August 3 “Bird Lady of Blogland” Visits Rocky Point

Current Location: Rocky Point, Oregon  74 Degrees F and Mostly Sunny

back yard conversation (1 of 1)-14 Mo and I have been lucky enough to meet some delightful people as we travel around in the MoHo.  Most readers know about the infamous meet and greets of people who have known each other only through the internet, and the extended family of RV bloggers who read and comment on each other’s blogs over the years.

back yard conversation (1 of 1) For people like the two of us, somewhat solitary and not especially socially inclined, the people that we have met in this way have been an incredible treasure, and some have become life long friends.  Judy, Travels with Emma, is one of those.  We have enjoyed each other’s company in the past out on the road.  It was great to have her volunteering here in Oregon, close enough that she could manage a short visit.

smoke from the Stout Fire and California fires converge on Rocky PointSmoky skies at Rocky Point

Mo and I drive that road between Rocky Point and Brookings often, so much so that we are almost immune to the narrow curving highway and its steep drop-offs.  It is a four hour drive, a little less than 200 miles, and most of the time, the scenery is gorgeous.  Not so much this time for Judy, with smoke from both the California and Oregon fires converging in the Rogue Valley, and coming over the crest of the Cascades to settle into the Klamath Basin as well. 

Judy kayaks Recreation Creek (1 of 1)-2 In spite of the smoke, when Judy arrived mid-day, after a bit of visiting and a few snacks, we loaded up the kayaks and headed down the road to the public boat launch at Rocky Point.  Even though there were some towering thunderheads overhead, the skies were quiet, and no sign of thunder or lightning frightened us away from the glassy, still waters.

Mattie on Recreation Creek (1 of 1)-3 It was a perfect day for Judy’s second foray into a kayak, nice and still, no wind, no current.  I was impressed with her ability to slip into the kayak easily, (well almost easily), and do a pretty good job of keeping up with us.  We wandered around Recreation Creek a bit before deciding to paddle south into the Harriman Creek spring run so Judy could see the incredibly clear water.  Recreation Creek (2 of 2)

Even though some rather fat drops of rain fell on us, it wasn’t enough to dampen our spirits or get us wet.  Judy on Recreation Creek (1 of 1)-7

It was Mattie’s first trip out in the kayak, and she wore her new little vest with pride and did great.  She stood up most of the time, watching where the boat was headed, often turning around to Mo to be sure that everything was all right. 

Mattie on Recreation Creek (1 of 1)-4I so loved being back on the creek, on the bay, in the boat once again.  I have really missed our times kayaking this year and hope that in the next few months before winter we don’t wait so long between paddling days.

Back home in the late afternoon, I finished up the ribs, making sure I did some “naked” ones for Judy and some gooey sticky ones for us and with some roasted potatoes and a salad.  It was the first time that we had introduced Mattie and Emma and the two did just great. 

Mattie meets Emma (1 of 1) I was amazed at how gentle Emma was with little Mattie, getting down to her level and so gently putting her paw on her to subdue her.  Mattie would have none of that, however, and because Emma was so good with her, she was all smartie pants hot stuff, thinking how tough she was. It was great fun watching them tussle around.

back yard conversation (1 of 1)-7 Judy seemed to enjoy the cabin, although the extensive booklet of instructions that Mo left for the composting toilet were a bit much.  We told her, “Just turn the crank, Judy”.  I guess it worked fine, since I never did notice Judy sneaking outside to the old outhouse.

After breakfast the next day, Judy and Emma and I headed east through Klamath Falls toward the Tulelake and Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuges.  It would have been a beautiful drive if not for the smoke, and I spent a lot of time telling Judy what she would be seeing if the skies weren’t so murky.

birds at Tulelake (14 of 50) I’ll let Judy tell you about our day, but the best part for me was Judy’s excitement when she saw the birds.  “Oh, I am back in my element”, she exclaimed when we pulled off Stateline Road at the first sighting of birds in the marsh.  It was great fun for me to view the refuge through Judy’s eyes, and as usual, when I am with Judy, I learned so much.birds at Tulelake (13 of 50)

birds at Tulelake (47 of 50)Loved seeing the mama grebe feeding her babies

After a long day exploring, we arrived home late afternoon and settled in a bit before I built a taco supper for the three (five) of us to share at the picnic table.  We have lots of places to sit around the property, but often find that we end up in the same place most of the time.  It was fun having Judy here, because we sat around in some different chairs, and ate at the picnic table instead of on the porch table.  Silly how you can get in a rut sometimes.

After breakfast Judy headed back to the coast, and Mo and I slipped back into work/chore mode.  Tomorrow we will be going again to Grants Pass and the Cottage.  We try to get there at least every ten days or so to be sure things are OK, and keep the little patch of lawn watered.  cottage acre  (7 of 12)The “Cottage” in Grants Pass

Our other projects are coming along, bit by bit.  My house on Painter Street is waiting for the appraisal and the closing and with the buyer renting from me until that time, Mo and I no longer have to maintain that property.

painting has started for the exterior (5 of 5)The Old Fort Road Apartments in Klamath Falls

Mo’s apartments in Klamath Falls are coming along as well, with the exterior painting and repair nearly finished, and the interior of the apartment Mo and I plan to use all freshly painted.  Daughter Melody with grandson Xavier, and granddaughter Axel are well settled in their two apartments, and Mo and I plan to spend time there this winter when we aren’t here in Rocky Point or out traveling.  It is smaller, easier to maintain, less snow to plow, and yes, cable internet…unlimited bandwidth.  You have no idea how much I am looking forward to that!

House at Rocky Point Lumix (4 of 7)The “Big House” at Rocky Point

Then again, with more than a decade of treasured time here at the Big House in Rocky Point, there will be a bit of nostalgia of course when it comes time to actually downsize and leave it behind.  That is for a future time, however, and for now we are enjoying having this place to share with family and good friends now and then.

July 4th at Lake of the Woods Oregon

Current Location: Rocky Point Oregon on a coolish partly cloudy day at 57 degrees F

I must say, after the heat wave we experienced during the latter part of June and early July, this cool, rainy weather is a welcome blessing!  But I also must say that I am really glad that July Fourth was hot and sunny and gorgeous, in spite of a late thunderstorm in the mountains.

map to lake of the woodsFrom home to Lake of the Woods is an easy trip

For several years now, we have talked of trying to camp at Lake of the Woods for the Fourth of July weekend.  Only ten miles away, Lake of the Woods is a high mountain lake that is clean and swimmable.  Unlike our magnificent Klamath Lake, filled with birds and ripe with food for them during the summer (aka algae).  In fact, blue green algae is harvested on Klamath Lake and sold as an expensive food supplement.  My grandmother swore by this stuff, along with liquid chlorophyll, and lived to be 86 eating bacon, chicken fat, pure butter and lots of cream.

1-6-19-2004 Sailing Lake of the WoodsMo and I sailing at Lake of the Woods back in 2004

We have tried several times to get a reservation to camp at Lake of the Woods.  There are two main campgrounds, Sunset and Aspen Point.  Reservations are allowed at a maximum of six months in advance, so on January 1 I started calling at 8am.  Too late.  Every single reserved site through July 4th was already taken.  A couple of times in the past, we have driven up a few days early to see if the non-reservable sites might be available.  Nada.  All taken through July 5th.

Camping_Jul16003Tent camping with the grandkids at Lake of the Woods pre MoHo days

We even tried for the expensive campground at the Lake of the Woods Resort.  People must reserve these sites years in advance.  Who knows, we have never been able to get any kind of site anywhere at any of the campgrounds around the lake.  Maybe it is the fireworks, maybe it is the evening music at the resort, maybe it is just because it is a lovely lake that is boat-able and swimmable and it is summer time.

Last year we scouted the entire perimeter of the lake hunting for possible parking spots along the roadway where we could hike into the lake.  We found a couple, but much of the lake is ringed by privately owned residences leased by the Forest Service and the shoreline is off limits.  Last year with plans to drive the ten miles up the hill after our day at home in Rocky Point to see the fireworks, we decided that dealing with traffic and people and all that was just too much trouble.

July Fourth_149Klamath Falls fireworks were great when over Lake Ewauna and Veterans Park in the past

This year, the Klamath Falls City fireworks show was moved from our lovely Veteran’s Park to the local fairgrounds.  Bleachers, dirt, pavement, crowded parking, and crowds.  Not even a grassy park to have a picnic or a pleasant place to hang out while waiting for the very late hour of darkness to arrive.  No thanks.  They even moved the parade from early evening before the fireworks to mid morning.  Much too long to wait around all day between the parade and the fairgrounds fireworks, so our little town of Klamath Falls was a no go this year, in spite of the many holidays we have spent there in the past.

Once again, we came up with an idea for going up to Lake of the Woods for the fireworks and it worked perfectly.

2015 Fourth of July (11 of 51)That is the MoHo next to a random truck in a ‘no parking’ spot, and our convenient picnic table.

Mo and I got up early on the 4th, and drove the MoHo and a second car to the day use area at Sunset Beach.  We arrived just a little bit after 6am, and were happy to see that there were still parking spaces available for boats and trailers on one side and more long spaces that didn’t specifically prohibit vehicles without boat trailers on the other side.  We parked the MoHo in a spot right next to the picnic area near the boat ramp, and staked out our tablecloth on the big picnic table nearby.

2015 Fourth of July (1 of 51) We then drove back home and loaded up the kayaks on the small trailer and hauled them up with the baby car, leaving the trailer in front of the MoHo. When Melody arrived at the Rocky Point house at 11am, we loaded ourselves into the baby car and drove to the day use area.  Of course, by then, everything was jam packed full, and after unloading the rest of the supplies that we brought up in the car at the MoHo, Melody and I parked the baby car in a wide place on the main road and hiked back to the picnic area.

2015 Fourth of July (12 of 51) The best part about using the MoHo for a day trip was the convenience.  We had a refrigerator to keep everything nice and cold.  We had our own clean bathroom and a place to change, a bed where Melody enjoyed an afternoon nap, and a place to retreat and wait for the fireworks safe from crowds.  The price was perfect!  $5. parking reduced to $2.50 with our Golden Age pass was a lot less than trying to pay for an entire week or two of camping just to get a space.

2015 Fourth of July (13 of 51) The day was perfect.  Gorgeous.  Blue skies and warm temperatures.  It was my first day in the kayak since my surgery, and Mo and Melody obligingly hauled the kayaks down to the beach for me.  It was heaven getting back on the water again at last.

2015 Fourth of July (27 of 51)2015 Fourth of July (8 of 51) We had fried chicken, potato salad (of course), watermelon, and chocolate cupcakes to keep us well fed throughout the day and evening.  We had our comfortable chairs, the great picnic table in the shade, and lots of entertainment watching the people playing, swimming and enjoying the perfect family Fourth of July day.

2015 Fourth of July (16 of 51) Later in the afternoon, Melody and I kayaked over to the main resort marina to watch the huge crowds mashed in together along the beach and hear the loud and happy rock music playing out over the water.  Everyone was having a great time, and it was pretty noisy and looked like the “in” place to be if you wanted to party.  We were extremely happy to be at the other side of the lake!

2015 Fourth of July (19 of 51)We found out during the day, from a helpful ranger, that the fireworks would be shot off on the southern shore of the lake, and that the trees between us and them would block our view.  Ah well.  Hiking around a bit for a better viewing site didn’t yield much, so we accepted our losses and decided that hearing them would be enough.

2015 Fourth of July (41 of 51) As sunset approached, the skies were filled with color and the water was still warm enough for swimming.  Lo and behold, once the fireworks started, we found out that we only had to wade out into the water a few steps to see at least part of the huge colorful blooms exploding in the sky.  I love the sound of fireworks, and one of my favorite moments of the evening was hearing the incredible echoing of that sound from the opposite side of the lake.  It sounded like distant thunder.  Amazing.2015 Fourth of July (47 of 51)

We had already decided to load up the kayaks and hook up the trailer while it was still light, thinking it would expedite our departure.  Of course, it did do that, but next year, if we do this again, we will leave the kayaks unloaded and take them out a bit from shore to watch the show.  There were many boats on the lake, but not any close up near the dock to worry about, so it would be perfect.2015 Fourth of July (50 of 51)

When we pulled out after the show, we were the first ones out of the parking lot, Mo leading the way in the MoHo, and both of us were amazed at the quick escape without any traffic problems at all.  Most people had to get to their cars or get their boats out of the water, so it took longer for them to get moving.  We were down the mountain and home in minutes.l

2015 Fourth of July (5 of 51) On another sad note, most people know that fireworks are deadly for dogs, and we saw a beautiful retriever in the road that had evidently run from its owner in fear and was killed.  Broke our hearts.  The statistics are awful.  More dogs are lost during the Fourth of July than any other time of year.  Lucky for us, Mattie was safe in her crate tucked away in the motorhome sleeping.  She seems to be not the least bit disturbed by the noise so we didn’t have to worry about her at all.

I have such good memories of the Fourth, and this year added to them once again.  Even though we had just one daughter sharing it with us, it was nearly perfect. Stories from the other daughters and grandkids about their day in other parts of the country were perfect as well, so I wasn’t too sad about not having the big family gathering that I sometimes enjoy on this great family day.

One last note: I decided that I needed a “bridge” camera, something smaller and lighter than my DSLR for our coming trip to Ireland, and for times when I might not want to haul around the big heavy camera and lenses.  I tried out a Canon SX60.  From what I hear, it isn’t as good as the SX50.  I tried it for the entire July Fourth weekend, but couldn’t come to terms with some of the features, and the picture quality.  (All the photos in this post  from 2015 are with the Canon)

I know lots of Canon users that will think I am crazy, but I took it back on Monday morning and my check had not yet cleared.  I must say that our local Leo’s Camera Shop was great about the return.  I just wish that they carried the Panasonic Lumix FX1000 which shipped today.  I would have loved to have purchased locally.  At least I tried.

We will see if I can be happy with this one.  As Erin says, nothing will truly replace a DSLR, so it is always a trade-off in one way or another.

06-10-2015 Visiting Judy at Harris Beach and something new

Current Location: Rocky Point Oregon 80 degrees F at 7pm  Nice

walking at Chetco Point (12 of 40) I didn’t take my computer with me to the beach on this trip.  Didn’t even take the MiFi for internet, and instead depended on the LTE Verizon signal on the iPad and the 3 bars of AT&T on my phone.  Sometimes I get a bit tired of all the cords and devices and packing up all that stuff.  No photo processing, no writing, nothing completed on the blog while we were playing at the beach.  In fact, some of the photos in this blog were…gasp…taken with my iPhone. Judy said to me that she prefers blogs that are at least somewhat close to “real time”, otherwise what is the point.

I suppose I could agree in some respects, but then again one of my favorite bloggers is currently writing about her Antarctic adventures that took place months ago, and I wouldn’t miss a paragraph.  To me it is every bit as exciting as if it were in real time, probably better, because she has time to flesh out the posts properly.  If I tried to blog with the iPad using Blogsy, I have a feeling it would be more like a hit and miss thing…and of course, no photos.  Can’t get RAW photos from the camera to the iPad without something to process them.

Mattie at the Beach (4 of 22) I am sure you don’t care a whit about all this anyway…you came here to see Judy.  So I am slipping back in my mind to a few days ago, and with a little help from my photos, I will recreate our moments as close to real time as I can manage.

After all the hoopla with the tire thing, we were happy to slip into our site at Harris Beach and settle in for the evening with tasty leftovers for supper.  After walking up to Judy’s site to let her know we had arrived, Mo and I enjoyed the beautiful warm evening.  with Judy at the beach (1 of 13)

In spite of my plans for Tuesday, I somehow lost 24 hours to who knows what that knocked me flat.  With the surgery thing recent enough that I am watching for infection, I was glad that I didn’t have a fever.  Whatever.  The whole thing was frustrating and boring and I hate to even talk about it, but needed to explain since Judy already gave away that we missed her fabulous planned chicken supper.  I think Mo enjoyed my down day, and did not much of anything except truly relax and read and enjoy the gorgeous sunshine, something we don’t often get at the coast.Mattie at the Beach (2 of 22) I think this is the part where Judy is thinking Mattie is a puny pipsqueak.

By Wednesday morning I was fine, although the gorgeous sunlight and warmth of the previous day had returned to June gloom and fog usually expected at the coast before noon.  with Judy at the beach (4 of 13)

We waited till afternoon and then met Judy for a beach walk and then went back to the overlook where Judy set up her scope.  We enjoyed listening to her stories about the birds of Goat/Bird Island, and she even solved a mystery for us.  Last fall when we visited, we saw something that looked like humans on the island where no humans are supposed to be.  Judy trained her scope over there and showed us the regularly spaced wildlife cameras set up to try to document a very rare bird that only comes out at night.  As Judy says, Cool Beans.

with Judy at the beach (6 of 13)I also learned there is no such thing as a “seagull”.  That bird on the post is a “western gull”. 

Supper at Judy’s site was great, although we did decide to leave Mattie at home.  Emma is nothing if not exuberant, and Mattie is about the size of a big cat, and we do remember how Emma got along with Jeremy the first time we met her.  Ha!  I am sure Emma would be fine eventually, but Mattie is still new enough to us that we aren’t exactly sure how she is with other dogs, so it was better to wait for that meeting.  Maybe next time.

with Judy at the beach (8 of 13) The New York chicken was wonderful.  I found out why Judy’s is so much better than mine, even though I followed her recipe.  All except for the poultry seasoning, which somehow didn’t make it to my copy of the marinade.  No Wonder. We had so much fun talking about Judy’s new home base in Jojoba Hills, and our tire adventures, and eating great food, that both Judy and I forgot to take any photos.  I think that is a good thing.

walking at Chetco Point (6 of 40) Thursday morning Mo and I drove to town to pick up a new tire and buy a few groceries. The day was again sunny and gorgeous, without a trace of fog and very little wind.  Amazing!  Leaving Fred Meyer, we just sort of ambled down the road and found a brand new place we had never visited before. You must realize that Mo and I have spent no less than a dozen years visiting Brookings, we even spent a good year looking for property to buy there until we decided on Grants Pass instead for MoHo winter storage. So it was crazy to me that we found not only one, but two brand new places we had never seen in all our explorations of this very small town.  judy mapOur first discovery was Mill Beach, which on a Wednesday morning was quiet and peaceful with only a few folks ambling around.  There was no leash requirement for dogs, so we walked to a deserted portion of the beach and turned Mattie loose.  Oh My!  You have never seen such a frenzy in your life.  That little dog was like a bullet train, loving the soft sand, and running in circles in such happiness and joy it make my heart just sing.

walking at Chetco Point (8 of 40) Mo had taken her to the beach the day before without me, so she knew that Mattie loved that sand.  The other thing she loved a lot was all the smelly things that she could drag around and try to eat.  Especially appetizing to her were the loose clumps of mussels wound up in dirty seaweed.  Yum.

walking at Chetco Point (14 of 40) After hiking around on the beach, we noticed there was a trail above us on the cliff, and I thought it might be the park that Russ and Donna spoke of.  Sure enough, another little drive with the iPhone led us to the parking area for Chetco Point Park just off the road by the sewage plant.  Who would have thought?!  Except I did have a memory of Russ and Donna writing about walking this trail a few years ago.Here Mattie had to be on leash, but we would have had her leashed anyway.  As good as she is, there are moments when her little dog brain gets focused on something that isn’t us and she forgets what “come” means.

walking at Chetco Point (18 of 40) The trail was easy, not to tough for ole slo-poke Sue.  Ack.  I am usually a fast walker with a long stride.  All those years in the mountains of course, but now I toddle along like an old lady, barely able to keep up with Mo, much less the dog.  At least I could walk, and that was heaven, believe me.  Especially with such gorgeous views, warm temperatures, and balmy breezes.  I spent many moments during this day just enjoying the skies and the air and the views.  It is interesting sometimes to be forced to slow down.  I see and feel more it seems.  I hope as I heal and get back to my old ways, I’ll remember to slow down and take it easy now and then.

walking at Chetco Point (20 of 40) On Thursday evening it was our turn to treat Judy to supper at our site.  Unlike Judy’s shady spot, Site A11 on the front row is wide open, with full sunlight until almost 9pm.  I had to wear sunglasses to eat and Judy made sure she was facing away from the sun so she could see.Judy and Mo at dinner (3 of 4) Mo had enough wood for wonderful fires every night and even in the full sunshine of a bright evening, she started up another great campfire.  I managed to eat one marshmallow with melted chocolate inside.  Couldn’t tempt either Judy or Mo to partake of the gooey sweet, neither care much for sweets. It isn’t about eating the marshmallow anyway, it is about roasting it to perfection.  Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t.  Fun either way.

Judy and Mo at dinner (4 of 4) With plans to leave early enough on Friday morning to get to Grants Pass by noon, we were all dumped and ready to roll when Mo noticed the right rear tire was flat.  Oh no…Not again?!?  This truly WAS one of the 2013 tires. We pulled down to the overlook parking area, called Brookings Les Schwab, and waited for them to come and air up the tire so we could get to town for a tire change. 

The best part of this story is yet to come.  The previous night I had received a call from my realtor saying that she may be calling me with an offer for the Klamath house in the morning.  I told her we would be without telephone for a few hours as we traveled back home and she was a bit concerned about it.  At 9:30, while we were still at Les Schwab, she called with a very good offer!  I needed to receive 15 fax pages, sign then and fax them back.

Brookings is a small town, with not much around for office stores, (remember Judy’s story about finding a place to fax her papers!).  Then my realtor suggested that I go talk to the office people inside Les Schwab.  Sure enough, they let me receive the fax, and fax everything back, all for no charge, just a “Thanks for being a Les Schwab customer”.

Another great part to this story is that it wasn’t the tire, it was the valve stem.  That always seems to be the problem.  They fixed the tire, we put the new one on in its place, and the bill for all that work, including coming out to the park to air us up was $10.50.  Amazing how things work out.

walking at Chetco Point (38 of 40) We left for home at 11:30, a bit late, but in time to stop at an icon restaurant along Highway 199 in Gasquet called She She’s.  We have driven by here a bazillion times and never stopped, but today just seemed like a day to celebrate.  Big thick blackberry milkshake, a great burger and home made fries, shared between us, was perfect for the brilliant sunshiny hot and windy day along the Smith River toward home.

 

Rattie Mattie the Stoner Dog

Current Location: Rocky Point Oregon  53F and raining lightly.

We had a scare last night that I wouldn’t want to repeat any time soon.  Mo and I are still finalizing some of the fixes on the Painter Street house in Klamath Falls.  I am not all that great at doing stuff at the moment, so Mo has the thankless job of working day after day on trying to rebuild and repair a falling down fence in the back yard.  Well, not totally thankless.  I can’t thank her enough, not even close.  She has taken up so much of the slack on that house since my surgery last month that I’ll never be able to repay her. 

The Painter Street house is finally painted and looks great


Melody joined me yesterday to help with the inside of the house, once again doing a spit shine of the floors and bathroom so the house is completely ready for showing.  I sat around and directed mostly, while Melody mopped and swept and cleaned up all the junk that the contractors tracked inside while they were working on the outside.  They used the bathroom and kitchen and other spaces it seems.  I’ll be really glad when they are completely finished and not tracking around the house any more.

As we worked, little Mattie, the Rat Terrier (hence the Rattie Mattie name thought up by daughter Deanna) was being her wonderful self. She hung out in the house with us, and when we would go outside with her, she stayed in the yard, visiting Mo as she worked on the fence, and exploring all the corners of the small back yard. 

Mattie loved rooting around in the ivy in the back corner of the yard


She snuffed around a bit in deep ivy, but I didn’t think much of it because I didn’t see her actually eating anything.  By 4 in the afternoon I was tired, Melody had gone home, and Mo was still struggling with the fence.  Mattie and I laid down in the patio in the sun to rest.  She seemed really tired.  As I drove home around 6, she lolled in her bed in the car seat, rather than standing up to watch the passing scenery as she likes to do.

Once home, she showed no interest in her dinner and passed out in her little bed in the living room.  When I roused her to put her in my lap and her little head lolled and her eyes wouldn’t stay open, I knew something was very wrong.  Calling several vets, I received the same emergency phone number for after hours vet care, and the number kept routing me back to the same loop.  I finally located a 24 hour vet in Medford, and they said, come down now.


We loaded up Mattie and Mo drove about as fast as she has ever driven the miles over the mountain to Medford.  It took less than an hour, but that was just about the longest hour I have spent in a very long time.  Mattie kept going to sleep, and I guess I have watched enough TV to know that I had to keep her awake.  I jiggled her and shook her, opened and closed the window, did everything possible to keep her little head from lolling and her eyes from closing.

Once at the vet, the tech took one look at her and said, “Is there any chance she could get into medical marijuana?”  What???  Are you kidding me? Of course not!!  We were frantic, thinking that maybe she had found a dead mouse or something that had been poisoned.  Later a second technician came in and asked us the same question.  Really?  They were all fairly certain she had the classic symptoms of marijuana toxicity.

After a long time, thanks to an extremely busy night of emergencies, Mattie was drug tested and it came back positive for marijuana!  We scratched our heads, trying to figure it out.  I called Melody at midnight wondering if she had any idea if any of the neighbor kids smoked pot or not. Melody has been out of the house for a couple of months now, she and her family have nothing to do with pot, and she swore that she was sure the neighbors weren’t pot smokers either.

Mattie was given IV fluids to take care of her dehydration, and we were told we did the right thing to keep her awake.  Her heart rate would dip to 60 unless she was stimulated, and she could have dropped into a coma.  According to the vet, this is such a common occurrence that she sees dogs every single day in the clinic with marijuana toxicity.  Every. Single. Day.

We did a lot of head scratching, and finally realized that we have had contractors all around that house for a month now, and in addition, the fence has been open, and anyone could have strolled through the back yard.  Who knows if some kid threw an old roach down and Mattie found it.  According to the vet, pot is so cheap and easily obtained now that people don’t bother to keep the unsmoked ends and just toss them away.  It is getting to be a big problem in parks and public places where people and dogs play.  Geeze!

I didn’t take photos of Mattie when everything was so scary so these are shots of our happy dog


When we rolled back into our driveway at 1:30 AM we were so grateful that the test for marijuana was positive, that Mattie would recover and sleep it off, and that we didn’t have to keep wondering what in the world she had gotten into.  She was OK.  But oh my, what a warning to those of us with dogs.  With pot becoming legal and used openly, this problem is something we need to be aware of all the time. 

Photo of Mattie on leash, although she does great off leash as well around our property



Mattie is fine today, if a bit less energetic than usual.  Her eyes are bright and she is enjoying hanging out with us wherever we are in the house.  Thank goodness.  I was amazed at how incredibly attached Mo and I have become in only a short month of sharing our lives with little Mattie.  Losing her this quickly wasn’t an option.   

Progress!

Current Location: Rocky Point Oregon Chilly and overcast at 49 degrees F

Mattie (14 of 51)After my last post about our new family member, and my upcoming surgery, I was overwhelmed and humbled by all the encouraging comments from so many.  Of course, when Al of the Bayfield Bunch gives anyone a shout-out, all heck breaks loose with the servers and many more people got to see our new little Mattie than might have otherwise.  Thanks, Al. Your love of dogs shines through and I knew you would love Mattie at first sight.Mattie (12 of 51)

The good news is that our little bundle of fear and anxiety has already blossomed into a very happy little dog.  I couldn’t wait for the time when I would see her smile, when her tail would rise and wag, when she would run and play.  It didn’t take long.

Mattie (2 of 51) While I was in the hospital, for a few more days than expected, Mo had time to spend with her.  Peace Health Sacred Heart at Riverbend  in Springfield, Oregon, looks more like a high end college campus, with a large park along the MacKenzie River lined with gorgeous plantings and beautiful trails.  It was a beautiful, quiet, and safe place for Mo begin to teach Mattie how to walk on a leash.  It was also a great time for Mo to bond with her one on one.

On a little side note, I have to say I was incredibly impressed with the care I received at this rather amazing hospital.  There were always plenty of caregivers around paying close attention to my needs, the food, if I could have eaten it, would have been quite good, and the private room with a view of the city was quite lovely and comfortable.  After asking how I managed a private room, I was told that all rooms at the hospital are private rooms because they afford better care for the patients.  Each time a caregiver came into my room, I was asked carefully if there was anything else that I might need.  I was asked that often and with genuine concern.  I knew my surgeons were great, but didn’t know that the hospital would be as state of the art as it was.  I’m not one to talk up the medical system, so these words coming from this skeptic, are surprising and heartfelt.  I am grateful.

Mattie (4 of 51) I don’t have a lot of good memories of that first week.  It was wonderful to have the motorhome for transport to and from Springfield, a trip of about 200 miles, but has anyone actually tried to rest in the back of a moving motorhome.  Illegal as heck, I know, but it sure beat trying to sit in an upright position.  Bounces and all.  By the time we got home Friday night I was one miserable puppy.   Mattie (9 of 51) The real puppy, on the other hand, was quite content in the motorhome, either curled up in her bed, or snuggled up next to me on my bed.  She loves riding and shows no sign of getting car sick or stressed in a moving vehicle.  Lucky for us!

The first few days at home for me were lost in a fog of feeling pretty miserable, more so than I had anticipated, so Mo picked up all the slack and took care of everything, including me.  She and Mattie bonded even more as she played with her on the leash and Mattie began to respond to her name, to perk up her ears, and yes, to leap about with joy on her forays into the outdoors and wag her tail.Mattie (16 of 51)

Reading about rat terriers has been interesting.  Mattie has all the known personality traits of a true rat terrier, with lots of energy, but also a love of napping and cuddling.  She and I have continued the bond we started that first day at the shelter as she snuggles up to me while I am in bed.  It has been incredibly comforting.

Mattie (20 of 51) I can report that now, 12 days post surgery, I feel pretty good.  No more uncomfortable than I expected and am improving every single day.  “Take It Slow/Take it Easy” according to my friend Erin, battling her way through some stormy weather in southeast Texas, and with more encouraging notes from MBZ, also in Texas, and Nickie in California,  I have a ton of support from long distance as well as up close friends.

Mattie (34 of 51) The chicken soup that my local quilt buddy, Mata, brought over that first night was a life saver, with homemade broth that got me through several days of not being able to eat much. Tomorrow, my lifelong friend Maryruth will be arriving for several days of best friend care, and Mo can take a bit of a break. Of course, a break for Mo includes doing everything she usually does, plus everything I usually do, and then some.  I have been pretty lucky to have her here to get me through the hard parts.

Mattie, of course, is still a project.  She still is fearful, sometimes retreating if she thinks you might want to catch her, other times coming when called easily.  There is much she will need to learn before we feel totally safe with her in unknown environments.

On Mom’s Day, when my daughter and grandkids showed up with fresh fruit and flowers, she guarded me in the bed, growling at the intruders until I convinced her they were OK.  She is a tough little thing, and smart!

Mattie (49 of 51) I am planning on taking her through the beginning dog training classes offered at Double C in Klamath Falls as part of the adoption package.  Watching her run and play and jump, I can see that she would love to have the mental and physical stimulation of agility training.  Once she gets the basics, of course.  She definitely needs something to keep her engaged and busy, or she tries to discover other ways to entertain herself.  Chewing the ends of my glasses was one of them.

Mattie (37 of 51)Even though they said she was two, she acts more like a year old puppy sometimes.  I’ll have to ask my own vet about that one I think.  We still have to pick a birthday for her.

Just wanted to say a huge thank you for all who cared enough to comment, send good wishes and thoughts and prayers, and let you know how much I appreciated them.