Friday, March 20, 2009

The joys of daylight savings time...

Well one joy anyway...lots of light left after work. No need for a headlamp or the lighted collars on the dogs!

This was about 7pm on Tuesday night, the day after the dogs popped the snowhook and left me in the forest! Reggae may not always turn when I tell him, which is what led to the snowhook popping incident, but he does have a flawless, never miss "on-by". This time of year that's very handy since everyone who hasn't walked their dog all winter is suddenly out on the trail. Loose dogs don't even get a glance from Regs! Skijorers get him to lift his head, but he keeps moving! He's very serious when he's working.

Our first run of spring, taken tonight sometime after 7. The longer days and tons of snow are a great mix! Last year, our last run was March 13, this year we should still be going in late April!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The big guy...

The big guy, Heyoka, has had a rough week, much of it spent at the vet.

It started with an odd swelling under his eye on Tuesday night and a quick trip to the on-call emergency vet. We thought it was "just" an abscessed tooth. Not fun, not cheap, but easy easy enough to fix with a little dental surgery. So we booked that for next week. The ER vet was a bit concerned about his breathing and suggested he had laryngeal paralysis. Heyoka is a noisy breather and his breathing was very laboured that night. Check for that too when he was knocked for the tooth problem. Because my dogs can never do anything the easy way, Heyoka threw in a extremely high fever. So we got sent home with an appointment for next week, antibiotics and Metacam.

Heyoka's fever did not respond to the Metacam so we were back at the clinic Wednesday afternoon. He stayed the night on IV fluids and antibiotics. I've never seen such a pathetic looking dog! He didn't move when I left his kennel, no wooing, no complaints all about being left behind. His dental surgery was moved up to Friday morning(my thanks to whoever allowed their dog to be bumped so mine could get help!)

Thursday afternoon my big, happy goof dog was back. So bouncey that he pulled his IV out while out for a pee break and got to come home for the night. Friday morning back to the clinic, we were getting good at that! Heyoka didn't even argue about getting in the van. He is not a fan of riding in a vehicle, especially the van...the van does not go down the trail to the fun places!

The tooth part of his surgery went fairly well. He lost two teeth, two BIG teeth! Once his gums heal, the tooth loss will have little effect. Right now he's enjoying eating canned food; it's easy to hide his pills in too so it works for both of us!

The rest of the results are not so good, they are damn crappy. Heyoka does not have laryngeal paralysis; that would have been bad, but I'd prefer it right now! His larnyx is thickened and hard. That's why his voice is always a little hoarse and why his breathing is so noisy. He struggles a bit for every breath. His vet could not explain why this has happened, but as it continues to progess, Heyoka will have a harder and harder time breathing, eventually leading to a respitory crisis. There was more bad news...he has actual holes in and around his tonsils and small lumps throughout his throat. Biopsy samples were taken from several spots in his throat and from the swelling on his face, but we are fairly sure that the big guy has cancer.

The prognosis is grim and it appears we will not have our clown for much longer, certainly not for as long as we had hoped. We'll do everything we can for him though and keep him happy and comfy for as long as possible.

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Annual Hoodoo Memorial Run...

Every year around the anniversary of Hoodoo's death, I take a team and run the last trail he ran with us. Every four years, I go on the actual date, February 29. I've always thought that Hoodoo probably got a little giggle out of leaving on a date that only happens once every four years. That dog was a trickster.

Hoodoo's last run involved crossing this field. I have no idea why there is a big open field in the middle of the forest, but it's there and no trees ever seem to grow in that area. This is about where Reggae said screw it for today. Reggae does not like having to break trail, make his own, decide which snowmobile track I meant when I said gee. He likes clear, well marked trails; he likes his commands given quietly and early. As soon as he can see a possible turn, he wants to know what I want. We were running into the wind and drifts today. Not Reggae's favorite thing. Just after I snapped this, he did a flawless come-around-haw, through snow up to his chest, he turned the entire team, without a tangle, without letting Ozzy get close enough to cause a ruckus with Anvik. It was a thing of beauty.

And we ran the rest of the way home on the trail we'd already broken. Hoodoo would have appreciated that! He loved to tag along for a run, but he never liked to do anymore work than absolutely neccessary. He had mastered the art of keeping his tug line tight enough that it looked like he was doing something, but not so tight that he was actually working!
June 19, 1999-February 29, 2004
We still miss you, buddy.