Saturday, July 17, 2010

It's Been a Hell of a Few Weeks (and Not in a Good Way)

birthday balloon

"Happy Birthday," said the doctor as he stood next to my hospital bed looking over my chart.

"Thanks."

"Next year you
really
need to do something a lot better than this for your birthday."

"No shit."
Let me back up a little.

Joe had been out of town for a few weeks (since before Annette's death) and was supposed to come home on July 1st, but his return was delayed by three days. On Sunday, July 4th, after discovering that two of our three little chicks had been eaten by something during the night, I made the 400-mile round trip drive to the airport to pick him up. We arrived back at the farm after midnight and finally got to bed about 3am.

Sometime Monday morning, what we now know was a black widow spider bit Joe while he was asleep. Twice.

On Tuesday morning, we drove 60 miles to the dentist's office where I had my teeth cleaned and Joe had a bunch of his pulled out. The teeth pulling had been planned, but it probably wasn't such a great idea to have it done so soon after the spider bites. (The poor guy put up all that hay last month while on extremely nasty antibiotics for an infection because the hay was ready to cut, and Mother Nature doesn't care about excuses.)

By Wednesday afternoon, Joe's entire body was covered with a rash from the bites, and I decided I would take him to the clinic on Thursday to get checked out.

On Wednesday evening, I found my 13½ year old, sweet beagle Robin sleeping in a patch of daylilies in the front yard, covered with blowflies—the ones you usually only see on dead things. When I tried to get her to stand up, she toppled over.

I carried her into the shack, set her on a towel on the living room floor, and fed her as many little pieces of homegrown beef salami as she wanted. Then I sat on the floor with her in my arms, holding her as tightly as I could and telling her over and over how wonderful she was and how much I loved her. By this time poor Joe was already in bed.

About 9:30pm, Robin had perked up and wanted to go out. She prefers to be outdoors, except during winter when she spends 18 hours a day snoring in a cat bed next to the living room woodstove.

We slowly circled the farmyard together as she did a condensed version of her route, sniffing, smiling, and investigating. Those of you who have been lucky enough to spend time around a beagle will know what I'm talking about. When Robin was younger, her daily route was several miles long.

Just before going back into the shack, where I planned to curl up on the daybed with Robin for what I was pretty sure would be her last night, we stood next to the big water dish in the front yard while I waited to see if she wanted a drink.

copperhead 1

Then a poisonous copperhead snake bit me on the ankle. Twice.

Joe made the 40-mile drive to the hospital in record time (because of our remote location, it was actually the fastest way to get me there), and after checking me out in the emergency room and puking my guts out, they started the first of six anti-venom treatments (at $3,500 apiece).

copperhead 2

I spent the next four days drifting in and out of sleep in the Intensive Care Unit, hooked up to machines, covered with my very softest vintage beacon blanket, my foot propped up in the air on a precarious pile of pillows and blankets, an oxygen tube in my nose, my hand on a little clicker thing that administered morphine for the pain, up to every 10 minutes if needed.

copperhead 3

Every few hours a nurse measured the swelling on my foot, ankle, knee, and thigh with a paper tape. We watched in amazement as the pain and swelling and redness worked its way up my leg so the poison could flush itself out through my lymph system. My swollen foot was a greyish blue, and one doctor asked if my calf was all yellow because some sort of treatment had been brushed on it.

copperhead 4

Friday was my birthday. Two giant slabs of chocolate cake, one of which said 'Happy Birthday' across the top in pale purple frosting, arrived on my breakfast tray, and I was told there was plenty more where that came from. The hospital administrator presented me with me an extra little container of vanilla ice cream when he brought in some of the staff to sing 'Happy Birthday.'

copperhead 5

Joe brought me a flowered balloon and one of those neat little personal DVD players, and we scrunched up together on my hospital bed and watched movies and ate goldfish crackers during his daily afternoon visits. In the evenings I set the player next to my head and listened to Mozart's violin concertos on a continuous loop.

One of the best things about living in the midwest is that the people are very nice, and the hospital staff couldn't have been kinder. They also truly believe in the curative power of hot biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast, and were perfectly willing to grant my pencilled-in requests on each day's menu card for extra brown gravy with my mashed potatoes. I did not lose any weight while in the hospital.

copperhead 6

While I was there, I heard myself referred to as 'the snake bite,' 'the snake bite lady,' and 'the infamous snakebite patient.' Nurses who had never seen a snakebite victim gathered around my leg and told me snake stories. Not one included a bite.

copperhead 7

Copperhead snakes are common in this area, and I've probably seen several dozen of them since moving here. Years ago, we were fixing fence out in the sand field when Robin alerted us to a whole nest of little ones writhing in the grass not far from where we were working. Usually they won't bother you. Some don't even mind having their picture taken, as you can see from these photos I took of the treat room door on the old sheep barn last September. Fortunately I saw it before reaching for the latch. Snakes really are extraordinary creatures.

It was a fairly small copperhead that bit me, and I've since learned that their bites are often the worst; something about their being quick to bite and being too young to know when to stop with the venom. The ER doctor said it looked like I got a fairly big dose. Fortunately copperhead bites to humans are almost never fatal. The question people asked me most was whether we killed the snake. No. We were focused on other things—like panicking.

On Sunday I was moved out of the ICU, and on Tuesday morning my doctor said I could go home. I now have a walker and a handful of prescriptions, two of which are to countereffect the effects of the heavy duty pain meds. (Some of you reading this will know how tempted I was to toss the whole lot out the truck window during the ride home.) My arms are bruised from the four IV ports and all the places where blood samples were taken, and are still covered with creepy looking grey residue from the cement-like hospital tape that doesn't want to wash off.

I can't really do anything yet, and it looks like I'll be down for a while. Thankfully there were no complications with my kidneys, circulation, etc. My foot and leg are still really sore despite the pain meds, and I need to keep my leg elevated most of the time or it starts to swell back up. I've spent the last few days clomping around with my walker between the bed, the daybed, and my computer desk, where I sit and work for short periods before my leg and my brain start to protest. At night I pee in a five-gallon bucket next to the bed because it's too painful to make it all the way to the bathroom.

I take a lot of naps. I eat a lot of Oreos. I reread favorite books I practically already know by heart. I do a lot of thinking. I ache all over from suddenly becoming sedentary. One doctor told me I would be in tremendous pain for several months, but I decided not to believe him. I didn't ask anyone else for a prognosis. Everything is topsy turvy, and I'm just taking life one hour at a time.

Meanwhile, my hunky farmguy deserves a medal. He's been taking care of everything around here, including me, while feeling like crap himself and still barely able to chew. He even empties my pee bucket. He lived on ice cream and hardly slept during the week I was in the hospital. My snake doctor gave him a free spider bite consult (which is how we learned it was a black widow and not a brown recluse, as we had suspected, that bit him), and the full body rash, which is apparently a normal reaction to the bites, is just about gone.

Smiling Robin in the Grass

Robin died while I was in the hospital. Joe found her curled up in one of her nests in the haybarn, as if she were simply asleep. He buried her in the garden next to our beloved farm boss Patchy Cat, whose recent death (along with Whiskers') I hadn't gotten around to telling you about. I know some of you are (do I now say were?) big fans of Robin, and I'll probably post a few more of my favorite photos from my personal files in memory of her soon. In the meantime, you can get to know her better here. Warning: that smile is contagious.

The morning I was discharged from the hospital, one of the nurses asked if I'd like help taking a shower, and I told her I would just wait until I got home. "There's no place like home," she said, and boy was she right. I missed mine something fierce.

Smiling Robin Wagging that Helicopter Tail

This whole ordeal has been surreal. In time my leg will heal, but the farm and my beagle loving heart will never be quite the same. Robin had just about the best life any dog could ever hope for, and while her death was not entirely unexpected, I still can't stop the tears. And I sure do miss that smile.

219 comments:

  1. I am so sorry for your loss of Robin, and for your horrible ordeal. May your heart and body mend soon.

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  2. Oh Farmgirl Susan. I have been a reader for a long time -- several years-- and I am so very sorry to hear about Robin. She was a good girl. You have my hopes for a speedy recovery on all fronts.

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  3. Oh Susan! I knew all of this already, yet reading it has me shaking my head, and sniffling at Robin.

    You take all the time you need to rest and heal, we'll be here.

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  4. Oh Farmgirl, my tears are flowing too. I'm so so sorry you lost your friend Robin. As my sister says, "It's the circle of life but the hole left in the middle sucks." I think I'm gonna go lock up my animals and kiss everyone an extra time tonight. We never know when it will be the last. I hope you're up and around soon. Sniff. I haven't cried over our loss for almost 1.5 yrs. I just can't stop. Sorry.

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  5. So sorry about Robin. Grateful that you are safe an on the mend. (Joe, too.) I read the story aloud to my husband and we just sat here speechless and trying to absorb the whole story.

    We wish you a belated birthday, and even though we have never met in person, we wish you a very speedy recovery.

    Robin was a sweetie. I once had a beagle who lived to be 14, and I know they are loving and devoted dogs. You gave her a wonderful beagle life.

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  6. Wow this is quite a story. I'm sorry to hear about your pain and loss.

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  7. Longtime lurker sends hugs and healing thoughts from Canada. Thank you for sharing the story of these weeks.

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  8. Oh Susan, I am so sorry for your week and your experience. I was so close to being bitten by a Water Moccasin several years ago, but was saved by one of my cats.

    We just lost one of our beloved dogs a couple of months ago, and I still look for him at times, so I feel your pain in Robin's absence.

    Interestingly enough, one of our other dogs, Foster, just got bitten by a copperhead a week ago too. Our vet promised that a dog processes copperhead venom much much better than people do, and after reading your story, he was way right. Not to make you jealous of his doggy venom processing abilities....but here is a little blurb about his run in with the copperhead:
    http://araratacres.blogspot.com/2010/07/two-nights-not-for-faint-of-heart.html . I do hope you will recover quickly, and know that if we were neighbors, I'd be over there helping you. Blessings, Liz in Texas

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  9. I'm so sorry on all counts. I hope you heal well and thinking all good thoughts for you.

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  10. Wow. I'm in tears reading your story. So sorry for all that you've been through. My dog Moose is in ICU at Tufts animal hospital at the moment with a bacterial infection in his heart, so my emotions were really at the surface when I was reading about Robin, sobbing like a baby. I have been in tears all week, the worry and anxiety is eating away at me. I'm sorry so for your loss.

    Hope that you are back to your old self soon. Tell hubby I said he's a keeper for sure. Wishing you all the best. You will be in my thoughts. Lisa

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  11. What an extraordinary string of events; and you're still finding your humor, amazing! I'm so sorry about your beloved Beagle. Take care of yourselves and each other and both of you will heal, in time.

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  12. I am at a total loss on what really to say. I am glad you guys are alright, I am sorry for the loss and pain and just back to back crapola fest. Sending lots of prayers and good energy your way!

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  13. I actually cried because of the death of Robin. I have lost several pet dogs and one looked like her. I feel so badly for you and your hubby. You really need someone to stay with you so Joe can get some rest and you can mend. Actually, sounds as if you both need a break. I am glad that you posted because even though you had a horrible ordeal, it appears that the two of you will survive!

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  14. Oh, my heart just goes out to you so much (I don't know if it's possible to send out more heart, but if it is, I am doing it)! This is the saddest series of events. Heal well.

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  15. Wow. So sorry for your loss on top of all that trouble. Never a dull moment, eh?

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  16. JEEZ!!!!!

    wow!!!

    spider bites, snake bites!!!

    hope that doctor is wrong, hope your legs heals faster :)

    and so sorry to hear about your dog. hugs to you. sad it will be for some time. hugs hugs hugs.

    and again, hope you heal faster than they say.

    meanwhile, take heart. you KNOW YOU ARE LOVED when someone empties your pee bucket!

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  17. - I'm crying for you and the dog and poor Joe having to deal with you and Robin. I always fear being out of working order - our lives pretty much depend on me being able to do outside things - I cannot imagine you having to stay inside so much and dealing with pain. Dang Susan - is Joe OK now? bless you -

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  18. My god... I don't even know where to start. With Robin, I guess. Animals take a huge piece of your heart when they leave, but it's worth it, altho at the time, it's unbelievably painful. I'm glad she lived her life with you.

    Take care of yourself.

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  19. Mercy. I'm so sorry for your losses, and am in awe of your strength. Keeping you all in my thoughts!

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  20. Oh my God, When things go wrong in your parts it's a deluge.Will be praying for recovering of body,heart and hubby too.He really is a great find.

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  21. Oh, Susan, this is all so sad. Take care of yourself; if the healing is slow, let it be slow and complete.

    I wish I could hug you for Robin. At least you knew your little sweetie was near the end - not that it's any easier that way.

    Really. Take care.

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  22. Susan, I'm so sorry that you guys have had it so rough. My prayers are with ya'll. I'm in tears over Robin. They sure do have us by the heart strings. I'm an ICU nurse. Don't listen to that Dr that said it would take months. You just show him a thing or two. Take care and mend quickly. Much Love and Prayers.

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  23. I've been a longtime reader...but never commented until now. I'm so, so sorry about losing Robin. Reading this brought me to tears. Her smile is so beautiful. She will be missed.

    Hope your path to recovery is smooth and you begin to feel better shortly.

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  24. Geez. I'm sending good thoughts and prayers your way.

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  25. I'm so sorry for your loss. My little Beagle is 8 years old and I DREAD the day that she's not here with me. Robin was a wonderful companion and friend. Feel lucky that you had the experience of Beagle Love.
    I've been an avid reader of your blog for sometime. When you didn't post for a few days, I just knew something terrible had happened.
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful life with all of us. Here's to a fast and complete recovery.

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  26. Wow. Just Wow. And to borrow your words, not in a good way. I am so, so sorry. You have been through far too much recently. I won't belittle it with platitudes, I'll just say that you and your family are in my prayers.

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  27. Oh yeah? Well, I've had to entertain three children under the age of 8yrs for the last 19 days ... in a row. LOL ... hoping you have not lost your sense of humour thru your whole ordeal. I think that I have finally learned why I cannot be a farmer's wife - or a farmer - even though I did always want to be one. First ... I do love animals/pets so much that having to say good-bye all the time would literally kill me. And secondly, I truly hate snakes. A lot. Please take care of yourself and your "flock" of many beings/friends. It's okay if Joe drives to the nearest town to pick up a pizza or cooks something from the frozen food section. If I lived nearby, I would bring you something very delicious and very homemade ... but, I don't live nearby so please accept (only) my wishes for a speedy recovery of your leg and your heart.

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  28. Farmgirl,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your rough times. I know Robin was very special to you, not to mention the pain you and Joe suffered from the local wildlife! I hope you and Joe heal soon, and I choose not to believe that doctor either!

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  29. Oh my, Susan - that is more than anyone should have to endure in a one week period! I am very sorry about Robin, she was an absolute doll and a lucky dog to have lived the best possible beagle life with you on the farm. So sorry you are suffering and I wish you the speediest of recoveries! Thanks for sharing your story - painful though it must be. Sending you lots of love and positive thoughts from San Diego!!!

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  30. Good thoughts from here in Oregon for you and your husband. Hope there are a few tears of joy there, for all the wonderful times you had with your friend Robin.

    (And, from a wound nurse-turned-farmer - try your best to keep that leg elevated!)

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  31. Wow, what a tough time. I'm sorry for your troubles.

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  32. another long time lurker and my heart goes out to you. what a time you had!

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  33. Oh Susan, my heart goes out to you for the loss of your sweet Robin. She was such a good, faithful and loving doggie. You are strong and your body will mend if you take care of yourself and get your rest, but I know it's your heart that hurts the most right now. Your hunky farmguy is a blessing and apparently a very strong person too. My tears flow with yours. Be gentle with yourself.

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  34. I hope ya start feeling better soon. What a pile of unfortunate events. I can surely understand how much you must miss your dog. I gave mine a kiss on the nose, just the thought of losing him, no matter how expected is rough. God Bless!

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  35. Oh my goodness..I'm so glad you are okay. What a month. I'm so sorry about Robin. I sit here with tears knowing how you miss her. Glad your husband is okay too.

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  36. Heaps of Prayers and Blessings on you. Certainly you and Joe deserve them. And Peace for Robin.
    One of my Daughters had to have her longtime Pal, an 11 year-old Australian Shepherd, put down yesterday.
    A July none of us will soon forget.
    And the tears are still flowing for all.

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  37. I can hardly write through the tears, I am so sorry for your loss and the terrible ordeal you have both been through. I hope that you all heal eventually, your bodies and your hearts.

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  38. Hi Susan,

    I've never posted a comment here, but I've been reading your blog for a while. Your post touched me deeply. I'm really sorry for the loss of your puppy and the hellish few weeks you've been through- you're an amazing person and I hope you recover soon. I'm based in Australia but am currently traveling, but I'd love to send you a get well package if you'd like. Either way, know that there are random people across the oceans rooting for you and wishing you a swift recovery.

    Big hugs,

    Lilly.

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  39. so sorry about all this. i hope time will heal your bodies and your pain for the loss of robin. i hope things turn around soon!

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  40. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I don't even know how many times I teared up reading your story. And all the snake and spider bites...good grief.

    I always say that when things like this happen, it's for a reason. We thought we had our summer of projects on our farm figured out...then had a huge car accident that landed us all in the hospital for a few days. I was totally out of commission for about a month with a broken arm & 8 broken ribs. Just finally getting back to normal. But all that brought our family closer together and totally refocused our goals for the future.

    Just take care of yourself and heal. Your health is all that matters right now.

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  41. I enjoy reading your blog. So sorry to hear about all you troubles.Thank heavens here in Washington we don't have snakes like that . They have rattlesnakes in Eastern Washington but I am in Western Washington. Take care and hope you are up and about soon

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  42. Oh Susan, that's awful! I'm so sorry to hear about Robin, and I sure hope your next birthday is way, way, WAY better! I'm really scared of both spiders and snakes so I cringed all the way through, and am now sitting with my feet curled up far from the floor. In Sweden. :) Big hugs to you!

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  43. Susan, I'm so sorry... it breaks my heart to think of Robin being gone, but I'm so glad you and Joe are both okay after such horrible physical ordeals! I was afraid something was wrong when you hadn't posted in a while- I just didn't think about anything like this.
    Hugs to you.....

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  44. Wow Susan, what a horrible ordeal you've been through!! I'm so sorry about your losing Robin, Patchy and Whiskers. With all the bad you've been dealt, it's time for something good to happen! You're so right about Robin's smile, it's so contageous... I was tearing up as I read your post, but when I came to the last picture of Robin, it put a grin on my face!!

    Sending positive energy your way...

    Heal fast!!

    Bruno

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  45. Susan, so sorry for your loss and an incredibly rough (huge understatement) week. I hope your healing (in every way) happens swiftly.

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  46. Wow. Sometimes when it rains, I guess you get a hurricane. Take care of yourself. We're sending much love your way from NC.

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  47. Holy Cow Andy!!! I am so sorry for your loss of Robin and of Patchy Cat too. Glad that you and your farm dude are both on the mend. I got the heebee jeebeeies just reading about the snake let alone the spider.

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  48. Oh Boy! If I was close by and could help you would be there in a second. (I know you don't know me, but all of us know you). Crying for you guys for your loss and your time laid up. Hope you are mending each day. We probably all have shed a tear and all of us remember our beloved animals. Candy

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  49. I'm so sorry for all your heartaches and pain, for both you and Joe. My word, that is just too much all in such a short time! If we lived closer, I'd come and help you guys out. I will keep you and Joe in my thoughts and prayers.

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  50. anita kaiser7/18/2010 7:31 AM

    Wowzah! That sounds crazy! What a week! I'm so sorry to hear about all of it! Healing energy to you for faster than expected recoveries for both you and the hubby!

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  51. What's that saying? It never rains, it pours.

    Very sorry to hear about Robin (she always looked like such a sweetie), and happy to hear you're on the mend.

    We often forget that living on a farm isn't as idyllic as it might seem from your lovely photos and stories. From the sounds of things it can be pretty scary - and painful.

    Good thoughts to you and everyone there.

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  52. I hope you and Joe get well soon. You guys are an inspiration to us all. Take care of yourselves and one another.

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  53. Oh Susan! I am so sorry about the loss of Robin. My heart breaks for you. I hope you recover quickly from your snake bite. Keep eating those Oreos. My Mom always told me that Oreos cure everything.

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  54. Oh my! So much trauma! So sorry about Robin and Patchy Cat!!!! You and Joe are real troopers! Wishing you a speedy recovery and much solace in this extraordinarily difficult time. Hugs!!

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  55. Susan, I don't quite know what to say! As far as I'm concerned you deserve smooth sailing from here on because all the bad things have happened at once for you and your farm family. I hope your recovery moves along more quickly than expected. Despite all the bad things that have happened, I know you have many blessings in your life, particularly a good man to look after you. Hope both of you can get some much needed rest although I know on a farm that's a hard thing to do. Take care of yourselves!

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  56. I am crying over your loss of Robin. I know how it hurts to loss those great dogs that enter our lives!
    You will be in my prayers.

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  57. OH MY!! I thought something was a miss but this....???!!! now way!
    Glad to hear(read) that you and Joe are on the road to recovery!! What a way to spend your birthday!
    Sorry about Robin and Patchy. They were well loved!!
    Stay on the road to recovery and I be here when you next blog.
    ((((hugs))))

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  58. I don't always get to read your blog but when I read this, this morning, I just cried and cried and cried. My family went through a similar time in 1966 so I totally relate. It's strange how things can come in bunches. I appreciate your brutal honesty in your writing. That takes guts. Take care, get well, etc.

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  59. Susan,
    Beth told me about the snake bite, and I glad you're on the mend. I'm really sorry to learn about Robin.

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  60. sniff, sniff. that's all.

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  61. I'm so sorry to hear about your dear beagle, along with you and your hubby's ordeals.
    My thoughts and well-wishes are with both of you!

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  62. My heart goes out to you. I think I had a few tears to, while reading this post. I'm so sorry for your loss. I also hope that your body heals quickly.

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  63. So sad to hear of your losses...It has been some adventure...but life seems to be that way. As a fellow farmgal...I feel your pain...lost a fav sheep earlier this year ...she was trying to deliver a lamb..I wasn't there and found her later...I could see she had a difficult death....recently lost a dog of 16 years, cats, etc. the farm life or any life when we get attached to 2 or 4 legged critters brings such joy! delight! but alas the circle of life ends and our beloved critters, friends, family slip away leaving smiles, memories and love that make it all joy...hang in there farmgal..you would not be where you are on those remote 240 acres IF you didn't have the stuff to get you through it....you are in my thoughts and prayers...they do help!

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  64. Wow! I thought that life had simply got in the way when I didn't see any updates from you! I am SO sorry and SO glad that you are ok!
    My condolences on your losses; there is nothing quite like loosing a pet.
    I'll pray for a speedy recovery.

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  65. What a terrible week! I'm sorry for your losses and injuries. Get well soon!

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  66. Susan, I am so sorry to hear about everything that has happened recently. My heart goes out to you and Joe and your smiley Robin.

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  67. I am so sorry for your loss of your beloved furry friends. And poor J2 - he's lost another BFF!

    may

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  68. Writing this through tears. I am so sorry for your loss. It leaves a hole in the heart even while smiling at the memories.

    Hope you have a pile of cats keeping you company and speeding your recovery. And please tell Joe he's one of the good guys.

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  69. I'm so very sorry to read this....I've been reading your blog off and on for the last year, and it has given me hours of delight, sadness, and education. Happy belated b-day wishes, I hope that both you and yours feel very much better soon, and that Robin is having a big juicy bone somewhere.

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  70. What a lousy sequence of events. Anybody less able and strong would be putting a for sale sign on the front gate. I admire your courage and perseverance. Best wishes for a speedy recovery, tell Joe we think he's a keeper, and heartfelt condolences on the loss of Robin and Patchy Cat. It won't be the same without them.

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  71. I'm so sorry for your losses and the terrible ordeal you and your husband have been through.

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  72. My heart goes out to you!!! Robin is/was such a cool dog, so happy!!! My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family!

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  73. Wow. What a story. What a strange time.
    Very sorry to hear about your beloved dog. And happy belated birthday--hope you can re-celebrate it at home when you feel a bit better. hope you have a speedy recovery.

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  74. OH,...add my prayers and good thoughts to you with all the others to you. My heart breaks for you in your loss and trials. I hope full recoveries for you both...I wish I was a neighbor to be able to help you both... Robin's smile was wonderful to behold. My Sundance smiled like that as well. I lost her in 07,..still miss her.
    Take it easy,
    Val

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  75. So very sorry to hear about...well, EVERYTHING! I've lost dogs and a horse in past years. It was always awful & tearful and a painful loss. My heart goes out to you!! I shed tears of sympathy while reading your post. I hope you mend quickly from the bite and I'm sure you will. Healing is all about mind over matter and sounds like you're doing just that. I sincerely hope things get better for you soon!!

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  76. oh my gosh bless you, what a time you have had, how scary about the snake (sometimes i am glad to live in the UK lol) you must have been in a lot of pain, i wish you all the best in your recovery. so sorry to read about Robyn I hope with time you can just have fond memories that comfort you when you miss her most.

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  77. Oh and Happy Belated Birthday!

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  78. Wow, what a rough month. I'm so sorry about the pets. It's been 3 years since my beloved cat died but I remember how difficult it was. We're just now considering getting a new cat (but have added 2 kids in that time). I hope the snake bite wounds heal soon too.

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  79. wow.

    *sniff*

    robin was the bestest bloggy dog. i'll miss her too.

    hang in there, and watch where you put yer feets!

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  80. Please add my condolences to the rest. I'm so sorry for your loss - and for all you've been through in the last few weeks. Wishing you and Joe speedy recoveries.

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  81. I'm so sorry to hear about Robin, I always enjoyed seeing pictures of her. I hope your recover quickly and completely!

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  82. Although I have been reading your blog for several years now I have never posted a comment before. However, I can't but respond to this post. I am very sorry for your loss, Susan, and my heart goes out to you.

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  83. Susan - So sorry to hear about your losses. What a horrible July.

    I agree with your doctor, next b-day you need to do something different. :-)

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  84. Holy cow! I'm so sorry to hear about Robin, she was quite a dog. You all have been through so much and I hope you are on the mend soon. Hugs to you.

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  85. What a horrendous string of events you have endured! Any one of these would put a kink in your life but all of them together must have the two of you spinning. Could you maybe barter for someone to come help you on the farm while you and your hubbie are recuperating? It would do you both a lot of good to rest and de-stress a little to get your health back.

    Take care of each other!

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  86. Oh my gosh, Susan! I had tears in my eyes half way down your post. It just kept getting worse and by the time I was near the bottom, I had more tears in my eyes and was afraid what might come next.

    I am so sorry for your ordeal, all of your ordeals, but glad you and the garden hubby are on the mend. I am so sorry for your loss of Robin, too, I know that hurt the most. Sending you hugs and sweet thoughts for your healing.

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  87. my gosh, words don't begin to convey my sorrow from reading about everything you have been through. i am so, so sorry. i definitely hope brighter days are ahead and that you and Joe mend up better than ever. hugs for Robin.

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  88. Hi Susan! I,too, am so sorry for all of these things that have happened to you and Joe and especially for the loss of Robin. Hopefully, you know from all of the Comments left to you how many of us love you and you can draw strength from that.

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  89. Oh Susan. I'm not a very weepy gal, but just spent ten minutes in tears. Yep, still going. Is there any chance I could have your mailing address? I feel compelled to DO something. Not that it would change your wounded body or heart, but I would love to send a care package, because I care. It's funny how the internet has created a new sort of relationship - the one-way kind. I feel as though I know you on some level, and you have made my life better. I'll be praying. Zona

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  90. Mercy, Susan.

    PS When you told me about this last week, I had the idea that Joe's black widow bites and teeth extractions were some time ago and that your struggles harkened back to them. Both of you at the same TIME? And Robin too? All this at ONCE?

    Mercy.

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  91. Susan, that is hands-down the worst birthday story I have ever heard.

    Hugs to you and Joe for speedy recoveries, and deepest condolences for the loss of Robin, Patchy Cat, and Whiskers--all at once. So not fair...

    Oh, and "happy" birthday. At least there was cake! :)

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  92. Dear Susan, I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I wish I lived close enough to bring you a homemade meal, and help out with a few chores! For sure you should not have any more bad stuff happen any time soon, as you have gotten so much of it out of the way at once. Get well quickly, girl, and remember we are all rooting for you!

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  93. Happy belated befuddled birthday, Susan, and best wishes for a speedy recovery! For all the heartbreak of losing Robin, Patchy Cat, Whiskers and Annette, there is the heartwarming support of your readers -- we all wish were around the corner to bring a "hot dish" casserole to help out. And you are blessed to have the best Hunky Farm Guy and medical folks taking care of you.

    Right now the most important thing is to take care of yourself, but maybe there is some natural (and safe) predator or method to keep the copperhead population down? When New Cat was bitten, one commenter suggested King Snakes, which sound a little large! Other websites suggest keeping guinea fowl, placing mothballs (except dogs might eat them), garden sulphur or planting marigolds around the snakes' favorite haunts such as stock water tanks and woodpiles. Some people swear by electronic snake repelling gadgets or encouraging nonpoisonous snakes to compete for food. Probably it is just a matter of luck, but anything to improve the odds!

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  94. Susan,
    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. This was one heck of a read. I hope you and your husband feel better soon!!

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  95. Farmgirl, I haven't cried like this since you lost the baby donkey. I had a year like this three years ago and still am astonished I got through it. But I did and you will!!!!! I think I join the whole Farmgirl community in wishing I lived closeby and could bring some wonderful food, homemade bread and help feed some animals and water and weed some vegetables for you.........because I'd be there in a second to try to help you and Joe after all the wonderful posts we have enjoyed here from your blog over the years in the Catskill mountains. Very very best thoughts and prayers from the Catskill mountains, and a big kiss and hug to Robin as she crosses the rainbow bridge-with that big smile on her face. Pulling for you-

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  96. Snohomish Shepherdess7/18/2010 8:03 PM

    Susan, I am so, so sorry for the hell you have been through -It doesn't rain but it pours. I am relatively new to the world of blogging (check me out at shepherdesskitchen.blogspot) but have loved yours since finding it and my heart is with you even though you are more than half way across the country from me. From one Farm Girl to another -All My Best. -Tamra

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  97. Just had to add my tears to the rest. You and your family have become a part of MY family over the years. I feel your loss and your pain from afar

    gramps

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  98. Hugs to you...

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  99. Mary from Madison7/18/2010 8:49 PM

    So sorry to learn of your difficulties and losses of beloved friends. So glad to know you and your family have made it through the ordeal with humor intact and are willing to share with us. I hope you make a quick recovery and find comfort in your memories of Robin and Patchy.

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  100. I have been reading your blog for a while and really enjoy it. I am so sorry for your loss. I had a very special dog too. When I find her collar and leash it still brings tears to my eyes. She has been gone for more than 20 years. It sounds like the rest of your week was a major ordeal. I hope you get all the rest you need, and heal your body and your heart.

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  101. Farmgirl--just wanted to add my voice to those of the others offering condolences and well-wishes. I hope that you'll have a speedy recovery, and a bounty of good things coming your way.

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  102. Glad you and Joe are on the mend (yes, craziness all at once, sheesh!)
    So sorry about your dog. Peace to you!

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  103. Good heavens Farmgirl....you have really been in the wars. All of you! What rotten luck to have your little doggy girl Robin go while you were so laid up. It's bad enough losing her, but it somehow seems worse when you're not there. As for the snake bite - well!! I hope you feel a litte better each day. It seems a great idea to have a day off - but when you are forced to have several, and have pain and suffering - well, one would rather be just plain run off you feet! Hope you all recover soon.. Best wishes

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  104. Words just seem so inadequate. I don't really know what to say.

    I'm sorry for all of your losses. I hate the ordeal of spiders and snakes you both have just been through. Many prayers for speedy recoveries and for your tears to turn to laughter.

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  105. I'm so sorry you lost your furbaby. Prayers to you and yours for strength and healing.

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  106. WOW! This is the first time I've read your blog. So I know nothing of your past, only the immense pain of your present. Talk about a landslide. But it only means that there will be sunshine to come. There must be. But I have to say, I'm hooked on you. Wishing you and Joe speedy recoveries. Is there anything else there with a deadly bite that can come after you? Watch out.
    Robin, she's out on Rainbow Bridge in that happy farm beyone.

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  107. Oh Susan! What you and your husband have been through is unbelievable. As I kept reading, it just got worse and worse, and I kept hoping for a "joke" at the end of it all. Even though I'm a fairly new follower, I'm so sorry to hear about Robin. What a sweet looking dog, she was. And just how scary for both you and your husband for his spider bite and your snake bite....And all happening at the same time...I'm sending good thoughts your way. Wish I was there to help!

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  108. Wow! I live in Oklahoma and when I lived out in the country I saw lots of copperheads and had one bite my sandal. It's shocking it didn't go through the sandal but ever since then I have been pretty scared of them.

    Glad you are both okay, hope you heal quickly. So sorry about the loss of your pet.

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  109. Oh poor Robin, and poor you and hubby!

    I am so sorry to hear you have had a bad few weeks. It sounds absolutely horrid.

    I hope things turn around for you and try to stay positive, it's not easy. X

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  110. Oh, dear Susan, So many losses and challenges all at once. Sending you lots of healing and wishes for strength. Robin was one of my favorite blog friends and I will miss his "smile." I am one of those who've owned several beagles. I just KNOW. Sorry about the kitties, too. Through all the years of "visiting" with you and your wonderful farm friends (you know I am a huge fan of Dan), they are all a little part of so many others' lives, too, so lets hope the collective loves goes to bringing you healing from these losses and the injuries.
    How awful for you and Joe to both be injured in this very hot summer. Hoping you are both on the way back!!

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  111. Oh Susan & Joe, you guys have been through hell the last week. I am so sorry for the loss of Patchy cat, Robin, and the f'ing snakes & spiders who should know better.

    I only know you from reading your blog and before this I often thought, "Gee, I wish I lived nearby & could bring them a pie/lasagna/whatever" during hay season or when lambing season added up to too many late nights. I never felt that urge more than now, I hope you and Joe heal up & can catch a breather. But I know how unlikely that is on a farm.

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  112. Susan, if no one has mentioned it to you, olive oil (or any oil) and a q tip will remove the sticky residue on your skin. Hope you recover quickly. Donna

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  113. I read your blog to cheer myself up on a Monday morning. Now I have to offer you all of my healing thoughts and wishes for you and Joe, and your loss of Robin. What a story! You are both brave and strong.

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  114. Like many, I have been a reader for several years and am so sorry to have read about your loss of Robin and all you have endured these past weeks. Losing a beloved pet leaves such a hole in your heart. Take good care of yourself.

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  115. My heart is breaking for your loss and I am so sorry to hear about all that has transpired in the past couple of weeks. I don't know how you two handle it all, it is a testiment to your love and strength. Your pup was a lucky girl to have spent her life with you. Feel better soon.

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  116. Life sure has a way of throwing everything at you all at once, doesn't it? I'm so sorry for your loss and for the pain you are going through right now. I hope and pray that you feel better, both mentally and physically, soon.

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  117. Sending hugs and energy your way, glad to hear you're on the mend.

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  118. I'm so sorry for your loss! (And all the other recent trauma.) I'm fighting back tears as I type! You're in my thoughts!

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  119. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Beagle Robin. I have 2 beagles myself, Bella (4) and Todd (3) and they both smile!!! Right now I can't imagine a day without them, but I know...... Beagles are the best.

    I hope and pray you and your husbands bodies heal and you are back to normal soon.

    I guess I was due for a good cry:))

    Take care

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  120. What sad times Susan. I've so enjoyed reading your blog this past year. Robin will be missed by many. You are in my thoughts. Hope you and Joe are feeling more yourselves very soon. Sending warm wishes for a speedy recovery. Take care.
    Denise

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  121. Oh you poor, poor thing!!!! I just want to bake you and Joe baskets and baskets of goodies and come pamper you both! I'm so sorry about poor Robin and the kitties, it is always so hard to lose sweet pets, they really do become like children and best friends. I hope you and Joe are feeling better so soon, I'm just sure that doctor is wrong, plus he doesn't know how many of us will be praying for you! :) Feel better dear!!

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  122. What a horrible week! I can't image all that you are going through right now. It is so hard losing a beloved pet by itself let alone everything else that you guys are going through. Wishing you both a speedy recovery and healing from your loss.

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  123. My heart goes out to you and your farm family. I never thought much about the dangers of living on a farm. this has been a heartbreaking and enlightening blog. Get well soon.

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  124. I just started following your blog recently, and I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. It's never easy losing a pet. They are always so special to us.

    And take care of yourself. I hope a speedy recovery for you! I suppose this is a case of "when it rains, it pours".

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  125. Susan and Joe, my goodness ya'll have had a rough time of it.

    Robin touched my heart because we also have beagles.

    Also sorry to hear about Patchy Cat and Whiskers.

    Sending you both well wishes for your bodies, hearts and souls.

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  126. My heart goes out to you and your man about the loss of your Robin. Your story was so amazing I read it to my husband.
    But I really started to cry when you talked about how your husband has been taking such good care of you. I have also been extremely sick and bed ridden and blown away by the loving care I have been getting from my sweet hubby.
    Swift healing - for your heart and your leg.

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  127. My heart goes out to you. I am so sorry about Robin. My first Beagle pup was given to me when I was 5 years old - we were inseparable - he was my best friend. Take care of yourself and savor the smile and good memories. Karin

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  128. Sorry to hear about your Robin.

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  129. wow! so sorry to hear of all of the unfortunate events of the last few weeks. prayers for healing and comfort headed your way from Oregon. thanks for sharing your heart.

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  130. Holy crap, lady. You are one tough cookie.

    Sorry to hear about all of this, but glad you and Joe are on the mend.

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  131. I wish I could reach through the internet and give you a hug (gently, with no squishing of ouchy limbs). Last year I had a physical thing knock me off my feet, so I understand how upsetting it is. Perhaps some friends or family can come help?

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  132. What a week. I read your stories, view your idyllic pictures and think life must be easier out in the country. Then we hear about Robin, Patchy Cat, you and your hunky guy. I shall miss Robin and Patchy Cat stories. Wish both you and Joe a speedy recovery. Much love is being sent your way.

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  133. We are so sorry to hear of your recent traumas. Here is hoping that you and Joe are feeling better every day & that your health insurance covers everything. Our sincerest condolences on the death of your sweet babies.

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  134. I worried when I didn't see any new posts.. glad to know you're safe and on the mend, but so sorry to hear about Robin.. those beagle smiles (and ears, and myriad routines and habits) are something else. She will be missed (all the way out here in Ohio). Thinking of you and wishing you a speedy recovery..

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  135. And my heart also goes out to you. Although you said you did a lot of thinking, I imagine that you could only come to the conclusion that what you are presently doing with your life could hardy be improved upon, in spite of the spiders and snakes and other vicissitudes of life. You have so many readers (and commenters) because we all love your life in some way. I hope things get better and better now!

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  136. You poor thing! They say things come in threes - things happen to you in a big way...

    I'm sorry for your loss of Robin, Patchy Cat and Whiskers. It's never easy to lose a long-time friend, but to have it happen while you were gone is just too hard.

    You know, life in the country is never dull - thanks for not killing the snake! I live in the coast range of Oregon, and to date have only seen a rubber boa; however, timber rattlesnakes aren't uncommon in my neighborhood. I'm glad you had the hunky farm guy to drive you to the hospital, sorry you had to stay in ICU, and glad you had such great nurses and staff.

    Sometimes you have to wonder if the universe is trying to tell you to slow down and take it easy - If I ignore the slight taps, she reaches out and whacks me upside the head with the cosmic 2 x 4.

    Take it easy, enjoy the summer, do enough to get by. Stuff will always be there to be done - most of it will wait.

    I'm hoping for your speedy recovery.

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  137. I'm soo sorry to hear of all this mis-fortune. I am shedding tears for you and yours.
    Sending you hugs and best wishes all the way from the coast of Maine.
    Heal.
    Shannon
    www.cascobaysoap.blogspot.com

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  138. Susan, I am so sorry to hear about poor Robin. What an incredibly trying time you've had. I couldn't believe what I was reading! I'm glad you are on the mend and I'll be sending healing thoughts your way.

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  139. Oh my. Happy belated birthday. Your Robin was greeted by my dalmatian at the rainbow bridge and are sharing avocados, both romping about with their infectious smiles. (Those kinds of infections we don't mind at all!) Sending virtual chicken soup for your tummy and for your soul. Lucky Buddy Bear and Crazy Daisy must be holding down the fort. :) Hugs to you and hunky Joe.

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  140. So very sorry to hear of Robin, and the other terrible things that happened to you over the past few days.

    My nursing advice that you may have heard already: "Pain meds will stop you up, like concrete!, do not forget to take something to counteract that."

    Great job on getting through all this with such dignity and grace!

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  141. Oh no. I'm so sorry for your loss, and just for your difficult time in general. I hope you recover as quickly as possible!

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  142. OMGOMGOMG!!! FarmGirl, thank goodness you and Joe are all right! I am SO sorry to hear about Robin...seeing her happy little face always makes/made me perk up. Who couldn't smile back at a cute doggie grin like that?

    Many hugs to you, and to Joe. Hang in there and take your time recovering. :-)

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  143. Oh. My. God. Unbelievable. Wishing you and Joe speedy recoveries. Our dog, Bailey, passed on today and i am feeling soooo sad. I do believe we meet up with our animal friends when we pass on. That thought has comforted me, but I keep thinking how lonely he will be till we get there. I am hoping maybe Robin will be his friend.
    Bless you, Joe, and all the lucky souls you spend your life with.

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  144. Wow... wow... you sure have been through a lot!!! o.O I'm really sorry to hear about Robin and the cats, and I hope you get better soon! Give Joe our great appreciation for his efforts in looking after you and the farm!! It would be a big job to do all that while he's feeling sick too!!

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  145. I don't even know you and my eyes welled up with tears when I read this. I'm so sorry. I know farm girls are tough and you will recover. My heart really goes out to you though. I do wish you all a speedy recovery. It's so hard to blog with a heavy heart. But I'm glad you shared your story with us.

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  146. Susan,

    What else can be said that many others haven't already except to wish you - and Joe - the speediest of recoveries and nothing but good times and happiness ahead after all you have endured. Rest up and get well soon!

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  147. We hope you and Joe feel better soon. Sad to hear about Robin, our beloved 17-yr-old cat died recently too. That smile sure is contagious! Many blessings, and speedy recovery!

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  148. My goodness, Im so sorry for your loss and wish you a speedy recovery.

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  149. Kelly - Baltimore, md7/20/2010 12:24 PM

    I hope you are back on your feet soon. I love your blog and hearing about your daily adventures. The love for your animals is very apparent. I look forward to hearing about all of them again. Take care and rest and enjoy letting the hubby take care of you.

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  150. Bless your heart. So sorry to hear about the dual bites and the loss of Robin. On the bright side, I'm glad to hear that you have a man who will "empty your pee bucket". Every girl should be so fortunate to have a man like that :)

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  151. Oh Susan, I'm so sorry for all the trouble you've had-each is bad on it's own but all together you guys have had a terrible few weeks.
    Poor Joe, poor Robin and poor you. Thankfully you and Joe are recovering.You are in my prayers!

    The 2 things I hate about Missouri are the copperheads and the spiders. Otherwise I love it here!

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  152. Oh, my....You and Joe have had quite an ordeal. I am so sorry about Robin. I know that pain will always be there, but, I hope you spider leg will feel better quicker than the doc said! Will be thinking of you....

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  153. Susan - My heart and prayers go out to you during this time. I wish you extra strength to hear yourself and lots of energy to make it thru your mourning and grief. (((((((((hugs)))))))))

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  154. Oh bless your heart!!!! What a horrid time you've had!!!! I'm so sorry to hear of Robin's death. I just lost one of my dogs too. Even if you're expecting it, it still hurts.

    Your story is a painful reminder for me to put my boots when I'm working outside. I have a bad habit of checking sheep in flip-flops!

    sheri

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  155. ah hell i've never commented before but that made me cry something fierce. I'm really sorry.

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  156. Just back in town to read this.

    I'm always so impressed with the simple honesty you tell all your stories with - and I thank you for them.

    Recover well.

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  157. the first time I visit, I'm crying at the first post I read.

    you're amazing and a great writer.

    killed a copperhead last night. hate to do it, but had to.

    hope you're getting better every day.

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  158. Susan, so sorry to read about your troubles! I've heard that when we go over the bridge to the Great Beyond, our animals will be there waiting for us. I feel your loss of Robin...we had our cat for over 17 years and the vet put him to sleep a week ago. I still think I hear his paws tapping on the kitchen floor when I'm in the next room. I hope you'll recover soon and your life in Missouri will return to normal. Don't write if you're too tired...we all would prefer you to rest!!! You're in our prayers...

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  159. Dear Farmgirl,

    First of all, HUGS to you, and pass one along to Hubby too...you've both REALLY been through it lately! I'm a country girl living in the city by financial restraints and your blog helps me cope. I hope you both heal physically and emotionally soon, and I hope it helps to know so many people enjoy your blog and care so much about you and your farm life : ) Eat a few Oreo's for me! More Hugs, JanieSue

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  160. markntina6417/21/2010 4:48 AM

    I hope you are feeling much better.I guess when it rains it pours,what does that mean Really?

    I am a dog lover and its just not fair that are loving friends dont live long enough..

    Take care of each other..Tina

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  161. Praying for a speedy recovery. What a hell of a birthday. Robin looks like she was a sweetheart. I looked at that smile and smiled. :) I'd just finished reading last week (in your past blogs) to the point where she showed up in your yard.

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  162. I'm so so sorry for your loss. I loved to come here and look at Robin. She will be greatly missing.

    Wishing you and your family and furry friends better times...

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  163. Oh Susan, I am saddened by your loss of sweet Robin. I was horrified at your ordeal with the snakebite! You have been dealing with a lot! Last but not least, Happy Birthday!

    Prayers for a speedy recovery!

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  164. I'm so sorry to read about all your recent health issues and the loss of Robin, Whiskers and Patchy Cat! Here's wishing both you and hunky farm guy a very speedy recovery. Take care

    Linda

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  165. I'm so very sorry to hear of your troubles and the loss of your dear pals Robin and Patchy Cat. Thank you for posting and including the pictures of a copperhead. I'm amazed at how devasting your bite is. Praying for your full, and speedy recovery.

    I've had some health challenges over time, and recommend exactly what you're doing. Lean into your recovery. Go easy on yourself. Everything will wait until you have energy and strength. Glad you had music in the hospital -I found listening to music distracted from shots, iv's. Hope all that is behind you! Be well!!

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  166. It's a good thing I keep tissues on my desk at work!

    Great writing...your style reminds me of Barbara Kingsolver.

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  167. I am sorry about Robin.I hope you and yours is doing well. I would like to share about my family dog BoBo. He is Jack Russell Beagle. He saved my life twice. About two years ago he was barking one evening and I opened the French door on the left without looking out first. He jumped on me and pushed me back inside. I closed the door and looked out the right French door at the bottom was a copperhead stairing down at me, striking. Another time I was cleaning out the verbena bed and BoBo barked again over n over and I seen something move and it was a water moccasin soaking up some sun in my verbena. The snake moved and BoBo once again jumped on me to get back and I took off. The snake came out he was as long as a ready stalk of corn and big around as a Pringle can. I called for help at my father n law n he took care of the problem, because someone could have got bitten. BoBo never got bit either time. He is getting old and is starting to lay around alot. I will miss him like you miss Robin. Maybe one day they will to share stories together. Im taking breaks reading and writing between cooking roast and gravy and canning strawberry fig preserves, write ya later, Kim in Mississippi. I like your blogsite and everything this is all I read except recipes and cooking.

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  168. i'm so sorry to hear of all your recent troubles... hope you heal speedily. of all you animals, robin was my favourite. i don't even know her and i'll miss her... can't imagine what a void she must have left.

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  169. Wow, Susan, you've had an awful lot going on in your life! First, belated Happy Birthday to you! I'm wiping away the tears for Robin. She's running free at the Rainbow Bridge now. I hope that your pain soon eases and you are left with nothing but wonderful memories of her. And please get well youself - that is a scary thing to have happen with the snake bite. And do tell Joe that this Canadian bloggy "friend" hopes he feels better soon. Hope you're up and around soon!
    ~ Audrey ~

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  170. Best wishes for a speedy recovery! Sometimes it seems like when it rains it pours. Hopefully sunny days will follow soon.

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  171. Sending Prayers for recovery, and more ice cream.

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  172. All I can say is "OH MY!" and send healing wishes and {{{HUGS}}} your way.

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  173. I am just passing through here but the post title caught my eye and I ended up reading the whole thing. My heart goes out to you. I'll remember you in my prayers today. I hope that gives you a tiny drop of encouragement in a horrible time.

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  174. Sending strength and love your way - can't imagine the overwhelming feelings you're dealing with.

    Don't know if anyone else suggested it, but mineral oil should work on the tape adhesive if it's still hanging on.

    All the best wishes for a speedy recovery.

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  175. Oh Susan, what an ordeal! I am sending you some healing energy from here in Central Missouri, a land of extremes...

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  176. Oh my goodness. I'm inspired by how remarkably strong and positive you sound, despite the horrible events!

    (I'll be a regular reader now... directed to this entry by a friend).

    By the way, baby oil does a decent job removing residue from hospital adhesive.

    Feel better soon!

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  177. Robin, Patchy Cat and Whiskers too?! OMGosh, I am so sorry. I lost a cat and a dog within three days of each other so I can understand your loss. And about 5 years ago I was in the hospital on my Birthday with a cat bite on my ankle with a severe infection, so I can certainly sympathize with your plight. You two sure are troopers. Hang in there. Healing thoughts sent your way.

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  178. Dear Susan,
    What a horrendous chain of events! It's hard to know what to say other than I'm so sorry about Patchy and Robin and wish you the speediest recovery ever. You've touched so many people's hearts and we all wish you well. Please let us know how things progress.
    Jenny

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  179. ditto... sending all of the well wishes above to you, again! heartbreaking times, be strong!

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  180. a hell of a few weeks is right...sounds like a you both are going to have a tough time doing chores for a while. the worst is losing your dog...in my 51 years i have lost a few and those were sad times, nothing like losing a dog. i have four of them now, one is in her twilight years and she has to be the best dog i have ever had...don't know what i'll do when she goes. but take care you... i enjoy your stories.

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  181. Oh my, what a terrible few weeks its been for you. Sorry to hear that you were in the hospital with a snake bite. And that the hubby had a spider bite. And the loss of your beloved Robin. That is sad news. Hope things are on the mend now.

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  182. Dear Susan, what an ordeal. Take your time to recover to get better completely. Robin sure had a great smile, she will be missed but all of our four-legged friends will always remain within us.

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  183. Plantain, bruised, applied over and over to both your bites will help pull out poison and infection and speed healing.

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  184. I'm so sorry all of this has happened to you and your family! What doesn't kill us makes us stronger! But that is truly a hard month. I also read your other blog and it must be driving you nuts about your garden. Sometimes though I think it is necessary to take a brake. I won't have time this year to can tomatoes and it's killing me, but I think that it will only make me appreciate next years canning season even more. I hope things calm down for you!

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  185. I hope you'll always remember her smile.

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  186. there are things i know for sure in this life...

    1. people who love and care for animals have a special place in heaven...

    2. all of the animals who've passed before us, will be waiting for us at the pearly gates. until then, they keep each other company while they wait. Surely, Robin is Annette's new roommate...

    3. and most importantly, Farmgirl Susan has more than a collection of rock hearts...she has
    the hearts of all of us who start our days rushing to our email--anticipating a farmgirl smile.. and sometimes, sharing a few tears.

    will miss you dear robin...

    you get better, farmgirl...and best to your hunky cowboy, too...

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  187. Good gracious! And here I was feeling sorry for myself because my husband killed one of my beloved chickens - let a dog out when the pullets were out in the yard stretching their wings.

    I am so sorry to hear about all of this. You seem to have taken it all in stride, though. Good luck to you and your husband. Robin knew she was loved well.

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  188. Oh, Susan. What a summer you all are having. Sending lots of love and crying a few tears of my own. You're in my thoughts. Take the time it needs to heal that body of yours, and the heart will follow.

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  189. Wow. What an unbelievable run of bad stuff happening. I'm glad you're ok, and so sorry for Robin. What a story! My gosh!

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  190. I'm so sorry for your ordeal with the snake and for the loss of Robin. I hope you are feeling better soon.

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  191. Susan, i am so sorry about your loss of Robin, and the snake bite incident. Healing takes time, I myself gather up and hug and kiss my three cats and two dogs, for you too1 Alisa from Santa Barbara, CA (first time writer, but have loved your blog for years)

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  192. Hope you are on the mend soon! So sorry about your pup. They are so hard to let go. Sending good wishes for better days
    Blessings, Deanne

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  193. My word, dear Farmgirl. I am exhausted by your saga of July. And my legs are nervous. Give yourself a lot of tender care and then ask for more. Thank goodness for your guy. Bye bye Robin.
    Starr

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  194. Condolences for your week, and most of all for your loss. Pets are truly members of the family, and from reading your posts I almost feel like Robin was a member of mine!

    Keep your chin up with your walker :-) I know Joe will take good care of you!

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  195. Susan:
    My heart aches for you. I know the pain you are in losing Robin. As hard as we try, we cannot help but love our pets as we would a child. I grieve with you.
    I pray you and your hunk of a husband are on the mend. A garden is a garden whether an acre or a pot...your love is what is important. Heal!
    Love and prayers,
    Mary

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  196. Oh,DD, you are SO much braver than I would be! I could not go back there and would be freaking out about the snakes!

    Robin is TRULY loving it at the Rainbow Bridge. You know who was the first to greet her!

    BB&BBD

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  197. What a nightmare! Since we moved to the country 17 years ago, meeting our first copperheads coming out from their winter sleep, I've been afraid that myself or one of my 11 children would get bitten. So far, so good. I did some research and bought a snake bite kit in a little yellow box at Walmart ($12). If used shortly after the bite, it can remove up to 60% of the venom. We have used it on insect stings for years and it works very well, so that has given us confidence that if needed for an actual snake bite that it would be helpful. I've actually heard that the mortality rate for black widow bites is 11%, more than copperheads. So sorry about your terrible string of events.

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  198. Oh, dear, oh, dear. Terrible times and I'm sending you a huge hug and kisses for Robin. And another hug to Farmguy. Life truly sucks sometimes, but I'm relieved you're ok.....

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January 2013 update: I know word verification is a big pain, but it's the only way I can stop the ridiculous number of anonymous spam comments I get every day. I don't want to require commenters to be registered Blogger or Open ID users because I know many of you aren't. Thanks so much for your understanding!

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