Thursday, August 30, 2012

I've Snapped

Out of it, that is.  But I still don't have much to blog about without sounding like I'm whining.

Coulee's feet are crap.  It feels like they are worse than almost ever before, but that could just be because we are coming down from a really high note. She tiptoes and walks slowly around the house now constantly and the only time she seems unfazed by them is when she is on a walk - then she is too happy to care.  We are STILL waiting on her allergy results and at this point it is a week late and I'm getting impatient.  I called yesterday and got no returned phone call, so I've called again today and am waiting to hear back.  The dermatologist only works Tuesday - Thursday so if I don't hear from them today, I know I have to wait for another week, so they better call!

See?  Still nothing but whining.

I finally had the brainwave to buy her a daily pill box for all her meds.  She takes pills in various combinations 4 times a day (not including her pain meds which are willy nilly as needed) and it was starting to blow my brain trying to keep track of what to give when.  It will also help with her incontinence pill which she takes every 6 days (which is the worst schedule ever to remember!).  It was so nice to just mindlessly drop the bunch of pills into her food this morning without thinking about things AND Marlin and I will be able to tell if the other one has already given them to her without having to text back and forth. :) If your dog takes pills and you don't have one of these, I highly recommend it. I'm not sure why it took me so long to think about it.

So anyway, our walks are short and dull and I haven't even been taking my camera as there isn't much excitement going on out there.  Hence the lack of blogging.  We do play and hang out together a fair amount in the house, but there isn't much opportunities for photos.

I did just buy Photoshop however, so I hope to play around with photos a bit this weekend.  If I do anything fun, I'll be sure to post.  I've also been meaning to do a photo session with Jack again... maybe I'll finally get around to that this weekend.  We'll see!

AND I got a job for Bionic to photograph all their toys with various dogs so as soon as they arrive, I'll be busy doing that.  Too bad my favourite model isn't available.  :(  See?  There I go again!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I Have a Rule

You may have noticed the blog has been quiet for a week or so.  I have a rule.  Never blog when you are in a bad mood.  (I have that rule for Facebook too but some times I break it, and then always regret it.)

I took Coulee to the vet again last week - more tests, more opinions and as usual, no results.  I realize that things could be worse, much worse. But every time I get my hopes up that we are going to figure it out and every time I come crashing back to earth and it takes me a while to pick up all the pieces, snap out of it and get on with things.  You think I would have learned by now to not get my hopes up.

So bear with me.  I have visitors that are coming this weekend that are sure to swing things in the right direction.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Day 10 and 11 - Narrow Hills Provincial Park

Day 10

Bright and early, we headed out to walk and fish around Gem Lakes. They were touted to be gorgeous in colour with sandy bottoms.  I was picturing mini Lake Louise's with sandy beaches.  Not so much.  In typical Saskatchewan fashion you could barely access the shorelines - they had openings in the brush just wide enough for a boat.  If we hadn't had such high hopes, it would have been a nice walk, but we'd planned to spend the day, and it definitely wasn't worthy of that.  It was however the busiest attraction we've been to - There were 4 cars in the parking lot.  :)

We went for a drive instead and headed into Clarence/Steepbank Park.  We mainly just drove around.  We stopped at a lake so Marlin could fish and the dogs could swim.  Aside from the people in the "resorts", we only saw one other couple out and about.  We found the roads are always quiet, the rest areas/picnic areas deserted and the walking trails incredibly under-used everywhere we go.  It really is quite different from what we are used to but we can't complain - it gave us lots of opportunities to let the dogs run around.

Day 11 

We went for a drive to Candle Lake Provincial Park this morning.  We drove through an area where a tornado must have touched down recently. The trees were snapped off halfway and lots were laying flat as well.

There were some sand dunes we wanted to check out in the park, but either we didn't quite get to the right spot or they weren't very spectacular.  The beach was nice though. 

We drove into a picnic area and were rewarded with a momma deer and her baby.  The baby was playing in a puddle and then got the zoomies.  It was so cute. Coulee eventually spotted them and started to bark and that  was the end of that. Lol

We stopped at another rest area and had the place to ourselves. It was a small trout pound so Marlin fished, while I entertained the pups in the water.  There was a loon with her young on the lake too.  We were there for about an hour before another family came to check it out and we decided to leave.

We did the scenic drive in the park and then came home to make dinner.  Photos by Coulee... 

This night was our 7 year wedding anniversary so to celebrate, we made chocolate orange cakes on the BBQ. They turned out great although I apparently overfilled them.

We had a little difficulty with the wine.  We managed to forget a corkscrew but it all worked out in the end.

Lacey entertained herself all evening by burying her rawhide.  She would cover it with gravel and walk away.  10 minutes later she would come back, inspect her work and add a little more.  She probably did that 4 times before she decided it was good and buried.

And that's it for vacation photos folks!  The next day we ended up driving straight home. It took us 12 hours but it was worth it.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Day 9

We got up bright and early and took the girls for their morning swim.  Packed up and left by 8 am. Got to La Ronge too early for anything to be open (oops!  So much for picking up groceries!) but we did find an open gas station at least.

Poor Lacey - no grass to eat on this walk - just moss!

We stopped on the way at Nipekamew Sand Cliffs for a walk.  The trail was gorgeous (and deserted) and the dogs had a good time actually walking instead of swimming or boating. 

I love how open the forest is.

Coulee tried to bring us a fallen tree.

We had pretty high expectations for the sandcliffs - Saskatchewan builds so few trails and this one is truly in the middle of nowhere, we thought they were going to be absolutely amazing.  This was it.  LOL.

We arrived at Narrow Hills P.P. and barely had time to unload and a storm started again.  We heard rumors of funnel clouds but didn't see any ourselves.  It was a rare day where we didn't have a thunderstorm on this trip!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Day 7 & 8 - Lac La Ronge Provincial Park

Day 7

Coulee went for her morning swim while Lacey did her usual thing and brought us the jaw bone of a beaver - flesh included.  Ugh.  We had a leisurely breakfast then headed out on the lake.  

Leaning over my shoulder looking for adventure!

Lacey riding the rails - we weren't sure if she was just getting a better look or plotting her escape from the canoe.

Whenever we got "too close" to shore, Coulee would start to see things under water and lean out.  Can you see Marlin counter balancing her?

My view...

We saw more kingfishers and loons.  Marlin caught a few fish (which he released). We stopped for a picnic and more fishing and fetching then came back and went for a swim - me included!

Lacey swam out to say hi and then tried to climb on top of me. Coulee got quite panicked if I beat her to the toy and stole it.  It felt great and we didn't find any leeches. 

We also all went down to the dock to enjoy the sunset.  Right before "prime time" though a boatload of people came in from one of the cottages on the lake so we took the girls back up to the trailer so we could enjoy the sunset in peace.  ;)

Day 8

Day 8 was a pretty slow day.  Morning swim for the girls, leisurely breakfast for us and then a trip into "town".  

We wanted to get in one more canoe ride but there were thunderstorms brewing.  We did some laundry, showered and visited Otter Rapids.  In the afternoon we napped, hung out and read.

Day 5 and 6 - PANP to Lac La Ronge PP

Day 5

Coulee and I saw the fox this morning on our morning bathroom stroll. I'm pretty sure we were the first to stir in the campground.  Also saw a mom and fawn on the road from Waskasui. 

Plans to canoe were thwarted by the thunderstorms.  :(  Instead we packed everything up and headed to Lac La Ronge PP. It was raining slightly when we were packing up but when we got to the sani station it started pouring. We sat in the car for a bit waiting for it to pass, and a nice big elk walked by.  :)

Saw a big black bear on route to La Ronge. 

We stopped at a beautiful rest area near the Montreal River.  It used to be a campground but was day use only now.  We were the only ones there and everyone got a chance to stretch their legs

We stopped at a few little campgrounds but settled at MacKay Lake. There are six campsites and we were the only ones here. :) The dogs have enjoyed running off leash. 

And Coulee jumped off the dock!!!!  It was awesome.  She thought Lacey wanted the toy so she just leapt off without thinking.  The second time she over thought it and it was pretty awkward and the third time was even worse.  She basically tipped herself into the lake and it probably didn't feel good on her back legs.  After that she ran around off the deck and back to shore.

No pictures from day 5.

Day 6

I got up bright and early and took the dogs swimming.  Well, Coulee anyway.  Lacey just ran around looking for things to eat. It was beautifully misty and serene. Coulee humoured me with a few photos before swimming, but only because I was holding the toy.  Even though she always ran out on the dock to await the throw, Coulee only did one semi awkward leap off the dock, and then the rest of the time she ran to shore before plunging in.

Still no one at the campground but one of the sites is reserved this evening so we should have some company. 

We interrupt this text with some swimming/wet dog photos of the day...

Seriously?  You had to throw it a few feet away from the dock?  How the hell am I supposed to get that from here.

Maybe if I lean over I can reach it.
For some reason she rarely bothered to shake off.
So close, yet so far!

The soaking wet, plaintive, please throw my toy look.

I was a little obsessed with the wet dripping Coulee. It made the coolest, musical sound too under the dock.

Note the super sad look that the wubba is out there, and she knows that the most direct route is off the dock, yet she can't quite bring herself to launch.

A rare shaking moment.

Lacey checking in briefly, before running back to scavenge.
We heard lots of loons (but they tended to be flying overhead as opposed to sitting on the water). We also saw a few grey jays (who left pretty quick once the realized we had no food) and some squirrels kept Lacey on high alert.

See how much better Coulee's nose is looking?  She still had hard lumps everywhere but the swelling was down dramatically. We also managed to not give her a single pain pill. She has been swimming lots and hasn't been doing much running. She is a little stiff at times, but not bad at all.  We even stocked up on extras because we thought it might be a hard trip on her.  I even debated leaving her behind.  But I'm so glad I didn't, because she did so great!

We went into town and rented a canoe for a few days.  We brought it back to MacKay and went for a 2 hour trip with the girls. They were great.  Lacey was a little unsure to start but she ended up just laying down and relaxing.  Coulee enjoys leaning forward on the hunt for adventure.  She would occasionally sit, but never for long. 

We rushed back with a storm on our heels.  We literally just got to shore when it started to rain.  It poured down and we were very thankful we were in a trailer and not a tent. 

While on the lake we saw loons, a bald eagle and a king fisher.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Day 4 - Prince Albert N.P.

It rained on and off all night and all morning so we had a very leisurely start to the day and decided to explore the park by car.  Surprisingly, this turned into my second biggest picture day.

On the way out we saw some Elk on the side of the road.  There we're some young ones but it was pouring rain so we didn't take too many photos - at least not by my standards.  ;)

We drove up to Hanging Hearts Lake where we hoped to rent a canoe the next day.  On our way back, the sky parted briefly and we did a 3 km walk down to a beach.  We were the only ones out and the girls had a great time swimming on the sandy beach and leaping though the waves.  The bugs weren't even bad.

The trail boasted of a cool fern bed and it was pretty neat.

There were lots of boardwalks too.  Saskatchewan parks doesn't seem to make a lot of trails in the parks, but when they do, they do it right.  All the trails we were one were beautifully maintained.

Coulee showing off her beautiful nose.  It was way worse in person.  I was starting to wonder if we were going to have to go down to Prince Albert and see a vet - but the Benadryl eventually did the trick.

Beach time frolicking.  Lacey was SOOOO sassy!

The stick was stuck in her tooth.  She had us giggling quite a bit as she tried to let go of it.

One of my favourite photos of Coulee, just wish her face looked better!

Did I mention, Lacey was feeling sassy?

We saw this look a lot this trip.

An unposed, action photo of both girls and they are in focus.  I think that is a first!


Coulee is really starting to put her back into it!

The victor!!

But not for long.

 The waves look huge, but they weren't... at least I don't remember them being that big.

We then drove up to the Narrows and checked out the campground - it was very nice.  We even saw a small bear along the way.  We noticed on the way to the Narrows that none of the day use areas were being used so we stopped at one on the way back and the girls got another chance to swim on the beach.  There was an abandoned beach ball that Lacey quickly popped but enjoyed nonetheless.

On the way back to the campground we decided to do a quick 4 km hike.  We should have stopped while we were ahead.  Lol. The bugs were horrible and we were quite miserable.  We hiked to a tower (that we later realized we could have driven to) and it  didn't even have a particularly nice view.

But our delay back to the campsite paid off.  We saw a fox on the road with a rodent in his mouth.  It was very cool.  He/she walked right past the car and was so close, I should have had a different lens on. The dogs never noticed - which was nice as they usually bark at wildlife.  :)  My camera settings were totally wrong (of course) but I did fluke out with kind of a cool panning shot!