Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bugs, Dogs and Campfire

Taking a few minutes at the little local library to show you an interesting bug...

and another...

a crazy big Black Lab with a big stick....

and some cozy fire. The weather is cool enough now here in the Berkshires that sipping tea or coffee by the fire in the morning is a cozy way to start the day...

and late afternoon into evening sipping a cocktail and having some dinner makes for a beautiful end to the day... 

especially since I had spent the entire day just reading a book. That has not happened in a very long time.  

Hanz wanted some attention, too...

 and Bug was 'snug as a ...well, bug... in a rug...'

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Saying Goodbye to My Weezie Girl

June 1994 - August 24, 2011

On Tuesday I went and picked up Weezie. She had not eaten well during the week and slept most of the time, which was usual. She was also drinking a lot of water. She seemed tired and liked that I was there, but her usual excitement was gone. Maybe being away from her made it clearer, or maybe she suddenly shot further down hill, but it became clear to me that she would not be long for this world. After getting her home she was wasted. Pooped out. Done. She wobbled around the yard, often losing her footing. I thought for sure she would pass in the night and I prayed that she would peacefully slip away. I bundled her and had her sleep with me so she knew I was near (I probably did it more for myself.) She woke up around 1am -- she had to pee and she wasn't thrilled that I had bundled her up and she couldn't move. I took her out and she roamed around doing her business. She wasn't falling but she was wobbly and walking in circles. 

I brought her back in and she wouldn't stay laying down, she was restless. I put her in her crate so that she remained safe. 

In the morning, she lay there peacefully, but not looking sickly, rest had done her some good. When she awoke, she just looked at me, her face seemed bright and she was so stinking cute. She didn't take any water or food the day before so I offered her some hamburg, which she ate a bit of gingerly. She obviously needed assistance in getting up so I helped her and took her outside. She wobbled around but she was pretty quick and determined. 

I had made the decision Tuesday evening that I would bring her to the vet for her last visit the following day. Of course, her actions said day made me question the choice, although I knew in my heart it was the right one. It was obvious that her body was done. The vet explained that it's often the adrenaline which makes it seem they are not ready to go. She had been unable to walk up the back steps to the house and I watched her pacing the length of the step and could feel the determination in her. I let her be and then went into the house. A couple minutes later there she was trying to climb up the third step which would bring her into the house. The son of a gun. Stoic to the end. I helped her inside. 

At 10:15 we started our journey an hour away to her vet. She was folded into a towel for comfort and rode in the front seat so that I could touch her. 

I started to carry her into the vet's building but made the decision for her to do it herself if she could. And she did. She was a tough girl. 

As she was held on the table, being told how beautiful and what a good girl she was, she did not fight, she was ready and she quietly slipped away. 

Weezie was tenacious, feisty, determined, bitchy, cranky, whiney, beautiful, silly, sweet and gave the most delicate kisses. She fought to the end with a strong spirit but her body could no longer do what her mind wanted it to do. It was tired. It lived a long life of 17 years and was done. 

I will miss her. 

Visiting Nantucket

We were invited out again this year to spend a week on Nantucket with our friends Chuck and Carol that have a home there. Chuck likes to take us out to the beaches that you get to via the dunes. Deflate tires, rock and roll in the sand, get to the beautiful beach.

He refers to this beach has 'crab beach' because on the other side of this water way are hundreds of little Fiddler crabs going to and fro and hiding in their holes when we (predators) come along.

Hanz and Bug went with us, Weezie stayed behind visiting with my rescue partner Shelly. Weezie has been to Nantucket quite a few times before when I painted the home over a few winters. With her peeing issue now and her age, it was best that she stay behind.

Hanz and Bug enjoying the sunny morning outside while we read and sipped coffee...

Inside, Hanz and Bella (whom I've posted before while I dog sat for her) pose for the camera.

A sunset from the back deck...

Hanz and Bug enjoying the ferry ride back in the warm sun.

It was a very nice time of relaxation, 'family' dinners, good wine, beaches and sun tans, and at the end of the week, a Demolition Derby they have each year.

Next stop: camp.

Provincetown Here We Come

The month of August and beginning of September is all vacation time for us. I've wanted to take my motorcycle to Provincetown, MA, which is about a 4 hour trip by car, for a couple years now. I vacationed there for years in what seems like another lifetime and wanted to go back for a visit. The opportunity arose when a friend that rented a condo there had a 3 night opening. Perfect. Not too long, not too short. Off we went. 

The morning of arrival, this is my bike, a 1999 Honda Shadow ACE 750, I would like to get a bike with more cc's but don't want to give up the look of this one with it's vintage style. 

The beach about 20 yards away from the condo...

The morning of departure at 5:30 a.m. this is what the beautiful sky looked like...

Then home for a day and off to Nantucket.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mites and Feeding Raw

Took the kidlings to the vet yesterday. Their ears were bothering them and since it's all 3 I knew it had to be mites. The assumption was correct. I think maybe Little Bug brought the bugs with her. The darling that she is.

Whilst checking on the ears the vet and I talked about feeding raw. She is a huge advocate of it and I told her that I am feeding completely raw now and she gave me a recipe that includes a couple things I didn't. She wants to make sure they are getting some vitamins, minerals and calcium that doesn't come with just meat and veggies. 

The calcium can come from raw bones and I do give the dogs chicken wings and drumsticks but not often enough. 

If you are interested, here is the recipe:

*quite a few years ago (around 20) I started reading and researching raw and bought Dr. Pitcairn's book "Healthy Eating for Dogs and Cats" I have to revisit it. I actually just went to look for it on my bookshelf and can't find...really don't like it when that happens. Found it!! 

I generally don't like to use grains but will add potatoes (preferably sweet) instead. My dogs do need some carbs as they have lost too much weight. Rice is pretty easily digestible and oats are soluble fiber which can be good...I stay away from corn, any wheat or soy, these can be allergens for some dogs and in dry food products, are added as fillers to keep the cost of the product down. If your dog's weight is changing up or down, change the amount of carbs. Basically I use this recipe as a guideline and will also give dinner leftovers, cooked or uncooked, salad makings, ground flax seed, salmon oil, etc. Good stuff. Raw chicken wings and drums are good for teeth cleaning, bleach free bully sticks and trachea are a nice treat, too, and help with keeping teeth clean. 

I add water to the meal as dogs often do not get enough and this helps with hydration but also, and very importantly, with flushing and moving the food along so that crystals or stones do not come into play.

these measurements are based on per day for a 15 pound dog, so adjust accordingly:

1/2 c. meat (beef, turkey, chicken or venison ground or cubed)

1/4 c. ground veggies (carrots, broccoli, kale, squash, etc.)

1/4 c. cooked rice or pasta or oatmeal

1/2 tsp. bone meal

1/2 tsp. nutritional yeast or 3 Brewer's Yeast Tablets (this gives B vitamins)

1 raw egg (for essential fatty acids)

1/8 tsp. cod liver oil or 1" cube of liver (for vitamins A & D)

1/8 scant tsp. kelp powder (for iodine & trace minerals)

1 vitamin E capsule, 100 i.u. or 2 tbls. wheat germ

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Skellie Chicken

Last night at camp as we sat at the picnic table getting ready to eat some local free range chicken that R. grilled, his daughter who takes pictures of everything decided to play with her food...growing up this was highly discouraged by my parents, but I'm not my parents so I cheered her on and then had her send me a picture so I could blog about it, which supports her playing even more. But, hey, after playing, she eats her food. So in a matter of minutes, Skellie was gone.