Monday, September 27, 2010

Drop It!

Duke and I were out for a walk this morning. When I wasn’t scouring the ground in front of us (like here when I was in a clean parking lot), I tried to look-up and observe the fall colors. (Picture snapped this morning while walking Duke).

The fun never ends with Duke. He had another mushroom incident Sunday. It was not nearly severe as the prior weekend – no Saturday night trip to the vet.

I’ve stopped feeling guilty about these his food-induced sickness because we watch him like a hawk. We accompany him any time he is out of doors. We seldom trust him to the kids anymore – though the Dude is pretty good with the “Drop It!” command. Anytime we let him out to do his thing, Shana or I follow close behind Duke barking out (no pun intended) commands to “DROP IT!” whenever he picks up something. He responds well to the “drop it” command. In fact, he only responds when I call his name about 25% of the time (more for Shana). The neighbors must think we are mean, cruel – or hopefully – only odd – walking along behind an old dog yelling “drop it” every 10 seconds.

At times, I wonder about the quality of his life. Anytime he is walking off road, he has his nose to the ground looking for dog poop, goose poop, mushrooms, wood chips, or whatever he “needs”. I implore him, “Duke look up, sniff the air, and see the sunshine!” But, in the end, he’s just a dog.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Windy Walk, and Duke Update

In today’s scene from the walking path the artistic blur on the trees and grasses is provided courtesy of the wind. I’ve been a regular walking maniac – making it out onto the path the past two Fridays! It’s been months since I could be counted on to walk daily. Oh well, I make the best of it.

I have to walk on my own, as Duke has kind of given up on regular walking. Some days he goes “far” – maybe a mile or so, but other days he walks about a block and just digs in his heels. That’s his way of saying, “Time to go home buddy.”

I shouldn’t complain about Duke’s fading interest in walking. Rather I should be happy and/or amazed he is still alive. Last Saturday he got into something, probably the “wrong” kind of mushroom, and got very ill. He looked a wreck and we decided we should take him to the vet. Dr. Stefan poked and prodded, drew blood (which confirmed he was dehydrated), took x-rays, and provided some IV fluids. In the end, no blockage or other nasty trouble was found.

The good news was that the rocks were gone. What rocks you ask? Well – I guess I haven’t been blogging much have I.

A few weeks (or was it months) ago, during another round of Duke drama when he ingested a great deal of stuff, x-rays showed that he had some sort of pebbles or small rocks in his stomach. They weren’t coming out via the usual channels, but didn’t appear to be causing any trouble. Well – now they are gone. Where did they go? They probably dissolved. I don’t know about the cats, but Duke certainly has nine lives.

Other highlights?

We are back in full school mode, complete with all the extracurricular activities one would expect. New this year, Minnesota Boychoir for the Dude. Last night was the first rehearsal.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Back At It

It was back to school this week - and even though it was a very busy summer work-wise, it feels like "back to work" week as well. Let's try to add to that list of "back-to" activities with "back to blogging".

Here's a picture I snapped this morning while walking Duke. It's the gate to the community garden at the Falcon Heights Community Park.