We need to return to Oregon once a year for Art's checkups with the VA. The trips are a little expensive, but the care he's received from the Bend VA has been incredible. We don't want to turn our backs on their continued attention.
Last year my computer screen was damaged during the flight and I lost a strip on the left. I learned to live with it, but was frustrating. This year, when I got to our son's house, I turned it on and the screen looked like it was bleeding from the top and the bottom. Then everything went haywire and I got fatal messages. The end result was, it was fried. I bo't a reconditioned HP and had them download my data. The fellow told me there wasn't much to do since I didn't have any pictures!!! WHAT? I had files of photos. He connected the hard drive to my new computer and he was right. When it crashed it took all my photos with it. Pooh! It was too expensive for me to have him dig deeper into the hard drive to see if he could salvage some or all of them, so, with tears, I let them go. Luckily, I have a lot of photos on my camera, but I know I've lost a lot. The stupid thing is that I have a backup drive and I failed to back up before we left. My fault.
One of our big concerns is leaving our three dogs here. We're lucky to have Rene, who works for us a couple of days a week, and he will stay here at night while we're gone, to take care of the dogs and watch our place. I made up 10 gallon zip bags of dog food for the freezer and bo't sacks of dry dog food for the pups and Bailey. I still call the Setters pups, even tho' they're now 1 1/2 years old. Shannon is so small and thin that I want to give her every advantage that I can. I know that Rene is fairly attentive to the dogs, but it's not the same as our care. It was upsetting when we came home to find that Shannon ran from us and then was nearly catatonic. Rusty was excited to see us and, of course, our Bailey was just fine. We tried to bring Shannon out of her mood with lots of love and reassurance, but for two days we had almost no response. She would finally eat if I held the food right under her nose. I supplemented their food with a bowl of milk to give her a little boost. Rusty had also lost weight. I researched online about separation anxiety and realized that that wasn't our problem. I then checked out depression and bingo. She had all the symptoms. One article said to NOT give her extra attention that seemed as tho' we were rewarding her behavior. She would follow me around, looking at me with intense, searching eyes. It nearly broke my heart. She didn't want to go off the veranda, but would lie down on or near my feet. Finally on the third day, I was treating her as tho' nothing was wrong and she started to respond. We were so excited to see her go down to chase the doves and play with Rusty. What a relief. Now if we can just put some weight on her. She's actually built just like her mother, so we try not to worry too much.
Our dogs have been such a blessing, offering unconditional love and protection here on our hill.