Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Out and About

I have a number of lizard buddies around my place.  This guy likes to scale walls to eat crickets.  There's a smaller lizard that runs beside me each time I walk up and down the porch stairs, and a bigger lizard living under the haystack that I call "the dinosaur lizard" because he reminds me of a Stegosaurus.   He's a funny guy because he likes to hang with the bunnies.  We saw a huge lizard under the haystack for a while that we think was a chuckwalla.  It was about a foot and a half long.

This is my baby bunny.  She's the least scared of me of all the bunnies around here, because she got to know me and my routine when she was just the size of a powder puff.  I told her she was welcome to live under my haystack with the dinosaur lizard.  She lets me get within a couple of feet of her, and she even hops toward me when she sees me.  I was tossing pieces of carrots toward her today and accidentally beaned her with one of them.  She didn't run away, but just gave me a funny look and kept on eating.

My husband had another run-in with a rattlesnake that was under this hedge just outside our front door.  We walk the dogs between it to do their business.  This snake was polite enough to shake its rattle and warn him that it was there, so he turned around and took Midge back inside the house.  Now he's cutting all the branches away form the bottom of the hedge so we can see what's in them.

This tree in front of my horse trailer used to be thick and reach all the way to the ground.  The previous homeowners left a bunch of roof tiles, wall tiles, wooden pallets and a tire under the tree, so every time I approached the tack room of the trailer, I had to make a lot of noise and peek under things to make sure there weren't any snakes hiding.  My husband cut the lower branches so now it looks more like a tree and less like a bush.

I know the horses have had run-ins with snakes, because every time they see something that even resembles a snake, they spin and bolt.

Interesting clouds are always forming in the sky on summer afternoons.  Usually, by the time I get in the house to get my camera, the perfect picture is gone.  I keep kicking myself because I can never remember to just take a camera with me every time I step outside.  Anyway, these thunder cells looked pretty from my place, but wreaked havoc in the east valley, even ripping the roofs off a couple of houses.

I'm continually amazed by the weather behavior around here.  In the valley of the Eastern Sierra in Nevada we had to suffer through days of high winds before we'd finally get a few drops of rain and there was always plenty of warning that a storm was moving in.  Here in the Arizona desert, the sun can be blasting down on you and the sky perfectly clear one minute, and then you find yourself in a sudden downpour and flash flooding the next minute.

I caught this rare moment of the dogs tolerating each other a while back.  I took Midge to a vet that is far away from where I live, because the vet came highly recommended.  You may recall that ever since we moved here, Midge's eye was infected and two vets who looked at it didn't know what was going on.  They referred her to an ophthalmologist for surgery.  However, we heard bad things about the ophthalmologist and were looking for an alternative.

The doctor I was referred to wasn't accepting new patients, so I got a different vet in the same office, but she turned out to be the best vet I'd ever worked with.  Not only was she professional and non-judgmental regarding my choices, but she immediately knew what was wrong with Midge's eye.  Her tear duct stopped producing tears, so she couldn't kick the infections.  So, now Midge is on another regimen of medications, some of which she will have to be on for the rest of her life.  The thing in her eye that we thought would require surgery to remove was an ulcer that healed on its own.  However, the diabetes is giving Midge cataracts, so she's slowly going blind.

It's possible that her loss of eyesight is contributing to her extreme fear of thunderstorms.  She's lived through a lot of thunder, but she seems much worse than before.  I asked the new vet for a prescription of sedatives.  When the pharmacist saw the prescription, she looked baffled and said, "Is this for...?"

"My dawwwwg," I said.

She laughed and replied, "How cute!  She has a storm phobia."

I wanted to tell her there's nothing cute about it, but decided to let her have her laugh.  So far the sedatives have had a minimal effect on Midge's nerves.  The vet said that they should calm her down immediately, but it seems like they calm her down the next day, so I watch the weather forecasts and try to head the storms off at the pass. 


Anonymous said...

the sky looks so pretty, great pics. our storms here in florida just come out of no where too, it may rain in my yard but not across the street. the new vet sounds good, just hang in there, things seem to be working out one at a time for you. Ellie

Paint Girl said...

Your storms sure do create a beautiful sky!
Thats great that your husband cut that tree back. I would hate to have to be constantly searching for rattlers. Scary.
Cute pix of your dogs acting like they just might like each other!!

fernvalley01 said...

the new vet sounds good, and the pics you did get are lovely

fernvalley01 said...

Hey girl! are you OK, all I have seen lately from you is spam comments on your old posts! Hope you are safe and well

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

fernvalley01 - Yeah, I'm fine. Just waiting for summer and monsoon season to end to my dog will settle down and I can do something with my horses.

achieve1dream said...

Poor Midge!! Dry eye (no or low tear production) is what Storm has too. She has to be on her medicine for the rest of her life too. She's getting Cyclosporine. Is that what they put Midge on? It's supposed to stimulate tear production, but if Midge isn't producing any at all they may not have her on that. Storm has a healed ulcer too that you can see. And she's getting cataracts, I guess from old age, she's eleven. Besides her Cyclosporine I also use tear gels (from a local pharmacy; gels last longer than drops) to keep her eye moist so she doesn't squint and she's not in pain. I'm glad you finally found a good vet. It's about time you and Midge got treated with respect and compassion!

I love the wildlife shots, especially the cute bunny. I'm shocked anyone would grow hedges by stairs or a walkway if they live somewhere there are rattlesnakes. I don't blame you at all for trimming them back. *shudder*