With a lot of recent political news about bans, etc. this kind of suggests that perhaps a few too peeps may be drinking some lousy coffee, to which I say ‘drink some of the good stuff, people.’ It’ll make you and those around you feel better! Don’t be bitter. Be happy.
We recently agreed to add our voice to Louis Dog’s Life Endangered Species Challenge. Mom however missed the date so I’m posting it for her albeit a couple days late. Why not use all that groovy technology you have at your fingertips for crying out loud, I ask? Sheesh, pawrents!
Sam here. I think we can all agree that far too many of the world’s fascinating animals are in danger of disappearing from Planet Earth. To figure out which threatened or endangered animal we wanted to highlight, we went to our state Parks & Wildlife website for their comprehensive list. Sadly there were waaay too many listed and it was hard to single out one in particular until we saw the beautiful and elusive Lynx. With its trademark ear tufts and huge feet, it was clear we wanted to shed some light on this beautiful mammal. Besides, I’m fascinated by cats!
Lynx are a large bob-tailed cat about 3 feet long weighing anywhere from 20-30 pounds, possessing a black-tipped tail about one-eighth of its total length, and only about half the length of its huge hind feet even if mom’s photo makes it look like Mr. Lynx is ginormous compared to moi. For comparison, I’m about 50 lbs. when I hold my breath 🙂 [sizing–yet another technology fail on mom’s part-ugh]. Their coats are grayish with some obscure spots but their single most recognizable characteristic is the fabulous ear tufts that might be nearly as long as the actual ears. Often referred to as a ‘silent predator,’ the lynx is a patient hunter, waiting for the right moment and helped by those enormous hind feet which allow them to move easily across the snowpack to pounce on their preferred meal of choice: snowshoe hares. Their feet are huge at around 8 inches long. Can you say, “Big Foot?!”
Although you’re more likely to see Sasquatch than a lynx in Colorado, there was an ambitious and controversial reintroduction plan in the late 1990’s in the remote San Juan mountains. Nearly 30 years later it has been deemed successful with between 150-250 of these magnificent felines being monitored by radio-satellite collars. Lynx are still considered critically imperiled in Colorado and with a recent population explosion in our state, it does remain to be seen if lynx and humans can eventually co-exist again. We’re rooting for this ‘fur-tastic’ mammal to survive. Have you ever seen one in the furs?
January is typically the least snowiest but coldest month in winter. But I think I’d pay good money to see something like this picture taken from historic ski town of Breckenridge, which is about 79 miles west of Denver. In my neighborhood, there was a tiny dusting while the high was around freezing but felt more like the low to mid-20’s with the windchill. Brrr. Have you received any fresh snow your way? How’s your rooftop?
The best-laid plans of mice and men (and all too often dog moms) often go awry. Such was the case last week. I had a terrific post touting the progress Elsa was making both emotionally as well as with her epilepsy on the 3-month anniversary of her being seizure free (and coincidently her 4-month anniversary being at the Ranch). Then BAM! A seizure episode on the exact anniversary date. Phooey.
Not only is that seizure episode troubling in and of itself, it is complicated by the fact that Elsa’s brain gets completely reset in terms of her emotional progress toward learning how to be a dog. Gone, as in wiped out, back to square one. Think of a computer that has been rebooted without being backed-up. A dog that was adjusting and actually learning steps in how to be a dog…erased. She lost all cognition of the fact she was housebroken. Sudden movements made her skittish. She was fearful, reverting to her puppy mill behavior and the connection between her brain and her limbs wasn’t functioning all that well. She was reluctant to take treats from my hand again, clearly preferring them to be laid in her bowl or on the floor. I’d been through this before so I knew what to expect. What I hadn’t counted on it was it being worse than earlier recoveries because of other complications. Nor did I expect this to take such a toll on me which explains why there were no substantive posts last week.
While Elsa’s seizures were not nearly as severe this time, they still were cluster seizures which can be fatal if not treated. Only 2-3% of all dogs have epilepsy, so Elsa apparently is one of those extra special pups. We did all the right things when the ictal stage began, including application of ice packs so as to keep her temperature from rising, which can have dangerous consequences. Dehydration often occurs during this time upon overheating so when it appeared the seizures were not going to end soon without medical intervention, I gathered her up and took off for our vet’s office. When a dog is in full seizure mode, walking into their office where many dogs are waiting for their Monday morning appointment runs the risk of all sorts of complications. The other dogs sense something is amiss, which puts Elsa at risk. Trying to weigh her so as to determine the appropriate dosage of medication to stop the seizures is yet another challenge. Not to mention carrying a 51 lb. dog kicking erratically, with partial loss of consciousness and other dog seizure symptoms makes for an interesting entry. Add to that a wet slippery snowstorm that arrived at the same time and trying to get from a full parking lot at the bottom of a slight slope into a full waiting room without falling down added to my anxiety. The vet ran a full blood panel once the Grand Mal seizures were abated to be sure there was no major organ damage. A titer test covering her Phenobarb levels was also taken and showed they were well in the appropriate range so we won’t be increasing her dosage, at least for now. As it turned out though, she apparently came down with a secondary infection resulting in bloody diarrhea so an antibiotic was prescribed later along with a probiotic for the next couple of weeks and together with those two strategies plus a bland diet seem to have cleared that hiccup for the most part, though that’s always day to day.
While waiting for Elsa to move toward recovery, I lost a boatload of sleep, staying up until all hours of the night monitoring for seizures and bathroom breaks. The house is for basically hardwood and tile surfaces but there are numerous area rugs for comfort. Each of which have been shampooed multiple times. I think we’re back on the ‘I’m a good girl’ now road but I’ve noticed I’m also hyper-alert to any idle paws wandering around.
Ataxia is one of the biggest side effects we’ve encountered when going through each reset process, and Elsa’s mobility has been a little wonky while she recovers. She’s better now although the vet did a thorough exam of her hips which seem to have some issues. We’ll be monitoring them as we move forward. The biggest symptom in the post seizure reset period is the brain fogginess that seems to beseige my little Ninja. She often stares out into space and it takes a gentle prodding sometimes to gain her attention. But she’s doing better and that’s the bottom line.
Sleep well and rest, sweet Elsa. You have a brother who’s waiting to be annoyed.
Given the events over the past few days, this image seemed to express a worthy message. If you participated in a Women’s March over the weekend, how was it? Were you inspired? Bottom line, never give up!
Snow arrived during the night so this morning’s cup of Nirvana was particularly welcome. Hope your football team won over the weekend and you’re getting all the snacks ready for the championship games. Goooo team!
With the snow and cold, I suspect there will be more than a few sips today. How about you? How to do stay warm and what drink touches your soul?
We were hoping our fur-iends over at Noodle4President would be sharing a feel good story about their cat-bro, Jamison. Unfortunately, Noodle’s ‘panther brother’ crossed the Rainbow Bridge earlier this week following injuries he received around Christmas in a dog attack. Jamison bravely fought to overcome those injuries longer than was expected but in the end, they were just too severe. Even though Blogville prayed its hardest, there wasn’t enough healing canine kisses to pull our friend though and like his brother and family, we are heartbroken about this latest loss in our community. Jamison will be missed by everyone in his family as well as throughout Blogville.
All of us at the Ranch send our love to Noodle and the rest of his family. Rest in peace, dear Jamison. #jamisonforever 🐾
It’s been cold. And snowy. But worse, windy. Nothing makes me long for someplace far away that’s warmer than windy conditions. I despise the wind. Would I love to be laying on a beach in a sunny warm clim? You betcha!
Currently, I have been enjoying the broadcast of the PBS’s series, “The Durrells in Corfu” which reminded me of my own trip to Corfu a few years ago. Can I just say I LOVED all the Greek islands I discovered. What a country! There’s just no comparison to anything like the Parthenon; Mykonos with its iconic windmills and island mascot, Petros; and sweet Corfu that charmingly captured my imagination. Luckily my travel mates were vastly different from the eccentric Durrell family (can there be any offspring more annoying than those spoiled brat adult children??) If you are not familiar with the PBS series, in a nutshell it is about a poor widow who uproots her British family and attempts to start over again in 1930s Greece and their family adventures. If for no other reason, the Swedish guy Sven, is worth watching. Just saying. You’re welcome.
So to get through this windy/nasty weather stretch, I did what many of us do. I went back to relive a fabulous trip in the photo albums. This is the image that spoke to me. It made me long for another stroll along that beach where I encountered one of the sweetest dogs I ever met while in Greece. Hope this charming beach scene at beautiful Paleokastritsa (courtesy of my dear German friend ‘sister,’ Andrea) brings a smile to you like it did for me. Oh, that beautiful Ionian Sea with its turquoise waters and ever so gracious people. I miss you so.
Boy this past weekend sure was a cluster weather wise, wasn’t it? Hope everyone is safe and warm now. Yesterday was very windy and melted most of our 6″ of snow and the temps were more than decently warm for January.
Seems like juggling is now my newest winter hobby, because a girl just can’t have enough hobbies, right? No, I’m not talking about juggling balls, more like juggling pet and people and assembling their clothing. Originally I was going to call this post “Dressed for Success” because of how I have to bundle me and two dogs up for our walks during cold weather. Then I thought, “Hmm, can I really claim success” when clearly I suck at it?!
When it’s bitter cold, it’s probably best to dress in layers, right? I figured layers would keep me sufficiently warm. And I was right. But half way through even a shortened walk, I started to feel like I was about to ignite, it’s so hot. Notice the dogs’ coats and the Michelin Man puffy coat. I’m also wearing a sweater and fleece pants, lined Sorrel boots, hat, mittens and sunglasses for the glare. All those needs to be put on inside the house. On the days when snow boots are put on the dogs, you can add at least another 20 minutes trying to cover 8 paws before leaving. Mittens are the final go-to item to put on once outside to be able to lock the door when I leave and by now I’m already starting to overheat after dressing the dogs (“could you please hold still while I buckle all these straps?”), pulling the boots on, zipping the coat and making sure there are plenty of poop bags on board. Mittens are a blessing for keeping normally cold hands a bit more toasty, I rationalize. There’s just one problem with mittens.
How in the bloody-blue-blazes do you hold two leashes, keep the dogs going in the same direction, maintain your balance on an icy sidewalk and then try to pull out a waste bag with mittens? I mean, it’s all I can do to get the darn things on, and the second one is pulled up with my teeth and now I have to remove one in order to pull the bag out, and try to open it up. Meanwhile the Ninja has spotted a squirrel and is laser focused on that, all the while trying to stretch as close as possible to said squirrel and as far away from me as possible. Think drawn and quartered. Now that Sam has squeezed out a ‘deposit,’ he wants to get away from the steaming pile ASAP, which translates into “let’s wrap the leash around mom’s legs, behind her.”
Can anyone explain to me how to separate the ends of the bags so you can easily open them? Is there some secret trick? Even in the best of winter weather, it’s like trying to tear sheet metal apart. I’ve even tried tearing them off in advance, opening and separating the ends and putting them in my pocket of the jacket which normally results in enough static electricity being generated to re-glue them back together again or the bag surreptitiously slides out of the pocket leaving me back at square one with a mittened hand that needs to be pulled off and somehow separate those closed ends in order to pick up the poop.
By now I’m wigged out, sweating like a pig, all the while trying to corral the dogs without being knocked over, bending over the deepest spot of snow Sam could find, while securely holding on to both leashes, the bag, and now a fat mitten. And just for giggles, the hat has slid down over my eyes. How am I supposed to reposition the hat with those stupid mittens on? Could it possibly get any better?
So yeah, dressing for success in the winter time during cold spells isn’t exactly my story. Mittens, smittens. Blech! Juggling is apparently my new hobby this winter.
How do you ‘dress for success?’ Do you have challenges with waste bags?