Saturday, September 10, 2016

Just Checking In

Hello, there!  We are now four weeks post surgery and it seems Wally is doing beautifully, but the surgery vet will be the one to judge when Wally has his radiograph and exam at eight weeks.  In the photo below, Wally and LuLu are getting ready to go for a walk.  No, Wally is not being impolite.  That's his security spot.  I think he associates putting his harness on with going to the vet.  He hates going to the vet.  LuLu loves her harness and all that's associated with it, including going to the vet.  Here she's being sympathetic with Wally's feelings.
Wally is supposed to go for three to five 10 minute leash walks per day.  We judge how many walks he takes by how much time he's spent that day walking around the yard.  When we're outside, Wally and LuLu are outside following us everywhere.
Once we're out walking, Wally is perfectly happy with it.  We could tell they were getting bored with the same old walk, though, so now at least once a day we drive to a different spot for our walk.  New smells, new excitement.  Even though the walks are only 10 minutes, it sometimes seems like we're constantly out walking the dogs.
Just thought I'd share this photo, too.  We don't see a praying mantis here very often.  He/she would be a marvel of camouflage on a leafy plant, but here on the back of the house... not so much.
Hope your weekend is off to a good start.  I'm enjoying the approach of fall with cooler mornings, warm days, a different quality to the light -- all dappled and sparkly.  Some days feel like summer and some feel like fall.  I love it all.  Have a good day!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Better Every Day

On Day 7 post surgery Wally sang a song, so we knew he was feeling better.  Our little LuLu usually sings along with him in her sweet soprano voice, but it took her by surprise since it's been so long since Wally felt like singing.  She was walking around with a ball in her mouth so her song came out a little garbled, but it was beautiful nonetheless.  We were so happy to hear Wally singing and, boy, did we ever make a big fuss over both of them!
Just look at those happy faces:


It's good to see Wally smiling again.  He has such a sweet face.
The singing is always prefaced by a musical introduction on a squeaky toy.  It has to have a certain tone to warrant a sing-a-long, and when one squeaky toy wears out we go on a search for a new squeaky that sounds just right.
Later he did some break dancing.  There's nothing in the post op rules about break dancing.  That's when he rolls around and wiggles on his back and makes growly noises.

We allowed a teensy bit of tug o' war play time with LuLu, which was fine while Wally was laying down, but as soon as he stood up we put a stop to it.  It was fun while it lasted.

Wally even received a get well card:
It was a happy day!
It was such a happy day, in fact, that I felt like taking some flower photos.  First is my potted Coreopsis garden as seen from one of my kitchen windows.  I don't know if deer don't like coreopsis or if they just haven't found it yet.  They've certainly been browsing all around it.  The coreopsis have been in non-stop, profuse bloom since spring.
This pretty begonia surprised me by lasting the winter and coming back very nicely in the spring.  If it overwinters again I'll put it in a bigger pot and see how much it grows.  It's a gorgeous thing.
Pictured below is Lobelia cardinalis (or cardinal flower).  It's a perennial lobelia, tall, late blooming, fabulous red flower spikes and reddish foliage.  It's just starting to bloom, but it's covered with buds.  Here's the BEST thing:  deer don't like it!  The first time they encounter it in the garden they'll take a bite, say "ewww", and they won't touch it again.  That's been my experience.  It is labeled "deer resistant".
One last photo...  The orange wallflowers behind my adorable, sweet, precious, darling LuLu have been in bloom like this since early spring.  I've been planting long-blooming perennials in my pots the last couple of years.  Gee, the deer haven't touched these either.
Well, I'm off to hug on some Goldens and play in the garden.  Hope you have a very nice day!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Update on Wally

Hello!  Let me start off by saying thank you for all your care and well wishes and prayers for Wally.  He's now five days post surgery and doing quite well.  The first three days it was not easy to see him so down and, of course, we fussed and worried whether it was normal.  By the fourth day he had a little more perk to him.  On that day the vet called to check on him and assured us that it sounds like Wally is coming along exactly as he should.
In the photo above he's having his little 5 minute walk about.  He's supposed to be on a leash, but in close quarters we simply hover over him with a watchful eye.  You can see some redness at his incision site, which is actually dog-type bruising and to be expected.  There's a lot more of it on the inside edge of his leg.  You also see a lipoma (fatty lump) on his hip.  It's been there quite a while, but hardly visible when he has hair.  We'll have it removed if it gets too big and unsightly.
His surgery was a tibial plateau leveling osteotomy, meaning he has a fair-sized chunk of hardware in his knee to make it functional with three torn ligaments.  It was worse than expected, but he should recover full use of his leg.  There will be no running, jumping, or playing with LuLu for 8 weeks.  It requires constant vigilance and I imagine that will become more difficult as time goes on.  After the 8 week period we'll have to gradually increase his activity until he's up to full speed.
Wally is enjoying a little outside time whenever possible.  Here he is with his little buddy, LuLu, at the back gate.  I'm not sure why he likes to lay there because there's no view of anything but the garbage can, but it's a favorite spot.  He's laying on his surgery leg -- ouch!  Apparently that's okay.  LuLu stays close.
He chose to tuck himself into this seemingly difficult spot, sheesh.  Poor guy gets tired of the couch.  On Day 4 Rich lifted him into the back of the pick up (with canopy) and took him and LuLu for a short ride.  We'll have to somehow keep Wally from getting too bored and possibly depressed during this recovery period.  He's used to so much more activity and playtime.  LuLu's feeling the impact, too, so we have to give her special attention and exercise on her own.
When I brush Wally I always croon to him, "somebody must love Wally.  You gotta love a doggie an awful lot to want to brush him and comb him and take care of him like this".  That goes on and on during the brushing.  Well... somebody must love Wally, that's for sure, because he's sure getting a lot of care and attention and it's all given freely and happily.  It's all about Wally and LuLu and love love love!  Have a good day!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Our Wally's Having Surgery

Just thought you'd like to know.
Wally's had trouble with his left knee since he was about four months old.  Scared the dickens out of me the first time we came home from a romp in The Great Outdoors and he could barely get up after his nap.  I was certain it indicated hip dysplasia, my worst fear.  That's about the time it shows up if it's going to, from what I've heard.
Although he seemed fully recovered by the next morning, I took him to the vet for an exam and x-rays and found out his knee joint was a little loose.  No evidence of hip dysplasia.  Whew!  However, I was told his condition would probably worsen over time and he'd eventually have to have surgery.  Well, that time has come.
Halfway into his last run his knee went past the point of no return and he's not been able to put weight on it ever since.  He's been referred to a specialist and is scheduled for surgery next Thursday.
Don't let the photo above fool you, though.  It makes him look like an old dog, but at seven years young, Wally is very much just a big puppy.  He wants to wrestle and run and play and can't figure out why there's no longer any morning and evening bouncy ball.  Honestly, I'm glad the day for surgery has come while he's still got the spirit of youth in him.
Things have been pretty quiet around here.  No silly stuff, Wally.  Sorry.  I'll keep you posted.  Thanks for your time and your positive thoughts.

Saturday, July 30, 2016


It wouldn't be summer without a picture of a Swallowtail.  They're so beautiful.
This year I "caught" a Red Admiral sitting still long enough to get a photo, too.   They're very elusive and fluttery, so I had to be quick.  Not the greatest photo, but I was happy even for this.
Pictured below are two of my problems in the garden.  These are both three point bucks who've grown up munching on my garden.  I also have a doe and two spotted fawns this year.  This photo was taken in the evening from my kitchen window so, again, not such good quality.
The deer will also eat the bird seed from the hopper feeder.  I couldn't figure out why the seed would disappear overnight after I'd just filled it, but on the day this photo was taken I had just filled the feeder and it was empty immediately after their visit.  Now I only put a scoop at a time in there.
And check out the action below:
Another kitchen window photo.  Well, kitties have to drink, too.  I've done what I can to keep the feeders out of harm's way, but there's only so much I can do.   The birds sound the alarm when one of the neighborhood cats come around, so I always know when they're out there.  Only two of them seem to enjoy bird watching (ahem).  Feeders or no feeders, cats and birds will do what cats and birds do.  I love all the critters so I bear them no ill will, despite how it would hurt my heart should the unthinkable happen.
It would be quite another story if any critter -- four legged, two legged, winged, or slithering -- ever threatened one of my children.  No more Mrs. Nice Guy.
That's my sweet LuLu, and she wouldn't harm a fly.  Well, maybe a fly...
Have a beautiful day!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Peaceful Garden (Till the Jays Arrived)

The jays arrived with a flourish on July 18.  They didn't stay long, but they'll be back.  We always have jays in the summer.  I don't know about all jays, but these Stellar's Jays are a noisy bunch.  They sure raised a ruckus while they were here.

Doves are much quieter and gentler.  See him there in the bird bath?  I highly recommend clicking to see all photos enlarged in a light box.

Meanwhile, in the rest of the garden...  Hydrangea:


Daylily and Coreopsis:

Veronica and Wallflower:

My sweetest boy:

Astilbe which the deer ate after this photo was taken:

A wider view, upper walk, south side:

Our temperatures have been staying right around 70, so you know where I've been -- right out there in the garden.  Have a beautiful day!

 --  Leslie

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Welcome to My Golden Retriever Bubble

Welcome to my Golden Retriever bubble.  It's safe here and the weather's fine.  I hope you don't mind a little step back in time a few months.  I should have shared these photos back in early December when they were taken, but better late than never.  At the time I was wanting a fall photo for the calendar and I thought this setting was pretty and colorful, so I wouldn't let Rich rake the leaves until after we'd had a nice, dry day for a photo shoot.  I ended up with almost too many to choose from, but here are a few:

All you need to do is turn on the news to know why our bubble is a nice place to be.  Here is not the place to dwell on the negative.  Here is where we find happiness and comfort.  I just wanted to invite you in and share some of that.

  --  Leslie

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Just Hanging Around

Hey, there!  Just a few photos of everyday things.  Most of our summer is spent hanging around the house and garden.  My Rich has become more of a homebody, and it's always been my favorite place, too.  Diversions and side trips are nice, but I love to come home.

Dragonfly with a damaged wing hanging onto a daylily bud.

LuLu hanging out in the garden.

Impatiens hanging in the shade of the cherry tree.

Chestnut Backed Chickadee hanging on the seed cake feeder.

Wally chillin' in the shade.

Hope you're having a perfect day!
  --  Leslie

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A Day at the Park

Thank you, my friends, for a nice welcome back to Goldens and Garden.  It's good to know there are still a few who enjoy visiting, and I appreciate every one of your comments.  I replied to one email response that I like having this place as an online scrapbook of sorts as it's so easy to browse through and see the history, remember good times, and be reminded of the beauty around me.  Since some like to see the dogs and garden on my stamping blog, too, I'll probably mix it up a bit  I sure hope you'll come along when you can.  So, let's get going, shall we?

For a change of pace my friend and I had a picnic lunch at one of our city parks.  No wet dogs.  Just us girls.  I'd be hard pressed to explain to Wally and LuLu why they couldn't jump in the pond...

... or interact with the wildlife.

We had a beautiful walk on a beautiful day.

Just look at this poor little sad-sack LuLu who got left behind:

Poor baby.  Next time, LuLu.  I promise.  Have a happy day and come back soon, won't you?

  --  Leslie