Hi it’s Charly, welcome to my page. When I’m not hanging with my five furry family members, I’m volunteering with animals, enjoying a Bay Area microbrew or vineyard, and I’m here, interacting with you!
Photo credit: Bart, flickr DRILLING!!! DRILLING!!! DRILLING!!! DRILLING!!!
Early morning construction in our office building, on the floor below us. Sooo distracting and unnerving. This is what's going on....
Photo credit: Enrique, flickr But THIS is what it sounds like to us!.....
Some days are better than others, when you're grieving the loss of a loved one. Today is one of the bad ones.
I lost my fiance, Gus, suddenly and traumatically about 6 months ago. I've learned how to cope and get through day by day, but I never for one minute forget. Some days, the fog covering my mind and heart is so thick, I feel like concrete weights are holding down the corners of my mouth when I try to smile (not to mention my eyelids). It's like pushing through mud - exhausting!
I tried to write something fun and light today, but I can't break through the heaviness. You can only ignore or push emotions away for so long, until they gain momentum and steamroll over you.
That's how grief is, and everybody is grieving some sort of loss in their lives.
Since we are ALL experiencing stress and discomfort at some level, let's practice a little compassion for one another. Love and compassion can move mountains.
I marvel at the staying power of this helium birthday balloon given to me 2 months ago (for my birthday).
It's still floating high in air, showing no signs of getting tired.
I wish I could say the same for me!
I need to take a hint from this obstinate balloon, and remind myself that birthdays aren't about turning the dreaded "another year older", but celebrating all of the lessons, wisdom & understandings I have gained each & every year of my life.
Dad, Happy Birthday to you tomorrow. You're not here physically to celebrate anymore, but I know you still love & support me. Your spirit lives on in every dad who's proud of his daughter, especially when she overhears him bragging about her and says, "Daaad, stop. You tell everybody everything!"
And a very low-key & quiet Happy Birthday today to you, Teri King.
Here's your recycled & subdued celebration!
Kashi loves to be walked take me for a walk! He wears Brooklyn's dog harness (big on Brooklyn, snug on Kashi). He's a Tonkinese (rescue kitty, of course) who has a special desire to guard the property and protect me. He is NOT allowed out by himself.
Being indoor only is safer for cats, especially in the city, where cats have to avoid nasty people, cars, racoons, coyotes, foxes & nasty people. Plus, it keeps them out of neighbors' yards who don't appreciate little visitors, and away from the birds that we all enjoy.
That being said, if he wants to go out, I don't deny him. I leash him!
Kashi stops to smell the surroundings. Constantly. He's not a fast walker. I can't say I get exercise walking him, but I get to stop and smell the roses in life!
He started his walks with his daddy, Gus, who is no longer with us.
Kashi's first chance to be outdoors in San Francisco. Circa Feb 2012. Location: Outer Sunset
Not only is this activity enjoyable for Kashi, but walking him keeps Gus' "cat man" spirit alive for us all. We feel much closer to someone who loved us as much as we loved him.
I love bamboo, so was thrilled to recieve this gorgeous arrangement as a get well gift for my German Shepherd Sasha's recent arthroscopic surgery. (See "Dog Days Of Surgery Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 to re-live the hi-jinks of her mad-cap adventure. [insert sarcasm] Just click "next post" at bottom of each blog.)
What I didn't know was, CATS love bamboo too!
Chewed leaf on left. I came home from work to find one leaf chewed up. Who did it? I didn't have to wait long to hear somebody throwing up on the kitchen floor.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ >^..^< JUST KIDDING. I wouldn't take a pic of that! >^..^< ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So I thought, "Fine. She learned her lesson and won't do it again."
Except an hour later, I heard something moving on the kitchen counter, so crept in to find....
The bamboo has been moved to higher ground and is now safe from "Kitty Jaws".
Truth is, here is Sasha's other get well gift, and by far her favorite....
Sardines in oil! Liquid gold to a German Shepherd. And since Sasha is willing to share, all the animals are enjoying the bounty mixed in with their food. Mangia!
Coneless Sasha? Yes, she kicked her collar off after 7 days of faithful wear. While she was supposed to wear it for 8 weeks, I am allowing her to keep it off since she never licked her leg. Not even once. (I watch her like a hawk.)
One of the requirements of her recovery (for 8 weeks) is a small blacked-out and soundproofed area. Since the recuperation room is my bedroom, I had to figure out a blackout contraption.... (below)
Yes it's makeshift, but it does the trick, is easy to disassemble, doesn't do any permanant damage, and was FREE! The cat on the box investigating is Shana, the Queen of this castle. She's already tried to rearrange a few boxes.
Next up for Sasha is SWIM THERAPY! (Shown here before surgery, enjoying a friend's pool.) She can't wait to get into the warm water at The Rex Center in Pacifica, CA and test out the brand new ultra-cool underwater treadmill from Dr. Ilana Strubel's vet service "A Well Adjusted Pet". Anyone want to try it out with her? She'd love for you join her at their Grand Unveiling on Fri, July 18th 7-9pm. You can RSVP here and find all the details.
Sasha thanks everyone who has sent her prayers, positive thoughts & healing energy. And she REALLY appreciated the get well gifts, like the cases of canned sardines in oil. Liquid gold to a German Shepherd!
For previous blogs detailing the (mostly true*) story of Sasha's diagnosis of elbow dysplasia, and subsequent orthroscopic surgery, consult Dog Days of Surgery, Parts 4, 3, 2 & 1 all found here in reverse order.
(*Disclaimer: some liberties were taken with actual canine thoughts & actions.)
Well darn, now I have to hide the car keys AND the booze.
This is pain medication for a DOG! Really, does she need this warning? (Do they think she's going to read it?)
Poor Sasha's too sick to drink. And her cone won't fit behind the wheel.
Here is Sasha way back in May of 2014, tying one on. She didn't drive that night, either. She left that to her partner in crime...
... Marco, the original party boy. He learned from his Great Uncle Toonces.
Toonces the Driving Cat. Can't get enough Toonces!
(Who would have thought I could laugh so hard at screaming humans going over a cliff!)
Post-surgery update: So here's how she's doing. She's banging into the walls of these narrow San Francisco hallways with her huge collar, but she's got a great attitude about it. The pain meds are helping, but the anti-anxiety Rx only makes her more anxious and upset. I found that natural remedies calmed her better. A few drops of Rescue Remedy** in her water, food, ear tips and paws have helped lessen her anxiety and take the edge off. Plus a few drops in a mister bottle to spray her bedding. That actually helps calm down her anxious mama (me), too!
** NOTE: I am not a paid endorser of Rescue Remedy. (Although I would like to be!) I have purchased various Bach Flower Essence Rememdies for over 25 years, and swear by them as a non-toxic, safe alternative (and complement) to prescription medications. Happily, my animals respond well to them too. Tomorrow: Part 4 of Sasha's medical journey as she deals with dysplasia & healing from arthroscopic surgery. (See Parts 1, 2 & 3)
Even though Sasha felt much better after a month of laser therapy, x-rays showed the inevitable... elbow dysplasia and severe joint deterioration.
(See Dog Days of Surgery, Part 1 and Part 2)
I tossed & turned, and literally lost sleep over what course of action to take. While arthroscopic surgery was the recommendation, I was warned it would NOT "fix her" back to where she was. It would only slow down further deterioration and lessen the pain she felt now. This decision was not taken lightly (or inexpensively).
At least I know what it feels like.
I had my own knee scoped many years ago.
The cone and the elbow. (8 weeks of this? Oh no.)
Kitty kisses! Actually, Kashi just wants to see what the heck is going on.
Now he's claiming the cone!
With three dog beds set up in her recuperation room, she chooses the rug on the floor. Go figure!
Limited view of the world.
My view of the TV. I spent a lot of time on the floor those first few days after her surgery, comforting her.
Brooklyn peeking over the side of the bed, looking down at us. He doesn't want any part of what's going on down there!
Sasha starts her treatment protocol for severe elbow dysplasia (see Dog Days of Surgery, Part 1) at her veterinarian, Healthy Pets in West Portal in San Francisco, with 2-3 laser treatments per week, to bring down her pain and joint inflammation.
Treatment doesn't hurt, but she isn't thrilled to have to sit still. She is very fond of all the vet techs, though!
Check out the line-up of medicine to make her feel better, after unknowingly tearing up her elbow for so long.
Yes those are needles, and yes I have to give her weekly shots of Adequan. (Unless I want to pay extra for the vet to give her each shot. That's ok, I can handle that myself.) Keeping track of which meds are given 1x a day, 2x a day, with food, without food, etc etc is really "fun".
Thank goodness Sasha loves car rides, especially if that means swinging by the store after the vet. Although she is of no help loading and unloading the groceries, even when they're for her!
ON STRIKE! Sasha refuses to clean the house now, citing health concerns. I must now pay her workman's comp, even though her condition is from birth. Oh well , she was a terrible maid anyway. Her built-in feather-duster-tail destroyed more items than it ever cleaned. Love her!
Sasha, my 4-1/2 yr old German Shepherd, in her #1 favorite place on earth - the San Francisco Bay at Crissy Field Beach. (Above & below.)
Nothing makes my heart soar more than watching joyous energy radiate from her soul as she runs through the surf, always hoping to entice other dogs to play. Sasha lives to run & play.
Chasing the dream at Ft. Funston (kangaroo style).
Searching for new friends to greet at Ft. Funston.
Sadly, she was recently diagnosed with elbow dysplasia. Severe arthritis has set in (as young as she is), hindering her ability to run and play. I was informed that even with surgery, she will never go back to being the way she was.
I cried for days.
Eyes that see into your soul.
My big-little girl made the pages of "QVegas Magazine" in an adoption success story in Oct 2011. (She's a shelter rescue.)
After many veterinarian consultations, Sasha is on a course to restore as much of her mobility as possible. Her journey has just begun, and will be covered in many blogs to come. Her procedures are not all set in stone by a long shot, but at least she is off and... (oops, not running. not yet) But that IS the goal. Freedom on the beach for Sasha.
What is it about Chicken Tikka Masala or Chicken Korma? I happen to LOVE these entrees, and every time I eat them, whether fresh from an Indian restaurant, fresh from my stove (although I cheat with pre-made sauce) or fresh from the freezer (below), someone always tries to steal it from me! The reason I find it so odd is that it's rather spicy for an animal. I have to add basmati rice and raita (greek yogurt & cucumber) or a yogurt lassi, to calm down the heat in my mouth. But each time I've caught one of my brats pets eating it when I had my back turned, the spice never seemed to bother them. Go figure, I'm the wimp in the family!
The object of desire. (Fresh from the freezer.)
Kashi, Marco's brother: the other suspect. (Eyes appear to say, "Not me. At least not THIS time.")
Brooklyn: has a rap sheet - he's the one who ate it last time I turned my back.
Shana: Nope, she's the good girl of the gang.
Sasha: Nope, I would have heard her coming. (Note: Sasha's arthroscopic surgery to be detailed in an upcoming blog.)
Yup, it's these two "angelic" creatures who take turns swiping my food. Definitely Marco this time. As you can tell, they never get fed. [Insert SARCASM.]