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Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category

“Is that Suji?”asked the woman in the bicycle helmet.

“Why yes,”I said.  “It is!”

We’d spent the better part of the beautiful afternoon in High Park, walking the dogs along the water, taking in the sights and the cantankerous swans, and were on our way back to the car.  Lulu and Suji were tuckered out, so I had the task of pushing them – and their stroller – up the winding incline toward the lot.  We’d just reached the nice little bench area at the top of the hill when we encountered the lovely cyclist couple.

“They’re exhausted,”I explained.  And then, by way of an explanation: “They’re old.”  Ironically, they looked quite comfortable in the stroller while I was the one fighting for breath.

They’d recognized Suji from a recent pug meet-up.  Initially, I’d assumed/hoped they’d recognized her from instagram where her NewOldPugSuji account has, in a mere three months, has more than doubled by follower count.  She’s on track to break 5k by mid-month.  At this rate, I’d be foolish NOT to stunt cast in season 4.

When I retire in about seven years from now, I’m going to just live off Suji’s various endorsements and public appearances.

But today, a lot of this:

Hey, this takes me back.  Actors Peter Kelamis, Patrick Gilmore, and Jennifer Spence behind-the-scenes on Stargate: Universe

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We received the retouched selects from our family photo session at Off Leash Studio.  Some great shots of 11 year old Suji, 9 year old Lulu and, of course 14.5 year old Bubba taken the week before he passed away.

This is one of my favorites.  Note Lulu actually smiling for the pic.

Suji and her classic “What’s up?” look.

Suji and her wheels.

Our dignified older man.

Lulu says “Whatever!”.

She has a way of melting your heart.

Suji demonstrates her earthquake-preparedness stance.

Bubba shaking it up.

He looks like he’s still a puppy!

Ready to go on vacation.

Like an old married couple.

And a rare family pic.

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Thanks to all who participated our episode naming poll.  We have a winner!

Dark Matter “Episode 25: Isn’t That A Paradox?”

Well?!  Isn’t it?!!!!!

Four more chances to choose your favorite episode title to come!

While the action continued at the Ishida Palace, I was at the production offices prepping the BIG season finale.  AND making plans for season 4 (How’s that for optimism?).

A little something the Art Department is working on…

A question from birdyincanada: “I know I just missed the last mailbox, but I would like to know who is responsible for choosing a director and why does a show choose different directors for different episodes instead of sticking with one person. They do this for movies, why not for shows?”

Answer: Production proceeds on a staggered schedule so that, while one director is shooting an episode, another is prepping.  It would be next to impossible for a single director to prep the entire 13 episode slate (it would take months!) and then direct the whole thing – and, frankly, not particularly efficient.  Using different directors also allows us to try and discover new talent, like this season’s finds: directors Craig David Wallace and Melanie Orr.

Before Bubba’s passing, we had some family photos taken with photographer Kevin Sarasom at Off Leash Studio.  He got some great shots of the kids, among them this keeper:

Also, thanks to artist A. Jaye Williams (sillwill.com) for the amazing sketch of Bubba.

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Why does Suji look so worried?  Well, the results of her latest urinalysis reveal an antibiotic-resistant bug.  Antibiotic-resistant but for a single one we can use to treat her.  The news has Akemi and I very concerned because this is the same road Jelly went down in her final years.  Over time, her frequent UTI’s became increasingly harder to treat to the point that, in the end, we were out of options. In her final days, I was looking into phage therapy as a potential last resort but, unfortunately, ran out of time.  Hopefully, it’s a treatment that will be readily available to us with Suji if the need arises.  In the meantime, Akemi and I are being extra careful with her – and supplementing her diet with cranberry concentrate.

Independent, occasionally aloof Lulu has turned out to be surprisingly sensitive. First after Maximus’s passing, then after Jelly’s, and now following Bubba’s, she has been quiet and increasingly despondent, taken to sitting quietly by herself over interaction.  Akemi and I are giving her a lot of extra attention.  Also, coconut oil for the painfully dry-looking top of her nose.

Akemi, of course, is still missing her special boy.  There are moments when she thinks of him and feels down.  In the past, whenever she experienced moments like these, she could always count on Bubba to cheer her up but, of course, that isn’t possible anymore and the very thought makes her even sadder.  Fortunately, Suji is such a little goofball that she always manages to find a way to brighten her day.  She may be a a little more work than your average dog, but she’s well worth the effort.

With less than a month to go before production wraps on Dark Matter’s third season, I really should start making plans for our return to Vancouver.  I’m thinking of finishing up my final cut at the end of April and getting a few mixes under my belt before leaving Toronto in mid-May.  That will give me about a month to relax and plan the show’s fourth season (Yeah, I’m feeling confident) before convening the writers’ room in mid June for three weeks.

Hey, check it out.  Now available on Blu-ray and DVD: Dark Matter Season 2.  Pre-order it now.  In the meantime, head on over to Netflix to re-binge because the season 3 premiere will be here sooner than you think!

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(illustration by Juanita Nakamura)

Thanks to everyone who took the time to reach out via posts, texts, emails, phone, and personally to offer condolences on Bubba’s passing.  Akemi and I are truly touched by the kind words and gestures of friends, co-workers, and strangers alike. It’s been an exhausting week and it has meant a lot – to hear from you all and then, to get home late last night to find a lovely bouquet awaiting us compliments of Dark Matter Executive Producer Jay Firestone.

Akemi has been surprisingly strong – sad but strengthened by the fact his condition has deteriorated so much that we’d had little choice in the end.  She was telling me that her favorite memories of Bubba included the time he first learned to “shake” (She taught him when he was 10.  The next day, his arm was so sore he could barely lift it).  And his passion for art –

Also the way he would patiently sit down on the sidewalk after crossing a street in full expectation of the treat he would receive for the herculean effort.

For me, it was the time he ate a bag of chocolate-covered almonds sitting on the kitchen table and then had explosive diarrhea.  Having Lulu and Suji around has certainly brightened our spirits.  Lulu clearly misses Bubba and has been quite reserved.  Suji, on the other hand, continues to be her lovable clownish self.

And finally tonight, a get-together with one of my favorite people ever.  Dinner with The Doctor –

Robert Picardo was in town for a con appearance, but nevertheless found time for a little get-together.  Love this guy.

First Star Trek, then Stargate.  And chances are you’ll be seeing him on Dark Matter.  Eventually.

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March 17, 2017: Bubba

He was supposed to be a present for my ex’s brother but, after having him for two weeks, I decided to keep him and got  her brother a toaster oven instead. 

He was unlike my other two pugs at the time.  Whereas Jelly was a bossy bitch and Maximus a laid back lover, Bubba was a furry ball of anxiety, easily spooked by cyclists and skateboards, wary of strangers, parking entrances, and animatronic Christmas decorations.  He was, quite simply, a goof.

And yet, despite his adorable stiff-legged gait and furrowed brow that seemed to hint at some perpetual deep-seeded worries, he was never the one people were drawn to when they met the pack.  It was either Jelly or Maximus or, later, Lulu who would get all the attention while Bubba would warily hang back, hesitant to commit, his tail doing a slow noncommittal wag as he surveyed the situation.

It wouldn’t be uncommon for him to seek out the relative remote security of the laundry hamper, his toy box, the tiniest dog bed in the house.

He was in many ways a wallflower, the highschool equivalent of an outcast nerd – always self-conscious, always awkward.  But always happy.

And then, Akemi joined the family.  She’d never had much experience with dogs back in Japan but in short time, she and Bubba hit it off.  And over the next seven years, they developed a bond that would rival any relationship, human or otherwise.

She doted on him and he grew infatuated with her.  In time, they became inseparable.  I’d come home from work to find him sitting on her lap while she surfed the net, or parked comfortably beside her while she watched t.v.  He would sit by her feet whenever she cooked and nothing would make him happier than to join her on their extended walks, just the two of them, strolling for blocks on end.

When my television series, Dark Matter, was picked up, I granted Bubba a certain immortality by naming THREE’s big-ass gun after him.  Larger than life, unwieldy, sometimes comical – it was the perfect tribute.

In his later years, he lost his hearing and his ability to hop up to claim his favorite spot perched atop the living room couch, but he never slowed down – unless he sensed a walk was coming to an end in which case he’d draw out that final block for all he was worth.

Nothing made Akemi prouder than to have passersby mistake him for a puppy.  At the time, it seemed he would live forever.  Or, at least, close to.

When he developed a growth near his ear, we had it checked out and then, erring on the side of caution, had it surgically removed.  The tumor, it turned out, was cancerous. Months later, when Bubba developed a cough, we had x-rays taken. They came back all clear.  We ran further tests.  He was diagnosed with bronchitis and given antibiotics.

But even though the cough seemed to get better, it never really left.  And then, suddenly, a couple of months ago, it worsened.  To the point that we brought him in again.  This time, x-rays showed abnormalities in his lungs.  What at first was suspected to be an enlarged heart turned out to be lung cancer.

In his last months, perhaps sensing his time was limited, Bubba grew even more attached to Akemi, following her around the apartment, crying when he would lose sight of her.  He was at his happiest, as always, seated on her lap or right beside her, the feel of her reassuring hand on him.

We tried various treatments to save him, from acupuncture and astragalus to Palladia and Prednisone.  None of them had any effect.  X-rays taken two weeks later showed his situation had worsened.  But we never gave up hope.  And, I like to think that neither did Bubba.  Until yesterday.

His coughing worsened and his breathing grew more labored.  He stopped eating and could barely support himself.  I was at work when I received the text from Akemi.  It was time.

I drove back home, picked them up, and traveled to the 24 hour emergency clinic (twice actually because I realized I’d forgotten my wallet the first time).  There, late last night, we said goodbye to our goofy, needy, happy, wonderful boy.

I hope that somehow, somewhere out there, that old pug gang of mine has been reunited

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The people have spoken and we have a brand new episode title.  Aint democracy wonderful?  Your winner…

“Episode 33: Wish I Could Believe You”

Thanks to everyone who made Operation Name-Another-Episode a great success. But special thanks goes to YOU.  Yes, YOU!

Today was Bring Your Daughter To Work (And Leave Her With Key Hair Expert Renee Chan While You Go Watch Blocking) Day!  Suji was a hit on set.  Thanks to Renee for dog-sitting her while I was taking in the action in the core room.

Speaking of which – here is director Melanie Orr’s – uh – blueprint for today’s first blocking.  Note the details including camera placement and pod.

Director Melanie Orr all smiles with Director of Photography Craig Wright and 1st Assistant Director Josh Gray.  The calm before the storm.

One big-ass charger.

Just sitting in the underbelly gathering dust.

Or are they…?

Bubba appreciates the well-wishes and wants you to know he’s hanging in there.

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