Food for Me and Thee

Pray for Paris, for Beirut, for Baghdad, for countries absorbing the refugees from the Middle East. Pray for us all as we seek to rid the world of this evil….

Sometimes, I realize just how blessed I am. Last week, I ran out of food. I “eat” through a stomach tube and normally get a shipment of food every month. I was two months ahead, so we put it on hold to use up what I had….and then, because I was accustomed to the comfort and routine of my shipments being on time, I forgot it wasn’t….till I saw I only had two cans of food left (TwoCalHN, if anyone is interested). A computer glitch ditched a number of us who had “holds” on….and thus, we ran out. A local pharmacy could have a case in the next day…but didn’t. So, I used an off the counter substitute…and felt hungry. Now, some days, I only eat twice a day. This is not a pleasant way to eat….and some days, I can barely face it. Yet, when the convenience was removed, I was HUNGRY.  Interesting psychological reaction….am eating just fine now, thank you.

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My reaction to my food is not unlike the reaction to my delivered dog food. I buy the best food on the market for my dogs every two weeks. In the meantime, I cut it with a lesser grade food (though still a good food: believe me, there is no Ol’ Roy nor Beneful for my dogs). I ran out…hmm, seems to be a theme these past couple weeks. So, I bought two well-regarded foods (but not as good as my standard, IMHO) to use while we waited. The dogs did fine…except for Annie, who developed a bout of GI distress. I don’t think it was from the food. I don’t know from what it was. She spent a night on IVs at the vet’s, home with a soft food and meds, and is doing 100% better. Plus, our normal food was delivered. I always feel so much better, knowing I have their best food here….and need to remember to buy a support bag so we don’t run out…

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Our favorite dog food – we change types regularly plus add different food to give a change-up for better nutrition. I also add raw and soft food to help medicine go down as well as give a delicious punch to dry kibble.

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The Dogs’ Week

I’ve spent more time at the vet these past 4 days almost than at home. Love my vet and techs, but enough is enough. Today, my Annie Beagle, the “Energiz-Her,” is there for the day after a night of vomiting phlegm, and then blood. Saturday, I spent the morning with Remi, my pocket Beagle, after he sustained a shoulder wound most likely in the melee when neighbor dogs were visiting. Yesterday, I “only” needed better medicine for Ellie Mae, my Bloodhound, whose arthritis is really becoming a problem..oh, and more heart meds for Archie the Tyrant.

Annie is my only true
Annie is my only true “free” dog. Her finder/rescuer said and has followed through that she would pay for vetting throughout her life if I adopted her. She is a splendid, opinionated, affectionate Beagle.
Remi (short for Remington) or Bug, as I call him, is doing well with his stitched wound.
Remi (short for Remington) or Bug, as I call him, is doing well with his stitched wound.
Ellie Mae Bloodhound likes to supervise and keep the smaller, younger dogs in line. She thinks Remi is her
Ellie Mae Bloodhound likes to supervise and keep the smaller, younger dogs in line. She thinks Remi is her “boy toy.”
Archie is a senior Rat Terrier who almost died but was saved by his ACO and vet. He is all BOSS and sometimes, can be quite the hand-full for an 11# dog.
Archie is a senior Rat Terrier who almost died but was saved by his ACO and vet. He is all BOSS and sometimes, can be quite the hand-full for an 11# dog.

By the grace of God, we’ve had very good weather these 4 days I’ve been off work. Tomorrow, we get wind, rain, and possibly tornadoes, right when I go back for a long stint of 12 hr night shifts. Trying to get a lot done in this last day of calm, sunny weather.

P.S. Just heard from my vet. Annie is not doing well. Hopefully, bloody gastritis which can be handled, but she is much more sick than I thought this morning. By the time I arrived to see her, Annie was wagging her tail,  I stroked her neck which she loves, and she licked my nose, her “signature.” She’ll stay overnight, at least, with her IV.

Snow and Cold Days

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The winter temperatures and wind chills, not seen in “20 years” are upon us. The dogs and I are bundled up in the house with access to the yard for those who don’t get out; the escapees are let out carefully except for Sophie Tucker, who is crazy enough to hunt rabbits till she is frostbite and hypothermic. She will only go on leash with me twice a day (she is VERY house-trained and becomes distressed when she’s unable to relieve herself outside).

In this part of MO, people are not accustomed to cold or snow. Ice they deal with, but real winter weather is a different ballgame. Most drivers don’t know how to execute proper left hand turns in good weather, much less this nasty, very bad weather changing outside my window by the hour.

My garages are full (and I used to keep two vehicles in them) so every so many hours, I go out, start my car, move it back and forth in the drive to be ready to go to work tonight at 11:00 PM. I’ll leave about 10:00 PM to be safe and give myself time. 

Juggling Dogs

I looked up the definition of sequestration. I’ve been separating dogs for a week and wanted to be sure my context was correct. I was wrong – it’s all about debt or withholding of funds, etc. It sounded so good.

Part One – Intact Male named Crimson:

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Crimson, now also known as the Red Baron, is a very nice, male dog with Beagle, Lab, and various other breeds in his background. He came to us with a hunting collar on, in good flesh, and won’t leave. Oh, he leaves, but over the porch and then quickly back. He is in the final week of heart worm treatment. He is intact, He can make puppies, which,  until last week, was not a problem….

Part Two – Peanut, Intact Female in heat:

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Peanut is a senior Weim/Lab mix. She is the short hair dog with golden Weimaraner fur of the previous poem. Peanut is heart worm negative; however, she has multiple mammary tumors from being frequently bred. I don’t want puppies…..

Part Three – Lucy, Intact Female Beagle in heat:

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Lucy is very heart worm positive with a massive, pendulous mammary tumor. She came with Ricky Beagle, and I had Ethel, a Beagle puppy who since is adopted. Ricky was also heavily heat worm positive. He was neutered; he did not tolerate the surgery, the anesthesia, or the heart worm med given; he declined and went to Heaven in my arms. I elected to not spay Lucy even though she could be pregnant. She was not – and she, too, is again in a heat along with Peanut…..

Part Four – Sophie Tucker, Spayed Female Beagle:

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Sophie arrived two weeks ago. She is charming…she is an escape artist. Her first few days here were fine since, when I was home, she stayed home. Then she followed? found her way? up and over the chain link fence, and down the highway. She is now kept up when I’m not home in a crate or, preferably, the Front Room.

Jugglers have nothing, NOTHING, over a Beagle Sanctuary with intact dogs, two of whom are in heat, one of whom could effectively make puppies, and one who doesn’t quite get the concept of “home.” The girls are in a hallway most of the day; Crimson is outside or in a crate; Sophie is in the Front Room or on a leash with me.

I’m trying to attend to all 20 dogs and juggle those who need separation (see, “sequestration” sounds so much better and is in the news) without losing one.

I’ll let you know in another week if I’m successful. Crimson already hooked up with Peanut once. I’m praying hard for no pregnancy…and furiously juggling.

Two Yellow Dogs

Russian Yellow Retriever from 1915
Russian Yellow Retriever from 1915 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two yellow dogs sleep on a painted floor.

One fluffy, tufts of fur ripe for brushing or plucking,

Fur not long but dense,

thick, a cozy coat craving cooler weather.

She quivers in her sleep,

gently puffing her cheeks, flipping her paws,

traversing a landscape unknown,

perhaps dreaming of a puppyhood long, long ago.

The other with short fur sleeps full-out flat,

sporadically stretching her limbs straight.

This dog’s fur glistens in the light,

a brilliant gold startling in its reminder of her Weimaraner heritage

gently blended with other breeds,

a sweet yellow gold gleaming girl

in her twilight years, whose days ebb and flow with energy and ennui.

Two yellow dogs sleep on a painted floor.

~ Roberta Beach

Engage – 6: Multiplied

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This is an older draft, which I originally counted as 3 Engage encounters but am choosing to share as 1, wanting to spread out my Engages as much as possible.

Engage with life, people, dogs…what an active couple weeks I have to report:

  1. Several weeks ago, I went to breakfast early from work. I needed to take a dog to Safe Harbor so she could go to our Prison dog training program, Boothealers. A colleague came in early so I’d have plenty of time. Because I didn’t know how the day would go, I first headed to Panera to eat. I set myself up, saw a gentleman in “my” spot by the fire on this very cool morning; we nodded and I started eating. He soon left with all his stuff, so I moved over to his table. He, James, came back with his coffee and put it on “our” table. I apologized, saying I thought he had left. No, he said, I need to talk with you. Hmm….Turns out James is a cancer survivor, too, now living with the chronic condition of survivorship. He spent 9 months using a PEG (stomach tube) to eat as I do. What a blessing. We talked and shared “war” stories. He is in town temporarily for his job, also works night shifts, and was on his way to bed when he saw me eating. He had to talk to me about his experience, his dire prognosis, and his triumph through and during a grueling time of radiation and chemotherapy. His family kept him going: he determined to walk his at that time 9 y/o daughter down the aisle at her wedding and to grow old with his wife. YESH. (update: the dog I took to prison is adopted!)
  2. The following night, I attended, at the invitation of my friend Alice, an Easter pageant. It was well done in the dark, with the events leading to the Crucifixion and Resurrection highlighted, including Jesus at 12 y/o talking with the elders of the Synagogue in Jerusalem. Costumes, an elaborate and multifunction stage set, as well as an SRO crowd added to the drama, the truth, and the deep felt sacrifice of this season.
  3. The next week, I traded shifts to help out a nurse at work, which turned out to help me out as well, giving me the most important days of Holy Week off. I attended Maundy Thursday, after which a friend told me I was probably the only person to have my feet washed after being in cowboy boots; Good Friday, always a wrenching service when the reality, as much as we can comprehend, comes forth of the pain, reluctance, obedience, and love of Christ to suffer and die for us.
  4. Holy Saturday – no church but wow, busy in the morning/afternoon:
  • With two volunteers, took 3 Silverwalk dogs on the Cape Canine Cruisers Saturday morning dog walk. The volunteers took two new dogs with other dogs/owners and a trainer who is available to help. I deliberately stayed behind with my dog, Justus. I didn’t want the new shyer Beagles walking with the volunteers to see me; they needed the socialization, stimulation of new people, lots of new smells/sights/sounds. They found me at the end. (Update: volunteers have since taken 2 dogs on consecutive Saturdays to the walk, which is growing. I done in by a bad cold and laryngitis).
  • Zoomed home to meet with potential adopters for Denali, a senior Border Collie. We met at a local park where they and their dog and I and Denali walked, talked, got to know each other and let the dogs feel each other out. Both are senior dogs not looking for a lot of activity. They since have indicated they want to adopt Denali – YESH, again.
  • THEN, with two different volunteers, took 3 dogs to an Easter egg hunt. Again, two Beagles (one, Bailey, had been on the walk in the morning, too; I wanted to tire her out because she climbs my chain link fence; very neatly and very quietly), her “sister”, Pearl, and the aged but very adoptable black and tan Coonhound, Walter. The women who had rescued Pearl and Bailey from the Poplar Bluff pound along with 25 other dogs, were volunteering and really wanted to see their girls. Walter worked the room, so to speak. He met everyone he could. Small children loved “that big dog!” He garnered many kisses.

5. and finally but crucially, I made it to Sunday late service Easter morning. I would have been on time had not a rabbit chose that morning to get into our yard; of course, it did not survive and I had to gather and dispose of the remains as I headed out the door.

“Quiet, Enough”

At this moment, I have a young intact male Beagle throwing a tantrum in his crate. He might not be used to using a crate; he may resent staying in it last night while I was at work; he most likely is simply a young Beagle wanting to move and resents confinement. I ignored him till my noon devotions were completely obliterated (on my Earthly side) by his wailing and banging. Then, I went and dressed him down, telling him “quiet….enough” in a very low, firm tone.  As I complete this paragraph, he is quieting – the question to myself is, would he have quieted with or without my intervention?

Sometimes, I think this is the way of my relationship with God. She never sends me trouble to punish – Christ removed such need , but She may let me linger while I rant and rale, allowing me to “quiet….enough”, so I finally can hear Her soft, small voice.

Have  you listened to what is around you today? Have you seen what is so normal, you no longer see? “Quiet….enough.” Let’s mind what we do in each action, thought, and inaction. Listen to what God is saying or sharing with you today.

Amazing. All is calm.

Engage #4

I’ve been super busy with work and dogs, not with engaging in the world/community outside my milieu, the goal this year to which I aspire. Sigh – new habits are hard to begin and sustain.

Work is just insane – the people are so sick, it’s not just the flu, and we all work extra shifts. If you’re “on call,” you may as well come in because we need you anyway. This is good for my pocketbook, but I wonder about the causes.

The dogs changed hands last week with one finalized today. Sydney Beagle won over the heart of older Beagle Katy with his Beagle bay. Unlike Katy’s meeting with Gidget, the dog Katy’s mom was originally interested in, Syd and Katy met nose to nose, dropping them in a pas de Deux of tracking (what, we had no clue) joined at the hip. Our jaws dropped and Sydney went to a wonderful new home.

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Lemon Drop’s potential adopter picked her up on Friday for a weekend trial; she passed with flying colors and is now fully adopted with a name change to Shadow because she follows her mom around all day. Sweet.

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Simply meeting these people pulled me out to meet people I normally would not except both are interested in Beagles. The very sad note is my Border Terrier mix, Margie, died in the change of weather while I was gone. She had developed a habit of digging out no matter what I did; I finally found her after dark at the back door I rarely use, This is the first place I’ve talked about her loss.

Back to work tonight and frankly, one of these nights very soon, I’ll take myself off to a motel or my friend’s extra room for some deep, uninterrupted sleep, or start exercising as I planned – something to get my body back in gear.

OK – that was totally off topic. I have another post in the wings awaiting an editing; sad to say, it will need to wait longer. I promise it will be a better read than this :).

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