Friday, January 23, 2009

She Doesn't Deserve It

As many of you know, I don't have children, but I do have dogs. Many don't know the love of an animal, and the love you have for them along with the bond you create between the two of you. I spend many hours in training for various AKC titles, and when you spend this amount of time with the dog/animal, you form an extremely close bond with the dog/animal you are working with. You learn to notice little differences in body language when working with them, and learn to read their body language. My relationship with Hannah is no exception.

Hannah is a German Shepherd Dog. She just turned 6 years old on this new years eve. She is brave, protective, a guardian of my small goat herd, a friend, companion to all other dogs here, and a loyal friend to me. She is always good natured, happy and delightful to be around. She is very loved.

Last year she began to limp on one of her back legs and I took her in for X-rays. Her hips seemed fine, so I chalked it up to pulling something due to the fact she loves to run so hard. I kept her inside with R&R for 2 weeks. A couple of weeks later, it happened again. I just thought she had once again pulled or sprained something. When it happened again a few months later, I took her in and requested more X-rays. We redid her hips along with her back and neck. Low and behold, she had compression going on in her neck and spine. Not only did she have compression, but little spurs growing out of several of her vertebra. She was in severe pain. She had been for some time. We put her on pain killers and steroids to relieve the inflammation. She was also put on 'bed rest'.

A couple of nights ago, she ran a bit and then began limping. After a vet's visit, she was diagnosed with 'Ruptured Cranial Cruciate'. She has torn a ligament in her knee. She will now be going to have surgery on Monday to try and repair it. While recuperating, she might be using her other leg/knee so much that she will damage it and have to have surgery on the other knee.

She is such a sweet and good natured dog. She always tries to please you and do whatever you ask. Throughout all her pain, she has never been the least bit snippy. She doesn't deserve this. This whole time all she does is wag her tail and give you kisses.

The photo I have posted is when she finished her AKC C.D. title.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Delightful Gift

For Christmas, I received this lovely Chinese brush, ink stone and ink stick set. My stepdaughter purchased in China and thought that I might be able to use it. How wonderful is that?

In the upper picture you can see the ink sticks on either side of the case. They are beautiful and ornate. They are so lovely that you almost hate to grind them down to use. The lower picture is of the ink stone with the lid removed. It too has a wonderful ornateness to it. It is heavy as well.

Chinese brush painting is supposed to be therapeutic and relaxing. When slowly grinding the ink stick on the ink stone, you are to meditate and contemplate about what you are going to paint. The grinding process also relaxes and loosens your hand and wrist muscles. A friend of mine, Stewart, who lives in the UK does this type of work and says "you can smell the charcoal of the pine forest from which it (the ink stick)was made." Wow, smelling the forest/tree from which it came! That would certainly make one slow down, reflect and enjoy the wonder of the ink.

For a little history in Chinese brush painting, go here.

This is a neat website that has some lessons in Chinese painting.

If you google Chinese ink painting or Chinese brush painting, you can learn more about it. I can't wait to get some nice paper now to give it a go.