9.21.2009

updates and pupdates

Ankle. I saw the doctor today about my ankle. (Called on Friday, saw her on Monday. Damn Canadian health care system!)

She says an MRI is unnecessary, since it's clearly not a torn ligament or other condition requiring surgery. She'd like me to get an x-ray, just in case there's a hairline fracture, which is an outside possibility.

Other than that, she recommends a good brace plus balance exercises - but exercises only after the ankle is strong enough for me to stand on one foot. The physiotherapist I'm seeing for my repetitive stress injuries might be able to recommend a brace.

Basement. Nothing. Our landlord is using the basement renovations as an excuse to upgrade the bathroom, and we're waiting for the new fixtures to come in. We'll hit the two-month mark before it does.

I asked about a rent rebate, and the longer this goes on, the more convinced I am that we deserve one. Landlord said he would talk to his insurance, and if they pay, he'll pass it to us. I'm thinking we should get a rebate regardless of his insurance coverage.

We renew our lease on October 1, and I'm going to push for it. I don't look forward to that.

Cody. Good news! We think the DAP collar is having a positive effect! While we were away, our dogsitter told us there was a thunderstorm. Cody woke her up, but was content to lie down beside the bed and sleep - which was unthinkable before. We think it must be the collar.

In general, Cody seems happier and more lively. She's even eating better. The only difference we can think of is the collar.

Thank you, Dharma Seeker!!

And speaking of which... Dogwalker. She's great. She loves animals, she's reliable, and she doesn't have a massively busy life that she's trying to squeeze our dogs into. She and her friend had a great time with Tala and Cody while we were gone. Is it too much to hope that she sticks around? Probably! But I'm hoping.

School. I start my second week of school quite overwhelmed. In the back of my mind, I'm thinking, I have until November 4 to drop one class. But how long do I want to take to finish this program?

Allan reminds me that I haven't been through a normal week yet. I have to give it more time. He's right, and I will. At the moment, I'm not optimistic. But I'm withholding judgement.

Random weirdness. Late last night, I heard Allan urgently and repeatedly calling Tala to come in the house. When I came downstairs, she was inside, looking a bit shook up and subdued. There was an animal in the backyard, and Tala had been tangling with it! Amazingly, she responded to Allan and came when called, I think partly because she was afraid.

The animal was still on the lawn, frozen in fear. We could see its triangular face and big eyes, but couldn't make out what it was. It took a few limping steps, then ran off, seemingly unhurt.

We have no idea what it was, and it happened too fast - and was too dark - to get a picture. It wasn't a woodchuck or hedgehog, definitely not a skunk, not a ferret or some similar-looking creature. Any ideas?

I think we've finally learned our lesson about letting the dogs out late at night. They've been skunked twice, and now Tala could have been seriously hurt, or hurt or even killed another animal. It's leashes at night from now on.

23 comments:

James said...

The animal was still on the lawn, frozen in fear. We could see it's triangular face and big eyes, but couldn't make out what it was. It took a few limping steps, then ran off, seemingly unhurt. [...] Any ideas?

Raccoons are the most common animals we see out and about at night downtown. Here are some on our garage roof.

How big was your animal? The raccoons here range from Yorkie sized for the juveniles up to nearly the size of Cobalt or Denim (only rounder).

Dharma Seeker said...

I wonder if the animal Tala met up with was a possum? Or groundhog? Raccoons seem the likeliest candidates but I'm sure you'd have recognized a raccoon.

I'm so glad the collar is helping :)

redsock said...

Pretty sure it was not a raccoon. No mask-type face or ringed, thick tail. This guy was bigger than your dogs, for sure.

I wonder if Tala was surprised by it when she trotted out into the yard. I was on my way to put trash in the garage so I was out a bit behind her.

She and the animal were suddenly tangled up in the middle of the yard. That's when I started yelling at Tala. The animal rolled over a few times and they separated. Tala then began trotting in a circle around the animal, though not in a stalking way, more just observing. And the animal was hissing at her like a cat.

I kept calling Tala, and Tala's circles were getting bigger and bigger and eventually she broke off and came into the house. The animal stayed out there staring in at us for a bit, then went off towards the back of the yard, limping at first, but then seemingly walking alright.

So I figured I should walk them on the leash. So we go out down the driveway and cross the street, and there is a bit of a wooden fence in front of a house. I see a black blob sitting on it and semi-freak out before I realize it is only a little cat! Yeesh!

redsock said...

Recently, I was taking trash out to the curb late at night and saw a skunk dart back away from me into the thick bushes in front of the house. It's scary out there!

redsock said...

Could be a possum, though this guy did not look quite as rat-like as the possum pics I am seeing.

Dharma Seeker said...

Raccoons hiss, and most would be gutsy enough to take on a large, assertive dog.

redsock said...

Maybe it was a raccoon. Thankfully, Tala was not super aggressive. I was afraid of a serious fight going on, but it never really happened.

When she was in, she wanted to go back out, actually whining and whacking my arm with her paw, but she also had a bit of a wary, WTF face on! L says this morning, she shot outside and sniffed the hell out of that part of the yard.

Stephanie said...

Sounds like you had quite an adventure in the backyard. I think the leash might be a good idea at night. Here's my story about why.

Over the years of my graduate studies I have house/animal sat for several profs and their animals.

One of these fine dogs 'Roscoe' (short for Roscoe P. Coltrane) is quite a predator (particularly at night) and had had several nasty encounters with skunks. It seems he must also have been encountering raccoons in his yard (there is no shortage of either in our city as is likely the case around you). He came down with terrific bout of Coonhound paralysis.

Roscoe was unable to stand or walk and after having been seen by his local vet he was hospitalised at the University of Guelph animal hospital for treatment and observations for a week. It seems it can lead to paralysis of the cardio-pulminary system in the very worst of cases.

Nighttime encounters are definitely more common and a leash is not at all a bad idea.

IMHO

L-girl said...

Oops, I should have put "not a raccoon" on that list, too. I saw it hobble and then run off, and it did not have that distinctive hump-back shape of a raccoon. So I'd say no to raccoon.

Tala was awesome for coming when called! I do think part of it was fear and wanting the security of home, but still! Yay Tala.

* * * *

Also, re DAP collar, Cody is also still on the Clomicalm. This is her last month of that med. I hope the DAP continues to work after we take her off.

L-girl said...

Stephanie, wow, that is scary. Getting skunked twice - once very directly - was bad enough.

None of these animals come into our yard during the day, at least not under normal circumstances. And even in the early evening, it's still generally ok.

But that last go-out late at night... we've got to go for the leash. I remember reader/commenter Amy saying that ever since her dog was skunked years ago, they've never let her out loose at night. We must follow suit.

[And one skunk incident was in the winter!]

But paralysis... yeesh. Thanks for sharing.

James said...

The only other largish animal I can think of in the area -- that would tangle with a dog -- would be a coyote. But I wouldn't expect one near your place, as they prefer wooded areas over suburban roads. Though maybe it was up from Mississauga Valleys Park...

I do know that a coyote could jump your fence without trouble. Lori & I once saw one run up out of Moore Park Ravine and leap the fence into Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.

BTW, I biked not far from your place earlier this month, on my way to the Burlington Rib Fest. I was using Rathburn to get from Little Etobicoke Creek to the Credit.

L-girl said...

I heart coyotes. :)

This was not a coyote, though. It was low to the ground. Maybe possom? Or groundhog?

James said...

Groundhogs are definitely smaller than raccoons, and I thought possums were too -- though I've never met a possum.

L-girl said...

OK, I just did a Google image search for possum. (Should have done it earlier.) I'm pretty sure that's what it was!

possums

The triangular-shaped face is the key here.

James said...

This blog has a photo of a possum next to a dog for scale.

redsock said...

James: That hissing picture looks pretty accurate, but this animal seemed to have a thicker, furrier tail than those possums.

L-girl said...

I'm now reasonably certain it was a possum.

johngoldfine said...

I'm coming in late after a nearly positive ID, but a fox maybe? Foxes and dogs get on like the proverbial cats-and-dogs, but much much worse...

James said...

I'd forgotten about foxes... They are around the area, though pretty shy. Lori & I saw one in the Beaches a couple of years back. We haven't seen any possums, though.

deang said...

That possum link with the pictures Laura put up features a variety of possums, both Australian and North American. There's only one species in North America, the Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginianus) and it has a bare, scaly tale and can get as large as a raccoon, particularly up where you live. They have short legs and are pretty slow-moving, too; they don't trot.

L-girl said...

Thanks, Dean. That makes sense. I'm sticking with possum!

bgk said...

Stupid question if you don't mind. Does your area have a Renter's Association? I've had to use San Antonio's Renter's Association to get the coaching I needed to demand lower rent/rebate for repairs in violation of the Lease.

This may just be a USian thing, so I apologize if this doesn't help.

Either way, much luck!

L-girl said...

Bgk, not a stupid question, a good idea.

Ontario has a similar association. I think I'm ok to deal with the landlord as is.

But as we have a very cordial relationship, and he's only one guy who rents a house, not a big company, I want to stay on good terms with him. So there's a certain amount of diplomacy involved.