Friday, November 30, 2012

The Best Medicine

With so many pleasurable things off limits because they are too expensive, bad for your health, or illegal, it's nice that we still have coffee!  I've followed all the possible health concerns about coffee for years, and am always relieved when further information negates the original warning.  Coffee in moderation will apparently do me no harm, and may even hold  Alzheimer's and a variety of other unpleasant diseases at bay.  Hooray for coffee!

My coffee is currently brewed in a Keurig.  It bothers me that there is so much waste with the little K-cups, and it IS a relatively expensive way to purchase coffee, but convenience wins out, and we never have a partially filled pot of coffee sitting around going to waste.  The variety is nice but we pretty much use one specific brand that we both like, plus an occasion cup of tea or dark hot chocolate.  That little machine brings me great pleasure, and gets my mornings off to a good start.

My coffee is generally drunk black, and I don't care for flavored coffee.  I prefer the taste of the coffee itself, though on occasion I may add a bit of milk or real cream and/or some sugar just to splurge a bit.  Wasted calories, but only an occasional treat.  If I stop for coffee at one of the coffee shops that dot every corner, I stick to regular black coffee, whatever the special of the day may be.  It might get doctored up, but is normally enjoyed black, just as it comes from the brewer, and as hot as possible.  Good coffee is always a treat.

Always a treat to be enjoyed by noon, that is.  I don't care for decaf, and only drink afternoon or evening coffee if I'm driving somewhere and need to stay awake and alert.  Otherwise coffee is a morning treat, something to look forward to as I start another work day.  The smell and the taste are so amazing, and I can not understand people who start their days off with a cola drink or hot tea.  Doesn't do it for me!

Yes, I know coffee is addictive, and after all these years my body is quite dependent on it, BUT I deserve to have at least one vice!  Yesterday morning I was in a rush at home and incredibly busy at work.  By late afternoon I had a headache that lasted all evening and was still there when I woke up, but this morning the cause was obvious.  I had had only had two cups of coffee before work, had left the second unfinished in the car, and had not had time for a cup of coffee from the cafeteria.   Caffeine withdrawal, of course.  After the first cup this morning my headache was gone, just like magic.  The magic of coffee.  The best medicine. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sibling Rivalry

We had a case of sibling rivalry last night.

Holly has a crate next to the puppy pen where she can go while I am cleaning the puppy box.  She had already taken her rubber chicken into the crate, to "mother" while away from her pups.  Holly had also taken the rubber chicken into the whelping box while she was in labor waiting for the real thing.

Yesterday Holly took the squeaky fish downstairs and carefully added it to the whelping box.  Ron figured that would be OK as he knew I would start adding toys to the box soon.  While fixing dinner we heard barking and growling from the basement and I dashed down to see what was going on - I assumed that Fernly or Josie and sneaked downstairs to see the pups and Holly was warning them off.

Nope.  Holly was "washing" the squeaky fish, while the other pups were crawling around the box and getting in her way.  She kept moving the toy, perhaps trying to get a response from it, and the pups kept following.  Every time they got too close to the rubber "puppy", she would bark and warn them away.  Of course they don't hear yet, and wouldn't understand the warning anyway. Wonder what was going through her spotted brain?   I removed the toy to return to the family room, and Holly settled down to clean and feed her furry pups.  Guess we'll hide the fish until the pups are older.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Puppy Names

Off to training today at the MNDOT Training Center.  Hope it's a worthwhile workshop, as my desk is covered with "must dos".  It's Audit Time, which makes things so much more hectic!  That means no coming home this noon to feel Holly and check the pups.  Ron can fill in for today.  I hate to miss that right now though, as the spots are coming through and the pups are changing so quickly!

Patterns are looking great on the pups and they have such beautiful faces.  Liver girl now has visible skin spotting too and it appears that she has big spots and an all over pattern too.  She looks to be the most open marked, but that may change a bit as the spotting is so much more obvious on the black puppies.  Several of the pups have exceptionally nice markings, none have messy marked faces, and none will be too dark, although one is a bit more colorful than the others.

This weekend I should start getting hearing responses.  Once I know the hearing status the pups will get their names - I've decided to use "coffee names".  Folgers, Sanka, Maxwell (house), etc.  This was my mother's suggestion.  I think we may have used coffee names once before, but that would have been many years ago. I like using a theme, and have gone through many many themes over the years!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Another Morning For Coral

Each morning when I go downstairs, I wonder if Coral will be having Another Morning . . .  Although I am not wishing her away, it would be my preference that she die peacefully in her sleep, either snug in her crate or laying on the sofa beside her beloved Ron.  Poor Coral is increasingly frail, and the combination of mammary tumors, chronic kidney failure, arthritis, and just plain old age are taking their toll, but with the help of pain killers she seems to be relatively comfortable.  At least I hope she is comfortable, but Coral is not a complainer, so I don't know really know that for sure.  Her large expressive eyes look sad, and I wish I knew what she was thinking and feeling . . .

Coral sleeps hard, but can still see and hear, and when I call her name she looks up and with a bit of effort struggles to her feet.  Another Morning.  She comes out of her crate walking stiffly, with her head down and her back arched, but when I talk to her she wags her tail, although her wag is very low now.  She waits for me to take her collar and I help her out the door and down the 2 porch steps, and walk her out to the dog yard, my hand still under her collar.  She appreciates the support, especially on the steps, and stumbles a few times as we walk.  I'll leave her outside for 10 minutes, although she wouldn't mind being out there longer.  The outdoor smells are one of the things she still relishes and she comes back to the house slowly, sniffing as we go.

Fortunately the other dogs are kind to her.  The boys sniff her a little, but stop when I ask them to, and surprisingly Fernly shows respect and gives Coral plenty of space.  Josie and Holly pretty much ignore her other than a simple greeting of nose touches.

Coral rests on the dog bed while I write this as the sofa is increasingly hard for her to conquer.  When Ron comes down he'll invite her up to sit with him on the sofa, and help her if necessary.  Later he'll walk her around the block if she still wants to go.  It takes them awhile, but Coral still looks forward to her walks, so she can sniff as she goes, and think about squirrels and rabbits and all the other interesting things she is still aware of.  She'll spend much of the day on the sofa, with frequent trips outdoors.

It's time to feed dogs, and so far Coral's appetite is fine and she still enjoys her meals.  Her weight is good and her coat is still nice.  When Coral stops eating we will re-evaluate the situation yet again, but for now it seems Coral is ready for Another Day, and will face it calmly and with grace.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Back To Work

Back to work.  Another four-day weekend is history, and unlike past years it didn't include any dog shows.  Didn't accomplish as much as I'd hoped, but did do the things that needed to be done, and actually relaxed a bit.  Relaxed!  Slept until 7:00 AM, didn't wash up or get dressed until after 10:00, listened to a couple of Linda Fairstein mysteries on the iPod while cleaning house and walking dogs, played on my computer, and had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with mom & Ron (eating out this year).  Took Argus and Fernly running several times, something that Fern especially appreciates, and admired the babies a lot!  Because I did a turkey yesterday we'll be doing leftovers all week.  Time to try out some of the recipes that I've been saving.

Holly now has a bed outside the whelping box, a big quilt that she can nest in.  She keeps the pups clean and fed, but decided that she'd had enough "togetherness" and needed to be able to get away.  She did take the rubber chicken to bed with her though!  If she was one of those bitches that carried her pups around she'd have a few pups with her, but thankfully she does not.  The whelping box under the heat lamp is a bit warm for Holly, and not "cozy" enough, so this works fine for all of us.

Fernly visited a couple of pet stores on Saturday and was so funny.  Because she's such a bugger about jumping up (just as Argus was as a pup), when people ask to pet her I request that they tell her to Sit and give her a cookie.  She added a hand shake to her routine, all on her own, and when they tell her to sit she does, and offers a paw.  Always gets her a laugh.

Back to work.  Gotta start budgeting my time again now.