Friday, July 11, 2014

Smudge, Hummingbirds and Life.

A view from the neighborhood.  

Hi everyone!
I hope that your summer has been a good one so far.  

A scrap piece of Jak's glass.

I want to take a moment to let everyone know about a recent incident with Smudge.

She has been very ill.

Her 3rd birthday was on the 27th...and we took her down to our neighbor's house to play with her buddy, Skyler.  I noticed that she did not act as playful as she usually does.  Then, the next day, she threw up a couple of times....I was very worried.  She was on a drug, Potassium Bromide, for her epilepsy and I knew that with this drug, pancreatitis is a big issue.  So....bright and early on Monday morning, we took her to the vet.  They tested her blood and did not see the usual rise in pancreatic enzymes in the results, but went ahead and put her on fluids and restricted food and water.  We kept her there throughout the day and then brought her home at night, so that we could watch her in case of seizure activity.  She had 2 seizures...took her back the next day for more fluids..home at night...back the next day....Her vets decided to take her off of the Potassium Bromide cold turkey.  This meant starting her on another drug (Keppra) and upping her other epilepsy drugs.  We talked about ending her suffering on Wed...and then decided to test her again to make sure she was not in any sort of organ failure.  If her liver or kidneys were not functioning properly, then we were going to  do the right thing for sweet Smudge.  We got the results back and they were perfectly normal.  So, we changed her meds and have been going through lots of adjustments as she is getting used to the changes and recovering from the pancreatitis.  All of these drugs are sedatives and can cause coordination problems.  We are just starting to see that she is overcoming some of the coordination issues and she is doing very well.  It has taken us a good two weeks of monitoring to get her through this.  She is right this very minute under my desk snoring with her head on my foot as I type.  

I know that many folks wonder why we would go to the "trouble" of having a dog like Smudge.
Some people would just put her to sleep or drop her off at an animal shelter.
It admittedly takes detection and money to take care of a dog with epilepsy.  
When you see that they can play and enjoy life just like other dogs, it makes it all worth it.  
They are wonderful loving dogs and have great lives if the medications work well.  
Some dogs are harder to manage with medications and Smudge falls into that category.

I feel that if I have an animal, then I am responsible for that animal for life.
That means doing what I can for it during it's life.  If it has special needs, then you deal with don't just throw something away.  Yes, it is difficult..yes, it can be sad...yes, it is very expensive...but you do what you can.  There are also many resources out there that can help with expenses.  
The Wally Foundation is one for canine epilepsy.   They accept donations for those that need help with medications and if you click the resources link you can find out more about canine epilepsy.

I will not be selfish and keep Smudge alive just because I don't want to deal with the pain of losing her either.  I also feel that it is just as selfish to destroy something because someone thinks that it is too much trouble to deal with.  

I am so happy though that Smudge is pulling through this and I do hope that she has many more years of happiness...If her life is short, then I will remember all of the fun and happy times that she had and feel grateful that I had those times with her.  She is a real trooper and lover of life.  

Oracle with his eyes closed...this always happens...great pose, great light, closed eyes.

A peonie from my garden.

Otis running around....

He is so funny when he runs.  He hops like Pepe Le Pew.

May....wait on me..

I am coming....

Sweet Smudge before her illness.

Cooling off her belly.


Larry the Magnificent.  
Aka,  L.T.M.

A beautiful corn snake/rat snake.  

One of the poppies in my garden.

One of Jak's hands...

Zippy and Smudge.

We have a lot of Jak's glass on our deck railing and it really looks beautiful lit up at night.

My Frodotype.  Lit up faux bois concrete stump stool/table.  

Scatter cat.


Smudge sulking after I scolded her for locking herself in the bathroom.

The beautiful flame azalea on our driveway.

Another garden peony.

Judy May.

Scatter and Smudge love each other....Scatter loves Smudge a little more that Smudge loves Scatter.
Say that three times really fast.

A little hummer.

Scatter stretching. 

Zippy....running and shaking at the same time.  He is a goofball.

I want in....I want
Mainly....I just want a biscuit. 

More glass.

Zippy in the ferns.

Man...this grass feels sooooo good.

Mother Wren...I loved having them around this year...they really are eating a ton of bugs.

Garlic them grilled.  

I need to remember to get a lot more birdhouses. 
Great insect control for the garden...

This rabbit is my mom's favorite...even though it ate a whole big pot of petunias.  
She throws it carrots and other funny. 

Smudge after playing with Max.  


Max likes to nip Smudge in the rear...Smudge is not so happy about it. 

Rabbit napping.

Another neighborhood view.

I have been really enjoying the hummingbirds this year.

They are so beautiful.

I have about a million shots of them....and only a small amount of ones that are really in great focus...

They are so darn fast!  

This is Daisy...she is a new neighborhood resident.  
She may be having a baby later in the summer/early fall.

This is one of Daisy's goat.

Had a really bad storm the other day....I got home and couldn't get out of the car for a while. 
Well...I could, but I would have been drenched. 
The horses always put their rears to the storm and stand out in the open.  Even though they can get inside.  

Mr. Bunting...he watches his reflection while his mate eats at the feeder. 

My little pond and stream.
Otherwise known as...Smudge's swimming area.


Skyler the flying pup.

He is so fast that 95% of his pictures look like this.

Smudge and her buddy, Skyler.  

One of my faux bois birdbaths that the dogs use as a water bowl.

Elder Jones sculpture in the garden.  

Love that hay in your mouth...haha.

Oracle's tiny ears.

Mr. Toad.....taking up residence in my newly purchased plant.

You really don't want these gorgeous daises in your horse pasture....


May hiding her face in shame.....She and her brothers escaped and ran to my neighbor's house.

Nothing like getting a bright and early phone call about escapees.

They had a grand time.  

May is already plotting her next escape. 



My first giant pumpkin pollination. 

Mr. Cool.

Hey baby.....see ya next time.  
Love and Peace, 



  1. are those my missing sunglasses Zippy is wearing?

    Another great post, Jill. We're continuing to send good thoughts up the road to sweet Smudge.

  2. Copper is laying on my feet under the desk as I read this. Will keep you all in our prayers, we love us some Smudge :)

  3. Hey Jill. (got your order for garlic) First of all, I am happy to hear that Smudge is responding to her new treatment. I feel just the way you do about being responsible for my animals and doing what it takes to keep them well. You always know when it's time to let go...until then, I am committed. All of the pictures are gorgeous, but I am wild about the two of the shiny Eco!
    Please give Smudge a hug for me.

  4. What a great post! Fabulous birds and bees. Sending special rottie kisses to Miss Smudge!

    Bart, Ruby and Otto

  5. You always take the bestest photos! Mom has now decided that she simply has to have a red hot poker plant!
    We're sending you lots and lots of AireZen, Smudge!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  6. You rock momma Jill!! Some people just don't understand. Smudge is in a wonderful caring home. Look what we did for Benny!!! Sending you good vibes Smudge, we are so happy you are feeling better. Fantastic photos
    Lily & Edward