Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Shopping around the world

We are joining our favorite little piglet Bacon in a shopping trip around the world. Now even though many of us live in the USA the prices are vastly different because of each States taxes and also the types of grocery stores we have and the different brands of the same item.  So here is our prices check in Arkansas.

Now in all fairness Mom bought Rye and Pumpernickel Bread,  Organic Free Range Eggs and Natural Low Sodium Peanut butter - all of which cost more than normal brands. Mom and Dad haven't been to the movies in years but she looked up the prices online and shock of shock - Mom has NEVER had a McDonalds burger but she saw them advertised on the TV so knew how much they were.

  • Loaf of bread $3.49 - (Plain White is 99cents - $1.99)
  • Gallon of milk $2.89
  • Dozen eggs $4.49 - (Plain Eggs $2.39)
  • Gas per gallon $3.55
  • Movie ticket $7.50
  • At the movies, how much are the concessions? Popcorn $4.50 - Coke $3.50
  • McDonald’s cheeseburger $1.08
  • Jar of peanut butter $3.89 (Plain PB - $3.49)
  • A can of Fancy Feast cat food - never buy the stuff :) :) :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A new update on Andrea

Our beautiful niece Andrea had her surgery two weeks ago and here is an update from her Dad. For those that don't know - Andrea is 13 years old and just before Christmas has a spinal embolism which left her with only limited movement. She slowly regained some strength after the initial surgery to stop the bleeding and then last week she had surgery to remove the embolism. It is hoped with lots of physical therapy she will regain full use of muscles. She is also getting some of the best medicine in the world - visits from therapy dogs every day which she just loves.

Update on Andrea: She went into into surgery on Monday for over 9 hours. The first part was done through the front of her neck to stabilize her cervical bones and the second part was from the back with the neurosurgeon opening up the spinal cord and removing the AVM. The last part was again to stabilize her spine with screws and plates. After the surgery they did another angiogram to make sure that the entire knot of blood vessels had been removed, which it was. So the operation was a success and the Doctors were very happy with the results. After surgery she was moved to the Phoenix Children's Hospital by ambulance and put in the ICU, were she remained until yesterday when they moved her to a regular room. The first two days she remained on the respirator but they removed it yesterday. She is in some pain, of course but was able to sit on the side of the bed for about 10 minutes today. Her neurosurgeons feel that she might be able to travel in 10 to 14 days, so we will be here until then. She needs to be able to tolerate the two hour plane ride in order to get home.Thanks to everyone for your prayers, its been a long road but now there is light at the end of the tunnel.

As you can see from the photos below - Andrea is heading home and we will be sending lots of prayers and good thoughts home with her. She has been amazingly brave and we are all so very very proud of her. When she gets home she will have the best little nurse waiting for her - her own little doggie who is called Millie. We know she will take excellent care of her as will her wonderful Mom and Dad.

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Wild Scary Night

Oh my dog ! We had a wild night with the tornado sirens going off twice during the night and the weather radio constantly alerting. We even had to get in our safe room when one went about a mile or so to the east of us. Sadly 16 people died in Arkansas last night and many more were injured due to the tornado's  - our hearts and prayers go out to the families who lost loved ones. A little town about 20 miles to the south of us was  just about wiped away....even sadder was that little town was hit by a tornado 3 years and 2 days  ago that did the same thing. Mom says spring time is the most beautiful time of year and yet it also likes to remind us that it can all be taken in away in a moment so we must live and enjoy every day like it is our last.  Now where were we during all this time - snoozing of coarse - apart from when Mom called us into the safe room.  Mom says she is so thankful storms don't bother us and she is constantly amazed that the Dweeb isn't scared of them considering he is scared of just about everything else in the world.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Seriously annoyed and angry

The Mom is so angry - some STUPID and UNTHINKING person(s) have put goldfish into MY lake. These are quite large 6"- 8" long and and we assume someone cleared out their own pond or something as we saw at least 60 of them in 3 different places.  Mom contacted the park director and sent him the photos - but of coarse we haven't heard anything back. Mom has also contacted the parks and fisheries department but she fears it is probably too late for them do anything now.

Now for those that don't know - goldfish are in the carp family and will quickly revert back to their wild carp form in a lake or river. Here is some information we found about them.

Carp competes with native fish for spawning habitat and food.  They predate on other species fish eggs, fingerlings and  other small fish.

It is also completely irresponsible, illegal, and potentially catastrophic to the ecosystem. The fish readily breed, can survive all temperatures and then out-compete native species. Please never put tropical or cold water aquarium fish into lakes of rivers.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

It's HUG an Australian Day

Okay so it is the Australian that is hugging us (and NO we are not cuddly types so YES we look like we are being tortured) but it makes the Mom feel good so  Happy "Hug an Australian Day" - free hugs available here :)

Hug An Australian Day is an annual event that was founded by Thomas and Ruth Roy of the website. Though the origins of this event are unclear, Hug An Australian Day has quickly become popular over the last few years, and is celebrated by sending the likes of greeting cards and e-cards to Aussie friends.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Part 5 - Time To Go Home

Before we headed home we visited a few of the sites around Eureka Springs. It is a small town with a population of just over 2000 but it is also a huge tourist town and goes all out to cater to them - especially the bikers. We didn't like that at all as they were just so noisy roaring up and down the roads and it kind of made Mom chuckle as they weren't young bikers - most of them looked over their 50's. At one time there use to be a thriving railroad at Eureka Springs but today there is just a tourist train.  Many of the carriages and trains  are SLOWLY being worked on but with such a small resident population they don't have a lot of people with the skills needed to repair them and bring them back to their former glory.

Across from the trains was this awesome little musical park where they have created all kinds of musical sculptures that you can play. Mom's favorite was this giant wind chime and she had fun tinkling them all.

Eureka Spring has the most amazing collection of unusual houses too. The town is built in a very narrow and rocky valley so a lot of the houses are tall and cling to sides of the hills. We thought it had a kind of German, Swiss, San Francisco feel to the town especially as the streets are very narrow. They class the architecture as Victorian.

As the names suggests Eureka Springs is well known for its springs. There are four main ones and the biggest is this one - the Blue Spring - it puts out 38 million gallons of water a day! We also went to visit Thorncrown Chapel which is a 48 foot high glass chapel. It is a lot like the one we saw in Hot Springs last year but not as big. Dad says the one in Hot Springs was a lot nicer as they had used wood for all the supports where as this one has metal supports. We had the best mini vacation ever and would highly recommend it because not only is Retreat pet friendly but all the parks were and many of restaurants had outdoor areas that were also pet friendly.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Part 4 - Sunrise Over The Ozarks

Saturday morning we woke up to the most beautiful sunrise, the sky was all shades of pink and the trees all has a pink glow to them. Mom took us for a long walk and while we sniffed and double sniffed she watched the sky changing.

Down near one of the ponds we came across Yonkie having some breakfast on the lovely spring grasses. Dweeb stayed hiding behind Mom but not me - I trotted right up to her to say good morning and you know what she did - she SNEEZED on me. Really - is that any way to treat to a world famous cowspotdog? Mom said thankfully most of the sneeze went over me - otherwise I would have had horse cooties all over me!

Mom says these are probably two of her most favorite photos....the glow from the pink sky made the trees all pinkish and the view of the Ozarks was awesome. This was taken from behind the pavillion which is a large building that has french windows facing this view. It is used for weddings and we couldn't imagine a more beautiful place to have one.

Here is one of the cabins down by the pond - each one is completely self contained and it feels like you are there all by yourself as the trees block the view of the other cabins plus they are all staggered up the hills which adds to the privacy. Come back tomorrow for our final Ozark adventure post.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Part 3 - Visiting Missouri

We are such well traveled dogs - not only did we explore new parts of Arkansas - we also went exploring a park in Missouri too. It was called Eagle Rock Park and it has a huge rainbow trout farm there called Roaring Rivers. It was VERY busy as it was also the start of trout fishing season and there were people every few feet right along the rivers edge. Here are some of the holding tanks. We wondered if those poor fish got dizzy swimming in circles like that.

What is really cool is that the holding ponds are fed from water that comes from a spring right there in face of the cliff. It is like a hidden grotto and we saw some of the BIGGEST trout swimming right under it - easily 6-8 pounders. Mom thought it was funny cause I loved watching them. I don't know why that is funny - I do love my fish and was thinking they would make a very tasty dinner but Mom said I would need a permit to catch one.

We then followed one of the walks that went up to the top of the cliff above the spring. It was quite a climb and both Mom and Dad had to stop and rest but not us - we were like mountain goats. When we reached the top there is an overlook that lets you see all the hatchery. Come back tomorrow and see more of our adventure.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Part 2 - The Adventure Continues

We had so much fun exploring the retreat and once the Dweeb got over being scared even he seemed to enjoy himself. Here he is thinking he is a mountain dog.

Mom says you could how happy I was - she said there was something in my eyes - they shined extra bright and I was so full of energy I could barely sit still. I did on occasions though but I was ready and every time Mom or Dad moved I was waiting to go go go. One of the places we went was called Beaver Dam. This is a hydro electric dam and Mom and Dad said it was very impressive. We were to busy sniffing to check out something as silly as the view.

Then Mom and Dad went out to dinner to a place that sat right on top the mountain. This was the view from their table. Mom said it was wonderful to be able to sit outside with a gentle breeze, the smell of the dogwoods and to just breath in the all the fresh air and see the beauty all around. Bah humbug I say - we got left behind with a bone and they didn't even bring us a doggie bag! Oh we forgot to mention we had beautiful weather the WHOLE weekend - it was 78 degrees but the best part of all - there was air conditioning vents in the floor of the cabin and it took me all of 2 seconds to remember what those are for - aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh nothing beats a cool tummy. The adventure continues again tomorrow.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Part 1 - Where in the world were we ?

We mentioned a couple of days ago that we had a surprise for Denny's 3rd birthday.  Friday morning we got in MY car and off we went to the   Retreat at Sky Ridge which is co-owned by Jack Hanna. Now some of you may not know of Jack Hanna - here in the USA he is famous for being the director of Columbus Zoo and also for doing many many TV shows featuring endangered species and raising money to help protect them. The retreat is 140 acres and is located in the Ozark Mountains near a town called Eureka Springs and is entirely pet friendly!

Here we are arriving and being greeted by what Denny thought was the BIGGEST dog he had ever seen!   I knew better though - it was a horse and her name is Yonkie. She is 17 years old found her forever home at the retreat after she was adopted though the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program. She was originally a pacer horse and her official name is Yonka Doodle Dandy but everyone just calls her Yonkie. She wanders  freely all over the property and is very friendly. YES - the Dweeb was scared of her :) At night time she has her own special stable she goes back to.

The cabin we had was very spacious and had everything we needed! It even had a huge two person jacuzzi which we stayed well away from because it is really just a fancy name for a B.A.T.H and we didn't want to give Mom any ideas. One thing Mom really LOVED was the swing on the deck and we spent a lot of time sitting there listening to the wind chimes and the birds.

Something we thought was pawsome was we had our own special table and waiting on it was a place mat with bowls and a big bag of cookies with OUR names on it ! Mom said because it was Denny's birthday and a special weekend - he could come off his diet have some of the cookies. Of coarse he was a bit scared of everything the first day and didn't want to eat any but she snatched them from my jaws saved them for the next day for him. Come back tomorrow and see more of our adventure.