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Monday, September 12, 2022

Sweet Sage meets Oskar and Oskar meets the vacuum

This day there was a beautiful sky with just the right amount of warmth to make it a good day for zooming around the yard.
We haven't seen Sage for awhile. She's been out of town and is only back for a few days. She arrived early and greeted Lady May with such a sweet wiggle. She's 2 years old now and seems to be developing a calmer manner with loads more self control. What a sweet girl she's turning into.  

Sage - "Hi Lady May did you miss me?" I missed you"

This day was also the day we set aside for Oskar and brother Bentley to visit for a few hours. 
Sage seemed to know something was up and sat looking out the window even before they arrived. Im pretty sure she was watching for her mom but as luck would have it, she was still watching when Bentley and Oskar arrived.

Sage - "Hey? Do I get a new playmate today?"
I kept Bentley and Oskar outdoors for some ball play and chasing games before making introductions.  I could have stayed out all day and Oskar would still have a ton of energy left. I figured we might as well head indoors and I would keep a close watch on energy levels.  As always I have my separator gates up to limit the interaction during the excitement when dogs are meeting for the first time.

7 month old Oskar hasn't had many opportunities yet and is still learning appropriate greeting behaviour. I knew this meeting would require time and patience.  

Sir Bentley - "I don't get it. Why am I behind a gate? "
"You're keeping Oskar calm buddy. You're a very good influence on him."
Bentley- "Hmm oh ok."
Lady May and Sage stood watch and were eager for the boys to join them. They were all just a bit too excited to say hello so we just remained separate for a while longer. I puttered around the kitchen while everyone relaxed.
Sage - "Hey let us out I wanna meet the new boy!"

Soon little girl, soon. Let's try a hello through the gate and see how it goes.

Sage - "Okay buddy, that's close enough. Why do you have curly lips?"

Sage displayed all the appropriate behaviours to let Oskar know she wasn't comfortable yet. Good girl Sage.  We stayed separate for a while longer. Until both seemed more comfortable with each other's  presence in the house and Oskar was ignoring Sage behind the gate.
I decided to let Bentley in with Sage first for a happy reunion. They were both delighted to see each other again and eager to head outdoors.     

Sir Bentley - "Hey let's go outside and chase balls!"
When it was time for Oskar to enter. Sage was more confident and displayed it, but asked him to keep his distance.  She allowed an official meeting from Oskar who was listening to Sage's request to be left alone. Before heading outdoors Sage and Oskar spent sometime together while I watched and stood close by and monitored them.  They seemed comfortable enough so we headed out to the small play area where I could continue monitoring them.
Sage - "I hope you can read my body language."
Oskar - "Ya, I hear you. I'm not gonna touch you."

So out we went and as I expected Sage made a beeline to the pool with Oskar close behind.

After awhile we tried some toy time and all was great. Until, Oskar made the choice to 'herd' Sage during a chase me game and nipped her heals. Sage yelped like the entire pack had chomped on her and dropped into a submissive position. Oskar jumped back and retreated. Good Boy Oskar! 
The ball game continued and soon I opened up one more area for some extra play space.  Lady May and Bentley were playing contently with their balls and all were enjoying fun play.

Before long Oskar went into his instinctive herding mode again and as quick as a wink he lunged after Sage and nipped her back end. This time a bit rougher. Ut oh, not good Oskar. He was verbally reprimanded and quickly separated into the gated off yard. The game abruptly ended, right now!
His look was one of, "Wait a minute. What just happened. We cant I play that game? Why not?"
"Hey? When can I come back out there?"

After that moment Sage and Oskar were kept separate for the couple of hours that Oskar and Bentley remained.  I alternated between Bentley and Lady May with both Sage and Oskar taking turns. 

Sage - "I feel safer with just Sir Bentley."

I know little girl and we'll try another together time another day. For now you and Oskar can play with a divider gate between you. 

Oskar - "Hey, where's the little girl dawg? Look I got more toys to chase her with"
When outdoor time ended I put my inside divider fence up to give Sage an extra measure of security and again alternated buddy time with Bentley
Oskar - "I dunno why everyone's sleeping its not nap time yet!"

Oskar - "Why is there a fence between me and the little girl dawg?"

Sage - "It's up so I can sleep with out being disturbed or herded"
By the time lunch time came around, Oskar and I had plenty of time to practice listening skills and he certainly seemed to be a quick learner. We practiced "off/leave it" with a few kibble in his bowl. It was obvious his mom has been working with him on this skill. Way to go mom!
"Hurry say EAT so I can get that kibble before my brother does!"

We also spent a great deal of time doing some desensitizing with the vacuum. I had placed my vacuum in an obvious area the last time Oskar was here and replaced it there again this day. As I expected, there was no reaction to it as it stood quietly. I began by slowly moving it silently around the room. Both Bentley and Oskar were on point but made no move towards it. They received lots of positive praise and cookie tidbits for such wonderful behaviour. Step by step we progressed to the stage that is depicted in the following video. Great job boys! You are awesome!

Why is this a part of my complimentary 4 hour practice daycare day?
I use the vacuum so regularly and I can not always predict which day will be a vacuuming day or who will be present. It's important to me that all visitors can remain at a low level of comfort if I have to pull out the vacuum. I want to avoid as many negative associations while they are in my care.
Does it always work? No, not always. There are visitors who I k now are driven out of an area by the sight/sound of the vacuum. I can promise the vacuum is not used on those days.

For these two, I'm proud to say we're on the road to fearless vacuum days.
I'm looking forward to our next visit boys. I may even take a look at the lawn mower next.
Oskar - "I better get some sleep if there's yet another scary monster challenge."

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Forever Royal, Forever Loved

Our sweet lil Molly's spirit returned to visit us yesterday. Of course she still sits snugly in our hearts and a part of her will always remain here with us. Now, literally.
Her mom and dad found the right time to share a small portion of lil Molly's ashes with us. She will remain a 'Forever Visitor' in our Forget-Me-Nots garden. Forever more!
Special thank you to her mom and dad, Dave and Debbie. In deep appreciation for acknowledging how much your little girl means to us.  We are still healing with you.

This sleeping puppy rests in the Forget-me-nots.
She lays in Memory of 'Our' lil Molly,
As if we could ever forget you darling!

We know she has long been reunited with her Royal Pack Leader, King. (Since April 29 2022)
Her very best friends, Princess MollyDawg, Duchess Sammy and so very many more who crossed Rainbow Bridge before her.

She will forever hold a place in hearts, and now also rests in our home and yard.
Forever she will sit beside King.

Your mom and dad loved you so much little girl as we do also. Who could ever imagine that you'd need to leave us. We know it was your time and we thank you for all those happy visits with us little girl.
Run free now sweetheart. Play with your buddies now.

Until we meet again!

A Heart full of love

Symbols of a reunion. The King and his little girl

I personally had a very difficult time dealing with lil Molly's passing. I felt the need to have a bit of her closer to me. Her mom and dad graciously handed down some of her personal belongings to me. Her big fluffy beds, her favourite toys and most of all 3 of her very most used and favourite blankets.
Her mom wanted to wash everything up before she sent it to me I begged her not to. I was able to collect a good amount of Molly's fur from her blankets and I've used some to make a special coaster for my morning coffee mug.

If you look closely you can see her fur in the resin coaster.
It looks like tiny scratches but its her fur.
She's on my mind continually and now I can see her fur when I enjoy my morning coffee. There are 13 little yellow daises set in the coaster with a few select items. A tiny gold bone or two, a set of paw-prints, hearts and arrows, a crown and a lock and key. There are also a few of my tears in the coaster though they cant be seen.
Forever Royal lil Molly
Forever Loved

April 29 2022
Rainbow Bridge welcomed in lil Molly

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Welcome Young Oskar

Yesterday we had a visit from young Oskar.  He is a brother for our Sir Bentley and just as full of energy. We've been waiting for his neuter to be completed and now we happily welcome him into our extended pack.
Oskar is a energetic 7 month old Border Collie. I don't feel the need to go into explanation of his personality and disposition. He's a pure bred BC. Enough said!

He came through the gate with all the expected exuberance and followed his brother's lead to the toy bin and balls. Yep! You guessed it Oskar is also a 'ball-dog'. Yippee! It's been awhile since I had a couple of full on ball-dogs visiting. I must admit to missing it a lot!

Oskar- "So this is where you go to play eh bro?"
Bentley - "Yep, You're going to love it!"

His meeting with Lady May was along  the lines of what I expected. Puppy Oskar hasn't met many new dogs yet, so he was a bit apprehensive and showed it by doing some lip curling and barking. As always I introduce through the safety of a gate. Lady May is unable to stand much these days so her 'posture' is often disguised to new comers. She was eager to meet Oskar but showed him clearly she did not approve of his energy and barking at her. Her facial expressions and language were enough.
It didn't take long before Oskar lost interest in her and turned his attention over to a squeaky toy. A perfect opportunity to open the gate so Bentley could go in with Lady May. It allowed Oskar to see them being rewarded for good behaviours. Very soon we were out in the yard and playing ball!
I'm looking forward to the cooler temps that are inevitable and having hours of time for ball play!

Bentley teaches Oskar the ropes.
Bentley - "Just smile and sit quiet. We get treats for this"

Oskar - "Do we get treats for this too?"
Bentley - "No. Silly, we get a BALL!"

Oskar will bring his brother Bentley with him when he comes for his complimentary 4 hour visit next week.
Welcome to Royal K9 Korner Oskar.  We're happy to have  you!

Thursday, August 25, 2022

August Was A Scary Time

We had a fabulous holiday and we were ready to reopen our daycare and begin with a fresh supply of energy. 
While we were away, we had a request by someone to stay at our home and look after things in our absence.
I was happy to have someone and their dog stay a few days. It meant our yard keepers, Miss Sadie, Miss Suzy Q and our Countess River's mom's would have a break from the hot weather watering task. They were amazing. I am so thankful to them!
Unfortunately for Royal K9 Korner, the new guest's sleep over left us with some uninvited guests.
You can not even begin to imagine my horror when I discovered the visiting dog had fleas!
OMG indeed!
Lady May was due for her usual treatment but was scratching before we could even get her into the vets.  She's since then back to her happy, healthy self and the dog that had visited was also treated and is okay.

The process of home and yard cleaning began. My supply of Vet-Kem Premise spay and Ovitrol Plus was running low. A new supply was ordered.
All toys were gathered and sorted for cleaning and re-sterilizing.  Indoor and outdoor mats, carpets and bedding was all vacuumed, rolled up, washed and dried. Harness's, leads and collars. Done!

We gathered them all up for you. Can we help wash them?

Hey! Where's all the toys?

Dishwasher safe ones all cleaned and ready to re placed

I found the rest of them. I'll help you re place them.

The fumigating, continual vacuuming, removal of all mats, vacuuming,  blankets, loose carpets, vacuuming corners, cracks, crevices, cushions, curtains, washing, drying and scrubbing and brushing and combing and spraying, and vacuuming again, purchasing and applying treatments. Toys have all been soaked and re washed in hot soapy water and are safe to play with again.
Communicating with our veterinarian and our customers were at the top of our list. We purchased additional house/yard premise spay and dog spray and made sure we stayed on top of any further outbreak.
We had a few customers who were able to make alternate daycare arrangements and we thank them for understanding we did not feel our home was safe enough for your buddy.
Thank you to our visitors who had to treat their sweeties before we could allow them in for their already scheduled visits. I know it was more than an inconvenience. Thank you for your support through my dilemma.
Thank you Kara from Cache Creek Veterinarian for driving into town to bring us our premise spray! Thank you Pets Drug Mart for providing us with a fresh supply of Vet-Kem products to protect our home and visitors.

Hey! Is that a new ball? Has it been cleaned?

Does this grass smell different to you?

Have you had your flea treatment?

Looks like we're all good here. Thanks for keeping us safe!

I'll just wait in the shade and make sure anyone wanting a toy has been flea treated

Ya ok. You do that Henry and I'll wait here in the shade.

Ah yes, sun-dried toys almost ready

Flea proofing a house is a big job. I think we're ok now.

The screaming hot temperatures have helped I'm sure. The grounds have been re-fumigated and are good again for 7 more months. We will stay on top of this situation and continue to provide a safe and caring environment for everyone.

As a result: we are tightening up our intake policy.  Newcomers will now be required to show proof of tick/flea treatment before being accepted in for daycare. I do not want to go through this again.

Ok, now I'm ready for September. (I think)

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Whispering Spruce Campsite

We did nothing! I totally mean it. Nothing! We slept in, we read our books, we went for very short, slow strolls and we played cards. The weather was hot and we stayed indoors to appreciate 'Cora's' AC turned to high. We had full service and enjoyed hot showers and plenty of water for washing up.
The drive was as relaxing as the holiday itself. We took our time and made a few short stops along the way. I almost forgot how beautiful Rogers Pass is. What a gorgeous scenic province we live in.

Rogers Pass early morning
Oh ya, I also forgot about the cool Snow Tunnels. I always loved these!

Just one of several along Hwy 1

We reached our campsite just after 6 pm. Signed in and sorted things out at our site.
Ironically it was site # 21. It corresponded to our 21st wedding anniversary.
To steal a famous lady's phrase, "How cool is that?"

We were able to have a campfire in the evening. I'm pretty sure it helped to reduce the mosquitos. We had a few bite us but not uncontrollable. There is no standing water around and I wager that helped too. Daddy and Lady May went on a hunt for firewood, the caretakers sold it in bundles. I know most people are familiar with that. We are not. Normal camping for us is a chainsaw and a search. When daddy told the man he had an axe the man gave him a double amount if he would split it himself. Daddy was happy to oblige.

Lady May has new sockies to protect her feet.
Her muscles are not strong these days and a bit more traction helped.

The smile tells you daddy was happy to do some log splitting

We normally camp in more secluded spots by a creek or fast-moving water. We usually have limited resources and rely on whatever means possible to enjoy Mother Nature at her finest. This trip we were among those who much rather have the additional comforts of modern technology, hot and cold running water, AC and a usable microwave. We loved it.

I sat at my picnic table connected to my laptop enjoying a coffee made with my Keurig and a slice of toast from my small electric toaster. Ahh the finer things of life.

Lady May had many friends available for her to meet if she chose. Almost all the campers here have their fur buddies with them. It makes my heart happy to see so many who truly care for their furry family member as much as we love ours.
One of our neighbours was a couple associated with Best Friends Organization out of Arizona. We had a lovely chat and she fell in love with Lady May and her story. Safe travels Linda. Drop by whenever you're in Lillooet. We'd welcome you.

There’s a large dog park area for throwing balls or romping around. We’ve offered Lady May an opportunity to meet a few friends but she turned away. Maybe another time. She was on holiday from meeting new dogs too.

Very short walking distances are her ability now. She just doesn’t have the muscle capacity anymore. We'll be adding her back wheels to her chair soon. We're not sure they'll help but they were purchased when we ordered her chair, so we have them. We mostly carried her around and she smiled every time. 

"Daddy, come back and get me if there's something interesting okay?"

 Crossing the road for a potty break took all she could handle on her own. Her harness is a life safer these days. The handle allows me to lift her body so she can walk easier.
She still tries to do things on her own most times though. Her mind is sound, its the body that's beginning to fail. We are here sweetie you just relax.

"That's a long way back mommy. Stay here with me okay?"
You betcha darling. Im here.

Laying in the shade or cozying indoors were all she really wanted to do. Im in total agreement.

"Turn on the AC mom Im almost ready for it."

I read my books whenever I felt the urge. Daddy and I slept in most mornings. I napped for as long as I wanted in the afternoon and went to bed early every night. I read two novels, gazed at the scenery every day and 'let daddy skunk me' in crib at night.

What a wonderful anniversary present. Thank you daddy!

Wifi at the picnic table. What a bonus!
Meanwhile back home things were running smoothly.
I heard regularly from Miss Sadie, Countess River and little Suzy Q.Your moms are amazing!
It's screaming hot here, so my mom said I have to wait
in the shade for her to finish the watering

Apparently Countess River couldn't understand why we weren't home and continued to run from door to door looking to find us. Awww It's okay sweetie you can visit us now that we're home.

Thank you so much to Kathi, Melissa and Fiona, who took turns taking care of our yard and gardens. They were all flourishing when we returned. It's obvious how much care you took even in the mid 40°C temps.

In this heat, they would have been toast in one day with out your care. THANK YOU!
When we returned home for the August 1st holiday and were surprised with a visit from our son and grandson. It was so nice to see them!  We loaded up the boat and off to the lake we went.
5 year old Lucas waits with Lady May for his life jacket.

Lucas and his daddy HotDoggin'

The water was calm and perfect for the better part of the day. This was a first time for Lucas. Such an excited little boy! Maybe next time gramma will go.

August is still promising to be hot. We have a few visitors scheduled and I can't wait for daycare to begin again. I've missed my furry pals and I look forward with renewed energy!
First up is Sadie and Cash.
Also Sir Bentley will join us next week. Yahooo. We've sure missed you buddy
See you soon.
It's great to be back!