Saturday, December 31, 2016

Make A Wish

December 31, 2016
[at home]

2016 has been a pretty bad year for many, me included. I know that life is a series of ups and downs, but it seems that this year was lacking any kind of balance - there were way too few ups to compensate for the many, many downs.  So what I wish for in the new year is simply more balance, and for a few things to stabilize, in my life, as well as in my friends' lives, and throughout the world, actually. 

Pilot Me

December 30, 2016
Morgan County (GA)

Over the waves and through every sorrow
Savior please, pilot me

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2016
[at home]

Black Friday Antidote

November 25, 2016
Sandy Creek Park, GA

This is our idea of Black Friday: Sandy Creek Park was closed, or rather, unstaffed, today; they opened the gates for a few hours and we took advantage of that. Unfortunately, there were no keys to the dog parks. People with smaller dogs lifted them over the fence, but I couldn't do that with Tessa so we walked the trails instead, and sat for a long while on the boat dock watching a few kayaks paddle by. Loved it!

I Smell - Autumn!

October 23, 2016
Morgan County (GA)

October 22, 2016
Rabun County (GA)

We went on a quick trip to the North Georgia mountains, on this beautiful (but chilly) fall day: US 441 to Black Rock Mountain State Park, which was so crowded that we only stayed 10 minutes; then off along some scenic highways where we stopped at less crowded overlooks, like the Popcorn overlook (above).

Cotton Time!

October 16, 2016
Walton County (GA)

Back Home

September 25, 2016
Barrow County (GA)

On the way back from Atlanta, we stopped in the lovely Georgia countryside. It's a post-city ritual. 

In The Studio

September 25, 2016
Atlanta, GA

Today, we drove to Atlanta for a photo shoot with Amanda Jones. The session was paid for in full by Petplan USA, Tessa's pet insurance who is going to feature Tessa and her two tumor claims in Fetch! Magazine in December. They will have access to all the photos, but so do I! It was a wonderful experience and I think the results were amazing - Amanda photographs dogs without props (except the occasional toy) - dog pure - and she truly captured the essence of Tessa.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Post-Op - Again

September 1, 2016
[at home]

And here we go again. Tessa grew another tumor, which gave me quite a scare, since it appeared just 5 months after she had a mast cell tumor removed. Thankfully, the fine needle biopsy diagnosed a walled off cyst. Still, the lab and two vets agreed that it is best to go ahead and remove it which we did. Surgery was uneventful and pathology confirmed a keratin cyst. 

Splash Time

August 6, 2016
Athens, GA (Clarke County)

We splurged and rented the pool at Pawtropolis today for a little bit of summer fun. Unfortunately, only dogs allowed in the water, but I had fun just watching her.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Birthday Girl

June 26, 2016
Bostwick, GA

Happy 8th Birthday, Tessa! I cannot believe how 8 years, such a big chunk of time, could pass so quickly. May we be blessed with another 8. Thank you for being such a good companion and model, always ready to play and always willing to play along.

Summer Solstice

June 20, 2016
Clarke County (GA)

Turtle Soup

June 16, 2016
Athens, GA

Turtle pond, UGA, our morning ritual. We stop, and within a few minutes 9-10 turtles float up to greet us. 

The Catcher In The Wheat

May 30, 2016
Bostwick, GA

I'm A Wheat!

May 30, 2016
Bostwick, GA

Welcome, Home!

April 18, 2016
[at home]

And just like that, it is done - we are in our new home. Dismantling and re-assembly of furniture went reasonably well. Everything fit, nothing got damages, nobody got hurt. Tessa feels right at home, and now has a fenced yard to enjoy.

Home Inspection

April 14, 2016
[at - the new - home]

Tessa-inspected, Tessa-approved.

The Pack Rat

April 11, 2016
[at home]

And ... we are moving.


March 14, 2016
[at home]

Tessa hit a speed bump.

On March 6, I felt a lump near her left armpit. The vet aspirated it the next day, and it came back as a mast cell tumor. Surgery was today.

Mast cell tumors are nasty, and tricky. They tend to be unpredictable but there are several factors that give an idea as to how things might play out. Hers was grade 2 (grade 1 being the lowest, grade 3 being very aggressive), and the mitotic index (a measurement for cell proliferation) was 4, with 5 being the cut-off as to when a grade 2 might behave like a grade 3.  So overall, it could have been worse, and could have been better. We got clean margins, which is a good start, though not a guarantee. Ironically, my dog Yogi was diagnosed with the same kind of tumor in May 1996 - 20 years ago. We were unable to get a clean margin at the time, and the prognosis was 6-8 months - but the tumor never returned and she died in 2004 at age 14, from other causes. 

The course of action for Tessa will be vigilance. I will check her for any new lumps quite frequently. 

Unwrapping a get-well package from our friends!


March 13, 2016
[at home]

The Cattle Auctioneer

March 12, 2016
Athens, GA 

Tropical Winter

February 14, 2016
Athens, GA

Where Trains Once Traveled

 February 14, 2016
Athens, GA

Dead End

February 13, 2016
Hampton, GA

For all The Walking Dead fans out there.

This is the dead-end alley where in season 6, episode 3, the dumpster attack took place. Someone actually marked the spot where "Glenn" "died". 

I wish I could watch this show,  I love that it is filmed in Georgia and I am familiar with some of the filming locations. I tried many times, but I can't take it. I just can't. It's too much. 

The Dumpster SceneThe Walking Dead, Season 6, Episode 3. Viewers discretion very much advised. 

The Security Guard

January 23, 2016
Jackson County (GA)


January 23, 2016
Chestnut Mountain, GA

Center Stage

January 17, 2016
Juliette, GA

Merry Christmas

December 24, 2015
[at home]

Rain, Rain, Rain

November 7, 2015
Sandy Creek Park, GA 

Go U Hairy Dawgs!

December 20, 2015
Athens, GA

Got Gas?

December 20, 2015
Arcade, GA (Jackson County)

The Marshall Of Toomsboro

December 6, 2015
Toomsboro, GA

Early Release

December 6, 2015
Scott State Prison
Hardwick, GA

Ship Ahoy!

December 6, 2015
Milledgeville, GA

Dock Dog

December 6, 2015
Milledgeville, GA

The Madness!

December 6, 2015
Milledgeville, GA

Tessa has been kind of crazy lately, but at the Central State Hospital this morning, she promised to stop all shenanigans ("really!") for fear of being committed. This is one hell of a creepy place, and I wasn't even inside.

Star Fort

November 27, 2015
Ninety Six, SC


November 22, 2015
Toccoa, GA 

Vet Me Up

November 22, 2015
Seneca, SC (Oconee County) 

You Can Get There From Here

November 14, 2015
Sharon, GA (Taliaferro County)

When the world is a monster bad to swallow you whole
Kick the clay that holds the teeth in, throw your trolls out the door
If you're needing inspiration, Philomath is where I go by dawn
Lawyer Jeff, he knows the lowdown, he's mighty bad to visit home

(I've been there I know the way) Can't get there from here