Monday, March 29, 2010

Sounds Like A Goose

This honking sounding cough is the classic sound of an upper respiratory tract infection in a dog. Many people refer to it as bordetella or "kennel cough" there are several different viruses that make up the complex that can cause this disease. Kind of like the flu is caused by many different viral strains. Yes our girl was current on her vaccines, but vaccines unfortunately don't cover all the different forms, just like with the flu shot. Hoping it will however make her symptoms less severe. She has a mild case luckily. She only coughs when excited or on lead. I only heard her cough twice last night in her crate. So we are crating her and keeping her quiet so she can rest. This disease can cause a fever and for a dog to go off it's food, and it can cause them to cough up white foamy stuff. You can even get a green nasal discharge, and it can lead to pneumonia. I don't think Bumpers case will be even close to progressing that far, but we are doing some at home care with instructions from our vet to bring her in ASAP at the first sign that she's getting worse. We are running a vaporizer for her, and soaking her food until soft with chicken broth. You can even coupage them, a type of rhythmic thumping performed on the chest to break up phlegm, but I don't feel she needs this just yet. The vet would prescribe antibiotic and cough suppressants in severe cases. This is a highly contagious disease that is airborne, so hoping the rest of my dogs stay well, we have her in our bedroom, But I'm sure the others have already been exposed. I think we caught it from the dog show we were at last weekend, which stinks, cause she couldn't show this past Sunday cause she coughed every time I put the lead on her. I was polite enough to keep my dog at home. There is also a form of canine influenza that can mimic the signs of kennel cough, but dogs usually are a bit sicker that our girl is.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Do Labradors Shed?

Most books list the Labrador as a medium shedding breed. No nobody skinned a skunk on my porch
This is what came off of Stryker in one brushing
I'd say he's blowing (shedding) his winter coat
I'd hate to see a high shedding breed, cause I bet I could get more off of him today
He is getting his nails trimmed in the picture

Friday, March 26, 2010


horoscopes are usually so vague you can make them fit your life somehow, but occasionally I like to read them just for fun. Yesterday on yahoo I read mine and it seemed to fit with a lot of what is going on in my life now, with being indecisive especially. It urged me to jog today saying it would bring clarity. Well I decided to listen so I got up and did a light run, something I haven't been feeling up to doing lately. I've been having issues with my calve lately, but I made it through with minimal discomfort. Well I don't think I got any clarity or answers from my little run today, but I sure felt like I had more energy today and It made me feel good to have done a workout, even if it was a small one.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Wierd Day

Things have just been off around our house lately. Can't quite put my finger on it, but I'm just down. I seem to have no energy or motivation about most aspects of my life right now. Of course the kids and Hubby always brighten my day. Just haven't been in a place to jump out of bed and do my usual peppy 5 am workouts, or to even find the energy to clean the house, boy is it getting dirty. I just feel out of sorts, hoping the spring weather will bring some energy with it, but with snow forecasted for tomorrow night, looks like I'm going to have to wait a little longer. Not to mention I've been struggling with whether or not to add a new pup to our breeding program. My head says it's not the smartest thing to do right now, but my heart is in love with the thought of a puppy running around. I think the fact that our old dog is not doing well has something to do with it. Her joints have gone to hell and a handbasket. Both hips are shot and her right knee is thickened and arthritic. She still is happy and gets up to go out. She has modified the way she plays with the other dogs, by laying down to play so they don't knock her over. She slips and falls from time to time, but will occasionally get a burst of energy and trot a few feet. Pain medicine helps, but not a lot. Her eating habits have slowed and I now am playing the what will she eat today game. She has refused several dog foods, including canned. I have even tried cooking for her which went well for a couple meals, then she balked at that. Currently she has decided to eat a small sized kibble (she has a hard time chewing, even though her teeth are not bad) with a pouch type wet food mixed in. I don't know how long this will last, but for now she's eating and I'm happy. It just really bothers me to see her hurt. I wonder if she suffers or am I reading too much into it. I just can't stand to not see a lab up and running like it should. It doesn't help when there are other old labs that are passing away around me, some in my arms at work. All I can think of is my girl and how I don't want to loose her, so a puppy with a dark yellow coat to replace her right? I think I have all the wrong reasons for a puppy, yet still I want one. I have even contacted a breeder and the pup is mine if I so choose. Now I feel kind of stuck. I don't want to make the breeder mad, in case I want to go to her in the future, but I'm not sure I'm not just having a moment of weakness. Fellow bloggers any advice for my funk?

Monday, March 22, 2010

new website

I have started a new blog at
It is a site devoted solely to our rabbits. It includes individual posts on each of our rabbits and updates on litters and rabbits for sale. It is still in it's early phases and I have more to add. But come check us out and tell your blogger friends to spread the word. I promise lots of cute bunny pictures!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dog Quiz Anwsers

1. Cardigan Welsh Corgi's have tails Pembroke's do not.

2. Irish Water Spaniel

3. liver colored Flat Coated Retriever, they however usually come in black

4. Scottish Terrier, again they are usually black

Breed Quiz from the Louisville Show

A corgi with a tail? What kind of corgi am I?

Several folks were amazed that my daughter knew what breed this was, I was proud.

Do you know?

Hmm... think carefully about answering this one.

This dog loves water and fetching your slippers.

Everyone knows the outline of this breed, and it was recently the most talked about breed back in February, but I'll admit this is only the second time I've seen it in this color. What breed is it?

Take your guesses and I'll post answers tomorrow.

I'm excited to see what you come up with.

Let's see if you can beat my 9 year old dog wiz.

A Dog Show Birthday

Today was our daughter's 9th birthday. So I let her skip shcool and go to the louisville cluster dog show with me. This cute little long haired Chihuahua with a sticker on it's head, that says I'm here for the dog show, is just one of the many cute things you see at a show.
My daughter loved taking photos of all the dogs. I posted some of her pics.
Keep checking back cause in a few days I'm going to have a name that rare breed post with some of her other pics.
Smooth coat St. Bernard


Red Doberman

black Newfoundland

long haired St. Bernard

Greater swiss mt. dog


dalmation with a rodesian ridgeback to the left

soft coated wheaton terrier

border collie

english cocker spaniel


blenhiem cavalier king charles spaniel sitting on the bleachers

Berenese Mt. Dog

Irish Setter

Bassett hound

Chow Chow

Do you really think this x pen will hold this Irish Wolfhound if he decides he wants to leave?




Great Dane


Boston Terrier

Great Pyrenese

Black and Tan coonhound

sleeping shelties

Golden Retriever

Thursday, March 11, 2010

In Depth With My Favorite Salamander

My favorite salamander the Spotted Salamander

Scientific name: Ambystoma maculatum

Some Info taken from National Audubon Society Field Guide

Upon first look it's just a pile of salamanders, But if you look closer the one in the bottom of the shot seems to have brighter spots that the others. This got me to thinking is it a boy, cause some species put on bright colors to attract a mate. However it is hard to tell from this photo, but the brighter one is also bigger, especially in the abdominal area, so female?

What they look like

Stoutly built, black, blue-black, dark gray, or dark brown above, with 2 irregular rows of round yellow or orange spots beginning on the head and extending to the tail tip

The belly is slate gray with costal grooves, usually 12.

This salamander ranges from south central Ontario to Nova Scotia, south to Georgia and Eastern Texas. It lives in hardwood forests around pools and flooded areas. It spends most of it's time underground, and is rarely seen except during breeding season which is March (Ohio) to April in the north and December to February in the south. Rain and warming temperatures spark the mating season. During Mating the salamanders flock to breeding ponds were females lay 1 or more compact clear or milky egg masses 2 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter which turn green with beneficial algae, each containing about 100 eggs. they are adhered to submerged branches. Larvae hatch in 1-2 months and are 1/2 an inch long. By 2 1/2 months they are 2 to 4 inches long. These salamanders secrete a milky substance that tastes bad when handled. They may live from 10 to 20 years.

From what I have read spotted salamanders hold true to general sexing tips for salamanders. Girls are usually larger, especially in the abdominal area and males have a more developed cloaca area during mating season. This looks to be a male.

A female.

So in closing it looks like the brighter lager salamander in the first picture is in fact a female and the other three are males.
Hope you enjoyed your crash course in spotted salamanders.


A time honored tradition in our home that started back in our college days, driving the roads on the first warm wet spring night to look for amphibious creatures who are out and about looking for love. Back in the day we would use dip nets at ponds and rolled over logs and went to great lengths to catch the rare and unusual. Now with the prospect of late nights and muddy kids we stick mostly to just driving the roads and stopping to pick up whatever is crawling across. Tonight was a great night. In under 20 minutes we collected 8 specimens with 3 different species. We load them up in containers and take them back home to view in good lighting and photograph. Then we turn them loose in our woods to continue their mating process. Here's our collection of spotted salamanders, 4 total.
These are my favorites.
Spotted Salamander
Scientific Name: Ambystoma maculatum

Our daughter likes the salamanders the best.

Our son prefers the frogs and toads.
Here he is with one of the american toads.
Scientific Name: Bufo americanus

A wood frog.
Scientific Name: Rana sylvatica

The Great Salamander Migration!
By the way all the excitement in the background was due to the fact that my son's frog was currently loose hopping all over my kitchen.

My New Volunteer Job

Today was my first day working as a volunteer class room aid. I volunteered to help out in my brother's class room. He teaches the SBH unit, or severe behavior handicapped unit. The class is full of elementary and middle school boys. I must admit I was a bit nervous going in today. However the kids were good and all went well. I helped them with their state testing questions, and homework. I ate lunch with them and played cards with them during their break time. I took a planning period with my brother to help him with next weeks lessons. I had to read the kids stories and come up with question and answer keys for their quizzes. I had a great day and really enjoyed helping the boys. I still felt a little out of water, just unsure of the limits of my position. I don't want to step out of bounds, but I really got to do a lot and my brother said I may even get to lead some of the actual instruction time. I am very excited to go back in a couple weeks.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

101 Uses for A Labrador

Laundry Sorter

My Weekend Was A Bust

All my plans for enjoying our first nice sunny weekend went down the tube. Our daughter was home sick Friday vomiting, while our son was finally well enough to return to school. Saturday morning Hubby and I woke up feeling just not quite right. With in 30 minutes we were jocking for our own spots in the bathroom. I had to call in sick to work, something I despise doing, but I couldn't even get up to go pee without vomiting. Hubby took off to the upstairs bedroom equipped with it's own bathroom and TV with adult shows playing. I resorted to the downstairs couch and watched cartoons with the kids all day. I would call hubby on my cell phone to check on him from time to time, cause climbing the stairs would surely have sent me racing to the bathroom. The kids were so good and offered to bring us things all day, even though we couldn't stomach anything at the time. Our daughter even stepped up and microwaved some dinner for her and her brother. Today I feel a lot better as in all my bodily fluids are remaining inside, but I still feel week and just not quite right. In stead of being out enjoying the beautiful day I am trying to make myself get up and detoxify our home. I have stripped the beds, bathed everyone, cleaned the bathrooms and used loads of Lysol. I still have a lot more to do and the mountain of laundry is scary. Too bad since this was our last weekend for a long time with no plans to be out and about traveling. Oh well such is life, I hear the washing machine calling my name.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hope for Health

Such a pretty day we had today. It got up to 46 degrees, yet there is still patches of snow on the ground, go figure. I was itchy to get outside, I even started asking hubby about mulch for our flower beds. I have serious cabin fever. It is amazing how 46 and sunny with no wind can feel so different from 46 with gusty winds and gray skies. The sun did me good today. However I wasn't able to spend much time outside. Mainly just enough to get the usual chores done. Our son was home sick again today. He is much improved though, but still eating very little. Today he had 3 pieces of cheese some apple sauce a fruit cup and a little jello. I'm hopeful he can go back to school tomorrow. Our son has been sent home alot of homework, which he hates cramming into a small window of time in the evening, but it has to be done. I am hopeful that we will all be well this weekend and able to enjoy the nice 50 degree weather that is forecasted. Saturday afternoon can't get here fast enough, I love my family time.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sickness Update

Last night my son woke me and asked for a trash can cause he felt sick, but he said he was OK for now and was going back to sleep. I told him to wake me if he needed anything else. I woke this morning to vomit not only in the can, but dried on the loft bed and running down onto the desk beneath and onto the floor. Good times. He felt it better to just roll back over and go to sleep than to disturb my slumber. Three loads of laundry and one more vomiting episode later I was off to work leaving my son at home with hubby. Hubby just started night shift and gave up his nice quiet day of sleep to take care of our little one, he'll regret no sleep tonight at work I bet. However I am in debt to him and thoroughly appreciate his sacrifice. He got the vomiting stopped and even got the antibiotics for the scarlet fever to stay down! However the diarrhea is the kicker now. Poor kid can't catch a break. Looks like he'll be hanging at home with me again tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sickness Sickness

My mom was sick last Friday after putting my kids on the bus for me on Friday she proceeded to go home with a 24 hour intestinal flu. Yuck! Hoping the family doesn't catch it. Saturday I worked all morning and ran errands all afternoon. Dropped our daughter off at a slumber party and my son fell a sleep in the car on the way home. I chalked it up to a long day of running around cause I was tired too. Sunday morning my son woke with a bad headache that made him a bit lethargic. I gave him some medicine and we headed out to pick up his sister. Out of the blue he announces he's going to vomit. I quickly grab our traveling puke bucket which he promptly uses. Oh dear I fear mom's intestinal bug is striking, but not so for he doesn't vomit anymore. Our daughter however informs me a girl at her sleep over when home after vomiting all over the floor where they were sleeping. Just a matter of time I think. Our son spends the rest of his day in his room with a tummy, head, and knee aches and a light grade fever. Monday morning he wakes up good as new. I send him off to school. he comes home covered in a rash from his head to his knees. It's even in his hair and in his ears. His throat looks a little red, but he's not complaining except for the itching. I'm baffled and give him benedryl and ship him off to bed. Tuesday morning he wakes up with the rash now down to his feet and his throat is redder, but still not sore. Hubby takes him to the doctor, while I work. He is pronounced with Scarlet Fever, a form of complicated strep throat. The doctor wants to put him on amoxicillan, but that gives him horrible diarrhea, so they choose a liquid Z pack instead. I hope we have no ill effects from that cause we've never used it before. One more day off school and we should be good. By the way the teacher called to say the girl that sits next to him has scarlet fever and I should consider taking him to the doctor. Tonight his rash is slightly better but he's alert and playing, my daughter however just told me her tummy hurts. Here we go!