His Fluffiness, River

River is our male akita. A member of a very hairy breed, this dog has always been extra fluffy. It’s not just the sheer quantity of fur, or the length, it’s the thickness of it that’s incredible. There are places in River’s body you cannot get through that fur and find skin.

Akitas blow their coat twice a year. Blowing their coat simply means they turn into hair-dropping machines for weeks on end. Tuffs of the stuff falls off them in clumps, long hairs drop everywhere and join groups to make tumbleweed-like balls around the house. They drop so much fur that I often wonder how they don’t end up bald. But they stay their furry, fluffy selves. The floor, however, is covered and I run around with my vacuum like a mad woman during those times.

Over the years, River’s coat has gotten thicker and harder to clean. We’ve increased the washes, but we couldn’t get through the fur to the skin underneath. The problem was that neither could fresh air. So his skin stayed wet and created infections.

One visit to our vet and a series of antibiotics later, River’s skin was back to its happy pink and no longer irritated. But antibiotics could only do so much. His fur had to be combed and parted so the issue wouldn’t return. This could only be achieved through a professional groomer.

We worried River might not like the groomer, so we gave him some gentle sedation before he went, but we didn’t need to worry. The soothing bath and relaxing massage that went along with the spa-like treatment were right up his alley. River loved every minute of the grooming process.

The best part, though was the result. After wards, River’s fur was so soft, it was almost like touching down. Touching him was a delight on the senses. It was like caressing a puppy.

I’ve taken pictures, though I’m sorry to say they don’t actually show just how fluffy and soft he is. Still, to a picture is worth a thousand words. Take a look at his fluffiness, River.

An open letter to Mother Nature

Dear Mother Nature,

It’s Mid April. Is there anyway you could send us some warm weather? I know the akitas around here love the snow, but some of us aren’t covered in fur and a few sunny days would be really welcomed.

Thanks,

Taylor

On beds and rebel dogs

Well, some things are coming together in our new home. 

Beds are sprouting everywhere. Even those for the four legged sort.

However, their fluffiness have yet to lay on them.

Apparently, they weren’t consulted on the colour of this particular doggie bed and it just won’t do.

 

New cushions

It’s that time of year again. Kids go back to school, the leaves change colour, the weather starts to get colder…and akitas get new cushions.

Ocean’s new cushion

River’s bigger

Yeap, sadly neglected these two.

It’s that time of year…

This time of year, most parents are busy buying supplies for their kids to return to school. They buy everything from calculators and pencils to coats and boots. It’s exciting for the kiddies because they get brand new stuff and it feels a little like Christmas.

Well, we didn’t want our ‘kids’ to feel left out, so…

We got them some ‘supplies’. 😀

5 things I learned from my dogs

I value the wisdom of my dogs. In spite of all our technological advances as humans, there are times when I truly wonder who is the species with the greater intellect.

5. Trust your gut (nose).

4. No matter what, I love you.

3. A daily walk is a must.

2. Make time to play and rest.

1. The present moment is everything.

Of cushions and husbands

Well, I’m sick. I don’t know if it’s the weather or allergies or what but my head feels like there are a thousand bees buzzing around in it. It certainly didn’t help that we were running around in the freezing cold yesterday searching for a new cushion for River. This is our weather statement right now. It’s cold out there and it’ll be cold for a while yet. I know we have winter dogs but I fret about leaving them outside for the entire day when it’s this cold. So, last Friday, I left them in…and River decided the best way to spend his time was to eat his cushion. So now we’re looking for another one for his royal fluffiness.

But it’s easier said than done. We have demands we want from a cushion and yesterday, after looking through 3 stores, we had to head home and warm up. So, my hubby decided he would fix the cushion.

He started with a needle and thread…but after many British curses that I won’t repeat here and too many bandaids to count, he moved to another medium. 

Duck tape.

River’s tough day

Breakfast is an early affair for River, mostly because his sister, Ocean, is full of beans and won’t sleep past 6 am no matter how many times you explain to her that it’s the weekend.

Breakfast! Yum!

Breakfast is gone in under a minute and this morning, since it included rice, it didn’t last past the 30 second mark.

Time for a nap

Afterwards, of course, it’s time for a much needed nap. Eating so early takes a lot out of poor, sadly-neglected River. But mom doesn’t think he should spend the day sleeping, and she’s insisting on a walk. Sheesh.

A walk? At this hour? Well, make it a short one, will you?

One walk later, it’s definitely time to rest…except River sees mom cooking and that means scavenging for what little crumbs might fall to the ground in the kitchen.

If you give me a little treat, I won’t tell Ocean

Obviously, that’s a full day for his fluffiness and a rest is well deserved. Once mommy is done in the kitchen, it’s time for that nap. Better still, a nap by her feet, so he’s within petting distance.

What a day!

Thankfully, supper is next, so that he can replenish his strength…but what’s this? Mom decided to have two walks today! Ocean is over the moon, of course, but she’s always been a little nutty. Two walks is exhausting for poor River and it’ll take him days to recuperate from the ordeal.

At least there’s supper! Phew!

Finally, finally, he can rest and take it easy from his very tough day.

Zzzz

An uninvited guest

We live in the country. We love the fact that we get tons of trees around our home and the animal life that comes with them. In fact, when we saw a family of foxes, we were over the moon, staring at them and taking pictures. We really love our wild critter neighbours.

Until they come into the house, that is.

Yesterday, a mourning dove decided our garage was much more appealing than the trees and in she came.

What? Trees are for the birds

After flying around the inside of the garage for a minute, she landed on our open garage door and seemed quite content to stay there.

My husband, the therapist, immediately decided she needed counselling. He headed back into the house to check the DSM book.

I decided to try and explain things to our feathery friend. But, no matter how clearly I said to her that she was a bird who needed to live in the trees, our new visitor disagreed.In fact, she seemed to like the tone of my voice and settled quite happily in her new home.

It was time to use force. I got a dusty old broom out and waved it in the air, when that didn’t get a reaction, I touched the garage door, then moved closer to the bird. Until she flew…to the other side of the garage and found a new perch.

This is pretty nice too. Good view

My hubby reappeared and, seeing the bird was still with us, shook his head and headed back inside. My two furry akitas had, by this time, heard the commotion and were trying to get into the garage to see what the fuss was about. Through the door, I could see my hubby banging his head against the wall.

I tried moving closer to the bird to intimidate her with my human presence but this dove seemed devoid of any fear and didn’t even budge an eyelid. Jumping, waving my arms and even singing caused similar reactions and finally, exhausted, I decided to embrace our feathery friend. Maybe we could leave the garage door open in perpetuity.

That was when the clouds parted a rare ray of winter sunshine fell across our front lawn. While we don’t live in a paradisiacal forest, when the sun shines on the trees, it’s quite beautiful. Certainly more appealing than the inside of our garage.

The dove agreed and flew back outside.

Ah…life in the country is never boring.