Tails from the Pack - the early years

Early Days Dec 31, 2010

Walkies with Khumbu

Today I went with Richard, a couple of clients from Spanish Highs and Khumbu into the snowy Sierra Nevada mountains. We left the 3 behind doing an Alpine Introduction Course and headed on our way up Veleta about a 1000m of ascent from where we left them. Its always an adventure whenever Khumbu is involved especially in the snow. He, as expected, got very excited, he ran, pulled me off my feet across the snow, yapped, dug holes, ate the snow, jumped up and down!! When walking at altitude it is advisable to walk slowly but when attached to a Khumbu that is impossible. Anyway after a few hours we settled down to a little lunch and took a few photos and thought about heading down.


Me and Khumbu

Going downhill has proved a problem since he was a puppy, he has worked out that you are at your most vulnerable and for that reason he takes complete advantage of it. I put my crampons on to help me get some stability but alas he still managed to drag me off my feet a couple of times because he thought it would be a great game to chase the little birds that were flying about with me in tow!

We met up with the others, waited whilst they finished off and headed back to the car.

Khumbus Campo Excursion!, 2008-06-02

Yes the time has arrived for the 15 month old bundle of energy (otherwise known as Khumbu) to take himself off on his own walk!! We took Rocky and Bruno to the vets leaving Khumbu behind which he was far from happy about. We were gone about an hour and a half and when we pulled up at home a soaking wet very tired Khumbu came to greet us. He must have jumped over the wall, about 3ft high with a 10ft drop on the other side and spent the next hour and a half running riot in the campo.

He obviously fell in some water because the only bit dry on him was the top of his tail and the top of his head but luckily he does like to swim. The picture shows Khumbu an hour later sleeping off his little adventure.

Highest dogs in Spain!, 2008-06-09

Yesterday Khumbu and Bruno became the highest dogs in Spain. They made it to the top of Mulhacen (3482) whilst helping 2 Spanish Highs clients make a very important ascent. It took 5 hours to the top and just under 4 hours back to the car at the ranger station just above Capileira. There were patches of snow left which proved very exciting for the 2 dogs. Khumbu had a great day, he pulled the whole time up and down and got very excited about the birds which kept flying away when we got close but more so over the Ibex which he just wanted to chase. It made a hard day even harder being attached to him! Bruno had a great day also joining in on the attempts at chasing but he was very glad to get back to the car, as we all were.

Today we are all very tired and stiff. Khumbu and Bruno are sleeping off their big achievement.

2nd Highest mountain in mainland Spain, Veleta, 2008-06-19

Yep on Monday we went up Veleta, 5 hour round trip. Bruno and Khumbu made it as well so they are knocking off the mountains well and truly. It was very cold on the way up as it was windy. We all had good fun especially on the way down as there was still plenty of snow for sliding down the mountain which of course the dogs loved.

Again the spent the next day sleeping off their high adventures, they also took a dip in the swimming pool which is up and running now.

Khumbus Favourite Film, 2008-07-01

Caught Khumbu watching his favourite film "8 Below" a few weeks ago. For those who have not seen this film its about a team of huskys who get left to fend for themselves in antarctica, you can just imagine what Khumbu was thinking whilst sunning himself in sunny Andalucia!!

Captain Tapa sails for the first time this year!, 2008-07-20

Its that time of year again when Tapa gets launched! Actually its his 2nd time this year, the first time I was on one lilo and he was on the other and was quite happy floating about the pool. This time he went on his own, he even landed it against the side of the pool, made a jump for it and unfortunately for him his boat moved away from the side and he fell into the water!! The picture is of Tapa after he fell in and swam back to his boat.

Captain Tapa

New dog cave, 2008-11-28

The dogs have a new cave to replace the unsightly kennel, blends in rather well with the surroundings.

The dog cave

Latest dog walk, 2009-03-11

Here are some pictures from the latest dog walk taken on Sunday. Khumbu and Bruno

Khumbu and Bruno


Khumbu, Rocky and Bruno playing in the snow


Cerro de Caballo behind me and Khumbu

Tired dogs resting in the shade of the car

Brushing Bruno, 2009-04-20

Have just spent the past hour and half brushing Bruno! I think he must weigh a stone lighter now. As you can tell from the photos theres a lot of hair that comes out of a Leonberger but dosnt he look a pretty boy now.

Bruno with his pile of hair

Bruno after his brush

What happens when you let a Siberian Husky run free, 2009-05-30

Now here are a few photos of Khumbu when he was allowed to run free. It wasn't until we put the photos on the computer that we could see the crazy facial expressions from Khumbu. They will make you laugh. This is not a daft one but a nice one of Khumbu and Bruno together

Khumbu running and Bruno walking

These are a set of photos showing the facial expressions of a husky putting every effort into running

Happy Husky

Happy Husky

Strange face

Strange face

Sticking his tongue out at us

Mad face husky at full run

A close up of the above shot showing a husky entering psycho mode!

Husky in psycho mode


Emma: Hiya, great flicks, love them. The best photo is the last one, look closely at Kumbus back legs!!!!

angela: great pics!! oh this made me laugh. My husky maysie gets the same way when we run and when we - VERY RARELY - let her off the leash. if we let her run free, she runs like this until we can tackle her or she gets tired. Not exactly fun. thanks for the chuckle! great blog!

Robin: Great pics!!!!

Khumbu, Bruno & the acequia, 2009-05-30

An acequia is a community operated waterway and most were established more than 200 years ago. The Arabs brought the technology to Spain during their occupation. The acequia is how we irrigate our land and is a source of great entertainment for our dogs. Our water comes from the snows in the Sierra Nevada and is collected in a lake called the Laguna de Lanjaron high up in the mountains.

As the snow melts it flows down the various channels. When we want water we have to drive to an aquaduct that is higher up our mountain, open a gate that allows the water to flow down our side of the mountain, close off other acequias until it comes down to our land. After the recent rains there was a landslide that blocked our acequia so Richard and a neighbour spent half a day digging it out and getting bitten by mosquitos. Their hard work paid off and the very next day we watered our land and entertained Khumbu and Bruno who spent a good hour in and out of the water.

bruno walking up the acequia

Khumbu & Bruno playing

Khumbu & Bruno playing

Khumbu & Bruno

Khumbu cooling down

Khumbu wandering along the acequia

Khumbus new game, 2009-09-08

We all know Khumbu loves the pool and this Siberian Husky's latest game is to take the floating chlorine dispenser out of the pool and try to destroy it without getting caught. Un-lucky for him he was caught with it in his mouth so it has now been removed from the pool and he has half a tennis ball (yep he destroyed them which is why its only a half a tennis ball) thrown in the pool for him to play with. Below are a couple of photos and a very short video of him caught in the act and playing with the ball in the water.

Khumbu looking very proud of himself

Caught in the act

Khumbu by Marialanjaron


The Thundering Herd: Maintain the Siberian legacy there, Khumbu! We salute you.

Battle of Wills - Siberian Husky v Human, 2009-11-15

This post is written as seen through Khumbu's eye's!


I'm Khumbu, you will probably have heard about me, im a nearly 3 year old male Siberian Husky who loves to run, dig, talk, jump and destroy. I particularly like the snow and water. I'm an intelligent sort of chap, inquisitive, playful, stubborn and charming.

I was born in Spain, not in Andalucia where I live now, but in an area north of Madrid near the Sierra Gredos, I don't remember much about it there as I left when I was young, in fact I was the first of the family to leave home.

You know what they say about Siberian Huskys? "_they always want to be where they are not" _do you know how true that is! My humans decided one day it would be a good idea to harness the suns energy and worked out the best idea for them would be to get a solar water heater. "Great idea" all said, "save money on electricity", "use something we have plenty of"!

The men came, removed the electric water tank/boiler and installed the new solar one. Some of the pipes are covered in insulation, how much fun is that for a Siberian Husky!! Humans realised straight away there was a problem with where the solar water tubes had been installed, it was on MY favorite terrace. They have tried various defences against me, they built a wall, I pulled the wall down, what do you expect when they don't cement it together, they put up a fence, I broke the fence, ive jumped the wire fence and broken a gate.

At the moment they have tied pallets to the wall with wire, this is stumping me a little, so I have taken to going up my usual way, which is up the bank by the swimming pool. They have put a pallet and an old chair there but this has not stopped me. I have a bit of fun in the early hours of the morning I go up onto this terrace and the best part is I cant get back down because their defenses stop me going down safely, so I sit by the gate and continually bang it until they come and let me out.

I always make sure im looking my cutest and wag my tail when they come stomping up in the dark, it always works a treat. I have to agree with them though, it does look a mess now until they come up with something better.

battle of the wills


The Thundering Herd: Ah, yes, we are very familiar with this ongoing battle. Our humans have many baby gates - despite no babies.

A doggie day out in the mountains, 2009-11-21

We had to go in and extract a client who had very bad blisters, he was on a 5 day traverse of the Sierra Nevada, so we took the Khumbu and Bruno with us for a day out. We left Lanjaron at 9am sharp, drove to the Hoya de Mora above the Sierra Nevada Ski Station near Granada and parked the car as you can go no further by road.

The dogs were very excited as this was their first "winter" walk since the summer, Khumbu made us walk a little faster than we would have liked, but thats what you get for owning a Siberian Husky. We walked for about an hour and half up and beyond the telescope area, that is set up in the mountains, and dropped down in to an area I love called the Lagunillas which has lots of lakes and great views.

We met up with the client, he and Richard started walking back out at a very slow pace (due to the blisters), so I continued on for a while until I hit the lakes. Khumbu and Bruno loved it, they were in and out of the water, Bruno almost had a swim whilst Khumbu slip slided about on some ice. I started to head back after half an hour or so, and caught up with the others.

dogs chasing me

We stopped at a patch of snow so the dogs could have a good old romp about. The patch of snow is there because the ski station is making snow in an attempt to be open at the end of this month, with the temperatures we are getting at the moment its not looking likely. I let Khumbu off the lead, having assessed the area we were in and deciding it was safe to do so. I ran around on the snow and Khumbu and Bruno chased me, they were having a great time but alas it was time to move on. It took us 2 hours to get back to the car where we sat outside a little bar, had a drink and watched as Griffon Vultures flew over head, I ran to get my camera from the car but missed the best opportunity for photographing them, although they did briefly reappear again but a long way off. I did mange to get a shot of a pair of Choughs though. Khumbu and Bruno were shattered having exerted themselves so much enjoying themselves. Needless to say the dogs slept very well that night. Its great to be able to take them out with us into the mountains, they seem to love it as much as we do.


Victoria Twead: Makes me feel invigorated and exercised just reading your blog! Beautiful countryside, beautiful dogs.

The Thundering Herd: Any day out in the mountains is a good day as far as The Herd is concerned.

Happy Birthday Khumbu - 3 today, 2010-01-03

Wow Khumbu is 3 today, does this mean my Siberian Husky may actually have matured, not a chance! On todays walk we met Ibex, just above our house in Lanjaron, great fun for Khumbu and Bruno to try and drag me over the mountain edge. Later on he came out into the garden with me, ran off chasing a cat. As always for a larger picture click on the image.

Khumbu aged 9 weeks old

A happy Khumbu aged 14months pulling me down hill in the Sierra Nevada

Khumbu aged 2 years and 2 months old

Khumbu aged 3 on his birthday at the Ermita Tajos de la Cruz above Lanjaron


Life With Dogs: I'm a little late, but belated birthday wishes! :)

The dogs get their own website!, 2010-02-10

So I thought I would tell you the dogs have their very own blog called Tails from the Pack. Go take a look at it its rather good even if I do say so myself.

Yes its been a while since I last did a blog, today Im going to write something. So I thought I would tell you the dogs have their very own blog called tails from the pack go take a look at it its rather good even if I do say so myself.

Tails from the Pac

Their videos are published on You Tube and Daily Motion and Khumbu has a Twitter account where you can follow him at Khumbusibe. Some of their doggie friends have been on the website and commented. There is still a bit of work to do on the site like galleries to add.

Bruno the Leonberger has bone cancer, 2011-08-13

Bruno started out showing signs of lameness, over a week or so the lameness got worse. He went to the vet who took a few x-rays and diagnosed osteoarthritis. He was put on the anti-inflammatory tablets Norocarp. But Brunos lameness got worse, he cried in pain and wouldnt use his front right leg.

We called the vet out for a home visit. After sorting Khumbus ear out, yes he got an infection, he looked at Brunos leg again. The leg moved fine until manipulation of the shoulder when Bruno would cry. He told the us we had to go to the Veterinary hospital in Granada because they had specialised equipment and would be able to see what was going on.

The appointment was made for the next day. Bruno was put onto the examining table, thats a first for Bruno, all work is normally carried out on the floor because of Brunos size. He went off for an x-ray. An hour or so later we were back in the vets office and were told the devastating news. Bone cancer, very aggressive. Choices were amputation of the leg if not spread to the heart and lungs, followed by chemotherapy, if it had spread then just chemotherapy or euthanize. The oncologist was scheduled to phone on Monday to talk through the options. We were sent away with a concoction of pain killers for Bruno.

On Sunday we met up with a couple who live in the village with their Labradoodle Benji. He had been diagnosed with a different type of cancer last year and only given months to live. They started chemo straight away and although Benji is not cured he looks fantastic and is living his normal life again. They explained to us what we could expect once the chemo was started. We left feeling much more positive.

The oncologist eventually phoned on Tuesday and Bruno was booked in for Thursday. We took Bruno in expecting him to be having amputation. The vet said he was 95% sure it was cancer but could not remove a limb without being 100% sure, so a biopsy was needed. Also an x-ray was to be done of his chest to see if it had spread and his bloods were checked. He stayed in for the day. When we went to fetch him we were told that the cancer had not spread, chest x-ray and bloods were clear. This is great news, although the x-ray appeared clear there could still be traces of cancer there, but he stands a better chance of survival as there are no more large tumours to hit. So we now wait for the biopsy results to tell us what type of cancer he has and how to proceed, but amputation is definite.

There is no cure for this cancer but with Bruno being strong and wanting to live we have decided to go with chemotherapy to prolong his life. The chemo will allow him a quality of life, without it he will be dead in less than 3 months. We are under no illusions that we are all in for a tough ride ahead and im sure there will be times when we question our decision, but if we can get through the tough times we know we will have made the right decision. What time he has left with us is anybodys guess, maybe 9 months, maybe a year maybe longer but so long as our boy is enjoying life we will do everything we can for him.

We have had incredible support from all over the world via facebook and twitter with thoughts, prayers and pawcircles and you know what its worked. It is gut wrenching to hear Bruno cry and frustrating when you feel the medical side of things are not moving fast enough. Everyone has helped us stay focused and positive and we would like to thank everyone of you for your support.

A couple of people (you know who you are) have mentioned the herb wormwood (Artemisinin) in helping fight the cancer cells and have proof that it helps. Dogs who were given just 6 months to live have managed to live a fully normal healthy life for another 3 years or more. Thank you for pointing us in this direction we are in contact with a company and waiting to hear back from them to see if they can help us. This herb can be used in conjunction with the chemotherapy. I found this website called Bone Cancer Dogs which has been a great source of information but we found this page of most interest, how can you not try wormwood after reading it.

A word of advice, should you have a large dog who is lame, be on the safe side and ask for an x-ray straight away. Its often far to late to save the dogs life by the time its been diagnosed, usually the dog gets treated for arthritis etc for months before cancer is finally picked up. We found some shocking statistics whilst searching the internet, 50% of Leonbergers deaths are due to bone cancer! If anyone out there has any more help and advice they want to share with us, please do contact us. Also mentioned to us is the Telomerase cancer vaccine if anyone has any experience of this vaccine please let us know.

So that is where we are at the moment awaiting the biopsy results, awaiting amputation, awaiting chemotherapy and awaiting the big fight and by god its going to get one hell of a fight from us.


Khyra's Mom: The ugly C word has to be eliminated from our vocabulary - We know Bruno will give it all he has AND then some - PLUS, he's got lots and lots of support - from all over the world! Khyra and The Golden Khousins send H&K - Phyll

Mireille: Hi, We just found out that Montana our leo has bone cancer in her front paw just like Bruno. She is 7 years old. How is Bruno ? Did you go ahead with the amputation? Our vet did an x-ray and confirm the cancer since the tumor was is already 1cm. They didn't recommend the ampution because of her size. We feel that she is too young and she still is so happy and playful. Let me know if your Bruno is still fithing?

Kiersten: Hi Im sorry to hear about Montana, yet another poor baby suffering bone cancer. Bruno is still going strong. Im sorry I did not see your post until now. You can follow his progress on our dogs blog site which is Tails from the Pack Seriously think about amputation Leo's get around just fine on 3 legs. Check out the links that are on the blogs, you will find other Leos and many many other dogs and the bonecancerdogs forum is a fantastic place, lots of help and info. Im going to try and send you an email. If you dont receive one from me get back to me on here and I will share all the info I have with you. Good luck to you and Montana x

Stephanie: Hi Mireille, I had a Leonberger with bone cancer, too. Chico had his rear leg amputated when it broke from the cancer. He really got along well, he was up walking right after the surgery and healed up really quick. personally, I don't think size has a lot to do with whether the dog can handle it or not, if the leg hurts from the cancer they are not using that leg fully anyway. here's my video of Chico progression from the day of his amp, he was 125 pounds. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcUuu0waHi4 and here's one I found of another boy with a front amp, his name is Dugan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LzAeWdvXGA I wish you and Montana the very best , Stephanie and my angel Chico

zena: I'm so sorry about Bruno how is he doing ? My Rottweiler Fizz had Bone Cancer in her hind leg she was 6 at the time, When Fizz was diagnosed I completely broke down, she was my baby and I adored her, but she showed me over the time from the date she was diagnosed to the date she went to heaven. How truly amazing an animal can be and over time I have realised that she has taught me more in her short 6 years than I had learned in my 40 .............. and we say that we are the most intelligent thing's on our planet ? Fizz had her leg amputated and was walking the next day ! She in fact walked the entire outside of the vet's surgery, while being cheered on by firemen who were outside doing a training exercise ! She then had 3 Bouts of chemotherapy and was amazing through it not only did she never once look ill ?? She would lie on the table for 2 hours without sedation while they put 2 lines in her front legs and she did not move once !!! She finally past a lil bit over a year from her diagnosis and she past all my vet's prediction's ! She past when she was ready too and not before and I think that is something we all would prefer. I know that the last year of her short life may have been her defining part. The stage where everyone who knew her really began to acknowledged how remarkable she was. Because she was much more than an illness, she will always be and will always remain my Best Friend and I don't think I will ever get over losing her, but I think that it may be helped by the telling of her Story and by the helping of others, So I started a Blog so people will have somewhere to come and chat or just vent ...... I hope that Bruno is doing well and just enjoy your time with him and make some amazing memories as it's these lil stories that help us cope in our darkest times Love to you, Bruno and family xxx

Mary C. Hilseberg: My 5 yr and 4 mo old dog has just been diagnosed with osteosarcoma in the right front leg. First biopsy came back, no trace of cancer. However, she continued to limp so I took her to an Orthopedic Surgeon. He feels from looking at the Xrays it is cancer, but did another biopsy. I don't have the results yet but I feel certain he is correct. This is my second Leo, that got cancer at 5 years old. My first one, the cancer had spread to the lungs so he was euthanized. Lola's cancer had not gotten to her lungs yet. I hate to see her suffer. It breaks my heart. The surgeon wants to amputate and put a prosthetic leg. I don't know what to do. Any help is appreciated.