Dognappings and Other Dangers

It has been a strange few weeks.

First, our beloved sled dog was dognapped. I don’t know what else to call it. Basically, one morning he wandered into the woods around our house to do his business and didn’t come back. This was highly unusual for him as he never wandered far and always came home quickly, especially when called.

After 24 hours, we were worried and 8 hours later set off on a search, following his tracks. The tracks led to a nearby house, and then stopped. Upon knocking on the door, the residents – without opening the door (and locking it first) – said they had not seen our dog.

But the sound of our dog’s collar could be heard muffled. Then a muffled yelp. A few minutes later, he came bounding from around the house. Why did those people say they hadn’t see our dog? This incident was reported to the proper authorities.

Then the other night, my husband was almost attacked by two other dogs at night while walking his dog. It was dark so he wasn’t able to see them well, but he said they were vicious, relentless, and clearly trained to attack people. He was able to fend them off, however, it gave us pause when we thought what might happen if someone less physically big and strong – particularly a child – was faced with these dogs. Again, this incident was also reported, but those dogs are still out there.

We’re headed for a long, cold and dark winter. Here’s hoping we’re not going to have any more strange or dangerous dog incidents.

Keep your dogs close and safe. Keep your kids close and safe, too.

RIP: Ebb

We laid our sweet Ebb, Black Lab with a heart of gold, to rest along the Alaska Highway. Beautiful spot overlooking water, his favorite place to be besides at our feet or by our sides.

Thank you for all of the prayers and hugs you’ve been sending our way. I am sitting on my front porch working in the sun right now and keep instinctively looking for him. He will be missed.

Tok Race of Champions 2010

Someone in Tok told me “there’s something happening down at the Tok Fairgrounds.” So my daughter and I ventured down there to find that the “something” was the largest and final dog mushing race of the year, the Tok Race of Champions. We had a wonderful afternoon taking photos, interviewing Dog Musher Kimberly Wells, seeing friends, and riding down the Alaska Highway toward Canada to watch the mushers from the road.

Here are just a few images. Will have the interview with Kimberly Wells of Anchorage up in a few days (audio interview).

Were you at the Tok Race of Champions this year or some year past? Share your pics!

QUICK UPDATE: Ebb is Hanging in There

Thank you so much to everyone who has commented, emailed, called to check on Ebb. We were in Fairbanks this week at the vet and the vet seemed hopeful seeing the new blood work. It might still be cancer but only time will tell. He is eating more and more which could help with his weight loss. Giving him 3 medicines including a mik thistle/sam-e blend, flax oil in his food. Our fingers are crossed that he will recover, and we’ll have him with us at least for a few more years. He is such a good dog, so gentle with our daughter, loving and loyal. Too soon to be too hopeful but we’re not giving up.

Our Dog is Dying

I am posting this to my Tok blog just in case someone else in Tok has seen these symptoms in their dog.

Our Black Lab Ebb is dying. Suddenly. Rapidly.

In the 10 days that I was traveling, he went from normal weight to skeletal. Now he is practically dragging his hind quarters and seems to be starting to experience incontinence.

My husband took him to the vet in Fairbanks. They discovered two things:

1. Astronomically high liver enzyme counts;

2. A white area (necrotic area) in his liver visible via sonogram. The vet said this could be a tumor or something else non-cancerous.

3. Sludge in his gallbladder.

Clearly, his liver is messed up which could mean:

Poison – he could have eaten something that was laced with poison;

Liver disease – although the rapid onset and deterioration is puzzling;

Liver cancer – not sure if this comes on so quickly but it is a possibility.

Ebb in better days

He has been eating and drinking fairly regularly although no longer touches his dog food. My husband has been cooking for him – macaroni, rice, caribou meat.

He was eating on his own until last night when my husband had to feed him out of his hand.

He has been eating a lot of snow.

The loss of control of his hind quarters is progressing – when the vet saw him, it wasn’t very pronounced so they didn’t look into it. Now his backside is wobbly and collapsing although he still stoically walks down the snowy driveway to look out on the neighborhood, his usual habit. He can’t walk up or down steps now.

Based on what I’ve seen, I’m afraid he will be dead before the week is out. I’m planning to take him back to the vet in Fairbanks this week to see if there is anything else we can do.

Do any of these symptoms sound familiar? Anyone in Tok have a dog experiencing this? Any ideas how to reverse this deterioration or at least make him more comfortable?