Sunday, January 15, 2017


The other day I scheduled a meeting for my boarding staff.
We've never had a meeting with all the boarding staff and to make it possible for everyone to attend, it had to be scheduled for the end of the day.
That would make for a very long day and it would be really pushing it to expect all my dogs to "hold it".
Most of them are elderly and it's harder for them and I always leave down potty pads just in case they can't wait.
They are used to this but the only one who would refuse to use a potty pad is Blue.
That's a good thing I guess because I don't really want him going in the house!
So since I would be gone so long, I decided to take him to work with me.

I used to take him and Nora and Jimmy all the time but the last year or more, I haven't.
They seem to enjoy just sleeping the day away at home.

The last time Blue was at the clinic was when he had swallowed the sock and needed surgery.

Blue hates to have me trim his nails so I just don't.
Instead either Lily will stop by the house and do it or I take him to the clinic.
When other people do it, he gets excited and loves the attention.
With me, he'll "hide" under the kitchen table and grumble.

So I asked the girls to trim his nails and Lily and one of the other techs came back to boarding to do so.
He was so excited as he came out of the run and then he started to make a noise I have never heard before.
It was hoarse and gasping and his lower chest/tummy were sucking in and out in big extreme movements.

We rushed him up front and one of the vets hurried over to him and watched him and then put his hands on him. Finally the vet said it was his throat area.
We got Blue to calm down and his breathing got better.
The vet said to wait with the nail trim and let him calm down.
I took him back to my office area and laid a blanket out and he finally slept.

I went up front and the vet said that he thought it was Larnygeal Paralysis

If you click on that link it will detail it for you
and also here is more info - HERE
The vet said to Google it and I could find info on it about the causes and see video's of the operation that could be done to correct it.
He said to be 100% positive that Blue had this, he'd need to be heavily sedated and....
if he had it, he'd need an exceptional surgeon to do the surgery.

While this was going on, Doc was attending to his appointments.
I tend to go to Doc but he was busy.
Doc prides himself as exceptional but I don't remember him ever doing such a surgery.

And... Blue is a 11 year and 2 month old Great Dane.

So later, they girls came back and very calmly trimmed Blue's nails and everything was fine.

I moved Blue back to a run and then later, we had our meeting and he just slept.
After the meeting, everyone except my worker that I call "Mini-Me" was left and the clinic was closed and the rest of the staff was gone too.
I went back to get him and he got up and saw the leash and then he saw Mini-Me and got really excited and started gasping for air like crazy.
I thought his tongue was turning a bit blue but no one was there and also I know they'd just tell me to calm him down.
I loaded him up in my car and by the time we were a block away, he seemed fine again.

This got me to thinking, how in the mornings he'll come inside from his morning potty and make gagging noises.
I'm always annoyed because I assumed he ate a piece of poop.
I've caught some of the  dogs trying to each others poop and unless I stand at the door, someone will try. But with it being so cold and dark in the mornings, I can't always see what's going on while they are out there doing their business.

Now I'm thinking it was just his throat.
His excitement of waking up and rushing outside with the others.

So I Googled the Hell out of this condition
and read everything and then the next day at work as the vet was leaving to go to lunch
I stopped him and gave him an update.
He said there's a drug that might help with the inflammation and so I said I'd ask the techs to get me some and then he walked out the door.

Doc was also standing in the lunchroom. I felt kinda odd because I usually go to him but the other vet was there when it all happened so... I went to him.
I looked at Doc and said - "I read that if he doesn't get the operation, it could kill him"
and Doc, who is always game for surgery rubbed his face for a moment.
Then he said "And the operation could kill him too."

I said that "I'll just keep him calm and he'll be fine."
Doc pursed he lips and said nothing and I walked away to get the medication.

My friend the vet tech looked up Blue's account and I told her I already had Blue on Metacam and Dasuquin.
A few weeks back he had fallen down 3 times in a week.
It was always as he came to the bottom of the stairs or when he hurried around the corner.
The Dasuquin is a supplement and the Metacam is for pain and inflammation.
Since he's been taking these, he hasn't fallen again.
But Doc said if he was on Metacam, we didn't want to put him on the other drug.

Then this Saturday, the woman vet worked.
She asked about Blue and we talked a bit and she's going to do some more research.
She stopped by boarding as she was leaving and asked me to record what he does and what he sounds like on my phone, if he does it again at home.

So far this weekend, he's been pretty good.
Just random gagging noises.
But Saturday night he wouldn't eat his supper and just came over to my chair and laid his face on my lap.
I just stroked his face and tried not to cry.
I guess it's a blessing he can't hear, that his deafness could help keep him calm.
When the other dogs hear something and start barking, most of the time he's oblivious to the commotion.

Luckily he ate his breakfast like normal this morning
and now he sleeps.

I thought about how he always did that ROAR of a bark
and how that could have been a symptom of what was coming.
The research said that most people don't realize what's going on until it's progressed.

I oddly thought about my Dad.
I thought about how so many years ago he stopped by my house
and we were sitting there chatting when he suddenly pulled at his shirt and said
"Oh! Look what I got!"
I saw a patch on his chest and he said it was a nitroglycerin patch.
I started to cry and he said "No! It's a good thing" but I remember thinking how it wasn't.
How that patch told me he wouldn't be around forever.
Some people might think it's wrong to think of my dad while thinking of my dog.
But, I don't care.
My relationship with my Dad and animals is very intertwined and complicated.
So to me, it makes perfect sense.

On Monday, Dr. H, the woman vet will tell me what she thinks and what ideas she has for medication.
I will treasure every day and hopefully it is something that can be managed for a long time.

I wish I didn't love Blue so much.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Thoughts about Art and RETIREMENT plans.

I had last weekend off.
I didn't have to leave the house except for one time and
I was gone for less than 2 hours.
the rest of the time I worked on my paintings and thought.

I had sketched out my illustrations
and then outlined them in a thick black archival permanent marker.
I have a hard time outlining with acrylic paint as I am never able to
maintain an even thickness.
Some may say that shouldn't matter but I want a consistent line
and it bothers me to no end if it isn't.

I didn't mind that part
but then I had to fill in the background and use a very small angled brush to
get in the nooks and grannies.
Afterwards I could see all the brush strokes and I had to apply another coat.

I spent most of the weekend doing this.
I've finished that but now I need to go back and paint in the dogs and cats.

I had the TV going, listening/watching a "Blue Bloods" marathon
and thought about how some day I would be retired and could just stay home
and do this everyday and I thought -
I don't want to do this.
Maybe I'm fickle or just plain lazy but
I was so sick of painting.

I will reveal that I came up with the idea of do these paintings on my own,
for my work area.
I could envision big colorful paintings on the walls at work
and I was excited at the thought
but now I was tired and bored.

I came to the realization that I prefer to draw small and use my Inktense pencils.
A friend who paints large told me next time to paint the whole background and go over it.
so I will try that and maybe that would be better.

But I thought about a lot of things.
So many things that I will have to break into different blog topics,
but for now it's about my Art and trying to figure out what I enjoy and also
what I can make money from because I will need to make some money when I'm retired.

I thought about what I WANT to create.
What could I create and work on and enjoy doing so over and over?

Now I know that ANYTHING will get old
and need to have a new twist to it to keep it fresh and interesting.
But I was feeling bummed because I had just started doing these big paintings.

I must admit that I was getting depressed and just felt like going to bed.
Maybe it's the COLD weather
but I just want to snuggle up with the dogs

 (and my cat Ghost)

 and sleep.

Monday at work,  I kept thinking about what I wanted to do in retirement.
I thought about the big paintings again.
A couple of my friends at work said the paintings would be AWESOME.
That was really nice to hear but it didn't change my feelings about any of it.
Then I thought hard about what I'd do if money was no object,
if I could just create because I wanted to.

I guess that's everyone's dream, to just do what you want to do.

But I need to get my head  together and make stuff for NOW
and not worry about retirement.

So I decided to take a real short break and work on something else.
I worked on some of the photos I've taken of my boarders.
I altered them and added some quotes.
I'm going to print these up and affix them to 4x4 block canvases like I've done before.
I'm hoping that these will sell at the clinic.
I'm thinking maybe the quotes will make more marketable.
Maybe I'll make them into magnets too?!

And I'll continue doing some seasonal small things,
little illustrations and banners and things.

Eventually I'll get to work on the dogs and cats doll/toys
that I mentioned in a few posts back
AND the ever elusive book(s) that I want to write.

Yep. maybe it's the weather.
The cold and lack of sunshine.
I think a lot of people might be feeling the same.
Do you feel like that too?
Come on Spring!

I'll share some of my photography that I worked on,
altered and cleaned up a bit and added text.
If you Follow me on Instagram, You've probably seen these
and I'm still posting more everyday....

Saturday, January 7, 2017

2017 so far.....

Just a quick check in.
This weekend I hope to catch up on my blog reading.
Sorry if I've been absent but I will stop by ASAP.

This first week of the New Year started out very busy
and now is slowing down at work.

I hate to even admit this but the week has not been so great.
I have had to deal with a couple of ISSUES at work that have made me upset.
Things I can't talk about because this is the Internet.
I had hoped that 2017 would have less DRAMA but alas...
Haters gonna hate.

Luckily for me, Doc had my back both times so that made it much easier to deal with.
I found this quote and it helps me to deal -


Then mid-week, someone in my extended family suddenly passed away.
It's very sad and shocking and...
also something I can't talk about.

I refuse to let this affect my expectations for 2017.
Hopefully this is it for the NEW Year
and all the bad/sad is out of the way.

I'm trying to finish up a "project" that I will reveal soon.
Here's a sneak peek of the WIP's -

Then I'll be doing the Valentines stuff.
Little painted fabric cats.
Some illustrations
(Because Sugar wants banners.)


In other news,
Jimmy Chew, the hipster dog.
Has been sporting a new style.
A combination Mohawk/Goatee.

Jury is still out on this one.

Saturday, December 31, 2016


I'm really REALLY looking forward to 2017!
I just KNOW it's gonna be a good year!

Some years I don't make too many resolutions
but most years I just say the same things as I've always said.

Get Healthy
Lose weight.
Get Organized
Do my Art
Blah, Blah, Blah.
So this year, what are my resolutions?
All of the above of course but most importantly it's to change my priorities.

I never seem to have time for making my Art
or writing my books.
I have so many ideas and yet I never find the time...

So I'm going to find time.
I might let some things fall through the cracks
but I'm going to work it out.
I might have to cut back on work hours.
I might have to let the new girl take some of them
and while that scares me, both in a financial way
and in a caretaker way, (not to say she's not a good caretaker)
but it's hard for me not to micro-manage.

But if I don't step back a little bit
I'll never get the things done that I'm always talking about.
And wouldn't it be ironic if something I create takes off
and I don't have to work so many hours.

Also, I HAVE TO start taking care of MYSELF.
I hate to whine about aches and pains but
I've been having some problems with my knee
and foot problems.
I'm finding that I have to hold on to the stair railing in order to walk down the steps
for the first time in my life.
It might just be part of getting older but
I've also put on too many pounds.
I hate seeing photos of myself anymore and the other day
I was looking at someone else's photos of Christmas Eve at my stepmom's.
The photo showed the little kids opening presents and in the background
was a woman I didn't recognize.
It was me.
I was shocked,
Do I look like that?!
Evidently so, although I don't FEEL like that.

I need to get the weight off and stop eating fast and easy junk.
Not a diet though.
No, more of a conscious way of eating.
I plan to go the Fork over Knives route.
Anyway... that's the plan.

AND to start focusing on enjoying the NOW.
I'm always careful with money but...
I'm going to start going to the random movie
and stopping and getting a yummy coffee
and get a first ever manicure.

If I've learned anything this year, it's that life is short.
So many celebrities died young this year
and several people I know quite well
are stricken with Cancer...

I'm going to stop worrying
and THAT'S a really hard one for me
and put it out to The Universe that things will work out and be OK.

So that's my resolutions.
#1. Re-prioritize my time and work on my Art.

#2. To think about my health
I will still enjoy an occasional treat
but I'll savor it, and not just mindless snack.

And I will stop eating processed, packaged stuff
and stop the emotional eating.

#3. I will live in the NOW and ENJOY my life.

#4. Stop worrying about everything and put in in
The Universe's hands.

Did YOU make any resolutions for 2017?
I'd love to know!

Sunday, December 25, 2016


Wake up Jimmy!

I think there are a couple of presents with your name on them!

Well Jimmy, you did it!
You fooled Santa!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Truly LAST MINUTE THOUGHTFUL Christmas gifts

Since I am always running a day late
and a dollar short, I thought I'd share some last minute gift ideas
to people who are in the same boat as I.

I've read some suggestions on different design/decor type blogs
and they are absolutely ridiculous in MY world.
Suggestions like giving a plant to someone because they "have everything"
or buying them some other knick-knack...
that kind of thing drives me crazy.

First, let me address this plant idea.
If they LOVE plants, then by all means, get them one.
But if you've never seen a plant in their home,
don't do it.
Most likely they have a brown thumb
OR pets.

Many plants are toxic to pets,
so think before you buy.

OK, here's my ideas.
First, before you leave the house,
sit down with a pen and paper or your smart phone
and THINK.

Write down each person's name
and leave a space for ideas.
I think the object is to only write down 2-3 ideas.
If you write down too many, if you are like me,
it will make you indecisive when you get to the store.

Now think about the person
and what they need AND would actually like to have.
I'll use my own family (because none of them ever read my blog.)

But first I'm going to give a three examples of gifts I've received.
One of which was very thoughtful
and the other two, nice but...
And what we all really want to give, is "thoughtful" gifts
isn't it?

First, the thoughtful one-
I received a box a couple of years ago from a client
that contained a pair of very nice warm gloves and hand lotion.
In the winter, my hands are always cracked and dry from being outside
and also from constantly putting them in dish water.
She had also tucked inside the box a very cute card that she had obviously carefully chosen.
The card had an illustration of dachshunds playing in the snow
and the client's pets, who I take care of, are of course dachshunds.
Inside was a gift card to Starbucks and she had written a note about wanting me
to enjoy a hot drink in the cold weather and she had signed her dogs names to the card.
I love Starbucks but they are not in my budget so I really appreciated being
able to treat myself to a hot beverage.

To me, this was the perfect Christmas gift
and obviously I still remember it.

Now to the other gift I received from a client.
A BIG box of fudge.
Now that was super nice of them
and looking at me,  I suppose they figured out that I enjoy sugar but...
it was really the last thing in the world I needed.
Luckily I was having a "strong" day and carried it up front
so my co-workers could have some too!

Another gift I got was from a good friend.
I had mentioned how much I loved a mug she had gotten me several years back
and how I use it every single morning.
It's a HUGE mug that can hold 2 cups of coffee
and on it is a photo of a Golden Retriever puppy.
PERFECT Gift for ME.
So, this year she got me another mug,
A one cup size mug that had a dog motif and very cute but...
I don't really need it.
What was she thinking????????
I mean, it was sweet of her to give me a gift
but I have a BIG mug that I love!
(She doesn't read my blog either, so I feel safe posting this.)

So, this is what I'm trying to get at.
I think if we just sit down for a minute and THINK,
just let that panicky time running out feeling go
and think....

This is what I came up with.
My sister said not to get her anything.
She didn't need more stuff.
But, yeah... it's Christmas
and because she is always misplacing her gloves
I got her another warm pair that she can keep in her car.
Also, because she has to go out in all kinds of weather, to go to work
I bought some cute little ear muffs because she usually forgets her hat too.

For my BIL, a very hard man to buy for,
I bought him fishing lures off of Amazon
for trout fishing.
That's what he does in Vermont when they go up there.
A cheap gift but something he will actually use.

A word about Amazon.

and while I bought several gifts at Target
(this last Sunday I went, around dinner time, after everyone had mostly gone home from a day of shopping, I hate crowds but these gloves were 30% off! and might not be there for long)

I got about half of the gifts from Amazon.
Amazon has free two-day shipping, if you are in their Prime program.
The fee pays for itself if you buy a lot throughout the year, which I do.
I order my dog potty pads from there, monthly.
Sometimes I will order cat food from there too.
....and my paint water-pens and micro pens and of course BOOKS about everything!
and Amazon is usually much cheaper than the store!
I'm extremely fortunate that my sister put me on her Prime account
and SHE pays that fee! LOL!
That's the best bargain EVER!

So there's another good idea, I think,
an AMAZON gift card, which they will NEXT day to you!
and then your person can choose whatever they really want.

OK, more gift ideas.
My oldest niece who is an Artist who travels all over the country
and has gone to England and France a few times too for artist retreats...
I got her a travel sketchbook and a micro pen.

My middle niece was complaining how she cuts up her legs when shaving, every time!
So I got her a gift box of a nice shaver with shaving lotion and body cream
and then I picked up $3.00 super fuzzy purple socks.
She loves purple socks.

My youngest niece,
I bought her a best selling dog book

(that I might end ordering one for myself! LOL!)
and then I included a block of the Sculpey clay
that she uses for her little creations.
(I'm going to do a post soon about the creatures she creates and her Etsy shop)

Finally, every year my sister and I go in on a gift certificate for our Step-Mom
and her hubs to a dinner theater.
They both have said how much they enjoy going
and they probably wouldn't have gone in the beginning it they hadn't had the gift certificate
and now it's kind of a tradition now.

So that's my suggestions.
I don't think a gift needs to BIG
or a lot of them.
I don't think that's what Christmas is about.
Not for me anyway.
I like a simpler Christmas.
One that doesn't leave you with a BIG credit card bill in January.

Final note:
If you can't think of the right thoughtful gift
and the person has a pet,
you can't go wrong in giving them something for their pet.
In fact, that kind of gift makes me happiest of all!
It tells me the person really knows ME
and was super thoughtful!