Sunday, August 31, 2014

Black and White Sunday - Off Leash Training - Project Hailey

Yesterday the Man decided to do some off leash training with Hailey.

It started really well. Hailey walked beside Man to get her cookies.



Then we brought out her ball to encourage her to run a little .


FREEDOM!


Then she caught a scent (a squirrel) and into the bush she went. 



Man had to go in and get her.


Off leash training was done for today!


Man, there is an evil squirrel over there!

Tomorrow Hailey has a play date in town at a dog park. She will get more off leash time then!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Fractured Fryday Hairy Tails - I can't believe I ate - by Phod





Today is the 2nd Fractured Fryday Hairy Tails organized by our pals Murphy and Stanley. The rules are simple, you can post whatever you want, but it needs to contain the key phrase.

Here is our Tail by Zaphod

I am a very good dog when my people are eating. I do not beg or carry on like Hailey does. I just lie on the floor waiting for my people to be done, no matter how good dinner smells.

Some nights I am lucky and get called over for treats, usually of the meat variety (my favourite). Well a week or so ago, the Man called me over for a new treat. As you know, I am usually very, very picky about what I eat. I turn my noise up at many things (unlike Hailey who is a garbage pail who will eat anything). I can't believe I ate corn on the cob and liked it!

At first I wasn't sure how to eat it, I tried to gnaw the whole thing.

Trying to gnaw it

But soon I figured it out and ate very daintily.

Chewing little pieces off

Now I know I like corn. Lady says all her dogs to date have loved a little gnaw on the corn. Do you like corn?



Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thoughtless Thursday - Example of a Good Roll

Today we are participating in:


Here is how to do a good roll - 

Get the left

Get the right

Stand up

Shake, shake, shake


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

From our time at the beach

Before the post for today, yesterday I came across this article, that as a dog mom, I found very, very interesting. Thought I would share the link with all of you. Click HERE to visit the Globe and Mail article: Mat leave and birth announcements . . . for pets? The rise of four-legged children by Courtney Shea.

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Lady's mom recently sent this picture from last month when Phod and Lady went for a visit.

Lady and her dad had gone to visit Lady's grandmother and Lady's mom was in charge. She decided to have a nap and said something out loud to the pups like  "nap time".  Well, this happened:


Three dogs, Zaphod, Barley (chocolate lab) and Tendra raced to the room and all got up on the bed. There was no room left for Lady's mom. She had a great laugh but didn't get her nap.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Mischief Monday - Poop Head

On Saturday, the 4 of us set off for a walk. It is actually very unusual for the Man to join us on walks, and the pups get very, very excited when we head out. So excited that at first I can barely contain whoever I am walking (on Saturday it was Phod).

By the time we got to the end of the street the dogs had settled down (and I wasn't being dragged down the road).  By the mailbox, Lee started to roll and when she stood up, she had bird poop all over her head.



We called her poop head. 

She was very, very unhappy after the walk when I had to scrub the poop off her head.

When asked, she said she would do it again in a heartbeat! 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sepia Saturday - Another Catch Up Day

Wow, that was another busy week. Work got the best of me!

First we would like to thank Ms Bree from http://cowspotdog.blogspot.ca for creating this for all those who participated in Safety Week. Thanks so much!


Black and White Sunday: It is really funny to me that I had this huge desire to post a picture of Baggy, not knowing Sunday was black cat appreciation day. Perhaps the universe was sending me a message to help. 

Mischief Monday - Bad Poetry Day:  We do hope that with more exposures, Lee will learn to at least tolerate Maggie. If not, I fear she has lots of crate time in her future. We have been saving everyone else's bad poetry for this weekend and are really looking forward to reading it!

Tuesday - The Man's birthday: He says thank you to everyone for the nice birthday wishes. He had a great day off work. Today we are going to a third birthday celebration for him with friends. It is the birthday that never ends! 

Wordless Wednesday - Super Phod: I do love this picture in that it does show off Phod's muscles that can be lost under his fur. Everyone wanted to know what he was flying after, so this is the picture snapped right before Phod's great leap:


And if you look very close in Phod's mouth you can see his Precious. 


Thursday - I can be brave: We are proud of Hailey for slowly finding ways to be more comfortable in scary situations. She will hide in the closet or basement bathroom in storms or when there are fireworks (which in cottage country is almost every not raining night in the summer). She will settle in her crate when children have invaded, and she is willing to approach new and scary things. Part of the problem is we live so secluded now, she isn't faced with new things very often.

Jackie asked, why the road with the digger is her favourite. There are not many roads to actually walk down in our area. There is the main road with a few  small roads leading to the lake are off. Some of these are private and visiting is not encouraged. We sort of only have 4 roads to walk on, and we always have to turn around and come back the way we came. The road with the digger is a side road that leads to the lake. A mountain is on the left and fields are on the right until you get almost to the lake when houses/cottages appear. There is something about the smells on this road that she loves (and Phod also enjoys). I am not sure if it is wildlife or other dogs (we see tracks of both). This street is our Tuesday/Thursday walk.



Friday - Grief: Thank you all for sharing your stories about grief. Grief is the price we pay for loving something else. It is a steep price to pay, but one I am willing to. 

Our weekend plans are Man's next birthday party, and attending the CFL RedBlacks game tomorrow. We also hope to get to the golf course for some practice and the regular errands.  Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Grief - it is personal and varies

I was raised by parents who never sugar coated life for us. The saying "Life's a b*tch, and then you die" was often heard. My father is not shy to remind people that there is 100% chance that you and those you love will eventually die. Death was not a taboo or secret, it was just part of life. Not a great happy part of life, but a sucky part of it.

This philosophy as well as my experience saying goodbye to friends and family who have died, has shaped my attitude toward death and influenced my grieving process. The sadness I felt after the death of each human in my life differed and my experience with each of my pets has also differed. 

Loki:

Loki was my first pet as an adult who died. Loki was 8. For the last 11 months of his life he suffered from immune mediated hepatitis causing cirrhosis of the liver. At the time of his diagnosis we were told he likely had a year to live. So from the beginning we were prepared for a goodbye. We knew our goal for the next year was to enjoy him and give him the best quality of life possible. We did everything humanly possible to minimize his suffering and his medical care was often stressful. He was on as many as 15 pills a day, but not every day, we had charts and pill organizers to keep it all straight. He required first monthly, then biweekly blood work. The last 2 or so months of his life, we had contact with our vet clinic at least once a week. Everyone knew us. Slowly we could see the end coming and he had the best day he had in weeks, followed by the worst night ever. At about 5 am the day he died, he looked at me and I believe he told me it was time. We gave him a last day full of lots of love and I did an entire photo shoot before taking him to be euthanized. 

Last picture I have of Loki, getting a snuggle from the Man and Nin

When he died, I was profoundly sad. Loki was a wonderful, joyful pup, who I missed with an ache. At the same time, there was a relief from the constant care he required. I did have some guilt over this relief at first, but quickly realized that I shouldn't, - I hadn't realized the stress his care had taken. It took a few weeks, but I felt the deep ache in my heart lesson, and I could quickly remember Loki stories with a smile and a laugh.

Gemini:

It has been 3 years since my 6 year old girl died, and to this day, I can barely think about her  because it hurts too much. It is a grief I rarely speak about because it is still raw. As I am typing this, I want to be sick to my stomach, that is how painful it still is. 

Gemini was fatally injured in an accident that occurred right in front of me. She ended up with a brain injury and I had her euthanized 5 days later. (All of this is documented in this blog, in pages I will never, ever read again). To make it worse, all of this happened while my husband was away.

I realized shortly after this incident gave me PTSD. Because of this, her death has probably been one of the most influential single events in my life. The first days were so painful. I can't put into words what it was like. Breathing hurt. Showering was the worst thing in my life, I ended in a puddle on the floor every time. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep. I could barely get through the day. Slowly, I was able to put this incident in a part of my brain I don't access often. I am sure I only survived this with what I know about cognitive behaviour therapy from work. I was able to use some of the strategies to survive.

Last picture I have of Gemi, in the clinic before the brain injury was apparent

However, there are times out of the blue when the PTSD rears its ugly head. This time of year is the worst because it is the anniversary of the incident, but it could be anytime. It often starts with a more generalized anxiety/feeling of panic I can't understand and then I will have that "a-ha" moment when I realize this is PTSD. I am not over it, but I can learn to live with it. I believe this is a wound that will stay raw in my heart forever. Compared to the scar Loki left on my heart. 

I am not done grieving for Gemini. 

Bagheera:

Baggy was our first pet. He had a great long life. He died at 19 and a half, without having been too ill. While we could see him slowing down, there was nothing the day he died to suggest that today was the day. He died the way I hope to, not too ill, at a decent age, sleeping in one of his favourite spots. While I shed my share of tears for my Baggy, from the moment I found out he had died, there was a lightness and a peace. From minute 1, I could smile. Don't get me wrong, I miss him terribly. I keep looking for him. I always have a second look before sitting in his favourite chairs. It is a lighter grief than I have experienced with a pet.


Last picture of Baggy, he is the cat on the grass, Nin is standing on Man (Nin hates grass)

Those are my 3 experiences:
Relief and profound sadness
Raw, terrible pain that I am not sure will every go away
Sad but a feeling of peace

I know I will have the opportunity to have at least 3 more grief experiences as Nin, Hailey and Zaphod will eventually die. I wonder how these will be different. 

Has your grief been different for your pets?




Thursday, August 21, 2014

I can be brave

Several weeks ago, on our walk we came across a digger, parked on the road. 

When we went by it the first time, Hailey was very scared and almost didn't want to pass it. I think she only found it in her heart to keep walking because we were on her favourite street. 


On the way back (can't avoid it as the road is a dead end), Hailey was much braver and wanted to smell it and check it out. I let her take as much time as she wanted to check it out so she would realize new things aren't always scary.


Hailey: "I can be brave!"


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Happy Birthday to the Man

Today's a special day,
A special day for our Man,
Our Man dance, our Man sing,
A birthday is a special thing,
Happy Birthday,
Happy Birthday,
Happy 40th Birthday, Man!



Today we celebrate our Man and all the wonderful things he does for us.
He runs a little with Hailey. 
He helps Hailey feel brave.
He is a great fetch pal with Phod. 
He gives great cuddles and belly rubs.
He makes sure Nin's dish is full.
He keeps the Lady in check and doesn't let her fill the house with pets. 
He feeds the Lady - she would be the first to starve without him!

He is wonderful.

Man, while you are totally wonderful, you have one little, tiny flaw. You tell the Lady we don't need new treats and toys, and we have to say, this is an incorrect statement! 



Monday, August 18, 2014

Mischief Monday - Bad Poetry - by Hailey

This week is the 2nd annual Bad Poetry week hosted by Oz.

Hailey will be writing about her meeting with her human cousin Maggie

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Humans have ruined my life in a new way,
They brought in a little thing that stinks,
All the attention goes to her,
When it should be going to me.

Humans tell me to stop ruining the day,
Baby doesn't like my barking they thinks,
Her noises made my head a blur,
Why won't they let me be?

When carrying her they look like a 2 headed beast I say,
It is so crazy I need some strong drinks,
I don't like little things without fur,
It is just who I am, I am Lee.




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Editor's note: Hailey actually got an A- for her behaviour when Maggie (who is now 2 months old) was in the house. At first she was very, very tense. Every noise Maggie made she would react too, but she did settle. While we were eating, Lee happily had some crate time. By the end of the visit Lee only got upset when someone was carrying Maggie or Maggie was being passed between people. She bravely came close and sniffed her. We hope she will learn to be less afraid, but if not, she will get some crate time.

Ready for the beach! 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Catch Up

What a week! I forgot how crazy life is when I am back at work. I am so looking forward to a quiet weekend. I was very neglectful to taking pictures of my pups, oops, will have to remedy this over the weekend. Today's pictures are from my collection:)



Black and White Sunday
-This picture was taken at the dog park after the vet. They had such a good time. We would have time to take them today, but it is suppose to pour and none of us love that. [On Tuesday, it was raining so hard on our walk, they wanted to turn around most of it and finally I let them. We were all soaked, it was miserable]. After our very, very hot weekend, we had the coldest August 14th on record. These temperature swings are driving me crazy!


Mischief Monday - Phod's Annual Checklist
- We are happy to report that Phod's ear cleared up very quickly. In about 2 days, he learned the word ear means you should push your ears as far as possible into your head, put your head down and pretend you can't hear your people. He did try and walk away a few times, but for the most part he did a good job with it.
- Lady says she is glad to hear other pups aren't well behaved at the vet. I was so blessed with my Loki, he was amazing at the vet, it was his favourite place and Gemi was pretty good too - these two are not good and we don't go often enough to really work on it.



Safety Week: Wild Animal Encounters
-Again thanks to Sarge and Bites for putting this week on.
-Reilly and Denny asked if we have rabies here. Yes we do. I was thinking about it when I wrote about keeping pets safe, and maybe should have mentioned more about it. Both the dogs have been vaccinated against it.
-Lady and Man find it comforting that other dogs dead small things too.
-Lady has not be able to determine if the toads in our area are poisonous to the dogs. We have been lucky that Lee has not been harmed.

Wordless Wednesday: Buddies
- The picture was of Nin and Lee. They have always been good buddies who snuggle. It makes me happy, especially because Nin has lost his best snuggle buddy Baggy.



Writer's Process Blog Tour
- Thank you all for you wonderfully kind comments. It brought a huge smile to me on a grumpy day (I never like Thursdays, I always find them too annoying). I am happy that my ramblings touch others, maybe as much as theirs touch me!
-Your kind comments helped motivate me to work on my grief piece. I am hoping to have it ready to share sometime this coming week.

Relaxation Day
-We hope everyone had a great one!


Friday, August 15, 2014

Relaxation Day

We say on Ranger's list of wacky holidays that today is relaxation day. After the first week back to work, we need some R and R. I am working a half day today and will spend the pm relaxing and catching up with Blogville today (like alway we are dreadfully behind!).

Hope you all have a little extra relaxation today!



Thursday, August 14, 2014

Writer's Process Blog Tour

I was honoured when Susan from Life with Dogs and Cats asked me to be part of the writer's process blog tour. I have been really enjoying reading about other's creative processes (there are some amazingly talented bloggers out there who are so inspiring) and have found some interesting ideas to help me be a more organized blogger.

Why do I write what I do?

I started my blog for 2 reasons: one, to let the people who saved Hailey's life know where she was and how she was doing (although I actually have no idea if they have ever seen the blog); and two, as a way to cope with Hailey's many adventures. She has particularly presented challenges that have tested my patience, and I have found writing about it a healthy outlet to let me cope with her (although I would like to add, she is currently in a great place).

These days  I write for myself and for my family who all read the blog (although I am thrilled other people read my blog, I see this a bonus). I write what inspires me. It can be something a pet does,  inspired by a fellow blogger, or  it can be something that jumps in my head.  I also love to take photographs. I do wish I was better, and maybe someday in my spare time (if that every happens) I will learn more.  I love the idea of capturing and documenting my dogs lives in an honest way on the blog. I do try to always be honest with myself and them when writing. Since I don't have kids, and my dogs are the centre of my universe, writing about them saves my colleagues and friends from having to hear endless stories about them! (Although I do share the best ones with them).

How does my writing process work?

I have always loved writing and it has been my hobby. I did consider a career in journalism 87 million years ago (I did one year in journalism before deciding that wasn't for me).  I had never thought of it as a process, but looking at all my writing I do have a process. I pre-write posts in my head based on what happens in my life with my dogs.  I tend to be a binge writer, mostly because my daily work life doesn't afford me tonnes and tonnes of spare time (then during the week the rare spare time I get can be spent reading other people's blogs, I learn so much from all of them). So,  I usually collect ideas and pre-write blogs in my head all week and on  Sunday I sit down type them out, add pictures etc.

I am trying to be more organized, there are many blog events I want to participate in, so I am working on incorporating a calendar to make sure I don't miss these things.

What am I working on?

I am working on a piece about grief. I have lost 3 pets in my adult life, and the grief for each has been so different. I am trying to find a coherent way to explore this. I have yet to put one word to paper, but it is floating around my head.

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I would like to pass this tour on to Daisy from Daily Daisy Dog Blog. I don't remember how I came across Daisy's blog, but I do remember thinking she is one of the cutest dogs I had ever seen! She is a Wheaton Scottie from California. One of my favourite features from Daisy's blog is her book reviews. If you are looking for books for children in your life, Daisy is an expert! Here is a link to a recent review we really loved.  http://dailydaisydog.blogspot.ca/2014/07/summer-reading-with-daisy-dumb-bunnies.html

Daisy

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Safety Week - Wild Animals Encounters - by Hailey and the Lady

Lady: Thanks to Sarge and Bites for organizing this wonder safety week. To view all the blogs participating, go to the hop at Oz's site.



Lady: Today we are talking about wild animals encounters. I admit I hadn't thought too much about this until  we moved to the country. We live in the Gatineau Hills and have deer, wild turkeys, otters, groundhogs, foxes, racoons, skunks, porcupine, birds, squirrels, toads, frogs and chipmunks in our yard. This increases our encounters with them. We also have a Hailey who is a great hunter.

Lee: Thank you Lady, for acknowledging my great hunting. I have caught a groundhog, and instead of taking a picture and framing it on the wall like human hunters, they took it away from me. Also, the groundhog didn't end up in my bowl, they just threw it away . . . so not cool. It was a waste. They don't appreciate it and they don't appreciate it when I try to climb trees to get a squirrel (I got one once . . .). 

Hailey trying to get a squirrel
Lady: Ok Hailey, everyone knows you are a great hunter. But while this is not a vegetarian house, we love nature and would like to keep as much of it safe as possible.

Lee: If you knew what Red John (the squirrel) was saying, you wouldn't want him around either.

Lady: I am sure you are exaggerating Hailey.

Lee: Nope, I would never exaggerate. 

Lady: Well, anyway, it isn't all about you not hurting the wildlife life, it is about the wildlife not hurting you. They could cut you or bite you and you may get really hurt. Remember when you got stung by the bee?

Lee: I learned my lesson with the bee, but those others aren't fast enough to stop me.

Lady: Ok, you may be super hunter, but other dogs, like Phod may not be, they may be unsafe. Also, in many places it is illegal for dogs to chase and harass wildlife.

Lee: The wildlife harasses first . . . . .but I agree some dogs may be slow and unsafe. 

Lady: Ok, so we have finally agreed, we need to learn to live safely with wildlife. Here are some things you can do to keep everyone safe (taken from a variety of provincial websites):


A deer in our yard

- Keep your dog on leash in areas/times of day the wildlife encounter is likely to happen.

- Keep your cats inside or take them outside on leash

- Do a visual check before letting dogs out/off leash (Lee: This may help some but those sneaky groundhogs can just pop out of a hole when you least expect it. They are wily.)

- Make sure to use chew-proof leashes/tie outs to prevent your dog from breaking free. (Lee: aka stifle your dog).



- Train your dog not to respond to wildlife. Keep in mind that even highly trained dogs may not listen when faced with the tantalizing sight and smells of wildlife.

- A secure fence may keep some of the wildlife out but if you are facing wolves etc it needs to be very high as they will jump over it.

- Be loud when outside. This could be wearing bells, stomping you feet etc. That will scare many animals away and prevent the encounter in the first place.

- Keep garbage in animal proof containers and don't put it out early.

- Pick up dog poop, it can attract wild canines.

- If your dog is in heat, keep her inside!

- Don't leave small dogs outside unattended, they may be confused as prey by some wildlife.

- Don't leave your pets outside overnight. Most attacks on pets happen at night.

- If you come face to face with a predator, don't run. Yell, scream, throw things, be loud, maintain eye contact and don't turn your back.

Lee: The most important piece of advice, don't lick a toad. They taste yucky. 

Lady: These are some of the tips you can follow to help live in harmony with nature. 

Lee: Or you can just let your LeeLee out and she can take care of all the groundhogs, squirrels, ravens etc and it won't be a problem.

Phod: Or you can be like me and gently catch the groundhog and bring him home as a pet.

Lady: Another rule, don't keep wildlife as a pet, that could be its own post.

Phod and Lee: Lady you are no fun!

Lady: Thank you for joining us for safety week.  Have you every had a wildlife encounter? What did you do?



Monday, August 11, 2014

Mischief Monday - Phod's Annual Check Up

Saturday was Phod's annual check up.  The Man and I and the dogs piled into the car and drove the hour to the clinic and then the dog park.

Lots of mischief occurred on this trip.

1) The Man and I decided to try Hod in the car without his anti-nausea meds. While Phod was clearly more relaxed, he did get sick. We picked up more meds for our next trip.

2) Hailey and Zaphod both were not well behaved in the lobby at the clinic. They did sort of ok before the appointment but after when I was trying to pay and get Bagheera's remains and cat food for Nin, the Man actually had to take them outside. They were a bit embarrassing (and it being a Saturday the clinic was very, very busy). I said to them "Baggy was the best behaved on this trip."


video
Hailey complaining about being in the exam room (and this was when she was calm)


3) I get a huge fail as a dog owner. I didn't realize Phod had a yeast infection in his left ear. It had looked a little dirty, but I thought nothing of it. I didn't know German Shepherd's were prone to ear infections (this is Phod's first). We now know what it looks like so can watch for it. We also have drops to help clear it up.

4) At the dog park Phod found the one puddle and played in it, right after the vet said no water until his ear heals. Silly boy!

5) Hailey ate poop and had the stinkest poop smelling burps ever!

The trip wasn't all mischief, it had it's good points:

Other than the ear infection Phod is completely healthy. He weighs in at 70lbs, which is about 8 lbs more than last weigh in. The vet said both he and Hailey look perfect and he isn't at all concerned about the weight. I have to remind myself that when we got Phod he was very, very underweight (about 45 lbs), so perhaps it has taken him these 2 years to catch up and finish growing.

The vet checked Hailey's butt again because she has been obsessively butt licking the past few days, but there is nothing wrong with it. She just likes to lick her butt.

The dogs were super stars at the park. We picked one of the hottest days of the summer to go and we went at noon. The park was quiet. We walked slower, took lots of water breaks and stayed in the shade as much as possible. The pups ran, sniffed, played with other dogs and had a lovely time and no one got too hot.

Overall, it was a rather successful trip to town and the pups were exhausted the rest of the day!







Tomorrow is our instalment in Safety Week - please drop by.




Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Real World Approaches

"Not the real world!"
After 2 glorious weeks off, I go back to work Monday. I am lucky, I really love my job (I work with individuals with autism) but I have  enjoyed the time off. I got all my organization projects done, the pups and I have had more exercise and spent more time outside. On Thursday I tackled the stinging nettle that was creeping into our yard. I will tolerate a lot of weeds (I refuse to use pesticide and hate gardening) but the nettle had to go. Hailey stayed on her tie out happily and Phod just pupped around as I dug up 108 nettle plants.

This last weekend before back to the real world is a busy one. Today, Phod gets to try the car out again as we head to the vet for his annual check up. Let's hope he travels well! We will also be picking up Bagheera's remains. I will be glad to have him home. As it is quite the trip into town (about an hour to the vet) we are heading to the dog park for a run after.  On Sunday, Aunt C, Uncle D and human cousin Maggie are planning on coming for a visit so the dogs can meet her. We really want Hailey to get use to Maggie ASAP so hopefully she won't be as scared of her as she grows up.

A special thanks to Love is Being Owned by a Husk for this. We really are lucky to have him.


Remember next week is Safety week. Thanks to Sarge and Bites for organizing all of this. There is going to be some awesome information. Come back on Tuesday to see our post on Wild Animal Encounters.