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

Posts tagged ‘Holly’

Tail Thumper of the Week #17

I was supervising while Elizabeth did a bit of tidying in the Children’s section of the bookshop last week. We haven’t reviewed a children’s book for a while, so my sniffer was in gear. Somewhere in the thousands of children’s books Elizabeth has, there are some dog stories. I just know there are!

I knew this would be a great story when I saw the cover! Five huskies racing through the snow... What a life!

I knew this would be a great story when I saw the cover! Five huskies racing through the snow… What a life!
Click the photo to buy it and my commission on the sale will go to help Kenora’s homeless dogs through It’s a Dog’s Life!

“What about this one, Stella?” Elizabeth showed me the cover of the book and my tail began to thump. I had to use all the toes on one paw AND my dew claw to count the dogs there: Five. A Boy and Five Huskies! Wow!

Elizabeth tucked it in her backpack and we went home for the night. Before she took me out to my house, we had a cuddle and she began to read me the story of Eric. But something was wrong. Eric only had one husky, Inouk. And before long, he was giving Inouk away to a First Nations man they called Red Cousin! Using just one toe, I could see that meant that the story had become a tale of a boy and no huskies.

“What kind of story is that?” I whined.

“Oh, Stella…. Wait and see!” She showed me that there were still lots of pages left. Definitely not a one evening read, this book.

As we walked out to my house that evening, I asked Elizabeth some questions about the way they talked about Red Cousin in the story. It was clear that he was a good friend of Eric’s family. But the way he was presented and the way they called him Red Cousin…. I don’t know. It sounded a bit strange.

Elizabeth explained to me that the book was written almost sixty two-legger years ago (that’s 420 dog years!!), when an attitude called racism was more evident in some ways than it is today. Some two-leggers looked down their noses at people who were different, and it showed in the way they wrote about them, too. Sometimes what came across was unintentionally racist, but it still wasn’t anywhere near ‘politically correct’.

I found this racism idea rather curious – my poodle friends Nigel and Gilby don’t look down on me because I am a mixed breed. I don’t think any the less of Holly the Shih Tzu although her nose only touches my knees. Except when she jumps. She is a really good jumper!

But then I remembered some people who called me a scruffy mutt once, the breeder who said of me and my family, “They bred them on purpose?” and those books we’ve looked at that don’t talk about anything but purebred dogs…. I realized this racism thing must be a two-legger weakness.

“Should this book be read to little two-leggers if it reflects racist ideas?” I asked Elizabeth.

“Well, I think if parents who read it to their children talk to them about it like we’re talking now, it could be a valuable teaching tool. It helps to show how society’s views change over the years as people learn more about each other and how our differences make us stronger when we work and live together instead of using them as dividing lines. And the whole book isn’t bad. Most of it is just an exciting adventure for boys.”

We read on for several evenings, and she was right. The boy learns a lot about life from different people from different walks and stations in life, and he is pretty respectful of all of them. He learns some lessons about helping family members and friends when they are in need, even when it is difficult or painful. He learns a lesson in what happens when you don’t look after something essential to survival because you are distracted by something else. Eric learns how to survive in the wilderness and the importance of perseverance. That’s all good stuff to learn, I think.

And best of all? In the end, there are even more than five huskies that show up in the story!

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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