Thursday, April 19, 2012


Hi Don,

Sorry we have not been in touch lately, I just don't know where the time goes, it's hard to believe that Levi is almost 7 months now!!  Things have been going very well with him, he has been a great puppy and has brought so much love to our family.  I have included a couple of recent pictures, the first one is from one day at my mom's house, we were playing a game of crib and then I went to see what Levi was up to and I found him in the back porch with the toilet paper roll, too cute!!  After that mom learned to keep the toilet paper out of Levi's reach!!  The next picture was taken at Easter, Levi got his paws on a little stuffed tweety bird that mom had out with the Easter bunny, he loves those stuffed toys!  I thought you would enjoy these photos.

I had a couple of questions for you, so many people have their opinions and you can read so much when raising a puppy, its quite overwhelming by times.  Now that Levi is about 7 months, as far as feeding goes, how much is enough and is twice a day fine or should we still be doing 3 times/day?
I guess that is all for now, next time we are heading your way with Levi in tow, we will give a call to see if we can stop by for a visit.  Hope all is well with you and Pierrette and of course all the dogs.

Talk to you soon


Levi & the toilet paperLevi & tweety


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ollie on the Beach

Hi Don,

It was nice to see you and Pierrette last week and we appreciated your insight and the suggestions offered.  We have altered Ollie's diet and while the nail clipping with the groomer Pierrette suggested was not a complete success I did get some tips and Ollie got his nails cut although a bit of wick was hit in the process.  The attached pic is my favorite Ollie pic and kind of sums up what I think dogs can teach us.  Gotta stop and smell those roses - or sand as the case maybe.  The beach is lawrencetown of course.

Take care,



Thursday, April 12, 2012


Well, I lost my glasses somewhere in the yard in the dark last Friday. I intentionally follow the exact same path from the house to my garage in an effort to narrow the scent paths, which helps keep her in the yard. So I figured it wouldn't be difficult to find them in the daylight. Whether it's independence or just habit, Morley has her own path that she uses. Whenever I'd call her to come in this week, she would stop at a certain location and I'd have to get firm and command her to come. After several commands, she would then lower her head and take her dead time coming into the house.

To back it up a little, one of the difficulties I've had with Morley is that my kids are now 8 and 10, as opposed to infants when we got Winnie from you. There are toys, balls, pucks and many other things that are strewn about, inside and outside the house, that are just too tempting for a young Lab to resist picking up. I am forever telling her to drop something. It's at the point that she'll fetch just about anything for just about anyone else. When she hears my voice, however, she just drops whatever is in her mouth.

So, this morning we were running late to get the kids to the bus stop. Morley hadn't been out yet to do her business. Now, if I put my shoes on and go out with her along her path, she goes straight behind the garage to do her business, where we're training her to go. If I don't go out, she'll leave "presents" for us 10 feet from the door. So, I go out with her this morning to get her to go behind the garage and right where she's been stopping all week on her way back into the house are my glasses. They'd been run over and seemed beyond repair so I just put them in my pocket and carried on to salvage the morning ritual. I'd get to the glasses when I could, chalking it all up to my own carelessness.

It was after the optician straightened out the frames, examined the lens for damage, looked up and asked me if I owned a dog that it all came together. She said that she had seen dog teeth marks on lenses many times. Mine aren't chewed, but she said there was no question that they were in a dog's mouth. My guess is that Morley found them, was bringing them to me and when she heard my voice calling her to come in she just dropped them, as she is wont to do. Then her hesitation, whenever I'd call her all this week, at the same location where the glasses were sitting this morning has me convinced.

Somebody might read this and think I'm off my rocker. If Winnie hadn't found my key in the snow all those years ago, I might think I'm off my rocker, as well. But, that's another story......

Sunday, April 08, 2012

PennHIP Evaluation "DOINDOGS BEE"


Dear Mr.  Bates,

We reviewed this case at your request. First: The films were labeled correctly as belonging to DOINDOGS BEE-- Donald Bates. This is assurance that there was no mix-up with any other dog at the practice that may have had a PENNHIP exam that same day.  There is 'textbook' evidence of bilateral cavitation.

Here are comments on each of the 3 views we evaluate which I've placed in bold underlined print . The comments below will not be sufficient if you are considering breeding the dog, however, since there are no valid Distraction Indices (DI), which are the most important aspect of the PennHIP screening test. This screening test assesses future RISK for getting arthritis, which is the painful hallmark of Hip Dysplasia. In order to be considered a good breeding candidate, official DI's must be measured and fall into the' better half 'of Labrador statistics (# 22,313 as of March 2012) in our database.  Without [non-cavitated] DI's, this is not possible.

We empathize because we understand you live 8 hours from Dr. Wing's hospital and wanted any other useful info we could provide. We can tell you with certainty that the PennHIP technique by Dr. Wing  on the Distraction view was excellent, there were no problems with the positioning or the several other aspects we evaluate.

We have learned from our research that some dogs just seem to be more prone to cavitation, which is a formation of nitrogen bubbles in the joint, such as what occurs when a person cracks their knuckles. It is harmless but the bubbles make the hip measure artificially worse than the real laxity for a dog. That is why we cannot give Distraction Indices on cavitated hips. (It's an inaccurate and unfairly looser reading than what the genes dictate) Since cavitation can cause such a large range of falsely looser DI readings from a very small amount to a very large amount,  we cannot tell what the real DI's would be on BEE.

Another film we evaluate is the Hip-Extended view (in USA is known as the OFA view). We include this view because it is the best position to determine the presence of existing arthritis, or DJD--Degenerative Joint Disease. "BEE" shows no signs of existing DJD.  But since we cannot know the true laxity readings due to cavitation on both hips,  we cannot even hazard a guess as to the future risk of getting DJD.  We must see the DI's to assess this risk.

We evaluate the Compression view for its congruence of hip fit, i.e. the ball into the socket. BEE'S hips fit very congruently and nicely into the sockets. When a dog has DJD, the congruence of the fit is very poor, so this is another corroborating piece of evidence that there is no present DJD on BEE.

I hope this answers your questions as there is no other information possible at this time. We thank you for using PennHIP, even though in your case it was not a successful outcome. To inform you of a statistic from our research, bilateral cavitation is extremely small at 0.27%. The study we [PennHIP] did in 1997 showed only 18 instances of bilateral cavitation out of 6,649 dogs

If you agree to allow a repeat exam, Dr Wing has received an instruction sheet that will help to minimize the chances of it happening again, but as mentioned above, we have seen cases that are just very prone to this phenomenon and it could occur again, but not likely.

Best regards,

Pamela McKelvie, VMD

PennHIP (University of Penn. Hip Improvement Program)


*used with permission


Monday, April 02, 2012

It & the Easter Bunny


It and the Easter Bunny

"Alright, I think there's enough room here for both of us"

It and the Easter Bunny

"Just don't forget who's top dog around here and we'll be just fine"

Syracuse Day 3

We did it!!! My little Noah got his third rally leg this afternoon and now can add RN (AKC) onto the end of his name.

We are thrilled and very proud of our boy who now at the ripe old age of 2 has 3 titles to his name.

Our little Sinead also did very very well. He showed like a seasoned veteran and gave me no problems at all. Although she had to wait for nearly an hour to go in again for Winners dog she patiently waited and then went in and strutted her stuff. Her breeder is sooooo proud of her ( and I think he thinks I did a pretty good job too with the handling ;-).

We will not be going for Rally tomorrow although we are entered as it would make for us getting home very very late - but we have achieved our objective of this trip -getting Noah and RN title and successful making Sinead's debut in the US!!

Back home tomorrow and back to work and training again on Monday

Take care