Monday, December 21, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
But every once in awhile, Chase shows a flash of brilliance. Tonight when I got home, Chase was in the wrong pen. He lives with Goldie in their own pen. Chase is the only dog Goldie will tolerate on a full-time basis. He's not bright enough to be dominant! Goldie likes a boy she can boss around!
Chase has figured out that he can use his extraordinarily long legs and the block of ice frozen into a bath tub that is their water bowl in the summer to launch himself over the fence! Fortunately, that just puts him in a bigger pen and Chase gets along with everyone. He had a self-scheduled play date for the afternoon!
Of Course he's not smart enough to figure out how to get back into his pen and was a bit stressed about being seperated from his girlfriend.
He's no genius, but maybe he's not quite as dumb as he appears!
Monday, November 02, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I'd been saving up for a new camera for awhile...the dogs kept draining my camera account! Last week, I finally took the plunge and ordered a Nikon D300s. It arrived a few days ago. Oh my! I've shot with a digital SLR for more than three years and this thing makes me feel like I've never even shot a plain ol' point and shoot camera before! Hello, learning curve!
Monday, October 05, 2009
Welcome back winter! Not that I'm quite ready for you yet!
Mac and some of the younger dogs are enjoying the snow. Sleet decided that today was a good time to play her "age has it's privledges" card. She won't go outside for any longer than absolutely neccessary. For a former lead dog, she has quite an aversion to snow now!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
After 10 years, you'd think I would know better! Stuart has a bigger is better theory on most things he builds! This is what I came home to find him building last week...complete with trusses, extra support beams, a place to hang all the lines and harness, and enough room to store not only my dog sled, but the ATV and snowmobile too! And still open the 10 foot gate with no problem!
The finished chute cover, with a full tin roof! Two gates I won't have to worry about clearing this winter!
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Franklin has always been a late shedder, the last of the dogs to let go of his winter coat. So I wasn't too worried when he started to look a little ratty! Until I noticed the bare spots of skin, the red patches and the incessant itching started! Everything about Franklin screams this dog is hypothyroid, but after running every test known to man for that, he most definately is not hypothyroid.
He's on his second round of antibiotics for a bacterial skin infection. Now we think it's secondary to seasonal allergies. I can so relate to those! This time we added in a dose of prednisone, which has knocked out the itching.
Current plan is a month of pred and antibiotics, then wean him off the pred. By then there will have been enough frost that whatever pollen or plant he's reacting to will be dead! His coat should fill back out in time for the real winter weather. Franklin loves to run and it's hard to be a sled dog with bare skin sticking out!
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Chum is holding his own in his battle with liver cancer. He's a bit underweight still, but he is eating. If you didn't know how Chum used to be, you would be hard pressed to tell how sick he is. Seems a bit ironic that for six years every day I told that dog to settle down and shut up and now I'm thrilled when he growls and runs a bit!
Goldie is also waging a battle with cancer, although her diagnosis isn't as definative or as dire as Chum's. She has a large lump, rock solid and firmly attached to her rib cage. There really isn't a thing we can do about it. It's not removable. Goldie is already on anti-inflammatory painkillers for chronic shoulder and hip pain. She is still content to boss Chase around, hog all the rawhides and bark at the new neighbors!
And Sweet Sleet...She's not really ill. She's just ancient. She is well into her 15th year. Her advancing age becomes more obvious all the time. She is stiff with a weak back end and she prefers to spend her days on her favorite blanket. Her dinner bowl hides a couple different medications! She's still fiesty though..no young punk dog is coming between Sleet and her treats. She showed her vet a flash of teeth and 'tude earlier this week when she objected to a blood draw! When you are ancient your vet comes by alot!
I think that's all the patients right now, at least the canine ones!
Monday, August 17, 2009
I'm so sorry, little one. You deserved better.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
The forest fire smoke moved in the next day. Hannah has mild asthma so the smoke was a bit of a problem for her, but she never let it slow her down too much! She's a happy, delightful kid!
And a natural athlete. We spent a day at Snafu Lake where Hannah was determined to try kayaking. She's only 11 and small for her age, but she handled 15 feet of boat like a pro! Naomi caught the only fish of the day. After 10 years of trying, my Dad has still been skunked by Yukon fish...not one in all those years!
We went for a tour at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, where there were lots of babies this year! Including these very curious twin mule deer fawns.
My waste of money Sacco cart finally got some use. My dogs all, without exception, either hate the cart or are terrified of it! The kids had a great time hauling each other around the yard!
It's amazing what a six year old will do for five bucks! Emma picked up every old, chewed-up, rotten bone in the main yard and did it singing a song the entire time! Give her a wheelbarrow and she's a happy kid!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Please say hello to Princess!
Princess is an 18th month old husky mix. Right now she's here on an extended play date. Her actual owner, who truly does care about her, is ill and just can't take care of her. How long Princess stays will depend on his health....
Tehya would like her to stay forever! They have become fast friends who spend all day running and wrassling!
Princess is ridiculously small! She tops out at about 25 pounds! She's a pint sized husky!
But she plays like a big dog!
She's alot of fun, full of joy and energy! Tehya is enjoying having another young dog to play with and I suspect Anvik is enjoying the break from being Tehya's chew toy!
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Somewhere under that haze of forest fire smoke are the beautiful mountains I usually get to look at on my drive home.
There is not enough Reactine on the planet to counteract my allergic reaction to that smoke!
I'd so much rather deal with the ice fog that occurs in extreme cold!
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Check out all the Grey Cup fun here!
Thanks to my awesome hubby, who bought the tickets and my airfare(my birthday and christmas presents until the end of time I am sure!) and who is staying home to take care of the furries so I can spend a few days with my Dad! He rocks! Actually both my hubby and my Dad rock! My life is richly blessed with good ones!
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Sweet, happy Mac. How do you resist that smile? He has come a long way from that scaredy dog no one could touch. He can be trouble, with a capital T, but at his core he's a good boy who just needs some really clear limits....like a 7 foot fence!
SwSweet Ozzy, scared of his own shadow but determined to protect his territory or at least bark enough to convince any intruder that he's much tougher than he looks! So noisy...sorry about that neighbor people!
Ozzy has healed nicely from his broken shoulder blade. I don't think there will be any negative effects on his sled dog career...thank goodness as a tired Ozzy is a good Ozzy!
Happy Birthday, Mac & Ozzy!
Saturday, June 20, 2009
He's the easiest dog in the pack...happy, sweet, friendly to everyone of any species. It would almost be boring around here if they were all like! Almost......
Happy Birthday, Earle!!
Monday, June 08, 2009
Anvik's napping hole gets bigger everyday and yet I can't find enough dirt to fill it back in. It would be a loosing battle anyway. It's hot out. Huskies must dig down to the cool earth!
I suppose I should be glad he doesn't dig tunnels like Kayleigh! She has a elaborate network of tunnels in her pen! Don't know where all the dirt went from those either!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Last night I came home to find Paxil stuck in her favorite dog house, unable to figure out how to turn around or move backwards to get out. She was clearly not feeling well so I carried her into the house and settled her on her bed, right inside the door beside the woodstove; a spot she claimed when she first arrived here and rarely ventured from if she was in the house. She wouldn't eat but she drank some water.
This morning she could not stand on her own. She had not made a sound all night or given a single kiss. This was a dog who talked all the time about everything and anything. There was no point wearing make-up around Paxil, she would just lick it off. My kissy girl.
We loaded her into the van for a trip to the vet, knowing that it was unlikely she was coming home again. She spent the day at the clinic. Our vet believes she had a mass in her stomach, perhaps an aggressive reoccurance of the mast cell cancer she had previously beaten. That mass started to bleed and sent a clot either to her spinal cord or her brain. The vet, sweet Dr. Candace, offered to do some tests and x-rays to determine where the clot was, but that knowledge would not have changed the outcome. Paxil was slipping away, her body slowly shutting down. Whatever made her my special girl was already gone. I sat with her until it seemed she starting to struggle to breath. Then I asked Candace to help her cross. Paxil offered no resistance and left her failing body gently.
Paxil changed my life. The very first time I ever stood on the runners of a dog sled and asked a team to "gee", she was my lead dog.
She was perfect then and I was hooked. A couple years later, the opportunity to bring Paxil here presented itself and I was delighted to offer her a semi-retirement home. She loved being a house dog who still pulled. She was the lead dog musher's dream about...responsive, consistent, she never missed a command, she always knew the way home, she was smarter than her musher, a trait that saved us from a couple long, cold nights in the bush! When she retired at the start of this season, I seriously considered it myself. There will never be another like her in my team or my heart. There are a whole bunch of recycled sled dogs here who owe her their home, for without her I would have no need for sled dogs of any kind!
I will miss her bossing me around; how she always pushed me out of the way to get in the door first, like I was going to steal her favorite spot if I got there before her; how she always waited until I was comfortable before deciding that she needed fresh water; how she followed me around the yard prancing and wooing her tales; that silly spotted tongue and her soft brown eyes.
I hate that empty blanket by the door. I hate that she didn't trip me today and that there is only one bowl of old house dog food being served tonight. I hate that she never told me she was so ill. And I am grateful she never told me, that she didn't suffer or linger for months; that she made it very clear when she needed to go.
Rest well, my girl. You earned it. Thank you..............
Monday, May 25, 2009
Havana is a beautiful city, full of history, chaos and life! I wouldn't call it a relaxing start to our holiday, but it was unforgettable and we both loved it.
The architecture is stunning. There are remarkable old buildings everywhere. This was once the Cuban capital building, but is now home to a science institute. We stayed in the heart of Old Havana, a UNESCO world heritage site, in a 100 year old hotel. So we could walk to just about all the sites. Being a pedestrian in Havana is a bit tricky though. The Cubans drive like maniacs. There are no road signs, no crosswalks, very few lights. We got pretty good at dashing across busy streets!
We did take a few cabs including these fun little things, Coco Cabs. Basically they are three wheeled motorcycles with two seats and a bubble like topper. Much more fun than a plain ol' car!
We spent a full day exploring the fortresses that protected the city for hundreds of years. I think Stuart wants a cannon in our driveway! He liked the cannons!
We heard alot of great music in Havana and came home with quite a collection of CDs. Every bar band in Cuba has cut a CD!
We also went to the Tropicana show, a spectacle worth every dime of the admission price.
After three days in Havana, we cut a deal with a taxi driver and got a ride down the road to the beach resort town of Varadero.
Now that was relaxing! Twenty-one kilometres of white sand beach, plenty of sun and swimming, lots of rum!
We went deep sea fishing. Didn't catch anything, but as Stuart says it's called fishing, not catching! The open bar on the boat made him a happy fisherman anyway!
I went scuba diving. Stuart is a certified diver, but I'd never been before. His ears were acting up and he couldn't take the pressure in the ocean so he went snorkling and I went diving with Ivan, the uber-awesome dive master. Ivan was very good at getting me past the initial panic of being underwater and trying to breath!We did two dives, on a coral reef, saw lots of fish and funky underwater plants.
The sunsets were amazing. We just don't get sunsets like that up here. We had great weather, with a lovely cooling breeze everyday, lots of sun, no bugs and only a bit of rain on the last evening we were there.
I found some kitties to feed so I was not deprived of purrs while we were away! The hotel in Varadero had a small cat colony living on the grounds. The kittens were very friendly and sucked a few people into stealing food from the buffets for them!
It was a great way to celebrate our tenth anniversary. We will definately go back to Cuba to explore the rest of the island. The dogs didn't traumatize the sitters so we might not have to wait another ten years for a holiday!