Dispatches from the Swamp – the ‘Tuber Edition’

  • Ruby (aka Tuber)[1] is doing so much better. Some of you may remember the post I wrote a couple of months ago: Fixing Ruby. Ruby had never known that human beings could give her good things in life. She has come so far. Gone is the sad little dog who wanted to hide in her crate all the time.[2] We now have a bright-eyed[3] confident little dog. Her tail is up and her ears almost stick straight out from her body. She loves life. She is following in the tracks of many dogs at The Swamp who try to kill the humans by sticking so close to their feet that we trip over them. She goes to the park and enjoys herself immensely. I would regale you with pictures but she hates the camera.
  • My health has really improved lately. Sticking to a routine has really helped my fatigue levels. I no longer sleep in on weekends. I used to sleep 12+ hours on the weekend just to be able to work all week. This morning I was awake and up at 8:30, which is early for me. Clearly all of the things I have been doing to look after myself have worked. Getting back in touch with the things that make me happy and contented was a good plan. Luckily, I will likely never run out of things to crochet for people. I have started on a new Realta afghan for my best friend Joe. I am making it queen size, which means it is roughly 4 times the size of the last one.
  • Piper has lost 2 pounds! This is ½ of the weight she needed to lose according to the vet who did her soft-palate resection last year. Her breathing is so much better even in this heat.
  • The rest of the dogs are doing well. Ruby and Zoe are hardly coughing at all now on their Lasix. Kiefer seems to surviving the heat ok. He likes to lay on the cool tile by the front door or in the living room in the shade. If it gets much warmer I will have to set up the air conditioner in the living room for him. Sawyer is still cold. He is always looking for a blanket to go under.

[1] Tuber as in potato. She is about as bright as one. But she is sweet, so very, very sweet!

[2] She still won’t sleep anywhere unless it is a dog bed.

[3] But very deaf …

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Dispatches from The Swamp – the ‘update edition’

  • Things have been going relatively well at The Swamp. We had a minor roof leak that was caused by some shingles being too tight up against the chimney. The roofing company I called fixed it for free. They say we need a new roof but I don’t really buy it. Good news is that the leak is fixed.
  • We had a huge willow tree that had to come down. It had been dropping huge branches and I was worried it might just come down on our house or across the road. It was a huge liability. The Urban Lumberjack in Maple Ridge did a fabulous job of getting it down. However, one of the rotten branches fell on the hydro and cable lines knocking both of them out. Hydro was back on quickly but they decide to cut the cable line.[1] When I first called Shaw to get it reconnected they were quoting a date of March 2. Anyway, I worked my magic and they were here the next morning at 8am. I am really glad the tree is down now as it is really windy here today.
  • Tru has picked up. She is eating more often than not. Her stitches are out so she could finally have a much-needed bath. She absolutely reeked! Now we will know whether her swampy smell is coming from her needing a bath or her horrible teeth. Regardless, she is soaking up the love and companionship at The Swamp. She still likes to greet you by tasting your hand. It is cute.
  • We bought a home theatre system last week. We set it up without too much difficulty.[2] The speaker stands took much, much longer to set up! The system is amazing. It has solved the problem of the TV being too loud for Deb as I now have a speaker beside my right ear. Music sounds absolutely fabulous! Diamond Stereo is a fabulous place to get great advice and products.
  • We also decided I should get better car stereo speakers.[3] They went in yesterday and they sound so much better. The sound is much richer. I have actually heard things in my music that I did not know where there. Music is so important to my self-care that these investments in my sanity are very important.
  • I have been feeling much better the last couple of weeks. I really hope it is a result of some nutrition changes.[4] I have had more energy for work. Getting up and going has not been the burden it is at other times. I do seem to experience a winter improvement in my ulcerative colitis. I am hoping it is not just the winter bump.
  • All of the dogs are doing well. Zoe is a bit of a worry at times because she is old but she is fine. Kiefer gets a little sore after going to the park. Piper and Sawyer are such a bonded little duo. They love hanging out together especially in Deb’s truck. We are so lucky to have such a great crew of dogs! The Cat is still doing well. She is as demanding as ever and is showing no signs of being sick. She is still using her litter!

[1] Hydro says it was for safety reasons, tree guy said it was laziness. I am going with the tree guy.

[2] The only error we made was putting 2 of the speakers on the far right ports as per the diagram. However, our receiver can actually take 6 speakers (plus a sub-woofer) so the first 2 ports on the right are not used if you are setting it up as a 5.1. It took a little thinking to figure it out and we (buy we I mean Angelina) fixed it the next morning.

[3] And by we I actually mean Deb.

[4] I have started drinking smoothies made of yogurt and fruit in the morning. The suggestion came from my friend Lisa.

Published in: on February 25, 2012 at 4:53 pm  Comments (1)  
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Getting out of bed

Getting out of bed is something most people take for granted. Not me though. When I wake up in a stupor and need to get up, I have to be very careful because there is nowhere to put my feet! How could this be you might wonder? It is because I have a150-pound dog who likes to lay right beside the bed. He is long and he is wide. So trying to find a place to put my foot is a serious challenge.

 

Mr. Long

 

Mr. Wide

 

 

Published in: on January 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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More Pictures

I am busy crocheting this today.

My newest project!

I am two-thirds of the way done, so the push is on.

Instead of a blog, I give you more awesome dog photos!

"I want my agent."

"I have a very large tongue, apparently."

"I have no idea why I am in this pose."

"I am truly one of the beautiful people."

"You don't really think you can get away from me, do you?"

Posting may be light over the rest of the weekend. We have people coming for dinner tomorrow for Thanksgiving!

Published in: on October 8, 2011 at 5:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Pictures!!!

We had a photo shoot with the Food Lady recently. She adeptly captures all the different personalities of our dogs! If you want great pictures of your dog get in touch with her. Enjoy!

Piper - in motion

Great picture of the Punk running. She always looks kind of goofy when she runs.

Sawyer in a quiet pose

Sawyer in a quiet moment. I love the teeth.

Zoe running

I Seriously, this picture should have the soundtrack to Chariots of Fire playing. Zoe rarely runs anywhere which makes this picture rather rare. Her tail is so perfect! I have working on getting her tail to grow out well and we are there. I adore this picture (and the dog!!).

Talk to the paw!

What can I say? This dog is adorable.

Kiefer

We were trying to get some action shots that day but it didn’t work. Oh well.

Look forward to more new pictures!

Published in: on October 7, 2011 at 7:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Piper and Kiefer update

Today Piper and Kiefer went to the vet for some issues. We took Pipes because of her breathing issues and Kiefer for an eye infection. We saw Dr. Sara Ralph at Eastridge Animal Hospital.

The good news was that neither Piper nor Kiefer were declared obese. In fact she said they both had good body form. Piper could stand to lose a bit but she was ok. Apparently Piper has developed brachycephalic syndrome, which has to do with having an elongated soft palate due to the fact that their faces are shorter. There is other tissue, like the epiglottis, that also plays a role in impeding her ability to breathe. She also has very tiny nostrils.

Piper

The next step is for them to sedate her and have a really good look at what is going on and then a referral to a surgeon if that is what needs to happen. I think we will get the surgery for her otherwise her quality and quantity of life will be compromised. They can also make her nostrils bigger to make breathing easier. I have posted on a pug forum to get their take on the surgery. We want to make the best decision possible for her.

Kiefer has an eye infection and something irritating the bottom of his paws, which is likely a contact allergy/dermatitis. Deb gets to bathe his feet in special shampoo and put some cream on them! At least it is not the other part!

Kiefer with those feet Deb will be bathing soon!

Dispatches from the Swamp – the ‘heat is killing me’ edition

  • It is no secret that I hate the summer. And make no mistake that summer has arrived at the swamp. It is always hotter in the valley than it is in Vancouver. The dogs don’t do well in the heat either. Kiefer has been laying in the living room panting for most of the day. Sienna has been laying on her back on the couch trying to cool off.
  • Today I was finally able to hand everything off to an interim ED at work. I can finally now stop checking email. Now, on to the work of getting better so I can go back stronger and better.
  • Speaking of health today was a bad, bad, day. The heat exacerbates my ulcerative colitis. I am not really sure why this happens. I have never tolerated the heat well. I can remember the numerous hiking and backpacking trips as a kid and I would be sick in the sun. Now as an adult, I can opt to mostly stay out of the heat. Fatigue is something else that adversely affects my disease. Not having to get up and commute into Vancouver everyday has made a big difference. I am already experiencing less fatigue. Being able to continue to get the rest I need will help me to improve. I really hope my pain levels will decrease over the rest of the summer as some days it is really high. Today has been really painful. I have had to run to the bathroom about 4 times with incredibly painful spasms and cramps.
  • Our pond is doing far more than providing much needed drainage in the Swamp. We are hosting at least one bullfrog and, if reported sightings are correct, a snake. All spring our pond was a landing zone for ducks but no one ever took up residence. It is nice to know that solving our problem has contributed to the local ecosystem!

A picture post…

In celebration of my purchase of Aperture 3 – I give you photos I have altered. Deb is the photographer.

Zoe is really not that serious!

 

Pit bull in deep thought!

 

Sawyer enjoying the sun.

 

Piper looking quite serious.

 

Sadly Molly is not really photogenic but she is cute in real life!

 

Kiefer laying in the doorway to the kitchen. Road Block!

 

Bella looking intense!

 

 

 

 

Published in: on July 24, 2011 at 6:29 pm  Comments (6)  
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Gratutitious Pet Shots

I can’t string too many words together today. I am still sick. Instead I shall regale you with pictures of the crew. Enjoy!

Zoe - her smaller, blind eye

Pipes looking very serious

Great shot of the boy!

Molly looking good!

Kiefer licking his lips

Clio getting a treat

 

Isn't Bella adorable!!!

Published in: on June 24, 2011 at 8:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dispatches from the Swamp – the ‘I love my new front teeth’ edition!

  • I love the way my dentist fixed my front teeth. About 25 years ago, I needed a lot of dental work done. My fear of dentists coupled with living in care and no money meant that I severely neglected my teeth. There was a dental office across the street from where I lived with a big sign advising that they ‘cater(ed) to cowards.’ So, I went there. I needed so much dental work, having all of my teeth pulled was a serious consideration. Instead, I decided to soldier on and get them fixed. My lower front teeth were in bad shape. When the dentist picked the wrong shade of filling material for them and my teeth looked horrible. Plus they were stained from when I was a smoker (20 years ago now!). Because they looked so bad, I always assumed that one of them was going to start to hurt. My bottom teeth are notorious for being very sensitive and not freezing very well. So the sedation route was great for me. The drug they use is halcyon and one of its properties is that you do not form new memories while on it. So all the anxiety of being at the dentist, the sounds, the smells, the anticipation of pain is not there. This is a huge relief for me as I am very fearful. I highly recommend the sedation route for anyone who has a lot of dental work to do!
  • Everyone here at the Swamp is well. Piper has been wandering howling for no apparent reason, which I find quite amusing. Kiefer and Clio were groomed the other day. They look so cute when they come back.
  • I love how some people are so desperate for spring that they are wearing sandals almost in defiance of the rain and the low temperatures. I am dying to get my feet out of socks and shoes too but it is just too cold. I do chuckle at the ones defying the weather.
  • It is still quite swampy here. We still have pooling water on the front lawn. The front part of the backyard is pretty dry but the rest is very, very wet. We have had a great deal of rain so it is not surprising.
  • Things are calming down in my life, which is a very good thing. I have made a decision that I am not going to post about yet but will at some point no doubt. It is a life altering decision.
  • I will post my election predictions tomorrow! Can’t wait!
Published in: on April 30, 2011 at 8:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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