Blount Mansion Nature Friday with Selfies

We are joining Angel Arty, Jakey, Rosy and Sunny of the LLB Gang with much thanks for hosting Nature Friday.

At the beginning of the year, our Mom and Dad took a trip to Knoxville, where they danced and visited restaurants and old houses. Us and our sitter, Miss Christy, told y’all about it here.

Today, for Nature Friday, we want to show you the gardens at the Blount Mansion that they visited on that trip.

We didn’t think one of our blog posts would be complete without pictures of us, too!

XOX Riley, Lucy, Xena and Chia

Why Is Shania Home?

Shania: Hey guys, I’m back.

Priscilla: Where were you? We looked everywhere.
Shania: You know the Mom’s office got moved out of our house, right?
*Everyone nodding*
So Lambie had to go, too, since she was actually given to the synagogue, not to us.
*Everyone nodding*
Xena thought it would be safer for me to go keep Lambie company for a while than to stay here. Chia had her “deadie the stuffie” eyes on me, and Riley was unpredictable.
Ludwig: I sent out a search party, but no one could find you. And the squirrels never came back, either.
Chippie: You sent squirrels? Squirrels?!
Sweetheart: Never mind that. Sometimes Ludwig gets into the bottom shelf of the pantry. What we want to know is if you’re ok and why you’re back now?
Shania: All the Mom told me before putting me in her carry bag to come home was that we were leaving and not coming back, so tell Lambie goodbye. Oh look, there’s Lucy! She’s the sweetest pup! Aghh, I’m falling!

Xena: Welcome home, Shania. You can ride in my kennel with me again and get magically transported to other places!
Chia: Gotcha!

You’re mine now.
Shania: HELP!!
Riley: Chia! Drop it!

Riley: So, you’re back, Shania.
Shania: *pant, pant* Yes, Riley, thanks for saving me from Chia.

Riley: No problem! Hmm, you might have a flea here…and here…and…
Lucy: Riley, my friend, can I please have Shania? She’s really not worth your time. I know you’re in charge here, and you have much more important things to do, like keeping Chia from swiping your bone, right?

Shania: Thanks, Lucy. One big gulp and I woulda been gone. No wonder the Mom sent me away!

Lucy: Well, you’re back now, Shania, so stay safe, little girl. Maybe you’ll go again when my Mom gets another job. I sure hope I can go, too! And, uh, you might want to wash your ear.

My Birthday Day by Riley

Hi there, friends. Remember I said I would update you on what I ended up getting for my birthday? Today (Sunday) I am officially 12 years old! Mom Amy had some pictures pop up on her computer about this day in years past, and did a little reminiscing about my previous birthdays. This first one was taken in 2012 when I turned two years old. I wish I could remember what I was eating!

This next one was in 2016 and the last birthday I got to spend with my older, little sister, Lexi, before she went to the rainbow bridge. I turned six that year.

Lexi: Smile for the camera, Dufus!

On to my birthday today. Because of the touchy situation with how things have been coming out of my back end, I did not get any special food — except for a cheese stick — but I still had a yummy dinner and licked my bowl clean.

I finally looked at Mom Amy and said, “Hey, we all know what day it is. Where’s my new stuff?”

At that, she and Dad Jeff finally stopped their busy-ness and gave me their full attention. Thankfully, I didn’t have to try to unwrap anything. It just got laid out next to me.

I got a new stuffie and a Himalayan Dog Chew…the only ingredient in it is cheese, which is just fine by me.

My new stuffie started whispering something so only I could hear.

He said, “I want to be your new friend. You and me and Rainey, we can all be good friends, and I’ll play with you.”

He doesn’t have a name yet. Before I give him a name I have to decide if we’re going to be friends, or if I’m going to deadie him. Hey, don’t judge. Y’all do the same thing, right?

I took my new cheese bone to my living room bed and started working on it. It was really yummy. I had to keep warning Chia to stay away. When I lift my lip and show her my big, strong teeth, she backs off.

Later I grabbed my stuffie and ran and hopped through the house with him and shook him and played tug ‘o war with him and Mom Amy.

All-in-all, it was a good birthday. Thank you for stopping by as I turned 12 years old!

With lots of happy wags, Riley

Riley’s Twelfth Birthday

Hi good friends. This is Riley. I think that first I need to thank Brian for hosting Brian’s Thankful Thursday. So, thanks, Brian! (You’re a great kitty boy and remind me of one of my friends!)

I have a birthday coming up this Sunday. I’m about to turn 12, which I hear is a very mature age for a big boy like me. I overheard Mom Amy say that she has to start planning something nice for me. Then I heard Dad Jeff say something about huge bones or antlers or hooves or something like that. They forget that I can still hear really good!

Eleven has been a really ruff year. I’ve been through some real sh..er, bad stuff. I miss my Dad Andrew, who hasn’t been around much. I guess he’s got his own issues to work through, but I know he still loves me.

I had to have a stye removed from my right eyelid, and almost lost my eye over it. I’m just glad we found a doggie ophthalmologist who saved my eye and my sight, and that Mom Amy has good credit! He’s real nice and I hope I never see him again, BOL!

After that I whacked my ear on a table when I shook my head, and ended up with a huge hematoma. It was so big it made my ear stick straight out. More surgery for that! More credit, too.

Then more sh…uh, stuff happened with me itching and squirting and not pooping at all and squirting some more. I know my Dad Jeff loves me cause he would get up in the middle of the night when the urge hit me and not even complain about having to take me outside. Hmm, hope that’s not TMI.

But I’m still here, sleeping next to the bed every night – it’s really hard to get into the big bed with the arthritis in my lower back. I’ve got two soft beds stacked together and a real pillow and a blanket when I need one.

I have my good friend Lucy for company and a little squirt named Chia to play with whenever I want. I have her stuffies to play with too, and sometimes to deadie, BOL! Sure I’ve got my reindeer, but I would never, ever deadie Rainey; he’s my friend.

Anyhoo, I really like this picture of me when I first came to live here with my new pawrents. I got a new bone and a new stuffie, and some new squeaky toys. I was six months old. Wow, that feels like over 11 years ago!

Me at 6 months old in my new home. I’ve got new toys and a bone!

Mom Amy says it makes her heart glad that I’m a very happy boy again. I think it’s all good now (paws crossed). How bouts I tell you next time about the wonderful food I’ve been eating? And about what great stuff I think I’m gonna get for my 12th birthday!

Later, dudes and dudettes!! Riley

Mom Amy here. We are so very thankful that precious Riley – who loves everyone (especially young children) – is back here, living with us during his “mature” years. We love our boy so very much!

Riley on Happy Tuesday

Hey there. This is Riley. I’ve had a bit of a hard time this month. Mom Amy got a new product to rub on my “lower” tummy to try to help it feel and be better. Besides, she can’t stand the sound of me licking and chewing on it. “Riley! Stop doing that!” That’s what I kept hearing from the other room at the far end of the house. I think she has superman or vampire hearing. I hope it’s superman. Anyhow, I started getting the squirts. Bad. And I started throwing up clear liquid. At least it wasn’t my food coming up. It was all shooting out the other end!

Then came the starvation diet. No food for 87 hours. Then just rice and pumpkin. Then half portions of my regular food. I’m normally — yes, I’ll admit it — a picky eater. By this time I was waiting to see if Chia left any of her veggies in her bowl that I might scarf up! Since my head’s almost as big as her whole body (OK, I exagerate) she started backing away and saying, “Here you go Riley, uh, help yourself.” Unfortunately, Mom Amy was right there stopping me. Strangely enough, I stopped itching during this time. And I never actually felt bad, except when the cramping hit. I still played and went for walks and bugged Dad Jeff for my nightly walk and gave a lot of happy tail wags!

Anyhoo, I got back on my regular Honest Kitchen beef nuggets diet, and all was well. Until I started itching again. Until Mom Amy put more of that medicine on my itchy area. Until I started squirting from the nether regions again. Dad Jeff was taking me out every time I asked and he started seeing bright red blood in the squirts. That went on for over a day, and that’s when I was stuck in the car and taken to the vet’s. It was a different vet ’cause our regular vet was full. It was a vet my Dad Andrew had taken me to years ago and we both liked them. I got to stay a while cause Mom Amy had to go to work. They ran some tests and x-rays and stuck that glass stick up my butt. And you know what? I didn’t fight them or scream or complain or threaten them, I just wagged my tail. They said I was the best boy ever! Mom just looked at them like they had grown horns and tails when they told her that. Then she explained how I normally act at the vet’s. (We won’t go into that!) I just looked at them and wagged my tail some more, like, “Don’t listen to her.”

So now I’m on metronidazole and just finished my low-dose opium drug. *wags* That’s good shi…uh…stuff. No more blood and no more squirts. No more itchies and my ears are better, too. I feel really, really good right now. *wags* And I’m very, very happy about that…

Just sleepy…*little wag* Oh look..my reindeer’s snoozin’ with me. His name’s..uh, name’s… Zzzzzzzzzzzz

Many thanks to Comedy Plus for hosting Happy Tuesday.

Mom Amy’s notes: So, is his itching caused by any allergy to beef? I’ll have to try changing his diet, but I won’t change the brand, since it is the only human grade dog food I can find, so… I may be cooking for the big boy until things other than beef and chicken come back in stock.
Was his “squirts” caused by what I rubbed on his tummy? Probably, so sure won’t do that again.”
Did the antibiotics clear up his ears? If so, it was within a day, which would be odd. Or was it, again, an allergic reaction to the beef in his diet, which he wasn’t getting both times during his “squirts.” During both those times– the first without any meds — his ears and lower belly cleared up. So, probably. So now the search for non-beef Honest Kitchen dog food begins. (In the meantime I really am cooking for him and he’s licking his bowl clean!)

Home Alone (with Miss Christy)with No Selfies

Lucy: Miss Christy, I love you and love having you here so much I forgot to ask where Dad and Mom went?
Miss Christy: My sweet Lucy, (*whispers* You know you are my favorite girl.) I love being here, too.


Your Mom and Dad just needed a little break, so they went to stay in a cabin in the middle of Norris Dam State Park.

Chia: You said a bad word!

Miss Christy (ignoring Chia’s comment): It’s a huge park with lots of trees and trails and sits on the mountains surrounding Knoxville, Tennessee.

Chia: But what are they doing at the dam state park?

Miss Christy: *sigh* Let’s see…Friday night they got dressed up and went to a ballroom dance studio. They said the music was really good and the people were all very nice and welcoming. There is a dance there every other week, and your folks will probably be going back several times throughout the year and spend the night in Knoxville. The drive is only a little over two hours. But don’t worry, I’ll come and stay with you sweet pups.

Lucy: If that’s all they did, why aren’t they home yet?

Miss Christy: No, they rented the cabin for three nights and during the day, instead of exploring trails, they explored restaurants and historical places.

Chia: I’d a rather done the trails. I coulda’ run like the wind through those forests and maybe even caught a squirrel or a rabbit!

Miss Christy: Yes, you are very fast, Chia girl! But it was too cold for them, down in the 30’s and 40’s. So they did indoor stuff. Since your Dad is very allergic to foods with gluten, corn or soy, they tried out a restaurant called Benefit Your Life Bakery. Absolutely nothing in it had gluten, corn or soy.

Lucy: That was good for our Dad, right?

Miss Christy: So good, your Mom said he was standing at the front looking in the case and seemed to be having something like a religious experience. He was saying, “I’ll have one of those and one of those and one of those and oh my, this is so wonderful, and one of those, etc.” She was on the verge of being embarrassed.

Chia: That’s nothing new. I embarrass her on most of our walks! And it’s always ’cause I’m so excited about something, too.

Miss Christy: Yes, Chia, I understand that. Anyhow, on Saturdays they serve breakfast, so yourDdad got a biscuit and gravy and your Mom, who doesn’t always like GF baked goods, got a bacon, egg and cheese GF biscuit. They were both so impressed they vowed to eat there every time they spent the night for a dance.

Xena: Are they bringing us any?
Miss Christy: Your Dad bought several of the sweets to bring home, but I don’t think they were for you pups. Sorry XeXe.

After that they went to the University of Tennessee McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture. The stories of the first exhibit they saw told of what your Mom felt were the Native American artist’s existential experiences and understanding of life movement through each “season.” The plaques next to each painting had explanatory quotes.

Shane Pickett's Paintings installed

Shane Pickett: Djinong Djina Boodja (Look at the Land that I Have Traveled)

They learned a lot about the generals and tactics used locally during the Civil War.

First Light, November 29, 1863, Painting by Ken Smith

The Civil War in Knoxville: The Battle of Fort Sanders

Your Mom has always loved the Egyptian exhibits, where they saw a real mummy case, hieroglyphics, and lots more.

Ancient Egypt exhibit entrance

Ancient Egypt: The Eternal Voice

Painting by Greg Harlin

Archaeology & the Native Peoples of Tennessee

Human Origins Ceiling

Human Origins: Searching for our Fossil Ancestors

There were more, but these were some of their favorites. Your Dad said that something in this last exhibit reminded him of you, Chia.

Chia: Was I the mighty hunter?
Miss Christy: Ummm, more like one of the predators in the origin of all mammals, ummm, so yes! You were the mighty hunter.
Chia: *whole body wiggles*

Lucy: Tell us more, Miss Christy *wags*.

It was cold and raining when they left the museum, but decided to press on to their next destination. The Historic Ramsey House was built in 1797 by Knoxville’s first builder, Thomas Hope, for Francis Alexander Ramsey. The home is constructed of Tennessee pink marble and blue limestone. It was known at that time as the finest home in Tennessee. The structure is significant for its original interior and exterior architectural features and its period decorative art collection.

The Ramsey Family was one of the first families to settle the Knoxville area. They played vital roles in developing civic, educational and cultural institutions. Colonel Francis A. Ramsey was one of the founding trustees of Blount College, now the University of Tennessee. Mr. Ramsey lived there through the marriage and death of two wives, from whom he had several boy children. He then married his third wife, who had also been widowed twice. They were together less than a year when he died of malaria, leaving her pregnant with her sixth child, a girl. One of his sons, Dr. J.G.M. Ramsey authored an early history of the state, The Annals of Tennessee. Another son, William B.A. Ramsey, was the first elected mayor of Knoxville and the Secretary of State for Tennessee.

Xena: *yawn* This is boring. Can we see pictures?
Miss Christy: Here you go, baby girl.

Riley: *yawn* I’m going to take my after breakfast nap now. They’ll be back. They always come back.
Xena: I miss Mommy and Daddy. Hold me, Miss Christy.
Chia: I’m gonna go take a nap on Lucy’s back now.

Miss Christy: Let’s all go take a nap in the bed together and then we can get a snack and play when we get up. Your folks will be home tomorrow.

Chia: That sounds dam good!

Thanks to the LLB Gang for the Nature Friday Blog Hop!
and
Thanks to  The Cat on My Head  for hosting Sunday Selfies!

Super Bow Wow Sunday Selfies

Riley: I’m a Bengal Tiger. I’m gonna smash those goats.

Later…

Lucy: I can’t see the game with this helmet on.
Riley: That’s why I took mine off. And it makes it easier to eat the Super Bowl snacks. *chomp, chomp*
Lucy: It was a lot of fun chewing off the sleeves, and these shirts are a lot more comfy now, too. Wait…. you said snacks?

*chomp, chomp* Super Bowl Sunday is the best!

Xena: Chia! Grab a piece for me!

Chia: *chomp, chomp* Sorry Xe, every dog for herself.

Many thanks to  The Cat on My Head  for hosting Sunday Selfies! (And may the best team win!)

With love, wags, woofs and snacks, Riley, Lucy, Xena and Chia

New Theme and Selfies

Xena: Hey there, friends. We hope you like our new look. The truth is, Mommy was playing around and accidentally saved a new theme. When she tried to go back to the theme we’ve been using since any of us start blogging, it said that theme had been discontinued. We couldn’t get it back. But she didn’t like the new theme, so she had to find something else in a hurry. She found this new one, which may stay, or you may be seeing a different one from time to time, BOL!

Lucy: Mom’s also been playing with our pictures like some of y’all do. Well, you don’t play with our pictures, you play with your own.. ugh, you know what I mean. Anyhoo, here’s a couple she’s done.

Chia: I’m in four of them! Wait, why does Xena get five pictures and I only get four?

Xena: Let’s have a contest to settle this! Everyone comment on your favorite picture, and the dog who gets the most comments gets to take everyone who voted for me to…

Lucy: Stop! That’s crazy, Xe! No contests, no voting, no you taking anyone anywhere. Just. Stop.

Chia: *running around the house* I wanna win! I wanna win! I wanna win! (etc.)

We hope you liked our lots and lots of selfies today! XOXOXO Chia, Xena, Lucy and Riley

We are happy to join The Cat on My Head for Sunday Selfies.

All We Got for Christmas Was…

We are happy to join The Cat on My Head for Sunday Selfies.

Xena: We all agreed that first I’d tell you what Daddy got last Wednesday, early for Christmas. Sick. After two days of laying in bed with a fever, exhaustion and achy legs, a friend brought over a C-19 test. Yep. He’s got it. Each day he’s feeling a little better. He said he is glad he had his vaccines or it would have been way, way worse. Mommy’s OK, which is a good thing, cause who would take care of us if she was sick too!? If you want to pray for him or send healing thoughts his way, we are all sure it would help.

Next, here are our “selfies.” They are all painted on small round discs of wood. That’s Angel Lexi at the top. We don’t understand why my eyes are painted so big. Mommy finally said it’s because of my wide-eyed innocence. Mommy loves her present and is hanging them “up high” so they last many, many years.

Now, for the fun stuff — mostly. I didn’t get any presents to unwrap. Mommy said I have more stuffies than I need and I got the warm jammies she made for Chia – the ones that didn’t fit Chia. So instead, she made me cookies! Woo hoo! They have pumpkin and almond butter and coconut oil in them. Mmmm.

Lucy: I didn’t get anything to unwrap either. I don’t play with toys. I wouldn’t have minded a nice sweater since I gave mine to Riley for Christmas last year. But Mom made me cookies! They have cranberries and applesauce in them and they’re soft and yummy! Mom said she would take me to the Smart Pet Place today to get a new sweater, too!

Chia: Man, I hit the motherload! If Christmases are always like this, I think I’ll stick around! It’s my first Christmas here (I’m just 1 1/2 years old) and I needed everything. I knew right away what to do when I saw those gift bags! Look what I pulled outa the first one:

Isn’t it great!? It’s got a long body, just like me! I walked around showing it to everyone, which ended up being a bit of a mistake. More on that in a bit.

Do you remember me telling you that Mom took me to the Smart Pet place after her epic fail in making me jammies? She made me try on at least 87 different sweaters and hoodies and coats. I thought she got me one of them. Confirmation!

This is the first one she tried on me, and both of our favorites. Don’t I look pretty wearing it?

Riley: I was polite and waited for Mom Amy to offer me one of the gift bags. I stuck my nose in and pulled out a brand new tug toy! Woo hoo!

Then I pulled out the tissue paper — it was in the bag, so that was mine too, right? I love my new tug toy. I offered to share it with Rainy my reindeer, but he said thanks, he would just watch me play.

Then Mom Amy offered me another present, and I pulled out a long red stuffie. It was just like Chia’s but a different color.

In case you’re wondering, those little bottles back by the tree aren’t mine. Dad Jeff gave Mom Amy her two favorite liquors for Christmas. Anyhow, I was about to deadie the red stuffie when it occured to me that I could deadie the green one that is Chia’s and still have mine to keep or to deadie later. Sometimes I’m brilliant!

Chia: I had to go get a drink or bark at something, and when I did, Riley got ahold of Greenie. Before I could stop him, he had chewed off a lot of its head and removed a squeaker.

I ran quick and told Mom. She got it back for me and put Riley’s red one up so he couldn’t deadie it…at least not right away. Me and Riley spent a lot of time Christmas afternoon growling at each other. I growled at him to keep away from Greenie while I hid under a chair with it. He growled back at me saying to stop growling at him and just give it over. Everyone left us alone to growl at each other. Except Lucy. When it sounded like it was gonna come to blows – or bites – Lucy got between us and looked at us both. She has this thing, I don’t know what you’d call it. But when she’d do that, we both would stop growling and ignore each other – for a while, anyhow.

Xena: I thought you were the next one to get deadied, Chia.

Chia: I run fast and can fit under furniture, so I wasn’t too worried. Later that afternoon while Dad was taking a C-19 nap, Riley stopped growling and started barking at me. So I stopped growling and started squeaking at him! That’s right! There was more than one squeaker in Greenie. Anyhoo, it went something like this: Woof! Squeak! Woof! Squeak! Woof! Squeak! and so on. Then Dad got up and we stopped.

Riley: I got my punishment then. Dad Jeff took me downstairs and put “the stinky dog” as he called me, in the tub. Mom Amy appeared with shampoo, conditioner, Neem oil and towels and bathed me and conditioned my hair and moisterized my skin. In the middle of all this, Mom Amy heard the water running upstairs and realized Dad Jeff was getting in the jetted tub to try to feel better.

Next thing we knew, the water in my tub started cooling off. A lot. To warm me up, I got wrapped up in a blanket after getting towel-dried. I don’t want to admit I feel better, not as itchy. But I do. And my furs are really soft and shiny now.

Chia: It’ my turn again! Guess what! That’s not all I got!! Lucy and Xena both have treat puzzles, and now I do too! I caught on right away. Instead of moving the center pieces one by one – the slow way – I put my nose at the beginning and moved them all together, stopping whenever I came to a treat. It was too easy, really, for a smart pup like me! I hope I get a harder one soon, with lots more places for treats, like Xena’s.

Speaking of Xena’s, Mom got it and Lucy’s puzzle out too and filled them with treats. But, when she put them on the floor, Riley ran in and started working Xena’s! He’s never ever shown interest in a treat puzzle before that. Xena’s Mom’s “baby,” (grrr) but she’s definitely not stupid. She didn’t challenge him for her puzzle.

It only took him a moment to figure out to remove the white pieces in the middle of each row and open the red pieces and move them back and forth. Dad said, “He’s a smart boy and has always had a talent for mechanical things.”

Xena: I went over to Lucy and told her to look at what Riley was doing. Lucy’s puzzle is pretty small – it was my first puzzle. She got it when I got my new one that Riley was now using without my permission. But she’s a sweet sister and offered to let me work her (my old) puzzle with her, so we shared.

Bowsers! It’s become a free-for-all around this house!

Lucy: We gotta sign off now. Mom’s getting ready to take me shopping *wags!*.

Love and wags from Xena, Riley, Lucy and Chia

Riley Paws Says So

Riley: Shhh, everyone take a nap. We need to rest up so we can go to bed early tonight. We want Santa Paws to come.

Xena: Y’all are joking, right?
I mean, why would you have to nap to go to sleep early?

Riley: Because Santa Paws says so.

Santa’s Elf: Wow! That came outa nowhere!

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas from Santa Paws Riley, his elf, Lucy, Xena and Chia (zzzzz…)

Christmas Week’s Stuffies

We are joining Comedy Plus with much thanks for hosting Awww Mondays.

This can be a dangerous place to live, sorta like a war zone. There aren’t any bombs or gunfire…just Chia, and sometimes Riley. We – Brownie Bear, Rudy and Dino – just got out of the stuffie hospital after encounters with Chia.

Brownie Bear: My eye will never be the same, but I am glad I escaped with my life.
Rudy: Attacking a reindeer this time of year wasn’t too smart. I notified Santa.
Dino: Ouch.

Hey there. You may recognize me as Riley’s Reindeer. He adopted me last Christmas, and I’m the first stuffie he has ever loved. (I love him, too.)

Riley plays with me and then forgets to ask Mom Amy to put me somewhere safe. That’s when that long mess called Chia got ahold of me. You can see she ate off half my antler. I just got out of the stuffie hospital too. I guess I got off easy, but I’m staying up here so nothing worse happens.

Hi, I’m Ski Deer. I help deliver toys and treats to good boy and girl dogs and cats in places where the snow is deep.

I’m staying up here where it’s safe until Christmas Eve when I will leave to help Santa.

Hello. I’ve always, in my stuffie heart, been Lexi’s Eleephaunt. Riley has mistreated me, and then Chia. I’m too old for this crap.

I’ve decided that until it’s my time to go, I’ll just stay up here near my best friend, along with the angel who watches over her in heaven.

Meanwhile…

Riley: Chia! What are you chewing on? I know that sound.

Chia: It’s my reindeer toy and I’ll deadie it if I want!

Riley: I don’t think Santa Paws is bringing you anything this year.

Chia: I don’t care. I already saw Mom buying my presents when we went to the store where they sell dog stuff. Phthhh!

This is all the stuffies and Riley — and Chia — wishing you a good Christmas week.

Happy Wednesday with Riley

Thanks to Comedy Plus for hosting Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

Hey there, this is Riley here to give you my good news. Can you guess what it is?

Did you notice? No, it’s not that I have an old bone. It’s that I DON’T have something. Here, I’ll give you a hint. When I got up yesterday morning I looked like this:

Yes! I got the ear wrap and the cone off after the nice vet took the stitches out of my right ear flap. I’m so, so, so happy! Thanks, friends, for your pawrayers and good wishes. *wags!* And just in case you want to see me one more time without all that cr… stuff on my head…see my right ear? It’s not a painful balloon anymore! I guess you could say I’m a day early on Thankful Thursday!!

Love and wags and gentle head rubs, Riley

Late Thankful Thursday & World Peace Day

Lucy: We all love our Dad, and are thankful he was here to feed us and take care of us and sleep with us. Uh, or let us sleep with him. I guess it’s the same thing. We surrounded him with love both nights Mom spent in the hospital with our brother Adam.

Xena: We are all thankful that our brother Adam made it through the surgery OK and is in a hospital room recovering. Every day he gets a little better. I sure wouldn’t like to have a hole in my stomach letting icky stuff out into my body or something called an ulcer leaking lots of blood into my stomach. *shiver* He had both those things! That was the scariest Halloween ever for Mommy and Adam. But he’s going to be alright. We want to thank everyone for your prayers and POTP and purrayers and good thoughts and wishes. It all helped!

Riley: I will be super thankful next week when I get the stitches out of my ear and hopefully the ear wrap and the cone of honor removed. Right now I’m thankful for good food and my pack.

Chia: Mom has decided I’m way too thin and has started giving me more food. Yay! Thanks, Mom!

Xena: You oughta be thankful Mom even gives you food after you unstuffed Riley’s bed and Mom’s bed quilt and chewed up the zipper on Daddy’s favorite fleece.
Chia: *Grrr*. You can’t prove any of that!


Lucy: Girls, this seems like a good time to finish up our post with World Peace Day. I’ll start. I think if everyone could just agree to disagree, and to accept each other’s differences, there would be peace in the world.

Chia: Ummm, let me think…I know! If everyone played nice together, there would be peace. So, who wants to play with me?

Xena: I think life would be more peaceful if little sisters didn’t bug their older sisters; if everyone was held and loved; and if everyone’s tummies were full.

Riley: Peace be with you.

Lucy, Xena and Chia in unison: And also with you!

We are joining Brian’s Thankful Thursday, with special thanks to Brian for hosting it!

Pupdates and Our Brother Adam

Xena: Pupdates? Does this mean you have a date with Achilles, Lucy?

Lucy: No, Xe, although I wish I did. There’s just been a lot going on around here, especially with Riley and with our brother Adam.

Chia: Whatcha’ll woofin’ about?

Xena: Everything going on around here. We wanted to do a Halloween post, but this stuff is more important.

Chia: I don’t care what anyone said, it wasn’t me that unstuffed Riley’s dog bed.

Lucy: We all know it was you, so quite your fibbing. Besides, this isn’t about you today. Let’s start with Riley

Riley: I’m trying to get a last pre-food nap in. Leave me alone, will ya?

Lucy: Go back to sleep, Ri. I’ve got this.
Ahem. Lucy, Ace Reporter here…

Xena and Chia: *groan*

…reporting on Riley’s ear situation. As many of you know, Riley whacked his ear on something hard while he was shaking his head. It was later determined that the cause of the shaking was both a bacterial and fungal infection in both ears. The ear hit so hard that the Mom heard something go *whack* but didn’t know the source. The next morning, while sitting on the floor next to Riley to put in his eye drops, the Mom saw that his right ear was swollen “like a balloon” and sticking straight out from his head. The vet didn’t have time to do a full aural hematoma (that’s a techinical medical term) repair because of being already booked full with surgeries that day. Instead, they sedated Riley, drained the blood and liquid and put an “ear wrap” (another medical term) on to try to keep it from refilling. Per Murphy’s Law, this occured the day before the folks were going away for their anniversary trip, when they dropped this reporter and her sister Xena at our Uncle Bill and Auntie Jen’s.

This Ace Reporter was told the dog sitter took good care of Riley, yet the ear had swollen back up by Sunday night. Upon our return, the Mom took Riley back to the vet to have the aural hematoma surgery performed. The surgery had been scheduled the week before on a “just in case” contingency. The patient was quite loopy all that evening, but returned to “himself” within a day or two. He kept managing to get one or the other of his ears out of the now-hated wrap.

Another instance of Murphy’s Law then kicked in. A week ago on Saturday afternoon when all except the emergency vet was closed, he managed to drop the full, undisturbed bandage on the floor, with his ear still in the green wrap. The Mom and the Dad worked together to use gauze pads and scotch tape to create what appeared to be a viable alternative. Thatworked for about an hour. The Mom wanted to move to duct tape, but The Dad forbid it. They once again created a new bandage wrap for his ear that didn’t come off until bedtime, when they gave it one last try before turning out the lights for the night.

The next morning the newest bandage came off and out of the ear wrap before the first cup of coffee was drunk. The Dad went to the corner CVS drugstore and stocked up on everything one might want to bandage an ear. This time, after wrapping it with gauze, they laid it flat against Riley’s head and went over his ear and round and round his head with a stretch wrap before placing the expensive green ear wrap back on. That lasted until The Dad got Riley to the vet for his first recheck the next afternoon. They were both feeling pretty good about it, and thought that the vet staff would congratulate them on their ingenuity. *rolls eyes* (Why do I feel like I’m at Nelly and Phenny’s house?)

The ear was examined after looks of horror at what the staff saw upon removing the green ear wrap. They unwound the stretch wrap and the gauze and saw that the ear was healing nicely. They re-wrapped the ear — correctly — and put the green ear wrap back on so tight that it was said that Riley is “so wrinkled on his forehead that he looks like a Shar Pei.” The Dad was told that Riley has to wear a cone at all times to prevent him from rubbing the side of his face on anything, causing the ear to come out or the wrap to come off even when the ear isn’t out. The vet did not want a repeat of home-made ear bandages. The Mom facilitated the cone by borrowing the Reporter’s collar, since Riley’s collar was too small to go all the way around with the green ear wrap on him.

Chia: So that’s why you’ve been running around the house naked all week!

Lucy: *blush* Anyhow so Riley has to go back for recheck #2 this Tuesday and probably another one a week later, at which time the stiches will come out and the expensive green ear wrap will come off.
OK, Xena, do you want to tell about what’s happening with our brother Adam? *drops head* You’re his favorite.

Xena: Sure, Luce. First a picture so y’all will know who I’m talking about. This is Adam holding me about 3 years ago when I was only one. He loved Angel Lexi a lot, and he loves me a lot too. He thinks us schnauzers are the best!

Mommy got a call last Monday from Trish who is in charge of the group home where Adam lives. She said that Adam had passed out and fallen in the bathroom. There’s more gross details we won’t mention. He was weak and dizzy when he got up. He said it was ok for her to call 9-1-1, but when the EMT’s got there, he refused to go to the hospital. We know it’s because of the terrible trips to a different kind of a hospital over 20 years ago. Trish handed the phone to Adam, and Mommy tried her best to convince him to go. Nope. I overheard Daddy say the stubborn fruit didn’t fall far from the tree. Hmm, I wonder if that fruit is good to eat…

Anyhoo, that was the same afternoon that Daddy took Riley to the vet for his first post-op recheck. After hanging up with Trish, Mommy called Daddy and asked him if he was on his way home with Riley yet, ’cause they had to go to Cleveland (about a 40 minute drive without a lot of traffic). That’s where brother Adam lives. Thankfully, Daddy was almost home, so Mommy didn’t have to go alone or have to drive the old truck there. It took a lot of people doing a lot of convincing, but they were finally able to call the non-emergency ambulance and get Adam to the hospital. He was too weak to even walk out of his bedroom, and pale like chalk. Our folks had a pretty good idea what was happening, and knew that it was a life and death emergency to get him help right away.

In the E.R., he got all kinds of bloodwork done and a CT scan of his tummy. Our folks were right — he had a hole in his tummy and poisons were leaking into his body. His tummy was also filling up with blood from an ulcer, too. He hadn’t told anyone that he had been throwing up for weeks. Mommy knew something was wrong the first week of August when he was here for his birthday and didn’t eat his steak and shrimp. She saw how much weight he had lost, too. But his next regular checkup didn’t show anything ou of the ordinary.

The nice surgeon came to the E.R. to see Adam around 10 o’clock that night. He had originally planned on taking Adam into surgery right away, but when he looked at the CT scan, he saw the hole was on the far side of the stomach, right next to his colon, and behind his pancreas and something else I don’t remember what. So he gave Adam two more options. Adam picked having the tube run through his nose into his stomach. We won’t go into the black horror that kept coming out of it for a couple of days. He was hooked up to all kinds of other tubes, too, and had to keep getting blood transfusions.

Thursday he got another CT scan, and it seemed that the hole had closed, and things were looking up.

Friday evening the hospital called Mommy and told her that even though the hole had supposedly closed, the ulcer was bleeding into his tummy, and they needed to go in through a vein in his groin to place a “coil” in the ulcer. They said Adam was ok with it, and Mommy gave her permission.

Saturday the surgeon called again. He said Adam’s crit was all matted [hematocrit] and very low. He said that whenever Adam got another blood transfusion, thatt crit thing would go up. Then later when they would check it again, it would have dropped low again. The doctor asked Mommy to meet him up at the hospital this morning (Sunday) around 8 o’clock. More bloodwork would be done, and if the crit was low, he would need to take Adam to the O.R. to repair the ulcer. Mommy knew she was going to have another fight on her hands convincing Adam that this was necessary.

We’re all waiting here for them to come back and tell us how our brother Adam is. In the meantime, please send your prayers, POTP and good thoughts his way. And maybe a few for Mommy, too. She has been what’s called an “emotional wreck.” We’re doing our part with POTP and being on our best behavior. We hope to be able to give you good news later today or tomorrow.

Lambie, please say a prayer for our brother Adam to be OK.

This is Lucy (Ace Reporter) and Xena Schnauzer Warrior Princess waiting for some good news.

Sleepy Selfie Sunday: The Couch Slowly Fills

We are happy to join The Cat on My Head for Sunday Selfies.

Lucy taking a lazy Sunday nap.

Chia joins her.

Chia gets her new, organic flea collar on. They both turn around, and Chia decides Lucy is more comfy to lay on than the pillow.

Riley completes the trio.

Happy Sleepy Sunday.

Thankful Thursday Lab Results and More Surgery

Today we are joining Brian’s Thankful Thursday, with special thanks to Brian for hosting it!

Mom: Riley, I’ve got good news. Your nice vet, Dr. Holscher, sent me the results of your bloodwork:

“We received the results of Riley’s labwork from his visit to CHAI yesterday. Overall, everything looks great! His red and white blood cell counts, organ values, electrolytes, and thyroid hormone are all within normal limits. His heartworm test was negative.”

She also told me on the phone that the xrays and bloodwork showed that nothing is wrong in your abdomen or anywhere else. It looks so big because, well, because of fat. I told her it started looking like that when you were on steroids because of your ears. We do need to try to get you more exercise. We just have to be careful to not exercise too much because it also showed that you have spinal lumbar arthritis, which can cause the pain we see from time to time when you walk up our front hill. We’ll just have to remember to give you your cream cheese-coated CBD oil treat about an hour before going walking. Speaking of going walking, are you ready to give me urine and feces samples to drop off before work tomorrow?

Riley: You have got to be kidding me. Pee in a cup? No way.

*shortly*

the next morning…

Riley: Hey, that was a good CBD and cream cheese treat. Are we going walking? Hey! Why are you putting me in the car? No! No! *shaking*

the next morning..

Riley: What happened?

Mom Amy: How are you feeling, dear boy? Your ear flap was filling with fluid again, so we had to help you with that. You sure slept soundly when you got home from your surgery late yesterday.

Riley: You mean the hematoma?

Mom Amy: You always were a smart boy. Yes, the hematoma. We already had the surgery scheduled for in case the quick fix didn’t work. Now your ear’s OK.

Riley: If it’s OK, then take this hood off me.

Mom Amy: No can do. The doc gave firm orders it is to stay on at all times except when you go back to their office once a week for the next three weeks to check your ear.

Riley (beginning to shake): No! I don’t want to go back! No!

Lucy: Don’t worry, my friend. I’ll go with you and hold your paw.

Chia: Me too! Me too! Me too!

Riley: I’m thankful for my friends, although they do seem a bit over-enthusiastic about going to the vet…

Riley’s Vet Visit and Chia Working for Mom

Riley: I can’t believe Mom Amy and Dad Jeff up and left again. Wednesday they took me to the new vet and left me all day. I was on my best behavior this time and everyone was super nice to me. They even helped me relax and take a little nap while I was there.

Chia: I wondered where you were. What happened?

Riley: When I woke up Wednesday morning after having a rough night with “the runs,” my left ear flap was swollen up like a balloon. I found out after the folks picked me up from the vet hospital late on Wednesday that it was something called a hematoma. While I was napping, the doc drained all the extra blood out of my ear flap and strapped my ears down to the side of my head. She said both my ears have fungal and bacteria infections and I must have hit something hard with my head when I was shaking my ears. They cleaned out my ears and put medicine in them while I had my nap, too. I found out they also stole some of my blood to send off to the the labs. If I catch those labradores, they’re in big trouble. But they must be smart dogs, cause they’re gonna let us know if I have heartworms, why my abdomen is so big, why the lymp nodes on my back legs are swollen (I don’t limp), why I had liquid poop, and if it would be safe for me to come back next week and take an even longer nap. I might have to do that if my ear flap swells up again. So where’s Mom Amy and Dad Jeff, and where’s Lucy and Xena?

Chia: I heard something about an anniversary trip. Mom took Lucy – my best buddy – with her. And she took Xena – my second best buddy and the only dog in the house who can make Alexa obey her.

And she took the laptop with her. So I’m gonna try to get on the work ‘puter as Mom. I can pound on that keyboard type really fast. Then she will get paid for working while she’s gone. And I’ll (hopefully) get more treats. Pretty smart, huh? But I’m gonna take a work nap first.

Riley: Did someone say it’s nap time?

Lucy: Are we there yet?

To be continued…

Riley Gives 4 Paws Up for His New Dry Food

We are happy to join The Cat on My Head for Sunday Selfies.

As many of you know, I choose to feed raw meat, as well as fresh fruit and lightly steamed veggies to my pups. Chia has successfuly – and joyfully – switched over, also.

Then there’s Riley. He looked longingly at the other dogs’ bowls as I placed his bowl of kibble on the floor. Technically, he is my son Andrew’s dog. Andrew is not in a situation where he can keep Riley right now, and probably not for the foreseeable future. We had Riley before he became Andrew’s dog, and we continue to love him more and more as each year passes – he’s a 75 pound 11-year-old. But, eventually, RiBoy will go back to living with Andrew. The two of them are closely bonded. Anyhow, if we switched Riley to raw now, he would not to continue on that diet.

We always want the best for him, things that can continue after he moves out again. So what to do about his food?

When my sister-in-law was here visiting this summer with her daughter and dog, I took a good look at the bag of dog food she brought.

This intrigued me, so I went to their website. I learned that the food was never cooked at a high temperature (it also says this on the back of the package, below. High cooking temps are a big contributor to cancer. There were a few ingredients I didn’t recognize, so I researched them, and they’re all good.

On the website I learned they only use human grade ingredients, and test batches by tasting them. Yes, the people eat the dog food!

So, now you know what Riley eats. He loves it. And it doesn’t bother me if one of the other pups eat a few chunks of his food. I couldn’t believe I had never heard of this food before!

After a couple of weeks of this, he began eyeing the fresh food that Lucy, Xena and Chia were eating, and looked a bit sad. So I began adding some “extras.” Fresh broccoli, homemade sauerkraut and beef bone broth, greens, carrots, greens beans, etc. There were a few he didn’t care much for at first; it took him a little time to get used to them. Now, he looks for what is hidden in amongst the other food and gobbles it all down together. Until I got this Honest Kitchen dog food, Riley never, ever cleaned his bowl, no matter what was added to it.

So, along with this new, healthy diet, becoming part of a pack, and the addition of 1-year-old Chia, Riley’s puppy side has once again emerged.

I want to add that I am not being paid or given anything for this post. I care, so I’m spreading the word. Let me know if you try it! Oh, and I just learned that the company is adding cat food, made with the same integrity, to their line of products.

Happy Tuesday to you!