Poor Pup

Ten years ago we purchased an English Mastiff pup and picked him up in March of that year at 8 weeks old. Two weeks later, we drove back to Pennsylvania where he had been purchased and brought home a beautiful, almost all black German Shepherd pup from a different breeder. The Mastiff is now an old man that needs help to get to his feet. The German Shepherd developed a neurological disorder at about 14 weeks and by 16 weeks was in so much pain and almost totally immobile that we had to face euthanizing our beautiful puppy. Not wanting the Mastiff to grow up alone, we sought another pup and on our way to visit our daughter in Florida that summer, met and paid for another German Shepherd pup, picking her up on the way home and she was 16 weeks old already. She is a pretty pup, but has always had emotional and physical issues. Though sweet and good with children and other animals, she is fearful of large men, terrified of bikes, skateboards, scooters, or other things on wheels. And fearful of people with walking sticks or canes, though she is better now than when she was younger.

About 8 years ago, she developed an infection that the vet said was not uncommon with female German Shepherds that might or might not be treatable with surgery, but couldn’t be done until the infection was under control. So for the past 8 years, she has been on and off antibiotics to treat the infections. About a month ago, it got bad again and she needed vaccines, so back to the vet. This time they treated her again with the oral antibiotic, but did an anaerobic culture that showed a couple of bacteria that would not respond to the less expensive oral antibiotic she was on, so after two weeks of being on it, they ordered Euroflox and a box of syringes and taught me how to give her subcutaneous daily injections, scheduled for a month to 6 weeks. After about 2 weeks, though she patiently sat while it was given, we became very concerned that there was a crusty spot every place an injection had been given and lumps in several places. Back to the vet, injections stopped, she now has fasciitis and a major skin infection probably due to a reaction to the antibiotic that was prescribed. After getting her scruff trimmed, the wounds soaked in betadine solution then rinsed off, she is now on oral antibiotics to treat that and a topical antibiotic as well. The poor girl has never been truly well and now must be miserable. She goes back in another week for a recheck to see if the skin is healing and the inflammation is subsiding, though they said it would look worse before it gets better. The oral antibiotic is two huge pills twice a day and the only way she will take a pill is in a “meatball” of dog food. I’m guessing that will upset her stomach to go along with the other issues. Poor pup.

Not Lost

But not much to report. The huge family Easter Eve dinner has been reduce by a handful due to familial conflicts, but all three of our grown children will be here. Only 3 of the grands, though Easter egg hunt baskets had already been purchased. The ones for missing grands will be sent home with their Dad. The beehive set up is still on board and Son 2 will arrive with the bees, a suit and veil for me, and feeders for the two hives until they are free to roam the property. He says they will go for the dandelions first. The native bees love the Dead Nettle which is prolific. Fruit trees are blooming, lilacs are about to, Redbuds are blooming, so soon there will be plenty of pollen for them. It is already in the air and granddaughter local and I have already had to begin our daily antihistamine.

This is one of the Thanksgiving cactus plants. Both are in full bloom again. Never since they were introduced to the house have they fully bloomed twice in one winter/spring.

The hydroponic that was planted with basils is not doing well. One plant is thriving, the others molded. Perhaps it was not fully rinsed after cleaning it out. More basil and other veggies will go in a starter tray soon. The peppers are ready to move into 3″ pots which will free up that unit for salad greens. The herbs that were transplanted into pots are thriving, but move in and out of the house depending on the daily weather. It continues to flip flop between warm days and nights to cool days and cold nights and we are currently in one of the cool periods. The tomatoes have gone in and out with the herbs.

Yesterday, I was reboosterized (as Son 1 said) and this one hit me harder than any of the other vaccines with body aches, chills, and a massive headache for about 14 hours. It finally subsided after my third nap yesterday enough to prepare dinner, do evening chores, and finish knitting the second mountain hat for the museum. In two weeks the second Shingrex is scheduled and I understand the side effects will be similar.

The peas and potatoes are not showing signs of appearance yet and one of the hens got into the garden and tried to scratch up the potatoes. A few wheelbarrows of compost need to be added on top. We are looking forward to spring veggies, but even the asparagus are still not showing.

This year’s spinning challenges have been to earn Bingo cards, up to two a month and that doesn’t appeal, so not a lot is getting done. Some spinning, mostly when a passenger in the car, the hats for the museum knit, and a scarf from some of my handspun is also being knit.

It took a few attempts to get the hat design workable, but two have been added to the two “Swiss flag” ones for the museum gift shop.

Perhaps, more attention to the construction details should be made so the pattern can be published. It might sell at events at the museum. Or a pattern with yarn and button as a kit.

Flip flop

Day before yesterday was 74f, yesterday was 43f, cold and windy, today back into the low 60’s. The greenhouse was closed up night before last after it was well watered by the rain to protect the tender greens from a dip to below freezing last night. And reopened to enjoy today’s sun and warmer temperatures.

The peach tree seems to have survived the 4 below freezing nights this week, the Asian pear blooms, maybe not, but the second one hasn’t bloomed yet, so all is not lost. The plum has blooms, the apples haven’t bloomed yet.

There still has not been a hummingbird sighting, still not evidence of peas or potato sprouts, though the peppers in the hydroponic are thriving and the basils are developing.

Today’s Farmer’s Market was back to the early summer hours and the favored veggie producers are back so some goodies have been ordered, other goodies will be selected once there.

This afternoon, daughter and company will come over to help me with a job and she and I will prepare Empanadas and Tostones. When they are made, there must be company due to the labor and quantity. The Empanadas are based on the recipe used at Columbia Restaurant in Florida where I first had them when visiting friends and daughter who lived there at the time. The first one I visited was in Tampa, then on the pier in St. Petersburg (though I think that location is no more). Most frequently, it was the one on St. Armand’s circle in Sarasota. Good memories from all of those visits. One trip with daughter and grandson on a solo visit there, we had lunch and I purchased two sizes of hand blown glass tumblers, and since I had flown there, the glasses were taken to a packing/shipping store for them to package them up and mail them home for me. Those glasses will probably be on the table tonight.

On Thursday, a spinner friend came over, brought a neighbor of hers who wanted to learn to spin and is a bee keeper. She did get lessons and is quite good already, and much knowledge was shared on beekeeping and setting up the hives. My spinner friend is a bird watcher and we watched the mixed flock of little birds that pop in to our feeders in the back garden and the wild turkeys strutting and puffing up in the south field. The day would have been perfect for porch spinning, but it was too windy so we brought it in to the living room to visit and have spinning and beekeeping lessons. A beekeeping book has been downloaded and a beekeeping class is being sought out. So a new friend made, hopefully a mentor as sons and I embark on the beekeeping endeavor.

This morning, we saw the evidence of deer overpopulation as 14 deer crossed our upper field grazing as they moved across, then 6 of them settled in the shade under our pines. If there are that many before fawn season, there are too many in this area. This is the result of the natural predator’s being killed off in the past century and limited hunting. With the chronic wasting disease spreading throughout Virginia, there may be even more limited hunting. I hate to see the herds become ill, but they need to be thinned out or disease and lack of sufficent food will take a toll.