Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bad things come in threes?

Well when it rains, it pours. It's been a pretty eventful week and maybe, just maybe the bad stuff is over with by now. Here's hoping, anyway.

Last Thursday Matt and I were excited to get out to the trails right after work. We were so efficient getting the dogs brothed, then loaded and out to Beach Lake Trails that we were there by about 6:40. After getting everyone unloaded and on their drop chains, I went back to the ATV to crank it up, only to find that something wasn't working quite right. The throttle seemed to be stuck and I couldn't get it to move for anything. Oh brother, it was frozen. Sigh. With a little help from Eric, who happened to also be at the trails, we all stood around and put our warm hands on the part that we thought was frozen -- the cable. As long as the choke was on, the ATV would idle but the throttle still wouldn't move. After a few minutes, the boys felt something "give" in the throttle and all of the sudden the ATV roared to life -- but this time the throttle was stuck OPEN! Thank goodness the ATV was in neutral because it was screaming wide-open and after a few minutes of letting it run this way, hoping that whatever was frozen would thaw, the exhaust began to glow a red-hot orange color. Uh-oh, time to shut it off!!

After some standing around scratching our heads, we decided to put our dogs on Eric's drop chains on his truck and to head to our friends' house and pick up their ATV to use instead. After all, we already had gone to the trouble to get all of the dogs out there and harnessed; we might as well run them. Eric didn't mind us leaving our dogs on his truck, so off we went to Bonnie and Jim's place where we picked up their giant trailer with their dog boxes and their ATV on it. We looked like a train coming down the road!! Our poor little Dodge Dakota had no problem pulling the trailer but it looked pretty overwhelmed by its size.

We had a false start on our way to the trail, as we forgot to take our lines off of our ATV and there were no lines on Bonnie's ATV, so we had to turn around and go back to get them. Finally we made it to the trails and got in an uneventful 8 mile run with a really, really nice ATV (so much that I felt spoiled by it.) Then it was back to Bonnie's to drop off their trailer and pick up ours. We rolled into our house at around 11 pm and were some really tired puppies.

I neglected to mention that when we got back from running the dogs, Eric wandered over and pointed at Zak and File' and said
"Was one of these dogs tied at the back of the truck?"
"Yep" I answered. "Why?"
"Because someone ate the wires to the trailer and the plug and the wires to the truck."

Uh-oh. That would be File', miss puppy who cannot keep her mouth out of trouble. Hmm. Well that gave me cause for concern, as I thought that what she ate would probably be passed in her stool but I wasn't sure. File that one away for another day......and homeward we went.

On Saturday we took the dogs out for a really fun 9 miler on the newly-repaired ATV. It was a glorious evening and we really had a good time just being with the dogs. That is, until we got home. When I wandered into the house, I noticed that there was a big, empty bottle sitting in the middle of the floor. Hmm. What's this? Advil?? ADVIL????!????! One of the dogs ate Advil! Who ate it????? There was orange vomit scattered throughout the living room, pointing to the fact that someone was already sick from it. But who? There were three dogs loose in the house and any one of them, or all of them, could have partaken. To the bathroom we went with a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and everyone got dosed to induce vomiting. Picture it: three dogs throwing up all at once. It's a winner, I tell ya.

Only Dollar showed any signs of having eaten the Advil, so to the emergency vet we went at 10:00 PM on a Saturday night. Yeah, you know that one's gonna set you back a pretty penny. We trucked into Anchorage in a huge hurry because Advil can be very, very toxic to dogs, especially having effects on kidney and liver function. Within an hour she was on IV fluids and was under observation for the next two days.

So I thought that we had gotten the bad stuff out of our system.......but remember when File' ate the trailer wires??? Yep. You guessed it. On Sunday night, I looked outside to find her moping in her circle, clearly looking unwell.

Indoors she came for some R&R in the heated house, but still she was listless and she showed no interest in food. She would drink water but would simply throw it up within minutes. I was very worried that she had an obstruction, so first thing on Monday morning, to our normal vet we went with File' in tow. GOOD LORD I am getting tired of going to the vet!!

After some barium, x-rays, blood work and a bout of diarrhea, the doc concluded that File' actually has coccidia. Apparently all dogs carry coccidia, but young, stressed dogs can have bouts with infection and can become pretty seriously sick from it. This is not to say that File' doesn't also have something funny like trailer wires in her stomach (she might still) but she definitely has coccidia that are upsetting her GI tract and have her stomach and intestines all inflamed. (Rolling eyes) WHAT ELSE????

That wasn't a dare, I swear. I'm perfectly content with this set of three bad things. Let's not start another set!!!

On a different note, Wolf is doing very well. Thanks all of you well-wishers out there. :) He has a checkup tomorrow and I'll update the blog when we get word on how his recovery is progressing!

Until then - tootles!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Back in the A-K!

Matt and I recently returned from a little over a week-long trip to the lower 48. The time away was refreshing and rejuvenating but I was glad to get back and see my pooches. I think they were pretty happy to see us, too!

We got in pretty late on Saturday night (got home around 1 AM) but Sunday morning we were up and at 'em early. After busily unpacking for a few hours, we checked on all of the dog equipment which was now covered in a thick blanket of snow. The ATV, amazingly, started right up and Matt took it up the hill twice just to run it a little bit without any dogs in front. Later in the afternoon we went to pick up an intriguing visitor who is scheduled to stay with us for a while -- Wolf. Wolf is from Jon Little's kennel. He is one of the survivors of the unfortunate incident that Jon experienced a few weeks ago. If you don't know about it, check out Jon's blog at http://jonlittle.wordpress.com/

Wolf is supposed to stay off of his feet for the next 3 months and that's where we come in. Jon and Bree didn't have a suitable place to keep him sequestered easily at their house, so we've agreed to keep him as an indoor house "pet" for the duration of his recovery. He has several checkups scheduled for the next few weeks, so we'll keep you updated on hir progress as we find out more about how he is healing.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Welcome Bowie! And Indi looking for a Pet Home

Please welcome our newest (and hopefully last, for a while) addition to Lagniappe Kennel -- Bowie! Bowie is from the kennel of Jon and Bree Little of Kasilof, Alaska. She is out of Jon's "Adidas" (see below) and Jeff King's "Tater". I don't know too much about Tater except that he was highly regarded by Jeff's handlers. Adidas was one of the dogs that Jeff leased from Jon for the 2008 Iditarod -- in fact, she ran the race 1 month pregnant (ladies, that would be like you being 5 months pregnant!)

Here is a little info on Adidas:

(from Jon's website http://kasilofkennel.bravehost.com/dogs/dogs2008.html)

Adidas-- Leader
Iditarod finisher
Age: 4

She's a big female, and the first pup I chose in a litter split with Dean Osmar, partly because of her intensity, partly for her size and partly because those sad-looking eyes remind me of her mother, Kazan. She's been described by another musher as having "a head full of rocks" but she isn't stupid, just head strong. If that toughness can be harnessed, she may prove valuable.

Hopefully Bowie will prove to be similar to her very valuable momma! She is already showing great promise. We put her in team for the first time at the tail end of a run (2 miles left) last night and she took to running like a fish to water. She looked like a little rabbit running down the trail alongside Balu. She's got a little something special about her -- you can tell. Look for great things from this little gal!

In other news, our own Indigo ("Indi") is looking for a new home -- someplace that will spoil him silly and treat him like the wonderful pet that he is. Indi has decided that he would rather lounge around than run (which is fine with me, I certainly won't make him run) so we're looking for a great family for him to spend time with. He's 4 years old, up to date on shots, loves to give kisses, knows how to sit and usually comes when called. He's a real lover. He might like to skijor at a back country pace. He definitely would love to be a walking buddy. If you are interested in Indi, please email me at Leslie@lagniappekennel.com and put "Indi" in the subject line. Indi has flown in an airplane before, so he should be fine to be shipped. An application, small adoption fee, and references will be required.

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