Wednesday, December 29, 2010

bad reputation

bad reputation :: 52/52, originally uploaded by sarah ....

I don't give a damn 'bout my reputation,
You're living in the past it's a new generation,
A girl can do what she wants to do and that's what I'm gonna do,
An' I don't give a damn ' bout my bad reputation.

Oh no, not me.

- - - -
And that concludes the 2010 edition of 52 Weeks for Dogs!!! I hope I was able to capture her personality - or do I say personalities ...

I was inspired by the group, and the support when we were going through tough times, and by what happens in my life just by waking up each day. Thank you for all the comments and she made 4 Explore front Pages - crazy! It was a year of ups and downs, and for a few weeks there I wasn't sure I would have a last photo to post. I am in the process of making Jane's book and it is extra special this year with all we've been through.

Jane is tough as nails, and yet, sweet as sugar. Long live the Queen!!!!

AND .... Stay tuned for more 52 Weeks for Dogs ... 2011 is Kaleb's year ... lord help me.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


glistening :: 51/52, originally uploaded by sarah ....

sleigh bells ring,
are you listening,
in the lane,
snow is glistening,
a beautiful sight,
we're happy tonight,
walking in a winter wonderland.

- - - -
51/52 - 52 Weeks for Dogs

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

merry, happy, jolly

merry, happy, jolly, originally uploaded by sarah ....

happy holidays, merry christmas, happy festivus ...

what ever it is you celebrate ... we just hope you've been good this year :)

jane, gyppie and kaleb

Sunday, December 19, 2010

i'm starvin' here!

First off. Yes Jane is wearing a pink Adidas Tracksuit.

"Puppy Breakfast Time", as we call is the most important time of the day around these parts. Jane knows exactly 1 hour after her meds that it is show time.

Patience is not one of her strong suits.

I see it, I see it, I want it, I want it. mine. mine.

mama, we starvin!!!

mama, mama, mum, mummy, mom, mama, mum, mama, mama, mum, mummy, mom, mama, mum, mama, mama, mum, mummy, mom, mama, mum!!

i think i tasted it? did you even put food in there?

gggrrrrrr i want more!!!!

patience, Jane. Puppy Supper time will come in just a few more hours :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

From the archives ...

i was looking at some of my old you tube videos ... this has to be one of my favourite ....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Put me in Coach, I'm ready to play!

We've been working on Gyp's homework and I have now raised the bars to "can" height :) Jane thinks she should be able to play too!

It's all I can do to keep the dogs away - especially Jane, the little dictator (as Amanda calls her) - tries to race Gyp across if she doesn't have rules to stay put, so she is usually satisifed to stay put on her Throne long as the treats still come to her.

Sarah's Redneck Cavelleti's:
10 Beer Cans, Packing Tape and 5 jump bars. If you want more than 5 in a row, you will have to drink more beer. BURP.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Today CIndy and I travelled to Calgary for a re-check for our dogs. Cindy made appointments for Sunar and Pike and me for Gyppie ... 4.5 hours round trip - good company makes it go much quicker!!

AND ...Gyppie is getting better already! YAY!

Happy! Some new exercises for her. Lots of range of motion, and only a bit of tenderness at just the one insertion point. She got some acupuncture, a re-check of her back and some laser. Dr.Devall was really impressed with how fast it seems to be healing - but not to be fooled. So still another good 2 months until agility, but we have lots to keep us occupied in the meantime. She suggested 2 shorter jogs a day so I don't see fatigue - even though the fatigue happens way later and way less than it was. She thinks 2 shorter sessions would be more beneficial - easier for me too. She can do the peanut ball this week, but only standing on it with not much movement at all. More cavaletti work, and walking backwards downhill to lengthen the muscles, causing her to step longer. And to continue with the same exercises we've been doing.

Nothing like a 4.5 hour round trip for a 1 hour rehab visit :) But dogs don't lie when it comes to results and feeling good. And I am seeing results, and she is feeling good it is all worth it.

Check-up day ...

zoom zoom Gyppie, originally uploaded by sarah ....

Gyp is going for her 2 week re-check today with Dr. Devall - she will have any adjustment she needs, acupuncture and some cold laser ... and we will see if there has been any improvement. We've been doing our exercises and her range of motion in the back left is getting better already, which I am thrilled about. Hopefully the Chinese Herbs and massage have been helping too. She gets massage twice a day and does her exercises twice a day also. I ice 2x10 minutes after her runs to help with any possible inflammation - I also ice my knee :)

We've been jogging everyday - making sure she is in an extended trot for a good 20 minutes. I run for about 5 -10 minutes then walk - the dogs stay in a more collected trot at that point, as we walk really fast to keep them in atleast a slow trot - so as not to pace or walk. Then we jog again. And repeat. Ya a treadmill has it's merits - but we would need two - one for me and one for her - I would feel guilty watching her do all the work. So we use nature's treadmill. Pete has been jogging her too if I am out teaching. But mostly we all go together - Pete, Kaleb me and Gyp. It's fun to do together and a good way to stay motivated. Jane stays at home and protects the property :)

I've only seen her funny movement a couple times, and near the end of our runs, when she is getting fatigued, extended trotting takes alot of energy as the dog has to use its body evenly on both sides. So I am hopeful she will make a good recovery. I have funny movement by the end of our runs too for that matter .... my knee swears at me, but bar-knee is awesome and I don't leave home without him .... Wow we sure are a team aren't we??

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sheep Dreams, Gyppie ...

Sheep dreams., originally uploaded by sarah ....

We had a fun day at Alta-Pete yesterday ... meeting some cool dogs, and massaging a couple of sweet Border Collies, watching Laddie work and Pixel eat sheep poop, hanging out, and of course playing with Skid and the lovely Togo :)

Gyp doesn't give a sh*t that she has an injury ... her Ilio-what-ever-the-hell-it-is ... she wanted those sheepies! But instead I tortured her by only allowing her to watch ... and letting her see them for about 30 seconds in the pen afterwards - walk-up, lie down, walk-up lie down - the end. I am a mean cruel mama. It was a fine line between torture and pleasure for her ....

Gyp she enjoyed her self none the less ... especially when she would knaw on the metal fence and then wedged her body through a 4x4 inch square in the fencing to get to the sheep ...

Gyp and Pixel wait patiently as Laddie brings in the Sheep.

Togo is the best. This face is called
"I know you have liver treats in your pockets - may I have one?"

The lovely Lad ...

Friday, December 10, 2010

bright eyed and bushy tailed

my spunky monkey is feeling better!

jane is doing great again, this CHF is not a fun thing to deal with. The extra couple injections seemed to do the trick to get the fluid off her lungs, and her meds are now increased to the max doses, and she is stable again ... she is spunky, still eating her home cooked meals as ferocious as ever of course - that never changed. She still loses her breath - but not as bad as last week, and it will never be perfect because of her disease, so we have to be careful she doesn't over do it.

We've nicked named her "lil weezy".

thanks for all the nice comments and thoughts about jane - i truly think the universe spoke to her! We are so relieved, we just take things day by day.

Candy mountain anyone??

If you know me, you know that I would love this cartoon. And any time I need a pick me up (like today) I watch any of the Charlie Cartoons ... or Llamas with Hats ... seriously.

Llamas with hats ...

p.s. I have never denied that I am a little odd, in fact I define it as one of my best points :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I need some bubble wrap? Anyone?

Last month Gyp refused a jump. Actually she went under the jump. Ya.

I Looked her over when I got home and she was super tight in her Sartorius /Rectus Femorus and Quad muscles ... yes my massage course has trained me to use fancy names. But I was really proud of my self for being able to feel the tightness and recognize right away which muscles would be affected based on the symptoms I was seeing - not wanting to extend the hip flexors back. This got me thinking Iliospoas. And well I know where this series of muscles is - I am not experienced enough and do not have enough feel to pin point it as it lies so deep on to the pelvis and femur.

Fast forward .... Gyp has had a couple weeks off already and I consulted with my Rehab Vet, and since I arranged for a clinic for her to come down to our City to work on dogs this past weekend ... the timing was perfectly unfortunately perfect :)

I told her what I had suspected and found - and based on what I had been talking to her already about, she went deep to the pelvis, and yep. Iliospoas. Gyp's head yanked so fast back to her rear end - a pain reaction only on the left side. She was so tight and very sore sore at the insertion point of the muscle. Some specific acupuncture to release the area seemed to help - but it took a few minutes for the muscles to release at all.

So what does this mean for Gyp? 8 - 12 weeks off Agility. Trips to Calgary to see Dr. Devall. No jumping or abrupt side movement, no fetching, no free range running and a giant amount of chinese herbs I can't pronounce. And supplement with massage to keep blow flow in the area and to try to keep things loosened up.

So what does this mean for me? Lots of extended jogging for Gyp and me. Pete has taken her jogging the last 2 nights, and I will take over this week. We don't have a treadmill - so we will use nature's treadmill ... the old fashioned way ... it's a win, win. I wonder if I can take her to the Gym with me??

I have a series of strengthening exercises to do, lots of active stretching - no passive stretching. My Peanut ball will be well employed. This is one of the most common Agility Injuries in dogs.

I am upset about it - but when I have another dog with a way more serious condition, I have a hard time feeling really sad about it. But I am. I just want the madness to end.

I will miss running her, I miss running her already. What really sucks is I have my knee surgery in February - Gyp will be MAYBE just getting back to low 10" jumps then ... then I will be off for a minimum of 8 weeks with Physio. That takes us to end of April or May. That is 6 months off for Gyp and me in the ring. Nevermind that we haven't trialed since September - make that 9 months. I try not to think about it.

Oh but wait! I still have a dog to run! Kaleb! yep Kaleb! The friggin' dog is Iron Man. Dr. Devall gave him a check-up and he is fit as a fiddle. He had a couple adjustments and a bit of acupuncture, nothing major. Yep. Almost 9 years old and still sound as ever. I was sort of hoping she would find some weird condition and I would have to retire him, so I could just call it day and find a new hobby ... not that I'm feeling sorry for myself or anything.

In my "everything happens for a reason" philosophy - I guess this fits perfectly. It will be a good chance for me to really evaluate Gyp's condition, get some hands on experience for my Body Worker externship, and work with a well respected rehab and holistic Vet. Now that is what I call a great learning experience.

Always look on the brightside right?

p.s. Anyone have a dog they want to let me run??

Monday, December 6, 2010

Kaleb, just got more Excellent ...

CDX! that is!

Yep we did it. Conquered the ring nerves, trusted my dog and did it. It's funny seemed like such an unattainable goal - considering the first time I ever put him in the ring for his CD he took off out the ring and ran around the show grounds like a total assh*le (not that I was traumatized for 6 years or anything).

He entered the ring for the first time in Open in May , then got sick, and made his re-debut last month ... and BOOM, BOOM, BOOM for his CDX in a month - in 5 attempts. I'm so proud of him. Given the amount of training we have put in, and our knowledge and comfort in the Obedience ring, it is a pretty big deal for me. We didn't earn the big scores he has earned at Matches, but that is OK, he tried his best for me, and dealt with feeling my ring nerves like a good boy.

I am also proud of Amanda and Pixel, and Jo and Kort for earning their CDs yesterday too! Those two youngens will have no problem in the Open ring ... big futures ahead for those two!
Kim and Bosley also debuted in Open ... and wow ... he looked like a pro and Kim kept her nerves under control, and looked like she had done it a 100 times before! Thanks to my great group of friends for all the encouragement along the way, it means alot.

Kaleb and Bosley share some of K's goodies

And to top off the day Kaleb won a prize for the "Oldest Qualifying Dog" ... sort of like a seniors discount ... I guess it's true what they say, you can teach an old dog new tricks :)

Then there was an armband draw ... and we won it - $75 GC ... that paid for our entries and gas up there ... not a bad way to spend a day.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

the price of love?

bad to the bone :: 47/52, originally uploaded by sarah ....
On my way home today, from my what seems like weekly vet visits, while crying at every stupid sappy song on the radio ... today was for an injection for Jane, due to the gradual fluid build up on her lungs this week. Her HR was 250 a minute ... her breathing rate even when sleeping has been 40 breaths per minute (should be 12 - 15). And this morning and last night, she is losing her breath running up the stairs - like she has just ran a marathon up to 70- 80 per minute. Up until this week she has been doing great. But last night she got us up 3 times in the night and was really restless, I could tell there was a fluid build up - which then causes her to breath heavier because she has to work that much harder to get oxygen.

Hello, Congestive Heart Failure, I fucking hate you.

Her meds are being adjusted the little bit they can, and we are going from there. Hopefully these next couple of injections will level her out again ...

Everytime I think about the literally, Thousands of dollars I spent at the Vet this year ... I have a small to moderate panic attack. But at the same time, I look over at my dogs, and that sick to my stomach feeling goes away. Who really needs to go on Vacations anyway, when I can be at home vacuuming up dog hair and picking up poop from the yard?

Where do you draw the line ....

If I can do whatever I can to keep my dog healthy and happy I will do it. This year really tested us and put alot of pressure on us emotionally and economically. It was literally one thing after another. I guess having 2 senior dogs will do that to you. Pete and I are on the same page, we don't want to see her suffer, but we will treat it if we can, and keep her happy and healthy at almost any cost if it works. What we aren't doing is an ultrasound (we know she has CHF), and we did bloodwork twice and heart stress test - margins were still good from being on the meds, heart is nearly maxed. We know the meds will be hard on her kidneys, we don't need a ton of bloodwork to tell us when they are starting to fail, she will be on the meds until they stop working - and for now, they work great. Our Vet agrees too. She has a couple old lady lumps "her lovely lady lumps" as we call them, well, those aren't going anywhere either.

Maybe we are naive because Jane is our first dog, but the hundreds of dollars a month it costs to keep to ticker-ticking are worth it to us. Good appetite, still has some spunk, loves her car rides, still keen as ever to do do little bits of training, and just cuddle and hang out as she always has.

Sometimes you are put to the test, as we were with Kaleb. As we found out there isn't much choice when your dog has Torsion. Please for the love of doG do what you can - now that is a suffering dog, an awful thing to see. It was a crap shoot 50% chance of him living through it. Signing the euthanasia form was not something I like to remember, but we had too if there was nothing they could do to save him. Unfortunately we would have had to pay the same price even if he hadn't survived, well he did - so it was worth it, or something.

Then there is Jane ... Gall Stone at the beginning of the year, and her Congestive Heart Failure. We didn't treat the Gall Stone with Surgery - just meds. All seemed good! Then the heart ....

No I don't have pet insurance. After this year, I am applying for it with Gyp, however.

All I hope is that 2011 is a better year. Last year I wished for good health for the pooches and me, and I didn't really get it. So this coming year, all I ask is everyone is happy, that's easy enough :)