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Canine Sense - Did You Know

Check out these articles by Dr. Stanley Coren (BC, Canada) Canine Corner

Monday, January 25, 2010

Feeling Better Here

Thanks to all of you that sent well wishes, appreciate all our friends that are at a distance (that's where you want to be if you know of someone with this). We are ALL feeling a lot better, altho energy levels are still low. Depending on how accurate our home scales are vs the doctor's office, Mike figures he lost close to 20 lbs, and me around 5lbs. Maybe it was all water loss as I don't find my clothes fit too much different.

Mom felt well enough to head home yesterday, Mike's gone back to work. We just have to be extra careful in not over doing it and trying to get back to eating right. Mike made a nice chicken dinner last night, but after we each ate only 1/2 our plate, we looked at each other and said, 'nope that's about all'.

We are also hearing that getting this norovirus doesn't mean you can't get it again, even in another week! YIKES! Not news I wish to hear.

We're going through tons of antibacterial hand soap, hand lotion to rehydrate my washed hands and cleaning everything with either a javex solution or the doggie Quatsal-D solution that javex would ruin.

Back to catching up .....


Friday, January 22, 2010

Norovirus Hits Us Here

A totally different topic than what I usually post .... Just Be Warned! as we have no idea how it started here.

It's been a real rough week here. Yes, as the title says, our home has been 'hit' with the norovirus. The news stations have been reporting all about it in the last 24 hrs as they are really concerned with it affecting the Olympics.

The actual details you don't want to hear. It hits NOW, with no warning. Mike was the 1st to come down with it Sunday nite, I joined in Tues evening. Neither of us could handle the dogs, so we called in one troop member, my mom. By Thursday morning, didn't she start. Once you've emptied everything, you are so weak, so sore, cold, achy, you don't want to eat and even toast after 2 days feels like fire going down. Only a bed or couch seems to be where you want to be. We've gone through several boxes of Gravol, Imodium, Zantec and are taking those Lactobacillis capsules to try and bring the gut bacteria back to normal.

Last night, chicken soup was OK for me, and I seemed to have more energy, at least enough to deal with the dogs. Mike didn't like the taste and headed back to bed.

I'm feeling better today, mom has gone back to bed, as for Mike it's been more meds for him this morning. Needless to say we aren't sending mom home for a bit, her husband has been told to Stay Away!

We're disinfecting as much as we can; tho spraying outside door handles just freezes to icicles. Thanks to friends who have been brave enough to drop of more needed medication & toilet paper supplies :)

This certainly wasn't our idea of any kind of New Year's weight loss program. TG dogs can't get it from us.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Great Evening With Friends

Last night we went to our friend's house, the Davidson's for a post-turkey dinner. Our super 'Kennel Manager', Mary-Anne was also there. It was a scrumptious, all inclusive turkey dinner, even the home-made biscuits that took a 'fall' in the oven were awesome.

l-r; Marylou, Mary-Anne, Ron and Mike

Since they aren't far, and car rides are always sought after with our puppies, our newest addition from the co-bred litter with Margaret Pratt, 'No-Name' (right now), was brought along, and got all the oooo's and ahhhh's one could imagine! She's just 8 wks.

Time to (re) kill the 'road kill'!
We also brought "Moxie", @ 13 wks it's time she got some 'show' training and leash work.
"Show" pretty, no jumping up, keep those feet still!

"Moxie" taking a break.

"Harley Man" wasn't too enthralled with these two 'rug rats' when they went into high play gear.
Marylou's been keeping our Shelamo Sugar Rush, "Rush", while he matures .... he too found couches to be the safe place.
The men watched the Senators Game - YEAH we won, and Alfie's back! Us girls watched Skate Canada, the dance finals.
A crashed puppy ... playing hard just makes you sleep.

Thanks Mary-Anne for capturing most of these moments.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Did You Know - Humans can have Severe Wrinkling?

Genetics - the WHY in Science Has Always Amazed Me
Found today the following link to a BBC News report, discussing how scientists have been studying the genes of the Shar-pei - known as the wrinkle dog - and have found differences in a gene known as the HAS2 which makes an enzyme known to be important in the production of the skin.

You can read the report here with a host of other links ... and yes, 'There are rare human cases where there are mutations that lead to really severe wrinkly in humans, too."!!! Learnt something new today!

They go on to say how say the pedigree dog has become a fascination - and a remarkably useful research tool for geneticists. These discrete populations give scientists the opportunity to compare and contrast the genetics of the different groups, making it easier to find the causes of specific traits.

So, our Purebred dogs, that man has worked at creating for more than 10,000 years thru selective breeding, is providing scientists with very good 'windows' to find important genes that might help to reveal why and how diseases come about. Because we have certain breeds that have a higher incident of certain diseases, researchers can narrow in on certain markers that might be the gene 'trigger'. To do this in humans would be very difficult - families are too small, have too few generations alive at the same time, thus an insufficient number of samples to look at. Purebred dogs will offer science the opportunity to rapidly locate faulty genes.

Scientists have already had success locating a gene responsible for kidney cancer, and clinical trials are underway to try to treat some of these cancers by blocking the biochemical pathways thought to be involved. Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, along with a UK team, have marked the EPM2 gene which is believed to cause a form of epilepsy.

While we know certain purebreds are predisposed to certain ailments, and we breeders try to do our best to screen our breeding stock with what testing is available, breed through known knowledge of healthy lines, we will see in the future (wonder how/if in my lifetime ?), more ways to breed healthier, more long-lived dogs? Researches say, we've already shown a real willingness to get genetic tests & redesign our breeding programs accordingly.

So I say to those that say, 'mutts (or designer dogs) are healthier' because their genes are 'mixed', are they really? there are no data bases that track their diseases, no data bases that screen out potential problems before they are bred, and it seems right now, they are not canines that researchers are using in the leading edge of breaking the genome down. Have my flame suit on here.

Scientists have turned to our (purebreed) 'best friend' to help make our world healthier! That pleases me to no end. I just wish I had entered this field of studies back in the early 1980's .... guess I'll just have to be on the receiving end.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Snow Shovelling - Two Black Pups

Yesterday afternoon the weather was such that it was time to dig out the stairs & gates to our girls/puppy pen .... snow over the last few weeks has covered the stairs and drifted in at the snow gate entrances. I had the girls & our 12 wk old Trixie pups loose on the deck, supervising my efforts.

During the day, the sun light times, it's just me, so getting pics of these BLACK dogs isn't easy! If I try to get down at their level, well they are all over me! So I used the fact that I was lower, down the stairs from the deck to capture a few pics. Tootsi was OK with my shovelling and was pretty good at just standing at the top of the stairs and watching me.

What's up sis?

Our bi-black girl Moxie, well she's a different story! Not only are the full faced black dogs harder to capture .... I guess I'll be learning over time at just what angle the sun needs to be ... she was also the one that wouldn't stay still!

Gotcha in a moment of stillness!
Finally another still shot.
Back to barking at me! This was what the rest of the pictures were like.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Loon - Looks More Like It?

OK ... Penny ... Here's the pic again, only with a bit of 'fix-up' in Adobe, as per my 'photo guru' expert has shown me :) Think it looks more representative now ... Memories of 'talking' to them while on family camping trips made me do it :)!


DAAAHHH?? It's A Canadian Loon!

Kinda surprised I didn't get comments/emails from my Canadian friends that this carved duck picture I posted from Xmas is a Canadian (Common) Loon!

DAHH ... how could I have forgotten? I remember my dad teaching me how to take a long, thick blade of grass (took some doing to find the right one too), holding it just so, between the length of my thumbs, cupping my hands and then blowing to make that long, lovely call called the 'wail'. This call is mostly heard on calm lakes as the evening sun sets in the summer. If you get the grass reed calling down right (gosh do I know about practising it!), you can sometimes get the loons to answer you back. It is used to keep in contact with other loons on the lake.

If you've never heard it here is a link .... listen, think of a warm summer's evening, the sun setting on the horizon .... and other than maybe crickets, this is all you hear ....

Wail (474 K AU)


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Teaching Brownies Responsible Dog Ownership

Last night Mary-Anne, Marylou and I headed across town to do a dog presentation to a group of Brownies. We discussed everything from responsible pet ownership, how to approach a dog that is with their owner, how not to approach a loose dog, what to do if a dog gets rough with them and nips (yell ouch and stand like a tree till an adult comes to help) and highlighted general doggie traits of various breeds as to why they are different - like why some can swim way better than others. I was surprised to learn that out of 20 of them, only 3 didn't have dogs and one girl was leary of them. They were all very interactive along with being quite able to answer my questions.
Here I'm talking about keeping their dog in a healthy weight and showing them how to do a "Health Hug", using the Purina Brochure.
Pups started out in an xpen to get used to all the new sounds and smells ... altho nothing seemed to faze them.

Marylou & Brownie Owl Robin waiting with the 3 older dogs we brought "Maple", "Casino" and "Harley". When it came time to work with the puppies, a circle was made, each had a treat and the Brownies learned how the puppies used their nose, going around to each child.
Marylou works with one of the Brownies who was a bit unsure of dogs.
Puppies and kids are doing great!

The last item we had the kids all do was to individually approach the adult dogs that were on leash with us, they had several items to remember - quiet feet, from in front; ask the owner permission; offer their hand to smell and then tickle under chin before petting the dog anywhere else.
Brownie & Tawny Owl (I think that's what they still call them!) having some snuggle time with the pups.
All the Brownies were excited to go home with a ProPlan scarf. It was a fun night out ... big question was, when could we come back?!
What did I get out of this?? teach children about my passion and a super night of puppy socialization!


Sunday, January 3, 2010

January 1st & 2nd 2010 Adventures

We had an absolutely gorgeous New Year's Day evening. The temp was just below zero, with fluffy snow flakes falling. The trees with their dusting of snow made it SO beautiful. We also had a special visitor, Cheryl Pike of Maclaren shelties drove up to see the litter of Vista pups that are at Margaret Pratt's, Sharrow shelties. Cheryl presently has the sire, BISS Am/Cdn Ch Barwoods Jana JFK.But, THEN overnite, in less than 8 hrs, .... Boy did we go into a DEEP FREEZE with 30 km/hr winds! It went down to -28C with the windchill, crisping the air, frosting the vehicle windows, blowing snow over the roads, just a real shock to the system.

Saturday, Cheryl & I went over to Margaret's in the morning to see the pups, which we figure 3 of the 6 are ones we'd like to watch closely as to how they grow over the next several weeks.

Here's a picture Cheryl took of the 3 @ just under 6 wks of age l-r boy, girl, girl. Over all we are very pleased with the consistency of the litter.

It was a nice visit, I enjoyed the 'outside of Ottawa' doggie chit chat :)

For adventure in the afternoon Mike and I headed about 15 mins down the road to watch our nephew Alexander play at a hockey tournament. He plays goalie for his team, the Samurais.

They shoot!!! No goal. YEAH!!!!
Another try ... Alexander stops the puck!
AHHH ... guys did you see where that one went? (it's that black dot in the blue crease)
TG, no player was there to tap in for a goal. Hey defense guys where were you???
Watch that 5-hole Alexander!

Unfortunately they lost this game.
hummm better stop now ... it's time to do last potty run.



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