Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bilateral Enucleation

Brook's surgery went well last week.  She tolerated the anesthetic with no issues so our veterinary team was able to perform a bilateral enucleation - both eyes were removed. We had talked about removing both eyes since we knew that the right eye would likely bleed at some point also. Taking into account that Brook had no vision due to her detached retinas, it wasn't like anything would be missing for her.

The day of the surgery when I went to check on Brook, our veterinarian asked if I was comfortable taking her home. Originally, she was to stay overnight but she wan't very happy at the clinic.  I agreed that she would be more comfortable and settled at home.  It was a very long night since Brook was still reacting to the anesthetic and was whimpering and barking in addition to being very thirsty and then needing to go outside to pee.

Within a couple of days, she was acting normal and healing nicely.

There is only one stitch that is external. This is a huge difference from when Hiker had the same surgery and much easier to look at. Also, Brook was given nerve blocks during the surgery, which were not given to Hiker (if I had only known about that) so Brook's pain level appeared to low due to that and also the fact that she had a pain medication patch on.  The veterinarian suggested that Brook should wear a baby's t-shirt to keep her from grabbing the patch. So, that is what we did. 

Thanks to all of you commented and sent well wishes!  

Friday, November 28, 2014

Brook's eye

Years ago when Brook joined the pack, she was diagnosed with detached retinas, resulting in complete blindness.  At that time and at every visit to the opthamologist, the same warning, "It isn't IF her eyes need to be removed, it is WHEN."  All the warning signs were reviewed over and over again.  Yesterday one of those warning signs appeared.

For a couple of days, Brook's left eye appeared a bit red in the corner but she was likely tired at the times, so no concern. Then on Tuesday evening, Bill and her were running out the door (as usual) and Brook slid into the fence on her left side. Typical Brook, she got up and carried on. (she has bumped her head much harder numerous times) Wednesday morning, her left eye was full of blood.

Off to the vet.  Brook had blood taken and got lots of treats.

Surgery to remove her eye is scheduled for next Tuesday.  If all goes well during the removal of the left eye, her right eye will be removed at the same time. It makes more sense to remove it if possible since she can't see, there is really no need to keep it.

We'll keep you posted as to how things are going.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Rainy day

We have been having rainy weather, then a few days of snow and cold then back to the rain.

When it is a cold and rainy day, there is not much better than having a nap on the bed with your head on a pillow.

Then again, it seems there is something better. Having a cuddle.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday Mischief

The house cats Elsie and Alice got some new toys to have upstairs away from the dogs. 

Here is one of the toys. 

Lets call this before.

Then we'll call this photo the after.

This is Molly denying any knowledge of what happened.

To Rachel@my two pitties and anyone else who may be wondering about Molly.  There is no plan to keep her. It isn't that we don't want her, it is that she isn't what we want.  Molly is a super lovable and smart happy lab who would be a fantastic addition to any home.  There are a couple of possible homes that we will consider in the spring but for the winter at least, she will be with us. There is no rush for her to leave.

Monday, November 17, 2014

An addition and moving

We've been busy and without reliable internet have missed updating this blog and reading your blogs. We're still around and doing well.  

There is a new addition here at acd6pack.  Her name is Alice.

Yes, a kitten and she is very popular with the dogs!

A friend of a friend found her in their yard and where they live, there is nowhere she could have come from. Likely, she was dumped/tossed.  Alice was at the vet and other than being very underweight, she appears to be in good health and about four months old. Alice looks similar to our cat Elsie except that Alice has "freckles" on her nose.

In addition to the excitement of Alice's arrival, we moved into the house!  The dogs adapted quickly and are enjoying the big windows, natural light and are having fun running around their new fenced area.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Callie's yellow ball

Years ago, back when blind Hiker was adopted, I searched for toys that would make some noise so she could find them.  One of the best and least expensive was a yellow plastic ball from the dollar store.  Since it has nubby things all over it, it made a slight noise rolling on the icy snow in the yard and the floors in the house.  

Hiker wasn't (and still isn't) overly interested in playing with toys.  Callie however, discovered the yellow ball and it became one of her favourites and she would even pose for pictures with it.

Since it was so popular, we had a few extras on hand.  Now we are playing with the last one. The dollar store doesn't stock these any more and every time we see a dollar store we stop in to no avail.  We've checked in both Canada and the United States.

The last one is not in good condition.

Callie still plays fetch with it but we don't know for how much longer.

Monday, November 03, 2014

4 dogs, 3 months

It seems that in the past three months word has gotten out about us.  Our post title is not a challenge. That is the number of dogs we have been offered in the past three months.  Yes, four dogs have been offered to us by their owners in just three months.

The first one was Molly who we accepted into our home.

The month after Molly there were two medium sized mixed breeds. A couple we know had split and the dogs were at the house with the man.  He wasn't sure that he wanted them and asked if we would take them.  As difficult as it was, I said no.  Well, not completely no.  I offered that if he wasn't able to care for them that they could come to our home and we would re-home them. Another option I suggested was the local Humane Society. 

For now, those two dogs are being well cared for.  I ask often. Not just a casual, "how are the dogs?" but questions that require a more detailed answer than "fine" or "okay".

Then last week, there was a Treeing Walker Coon Hound.

The family that has him purchased him as a puppy from up the road...he was SO cute!  Unfortunately, this dog, now almost two years old, is not a good fit for this family. They admit that they had no idea about the breed nor what his temperment or exercise requirements would be.  Did we want another dog?

Again, I said no but with options.  I suggest a trainer, increased exercise and mental stimulation along with doing some research on the breed (better late than never).  For now, he staying with the family.  Again I offered that if they are needing him out, we will make room for him until a suitable home can be found.

Sad and somewhat scary isn't it?  In just three months, four dogs.  How many more have we not heard about?

We can't help everyone but we can and will do what we can where we can. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

WW explained

Did you see our Wordless Wednesday post yesterday?  This was the picture we posted.

Yes, that is poor Bill underneath Brook.  I think maybe we should explain how that picture came to be.

This is what happens when someone moves the chair that a blind and partly deaf dog named Brook always sleeps on.  Yes, the furniture was moved. Now, some people think that if you have blind dogs you can never, ever move your furniture around.  Well, as you know from reading this blog, all the dogs are treated the same - treated as normal. The world is not padded and there are obstacles. And yes, sometimes the furniture moves.

This all started because there is a leak in the roof that drips on the couch. We have been having heavy rains the past few days so the couch has been covered in a tarp. That didn't stop Brook. She still lay on it.

One of the joys of a blind and partly deaf go-with-the-flow dog is that things can happen around them and they don't really mind.  Brook was sleeping on her favourite chair and so I just slid the chair to where I wanted it and moved the couch in.

Brook was oblivious.  Until she woke up and headed for the door.  Oops, a slight navigation problem.  She was about two feet too far to the left.  Not to worry, she quickly corrected course with a little help.

Later, when Brook went to lay on her chair after supper, she went to the usual spot but encountered the couch and Bill. Being the determined little thing that she is, she climbed up anyway and made herself comfortable. 

Typical Bill, he just lay there.  After a few minutes (and a few pictures) I removed Brook to the chair. Not acceptable in her opinion. She went back to the couch. It took a few times of being moved for her to accept the fact that the chair moved.

There will be more moving of furniture in a couple of weeks as we move into the house.  It'll be easier though since nobody will know where anything is!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Trail's legs

Prior to adopting Trail, during the many e-mails and long distance phone calls, it was mentioned  early on in the process that his back legs seemed a bit stiff.  This did not hamper his walking or running but he would have an obvious stiff-legged walk and sometimes a slight limp.  Well, of course that was not a reason to not adopt him.  

Recently, the decision was made to x-ray Trail's rear legs just to see what, if anything, was going on there and to also have a starting point in case his legs got worse over the years. (He is not yet two years old)

Last Monday morning, after not having any breakfast (horrors!) Trail was off the vet. He was a bit cranky (and really, I would be too if I didn't get breakfast).

What did the x-rays reveal? What strange abnormalities were discovered?

Not a thing. 

When I went to the clinic to check and see how Trail was recovering, our veterinarian said, "I've got nothing to tell you. His x-rays are very boring and sometimes boring is good."

So, why does Trail often walk with hyper-extended back legs? We don't really know.  His legs were thoroughly checked and his knees feel fine, all ligaments are tight and the bone structures good.  It is just the way he is.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Outside nap

It is interesting to watch how different members of the pack prefer their bedding.  Both of the blind dogs, Hiker and Brook are "nesters". The more bedding and the fluffier it is, the better. Trail and Molly both have a tendency to chew loose bedding so Molly had a piece of carpet and Trail has an old felted wool blanket. Callie likes her crate to have six to eight inches of loose straw and Bill likes to lay on the bed, on the pillows.

On a recent warm and sunny day, Brook decided to nap outside. Since there was no bedding outside, she took matters into her own paws and went to work. The hard ground needed to be fluffed up to make it more comfortable for her nap in the sunshine. It was quite the process.

First, a spot was selected.

Then the area had to rearranged and the dirt loosened.

A test of the comfort was next.

Deemed acceptable, time to settle in.

Sunshine, a few friends and a comfortable outside spot for a nap.

(and a deaf dog who likes to be the center of attention!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tasty Tuesday

We had Tomatofest!

Since fall has arrived and there have been a few nights of light frost warnings, it was time to bring in the last of the tomatoes and pull up the plants.  It was interesting to watch the pack and their reaction once the fence was moved. Even blind Brook knew almost immediately that there was access to the garden and food. 

We had a good crop of cherry tomatoes and as you can see, there were still some ripe ones that were falling off the plants. Perfect snacks for the dogs. 

Bill likes tomatoes but doesn't seem to like the cherry tomatoes when they burst as he bites them. So, he prefers to have some human intervention - if the cherry tomato is slightly squashed before he eats it, he enjoys them better. Trail watched this interaction and decided that he too needed his "served" this way. Brook and Molly just gobbled as many as they could.

After all the plants were removed and the tomatoes eaten, Brook settled in for a rest with a full tummy.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fall Hiking

It was another beautiful fall day. The forecast was for showers to develop later in the day but since the sky was blue and air was warm, we decided to take advantage of the nice weather and head out on the Confederation Trail.

The scenery is of course, just beautiful.

There were sticks to chase and fetch.

As per usual, we were the only ones on the trail.

For those of you who are regular visitors to our blog and observant, you may wonder if Hiker and Callie were both out on a walk at the same time.  Callie, who doesn't always play well with others, you may ask.  No, it was two separate walks.  Hiker went first for about and hour and then it was Callie's turn.

We have been having some leg issues with Bill and Trail (more on them soon) so they weren't allowed to go and Brook and Molly had been playing for most of the morning so they were napping.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Monday Mischief

It is apple season here and local pick your own orchards have apples available for only 50 cents a pound. Yum!  So, with fresh apples coming in, I decided to look over the old apples and check for spots, bruises,etc and share with the tenant's horse, sheep and chickens.  

As always, when there are six dogs, there is never a shortage of "help", especially when there is potential food.


Brook initially tried to get an apple out of the box when the flaps were folded in. It was funny watching the always determined little blind and partly deaf dog desperately trying to get into the cardboard box of apples. Once I opened the box and began sorting, she was very excited. The apples beside the box were ones that I was going to pass out to the other animals.

Molly watched the whole apple sorting process with great interest and when the opportunity presented itself, she grabbed one and went outside. Then didn't seem to know what to do with it.

"Now what?"

Brook, of course, settled in to eat hers right away.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Cat alert!

Yesterday, there was a minor ruckus at the fence. 

Intruder alert!

Trail and Molly
Bill quickly realized that there was something going on and decided that he should help to keep an eye on this potential intruder.

Typical Elsie, she didn't care. I think she enjoyed the attention since she knew that Molly couldn't actually get at her, slobber on her and nibble her ears.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Beach weather continues

We have been having some fantastic weather as we enter into fall.  There have been many sunny and warm days, perfect for those trips to the beach. For some reason, once again, we were the only ones on the beach. It might be due to the fact that we live on an island and there are so many beaches available. No complaints from us!

There was evidence of other critters near the beach but we didn't see anything.

Callie went for a swim of course.

Then we checked out a (closed for the season) provincial park where the grass was fantastic for rolling.

Then home for supper and a pretty sunset.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday Mischief

Today's Monday Mischief is brought to you by Molly.

Trying her best to be a "help" she thought she could assist with some cleaning.