Monday, June 20, 2016

Abby's 12 today--A Look Back at Her Gotcha Day

Our First Day Together
Seven years ago we met a shepherd, Norwegian Elkhound mix dog named Gabby. This is the dog I discovered through Pet Finder and emailed Barb after Gerard said he thought he'd like this one. She was 5 years old. Here is the link where we found her: It turns out Gabby only had that name about a week so we can rename her. We just dropped the "G" and named her Abby.

Abby looks happy to be with Karen
In preparation for Gabby's visit, I moved the cat food up to a table and a desk. Spunky Doodle and Manny aren't thrilled about this, but I noticed food was eaten during the day while we were at work. In the evening when I saw them looking where it used to be, I moved it down for them temporarily. I also applied Frontline to them to protect them from the fleas, ticks and whatever else it protects from that may come in on the dog. Spunky was pretty easy, but Manny took awhile because he kept moving away from me and rolling over on his back. I finally got it applied while he was eating.

Abby feels very comfortable with Gerard.
Gerard was so excited he waited outside for the dog to arrive and almost immediately took it for a walk to the corner and back. We are all smiles as you can see, except for Spunky and Manny. Spunky Doodle was pretty brave and stood her ground when I brought the dog into the dining room on the leash and then went to hide behind the gold chair and later under the bed. Manny; however, didn't waste any time going into hiding but after awhile, both cats came out and acted normal, just not around the dog yet.

The cats discuss the new member a few days later in this video:

Abby has had lots of experiences since she's been with us.  We took for for training at PetSmart shortly after we got her (as soon as I could convince Gerard it was a good idea).  She easily passed and became a Canine Good Citizen.  During her training, she was attacked by two Rottweilers while on her evening walk and was in critical condition.  With lots of prayer, God's mercy, our love and Abby's determination, she pulled through, making a full recovery and brought cheer to lots of people during her four years of nursing home visiting. 

Abby is a great dog and we are so happy to have her!  Even the cats have accepted her well and she never bothers them except if she barks loud, then they run.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Got to See the Tigers in New Exhibit at Cleveland Zoo

I had a great start to my vacation today.  The weather is sunny and 80 degrees, pretty blue sky with a nice breeze.  After breakfast at Golden Coral (paid for with a gift card), we visited the Cleveland Zoo determined to get some pictures of the tigers in their new exhibit.  The exhibit is 1 acre which is about 10 times bigger than what they had before and with so much  more!  They are slowly being introduced to it but at least we got to see both the male and female tigers in it.  The female was walking around quite a bit when she was let out of the inside enclosure.
275 lb. female tiger saying hello to the visitors

She settled down in a shady spot under a big log.  They also have what they call climbing posts that look like telephone poles without the wires.  The volunteer told us that the tigers will eventually climb these poles to get some meat that will be placed on top for them as they get more comfortable in the exhibit.  

There is also a long ramp they can walk up that crosses over where the people stand to watch through the glass.  There are a couple pools of water, one on each side and lots of grass with some logs to crawl on and small bushes.  It is so much nicer than what they had before and I'm sure the tigers will be happy to be able to stay outside at night as well.

Male 375 lb. tiger

We look forward to checking on them often to see them discover all the new things they can do.  I would love to see them climb those poles!  Down the road, the zoo is planning to get some tiger cubs, but not from these two who are in their teens.  That will be something to see, but for now, we'll enjoy watching these two big cats!

After the zoo, we rested for a bit and then played some tennis and now I'm ready to do some reading on the porch while Gerard and Abby go for their walk.  Loving being off work today!

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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Just Sayin' - I Think We Should Be Humane to Humans Too!

I just finished reading Inside the O'Briens this week and although I generally did not enjoy this book, I did learn a lot about Huntington's Disease and how families are affected by it.  It was thought provoking which inspired me to write this post.

When Joe, a Boston cop with a loving wife and four grown children, (some of whom still live at home), suffers from lack of balance, slurred speech, angry outbursts, random jumping and fidgeting and not even being aware he is doing it, he tries his best to keep his job and get a decent pension to provide for his wife after he is gone.  Unfortunately, he has to quit early and will only get about 1/3 of his pension.  He finds out from a lawyer that unless he divorces Rosie, she won't get anything because it will all go to pay for the assisted living place he most likely will end up in like his mother did.

I must say, I agree with Joe's thinking when he considered killing himself.  Here is an excerpt from page 268 that really rings true to me (Yaz was Joe's little dog that died recently):

Joe thinks of Yaz.  He lived a good, full life.  And then, when his quality of life drained away, they didn't make him suffer.  Yaz's end was peaceful and dignified, fast and painless.  Five seconds after the vet's injection, he was gone.
It was the humane thing to do.  Joe takes note of the word human in humane, and yet that kind of "human" compassion is reserved only for animals, not for people.  There is no five-second injection option for Joe.  Doctors aren't allowed to be humane with humans.  Joe and everyone like him will be expected to suffer and suck it up, to endure zero quality of life while being a burden to everyone held dear until the bitter, gruesome end. 
We all hope we never get to the place where we can't take care of ourselves, but many do.  I just think it would be nice to have the option of a lethal injection to speed up the inevitable and spare all the pain and suffering.

In the book, Joe did not commit suicide.  His daughter, Katie, changed his mind with the following words from page 273:

We don't know anyone else with HD.  You're the only example we have.  We're going to learn how to live and die with HD from you, Dad. . . . .  We don't know what's right and wrong when it comes to HD.  But whatever you do, that's the advice you're giving us.
What do you think about this?

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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Happy Gotcha Day, Manny! You've Come a Long Way!

Today Manny Boy is 11 as we celebrate Manny's Happy Gotcha Day!  We got him from a friend who could no longer keep him when he was 3 (thanks, Kim).  Here is a short video of when we first got him.  It's hard to believe it's the same cat, but I just knew he'd come around.  You really need to watch both videos to get see the transformation.  He let me pet him real nice when I went to meet him in his home but his first mom giving him away and being relocated was quite hard on him.  (Turn up your volume to hear Manny)


Look at him now (and yes, it is the same cat):

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

What Cat Pictures Should We Submit?

Our two cats would like to be pictured on the Alley Cat Allies 2017 calendar.  Please let us know in the comments which picture of each cat you think we should submit.

Manny Boy:


Spunky Doodle:

Mr. Moe:



 Please vote for your top 3 in the comments.  Thanks for your help!