Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Monthly Diary for May, 2011

This month we had Mother's Day and I celebrated by waking Mommy up a whole bunch of times in the middle of the night. I'm sure she was very happy. Then Mommy had her birthday and we took a hike. I posted about that already, so if you missed it, read on down past this entry.

The big thing that happened this month was that Mommy and I went up to Grandma and Grandpa's house in Wisconsin. Everyone was there except for Mommy's youngest brother's partner. Too bad he couldn't come. My golden retriever cousin was there too, but he isn't allowed to come onto my property and I don't go onto his. Last time he came onto my property I tried to eat him which really shocked my Portie cousin Missy's daddy who had brought him over. He'd never seen me go all Cujo before and he didn't really believe I would. He does now!

Anyway, Missy came over on the first day and we played some runaround on the hill and follow each other and sniff games and Mommy and Missy's daddy commented on how we hadn't gotten to play in a long time because we were both getting old and it seemed like whenever we were together one or the other of us was under the weather.

Well, they spoke too soon because at 6:30 a.m. on the second day I was going downstairs and my hind end suddenly got all tangled up in itself and I wound up falling down 8 steps! I landed at the bottom of the stairs with all my legs in different directions. I managed to get back up, but my right rear leg hurt and I didn't really want to put weight on it. Mommy took me for a short walk to pee and poop and stretch things out, but I still hurt. She gave me a 1/2 a doggy oxy and then when her youngest brother woke up and came downstairs she borrowed his phone to call the vet (her phone doesn't get reception at the house). She was hoping there was a chiropractor in town, but there wasn't so she got me a regular vet appointment and off we went. The vet was very nice. He said I didn't have a concussion (Mommy knew that) and that I didn't seem to have broken anything (Mommy was pretty sure of that too). Mommy was afraid I had popped my right hip (which is my bad one) and when the vet went to check it I was all tense and then I was calm so we kinda think I did pop it a little and he put it back in place by doing the rotation thing regular vets do. My regular vet had done that once which is how we ended up with a referral to my chiropractor! The vet said I hadn't popped my hip though and then he did that toe test thing again that started the argument between my chiropractor and my regular vet about whether or not I had degenerative myelopathy.

He asked Mommy if my vet had talked to me about the lack of sensation that I had in my feet and Mommy told him about the myelopathy fight. He told Mommy he was an orthopedic specialist and asked, "Do you want a third opinion?" Mommy said sure and he said that he was sure it was NOT degenerative myelopathy because if it was I would at the very least not be able to wag my tail by now and I am a very good tail wagger. What he thought was happening to me was that I was developing arthritis in my back where I broke it a couple years ago. The arthritis is pressing on the feeder nerves that are leaving my spinal cord which is causing the numbness in my feet. It may also be compressing my spinal cord. He said that the reason I fell down the stairs was that I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing and, since I don't quite feel my feet right, if I don't pay full attention to doing something, like walking down the stairs, my feet kind of just do what they want to and down I go. I have to admit that was true. I was so excited about being at the lake that I went down those stairs way too fast without a thought in my head except "Whoo hoo! I'm at the lake!"

Anyway, he told Mommy to give me more of my pain meds and my muscle relaxers and said he would normally give me an anti-inflammatory, but I can't have them because of my bleeding ulcers, so it ended up being a not so exciting trip to the lake since I was on pain meds and muscle relaxers for two days which meant I was loopy. I did get to wade a little and I took some short walks and a very short hike with Mommy. I also saw a deer and, on the last day Mommy and I went porcupine hunting which was a lot of fun. Mommy had been woken up by a strange noise the night before and she knew it was the porcupine that has been eating the house. Sure enough she went outside and caught him in the act. He didn't care a hoot about Mommy and even when she yelled at him and threw a rock at him all he did was raise is quills and stroll away.

So, I got to go into the woods and follow five different trails the next morning trying to find the porcupine. I found a big pile of porcupine poop, but we couldn't see a porcupine up in that tree and I found a great hole under a fallen tree with scratches around the dirt, which COULD have meant there was a porcupine in it, but we couldn't see inside. One trail led to the neighbor's outbuilding, which Mommy thought had porcupine potential too. The best trail I found ended up at a tree where I scared a chipmunk. I sat under that tree and looked up and barked occasionally and Mommy got all excited thinking I had found the porcupine. When she saw it was a chipmunk she said I was following the wrong rodent. Mommy decided that all five trails wound up crossing in this one general area so she went to the hardware store and bought a salt lick and put it where the trails crossed. She is hoping that Mr. Porcupine decides that the salt lick tastes better than the house. She then made a removable fence to block the part of the house that the porcupine was eating so that Grandma and Grandpa could put it up at night. Hopefully Mr. Porcupine gets the message and leaves the house alone, because if he doesn't, a hunter will have to be called in to shoot him, which nobody really wants.

Oh, if you are going to Wisconsin this summer be sure you have your tick meds on. Mommy picked up 16 ticks over 4 days and I got 10. Every time we stepped in brush that was higher than Mommy's ankles one of us would come out with at least a tick or two. It is going to be a bad tick summer.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Mommy!

It was Mommy's birthday the other day and to celebrate she took the day off and I took her for a hike at the state park. We had intended to do an all day hike, but it was cold and raining in the morning so we didn't get to go, but it turned to cool and misty by afternoon and we left then. We did 8 miles and it was lots of fun, even if I did get slow and grumpy for the last three. Because the weather wasn't very good there weren't very many people on the trails and we got to see a lot of animals that are normally scared off by the loud hikers. Mommy spotted an indigo bunting, which Mommy thinks is one of the prettiest birds out there. Here is a picture of one Mommy found on the web. Maybe he is related to the one we saw!

We also saw hawks and swans and all kinds of ducks, not just mallards, but wood ducks and harlequin ducks and even a ruddy duck who must have overslept and missed his migration bus. Best of all the sandhill cranes were out and were being extra territorial so they were yodeling like crazy. When I was at the peak of my tired grumpiness a kitty-dog ran across our path! Well that woke me up and I picked up my pace for the end of the hike. Mommy calls kitty-dogs "foxes". Shows what she knows. I wore my camera, but I have to admit that I didn't get any really good shots, so we aren't going to force them on y'all.

The funniest thing happened at the end of the hike. Mommy and I had just turned the last corner and could see the access trail ahead of us when we spotted two teenage boys with fishing poles over their shoulders and their pants down to their knees. They were doing that "I'm too cool for this" slouching walk when suddenly they stopped dead in their tracks and stared with really big eyes at the clearing by the access trail. Mommy and I couldn't see what they were staring at, but, since it was dusk, Mommy was concerned it might be coyotes so she made me stop while we listened for clues. Then we heard a sandhill crane yodel and Mommy said, "Oh it's just cranes. Let's go." so we started forward again. Well, when that bird yodeled one of the boys went running back toward the parking lot waving his arms over his head and yelling, "Look at da woodpeckers yo! Look at da woodpeckers yo!" Three more boys came hustling up as fast as they could with their pants down to their knees and the five boys all stood there staring at the cranes and arguing about what they were. We could hear the first boy insisting they were woodpeckers and another boy saying he thought they were "storks or cranes or geese or something" and the other three trying to decide who to believe. One was leaning toward goose and the other two were heading towards woodpecker. Finally the first boy ended his argument with, "Ain't you never seen da cartoons?!" Mommy laughed at that but she COULD see where he was coming from. I mean check out the similarities:

When we got up to the boys one of them turned to Mommy and said, "Lady, you know what kind of birds those are?" Mommy told them they were sandhill cranes and the "storks or cranes or geese" boy yelled, "Thank you!"

Mommy bought Chinese food on the way home and we had a nice snuggly evening. I was tired for two days afterward.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Monthly Diary for April, 2011

April was an exciting month.

First off, while Mommy and I were on one of our regular walks

(Auntie Naomi, turn away!)

I saw a SNAKE!! It was right by the sidewalk and was all squiggly and I poked it with my nose and it squiggled some more so I poked it again and it squiggled awhile longer and then it knotted itself up into a little snake ball with its head under its coils and wouldn't play anymore. I looked at Mommy and tried to get her to make it play again, but she said no, the snake was finished playing for the day and we needed to let him get back to work.

(You can start reading again Auntie Naomi.)

A couple days later on my evening walk I found a nest of bunnies. I always play fair and don't try to grab the bunnies until they move and they were staying really still so we were in a standoff. Mommy couldn't see what I was staring at and she kept trying to make me move on, but I didn't want to. Finally the bunnies couldn't take the staring contest anymore and they all bolted off in different directions. When Mommy saw it was bunnies she was kinda mad, but I didn't get any because of my leash. I've checked the bunny spot every night, but Mommy says the mommy bunny moved the nest since a big bad wolf tried to eat the babies. What wolf?

The next day when Mommy and I were coming home from walking to the library to return some stuff we bumped into my favorite neighbor boy!! I was so excited because he had been sent to obedience school in the late fall and we weren't supposed to see him again until at least summer, but he had hurt his leg jumping over a fence and was going to need surgery. Mommy says you are supposed to respect fences and not try to jump over them and now I see why! I haven't seen him since so I think he is being kept crated so he doesn't do more damage to his leg. While we were talking to him Mommy's phone rang (this is very strange because Mommy only carries her phone on hikes just in case of emergency and not on regular walks). Mommy said we needed to head home because AUNTIE NAOMI and UNCLE FRED were coming over. We got home and a few minutes later there they were!! That is very very exciting because Auntie Naomi and Uncle Fred are some of my most favorite humans. I was very happy to see them even if Auntie Naomi didn't bring me a present. Mommy says I'm a greedy gus and don't need presents every time I see Auntie Naomi. They didn't stay long, because they and Mommy were going out to lunch before Mommy had to go earn dog food money, but they came back to see me again after lunch so that was good.

I got to go to the chiropractor this month too. My back just didn't heal up right after I fell off the bed last month so Mommy took me in for an adjustment. I was very tense when she started working on my back, but when she did a spot right above my hips I gave a big sigh and melted into Mommy's arms it felt so good to have things set right. I also had a bad spot in my mid back and my head was off too. The chiropractor told Mommy it may have looked like I fell straight off the bed, but I sure hadn't fallen straight!

At the end of the month Mommy and I woke up and there were two bunny birds in my front yard!! They were under the bird feeder eating the birdseed. I barked at them, but they ignored me. Here is a picture of them:

Mommy has been getting her veggie garden in and I've been helping. I like to make sure that the ground is good and soft and the planting lines are straight:

My friend Gracie has a new brother named Sherlock. He came up and sniffed noses with me at the fence for a good long time. He is a 10 year old toy poodle. Gracie is a schipperke.

Finally this weekend Mommy and I took a hike and I saw all kinds of great things. I saw two of the things that Auntie Naomi doesn't want to hear about, some deer, some geese (they ignored everyone who passed them until I came along and then they started honking "wolf! wolf! wolf! wolf!" so I barked at them and got in trouble) and some dogs too. I barked at some of the big dogs, ignored some of the big ones, and said hi nicely to all the small ones. I wore my camera and here are some of the shots I took.

A lot of people ride bikes on this trail:

I like walking on the boardwalks. You can see all sorts of birds there:

There is a goose nesting out there:

Mommy took a picture of it too. They like to nest on muskrat mounds because they are very warm:

One of the things Auntie Naomi doesn't like to hear about. Can you see it?:

There are deer out there:

Mommy took a picture of them too:

Mommy needed a potty break. I always go in the outhouses with her on trails:

Back on the trail:

Mommy's new car has a sunroof which is nice when you are hot after the hike: