Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Grandpa's updates

July.23.2006 :

"Sunshade looked a little bit sad, but she eat and drink well. We'll bring her to go to the beach maybe in fifteen minutes."


Mom asked: More updates please......is her mood better today? happier?

"Sunshade becomes much better than yesterday. We went to Stanley park this afternoon, she was very happy but we couldn't enter the aouarium. I wanted to bring her to see the belugas,and i got a little disappointment. afterall we saw many squirrels. Rabbit is ok!"


"Sunshade went to the beach again, she is happy then. But when she got home, still looked a little slow. those two days she slept on the 2nd floor, she came to us. everyone is ok, don't worry!"


Mom wrote: Does she still run home to try to look for me? Give her lots of treats and hide them inside the house to have her look for them, she likes that game. Make sure you tell her to sit and stay some where she can't see where you are putting the treats, and then tell her "OK" to go look for them. Or put rocks in her kiddie pool for her to play, but make sure she doesn't chew on the rock once she brings it out.

"Yes, she always rush home to see if you are at home. We play rock in the kiddie pool everyday, she likes it. She didn't eat the rock. I would try to hide some treats to play with her later on. We went to the beach this afternoon, she swam a lot, and play with other dogs on the dog's beach. She is happy."


"Sunshade is fine, we went to the park yesterday, because it's overcast and a little bit cold, I think it's not good for swim. We're going to the beach today. She is a little bit afraid of fire work so we stayed home with her. Sunshade's leg looks fine."


"Sunshade is same as usual, We went to beach, Stanley park or other park every other day. I didn't see any problem on her legs, of course she didn't run. She is not as sad as last week now."


"I will take Sunshade with me to Victoria tomorrow ( 8/3 Thursday). Do not miss your plane! Sunshade is expecting you."


"We will see you in the Van. airport. Sunshade looked exciting, She bit balls ran and played in back yard, just like a young kid. I think maybe she feels you would be back soon or we're going to Victoria? "

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I KNEW IT.........

My hunch was proven right.........

Mom left the house at about 12:30 am on Saturday (July.22.06) WITHOUT me..........

Before mom left, there was still that little bit of hope in me that I would be going with mom wherever she was planning on going. However, I could tell by the way mom acted, the way mom "smelled", the way grandpa was taking over the tasks of taking care of me that I probably was not going to be part of the trip.

Just as mom was getting ready to leave the house, I pulled out my last move of manipulation and started to dance around mom, hinting how happy I would be if she were to take me. Mom bent down and started kissing me on my head and rubbing the insides of my ears (I just can't resist the feeling), but I could tell mom was sad.

Then, I heard those words that I so dreaded hearing........ mom said "I'LL BE BACK". As soon as those words came out of mom's mouth, I stopped dead in the position I was in, my tail came down "right away", my ears were not in it's proud up right position anymore, my eyes sank, and my hopes were gone. I knew mom was gonna leave without me because those were the words that mom always say to me before leaving the house "without" me. I stopped trying to follow mom, I stopped trying to beg mom, I just stopped trying all together. It broke mom's heart I know because she hates to see me being upset. I wasn't trying to upset mom, but I just couldn't stop my sadness and disappointment from showing.

Grandpa didn't like to see me upset either so he got out all kinds of my favorite treats in an attempt to cheer me up. I give grandpa four paws up for the attempt, but it didn't work. I ignored all the treats because I was too upset.

My dear grandpa then started telling me about all the exciting plans ahead he has for me. He is going to take me to Kits beach as much as possible, and then we will be going to Victoria - the place I lived from 8 weeks of age to 18 months old. So I am kind of excited about the days ahead even though mom won't be here. Oh well, grandpa said I'd be too busy to even think about mom and that mom would be back before I knew it. Mom is only going to be in Taiwan for two weeks, so I guess that's not so bad......

Friday, July 21, 2006

Something's up...............

Okay....something's FISHY (no pun intended) I can sense it!!!

Grandpa showing up all of a sudden, mom putting all "her" things (usually she would be putting mostly "my" stuff ) in the big black boxy looking thing that's lying down on our livingroom floor. Mom has also been spending a lot of time with grandpa infront of my supplement cupboard and yet she's not bagging my supplements. Mom usually spends a lot of time infront of my supplement cupboard begging my supplements if we were going on a trip. This time however, she is spending a lot of time explaining to grandpa and grandpa look like he is writing a lot of things down.

Mom hasn't taken me out to play in the water yet today because she just seems so busy........ Whatever is going on, I DON'T LIKE IT!!! It it having an effect on my daily routine and my mood...... I've been feeling pretty mopey today.... and the whopping "39 C" is not helping either...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

MY clinic, MY vet, MY Janice!!!

Location: Mosquito Creek Veterinary Hospital in North Vancouver, BC http://www.mosquitocreekvethosp.com/
Appointment time: 9:30 am
Treatment: acupuncture + some "LOV'IN"
Weight: 62 lbs - lost two pounds due to extreme exercise lately
Note to self: ask mom for more lamb flanks and chicken backs (fattier), and MUST remember to stand by the treat drawer AT LEAST "4" times a day.

This morning, mom told me we were going to see my auntie Janice (Dr. Janice Crook) for my arthritic elbow because it was starting to get a little "crunchy". I couldn't be happier because I hadn't seen auntie Janice for a little over two weeks. As soon as we got off the Lions Gate Bridge, I started to "sing" and do my "happy dances" back and forth in the car. I knew I was minutes away from seeing auntie Janice!! However, very typical of my mom, she took FOREVER to collect all the things she wanted to bring into the clinic. So I got a little impatient and started pawing at the door lock/latch and popped the door open myself (you can read about my unlocking door skill at "Un-locking" car door for mom
). When mom finally let me out of the car, I DRAGGED mom across the parking lot and marched right into MY clinic!!

Mom thinks it's amazing that even after my plate removal surgery, and all the pokes I have received at the clinic (for bloodworks), I still LOVE to go there and LOVE everyone who works there. In fact, I always storm in there and start "announcing" my presence like I OWN the place. Some people don't understand why I'm so "talkative", but auntie Janice and everybody else who work at the clinic know "Oh, that's Sunshade telling us she wants to be the center of the attention NOW!!!"

Sometimes, like today, the first thing I do after announcing my presence, is to do my "rounds". I feel it is my responsibility to check out who is in MY clinic, who has been in MY clinic, if everything is put in it's right place, and of course, if any treats are left behind..........

Then all of a sudden while I was making my rounds in the kitchen, this lady in blue brought in a cage that was covered by a brown blanket and she left it in MY surgery room!!! I wasn't sure what it was at first, but I could definitely smell it.........

I inched my way toward it, and then................. I saw an eye GLARING at me from inside the cage...

OMG...something is GLARING at me

Auntie Janice told me later on that it was a wild cat the lady in blue had caught in her yard, and he was there to be neutered. Boy did he ever spray, and stunk up MY clinic!!!!

After I "okayed" everything in MY clinic, it was time for some LOV'IN! This is what always ends up happening for the first 5-10 mins of our session......Can you tell HOW MUCH I love my auntie Janice?? I kept trying to lick and "nibble" on Janice's face..., only very special people get these from me!! Mom tried and tried to get some good photos of me and Janice, but neither of us would stop moving LOL!!


TAKE 2 - trying to give auntie Janice "love nibbles" on the face.......

TAKE 3 - love nibbles on the shoulder......

TAKE 4 - still trying for the shoulder

TAKE 5 - auntie Janice trying to "stabilize" my head to get a good shot

TAKE 6 - hey look at that, my head is STABILIZED!!!

TAKE 7 - FINALLY! Auntie Janice and I stopped adoring each other, but both decided to not look into the camera LOL. It's kinda artistic don't you think?

Then it was time for some "serious" business. My acupuncture time!! Auntie Janice thinks I'm so funny because as soon as I assume the acupuncture position on the sofa, I can't seem to be able to keep my eyes open even BEFORE the needles went in!!!!! It's kind of embarrassing, but I just can't help it. It must be all the tranquility and positive energy surrounding Janice and the clinic that just make me "drift" into a deep sleep.

I'm already "drifting" away...even before the needles were in

Of course, as soon as the first needle went in on top of my head, I was G-O-N-E.....

Auntie Janice putting the 1ST needle in

1ST needle

The effectiveness of acupuncture depends on the individual just like it is with people. It can work miracles for some dogs (like ME ME ME), and do little for others. However, the trick is to have patience and give it enough time to "kick in". It is almost impossible to see overnight results when you first start acupuncture. Take me as an example: I was very lame due to my arthritic elbow back when I was only two years old. I couldn't stop limping so mom decided to give acupuncture a try despite her skepticism. It took a good 4-6 weekly sessions before mom noticed results. Even then, the improvements were not drastic. However, mom followed up with it religiously, and after about two months, the results were quite noticeable. Auntie Janice was able to get the inflammation in my elbow to the lowest possible point, which meant my elbow didn't get nearly as warm or swollen as it used to be. Ever since then, my elbow has been doing great and I can do almost anything a normal dog could do and not come back lame. Mom couldn't have wished for a better result!!

Running current through the needles provide stronger stimulation to the acupoints - since my elbow is the worst of them all, Janice likes to run current through there.

These days, I usually get acupuncture treatments every two to three weeks depending how much exercise I have been having and how well my elbow is doing. Mom can feel how well my elbow is doing during the stretching and range of motion exercises she does with me everyday. Usually when it's time for a treatment, my elbow gets tight, which means I resist a bit during stretching. Or my elbow gets what Janice likes to call it "crunchy", meaning you can actually feel my bones "loose" and grinding against each other during range of motion exercise. However, as soon as I get my treatment, I no longer resist stretching and there is very little to no "crunching" going on during range of motion exercise.

Ok, so I have been telling you how much I love MY clinic, MY vet, MY Janice right?? Well, now I'm gonna tell you how much I REALLY love MY clinic, My vet, My Janice and everybody who works at Mosquito Creek.

As you can see from my previous posts, I usually get along fine with other dogs. However, due to the fact that I think I OWN auntie Janice and the clinic, I get very "rude" to all the dogs and cats that come into MY clinic. I get very "mad" when I see auntie Janice or Jennifer or anybody else handling other dogs and I start protesting and threatening the other dogs at the top of my lungs. Mom tells me that's not a good girl behavior, and I know that in my heart, but I just can't help it. They are MINE MINE MINE!!! Auntie Janice knows I'm not a meanie, so she always tells people with a little chuckle, "Sunshade just thinks she owns the place!!!".

The interesting thing is that, the ONLY dog that I have never tried to be rude is Janice's "baby", KAYLA!! This is Kayla, can you guess how old she is???

Kayla had just started coming to work with Janice since last year, and I had only just met her then. She is about half my size, but for whatever reason, I knew the day I met her for the first time that I had to "respect" her. I knew I couldn't be rude to her like I was with all other dogs who set foot in MY clinic. Mom thinks it's because for some reason, I know that Kayla's mom, auntie Janice owns the clinic, and since Kayla OWNS her mom, that Kayla technically OWNS the clinic AND everyone else who sets foot in the clinic.

Just like me, Kayla likes to be in the center of the attention ALL THE TIME! She gets mad at Janice when Janice is in the examination room with clients, and starts complaining until her mom gives in and comes out to "fulfill" her "needs". I think this is totally and utterly ACCEPTABLE!! I would do exactly the same thing, just in a "pushier" way if MY mom were with other dogs all day!!

You must really want to know how old auntie Janice's puppy Kayla is right?? Well lets just say she would have been driving for a good 6 months now if she were a human! YES...Kayla is a healthy 16 year old who has been "raw fed" (My diet - The BARF Diet) all her life. Auntie Janice adopted Kayla back in 92' while she was still in vet school. Like me and mom, Kayla and auntie Janice are "soulmates" too!!

Another one of my favorite people is MY vet tech Jennifer!!

Jennifer loves me because I make the same grunting/growly noises her "Noelle Shirley" makes. Shirley is a very cute, 3 year old "lurcher" (any kind of sight hound mix with a terrier). She is a Scottish Deerhound cross with an American Staffeshire Terrier. Just look at her, isn't she adorable?? Mom loves that "scruffy" look and so do I!!

Shirley was thrown from a moving truck onto Jen's front lawn as a one week old puppy (?? check with Jen) by some heartless idiots on Christmas Eve, hence the name "Noelle" Shirley. However, it must be doG's wish to have Shirley "delivered" to Jen because guess what? Just like Kayla and me, Shirley is Jen's "one in a million soulmate"!!

You know what the common denominators for us three gals are??

  • The world REVOLVES around US
  • We have our moms wrapped around our little toes
  • We are extremely smart yet "pushy" girls
  • We tend to grab onto your heart and NEVER let go!!!

Seymour River

After my "visit" with auntie Janice, mom took me to play in the Seymour River since my elbow and overall body felt so much better, much more energized.

First, mom asked me to sit still and let her get a good photo of me. I tried my best to listen and sit still "in" the water....

Is my face adorable or what??

Then I remembered about the amazing "Pointer" dogs I saw on Animal Planet. They lift one of their legs up pointing and staring in the direction of the birds to let their masters know where the birdies are. So I thought I would give it a try and "point" at the rock mom was holding to let her know that's what I wanted (hmm....well that's my theory of what pointing should be - WHAT I WANT!). I guess being a terrier, I didn't do too bad on my first "pointing" try. Mom said I was "looking" at the rock, but "pointing" in the wrong direction....... Like this,

Of course, after a while of not getting what I wanted it, I started to do things the "TERRIER" way. Which means lots of "talking", lots of "talking back", lots of "temper tantrum"!!!

Getting ready to talk now!!






Mom says I've been watching way too much Animal Planet and Discovery Channel shows. Out of no where, I started to act like Flipper the dolphin..........

REACH Sunshade REACH!!


UP...UUUUP getting ready for the FLIP!!

Now FLIP! Ok, not quite......

OK, now try FLIP the OTHER WAY!!

HEHE....HEHE.......I kinda look SILLY don't I???

Mom was quite shocked about my "dolphin-ic" behavior to say the least. I think she is thinking of putting "parental control" on our TV, so I won't start copying behaviors of the lions and cheetahs living on the safari..... Wouldn't THAT be bad eh???

Here are a few more pictures from Seymour:

I totally fell in love with this handsome Rough Collie named Zeus - look at his beautiful "mane"......(shh....I learned that word from watching Lion King on Animal Planet)

"Snoopy" (okay...that wasn't really his name, he just looked like a snoopy) wanted to come over to play but he looked to be a little wary of the water

I was a little apprehensive looking down at the river from up on the bridge

Grandpa was IN the house!!

Well, as if the excitment for today wasn't enough already, guess who I came home to??? My GRANDPA!!!!! He flew over 10 000 kilometers to come and see me from Taiwan. Mom had gotten the dates mixed up since Taiwan is 15 hours ahead of our time here. She had thought Grandpa and Auntie Lin was coming tomorrow............ talk about being confused LOL.

Anyway, mom snapped a few quick photos of my reactions when I first saw Grandpa.

Grandpa looks like he's having more fun with my ball than me!!

When I'm VERY very happy, I like to go and grab one of my toys and run around the person to show how happy I am!! I usually do this too when I see mom getting getting my leash and harness because I know we are about to go for a walk.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The way MY MIND works, the way I AM

There are many reasons why people say "Airedales aren't for everyone, you will either love them with all your heart or hate them from the bottom of your gut"!!

These are two examples of why - the mind games we play.......

I was having so much fun running around with my buddies at Kits Beach this afternoon when mom all of a sudden started rushing me for no obvious reason. She put my leash on and started storming across Vanier park. Mom tried to explain to me that she had forgotten about the time and was running late for an appointment. I, on the other hand, pretended I was listening, but was actually wracking my brain out trying to find a legitimate reason to prolong our walk to the car. VOILA........when all of a sudden, the duck pond in front of the Vancouver Museum came into sight. I got my inspiration!!!

Knowing that mom never forces me to walk or move against my wishes by my leash, I stopped. Mom turned to look at me, and I, gave her an indication that I wanted to go by the pond. Now, this is a pound that I usually NEVER pay any attention to while running around free off-leash. However, this was my ONLY chance today and I knew I had to convince mom that I really really wanted to go "see" the pond. Well, as I had expected, mom gave in and walked me towards the pond. To make my act seem even more complete and convincing, I started to stare intently at those boring looking ducks of whom I'm usually completely oblivious of. To be honest, those ducks were really boring to watch while they slowly waddled around the pond. This is why I never pay any attention to them because they are just so NOT exciting to watch or even chase as compared to squirrels or other rodents. I tried my best to keep staring at them with my undivided attention, but my eyes wandered away to other distractions from time to time. Mom noticed that, and asked me to follow her. However, as soon as she said "Sunshade, let's go to the car", I again, stared "intently" back at those ducks. Finally, mom decided it was faster to just let me off leash to follow her back to the car (which I did V-E-R-Y SLOOOOOOOOWLY).

In 20/20 hindsight, I think I should have picked the "kites" to stare intently at instead of those ducks. The kites had more movement at least and some of them even came crashing down every few minutes. Way more interesting than those slow paddlers.............

Another mind game I sometimes play with mom is during brushing time. I don't like to have my hair brushed, so everytime I see mom getting my slicker brush, I run to the window, put my front legs on the window sill, stand on my hind legs and pretend to be watching something really interesting happening outside, when in all honesty, there is nothing outside.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

mY bALd SPots.........

I just don't understand it..... This morning, out of no where, mom decided to ruin my beautiful coat.... I now have 5 little bald patches on my lower back and down my thigh.

Mom got a video called "How to Groom an Airedale" (
http://rangeairevision.com/educational/grooming.php) about a month ago, and has been wanting to try it out ever since. The video teaches people how to "strip" an Airedale and not "clip". However, because I have a sheepcoat (meaning 99% of coat is undercoat, lacking top wiry coat) stripping for me would be very painful and unenjoyable. While brushing me this morning, I could see mom's head thinking, which is never a good thing. Sure enough, she went and got her stripping knife!!! Mom explained to me that even though my coat is mainly a sheepcoat, I have little patches here and there that are of the correct coat texture. She promised me that she would only pull my hair on those little spots and it shouldn't hurt me at all.

See some of my wiry patches (photos taken previously)

On my thigh

Around both of my eyes

Mom gave me a large beef rib bone to chomp on while she satisfied her own curiosity by stripping away at my wiry patches. I trusted mom but was honestly a little doubtful that having my hair pulled out by the roots wasn't going to hurt. Much to my surprise however, I didn't even feel anything the entire time mom was working on me and just kept gnawing away at my rib bone!!! I did give mom that "owie...that hurt me mommy...." kind of look when mom got close to the border of where my sheepcoat begins. Mom gave me a kiss on the head and stopped immediately. This is why it is recommended that sheepcoated Airedales be clipped and not stripped, because it can really HURT...

Look at my bald patches.....SIGH...

I was not very pleased with my "baldy" look, but mom assured me that new hair would grow in in less than three weeks, and she will never do this to me again. You have to know, my mom is a very curious lady. She loves to try new things just to see what happens next. For example: stripping my wiry spots to see the kind of hair I grow out!!!

***To read more about the difference in coat texture (sheepcoat vs wiry), please visit my previous post (Difference in coat texture)

Typical summer weekend at Kits Beach

We woke up this morning to a perfect Vancouver summer day!! So where did everybody go on a perfect day such as this?? You guessed it, mom, me and a million other people and dogs all went to Kitsilano Beach to enjoy the beautiful day! Everything about today was just PERFECT; the sun, the sky, the grass, the breeze, the salt water, the beach, MY LIFE!!

These pictures show you what Kits Beach look like on a typical summer weekend.

People flying kites in Vanier Park

Vancouver Museum

Maritime Museum

Main beach - people sunbathing, surfing, volleyball-ing

If you want to play, you gotta follow the RULES!!! No doggies allowed on the main beach between (April-Oct)

Concession featuring the new - Watermark on Kits Beach Restaurant

The famous Kitsilano Swimming Pool**

**Vancouver's largest draw and fill saltwater pool. For a small fee, you can take a dip in the heated pool which can accommodate anyone from toddlers to advanced swimmers. Open yearly from June - Sept.

Me having a peek

Grassy, picnic area above the pool

Finally, the DOG BEACH - a beach opened all year round for me and my buddies to play on!!!

What I do to stay COOOOOOOOL - the tide was low today so the water looks a bit murky

I'm gonna DIG DIG DIG!!


Then, me and my buddies started to play a game. The rule for this game is simple: whoever has the stick gets to be "IT", and the IT in this case, gets to be chased by everybody else. Make sense?? OKAY!

Discussing who should be "IT"

OK, he's got the stick, so he's IT!!


Now the other guy has part of the stick too - gotta chase them both


I'm sure I'll be running in my dreams tonight because I just had SOO much fun at the dog beach today!!! Mom says it's amazing how well "socialized" all the dogs that come to this beach are because we all get along fine despite our breed, size, age, and personality differences.