Sunday, July 29, 2012

My Monthly Diary for July, 2012

I know July isn't really over yet, but Mommy and I are having a lazy day today after I took a SIX mile morning walk yesterday and went swimming in the middle of the walk too. I haven't taken such a long morning walk in ages and I'm still a bit beat today, so updating my blog seemed like a good plan for the day.

Well, let's see, July was a very hot dry month here.  Mommy actually did like some of the local farmers and just plowed under most of her veggie garden choosing to only try to get a harvest from her tomatoes and squash.  I've been spending a lot of days in the basement because it is about 78 degrees down there instead of 95 - 108 degrees like it has been upstairs.  I make sure to protest when Mommy puts my lifting harness on, but then I practically drag her down the stairs.  We don't have air conditioning and because the neighbors smoke non-stop we can't fully open half the windows in the house anymore so it gets pretty warm inside. Mommy and I been swimming so much in the lake that I developed what my vet calls "pond funk", but more on that later.

At the beginning of the month Mommy and I went to visit Auntie Naomi and Uncle Fred in Wisconsin.  We had a really good time and Auntie Naomi wasn't even terribly upset with me when I pooped on the porch.  I had a bit of a tummy ache and Mommy and Auntie Naomi went in the house without me and went up to the bonus room which you get to by the back stairs by the garage. I thought they had gone out to Mommy's car without me and I got upset and, well, with my hind end problems, poop happens.  Sorry Auntie Naomi!  I realized I'd never worn my Merlin Cam around Auntie Naomi's house, so I did so.  Here is what Auntie Naomi's place looks like:

This is the fire pit and behind it is the exit of
The Path Through the Woods,

which I make sure Mommy and I walk at least once per visit
The private road for them and their neighbors
Looking across the street at the meadow.
I have to be sure to walk in the meadow at least once a day.

There are old derelict buildings in the meadow
and critters in the buildings
The meadow
Walking down the road with Mommy to the old midden.
We must explore the midden at least once at each visit.
Heading back down the private road to the house
Auntie Naomi collects teddy bears.
Usually most of the bears hide when I come to visit,
but this trip they stayed out.

I was good and didn't touch a single one!
The door to the inside from the porch
So that is Auntie Naomi and Uncle Fred's place.  Mommy and I sleep upstairs and we usually take the main stairs up, but this time I found them too slippery and scary so we took the carpeted back stairs up and down instead.  That is when I learned that the room Mommy and Auntie Naomi had gone to without me is packed with teddy bears!  They are everywhere!  I now understand why the door to the stairs and the back door in Mommy and my room have always been kept closed.  Even though I was a good boy, I think that the temptation might be too much if that whole room was open to me.

We decided to go to take the ferry to Washington Island.  Mommy figured it was probably going to be the last time I could make that trip.  In the past we would walk on to the ferry.
Me on the ferry in the old days
That would have been way too much for me these days, so this time Mommy drove her car on.  Because we had a car we got to see some things on the island we've never seen before because they were too far to walk to and from one day and be sure to make the last ferry back.  Mommy and I both brought our cameras.

Someone brought a great big boat onto the ferry.
Mommy's car is right behind it.

The propeller of the boat is only about 1/2 an inch from touching Mommy's car.
None of us really understood why you would put a boat on a ferry.
Standing on the car deck watching the rest of the cars come on
The other ferry coming back to the mainland
We stopped at an outdoor museum. 
That is me sitting in front of the rudder of a ship that sank off the island.
There was a lake by the outdoor museum,
but it was pretty dried up due to the drought.

On our way back to the car we met some people coming to see it.
Close your eyes Shawnee!
Mommy decided to climb the Mountain Park Lookout Tower. 
These are the 98 steps she had to climb before she even got to the tower.
In the past I could have done this hike with her,
but Auntie Naomi, Uncle Fred and I decided to wait in the car.
The view from the tower. 
The hill-looking thing is Rock Island.

If you look closely you can see St. Martin Island behind it.
St. Martin Island is in Michigan.
We drove up to see where the ferry to Rock Island departs from.
Mommy took the Merlin Cam off and I got a swim in,
but we didn't take that ferry.
We ate a late lunch at a place called The Albatross
We ate at the picnic tables under the roof. 
There are other tables under umbrellas,
but Mommy wanted more shade.
The next day we went to 3 Springs for a hike.  Auntie Naomi stayed in the car, Uncle Fred took the shortcut hike and Mommy and I took the middle sized hike and met Uncle Fred at the turn around point.
Mommy said the hike had an alpine feel
and reminded her of hiking in Glacier National Park

but with old stone walls instead of ice.
I wanted to explore the old barn, but Mommy said no. 
It is made in the vertical log cabin style
rather than the more common horizontal log cabin style.

Horizontal logs rot in the Wisconsin weather,
but vertical logs don't.
The turn around point. Must be one of the springs.
After that hike Mommy packed the car and we drove down to Lake Michigan which is at the end of the road to Auntie Naomi's house so I could take a swim and look for giant fish (there weren't any) and then Mommy and I drove home.  It was a fun trip.

The week after we got home I went to see the vet.  Mommy was concerned because I've been doing a lot of toe scuffing, I can't climb on the couch anymore or stand on my hind legs to get my cookie at the feed store loading dock, I hardly bend my right hind leg anymore and sometimes end up standing with my back feet pointed in weird directions.  When the vet came in to see me she said, "Well, I know he's been swimming in the lake a lot." without even looking at me!  Mommy apologized for my stink which had started to rise around 10 p.m. the night before but was really ripe and yeasty when we woke up that morning.  Mommy said she had decided stinky dog would be easier to examine than wet dog.  The vet agreed and said, "If you want to prevent pond funk you need to bathe him after each swim and blow him dry." Mommy laughed at that and the vet said she thought that would be Mommy's reaction and that giving me a bath when I become offensive was good enough.  I had TWO baths in July and I think that was two too many.  Anyway, the vet checked out my legs and said that my back has pinched off a few more nerves and also that I have developed arthritis in my knees and hips.  All that was combining to give me the weird walk and jumping problems.  She said she'd usually recommend aqua-therapy at the animal rehab place in town, but Mommy taking me swimming so much was just as good.  She gave me a supplement to take to help with the arthritis inflammation.  The pills are big chewables and smell like vanilla ice cream but don't taste like it.  Mommy has to put peanut butter on them to get me to eat them, and even then half the time I take them somewhere, lick the peanut butter off and spit the pills out.  The vet also decided that I should start laser treatments on my back, hips and knees to see if it helps.  Mommy had to find two weeks in a row when I could go to the vet every other day for treatments which was challenging.  We are going to start them next month.  After I do the first six treatments the vet will decide if they are helping me.  If they are then she'll figure out how many times a week or month I should have them from now on.  Mommy says she sees a lot of beans and rice in her future whatever that means.


Shawnee the Shepherd said...

Merlin, Dude, you need to tell me to close my eyes BEFORE you show the picture of the skeery steps and OH MY DOG, those is SKEERY! I would has waited in the car too. Pond funk? A baf and BLOW DRY after efurry time in a pond? Your V-E-T do be furry funny. Hahahahaha. I hope your treatments werk. Your mom can live fine on beans and rice. Mine does. Nice Merlin Cam shots!

Johann The Dog said...

Cool! That's a fun hike!! I would love to ride on a ferry someday, looks fun too.