Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

So excited for Dee!

My bestest friend Dee has landed the most awesome full-time gig in the Florida Everglades. She’ll work at the Ivey House B&B as a nature guide and concierge, starting April 15th. Check the place out:

It’s affiliated with the North American Canoe Tours Inc and Everglades Rentals & Eco Adventures:

I am so happy for her. She’ll be doing exactly what she wants to do in the place where she wants to do it (she’s always said that she wanted to end up in Florida). It’s a full-time, year-round job with incredible potential for adventure and opportunities. The Ivey House is so lucky to have her. She’ll show them what-all she can do. They will be amazed.

I will miss her. She leaves in about two weeks, but it’s so worth it for her. Trying to convince Marty that we need to go–perhaps October? We’ll see!!

I am such a dork

There’s a fabulous great blue heron heronry in a giant cottonwood tree near my workplace. I’d noticed that several herons are back. Yesterday I took my binos with me to work so that I could walk over at lunch and take a peek. I’d forgotten about the giant snowstorm that hit Tues; the walking trails were still snow covered. Duh, me in my tennies and jeans. I walked the long way around. Just before I got to the prime viewing spot, I stepped in slushy snow up to my ankles. Not good. Guess I can’t walk on water after all (jk). I was already in it, so I soldiered on. Squish, squish. Saw the herons; three males already in breeding plumage hanging out at the nests, waiting for the females to arrive to begin rebuilding. And I spied a great horned owl way up in the tree. My friend Dee calls me the owl whisperer because I always seem to spot them before others do. I agree; I believe that somehow I summon them. Squish, squish, all the way back to work. Packed up my laptop and work and went home to change shoes, socks, and jeans. Bad news is, I have a small blister on one heel from walking so far with wet feet. Oh well. Worth it to see the birds! I’ll take pics later, when the young are fledging.

Star’s treatment

Started Star on 3.75mg of Meloxicam daily, and are curtailing his crazy activity. We’ll see how he does. In a couple of weeks, we take him to an orthopedic specialist for a consultation on surgery. We were completely misquoted on the cost of arthroscopic surgery; instead of $30,000, we could be facing $3800. Much more reasonable! We’ll see.

Star likes blueberries…and more!

Star has decided that blueberries aren’t poison. It’s taken him awhile to go from dropping them as soon as he takes them in his mouth to actually eating them. Lacey, of course, loves blueberries.

Funny how much he’s learned from Lacey since he joined our family two months ago. Now he likes to lick dirty dishes in the dishwasher. The other day, he delicately removed a piece of cheese from Marty’s dinner plate on a tv tray, watching Marty the whole time. Said cheese was removed from his mouth by Marty. He knows that sitting next to us at the dinner table might, just might, result in tidbits from the table. We’ve created a monster 😉

Star has bilateral elbow dysplasia

I believe that it’s not the breeder’s fault, nor any of the dogs behind him. I believe it’s because he was neutered too young (5 mos) and got heavy. According to recent research, if a dog is neutered or spayed too young (before the age of 12 mos), then the growth plates don’t close properly. The dog’s bones continue to grow, and become long and thin. Star stands 28″ at the withers, has long bones, but now is at a good weight (60lbs). The damage that we saw on the xrays also could have been exacerbated by his full-out ball and Frisbee fetching. Star has no middle or low gear.

We have begun researching our options. Surgery? Maintenance? One ortho specialist’s technician stated breezily, “Yes, it could cost around $30,000 to do the arthroscopic surgery.” I replied, “So we need to take out a second mortgage to pay for this?” That’s a rhetorical question, folks. Um, no, we can’t do that. I’m going to contact other orthopedic specialists to read his xrays and give us their opinion. What’s the grade (degree) of dysplasia? What are our options? I’m also going to contact a local pain-management-specialist vet who’s certified in acupuncture. We started him immediately on glucosamine/MSM supplements. Need to purchase additional supplements, and talk about anti-inflammatories would work best. Star already has arthritis, and still limps occasionally. Star toes in with his left foot, and shifts to distribute his weight differently. Our vet likens the sensation to having a rock in your shoe.

We’re in this for the long haul. We will do what we can to help him. Because we love him.

Realta’s Starry Starry Night HIC

Yep, he passed his CDHA herding test at TerraNorte Ranch in Wellington, CO. So great to see him turn on to the goats. I was nervous when we entered the pen, because the tester hooked a long line on Star. I told the tester that Star would likely freak out because he’s so sensitive to trailing leads. The tester said he needed to do it, because if Star did something naughty (like try to eat a goat), then the tester needed to be able to catch him. It wasn’t too long before it was apparent that Star wasn’t going to eat a goat (unlike a Berner who had hold of a goat during his test!), so the tester removed the long line. That’s when Star got down to business. On his assessment, the tester wrote, “Nice dog. Keep working with him!” And of course, getting applause as we left the pen was quite the ego boost.

Looking into taking classes in tending. In this herding activity, the dog becomes a living fence; he drives the stock in a line and doesn’t let them move beyond this invisible boundary or that. A lot less stressful on his elbows, and it uses his intelligence in a whole new way. “Regular” herding, where the dog keeps the stock in a “bubble”,  might be too hard on his joints. I have a lot to learn about tending, but I’m excited!

Why do I say Good Morning to people I don’t care about?

‘Nuff said.

Birds, birds everywhere…but me without my binos!!

Last Saturday we took Star to our vet in Castle Rock to get his xrays. We had about 15 minutes to wander about as we waited for the xrays to get done, so we walked Lacey through our vet’s fantastic neighborhood. Our vet lives in a huge subdivision of ranchettes – trees, hills. Birds were everywhere, and I didn’t have my binos. But with my imperfect eyes I saw spotted towhees, jays (could have been scrub jays??), white-breasted nuthatches, mountain chickadees, magpies, and finches. I heard woodpeckers drumming, heralding spring.

Realta’s Starry Starry Night

It’s official…Star’s registered name is Realta’s Starry Starry Night, with both AKC and UKC!!