Thursday, July 12, 2012

Adventures of an epileptic bulldog. Plus a bit of concrete.

This is a shot of Elk Knob State park that I took a couple of years ago.
The clouds are Lenticular clouds. 

Looks like a spaceship.

I love seeing these clouds.  

We had a bit of a setback with Smudge last week.
She had a seizure early in the morning (5 a.m.) and then settled down. 
I called my vet to report it and let them know that she only had one.
Then....later that night (10 p.m.)  she had another one.
This was on the 3rd of July.  My local vet was closed and this meant a trip to the 
emergency vet that is an hour away.  On the way to the vet, she had another seizure.
Needless to say...we were very upset and concerned when we arrived and Smudge ended up 
spending the night there.  We got home at (2 a.m.)  The next day....July 4th...we 
went back down to pick her up.  They had given her valium to calm the seizures and she 
did not have another one.  That was a 400.00 experience.  So...we talked to our vet and we are now 
prepared to handle this type of situation without an emergency vet visit.  
Before this episode, Smudge was seizure free for a little over 30 days.  

Some people may ask...why don't you get pet insurance?
Well..number one, I have crunched the numbers and I really do not think that it is worth it.
Just like our pay out the rear for it and it really doesn't cover what you need.
For Smudge...( and this was before she was diagnosed with Epilepsy) if she 
lived 10 years and had no issues... it would cost over 5000.00 for insurance during her lifetime.
This amount would NOT include copays, normal office charges, or deductibles. 
Plus there are also (in the fine print) charges for preexisting conditions and hereditary conditions 
that are not covered.  Honestly...all I think that pet insurance will do is up the charges we are now paying for veterinary care..I may change my mind at some point, but I just don't get why people buy it. 
Some of the pet insurance companies do not even cover yearly vaccinations or routine office visits.  

A concrete chair that I made several years ago.
I am getting ready to start another one that is similar.
You can see the older style of texture that I used.  

Another cost involved with Smudge's epilepsy.
A new deck railing.  
We needed one anyway...but it now keeps Smudge safe from the pond and from falling
in case she has a seizure while outside and we can have all of the dogs out at once.

This is a new birdbath that I made as a commission.

The client's other birdbath broke and she loved the stand and needed a new 
one to go with it.

I took a "cue" from the stand and made a spiral birdbath.

I added a little blue to the spiral to accentuate it.

I think it turned out really nice.
I also think the birds will love the texture of the concrete and be able 
to grip it really well. 

Me:   Smudge get out of that pond!!!

Smudge:  Shaking her head....NO!

Smudge:  Are you talking to me???

Me:  Come on Smudge....get out!!

Smudge:   Ha ha can't get me....the new deck railing is keeping you 
on the deck...Ha ha ha...

Smudge:  I will just wreak havoc.....grrr.....Look!  
Lily pads!!!  
I love lily pads!

Smudge:  Hmmm...maybe I should get out....

Smudge:  NO!!  I am staying in!!  ha ha ha......

Me:  Smudge....You BETTER get out of there!!!

Smudge:  La la lala.....I can't hear you!!  Ha ha ha ha!!!

Smudge:  Can't see you either....ha ha ha..

Smudge:  Hey...what's this?  

Smudge:  A lily pad bloom!!!!  
I love them!!!

Me:  I am going to get you!!!!
Smudge:  Oh NO!!!  She is going to get me!!!

Smudge:  Sorry folks....I am out of here....and FAST!

Now all of the dogs can be out at he same time. 

Zippy likes that!

I have this wonderful pair of Keen shoes.
This was actually a photo challenge shot, but I just want to say...
I am so glad these shoes are waterproof!  Ha ha ha..
It even says so on the little tag on the side of the shoe.

This is a very important feature in open sandals.

Well, well, well....what do we have here???
"Someone" chewed up my vintage cookbook.
I wonder who it was????

Fun mini mule story:
Our brave and wonderful farrier came over to trim the minis and the horses.
We caught Ollie the wild mini mule by roping him first in the stall, and then putting his halter on.
This is our normal catching method and works well.  You see, Ollie is one wild mini mule.
He will not let you get within 10 feet in the field and will only let you pet him if you are on the 
other side of the fence.  It has been this way for several years.  I have spent DAYS trying to tame this guy and NOTHING has worked.  Once you catch him...he settles down and is tolerant of handling.
The farrier trimmed him with no issues and he got a hair cut.  I thought that I did a good job on his hair cut.....until I started to take him back out to the pasture.  Then I notice the long piece of mane in the middle of his neck....About the same time I noticed that...Ollie took off ran over me and headed for the pasture...lead rope, and halter still attached.  It took me 30 minutes and many biscuits to catch him again and remove the halter and lead.  
Never a dull moment.  
With the added bonus of giving my farrier a great laugh.

Knock, knock...let me in.

View of the side garden.

My vegetable garden.

The glads are really nice this year.
The rest of my garden is a little slow and small.  
That last frost in late spring really took it's toll.

More beautiful gladiolas.

The Bishop's Children Dahlias are really doing well.

Another view...Zippy sneaking in.

View through the garden gate.

Cone flowers.

Smudge resting.

Smudge sneaking around in the giant pumpkin plants.
"Someone" chewed the end off of one of the vines....
I have 4 pollinations as of the 4th.  

This little beauty is a Vista Gladiola.  

I got the bulbs from Pinetree Garden Seeds.


The inside of another beautiful gladiola.

I love the new deck railing!!!

Miss May.

Smudge being bad.
She jumped in the pond on our way back from the shop.
I could not get her out.  
She kept running from me and sticking her tongue out...Ha ha..

More glads.

Smudge in "jail".

Zippy and Smudge loving each other.

This is an interesting chipmunk.
He/she kept adding large rocks in front of this hole to keep rain water out.  
I checked it yesterday had been flooded.  The hole was gone.

I am sure they will rebuild.  

Have a great day!!!
Thanks for stopping to read another installment!!!!  


  1. So glad to hear from you! Gorgeous pics as always. Sorry to hear of Smudge's seizures. I hope she has a seizure free 30 days or longer! It's always soothing to feel confident that you can handle your dogs issues without needing a vet for every little thing. My grandfather always handled his equine issues pretty easily except the farrier stuff!! Hope all is well other than the crazy mane-cut and Smudge's issues.

    Mamma Heartbeat

  2. I agree - pet insurance just doesn't seem worth it. Even for our cat that had the most illnesses of any pet we've owned I don't think it would've been worth it. I hope Smudge can go a long time before she has another one. FWIW, we never took our dog Timothy in for his seizures unless he started having them close together, and then it was to get blood levels checked to see if he needed a meds increase. There just isn't a whole lot they can do that couldn't be done at home.

  3. All our paws are crossed for sweet Smudge. The seizures must be so terrifying and hard on her. Pet insurance, we wished we had it. In the last 5 months mom has spent $12,000 on my Lily's back and knee surgery. But who knows
    Benny & Lily

  4. We hate hearing that Smudge keeps having seizures. It's just not fair!
    Your birdbath is just beautiful!

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

  5. Sorry to hear Smudge had more seizures but I'm glad you and the vet have developed a plan that doesn't mean an expensive trip to the hospital every time.

    We have never purchased pet insurance although we checked it out thoroughly. Even though one of our dogs had an ACL repair and another had a week-long hospital stay with cellulitis...when we added up the cost against insurance over their lifetimes we still did better out-of-pocket without the insurance.

    Loved the birdbath. I think you need to work with Smudge on coming when you call. It can be done if you work at it.

  6. I adore the birdbath! And you gardens look wonderful. Maybe after I've lived in my house for a couple more years mine will be more productive? That's my theory anyway.

    Sorry to hear about Smudge having more seizures. It's certainly hard on the bank to visit pet emergency care.

    As for Smudge coming when called, I need to see if there's an answer for that in "When Pigs Fly" because when Latte thinks you are going to bring her in to kennel her and leave, there is no way she's going to come, although I have some tasty meatball treats that she will come for when she sees that Java is getting them. She is more of the run up to you with her toy, then when you reach for it, dart away, kind of dog than the happy retriever that wants you to take it and throw it for her.

  7. Wonderful, wonderful pictures and I love seeing sweet, but naughty, Smudge. Her personality so shows on her face. I agree with you totally on the pet health insurance. I think it would only increase costs. My favorite picture in this installment is the one of Smudge and Zippy loving each other through the gate. You can totally see the affection between them.

  8. I've never had Pet Insurance and when my GSP got sick her treatment came with an expensive price tag...but I didn't care. Perhaps there's something that triggers Smudge's, environment, over tired? Zippy is and has been my favorite...just his name!...:)JP