I’m a bad blogger part I

Hah! I had every intention of becoming a really awesome blogger this year. So far you could say I am a gigantic failure. Now, I would like to say that my life has been a little busy, which is true, but the reality is I just got freakishly lazy.
In no particular order here are the things that have happened since I last posted anything:
1. Jasper was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease
2. We spent 3 weeks in Belgium
3. I have had 2 CT scans
4. We are moving to Victoria
5. Our condo has been sold

I’ll start off with the tale of Jasper and his Addison’s. We started having a few issues with Jasper not liking his food last year. He had been eating the same dry food for the previous 5 years so we thought perhaps he had just gotten tired of it.  Also, it was dental food, so large kibbles, and maybe he was dealing with some pain in a tooth.  We decided he was due for a teeth cleaning so at his annual exam in October he had a full panel of blood work done. Everything looked fine so we went ahead with the teeth cleaning a couple weeks later. He handled the anaesthetic very well and for a week or so after he was eating better. By December he was back to being Mr. Picky.
We were in Victoria at Christmas time with the whole family and Jasper was exhausted when we got back to Vancouver. We expected after a couple days he would catch up on any missed sleep and be back to normal. Nope. He got more and more lethargic, to the point that he would snap at Ian sometimes when Ian would try and get him going for a walk. At that point we decided it was time to go back to the vet.
More blood work was done, including a lipase, and it was determined that he had a bit of a campylobacter infection and he had pancreatitis. The pancreatitis could be secondary to the infection and could cause enough pain to limit Jasper’s appetite. We came home with antibiotics and painkillers and something to increase the appetite. He had been eating poorly enough that his albumin was down to 17 and it shouldn’t really be below 28 (look at that!! No units! I assume g/L but what do I know these days?). A urinalysis was also done and his kidneys were leaking protein which could be the partial cause of his low albumin.
At that time, the vet hoped it was all infection caused and we didn’t need to take Jasper in again unless after the end of the antibiotics there wasn’t significant improvement. After about 3 weeks it was back to the vet again. More blood work. This time Jasper’s albumin was down to 10!! If he got surprised or overexcited there was a possibility he could go into hypovolemic (low albumin causes low blood pressure, hypovolemia) shock and die. Crap.
And by that point he had lost almost 10 pounds from his 55 pound frame in the previous month.
As an addition to his blood work we also had an ACTH stimulation test done as by this point we were all suspicious about Addison’s Disease, something that is just starting to be recognized as relatively common to some lines of Duck Tollers. His stim test results came back positive for Addison’s so that means pills twice a day forever.
At that point, Jasper was still not eating well so I was getting a little desperate to get anything with protein in him in an effort to increase his albumin. Yogurt and peanut butter were utter failures so I got my best bud Keetah’s recipe for puppy meatloaf. That worked like a charm.
Now, with his daily pills and puppy meatloaf Jasper is pretty much back to his old self. He still needs to gain back a couple pounds and rebuild some muscle he lost but overall he is doing fantastic! Thank goodness.  And every time I don’t let him to something he really wants to do I can just see him thinking “I almost died and you barely figured it out, obvious you should let me ______” and fill the blank with eat goose poo, have second helping on dinner, or pretty much any other food related dog thought you can think of.
Purely by coincidence, just after Jasper got all sorted out, Ian, my parents, and I packed up for a 3 week trip to Belgium with a few days in The Netherlands to start off. Keetah and David took control of Jasper who loved getting the chance to hang with his dog friend, Satori
and Orchid got to go to a kitty kennel. Any cat people that need a good kennel……Urban Tails (http://www.urbantails.ca) on Commercial Drive are awesome!!! I think Orchid was a little ticked when Ian and I came to pick her up after the trip. She didn’t seem overly pleased to see me.
The trip was so fantastic!!!! I ate so much and drank so much.
We flew into Amsterdam and stayed there for a couple of days. We spent 3 hours in the rain lined up to get into the Anne Frank House. So totally worthwhile. Anyone going to Amsterdam really should go there.
Of course, since pancakes are one of my favourite foods we had to have pannekoken……
We went to a gigantic tulip park, Kuekenhof Gardens, that is only open a couple months of the year. There were a lot of flowers and a few goats……
Then there was Brussels and Mannekin Pis………

 

And lots and lots of waffles. Unfortunately I seem to have lost the picture of my first Brussels waffle.  Here was a waffle from Antwerp:
And beer. There was lots and lots and lots of beer. And fries, lots of fries with dipping sauce.
We rented a boat and travelled the canals for 10 days so there were also a lot of locks:

 

and some cool bridges:
As we travelled the canals we had the opportunity to spend a couple of nights in Ypres,  a sight of so much fighting during the first World War.  We heard from a taxi driver that about 600,000 locals were killed during the war.
To this day there is a ceremony every night at the Menin Gate to remember everyone who died and it includes the playing of the last post. I happened to find a great YouTube video someone has posted:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Td3yNH4ixhg
We also made it out to the Canadian War Memorial, The Brooding Soldier
And here is a close-up:
There are lots more pictures and of course I need to cover items 3, 4, and 5 on the list.  I will get to those with the next post. This one is long enough.

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