I’m a pretty cool dude, if I do say so myself, not normally ruffled by much. There’s a high, shrill beep the tire pressure monitor for the trailers makes that’s kinda freaky, I’m not a fan of big claps of thunder, but, other than that, I’m not easily fussed.
However, keeping my cool in the temperature sense has become more of an issue. I’ve always loved a dip in cool water on a hot day, but it used to be more of a perk than a necessity.
At 11 ½, I just don’t seem to have the same tolerance for heat that I once did. On a cool, cloudy day I can walk as far as dogs half my age. On a hot day, I fade quickly, and wish for that wagon T promises to get for my old age.
We’ve been having a heatwave here in Alberta for a couple of weeks now and, although my peeps are pretty good about taking me out early in the day before it heats up, things just don’t always work out that way. Whether early or not so early, I am so grateful to walk alongside the water that runs through our country neighbourhood, the irrigation canal. I used to be a one- or two-swim walker, but lately, I’m in the water half a dozen times or more.
During the growing season, when the farmers to the east need plenty of water for their crops, the canal is running high and clean. Or it seems pretty clean to me with its blue-green colour the same as the river it originates from. Which doesn’t explain why my peeps think I need a bath before going on a trailer trip, but, anyway…
I always assumed Logan got overheated easily because of his black coat. Turns out that was only part of the problem. Age. Damn. And I thought I’d always be invincible.
Our heatwave has taken a hiatus for at least today, with rain and clouds arriving overnight. Fine by me. It was cool in the house this morning and I hear we’re off to Strathmore for some dog park time. I like to get in a little socializing with other four-leggeds, but, truth be told, the best part of the dog park outing is the stop at Tim Hortons on the way there. Timbit here I come!
I’ve been a solo dog for coming on two years now. We’ve had friends come to visit with their dogs, we’ve camped with friends and their dog, but I haven’t lived with another dog, had to share the space and attention that has become mine (all mine).
Last week, while our friend G went for surgery, Ria came to stay with us to lighten the load a little for S who was holding down the fort and offering moral support for the poor guy stuck in hospital. I’ve never been to a hospital, but I hear it is just not a friendly place for people who are accustomed to peace and solitude.
Ria and I have hung out on many occasions, at their place, at our place, on camping trips and walks, and I even stayed with them while T and Nollind were in Toronto in March, but having another canine in my home for a number of days is a very different thing. I had to share what is mine (all mine).
Before this visit, T and Nollind would have told you that I’m not great at sharing, that I can get pushy and needy, and it’s possible that’s true, or was true. But having a dog around that doesn’t require all the extra attention, special food, and treats (laced with medication of course) that Logan did, is quite a different deal.
On top of that, Ria is a great houseguest. She often prefers to lie on the floor, so I didn’t have to share my beds or the couch; she loves toys and gave Logan’s old ones a workout, which didn’t bother me a bit because they don’t interest me; and she loves to chase gophers, and it’s been a long time since I had a hunting buddy.
The only beef I had all week was that she seemed to get more food than I did, but then I eat fast so it was tough to know for sure. On the couple of occasions when she did finish before me, or when my bone seemed to last longer than hers, she was very polite, staring at me from an acceptable distance, and not making any attempts to take what was mine (all mine). She did hover a little closely when she finished her DQ pup cup before I did, but, hey, it was ice cream!
After Ria went home, I was a little concerned that the peeps might miss the presence of a second dog and start talking about adopting, since I’d totally rocked the sharing thing, but—whew—nothing of the sort. They liked having Ria around, but are still enjoying the simplicity of life with a single dog … me.
This means the food, the attention, the beds, the brushing time, and the treats, will continue to be mine (all mine).
Last week I had this great plan to report to you from the road because that’s where I was supposed to be … on the road. I do love a road trip. But, instead, I was in and out of the house all night Thursday and on into Friday with the worst case of diarrhea I’ve ever had. It actually started the previous Sunday night when I had to get T out of bed five times overnight. Neither of us was very cheery on Monday morning.
For you humans, who generally sleep near a bathroom, you don’t have far to travel when you wake in the night with the need to go. But, imagine me, waking up to an URGENT situation, having to get down off my couch, whine at both sides of the bed to rouse someone, wait for T to get out from under the covers and put her slippers on, climb the stairs to the main floor, wait for both doors to open, main and storm, and then find an appropriate spot away from the house. From start to finish about two hours! Or at least it felt that way. And then imagine doing that five times in one night. I was a wreck by morning on both occasions.
Things were still not 100% by Thursday but much improved so the peeps started making plans for a day trip to check out some campgrounds to the south of us. But then, around midnight, that all-too-familiar pressure started in my belly. Uh oh. And out I went, many times, and again the next morning and into the afternoon. All I’d eaten was broth for breakfast so I have no idea what went into the creation of the nastiness of the afternoon. But, anyway, this is all verging on too much information.
I’ve normally got a pretty sturdy constitution. I eat lots of strange things I find in my travels, as I wrote about in The World is My Buffet in March, and rarely have any digestive response. T refers to it as my little iron stomach. Not to say I haven’t ever had issues, but normally only when we’re travelling out of country, like back on our first RV trip when Logan drank from that pool of standing water in Utah. Yeah, that was a big mistake, for both of us as it turned out since whatever he picked up transferred to me.
You know, I think that was the only other time I had to go outside multiple times in a night, and that was almost nine years ago with a lot of questionable ingestion since.
Anyway, we’re pretty sure what got me was an overdose of probiotic. You’ve heard the expression “too much of a good thing?” Well, that’s what happens when a dog eats a bunch of horse probiotic. In an appropriate dosage, a probiotic is a great thing, but the wrong amount for the wrong animal is, I’ve discovered, less than ideal.
Nevada is a bit of a feed dribbler as his teeth wear down with age, and that fateful Sunday, he dropped quite a bunch of feed. T always lets me clean up whatever lands on the ground as it’s normally just a few bits of kibble, but, on that day, the old guy spit out quite a lot, and we think there was a big wad of his probiotic in the stuff that hit the ground. Until Thursday night, it was only a theory. That was when T decided it was time to put me back on my own probiotic at dinnertime. Oh boy, was that the match in the powder barrel, launching me into another twenty-four hours of … well … the shits.
After a week of purging and a mostly-liquid diet, by Sunday I looked like a dishrag on a leash when we went for a walk around the park in Strathmore. That lake has never seemed so big! I’m mostly back to normal energy levels now. It just took a few days for me to get my strength back.
In case you’re wondering about the remedy, it was that age-old cure, chicken soup, mostly broth with a little bit of cooked vegetables and a few pieces of chicken to make it interesting. The general recommendation for dogs with diarrhea is chicken and rice, a bland diet, but since I normally don’t eat grain, T didn’t think it was the time to introduce a new thing. She fed me nothing but soup for two days and my tummy troubles vanished.
Sadly, there was no road trip, but I hear we might be going camping next week for T’s birthday. Toes crossed and stomach fortified!