Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Just looking.

Here is yet another example of how normal a blind and partly deaf dog is.

I heard a noise coming from the kitchen and quietly walked in to see who was doing what.  Blind and partly deaf Brook had decided to check out the totes that contain the bags of kibble.  

Since her hearing is so poor, I was able to get the camera and observe.

"Wonder what is up on the counter?"

There wasn't anything there but an empty kibble bag and a bag of potatoes.  After a few minutes of snooping, she tried to get down but seemed to realize that it was a bit far for a little blind dog.  A helping hand from The Mom and she was on her way.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The continuing excavation.

Due to the situation we are currently dealing with, I decided to prepare a few posts and schedule them since we won't be around for a little while.  We might not be able to check your blogs but will as soon as we can. Soon we'll be be able to explain what has been happening.

Recently in the backyard....

Breeze seems determined to find something in the dirt.  

Forest was a bit annoyed since he was happily laying in the dirt and along came Breeze who decided it was time to excavate again.

Even though she is digging large holes, she has yet to find anything. I think that the cool dirt and the smell of it is all that matters.

 Luckily, the dirt just brushes off and she is clean again.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sunny, sunny days!

The past few days have been sunny and warm and we've had the time to be outside enjoying the weather in between night shifts.

Breeze and Bill

In the above photo, see the fencing in the background?  It's a little mangled after a run-in with Brook.  Despite being blind, all three of the visually impaired run around the yard at high rates of speed and somehow rarely run into anything. They are able to navigate around trees, the deck and know when they are getting close to the perimeter fence.  The little soft fencing around the garden sometimes gets bumped into. Brook miscalculated and ran into one of the wooden supports for the fence and knocked it out of the ground. She tumbled into the plants but quickly jumped up and kept going.

Also in the above photo, you may have noticed a shoe.  Breeze has a habit of gathering footwear and taking it outside.  Interesting thing is that Hiker also has a habit of gathering footwear.  Hiker will stash shoes in her crate.  Neither of them chew shoes/boots/slippers, they just take them.

Breeze, Hiker and Bill

Azule is still wearing her cone and her ear is healing very well with no need for surgical repair.  She has adapted amazingly well and doesn't seem bothered by it all.  Breeze will often stick her face in the cone to snuzzle Azule and I've also observed her grabbing the cone and pulling Azule around.  That, combined with the day to day rough and tumble activities has resulted in a few duct tape repairs.

When the pack got too warm from the sunshine, they moved over to the cool dirt in the shade of the fort for a continuation of nap time.

 Bill tried out the patio stones for a mixture of sun and shade.

Callie hasn't been able to get out and play lately since she hurt her back leg.  We are insisting on rest as recommended by our vet.  So, no JollyBall, no frisbee, nothing physical.  She is doing well with stuffed Kongs and extra chew treats.

We are hoping for more sunny days and for Callie's leg to be better so she can get out and play.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Puppy invasion has ended.

Our brief but oh so fun puppy invasion has ended.  All three foster puppies have moved on to their regular foster homes. For the few days that they were with us, we had lots of fun!  

We were asked if there was any concern about the puppies having worms and the pack being infected.  Yes, actually, the whip worms are highly contagious and the eggs can survive for years in the environment (ie: ground).  Each time the puppies went outside they were very closely watched and their poops picked up immediately and disposed of.  In the house, same thing and then an anti-bacterial wipe was used.  Lots and lots of hand washing too. (I was beginning to feel like I was developing OCD)

The little shepherd-type mix, Keeper, was with us a couple of days longer than the other two.  


She had the chance to interact more with the pack and show off her true wild and rambunctious personality while running with the big dogs.

Keeper and Forest

Keeper loved having so many playmates and even though she got left behind a few times, she was always ready for a game of chase. It often ended with her being "run over" by another dog and often when she was down, Breeze would rush in for a good sniff.

Another favorite game was tug.  Keeper, being so small, was often dragged around since she wouldn't let go, but she enjoyed it and would happily hang on.

After all that playing, Keeper was a very tired puppy and decided to try out the big dog bed in the kitchen.

I've heard that all three puppies have settled into their foster homes and we are sure that it won't be long before they find their forever homes.

It has been three days since the last puppy left and we are now seeing the previous behaviors from Twiggy again.  Lots of posturing, growling and defensive type actions.  Interesting that having the puppies around settled her so much. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Ice cream and a cone

Azule has to wear a cone.   There was an incident, prior to the puppy invasion, where she and a couple of the pack reacted negatively to all the posturing and growling that our foster Twiggy has been doing.  Never, ever have any of the pack, other than Callie years ago, started a fightTwiggy was acting all stressed and I didn't react quick enough to remove her from the situation and as a result, Azule's ear was damaged.  It didn't look too bad initially but the next day as I was cleaning it again, I could see the cartilage exposed across the base of her ear.  

Before our vet visit, we had a bit of time so we stopped at a park for a little wander.  Azule spotted some ducks in the water. (they are near the middle of the me, they are there!)

At the vet's, Azule was calm and had little reaction to the shaver as I held her.  That's one advantage of being deaf!  She has numerous punctures around her ear and a significant tear across the base of her ear.  The vet was able to put two staples in to hold it together and still allow for an open space for any infection to drain.  Then Azule got the cone to wear. Which got me to thinking that she might enjoy a cone to eat.

I'm not sure what the sideways angle is all about here but she sure enjoyed the ice cream!

Once we were back home, she seemed to be feeling a bit sorry for herself and almost looked like she was pouting a bit.

"Gotta wear a cone. Can't play in a cone."

It's been about two weeks since this happened and Azule's ear is healing.  Initially we were told that she might need surgery to close the gap but since it is healing so well, we'll continue with the cone and wait.

Azule has discovered that she can indeed play in a cone and can also chase butterflies, chew hooves and antlers too!

You may have noticed that there has been a lack of postings lately.  There has been an unfortunate and extremely stressful situation that I am dealing with and therefore haven't really felt up to posting. I wrote this post about Azule's ear a couple of days after it happened and am just now getting back to posting.  Rest assured, all of us are healthy and will remain together.  That's all I can say for now.  Thanks for sticking with us!

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Puppy update

Our three little foster puppies are doing well and are obviously feeling much better than when they first arrived.  They went to the vet the day after they flew in and were diagnosed with whipworms and coccidia. Neither of which was very surprising.  So, a dose of wormer (to be repeated seven days later), some antibiotics and a flea and tick treatment got them headed in the right direction.

Initially, I was a bit concerned about Treasure who was, compared to Journey and Keeper, somewhat lethargic and not eating very well.  As I had hoped would happen, after a couple of doses of the antibiotics, she has turned into a rambunctious and silly puppy with a great appetite.


In the above picture, she looks rather chubby but she is actually quite skinny, as they all are, weighing just over six pounds each.  But not for long based on the way they are eating!

They are really enjoying the big dogs and it is so funny to watch them initiating play with dogs that are so much bigger.

Keeper and Forest

Out in the yard, the most challenging thing is trying to keep an eye on all of them at the same time.  Although we have a fully fenced yard, the puppies are so small that I was concerned about them finding a space big enough to get through.  The puppies were having too much playing with each other and the pack to be interested in going far.

Journey may not realize that Breeze is blind but she seemed to be trying to hide from her.

Journey: "You can't see me!"

The only one who decided to lay in the dirt was Journey.  I know that she is really a lovely white color under that dirt!

So, Hiker, what do you think of these little puppies?


That really does sum up her feelings.  She's given them a few sniffs but doesn't really seem overly interested.  Typical laid back Hiker who has seen quite a few fosters come and go.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Foster Twiggy update

Our foster pup Twiggy has had some ups and downs the past couple of weeks and I have decided that being part of a big pack is not Twiggy's thing.  

Twiggy seems to be periodically stressed, defensive and has been urinating and defecating in the house.  She was not doing that, she quickly got the concept of house training and did fine. Then not so much.  It seems as though she is marking space since she tends to do this immediately after having been outside. (Bill had similar behavior when first adopted and our vet, the rescue and dog people said he was likely marking space)

With Twiggy, I am also seeing her sometimes act defensive if another dog looks at her or walks close to her.  The fur on her back goes up and sometimes she growls. The others ignore her when she does this or will look at her as if they can't figure out what she is doing.  Twiggy will retreat to her crate on occasion and just observe but she's not relaxed about it. Not all dogs want to be part of a big pack, for some, one other dog or just a human is enough.  I think that is what Twiggy would prefer.  

Having told you about Twiggy and the developing behaviors, I don't want you thinking that she is miserable all the time because she isn't! 

Here's a close-up:

Since Twiggy isn't a special needs dog, she seems to be perfecting her sad and pathetic look in order to get more treats:

"Please, may the blind dog and I have another?"

I am still seeing the fun loving, affectionate and smart side of Twiggy.  She loves to snuggle and is a very smart and sweet little thing who will be an awesome addition to someone's home. However, I have contacted the rescue she is from and requested that another foster home be arranged for her. 

Interesting to note that since the puppy invasion, Twiggy seems more relaxed and is really enjoying the little ones, but I still think that the best thing is for her to be in another, less busy environment.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Three foster puppies!

Last week, I received a phone message that went something like this, "Hey,  remember last year when we talked about bringing back puppies from up north? I'm here now and think I can get some out.  Will that rescue still help get them adopted?"

It was JD, a police officer I know from work, who was on a two week assignment to a remote northern fly in First Nations Reserve. Being an animal person, JD (and other officers) had shared stories of the many stray dogs in the small community.  Being so remote, with no road access, extreme poverty and no veterinary care, there are many stray dogs that are left to continually breed and produce puppies.  I'll spare you the details but will say that the conditions and treatment of most of the dogs is horrible. (living conditions for the people aren't that great either)

JD and I had spoke about the possibility of arranging to fly a puppy or two out on the small police plane and then onto a commercial flight.  ANML-RESQ, the rescue I have fostered for many times, was enthusiastic in their offers of assistance. We tried last year to get some puppies flown out we weren't able to. Fast forward to last week and the phone message.

I sent an e-mail to ANML-RESQ asking if they would be interested in assisting with re-homing some puppies and the response was an excited YES!  So, after many e-mails to JD and the rescue, we were able to save three female pups!  Two others were flown out and adopted by other officers, for a total of five puppies saved from an uncertain and harsh future.

So, further to yesterday's teaser pictures, allow me to properly introduce....



After two flights, I picked them up at the airport for a car trip of over two hours and we arrived at our house around 1:30am.   The pack, of course, wanted to check these little fluffy things and it was fun to watch their reactions. Our girl Azule was excited and wanted to play while Bill was nervous and held up his "bad" leg as he retreated to the couch.  The others did a thorough sniff and the puppies just watched it all and no doubt wondered where they were.

The next day, I set up an x-pen in the kitchen to allow everyone to get used to each other.  It was a good idea.  It just didn't work very well.

"Mom, she's escaping the pen!"

"Uh oh, I think I might be stuck."

Later, out in the yard, I decided to put crate divider panels over the other x-pen. Yet another great idea.

Okay, I give up.  I know the pack very well and really had no concerns about them with the puppies so I let them mingle.  Well, what a fun time!  The pack were very good with them and everyone had a great time playing.  It was a bit of a challenge to keep an eye on three little puppies but it was so much fun watching them interact with the big dogs.  

Brook, Breeze and Azule watching the puppies

Breeze with Journey and Treasure
Forest checking out Keeper and Journey
I've been advised by ANML RESQ that Journey and Treasure will be going to their foster home on Saturday and Keeper will be going early next week.  So, for a few days, we have a house full and are having lots of fun hosting three adorable little puppies.

A huge thanks to our friend JD and to ANML RESQ for giving these puppies the life that all deserve.