Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Cooper loves to get brushed.

When he sees me take his brush out, he runs over and lays down. Cooper's hair is very short, so I try to be gentle.

After brushing his back and sides, Cooper rolls over so his belly can be brushed.

This always makes me sad. Cooper has little hair on his belly. Even worse, Cooper's skin which should be pink, is black.

Dr Duffy said that Cooper had skin ailments before (allergies, fleas, etc) that went untreated and as a result the skin on his belly and legs is black and rough.

I hope that in time Cooper's coat will grow in. I don't know if his skin will ever be pink. I wonder how people could have been so unkind to this sweet dog.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Golden Lab

Could Cooper have some Labrador Retriever in him ?

I think so and this suspicion was confirmed during a walk in Wilton Center.

Ever since we adopted Cooper, I thought he was part Lab. I base this upon the feel of his coat and the shape of his head. Also, Cooper's high energy level is unlike any of our previous Goldens.

While at Wilton Center, we met a man who said, "I had two yellow Labs when I was growing up. They are great dogs."

I guess I am not the only one who thinks Cooper looks like a Lab!

Cat for Dinner

Most days when we walk Cooper, we see a coyote. I am not sure why there seems to be such an increase in them lately.

Tonight as I was pulling into the driveway, a coyote ran in front of the car. What surprised me was that there was an animal hanging from its jaws.

I hoped it was the woodchuck, but from the dangling legs, I think it was a cat.

The coyote ran into the woods and disappeared.

I never know what I will see in our yard.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Demolition Continues

The dumpster has finally arrived, so now there is nothing to delay demolition.

The vanity has been removed, the ceiling is gone and the shower is next.

We have found things that make you scratch your head - like why was there a pile of cigarette butts, sitting on a stud behind the sheetrock ?? And why would you not insulate an exterior wall ?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Little Things

With Cooper we celebrate the little things. These are things that you would expect a dog to do or to know, because it seems all dogs are that way.

What we are learning is that Cooper must have lead a very lonely and isolated life.

Today Cooper chewed his first rawhide bone! Such a small and yet big step.

The first day Cooper arrived we gave him the rawhide. He showed no interest at all.

A few days later, Jeff put peanut butter on it. Cooper licked the peanut butter off and walked away.

On Friday Cooper started to carry the rawhide around and tonight I heard a crack. Once he took the first bite, there was no stopping Cooper. The bone is all gone.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Cooper now weighs a little over 56 pounds.

His weight is increasing slowly, but the muscles in his legs and chest are growing quickly.

Cooper gets walked several miles a day and his build is starting to reflect this.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ear infection

Cooper has an ear infection. That means that every night for one week we need to clean his ears and then administer ear drops.

This would not be bad, if Cooper liked to have his ears cleaned. However, he doesn't.

After his ears are cleaned, they need to dry before putting the drops in. Cooper is willing to come over the first time we call him for the cleaning. After that, he ignores us or tries to hide. This may be a loooong week.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


All of the bathrooms in our house need updating. It is obvious that the vanities and fixtures are from the 70's.

We had hoped that this problem would be resolved when we renovated the house. However, the renovation has been put on hold indefinitely.

What to do ? Well, Jeff decided that since he previously updated a bathroom in Oxford, he would tackle the downstairs bath here.

The first step was finding out the exact window measurements, so we can order a new one. Off came the molding and sheetrock. With sizing in hand we went out to pick a window.

This is not as easy as it sounds - which manufacturer, what options ? Dave at Ring's End was very helpful. We will be looking over brochures this week and ordering next week.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Week One

Cooper has been with us for one week and we have learned a lot in that short span of time. Here are just a few of the highlights

1 - Water bowls are ok, but drinking out of the toilet is more fun. This behavior means that all the toilet lids are now down.

2- When the alarm goes off, Cooper is raring to go. Cooper goes from sound asleep to 60 mph. Cooper doesn't slow down until bedtime. Reminds me of a beloved Sheltie we once owned.

3 - Shadows and blinking lights are fascinating and need to be chased. I am wondering what this will mean for our Christmas tree.

4- Everything tastes better with cottage cheese. Linda used to put cottage cheese on Copper's food and he does not like to eat without it.

5- Do not leave a door open! Cooper loves to run and does not have any recall skills. The great escape and chase was scary, but luckily all ended well.

6- Doggie kisses are given at unexpected times - like when you're napping on the couch. That will wake you up for sure!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Marble tongue

Cooper has black markings on his tongue.

The tip of his tongue has a black spot, and further back most of his tongue is black.

The first time I saw Cooper yawn, I had to look twice to be sure his tongue really is marbled.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Chasing Shadows

Cooper's favorite game is chasing shadows. When the sun comes through the windows, Cooper will stare at the shadows on the ceiling or floor. When we put Cooper out on the deck he will just stand and stare at shadows under the table.

I read that this could be a sign of an obsessive compulsive disorder. We think that in his past Cooper did not have any toys or stimulation, so chasing shadows became his entertainment.

We spoke with Dr. Duffy about this and he agreed that was probably Cooper's only way to have fun at his old home. He did not seem too concerned and thinks that with walks and playtime, this may lessen.

It makes me sad that the pile of toys and rawhide is ignored. Squeaker toys are the one exception and have been quickly destroyed.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Busy Days

Since Cooper arrived in Wilton on Saturday evening, he has had two busy days.

Sunday morning started with a trip to PetCo for dog tags, collar and leash. Each of our dogs has had a distinct color and we chose green for Cooper. The checkout girl said she thought Cooper was 1-2 years old!

Next was a trip to the do-it-yourself dog wash. Cooper is so thin, that we didn't want to put him under the cold hose in the yard. Cooper was a little nervous, but did great. I wish I had remembered the camera.

On Monday morning, Cooper got his Wilton dog license. Later in the day, Cooper met his dog walker, Carol.

Monday afternoon ended with a trip to Norwalk Vet Hospital and a checkup with Dr. Duffy. Dr. Duffy said that Cooper's ideal weight is about 62 pounds (he is 55) and thinks he is about 5 years old. He suggested cutting Cooper's food down (no more lunch time meals). We asked about allergies and were told to try Benadryl. If the itching continues, cortisone shots could be done for a short period of time (this was listed as a last resort, as there are side effects).

Cooper may have a slight ear infection, so the Dr. put some drops in and said to watch it. If it still is bad next week, we will need to go back for some medication.

Dr Duffy said that Cooper's skin and coat will take months to get better. He said that we are doing the right things (food, supplements) and now we need to be patient. In 3-6 months we should see a difference.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Danny's Place

We have been wanting to plant Danny's memorial tree for a while now, but weren't sure what to get. We saw a fully grown tree hydrangea in a neighbor's yard and it was so beautiful that we decided to buy one.

I am hoping that the deer will ignore this plant, so it can flourish and stand as a permanent reminder of our special dog.

As we were planting the tree, Cooper stood on the deck watching and barking, reminding us that life goes on. The weeks and months may pass, put Danny will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Heeeere's Cooper

The trip to get Cooper home was pretty uneventful. We just made it home as Hanna arrived and got to take Cooper out for his first walk in the middle of a rain storm. He took it all in stride.

I'm trying something new with the second picture. It's a video of Cooper discovering Mr. Celery. Oddly enough, the music in the background was actually on the TV while this was going on.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


I took Danny's box down from the shelf in the basement and when I opened it a hundred memories came flooding back.

I unwrapped his food and water bowls and put them back in their previous locations.

The toys were the hardest part. Danny had a favorite toy that he would swing, throw and catch and then repeat all over again. I still smile when that image comes to mind.

The pile of toys and empty bowls are a reminder of our loss. When Cooper arrives, I hope they will become part of new happier moments.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


We received this Royal Dalton figurine as an anniversary gift.

I thought she was beautiful, but did not understand the significance. I was told to turn the figurine over. One the base is her name - "Valerie".

What a wonderful and thoughtful gift!

Valerie now sits atop my antique desk.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Kykuit - Part II

Here are some more Kykuit photos.