Sunday, October 31, 2010

How to Pick Up Girls

Yesterday I went to Malagash to pick up Emse after she spent two weeks on vacation to go to the Puli National in Massachusetts. I entered the house and she stared at me for a few moments. When I spoke she came to say hello and after I greeted her she bounced around a moment or two and then everything was illuminated. OH IT'S YOU!!!! That's when the real excitement began. She became an explosion of glee; between throwing herself at me and grabbing my hands and clothes she emitted a high pitched bark which vibrated the very marrow of our bones. After a few minutes she managed to pull herself together and then the Ridgeback re-introduction took place.

I'd left Leeloo and Raimi in the truck so that I could greet Esme in relative peace but outside I let the dogs out to say hello to her. Raimi leaped out, had a cursory sniff and then wandered off to find something to pee on. Boys are so simple. Not so with Leeloo. Immediately she was on Esme with the bitch noises and I thumped her on the head a couple times to remind her that Esme was Very Small and she was Very Big. Not that Leeloo was trying to hurt her, it was mostly noise and bluster, but the size difference can result in accidental damage.

Esme, for her part, was over the moon to see the Ridgebacks. She raced around and around and around throwing herself at them as she flew past. Leeloo would pounce and roll her and then she'd be up again racing in a circle of excitement. It was great to watch her run because I knew it was the only way she could get out how happy she was to see me and the Ridgebacks. She made an occasional attempt at tackling them or leaping at me but the bulk of the time we spent on our walk was running as fast as she could in a large left hand circle. Always to the left she circles.

We hung out for the rest of the day relaxing watching movies, enjoying a wonderful roast beef dinner compliments of my Dad and then headed home. Esme threw herself into the truck without hesitation and once home we all settled in happy, content and everyone exactly where they should be.  Huge thank you to my parents for showing Esme to her National wins and for taking such good care of my little Tiny.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Death Becomes Her

Two days ago the world said goodbye to Geddie who suffered a fatal attack of gastric torsion - volvulus. She was rushed to the vet but was unable to be saved and tragically died on the table. More commonly known as bloat, gastric torsion is not a condition to be ignored or delayed, dogs showing symptoms may only have a few hours to live.

Indicators of GTV are restlessness, inability to vomit or belch, whining, excessive drooling, pale or grey gums, panting or laboured breathing, decreased temperature(a result of shock), and increased heart rate.

The following is a description of how gastric torsion affects a dog's internal organs:

The stomach twists around the longitudinal axis of the digestive tract, also known as volvulus. Gas distension may occur prior to or after the stomach twists. The most common direction for rotation is clockwise, viewing the animal from behind. The stomach can rotate up to 360° in this direction and 90° counterclockwise. If the volvulus is greater than 180°, the esophagus is closed off, thereby preventing the animal from relieving the condition by belching or vomiting. The results of this distortion of normal anatomy and gas distension include hypotension (low blood pressure), decreased return of blood to the heart, ischemia (loss of blood supply) of the stomach, and shock. Pressure on the portal vein decreases blood flow to liver and decreases the ability of that organ to remove toxins and absorbed bacteria from the blood. At the other end of the stomach, the spleen may be damaged if the twisting interrupts its blood supply. If not quickly treated, bloat can lead to blood poisoning, peritonitis and death by toxic shock.

It is possible to buy or assemble, bloat kits; however they, like any other tool, must be used properly or they can do more damage than good. The following weblink offers detailed instructions on what to do when you suspect bloat in your dog.

I cannot stress how serious bloat is in dogs. Small breeds are less like to suffer from it, as it is most commonly seen in breeds who have deep chests and high tuck ups or waistlines.  There is no absolute way to prevent bloat but knowing the signs and getting the dog veterinary attention as quickly as possible offers the best outcome.

If the the loss of Geddie's life means one person reading this gets their dog to a vet in time to save it, then at least something will have come of her senseless death. It's small comfort to her family and all the people who loved her who will never again know her warm presence by their side.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Am. Ch. Invictus Armageddon of Aegis JC 2007 - 2010

Armageddon is a decisive or catastrophic conflict. It also means a battle between good and evil at the end of the world. And today it means a beautiful and devoted light is extinguished. That light was Geddie.

Yesterday Geddie died. She was only three and a half years old and literally in the prime of her life. Born March 14, 2007 she was from my first litter.  Geddie was always the wallflower, she never pushed to the front, never forced her presence but she was always there ... even early on she was 'Steady Geddie'.

Geddie stayed with me until she was about 3 months old and then, thanks to transportation provided by her sister Rosie's family, made her way to Utah where she was to be shown and, most importantly, adored by a loving family.  She was never as evil as these eyes make her look!

I didn't see Geddie again until the following year when we met up in Montana and she took two majors that circuit. She was developing into a beautiful girl and I was so proud to see her do well. It was incredibly gratifying to know that I had a hand in bringing that gorgeous being into the world.

Geddie also dabbled in lure coursing, easily obtaining her Junior Courser title. Coursing was something which she took seriously but was not exactly passionate about, thus earning her the name 'Steady Geddie'. She'd follow the lure but would never be a world beating courser! I think running was more for fun than for sport to her although she managed to keep ahead of Raimi and Zero during the one time they met as adults at the Montana show in 2008.

Earlier this year Geddie was mom to her first litter and was a shining example of a wonderful broodbitch. Her puppies are maturing into healthy, sound, stable, typey dogs who will do her credit. Her genes will live on in them and through them.

Geddie now runs in the fields just this side of The Rainbow Bridge. She waits there with her Grandma Kinley and Daddy Travis, and she joined them much too soon. My deepest condolences to the Neilson family and to Erin at Aegis for this tragic, senseless loss. I did not know Geddie as an adult but she was family, I helped her into this world and I am sick to know she is gone. Her steady, kind, devoted presence will be missed by all who knew and loved her. To those she leaves behind I can only offer my sincere gratitude for giving this girl a richly fulfilled life and the best of care - my only wish is that she was still by your side. Rest in peace Geddie.

(I post tomorrow on how to prevent a death like this, explanations of how she died did not fit her memorial. )

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Princess Diaries

I woke up this morning thinking I had time to lounge since the sun wasn't up yet. I was wrong. The sun was up but it was behind some low hanging cloud. What I didn't immediately realise was that the low cloud was expelling a fairly steady rain. I prepared to take the dogs out, decided to put their coats on to keep them a bit drier and off we went. Well, it was almost pouring by the time we got to the woods. Ah well, we made quick work of a truncated circuit and both dogs were ready to go home, not a lot of exploring today!

Once home breakfast was had and then it was time to settle in for a good nap. What is funny is that Leeloo, up until last night, did not appear to realise that there is now a spare bed in the spare room. I was in there for some reason and she wandered in behind me. I told her to get on the bed and when she did it was like a light bulb went off. A bed! In here! When did this happen? So this morning, after our walk, she hopped on the bed, settled down and began her 'blankie whine'. This is the subtle, yet demanding, insistence I find her blanket and put it over her. Like so ...

I got her special blanket on sale at Wal-Mart a few weeks ago, it is specifically Leeloo's blanket, it has a lion and two cubs on it and is made of plush material. She loves this blanket. It also fits because my spare room is decorated with a lion and African theme and the dogs blend right in. I will have to move the house-warming quilt my Auntie Pat made for me since the dogs insist on sleeping on it, but other than that the bed should have no fear of being forgotten.

I cannot stress how important it is that the dogs are comfortable. I want them to be happy and cosy and I love seeing them content. It's also important because if something is amiss in their world then they are bugging me to make things right. The sooner things are right the sooner I can concentrate on what I want to do ... and that makes everyone happy.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Breaking Dawn

Another crisp day on the east coast. I love the mornings although I never realize how much I love them until I get out onto the heath and inhale the burst of scents as the sunlight evaporates the frost and dew from the flora and fauna. It seems to me that the aroma of a fresh morning is so much stronger than any other time of day, particularly when it is just touched by the breaking dawn.

Today was a scent adventure for the dogs since the activity of forest critters is now accelerated as they prepare for the coming winter. Racoon tracks in patches of mud have been spotted these past few mornings, the little five fingered toe prints are a dead give-away, and both dogs snuffle into the grass and bushes for about 15 feet to see where the trail ends - usually at my recall. 

As squirrels and birds gather their winter stores they fuss about in the trees and the dogs, thinking something wonderful is occurring, smash their way into the underbrush with the result of silencing whatever made the noise in the first place. They always emerge satisfied their self-appointed critter patrol has been fulfilled and we carry on down the path.

We took a left instead of a right today and as I halted on a little rise looking over the meadow, Leeloo froze on high alert listening to a pheasant crow a welcome to the Autumn morning. As we gazed across the grassland the pheasant took to the air, squawking the whole time, and both dogs could see and hear its progress as it flew toward us about 10 feet above the brush, banked to the right and landed 100 yards to our left. Well, needing no convincing, Boy and Leeloo were off like a shot toward where they last saw the bird. Unfortunately quite a substantial tangle of blackberry canes stood between them and the bird and they quickly gave up the hunt as being a lost cause. I knew, however, that where the bird landed was exactly 10 feet from the path we were going to use to get back to the truck. I was curious to see what they did when they passed within a few feet of the pheasant they would not realize was there. 

Leeloo did not disappoint. As we drew close to where the bird was last 'seen' Leeloo's nose started twitching and although she passed the bird she did back track into the bush to find where the scent was coming from. Raimi knew Leeloo was onto something but he was not as tenacious about it so he just followed her lead and, finding nothing of note, got bored and lost interest.  Leeloo spent a considerable amount of time trying to find the bird but without luck. Maybe it wandered further into the bush, maybe it was just keeping its head down, but since my feet were getting cold we pressed on, leaving the pheasant to crow another day.

Some days when I'm lying in bed, cocooned by down, drifting on the gentle waves of semi-consciousness, it is hard to get myself moving. Dragging body and mind into the cold morning can be a trial but it is always worth it once I am traversing the meadowlands and woods with the dogs, breathing in the brisk air and taking in the wondrous perfume of the dawn.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Play It Again, Sam

Despite the blustery wind today Archer's Mommy and Dad drove up to Pictou to meet up with us for a walk at the beach. It was a bit brisk but the dogs didn't seem to mind as they bounded along in the sand. Leeloo once again established with Archer that she is The Boss Bitch and then the boys settled into a pattern of fawning over her while keeping a careful eye on each other. 

Archer looks fabulous, fit and full of life - sometimes so full of life he just has to sproing for joy - often with pretty impressive air-time! He clearly adores Sandra and Donnie and stuck quite close to them when he needed a little extra support or reassurance. Archer tends to be a insecure which makes him a bit clingy ... no surprise there.

Despite that he remains a sort of silly, whimsical dog who never loses an opportunity to demonstrate how agile he is by boinging into your face and then bounding across the sand with his pals. When he got hold of a stick he was off like a shot enticing Leeloo into a chase.

Leeloo was happy to oblige but she's no fool, she would just wait for Archer to come racing by and cut him off. It was Archer's greatest delight to be chased by Leeloo ... doesn't he look ridiculously happy?

Raimi got in on the fun a little bit with some play bows and minor wrestling but boys will be boys and it always turned into a posturing match that tended to look a little like David against Goliath. Nothing ever came of the posturing but I like to keep an eye on things anyway ... they are big dogs after all.

Archer is obviously incredibly fit, happy, healthy and living the good life with Sandra, Donnie, their children and his new best bud Tyson. He is steadily maturing into a beautiful handsome boy and once done his championship next year he will be neutered and spend the rest of his days being an exemplary Ridgeback for his family - (I think we also have another Ridgeback convert too!).  I still miss you Little Buddy but seeing you so settled and happy more than makes up for it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Coast to Coast

This weekend I can hold my head high knowing my name is attached to some very lovely well bred dogs who are competing on opposite coasts from each other. They are 6000km apart but are able to hold their own in their respective breeds. I have been on pins and needles for the last two days waiting for word on their results. It's time to take matters into my own hands ...

So while the dogs are breaking in the new mattress I'm sitting in the livingroom prodding at the internet with chilled fingers attempting to get updates on how Esme has done at the Puli National Specialty being held in Massachusetts. Fortunately, the world wide web has pulled through in its magical way and the results from both today and yesterday's shows are up on This means that I can sleep at night knowing that Esme did well and can boast a couple of nice wins and pretty ribbons. In the regular classes at both the designated specialty yesterday  and the PCA National today she won the senior puppy bitch class, she also got second yesterday in the puppy sweeps. Today she didn't do well in sweeps but her litter sister won the class and then went on to Best of Opposite in Junior Sweeps ... way to go sistah Ellie!

Zero, on the west coast in California also did very well winning Best of Opposite to another Canadian bred dog at a show in Pleasanton and although I haven't heard how he did today I know he always makes a good showing. Zero is still sitting at #4 Ridgeback in the US and I am so excited to see how his most recent litter of puppies matures, it will give me a good idea what to expect when the planned breeding between him and Leeloo takes place in about a year ... that will be a litter of note!

So now I'm off to warm my fingers under the slumbering bulk of a very cosy Ridgeback, the weather is storming away outside but we are all tucked up in down pillows and comforters with a new mattress to break in ... can't wait to hit the sheets!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


The other morning was pretty brisk. It made me decide to change my alarm clock time to about a half hour later since walking the dogs in the chill hours of the morning lacks the thrill you might think it could hold. Anyway, I pulled up to our usual parking spot and spied this beasty down the path.

I know you can't see her very well but that there is a deer. She was looking at something in the woods and while it was very pretty and I didn't want to disturb her, I knew if the dogs saw her I'd be all morning tracking them down in the woods. So I sort of shooed her along and then let the dogs out into the brisk air.

You can see the frost heavily dusting the foliage in the fields but it certainly didn't slow the dogs down. In fact the brisk air seemed to charge them up.

That, or it was so chilly they had to keep moving to stay warm. I know I did!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Wrestler

I realize I've been a little lax lately posting on a regular basis. A couple weeks ago I decided I'd just post every other day because I was struggling to find something to say every single day and to me the blogs were becoming a bit inane. As soon as I decided to post every other day my computer's brain fried and then I couldn't post at all. So to get back on track I'm still going to post every other day at least, and possibly even two or three days in a row depending on what is happening.

I took a bunch of photos about 10 days ago of the dogs playing at my parent's acreage but never got around to posting them because of the laptop suicide, so here's a few cute ones of Leeloo and Raimi playing and Esme attempting to play with dogs who outweigh her by 60 pounds(Leeloo) and more than 60 pounds(Raimi).  Here she is tackling Boy while he rolled around on the grass, she gets all chuffed with herself because she probably thinks she's the one who took him down ... keep thinking that Esme.

There was much playing and carrying on since the grass wasn't wet and rolling in it was an acceptable idea. Leeloo got trounced a couple times by The Boy and there was lots of drama involved when she ended up on the bottom half of the wrestling match.

The Boy has come into his own with his tackle and tack down techniques. Leeloo is pretty quick though and manages to stay on her feet most of the time. He outweighs her by quite a bit so staying on her feet is more a result of speed and agility than muscle power.

Leeloo can turn it up when she needs to and even Esme manages to stay close when a chase is on. She never gives up and never lets the Ridgebacks out of her sight. Always game for a run she never seems to feel excluded from the play, she just persists in chasing and running and herding and nipping and tackling and throwing herself into their necks trying to keep them in line. I'll give her this ... she is one persistent little dog.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Missing

We are short one dog for two weeks. I have to admit, I'm going to miss that little bugger. Even leaving her at my parent's house was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Little Esme was not very happy being left behind by the Ridgebacks but she has bigger fish to fry in the USA at the Puli Club of America National Specialty in Massecheusetts. I was not able to attend but I so wish I could have gone to show off my little drama queen. She will hopefully blow away the competition but even if she doesn't I'm happy as long as she comes home safe ... that and knowing that by the time she gets back I will have her body suit and we can all giggle when she tries it on. Check out my little beauty on the weekend she finished her Championship.

I spent the better part of the weekend grooming Little Miss Sunshine and then we drove her to my parent's house. Since she was *not* to get covered in leaves and muck she didn't accompany the Ridgebacks and I on our usual walk around my parent's acreage. We explored the area by the house that has been effectively decimated by clear cutting. I'm not sure what the point was since it appears a large amount of wood was left behind and the area has been allowed to grow in over the past summer. However, it has a certain stark beauty to it and I managed to capture some pretty nice photos of Raimi and Leeloo.

Leeloo has really come into her own over the last few months and if I make her pose she obliges by looking disdainfully about just as a queen would gaze upon her subjects. She is certainly a Big Girl now. However, Big Girls still need their blankies and hers is currently not smothering her as she likes so I must be off to rectify this tragedy ... ever the servant.

Best of luck to my parents at the Puli National and I know they'll take extra good care of Esme!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Net

Did you miss me? I missed you. If I could hug and kiss the internet I would. As evil as it can be it is such an integral part of my life I felt a little lost without it. However, I did accomplish rather a lot of house chores I'd been delaying. See how happy Boy is to have the internet back too? 

Esme was pretty excited - it means if I am busy checking email I am not poking and prodding and grooming her.  Today was an especially important grooming day since she is being left at my parent's house tomorrow to go down to the Puli Club of America National Specialty in Massachusetts. Good luck little Tiny!

Leeloo couldn't care less about the internet, as long as she gets fed on time, has her walk and is smothered by her blankie during naptime, the internet is irrelevant to her existence. On an unrelated note; aren't those mushrooms awesome ... even Leeloo thought so and she is not easily impressed.

So the next time my computer decides to commit suicide by corrupting the hard drive, Raimi promises he will sniff out the problem. Good Boy ... Mommy needs the internet.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


This time it wasn't a cat who fell off the window sill and into a bowl of water only to streak across my keyboard. This time it was negligence and wishful thinking that has me without a computer. I cannot get it to start properly, it won't load its applications correctly and it has effectively deleted all my network information so I can't get online. Was I secretly hoping for a malfunction in the junction so I could get the Ipad I've been coveting? Maybe, but the considerable inconvenience not having a computer for at least a week, probably more, is going to be a rough road to hoe.

A while back my Outlook went glitchy and stopped working so instead of addressing that problem I just switched to gmail, then it started to get a bit twitchy when I was trying to download photos from the camera to the computer but I just wiggled the cable and eventually it would work. Then the battery stopped charging, drained to nothing and since I  never ever use it I figured "What difference does it make?" Then the whole shebang started having trouble starting at all until finally and without too much drama, the computer deleted or 'lost' the networks it requires in order to talk to the world wide web. And so ... here we are.

Being without the internet has a few drawbacks: I have no idea what's going on in the world, I'm a little lost while I sip my morning coffee(used to check email and Facebook), I have more time on my hands than I know what to do with (thereby no excuse not to do them), I can't update the blog, and I'm going to get behind on my shows since I would download the ones I can't access via cable television.

Right now I am using the computer at my parent's house to let the world know I haven't been 'disappeared' for annoying one or another crazy dog breeder, I'm not ignoring everyone and there is no reason to worry. Today I took some lovely photos of the dogs playing on my parent's acreage and one day, doG willing, they will make their way to the world wide web for the enjoyment of the masses.

Bear with me while I work through this time of trial, chances are it will be at least a week, possibly longer, for me to get back online, I imagine the world will continue without me, after all I'm 'not that important' in the grand scheme. And maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to report the coming of the Ipad into my home ... not that I hope my laptop is terminal, but maybe it could be relegated to second string, so to speak.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

These are the last of the photos from Archer's visit a few days ago. He and Boy had a few moments of communion where Archer was expressing his brotherly love. Leeloo was trying to stick her nose into the affair but the boys were too busy sizing each other up. Given that Raimi outweighs Archer by about 40 pounds (yes, 40 ... gulp) the outcome should be a foregone conclusion.

Archer doesn't know who he's messing with. Maybe in the weeks of separation he forgot how The Boy is actually The Man. The expression on Leeloo's face tells all "Archer, I don't think this is such a good idea."  (Please ignore the fact that Boy looks like a goon.)

Archer gets right up all in Boy's face. Boy dips into the playbow, ready to take on this young upstart. Look at those mucles flex, like a coiled spring he is ready to blow, a explosion of power and might such as you have never seen is about to occur.

And ... down he goes. What a marshmallow. Archer seemed to be a bit disappointed it was so easy.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Amazing Race

I'd say this was ring-around- the rose if I didn't know the song had such negative connotations. After the last week of heart wrenching and then uplifting news about Atlas I'd rather just make positive associations with the dogs. Don't they look like they are having a fabulous time? Wheeee ... that there is Archer from last Sunday making the most of his time with his family.

Then they all split off and bolt across the fields with ears flying, legs reaching and hearts pounding.

Leeloo was the most gratified to have Archer there to chase her since Raimi doesn't really play much like that. They race and race and race and then throw themselves onto the couch totally comatose for the rest of the day. Perfect. Happy dogs ... happy humans.

Monday, October 4, 2010


My camera and my computer finally got over their little tiff and the photos from Archer's visit are finally available for uploading. Here he is running with Esme who was delighted to have her buddy back and was busy trying to keep everyone in line.

Archer is obviously extremely well taken care of and very happy - it would be unusual for him to be unhappy. He is a bit of a sensitive soul and fortunately his New Mommy and Daddy understand this so they will nuture his gentle nature and help him expand his horizons far beyond his wildest dreams.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Meet the Deedles

Atlas continues to experience the peaks and valleys of parvo. There is a regular Ridgeback contingent visiting him now at the hospital to lend his mom support and present a united front as advocates of his care. People who never knew Atlas, never met him and don't have dogs related to him are showing up un-announced to provide shoulders to cry on and moral support to Adine and Atlas. We may have our disagreements over silly things like type and structure but when it comes down to it we all agree that they are insignificant to a fight for the life of a little brown dog who is very very sick.

Way over here on the east coast life ticks by and although we carry on in the course of our day, always Atlas and Adine are close in our minds. Archer came to visit, I haven't seen him in 6 weeks and I was happy to see that he looks fabulous, had a bit of a growth spurt, but is still (thankfully) no where near Raimi's size and never will be! He eventually remembered me but when he got anxious he would look to Sandra which is awesome - he clearly just adores her.

Leeloo remembered him and then got busy reminding him who was Boss right away, can't let these young up-starts get any ideas. Raimi and Archer had a good poke at each other and then settled into their regular routine of keeping a joint eye on Leeloo. Raimi was incredibly happy to see Archer go though I'm sure!

They had a lovely time sniffing in the bushes and grass, had great leaping runs through the long weeds and eventually settled into exploration mode with occasional bursts of silliness. Archer was in full Tigger mode bouncing straight into the air like a maniac just like his mom always did, and still does! I took lots of photos which are still on my camera because for some reason they won't load onto the computer, must figure that out before too long!

Archer was reluctant to go - I think he was a bit confused - but by the time he gets home after almost two hours of sleep he will know once again where he is meant to be. I cannot thank Sandra and Donnie enough for offering this beautiful boy the best of homes. He is clearly in a great place and although I was a bit sad to see him go again, I know we will meet soon for another bounce. Hugs to Archer, hugs to his nephew Atlas, you are both so special and you certainly make the world a brighter place.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Never Give up, Never Surrender

Distressing news from Alberta arrived on Thursday from Adine at Charisma Ridgebacks and on Friday that was upgraded to devastating news. Raimi's baby nephew Atlas, Karma's son, has contracted parvo virus at 5 months old and is in ICU at the CARE Emergency clinic in Calgary. Only Adine's stubborn insistence that something was very very wrong saved this puppy's life. One vet sent him home and said he'd he 'right as rain' in 6 hours - what might have actually happened is that he'd have been too far gone to survive. Below, at 4 1/2 months Atlas demonstrates how much promise he holds.

No one, and I mean no one, was ever more diligent than Adine about keeping parvo away from her dogs. She lost a puppy to parvo a few years ago, although she was younger than Atlas and not through her full regimen of shots, so to have a puppy who is almost 5 months old come down with it was simply unthinkable. Here is Atlas at 4 months with his Momma Karma in the fields of gold near Medicine Hat, Alberta.

The vets at the ER clinic wanted to run all kinds of tests to find out what was wrong but Adine, doG love her and listening to her Mother Instincts, insisted the vets check for parvo although they were reluctant and doubtful in doing so. A simple test revealed the truth, Atlas has contracted parvo almost two months after his last vaccination. Apparently there is a parvo strain making the rounds in North America, one which is not accounted for in the normal protocol of shots for puppies. If you have a young puppy and it starts to suffer inexplicable vomiting, diarrhea, and extreme lethargy get it to a vet and insist this simple parvo test be done, it could save your puppy's life.

So little Atlas, just starting out on his great journey, is fighting for his life in the ICU in Calgary. All my warmest and most positive thoughts are headed that way, to both him and Adine.  He will pull through and make a full recovery because as far as I'm concerned he doesn't have any other choice.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Children of Nature

With the inexorable push of time we are miraculously now sitting on the first of October. Hard to believe it was almost 2 years ago that I arrived in Nova Scotia to buy my house and begin the first real steps toward my escape from Calgary. Despite the seasonal hibernation the weather causes every year, I will always look upon Autumn as a time of new beginnings.

The sunlit hours grow shorter each day but if you close your eyes and take a conscious breath you would never know it was Fall. The days hover at 20+ degrees and the air is thick with humidity.  Mother Nature seems to have adopted the lackadaisical attitude of "So what if it's October, I can do what I want." No complaints here Momma N. and none from Miss Leeloo since I am certain she is hoping winter never really arrives.

We walk now among turning leaves, brittle grass and naughty burrs that catch in Esme's coat. She appreciates the slow death of the long grasses since it's much easier for her to navigate although spotting Ridgebacks can be a little more tricky since they blend so well.

Summer seems long behind us but ahead lies Autumn splendour and Winter wonder although the future is irrelevant to the likes of Leeloo who spends each moment believing it was specifically designed to accommodate her existence ... a truly oblivious way to live and all the better for being so.