Posts Tagged ‘Dogs’


Thanks to those inquiring about my french bulldog, Lulu.  Alas, nothing in the way of any significant improvement yet although I would best describe the change in her condition as a slight upgrade from “yellow mustard” to “Japanese curry”.  I’m hopeful for an eventual advancement to “Irish stew” but, for now, we’re treating her with antibiotics, deworming medication (thanks for the tip, Elke!), and tomorrow’s endoscopy.


Hey, did I mentioned I’d be doing one of those Periscope Q&A’s after the North American airings of Dark Matter’s seventh episode?  The episode will air at 10 p.m. EST and 7 p.m./10 p.m. PST and I’ll be answering YOUR questions for about 15-20 minutes after the show ends (11 p.m. EST and 8 p.m./11 p.m. PST).  So, what do you need to do to join?  Great question!  I think you just have to download the Periscope app and follow me (@BaronDestructo), then check out the Periscope app at the appointed time and voila!  Before you know it, you’ll be madly sending me virtual hearts and watching me fumble through this, my SECOND and THIRD, Periscope Q&A’s.

And what will I be talking about?  Oh, whatever you like – but I imagine we’ll mainly be chatting about this episode…



“We’ve seen the episode a little earlier than most, courtesy of Syfy, and have a handful of teasers to share with you. As usual, there are no major spoilers here because we want you to enjoy the episode as much as we did.”


“This episode marks one of Mallozzi’s personal favourites of the season and that’s because it’s “one of the most fun episodes.” He also said “it’s an episode with a lot of warmth and a lot of humour.” Not only that, it’s also the favourite of one of his most important critics. “This is one of my girlfriend’s very favourite,” he shared.”


“At the midway point Dark Matter is still as fierce as it was in the premiere. […]  Speaking of surprises, this episode is full of them.”


Hey, look who was in town!  None other than Jeff Teravainen, Lieutenant Anders from Dark Matter Episode 108.  Oh, wait.  That doesn’t air until next week. Anyway, here’s a sneak peek of Jeff…eating gelato.  Will he be eating gelato in next week’s episode?  And, if so, what flavour?!!!  Sorry, that’s a spoiler.

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Thanks to all those who asked but, sadly, Lulu isn’t doing any better.  Yesterday’s ultrasound offered up nothing in the way of answers, so she’s going in for an endoscopy on Thursday morning to test for something called stand lymphagectasia. If that too comes up empty, then next week it’s a colonoscopy to check for granulomitis colitis (aka “boxer colitis”).  Hopefully it won’t come to that as that would mean not feeding her for three days prior to the procedure.  THREE DAYS of nothing but broth!  At first, when we thought she would have to go in this week, Akemi suggested we adopt the same diet in solidarity – but I dismissed the notion on the grounds that we already had lunch and dinner plans.  But next week is wide open!  Akemi is already simmering the chicken necks!

If nothing else, this past week and a half of Lulu’s “intestinal issues” has sharpened my instincts to razor focus.  My reaction time is unparalleled.  At night, the merest cliquey-clack of Lulu’s nails on the hardwood floor will snap me out of the deepest slumber, out of bed and throwing on my pants, racing downstairs to open the backdoor so that she can go outside and relieve herself before it’s too late.  I’m like a soldier deep in enemy territory, sleeping yet always fully aware and fully prepared, his ears attuned to the slightest noise, ready for trouble.

I’m thinking of doing another Periscope Q&A, to run 15-20 minutes after each of the North American broadcasts of Dark Matter Episode 107.  The episodes air at 10 p.m. EST and 7 p.m./10 p.m. PST and I would jump on at approximately 1 minute after to field your question.  Who’s in?

Speaking of Dark Matter Episode 107, here are a few more intriguing sneak peeks for you to check out:

You're doing something new with your hair.  I love it!

You’re doing something new with your hair. I love it!

There's a new android in town!

There’s a new android in town!

Looks like THREE's had a bad day.

Looks like THREE’s had a bad day.

Something's up with SIX.

Something’s up with SIX.

Trying to book a trip to Tokyo for late September – and considering whether to go to L.A. for some agent-shopping next month.  Might be a good idea to have someone on board.  You never know…

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I first set eyes on her in her little enclosure, backing up and charging, stopping just short of the window, then backing up and charging again. She was admittedly adorable. And tiny! So small I could have held her in my hand.


But I didn’t want a dog. Dogs were, after all, a huge responsibility and, as anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m an incredibly irresponsible person. It would have made for a terrible match. But, as I wrote back in February of 2007:

“My reasons for not wanting a dog were numerous: the expense, the unappealing prospect of having to housebreak the little furball, the loss of freedom that comes with being a pet-owner, the necessary commitment to everything from walks to vet visits. On the other hand, her argument for getting a dog was equally compelling: she really wanted one. My sister had tipped her off to a pug for sale at a local pet shop and, after an animated discussion, I agreed to accompany her to the Alexis Nihon Plaza. It was, we agreed beforehand, to be nothing more than a fact-finding mission. There would be no dog purchases on this day. Absolutely, positively, no way! I had steeled myself mentally and was prepared to stick to my guns.

We brought the puppy home that afternoon and named her Jelly after Joe Vitelli’s character in Analyze This.”


That first day, she was constantly on the move, racing around the living room, around chairs, under tables, bounding around the backyard. And then, when she finally stopped, I grew concerned. She was unusually lethargic which I deemed a significant change in her personality. “I think she’s sick!”I said, ready to whisk her to the vet. “She’s tired,”I was told. “It’s two a.m.!”


I didn’t want a dog but, once I got her, Jelly became my life. I walked her and fed her and brought her to the vet when she was sick; soothed her and bathed and brought her to doggy daycare. When I got a job working on Stargate in Vancouver, she came with me of course, to the other side of the country where she eventually settled in quite nicely, running the corridors of the production offices with the other dogs, sitting on Richard Dean Anderson’s chest when he would lie down on the floor to accommodate her, on one memorable occasion swiping Michael Shanks’s tuna fish sandwich when he briefly set it down to grab a script. Over the years, she became a mainstay of sorts, perched imperiously atop the headrest of my office couch, presiding over the the action.


In time, we became inseparable. We were the perfect match. Her – bossy, demanding, fickle, and temperamental. Me – a sucker for a cute little thing. In the 16+ years we were together, she was my longest relationship.


When she slowed down in later years, I doted on her, carrying her up and down, in and out, when she could no longer do stairs. She would sleep beside me, sometimes awakening in the middle of the night, crying out in confusion – and I’d wake up, lay my hand on her back and that would be enough to comfort her and send her back to sleep. When her eyesight started to fail, I applied the topical gel, morning and night, to help restore her vision. When she stopped walking, I arranged for the stem cell treatment that returned the strength to her hind legs. I’m not a dancer by any stretch of the imagination but, whenever she’d feel sick or down, I’d sweep her off her paws and bound around the room with her in my arms until she seemed a little better – or threw me that bewildering “What the hell is going on?” look.


There was no denying, she was well-loved. And strong. Akemi was convinced she’d live to be a hundred. Dog years anyway.

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 10.06.54 AM

But, sadly, time caught up with her. She stopped walking. She started sleeping through the days. And, once her appetite faded, I realized it was time to say goodbye.

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 10.05.39 AM

Jelly took her final car ride this afternoon in the style to which she had grown accustomed – lounging in her big pink fluffy bed. When the time came, I gave her a kiss on the nose (something she’d always shied from in the past, but I guess she figured that, after sixteen years, she would stop playing hard to get and give in just this once), she shut her eyes and drifted off.


In time, I’ll pick up her ashes and place them on my night stand where she’ll resume her rightful place by my bedside.


Akemi told me that, at one point today, Jelly drifted off into what seemed a happy dreamland, wagging her tail perhaps at some fond recollection. I like to think that, maybe, even if only in her mind, she was, no longer fettered by those heavy years, bounding around that backyard one last time.


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For a dog at death’s door, my 16 year old pug Jelly has been doing pretty well.  In fact, ever since we brought her back home to die last Friday after receiving a hopeless diagnosis from two local vets, she’s been as animated as ever.  In fact, I’d be so bold as to say she bounced back – if not for the test results that point to kidney failure and antibiotic resistant E coli coursing through her system.  Euthanasia was recommended and I was fully prepared to follow this advice, treating my girl to one final weekend of muffins, ice cream and some of the 60 day old dry-aged steak I had for dinner the other night.  Except…the following morning, she was up and alert.  Her appetite had returned.  And she was as cantankerous as ever.  So I decided to hold off…temporarily…

A little over five years ago, Jelly all but stopped walking.  It turned out her hip dysplasia had progressed to the point where she was no longer capable of supporting herself.  Euthanasia was recommended.  Over five years ago!  I considered my options, then generated some new ones by going online and discovering the marvels of stem cell treatments.  They’ve been seeing some surprising results with this procedure – in Europe – a procedure that involves extracting the body’s stem cells (from belly fat which apparently has the highest concentration of the stuff), shipping them to a lab where they are spun in a centrifuge, then shipped back and injected into the problem areas: in Jelly’s case, her arthritic joints and eroded hips.  I contacted this company (http://www.vet-stem.com), took Jelly in for a consult (where I was told results varied so not to expect too much), and had her undergo the treatment.  A couple of weeks later, she was back on her paws  – wobbly, mind you, but once again able to support herself.

So, faced with a similar dire situation, I once again turned to the one place that had helped me in the past: the internet.  And there, I discovered a possible cure for presumably untreatable antibiotic-resistant infections: phage therapy.

I read this article about a woman who had been given a “you’ve got an untreatable antibiotic-resistant infection so prepare to die” diagnosis:


Instead of packing up her belongings and resigning herself to certain death, she packed up her belongings and headed to Europe where phage therapy has been used for over a decade with great success.  She underwent the treatment and was miraculously (?) cured of her incurable infection.

From the aforementioned article:

“Bacteriophages (“bacteria eaters”), commonly called phages, are viruses that infect bacteria but not humans. Found in water, soil, and even your digestive tract, phages dwell wherever bacteria are found because they rely on them to reproduce. (Find out how what you eat affects your gut bacteria.) They drill through a bacterium’s surface, hijack its DNA, and then replicate themselves within it until the cell bursts. Cocktails of phage viruses can kill a bacterial infection in the human body with remarkable accuracy, taking out only the infiltrators and leaving important populations of “good” bacteria intact—unlike the blunt tool of antibiotics, which tend to wipe out a wide swath of good bugs and bad.”

Apparently, it’s been researched for a while here in North America with very positive results:


But, of course, the FDA (in the U.S.) and Health Canada (here) have yet to make this treatment readily available.  Why?  Rose-tinted glasses-wearing observers will argue it’s because they’re being very careful.  Cvidently, a decade of positive results in Europe isn’t quite enough for them.

Anyway, I dispatched some emails this weekend and made some inquiries.  The wheels are in motion to get Jelly the treatment.

Maybe we’ll see a miracle bounce back like we did the last time everyone else wrote her off.  Or maybe we won’t.  But at the very least, we’ll have TRULY exhausted our options.


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I was on set Tuesday night when I received a text from Akemi:  “Jelly’s very very sick.”

That was one “very” too many.  I jumped in the car and rushed home, bundled Jelly up and delivered her to the emergency 24 hour animal hospital.  There she remained, overnight, while they ran a battery of tests.  The following morning came the bad news.  Jelly was suffering from a host of maladies: extreme arthritis, internal bleeding, antibiotic-resistant infection,dehydration, and kidney failure.  She was not going to get better. Euthanasia was recommended.


Akemi and I went into visit her that night after work.  She was atypically quiet. Her appetite was non-existent.  A second doctor who also examined her informed us that she wasn’t going to get any better and that we should consider euthanasia as the humane option.


We visited her the next night and she was still unresponsive, lethargic, and not at all interested in eating.  Over the past months, she’d been going downhill and had all but lost the ability to walk, managing the briefest of carpet runs (covering the distance from our apartment door the elevators in a blazing five full minutes) with the assistance of a harness for her gimpy hind legs – but I held out hope because she seemed to be in good spirits and she was still enjoying her food.  But that was no longer the case.  And so, after much agonizing, I made the decision.


Word had gotten around set and the response was swift.  Melissa (TWO) texted me, Marc (ONE) called, and I even received an unexpected hug from resident Dark Matter bad boy Anthony (THREE).  It was all very touching – but, of course, didn’t make what I was about to do any easier.

I picked Jelly up after main unit wrap on Friday night and brought her home for her last weekend with us.  But I had decided that I would make it her best weekend ever!  Akemi got her ground beef and vanilla ice cream and, Saturday, she joined us for a patio brunch and enjoyed mini blueberry muffins and the attention of a dozen passersby who stopped to shower her with attention.




I looked up a mobile veterinary service that would come to the house so that Jelly could leave us surrounded by the comforts of home (away from home).  I was ready.  Akemi was ready.

IMG_7565However, Jelly, it turns out, was not.  She rallied.  Like the Boston Red Sox in the ALC Championship series, she came back from certain death.  She perked up.  Her appetite returned.  And suddenly, miraculously, she was back to her normal self. Today, she spent the afternoon sunning herself and chowing down on fresh chicken breast.

Hey, what's all the fuss?

Hey, what’s all the fuss?

I’m sure she’s still suffering from the arthritis and the kidney failure and who knows what else – but so long as she’s clearly happy, why not let her enjoy her ground beef, blueberry muffins and vanilla ice cream just a little longer?

She’s in no hurry to go anywhere so who am I to rush her?

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Too much fiber in her diet!


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The other night, I was awakened by a kerplunk (!), the unmistakable sound of a portly, elderly pug falling off the bed.  I sat up to discover 15 year old Jelly, struggling to stand up on the polished hardwood floor.  She seemed surprised but otherwise okay.  Just in case though, I brought her out to the backyard to make sure.  She did her business and seemed perfectly fine, so I scooped her up and we headed back up to bed.  This was the first of several incidents involving my old gal who has seemed notably crankier of late.  Akemi suspects it’s because Jelly senses my impending Toronto trip and is demonstrating her displeasure by acting up. Apparently, when I’m away, she is uncharacteristically quiet, sleeping through most of the day and only getting up for meals.  This is in sharp contrast to her demanding,  downright “diva-esque” attitude when I’m home.  Nary an hour goes by when she isn’t whining or crying or barking at me to pick her up, take her out, give her a snack, or generally demanding my undivided attention.  I’m amazed she’s able to get along without me and I wonder how she’ll do while I’m away.  I suppose she’ll be fine so long as Akemi remembers to keep her updated by reading my blog entries aloud to her.

Whoa, where do you think YOU'RE going?

Whoa, where do you think YOU’RE going?

Yes, I’m headed to Toronto for a few days to discuss strategy and come up with a game plan for my new scifi series.  We fly out early tomorrow morning and get in with plenty of time to have dinner with a former fellow Stargate writer-producer. Then, on Thursday, it’s all day meetings re: budgets, locations, visual effects, and deliveries.  I figure we’ll assemble a writers’ room here in Vancouver for a month in July-August and hammer out our 13 stories, then disperse and retreat to our respective lairs where we’ll write 10 of those 13 scripts.  I’m assuming we’ll go to camera sometime in early 2015.  This will give us plenty of time to prep what should be one hell of a twisty, turny, suspenseful, spectacular, action-packed, character-driven inaugural season.

Friday, I’ll be fly out of Toronto and head to Montreal for a day to visit with mom and sis and then, Saturday night, I’m homeward bound!

Of course this blog will be traveling with me.  I needn’t remind you that, tomorrow, we kick off our Star Trek: The Original Series re-watch.  Me and my fellow reviewer, Cookie Monster, will be weighing in on episode #1: The Man Trap!  Watch the episode and join tomorrow’s discussion!

Today’s entry is dedicated to blog regular whoviantrish.

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