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Draco & Wicca's Adventures


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I'll try to make this a quick update...... ha....

 

Welcome to all the new folks. Have patience to those on the waiting list. Greetings to old friends and elders. New puppies coming & older dogs finding new homes -- could this Forum Family be any cooler.

 

So, Draco & Wicca are doing well but in need of taking off some "winter" weight. We had to put Wicca on restriction for a popped kneecap at the first of the year That tends to put all four of us "on restriction" and none of us get the exercise we need and want. (I once had a boss who said, "excuses are like sphincters ; we've all got 'em and they all stink.")

In any case, we all seem well right now!! And loving the signs of Spring.

 

We have nearly completely lost all fear of D & W running away -- as Draco did a couple of times when a pup.

 

We've try to remain vigilant but I've stopped counting the number of times one of us two-leggeds have got out and found the gate or garage wide open and one or both of the dogs lounging looking out -- just like normal.

 

Walking on leash has become nearly effortless -- with the leash a means of two-way connection, communication and safety. (I'll write later about Wicca's transformation from leash-aggression to loose leash.)

 

But, what I'm really writing about is that a month or so ago, I took the dogs to a park I hadn't been to before and we love it!!

 

It has 40 acres with more than half of that forested trails. There's an amazing little valley/glen that seems/feels completely disconnected from the city all around.

 

So safe, I've been letting the dogs off leash.

 

 

Lynndale Park 1.jpg

 

Lynndale Park 2.jpg

 

Draco Wicca Lynndale Park 1.gif

 

There's something of their more Ancient Selves that seems to come alive in them when we're in that forest and we unhook the leashes.

 

Joan and I have both seen it in their eyes -- they are so excited, so thankful I don't think they'd do anything to violate it.

 

More soon....

 

 

 

 

 

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OK, friends and family, I have to make a confession.....   We have been far, far too busy. How busy, you may well ask.   Glad you asked. We've been so busy, that for the first time ever, I cam

Haven't purchased the Chinese herbs, yet.   We've a vet appointment coming up and will ask then. If we get no direct assistance from our vet then I'll go direct.   There's nothing immediate pushi

I did a quick search but didn't find any references I may have made back over the last few years to a family we've met several times in Edmonds while walking Draco & Wicca.   Started back a whi

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Love it. Crazy good quote too.

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Sounds like a one in a million dog park. I'm standing by for the leash aggression switcheroo, Gib :D

 

You're right and yet it isn't a dog park at all.

 

Here's a couple of more pictures taken this week.... and then another post later about Wicca's leash aggression.

 

Both dogs are getting so much better walking with us -- and we them.

 

Lately, Draco has accelerated his off-leash sense of being responsible.

 

We've got a nearby partially unfinished business park a couple of miles from home that we frequent with the dogs. We can weave around 3-5 miles and much of it is a nice asphalt path next to a creek.

 

Joan Draco Off leash Canyon Park Small.jpg

 

~~~~

It's been somewhat awkward walking the dogs where we live -- no sidewalks & narrow streets. There's a school administration building, used part-time a couple of blocks away with two different very large fields. We almost never see kids there but what we normally do see is lots of big signs saying Absolutely No Dogs.

 

The one field is a perfect dog park. It is even a connector between two distinct neighborhoods without going onto much busier streets.

 

The deal is, a lot of us dog people snuck up there anyway -- after hours, at night, weekends, etc. when there was less chance of getting caught for a big fine.

 

Happy news, just before school started after Christmas break, the signs were changed to indicate that dogs could be on the grounds after school hours. Hurray!!!!

 

We now have a nice big place a couple of blocks away -- it has really opened up our neighborhood!!!!!

 

Joan Draco Off leash Schoo Smalll.jpg

 

You can't see Wicca because she's back walking with the cameraman....

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looks like weather is getting nice there :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Edmonds is great for walking the dogs. We can weave in & out and up & down some nice hills in the span of a few miles, all with a backdrop of the Puget Sound and Olympic mountains. There are some stretches of grass & bushes so the dogs have some time to do private things and smell dirt, lawn & maybe eat a bite or two of grass, yip at a seagull or wonder at the local bald eagle family.

 

We also go right through downtown.

 

Walking the dogs in Edmonds yesterday, passing numerous people, Draco & Joan in front with Wicca & I following so we don't take up the whole sidewalk.

They also get to experience people, people with dogs, people going in & out of doors & stores. This is when we get a lot of the questions and comments.

 

So, two women, I would guess mother & daughter, stopped, stunned as Draco passed them. They looked at Wicca and both commented on such beautiful animals. They kept asking and I kept telling.

 

I was told, in a sales situation, if the customer answers "yes" to seven questions then they've already bought. (If they answer "no" to seven questions; they won't buy).

 

Anyway, these ladies both answered way more than seven questions. Not meaning to be disrespectful in any way, but it was kind of like a revival meeting.

 

"Not bred to look alike." "Yes!" "That's Right."

 

"Ancient bloodlines..." "Wonderful." "He gets it"

 

"Bred for health & intelligence." "Yes" "How it's supposed to be."

 

Every bullet point I could list received a "hallelujah"

 

Will they actually follow through, find the right website who knows but turns out the mother was a local First Nations' elder. Her daughter a local First Nations spokesperson.

 

They were touched. By the story. But, also, perhaps especially, by the dogs. It seemed both Draco & Wicca paid extra attention to these ladies above and beyond their normal gentle greeting of strangers. We all kind of felt, and I firmly believe, that Draco & Wicca were paying their respect.

 

We all connected in that moment, paid respect and moved on.

 

Don't know if they will contact Kim but they certainly understood and praised his work.

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Very touching ! :wub:

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That was a great story....love your telling's Gib.

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I had also emailed the story directly to Kim. His reply....

~~~~

Hi Gib – you are welcome to post my reply with your post if you like?

 

Yes, as you have noticed … I too have noticed through the years that you can tell when people “get it”. It also seems that the more dogs are out there being seen with owners helping to educate the public, & their relatives & neighbors with their AI dogs; there are probably more dogs being placed through people seeing or experiencing the dogs from other owners than any other way now. Nothing like seeing them “in person”.

 

Meeting & seeing the dogs “in person” with their special ability to “humbly, look right at you” is the biggest “selling point” about them & to see the persons reaction to that is the way to tell they “get it” … plus those same owners are helping to make people aware of the fake NAID’s that are actually wolf dogs & not at all related or connected to our AI dogs. Most “educated, canine aware” people can tell a wolf dog when they see one & already know the difference, but some don’t.

 

Just like some of the comments I get when people come here to see the dogs, that haven’t seen one in person; OH WOW, they look right at you, everyone is so different from the other & they are smaller than I thought they would be or appear in pix.

 

It’s always so rewarding when, First Nations People “even if it’s just in their ‘subconscious, DNA memory’ remember the dogs” – but it’s every culture, depending how far back you go, that has that old DNA memory of our old primitive dogs in every culture throughout the planet … but only if they are in tune with those memory’s? ……. those are the people that usually “get it” & that I like to see as owner caretaker / educators of the AI dogs – thanks Gib, for being one of those owners -

 

Kim La Flamme ~ founder/trustee of the AIDog breed for over 45 years -- www.indiandogs.com

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Thanks for sharing Gib!

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  • 1 month later...

OK, I feel like I'm coming to this thought a little late.

 

I'm sure others must have noticed the difference in walking the dogs with the wind or against the wind.

 

 

I was getting a bit frustrated on a walk a month ago noticing a familiar but apparently random breakdown in leash coordination with Draco & Wicca on certain walks. They were in it together, somehow that I was missing.

 

My end of the leash being the one supposedly responsible one, I've been trying to figure out exactly what I'm doing or not doing to contribute to the situation.

 

I think I got it the other day and have tested it a couple of times.

 

When we walk with the wind in our faces, the dogs are with me and we proceed forward.

 

When we walk with the wind to our backs, smells are coming up from behind them and they are constantly trying to stop and go backwards....

 

Anyone else notice this? My imagination?

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I did a quick search but didn't find any references I may have made back over the last few years to a family we've met several times in Edmonds while walking Draco & Wicca.

 

Started back a while, running into them on the street in downtown Edmonds. They, of course, loved the dogs.

 

Two other times we've heard "Draco" or "Wicca" shouted from a car and it will be one of the family and we'll stop and chat and they'll pet the dogs.

 

Tuesday we heard the same shout and stopped. The wife, by herself, parked and got out. Apologizing for stopping us, she sat down hard on the curb and hugged both dogs.

 

Crying, she told us their dog had passed away. Draco and Wicca were pressing in on her, leaning on her, rubbing against her, comforting her.

 

She said it was synchronicity. Their dog had just passed away and they were deciding to wait to get a dog or get on the AI Dog waiting list.

 

She said seeing us was a sign. She called her husband and they said they were going to talk to Kim. They may ask for an older dog; not a pup.

 

These dogs.... such a blessing.....

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  • 3 months later...

Picture heavy post I'm planning here.... that being said, even when trying to be concise I'm wordy.....

 

Don't think I posted this picture of Wicca yet. After all she's been through in her brief 3+ years, this somehow catches just a bit of the depth and strength of her character.

 

Wicca Morning Guard.jpg

 

Not warm anymore but when it was..... we'd all sit outside and enjoy each others' company.

 

Draco -- while still pretty independent -- has been showing more physical affection as he gets older.

 

Draco Foot on Foot.jpg

 

And when he does, we SOAK IT IN..... and pour it out....

 

Draco Foot on Foot 2.jpg

 

 

Our big boy dog.....

 

Draco Closeup.jpg

 

~~~~

 

Joan and I had a couple of weeks off around our anniversary (23rd). We had planned the first week to work around the homestead and the second week fly to San Diego to see Joan's Mom, Mickey.

 

About the 2nd day of vacation, Mickey emails and, in passing, says she's looking forward to seeing the dogs. We're flying; we weren't bringing them; she's confusing this trip with Christmas when I'm planning on driving the dogs down.

 

Over a drink overlooking the Puget Sound, we're talking, Joan's says, "We got almost everything on our Todo list done. I've got the time off what if we drove to see Mom.

 

So we packed up and did it. The silly kind of driving we used to do as kids. OK, we didn't drive all night but we just put as many miles on as we could. We stopped every couple of hours for either gas & walk or just a walk. The navigator was always using the 'net to scout out dog parks and dog friendly motels down the road.

 

(By the way, we were stunned by the Korg Park Off-leash dog park in Bakersfield. Haven't see anything like it. They fenced in an old water reservoir and planted the whole big thing with grass.)

 

Anyway, here's Mickey telling Draco he's about to go to the local dog park.

 

Santee Mickey.jpg

 

In one direction from Mickey's it's a 3/4 mile walk to the local dog park. Just the right distance for us to get a good walk and the dogs to get a good run on with other dogs.

 

As we were approaching one day, Draco got especially excited. He looked at me with that, "Really, Dad? Really?!!!?" look in his eye and a bounce in his step.

 

Then Wicca got excited . Then, so did I. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

 

I was totally convinced that Draco's brother, Rocco, was there.

 

Santee Dog Park Rocco.jpg

 

It wasn't. So, for comparison, here's the real Rocco.

 

Santee Dog Park Real Rocco.jpg

 

Pretty similar looking.

 

~~~~

 

About 3/4 mile the other direction is Santee Lakes Park. There's a nice walk and on the back side of the lake there's a long stretch where we felt contained and were able to let the dogs off leash. They know it's a privilege and they are so obedient when we remove the leashes.

 

Santee Lakes.jpg

 

About a half-hour another direction is the Fiesta island Dog Park in Mission Bay.

 

Draco's thing a dog park is to find a dog chasing a ball and follow them around. Draco isn't interested in the ball at all; only following the dog that is.

 

Wicca plays with the other dogs but her real deal is to wait for and stalk Draco and launch a vicious little sister attack on his neck.

 

It all plays out in this little video:

 

Draco is a swimmer; Wicca is a wader. I tried to coax her with jerky treats and she made it in up to her chest but no farther. I've "made" her swim before. She looked me in the eyes imploring. And I didn't force her this time. We just hung out at chest deep and waited for Draco. I think she appreciated not having to go beyond her comfort level this time.

 

Santee Fiesta Island 1.jpg

 

There's a long stretch of beach to walk the dogs off leash.

 

Santee Fiesta Island 2.jpg

 

 

We had an excellent time and made a safe return.

 

Managed to get some nice walks in before the current wave of Autumn storms hits us.

 

I thought these turned out well....

 

Edmonds Draco Wicca Portrait.jpg

 

Edmonds Portrate with Joan jpg.jpg

 

 

~~~~

 

Everyday, I keep being amazed at this Forum Family. The depth and breadth of the elders and the passion, depth & breadth of the new owners and forum members is truly priceless.

 

 

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Gib,

 

I appreciate every word and every picture in every one of your posts. Even when there are no actual pictures, your words paint pictures. Something is very touching about this particular post for me and it brought tears to my eyes. Perhaps because I have spent a little over a year with Ayita now and I am beginning to see into her heart. That, and your dogs are so beautiful and they have such a happy warm peace about them.

 

Thank you...

 

Carolyn

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There are two keywords that I get excited about when checking in on the forum:

 

One is Puppies! (how could you not?)

 

the other is a phrase actually...

 

Draco & Wicca's adventures!

 

In times past I have to admit that there was a certain anxiety when I'd see a new post because there would be a harrowing experience or procedure or result and we'd all wince with Gib & Joan over the problems with Wicca and the tales of sorrow and trouble associated with it. It seemed to me that those posts, while heart-wrenching and terrible as they are, are also a release agent that helps to vent the stress and release (somewhat) the pain that came with the troubles with Wicca.

 

Now that Squint is nearly 3 years herself and has developed a mild patella problem I've found that I rely on these posts for more than the obvious:

 

For example when the first vet told me about the recommendation for patella tendon surgery and all that crap he handed me a handful of handouts (lots of hands there!) that the vet practice had made up to explain the scenario to pet parents. Didn't even read it.... the very first thing that I did was make a beeline for the history cache here at iidoba.org to look up the posts that detailed Wicca's problems so that I can prepare myself for what was to come and learn as much as I could from someone who lived it. That was the most amazing thing to me...Gib, your a latent journalist!!

 

I've always felt a kindred spirit with Gib and especially now that Squint has a similar problem to Wicca's. It's like we're cousins or something!

 

Thanks for the post Gib, always good to catch up with the cuz's!

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Beautiful thing... this forum....

 

Thank you for the kind words and the wonderful spirit saturating them, Cousins.

 

When we first got Draco and joined the forum we were ecstatic. Rather than based on getting it was based on giving. Getting depletes; giving fills.

 

We have received so much more than we've given.

 

~~~~

Virtually everything we do with Wicca is physical therapy.... The sit/down/stands we do over and over. The way we walk up and down curbs and balance on the edge. The places we walk.... up hills & down.... up stairs & down.... It's all physical therapy.... underlying almost everything we do with her is the thought of building strength and stability in those beautiful knees of hers.

 

Then, occasionally, she gets to let it all out...

 

~~~~

While in San Diego walking the dogs, suddenly Wicca yelped and started hopping with her surgically repaired right leg held up. Our hearts skipped a number of beats before and after I discovered the thorn she had stepped on.

 

We all breathed a sigh of relief!!

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Wow, what a scare! I'm glad you found the thorn!

 

Were you able to find the Chinese herbs that Chinatola is using for Lili'?

 

Sounds like you are doing well with the PT rehab! Very consistent and nurturing!

You, the dogs and your writings are an inspiration for all of us!

 

Thank you so much! B)

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You, the dogs and your writings are an inspiration for all of us!

 

 

There it is again..."the magic of Gib."

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Wow, what a scare! I'm glad you found the thorn!

 

Were you able to find the Chinese herbs that Chinatola is using for Lili'?

 

Sounds like you are doing well with the PT rehab! Very consistent and nurturing!

You, the dogs and your writings are an inspiration for all of us!

 

Thank you so much! B)

 

Haven't purchased the Chinese herbs, yet.

 

We've a vet appointment coming up and will ask then. If we get no direct assistance from our vet then I'll go direct.

 

There's nothing immediate pushing us to get them; we're OK right now and are just keeping that balance. That particular "arrow" we know is in our quiver.

 

When we joined the forum and the family we found that by word and deed the attitude was "What goes around; comes around."

 

So much has been given. I swear I thought I had read every word written on the forum before we joined but I did a search the other day and read for an hour wisdom that was written in 2009!! Well before we joined. I don't know how I missed it before!!

 

“All things share the same breath - the beast, the tree, the man. The air shares its spirit with all the life it supports. ....... Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.” Chief Seattle

 

It's all one thing. We all play our parts. Sometimes one role; sometimes another.

 

~~~~

 

If we all give it everything we've got then theoretically we'll all get everything we need.

 

For example.... I really cannot put into adequate words how enlivening and enriching it is to see the pictures of the new pups and to hear the stories of how the families come together and move through life together.

 

We are all in this together.

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Need I say it again? The magic of Gib shines on. Chief Seattle was a very wise man.

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  • 7 months later...

OK, friends and family, I have to make a confession.....

 

We have been far, far too busy. How busy, you may well ask.

 

Glad you asked. We've been so busy, that for the first time ever, I came to the Forum, looked at the list of new items and just hit "Mark All As Read". I've since caught up on things, but have been remiss at really having/taking the time to marvel over the beautiful new pups and their deliriously and truly fine human additions to our family.

 

~~~~

 

Because of that general busy-ness, I really am going to try to keep this mostly photos!!

 

Joan and I drove to Tucson for Thanksgiving last year with our son and his family, including Draco's litter-mate brother, Rocco.

 

The greeting was almost too ecstatic!!

 

Tucson dogs around pool.jpg

 

They have a pool. It didn't take Draco 5 minutes until he fell in.

 

We were sitting around later that first night and Wicca (doesn't like to swim) came into the house dripping wet!! They both learned their lesson.

 

Took many walks together with the grandkids and dogs.

 

Kids, Dogs in Tucson 2.jpg

 

Found a dead rattlesnake... Definitely an approach/avoidance situation for the dogs.

 

Dead snake.jpg

 

There are vaccinations that supposedly immunize dogs against snake bites. There is also aversion training but it shock-collar stuff and non-too-pretty but gets the dogs trained to avoid a serious hazard.

 

The last few blocks are safe, so all three dogs got to walk a ways off leash togetehr.

 

Three Dogs Off Leash.jpg

 

There is a long, long "river" walk just down the street from the kids house. It winds along the stunning (and dry) Tucson River. It passes several horse stables. Horses and riders use the dry river bed for in-city riding.

 

I didn't get THE PICTURE. The blonde horse walking away had come right up to the fence and the dogs and horse interacted for a while. I was controlling both dogs and watching in amazement as Wicca didn't bark and chase it away. Eventually, the horse just turned and walked away.

 

Just a horse meeting dogs, but it felt like a victory in dog socialization!!

 

Dogs & Horses.jpg

 

At a local dog park, saw a dog that kind of looked "familiar" but not.

 

Emily NAID 1.jpg

 

Come to find out it is a NAID. The first I'd actually met that someone acknowledged.

 

After Tucson, spent time in San Diego with Joan's mom, Mickey.

 

Draco & Wicca love Mickey. To the dogs, I'm Dad. Joan's Mom. Mickey is Mom's Mom.

 

Santee Mickey.jpg

 

If Mickey moves, one or both are close by.

 

Mickey & Dogs gardening.jpg

 

I've mentioned that there are a couple of nice walks near-by Mickey's place. One is Santee Lakes -- a water reclamation project. Part of Santee's "Toilet To Tap" water conservation effort.

 

Part of the park is an RV park, so there are lots of people walking all kinds of dogs.

 

And then there's Watson.

 

DW and Watson.jpg

 

Watson was a friendly little pig that we saw several times. It played with Wicca and Draco much like a puppy would.

 

Speaking of playing, we love it when Wicca comes out of her shyness to play at the dog park.

 

Wicca Plays.jpg

 

So, just a few photos of since we've been home.

 

D & W have a nice window seat overlooking the neighborhood.

 

Out the window.jpg

 

Draco has been coming into his Guard Dog more recently.

 

He'll sit like this for long, long periods of time.

 

Draco Sitting Guard.jpg

 

 

 

On one of the nicer days, we were all laying in the grass. Some truck make a huge clanging noise... I had no need to fear because Draco's here!!

 

I was safe.

 

Draco Stands Guard.jpg

 

~~~~

 

 

 

 

 

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We got 1 round of the snake bite shot from the vet for Shiva when we went out west. Made him ill for several days. My friend's wiener dog got bit by a cotton mouth and survived - Vet prescribed benedryl. We always keep some on hand now.

 

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