Monday, May 30, 2016

Sanibel - Part 3

Mom says there is always a price you have to pay for perfection and for paradise and sadly as much as Sanibel is the most wonderful place - the 'cost' of living there would be WAY too much for many people. Of coarse you expect one of the best shelling places on earth to be expensive but the cheapest house you can buy on Sanibel is around $480,000 with the average being between $500,000 and 1 million dollars. There are MANY houses that are in the 4-8 millions dollar range too!!!  Even condos and apartments cost about the same - so Mom's ideas of ever retiring there quickly dissipated.

One of the things Mom did love is there are no 'chain' stores allowed on the Island. There is just one Dairy Queen and one CVS pharmacy - everything else is all single operator owned and we must admit - they have some of the BEST restaurants there. We went to one called the "Over Easy Café" - they do the best breakfast and have the most delicious orange rolls you have ever tasted. Mom and Dad got one every day they were there and they are big enough that two people can share just one. They also are happy to have pups out on the deck and provide every doggie with a big fresh bowl of water and a treat !!!!  We also tried a restaurant called the "The Island Cow" which everyone had raved about to us but we found it to be way to crowded and noisy and had the send the food back twice because it was overcooked to the point of being burnt. They have restaurants that cater for ever taste and budget though so be assured even the most picky eater can find something there.
Orange Roll at the Over Easy Cafe
Inside the Over Easy Café














They also have the coolest supermarket there called Jerry's. Being built up off the ground - they pack your groceries into boxes that are put on a conveyer belt and took down stairs - then you just drive up to the line and give them your ticket and they put your groceries in your car - so cool. Groceries on the island are VERY expensive but there are a number of supermarkets right on the end of the bridge before crossing to Sanibel and we recommend stopping there and getting all the basics you need.

By far though - the worse price one has to pay for such a paradise is something so small and so annoying it is amazing. They are called no-see-ums and are a tiny sand midge or fleas - hardly able to be seen but oh my gosh - do they bite. Both Mom and Dad have about 100 bites each on their legs and arms and no-see-ums sting when they bite and then about an hour later a red welt appears that looks like a blister and by the next morning the blister are filled with pus. Not everyone gets the severe reaction - dad just got blisters and itching but all of Mom's bites got infected.  Thankfully our long fur protected us and we didn't get bothered. The bad thing is Mom and Dad had read about them before hand and were well prepared with bug spray that they used a lot of it - but it still wasn't enough. They say there are two seasons for no-see-ums - from Jan to June and June to January - which basically means all year long :) For anyone heading there on vacation please be aware of these little bugs - don't walk in grass or shady places, don't go out at dawn and dusk and use the strongest possible deet spray you can but expect to get bitten even with all these precautions. 

There are also a lot of garter snakes on the island and although they can't hurt you they do scare you when they slither past you on the path. We also saw coyotes, raccoons and possums and of coarse all kinds of birds. We were also lucky enough to see a whole pod of dolphins playing just off the shoreline one morning. There are also signs up warning about alligators on the island too - they tend to be in the marsh areas but it pays to be watchful as often many of the boardwalks across to the beach cross these marsh mangrove areas.

Tomorrow will be our last Sanibel post and Mom will show you some of the treasures she found.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sanibel - Part 2

One of the things we discovered on our trip down to Sanibel (which took about 7 hours of driving) was the rest stops were not at all pet friendly. They had beautiful picnic areas and were clean and well maintained but all the ones we stopped at had HUGE signs saying no dogs allowed except in the "approved" area which sadly were mostly just a four foot strip of weed infested overgrown area that was the "pet walk". We left on Friday morning and Mom wasn't actually feeling to well - in fact she slept nearly the whole way and slept all of Saturday too - not the greatest start to a vacation but Sunday morning she finally was able to get up the energy and  head to the beach. It was quite windy and overcast and the water was a muddy and brown - not quite the wonderful aqua blue we were expecting but we still loved having a stroll along the beach and luckily it seemed we were about the only ones who felt like being out in the wind and the beach was all but deserted. The last couple of pictures show the bridge across to Sanibel and Fort Myers in the background - Mom thought is funny to see the big hotels over in Fort Myers looking like they were floating in the water.




Saturday, May 28, 2016

Sanibel - Part 1

We are sorry to have to split this up over a few days but we have such a lot to share about our vacation. First of all - we had been planning this for almost a year - getting bookings on Sanibel is not always easy as it VERY popular. For those who do not know about Sanibel - it is a small island on the west coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico and is famous for having the BEST shelling beaches in the world!

When Mom and Dad booked our vacation we didn't know of coarse that I would be having all this foot trouble but Mom worked with our local surgeon and found a vet on the island who could do my daily bandage changes and keep and eye on things.

So lets begin - we stayed at a place called the "Signal Inn" which just so happens to be right on the beach and is very dog friendly. The cottages are all built up off the ground so this was one issue we had to deal with - carrying Reilly up and down the stairs every time we went out - my dadelevator did a great job though and got quite a work out. All the cottages are clustered around a central swimming pool and while we  there we hardly saw anyone using it - in fact the whole place was very very quiet and we think only about a third of the cottages were being used. Sanibel is more popular in winter than summer as it tends to be too hot for people then so summer is their 'off season'. The cottages are beautifully equipped inside and everything is supplied - you just need to bring your own food. They even provide you with deck chairs and umbrellas to take down to the beach and there are outdoor showers and hoses to wash off feet  and fur. There is a wonderful boardwalk that leads directly to the beach and you can walk for as many miles as you want there.

Now although the "Signal Inn" is very dog friendly we must point out there is just one teeny tiny patch of grass we can use and it is some distance from the cottages. It is actually like that all over the island - there are many many places that are pet friendly and even many of the restaurants allow dogs on the decks outside but there are actually no grassy park areas at all for doggies. Dogs are allowed on all the beaches - but must be kept on a 6 foot long leash and are allowed at all the parks along the beaches but those parks don't have grass - most of them are just sandy patches. We didn't mind that there wasn't any grass anywhere as smells are smells any where they are  - but Mom was a bit worried about the ground being so hot and that some grass would of been easier on our feet. This is the cottage we stayed at below and as you can see it was wonderful.






Friday, May 27, 2016

We are back !

This past week we have been on vacation to Sanibel Island. It was the best and worst of weeks and we will share more about it tomorrow - today we are just resting up and catching our breaths again.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Good News

I went off for my bandage change and check up this morning - check out me styling my very own (Cowspotdog) print bandage -  Mom says it was actually a camouflage print - well of coarse it is - it matches me perfectly which makes me in camouflage :) The good news is - the stitches are holding great, no infection, no oozing and touch wood - everything seems to be healing really well. I didn't even need to have any sedation today which made me and Mom super happy. Next week  I have to go back on Monday and Thursday for more bandage changes and then hopefully next Saturday they will see if they can remove some of the stitches. We want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone for all the Power of The Paw for my paw - we know it made a huge difference and it has certainly helped Mom to worry a little bit less. And remember how Mom got me a little red wagon so I could do my Bark Ranger duties and patrol the beach - well Mom doesn't like the color red so when she saw they had replacement covers for only $5 - she ordered me a new one - so now I have a nice new blue wagon :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Kitty Cartel

Mom went out in the back yard yesterday to put out some cracked corn for the baby geese and  noticed two grey kitties on the other side of the pond eating bread that some of our neighbors had put out. When she looked closely though she noticed one of the kitties looked a little different - we are thinking the kitty cartel is trying to dress up as bandits - what do you think?



Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Mr Reilly is Home Safe

Mr Reilly is back home safe - a little tired but doing fine. We have tried to put together a little graphic to show what has been done. In his first surgery 2 weeks ago he had half of his big pad removed as this is where the biggest part of the tumor was. The tumor had also grown between two of his other pads - both on the bottom and top of his foot and it is the sutures between the two small pads that were having trouble holding. The arthritis he has in his toes have caused them to splay such a lot that they we literally pulling the sutures apart. What the surgeon did today was cleaned it all out again and removed any dead tissue and then he stitched pad 1 and 2 together to give it the extra support he needs while it heals. Sadly Mr Reilly will still be on house arrest - so no walkies for at least another 2 weeks.

Gone to the birds and P.O.T.P

Mom went for a walk on the beach this morning (she needed to take her mind off things) and noticed a whole flock of birds just resting on the shoreline - except for one guy who had caught himself a baby flounder and seemed to be having trouble figuring out how he was going to eat it. Today I am having surgery on my foot again - so please if you have some power of the paw to spare again it would be much appreciated.



Sunday, May 15, 2016

Da Beach Da Beach !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes - we made it to MY beach in MY little red Reilly Mobile. I can't say in all honesty I was to thrilled about it and hid down inside with embarrassment when ever I saw anyone coming close but eventually I figured it was better than nothing and started enjoying the warm sun and cool breeze on my fur.  Mom carefully rigged up a harness to stop me from jumping or falling out and I had some nice soft memory foam in the bottom to lay on. Dad also lifted me out near the sand grasses a couple of times so I could have a little sniff around. All in all I am happy to report my beach is looking good and that my Bark Ranger duties have been fulfilled today.


Saturday, May 14, 2016

No twinkle toes

We haven't been doing much the last few days - between Moms bad toe and my jippy foot we have just been resting up and it is also soooooooo boring. The good news is today Mom and Dad went out and bought me a little red wagon so Mom can take me across the boardwalk and on to the beach (I am too heavy for her to carry). Neither of us can go walkies but at least we can sit and watch the world go by and I can have a little sniff around. Hopefully tomorrow we will get to try out my wagon and I can show you pics of it. PPPPPSSSS just an a useless bit of trivia - Do you notice Mom also has 'Morton's Toe"  this is when the second toe is longer than the first toe and people with this condition can never become ballerinas because the weight would be on the wrong toe for balancing - it also makes buying shoes difficult :) 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Not good news - more surgery

Mr Reilly went for another bandage change today and sadly they found the area where they had removed the stitches earlier in the week has opened and he is going to have to have it  resutured. They want to give the remaining sutures time to heal  some more so he will be going in next Tuesday to have the open area closed again. Mom too is also hobbling around after catching her foot on the edge of rug - her toe is all black and blue but thankfully not broken. Sigh - we just don't seem to be having a good week :(

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Back from the Dogtors

I am back from the dogtors - still under the influence of the 'light sedative' which is why I look a bit out of it. They are now giving me baby doses but say I must just be overly sensitive to the sedative. Anyhoo - I got half of my stitches removed today and they say the wound is now healing nicely although there is still just a little infection in it. I have to go back again on Thursday for another bandage change. Check out my stylish 'tractor' bandage I got today - beep beep - out of my or I will run you down with my tractor paw - (as soon as I wake up that is :)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Paws Crossed

Tomorrow I go for my fourth bandage change and this time they will also be checking to see if the stitches are ready to come out as it now 2 weeks to the day they were put in. We also have our paws crossed that the infection has cleared up.

In the meantime I am playing referee at MY pond. Mom puts out cracked corn and feeder pellets for the Geese and Turtles but the Geese can get pretty possessive about the food and try biting at the turtles to scare them away - well today one of the turtles got its revenge and when the Goose tried to bite him - the turtle bit the goose on the foot and wouldn't let go - needless to say there was an awful lot of hissing, honking and flapping of wings. In my capacity of Bark Ranger I declared the turtle the winner :)  As you can see MY baby Geese are growing really fast.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mothers Day

We love our Mom so much and she loves us too :) Happy Mothers Day Mom and to all the Mom's out there - we hope you have a wonderful day too.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Such a sad demise

I told Mom it was okay for her to check on my beach again today and look what she found - this is a Spotted Eagle Ray - which sadly is on the endangered species list. It doesn't show up well in the photos but it was a beautiful slate grey with wonderful turquoise blue spots and had such an unusual head and blue eyes. Sadly - it looks like a fisherman must of caught it while fishing on the breakwater and just left it on the sand -  Mom doesn't understand why they couldn't of cut the line and just let it go - such a waste of a beautiful and unique life form. This one was just over 3 foot across (they can grow up to 10 feet across and weigh up to 500 pounds) You can read more about them here.


Friday, May 6, 2016

I gave Mom permission....

I gave Mom permission to go to the beach without me - even though I didn't like being left behind AT ALL. I told Mom I needed a thorough report on everything as I still have my Bark Ranger duties to do even when incapacitated. It was late in the afternoon when she went and the tide was all the way out so she wasn't really expecting to find anything - but you know King Neptune - he always leaves things on the beach at the most unexpected times.

What Mom founds was lots and LOTS of sand dollars - and the vast majority were still alive. Now you are probably wondering "how do you tell when they are still alive?" Most of the time they still have some color on the top but the real sign is when you turn them over - there is brown fuzzy layer of tiny tentacles that you can see moving. Mom says it is super important to NEVER take live ones as they are the ones that will breed future sand dollars. Mom carefully dug a small hole and put this one back into its hiding place. She also found her first ever baby Horse Conch shell which made her super happy and then when she was poking around the rocks along the break water she found a heap of empty rock snail shells and also all different sized olive shells. Her quiet inspecting the beach for ME - turned out to be a good shelling day for her.
Tentacles on the underside
Live Sand Dollar - Still some color on top
Baby Horse Conch Shell
Olives and Rock Snail Shells

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Not such good news

I am back from having my bandage change and feeling a little "loopy" thanks to the 'light' sedative they gave me again. Mom mentioned this to the nurse when we arrived and they gave me an even lighter dose today but it still zonked me out.

Unfortunately they found the wound has opened a bit and I have some infection in it. They have put me on some super strong antibiotics and I now have to have a bandage change every 2 days. They also 'packed' it with antibiotic ointment and placed lots of wadding between  my toes to keep it extra clean.

The vets said it is very common for this to happen on the foot as the pad is where all the pressure from walking occurs and I had a chunk of my pad removed. I also have a sore spot on my elbow they treated - I have had a callous on it for a long time but when they shaved my leggie it got really irritated and a little infected too - so the antibiotics should take there of that too. Looks like it will be a few weeks before I can do any galumphing now. Today I got a green and a purple paw print bandage but I am not a happy boy :(

Woo Hoo - Good News

My Orthopedic Surgeon called last night with the result of the cytology and was super happy to tell us that there was no signs of carcinomas or other forms of cancer in the tumor.  Half an hour later my regular vet also called super happy too because he had just read the report too. Today I am off for another bandage change and then next Tuesday the stitches come out. It will still be a few weeks before I am allowed to do any full on galumphing but Mom says I should be able to have small 'on the lead' walkies.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Growing Geese and Bumper Crop

Woo hoo - we have had a bumper crop of baby Canada Geese this year - so far there are 5 couples with 20 babies between them - 3 couple have 4 babies each - 1 couple has 5 babies (they originally had 6 but sadly one disappeared) and then one couple with 3 babies. Your can see the age difference - both of these photos were taken today and one set of babies is already fledging (getting some adult feathers) and the others are just a couple of days old. No baby ducks yet but we hoping to see some soon. Mom is surprised so many survive as there are A LOT of cats around our neighborhood but there geese are VERY protective and have no worries about chasing them off - or us and we love to race outside and bark at them :)