M & M Mondays

WELCOME to all things Maggie & Millie!  These are my 2 sweet dogs that I got from AARF in Sept. 2009. I started "M&M Monday" for all the rescue people who were emailing me for updates on how they were doing. These are all the blogs posts from the beginning, in chronological order. They are no longer with me, but in my heart forever.

 September 4, 2009 IN LOVE

That got your attention! ;-) I've been sifting thru Petfinder & I found this:


2 labweiler gals, much like Barkley & Remi. Look at that face. Ah, Mickey Mouse. I know Mum is looking at the photo and thinking, "Look at that hair." I never resented vacuuming everyday with B & R. It was just part of the daily ritual and I thought about how much I loved them. And here's another confession: Since they died, I've never washed the windows where their noseprints are. Really? I'm sentimental over dog snot?! Apparently I am.

I emailed Miss Ruthie for her advice. She was with me when I picked out Barkley at 3 weeks old, And she held Remi just hours after Barkley had her puppies. She is my expert on all creatures great & small, including children. She said that M & M remind her of Barkley & Remi & to go visit them. So I'm waiting to call . . . and in the meantime, I've got many busys on my Bevy List.

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened. ~Anatole France

September 26, 2009 MY NEW OLD DOGS

I've had a couple false starts with getting a new dog, after Barkley & Remi; and when I was on Petfinder looking for rottweilers, I thought, MAY-beeee with a couple. And then. THEN! I saw Margaret & Millie, 2 labweilers like Barkley & Remi. I emailed Miss Ruthie with my choices. She wrote back,

I think it would be wonderful to give M & M a chance to have a new life with you. They look wonderful and are attached to each other like Remi and Barkley. I would think that before you make your decision, you should make an appointment to visit with them for awhile.

Just talking to their foster Mom, Mari, I knew they were coming home with me. SO SWEET.

Mari Saying Goodbye.

SO SWEET.

Taking a walk; step-step-plop 'n' rest.

Chillaxin by the labyrinth.

THANK YOU AARF for letting me have M & M retire to the country with me. I am SO HAPPY to have them here with me! We had our first vet visit with Dr. Clark yesterday, and he kept saying what wonderful dogs they are. YES. Yes, they are. Here's to dog slobber and drool and the messiness that is doggie LOVE! :-) H.


October 1, 2009

Look at that face:

SO SWEET.

I know there are people who thought I was making a mistake taking on 2 geriatric dogs. I'm setting myself up for a lot of work, not to mention inevitable heart ache. When I first got them, someone asked me, "What are you getting out of this?" "I'm not getting anything. I'm doing this to give."

But I was wrong. It turns out, you can't give without getting. And we have settled into a life together so quickly & easily, I know it was meant to be.

Fancy new dog ramp:

Well. Perhaps not that fancy. Functional.


Hanging out on the back porch.

I'm loving these girls. And somewhere in their lives, before they got dumped off on a highway from some truck, they were well-loved by someone. I can tell by their gentleness. They aren't aggressive about their food, they don't startle when I bring my hand to pet them, they don't get spazzy when I walk toward them when they're lying on the floor. They're used to someone stepping over or around them. They trust someone to touch them kindly. And these 2 gentle giants have come home to live out the rest of their days in loving kindness.

It turns out that I am getting far more than I am giving.


October 18, 2009 DOGGIE ACUPUNCTURE

Millie falls asleep during acupuncture.

If you look closely, you'll see acupuncture needles around Millie's hip area. I have a WONDERFUL book, Four Paws, Five Directions that is all about acupuncture for dogs (and cats, too). May today be a healing day of rest. :-)

October 30, 2009

When I have to travel, the dogs go to Mystic Pet Resort. Gareth & Lena treat all the dogs as their own, & that includes M &M. They have their own kennel & yard. And when it's not crazy-busy, they're out of the kennel & Gareth makes a bed for them in the shop. When I went to pick them up, Gareth said, "It doesn't matter if you put a bed out for Maggie, she'll lie on the floor."

I said, "I know! She does that at home!" I was working in my office, so I brought their beds in with me. And here's Maggie:


And here's Millie:

SO SWEET. :-)



November 6, 2009 LEARNING FROM OLD DOGS


There's some truth in the expression You can't teach an old dog new tricks. The lesser known rest of that is that Old dogs will teach you what they know.

As M&M have settled into their new life with me, I've noticed a few things:
  • They know how to behave in a house. No puddles to clean up!
  • They are used to being petted and loved.
  • They don't beg for food, in fact, even if I drop something on the floor, they leave it alone.
  • They are very comfortable with being outside. They are happy to plop down in the grass & hang out. I suspect that they were outside during nice weather. Perhaps they had an invisible fence?
  • They are both leash-trained. No tugging, and they walk along side or slightly behind.
  • They don't enter a doorway ahead of me. They wait and then follow. I never knew about this rule until my brother told me that dogs are supposed to enter after humans. Then I saw it on the Dog Whisperer.
  • They know not to chew on anything.
  • They don't root thru the trash.
  • They will, however, drink from the toilet. Eeewww!!!
In addition, they've learned a coupla things from me. I give their vitamins/meds in a glob of cream cheese. I always say, "Oh, boyeeee...." before I give it to them. Now when I say that, they start to drool. Hahaha I also massage them in the evening when I watch TV. Now when I go to the living room and turn the TV on, they go and plop in their beds.

It's interesting to see what patterns of behaviour they have, and what new ones they can adopt. Even if they're old dogs. :-)


November 11, 2009 ORDINARY

Millie hanging out with the laundry.

The last few days we've had sweet summerish weather--the good kind. Breezy & sunny & warm. I even got bonus laundry-on-the-line time. But today is cold & wet & rainy. Perfect for a cup of tea--which is to say, anytime is a good time for a cup of tea. The girls are on their beds snoozing away & I have John Denver singing in the background. It's just an ordinary day. But how delicious.


November 16, 2009

I was at Brother D's for the weekend & and had a TF weekend. TF? Technology Free; no computer & v. little cell phone capability. When I travel, M & M go to their other home, Mystic Pet Resort. I loaded up the car on Friday:

This is how we roll.

I back the car up to the hill, extend the dog ramp across. The dogs walk down a coupla feet to the ramp and into the car. So easy!

I met Mum at Mystic Pet with Pioneer Sister's kids. The dogs were settled in their kennel, so I invited them back to meet M&M. Barkley & Remi were both great with kids, so they were excited to meet the new dogs. And then! I watched my sweet girls turn into barking-frothing beasts. Wow--I was so glad they were in their kennel. So we headed back to the front, and Lena said, "Oh yeah. I've been meaning to tell you that I don't think M&M like kids. They bark everytime Maggie [their 6-year-old] goes near their kennel."

I have witnessed them get snarly on occassion. They grumble at each other when it comes to food. Maggie is partial to slippers & socks. She never eats them, but she'll grab one & sleep with it. And then I hear it from Millie as they argue over the slipper. At 1:18 a.m.

Really, girls? Hehhhh...

I didn't get the photo fast enough, but Maggie was asleeeeep on my sneakers.

SO SWEET.

They got the full spa treatment this weekend; baths & pedicures & Frontlined. As I sit here writing this, they are snoozing on their beds with me in my office. Maggie's feet are twitching. Catch the squirrel, Maggie! Catch the squirrel! Back tomorrow. :-)

November 23, 2009

This is Millie. I joke about the girls not lying on their beds. Cute pictures here. Here she is using BOTH beds. You can see Maggie's feet in the bottom left corner. Speaking of feet, they're not having the huge Lick Fest that they were having a coupla months ago. Allergy season seems to be over. We'll see how they do in the spring!

I'm writing this on Sunday a.m. Here's Maggie melting off the bed:


Here's Millie not using her bed. I should move it into the sun for her.

I got the 4 beds at Costco ($20 each); 2 in my office & 2 in the LR. I had a cashback rewards check, so essentially I got 2 for free. Yay, me!

Barkley & Remi's old beds are in the kitchen--so I think I have all bases covered--until M&M plant themselves in my bedroom when I'm in the shower! At first they didn't like the beds, & they sneezed at the cedar inside. Really, it smelled like a hamster cage when I was driving home! But they've gotten used to them & I think they're comfortable. We have settled into an ordinary life.


November 26, 2009 GRATITUDE POEM FROM EMERSON

For each new morning with its light,




For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food,



for love



and friends,





For everything Thy goodness sends.






HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!


November 29, 2009

Nice day to settle in and read. :-)



November 30, 2009

Maggie has grown accustomed to the dog beds:


The girls meet Mum:

"Yes, you're very sweet. Now go away."

Mum stays consistent on her dog policy: minus the hair & the mess & the smell, dogs are OK. When they're smaller. And maybe outside. Away from her. ;-)



December 7, 2009 FIRST SNOW



The woodshed area holds a great fascination for the girls.


Maggie looks for squirrels, Millie just kept putting her head in the snow!

Maggie plops down & has a snow feast.

Millie didn't eat any snow, but Maggie was chomping away. She doesn't have any problem just plopping down wherever she is--in rain or snow.


December 14, 2009 BREAKFAST IN BED

They usually eat in the kitchen--this will drive Mum crazy: But they're dogs!

Yes, I know. I've been massaging them most evenings. One of the ways I used to tell M & M apart was that Millie had wider, thicker front legs. Not anymore. I guess that was lymph congestion, and it's moving a bit more freely. Margaret is a tail thumper. I look over at her & smile & she starts wagging. Thump-thump-thump! If she's standing, her tail swings like a jump rope! Millie wasn't much of a tail wagger when she first came, but I think that was because her lower back really hurt. I've been working on her hips, and she's much waggier, now. The girls often split up at night; one in the LR & one in my office. It was dark & I went to pet Maggie, thump-thump-thump! & I then realized it was Millie wagging her tail! Cool, huh?


December 19, 2009   * S * N * O * W *

'member my snow pix from a coupla weeks ago? That was just a practice run. This. This is the real thing! It's that steady, dry, whispy-powdery snow. At this writing, I think we have about a foot. We were supposed to do our family Xmas today, but of course no one's going anywhere. Mum called me on Thursday to say we were getting a snow storm this weekend. I don't like to use weather as an excuse not to do something. "How bad?" I asked. She said, "Well, it's coming from the south, and snow is always the worst when it's coming from the south." I don't know how she knows this or even if it's true. I said, "Yeah. Stupid confederate snowflakes!"

The weather channel is calling the snowstorm the "Winter Wallop." Of course, I'm calling it:

Confederate Snowstorm 2009

Here's the view off the front porch:





I was on my way to the river to take a few pix, but the flash goes off so that I've got snowflake orbs in my photo:

Years ago, I went to an Ansel Adams exhibit. It was one of those sticky-hot summer days. I walked into the exhibit and there was a giant triptych of snow in the woods. The visual frostiness took my breath away! So I want to get Ansel-ish by-the-river photos.

The last snow I remember like this was when Remi was a puppy. We were coming back home from the bay house and the last mile to our house was snowed in with snow drifts up to eight feet. We followed a fence line along the road and each step I would sink down to my hip. Barkley led the way, followed by my husband, then Remi & me. I still remember Remi's snowy-frosty nose. Every so often, he would trot back to me to make sure I was keeping up with the pack! He used to love the snow. :-)

And here's someone else who loves the snow:

Maggie plops down this a.m.

Right now we are all cozy in the living room, listening to 40's music. The girls are having their mid-morning nap, and I have a veggie soup simmering on the stove. Here's to Confederate Snowstorm 2009!




December 21, 2009

Millie looking out the window

Maggie plops down in the snow.





Millie likes to sit on the porch & oversee her domain.



December 28, 2009
These girls are very comfortable in the snow!

Millie peering around the corner of the house.


Margaret plops down.

Peering & plopping.

Millie had a vet appointment to look at her eye. She had been rubbing it and then scratched it. Dr. Clark gave me some ointment for it. We also started both girls on Deramaxx for their hips. It's really helped; Millie is even waggier, now!

I did the usual back-the-car-to-the-hill thing to load Millie into the car. I brought her out onto the back porch & closed the door with Maggie in the kitchen. Millie looked at me and then looked at Maggie thru the french doors. And she would not come off the porch. And Maggie was standing in the kitchen looking at us. And then she started. Howling. HOWLING. So I ended up bringing Maggie with us, because Millie wasn't going anywhere without her. It makes me think how either of these girls is going to be when the other one is no longer with us. And then I don't want to think about it because whenever that is, it will be too soon.


January 4, 2010
I'm home most of the time. And M&M are with me wherever I am in the house. They have their main beds in the LR & my office. When I move to a different room, Maggie waits to see if I'm going to be in there for any length of time, and then she follows. Any longer, and Millie comes to join us. I have sleeping bags for a quick bed.

I used to think it was odd that they both will come to the door and bark. They are so much barkier than Barkley or Remi were. But I now realize that they were waiting to be invited in. They won't come in unless I tell them to come in. They do that when they're outside on the back porch, as well.

Maggie on floor, Millie on bed. Asleeeeeep.

I promised a surprise last week. But the surprise is mostly mine. I was all set to get another rescue dog (a rottie) when I went to Richmond over new year's. And then I didn't. And I think it's best. I think M&M need my undivided attention. I think going into my busy-time-of-year with John Morgan Seminars is not the time to be introducing anything new into the daily regime. I think I will have M&M until I don't. And then I can look into getting more dogs.




January 11, 2010

M&M's Home Decor Tips
I have wood-looking-laminate flooring. It's really great--totally scratch resistant. I've moved furniture, bookshelves, etc. across it. I vacuum & damp mop it--easy to maintain. Except. It's slippery for the girls. Millie slipped on the floor and couldn't get back up. When I tried to lift her, she whipped around with a bark & a snap at me. I'm sure she could have bitten me if she wanted to. It was enough not to make me try it again, tho! I know she did it because she was in pain; her lower back and hips are a bit creaky. I managed to maneuver one of the dog beds under her and then I slid her down the hall, ferrying her to the Land of Living Room Carpet. And it only took 45 minutes. [Side note: It's fun to slide down the hall in my socks. When my nephews came over, it's one of the first things they discovered. I think they were waiting me to tell them not to do that, but I said it was one of my favourite things to do.] Anyway, back to the conundrum:

What to do? I looked at hallway runners:

cheap ones = ugly + not-so-cheap
"nice" ones = still ugly

Conclusion: why not go for so ugly = safe-for-dogs + funny


Millie models hallway carpet. Ah, duct tape!

I found a carpet remnant for $16 & cut it in half. It almost fits the length of the hallway. I had gotten one of those transitional, just-inside-the-door mats that is now outside my bedroom door.
The whole project took more duct tape than I thought. I had to break into my special purple duct tape stash! And then I figured I could use masking tape for part of it. After all that, Mum scored me some hallway carpet runners. Haven't put them down yet. Mum has pointed out, of course, that there are special thingies you put under the carpet to stop it from sliding. Yeah, I know. But duct tape is funnier.

The main carpet is a retro-geometric sort of pattern. Here's Millie. *sigh* With one of my outside-with-the-dogs shoe. They don't ever chew them, they just go to my shoe rack & pluck one off. She looks innocent enough; all cute & dozing. But if Maggie goes near her, she gets all snarly & grumbly about the shoe.

"I'm sleeping but not really."

I moved one of my area rugs from my art studio up to the living room to put between the main carpet and the wood stove. That's the biggest part of floor that's totally covered now. But then Maggie likes to come and sit by me when I'm on the sofa--on the one patch of uncovered laminate floor. *sigh* So I put Remi's old dog beds down for her.

"I'm so cute."

Now they have carpet bases around the whole house, so I don't have to worry about them slipping and not being able to get back up. :-)


January 13, 2010 M&M BONUS

[insert eye roll from Mum, here]

OK, so here's the deal. When I downloaded my camera this week, there were just too many cute pictures of the girls to put into one post. So I'm breaking it up. I know one person who's not going to complain. ;-) Hi Mari.

This is Millie's spot:

where she overlooks her domain . . .

These girls don't seem to mind the cold so much. Barkley & Remi were never ones to stay outside if I was in. But M&M--it hasn't been cold enough yet for them to dash back inside!

"Give me a nice sunny patch, & I'm good!"

On the other hand, here's Maggie:

Earth Dog. Happy on the ground! Stay tuned for snowy pix.


January 14, 2010 M & M IN THE SNOW
The girls have become much more agile since they've been on doggie Vioxx (Deramaxx). Millie especially, is not grumbling when she gets up in the a.m. They're both a bit spryer and while they don't go much faster, they go farther!

Saturday a.m. I was out in my robe and fuzzy slippers getting them back into the house from up behind the wood shed. *sigh* Really, girls? I've not even had my morning cup of tea!




Really I like this pic because it shows off chiro-sister's stained glass piece. This is the view out my kitchen bay window. Not sure which dog that is in the background.



A final one of Maggie:

Happy as a clam. (not canned--because canned clams would not be happy).



January 17, 2010 DAY OF REST
Like lions lounging on the savanna. :-)




January 18, 2010
In the a.m. I let the girls out & then follow after I've put the tea kettle on and put on my boots and other arctic gear for braving the elements. I walked out on the back porch and the girls had found a new spot:

Can you see them?

See the bear? Kidding. No bear!

Different angle, they are up behind the labyrinth.

Here's Margaret getting snarley with Millie trying to come into the living room. They've never done anything more than growl and snarl. Millie in particular, just sounds like she's chewing on gravel. It's funny when it's not scary.

But then she falls asleeeeeeep:


I had a quick vizzie to Richmond, so the girls went to Mystic Pet. as soon as they saw me putting the ramp up to the car, they came--well, I would say "running," but it's more like fast-walking!


Yay! We're going to Gareth & Lena's!

They adore Gareth. Lena said that she was calling them to come to her and they just looked at her. Nothing. Then Gareth comes in and they snap to attention. "Come on, you two!" And off they go. I think he loves them as much as I do. :-) Back tomorrow with pix from chiro-sister's baby shower.

P.S. Here's a different M in honour of MLK Day. Here's the whole I have a dream speech. Inspired. Eloquent. Brilliant.



January 24, 2010 MAGGIE'S HAIKU

Dirt nose ring
shedding hair
gentle snores




January 25, 2010






January 26, 2010 FLOOD
Usually I go for a walk to my post box in the afternoon. Something prompted me to walk down in the morning yesterday . . . we had a tremendous amount of rain last night. It poured. The water was a bit high:


See? Overall Beach is flooded.

Overall Creek, rushing into the river. It sounded like rapids!
Acting like a real river.

I got to my postbox--jackpot! Birthday cards--YAY, me! A couple hours later, I was tippy-tapping away at the computer, and Millie is staring out the window. Periodically, she gives a woof.


Sometimes she barks at cars or airplanes. Not this time. Yesterday, she was barking at the river. I stood behind her and you could see the movement of the river. Every time a tree or something floated by, she barked. Then Maggie joined her:


Like TV for dogs.

The river had risen a bit so I walked down . . .


Well this puts a damper on going into town today!


You can't see them, but in the photo below, across the river, 2 people on a 4-wheeler had gone along side the river down a ways. They just barely made it back; in that 10 minutes, the road had already been covered by water. That's how fast the water was rising.

So I went back to the house. And then! More woofing and I looked out the window and it seemed that there were more trees floating even faster down stream. Was that a refrigerator I just saw? So I walked back down to the river:

WOW!

Neighbor Dave at a safe distance.

Definitely not going anywhere!



February 1, 2010
I was sitting on the sofa, and Maggie looked so cute asleep on her bed--notice she's resting on my slipper. So I grabbed the camera, but she's gotten to know the sound the camera makes when I turn it on. She opens her eyes:


And then! She squeezes them shut again!

SO CUTE!

'member M&M's deer watching? They've gotten much more adventurous in the front yard. This used to be a familiar sight with Barkley & Remi . . .

M&M scoping out the scene.

Come on, girls! Time to go back inside . . .

You can't be in a hurry with these two!




Until. They see me rolling the suitcase into the kitchen & packing up the car. Maggie followed me out to the back porch all excited. Yes, we're going to your other home.

Yay! We're going to see Gareth & Lena!

A couple shots out the window on the way to Mystic Pet.


I called on Sat. to check on the girls & Lena said they had run of the groom room, and 2 more beds in the shop with her. We both talked about their love-of-Gareth. Yeah, sometimes I feel like I'm just the gal who takes care of them between Gareth visits. ;-) I've been with chiro-sis whose due date is Valentine's. So I'm staying with her until? So M&M will have extra Gareth time. I know they're not complaining! This will prolly be my last post for a coupla days--don't know how consistent I'll be this week. Back . . . when I am.


February 14, 2010 DAY OF REST: MILLIE
Millie snoozing.

This has become Millie's spot; by the window. She watches for trains, cars, deer, & other excitement. When she gets bored with that, she faces the other way to watch over the back porch--more deer & way more squirrels that scamper along the rail to taunt her. At night, sometimes she growls at her reflection. Hahahaha Back tomorrow with M&M Monday.

P.S. Happy Valentine's Day & much LOVE to friends & fam. :-) H.


February 15, 2010 HISTORIC BLIZZARD
You know what's funny? Nothing really changed for the girls with the electricity out for 5 days. Apart from getting their doggie massages by candle light instead of the blue glow of Ellen, everything else was normal. They were warm & had food & water.


Millie heads up the ramp.


Millie & Maggie scoping out the scene.


Neighbor Dave comes to plow!

The girls LOVE the snow!


Maggie, especially just plops down . . .



wherever . . .





February 22, 2010
When I have to travel, the girls go to Mystic Pet Resort. This is Gareth:

The girls worship Gareth.

The girls were making their way down the driveway & I was calling to them to come back. I got nothin'. They just kept going. Then I said, "Come on, you two!" like Gareth does, and they did a U-turn. Last visit, he gave them bones to gnaw on. Which they like to snarl over.

Here's Maggie sidling up to Millie and her bone:

I'm just sitting here, looking innocent.

See? Just resting my eyes.

Oh, look! My own bone!

Later . . .

Maggie asleep on BOTH bones!


March 1, 2010
We still have some snow on the ground. The kind that is crunchy & fun to walk on. Or . . .

"This here is good eatin' snow."

Millie walks with her toes spread out.

All webby, like a duck. :-)


Maggie investigates evidence of critters in the woodshed.

Behind the house, hanging where the deer sleep at night.

The girls are doing so well. Maggie has taken to following me to bed at night. Now Millie comes, too, not wanting to be left out! They are less inclined to wake me up at some ungodly hour when they're both sleeping in my bedroom. They don't argue over my slippers or get territorial about the food dishes. The Shedding Fest of Hair has dissipated. Maggie especially was molting! But they are just getting ready for spring. Aren't we all?


March 8, 2010
Here's Millie. Asleep.


And then she started growling in her sleep.

Meanwhile, across the room, Maggie thought Millie was
growling at her. So she started growling at Millie.

Grrr . . .

Millie woke up, thinking Maggie was growling at her:

Huh? Wha? Grrrrr . . .

Her face gets all flat & she looks like an alligator.


Then she fell asleep again.

Zzzzz . . .



March 15, 2010
Maggie's Dots

Maggie has such an expressive face. And my daily entertainment is to watch the dots over her eyes move up and down.

See? Right up.

Left up.


Right up.

Here she is out in the shaggy-looking labyrinth:

Left up.

Neutral.

Right up. So SWEET. :-)




March 22, 2010
Here's Millie, hanging out in the back yard:

She's very sniffy.



Peek-a-boo! So SWEET. :-)

The girls have gotten to know the sound of the camera turning on. Maggie is particularly weary. She doesn't like the flash.

"Hehhhh . . . must you?"


And then she squeezes her eyes shut.

"Tum-de-dum. Yay! No flash!"



March 29, 2010
I love this girl.

Sweet Millie. :-)

Look at that face.

It's so interesting discovering the differences in Maggie & Millie's personalities. I love how she curls her toes when I massage her legs. And she likes me to scratch in the axillary area of her front legs (like under her arms). And she's so funny with her food bowl; she grabs it with her teeth and pulls it to her just where she wants it, to her side.

Millie is much more curious about her environment. She explores. And she likes to stick her nose in things and root around. Like when I bring the groceries in. I had a plastic food container that Mum had brought sushi in on one of our car rides. So I brought it into the house to clean, and Millie managed to pick it out of the bag and take the lid off! I keep the dog food in a big plastic container and she does the same thing! That's how she lets me know her food bowl is empty if I've not noticed it before.

Neither girls eat things off the floor. Crumbs and other tidbits stay there (unlike Remi & Barkley)! They never beg and they don't hover during food prep hoping that I'll drop an odd carrot. However . . . last week, I had a cup of tea on the coffee table. I was tippy-tapping away on my laptop and I hear slurp slurp slurp. There's Millie, drinking my tea! Too funny, so of course all I could do was laugh. I told Gareth at Mystic Pet & he said, "Oh, yeah. Dogs love tea." They do? I didn't know this. Perhaps all those years when I left my tea safely on the coffee table, Barkley & Remi were getting in a covert slurp. Eeeewwwww! Back to Millie:

Sunning herself on the back porch. Maggie looking on. Life is good! :-)

April 5, 2010
Well. It's tick season, and we have teeny-tiny ones smaller than a freckle! I hate putting chemicals on the girls, & Lena gave me an essential oil recipe to try:

Combine equal amounts:
  • cinnamon
  • lemongrass
  • clove
  • thyme
  • peppermint
Keep in small jar fitted with an eye-dropper lid. Shake well before applying drops along the spine of dog. (neck to base of tail) 4 ml per 40 pounds. Adjust amount greater/lesser weight. Apply every two weeks. Not for pups under 12 weeks. Not for use on cats/kittens.

I was doing OK until I added the thyme oil! Pee-Ewwww! I started to get a migraine from it, so we'll see how it goes. I'd left the mixing jar open, so I think that's why it was so strong smelling. The house has aired out and by the time Mum got here for Easter afternoon, she said it smelled better than smelling the dogs. She also said that I did a perfect job of hanging my laundry today & said I should take a picture. I didn't, but have this one from last season:

Millie chillin'.

Nothing like that fresh smell of laundry off the line! Will keep you posted on how we do with the essential oil combo. :-)

April 12, 2010
I've mentioned that Millie is very sniffy, right? She and Maggie were scoping something out under the car. I was on the porch drinking my tea, and here's Millie covered in river road dust!



Maggie was plopped down near the car, too.


But she lost interest & finally came up the ramp. Millie stayed a while longer. It was prolly a mouse or something furry-ish.

That's right. Millie was mouse sitting. ;-)




April 19, 2010
It's been quite the week for Maggie & Millie! They had a visit with Fisherman Willie:

Millie says, "Hello."

Yesterday, I was in the basement doing laundry. Millie was on the back porch & started barking. Then Maggie joined in. I thought maybe someone was coming up the drive, but I got upstairs just in time to see Willie driving down to the river on his Gator. They've gotten to know the sound of it! They do the same thing when Neighbor Dave goes by on his tractor. Willie stopped by on his way back & the girls were at the door wagging away.

Friday night I had a sleep-over with Mum & Pioneer Sister's kids. I was a bit nervous about their visit because they had turned into frothing beasts when they first saw the kids at Mystic Pet Resort a few months ago. So I put them in my bedroom when Mum brought the kids. There they stayed until Maggie managed to sneak out! By Saturday morning, she was hanging out in the living room with the kids. The guest room was all prepared, but of course, they slept on the sofas; the youngest slept on one of the dog beds!

Maggie managed to make a nice bed for herself!

Millie stayed in my bedroom doorway for much of the day. She wasn't a fan of all the activity and noise.

The weather has been springy & these girls are definitely outdoorsy! They are happy to settle in to the dirt or wherever.

Maggie under the porch.

Under the lilacs.

Millie by the woodshed.


Yoo-hoo, Mil! Where are you going?



April 25, 2010 Day of Rest

Light 'n' breezy today, with a slight chance of afternoon napping.

The dogs, not me. ;-) No, really. Have a BEAUTIFUL day!

April 26, 2010  PORCH TIME

We've had some perfect laundry-on-the-line days! The girls love-love-love being outside. Maggie likes to plant herself:



I leave the door open and Millie likes to hang on the back porch:

Here's my only pic of Maggie on the porch this week:

You can't even see her eye dots!


Millie is more of a porch-hanger-outer than Maggie.


When I know they're going to spend some time on the porch, I take their beds out for them.


But you know the saying; you can put a bed on the porch, but you can't make a dog lie on it.

No that's all right. I'll lie on the floor.

Maggie, on the other hand, is pretty much is at my feet or ON them wherever I am. She waits for me to settle in wherever, and then she's right there. SO SWEET. :-)
May 3, 2010
I vacuum every coupla days. I do it while the girls are on the porch or in the kitchen. They don't have any kind of vacuum anxiety, tho. Remi used to see the vacuum and leave the room. Saturday, I actually vacuumed around the dogs! And finally they got up so I could vacuum where they were sitting.

I threw both beds together and Millie claimed them before I could put the other one back.

"Hahahaha. Mine. "

This doesn't look all too exciting. In fact, when I was looking at this photo of Maggie, I was wondering why I took it. But look closely, she took my slipper and has her foot over it.

"Hahahaha. Mine. "

Here are the girls coming down the ramp. They always stop and look at the road across the river. It's also where the train goes by.


Typical pic of Maggie plopped down:



Back up the ramp.

Mum came to visit on Saturday:

Mum says hello to Millie.



Mum: Which one is this? Is this the one with the dots?
Me: No. That's Millie. Maggie has the dots.
Mum: Well, this one has dots, too.
Me: Maggie's dots are a bit more prominent.
Mum: But this one still has dots.
Me:
Mum: Well, she does!
Me: [sigh]

"As soon as you get the photo of me smiling, can I stop touching her?"

Thanks for being a good sport, Mum. I know you're stretching yourself outside your comfort zone. And in light coloured trousers, too! :-)

May 10, 2010
Maggie & Millie coming home from Mystic Pet:


Hanging out on the porch:

Maggie overlooking back porch.

Millie hanging out.

So then I got out their beds for the back porch:

Maggie prefers the porch to a pillow.

Here they are in the yard:



While the girls were outside, I vacuumed. I piled their beds together . . .

Millie likes both beds.

I also did laundry . . .

Maggie sleeps on top of both beds.

These girls are too funny! :-)


May 17, 2010
Maggie is my shadow. She follows behind me and settles beside me. Even if I switch from one sofa to the other.

I have an actual office that I work out of when I'm doing my John Morgan Seminars work. But I'm not a desky person & I prefer to sit on the sofa and spread out on the coffee table. Except I have to make room for Maggie. And so I push the coffee table over. Sometimes it ends up in the middle of the room. Here's Maggie all settled in, with Millie taking her post-breakfast nap:




Zzzzzz . . . .

I've mentioned that Millie gets snarly every once in a while. It's a little game they play with the food bowls. They're quite intimidating, I must say. Millie starts with an Elvis Lip Curl:

Thank you. Thank you ver much.

But then sleep takes over . . .

"Zzzz . . . I mean, Grrr . . ."

Thunk.



May 24, 2010
This week in the world of Millie and Maggie . . .

A few days ago, a little bird flew into the house. Maggie saw it fly in and she darted out onto the porch!


I managed to get a towel and catch it.

In the past I've shown Millie getting snarly about her food. She usually starts it. Well, here's Maggie!


Here's Millie pretending not to care:

"I don't care."


Grrrr . . . I'm ferocious.

"Still. Don't care."

Hahahaha


May 31, 2010
Maggie and Millie have been enJOYing these summery days outside. Here are a few pix I took out my living room window:


Millie rolling around on her back. :-)

Hanging out with the laundry.

I love seeing Millie doing this!



:-)


June 7, 2010
Yes, it's Monday! And Maggie & Millie are still our favourite Monday feature. You may have been surprised to see my Delivering Happiness book review earlier. I promised Tony I would do that today. ;-) Seriously, go get the book. I'll wait.

Got it? Good. Now that that's done, we have . . .

Porch Time

Millie likes to drape her feet over the edge.

La-dee-da . . . Zzzzz . . . .

I let the girls out and this is as far as they go!

This is their spot for squirrel 'n' deer watching. The squirrels taunt the girls when they're inside; they run all over the rafters and the rails. They do an acrobat act on the birdfeeder. It's all very entertaining. Out the front window, the trees have grown, so that you can barely see a coupla spots of the river. Millie sits and watches and every once in a while, she barks. I think she sees a deer, but I look out; no deer. And then I see what she's seeing: canoers on the river. Wow.

Last week, Millie woke me up at 2:30am to go outside. Hehhh . . . you know how you try wake up enough to walk, but stay asleep enough to go back to bed? Well. I straggle out onto the porch and the girls go down the ramp. I hold a flashlight for them so they can see. So they're down sniffing around. And then! THEN! OFF THEY GO DOWN THE DRIVEWAY barking up a storm. I had to run in and get my shoes and run after them. "Hey! Where are you going? Get back here!" They're all excited about the deer. We were all so loud that Fisherman Willie's wife heard us. Sorry!

So that's been our exciting week. The girls still get snarly with each other about their food. Maggie is at my feet wherever I am for any length of time. Millie is my guard dog, ever watchful. Of squirrels and whatnot. ;-) A few minutes ago, Maggie was wagging her tail. In her sleep. So SWEET. It's a great M&M day. :-)

June 14, 2010

Millie has taken to lying down in the hallway--which is fine until Maggie wants to get by. Millie will not budge.

"Not going anywhere."

Maggie woofs it up, but to no avail! And then she gets brave . . .

What's funny is that she tries to go by really fast!

Here are the girls having breakfast. I mentioned that sometimes the coffee table makes its way into the center of the room as I make more (and more...and more) room for the girls to sit near me when I'm on the sofa.


They look like bookends:

Nom nom nom.

And that's another week in the life of M&M. :-)



June 21, 2010
On the Ramp

Millie leads the way . . .


Maggie sniffs the air.

The double Stop 'n' Sniff.

Millie does the Stop 'n' Won't Go.

Maggie makes her escape.


Maggie is fond of the Stop 'n' Plop.

Back up the ramp. :-)




June 28, 2010
Summer Time for Maggie & Millie

View off the back porch:

Back Scratchin' Millie.

Hullo.


Zzzzzzz . . . .

The girls were hanging out in the yard . . .

Ever vigilant.


And then they saw something, & off they go!

Yesterday, the girls were all barky & watching out the window like it was TV.

The source of their fascination?

Neighbor Dave on his tractor.


Lazy Dazy Summer Time. :-)


July 5, 2010
View out my living room window. See the girls?



They are hidden in the bush!

Millie peeks out.

Sweet Maggie.

From a different angle, they're not really hiding . . . 

They're just hanging out.  :-)

July 12, 2010

Often, when I look out the kitchen window, this is what I see:


I am feeding the squirrels.


The dogs will get rather woofy, and want to run after them first thing in the morning.


Usually, when the girls are on the porch, the squirrels stay away. But they are getting braver . . .

This little guy even stops & looks at M as she's lying on the porch. Oblivious.

Zzzzzz . . . .

July 19, 2010 Grrrr . . . 

Maggie often will sidle up to me when I'm sitting on the sofa. She's a sidler. I move the coffee table so she can fit in. She likes to position herself so her head is sorta under the coffee table.  And then she falls asleep. Except this time she nestled in and then started growling at Millie.


So of course, Millie growled back.


She's so ferocious!

Here's Maggie . . . 


She kinda looks like she's going to sneeze:

Achoo!

But she can look pretty ferocious herself!


And then the excitement wears off . . .


Zzzzzz . . . .

July 26th, 2010


We have spent most of our time inside in the blessed AC. It has been so H-O-T!  This is Millie's spot. I have 2 beds stacked so she can see comfortably out the window. Yesterday, she barked. And then again. What is it, Mil? What do you see?





A turkey!

 


 

 Recently Neighbor Dave did some repairs on the foundation of the house and he reseeded the grass. This is one of Maggie's favourite spots outside. We did manage to have a bit of rain, which made it muddy. She doesn't seem to have a problem with the mud!

 As evidenced by her muddy nose!  *sigh*  :-)

August 2, 2010 Lazin' Around

I didn't take too many pix of the girls this week--and Maggie is sorely under represented! Here she is outside...

It's been so hot, that even the girls don't want to spend too much time outside!

And here's Millie inside; she fell asleep with her feet in her food bowl:

Zzzzzz . . . .


Here she is grabbing the bowl with her teeth to pull it to her.

She likes to spill off her bed when she sleeps:

 Zzzzz . . . .

August 9, 2010

Sunday Breakfast on the Back Porch



Millie gets growly with Maggie.

Nom nom nom

Mum Comes to Visit

Maggie says, "Hello."


"Oh, all right. I'll touch you."

August 16, 2010
I've mentioned that Maggie is usually at my feet if I'm settled anywhere for any length of time. Well, here she is behind me at my desk. I have to be careful when I push my chair away, so I don't tap into her.


Here's Millie on the other side of me:

Zzzzzzzz . . . .

You know those people who, no matter what or when, they have their eyes closed in a photo:

I think Millie's just avoiding the flash from the camera! BTW, Temple Grandin 
says that when dogs have their mouths like this, that they are content.  :-)

Millie enjoying some porch time.

See the bears? Kidding. No bear. Here are the girls hanging out near the clothes line:



Hullo.

Settled in.

We've had a break in the heat wave, so the girls have spent a bit more time outside.

See Maggie?

Here she is:

One of her favourite spots!

I started the girls on a new natural flea/tick regime. It's not too bad smelling. It's just cedar oil. I ordered a bottle. Apparently it's good for mange, mites, yeast, & other skin issues. It's a natural insecticide & you can spray for ants, wasps, etc. It's also a rodent & snake deterrant (not safe around exotic birds, pet mice, guinea pigs, etc.) Dogs, cats, farm animals are all OK. Even newborns.  The girls don't seem to mind it & it's not as stinky as the essential oil blend I was using at the beginning of the season.So far, so good. Will keep you posted!

August 19, 2010
 Queen Anne: Dog Tolerator

Me: The girls have a vet appointment on Friday.
Mum: Girls? They're not girls. They're DOGS!
Me: Well, girl-dogs, then.
Mum: A female dog is called a bitch.
Me:
Mum: Well!
Me: Yo, I'm takin' ma bitches to da vet on Friday, dawg.
Mum: Whooo-who-who-who-who![that's how she sounds when she laughs--no, really!] That's not what I meant!
Me: Well!
 August 23, 2010
The girls had a very active week. Unfortunately, I left my camera behind when we went to our vet appointment on Friday. Dr. Clark said, "They couldn't be any easier if they were stuffed animals." Haha  When I took them in for the first time last October, I didn't know if they would still be with me in the summer! But they've done so well. The only thing going on is Maggie has a bit of an eye infection. Other than that, both girls are doing great!

So here are a few pix from the week:



Hanging out in the driveway.


Millie in the background, Maggie in the forefront.

I took these from inside, looking out the LR window. Notice how they're looking at the camera? Cool, huh?

Near the back porch. Their fur looks so shiny, thanks to all that wild Alaskan salmon oil!

Maggie up the ramp.

Millie having breakfast on the porch--or perhaps snoozing by her breakfast bowl is more accurate. I mix up their food with salmon oil, probiotics, & digestive enzymes with water to soften it up. Yum.





You may be wondering why I have a picture of a bird. Let me splain:


'member when that bird flew into the house & Maggie ran out? Well, I'm showing this pic not for the bird, but for what the bird is sitting on; a v. squeaky hinge. SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEK-Y!  Finally, I got some WD40 and oiled it. Now it's silent. What I didn't realize, is that the dogs both responded to the noise of the door. They would walk part-way in, pause, and then hear the squeak, and keep walking til they were all-the-way-in. Now, they walk in. Pause. And just stand there. I swing the door. Nothin'. They don't move. So now, they wait until the door touches them, and then they walk the rest of the way in. It seems you can teach an old dog new tricks!

 August 30, 2010
The girls have had an exciting week. They got a mid-week vizzie with Mum & Pioneer Sister's kiddliewinks. Here they are chillaxin' with Mum.

"All these beds & she still sits on the rug and gets it all hairy."

I took the kids for a walk to the postbox . . .

Maggie in pursuit

Millie follows

"Maybe we'll just wait here."

Come on, girls! Back up the hill.

I was on the back porch doing an art project with the kids, and the girls went down into the yard. They have their favourite spots to hang out. But this time they went around to the labyrinth.

Maggie & Millie by the labyrinth.

Millie overlooking her domain.


See the bear? Kidding. It's only Millie. Looking v. bearish!

 September 6, 2010 HAPPY Labor Day!

I usually write M&M Monday & pre-post on Sunday. Today I'm writing in real time. We are coming up on our one-year anniversary together, and I marvel at how much I love these girls and how grateful I am for them. Here's a sweet pic of Maggie from yesterday trotting up the ramp:

Tum-dee-dum

These are from this morning. Do you notice something?

Besides the Sniff Fest going on . . . that's right, leaves on the ground. Fall is starting to . . . fall. Speaking of sniffing, here's Millie:

I love watching her sniff. Did you know that when you cook, dogs can smell each individual ingredient? They smell everything. So what a delicious thing for them to be outside --squirrels and deer and bears, oh my!  Speaking of . . .


Maggie led the chase! Of course they had scampered away before the girls got there.

*sniff*sniff*sniff*

Millie all tuckered out after the chase:

Look at that squishy-face. So SWEET.  :-)
 


SEPTEMBER 13, 2010

Every time I think I can't possibly post anything new for M&M Monday, I get something!  Millie likes  to hang out on the porch. Both girls can howl. I don't know what she was howling at, but here she is:

video

The other day, she was snoozing in the sun, and a hummingbird whizzed by a bit too close to her head. "Grrrr...roof!" she barked, in protest. That was also her response to a neighbor-dog from up the road who was trotting up the driveway. He did a U-turn when she barked at him. So funny!

September 20, 2010 HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!

A year ago today, I picked up M&M and brought them home. I felt compelled to get them, even tho I knew that taking on another pair of senior dogs would be a lot of work. But it has been totally worth it! They are my sweet girls, and I am so grateful to have them.

I've mentioned before that Millie likes tea--well, not any tea. Apparently, she is only partial to my PG Tips; proper British tea. I was in the other room, and I heard a slight thud. I came out to see that Millie had maneuvered my tea cup onto her dog bed and was eating the tea bag!

 Heh heh hehhhhhh . . . 

 
Nom nom nom


Maggie's feet

Both girls at my feet, so I stood on the sofa & took a picture.

They snooze throughout the day . . . 

Millie spilling off her bed. 
[Yes, I know, I know. The bright light from the window; if only I were a REAL photographer!]

Maggie snuck her bone outside & is guarding it from Millie.

While she eats the dirt.  ;-)

I never thought I'd say this, but here's to another year!

P.S. I have successfully failed to upload a video of Maggie thumping her tail. Will try again for next week.

September 27, 2010
Outdoorsy Girls

Yoohoo, girls! Where are you going???

Oh. Okay.

Back Porch Girls

Hullo.

Snoozy Girls

Maggie

Millie. Zzzzzz . . .

September 29, 2010 Divinity of Dogs
Before I get to today's topic, I'd like to address the inevitable comment from Mum:

But it's not Monday. You said you'd only post doggy-type thingies on MONDAYS!  

What can I say? It's a bonus doggy-type-thingie kinda day.  And now, back to our regularly scheduled blog:

Author Jennifer Skiff is writing a delicious book called The Divinity of Dogs. I email-met her thru HARO when she sent out a query for submissions and I responded with my story of Maggie & Millie. So fingers crossed, they will be in the book!

You can submit your own story here until October 15th.

I read it to John Morgan, author of Grasshopper Notes, and he said,

If there is a heaven, then in order to get in, everyone should have to answer the question, "How did you treat animals?"

AMEN!   :-)
P.S. See Mum? Really--short 'n' sweet! 
  
October 4, 2010
See Millie peering out the window?

Hmmm . . . woof . . .

Gobble Gobble

Trotting down the road:

Trot trot

Visit from UPS Guy:

Smile Smile

Millie plants herself at the top of the ramp:

Heh heh hehhhhh


Later that afternoon . . . 

Maggie takes over the top of the ramp. Heh.


October 11, 2010
I'm extra-diligent about the girls being on the ramp. There's no room for them to be side-by-side, or to pass by each other if they're going opposite directions, and I don't want them to take a spill over the side. Maggie went down and came back up the ramp while Millie was dallying up on the porch.

It seems we are at an impasse.
  
I wish I'd gotten this on video. Millie backed up the ramp all the way to the porch. But she was not happy and grumbled the whole way. Step-step. Grrr . . . roof! Step-step. Grrr . . . roof! And then a final bark as Maggie got up onto the porch. Woof-woof-woof! 

P.S. I was having problems uploading pix. This is the only one I could get, but it's the best story!

October 18, 2010
Last week, Millie found a new place to hang out:

Under the front porch steps.

Meanwhile, back at the labyrinth . . . 

Here's Maggie in her favourite spot.

The past week has just been GORGEOUS fall weather. Il fait frais!

View out LR window. See the girls heading up the hill?

View out kitchen window. Maggie in front of the woodshed.

Sweet Millie in the leaves.

Off the back porch.

Just hangin' out.  :-)
 
 October 25, 2010
Blogger has changed; I can no longer just upload video onto my blog, I have to YouTube it first. So here you go, Millie pulling her dog bowl with her teeth!



A few pix from our morning. Such GLORIOUS weather we're having!

Maggie looking off the back porch. Go get the squirrel, Maggie!

View out LR window. See M&M?

Under the umbrella of the avocado tree.

Another view thru another houseplant that I don't know the name of.
[Hehhhhh . . . of which I do not know the name. Take that Grammar Nazis!]


Sweet Millie . . . 

 . . . likes to bury her nose in the leaves and sniff.
Sweet Maggie . . .
. . . leads the way back to the house.

November 1, 2010
Not many more days like this:

Lazy-dazy open-door porch days. Maggie inside with me, Millie catching some Zzzzssssss

Millie overlooking her domain. Or sleeping with her eyes open. She does that.

Like here. Yup. She's asleep.

In the meantime, Maggie heard the camera click on, so she turned her head!

The girls hangin' in the Mystic Pet yard.  They just WAG-WAG-WAG their tails when they see me loading up the car to go somewhere! They know the Spoil Fest with Gareth is about to begin!


November 8, 2010
Picking up the girls after a week at Mystic Pet.  :-)

The girls came running--er, fast-walking. Maggie was actually jumping up and down! Gareth said that the girls were in the groom room and he whispered to Lena, "I think Millie's my favourite. She's so quiet." I think it's cute that he's whispering--you know. In case they heard him.


My Ellen friend Aida from San Diego came for a brief vizzie with her friend Chardane.

The girls say hullo to Chardane.

Hullo, Aida!

Gareth said that Maggie doesn't eat her food. She does that at home; sort of letting Millie woof her food down and then she plays the Snarly Food Bowl game. Eventually she eats her food. Anyway, so he hand fed her. So then I got her back after a week of hand-feeding, and she won't eat! So then I hand fed her, at which point, John says, "Well, I guess she's training you."  So I have food by the water bowl in the kitchen, and their individual bowls in the LR. And Maggie does this:

*sigh* Ripping into the dog food bag.  Silly girl.  :-)

November 15, 2010
I had a scare last week with Maggie. I'd noticed she was having problems walking; her back legs were slipping. But then it was her front legs and then she would try to stand up and fall down. She couldn't walk at all. I thought perhaps she'd had a stroke or something. Other than that, she was her usual, cheerful, waggy self. My waggie Miss Maggie. She was even playing her food-bowl-growly game with Millie. I called the vet to bring her in, thinking it was the beginning of the end. I was preparing myself for the worst, and even tho I know that she's old and the end is inevitable, I didn't want to say goodbye.

I loaded both girls into the car. Early on, when I first got them, Millie had a vet appointment for her ear. She wouldn't come off the porch without Maggie, and Maggie stood in the kitchen, howling thru the French doors. Then Millie started howling. Anyway, so I ended up taking them both, even tho it was just Millie with the appointment. They're both very used to loading up in the car to got to Mystic Pet--altho, I'm thinking that they're going to put 2 & 2 together and figure out that when I don't have a suitcase & their beds, they're not going to Mystic Pet, but to the vet. Not that they mind getting loved over by Dr. Clark.

So back to to this visit:  I called Neighbor Dave to see if he could help me carry Maggie to the car. No such luck, he was at the dentist. So I managed to get her to the car. Millie trotted behind. I called Lena at Mystic Pet and told her what was going on. We were both boo-hooing. I got to the vet and went to the front desk. The woman behind the counter was just doing her job; completely oblivious to my sobbing as she's verifying my address and phone number.

A vet tech come in behind her, and without saying anything, handed me a tissue and a sympathetic nod. "Thank you," I croaked out. I pulled the car around to the back, and Dr. Clark came out. Maggie sat up. Hey! "She wasn't doing that before," I told him. "Well, we tend to inspire dogs to be on their best behaviour."  He looked in Maggie's ears and her eyes and then carefully lifted her and put her on the grass. She wobbled-walked and then plopped down. He said, "Well, I see 17-18 cases of this a year. It happens in older dogs. She has vertigo." Vertigo? Really?  "It's not life-threatening, and she should slowly get better." WOW! My day just got a whole lot better! I called Lena and told her the good news & stopped by on my way home. Disaster averted! And she has slowly gotten better, except that yesterday she got wobbly again with the drunken sailor walk. But I think she's getting better again. We'll see; will keep you posted. In the meantime, here are a few pix from this past week:

Maggie fell asleep with her ear in her food bowl. SO CUTE.

Asleep with her bone.

Whenever Millie's lying down and I go up to her, she stretches her front paws against my foot and groans her happy groan. This is our ritual first thing in the morning, when she's still lying on her bed.


Still nice enough for Millie to be Porch Girl. Maggie stays in with me, unless I'm on the porch, too.

November 22, 2010
Maggie went thru another can't-walk-vertigo spell a few days ago, so I took her for a chiropractic adjustment and lasering and now she can walk again. Afterwards, I did a quick stop at Walmart. After I parked, the girls sat up to see where we were. Then they looked out the window & both started whining. "What are they looking at?" I thought. I follow their eyes and way across the parking lot is a tall man with a shaved head looking very much like Gareth from Mystic Pet:

Gareth with the girls.
But it wasn't Gareth. (Sorry no pic of random shaved-head-guy). We did stop by Mystic Pet on the way home for treats and hellos, but Gareth wasn't there. So then we headed home . . .

On the way back from our chiro-visit. I stopped to take a few pix and Millie looks out at the cows.

Early Morning Walk.

Sweet Maggie.

It's a nose-off! Oh, wait. Zzzzzz . . . .

We're in hunting season and guns are going off, so Maggie sports her Thunder Shirt.

Maggie is still unsteady and looks like a drunken sailor when she walks, but I don't have to lug-carry her down the ramp. She has a left lateral head tilt and tends to lean that way. So this week she's been leaning against my leg, and I have a towel to support her back legs.


Maggie hanging out. I just leave the towel under her until it's time to go back in. 
 Unless . . . 

She gets up & goes over to her favourite bush and plops down.



Yesterday afternoon it was so nice I thought I'd let the girls stay out a bit and sun themselves. I also thought I'd take the opportunity to sneak back in and vacuum the LR without them barking at the vacuum cleaner. I finished vacuuming and just in time; there's Millie on the porch, ready to come in. Except it wasn't Millie, it was Maggie. YAY, her!  She's getting better again.


Here's Millie hanging out on the front porch. It's been such a gorgeous week!
The girls are fascinated with the woodshed. Every so often they are in their sniffing around the wood piles. I figure they're smelling the squirrels that go in there. However, the other day Mum had come for a vizzie, & I was walking her out to the car. "Do you hear that?" I asked. "What?" she said. "That," I said. We both listened. "Sounds like a cat," we said. And there it was, on top of a woodpile in the wood shed. I didn't get a picture of it, but it came around again yesterday afternoon:

I thought it had lost its tail, but Neighbor Sue says it could be a cross between a house cat & a bobcat. It's tame, so it must belong to someone . . . .

Here are the girls, watching the cat.

Maggie lost interest, but Millie stays.

And plants herself.
And that's our exciting week!


November 29, 2010
This week has been almost back to normal. Maggie still has her lateral head tilt (not as bad) & can be a bit wobbley, but she's walking 'n' woofing like her old self.  :-)  I called Dr. Lee about my laser which wasn't working, and he sent me a new one! So I've been lasering her cerebellum, ears, etc. She's doing MUCH better! I think she needs another adjustment, so if I can get out this week with her, I'll get her to Dr. King. Here she is with Millie, trotting down the driveway.


I'm still hand feeding her, tho. I'm not sure if she still needs me to do it, or if she just likes being hand-fed. I mix their food up with water and salmon oil, so that it gets soft. Maggie prefers less water, but Millie likes her food soupy. Don't ask me how I know that. I don't know how I know. I just know. You know? Because Millie likes it more liquidy, and because they eat in the LR, and because she pulls her bowl with her teeth and could spill the soupy contents, I propped her bowl up:

My sneaker to the rescue!

All done!
So I have this cat hanging around, prolly because I fed it. *sigh* Yeah, I know; I have sucker tatooed on my forehead. Anyway, s/he sits on the back porch taunting the girls:


It's hard when I'm trying to bring the wood in, keep the dogs IN, and the cat OUT! S'he's v. friendly, but a nuisance; weaving infinity eight's around my legs as I'm trying to walk! On the other hand, she encourages the girls to exercise. I actually had to run after Maggie as she was going after the cat. Obviously they've been socialized to cats. And this cat--after hissing and spitting and a coupla half-hearted paw-swats, is all purry with them.

Door-stopping paws. Hard to get out--but even worse if I'm out on the porch!
So I need to do something with the cat before it gets really cold. M&M will miss their entertainment, but oh well!
December 6, 2010

I created an M&M calendar with some of my favourite quotes about dogs & animals.

Here are a few months:

One of my favourite images; the girls hanging out with fresh laundry on the line.


Millie:



December 13, 2010
It has been dreary. The trees are bare & it has been cold & wet. Good tea 'n' book weather. I'm missing summer . . .


View from the labyrinth. That's Millie.

Ever vigilant.

I think I'm going to make this a greeting card.
I'll end with Maggie:
She's getting better and better. Her head tilt is almost gone and she's walking much better. Early Sunday morning she woke me up at 3:30 wanting to go out. Hehhhhh . . . it's cold & raining. So I let the girls out and first they have to visit with the cat, who has settled in to one of Barkley & Remi's old crates on the back porch. Then they go down the ramp. And I'm waiting . . . and waiting . . . and I shine the flashlight down to look for them and Maggie is happily plopped down in the mud, eating it. "This in NOT some big pow-wow! Get back up here!" So they both amble back up the ramp. Silly girls. Even as I'm feeling inconvenienced, I'm thinking that it's nice to be annoyed for something normal and not be worried about Maggie being able to walk.


December 20, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . .


Mum's Xmas tree assembled before disassembling to move the family Xmas party to her house, due to snow.

See? Here's the snow:

Millie

Maggie loves to dive right in for some snow yumminess.

Maggie leads the way back up the ramp. By herself, no vertigo-wobbliness. :-)

*sniff* The girls investigate the cat house before heading in.  *sniff*

I have a Santa hat, so I was playing around with Maggie & managed to get a shot. Not that she looks terribly happy about wearing it!

Merry Christmas!

So then I tried with Millie. The photos ended up being a blur of red as she shook the hat off her head. But I finally managed a couple pix:


Zzzzzz . . . .
December 27, 2010
This week has been wonderfully ordinary. Here are a few pix of our week:

Maggie, the plop-downer.

Maggie likes to be near me, so the coffee table ends up
more in the center of the room so she can fit by me.

Most of the snow has melted. Maggie plopped down. Again.

On the back porch. "Meh. It's not that cold. We'll stay out here for a while.
And if we just HAPPEN to see the cat . . . . "

View from kitchen window, this a.m. Our snowstorm is more of a snow dusting.

La dee da.

*Sniff*
Plop.

Maggie, post-breakfast snooze. Zzzzz . . . .

Notice Millie has her bone on her pillow.  Zzzz . . . .   

January 3, 2011

We had a few days of really warm weather. I didn't even have the wood stove fired up. So the girls were happy plunking down & spending a bit more time outside.

View thru the kitchen window.
Maggie always comes back up first. Often I don't even call her, but if I do, she comes right away. Not so with Millie. She stands there and pretends not to hear me. 

"Hmmm . . . MAYBE I'll go back to the house . . . ."

Heading up the ramp . . . but . . .

"Oh, lookit that!" (whatever it is)

Ta da! Back on the porch. "You're welcome."
Yesterday, Millie stood on the porch looking at me holding the door for her to come in. She just stood there. Waiting. For me to get a treat. I reached for the bag, and she started walking in. Smart girl.


Love Millie's smushy-face.  :-)
One of Millie's favourite spots where she can watch trains & turkeys & deer.
And then Maggie found her way there, but she never watches out the window like Millie does.

Zzzzzz . . . .

I woke her up.  "Must you?"  Zzzzzz . . . .
January 10, 2011
I spend most of the day in the living room with the girls. Maggie likes to be right near me and so I end up moving the coffee table (my desk) away so that she can settle in at my feet. Here she is:

She's got some eyebrow dot action going, there!

From the other side.
Here's Millie, settled in in front of the wood stove, all nice & toasty:

Huh?

Zzzzzz . . . .
That's our exciting week! Pretty quiet & ordinary. I didn't even get pix of them in the snow dusting from Saturday.  I'm getting a bit lazy in the photo dept. Back next week! 
January 17, 2011
Outdoorsy Girls

See the bear? Kidding. M&M find something fascinating.

*sniff*  *sniff*

We had a 3-minute blizzard. Maggie heading up the ramp.

Exploring another part of the estate.

Huh?

Millie overlooking her domain:



Yoo-hoo, Mil!


And then as I was leaning down taking Millie's picture, Tabby Bobcat jumped 
on my back. And as I felt her land on my back, I got Millie's reaction:

Huh?

Here they are together on the back porch:


Here's Maggie with Tabby:

Maggie goes after the cat every once in a while.
Maggie heads back up the ramp:

Tum de dum

Tabby Bobcat likes to sit at the top of the ramp & be in the way!

Like a sphinx.


Millie

Hangin' on the back porch:


Indoorsy Girls

'member when I propped up Millie's food bowl with my sneaker? She likes her food with lots of water and it's v. sloppy. Plus she pulls the bowl with her teeth. This week she spilled her food while trying to move the bowl. So I started using a cardboard box top to prop the bowl. Also doubles as a pillow.
 Maggie at my feet, Millie snoozing on her bed. We're all cozy.  :-)





January 24, 2011
Zzzzzz . . . 

Porch Girl Millie

Millie in front of the wood stove

Maggie with her ear in her food bowl.
And Millie . . . asleep with her ear in the food bowl.

Millie spilling off her bed(s). Zzzzz . . .

Maggie asleep on her bone.

Millie stretching against my foot.

Porch Girl Millie, one of her favourite spots.
Awake and eating . . .

Sneaker to the rescue! Avoiding spillage of the food bowl.

Ah . . . snow . . . so yummy . . .
January 31, 2011 
* S * N * O * W *

Millie surveys the snow. Maggie heads down the ramp.


Maggie LOVES the snow!  Millie heads back up the ramp.


MEH.



Back on the porch.
It snowed about 8 inches. The next day . . .
Maggie  sticks her head in the snow to eat it. YUM! 

She likes to plop down.

Snow on the face.


Millie is still not as big a fan, even when it's not snowing. 


She is quick to go down the ramp & back up again. Well, not literally quick. 

Maggie stays behind. The older the snow is, the more she eats!

Stopping to survey their domain before heading down.

Maggie, the plopper-downer.
And then they go back inside where it's all warm & cozy:

Zzzzzz . . . .


February 7, 2011
Hangin' in the LR

Here's Millie draped across the box top propper for her food bowl.
Millie gazing out the window.  What is she looking at?

Neighbor Dave on the tractor.

Meanwhile, Maggie watches Tabby Bobcat at the watering bowl. Maggie has a love-hate relationship with her.
Millie dozing . . . .

Maggie sidles up & sits between Millie & her food bowl, feigning innocence.

Huh?

Grrrr . . . .

"Hmph! Do you see what she does?" Millie's thinking.

But then . . . Zzzzzz . . . . 




Slurp-slurp. When Maggie had her vertigo, I gave her water in this little bowl & so now she still gets it. I have to keep it filled because she won't go to the big bowl.  I can hear someone saying, "She would if she were thirsty enough!" 

 
I feed her on a paper plate because she doesn't like the noise of the metal bowl. So here we go . . .

Grrrr . . . Millie is snoozing away, & Maggie's starting the Grr-Game.
 But then:

Zzzzzz . . . .
February 14, 2011
We begin this week with a visualization involving Tabby Bobcat . . .

. . . who was sitting next to me on the sofa. Maggie was at my feet between the sofa and the coffee table, as she does. She stood up, and started wagging her tail . . . smacking Tabby in the face. I knew if I went to get my camera, the moment would be lost. So I just sat there and watched. Tabby was so surprised, and I could see the thought process of wanting to raise her paw and swat at the giant hairy thing whacking her in the face. She finally got up and out of the way.

Speaking of hair . . .

M&M donate to the Bird Nest Foundation.
 . . . M&M are shedding. I don't know what the groundhog said about spring, but according to M&M, we're having an early one! They are leaving tufts of hair all over the place & I can pull it out by the handfuls. Mum says that they are year-round shedders, but even this is more than usual!

Here's a pic of the girls snoozing away . . . 

Zzzzzz . . . .
 I knew if I got up to get a pic at a different angle, they would wake up:

Millie sits up. Maggie raises an eye dot. See the tufts of hair? *sigh*
I recently read a book on the importance of play. Much of the research cited was based on animals. Anyway, it's an easy & fun read, and goes into play styles. Fascinating stuff--I'll have to write a proper book review (I'll put it on The List). But back to M&M: even tho they're old, they need play. Just as we can have a sleep deficit, we can have a play deficit. Bones are really a great things for dogs; it relieves stress and gives them something to do. I have real bones & I put cream cheese in them for the dogs to lick out. Maggie just licks, but Millie gnaws away at them & I don't want her losing anymore teeth! So I got them some GF, healthy dental bones from Mercola.com. [insert eye roll from Mum]  Millie chews hers right away, & Maggie saves hers to taunt Millie with. *sigh*  Another way they like to play, even tho their growling can be rather ferocious! So that's our week . . .

HAPPY Valentine's Day from M&M. 

I would include Tabby Bobcat, but she's far too superior  to wish us peasants a happy anything.  ;-)
February 21, 2011

The girls greet me at Mystic Pet upon my return after a coupla days:

We've had nice weather & they love it outside. Gareth put their pillows out for them in the yard.

Gareth & Lena, AWESOME friends at Mystic Pet. I can't remember what we were laughing at, but I snapped a quick pic!
Gareth said, "No matter what happens with these girls, you know you've done a good job. You've given them a good life." A few years ago, he & Lena had a German Shepherd that they rescued. He came to them balding & with some health issues. He mended up & they had him for 2 years.

I don't know how much more time I have with them, but I am so grateful for our time together. And it was nice of Gareth to say. He & Lena go above & beyond just a kennel. It really is a pet spa & resort!
Back home; Maggie with Tabby Bobcat. She's friendly with her when Tabby's not around the food & water bowls.

Maggie plops down & hangs out.

Another pic of Maggie plopped down in front of the woodshed.
Millie is more of a porch girl:

Yeah, I know. Window cleaning is in my future . . .

Millie in her spot. She slipped off the bed the other day and was stuck on the slippery floor. She doesn't panic like she did when I first got her, & she knows that I'm trying to help her get back onto the Land of Carpet. (So she doesn't growl or snap at me)! But it still takes some maneuvering. So I stuck some other beds along side just in case . . .
Lena gave the girls a bath when they were at Mystic Pet & they came back all fluffy & soft. MOST of the Winter Shed Fest is finished. Pioneer Sister's kiddliewinks came for a vizzie this weekend & the Eldest said how much better they looked than last summer. I think it was the baths! Haha Both M&M are good around the kids, but the kids are cautious when M&M get growly over their food dishes. And Maggie is snappy at Tabby Bobcat & it's a bit disconcerting when you first see it. I reassured the kids that it wasn't at them. And M&M were very good at settling in on coats, etc. dropped on the floor. You'd think that would be an incentive not to drop your clothes on the floor, but no!

I was going to say that it's been a quiet, ordinary week. It was except for the weekend with the kids; a whirlwind of activity, but M&M took it in stride.  :-)

February 28, 2011
M&M Thru the Seasons
Spring is springing! My daffodils are peaking thru the dirt and we've had some warmish days. I was going thru some pictures and realized that I've had M&M here at the River House longer than Barkley & Remi were with me here. M&M are really doing better than ever. Maggie's vertigo is like it never happened. They're both still a bit creaky, but they are as cheerful as ever. Millie has been especially waggier lately.
This is the first picture I took of the girls. I don't think I've ever posted it:
Kathie from AARF with the girls.
We are going from wintery daze . . . 

of plopping down . . . 

and eating snow . . .

to lazy-dazy summer days:


Sweet Maggie

We've had some porch days already. Millie's favourite!

Millie on the hill overlooking the front field.

Trotting down the driveway. Come on back, now, girls!
Millie hanging out on laundry day.

Beginning of Autumn.

Sweet Millie.
And then we are back inside, snuggled up, all warm & toasty by the wood stove.


March 7, 2011

Last night it snow-rained. Here's Millie coming up the ramp from her morning outing:

Maggie plops down and stays awhile.
I have other photos, but they are not uploading. So will have an extra-awesome post next week. Stay tuned for The Adventures of Maggie and Tabby Bobcat.

March 14, 2011

The Adventures of Maggie & Tabby Bobcat

This is how Tabby tells me she wants to come in the house:

Just hangin'

Going to the watering bowl.
Maggie gets very growly when she sees Tabby at the water bowl. She doesn't drink from that one, she has her own personal small bowl. But that doesn't stop her from grumbling.
Millie pretty much ignores the cat.  "We don't like cats."

Tabby has a favourite box in the hall linen closet. Off she goes.

Zzzzzzz . . . .
I've moved my work back to my office. And I moved a coupla dog beds in . . .

um, for the cat?

Maggie claims her bed.
But Tabby doesn't seem to mind.

Because she's a CAT.


Millie slid off the round bed onto the part of the slippery floor and it took a bit of finessing to get her back onto the carpet. So I put the extra bedding on the floor . . . 

Zzzzzz . . . .
Hullo.

I got M & M some Mercola dental bones. Millie eats them like candy . . .

Nom nom nom & wolfs them down.

Maggie licks hers and never actually eats them!

She just takes it with her wherever she goes . . .
. . . and sits there.   :-)

March 21, 2011

In the Office

Maggie comes in to find Tabby Bobcat on her bed.

And settles in on the floor.

Here's Millie on the floor because . . .
Tabby is on the bed.

*sigh*

Tabby looking ferocious, but she's actually just yawning.

Brother Atlasta tells a story from a few years ago that he was backing the car up in the driveway. He asked his wife where the cat was. (Named Fraidy. Get it? Fraidy Cat?) She says, "Fraidy's out of the way. Just chillin'." Brother Atlasta looks over and there's Fraidy doing this:

Just chillin'.

Zzzzzz . . . .

Tabby is not choosy about which bed she usurps.

Note the bedroom slipper near Maggie. She brought it in with her from the bedroom.

*yawn*

Zzzzzz . . . .

Zzzzzz . . . .
All is quiet and well.


March 28, 2011


Outdoorsy Girls

Whenever I say, "Do you girls want to go out?" Tabby Bobcat can be snoozing on the other end of the house, and she'll be the first at the door.

Tabby leads the way down the ramp; Maggie follows.

The morning light in this pic is extra-delicious. Sweet Maggie by the clothesline.

She ventures off a bit farther than Millie. Sometimes Millie will join her.

Not this time, tho. This is usually as far as she goes; near the woodshed.

My sweet Millie.

You can't tell, but Tabby Bobcat is behind the base of the forsythia bush there. And poor bush; she has bent some of the lower branches and played with them. She also plays with the rocks; throwing them up with her front paws.

Of course, by the time I switched angles to get a pic, the Kodak Moment was gone!

One of Maggie's other spots.

Another favourite spot of Maggie's by the wood shed.

Whereas the porch is Millie's domain.


We interrupt this M&M Monday for a Tabby Bobcat Special:


This is where Tabby likes to hang out, when she's not accosting the forsythia bush.




Couldn't resist. She's just so stinkin' CUTE.
Back to our regularly scheduled M&M Monday:

Notice the Gluten Free pasta I dropped on the runner? Maggie trotted in  & I thought, "Oh, good. She'll clean it up for me. She sat down next to it . . .

And was completely indifferent.  "MEH."

Perhaps Millie would like some GF Pasta?

But no! Not really all that interested.

Huh?
Back inside . . . 

Tabby on the coffee table. Millie says Hullo.
These are the pix from the the Big Download of 988 photos off my camera. I've been having trouble downloading. I have some wonderful springy pix for next week--I hope!  The girls have really enjoyed being outside more, except as I write this, the wood stove is fired up & roaring with the cold snap. 

I had an interesting experience with Millie this week. She gets panicky when she slides off her bed and can't get back up. Well, without even thinking, I went behind her and lifted up her lower back and positioned her back on her bed. There's NO WAY I could have done that when I first got her. She's the reason for the duct taped runners down my hall. One ferocious warning growl & snap at my hand and I never tried to lift her again--until this week. And she was OK with it. And then--THEN!  I went out the front door and when I came back, she was lying down on the bare floor. *sigh*  Again, this is why I have beds, rugs, & carpets covering the floor because it's slippery and if she gets stuck on there, it's a whole production to get her back onto a textured surface. Except. When I came in & walked to the carpet, she started to get up, but hesitated. I said, "Come on, Mil." And she did. I guess she's feeling safer an more secure.

Years ago, when I was studying with the very-brilliant Eric Jensen, he told of an experiment done with dogs where when they walked across a certain part of the floor, they got little shocks on their feet. (Horrible, I know). They only did it once or twice and then turned the shocky thing off, but the dogs continued to avoid that area. (I know. Wouldn't you?) So then they would walk the dogs over the area to show them that they wouldn't get shocked. How many times did it take before the dogs would voluntarily walk over that area? Can you guess? 25? 50? 100? 

It took 200 times before they felt safe again. Eric was using it as an illustration of learned helplessness, where a child has the ability, but has been conditioned not to respond or perform. (I had a student like that when I was teaching first grade. Repeating first grade for the third time, he was perfectly capable but just sat there like a lump; whistling way beyond passive). Anyway, my point is that it takes time to build new neuro-pathways to create a new habit. It takes practice--and especially if there is an intense emotion attached to it, like fear. I could say this is about Millie, but it's also about me. It only took one warning snap in the beginning of our relationship for me to want to avoid lifting her up. Ever.  But in the meantime, I have massaged and Reikied her almost every day; especially her lower back. So she trusts me to touch her gently and she knows I'm not going to hurt her. So maybe it was really me needing to unlearn a fearful pattern? Hmmm . . . and Millie was waiting for me.

April 4, 2011
 I'm getting the Tabby Bobcat pic out of the way first!
Maggie learns to share her bed.
Shhhhhh . . . .


Millie's sleeeeeeeping.

Zzzzzz . . . .spilling off her bed.
Here's Millie using the bed as a pillow.

Sunday Morning Light
Maggie

Millie
In the office





Zzzzzzz . . . .

April 11, 2011

Last Monday I woke to a bit of excitement--or I should say, inconvenience. I turned the tap on, and . . . no water. So an electrician came to inspect the well and found that lightening had struck the well cap & blown out the well pump. He was scheduled to come back on Tuesday, but it RAINED, so we had to wait til a sunnier day on Wednesday. So yes, for those doing no-water-math, that was three days! But having gone without water AND electricity for FIVE days last year during a blizzard, this wasn't that bad. And Fisherman Willie brought over a 5-gallon jug of water with a hand pump, so we had drinking water. The only thing was that I wash my hands a lot during the course of the day, especially after petting the dogs, so that was a bit of a challenge. Glad I didn't have any out-of-the-ordinary clean-ups!


Maggie hanging out at the electrician's truck.

Maggie looks up at the electricians on the hill.

Awwww. Big points for being dog-friendly.  :-)

Back up the ramp.

Watching the guys from her domain.
Another day, another hanging out by the forsythia:

Sweet Maggie.
And here's Millie on the porch:

with Tabby Bobcat.

Yoohoo, Mil! 

Hullo.
Here's Millie by the forsythia:


*sniff*

Up the ramp.

*sniff*
And this is what happens, whoever comes in the house first:

Maggie plants herself in the entrance. By Millie's food bowl.

Millie sits and bides her time.  Eventually she advances forward with a Grrrr. Then I take the food bowl away, and she wags her tail and walks by Maggie. Or vice-versa, if it's Millie sitting there and Maggie comes in last. It's the game they play. Silly girls.  :-)

APRIL 20, 2011
When there's no food or water involved, Maggie is very sweet with Tabby. Tabby jumps up on the bench and purrs & rubs up against the dogs.


The girls have been all excited to sniff around the back porch. I went out one night and Tabby was mow-ing louder and more than usual. There was an opossum in her cat house. So the next day when the dogs came out, they were sniffing all around.

*sniff*

*sniff*

*sniff*  (That's Millie).
Speaking of Millie, she managed to slide onto the slippery part of the floor, under the side table. 

*sigh*

"You could put down that camera & help me out of here." (I did, of course).
We've had a tremendous amount of rain, so here's our policy:

You may notice Tabby's paw off to the left, doing just that.  ;-)
APRIL 25, 2011
On Thursday, I gathered dandelion flowers to make dandelion wine, inspired by Susun Weed.

Maggie settles in to watch me pluck flowers.

Millie watches from the porch.

All finished. The girls hang out on the porch. Look how GREEN it is, now!
'member last week's opossum? 

The rascal. For as slow as s/he is, this was the best photo I could get as s/he creeeeeeeped away.
I was unpacking the girls bag that I take for their Mystic Pet vizzies, & Gareth had packed a couple pig ear chews in for the girls. Maggie woofed hers down and Millie savored hers:

So then Maggie sidles up next to Millie's food bowl. Now, she won't eat out of a metal bowl if I'm feeding her. She gets paper. But somehow she ignores that detail when it comes to taunting her sister.

Millie says, "Whaaaa?"

Grrrrrr

Millie: "Meh. I still have a pig ear!"  Maggie: Nom nom nom.
I moved the orthopedic beds to take up the whole floor so that Millie won't slip off onto the slippery floor part. She did that last week and it took quite a bit of maneuvering to get her back onto carpet.

All stretched out.
Except. This morning I awoke to Millie grumbling . . . 

. . . wedged into the corner.
So Maggie went outside:

*sniff*   *sniff*

Heading back . . .

Hullo.



Foggy spring day. BEAUTY-FUL.
It's 10 a.m. Millie JUST managed to wiggle her way out of bed!  HAPPY Monday!

MAY 2, 2011
Millie, Preventer of Sleep

Here she is, spilling off her bed . . . 




The problem comes when she finds the ONE tiny spot of bare floor to get stuck on:


So I move the furniture out of the way:

And I maneuvered a dog bed under her and scooted her back onto the carpet. She followed me into the kitchen while I was doing dishes, and lay down.  *sigh*  She wouldn't get back up and when I went and sat down in the living room, she started barking. So I got the rug from the laundry room and scooted it under her. The rug is staying in the kitchen so that if she wants to join me for dish washing or cooking, she can. She has just this week started barking for no apparent reason if she's alone. Well, that's why she's barking, I guess! So last night I went to bed & Maggie followed. Millie stayed in the living room and  . . .  BARKED. She wouldn't come to the bedroom, she wouldn't budge. So I ended up sleeping on the sofa. She lay next to me on her dog bed and I Reikied her. I hope I can sleep in my bed tonight!

MAY 9, 2011
It's been exceptionally green this spring, and very cool. The girls are happy to hang out outside and aren't in a hurry to rush back into the house. Well--not that they're in a hurry to do anything! But they venture out further than a few feet from the ramp, at least.

Morning light. The girls come back from their stroll.

Millie:  *sniff*

Maggie: Tum de dum . . .
aaaaaaand . . .

plopped down.  *sniff*
That's been our rather uneventful week. Very ordinary!

MAY 19, 2011  (This M&M Monday was actually published on a Thursday).
This week I went to Richmond to house hunt. Maggie & Millie know when they hear my suitcase rolling across the floor that we're getting ready to go to Mystic Pet, where they get to see Lena & Gareth. So they come out on the porch and wait:


Sweet Maggie.

Sweet Millie.
Yoo-hoo, Mill!
Hullo.
When everything's loaded, I move the car to load up the girls . . . 

Maggie trots down the ramp, ready to go!
I had wanted to get pix of the girls at Mystic Pet, but my battery died. Oh, well. So that's your M&M Monday on Thursday.  ;-)

MAY 23, 2011
Yesterday was a GORGEOUS spring day. Millie wanted to go out and she stayed out for a bit of the afternoon.

Hullo.

Whatchya lookin' at, Mil? 

Later, after Millie was back in, Maggie wanted to go out. She heads down the ramp, but Tabby Bobcat stops in front of her and SITS. So Maggie stands waiting . . .

Whatchya lookin' at, Mil?
I followed Millie's line of sight and there was a dead s-q-u-i-r-r-e-l  just under the front of my car. I went and put on a rubber glove and picked it up and chucked it into the woods. It looked like there were a couple bite wounds, so I don't know if it was Millie, or not. Poor thing. There are just some things I'm not taking a picture of! Temple Grandin talks about how all dogs have the kill instinct where they shake an animal like a squirrel or ground hog.  Anyway, back to Maggie . . .
Maggie heads back up the ramp . . .


. . . so of course, Millie makes herself comfortable at the top of the ramp.

Millie pretends not to notice Maggie . . .

It seems we're at an impasse.

Hullo.
MAY 30, 2011
Last Monday, I went down to Richmond to do some more house hunting. The girls know we're going to Mystic Pet as soon as I wheel my suitcase out the door. I shut the door so that they wouldn't come out before I could move the car to get them loaded. And so they sat by the door:

Millie waits against the door.

Maggie stands beside her, waiting to come out.

Car is backed up against the hill, ready for them to load up.

Maggie gets in first, Millie follows.

Heading down the road. 7 miles of dirt 'n' gravel.
And then I was in Richmond, bought a house, and came back.

Lena brings the girls out to the car.
We get back home . . .

Tabby Bobcat says hello Maggie. The camera didn't capture them touching noses. So cute!

Come on, girls! Time to get out.
It took 15 minutes to coax them out. You can't be in a hurry with these two!
 Here are a few pix from Saturday--Gorgeous & green:

Maggie trots out to the woodshed.

Tabby chillaxin'


Hullo.

*sniff*

Maggie

Maggie heads back up the ramp, Millie hanging out.

"It's good to be me."

"What's that?"  Could be a train, a canoe on the river, a car, a deer, etc.

Hullo.

*yawn*

Zzzzzz . . . .
Meanwhile, back on the porch . . . 

Maggie & Tabby
 Maggie has a hot spot on her foot that she has periodically been licking. I'm trying apple cider vinegar (1/2 ACV, 1/2 water) & dabbing it on the spot. Will let you know how it works. Also, she positions herself under my feet to get rubbed and yesterday she maneuvered her ear onto my toe. This is how I discovered she has ear mites--with a waxy, tarry build up. So I gloved up and got some olive oil and cleaned out her ears (Millie's, too). I read somewhere that olive oil is soothing and also smothers the mites. Today I did another application but used chickweed oil to help with the itching part. You just gather the chickweed, chop it up, & saute it in olive oil & let it cool. I put it in a container & put it in the fridge, so it becomes more of an ointment. According to herbalist Susun Weed, you can make chickweed pesto. I've not had it, but I'm sure it's yummy. Chickweed is really good on bug bites, or itchy things.Once, my dog Barkley got poison ivy on her belly (her fur wasn't as thick as M&M's & she had very little on her tummy). I crushed up some chickweed & rubbed it on her and  the rash cleared up. Internally, chickweed is a remedy for constipation, so you don't want to eat too much--altho, I'm not sure what constitutes as "too much." I guess you would find out soon enough!

I've been also sprinkling powdered nettle on the dog's food along with their salmon oil, to help with any allergy stuff. Here's more info on nettle. So the girls are doing well; enjoying porch days and grassy days and essentially, just being dogs.  :-)

JUNE 6, 2011
Here we are in my office. I have dog beds in the living room, my bedroom, and here in my office. And yet-- do they get on their beds?

Millie & Maggie: Sisters. Bookends.

Millie stays put. Maggie moves to a bed.

Zzzzz . . .
I have more pix, but the blog isn't uploading, so I'll edit the post tomorrow.  :-)

JUNE 12, 2011
We have a coupla more months of long-ramp days, and then we'll be at the new house with a much shorter ramp. In the meantime . . .

Millie heads up.

Maggie follows.

"Oh, look!"  I don't know what they're looking at, really. This is part of their little ritual. Step-step-step stop-and-look toward the railroad track, front yard, etc.
Yesterday the girls were lying at my feet, heads together. I got up & got the camera . . . 

Of course, when I sat down to get the other point of view, Maggie got up!
Oh well. You may notice that Maggie is wearing her Thunder Shirt. We've been having bouts of thunder, but not so much rain. Also, last night there were fireworks going off down across the river, so it helped her stay calm thru that.

Lena at Mystic Pet was telling me a familiar story: she gave the girls each a bone. Millie didn't want Maggie to have hers, and Maggie taunted her with it. So Lena separated the girls and then they started barking. In the end, she took away the bones. Hahahaha  Welcome to my world!

Here's Millie sidling up to Maggie's food bowl:

She's a sidler.

Aaaaand . . . NOM NOM NOM
 Maggie won't eat out of a metal bowl because she doesn't like the noise of her tags hitting the bowl. But it doesn't stop her from going to Millie's bowl! Gareth is still hand-feeding her at Mystic Pet. We are all well-trained!
A coupla shots of Millie this a.m.:

Basking in the sunlight. 
Yoo-hoo, Mil!
Hullo.  :-)
 Have a GREAT Monday!

JUNE 20, 2011
What is Millie looking at?


Lawnmower Mel paying a vizzie.
Every once in a while, the dogs do something new:

Millie, all nestled in the honeysuckle.
Where's Maggie?
*yawn*  Under the porch.
The other day I was out walking my labyrinth & I saw Fisherman Willie coming up the drive:


I met him at the back porch to return a water bottle, & of course the girls had to say hello:

Hullo.

Then Millie planted herself near the Gator.

Fisherman Willie inched back & Millie didn't budge!

Away he goes!


Aaaaand . . . 

Back in the honeysuckle.  :-)
Maggie has been exceptionally woofy lately.

Maggie: WOOF WOOF WOOF!
Me: What is it, Maggie?
Maggie: WOOF WOOF WOOF!
Me: Trouble at the old mill?!
Maggie: WOOF WOOF WOOF!
 Me: Timmy needs help?!

But seriously, I kid. We've been having rain on & off & I finally realized that she's hearing thunder way off in the distance before it gets here. Another thing is that there's road construction going on across the river in Rileyville, a few miles up the road. Except that it's magor-move-a-mountain-with-dynamite road construction. So I think she must be hearing the dynamite going off. So I'm being extra patient and giving her Whole System EEP along with having her wear her thunder shirt. Saturday night I was having a Drop Dead Diva marathon and I'm lying on the sofa and she's 4 feet away barking up a storm. Also 4 feat away from her food dish.

Maggie: WOOF WOOF WOOF!
Me: What is it?
Maggie: WOOF WOOF WOOF!
Me: Do you need to go out?
Maggie: WOOF WOOF WOOF!
Me: Out?
[Enter Tabby Bobcat thru the living room to the door. No dog budges].
Me: What do you need, Maggie? [Open door & let cat out]
Maggie: WOOF WOOF WOOF!
Me: Food? Water? 
[Move water bowl to Maggie]
Maggie: Slurp-slurp-slurp! WOOF WOOF WOOF!
[Put food bowl in front of her]
Maggie: Nom nom nom.
Me: *sigh*  You've got me trained.

At least I don't have to hand feed her like Gareth at Mystic Pet does!

JUNE 27, 2011
When I first got the girls, I was very vigilant about watching them when they went outside. Especially when they first got here and made their way down to the barn. But they don't go very far and have their favourite spots, usually where I can see them from the back porch or out the kitchen window. Then I leave the door open and they trot back in. Well. Just as I was thinking it's nice just to be able to let them out like that, I had a bit of a scare. I let Millie out & got involved cleaning and I don't how much later, I heard Millie bark from outside. A "help me" kinda bark. I ran outside, no Millie. I ran around the house, out to the labyrinth, calling her name. Nothing. It was raining and I'm getting a bit frantic. "Millie?  Millie?!  MILLIEEEEEEE!!!"
And then I found her:

Woof.
I had thrown some veggie scraps behind the woodshed, and of course she went to investigate. And there she sat. Until it started to rain. So I tried to get her up. I coaxed her with treats. Or rather, I didn't. So I went back into the house to get a towel so I could lift her up with it. And when I came back out:

*sigh* Millie heading back in.
Millie, more than Maggie, gets stuck. So I put the 2 orthopedic beds together so that she wouldn't slip off onto the 6 inches of floor. Aaaaaand . . .

Wedged in between.

Really, Millie?
So I've turned them the other way. There's no way she can slip between them now.

 * * * * *
Here's Maggie sidling up to Millie's food bowl:

Tum de dum
Millie pretending not to care:

Nom nom nom
And then Millie gets Maggie's bowl:

Grrrrrr . . .
And then! She takes her food bowl & puts it on top of Maggie's.

 Winning!  Nom nom nom
* * * * *
Here are the girls asleeeeeep at my feet:

SO SWEET.
And we end with Millie snuggling up to Maggie's feet:

And that was our week.  :-)

JULY 4, 2011
 This girl. We've had quite a week together . . .

Millie sneaks the cat dish from INSIDE & brings it out to the porch to lick it clean.
But that's nothin' compared to this:

Looking innocent enough.  On the porch.  Except . . .
Except that she wouldn't come back in the house when I was trying to leave to go out for the day. I had an appointment for my car & a bunch of errands. Did she care? NO. And leaving my house and going anywhere is no small task. It requires planning and coordinating and a long driiiiiiiiiive to the nearest town of Loo-ray, which is rarely my final destination. SO. There she sat and wouldn't budge. For half an hour. I called, I cajoled, I bribed with treats. Nothin'.

Not a care in the world. Tum-de-dum.  *sigh*
In the meantime, Tabby Bobcat is oblivious to the dramady unfolding:

Zzzzzz . . . .
And here's Maggie sitting inside. Oblivious, except that she did notice when the treats came out. And yes, she got one, of course!

What?
I was meeting Mum, so I called to tell I was having a hard time getting Millie back in the house. Mum was really, er, supportive. Her first suggestion was to just leave her on the porch. As if. When I rejected that idea, she said, "YOUR SUPPOSED TO BE THE ALPHA whatever!"  So with renewed determination, I got a towel, wedged it under Millie & lifted her up. The whole time she was grumbling and growling, & whipping her head around. My arm grazed a tooth where I have a slight bruise. Otherwise, we got into the house. I don't know if she saw me loading up the car (huge load to the thrift store) and didn't want me to leave, or what. But it was definitely inconvenient--as dogs can be sometimes! [insert eye roll from Mum]  *sigh* 

Back inside. All is well.  :-)
In the midst of me trying to get Millie back into the house, I was reminded of a neighbor I used to have at my last house. He had a yellow lab who was rather yappy. And he would yell, "BE QUIET!" And the dog would bark some more. "I mean it!" he would yell. It was very entertaining. Entertaining when you're not the one trying to get a dog to do something or not do something. Ha!

JULY 11, 2011
My GSF Bess from massage school & Husband Val came for a vizzie over the weekend. Here the girls are greeting them:

*sniff*  Hullo   *sniff*  *sniff*

Millie's spidey-senses were tingling. "Another massage therapist in the house!"
Aaaaaaand . . .

Millie finds her opportunity on the way back in from the porch.

"Why did you stop?"

Bess demonstrates proper body mechanics.

Hullo.
In the meantime, Tabby Bobcat found a new fan:

Zzzzzz . . . .

Hullo.
Yesterday, Mum came over for a vizzie to deliver homemade GF bread. Millie was coming back up the ramp but heard her car, so she settled in to watch Mum:


Mum also redid all the cushions on my wicker furniture, so she was bringing the rest of them over. Millie sits right in the way, of course. "Hullo."
Mum gives Maggie a gingerly pat hello:

I see from this post that Maggie is woefully underrepresented!  Will remedy that next week. ;-)

JULY 14, 2011
It was around 8-ish this a.m. when I heard a loud helicopter going by the house. LOUD. LOUD. LOUD!!!

 I thought that perhaps the first lady was coming to town for another vizzie, but no. The helicopter wasn't going by my house. It was hovering by my house. And attached to it was a long cable with a row of several circular saws.

Morning tea interruption.
 I went on the back porch and there were a bunch of workers standing by trucks. I mouthed, "What's going on?" and they just waved. I watched as the giant saw started hacking away parts of the tree. I thought, "They're awfully close to the power lines. I hope they know what they're doing."  Haha That was the whole point.
Can you imagine the precision required to do this?!

A haiku: Blue sky morning. Blades of tree death. Glistening.
Flying off to the next area.
Afterward, the helicopter moved along the line, and the workers got to work moving the branches into a pile. One of the guys came up to chat. He said I should have gotten a post card notification. Nope. I had no idea this is how they cut trees down!  It was like I was a cowgirl getting steampunked. Heh.

The crew starts clean up.

Millie & Maggie watch.

Buh-bye.
Afterwards, I called Neighbor Dave, of course. He said the postcard notification prolly went to the owners of my house. Oh. He asked me if I'd lost electricity. No, still on. Then call annoying beeped thru with a call from Mum, so he lost the Phone Face-off. And then the electricity went out. I called Neighbor Dave back after the Mum Chat. He said that the electricity would likely come back on soon--but then it would go off again as they continue along the lines. And he was right. Sometimes it goes off for a few minutes or longer. Sometimes, it's a few seconds. Luckily I have a landline I can use that doesn't require electricity. Unluckily, every time the power goes out, it makes this LOUD cracking sound on the line!  Puts a damper on phone calls for the day.

JULY 18, 2011

In the Office

Millie is so cute, nuzzling under the bed.

Hullo.

Zzzzzzz . . . .
Out in the Living Room

I'm in the midst of packing & Millie rests her head on a stack of boxes.

Back in the Office
Heads together.

Then Maggie woke up.

Vizzie from Neighbor Dave, Maggie says Hello.

And then goes under the porch.  Note the eye dots.  :-)

Outside the Office
I head out to the LR, so Millie comes out & then PARKS herself across the hall so that Maggie can't get by.

Silly girl.  Hullo.
JULY 20, 2011
On the Back Porch

Zzzzz . . . .

Tabby climbs in slo-mo.

On the lookout for hummingbirds.





Hanging out with Maggie. Sort of.
Back Inside
Zzzzz . . . .

And again:

Zzzzzz . . . .
JULY 25, 2011
It's been a busy week for the girls. I dropped them off at Mystic Pet when I went to Yogaville on Monday, but I got back in time to pick them up at the end of the day.


Gareth leading the pack. Lena carrying out the dog beds. Millie saying Hullo to dogs, Maggie circling back to join her.

Hullo.


Then Maggie gets in the car . . .

And Millie plops down. Where she stays. *sigh*

But with the promise of treats from Gareth, Millie gets up when she hears Lena opening the bag!

Back home, on the way up the driveway:

SO SWEET.

Here's Mama.
Breakfast:

Bookends.
Lena gave me a coupla pig ears for the girls:

Millie happily gnawing away.

Nom nom nom from Millie. Maggie just watches.

And never eats hers. Then Millie will come over to try to get Maggie's. I think Maggie does it to taunt her. Lena said, "Whenever I give the girls a treat, one of them eats it right away & the other one doesn't . . . "  "Yeah, that's Maggie," I said. Silly girl. So I'm stuck with one pig ear.  Eeewww.

Tuesday we had a vet appointment with Dr. Clark. He comes out to the car and does the whole exam & everything in the parking lot so that I don't have to maneuver them in to the office. He answered all my questions and essentially the answer is: Benedryl. I noticed that Maggie is breathing heavily. At first it was just when she was going up the ramp, and then when she's walking, and then! ALL. THE. TIME. Except when she sleeps. But if she gets up in the middle of the night, she wakes me up with her breathing. Dr. Clark said as long as there's no coughing, that she's OK. He said he sees it in older, large dogs. He said that Benedryl will help her to sleep thru the night and will help with her breathing.

She also has a bit of a foot licking thing going on. He said it could be allergies or it could be behavoural. I'll think I've got it under control, and then I look over, and she's licked another spot! "If it's allergies, Benedryl will help. Some dogs go on Prozac if it's behavoural, but really, Benedryl will help with that, too." Benedryl it is! He gave me a topical anti-itch spray for her, and a new eye ointment for her eyes ( goopy in the a.m.).

Millie, on the other hand--no foot licking, or anything! They're both on the Deramaxx for arthritis and are getting around pretty well for a coupla old gals. And that was our exciting week.

AUGUST 1, 2011
I have a total of 7 dog beds; 3 in the LR, 2 in the bedroom, & 2 in the office. Aaaaand . . .

Do they lie on them???  Not really. 

Well, sometimes.  Let's just let sleeping dogs lie.

Millie fell asleep and her ear was hanging over her water bowl. Her ear would start drooping & touch the water & she would flick it back up out of the water. I tried to get it on video, but no luck. It was v. funny, tho.

Here's Maggie by my feet. As per usual.  :-)
And here's Millie at one of her favourite spots:

Whatcha lookin' at, Mil?

One of the twins. SO SWEET.
Here's Maggie out on the porch:

As long as Tabby's away from the food/water bowls, Maggie's friendly. 

Tabby, on the other hand, is a bit suspicious of her intentions.
And later, out the window:

Turkeys!  Again. The chicks are getting big.  :-)

It's like Millie's version of TV.

Turkeys AND deer!
AUGUST 8, 2011
Friday I got my nieces & nephews for a vizzie & sleep-over before Mum's b-day party on Saturday. Maggie & Millie were pretty good about all the extra activity & noise. I have a no screaming or running rule in my house. Still, the girls managed to find respite on the back porch:

Taking a break.
Maggie seems to enjoy being around the kids. She trotted into the LR on Saturday morning & plopped down on my fuzzy, white blanket that somebody left on the floor. Like I'll ever get the dog hair off that!

All my nieces slept in the LR on Friday night.

Sweet Maggie in the middle of all of it.  :-)

I covered this dog bed with a sheet & 2of my nieces slept there.  I had M&M in my office for much of Mum's b-day party, but they came out and sat here out of the way.  Then Maggie got up & went outside.
Get ready to say, "Awwww."

Millie with youngest nephew Rowan. SO SWEET.



Then Rowan went off to play, but before he left, he gave Millie a block to play with. 
They were really great with the kids. One of my nieces said, "I wish they were puppies so they would play with us instead of just lying there and sleeping most of the time." Which is coincidentally what they are doing now:

Zzzzz . . . . HAPPY Monday!
AUGUST 15, 2011
I walked into the kitchen & did a double-take. I couldn't believe this when I saw it:

Millie acting like a normal dog! Neither dog has ever gotten into the trash before. 

First spot the girls go to when they venture outside.

Then they wandered down the drive a bit & plopped down. 
I take these pictures from the LR window. Maggie looking over at me. Hullo.

Maggie leaves & Millie stays. Hullo.

Maggie at the top of the ramp where Tabby casts a weary eye.

Back inside, the girls settle in for a snooze. 

Maggie's paws in the crook of Millie's face. SO SWEET.  Zzzzz . . . .
SEPTEMBER 1, 2011  UPDATE FROM THE HOMESTEAD

I just downloaded my most recent photos--all 248!  So here are just a few:

Maggie & Millie in the new yard.

Tabby has found a new scratching place.

Maggie on the front porch, Tabby down below.

First full day here. Millie on the back porch. She really misses her window in the River House LR!

All 3 in the back yard.

A familiar sight: M&M snoozing away in my office.

View out my office window. Why did I take this photo?

I was getting a pic of Tabby.

Hullo.

Chiro-sis came for a vizzie with baby Rowan--who is v. BAI (Busy And Important) on the phone. Maggie in the foreground.

Tabby being child-friendly.

Demonstrating how the dog ramp works & clapping each time! He kept coming up . . . 

. . . and going down!
And that's all I got for now.

SEPTEMBER 2, 2011 
Note: I found this in the archives when I was updating the M&M Mondays page. So I'm including it here, even tho it may be a bit repetitive, as well as unfinished.  :-)

This. This was the picture I saw on Petfinder that made me fall in love with 2 senior labweiler sisters. And this look of bliss on Millie's face--pure JOY. It makes my heart smile every time I see it.


Almost 2 years ago, I loaded up Maggie & Millie from Mari's and brought them home.


2 weeks ago, I said goodbye to the River House. Today, I said goodbye to my sweet Millie.



Millie took a bit of time to warm up to me. She wasn't all waggy & cheerful like Maggie. She was grumpy & grouchy & I surmised it was because she was in a great deal of physical pain. So every night, I settled in with the girls and we watched Ellen and I gave them a massage and Reikied them. Slowly Millie warmed up and began to trust me. I won't leave you. I'm in this for the long haul. You are home, I assured her.

Checking out the labyrinth.

When I first got her, Millie had thick front legs; I surmised that it was lymph fluid. It was one of the ways I could tell the difference between her and Maggie in the beginning because they looked so much alike. Slowly the swelling went down with each massage and her legs were normal .

Happy girls.
 Since they were so old, I couldn't train them as I would a puppy. I couldn't teach them, but I could learn from them. I learned that Millie liked to nuzzle things. Her favourite spot was on the crook of her nose. She would position her head under my fingers for some scratching, and she would nuzzle up to other things as well . . .

Like Maggie's paws.

Or a computer bag.
Her favourite spot inside the house was in front of the living room window where she could watch turkeys, deer, & other wild life in the field. She also watched the train, & cars & planes. I discovered this early on when she was barking & I followed her line of sight and saw the faintest white line going across the sky. She certainly had her eyesight!




Her favourite spot outside was on the back porch

































SEPTEMBER 4, 2011  Millie's Good-bye
She went downhill very fast. She'd been having problems getting up; her hips were really bothering her. She had a specific panicky kind of bark when she was stuck on a slippery surface and couldn't get traction to get up. This was why I covered every bit of floor that I could & secured it with duct tape; so that she wouldn't get stuck. But she started doing it on the back porch at the River House & then she'd bark that Help me, I can't get up bark. So then she'd sit up and then I'd help lift her back up to a standing position and then she could walk.

She didn't like the new house. I could tell she missed her favourite window in the living room to look out across the front field. Even if she could see out the window here, there isn't the wild life or trains or planes or anything else to entertain her. Just the driveway with trees. I thought she might like the back porch, but she went out once & never wanted to go out again.  Not like when we were at the River House.

On Tuesday, I had the TV/internet installed. As a Comcast guy was walking by her, she did a slow motion snappy-bite at him; v. uncharacteristic! Wednesday she would only drink the soupy part of her food and Thursday morning she woke me up at 1a with her Help me, I can't get up bark. She was on the runner by the front door & I thought she might want to be in the LR on carpet or on a bed. So I tried to help her up and she reached around and BIT my arm. I still have an egg-sized bruise to remember her by. She barked periodically thru the night, but stopped barking when I came to her.

Thursday morning my friend Susan called out of the blue. I told her I couldn't move Millie and she couldn't get up. She suggested I do a Reiki attunement on her. Hadn't thought of that--nothing else I was doing was working. So I did and she calmed down. And fell asleep. After that, John Morgan called and suggested I use a broom to maneuver her--which would save my arm or any other fleshy appendages she happened to get near. I used the broom handle to get a towel under her and then I was able to lift her up like I had done with Maggie when she had her vertigo. She was grumbly about it, be we managed to get outside. As I was helping her along, I thought that maybe she was having vertigo like Maggie had last year.

When we got back into the house, I took her back into my office so she could be with me as I worked.  I couldn't get her up to go outside again after that. She wouldn't eat, but would take a bit of water and a treat. I made a vet appointment for Friday morning in Richmond, but canceled it because I couldn't get her up. I called my old vet in Luray and made another appointment for the afternoon. In the meantime, I was checking in with my brother to see if he could help me get her loaded into the car. He was stuck in meetings all morning and couldn't get away. He gave me the number of a mobile vet that makes house calls, so I left a message on their machine and then I called back every 20 minutes. No call back.

Friday she wouldn't even drink water or take any treats. When Maggie came near her, she grumbled and growled a Stay away from me growl. I was beside myself with grief; knowing that this was the beginning of the end. John Morgan called for an update. She was sitting at my feet, towel still wrapped around her back. He told me to ask my neighbor to help me. I'd been holding out for my brother to help me or the home visit vet to call. I canceled the Luray appointment and got the number for Claws & Paws, a few miles down the road.

Last picture of Millie, in my office.
SO SWEET.

Hi, you don't know me, but can you help me get my dog into the car? I was standing on Neighbor Thomas's front porch weeping. He was very kind. We'd met briefly on the day I closed on the house and I'd met his little Jack Russel & sweet Rottweiler. We managed to get a blanket under Millie and carried her to the car. It was the first time I'd separated Millie & Maggie. When I first got them, I needed to take Millie to the vet and she refused to get off the porch without Maggie. And Maggie stood behind the closed french doors howling. And then Millie started howling. So in the end, I ended up always taking them together no matter who the actual patient was.

Neighbor Thomas told me that Claws & Paws was his vet, and that they were really nice. It was not very far, but everything seemed in slow motion. I knew what I was driving there to do. No matter that I've done this before, it's the hardest thing. I know--I know. She was old and in pain and infirm. It's the humane thing to do. Still hard. Still horrible. The best of good-byes always are. I was just trying to see thru my tears as I'm also trying to find a place I've never been to before. Not the easiest thing for me in the best of circumstances.

I wiped my face & blew my nose & went in. I stood at the front desk and as soon as the receptionist looked at me I started crying again. She handed me a clip board & I stared at the form. Where do I live? What's my address? What's my phone number? I couldn't remember any of it. I'm sorry, I can't remember any of this. I just moved here.  I consulted my phone. The other receptionist handed me a tissue. Thank you. I finished filling out the form and went back to the car and crawled into the back with Millie and snuggled in with her. I stroked the crook of her nose, her favourite spot. I told her how much I loved her and how she made my life so much richer for being in it. I thanked her for being in my life and my heart, and for making my house a home. I was thinking of all the sweet, quirky things she did and how she made me laugh and how she made my heart melt with her sweetness.

The vet came out to assess her and pointed out the lack of muscle in her hind legs and how bony her head was. I told her I thought it was time to let her go, but I wanted her professional opinion because I couldn't make this decision all on my own. She said she thought it was time to say goodbye. She went back in to get the euthanasia paraphernalia and came back out with an assistant. I said, "You didn't know her, but she was a really wonderful dog." And the vet said, "I can tell that she was very special." Whether that is true or not, it was such a kind thing to say. They were both so wonderful. Millie drifted off as I continued to stroke her nose. Then they lifted her out of the car.

I waited in the car for the final paper work and the assistant came out with a plaster cast of Millie's paw print.  How sweet and thoughtful is that? It made me cry even more.


 And so here we are, just me & Maggie & Tabby. She's not whining or howling. I've been putting Ingatia in her water. She seems to be OK. Last night I gave her the rest of her Mercola dental bone. She's never eaten one. Millie used to wolf hers down and Maggie would sit there and lick it. Then she'd carry it around & leave it on her bed. I'd get it & put it with the new bones to give her the next time I gave Millie one. Millie had managed to get a bite out of this one but I rescued it because they're not supposed to have more than one a day. This morning she took the bone out with her and sat down in the grass and ate it. I sat on the porch steps with my tea and watched her. I thought how death is so . . . permanent. And some changes are, too. Good-bye, sweet Millie. I love you.

SEPTEMBER 5, 2011: MY SWEET MILLIE
Friday I had to say goodbye to Millie. I already did a blog post about her last day, but I wanted to pay tribute to her life. As I was sifting thru thousands of photos, I realized I'd have to break this up into separate posts, so this week will be all about Millie.

This was the picture that made me fall in love; sweet Millie in a state of JOY. 
It took me a year and half to consider getting another dog after Barkley, and then Remi, died. They were my mother-son labweilers. Until them, I never understood Dog People & I never thought I'd become one. To paraphrase John Morgan, there are 2 kinds of people: dog lovers & those who don't get it. I got it. Having  dogs in my life has made it richer than I could ever imagine. The depth of my grief over Remi's death was in proportion to how much I loved him. But I missed the companionship and the nuzzles and all of everything that comes with having a dog.

So I found my way onto Petfinder and saw the photo above; 2 senior, labweiler sisters. And I knew they were coming home to me. I knew how to care for senior dogs; Barkley lived to be 15 1/2, & Remi was 13 1/2. More than that, their story was heartbreaking.

They had found their way to AARF, a rescue organization in Richmond. They were brought in by a woman who had watched a man pulled over in a white truck on Jefferson Davis Highway. He got out and dumped both dogs off on the side of the road and drove away. They sat there waiting. He never came back.Who could do such a thing?

When I first got them, I thought they were coming home to hospice care; I didn't expect them to live for more than 6 months. Millie in particular seemed more frail with a host of health issues--skin condition, ear infection, allergies, and the creakiness of old age. But both girls slowly came back to life as we spent our days together. I have been fortunate enough to have a job that lets me work from home, and living out in the wilderness, I didn't leave the house much, anyway. So I was able to give them lots of consistent attention throughout the day.

Because they were old & had already had a lifetime without me, I couldn't really train them. Rather, I had to let them teach me what they already knew. I learned many things; they were leash trained, house trained, and they had good manners--no begging. I could tell that they had once been in a household where they were used to being loved; they didn't flinch when I lifted my hand to pet them and they lay on the floor and let me step over and around them. Someone had loved these girls before they ended up abandoned on a Richmond highway.

They looked so much alike, that it was difficult to tell them apart.  When I first got her, one of the physical differences between Millie & Maggie was that her front legs were thicker, due to, (I think) lymph fluid build up. After a few massage sessions, her legs were down to normal.


Millie's first week with me.

I soon learned not just physical differences, but personality differences as well. Millie was a bit . . . grumpier than Maggie. Maggie thumped her tail "hello" if I looked at her and was immediately by my side. Millie never wagged her tail, and was a bit more cautious around me.

Every night I would settle onto the floor and massage & Reiki her. As soon as the theme song for Ellen came on, both girls knew it was time for some lovin'.  For the longest time, I didn't even touch her lower back & hips; she was too sensitive & would give a slight warning growl. One of the aspects of healing that I learned from Chloe Wordsworth was that you must wait to be invited in when doing any healing modality.  So I did a lot of work around and over the area until I could get my hands on her back to do some myofascial release. I realized she didn't wag her tail because she couldn't. She had restricted range of motion and it was just too painful. She was grouchy because she was in a lot of physical discomfort. I surmised that this was more than old-age-arthritis, but that she'd had some sort of injury.

After several sessions, I was finally able to release her hips. She did a big stretch, made a groany sound, and then wagged her tail. :-)  She wagged her tail! From then on, while she was not the serial wagger that Maggie was, she was definitely a waggy girl. The sweetest thing was when I got up one night to get a drink of water and I heard a thump-thump-thump of a tail on the floor. I assumed it was Maggie, but it was not. It was Millie. So sweet. One of the sweetest things was to see her wag her tail in her sleep.

Waking up ritual: I loved how she would reach out her paw to stretch against my leg. 

It was after these nightly sessions that Millie and I really bonded. I loved how Millie's toes would curl when I worked on her back legs. She would stretch and curl, stretch and curl. Her favourite nuzzling spot was the crook in her nose. She would position her head under my fingers and move it around as I did a scratchy thing. She also loved when I scratched under the axillary area of her front legs (sort of the armpit area). And it was gratifying to hear and feel her take a deep sigh and really relax.

She was a nuzzler; into my hands, or:

. . . into things on the floor, like bedding, or . . .
. . .  my computer bag, or . . .
. . . Maggie's paws.  Front . . .
. . . and back.
While Maggie's love and loyalty were immediate, Millie's trust and devotion had to be earned. She had to know that I was going to touch her in a kind and loving way. How do you express love? Dave Dobson used to say that the sensation of touch communicated a sense of place in the world. You're here and you matter.  After a previous life of probable neglect & subsequent abandonment, I wanted both dogs to know that they were in a safe and loving place and that they were home. By providing this place for them, they in turn, made it a home for me.

SEPTEMBER 6, 2011: MILLIE'S VERSION OF TV
One of Millie's favourite spots inside was on her bed in front of the living room window, overlooking the front field. This was her version of  TV: turkey, squirrels, rabbits, deer, trains, cars,  hawks & eagles, people coming up the drive and the occasional bear. One day she was barking & I followed her line of sight and waaaaay off in the distance was a faint white line of an airplane trail going across the sky. 
"Whatcha lookin' at, Mil?" I'd say.

Perhaps ice on the river.
Neighbor Dave on his tractor was a familiar sight.




On this particular day, Millie was barking at something. I looked out the window to follow her line of sight & realized she was watching debris floating down the flooded river. That's how I found out it was flooded! Every time a tree or something BIG would go down, she'd woof!

See the wild turkey?

Turkeys & their chicks this summer.

And deer . . .

Bonus!  All at the same time!


2 beds to boost her up so she could see better.

More turkeys.


I loved looking at the expression on her face; brow furrowed, so intent.




She did sometimes face the other way . . .
Millie was good at finding the one slippery spot without carpet & plopping down & getting stuck. [I have an early post of duct taping carpet to floors so she wouldn't get stuck.] I finally wedged these 2 beds together so there was no room for her to slip off. This doubled as a great bed for the 2 youngest nieces when they came for a visit.
And when the entertainment was over, she'd lie down and rest . . .


or take a snooze . . . 

Zzzzzz . . . .
SEPTEMBER 7, 2011: SHHHH  . . . MILLIE'S SLEEEEEEPING
Being geriatric, she slept a lot. I have so many photos of her sleeping; I just loved her squishy face:

 


This was hysterical! Her ear kept falling into the water & she'd wake up & twitch it out of the way & then slowly as she fell back asleeeeep, it would lower into the water & start all over again.
Falling asleep with her foot in her food bowl.



I have so many dog beds & when I vacuum, I stack them. So it was obvious to Millie that this was an invitation to sleep!


Notice that she has her bone by her side?
So many dog beds and often she didn't lie on them!

Morning light.

One of my favourite photos. She looks so content in the afternoon sunlight.
Christmas time. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz . . . .
She used to run & woof in her sleep. Here she is waking herself up growling . . . and going back to sleep.
  
I loved how her body would spill off her bed:

Or whatever she happened to be lying on.
SEPTEMBER 8, 2011: MORE PIX OF MILLIE THRU THE SEASONS
On the Back Porch



Millie could actually sleep with her eyes open!



She liked to drape her paws off the side.



 

"No, that's all right. I'll sleep on the floor." 

See the squirrel on the railing? She doesn't. Zzzzz . . .
DOWN BELOW ON THE GRASS
Zzzzz . . . .

Hullo.

When I took this, I didn't realize she was watching Tabby Bobcat on the ramp behind me.

Until I felt her jump on my back!  And I was able to capture Millie's look of surprise. 
Sometimes she would venture around the house for new spots:

Under the front stairs.

Overlooking her domain.
  She was very sniffy & curious. She caught wind of something under my car:

Covered in dirt from my 7 mile dusty, dirt 'n' gravel road.

Sometimes I would imagine what she must have been like in her younger years. I LOVED to watch her scratch her back in the grass like a horse because it meant that her back was feeling better.
So carefree.


Hullo.

Zzzzz . . . .
ON THE RAMP
Millie & Maggie came to me not being able to walk up stairs. The first week they were with me, I had them downstairs so they could get outside thru the garage. Then I had a ramp built so they could join me upstairs & get in & out of the house. 
She would always stop & look over at the railroad track.

*sniff*

I loved her THRU THE SEASONS:




Lazy-dazy summer day sitting outside the labyrinth.






During the Historic Blizzard of  2010. SO GRATEFUL to have Millie & Maggie!

She has that "I see something interesting" look--deer, squirrel, etc.








SEPTEMBER 9, 2011: FUNNY FRIDAY
I have so many fond memories of funny, quirky little things that M&M have done, I thought it would be nice to share some of my favourite M&M pix.

Here's Millie sitting at the top of the dog ramp and waiting for Maggie to try to get by.

See?  Heh heh hehhhhhhhh.

"It seems we've come to an impasse." It only happened a coupla times--but it was hard getting Millie to back up. She'd do it, but she'd grumble the whole way up!
What is so fascinating?

The early days, when Tabby was a Porch Kitty, before she made it into the house.

They used to camp out by the door.

Millie went & got my shoe by the door & brought it in to taunt Maggie with.


 MEAL TIME
Millie preferred her food mixed with water & fish oil and she liked it soupy. She would slurp the soupy part & eat a bit, then save the rest for later when it was mushy. She also was adept at pulling her bowl with her teeth to her.


After a couple mishaps of soupy dogfood spilling everywhere, I made sure to prop up her food bowl with a box so she wouldn't spill it:

The box also doubled as a head rest.

And my shoe helped to prop up her bowl every now & then.

Breakfast in bed.

Eating her Mercola dental bone. She would wolf hers down.
 Sometimes she would act like a regular dog . . . 
She managed to get my cup off the coffee table & finished whatever was in there!

 She did this once; getting into the trash. Instead of being mad, I thought, "Good for you, Mil. Trying to act like a youngster."
Cat Tolerator
Millie letting Tabby sleep on her bed. 

Millie was v. tolerant of Tabby Bobcat. She didn't bark at her or go after her if she was at the water bowl, like Maggie does. 
 Book Ends




SO SWEET.  :-)

SEPTEMBER 10, 2011: OLD DOGS
There is something special about old dogs. Gene Weingarten sums it up so eloquently in his book, Old Dogs Are the Best Dogs:

Old dogs can be cloudy-eyed and grouchy, gray of muzzle, graceless of gait, odd of habit, hard of hearing, pimply, wheezy, lazy, and lumpy. But to anyone who has ever known an old dog, these things are of little consequence. Old dogs are vulnerable. They show exorbitant gratitude and limitless trust. They are without artifice. They are funny in new and unexpected ways. But above all, they seem at peace. This last quality is almost indefinable; if you want to play it safe, you can call it serenity. I call it wisdom.

Today I thought I'd share a few photos of Millie & Maggie together. They came together as a package, and they were inseparable.

INSIDE





 VISITS WITH FRIENDS

Fisherman Willie.

Meeting GSF Bess. 
Meeting San Diego friend Aida. 
I am forever grateful to Gareth & Lena at Mystic Pet. 

I don't remember what we were laughing at, but I managed to snap a photo at the right time!
The girls LOVED Gareth, which made me & Lena think that their original owner must have been a man. Lena told me that one time Gareth leaned over to her and whispered, "I think Millie is my favourite of the two." As if they could hear him in the next room & understand what he was saying!

One time after a vet visit, I popped over to the store before heading home. In the parking lot, Millie & Maggie were looking out the window & they started barking & howling. I look waaaaaaay across the parking lot, & there's a guy with a bald head. They thought it was Gareth! It wasn't, unfortunately!

THRU the SEASONS:
 WINTER
These gals had v. long & thick fur. So they were quite comfortable on a sunny winter day.  I kept the door open and the wood stove blasting so they could come in or go out when they wanted. Millie stayed out much more than Maggie did, tho.

Venturing down the driveway. I once watched a turkey cross over the drive. A couple hours later, Millie tracked its scent. She hadn't seen the turkey, but she could smell it!

They LOVED the snow!

Maggie plopped down.

Whatcha lookin' at, girls?

Neighbor Dave plowing out from the Historic Blizzard.

"This here's good eatin' snow," says Maggie.

SPRING

Red bud trees in bloom.



Oprah's favourite colour--new grass green.  ;-)
SUMMER

In the driveway.

Lazy-dazy porch days.

Going down the ramp. They always stopped to survey their domain from this place.



My favourite!  Laundry day!



AUTUMN




By the labyrinth.


Frosty day.

GORGEOUS.

My sweet girls.  :-)

SEPTEMBER 14, 2011: PORCH TIME
This sweet girl of mine; dear Maggie. Look at that face . . .


We are creating new little rituals. In the morning I sit on the porch with my tea and she wanders around the yard. Then she sits down at my feet. We are getting into a routine & finding those moments of peace. :-)


OCTOBER 26, 2011: A FEW FALL PIX
Am woefully lacking in the blog dept. I never even mentioned I was in the October issue of Reader's Digest. Too late, November is out now. I found out when I went to the Cakewrecks book signing last Friday night in Richmond. Oh yeah, that's another post!  And have abandoned M&M Mondays now that I'm down to only one M.  :-(    I also dismantled the River House labyrinth on Sunday with chiro-sister. Will get caught up. Sometime. In the meantime, a few autumn-yummy-fall-foilage pix from my back yard:

Dogwood tree.

Leaves just starting to be fallish. See the bear? Kidding. That's the stump that Lawmower Paul moved out of the yard. It reminds me of the bears from the River House, & it kinda looks like Maggie from the back with her head tilt. From the office window, it looks like Remi from behind, looking over the lake.  :-) 

Misty morning. 


This is one of my favourite views. 



Back up the path.

I see hearts wherever I go. 

I heart Maggie.  And her eye dots.  :-)

OCTOBER 31, 2011: MAGGIE ON MONDAY
I want to apologize for abandoning M&M Mondays since Millie died. I'm still in the middle of getting settled in my little Lake House. But I'm turning over a new leaf and beginning again. Maggie is still with me & I still take tons of pictures, so I'm going to share some today. [Insert eye roll from Mum. Hahahaha]. Unlike Millie, Maggie doesn't often just go outside & hang out. She goes out when I take her out, mostly. And she comes and joins me when I go and sit out on the front porch.

Her spot on the front porch. Note portable ramp to right. I miss the River House ramp! 

SO SWEET.

This is her spot on the walk way. Paws draped over. SO CUTE.

"What's this?"
Yoo-hoo, Mags!

Hullo.  Notice eye-dot action.

In the grass.


Another day on the walk way, joined by Tabby Bobcat.

They're really sweet together except when Tabby goes for an food source around Maggie.
Eye-dots!  
Today we had a visit with our new vet, Dr. Trisha Morgan at Claws & Paws. AWESOMEness. I will save that story for next week, but suffice to say, we are well and good. :-)  Now on to my regularly scheduled afternoon.

NOVEMBER 11, 2011
Last Sunday, I had a bit of a scare with Maggie. I had ordered her Deramaxx from PetMeds, but they didn't come. Living out in the wilderness, the longest they ever took was 5 days. I ordered on Oct. 22nd, I got them Nov. 5th. The tracking said they arrived at the Richmond P.O. on the 26th--and there they apparently stayed! In the meantime, I'd made another order of a glucosamine supplement after that which came in 2 days! So, long story short (too late), Maggie went 2 days without Deramaxx on a rainy weekend and had a rough time of it. Her hind legs were so stiff and she couldn't walk. So I went to Brother Atlasta's & SIL gave me some of their dog's arthritis medication. Then I called chiro-sister and she came over to adjust Maggie.

Ruth adjusts Maggie with an activator, an instrument that is gentle.
We managed to get Maggie outside with some support but she still couldn't walk by herself. I was sort of expecting a chiropractic miracle, but alas! Not to be. So then we got her back inside and settled back onto her bed in the kitchen. Then I went over to Brother Atlasta's and when I came back, Maggie was in her usual spot in the living room when she's waiting for me to come home. She could walk again!  So I turned on the TV &  then went to the kitchen & when I came back, she had moved again to her spot where she get's massaged when I watch TV.

I called Claws & Paws first thing on Monday morning & took her in. SIL came over & helped me get Maggie up the ramp & into the car. The visit lasted a while. Dr. Morgan was wonderful & said the combination of no Deramaxx & a rainy weekend put her in a lot of pain. She gave Maggie a Deramaxx & started her on Tramadol, another pain med. I had to laugh because she put a tramadol on top of a tongue depressor of baby food & held it out for her to eat. Haha  I said, "She can see that. She won't eat it." So then she pushed it down into the food & Maggie licked the glob off the depressor. And spat out the pill. Pleh. So Dr. Morgan said, "We'll have to do this the old fashioned way," & got it into Maggie's mouth & didn't let go until she swallowed.  She had asked me about Maggie's goopy eyes. I've been rinsing them out for months & applying an eye ointment due to a blocked tear duct. However, she said, "I'm going to give you some Cyclosporine; it looks like an infection." One application that night, and the next morning I wasn't having to rinse out her eyes. Haven't had to since.

She's lost a bit a weight since Millie died. She lost interest in her food, so I've been crock potting chicken & veggies, beef, etc. & mixing it in with Taste of the Wild, a new brand. She's eating better now. The vet did an I.V. of fluids subcutaneously, so she sorta looked like a camel. She also got a pedicure.

Here she is the following day, after the vet vizzie.

Nestled into the mulch.

Love this pic--looking a bit like her sister with the wrinkled forehead, but with her eye-dot action.

Hanging with Tabby Bobcat. 


She sniffed out this headless squirrel around the side of the house.  (Squirrel courtesy of Tabby Bobcat. *sigh*) 

Getting cozy & settled.

Eye dot action.  :-)
I've been using the portable ramp since the move. It's only 2 steps. Except. Maggie doesn't like to go down it, so I have to sort of carry-guide her along. Saturday I pulled a rib out & sprained my back, according to chiro-sister. So she adjusted me, percussed, & iced it. It's about 80% better today & I was able to help Brother Atlasta build a permanent ramp.

Tabby Bobcat lying on the ramp part. Brother Atlasta with a 2 X 4. Haha

Aaaaand she doesn't care.  
Brother Atlasta estimated it'd take us 1-2 hours. Or 6. I got to use a nail gun for the first time. He said I could tell people that my brother says I'm good at screwing. Haha

Maggie came out to watch the construction.



Hullo.
Well. I should've taken a pic of the finished ramp. But Maggie did go down it with some coaxing. So it's going to work just fine. THANKS to my brother.  :-)  And that was our exciting week. Maggie is doing MUCH better. It was about a year ago that she had vertigo & I thought I was going to lose her. And now she's bounced back. I will NEVER risk running out of her meds again!

NOVEMBER 14, 2011
I had a request to see the completed ramp. Well, almost completed. Brother Atlasta needs to put on the last 2X4, but it's completely functional. And if the end of the world happens, it will survive along with cockroaches & maraschino cherries.



Aaaaand this is where Tabby likes to lounge--especially when Maggie is outside!

Maggie coming up the ramp.

BEAUTIFUL fall day; Maggie on the front porch.

Looking over here domain.

Hullo. Her eye-dots get me everytime!  Left . . . 

. . . right.

Aaaaand Tabby on the ramp.

Hullo.
Saturday night I was going thru movies and found some ones I'd forgotten about. Maggie is a waggy gal. And this is classic Maggie wagging with Millie getting inconvenienced:



SO FUNNY!  Millie is appropriately grumpy.  :-)

NOVEMBER 21, 2011
I've discovered something new about Maggie: she doesn't like closed doors! At the River House, it was wide open and I didn't close any doors. Here on a few cold mornings, I've turned on the heat in the office and closed the door. Except. Maggie gets up and barks at the door as if she needs to go out and then! Sits down so I can't close the door.

Here she is after breakfast, resting in her food bowl. (Still using paper, she doesn't like eating from metal or anything clangy from her dog tags, even if I take off her collar when she's in the house)!

My sweet eye-dot girl.  :-)
Outside:
This has become one of her favourite spots to nestle in; by the pruning-deprived, thornless rose bush.
In the meantime, here's Tabby Bobcat:

Lollygaggin' about.
And here comes Maggie, back up the ramp:

Does Tabby move out of the way?

Pretending not to notice Maggie.

*sigh*

Back in the office:

Another meal finished. 

 I've switched her food to Taste of the Wild kibble, and I'm mixing it with their canned food. She stopped eating the Precise, even when I was mixing it with homecooked, organic chicken. So she's eating more consistently now. One night, she woke me up, barking on her pillow, but didn't get up. I make sure she has water and food in the kitchen before I go to bed, because she's woken me up before if the water bowl isn't completely full--no half-way full for her. So I'm saying to her in my sleepy-foggy-stupor, "What is it, girl? Trouble at the old mill?"  Kidding. "What do you want?" She's just sitting on her bed. So I go get her food bowl and bring it in to her. That's what she wanted and didn't want to get up! [insert eye roll from Mum]  But then, the next morning:

*sigh*  Clean up time.
Brother Atlasta was over yesterday. GORGEOUS day! We were sitting on the front porch and he was watching Maggie walk about, sniffing and whatnot and remarked at how much better she looked, and how well she was walking. Yes, she's getting back to normal--as normal as she can be for an old gal. My sweet Maggie.  :-)

NOVEMBER 28, 2011
I'm writing this in the kitchen as Maggie is asleep at my feet. She is flicking her feet and running in her sleep. Catch the squirrel, Maggie! Catch the squirrel!

As at the River House, there are dog beds in every room, except that there's not as much room as there was at the River House! One of her favourite spots when I'm sitting at the table is to nestle in under the table, so I put one of her beds there. Here she is:

Zzzzzz . . . . Notice her bone & pig's ear chew? There they sit for weeks & months.
Here she is from another angle:


There are some things that happen that I don't capture on camera because if I interrupt them to take a picture, they are lost. One was watching Tabby Bobcat grooming Maggie. She was licking all around her head. It was so sweet. Another was when I came home from the gym and Maggie was in the LR thumping her tail hello to me. I was petting her and then in comes Tabby, and Maggie looks over at her and starts thumping her tail at Tabby. So sweet. She still gets snarly if Tabby goes near her food bowl, but I don't think that will ever change!

Yesterday was so GORGEOUS, I left the front door open and Maggie spent a large portion of the day on the front porch, going in & out. At one point, she was nestled into a pile of leaves and Tabby went and pounced on her tail! So funny!

She's sleeping thru the night most nights; altho I've had a few midnight / 2 AM feed me Bark Fests. I was really annoyed and then thought that I should stop being annoyed because at least she's here with me and she's eating. I'll have to take her for another vet vizzie, but she continues to improve. So that was our week. Not terribly eventful, which is fine with me!

DECEMBER 5, 2011
Outside
We've had some frosty mornings, but not days-on-end winter, yet. Autumn is definitely at the end; the leaves are off the trees, as evidenced by my driveway & yard.

Maggie hanging out. Brother Atlasta came over & cut off  the top part of the railing so that Maggie could see over. She didn't like that top rail in the way. Atlasta says it's natural for animals to want to look over when they're up high. She was used to looking over to the left at the River House. Step-step-step, stop 'n' look.

Hullo.

Watching Tabby Bobcat.

Tabby Bobcat watching something--prolly a squirrel.
Sunday Morning:

Coming down the ramp.

Hey! Wha' happened to all the leaves? Lawnmower Paul came on Saturday.

Maggie goes to investigate.


And looks for a place to nestle in. She really liked her leaves! I got some scissors to prune that prickly bush she's sitting next to, but she didn't appreciate all the snippy-snippy of it, so she moved . . . 

Over here. Next to a fire grate & hammer that Lawnmower Paul unearthed during the Deleafing Fest.

Back up the ramp. 

Cozy on the porch. This is where I sit when Maggie's outside. See the broom by the door? This is where Fisherman Willie would say I keep it there for a quick get-away. Hahaha  
I was webcamming with XM Radio Guy & he was asking how Maggie is doing. She's still picky about her food, and I'm hand feeding her at times. I'm making chicken soup for her. On Friday afternoon I drove to a vet in Midlothian to get some samples of Honest Kitchen, a raw dog food. It was an 80 minute round trip, which is spit compared to what I used to drive. Anyway, glad I got the samples because she is not a fan. So XM Radio Guy does an imitation of me:

"Now I'm chewing her food for her and feeding her like a mother bird."
"Her kidneys aren't working, so I'm using mine to filter hers."

Hahahaha  She's as cheerful as ever, but I'd like her to gain a bit more weight.

She has this funny little habit of waiting until I'm in the shower to start barking. So I get out--is someone at the door? Do you need to go out? Do you need water, food, what?  It took a while for me to notice that this was a pattern. So now I just expect her to bark when she hears the shower. And then she settles in the hallway by the bathroom door.  *sigh*  Funny girl.

DECEMBER 12, 2011
Inside

She's such a funny girl. Sometimes she's in my office and she'll maneuver herself under my desk. There's not really room for her, like under the kitchen table. It doesn't stop her, tho.

Maggie's eye dot action!

Not going anywhere.
The house isn't too terribly big--I don't have the space that I did at the River House. So if I'm going back 'n' forth between the office & kitchen & I'm not staying in one place, she'll come into the hallway and plant herself in the middle. She's resting her head on the lovely blue painter's tape along the hall carpet runner. So she doesn't slip 'n' slide.


From the other end of the hallway.

Outside
Nestled into the bushes.

Ever vigilant.
Visitors
Unlike the River House, I have occasion to get unexpected visitors. Thus, Elder Lesueur (not pronounced Le-sewer, but Le-SWEE-er)  & Elder Huckzinger, 2 Mormon lads came to my porch. Yes, Mum--gentlemen callers. We had a delightful chat on the front porch & they were very sweet with Maggie & Tabby Bobcat. I gave them a box of chocolate truffles to take with them, which they left behind & then I realized, "D'OH! Caffeine! They wouldn't be eating chocolate."  Oh well! More chocolate for someone else who knows me.


Elder Lesueur taking Maggie's photo. It turns out he's from Mesa, AZ, home to the Brimhall clan. I asked if he knew them & he said his mother prolly did. So I emailed her--mostly just to tell her how nice it was to meet her son and that she can be very proud of him. And yes, she knows the Brimhalls. Small world!
 Another Outdoor Day

Where're you going, Mag?


Maggie debating whether to come up the ramp just yet . . . 
Because: 




Maybe I'll stay here awhile.
 And what you can't see with the photos all that much is how she's sniffing the air:




*Sniff*
And thus ends another exciting week in the life of my sweet Maggie.


DECEMBER 12, 2011: MILLIE ON MONDAY
I've been playing with Picnik, an online photo editing site. Since it's Christmas, I thought I'd pick one of my favourite photos of Millie. And then as I was playing with it, of course I'm getting a bit teary and misty and missing her. My sweet Millie.


DECEMBER 19, 2011
This past weekend we celebrated Christmas at Mum's. So I loaded Maggie into the car on Saturday morning and drove to Luray to Mystic Pet before heading over to Mum's.When she walked in the door, she headed straight for the groom room where she usually stays. But it was rather busy with grooming and dogs. So we took her back outside and took her thru the cat room.  She was desperate for a bath, so when I got back on Sunday afternoon, she was all nice and fluffy:

Here she is when I came back to pick her up. See her blurry tail wagging? 

We started her on a raw diet. Lena says her senior dog is doing really well on it, and Maggie ate it right up.

Anytime Gareth is in the room, that's where she goes.


Hullo.

Behind the counter, settled in.

Gareth calls this his "Fireside" pose. Just imagine his elbow on a mantle. 
Gareth went to feed the other dogs in the kennel, and Lena and I took Maggie outside to load her up. She wandered around and then sat down:

What are you looking at Maggie?

So alert.

Of course. She saw Gareth in the kitchen doing food prep!
Lena said that Gareth misses Millie, but that she was grumpier than Maggie. Maggie is ever cheerful!

Loading up:

Saying goodbye to Lena. 
Back home, this morning:

On the front porch, overlooking her domain. Life is good. :-)
DECEMBER 25, 2011: MERRY CHRISTMAS
It's a wonderful life.
DECEMBER 26, 2011
It's much warmer here than it was at the River House. Maggie likes to hang out in the yard.

Eye dots!


*sniff*


Her spot by the rose bush.

Rose bush from the front angle.

Hullo.
So I got festive and took some Christmasy photos:


These are the best ones where she didn't shake the hat off her head!

lick lick 

sniff sniff

More eye dot action!
We had a quick vizzie from nephew Rowan:

She's so good with him and he is so sweet with her!
And that was our week. Pleasantly uneventful and ordinary. She's so funny. I finally realized that sometimes when she barks at the door, it's not because she wants to go out but it's because she hears the cat on the porch wanting to come in. Sure enough, there's Tabby whipping in as soon as I open the door!  :-)

JANUARY 2, 2012
I've pruned thru a few dog beds, but still have one in every room for Maggie. Like the kitchen:

Where she's not using it. Fortunately, she doesn't get stuck on the slippery floor like Millie used to.  See her right eye-dot raised? So cute. 
I was cleaning/rearranging/organizing my office when Maggie trotted in and planted herself:


Right in the middle of it all!

Hullo.
We interrupt this post for an obligatory photo of Maggie sleeping:

Cuteness.
Sometimes Maggie barks to go out, and then:

And then plants herself with the door open. letting the fresh air in (Il fait frais!) and the warm air out.
Outside by the ramp:

*sniff*  *sniff*

Basking in the winter sun.

Coming back in. Or not. Sometimes she barks and then sits down.
This week she was in the office with me and stood up and barked. I said, "Out?" Her ears prick up and her brow furrows, like they do, and she heads out the door . . . into the bedroom where she barks up at Tabby, who is curled up on my bed. Tabby stands up, makes a trilling noise and leaps down. And they both go outside. If Tabby is outside, I don't always hear that she wants to come in, but Maggie does. She stands in the kitchen barking toward the front door. "Out?" I say. And she stands there. Then I hear Tabby scratching on the door and I go let her in. It took a while before I noticed--but now I'm trained.  ;-)


JANUARY 9, 2012
I've been feeding Maggie raw food, and I've noticed that she's more mobile. She gets up and walks around more and likes to go sit on the front porch.


Can you imagine what she's watching so intently?

Hard to see, but Tabby Bobcat is in there hunting. 
I was away this weekend and was too late to get Maggie to Mystic Pet on time. Fortunately, my mother, the dog tolerator, let Maggie spend the night in her sun room. Here's Maggie after our ride to Mum's:
*sniff*

Can you see what's in the background?

The neighbor's dog.

He started to come over to say hullo, but I told him to go back. And he did!

Disappearing. I'd seen him at Xmas with another dog that he kept body slamming into, & I didn't want him to do that to Maggie. He's a real sweetie, but better to be safe than sorry. 
Here's Maggie all settled in on her bed:


I was a bit worried. I set up her water and food. And went in to take my things to my room. And she started barking. So I went to check on her. She was fine. I went back in to the kitchen to have a cup of tea with Mum & she started barking again.
Me: She's barking.
Mum: I don't hear her barking.
Me: Well, she is.
Mum: Well I'm not deaf. I can hear. And I don't hear her barking.
Me: Just because you don't hear her, doesn't mean she isn't.
Mum: Well!  You cahn't keep going in there. Just let her bark, she'll settle down.
Me: *sigh* She's in a strange place and alone. Of course she's barking.
Mum: You coddle her too much.

Yeah. No argument there! So I gave her some benedryl in some cheese and let her settle on her bed. And she fell asleep and slept thru the night. Saturday morning I took her to Mystic Pet until I picked her back up on Monday. We drove thru some snowy-rainy-icy weather, but made it home:

All cozy in the office with Tabby.  Zzzzzzz


JANUARY 16, 2012
Laundry Day:

Aaaaand Maggie is sitting on her bed with out the cover.  This is her spot, under the table when I'm doing anything in the kitchen. Her eating spot is on the blue rug, and she will go sit there when she's hungry. She's got me trained!
Outside:

We've had some REALLY cold days! But she still comes to sit out on the porch.

Such a sweet face.  :-)

Looking over at Neighbor Thomas's house where Roxi Rottweiler & Lucky Jack Russel live.

Paws draped over. 
You may recall we had a vizzie from a coupla Mormon lads on their mission. They came back, only this time it was FREEZING. We chatted for a bit, I invited them in to the warm living room, but they weren't permitted to with just a single gal. So, I gave Elder LeSueur a hat & scarf to keep warm:

Flowers & sparkles--but warm!  Both boys said when Maggie came trotting over to say hullo, "Oh, Maggie!  You're still alive!"  hahahaha  Yup. Doing quite well, thank you. 
Maggie this morning:

She did a long walk in the yard this a.m. 

Heading back . . . 

. . . but not yet!

So I went inside to get her breakfast.

Hullo.

Ready for breakfast! 

JANUARY 23, 2012
Lena at Mystic Pet turned me on to Natural Instinct, raw dog food. It comes in cubes or patties. Maggie LOVES it! Except that I'm spending more on her food than mine--haha. So then I started googling how to do home made raw food. Apparently tripe is good to add. I had to google tripe.* Anyway, I've been thinking about it ever since my Aussie friends said they feed their dogs raw turkey necks. They said dogs live 17-24 years over there. So I'm on the lookout for a butcher shop where I can get chicken backs, necks, tripe, organ meats, etc. Yum. In the meantime, she's eating hamburger this week.


Licking her plate clean.


All done.

Here she is in the office:

Tabby Bobcat in the doorway. What an expression on her face!

Maggie eyes Tabby. 

Love this photo! 

Tabby saunters out of the room.
This happens every once in a while. I let Maggie out and then putzy in the kitchen. I look out the front door periodically to check on her. She's usually on the front porch by the ramp or at the bottom of the ramp. Unless she's not. And then I panic.

Waaaaaah!  Where is she????
Oh:

In another favourite spot!

Near the rose bush.  :-) All is well.
*this is also radio speak for blaaathering at the beginning of an intro. (Source: John Morgan, of "Morgan in the Morning" fame).

JANUARY 30, 2012
Sorry this is a late post. A few pix from the week:

Maggie sniffing toward Neighbor Thomas's.

But then she nestles in. She's a nestler.

Another day exploring the yard.

With Tabby Bobcat walking along.

They have such a funny relationship. Maggie barks to let me know when Tabby wants to come into the house. She barks at Tabby to let her know she's going outside and I guess is giving her a polite, invitational bark to join her.
This past Thursday, we went for a visit to the vet & had to get a urine sample. How many dog owners and parents, for that matter, have spent hours praying for bodily functions to happen? Pleeeeeeeeease, for the love of all that is holy, just peeeeeeeeeeee! 
Maggie on her way back from a successful backyard trip.
So. This is the hard part to write, altho, not a surprise to anyone, I'm sure. Maggie doesn't have much longer with me. She's been steadily losing weight and is having kidney dysfunction and Dr. Morgan says she has a couple months. She's still her cheerful, waggy self and always by my side. Dr. Morgan showed me how to administer subcutaneous fluids, so we're doing that every other day. The first time I tried, I stabbed myself with the needle, of course.

I'm feeding her whatever she'll eat. Today she sniffed out a treat from the PetMeds box & even tho it was grain-based, prolly gluten, I let her eat it. She doesn't seem any worse for it. As long as she's not in pain, we'll take it day by day.

Every day seems a bit more precious . . .

Sunday morning on the front porch.

Hullo.

Whatcha lookin' at Mag?

Tabby in stealth mode, readying for a squirrel attack. (Unsuccessful. This time. Prolly wasn't hungry).

And then she comes back . . . 

And Maggie suns herself on the porch.

And Tabby dozes on the ramp.
And it's a beautiful day.

FEBRUARY 6, 2012
Lots of pix this week!  This is what I came home to when I was out running errands:

Maggie asleep on the rug, & Tabby on her bed!

In my office; Maggie's paws.

I took these for Mari. Hi Mari!  I'm also taking John Morgan's advice to get the camera lower.
Like here:

So Maggie is eye level. 
From a different angle:

Tabby in the background "chillin."
Another eye level shot:

Look at that face.  :-)  SO SWEET.

A vizzie from nephew Rowan:

And Chiro-sister Ruth.
Rowan feeding Maggie:


No food aggression when it comes to babies or other humans!

Taking it like a hummingbird.  


And then I took a video of Rowan with the "goggy."



I went shopping this weekend and saw this:

So true.  :-) 
FEBRUARY 13, 2012
She's an outdoorsy girl.  Nestling into the grass.



*sniff*

Nestling into the leaves:

Looking so alert.
Are you coming back up the ramp, Mag?


No?

Aaaaaand back she comes . . . .
to sit on the front porch:

Often I will sit in the sun beside her and have a cup of tea.
Sometimes she comes back in with me, and sometimes she stays outside:

Hullo.

Eye dots.

Prolly looking for Tabby in the woods.
I don't have any pix of me with her, so I tried to take a self portrait:

Love this sweet girl of mine.  :-)
FEBRUARY 20, 2012

Random pic of Tabby.
Craft project on Valentine's Day:

Maggie's paw imprint on Model Magic.

Next to the one of Millie's. I realized after I did this that Millie's is of her back paw.
Another paw print:

First snow on Sunday!  :-)



Maggie loves the snow!  :-) 
FEBRUARY 27, 2012

We had a snowy preview on last Monday's post from the snow that started on Sunday. Here's what it looked like Monday morning:

Heading down the ramp.

Mmmm . . . snow. So snowy . . . . 






Hello Sweetie.


I had a pop-in from the Mormons on Thursday to look at a fallen tree down by the lake on my property. This Saturday, Elder Chainsaw is coming to chop it up.  Maggie was on the front porch, but as I was walking back up to the back yard, she had followed us!


Elder Huckzinger with Tabby. 

Maggie settled in.

Flying cat! Elder Huckzinger was demonstrating how his dad used to wake him up in the morning with their cat. Tabby Bobcat was not amused!

Maggie with Elder Huckzinger & Elder New Guy--can't remember his name. Bumper? Something ending with an -er. POUNDER!  That's it.  From Utah. 
Here are a few different times of Maggie & Tabby on the porch. They really are so sweet together!






Some sort of action happening over at Neighbor Thomas's. 

Hullo.


Another time:



For the most part, Tabby stays inside. But she does like to hunt in the woods. So Maggie will go outside just to watch her. Here's Tabby back inside, so Maggie comes to the door:


And jumps up out of the way.

And sits. Like the Sphinx. 
Yesterday I was clearing out my massage room. It's been a storage room since I moved, but I'll be doing massage in between John Morgan Seminars seasons, so I started to get organized. Maggie of course managed to come in and plop down as soon as there was space!

Love this sweet girl.

MARCH 5, 2012

It's been an almost ordinary week with Maggie. I've had a few sleep-deprived nights. For a dog with one foot in the grave, she's exceptionally chipper. Saturday night she woke me at 4 a.m. barking at my bed and swinging that tail of hers in jump rope formation. *Snurf* Whaaaa?  She gets her bone and starts gnawing on it. It seems much louder in the dark than when we're sitting in the living room watching TV.  I finally fell back asleep at 6:30a but it kinda threw off my day.


I've had a problem with her peeing her bed due to a combination of bladder infection & sound sleeping with a lax, old lady bladder. My friend Lena had suggested garbage bags to protect the bed, but they're so LOUD. When Maggie gets up in the middle of the night to readjust herself on her bed, it sounds like an army marching thru a pile of Cap'n Crunch. That, coupled with the daily laundry, called for another solution. So I got some puppy pads and spread several layers, so that if she has an accident I can whisk a pad away. Is this TMI? Oh, well.

The good news is that bladder infections are relatively easy to address, what with modern medicine and whatnot. Antibiotics to the rescue!  Except. She's not fond of taking pills. I know that Mari can relate to the challenges of camoflauging her meds to get her to swallow them! That she'll eat her Deramaxx is a miracle. These antibiotics were beef flavoured tablets.  She wouldn't eat them. So I put them in the favored method of delivery, cream cheese. I watched her chew. Ah ha! Success!  And then she went PLEH and spat out the tablet onto the floor in all its gooey glory. *sigh*  I tried to hide them in other cheeses & tasty meat treats, but she was having none of it. PLEH, PLEH & PLEH. So Dr. Morgan, our vet, ordered a liquid version from a compounding pharmacy so I could squirt it into her mouth. Chicken flavoured. Brother Atlasta suggested I put peanut butter on the end of the syringe so that she would lick that off & then I could give her the squirt. Easy-peasy. He assured me dogs like peanut butter and that his own dog, Sally Jack Russel, was a "peanut butter slut and would sell her own puppies for a spoon."  I got some peanut butter and put it on my finger. Nothin'. Add peanut butter to The List.

I went back and forth between the stress of forcing her to take the medication versus having the infection and in the end, even tho she clamps her jaw shut with death grip pressure, I manage to get it down her gullet. She hates it. And I must say that the SMELL could peel paint, so I can't imagine the taste for her. But I follow it with sardines, which she's very fond of.  Her bed-wetting is MUCH better and she's been pretty dry.

This morning we were up at 5a and she had a regular breakfast of Taste of the Wild. She's snoozing by my feet and I'm looking out the window at SNOW?!  It's really coming down!  So! Snowy pix to come. In the meantime, a few pix from sunny days this past week:

I was sitting on the front porch and this is the view thru the slats of the ramp.


Looking alert.

And then, not.

Zzzzzz . . . . 

Squishy face.  :-)






MARCH 12, 2012
Maggie, dozing on the front porch:


This morning:

In the yard with Tabby Bobcat.

*sniff*

Hullo.

*sniff*

Settled in.

Hullo.

Heading back . . . .

up onto the side walk.
See the thought bubble over her head?

"Should I go over to that side of the yard?"

Hullo.

"Nah."

Heading back up the ramp.



Momentary distraction.  *sniff*
And that's been our week. Very ordinary. LOVEly!  :-)

MARCH 19, 2012
I got a new lawn ornie for the porch:

Dobson Frog.  :-)

Maggie's introduction.  

Following directions.

Maggie in the midst of feet.

Elder LeSueur stopped by for a vizzie with Elders Newman & Marriott.

This is where Maggie goes when I sit at the kitchen table for any length of time. 
Spring is springing here, and I was outside in the front yard with Maggie. I look over and where is she? Mag?

In the back of the house. For an old gal, she can still get around!

Settled in.

Looking over toward the neighbor's yard.

Eye dots!

She's so expressive.

*sniff*

And then she moved closer to the neighbor's yard. 

*sniff* 
Walking about some more. 

You can't see it, but she's looking down at the lake.
And then she comes and sits by me:


And what is she looking at, now?

Tabby Bobcat playing with a branch.  
MARCH 26, 2012
Love this sweet girl of mine.  :-)


I finally slept thru the night last night. She's been exceptionally barky the past week. As soon as my head hits the pillow she's barking. I make sure she has food and water, but she barks to let me know that she's going to get a drink. *sigh*  Or she barks to announce that the cat is entering the bedroom. It's funny when I'm not sleep deprived. She's just a barky girl, and that's how she communicates. Here are a few pix of our week:
Reminds me of a lion in the grass. 

Paws draped over.

Hullo.

First 4-leaf clover at MY house. Found one at chiro-sister's last week. "Really?" Brother Atlasta says, incredulously. "Yes," I say. "Look."  


Eye dots!  Hullo.
She looks so sweet in the morning light:


Hullo.  :-)

APRIL 2, 2012
Last Monday, Chiro-sis came over to help me do some organizing. I went to Midlothian to pick up some furniture, and she stayed behind to clean. Just as I arriving at the store, I got a call on my cell phone from the sheriff's office asking me if I had a black dog. A neighbor had called reporting a dog in the road. Maggie was lying on the porch as I drove away and wandered up there. She's never done that before. She stays close to the house, even if I can't see her right away! Anyway, she was all loaded up on a truck when Ruth came in the nick of  time to claim her. Ruth told me that she had discovered Maggie missing and had gone down to the lake looking for her. Whew!  Disaster averted!



The lawn got a bit shaggy.
This is one of Maggie's favourite spots on a nice day when I'm in the house:

Watchya lookin' at, Mag?

Lawnmower Paul, deshagging the lawn.

We were sitting sitting on the lawn & here she is sniffing my knee. 

Maggie on the deshagged lawn.


In another favourite, sunny, mulchy spot.


Hullo.


*sniff*
Here's a preview of my handy work with Ruth in the kitchen:

New sideboard, we installed the shelves, & I painted the wall green.
This is Maggie this morning as I was putting everything back in place:

Zzzzzzzz . . . . 

:-)
Outside later this morning:

Watchya lookin' at, Mag?

Tabby Bobcat.

Hullo.
When I come and sit on the porch, Maggie comes up to join me. This is my view:



From the front.


Hullo.
Later this afternoon:

Back in the mulch.
You may recall that I got grim news for Maggie in January. She was given 2 months to live by the vet. However, her 2 months is up and she's still going. There was a period of time where I couldn't get her to eat and she was losing weight. She is eating like a horse and gaining weight again. Mum has said, "She's nevah going to die, she has it too good!" She's still frail and arthritic, but she wags her tail whenever I bring my hand to pet her. When I wake up, I lie in bed and say, "Maaaaggie...good morrrrrrning!" And she thumps her tail. SO SWEET. So for now, she's doing OK. I don't know how much time we have left, but as long as she's not suffering, she's here with me. Right now she is lying here in the living room with me snoozing by my feet. SO SWEET.

APRIL 9, 2012
Maggie lying in the mulch on top of some sort of decorative grassy plant I have:


See?  

Hullo.

Then she gets up and walks around  . . .


Woah-woah-woah!  Where ya goin', Mag?

Coming back.

Can you see what she's heading toward? 

Striding along with such purpose. 

That's right: Tabby Bobcat.

Hullo.

Tum-de-dum.  Walking by.
Aaaaaand . . . 

Back up the ramp.
Last week I painted my kitchen & got a smaller table that Maggie can't sit under with her bed, so I moved her bed to the side:
Of course, I can't get to the sink when it's here!


Hullo.
Aaaaaand . . . 

Zzzzzz . . . . 

Sweet Maggie's paws.  :-)
APRIL 16, 2012
We've had some beautiful spring days--some a bit on the chilly side, which suits me just fine! Here's Maggie in the front yard:


Eye dots!


I normally give Maggie her food in a paper bowl because she doesn't like the sound of her tags hitting a metal bowl. But I ran out and so I put her food on a plate. I'm in the living room and I hear her nosing her food on the plate and pushing it off!

Silly girl!


Sitting down to eat. That's right. So I don't have to clean up!
When I'm in the kitchen at the sink or at the table, Maggie settles in under the table. It's too small to fit her bed under there, but she seems to do OK:


This past Friday, I baby sat nephew Rowan, who adores Maggie:

That's an empty water gun in Rowan's hand. 


Maggie looking pretty happy.  :-) 


See the look on her face?

Whatcha lookin' at, Mag?

Tabby at the watering bowl. Maggie's just waiting to see if she goes to her food bowl. THEN there's trouble!


Tabby Bobcat don't care. She's a badass. (Honey badger reference, warning: bad language).

Slurp. 

Maggie continues to watch, ever vigilant!
You may have noticed the black tray under the water bowl. That's because Maggie is a SLOPPY drinker & dribbles water around the bowl. So instead of getting the mat wet, the tray collects the water.

I was getting her beef bones that she could suck the marrow out of, but the local grocery store doesn't have them, so I've been giving her ribs instead. I cut them into individual ones and freeze them. Whenever I have to leave, I give her one. And even if I don't go anywhere, she still gets one a day. She eats them on her sleeping bag in the LR. Now she's got me trained; she'll go and plop down on her sleeping bag and  then bark for a bone!  Can't fault her for that, can I? Such a smart girl.

P.S. In addition to being Maggie on Monday, it's an extra-special day: John Morgan's BirthdayHere's another past b-day post. Author of Grasshopper Notes, he is my boss, mentor, and dear friend. Make a WISH, JJJJ!  :-) H.

APRIL 23, 2012
This week I caught a few pix of Maggie & Tabby together, lying out on the side walk. They're so funny together.




Hullo.
This is around the time you'd have a thought, "less is more," with these pictures. But I couldn't decide which ones I liked the best, so I'm posting most of them!




In the morning I let Maggie out. She walks around the yard and then sits on the side walk. This is my view as I check on her:


Later in the afternoon, Maggie heads up the ramp. However . . .

Tabby at the head of the ramp.

*sigh*

Then Maggie leans forward & plods ahead. Eventually Tabby moves.
This is my view when Maggie is coming back in:


She waits for me to come to the door. She likes a little reassurance when she crosses the threshold, so I just lightly touch her neck and then she steps in.


And that was our week. Still taking it one day at a time. I got another month's supply of Deramaxx for her. Apparently there's a shortage & I got the last batch. So we'll have to explore other options. She's past her expiration date according to the vet, but still going, er, not exactly strong. But you know, she's going.

I've been reading Patricia McConnell's The Other End of the Leash.  Brilliant-brilliant-brilliant! She talks about not approaching so dogs directly. I knew a lot of what she says, like not to hug dogs. But I changed the way I'd been cleaning Maggie's eye. Her one eye still gets a bit goopy & so I clean it first thing in the morning & give her her eye drops. We actually alternate between drops, ointment, & rewetting drops throughout the day, as needed.  Anyway, I would step over her and lean over her from behind to wash out her eye. And she would move her head all around and it was like trying to rinse out a moving target!  So I changed my approach & sit beside her, not over her. What do you know? She sits still. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks. And by old dog, I mean me.  ;-)

APRIL 30, 2012
This is so hard to write, even tho it was inevitable. The vet had given Maggie 2 months to live, and she outlived her expiration date by 5 weeks. So I had 3 months to extra-love and care for her.

Maggie's Last Day with Me

On Saturday, I heard Maggie get up in the middle of the night and throw up. I got up, cleaned it up and we both went back to sleep. Then she woke me again around 5a, so I stayed up. In the mornings we have a ritual; I get up and pet her good morning and then go brush my teeth. She follows me, where she sits in the middle of the hallway outside the bathroom. Then she follows me to the kitchen and gets a drink of water while I make tea. I turn on our morning music, a compilation of French accordion music I got from Target a few weeks ago. Then we go outside; she down the ramp and I sit and drink my tea. But yesterday she just stayed in the bedroom. So I brought water in for her and gave her some homeopathic lycopodium to settle her tummy & Perelandra's Snap Pea flower essence. She didn't throw up after that, but she was lethargic. So she just lay on her bed and I putzied around in my office.

She was panting a bit & would drink if I brought water to her, but she wasn't all that interested. My vet had given me her cell number, so I called her. She was in NC but coming back late Saturday night and would come to the house first thing Sunday morning. She said it sounded like Maggie might be getting ready to go but that it may be helpful to give her some more subcutaneous fluids.

I checked in on Maggie and she was asleep, so I went to get the subcutaneous stuff ready. Then I turned the light on and realized that Maggie wasn't sleeping, she had slipped away in her sleep. But I wasn't sure. She was still warm. I couldn't tell if she was breathing, so I help a mirror up to her nose. Nothing. I called Brother Atlasta and he came over.

I never buried the others. They were cremated at the vet. But I decided that I wanted to have a place for her. So she's off to the side of the yard, where she would often look out. I called my Mormon friends and they came right over with shovels to dig. Brother Atlasta went home for his shovel and chiro-sis came over. It's all such a blur.

Brother Atlasta with Elders Newman & Corey. who have to wear suits for everything. I could hear Atlasta telling them about his Cambiando Vidas D.R. trip with Mum and digging the house foundation and septic all by hand.  
Brother Atlasta carried Maggie out from the bedroom, wrapped in a towel, and we buried her. I asked the Mormons if they wanted to say something Bibley and Elder Corey said, "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. That sounds pretty Bibley." I said that my favourite quote was by Anatole France:

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." 

Daniel suggested planting a dogwood tree over her grave, which I thought was a sweet idea. But then I thought that I'd like to do forsythia for her. It was her favourite at the River House:

Millie and Maggie nestled under the forsythia.
I have all these pictures from this week, so I'll leave you with Maggie's last week:

Maggie used to bark at the door to go out, but sometimes she would just plop down.

Silhouette of Maggie & Tabby Bobcat. 

Tabby has mastered sitting on top of the wicker cushions.

Hullo.

Nephew Rowan came for a vizzie. I had just gotten the grey mat that Maggie's lying on.  One for the kitchen, LR,  & 2 in my bedroom. So that she wouldn't slip on the floor. Also easier to clean up that carpet. 

Chiro-sis came over & helped me pull up the carpet in my bedroom.  Maggie came to see what all the furniture moving was about and then plopped down across the threshold. 

Sweet afternoon with Maggie. I got new porch furniture and we were sitting out there. 

Such an expressive face.



Tabby on the ramp, close by. Brother Atlasta said to me, as Tabby went up the ramp, "Are you going to leave the ramp up for the lazy cat?"   Hahahaha


Zzzzz . . . .

My sweet Maggie. LOVE you so much.
I'm so grateful for Brother Atlasta & Elders Newman & Corey for all their hard work, and to chiro-sis. I'm especially grateful to AARF for giving me a chance with Maggie & Millie. I knew when I first saw their photo on Petfinder that they were mine, for however long. They both stayed with me longer than I ever thought they would, and for that I am grateful. I'm grateful for John Morgan, who has helped me thru the deaths of Barkley, Remi, Millie & now Maggie. And I am grateful for the love I feel for all my sweet dogs, even as I mourn them. I remember the LOVE.

MAY 2, 2012
I think I'm having an easier time of Maggie's passing because I didn't have to make any decision about euthanasia. She decided for me. Here are a few photos of our time together:

At the river house, nestled in by the wood shed, one of her favourite spots.

Lying on top of my shoes.  So cute.

Look at that face. 

This was shortly after I got her. 

Coming up the dog ramp at the River House. 

Another favourite spot: under the forsythia bush.
Forsythia bush in the fall. 

This was when she had vertigo. See the head tilt? Chiro & laser to the rescue & she was with me for another year & a half! 

Eye dots!  

'member this? We didn't have a lot of visitors at the River House. This was one of  the well repair guys. Melted my heart when I saw this; fellow dog lover.  :-) 

Foggy day at the River House, Maggie heading to the ramp.

At the new house, on the front porch. Eye dots!

Up the ramp with Tabby in the way.

On the side walk.

Hullo.

Exploring the yard.

My sweet Maggie, around last Christmas (I can tell because of her Christmassy bandana). 
And here are a few pix of Maggie & Millie together:
'member this? They woke me up barking at 3 AM & I found that Maggie had taken my slipper & is guarding it from Millie.  Hahahaha

Millie leads the way down the ramp. Step-step-step  Stop 'n' look over at the railroad tracks & mountains.

Last Spring at the River House, near the clothes line. Red buds in bloom!

In my office. I had dog beds everywhere! Maggie's in her thunder shirt, Millie's sacked out.

On the back porch, over looking their domain.

Another favourite photo. Ever vigilant. 

Watching deer in the front field. Or wild turkeys, squirrels, & the occasional bear.

They adored Fisherman Willie!

This was a sleep-over with Pioneer Sister's kids. Maggie plopped on top of pillows & blankets.  Mari pointed out that M&M were not kid-friendly to begin with. When the kids first met them at Mystic Pet in their kennel, they BARKED & were v. scary!  I think they must have been teased by kids at some point when they were behind a fence. Once we were at home, they were really sweet with the kids & we didn't have any problems.  :-)

Vizzies with Mum. Millie in her favourite spot by the window.

First week at the new house, in the back yard.  You can click HERE for more M&M pix. 
JULY 16, 2012: MONDAY FOR MARI
Summer time . . . and the livin' is easy.

One year I made an M&M calendar for Mari with some of my favourite pictures of the girls. I'm feeling a bit nostalgic, not just for M&M, who were both with me this time last year, but also the River House. Here are their dog days of summer:


When I first got Millie, her lower back was so restricted, she couldn't wag her tail. After months of massage-Reiki-myofascial work, it was a special delight to see her doing this:

Ah, fresh laundry on the line and the girls just hanging out:


The photo to the left was taken thru the bay window of my living room. The other two were the girls peeking out thru the forsythia bush:

My favourite view from the labyrinth, with Millie:


JULY 23, 2012: MONDAY FOR MARI
I've been reading Patricia McConnell's For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend. Brilliant-brilliant-brilliant! Now some people argue that dogs don't have emotions because they are animals. As if. As if they don't have brains with the same sort of neurotransmitters that humans have. I think these assertions are made by auditory people who think that just because animals can't talk, they can't feel. What's wonderful about Patricia McConnell is that she's a scientist, and backs up her information with a lot of neuroscience and other sciencey-type research. I found particularly fascinating the different physiological clues and facial expressions that dogs make that give us insights into what they're feeling or trying to communicate.  Pay attention to body posture; stiffness, leaning forward or back. A dog who bites out of fear has a different physiology compared to one who bites out of aggression.  

Humans and dogs have many of the same facial expressions, so I went thru a few pix to look for illustrations from the book. One of the first things is to look at the mouth; opened & relaxed (a dog's version of smiling) or closed, denoting tension. Here's Remi:

Hmmm . . . closed mouth. Also brow furrowed. I think he was thinking, "What?" 
Here he is, mouth open and he is leaning into me--all 145 lbs. of him!  Patricia McConnell says that dogs are not "huggers" like us primates, but I'm not embracing him full on or very tightly. I let him cozy up to me.
Remi in the center of the labyrinth. Mouth smiling.  He always came and joined me in the center of the labyrinth, and so I asked him to stay so I could take his picture. You can see him leaning forward wanting to come out.
Here's mama Barkley:

I always thought of this as a serious picture. Mouth closed. 
But here she is in the background with a happy, relaxed mouth:

And Remi resting his big head on Mum. He liked to do that.  :-)  "Yes, you're very sweet. Now go away," says Mum. "And you're not a dog, you're a horse."
Here's Albus, my sister's dog. Looking very happy sitting outside the labyrinth.

Here he is at the beach. Mouth closed, and looking a bit tense (or perhaps he's enjoying the breeze flapping his ears?) He went after a woman when he was off-leash that week. This was also the trip where he bit my niece. He was not a good dog to be around lots of kiddiewink noise.
And one of my favourite pictures:

Millie, mouth smiling AND eyes closed. Melting.  :-) 
Maggie & Millie, smiling with Mari. 
Patricia talks about "whale eye," a fear look where the whites of the eyes are showing. I don't know if  this qualifies, but Maggie was awfully patient and sweet with nephew Rowan:

Rowan's mouth open, Maggie's mouth closed. 
When I took this photo last year, I thought it was really sweet. Now I think Millie's not looking too happy. 
Maggie, 2011. Not so Christmasy-cheery. Sorry Mags! 

This was one of my favourite sequences of photos. I was outside taking Millie's picture. I didn't know what she was looking at, but she was watching Tabby Bobcat walking on the ramp behind me:  

I didn't know Tabby was behind me until!  I felt her jump on my back while I simultaneously snapped the look of surprise on Millie's face!

Yes, dogs show surprise the same way humans do: raised eyebrow muscles and the jaw drops down a bit.
And we'll end with more happy pix of Maggie & Millie:

Here are Millie & Maggie the first day I brought them home to the River House; sitting by the labyrinth.  :-)
SO happy sniffing for whatever rodent was under the river-dusty car!

Happy Millie sitting at the top of the ramp . . . 

Heh heh heh. Blocking Maggie's way--but she doesn't look too unhappy about it!
Millie's favourite spot at the River house; sitting in front of the living room window. Happy mouth,  & she sees SOMEthing fascinating in that field!

I'm leaving you with this picture of Maggie & Tabby Bobcat together on the front porch of the Lake House because it's just so sweet:


HAPPY Monday!