Friday, February 5, 2016

January Resolution Recap & Soth Update

January has was a busy yet lazy, freezing yet warm month of walking. The first half of the month, we spent lounging and walking while I waited for the start of the new semester. The second half was diving back into teaching and all of the planning and grading that comes along with it. We had days when it was in the teens and too snowy/icy to go much farther than a mile at a time. We had days when I didn't need a coat or gloves. It made for some weird, but wonderful adventures this month.

The WinterFest snowmen decorations have been put up downtown and we had a thaw just in time to be able to get in some nice walks down there to admire them. Some of the snowmen have been transformed into penguins or other winter creatures. One is even something from the new Star Wars--which I haven't gotten around to seeing yet. It's always fun to see how the different groups and businesses in town put their creativity to the test with these guys!



Last weekend, we had a day in the mid-40s, so we took off to the state park for a stroll. There was still a lot of snow and ice on the beach, but the trails were all completely clear, so it was easy walking with a few more challenging spots thrown in to get some photos.


Who says late January isn't a good time for a Lake Erie beach trip?


These ice "curtains" have been up all month. I love them.

The following day it got up to the 50s, so we we took off on another adventure to the Holden Arboretum. We usually don't make it out to the arboretum until at least March since there's usually a lot of snow and the trails are groomed for crosscountry skiers and you aren't supposed to walk in those trails, which leaves us with the spots along the trails that come up to my knees sometimes--and I'm just not ambitious enough to want to drive half an hour for that kind of workout!



Even though most of our snow further north was melted, there was still a good bit on the ground (and on the trails) at the arboretum. Combined with the 50+ degree weather, the ground was a slushy, muddy mess. I quickly regretted wearing the tennis shoes that I'd worn to the state park and was very happy I still had a pair of flipflops in the car so I could peel off the cold wet socks I ended up with. It was a great day for a walk, though, and Barley got to practice more reaction to distraction work since there were lots of people out with dogs and kids. It's so nice to know that when spring rolls around it won't have been over 3 months since we saw another living creature on one of our walks. Last year, it was a challenge to remind Barley that we do sometimes have to share our space with other creatures.

This wacky January gave us lots of opportunities to reach our goals and even get a little bit ahead in case February isn't as kind to us. In January, we got in 97.25 miles towards our goal of 1100 miles this year. So far, so good!

Facebook reminded me this morning that it's been 3 years since Soth had his bladder-flushing procedure, so it seemed like as good a time as any for an update on him. If you're squeamish about reading about cat pee, just stop reading after these two cute pictures of his post-procedure waking up faces.

Aren't his sleepy post-anesthesia faces cute?


I'm almost afraid to type this because it seems like every time I give a positive update, I jinx things, but for the last 7 months or so, Soth has show minimal signs of feeling pain when he urinates. He's using his litterbox consistently (partially due to a switch to Cat Attract litter, I think--big shout out to my cousin who recommended we try it!). On the few times he has had an episode, they have been short and there has been little blood in his urine, so that suggests there are fewer crystals forming and irritating the lining of his bladder.

I still can't say that we have any answers for why he's doing better. Maybe being on a prescription diet and lots and lots of wet food have helped. Maybe losing a little weight has helped. Maybe now that he's older, he's outgrown it (which I've read can happen). Maybe he's just adjusted to whatever stressors triggered the first episodes. I try not to question it too much and I'm just thankful that he seems happier and more comfortable than he's seemed in a long time.

As moving to our very own house is becoming more of a reality every day, I am worried about how he'll react to a big change. He's been quite the trooper this past year with two visits to the boarder while I traveled and three trips south to my parents' house in Alabama, plus he handled the move from New Mexico to Ohio like a champ in the pre-Barley days, so I'm hopefully that a change in environment won't cause a setback, but keep your fingers crossed (and send out some prayers, good vibes, or whatever you believe in) for my boy as his world gets a little shakeup in the next couple months. 

Happy FitDog Friday everyone!





24 comments:

  1. Beaches in the winter as really neat places to go! Sounds like you are getting ready to buy a house? Congratulations. I think both pets will do fine once they realize all their stuff is in the new place. Hope February finds you walking a lot once again.

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    1. Thank you! We have a house inspection next week, so hopefully next month we'll be in a new place! I'm not worried about Bar because she'll have me, her crate, and her mats, so I know she'll pace a bit while she tries to figure out where she belongs, but she should settle down quickly. Soth, on the other hand, is a mystery since his health issues are stress related.

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  2. Hi Barley! So glad I found your blog....feel free to stop by and follow my adventures too!

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    1. Welcome! We'll definitely be checking out your adventures!

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  3. Always nice to get some warm weather and a little break from winter. Glad to hear about Soth.

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    1. Breaks from winter are nice. We like snow--but it's nice to be able to walk without worrying about slipping and sliding and even nicer to walk without having to spend 20 minutes layering up.

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  4. We don't usually visit beaches in the Winter time, but we do love them!

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    1. We usually visit them more in the winter than the summer :) We aren't good at sharing!

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  5. You reminded me that we haven't visited our arboretum in a long time. We should do that. I hope the move goes well and Soth isn't too stressed out about it.

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    1. I hope you get a lovely mid-winter arboretum adventure, too. My fingers are definitely crossed that Soth handles things well. You just never know with that one, though.

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  6. Great month of walking! And so excited for your big move! Hopefully Bun will love it :-)

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    1. I'm excited, too. Can't wait for my nephew to come visit and see "his" room!

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  7. Sending good thoughts for Soth! Good job on getting your miles in in January. It's a tough month!

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    1. Thank you! We need all the good thoughts we can get :) Thankfully January hasn't been nearly as tough as it has been in years past (and hopefully I didn't just jinx myself for February by typing that!).

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  8. That beach looks so pretty and so cold at the same time! :)

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    1. It looked cold, but it was actually in the mid-40s and really sunny, so we managed to work up a sweat!

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  9. I'm so excited for you about your possible new house! If all goes well for both of us, it sounds like we'll be moving around the same time. We'll have to compare notes on how the pets do. It's great that Soth has been doing better, but I can understand your concerns about the stress of moving; I have the same for Samantha. Her eating issues seemed to relate to stress and we've finally got her eating well!
    It has been such a crazy winter, hasn't it, it's impossible to know what to plan or how to dress sometimes.
    Have you ever tried snowshoes? I was thinking those could help you go to the arboretum more in the winter (though even with snowshoes deep snow can still be quite a workout!).
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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    1. We'll definitely have to compare notes! I hope that both of our cats decide the new houses are the best things they've ever seen and don't do anything weird :)
      I haven't tried snowshoes, but I saw some snowshoe tracks at the lake one day when we were walking and thought it sounded like a lot of fun, so I might ask Santa for some at Christmas.

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  10. This winter has been so strange. Looks like you have been able to get out and enjoy it. We are using Cat Attract too on recommendation from our vet. One day Nestle just stopped using her box. All of a sudden. I took her to the vet of course and all her tests checked out so the vet thought it was behavioral. She is 10 which makes it really strange to me but OK. Cat Attract (although expensive) worked like a charm. I am glad Soth is better.

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    1. I'm glad you've had Cat Attract success, too! It is expensive--but Chewy.com is much more affordable than any of the actual stores near me, so I just order enough to get free shipping and stay stocked up for a while ;)

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  11. Our January has been crazy weather-wise as well. Just this past Monday we had sunshine with temps in the low 70s, and Tuesday & Wednesday were cold and brought a ton of rain.
    Good luck with your move & much fun in the new place! I'm sending positive thoughts & energy for Soth :-)

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    1. It is an adventure trying to figure out what kind of clothes I need to wear every day--I don't mind winter at this time of year as long as I don't get these beautiful spring-like days to make me remember what warm temperatures are like ;)

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  12. It HAS been a crazy winter. One day about two weeks ago I walked the dogs wearing SANDALS! Now we will have below freezing temps.

    It's good that you've been able to keep the variety in your walks, I think that helps keep our pups from getting bored. :-)

    Good news on Soth. I'll send vibes that he stays that way.

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    1. I wore sandals the other day, too! I can hardly even wrap my mind around that. I agree that variety keeps pups happy--I just hope Barley's head doesn't explode with the amount of variety she's about to get when we move!

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