Monday, April 27, 2009

Aja the Angel Collie (I think) :)

A few weeks ago, a stray 4-year-old collie was picked up in the country and taken to an animal shelter in WV. He was very thin and very scared, but it was obvious to everyone that he was as sweet-tempered as they come. You can't tell from the pic, but he had a lot of mats in his fur too. But, the worst was how skinny he was. You could feel every rib. I could pick him up effortlessly and he's a big dog.

While he was at the shelter, puppies gnawed on his leg a little too much and Aja started limping. The shelter was nice enough to work with collie rescue and I went to pick him up so that he could be fostered in our home.

As much as his leg obviously hurt him, Aja never once growled or showed any aggression at all... even when my golden retriever got her nose all bent out of shape and snarled at him (she gets jealous of new fosters but calms down pretty quickly).

In some trepidation, I took him to the vet. They diagnosed a torn ACL in his leg and recommended a $1000 surgery to fix it. ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. The rescue I work with does everything they can to help... especially when the dog is as terrific as Aja, so they decided to go ahead with surgery.

While we waited for the surgery date, Aja seemed to be getting much better every day until we couldn't figure out which leg even hurt him! There was NO limping. He went in to the vet and they discovered through an x-ray that his leg was completely okay now! This was a huge relief to the rescue because they had just taken in 3 puppies with parvo that were on the verge of dying until they were treated... to the tune of several thousands of dollars.

So, Mr. Aja has been snuggling into our hearts for the last few weeks. He's such a charmer! This morning I woke up to my toes being licked (NOT the most pleasant of feelings since I have very ticklish feet!) and chewed upon.... and just as I was about to make him get off of the bed that he's not really allowed on anyway, he SNEEZED. TWICE. All over my legs and the clean sheets. Formerly clean sheets.

As I was distracted by all that, well, SNOT, I felt my OTHER collie, Harley, plop down next to me (efficiently pinning me to the bed... I should have escaped when I had the chance) and start licking my face.

I generally shower at night, but trust me, I felt the need for another this morning! :)

Here are the two culprits:

But, don't let that oh-so-innocent picture fool you. Aja has calmed down QUITE a bit over the last week. At first, he was very destructive. I pretty much kept him with me at all times and kept my ears on high alert for the sounds of teeth on wood (like chair legs). See how the floor is clean in the picture above? Well, aside from the big hairy dogs, that is. :)

Well, for 2 weeks, THIS is more like what it looked like. He chewed up EVERYTHING he could get his teeth into! Seriously, he did all this in about an hour! He's killing that tissue box in the pic.

Here he is up at the soccer fields. Isn't he beautiful?

He's one of those dogs who has never met a stranger.

I have a feeling that he's going to be very hard to give up when he gets matched up to a new family. He's really sweet and has learned so much! As much as he hated a crate at first, now all I have to do is say, "crate" and he hops right into it. He takes treats from your hand as gentle as can be. He's learned to come and sit down next to me when he wants attention (instead of landing in my lap). :)

Yeah, I'm gonna miss this guy.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


So, it's a tick. Just a tiny little bug. Doesn't it look small and defenseless? Really, nothing to freak out over.


Really, just looking at one in a picture... no problem. Wait until you are getting ready for a shower and you discover one on your ARM... ATTACHED AND GETTING READY to FEAST. I may have screamed. Ahem.


I have my husband to thank for this. He took the boys fishing and found a nest of ticks. Matt (age 7) was horrified, even though none of these things actually attached to him.


I was the only lucky one that had one actually attached... and I DID'T GO FISHING!

How is it POSSIBLE that with FOUR LARGE HAIRY DOGS roaming around, the tick would find ME? Rest assured, all dogs will be bathed today and will receive tick meds! ICK ICK!

What is it about knowing you had a tick YESTERDAY that makes you ITCH everywhere TODAY?

In case you can't tell, as often as I've hiked in the woods, built forts, etc, this is only the SECOND TICK I've ever had and the FIRST that ever ATTACHED. EWWW!

Matt just walked up behind me and in a rather devilish voice said, "TICKS ARE EVIL." He's so funny. He didn't even know what I was typing. He was just still responding to the trauma of finding himself in a nest of them yesterday.

So you can live my pain (because I'm thoughtful that way)...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Well, it's a wild few months of doctor visits for me. For example, today I got home from the hospital only to find TWO MORE messages from DIFFERENT doctors that I'm visiting within the week.

I'll be out of commission off and on for awhile. So, before all that starts to happen, I'm getting lots of things done.

On one hand, I'm dreading it all and on the other hand I am thrilled to finally be getting it all taken care of so that I don't have to worry anymore.

So, excuse me if I occasionally seem a bit flipped out in my blog entries in the near future. I try not to stress, but sometimes I can't help it.

I guess you know you are having a bit of a hard time when you start to cry at the doctor's office and they hand you a tissue box. I took one tissue and the doctor just calmly handed me several more before taking the box away.

Yeah, I'm a tad stressed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Collies: Not for the Faint of Heart

We have here one MOSTLY brushed happy collie. Don't you love his loooong nose? What a sweet pea!

He is happy because he HATES being brushed and he was thrilled it was over. I'm ruthless with a brush.

Want to see why collies are not for the faint of heart? Just remember, this is just PART of what comes off of his coat every Spring.

Here ya go...

Kind of disgusting, isn't it? Almost looks like some small gray animal just exploded in our entry way. Trust me, you should see the YARD. Animal protection services are probably being called by nervous neighbors even as I type.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Dazzling Daffodils

The daffodils are so bright that they almost hurt your eyes! Aren't they beautiful?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Everyone Needs a Pair of Bunny Ears!

Everyone needs bunny ears! They make you HAPPY!

My friend Sherri bought these yesterday at Cracker Barrel. Then she made the mistake of showing them to me on our way to the gym. WELL! I thought we should immediately have a photo shoot in the parking lot! It was SUCH a gorgeous day.

I'm really glad we did take pics, because it's rainy and overcast today and I needed a reminder of the sunshine. I was planning to go take picture of the daffodils blooming up at Oglebay Park today, but the rain nixed that. The flowers are so beautiful! What a perfect sign of spring! I can't wait to go see them all in bloom!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Did Ye Know Yon Pirates Can't Sing?

As part of County Chorus, Thomas received a pirate eye patch. He was to wear it during their pirate song.

So, why are none of the kids wearing the patches over their eyes?

Alas, a good question, observant mateys!

I pondered that very question and asked my son to explain.

"Well, Mom," he said, "The music teacher had us wear them properly at first, but then she told us to just wear them above our eyes because WE SOUNDED BETTER WITH THEM OFF of our EYES."

Because, you know, EVERYONE, especially a pirate, hears notes better when they can SEE.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Coming Out of the Closet

Tonight we went to go see Tommy perform for the last time as part of the Ohio County Chorus Honors Ensemble. This is a pic of him with his friend Robert. Thomas has the shorter hair. Everyone says they look like brothers, which I find hysterical. They really do.

On top of that, Robert's parents, Sherri and her husband Paul, are taking Thomas on their family vacation to Lake Erie this summer. It's super nice of them!

So, tonight I was joking around about what their friends up at Lake Erie (a place called Lakeside for Lutheran pastors where they go every year) would think about them suddenly showing up with another boy who looks REMARKABLY like their own son.

I told them they'd have to tell people they'd been keeping Thomas in the closet.

At which point Sherri (who's as funny as they come) mentioned that I probably would NOT want her telling people that Tommy had just come out of the closet.

Ummm... NO! I don't think I would want that.

And then for some unknown reason I turned beet red. Sherri REALLY laughed then! She made every one standing there look at my face. How many 44-year-old people BLUSH? Pathetic.

My husband hugged me in sympathy, but they KEPT LAUGHING. :)

Ah well, if you can't let your friends laugh at you, who can you? :)