A day of highs and lows. In and out all day cooking and going to Thanksgiving dinners. Came home to find my dog Scout can't or won't stand. He's been ill for some little while. I just had to make the arrangements to put him down tomorrow. I already don't like Black Friday. This is just going to add to my resentment.

11/29 '19 8 Comments
Thank you all. It was hard to come to grips with, but once it was done it felt right. My vet anesthetizes and then give the euthanasia drugs. He slipped away immediately as soon as the euthanasia drugs hit his system. Almost as if he was waiting for permission to go.

Ray Conrad 11/29 '19
Oh, Ray... this is such sad news. I'm so, so sorry to hear about Scout. I know how much you loved him, and from the stories you've told me, it's clear he loved his person very much, too. Good recognizes good.

Thank you for giving Scout such a happy life and a compassionate transition. Your vet sounds really wonderful and caring.

What a very good boy.
I'm so sorry to hear it.
Thomas Boutell 11/29 '19
This is a beautiful picture of Scout. What a good dog.
Anne Mollo 11/29 '19
I'm so sorry Ray.
Paul Lord 11/30 '19
Peace to you and Scout.
Brian Rapp 11/29 '19
Aw man. My condolences, friend. <3
Karen Kuhl 12/1 '19
Oh man Ray. I'm so sorry. That just sucks.

I'm sitting at work in a fit of mild anxiety. You see my new fence is being installed today. I'm not anxious (mostly) about the fence. But because the fence installation might take two days, my dogs are at a friend's house. So, the defense of the house, without my presence, has devolved to my cat, Spot.

Make no mistake. The  loyalties of cats never change. They are loyal to themselves, only.

Have you ever heard of a cat dragging their insensate owner from a burning building? Enough said.

I'm (mostly) certain that everything will be fine. And for those keeping track at home, this is remodel project #2, headed for the record books. Next up, we get the heat pump installed.

9/20 '18 1 Comment
You and your dergs are gonna love your new fence! I'm so thrilled that your home improvement wishes are coming to fruition!

The day the HVAC contractors were coming over to quote out a new heat pump I put my dogs and my foster dog in my back yard so I could finish cleaning around the heat pump. This takes about an hour, but I'm finished in plenty of time for the first contractor's appointment time. I open the back door and let the dogs in. My pair comes inside. 

No sign of Mr. Pickles.

Crappity crap crap crap crap. He's done flew the coop. Squirmed his little body out through a loose picket and run away. I go outside and start knocking on my neighbor's doors to see if he's in their yard. Get a negative from one neighbor and I'm on my way to the other when my contact from the rescue calls. 

"Is Mr. Pickles missing?" I feel about 3 inches tall when I reply "Yes." Fortunately neighbors in my development who know the rescue found him, called them for the number for animal control. Then my contact made the connection with their description of a little one-eyed dog. Hmm, Ray lives in that neighborhood...

So I recover Mr. Pickles in minutes of that phone call. Then I use some tree trimmings to temporarily block the escape path. AND the other one he shows me that evening.

Now, I'd planned to replace the fence anyway. But it just got bumped up to ASAP. Fortunately, neither the heat pump nor the fence have conflicting dependencies. So, I'm going to run two projects at the same time. Not the way I'd prefer to run things, but needs must when the Devil drives.

8/29 '18 3 Comments
Pets are wily! Our cats seem less eager to run away now that they have each other... but everybody wants to explore
Thomas Boutell 8/29 '18
How did I not know you have cats? Pics? Am I creepy for asking? Hahahahhaha..... show me your... kits.
Karen Kuhl 8/30 '18
"...needs must when the Devil drives."

I absolutely love idioms like this. Good luck with the house stuff!
Karen Kuhl 8/30 '18

The title is dogs, but it's really one particular dog that is consuming my throught cycles at the moment. Gna, my boxer/greyhound mix, she's the one on the left in my profile pic.

She had a tumor removed earlier in the year. It was an aggressive cancer. The only option was an exploratory surgery, open up her abdomen and see if they could find the root and take all of it. And hope it wasn't growing from an organ. Really, that was not an option, due to her age and general un-well state of being.

So, we've gone through the balance of spring and most of the summer and she's been a couch potato's couch potato. Sleeping away the days. Within the last couple of weeks she's been digging and chewing on herself. A sure sign that a dog is stressed. I made a vet appointment for an assessment.

But last night she started denning up in her crate and wouldn't come out to go to bed. I let her sleep in her crate downstairs. This morning she wouldn't go out. I let her sleep. She did come out for breakfast and went out in the afternoon. She's spent the rest of the day in bed.

Now, my once in a lifetime dog, Gage, lingered with cancer. I really feel that I was keeping him alive for my comfort, not his. So tonight I'm staring down the barrel of having to let her go in the morning.

In general I don't shy away from anything. But there's a part of me that is hoping that tomorrow never comes.

8/5 '18 3 Comments
I'm glad things turned out better than expected. Here's hoping that's still the case.
Thomas Boutell 8/22 '18
Every day's a challenge, but so far, so good. Thanks!
Ray Conrad 8/23 '18
The vet visit went better than I had dreaded. Poor Gna has a systemic yeast infection, which explains the lethargy and the chewing and digging. She's got a drug which I have to give 6 pills a day for 4 days, then 3 pills a day for 4 days then 1 1/2 pills a day until finished. Plus a topical "mousse" to the affected areas, plus drops in her ears.

She's always been a yeasty dog. When I got her she had almost no fur from skin mites and yeast. She's just got PH that is conducive to yeast infections.

My vet took blood for a cancer screen, but she sees no sign of the BIG C returning, which felt like an anvil being lifted from my shoulders.
Ray Conrad 8/7 '18

I frequently foster dogs for a friend's rescue. It's usually a good thing. This would be one of the times that it isn't.

I've fostered dogs whose owners were murdered in front of them. Dogs that were abandoned in an apartment and only rescued just shy of death's door. Dogs that were owned by an elderly person who had to be placed in a facility. If I had to make a bet, that's what I think happened to my latest dog, Mr. Pickles.

Mr. Pickles, or Pickles as I call him is probably a Fox Terrier / Mexican Hairless crossbreed. He's small, ~ ten pounds or so, long legged and roach backed. He's got almost no hair on his back and the fur on the top of his head has that wispy quality like the Mexican Hairless that have crests. He's six to eight years old and when he was found wandering stray, his left eye was detached and badly infected. So the vet took it.

After he moved into my house I discovered that he is not housetrained. It's not uncommon for a small dog that lives with an elderly person is paper trained, but never housebroken.

But Pickles can't live with me foreever. So in order to have any chance at finding a good home I have to housebreak him.

More news on this story as it occurs.

8/3 '18 1 Comment
But that there is a VERY CUTE DERRRRRG! I'm sorry he's making a mess of your place. With any luck he may learn some habits from your other doggos. But oh my god, look at that doggie face... so cute!

You are a saint.