Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Scribble Picnic: Watering Cans...Old Man Winter...Jack Is Better! 🐢🐢

Today's theme for Michael's Scribble Picnic is Watering Cans. My watercolour today is the result of water coming out of the can and splashing down! :) This was very therapeutic to paint! :) (Follow the link to see more beautiful art, or to join in!!)

I took a more realistic approach for my drawings! Bugs is at it again, poor Daffy! :) I want a gardening hat just like the one Bugs is wearing!

Just for fun :) I had to work in some kind of creepiness, I've been lacking on the creepy-scale lately...😱

I saw this image online...ain't it the truth? ;)

I woke up to knee-deep snow this morning...sigh...I had to shovel some paths before I could take Jack out or he would have sunk!

"The Big House"...this is where Jack is living for the next 3 weeks! He's doing so much better...very eager to jump around though he's not allowed to anymore. Marlene sleeps right in front of the cage to protect her big brother.

Guess what? That vet who caused all of our stress doesn't work at the vet clinic anymore. I'll leave you to your own opinions about that.

We had our first fresh lettuce last night on chicken's been since September since we had some! It was so delicious, I can't wait to eat some more. I planted four more pots with hope that they will continue to grow well. As soon as the weather is warm, end of May, I'll plant even more outside and hopefully they'll grow nice and big!

Our Easter dinner was nice and easy. Easy is what I need these days. Crepe Roll-Ups with smoked salmon, ham and cilantro cream cheese with home grown cilantro! I also made a Blue Cheese Dip, which was heavy on the Blue, but missing some chives for flavour. I just can't bring myself to picking the ONE chive that is growing in the pot!

Dessert was Italian Cheesecake made with my Ricotta. This dessert is so light, we could eat this every week!

You know how I know that Jack is better? He's "eating" his ears again. I took a 30 second video last night of him doing that. I love this hound so much!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Jack Update and Some Food Stuff

Happy Easter to those who celebrate! :) I'm not a religious person, but I do love to celebrate holidays for the fun and the food. I made some construction paper Easter baskets this morning to hold our chocolate Kisses. :)

Jack is doing so much better today. He hasn't howled in pain once, his panting and trembling stopped too. He's eating well. But he's not out of the woods yet, he must stay in his cage for another 28 days, only coming out to pee and poop. Alex built a ramp for Jack so he could manage the 4 steps down to the yard. It's on hinges so we can lift it up and secure it if it rains or snows. Here is a little animation I took of him climbing it:

You can see that his tail is very low between his legs, this could be due to a herniated disc. I have something to report about the medication he was taking. It's a bit of a rant but also a warning.

I will try to make this brief. These are the two pain killers prescribed to Jack...on two different visits by two different vets. I know they can't work miracles...but they did NOT tell us everything about side effects. Both of these medications are known to cause trembling and panting in dogs. The one on the right, Tramadol, is worse. We stopped giving Jack the Tramadol this past Wednesday but the symptoms continued...actually got worse with him howling even more and "crying" in pain. On Thursday, his panting, trembling and howling lasted SIXTEEN hours straight before he passed out. The vet INSISTED that the Gabapentin wasn't the cause of this and that taking him off it would be bad for him. She also said that he needs to keep taking it for the full  month. 

We decided to cut his dose by a third on Thursday night. thinking that maybe it was too much for him; but his pain continued. At that point we stopped the Gabapentin completely and guess what miraculously happened? No panting, no trembling, no more howling, no more "crying" in pain.

I was reading cookbooks to Jack all day Friday. We both decided on onion soup for dinner. :)

Since it's a long weekend, I have not informed the vet yet that she was wrong about the Gabapentin. We have a 24 hour emergency clinic here, near Montreal. I decided to call to speak to one of their technicians who confirmed my suspicions. She also gave me much more information on the anti-biotic he's taking in the case that he has a stomach infection. I am not sure I can step foot into that local vet clinic ever again...the trust is gone. Why don't they listen with an open mind? We observe Jack 24 hours a, we didn't go to vet school, but I'm just shocked by all of this. If we had followed her instructions, Jack would have been in constant pain for a month. The tech at the emergency clinic said we did the best thing because all the pain that the Gabapentin was causing, also caused him anxiety and he couldn't rest properly which would have made his healing time worse. We are considering a holistic vet from now on, despite the cost. I've had such trouble with vets...and btw, I know some of my Blogger friends are in the field, or were...this is not a slight on you, I am just reporting my own experience.

I'm devastated that I was giving Jack medication that was making him hurt so much that I can barely handle it. He needed me to help him take the pain away and I was making it worse by believing what the vet was saying without doubting her. My instincts were right. I'm so sorry my little Jack. :(

I spent yesterday drawing while watching over him. Please always ask questions, YOU usually know best about your own pet's behaviour and comfort. Not to say that you should abandon veterinary medicine altogether or be distrustful at the get-go, but do some research and get a second opinion if you can! 

Not only are the Zinnias blooming, my Nasturtium decided to bloom just in time for Easter. :) Now let's talk about food real quick!

Jack's Onion Soup (formerly French Onion Soup)!! :) Alex is still sleeping as I type this, we've been on shifts watching over Jack and Alex has only been to bed around 5am for the last week. But last night I can say I got the best sleep of my life! :)

For the first time in a very long time, I made some cheese! Just a Quick Mozzarella for our pizza - notice the bite marks? I HAD to test it!! ;) It felt good to be at the cheese making again. I stopped for a while due to Cheddar fails and then with doggie issues. I hope to get back to it soon and re-ignite my cheese making blog!

For my weekly food challenge, I tried a new recipe. Cinnamon Crunch Knots.

I made 12 yesterday, there is ONE left lol...they are SO good!! These are actually made with pizza dough and it works wonderfully, they remind me of donuts a little bit. I may try to add some apple next time too. Very easy recipe, you should try it! :) 

Jack asked me to thank all of my friends for their love, support and care over the last week. He feels the love and he promises to rest up and get better soon! :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Jack and an Egg Hunt

Hi Everyone,

Today's theme for the Scribble Picnic is Egg Hunt. (follow the link for more eggie goodness!)

I tried something different today with my watercolours. I cut out a stencil with a very dull Exacto knife...note to self...get new blades...then taped the stencil on my paper and used my watercolour pencils first to colour it in...then applied some water to soften it up. I did the same for the rabbit, I really like the effect!

Good old Daffy desperate to always outdo Bugs, he'll even dress up as an egg! :)

More watercolours! These eggs think they're hiding under the lemon tree...but they're not so stealthy. :)

My little Jack-rabbit...Sunday night, something happened to Jack - we have no idea what. He was howling in pain for hours...our hearts were breaking because we couldn't do anything (again) until Monday morning when the vet opened. We brought him in and the vet was stumped. X-rays showed no broken bones, no spinal damage and no blockages in his stomach or intestine. He seemed to have pain in his right hind leg. He was put on pain killers.

Tuesday morning he slipped on the snow and omg...he yelped and howled...we rushed him back to the vet and this time she saw a "neurological deficiency" in his right hind leg which could mean a herniated disc or some inflammation around one of his vertebrae. She told us he would need bed rest for a month, no jumping up on the bed and no playing. We think maybe one of the 4 other big dogs may have jumped on him or stepped on him...there is no way to know for sure. 

Our savings are sapped from all the vet bills lately. But that is the cost of being a pet owner isn't it? Sometimes it all comes in one shot! Today I'm going to take an old towel and sew him a support-harness to help him up and down the stairs. We can't carry him because of the potential inflammation so I think this will be a good solution. He's on a pain killer and another medication to help with the deficiency. The diagnosis is good, but it takes time for the healing process. Thank you to everyone who sent me their prayers and healing energy! :)

When we got home last night, I made us a nice diner meal of breaded chicken burgers, fries and ice cream sodas. Comfort food to comfort us! :) Alex and I hadn't slept since Saturday night, but we passed out last night. This was such a test on my emotions, we both felt so helpless. But at least the news is good, and if Jack's deficiency can't be cured, then he will take meds long term to help with his mobility and we will get busy building various ramps so he can still cuddle with us on the couches and the bed. We will do anything to help our pets, we love them so much!

Good news from the window garden! Look at my lettuce growing! I hope we can have a good salad in about a month or so. I'll be succession planting lettuce from now on so we always have some on hand. It's been too long since we had a nice fresh salad.

Look at this :) The zinnias that I planted on February 2nd are blooming. This warms my heart today.  Every time I look at Jack, my eyes fill with tears. Every pet owner knows that pain. We were terrified as we waited for the X-rays. All we could think about was that we've only had little Jack for two and a half years, and we were not ready to let go yet. I have to try to get back to normal, he needs me strong! :)

Sunday, March 25, 2018

March - Out Like A Lion - Booo! Hissss!

I will say it again...March CANNOT be trusted!!! I fall for the "March Tease" every year with milder weather and lots of sunshine...then it ends in a fury. I guess it's my hope that seeing my own shadow on Groundhog Day somehow meant the opposite of all the folklore out there! :)

The good news is that the daytime temperatures will mostly reach above freezing so hopefully the 50cm or so of predicted snow will melt off gradually but definitely. I'm just hoping I don't have to take the car out because I refuse to shovel anymore...if I have to drive, I'm just revving up and plowing right through it!

Pavlov and Charlie eyeing a squirrel

Alex did shovel a little...he had to dig under about two feet of snow and ice for the dog tie-out stake he put into the ground last summer. It's been so sunny and mild in the daytime that I wanted to take advantage and let the dogs out on their ropes. Our errant husky issue seems to have solved itself. The trap has been empty the whole week, no sign of the loose dog, so we felt comfy letting the pack out to enjoy the sunshine.

Marlene and Charlie spying on the loud, annoying, snowmobiling weekenders

The huskies and Pavlov love to be in the snow, they always find something interesting to keep their attention!

Jack and Stella soaking up some rays

The hounds however, prefer to be comfy and warm in the sun on my porch. I had my lovely Canon camera around my neck all day, walking around the yard in my big cozy robe and outback hat on! Who needs to get dressed??? ;)

Every week I challenge myself to a new recipe and post about it on Sundays. Here is the latest: Shaker Orange Pie.

This was really easy to make and delicious, orange rinds and all! They got very chewy and candied in the baking process. The colours were pretty darn cheerful too! Hope you're having a nice Sunday!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Took Out The Camera This Morning

One of my goals this year is to start using my Canon camera much more. I used to have my old Panasonic Lumix camera velcroed around my neck. I've gotten lazy with the phone camera...I think a lot of us have because it's more convenient. But nothing beats a real zoom lens on a good camera! I took this photo from my office as the Blue Jays fed on the sunflower seeds. The glare on my window shows you how sunny it is today!

This little fella waits for me every morning in the tree just above the feeder. He watches quietly as I take each dog out then as I fill up the feeder, he chirps with delight! Another photo through the window. I'm going to make more of an effort to sit outside in the mornings to get better shots of the visitors at the feeder!

My Blogger friend Wisps of Words asked if people would share photos of their kitchens. Some Bloggers have such nice kitchens...oh I wish!!! Mine is the size of a cubicle lol...but I pack plenty of cooking and baking into it! This is the view from my office, not much room huh?

You're all recognize this view, from the "breakfast bar" area. This is where we eat and I photograph all of my foodie shots. When we look for our home to buy, a bigger kitchen is on the wish list. I have a little window that also gets lots of sun. The cats were using it as a viewing area, but I've decided some shelves are going up there for more seedlings.

We have a winner! :) I'm so sorry it took this long for me to announce the winner of my Dom Deluise cookbook giveaway! Cleaning and shopping got in the way! I'm happy to announce that of the ten or so people who entered, Martha's number was picked! Congratulations Martha!! (See Martha's wonderful blogs: Plowing Through Life, Miniaturopolis and The Gateway to Enlightenment)

I'll leave you with some nice closeups of the eight fur-babies, have a great Saturday my friends!! :)