Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Vacation – Day Twelve

Yesterday the pups and I went to Emerald Isle to visit Donnie, Reyna’s SAR trainer. It was a 2 hour and 45 minute drive, but would have taken much less time if it had been highway most of the way. Unfortunately, 70 bypass is 55mph a lot of the way, and 58 is a two land road with a ridiculous number of drivers who think its fun to go 10mph or more under the speed limit… But its not a bad drive, for all of that. Not that I’d want to do it much more than once a year.

While we were there, Donnie had a SAR track laid for Reyna, and she was so clearly excited to be working again. I’m surprised at how well she seems to do with long drives. I thought she’d get stiff, but she moves better after a drive than she does before. And she certainly isn’t resting during the drive, so its not that. She settled down on the way home, after we got off of the two lane road. And she did actually nap - for about 20 minutes.

Part of the reason we went down – besides seeing Donnie and letting Reyna run a track – was to get Reyna’s Level 2 SAR certificate. Donnie kept refusing to bring it to me while we were training this past fall, using it as a bribe to get me to visit. He also kept offering me fresh venison, but only if I drove down to get it. Since he knew we were coming yesterday, he shot a deer on Saturday. He kept some of it for himself, but he gave me both shoulders and part of a flank. So I spent a couple of hours today doing something I’ve never done before – carving up deer parts. It was actually a lot easier than getting the meat off of rabbit bones, but I’m sure any self-respecting butcher would shudder at the job I did. In my defense, though, it was my first deer, there’s definitely a learning curve, and I don’t exactly have the best tools on hand for this sort of thing. But that’s okay, because the pups and I will be enjoying venison for a while. I’m even considering buying a crock pot. I think a crock pot will make cooking up the rabbits Dad gave me last week a bit easier, too.

Since the pups were so interested in the carving process, I decided to give them a treat. As I finished with each shoulder, I tossed it into the back yard. And since I wasn’t stressing over getting the bones really clean, there was still lots of yummy meat on them. Here’s Reyna with the first shoulder, getting ready to take the bone back in the house.

And Reyna peeping from inside, trying to figure out how serious I was about her not bringing that thing in the house.

Duncan’s trying to decide if its worth risking the wrath of Reyna to try and grab the shoulder (notice its in the pile of leaves at the base of the steps). He decided it wasn’t.

But once the second shoulder bone was outside, nothing was keeping Duncan away from it. Here he’s actually watching Reyna on the other side of the yard, making sure she’s not coming for the bone.

And, well, I think these are pretty self-explanatory.

As a treat for me, I have a chunk of meat marinating in the fridge that will be my dinner tomorrow night.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Vacation – Day Ten

I’m really loving this whole time off thing. I wish we could do this more often. I knocked a few items off my Honey-Do list and still had time to read and play with the pups. Reyna seems to have finally gotten rid of whatever was upsetting her stomach, thank goodness. She was limping again, but felt well enough to play with Duncan for a minute this afternoon. Tomorrow should be a fun day...we’re heading out to Emerald Isle to visit a friend.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Vacation – Day Nine

Yesterday was a lot of fun. I spent most of the day at Mary’s house, cropping with her and Michele. I managed to get 28 pages done for Duncan’s scrapbook. That sounds like a lot, but it didn’t really get me very far along – through May 2006, I think. But it is still progress, and a lot more than I had before I started.

Today was absolutely beautiful, so instead of wasting it doing chores inside, I spent most of the day outside with the pups. I sat on my swing and read while they lolled around in various sunny spots. Even the cats enjoyed the weather, spending most of their time sitting in one open window or another.

The only downside to the day was that Reyna has been sick since at least yesterday evening. I don’t know how early in the day she might have started having problems, but she was very definitely sick when I got home. She didn’t bounce back today like she normally would – instead, she’s still sick. And she hasn’t been moving too well today. At least it was warm today, so she was able to go outside and get some fresh air without having to worry about cold temperatures aggravating her hips even more.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

The pups and I had a very nice Christmas Eve and Day. Wednesday morning, we were up and out the door early so we could get to Mom’s in time for lunch. Ronnie emptied out their shed so that the pups wouldn’t have to stay in the truck during the visit. Josh, Steph, Peyton, and Cooper were also there.

We had Mom’s Texas chili for lunch, and then we opened presents. Cooper was fascinated by a rattle that Mom and Ronnie gave him.

After lunch and presents, we all relaxed and visited for a while. Well, not all of us. Ronnie and Peyton were off playing. Mom and I made sure we had a picture taken together.

Josh and Steph headed out to Dad’s a little bit before me. I knew the pups needed some time to run around after hanging out in the shed. After burning some energy, the three of us went on to Dad’s for dinner. For a few minutes, there was a possibility that the pups would be allowed in the house while everyone was there, but it just wasn’t to be. Stephanie had Cooper on a blanket spread out in the middle of the floor and she didn’t want the pups any where near him. To top it off, Peyton is apparently scared of dogs. So, outside they went. There’s a deck right off the room we were in, and Reyna spent the entire evening lying in front of the door so she could keep an eye on me. Duncan wandered around a bit, but once it started raining, he stayed on the deck under the roof. After all, he wouldn’t want to melt on Christmas Eve.

We opened presents before dinner. Peyton got some fancy costume jewelry, which she immediately modeled for us.

Dad didn’t even mind the constant reminders that he needed to check the tenderloin to make sure he didn’t overcook it. Again.

As a minor Christmas miracle, we sat down to eat around 6:30. Steph almost has Dad trained (for years, it was common to start eating at 9:00, and occasionally even later). After Josh and his family left, Reyna and Duncan were allowed in the house. They checked out the room, Reyna rolled around on one of the couches, and then both pups settled right down. Reyna decided she really liked the flannel sheet the Krysti had put on the floor for them. Dad, Krysti and I chatted for a while, and then the pups and I walked up to the cabin in the pasture where we were spending the night. Dad mentioned that he’d seen several coyotes during the last few months, so I should check the pasture before letting the dogs out. The only problem with that theory was that there weren’t exactly any street lights around to show me what might be in the pasture…

The three of us really enjoyed staying in the cabin. The pups were even allowed to sleep on the bed, although Duncan seemed a bit offended that Reyna and I dared to take up as much space as we did. Dad and Krysti both agreed that Wolfie did well enough in the pen that they wouldn’t mind having us stay for a couple of days at a time. I don’t know when we’d be able to go back up, but its definitely an option to keep in mind.

The absolute best thing about the trip was that Reyna was feeling exceptionally good. She would limp a bit right after getting up from the floor, but the stiffness typically went away after a few minutes. We tromped in the woods for about an hour after breakfast. Reyna had a little trouble with a few obstacles, but she always figured out an easy way to go around instead of over. We went for a walk with Dad before leaving, and I noticed that she would limp occasionally and swing out her hips, but she still handled the two miles very well. Of course, it helped that there wasn’t a bit of pavement around, so she had much softer surfaces than usual on which to walk.

We stopped at Mom’s for lunch on the way back to Raleigh Thursday. Reyna was still feeling pretty good.

Before we left, the horses in the pasture next door came over to the fence for a visit (they did this on Wednesday, too, but this time I had my camera ready). Reyna and Duncan both went to the fence to say hello.

Notice that Duncan’s tongue is still out from giving the horse a kiss...

Reyna was so interested in the horses that she went into the pasture to check them out. I got her out of there fairly quickly the first time because my heart couldn’t take the strain of waiting for one of them to kick her. Especially since she kept running up behind their back legs. The second time she went into the pasture, she actually tried to get the horses to play with her. I was across the yard talking to Mom and Ronnie, but I could see her play bowing and bouncing around them. Talk about heart strain...

By the way, John – I think Reyna and Duncan will be fine around your horses, as long as we can keep Reyna from trying to play with them…

Lucky for me, both of the pups were exhausted after two busy days, and they both slept almost the entire drive home. I didn’t even stop at our usual rest area just because I didn’t want to wake them up and have them get wound up again. As fun as the trip was, we were all happy to get home. I was also happy to see that the cats hadn’t destroyed anything while we were gone, and Niko was chirping himself silly in his cage.

Today has been a quiet recovery day. Reyna and Duncan have both slept most of the day, and I even had a nap earlier in the afternoon. Tomorrow, I’m off to Mary’s to work on Duncan’s scrapbook.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Vacation – Day Four

Today was another cold one. Thankfully, there was no wind. I had to break the ice in the dogs’ pool again every time we went out, except for once in the late afternoon. This morning, the ice was really thick. Duncan ever-so-nicely put his nose in this picture for a frame of reference. The big chunk of ice was a piece I pulled away from the rest so that the dogs could actually drink some water.

Most of the day was spent handling work tasks. I found out that several of my engineers worked until 10:30pm Friday and another 14 hours on Saturday, trying to fix various bugs that would have a nasty impact on my project. They were back in the office yesterday and today, even though they were all supposed to have both days off. They’re such good engineers.

The rest of the day I spent reading and getting packed for the next two days. Tomorrow morning, the pups and I head west. First stop is lunch at Mom’s. After that, we head to Dad’s for dinner. We’ll be spending the night at Dad’s this year, in a cabin he has in the old horse pasture. This will be a first for me, since I usually stay at Mom’s. Another first is that Ganna will not be at Dad’s for the first time I can remember. She’s in Colorado this Christmas, visiting my aunt and cousin. I’m sure she’s having a blast, but it will be odd not seeing her.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Vacation – Day Three

Today was actually somewhat productive. I managed to wrap presents and get a few chores done. I also acquired a lovely bruise by thunking my forehead on a wall (don’t ask). Reyna’s had a particularly bad day, which isn’t surprising, considering the temperatures. Other than potty breaks, all Reyna wanted to do outside was bury herself in a pile of leaves. And who could blame her? It was nasty cold out today, and the wind just made it worse. Every time we went outside, I had to rebreak the ice in the pups’ pool. We’ve spent the evening curled up in our respective cushy spots, napping, watching TV, and staying as warm as possible. As much as I’d love some snow, I can’t say I’m disappointed that we’re supposed to be back near 70 by the weekend.

Tomorrow is work-from-home day. Woo-hoo. I have a conference call at 11 and will hopefully finish up all the major stuff shortly after that. And then I can get back to enjoying my holiday break.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Vacation – Day Two

Today was a nice, relaxing day. I watched a movie, read a lot, put up a few Christmas decorations, and played with the pups. Everyone’s stockings are now hanging on the mantel (except Niko – he doesn’t have a stocking) and a few ornaments are decorating the top of the mantle. Reyna was clearly hurting most of the day, but her attitude was pretty cheerful. The rain this morning was a great excuse to stay inside, and even Reyna didn’t want to hang out in the rain for more than a few minutes (Duncan’s never liked being outside in the rain). Once the sun came out, though, the day was beautiful. The wind wasn’t too cold until after dark. Tonight is supposed to be very cold, and tomorrow’s high isn’t even supposed to hit 40. I think it’ll be a good day to stay inside and take care of a bunch of chores. With luck, Reyna will get bored watching me do chores and she’ll stop following me around and take a nap, instead. If I can also limit her time outside in the cold, she might not hurt too badly tomorrow.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Today is the first day of my two week break from the office. TWO. WHOLE. WEEKS. Just the thought of all that time makes me giddy. Most of the time off is because the company shuts down at the end of the year, and the rest of the days are vacation hours that I have to take by January 9 or I lose them. Twist my arm, why don’t you?

One bad thing is that I have a two page list of Honey-Do chores, and I’m the only Honey available to do them. But, as a coworker pointed out, I have considerably more flexibility than most Honeys. After all, if I decide I don’t want to do something, there’s no one here to fuss at me about it.

The second bad thing is that it looks like I’ll be working from home a couple of days. I have a conference call scheduled for Tuesday morning that I can’t miss, and a few other things for my project that need to be completed before January. I have to say, though, that I’d rather be doing those things at home instead of going into the office Monday and Tuesday.

During Thanksgiving, I made tentative plans to work at the boarding kennel again over this break. After talking to the owner last week, though, I decided I wouldn’t be doing that. She could only give me about 16 hours, since she’s hired a few more full-time people. And, while the extra $150 or so would be nice, its not that important in the grand scheme of things. The extra time I get to spend with the animals (and particularly Reyna), though, is irreplaceable. So, over the next two weeks, I’ll be finishing some office work, doing chores that have piled up, playing with the animals, and visiting folks I don’t see very often. Two weeks. I still can’t believe it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Good News, Bad News

The good news is that there’s no new injury to Reyna’s left leg. The bad news is that there’s no new, easily fixable, injury to Reyna’s left leg. The vet poked, prodded, twisted, turned and tweaked, and the only time he got a response from Reyna was when he touched her left hip. When she was standing, it was easy to see that her right hip bone is higher than her left. The vet estimated the difference at about 20 degrees, which is all consistent with the ortho vet’s comment in October that her right hip is more out of socket than her left. The vet thinks she’s been favoring her left hip so much lately because she’s aggravated it by compensating for her right hip. In other words, her right hip hurts a lot, so she puts more weight on her left hip, which makes it hurt more, so she tries to keep it off the ground. Of course, that will eventually result in more pain in her right hip. Gotta love those vicious circles. At this point, assuming I don’t win the lottery, there’s really nothing else to do for her but keep an eye on her and try to keep her comfortable for as long as possible. Even the vet agrees that, at the rate she’s progressing, she might not make it until April. We just have to wait and see.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Holiday Collars

I decided to get the dogs holiday collars this year. Its the first time I’ve done this, mostly because I just don’t think about doing it. I have to say, though, that the dogs look very nice in their new collars.

Here’s Duncan, posing in his green and red collar with the candy cane-striped bones. He’s so handsome. And he’s clearly a natural at the German shepherd stack.

Here’s Reyna, taking a break from the hard work involved in getting up and moving around. Her collar says “Noel” and has little gold bells stitched on it. See?

And here’s Reyna enjoying one of the bison bones I gave them Sunday. I know you can't see the collar - I just really liked the expression on her face.

Canine Massage

I had a lady who does massages on dogs and cats come out to the house Saturday to give me a lesson. I’d read a couple of books on canine massage, but I didn’t really like the thought of practicing on Reyna with one hand and flipping through the book with the other. Massage seems like something that could potentially help Reyna, both in keeping her calm and in lowering her pain levels.

The massage portion of the lesson went very well. The instructor was very clear about the various techniques to use, as well as what parts of the dog to avoid and when massages should not be done. Reyna had trouble settling down with her at first, but then seemed to appreciate getting a nice rub. She even settled down for me again later in the afternoon.

The only bad part about the session (and it wasn’t all that bad, just a bit out there) was that the instructor is very definitely into chakras and energy fields, distance healing and animal communications. Now, I firmly believe that my animals let me know how they’re feeling and if something is wrong, but I don’t buy into the thought that someone can have a “conversation” with my dog and suddenly know all of her underlying issues. The instructor also brought some flower essences to try. She said she let her pendulum "choose" which flower essences she should use for Reyna. Based on the descriptions in the book she let me skim through, her pendulum made some reasonable selections. Of course, someone reading the descriptions would likely have made the same choices….

Regardless of all of that, I still think massages can be beneficial to Reyna. We did a couple of short ones Saturday evening and Sunday, and Reyna definitely seems to enjoy them. If for no other reason than her enjoyment, I’d say that lesson was well worth the cost.

Better, Then Not

Reyna wasn't limping this morning and obviously felt a bit better, as she decided to play some. That worked for about two minutes. She apparently turned too quickly while she was playing with Duncan, even though she didn't actually move more than a few feet in any one direction. She started limping again, and decided her best choice was to go lie down in a pile of leaves.

We have an appointment Wednesday morning with the vet. I don't think he'll find anything else wrong with her leg. I think its just her hips getting a lot worse.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Not Good

I don't think Reyna's going to make it until April. The cold weather has not been kind to her, but I don't think I can blame it all on the temperatures. Mary even commented yesterday on the dramatic changes in Reyna's behavior since the last time she saw her, about six weeks ago. Reyna had trouble moving around yesterday afternoon and evening, so at dinner I gave her the maximum dose of pain meds she's allowed - they didn't seem to impact her pain at all, but they did make her sick. How useful to have drugs that don't work like they should... She tried to get in her chair last night, and couldn't do it. Her back legs just couldn't push her up.

Today has been bad. Not only is Reyna having trouble walking, she's had to struggle several times just to get up. Even sitting down is taking longer than it should. She's had no interest in playing, either with her ball or with Duncan. And Duncan seems to realize something is extra wrong - he's been very gentle with Reyna today; instead of grabbing her neck, he just pretends to do it. Reyna's doing something she's almost never done before - she's acknowledging that she hurts. Several times today, as she's tried to stand up or move around, she's looked at me and whined or whimpered. She's been favoring her left rear leg, and several times today I've caught her standing with her foot a few inches off the ground.

I'm going to call the vet tomorrow for an appointment. I want to make sure she's favoring the left leg because that hip has gotten significantly worse, rather than there's been some other injury to the leg. I know its just going to get worse, both because of time passing and the weather staying cold. I just don't know how long I can watch her struggle.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Santa Paws

Well, I was wondering how the photographer was going to get the tree in the picture, since it was so far away from Santa. The answer: blowing off three years of portrait mode and using landscape. It all makes sense now....

The first three pictures were taken after I moved Reyna around a bit. The fourth one was taken after a volunteer realized the squeaky toy was still in the picture, and the last two were after Duncan got up.

I know which picture is my favorite. Which one do you like best?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Santa Paws

The pups had their annual pictures with Santa Paws this Saturday. Reyna was so excited to see him that she tried to climb up into Santa’s lap. Duncan was a bit shy at first, which is a huge improvement over being terrified of Santa like he’s been every other year. It was a pretty relaxed group of volunteers this time, which isn’t always the case. The photographer took a couple of pictures and I decided I didn’t like how the dogs were sitting so he stopped and let me rearrange them a bit. Duncan stood up at one point, and everyone (with the exception of the photographer, I think), said “Duncan, sit!” He looked a little confused, but he sat. We wrapped up the photo shoot when Reyna told us she was done. She actually got up and grabbed her leash from Santa’s hand and started walking towards me. That seemed like a good time to call it quits. I can pick up their pictures this Friday evening, so I’ll find out then if the photographer was any good. The dogs were their natural photogenic selves, so if there aren’t any good pictures, its all because of the guy behind the camera.

Look, Another Unicorn!

Last night, I captured something that is not often seen and even more rarely photographed. In fact, in the last 3 and a half years, this is only the second time I've managed to get a picture of this.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

He Likes It Spicy

Last night I had chicken nuggets with Texas Pete buffalo wing sauce for dinner. After I finished, Duncan decided he wanted to check my plate, and he got a lick of the sauce. A few seconds later, he started frantically flicking his tongue in and out of his mouth. He was looking down, and I could see tears falling out of his eyes. He seemed okay after a couple of minutes, and he walked back over to me. I held out the plate and asked him if he wanted more. He leaned in, sniffed, leaned back, and then popped his head in and took another big lick. And then started flicking his tongue in and out while tears fell from his eyes. He actually came back like he was thinking of going for a third lick, but then decided he was done for the evening.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Almost As Rare As Unicorns

The pups had a lovely week, even though I wasn’t home for most of it. Last Saturday, they got to stay at the PetHotel overnight. When I called to check on them, I was told that Duncan played hard all day (and then he slept all day Sunday), and that Reyna would play for a bit and then lay down and watch everyone for a while. She’s a smart girl, because she was clearly pacing herself. The PetHotel people said they never saw Reyna limp. The pups got baths Sunday morning, and then I picked them up a bit before noon. Reyna seemed fine Sunday, but the poor girl limped all day Monday. There were times when she couldn’t seem to decide which back leg to keep off the floor. Lucky for her, I can up her pain meds when necessary. By Tuesday, she was back to normal.

Duncan got a special treat Tuesday afternoon – sheep herding! The trainer said he was working so beautifully that it was impossible to tell he hadn’t seen a sheep since July. She kept trying to reward him with hot dogs, but he would just spit them out and stare at the sheep. At one point, I was waving an entire hot dog in front of his face, and he kept looking around it. The expression on his face was very clearly “Mom! You’re blocking my view! Move the hot dog!” Since he was doing so well, we decided to try him on herding ducks. He wasn’t interested them at first (after all, there were sheep nearby), but he finally realized I was asking him to do something. Ducks don’t herd like sheep, so its going to take both of us a bit to figure them out. Duncan got too enthusiastic at one point and picked one up, spit it out almost immediately, and then had to work to get all the feathers out of his mouth. But the funniest moment came when he overran the flock, tripped, and somehow managed to trap a duck under his back leg. Duncan was spinning, trying to figure out what was going on and the duck was frantically quacking and flapping, trying to get free. I’m glad they sorted themselves out, because I was laughing too hard to be of any help. I’m going to try and get Duncan back for herding practice once or twice during our winter break. The poor boy deserves it, considering what he has to put up with every day.

Lucky for us, the weather was beautiful most of the week so I was able to spend a lot of time in the yard with the pups. Reyna would play for a while, and then lie down in the leaves and relax. And Duncan would just find a sunny spot in the yard.

Thanksgiving night, though, something rare and exciting happened. In all the time I’ve had the pups, this has only happened once before, when Reyna was stressed out over a storm. I was on one end of the couch, Duncan was on the other, and Reyna climbed up between the two of us to chew on her bone.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Because The Odds Weren't Against Her Enough

I spoke with Reyna's ortho surgeon this morning. He's concerned about the heart defects that were found last year during all the tests they ran to try and find the cause of her seizures. The surgeon wants Reyna to see a cardiologist about a month before the surgery to find out if there have been any significant changes. If the cardiologist clears her for surgery, there will still be a higher risk than normal with the anesthesia. If the cardiologist doesn't clear her, well, then, there's no surgery. I'm just waiting now for a call with the cost estimate for the chest x-rays and appointment.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Not Too Bad

Reyna is moving relatively well this morning. She's a bit stiff and slow every time she gets up, but her gait smoothes out as long as she keeps moving. She did have more trouble this morning in the part of the yard that's covered with acorns - she definitely wasn't as comfortable on the unstable surface as she is normally. I'm so glad last night's fall didn't hurt her any worse than it did.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It Freaking Pours

Duncan found a sure-fire way to give me a heart attack tonight. Reyna was running after her ball, and as she was turning to grab it, Duncan plowed into her. She hit the ground with her back legs splayed, spun a 360 on the grass, and slid about 4 feet. It was frighteningly similar to several nightmares I've had. Reyna got up and was able to move around, thank goodness. Duncan knew he was in trouble, though. I think it was a combination of my panicked gasp, Reyna's yelp, and the fact that she almost immediately went for his throat. Reyna seems to be moving around okay, but I'm afraid she'll have trouble after she lays down and gets stiff. To try and head that off, I gave her a higher dose of pain meds with dinner. Paws crossed she won't be limping in the morning.

When It Rains...

The truck's had a nasty shimmy between 49 and 54mph for the last couple of months, so I finally took it in yesterday for a tire rotation and balance and a transmission fluid flush. The mechanic called to alert me to some other problems they found (of course), so my boss went in with me when I went to pick it up. He's worked on cars for years, so I figured he had a much better chance of understanding and retaining the information. The mechanic said the truck has a leaking right rear axle seal and a leaking left rear wheel cylinder. But for a mere $500 (maybe) he could fix it. And I must do it now, because its not safe to have the truck on the road.

I called a couple of other places today for estimates (both were lower). My boss went out and looked at the truck, because he was concerned about me being on the road for several hours this weekend. He said the axle seal was leaking but that it was a slow leak that had obviously been going on for a while. Since we were out there, we checked the differential, which was nearly full. We also took the rear tires off to check the cylinders. The left looked like it had an extremely slow leak (again, long-term), but nothing significant. The right showed a lot of axle grease in the drum. We cleaned that up as best we could. Boss' opinion is that the axle seal definitely needs to be replaced, but its not exactly the safety hazard the mechanic made it out to be. I'm a smidge low on brake fluid, but I believe John can top me off tomorrow afternoon. I know what to keep an eye on, and I'm hoping I can keep this particular money-sucking stress off my plate at least until the new year. Have I ever mentioned just how much I miss my car?

A Wee Bit Chilly

There was a layer of ice a quarter of an inch thick on the water in the dogs’ pool yesterday morning. I didn’t think to check it this morning to see if we had a new layer – or if the old layer just refroze. I’m not ready for it to be this cold, this soon.

In other news, my “sight hound” can’t find her ball in the leaves. Her current basketball is brown, as are most of the leaves in my yard. Last night, Reyna dropped her ball in some leaves and was promptly distracted by Duncan. A few minutes later, I asked her where her ball was, and she couldn’t find it. She ran around the yard, went in the house to check, made a few more laps around the yard, and then happened to run within a few inches of it and spotted it. I’m glad she found it when she did, because she was starting to look pretty annoyed that it had gone missing. Duncan ran behind her the entire time, happily oblivious to the task at paw.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shameless Begging

Yesterday, John mentioned that I should have a PayPal account and a “donate” button for anyone who wanted to help out with Reyna’s surgery costs. I laughed at the idea, but it niggled in the brain for a bit. The more I thought about it, the more I realized something: I’m not embarrassed to ask for help when it comes to the health and well-being of my dog. So I now have a “donate” button underneath the money thermometer on the right side of the blog. If you’d like to help, that’d be really great. If not, don’t worry, I’ll still love you. And Reyna will still let you scratch her butt.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Three Years

Today is my 3 year blogiversary. It amazes me that, after 3 years and 266 posts, I'm still blogging. And to think, this is all Natalie's fault. She got me started on this as a way to pass the time and it morphed into something I actually enjoy doing. Of course, thats probably just because I really love talking about my animals. And showing off their pictures.

Fall Photo Shoot

After SAR Sunday, Jeff, the pups and I went to Harris Lake for our annual Fall Photo Shoot. We found some great locations but had to be a bit more careful this year because there were other people and dogs in the area. And even more distracting for Reyna were the motorboats. They were on water and they had engines. I'm amazed she didn't go tearing into the lake after them. Although, I could tell she was considering that once or twice... Here are a few of my favorite shots, in no particular order.

Reyna's Photo Shoot

Jeff met us at SAR training last Sunday and took loads of pictures of me and Reyna (mostly Reyna). It was foggy during our first search, so we waited until most of the fog had burned off and ran a second search. Below are a few of my favorites, in no particular order. I realize ten pictures may not seem like a very small sample, but there were over 150 from which to choose....

Courtesy of Photos By Jeff™, I present to you Reyna: A SAR Dog.