Let there be Litey!

Happy Thorsday, little friday, thankful thursday, January GMM (League meeting) and Ground Hog Day Eve-eve…

Gretchen’s doing MUCH better, and there’s a little more information over on the girls’ blog, including a (hopefully it works) link to their new Facebook page.  Sissy wants more likes, of course.

51Pv9KaFXVL__SL75_As we try to keep little Miss Me Do It under some kind of control, I finally got a chance to use the Litey Leashes I picked up while I was Christmas shopping.  (Sorry for the little photo…)  Gg has pink, and Sissy has yellow.  I can’t speak to the very bad review on Amazon, but I can tell you it’s a nylon-covered rope light leash, so no, I don’t expect it to last a lifetime as the Lupine leashes do.  However, they’ll be great for night walks at the beach house, and since we don’t take long walks after dark anywhere, I hope they’ll last long enough that I’m not disappointed.  They gave off enough light that I didn’t need to juggle a flashlight with two dogs and a rolling trash can Tuesday night.  For our purposes, they’re great.

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Another Gg action shot 2009

Thankful Thursday?  Oh, how thankful I am for great vets, from the staff at the after-hours clinic to our new vet, but really, how blessed are we to have Wondervet still on speed-dial and to have the fine folks at Leesburg Eye Care for Animals as a part of our care team?  I’m really excited about Dr. D’s (the new vet in our lives) interest in opthamology, but it really tickled me to hear how thrilled the Eye Care staffer I spoke with was to learn that too. 

Of course, I’m grateful beyond words that the fine veterinary care has us in the difficult position of trying to keep an active, feels-good girl calm and quiet for another week yet.  Remind me of that in a few days when she’s REALLY testing her limits and my patience!

I’m also moved to a very emotional place when I think about how quickly friends shared advice on Facebook and even offered to pill Gg for me.  It was a beautiful mix of old friends, local friends and “virtual” friends, and it was like a big, supportive hug.

Do you still really love your job?  Sure we all have bad days, but I think part of the Eye Care staffing magic is in their ability to assure the passionate, dedicated people they hire never lose that spark.

 

Bold Rock, New Passion

Some of you know that I love a crisp, not to sweet, not too dry white wine, or anything in the bubbly family… especially Prosecco.  However, I do NOT like beer, ale, lager, etc.  I have found a couple of hard ciders that aren’t bad, but after a stressful, long day at work followed by a League meeting, I listened to a good friend whose hubby is a home-brewer, and ordered the happy hour Bold Rock cider on draft. 

269998dc7a44f24cfc2262567c88d74cNow, I’ve known for a while that central Virginia’s cider industry is on the grow, and I’ve been meaning to make a point to try some.  Wow.  What I had (no, I don’t know the specific variety because I was told I’d like the special so…  I ordered the cider special) was very light-colored, crisp, a little sweet, and just as smooth and not-alcoholic-tasting at all.  I could have had an insane quantity, but fortunately, we were seated just prior to the pre-UVA basketball game rush, and we never saw our server again, not even when we wanted to pay and leave.  (I’m not exaggerating; I all but tripped another server to get told to go to the bar to pay… no, I won’t say where it was because I’ve NEVER had a bad experience there before, and when my friend finally saw our waiter, it seemed pretty obvious there was some sort of wait-staff drama at play…)

Anyway.   You’re getting a photo of Crimson Ridge, just because I like the photo and again, haven’t a clue what I drank, but it was lighter in color than other hard ciders I’ve had.

Now, I want to get to know the VA cider industry, especially those that are local.   Do you like hard cider?

Goodness part 2

I don’t even know where to start, so fasten your seatbelt and hang on.

Firstly, I’ve given another update on the fur-girls’ blog.  The short version is Gg is doing well, had her drain removed and the new vet is awesome.  Stitches come out soon, and we MIGHT be able to ditch the cone of shame then, which would make my little “I’m healed already!” girl very happy.

Then, my personal trainer – Sissy – demanded a run yesterday.  I was trying out my other new shoes – the New Balances – and I can say that while the sole is a little firm for my tastes, it performed admirably on wet pavement, over a mucky gravel road and in a brief pounding on the concrete section of the road.  No blisters, and I do have to say I think the NB lacing system suits me best of all the brands I’ve worn.   Maybe in time, the sole will feel more flexible.

Courtesy of Amy's blog

Courtesy of Amy’s blog

While that’s all good, I do have two more pieces of goodness to share.  First, the always thinking of others Amy sent my Christmas present, since we can’t seem to get together.  Why yes, I do feel quite guilty that I can’t get her baby’s present mailed, much less Christmas goodies a month later.  Gah!  

Isn’t it lovely?  I’d love suggestions.  It’s just shy of 400 yds., and if you’re curious about the details, follow the link above to Amy’s post about the handspun.  Thanks so very much Amy, for the beautiful handspun and for your friendship.

photo.JPGLast but hardly least is my tee from Pack Mom.   I entered a contest last month, and I was one of the lucky winners!  It’s a really pretty, dark red tee.  Why yes, a certain DIVA dog has been feeling left out over the past week and does keep inserting herself into things.  I figured it was somehow fitting here…  You know it says “…Pack…” even if her head does cover the P and the A, right?

The well-timed package arrived on Friday, while I was still reeling from a very late night with Gg and the emergency surgery.  It was wrapped in a similar red, tied with a turquoise ribbon.  I just love that color combination, don’t you?

photo.JPGAnd here’s the back of the tee, without any canine models.  Thanks Pack Mom!  Jenn was even very helpful as I tried to figure out what size I wanted.  Those ladies fitted tees are tricky, aren’t they?

Thanks ladies, and thanks to all of you who have checked in on the wee one, offered advice, etc.  It’s all meant so very much, and I hope that we’ve turned the corner and Gg is on the mend.

Have you gotten any goodies in the mail lately?

Goodness & Light part 1

After all of my stress and worry last week, it’s time for goodness and light.  The funny thing is, there was goodness and light throughout the mess too.

photo.JPGDon’t mind the reflection of the lights in this art.  It’s by Ron Krajewski.  I really like his style.  While we don’t need a custom pet portrait (because the Knight’s aunt did one for us last year), I was drawn to the basset on the wall at the after-hours vet.  I’m always interested by what’s on the walls in a vet’s office.  Sometimes it’s art, sometimes it’s professional pet portrait-type photos, and sometimes it commercial, advertisement stuff.  What’s on the walls in your vet’s office?  (I won’t link back to the neato amateur eyeball art in the eye clinic since several of you found it creepy.)

In the midst of the caring for Gretchen week, there was good stuff, and I want to be clear…  I didn’t fail to notice it at the time, I was just busy trying to help Gretchen fight through the pain and beat her nasty dog-bite infection.  We’re on the right road now, so the healing has begun and I can exhale.

Photo courtesy of Zappos

Photo courtesy of Zappos

Over the past week, my new trail shoes arrived.  While they weren’t the first-time-wear-perfect of the Brooks Cascadia, they are fabulous and they are Gore-tex, so they were perfect for a make up for lost time long run/walk/hike with Sissy on Saturday.   The Brooks Ghost GTX held up to everything Sissy and the trying to thaw but not quite muck threw at them.  We ran through a frozen marsh, we huffed up a very steep partially graveled hill, and the Ghosts didn’t even flinch when we leaped across a wee, sloppy stream onto the muddy bank.

They’re pretty too, and I don’t normally care for black athletic shoes.  I keep saying that, but these replace the well-liked but short-lived black Rykas.  And so you know, I did recently run across something that said 300-500 miles is the average lifetime for trail running shoes.  Hrmph.  That’s anywhere from just over six months to a year of use.  I could live with that, but both my Rykas and the Cascadias began to show their age around 5 months.  The Cascadias are still hanging in there in terms of support and comfort, but the soles are quite worn and lack real traction, which is a big part of why I wear trail runners.

Zappos

Zappos

The Knight also ordered me a pair of New Balance V770s, but they will be road-only shoes, worn on those shorter days when we stick to the paved/gravel surfaces.  Oddly, he didn’t know anything other than that I wanted a pair of “road runners” and my size.  It’s purely coincidence that they have remarkably similar color schemes.

I used to be really NB-loyal, but then they monkeyed with my favorite, trusted style, and I got heel blisters that couldn’t be cured, and then a sole that was far too firm for my needs.  (Comfort and support, thanks much.)  These soles also seem firm, but we’ll see…  My plan is to prolong the life of all of my shoes by wearing them  as close to exclusively for the purposes they were designed for as is possible.

And for the record, neither shoes actually came from Zappos.  They just had good photos in the right styles and colors.

For those who care, I now have four pairs of shoes in the walk/run/hike rotation.   The beloved Cascadias are holding on and I have a twin pair to replace them when I must.  They’ll go anywhere and hold their own, but given all the water on our longer routes, they’re a warm-weather, it’s okay if my feet get wet shoe.  Then there are the Tevas, which are DEFINITELY a HIKING shoe, and will likely only get worn 1-2 days per week, when we do the rugged mountain part of our trail, and the Ghosts will be my winter sloppy weather shoe.  If the NBs work out, they’ll save a lot of short, street miles on my Cascadias.

There was more goodness and light, but I didn’t realize I had so much to say about my shoes.

The Sun Will Come Out…

photo.JPG… on Monday.  Or at least, that’s when Gretchen’s drain will be removed by the woman I am sure will be her – OUR – new vet.  PHEW.  She uses a Tonopen instead of the more accurate, fancy Tonovet, but we’ll cross that bridge in another month when it’s time for Sissy’s routine, local eye pressure check.

Thank you so much for the power of the paw work, the prayers, white light, good vibes, etc.  Please keep them coming.  As with the dog bites I suffered years ago, Gretchen Greer is really having trouble fighting the infection, so by no means are we marching along the road to recovery.  We’re on it again after yesterday’s detour, but it could still be a long, hard road with an uphill climb.

The DIVA is being… the DIVA.  She senses Gg feels better than she has, and so… she’s being rambunctious.  I’m sure too that going from 20-30 miles a week to what… day #4 with no walkies at all doesn’t help, but there’s snow on the ground, it hasn’t gotten out of the 20s since Monday, and there’s this whole safety issue, not to mention my lack of sleep, a migraine that finally let go…

Hem.  I’d wish you a happy weekend, but personally, I just want to get some sleep, maybe find a way to walk with Sissy without throwing Gg into a tailspin, and find that knitting I started last weekend and the book I was seriously enjoying before I stopped having time to even think.  What’s on your agenda?

Power of the Paw Please?

Double-posting, since the fur-girls and I don’t have a complete overlap of followers/readers…

photo.JPGGretchen is in surgery.  Her wound looked … watchable when I left for work this morning, and was BLACK and spongy when I got home.  We went back to the emergency vet (more praise… different staff, more of an efficient feel tonight, which it turns out, we needed) and before I could smooch her and promise it would all be okay, Gg was in the back, being sedated and prepped for surgery.  Evidently, all we could have done better was not let her lick it AT ALL, so when she does come home, it’s the cone of shame 24/7.

I also have to publicly retract anything not wonderful I’ve said or implied about the biter’s owners.   I got a wild hair on my way home and stopped in.  They’re rescuers of cats and dogs, and truly are upset that their boy hurt my wee one.  They said all the right things and then some.  If only I had listened to you wise folks and talked to them last month!!   I totally misinterpreted their good intentions and efforts to integrate a rescued boy into their home, and … well let’s just say as with most dog aggression problems, to err is HUMAN.

Hopefully, Gretchen won’t pay too high of a price for my ignorance and poor judgment.   Another silver lining… sometimes those neighbors you don’t know are really decent folk just waiting for an introduction, or heck, even a welcome to the neighborhood.

Please don’t worry if you don’t see an update here for a while.  I anticipate a long, late, short night, but for those who are my friends on Facebook, I’ll try to at least update there.  And yes Sissy, you SHOULD have your own Facebook page.  Maybe that will be my distraction tonight.

Thankful Thorsday

I don’t know that I’ve ever been more thankful for a Thorsday.  Firstly, thanks to all for your kind words, moral support and more.  (If you’re lost, scroll down and read yesterday’s post.)  We’re so thankful that Gg’s injuries weren’t life-threatening, and I’m moved to that misty-eyed state that so many of you get it and know that the real damage is yet unknown, because we have no idea how much this wounded Gretchen’s JRT psyche.

I’m especially grateful for folks like Katherine and her Macy, who affirm that Gg is not some weird Jack Russell after all.   She can be timid and fearless, she can push through intense pain to attempt to join Sissy in the back yard (foiled by watchful parents though), and then tremble and appear too weak to even walk to the sofa to be scooped up for comforting, warming cuddles.  Jacks are a complex breed, and it’s what I generally love about them, but right now, I wish they believed in flight instead of FIGHT.

photo.JPGI’m unforgivably past due in thanking the very kind and dear Nancy for my goodies from her coloring contest.   This fleece infinity scarf has been a godsend in this bitter cold.  I’ve worn it for walks, I wore it all dolled up on New Year’s Eve, and it is so easy-care!  Upon further reflection, it might have inspired my craving for winter whites.

I’m also so very blessed to have the Knight, who is an incredible doggy Dadaw.  He’s done a lot of the cold and/or snowy potties with Gg, and is better than I am about taking Sis out the front door too, so she doesn’t feel left out.  He also didn’t bat an eye when I came home from Old Navy with three onesies for Gg, to help protect her wound when it stops draining and she can have a little more freedom.

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The dynamic duo, earlier this month

Of course, with it being Thorsday, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Sis-ma.  After her heart-breaking howls yesterday when she was gated in our bedroom (as usual) and Gg was crated just outside that door, but within her sight, the Knight coaxed her into the crate first this morning, and both girls were happy to tuck in together for warm snuggles while we’re at work.  She doesn’t like NOT being the center of attention, but she loves Gg even more than being a DIVA.

What are you thankful for today?