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Posts Tagged ‘basset hounds’

Funny how things work out, isn’t it? We had no intention of bringing a new basset hound into our lives so soon after losing Dassi. We were content with smothering Irene with lots of love. Yet here we are with a sweet new member of the family: meet 21-month old Kyra!

Kyra Looking Up

A simple call to the breeder to let him know what happened to Dassi and to ask him to put us on a waiting list for a slightly older puppy (8-10 months or so) turned into a rescue/adoption of sorts.

As you can see Kyra has a weight issue. The breeder had originally chosen her, the pick of the litter, to keep for breeding. She however had other ideas: Not. Gonna. Happen…twice. She just wasn’t interested, go figure. So he had her spayed and was going to put her up on his site but then he had a medical emergency of his own which put him out of commission for quite some time. Thankfully he’s doing well. Whether it’s an overeating or thyroid issue is yet to be determined but upon his return Kyra was overweight.

Kyra Hound

I was, at first, a bit annoyed that I was being shown pictures of a dog so soon but then I took one look at her face and it was all over. I cried.

Kyra Girl

Call it fate, say it was meant to be, whatever you want. There was no way we could turn her down. Maybe it was the idea that she needed to be saved, I don’t know but I think my husband and I need this as much as Kyra does. Besides, she’s a red and white like Dassi, her features and body shape (so far as we can tell) are much like Irene’s and her birthday is the same as the first Basset Hound we had, Betsy.

A trifecta!

Sleepy Kyra

I woke up at 3am last Saturday (April 6th); desperate attempts to get two more hours of sleep were miserably thwarted. I lie awake thinking. In truth, this was both a happy day and a sad moment for me. I tried to quell the tears, getting out of bed to hide them from my husband. When I returned he pulled me close, held me tight and said “I miss her too”. More waterworks.

We drove from Long Island out to Centre Hall, PA, checked into the same dog friendly motel we’ve used on each trip, then went up to the breeder a few miles away to pick up Kyra. She’s even more beautiful in person.

Kyra Girl

Although our intent was to spend the night and leave the following day, we realized Kyra’s restlessness would not allow us to get a good night’s sleep. We packed up the van, strapped the dogs into their seats and off we went, caffeine and bad food in tow; we got back home around 11pm that night.

We are on a mission to get Kyra healthy. She’s much too heavy to carry up the stairs and she can’t manage them herself, so for now she and Irene are sleeping downstairs, bonding.

Couch Potatoes

Bonding

I am going to chronicle Kyra’s weight loss progress on my blog approximately once a month, or when we can get her to the vet for a “weigh-in”. With that said, her starting weight is 83.7 pounds, yikes! We figure she should be around the same weight as Irene (or maybe a wee bit bigger) about 55 pounds.

Update: After one week of finicky eating, she’s lost 2.7 pounds!

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January 12, 2007 – March 6, 2013

Oh Miss Dassi, you put up a good fight. Through it all you were such a trooper. You never complained about the pills or doctor visits. You looked up at daddy and I with those beautiful trusting brown eyes that said, “I know, don’t worry, I love you”.

Through it all you wagged your tail and kissed us with total abandon.

We did everything we could for you baby girl, mommy and daddy tried.

But cancer sucks.

When we rushed you to the emergency room last night we knew.

Even in your last hours you managed to melt the hearts of the hospital staff. You touched so many lives Dassi, everyone who met you fell in love with you. Such a beautiful soul.

Daddy and I are struggling with your loss but we know that you are now at peace. Oh Dassi you have etched a permanent place in my heart; you have left paw prints on my heart.

Go find Betsy and Trinket sweet girl, they’re waiting for you.

I love you Dassi Doo, my baby girl. Rest in peace.

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Under Chair

Dassi got thru the surgery like a trooper. I stayed home with her for two days because she needed to be watched. The pain meds make her loopy and wobbly. At least she timed it well, the second day we had a blizzard!

But she has not been without several ups and downs. You’ve been keeping us on our toes ever since we first brought you home.

ComingHome

We cam home from work on the following Monday to find blood on her neck. Somehow this resourceful houndie contorted her body so she could get her little tree trunk hind leg into the e-collar and scratch at the itchy incision site.
Dassi-eCollar

We cleaned her up, put on an antibiotic and I cut up an old t-shirt to make bandages. We wrapped her neck and used a different kind of collar called “Bite-Not” that looks something like a human neck brace. I’m not sure which collar she disliked more…I’d say it was a tie.

Dassi was so happy when she had the staples removed and didn’t have to wear that stupid collar anymore. She seemed to be back to herself.

Ah but that wasn’t all. About a week later she began to mope, she felt warm, she was running a fever. She became listless so we rushed her to the emergency room early in the morning and there she stayed overnight. She apparently had an infection, probably from opening the wound.

They took very good care of her and when we picked her up the next day we learned that she’d won the hearts of everyone there. I’ll bet she batted those beautiful irresistible brown eyes of hers at everyone who came to care for her.

She came home with more meds and edema in her neck. We put warm compresses on the swelling throughout the day and it started to subside. Dassi looked like Dassi again.

She saw the doctor that weekend and we got a good report, whew. But then about a week later she’s in distress again. Breathing heavy, not wanting to eat…not again.

Although neither of us said it then, both my husband and I did the same thing, we assumed the worst. Off to the doctor again. He believes she’s having gastric problems from the meds and put her on Pepcid AC. Who knew?

This last episode was today.

You can imagine as a result I’ve been a wee bit preoccupied lately so my apologies for having gone missing. I’m hoping Dassi will get settled and our lives will follow. Thanks to all who’ve been asking about her, I can’t tell you how much your kind words and concern have meant to me. ((HUGS))

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Sweet Dassi

My sweet baby girl Dassi.  She’ll kiss your face till you laugh so hard you can barely breathe, she’ll curl up in your lap and take a snooze, and she’ll cuddle with you when you’re not feeling well.  She’s way smarter than any other dog I’ve ever known.  She’s tuned in in a way that is really quite remarkable.
 
She’s full of spit and vinegar.  Opinionated, demanding.  She actually stamps her feet when she wants your attention and she’s not getting it.  She has many “words” and uses them strategically to get what she wants. There’s not a bad bone in her body.
 
She knows her commands (and even listens on occasion, especially when there is food involved) and  can do some tricks: sit, stay, come, speak, roll over, find-it; put a cookie in front of her, tell her to leave it and she does until you release her.
 
Dassi and Irene Cuddling

She complains when she knows you are about to clean her ears but endures it.  She runs to sit on top of her mommy (in bed) when her daddy is ready to put her in her crate for the night.  Mommy let me stay.
 
Dassi is a sweet, affectionate bundle of happiness, joy and love. She wags her tail so intensely her entire tush wiggles along with it; sometimes her tail wags in circles. She looks right up at you with all the love and trust in the world. I love her to pieces.

Dassi Loves Pillows
She is 6 years old and she has cancer.
 
We thought she was out of the woods.  We’d been here before, a bit over a year ago.
 
She’s been through so much in her life.  And through it all she’s been a trooper.
 
Now she needs surgery again to remove a tumor from her neck.  The surgery is tomorrow.  My husband is taking her and I will stay home with her the following day or two.  Neither of us will sleep tonight.  Nor will we sleep tomorrow night.  Despite the pain meds she will be hurting.  And that rips my heart out.

I love you Dassi, be strong my baby and fight!

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I can’t say I much liked 2011 and I’m not sorry to see it go. It started out on an up note but crashed and burned by the end. I’m hoping that 2012 will be an improvement although it’s off to a rocky start.

So much happened in 2011, it was kind of a mixed bag of good and bad but you know how it goes, the bad tends to stick in your mind.

Let’s start with the good: THIS BLOG! Yup I started my blog in February so my one year blogaversary is on the horizon. I’ve learned a lot not only about blogging and the community of bloggers I’ve grown friendly with but also about myself. You see I’m an intensely private person so just the thought of sharing my life in this way was a huge leap of faith for me. I don’t regret a thing.

Through my blog and other social media outlets like Twitter and Google+ I’ve met a host of wonderful people. I can honestly say that although I have not met most of them in person…yet, I count them as friends.

I’ve gotten involved in a few Twitter inspired group activities too. I’ve done all but one two of the #baketogether challenges organized by the amazingly talented Abby Dodge. I’m not really sure which was my favorite but the Fig-Honey Summer Fruit Cake Fig-Honey Glazed Summer Cake and the Pumpkin-Chocolate Swirl Coffee Cake  Pumpkin-Chocolate Coffee Cake are pretty high on my list.

I’ve joined a group of bloggers for a monthly bloghop, each centered around either an ingredient or an item organized by Junia, mis pensamientos. My favorite is absolutely Grandma Bea’s Cookies: Grandma Bea's Cookies

I joined a group of knitters on Twitter, Jaala of @knitcircus, Kate aka @Knitsophrenic, Tanya aka @theindigomuse and Katie aka @Yarn_Love, in a delicious cookie swap…my first ever! The cookies were delicious and the bonus swag was way cool too.

I knitted my first actual garment this past spring, the Chiton Pullover: Chiton Pullover - WIP.
It has a cap-sleeve and a soft cowl neck. It’s knit in the round as one piece (yes, it’s done, sort of. I need to seam it up. Slacker). I also knit my first full-on lace shawl designed by ObliviousKnits who I had the awesome pleasure of meeting at Rhinebeck along with her hubby and super yarn dyer AtKnitsEnd. The shawl is just off the needles and must be blocked. A post on that to follow.

We’ve had a number of not so good moments as well. My father-in-law became very sick this year and was in and out of the hospital for many months. We feared we might lose him way too soon but luckily he was admitted to a study which literally saved his life. We’re all very thankful.

Things tend to pile on and cause quite a bit of stress. While my father-in-law was in the hospital, a feral cat decided to have kittens under our wood pile. Remember these cuties?
Kitty Pile
Well we’ve kept the ginger and black kitties, adopted one out (not pictured) and are looking for a home for the calico little girl. Don’t ask how in the middle of the hot summer we turned our lives upside down so we could bring these four babies out of the hot shed and into our house, in a dog crate and worked to socialize them. My dining room will never be the same.

Painful this one is: our sweet houndie girl Dassi has cancer; Dassi at Mom & Dad's

undifferentiated sarcoma to be exact. She’ll only be five January 12th and it’s just not fair. I don’t know how to explain it but there is something very special, very different about her from any other dog we’ve shared our lives with, even from her doggie mommy Irene who is also a member of our family. She’s tuned in in a way that I cannot put to words; she’s a cuddle bunny, sweet as sugar and an joy beyond belief. She’s had surgery to remove a badly inflamed lymph node and is now being treated with both Western and Eastern techniques in the hope of prolonging her quality life. We’d been down this road before with another dog, Betsy, who had lymphoma. (Despite it’s location this is not the case with Dassi.) That time it went bad quickly…three months. Eerily though, both dogs became ill around Thanksgiving; I don’t like this kind of coincidence. Hopefully Dassi won’t suffer the same fate that Betsy did; I can’t bear it.

Some more personal stressful moments I’m not prepared to share (intensely private, remember?), a hurricane which forced us to have two trees taken down, a couple of funerals later and 2011 is finally over! As Tanya has said, we “kicked 2011 in the taco”!

So you can see there is no love lost for 2011. But, my father-in-law is, thankfully, doing great and in fact we just celebrated his birthday this past weekend (I made an awesome cake, stay tuned for that recipe, yum!). The kittens are quite well adjusted, they are happy and healthy and like to snuggle with both hounds. We’ll be continuing Dassi’s dual treatments for a good part of this year and I’m hopeful for a positive outcome.

Life goes on.

I am looking forward to a lot more knitting, challenging myself with new techniques and types of projects. I see socks in my future and definitely more lace.

I am also looking forward to the upcoming #baketogether challenges and new love bloghop ingredients/topics to experiment with. I need to blog more about savory items…been doing a lot of sweets lately and my butt is suffering.

I also plan to make some significant changes to my blog this year but first I must do my homework. More on that when the time comes.

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He said, “no more cats. I loved Trinket but now that she’s gone I want to live without barriers around my house and no more litter box”.

That’s what my husband said after our sweet 17-year-old kitty passed away a few years ago.
My Sweet Trinket

Enter Momma Cat
Momma Cat

Seems a number of weeks ago she took up residence in our woodpile behind the shed. Frankly being so caught up with my father-in-law who has been hospitalized for well over a month, we didn’t really notice. She’s very stealthy.

Then one day we did. It’s not unusual to see the occasional neighbor’s cat around but they generally stay away from our back yard because we have two dogs, but we didn’t recognize this one. My husband thought he saw a small animal scurry under the woodpile and the after some investigating he realized that the reason this mystery cat was hanging around was because she had kittens.

Now, in the midst of hospital trips and related activities we had to deal with these babies. Let me tell you these are some lucky felines. We’re a very critter friendly couple and I don’t know how someone else in this situation would have dealt, if at all (cynic). We contacted a number of no-kill shelters but they were all full and couldn’t help us, so we took a chance and contact the town. Now before you get all in a tizzy, as a co-worker did, the town I live in runs a no-kill shelter and works with a Veterinarian who will spay/neuter strays and feral cats at a discounted rate. Whew.

We borrowed a trap from the town and initially caught momma and two of the kittens at the same time (hence the photo above) on July 4th. We knew we had to separate them so, in our infinite wisdom, my husband and I cleared out the shed (not a small undertaking by any means) thinking we could give them run of the room. STU-PID! Momma made a b-line for the rafters and the kittens squeezed between one of the benches and the wall. Did I mention this was the 4th, and we just finished a nice quiet BBQ at home with my mother-in-law and were exhausted?

Realizing we were screwed we left the door open and let them out. Literally the next day we caught them again, this time momma first and all four kittens, one-by-one by the end of the day.

Did I mention we have dogs?
HoundsintheKitchen

We scheduled a check up and a spay for Momma and also paid extra for a rabies shot. When we got her back we kept her in one of the dog crates in the garage hoping that we could socialize her and find her a home. She made it very clear, as did the town, that this was not likely to work. We let her go and as they said she would, she is remaining on our property. We’re good with that. We leave he food and water and will make sure she has shelter for the winter if she continues to hang at chez knitstamatic.

As for the kittens: two orange, one calico and one black. They look to be about 10-12 weeks old. The town will take them as soon as they have been socialized – our responsibility. Which means we have to be able to handle them without restraining them. We’ve been working with them every day to get them accustomed to people. We keep a radio on in the shed and have a fan going to keep them comfy.

Four Kittens

Dog crates work very well as temporary housing. Ironic, no?

At first we couldn’t touch them. Just putting our hands in the crate to clean the litter box or refill the food resulted in all sorts of menacing sounds. We’ve been persistent: we were finally able to pet them a few nights ago. It took some work and some tuna but they are coming around. Although this seems to be subject change. As for pecking order, the dominant male is one of the orange kitties (guess which one); the second in order is the other orange make, then the black and the calico. The black kitty is the most fearful and hisses a lot but even she was okay with me petting her behind the ears and under the chin. Major progress!

Now, back to that thing about “no more cats”… When this all started my husband must have made that statement half-a-dozen times a day. You see, I’m the one who came to this relationship with a cat…and now guess who is interested in keeping one of them? Yup, my husband! 🙂

Well we’ll see how it goes, in the mean time they will be up for adoption when they are ready. I’m hoping to find loving homes for them rather than hand them over to a shelter where they will likely sit in very small cages. At least with us they will have room to move in the dog crate. They will be in a larger one soon.

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There are so many ways to celebrate Mother’s Day. This year we went to visit my parents who live about three hours away, without traffic. It was a lovely visit, we stayed over and had dinner at a restaurant she favors. We then intended to spend the day at my in-law’s on Sunday celebrating with my mother-in-law…best laid plans. Unfortunately my father-in-law got sick and was contagious, so the visit was cancelled…sort of.

Sometimes we can be very silly:

Gas Masks on Mother's Day

My mother-in-law shot this through the glass door. Come on, don’t you greet your mom this way? 🙂

There are those of us who don’t have kids of our own but in every sense of the word are still mothers. What is a mother anyway? To me, a mother is someone who nurtures and teaches, who cares for, who supports and encourages, who loves unconditionally. A mother is someone who shows her love in many ways, she provides a helping hand and a shoulder to cry on. She shows her love in ways that are hers and hers alone. A mother is chicken soup and warm chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven; she’s that favorite meal that no one else much enjoys made just for you.

My husband has two wonderful, adult sons. I’ve watched them grow and mature from pre-teen, to adulthood and I am very proud of them.

One is a mechanical engineer, married to a wonderful woman (you’ve also seen them here)…
Adam, Natallie, Lucky

and the other is a NYC police officer with a sweet girlfriend who loves to crochet.
Steve Ilene Graduation

When the boys were younger, they’d stay over each weekend and we’d watch movies, go on hikes, do homework, play video games. I’d cook meals for them, I’d bake for them, I’d help them and encourage them in their daily lives and I have fallen in love with them. I care for them, about them as if they were my own and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for them. They are my step-sons and they make me a mom.

I have two sweet, loving and gentle basset hounds, they are my babies; my girls. This is Dassi, our little princess…and she knows it.
Dassi at Mom & Dad's  Dassi in the Common Area
Way too smart for her own good, she came into our lives almost four and a half years ago. What an absolute loving joy she is, a real “kissy-bug”.

This is her doggy mommy, Irene who we adopted from the breeder about 2 years later.
Irene at Mom & Dad's   Irene in the Common Area

It’s amazing to see how similar and yet entirely different their personalities are. Irene is just a big mush of love. Much quieter than her feisty red-headed daughter, but tells it like it is when she has something to say.

These are my girls and they make me a mom.

And this is my grand-puppy Lucky; he’s a European Golden Retriever.
Grandpuppy

My husband, who works from home, babysits him during the day for one of my stepsons so he’s not home alone. Lucky, Irene and Dassi have bonded, they are a pack…we are a pack. Lucky and Dassi will play (I kinda think he has eyes for her) and Irene will supervise. If Lucky gets too rough Irene will scold him…he stops. Once a mom…

These are my children and I love them and care for them unconditionally. I am a mom.

A very Happy Mother’s Day to ALL mom’s out there.

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