Welcome to Trixie’s website, where we share pictures & videos of the youngest member of our family.
Click on the thumbnail pictures for full-size versions. Most full-size photos are 5 or 6 megapixels (2-3MB).
We adopted Trixie from Animatch, a local non-profit dog adoption agency. We learned that she is a great mix, just what we were looking for: half Black Labrador Retriever, a quarter German Shepherd, and a quarter Collie. But from her temperament, intelligence, and colouring (the white splash on her chest and especially the one white paw with black spots), we are pretty sure that the “Collie” is actually “Border Collie”.
Trixie was born on June 27, 2009. We adopted her on September 10, when she was 11 weeks old.
Contact: david (at) goodger dot org (no, Trixie doesn't have her own email address — we're not that nuts).
We had been talking about adopting a dog for a long time, and agreed that the time was right. We decided that we would would start looking after we returned from a family vacation in Japan. We applied to several adoption/rescue agencies in the area: Animatch, Gerdy’s Rescues & Adoptions, Rosie Animal Adoption, Sophie’s Dog Adoptions. We visited the Montreal SPCA. These are all great organizations, doing important work. It's heartbreaking how many animals there are that need homes. And it's criminal how many people discard their pets, and fail to sterilize their pets, adding to the problem.
On Wednesday, September 2, we heard from Joanne of Animatch, who told us of two female puppies that would soon be available for adoption. Here are the photos of Trixie and Bubbles that she sent us:
These pictures were probably taken when they were 8 or 9 weeks old.
David and Mayumi visited the sisters at their foster home on September 3, 2009:
On the left, David is holding Bubbles and Trixie. We took the puppies on a short walk to a nearby park. On the right, Mayumi is holding Trixie while Bubbles explores. (It's hard to take pictures of puppies. Unless they're asleep, they don't stay still!)
We had to choose between the two puppies, which was difficult. We chose Trixie based on some subtle personality differences between the two, but I'm sure that we wouldn't have gone wrong either way. Both puppies were adorable! I was glad to hear that Bubbles found a good family as well.
A few days after we visited, both puppies had their pediatric spaying operations. They stayed at their foster home to recover.
Both kids were looking forward to finally meeting Trixie. Erika was especially excited:
One week after we met her, on September 10, 2009, we brought Trixie to her forever home:
Her eyes show a spark of intelligence, and a hint of mischief. When she's on her back, with her ears out straight, she looks a bit like a bat:
The bat-resemblance is most notable when she's baring her needle-sharp puppy teeth.
The morning we were scheduled to pick up Trixie from her foster home (Thursday, September 10), Trixie's foster mother Sheri called to tell us that somehow Trixie had injured her right front leg and was limping a lot. She offered to keep Trixie for a few more days to make sure she was OK, but we really had to take her that day — we'd already promised Kaito and Erika that she'd be here when they got back from school. Erika especially would have been very disappointed had Trixie not been here (see the blackboard picture above). I think it was a good decision anyhow, since the foster home had 4 other dogs, including Trixie's sister; probably easier to keep her quiet here.
Her limp was worst on Thursday night, when she wasn't putting any weight at all on her leg, but got better on Friday, and was hardly noticeable on Saturday. On Sunday it was a bit worse, but that might be because of all the running around she did Saturday night. You see, we had my parents (and their dog Heidi), my sister (with her dog Laika), and our adopted grandmother over for a BBQ dinner, which turned into a "puppy shower" with gifts. Everyone thought Trixie was sweet & adorable. The two adult dogs (both adoptees) tolerated her well. I was hoping to hear Heidi assert her seniority with a snap, but there was only a minor growl (when Trixie was trying to get back the rawhide stick that Heidi had stolen!). Heidi is very submissive.
So Saturday evening, Trixie moved around a lot. That might explain some of the deterioration, but she hadn't improved since. On Monday morning it was even worse: she was hardly putting any weight on her leg again, hopping sometimes, and she yelped if she lay down with her right leg under her or bent wrong or if we picked her up wrong. I didn't see any swelling, and moving her leg through its normal range of motion didn't seem to hurt her. Otherwise she was fine, eating and sleeping normally. We kept Trixie as quiet as is possible with a puppy.
I asked the people at Animatch for advice. They were very helpful, and had us make an appointment with their usual veterinarian. So Trixie and I went to see Dr. Plasse at the LaSalle Veterinary Clinic on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 15. She enjoyed her visit, but she was very frustrated that I didn't let her greet every dog and cat she saw or heard. And she has a low tolerance for boredom, such as when we had a long wait for the doctor to return to the exam room.
Dr. Plasse examined Trixie's front legs, took some X-rays, and found the cause of her pain. The growth plate at the end of her right radius at the wrist/ankle is swollen, showing signs of calcification. She must have landed hard on her leg, which caused the damage. According to Dr. Plasse, this growth plate is a common site for injuries in young dogs since it's a soft area between two hard areas.
The image on the left below is Trixie's uninjured left leg, with her injured right leg on the right. The ends of the topmost bones (the radius bones) are the growth plates. There's a clear gap on the left that contains the cartilage. The growth plate on the right is swollen, showing calcification in the cartilage, with signs of de-calcification of the bone behind it (the dark area).
There was nothing we could do but wait and let Trixie heal on her own. We kept her quiet for the next few days. Dr. Plasse did prescribe some pain medication and asked me to report back with her progress after 3 days. The worst case seems to be that, depending on how much damage there is to the growth plate, the radius bone could grow less than the ulna and Trixie's paw could end up growing a bit crooked.
After a few days, Trixie's leg was much better. I still noticed a slight limp after a long walk, so we limited those. Two weeks later, Trixie is walking without a limp. Only time will tell if there's any permanent damage, but she seems to have recovered fully.
At 13 weeks old, Trixie has put on about a half-kilogram (over a pound) each week. She's growing longer and her puppy roundness is beginning to go away (although it has a ways to go yet). Her ears are beginning to perk up. Sometimes one ear will stand for a few seconds.
Trixie has decided that she loves rolling in a mint-like plant in our back garden:
Here she is in front of our shed. Notice the increasingly perky ears:
Here are a couple of videos; click to download & play. Trixie having fun with a frisbee (her favourite outside toy):
And Trixie going crazy when she hears me whistling randomly:
My father, David Goodger, used to post on here when Trixie first entered our family, but I (Erika) will now be taking over. It's been quite a while since he's updated, huh? Well, here's a quick little update of what Trixie used to look like and what she looks like now: