Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Simple Life, Before Grover (B.G.)

Okay, pretty darn cute, right? And my life has changed for sure, for the better. But as my mother could have predicted, it hasn't been easy. This is sweet Grover, approximately four years old, an american cocker spaniel neutered male with a docked tail (which is why we know he's purebred). I adopted him in March from a wonderful rescue organization in Queens, NY. http://www.nyabandonedangels.com/

I've been wanting my own dog since I graduated from college, but I never thought it was fair to the dog when I worked full-time and spent 2-4 hours in the car commuting every day to work. Now that I'm lucky enough to work from home a lot, I made the decision that it was time to get a dog. I wanted a cocker because we had them growing up, and I also like their temperament and size. I also thought a dog would be a lot easier than a puppy. Start with a dog and if I don't kill him, maybe I'll get a puppy next time!

When I contacted AACSR, they set me up with an in-home visit for approval and then had me assigned to Jennifer to help find me the perfect dog. Though my requirements were quite simple but seemingly impossible to find (aka a dog with no problems whatsoever) it didn't take her long to find Grover. On paper he seemed perfect.

Grover was found as a stray in December 2016, matted and flea-infested, and very skinny (he's gained over 10 pounds since then!). I don't know much about him, other than he's trained in the basics, especially well house-trained, and is sweet and happy and grateful at every turn. He especially loves people, more than dogs, and especially more than cats – which is a bit of a problem at home. And he loves going on walks.

Grover on the day we met, waiting to go to his new home.
Cherry eye, before surgery.
After eye surgery, in healing mode.

The only known health issue at the time was his cherry eye, aka nictitans gland prolapse, or prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid. I believe all dogs have third eyelids, where a tear gland is located. The rescue league was going to fix the eyes before I adopted him but I didn't agree with their vet's solution to the problem, so I took him home and found a specialist who could do the delicate surgery at my own cost (ka-ching! ka-ching!).

Days prior to his surgery though, Grover suffered a grand mal seizure or a fainting (scary as all hell to witness) and off to the emergency clinic we went. He was hospitalized overnight for observation. This delayed his eye surgery a bit, but with a little time and luck and no more seizures, in a month he had his surgery and his eyes were on the mend. Doesn't Grover look handsome with his new eyes? Just don't ask him to smile!

Fast forward to August, wherein I decided to groom him myself with a new pair of dog trimmers. Save a little money? Bond with Grover? I thought I did an okay job, although admittedly I got a little close on his neck and it was a little pink, but I didn't think overly so. This was last Sunday. He was fine for a few days until he developed a hot spot under his chin, about the size of a deck of cards, and hard as a rock. I immediately took him to the vet, where he was given antibiotics, and I, no judgment.

After grooming and a warm bath and coconut oil moisturizer.
Scab rolling over onto itself, oozing top and bottom.
Sunday, on the way home from emergency care with the dreaded cone.
Despite the antibiotics, Grover managed to scratch his way to a new sore, above the scab, and he also started to hide from me. So off we go to the emergency clinic again. Over three hours later he appeared with the scab removed, a fresh, but sore-looking neck, a cone, and another prescription for steroids/antihistamines to accompany the antibiotics already prescribed.

As we settled back into our day at home, Grover whining in pain, he had a mild seizure. Sigh.

A day later I knew he was feeling a little bit better since he started growling at Jake (his feline arch nemesis). With some luck and training, Grover does not go upstairs anymore. The cats eat and do all their business upstairs, while Grover enjoys the downstairs and the outside. Lucy, Jake's timid sister, hasn't stepped onto the first floor more than a couple of times since March. I'm really hoping this improves over time.

However, probably because Grover's not feeling well, he has decided he doesn't want to sleep alone and he barks, whines, and then howls until I come downstairs and sleep with him on the couch – which I've done for the last two nights. It's a little tough when you have to get up at 5am for work, but since this is ALL MY FAULT, how can I not?

So, why am I documenting this when I have so many other things to post? I want to remember all this when I think of getting my NEXT dog. Grover's been great and I wouldn't change a thing, but it is a commitment for sure, both in time and money. Thank goodness I'm not having to pay for college!

Friday, December 9, 2016

It's been awhile since you've heard from me...

It's been so long since I've posted anything it feels foreign to me to write in this space. I'd like to be able to get back to writing again and sharing with you some recent stories and whatever is on my mind.

I'm going to try and avoid talking about the events of November 8. As my birthday fell on the following day – it was a sad day – and one to remember for sure. That's all I'll say about that.

I'll post a few photos to start.

These are the looks
I get when Jake
and Lucy want
my attention.

This happens usually around dinnertime or bedtime.

I'll let you guess who wants what.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Yogi Berra: The future ain't what it used to be

I was saddened to hear 
about the death of Yogi Berra.
He was a NY baseball icon
from another era.

Though I couldn't shake off,
my ever-increasing smile. 
Memories of teasing brothers,
when we lived on Miles.

I can't remember if Yogi, 
was coaching or playing,
at the time my brothers teased me
by repeatedly saying:

"If I married Yogi Berra, 
my name would be Sarah Berra."

- RIP to the MVP

Monday, August 24, 2015

My Recent Fascination with the Amish

I recently made a trip to Chicago for business purposes. Since one quarter of my family tree stems from Chicago, I decided to take a little vacation before and after the work part of the trip to focus on genealogy research. Stay tuned for more postings on this blog, with some of my newest discoveries. It's very exciting!

This particular photo, however, has no relation to my family. 

I was driving in Indiana and I came across an Amish settlement and was captivated. I'd only read about the Amish, or seen them in movies or, at worst, referred to in several reality television shows. But after driving around for several miles swerving in and out of dozens of buggies, all I wanted to do was read/know about them more. I devoured the PBS series on my iPad in the evenings on my trip, along with other documentaries, blogs, and Lifetime movies – till I was fully satiated. 

Though it's a complicated religion, I do admire their intent to simplify. One of the themes of my business trip was essentialism, and in retrospect, my extra-curricular study of the Amish fit in most appropriately. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Edwin R. Ambrose Whaling Research Papers

My dad would be tickled that you can google his name and up comes a link to his unpublished research on whaling. Here he leaves the legacy of his passion, even if his work was unfinished.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

All Time 10 Best Songs

Random clipping from my parent's files. Most is in my mother's handwriting, but I see dad's there too.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Photo of the Day: Old MacDonald's Farm

For many summers, my family visited Old MacDonald's Farm on the Darien/Norwalk border. This "farm" began operating in 1955, and closed in 1979.  The farm consisted of a restaurant, general store, bakery, a large petting zoo, and an amusement park. I remember they made the most awesome cinnamon donut holes! Here I am standing up in my stroller trying to get a closer look at the ducks, next to my two brothers and my mom. I really loved this place and even worked there one summer in high school, managing the general store. 

You can find more information/photos on Old MacDonald's Farm here: https://othemts.wordpress.com/2009/07/17/old-macdonalds-farm/

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Oh No, It's Almost Summer!

And I haven't done the change of my wardrobe!

I promise after that is done next week, I will begin posting regularly again. It's been a crazy, hectic, and unsettling year, and I miss posting regularly to this blog. I have many more family stories to post and photos to share. I hope you come back. I am committed to posting at least once a week.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Photo of the Day: Luna Park, Pittsburgh

General market in downtown Pittsburgh, circa 1900-1910. © Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Photo of the Day: Frances Steiner

Thanks to a distant relative that I met through Ancestry.com, Bonnie Chaffee, I have this wonderful photo of my great, great, great grandmother, Frances (Frannie) Koomer Steiner (Bonnie and I both share Frannie as our 3x great grandmother). Frannie was born on April 26, 1818, in Switzerland and married Johan Jacob Steiner when she was only 17. They had a few children, moved to Pennsylvania, and had a few more – ten children in all. She died when she was 71, on April 11, 1889, seven years before Johan. Thanks, Bonnie, for sharing such a wonderful photo with Louisa's ancestors!