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December 28, 2013 Rainbow Spangler

Today I am very, very tired. Last night was what some would call a comedy of errors. At 3 a.m. or so Rainbow, our husky-mix, began coughing. It was a deep, hacking sound, upper respiratory related, Pete said. She did this once before, when we were at Robin Near’s place in Idaho. I stumbled downstairs. Right then Jenna started barking. Ryder then trotted downstairs to see what was going on, and then began adding her own two cents. Right then, I knew it what it would have been like had I given birth to colicky triplets. Dog spared me, and for a reason. I don’t know what this reason might be, but I will always be indebted to her for this. Maybe when I

die I will take some chocolate with me and give it to her as a gift. Three bars, one for each child I did not have.

Anyhow, I took Rainbow in my arms and I held her close. I also did some TTouch circles in her throat area. She calmed down and Jenna stopped barking, as did Ryder.

All was okay until breakfast. Rainbow then had another episode. I got a small syringe and put some water in her mouth, and again held her. And again she stopped coughing. I think that once she gets going, she gets nervous, and it’s then hard for her to stop. So holding her, as one would a colicky baby, is a good thing. Pete checked her with a stethoscope – said her heart sounded strong.

We called the Far North Animal Hospital and scheduled an appointment for next Tuesday. I did some research, I think she has allergen bronchitis – could be the particles in the woodstove smoke, or particles in the air from my having clipped Jenna’s foot hair.

Pete and I took Rainbow and Jenna cross country skiing today. She coughed a few times, but most of the time was okay. She was very glad to be out and about. And she had no problem pulling me around.

I suspect that Rainbow is just fine. But this event really foreshadowed what life around here will be like in the near future. Both Jenna and Rainbow are 13 years old. Jenna gets increasingly uneasy when we’re elsewhere. Rainbow is the opposite.

Rainbow is a very special dog. She’s the animal we’ve had the longest. She was very energetic when she was young. Makes Ryder seem like a couch potato. She’s mellowed considerably, but in good ways. Outside, after years of doing otherwise, she now comes when she’s called. And you cannot ask for a better skijoring companion. If you ask her to wait, she does. (I fall down a great deal, so this is a very good thing.) If you ask her to get on trail, she does. If you ask her to gee or haw, she does. It’s like this now very agreeable dog knows English. If said “Rainbow go and get the sheriff,” she’d do so. But, what are we going to do with a sheriff?

So, both Pete and I will take good care of Rainbow, just as we do with our other aging animals – Jenna, Tinni, Ranger and Rover included. There will sometime come a day when all will pass on. But in the meantime, they’re all good. It’s now quiet. I hope that tonight I can get a full night’s sleep.

Next: 288: 12/29/13: Search and Rescue # 3 – Dog People