Monday, September 6, 2010

A great weekend for Hardy; not so good for Laurel

Laurel and her best pillow and friend, D'fer

Hardy and Patina getting comfortable

John, Hardy, Linda & Patina on the train

Sue, D'fer, John, Hardy, Me, Brent, Laurel, Linda & Patina

A tired Hardy at the end of a very long public access outing

Cameras came out wherever we went

We had a wonderful day for our drive north on Friday. It was much cooler than it has been for most of the summer, we had almost no wait at the border and although we were in stop-and-go traffic on Rt 6  along with everyone else heading north to their cottages in a torrential downpour, we arrived at Sue and John's farm at about 12:30. When we pulled into the drive, it definitely felt like I was coming home and I knew that although it would be exciting to be taking Hardy home, it would also be very sad when I left Monday morning. It was wonderful to see Hardy (Sue and John, too) and he seemed pleased to see us as well. Hardy had an appointment at Cornell Animal Hospital at 4:30 so we all headed there. He weighs 36 lbs now and got a clean bill of health to cross the border back to the States. We also got another dose of flea/tick/heartworm medication for him. Laurel's rabies vaccination expires Sept 11 so the veterinarian agreed to vaccinate her and gave her a clean bill of health as well. 
Yesterday, we joined K9 Helpers for their yearly public access outing. We drove to Burlington, about an hour away from Guelph in order to ride the GO train to Toronto. The train was getting ready to leave and we had to race to the other end of it where the ramp and the accessible car were located. There were a bunch of manhole covers which Laurel has difficulty with since she was shocked by stray voltage running through one in New York City. Having to rush made it much more difficult for her. Once we got on the train, though, she had a wonderful time since she loves to ride them. John handled Hardy and they did great together! When we got off the train, we had to transfer to a subway to get to the Royal Ontario Museum. We were on the platform when trains were coming by on both sides - Hardy wasn't a big fan of that! John worked with him on it though and we waited around for a couple trains to come and go. Apparently, the five of us with four service dogs (Patina, D'fer, Laurel and Hardy) made quite a spectacle since people took pictures of us everywhere we went. We only had to walk about a block to get to the ROM. We spent a couple hours looking at the Canada, China and Mammals exhibits. About half way through, I realized that Laurel was gimpy behind and she started bulking at moving too much. Laurel and I waited in the lobby for everyone else to finish looking through the museum. Because they were pretty disappointed with the exhibits, everyone came back early and we headed to a restaurant for dinner. We found The Hungry Beagle and had a nice dinner there - the best part was that we had the place all to ourselves. All the dogs were very impressive in their ability to lie down and relax (I think they all fell asleep).While checking out why Laurel was gimpy behind, we realized that her face was swelling, her gums were very pale (almost white) with no change when you pressed on them. Sue checked for her pulse and found it very slow and thready. We gave her a large dose of Benadryl, and had to run for the subway (which had the positive effect of increasing her adrenaline level) and kept a close watch on her. After riding the subway, we then transferred back to the GO Train. The trains were very crowded so our dogs were confined in very close quarters and they all did great! Watching John work with Hardy all day was really great! They didn't move if Hardy was pulling - John waited until Hardy stopped and looked at him before taking a step forward. It took a ton of patience and John didn't get to see much at the museum except one big brown puppy! I decided to take Laurel to the emergency vet in Burlington on our way home. Sue came with me while John and Brent took D'fer and Hardy home. Because of the Benadryl, the swelling in her face was way down and the first thing the vet noticed was that she had ruptured a ligament in a toe on her back left foot. Although I believe the allergic reaction was because of the rabies vaccination, the vet wasn't convinced. Because we were going to be in Guelph Sunday, we decided not to give her a shot of steroids - instead I would watch her carefully that night and see how she was doing. The vet asked if we did agility and I thought, "Oh, no, we won't be able to do that anymore!" Instead, she said that she had seen Laurel's videos on Youtube! Laurel will need to rest for a week or so (which should be fun with Hardy at home) but after that, should be almost good as new. That foot will look more splayed that usual but lots of dogs live with the injury without any problems. I will call our vet, Dr. Neal Sivula when we get home to see Laurel as well. We stayed up late watching a movie and Laurel got to snuggle under blankets next to me on the sofa (she is not normally allowed on sofas so you can tell how sad for her we felt). I used frozen peas to ice her foot and she made the most of the injury-provoking sympathy.
Laurel loves riding the train
John working with Hardy as trains race past the platform
Today, Brent and I took Hardy to puppy class at noon. Hardy won the best recall (he is undefeated in the recall event) and tied for the longest down stay. John counted up the number of puppy classes Hardy has taken this summer and came up with 50 (most puppies take 8). At 3:30, Brent and Hardy did the puppy walk and at 4:30, I guest taught the Levels class which Brent and Laurel took as a 1 hour down stay class. After that, Hardy stayed at the training hall to take one last puppy class and the Levels class with John while we went home to pack everything up. At about 8:00, we headed back to the hall to have pizza with John and Sue for dinner. We discussed the summer, my training plan for Hardy, future plans for Laurel, and the new Levels class I'm teaching at Canine Affair Center. As I expected, although I am very excited about getting Hardy home, I was also very sad that our summer adventure was coming to an end. Sue and John reminded me that nothing is really over since I am invited back up there whenever (and I will certainly be taking them up on that offer every couple months or so). I know John and Hardy will miss each other as well. We got as much packed as we could and the plan is to get up at 6:00 tomorrow morning and away by 7:00. We'd really like to beat everyone else to the border! Thank you, Sue and John, Eco and D'fer for everything you have done for me, Laurel and Hardy and I'm keeping my keys to the "cottage"!

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