Sunday, August 29, 2010

Wet Tail

I didn't share this little story in my last post because I felt it deserved a post of its own. While we were in Maine, Scout developed limber tail syndrome. It is also known as wet tail, cold water tail, limp tail syndrome, broken tail, dead tail or broken wag.

Commonly seen in large active dogs, this condition often appears suddenly after vigorous exercise or activity. The exact cause is unknown but is thought that the muscles that "run" the tail become overworked or injured, resulting in pain and inability/reluctance to move the tail.

Scout was acting a little weird Sunday after his Dog Day of Fun. He had been active for about 9 hours, most of it swimming. He wouldn't sit down but would instead circle around a few times and then lay on his side. He didn't cry or whine, but was a little "off." When I woke up Monday I recalled a story from an old coworker of mine had once told me about her Rhodesian Ridgeback having something called limp tail. I called Justin who remembered something like what I described from his vet tech days. He looked it up and we diagnosed Scout with Wet Tail. He had exercised too much!

It was actually quite pitiful, a dog who couldn't wag his tail. It just hung there, limp and flaccid. The cure is rest and he was back to normal in a couple of days. I didn't get any pictures of him, but here are a few I found on the internet. Too sad.


A few weeks ago I had the chance to go to Maine to spend some time with my in-laws. Justin and I had been looking forward to this trip for awhile since we would have the chance to see some family, and of course get out of Philly for awhile. Unfortunately he had a big Greek test he couldn't miss so I went with Scout. My mother-in-law Lea is from Maine and that is where a lot of her family still resides. Every summer she and Mike head up to stay at their family cabin on Sebago Lake and then a family reunion at Sebasco.

I haven't really spent much time on the East Coast, or New England, so wasn't sure what I would encounter on my drive north. We left Philly around 1:15 on a Friday afternoon. I was quite disappointed to average only 35 mph for the first 4 to 5 hours of my trip. There was so much traffic, and some construction, and many, many, many tolls. It was a little frightening driving across the George Washington Bridge into New York as it was during rush hour on a Friday afternoon and everyone was out for themselves. No courtesy drivers there. What should have been a 7 hour drive ended up being about 9, but we safely arrived at Lea's sister Anne's house that night. Scout was immediately welcomed by Anne's 3 year old golden retriever, Scarlet, and tennis balls, in the house!! A special treat for a dog who usually only gets them outside. Lea had already been there for a couple of days and left to pick up Mike from the airport that night.

Saturday morning was nice and relaxed. I enjoyed some breakfast, fetch with the dogs, and then the 4 of us took the dogs to Twin Brook Recreation Area. This park has all the recreation/sport fields for Cumberland and a lovely off leash dog park that had fields and trails. There was also a creek which was out of sight for us, but the dogs found it without any trouble. Scout cooled himself down this way, but when we arrived back at Anne's, he raided Scarlet's baby pool as well. The dog loves water. Little did he know what was in store for him at Sebago Lake.

Soon after this we packed up and headed to Lea's girlhood home which was right on the Atlantic Coast (can't remember the name of the landing) and then stopped by Town Landing Market to pick up some italian sandwiches for lunch. The views by her home were beautiful and it looked like a really neat place to grow up. Very green and blue! Here is a picture from the beach.

Next we took about a 45 minute drive to Sebago Lake where Lea's family has a quaint lakeside cabin. Scout headed straight for the water and pretty much stayed there for the next 3 days, with a few exceptions. Here we are on Scout's first boat ride. He seemed sort of indifferent about the whole thing.

That evening we headed into town for dinner and I had my first lobster. It wasn't as hard to get the meat out as I thought it would be and it was tasty. I am glad I had the experience but don't know that I'll order one again.

Sunday Lea had arranged a Dog Day at the lake. Several of her siblings, their spouses, kids and dogs came over for an afternoon of swimming and boating. It was nice to get to meet more of her family and I think Scout had a good time playing with the other dogs.

Here is Anne, me and Mike tossing the balls for Scarlet and Scout. I pretty much hung on this little piece of beach most of the weekend so Scout could be out in the water.

The weather was great. Nice and warm, but not too hot. Here I am cooling off with a few of the dogs. The dog count was 6. Scout, 4 goldens (Scarlet, Willow, Cricket, and Rhubarb) and 1 standard poodle (Sadie). It was a bit crazy with all 6 out, but they had a blast. You may have noticed Scout's life jacket. He is actually a great swimmer but I put the jacket on when he was in the boat and when I went swimming with him. It has a handle on it which makes it a lot easier to grab him if I needed to, especially to pull him up on the floating dock since he can't climb ladders.

Here is a shot of about 1/2 of us. From left to right: Henry (Lea's brother), Randy (Lea's mom), Jan (Henry's wife), Mike, Anne, Scarlet, me and Sadie.

Here is Scout at the end of the day, beat.

Here we are on the Big Mable, an awesome tube I took a ride on with Lea's niece Annie. He is such a good snuggler when he is tired!

Monday was a bit cooler and rainy. I spent a little time on this fun hammock reading on the enclosed porch. We made this nice cushiony (is that a word?) bed for Scout but he didn't stay on it for long.

Monday afternoon we went to Henry and Jan's nearby farmhouse for lunch and to hoof around on their property of fields and woods. Here is a picture of me pulling Scout out of their water fixture, where he wasn't supposed to be!

Here is another partial group shot in front of the house. Henry trains his dogs for agility trials and the one closest to him is their newest addition, 6 month old Rhubarb. What a cutie!Tuesday we cleaned and packed the place up and then took another boat ride to see some more of the lake and gas up the boat. Mike and Lea took me by Frye's Leap, a cliff about 5o feet above the water where my daredevil husband jumped from in his younger days. Kind of scary. After lunch I packed up and headed home as they made their way to Sebasco for the family reunion and remainder of the week. I really had a nice time. So glad I was able to get off work for a few days and enjoy a new place and family. Wish Justin could have come with me but we already have next year's trip in the works!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Wagon Wheel

I haven't actually done any research on this, but I would bet there are at least 50 pizza joints within a 2 mile radius of us. And they are always leaving takeout menus in our door to tempt us. One in particular advertises The Wagon Wheel, a 24" in pizza. The first time we got pizza from there I was intrigued by the boxes they use for the wheel, they looked too big to even fit in the backseat flat (it almost was). We finally succumbed to our curiosity and ordered it last night. Don't judge! It was humungous. It wasn't as good as Papa Murphy's, and the kind we got had a few too many toppings on it for my liking, but it was good and there was a ton!! Lots of lunch leftovers. Please note the can of soda in the corner for size comparison. And like the diet Dr. Pepper was going to cancel out the calories or something.

Lums Pond State Park

Yesterday I had the pleasure of going on a little hike and picnic with my friend Becca and our dogs. The hubbies stayed home to study Greek. I have been looking for a place for Scout to swim and one of my coworkers had suggested Lums Pond, a state park in Delaware. It only took a little over an hour to get there and was well worth it for the dogs. We hiked around the lake, about 7.1 miles, although the paths weren't marked super well and we ended up on a different trail for a short bit. The hike had several spots for the dogs to hop in and cool off. There were also several of these white birds which were kind of cool to watch. I don't know what kind of bird it is, but they were pretty big.

Here are the dogs enjoying some off leash time. Scout is the gigantic one in the back and Yogi is the little one in the front. He's 4 months old and this was his first hike. He did pretty well for such a little guy.

Here they are sharing the tennis ball during swim/fetch time. It was also Yogi's first time swimming. They had a pretty good time and we enjoyed some nature. Plus, it wasn't super humid like it has been. Hope you had a nice weekend too!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

So its been awhile

So I am not a very good blogger. There are likely a few reasons for that, but mainly because I don't think we've done too much that is blog worthy. As you read in one of my most recent entries, the transition to PA has not been very easy. So may things we have tried to do have ended up in disaster that it is diffcult to get motivated to try something new. We have had a few adventures, one of which was a day trip to Hershey, PA for our anniversary, but that will be for another time, when I get the pictures. You see our camera battery died half way through the tour of The Hershey Gardens so we bought a disposable, and still have pictures on it. So one day I'll blog about that. But until then, here is the run down of what we've been up to.

One of our first weekends here we packed a picnic lunch and headed out to Pennypack Park, a local Philly park. Part of it lies up against the Delaware River so Scout swam. It was nice to get out and start exploring.

Over Memorial Day weekend we went on a day hike. I can't even remember the name, but probably because it wasn't too good. No mountains, no spectacular views. It was super hot and humid, we thought the dog was going to keel over. The trail ended up crossing over several roads and intertwining with many equestrian trails, not too fun. Here is a picture of a lake, but not a swimming lake.
For July 4th weekend we were invited to my aunt and uncle's in Maryland. My mom and stepdad were there for several days and we went on Sunday for a BBQ. It was nice to see my folks and Justin got to meet all my cousins and their families. I hadn't seen my cousins in over 10 years so had never met their wives/significant others or their children. It was great to meet and see everyone. Here is a photo of the family. Please note the dogs, none of which are looking at the camera.
One of the things Justin and I have always enjoyed doing is volunteering together. We found a great organization called Greater Philadelphia Cares that is an umbrella organization for numerous volunteer opportunities. There is something almost everyday and they have made it really easy to get involved for as little or as much commitment as you can. We have been volunteering for a Wednesday night Youth Enrichment program held at a local church in the inner city. During the summer the program is geared towards teaching the kids healthy habits and activities. They put together a community garden, have learned how to treat animals and pets, how to make a healthy snacks, and are putting together a scrapbook (lucky for me, this is the project I help with the most!!). During the school year the program will be more for tutoring the neighborhood kids that come. We also ventured out to a Friday night game night for the kids.
We have gone to a few other parks in the city, walked some trails and looked for swimming holes for Scout. Justin finally started class this past week and is loving it. He is currently in an accelerated biblical Greek class and is doing very well. He has put a lot of time into studying and can't seem to put the books down. A few weeks ago the school hosted a little pizza social and it was a Godsend. We hadn't really made any friends yet but were able to meet some nice people at the pizza get together and have quickly become friends with 2 of Justin's classmates and their wives. Turns out we weren't the only ones to have so many struggles with the move. We have gotten together with each of the couples a few times and really enjoy their company. And Justin has gotten a steady workout and study partner!!
Those are the highlights for now. I will be sure to blog about our anniversary when I get the pictures, but I leave you this final picture. The muddy dog after wallowing in a mud puddle at his field. Hope everyone is having a great summer!!