Sep 23 2011

Snip, Snip, Hurray


What is it they say about the cobbler’s childrens shoes? Or about the mechanic’s car…or the vet’s dog? 

I neutered Sargon yesterday.  There were no plans to breed this crazy dog, and it was well past time.  Oh, I should warn any one that does not want to read about a dog’s "naughty bits", that this is precisely the topic of this post.  If you are squeamish about the subject…walk away now.

As I was saying, it was definitely time to neuter this hound.  I love male dogs.  All my dogs have been males and all my future dogs will likely be males.  I have no reason for this preference, it’s just what I like.  However, regardless of how much I enjoy owning male dogs, I REALLY only enjoy neutered male dogs.  I find testicles on a dog, terribly unappealing.  ESPECIALLY on a short coated breed like a ridgeback.  I am not a fan of the way they swing back and forth when they run, glinting in the sun.  Sargon was starting to look quite well endowed, and everyday this was becoming more and more unattractive, in my eyes.  Even Sean asked me when "those things were coming off" because he was somewhat disgusted by them. 

Off we went to the clinic and let me tell you, Sargon was determined to make this "unusual".  Sargon is my fourth ridgeback and he is the first one which required a full dose of drugs.  The other three ridgebacks were all anesthetized with no more than half the amount of drugs of a "regular" dog their size. 

Once I finally got the dog anesthetized, surgery was uneventful and went as planned.  His recovery from anesthetic was NOT uneventful though.  Sargon woke up terribly rough.  He howled and thrashed and generally had a very stormy recovery.  So stormy in fact that we had to give him MORE drugs. 

At the end of the day, I took him home.  He ran to the house and was very excited to see Mungo and the rest of the family.  Unfortunately, dogs are supposed to be kept quiet after surgery.  Because of his antics, he started swelling.  Here is the graphic part folks.  What NORMALLY happens after a dog is neutered is that the scrotum just sits there like an empty sac (which it is after the testicles are removed).  Over time, the body "resorbs" this sac, and you end up with flat skin where there used to be a pouch.  However, if you are too crazy, the body will send blood and serum to this "empty space" (the body hates dead space), in an effort to fill it up.  This is exactly what happened to the hound.  Also, the body will continue to fill this dead space until it is FULL, which if you are talking about a stretch sac of skin, full is actually at least 2 or 3 times what it was before. 

So now folks, Sargon looks even more disgustingly well endowed.  Actually, grotesquely so.  He is walking around with a scrotum the size of a grapefruit swinging between his legs.   The children are disgusted with this and will not look at him (at least not from the back end).  He will be fine, we just have to wait for all the swelling to go down and then he will be a normal little neutered hound.

The only good thing about all this, is that the hound seems oblivious to what is going on.  He is walking around like nothing happened.  He is not trying to lick at his incision, or his gigantic package.  In his little head, he is probably thinking, "my, I am even more impressive!" 

So strange little Sargon continues to bring excitement to this world.  I hope he enjoys wearing pants for the next week.  They keep him from bothering with his incision and they hide that disgusting grapefruit as well. 

Sep 11 2011

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner


As we get ready to start the ski season again, Biathlon Alberta had their Annual Awards Lunch.  We received a few emails letting us know about the event, but it wasn’t until we received an email telling us that Sean would receive an award, that we made plans to attend. 

For most of the season last year, Sean raced in the category of Air Rifle 1.  In this race category, competitors shoot at larger targets, using air rifles of course.  He did quite well in the category.  So well, in fact, that he was “invited” (strongly encouraged) to move up to Air Rifle 2, part way through the season.  In this category, the competitors shoot at smaller targets.  In any case, he still did well enough in Air Rifle 1 to achieve the most points in that category (accumulated over the year).  Biathlon Alberta posts points on their website, so we knew that Sean finished on top.  We therefore were not surprised when his name was called to receive his trophy.


What we were not expecting, was what happened next.  After the camera was put away, and attention drifted away from the MC, we heard the name “Sean McLean” called again.  This time, the award was the “Perfect Shot” award.  As near as we can tell, this award was presented to the competitor that shot the greatest number of clean rounds.  A clean round means you hit all five targets on a single visit to the range.  So Sean shooting produced the greatest number of clean rounds in the year for Air Rifles.  For this you win this HUMUNGOUS trophy!!


Quite a good year!  Congratulations Sean, let’s see if you can do it again this year!!

Aug 18 2011

Raspberry Raider


Its a good year for raspberries in the McLean yard.  The raspberry patch is crazy full of juicy red berries.  We can have berries everyday AND we have already made jam for the upcoming winter.  This bounty has not gone unnoticed by one hound member of the family…Sargon. 

Sargon has discovered that he likes raspberries.  Instead of waiting for one of us to feed him the odd berry, he has decided to pick them for himself.  So we often see parts of Sargon sticking out of the patch, a headP1040390

or a tail.


Sometimes you have to look closely to see the hound.P1040379

Trust me though, he’s there!  And if you continue to watch you will see the master at work, delicately plucking berries from the branches.P1040382P1040395

Ahhh, summer is great!  Help yourself to a nice snack!  Luckily for the humans in the family, Sargon can only reach the bottom branches, and there are plenty of nice plump berries up high!!

Aug 15 2011

Hiking the Waiparous


We went hiking yesterday, regardless of the number of chores that awaited us at home.  I will save the dusting for a rainy day, this evening perhaps. 

We decided to hike further north in the Ghost Wilderness Area than we usually do.  We decided to hike up Waiparous Creek.  This area is used by Off Highway Vehicles (OHV), so people on motorcycles, quads and 4 wheel drive vehicles are abundant.  You can actually drive the whole hike that we did, if you have the right vehicle.  We just had our little Subaru, so we could not have driven the whole way.  We did drive all the way to  the first creek crossing though.  You get some funny looks from people when you are taking your little 4 wheel drive vehicle onto roads that they think require a “big” truck.  As I mentioned, we abandoned the car at the first creek crossing, so we started the hike by crossing the creek.


This was the first of many crossings.  The hike follows the creek all along.  At times you are just walking along a gravel road.  Kind of boring, but the scenery is nice.


After an hour and a half, we arrived at an area where the creek winds its way through a large boulder field.  The kids thought this was a great place.  There are beautiful deep pools at the bases of boulders that are up to 3 storeys high.  It is easy to get to the top of these boulders and look down or climb around at the bottom at creek level.


Although this was a great place, it was not the intended end of the hike, so we kept walking, en route to “the chasm”.  We hiked this trail once before, when the kids were tiny (ages 2 and 4) and we never made it to the chasm, so this time we were determined to do so.  It took another hour or so to reach our destination. 

The chasm is a short canyon along the creek.  The water dives down a waterfall,


and then winds its way through tall walls.


It is kind of cool actually, although in my head, I thought it would be longer.  It was worth the hike, but I think next time I will stop at the boulder field!

Another great day in the mountains.  Its too bad that the end of summer is rapidly approaching and our hiking days are limited.  I hope everyone enjoys the work week!

Aug 8 2011

Moving on Up


Four years ago, I bought a scooter.  Maybe I was having a mid life crisis, maybe I finally decided to live a little.  Whatever the case, I took the leap and became a “scooter chick”.  I made the move cautiously.  I wanted to buy a Vespa.  I LOVE Vespas, but they are expensive.  Since I had never driven a scooter and was unsure if I would like driving one in Calgary, I decided to buy a slightly less “cadillac” scooter and bought a Yamaha Vino 125. 

Well, it turns out I love riding a scooter.  I can’t wait for the winter snow to melt so that I can hop onto that “beast” and ride.  I try to ride as long as there is no snow on the ground.  Sometimes I am wearing three layers of clothes, to fend off the morning chill.  Last Christmas, Kevin bought me battery operated gloves, because that was one part of me that got cold, no matter how many pairs of pants I pulled on.  I usually manage to ride for 6 months of the year, April to October. 

Besides being a heck of a lot of fun, riding a scooter is cheap, cheap, cheap!!  It costs me a wopping $4.00 to fill my tank, and I can generally ride for 2 weeks on a tank of gas. 

Even though I love my little Vino, it does have a short falling.  It is just a tad underpowered.  In most places it does great, but on hills, or against a strong wind, or (God forbid) going up hill against a strong wind, I find myself crossing my fingers and praying to the scooter Gods for a little more power.  It is especially bad when I have a passenger.  Besides, who wouldn’t want a Vespa!

So, the other day, I happened to see this little beauty for sale.  P1040370

AAHHHHH!!!  Isn’t she beautiful?!!  (Her name is Sophia).  She is a 2006, Piaggio Vespa LX150.  Also, she has a Malossi perfomance upgrade package, so she actually has almost as much power as a 250cc!!! (Is my inner nerd showing?)  I LOVE her!!!  Yesterday, I could only crawl up the 19th Street hill at 30 km/hr, today I had to be careful not to exceed the speed limit.  So cool!! 

So now my only question is…anyone wanna buy a Vino?