Crouching Labrador, Flying Mom

Ah, President’s Day. A holiday to relax, be grateful for our country, and of course, take your dog to the veterinarian’s.

Well, at least that’s what I did.

I purposely scheduled Samson’s annual shots/vaccinations appointment for today so that it would be easier to manage. I’m off work so either CJ or me could take him, without having to tote the kids.

In the end it was me who got the pleasure of strapping Samson into his nose lead and migrating to the vet’s office.

The whole ordeal started and ended quite comically, depending upon who you ask.

In order for Samson to fit in the backseat, I had to remove Cora’s car seat. That meant that 2/3’s of the seat was open and the other third was occupied by Isabella’s car seat. Samson jumped up on to the floor. He doesn’t have the leg power to jump directly on to the seat of my SUV anymore. Once inside, instead of jumping from the floor to the seat, he walked forward. Now, there’s not all that much space for a 90 lb. dog to walk in the back seat of a car. Soon he was at the other door unsure of what to do. In front of him was the door. On the seat beside him was Isabella’s car seat.  He was trapped! I was trying to help by coaching him to walk backwards to the open side but of course he didn’t take that option.

Not Samson!

Instead, he jumped INTO Isabella’s car seat and then sat there, facing backwards. I was laughing so hard! I so wish I could have been fast enough to get a picture. It would have been priceless! But he jumped out and on to the open seat before I could grab my phone.

I was giggling over that one for like the first mile.

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We got to the vet’s, weighed him, and got him checked out. He passed with flying colors. I was given my summer supply of flea/tick meds and heartworm pills in a little baggie so I paid and then we were out the door.

Now, let me paint you a picture.

In my right hand I have ahold of Samson’s leash and the bag of meds, then over my right forearm is my purse. I was using my left hand to put my sunglasses on.

We step outside and to my immediate left is a low brick retaining wall, around which we needed to walk to get to the car. Samson must have smelled something because before I could clear the corner of the wall, he lunged.

And I went flying.

Literally.

I landed on the wet sidewalk evenly between my right elbow, hip and knee, with my right arm fully extended and still clutching the dog, bag and my purse. Samson then dragged me for 6 inches or so before I he realized Mom wasn’t upright anymore.

I was mortified.

I quickly got up and made a beeline for the car. I needed some place to hide.

Once we were all inside, I assessed the damage. Because I was wearing layers, there was no real harm to me. I actually do have a small scrape on my elbow, even with a coat and long sleeved t-shirt on. I have a scrape on my knee too, though none of my clothes were ripped.

The bag of meds however was not so lucky.

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I’m pretty sure Samson got a good laugh at my expense. I’m actually fairly impressed with myself that I didn’t let go of anything I’d been holding. #mommydeathgrip

Sadly, that wasn’t the first time Samson has pulled me off my feet, and it probably won’t be the last. One thing I am grateful for is that I didn’t have the girls with me. Would hate to think of one or both of them getting caught up in all that and somehow sustaining injury.

Never doubt the power of a Labrador, no matter how old they are.

I got a good laugh at his expense and he got a good laugh at mine. I guess all is fair in love and dog ownership.

More posts: By the Hammer of Thor! | Me, 30 Seconds Ago | Re-starting Over

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Samson Stories: Something to Say

Samson never barks.

Well, ok, I guess one should never say never.

Let’s put it this way. He’s a quiet sort of fellow. The only time he barks is when he sees another dog walking by the house. Otherwise, he sticks to whining or grunting (and these only happen when he’s begging for food).

So imagine my surprise the other day when I took his collar off and he decided to have an opinion. See, Isabella wanted to put a string around his neck and I was explaining to her why it was a bad idea. There are many reasons why putting anything around Samson’s neck other than his collar would be a bad idea but the one I went with was that her string was to short. I told her that Samson had a big, thick neck and to prove my point, I took his collar off and showed her how long it is when opened up.

And then this happened.

Samson suddenly gets very vocal

Surprised at how high pitched his bark is, for such a big guy? Yeah me too. I think it’s because we snipped him early. Who knows.

2 things: 1) he always responds immediately upon commands to sit or lay down. So the fact that he didn’t means he was really jacked up. 2) Notice how the word “treat” immediately gets his attention? Yeah, he’s very food focused.

Not sure if he was all fired up because he liked having his collar off or because he wanted it back on. At any rate, I calmed him down with a treat and then put it back on.

I guess there’s life left in the old boy yet!

Want to read more about Samson? Check these out!

Aging | Dude is Back | Thief

Samson Stories: Aging

Have you read the book “Marley and Me”?

(If you answered “no”, and you’re a dog lover, run out and buy it immediately. Like, seriously, right now. Go ahead, I’ll wait.)

That book is about a mischievous yellow lab. Samson is a yellow lab. He was a puppy when I read that book. We had literally had him for only a couple months. We could relate so much to that book as Samson also was an ornery little dude back then.

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When Marley dies at the end I immediately thought of Samson and became terrified of the day when he would leave us. CJ reminded me that our little guy was only 5 months old and would probably be around for a long time so to just chill already.

Samson is 6 now and he’s certainly not on his death bed, but he is aging. Lately I’ve been noticing how grey his face is getting.

Here’s a pic of him from2  years ago.

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And here’s a recent one.

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See all the white on his face?

Also, we discovered this year that he has arthritis in his hips really bad and as a result of overcompensating for that, he had to have knee surgery.

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Don’t let this fool you. Age hasn’t slowed him down too much. He’s still as spunky as ever, tearing around the yard when the mood strikes him or jumping up on the bed to wake CJ in the morning (and he has an uncanny knack of always landing on CJ’s family jewels).

As much work as Samson was in the beginning, he’s turned out to be the best dog. He’s so good with Isabella and is a great pal to us. The hours and money spent on training was well worth it.

He’s even earned a spot on the leather couch, which is saying something.

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Lately I’ve been telling him more that I love him. I know he doesn’t understand the words but I hope he understands the message.

It’s an inevitable fact of life that our pets will pass on before we do. This is something we accept when we sign up to be a pet owner. I hope we get 6 more good years with Samson. However much time, I plan to cherish every single day with him.

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Samson

Naked Legs + Cheesy + Burn

I’ve been meaning to sit down and write a post for days now. I even drafted one the other night but never got around to publishing it. I look back at it now and it no longer seems relevant.

Funny how life changes. I used to have time to blog everyday. Now I’m lucky if I get it in twice a week. But I do think about it a lot and some day I’ll figure out how to work it better in to the routine. Until then, you have to suffer through another “random updates” post (I feel like I’m cheating when I write these).

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The big guy is recovering well from his surgery last week. He got the bandage off yesterday which helps him move around a bit more freely. 

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You can see that his whole back leg is shaved. I feel embarrassed for the guy, having half of his hind quarters exposed for the world to see. I hope it grows back soon.

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You can’t see the incision. Heck, I couldn’t even find it! CJ had to point it out to me (it’s on the inside of the leg). The stitches are actually on the inside of the skin so you can’t see them at all. Amazing what they can do these days!

He’s getting around well and can do stairs again. We still have to walk him outside on the leash, even for potty time, just so that he doesn’t try to take off after a rabbit or something.

Isabella was trying to help Samson be extra comfortable so she started putting blankets over him. He just laid there and let her do it.

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I think he quite enjoyed it actually.

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And then she brought over a pillow for him.

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And then CJ joined in and wrapped the blanket up around his shoulders.

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Gee, Samson’s not spoiled at all.

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Yesterday afternoon some of us gals went out for another team outing. We went to a place where you can either bring your own flower pot or buy one there (which is what I did) and then plant flowers as a group! It was a lot of fun and now I have one pot ready for the backyard (need to get going on the rest of them). I don’t have a pic to show as part of the deal is that you leave your pots there and the owner takes care of them for a couple weeks to make sure they survive the shock of being transplanted. I’ll post one once I pick it up though!

I did however buy this guy from her shop.

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He’s a little mosaic turtle with spoons for the head, tail and legs. I thought he was super cute. There’s a little ladybug on the other side too!

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I told Isabella she could name him and right away she decided to call him “Cheesy”. I gave her a questioning look when she said that and she immediately responded with, “What? Cheesy’s a good name Mommy…”

And so it is.

For now I have him inside, next to the buffet.

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See him at the bottom of the pic, tucked in amongst the “plants”?

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He may get moved outside one of these days, I haven’t decided yet. For now, he’s chillin’ inside with us.

Burned

I got my first sunburn of the season on Wednesday. I was literally outside for 1 hour and got this:

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Yes, it hurts as bad as it looks.

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What can I say, I’m fair-skinned and go from white to red and back to white again. I will never be tan. I’ve finally accepted that over the years but I’ve definitely had my share of bad burn experiences.

The worst one was on a canoeing trip down the Niobrara river. I forgot to reapply and my whole body got scorched but my tummy worst of all. I blistered and literally had to peel off skin from there every night for weeks.

There was also a bad one on our honeymoon. I was good the whole trip, and then let my guard down on the 2nd to last day. Ended up with a bad burn on my thighs. My skin was so hot, that it turned a frozen washcloth from ice cold to warm in less than 5 minutes.

I try to be careful though and I promise I’ll put some sunscreen in my purse to have with me at all times, just in case.

Finally

I leave you with these images of Isabella.

Here she is helping me buy food and treats for Samson.

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And sound asleep in the car:

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There are angels among us.

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Stormy Saturday | From the Mouths of Babes – Bedtime Edition | Bits and Pieces

The Dude is Back

I mentioned the other day that Samson had sprained his ACL and was supposed to “lay low” for a while.

Guess what – he didn’t.

Typical of a lab, he forgot about his pain, got all excited and tried to run, “tearing the hell out of his ACL” (that is literally what the vet said).

So he had to have surgery yesterday.

They did a procedure called a TTA which basically puts implants in the leg to correct and stabilize. Doc said Samson did great and they found no signs of arthritis in the knee. He does have arthritis in both hips which is what was forcing him to adjust and put more weight on his knees, hence the tear.

I picked him up today and brought him home.

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Poor guy.

You can see they shaved his fur off from the hip all the way down the leg and he has a big old bandage on it, which is solid like a cast.

He is starting to put some weight on that leg which is good. Doc said he’s a strong boy and will heal up like a champ.

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Getting him home was interesting. He couldn’t figure out how to lay down in the back of the car but yet I didn’t want him standing in case I had to hit the brakes hard or make a sharp turn. With the bum leg he wouldn’t be able to stabilize himself and could fall. I fought with him for 10 minutes to lay down and he wouldn’t. So I buckled him in standing up and just drove like a grandma.

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He seems a bit out of it still. Laying down doesn’t seem comfortable yet. I think he really wants to lay on his right side but can’t because of the big bandage. Laying on his left probably hurts the hip. So he’ll wander around for a bit, looking lost, and then finally get tired and plop somewhere. He’ll figure it out eventually and after 4-6 weeks the leg will be good as new again.

Isabella missed him and made him a welcome home gift. Here he is laying with it.

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Apparently that’s an airplane.

We moved his kennel down to the first floor so that he wouldn’t have to go up and down the steps every morning and night. We also have to take him outside on a leash every time he goes potty. We don’t want to risk him taking off running and tearing the ACL on the good leg.

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It’s so nice to have the big guy back home. Even though he was only gone for 2 days, we missed the heck out of him.

Our checking account is a whole lot lighter but he’s worth every penny.

Welcome home dude!

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Samson Stories: Thief | Samson Stories: Walking | S & C