Sunday, September 29, 2013

Another Pup/dog get together!

For the first time in a couple of weeks, our (wife's and my) dog was able to get together with our daughter's puppy.  They had a real good time in our back yard chasing each other, chasing their balls and just having fun romping as dogs can romp.  Unfortunately, my constant complaint about taking pictures with my cheap camera continues.  The lens is far from stop action and the sun washes out the screen so I'm mostly just guessing.  Perhaps, if I'm planning to continue taking any pictures, I'll have to bite the proverbial bullet and get a camera that works.  This digital camera of mine takes pictures about 1/100th as good as my old SLR that used film.  But, here are three random ones of our two dogs.  Enjoy! 


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Puppy Review

Because of an injury to our Golden Mariah last week, our daughter's Golden puppy Brandy hasn't been able to visit her friend.  We expect that to change this weekend.  Mariah's bandages have been removed and she appears to be moving normally again.

To keep changing somewhat regularly, we have a little review of Brandy and how much she's changed in the wee bit under two months she's been seeing light.
Just a few days after birth in very late June.  This is a picture from her breeder before the puppies were released to their new people.

A couple months later after experiencing and totally accepting the love and care of her new "Mommy," our daughter.

From the last posting, she's now almost two months old.
You can probably see the biggest change in her head.  She's growing up fast. 
I hope to have some interaction pictures, at least some new ones, of Brandy and Mariah after this weekend.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Goldens are accepting each other

[Edited Saturday AM]  Our Mariah had a very slight accident Friday and split a toenail.  The Vet says she's O.K. and he bandaged the cut.  It did bleed.  We can demonstrate that by showing you the rugs inside our house.  She's not showing any problems this morning, but her new playmate, our daughter's puppy Brandy, will be staying home this weekend so the two dogs don't get too excited and aggravate Mariah's paw.  Therefore, we won't have any pictures for a while.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this previously posted post.--Dave
Our daughter's new puppy, Brandy, is turning color to be a Golden Retriever more and more every day.  She started out in this life as an almost white one.  She's growing in size very rapidly, too.

Our 10-year-old Golden, Mariah, is now accepting the new arrival in her life and almost enjoys playing.  Here they're on our deck as the dog whispers something into the pup's ear.  They're probably making plans to disrupt the people in their lives.

The big ol' soccer ball continues to be Mariah's outside ball.  She chases it when it's thrown by one of her adults.  Then she picks it up with her mouth and prances back with it to be thrown again.
Brandy has learned to chase a ball, too.  That's a tennis ball which she carries around to be like her new playmate.  Here she seems to be looking at the big ball wondering if she'll ever be able to carry it like Mariah.
I hope you enjoyed these looks at a new and an old Golden learning and becoming friends.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Loss of independence

I'm going to stray from my blog rebirth today.  After several months of non-activity I recently began attempting to write on a limited bases, mostly about my family and events and the introduction of a new puppy to our family.  Today I want to reflect on a personal condition of what will be just about everyone's life eventually.

 I sold my car.

 The ordeal began last January 11th while I was preparing to do my exercising at a physical therapy/medically oriented gym facility.  I've been participating in a senior fitness program for several years.  Yes, I am a senior citizen who has passed the three-quarter century mark. 

A dozen years ago I had what doctors call a burst abdominal arterial aneurysm, a triple A.  It's not a nice thing to happen and often results in death.  Fortunately for me the Scarborough Rescue Team got me to the Maine Medical Center where a doctor/surgeon was just arriving to make his morning rounds.  He immediately had me rushed to an operating room where he saved my life.  It was not an easy task as the burst vessel drained my blood and I had a heart attack on the operating table. 

I've been doing therapy or fitness exercising ever since.  In 2009 I had an ICD placed in my chest.  That's a combination pacemaker/defibrillator unit.  And that brings us to last January 11th.

I was preparing to start my morning routine at the PT facility.  I awoke a few minutes later on the floor with my head being cradled by one of professionals at the facility.  I had passed out.  A rescue unit was called but by the time it arrived, I was fully conscious again and wanting to get off the floor but the professional made me stay there until I was checked out.  The EMTs let me go home with my wife who also had been called.

Later my cardiologist read a printout of my ICD and discovered I had had another heart event.  It wasn't, however, a full heart attack.  My pulse rate had climbed into the 270s.  The pacemaker part had it back to normal quickly, but just one second before the defibrillator part would have zapped me with an electrical jolt.  The cardiologist read me "The Riot Act" for not going right to the hospital.

Then he hit me with the sentence absolutely no senior wants to hear:  "You cannot drive for at least six months and then we re-evaluate for the future."  To make matters worse, it was near the time when I have to have the doctor submit a medical form to the Department of Motor Vehicles, a requirement every three years after that heart attack.  The Doc said he was sorry but he had no option but to put on the form I shouldn't be driving.

A few days later, I got the dreaded letter; my license was suspended indefinitely.

I learned in the next three or four weeks why Seniors fight so hard to keep their licenses.  The single word that describes the feeling is Independence.  Lose the driver's license and lose that independence.  One feels like a trapped person, like being in jail, like totally losing control.  I can't, for example, just go for a haircut or to the store.  Doctors' appointments have to be made around the availability of my wife to take me to the appointment. 

Sure.  I have a neighbor and friends.  I could always call for a ride.  "Neighbor, could you be inconvenienced and take me to the store to get a snack?"  "Friend, I need a ride to the mall."  "Fearless Friend, can you come way out of your way from your home in Westbrook to my place in Scarborough to take me to our monthly lunch?"  Sure.  The answer in each of these simple examples would be, "Yes, of course."  But, darn it (I'd say "dammit" but I don't like to use that language), I can't do those things anymore myself. 

I live in a community that doesn't have public transportation.  There is a bus that rides through town picking up commuters, but I'd have to get to the bus stop.  Taxi service, for a slight charge, of course, could be called.  I don't qualify for one of the "free" rides for seniors and the company that picks up seniors by appointment is rather expensive.

So, I'm stuck in my home until my wife becomes available.  Let me emphasize that she has never complained, at least openly to me, but my lack of independence is a real inconvenience to her, too.

Before my license was suspended, there were days at a time when I just stayed home, often alone, doing things around the house.  But, and that's a huge word, I could leave to go places if I wanted.  Now I can't.

There is another side to my story, though, which I cannot ignore.  The first several months of suspension were not my choice, but my now going without a license is my decision.  I could have applied to the Department of Motor Vehicles for a Hearing to possibly get my license restored.  I chose not to do so.  I keep remembering that day I passed out with a heart event at the exercise place. 

During the school year, many children gather at the end of my driveway to be picked up by a school bus.  Parents are there, too, but it's the picture of those kids that affect my mind.  Had I been driving out of my driveway and had passed out, who knows how many of those kids would have been hurt or worse.  I got to thinking about people walking along the routes I drive and what could have happened if I had passed out at 35 or 40 miles an hour or more.

I do occasionally experience slight dizziness and lack of balance.  I do have mobility problems.  Safety became the main factor, so after a long conversation with my wife, who, incidentally, is in total agreement with this decision, I have decided my suspended license will simply expire without that hearing.  I feel good about the decision.

Nevertheless, as I said earlier, the loss of Independence is very difficult and now I fully understand why Seniors fight so hard to keep their licenses.

Today I helped myself live with my new dependence:  I sold my car.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Less tension on visits by new pup

          After a week or so, our daughter brought her new puppy, Brandy, to our house for a visit and to give the little one and our Golden Mariah a continuing chance of getting to know each other.  This session was by far the best one since Brandy arrived at her new home in Portland two weeks ago.  They had a wonderful time chasing each other around our back yard.  After an hour or so, they decided it was time to rest.  They waited patiently for the three of us two-legged folk to get the hint and let them inside.  As you can see, there's no apparent problem between the two ... so far/
     You've read here many times how much I dislike my inexpensive camera because it doesn't have a view finder.  Getting a picture requires looking at a little screen on the back side.  When the sun is shining, it is impossible to see absolutely anything on that screen.  I would have thought Nikon could have designed a better way to view potential pictures.
     Most of the time all I could do was aim the camera in the general direction of the subjects and click the picture.  Sometimes I got lucky.  The picture below was captured in darkened shadows behind our garage, but my picture software was able to give it some light even though the result is not natural.
          I'm sorry it's so washed out, but at least you can see the two dogs being dogs.
     Brandy always seems to have her nose to the ground as she explores what she seems to understand is her new home away from home. 
     Mariah still loves to play with her now old soccer ball.  We are always amazed and amused that she can still get it into her mouth to carry it.  She'll bring it back to get kicked and gleefully race off to fetch it once again.
     I hope you enjoyed today's adventure of an old dog and a new pup still getting to know each other.