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Saturday, February 26, 2011

My mistake

Yesterday, we waited and waited and waited for the internet repair technician to arrive for his 8AM appointment. His arrival time? 4:30 PM. And, to top it off, our internet was working perfectly when he arrived so he could do nothing. He did suggest, however, that a neighbor using a cordless device at a 900 MHz frequency (like a cordless phone, a baby monitor, cordless headphones) could easily completely knock out our internet. That's probably the problem but tracking down a seemingly benign device like that might be impossible.

The backyard birds waited along with me. My favorite, the pygmy nuthatch hid from the snow under pine boughs. Apparently, on very cold nights, hordes of these tiny birds huddle in sheltered places, like tree cavities and bird nest boxes. That's a wonderful vision.
On a neighboring tree, a Hairy Woodpecker looked hulking by comparison to the nuthatch.
When the Labraduo and I finally headed out for our afternoon hike, it was late and dusky although the new coat of snow brightened the world.
As we did a little bit of training, R gave me a heart-melting look. He seemed to say, please, please, can't we run? Yes, but after training.
This morning, to make up for our very brief foray last evening, the Duo and I were out snowbiking at the crack of dawn and watched the sunrise. The tranquil rest just before sunrise has become my most treasured instant of the day.
The Duo enjoyed it as well, as they sampled the breeze for interesting scents.
The dramatic pose... Um, actually, R was ready to bolt and play rather than stand around. That paw up was preparation for his exit!
We circled almost the entire trail network. It was perfect animal tracking snow yet I saw ONLY coyote tracks. I'm beginning to believe that many animals evacuate our forest and head to lower elevations or south-facing slopes when winter weather takes hold.

This is my first winter of having a number of wildlife cameras spread out in the forest. In places where multiple animals pass a camera per night during the spring, summer, and fall, I haven't captured a single animal in months. The coyotes are the only regulars, and I'm thinking that I should move a couple of cameras to their usual routes and learn more about their pack dynamics.

A coyote passes through our clearing every single night at almost the same time. Often, he doesn't stop under the birdfeeders. He just trots on through. We must be on his regular route.
After rolling around the entire trail network, I brought the Duo home, planning to feed them a quick breakfast and head out for a solo ride. In my hurry, I made a big mistake. I gave R's food to K and vice-versa. In most packs, this mistake would be no big deal. With K, it might be a very big deal. She has chronic pancreatitis that we've had under control for a couple of years now through very strictly controlling her diet. She eats special low protein and lowfat food to ward off pancreatitis.

I had a temper tantrum when I realized my mistake. I considered inducing vomiting in K (the vet wasn't open yet). But, before taking that drastic action (which can go awry), I went and re-read the nutritional data on R's food. I decided that it wasn't *that* bad for K. It's venison and sweet potato. It contains more protein than she should eat but the fat content isn't off the charts. So, I decided to watch and wait, hoping that K's system can handle it.

In the meantime, I went out for an intense bike ride, flogging myself to exhaustion because I was so angry about the fact that I might have hurt K. The vets have warned me that pancreatitis, especially the third or fourth bout of it, can be fatal - that's why I was so upset. The trails that I rode my snowbike on were pretty but I barely noticed. I just pedaled my anger out into the snow.
I arrived home and sprinted into the house to find K snoozing just like normal and obviously puzzled by why I was looking at her so carefully. So far, she still seems absolutely fine. My fingers are crossed.

R doesn't know that there's anything to be worried about. He just knows that, by some stroke of luck, he ate the fancy home-cooked breakfast that we made for K. He's sleeping like an angel.


  1. As much as we try to be perfect caretakers for our pets, we do slip up sometimes. I'm glad that it was just a mistake that upset you and didn't have any repercussions for either of the pups. R does look pretty pleased with the surprising turn of events! Is there a reason why he couldn't eat the same thing that K does? I don't know much about the dietary requirements of pancreatitis versus regular diet, but I do know it's a lot easier to feed everybody the same thing if you can. It seems like a guarantee that if somebody has something special to eat, everybody else wants it and they don't!

    I love that last picture of them together! It looks like R is in the starting blocks and ready to take off when the firing pistol goes off!

  2. During the week it isn't unusual for me to have at least two baby monitors running during naptime - wonder how many of my neighbors' connections are affected by that. Your comment about the cordless apparatus also reminds me how poorly my phones work if I am running the microwave while I am talking:) Sorry about the long wait for "service".

    All the best for K to continue to be fine. What a blissful shot of R at the end!

  3. Yea, I wanna say no worries bouts da food but you seems to be likes my mum and like toally freak bouts stuffs likes dat...hehehe. Doggie momma's d dat. But luckily, it's okay.

    We has them woodpeckers too but we hasn't seen any dat close! Gosh, thanks fur showing dat most gorgeous Iknows a little what they looks like.


  4. Being the only pup means my hoomans don't have any diets to mix it up with, but A totally freaks out if Mom tries to feed me a little "bad" foodables, like sugar coated biskaits. BOL.

    I'll keep my paws crossed that K doesn't have any bad reactions to the foodables. :)

    Love the peektures of the birds,by the way!


  5. mistakes happen to the best of us! i'm glad K seems to be okay despite eating the wrong food. fingers crossed that she stays well! i love love love the last picture of R. unexpected special meal = happy dog. i just want to plant a kiss on that black face of his! :)

    the booker man and asa's mama

  6. Nobuddy is pawfect, happy dat it all worked out. You takes such good care of my furiends. :)

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

  7. I've made a similar mistake when giving medication--Please try to not beat yourself up too much--I know, easier said than done. But I will hope that K is still feeling okay and all is well and quiet in your corner of the world!

  8. K looks fine especially in the last picture! My last dog, Alex, had pancreatis for years before it got really bad. Actually that isn't what got him to the Rainbow was a combination of that, his liver cancer and most of all, congestive heart failure. It's so hard to go through but you do what you have to for them and mistakes always happen. The pictures are as usual, beautiful!! Very beautiful!! We never knew that baby monitors, cordless phones, etc. messed up the connections but it makes sense now! We hope and pray everything will be fine! Lots of love, Debbie and Holly

  9. Thanks for the beautiful pic of the Pygmy Nuthatch. The standard size is one of my favorites and this little guy is more than cute!

    Your talk about your computer has me wondering. Mine is still not right, losing connections all the time, and now I have a new TTY that won't work right. What to do?

    Cheers and hugs,

  10. Don't beat yourself up, KB. You have gone above and beyond for both of your dogs - you're only human, everyone makes mistakes! I'm glad that K seems OK. I'm betting that one meal won't be enough to disturb her system too much.

    Love that last picture of R.

  11. Pancreatitis. We're just in from our walk and 'the font' pointed out that since Wilf has been on Cortisone his digestive system has never been better. After four years of monitoring everything no worries about Pancreatitis or Colitis. Your a real start to have only made one mistake. Can't tell you how many times we slipped up !

  12. I think labradors learn those pathetic looks in the womb. Impossible to resist.

    Mango Momma

  13. i've been visiting everyday....
    i'm sure K will be fine, but i understand how upset with yourself you were!
    and the wasted day of waiting for the computer guy...arg!
    awesome pics as always!

  14. Love both closeups of R and hope K stays fine.

  15. Glad to hear the mix up didn't cause any problems. Great pics as aways :).

  16. All of the pictures are great! I also have an animal camera! I share lots of the pictures that I get on my blog.

  17. We are hoping K continues to show no ill-effects. I know that panicky feeling when feed crosses - I have three black Friesian horses that no one can tell apart but me. When I leave on business I have to rely on others to feed them, and one of them is very touchy with her feed. We almost lost her as a yearling, and she requires a special diet to keep her functioning. I take so many precautions with her, but worry so much at the same time!


  18. What a great series of photographs. Glad the food mixup didn't cause any problems.

  19. I agree with all of those who say not to be too hard on yourself. We all mess up with our animals, once in a while, and know, all too well, that sinking feeling in the pit of our stomachs when we realize what we have done. I'm late coming here today and I hope that, by this time, K is still fine and you are beginning to relax.

  20. I hope K is still ok after the food mix up. Hopefully by now you would have seen a reaction if it was going to happen. That pygmy nuthatch bird is so cute, and you're right, the vision if many of them snug in the trees is wonderful.

  21. Great photos as always - I love the ones of the birds!

    I'm glad the food mixup didn't cause any issues.

  22. We are keeping our paws crossed for K.
    We have our paws crossed a lot it seems when all of a sudden we notice "you know who" is eating some little green leaf from a house plant,, or a paper clip..
    and its our fault that these things fall on the floor.
    So far we have been lucky.
    The photos are gorgeous

  23. Oh my! We read the post post first, so we understood that all worked out ok, but definitely would follow a similar path when thinking something I had done could cause an unwelcomed outcome.
    The snoozing photo of R is fantastic!!!
    And, arg...the service wait windows...oh so grueling :)

    Sweet hugs,
    Sierra Rose

  24. Abby also has chronic pancreatitis. Both dogs get the same food, so Jed is on the pancreatic diet and he does just fine. Mama also keeps Medrol [a form of prednisone] on hand and gives Abby two pills if she notices the beginnings of an flare -up. Some literture says not to use steroids, but it works well for Abby. She doesn't get them regularly and they do help her weather an episode. Mama will also give her Pepto if there's a hint of an upset tummy. Fortunately, it sounds like K weathered this just fine.

    All the other comments are right. One does the best one can, and Lord knows you do. Mama has also mixed up our meds once or twice, but neither of us takes anything that is really harmful to the other. Making a mistake makes her even more careful in the future, and we expect you react the same way.

    Jed & Abby

  25. That super contented look...dogs really know how to make the best of it, right!

  26. The picture of the two of them together!!! Wow!!!

    Now I see why you were so worried, and I'm glad readers tried to get you back on track and not beating yourself up. I also am very glad everything seems to be working out okay. Loved the description of R getting gourmet!


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