Mica’s Home, Looking Like an Inflatable Pillow

Mica 068

Enjoying being home with a rawhide ring

I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.

The patient is behaving almost normally, but looks really goofy with a transdermal patch stapled to the back of his neck, red fang marks on his nose, shaved patches on his legs and a puffy neck and chest that feel like a blow-up doll.

Life is tough for this 15 week old pup, but I gave him a strong name so he would be resilient and bounce back and that’s precisely what he did. He’s spent the last hour or so eating, drinking, peeing, pooing and chewing before bed. Everything works!

Thank you again to all you wonderful folks for everything you did. It seemed like a miraculous recovery to me.

Love and hugs from all of us.  ~ BP

Mica 064

Mica Update for April 13th: Whew!

Mica 14 weeks ring chew

Mica, April 9th

The 13th is a lucky day!

Thank you everyone for the beautiful love energies and sentiments that certainly have helped heal the situation. We three thank you most heartily.

Mica did well overnight; slept, ate, drank, walked around and wagged his tail at the doctors and techs—a far cry from the condition he was in when I left him at 4:00 yesterday.

He is still extremely swollen, as you may imagine from the photos, but on minimal pain meds.

I can pick him up at 8 tonight, and they will apply a Fentanyl patch to dispense the equivalent pain management he’s been getting via IV.

I have just two main concerns now. One is the possible scar he may have on his perfect little nose, and the psychological scar he may have that I hope will not prevent him from enjoying happy times on his patio as he has been.

I find it ironic that I’ve had two Goldens in less than four months with swollen faces and I’ve never seen a dog with a swollen face before—ever.

Mica 062Throughout this process I’ve learned a little about snakes from several sources that I can apply toward averting a repeat crisis while we are living here.

We can:

  • eliminate the watering saucer on the ground which attracts mice, which attracts snakes. We find dead mice in the pool frequently, but since they’re dead, they leave no more trails.
  • load traps to catch the field mice and pack rats so the snakes aren’t drawn to follow their trails into our yard.
  • lay rope around the property, particularly around ingress and egress areas to the back yard. Apparently snakes won’t cross  a rope.
  • mothballs were also named but I think I’d rather avoid the chemicals.
  • add chicken wire to the bottom of our gates so the snakes cannot pass.
  • take more care to watch for snakes before we venture forth, esp. during their mating season.
  • get us a king snake to eat the rattlers!

If you didn’t see the following comment below my last Mica Update, I wanted to share it as it resonated strongly with me and may also with you. It pertains to the current energies of the Cardinal Grand Cross and it’s bearing on our lives just now. Thank you Dimitra M.N.  ~ BP

‘The powerful energetic effects of the astrological grand cross are becoming more and more exact these days. We are all getting hit with them and they are zeroing in right where it hurts the most. In this way, we won’t fail to make the necessary changes in our lives that need to be made at this time.

I urge you to go with the flow of your understanding in this matter — if moving away from your present location is your instinctive interpretation of these painful events, then that is the inclination you ought to follow.

Remember this, it is your correct assessment and understanding of what’s transpired, and your subsequent intentions and actions, that are the real antidote to the long-term healing process for Mica.

We may think that the changes we make in our personal life, however life changing they may be for us, cannot possibly change the world around us, and yet, while we cannot see it or even imagine it, it really does. Much Love from me as you flow through the changes that have come a-calling on you. Be the change the world needs by taking a significant stand from your “small neck of the woods”.’


Mica Update on the Snakebite for April 12, 2014

Mica 14 weeks

Mica at 14 weeks

There’s good and bad news.

The bad news is that the snake got Mica good and he’s in ICU getting antivenin, pain killers, and other fluids to flush out the venom and keep him comfortable.

He’s extremely swollen and they had to remove his collar.

He could die, or he could pull through. Of course we appreciate any good thoughts and healing energy you care to send his way. He’s a hurtin’ unit.

The good news is that he got the antivenin within 20 minutes of the bite. The first four hours are critical. He’s also very healthy, but, being a 15 week old puppy as of today, his immune system is not fully mature and perhaps a little compromised by the parvo/distemper shots he’s had.

We had these two love birds removed from our yard recently as they were sleeping together under our recycling bin. The local fire department sent a big red truck and three men. They relocate poisonous snakes far from civilization.
Diamond Backs 3March 2014

How did it happen? Today, Mica was out on the patio as he is most mornings. He likes to lie on the mat at the back door in between trips to the pool.

I was inside (I guess that makes me a terrible mother) and heard a thump against the house. Mica often runs into the house or falls against it when he’s playing as he’s not terribly coordinated yet, but I always check on him anyway.

When I looked through the glass of the door, Mica wasn’t on the mat, but a diamond back like the ones in the photo was right next to it, armed to the teeth. That’s when the panic set in, however I was immediately thankful it wasn’t a baby because they are inexperienced in bringing down their prey and usually use far more venom than they need to, whereas an adult is more sparing with it.

I then saw Mica sitting on the patio 10 feet away, looking stunned, as well as the two, bright red marks on his nose and my first thought was the usual, “Nooooo, this can’t be happening!” and the adrenalin started pumping.

I don’t know a lot about snake bites as we haven’t seen a lot of snakes in the past, but our mail carrier and I were discussing rattler bites earlier this week and he said all the dogs he knew died of the bites.

So… I thought Mica was going to die. I thought unless a dog had had a rattlesnake vaccination they would not pull through.

I called the vet who is, luckily for us, open on Saturday and was there in ten minutes.

At the local hospital one of the vet techs said she saw 55 snake bite cases come in to another practice where she worked and only one dog died, because it was a little pocket dog and the venom is just too strong for an animal that small. So Mica has size on his side. He’s 31 pounds now.

They got an IV into him and he got a very gradual drip of the $500 vial of antivenin and some morphine. Rattler bites are excruciatingly painful they said.

His nose was swelling quickly and he looked more like a Shar Pei, the vet said, than a Golden.

He seemed to be having difficulty breathing and his heart rate was fast so they gave him a sedative to relax him.

When Mica was resting comfortably on the stainless steel table, frogs legs and all, I left because I had to get to the post office before noon. The hospital closes at 2:00 on Saturdays so I had to make it quick and grab some lunch before going back to transfer Mica to the Emergency Hospital in Mesa.

When I got home a friend of our vet was there to get the snake and relocate it. He had gone over the yard with a fine-tooth comb and didn’t find the snake but made some suggestions so we wouldn’t attract them so much. He was showing me places to watch and as he moved a board at the gate the snake magically appeared. Jim confirmed it was a diamond back and immediately noted that it had no rattle and said Mica never had a chance.

He said most animals instinctively know that sound is a warning and to stay away, but this snake may have been in an altercation of some kind and his rattle was gone. Unfortunately, that meant he would be destroyed rather than relocated because he would be unable to warn anyone and could kill a hiker or any one of us.

When I returned to the hospital at 2:00 Mica was unrecognizable. His face resembled a puffer fish. He had an IV and brightly coloured rubber bandages on his shaved leg and the fang of the snake may have torn a piece off his nose as the hair was missing.

This was taken as we departed for Emergency.

Mica Apr 12 at Vet

When I arrived at the Emergency Hospital they didn’t even look at Mica in the examination room, but immediately whisked him off to ICU as his noisy breathing concerned them.

Here he is with a new IV and even more swollen. The pain meds were hooked up and they said soon he’d be more comfortable and would probably sleep.

at ARECA in ICU Apr 12

I don’t know if I’ll be able to sleep, but I intend Mica will make a rapid recovery and I will be able to bring him home tomorrow. The doctor we saw is on duty tonight and said he would call with an update this evening. It’s a 24-hour facility so Mica will be under constant observation.

I told my husband a couple of weeks ago that I would like to move. I’ve had enough of living out in the sticks. I don’t embrace the idea of having to wear army boots to walk around the patio, do gardening, or to have to carry Mica around. The snakes were here first and they can have it. It will soon be ten years that we’ve lived here. It’s time for a change.   ~ BP


Mica Update for March 30, 2014

12 weeks

12 weeks

I had a request for more photos, so here you go. Mica is 13 weeks old now.

I can hardly believe how fast he is growing. He no longer looks like a “puppy”, but a small dog, and I can barely carry his squirmy 25 pounds around.

The wrinkles of skin on his nose are gone, his legs, tail and body are much longer, and he does his business outside, all by himself.

His coat is gorgeous, and he already has feathers on his legs and a white crest down the centre of his chest.

His once-tight, black lips are stretching and loosening into the soft mouth of a Golden Retriever and the fur under his chin is like velvet.

Mica is really bright and learns quickly—even “wait”—which I always thought would be the toughest command to teach but for some reason he and Morgan both seemed to understand when Dad puts treats on the paws that they have to learn restraint and wait for the release to gobble them down.

Ready for a walk

Ready for a walk – 10 weeks

Mica loves his walks around the yard, leash in his mouth, which is a good thing because that’s as far as he can go until his immunity and shots are all on track. Parvo is rampant in Arizona and the hospital gets at least one case a day. One day they had five.

Mica surprised me by taking to the pool so enthusiastically and skillfully at such a young age. I put him on the “Morgan step”, the small one we put in for Morgan to lie on when it’s hot. That wasn’t exciting enough, I guess, and he quickly launched himself off the step and into the shallow water over the beach step where I was standing, paddling along like he’d been doing it for years. He’s a little fish!

If truth be told, I fear I’ve created a monster. I’ve been leaving the back door open so Mica can go in and out when he chooses, and now that he’s such a water dog, he hops in and out of the pool at will and then runs in the house, skidding across the tiles like a rally car on a wet mountain road, careening past the end table until I hear the dull thud of little bones hitting the floor. So, now I have to keep a close eye on him and the door, otherwise I’d be mopping several times a day.

Mica pool bone 13 wks

Today... 13 weeks

Today… 13 weeks

Something about being wet definitely makes him spunky and he throws himself on his bed and rolls around, then gallops across the patio like the devil himself is after him, a big grin on his face.

Some things never change, though. He still hates his crate and often whimpers to get out. I think he’s a free spirit and just doesn’t like being contained.

Mica is very stubborn, and doesn’t yet have a handle on his little choppers and how to soften the nipping for human skin. I have bite marks and scratches sprinkled liberally over my ankles and legs and he spends time every day in the laundry room for “time out” because when he starts chomping on me, no admonishment will deter him and he just gets worse.

If I threaten him with a time out he sauces back with his characteristic “woo-woo” and a bow, and only stops for a minute before he’s back at it so the only remedy is time to chill.

But since Mica is growing up so fast, this stage will pass and he’ll be much better behaved. Soon. Until then, I’m just enjoying each day in this fleeting puppydom.



Another Milestone at ‘The Big Picture’

I have an announcement of my own. This morning around 10:00 Pacific time my little blog hit 4 million page views!

Simultaneously, I racked up 3600 posts. That’s just under two years of work. The anniversary date is April something or other.

It truthfully feels like only a year—it went that fast.

Not surprisingly, since I opened up the comments the other day I’ve had a couple of ignorant remarks to moderate which I refuse to subject any of my readers to.

One fellow seems to think I have a personal agenda, and that I seek to be a leader. Wrong.

He also seemed to think I believe myself to be an investigative journalist. Wrong again.

I’m a blogger. I blog for fun, because I have a natural aptitude for writing and communications, because I have been unable to secure a job, and because I want to help in the thrust to wake up Humanity. I blog what I feel is beneficial to share—for any number of reasons.

I like blogging because I don’t have to do research or vet anything. That’s up to the reader if they’re so inclined.

So, no personal agenda, and I haven’t “failed” at anything.

Anyone who intends to use my blog as a place to dish out anger, abuse and derogatory remarks that are counter-productive to the general understanding of our current situation on this planet and our future together, be advised that your comments will never see the light of day.

Times are tough enough in these 3D negative energies without me sharing more of it here. It doesn’t fit my platform and nasty comments are water off a duck’s back.

Feel free to disagree with a post or my views—but do it respectfully and civilly. If you need to rant, vent, and insult, maybe you should get your own 3D blog.

If you’re a troll, thanks for the entertainment value but you’re not needed here.

Thank you to all the 5D souls who continue to visit, share, appreciate and uplift. We have a lovely little network here in the blogosphere and I appreciate you for YOUR contribution to our plight, whether you’re a reader, a Lightworker or a fellow blogger. We’re doing a good job. Onward and upward!


Mica Update for March 10th

Day 2 - What's that under my chairSaturday was my birthday, and I took the weekend off. We went to get some much-needed patio furniture and had two meals out—much appreciated by the cook! It was great to have dinner and a margarita on a Mexican patio with a jazz duo for entertainment.

Mica demands much of my time and I wasn’t getting a lot of sleep, but now that I’ve assembled a lounge chair I may have a snooze in the sun.

Sunday we visited with friends who had an “art party”. They so very kindly invited a group of people over to their home to see my husband’s photography. It was a lot of work loading and unloading the large canvas and aluminum pieces from the van but he had help. Some pieces went next door to a newly purchased home so they could see how they looked and decided on sizes and location.

We met some great new people, enjoyed Texas chili and an impressive hot pink “camo cake”  that two of us with March birthdays shared and Mica got to play with Ruby for some canine socialization. Mica was even more popular than the photography.

For the first eight nights in his new home Mica howled, barked, squealed and whimpered when we put him to bed in his crate. Now that’s all but over, but he doesn’t seem to sleep much at night and thrashes around, bashing the door and walls of the crate and scraping the cardboard box we use as an adapter to make a very large crate more puppy-sized. We’ve since had to move his crate from our room to the great room and that’s working much better.

Mica 010Mica is a source of much joy and laughter and makes the days go fast. When he’s awake he requires constant supervision so he doesn’t chew things other than his toys, or pee inside.

When outdoors, he explores everything in the yard with his mouth—including cactus—and finds all kinds of things to play with. He is 10 weeks old now and visibly larger and learning to eliminate outside on his own.

Mica is similar to Morgan in some ways, but at the same time very different. He certainly doesn’t inhale his food like Morgan did, and Mo never made a peep from the very first night in his crate, and rarely ever barked. Mica often barks and howls in a coyote-like “woo-woo” fashion to communicate.

sleeping with head in booksMica likes to sleep under furniture or against a wall, and with head buried. I guess when you’re used to sleeping with siblings in a clump, that’s a comforting position.

Like Morgan, Mica loves water, and that is probably inherent in the breed as Goldens were bred to fetch on hunting expeditions. Mica loves to dig in the bird baths we have at ground level for the quail, road runners, doves, javelinas, rabbits and squirrels.

He seemed to enjoy experiencing the consistency of water from the step in the pool when I dipped him in to unmuddy his feet. It will be great fun to swim with him when the pool warms up and Mica is a little bigger.

One thing is for sure; Mini-Mo is a blessing in our lives and we love him a lot. He helps a great deal to heal the pain of losing Morgan—more than I even anticipated. He’s a dear little man and we’re so grateful he chose to come and live with us.

The Wolf Has Landed

Mica’s home!

He loves it when you lie down and let him crawl all over you and get up close and personal with your face.

He also seems to prefer being outside, which is great. I have so much weeding to do!

I haven’t spent time outside since Morgan left us because he was my constant companion out there and it was just too lonely without him.

Traveling is tiring stuff for a puppy, so while Mini-Mo’s napping I took advantage of the free time to share.

Tonight will be interesting. It must be tough to be suddenly ripped away from your four siblings and mother and sent to live with a stranger.

Mica 009 Mica 003 Mica 004

Whassup in My Life? Change is the Constant

Much is in flux these days. After three weeks, the job at the veterinary hospital is no more. I learned in pretty short order that I’m not cut out for that line of work. I certainly admire and have a new respect for that special breed who can work with ailing and injured animals, but even more, with putting them to sleep.

It was interesting that a couple of people who know me well suggested I apply for the job, but when I reported I had to leave, even more said they were surprised when I took it on and said I was way too soft for that sort of thing.

I had no idea that every day at least one client came in for euthanasia or with a DOA for cremation. It’s just too hard to see that and to deal with sobbing people on the phone or face to face, particularly when my own wounds are so raw.

The hours were long due to understaffing, resulting in a frantic pace that I was not able to recover from in the few short hours before bed and spent too many hours lying awake because I was so wound up, or disturbed by the happenings of the day—or both.

I gave two weeks notice, with regret, but they only held me to one, for which I’m very grateful.

On my last day they told me to take a three-hour lunch because I’d racked up so much overtime. I’m still coming down from those three weeks of high anxiety and a cold I picked up at the hospital, and I’m feeling and looking better than I was.

In joy, I’m preparing the nest for the arrival of Mica (aka Mini-Mo) in ten days. It’s surprising how much the puppies resemble Morgan when he was that age.

Morgan - Puppy 6 weeks compressed

Morgan 6 weeks old

Purple ribbon male at 6 weeks; maybe Mica?

I finished the photo album full of snapshots of Morgan’s life with room to spare, so I may continue on with new ones of Mini-Mo.

Morgan AlbumI’m puppy-proofing the house, getting supplies in order, reading my puppy-parenting books, and tying up loose ends so Mica will have my near undivided attention for a week or so until hubby returns from Iceland where he’s taking photos like the one below near Reykjavik.

Not bad for his very first night, eh? Let’s hope his luck holds out as clouds tend to hover much of the time.

Iceland Aurora Day 1

A $2 app for the iPhone tells exactly where the likelihood of the aurora borealis will be visible from on the island on which nights. That can save the day when you’re chasing the light.

“Spud” always gets to tag along on major photo ops and Iceland is no exception. Mr. Potato Head is a celebrity wherever he goes as this bevy of beauties in the Blue Lagoon can attest.

You would be surprised what people will do to have their photo taken with Mr. Potato Head. New York cops, paramedics… you name it. They all drag out their sense of humour and put on their performers’ hats.Spud and the Beauties in Blue Lagoon

Breakfast this morning was a welcome departure from the mundane and consisted of OJ, coffee, wheat bread with preserves, yogurt, pickled char (2 kinds), lamb and pork with cucumbers and lox, no less.

Last night—Icelandic horse and sheep!  That’s what I have to look forward to on my next long-haul vacation when we explore the island together. Horse? Really? Sheep? Eeeeew!

I feel like all of this is a result of Divine timing; the end of the job, time for myself to regroup, catch up on sleep and meditate, clean the house and prepare to be a mother again, as well as the absence of my other half which is in some respects a “vacation” for me from cooking, TV, the usual. A change is as good as a rest, as they say.

And the icing on the cake—Angel has been in a foster home for ten days or so and it looks like it’s a match made in heaven. She has a rescue brother named Willie, a bull mastiff mix, and the two get along famously.  It took poor Angel about eighteen months to find the perfect cloud to light on. I’m overjoyed for her.

So, the countdown is on for the day when I rendezvous with the breeders in Phoenix to pick up our little man, Mica. I wonder if he will be the puppy with the purple or blue ribbon…

Mica Update

3 weeks, 3 days old

One of those two little guys in the foreground is Mica, but the breeder will probably choose our baby for us based on his personality and our lifestyle. That’s how Morgan came to be ours and it was a match made in Heaven. Mica is 4 weeks old today, and I’m counting down the remaining four weeks until he will join us here.

Angels continue to hover in our midst. At our veterinary hospital they give clients who go through euthanasia of a pet a frame-worthy copy of the poem, Rainbow Bridge and either a cat or dog pin with golden wings and halo.

It’s impossible to forget Morgan as we almost daily get a phone call, card or email from family, friends and neighbours—both here and in Canada—expressing their sympathy.

Winter 2012 028

Morgan, winter 2012

Yesterday we received a letter from the Arizona Humane Society and in addition to their condolences for the loss of Morgan, they offered grief support and let us know that the animal hospital made a donation to the Humane Society in memory of Morgan.

Hubby and I pulled all our photos of Morgan off our computers and scanned a few others and now have a mountain of prints almost three inches high to put in an album. For me it will be cathartic and I will then be able to relive those days with my best friend any time I choose.

It’s difficult to get through a day at the hospital when people are bringing in badly injured pets or strays and having to euthanize their treasured family members. One man was sobbing on the phone as he realized his old dog’s time was near and I couldn’t keep my composure.

Our beloved pets bring us soaring joy, and eventually take us to the depths of despair, but it’s worth it.

Angel helps us continue with walks and other needs. She is sweet, quiet, loves to snuggle, is incredibly intelligent, easy to train, and has an irrepressible sense of humour, making us laugh at her odd contortions and facial expressions.

She regularly does “doga” (dog yoga) like the ‘sun salutation’, and gallops around the house when she gets a burst of energy or we’ve been apart and she’s looking for us. Morgan had the “zooms” all his life and we found that particularly comical because he rarely moved that fast at any other time.

Angel Jan 25


The fellow who said he was interested in adopting Angel seems to have changed his mind, but I intend she will find her forever home before Mica gets here. I don’t want to return her to a crate in the hospital.

Panacea Animal Wellness Sanctuary (PAWS AZ) co-founded by my friend, vet and the hospital’s Medical Director, partners with the Humane Society and is doing its best to find homes for many cats and dogs, providing free checkups, spaying and neutering, shots, food and other services to foster parents and initial adopting parents.

My new job at the veterinary hospital is the most difficult position I’ve ever had in my entire working career. It’s exhausting because everything is new and different from past jobs. Rather than having a quiet, secluded cubby and desk that are all mine, I’m front and center when people enter and have to share the computers and reception desk with several others.

I’m having to work with doctors, technicians, learn medical terminology and acronyms, policies and procedures, deal with multiple phone lines ringing while the waiting room is full of people checking in and checking out for wellness exams, surgical procedures, prescriptions and grooming—often with raucous pets so loud you can’t carry on a conversation.

We have to search for charts which could be in any one of half a dozen places, call clients, collect the trash, mop the floors, and keep the hospital stocked and running smoothly.

And then, of course, there’s learning their proprietary computer system. Goodbye Microsoft Office. Having a puppy to raise on top of these challenges will take me to the limits of my brain power and energy.

In my corporate training they exposed me to a brilliant animal behaviourist, Dr. Sophia Yin and I was so impressed I ordered her book, Perfect Puppy in 7 Days. Morgan was easy to train after all the books I read but that was 12 years ago and he’s not here now to help with Mica.  I want to do the best job I can of integrating Mica into our lives as quickly and easily as possible and letting him know what is expected of him as a valued family member.

To anyone who recently lost a pet or may soon, my heart-felt sympathies. It’s a rough time even for the most stoic of humans, but soon I am confident we will reunite with our beloved friends.  ~ BP