May Peace be with You
Please see related links (at the bottom of this page) for interesting posts (and pretty photos) about the Mourning Dove!
A note to those of you who are aware that my sweet dog, Ruthie Mae, has been recovering from a severe GI upset that happened after our end of summer camping trip.
I’m happy to report that Ruthie is doing well!
She is still on a prescription diet, Hill’s ID, which is expensive, but has helped tremendously in her recovery. I’m working on transitioning her to a more normal diet by adding boiled chicken and rice, along with pumpkin, to the ID food.
I’ve been working on a post about HGE, which is a rare and mysterious condition in dogs and is the diagnosis Ruthie received in early September. I’m not used to writing about such factual information and I’m tired these days, so it’s taking me a while to finish the post. I wanted to at least offer an update.
Thanks to all of you who have expressed your kindness and concern. Ruthie and I are most grateful!
The original Miss ‘dogkisses’ is Ruthie Mae. She’s from a royal bloodline! I don’t know how such a grand dog ended up at the shelter, but she did, and I am one lucky woman to have met and adopted her!
Ruthie has been declared an Egyptian Beetle Hound Insect Hunter! This makes her a very special dog.
I love her like I have all the dogs I’ve loved… Times ten! Dog lovin’ is like that, I guess. They are each special and unique.
I told you in a recent blog post about a camping trip with my family, and shared photos of the beautiful Blueridge mountains in North Carolina.
Ruthie is part of my small family, so of course, she went with us on our end of Summer, rather spontaneous outdoor adventure.
I forgot Ruthie’s regular dog food.
It was several days after we returned home that Ruthie got an upset tummy. Within 24 hours, her condition had become a veterinary emergency. She had bloody diarrhea and was vomiting.
We drove her to a nearby animal emergency clinic, which is also a teaching hospital, where I trust the doctors and staff. I believed Ruthie was in the best hands around. This gave me much comfort, but I was still afraid for my best friend and companion.
Since adopting Ruthie Mae in 2006, when she was about seven months old, I’ve never boarded or left her behind. Watching her walk into the cage at the hospital clinic reminded me of when we first met, but it was a nice big cage and there were interns and residents who stayed in the room around the clock. They doted over Ruthie.
Fortunately, she only had to stay in the hospital one night. They gave her much needed fluids, intravenous medicines and watched her closely.
She was diagnosed with possible HGE, but for sure a serious gastroenteritis, due to a change of diet and dietary indiscretion while camping. Abdominal x-rays showed also three small rocks in her stomach and small intestines. The surgeon said she believes Ruthie will pass the rocks without a problem.
I am very grateful that Ruthie Mae was able to receive good health care. She’s relatively young, in otherwise good health, and has many years of loving left to offer!
She has recovered very well, but she did have a setback when I tried to re-start her regular diet of salmon and sweet potato. As a result, she’s back on a prescription food and two medications.
Because of Ruthie’s sensitive digestive system, she may need more time to fully recover, but I think she will.
I’m very happy to report that she is again recovering well!
Ruthie likes to put her nose to the ground when we walk. It’s possible she got into something again (dietary indiscretion), when my son took her out for a short walk. She’s fast and strong for a girl almost eight!
I’m working on keeping her nose (and GI tract) clean, but I must admit, this takes constant attention. We may have to get a special harness, but I’ll try training her first. Walking without smelling stuff on the ground is against Ruthie’s nature, but that’s the way it has to be from now on.
As to what I’ll feed her in the future remains in question.
All you dogs out there, give a shout out to the sky or a great healing howl for Ruthie Mae! She’s a beauty ain’t she!? :)
Thanks for visiting dogkisses, a blog, by a woman, who loves a dog!
UPDATE March 2014
Ruthie is now on a prescription diet. It’s expensive, but so far, it is the only food that keeps her tender tummy at ease. I’m hoping to meet with either the nutritionists at the school of veterinarian medicine, which is around $200.00, or meet with a holistic vet to discuss other options for Ruthie’s diet.
We have incurred a lot of medical expenses since Ruthie was hospitalized in September, but the tests helped us to rule out common diseases and also, x-rays and ultra sound did not show impressive findings.
Ruthie Mae may well have HGE, but she has also been diagnosed with Intestinal Bowel Disease and will most likely be on a special diet for the rest of her life, which I hope is a very long and healthy one!
You may give to my campaign at www.GoFundMe.ruthiemae (Link is also on my right sidebar in this blog).
My goal is to raise money to help me pay off the debts from the medical bills, so that I may better provide for Ruthie’s ongoing healthcare needs.
Thanks for reading about Ruthie Mae!
The mountains have pulled on my heart-strings all Summer long. I guess when the end of August approached, I felt an urgency to go into the hills, and so I did.
Click on above image for a closer view of The Devil’s Garden Overlook
We first arrived at Stone Mountain state park in North Carolina without a reservation. The trout-laden creek makes the area especially desirable to fisher-people (most of whom are men and boys). The park ranger instructed us to keep driving north, which I didn’t mind too much. The higher up we went, the cooler the weather became, and we found a nice little spot to camp.
I’m not sure that the area we were in is specifically what the Cherokee called, Shoconage, meaning, “The Land of Blue Smoke,” but we did see the blue hue over the mountains and the clouds did look a bit like blue smoke.
My son and I went on our first mountain camping trip when he was only five years old. I was pretty young myself. We had joined a friend who was always saying that I should give camping a try. He was right.
Oddly, after more than twenty years and many outdoor adventures later, I find myself longing for and returning to that same area of the Blue Ridge mountains in North Carolina, Doughton Park Recreation Area, where my son and I first camped with our friend.
The rolling green hills and awesome views always make me feel like I’m in the right place. Happily, my son still enjoys coming along with me to camp.
“What do you think would make you feel better?” my son had asked, several days before I decided to pack my gear and go camping.
“I’d like to sleep under the stars and wake up when the sun rises,” I told him. “I want to feel the rhythm of nature.”
Little did I know that only a few days later, my wishes would come true.
We could only camp for a few nights. Neither of us wanted to leave, but I hadn’t packed well enough to stay longer and was tired of driving to the store, which was twenty-some miles away. Twenty mountain miles make for a pretty ride, but feel like fifty when you’re tired.
My favorite part of the trip was on the second day when my son and I had a heart-to-heart talk. He was more relaxed than I’ve seen him in a long time. We both remarked on the good night’s sleep we had each experienced.
There’s something about sleeping outdoors, feeling the wind blow, listening to the sound of nature without background noise and tuning into the rhythm of nature that brings clarity to the mind. Perhaps Mother Nature unfolds a veil.
My next favorite part of our short trip was sitting by the fire, which was the night I removed the rain-fly from our tent, providing me with my second wish the following morning; an awesome view of the sun rising above the mountain.
On our way home, we drove down to the creek at Stone Mountain State Park, where we spent the day by, “the small falls.” We enjoyed local sour apples and tart blueberries. My son and our dog rested on the flat rocks. I chased a pretty little black and blue butterfly.
Two children, a girl and an older boy, came to play and of course, they loved our dog, sweet little Ruthie Mae. Everybody loves Ruthie.
They were mountain people. The boy looked about eleven years old.
“You want me to take her down to the water for you?” he asked.
Ruthie Mae feels my stress and one way she shows this is by pulling on her leash when we walk, which she’s been doing off and on for a couple of months.
“Sure,” I said to the boy.
I trusted him right away with my dog, which is unusual.
“C’mon girl,” he said in a lovely Carolina mountain accent. “C’mon now. We’re gonna go right down here. Okay? There ya go.”
His way with her made me feel good. I love seeing her happy and she was smiling.
I could tell he had been to those falls many times. He had a sure foot and the younger girl with him did as well. I liked him and so did Ruthie.
Ruthie’s enthusiastic walking didn’t seem to affect him. He continued talking to her in his kind voice and down the craggy path they went toward a sandy spot by the water.
“You’re really good with her,” I told him.
“Yeah,” he said. “I been ’round dogs all my life. I can tell she’s a good one.”
For a moment, I could imagine him being a grown man and what he would be like. I imagined a gentle man in the making.
He and Ruthie Mae didn’t get to play together for long because his mother’s cell phone wouldn’t work. I liked that mine didn’t work. I figured the woman had to be available for some important reason.
After the boy and his family left, Ruthie joined my son for a nap on one of the big flat rocks by the water. He made a soft place for her and she cuddled up next to him. I occupied myself chasing the pretty black and blue butterfly that liked the sand.
I wanted to stay. I mean, I really wanted to stay and I almost did, but I had responsibilities waiting and not enough money to do whatever I wanted. I wish I could go back and stay for the rest of Summer.
(You can click on any photo in the gallery to view a slide show)