Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Pool

So we broke down and bought a "cheap" above ground pool. Cheap being a relative word. Yes it is not as expensive as a more permanent above ground pool, but wow it sure adds up when you run into those never ending glitches.

The husband and I originally talked about where would be the best location of the pool. First I did some research online looking up our county ordinances regarding swimming pools. Anything over 24" of water required a 5 foot fence. This was recently amended, however. Before it only required a 4' fence. Of course! Our fence was only 4 feet tall. Because of the hassle of having to put up a fence inside of our fence to protect any trespassers from drowning in our pool.*sigh* So we opted for up against our deck. This would help with the posts for one side of our fence around the pool.

Dakota and I went out and laid out the location of the pool (looks like a landing site).

After talking more that evening, Brent and I decided that the original loaction was a little sketchy. We have a couple of sink holes forming in that spot of the yard. The fear of adding all that water weight on top of them did not seem like a good plan. So we decided on the only "level" spot in our yard. Of course it is under a serious amount of pine trees.

After 7 hours of work on a Saturday afternoon, this is what it looked like at the end of Day One:

Seven more hours of work and here is what it looked like at the end of Day 2:

And above is what it looked like after day 4. We should have it all finished and up to code by the end of summer. Just kidding . .. maybe.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


My oldest daughter graduated this year. She technically finished all of her requirements last year, but her and I decided to hold off on her official graduation until this year.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I Am Furious!

The fostering to adopt has turned into a bigger fiasco then I ever could have imagined. We were told we could foster to adopt so we could get to know the new dog (a.k.a. Harley) and see if he was a good fit for our home. I called at 3:00 Monday afternoon to check that we were still on schedule to pick him up. I was told there was still one more surgery before him and he would be ready for pick-up at 7:30 that night. That was sure not leaving much time for recovery on his part before we picked him up.

We arrived at 7:30 and waited for 20 minutes before we were even able to talk to the person in charge of adoptions. We were told the dew-claw fee would no be included with the adoption fee. Okay, perhaps they should have informed us of that via the phone when I called them twice that afternoon, but since we were only fostering and not adopting that day, I dismissed the concern. When we were finally able to talk to the young lady in charge of adoptions, we were told the protocol had changed and we were no longer allowed to foster him, because we lived too far away. What?!?! We live under 20 minutes away. We were then told the dew-claw removal would cost $20 per paw - the homeless pet rate. But when she took us to check out, the fee for the removal of the dew-claws we were told would be over $150. I nearly choked. So now, not only were we to pay the adoption fee of $175 we were supposed to pay an additional $150+ as well. After one of the tech's went and talked to the doctor, the fee was decreased to $92. At this point we had been there for nearly an hour and I was fried. It was the most chaotic place I have been to and everyone had a different answer for everything. They set us up for a well check visit and removal of stitches in ten days.

We got home and realized the packet of information they gave us was missing many of the things they told us would be included. Not a rescue group or vet I would be willing to work with again, that is for sure. But wait! It gets even better.

Over the week, Harley started sneezing and doing something they call a reverse sneeze. I did some research and found out it is usually linked to allergies. Of course, we would adopt a dog with allergies. But as the week progressed it become worse until Friday night he was actually coughing. I was up most of the night with him due to his problems settling because of all the coughing. Brent was very concerned and thought we should take him to an emergency vet. I convinced him to wait until morning.

We called the Town and Country vet, the Homeless Pets is run out of, and no one answered even though the information they gave us claimed they were open. We then called the vet of our previous fur babies and got in that afternoon. Long story short, Harley is full of hookworms. What kind of rescue group does not d-worm their dogs?!?!? They gave him a de-wormer, a heart worm test, an initial visit, some heart worm pills for six months and some cough tablets. We walked out of their less $225. If you are keeping a running total we are now down $500.

After we got home he began feeling lethargic and would not eat. He eventually had diarrhea and vomited several times. He would not eat in the morning nor drink, so we returned to the vet who gave him some fluids, an injection of anti-nausea medicine, and an oral antibiotic - anther $135. She believes the amount of parasites that showed up in his stool sample is why he is vomiting and having diarrhea. He is heavily infested. Did I mention that humans can also get hookworms?

To say that I am annoyed by the Homeless Pets organizations and Town and Country Vet is to put it lightly. What kind of rescue group does not do testing on their rescues to make sure they are up to date on all their shots and healthy. We will see how I feel tomorrow, but this evening with my still lethargic and extremely sick Harley next to me I am ready to call and give them a piece of my mind. Needless to say, our appointment for a well check and removal of stitches is canceled.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fostering to Adopt

I thought I was at a place where I was comfortable not having a dog in our lives. One less responsibility. One less mess. Can come and go as we please. Can complete school without interruption (well one less interruption).

Well, my husband called me Saturday morning to let me know a customer of his had three lab/rot mixes. Should he bring one home? He would call me back in 10 minutes. What!?!?! I had 10 minutes to make a decision. He must have lost his mind. I wrote out a pro/con list. I talked to Sierra about it (Dakota was still sleeping).

The thing is I know where all of my family members will weigh in on the decision. My husband will take almost any dog. He sees it and he thinks we should have it, but luckily he knows the ultimate decision is mine, since I will bear 90% or more of the responsibility. Sierra really wants another dog. She misses having a dog and thinks about it often. That being said, she is also extremely practical. If I give her the pros and cons, she will look at the cons and say it is not a good decision and we shouldn't do it, no matter how much she wants one. Dakota is usually one that think s we should wait. He really wants a dog, but after the last experience we are all just a little leery. Chloe . . . well, what can I say, she is 8. She would take any dog at any time.

So here I sit - knowing how much my kids want/need a dog - trying to weigh out how much it would change our lives. Napoleon was the most wonderful dog ever. So laid back. We never had to worry about leaving him home alone, about accidents, about chewing, about digging. He was such a good boy.

One of my biggest concerns was that these puppies were kept outside with their mother. None of them had received any type of vaccination or veterinary care. The risk was too great and knowing that black and tan breeds are more susceptible to parvo made me all the more scared.

I got online and looked at our local shelter to see if they still had a puppy I had seen several weeks ago. They sis not, but they did have a white American bulldog that was an adult. I knew my husband would be in love with this dogs looks. He always is gravitated toward these types of dogs. So on our date night we headed to the shelter to meet Olivia. We both adored her. We were just getting ready to have someone get her out for us when we saw her jump. She jumped over 6 feet to look what was happening on the kennel behind her. Well that was not gonna work. Our fence was only 4.5 feet. The guy working hteir informed us any large dog was probably out of the question and medium sized dogs were iffy for our height of fence. We never had a problem with Napoleon, but he was such a special and mellow dog. We did not want to risk it with a new dog.

We then walked past the puppy room. I fell in love with a Doxie-mix. She was precious. Brent was less than thrilled. We decided we would think about it and return on Tuesday when they would be open again.

We headed off on our date night and ran some errands. We stopped at a Whole Foods to pick up some things and noticed they had a local rescue group there with their dogs. We did not even talk about it, we both just headed straight for the dogs. I saw a cuties and was reading his sheet. Brent surprised me and said he thought he was a good looking dog. He was a small dog. Brent and Dakota are not small dog people, so I was surprised to say the least. He decided we should take him out and meet him. One of the volunteers asked if we wanted to fill out paperwork on him and Brent said yes. Whoa!! I was thinking. This is going way too fast. They wanted to know if we wanted to take him home or pick him up on Monday after he was neutered and had his shots. I was not ready to make a decision so quickly. It was crazy busy there and we had no way of seeing his personality or anything. I was feeling a bit panicky. When I explained this to one of the volunteers she told him that we could foster to adopt. In other words, we could take him home for two weeks to see how he does with Chloe and how he adjusts to our home, then we can make the decision on whether or not to adopt him. I was SO relieved.

Tonight we are scheduled to pick him up and bring him to our home. He was just neutered today, had his shots and had his dew-claws removed. He will be a very traumatized little boy.

Wish us all luck!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Honey Bee Scissors - Review

Do you ever have one of those products that once you own it you wonder how you ever lived without it all these years. I have an endless number, but today I am talking about the Honey Bee Scissors. I love 'em.

Last night I stayed up into the wee hours preparing the finishing touches to our Japan unit study. One of the items that I had put off dealing with was the Dover Japanese paper dolls that I ordered from Amazon. I placed an order at the beginning of the year and got them for a steal with the buy 3 get the 4th for free. I bought 20+ mini books of "sticker" paper dolls, or so I thought. When I placed my order, I must have rushed, because of the great deal I was getting and ended up with some that needed to be cut out - a tedious job to say the least.
Anyway, long story short, I used my fabulous Honey Bee scissors and as I was cutting out all those microscopic pieces I found myself being so thankful for my little scissors. They made the job so much easier. They can manuever around the tiniest edges and are extremely sharp. No tugging or tearing of the paper. I would never have been able to accomplish the task with my regular household scissors.
They truly are a cut above the rest.