Sunday, December 8, 2013

Winter Wanderings

Though winter is not officially here, the weather gods disagree and have sent us an unseasonably cold blast of Arctic winds and below freezing temperatures.  It arrived early this week,  just as I was about to post a blog bragging how Vancouver Island is likely the only place in Canada where one sees Christmas lights decorating palm trees!  (Yes, there are lots of palms here - some taller than the houses - though not native to the area, of course).

It is the first time since moving here nearly five years ago that I have had to pull out the heavy winter parka and longjohns.  I knew there was a reason to hang onto them.

But the very cold weather has a positive side - lovely sunny skies and great opportunities for being outside without getting wet!  Eddie and I have been back to Swallowfield several times a week with various friends.

Walking on the Swallowfield estuary with Gail and Sadie B.
Eddie follows the Treat Lady!

Ice on Chemainus River

Wintery wonderland

Gail and Sadie B at Swallowfield

Eddie enjoys a winter's walk

Another Treat Lady!
Our friend Else. 

Friends Bonnie and Else with
Keegan, Dreyann, Hugo and Tanner

Mitzi would normally accompany us on some of these hikes, but she is recuperating from surgery to remove several growths which had become problematic - constantly breaking open and bleeding.  We will have the pathology results in another week or so.  Meanwhile, she has bounced back from her traumatic day at the vet's, and is more than making up for missing a meal or two with an insatiable taste for treats which she knows her Mama Jean will give her just because she is cute and feisty.

I''z  just fine thank you -
but if you wanna take me back to the vet,
youz gonna hafta catch me first!  

Shiloh also had a trip to the vet's this week, just for a checkup and to have a couple of large lumps on her chest aspirated.  As an unspayed ancient female, she has a higher risk of mammary cancer.  However, as I suspected, the lumps were just fatty lipomas and nothing to be concerned about.  Because of her advanced age - she will be sixteen in May - the vet advising against spaying.  I'm a little uneasy with this - not so much because of management issues when she comes into heat (though I'd much rather not have every unneutered dog in the neighbourhood beating a path to my door - and no, female dogs don't stop cycling like human females do, and then can get pregnant regardless of age!)  but because there is also a high risk of pyometria among unspayed old dogs.  When she came into rescue, having her spayed was out of the question because of the poor condition she was in. Certainly rescues do spay old dogs.  I am still thinking on this.

The good news with Shiloh is how quickly and how well her condition has improved.  She now looks to be a healthy weight for her small frame, her weak back end is strong again and she can easily walk a kilometer or more each day, she can even run and jump when excited (just ask the cat!).  Her sparse fur has thickened up beautifully and although her skin is still somewhat flaky, it is much improved and she seldom scratches or nibbles herself any more.  This week brought me a moment of intense happiness when I picked up her leash and she started jumping and twirling and barking as she raced for the gate - she sure does love her walks!

Even though my fur is getting thicker,
I still hasta wear my woolies in this weather! 

The colder weather has meant more indoor time for the dogs (except for very thick-coated Eddie), so we have been combatting boredom with some fun and games.  Stay tuned for pictures.

You wouldn't believe what she's doin' with us!

Yeah, you wouldn't believe it!!!
H E L P 


Dawn said...

We in central California are getting so much frost in the mornings that some plants look pretty bad. I did put the little lemon tree under cover.

Hope all your doggies get the best possible diagnoses.

Please say hello to Gail from Dawn.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there Riley! I'll be home soon to rescue you - although I have to say you don't look too hard done by! Deb S.