Friday, February 26, 2010

Goodbye Trixie my Pixie 23.12.2006-23.2.2010

Dearest Trixie,

I could have sworn I heard you barking last night.  That distinctive Malinois pitch - that certain bark when you insist on getting something - usually's Joe's toy.  For a moment I thought Joe and you were playing your exclusive version of 'Snatch-Fetch'. Only to remember that you are gone.

Then Tuffy barked, as if to answer. Followed by the howls of the entire pack (interestingly without the prompting of the siren's wails). Maybe that was you after all.  Back to say your goodbyes since you left us so suddenly.

I've been deeply comforted by the circle of hearts.  Kind, supportive words from bloggers alike.  Personally, I've never heard of the rainbow bridge until I started reading other dogs' blogs and how dog's who've passed on goes on to be a star.  It could all be tales but I'd like to believe that you've gone to a much better place.  Where you can run and play all day till your heart's content and not be hampered by your inherent physical limitations.

This evening as I was staring into the heavens, I witnessed something most curious.  A silent moving globe of light - the size of a distant star ... yet a little nearer to earth.  For a while I thought it was a flying object - an airplane?  A helicopter?  But usually their lights would blink, and this light was constant. Nor was there a distinct roar of engines.  I stared at what I could only describe as a 'little star' moving towards the half moon ... and then as mysteriously as it appeared, it dissappeared into the moon's light.

All I could think of then was you, Trixie.  Maybe they were right after all, you have gone on to become a star.

We will all miss you.  The Furkids for being their race- queen ring leader.  Tuffy and Snoopy would miss your affectionate wags and kisses.  (Not sure Anna would miss you since you almost made ribbons out of her face).  Joe will miss having you in his game of 'Fetch' or 'Snatch' - infact, just now after a game while I was giving him a drink from the garden hose, he half expected you to sneak up to his toy and snatch it away!  And I most of all would miss just calling for you and watching you come happily bounding.

This is the only way I know how to say goodbye Trixie.  With words.  Take care darling girl.  Love you loads.

Tee, Tuffy, Snoopy, Joe, Anna, Tubby, Wally, Brandi and Dexter

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Acute Pancreatitis

""Acute Pancreatitis"- that's what Trixie's doctor said was the cause of death when he called to report later this morning.

"What caused it?"  I asked.  He answered, "No one can be too sure. However it is common amongst particularly amongst female dogs.  Causes?   It could be her diet (but they all eat the same thing!).  Her age (Trixie's four human years old) But there's no determined causal link ...although some breeds are known to develop the problem "

The puzzling thing is, Trixie out of the lot was possibly the most robust out of the pack.  She hardly ever had diohrrea, or vomited.  Hardly ever shown signs of lethargy or developed a fever.  Infact, hardly fell sick for that matter. From the day she came to Dog Woods as a wee pup of 3 months she was always on the go.  She was so hyper, I had to properly school myself on how to handle and train a dog so highly strung!

To be honest, she was the one that caused the most injuries amongst the other dogs. The two, Joe the Rottweiller and Anna the Doberman never stood a chance against Trixie the Belgian Malinois. Don't get me started on how many times Joe (the Rottie) got nipped in the butt and the wound later demanded some careful care.  And then there's Anna - Trixie's caused some major damage there too - twice required stitching and draining.  Even from her cage recently, she manage to inflict a couple of bites on Anna's left check.   Because of the recent clashes I've been giving both Anna and Trixie many running checks just to see if I've missed any injuries.  Trixie almost always seem to come away unscathe after clashing with either Joe or Anna.

And then all of a sudden she left us.  Time's up.  Maybe all these while she's been trying to tell me that something's wrong and I mistook that for her being afraid of firecrackers (since she scaled her pen's fence every time she heard a pop).   You know the song 'Who Let The Dog Out??' - that was Trixie.  She'd let herself out, climb any fence or gate that confined her - more so over the CNY festivities.

The only time she required the doctor's attention was when she had a piece of skin dangling from behind her left hind leg.  Am not sure how that happened (from running too hard - into fence?) but she came bounding and sat even without me calling.  And when they are that good, something's definitely amiss...The doctor had to stitch her up.

I suppose am still plagued with 'what ifs ...'  Could it all have been prevented ... had I called the doctor earlier .... *sigh*

To think those pictures were taken  a little more than a week ago.  After Joe returned from having his wound treated (thanks to Trixie), Anna getting bitten (by Trixie yet again) and Wally getting tick fever.

So rest in peace Trixie.  I'll always remember you.  Some day I'll see you again ... over that rainbow.

Thank you for your kind thoughts ...

Dear kind warm readers,

Thank you for your kind thoughts.  I truly appreciate them.  It helps - at least for me trying to get my mind to accept the full fact that Trixie's gone for good.  There's always so much to do at Dog Woods.  If it's not the dogs to mind and fuss over there's the chores to be done at home, meals to cook and people to fuss (or boss ;) around.  But in those still moments where nothing immediate warrants my attention I find myself staring into the horizon.  If there was a mirror before me, the expression would be that of bewilderment - slightly gaping mouth, furrowed brow, and a look - lost somewhere, going over and over again what had caused her sudden death.  That's when the sad realisation dawns - that I would never see Trixie (or Iggy as I'd usually call her), again

Dog woods is fairly spacious - more than an acre, enough space for the nine dogs to run about without cramping their style.  Understandably I can't possibly keep an eye out on all nine of them at once... the two Basset Hounds would be tumbling over each other - Tuffy teasing Snoopy and Snoopy giving him a mouthful of what she thought, Anna and the Furkids would be chasing down or digging up a scent (someday I'd post pictures my increasingly crater-ful lawn), Trixie would be running in circles attempting to herd us lot (minus the butt nipping - which we trained her out of), Joe clutching a toy would be looking for a game of fetch.

Usually after all that play and if i knew that no one would be visiting, the dogs would be left to roam about freely (within the confines of Dog woods that is) - with minimal supervision.  And that's when it happened I think ... where and what happen to Trixie within that moments while am pottering about.  What had she ate?  Could she be bitten? What kind of bug had she picked up - so virulent that it took her life so suddenly.   Now am afraid for the rest of the pack ...

Will call the doctor later (don't think his practice is quite fully open yet) to find out Trixie's results.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

With a heavy heart ...

... Trixie crossed the rainbow bridge today.  It was so sudden.  I discovered her lying so still this afternoon in her crate when the doctor finally arrived to give her a check.

She wasn't touching her food the last couple of days and I had been feeding her the usual multivitamins (when the dogs are not eating).  Thinking it could be tick fever (since Wally was down with it last week and the Vet had been around to see him twice) I had the Vet to come round to give Trixie her shot of antibiotics only to discover she was no longer breathing.

To think she was ok this morning and I was fretting over getting her to swallow her multivit.  Am still trying to grasp the fact that she's gone.  I can't say am numb.  Just shock.  Not quite sure how or what cause her to leave us so sudden.  It's not that she's been ill for prolonged periods.  Even the good doctor was puzzled.   He'd just seen her last week - trotting about her usual sunny mischevious self.  

And that's how it is whenever I think of Trixie.  Her alertly trotting about - being ring leader to the pack of Furkids (Anna's usually kept in her pen when Trixie's out since they both don't get along), giving chase to  whatever that moves (joggers, motorists, neighbour's dogs) - all well within the confines of the Dog Woods perimeter fence (so no harm done to others)

She was character in her prime who love nothing else but to run like the wind, snatch Joe's toy and guard her home.  And now she's gone.  I feel so sad whenever I think I'd never see Trixie with in all her fawn handsome-ness patrolling the perimeter fence.  Or come running (usually the first to arrive) whenever I call, or just to sit pretty - just to show that she's a good-er girl than the rest of the scampering lot - who's usually playfully wrestling about.  

The only explanation would either be a) deliberate poisoning from someone who hates the Dog Woods Pack or b) bitten by a venomous snake - cobras possibly c) a heart attack - from too many firecrackers?  (honestly, Trixie's heart is built to withstand firecrackers ... though she does like to complain about them alot).

The good doctor's taken Trixie's body for an autopsy.  Still running some tests when I last messaged him.  We'll all know tomorrow why Trixie left us so suddenly.  

Monday, February 22, 2010

That not so innocent 'puddle' ...

Sniffing for pity

That not so innocent looking 'puddle' that's left on either ends of the coffee table or the legs of the sofa is the chief-est reason why Tuffy (self claimed basset top dog of Dog Woods) is banned from the living area.  And when that happens, out comes industrial cleaners.  From disinfectant wipes to detergent, anti bacterial-ladened clean ups - yours truly determined to get rid of all manners of germs and smells that comes with his lordly pee - only to be satisfied with at least a couple of wipe downs.  

Understandably it's a alpha male thing to want to mark his territory - so long as it's done outdoors.  

One would have thought, with a large yard, miles of grass and many trees to mark and closely supervised outdoor romps - usually to water them telephone poles,  Tuffy would have emptied his bladder. But somehow or another, the ol' boy almost always have some emergency reserve left for the corners of the couch, the legs of the coffee table or the sideboard!
'*Howl!*, I surrender!'

Mind you, the Tuffy knows leaving his mark indoors is unacceptable behaviour yet, he's determine to take his chances ... preferably behind our backs, of course.  But yours truly have since learn to pre-empt his urges.   Before he even thinks of lifting his back hind legs I'm already on his case.  A stern 'Tuffy!!' and off he'd sit guiltily - knowing he'd been caught yet doggedly unrepentant he'd not been quick enough.  

Basset Charmer at large

All's usually forgiven one's he's slunk off to join the rest of the pack merrily playing - momentarily given up the idea of leaving his noxious mark indoors.  We all know, given half the chance, the top dog Tuffy will be back to mark his spots indoors!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Double Greetings ... and many adoring licks and wags.

It so happen that this year's Chinese New Year falls exactly on Valentine's day.  So, here's wishing everyone out there a very:- 
Happy Valentine's Day! 
May there always be an abundance of affection and love in your life!
to those who're celebrating the Chinese New Year a very
Happy, Prosperous and Healthy New Year.
'Gong Xi Fa Chai!' 

P.S.  The Dogs are riding the loud festivities with much aplomb.  Trixie's back to her old gregarious self now that the fireworks and firecrackers have quietened down a little.  As for yours truly, am lying low, seizing the opportunity to grab some much needed rest (after some major baking).  

According the Chinese beliefs (I only JUST read) that tomorrow (the 2nd day of the Chinese New Year) is believed to be the birthday of ALL dogs!  I really must have something special planned for the Dog Woods Pack tomorrow :)  Last but not least, here's yours truly and her pack, wishing all you wonderfully adorable doggies out there a :-
Happy Happy Birthday!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Trixie sedated


I had to give Trixie a couple of sedative prescribed by the Vet this week.  She was freaking out big time.  The loud blasts in the distance coupled with thunder and lightning was too much for poor Iggy (that's what I call her) to bear.  Being a pixie as she is, Trixie leapt over the 5 foot high gate that we sometimes close to keep the dogs out from certain areas.  Then she frantically wanted to squeeze through the french window grills just to get to where I was.

At the rate she was going (she was trying to squeeze through the window grills!) hurt was bound to happen. So two pills it was.  I had her swallow the lot whether she liked it or not.  To my relief,  she looked a lot calmer after that.  At least she wasn't trying to climb any thing she caught get her paw on or squeeze her head through ...

Have made a mental note to ask the doctor for more.  I've got 4 more pills left - am not sure that's going to last me till after the Chinese New Year.  We're not even on day one of the CNY yet and I'm down to but four ( a mere couple of doses).

 It's interesting though ... the older Trixie gets the more terrified she gets of loud blasts and thunder storms.  She was never this way when she was younger - then again, most pups are innocently clueless ... I suppose it's a fear developed over time.  Them dogs deciding for themselves that they absolutely hate loud rumbles or blasts and start fussing.

Now that Trixie's attended to,  my next patient is Tubby Jr.  He's got a swollen front paw and has been hobbling about today - I must add, quite capably doing the stuff the Furkids would do minus 50% of his mobility!  So far I've not detected an open wound ... but he would yelp if I applied pressure to the sides of his paws.  I suspect either he got bitten by a noxious creepy crawly or he got bitten by his brother in a fight yesterday evening.  Other than the hobbling on threes, his appetite is perfectly fine.  He does however seem to get worn out alot quicker hobbling about on three legs rather on four.

I suppose on the bright side that keeps him from scaling up a tree by the fence and going on one of his nocturnal escapades outside of Dog Woods (now that they discovered that weaknesses in fences have been secured).

Honestly, at the rate of mischief the Furkids get up to, sometimes I think I'm dealing with monkeys rather than young dogs!  Do you think getting the male Dobiehounds 'fixed' would help tone them down somewhat?

Trixie and Tubby and Snoopy in the corner

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dream a little dream of me ...

Do dogs dream?

I seem to think so.  Over the years, I've seen my pack - most twitch,  some whine, others bark, while the more active ones make galloping motions and all that while they are horizontal (usually on their sides) with their eyes closed.

It's all quite interesting.  And the good Vet seems to agree - when he was at Dog Woods this afternoon.

It's always been a better option for the good doctor to pop by than yours truly having to struggle to drive with four gregarious, mischevious pups and one highly strung Belgian Malinois.  Believe you me it's quite a job hauling FIVE heavy reluctant pups into the car and out again ... and it doesn't help the four Dobiehound pups have an aversion for car rides.

Speaking about aversions or phobias of ... once upon a time ago, when the Dobie-hound pups were younger I discovered they all had an innate phobia of leashes and collars.  Am not sure where that came from ... but it could be that they were allowed to roam unleashed and collar-less as wee pups.   I simply had to dangle a chain or leash across their back and suddenly they are immobilize.  It was all rather amusing.  They were perfect sitting statues!

Now that they are bigger and have overcome that particular fear, the three - Dexter, Tubby and Brandi, are real hooligans - esp. when they find a weakness in the fence and decide to go about exploring usually returning home - usually, with one side of someone's shoe!  Obviously shoes that don't belong to the humans of Dog Woods!! (Bad dogs, baaaad dogs!!)  I've seen an assortment women's heels, loafers, sneakers, slippers strewn across the front lawn which I can only guess come from one of the neighbours ...( which is a good thing we don't have too many!)

While am just as puzzled as the victim who's missing one side of his or her shoes as to where the other side has come from (or disappeared to), I usually end up feeling quite guilty ... Am not even sure whom to apologize or make up to.  While I make it clear with the Furkids that I don't approve of their nocturnal explorations and leathery finds.  I think they understand my disapproval well else why would they skulk away sheepishly whenever I questioningly hold up some badly chewed up shoe.  No need to even ask 'WHO DID THIS?!' ...

I suppose dogs will be all dogs, they have selective hearing and understanding ... :P

On days like these, I wish they never outgrew their irrational fear of collars.  All I got to do is put a collar on and I know they'll be ... within the safe confines of Dog Woods.

While we're still on phobias, I got the good doctor to prescribe Trixie some sedative.  According to him, he's seen many dogs injure or even kill themselves because of the fire crackers (the bomb like explosions) and fireworks they let off over the eve of the Chinese New Year (CNY) and the last day of the CNY.

Keeping my fingers crossed that Trixie and the rest of the pack will be fine for the CNY explosive celebrations.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Clash of the Divas

Anna and Trixie are it again ... just when you think they've forgiven each other and forgotten about their violent bitchings (against each other).  They clashed - yet again - yesterday evening.

I've taken to separating them.  Confining Trixie to her pen in the day, while Anna gets her daily romp.  While Trixie's time out is in the evening.  Trixie, due to some major weakness in the pen's fencing has been letting herself out each evening.  Notably earlier every day.  Yesterday it happened that she let herself out when Anna was still out and about with me.

It has happened before and they went about their paths peacefully.  But yesterday was different.  I think it had to do with me.  They were fighting for who gets her right with yours truly.  I suppose in a way it's flattering but it sure is a horrifying way (at least to this human) of settling the score.  I was more concern about them getting hurt.

When we finally separated them - there was some blood in Anna's mouth.  And that's the mystery of it ... I gave each one of a them a good check for injuries - and neither one sported any open wounds.  So where did the blood come from? Someone bit her tongue?  Blood was gone a few minutes after and while Anna was safely back in her crate Trixie sported a noticeable limp (esp. when I'm looking) - while she seem to have no problems giving chase.  She was patrolling Dogwoods in her usual self the entire evening.

Makes me wander sometimes, dogs are definitely clever enough to elicit some kind of sympathetic attention.  Am quite relieved that they're both ok.  Must check them over again - just in case.