Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Feral Cats

These four feral cats are the last of my original colony that I tnr'd five years ago. Out of these four, Mikah , (the black and white) was the only adult at the time, so I have no idea of her age. I can guess between 7- 8 years old. The other three are approximately five and a half years old. All born completely feral. To this day, none of them have ever been touched by a human, including me.

Some people ask how I can get so attached to a cat I have never pet. They say, "They are just stray cats." I beg to differ. They are NOT just stray cats. They are the result of irresponsible pet owners. Humans that choose to not spay and neuter their pets. Humans that choose to let their cats roam and reproduce. Humans that think of our society as a throw away society. Humans that move and leave their cats to fend for themselves. It is a sad reality. But, it is reality. Until humans can accept responsibility for their pets, their will always be the homeless strays, and feral cats.

I long for the day that I can pet these beautiful souls. I know that will never happen with these four. All I can provide is shelter, food, a safe yard to play and sleep in, and my unconditional love.
Every night I sit outside and just watch how they interact with each other, how they communicate. I know they are thankful for what I can provide for them, although I will always feel it isn't enough, they are feral, this is their life.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Look At All That Hair!

There is a reason German Shepherds are called German Shedders. Look at all that hair! German Shepherds shed 365 days a year. They blow their coat twice a year, depending on the climate you live in, most often the beginning of spring and fall. that is when you will find little tufts of hair that you just can not resist plucking off your German Shepherd. Depending on each individual dogs coat, is going to determine how often you should brush him.

Jake has a very thick undercoat, so he needs a good brushing every week. Some times I slack and he doesn't get brushed as often anymore. All the hair above came from 30 minutes of brushing. I know I can get that much more off of him in another week too! Good thing I love grooming the dogs.

After his brushing, laying in his pile of hair.
As Jake has gotten older, grooming sessions wear him out.
Handsome boy.
He feels so much better.

The Furminator is an excellent deShedding tool to help get all that dead undercoat out. Many people have had great success using this for their German Shepherds. However, I own one, and it does not do the job for Jake. Always worth a try though.
I prefer the Undercoat Rake. All of the hair I took off Jake came from using this tool. Very easy and simple to use. Brushing Jake every two weeks keeps his shedding to a minimum, but, he is a German Shepherd, so he will always shed. Having five dogs in the house is a good reason to own a very good vacuum.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Misunderstood Feral

This is BT, stands for Big Tabby, I know, not very original. The best I could come up with at the time, and it fits him. The above picture was taken when he first started coming into my cat shelter November of 2007. We have a love hate relationship. He hates to love me, I love to hate him. I try to take the extra step and do what I can to tame the ferals if I can. Some you can, most you can't. BT was TNR'd (trapped,neutered,returned), last March. He is very comfortable in my backyard, and in the shelter I provide for the ferals. He has taken ownership of not just the backyard, but also of me. He waits at the backdoor everyday for me to come out. He rubs all over my feet and legs, follows me around the yard. You would think he was friendly. Oh, how I have tried to pet him, many times. One little pet on that huge head of his, and as fast as a bolt of lightning, those huge paws come swinging, swats me, and walks with that tom cat strut he has and heads back under the patio swing. I have lost count on how many times he has cut my hands. You would think I would learn.

He wants his tummy rubbed, his head scratched, I just know. He loves to show affection, and listens so intently while I am talking to him. Then once again I reach out to pet him while he is rubbing his body all over my legs, claiming ownership once again, OUCH! The big paws come flying out and leave me with a 2 inch cut on the palm of my hand. If another cat comes near me, he runs to my side and hisses at the other cats to stay away. If I go up to another cat he runs to me and hisses at me to stay away.

Very possessive boy he is. I think if he wants to claim ownership of me, the least he could do is allow me to pet him without being swatted. This morning was the day, finally, the one day I was hoping for, I rubbed the back of his neck, stroked his back, not once, but twice, and he didn't swat me, for the first time. I do love the Big Tabby.

January 2008
February 2008
February 2008
February 2008
March 2008

August 2008
June 2008
June 2008
September 2008
September 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Jake was nine years old when we discovered a mass on his right maxillary lip. October of 2007 we sent him in for surgery to have it removed and biopsied.

It was a Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor. Our worst fear, Cancer. Neurofibrosarcoma. We had an appointment with the Oncologist. His was a low grade, mitotic index was 3. This type of tumor is locally invasive and frequently occur, but rarely metastasize in low grades.

They often affect the limbs, and can cause neurological problems, lethargy, and lameness. These tumors often grow back within a year, most times sooner. Jake's prognosis was fair to possibly long term guarded. The complete removal of the tumor could not be guaranteed, as the margins were clean in some areas, however, the mass contacted the deep ink margin, and this may reflect some degree of deep tissue shrinkage/retraction.

First day home from surgery.
First week home from surgery.

His daily walk for exercise.

We had to check to see if the cancer had spread to other areas before deciding what our next step was. His Lymphnodes were biopsied, Lungs xrayed, and ultrasound of the liver and spleen performed. All clear of cancer. We were so relieved, as the Oncologist told us if this had spread, those would be the first places it would spread to.

Under normal circumstances, it would have been suggested for Jake to have a second surgery to make a wider margin, they would have to take part of the lip, and he would undergo radiation treatments. Due to the complications he went through during the recovery process after the first
surgery, the Oncologist, our vet, and us, decided not to go that route. We chose to give supportive care during whatever time we have left with him and make it quality time.

I spent hours every evening doing research on Neurofibrosarcoma and the cancer yahoo groups, to find supplements that may help fight cancer, or at least prolong it from returning. A list of supplements I found to aid him are IP6, CoQ10, Selenium, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E.

It has been eleven months since Jake was first diagnosed, and up until now he has been cancer free. He will be due for more xrays and ultrasounds soon to see if the cancer has returned. We are hopeful.

Enjoying ice cream on his 10th birthday this past June.

Where he can be found most days.
11 months later, a happy boy.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I love to tell the story of how my husband and I met. This particular event in my life I do believe was fate.

Twenty Two years ago on the night of New Years Eve, I was debating which party I wanted to attend, or should I say who I wanted to attend with. I was currently engaged (I know, you are all now thinking "T, you bad girl"), my fiance was in the military and in another country for a few months. I had a gut feeling our relationship was ending once he left, but I was in denial, at that moment, and was still planning on joining him soon.

I had two different girlfriends that invited me out, so I had to decide who I wanted to spend the evening with. So, I decided to go with C, since she was more responsible, and I just knew we would have a better time together.

A little background on what my husband tells me. He was in the military at the time, and he had asked this nice girl to the same party I was going to attend. When he had confirmed his date with this girl, she had forgotten that she had committed to go out with someone else that night. She told my husband she would rather go with him, but being the gentleman that he is, he told her, "you made plans with him first, it wouldn't be fair to break that engagement, we will get together at a later date". Isn't he just the sweetest!

So....that is how we both ended up at the same party, YIPPEE!!

C and I were the last to arrive at the party, talk about GRAND entrance. I will never forget, everyone stopped what they were doing, it was quiet, and they all came up to us to introduce themselves. C knew everyone, I knew no one. Me, incredibly shy person, quiet, faint smile, not sure what to say to anyone, just be polite and smile.

There he was, standing tall, handsome, kindest smile, he stood out from all the rest. My friend C, she was so crazy and persistent, she introduced him to me several times all night, just trying to set us up. Not me, I wouldn't have any of it. After all, I was wearing an engagement ring, I was engaged, already spoken for. I kept leaving the room and going to another, I was nervous, I was SHY! Then it happened. Oh No, the bells and whistles rang, you know what that means right? You guessed it, MIDNIGHT!! It is the New Year! What does everyone do to bring in the New Year? Yes, kiss, and hug everyone. My friend C hugged me a few times, a few hugs from others. I tried, I mean REALLY, REALLY tried to avoid him. He looked my way, I would look the opposite, I couldn't take this, and did I mention how handsome he was?

C got between us and began her introduction AGAIN, by saying "have I introduced you two yet?" Got to give her credit, she never gave up. He responded with "yes, but I did not get my New Years kiss." Oh, goodness, there he is as handsome as ever, smiling the kindest smile, holding a beer in his hand, and what do I do, he put me on the spot, do I just walk away? Not a chance, I leaned in, gave him a quick little kiss, and then stepped back. That wasn't good enough, no, not good enough for him, he then responded by asking "is that all I get?" What? my kiss wasn't good enough, who does this guy think I am. Now remember, there was many, many people there that evening. Well, it got tremendously quiet, so quiet it was eerie. I responded back with the most long, passionate kiss, I think I caught him off guard, and he just opened his hand and let his beer drop to the floor, and everyone in the room clapped.

That was the beginning. We were inseparable from that night on, engaged TWO weeks later, then married TWO months later.

Oh, the ex-fiance, well, I never heard from him again. I do believe this was fate. Just to add more interesting facts, my husband is from the same town my ex-fiance was from, and they were both stationed at the same military base. They both knew the same people, but not each other. Fate, I believe in fate. I had no clue what love was until I met my husband.

Twenty Two years later, and I am in love with my husband even more now, then I was then. We often ask ourselves what if, he brought that nice girl to the party. What if, I went with my other friend to her party? Fate, It was fate that brought us together that evening.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Nice Drive

I really enjoy getting in the car and just going for a drive. Unfortunately, with my husbands work hours and all my responsibilities here at home, I don't get the opportunity very often.

My mom lives in Sandy Valley, Nevada, a small town just 45 miles outside of Las Vegas. The drive there is a very relaxing drive. Not much to do in Sandy Valley, they have a small post office, church, general store, a school, a little restaurant and bar. I think that is about it. If my husband did not have to commute back and fourth to work, We would move to Sandy Valley in a heartbeat. I dream of getting away from the fast paced city life.

My mom lives in the airport district there, and the street she lives on is also the runway for the small planes to taxi. It is very common to see the planes in front of her home, an interesting site to see.

I took the following pictures through the car window on the drive down. Hope you all enjoy the hot desert scenery.