A few months after we moved to Australia, we had an emergency.  It was a lovely day so I bought the dogs a marrow bone each.  They have had marrow bones in the past and have enjoyed them immensely.  They chewed on them for ages and had a great time as usual then came inside and napped.  Dinner time came around and Hamish was not interested, which is not unusual as unlike Sophie and our old lab Rusty, he is not really a food motivated dog.


Later that evening I tried to coax him to eat again, he ate a few bites and then threw it up which got me worrying.  I kept a close eye on him and a few hours later we both went to sleep in my bed (a big treat for him).  At around 2am Hamish started crying.  I quickly got dressed, bundled him into the car and rushed to the 24 hour vet.


Now at this point my main concern was bloat.  Large breed dogs and dogs with deep chests are very prone to bloat which is when the dog’s stomach fills with air and swells, the dangerous part though is that the stomach can then twist or torsion and cut off circulation which, unless caught on time, results in death.  Hamish has had his stomach tacked which is a surgery to attach the stomach to his rib cage so if he does bloat, I have more time to get him into emergency surgery before he torsions.


We arrived at the vet and I voiced my concerns about bloat.  They took Hamish out the back and had a feel of his stomach then told me he was not bloated.  They said that his hips were not great and he was probably just in pain.  They gave me some anti-inflammatories and pain killers and sent me home.  I stayed home from work that day and kept a close eye on Hamish, he was still not eating and was still throwing up.  I called the vet and they said that was probably because of the medication.  Then he started crying again and I knew that SOMETHING was wrong and it wasn’t his hips.  I took him back to the vet and they said they could take x-rays to see what was going on.  I went into the x-ray room to keep Hamish calm then we waited for the results.


And waited


And waited


And waited


Finally the vet came into the room and said he has a tennis ball sized obstruction at the entrance to his stomach.  First they tried to pull it out the way it came but it was not budging so they had to go in surgically.  They did the surgery and pulled out the knuckle of a marrow bone.  The next morning they called to say the surgery went well and Hamish was in recovery and doing well.  However, this particular 24 hour vet is not 24 hours on weekdays so there was not going to be anyone there during the day to oversee his recovery which I was not ok with.  I went and picked him up and took him to his regular vet for monitoring that day and was able to pick him up that evening and take him home.


Poor Hamish was feeling very sorry for himself.  He had been licking the spot they put the IV in and it was red raw on both front legs so I had to put a pair of my brother’s soccer socks on him.  He was still feeling the effects of the anaesthetic so he was very dopey for a while and he had to be kept quiet until his incision healed (not an easy feat for an 18 month old Dane).


Hamish healed very well and has had no lasting effects from his ordeal (apart from the umbilical hernia he had repaired at 7 months starting to show again).  It has taught me a few things however.


1-      Dogs don’t alwaHamish Socksys chew their food properly so ALWAYS supervise when they are eating or chewing.

2-      If you THINK there is something wrong with your dog, there probably is.  You know them best and you are their voice.

3-       Don’t settle for anything less than the best of care for your dog.  If there is nobody there to supervise after major surgery, don’t feel too shy to take them somewhere else.

4-      PET INSURANCE!!!!  GET IT!!!


I  hope people read this post as I hate to imagine what would have happened if I didn’t stick to my guns and insist there was something else wrong, even though I should never have taken him home after that first visit, it is not a mistake I will be making again.


It’s Been a While


In fact, it has been well over a year since I last posted.  Things have been hectic with the move and everything and I just haven’t had the time.  But I have made a vow to get back into regular posting so this is a start I suppose.

As everyone who reads my blog knows, we were planning our big move back to Australia.  We all made it safe and sound, neither Hamish or Sophie enjoyed quarantine (but then again, it’s not really purpose built for enjoyment).  Luc (my SO), his father and I went to pick Hamish and Sophie up after 30 days in quarantine.  It was a 3 hour drive and because I paid about $2,000 each for their crates, I was bringing the darn things back with me so we had a trailer on the back.

Both dogs were VERY happy to see me, Hamish especially.  One of the workers at the centre was walking him out to the pick up area and he almost dragged her the rest of the way once he saw me! Image

The drive home was uneventful, Hamish and Sophie love the car so they slept most of the way.  We finally arrived at my parent’s house (where we were staying while I saved for my own place) and my parents met their Granddogs in the flesh for the first time.  My parents have a large backyard with lots of bushes, trees and shrubs for puppies to explore and after a few zoomies around the garden, both dogs were royally pooped.


I hope you enjoyed the first post back, it will be one of many as I have almost 2 years worth of stories and photos to share with you all.

It’s My Birthday And I’ll Cry If I Want To


Sophie’s birthday was on May 30th so that weekend, of course we had a party.  The invitees were Hamish, Ursa, Albert and of course Sophie the Birthday Girl.  We started the day with Sophie and I going to the pet store (without her stinky little brother tagging along).  Sophie got her very own Bully Stick that she did not have to share with anyone which she ate in the car on the way to the butchers to get knee caps for everyone (yumm?).  From there, we went to get the party hats, what’s a party without party hats?  Then on home.  I baked “Meatcakes”, cupcakes made of beef mince, grated carrots and egg with cottage cheese frosting (once again, yumm?).  These went down a treat and all the guests were begging for more.  Then came the fun part, PICTURE TIME!  The Birthday Girl was not excited about this, she just wanted more “Meatcakes” but sorry, Sophie… Mummy needs her photos.  Hamish wanted to eat the hat, Ursa ignored it and Albert just looked worried.  Unfortunately we did not get a group photo like I wanted, you try to get 4 dogs to sit still with party hats on… Maybe for Hamish’s birthday.

Happy Sun Dogs


Last weekend we had some beautiful weather.  It got up to 26 Celsius (80 Fahrenheit) and was sunny all weekend which is very rare for Washington State.  The dogs spent a lot of time, sunning themselves in the yard.  Sophie picks a spot she likes and then does not move except to sometimes roll over and sun her belly (very unladylike).  Hamish starts off laying down looking very graceful and regal then after a few minutes, flops onto his side so that you can’t tell if he is even still alive.  Once they had enough sun, the darling dogs were brought inside for a well-deserved Bully Stick and a nap (because they obviously didn’t snooze enough outside.  Hot, sunny weather equals some very lazy dogs.

Weird Quirks


Both my dogs have some weird quirks.  People who say that dogs don’t have personalities have obviously never met my dogs.  Both are very different in the way they act and I wouldn’t have it any other way, it makes life with them very interesting indeed.

Sophie can be a bit of a worrier.  If Hamish is fussy, she gets fussy.  She is usually a very quiet girl (unless there is something outside to bark at) but if she decided she needs (wants) something such as that chip in your hand or the Bully Stick that Hamish is chewing on (she gobbles hers down in a flash and then complains that Hamish still has his) she will let out little “Boofs” that get increasingly louder and more persistent the longer her demands are left unfulfilled.  Sophie is also very unladylike.  Despite being the female of the two, she is the one that you are more likely to find laying in the mud or dirt in the yard.  Out of the two, she is the one who will emit the deadly smells after a good feed and she will always, without fail, let out a rumbling burp after every meal.  Sophie is also however, very sweet.  Hamish loves being snuggled up to her, even on hot days when she is less than thrilled about the idea, however, Sophie will always wait until Hamish is asleep before she moves to a position that she finds more comfortable and she very rarely wakes Hamish up in the process.  She is an expert cuddler with the sweetest facial expressions who will just melt your heart but can also convince you to give up all your dinner.

Hamish is a diva.  Everything has to be just right for him to get settled at night, the bed has to be in the right position, it has to be fluffed just right and ever Sophie has to be laying in the right spot so that he can snuggle up to her to fall asleep.  If Sophie is laying in a position where she takes up most of the bed, Hamish will circle her like a snuggle shark, waiting for her to move over, just slightly, then he plops himself down, practically on top of Sophie with a thud and scooches his little butt over until he is as close to her and has as much bed as he possibly can.  This is all while there is a completely empty bed right next to them.  Hamish is also a bit of a wuss.  He doesn’t like the rain, or mud, he will lay in the dirt but if it is muddy, it will take him forever to navigate a path to the door so he doesn’t have to step in puddles.  Apart from his television addiction, Hamish also has an unnatural fascination with paper, in particular, the crumpling noise it makes.  He can be fast asleep, absolutely exhausted but if you crumple paper, he looks up immediately.  No other noises elicit such a response from him, just paper.  Hamish can be very demanding, he will grumble and boof if he feels he is not getting enough attention or if, like Sophie, he feels entitled to something that someone else has, he will also grumble, whimper and whine if he can’t find a suitable spot next to Sophie or if his bed is lumpy in the wrong spots.  If he is being demanding and you tell him to stop, he will lay down with a huff and pout, grumble and sulk like a small child that didn’t get their way.

So there you have it, I have a girl dog who burps, farts and likes to get dirt and a boy dog who is a diva, has something gone wrong here?

Time For The Tooth Fairy


I was used to Hamish losing his puppy teeth.  I’m pretty sure he has all his big boy teeth now but for a while there, I was finding little puppy teeth all over.  So you can imagine, I wasn’t too surprised when I caught Hamish sniffing at a tooth on the ground.  I picked it up and realised it was a part of a canine tooth.  Puppies don’t lose their canine teeth (as far as I know) and they certainly don’t lose them bits at a time.  Time for a tooth check!  Hamish’s canines were both intact and pearly white.  Sophie had one perfect canine but the other, well, it the tip was broken off and chipped off up to the root.  Poor Sophie!

We drove to the Emergency Vet where Sophie was given pain medication and booked in for surgery the next day.  Now I have to be thankful that this happened at the very end of “Dental Month” so we got 20% off the surgery.

Hamish was very sweet that night, snuggled her the whole night and only got up for breakfast once she did, such a good little brother.

The next day, Sophie had her canine tooth removed.  She came home that night and she was so dopey I had to practically lift her out of the car (not a small feat seeing as she weighed more than I do).  Poor baby went straight inside, ate a few bites of her mushy dinner, took her pain medication and antibiotics and went straight to sleep, she slept the whole night.  The next day, she was feeling a bit better, still not up to playing, which put Hamish’s nose out of joint a little.  By the third day, Sophie was back to her old self, romping with Hamish and eating solid food again.  Her mouth has completely healed now and she doesn’t even notice her tooth is gone.

Treat Time!


This weekend, our favourite pet store (Pet Place Market in North Bend, Washington) was having their 5 year anniversary sale.  20% off everything in store, I had to go.  Sophie needed a new collar, we were running low on dog food and it had been a while since they had gotten their favourite treat… Bully Sticks.

Now for those of you who are not aware, Bully Sticks are dried, stretched, bull genitalia.  Gross, I know but the dogs LOVE them and they keep them busy for ages.

Bully Sticks are only for supervised chewing.  Hamish and Sophie are fine to chew them right next to each other as long as both of them have one, if Sophie finished first (which is usually the case because she goes hell for leather on them) she will try and “share” Hamish’s with him which is not ok in Hamish’s books.  Mind you, if Hamish for some reason finished first, he would attempt to “share” Sophie’s so removing one dog as soon as they finish is necessary so the both of them get the full Bully Stick.  Both dogs have very different chewing styles.  Bully sticks are hard chews but as they are chewed, they soften and turn very slimy and even more gross than the idea that my dogs are chewing on bull ahem… parts.  Hamish will chew on the end, bite it off when it gets soft, swallow it then work on the end again.  Sophie on the other hand is not so delicate.  She will basically chew the whole thing until it is a soft, slimy mess then swallow it whole.  On the whole, Bully Sticks are gross but the reward of having happy, tired puppies is too great to pass up just because they are made of, well, you know…