Sunday, December 20, 2015

Young beginning

 We had a James River Greyhounds fundraiser at a glass blowing place and I made an ornament for Cali. It is as close to red brindle as I could get.
 We are doing OK.  Cali is "home" but her permanent urn will arrive on Monday. Once she's settled in her new fancy digs, I will post a photo.
Lizzie has settled in very well.  It is REALLY weird having such a young pack.  We didn't have A dog under 6 for over 5 years, much less 3.  And I've been caring for a sick dog for over 6 years now,  from Dante to Henry to Shane to Shiloh to Dana to is very odd having everyone eat their full meal of just kibble.  But I do think it is bitter sweet.
 Lizzie is really hard to photograph because she likes to be so close. I'm still trying to a get a painting worthy photo.
We are heading to my parents' farm this week for the holiday.  It will be Lizzie's first horse experience.  Will be interesting to see how she does (but due to this young pack, I have an appointment on Monday for microchips for every one!)
Happy Holidays.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


She is gone.
She fought so hard but in the end cancer won.
Our hearts are broken.

Cancer should not define her.  She raced until she was 4 1/2  and came in to our home as a foster.  We always said she walked in, jumped on the couch and said "About damn time". She crawled in to Jason's lap and was always happiest there. 
These were when she was 'just a foster'...
 On August 4, 2007 we made it official (on our wedding anniversary) and named her Cali for California (where we got married)
She loved to play hard
And snuggle hard
And man..was she beautiful
Those eyes..
 Sometimes less beautiful...
 She was well traveled. 
From the Smokey Mountains in Gatlinburg, TN:
 To frolicking in the waves in Myrtle beach, SC (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 times)
  To visiting wineries in Ithaca, NY
She had the east coast tied up.  She visiting countless wineries in Virginia usually in her Daddy's lap.
and there was no place she'd rather be..
 She loved life. 
And to add to her amazing resume, she became Delta Society therapy dog certified and went to the VA hospital and boys homes for four years.  Her first visit to the VA Hospital I had a friend take a photo by the statue honoring women and dogs for their service in the armed forces.
When she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma..we were devastated.  The year was documented well in this video celebrating her one year ampuversary in January of this year.

Since January, she started having problems and was diagnosed with T Cell Lymphoma.  She battled through several chemotherapy treatments and an experimental monoclonal antibody treatment. I honestly think this kept the Lymphoma at bay.  The cancers took their toll.  But she honestly didn't start to 'show' the effect until about a month ago.
In the end, it was osteosarcoma that won, reoccurring in her rear leg a few weeks ago.  23 months post amputation, 9 months post T cell lymphoma diagnosis , 12 years and 9 months old.  She was a brave, wonderful, loving, happy, confident, strong, sweet, beautiful, loyal, snuggly, funny, perfect little tart.  Who we will miss very much.  

Cali (JNB Baby Beth)  3/17/03-12/6/15

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Pound Puppy

The local city animal control advertised that they were looking for temporary fosters over the Thanksgiving holiday. People could foster just over the weekend and hopefully find them a forever home.  I volunteered and picked up Louie, a 6 year old shepherd mix who had just arrived.  He was covered in mats and fleas.
But after over an hour of clipping, combing and shampooing..he was clean, tangle free and flea free.  We were OK with the bald spots and uneven places.
 He was a very good boy and did great with my dogs.  I called a friend who I knew was looking for a dog and took him over to her house on Saturday. He is there now and hopefully will turn out perfect for them. If not, I will get him and foster him until a home is found. 
Lizzie is settling in well and playing a lot with Roxi. I'm not sure who is more happy to have another Roxi playmate: Roxi or Cody!
 Cali is doing OK.  Definitely going downhill. But she is eating well and seems alert.  We are keeping her happy and comfortable for as long as we can.
I hope everyone in the States had a great Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Every year I attend a work conference and try to take someone with me. The past two years, due to government shut downs and budget talks, I haven't been able to go at all.  So this year, I made it and took my mom.  It was in Phoenix, Arizona.
It is very flat and dry there..a stark contrast to Virginia.
 We had big plans to go up in a hot air balloon over the Sonora desert.  But the winds had different plans, so this is as close as we go to the basket.  I'm all for safety and if they didn't want to go up ..neither did I, but that didn't make it any less disappointing. 
 One day we went to the Desert Botanical Gardens..a lot of cacti and succulents.
 But leave it to me to stalk the hummingbirds again. It was a little cooler (70s) the days we were there so i only saw one variety.
 The cacti were immense and we learned a lot about their structure and how they live..very neat.
 Then we went to a landmark called "hole in the rock" a hole in a rock that overlooks Phoenix.
This is the climb tot it
 And what it looks like from the front
 Once you get up there, it is really a neat vantage point.
 And the view was quite amazing
 a selfie. ;-)
 Then we went to the Phoenix zoo. I was probably too excited to ride the camel. Since the day was overcast, the zoo was not crowded. So we were able to spend a lot of time at each exhibit
 They even had a walk in enclosure with monkeys with no glass or bars between you.  IT was neat and of course you couldn't touch them.
Then we spent a lot of time watching a newborn baby Orangutan who was super cute and acted just like a human baby.
 I didn't have my camera set correctly and it was through glass so these aren't great. I should have gotten a video.
 Overall, it was a fun trip.  We ate really well, walked a lot and saw the city.  Oh yeah, and I worked some too.