Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas in Vancouver

Wow it has been a long time since my last post. Sorry to all you dedicated followers, lol. Anyways it's a week until Christmas and I'm gearing up for the first family Christmas in Vancouver in years. Usually my parents are in Arizona so we end up down there, but this year everyone will be in town. Poor Kepler had never even seen a Christmas tree before last week. It's just a small artificial one though so technically he still hasn't enjoyed the smell and potentially taste of a real Christmas tree (maybe it's safer this way).

Here's a pic of the boys (both very unhappy) in their Christmas antlers

Both the dogs have been doing well and Kepler is now a budding movie star. He was cast in a short film that was written and directed by UBC film students and we filmed last month. Kep was absolutely made for this! The animal wrangler nicknamed Kep the "one take wonder"because he could get the job done on the first take. It was a lot of fun, but also a very long day. Not something I'd want to do a ton of, but once in a while would be cool. His film debut will be in April if anyone is interested!

I always knew he had movie-star good looks!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fun times at the beach

Spring is here which has allowed Kep and I to enjoy some fun times at the beach (with some of his cousins of course!)

Enjoying a nice breeze.

Please play with me Abby!

Waaiiit uupppp!

Stop ignoring me!

Oh sure, you'll play with your brother.

You're killing me here!

That's ok, I can play by myself!

Splashing, splashing, splashing.

Yesss!! She's finally paying attention to me!

OMG this is awesome!!

(notice his feet still aren't touching the ground)

This is fun! I love the beach!

And with this nice weather Tycho has gotten out to do lots of hiking. In fact he has lost 3 lbs in the last couple weeks just from all the extra exercise (which is a good thing since his grandparents will be home soon and always fatten him up!).

Here's Tycho relaxing after a recent hike.

Some more fun photos...

Boys are dumb!

What Kepler would look like with prick ears

Whew, what a fun day!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Today is Kepler's first birthday. My little man is growing up and I have so many good memories of the last year with him. He is constantly entertaining me, and he always knows how to have a good time. Mr. Kepler can be cheeky at times, but all in all he turned out to be a great dog!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ugh not again!

It seems at any point in time I only have 1 dog that I can do active things with. At this moment in time that dog is Tycho. Who'd have thought Tycho would be my hiking buddy! Tyke and I went to Bridgeman earlier this week, and just got home from a steep hike up by Dempsey. He still gets a bit sore after hiking, but not nearly as bad as a few years ago. I'm slowly rehabbing him to being around other dogs. He's been a bit grouchy with other dogs (to say the least) since being in pain from the hip dysplasia. I overload him with treats whenever we see other dogs and hopefully he will eventually get back to his usual playful self with other dogs.

So what happened to Mr. Kepler you may ask. Well as all little brothers do, he idolizes his big bro Tyke and wants to be just like him. Right down to the bionic leg. Yes thats right, Kepler has hip dysplasia and will be having hip replacement surgery in the next month or two.

I noticed Kepler starting to limp more and more during and after exercise so last week I x-rayed him again and he definitely has a problem. I went to see the surgeon on Monday (thanks Erika, Jody and Lolo for the support!) and the sooner Kep has surgery the better his recovery should be. Keep in mind this type of surgery requires strict kennel rest for about 3 months and only 5-10 minute walks for weeks after that. It'll be at least 5 months before I can take him for any decent walk, and 6 months before he can hike again! Any ideas for keeping a 1 year old Border Collie mix confined to a kennel for 3 months?? Seriously I need ideas people! He's fine to chill for a week or so without a good hike but this sounds impossible. I don't really want to put off the surgery for too long since right now he is pretty sore after just a 30-40 minute off-leash walk, and the longer I wait the more muscle atrophy he will have.

I am still letting him have a bit of fun in the meantime. I take him on short hikes (without his girlfriend Bella since she and him have way too much fun together and it makes him really sore) and tomorrow we're heading back to Hope for another go at sheepherding. He was just 5 months old the first time we went up there so I'm really curious to see how he does. I'll be posting pics of sheepherding when I can.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Tycho!

Love this dog!

And Happy St. Patrick's Day! Years ago we decided to make St. Paddy's day Tycho's official birthday since we didn't know the exact day. Today he turned 7 years old! He may be old in body, but he's still very young at heart!

I realized that I haven't posted in over a month so I'm long overdue. Time for an update!

Tycho had his 4 month post-op visit and X-rays with Dr. Hutchinson last month and we received very good news. The implant is looking good and his bone seems to be growing into the implant as expected. He is now allowed to go on leashed walks for as long as he would like to go (which is usually longer than I have time to go). I haven't been able to tire this guy out with an hour long hilly walk. He is also allowed to start going off leash for 10 minutes at a time to put a bit of stress on the implant which will facilitate boney ingrowth. In a word, Tycho is a happy camper! (Ok so thats 2 words!) This week Tycho is staying with his uncle since I am pet-sitting and he went to Ambleside dog beach today for the first time in years and had a blast.

4 months and he's still got a naked bum :(

Mr. Kepler has been very busy lately. He started agility foundation classes last month and is progressing slowly but surely. It has been very weird for me to be back at agility since it has been 3 years since I've done any training, but I'm loving it! I'm taking things slow with Kepler's training to ensure that he knows every obstacle inside and out. I'm also taking things a bit slow because of his luxating patella. I want to strengthen his knee, but I don't want to overdo it with him and cause more problems. Kepler has been doing lots of balance work with his hind end to try and strengthen his knee and I thought it was helping but he still limps after too much exercise. He also had his first tracking session recently and shows potential with that too!

Look at those gorgeous eyes!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Not the brightest of dogs...but he sure is handsome!

Kepler, did you have a nice swim today?

No, why not?

Oh thats right, because you fell through the ice into a freezing cold lake and couldn't get out! Idiot! He sure is lucky that he's so good-looking!

I love Kepler, but today he definitely showed me today that he's not the sharpest tack in the box. We were snowshoeing up on Mt. Seymour and he was having a great time running and playing in the snow. Suddenly I realized that my boy must have wandered off because I hadn't seen him in a couple minutes. I tried calling him and calling him. Nothing. Calling again. Nothing. Then I heard a dog whining and barking, it sounded like it was miles away, and it definitely didn't sound like Kepler but I started walking back on the trail anyways. As I was walking I realized that the barking dog sounded much closer, and very frantic. I quickly ripped off my snowshoes and ran back on the trail as fast as I could. There I saw him, and I will never forget the panicked look on his face. Kepler had fallen through the ice on a lake beside the trail and was struggling to get out. I ran down the snow-covered embankment grabbed his collar and dragged his soaking wet body out of the lake.

My poor boy! He was terrified and completely drenched in ice cold water. I looked through the hole in the ice and couldn't see the bottom of the lake, it was a very deep drop off from the edge of the lake and there's no way he would have made it out on his own. It was a very scary experience that luckily had a happy ending.

On a side note I think that this experience may have made me a bit superstitious. I had gone to the shelter this morning to renew the boys licenses. They had asked me if I was comfortable taking tag 0666 (apparently a lot of people wouldn't take that number). I have never felt that certain numbers are lucky or unlucky so I said sure, why not. They assigned that tag to Kepler, and Tycho got a much higher number since so many people refused to take 0666. Maybe it's a coincidence, maybe not, but next year if 0666 comes up I might pass!

On a final note, I finally X-rayed Kep this week after noticing some lameness recently in his right hind leg. Of course I've been paranoid that it's a hip problem and had convinced myself that he will be needing surgery (don't worry, he has insurance). But luckily I was only partly right. His hips look okay on x-rays, but upon exam it turns out he has a luxating patella. His right knee is "looser" than his left and could account for his wonky gait. Hopefully as he grows and gains more muscle the knee will tighten up and it will cease to be a problem. Worst case scenario it could worsen and require surgery, or leave him more prone to ACL tears and arthritis of the knee. Ugh. I'm sorry Karma Gods for whatever I have done. For now the vet is saying just to let him be as active as he is used to being and just see how he does. But of course now I'm worried about starting agility with him an exacerbating the issue. Lets hope that Kep grows strong and this is never an issue for him!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Vacation without the dogs blues

I'm in Arizona right now visiting my parents. It's beautiful, relaxing and best of all DRY here (sorry to everyone back in rainy Vancouver). But I definitely miss my boys. This is the first time I've had to leave Kepler ever, and I haven't left Tycho since he had his hip surgery. Luckily they have their favorite uncle (my brother Stephen) staying with them.

In Arizona I always do a lot of shopping. I've been to a couple malls already. Got some shoes, some nice tops, but my best purchase of all...

...a little chocolate chihuahua.

Yesterday I took a page out of Jody and Erika's book and made a trip to the local animal control. This shelter receives anywhere from 100 to 200 dogs and cats a day! Unfortunately because of lack of space, money and other resources this means that they do routinely euthanize animals that don't get adopted. That is where I came across this little guy.

I sprung him from the joint and I'm planning on finding him a great home in Vancouver. It was hard to pick just one dog to take home, there were so many to choose from. He is currently being called Sketch, but that changes almost hourly. Definitely taking name ideas. Other names on the list are Rico, Sanchez, Oakley, Corona, Durango, the list goes on. He's about a year old, chihuahua mix. He's the chocolate version of Paco, one ear up, one ear down, and only 9 lbs.

Of course a trip to Arizona isn't complete without a trip a local Good Will store (my parents favorite place to get good deals). I got a small dog kennel, dog dishes, a dog towel, dog toy and blanket all for about $10 at the Good Will.

Today I also went to see my house in El Mirage. My tenants were very nice, but also a bit crazy. They have two 30 lb cats, and a 30 lb shih tzu mix dog named Princess. Need I explain more. I took lots of photos that I will post another time.