Water Intoxication

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Dock Jumper

I read an update from another dog sport person today that their dog is suffering from water intoxication and not doing well at all.  She’s on a ventilator and her prognosis is very uncertain, please take a minute to spend some good thoughts her way and maybe hug your dog an extra time.  This story hits close to home for me as Bleys went through this a few years ago.  It sounds like this case is much worse than Bleys and I don’t really know the person or the situation well, but I felt like maybe I should recount our experience in case it helps people recognize what it is.  I firmly believe my knowledge of water toxicity BEFORE it happened made all the difference when it did happen.  Please don’t rely on the emergency vet you get when you take your dog in to know.

Otter puppy

Bleys is a crazy retrieving spaniel.  You might not think it of a Cavalier, but he’s pretty much a badass and will retrieve in the water as long as you will throw it.  The day this happened we were at the wonderful lake run by Performance Pups down in Dania Beach Florida and both dogs were having a grand time.  Since its such a great place for them to run and swim and be their crazy dogs we stayed for 45 minutes.  It didn’t feel like a long time while we were there.  During those 45 minutes Bleys was his normal self, running into the water after his ball, bringing it out of the water and running off with it.  Then leaving it far away and barking his fool head off for you to go get it.  Nothing seemed amiss until we got in the car to drive home and Bleys seemed a little lethargic.  Nothing extreme and we passed it off as being tired after swimming so we went home and spent a few hours hanging out.  Bleys slept a lot and was still tired, but it wasn’t until he didn’t eat dinner that my concern grew.  Not one to miss a meal he also added glassy eyes and a lot of drooling to the list of symptoms.  I tried getting him to eat on and off for an hour with no luck.  He was still responsive and able to walk and everything so I was still stifling my concern, trying not to overreact.  It got to be about midnight and Dave volunteered to stay up with Bleys just in case.  He woke me up at about 3:00 am when Bleys had a seizure.  Bleys was on the couch unconscious, rigid, and jaw clamped.  Scariest thing I’ve ever seen and I immediately went into teacher Susan mode and started getting stuff done.  We hopped in the car and I drove to the emergency clinic at unsafe speeds and on the way I asked Dave to call and let them know we were coming with a dog with water intoxication in the middle of a seizure.

Beach Bum

When we walked in a tech was there to whisk him to the back (to start treatment I assumed) while we were escorted into a room to wait.  When the vet came in she said that he had stopped seizing and they needed to wait for the next one to decide what was wrong and how to treat.  Clearly my diagnosis was either not given to the vet or disregarded.  I reiterated that he had water intoxication and he needed immediate treatment.  The vet restated that they would wait for the next seizure (so much for not being given the diagnosis, well I tried to be generous anyway).  In my head I was desperately trying to figure out how to not offend the people who had Bleys’ life in their hands while I really wanted to scream and shout and insist they start DOING SOMETHING RIGHT NOW.  We went back and forth for a minute and then she suggested we could do some bloodwork while we waited for the next seizure.  I squelched my immediate reaction of:  wait, bloodwork hasn’t already been started?!? And went instead for an enthusiastic Great idea!  If she looked at his electrolyte level it would be clear there was an immediate problem.  She went in the back to do that and I’m guessing look up water intoxication because I really think she didn’t know what it was.  She came back with the results and finally we had progress.  He was started on treatment and was transferred to our regular vet the next day (Monday).  He spent a few days there and was able to come home with no lingering side effects that we know of.  Of course every time something neurological is a off I wonder…

We still let him swim, but now he wears a Ruff Wear Float Coat (has neoprene under the chest to keep him higher in the water), only fetches flat toys that don’t force his mouth open (he used to retrieve a ball), and only swims for 15-20 minutes at a time.

 

I don’t know if this is helpful and every case is different, but it felt like something I should do.

Badass

Pie

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I’m still working my way through the blueberries Dave brought home, mostly by eating them by the handfull. But I got a request for blueberry pie from Anne, quickly seconded by Dave, so today I made a pie. I do make a pretty wicked pie crust!

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And I can’t abide wasting the leftover dough so I also made some crust cookies, which Karl enjoyed.

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Blueberry bonanza

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Its blueberry season!  Dave came home from the store with 4 pounds of them today.  Aren’t they just gorgeous?  I ate a large quantity of them without delay.

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But I also couldn’t resist baking something with them immediately. This is a recipe my mom gave me years ago called Blueberry Batter Cake. Its one of the weirdest recipes I’ve ever made, but its easy and super delicious.

You start with blueberries and lemon juice.

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Add a layer of batter (butter, sugar, flour, milk, and salt) on top.

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Another layer on top of that consisting of sugar, baking powder, and salt.

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Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the whole shebang and bake for an hour.

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Of course I didn’t remember to take a picture of the finished product before devouring it for dessert, but going by all the empty bowls I’d say it was a success.

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We had pad thai, thanks to Dave, before this confection and since we have a variety of tastes in the house right now we saved some of the ingredients as options to add at the end, so people could choose to only add what they wanted. I contributed a jalapeno and some cilantro from my very own garden.

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There is something so satisfying about harvesting herbs to add to dinner.  As Dave was chopping up the cilantro he said the leaves were so perfect they almost looked fake.

Irreplaceable

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Its still wicked hot here so we’ve been using the pool for doggy exercise as well as our own. Bleys has been enjoying barking at his toy rather than bringing it back but also managed to jump in after it too.  I limit Wixer around the pool because of the concrete and his pads so when I took him inside Dave continued to play with Bleys for a while. Then he walked in with this.

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He just wouldn’t give up that toy! Isn’t he just the most adorable drowned rat you’ve ever seen?

Then this evening the Fluffy Badger and I went to rally class. It started out pretty poorly with one spazzy barky Bleys! Our first run through was pretty terrible. He did eventually settle in, but we will need to work on working the first go around not just the second. We also discovered one thing we really need to work on are left turns. I’ve never noticed it before but he was very concerned with checking out the environment after a left turn and ended up going waaaay out wide. So we working on getting a reward for sticking with me after all degrees of left turns. Will have to remember to work on that one some one. Added bonus of class. Puppies!!! Before you get all excited I’m not getting one. One of the instructor’s dogs just had these little fluff balls and they are just SO cute. If they had tails I’d be far less able to resist.

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Peas Please

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I planted a buncha seeds very late this year so I’m not really counting on much to actually produce.  The seedlings I bought from Home Depot will have a better shot at getting through their growth cycle I think.  Although the tomato plants are looking very wilted despite watering.  The heat might be too much right how, hopefully they can power through!  I did get a harvest of peas though which is very exciting.  Well technically two harvests but the first one was quite small and didn’t make it in the house.  I ate them right off the vine. This variety took a little longer to produce but it looks like we’ll be having peas for dinner!

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Also Bleys in a tie.
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Garden update

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I’ve been falling further and further behind on the gardens at Lost Acre.  You can read about the best evidence of this over on my sister’s blog.  But there are some bright spots in with the weeds!

The farm has corn peeking over the top of our 6′ fence.  So much for knee high on the 4th of July!  Its rained a lot this year so its doing very well.  I kind of assume this is all feed corn, but part of me wishes it wasn’t.  Next year I might have to plant some sweet corn of my own because I can’t it.  I feel like if we didn’t have the fence I would be feeling very children of the corn right now.

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Also some of the tomatoes I bought as seedlings are producing.  I got my seeds in very late this year so I’m not expecting much from them.  I’m guessing I won’t get a harvest from them, but its worth the off chance that I do.

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The pear tree out front doesn’t have a ton of fruit on it, but it sure starting to look good!

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Our neighbors apple tree is full of fruit and I hope they are willing to trade some pears for apples!  I’m excited all out of proportion about the fruit trees.

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House Party!

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Over the past couple months we’ve chatted with our neighbor a few times and it came up that the people that used to own our house had large 4th of July parties.  Allegedly our houses are good for viewing a “many different displays.”  Pair that with the fact that one draw for moving back up to the great white north was its proximity to family and the friends we left when we moved to Florida and it was time for a party!  And so the 4th of Housewarming (in the tradition of Thanksmas and Memeaster) was born.  Granted we were going a lot of faith that there would be fireworks at all but it seemed like a risk people might be willing to take.  Turns out the fireworks you can see are on the horizon and there are a bazillion of them, but if you’re looking for the display over your head in the traditional sense its probably not what you’re looking for.  Hopefully everyone who came didn’t mind too much.

Our pool got a LOT of use (which is very gratifying as one of the people who maintain it), the food was good, the company was great, and fun was hopefully had by all.

Jason and Jen brought their little one Ben, who we hadn’t met yet.  Yet another child born to be an amazing nrrd!  He is adorable, inquisitive, and currently has no fear.
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Katie and Dave brought Charlotte, Henry, and Pete.  Charlotte really liked floating on the raft (I tried it, its pretty comfy), Henry is not a big fan of dogs, and Pete is pretty adorable hanging out with mom.
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Or mugging for the camera.
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The Wiles kids loved the pool and I’m pretty sure are permanently pruned now.  Lincoln is captain of the boat while Eleanor and Jackson provide the propulsion.
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The Wiles also brought sidewalk chalk which is tons of fun.  Given the quality of the penmanship I’m pretty sure Laura is responsible for this one.

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Lincoln opted for the Braveheart chalk experience.  You’ll never take away our freedom!

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Ryan also lit off some small fireworks in the driveway to the delight of the kids.
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We also caught fireflies in a jar and made S’mores.  4th of July activities…check!
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The following days included more of the same, but with less people  Jason, Jen, and Ben headed home on the 4th and the Bakers stayed on until the 5th.

We made a trip to the candy factory with the Bakers and the Wiles.  The two sets of three kids are second cousins so we tried for a family photo, it was moderately successful.
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It was also moderately hilarous.
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While the Bakers took off for home, the Wiles kids were back in the pool in no time.

Wixer thought Lincoln was awesome because he kept feeding him ice cubes.
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But wonders how the heck he’s supposed to herd Jackson when he’s in the pool all the time.
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Good effort buddy.

He is also just breathtakingly handsome.
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The tracks across the street made for fun train watching and we got to hear a lot about the chewchew from Lincoln who was disappointed that we couldn’t make it appear on command.
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Since we had train lovers in the house we also tried a cute little train themed restaurant called Tyler’s Tender.  They had a model train to play with (push the button and things move).
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Which was awesome because it was right next to the seating so the adults could eat and the kids could be eating or train watching. They also had a train kids could ride on and if you sit at the bar on stools your food is delivered to you on a train. Super cute. There is also an arcade for the older kids if they aren’t keen as on trains anymore.

 

On the way out of town we also stopped by the local ice cream parlor.  Valpo Velvet makes their own ice cream right here in town and have an adorable little shop near downtown.

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Its thundering now but the whole time he had visitors was rain free.  Such a lovely holiday spent with wonderful people.