Sunday, November 21, 2010

Shoveling Snow With Buddha

Kevin "Shoveling" snow with Orson

     Yesterday was the opening of the snowy season here in the Magic Valley.  No other being reminds one of the joy of first snow than dogs.  Their uninhibited exuberance is contagious.  Our dogs love to run trails through snow nose first.  Kevin and I throw snowballs in the air for them to catch and participate in "shoveling" with them.  Winter is here, and baby it is cold outside!
Happy dog!

Snow stalking

Watching for snowballs

     One of my favorite "winter" poems in by Billy Collins (one of my favorite modern poets).  
"Shoveling Snow With Buddha" excerpt

He has thrown himself into shoveling snow
as if it were the purpose of existence,
as if the sign of a perfect life were a clear driveway
you could back the car down easily
and drive off into the vanities of the world
with a broken heater fan and a song on the radio.

All morning long we work side by side,
me with my commentary
and he inside his generous pocket of silence,
until the hour is nearly noon
and the snow is piled high all around us;
then, I hear him speak.

After this, he asks,
can we go inside and play cards?

     Orson's skin condition cleared up last week after just a few days on antibiotics.  He is back to being a happy malamute!  We do not have another weigh-in until next Tuesday,  but Orson's energy level and mobility are steadily improving, so we are assuming he is continuing to drop weight.  One of the ways we are helping Orson lose weight and still receive all his nutrients is by feeding him a raw diet. 
Yum! Chicken.

    We are using Carina McDonald's "Raw Dog Food" handbook and have several mentors to which we can ask specific questions.  One of the reasons for this decision was the knowledge that all kibble contains binding agents that are hard to digest and are high glycemic index foods, such as corn and brewers rice.  Orson loves the raw food and even eats his veggie mix.
    Orson is still doing well with our cat, Amadeus.   He likes to smell Amadeus, which 'Deus hates, but Orson is calm and gentle with him.  Orson was even calm when 'Deus Tasmanian deviled his face ('Deus does not have claws).   At this juncture I do think Orson would do just fine with cats that are dog-savvy.  He and Miley are still great buddies and a few days ago Orson tried to play with Savina our ACD.  I have to give Orson props for trying, Savina regularly acts like a Tasmanian devil with all of our dogs.  True to form, she did and rejected his overtures.  Orson seemed a little shocked that our pint-size girl was so spastic, but who knows maybe next time.
Sleepy pups after playing and dinner

   On the MMR front, two dogs from UT Sammie and Strider were able to find foster homes with new volunteers Saturday. Both homes are fostering with the hope of adoption!  A third malamute found his second chance with one of our board members.  Great news for these Thanksgiving malamutes.  Every person that volunteers to open their home to a foster dog, gives that dog more time.  More time = a life saved. 
    One last dog piece, Zeus has an orthopedic appointment Tuesday with Dr. Acker in SV at the Sun Valley Animal Center:  We think something new has developed with his left knee and hip.  Dr. Acker is the leading ortho surgeon for the Pacific NW and we are lucky he lives so close!  Paws crossed Zeus does not have to have more surgery. 
Orson with one of his favorite people, my mom.

Dog pile the human grandma!!

   Happy Thanksgiving week and break!! Oh, that reminds me, I was so exhausted last Friday I made some funny mistakes.  In the first I was trying to write an email to all my Moonsong cronies about Blue Buffalo foods and made my own flavor, "Brainless."  Yes you should not feed your dog brains, "Brainless" is good.  Later that day I repeatedly sent texts to another MMR board member meaning to send them to a friend.  I think I was incoherent.  Good thing I am on break from ISU!!

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