The adventuresome life of a Great Pyrenees/Newfoundland dog in Northwestern Ontario

Posts tagged ‘dogs’

Social Networking on ‘The Estate’

It’s been a busy week here on the Campbell Estate.

With Winter just around the corner, the two-leggers have been thinking about getting prepared for colder weather. Jeff the Tree Man was here a few weeks ago, if you remember, and he left several piles of wood for winter burning. But it wasn’t enough to keep the two-legger house warm all winter. So, something had to be done!

Our old supply lines have dried up. Jeff the Tree Man knows a lady who is in the firewood business. He gave Kay the lady’s number and she said she could sell us some wood. She came with her truck, her helper/husband, the firewood, and a surprise!

Lori the Firewood Lady also brought her Scottie, Maddie! I asked her if she wanted to go for a tour of the Estate while she waited for the two-leggers to conduct their affairs...

Lori the Firewood Lady also brought her Scottie, Maddie! I asked her if she wanted to go for a tour of the Estate while she waited for the two-leggers to conduct their affairs…

We had a great time for a while, then Maddie got a bit grouchy and decided to go off on her own.

I got worried when she started heading for the river.

I got worried when she started heading for the river.

Although Maddie sort of looks like a miniature Newfoundland Dog, I hadn’t asked her if she could swim. The river is still very high, and she’s so small! I decided I’d better at least keep an eye on her, since I didn’t really seem to be able to keep up with her. Well, I could’ve if I had to… I think….

See. I told you so. I headed her off at the pass and sterred her back up the hill to where the two-leggers were working and chatting.

See. I told you so. I headed her off at the pass and steered her back up the hill to where the two-leggers were working and chatting.

That run seemed to tucker little Maddie out though. She decided it was time to have a rest.

I don’t know what I said to her. It would have been fun to spend more time with another dog, but she was really quite aloof.

There was no way I could settle down with her here for a chat.

There was no way I could settle down with her here for a chat.

Lori the Firewood Lady’s assistant was very kind. He stored all of the dry wood in our woodshed for us while the women talked. Then they left. They took Maddie with them.

A few days later, a bear walked through the yard just before Elizabeth came to let me out of my kennel for my a.m. b.m. and run. I was so focused on my mission that I missed another less conspicuous but far more unusual visitor. Fortunately, Elizabeth had her camera handy. She took pictures so I could see. I asked her if she’d show you, too.

Good morning!

Good morning!

This Blue-spotted Salamander (Ambystoma laterale) was just heading home after a busy night's hunting.

This Blue-spotted Salamander (Ambystoma laterale) was just heading home after a busy night’s hunting.

He's only about 6 cm (just over two inches) long. Although Elizabeth has seen him several times now, I haven't met him (or her, we're not actually sure...).

He’s only about 6 cm (just over two inches) long. Although Elizabeth has seen him several times now, I haven’t met him (or her, we’re not actually sure…).

I’d sort of like to meet this fellow. Apparently, if this little amphibian feels threatened, he will raise his tail up and emit a foul-smelling scent. That’s not so unusual. Skunks do that all the time! What is really strange is that Blue-spotted Salamanders will let their tail fall off, too! I guess if they are in a hurry, they don’t want to carry all that extra weight around… BOL!

Our neighbour René came by while Elizabeth and I were working at the bookshop on Saturday. He spent the whole day helping Kay get Jeff the Tree Man’s woodpiles stashed away. I noticed he left his trailer and the log splitter out, so I think he might be coming back again. Maybe he’ll do a log splitting demo for next week’s blog! I’ll ask him…   ~:oP=

 

Busy? Not Me. Not Really…

Everyone around me seems to be busy these days.

Busy in the kitchen making food, “That’s not for you, Stella! That’s people food!”

Busy in the shop tidying and putting books on the website and shifting boxes and…

“Beep, beep, Stella!”

“Back up, Stella!”

“Woops, you’re in the way Stella!”

“Why don’t you go find Benny and play with him, Stella?”

Busy in the evenings in the basement, “You stay upstairs, Stella!”

Busy at their desks, “I’m doing my homework, Stella. You lie down, now.” or “I’m working on my income tax, Stella. Off you go, now. Maybe play with Justin?”

Elizabeth is up to something strange in her room. She’s making things out of string. She uses long pointy sticks. I’ve watched her. She just keeps turning the work round and round and it slowly forms human fur that hangs further and further from the sticks. It’s boring to watch. But there’s nothing else to do….

Both Kay and Elizabeth take me for walks and rides every day. That’s nice. There aren’t any animals coming round to speak of; the snow’s too deep for them to run fast, so they’re keeping away from me. Just as well. I’m feeling a lot better, but I’m not as full of energy as usual. I get tired fast moving through the snow, too. It’s up to my chin when I get off a path!

But on Monday, something interesting happened. Kay took me for a ride down the big gravel path to the box where the two-leggers find paper with strange markings on it. This paper is folded up and stuffed into another paper that’s made to hold it.

Wolves howl to communicate with one another across the miles. Two-leggers send these papers to one another. They call it mail.

Sometimes books come in the mail for Elizabeth, and they’re too big for the box down the big gravel path, so we go to a building in town very near Doyle the Dog Food Man’s store, so there are always lots of dogs out for walks in the area. I like trips to the mail building….

Monday was one of those days when Kay had to go in for bigger mail. She went into the mail building, then she came out with a big box. I wondered at her carrying it because, really, if it was full of books it would’ve been too heavy for her.

She put it in the back of the car and I got a chance to sniff it. Whoa-ho-ho! Did it smell interesting. Definitely not books! I stuck really close to Kay on the way into the house. I was sure something would jump out of that box. Definitely animal!

The box was for Elizabeth. She saw Kay carrying it and went out to get it from her. When she got it inside, she put it on the floor and went for a knife to open it up. By the time she found one, I’d pushed the box across the floor sniffing it. I thought maybe we’d be wiser opening it outside….

Elizabeth cut open the top of the box. Nothing jumped out!

What is that in there?

What is that in there?

She pulled a bag out of the box and set it on the floor. I sniffed it carefully and examined it very closely.

SHEEP'S WOOL???

SHEEP’S WOOL???

You're putting me on. Why would you want sheep's wool when you've got ... ME?

You’re putting me on!

What on earth does she want a bunch of sheep’s wool for when she’s got . . . ME?

Anaplasma Blues II

A couple of weeks ago I went to see Dr. Celia. I wasn’t sick or anything. In fact, I was kind of surprised to find ourselves at the vets’ place. I felt just fine, thank you!

I was ushered into the metal platform room, and I went directly to it and sat, just like I’m supposed to. “Good girl, Stella,” said the vets’ assistant. I turned my head and looked at her. I’m always good at the vets’.

“112.7 pounds.”

Well. That’s a bit disgruntling. I was 108 last time I was in.  ~:o/=

Dr. Celia came in armed with a bunch of little bottles and stingy pricking things. She wrapped her arms around me and gave me a friendly tussle. “What a beautiful coat!”

I glowed inside. I think I have a lovely growth of wool, too, and it means so much to me when people notice….

“But you’re feeling a little bit fatty here, Stella.”

Kay would say that’s just like a cow to give a good pail of milk and then stick her foot in it.

I got all my shots up to date. That was it. No other poking and prodding, no glass tubes stuck into unmentionable places, no lights shone into my ears, no prying my jaws open ’til they felt about to unhinge…. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen Stella healthy before,” Dr. Celia continued. “It’s so nice to see you when you’re not sick, Stella!”

Elizabeth says Dr. Celia must’ve jinxed me.

Thursday morning, when Elizabeth let me out of my run, she found my giant cheese and bacon flavoured cookie from the night before lying on the floor outside my house. I’d tried a couple of times to eat it. I LOVE my bacon & cheese cookies. But somehow, I just couldn’t bring myself to eat it that night.

Nor could I bring myself to eat breakfast. Or to drink.

I took my bacon & cheese cookie from Elizabeth at lunch so she wouldn’t feel badly. But I couldn’t eat it then, either. She found it when she went to lock the front door at closing time.

So, she called the vet. “Wait and see how she is tomorrow,” the assistant said, after asking Dr. Celia.

Worried, Elizabeth decided I could stay in the house overnight. She thought it would be better to keep an eye on me. So, while she was in the bathroom getting ready to go to bed, I snuck into her room and went where I knew I’d feel best, lay down and waited for her. When she came in, I didn’t have the energy to move. I stayed there all night.

I really didn't think she'd mind....

I really didn’t think she’d mind if I slept on her bed with her….

Elizabeth was a bit cranky the next morning, but I felt a bit better. Even though she was being a grump, Elizabeth made a fuss over my breakfast – she soaked it in water used to poach their salmon and added some canned chicken . I made a real effort and ate it. I even licked the bowl a little. It was all I could manage that day.

Ozzie is a neutered male mixed breed that was born around June/09. He is a very gentle mellow dog that presently weighs about 80 lbs. He needs to put on about 5 lbs. He also is recovering from from wounds (from either another dog or from a wolf/coyote) He has just come into care on Jan19/13 so watch for updates as DA Dog’s Life gets to know him better. – photo & text courtesy It’s a Dog’s Life website

Ozzie is a neutered male mixed breed that was born around June/09. He is a very gentle mellow dog that presently weighs about 80 lbs. He needs to put on about 5 lbs. He also is recovering from from wounds (from either another dog or from a wolf/coyote) He has just come into care on Jan19/13 so watch for updates as DA Dog’s Life gets to know him better. – photo & text courtesy It’s a Dog’s Life website

Saturday morning, Elizabeth dropped her things off at the shop and Kay drove us down to the vets’. I sat on the platform like always. “108.6 pounds,” read the assistant, and we went back to the waiting room.

Holly, a Shih Tzu, tried to coax me to play, but I didn’t really feel like it. I supervised her play with Sparky, a hound/husky/shepherd mix whose parents are sled-racing dogs. I was ready to step in if Sparky got a bit too rambunctious for Holly – Sparky’s still just a (big) pup.

Then Ozzie came out. Ozzie is one of the dogs from It’s a Dog’s Life who is looking for a new home. He was abandoned on the highway to Winnipeg and attacked by a wily wolf. He looks much better now although he still had a shaved spot on his back. He’s a lovely brindled dog, and I hope he finds a forever home soon. I told him so, and he waggled his tail stump and said he hoped so, too. He loves two-leggers and just wants to settle down somewhere homey, he told me. He’s very grateful to all the two-leggers of Kenora who have donated to help pay his big vet bill. If you’d like to offer a bit to help – there’s still some left to go, and he isn’t finished his treatments yet – you can follow the It’s a Dog’s Life link and click on their ‘donate’ button.

Dr. Celia gave me a thorough check-up. She and Elizabeth talked together about me for some time, and they decided to treat me for anaplasmosis again.

So, I’m on the heavy antibiotics for another three weeks. The good news is that I feel much, much better again already. I’m eating my food, and last night I was excited to taste a giant bacon and cheese cookie once more. I lay out under a starry sky, and when I wasn’t dreaming about saving Ozzie from wily wolves, I was thinking about what a wonderful life I have with my own house and run and a whole bunch of wonderful two-legger friends to hang out with, look after and be looked after by. Life is good.

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