Friday, August 27, 2010


One of the meds Coulee is on for her incontinence (PPA) has a potential side effect of increased anxiety. Coulee isn't the most laid back dog in the world but she isn't bad and she is on a very low dose of medicine.

Lately, we've been wondering if the meds have been effecting her. First it was barking at the thunderstorms.  We told ourselves that it was because they were louder and closer than they had been before.  Then it was lunging at cars driving in the opposite direction.  We told ourselves that she used to do that as a puppy and even though she hadn't done that in 4.5 years, it wasn't necessarily the meds.  Then she started barking at the vacuum.  She never really liked the vacuum, but she used to just run away from it, not freak out at it.  Then finally the other night we had a very distant thunderstorm and Coulee still barked and asked to leave the bedroom.  Hmmm.  We finally decided that together all the evidence points towards increased anxiety.  I know.  We are slow learners.

So I'm lowering her PPA dosage but I also went out and bought some D.A.P. (Dog Appeasing Pheromone).

Last night we had some pretty fierce winds, and Coulee acted the same as she now does during a thunderstorm - barking and scratching at the bedroom door to be let out.  So I tried out the DAP for the first time.

Within 15 minutes she was laying quietly on the floor next to the bed.  Was it the DAP? Or had the wind died down a bit?  Or did she just give up trying to get out of the room?  We aren't sure.  (Did I mention we were slow learners?)  All I know is 15 minutes after spraying it in the room, we were all sleeping peacefully.

I can't wait to try it on our road trip in a few weeks to see if it affects how she responds to the big semi's coming at us on the highway.  Maybe she'll even lie down in her crate.  If it calms Lacey down more in the car, she may enter a coma.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Just some random pictures from our last few walks. Coulee has been rocking the new lens!  It was made to capture action and Coulee has been putting it through its paces and it has been more than keeping up with her.  How did I ever live without this lens!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Apples to Apples

I bought a new lens last week.  I still feel a little guilty about it.  Lenses are EXPENSIVE but a good lens, can really make a big difference.  I've been thinking about this lens for a while and decided now was the time to finally upgrade.  And so far, so good.  I love it.  It's only draw back is that it is HEAVY.  Hand-cramping heavy. But I can see a huge difference in the photos that it takes to the ones that my old lens used to.

With my old lens, I could get lots of nice crisp action shots that looked great.  But when you zoomed in to see the details, it tended to look kind of fuzzy.


With the new lens, when you zoom in, the image remains crisp.  Quite crisp.  Which means if a dog is further away, I can zoom in quite a bit without losing out on quality.


Both of these pictures were taken with the same shutter speed, the same ISO and at about the same time of day.

The new lens also allows me to open the aperture up more (let in more light) which gives me a bigger (and better) range of settings in lower light situations, a shallower depth of field (i.e. the focus is just on the subject, and not the subject and background) and a creamier, out of focus background which allows your subject to stand out more.

I have barely taken this lens off my camera since I got it.  Which is a good thing as it doesn't actually fit in my camera bag!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Breaking and Entering

We packed up all the pups and headed to Cochrane for the weekend.  We had been planning on going camping, but at the last minute, we decided to stay at Marlin's sister's house.  The only problem was they weren't coming home until Sunday.  Heh heh. So we did a little "minor" breaking and entering.  It isn't breaking in, if you have the door code is it?

Lacey made herself at home within minutes - stealing Izzy's toys and hopping up on the couch for a good chew.

We were hoping to do a hike in Kananaskis this weekend but laziness, coupled with smoke, coupled with more laziness, kept us in Cochrane.

It was a relaxing weekend where we did nothing more than take the dogs for long walks, watch tv and eat great meals.

We left Izzy behind this afternoon as they will be home tonight. Lacey will miss her.  They had a really good time together and played almost every waking moment.

We really enjoyed the Cochrane dog park.  There were quite a few dogs there but they were all very well behaved and well mannered.  We did put their new Ruffwear "Quick Release" collars/leashes to good use though. There were quite a few cyclists (who someone feels needs chasing) and one small screaming child who kept chasing after her schnauzer, who in turn kept chasing after Lacey.  It was a bit of a nightmare actually - I kept trying to move Lacey away from the kid, who kept trying to grab her dog, who kept trying to move closer to Lacey.  Lacey was good - I just didn't want to risk it.

The park had a river as well as lots of grassy areas to play. Coulee thought it was perfect for her fetching needs.

Izzy just sprang around like a little gazelle.  She sproinged up to every dog we met and tried to coax them into a game of chase.  She could usually out run them no problem.

It was fun but we are glad to be home.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

An Evening Stroll

Sandy and I went out for a walk this evening.  She just brought Mira, and I took all three girls.

Mira is a girl with a single expression...

See what I mean?  At least it is a happy (if a little crazy) expression.

Coulee lost 2 toys and a few sticks tonight - she was definitely not on her game.

But she looked good trying!  You gotta laugh at those ear wings!

Lacey ventured into the river briefly, while Izzy ran in only long enough to drink.

Oh.  And we had lots of company out there.  Can you see all the mosquitos in this last picture? CRAZY!  Feel free to click the image to see it even bigger and scarier!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Frost Please

I never thought I'd be asking for a frost.  But seriously.  Something needs to be done about these mosquitoes.  I don't think they have ever been this horrible.  It is like living in the wilds of Manitoba.

Today was worse than ever.  I was killing 4-5 at a time on a single hand.  Only my hands and face were exposed but I think that just made them more determined to all squeeze on to the limited space available. I was really annoyed when Coulee pooped as it meant I had to carry a bag around and it put a damper on my mosquito swatting skills.

The dogs keep moving and don't seem to be bothered by them too much, but they are driving me round the bend.

Good thing I have Izzy to keep me entertained out there.

She is doing a pretty good job of entertaining Lacey too.

And did you notice?  Lacey isn't the only dog that can fly.  :)  Looking at her next to Izzy, I'm surprised Lacey can even get her big butt off the ground!

Monday, August 16, 2010

She's a Giant

We've always thought of Lacey as a small dog.

One of her many nicknames is "Littlest One".

Apparently she is actually a giant.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Opportunist

So the other day I had a migraine.  At least I think that is what it was. It only happens once a year, but to me headache + nauseous = migraine.  It came on hard and fast and I was carrying my laundry up from downstairs when I had to make a dash to the washroom.  Needless to say the laundry remained where I left it.

The next morning as I ventured out of the basement to refill my tea, I saw this...

Someone decided the forgotten laundry was the perfect place for a nap.  Oh well.... what's a little more hair on my clothes.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

1 Photo, 4 Looks

I don't usually play around too much with editing, but there was something about this photo that just screamed, EDIT ME!

I think the black and white is my favourite.  What's yours?  And for those of you who will ask... all the editing was done in Lightroom.

Here is the original. It isn't actually a very good picture!  She plunked down in the shade and I adjusted my camera settings on the fly to adjust and "missed" a little.  :)

We are looking after Izzy for just over a week. So you can expect more of this little cutie in the days to come.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Water Kong

Since Gourdo floated downstream, the water kong has returned to its place of former glory as the favourite water toy.

I can't seem to formulate sentences that make sense today so you are going to have to be happy with more pictures than words...

Coulee really doesn't enjoy those walks when Lacey decides that the toy is fun... because that means she has to share.  And she'd really rather not.

And in case you were wondering why there are so many more pictures of Lacey, I was trying to get a picture for my 52 weeks project, hence why she stole the lime light most of the time.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Stick

Sigh.  I got a water drop on my lens.  None the less, I love this series of pictures.  She is so darn cute when she is feeling sassy.