Wednesday, September 21, 2011

W-Ratt y Wednesday and Huh?!?

First of all, welcome to Wratty Wednesday.... here's your weekly dose of rattly cuteness.

Yesterday I went into my office to find all three girls snuggled together in their Kleenex box. So cute! Please note their hard work at redecorating the Kleenex box; that was their nightly project. 

Now onto other news.... Spike is asking HUH?!?  Yup, it's true... I WAS taking a break from rescue. I guess it's ended in a flurry of Newfoundland/Labrador, puppy breathe cuteness.  How could I say no when they need a place just until Friday?!?

So, here is Dory.  She is a doll... cute, cuddly, snuggly and full of impish playfulness. Love her, she's been wrestling with Sophie and Murphy non stop since arriving last night.

Macy! She is a little bit more of an independent girl, off exploring. She also is less in the midst of the doggy play sessions. But, what a doll.  Please note their size: at 8 weeks, they are approximately the same size as Murphy. Can you say LARGE puppies?!? LOL

Snuggly Dory. Sigh!  

So, they are 8 week old pups from the Meadow Lake shelter. They stand a better chance at a quick adoption in Saskatoon so they have arrived with their sister (who already met a family last night!). Like I said, they are moving to their real foster on Friday but they needed a place to crash for a couple nights and I crumbled at the sight of their faces.  They are still a bit grubby and will be getting a bath along with a vet visit as soon as we can manage it, but in the meantime they are still cute!

Wrestle time with Sophie and Dory. :)

Anyway, in other news.... 

1. I never did give an update on Sophie after her vet visit last week. She has indeed torn her other ACL. It isn't as bad as the other side, but it was still inflamed and sore the day I took her in- about 3 weeks after it happened. But, thankfully I kinda knew what it was, so she was already on mostly crate rest and Deramaxx so I had done the right things to help it heal. She is on the mend, but sadly, this spells really truly the end of Sophie's agility career. Sigh.

2. Spike's titles.  Alright, here's the explanations!
FDCh-S:  Flyball Dog Champion-Silver. This is the 4th flyball title, after Flyball Dog, Flyball Dog Excellence, Flyball Dog Champion. So, Spike and I earned 1000 points and achieved that title over 3 weekends of racing. Of course, he is retired now so that's the end of this flyball titles, but that's ok!

SJATD: That's Spike's St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog title. It allows us to volunteer with St. John Ambulance as a dog-handler team.

SGDC:  Our first agility title!  In agility there are 3 levels of competition and you have to complete enough clean (perfect) runs at a level to move up. As well, there are different types of runs you can enter; standard runs (which include all equipment) and the games runs. There are 3 different agility games to play, and for the Starters level you need 2 perfect runs in each of the games to achieve this title. So, we finally got the last of our games to move up to the Advanced level. And, we are 1 standard round (out of 3 needed) to achieve our Agility Dog of Canada title.

So, yes, I am proud of my little rescue dog who could: he tries soooo hard for me and he LOVES his agility! He doesn't care about the titles, and really neither do I, but I do love to see how far we've come and what a team we are becoming. He truly is a once in a lifetime dog. :)

Well, that's likely enough from the Black Dog Crew this Wednesday morning.... hope the rest of your week runs smoother than mine likely is with these cute balls of puppy fuzz in the house!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Introducing Spike...

Spike who is now actually Spike FDCh-S, SJATD, SGDC.  Yup, we got that last Jumpers Q for our Starters Games Dog of Canada title, in agility.  Proper update coming soon I promise. But, in the meantime,  I'll leave you with this photo of a content, King Spike, relaxing....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

W-ratty Wednesday

I think rather than Wordless Wednesdays, I might just give Wednesdays to the rats. Then they don't clutter up the rest of the blog, and I can maybe limit their cuteness to one day a week.... hehehe.

Anyway, I couldn't help myself yesterday morning when sleepy faces peered out of their hammocks as I came in to check my emails in the morning....

My boys peering out. Sooo tiny still that I worry about them a bit. They really did come to me, to young to be away from the litter. So sad!!

Smudgy.... I can almost hear her thoughts "what'da want?!?" lol

Dru was the only one who dragged herself up to say good morning!

Smidge lounging.

Yes, they really do make it out of their cages, but they move tooo fast still for me to get decent photos when they are free-ranging. So, for now until they get past the baby phase I'll have to content myself with photos through the bars.  Won't take long until they settle a bit.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Learnings from a sick leave

It's the long weekend and it's GORGEOUS outside. I just came in from a lovely game of fetch with the dogs.... we might not have made it to the park, but we spent lots of time puttering around at projects and playing. I even got some photos today. It's been good.

That's been the lesson this summer for me: hang out, take it easy, do things you love and you'll feel better. After years of struggling with depression, I was FINALLY diagnosed this spring and began the long slow process of getting better. Yup, that was the issue: Major Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It got so bad that I was having to pull the car over and take breaks when I was in traffic in the city. I had to check the door locks multiple times before I could leave the house. The final morning I worked last spring, I sat outside the school for almost 20 minutes, shaking with anxiety and tears streaming down my cheeks. I went to the doctor the next day.  So, here I am months later and back to work, finally ready to blog to the world that I have mental health issues. One of the big lessons along the way was that I am not alone; the majority of my friends it seems have been there too. That helps!

Anyway, my poor dogs over the last year have paid the price for the frenzy I managed to get myself into- soooo busy I couldn't stop to think about how crappy I was feeling. And, when it all fell apart, I realized at the end of all that busy-ness, there really is just me and my dogs. There's no meetings, no committees, no doggy classes worth my own health- or theirs, really.  So, I quit almost everything extra in my life and spent the summer hanging in the yard with the dogs. THERAPEUTIC! Long games of fetch, napping on my hammock and reading on the deck surrounded by flowers was exactly what I needed. I also learned that I like to be physically busy. I cut the lawn a whole bunch this summer, because if I couldn't focus I found physical labour was often necessary before I could sit. And, it's all good.

So, this fall I am finding myself back to my basics of life.  Work, a little study (slowly plugging away at the thesis- there is no rush to finish to convocate this fall anymore), lots of play with the pups. I've cut my hair off, resumed hanging at coffeehouses and even gotten rats again. I've been writing stories and poetry again and even started to draw.  These are all things from my happier days. And, they make me happy. Better skies ahead right?  We'll see, but I have learned that through this each one of the dogs was necessary in me getting better:

Spike is Mr. Serious. He was relentless in his desire to work and please and play fetch and get attention. And, he took it seriously. He kept me moving, and while we didn't go to agility classes this summer, I still trialed with him. And that was good! We are back to classes this fall when winter season starts as I'm missing it now and feeling well enough to get moving again and that's good. He forced me to get up and do something.

Murphy kept me laughing with her crazy antics. She can entertain herself for hours hunting flies, burying bones in the yard, destuffing toys and throwing a bottle cap around to chase. It's impossible to not laugh at a Jack.

But, it was Sophie who really got me through. Her dark, soulful eyes, full of compassion as she gave a little kiss was exactly what I needed. She was quick to cuddle and wouldn't leave my side if I couldn't get out of bed in the morning. She would sigh, give a kiss and watch while waiting for me to get up. She was glued to me, and I believe she got me through it. I love that dog.

Anyway, it's time I was honest about my "nervous breakdown" as I laughingly call it. But, I am getting it back together and here's some of the reason why.....

Yup, that's the box from my brand new PVR satelitte reciever. It didn't stand a chance against a bored JRT and Labrador, LOL.  Thankfully the PVR is just fine!

That led to lots of this....

Let's play!!  Murphy chasing Spike...

Sophie chewing on her favourite Jolly Ball. It smells like Blueberry. At least it did when I bought it. Now it's Blueberry mixed with Eau D'Wet Labrador. 

Run Spikey!! Get em Murph!

Got it!!  TUGGGG!

GRRR! It's MINE, Spike!

Alright, let's both yank her arm out of the socket. Youch, having tuggy dogs is good and bad. 

Throw it again, please??

Chomp, chomp, chomp!


Can't catch him!

Still focused... She LOVES that ball!

Even through a rough game of fetch, Soph won't give up her jolly ball.

Ah, cool down at the end of a session!

Love those dogs. :)  They make me smile, even in the midst of some dark clouds. Hug your pooches today and remember, they love ya even if you can't seem to get out of bed sometimes. :)

(ASIDE: in the interest of my mother, if you are interested in seeing the ratty family, I've updated the Black Rat Rattery tab with pics.... stay away Ma, trust me! LOL).

Final parting shot of Sophie in action.... chomp, chomp, chomp.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Update on Sophie

Just a quick little update this morning.... if it dries up enough outside later today I want to get the dogs out for a run at the park and get photos, which I will post.

Anyway, Sophie is doing better. Her knee is a bit stiff and sore but she's remained on 4 paws, even without deramaxx. So, I am optimistically thinking that she might have just thrown her back out or something like that again. So, she has an appointment on Tuesday for an adjustment and to check the knee and make sure she is ok. But, I am thinking things are looking up!