Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Daylight Hours, Daylight Savings and a Canine in Season

This time of year I start to get antsy about daylight hours. I’m one of the lucky people – I do not suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, but come early February, despite the fact that this is my birthday month, I still can’t wait for Daylight Savings Time and time after work where there is daylight enough to be doing stuff outside with my dog.

In most of Canada, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. local time on the second Sunday in March. This means that, for us, this year, Daylight Savings time kicks in on March 13th – a little less than five weeks from now. Yes, that first morning is always a little harder for getting up since it’s a whole hour earlier, but by then the sun will be rising (here at least) around 6:30 in the morning and setting around 6:00 at night. That one day change means we will be getting up in the dark BUT we will have daylight that night around 7:00 at night – a good trade off, if you ask me!

For the last few weeks Jasmine has been in heat, and so I haven’t been able to take her up to Seal Bay Park for our usual hour-plus long daylight walks where she can race around like a mad thing without her leash. We have been restricted to shorter, leash-on walks around my neighbourhood and we are BOTH getting tired of it all.

Essentially the canine estrus cycle (heat) cycle has four stages. Proestrus – the stage where they are have a sanguinous discharge (OK, basically they drip red) - this is where they secrete the hormones that attract male dogs. Estrus – where they are still swollen, the discharge changes to a pinkish-straw colour and their vulva is swollen – this is where extra extra extra care needs to be taken because this is when mating can occur and pregnancy happens. Metestrus (or diestrus) which is basically a space of time after mating – if they got pregnant this is pregnancy, if not, this is where the body goes back to “normal” state. The last one is anestrus – inactivity.

The cycle from proestrus through to the start of metestrus can last anywhere from nine to thirty five days depending on the breed. Jasmine took about 28 days last time and, I would anticipate this time will be about the same. Technically, this means she should be “off-leash & park walk-able” this coming weekend. Likely I will wait until the following weekend though, just to be on the safe side.

In between now and then, I get to suffer through Valentines Day - the most hated day of the year for most single people. The day of the year where retailers and service companies alike make single people feel like they are less important and worthwhile than those people who are part of a couple. Oh Joy!

Following that, by a week, is my birthday. I don’t have any set plans – other than to not be working. I took Saturday and Monday off work, but ended up picking up a shift on the Thursday, to give myself a four-day weekend and am quite looking forward to some good-old-fashioned sleep in time! I’m thinking I may go spend a night at my parents’ place in there (maybe I can talk my Mum into making me a chocolate cake with chocolate mint icing?) and this will also be the great weekend where Jasmine and I can return to long park walking! In addition to all of this already great stuff planned for the weekend, this is also the weekend where my chiropractor (Dr. Doug) has said I can try my return to running!


With love across the waters,

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