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!

Warning: feral dog ahead

Here’s my protective, watch-dog, River busy guarding our home.

River hard at work

River hard at work

Here’s a close up of the dangerous fiend.

Notice the eyes are half-closed....

Notice the eyes are half-closed….

He’s sadly neglected as well as vicious…

That's my hand trying to wake him up...and not working.

That’s my hand trying to wake him up…and not working.

Yeap. He’s super-dangerous, this one.

River’s boo boo

My husband and I own two dogs. Since they’re akitas, they’re apt to howling instead of barking and have an insane amount of fur.

Well, said fur might be lovely but it knots like anything. So I brush it. Daily. I was in the middle of doing just that when I felt something hard and weird deep under River’s fur.

I couldn’t tell what it was and he wasn’t really inclined to let me poke around. So I waited until he was eating. River is food-driven, so he notices nothing while he eats. As soon as he started chewing, I started moving fur around.

And found this.

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The thing wasn’t in his fur. It was stuck deep into his flesh and hidden by the fur. The dark part was where it was imbedded into him and blood had soaked it to that colour. I pulled it out and stared in horror at the hole it left behind. I ran for the antibiotic ointment and applied that while River was finishing his meal (he eats really fast).

This…thing was in the fleshy part of his hind leg, where he couldn’t reach, so at least the ointment was going to stay put. River didn’t seem upset or even aware that I had done this but I was almost in tears.

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That’s where it was, deep inside there. It was really hard to even find it and pretty much sheer luck that I did. Still, it left me pretty shaken up and I  was determined to perform a close inspection of all his fur, just in case there were any other things stuck in there.

Of course, I didn’t find any more. But what were they? And where did they come from? And how did they end up on the thigh of my doggie?

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Looking around the yard, I found these seeds and I think that’s what imbedded itself into River’s back thigh. There are thousands of these all over the yard thanks to the massive tree that sheds them.

I still have no idea how that seed ended up embedded inside River and no way to keep them away from River or Ocean. Raking the entire lawn one day only caused exhaustion and I was certain I heard the tree laugh as it spilled even more seeds to the ground.

For the next few days, I hovered anxiously over each dog as they stepped outside into a minefield of dangers. With an eagle eye, I followed every movement and dashed outside to prevent certain disaster more than once.

The entire discovery was pretty disturbing and, while my therapist hubby assured me that my feelings were okay and I needed to ‘stay true to my process’, I searched River for signs of PTSD.

 

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River didn’t seem to be ‘processing’ anything. In fact, he seemed oblivious to the entire process. While I still searched his legs for other deadly impaled objects, he played with his bit of rope.

River’s lack of enthusiasm aside, I still think I did a good deed for my pooch. I gave myself a pat on the back for being a good doggie mom.

Update: Ocean’s Booboo

I finally caved and dragged Ocean to the vet yesterday. There, they sedated her, shaved the area and palpated around. There wasn’t any blood or liquid coming from the toe so they turned to the X-ray for answers. And there, on the side of her bone there was a tiny fragment that was not attached to the big gone. On the other paw, it clearly was attached.

This is the toe in question

This is the toe in question

In one of her mad dashes around the yard, she must have injured the toe and broken that tiny bone.

Now the vet said there wasn’t anything we could do for the toe but, like all vets, she had a ton of very expensive ideas that might help Ocean. She suggested antibiotics, which I vetoed since there wasn’t an infection, massage and physiotherapy, which I vetoed again when I saw the price of one 20 minute session.

After paying over $500 for the trip, I took a groggy Ocean home.

Ocean sleeping off the anesthetic

Ocean sleeping off the anesthetic

River, keeping Ocean company.

River, keeping Ocean company.

Meanwhile all of this was going on, my lovely hubby was supposed to be at work. Instead, he was buying me this.IMG_0355

Some husbands get their wives flowers…I got the world’s oddest plunger.

Ocean’s boo-boo

We didn’t get dogs when we moved out to the country. We got dogs and then decided to move out to the country–because was a better environment for our pooches.

It’s safe to say they’re a little spoiled.

Our diva-girl, Ocean, posing for the camera

Our diva-girl, Ocean, posing for the camera

River loves watching TV

River loves watching TV

They’re fluffy, they’re silly and they’re ours. In spite of their ability to shed their body weight in hair every few months, we love them to bits.

That was why when I saw Ocean, limping, I ran to her side to check out the injury. After many licks from her and a few more from River, I was able to see that there was a bit of blood on her right front paw. Caring dog-mother that I am, I immediately ran for the antibiotic ointment.

Believe it or not, there was blood on this paw

Believe it or not, there was blood on this paw

Well, Ocean licked the ointment off in less time than it takes me to type this. I moaned in despair and reapplied. More licks followed.

I think she got hurt digging this hole...

I think she got hurt digging this hole…

My husband wasn’t as worried as I was…but I was besides myself. All day, I rushed from place to place, trying to get back home to check on our girl. When I finally got home, I ran to the yard, desperate to check on Ocean.

Why are you looking at me like that? Everything's fine.

Why are you looking at me like that? Everything’s fine.

The fuzz-ball in question was running around the yard madly chasing an invisible squirrel. I have never seen her that happy.

I guess I better cancel that emergency appointment I made at the vet’s.

Disaster Monday

I have a wonderful hubby. A lovely, caring, rather big man who has a heart to match.

But he can’t turn on the TV without help.

In fact, just about anything with electricity baffles him. I honestly don’t know how he manages to drive to work.

You think I kid? Only a week ago, I showed him how to work the TV remote.

Again.

Last Monday, I was at work when I got his panicked phone message.

“Taylor, there’s a problem with the sub pump. We have a flood!” And nothing else. No further details, notes or instructions.

Calling him is futile. He would never remember to keep the cell with him or even know how to answer it if it rang. I was impressed he had managed to use the phone and leave a message.

Fearing a flood of Biblical proportions, I spoke to my boss, pleaded for mercy and ran home.

Where I found my hubby staring at the sub pump surrounded by our dogs. All wore identical puzzled expressions on their faces.

While the dogs tried to demonstrate their boundless love by ruining my work clothes, I inquired about the flood.

He pointed to the hole. “It’s coming.”

I peered over the edge to the perfectly working sub pump, with its back up and prayed to whatever deities exist for patience.

“You’re not going to need the mop.”

He chuckled with a knowing look. “You’re so wrong.”

Just then, River decided he had waited long enough and lifted his leg.

My hubby was right, he did need that mop after all.

 

 

Snowy day

Well, here in Canada we get a few snowy days but I thought I should share pictures from our last one.

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Things gives you an idea of the accumulation.

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This is early morning, where the snow is just coming and coming and you know it’s going to be a snowy day.

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Well, that’s River, who thinks snow is the best thing in the world after doggie food and doesn’t understand why I try to clean him when he comes indoors. One shake and he’s free of it, so why do I chase him with a towel? Obviously, it’s a new game for him to enjoy. And he does.

Coming up in 2016

What can you look forward to in this little blog? I happen to have big plans for 2016. Yeap. Big. BIG!

Well, there’s definitely going to be more book reviews…

You’ll probably also be subjected to more doggie stories not just because I can’t keep those to myself but…

Because there’s a rumour going around this place that we might be getting a puppy.

Now the idea wasn’t only mine! Really. Hubby is practically obsessed with the thought. He has been looking at sites and checking out breeders to find one that’s both reputable and trustworthy in his quest to find Ocean and River just the right baby brother or sister.

Now, I know we already have two dogs and that’s plenty. I know two dogs are a lot of work and we’re already busy. I really, honestly know that getting a third would only add chaos to our already dog-crowded house…but the idea of getting a puppy for our two fluff balls just melts my heart.

I fear I might not put up a lot of resistance…

And yes, absolutely, some where in 2016, I should get my act in gear and move forward with my own writing. I do have some ideas on that front too.

Comments? Thoughts? Anything you’d like to see…or would like to never see again? Anything you’re sick of? Curious about? Let me know! I’d love to hear from you!