Sunday, July 5, 2009

Scooter

Chilly, Andy, Rusty and me were saddened to hear of the loss of our friend Scooter earlier today. She was adotped in 1998, shortly after I got Snikk, and she was a frequent visitor. Getting them to all look at the camera at the same time was never easy, but here are some pictures from a few years ago. We miss you Scooter.



Monday, June 22, 2009

Chilly's Prognosis

Chilly Dog went to see the vet last week for a checkup and to see if there was anything that could be done about his trouble walking. His mobility has been getting worse since last April, and he hasn't been able to go for walks of any length since early this year. For the last several months he has been eating regular dog food, but usually with some canned food or treats to make it more appealing. The vet believes that he has arthritis in his knees, hips, and back. He felt the back half of the spine and found that it was all pretty solid, meaning that there was either a disk problem, or severe arthritis there. The vet thought that his arthritis was likely caused by his chasing rabbits and jumping off high places in his younger years, but may also have an autoimmune disease contributing to it (similar to rheumatoid arthritis in people). Either way, the arthritis in his back was likely causing nerve problems resulting in lack of feeling to his back feet which explains why he has trouble moving them. Other than taking anti-inflamatories and the doggie version of vicadin for pain, there is no easy treatment, although going to physical therapy or swimming is great exercise for him without having to put pressure on his joints.



The doctor was not all negative....he said that Chilly has a "very strong ticker", good eyesight, good hearing, and appears to be mentally sharp. Because of the nerve problem, he doesn't have pain in the back hip, and he generally seems happy. He wanted to see Chilly back in three months.

Since the visit, Chilly has been walking around more, eating better (without any canned dog food or people food) and seeming happier, despite the oppressive heat.


(These pictures were taken on a visit to Petsmart last week).

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Floods!

This is the nice quiet little creek about a block from my house:



This is the same little creek after the rain we had yesterday, causing the national news to report that dozens of houses had to be evacuated, and hundreds of people wanting to get buyouts:




(Luckily, despite it being so close to here, it is downhill enough that we are not affected by it).

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dr. Henry's advice for Chilly

Last night, after seeing the last posting and the video of Chilly walking on the underwater treadmill, Chilly's human cousin Henry (age 5)


said that he knew what to do to help Chilly's hurting feet: Put his legs in buckets of water. Chilly said that it sounds fun but will check with his vet tomorrow night before doing it.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Birthday Dogs

Today is Chilly's 13 1/2 birthday, and Andy turned 5 on June 2 (according to dogage.com, he is about 25 in people years).



Andy spent his birthday in the dark because of a power outage, the first of two in the last two weeks. Chilly continues in therapy, and is up to 29 minutes on the treadmill (see video for a clip of his most recent trip).


video

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Chilly in Therapy

Over the past year, and especially over the past few months, Chilly's arthritis has given him increasing trouble getting around. He no longer goes for walks, and recently has had difficulty doing stairs and jumping on the bed. Even just walking around the house usually is done with painful hobbling. Tonight I took him for his first visit to doggie physical therapy. The therapist, who also does therapy on humans in her spare time, started Chilly on the underwater treadmill:

video

He tried to cheat at first by putting his back feet on the non-moving part, but eventually he got the hang of it and seemed to actually enjoy himself. After three rounds on the treadmill, he got into the pool; at first he just floated, but then he realized that he could swim:

video

Overall, Chilly seemed to enjoy his time there. He came home and ate a huge dinner, and then fell asleep.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pornographic Watergate Movie?

After watching Frost/Nixon earlier this month, I went on Netflix to look for other Watergate/Nixon related movies that would be interesting to watch after seeing the current one. I found several, including one that has actual clips of the Frost/Nixon interviews, another one about Nixon's re-election, and several others, many of which I put into my cue. Today the first one arrived, which I thought was about the recently revealed former FBI official who was the secret informant, Deep Throat. The name of the movie was logically "Inside Deep Throat" but when I put it in I wondered about the NC-17 rating at the beginning until I realized that this was a documentary about the 1970s porn movie of the same name. Ooops. Ironically, Nixon had a significant role in this movie too.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

2009 Oscar Picks

In anticipation of the announcement of the Oscar nominees this Thursday, I have listed the movies that I would pick. These are not predictions, but rather the five movies this year that I think are deserving of the nominations.

1. Milk. This 70's docu-drama was both informative and compelling. I later watched a documentary on the same subject (which won the Oscar for best documentary back in the '80s) which was not nearly as good. Currently this has my vote for the best movie of the year.
2. Frost-Nixon. This 70s docu-drama (see the common theme here?) was based on a play. This is a close runner up. Although the Nixon character does not look like Nixon, by the end of the movie it is hard to think of him as not being Nixon.
3. Doubt. The 1960s story of a priest who faced unfounded allegations from a crazy nun (Merly Streep) was very well acted, well written, and had a number of funny moments.
4. Gran Torino. Although I am not a huge Clint Eastwood fan, and hated that movie with the girl boxer who got paralyzed a few years ago, this movie is great. It is about a racist old man who lives in current day Detroit in the house he has lived in all his life, but in a neighborhood that has been taken over by Asians. He unexpectedly becomes friends with a neighbor family who has become victim to gang violence, and they come to replace his own family, who has rejected him.
5. This was the toughest one. There were so many Oscar hyped movies released in the last part of the year that I thought I was going to have a hard time deciding between them. Benjamin Button was the very long movie based on a short story (ironically, the short story, which can be found on the internet, gives a more complete and logical picture of the man's life) about a man who is born old, in some ways, and gets younger, in some ways (yet older in others) during the movie, but the inconsistencies and holes in the plot made this movie sub par. Revolutionary Road was a well acted movie set in the '50s that had the feel of a great movie, but seemed to drag on and was not pleasant to watch, especially towards the end. Slumdog Millionaire, about an uneducated kid from the slums of Bombay India who gets on India's version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire and, when he does well, is brutally tortured by the game show people who thought he was cheating, only to show how the events of his life resulted in the knowledge for the questions asked. Interesting concept, but very brutal violence and hard to follow in parts. Therefore, my fifth choice in the category of best movies goes to probably the most entertaining and creative movie of the year: Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanimo Bay. This is a sequel to the great Harold and Kumar go to White Castle. It makes fun of the post-911 homeland security policy of the government, and the scene with George Bush smoking pot with people who fell out of an airplane into the living room in his Texas ranch is priceless.