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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Confessions of a Crazy Dog Lady

      I guess I became the "Crazy Dog Lady" six years ago, because that's when I got Daisy, 3/4 Chihuahua, 1/4 Jack Russell Terrier, and everyone knows Chihuahuas are NOT farm dogs, but lately I have taken my craziness to extremes!

    Recently, Tuffy, the 9 year old Blue Heeler (real working cattle dog) got really sick and we found out she has diabetes, so since we are too soft hearted to put her down (the farmer way), I am giving her insulin shots every 12 hours for the rest of her life!   I also have to check her urine for ketone and glucose.

     Randy built me the  "pee catcher"  in the above pictures (yard stick with butter dish attached to the end).   It's just a coincidence that the yard stick says "It's where you go that counts".  The first time I used it, he stood back and laughed at me as I followed her around to catch!

     My cousin, Penny has requested video of the operation, claiming it would be worth money.  When Michelle was home she had her phone out and was trying to video the process, as I was running down the driveway after Tuffy, wearing Michelle's too big, flip flops because they were by the door and easy to slip on in a hurry, and laughing thinking how silly I must look, and yelling "don't you dare tape this" and anticipating the dog squatting, and realizing I needed to go myself.    She took me on a wild goose chase that ended in the corral and she never did pee!   Next time I won't worry about her killing a spot on the lawn.   I will keep her shut in the yard.

     At least she is feeling better.   Before her sugar got under control, she didn't have the energy to run.  She is feeling so much better that she doesn't drink and pee all the time like in the beginning, and I know she is tired of me following her with the pee catcher because she tries to turn around when I get close.
                                 Old pic of me and Tuffy  How could I not help this dog?

     About this same time, Miley, the Chi-weanie had another false pregnancy. If you have never heard of it, google it, it is very real!   Her hormones get out of whack and she digs a hole in the carpet under the couch or the bed and runs out and attacks the other dogs when they get within 6 feet of her "puppies".

      She had her first false pregnancy last year, which made me think she would make a good mom and I borrowed a nice little male Chihuahua.  He ran away, and was never found :( and Miley didn't get pregnant.   So this time I took her and got her spayed.   She kept licking the incision so I made her a tank top.   It's really cute, I must say.   Michelle's friend gave her a black Harley Davidson tank top with lace edges ( not Michelle's style) so I cut it down and made it fit Miley.  (Sorry there is no picture of the shirt, my memory card died.)
Miley, the dog who will ride on tractors, mowers and ATVs, and sit on my lap while I sew and rides in the car with her paws on the steering wheel! Then again, she was trained by Emma Pachak, who is not afraid of anything!

     Things seemed to be going well, and then Miley's tummy swelled up and she started giving A LOT OF MILK and frantically searching for more imaginary puppies to feed.  Back to the vet.  I noticed on the bill that they gave me the "multi dog discount".  They are too nice to call it the "Crazy Dog Lady" discount.  Apparently spaying during a false pregnancy can overstimulate the mammary glands.  They gave her shot and some pills and I was instructed not to let her eat for 24 hours.

     So Tuffy is supposed to have free access to food always, so her glocose doesn't get too low, but Miley can have none.  They also told me to give Miley a stuffed animal to "mother".  Last time I read online that you should take the stuffed animal away so the dog will realize there is no puppy.  (Don't trust everything you read.)  So I found the little white bunny rabbit I had previously confiscated.  I wish I had taken video when I gave it to her.  Miley very carefully picked it up in her mouth and looked around at the other dogs with a menacing look and took it behind the couch.

     A day later either the novelty of motherhood had worn off or the pills were helping her hormones subside because she brought the puppy and dropped it at my feet as if to say, "puppy-sit please" and went outside to run around and chase cats.

     With all of this going on we also kept Bret and Kallie's two dogs for a week.  I am thinking about starting "The Crazy Dog Lady's Boarding Kennel"  Special needs dogs are welcome and if they need special clothing or even a costume,
(you know how some crazy people like to dress their pets) I can sew!
                                         Daisy, aka "the me dog"

Monday, July 29, 2013

Gotta Run

 A little over year ago I hated to run.  In fact, I didn't run, ever!  I joked with my friend, Dove, (who runs like a cheetah) that if she ever saw me running she should call 911, because something must be terribly wrong.  One of my favorites sayings was, "I never run with scissors...  the last two words were not necessary".  I told Dove I wouldn't run because I didn't want my feet to get ugly callouses.  In all seriousness, I didn't think my feet could take running.  I have a heel spur and bouts of plantar fasciaitis.

We were having a "Biggest Loser" contest at work and the competition was fierce!  We were doing workout videos after work each day.  It was so hard at first because we were so out of shape.  Gradually it got easier and finally became a good habit, one that we enjoyed, rather than dreaded.  There has been such a ripple effect from that simple contest.  Lifestyles were changed, hopefully forever.  It wasn't just a short-term diet.  They finally had to quit bringing cake to our staff in-services, because it wasn't being eaten!  I'm not saying I never indulge in a piece of dessert, but my voracious appetite for sweets has mostly disappeared.  I now crave much healthier food.

One day after work, nobody was able to stay and do a workout video, but a couple of coworkers were going to run and invited me to join them.  I really didn't want to miss a workout, because you all know if you miss one, you miss two, then three, and just like that you are back to being a couch potato.  I told them I would try and figured my feet would kill me the next day.  We ran down the dirt road by the school.  We would run to one power pole, walk to the next, and kept alternating.  I seriously thought I would die and I don't think we even went that far.

My feet didn't hurt the next day, so I kept on running.  It's a fast way to burn calories and get your heart rate up.  My brother, Dave and my daughter-in-law, Kallie had done the Labor Day 5K around the lake in Windsor.  I decided for my 50th birthday I would try it.  I figured I would have to walk some of it, but like the saying goes, "whatever you do, you are lapping the person on the couch."

To my surprise I was able to run the entire thing!

So, here I am almost a year later and I just ran my sixth 5K.  Michelle says we should do a 10K.  Well, I will have to do some serious training before that can happen.

I have found that if I stop when my legs hurt or I get tired, it hurts worse when I start again. So, I tell myself I'm not allowed to stop unless I throw up or pass out.  Neither have happened, go figure!  Like Bret says, "our minds are weaker than our bodies".

Some of you may find this weird, but for me, running is a spiritual thing.  I talk to God while I run (sometimes I say, "please help me survive this!" or "please don't let me die out here on the dirt road").  But seriously, there is some kind of euphoria that happens.  Maybe it's the endorphins that kick in with any good exercise, or maybe it's just the early morning air, sunshine, dirt roads lined with sunflowers, cows grazing on much-prayed-for green grass, a faithful dog or two running  beside me (the one who needs to get in shape, Daisy is wait either on the couch, or in the shade).  Maybe it's knowing that I'm running because I am able, for as long as I am able.  I know so many who can't.  Like my sister-in-law Cindy who was flown from Cheyenne Wells to Aurora in congestive heart failure and had triple bypass surgery and the long recovery that goes with it, or a friend with bad knees, or another with balance/dizziness issues.  When these people come to mind, I ask God to bless them.

 I think most anything we do can be done to honor God and to help others.  Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.
"Most 5K runs give proceeds to good causes. The ones I've participated in to date have helped:  schools, arthritis sufferers (both human and animal), needy children at Christmas time, college athletic training program at UNC, children of the first responders and military killed in the line of duty, and crisis pregnancy centers.

If you look at the verse I have posted on my Running Bulletin Board below, yes, I have taken it out of context, but it reminds me to pray and rely on Him before every race, and to give Him credit for the results.  I think the verse is talking about a much bigger, more important race.  The Great Commission to tell others, if they are willing to listen, about God's love, mercy, grace and salvation!  My Life Application Bible explains it like this: "The Christian life involves hard work.  It requires us to give up whatever endangers our relationship with God, to run with endurance, and to struggle against sin with the power of the Holy Spirit.  To live effectively, we must keep our eyes on Jesus.  We will stumble if we look away from him to stare at ourselves or the circumstances surrounding us.  We should be running for Christ, not ourselves, and we must always keep him in sight."

We can show His love by helping widows, orphans, the sick, the poor, etc.

I apologize for the length of this writing.  I do hope it inspires someone to find a form of exercise they will grow to enjoy.  To set a goal, even if it's just to walk, or bike, or swim a short distance every day.  More importantly, I hope it inspires someone to focus on the biggest, most important race!

In the meantime...I GOTTA RUN!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

City Girl Gets Knocked Down by a Cow!!

        Well, actually a heifer (young cow, first time momma, for my non-country friends) .  Because I love springtime and calving season, and because I am a morning person, I voluntarily check the heifers in the barn/corral every morning at 5:00 while the coffee is brewing.  So this morning I got up, threw on some sweat pants under my nightgown, my down coat, a hat and gloves, grabbed the fancy flashlight/spotlight and my handy-dandy slip-on, not- practical- for-corrals, shoes.

       As I was walking to the barn I noticed so many stars in the black sky and how incredibly tired I felt.  Oh yeah, the time change (4:00 am old time).  As I crawled under the fence and through the cement bunk I noticed  a heifer with a calf almost completely born.  His head was twisted under him, so I straightened him out and cleared the junk from his nose and mouth, but he didn't breathe.  It seems this small heifer had been trying a long time and usually when that happens they just continue to lay there instead of getting up like an experienced mama cow would. They usually are not very interested in their calf at first.   I decided to try to pick the calf up by it's hind legs in hopes that more junk would drain out, like I've seen Randy  do so many times.  My next plan would be to try to blow some air in the calf's nose, which I've also seen Randy do.  I was about to grab the calf when I heard snorting behind me and WHAM the heifer hit me in the back with her head.    The heifer continued to maul me with her head, still snorting and maybe bawling (it's all a blur).  Now I'm face down in the manure and newborn calf gunk.  She stopped momentarily (I'm so thankful she didn't step on me!) and I jumped up and ran faster, I'm sure, than I can normally run. I'm more of an endurance runner.   I'm no good at sprinting, especially without warming up and stretching first.   I felt like I was flying, my feet barely touching the ground.   I could hear and feel her right behind me, so no time to look back!  I  was yelling  and the other 23 heifers were scattering to get out of my way.  I scrambled under the fence and realized I had lost my left shoe.  Who cares!  Not going back for it. Miraculously, I didn't step in any cow pies during my hasty exit.  Proof that I was flying!

        I ran all the way to the house, somehow thinking if Randy could get there in time he could save the calf. Thanks to adrenaline I didn't even feel the gravel on my shoeless foot.  Ran in the house and Country Boy (Randy) says I was hysterical and out of breath and he couldn't understand a word I said at first, but knew something was wrong, so got dressed and headed to the corral.  The calf did not survive.

      I am stiff and sore, and I have a great deal of respect for Heifer #14.  All heifers, for that matter.  I will never again assume they won't be aggressive, nor will I turn my back to them.

     Feel free to have a good laugh. Randy says I'm not allowed to check the heifers anymore.  I hope to change his mind.  Right now I'm going to put some ice on my shoulder.

      They say Daylight Savings Time is responsible for lots of accidents.  I'm not sure I would have been any more alert an hour later without coffee.