Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday, Kingsbury Puppies!

Happy 4th Birthday to the Josie x Jake puppies.

Bella, Bo, Breezy, sweet Encore (waiting at The Bridge), Meme, Sydney, and Tater.
(in order of lineup: Encore, Bo, Syd, Meme's tushy, Breezy,Tater facing the camera, and Bella)

(in order left to right: Encore at back of pool, Bo, Bella, Syd, Tater, Breezy, Meme)
The first baby puppies to come live at my house (at 3 weeks old), this group was so much fun, and just a year ago, I had the adventure of having Sydney and Breezy's puppies, the first generation of Hurrikane puppies. :-)

I hope all the Kingsbury puppies have a great 4th birthday, and they get plenty of extra treats!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

They Got to Move It, Move It

Who, us? No, we weren't doing anything... no rabble rousing going on out here. Really? Let's let the photos tell the story...

The cousins, Avery and Biscuit, have been separated for a whole week. You would have thought it was a year. When I finally let them play together Saturday, it was a giant frap & wrestling fest.

"Hey cuz, missed you."

Notice the Vallhund observers. These two were like line judges, keeping an eye on the game, but steering clear of the wild Cardigans!

You tell him, Avery! Love Avery's eyes and Biscuit's expression!

"Told you! You might be bigger than me, but I have skills!"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Holiday Surprise

When I arrived home from work last night, I was surprised to find a gift from Andi, Breezy's "sister." It was a thank you for keeping Breezy a couple of weekends ago when the family was out of town. Inside was a really cute ornament, with all the dogs' names printed on it. You'll get a better idea of what the ornament looks like when you see Andi's talent in her artwork. :-) I enjoyed the card so much, I thought I'd share...

Here's the front of the card, with a lovely rendition of Breezy and Andi at the bottom.

And then here's the inside of the card. What a good artist, and a sweet message. :-) And that drawing looks exactly like the pretty ornament that was wrapped up in the package!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Exciting Stuff Going On...

Well, not really. In fact, this was the scene on Sunday, a room full of "speed bumps" laying around. I think it's really unfortunate that my dogs lead such a tough life. Biscuit wouldn't fit in the same frame, but he's laying right at Kane's tail, creating an uninterrupted (did I spell that right?) chain of dogs from one side of the living room to the other.And don't worry, the big kids are zonked out also, but they claimed the space (and the scrunched up blankies) on the sofa before any of the shorties did.
I asked if the dogs were doing some sort of Civil War battlefield re-enactment or something, but nobody answered. It does justify my belief that one can never own too many of the wonderful Costco dog blankets, though!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

VSEC Overland Park-Better Vet Care by Intimidation?

OK, so normally I just post stories about the dogs and their antics. I can't say I have never ranted on the blog, because I probably have and someone would point it out to me, but in general, I just blog about a dog. But I have been really bothered by a recent trip to the emergency vet. I traveled 1/2 an hour to Overland Park because VSEC has always been my e-clinic of choice, rather than 8 miles to the local e-clinic. It's been four years since I have required emergency clinic vet care, and last Sunday, I discovered just how much can change in four years. Four years ago, I was on the road to the CWCCA specialty in Kentucky, and Julie called me to say that my Graycie girl was in distress, and she took her to VSEC. Dr. Shara Grauberger was an absolute saint that night, and VSEC saved Graycie, and they let all her friends come visit her in the hospital until I could get home from Kentucky. Dr. Grauberger called me with updates, and even asked how I was doing. Other friends had similar good experiences with other VSEC vets, so they became my emergency clinic of choice, even across town.

Fast forward to last Sunday morning, when I needed a vet right away for Kane, I didn't hesitate to load him up and drive over to VSEC, because Dr. Becker and Dr. Wingert were unavailable. Hey, they are allowed to have a day off sometimes!

When I got to VSEC, reception was in no hurry to get us checked in, but since it wasn't crowded, it didn't take too long. We were led into the exam room, where the tech asked about the problem, Kane's history, etc. Kane was never put on the big, shiny exam table, not once. The tech reached for his leash and told me they were going to get vitals and a weight, and, oh, by the way, if they needed xrays, could I just consent to it now, or did I need to have a vet come in. Well, gee, if you think my dog warrants an xray, could I please hear that from the person who went to vet school and has a DVM behind his/her name? I think I'm paying enough to get that courtesy.

The tech nods, and tells me I can go back to the waiting room, they'll call me back again. huh? Isn't the vet going to come in and examine my dog? ? Oh, well, that's all done in the back. That makes me a bit uncomfortable, not knowing or talking to the vet who is going to be diagnosing and treating my dog. However, not wanting to put up a stink, I obediently walk back to the waiting room.

Several minutes later, a young (read: looks like a teenager) vet comes out and calls me back to the exam room. He says, in a very detached tone, that they want to take xrays, because Kane is very tense around his belly, and it's difficult to get a good feel. Mind you, my dog is not in the room, I have not seen him since they took him for weight and vitals. Since I had been out of town and found broken glass when I got home, and I felt seriously out of touch with what had caused Kane to be sick, I agreed to xrays without hesitation. I am dismissed to the waiting room once again.

Another session of waiting and the vet calls me back yet again to the exam room to describe the xrays to me. No glass, no foreign bodies. Kane is still nowhere to be found, and the vet proceeds to tell me that Kane is a bit dehydrated, he has a stress colitis, and they want to do IV fluids, keep him in intensive care, and I can move him to my vet in the morning. All to the tune of the estimated $1,200. I had already told this vet that my own vet was to call me back by noon, and I did not want to leave Kane any longer than I already had (3 days away to a show). When I asked if he could get subq fluids and I would bring him back if he needed more, the vet literally could not contain a laugh, and basically told me that I could kill my dog in a matter of an hour if I didn't do the IV fluids.

The thing that bothers me most of all is that the vet was turning on the scare tactics and trying to intimidate me. He told me that Kane had had two more "blow outs" in the back since we'd been there. Hmm, now Kane had not had to go since I came home to find his accident in the house at 2:30 am, and finally again at about 6am, not urgent or explosive, he just went when I took him outside. Of course, I still did not have my dog back, so I could not refute his statement that Kane had had two accidents. This is the dog who tore the baby gate out of the doorway trying to get to the door rather than potty in the house. I declined, asked for sub-q fluids and that if my vet did not contact me and Kane was still having trouble, I would bring him back. Well, that was the last I saw of the vet, he off-handedly told me they'd do the fluids and bring the dog out, all as he was half way through the doorway, not looking back.

When I finally saw Kane again, they had given him not 100 or 200 cc's of fluid, but 500 cc. Poor boy, he could hardly walk, and I thought it must be painful for such a short guy to carry around that much weight sagging all around his shoulders. Later, when we saw Dr. Becker, he was very displeased that Kane had received that much fluid. I checked out Kane's back side, and there was no evidence that he had had any such blowout as the vet described to me. I know my dogs, and I know what I would expect to see if there were two
My total for the morning was $368.00. Not exactly a happy day for the checkbook, but I didn't think it was out of line for a specialty clinic, for exam on a Sunday, xrays (2), fluids, antibiotics ($25 for 14 Flagyl-yikes). So I'm not complaining about the cost for the day, I'm complaining because I felt like if I was someone who had a precious pet and didn't have the resource of a great vet on-call for just such situations, I might have, no, I WOULD have felt intimidated and scared enough to sign over to the $1,200 overnight stay, and I thought that this vet tried to scare me and tell me I was going to kill my dog, all to make a few bucks. It was really telling how his attitude changed once I let him know I'd stick with sub-q fluids and go on to my own vet. I was obviously not going to help him with his "quota" and cheating him out of an extra $900 on the sales board. At least that's what it felt like.
When I paid my bill, I asked if the vet clinic was still independently owned. Well, surprise, surprise, it's now a national chain, and it sure felt like it. VSEC is now a BluePearl Veterinary Hospitals partner. It certainly is no longer a "we care about your pets first and foremost" hospital.
It's so disappointing to me, and I just wonder how many people have been intimidated into unnecessary care, and thousands of dollars out of their pocket, only because their dog chose the weekend to become ill.
After my experience, I started to do a little poking around, and I have found story after story that mirrors my own, with different illnesses, but all the same undertones of vets giving a horrible prognosis, and trying to intimidate people into additional services.
Shame on VSEC Overland Park for exploiting owners who love their pets. Sadly, there are some great doctors there, but because of this last experience, I just won't be able to trust going there again, since it seems there are multiple incidents where emergency and specialty docs have been putting the screws to owners to get them to spend money. Perhaps they have a quota put on them by corporate these days, who knows. The only thing I know is that I won't be returning to VSEC for services.
Whew, I feel much better now. Not so much better that I've changed my mind about writing a letter, but better. :-)

Monday, July 5, 2010

When Good Leashes Go Bad

This is what good leashes look like after they have spent the last three days curled up at the side of a major interstate, enduring rain and road debris without shelter.
And this is what leashes look like after they have been rescued from aforementioned side of interstate, and given a nice warm bath in sudsy water.

Let this be a lesson to all leashes out there that jumping off the roof of the car as it's driving down the interstate is NOT a good idea.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Note from Breezy's "Sister," Andi

When I arrived home from Flagstaff, I found this note from Andi, Breezy's new "big sister." It made me smile, and it also brought tears to my eyes. Can any of us want anything more for our dogs? You can click to see the note full-size. It's worth the read. I think Andi is very eloquent, and I know my Breezy is in good hands.

The note was accompanied by this beautiful art work. That's me on the left, Danielle in the middle with Breezy, and Andi jumping on the right.

editor's note: I did have to ask Danielle about the "tearing up the house" bit after I laughed out loud, and she said it was not a big deal, and Bree is behaving very well.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Happy 14th Birthday, Gizmo!

I can't believe it, but Uncle Gizzer is 14 today! It's hard to believe he arrived at my house almost 8 years ago. Gizmo never acts his age, and he's always happy to play with puppies. I love seeing his smile when he's running with the puppies.

Giz might be a little hard of hearing (unless it's the fridge door opening or the clank of the dog cookie jar!), and he's not 100% with catching treats anymore, but he's doing great, and I
think he's a happy boy.

Happy Barkday to Uncle Gizzer! I'm so glad he's a part of my family.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Responsible Breeders

Patricia McConnell has a great blog, and I read it nearly every day. Syd's blog will be referencing several of the posts from last week, but I wanted to post a link to The Other End of the Leash blog here, because today's post addresses shelter and rescue dogs from the perspective that we NEED responsible breeders, and we need to applaud them, not chastise them. What a refreshing concept, written by someone who is very much respected in the dog world.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Reporting In

The rest of the Hurrikane Crew are all alive and well. I've been neglecting the other blogs with all the opportunities to share puppy photos and stories on the puppy blog. But stay tuned, the puppy blog is moving, and Syd's about to reclaim her own blog. She says she's let me borrow it long enough, so hopefully by next week, the puppies will be "moving out" of her blog and into their own space, so I hope Syd can come up with interesting things to talk about!

The Vallhund blog is going to be updated soon, we are doing a family affair, with a pupdate from Hawk's litters. I have some photos to share of several of the Hawk puppies, from the Mele litter and the Nikita litter.

I just need to find some extra hours in the day, or extra days in the week to catch up on the blogging!

So, just some randomness, and the other day, I decided to take a photo of the dishwasher. A typical weekend load of dishes.

Top Rack...

Bottom Rack... I think about the days when I did not have a dishwasher, and I wouldn't survive now!
And now a big slurpy HIYA from Nick. He can't possibly be 11 years old. I must be calculating incorrectly, because this big goof can't be a day over 2 years old. I am so relieved that his lymphoma scare was a false alarm, but it did remind me that there's no guarantee about anything, so I've been trying to squeeze in as much special time with the dogs that I can, on top of the normal 24 hours I spend tending to them.
"You got any cookies down there?"

Sunday, March 28, 2010


We didn't meet Maggie until she was about 12 years old, but she was, and likely will be, the most beautiful dog I've ever seen. She wasn't "grey," she looked like someone had powdered her with silver dust.

These are some of my favorite photos, from one of Maggie's sleepover visits to our house. She and Gizmo (Gizmo is Maggie's son from her first litter) would crawl up on one of the big dog beds and lay together.

We will miss you, Maggie, and we will always remember what a special girl you were, in and out of the show ring. And now I send my thoughts to Jacque and Don, and wish them peace as they grieve for their girl...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Uncle Nick

Puppies always love Big Nick. Today we finally had some sunshine, and I turned the small dog-yard into the new puppy pen. It was supposed to be "puppies only" but I guess any dog that can jump the Xpen entry way is allowed! So Nick spent his afternoon hanging out with the babies. He is so good with them, and the puppies are definitely OK with big dogs!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I. Love. My. Dogs.

I just have to keep repeating that, over and over again. I. Love. My. Dogs.

Total window destruction. I don't buy expensive blinds. These are on the dog-window. And I always pull them up in the mornings at least a foot or so, because the dogs like to lay at the bottom of the bed and look out into the back yard. I just lowered them for the photo. Perhaps a pesky squ*rrel ran down the fence, or who knows, but Hawk was in big trouble. I just replaced the last set of blinds about 2 months ago.
This was my laundry basket. I didn't even take a photo of the floor, but you can imagine microscopic shreds of all that used to fill in this giant space in the basket. I think I mentioned that Syd is loving having puppies, and she acts like this is a second puppyhood for her. Well, I guess she's going to the extreme, and today she's crated at home, just like a youngster would be.
I find it very disappointing that when I get home, my six puppies have all used their litter box for potty, and their pen is nice and clean. It's the big dogs that I spend the rest of the evening cleaning up after...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Nick's New Perch, Happy 11th Barkday!!!

So Nick has always been a litte, um, different. I really think that in his 11 years,

Happy 11th Barkday, Big Nick!
he has never realized just how big he is. I tease and call him World's Biggest Corgi because he's pretty sure he's a Cardigan.

Yesterday, I took Darby's bed out of her crate and replaced it with a towel. I didn't want the bed to get soaked with all the snow that covered Darby. I just set the bed on top of her crate for lack of better place to put it. Late yesterday afternoon, Nick was on the back of the sofa, looking out the front window. Then a few minutes later, he was sitting on top of Darby's crate looking out the window. And now, I find him just like this, almost any time he's relaxing. I guess he likes the cushy memory foam bed! He's got a cushy 4 inch foam bed in his own crate, but I guess that's not as much fun.

And please notice, this is only a 30 inch wire crate, a 300 size, for a 22 pound Vallhund! And Big Nick is about 90 pounds. Notice the top sagging? Don't worry, Darby isn't in the crate when Nick is lounging on top of it.

This is all new, because Darby's crate is normally in the kitchen. But with the Puppy Takeover , Darby has temporarily relocated to the living room.