October 18, 2017

Stella & Sadie Sprint Next Door

Like I said yesterday, there is never a dull moment with two bloodhounds. This morning for the first time ever, Stella ran down over the bank into the neighbors yard with Sadie showing her the way. I'll get to that story further down the post. It proved that they can hear and smell live moving things (people) a long way off.

With Heidi already moving into her winter hibernation mode she only comes outside after her lunch and then depending on the temperature, gets back inside as soon as possible. She has moved a Mexican blanket out from her spot in the bedroom to the living room and that's a sure sign that winter is just a few months away.

Starting time for the day started later than normal. We were up late with the last MLB playoff game plus an hour or two of computer work after that while I was still wide awake. When you are retired and the hounds being quite adaptable the daily schedule can be a floating one ... without dull meetings and a day of work it's pretty easy to do.

With the temps in the late morning only in the high 50's, it was still beautiful outside ... the air smelled clean, felt a little crisp but a great time to take our first walk of the day. The sky was the bluest of blue.

I was willing to let Stella do whatever she wanted to do on this walk. She lagged behind as Sadie was darting all over the field that was loaded with fresh new scents to track. It must have been a busy night in the field with deer traffic because Sadie was beside herself with excitement.

About the time I took this picture of Sadie ... Stella sprinted past me barely touching my right leg. It was surprising because from the last picture I took of her I didn't think she would be moving much in this walk.

I did catch Sadie in one of her sharp turns but missed getting all the other darting action of her.

I'm not a weather expert, nor a naturalist expert but I am guessing this fall will not be taken over by bright colors from the trees around here. What should be bright reds straight ahead are dying leaves. Yellows are nowhere to be found. There is still enough leaves and enough time to tell me I'm wrong so we will see.

I could tell by the actions of the hounds, scent tracking was the theme of the day and there were more scents to track than what they could manage. Sadie was running everywhere with Stella doing more of a steady paced search.

I had a feeling that Stella might try to duplicate her escape like yesterday so I kept an eye on her. She looked like she was sneaking away again but she stopped heading that direction when I yelled her name. She didn't turn our direction but stopped heading north.

Sadie had that look of hers when looking in Stella's direction that seems to say "where is she going now"????

Something was in the air as the hounds met on the path and took off running, leaving me way behind.

As I started heading back on the normal return path, both of them had noses to the ground at a good pace on the alternate path we take. It leads right to the north property line pole. So I moved over to that path with their suggestion.

This is where things get interesting. They NEVER are in front of me on this path. I normally have to walk back once I get into the yard and tug at Stella's collar to get her to move. Not today.

They started running .... that put my mind on the alert and I prepared the camera for possible running.

And then they started sprinting and never stopped. I had a pretty good idea what was leading them across the yard as fast as possible toward the bank by the burn pile. I started running because I was pretty sure they were headed next door to meet the neighbor for the first time ever.

Earlier I had seen the neighbor out clearing some brush in different parts of his yard and thought the hounds might have decided it was time to meet.

By the time I sprinted to the yard the hounds were out of site. I could see his truck parked near the bank, through the dead wild ragweed stems. By the time I got to the bank the hounds had ran over the bank through the weeds and had him surrounded --- blocking his way from getting out of his truck. They don't jump on people but are more than happy to let that person(s) know they are glad to see them.

Luckily he has a sense of humor. I called them to "get up here" and they both charged through the dead ragweed, up the bank and pranced around the driveway excited they had met someone new and proud of what they had done.

While we talked about the bank's future next spring I put the hounds in the house but not shutting them up in the bedroom like I usually do even when I mow the yard. That prevents Stella from eating my bowls of fruit, dragging my glasses, iPad mini or iPhone off of the counter to give them a good lick or snooping around for new stuff to taste.

So it was a test for the hounds since they had run of the house while the neighbor and I talked.

I am happy to say the glasses, iPad Mini, iPhone and my laptop were still on the counter and kitchen table when I returned. Nothing was on the floor from Stella dragging stuff off the counter and the only 'damage' was she ate one of my mangoes but left one in the bowl for me to eat later on.

Here are some photos from late yesterday afternoon. Sometime around 3pm my TMJ kicked in and drove me to my knees at one point ... not actually to my knees but you get the idea how bad the pain was. I tried 800mg of Ibuprofen ... nothing improved.

I tried rotating an ice pack and then a warm damp wash cloth on my jaw ... that didn't help. What caused it may have been a sandwich I ate mid-afternoon. With a recent dental exam giving me a clean bill of health I knew it wasn't a cavity that was causing the pain.

I lived with it until about 9pm when it finally got so bad that I stepped away from the baseball game I was watching on tv and headed for my computer. I had bookmarked two years ago a site that was about TMJ .. in fact it was tmj.org

I wanted to review what I was doing to see if I missed something. I found out that with constant pain I need to apply heat, not ice. I needed to take some more Ibuprofen (I didn't) ... so I soaked a wash cloth in hot water, squeezed out all the water and then put it in the Microwave for 15 seconds ... it was hot and felt great against my sore jaw.

As the pain diminished I massaged around my jaw bone, near my right ear, behind the ear and at the base of my neck ... a couple of hours later I noticed the pain had all gone away without taking more Ibuprofen.

The sad thing is, coffee (caffeine) is not good for TMJ. But I had to have a cup or two this morning and I thought what a good test it would be to find out if coffee would put me back in pain this morning.

I ate food on that side of my mouth to prove it was not cavity related. When I drank hot coffee before our morning hound walk I did not try to keep the coffee away from that side of my mouth. There was no pain of any kind when the hot coffee was on that side of my mouth.

It's been a couple of hours since I had that coffee and there is no pain at all in my jaw bone area or the teeth. I do sleep with a mouth guard to prevent me from grinding my teeth or clenching my jaw while I sleep. Sometimes I can feel how much I did that when I take out the guard in the morning. So the guard does work.

As I was typing this I heard two bloodhounds wrestling in the next room. It's been almost a year since Stella has wrestled with Sadie inside the house. The play ended with a yelp from Stella and I could see it's her hips or lower back that is the problem just like I have mentioned here before. She came running to my desk wagging her tail to let me know she was okay.

"No harm no foul" as the say in basketball. Sadie shared her water bowl with Stella and the both laid down beside my desk chair to take a nap and to let me know it was time for lunch even after a late breakfast.

No plans today except for more hound walks, more pictures and watching two baseball games this afternoon and tonight.

It's a beautiful day here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

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