Monday, November 24, 2014

Holiday Gifts: A Hoof Clan Visitor

Photo copyright Aji, 2014; all rights reserved.
It's Monday, and that means it's the latest in our holiday feature series at The NDN Silver Blog on small gifts for the holidays. Today, it's an all-new piece, and a really beautiful one (modestly priced, too).

It's also four degrees here, with a layer of ice over everything. Which means I need to get started on the day, because it's going to be another busy one, and everything takes at least twice as long in these conditions.

Shares of the post itself, and of Wings's main page, welcomed with our thanks.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Photo copyright Wings, 2014; all rights reserved.
Ajijaakwag, for whom I am named, arrived today.

Four flocks, we believe. We don't often get to see them arrive for the winter, headed for their migratory home in the mountains just north of us here. In years that we're lucky, we may get to see a few of them leave.

They haven't been around much in recent years anyway; climate change, probably. So this was a special blessing, on top of the snow that's still coming down. I went out a little while ago, into the cold, no jacket, no gloves, no boots, and burned some cedar.

To say thank you.

A Metaphorical Medicine Wheel

Photo copyright Aji, 2014; all rights reserved.

Now up at The NDN Silver Blog, it's a musing on medicine wheels, literal and metaphorical. It's also a feature of the latter form.'

It's snowing and sleeting here, and we have another busy day ahead, so I'll just add our usual request for shares of the post itself and of Wings's main page, with our thanks in advance.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Gifts: Enculturation.

Photo copyright Aji, 2014; all rights reserved.

Now posted at The NDN Silver Blog, it's the last in our small series on the gifts of Spirit, mediated through one of Wings's silverwork series. It's not the last in logical terms, merely in how they've been covered; the reasoning is explained in the series posts themselves. It's also a beautiful piece that stands on its own.

It's going to be another hugely busy day, and we're both still recovering, so I'll check in when I can. Shares of the post itself, and of Wings's main page, are welcomed with our thanks. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Feature: Mountain Lion Medicine

Photo copyright Wings, 2014; all rights reserved.
Today's Friday Feature at The NDN Silver Blog is a piece you've seen before, by an artist who is very special to us. But it's a piece so gorgeous that it deserved to be featured on its own. There's a little about the animal who inspired the design, too.

We;re still recovering, so the post is relatively short, and responses may be delayed; its taking everything just to get through the basics right now. In the meantime, shares are much needed and welcomed, both of the post itself and of Wings's main page.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

#TBT: The Runner

Photo copyright Aji, 2014; all rights reserved.
It's #ThrowbackThursday at The NDN Silver Blog, at today, it's runners, racers, rattles, and whips. Our own version is a little gentler than all that, but his identity is simultaneously funny and stern.

Still recovering here, so today's piece is shorter. Shares of the post itself, and of Wings's main page, welcomed with our thanks.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

One Year — In a Good Way. A Not-So-Shaggy Dog Story.

Photo copyright Wings, 2014; all rights reserved.
Today is an important day: it's the one-year anniversary of She-Wolf's diagnosis with diabetes. Yeah, it's a disease we both know all too well, but in dogs, it tends to have graver consequences much faster, and that's what's significants about today.

You see, on this date last year, as I stood holding her on the table in the vet's office, I was told that she would be fully blind within two months. Questioned closely, the vet conceded, "Four months at the very outside." Unfortunately, he was projecting from the date, and we knew, in retrospect, that she'd been living with the disease anywhere form two to four months already. Her symptoms simply progressed slowly enough that it wasn't obvious — except, of course, in hindsight, at which point we kicked ourselves for not getting it earlier.

So the upshot is that, according to his basic estimate, she should already have been fully blind; with good prospects, possibly by late January; at the very most, by late March.

Exactly one year later, She-Wolf still has her sight.

[Knocks wood] 

Yes, she has developing cataracts. The one in her left eye is very small yet; the one in her right doesn't obviously appear to have progressed much beyond what it was a year ago. It's taken work. It's also taken a willingness to listen to our instincts and our own knowledge of this disease, rather than the conventional wisdom. It's taken dedication, because no matter how tired we are or how terrible we fell, the fact of the matter is that she has to have her blood tested (yes, with a lancet) twice a day, and she has to get insulin injections twice a day. We monitor her food intake, we mix diabetic dog food with good-quality regular dog food in various proportions, we feed her at odd times as well as usual ones; we give her supplements every morning — three of them — designed to preserve her eyesight; we adjust her insulin levels up and down based on her numbers, rather than following the accepted protocol for a dog of her weight. In short, we manage it much as Wings manages his own, understanding that many variables go into it, and that we must be flexible enough to respond to fluctuations and changes.

And She-Wolf is the best patient anyone could have. If, at 9AM, I haven't yet called her in to have her blood tested, she comes to the door on her own. She comes willingly to get jabbed, twice in the morning and twice at night, because on some level she put it together immediately — that those jabs with the needles at the vet's office made her feel good again, when she'd felt miserable for weeks.

A rescued rez dog, a Pueblo dog, abandoned and starving, who showed up at the gallery one freezing cold late autumn morning in 2008. She had no commands, no nothing, but she figured out "sit" and "lie down" on the very first try. She went home with us the day before Thanksgiving that year, and she'll be coming up on her six anniversary with us next week (the 26th).

There will come a day when the disease takes its toll. We'll make whatever adjustments and accommodations she needs at that point. For now, it's enough to celebrate a full year in which our little girl can still see her world.