sent us these most wonderful, best tasting treats at no cost to us in exchange for our honest review. You've got to taste these things, they are the best. If you Mom is ordering foodable for you soon, tell her to have them throw in a bag of these Wellness Petite Treats. They come in lots of flavors so I know there's one you'll like.

Your pal, Fudge

Monday, January 25, 2016

Guilt Is A Wonderful Thing

Hi Friends,
Remember last week when Mom and Dad took Mackey and me to the pet store? Mackey came home with a new harness that she hates and I came home with nothing. That's right, you read it right... I got nothing. I picked out a sweet little container of liver treats and headed for the car, but Mom caught me at the door and took the treats away. Well, I haven't let her forget about that. Every day I go over and put my head in her lap and give her one of those sad looks, you know the one, and she remembers and tells me she's sorry. Yeah, but sorry doesn't cut it.
 So this morning Dad took us outside and we all slogged thru the mud in the back yard. A couple weeks ago we got about 15 inches of rain and it was OK as long as it was freezy out, but today it's 60 degrees and the whole yard is mud. So when we came back in, Dad had to put each of us in the tub in the garage and wash our feet. That didn't exactly make anyone happy, man or beasts. That's when he decided to go to the farm store and buy some bales of straw to throw over the mud.

Now here's the best part. Guess what's directly across the street from the farm store? The pet shop with the great treats!! Mom said to wait and she and I, Sebastian, would go with him. We all got in the car and she said we should stop first at the pet shop. YES!!!
 We all went in and she said I could pick out a treat. I walked up and down the aisles, sniffing all the delicious treats. I stopped at several rawhide chews, but Mom won't let us have rawhide. I nosed some antlers, but we can't have hard chews that might hurt our teeth. I sniffed a few bags and boxes, then I saw the basket full of containers of liver treats. They were exactly like the ones I picked out last week. I picked one up and she said OK. Then she picked one up and we walked to the counter with our treats.
 The man at the counter laughed and said if I put the container down, he'd give me a starter treat. I let Mom have the container and he gave me a crunchy yellow treat. I carried it to the car and ate it in the back seat. Mom had the other two containers of liver treats. 

Then we went across the street to the farm store and got the straw for the yard.
 When we got home Mom let me hold the treat container, but she wouldn't let me open it myself. I know I could do it, but she opened it and gave me not one, not two, but FIVE treats!!! Oh they were so good.
 Then Mom put the container on the counter and said that they're my very own special treats. 
 I think I must be the luckiest dog in the world.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Good Chew On A Bad Day

The weather today stinks! It's cold and a freezing drizzle is falling and even the dogs don't want to go outside.  So what does one do with nine restless, bored dogs on a miserable winter day? Break open the Chewy box, of course.
Today's selection was perfect for a messy weather day. Today we tried Dr Harvey's Sweet Potate'r Chews. These are new to us and we were anxious to see how the pooches would rate them.
They are 100% sweet potato and they are indeed chewy. They are grown here in the USA and contain no dyes, preservatives or by products. They are also a generous size, so the dogs were very happy about that.
 I expected they would take a bit of time to finish, but I have some strong chewers, so before I could get my camera aimed, the girls were finishing them off.  One word of warning: these are meant to be chewed and if you have a gulper, as I do, these are the wrong treat. Fudge doesn't chew anything. He swallows his food without chewing and tries to swallow treats whole, so I  break things up for him. Today he missed this review. He was locked in another room because I didn't want him trying to swallow these and perhaps getting one stuck somewhere.
The girls and Noah and Sebastian all give these four paws up. They think they are totally delicious and a great way to spend time when it's too messy to go out to play.
Chewy sent us a bag of Dr Harvey's Sweet Potate'r Chews at no cost in exchange for our honest review. My dogs say they are definitely worth trying.

Friday, January 15, 2016

I Went Shopping!!!!

Guess what we did today.... We went shopping and it was the bestest thing in the world. 
 It all started a few days ago when Dr B told Mom and Dad that Mackey should start wearing a harness. That was Ok because a couple years ago Mom scored a great find on Ebay. She got a box of harnesses and collars and leashes  from a store going out of business. There were about 20 harnesses, all different sizes and colors. So yesterday Mom and Dad took Mackey onto the porch and tried harnesses on her. Would you believe there wasn't one that fit her? You see Mackey is shaped kind of oddly. She's a little short girl but she's got a big chest. The little sizes wouldn't go around her chest and the big sizes were too big for her neck and tummy.
 Today Dad said "let's take Mackey to try on harnesses." Mom thought Mackey would be more comfortable in the store if I went with her because I'm her big brother and she trusts me. Mackey was afraid when we got to the store and didn't want to go near the nice store lady, but I went up and gave the lady a kiss.
 The store lady said Mackey would probably do best with a bra type harness. Cool!  Mom handed my leash to the lady and bent down to put the harness on Mackey. It needed an adjustment so Mom handed it to the store lady. After the adjustment she put it back on Mackey and it fit, so Mackey got her training bra.
 All three peeps were admiring Mackey and her bra and nobody was paying any attention to me, so I decided to do some shopping. I walked around the store a little and boy, it's a great store. It has food and toys and then I found the treat section. There was a basket full of little containers of liver treats just like the ones in Dr B's office. I picked one up and started for the door. Suddenly I heard Mom calling me and she came running to grab my leash. She took the container of liver treats away and the store lady put them back in the basket.
 OK, there was a basket of pig ears there and I started sorting thru them to find the one I wanted, but Mom said NO and pulled me away.
 I dragged Mom over to a pile of these things and licked one, but she said no to those too. 
 Then I spotted a rack with bags of treats. All different flavors. I sniffed them till I found some that I thought would taste good, but again Mom said NO.
 Heck, what kind of a shopping trip is this anyway? 

Mom and Dad put us in the car and we went to another store, but this time Mom got out and went in by herself. I could smell McDonalds nearby and gave Dad a nudge and rolled my eyes in that direction, but he didn't take the hint. Instead we waited for Mom. When she came out she had two big boxes of biscuits and put them in the back of the car. Then we went home.
 It's good, we have a big supply of fresh biscuits now, but tonight I think I'll dream of those liver treats that were almost mine.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

How Are We?

It was a long weekend trying to keep little Miss Mackey quiet. Dr B prescribed pain meds and a muscle relaxant and once they took over, she felt great and wanted to play. Unfortunately for her, she was leashed to either a person or a chair for five days. She took it surprisingly well though she really wanted to run with the big dogs.

Now her meds are finished and she's been released from her tether, but she's still being walked separately and not allowed to run. Next Monday she can try going out with the other dogs and we'll see how it goes.
 We saw Dr B again on Monday and discussed what may have caused the problem. It could be a disc problem because of her long back and short legs. Dogs built like that are susceptible to disc injuries. Just to ease any pressure on her neck, he feels she should probably start wearing a harness. I have a box of harnesses of various sizes that I bought on Ebay, but Mackey has such a funny shape that none fit her, so later in the week she'll get to go shopping for a perfect fitting harness. She is NOT excited about the idea.

Dr B still thinks it's possible that Mackey actually suffered a petite seizure. He says if that's the case, as long as she has no more than three in a year, we'll just handle them as they happen. These small seizures are difficult to diagnose and to treat. So we wait and see.

On Monday Bailey visited with Dr B. Bailey has been limping on and off for awhile. Last month it started to get pretty bad so I started her on Rimadyl. For the first week I gave her 100 mg, then cut it back to 50 mg daily. Dr B said we needed to check her liver values after thirty days on the drug. Since it was almost time for her annual checkup, I decided on a full senior blood panel.
He gave her a full exam, paying special attention to her legs and spine. He felt no signs of pain in either, so the Rimadyl seems to be working for her. He thinks she has some arthritis in her back from an earlier injury. Everything else checked out great, eyes, ears, teeth, etc. Bailey is a little too squirmy to get blood easily so this time I had her lie down on the table. Dr B took blood from her back leg as I fed her liver treats very slowly. She was so interested in the treats that she didn't even notice what was going on in the back end.

Her lab report came back the next day and was perfect except that her thyroid was a little high. She's already on Soloxin, so we made a slight adjustment form .6 mg to .5 mg. Problem solved. The Rimadyl is not bothering her liver and it's helping her arthritis.
We also had a good talk about Fudge. The boy doesn't handle change very well and has been mopey since Morgan's death. The doc gave me some ideas to help him thru the adjustment. It was a good visit and we had mostly good news.