Sunday, November 28, 2010

Scout's Dog house - DAY 1

David is working with a gentleman in our church to build Scout an inside dog crate/end table.

Here are some photos from their first day together.

Do I need to state that David had a blast getting to work on this project?
Despite the fact that he forgot his jacket and it got freezing,
the joy was written all over his face when we got in the car.
(happy mommy sigh . . . )

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Fall Poem by Molly

by Molly (age 9)

Red, yellow, brown and orange,
Dancing 'cross the street.

Rakes, rakes, oh where are the rakes?
Oh we need the rakes!

Turkeys, cider, pies and seeds,
Fires, candles, warmth.

Books, blankets, with hot chocolate,
by the fire warm.

A Fall Poem by Annie

by Annie Miles (age . . . almost 8!)

Red, yellow, orange, and green
Dancing down the road.

Crunchy leaves and waving trees,
Crackling fires and more.

Chilly air and raining skies,
Warm apple cider.

So, sit by the fire and rest
Fall has come again.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Our New Addition!

We have been thinking about getting a dog for about a year now. Actually, Earl has brought it up ever since we got married. I kept putting it off as long as I could. But over the past year, we have talked about things, and looked at dogs, and talked about things, and looked at dogs . . .
One day last month, we found a sweet dog named "Summer" who was about an hour and a half away. We all fell in love with her photo and description. She seemed to be exactly the dog we were looking for! She was
house broken and crate-trained.
She was low maintenance,
a small dog,
and would be great to snuggle on the couch with during school hours.
So, we traveled down to see "Summer". But alas! "Summer" was not the dog for us.

However, while we were at this "shelter home" this adorable puppy was thrust into my arms and our family instantly fell in love with her. She just lay with her head on my shoulder and was so sweet!
We drove the hour and a half home and talked and debated, and talked, and debated, and called my sister for counsel and talked and debated. This lasted the whole week. Every chance we were together . . . "So. What do you think about the dog? Do we really want a puppy?!? What will this mean for our family? Can we do it? Is it wise?" and on and on it went.
Until finally we drove back down the next Saturday and picked up OUR puppy . . . the very one we had seen the week before.

The adoptive "mom" asked us if we had a name picked out. We all answered, "Scout!" and she said that was the PERFECT name for this little girl.

Scout's mom was rescued from a "high kill" shelter and fostered at a home in Poway, CA, which was about an hour and a half drive from our house. Scout was about 8 weeks old when we met her. We had to drive up into the hills. It was a beautiful place!

This was the turn-off into the group of homes where Scout lived with her mom and 7 other brothers and sisters. We would be getting pick of the litter!

We parked the van and hiked down the now-familiar driveway. We had just been here the week before to look at "Summer", but this time we were sure we would be coming home with our dog!

All the puppies were out on the drive-way and we had a good opportunity to watch them and talk about them and ask questions.

We ended up falling in love all over again with the same dog we had seen the week before! Even Annie and Jonathan weren't afraid of her.

How can you not love this face? (It's funny to see this photo now, because her ears have perked up and she has so much more personality shining through!)

She passed the submission test and just snuggled up in Molly's arms.

We brought her home and began training right away. We kept her in the play yard that we used with the kids. We would get in to play with her, or take her out to play supervised. She enjoyed being where the family was.

The kids all take turns feeding her and taking her outside to go potty. Everyone has their own day during the week and we all share responsibility on the weekends. She is doing VERY well on going outside and not having accidents inside.

My sister, Gail, came over the day after we got her and gave her her first bath. She looked so pitiful!

I didn't realize just how tiny she was until I saw her next to Earl's legs one day when she was outside.

Now this is what the girls were looking forward to.
But this hasn't happened for quite awhile. Scout was very sleepy and mellow for the first few days, and then all of a sudden she just woke up and turned on her puppiness full speed!

She started biting everything she could get her teeth on . . . human or not!

So now, when we hold her, she looks like THIS:

Then, she will mellow out and look like this:

She sleeps a lot and is so fun to play with when we are brave enough.
Tomorrow she will have the rest of her vaccines and will be ready to begin socializing with other dogs, which means we will be free to take her out front and begin to train her to walk on a leash with us. We've been working in the back yard with her, but it will be nice to see some new scenery. We'll see how she does . . . .
We're also going to look into dog obedience classes . .. . soon! (They won't take dogs until they've had all of their shots.)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Molly's 4th (and LAST!) Surgery

You can read about the beginning of this journey here.
You can read here about her first surgery.
And I've blogged about her third surgery here.

Molly had her 4th surgery on October 15th.

This one was a little later in the morning @ 11am.
We didn't have to be there as early, but that meant that Molly had to very consciously skip breakfast. Before, when we had to be there at 6am, skipping breakfast was no big deal. We were barely awake anyway. But this time, we all felt it.
(Here is Molly walking into the surgery entrance one last time.)

Molly has usually always been in good spirits before her surgeries.
This time we all brought books to read, which was a good thing because it seemed we had to wait a little longer.
I knew Molly was relaxed because she was complaining about the cold bathroom and the short hospital gown.

So, this is what Molly's scar looked like after her 3rd surgery. It was already starting to pale in color and blend in more with her normal skin tones.

(The markings are her doctor's initials.)

Before the last surgery, Molly was given the Versed early enough that she didn't remember Dr. Zeineh coming in at all or being wheeled into the surgery room. She and Earl and I liked that. We tried to request that she be given it early again, but we had to wait for the anesthesiologist and he was running late. They didn't want to give it to her too early and then have it wear off. As it turned out, she was fully aware of everything and we once again had some tears as they wheeled her back to surgery. (So hard for me!! I'm fine until I see my Molly tear up . . . ). But our trust is in a kind and good God who promises to not "withhold any good thing", so we didn't grumble or complain, and as it turned out Molly was fine with it all in the end.

Earl and I only had to wait for a little over an hour before Dr. Zeineh came out and led us back to where Molly was in recovery.
Molly's recovery nurse was so nice (they really all have been!) and even brought Earl and I the most delicious coffee. Molly was having a very difficult time waking up and keeping her eyes open, and the recovery room was at a lull, so we had a nice visit with the nurse who also happens to be a Christian and homeschooled her boys and whose husband works for a Christian ministry (she had remembered us from a previous surgery, so it was like meeting up with an old friend).

Molly's recovery has always been so good and quick and incident/pain free. We were told by the nurse that that has a lot to do with the surgeon (we really had the BEST!). Dr. Zeineh is known for taking her time and making sure the patient is completely relaxed (muscles) and the result is little to no pain in the recovery process. However, we were admonished to be on guard and prepared as no two recoveries are the same. But, Molly continued to amaze us and needed no pain meds at all. She came home about 2pm, had a little bit to drink, a little yogurt and then it was time for the house to shut down for a few quiet hours anyway, so we all rested (I was absolutely SPENT after we got home. I'm sure much of it was the emotional drain).

About 10 days later, we headed back to the dr's office to have the dressing changed and the sutures removed.
(Here is what the bandage looked like after the surgery.)

(Here is what the incision looked like after removing the bandage.)

The pathology report showed that the margins are finally clear and there will be no more surgeries needed. Hooray!!
All of Molly's bandages are off now and she has been ok'd to resume normal activities. She is healing nicely and to celebrate, she and I headed to Starbucks for a treat after her last visit with Dr. Zeineh. (I will miss those special times out with Molly.)

So, we have MUCH to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
We are thankful for Molly.
We are thankful for 4 successful surgeries.
We are thankful for Dr. Zeineh and her wonderful bedside manner and skill.
We are thankful for the staff who all treated us as friends.
And we are thankful for a kind and loving heavenly Father who had it all planned out from the beginning!

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