Category: animals


Forgot to mention that while preparing pork ribs to cook yesterday I discovered what was clearly a tumor. Figures it’s the one time I didn’t take a picture, but it could have been nothing else. It was encapsulated, and full of uneven, bumpy tissue. Found it nestled in and surrounded by adipose tissue. Even had it’s own blood supply. All in all very neato and now I’m kicking myself for not neither taking a picture nor dissecting it.



Well, not so much hot as humid. It is crazy humid out there. What was hot was just 50 miles south. I’ve been up here so long I’ve forgotten what not northern hot and humid is. Now imagine 100 miles south of here, or all the way in deep south hot. Left my car outside the garage on Saturday until about 4 or so and inside is was an oven. I was seriously concerned about the stuff inside my car. Saturday was absolutely gorgeous too.

…now imagine trying to survive a summer season like that without any AC at all ever. No thanks. I’d like not go back into depression mode again.

Good news is that I’ve been able to seal the fence! Whoo! Progress! It was a little hampered by the fact that my neighbor was having a big party in his backyard for his son who graduated, so I didn’t get to completely stain that side even though I did bleach it. I decided to do the other side instead to stay out of their way and then realized that they’d have clear view of me the whole time. Oh well. It’s always something getting in my way, you know? I did find out that the side I ended up working on was not well off. Because the sun would beat down on the other side of that fence, the side I was working on looked absolutely terrible with mildew, mold, etc. Now it’s even worse since that side neighbor put up a 6 foot vinyl fence. BTW…I don’t think I ever want a vinyl fence, no matter how much easier it is off the bat. They don’t seem too sturdy and without gaps I can see the whole thing coming down in a windstorm or a hurricane, especially with the yards the way they are in that neighborhood: no trees to speak of. It’s a wind tunnel. While I was busy doing work, Gable and Liana would beg to come out and then in, out and in, because while the day was low humidity and beautiful, the sun was hot hot hot! Gable did get lots of attention from all the people at the party. I’d look over to see him getting love and enjoying every second of it. As soon as he came over to see them, literally everyone stood up and rushed to the fence. Liana barked at them, was OK with it, but then wandered off to lay in the shade. She’s more of a one person dog? He’s gregarious.

We wandered off to Lowes after dinner of amazing cowboy ribeye steaks, and only had about 40 minutes to shop before it closed, but I spent 20 minutes of that sidetracked, trying to catch a kitten. I’d pushed a cart back into the cart return really loudly because it annoys the HECK out of me when people just leave carts around when the freaking return is TWO STEPS AWAY. Ok, so maybe 4 steps. Have some decency people!! Can’t stand it. Anyways, I pushed it in so loudly, I saw something dart out from under a truck, so I followed it because it was little. Really little. Turns out it was a little gray fluffy kitten and it stared out at us from behind a tree, mewing so pitifully. I think it was hungry, why else would it have been hiding under a pickup so close to the store? By itself??? I looked around and didn’t see mama anywhere. My biggest concern was that some heartless dumbass had just dumped it in the parking lot. So I got down and went to see if it would come to me or if I could grab it. I got some help from a Lowes employee (my brother was nigh useless, but a good barrier/run preventative) and lamented that we hadn’t used my car which had towels and collars and leashes and such in the back. I got really, really close to it, and actually came to me and smelled my fingers at one point. More than anything I wished I’d had some fried chicken on hand because I KNOW it would’ve come right to me. I wanted to grab it, but also didn’t want to get rabies or some other disease. Cats really aren’t my knowledge base. I was about to reach around and grab it since it trusted me more than any of the men when another guy and his young son came up to see what was going on and I made the mistake of asking for their help. This guy was too forward for this kitten and eventually it ran into the sewers and away over a hill. I hoped and prayed that it wouldn’t get run over by a car, but the fact that it knew the sewer led somewhere was a good indication it knew the area well. Probably feral. But I was SO clooooooose! And one feral off the street or at least fixed is better than none.

I was upset that it got away, but a bit relieved as well, because 8:30pm on a Saturday…what vet would be open and would take it? Plus we had no way to carry it and not get massacred by the claws of death, and if I took it home…uhhh…my greyhounds… Still, I think about it and how close I got. What a passion for animal rescue and rehabilitation inside of me. I don’t even care what species.

Maybe I should start keeping a net in my car, lol.



Remember how I always manage to injure myself or something crazy before going South? I was doing great until late last night around 11:30pm when I let the dogs out. I saw that I’d left the battery inside the weed whacker, so I went to remove it, when the pusher thing from my aerator happened to fall off the shelf and smack onto my pinky toe. The ram rod is solid steel and it’s a rod which means it fell like a spear, pushing all its force into my one toe. GOOD GOD. The pain lingered, too, well into my sleeping. I was busy reading manga until close to 1am and it was still stinging/throbbing/paining. Thankfully when I woke up, I still felt it sore and stiff, but I can walk OK, it’s not broken and not swollen up tremendously. I was truly terrified I’d crushed the bone or done something awful when the pain wouldn’t stop for 2 hours. Walking is doable, but painful and I have to move my foot in a way so that the pinky toe doesn’t hit anything. I’m just glad it wasn’t any other toes or worse, the top of my foot altogether. Still quite painful, but only if I put pressure on it.

What it means, however, along with the fact that it’s currently raining here and South, is that I now have a decision to make as to when I want to venture down there. Yet another day wasted!! I can’t stain anything when the fence is wet, and while I can still finish up the mulch bed in the back, lugging, dragging and otherwise carrying heavy bags of mulch is going to take much longer and be much harder without my pinky toe to support. You never appreciate anything until you can’t use it. I completely disagree with the “scientists” who believe that not too long into our future, we’ll evolve out of pinky toes. Pfft. Mine is used regularly for balance and strength. Monkey feet.

I think I’m cursed.

I was going to post a photo here but I have the world’s ugliest feet.

At least tomorrow is going to be nice, but I feel bad because I took off of work today and now it’s yet another day wasted in that aspect. Just like my birthday week which I had had all planned out to go do things South and I couldn’t because I’d crashed my car and didn’t know that I didn’t have rental car coverage on my insurance.

It’s probably a good thing that I regularly smash my pinky toe on chair legs and such. Makes it tougher.

Oh and in the shower today I managed to drop my bar of soap. ON THE SAME TOE. Fun times.

In other news, when the dogs and I were rounding the final stretch this morning while coming home, I was busy telling Liana who was scanning the way for our friend Miss Bunny, that it looks like Miss Bunny isn’t out today in the rain! Well. One blind turn to the left and it all happened in a flash:

  1. Bunny hears us coming and darts ahead into the safety of the brush.
  2. The brush happens to be on our right and Bunny is coming from the left
  3. I don’t see Bunny, all I see is a flash of brown heading our way at top speed, which I assume to be a bunny
  4. My brain processes in the flash that this is Bunny, it’s heading our way, I have 2 greyhounds, one who is looking for Bunny and one who is just walking, but greyhounds nonetheless, and it looks like we’re going to collide, the rate at which all of us are approaching each other.
  5. Dread fills me as I have 2 wild fast predators with me
  6. Fight or flight response chooses option 3: FREEZE and GASP AS LOUDLY AS POSSIBLE
  7. Both dogs lunge at the same time as Bunny’s brain makes split second decision to jump vertically and execute aerial 180 degrees turn Gable is the closest and lunges right at Bunny who is probably mere inches from his face.
  8. I am frozen, so I have a death grip on his leash which I usually keep loosely short, which means that my arm isn’t getting ripped off and muscle tension insures that he isn’t going to get anywhere.
  9. On my other side, Lady Jaguar lunges too, but smashes into the back of my legs. I don’t feel much pain because once again I am frozen and tensed up.
  10. My body releases me and off we go, both dogs on a mission, ears up and hunting.
  11. I try to go as fast as my injured limp will allow me, and adrenaline is nice because it blocks pain.
  12. Bunny is long gone, so Liana in her irritation sniffs out where it was last, and poops. Twice. In that area. Gable adds some urine for good measure. Maybe a warning? A last, “I’ll get you next time, you wascally wabbit?”

Both dogs are both proud of themselves and annoyed that their human is ridiculously slow on the uptake and hunt. Pretty much worthless. Currently Gable is sighing and grumbling to himself because why the HECK are you home today, failed hunter? Feed me or do something useful.

Looks like the sun is coming out up here and the clouds are dispersing. I’ll head down around 11 or so, I think. Less traffic and give the water some time to dry. We have yet another freeze warning tonight. Sigh.


So. Sleepy. Again.

It’s 62 degrees F outside right now. In August. My mind went immediately to fall décor as I was walking this morning. I love fall, but it’s a little early. Many of my patients have been complaining that it’s been really hot. I’ve been up here 7 years now and while it is technically cooler than 100 miles south, I can’t imagine it being THAT much cooler…honestly I think the summer has been rather normal…on average. haha. It was super hot for a while and then it rained quite a bit, and now it’s like fall. I don’t know, maybe I’ve just not experienced a “normal” summer but I have no real opinion about the season. It’s…summer.

Finally, 4 days after the day, I can walk not like a zombie and more like a human. Am I seriously one of the few people out there whose body can’t mop up lactic acid or something? I have yet to meet another person who has this problem. It’s not a new thing, it’s been happening since puberty. It was most memorable after aikido class in college, and back then I was at the prime of my physical ability, always doing cardio, climbing trees and doing weights. The day after I’d have to beg my friends to wait for me because my quads were KILLING ME. There’s a good pain and then there’s a not so good pain. And then there was Old Rag which took me out, like, TOOK ME OUT, for an entire week. In that I could not walk, literally, and had to call out of work for a week. They still hurt today but I have some speed! Yay! Maybe I should bring it up at the doctor the next time I go.

The kitty I’m taking care of has stolen my heart. Yesterday I meant to pop by for a little bit, but he really enjoyed my presence and I had to remain because I couldn’t help it. He immediate came over to me and stretched on top of me and then sat on  my belly asking for petsies. Then he wanted to play again, so I pretended to make the mouse burrow underneath the blanket which he was thought was just awesome. Then I emptied his toy box and we played with a rubber chameleon. Later it occurred to me that the box I left for him had been knocked over and a toy placed inside, and the mouse ball I bought him was all the way in the corner. He was super excited about food and as I was doing litterbox stuff, he came down to see what I was doing. When I left he didn’t want me to and wanted to keep playing, so I left all of his toys out. O_O But I’m allergic to you, cutie!

This is why I don’t want to take care of other people’s pets: I start to care too much because I love them all. Hmm. This is why I don’t want to care too much in general. Because I’ll love them too much. And that love makes the inevitable pain unbearable.


I think I need to clean my room…

I hopped onto bed and picked up my laptop + lap desk like I always do. Something tickles my legs and I think it might be the tag on the lap desk, so I pay it no mind. All of the sudden I see a black thing scurry away from me and it dawns on me that it’s a bug. A fraction of a second of glancing at it positively identifies an arachnid. Cue the alarm bells in my head and subsequent leap to safety. Spider’s location is noted and I go into the bathroom, searching for a container of any kind. I find my used Renuzit Pearl Scents container with used and diminished spheres, empty as much of it into the trash can as possible and race back in, praying that it is where I left it. It IS. YESSS. Clamp container over foe and then realize that I’ve got nothing to slide under it. Good thing my room is a mess but also small. I find a random envelope (it has to have some strength to it) and slide it in slowly. Spider freaks out, but is held at bay by the oily fragrance of melted pearl spheres. I don’t know if they can smell or not, but DANG I’d have passed out stuck in that much scent. As I was searching for paper I realized my folly at not cleaning the container out better, but it did have the side effect of creating a scent/physical cage ring. Of course, with spider safely under container, I try to take pictures of the poor thing and find that indeed it is terrified of the liquefied gel pearls. Then it’s a trip to the deck where it can, in the words of The Shredder: “Go. Play. Have fun.” I put the paper on the ground, and lift up the container. Spider about freaks out and instead of wandering off, tries to make itself small in the middle of the ring of liquid fragrance. So I help and put it into a plant pot.

I am not a bug killer unless it is a fly, a gnat or a mosquito. If it’s bigger than a mosquito/fly then I will try my best to “save” it by relocating it to the outdoors. Technically I might be dooming the critters, but its better than being a floor pancake. As much as I try to be friendly to them, I can’t deny the heebie jeebies that are written into my genome. My body has been on high alert, hypersensitive to airflow for the last 10 minutes. Logically, though, it was a hunter-type spider so no webs and since house spiders typically are loners, no real threat of multiple ones. At least it was a jumper spider. Those things are crazy scary.

Man…I can tell you spider stories. I remember very vividly being bitten by a light brown/tan-ish almost pink/purple/gray one back in the house I grew up in. It was in the raised bed where we usually grew carrots. I can’t remember what season it was, but there were dead leaves and such in it, so I was just trying to help clean things out. It was morning on a weekend, and everyone was inside. I just loved being outdoors so there I was. I think my mom was supposed to come out, but hadn’t made it yet. Anyways, it must have just rained because things were moist. I put  my hands in and picked up a bunch of the dead leaves, carrying it to the kudzu jungle we had. It was cold and wet but I could care less because I loved dirt and getting my hands dirty. I reach in for the second round and OUCH something gets me with a good amount of force. Sharp and with oomph behind it. Alarm bells in the head and I retreat. My hand is dirty so it’s hard to tell what happened, but it immediate swelling and aching meant bite, so I look into the pile and see said spider. It was BIG, man. Hunter type too. It was the exact color of the leaves and debris, no way I would have spotted it on my own. In fact, more than likely it was sleeping or hiding lying in wait and I disturbed it. It was a substantial spider…all broad a plate-like…I wonder if I can find a similar picture of it. I ran inside and cleaned off my hands, making visible the distinct bite marks of a spider and the sudden onslaught of pain. I didn’t want to tell my mom because 1) I was supposed to have waited for her and 2) she had repeatedly told me that I needed to wear garden gloves while doing yard work, and I’d shrugged it off. Then I went back outside, found some garden gloves and continued back over to clean it out, but by then the spider was gone and I couldn’t show anyone even if I wanted to. I think I was 10ish.

Another spider adventure was in Kilmarnock in the dental clinic. That thing was absolutely MASSIVE and by then I was in my 20s. I’d seen it before in a basket and had almost reached down to throw it away because it looked like trash, but I suddenly grew lazy and decided to let someone else deal with it. Good decision or spiritual guidance or whatever because later we saw it crawling around and let me tell you how big this thing was…longest legs I ever saw on a spider in real life and when I rescued it in a Cavicide container I could SEE THE HAIRS ON ITS BACK AND HEAD. And all its eyes too. It was too big to clamp the container over either, so I had to guide it in with a high speed suction tip. After that, it occurred to me that it was the same brown thing I’d seen in that basket, so I went to look and OMG I WAS RIGHT. The brown thing was gone. I guess I’d woken it up when I removed the basket stacked over the one it was sleeping in.

I feel like there is one more major spider adventure, but I forget now and I’m sleepy too. I’ve rescued many an arachnid in my life. I’m rather proud of it and will continue to do.

Now, though, I have to live with this ultra strong fragrance stain I left on my blanket.

So after some internet searching, I’m leaning towards either Hobo Spider or Woodlouse Hunter for the 10 year old bite.

Woodlouse Hunter Spider
Hobo Spider

And I am QUITE certain now that I’m looking at pictures, that the one in Kilmarnock was a Huntsman Spider. Those long legs bring back the memory of it sleeping folded up in the baskets.

This picture looks almost exactly like what I remember

Wow. Reading about these guys, it’s amazing how much “bigger” they all seemed at the time of seeing them in person. GUUUUH I am so ITCHY and paranoid looking through all of these spider pictures!

soooo cooooold

Ya I’m being whiny in the midst of all this hard packed ice and wind. For someone who normally loves cold weather, this is not that fun mostly because my body is ready for spring and has been prepped for it. The biggest down is that the time change has me so tired in the mornings which is silly because before it I was up every day like clockwork around 5 and easily up by 6 (which is 7 now). These days I’m unable to get up and it’s one of the worst feelings for a morning person!!! Either it’s the cold weather making me like this or I’m just getting old and my body is used to my later-waking-lifestyle.

Spent the night scaling dog teeth because they needed it, especially Liana, but what I really need to do is finish the last 8 credits of CE courses so I can renew and be done with it. Tonight will be weights again, so hopefully I’ll be pumped afterwards and get one course done. Even half a course is fine. It’s funny Liana used to be the really bad patient here, but it’s like they’ve flip flopped as Gable has gotten old and crotchety. They still build up the same amount of calc they always have and their tissues react as they always have, but their tolerance! Maybe Gable’s finally doing the male thing? He’s fine at first until it goes on too long and he freaks out. After I was done with him, I went into the kitchen to wash my hands so they both follow me. Going back so I could start on Liana, Gable immediately hops onto his LLBean bed while Liana, who was originally lying on the LLBean bed comes over to the bed Gable was lying on and proceeds to lay down like it was the examination bed! Was she waiting her turn? haha! She is so adorable!

My dogs are interesting. People respond predictably to them when they first meet them.

  1. Upon seeing the 2 of them, everyone is drawn to Gable because he’s big and pretty while Liana stands there, all black and overlooked.
  2. After a little while of knowing them, people realize that Liana is actually the adorable one because Gable is mine and he cares little for other dogs and he’s not very cuddly. She’s soft, somewhat chunky and loves people. He’ll go lay down and stare at you. Suddenly people love Liana more.
  3.  After a little more time, while Liana is the adorable little bear girl, you find that her energy level is crazy and she gets destructive. On top of it all she’s extremely food picky and stubborn to boot. Around now it becomes clear that she does not trust people…especially new people.
  4. Time for person to leave and as they prepare to do so, Gable is the only one who cares enough to get up and see them off. Liana will lay on the bed and do a dog shrug leaving person confused as to which dog they like better

What these people don’t realize is that you shouldn’t play favorites. These two balance each other out like yin and yang. And the overarching takeaway here is that they are loyal to me. I keep saying that because it’s true. There are plenty of dogs out there that don’t view their owners in high esteem for a variety of reasons and would probably run away or leave with another person they deem more worthy of their loyalty. Compared to the people my dogs have met in life, they don’t seem to want anyone else but me at this point. Unless someone like Cesar Millan shows up and steals them from me. haha. When you watch their interaction with my mom and brother, you’ll see what I mean. Especially to Liana, the alpha of the 2, my mom and brother are buddies. She doesn’t view them higher than me (that’s good for me and how it should be) and react to them differently. She manipulates my mom for good food and begs, no, expects, food from my brother.

It took me 3 long years to earn her trust and that’s the best present she could give me. In return I listen to her and give her the best I can to not betray that loyalty we worked so hard to achieve together. Gable was mine from the very beginning. He’s my boy. Easy and first owner, so no drama. I persisted with him too, through his myriad of health ailments (ALL MONEY OMG). Such different dogs with different personalities and stories. Proves to me that my true passion really is animal rehabilitation. Wildlife rehab was my true passion in life, but I don’t think I’ll be able to make it there…definitely not now. So I’ll settle with making a difference in the lives of other animals.



First Friday back of the year!! I slept too early last night obviously and it was too hot. Was wide awake at 5 this morning and spent the rest of the time tossing and freaking out about it being time to wake up. What’s the point of an alarm clock when my body can’t chill long enough to let it do its job??? And THEN I spend the rest of the morning yawning because I’m sleepy. uuuugh.

I’m looking out my window to see the squirrels raiding the bird feeder. Again. I want to buy a baffle for it but I doubt it will keep them away for long because the conditions for hanging the birdfeeder properly can not be met here at this house. Gotta feel bad for them, though, because the week of Christmas it was like 70 degrees and with it being winter they all had to go raid their stores because there was no food but too warm to sleep. Now that it’s bitterly cold, what are they going to eat? Not just squirrels either…birds too.

See now they birds are here but the squirrel is taking up space. Time to go down and scare it off.