Adventures in Florida!

KippersMa

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Jul 25, 2017
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Hawthorne, Florida
The dear puppies are loving it here in Hawthorne, Florida. The weather is almost always sunny, at least part of the day. Recently, we have had temperatures in the mid to upper 70s. It is so pleasant!
This morning, we decided to take all the puppies on a walk around our neighborhood. It is on all sugar sand roads, so dear little JinJu came home with a face full of sugar sand from the other puppies kicking it up as they pranced along.
We have lots of dogs in this neighborhood and there is no leash law, so we choose ways where the dogs are nice or kept inside fences or houses. We get out early in the morning when not too many dogs are out anyway. Our neighbors are pretty nice and we have been meeting more and more of them as we walk the roads.
Rachel and I finally recovered from the flu bug and now Rachel seems to be getting a cold. She went out in a motor boat with her father and my brother and his son and a wave came washing over the top of them, so she got very chilled from the wind and being wet. Not too good when she was still kind of recovering from the flu! I hope she doesn't get too sick.
The end of the year and the beginning of a New Year are always hectic for me with taxes and inventory, etc. at my work. This year, I don't have to do inventory because I am not there! Yippee! I have already completed all my quarterly reports and taxes, so now I can just enjoy a more normal activity level until the next quarter ends.
We have so many lovely flowers blooming! Impatiens, azaleas, roses, and camellias. We also have many flowers that I don't even know what they are! They are so gorgeous and we have lots of jasmine covering our archways and along the fence line. It will be gorgeous in the spring! Today, I saw a stinky fungus that looks like a reddish tongue! A landscaper told us about them but I can't remember what he called them. They smell awful. Needless to say, we are making sure the puppies don't get into any fire ant hills or mushrooms, fungus, etc.
We love it here! I almost dread our trip back west in March, but I will love getting to be with our oldest daughter as she gives birth to her 8th child, a little boy at the end of March. We will stay for a month or more and then head back home to Florida in time for hurricane season and our first HOT summer! I am excited to experience a summer here. The winter has been glorious!
 
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LynnR

Lynn, Benji, Calleigh, Maggie
Oct 13, 2009
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That is so good to hear that you are enjoying your new home and surroundings, Susan. I am so so, so busy this week I can't come on for long, but just wanted to touch base with you. I am glad your are starting to feel better. I hope Rachel gets over her cold quickly. Is she going to teach in Florida???
 
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KippersMa

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Jul 25, 2017
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Hawthorne, Florida
That is so good to hear that you are enjoying your new home and surroundings, Susan. I am so so, so busy this week I can't come on for long, but just wanted to touch base with you. I am glad your are starting to feel better. I hope Rachel gets over her cold quickly. Is she going to teach in Florida???
The warmth and humidity should help Rachel recover quickly. She does plan to teach in Florida, but right now, she is preparing for her audition to University of Florida to pursue her Masters in Piano Performance and then hopes to get her DMA at Florida State University in Tallahassee in Pedagogy. Meanwhile, we are loving the opportunity to hear her practice such lovely music!!! Thank you for asking.
 

grandmatoall

Bobbi, Sandy and Roxy.
Aug 30, 2008
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Wow! It sounds beautiful there. Temps in the 70's would be lovely.. It isn't very bad here. The temps are in the low 40's most of the time. As long as the wind isn't blowing, I don't bother with a coat. It hit 48* today but that was a one day deal. There is a bad storm coming that may have snow. It does have lots of rain.

I survived the flu. It was a very mild case and I was super sick. But, things are looking up. I am sorry you guys had it too. I sure hope Rachel doesn't have a relapse.

I would love to go out on the ocean for a short trip. But I would not like being soaked in sea water. Hug her for me.

I know that your neighbors will love you. You are wonderful people.
 
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KippersMa

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Jul 25, 2017
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Hawthorne, Florida
You are so kind, Bobbi, to say that about us. Everyone here has been super friendly and kind. We are amazed at the true "Southern hospitality!" They keep telling us that not everyone is so kind, but we haven't met anyone who has been nasty, yet! Since my husband is a Viet Nam veteran, most places here give us discounts. In Washington, you could forget any benefits. It seems that thankfulness for our military past or present is forgotten in the area we just left. Not that we feel we should be treated in a special way...it is just a nice surprise!
I have a vet appointment for JinJu and Kipper on Friday. They both had been scheduled for dentals before we left, but we had to leave before they happened. I hope the vet is as good as the one we left. The clinic has excellent reviews.
 

grandmatoall

Bobbi, Sandy and Roxy.
Aug 30, 2008
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Prayers for a great dental for JinJu and Kipper on Friday. I also hope you have found the perfect vet. Discounts for military retirees are always nice. Good for you.
 
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Candy

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Glad you enjoying your new home, sounds so nice. Took Maggie to Vet yesterday to get her adult 3yr Rabbi shot and get caught up on shots. We saw 2 discoloring teeth but not bad enough to clean them yet. Have to take her back to gather 2nd dose as she did'n want her to have full does of meds. She also has to be tested for Heart Worm since she was from Texas as she lived for 3 month without.Heart Worms are not very common here
 

KippersMa

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Jul 25, 2017
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Hawthorne, Florida
We sure I’ve heartworms here! It is required to have heartworm tests every year, so JinJu and Kipper both had that done along with their bloodwork in preparation for their dentals. Kipper also had his rabies and Lepto vaccine and she will do his parvovirus and distemper in three weeks, as she does not like overloading the little guys with so many vaccines at once. I really like her and she spent over an hour with us, making me feel very comfortable. She even made JinJu a rabies tag since in our area, the tags are not recognized as proof of vaccination. I will be taking Mozart and Lily in next, as it is time for Mozart to get his boosters.
 
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KippersMa

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Jul 25, 2017
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Hawthorne, Florida
Well, I love our new vet! She says that Kipper does NOT have a heart murmur and that our cat does NOT have the condition in his mouth that dissolves teeth, so he doesn't need to have them removed. She also said that Revolution is coming out with a new product that is more effective against ticks and fleas. Hooray! It will be released in February. It is the only kind of flea/tick/heartworm medication that JinJu and Mozart can take because they are both well under 5 pounds.
Both Kipper and JinJu did well after their lepto vaccine. I wish they didn't have to have that, but with all the wildlife around here, we didn't want to take any chances! Yesterday, Mozart and Lily were seen. Lily is doing well and I finally got her weight under control. She is 6 pounds and Mozart was 4 pounds. Mozart has a broken tooth, so he will need a dental along with Kipper. We can't imagine how his tooth got broken unless it was from some of the dental chews I had been giving them. Poor little man!
So far, all the dogs have tested negative for heartworm, too. That isn't much of a surprise, since we came from an area that doesn't have them. They sure do down here, so we have to be super vigilant about giving them their medication once a month!
Omari and Nabi are seeing Dr. Jenna on Friday for their heartworm tests and checks. Then, we will be all set for flea/tick/heartworm prescriptions for the next year. Whew! Talk about expensive! It is about comparable to what we paid back in Washington, even with the Senior Citizen discount.
JinJu has been super playful and has been running around with toys as big as she is! It is so adorable. She is really feeling good and I am so happy about that. Everyone eats well here, unlike the struggle I had in our last home. I can't figure out what is different. We kept the house nice and warm in Washington, so I can't say it is the weather. Maybe it is due to us feeling less stress here and they can sense that and it makes them happier to eat?
Everyone should give us updates on how their babies are doing! I love to hear about them and never get tired of thinking about our wonderful little ones who bring so much happiness into our lives.
 

Candy

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Glad all your babies had a good checkup and you like your Vet. Weather wise we been pretty lucky so far but don't want to say it too loud as i seen it be nasty in March...
Maggie had her checkup , she had her adult Rabbi and leapt and Kennel cough,Dappa...she has to go back for the rest.She had a bit of Tarter on a couple of teeth so dental in the future. She has to go back in 2 weeks to get her 2nd dose and she has to be tested for Heartworm as she lived still in Texas for 3 mo.without protection so my vet wants to make sure. Not sure if i am going to give her Heartworm meds as it is not common here and in the Winter my other two never got flea meds..just to give them a break and me lol they where on Nexguard.

Do you guys have Pet Insurance ? Is it worth it ? And how much do you pay ?
 
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KippersMa

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Jul 25, 2017
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Hawthorne, Florida
Glad all your babies had a good checkup and you like your Vet. Weather wise we been pretty lucky so far but don't want to say it too loud as i seen it be nasty in March...
Maggie had her checkup , she had her adult Rabbi and leapt and Kennel cough,Dappa...she has to go back for the rest.She had a bit of Tarter on a couple of teeth so dental in the future. She has to go back in 2 weeks to get her 2nd dose and she has to be tested for Heartworm as she lived still in Texas for 3 mo.without protection so my vet wants to make sure. Not sure if i am going to give her Heartworm meds as it is not common here and in the Winter my other two never got flea meds..just to give them a break and me lol they where on Nexguard.

Do you guys have Pet Insurance ? Is it worth it ? And how much do you pay ?
No, we do not have pet insurance. We prefer to set aside the money we think we will need for our babies' care and then just pay as we go. It would NOT be worth having pet insurance because we own so many dogs. I do understand that if something very traumatic or awful happened, it would help with those expenses, but this is a personal choice to just pay as we go.
Nexguard is one of the other flea/tick control meds that my new vet wanted my babies on here, but with JinJu and Mozart being so tiny, they have to stay with Revolution. She is hoping the new Revolution Plus will be appropriate for our tiny ones, as well to do a better job on the fleas and ticks. It comes out in February, so we shall see!
 

grandmatoall

Bobbi, Sandy and Roxy.
Aug 30, 2008
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I was wondering if there would be things to worry about since moving to Florida. There isn't a deep freeze to kill off most bugs, like there is in Washington. And you now have heart worm to prevent. You have really lucked out with your nice new vet. Good for you. She seems to be right on top of health care for your babies.
 

KippersMa

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Jul 25, 2017
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Hawthorne, Florida
It is true that the weather is so pleasant all the time here, that it doesn't kill off the pesty bugs. We have discovered amazing critters here!! We found a rat snake trying to get to our two little chicks (future tick patrol!!) and a Florida worm lizard (white, with two tiny legs in front that looks like a worm!), tons of anoles and other small lizards. We also have Sandhill cranes that have a lovely call and a whole family of redheaded woodpeckers that have a call that is quite delightful. Red cardinals, red buntings, white egrets, both small and large. Lots and lots of deer. The list could go on and on. We do NOT have any alligators where we are (or I wouldn't have agreed to move here, believe me!) Ha ha! We already have peas and kale planted and the cucumbers are doing well in the greenhouse. Our oranges are ripe on the trees and our pomegranate tree is in full bloom!! Oh my, it is so lovely here!!!
 

Candy

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Sounds really nice Susan, i really could go for the Pomegranate and Orange Trees, yummy... minus the little creatures haha. And i don't even wanna think about Gardening yet with my bad shoulder but fresh veggies sure sound good though.
 
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KippersMa

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Jul 25, 2017
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Hawthorne, Florida
Our earlier adventure took us to the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine! Mozart went crazy over the peafowl on the grounds, but they seemed unconcerned with him. There were pure white ones, as well as the usual blues. The Fountain of Youth welcomes pets on a leash and we saw plenty of other loved pets enjoying the day with their humans. They even had a "Fountain of Paws," where the dogs could drink water, but I didn't let any of mine drink out of the communal bowl. The last time I did that was a couple of years ago when we went to the Puppalooza in our area and they all caught kennel cough!
The weather was extremely windy and Rachel just about froze. I ended up giving her my sweater to wear on top of hers, because it was my fault no one brought coats. Because St. Augustine is near the Atlantic Ocean, the wind can be quite chilly we discovered! We explored models of huts the original peoples built and were told that the design of these grass huts was such that they could endure hurricanes! Amazing! We watched a blacksmith make chain links and another fellow demonstrated how to load and shoot a cannon. Kipper didn't mind the explosion, but the others sure did--even though we covered their ears. It was very loud! They also demonstrated the crossbow and how useful it was rather than a musket because it was quiet. If you missed your shot, you might get another one, whereas the boom from the musket would scare off the deer or other prey before you could load it again. The puppies loved being with us and we were happy that the day was cool enough to safely have them with us. They all slept well that night, for sure!
Yesterday, we left the puppies home and explored the old town St. Augustine. There are so many shops and stories that go along with the old buildings, it is impossible to see it all in one day. We explored the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest (350 years old) and largest masonry fort in the continental United States. What a beautiful sight from the very top, along the walls of this fort. It is made from cochina shells and this is intriguing because they discovered that cannon balls would just bounce off the walls when they used this instead of plain bricks. When we were on top of the walls, we noticed a large oven down below. We were sure that was for baking their bread, but we found out is was for heating up the cannon balls so that they would catch the wooden vessels on fire when they hit! (during the Civil War). They soon gave up on that because the vessels started being iron clad, so the cannon balls couldn't hurt them.
We have been exploring our near vicinity for trails and fun places to take walks or ride bikes. I can't wait to get back to Washington to bring our bike trailer and RV down here. Then we will have lots of fun camping and playing on the beach!
 
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LynnR

Lynn, Benji, Calleigh, Maggie
Oct 13, 2009
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Sounds like lots of fun Susan. You sure are experiencing a lot in Florida. Here in the Rocky Mountains we finally are being hit by winter. The whole month of January we hardly had any cold weather or snow - now we've been getting both since last Tuesday, just when everyone is dreaming of Spring. The dogs, Benji, Calleigh, Maggie and Zoe love the snow - but I don't - just want it gone.
 
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grandmatoall

Bobbi, Sandy and Roxy.
Aug 30, 2008
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Idaho
I am glad you and the babies had such a wonderful day of exploring. And happy you were able to take them with you. I'll bet everyone wanted to pet them. My babies would not have done well with the cannon firing either. You have such interesting journies. I love hearing about them.

Is Rachel starting school soon? How does she love your beautiful weather? Is her puppy enjoying the change in climate, also?