Thursday, March 30, 2017

More Notes From The Canyon

It's so windy out today that I changed my mind on my way to town. The windgusts were just too strong for both the Jeep and me. Safely home again, I'm so glad I turned around because the rain turned to hail, a little bird blew into the window, and the wind is howling around the corners of my house. So much better to be inside and the errands can wait until tomorrow. 

Of course it's much worse in the rest of the country. It's horrible to see what people are going through in the states that get tornados, golfball-size hail, and all the rest of it. 

Samson is doing much better. He's still on Prednisone, but after tomorrow he only needs one pill every other day until the pills are gone. Then we see the vet for a checkup. 

As you can see, Samson is huge. Whenever a dog gets pigeon-toed, the dog is definetly way too fat. I'm adding canned green beans to his food and have reduced his kibble. I can't stand dogs begging, but since the steroids make him soooo hungry, I forgive him. 

However, Faith is another story. There's nothing wrong with her, she is not hungry, but she's a dog that has to be first, has to be in on everything, can't let Samson have anything, including dibs on begging. She has always been like that, from when she first came, little as she was. And now she's turned into a worse beggar than Samson. They are both driving me to distraction! And, yes, we will be walking, walking and hiking in the hills hoping that some of that weight comes off. I'll settle for five pounds right now.....

One final thing for now. I've decided to not participate in the A to Z this April. I love it, but after spending so much time driving to and visiting various doctors this past year, I finally have a whole month to myself. And I just want to do whatever I feel like.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Town In Bloom ~ An Update On Samson And More

Our town is big on ornamental trees that bloom for a week or two in spring. 

This and the first picture are from the parking lot at Albertson's Supermarket.

I took a couple of street scenes out the car window. The whole town is full of amazing looking flowering trees.

A final picture of the store parking lot. 


The above was from a March 2013 post, but when I went to Albertson's on Tuesday, it looked just like that. As did the rest of our town. I must remember to bring my camera. On my way in, a red-tailed hawk flew in front of my car, I stopped to look as it spread it's wings and tail feathers, swept close to the ground and picked something up. We always see the red tails from below, as the hawks fly above. This was the first time I saw the gorgeous rust-red, very bright colored feathers from above. I now wish I would find one on the ground, for me to keep. For the most part though, the ravens keep the hawks away from my land. 

I also saw an eagle the other day, flying right above us. A golden eagle. Faith saw the eagle too and ran under a juniper! She's the most observant dog I have ever known. I have only seen one eagle here before. It seems like all the cool birds live at the other end of town, including the much destructive to property, California Condor. 

So much for birds and that's not all I have seen in the bird kingdom, so I hope to remember to bring my camera from now on.

I took Samson to the vet yesterday. He is doing much better. I'm so glad. I was really worried and this is when I miss Errol the most. Shared sorrow is half the sorry, I think it is said. And the same goes for worry. I felt lonely.

I also got my partial back with the new tooth. It feels great to be able to be normal and smile again. I'm posting a picture of my new glasses. The frames are metal, with a soft, matt, lavender color on top and metal below. The sides are plastic and a deeper purple. They look really good with my hair and I love them. 

It is amazing how fast the weeds come up now that it's been warm for a week or so. I have been driving the Jeep across my front yard to keep them down. I figured since they don't grow where I drive the Jeep, this may help some. But I'm also getting my lawn mower ready. Last year I was taken by surprise, after all the dry years, and had to rake all summer long to remove the dead stalks that the guy I hired to mow left behind. I really don't want to do that again. I will let you know how it works out. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Notes From The Canyon

Would you like a post full of mishaps? It's all I have for now, but things are improving. Here it is: 

Mishap #1: Remember I said that I would have Rachael take a picture of me wearing my new glasses? After she cut my hair. Instead, this is what happened:

We had such a good time, I took her for her birthday lunch, and, while happily eating away, I bit into someting and the crown next to my two front teeth that I've had some issues with, finally came half-way loose. The dentist was across the street, so we went there and he saw me more or less right away. He got the crown and two pieces of the tooth that had splintered out, leaving the root and the remaining part of the tooth in there for good. Since I'm on Fosomax, pulling a tooth is not the best option. I went back on Friday to have impressions taken and leave my partial there so a new tooth can be affixed to it. Right now I look like the Easter bunny with just two large front teeth, sort of hilarious, but not funny enough for a selfie. At least not funny to me. 

Mishap #2. You may have heard of Death by Toilet, but have you heard of Death by 1970's Kitchen Cabinet Corners? I know about the corners, but when I dropped something on Monday, I bent down to pick it up, got up and with full force hit the back of my head on the right corner shown above. I fell down, hurt my wrist, my back, and my neck, in addition to my head where a bump, the size of a small orange, soon appeared. I iced it for a long time and the bump went down pretty fast. Stayed in bed on Tuesday and was still very sore on Wednesday when the mishaps turned into something more serious. 

#3. Not a mishap any more. Those of you who read my blog back in 2012, may remember that Samson went blind for a day or two, but thanks to the quick action by our vet he recovered his sight fully. 

Samson in 2012. His eyes are clouded blue here. They are brown normally.

He was diagnosed with UDS , something he will have for the rest of his life. Since he recovered, I give him Neo-Poly-Dex eye drops once a day or every other day and he's been doing well until now.

This is UDS:

Uveodermatologic Syndrome (UDS) is an immune-mediated canine disease characterized by inflammation of the eye, de-pigmentation of skin and whitening of hair, well, white fur wasn't a clue here. Morbidity is related primarily to the eye inflammation, which can result in secondary ophthalmological disorders that lead to blindness. Treatment involves both topical and systemic immunosuppression.

Although generally considered to be more common in Northern breeds, such as Akitas, Siberians, and Samoyeds, there have been reports of the disease in a wide range of breeds, including the Dachshund. 

Samson's eye symptoms returned on Wednesday morning, while I was in bed with no plans to get up for another day or so. I thought at first he had scratched his eye, but as the day went on his eyes began clouding over and I knew then what it was. So, while still in a lot of pain, I had to unload five big bags of pebbles from the back of the Jeep, to get Samson in there. (I buy these bags at Home Depot to make the Jeep steadier in the high winds up here.) After I unload them, I use them to fix my messed up road. It works well for both purposes. 

So I took Samson to the vet and his condition was confirmed. We left with about a month's supply of Prednisone, 1 1/2 pills at first, then lower doses down to one pill every other day, and instructions to treat his eyes with the eyedrops four times a day. 

Faith Says: Everything is better now, but when Samson is sick and mommy is worried (or panics) I gather my toys for comfort.

Yes, I think he's better now. We are working up to taking longer walks, because Samson gained about 6 lbs during the rains. I just couldn't walk in all that mud or I didn't feel like it when the weather was so bad for so long. He now weighs 80 lbs. His ideal weight is 70 lbs. When he was sick in 2012, he ended up weighing over 80 lbs. And that was at the end of it, this is just the beginning. Steroids make them both hungry and thirsty. So we'll be walking a lot and, hopefully, keep his weight down. He's not acting sick at all, so that's great and if we increase our walks, we'll all feel better in the end. 

And my head still hurts to the touch, my back aches, but I'm back to doing all my regular stuff, so this too will pass. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Samson, Faith And Her Ball

I'm posting a few pictures of the two of them while I'm working on an update of our lives here in the canyon. I hope you will enjoy the pictures and a bit of their conversation.

Faith: You are tickling my ear! Why do you like ears so much? 
Samson: I think ears are the cutest thing on a dog. Would you prefer me to sniff your rear end?
Faith: You wouldn't dare!

Samson: Don't push me so, I almost fell off the table. It's slippery up here in the snow.
Faith: Not much snow if you ask me. See, now I dropped my ball, talking to you.

Samson: You better watch it, or I'll get your silly ball.
Faith: You wouldn't dare, you know I'll flip you for less. And sit on you until you give up. 

Samson: So true, but I love you anyway. Listen to me sing a song of the North for you. Where wolves hunt in the forest and there may even be trolls. ~ 

On a different day, the snow melted, the rains came, and Faith wanted to rescue her balls from the wet and muddy outside. She's zeroing in on one, frustrated she can't figure out how to save them both. At least not at the same time.

So she decides on one, grabs it, and jumps up on the table, where

she tries to take cover under Samson's tail.

He is very good and patient with his little sister. 

OK, mommy, getting wet was only fun for so long, now it's getting old. So put that camera away and let us in the house. Please......

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sierra Sunrise

"How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!" ~ John Muir, The Mountains of California.

This Sunday morning, I'm reflecting on how great it is to see the sun again. Living through five years of drought I became very tired of what seemed to be eternal sunshine. And then the rains came, and the snow, and more rain, and overcast skies, and rain, and snow.......

Samson (who, because of his eye problems and general furryness, does not tolerate the sun very well) is reflecting too. 

This is what he has to say:

OK, mommy, now that the sun's up, it's time for me to come in the house. Maybe I could get something to snack on? A dog biscuit, perhaps? 

Have a great Sunday everyone. ~ Your, Samson

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Faith In The Snow ~ All Grown Up Now

"Though she be but little, she is fierce!" ~ William Shakespeare

Some dogs come into your life and steal your heart. 

This little girl is the love of my life now. 

Waiting for mommy and Samson.

Looking for a rabbit to chase.

I think I spotted something.

Not sure, I better stop and sniff the air. Could be trouble and one has to be careful out here in the wild.

I'm guarding my ball. Samson gets none of my toys. And I stole all of his too.......

I don't want to be long without my ball.

Mommy, let me in. Can't you see it's wet out here?

I'm reflecting, as I write this, on how very important Samson and Faith are to me. How much my love for them comes back to me in the form of protection duties, wet kisses, healthy walks, and all those little looks and actions that just tell you how much you are loved in return.

The photos were taken earlier. The snow is gone and the sun even came out of hiding yesterday. 


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