Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Loveliness of Good Friends

We have had so many wonderful things written to us at the loss of Abby...

Even today we got a card from Tweedles and her mommies in 
Oregon... telling us how much they will hold our little girl in 
their hearts. 

We cherish them so much. 

Here is something else that came today in the mail... 
and which we will cherish forever... it is a
gift for our new house. 

Ramona, the Japanese Redneck, is not just a talented rider and benefactress of dogs and cats... she is also a talented seamstress and mosaic artist.  She sent us this beautiful wall hanging for the new house. 

Here is a closeup of her beautiful work... and as you see... it says "Home" on the right hand side of the heart. 

Thank you, Ramona and Ronny... we will always treasure it. 

This guy got to come home... and is feeling considerably better.  He will have weekly checkups for a while. 


We were going to move this cabinet today, while Chris was here... and I went into the new 
henhouse to get it ready (i.e., dusting it off)... and BOO!  Someone was there before me. 

After I took his picture, he slithered down onto the floor... and... we left the cabinet for today. 
Almost brand new, it got dusty so fast that I never used it for the last year and a half, so we are going to clean it up and bring it over here for the garage. 

Chris will be back in three weeks so we can move things to the fairgrounds for the next auction... and then the following week... we will get the dumpster in and do the final clean-up. 


I'm worn out going back and forth. 

Don't look now... look what's growing in the south flower bed! 

I'm leaving it, just to see what happens... in fact, I'm going to put a cage over it. 


Next week... I'm going to take two hours, go over to the old place, and work in the perennial beds.  While the kids worked today, I pulled weeds.  I've left some hoes and rakes there, and a shovel, and I'm going to do a general clean-up.  I have some straw that I bought for the henhouses, and I'll use it to mulch instead. 
We are about to have a HUGE display of flowers. 

The (almost) empty deck. 

The two responsible for all the heavy lifting in the last two days, and I caught each in 

I can't tell you how much they have helped, loading and unloading the truck and the HHR three times today, and they are cutting the grass here right now. 

They are going to a movie tonight, I'll drive them over... they don't get to go very often because there is no movie in Garnett... so this is a treat.  I'm so glad to drop them off and go back for them. 

We are about worn out, they more than I. 

I'll run to church in an hour, and then afterwards, take them to their movie... and 
in the morning, we will drive south again.  

Thanks again to Ramona and Ronny for our wonderful house-warming gift... 
and all of your kind words for our little girl lost. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Last of the Iris Show

The spring flower show is almost over, but the June show is coming on, I will take some pictures to show you tomorrow. 

Today... we moved MORE STUFF.  I stop here to tell you, friends, that if you need 
storage buildings for your stuff, you have TOO MUCH STUFF. 

I could not have moved these things alone... these two, Chris and his girlfriend Haleigh, 
did ALL the heavy lifting, took the shelves apart... I honestly don't know how they moved a dresser that was horribly heavy.  We were going to give it up... but I need a dresser for tablecloths, etc. 

We are almost to the end.  In three weeks, we move all the things we are selling down to the consignment auction, then fix the house up... and we are looking at an August rental. 

While this guy is laying down on the job! 

Truly, Keith has been admitted to the VA Medical Center at Leavenworth for a few days... 
so is getting out of all the moving drama!  Please say a prayer for him, if you think of him. 

We had a pop up storm tonight... it has already gone over... but we did get a good rain for ten minutes, and a short power fluctuation.  

Monday and Tuesday bring more chances of storms, which we need. 

More pictures of our labors tomorrow, and an update on my dear spouse! 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Little Worlds and Rain

Remember... little worlds are all around us.  Step carefully. 

Okay... what IS this?  I had to go in the old henhouse today... just to look. 

This was in the middle of the clean floor (okay, pretty clean)....

is it snake poop????

As I left, here was the sky. 

And when I got home... here were the skies... 

And we've been getting a good soaking rain for about 15 minutes.  

We need it. 

Look!  The slave to the birds is filling the fortex on the porch at the old house.... 

I am getting ready to stop feeding the birds there.  I have a flat feeder, a suet feeder, and 
a niger seed feeder. 

I am going to take the flat feeder down... and remove the other two.  
I have gotten so much joy from watching the wild things. 
I will never forget the little possum that ate all day this winter. 

Here is one reason I have continued to feed and fill the fortex: 

He's a young one, I believe. 

On Friday, Christopher, his girlfriend Haleigh, and myself are going to try to get 
two truckloads of "the rest of the stuff" moved from the old place. 
We are close to the end. 

Once it is cleaned out... we will get all of the saleable stuff to the 
consignment auction the third week of June... and then 
rent the dumpster and get rid of the detritus. 
Then... we have some repairs done to the interior of the house... and 
put it up for rent. 

How I miss my animals... but how glad I will be to be able to stop going back and forth. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Lights Are Going Out

Friends, thank you all for your kind comments about our loss of Abby. 
It happened so fast our heads are still spinning, and the vet himself was 
totally shocked. 

We did have some good news over the weekend. 

These guys: 

Roosters One, Two and Three... and the little girl Black Tail... were the last chickens 
at Calamity Acres.  You see them here just before Keith and I caught them on Sunday. 
We were so blessed to find a good home for them, and did not have to put them down, which 
I was dreading.  The roosters were born at our home... and had lived their whole lives there. 
They will adjust... and I'm so glad they are alive and well. 

The yard was full of clover that smelled so sweet, I just wanted to stand and smell it. 

Our big girl now has the whole toy basket to herself... and as you can see... is taking advantage of it! 

Swallows have re-built their nest above the door.  

Troy cut part of the pasture yesterday... you can see how high it was.  Lilly went down for a minute, then came back up. 

Lilly snarfed around outside while I cleaned the old henhouse for the last time.  I had cleaned the majority of it two weeks ago... so this was an easy hour's work.  

Yes, I left the full waterer and the feed that was left over... Troy took the two cans of feed I had left for the new owners... the mice have to have something to eat, and for the next two months at least, I'll be going out every few days. 

The waterer in the new henhouse was filled, too. 

These two gross looking pictures are the bottom of one of the whiskey barrels that 
sat in front of our deck at the old place.  I am emptying them out, and I'm going to bring 
them here... I can't afford to go out and just buy more of them.  There are four in the hoop house that I am 
going to empty, too. 

And guess what?  The dirt is coming HERE with me. 

Saving where ever I can. 

Someone watched from the cool grass under the maple tree. 

Tomorrow I have to wait for the garage door repairman, so we won't go out early in the morning, the best time to do this hard work. 

The alliums have finally begun blooming, as the iris are slowly finishing their show. 
How glorious they were this year! 

I show you this somewhat blurry picture that was taken a year ago tomorrow... see the lighter green of the caryopteris bush in the back?  And the lush dark green of the big buddleia on the left of the picture? 

This year. 

The two buddleias, and the one in the south bed, died during the hard winter.  
The caryopteris can't be seen in this picture really, but only about half of it is viable.  They all need to be taken out. 

And this, perturbed look on her face and all, is my little sister Kathleen, in our very last picture together... taken April 4, 2012... Kathleen died two years ago today, the 27th. 

We had had a good visit that day... but she was on the downhill run already.  

She had wanted to go back into her bed in the den... and Bob, her husband said 

"Kathleen, sit down and get your picture taken! "

Hence, the perturbed look.

I'm sorry, Little Sis!  

I miss her so much... but I know she is waiting for us. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Abby Lynn, My Farm Assistant

Always my shadow, she was always at my feet, "velcro"... what Pugs are known for. 

She could give the stink eye to the chickens, par excellance. 

She helped me in the garden regularly. 

And in the kitchen..... if there was food involved. 

She loved all the grands... but Paiton is going to be a dog whisperer, I think. 

She was Hannah's and Gertie's best friend. 

And they were all Daddy's Girls. 

And sometimes it was just nice for the sisters to sleep together. 

When we lost Addie Mae, Abby stepped in to become Hannah's eyes. 

And stepped in to make Kody and Kaycee feel at home last year, when they 
left their own mama. 

She loved her toys and even Wednesday, wanted to play tug of war for a while. 

And her sweet smile was still bright. 

And as late as last week, came with me to let the chickens out in the morning, after we had visited Dr. Scott. 

This week, she could not climb the steps to lay by me on the couch.  I didn't realize it until Wednesday night. 
Those are her little steps in the picture. 

About a month before we moved from the old place... Abby began to exhibit strange behavior.  She would begin to pant hard, and then shake her head violently... and proceed to rub her head and the side of her face on the floor, on the furniture, on the bedding, on the walls... and run in circles.  Sometimes this behavior lasted as long as three hours, and it was sickening to see her so agitated.  I took her to the Tongie vet, who pronounced that she had allergies and put her on prednisone.  
This did nothing to help her... and caused her to urinate even more constantly than she already was. 
She was thirsty... drinking copious amounts of water. 
We thought maybe she was picking up on the tension of the move... 
but, as the weeks went by, she became more and more agitated, mostly in the evening.  I would dread the beginning of the panting... because it indicated an episode's start.  She was unable to sleep with us any longer... because these fits would begin and she would circle the bed, rubbing her head on the covers, on us, while grunting and groaning violently. 

She lost almost 8 pounds.  

We moved... and the behavior worsened here... and became more and more prevalent. 
We had to keep her out of the bedroom at night, because something would trigger the behavior and set it off, and we never knew how long it would last.  Then, finally, we had to start crating her for her safety. 

We went to the vet... and thank heavens, I mentioned the copious drinking.  She was tested and found to have diabetes, but no matter how many times I mentioned the "fits"... no one was picking up on them. 
We began learning about canine diabetes, and we had a hard time learning to give the shots... it was unpleasant for me, and very unpleasant for Abby.  

Last week, the "fits" lengthened and came more frequently.  Abby was getting worn out, and so were we. 
We visited the vet on Monday, to let them know that I was having terrible trouble with the shots, and I needed re-education.  Dr. Scott gave Abby her shot, and me, a pep talk.  I was able to do the Monday night shot, and the two on Tuesday and Wednesday... but on Wednesday evening, Abby disappeared out the back door.  We could hear her in the dark... and she turned out to be under the back porch, 
dragging her face in a massive attack in the dirt. 

Wednesday night, Keith put her in bed with him in our spare bedroom, and she paced for a long time.  
Thursday morning... I took her into bed with me, and she could not get comfortable... she would lay... then sit up suddenly, and when I looked at her... she was staring blankly into space... unaware of her surroundings, I think. 

She had soiled both beds, being sick. 

 A little later, she went outside... and didn't come in.  I had a bad feeling... and went out there looking for her.  She was at the side of the house... where the patio is... just standing, legs locked... and staring at a bag of garden dirt.  She did not hear me coming and was startled when I talked softly by her.  I carried her in. 

A few minutes later, while Keith and I were talking... she crept out again, and began dragging her face in circles in the yard. 

I called the vet... ran out to let the chickens loose, and came back and put Abby into the car and went straight to the vet.  He drew blood from her leg... and the blood sugar reading was so high it didn't register on the meter. 

He asked to keep her to try to get her stable, and she was so lethargic by this time, I agreed. 

I was to get her at 5:30, as they have no one in the office all night. 

When I went to get her, the techs took me back to show her to me, and there she was in a cage, an
IV going into her, but still wagged a little when she saw me. 

The vet, Dr. Scott, talked to me at length, and agreed he did not know what was causing the blood sugar to go out of control.  I asked if it was time for her to be let go gently... and was told NO, it was a matter of stabilization. 

I talked about the head pushing again, and even had an article from the net to show him... but he said he thought it was the diabetes causing her to be so sick. 

When I took her to the car... I knew.  She was not our little healthy Abby... she was a dying Abby. 

I brought her home and put her in a bed in the kitchen, where she could see me. 

They had left the catheter in, and wrapped her leg with vet wrap, you just can't see it. 
She did not want anything to eat or drink... but was able to get out of this little bed and 
go out into the kitchen and lay on the cold tile. 

Pretty soon, she moved into the dark hallway, outside our bedroom door.  She could not drink... 
but was not being sick all over.  

I was told to give her ten units of insulin at 8... and I questioned this, because I had read you are not to give insulin on an empty stomach... but was told no, to give it.  

Keith was gone, and I was afraid to do it alone that night... and waited for him. 

When he got home... we gave the dose.  

She began to pant very hard... and was clearly in bad shape... but I realized at that point there was 
probably nothing we could do for her.  

I talked at length to friend Jill, a registered vet tech... and believe her body was shutting down, and she was not in pain.  I had seen my mother and sister go, you see. 

I need to go back here and tell you that the vet had struggled with the blood sugar all day... it was in the 500's.... (normal is a high of 160) and after coming down a way, it had shot back up as I picked her up. 

I was to bring her back into them on Friday morning at 7:30.  

She had wanted to be in her crate, and when I tried to bring her to the water bowl, she tottered into the crate.  It was dark and very quiet in the hallway where the crate was. 

I remembered what James Herriott had said... that quiet and dark was very beneficial to suffering animals... and would help them. 

At 2:15 AM, Keith checked on her, and she was alive, and raised her head a little, and her tail gave a wag, as it had when I said goodnight to her.  

At 5:30, he got up again, and went to check on her, and she was gone... already stiff.  

I did take her to the vet on Friday morning... they were shocked... Dr. Scott talked to me at length on the phone... and she will come back to us, cremated, to join Ranger and Gertie here.  

My friend Deb asked me to read Pugnacious P's blog... and I had forgotten... during this whole three months... about PDE.  Pug Dog Encephalitis.  

The neurological symptoms Abby was exhibiting could very well have been the onset of PDE. 

The vet explained to me on Friday morning that they are taught at vet school to look for ONE reason for an illness... but Thursday afternoon, he told me frankly that he and his partner had discussed it and realized there was something more going on with Abby than just the diabetes. On Friday, they were going to run extensive tests to try to find out what. 

I don't have to tell you all what this has done to us this weekend.  
With all the changes in the last three months in our lives... and now to lose our little girl... 
it has been very hard. 

I want to thank all of you who commented on my Facebook page... I am so grateful for all of the prayers and well wishes.  Our little doll's suffering is over... and it happened so fast that our heads are still spinning.  

It it was PDE... it would have been an almost impossible to handle disease... I admire any person who can handle it.  Maybe this was God's way of saving Abby from a life of pain and sickness... and Keith and me. 

In the eleven years we have been married, we have adopted seven dogs.  Four of those were pugs, who all died early deaths... Addie Mae after 3 years... she had had a major surgery the week after we adopted her... Hannah after having an eye removed and never coming back from it, suffering from glaucoma in both eyes... Gertie dropping dead, literally, on Christmas Eve of 2012, to what the vets assume was an aneurysm, at 3 years old... and Abby, at six, beginning to be sick in March and dying now at the end of May. 

We lost our min pin Oscar to a truck on the road... Ranger, to old age and disability, last November. 

From five dogs two years ago, we are down to Lilly Ann.  

She will be 8 this summer. 

There is a hitch in her walk now, and she gets up and down slowly. 

How we are treasuring our remaining time with her. 

Losing any dog is hard... losing sweet Abby Lynn has been 
especially hard.  
We will never know if she did have PDE... but there was definitely something nerological going on with her. 
I am still looking for her here in the house... and reaching down to touch her side as I sit at the computer. 

Our bed is emptier. 

I am so glad that some of you got to know her through this blog... she was a remarkable little girl. 

She was her Daddy's Special Girl.