Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Updates and other things

I wanted to update folks on the status of Miss Nonnie, the injured Ridgeback.  Her surgery went well, and the first two bandage changes have been done.  The vet, Dr Deena, reports the leg is healing well.  She feels if it remains infection free, that Nonnie will have minimal scarring and full use of the leg.  Yay!

Here is a pic from about a week post-op.

Thank you to everyone who sent prayers, good thoughts, and donations.

And for all the good folks in Indianapolis area, especially Brigid, Tam, and Roberta X, bloggers all, I was glad to learn via Brigid's storm post yesterday that y'all survived the tornado, without damage I think.  Prayers sent for those folks who did suffer property damage or injuries. And Brigid, I'm not sure about the ice cream being calorie-free on tornado days....just sayin'!

The cycling has been going ok this month.  Although, the rain of late has reduced my total number of rides.  Still, we need the rain more than I need to ride.  With the traffic issues around here, I do not like to ride in the rain.  Eventually I will get my 50+ mile ride in for the year, since I did not manage it for my 50th birthday.  I have a route planned out.  I might even invite a friend or two to come out with me, or I might just go it alone.  I don't know.  I still have to sort out which bike I will ride too.  Decisions, decisions! 

Cody dog has been seizure free since going on PB 6wks ago.  He is a little slower and lazier (is that even possible for a RR?).  But I suspect we won't have him for more than a year more or so.  He might surprise me though.  I try, gently, to prepare our youngest daughter for that eventual one-way trip to the vet for Cody. It will be hard...especially for her.

And Indy dog is doing well--mostly.  He eats like a hog at the feed trough, and drinks like a noisy camel.  While he isn't what I would call housebroken yet, he is mostly ok.  It's a lot harder to train up a 2yr old, just-neutered male dog not to pee inside, than it is a puppy!  And other than destroying one crate bed, and a tennis ball, I don't think he has eaten anything else of value.  His basic commands training is progressing too.  He has mastered SIT, and occasionally PAW (aka SHAKE), and he seems to understand DROP without having been trained.  I am very happy on that last command, as it is essential to get him to release items in his mouth.

It was pretty funny last night--the kids had Indy all amped up, being frisky indoors.  He bounced off the dog couch and onto Shiloh...big mistake!  As he landed on her, she whirled around into him, teeth flashing, and the snarl on her face and the noise that came out of her were like a demon from the 7th Level of Hell!  Indy would do well to listen to these words of wisdom--"Don't mess with the Diva in the house!"  He retreated at top speed, tail tucked! between his legs.

I hope everyone has a good weekend upcoming with time spent with family and friends.  I might go to a Funshow in Mesquite this weekend as I haven't been to one in a while.  Or I might just go for a long ride.  What are your plans for the weekend, my friends?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Nonnie needs your help...

Ok, first a heads up warning.  There's one graphic injury picture I am going to post here.  Second I am going to ask you, my readers, to consider donating money to help Nonnie.  If that offends, I apologise, but I need to get the word out about this dog, and to try to help my friends at TIRR Rescue who are bearing the financial burden of her care.

Nonnie is a dog.  A purebred Rhodesian Ridgeback, who was adopted a number of years ago thru TIRR.  She was trained as a Service Dog, and faithfully served her family's disabled child for most of those years.  Then tragically, the child passed away.  I don't know exactly when.  But at some point, within the last 2 months I suspect, Nonnie was injured.  The injury was misdiagnosed, when in fact it was far more severe an injury.  The damage grew and grew.  The family opted to return Nonnie to TIRR.  All dogs adopted from TIRR come with a no-questions-asked return policy.  If you no longer want the dog, TIRR will take it back.

But when they are sick, or injured, TIRR also bears the financial burden of the dog's care and rehabilitation, often running into the thousands of dollars.  With Nonnie, they bear the burden of trying to heal this... (graphic pic alert).

Yeah, that's a hunk of missing skin the size of my open hand.  It makes me angry to see how this injury was allowed to grow until she was returned to TIRR for treatment!  But I don't know the people, nor do I know their situation.  It could be worse--she could have been dumped on the side of the road to get hit by a car, or die of infection, or get euthanized.  So, Nonnie is lucky.  The injury has not affected her gait, and provided that infection can be kept at bay, she stands an excellent chance of a full recovery.   TIRR will see to her care and eventual placement in a new FOREVER home.

Nonnie has been to the vet at the excellent facility in Justin TX.  She has had surgery to begin to close the wound.  Through it all, she has been a real trooper.  She won over the hearts of the vet's office this week.  All this has to be hard on her--the injury, the emotional pain of separation  and abandonment from the only life she knew.  But she has remained a sweet and loving dog.

Here she is, sporting her spiffy new Urban Camo bandage!  The recovery and healing will be long.  The vet costs, even with Rescue discounts, will be high.  There is a risk, if the wound becomes infected, that she could lose the leg, or even possibly her life.  TIRR needs your help to cover Nonnie's vet bills.  You can read more of Nonnie's story on the TIRR  facebook page.  TIRR is a 501c3 registered charitable organization, thus donations are tax deductible if you choose to do so.  You can find all of TIRR's contact information, both email and snail mail plus a series of Paypal donation buttons, on the TIRR Petfinder page.  Just scroll down the page to find them.  If you feel led to do so, please send something for Nonnie's care.  All donations via Paypal through this month will be dedicated for Nonnie's care.  Funds mailed can of course be directed per your instructions.  No amount is too small--it all adds up, and it all helps, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Several folks on FB have expressed a desire to foster Nonnie or adopt her.  Hopefully one of those will turn out to be her forever home.  She is a good girl, and deserves a loving home for the rest of her days.  "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' Matthew 25:21 NIV

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Indy update...lack of sleep and near-explosions of the doggy kind

Indy has been doing well, and seems to be integrating peacefully into a now-three dog household.  We have been taking him on short walks, with Cody and Shiloh, so he can learn to walk properly on the leash (he doesn't understand he cannot run freely any more), and to give Cody a walk he can, at 11yrs old, tolerate in the heat.
Indy snoring in his crate.

Indy is very food driven, and should be fairly easy to train in the basics of household behavior.  I hope.  However, with the kids in the house, and dog treat biscuits, there seems to have been a problem.  The dog treats disappear faster than the dogs could possibly be stealing them.  Thus I suspect an involvement of Monkeys.
All three resting together.
Unfortunately, between being forced to change diets (from shelter to house chow) and an overabundance of treats, poor Indy's digestion rebelled a la Abby (or this)!  Around 10:30pm two nights ago, Indy issued his first barks ever from inside his crate in Monkeyboy's room.  It elicited the response he desired from me, which was some immediate attention.  He appeared in some distress, so I let him out, whereupon he made a beeline for the back door.  He ran around the back yard somewhat frantically, looking for a place to unload, explosively. 

I re-crated him afterwards, noting that it was likely to be a long night.  It was...Up again at 11:30, after which I elected to sleep in the living room with Indy (easier to clean up if necessary due to laminate flooring not carpeting), and then up at 1:00am with him, 3:30am with the coffee pot, 4:00 when DH came in for coffee, 5:00am when he left for his morning ride, and finally at 6:00am when he came back and then departed for work.  So much for my sleep cycle that night! 

Endosorb was administered overnight, and food restricted all yesterday, made for an unhappy dog!  But, by dinner yesterday, he was ready for a pot of soggy rice(help increase hydration) with a chopped up hard boiled egg.  Fortunately, the Endosorb seems to have helped, and I was able to set up a better bed for myself last night in the living room, to keep an eye on him overnight.  That way, I'm the only one who gets woken up.  All part of being Mom, I guess.
New Dog and the Diva.
But when you get three dogs to relax together, especially with a Diva in the house, life is good!  They are getting comfortable enough to begin playing together, and there are no problems at the water bowls or snarlyfests over chew toys.  Last night was uneventful, and I slept better than the night before.  I think he is over the worst of the doggrhea.  I'm hoping to sleep in my own bed tonight, as I have lots to do today, and would like to get a night of comfortable solid sleep.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Busy busy busy...

It has been a busy week this week, which is my excuse for not posting more.  Of course there is life with a new dog, who needs watched with eagle eyes, lest he chew something he shouldn't (Monkeyboy's HALO Legos,) or pee inside (on Monkey1's raincoat which happened to be left on the floor by the door.  HOW did it get there???).  He's only had two accidents so far, and both were by the doors, so I think (hope) he is trying to tell us he wants out but we are missing the signal sometimes. 

Then there was the chaos when DH blew up his rear wheel on his recumbent, when the derailleur (rear, SRAM x9) overshifted into the rear wheel, and causing the chain to wrap irreparably around the space between the drive side spokes, and the cassette.    This chewed halfway through about half the drive side spokes on his lovely handbuilt wheel.  This led to a call to Pat at the bike shop to see if she would be willing and able to rebuild it in time for NEXT weekend's Tour de Cure ride that DH does.  Fortunately, Pat took pity on us, and I drove to Sherman Thursday morning, and dropped off the wheel, along with the tandem wheel that needs work (but doesn't have a time crunch issue--we only need it by July.

Since DH is riding the 'bent today in the Collin Classic, he had to find a new rear derailleur Wednesday night to have enough time to install and tune it.  Did you know it is nearly impossible to find a 9speed SRAM x7 or x9 rear derailleur in DFW in stock?  And if you do find one, it is priced like it is made of unobtainium!  And now you know...  Oh and I let him dogrob the rear wheel off my recumbent so he could ride today, so for the rest of the week, I will be riding the Roubaix.

Hmm...enough bike talk I think.  Then there was the visit to the endocrinologist.  She upped my thyro med some, but also told me I am confirmed with Hashimoto's disease.  And since I am significantly anti-GAD positive, I will probably become a type-1 diabetic in the next couple years no matter what I do in regards to diet, weight and exercise.   It's known as LADA, and is classed as an autoimmune problem, thus I am essentially destroying my own Islet cells. This is my older sister's exact scenario.  Ah, the joys of getting older.  Like my sis says, "Getting old, it's not for sissies!"  At least I know about it in advance...

I do want to do a more detailed post about Indy.  He's such a sweetie, and a big ol' goof.  He cracks me up.  He is a pretty quick learner for a stubborn Ridgeback.  I suspect it is the fact he is SO food driven that he will learn anything for a treat.  So keep a watch out for another dog post.  I will try to get some good pics of him, so y'all can learn to love the Ridgie breed like I do.

Enjoy your weekend, folks!  Tonight it's Steak Night!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

ND = New Dog = Indy

Oooh! I l love attention.

Look what followed us home...His new name is Indy, long for ND, or New Dog.  We were made aware of his situation via the Ridgeback rescue network, and it turns out he was at our local county shelter. 
This is all so strange...

DH and I went to check him out yesterday, and today we took up our other 2 dogs, and the 3 Monkeys.  He passed all the checks with flying colors, and even is getting along with Cody, "Mr Crabby".  He is young, and was picked up as a stray in town.  A livernose, and our first purebred
Ridgie.  He's still got a lot of puppy in him, and he is gentle, but unmannered. Training is essential in his case, but as he seems rather food-driven, it shouldn't be too hard.

A vet trip is in order tomorrow to make sure there are no med issues, and to share his current records from the county.  So far, he is behaving better than I expected.  I think he will be a good dog.
Do I really get to be a house dog?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

This is your brain...

This is your brain...
Image courtesy of NIMH public domain image library.
Image courtesy of NIMH public domain image library

And this is your brain on bike.
Image courtesy of Brigid, used with permission.

With thanks to Brigid, for the laugh and the image to use.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Seventy years ago...

 Seventy years on now, hundreds of thousands of common men, did an uncommon thing on a day filled with uncommon valor and bravery.  Many are gone now, the rest will go to join their comrades in eternity sooner than we can all afford to lose.  Honor their acts.  Honor their memory.

Allied Invasion Force
Public domain via Wikimedia Commons


Visit the US National D-Day Memorial if you can.  It is a stunning, somber place.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Cody: A Living Tribute

Rather than writing this in the future, when we are grieving a loss as-yet unfelt, I thought I would profile our canine elder statesman Cody.

We have had Cody for all but about 6months of his life.  his life began horribly enough, though perhaps not quite as rough as Charlie's.  Cody was take in into rescue, nearly starved to death.  A dark brindle something mixed with a Rhodesian Ridgeback.  BMC/RR perhaps, or something else, we will never know for sure, but the ridge is a dead giveaway of at least half his heritage.
So handsome!
When we first saw him, TIRR had only had possession of him for 3-4 days, a 6mo old puppy, who was so malnourished you could literally count all his bones, who was so weakened, his toes splayed out, too weak to hold a natural position. 

When introduced to Charlie, then in his prime, Cody was submissive, and in truth he is a Beta-dog. He is not a leader, but a follower, one who only became confused of his role in life as Charlie declined in his last 2-3 years.  Shiloh set Cody back in place, being both a supremely confident Alpha female, and a Diva to boot.
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In their prime.

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They loved to sleep beside each other during the day.
When young, and in his prime, Cody was the fleet-footed dog, racing around the yard at top speed, only to be knocked ass-over-teakettle by Charlie who while slower of foot, was faster at physics calculations and knew just where to run to for an intercept and collision!   He was thought by some to be a scary looking dog, with the dark brindle coat, and the haunting yellow eyes.  It earned him the nickname The Yellow-eyed Hound...perhaps one day I will be able to put onto paper the Halloween tale that name inspires.
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His yellow eyes are growing cloudy with age now.  His once dark face is now almost fully white with age.  A few years ago, he had some petit mal seizures, maybe 2-3 a year that we ever witnessed.  Then they stopped...until a month ago, when they returned with a vengeance.  5-6 times a day, cluster seizures the vet said.  Phenobarb is the prescription, even in dogs, and lucky for Cody, the minimum dosage possible seems to have controlled them.  At least for now.
White faced, and goofy!
PB has some issues, the most common side effects being increased thirst and hunger.  It also comes with a need to periodically monitor his liver function.  It also tends to make him a little more tired.  His time is spent mostly asleep on the dog couch, or on Monkey3's bed.

His health otherwise seems good, according to the vet.  Cody does have a lot of old age lumps, earning him the less than flattering moniker of Mr. Lumpus, but it is said with much affection.  Most of them are benign...some are probably not.

He is an old dog now, 11 years on.  I hope he will be with us for at least a few years more.  Only time will tell on that.  But as the senior dog, he has earned a few creature comforts--peanut butter coated pills, and uninterrupted time on the couch are but two.  He has always been a Good Dog, and our youngest child's dearest love and companion, bed warmer and pillow.
The best pillow ever...
The following poem is by Donna Swajeski, and was reprinted on Glenn Beck's The Blaze.  Take joy in your old dogs, my friends.  I do.
Cody on his end of the dog couch.
Their joys are simple. A soft bed. A scrap fallen from the table that the younger dogs missed. The memory of a treed squirrel. A stormless night.

White whiskered faces and legs crooked as question marks.

Old Dogs…their sweet Buddha bellies hang over crossed legs as they fall asleep in a coveted patch of sun. Dreaming of out-racing their shadows down long, shady lanes.

Once they danced by your side. The very definition of joy unleashed. A perfect poem caught in shining eyes and wagging tails. They have followed you faithfully for years. And would plunge into fires, untamed wildernesses, raging waters if you asked.
Now, they struggle to catch up. Their pace slow but their hearts still valiant.

Their cloudy eyes are starting to dim and go distant, tuning in to some invisible world. Just beyond your reach.

Don’t go you say, as you scratch the tender part between their ears. Stay longer. I can’t imagine a world without your fur pressed close to my cheek. There are still so many roads we haven’t explored.

And they look up at you with a wisdom that just slays you.

Their backs are bent, not from the weight of years, but from the invisible wings they are growing
That will soon take them to a place where once more they are warriors of speed
Drunk with the sights and scents of a thousand meadows.
Able to leap high enough to touch the wing of the tiniest butterfly.

A place where they will now wait for you to catch up.

H/T Donna Swajeski /

Monday, June 2, 2014

Old Bike, New Twist

So...I thought I was totally committed to the recumbent cycling lifestyle.  Then we weighed DH's Giro.  The results, with water, were not encouraging.  We estimate my Giro, which is slightly heavier due to different components, to shy in at close to 50# with 150oz water onboard.  That's a LOT of weight to spin up hills.  Now, it does make for a nice run downhill--that physics thing about mass in motion etc--but it does make for a bit of a pig uphill.  And lets face it, if you are thinking of doing LONG'ish rides (60+miles), the weight does become a factor, as it slows me down.  And in Texas heat, I would rather spend 6hrs on the bike than 8hrs if you know what I mean.

Thus began an experiment.  I borrowed stole Monkey1's road bike (traditional bike frame) as it is essentially my size.  I took it out on a couple rides, to see what I could do, and how much it hurt, and where.  Well, apart from the expected sensitivities in the nether regions (not acclimated to a DF seat quite yet) the other aches and pains were not so bad.  The hands and elbow felt the difference, but for 20-30mi, it seemed quite manageable.  Oh, and I was faster on it.  Faster is better.

So I told DH that I wanted to look for a used road bike--more for the shorter training rides, and a chance to keep up with the Monkeys, especially on the hills.  We were fortunately able to find a really nice older Specialized Roubaix for a nice price here in DFW. 
A 2007 alloy framed Specialized Roubaix, Shimano 105 equipped, 10spd drivetrain.  Carbon seat stays and fork, in a 52cm.  It has the Specialized Zertz Inserts in the stays and fork, but my engineer-husband says they are more marketing ploy than functional dampers.  This doesn't surprise me, but I will say this, the bike rides more comfortably than my former beloved Masi Gran Corsa with Reynolds 531.  And that's saying something!

I will be adding a set of Profile Design Aerobars to the bike--not for speed, but for a chance to get off my hands totally and rest on my elbows/forearms.  I used them in the past, and they really do help. 

It's fun being back on a DF bike.  I did 22 miles on it Saturday, and 32 miles yesterday.  It's been over a decade since I rode that far on a DF!  (I've been exclusively recumbent since 2011, and have lots of bent miles.)  I still want a Schlitter Encore, and will likely get one late in the year, after DH gets his.  But until then, I plan to ride both the Giro, and the Roubaix.  Maybe the 'cross training' in riding styles will make me a stronger rider.