Saturday, November 29, 2008

Another Frosty Morning

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at Jen's on Thanksgiving Day. She and her husband have hosted Thanksgiving for several years now and we all enjoy it immensely as they do practically all of the cooking and then send leftovers home with us. We had 4 kinds of pumpkin pie - traditional, applesauce-pumpkin, layered pumpkin cream, and my sister Beth's sweet potato pie (which I counted as one of the pumpkin). The food was fabulous. The companionship and laughter were wonderful.

I have to go grocery shopping again today. Yesterday I avoided the Black Friday shopping (terrible what happened in New York) by not going out until the afternoon and then only went to one grocery store and the dollar store next to it. No crowds, no rush, but awful "modernized" Christmas music playing both places. What have they done to my carols and classics? (Getting old and crochety here.) Today I have to hit the larger store for the things I did not find in the smaller grocery and I need pet food - again, still, for ever. I have been working on photo Christmas crafts and need some supplies for those, too.

Myste is going outside on her own without a lift but I go with her everytime. She cannot do steps and there are two places she could find herself trapped in our yard. One is alongside the house from the back to the front. This is a very tempting place for her as DH comes home the front way. If I put her out the back and she even thinks he may be coming home several hours early she manages to go down the two steps but then cannot get back up and sits at the bottom and barks and barks until I come with the belly lift and help her back up to porch level. The other steps are next to the garage and at least there are grassy ways around them but I watch carefully and try to keep her from attempting those steps also.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

It is bright, crisp, and cold this morning and there has been a water main break in town. We have very low pressure right now but at least we do have some water. It always seems to happen - cold weather on a weekend or holiday often means a water break. The poor guys were supposed to have today and tomorrow off ... now they have to work in the wet and the cold. I am thankful for them being there as well as all the other things I have to be thankful for. This year that includes so much.

Thank you, Lord.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Updates

These pictures are from earlier this week but I just around to posting again. I love the starkness of this early morning photo and the sky behind the tree.
Here is Myste in her FOUR wheeled walker. We discovered Sister Beth and Dad had the same brand of walkers as the one that I picked up at Goodwill. So we have "borrowed" the wheels from one of theirs and added them to the back of Myste's walker. She actually is doing so much better that we are now using the belly sling mostly. She goes out often during the day when we are home and I get up at least once during the night to put her out as well. We have not had a used pee pad for nearly a week now. She and I are so much happier about that development. She hated being wet or messy and waiting for someone to take care of her and I am delighted to see full bladder and bowel control has returned.
Myste is showing more and more interest in going further in the yard and I have to discourage her from doing too much too soon. But I really did not think she was going to come back this far this time. PTL.

This is something new I discovered on the web yesterday while looking for different photo gift ideas. It is called AndreaMosiac and I downloaded it thru CNet. The picture below is one I took of a columbine blossom this past spring. I loaded it into the mosiac program and told it what other pictures to use to make the mosiac and this is the result after a few tries.
I am intrigued. I am going to try a few more mosiacs and maybe make some photo coasters using the results. If you are interested this is the website www.andreaplanet.com/andreamosaic/


Monday, November 17, 2008

Myste's Walker

Yesterday I stopped in the Goodwill store to see if there was anything I could use for Myste such as bedding, padding, etc. What I found was a folding walker with wheels on the front. I brought it home and with the addition of some large sturdy dog collars, a few pieces of pool noodle, duct tape, and some socks I made a walker for Myste.
She was thrilled, delighted, ecstatic, yahoo. As soon as we stood her up in it and she realized it moved with her she took off for the back door and went outside to do her business. She is still weak in the rear legs and this gives her stability and a place to rest when the legs won't hold her. It also provides support when she squats and gives her a sense of freedom that the rear support harness does not. She still has to have a human along with her as the wheels are only on the front and there is too much risk she could tip over ... but oh joy oh joy oh joy!
Total cost for this temporary walking aid - $2.99 for the walker; $1 a piece for 2 collars at the dollar store; $1 for 3 pairs of socks at the dollar store; part of a pool noodle and some duct tape: maybe $6.
Oh, yeah, its snowing.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Myste is walking!

Myste is walking ... not well but she is walking using all four legs. She started LATE last night (of course) while DH was "watching" her. Actually he was sleeping and woke up to find her moving around the living room in desperate need to go outside. He woke me and we put the new rear leg sling I had made on her and got her outside. She used her rear legs to help although she is still knuckling somewhat especially with the left foot.

The rear leg sling makes things so much easier than the belly sling. We are able to walk her outside without too much trouble also using a front harness to guide her as you cannot guide a dog from the rear (or anything else either). We now have to put walls around her bed to keep her from moving too much. Luckily we have left over grids from the cat crates and some pet fences that we can use as there is simply no room for a dog crate her size upstairs with the cat crate set up.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thru the Eye of the Noodle




Sister Beth found some pool noodle connectors and gave them to me this week for the kits. Velcro wore one on her head for a while but I did not have the camera at the time and was laughing too hard to take a good picture even if I had had it in hand. Fun, fun, fun.

Upshots

It has been raining off and on since Thursday night. We need the rain but it has taken most of the leaves off the trees. Yesterday morning before work I took the camera outside and captured the sun sparkling on the raindrops.
The sky was beautiful yesterday morning and I also got some shots of the clouds and blue sky thru the bare branches of the trees.

This morning it is still raining. The holly tree is glistening. Soon it will be time to trim it back and make the holly wreaths for the holidays to come. I always end up with pricked fingers and arms when I do this but the wreaths look wonderful and last a long time.

Raindrops were pendant from every twig and branch.

The grey sky today is still a nice backdrop for the nearly leafless branches.
I have been coming back home at lunch time this week to tend to Myste. Yesterday when I got home we had a period of sunshine and the temperature was very nice, too. So I used the belly sling and managed to get Myste outside where she relieved herself with great relief (she hates using the pee pads and being wet until someone can change them). I left her sitting on the sidewalk and went back inside to straighten her bed and change the pads. When I went back outside she had managed to move herself into the yard and about 10 feet from the sidewalk and was sitting contentedly in the sunshine at the top of the slope watching down the street. I hated to bring her back in but I had to return to work. She moved her rear legs and tried to help when I used the sling to get her back inside. She is moving the legs more and bending them as well as wagging her tail. We are cautiously optimistic that she will regain some strength in her rear legs.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Running in Circles

What a week ... so far.

I have been home with Myste all week learning how to take care of her with her rear legs nearly useless. We are both doing better, learning what we need from each other. She is much the same as she was mid-week ... no strength in her rear legs but she does move them and they twitch along with her front legs when she runs in her sleep. I have been absolutely exhausted much of the time but am apparently adapting as I have felt better the past two days.

We are not ready to give up on her anytime soon. DH is talking an outdoor wheeled cart for her and we are looking at options on-line for that as well as bedding to relieve pressure points and a rear-lift harness to help us move her indoors and for "quick" trips outdoors. There are a lot of sites on-line with good information on handicapped pets and I am reading a great deal when she will let me out of her sight. The other problem we have is that the steroid upsets her stomach even with the extra stomach medication. Bedding is getting washed often but thankfully we have several sets of beds (Thank you, Mom and Dad) and blankets and padding. Just a few more days of the steroid left to go.

We are not expecting a "recovery" at this time. Her hind legs were already weak from the previous injury and it is not likely she will regain even as much strength as she had last week. But she is not suffering and her appetite is still good (although considerably restricted since we are hand-feeding her and she cannot clean out all the pet food bowls as she was inclined to do) and she is still functioning.

I do have much greater appreciation of what my mother and her sisters went through in taking care of their handicapped brother all those years.

The video shows Myste in the background and Velcro rediscovering the scratching post which I had moved from the floor to the shelf in the cat crate to give myself a little more floor space while tending to Myste. Velcro did finally catch her tail but it keeps escaping and she has to chase it all over again.

video

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Looking up

There are birds out there.
It has been a hard few days. On Sunday our dog Myste lost the use of her rear legs again. She had a back injury several years ago and lost the use of her legs for a while. With steroids and care she regained most of the use of her legs. Sunday morning she was up and moving around as usual. By Sunday afternoon she could not move her legs. She is heavier than she should be and with DH and I both older now it was impossible for us to get her to the vet. So I went down and talked to the vet and came home with meds for her. The vet said only 10 days and if that does not do it then we have to consider ... Yesterday evening she started moving her right rear leg and this morning she has wagged her tail. I have been staying home with her and making certain she stays clean but I have not been getting much sleep. I stay in the living room with her and nap in the recliner and wake every time she moves. The longest uninterrupted sleep I have had since Saturday was about 2 hours. But she is improving so that is good news. Whether of not she improves enough to walk on her own again ...

I did go vote after DH got home from work and voting yesterday. The election is over and Obama is president elect. Historic. But I am too tired to care right now.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fall Carpet

Even the ground is beautiful right now. Mom and Dad's tree has begun dropping its leaves but many still remain on the tree.

Here are photos of the kittens. Last night I had all three on my lap at one time and then each one alone at various times. The kittens are 4 months old now and the two black ones are nearly as big as Midnight Smoke. With three black cats we really have to careful when we walk around at night. We have joked about painting stripes down their backs or painting their tails different colors so we can tell them apart.

This one is Spot Monster. She was named Spot as a result of the white spot of fur under her chin. She earned the name Monster as she is the roughest of the kits and you have to careful of fingers and toes around her.
This is Tig-Tig. She is the largest and heaviest of the three and also the one who wants loving the most. She loves to lay across my arm with her belly pillowed in my hand.
And here is Velcro, who has earned the additional descriptive of Slippery. She runs to the door when the dogs are being put out or coming in and has slipped out a few times when we have not been fast enough to catch her. I often pick her up and tuck her inside my sweater or jacket and carry her outdoors with me to try to satisfy her curiosity. She does not know the meaning of "No" and is always climbing where she should not ... on top of the wardrobe, along the high window sill, up the sashes and across the computer table behind the printer and hard drive and monitor (where the power strip is that she can walk on and turn off the power to everything!)
Momma Stormy does not like having her picture taken with a flash and Smoke would not sit for photos last night either. I never thought I would be the owner of 5 cats at one time. We have to get Smoke taken care of before there are more now that he has a harem. I worry about his periodic cough and surgery though. He has had the cough since he was a kitten and is now about 14 months old. He is big and healthy except for that nagging cough a few times a day.

DH and I have been going through problems with his health and have put the cat problem on the back burner for a time but we HAVE to take care of the one resident male cat.

And another shot of Mom and Dad's tree in the the evening sunshine.