My Favorite Furbabies, Oscar & Harley

One of my favorite subjects is my furbabies, Oscar & Harley. In July I switched their dog food, not brand, just type and am wondering if that is what set off Harley’s stomach issues. We have been feeding both of them Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Dry Dog Food  for a long time. Harley is overweight, so we decided to change from the original to the weight management bag, but stayed with the same brand.

Within a few days of switching her food, we noticed she had been limping on her back leg, so we took her to the vet to get that checked out as she would not go up and down the steps at all. After examination and x-rays it was brought to our attention that her back left knee was going out of socket. She was put on Rimadyl to help with swelling and pain. We were to take her back in a couple of weeks for recheck.  

Harley & Oscar

By the time we took her back, she was vomiting after she ate, but mostly in the middle of the night. These episodes would happen off and on, but more on than off. I thought is was from the Rimadyl, but the vet said it could be a number of things including the switching of her food. They wanted to start her on a different brand of food all together.  For the next six days she was to eat Royal Canin, GastroIntestinal Low-Fat, which comes in a can. In addition, they took her off Rimadyl and put her on Sucralfate and Gabapentin. The vomiting stopped almost immediately.  

After six days, we could go back to dry food as the vet was trying to figure out whether the food or the meds might be making her vomit. When we went back to dry food we wanted to stay with the Royal Canin brand, so we switched her to Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Dachshund Adult  dry dog food.

The vomiting continued and some days was after every meal. We went back to the vet and was told that she might just be one of those dogs that have stomach issues and it could last a month, a year or forever.  He wanted us to go back to the GastroIntestinal low-fat canned food. For the past two weeks, we have had only a few episodes of her vomiting and most of those have been after she picked up something outside while going to potty.

I still think there might be something else going on because if she eats anything other than the canned food, she vomits. She is not on any medication at this time. What would be causing this to happen? We will be going back to the vet again for further analysis and testing and if our current vet doesn’t want to seek out other things that might be wrong, then I will have to pick a new doctor because being on canned food for life that costs as much as this stuff does is not going to work. Any advise or suggestions would be appreciated so feel free to leave your comments below.

Our other furbaby, Oscar, has had no issues with the switching of food and has adjusted to each change as if nothing has happened. I guess dogs are like humans, no two of us are alike.

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Our RV Journey to Louisiana

June 17th – 20th – Eastbank Campground, 153 Eastbank, Bainbridge, GA

We arrived at Eastbank Campground on the 17th a little before 5:00 pm. We had site A01 with a waterfront view. Unfortunately the place was covered with Mayflies, which attacked our rig and truck and would attack you when you got close to them. Despite the annoyance, we still enjoyed our view and gator watched every day we were there. I know most people prefer whale watching and when I finally get a chance to do that, I’m sure it will be more thrilling than watching gators. 

Mayflies

The first day we saw at least 4 different ones floating around going back and forth in front of our site. Being that we didn’t get up close and personal and because they were in the water the whole time, I can only guess how long they really were, but based on the size of their head and the length of the body that rose out of the water, I would say they were anywhere from 3 feet on the small size up to about 10 – 11 feet long. On the second day, we didn’t see as many, but there were still some floating about.

Alligator floating at Eastbank Campground

Alligator floating at Eastbank Campground

Another shot of Mr. Alligator

Our stay ended on Monday when we headed for Fort Pickens, Florida to spend a few days on the beach.

June 20th – 24th – Fort Pickens Campgrounds, Fort Pickens, Florida

We left around 9:30 (CST) on the 20th heading for Fort Pickens. We arrived around 1:15 PM at the registration station, but had to wait until 1:30 for them to open up as they close for lunch every day. While waiting we got to see the Blue Angels practicing. Check-in was a breeze. Our rate here was only $13/night using our Access pass discount. Not sure going without sewer for several days is worth it, but we’re learning to use less water so we can make it through our stay without having to go dump. One thing we learned as soon as we got to our site is we really should have bought a shorter rig. This thing gets bigger when you try to put it on what they tell you is a big enough site, but when you have trees on both sides, a 38.6 ft. fifth wheel is not going into that space. Luckily they found us another site a little further down and we were set up in no time. We spotted a dog bark on the way in on day one and took the dogs by to walk in the sand. We found out real quick like that our dogs are not water lovers. They did not like the sand, nor the water. Can’t blame them, I don’t really like the sand and salt water either. I prefer pool water. With that being said, why did we come to the beach? I have no idea! My husband said he wanted to stay here, so I made it happen. 

We did spend one night down on the beach watching the sunset. It was quiet and serene. The pictures below really don’t do it justice. We saw several families having family portraits made. Being a photographer myself, I love to see families preserving their family memories.

Beautiful sunset at Fort Pickens

Another shot of that beautiful sunset

June 24th – 29th – Bayou Segnette State Park, Westwego, LA (New Orleans)

Once we left Ft. Pickens, we headed towards New Orleans. This was my second trip to the city, but the first since Hurricane Katrina. The main place I wanted to go to was Café de Monde to taste some beignets. My husband had never tasted beignets before. I don’t think he was really that impressed with the place. I have to admit they weren’t as good as I remembered them the first time. The weather was extremely hot and humid during our entire stay, which made enjoying our time almost impossible. On Saturday, I drove to Baton Rouge to meet up with my daughter that I hadn’t seen in over a year. It was great catching up and I hated to leave, but we will see each other again soon.

On Sunday, we made our way to New Orleans to see what we could. We were there during the heat of the day and it was miserably hot. We parked at Algiers and took the ferry across. We were able to see one of the Carnival Cruise lines, which was cool. Once we landed at Canal street we strolled to Café de Monde and ate our beignets, then strolled the streets some more. My husband wanted to drink a beer on Bourbon Street and he got his wish, but I have to say that street was so gross. The smell was absolutely disgusting. I could not get back to the ferry soon enough. I came to the conclusion that for me I have not lost anything in New Orleans and have no intentions of going back. 

On the ferry headed to New Orleans

On Monday we drove to Cabela’s about an hour’s drive away. This was our first time ever being in one and it was very interesting and entertaining with all the animals. I have no idea if all the Cabela’s are decked out this much with animals, but this one was very unique. In the evening a huge storm with thunder and lightning came and we lost power until the next day around noon. Lucky for us we have a generator, so we were able to have power. By the time power was restored on Tuesday, I was in no mood to get out, so we stayed at home. I was more than ready to leave on Wednesday headed for West Monroe. Some shots from our time in New Orleans.

St Louis Cathedral, New Orleans, LA

Dog on curb just sitting there. Owner wanted money if you took pic.

June 29th – July 2nd – Jimmie Davis State Park, Chatham, LA (West Monroe)

From New Orleans, we headed towards West Monroe. I had found another state park in the town of Chatham about 30 minutes south of West Monroe. Once we got off I-49, we were on back roads with miles and miles of nothing. We got our worse scare in trying to find diesel, so much so that by the time we got to the park, dropped the rig and found diesel, it was saying “0” miles left of fuel. I’m sure we had driven at least a mile with it saying “0”. I was doing some major praying hoping God would watch over us and thankfully he did and we got fuel before we ran out. 

Across the street was a mom and pop restaurant, J&H that we got dinner at. The food was decent and the sweet tea totally delicious. The atmosphere inside was that of an old-time diner with scriptures on the wall, family pics and many, many servicemen and women who have served our country for many years. 

On Thursday, we headed to West Monroe to find Duck Commander. It was easy to locate as it’s right off the main road. They have an area where you can make your own duck call and get a bobble head. We didn’t do that; we only got a picture made and viewed all the stuff in the store. From here, we went to Willie’s Diner for lunch. It was much bigger than what I expected. The food was good. We tried boudin for the first time. They talk about it on the show and we had no idea what it was. I have no idea what was in it and I probably don’t want to know, but it wasn’t bad. We also drove to the neighborhood that the boys all live in. Although you can’t get to their front door, we could see the back side of Jep and Jessica’s house. As for Si’s place, we drove right in front. I tried to get my husband to stop, but he wouldn’t. I told him I wasn’t scared to knock on their door. Maybe next time.

Duck Commander RV

Duck Commander 18-wheeler

Willie’s Diner, West Monroe, LA

Martin from Duck Commander

July 2nd – 5th Okatoma Resort & RV Park, Hattiesburg, MS

After West Monroe, we were headed back towards Florida, but we made two stops in Mississippi before getting there. Our first stop was at Okatoma Resort. It was an interesting place. They have several sites and at first wanted to put us in a back-in on the lake, but it was way too small for our rig, so we got a pull-thru, which is what we prefer. We were literally parked in what looked to be a dirt parking lot that they added extra sites to as an afterthought from the original park. It has a lake that you can fish in, a swimming pool and more, but even with all that we probably wouldn’t stay here again. The best part about this location was the farmers market located on the left side of the road when driving towards Hattiesburg. It was beautifully decorated with nostalgic decorations that reminded me of the good ole’ days and the fruit and veggies were delicious.

Okatoma Resort

July 5th – 7th – Davis Bayou Campground, Ocean Springs, MS

Our second Mississippi stop was in Ocean Springs which was just south of the bridge to Biloxi. We wanted to spend a little time at a casino, just for the sake of saying we had been. Luck was not on our side and it just made me think why do people spend hours and hours playing on slots losing money. It was crazy. The park we stayed at was the best place we had been in the past 3 weeks. We ventured out the first night for a good place to eat and found McElroy’s. I thought I was going to bust by the time I got through eating. I had shrimp and grits and they were the best I have ever eaten. The hubs had an oyster po’boy, which was not so good. He said the oysters should have been fried more for his taste. 

Hard Rock Cafe, Biloxi, MS

July 7th – 9th – My Parents

This journey was supposed to land us back in Molino, Florida at my parents to celebrate my dad’s 80th birthday. I won’t bore you with all the details that took place. I’ll just say that things didn’t go quite the way I had hoped. But I was able to see my two-year old grandson who I hadn’t seen in over a year. It made this trip worth all the bad we went through especially when that little man give his Nana much-needed hugs and kisses. He really knows how to make this Nana feel loved. On the 9th, we left my parents around 5:00 pm and found a little “hole in the wall” place about an hour away off exit 83 on I-65. It was perfect for an overnight. The pull-through was long enough we didn’t have to unhook and we could begin our 4 month journey the next day.

Let the journey begin……

Oscar and Harley

I have two of the most spoiled wiener dogs around.  On a recent trip to my parents, I was able to use them as my photo subjects instead of my human children.  Both are very photogenic.  

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Oscar looking so debonaire.

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Drinking from the cement pond where the crawfish and bullfrogs hang out.

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A natural in front of the camera. He actually looks like he was posing for me, but really I was just lucky to get the shot.

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Harley is a stunning “little” beauty. Posing is everything when taking pics, even with dogs. This pose hides how fat she really is.

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She can also be a comic, as shown here, with her eyes closed.

_DSC5311Like Oscar, she looks like she is actually posing perfectly for just the right shot.

 

Memorable Moments from 2015

March 2nd marked a year ago that we started our RV journey that would take us from Tennessee to Florida and back several times before setting down in Tallahassee back in October and to where we still are today. During those first few months we had some very memorable moments. Some of which we have been reminiscing about these past few days, so I decided I would share those moments with all of you.

1. March 15th. We drove all the way to Mississippi to pick up our eight week old fur baby, Oscar. He was born with beautiful blue eyes (they changed as he got older) and milk chocolate fur. I don’t know what we were thinking at the time in getting a dog, a puppy none the less when we were just starting our adventure. Looking back now, I’m glad we did, because he has been a big blessing for Greg. Pets are just like children in the fact that you make whatever sacrifices you need to make them happy and healthy.

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On the way home!

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2. March 27th – April 10th. We were staying in Moore Haven which was about a 15- 20 minute drive from Lake Okeechobee, which meant fishing. There’s just something about being on the water, the calmness and serenity of it makes life so much easier to deal with.

We spent several days on the lake in our kayaks. I only caught one or two a day, but always caught the biggest. On what would be our last day on the water, Greg spotted an alligator about 5-6 feet from his kayak. I was probably about 15-20 feet away. He was not having any of that and we were out of that water real quick. Had we been in a boat, it wouldn’t have been as scary, but in a kayak, the last thing you want to encounter is an alligator. Plus he was not a little one, he was a BIG one. 

Anna's bass

Anna’s bass

3. June 3rd- 6th.  A few days on Lake Guntersville in Alabama will help take all your worries away. This was absolutely the best place we have stayed at. Our site was right at the water’s edge and the sunsets and sunrises were beyond amazing. We were able to fish every morning and afternoon. Our Hobie kayaks were the paddle type so you just sit back paddle with your feet and use the steering handle to maneuver all around. It was amazing. Oscar loved sunning himself, looking over the edge or enjoying time in my lap. He loves the water. The amount of fish we caught were not enough to get excited about, but the fact that we were on the water enjoying the beauty of nature was what made our time here memorable.

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4. June 24-28th. We wanted to take our oldest grandson on a summer trip. We had originally wanted to go to Louisiana, but our plans had to be rearranged so TN it was. Our drive there included a flat tire which was a memory in itself that I don’t want to relive. The memorable moment was our trip to Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg. Our grandson loves animals, especially sea life so we thought this place would be a great destination.

Because we have to have a way to carry the kayaks we had a rack on top of the truck. The rack adds height and can be a problem when you park in a garage parking lot. I’m the guilty party doing the driving that day and not thinking I pulled into the parking garage. Luckily I found a spot on the top floor, which meant I didn’t have to drive down into the garage…for now. Thinking ahead we knew we would have to remove the rack in order to get out at the end of the day, but for now we planned to enjoy the Aquarium. Once we viewed all the animals and enjoyed our visit, we heard down the strip to find lunch. Unbeknown to us the place we were headed for had closed so we had to find something else. By this time we had walked the entire strip. Now mind you my grandson is not athletic, never exercises and we are taking him way out of his comfort zone. We chose a place to eat, which was the worse place I’ve ever eaten at and the most expensive for what we ordered. The grandson wouldn’t even eat. While looking for a place to eat, we were also looking for a place that might sell a tool we could use to remove the rack, but had not spotted one, so I used my phone to search for an auto parts store.. The only thing we could find was Ace Hardware, which per the GPS was on our way back to where the truck was. So we walked and walked, but never saw ACE Hardware. I called them to confirm address, clerk confirmed and told me we were close so we kept walking. Eventually we were past where the truck was, so I called ACE again, spoke to another clerk and again was told they were just down from where we were. I guess what they didn’t understand was we were walking, not driving. After several more blocks we give up, went back to the garage we parked at and asked security for help. If only we had done that in the fist place we would have saved ourselves a lot of walking, but this memory wouldn’t have been as funny. Our grandson was so mad knowing that we could have saved all that walking and just gone back to the garage in the beginning. We thought it was funny and still laugh about it today.

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5. July 9th. Having one furbaby wasn’t enough, as daddy Greg thought Oscar needed a playmate, so on this day we drove to Mississippi again, different breeder to pick up our baby girl, Harley. She is Hershey chocolate and a tubby tail now. Hard to believe considering how tiny she was the day we picked her up. It took a while for the two of them to get use to each other, but now they are inseparable.

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There were many moments that were special to us, but these 5 ring out on top. We long to add to these memories and in time we will. Feel free to share a memorable moment you have had on your adventures in the comments below.

Travel through Cades Cove

One of my favorite places to visit is Cades Cove in the Tennessee mountains and with our last days in Tennessee just around the corner, we decided to head to the cove, so I could see my favorite spot in the Tennessee mountains. The colors are beginning to change and the leaves are falling, but it will still be several weeks before the best of the colors are out. For some reason this trip seemed to take the longest to get there and even longer to get back from. And even while driving through the loop, it seemed to take us longer than it ever has. Maybe it was because God wanted us to enjoy the beauty of this place for as long as possible as we don’t know when we will be back in this location again.

Over the last few years I have made several trips to Cades Cove and I remember on my very first trip seeing a gorgeous buck off in the woods and had gotten out of my car just like all the other spectators and getting as close as possible to get “THE” shot. I got a good enough shot that day and was excited that I was able to see a buck up so close as they are such magnificent animals. Ever since that first trip, I have yet to see another good quality buck until TODAY. He was the most beautiful 8 point I have seen in quiet some time.

Gorgeous 8 point buck

Gorgeous 8 point buck

The funniest part of this excursion, which we didn’t laugh at at the time, but are laughing at now that it’s over is when we spotted this buck. There happened to be a parking lot that we could stop in and get a better look, so we stopped. We both got out, left the dogs in the truck and proceeded to get a good look. Oscar, our mischievous male, was trying to jump out the window we had rolled down, so we rolled up the windows, but made the mistake of leaving the truck running with all the keys inside. You guessed it, Oscar jumped on the door lock and locked us out. It was starting to get late in the evening and would be dark soon, but we were stuck until finally he stepped on the lock again and unlocked it. We looked like two crazy people trying to get the dog to step on the door lock. It only took him about 10 minutes, but in the meantime we were able to see two doe walk into the field where the buck was, so in the end it was worth it or else we would have missed seeing the additional deer.

If you’ve ever been to Cades Cove, you know the first thing you usually see when you pull in is the gorgeous horses and today was no different. These animals are majestic and beautiful. We pulled down Spence Lane, so we could get a closer look, as they were all hanging out over by the fence.  Lucky for us there was barely any traffic on this lane, so we were able to stop in the middle of the road and I got brave and went right up to the fence to get a closer look and better view for pics. I say brave because I had on flip-flops and the grass was really high and I am scared to death of snakes, but luckily nothing got me this time around.

Pure Beauty

Pure Beauty

Paints are a beauty like none other

Love the colors of this paint…the brown colored ones in the back don’t look bad either.

We had another first on this trip as well and that was we saw 3 different coyotes. I have never seen a coyote in the park, but we saw three different ones. Of course, the first one we saw, it was so far away, we thought it might have been a fox, but after seeing the other two we think maybe it was a coyote instead.

Coyote

Coyote

As for bears, the only bear we saw was after 7:30 pm when we were trying to get out because it had already gotten so dark, you could barely see in front of you. The park had two separate areas marked off with orange cones telling you there was bear activity in between the cones and sure enough we looked over to the left and there was the bear that had been holding up traffic for several minutes.

As for Tennessee, Cades Cove will always be one of my best and top places to visit. If you have never been, I would highly suggest that you add it to your bucket list, as you won’t be disappointed.