Update on Ocean…

A little while ago, I rambled on about our doggie Ocean who wasn’t acting like herself. One mental breakdown on my part later, we were at the vets’ inside an incredibly tiny and stuffy office. After much poking, prodding of Ocean and sweating like overcooked noodles from ourselves, the vet recommended switching her food (she might have allergies to it) and doing blood work and stool analysis.

River, super-serious as usual

I’m not one to leave things to chance. We had just switched our doggies’ food thinking this new brand might be a better quality for them but, since Ocean was obviously poisoned not reacting well to it, it had to go. Without further ado, we threw out the old and went shopping for new. Meanwhile, I cooked some oatmeal, eggs and tuna (we’re vegan but our doggies are not and they love tuna) and I made her a little get-better meal for her…though River thought it was awesome as well.

My lovely girl, not feeling her best

Since our last vet visit Ocean, who has always been on the thin side, has lost over 4 kilograms. Translated, that’s about 9 lbs…a huge percentage of her already tiny weight. It might very well be due to allergies over food, but my overactive mind created all sorts of other horrific diseases that could also be responsible for this issue. Terrified, I waited on pins and needles for the blood work and analysis results.

Finally, after calling the vet so many times I memorized the number, they came in.

This is where it can’t be easy to be a vet, but it’s also super challenging to be a patient. While the stool revealed nothing wrong, the blood work was inconclusive. Ocean has slightly elevated kidney numbers which might indicate an infection, might indicate something as dire as kidney disease (incurable, by the way), might just be a reaction to her food or might not be anything at all. I banged my head against the wall while the vet tried to calmly explain all the possible scenarios. I have to give her credit because, while I freaked out, she patiently explained everything from Leptospirosis to cancer. I wanted symptoms, outcomes (bad and good) and prognosis…and I wasn’t exactly mellow while she explained all the dire consequences that my poor, fluffy Ocean could be facing. Worse, if possible, she could be contagious and be giving some of these terrible diseases to River.

At some point, I started to bawl and became incomprehensible, so lovely hubby had to take over. I know they’re only dogs, but my silly heart doesn’t listen to reason or logic. It’s head over heels with these two fluff balls and nothing but happiness on their side will do.

Our gorgeous boy

So, what’s the prognosis? Well, unfortunately, medicine with animals is challenging mostly because they can’t talk to us. Ocean can’t tell us what hurts. The good news is that, since the last time we weighed her, she’s put on about 3lbs (that’s great news in only 7 days) and that she had almost clear results on the blood work and stool sample. But the truth is, gentle reader, that we don’t know for certain. I’m really hoping that it’s just a bad reaction to her food and things will keep getting better but we won’t know until a few weeks go by and she gets really better.

Meanwhile, I will give her extra cuddles and kisses…and River as well so he won’t feel left out.

Beautiful girl

 

Where River defends me

Just yesterday, my hubby was away doing his therapy thing and I was deep in a new book (bliss!) when Ocean barked. Now, akitas aren’t barking dogs. So, when they do, it’s important.

I left my book and peeked outside the window and there, in the middle of our front yard, was a strange car. I frowned wondering if it was in trouble but soon enough, a rather large bearded man emerged from the vehicle and it was obvious that: 1. he wasn’t in trouble and 2. he planned on leaving his car parked in the middle of our front yard.

Like most Canadians, I don’t like confrontations. I prefer to bend, be kind and go on my merry way. I’m small and slight, not exactly a threatening size. My face can do funny, kind and sad but it messes up angry. When I frown, people smile back. So intimidating isn’t my strong suit. Still, since the snow had mostly melted and the ground was soft, this car was going to do major damage to our front yard. I had to say something.

That’s when I thought of River.

At a good 20 lbs over 100, my lovely furry boy is on the large side of an akita. Add his lovely, thick fur and you’ve got a good sized dog. The opposite of Ocean who loves every two legged person she meets, River is more interested in food than people. He’s wary of strangers and very protective of yours truly. The result is he usually glares at new comers.

With River at my size, I headed over to the neighbour’s. There was a group of men, all rather on the large end of the scale, chatting, smoking and drinking beer. Giving them my best smile, I held tightly to River’s leash and asked them if there was any chance they might be able to move the car.

“I’m really sorry to bother you, I just worry about our grass,” I added.

The owner of the car turned in my direction and two small, dark eyes focused on me. Canadian or not, there wasn’t a single ounce of kindness in that stare. Then they flickered to River.

“Sure. I’ll move it right away,” he grumbled.

Have I mentioned that I love my dogs? They’re the best!

If we were having coffee…

(credit: wikimedia)

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that Ocean, one of our two super-spoiled akitas, might be a bit sick. She’s been licking herself to the point that she’s irritating her skin, driving my hubby up the wall and worrying me to bits. We have an appointment with the vet on Thursday and I hope they’re on a listening mood because I’m going with all my worries real and imaginary.

I’d also tell you that I finally have an appointment with a dietitian about our recent switch to plant-based food. I have to make a 3-day diary of what I eat and drink and then show it to them so they can tell me how balanced it is or how to improve it. I’m really looking forward to it because I want to know if we’re missing iron or proteins or vitamins as soon as we can so we can fix it. I’m also worried about my water intake. I might be part gecko because I don’t think I drink enough of the stuff.

Finally, before you started to think I was totally normal, I’d moan about our weather. It’s minus 26 with the wind and it’s March. Time for Mother Nature to get on with the program and start easing off. Worse, there’s a massive storm on our way for Tuesday. We already have warnings and special statements online and it’s only the weekend.

I am so not excited about this.

How about you? How is your weekend going?

Credits: Weekend Coffee Share is a meme developed by Part Time Monster and now hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Where I judge others

I’m going to be honest here, I judge people. I know I should not make passing judgements, but the truth is, I judge them. Worse, I have criteria.

1. You have a pet.

If you have a pet, you’re already my friend. We might not know each other, but you’re already in my circle of people I like and trust. Everything counts in my book, from a mouse to an exotic bearded dragon, if you have a pet at home, I like you–even if I don’t know you.

2. You have a dog.

Of course, if that pet should happen to be a dog, you’re among the few and friendly best. There’s no logical reason for this discrimination, but I find that dog owners (and cat owners are included in this category) are super kind, friendly people who happen to know what it’s like to wake up in the middle of the night because your best furry friend just puked up their dinner.

3. Your dog is massive, drools or you have several dogs.

These are a rare kind of people that must be cherished. They know what it’s like to have drool everywhere, to have many, many towels to hand to a guest as soon as they walk in the door. They understand what it’s like to try to pet your dog but your arms don’t reach around his girth. They know what it’s like to have such dog try to get on your lap because they don’t understand that they’re not a puppy and weigh around 150 lbs. They understand about being outnumbered at walk-time and know that the couch is theirs only for periods of time.

 

I find these are rare, precious individuals who have loving, warm hearts and aren’t afraid of a little dirt. They may not keep up with current fashion trends, but they know everything about trying to keep a house from smelling of dog and giving up during spring when said dog (or dogs) are perpetually wet.

Dog people understand like few can.

So, if you find yourself watching the beautiful parabolic arch of drool going from your furry friend’s mouth through the air into your cup of tea…don’t scream in frustration. Come and tell me all about it.

Trust me. I’ve been there.

 

 

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you around this time of year, I start to yearn for sunshine, longer days, warmer weather and less snow. The hairballs we have as dogs, however, would probably love winter all year around. To them, this is heaven.

Around here, though, Mother Nature rules with a cold fist and there are still weeks and weeks of the white stuff ahead of us. As I look outside my window, all I see is swirling flakes of snow. When the dogs come in from the outside, they are covered with the stuff.

In other news, my job changes tomorrow along with the start of February. I work with the public, so mine is not a predictable job. People come in with all sorts of interesting quirks, issues and stories, appreciating them is the highlight of my job…but it can also be the catalyst for nightmarish headaches. People are a funny lot. Logic doesn’t always apply to the them; alarmingly, neither does hygiene.

On the funny side, TV has never been this entertaining.

How about you? How is your February going?

Note: If we were having coffee is a meme created by Part Time Monster.

Groundhog Day

Notwithstanding what the groundhog predicted, this is the scene outside my window right now…

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And that is Ocean, one of my two akita dogs who refuse to come inside when there’s a snow storm going on.

Inside? Not now!

I don’t want to come inside yet.

Why have cushions and warmth when you can sit on a pile of snow and ice?

It was a calm and quiet morning…

Sunday morning, the dogs are sleeping at my feet. I have a fruit smoothie at my side (we’re doing this vegan thing) and I’m checking out the internet. All is good, all is calm. I love quiet mornings like this.

The week can wait, nothing has to be done today but to rest and relax and maybe kiss the dogs one more time. Isn’t it lovely to have weekends?

Of course, there’s also this…

 

Of coffee and weather woes

We’re getting freezing rain. For those of you who are happily unaware of what freezing rain is, let me explain. It’s sucky. That’s what it is.

It’s basically water falling as rain but solidifying into solid ice as soon as it touches anything solid. Everything ends up covered by a sheet of ice. Trees, walkways, roofs, roads…everything.

2015-11-25-freezing-rain-graphic-jpgw630

(credit:SevereWeatherWiki - Wikispaces)

(credit:SevereWeatherWiki – Wikispaces)

For freezing rain to happen, there has to be a delicate combination of a warm air mass, followed by a colder layer mass to almost freeze it and just the right temperature in the air. The temperature is crucial, if it’s not right, it will melt. Here, in Canada, the temperature is often right.

(credit:MissionMode)

(credit:MissionMode)

Now, if you’re from the part of our lovely planet that’s warm, you might wonder why we Canadians moan about our weather over and over. I mean, how bad can it be?

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Let’s just say that it’s a good thing we’re used to it. Canadian winters are…special. Along with freezing rain, we get lovely things like black ice, really cold temperatures, frostbite and blizzards.

My dogs, however, love winter. The colder it gets, the better they like it.

But we Canadians love to moan about the weather. Doing so creates a bond as we curse and grumble at the snow…usually over a cup of coffee. We even throw in some humour to lighten the dark days. Check out Infinitefreetime‘s version of Black Ice and you’ll see what I mean.