Archive for September, 2010

My Hen Friends

Recently I became friends with a glorious clutch of chickens. They required my services while their landlords were traveling. They have a fancy and sprawling chicken condo that is completely bear-proof. That’s a must have where they live! They have the cutest conversations and love getting their special snack before bedtime – bologna & crackers!

They’re gracious enough to allow me to have their eggs while I’m there and they are, without a doubt, the tastiest eggs we’ve ever eaten. It goes to show that happy chickens make happy eggs. 🙂

These little ladies are a big part of the landlords family. What started as a daughters 4-H project became the father’s hobby. It’s a lucky chick that gets to be part of their gaggle. They even give them a respectful place of rest when their time has come – these girls do not get eaten, no way!

I love it when I hear I get to see “the girls” again and hope to continue doing so for a long time. It’s ironic how I had a deathly fear of chickens when I was a little girl. The ones I remember from my grandparents farm weren’t so nice.

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Mr. Pintooth Update

We’ve jumped the one week hurdle since Randolph’s major mouth overhaul. We’d had a slight set back because the old man got really sick for a few days beforehand. He was diagnosed with Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis – basically bloody diarrhea. We had to rule out several things that weren’t causing it but never came up with a clear conclusion as to what was. We were most likely dealing with stress – stress of being in the shelter for a week, stress of being on different food, stress of being in our home and stress of wondering what the heck happened to his life?! He was hospitalized on IV fluids for a couple days and that did the trick. It took a few more days for him to get back to eating, then he had his mouth all wrenched so it was back to not being able to eat! Poor guy.

He’s happy now though and eating Canidae Chicken & Rice canned food if anyone would like to help offset this boy’s expenses. He became very expensive very quickly! We buy all our pet food at Louise’s Pet Connection in Lake Mary. 407-688-1026. If you tell them it’s for Mr. Pintooth, they’ll know who you’re talking about. You can still donate directly to our vet or through paypal. Scroll down to the previous entry for directions 🙂

There are two more old-timers we’re trying to help. This Lynxpoint Siamese was also stray and is now convalescing at Vickie & Steve’s house. They’re the best! When I called Vickie and asked her for a favor she replied, “the last time you asked that I came home to a horse!” They fostered a sick horse for us a couple years ago and got her healthy for adoption.

This time she came home to the coolest kitty ever! He oozes love-ability. Mr. Setzer, the elderly Siamese, needs to gain some weight and find his forever home. Remember the ’80’s band The Stray Cats? The lead singer / guitarist is Brian Setzer, hence the cool name for a cool cat! And he is a super-sweetie. You cannot pet him too much. We have 2 Siamese in our family of cats and they’re truly special. Now let’s find Setzer his family.

This next old man is still at the shelter. He was, yet another, stray brought in by someone over the counter. He’s a purebred Miniature Pinscher and a little bigger than our teeny Randolph Pintooth. He’s probably in his teens and despite being very thin is in pretty good shape. He gets along great with all the other small dogs he’s rooming with and loves to strut his stuff – wouldn’t be a pin if he didn’t. He did test positive for heartworms but at his age it’s best to just let them be and simply put him on preventative to stop anymore from happening. He’s not showing any symptoms, such as coughing, so his quality of life can be good. We had an ancient Doberman that came to us years ago that also had heartworm. She lived a year and a half and it was her hips that eventually did her in, not her heart. She never coughed once. This boy deserves a place to call home and have someone to love for the rest of his days. These old timers are so easy and appreciative. If someone would be willing to open their home and heart to him I’d make all the arrangements. Anyone? 🙂

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New Old Pin

I would like everyone to meet Randolph The Ram Pintooth. He was brought into my local animal control shelter a few weeks ago. The people claimed they found him running around loose. Maybe they did but then maybe they just felt bad about giving him up. We’ll never know the truth. What we do know is this old man deserves a place of comfort, safety and peace in his final days. He happened to wind up at the best animal shelter in our state (Seminole County Animal Services) so he was being exceptionally cared for but it is still an institution with lots of scary noises and smells. Dogs know what death smells like and it, unfortunately, surrounds them at all our shelters. (Yes, even if they claim they are “no-kill”.)

So, this senior, purebred Miniature Pinscher got lucky. He got me involved and invested emotionally in his well being. He was examined by our veterinarian and was found to be in reasonably good shape for a dog of his advanced years. We’re putting his age at around 13. Hard to tell because his remaining teeth are so horribly infected. He’s scheduled for a massive dental procedure on the 13th. We doubt he’ll have any teeth left but he’ll feel like a new man!

He weighs a whopping 7 pounds and does have a little pep to his step – once he gets going. He has an old injury to a back leg which could have been from a break, we’re not sure. He’s got scaring and calcification. That could explain why he tilts forward when walking. He needs a bit of assistance with his balance when he’s going potty sometimes but that’s no big deal when you’re used to dealing with senior dogs. He actually lets us know when he needs to go out and if he doesn’t need to go –  he just doesn’t go.

Randolph is sweet and funny and we wonder if someone is missing this little guy? He’s gotten used to our bed and has made friends with the rest of the pack. He came to us one day shy of the anniversary of the loss of our most special boy, Ramirez. We know he wanted us to help this old man, as he was very partial to his own kind. I was fighting myself in getting him out of the shelter or not. I kept feeling worse and worse by not doing what it is we do… help old dogs that others have given up on. People are so scared to adopt an older dog and I can’t understand it. They’re so easy and appreciative. He wants to sleep and eat and watch a little TV. I’ve heard the fear that if someone adopts an older dog it’s going to die too soon. Well, none of us know when our time is going to be up. Many an old dog have fooled us by far outlasting their “allotted” time. If we give this boy a month or a year or even more then we’ve done our job. Our hearts will hurt as when we lose anyone but he will not die alone. As a friend told me when I was debating bringing him home, “I’d hate to be old and alone.”

So, he’s here and we all feel better!

We’ve already received a few donations to help Randolph get the dental he desperately needs. Dr. Rick has discounted it quite a bit but there are still costs involved, he needs bloodwork done and we know there are going to be extractions. Dr. Rick is the absolute best at anesthesia and old dogs so I have no worries. He’s actually one of the ones who talked me into giving this old man a chance. If you would like to help Randolph feel a whole lot better and be able to enjoy life in our pack for a long time you may donate in the following ways:

* Call Longwood Vet Clinic 407-834-2526 and donate to them directly. Tell them it’s for Kathleen’s Rescue – Randolph.*

Or you can use Paypal

Randolph thanks you and prays more old timers get a second chance at life and love.

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Cass And Her Boobies

Early this week the girls at the barn noticed Tanner seemed to be swollen around his jawline. We began checking all the horses. Cass was swollen behind the jaw but also in her mammary glands. Oh, no! Not mastitis again?! We got on the phone to the vet and after describing things – no fever, swollen on one side not both, clear discharge – she decided we caught it early and there was no need for a barn call. I had some antibiotics left over from our last go around so we began those. Luckily she remembered how she and I do medicine and she took them like a champ. Having them hidden in applesauce is the key.

Doc Roberts said Tanner’s swollen glands are most likely a reaction to allergies. A lot of crap is flying around right now and she’s seeing a lot of horses with the same thing. He gets to rest from training for a few days and we’re watching him closely. Sam and Becca are both fine.

Here’s a photo from last year when Cass had badly infected mammary glands…

She was very sick and it was even hard for her to walk because she was so swollen between her legs. You can see from her face here how she felt…

She’s not anywhere near this bad now – thank goodness! In fact, her swelling is just about gone. Now why does this keep happening to her? Because of her years as a baby making machine she has built up scar tissue in her mammary glands (boobies). She also always has a slight amount of fluid in them. This is prime real estate for bacteria to flourish. She has an itchy stomach in the summertime. Cass will lay on the ground and scratch herself – thus giving the bacteria the opportunity to hop on board. Sigh.

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