Jack’s Walk

I call her Cocoa © Voyager, all rights reserved

Jack has been having problems with swelling and pain in his left shoulder. It’s likely arthritic, and it would be good for him to start taking an anti-inflammatory drug called Meloxin. Our first lab Lucy had a lot of joint problems and she took Meloxin for years with good effect and I want Jack to have equal comfort in his senior years. Trouble is, that Jack takes a steroidal allergy tablet every day because he’s allergic to grass, and the two drugs are incompatible so he can’t start it until the grass is dead and he stops the steroids. We see the Vet on Monday to discuss other options, but for now, Jack is limited to one short walk a day. He isn’t very happy about this state of affairs, especially since getting in and out of the car is difficult, and we’ve been sticking close to home. I can’t believe I’m actually saying this out loud, but I hope it snows soon. Sorry folks, but it’s going to come eventually, and the sooner all this lush green October grass goes to bed for the winter, the sooner my Bubba can have some fun again.

The photos are from last week.

Isn’t she beautiful? © Voyager, all rights reserved

This is Cocoa’s best friend, Nugget © Voyager, all rights reserved

Degupdate: Candy Mistaking Herself for a Cat

Apparently degus and cats share a tendency to climb up things they then have problems getting down again… I’ll have to take some measures to prevent them from breaking their neck, as Estelle managed to get into the “storage” compartment on top of Degustan and then fall most of the way down…

In the first video you can see Candy trying to jump onto the side track of Degustan where the food is kept.

In the second video she managed to get onto it, and up the side of Degustan. We quickly needed to make that top “degusafe” after that.

Here’s a triumphant Candy with a well deserved stolen treat…

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

They’re also trying hard to gnaw their way out of the enclosure. They’ll find out I have more hinges than that…

©Giliell, all rights reserved

And finally, our “latest degu”: Sugar, a giant crochet degu. There’s a distinctive lack of degu plushies on the market, but thankfully somebody on etsy sold a crochet pattern, so I made one for the little one’s birthday (Happy birthday my love!). While this is meant for small amigurumi projects, that wool was just too amazing.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Jack’s Walk

© Voyager, all rights reserved

Jack and I see lots of chipmunks on our walks, and I often try to take a photo, but they dart away too quickly and in unpredictable directions. Today, though, this little guy literally darted into the spot where I was aiming my camera, and then he stopped for a moment. It was just long enough for me to grab a few shots before he darted off again.  Although this looks like a planned sort of chipmunk picture, I was actually trying to photograph the saddle of the log behind the chippie. In retrospect, that would have been boring, so thanks, little guy for the photobomb.

© Voyager, all rights reserved

 

 

Jack’s Walk

Sugar Maples at Ye Olde Sugar Shanty © Voyager, all rights reserved (click photo to see it full-size. You can do that with all of our photos!)

This building is a fully functional sugar shanty, just like the sign says.  The syrup is boiled over a wood fire, and it’s my favourite maple brand because it carries a hint of Bubba, who pees on all the trees. Sugar maples do more than make good syrup, though. In autumn, they have the most vibrant colours of any tree around, and they make the landscape into a brilliant work of art.

Jack’s Walk

Blue Heron,© Voyager, all rights reserved

It rained or drizzled for most of yesterday, and the forecast was for more rain today, but it turned out to be beautiful, so I decided to take Jack to the river. He’s been having some arthritic problems in his rt. shoulder, but this morning he was getting around well, so when he asked to go swimming I happily agreed. The river trail is flat and even and there are several places to stop and rest along the way because I knew Jack would get tired quickly. Which he did not. We stopped for about 10 minutes twice, but Jack went swimming 4 times, and he explored both sides of the entire trail. Bubba had a wonderful afternoon, but as soon as we got home he put himself to bed and he hasn’t moved a muscle since. He’s even slept past his suppertime by an hour or so and he looks set to keep right on sleeping. I hope he’s having happy dreams. Me, I’m having happy memories.

Blue Heron,© Voyager, all rights reserved

Blue Heron © Voyager, all rights reserved

Degupdate: Snugglebeasties and DIY

Slowly, the reality of having degus is getting us. No matter how much you read, it’s never going to come close. First of all, the two remaining degus have completely different characters. Candy will come to my hand as soon as I open the door and see if there’s a treat for her. I think before long she’ll ride on our shoulders.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

As a result, Estelle is often missing out on the best treats. She still vanishes either inside the house or behind it and will not move any closer to us. Best we managed so far is that she no longer whistles in panic all the time. I try to place the treat near her while Candy is nibbling hers so she can get her nut as well.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

It’s not like I’m worried about her. She’s obviously growing and in good shape, her fur is shiny and silky, and when I sit down and just watch from a distance, she is active and interacting with Candy.

©Giliell, all rights reserved The picture quality is sadly very bad as there wasn’t much light.

I love watching them. I just sit in an armchair for 15 minutes and watch them “talk” to each other, take a sand bath, or try to destroy Degustan. It’s so relaxing. It also makes me think of Caine a lot and her ratitude.

But talking about the reality: The People Who Tell You About Degus insisted that you can let them run in your room for an hour every day. After the two escapes by Estelle and the one by Candy it’s become clear that this is not an option. The room has way too many places where a degu can vanish and even possibly hurt herself. Also capturing them before they’re totally tame would always mean extreme amounts of stress for the degus, not to mention the risk of being savaged by degu teeth. But there’s also useful ideas on the internet and one lady just built a barrier to give them a bigger run but also protect the room.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

It’s foldable and can be put away when not needed, but I’ll need to do something about the light.

Oh,a nd since the temperatures are getting lower, I bought them a “snuggle safe” heating pad. It gets heated in the microwave and then keeps the warmth for several hours. I much prefer that to a heating lamp, especially over night or when we’re not home. The degus absolutely love it and I can only recommend it if your pet could do with a how water bottle occasionally.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Jack’s Walk

Jack and I haven’t been to the park for a while, so we thought we’d take a stroll around the duck pond today. We went expecting our usual quiet, contemplative walk but found a dusty, noisy construction site instead. The city has finally decided to fix the small concrete bridge that links the park across Cedar Creek, and the sound of heavy machinery and jackhammering filled the park. The construction also meant that Jack and I had to content ourselves with half of the duckpond, so we chose the east side because there’s less goose poop. We went slowly to accommodate Jack’s stiffening hips and shoulders, but he was full of curiosity, and his nose didn’t stop. Every fallen leaf was thoroughly assessed, and as we moved along, Jack would look up and bark harmlessly at the geese. It was more “Hello!” than “Hey, you!” and the geese knew it, and didn’t flinch. Despite the noise and gloomy skies, we enjoyed the outing and lingered by the pond while discussing the coming winter. Jack has been asking for an electric blanket, and his argument is sound, so I’m going to order one for him as a surprise. Maybe he’ll let me share it now and then. But the winter is still off on the horizon, and for today we’ll just occupy this moment of colourful, beautiful fall.

Jack’s Walk

© Voyager, all rights reserved

It’s been another beautiful day around here, and Jack and I spent most of it outdoors again. We started the day with a bit of gardening and then spent the afternoon taking a slow walk in the woods. Mr. V joined us, and it turned into a pleasant family outing, taking in the best of the season and meandering our way home down a few country roads. I had to stop and say hi to this small herd, who were quietly cutting the grass in this home’s front yard. They were friendly and curious and not at all bothered by Jack’s excited calls of ‘Hello, I’m Jack. What’s your name?”

The cows made me think about ice cream, so we stopped at Dairy Queen on the way home, and we had ice cream before dinner. Which is meatloaf. Don’t tell the cows.

© Voyager, all rights reserved

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack and I have spent lots of time outside the past few days, trying to soak in as much sunshine and nice weather as we can before the days get too short and cold. The smaller creatures of the world are doing the same. All-day long, our neighbourhood is abuzz with bees, and there is a steady stream of chipmunks and squirrels skittering back and forth carrying treasure hither, thither and yon. Jack finds all this activity very distracting. He feels obligated to watch when they cross too close to his porch, which often happens, as we are an apparent thoroughfare, but he gets tired and cranky and eventually lays down his bowling ball of a head with a clunk and a sigh. If he can stay awake, Jack grumbles at the noises, but if he falls off to sleep, it’s a fitful one, full of twitching and whisker bristling. I imagine his dreams are full of giving chase in his younger body when he could run as easily as walk. I have those dreams, too, Bubba, only I don’t chase squirrels, I dance.