Photos From the Past

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Val of “Arty Ole Bird” is my good blogging friend who lives in Wales. She sent me the link to the WordPress Gallery instructions on how to do this gallery. I honestly did not know if I could make it work or not but I have found that I was lucky. Val is a http and Word Press genius. I owe her a huge debt of gratitude for being such a good friend. She is super funny and very gracious.

The link with instructions is here:

These are all old photos taken eons ago. My children’s pic is quite faded and I think the original was slide film. Just don’t remember what was what when I took about 10 photos to the local camera store to be scanned to CD about two years ago. All of these are faded.

The photo of my Dad in the blue denim overalls was taken about 1984-5. That photo won a blue ribbon and I’ve been asked for copies of that one by several individuals. This is not a very good repro of it and I wish that I could show the pic as an original.

The photos of the cats in the window of the farm house back porch are all listing to one side. I suppose by now you can see I’ve always had a problem with “listing to one side or the other.” ūüôā

Gracie came to live with me after my Dad died. She lived to be 17-18 years old. There is a story about Gracie that I’ll write some day if I live long enough. Gracie had a very interesting life, escape wise, and I hope I can do justice to her story.

Meetzie died at about age 4 and was most likely eaten by coyotes. That was a very sad day for my mother. She loved her little tortie so much.

Graybaby, came from the farm also. Meetzie might have been Graybaby’s mother, not sure. Bibble as my son Danny often called Graybaby lived to about age 14. The photo of Graybaby won a blue ribbon as well. I really like that one. I shot the “good pics” using two stobes (flash) or speed lights as I think they are now called with one flash bounced from an umbrella. I did all my pet photos without any assistance. It was really lots of work that called for infinite patience. I’m able to still get some decent ones using two flash heads and an umbrella. The amount of work required is exhausting but I am grateful that I can still produce a decent photo.

The caption on my son’s photo is obscured. Danny was about 15 years old in this pic. The little dog’s name was Andy, short for Andrew. When ever Andy was a bit of trouble I resorted to calling him Andrew. Andy was one of the smartest dogs that we were fortunate to have as part of our family. My son adored Andy and that little dog acted as if the sun rose and set in his human. Andy was 14 years old when he went to doggie heaven.

I’ve cried as I remember. And, while most of the pets lived to be old or really old, I think of my parents and the love they had for their pets. Of course, I remember the pets that were so important to my children as they were growing up. Pets and other animals and birds were and still are extremely important in the lives of my children. Each of my children continue to have dogs and cats in the household so it is not just their mother who has a love for the furry ones. ūüôā

Post and photographs ~yvonne~

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A Pet is a Good Thing

long-haired chihuahua

long-haired chihuahua

Any one who has ever truly loved a pet knows how much the cat or dog enhanced their life or perhaps impacted the family as a whole. Many studies and surveys formal and informal have been conducted about how owning a pet is beneficial mentally and physically. 

Many of these studies and surveys determined that a pet is good for children and older individuals.  Some of the amazing discoveries of owning or interacting with a cat or a dog have proven a pet can exert positive effects on children with autism and older people with Alzheimer’s or dementia.  Sometimes a cat or dog is the one thing that motivates these individuals to smile or speak a few words. A pet enables people to come out of their shell so to speak. An animal accepts a person as they are, not who they are. And that is the greatest gift that a person can receive from a pet.

Petting or stroking a warm furry animal has proven to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. A furry pet provides a sense of calm and an overall good feeling. Researchers determined that approximately 30,000 lives are saved each year because owning or interacting with a pet increases the survival rate of heart attack victims.

The survey findings concluded that taking care of a pet gives a person something to nurture and in turn provides one with the feeling of being needed and wanted which in turn decreases feelings of loneliness and isolation. A dog or cat also provides the owner with an increased sense of security. In addition a pet provides companionship, affection, as well as entertainment.

Researchers noted that a pet lowers pulse rate and blood pressure, decreases depression, increases activity, provides opportunities for socialization, helps an individual cope with the loss of a loved one, and increases the desire to take an interest in personal hygiene. In addition a dog as noted previously is a good alert or alarm system when someone or a stranger is at the door.

Many care facilities now have a cat that is allowed to move freely among the residents. Some care homes have visiting therapy cats or dogs which have proven to be a hit with most residents although there are some people who simply have no desire to interact with a furry creature and of course no one will ever force that person to interact with a pet.  And some care facilities enable residents the privilege of bringing their pet from home or maybe obtain a cat or dog to aid in reducing loneliness and a sense of loss that every resident must feel when they had to leave their home. It enables a person to feel a sense of continuity when their pet is able to accompany them to their new home. 

Therapy animals must be certified by an orginazation that insures the animal/s meet strict criteria. The cat or dog is tested in different areas to assure the animal will be comfortable in the setting of a school, hospital, or care facility. These pets and their owners display a great deal of warmth and happiness. Some pet therapy owners have said that their pet is really happy that  “they have a job to do” when visiting a facility.

Overall pet therapy is viewed as a good thing for just about anyone that is fortunate enough to interact with or own a pet. Residents that have a pet in their care are the lucky ones. Many studies have concluded that love for another being is the most important health tonic and having a pet in your life can be the best source of love. A pet doesn’t care what a person looks like or what their station in life might be. A pet merely accepts an individual for who they are and quite often is the one constant being in a person’s life.

Post and photo: Yvonne

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Yawn All About It!

Liddy. Just waking up from a long nap.
Mommie. Looks like she is belting out a song.
Bobbie. Looks like an angry cat but she is yawning. Somehow I have been lucky to catch some of my pets yawning. I was able to get¬†a few shots because I¬†generally leave¬†my camera out on the kitchen table (put it away at¬†night)¬†and spend quite a few hours waiting for a dog or cat to awaken.¬†I have¬†not been able to predict which cat or dog is going to yawn but I have noticed that certain ones or more prone to yawn after a long nap.¬†Recording that yawn with the camera is just a “little” tricky. ¬†

I read not long ago that yawning is “catching” between some¬†pets and their owners but I have yet to notice that any of mine caught the “yawns” from me.

Other animals such as snakes, (yes, snakes), fish, dogs, and a host of other animals also yawn. I could not find a real or viable reason why animals and humans yawn. As for me, a good yawn is sort of relaxing or maybe not- it just seems  an invitation for a good nap.

¬†The past¬†summer of 2011¬†I put out a lot of money for¬†dentals¬†on about 12 cats.¬†Currently there are more that need dentals. I am waiting for my $$ to build back up. Even though I have used the same veterinarian for about 30 years I have to pay when he is finished¬†with¬†an animal. I have probably spent-¬†well I don’t want to think about it-¬†HEAPS of money at that clinic. Many moons ago, I was getting a pretty good discount- now I don’t have to pay¬†the fee of an office visit. ¬†Any discount is better than no discount.

 In August of this year I changed vets. (finally)  I found a very smart veterinarian who gives my animals a complete exam and weighs options of what to use as the best medication for x disease or illness. He is compassionate and has 2-3 vet techs working at all times. My daughter told me that having adequate clinic staffing is generally the sign of a good vet. I think she is right. I just wish that I had changed vets a long time ago.

The veterinarian  in Austin,Tx. that performed major dentals on 2 of my cats in the summer of 2011 was extremely generous to lower the total bill for both cats. He knew that these were rescue cats and both cats are senior cats- as past 13 years or so. Maize was a feral that I trapped when she was about 6 months of age. She is in one of the pictures in this post.

Another aside to this post: dentals are important to help extend the life of your pet.

Post and photographs Yvonne



Rodent (sore) Ulcer of Cat’s Lip and Mouth


Photos were taken 2011


 Meri is now about 13 years old. Her exact age is just a guess since she was found by a wonderful lover of animals. Meri was hit by a car and was found  lying in the gutter next to the curb. She was in a coma due to head trauma and her recovery was long and difficult. Meri’s story, I think, is interesting and heart touching. Meri is one of my favorite cats. Her little buddy is not far behind, as one of my favorites, also.
Meri has been my cat since 2001 and was blind when I agreed to give her a home. She came to me with her younger buddy, a little brown female tabby named Baby. These two cats were and continue  as  good friends.
About a year ago I noted that Meri’s upper lip was swelling. I took her to the vet and told antibiotics would take care of the problem. The sore place grew in size and at its worse stage bled several times. I switched her to soft food and began giving her steroid injections which only seemed to make her sick.  She sneezed and had a runny nose so the dexamethasone was discontinued.  It caused her immune system to weaken ( apparently). I then was told to start her on another antibiotic which for a time seemed to reduce the ulcer in size. In the meantime I read about lip ulcers in cats and according to literature it appeared that several things could be causing the problem. 
In the spring of this year I was able to look in her mouth and saw that a front canine nearest the ulcer was broken. I then decided that maybe part of her problem was bad teeth especially a broken tooth which was rubbing on the inside of her upper lip. My vet pulled the chipped tooth and cleaned the rest of her teeth. Per dental protocol dogs and cats are given on an antibiotic following invasive dental procedures. Lots of  various kinds of bacteria are unleashed and the toxins migrate to vital organs via the blood vessels. 
I decided to use clindamycin injectable (it kills anaerobes bacteria) and I also gave her Benadryl  sub cu each time I gave the clindamycin. These meds were given for about 2 weeks. I also decided to switch her food to Purina EN (it did not smell like a dead cow) and the nuggets were small.) I began bathing her in Betadine scrub which kills ear mites.  That was followed by KetoHex which is an antiseptic and antifungal shampoo that my daughter had ordered for me. After about 3 baths, the Purina EN, and the round of clindamycin and benadryl, the swelling of the upper lip began to recede. 
I am  convinced that the combination of these treatments and medications helped  her lip and mouth to heal. 
The common non medical name for this condition was called rodent ulcer many many years ago. According to history, people of long ago believed the cat acquired an ulcer from eating rodents. Hence the name rodent ulcer. The actual name is eosinophilic granuloma but I call it, the monster from hell.
Meri as of this year looks even better. In the slide show pics she still has a bit of crud on her chin and a small amount of nasal discharge. Presently she has been doing very well.
Post and photographs  Yvonne


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I Call These Mellow Yellow (slideshow)

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It seems that lots of native plants in my yard that flower in the fall tend to be yellow. I titled this post Mellow Yellow and I suppose you could say the colors are sort of mellow. I thought it had a good ring for a title. You know one that you speak and it sort of rolls off your tongue because it rhymes.  All of what you see here, I either dug from the wild, bought at a nursery, or the birds carried the seed.  The blossoms on the fall bloomers tend to last about 6 weeks or more.  Some plants, of which I know not the name just keep on blooming- sort of like the Ever Ready bunny. The photo of the  China berry tree is lousy. The  light was not good and I don't use photo shop except for to edit to black and white or sepia. I included a few butterfly pics. I do not know the names of these little jewels. I am sorry. Too lazy to look them up.

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The Dogs At Play (click on photos to enlarge)

I¬†was off to a good start and then I¬†don’t know¬†what I did but then things went downhill¬† fast. But¬†I don’t give up easily and I ¬†WILL MASTER THIS IMAGE THING FOR A SLIDE SHOW. I think.¬† ¬†The Australian cattle dog plays rough. She goes for the hindquarters on the labs. Puppy the bobtail border collie x Australian shepherd¬† (he was born with a short tail)¬†manages to play but yet is agile enough to not get in the thick of things. Kippy the little short brown and white dog merely observes. He is¬†smart not to put himself in the midst¬†of all the biting. The black and white border collie merely stood¬† ( he died in June, 2012 -age 13 1/2 years)¬† aside¬†as if he were bored.¬†¬†¬†Photographs and post: Yvonne

Puppy: “I’m dog tired. I quit.’