Autumn at Homeward Bound

I got to visit Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue this last weekend with my sister. A remarkable place. Beautiful any time of year, but lovely in the Fall. And I got to watch eight dogs get their forever homes that day, which warms the heart. The gardens are especially beautiful, more than I can do justice to with my photos. There was some raking to do, but peaceful places to rest in the process.

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And plenty of company.

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The last flowers of the season were still in bloom, showing off what was left of their glory before the winter rest.

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It was a wet day out but the dogs didn’t seem to mind. They just kicked up their heels and played. Baths can come later…fun first.

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Homeward Bound, like so many rescues, is an amazing place, filled with dedicated and talented volunteers. Made me miss my own Derry Township Community Cats. I’ll be glad to be home and see how all the kittens are doing. But it was wonderful spending the day with the volunteers and the dogs, and especially to watch so many dogs get their homes in one day. Homeward Bound is a remarkable little corner of the world, and the dogs and people who pass through its gates are fortunate indeed.

 

 

Pumpkins (Off topic)

Lots of rain in Northern California right now, which is much needed. And I am getting to practice camera skills in rainy conditions. Yesterday we wandered along Apple Valley, which is a collection of orchards, pumpkin patches, wineries, and Christmas tree farms. Lots of pumpkins still for sale there, and lovely stacks of them everywhere.

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The Dog Nephews

Once a year, Marley and I get a week off, and this year we headed out to Sacramento to visit my sister, Audrey, and Marley’s middle son who is getting his PhD. at UC Berkeley in a subject I can’t even begin to explain.

Part of the reason for visiting Audrey was to get some serious schooling in using my camera and processing photos, and to say my brain is swimming is an understatement. Audrey has a blog here, in case you don’t know it. One look at it and you’ll understand that I’m in over my head as far as photography is concerned, but I am learning. I have a decent eye, but my technical skills have been far behind, and this week they’re getting a big bump up. The number of things you can fix with Photoshop is absolutely mind-blowing.

More to come later, but here are Audrey’s super sweet dogs. Under the careful eye of the camera master I worked on processing each of these photos for a half hour or more…hopefully I will get faster over time! But I’m learning lots, and having fun. More photos to come, once they are processed and pass muster!

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We really miss Bodhi, who we hear is doing well with his first kennel experience. So it is lovely to have a couple sweet nephew dogs to cuddle in the meantime. The younger one even joined us in bed around 5 am. What more could you want on vacation?! (Well, two two dozen hot apple cider donuts we bought today didn’t hurt either.)

 

If it Fits, I Sits

Bodhi is SUCH a daddy’s dog. Everytime Marley sits down to watch TV, Bodhi joins him in the easy chair. Looks uncomfortable to me, but they love it.

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Bodhi joined us 4-5 months ago, and we both agree, he’s a fantastic dog. He has the best qualities of both Paris and Butterscotch, who passed away in the spring, and none of the faults. We had gotten so used to endless barking that it took us quite a while to realize that Bodhi doesn’t bark. Blessed silence. And he barely sheds compared to our two of blessed memory. I have no idea how we got so lucky.

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And we have finally figured out what’s wrong with him. Four year old healthy dogs don’t normally leak urine, but he’s been doing just that for the last month. After a variety of tests, we did a urine culture and it turns out he has a UTI with a bacteria that is resistant to many drugs. But now we know what drug to use, and he should be fixed up in no time, which makes us happy, and will certainly make him more comfortable too. (And it was really inexpensive, a little bonus.)

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Life is good with our great big angel of a lap dog, size X-large.

In Memoriam: Thomas

As Marley and I waited and watched Thomas over the last couple days, the path became clear, as it often does. One of the theories for Thomas’s partial facial paralysis was the existence of lesions or a brain tumor. We didn’t test for that since it would stress Thomas unduly, and while it would tell us what was up, the treatment was the same as he was getting. Over the last couple days Thomas went downhill quickly. Walking became more difficult, and he started walking in circles, confused and without direction or purpose. Medicines weren’t helping at all, and we didn’t want to see him suffer any longer. Today we took him in for that last visit to the vet’s office. He is usually very stressed being there, but I’m not sure he noticed much today.

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Thomas was only twelve years old, a young senior. Marley and I were remembering him and his two sisters as little babies romping around a room in the house I lived in back then. Our most senior cat, Gabi, who had been an absolute hellion as a young kitten and cat, turned into Mother Superior with the three kittens, caring for them and being mother. It was very sweet.

Thomas has always been a very mellow boy, easy going and gentle. Annie, our little feral, has been his shadow for the last few years, and the next while will probably be very difficult for her.

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With so many cats in the house, we have the territory-aware contingent, always working to protect their turf, but Thomas never engaged in turf wars, and was loved by all.

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Thomas loved heights. Sleeping on top of the DVR or on top of the cabinets in the bathroom were some of his favorite spots. Maybe he loved looking down on all of us, just out of reach.

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He loved sitting next to me in an easy chair while I watched TV as well. That was one of my favorite times with him, one of our special times together most days. He was a purring machine, and sitting with him, petting him, listening to him purr while I watched TV, perhaps with a glass of wine, was one of the more relaxing aspects of many of my days. I will miss that…and him. He was a cuddle bug extraordinaire.

In the last few days, Thomas sought out warm places, though they had to be low to the ground. Getting up on things was very difficult for him. Warm beds were his friends over the weekend, and he slept probably 23 hours a day.

Rest in peace, sweet boy. I hope you find a nice warm radiator to sleep on and jump from on the other side of the rainbow bridge. We will miss you.

Thomas