The A-Dog goes on the ‘DL’

Hello everyone, it’s me again!  For those new to the blog, I’m Makena, who occasionally takes over this blog.  Today I have a lot to write about, and it’s not good news for me…

makena blogging 2-09-2014

Keeping my peeps informed!

But before I get to the bad news, I will do a brief summer recap.  I again enjoyed my time out in Wyoming, with 100 acres to roam around, off leash!  What dog wouldn’t love this?

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My parents were excited about the Eclipse, and I was prepared with my glasses.  But I ended up staying in the 5th wheel….no dogs allowed by the cabins…sigh.

IMG_1035 (1)I spent the summer doing a lot of playing with my football….maybe too much playing, which I will get to later.  The weather was good all summer, until the end.  My parents promised me when we ventured out on this crazy journey that we would always have warm weather.  But once again, we ended up with quite a bit of snow.  But I didn’t let it stop me.  I made my mom put on her boots and winter coat (had to dust it off!) and get out and play with me.  October in Wyoming!

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Hurry Up! I’m ready!

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And away I go in the snow!

 

We made a quick stop in Minnesota on the way home, so I could see how my cousin Simon was doing.  He is now 6 months old, and has grown a lot since I last saw him.  Compare the photos from May (bottom) and October:

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He still can’t throw a football, and he’s not eating solid food, so I’m still not that interested in him yet.  I did try to teach him how to rub my belly.  But apparently, Grandpa Gary has been teaching Simon the “pull my finger,” trick,  as he was only interested in “pulling my paw!”

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THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

When we got back to Wisconsin, my parents dropped me off at my grandparents house, so I would be well taken care of while they helped out remodel their friends business.  However, after two weeks, they picked me up and took me in to see the doctor.  And that’s where we get to the bad news.  For the last few weeks, I have been unable to jump up on the couch or the bed at night.  I still wanted to play and play, and my parents didn’t think too much of this at first.  But I wasn’t getting any better, and was having trouble going up steps.  So they decided to have me checked out.

My doctor in Wisconsin retired, so they tried out a new clinic, Kuenzi Family Pet Hospital, and were happy with the visit.  I was not.  They were concerned I may have torn a ligament in my knee, but they could never figure out which leg I was favoring.  Dr. Alex did a thorough examination, and put me through a lot of range of motion tests, and said my legs and neck were fine, (that’s the good news) but he was concerned about my back, and took me in another room for x-rays.

The bad news:  I ruptured a disc in my spine, and the two vertebrae are now just “bone on bone.”  Dr. Alex said in humans, this would be an extremely painful injury.  But I’m one tough dog, and haven’t displayed much pain.  Here are two of my x-rays:

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Yes, I’m a lean, mean, machine!

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Now for those reading this that are not Radiologic Technologists (Happy Rad Tech week, by the way!), here is the above  image blown up, and I have added some markings.  The arrow on the top left points to the microchip that was inserted in me when I was a puppy.  The other 3 arrows point to the disc spaces in between my vertebrae.  This is how they should look.  The circle shows the two vertebrae that are rubbing together.  The disc is gone.  And there is narrowing at the disc space below that level.

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So this is where “the ugly” comes into play.  Since the vertebrae appear to be starting to fuse together, Dr. Alex said wants to hold off on considering surgery.  However, for the next 6 weeks, I have to be completely non-weight bearing!  In other words, I have to stay in my crate….ugh!  No playing, no jumping, no walking.  My parents carry me out to go potty, and then carry me back in.

I’m not happy, and I don’t understand why I’ve been put “in jail.”

My parents friends, Dave and Angie, let them borrow a bigger crate that I can stay in during the day (at night I’m back in the little crate in the bedroom).  They call it “The Taj Mahal.”

IMG_1213I call it “a bigger jail.”  But I am happy they put my dog bed in it, and set it in front of the electric fireplace.  I’m on pain meds and anti-inflammatory pills, which are making me feel better.  I have learned that they will let me out, “on good behavior,” for an hour or two at night, as long as I don’t run around.  I heard the word “NO” for several days, before I complied with their rules, and just laid down on a blanket outside the crate.

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Freedom!

The worst part of all of this, even worse than being stuck in a crate for 6 weeks, is that I am not allowed to play football, until February, at the earliest.  It’s going to be a long winter for me….

Quote for the Day:  “Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation, and almost as good for the soul as prayer.” – Dean Koontz

 

 

Ready for a good summer!

Hello everyone, it’s time for your favorite dog blogger to post again!  My parents have been very busy with work, so I thought I would get you caught up on what I have been up to.

makena blogging 2-09-2014

Keeping my peeps informed!

While my parents were busy working in Wisconsin, I was back at my grandparents house, keeping them busy.  I really enjoy my time there, because they spend all day playing with me, taking me for walks, and lot’s of cuddling time.  It’s a good time!

After we left Wisconsin, we stopped in Minnesota and I met my newest cousin, Simon.  Right now, other than being cute, he’s not very exciting.  He just sleeps a lot, and he’s not eating real food yet.  Hopefully by the time I see him again, he will be sitting in a high chair, tossing some food onto the floor for me.  Then I will be more interested in him.

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Simon’s pretty boring right now

Once he gets bigger, I will have to teach him how to throw my football.  Gary and Julia spent some time tossing the ball to me, and I enjoyed my time at their house.

IMG_0864But it was time to move on, and I really enjoy traveling.  I was excited when we arrived back at Luton’s Teton Cabins, as it is my favorite work camping job for my parents.  They walk to work, so I know they are close by.  With a 45 minute lunch, I get to play every day when they come home.  I have them well trained already!  They even surprised me with a new football!  I have acres and acres of playing field!

IMG_0939Yes, this place is a dog’s dream!  What’s not to love about this view?

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And the fact I can walk around off-leash is a bonus!  Lot’s of trails right on the property for me to check out.  There are 4 other dogs with me this year.  Casey and Honey are back, and they have already stuck their noses in my butt….sigh.  I also met the two new dogs, Lilly and Molly.   I also heard there are two cats that like to walk on a leash, but I have not met them yet.  I think I would like them.  Cats are usually more polite to me.

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Happy to be back!

When I am not out playing, walking, or marking my spots (need to let the elk, bison, horses and bears know I am around!), I spend most of my day waiting for my parents to reappear from the bushes.  I am not allowed to go beyond those bushes where the cabins are.  So I just sit in the window and wait.

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I know it’s going to be a great summer again!  My parents said it should be very busy, as they are already booked full for most of the summer.  Hopefully they won’t be too tired to go for regular walks on the property.

Take care everyone and have a great summer!

 

Quote for the day: “Ever wonder where you would end up if you took your dog for a walk and never once pulled back on the leash?” – Robert Brault

 

 

 

 

Celebrating 150 years of birthdays!!

Hello everyone!  It’s me, Makena!   For those new to the blog, I’m a Jack Russell Terrier  who occasionally takes over my parents blog.  It’s always good to get the dog’s perspective! My mom was going to post another blog about their visit to Kennedy Space Center, but today is a very special day….my 10th birthday!  And even better, I get to celebrate it with Grandpa Stu (Dan’s dad), who turns a fit and fabulous 80 today!  Tomorrow is Aunt Linda’s Birthday (Dan’s sister).  Linda is the BIG 60!!  So altogether, we are celebrating 150 years of birthdays!  Whew, that’s a lot of candles.  Hopefully the smoke detector won’t go off!

makena blogging 2-09-2014

Keeping my peeps informed!

Now in human years, I am 56 years old (based on age and size of dog).  Sorry Aunt Linda, you still are older than me!

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Happy Birthday Linda!

 

Grandma and Grandpa came over to the RV park for a visit today!  They took me over to the dog park to play football with me!

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I love playing football!

And I had presents and birthday cake too!

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Is this for me?

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A new football from my grandparents!

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More presents and a card!

Grandma baked a delicious cake for grandpa and me!

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Happy Birthday to us!!

I know it was good, because I snuck in a quick lick!

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I tried for more, but grandma and grandpa blocked my route!

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Sadly, this will be our last day in warm and sunny Florida.  Tomorrow my parents will be hitching up the fifth wheel and heading back to Wisconsin to help out their friends, Mike and Karlyn, finish up remodeling a new business.  So I will be spending the next three days riding in my crate in the back seat of the truck.  I don’t mind, because every 2 or 3 hours they stop and I get to walk around and  pee about 15 times at a gas station or rest area.  Sometimes my mom thinks I have two bladders!

Since it’s been a while since I have blogged, I will catch you up on a few other events.  For Christmas, my parents bought me an  orthopedic dog bed, to replace my old one that didn’t have much padding left.  They also bought themselves new throw blankets.  While the bed is nice and comfy, I decided they don’t need two blankets.  They can share one, and I have claimed the other as my own!

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New bed and blanket!

Although my parents didn’t bring me over, I did get to smell a pizza cooked over a campfire one night.  Bob and Betty, our next door  neighbors here in the RV park had a happy hour campfire and cooked a few pizza’s over their triangle grill.  I’m told they were delicious.  I did not get any…

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Master chefs Bob and Betty

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Bob, Betty, Dan & Roger

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Ed, Sheila, Dori and Sue

Last night my parents went out to dinner in New Smyrna Beach with three couples from the campground that will not be coming back here next year.  They will be traveling out West next winter.  We wish them safe travels, and hope to see them sometime down the road!

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Roger, Sheila, Paul, Diane, us, Betty and Bob

It has been another good year in Florida.  Hopefully warm weather will be waiting for us in Wisconsin? As always, thanks for following along on our journey!

Quote for the day:  “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” – Satchel Paige

The ‘dog blog’ is back!

Hello everyone!  It’s me, your favorite blogging dog, back from a long absence!  For my long-time followers, you will note that I have a new photo of me blogging.  Currently, I am at my Grandparents house, while my parents are busy making money so they can afford more treats and toys for me.  My grandma just purchased her very first laptop, so I am trying to figure things out.img_1103I would have blogged sooner, but my grandma’s desktop computer is older than I am, and I just couldn’t figure it out!  My parents have come up to visit me a few times, especially now that grandma has her new computer.  Grandma called them 5 times the first night after getting the laptop, so they decided to come up and visit the next day, because getting tech support over the telephone was cutting into my playing time.  I was starting to feel neglected.

My parents were trying to set up grandma’s laptop in person, but even that was becoming a process.  Apparently grandma handed them some things she called “floppy discs” and wanted them installed on her laptop.  A long discussion took place, and soon my dad was cutting up the discs.  They are older than me!

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who still uses these?

Mom then set up her iTunes account on the laptop and was transferring some music for grandma.  More discussion occurred…

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uhmmm, no grandma!

But enough about that, time to get back to me!  I had a great summer at Luton’s Teton Cabins.  It was a great place to be a dog with working parents.  No late nights, always home on time for lunch so I never had to “cross my paws” with their long workdays.  And having 100 acres to run around, off leash, was just icing on the cake.  Who can beat this view?

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my summer home

I was excited to arrive back in Wisconsin, but not so much when I found out we are staying in a glorified parking lot.  Not big green space to play, and I always have to be on a leash.  And, I was back to crossing my paws as my parents were gone all day…no thanks!

So after a few days, they realized I was not a happy camper, and took me up to my grandparents house.  Now I am back to being the Queen Bee!  As any grandchild knows, whether you have 2 legs or 4, grandparents homes are the place to be!  I spend most of my days sitting by their back door, trying to convince them that I need to go out and play with my football.

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Let’s go play!

They are easy to convince, so I have been getting a lot of play time in their back yard.

img_1104I try to keep my grandpa’s chair warm when he is away (usually golfing).  I am so grateful that he is feeling good and fully recovered from his scary ordeal with Guillain-Barré Syndrome (you can read about it here).  We go for daily walks, which I really enjoy.

img_1084When my parents brought me up here, they packed up all my toys and treats.  Beggin’ Strips are a special treat for me, and a bag usually lasts about 2 months, because I only get a couple of them every week.  Milkbones are my regular treat.  My parents were a bit shocked when grandma called after three weeks and said they were out of Beggin’ Strips!  Well I am special, so I convinced my grandparents to give me my special treat every day!  Yay!

I also discovered I don’t even need to do anything special to get a treat.  If I stare at my treat jar for a long time, they just get up and give me a treat!  Here’s a photo of my grandparents watching television.  Notice me in the corner?

img_1071It looks like I was put in the “time-out” corner, but upon closer inspection, you will see I am staring at my treat jar on the counter  Yes, I have them well trained!

img_1077I also figured out where grandma hid my new 12 squeaker toy.  She put it up on top of a dresser in a bedroom.  So I sat and stared at that for a while, and she eventually gave in, and I was able to destroy my new toy!

img_1101My grandparents did take me to see my cousins at Camp Meyer!  I really enjoyed having even more people play with me, and snuggle up with me.

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It’s better than snuggling up with “mini me”.  This is the stuffed animal my parents sent to my grandparents so they won’t forget about me when I’m not there.  Hey, it’s cute, but not quite as good as the real me!

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The weather is starting to get a little too cold for me.  Hopefully my parents remember to come and get me before they leave for Florida.  I could use some warm weather, as I don’t have much hair.  When my parents come to visit, my mom brings up their laundry.  I crawled in a basket of sheets just out of the dryer.  My parents aren’t sure if I was just cold, or if I wanted to make sure they don’t forget about me.

img_1100I’m not sure how much longer I will be staying here, but now that I have mastered grandma’s new laptop, I will try and not go so long between blogs.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving!  Hopefully the ‘turkey fairy’ will drop a few pieces in my dish!

Quote for the Day:  “An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day.” – Irv Kupcinet

I Like It Here!

Hello Everyone!  I’m back, your favorite blog posting full-time dog!

makena blogging 2-09-2014

Keeping my peeps informed!

I am really enjoying my time here in Moran, WY just outside Grand Teton National Park.  My parents have found a dog friendly work camping job.  I am not allowed to go in or near the rental cabins, so I can’t go to work with them (I would be good at licking up all the crumbs on the kitchen floors in the cabins!), but having 100 acres to roam around, is doggie paradise! (even if there are 6 other big dogs on the property)

Before I talk about my current activities here, I will get you caught up on what I have been up to the last few months.  After leaving Florida, we went back to my favorite “campground”, Camp Meyer.  (Dan’s sister and brother in laws house).  I have the full reign of the facilities, and they have several acres to roam around on.  I was able to visit with my great nieces.  They gave me lot’s of attention and snacks!

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Teaching Ellie about treats!

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Raya and Leia playing with me

I briefly visited with my doggie cousins Rudy and Reagan, who, after sniffing my butt, pretty much ignore me now.  My kitty cousins were not happy I was eating their food, and Bandit hissed and pawed at me quite a bit.  Callie was much nicer to me this time and Jonell’s sister Margie and her husband Greg always treat me well!

Veterinarian Visit

As many of you may recall, last year my doctor was concerned about my weight, and said I needed to lose 1/2 pound.  This year I weighed in 3 ounces MORE than last year!  But, the doctor noticed I was much leaner and more muscular, and had a low heart rate, so he was very happy with my appearance this year.  I am a lean, mean, football playing machine!!

My parents were concerned about my scratching and licking my butt for the past couple of months.  They thought it was fleas and fire ant bites from Florida.  Turns out, my anal glands were full (sorry if this is grossing you out, but this can be an issue with us dogs!).  In 9 years of living, I have never had that problem. The doctor was able to “express” them, and boy did that make me feel better!

The doctor recommended that I have some canned organic pumpkin to eat (a teaspoon or so with my food).  I guess that helps keep things from clogging up!

After my doctors visit, I joined my mom for her annual patio beers with her friend Amy, and I made a new friend, Taco.  Taco and I really got along, once he stopped poking around my rear end!

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did you get your anal glands expressed?

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My buddy Taco and I

And now back at the ranch…

There are miles of walking trails all over the property here.  Just look at this view I have every day. You can see my path just goes on and on.   It truly is doggie heaven!

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A dog’s dream field

I have been marking my spots all over the field, as there are all kinds of wildlife that come through this field.

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The owners have about 11 horses on the property.  I was pretty scared of them at first, and when we went walking with my parents friends and co-workers Karen and Al, I stood behind Al while he pet the horses.  But then I warmed up to them, and realized they had no interest in sniffing my but, despite their large noses.  They are obviously civilized animals!

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Al is protecting me!

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you have a big nose Mr. Horse

There were cows on the property for a few weeks, but they have been moved to higher elevations for the summer.  I was reprimanded for going under the fence to get a better view of them!

 

My parents have started allowing me to go off-leash on the property for part of our walks.  But, after a few drop and rolls in some big horse poop, I have been warned I may lose my off leash privileges.

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I have to stay out of the piles to keep my freedom!

I’m glad that I took agility class, because I have to be careful crossing over the cattle guards when I am carrying my football out to the playing field.

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walking a straight line

Unfortunately, my mom broke a bone in her foot last week.  She was carrying their laundry basket down the steps inside the 5th wheel, and didn’t see her shoes at the bottom of the steps, stepped on them and fell.  So she is in a walking boot for the next 6 weeks, which means we won’t be doing this for a while.

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Mom and I. Cabins in the background.

But my dad is still taking me out to play, and hopefully he will take me out for some long walks.  I miss those.  It’s such a pretty area for us dogs and being off leash to bound around the ranch is awesome!

Take care everyone, and thanks for following along with me!

Quote for the day:  “I have a simple philosophy.  Fill what’s empty.  Empty what’s full.  Scratch where it itches.”  – Alice Roosevelt Longworth