Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Many thanks to Lisa and Josh for all their help over the past 6 weeks!

Here's hoping for good health for the pack in the new year.
After we found out that Ernie had heartworm, we tested the whole pack. A bunch of dogs tested positive. It was caught early, so the prognosis is good. Treatments were expensive and rough on the dogs. We wrongly believed they were protected by being on Frontline. Now poorer, but better informed, we will be giving ALL of them a shot of ivermectin EVERY month.
Poor George had a bad reaction to the treatment. The vet thinks that swelling from the shot caused some nerve damage. He hasn't been able to stand or walk. He's a 60b dog and we live on the second floor, so Sean and I are both feeling his pain. Dra. Sandra recommended swimming for therapy. George seems to enjoy it and he's showing some improvement. He stood up today for a moment, for the first time in weeks! Happy new year indeed!

Josh and Lisa swim with George and Ziggy:

The holidays brought some new arrivals. One fuzzy little guy that had been steadfastly resisting warming to us finally gave in. He's been lurking around for at least 6 months and, more recently, had taken to hanging out under our truck. He finally decided to check out life on the other side of the fence. He's a little smaller and darker than Henry and we call him Ziggy. He has a problem with his eye, but is in no distress. He's been vaccinated, deloused, and will soon be going in for a neutering. He is a sweetie, he just gets noisy when overwhelmed with emotion.

In the spirit of the season, we took in a sweet mamacita about as old as Gracie. She has 3 pups and a long story. One of the pups has been here for a month or so.
we call him Chico:


The other 2 had been holed up nearby at an empty property, but were driven out when the owners arrived. 
I found them living under a bush about a quarter-mile away from our house. It took a few days of squatting in the mosquito infested shrubs with grub to trick them into a crate. Hallelujah. That sucked. 

They're here now and we're working on socializing them. Their brother Chico is outgoing and huge by comparison. They are, as of yet, unnamed. Anybody want a puppy? They'll be vaccinated tomorrow and old enough for neutering in a few weeks. Their mom is a small, friendly girl who has had at least 3 litters. She had been spending a lot of time around our house and occasionally comes on walks with us. We had given her Frontline, ivermectin and vaccinations weeks ago, but had hoped that one of the other beach dwellers would give her a place to live. That, of course, didn't happen. We're hoping to have her spayed before she goes into heat again.

 Are we crazy? Maybe. I know that plenty of people think so but we're happy and I don't envy one of those people their life. Age is making me less apologetic (and apoplectic... I say in my best Groucho Marx voice...).
A quote from fellow herbivore George Bernard Shaw springs to mind:
"The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity."

Thursday, November 5, 2009

a fungus among us

It's a rainy day and the dogs think I should stay in the hammock with them, so here's an update. Ernie had his follow up blood test and, while his liver and kidneys are fine, he tested positive for heartworm. This happened since his last blood test, so at least we caught it early. We also took a few other dogs in for check-ups. Tito and Lucy tested positive for ehrlichiosis. As they say, bad things happen in 3's. Since I'm not actually superstitious, that brings no consolation. The vet is coming on Sunday to administer blood tests to the whole pack, cats included. Hopefully nothing else shows up, Everyone should be fine, but we've got our hands full at the moment. Along with the antibiotics for Lucy and Tito twice daily for ehrlichiosis, Lucy and Greta are taking glucosamin and Greta and Tito need medicated baths every other day to combat a fungus. Suffice it to say, Greta is not easy to bathe.
Oh well, can't always have blue skies.

Reggie isn't worried (he is however, the biggest dog! how did that happen?):

Most of the dogs like the water.
Shirley loves it:

Henry wades and Gowron is champion in her weight class:

Greta, on the other hand, is not a fan. Despite this, we're making her swim for exercise. She needs to lose weight and she currently can't walk much because of a hip problem. Getting her to swim is about as hard as giving her a bath.

step 1:

step 2:

step 3:


a short video of our little mermaid:

...I chased a fly off her nose as she swam by, in case you were wondering.

Whenever some dogs go for a swim or a run, lots of others stay home.

Otto, Bette and Osita watch the others return:

waiting for the door to open:

any minute now:

my pal Otto in morning light:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

good times

Some pictures from this morning. The water was beautiful, so I took Rufus out for a swim. He loves the water and is a great swimmer! He doesn't look at all like the drowned marmot that showed up in February.
A good time was had by all.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's a dog's life

September was a sweaty and itchy month.
Some rain, little wind and massive amounts of stinging/biting insects.
pretty beetle that doesn't bite:


This shot was taken from our roof. Rain meets fire.
a brush fire reflects off a storm cloud:

October brought a break in the heat.
Tito likes blanket:


Ernie is back to his old self:

These were taken using an ill-fitting water resistant camera bag.
I kind of like the periscope feel.
race to the beach:

Rufus and April:

Maggie, April and Zasu:

a well watched yard:

Last post had a picture from after dinner.
here's a before dinner shot:

and video from the same night:

Dinner at dusk, runs at dawn; it's a dog's life.
last leg of Sean's morning run:

Sean, 2 brothers and 2 sisters:

Archie and George bring up the rear:


evening walk with Miles and Greta:

going home:

Monday, August 31, 2009

August update

August has come and gone. It was a rough month, one of our dogs was attacked by ants and had an allergic reaction. He had gone with Sean and a bunch of other dogs on their normal morning run when he started showing signs that something was wrong. In no time, he was unable to walk and Sean had to carry him home. No easy feat, Ernie is a big boy.
His head and neck started to swell, he was listless, his tongue was blue, his heart was racing and he could barely breath. Very scary. I didn't take pictures because I didn't think he was going to survive. Initially the bite marks were almost unnoticeable, but after a few days the extent of the attack became apparent.
Poor, sweet, noisy Ernie. He's my hero! Even though he was terribly weak, he always managed to stagger outside to relieve himself. What came out of him belonged in a horror movie. Blood out of both ends for a few days. Unreal.
Blood test indicated that he may have some liver damage, but we're hoping for the best. He's going in for another round of tests soon to find out. He hasn't wanted to go on a walk since, which is worrying, but he is otherwise largely recovered.

Other than the Ernie incident, things have been uneventful. Great swimming weather, a few cool bugs (and lots more irritating ones), nice lightning storms ...summer in the Yucatan.
I don't have much to post, I just hate to have a month go by without an update.

neat beetle:

crazy red-eyed, black grasshoppers:

Miles in action:

shaggy Maggie -her coat is growing out:

armadillo skeleton:

after doggie dinner: