Friday, July 24, 2015

Until the next drama....

Earlier in the year I sadly posted about the tragic loss of my beautiful Japanese koi fish, eight of them ranging in age from 12 years to 24 years.  All of them purchased as three inch fry and chosen for certain color patterns so each of them very different from the other.  At the time of their death most of them were over 12 inches and some were over 20 inches.  After raising them for so many years like most of you raise a dog or a cat we were very attached to our pets, each had a name and all were very tame and could recognize us over a stranger in the garden.  When someone new would come stand and look at them they would swim to edge and when they saw that it was neither MeMa or myself they would become very agitated and swim to the far side of the pond.
Only Athena survived and it was touch and go at that.  But survive she did, although it has been a lonely time for her as koi are very social creatures.  Fortunately for Athena there was one more survivor, a lonely brown tench which is a British species of carp.  I also tossed three small goldfish in as well.  They had been living in the small pond I have in the greenhouse.
We talked about purchasing more koi but decided that we should purchase larger fish as we would never see them grow to the length and age of our old ones.  I took last Wednesday off as in the morning I had to go into the hospital and be violated in order to see if the whole bladder cancer thing was still not an issue.  I don't have to be violated for another six months, so all is well.  So feeling quite good about myself, we went in search of some koi.  Keeping in mind that the last time I purchased koi was eighteen years ago the prices had tripled if not quadrupled.  I am just not prepared to pay three hundred for an eight inch fish.  As we drove up to the last place on our journey we both saw a sign that read "buy two koi get one free".  They had a pond full of very large koi but they had prices that ranged from 800 dollars to several thousand dollars that we quickly walked away from them.   We finally found our koi special, but they are not the large koi we envisioned purchasing.   However they are also not the small fingerling's that we purchased many years ago, they are at least another inch longer. We purchased two and got the third free but once again picked because of color pattern so they are all different from one another.
From the top left in this photo are two of the new koi then our sweet survivor, Athena and the orange fish at the bottom is one of the greenhouse goldfish and just to the right of Athena's big wagging tail fin is the third koi.   Athena is one happy koi.
My water lilies have flourished so the gate has been removed from the channel that connects the two sides of the pond and the koi have complete run of the entire pond.  Peace and tranquility have returned to Menagerie Manor.....until the next drama.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Just Saying, Dear

Just before we flew to Disneyland we had central air installed at Menagerie Manor.  I believe I mentioned in earlier posts that Oregon has been having record heat.  Heat in the spring that we would normally have in the middle of summer.  The entire month of June had been without a measurable drop of rain and July was following the same pattern.  My father moved into the house while we vacationed, he watered and took care of the animals.  He called us and told us that the air works good and he was enjoying it very much.

The weather in Anaheim was temperate, some of the locals said that it was cool for the time of year which was great for MeMa and I as we were expecting scorching temperatures and unbelievable summer break crowds.  We got the crowds but the scorching temps thankfully never happened.  We had a wonderful time on the rides and since we had no children or grandchildren with us we took advantage of that freedom.  When the crowds got to be a little much or we wore ourselves out running like a couple of kids, we then stole ourselves away and had a glass of wine or some other adult beverage and relaxed and just watched people.  We also did a couple of tours that MeMa signed us up for prior to leaving Portland.  The first was the garden tour which walked visitors through different parts of the park explaining gardening methods or took us on specific rides while our guide explained every detail of gardening in the park.  The second and the one we both recommend to any Disney fanatic was "Walking in Walt's Disneyland Footsteps", a fantastic tour that told about his life and dreams for Disneyland.  After a scrumptious lunch we were taken into the private Disney Family Suite called the Dream Suite.

Walt Disney died the year before the Suite was completed, but it was completed to his specifications and is now used for dignitaries and prize promotions.  In each of the bedrooms there is a button on the wall that is called the "Goodnight Kiss" and when pushed brings the room to life.  Magical things happen before your eyes such as paintings coming to life, music playing, stars twinkling all over walls and ceilings.  A miniature steam locomotive comes to life and rolls out of its display box winding in and out of dozens of miniature scenes from the park and as it passes each of them set up on the shelf that goes completely around the entire room they all come to life as well.
After six days we returned home and work.  I had divided some of my duties with the other staff and told them that it was imperative that these tasks be done on a daily routine.  And to some extent they were except for one, and it was the one that I told the individual, "This must get done."  Unfortunately it was not ,so I have that job to contend with for the next week or more.
This weekend we took some friends up to our family cabin for a lazy weekend of doing absolutely nothing.  Unfortunately it reached temperatures in the upper nineties and this afternoon it got to 100.
We did absolutely nothing but think about our central air that we really had not enjoyed much.
Its not central air but MeMa manages to have fun no matter the situation

Friend Jan and old grumpy (yours truly) trying to cool ourselves in tubs of cold water.
 Little Ninja our son's dog was not enjoying the heat either.

We are home now and the central air is divine.  Makes one wonder why we waited so long to have it installed????  Just saying dear!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Popeye, the Poop Purveyor

It is no secret that Popeye and I just tolerate each other, he is MeMa's dog and they adore each other.

Perhaps if he was not a poop eater things would be fact is he pee's on everything in the garden! MeMa says get over it, its a guy thing. My answer to that was, "You don't see me out there peeing on things do you"?

I prefer bitch dog's, they pee too but not on every plant in the garden or your favorite spade after you lean it against the wall while working on something else in the garden. I think he does it to show that his tolerance for me is getting thin.

It was suggested that we try the "raw diet" and along with it a whole slew of additives including pro-biotics. This was supposed to replace the essential enzymes that are missing in his diet.

He loved it, Sophie loved it, all was going great. But it didn't curb his unhealthy urge to eat poop, in fact it worsened the habit. Now he was eating the poop and the soil under it, digging great trenches all over the garden and pathways.

The evening of the second day he vomited seven times on the carpets, great piles of putrid stuff that almost had us rushing him to the veterinarian. Fortunately he stopped and so did the new raw diet.

We recently took him in for another thyroid check but the vet said no need as he is showing all the classic symtoms of Cushings Disease.  Hair loss, thinning skin, swollen belly, voracious appetite, insatiable thirst.  His skin is so thin and with the hair loss we now have to put sun screen on him so he can go outside and eat poop.  The Vet said to keep him comfortable and he could live a long life, keep him from getting any injuries as they will be very hard to treat and heal over.

There is a treatment for it but besides the fact that it is super expensive it is also very dangerous and the success rate is slim to none.  So now my tolerance level has come up a bit as the disease is what is causing the bad behavior issues.  He is still and always will be MeMa's dog, in her eyes he is Rin-Tin-Tin or Old Yeller.

While in my eyes he is still that poop eating dog.