My faux granddaughter came to visit yesterday and got to meet my new foster, Miss Pebbles. I knew Lacie was coming and positioned myself on the floor next to Pebbles pen so I could catch her expression. She so loves all animals!
I LOVE the expression on her face as she spies the puppy.
What a face!!!
Not sure what Pebbles thinks about this two-legged baby!
I knew he wouldn't be here long because he's just so darn cute!
And he wasn't! Templeton now re-named Max has a 'FurEver Home'!
One week to the day since he came to me, Max will now live right across the street!! I'm so excited that I will get to keep an eye on him and watch him grow. And wow...I bet he grows alot this winter while I am in Phoenix!
I'm not sad to see him go since he is so close AND.....I have a new foster!
Meet Pebbles, his sister!
She is way to cute also!!! Wonder how long she will last!
One thing for sure, I've never seen anything like it. I'm a country music fan and go to country concerts. Never having been to a Jimmy Buffet concert I had no clue what to expect!
It was wall to wall people.....errrr, I mean parrotheads!
I saw people (including guys!) in bikini tops, hula skirts, all kind of hats and tossing beach balls. Fins to the left, fins to the right.
So how did I end up going to see Buffet when I'm a tried and true country gal? Well I have a wonderful sister-in-law that got tickets and a VIP parking pass for Mr. Fix-it and me so we could get out of the house and do something different. And...it didn't stop there, she even came and stayed with dad while we were gone!
Awesome is all I can say! Don't get me wrong, am still a country music fan, but I would definitely go to another Parrothead concert again.
I shouldn't write this post. I've told myself all afternoon not to do it but obviously I'm not listening.
I'm sorry to all my blogging friends who read this one! Going to get that out of the way right now, first and up front!!
My dad is 83 and has quite a few physical/medical issues. I live with him 24/7 so he doesn't have to go into a facility. I have three younger brothers, two of whom do nothing to help me with dad. The third does what he can which I appreciate though I wish for more help. Now....having said all that, it was my decision to take care of dad in his senior years. He doesn't want to go to a home, nor do my brothers or I want him to go to one. Again....I remind myself, this was my decision to do this for dad. No one pushed me or held a gun to my head. Still, there are some days I question the sanity of that decision and today happens to be one of those days.
Now, I also want to say, I don't write much about dad and my life with him because frankly, it's personal and not always a pretty picture. I don't believe he would want me telling stories about his private life that would be embarrassing. Old age has a way of demoralizing one's confidence and abilities enough as it is. He doesn't need me sharing it with perfect strangers.
Somehow though after this little incident I can't seem to stop myself. I just need to tell someone, anyone. That or....cry!!
You see, dad has needed new dentures for at least the last three or four years. He has the money to get them but he refuses, getting downright mad at me for even suggesting it. He doesn't like to spend a dime. I don't even like taking him to the grocery, one because it's hard for him to walk, but two, he is always shocked at how expensive things are. I end up buying just a few things on the list and go back latter for the rest when he is napping. So obviously, dentures are out of the question as far as he is concerned.
However, the last few years have been wearing roughly on me with his old dentures. The top one falls out when he is eating or talking to people which embarrasses me greatly. The noise he makes when eating is unbearable, food falls out of his mouth and he can't chew anything...there I've said it. When you sit across the supper table from him sometimes it's all I can do to get through the meal. Believe me I've tried to alleviate this pain! I turn the television up really loudly but sometimes even that doesn't help. I try to not look, I try to not get upset when he can't chew what I have fixed even though I can cut it with a fork. GRRRRR!
So, I went behind his back and made an appointment for new ones and didn't tell him until right before it was time to go. I know that was a bad thing to do but it made my discomfort so much easier. And besides, even if I had told him well in advance he would have forgotten by the next day anyway and I would have to go through the whole experience the next time I told him!
We made it through all the impressions and finally the day came for the new teeth. Mr. Fix-it had to take him to the dentist for me as I had a physical therapy appointment and of course there were no brothers around that could help. When I got home I was so excited to see his pretty new teeth. Not once did they come out during supper, and even though he was eating soft foods, nor were there any horrible noises. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!
At least until the next morning. I was going about my business getting dad's breakfast, coffee and meds when he came storming out of his room. Not really storming, he can't move that fast, however, out he came proclaiming angrily, "Well we've got to find that dentist"! What!! Why??? Apparently, he'd had to sleep in his uppers all night because he couldn't get them out. Personally I don't see that as much of a problem. I'm thrilled they are fitting tightly.
He then proceeds to slam a small capped plastic bottle filled with water and his lower denture on the kitchen table stating that it doesn't fit because he can't get them in. With all the patience I can muster I remind him he wore them all day yesterday and how can they not fit today? In fact, I assured him I had seen him take the lowers out and put them back in last night after supper to which he was sure he hadn't.
When his shower aide arrived, he immediately tells her he spent two hours the night before trying to unsuccessfully get his upper plate out and that we had to leave right now to go to the dentist to get them fixed!! (Of course, two hours was actually more like fifteen minutes!) I explained to him that I would have to call first that we couldn't just walk in because they had other patients and he became indignant and couldn't understand why not. Oh my gosh, I don't want to get old and lose my sense of logic.
Finally we go to the dentist and as I am carrying the little plastic jar with his denture into the office, the cute little receptionist says, "What's that your bringing me?" Now...I thought that was an odd comment, she knew what we were coming in for and surely she would recognize the little container the Dr. must send home with all denture customers, right? I proudly held it up displaying the non-conforming plate in the little container saying sardonically in a low voice, "See, he's not wearing them!"
Cute little receptionist lets out a giggle and says, "Well I thought it looked like a urine sample!" A urine sample?!?!? Who would bring a urine sample to a dentist!! Why would she think that, wouldn't she see these little bottles go in and out of the office all the time?
And that's when it hit me!
It IS a urine sample container!! Omg I am mortified!!! Since Mr. Fix-it was the one to take him to get his new dentures, I had wrongly assumed the container was sent home with him from the Dentist. Well we all know what happens when we 'assume' something, right! I had totally forgotten that a month ago dad was at the Dr.'s and a urine sample was needed but he couldn't do it and the nurse sent the bottle home with him. To make matters worse, (so sorry for this information!!) he had tried at home but......couldn't hit the bottle! Getting the sample was promptly forgotten....until this incident!
When we left the office with his new dentures in his mouth but the old denture in the little container I told him this was his urine sample bottle to which he replied as seriously as he possibly could, "Well about time we found a use for the thing."
OMG, I wanted to cry! Now that a few days have passed I am able to laugh about it with Mr. Fix-it............barely.
When I woke up this morning I never imagined the day turning out the way it did.
At 7:00am I made my way to the kitchen to find that 'She', the stray Springer Spaniel I had taken in had made a huge pee mess on the floor. No worries, cleaned it up, cleaned her up, threw her new blankie in the wash and took her out for a walk. Well not a real walk because she is old and doesn't walk well.
As I am getting breakfast for her and my dad, my mind wandered to worrying about what is in store for this sweet lost girl with no name. Springer Spaniel Rescue would be picking her up from me tomorrow taking her farther and farther away from whatever life she had known before becoming a stray. Was she scared, sad and wanting her family?
What I didn't mention in my original post about her was that there was a darn good chance that Springer Rescue would likely have to make the decision to put her to sleep. It's hard enough to find fosters and adopters for young, healthy dogs which is far from what 'she' is. The longer she is with me the more I realize just how advanced in age she is. The incontinence, the circling which often indicates senior dementia. Life was not looking so good.
On the bright side of the morning, Mr. Fix-it's granddaughter Lacie, came to spend the day with me and was excited to find a dog at gramma K's house.
I found it interesting that Lacie kept calling her 'Alfie'. Lacie lives with Alfie who is my last surviving English Cocker. She obviously recognized the similarity of the spaniel breeds! Pretty smart for a less than two year old!
And then it happened. My cell phone rang and on the other end was my friend Susan who had been the one to pick the dog up on the south side of town and transport her to me. "I found her owner", Susan said!!
It was almost surreal, it almost never happens! But it was true and instead of 'she', her name is Lily and Lily is almost 18 years old!!!! Unbelievable.
It seems Lily's owner is Andrea. Andrea is 21 years old and has been with Lily since the dog was about 3 years old. Lily is her best friend and Andrea had been devastated for a little more than a week since her mother told her Lily was missing. Andrea was convinced that her mother had taken Lily to be put to sleep and was not telling her the truth. Even so, Andrea launched flyers all over her neighborhood hoping that she really was lost and not gone forever. Andrea told me that just yesterday she had decided that Lily was never going to be found and she was going to have to accept that.
What is so amazing about this whole situation is that Lily, who could barely walk, managed to wander away from home a whole 30 city blocks!! She had to cross dangerous roads and in fact was found standing in the middle of one of the busiest streets on that side of Indianapolis. What is even more amazing is that Springer Rescue did a drive through of the neighborhoods she was found near but of course, there were no posters there because no one, including her owner could have imagined Lily could get that far. To add even more amazement, Susan had been calling random vets and made the connection at a clinic that was more than 50 blocks away from Lily's home! Turns out that one of Andrea's friends works at this clinic and had just randomly posted a flyer.
And here is the incredibly happy ending.
Don't they both just look soooo happy!
I don't know how much longer Andrea is going to have Lily due to her age and Andrea will go through all that grieving again. But I know one thing, I am so grateful that life turned out right this time and Lily will spend her remaining time with her 'girl'.
Life would be so much easier if every situation we had to deal with was black and white.
And so it goes in the world of dog rescue sometimes, or at least in my breed, the English Cocker Spaniel.
This picture is a purebred English Cocker Spaniel.
This picture is a purebred American Cocker Spaniel.
This picture features a purebred Springer Spaniel.
As a point of reference here, a short history lesson is probably appropriate. In merry Olde England over 200 years ago, the Spaniel breed was not defined by American Cocker, English Cocker or the Springer Spaniel as it is today. Basically, back then, they were all one breed and born in the same litter. We Americans imported the cocker and bred it smaller with shorter noses and more heavily coated. Springers were bred larger with less coat, while the English Cocker remained the mid-size Spaniel. Eventually each breed became distinct and recognized as a separate breed by AKC.
The pictures I've shared with you make it look as if breed identification would be easy, however......the lines blur from there.
Each of the three breeds, American, English and Springer have field bred dogs or bench bred dogs. Bench bred or 'conformation' dogs are bred to closely meet the AKC written standard for looks, but field bred dogs are bred to hunt and their breeders are not as concerned with the dogs looks as according to AKC.
This photo shows field bred Spaniels
Anyway....the reason I have shared (or bored) you all with this is.........
She came into English Cocker Rescue yesterday and is now at my house. 'She' is supposed to have been an English Cocker, but it turns out once we got her transported here and could see her in person rather than photos, 'She' is a Springer Spaniel. But can you tell from the photo? We couldn't!
The reason I am calling her 'She' is because this sweet old lady was found wandering in the middle of a busy street and some kind person picked her up, tried to find her owner and ultimately got her into an American Cocker Rescue group. So no one knows her name or anything about her. No tags on her collar and no micro-chip.
American Cocker Rescue thought she was English and contacted us which is how she ended up with me. Today, I've been in touch with the local English Springer Rescue person and they are going to take her into their program, evaluate her and get her the vet care she needs.
This girl is old but soooo sweet. She most likely is deaf and doesn't see well either. Her teeth are in awful condition, has a cyst/tumor the size of a golf ball on her back and is bone thin.
I feel so bad for her. Where is her family, how did she get away from them, what is her name. I'm sure she has been someone's loved pet and now in her twilight years she is lost from all that she knew. Are they missing her or did she just get turned out because someone couldn't deal with her anymore.
I can hear my mom telling us kids when we were growing up, "Life is never fair", and she was right.
........who had a crooked nose and a very crooked tail.
Her name was HiLite and she was a very good girl. She was shy, loving and patient and a blonde. Or...better known in the Greyhound color world as a 'fawn'. She truly did have a crooked nose with a big black hairless scar on the side of her crooked nose. She was a racer in her day and we believe the crooked nose was probably due to an accident on the race track. Her crooked tail was broken maybe when she was a puppy but no one knows.
I remember clearly when she came to us. My friend Sherry from LongNeck Deco Greyhound Collars and I drove all the way to Kansas in my extended kennel van to pick up 8 Greyhounds just off the racing track or farm from being brood mamas. We were bringing them back for Greyt Rescues of Lafayette to be adopted out to 'furever' homes. Normally we would have had crates to transport dogs but since we had to bring back so many dogs, enough crates wouldn't fit. We took all the back seats out of the van, muzzled the dogs (with a special Greyhound muzzle, not what you are thinking if you are not a Greyhound person!) and everyone rode behind us.
The trip was uneventful even though the dogs were packed in and we were driving all night to get back to Indiana. We were amazed there was not one grumble or growl. Maybe they knew they were off to a different life? Somehow, even pottie breaks went off without a hitch. Something not very easy to accomplish with only 2 humans and 8 loose dogs in the back of a van!!
No matter, we made it back to our kennel at FenceRow Farms safe, sound and happy. There the gang of eight stayed until each one went to a foster home. HiLite though, never left. Imagine that!!! We were foster failures!
We were blessed to have HiLite in our home for 9 of her 14 years of life. She endeared herself in such a gentle way to all the human inhabitants at the farm in such a gentle way. Her body started giving out on her a few months ago. I wrote about it a few posts back. On Monday we had to make the hardest of all decisions and realize that it was time to let her go. This decision is one that no loving pet owner ever wants to make. It is often so hard for pet owners to recognize the line between quality of life and not wanting to let go.
She may have been a crooked girl on the outside, but inside....she was filled with dignity and spirit. We loved her but her dignity and spirit were suffering. It was time.
I'm just a good ole country gal, born and raised. My dad farmed and held down a couple of other jobs while my mom stayed at home working hard to care for me and my 3 brothers. Every thing in my life is influenced by being raised in the country.
Since my mom passed away and dad sold the 'farm', he lives with me now. We spend half the year in Indiana and the other half in Arizona.
I am a huge animal lover, crafter, writer, rug hooker. Greyhound owner and rescuer, breeder of a few AKC Champion English Cocker Spaniels and.....Oh yeah...a dog groomer.
I look forward to sharing my life and my interests with you and hope you will enjoy my perspective!