Giving Back

Guess what? Our dogs are finally on the mend. As you may remember, Rose’s digestive system took a real upsetting turn for a while, and we’ve been working on getting her back on track. Now that she’s mostly back on track, we are able to identify a few culprits. The puppy food was one, and she’s now on an all life stages food mixed with her special bland diet. We are working on getting her off the bland diet, but it may be the case that we’ll have to keep some of that around for her now, for when things go south. We were able to get her remaining puppy food donated to the rescue, and they were thrilled to have it.

We have also identified that Rose cannot have peanut butter. This is really sad because she very much loves to chew, and giving her a heavy-duty kong filled with her kibble and peanut butter and then frozen kept her occupied for very large amounts of time. I am going to try using yogurt to replace the peanut butter to see if that’ll be something her stomach can handle.

There will be no table scraps for this gal either, unfortunately. Lizzie of the iron stomach hasn’t had any issues in that respect but we are noticing that even fish bothers Rose, and throws her off.

So, we have to stay more strict with her diet, and then we get a dog that is happy. Here are some happy Rose photos.

These are tough to get because she’s generally moving quite fast when she’s looking particularly happy. That hound droopy face doesn’t lend itself well to happy looking photos.

Then there’s Lizzie, diagnosed with severe seasonal allergies. I’ve determined that it’s most likely the fall leaves or maybe the mold in the fall leaves that trigger her allergies. Now that we’ve got a good freeze going on, her allergies are starting to slow down, as is the coughing and sneezing associated with it. She’s not 100% and her eyes still need treatment, but she is doing MUCH better.

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All that benadryl has her snoozing quite a lot. Since we are trying to avoid a ton of outside in the leaves time, I’ve been taking her everywhere I go in the car. This helps her boredom somewhat. But, she did get a walk yesterday in the cold and she was just thrilled to pieces to be out and about again!

Rose, lately, has decided that if Lizzie can hop up on my lap, she should be able to as well. Now, there’s a huge difference between a 27-pound dog and a 44-pound dog hopping up on laps. And they definitely cannot sit there together, much to Rose’s chagrin.

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Here she’s quite annoyed because she thought she could join, and it didn’t work.

So, then she started to hop up on my lap before Lizzie could.

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That’s what she’s done here. Trouble is, she can’t quite figure out what to do with herself once she gets on my lap. Sometimes she tries to put her butt on my shoulder, but naturally, that’s not too comfortable. Then she’ll wriggle all around trying to be comfy but never quite figuring it out, then will hop back on her bed having given up. She doesn’t understand that if she just lays down, she’d have exactly what she wants. She’ll get there though, she’ll get it figured out.

Rose is definitely settling in and growing up lately. It’s really really rare now that we have to tell her not to bite or shred something of ours. My slippers sit nicely on the floor near the door and she doesn’t touch them anymore. Just over 2 months in our home and she’s already become quite well adjusted. I am impressed.

Now, as you can tell, I adore our dogs. They are absolutely part of our family and we treat them as such. We feel SOOOO grateful to their rescue for saving them and allowing us the opportunity to adopt them. I’ve been getting more and more involved in the rescue lately. Since Mr. Ink doesn’t love the idea of fostering dogs, I feel the need to find other ways to help out. Miss Butterfly and I took the opportunity to help out with a meet and greet this weekend. You see, the rescue has a TON of puppies right now. Young puppies go in a pack and play during the meet and greet, but older puppies ready to be adopted have to be out and ready to meet. Naturally, one foster parent cannot handle the 5-8 puppies that might all be available. So, Miss Butterfly and I went and held puppies for the rescue.

It was fabulous! A ton of fun. The best part? We’d been talking to a family with 4 little girls all under the age of 8 who were looking for a puppy. They were such a nice family. They already had 2 dogs who are elderly and in failing health so they were looking to get a puppy for the kids. I knew whichever puppy went to them would be so loved. They had a hard time choosing but ended up with the biggest and most outgoing of the puppies we were holding. We volunteered on Saturday, and their adoption went through on Sunday! I was so happy! That puppy will have so much love in their home and so much attention from all 4 little girls who were incredibly gentle with all the dogs they met that day.

This is how I helped this past weekend. Who knows what next weekend will bring. I am itching to do a transport job, a road trip to bring puppies/dogs up from the south into our foster homes here. I got to ask for more details about that while we were at the meet and greet, and now that I know that I provide the vehicle and drive, while they pay for gas and provide the kennels, I know it’s something I could do. I just have to wait for the opportunity to present itself.

And that, I suppose, is your weekly dog update!

Rolling through the FOs

I just keep those finished objects rolling off my needles! Maybe I can hit that 40 finished objects still! (I highly doubt it, but I am still shooting for the stars.)

I finished this ziggity zaggity scarf. It curls like I thought it would. But it’s still pretty. It’s short, which I hadn’t imagined. But it’s wearable. Just not the super large item I generally like in a scarf.

I am glad I got to use the handspun yarn though, it’s always pleasing to see how handspun knits up.

I have also finished the Close to You shawl that I showed off the start of last week, but I am still waiting on that one to finish drying. It was an extremely pleasant knit, and again, the handspun looks so pretty. I can’t wait to show it to you!

So, I began another project. In an effort to reduce my yarn stash entries on Ravelry to under 100 next year and keep them there, I am trying to knit up the stash that hasn’t been indicated on Ravelry yet. I began a Knitters DNA shawlette with a gradient yarn, and then I plan to work up a hat for a favorite 1-year-old in my life. I think that’ll cover the yarn that isn’t actually listed in my stash, plus the hat will be a fast knit adding to that ever so hopeful total of 40 projects this year.

And you may remember I am just a bottom band away from a sweater for Miss Butterfly and waiting on the yarn to arrive. I anticipate that’ll arrive this week. I am really hoping for a good color match so I can whip that project off the needles and get it photographed.

The great news is that I have a vacation beginning this week! That’s right, I am taking even longer off than I generally do for Thanksgiving. Here’s the thing, I was unable to take the amount off after the conference that I typically do and I’ve been running on empty (but catching up a bit) ever since. We are having company for Thanksgiving, and while that’ll be pleasant, it will NOT be restful. Plus, the house is at odds with how I enjoy it since the busy nature of my summer/autumn hasn’t left me with a ton of time for deep cleaning. That’s what I’ll be doing starting on Thursday. Deep cleaning, beginning with the areas that are “public” in our home. So, I just have to make it through Wednesday and then I’ll be happily staying home and cleaning the house, and sometimes running errands that have also been neglected during the nuttiness of this year. I bet the dogs are going to LOVE it!

That’s it from here today. Tomorrow, stay tuned for a dog-oriented post with pictures of…puppies!

Another new start

The knitting has absolutely been high on my list of things to do now that the weather has cooled. I started another project!

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This is the same yarn that Rose got into and tried to destroy, but I was able to salvage. The pattern is called Close To You and I first discovered it while reading through my blog reader. NothingButKnit was making one and the combo of pattern and colorful yarn made me so excited to get started on one of my own!

I can’t say I’ve been disappointed. It’s a great pattern and also free! It only took me a repeat to “get the point” and I was able to knit away without a pattern from that point forward. This has been perfect knitting for me this week. Just plug away at something easy every time I get an opportunity to sit down and enjoy it.

Almost!

I’ve been working on a sweater for Miss Butterfly. I thought I had enough yarn. But, just in case, I decided to knit the arms before finishing the body of the sweater. I knit those sleeves over the weekend and began the body of the sweater using the final ball of yarn minus whatever small amount went into the second sleeve. What I then misjudged badly was the short rows that make the back of the sweater longer than the front. Lovely short rows which really make the sweater a nice piece, but do eat a lot of extra yarn.

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I ran out of yarn. I ran out of yarn at the point which I should be making the bottom hem.

I checked out Ravelry, found someone with one skein left of the same color, and contacted her. I am hoping that I’ll be able to get a final final skein to finish up the hem. I am waiting to hear back at the moment. Miss Butterfly came home from a visit with her father and said: “OH WAIT, IS IT DONE?!?!!” I was so sad to have to give her the news that it was not.

But, she understands and doesn’t really want me to skimp on length either. Now we wait! I’ve identified at least one other person with the yarn on their trade/sell page, but that person has 5 skeins and I do NOT want another 5 skeins!

Should be a pretty cute modeling photo once this thing is complete though, I am crossing my fingers it’ll be fairly soon.

Very Pretty and a dog update

I do love when handspun yarn turns into a very pretty project. And that’s certainly the case for this lovely scarf I just finished!

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Not only lovely but super wearable. Not at all the rather over the top colors I typically choose! I love how all the tones in here meld together beautifully.

Things have continued to be super strange at work, I’ve got yet another coworker with a very serious family issue going on who will not be able to get to work for the foreseeable future. Today it’s down to me and the gal that JUST had surgery, and she’s basically here but not fully functional.

Add to this that I’ve not felt well (better today!) and both my dogs have issues right now, and you’ve got someone who is really struggling. I’d set up a vet appointment to have Rose’s eyes checked. She had surgery on them before she came to us, and we needed to make sure that the surgery held. Before we even had an opportunity to get in to the vet, Rose began having tummy troubles. They continued getting more severe, and Mr. Ink and I continued to get less sleep because she had to go out repeatedly at night. This culminated in coming home from work on Thursday to a dog who had tried desperately to hold it for the 2.5 hours she was in her kennel but not managing it, and having an explosive issue in her kennel. Which is kept in our bedroom. Our bedroom closet. Where we keep our clothing.

Miss Butterfly had gotten home first and gotten Rose straight into a bath, but it wasn’t a very thorough one since Rose is tough to handle for a 14-year-old. The entire house stunk terribly, but Miss Butterfly had gotten smart and gone around opening windows and closing off our bedroom. I got Rose a second bath, and then Miss Butterfly monitored her going out needs while I began clean up duties which consisted of taking the kennel outside, cleaning up the floor, the bedroom carpet, the walls, and removing ALL of the clothing on Mr. Ink’s side of the closet that was hanging and getting that to the basement for a wash.

Then, I called the vet and ran to the vet office (thank goodness they are open until late!) to get her some super special, low fat, bland, prescription food. (Expensive, but WORTH IT at that point!)

Our vet appointment on Saturday consisted of confirming that Rose’s eyes are indeed doing JUST FINE and then coming up with a plan to transition her to food that doesn’t bother her stomach but is also not $40 for a very small amount. She’s now on the special food until next week as well as probiotics for the rest of the month and it’s making a HUGE difference. Then we’ll start to transition her to regular food, no more puppy food for that girl.

Then, I’ve got Lizzie. While I was at the vet with Rose, I set up an appointment for Lizzie who seems to have picked up another autumn respiratory illness. She’s been coughing terribly for more than a week now, and it’s not getting better. I was hoping she’d begin to improve as soon as I set up the appointment, but it’s not to be. She’s basically coughing from 2:30 a.m. straight through until I go to work in the morning. To say that we are sleep deprived right now would be a gross understatement. So, this month our dogs are very needy and very expensive! At the moment, it’s like having infants. Thankfully, that’s not the case regularly but right now we are stuck in a very tough routine. (That is now improving since Rose is back to sleeping through the night at least.)

Here are some cute dog photos to prove I still love them completely even though it’s been a rough week. First up-Rose after getting me up at 3:30 am after a night of struggles, but by 5 when I had no time to try to go back to sleep snuggled down in her blanket.

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This shows you that she really wasn’t feeling great in general, she is typically pretty active in the mornings, quietly chewing on her antler or something.

Then, I’ve got Lizzie who didn’t deal well with the time change staring at me to try to convince me to let her eat already.

Then from this weekend-with Rose finally feeling better we got her to the dog park. We left Lizzie home much to her chagrin. Despite being sick, she does NOT want to be left out of anything. I gave her a nice full kong to occupy her mind while we were out. It had rained on Saturday, and it was quite cold on Sunday. The dog park was just extremely muddy. There weren’t too many dogs there, but Rose did manage to find a number of friends to run off her extra energy with. I felt super awesome because despite being a newer dog owner, I was able to give some helpful advice to other newer dog owners who were struggling with puppy behaviors. Most notably, FREEZE THAT KONG so it takes longer to get through! It was fun talking to the other dog families, and Rose is starting to get recognized. “Oh, my dog has played with Rose before!” which is really fun. Once home, Rose was about done for the evening. She woke up for dinner, but that’s about it. In this photo, she’s out so hard she’s drooling.

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I took the opportunity to clip her toenails which she entirely does not mind when she’s nice and sleepy. Do you see all that leftover mud on those paws? I am so glad I’ve got at least one feeling better!

 

October Empties

I can’t quite believe we are barrelling toward the winter holidays so fast! Another month has passed me by, and because it was so full of things that needed doing, it flew faster than I imagined.

I took photos for my October empties this morning. However, I’ve got both dogs sick, one of them with digestive issues, and I’ve been up since 2:30 a.m. and completely forgot to add a few things to the empty pile. I’ll have to add them at the end of this month.

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I am starting with the types of things we used up in the shower. These were all larger items except the Lush product and they all took us quite a long time to use. They just happened to finish up last month.

From left to right.

Oaty Creamy Dreamy from Lush, a shower cream. I liked the more hydrating nature of the shower cream, but this one had an undertone of scent I didn’t love. Miss Butterfly didn’t love it either. It wasn’t hard to finish up, but we won’t repurchase.

Vasanti Brighten Up exfoliating cleanser. This was my product and I used it about every other day. I did love this. When I work through my other physical exfoliants, I may consider repurchasing, depending on the price. I believe I got this in a fab fit fun box, and I am surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

Marianella body caviar. I’d buy this again in a heartbeat if I had the money for it, but I don’t. It’s a really luxurious product. The scent was amazing, really rich and spicy, and that scent really lasted on the skin. I’d use this every day for a very long time if I could. This was another fab fit fun offering and it totally hit the mark.

Clinique purifying charcoal gel cleanser-this one was used by me but mostly used by Miss Butterfly. It seems to work nicely on her dry but slightly acne prone skin. It worked great on my skin too, it’s a very nice product. We are trying a CeraVe cleanser for her now, but after that’s gone we’ll discuss what is working best for her skin. It may be a repurchase.

Briogeo Roscaro conditioner-I adore Briogeo hair products, especially the hydrating ones. I’ve got another of their conditioners in my shower now, but when that’s gone I’ll probably get another one of these. Definite will repurchase.

Now for the other products:

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These are all more of a smaller to sample size nature. I’ll work left to right again.

Wander Beauty baggage claim eye masks-I finished up these this month and I don’t need to repurchase. I don’t really care for them at all.

A sample of Clinique dramatically different moisturizing lotion-we already regularly use this in our home so using this up didn’t tell us anything new. We repurchase this on the regular as it works for Miss Butterfly’s skin.

Dr. Dennis Gross C+ collagen deep clean-I enjoyed using this sample size but won’t repurchase. It’s a bit heavy, I only used it at night. It’s too expensive to repurchase it but it’s nice to have tried it out.

Sunday Riley Tidal brightening enzyme water cream-I liked this product quite a lot, but I think I really get similar results from my belif aqua bomb, so I’ll stick with that more inexpensive version.

Below those is a Rimmel lip liner that I hated. But, it paired well with the Maybelline Nude matte lipstick nearby that I was working on fully finishing this year. I am glad they both seem to have finished up at the same time and I can get them out of my stash. I won’t be repurchasing either of them.

There are two nailpolish top coats. One has too little left to keep using and the other got left open one too many times and has dried out to the point of no longer being useful. (Miss Butterfly has a tendency to leave it open and then I’ll walk into the craft room later and want to holler about it. Hollering doesn’t help.)

Finally, I have two sample sizes of hand cream or body butter. I have decided that I really like a fairly neutrally scented or unscented hand cream. The moment it becomes something with a lot of scent, I feel like it doesn’t work as well for me and also I never find the scent overly pleasant.

And that’s all I am showing off as empties this month. I expect that as I begin to wander away from subscription boxes and the smaller items that they contain, I’ll also be wandering away from particularly large empties posts. Though it is strange how the samples tend to accumulate even so. I am down one box already, and will continue to phase them out. They have been really fun, and I definitely don’t regret having them, but I have amassed a lovely collection of makeup and skincare now, plus I feel strongly that they served their purpose in identifying a number of products I really like and would like to actually continue to use long term.

What have the dogs been up to?

It’s probably of little interest to most, and a ton of interest to me. But, here’s what my dogs have been up to since the last post of a similar nature.

Rose was spending her evenings laying on my legs at bedtime, and I decided it must be a problem of having a too small dog bed. She grew considerably in her first month with us and really had to curl herself in a seriously small ball in order to fit the bedroom dog bed. So, I moved the living room bed to the bedroom to see what would happen. She very happily took to that arrangement which allowed me a lot more sleep of my own.

Now, with the weather turning, Lizzie is spending more time using a dog bed, so when I went to repurchase a dog bed for the living room I figured I’d get one large enough for both dogs. I wasn’t sure that they’d both use it at once, but I wanted to prepare for that. Miss Butterfly and I went to the store and bought the largest dog bed we can find. I might have overshot it….

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But, Rose took to the new bed immediately, even playing her pretty pretty princess game, where she pretends she cannot possibly get the toy that’s 2 inches away from her nose, and whines for us to get it for her.

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So goofy and cute!

Turns out, the large dog bed was super fun for other reasons. We fit on it! Her humans!

In fact, there are moments I wonder who I bought that dog bed for.

Well, I got the dog bed on a Tuesday night. By that Sunday morning:

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Mission Accomplished.

I have always been an early riser, sleep in the mornings does not come easily to me. Mr. Ink and I have managed to cobble together a decent routine, if Rose needs to go out at night he will be the one to take the dogs out. But if they want to get up early, that’s on me. Generally, by the time the dogs want to get up, I am already awake. But, having the company of the dogs in the morning has been really pleasant. I’ve got my morning routine down, and then once they’ve had breakfast the dogs generally settle in for quiet time as well. Lizzie will steal Rose’s spot and blanket for more snoozing, and Rose will play relatively quietly on the floor.

Just picture me with coffee and knitting nearby and that’s how my weekend mornings work.

This weekend we visited Rose’s foster family as they’ve just taken in a new foster dog and wanted to meet up. She’s so much more confident than she was, and her foster family was just amazed over it! In my own brain, I need to stop thinking about her as a timid and fearful dog and move her to the category of curious yet cautious. Last evening as I was walking with her, through Halloween decorations and people dressed up, I realized that she wasn’t that upset by them. Less than 2 months ago she’d barely walk on a leash, and each walk was a nightmare because if she got scared she’d either sit and not move or she’d try to slip her collar and hide under shrubbery. There was that one moment where I had to pick up and carry a 37-pound dog because she just couldn’t get over her fear. That is NOT the dog that we have now, thank goodness!

Speaking of poundage of dogs, in the first month at our house, Rose put on 7 pounds and quite a bit of height. The dog we’d been told probably wouldn’t top 40 pounds by the vets ended up being 44 pounds at her one month check-in. Naturally, I was a bit concerned she’d put on another 5 pounds this month, but we did a weigh in last evening and she’s still at 44 pounds. Maybe she just had a last-gasp growth spurt in our home? She’s in her 10th month of life now so I can hope….

Of course, we also did a bunch of time at the dog park over the weekend, and I grabbed a few photos of that. It was a lovely day, we were out of the house for most of the day. It’s hard to catch Rose when she’s running, but I can take a photo of her when she’s gotten a little tired out.

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Here she is having gotten a little exhausted, chilling with a stick. Miss Lizzie does dog park a little differently:

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She prefers to take a nice long walk, and then chill out and watch the action.

The best part of dog park days happens on the way home:

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When Rose, complete with a muddy nose, can’t even remotely keep her eyes open anymore.

And that’s it for dog stories this week!