Friday, February 27, 2009

Infrared Wheezie!

The other day Greg was messing around with one of his older Nikon digital cameras and he made it super awesome! He modified it to shoot in INFRARED. Of course, this meant he also needed a special infrared flashlight (not the easiest thing to find, but to the rescue there!) Okay okay, I'll cut to the chase - Greg took a few IR photos of Louise, which is what you see here.

The weird thing about using that camera-flashlight combo is that it looks like everything is broken. The light is not really visible to the naked eye as the normal spectrum of light 'hides' it. From Louise's perspective that was fine by her. She barely noticed. But then, she was kind of sleepy at the time.

He took photos of a lot of people in the office, including me. Most were either silly, creepy or just plain weird. We wanted to do this with Louise specifically because of how the eyes look with this type of lens filtering - since Louise's eyes have scars on parts I was hoping for greater visibility on those areas. As you can see, it comes through somewhat, but not as clear as when we use a flash. Oh yeah, the varying degrees of redness is just because I was desaturating the colour manually so it wasn't quite the same each time. Think of it as similar to nightvision goggles but with a red tint instead of green.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunny weekend stroll on the Seawall

Yes, I was going for some alliteration in the title. Did you spot it?

Saturday was a great spring day here in Vancouver. The temperatures are warming up and we had lots of sunshine to boot. That means taking Louise on a walk is easy because there is less cleanup involved afterward. In turn, that generally means she gets out for longer and more frequent walks.

This usually tends to catch us once the rain starts again, and our dog is accustomed to lengthy strolls. But that's okay, all this exercise is keeping her fit and young at heart.

One thing about these warmer spring days is that at least in my neighborhood, it seems that EVERYBODY wants to go for a walk on the seawall. There doesn't have to be an event going on for crowds to gather. I'm surprised that I haven't seen any street performers take advantage of this yet. I guess it's still a little early.

The weather is supposed to turn wet this week and we did have some showers on Sunday. I guess it was too much to ask for this temperate rain forest of a city to stay dry throughout the spring. We will take our rain and enjoy our walks though. At least it is warming up nicely.

For the record, Louise appears to be completely healed. She has no limp, her paw may have a scar to show for her troubles and the one paw pad is now half pink, but otherwise she seems to have forgotten all about it. Unless you count the licking - she still likes to lick her paws a lot, especially when settling down to sleep. We aren't sure what this is from but usually with a little suggestion from us we can get her to stop.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Is the grass green where you live?

Oh my, it's been a full week since my last post. Her paw is doing great now - the skin on the bottom of the paw pad did dry out and flake off significantly (about half of the pad) but the new skin underneath has toughened up and she is walking normally. There is still a fair amount of scarring on the sides of her paw from bandage wear but nothing that bothers her anymore.

Louise was in the office today and I caught her making the most of it. If she wasn't doing 'food inspections' for the receptionist then she was goofing around with anyone else who would pay attention to her.

Our mid-day walk was not to exciting places like Science World or Olympic Village. Instead we headed into the quieter streets near the office, mostly filled with light industrial buildings that hold breweries, body shops and the like. It means less traffic and for me, a quieter walk. It's usually the short walk of the day for her so she likes to make the most of it. I was trying to get a picture of Louise looking up at me as she walks but this was the best I could do. I take what I can get, I guess.

On the weekend we managed to get out in the sunshine a few times and walk along the sea wall. This last shot is close to Beach Avenue, which is only a few blocks from our place. Louise was leading the way on this walk as I had to wear dark sunglasses. I had scratched my eye on an earlier walk and it was still pretty inflamed at the time. Later that day I headed to the doctor and he bandaged me up pirate style. A few days later and I was healed. Hopefully this ends our string of doctor visits, at least for a while.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Office adventures - toys and serious looks

Louise wasn't supposed to be in the office today. She had switched with Sasha for tomorrow but at the last minute Sasha called in sick so Louise came in after all. It's worked out in her favour even though there were flurries when we left. (I hear that places like Burnaby and parts of Vancouver that are at higher elevations got real snow.)

Most people at the office were happy to see Louise without a bandage for a change. Her paw is basically healed although I have noticed that the skin on the base of her paw pad has started to peel off and is still a little tender. Still, no limping and she hasn't been licking at it. Just not a big fan of anyone messing with the edges right now.

At one point she was on the desk - yes, she decided today that it was better to nap ON the desk instead of on the stool we normally have her on - and Greg decided to make some silly faces while I took a photo or two. He's like that and well, Louise likes him so it's okay.

She's pretty sleepy right now, but I know she's faking. By the time I get done with dinner she is going to want a crazy long walk just like usual again. Here she is 'faking it' with her face on my arm.

Lastly, I got a photo of her with another one of Greg's toys, this one named 'IN CHINA' since that is what is printed on the back. Not 'Made in China' as that probably wouldn't fit.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

A little faster every day

The last couple walks Louise and I took have been longer than what has been usual as of late. We are almost back to our marathon hour long adventures. She of course is in favour of this idea as to be honest, giving her short walks means she is restless in the house.

That means we are in favour of it too. Especially the cats, who would much prefer to have her sleep away her time indoors as much as possible.

The middle shot was taken on our night walk. I don't often get any good shots in the dark as Louise is usually moving too quickly for long exposures. However, she was very interested in this bush and I managed to get a clean snapshot before she started moving again. I try not to think about how many other dogs urinated on these bushes but the thought of washing her face when we got home has crossed my mind now and again.

In addition to venturing out for longer walks, Louise has also picked up the pace. She normally has energy to burn when we start out, as you can see in this last photo. Try not to critique the duct tape on the paw too much - today's attempt was a little sloppier than usual but it did the job and now we are done with it.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Little Mz. Paw Licker

This is a rare post without photos. I used the best one I got today on the banner and it seemed a little redundant to use it again here. Anyway, Louise seems to be doing better - we do have to cover her paw when we go out for walks, but keep it uncovered (nekkid!) when she's just running about the house. We have a topical cream to put on the sores that had formed from bandaging, and everything seems to be healing nicely.

It's a full time job to prevent her from licking at it though. We didn't get a lot of sleep last night.

She is asleep on my lap as I write this which is kind of nice. The paw licking isn't really a big problem, we just have to keep a closer eye on what she is up to. She's not trying to chew at her paw or anything like that. Another day or so and the sores should be healed over and it will no longer be an issue - Louise will be free to lick her paws to wash her face once again.

I might post again later if I happen to get some more interesting shots of her. But for now, I'm going to let her sleep a while.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Weekly Report from the office - Feb 3

Louise had a pretty good day into the office yesterday. The weather was nice and we were able to get out briefly at lunch time, which she seemed to enjoy. Of course, I carried her part of the way just to keep her off her paw. She was more interested in exploring parts of the Sea Wall anyhow. I think she likes watching the other people who come there to walk.

Louise normally doesn't spend a lot of time playing with chew toys. However on this day she did find a toy belonging to another office dog and somehow it was interesting. She wrestled and played with it every time we made it 'quack' which was noted to be odd since the toy was in the shape of a sheep. It's harder to get good pictures of her in this situation since she is moving and the lighting isn't as good. Still, I think you get the idea with this shot I took.

Her paw is still infected, we can tell because she is still limping and favouring it noticeably. I haven't been taking her out for long walks like usual because of the doctor's orders and Louise is starting to feel the lack of exercise. Her energy levels are a little down. Maybe that's a side effect of the antibiotics in her system though. At any rate, she had a physically easy day at the office as I kept her in the stroller instead of letting her walk, among other restrictions. Still we found her napping the evening away when she discovered that we had moved her pet bed to a new (more popular) location. All three of our pets have voted in favour of having the pet bed next to my computer desk so I'm not sure if it was just novelty or if she was tired. Either way, we will probably bring her back to the vet for a quick exam soon just to make sure the infection is healing as it should and not getting any worse.

At least the bandage has stayed on for longer than a day now.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Minor Setback with Infection

Louise woke up limping today. Seems we were a little too excited about her healing. Today was when we were scheduled to have the stitches taken out, so it was good that we were already going to see the vet.

Once again I was able to book the Smart Fourtwo from the car coop (it's a fun little car, even if it does shift really slow). I had to practically hold Louise's paw the entire trip to prevent her from licking at it.

On arrival at the vet, they immediately noticed that she was once again favouring her paw and wanted to investigate right away. Just as suspected, the paw was infected and was starting to swell and get irritated. They cleaned the wound, removed the stitches and then bandaged her paw again. A shot of antibiotics and we were on our way again with strict instructions to bring her back if the bandage fell off. We have to keep her paw clean at least until it has healed completely.

Tomorrow Louise will be in the office. A little thing like a paw infection isn't good enough for her to take a sick day I guess.