Tag Archives: dogs

Fraggle Friday: Stella Update!

Poor Stella, she just hasn’t gotten the blog attention she deserves.

IMG_9834

To be honest, in the last few weeks, she has really slowed down. More sleeping, less enthusiasm about going for walks.

IMG_9817

It could be she is less enthusiastic to go for a walk when the weather is crap, but she looks so cute in her raincoat shouldn’t she want to show it off?

She still sleeps through the night, as long as you consider night to be over by 4:30 or 5am. The good news is, if she does get up this early, I let her out to potty, she comes back in and goes right back to sleep. So, naturally, I do too…

IMG_9835

She and my cat, Bunny, sleep together like this every night

She really can’t see at all. Especially in the dark. She can see things right in front of her, but that’s about it. Her hearing is hit or miss, she seems to be able to hear high-pitched whistles, but often doesn’t hear me when I come home and I need to make some noise to wake her up.

So, essentially, she’s old.

IMG_9838

Another raincoat pic. This time in the sleet…. ugh

But besides getting older, and the difficulties associated with that, she’s doing pretty well! Walking and hop/running, no more seizures, and she is just as opinionated as ever.

So, naturally, I am just trying to enjoy every moment of it.

 

Advertisements
Tagged , , ,

Fraggle Friday: Stella’s 15th Birthday!

This past Wednesday was a very special day. So specia, in fact, that I deemed it a holiday and took the day off of work. It was, you guessed it, Stella’s 15th birthday!

I had major plans for the monkey, I wanted to make sure it was a truly special day. I ended up doing an Instagram story chronicling the day which was really fun.

It started with a walk around the block.

IMG_9547

Then she had breakfast with a few extra treats thrown in, followed by a nap so Siri and I could go for a run.

Her favorite part of the day was probably what happened next…

IMG_9544

IMG_9545

SWIM TIME!!!

After being thoroughly worn out playing fetch, she came home for another nap. And woke up just in time for her acupuncture appointment!

Basically acupuncture for Stella involves her laying on her bed gulping down treats while some needles go into her back. She’s pretty good at just laying there..as long as there are treats!

Then it was time for me to make the birthday cupcakes! A mixture of peanut butter, ground beef and lamb jerky, all her favorite things!

IMG_9529

When you’re 15 your birthday involves a lot of this…

Because, little did Stella know, she was having a surprise party! Sure, the surprise party was all my friends (she is over having dog friends stop by), but it was still fun and involved drinking mojitos and singing happy birthday!

IMG_9546

Siri was so excited that I made her a cupcake too!

At about 8pm Stella let me know she was totally over all of it, and wanted to go to bed. So my friends and I went to dinner and she went to bed, exhausted from all the activities.

I’d say it was a pretty great birthday and I am elated I got to spend another one with my best dog.

Tagged , ,

Fraggle Friday: Stella + Idaho

Oh Idaho. Your beauty can makes me forget how crazy a state you really are.

I’m just going to photo dump a few reasons why I feel lucky to live here. (All photos taken in the past week, showing you how much beauty I can see in just a week)

IMG_9398

That’s a mountain goat. Doing his mountain goat thing while I am on a hike

 

IMG_9387

I feel like heaven must have a lot of alpine lakes, cause they sure are beautiful

NadiaStellaPano

How I spent my Tuesday evening

siri hike

Smoke filled skies but it’s still quite the view

stell mountain

Stella had to hike up a steep mountain side so we could get this pic. It was worth it, don’t you think?

Tagged , ,

Fraggle Friday: Horse Show Dogs

Oh man was it lovely to take my best buddy Stella to a horse show with me again. I had forgotten just how good she is, and how much she enjoys it!

IMG_9197

I swear this is her “I’m so happy” face

Not surprisingly it took her a little longer to settle in and get used to the routine. Old dog dementia makes new places a little tougher. But by day two, if she knew where her favorite bed was, she was happy to lay down and watch the world go by.

Once the cross country course opened, and we could go walk to the pond, she was in her element. She literally sprinted to the water!

IMG_9240

I love having her with me and hope we can get another show in together.

What did surprise me, was how good Siri was on her first recognized horse show adventure where I brought a horse! I was kind of worried about what I would do with her all day, but she was great about being tied up, and loved hanging out in the air-conditioned living quarters when temps were in the high 90s.

IMG_9198

Soooo comfy

She made lots of friends and loved going on walks with June and I. I have to say, I think I have a really good horse show dog in the making!

And while I love bringing my dogs and try to be an uber responsible pet owner, this was the first show where I was surprised at how irresponsible people were being. There was dog crap EVERYWHERE. I’m not sure what was worse, the dog who crapped right outside June’s stall, where she stepped in it, or the dog who crapped right outside our trailer, and Sarah stepped in it. Not picking up after your dog is like one of the biggest sins IMO. Siri was “attacked” by one aggressive off leash dog, and we had multiple dogs come into our camp when our dogs were tied up, hanging out with us. Luckily, my dogs are super friendly, but those dogs learned not to mess with Sarah’s Dachshunds!

IMG_9236

I always worry a rule will be put in place that dogs aren’t allowed at recognized shows anymore so I am hyper vigilant about mine being good citizens. I was so annoyed at this last show that I walked around picking up other dog’s poop. (Do you have any idea how disgusting dog poop in a horse’s hoof is?)

Ok, so this will be the last negative post I have about that show, I PROMISE. All unicorns and sunshine here on out. And lots more fun times with my fraggle dogs!

Tagged , ,

Fraggle Friday: Stella Milestones

Today marks two months from Stella’s first seizure.

When that seizure happened, I hoped I had one month, prayed for two months, with her. I heard brain tumors grew quickly, and 1-2 months was a reasonable prediction for how long she would have.

Stella had back surgery on April 10th. On that day I hoped she would make it through surgery and regain some mobility. I hoped she could walk on her own again. I never expected her to walk up stairs or run. At 14 years old, I kept my expectations in check for what this dog would be able to do.

But apparently I forgot it was Stella who had back surgery and a brain tumor. Stella, the dog who I joked, if she were a human, she would be a multi sport Olympian. This is not a dog who is going to sit around and let anything stop her.

20180629_Nadia29

This photo was taken 7/13. Clearly she can run…. PC:Nate Liles

And, so, a summer of adventures began. And, because it was summer, our adventures have involved a LOT of time in the water.

IMG_8941

Amazing weekend trip to Stanley, Idaho. Stella hadn’t been in the water yet this summer, and I worried she would have trouble. She didn’t.

On this trip to Stanley, Stella realized she felt GOOD. She took off down a trail thinking that’s the way we were going. Bring that she is basically deaf, and totally independent, I ended up running after her down the trail for 5 minutes when it became clear she was not coming back to me.

IMG_9144

She’s still one of the strongest swimmers. Siri does her best to keep up

She still loves to play fetch, although sometimes she can’t actually see the stick once I’ve thrown it into the water…

IMG_9143

Ready to fetch!

And to be honest, some days are better for her than others. Yesterday she just wanted to sleep. It’s been hot and smokey so I pretty much feel the same way. I’ve stopped thinking “is this your last day?” every single day, and instead am just enjoying every single day we have together.

IMG_9097

Siri is really good at convincing Stella to cuddle

It’s been an incredibly fun summer with her, and I am so thankful I get to continue having her in my life!

 

Tagged , , ,

Fraggle Friday: A Lifetime of Worry

Not surprisingly, lately, I have a lot of angst about Stella.

I worry she won’t eat. I worry she won’t sleep through the night. I worry that she will have another seizure. All I seem to do is worry. Which, I guess, considering her condition, is “normal.”

But then I realized that I have spent pretty much Stella’s entire life worrying about her.

Seriously.

bird dog

Young Stella looking for birds

When she was a young dog, I had a friend look after her when I went out of town. I left a 5 page instruction sheet and called at least once a day to check on her. When I returned, my friend joked that Stella had a great time just being a dog without someone worrying about her all the time. It maybe wasn’t the nicest thing to say, but now, 12 or so years later, I kinda get what she meant.

stella theo park

Stella has driven across the country with me 5 times. She really enjoyed Theodore Roosevelt National Park!

I have worried every day that Stella would get hit by a car.

I worried that she would get hurt while running like a maniac in the hills

I worried that she didn’t get enough exercise.

I worried that she didn’t get enough to eat.

I worried that she was home alone too long.

I worried she had to potty while I was out and couldn’t.

I worried more about Stella’s general well being than I have worried about anything else. For almost 15 years. And weirdly, nothing terrible has ever happened. She ate when she was hungry. Was smart enough to avoid getting hurt when out on runs. She’d have to be slow and idiotic to be hit by a car (at least in her mind) so THAT wasn’t happening. She never went potty in the house and seemed fine snoozing away the day until I got home.

stella swim

How is her hair so perfect in the water??

So, really, she’s had a pretty great life, catered to her by my angst.

And while I probably wouldn’t change a thing from our past, my hope is that with Siri, maybe I can chill out just a little bit.

I’m also hopeful I get to worry about Stella for a while longer.

dub and stella

Back in 2009, right before I left Ithaca NY for Idaho.

Tagged , , ,

Fraggle Friday: Horse Show Fun

Stella has been a horse show companion with me for the past 6-7 years. She’s great about being tied up when necessary, she stays out of the horse’s way, and she always loved to join me on course walks.

And while this most recent show was a bit different for her, and she didn’t get to do a course walk per say, she still had lots of fun.

IMG_8802

She trotted all over the place and explored as much as I would allow

We got lucky in that the facility is very dog friendly and while we were setting up the day before, after horses had finished schooling, dogs were running around all over the place.

IMG_8808

Exploring the canal was her favorite part of the day. I had to keep her on leash or I wouldn’t have been able to get her out of the water

She slept at the trailer while I was working with June, slept in the trailer with me overnight, but otherwise was a total busy bee having as much fun as she possibly could

IMG_8821

Can’t get enough of her playing in the water

She’s always game for anything, with anyone, especially if someone wants to throw something for her. (She’s lost at least one tooth when someone threw a rock for her to fetch..)

stella water

In her younger years, showing Siri the ropes about being in the water

I think the best part of Stella as a dog, overall, is how friendly she is. I could take her anywhere and not worry about her. Sure, sometimes she would cool off in less than appropriate places…

bucket dogs

With Squirrel at Millbrook Horse Trials

But, she was never going to chase a horse and rider, or really, leave the trailer unless it was with me on a walk.

So fun to be able to take her with me again, and realize just how great this dog is and why I’ve enjoyed the past 15 years with her so much!

Tagged , , ,

June’s Birthday Weekend

 

So, not long ago, (like a week ago), I decided it would benefit June and I to go to a local-ish derby and school the cross country course. The facility is a little over 2 hours away, but it has great obstacles AND I knew there would be lots of riders. I really haven’t been able to get her out and about into situations where there is a lot going on, and I want to see how she handles these situations in preparation for the FEH competition in August. I’ve been reluctant to go anywhere that involves a sleep over because of Stella, but she has been doing so well that I figured I’d bring her along and find a pet sitter for Siri. The idea of taking young horse/young dog still stresses me out a bit.

I loaded June up early Saturday AM and headed over. She loaded well but then the baby horse antics began. She was back there pawing and dancing and it was kind of annoying, especially since the wind was so strong, I really couldn’t drive over 65mph.

When we arrived at the facility I realized she had untied herself. The trailer I was borrowing didn’t have a divider so I imagine she spent some time walking around back there. She had eaten all her hay though, so she clearly had her priorities. Interestingly, about halfway through the drive the wind had died down and I didn’t feel the trailer pulling any more, so she must have just started munching at that point. Things could have been far worse I suppose.

What I am learning about June, and perhaps is true of most baby horses, is that she is prone to tantrums, but they are short lived. She still struggles with being tied alone, whether on the trailer or off, but she knows to settle down eventually. She got off of the trailer, tied nicely with minimal pawing while I groomed her , was calm while we walked around before our lesson time, and then was all business for the lesson itself. She could have cared less about the other riders, horses, or any of the chaos around us.

We schooled a ditch, log, and A frame before moving to the bank complex. She was unfazed by all of these and the bank was no different. She seemed to really be enjoying herself!

IMG_8833

We took a short break and then headed over to the water complex. She was a bit freaked out by the water. There was some snorting, and side eye, and she was reluctant to get in it. Or near it. In her defense it was dyed a crazy turquoise color. But I have no idea if horses can see that color? So, anyway, it took some time. And lots of Sarah telling me to just be patient. But then, about 30 minutes later, someone was happily trotting through the water!

IMG_8853

The water was great for pictures even if it was a bit unnatural looking!

We called it a day on that, and June headed back to stabling where she got to rest, relax and think all about how great water was. Meanwhile, we returned to the event and volunteered to get it all set up for the following day. Unlike June, Stella thought the water complex was the BEST THING EVER.

IMG_8821

This is her “please throw rocks for me” look.

She was pretty damn adorable- especially since she can’t really see so she would miss about 50% of the rocks I was throwing. She had probably one of the best days ever, and I can’t tell you how great it was to have my best horse show dog with me.

Because I could, and because we felt it was good for June to get right back in the water, I loaded her up early the next morning and took her back to the facility. (We were stabling just 5 minutes down the road.) She didn’t want to get in the trailer, especially after a night of hanging out with her friends. But, we got her loaded (yay for people helping!) and off we went. She was a bit more high this time, but in her defense, I was in a hurry and just like “we need to get out there asap, before the event starts” which is really never the best mind frame to be in with a baby horse. They don’t always respond well to people hurrying.

I did minimal lunging and then walked over to the water complex. We walked the edge with no issue. I lunged her on the bank with no issue. I then asked her to lunge into the water and there was no issue. Within 5 minutes we were lunging in the middle of the complex and she was perfect. So, I snapped a pic, gave her some big pats, and we were done!

IMG_8841

This is her “I’m fine with water” look

I was going to be volunteering for a few hours and debated about taking her back to her stall. But, I was running out of time and figured this could be a great exercise in just standing for her. So, I tied her and her hay bag to the trailer and hoped for the best. As I was leaving I could hear her pawing away, and figured that at some point someone would complain about the unruly horse that’s tied to the trailer.

An hour in and I heard no complaints.

An hour and a half in, and Sarah texted me that June was standing quietly at the trailer

Two hours in and a colleague told me June was being so good at the trailer!

And at three hours, when I got back to the trailer, there she was, just hanging out. She was completely calm and relaxed.

IMG_8850

Hi mom! Where have you been?

I just can’t fully express how great this weekend was. I achieved so much with June, and got such a good sense of what I can expect from her. She was such a rock star about ALL of it. From being left alone, to being introduced to jumping xc obstacles, to working among chaos. She wasn’t barn sour, or scared, or difficult, at all. If I can remember to be patient with her, and really plan for the fact that I am working with a baby horse, I think the sky’s the limit with her.

And as for Stella, this weekend just reminded me how lucky I am to have had her for almost 15 years. She was the cutest, best behaved dog, who just rolled with the punches all weekend. Whether she had to be in the truck, or tied to the tent while I was volunteering to score for the event, she was cool with all of it and friendly with everyone.

IMG_8854

Plus, her bed head in the morning is amazing

I realized, driving home, how badly I needed this weekend. A weekend where my animals brought me nothing but joy. A weekend where I could see the future with one and enjoy the present with the other. And while I don’t know what the future holds with either,  a weekend where I could just enjoy everything about them, in two very different ways, has put a smile on my face that I can’t seem to shake. These are the moments we live for, right?

Tagged , , , , ,

Fraggle Friday:When Life Hands You Lemons

Oh man. Life threw me a curveball that has kinda rocked my world.

Two months to the day of Stella’s back surgery, she had her second seizure.

IMG_8668

Siri does her best trying to comfort her

The fact that it was her second was significant. She had her first seizure 70 hours prior. We were on a walk and she fell over and started paddling. Stopped, sat up, and then got up. The seizure lasted maybe 5 seconds? We walked slowly back to the house and she slept most of the day. After speaking with her surgeon (who I literally have on speed dial) there were a couple of possibilities. 1) Hopefully it was a one time event. 2) She has some deficiencies, and we can see if calcium and other levels are low 3) She has a brain tumor.

So, when Stella had her second seizure, after going to the vet and her blood work being absolutely perfect, we’re left with really just one option.

I cried all day Tuesday. I tried to go to work and was just a blubbering mess. I kept apologizing, but was unable to talk about why I was crying, so basically I was just super awkward and super unprofessional. Fortunately, I work in animal welfare, with a bunch of caring, compassionate people, so they handled my blubbering mess well.

And while that Tuesday was horrible, and I know my time with Stella is limited, here is the lemonade part of this story.

IMG_8701

We started her on Keppra, an anti seizure med, and she is like a new dog. She sleeps through the night, she eats all her meals, she gets up to greet me at the door, she drags me down the road for walks, and yesterday, when I took her to the banks of the river, she wanted to play fetch.

IMG_8704

Momma throw sticks?

The meds made her a bit more unstable initially (and gave her serious diarrhea, but that has resolved), so walking hasn’t been as easy for her, but now that she seems acclimated to the meds, she is really feeling great. Like, pre surgery great. For weeks before her first seizure she would get up one hour after I went to bed and begin to pace. The pacing got worse and worse and lasted longer and longer. And it was after a particularly bad night that she had her first seizure in the morning.

IMG_8706

Searching for sticks…

I think Stella hadn’t been feeling right for a while. And I’m not an idiot. A brain tumor is not a diagnosis anyone wants to get. I know my time with her is limited (they say it is a rapidly growing tumor and if lucky I will have 1-2 months with her). I know that one day she will probably stop eating again. She’ll start pacing. And while it scares the crap out of me, she will probably have another seizure, and it could be far worse than the last two.

So, I’m literally enjoying every moment I have with her. I’m so thankful I get to see “normal” Stella again. I’m so glad she feels good. I love that she drags me around on walks again. Knowing the end is near gives me anxiety and I’m so sad, but instead of dwelling on it, I try to focus on the now. And how lucky I am to have had this dog in my life for nearly 15 years.

IMG_8683

And taking lots of naps. She still enjoys that!

So, be prepared for lots of Stella posts, she’s pretty much going to rule my life for as long as she possibly can.

Tagged , , ,

Fraggle Friday: Siri’s Tough Life

If Siri could talk I have a feeling she’d tell you all about how rough she’s got it.

I’ve never met a dog who has it so good and yet feels completely neglected.

The other day I brought her to work and during an all office meeting she literally went from person to person trying to get into their laps. In Siri’s mind, laps are for her to lay in.

As my friend said to me recently, “it’s Siri’s world, we just live in it.”

IMG_8614

See the dog bed off to the right? Why would she lay there when she can be in my chair?

Lately the dramatics have been upped a bit. After breakfast she gets back into bed.

My bed.

And trying to get her out of my bed is nearly impossible

IMG_8628

Why would she get up when all the dogs on the sheets clearly aren’t going anywhere?

I mean, how am I expected to get her up when she looks like this as I enter the room?

IMG_8589

Her “Do Not Disturb” pose

Clearly if there is a bed or a lap, she’s in it.

In other news, Stella is doing GREAT, has been cleared for 10 minute walks twice a day, and she loves it! She drags me around the barn and begs me to let her off leash. Hasn’t happened yet, but I am excited for the day she can run free again!

Happy Fraggle Friday everyone!

Tagged , ,
Advertisements
In Omnia Paratus

An amateur eventer's adventures

Hope's Promise

The blog of a dressage dream come(ing) true

SprinklerBandits

An amateur eventer's adventures

Zen and the Art of Baby Horse Management

An inquiry into values and survival in a life with baby horses

the everything pony

who would really much rather eat all day

DIY Horse Ownership

on Mules, Horses, and DIY

OTTBs and Oxers

Eventing. Hunters. Horsemanship.

Horse Glam

Equestrian. Life. Style.

The Frugal Foxhunter

More bang for your buck than showing

The Printable Pony

An amateur eventer's adventures

The Roaming Rider

"Don't live the same year 75 times and call it a life." - Robin Sharma

Urban Thoroughbred

West and East Coast adventures with OTTBs

Eventer in Progress

Laughing at oneself is best done as a group activity

Clover Ledge Farm

An amateur eventer's adventures

Eventing Saddlebred Style

An amateur eventer's adventures

The Repurposed Horse

An amateur eventer's adventures

PONY'TUDE

An amateur eventer's adventures

Poor Woman Showing

An amateur eventer's adventures

Live Your Adventure

Tara - Horse lover, horse rider, horse enthusiast

SmartPak Blog

An amateur eventer's adventures

The Blog of Travel

Motorbikes, dogs and a lot of traveling.

Simple Changes

An off the track thoroughbred and his girl.

Hunky Hanoverian

An amateur eventer's adventures

*TBA*

An amateur eventer's adventures

Cob Jockey

An amateur eventer's adventures

She Moved to Texas

An amateur eventer's adventures

Guinness on Tap

An amateur eventer's adventures

Equestrian At Hart

adventures in riding & life

 Clover Ledge Farm

An amateur eventer's adventures

Viva Carlos

An amateur eventer's adventures

Horsemanship 101

Leprechaun Lane Training Center's Guide to Horsemanship

ridingwithscissors.wordpress.com/

Horse humor and the musings of a weenie adult eventer

May As Well Event

Here's To Not Following Your Own Advice

A Yankee in Paris

No animals were harmed in the making of this blog...

Horse Listening

Horses. Riding. Life.

EquiNovice

Becoming a student of horsemanship.

Chronicles of a "Mini-Pro"

Celebrating the incurable addiction which is being an equestrian

A Horse For Elinor

Dressage On A Dime

Charley's Angel Eventing

Just a High Schooler Living for Jesus & Ponies