Tuesday, November 30, 2010

This is not the time of year...

...to have a bare hind end! Brrr it's been chilly lately. Snow. Rain. Ice. Not fun for a half naked German Shepherd, right?

Wrong!! He loves it!!

Tycho can't help but have a fit of puppy zoomies when in the snow. Of course all that fun probably isn't good for a healing hip, but at least we are 6 weeks in now. In fact he has an appointment tomorrow for his repeat x-rays. If all looks good he can start going for short walks. And it would be nice if I could stop carrying him up and down stairs, my back would certainly appreciate it.

Look at that fuzz he's got growing in!

Of course Kepler is enjoying the snow too. He's dying to play with his brother again, who knows when that will be allowed.

Mmmm snow is yummy...

Oh my God this is AWESOME!

All that playing in the snow is exhausting.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Some X-Rays of Tycho

I got a disc of Tycho's hip X-rays from the surgeon so I thought I would share them. First off for comparison this is an x-ray of good dog hips.

And Tycho....ouch

But alas he is bionic now, and soon he will be better than new!

His recovery is going well, but we need to wait until his bone grows into the implant before he can get back to any sort of an active lifestyle. 6 weeks after the surgery (we're 2 and 1/2 weeks in now) we will repeat the x-rays to assess how quickly his bone is fusing with the implant. He is going stir crazy from cabin fever and I'm sure he is packing on the pounds thanks to grandparents who are giving him more treats than ever! Luckily the grandparents are leaving town next week and we get get Tycho on a proper diet.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tycho update and pics

Tycho has been home from the hospital for 4 nights now and he is doing very well. Almost too well. He's no longer thrilled with the idea of being locked in a pen all day and wants to get back to his usual job of patrolling the house. Unfortunately, he needs to be confined and only taken out on leash for pee/poo breaks for the next 2 months! Towards the end of the 2 months we are able to start incorporating short leash walks. He is walking very well, the right leg was operated on, and he even stands on it while lifting his left to pee! (I cringe when he does that). Tyke is still a bit grumpy with Kepler (who incidentally will be a patient himself next week as it is time for his neuter) but other than that his is pretty happy.

At home his first night.

The shave job seems a bit excessive, I guess they wanted to make the left side even

A sleepy drugged-up Tyke

A look at his incision (remember Tyke, chicks dig scars!)

Unhappy in his lock-up

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Bionic Dog!

Good news to report. Tycho had his surgery today and everything went as well as could be expected. After a sleepless night, Tyke and I had an early morning. I dropped him off at the specialty hospital in Langley at 7 am. Around 3:30pm I heard the good news that he made it through the 2 hour anesthetic and surgery well and was finally recovering. He will stay at the hospital overnight for monitoring, and should be ready to come home tomorrow afternoon. It will be a lonely night without him, but I am so relieved that this surgery is finally over. Thank you to all his aunties for all your support and good wishes.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Why does time go so slow...

...when you're really worried about something.

It's official! Tycho will be having his surgery on Monday, October 18th. Yes thats right, 5 days from now. This is what I wanted for him, I should be (and I am!) thrilled, but of course now that it's happening, all I do is worry. I haven't slept well the last few nights because it's all I can think about. I'm worried about his anesthetic, I'm worried about how well the operation will go, I'm worried about his recovery... but, by this time next week, he will be back home with me, new hip and all! Please everybody cross your fingers, send out good thoughts and think of Tycho in your prayers over the next week so that everything goes smoothly for him.

Friday, October 1, 2010

I love my puppy!

I must say that I was a proud mama last weekend. Faren, Heather and I all took our dogs to Hope on Saturday to give sheep herding a try. All the dogs did great! It was fun to try something different with my dog. I had not idea what to expect from Kepler, but he was a star. When he first entered the pen he didn't seem phased by the sheep at all, and it wasn't long before the instinct tester asked me to drop his leash and let him do his thing. He chased the sheep around, and when one left the herd he made sure to bring it back to the group. Herding is definitely something I would like to try again with him, both of us had a fun day!

To top off the weekend I brought Kepler to my football game on Sunday. It was his first game and I was worried that he would get bored and bark a lot, or dig, or chew, or do any one of his many annoying puppy habits. But he surprised me and was a perfect angel the whole time. There were kids playing around, people yelling and running past, balls flying and nothing set him off. He was rewarded with tons of attention, a bully stick, and a romp on the field after with Beezer and Amigo.

After such a great weekend he must have been feeling pretty full of himself so he decided to lift his leg and pee like a man for the first time! What a proud mama I was!

A photo from our herding day, movie to follow when I have more time to load it!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Everyone cross your fingers!

Today Tycho had his surgical consult at Boundary Bay Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Langley. My dad and I took him out to his appointment, and we met with Dr. Geoffrey Hutchinson for over 2 hours. He answered all of our questions and explained all the benefits of the new hip joint model that they will be using for this surgery. After meeting with the doctor a lot of my fears of the unknown went away. The doctor was very experienced and extremely knowledgeable. And if that wasn't enough, the man who designed the hip joint, not to mention numerous other human and dog joints, will be flying in from Zurich for the first two cases of surgery that Dr. Hutchinson will be performing. All sounds good right! Well here is the catch, they only need 2 dogs for this study. That is 2 dogs that will get the amazing discounted rate for surgery. We're talking $2500 instead of $7000! Before today I thought that there were no other dogs in the running for a spot, but it turns out that Dr. Hutchinson is evaluating a few other dogs for this study, and will choose the two best candidates for the study. Everyone please cross your fingers for Tycho as it will be a great opportunity if he gets chosen.

On a side note we confirmed Tycho's diagnosis of Addison's disease last week and he is now being treated with prednisone. Since being on the pred he is without a doubt a new dog. The dog who refused to walk more than a couple blocks now pulls on his walks and goes for over an hour very happily. His energy level is higher than it has been in over a year and he is doing great. Addison's disease does create a higher anesthetic risk for Tycho, but if properly treated he should do fine in surgery.

Just so Kepler doesn't feel forgotten about I should tell everyone that he is heading to Hope tomorrow for his herding instinct test. I am very excited to see what this so-called Border Collie mix does with sheep. He is 5 and a half months now and I think he is ready to play with the sheep!

Look how grown-up

Sad announcement, Kepler's friend Salt broke his femur a couple weeks ago, he is now recovering very well, but the boys can't understand why we won't let them play together anymore

I couldn't stop laughing when I saw him in his kennel like this, he lay like this for hours!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Turns out he might just be a German Shepherd!

On Friday Tycho had an ultrasound. His recent blood work showed some concerns for his kidneys and liver so I wanted to make sure everything looked ok before he undergoes his total hip replacement surgery (hopefully next month!). Thankfully his kidneys and liver looked good on ultrasound, but the big surprise was that the radiologist could not find his adrenal glands. Well she found something on one side that looked like a very small, misshapen adrenal gland, but nothing on the other side. This indicates he might have Addison's disease, a blood test will confirm or deny this diagnosis next week. If he does have Addison's disease it could explain a lot of Tycho's symptoms, including stunted growth! Thats right, my little Corgi Shepherd might not be a corgi afterall. Maybe he is just a shepherd that was stunted in growth during development. It could also explain his bad skin and coat, vomiting episodes, lethargy, muscle waste and a host of other things that have plagued my poor boy. I don't know a lot about Addison's yet, but I've been doing a lot of research since Friday.

Some of my token favorite Tycho photos for today!

Puppy Tyke (definitely a German Shepherd)

Zeus and Tycho

He's often goofy...
...more goofy
...but occasionally handsome

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Long overdue!

In the past month Kepler has graduated from puppy class, gone to daycare, grown to over 30 lbs, and made some new friends along the way. Those of you who have raised a puppy before (or a baby!) will understand why I haven't had a ton of time to blog about it!

Kepler keeps me very busy, he's a far cry from the puppy I got 2 months ago, the one that actually concerned me because he would collapse in a heap after walking a few steps. We regularly go to Bridgeman for hikes with his new friend Bella, a 15 month old Golden Retriever that I started walking. The two are almost impossible to walk on-leash together because they are always in a tangled ball wrestling, but they are both exhausted after. Kepler still loves the water, I can't keep him out of it. And since a recent trip up to Whistler for a day at the lake, he actually swims now! Being the water dog that he is now, he also loves going to Ambleside dog beach.

I have been pet sitting a lot lately, but I'm happy to be at home with Tycho for the first night in nearly 3 weeks. He hasn't been doing well lately so I've been eager to be at home with him. Last month we had to take him off his pain medication for his hip dysplasia because of kidney and liver problems in his blood work. We retested him this week because he was vomiting daily and the blood doesn't look much better. Luckily I work at a vet clinic and can get him in for an ultrasound soon to make sure this isn't anything serious. He only 6 and a half years old but my poor Tyke is an old man before his time. The good news for Tycho in the last month is that I found a surgeon that will be able to give him a total hip replacement for about $2000, which is a huge deal! I'm hoping that he will get the surgery done by October and have a new lease on life.

"Mom, I think I'm getting to big for this kennel..."

"Seriously, I don't fit in this anymore..."

"Much better, I'll share a big run with my brother"

On the beach in Whistler

In his hole taking a break from swimming

His new best friend Salt

"Mom I think I'm winning!"

Sigh, my grown-up boy

Thats all for tonight, I have a German Shepherd (thats right!) that needs some cuddles.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A puppy, a baby and a horse!

Today Kepler and I joined Erika and baby Loic on a trip to go see her horse Jeffree. Kepler was a bit nervous at first, but soon realized that: horses = cookies. A realization he was very happy to have come across. Eventually he approached Jeff with interest. Kepler also learned today that horse manure is yummy. It was a great morning! Even Loic, who was nervous of horses the last time he saw them, pet Jeffree.

Kepler meeting Jeffree

Loic petting Jeffree (note the look of shock on Erika's face)

Jeffree, myself, and Lolo

This afternoon Erika and I took the dogs for a walk at Bridgeman. I forgot my camera, but it must be noted that Toby and Kepler raced around together and had a blast! Kepler also dove into the water a few times, he definitely loves water this dog! What a great way to end yet another busy weekend.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

What a busy weekend!

As I sit down to write this, I realize how completely exhausted I am.  No wonder Kepler is fast asleep at my feet.  This weekend has been non-stop for both of us. 

Friday afternoon we went for a fun-filled hike at Bridgeman with Flash and Freddy, two dogs that I'm taking care of.   After a quick rest, it was off to little mans first agility trial.  As a spectator of course!  He watched his cousins Abby, Amigo and Tyler compete, and met lots of people.  Abby completed her ATCHC (Agility Trial Champion of Canada) on Friday night.  Go Abby super mutt!

On Saturday we began the day with the second week of his puppy class.  He is in a class with a great mix of puppies of all shapes, sizes and ages.  But sadly he is the only rescue pup of the bunch, a very depressing thing for me.  Luckily being the most popular and obviously unique guy in the class (and may I mention the cutest!) he may have scored one for rescue by showing the other owners how great a rescue dog really can be.  As a proud mom I must also say that although he is the second youngest in the class, he is definitely the most advanced.  He is the only dog who can lie down, come and drop it!

Next on Saturday we were off to my teams softball tournament.  We had missed the earlier games but made it just in time for the last game of the day.  Everybody on the team knows and loves Kepler since he has become a regular at the games since his arrival last month.  Wow it has been exactly a month since I brought this little guy home, time sure goes by quick.

Finally, Saturday night, we were off to the fireworks.  First a patio dinner where Kepler played with a nice little girl, then a long walk to the beach.  Once we got to the beach Kepler was beat.  He slept through the whole fireworks.  Puppies can socialize subconsciously while they are sleeping right?  He had to be carried back to the car at the end of the night, but he still got to visit with lots of people in the crowds.  We'll try to stay awake for the fireworks next week.

On Sunday we had a couple softball games in the morning, and then it was of to Caribbean days at Lonsdale Quay.  Again there were crowds of people, music, other dogs, BBQs, kids playing and other performers (including the cutest kid Michael Jackson impersonator ever!)  

At last, the highlight of our weekend was my friend Erika's son Loic's first birthday.  Happy Birthday Loic!!!  Kepler was very lucky to get an invite for some intense kid socialization.  Thanks again Erika!  Kepler played fetch and tug with the kids, and raced around the yard with them.  Then he just chilled out to let them pet him.  I must say he was a perfect angel.  He didn't nip at the kids at all, and he had a blast playing with them!

I've been bad with photos this weekend so I'll just post one cute puppy pic as I'm exhausted too and all I want to do now is curl up on the sofa with my puppy and relax with him after a great weekend that I will remember for a long time.

Kepler at 13 weeks, 20 lbs

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fun at the beach

Since I've discovered how much Kepler likes water, I couldn't resist taking him to the beach the last 2 days in this beautiful sunny weather.  On Sunday Jody, Ryan, Kepler and I spent the whole day exploring Spanish banks and the Kitsilano area.   We hit the dog beach at Jericho first and Kepler and Ryan had a blast.  Jody and I even braved the water for a bit!  Poor Kepler wasn't big enough to get past the waves, so he was left barking in the shallow water.  I carried him out deeper a couple times and let him swim back to shore.  He loved it!  Each time he got back to shore he began barking at me to come and get him again.  Next we went along 4th and had some lunch and did some shopping.  It was such a great day that we didn't want it to end so we stopped at Kits beach on the way home.  The beach was packed and Kepler met lots more people.  See Jody's blog for photos of this great day as she was the official photographer.

This evening Faren, Jody and I took the dogs to Ambleside.  Luckily I brought my camera for this!

Super cute wet puppy!

Less cute dirty, sandy puppy!

 Pooped puppy!

And a video of his puppy scoots!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

He's gonna be a swimmer!

I can tell already that Kepler is going be a water dog.  He already is!  We went to Ambleside dog beach again this evening, and I couldn't keep him out of the water.  Ok, so he wasn't actually swimming....yet.  He was pouncing on the waves, snapping at the water to try and catch it, and boy was it cute!  He went in as deep as his chest and had an absolute blast.  

Also at the beach we met a 14 week old Boxer named Leo who Kepler liked almost as much as the water.  They wrestled, and raced, and raced and wrestled for over half an hour before we broke up their fun.  Unfortunately I'm a bad mom and I forgot my camera today so no pictures of the fun outing, but I will bring it next time for sure.

But I do have some cute photos from earlier in the week to share...

Playing with Flash...

 Relaxing at work after a long day...

The one and only time he will ever be a purse dog...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Time Flies

Kepler has been part of the family for a whole 2 weeks already.  I can't believe how quickly time has passed by.  In that time my chubby little man has grown into quite the hefty boy.  No my Border Collie mix is not getting lean and leggy like I had expected, he is getting thicker!  I obviously didn't expect him to be athletic at this age, but I didn't expect him to be such a tank either.

This is a photo of his mom, Smiley.  She is a Border Collie X Australian Shepherd with a nice lean looking figure!

And my boy...(playing tug with his big bro Tycho)

Today Kepler had a playdate with my friend Heather's dog Daisy, a Poodle X Wheaten, who loves playing with puppies.  At first Kepler was too scared to play with Daisy, who has a very in your face play style.  But after Hobbes, another dog from the family, showed up, it was game on for Kepler.  Hobbes is a young Lab who Kepler had a great time playing with.  And later on, true to his nature, Kepler tried to hump poor Daisy.

Hobbes, Kepler, and Daisy

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I had an interesting experience today.  First of all, for those who don't know, I work in a veterinary clinic.  It's a great job because I like the people I work with, and I get to spend my days with animals.  The major bonus right now...it's GREAT for socialization. Every day Kepler gets to meet many new faces, kids, men and women, all eager to visit with him.  Plus he gets to meet lots of dogs of all ages, shapes, and sizes, as well as cats.   Its the perfect job to have when you're trying to socialize your puppy.   But today was different.  An appointment schedule for late this afternoon was for a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, about 2 weeks older than Kepler.  He was a big boy at about 35 lbs, compared to tiny Keps 15 lb frame.   I thought it would be great for my confident little guy to play with a bigger puppy.  However, I was literally speechless when I brought Kepler up for a visit, only for the Berners owner to shriek (thats right, she shrieked) and pick up her puppy horrified that I brought a dog near her "not fully vaccinated puppy."  I had no words to say so I just picked up my dejected puppy and slinked to the back of the clinic.

I know that in the past people thought that you had to keep unvaccinated puppies segregated from the rest of the world in order for them to avoid catching terrible puppy diseases (parvo and distemper) but I honestly thought that in this day and age people knew better.  That people knew about the importance of early socialization.  That people knew far more dogs are euthanized every year because they have aggression issues due to improper socialization, than dogs that die from parvo and distemper.  I realize a large part of the problem is that the veterinary community warns to be careful of some dangerous diseases out there, but puppies need to play with other healthy puppies in order to become healthy adults.   

On a good note, Tycho and Kepler had their first big play session tonight.  It was Tycho who was trying to initiate, and it took him a good 10-15 minutes of running around Kep and play-bowing before he could get the little guy interested in playing with him.  This is a huge milestone since Tycho has been very jealous of Kepler and grouchy towards him since he came home.  Now they are finally friends!

Sorry the video has no sound, and it's dark out, but still so cute!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Guess what....

...I have a humper on my hands.  

So I already knew my little sweet Kepler was a confident guy.  He will happily approach a group of 10 adult dogs with his tail held high.  But until tonight I didn't know just how frisky he was.  He decided that it was fun to try and hump Flash, an 18 month Beagle X Jack Russell Terrier that I am taking care of.   Numerous times I had to pull him off of Flash and numerous times Kep jumped back on him.  I tried giving him time outs, which seemed to help a bit, but he would still try and mount Flash once in a while.  The two boys play really well together, but once in a while Kep couldn't fight the urge.  This is a new thing for me as Zeus and Tycho never really humped.  

A confident puppy is a great thing, but is my guy too confident?  When Tycho was a puppy he would submissively roll over to any adult dog that he met.  He was always playful with other dogs, and still is, but never confident.  Tycho also got beat up quite a bit when he was a puppy which sure didn't help with his shyness.  Nowadays he can be a bit of a grouch with other dogs, but I attribute that mostly to his bad hips.  Poor Tyke has very severe hip dysplasia that forced him to retire from agility over a year ago when he was approaching age 5.  Now, with a low dose of pain medication (meloxicam) he enjoys his daily walks, but can't run through the forest like he used to.

Puppy Tycho

My worry is that a confident 10 week old Kepler will turn into a bossy adolescent Kepler.  Thank you to Jody, Faren and Erika who keep assuring me that confidence is a good thing!  He plays very well with other puppies.  Jody took him on a play-date this week with Poppy a 4 month old Spaniel X and he also met Layla a 3 month old German Shepherd X at the park the other day and played very well.  Not bossy at all!

Warning cute puppy pictures below

"Kepler!  Off the table"

"But why, I look so cute up here, plus I bet I could reach some treats!"

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fun Socializing

So I am proud to say that in his first week with me, I would guess that Kepler has met over 100 new people and about as many dogs. Thanks to his Aunt Jody finding fun events for us to go to we have been doing lots of socializing. We've been to Ambleside dog beach a couple times, Kits beach, Bridgeman park, gone to a couple softball games, and a BBQ among other things. On Canada Day we went to take in the Granville Island festivities and let me say that it takes a long time to walk around Granville Island with a puppy as cute as Kepler. We were stopped by just about everybody wanting a chance to have a quick cuddle with the little guy. Kepler had only one minor freak out at the parade. I think the noise of the tuba and drums from the band was a bit much for him, but luckily he recovered quickly with just a few liver treats. 

Kepler and his cousin Ryan (Jody's rescue Border Collie) on Canada Day

By the end of the day Kepler was fast asleep in Jody's arms

Yesterday we went to watch a bit of the Jazz Festival that has taken over the city.  Again we were constantly stopped by people wanting to visit with the cute puppy, and Kepler enjoyed every minute of it.   He is always happy to meet someone new.  He seems to especially like kids and actually seeks them out if they neglect to say a proper hi to him.  After about an hour of walking around checking out the booths we got some ice cream and picked out a spot on the grass. Luckily Kepler was so exhausted he slept on the grass like a perfect puppy for over an hour while we listened to the music.   On the way home we stopped in China town and Kepler met some very interesting people, not to mention the parade of protesters that we met at the corner of Main and Hastings.  All in all a good day of socialization for the little man.