24 March, 2011

Good news

Magick's ultrasound shows her stomach wall has gone back down to a normal thickness. This suggests a bleeding ulcer which is healing. The other good news is she appears to be responding to the adjustment we made to her medications.

Keep paws crossed that she continues to do well and this scare was all something that will pass with time and medications.

20 March, 2011

Shakti Cove Cottages - A great place at the beach!

Well, vacation is drawing to an end. We had a wonderful time at the ocean and wanted to share our experience staying in a super dog-friendly place.

We stayed at Shakti Cove Cottages in Ocean Park, WA. Ocean Park is on the Long Beach Peninsula about 10 miles north of the city of Long Beach. It is approximately 3 to 3.5 hours from Seattle. I spent many summer days at Ocean Park as a child and the LBP has a special place in my heart. I do love the dramatic Oregon coast for its gorgeous cliffs and many tidepools and niches to explore, but the wide open spaces of the Peninsula have their own special kind of fun as well.

Shakti Cove is a hippie hangout like you might expect from the name. The cottages are small and cozy. They are rustic and are NOT fancy. This was very much like staying at the used family beach cabin and not like staying at a hotel or resort. If you are looking for something upscale and fancy close to the beach, this is not the place. If you want to go to the beach and have somewhere nearby to stay that is cozy, clean, friendly but basically utilitarian, Shakti Cove will meet your needs.

The cottage had a kitchen with stove, oven, fridge, coffee maker, tea kettle, toaster and all the necessary cooking utensils/dishes etc to make home cooked meals. A bedroom was off the main living area (no door) and bathroom was neat and clean. There are shared laundry facilities and areas to hose off dogs if they get icky at the beach. We stayed in the "doggie cottage" - dog themed decor. There were many fun pictures on the walls of dogs at the beach or hanging out in the cottages.

Dogs are welcome in all the cottages except the Annex which is their newest cottage, larger and has a knotty pine interior. Dogs cost $10 per pet per night -- still cheaper than a dog sitter! The dogs were welcome guests -- they even provide tons of extra "dog towels" if you want them, covers for the sofa, etc. They are very good about telling everyone dogs must be leashed and to pick up after dogs. While we were there, I did not see a single dog stool that had not been picked up. I was very impressed with how dog friendly the place was.

I also enjoyed that it was private. They do not come in and do daily housekeeping so I did not have to worry someone would be going through my stuff, or try to be gone for the housekeeping staff to come. If you request housekeeping they will come and do it, but otherwise your cottage is just like your own private home for the duration of the stay.

The beach looking North toward Ocean Park and Leadbetter Point.

Looking South toward Long Beach. Cape Disappointment in the distance.

The beach was private as well. There are not a bunch of hotels in this area and only a few homes so the only passers-by were a few people driving from one beach access to the next. Dogs are welcome to be off-leash on the beach. In 4 days, I never saw another person walking on the beach. It is very important to remember that this stretch of beach is open for driving year-round and dogs should be under good voice control to keep them safe from traffic. It is difficult for cars to stop quickly on the beach: they will get buried in the sand. It is also difficult to hear the cars coming because of the noise of the surf. This is true along most of the peninsula.

The location was very quiet. No noise at night except the surf and frogs. The stars are brilliant and the walk to the beach is a few minutes along this private trail.

Halfway between the beach and the cabins, looking East toward the cabins
(they are in the trees behind those 2 homes)

Looking West from the same point toward the ocean

In short, Shakti Cove was perfect for what we were looking for. We are the type of people who like to go camping year-round and this was a nice treat -- soft beds, warm rooms, a full kitchen and nice HOT showers after getting home from the ocean. It might not be right for everyone, but I would recommend it to anyone looking for a great very dog friendly place at the beach that is rustic, cozy and very peaceful.

Shakti Cove Cottages

Quiet and Peaceful
Close to the beach, private beach access
Extremely dog friendly
Cozy and rustic
Pay for 2 nights get 1 free through March (this was a pleasant surprise to us!)

More rustic than some guests might be looking for
Older rooms, cabins are small
Some noisy pipes in the kitchen
Muddy walkway in front of cabins meant lots of paw-wiping

Overall rating:
The dogs definitely gave it 16 paws up.

17 March, 2011

Vacation is the best...

I have been in desperate need of a little time away. We are at the beach for 4 days, coming home tomorrow. Love this!

Here are some photos of our adventures.

For Rye photos, go HERE to his blog.

06 March, 2011

Miss Magick

My dear Magick has been very sick. She vomited a ton of blood very suddenly Tuesday afternoon while we were at work.

Her bloodwork and x-rays were normal, but the ultrasound showed a thickening in her stomach. This is either a bleeding ulcer, a focal infection or possibly a small tumor/stomach cancer.

She is still taking medication 6x a day and being fed multiple small meals, but no more vomiting so far. For the last few weeks she has had a little soft cough, like a throat-clearing sound. Nothing on x-rays or bloodwork at that time, either, but now we are thinking she has esophagitis to go along with her other GI issues, which would explain the coughing/throat clearing. That means this has been cooking for several weeks. Poor Magick, I'm sorry I did not know what was going on. As usual, everyone thought I was being a pet hypochondriac by worrying about the cough, but something was just not right.

I am hoping she is ok. She is a bit lethargic, but she had to stop her arthritis medication because of the GI bleeding so I am thinking a little bit of that has to do with her stiffness/soreness not being controlled like it normally is. She seems cheerful, just a little slower than usual. She is feeling well enough to run around the house and bark in excitement from time to time, which I take as a positive sign.

Your positive thoughts for Magick are appreciated. With Paddy's passing still so fresh in my mind and heart, I can't really bear to think about what will happen if Magick has stomach cancer. Let's all keep paws crossed for something fixable.