Tuesday 30 October 2007

October 30, 2007 Remembering...


NorthWapiti's Super Grover
July 13, 1996 - October 30, 2006
"Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell."
- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Wednesday 3 October 2007

October 3rd, 2007 Lumps & Bumps

Well, we had a bit of a scare with the Olena x Crunchie babies. On Monday after lunch Mark and I were messing around with the pups and found a BIG lump in the lymph node region of two of the pups - Twizzler and Skittles.

We called over to the Clinic and after discussing symptoms and the puppy's behaviour (completely normal - nursing, playing, etc, etc) they scheduled us in for an appointment the next day.

Never having experienced anything like this with a litter before, I did some searching on the Internet. All references to swollen lymph nodes in pups pointed to 'Puppy Strangles' - not a nice disease, but they didn't seem to have all the typical symptoms of that either.

So yesterday afternoon Olena, all the pups, Mark and I headed into the vet - at just under 3 weeks, they still travel anywhere as a family.

Collin quickly pronounced the lumps, which were now bigger, as abscesses. Both pups had their little throats shaved (well more like trimmed, rather then a real shave) and a hole put in the accesses for them to drain. They were also put on a week of antibiotics (liquid ones as they are too little for pills).

Why we have two with this is a puzzle. As I said, we have never had anything like this in any puppy before, let alone 2 in one litter. But, it seems to be resolving itself well in both pups after treatment.  I can't find any trace of a lump on Skittles today, and Twizzy's lump is almost completely gone.  Both are still fat and sassy and never missed a meal or a play session because of their issues.



Tuesday 2 October 2007

October 2nd, 2007 A Good Sign

I know I owe everyone stories to update on the many things that have happened in the last month - and they are coming - but in the meantime, I had such fun on my run yesterday that I wanted to share.

I got a lot of running in in September, but I did hold the dogs back in mileage, as when I was studying some of my previous years training journals I noticed that my best teams were on years that I was still doing smaller mileage near the end of September - well, smaller for me is about 10 miles.

While Kelly and Tara were here last week, they were really keen to camp with the teams, so last weekend we did a 12 mile run to our campground (the one Mark has been putting a lot of work into this year - and that Colleen and I skidded out bricks and built a firepit for), camped for 2 hours and then ran 4.5 miles home. It worked out great, even if my rookies didn't rest much because of bitches in season on my team. Oh, and Cricket could hear us over at the camping spot and barked pretty much solid for the 2 hours.

Anyway, last week I upped the team to runs in the 12 - 15 mile range and they have been traveling strong and happy.

My neighbor Lisa, who also happens to be my obedience/agility instructor, got a new Aussie puppy and in exchanging emails she made the mistake of inviting me over for coffee and to meet puppy Bruce. She even offered to 'hide' her sheep if I wanted to come over by dog team. Cool idea. So with warning to Lisa I headed out yesterday morning.

The team was Jinx (almost out of season) and Tess (in season), Hilda and Spider (in season) Charge and Flash, Hector and Watt, Loki and Odie, Paxson and Q.

We climbed out of the valley, down the highway ditch to the green trails behind the Perryvale 'Waste Management' (aka the Dump), out by the cemetery and down the old highway. It's deceiving to describe the trails as to their location, because the highway ditch is wide and nice traveling and the trail behind the dump is also next to a Blue Heron Sanctuary and is one of the nicest trails in the valley.

Once on the old highway (which is just a gravel road), I had to swap Jinx out for Spider. It is very important that we stay on the right hand side on these roads, especially early in the season when motorists aren't expecting to see us. Jinx isn't great at 'Gee Over' and Tess doesn't know it at all - roads with traffic are no place to mess with 2 green leaders.

When I got to the spot where the road splits I had a shorter, all along the road route to Lisa's, or the longer trail, which also incorporates part of the old Landing Trail, which is now designated as part of the Trans Canada Trail system. The team wasn't looking tired at all, so I opted for the longer route.

Of course, my memory had failed me a little and it ended up being an additional 8.5 miles to Lisa's from the split in the road. That certainly was a test for the kids, but they did it in fine style. I pulled into Lisa's driveway and due to all the girls in season, tied of the front of my team. Lucky thing, as the boys spend a solid hour and a half barking at Spider, Jinx and Tess. Then they actually rested for about a half hour!

I spend a lovely 2 hours chatting dogs, drinking coffee, munching on cookies and snuggling an adorable Aussie pup! Sweet!

The run from Lisa's home was 5.5 miles and because of the dogs fussing rather then resting, I wasn't sure how they would travel home. They did great. Especially when we hit the old railway allowance on the east edge of our property and they knew where we were.

As I traveled the old railway bed, I was looking at the river as it travels through our land. I thought it looked rather high, but figured it was just my imagination. A little ways past that I could hear the river rushing on the other side of the trees - I knew that was something new. This could be a bad thing! All this year the river has been very low. In fact, up till now I could walk across in shoes and if I watched my step, not get my feet wet - but it is not like it was spring, or there had been a lot of rain in the area lately, so how bad could it be??

Imagine the surprise that the dogs and I had when we dropped down onto the river, which was up over the bellies of everyone and rushing hard! The dogs were thirsty, so just dove in along the edge, but I didn't know if I could get the girls to turn into the current and go across without leading them. I figured, being the smallest on the team, they might actually have to do some swimming to get over. Like the stars they are turning into though, they swung into the river on one command when asked. I actually had to lift my feet off the floorboard of the 4-wheeler so they didn't get wet as I crossed - quite different from last week. All I can figure is that a big beaver dam let loose upstream or something!

I gave the dogs a minute to shake and roll before we did the hard, sandy climb up out of the valley. Once on flatter terrain, they loped most of the last mile home.

Back in the yard, they ate like wolves before being tucked back onto their chains.

I will say, that afternoon as I was shoveling, the 14 that ran were a pretty quiet bunch - well, 13 of them anyway, Charge was pacing his chain like always!

So, those of you doing the math might have noticed that that was a 24-mile run with a 2-hour break in it. They did it with ease and style - that bodes well for the upcoming season.

That group of 14 is back down to 15 mile runs for the rest of the week, but Lisa invited us back anytime, so I'm sure a different 14 and I will be heading back that way sometime soon.

Happy Trails!