Friday, July 31, 2009

Fighting Canine Cancer

We received a catalog from Orvis and on the cover was a picture of a beautiful Golden and the caption help fight canine cancer! The cover dog, Dylan, is a cancer survivor.

It seems that Orvis and Eukanuba have teamed up to double canine cancer donations.

For more details, you can go to: Orvis/Eukanuba Canine Cancer Campaign

Having lost Brandy, Jake and Danny to cancer, I can honestly say that this is a cause worth donating to. Coop's battle with cancer is going well, but more research and better treatments are needed.

Our online donation is on its way.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Runner's Body

When Coop and Oti were at the vet, Dr Duffy said that Coop has a runner's body - thin and lean with an extremely low heart rate. Oti, on the other hand has a much larger frame and a broader more muscular chest.

It seems the runner anology is a good one. Oti and Coop went to Molly and Mable's house. Carol said that Oti played fetch with the other dogs, but could never get to the ball. It seems he is much slower than Coop or the Weimaraners.

I can picture Coop sticking out his marble tongue as he races by Oti.

Sadly, fetch ended when Coop got the ball and destroyed it by chewing it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Great Lowes Heist of 2009

Every now and then, you find a deal so good that you just can't pass it up. The Great Sears Heist of 2007 was one of those great deals.

On Saturday we made a trip to our local Lowes to pickup some supplies so I could finish my projects on Sunday. As we were walking past the tool aisle with a full cart, I spied a big box with a clearance price sticker on it. It was a Kobalt Pneumatic tool set with an Impact Wrench, Air Hammer, and a Ratchet. In addition, it had all the accessories to go along with those tools. The regular price on this set was $99.94.

Now, I don't really need an Impact Wrench. Or even an Air Hammer. In fact, I'm not sure I'll ever use either one. But for $20, I just couldn't pass it up. Now I'm looking for reasons to use one of them! I'm definitely using that tire gauge, though.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Getting by with a little help from your friends

What's Chris Dodd up to lately? Apparently he's still dodging questions about his sweetheart mortgage deal that he received from Countrywide Financial. Former Countrywide executive Robert Feinberg testified before Congress that Dodd knew he was getting a sweetheart deal from the beginning. You can read about it here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Vet Appointment

Cooper and Otis had appointments with Dr. Duffy today. Cooper was great in the waiting room, sitting quietly and ignoring the passing dogs. Otis, on the other hand, barked long and loud when a dog walked by.

Dr. Duffy examined Otis first. He said that Oti was beautiful and wanted to know how he ended up at a Golden rescue group. Oti has an ear infection. We have to put drops in for a week, but other than that he seems healthy. Surprisingly, he said that Oti was not overweight! If Oti was a show dog, he could be 3-4 lbs thinner, but as a pet, his weight is fine.

I was most worried about Cooper and if the cancer was spreading. Dr. Duffy said Cooper looked GREAT! Coop's lymph nodes and thyroid are normal sized. Dr. Duffy commented on how he loved Cooper's smile. Blood was drawn for a thyroid test. I thought Coop's coat is not quite right, so we want to see if his thyroid levels are normal (abnormal levels can impact hair grwoth).

I asked Dr. Duffy what we need to do for Coop. He said to just keep checking for an enlarged thyroid and come back in 6-12 months. Dr Duffy is very optimistic about Coop's prognosis and we are hoping he is right.

Thanks to everyone who said a prayer or crossed their paws!

Sunday, July 26, 2009


When we picked Otis up, Linda mentioned that Oti had gone through the screen on her back door when he saw something in the yard. Keeping that in mind, we have kept the back door half open, to discourage his running through the screen.

All seemed to be going well, until today. Jeff and I were working in the shed. Coop and Oti were on the deck. We were in full view of the dogs.

We left the shed to get some supplies and noticed Oti was not on the deck. I thought Oti had jumped the gate again and was running around the yard.

Imagine my surprise to see Oti IN the house! It seems that Oti wanted to be inside and had ripped the screen to get in. With such a strong desire to be inside, I expected that he would be sprawled on the couch ( a BIG no-no) or on the bed.

Instead, Oti was laying on the floor in the kitchen, with his nose against the screen. Cooper, was still happily chasing shadows on the deck.

Needless to say, our Lowes shopping list is growing.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Who is Chris Dodd working for?

Christopher Dodd has been in the Senate for 29 years. Six years prior to taking his seat in the Senate, he was a Representative for Connecticut's Second District. He's been a career politician for Thirty-Five years.

Chris Dodd has been in the spotlight as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. For example, he was one of the champions of TARP which put the American Taxpayer on the hook for $700 Billion dollars. Joe Courtney was the only part of the Connecticut Delegation to stand with the people and vote against the TARP.

Dodd was also the loudest voice when AIG employees received bonuses that they were contractually owed. When the voices got loud enough and the executives were pressured enough, Dodd proclaimed a victory for the American people. AIG Financial Products is a Wilton, Connecticut company.

Senator Dodd was an instrumental player in the $787 Billion Stimulus Plan further burying the American Taxpayer. While Barack Obama asked Congress to open the spigot, Chris Dodd grabbed with both hands and couldn't open them fast enough.

While Chris Dodd is off in the marble palaces of Washington, people in Connecticut are hurting. They're getting laid off in record numbers. We already pay some of the highest Federal taxes and get back sixty-two cents for every dollar we send to Washington. Now Dodd and his buddies in the Senate want to raise your taxes because you're not paying enough.

And while Senator Dodd rubs elbows with Political big-shots, his leader yanks funding for the F-22 Raptor and 3,000 Connecticut jobs with it.

Exactly who is Christopher Dodd working for? Voters of Connecticut, it's time to retire Chris Dodd.

Dump Dodd in 2010.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bed Hog

I woke up at 4:30 am to use the bathroom.

In the two minutes that I was gone, Otis decided that this was his golden opportunity. When I came back to bed, Otis was stretched out with his head on my pillow.

I did not want to wake Jeff up, so we compromised. Otis moved to the foot of the bed and I got my pillow back.

It is obvious that Oti is used to sleeping on a bed. We did buy him a new dog bed, but he has shown no interest in this.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Peaceful Coexistance

Cooper and Otis have been trying to figure out who's going to be the boss in the Hunter household. At this point, it looks like Cooper is getting the upper hand but negotiations are still ongoing.

Valerie was out with her girlfriends last night, so I got to feed the dogs. Otis is still trying to figure out which food dish is his. Or maybe I should say, Otis is still trying to figure out why he can't go to Cooper's bowl when he is done with his dinner!

I put Otis' bowl down and he went to work on it. Since Cooper's tummy has been a little freaky since he swallowed half a chew toy, I decided to fry him up and egg and mix it with his food. By the time I got done frying the egg, Otis had finished his dinner.

I put the bowl down and Cooper started picking at his dinner. Between bites he paused and looked at Otis and went back to eating. I swear it took him twice as long to eat tonight.

Advantage Cooper.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I had Coop on a long lead in our backyard. As we were walking around, a butterfly floated overhead.

The butterfly's shadow was reflected on the ground. As the butterfly zigged and zagged, Coop happily chased after it.

I couldn't help but smile at seeing how happy Coop was to be chasing after a butterfly on a sunny day.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

5:30 am

Otis woke up bright and early at 5:30 am on Monday. I heard him wander over to me and thought, it is much too early to get up.

I listened for Coop, knowing that if they both woke up, there would be no hope for another 30 minutes of sleep. Coop was still curled up on his bed.

Oti hopped up on the bed, squeezed in between Jeff and I, and was soon snoring. When the alarm went off at 6:00 am, he seemed surprised that it was time to get up.

Monday, July 20, 2009

60 and 76

We took Cooper and Otis to PetSmart to buy a few things. While we were there, we put them both on the scale. Coop is a svelte 60 lbs and Otis is a whopping 76 lbs. We already know that Dr. Duffy will want Otis to slim down.

This picture clearly shows the size difference.

While we were waiting to get Oti's id tag engraved, a young man approached us with his much smaller dog. It was obvious that he was working on socialization skills. I was pleased that Coop and Oti gave a polite sniff and then lost interest.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

High Jumper

Otis woke us up at 5:45, even before Coop's internal alarm went off at 6:11. I would have made him wait, but being his first morning, I thought he might really have to go out. So, at 6:00 am, we were walking down our street.

We decided that both dogs could use a bath. We first bathed Otis (bottom photo)in the driveway with the hose. The water was cold, but Otis was very good and did not try to get away.

We put Oti on the back deck to dry out and brought Cooper (top photo) out front for his bath. About five minutes later we heard a loud bang from the back deck. I figured Otis had knocked over one of my planters.

Imagine my surprise when I heard Jeff yell "Otis!". Otis did not like being left alone on the deck,had jumped the gate and was running down the front yard.

The bang must have been Otis landing. I don't know what surprised me more, that this big dog could jump a 4 ft gate or after clearing the gate, did not harm himself on dropping 6 feet to land on the grass.

When Jeff yelled, "Here, Otis", Oti ran to the front door and waited to be let inside. The lesson I learned is that Otis does not want to be separated from his pack and we will need to keep a close eye on him.

Linda never mentioned Otis was an escape artist or that he was so agile. Maybe he is trying to find his way back to Maine ?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

To Maine and Back

We left at 7:30 am from Wilton and arrived in South Portland, Maine around 12:45 pm.

When we pulled up to Linda's house, she was waiting with Otis. Coop and Otis sniffed each other, but Coop was more interested in exploring Linda's home than in Otis.

When Coop saw Linda's big basket of dog toys, his tail wagging went into overdrive. By the time we left, an hour later, Coop had managed to destroy two of the squeaky toys.

The drive home was fairly uneventful. Otis panted for the first hour and then stretched out and went to sleep. At 5:30 pm, with half an hour left to drive, both dogs began to whine and pace. I think they may have sensed that both Jeff and I were sick of the car at that moment.

Poor Otis is pacing and panting as I write this. I know it will take a few days for him to feel comfortable. I also know that Otis is missing his Mom, Linda F, and Callie, Madison and Frankie.

Surprisingly, Coop seems rather unphased by having another dog in the house.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Back to the Vet

Cooper has an appointment at the end of July with Dr. Duffy.

The main reason why Cooper is going to the vet is to get his annual shots. While he is there, Dr. Duffy will check Coop's lymph nodes and thyroid to see if the cancer is spreading.

The oncologist said that at best Coop would survive for 12 months. 4 months have already flown by since his surgery. We know the clock is ticking,but I am hoping that we may get a reprieve.

When I look at Coop, I see a happy, healthy dog. Let's hope Dr. Duffy agrees.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Sunshine Golden Retriever Rescue approved our application to adopt Otis.

Cooper will soon have a brother to play with. I hope that Cooper will be accepting of Otis.

When I look at this picture, I think what a sweetie.

For our readers who only like to follow our dog's adventures, you can use the following search label to read about Otis.

Monday, July 13, 2009


The rhododendrons are back in bloom.

I think the long snowy winter reduced the number of flowers. Also, this was the first year that the deer at the rhodies, so perhaps some blooms were lost to that.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I opened my email and found a note that said, "Is Cooper looking for a brother?". The note was from Danny's foster Mom, Linda F.

Linda said that she was currently fostering Otis, an extra special Golden. She thought he could be a good addition to our family. I laughed, because Linda LOVES dogs and all of her rescue pups are extra special.

We had been thinking about adopting again in January, after we got back from Alaska. When I saw Otis, with his beautiful face and pure of heart spot, I knew I needed to find out more.

Linda and I talked. I found out that Otis hates cats (sorry Olive), is house trained and good with other dogs. Otis was turned into a shelter because his family lost their home.

I am concerned that Otis may need a constant playmate. Coop is a loner at heart. He likes dogs, but is happy to be alone. Coop has come such a long way, I do not want to do anything that might cause a setback.

Linda agreed to observe Otis for a few more days and give us some additional details.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Shell Game

We have a stone wall in front of the house which has 3 distinct openings at the bottom.

I saw a chipmunk run into the middle opening while I was walking Coop. Coop did not seem to notice Chip at all.

As we headed into the house, I stopped by the stone wall. Coop gave the first opening a quick sniff and headed to the middle opening.

At the second opening, Coop smelled Chip and immediately stuck his nose as deep into the crevice as possible. A second later, Coop began to dig at the base of the wall to try and widen the opening.

I ended up having to pull Coop away from the wall.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Purple Martin House

Last Christmas we received a Purple Martin House as a gift. Last weekend I finally got caught up with all the other projects on my list and decided to put the bird house up.

Purple Martin Houses are essentially bird penthouses atop a 20 foot pole. When planting a 20 foot pole, you have to dig an 18 inch deep hole 12 inches in diameter. If you live in Connecticut, you know that means about 150 rocks and two shovels worth of dirt. Once the hole is dug, you get to fill it with two sacks of quick-set cement and put your pole in making sure it is plumb in all directions. After 30 minutes, the cement is set so you don't have to hold it any longer.

Hopefully we will get some purple martins in our new house.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Thank You SGRR

In July 2008, Cooper was rescued in Alabama by Sunshine Golden Retriever Rescue.

A year has passed and Cooper wants to send a big THANK YOU to all the volunteers who helped him find his forever home.

We do not know how many people were involved in Coop's rescue, nor do we know their names. However, Cooper sends doggie kisses to all of you. Extra special kisses go Coop's foster Mom, Linda P.

Cooper is a terrific example of a dog that deserved a second chance. Previously, Coop never knew love. Now, he is joyful, eager to give kisses and wants to be close to his pack.

Life with Coop is not always easy, but we love him completely.

Thanks SGRR, for helping Cooper find his way to Wilton, CT.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Iris Ensata

When we were at Lowes, I spotted pots full of extremely tall (3-4 ft) iris. These were not the typical bearded iris that are often grown in gardens. We do not have iris, but I know that they are deer resistant.

I wandered over and saw that the plants were called Iris Ensata. The label stated that they liked moist soil. Since the area near the pond is always wet, we decided to purchase 3 pots, 2 with white flowers (Queen's Tiara) and 1 with purple flowers (Gusto).

Before planting them, I did some research. It turns out the Iris Ensata are Japanese Iris. These bulbs love to have wet feet. This is a good thing, since when we dug the holes, the soil was muddy.

I am hoping that these iris will find a happy home and multiply over time.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Retriever's Instinct

I have seen many pictures of Retrievers on point in a field as they track their prey. I never expected to see this in my kitchen or considered a cardinal prey.

An immature cardinal landed on the deck, along side the glass doors. Coop was in the kitchen and saw the bird. Coop slowly approached the door and pressed his nose against the glass (exactly where the cardinal was).

Coop then lifted his right paw and "pointed" at the bird. You could see that Coop was getting excited at being so close to a live bird.

Coop could not contain his excitement and began to bark. The bird flew away and Coop looked crestfallen.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

We hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July.

We are heading to Long Island to visit with family. Coop will get to run around in a large fenced yard, chasing birds, bugs and squirrels.

Coop is not a big fan of July 4th. Our neighbors have already been shooting off fireworks and Coop gets very scared. Coop will find the tightest spot to squeeze into and lay there shaking until the noise stops.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Searching for Red

Now that the bathroom is finished, it was time to buy some towels. With the glass tile sample in my pocket, we headed off to the mall.

My first stop was Macy's. They had several shades of red, depending if you wanted Lenox, Martha Stewart or Ralph Lauren. I wasn't sure if any of the reds were a perfect match, so we went to the next store.

After going thru the entire mall, I decided that the best options were at Macy's. I give Jeff bonus points for not complaining at starting and ending at the same spot. I had to decide whether to chose a red (burgundy) which matched the window treatment or a red that matched the tile.

We ended up selecting the Ralph Lauren towels in a burgandy shade.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


Last year Jeff gave me some potted Oriental Lilies as a gift. These are one of my favorite flowers. I love their exotic look and scent.

When the flowers died, I planted the bulbs in the garden in the hope that they would flower this year. I was excited to see the bulbs emerge after the snow melted and the buds appear on the stems.

Unfortunately, the deer came and ate all but one of the buds.

I was determined to try and save this tiny bud. Each night when I walked Cooper, I would spray the plant with deer repellent and check for insects. Over the last 4 weeks, the bud continued to grow and I crossed my fingers.

Finally, I looked out and the bud had opened. The flower is gorgeous and the size is amazing. Perhaps because it was the only flower, it grew extra large.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


We finally got a sunny day, so Coop spent the morning on the deck.

When Coop came inside, I thought the hair on his head felt a little sticky, but did not give it much thought.

Later in the day, I went to pet Cooper and his hair was stiff and clumped together. I ended up having to wash Coop's head.

After thinking about it for a while, I realize that the lilies on the deck are dripping nectar. Coop is always sniffing the flowers or trying to dig in the pots, so the nectar probably fell on his head.