Monday, September 30, 2013

Enjoying Her Chew

This photo of Mabel Lou made me spew coffee!

She was chewing grass creek-side and I swear it looks like she's eating her own face!

Check out that tongue!
I would never need to wash my face if I could do that!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Straight from the Pacific

We were on our way back to the car from the ponds on Monday night and standing in the river bed when I spotted this weather phenomenon:

I was so excited it actually showed up with the zoom on my phone! Having lived here for just shy of 13 years, I had often wondered why I could be in my warm and sunny yard on a weekend morning, decide to take Mabel out to breakfast, only to arrive just over that ridge there to find it cold and and drizzly at my favorite dog-friendly restaurant! I've even wrapped my freezing body in muddy dog blankies to be able to get my breakfast down! For years it was just one of those things that make me go Hmmmmm.

Just over that ridge is the area of Northern Glendale known as Montrose. Years later I would realize that, if you are there on a clear and often breezy day, say sitting on the patio at Coffee Bean on the corner of Ocean View and Honolulu, you can actually see the glistening Pacific! It turns out, there really is an ocean view on Ocean View!! But I never really thought of that in terms of weather...

Twice this past year, when I was driving with the bestie (a witness!!!), just as we dropped down the mountain into the Crescenta Valley, there was that smokey look in the air. We slowed, peered all around, rolled down the windows to smell, turned down the radio to listen. But there was no flames to see, no smokey smell, and no helicopters.  This was NOT a fire... and then we smelled it... Ocean!

Suddenly, it all made sense... when the fog rolls in from the ocean, it takes the path of least resistance. While it can make it over our mountains, more often, we see it come from due west in our little valley. But the foggy fingers have a straight shot to Glendale from the ocean via that corridor, even though it's some 20 miles away. That's why the climate is so different just a few miles away! Plants that grow there, don't grow here. And it's the source of those drizzly mornings over there. And it sometimes helps cool our little valley down as it did Monday night: high of 98, low of 55!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Imagining Her 'cuzzi

This is the exact spot of one of Mabel's favorite "jacuzzis."

The shot below is the same spot.... I can't tell you how hard we are praying for rain.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Longing for Water

It's been much cooler lately (although it is 98 today!) making our regular spot much less of a "desert death march." But Mabel and all her pals still head down the stream bed wondering if their precious creek has returned....

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ho Hum Bit Tids

Sorry I haven't been around... Life has been busy and yet not, kinda down but mostly up and over all, overwhelming. Sigh... So here are the high (or low) lights:

  • Ms. Mabel Lou is on the mend finally! The licking has subsided... Thank goodness! This is after I figured out I was under-dosing her! (I am so not good with pills!) She finishes her antibiotics tomorrow night and she's off all the other crap that was making her tummy hurt.

 Sizing up the best stick in town!
  • For the first time in her life, she would not simply take the piece of cheese or hot dog that had her probiotics in it! Every single time she would find the offensive capsule and spit it at me!  But I quickly found she liked the taste of the insides of the capsule! I pour it on a saucer, dip the end of the hot dog or a piece of cheese in it and feed it to her!
  • Ms. Lou has reluctantly started using a ramp to get in and out of the car.... She grouses but then uses it..unless Otto is around. Then she shows off her mad getting-in-the-car-with-a-ramp skills and shoots him a look that tells him he should be impressed!! I don't think he is...
  • While the licking has stopped... I swear she's taken on an "old dog" smell! ICK! And my house reeks! I'm wondering if maybe all the wet beds soured??? Tomorrow is bed washing day...we'll see! 
  • Work was amazing for a few weeks... shipping lots of beads and rubber stamps every single day until last week... and...nothing. This always sends me into a I'll-never-work-in-this-town-again tailspin.
  • My classes are not booking in. I was most excited over a new teaching venue and when I drove up to sign my contracts (odd requirement for any business in Los Angeles), I was most pleased to find a brisk registration. But I logged on to check enrollment yesterday and... there are no new sign ups in over a month! Gee, I wonder if I go into a secondary tailspin, will I create my own tornado???
  • My bestie has been out of town a lot and with her recent move down the mountain... I miss her laughter. I'm hoping we get to see more of each other come fall. 
  • My brother-in-law...who is the only relative my 90 year old mother actually likes and relies on... had a health scare in the last few days that's had us all fraught with worry. The fact that the tests don't reveal anything scares me even more! 
  • I finally got another of the pictures in my head... the beagle with the wheelchair guy. I walked down to Food Truck night last night and strolled the boulevard to check out the offerings. I saw them on the patio of a local restaurant... the dog was trying to get on the wheelchair and causing it to go off balance. The guy was saying to the dog, 'Wait! You're FAT! You're FAT!" and I wanted to say... "Make him walk!" Later they were in a parking lot and I snapped this from a distance:

  •  I'm over the moon with our cooler weather! I've been enjoying coffee in the mornings on the "porch sofa." I try to get Mabel up on it too but, she prefers her dog bed.
  • I've got a bunch of listings for household goods, collectibles, craft supplies and glass beads going up on ebay. Hoping to get rid of some stuff. Still feeling the need to get rid of anything stored in the guest room.
  • I made a new friend hiking by the stream last week. Can you see him??? 

Hope you are having a wonderful fall!!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fame Hits the Twinkie Household... AGAIN!

Mabel Lou here.

How lucky can one family be??? I mean what must it be like to have the world's most famous three legged chi chi? Twinkie von Twinkerson is a superstar in her own right. But then this week, her human sister had to go and get famous!
Twinkie (making herself at home on my sofa), Lingui and me

You may have heard the name Daphne Avalon a lot the last few days. Well that Daphne is Twinkie's very own older sister!  She made some video for some guy named Jimmy Kimmel and did some dance move called twerking and then set herself on fire! Daphne is one tough girl... she's a stunt woman which means she jumps off buildings for fun. Heck, I remember when she fell out of a tree...way up high! Daphne's parents and brother and my mom all went racing over to her, just having a fit as humans are prone to do. They were a mess! But Daphne was FINE!

Mom, who has adored Daphne and her older brother since they were born,  and my hiking auntie were just beside themselves to hear and see Daphne everywhere. We had to watch tv alot. Mom kept watching Daphne's twitter feed... she got over 1200 followers in 24 hours. I guess that's famous in the human world.

Here's the funny part... my mom had shared Daphne's video on her Facebook a few days before...but she NEVER looked at the girl's face. She never knew it was our Daphne until she saw the beginning of that first video above on tv. Mom FELL OUT OF BED when she realized it was Daphne.  And unlike Daphne, these falls hurt! Can you  say "Worst Auntie Fail"??? ??

Mom wants me to show you her favorite pic of Daphne. I think Mom just like this cause D is in her very own Ruby tunnel!

While I think Twinkie is the more famous sister and she is a pawsome hiking buddy, Daphne is the nicer sister... she gives good scritches!!! And... she never yells at me like Twinkie does. (Well some sisters let the fame go to their heads!) But seriously, I'm honored to know both of them!!! Mom and I think both sisters are already superstars!! We love them so much and are so proud!!

Daphne's new Facebook Fan Page  and.... Twinkie's

Monday, September 09, 2013

The Look of Love

I have seen this man and this woman constantly since I moved to this town 13 years ago. Her health as always been bad. She has always seemed an invalid although she has moved from sitting up in a wheelchair to a chair with raised legs to the reclined version she is in now.

I do not know them but I love them. I love how he loves her. Every single day, before sunset, he takes her out. He will stop and wipe her hair off her face or the slobber from her cheek. Sometimes he will point to something in the sky for her to look at... a bird? a cloud?? If she understands, it never shows in her face. In winter, he wraps her tight in blankets and scarves. In summer, he will carry her blanket on the last part of their journey if she overheats.

I love seeing them. I worry when I miss them by changing my hiking time or venue. I feared this would always be another picture in my head until I saw them coming the other day and actually had my cell phone handy. I didn't want to embarrass them so I pretended to be talking. And I've blurred their faces for their own privacy.

I'm sorry it's not all in one of her and one of him. Just thinking of them warms my heart!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Pictures In My Head

I have so many pictures in my head that I would love to share with you but for one reason or another...they are impossible to get.  So I hope you will humor me on this wordy journey.

Dogs in Cars: I can't put this photo essay together because I'm driving when the photo ops occur but, there are SO many dogs in cars in this neighborhood. People take their dogs everywhere! There are big dogs in small cars and little dogs in big trucks. Dogs are always on the move around here. It's an unusal drive when I DON'T see a dog in a car! And the piece de resistance??? The time I saw a family driving with their parakeet! At first, I thought the bird was in the car by mistake...until he landed on the driver's head and got NO reaction!

The Handicapped Dog Walkers: Dogs aren't just on the move in cars... No. We had a lady who would come to the creek in her golf cart with her poodle riding shotgun. She would park and let him roam in the nearby wilds. We have another lady with a walker and her dogs ride on the seat. And an overweight basset whose owner is in a wheelchair but is seen out with his dog every night. Rottrover tells me the basset rides sitting on the owners feet but I've only seen him walking beside. Either way...that's dedication.

The Human / Rottweiler Bitey Face Game: So maybe this would be a video but I'm camera shy and I hate selfies! But Mabel Lou refuses to get off the sofa to go potty and then to bed without a game of bitey face! This mostly entails the two of us cheek to cheek, or forehead to forehead, growling at one another! I growl, she growls, lather, rinse repeat for a few minutes. When she wants it to be over, she kisses me and we're done. If I try to end it and she is not ready, she wraps her paw around the back of my head and pulls my face next to hers for another round! The photo would be of the back of my head with her paw there. I would love to have that photo.

I tell you all of this because this week, I finally got a crap version of one of the photos in my head - not one of the above; a different one. It's been there for 13 years! But you'll have to visit tomorrow for that one.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Sick Puppies

Ms. Lou and I are not doing well. My sinuses have been acting up and I'm dizzy as a bee. The stamp shop has been super busy (work is good!) this week and the 103+ degree days and still 90 degrees at 11pm nights have Mabel and I working split shifts to be able to sleep in the hottest part of the day.

Then I started to notice Mabel was licking her rump... a lot. And even when she didn't lick it, a clear liquid was coming from her privates and it smelled horrible. I was washing bedding every day!  I assumed it was some old age thing until I noticed her fecals were... "different."

I took samples into my vet and they wanted to see the girl after the results came back with elevated white count in the urine and giardia in the fecal! No wonder my poor girl was licking!

Mabel managed to piss in front of the doc... my big bad rottenweiler is a really submissive girl! The doc declared it a bladder infection too!
Sorry for the 'devil dog eyes' but I had to show you proof that someone can get in bed with her steps all by herself!

And then my education began.  I was handed a bill for 240.32 (more than I made in my trunk show which I stupidly scheduled over a holiday weekend...sigh) and that was NOT including the $70 I had already paid for the fecal / urine analysis! I about fell out of my chair!

I told the vet of my financial situation and she said to go get the Amoxicillian at a local pharmacy. My vet charged 75.40 for the antibiotic's on the $10 list of common drugs at most pharmacies! I paid 9.99 at RiteAid!

The vet went on to say that at a minimum, Mabel had to have the antibiotics but to get her the other stuff as soon as I could afford it. I knew I was going to go home and start researching costs. I informed the vet that Mabel will have all of it...just maybe not today!

I tried 800petmeds for the Metrnidazole and the dewormer meds and then went to Drs. Foster and Smith to double check. I have LOVED Drs. Foster and Smith for years and found their prices were around $10 bucks cheaper.  But wait... my baby is sick NOW and free shipping is lovely but... how long is that going to take to get here??? A week to 10 days! NO. FREAKING. WAY!

I checked the Drs. expedited shipping... $20 and up and it still took five days! WHAT??? I decided to pay a little more and get the two day FEDEX with 800petmeds. Only, I had issues checking out... the screen froze and I luckily ended up on the phone with them. I happened to mention that the Drs F&S website was cheaper on all my items but I needed better shipping.

The phone tech said, "Oh really? Give me their prices... we PRICE MATCH!" 

I basically spent $3 more for the same order on 800 Petmeds and got the medicine my baby needs in two days! My vet wanted $185 for all Mabel's meds and by shopping around... and waiting two days, I got them for 76.43!!!

And while I'm happy for my savings... I feel bad! I feel bad I can't support my local vet. Just like I feel awful when I order Mabel's liquid glucosamine from Liquid Health instead of buying it at my local, community owned pet shop. But they charge $34 for one bottle and I can have two bottles shipped to my door for $39!  I told my vet that if I still had a decent income, I would be happy to take the pills from her shop. But I don't and that's a lot of money to waste!

But as long as my finances are this bad... I will be using 800petmeds again!

I was not given anything for this's just what happened!