Friday, October 30, 2009

Javelina: pig or not?

Not! The Javelina, or peccary, is a pig-like animal found in many parts of the country. There are four species living in the American Southwest alone and today, two little critters found there way onto my front lawn. As I sat working away, I noticed something in my tree out front. Wait… that's not a dog, what is that? As it came out from under the branches I was astonished to see this little guy.

We don't usually see these in our neighborhood, especially since we are so suburban. The pair was traveling up our street, then back down into the wash behind our house. Again, this is why I love Arizona. I've seen so many critters out here—though I could do without the spiders—I feel like I live in a zoo at times.

Ashley's Health Update…

Well, this has just been a suck of a week.

To put a long story short, just before lunch I went in to check on Ashley, as I had been doing every 1/2 hour or so this morning. She was stretched out long, breathing rapidly and heavy, her mouth hanging open. When I picked her up she was completely limp and her eyes were rapidly moving back and forth. I laid her out on the couch and she was totally non-responsive to sound. She was just looking around but laying out rigid. I called L and he made an appointment at our local vet to get her euthanized. Unfortunately we are having car trouble this week and I don't have a car available to me, so I was to walk over there. About 10 minutes before her appointment, she started to sit up and look around the room. Out of curiosity, I gave her some food and she ate it all, slipped off the couch and went into the bedroom to hang out under the bed. She cleaned herself and looked for all intensive purposes—normal.

We canceled the appointment and I now think she may have had either a stroke or seizure.

Like I said; a week of suck!

Ashley's Treatment…

I took Ashley to the vet yesterday for them to check out why she might be unable to walk or stand. For the most part, my vet was pushing for euthanasia. I was not ready to make that decision sitting there in the office and she offered a couple of other remedies. We went ahead and gave her a shot to help with anemia as well as a prescription to slow her heart rate. As it stands, it was 280 b/min in the office. Normal is anywhere between 180-220—so she was very high. I've also noticed that her feet have been unnaturally cold as of late, and the vet said that the stressed heart is beating so fast, it can't get normal blood flow to the outer extremities. She is now on a heart-rate reduction medicine, fish oil and the daily lactated ringers fluid therapy.

So, I brought her home and have decided to give her a few days or weeks, depending on how she responds to the meds. If at that time, she continues to decline I will have to bring her in for euthanasia.

So far, immediately after giving her the heart medication, her feet are warm, she has more energy and sits up and she is back to meowing at me when I pet her.

We also believe she may have had a stroke in the last month. Shortly before she stopped walking normal, she would list to one side. I hadn't put that together until L told me those symptoms added up.

I know that I am essentially putting off the inevitable, but as long as she seeks out a warm sun beam, happily eats her food and meows when we enter a room, I will continue to help her cope. It is the least that I would do for a family member, human or animal.

I'm sure this is quite accurate!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kitty Woes…

I have been contemplating euthanasia for Ashley. She is not well really. She cannot stand or walk, and falls down if she tries to. She falls off of the couch and the bed and if pounced on my Moses, she falls over then too. This has not been a very good couple of weeks.

I tried in vain to find her low-protein kidney disease Iams pet food this weekend. I was told by PetSmart that I had to have a prescription—I did—but they did not have Iams. I said, "could you sell me a competitors brand?" No, not without a prescription. I then went to a vet and they told me, "we cannot sell prescription based diets unless your pet is a patient of ours." Great! So, she is back on regular Iams—which she has had her whole life—and it is the only thing she will eat anymore.

Currently she rests all day and sleeps on the bed at night. She is fairly well a complete invalid at this stage of her life. I feel like I have to explain to people that I am very close to my pets, as though it's some sort of deviant behavior. Too bad. Deal!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pay it Forward…

Please check out my post here PAY IT FORWARD and consider playing along!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mt. Lemmon, Arizona

Looking out at the valley and mountains beyond.
Here you can see Thimble Peak, the Tucson Mountains in the
background and the "Center of the Universe"
Baboquivari Peak.

Mt. Lemmon is our little mountain to the north—OK, it's over 9,000 feet at its height—which is a pretty sizable mountain for a town that sits around 2,000 feet. Over the course of the 10 years we've lived in Arizona, we have been making the trek up the mountain numerous times, usually on the motorcycles, but this time in the Miata. Up top is a little Café, the Mt. Lemmon Café. A few years ago, Mt. Lemmon and its city Summerhaven had a terrible forest fire that destroyed many homes, structures and acres of the mountainside. It was front page news at the time that the little Mt. Lemmon Café—who serve some of the best pies in this area of the country—was not demolished by the fires.

We had headed up the mountain with visions of strawberry rhubarb pie on our minds, stopping along each overlook for me to shoot a few pictures. When we got into town, the café was no more. Not only was it closed, but it had been bulldozed for future structures. Turns out, the little lady that made the pies had passed away and her husband no longer had the drive to run the business. RIP Mt. Lemmon Café and little pie maker. We will miss you.

I took a bunch of photos of the mountain-scape and provide these for your viewing pleasure!

Starting up the mountain looking into the valley of Tucson.
The saguaros are very discerning where they can grow, and only a few
more feet in elevation, it is too cold to support the delicate cacatai.

Looking out over the ridge of the mountain.
I love the way the clouds shadows play on the moutains.
I sepia toned this image a bit for a little play on the colors.

Looking up at one of the many jutting ridges of Mt. Lemmon.

Some pretty mountain flowers along the roadside.

Tucson below, looking out over one of the mountains many ridges.

Tombstone, Arizona

One of the many printing plates found at the
Tombstone Epitaph, the newspaper of the old west.
Note: This picture was flipped for legibility purposes!

One of the great things about living in Arizona is that every day you can take a step back into the Old West—while enjoying the amenities of the future, like air conditioning, penicillin, and modern vehicles. Tombstone, Arizona was our destination for a day of buffalo burgers—OK, I had a BLT; no beef—and a walk along the wooden boardwalks of old Arizona.

The boardwalk and lovely "old timey" signs.
I love this style and walking along the boardwalk
in a nice pair of boots elicits a magical sound.

For those not familiar with the place, Tombstone is where the historic gunfight between the Earp brothers and "Doc" Holiday versus Frank McLaury, Tom McLaury, Billy Claiborne, Ike Clanton, and Billy Clanton—the lawless villains of the old west—on Wednesday, October 26, 1881. In reality it's hard to tell the difference between those on the right side of the law and those on the wrong side.

"Walk Where They Fell"—that's a little morbid, right?
They have closed off the original lot where the shootout occured
because—I can only guess—they can make money by putting on a show?

Tombstone is a city very well aware of its own kitsch value, and it plays up to this fact with great effect. Don't go there looking for the real west—if that's what you are after I suggest old Bisbee, some of the old mines like Winkelman and Christmas; which are mostly ghost towns in this era. Outside every doorway is a man or woman in full western wear soliciting you to see their show, stop by for goods or just enjoy a drink on this fine hot afternoon. It feels like being solicited by prostitutes in Vegas; i.e. a little weird.

While in Tombstone you can visit famous Boot Hill, the original cemetery where so many of the west's famous names were buried. It's a little strange, and very fake feeling to me for most of the markers, but there are a couple of genuine burial sites within. It also allows a nice view of the valley down into Mexico behind the city.

Take a ride in one of the many stage coaches around
town and learn about the way the west was.

Don't stop too long, Big Nose Kates' might employ you in their house of burlesque!

Below is the slideshow of the rest of the pictures I took on our little mini vacation.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Link Love…

These are a few of my favorite websites to peruse when I need a little break.

All of these are very work safe and kid friendly. If you are like me, you will spend way too much time on Cute Overload and from this day forward, refer to it as Cute OverLORD! They get us with their cuteness.