Hershey's Kisses

Saturday, April 18, 2009


We got very sad news today that "Cousin Tess" passed away.
Chris' family's dog, Tess, was a big beautiful and silly golden retriever who we often joked had an internal running monologue of "oh boy oh boy oh boy!" - but she was getting on in her years, having turned at least 12 this pass winter. She'd apparently had a very fun week with Easter turkey scraps, going to the cottage, playing with sticks in the backyard in Toronto, and then passed away quietly at home all of a sudden.
We will miss her forever.


Saturday, March 07, 2009

Hershey update 2009!

I totally suck for not blogging at all.
Hershey has been just great! She's really matured recently, not being as much of a spazoid as she used to be. She still loves playing rough with her toys, and is very excitable if we say a trigger word ("would you like to go for a walk?" "car ride" "pussycat" "Brian & Ariel") but mostly she's mellowed out.

She's still not 100% great with strangers, but when we have people over at the house, she tolerates them. Carlen in particular was not a welcome guest before, Hershey would take all of her toys away into her room in case Carlen would want to take her precious Ozzie. But she's gotten much better even with new visitors. She won't bark as much, and she'll be happy just observing them from a few feet away.

She still has her favourites though. Chris' parents spent last Christmas with us and she remembered them right away. We drove all the way to Toronto this Christmas, and she remembered Tess! The two dogs had a grand old time wrestling and just hanging out. Hershey even let Tess smell and chew on some of her toys! She remembered David a bit, but not as well. She enjoyed visiting his place in Ottawa but kept looking all over the house to find out where his dog was... none to be found - at least for now!

below: Hershey and Tess in Toronto - Hershey's always curious.

We've had Hershey stay over in the kennel a few times recently too - like in Summer during our horseback riding trip, and October when we went to Saskatoon. She spent 2 weeks there in February while we were off in China. She's really taken to the staff at the Animal Medical Centre, which is great. They love all of her tricks (we've printed out a page of them!) and there are a few staff members there she is especially sweet about. The fact that they seem to overfeed her each time she's there may help a bit too!

Her roadtrip across the country (and into the states) for Christmas was great. She was a total star in the car, sleeping, wanting to hold hands, eating cold kibble and being squooshed up in the back seat when we had to unload the contents of the trunk due to a blown tire (long story). She was even pretty good at toll booths and the border crossings (she should be a natural, given that she's a border collie - haha). She got lots of toys for Christmas - including a squirrel, a Mittens the cat (from Bolt), a four-some of organic cotton softie toys, lots of big chewy cookies, a backpack for camping, a water bottle for the summer and car rides, and more treats! She also finally got her own Jub Jub toy from our trip to China - something she's been "wanting" ever since we found a Jub Jub in a geocache last summer (which she could *not* have because it was part of a tracking bug!)

Here's a video of her (sorry it's sideways) of her falling asleep while sitting up in the back seat.

We've got no big travel plans or anything for the rest of the winter, so we'll just be taking it easy at home. She's actually been quite lucky that it has been so cold this winter - her room is freezing so we have let her sleep upstairs on the bed a lot. We find her cuddling next to the heat register during the daytime too. Pathetic.

I'm running out of ideas for tricks to teach Hershey too - she's mastered "360" (spinning around in a circle), "circle" (where she circles around you), "touch" (where she touches a treat with her paw before getting to eat it). She's also enjoyed a crawl tube we got at a garage sale, and is learning to put up with a mini helicopter toy Chris bought in China.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Such a cute news story


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bit bum

This summer has been very full of activities for Hershey, including a lot of camping and some very cool new tricks, but (and I choose that word on purpose), the most significant thing this summer was that poor Hershey had her tail and butt bit very badly.

We went to the dog park in July and early on in the visit Hershey got in a pretty big snarling match with another smaller dog. We broke the fight up quickly but I noticed the dog had put a big gob of spit on Hershey's back end. We didn't see anything that seemed to require attention, so kept on with the dog park visit. Hershey ran around like normal and even went swimming. She was fine we thought, so we took our time there and coming home.

Once home I decided she needed a bath, and thank goodness I gave her one. During the bath I noticed that her butt had been bit near her pooper. It was bad, quite deep and red, but it wasn't really bleeding any more so we just cut the fur off the area and cleaned it well and decided to keep an eye on it.

The next day (Sunday) I took Hershey for a walk and I noticed that her tail was dragging low. Her tail normally curls a bit at the end, but her tail fur was just hanging down on the ground now. We headed right home and I got Chris to check it out. He saw that the bite had gotten abscessed and a lot of dark fluid had collected into a bulge on her tail. We called the emergency vet clinic and headed right over there.

The vet was able to see us quickly and they took Hershey in to get a drain put into the bit hole. This would help it drain any grossness out and heal from the inside out. We were able to take Hershey back home the very same night, but goodness, when she was let out of the operating room, it looked like she'd seen a ghost. She had the drain in the bottom of her tail (which was really just a rolled up piece of silicone to act as a tube), and also a stitch in another bite that we hadn't seen at the top of her tail. Her whole bum was shaved, and very messy from the procedures. There were a few other bite marks including one that the vet recommended should be left open to drain and close up on its own. It was horrible. She was given lots of pain killers and some antibiotics for the week and had to wear a plastic collar too.

Chris stayed home with her for the Monday and Tuesday. We kept Hershey company on the first few nights sleeping downstairs in the living room (on the floor) with her. It was so sad, she looked like she'd been really mangled. The pain killers sapped her energy, and she kept sitting to do everything, including eating and drinking which she normally does standing up. We realized later that it was because the drain was poking her and it was easier for her to sit, but we were really worried that she'd have long-term or permanent effects from this bite.

A week after the emergency vet visit, we had the drain taken out of the bottom part of her tail at the regular vet. Her other bites had healed a lot too, some had already scabbed over, and were healing. After the drain was removed, Hershey went back to standing more, and being much more energetic. It was a relief to see that she'd be back to normal.

It's been about a month now, and her tail end is doing just fine. Her fur is still growing back, so, she looks a little silly and a bit like a lion from behind. She's been on walks and car rides, and we will eventually get back to the dog park, but not quite yet as we'd rather wait for her fur to grow in a bit more first. This was a really scary experience, and we are very grateful for the excellent care the Edmonton Emergency Veterinary Clinic in downtown.

I will spare you the gruesome pictures of the post-vet butt, but here's a picture of a zonked out Hershey wearing her collar (with her Ausie also wearing a paper collar that Chris made for it).

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Spring crazy

Since the last post, we've had some great times with Hershey; she first got to meet baby Lincoln Tanner (who she was fascinated by, and a little jealous of). She's also learned a few more tricks - one is to ring the wind chimes by the couch when we tell her "chime". She has also learned "360" where she turns around in a circle.

Hershey has been trying to learn how to stop barking... she tries very hard and ends up "munching" her barks (which makes a hilarious whining noise).

As for her other activities, she recently has joined us going Geocaching. She's not very much help with the maps or the GPS unit, but she sure enjoys going for the long walks off trails. In fact, every time we found a cache, Hershey gets to celebrate with a cookie. She's the Geodog!

Next weekend we're going to go camping for the first time this season - we're really looking forward to that.

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Winter blues

Hershey's had a very low-key winter. We didn't go out to Ontario for Christmas, but instead had Chris' parents come to visit us out here. Hershey remembered them (from 12 months previous) which was great. She was really warm and playful with them. She got some great toys again, including some toys, cookies, and it was Hershey's turn to donate to charity this year, so she gave a donation to Misty Creek - a well-deserving cause!

After the holidays, we had some really cold weather so Hershey was home-bound for nearly 2 weeks. Then, when the weather finally turned in February, we went out on Family Day to enjoy the dog park, but within a few minutes of being there, she and a bigger dog got into a tiff, and ended up running away from the fight limping and crying... At first glance we thought she was okay but after a few more minutes we realized she had a big cut under her chin. The other dog has clearly bit her right in her bottom jaw, with a canine punching deeply into her chin. Clearly worried, we brought her back home, cleaned up the cut and put some antibiotic ointment and tried to keep her from stretching the cut open. We called the vet and they assured us that as long as the cut wasn't infected it should heel on its own. And it did, but she still has a little scar...

So, we've been taking it easy with Hersh... no dog park yet, though I'm sure that she'll be fine with other dogs. Carlen came to visit again a few weeks back; Hershey was more comfortable than in past visit. She even let Carlen pat her!

And on Saturday this past weekend, we all went on a day trip to Calgary (to pick up a lathe for Chris). She did great in the car, very patient and slept for most of the drive home. We drove right past Ponoka and Misty Creek... She enjoyed sniffing the farm air and even got to watch a pack of horses running in a field.

We will likely be going out much more this spring since we've started geocaching. It's fun for her since we get to go off-trail hiking, and we get a bit of a treasure hunt.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tummy rubs at the dog park

After about 2 years of visiting the dog park on a semi-regular basis, we've gotten to know the very friendly lady who runs the canteen. Sylvia is always very happy to see Hershey, and has taken a few pictures of her - one of which has now been included in the 2008 Me and My Dog calendar.

On our most recent visits, we shared some Christmas presents with Sylvia; some homemade jam and jelly, and a bandana for Sylvia's dog Jesse. And on Saturday, when Sylvia said hello to Hershey, Hersh came up to her very timidly and lied down and asked for a tummy rub from Sylvia. It was a huge breakthrough - Hershey hasn't done this with a lot of people, and we were thrilled that she's come around to liking Sylvia as much as we do!

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