adventure, dogs, finding my way, leap of faith, life goes on, perseverance, photography, road trip, sunset

New neighborhood, nice sunset…

It’s complicated, this move.  That the house sold at all came as a surprise to me, but in a day?  And the opportunity to buy in an over-55 mobile community was even better news.  After my very needed, and wonderfully long, visit ‘up north’ over the summer I was in a quandary, needing more time up north, but also needing to be in FL and keep my healthcare plan.  This move will allow me to be a snow bird, able to retire, again, and enjoy the best of both worlds.  But the actual physical ‘move’ has been exhausting, because I’ve had access to the new place so I have moved a few boxes a day and it has felt endless.  I must have made progress because I have arrived at the particularly frustrating time when I walk into the bedroom, pick up the TV remote, turn and click only to realize that the TV and the bureau it sat on are both at the new place.  And I decided to bring steamed, spiced, shrimp to my cousin’s house for Thanksgiving, got everything ready,  and I opened the cupboard where I keep the spices and it was empty.  My underwear is at one house and my socks at the other.  I fixed that today though.  Now almost all my clothes are at the new place, I’m sure that won’t cause a problem at all.

When the papers are signed Ozzie and I will be hitting the road.  Being a snowbird doesn’t usually mean you are up north in the winter, but I need to be there.  So does Ozzie, because he’s not supposed to be in the park.  There is a no pets policy that’s been in place for years.  But in today’s world if you have a service dog they must be allowed free access.  If I was the sort of person who enjoyed a fight I’d bring him in and not care what repercussions come from that.  But I hate conflict, so I will head north now and see what happens.  Ozzie is the last of his litter still with us and I know that he probably doesn’t have a lot of time ahead of him.  But they will be good days, I’ll make sure of that.  He and I are in this together after all, he’s my boy, so I have to hedge my bets…11-25support dog

'scene' along the way, adventure, dogs, fun, go with the flow, memories, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

South of the Border…

No, not down Mexico way.  If you’ve ever driven through NC/SC on Route 95 you’ve seen the billboards starring Pedro, LOTS of them.  Less now than the endless signs back in the day however.  Charley’s family used to vacation in either Canada or Florida when he was a kid, and when they headed to Florida they stayed at South of the Border, so he wanted to stop there when we drove to Florida in 1988.  Because of that trip I knew that you park in a covered carport that is right outside the door to your room, a perfect feature for when you are traveling alone.  And then there was Ozzie, and I also knew that they accept dogs, no weight limits thank goodness.  So, tacky as it may be I had to stop there, it was a no brainer.  That left me an 8 hour drive the next day, not to mention that I knew it would be lit up perfectly and I could get some photos.  The bed must have been comfortable since I sat on it with the computer to relax for a minute and woke up 3 hours later, having missed the sunset all together.  But the lights were still on at least, so Oz and I went out for a photo walk…

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dogs, home, life, life goes on, live and learn, nature, neighbors, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, sunrise, technology

Another point of view…

iPhone photography was what lured me into my current photographic journey, and I remain a fan of what the iPhone camera can capture.  Consequently I commonly take iPhone photos along with the photos with my Canon DSLR, but I don’t always remember to look at them later since they are always totally outnumbered.  But once in a while I think to check them out to see what I failed to notice.4-5zoofishLike this Lionfish that posed for me at the zoo.  I knew that the iPhone would be my best chance at a good photo of that very dramatic fish.  And also at the zoo…4-5zoodoorI thought this faux courtyard scene was positively charming…

And in the backyard I routinely capture sunrises since they come to me daily, and when I’m not enjoying the sunrise I can enjoy the honeysuckle growing up on my neighbor’s shed.  4-5sunrise4-5honeysuckle4-5weedy

When I noticed this little weed bravely struggling through the patio pavers it brought to mind the will to live, or the little guy persevering against all odds, or the miracle of life, and then I plucked it…

 4-5ozzie.jpgAnd finally Ozzie, who is always right where he should be at all times.  No need to stop what you are doing to see what he’s up to.  Nope, he causes no trouble, except when he is right behind you and you trip over him.  Such a good boy…

 

backyard visitors, birds, blessings, coping, Cranes, dogs, healing, home, life goes on, nature, photography, sunrise

Tomorrow, tomorrow…

Well, the sun did come up.  The cranes came out.  New visitors sat out on the post on the lake.  Ozzie is moping, but I’m glad he saw, and thoroughly sniffed, Zoe before she left us, because he doesn’t seem to be looking for her.  Zoe raised him, really she did.  Easiest dog to train ever since he’d follow her around and try, not always successfully, to pee wherever she did.  He’s just subdued, he usually makes a total pest out of himself and now he is keeping a low profile.  I don’t know if I’m complaining about that or not.

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dogs, grief, growing old, losing battles, memories, photography, responsibility

Decisions…

The vet tech had an explanation for it.  “It” being the fact that the dog I had brought in, the one that had required me to hoist her back end up off the floor every time she wanted to get up for the last 48 hours, was repeatedly getting herself up off the tile floor at the vet’s office yesterday.  It was because even though there were no other dogs there to witness her struggles, she still could smell them, and no dog wants to let herself be seen as the weakest one in the pack, so the adrenaline rush she was having was serving as a pain reliever.  Or so they said.  I had told myself that the thing I didn’t want to do was to take her in and spend a whole lot of money, knowing what the outcome was really going to be in the not so distant future, and knowing that my Zoe was going to suffer while I fought to justify my decision of what to do.  But in the vet’s office she looked like a different dog from the one I’d had at home.  Needing help getting up was relatively new, and while she had needed me to help her for a day or two recently, she had seemed to recover and I told myself that she had strained something and it was all better.  And the confusion in her face when she couldn’t get herself up was heartbreaking.  But she seemed to be in not so dire of a condition while we were there, so it was pain meds, joint supplements, and see her in two weeks.

Except once I got her home she was trying to not use her right back leg at all.  That she was in distress was obvious.  I brought the water bowl to her and she drank, but she wouldn’t eat.  She cried and wanted to get up, so I’d hoist her up, and then she’d stand there not knowing what she wanted to do next.  I thought about how I’d learned to help my mother, and then my husband, when they couldn’t get out of a chair.  I’d lean in and hug them to me, and use leverage to just lift them up.  It worked perfectly.  Not possible with Zoe, and I was already feeling the strain in my back from lifting her.  

I’m writing this at 4 AM while I listen to Zoe’s breathing.  She is finally asleep.  We have been up for hours, she was crying, it actually sounded like a low growl, and nothing I could do for her except sit with her and pet her seemed to help.  Sweet, easy-going Ozzie was determined to put himself between Zoe and me, so I had to put him in the bedroom before he hurt her, or me.  It was the pleading in her eyes that got to me.  Just like when it’s been raining for hours and the dogs want to go out, and they look at me  wondering why I’m letting it rain when they know that I’m in charge of the world and I could stop it if I wanted to.  Zoe’s eyes tell me that she is pleading with me to make it stop, not the rain, but the pain…4-26onelasttime

backyard visitors, birds, dogs, finding my way, Florida wildlife, home, memories, nature, photography

Missing the boat…

I may have missed the boat as far as seeing the crane family heading off the lake goes, for the sake of catching them close-up (with the big lens) I mean, but later that morning there were some birds out back who needed their photos taken.4-19reflect4-20Greatwhiteegret4-20ibis4-20littleblue

Then I headed to church at 4 PM and thought I could catch the cranes on their return, but they were already on the lake when I went in to pick up the camera.  Again, pretty far away from my vantage point, even with the zoom lens.  Which is probably why I got distracted by the dogs, who were the only other creatures out there at the time.  They went down to the lake to drink, Zoe walking in chest deep, and Ozzie lifting his head with lots of drool dripping down.  And there was a nice breeze, whipping said drool all around.  It was pretty much the most interesting thing going on out there…4-21zoe4-21drool14-21drool2Zoe will be 13 on May 1st and, sadly, her age is starting to show.  I’ve had to haul her to her feet several times recently.  Or maybe I didn’t have to, maybe I just hated seeing her struggling and was afraid she would hurt herself.  She is older than I am now, in dog years of course.  Though I’ve traveled back to my pre-teen years mentally and I’m enjoying it there so much that I’m thinking of staying…