Monday, December 8, 2014

Sophie in action - video repost

Hi again, 

It looks like some of you may not have gotten the links to the two videos of Sophie that were included in that last post.   Hopefully you'll get to see them this time....

(if not... click here: )

And here's a view of our pup in action....
(turn up your sound before playing the videos)

Sophie - checking out her new yard in Maple Bay

and enjoying the smells

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A photo update...

We've been remiss in not sharing photos with you... photos of Sophie, photos of SV Shannon's Spirit... stuff like that.

Hope you enjoy.....

Can't find your dog?  Look in the laundry basket!

Sophie's new digs... we even have grass.

We love grass!!!!

Sophie's new ride (for those long walks) ...  fit for a princess.

And here's a view of our pup in action....
(turn up your sound before playing the videos)

Sophie - checking out her new yard in Maple Bay

and enjoying the smells

And not to forget... Shannon's Spirit....

Refurbished rudder and hull... beautiful!
Awaiting our return to Mexico

... what we are all waiting for ....

Five Legged Kayaking


Home is where you lay your head… when you’re ‘homeless’…

Hi everyone.. it’s been a little while since we’ve checked in; it’s been kind of busy around here. Ten days have passed since Sophie’s surgery; they (and she) have demanded our complete attention. Our friends Jo and Penny have cared for us as if we were part of their family (in a way I guess we are) and we are so grateful. They put a roof over heads, made sure we ate well and provided love and good chuckles for us each day.  It was a nurturing care we didn’t even realize we needed.  But we did and with their help we calmed down, grew stronger, and became ready for the next step.

The first week after Sophie’s surgery was tough.  She was in pain; she was drugged; she was confused.  And, like every other dog out there, she insisted on continually trying to chew and lick her wound as well as rip out the stitches.  This required 24x7 care and was very tiring for all of us.  Today, 10 days into recovery, things are much calmer.  The wound is healing well, she is getting around on three legs without complaint, and we have a balanced medication schedule which is finally allowing us to get up to 6 hours uninterrupted sleep each night (a lot more than before).

The princess continues to have a good sense of humour and is up to her old tricks, trying to make us laugh.  One night, 2 in the morning, having demanded to go outside… she began to play with the shadows in the snow and as a grand finale, she tried to chase her tail… resulting in her crashing to the ground. She’s getting much more stable now and amazes all who see her with her strength and balance.

Yesterday, Dec. 6th, we moved into our next ‘home’.  It’s the basement suite of the house we will be house-sitting for the winter.  Ron and Catherine are friends from the yacht club and, as luck would have it, were in need of someone to care for their home while they’re away.  It’s a cozy house, overlooking Maple Bay and smack dab in the middle of the area in which we want to live. Our plans for the winter include working on unfinished projects, finding our new home, and working with Sophie as she continues her recovery. One of the local vets we know is skilled in acupuncture and physical therapy and we have invited her over to see how best we can help the princess. She’s coming by on Wednesday.

And so, dear friends, that is the update for today.  I’m going to post this now and intend to follow it up with a collection of photos taken during these past few months. I know we’ve promised before, but stay tuned… they are coming.

Hope you are all well and enjoying a short respite in the continuing winter storms…. stay well, talk soon.   CJ

Note from the tripawds:  “It’s better to hop on three legs, than to limp on four".”

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Blue sky and sunshine…

Good morning all… today is a good day.  Sophie had her surgery yesterday and, while the whole ‘thing’ is sad… we feel relief.  We feel so very glad we didn’t lose her to the attack from the Mexican dog; glad she survived the long and challenging drive back to Canada; and glad she will very soon be back on her paws and enjoying each day.  Dragging the splinted, useless leg around was beginning to tire the Princess and we feel quite certain if she misses her leg at all, she won’t miss it for long.

Our Vet called last night to say the surgery went well.  He also confirmed that our decision to ‘lose’ the leg was the right one as the quadricep muscle had contracted in a big way and the leg would not bend at all. It would have been next to impossible to recreate the leg into something usable. So… we call this morning to confirm what time we get to bring our little tripawd home and our plan is to spend the next several days cuddled up on the couch watching movies.

Just wanted to let you know, as I know many of you are wondering.  Hope your day goes well and you too have a ray of sunshine to enjoy.  CJ

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sophie’s Run… Home, safe and [almost] sound…

Hi there… sorry for the delay in this last instalment of Sophie’s Run.  Yes, we are home… Chuck, Lucy, CJ, Kathy, and even the Princess have arrived without any further ‘excitement’. We did have to wait out the weather.  Just like cruising on a sailboat, we had to check the forecast each day (often twice or three times) and then adjust our plans accordingly.  The major winter storm that swept across the coastal and mid-west US stopped us in our tracks.. but, after 3 days it finally swept by and the weekend (last) was very obviously the time to carry on.  We knew it would be cold (down to 21 degrees overnight) but the path north was the only way home… so we bundled up and headed up the I 5 Saturday morning.  Knowing there had been gusts of wind as high as 60+ MPH at ‘the Gorge’ (Columbia River running between Portland and Vancouver, Wa and our next destination) during the previous days, and that the winds were scheduled to pick up again by  mid afternoon, we left early enough to arrive at the 99 RV Resort by early afternoon.  It was cold, it was small, it was right beside the freeway… but it was a place to park for the night and we were grateful.  The next day we were up early and on our way to our next (and last) RGV park for this journey.  The Pacific Border RV Park just outside White Rock, BC was quite nice, although not particularly dog friendly (you have to walk your dog off the property to do their business).  Again, we parked for the night and were on our way early the next day (Monday), caught the 1015 Duke Point Ferry and were home in Crofton/Duncan by early afternoon.
Now for the news of our little pal’s future.  While there are lots of details I could rattle on about… I think I will just say the following.
We have an excellent Vet in Duncan and he has been ‘with us’ for most of this past ‘journey’ with Sophie.  We’ve kept him up to date with respect to her injuries, the treatments and her condition.  And, we’d asked him to confer with the Victoria-based orthopaedic surgeon and specialist with respect to the options for Sophie’s future. There were many, serious considerations in discussing both the injury, the success likelihood of a complicated surgery, and the less than stellar quality of life Sophie would most likely have to endure over the next year or so, should the repair of her knee be attempted. 
The good news is (yes, there is good news) that Sophie will be happy, free of pain, and able to live out her life without continued visits to the vets and without the complications that would arise as the result of major complex surgeries.  She will do well, and she will be able to continue with some of her favourite hobbies (like walking, playing, sailing, hanging out, and learning Spanish).  The sad news is the vets agree that with the kind of damage she has suffered to her leg… the only surgery that might (and they stress might) work is a complete knee replacement (and that is still in the experimental stages)… and they agree that kind of surgery on an older dog could be fraught with problems and lead to ongoing follow-ups etc.  The vet specialist said that while he has, in the past, done dog knee repairs in cases like Sophie’s(where all ligaments have been severed), they have not been successful and he doesn’t do them any more.
Discussions with our Vet, and our own research, have convinced us that dogs do get along quite well with three legs; dogs are not emotionally attached to limbs like we humans are; dogs make the best of each day as it arrives… and don’t worry about the past or the future… and Sophie has certainly proven she is capable of that.  As well, she’s had over a month of practice at getting along on three legs and, in fact, her ‘not so good’ leg just gets in the way quite often. Our vet posed the option of amputation to us several days ago… and after some time in complete denial mode, we started to think about Sophie and what her life would be like dragging around a half-cured appendage, and the continuing visits to the vets offices.. etc.  vs. a clean ‘break’ from the broken bit, a solid healing, and getting on with the rest of her life (no one can believe she is 13… and she apparently isn’t aware of that fact either.. carrying on like she does.. as if she was maybe 7.  Who knows how many good years she has left).  Once we got over our fears, and after speaking with the vet, our decision was pretty obvious, and has been made with Sophie’s best interests in mind.
Sophie will soon join a very special group. They call themselves tripawds… seriously.  You can read about them at and please do.  We’re going to take a lot of their advice to heart… about how to help her adjust and about how to support her in her new life.  So friends, we hope you will join us in being ‘happy’ that Sophie will not suffer any more or any longer than necessary… and that she will continue to have a happy and healthy life.  We remember all too well that we almost lost her completely.
So, that’s our news for now.  The Princess was to have her surgery today… but we have just received a phone call to say the surgeon is ill… and so we wait, assuming there will be a delay of a few days.  TV anyone?  With the rain coming in, we’re going to hunker down on the couch and catch up on our movies….  aaaaah,,,   ‘tis good to be home.
Adios for now…  CJ
PS:  In case you were wondering (and I know some of you are) between September 16th and November 17th, good old faithful Chuck added 13,007 kms to his resume.  Phew!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Update to travel plans… Nov. 12th

Good morning folks… Well, we’ve just checked the weather forecasts for the road(s) ahead… and it ain’t good.  Nope, rain, freezing rain, snow and high winds… just about everything you can imagine… is forecast for the various legs north of us.  And then there’s the weekend, which is about when things are going to lighten up.  Sooo, yes, there is a new plan.

It’s quite nice here at Seven Feathers :-)  Good thing cuz this is where we need to stay until the roads ahead of us look warmer and dryer.  If the forecast stays about the same, then we should be able to head out of here on Saturday and drive to Vancouver, Washington.  Then Sunday we hit Bellingham and Monday we head home.  That’s if the forecast doesn’t change too much.  Only time (and Mother Nature) will tell.

So, for now, know we’re safe and cozy in our little Lucy (I gotta tell you, between Lucy and Sophie… we’re never short of folks to talk to and who ask us about our story…).  We hope all of you are cozy too and enjoying the changing seasons.  We finally got to see Maple leaves changing to fall colours (not just dying because of lack of water).  They were gorgeous… and we’re surrounded by some now.

Bye bye for now… will let you know if the plan changes (again)….  CJ, K and PS.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sophie’s Run… Nov. 11th

Good morning folks.. just wanted to let you know we’ve checked the weather and road conditions and decided that, rather than lolligagging here in cool but sunny Red Bluff (Durango RV… which remains quite beautiful), we are going to press on.  The next leg involves Mt. Shasta, Siskyou Summit, and then Grants Pass before we arrive in Canyonville, OR at the Seven Feathers lovely RV Resort.  There’s enough heavy rain in the coming days to motivate us to get up, get going, and get through the next two legs (hopefully then to Vancouver, WA) before the heaviest rains fall.

So, that’s it.. we’re on our way… will check in later, tomorrow or the next day (remember no news is good news).  Take good care.. enjoy your day.. CJ