April 23, 2014

White Dog buried her head under the blankets. "Make him STOP!" she whined. "I am not getting ANY sleep!"

She was referring to Taiko's coughing. He has a sporadic chronic hack as a result of years of living outside and a narrowed trachea but the past few days have been worse than normal because of heavy pollen counts and their toll on all of the White Dog Army's allergies. The others have had itchy eyes and slightly runny noses; poor Tai has also had to deal with a ramped up frequency and intensity of his cough.

Dr. Julia prescribed cough tablets to be used as we needed them for our boy, but they have been ineffective during these days. We gave him an herbal calming compound in hopes of reducing his anxiety over the hacking gunky eruptions. No effect.

Finally at sunrise we broke down and pulled the Robitussin cough syrup out of the medicine cabinet. We double checked dosing instructions and I gathered Taiko into my arms. Steve was confident that he would just lap the medicine off the spoon. Taiko sniffed and decidedly turned away. Steve carefully explained how the liquid would help. Taiko did not believe him.

Next, Steve spread the syrup on a piece of bread; Taiko loves bread. By now the entire White Dog Army was awake and watching. Taiko took the bread but the minute it touched his tongue he spit it onto the floor. YoYoMa lunged for the rejected treat prompting a food possessive growl from Taiko but no interest in actually eating the bread. Every pup then had to have a bite of the multigrain artisan bread.

Syringing the teaspoon of liquid down Taiko's throat meant getting past his bared teeth and calming him enough to not snap. Our rescue still has issues with being restrained.  I held our boy and spoke soothingly while gently and strategically positioning my body and arms to act as a buffer if need. Steve managed to slip the tip into his mouth and release the fluid. Taiko held it in his mouth for the count of two then threw his head wildly from side-to-side sending a shower of red drop all over the living room...then he went into a coughing fit.

Our final attempt, we agreed, would be to mix it into a couple of spoons of the premium wet dog food we reserve for Oso when he has bad eating days. Taiko stuck his nose into the bowl and carefully began to eat around the food that contained cough syrup. Steve quickly pulled the bowl away and thoroughly mixed the ingredients...there was no way to avoid the medicine now. Taiko sniffed and thought for a minute. He knew he was being tricked and he did not want to be gullible...but darn it, that food smelled so delicious even with the awful medicine. He resisted another thirty seconds before giving in and gobbling it down.

I am not sure whether the cough syrup did its job or if Taiko was just exhausted by all of the maneuvering to medicate him but he slept until breakfast time. Steve (and his study buddy, White Dog) looked at the clock, sighed, and headed into the office to do school work.


April 22, 2014

White Dog and The White Dog Army join paws and hands with millions around the world today to give a bit of special recognition and some loving attention to the beautiful perfectly designed planet that nurtures us and provides our homes.

We agree that we are often disrespectful and have done horrible things to our blue paradise in the name of progress, greed and in ignorance. But we CAN change...and if we are to continue to be able to call Earth home, we MUST!

From the everyday things like picking up litter to reducing our carbon footprints from recycling to supporting alternative energy development we all can do something to help heal and preserve our world.

Today give Mother Earth a big hug and make a commitment...because Earth Day should be not just today but EVERY day!

April 21, 2014

White Dog was out running zoomies in the yard as Steve and Oso stood quietly waiting for the end of nature's call. Taiko was standing on the deck and Puff had just come inside.

It was a beautiful warm Spring late afternoon, and as is typical the winds were beginning to pick up as the sun went down and stirred up the air currents. We have in the yard an ancient tree, big and sheltering and under which all of the White Dogs love to rest. It is a beautiful old spirit that is ending the cycle of its life. We are reluctant to cut it down for the shade it offers the house and for the fact it is smack dab in the middle of the yard, encircled by the deck, the block wall, and the back of the house. Removal would be a tremendous undertaking and it is not yet time to make that decision. When we must, it will be with the understanding that we will not ever again in our lifetimes see such a sprawling mature canopy in our yard.

Fortunately, all were out of harms way when a major branch, easily 10' long and as thick around as Oso, gave way with a crack and came crashing into the yard. It was close enough that every one DID jump in fright and the mad dash of the WDA to detour around to the other less used stairs of the deck and in through the dog door was accomplished with Olympic timing. Steve swept Oso into his arms to protect him.

After a short time, curiosity overcame Bella and she ventured out to stand on the deck the dog door an eyelash away, barking a challenge at the branch. She was joined by Puff and then White Dog; the three girls squarely faced the invader daring it to come closer and risk being torn into sticks for treat trades. Taiko clung close to Steve's side and YoYoMa poked his head out of the door  then turned around and headed back inside for a nap.

The branch is heavy but Steve was able to drag it to the side a bit so that normal traffic patterns could resume (although I noticed the Boyz making a point to mark the limb. So there they seemed to taunt). This weekend Steve will have to put on his plaid shirt and play lumberjack but for now every time someone goes into the yard it is with a cautionary glance upward as they head down the ramp. The far back of the yard is seeing a lot more WDA action than usual.

We DO have photos to share but Blogger is being most uncooperative in not allowing us to post them so for now you will have to use your imagination. We are not giving up so hopefully, photos WILL come. Thank goodness, White Dog adds, no baby birdies in nests were harmed either.



April 20, 2014

White Dog, Puff, YoYoMa, Oso, Taiko and Bella...along with Steve and I...wish our Blog Family a day filled with all of the promise, hope, and colorful joy this Season of Rebirth offers. May your souls be filled with the certainty of miracles, your hearts with love, and your thoughts with compassionate kindness toward all creatures. Please remember those in need and without homes, food, safety, or love and ask that they be granted peace. The White Dog Army wishes you all always enough bounty to share.

April 19, 2014

White Dog and the White Dog Army barely had time to rush Steve out of the door early this morning on his way to class before Michael came shuffling into the kitchen to fill his water bottle and grab a container of yogurt to take with for breakfast.

"Where is he heading so early?" Taiko wanted to know. Usually after Steve leaves, we all settle in to claim the sleep stolen by needing to be awake at 7am on a Saturday.

"You know Michael." White Dog replied. "He always leaves like an hour earlier than he needs to when he has someplace special to go." "But WHERE is he going?" Taiko pressed. "Oh, the cat rescue is having an Easter Event at Boofy's and he volunteered to go help with setting up and helping throughout the day."

Boofy's is one of The White Dog Army's favorite haunts but it is clear on the other side of town. Michael relies on public transportation so his commitment to participate was a challenge for him. Steve helped him chart a route that required only two busses but the route was long and unfamiliar to Michael. He would have to rely on what he has learned about reading maps and advocating for himself to get there.

We learned later in the day when he returned home that he did run into a slight problem. He got onto the second bus but going in the wrong direction. The WDA is pleased to say he stayed calm, read his map, verified his backward direction with the driver, then got off of that bus and crossed to the correct direction.

The White Dog Army is so proud of the efforts Michael is putting toward working with the Fat Katz Rescue and they seem to appreciate him as well. As he nears the end of his extended high school/ community transition training (graduation is in just a few weeks), we are thrilled and pleased at how far he has come. His understanding of the need to give back to his community is wonderful to see bloom...and the confidence in himself that allows the once fearful of everything autistic child to travel independently around town is nothing short of amazing.


April 18, 2014

White Dog agreed that every now and then our day has no continuity but is rather a string of unrelated "this and that" happenings. Today was one of those days.
I awoke to the usual easy warm reality of Siku stretched against my leg on the bed squirming so that I would know it was time for a "Good Morning" belly rub...but there was a new sensation...a tiny tongue gently dancing up and down my arm which hung over the edge of the bed. It was Bella, curled up like a doe next to me in a brave new step forward of claiming space and asking, actually asking, for morning greetings.

YoYoMa had planned on sleeping in until breakfast. He was shocked to learn that he not only had to rise but that he was going to forego breakfast for a trip to the groomer and brunch later. He clung to me and pleaded with his eyes, softly whimpering as Steve put on his harness and leash...the added insult being that he was expected to walk the four blocks there as well! When he returned just after noon, he did not even stop for compliments but rushed right into the kitchen, starving. He looked bright and floofy; Scot had done a fantastic job of erasing the evidence that our Big Boy is blowing coat like crazy and is addicted to lying in the cool Spring dirt against the tree.

White Dog steps carefully around the yard to avoid the green caterpillar seedies of the mulberry trees. We have three ancient ones that provide amazing shade in the summer but right now they are producing seed strings that carpet the yard, drift on the deck, and love the long furs of the White Dog Army. WD seems to be the only one of the WDA who hates them. The others roll in them, bring them into the house, and eat them (causing upset tummies). Additionally, these trees produce loads of highly allergenic pollen that have the WDA, Steve and Michael all sniffing and sneezing.  I am tired of shaking the green bits that fall apart if you touch them from the dog beds and vacuuming them from the furniture and smashing them into the carpet. When the trees are done, Steve will suction them all up with the leaf vac but right now the task is a losing battle.

Oso had a followup exam with Dr. Julia. He has been vocal particularly after eating and we were concerned that he was in pain. She listened and examined and then the tech took him back for a snout to tail set of X-rays. As we viewed the images, I held my Little Man. "It is hell to get old, isn't it sweet boy?" I whispered in his ear. Oso came to us with two vertebrae fused, one of those mysteries of a rescue child whether the condition was the result of trauma or something else. Now, according to the X-rays, the fused bone was starting to disintegrate causing back pain. We cobbled together a pain management plan involving water therapy, pain medication, and using a back brace for support. It also seems that poor Oso is experiencing the beginning stages of Canine Acid Reflux disease and just like the human version is likely experiencing pain when he eats. He is already on a low-fat diet but Dr. Julia suggested smaller more frequent meals including less protein altogether, more vegetables, and blending the mix into a mash for easier swallowing. I was relieved that we were not dealing with issues that were catastrophic or life threatening. I believe once we rebalance our boy he will be closer to his normal self.  The hardest part will be convincing the rest of the White Dog Army that THEY do not need to eat every time their brother does.

Thank dog this was not a typical Friday at White Dog Ranch; we are all grateful that the only sacrifice demanded was our usual trip to the Park. As we head into this special weekend, we share bites of windmill cookies, a childhood memory which I recently discovered with delight are still available (and look and taste exactly the same as I remember)...and turn snooters toward the deep starry sky to thank the Universe.


April 17, 2014

White Dog looked at Michael and rolled her eyes. "Dad is allergic to eggs and momma hates hard-boiled eggs. That is why she always gives them to us when she gets chef salads. So WHY would we dye Easter eggs?"

Before I could calibrate her tone, YoYoMa loomed in her face. "Did you just hear what you said? Are you not thinking?" WD curled her lip. Yo continued, "We should dye as many eggs as we can talk momma into hard boiling BECAUSE SHE DOESN'T EAT THEM SHE GIVES THEM TO US!" White Dog realized the cleverness of his thinking. Suddenly, tail wagging, she moved to stand next to Michael.

"What the heck," she said. "Let's not disappoint the kid. No harm in coloring a few eggs, right?" "Who are you calling a kid," Michael now objected. "I only asked because I saw that Easter egg dye was on sale at the grocery and was going to volunteer to pick some up if we needed it. As long as I can make some hard boiled eggs, I will be happy...you just take the shells off anyway." At this information, Taiko looked up,  shocked.

We all settled on a plan where we would get an extra dozen eggs and Michael would "hard boil" them using a new method he had seen on line that actually baked the whole eggs in a muffin tin in the oven...that was what he REALLY wanted to do all along...experiment. If things turn out, he will get his hb egg fix and the White Dog Army will get an extra treat in their breakfast on Sunday morning.

"How do you feel about marshmallow peeps?" Yo asked. I just slapped my forehead.


April 16, 2014

White Dog and The White Dog Army
Wonderful World Wednesday
White Dog and our entire family have long been advocates of the concept of comparative studies research to analyze and unravel the mysteries of catastrophic diseases by combining the skills and knowledge base of both human and veterinary medicine. It will be a wonderful world indeed when horrible scourges like cancer, epilepsy, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and dementia are forever erased from the planet for all creatures.

Although we are often the first voice many hear carrying the message of building bridges to cures, the One Health Initiative is a global movement to forge co-equal, all inclusive collaborations between physicians, osteopaths, veterinarians, dentists, nurses and other scientific-health and environmentally related disciplines, including the American Medical Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Nurses Association, American Association of Public Health Physicians, the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. National Environmental Health Association (NEHA). Additionally, more than 700 prominent scientists, physicians and veterinarians worldwide have endorsed the initiative. We are not alone.

The White Dog Army wants to share the hope and promise of so many great minds focusing on the idea of attacking disease not focusing on species. So tonight's post is a bit about the One Health Initiative and how it will unite human and vet medicine. From their information:

One World-One Medicine-One Health
**Addressing the connections between health and the environment—Accelerated biomedical research discoveries—Enhanced public health efficacy—Expanded scientific knowledge base—Improved
medical education and clinical care**

-- ADVANCING HEALTH CARE for the 21st century --
Humans & Animals

Recognizing that human health (including mental health via the human-animal bond phenomenon), animal health, and ecosystem health are inextricably linked, One Health seeks to promote, improve, and defend the health and well-being of all species by enhancing cooperation and collaboration between physicians, veterinarians, other scientific health and environmental professionals and by promoting strengths in leadership and management to achieve these goals.

One Health (formerly called One Medicine) is dedicated to improving the lives of all species—human and animal—through the integration of human medicine, veterinary medicine and environmental science. 

The White Dog Army is overjoyed to find such commitment and dedication is already being directed to acknowledging the partnership between two- and four-leggeds. We know in our hearts that one day...soon...through efforts like these we WILL conquer the diseases that take too many too soon. 

We thank you for your continued support and ask that you believe in the power and the reality of
One World One Health...Can you imagine what a wonderful world will result?


April 15, 2014

White Dog just didn't understand the point I was trying to make. I grew up in a family that always had dogs but like most kids having a dog meant my mom was responsible for all of the "dirty work" of owning a dog. I never thought about all of those occasions when being a dog guardian became exactly like being a human mom.

I was reminded today about how once squeamish me who flinched at stuff under my nails now calmly took in stride all manner of disgusting stuff on my hands or clothes. Beware, this is going to get a bit graphic...

Poor Taiko woke looking green and came over to bury his head on my lap for reassurance...then promptly threw up. He can have a tender tummy. As Steve helped me clean off my lap so I could stand, I cuddled our Boy and discovered his upset system had erupted at both ends. My arm was wet and stained from his streaky fur. "Run the bath," I told Steve. "Tai is need of a major cleanup." I took off my already soiled clothes and got out the big bath towels.

Taiko probably never experienced a bath before coming to White Dog Ranch and he is certainly NOT a fan so I was not surprised a while later when a totally soaking wet Steve delivered 30lbs. of thrashing dripping Eskie into my arms. I managed to calm him enough to blot him before he squirmed down and began his dance of shaking to dry his coat...and covering the entire bedroom in sprays of droplets. Steve and I mopped ourselves off and changed into dry clothes. "Now THAT'S the way to start the day!" White Dog sang out.

Oso's morning was a good one in terms of mobility but he just could not seem to coordinate the eating process without help. I held him in one arm and his food bowl in the other. Despite the towel "bib" we managed to completely smear the front my shirt and sleeve with his mash meal by the time he was done spilling and dropping and swinging his head to aid in chewing. But he ate his entire breakfast which made another change of clothes worthwhile.

Tonight Michael brought Oso in from a potty break as we waited for Steve's late return from school. My Little Man was fussing so I took him into my arms as I worked on the computer. Not ten minutes after his trip outside I felt my shirt grow first warm then become a spreading cold wetness. My shirt and lap were drenched...Oso's bladder had indeed been full. White Dog and Bella left my side in disgust. and even Oso wiggled to get down.

Steve walked in as I was stepping yet again out of my clothes. "Trying to see how many loadds of laundry you can generate in one day?" he teased. I looked up letting him know I didn't think he was funny. White Dog spoke before I could. "Just don't say ANYTHING about the way she smells," WD advised, "she seems to be VERY touchy about that subject!"

Some days I gain SUCH a new and greater respect for my own poor mom, mother of six girls, three or four dogs, endless hamsters, fish, and parakeets.


April 14, 2014

White Dog and The White Dog Army took extra naps so that they could delay their bedtime walks VERY late in order to view tonight's Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse. Steve, who needed sleep because Tuesday is his VERY late teaching night, was as insistent as they were and agreed to an after dinner nap so that he, too, could go out at 1am to view the phenomenon. 

Here is what the website EarthSky has to say about the specialness of the event…A lunar tetrad – four total lunar eclipses in a row – begins on the night of April 14-15. People are calling it a Blood Moon eclipse. The first Blood Moon eclipse in a series of four is coming up on the night of April 14-15, 2014. This total eclipse of the moon will be visible from the Americas. We in astronomy had not heard the term Blood Moon used in quite this way before this year, but now the term featured in a book by John Hagee is becoming widespread in the media. The second total lunar eclipse of the coming lunar tetrad will take place on October 8, the same night as the Hunter’s Moon. So there will be two reasons to use the term Blood Moon that night.

This is information that Steve found more interesting than the White Dog Army but all walked the neighborhood and stood in awe on the deck watching the eclipse turn the moon, indeed, blood red. And the WDA joined several of the other dogs on our block...also out with their humans to view the night sky...in a song of respect to the magic and power of what they witnessed.

Here are a couple of photos taken by our local TV station of the eclipse as seen in Albuquerque, New Mexico.