Saturday, February 27, 2010

I wonder if this will work

I have never posted from my iPhone. I hope this works. As far as I know Darby and Bonnie are still alive and well and they haven't driven Glenn crazy--yet.

Nico's mom and dad in DC for comedy show staring Seinfeld. eika and I are in bed reading and Nico is curled up on the floor next to us. Cozy!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Guess who I'm going to visit?!

I'm going to visit Erika--and my niece, nephew and their dog Nico--in Virginia.

I'll try to update the blog--it is Darby's "daily" after all, but don't know if I will manage to do so.

Pray for Glenn. He will be taking care of Darby, Bonnie and Harry.

On second thought, maybe I ought to ask you to pray for Darby, Bonnie and Harry!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Girl

I like this girl-dog of mine.

I never get tired of looking at her--her colors, her strange ears and even stranger legs and feet.

I like her a lot.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Blow Drier

When Darby was a tiny pup, she was afraid of my blow drier.

To entice her to come close and--hopefully--learn that there was nothing to be afraid of, I started with a "cookie trail" coming from our bedroom into the bathroom.  (The "cookies" were little bits of dried liver treat.)

Carefully, carefully, I got her to the point where she would grab a treat right off the barrel of the hair drier while it was running!

But, I created a monster!  I should have quit with the treats a long time ago, because now she expects them whenever I open the drawer where I keep my hair drier.  And, Bonnie expects them, too.

Here they are.  Waiting.  (Note the cord from my hair drier.)

 

P.S.  I've noticed something that I'm going to continue to observe to see if it is real or only coincidence.  It appears that when both dogs are with me, Bonnie always stands on my right side and Darby always stands on my left.  I just watched them in the backyard and if I threw the ball for Bonnie to my right, she brought it back to me on my right.  If I threw it to the left, she still brought it back to me on my right.  Darby did the same thing--but on my left.  If I threw the ball for Bonnie to my left and Darby to the right, they crossed over each other when they brought the balls back--Bonnie to my right and Darby to my left.  I find that interesting, although it probably means absolutely nothing!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Not fair!

 
  
 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Keeping their feet dry

I've commented before about watching Darby run across the grass to retrieve a ball, and then run over to the stone path and run back to me along the stones -- seemingly to keep her feet off the wet grass as much as possible. Our old dogs did this, too -- it always seemed funny to me to see them using the stone path instead of a shorter walk across the grass. 

Yesterday, I watched both Darby and Bonnie walk very, very carefully -- like on a tightrope -- along the bricks that separate the grass and the back planter ... again seemingly to keep off the wet grass.

 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Skin deep

In the last month or so, we've had a bit of a scare with our Darby-girl. Shortly after Christmas, I noticed that she was drinking enormous amounts of water--so much that she couldn't hold it and would have accidents in the house multiple times a day. It took awhile for me to figure out what was going on, because I never saw an accident "in progress" -- only found these strange puddles of clear liquid on the floor in several places. Then, one day, I noticed a puddle with a trail of drops leading to it and away from it and it was right in the hallway that Darby had used just moments before. If you're squeamish, don't read that I grabbed Darby and Bonnie and did bottom checks, and sure enough--Darby's was wet! So, I started watching her and found that she was indeed the culprit. She was drinking so much water, so often that the urine was colorless and odorless--and there was lots of it!

I started doing Google searches to see what might be causing the problem: could it be the new food I was gradually switching her over to? could it be a nervous reaction to sharing her house with Bonnie? My search turned up nothing good--and many warnings to take the dog to the vet right away, which I did.

The next day the vet called to say that her urine test indicated no infection and that her kidney and liver function were fine as well. But the level of calcium in her blood was way too high--higher even than the higher-than-adults level that is sometimes normal for a growing puppy, high enough to have a name: "hypercalcemia" and high enough to indicate something very serious like Addison's disease, or potentially fatal like lymphoma.

As you can imagine, I was crushed! My sweet (most of the time) puppy might not make it to her first birthday! Emails flew between Darby's breeder and me who assured me that the things we were looking for simply didn't exist in the lines she and her partner had been breeding all these years. I never for a moment thought this was a breeding problem, but was desperate to find some explanation and hoped that Leda, who had been around Cardigans for so long, might have one. But, all she could offer was good thoughts for us and she offered a lot of those.

To make a long story short, we did more blood tests to confirm the first results and to help diagnose possible causes, x-rays and ultrasound to rule out tumors, and follow up blood tests. While all this was going on and we were waiting for results to come back from blood sent to Michigan State for analysis, it seemed to me that Darby was gradually cutting back on the excessive drinking and was having fewer and fewer accidents in the house.  I pointed this out to our vet and to the internist specialist who was also taking care of Darby.  I know they thought it was just wishful thinking on my part, but they indulged me by doing another blood test--which was perfectly NORMAL! Of course, we had to do another test to make sure THAT one was accurate and it was!  And then we followed it up two weeks later with another test, the results of which came back just yesterday. NORMAL. COMPLETELY NORMAL!

YAY!

A few years ago, three less-than-a-year-old puppies were treated for hypercalcemia by veterinarians in Florida. The cause was never found and the puppies went on to live normal lives.  Both of Darby's doctors suggest we may never know what Darby had, but everything points to it being gone!  And I hope it stays that way!

All of this was going on with the backdrop of the misery caused by the earthquake in Haiti.   I learned how sad, helpless and guilty a person can feel when thinking about the excellent care a dog was getting when human beings, babies, even, went without even the most basic care.

I learned a lot about blood chemistry, what happens when a chemical or mineral in a dog's--or a human being's--blood gets out of whack.

I learned how much this rotten little dog has twisted herself around my heart in the last several months and how hard it was to think about my life without her.

I also learned, as a result of her belly being shaved prior to the ultrasound, that Darby's brindle pattern is skin deep--not just in her hair.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Randomness

You probably know this, but in the blog world Wednesdays are called "Random Wednesdays" and blog entries posted that day are often just that--random; random stuff that didn't work its way into dedicated posts earlier in the week, but is too good to just ignore.

Well, today is Random Friday here at Darby's Daily.   Here are a few random photos from yesterday:

Every morning and evening, a HUGE number of pesky, noisy crows caw-caw their way over our house on their way from and to the avocado groves across the canyon from us where they roost at night.  Yesterday a bunch decided to stop in our cottonwood tree. (I only caught a few in this photo.)
 
There weren't there long before Darby and Bonnie decided they shouldn't be there and ran barking at the tree.  Off they went!
  

It is rare, but every now and then, Darby gets the better of Bonnie and pins Bonnie on her back. I happened to catch a photo of it yesterday:
  

The ends. (I think they are so cute--coming and going!)
 

Photos from Darby's first day

OK--so I probably should be waiting until May to drag out the "when Darby first came to live with us photos" but I don't have any current blog fodder so I started looking through my photo archive.

Here are two really cute photos from her first day with us. (Note that Mr. Greenbean was here from the start.)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A rare victory

It's rare that Darby has possession of a ball when Bonnie doesn't have one, too.


When she does have one, as in this photo, she guards it very carefully--but also seems to tease Bonnie with it just a bit.

Wish I understood canine body language a little better. I need to re-read Patricia McConnell's books. A recent post on her blog talks about play styles of dogs. You can read about it here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mr. Greenbean

Mr. Greenbean came with Darby when she made the long, long plane trip from Mountain Home, Arkansas to El Cajon, California.
 

That Leda sure knows how to pick a lovey that a puppy will like!  Darby is not particularly tough on any of her stuffed toys, but Mr. Greenbean seems sacred. She NEVER takes him out of her sleeping crate -- see him right there by the door? (don't notice that her sleeping crate fleece needs to be washed!)

 

And while she must play with him, or at least lay her head on him at night (as evidenced by the dried drool on him!) otherwise he is as good as the day he and Darby arrived all those months ago.

Darby must love Mr. Greenbean a lot--maybe he reminds her of her first home with her mom, siblings and Leda.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I'm waiting...


P.S. Contact paper daisies are on the (filthy-with-dog-prints) glass door to remind them the glass is a solid surface.  Darby bonked head-on into the screen door shortly after she came to live with us and fearing a pup with a broken neck, I put decals on the screen door and the glass door.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, dear Bonnie!

Today is Bonnie's 6th birthday!

Here she is around 9 weeks old.  Look at those ears!

 

Awwww!  Wasn't she cute? 
  

I know Erika is sad to be away from Bonnie on her birthday.*   So, Glenn, Darby and I will help Bonnie celebrate  with something real yummy!

Happy Birthday Granddaughter dog!

* (Happily, Christian was able to fly out to Virginia to spend the long weekend with Erika.  They'll be together on their first Valentine's Day as a married couple and Erika will, no doubt, show Christian all around Fredericksburg and Bethesda and points in between.)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pink tongue

I like how the light is shining on (or through?) Bonnie's tongue. An otherwise crummy photo, but I like the tongue!


P.S. If you haven't already, go check out Darby's brothers' blogs here and here. When you go to Buddy's blog take a look at his ears! His human says they are no bigger than Buddy's friend Luke's, but it sure seems to me like Darby and Buddy have HUGE ears. The photos of Sammy show big ears, but, somehow not as big as Darby's and Buddy's. Maybe it's something in California water...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Day or night

Day or night.

We don't care.

We love to play ball.

So throw that ball you are teasing me with!

THROWTHEBALLTHROWTHEBALLTHROWTHEBALL!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Brown eyes

I love brown eyes.

Especially Darby's.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Neener neener!

Neener neener!
 
You can't stop me!
 

P.S.  Terrible photos, I know.  But sometimes, when they are doing something fun,  all I have with me is my phone!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

Look what Erika saw outside her window!

I've never seen a cardinal in real life before. But, Erika has -- as of this last weekend when this one showed up after that big snow storm on the East Coast.

One on each foot

It isn't easy getting ready in the morning with a dog on each foot.


Mine with her chin on my left foot, and Erika's with her rear-end on my right foot! (And a stuffed toy underfoot for good measure.)

P.S. Please pretend you didn't see my sexy nightwear--LL Bean flannel hunting dog print jammies and boiled-wool slippers!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

I wonder what Darby said?

This weekend was one of those rare times when I had my camera out when something was happening.

If you look hard, you can see that Darby has a ball. You can't tell, but Bonnie does not.
 
It looks to me like Bonnie was about to rectify that situation...
  
...when Darby said "Oh, no you don't! That's far enough!"
 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Eleven months old today!

Darby is eleven months old today!

Just before she came to live with us:

And, now:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Darby is so pretty

I have always loved multi-colored dogs. Something about how one color blends with the other has always fascinated me. I love looking at Darby's fur and running my fingers through it. Her ears are like velvet!
 
 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010