Category Archives: Pets

#fmsphotoaday Day 11 #fms_tiny

I spent most of the day writing “May 10th 2016” on everything so you are lucky that I’m not repeating the travel prompt.  There are days I wonder if I was to get on the Bullet Journal bandwagon, could I save my last remaining brain cells.

No.  No, I think my brain cells are near extinction.  It’s not all their fault really.

Day 11 was the photo prompt tiny.

#fmsphotoaday Day 11 #fms_tiny #kittens #ohnoyoukitten

A post shared by Melanie Jo Moore (@melanie_jo_moore) on


There are two kittens in this photo.  These orphans were on death’s doorstep yesterday.  They are better today, but I wouldn’t say completely out of the woods.  They are one thing for sure though, tiny.

Kittens are super cute and I do think the world is a better place because of them.  Us humans have to get better at controlling their population.  These little guys are so malnourished and I’m sure in every town right has litters and litters of kittens just like these.  Some will get homes but many of them will continue the feral cycle.  If you have stray cats in your neighborhood, you can give an amazing gift of having them spayed or neutered.  There are low cost spay/neuter clinics for feral cats providing the surgery and a rabies vaccine.  There are way too many homeless kittens and the only way to fix this is contributing to a better outcome for these wayward felines.

Tomorrow’s photo prompt:  Text



Day 7 of #fmsphotoaday

Day 7 of Fat Mum Slim’s Photo A Day challenge is… “This means a lot to me”.

I considered a lot of things to photograph today, but after all was said and done I realized I already had the picture I needed.  I uploaded a picture of Shamooki on her last day.  For the most part, that last week was filled with a 50/50 mix of Shamooki sleeping or staring at the floor.  She’d tolerate me petting her but would become agitated after a while and want me to leave her alone.  I worried about her being by herself during the day when we weren’t home.  Luckily, she had Ratchet.  Ratchet watched her like a hawk that last week.  Every time she moved to a new location he’d move so he could keep a watchful eye on her.


Ratchet is a bizarre little kitty but his dedication to Shamooki at the end was adorable.  It meant a lot to me that in the end, she was never alone.

Tomorrow’s photo challenge:  My Sunday!



Three Pictures In Seven Days #Mondayblogs

The productive button has been pegged to the floor this week!  I have promised myself a sparkling clean house in a few hours and my dog a bird watching trip, so… you guys are going to get the short end of the stick so to speak.  Here it goes!


On Sunday the 7th we completed our second Adopt-A-Highway pickup!  Not only did we get trashy with it, we had an Ugly Christmas Sweater Competition!  It was awesome!  Cleaning up and being tacky is the best combination ever!  We had more people, less trash and a great time.  There was a stroller found… how the hell do you lose a stroller?


As of Friday, the completed Freedom Starter Kit count was up to 94!  There has also been a TON of monetary donations.  I had Friday afternoon off from work so I decided I’d go ahead and take a round of kits to the domestic violence office.  It turns out it’s a good thing I did.  I can only fit 50 in my car at a time!  The final donation day is the 15th.  I can’t wait to see how many kits I’m taking there this upcoming Friday.  Click here to learn more about Freedom Starter Kits.


Saturday I went to go visit our very dear Stella.  She’s still at the Norfolk SPCA wanting nothing buy an adoption for Christmas!  She seems to love the staff and the feeling is definitely mutual!  It was so good to see her.  To learn more about Stella, read this blog post:  Meet Stella.

Birding Under The Weather #mondayblogs

Thursday I felt a little “funny”.

Friday morning I felt “not quite right”.

By Friday afternoon I could feel myself starting to slip in No Man’s Land.  I was coming down with the disgusting cold that was going around my workplace.

I’m proud to say that I can shake most colds.  I may have a quick symptom or two and the short lived bug moves along to its next victim.  However, this has turned into one of those colds that cause you to stare at nothing and occasionally moan.  Stupid cold.

I was treating it with the best known remedies in my arsenal.  First, I was eating Mrs. Fearnow’s Delicious Brunswick Stew.  That’s right, ailments.  You should be in fear now of this delicious Brunswick stew.  My family has fed me this time and time again. (My grandmother would also throw in Caffeine Free Coke for good measure.)


I recommend popping the top and eating it right out of the can.


Too much of a wuss to do the real deal and eat it straight out of the can with a spoon?  I hear you.  In that case, put it in a coffee mug with a cat on the front.  Before enjoying your stew, you should down a shot of Dayquil.


You see that right.  That is indeed a shot glass of DayQuil.  If you are going to hang with this cootie infested gangsta… you’ve got to be real about your DayQuil.  Get out the shot glass and be a real G.

This was how I was planning to spend Sunday.  Downing the DayQuil and drowning my sorrows in Mrs. Fearnow’s Delicious Brunswick Stew.  I was ready to veg out and get better.  Then I received this message from my bird watching mentor.

“I know you are sick but this bird is worth getting out of bed for…..”

That, my friends, is the Western Kingbird.  Isn’t he gorgeous?  Absolutely amazing in his natural setting.  The thing about the Western Kingbird is he should be in the western United States, not Virginia.


Saturday and Sunday, the bird had been spotted perching on a power line twenty miles south of my home.  For someone who doesn’t fly (read:me) this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see this bird.  I could barely slink off the couch but I knew I had to go find this bird.  At this point, he may have continued migrating on his lost route but I had to try.

After getting dressed, I grabbed my Honey -n-Lemon Hall’s cough drops, my Sibley’s Field Guide and my binoculars.  I stumbled to my car in a way that may have caused a neighborhood panic about the Zombie Apocalypse.

I know what you are thinking.  “Mel, you sound like you may have been too sick to drive.”  Don’t worry!  I thought about that.


I brought Cody.  You may ask, “Why on Earth did you think Cody was up to the challenge of driving if you couldn’t?”

I can tell you that the best sign that a dog is ready to take care of you in a time of illness is if he tries to lick the snot out of your nose.  See the look on his face?  That dog is determined to help.

A side note here.  If you are asking your dog to drive the car for you, you will want to make sure he is wearing his best winter coat.  A recent study showed that police officers are much more lenient on unlicensed dog drivers if they are dressed nicely.


We headed South, Cody with his nose out the window and I with my brain in a fog.  We turned off the highway and began patrolling a three mile area of country road where the bird had been spotted.  Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.  I gave Cody an accurate description of what he should have been looking for on the power line.  This was either a ballsy move to trust a dog who doesn’t understand eating plastic is bad or a true sign of my mental stability while sick.

An hour later, the only thing we had found was a neighborhood of concerned citizens to why a white blazer kept driving by their houses at ten miles an hour.  I pulled off the road and blew my nose.

“Cody, I think we are going to have to give up.  It’s been an hour and we haven’t seen a thing.  We missed him, Cody.  We missed him.”

Now, that dog doesn’t understand bird watching, but he does understand disappointment.  (Examples:  Cody, why did you eat that plastic?  Cody, why did you pee on my new flowers?  Cody, why did you chew up the azalea bush?  Cody, why did you tear open that bag of coffee beans?  Cody, WHY?)  After I declared our failed birding attempt, he sighed and placed his head on my shoulder.

“Let’s go, Bud.”

Moments if not seconds after I put the car in gear, the Western Kingbird suddenly appeared.  I drove in panic mode to the closest driveway and jumped out of the car.  I can’t tell you how good it feels to see something that is so rare even if you are sickly.

I also can’t tell you why no one called the cops on us.  It had to be quite the scene to those homeowners.  A girl hobbling up their driveway, peering with binoculars at the sky and then in their backyard.  The girl who may be infected with some sort of plague is yelling to her dog in the car, (“Cody!  Are you looking?  Did you see how yellow his belly was?  This is AMAZING!” *cough, cough, cough*) and to the trees (Mr. Kingbird!  I am so thrilled I had the chance to meet you.  I’m so sorry you are off course but this is truly an honor!)

Some time passed and I realized it was time for us to move along.  I hopped in the car to head back to my couch but not before stopping at the Machipongo Trading Post and getting a celebratory snack.


Mmmm… brownie sundae and Bac’n’Cheese dog cookies!

That’s another thing about Cody.  He doesn’t understand birding, but he certainly understands the post-birding reward system.


For more birding adventures with Cody, check out That Dog Won’t Hunt and From The Desk Of The Dog:  How My Summer Flew Away. 

From The Desk Of The Dog: Goodbye Winter

Spring is here!  Spring is here!

I love the outdoors, but even a fresh air loving dog can only take so much snow.


See that look.  That look is a dog who needs a warm breeze and some sunshine!  That dog is me.  I need sunbathing.  I need warm grass to lay on.  I need spring!

I thought I would show Mother Nature who was boss.  I’d teach her.  I pee’d on my bed.

Food Lady washed my bed.  Food Lady, she’s so smart but does such strange things.  Doesn’t she know that I was showing Mother Nature who was boss?  If Mother Nature keeps sending snow, I’ll pee inside.  I’ll show her.

I pee’d on my bed again.

Ha.  Take that Mother Nature.

Food Lady still didn’t understand and washed my bed AGAIN.

I heard her talking to my daddy about anxiety and dog behavior.  She talked about getting rid of something old to break the cycle.   Never did she mention sending messages to Mother Nature about the importance of outdoor urination.  Hmmm.  That Food Lady.

A week later, a package had showed up.



A new bed!  Had I known peeing on my old bed would get me a new bed I would have done that ages ago!  Food Lady had left an Orvis catalog where I could reach it and I had spied this bed right after Christmas.  Why!  Why did I ask for cookies for Christmas when I really wanted the Lounger Deep Dish Dog Bed?  I wanted to be that happy lounging dog in the catalog!  Thanks to Food Lady, now I am that lazy dog.


Okay, so Food Lady may not understand the rituals of breaking the snow cycle, but she does understand how to shop online and that’s what counts.


Cody celebrated Earth Day this year with NASA’s #globalselfie.  He’s so happy the weather is finally nice!

Four Kittens With Seven Eyes

April has not quite taken the course I would have imagined.  This month has chewed me up and spit me out and quite frankly, I’m happy it’s half way over at the rate it is going.  Some of you may have noticed my post have been a little skimpy.  I’ve said nothing about a cake and haven’t even reviewed the last book I read.  Damn you, April.

April 1st:

I had a sneaky suspicion something wasn’t quite right, but I like being tough.  I believe that if you start thinking your sick and feeling sorry for yourself that you will certainly start become ill.  That’s why I kept my positive pants on.  Monday (March 31st), I had some sinus pressure (which is not unusual) and a bit of nausea (which generally comes with sinus pressure).  Not a big deal.  When I woke up April Fool’s Day morning (jokes on me!) I knew that there was no denying it.  I had picked up some sort of stomach bug and my sinus pressure was just an added bonus.  I was playing a pong game between There’s Nothing Wrong With Me and Calling In Sick (something I very, very rarely do) when my mother called.  Her dog who had not been well was doing worse.  I told her to get in the car and drive to my work and I would meet her there.  There, decision made.  I was going to work.

I stayed there with my mom during her dog’s exam and helped with her x-rays, but as soon as I saw my mom out the door I confessed to my coworkers that I was pretty sure I was about to spend the next 12 to 500 hours in the bathroom.  I apologized over and over.  I hate not being at work.

As the day progressed, so did this virus and my sinus pressure.  I laid on the couch with one hand pressing a warm compress to my sinuses and my other hand holding a can of ginger ale.  A bottle of Pepto Bismol sat near by for convenient shot taking.  Bottoms up, bitches.

At dinner time, I got up and attempted making chicken yakisoba as planned.  The beau asked, “Are you sure you want to bother with dinner?”

“I got this.”

I pulled the chicken breast out of the fridge and stared at them, then started gagging.  “How do you feel about a grilled cheese night?”

“Whatever you want to do.”

I don’t know if it was the smell of the butter or the cheese, but one of them was making me wish I would never see this combination of food ever again.  Finally, two sandwiches were done.  I plated them with some chips and a pickle and set the beau up at the table.  “Dinners ready!”

He came in and analyzed the tablescape (yes, I’m joking on Sandra Lee).  “Um, I thought you were going to eat.”

“Nope.  Not eating.”

“Aw, you didn’t have to make me something.”

“It’s fine. Enjoy your dinner.  I’ll be on the couch.”

I am much like my mother in several ways.  An example of this is how I try my best to keep all normalcy in the face of illness.  Sure, I could have told the beau that my stomach contents were thinking of having a launch off party and he shouldn’t expect anything to eat, but that’s just not how I roll.  Maintain normalcy at all cost.

I fell on the couch, clutching my aching head and thanking the stars above that I had gotten away from the smell of those grilled cheese.  That’s when I heard the beau’s feet heading towards the living room.  I peeked through my hands at him making his way to the couch with his dinner.

“It doesn’t feel right sitting at the table by myself.  I was lonely.”


The next morning, I woke up and even though I had prayed to the sickness gods that I wouldn’t be worse… I was.  At this point I had self-diagnosed myself with the double whammy… a brain tumor and a stomach tumor… and for an added bonus, my sinus headache had caused me to grind my teeth all night and I had nailed that stupid flap of gingiva that hangs over my lower wisdom tooth.


Not only is the flap super painful and swollen at this point, but it becomes a trap for bacteria.  Now I’m constantly rubbing my sinuses, rubbing the sore side of my jaw, taking Pepto Bismol, sipping ginger ale, swishing salt water in my mouth, taking my sinus medication and 800 mg of Advil every four hours.  I can tell you that those last two bits … my angry stomach did not appreciate at all.

You’ll be glad to know that I did recover from the GI bug, but it took nearly a week to get my appetite back (partially because of the 3200 mg daily ibuprofen intake).  Over a week later, I finally went to the dentist to be lectured about how my wisdom tooth removal was sixteen years overdue and this would never resolve until I had them removed.  I nodded and took my antibiotic prescription so I could finally get the smell of death out of my mouth.

Other news:

The beau text me during the turning point of my gut funk to inform me he had found four baby kittens at his work.  Like a sucker, I told him to take them to my work.  I would call ahead and let them know not to yell at him when he showed up with a box of kittens.


It’s not that we don’t love kittens, it’s just that we aren’t very good at the adoption business.  Most people who walk through the doors of an animal hospital are not looking to adopt an animal.  Some of them are even trying to turf their current animals off on us.  It’s just not a fair situation for anyone.

It turns out, this litter was lucky that the beau scooped them up and rescued them.  One weepy eye little kitten was about to need serious medical intervention.


Oh yeah, that is as bad as it looks.  Hattie (named from Cap Hatfield who had the injury that turned his eye white) had an eye infection that took a serious turn for the worse.  This is her right before surgery to have her eye removed.  Here she is after she had recovered enough to get back to her siblings.


And here she a few days later, falling asleep sitting up, stoned out of her mind on her pain meds.


She’s currently doing fine and her fame on Facebook has gotten her whole litter some early attention.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to find homes quickly for all of these gremlins.

On The Subject Of Work:


TEAM ESAH rocked the Run For The Animals Marathon! We raised almost five hundred dollars in donations for the homeless animals in our area.

And while we were there… we did some Stella advertising!


Nice t-shirt iron-ons, huh?



Stella is still looking for a forever family.  We have had a stroke of luck and a lovely man named Jack Huh has come in to help us.  Jack has volunteered at several ASPCA shelters and has worked with many dogs to make them more adoptable.  He’s coming by to hang out with Stella a few days a week.  He’s been calling around to see if he can find a shelter in our region to take her, but so far as struck out.  Sadly, many of the shelters are full if not overloaded.  We are keeping our fingers cross that he’ll get us a break.

And that’s that!  Look for some cake updates and some book reviews!  I think I’m back on track!

Team ESAH – A lean, mean running/walking machine!

Okay, so it’s 50/50 when it comes to the running/walking!  That’s not what counts though!  Team ESAH is participating in the upcoming Run For The Animals!  We are raising money for our local SPCA.  Our animal hospital put up our registration fee ( a total of four hundred dollars to help care for and adopt out local homeless animals).  Now we would like to raise an additional two hundred dollars to support the cause!  Donations can be made at .


Meet Stella

“There’s a pit bull on my road who should not go back to her owners.  Starved, had puppies recently.  Doesn’t want to walk.  Maybe hit by a car.” 

A little over a month ago, I received these text messages from my coworker Emmy.  Her husband had spotted a sad soul sitting on the side of a road leading to their house.  It was dark and temperatures were heading below freezing.  That’s the night we met Stella.


I left my house as the beau cleaned up the reminisce of our dinner.  “I’ll be back.  I’m not sure what’s going to happen.”  A quick kiss and I was gone into the night.  As my car hugged the back roads to Emmy’s house I braced myself for the condition this poor dog could be in.  We’ve had a hard winter here in Virginia.  Some not so well cared for dogs on the Eastern Shore can squeak by during this time of year.  However the frigid temperatures and reoccurring snowstorms we have been experiencing are taxing on a body that doesn’t receive enough daily groceries.  I pulled in behind Emmy’s truck.  Her and her husband were squatted down speaking to a nearly motionless creature.

“She thinks the leash is a bad idea.”

When approached with a leash, she would cower and shoot a distrusting look.  She didn’t know any of us, wasn’t sure if she’d ever want to know any of us.  The only thing she cared about was the dry dog food that had been brought to her and the rattling noise a container of peanuts made.


I crouched down with everyone else and put the basket muzzle I brought on the ground beside me.  It’s nothing personal, but you never know what you are getting yourself into when you approach a neglected animal.  Some are incredibly thankful for any bit of attention you’ll throw them.  Some are past the point of return and never want to be touched by a human again.

“Hey, girl.  Come here.”  After a few shy moments, she slunk over to me to investigate what I may have to offer.  She weaseled her head into my jacket as if she was hoping I would surrender that to her.  “Thank God ya’ll found her.  She probably would have died out here tonight.”

After a few minutes winning some doggy brownie points, we finally were able to place the basket muzzle on her.  We scooped her up and whisked her off to the animal hospital.  A padded warm bed and a bucket of water later, she seemed pleased with the evening’s outcome.  We turned out the lights and left our new friend with her first comfortable night’s sleep in many moons.

In the next day’s light, we began seeing the scars on her frail thirty five pound body, a body that should weigh in at probably twenty pounds heavier.  On her legs, on her ears, the one around her neck where a collar must have grown into her skin at some point.  There were the emotional scars in her eyes she’d reveal to you when you reached for her.  Were you going to hit her?  Would you hurt her?  Would you toss her out in a strange neighborhood to die?


It took just the frequency of a few random meals and she decided that we were A-OK in her book.  She began to enjoy scratching and belly rubs.  Turns out, we weren’t so bad after all.

The search began, first quietly.  How could we advertise for her?  She needs a home, but where do you begin?  Pit bulls carry a type of stigma to their breed.  Tons of pit bull breeders want them for all the right reasons, but tons also do not.  Many rescue and humane groups won’t touch them.  They are a liability to everyone and themselves.  What if they attack someone after adoption?  What if they are adopted by someone who is going to use them for fighting?  Would she be a bait dog?  Would someone adopt her with promises of a happy home just to turn around and sell her to the wrong hands?


The silent hunt for a home turned up nothing and just as we began to turn up the volume, Stella took a turn for the worse.  Her healthy appetite suddenly stopped and was replaced by vomiting.  Diagnostic testing pointed to a foreign body.  Last Monday afternoon, we took her into surgery.  We found a corncob lodged in her intestines.  She had no access to such a thing at our hospital, so the only logical thing we could think of was that she ate this before she came to us.  For over a month at least, the corncob had been traveling a slow journey until it couldn’t get past her ileocecal junction.  We spayed her while we were in there.  At least now we don’t have to worry about someone adopting her for breeding purposes.

I tell you this story because Stella needs help.  Our girl needs a home where she can be an only child.  She needs somewhere filled with love and affection, a warm bed and regular meals, and probably with someone who is pit bull experienced.  They are a wonderful breed, but I think we can all agree not every breed is for every person.  She needs someone who will be responsible for her.

I know I usually do cheerful happy blogs about stories of days past or sweet desserts.  Those are all fun and games, but today I’m turning this blog to a serious matter.  I’m turning it to Stella.

Share this story.  Share Stella.  Let’s find Stella a home.


Here’s the most recent picture of our lady.  She’s wearing her lucky green bandanna.  Can we find her a home?

*Pick your favorite form of social media below and get the word out!*


Stella has been moved the Norfolk SPCA No Kill Shelter and has been cleared for adoption.  She is still looking for a forever home!  Please share her story and help get her a loving home!

Stella also had a beautiful photo shoot.  See those photos here at Tail Waggin’ Photography!

That Dog Won’t Hunt

As the Great Backyard Bird Count crept up on me, I continued to procrastinate on one particular decision.


Would I involve Cody in the bird count?

To the non-birder, bird watching and counting probably appears to be a useless hobby that consists of a boring person staring endlessly at bushes.  In reality, birding takes a great deal of patience, observation and skill. Sure, sometimes it is as easy as seeing a bright red bird with a black face on your feeder in the middle of the yard, enabling you to put another tick beside ‘Cardinal’.  Other times it’s a flutter in your peripheral, a quick glance at tail posture, or perhaps a snippet of a song.  You have to manage to use all these pieces of a puzzle until you have figured out who is that little creature teasing you in the tall grass.  There are frustrating times when a flock of birds flies in the distance.  You can tell it is about a dozen birds, but what?  What are those birds so far off and out of focus?  How about that enormous soaring bird with black feathers over those trees?  Is it a bald eagle or is it a vulture?  Until it comes close enough, you don’t really know.

Against my better judgment, I decided that I would take Cody along with me as I explored our rural neighborhood.  It will be good exercise for him, I told myself over and over.  Great opportunity for bonding, I repeated aloud.  Cody was going to be a birding dog.

Months ago, some of you may remember that I was interested in adopting a puppy that was part German Shorthaired Pointer.  Quiet and obedient, I was sure she would make an excellent companion.  I could see us wandering trails together, intently focused on finding birds to watch.  In the end, I decided that one dog was really enough for our family.  The one dog who loves the beau.  One dog who is excited to see me at food time.  Cody could certainly have enough room in his heart to one day think I was the bee’s knees, too.  Right?

I didn’t need a pointer, right?

The first morning of the bird count, I spent my morning recording my feeder activity.  At lunchtime, Cody and I struck out on foot.  With notepad and pen, we headed down the street and then went off road to the old farmhouse.  I stopped occasionally, making notes about what I was seeing.

Small sparrow like bird.  Black crown, black ring around neck, ground behavior similar to robin.

Unseen bird: call resembles hiccup, hiccup.

These notes were sloppy a. because my handwriting is naturally sloppy, b. I was making these notes in a tiny handheld notebook, and c. there was a big meathead dog tugging at the leash enthusiastically to sniff at someone else’s poop.

“Cody, stop!  Focus!  We are looking for birds.  Look for birds, not poop!”

To the farmhouse, I continue to note birds I recognize and birds that I will need to consult a manual on when I get home.  Just behind the farmhouse is a creek that I planned to check out.  I had seen several Canada Geese but wanted to expand my waterfowl count.  The land comes to a point, and then sharply drops off into the marsh.  It’s not a cliff but it does take a little bit of foot placement planning to get down.  I could see just beyond the marsh a huge flock of birds.  There had to be at least a hundred.  Silly me forgot the binoculars, so I was going to have to make my way down the bank and into the marsh.  I start to slowly creep down the edge when suddenly the leash around my waist causes me to stop abruptly.  I turn around to see Cody still standing at the edge ten feet behind me.

“Cody, come down.”  I yank on his leash and he watches me in complete befuddlement.  “Cody, now!”  This disagreement quickly becomes a tug of war match which I surprisingly win.  He finally starts creeping down to catch up with me and I am relieved that the two of us are now on the same page.  However, once caught up, he begins looping the leash around every bush we come across.  I would have to backtrack, untangle the leash, walk forward, backtrack, untangle the leash, walk forward.

I approached the water’s edge and came to a heartbreaking realization.  I still couldn’t make out what species of bird was floating in the water.  Mad at myself for not bringing the binoculars, I begin to stomp back up the bank.  Walking forward, backtracking, untangling the leash, walking forward.

Back on flat ground, we start heading back home.  At this point, Cody is panting loud enough that some may have mistaken him for a freight train.  He’s always been a loud panter.  There appears to be no good medical reason for it, just a love of noisy oxygen exchange.  This is also frustrating because I feel that if anyone deserves to be making such thunderous respiratory noises, it should be the person who kept going back and to untie the other one from the brush.

I stop and tell Cody to sit.  He complies and continues his panting.  “Cody, you’ve got to be quiet.  Good birding dogs are quiet so you don’t scare away the birds.”  I don’t know how to explain this to him nicely, but I don’t see his career in bird counting going very far.  My thoughts drift off to the little pointer puppy that I talked myself out of adopting.  In my little daydream, I see her silently striding through knee high weeds, suddenly stopping, face intently fixed off in the distance, and then she assumes the pointing posture … signaling a rare bird off in the field.

My daydream dissipates as a shadow is cast over Cody and me.  I quickly glance to the sky.  A bald eagle soars over me and he is close enough I can see the expression on his face.  I’m pretty sure he thought the scene Cody was making meant he would soon die and could be lunch.  His yellow eyes met mine and an amazing moment was shared between bird and watcher.  A second eagle then swooped in.  I could barely contain my joy.  Two bald eagles!

The birds eventually lost interest in us and moved on.  Cody got to his feet and continued to be obnoxiously loud all the way home.  I have to remember that Cody’s breeding isn’t made for the same things that mine is.  Generations before me have been obsessed with birds.  However, Cody’s Rottweiler ancestors have been bred to be protective and to scare off any signs on danger, regardless if it is the UPS man with deliveries or a harmless mockingbird.

I’m sure you are thinking after this first disastrous day, that I would have left Cody home for the remaining three days.  I even surprised myself when I would put his harness on and head out with him at my side.  Even though he had no interest in the five swans flying over, the Eastern bluebirds singing, or my continued excitement at identifying the Horned Lark, he still found joy in spending hours at a time with me slowly making our way down old field roads.  I guess in the end, a relationship with a dog is much like that with a person.  You may not share the same hobbies and interests, you just have to like spending time with each other.

Poop All About It

Yup, that’s what I obsessed about for nearly a week.


Oh, don’t let me fool you.  I’ve used lots of verbs over the last week with poop.
















All for poop, my friends.


Poop, poop, poop.

Those who have kept up with the recent events last week, knew that our dear Cody ate the couch.  Because of his insatiable appetite for bedding, there was a delay of last Monday’s posting of From The Desk Of The Dog.  I mean really, how can you run a cheerful post about your dog while he is having diarrhea.

It started Sunday morning.  I served up Cody’s regular kibble.  He looked at the bowl, looked at me and headed to his bed.  At first I thought that it was because he had overdone it the day before.  He had been on strict house arrest since his surgery and finally on Saturday we took a ‘real walk’.  He was excited and yanked and pulled and drug me around just like any dog with cabin fever.  “Oh dear, I wonder if he has hurt his back again.”

We carry on throughout the day.  I kept offering Cody snacks and he kept declining.  As the afternoon progressed and food strike continued I made the following statement.  “Dear God, what if he ate the couch?”

FLASHBACK!  Friday night, Cody either was dreaming about digging after a meerkat or had finally decided to display how angry he was for being locked up for nine days.  We actually sighed with relief when Saturday morning we found him proudly displaying the knee high pile of stuffing.  “Thank God it wasn’t the nice couch.”

I relayed this comforting fact to the beau, “Well, the good news is he isn’t vomiting.  If he was vomiting then I’d start to worry he had couch lodged in his intestines that would need to be surgically removed.”

Guess who started vomiting?  This guy.


He vomited, and vomited, and vomited and vomited.

And vomited.

The good thing about working in the veterinary profession is that you can call your vet and beg to pick up some vomiting supplies.  Back at the house, I loaded Cody up with a ton of SQ fluids and anti-nausea medication.  At this point, he was completely exhausted from an hour of heaving up bile.  Thank goodness, the medication kicked in and he was able to rest comfortably with no more upchucking.

We went to bed emotionally drained.  The beau said, “No more.  No more after Cody.  This is too stressful.”

“On a positive note, he’s not having diarrhea.  Really, that’s the kicker.  Missing items, such as couch foam, with vomiting and diarrhea.  That’s when you start thinking exploratory surgery.”

SPOILER ALERT:  Guess who had diarrhea the next morning?

I woke up at four in the morning.  As I opened the door to the mudroom, a miserable Cody squinted his eyes in response to the light from the kitchen.

“How you feeling, bud?”


As I started giving him more SQ fluids, I stared quietly out the window and wondered how many people besides myself were administering fluids to their pet at that particular hour.

I’m going to go with not many.  I finally got him up on his feet and we went out for a pee break.  I went back to sleep until my alarm went off.  Time to make the donuts.

Or… time to take your own dog to work because he now has projectile fluid coming from the other end.


At work, the diarrhea continued.  Sometimes there would be a little bit of mushy poop, but for the most part it was straight up liquefied.

That’s correct, he went back and forth between the two on the lower right.


I’m going to say that 97% of my readers are thinking, ‘Is that necessary?  Did she really need to post a fecal scoring chart.’  The other 3% is completely amazed that there is such a thing as a fecal scoring chart!

I don’t know if it was the stress of being at work with me, but something must have started moving along again.  He ate a spoonful of bland canned food.  I nearly cried when he gobbled down a feeding every three hours.

Now, the hunt was on.  Where the hell was the chunk of couch?

If my neighbors didn’t peg us for the bizarre couple on the block, I’m sure we’ve finally made the crazy list.  With the sun setting on its winter schedule and Cody needing to go out on the hour every hour, we followed him around pointing a flashlight directly at his butt.  At a time of year where spotlighting deer is happening illegally on dark back roads, we were spotlighting poop in our neck of the woods.  Waiting desperately for the couch to make its grand appearance!  We said inspiring words such as, “Good dog, Cody” or “Come on, Cody.  Poop out that couch!”


Still, there was no couch.

Lucky for me, I had the next two days off from work.  Two long days filled with fretting over crap.  Not ‘should I take down the tree’ crap or ‘what to do with these Christmas cards’ crap.  No, crap-crap.  The real sheezy, my neezy.

The neighbors spent those delightful days watching me on the side of our quiet country road picking through my dog’s poop (which was now soft serve consistency) with sticks, corn stalks, magnolia leaves, whatever I could get my hands on at that very moment in time.

Still, no couch.

Friday afternoon, the beau came home from work.  This is usually the moment where we hug, kiss and ask how each other’s day was.  I went totally off script here.

“You’ll never guess who had normal poop just a few minutes ago!”

“Please tell me it was Cody.”  (Which is funny, like I would be making a household announcement about my poop.)


“Oh, thank God!”



We never saw any evidence of the couch.  I’d feel better knowing it was out for sure, but we’ll take what we can get.  Maybe it was a virus or something yucky that he picked up while we were walking.  All I know is, that dogs are a creature who have very little concern about pooping.  When you are at the point that your dog is giving you crazy looks in regards to how you are behaving about poop … you know you are in trouble.