Christmas Videos

Children make the magic on Christmas morning. The shining joy on their faces and the pureness of their spirit. I would never argue the truth behind those statements, but often there are other unencumbered souls who share the joy and magic of Christmas. For our family nothing makes Christmas more entertaining than puppies opening presents…

… and getting treats thanks to GE and GB!

Gifts from the California Kitty Lindhursts.  We were grateful to get gifts from our feline relatives in California and the puppies showed their joy at the squeaks! My floors are happily covered in squirrels.

And finally… the last gift on Boxing Day! We saved one gift under the tree for boxing day and Taz didn’t waste any time trying to tear it open. Can you imagine if she weighted eighty pounds?

Christmas was filled with special moments. We did share a particularly amusing moment when Grandma Ellen and Grandpa Brian gave the puppies a six pack of little tennis balls. We opened the package while sitting on the floor and threw all the balls at once. It was puppy craziness, but we were all too busy playing to grab the video camera.

I hope you enjoyed your holidays.


Birthday Wishes

I haven’t caught the fever and Santa didn’t puke in my house this year. I can’t muster the enthusiasm to do more than basic decorating and making mandatory peanut butter chocolate balls.

Even celebrating the 11th anniversary of my 29th birthday is not putting me in the spirit of the season.

I did a sad job of decorating, only putting up half of my Christmas decorations. I made an adequate batch of peanut butter chocolate balls. I’m having the requisite company and the puppies have had their Christmas bath, but the magic of the season continues to elude me.

It feels like a little piece of my happy is missing, torn from a heart that has yet to heal.

It will be a nice Christmas with all the Christmas fixings, but my heart isn’t in the celebratory mood. My family, friends and puppies deserve a good Holiday and I’ll do my best to make it fun.

To kick start the spirit I started the Eight Days of Amy Birthday Wishes this year. It’s a new idea. Why eight? That’s the random day I came up with the idea (thank Billy).

The Eight Days of Happy Amy Birthday Wishes:

Happy Amy Birthday Wish 8: May all the little heartbeats have warm bed, full tummies and loving families.

Happy Amy Birthday Wish 7: For every huamn to have one day a week where they become a vegetarian… and to stop Katinka Simonse from doing any more “art”.

Happy Amy Birthday Wish 6: Stop all laboratory testing on animals.

Happy Amy Birthday Wish 5: Less urban development and more lakes, meadows, trees, rainforests and natural habitats.

Happy Amy Birthday Wish 4: To discover the true meaning of Christmas without the use of pop culture.

Happy Amy Birthday Wish 3: The Green Bay Packers win the Superbowl… again.

Happy Amy Birthday Wish 2: End all atrocities against animals. All of them: hunting, slaughter, neglect, abuse, starvation, art, testing, genocide, entertainment, forced breeding, experimentation, int he name of science, mass production, as a christmas gift… See their incredible souls shine and realize they are worthy of a beautiful life too – just like you. Now… go hug your pet.

Happy Amy Birthday Wish 1: To cuddle my Gizmo. Please be happy, safe, warm, loved and with a full tummy. We miss and love you.

Happy Amy Birthday! May all your dreams come true and your wishes be magical.



Alone at Christmas

I’ve been sad lately. The holidays are upon us and I’m thinking of my Gizmo. The emptiness that I feel at his death still grabs me by the heart and makes tears fill my eyes.

I keep trying to decorate, but I stop part way through, sit on the couch and sip my wine. Gizmo always used to help me decorate. He’d put his head into the boxes to see what delights might be in store. He’d pull tinsel and then dance when it would tumble down on his head.

I’d find him chewing on the cord to the christmas tree lights and when I’d tell him to stop he’d look at me with his eyes bright and his mouth open in delight. I’d laugh and pick him up turning in a slow circle I’d give him a good neck cuddle before putting him down with a safe treat or a toy to play with while I continue to decorate.

I’m finding the pictures from past years of the pups at Christmas. With his deep chocolate hair a bit too long he looks like a hippy in his christmas vest.
He’s always right next to Taz as company comes to visit. He never barks. He never growls. He loves everyone. My Gizmo.

Losing Gizmo has been so hard and heartbreaking. Seeing something you love with all your heart suffer and die is one of the worst trials to survive. Add the sweet tender innocence that was Gizmo and it’s nearly unbearable.

I am changed. I am different. I am not as powerful as I was before I lost my Gizmo. His death has affected my every day life. I feel insecure. I feel exposed. I feel broken. We are no longer a complete family. 

Years ago I decided that I would spend my time doing the things I love and I love being with my puppies. I love spending time with them and loving them with all my heart. Unfortunately, losing the thing you love with all your heart has consequences that are paramount and life altering.

Making that decision years ago contributed to my broken heart. I can see why people would chose to never love again after this pain. The ache is incredible, but I have a Super Taz and Poco that need my love, and now I have a Jackson. Why? Why would I ever chose to suffer this pain again? Why would I open myself to the possibility of more heartache?

Because. Because I cannot bear to hear of their suffering and do nothing. Because I need him as much as he needs me. Because Jackson deserves a better life. Because the only way I’ll get stronger is to love more. Because the only way to heal the heart is with love.

Merry Christmas Gizmo. We miss you so much.

December 2011 First Snow

You think I would have been prepared to handle the first big snow fall of the season, especially since it didn’t happen until the second week of December, but when it happened I was still a bit surprised.

I was working nights at the tail end of the snow fall that only hit Stevensville. Throughout the night I felt the subzero cold blow into the region. It was -6 C on my drive home and I was worried. I was worried about puppies, pumps, water and livestock.

I got home from work at 6am and immediately did a quick check of everyone. All the animals were fine, but the water was frozen. Solid as a rock and I still hadn’t gotten the last pump put away.

After feeding and watering everyone I had a short nap knowing I had to go back into work for 6pm.

I woke at noon and after a cup of tea I braved the biting wind on a quest to save my pump, but first I set up the tank de-icer in the horse trough burning my hand in the process. It was foreshadowing.

I thought the dogs could run around the big pen while I was setting up the horse water, but this idea was immediately squashed as I looked over and saw Jackson standing in the middle of the partially frozen pond.

With my heart pounding I ran through the frozen muddy horse paddock into the dog pen trying not to scream. I was nearly hysterical as I called Jackson over to the edge of the pond. My leg was wet and my voice was higher than normal, but the word cookie was understood and he scampered over to the edge and bolted for the house. I started to consider moving at this point.

I locked the dogs in the safe dog pen area and returned to the pump where I struggled to get the hose disconnected. Obviously the other tenants of the pump house/garden tool storage were unhappy and the rakes started falling off the walls as I struggled. A shovel fell on my wet frozen hand sending needling pain up my arm. Yet, the hose remained stubbornly connected.

To give myself a break from the pump frustration I carried three buckets of water out to the pigs and ducks. In return Mr Smith bit me sharply on my upper thigh. I have a lovely beak shaped bruise on my leg and Brent is out of town. Will he believe I was bit by a duck? Of course he will.

I returned to the angry pump holding it between my legs while pulling on the three inch piece of PVC that goes ten feet into the sulpherous well. This was not the best position to avoid the fountain of water that sprayed up soaking my pants and coat, but I managed to severe the connection between PVC and pump.

The hose remained firmly stuck, so I sprayed it with some industrial lubricant and went looking for an extension cord needing another break.

I had to steal a cord from the christmas lights because unfrozen water for the pigs and ducks is more important than pretty lights. I strung the cord through the door into the make-shift pig water trough and plugged it in – it worked, but I really need to get a big rubber water pan.

Back to the pump. Using a third adjustable wrench I gave into my frustration and started striking the connection between the hose and pump. I smashed it with the side of the rusty wrench until my arm ached and then I hit it one more time.

The blows loosened the mineral build up on the threads and to my shear delight the hose head began to turn. A few spins and it was off and the pump was free. I dragged it into the house and down to the basement where I gave it a good kick of triumph.

During my happy dance in the driveway I slipped on the black ice and bruised my hip.

Would anyone like to trade a 23 acre hobby farm for a nice cozy condo?


Trip to the Vet

I’ve been a little afraid to write since the whole page about Gizmo. I’ve been afraid to come visit this website and I forgot for a few days that I did write, but I can never forget for long. I start to miss writing. I start to miss the cathartic feel of the keyboard beneath my fingers.

I took Jackson to the vet for the first time today. He was so sweet and sadly so afraid. The good news is that he’s heartworm negative and we’re waiting on his titers for the vaccines. I don’t know that he’s had the necessary boosters and I don’t want to over vaccinate, so I decided to spend the $80 to see what he needs. He has his rabies and that’s all that’s needed to cross the US/Canada border.

I advocate vaccinating your pets, but the problem with the little ones is they don’t take over vaccinating very well. Their small systems can’t handle all the drugs, especially their liver. Super Taz has Hepatic Microvascular Dysplasia and we’re very careful what medications get into her system. She has nearly died a few times when we didn’t know what was wrong post surgery or while on any pain relief.

Just like people we need to be advocates for our pets. We need to do the research and not count on anyone else to know more. Nobody knows your dog like you know your dog.

I can tell the difference between a harmless sneeze and a bad cough. I know when Taz is having a little separation anxiety verses a severe care of gastroenteritis. I know my dogs.

The dogs are a lot like toddlers or babies who can’t tell you what’s wrong, but if more doctors listened to parents there would be far more accurate diagnoses.

I took Jackson to a friend who is a vet in the states. We’re so close to the border that we’d be stupid not to take advantage of the savings. It’s about 30%-40% cheaper than going to a Canadian Vet. I’ll still keep my Canadian vet, but for certain things it’s worth it.

Best Emergency Vet Care? Orchard Park Animal Hospital. Affordable and Effective. Don’t hesitate and don’t go to St Catharines. Please. For your pet’s sake and your pocketbook. Go to Orchard Park.

I got a call from the vet and it turns out Jackson’s titers are perfect. He doesn’t need any vaccines. I’m glad I did titers on this adorable little guy rather than blindly inject him with things he doesn’t need.

Taz was at the vets earlier in the week with an upper respiratory infection. I had no idea dogs could get head colds, but it turns out they can and it’s rare. Of course Taz would get one. She’s been on antibiotics and eye drops for a few days and seems much better. Phew…

My horse Autumn has also been under the weather. She has a history of COPD or heaves which is a breathing disorder. Turns out the COPD is worsened by a bout of pneumonia. After a few rounds of antibiotics and steroids she’s doing much better. She’s nearly twenty and we want to keep her happy and comfortable. Turns out I should be able to ride her again soon.

For christmas this year all my animals are getting antibiotics.