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Wednesday, October 27, 2010


At the park--Linnea was 2 1/2.

My friend Jacqueline and her 2 little kiddies are now on the first leg of their trip back to Perth, Australia (nice, warm Perth, might I add!!).  It's one heck of a loooong flight  and she has to look after to the 2 kiddies on her own!! They are spending tonight in Vancouver and then tomorrow night they are off to Auckland where they have an 8 hour lay-over before the the final leg to Perth. So I thought a couple of pix from the Summers gone by of their visits to my place, were in order.

Jacqueline and Linnea

I miss my garden helper!!

Linnea's bench at the park!

Linnea and Duffy--she was 3 and he was 3 months old!!

Too bad Duffy isn't paying attention, but I love this picture!!

And Liam was 4 months old and one of the reson's Duffy loves babies so much!!
Kevin and the kiddies--August  2009--BBQ and last visit before the big move to Australia

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Two Very Different Weeks-Part II

Okay, for the 2 1/2 people that read this blog, onto the good stuff of the 2nd week!! First of all the RCMP determined that the other driver is at fault by going through a red light! Guess they went and checked on that pressure activated left-hand turn lane that Dave mentioned to them!! Hahahahaha!! So that means the Third Party's insurance company is going to have to pay for my truck's repairs! Yay!! I guess? My AMA guy is trying to get the info for me, so we can actually get on this--like the before the snow flies maybe? Oh, wait, there's some snow falling this morning!  Well before Christmas then?  I'll be really happy when the repairs actually begin!!

Then we of Second Wind Dreams had a busy and productive week--I'm finally getting into this chair business, but it's a lot of work--unpaid of course.  The story of my life!! Anyway, we had a saxophone and cheesecake hour on Unit 4AB last Sunday, 2 special meals for 2 6Y residents--one was dim sum and the other lobster--set up in the solarium, complete with flowers, tablecloths, etc., and a dinner out for a resident and his lady friend, donated by Buffet Royale. I didn't take the pix for the meals, but here are some from the saxophone hour.

Colleen the saxophone lady. She plays tenor and alto sax and sings quite well too!!
The RCM on 6Y is wonderful--she's so helpful and ready to be involved and that makes such a difference and I also have dear Pollyanna, the Rec. Therapist for the Chinese units and 7C and 7Y, who is always willing to help.  If only everyone was like that!! And I think I have solved the problem of why I never get emails from the EG!! One person was using an email address that started with "b" instead of "D"!! Yeah, that's works!! And others were using an old Covenant email address. I was about ready to give up on being chair, because if I couldn't receive emails from the place, what was the point!!

Duffy's runny poop problem is clearing up nicely and he's sneezing less everyday and last night he didn't have any reverse sneezes at all!! His eye has a discharge again though--one of the classic signs of vaccine damage--distemper vaccine fact.  So the problems are still there. But that's where the homeopath comes in.

I picked up my vastly reduced in price tickets for the Canadian Finals Rodeo in November--November 10 to be exact!! Yay!! And that's because I'm a Northlands volunteer!! Mind you the tickets are only for Wednesday or Thursday performances, but that's okay by me!! Also got complimentary tickets to Farm Fair--can go any day. So that broiled sunburn back in July at the Indy was worth it!!! LOL!!

Also Dave and I finally had our Thanksgiving dinner--a week late!!Lemon Roasted Chicken with Garlic, Winter Squash, and Apples.  Yum!!

And finally we come to the Basic Manners classes with Duffy. The first class, 3 weeks ago, was a semi-nightmare as Duffy whined the whole time and only stopped when we were doing something.  Geez, was that annoying.  And he was pretty stressed--wanted to climb on my lap a couple of times.  We aren't supposed to let our dogs interact with each other, so that upset Duffy too. After that 1st class, I had my doubts about how we would do.  But the 2nd class was a vast improvement--hardly a whine and I began to be cautiously optimistic that we would graduate!!!!!!!! Dave came to the 3rd class this past week, although his involvement was limited as he doesn't know the commands and sequences, because he's not been here to practise. And the best news of all, is that Duffy is sooo smart--he gets things right away.  I've always known he is a one smart dog, but a class setting just proves it.  And he likes to show off that he knows everything!! We did an 'Around the World' exercise on Tuesday, where one after another, everyone has to put their dog in a sit, and the instructor times the whole thing. I have to say, proudly, that Duffy was the fastest onto his little butt!! The total class time was 35 seconds--we have to beat that this week!!

If we can get some improvement in his stress and anxiety issues, I think that there's nothing that Duffy can't learn and that we could do well together. I'm thrilled and excited about our future!! And I ♥ my Duffy Boy so much!! Even when he's whining!!!

What will this week be like? Well hopefully nothing like 2 weeks ago!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Two Very Different Weeks--Part I

I haven't blogged for a couple of weeks and that's because last week was the week from hell and this week has been lots better but really busy. The week from hell started when my husband's darling sister sent him an email on the Saturday of the Thanksgiving weekend.  I won't go into the details but, as usual she doesn't know what she's talking about and she's always trying to make him look bad and herself look like the truly caring daughter. GAG!! I think she put a curse on us at that point! He was supposed to come up here on Sunday but was so upset by her that he didn't sleep much Saturday night and felt it was better if he came up Monday.  That upset me a whole bunch and I had already had the feeling that the whole weekend was going to be rotten and I would end up spending the holiday alone. From this point things just got worse.  Dave set out Monday morning and was involved in a vehicle accident right in Olds with my truck (was my mother's truck).  The other driver, an almost 82 year old man blew through a red light just as Dave was starting to make a left-hand turn onto Highway 27. Luckily no one was injured--just a few seconds later, it would have been a different story. As Dave was at the RCMP detachment giving his statement, the constable got a call to go out of town to a 'situation'.  So everyone had to wait until Tuesday. Now at the scene of the accident, the old boy had said to Dave, "I'm so sorry, I don't know what I was thinking.  I went through the red light."  And there was a witness who called Dave over and said she would give a statement that she saw the old boy go through the red light.  OK--everything sounds pretty straight forward, right? Wrong!!  Come Tuesday. apparently the old fellow decided to change his version or say nothing anyway and the witness recanted her statement!! What the heck?????? So now the constable is suggesting Dave might be charged. And he said that Dave might have influenced the witness because he's a pretty intimidating looking guy!! Huh? Yes Dave is 6' 2", but he's skinny and hardly some beefy, broadshouldered, muscle bound guy.   Then there was the issue of endorsements on the vehicle because Dave wasn't insured on a vehicle in Alberta and wasn't down as a driver on the truck because of that. So it was looking like I might be paying for the repairs. There's not a lot of damage--the grill, bumper, a cracked headlight cover, and hood, but it's estimated at around $3000.

Here is the other driver's vehicle

In the meantime Duffy was suffering from runny poops day after day although he didn't appear to be sick--his nose was cold and wet, he's full of energy, etc. The real joy of this happened on Friday.  I had to be at the EG for a meeting, then visit with my dad and then a couple of us were going to check out a Ukrainian restaurant in anticipation of a dream for a resident. The other 2 gals had differing versions of what the address was and foolishly I didn't look it up, so I couldn't find the place! I did a little shopping and came home to find that Duffy had had an "accident"!! A nice liquidy, splashy one at that!! Poor Duffy! He has never, ever made any kind of mess in the house, even when he was a puppy.  He was kept in an expen and after 2 weeks here, he didn't poop or pee, even over night.  Mind you, I got up every night, somewhere between 1 and 3 and took him outside.  Talk about sleep deprived!!  When I finally took the newspapers out of the pen after a couple more weeks he started to pee on the mat--don't know what that was about! But after an admonishment, he never did it again. 

On Friday he must have been frantic and no one was here to let him out.  But he did the best he could--he did his business right at the back door mat. What a good boy!! Just imagine if this had been on the area rug in the living room!! There were some little drops through the kitchen, no doubt, the aftermath. That was something to come home to!! I spent the next hour or so, washing his beds, washing the floors, vacuuming the floor and washing it again, throwing out the mats and putting new ones down.  Luckily I always buy ahead and had a couple of new ones.  Then Saturday morning I had to give him a rear end bath outside because he was pretty filthy back there and smelly.  He wasn't too happy about it, but afterwards he looked and smelled so much better!! 

I don't know quite what this runny poop is all about. Occasionally he will have one like that but it has never lasted for days.  I fasted him for 24 hour periods and only gave him meaty bones--pork ribs.  Things have improved a whole bunch.  I wonder if going to classes has precipitated some of this problem--he gets easily stressed and anxious. When we were at the vet's at the beginning of October, she said that there were signs that he didn't digest his food properly--notably the mucous in his poop from time to time, his sneezing, and his swayback. He also either has a low pulse rate or low blood pressure--I don't remember which and have to ask Dave!  She said it was a good thing he was on a raw diet, because his problems would be worse if he wasn't! Yikes! He's been sneezing way more in the last 2 weeks and also reverse sneezing. And there's always the possibility he picked up a bug at the dog school--but not something to make him really sick. I've known for some time I have a damaged dog, but this is worse than I thought.  And of course as far as I am concerned this can be laid at the door of vaccines. This really upsets me and makes me angry.

In the meantime, I don't have my truck to drive and miss it's safety and visibilty and our trip to Lethbridge has been postponed-sniff! The truck is the Duffymobile too and although I have been taking Duffy to class in the car--with sheets all over the the velvet type of upholstery of the pristine and only 4000 miles on it, 1986 Olds Cutlass, travelling to Lethbridge with him in the car is not probably too good an idea!!  Now I am thinking about going to Lethbridge, with or without Duffy and Dave, for the end of November, so I can cheer for Jolene and Kort at the dog show!! And I have to get a new Collie license plate!!

Stay tuned for Part II--the good week!!                                          

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ah, Summer at last!!

I can't believe what nice weather we are having, after such a crappy Summer!! Sure it rains every Monday or Tuesday (is there a song about that?), but after that the week improves and we have above normal temperatures! We can't call this "Indian Summer" as by definition that doesn't occur until later Autumn or early Winter. So we'll call this "Extended Summer"!! By the way, we could go all Winter without snow and still have enough moisture reserves in the Spring.  I dug up the last row of carrots on Saturday and the clumps of mud around them were unreal--had to leave them lying in the garden for a day so the mud could dry a bit.

Sunset, yesterday evening.

A zoomed in view.

On another topic, I am feeling a lot happier about having a chance to go to Obedience classes with Duffy and then pursue things like agility, etc. Last week I was really frustrated that first the school(s) were requiring proof of a bordetella vaccine and a rabies vaccine or titers for them. We went to the vet last Monday--had to have an exam first, as we hadn't been there since Duffy was a puppy.  Then she took blood for a rabies titer panel.  They don't do titers for bordetella (also known as Kennel Cough-KC), but she was ready to give Duffy the nasal vaccine. Um, NO!! Of course it was pointed out to me that as Duffy has never had a rabies shot, there probably won't be any titer values. Possibly, but research on DNA has shown that dogs that have never had a rabies shot or been exposed to rabies in any way, have it in their DNA.  So it is being passed along genetically through the massive vaccination campaign that sees dogs in the USA, being given a rabies shot every year or it they are really lucky, every 3 years. Duffy has an American born sire and dam and totally American lines. On top of that, I wouldn't be surprised if Duffy hasn't been exposed to dogs shedding a recent rabies vaccine. And bordetella, too. An event that occurred in the Spring leads me to think this. On our walking circuit through this neighborhood, we pass by a Mastiff's place at the end of our street.  He had always been friendly and we usually took Duffy over to the fence for a hello. Everything was fine until one day in March--I took Duffy over to the fence and suddenly the Mastiff started growling, snarling, frothing at the mouth, and being really scary.  Duffy had done nothing provoking.  We removed ourselves from there quickly!! I believe the mastiff had received a vaccination, probably rabies, and was demonstrating elements of the disease.  So we will see what the titer panel says in about 3 weeks.

In the meantime, I called the dog school today and told them that a rabies titer panel was being done but that I was not going to vaccinate my dog for bordetella.  I had spent that last 2 days reading everything I could find on the internet about bordetella and the vaccine and had a whole raft of arguments.  I never got a chance to list them off, as the receptionist went to talk to the boss, came back and said that it was okay if Duffy didn't have a bordetella vaccine. Just as a long as I knew the risks.  Yes, like the ones where unvaccinated dogs are much less likely to get KC, that dogs who receive the vaccine, actually get KC, a raw-fed dog has less chance of getting KC and if it does, it will be a milder form, that KC is essentially a cold, and no big deal, especially if the dog is fed a species appropriate diet? Nevertheless, I was pleased that we could go ahead with attending classes.

Tomorrow is our first class--Basic Manners!! I've been working with him on sits, stays, down--but a class environment will be a further test, as he doesn't focus on me very well and is easily distracted.  We need Basic Manners before we can do other Obedience levels and Agility. Wish us luck!! We'll need it!