Saturday, June 30, 2012

Birthday fun and it is hot!

Once again...I find myself behind in all things.
I am grateful for work and am thrilled to be busy.  
However it has taken a toll on blog posting and commenting. 

The above photo was a complete surprise to me.
I had a little point and shoot (film) camera that I loved and used constantly.
I guess that I grabbed a roll of film that had already been exposed and put it in the camera.
I ended up with some really neat double exposures.
This is my very first dog, Miss Margaret Thatcher with Zippy (on his skateboard) and Gus.

Not much to do around here in the heat.
I hate to complain about it because is only in the 80s here.
However..most folks, including us, do not have air conditioning.  


We are just taking it easy.

Eco and Oracle having some fun.

Come on!

Why can't we play together?

Scatter reacting to Smudge.
Smudge follows the cat around maybe....just a little too much.


A small piece of concrete.

Another small piece of concrete.
This was a prototype for a larger planter.
It spirals up.

A beautiful Bishop's Children dahlia. 

An Eastern Newt.

We have been adding a railing to the deck, so that Smudge will be safe if she has a seizure
we also just needed a railing.  
We never added it because we thought it would block our view and our deck was only about 
4 feet off of the ground at the highest point.  

See the string that goes across the tops of the posts and around the chair?

This was at the other end.
She also took it under the deck and through the flower bed.

Zippy zipping.

New railing before we put the wire in. 

This is Zippy modeling the new Skunkinator.

It is the latest in skunk deterrents and gives your dog a feeling of security and personal freshness.
(It is really just an air freshener that my sister gave me as a joke)
(Don't tell Zippy though)

I spotted this cute little creature on one of my garden lights.

Great color combo.

A rare look.
Zippy facing the camera.

I believe that this was taken when we last had rain. 

It has been awhile.  

A Knock Out rose.

Double snapdragon. 

Bishop's Children Dahlia.

I can't remember the name of this one.

Bishop's Children.


Smudge catching some air with her cheeks.

Ball shaking is fun.

By the way....Zippy chewed a hole in the ball.

Hmmmm......I think someone is messing with one of my bones.

I better go check. and sound...right under blue dog.
(I would also like to add.....and in the flower bed!)

One of the first baby pumpkins.
Isn't she beautiful?

Zippy cooling off in the stream.

This was a very very special day for Smudge...
She had to rest so that she could have fun later.

She rested and rested.

Then....she had a big, fun BIRTHDAY!!!!

Smudge's first birthday.

Enjoying her cookie/cake


She enjoyed her day....even though....

Stole her toys and destroyed them.

I give you.....

Zippy The Destroyer.......of toys.

I hope that everyone has a safe and wonderful 4th!!!

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

News on Smudge

I has been forever since my last post.
I also left everyone hanging a bit about Smudge and her seizures.  
I wanted to have all of the facts before I posted again and 
I have also been covered up with furniture renderings (what I do for a living). is what we have found with Smudge.
She has been diagnosed with Epilepsy.

After my last post and many trips to the vet for blood work and checkups.
Both vets involved in helping us wanted us to watch her, document all seizures and then get 
back with them.  They wanted to rule out the fact that this could be caused by 
toxins or something else (disease) that may show up in her blood work.  

The fact is that her blood work came up absolutely perfect.
They checked her thyroid, and every other function known to man (and to my checkbook). 

During the process of all of this checking..Smudge had another seizure.  
I was home alone and thought everything was okay.
Then...she had another one...and another one...and on and on.
Rushing a dog, that is having grand mal seizures, to the vet is not easy when you are alone.
The seizures that she had were called cluster seizures by the vet. 

Once she was at the vet, she stayed overnight and they were able to get her seizures under control
with medication.  They did even more blood work and then decided that the diagnosis was indeed 
Idiopathic Epilepsy.
The idiopathic part means that there is no known reason or underlying disease behind the seizures.

Smudge is now on Phenobarbital.  
So far this is helping her and we hope continues to help her.  
She is in an adjustment period for 14 days to regulate the medication.  We go back in for 
a blood test on the 14th to see how the meds are effecting her body.
Hopefully all will be well.
Dogs with epilepsy can lead very long and normal lives if the seizures can be controlled. 

That is great news to us and we hope that Smudge can be a happy healthy dog.

One other thing that we discussed in Smudge's treatment was a CT scan.  
We, along with our vet team, decided not to do one unless it was completely necessary.
If things degrade then we will do a scan.  There is still a possibility of a brain tumor, but the 
treatment would basically be the same along with prednisone to help reduce swelling and 
slow down tumor growth.  I am just hoping and praying that this is not being caused by a 
tumor.  Plus, she seems to be doing well so far on the phenobarbital.  

So...there you have it.  
Smudge is doing well and I am looking at this in a positive way.
She can play and run and have a good time on her meds.
She is getting even more attention...if that was even possible and 
live a great life. 

The only problem she is having is that her pond time has been greatly reduced.
Because of her seizures she can not get in the little garden pond unattended.
That is making her grumpy.

We have had some wet weather lately.

Took Zippy for a walk and the storm that you can see in the distance, 
caught us.  We got stuck at a neighbor's workshop and had to get a ride home.

Love being in the woods on misty days.

You can see some of the most beautiful things when the weather changes.

The top of Elk Knob state park covered in clouds.

Another Eastern Newt.

A rare photo of Zippy actually looking at the camera. Ha!

The watch dogs.

My gardens are shaping up, but I have noticed that the hollyhocks are getting rust.
I hate that.  

This is a rare flower.....
and one that is not supposed to be in the garden!

The other day...Scatter decided to join us on our walk.

She meowed the whole way.

She had a great time.

The foxglove has been blooming like never before.

All of the plants seem out of order this year. 
I guess the strange spring that we had with all of the warmth and then 
the two periods of freezing temps in between, got things mixed up.

The poppies have been really nice this year and full of blooms.

Smudge with a lily pad that she snuck out of the pond.  
Trying to run away before I confiscated it.

Waiting for her biscuit.  

Zippy helping get the pumpkin patch ready.
Since this photo...I have planted the pumpkins and they are well on their way.

More foxglove.

I love the spots on these. 

Zippy catching some sun.  

He sits at the edge of the vegetable garden hoping that I will throw him some 
asparagus it is his favorite thing...
why my garden now has a fence.


Elk Knob at sunset.

The horses after their evening meal.

You can see the interesting color on Oracle in this photo.
He is not a true black.  
More of a dark grullo.   He has a stripe down his back that is darker.

Eco is always really bright red right after he sheds his winter coat and Danza 
a little more golden.  So interesting to see the differences in colors. 

May has stripes on her head and a few little spots.
She is still shedding and will probably not be slick until the first week or so of July.

Scatter the wild cat on her walk.  

This photo cracks me up...Just like the "Incredible Journey".  Ha ha ha..

I love this Creeping Jenny.  The color really brightens up the garden.  

While Smudge is adjusting to the medication, she gets to go with us everywhere.
Here she is on the neighbor's golf course.  Watching the ball go into the hole.

This is the view from the golf course.
By the way.....I made a hole in one that night!!!  


While we played, Smudge took a nap in the Gator. 

Moon from the golf course.
Now you know when this was taken!  

Smudge with her new teddy.
You can tell it is new, because it is only missing it's face and leg. 
Ha ha ha..

I am okay folks! 

View from the deck. we the end..
A cute little picture of Smudge and Gus.  
I will leave you until next time....or as my Grandmother would say..
"See you in the funny papers".  

Speaking of funny papers.......

This is what Smudge does when you leave her for 30 minutes.
I guess she did not like that magazine.
It was a Cooking Light magazine. 
Either that or she was hungry...Ha!  
Have a great week folks!