Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A visitor and good news

There we were sitting out in the sun room when we heard a loud chirping noise - we looked up to see this big guy on the fly screen - he was HUGE - nearly 3" long! Now check out his pretty colors and spots!

We did have good news at the vets - it is only the top of my tooth missing and no root is visible so he is going to leave it alone for the time being and look at removing it when I have my next teeth cleaning.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Sigh .........

We just can't get a break it seems. Mr Reilly is back to the vets tomorrow after we noticed he has broken a front tooth (one of the small ones right on the front between the large canines). His foot still continues to bleed a tiny bit each day - he has another week to go and if it doesn't stop by then - he will be back a splint. We sure wish things would get back to normal.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Guess what we did this morning

We were up bright and early to watch the sun rise and we got to do some bark ranger patrolling ! Happy Dogs !!!!

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Great Outdoors

In the early morning I am loving being able to spend more time outside in my yard - it feels like I have on house arrest forever with this silly foot problem - but now Mom is letting me have a little more freedom. Last night I even got to walk to the end on my street and back (which is only four houses long) - it sure felt good to be able to sniff and check peep mail.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The on going foot saga

We went to see my surgeon vet yesterday and although he is happy with my foot - there is still a small area about half an inch long that isn't healed and still bleeding a tiny bit. He said if it doesn't heal by itself in the next 2 weeks that I will have to wear a splint again to take the pressure off the pad. The AWESOME news though - he did say I could try a few short walks !!!!!! Sadly - like many places around the USA we too are in the high 90's for the next week or so and even the early mornings are still hot for us long haired shaggy types. We did stop in the nice air conditioned pet store on the way home and it was SOOOOOO good to be able to sniff around and say hello (very loudly) to everyone. And YES - Mom bought ME lots of treats too :)

In other news - we must apologize for not being around this week - the Mom has been battling with a Lupus flare-up the last few weeks and is back on immune suppressants which has lowered her ability to fight off germies ........so of coarse she went and got herself a summer cold and has been feeling pretty yucky for the past week. She is starting to feel better so maybe this weekend we can go for an early morning beach walk.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Finally some good news

Look - no splint!
Look - I have a skinny leg!
Mr Reilly went for his bandage change this morning and his surgeon was so happy with how his foot has healed this past week that they decided to give him try without the splint. His leg and foot is pretty weak from not being used all these weeks so he is still hobbling around but now he only has to wear his orthopedic boot. He will still need to have twice daily foot washes and antibiotics put on it and he still on house arrest for a couple more weeks but hopefully he will start building some muscle mass back and get use to walking on his foot again. We just have to be super careful that he doesn't put to much pressure on the scar tissue and we have added extra padding to his boots to help cushion his foot more.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Happy Boys

We got up early this morning and we headed off to the beach - it is not as much fun as running, galumphing and sniffing but it sure felt good to be out of the house. We really haven't been doing much lately as it has been in the 90's now for the last 3 weeks - even when we had the storm go through it didn't cool down. Mom too is still struggling to walk - she had been going to the Chiropractor and that is helping but it is a just slow recovery for her. We all miss the beach terribly and our daily walks but we are all hoping in a few more weeks that things will get back to normal.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

We survived the storm

We are happy to woof that we survived Tropical Storm Colin - in fact we didn't even notice it as it went over us over night and we just got LOTS and LOTS of rain.

Of coarse everything is now soggy and wet -including us whenever we go outside.  Unfortunately our back yard looks a bit like a jungle at the moment as Mom hasn't been able to get out and mow it for the last couple of weeks. See we have a secret about a certain "pain in the butt" issue concerning the Mom. While on vacation on Sanibel Island Mom was constantly kneeling or squatting down to pick up shells and somehow seems to have severely irritated or strained the nerves/muscles/tendons/ligaments (the doctors can't to seem to figure out exactly which)  in her right hip and butt.  The pain got so bad she even ended up in ER over the weekend and she couldn't walk. They told Mom it could take 6-8 weeks to heal so both Mom and I are kind of hobbling around now - and check out my red sock - it is actually one of those non slip socks they give you in hospital (they gave them Mom) and she found it is perfect for me around the house and stops my foot sliding on our tile floors. I also have a special boot that Mom puts on when I go outside that is water proof. Oh - the Dweeb (Denny) says hi too - he says he has been feeling a little left out lately :)

Just as a side note - We know a few of you have also been concerned that I may have to have my foot amputated if it continues to not heal - my Vet says this is NOT going to happen and in the worse case scenario I may just lose a toe but after yesterdays visit he is much more optimistic that it will heal fine - it is just going to take some time.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Latest Reilly Update

Check out my Monsters Inc bandage :)
We are just back from our surgeon vet and have some good news and bad news. The bad news is cultures came back on the infection and Mr Reilly has Pseudomonas in his paw. This is one of the worse bacteria's and very difficult to treat requiring daily antibiotic injections which can be very harmful to the kidneys.

After looking at the wound though our surgeon has decided to wait on the antibiotics as the splint to keep his toes together is working and the actual wound is healing by itself and there is just a small portion open now. It is still oozing a little but not very much and the surgeon is hoping he can fight off this Pseudomonas by himself.

Part of the big problem we have with his healing - apart from the infections is due to Mr Reilly's splayed arthritic toes - being spread out so much  puts a lot more pressure on the wound than he would have with a normal paw. As a result he will need to wear a splint for a few more weeks and then to a pressure bandage to keep his toes together until the scar tissue is strong enough to hold.

Today we are all watching the weather as Tropical Storm Colin is heading straight towards us - they say we can expect 6-8 inches of rain and winds gusting above 50 mph with possible tornadoes. We have had a bit of rain and a water spout was spotted on Jax Beach this morning but the worse of it is expected later tonight and tomorrow. Please keep your paws crossed for us :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

You never know

Every time we take we the ferry across the St John's river we see this beautiful old majestic ship sitting across at the dock and have often wondered about it. Well today Mom did some research on it after looking up its name and found out some amazing information.

The Atlantis II, which helped find the Titanic at the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean, has been moored in the St. Johns River for about 18 months at the St. Johns Boat Co. across from Mayport. The Atlantis II was originally used as a research vessel when it was owned by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. The ship's claim to fame came in 1986, when the vessel took part in an expedition that ended with the video images of the wreckage of the Titanic on the ocean floor. The Atlantis II transported a three-person submarine, the Alvin, to the Titanic wreckage site. The submersible was launched from Atlantis II to record the Titanic images about a year after it was initially discovered by explorer Bob Ballard. The ship is also noted for other historical hallmarks. "She's done many other things in her career that no other ship had done. She sailed 8,135 days [in a row] at sea and every ocean in the world, both north and south poles. If it's on the face of this planet and it's got water, she's been there." There are 7 decks and 32 State rooms on board. She is 210 feet long and was built at the Maryland Shipyards in 1962. In 2009 she underwent an 18 month refit costing $3 million dollars - the ship has been up for sale ever since then.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Mr Reilly Update

It was really tough  going on vacation knowing the problems we were having with Reilly's foot but we talked with our vets and arranged for a vet on the Island to do daily bandage changes and hoped and prayed everything would be okay. Everything looked good until Thursday last week when we took him in and found out that once again the stitches had given way. We actually cut our vacation short so we could come back to our surgeons and get it seen too straight away.

Yet again (the third time now) there seems to be an infection in his foot so another round of antibiotics. Each time this happens the skin around the wound dies and looses the ability to hold the stitches in places. They took more swabs to send away so we can be sure exactly what infection we are dealing with and hopefully by the end of this week he will have it sutured again.

He now has to have his foot splintered rather than just bandaged - they are hoping the splint will help take the pressure off his paw and let it heal better. As you can see though - it is also taking a toll on my precious boy - I have never seen him so sad and despondent. Multiple times a day he goes and nudges his lead and looks at me with those big brown eyes and doesn't understand why we can't go for a walk - it breaks my heart every time I have to say 'no baby - not today'.

We knew going into this that having surgery on his pad was not going to be easy but we also knew the constant foot infections he was getting from the tumor could lead to something far worse too - so we just keep taking a day at time and hoping and praying - we are off to the vets again today and hopefully it will be looking a little better. Any power of the paw you can spare will be most appreciated.

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.