This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


Monday, 11 December 2017

I am back

This post is for all the people who haven’t given up on my blog yet.  With best intentions I had started the blog to document all our travels and other interesting happenings in our lives but as it turns out, sometimes I don’t write about them at all.  So, here is a little recap why I have been to quiet since my last post.

While most of our fellow RVers where getting ready to head south, we were just saying goodbye to the last couple of pups from our Dachshund litter.  Meanwhile Benno had been busy finishing up his new shed and moving his equipment. That little shed turned into a neat little workshop and I will have Benno post some pictures with explanations of it for all the guys out there that might be interested to see it pretty soon.  We had been discussing if we were ready to also head south with our travel trailer or if we wanted to stay put for another month or so.  But a phone call we received put all RV travel plans on hold. My Dad had suffered another stroke and had been involved in an accident.

You might recall that in the early summer of this year I had flown to Germany to help out after my Dad got out of rehab after his first stroke. Back then we had made some changes and one of them was that I was instrumental in arranging the sale of his car because my Dad had purchased a scooter to get around the village and didn’t need the car any longer.  It was not long after I had returned to Canada that my parents told me that they had purchased another car. 

So one morning in November, while my parents were on their way to a doctor’s appointment for my Mom, Dad suffered a stroke while driving.  They had been on a country road with no speed limits (yes, in Germany there are stretches of roads that have no speed limits between towns) when their car veered off the lane, crossed over to the opposite side of the road and down a ravine where it impacted at a large tree and became wedged between other trees and bushes.  Miraculously there had been no oncoming traffic that moment and my parents were alive. The car, however, was a write-off.  The German firemen had to rescue my parents through the trunk of the car and then transport them separately into two different hospitals.  Other than a few bruises and of course being shook up, my Mom was ok and was discharged later on in the day. Dad went into surgery because of his stroke and stayed in intensive care for a few days.  After several days in the hospital he then was sent off straight to a Rehabilitation Clinic in another city.
My sister Christina flew first to Germany to assist our Mom, help with the packing of clothing for Dad’s travel and to take her several times to the Rehab Clinic to visit our Dad. While all of this was going on, we pretty much kept in constant phone contact.  After my sister’s return to Canada I flew out to Germany to resume the support.  Dad got released from the Rehab Clinic and now tries to fall back into his old routine and get back on track (without a car). 

While I was in Germany it also coincided with my Mom’s 90ist birthday and Dad (93) was very happy to be home again to celebrate with her.  On the big day the mayor of the town came to congratulate her as well as the pastor from the town’s church.  Neighbors and friends brought flowers; we drank Champagne and indulged with scrumptious birthday cakes.

Then it was time for me to head back home. I am glad that the weather held during my travels because now there are icy roads in Germany and cancelled flights because of severe weather in London England, where my flight to Canada connected.

So please forgive me, for letting you all down and not do an update on this blog during this time.  

Following a few pictures of Mom on her birthday and some of the lovely flower bouquets.

Mom, Dad and the Mayor

Monday, 30 October 2017

I am happy with a heavy heart

Yesterday we said our goodbyes to the last two puppies from our litter of six. All pups have now been rehomed. I am happy to say that we think they all went to good homes because the people that came for them really showed a lot of affection for them. One lady actually cried of joy when we handed her the little female pup and later on she sent us a picture of the puppy playing with a new toy at her house. So, that makes us happy. However, we are sad because we had become very much attached to the puppies as they grew and they showed their affection toward us.

So here are some farewell pictures of the Dachshund litter for us to remember. 

Monday, 16 October 2017

Where did the time go?

My goodness, it has been too long since my last update and so much has been going on.  I will write about the major happenings, as you know the rest is like water down the bridge.

The puppies are now 8 weeks old and have taken over the garage as their home.  They are very comfy in their whelping box, which is attached to the wire cage. Underneath there is a soft rubber like under pad so they do not get cold and our portable heather keeps the garage at room temperature. Lots and lots of dog toys are laying around for them to play with and occasionally we add some suitable plastic items from the house for them to chase and toss everywhere. Of course we take turns playing with them when they are out of the cage to run free in the (spotless) garage.  I think nowadays I am spending more time in the garage than in the house and that is why I have no time for anything else. ;-)

When the doxies were 6 weeks old all of them had an appointment at the Erie Veterinary Hospital where Dr. Hussain gave them their first vaccine shots and deworming medication and pronounced all of them to be in good health, not to forget being very cute and lovely little Dachshunds.

However, at the same time I had to take their momma, our Elsa, in as well. She had been vomiting a couple of times and I discovered fresh blood in her stool but she ate large amounts of food with good appetite. She also had now become very thin after weaning the pups. I dropped off a stool sample at the clinic to be tested before our appointment.  The results were none conclusive so the doctor took a blood sample (poor Elsa was shaved on her neck for the procedure to be performed there) and a CBC test was done. Shortly after running the diagnostic I could view the results displayed on the computer screen and the doctor explained that there were no abnormalities.  He suggested that she might have internal parasites (although she had been dewormed during pregnancy) and if the prescribed medicine would not make a difference then an x-ray might be needed. We left the Vet armed with three different kinds of medication, a dozen cans of specialized dietary dog food and a hefty bill.  Over the next ten days I was to dispense the various kinds of meds. 
I started administering the meds right after arriving back home and I was to continue with the antibiotic every 8 hours. Elsa was not enthusiastic about the canned “Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets, Gastro enteric Dog Food” The label stated it contained as the first ingredient “meat byproducts and the second water” and I didn’t blame her. For the next two days I managed to give her the meds and food, but Elsa brought up the morning meal an hour after eating on the third day and she became listless and withdrawn.  Then on the fourth day she gagged when I put the canned food in front of her and she could not hold down any food at at all. This made me very concerned.  I decided to stop all medications and to let her tummy rest.  At the same time I went online researching the meds.  The Metronidazole that I had to spray her every eight hours by syringe into her mouth listed the common side effects as: Nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, gagging/ regurgitation, fatigue, loss of appetite, blood in urine and fever. Furthermore a warning of an overdose (the dosage is measured by dog weight) and treatment for extended periods said: Irregular or abnormally slow heartbeat, tremors, seizures, stiffness and dilated pupils might occur. I was horrified reading this! Additionally the website stated that this antibiotic product is not yet approved by the FDA.
At the time of writing this I can say that after a week long diet of dry “Royal Canin Adult Dachshund” food, in small portions, Elsa seems fine and she now also eats my cooked chicken, rice and vegetables again mixed with the dry kibble.  She’s back to being active and playful with Reggy. Perhaps the few days when she took the meds have killed off whatever ailed her. However, we are careful monitoring what she eats. Although she’s lost some weight, she looks great.  Reggy, on the other hand, has put on a little weight because he liked to participate in the extra food we had given to Elsa while she was still nursing.  I think some exercise might cure this problem.

In the meantime we'd received a phone call from the lady who organizes the annual Wiener Dog Races at the local Leamington Raceway. This year our Elsa had to skip this event but we registered Reggy for the race and Elsa came along to watch.  There were not as many participating Dachshunds this year, and no, Reggy did not win, but we had fun and he loved the experience and he got many compliments for being “very cute” and so “adorable”.  The winner of this year’s race should have gotten an additional award for having the longest legs ever seen on a Dachshund.

So while I have been busy with all 8 dogs, Benno had his long awaited shed being delivered to our property.  Rather than building the shed ourselves we went with a custom shed from “Wagler Mini Barns” These sheds are built to order, or stock of which they have several different models and styles sitting at their yard.  A professional Amish crew of carpenters is building these mini houses by hand and you can have your shed match your house profile, which we did. Is has the same siding and shingles as our house.  Once the shed or barn is completed it will be delivered to your property and put in place with ease. 

If anyone is interested, their address is 10055 Carter Rd. Malahide Township, RR1, Aylmer, Ont. N5H 2R1.  Tel: 519-773-2218. Strangely, they have a website but if you want to contact them by phone and no one is answering the telephone when you call, don’t worry, because the office does not have a phone. It is located in the old school house, so try again in a while and Laverne Zehr will get back to you. (Don't try and text him I suspect the phone is the old style rotary phone :-)

Our shed is very neat and well built, but the inside was bare because Benno opted to finish it himself and I am giving him a hand when needed.  This new project of ours requires many trips to the home building center and hardware store for the materials needed to finish the inside.  Of course there will be more pictures to come.

For today I think the post is long enough and I hope my next update will not take so long.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Our pups are 4 weeks old today

Within the past week our Dachshund puppies have progressed quite wonderfully in their development.  All their senses are functioning and they started to walk. The brown female, I call her Chocolate, is the most advanced. She was the first to wobble around the whelping box while the rest still crawled on all four paws.  Now all pups are walking and climbing over each other.

Last night when I came into the guest room I couldn’t believe my eyes. Chocolate was walking towards me with her tail wagging! What? She had been very interested in what was going on outside their den (whelping box) and I had observed that she wanted to climb out but I thought that was impossible for her because of the height of the opening. I guess not. This morning Benno quickly fabricated two small plywood slats to insert there where the sliding door goes.  We wanted Elsa still to have access to her pups and not close off the gate totally during the night. Elsa takes longer breaks now between feeding and cleaning them. She is very attentive but I guess its natural for the mom to let the little ones alone for long stretches, as they grow older. She still has plenty milk. A couple of weeks ago I purchased a regular baby bottle to see if I could assist in feeding the pups some of the formula we have.  It did work much better with this kind of a bottle but it really was not necessary for the supplement as all the pups seem to be well fed and they are steadily gaining weight.

Producing so much milk does take a toll on Elsa and she is very skinny.  If you wonder if she eats enough, let me tell you of my efforts to keep up with her appetite. She gets 5 meals a day plus several snacks of dried chicken breast and Cesar Bakies.  In the morning I fry up a cup of lean ground beef mixed with half a cup of brown rice, half of a medium sized grated carrot and a half a cup of dry Royal Canin Dachshund mixture for her breakfast. At lunch she gets a cup of cooked chopped chicken legs with half a cup of each brown rice, carrots, cooked pumpkin and dry dog food, and that is repeated every 4 hours or so.  At night, if she is hungry, she gets chicken broth and dry Royal Canin puppy food.  There is a lot of cooking going on in my kitchen and the chicken legs I purchase with the skin on because they are cheaper than the already skinned and deboned chicken, but I skin them before they are put into the pressure cooker as I don’t like all that additional fat. The chicken I cook for 15 min. on high with filtered water. After that time the bones fall right off the meat and cutting the meat into small pieces is a snap.

chicken legs with skin on
same chicken legs with skin removed
cooked chicken in two portion containers
regular dry dog food, pumpkin, rice, shredded carrots and puppy dry dog food

One of the little males, which my neighbour (the super girl Teresa) calls “Blue” has been on trips to her house for some outings. He must have had a very good time there because he sometimes barks (yes, he can already bark) in the den but then when I pick him up he seems to be content. The cutie pie already knows what he wants.

The pups’ teeth are coming out at various stages.  Yet again being more advanced, Chocolate has all her teeth and her incisors are quite sharp, but the other female, “D” also has a sharp bite when I put my finger in her mouth.  It must hurt Elsa when she feeds them.  Yesterday I mixed some of the Esbilac formula and poured it into a little dish. First the little pups didn’t know what to do with it, but after I stubbed their noses into the milk they started to lap it up. Yeah success, I guess it’s their instinct, so I wont need the baby bottle if they get hungry after being fed by mom.

It is so cute to watch the little guys interact with each other and by the sounds they make, they are communicating, or talking to each other. They play bite each other in the legs ears or mouths while they crawl or tumble over each other until they get tired. Then they all cuddle up for a snooze.

For the purpose of identifying the pups when they get their first shots and deworming done, we will give the pups temporary names to be put onto the health certificates. The pups have been wearing different collars and neck strings so we keep them apart.  I simply named them by the alphabet in the order they were born. The first pup born was a male and will be named with an "A", the second was “Blue”, then came the brown girl, which I call "Chocolate" followed by the tan and black girl "D", finally the last two males who look a lot alike will be named starting with an "E" and "F". Of course renaming is optional for the new owners.

So for today I leave you with enough puppy overload.