Archive | May, 2011

Venting – Bear With Me

25 May

Crazy life these days – barely time to sleep so I haven’t posted in quite a while.

Pups are great. I found out their birthday was April 26th, so tomorrow they’ll be a month old! I thought they were younger, based on their development, but I guess if Lucy was malnourished when she was pregnant it could have an effect on that. I’ve got this insane socialization schedule planned for them. I’ll write it up soon and post. Let me know if you have any crazy socialization ideas for me to expose them to. They’re growing like weeds and are barking and tugging and playing already. I’m just beginning to wean them, though they much prefer momma’s milk. She’s being nice and letting them nurse even with super sharp puppy teeth.

OK, now for my rant.

I was walking one of my clients, Frisco. Frisco’s a huge (85#) long haired German Shepherd. Think coolest, awesomest, most beautiful dog imaginable, and you’ve got Frisco. Add in a blue backpack, a head halter, a clicker, and a bag of treats, and we’re quite a sight together.

He LOVES other dogs and blows up into a ball of frustrated reactivity when he sees other dogs and can’t get to them. So we’re working on keeping his brain functioning when he sees other dogs. We run into a cute 6 mo GSD female with her owners. I ask them if she’s friendly, and if they wouldn’t mind helping us train by just waiting there and we’ll make our way towards them (I use penalty yards when he pulls and/or barks, so it can take a while for us to actually greet). They were excited to meet Frisco, so they waited for us.

Two penalty yards in, the guy shouted out that I needed to put a choke chain on Frisco. Ugh. Gag. My desire to work Frisco to meet their dog just dropped exponentially. Thankfully Frisco caught on to the game quickly and walked beautifully for me over to their pup. I proceeded to explain that their dog (wearing a prong collar) only learned to escape pain, whereas Frisco was learning to actually walk nicely. I also told them that those collars can create and exacerbate aggression in dogs.

Next the guy proceeded to tell me that Frisco is, in fact, a Belgian Shepherd. Because he heard it from some guy who was an “expert.” Right. I won’t go into that snippet, he didn’t make much sense and I don’t think he took in much of what I was saying. But it led to him stating that all Search and Rescue dogs are “those Belgian dogs” because “you know, they’re lighter on their feet and smell good.” When I told him that yes, many SAR dogs are GSDs, but there are also plenty of Labs, and GASP even Pit Bulls, as well as lots of mixed breed dogs, he gave me the stink eye and ignored me.

Then we hit the money. His dog wasn’t spayed and just got through her first heat (Frisco was really giving her a good sniffing). And he asked me if he could breed Frisco to her. So then I tried to get in some information on the millions of dogs and cats euthanized every year, and that they could get a puppy from a shelter and save two lives, and that they’re not professional breeders, and don’t actually know what they’re doing, and their dog’s only 6 months old, how could they know they wanted to breed her, they don’t even know if she’s passed her health checks or what her adult personality will be like. And then they really gave it to me. They got her from a pet store. And tried to convince me that pet stores “won’t just sell a puppy to anyone.” Right. They said they paid $2,500 for their pup. I told them that anyone who walked into the store with that money would walk out with a dog. And that frankly, they got ripped off, seeing as their dog most likely came from a puppy mill and really wasn’t a great specimen of her breed (in the short time I was there she showed some worrisome nervousness, especially for a dog her age).

And to top it ALL off. This guy drives up in a huge SUV and shouts out the window that he’s got this gorgeous GSD from Germany who he wants to breed but he can’t find a good bitch. And the people I was “chatting” with then began to swap numbers so they could breed their dog. Meanwhile I’m yelling at all of them that they have no business breeding dogs at all.

I nearly lost my shit right there.

In order to keep my shit, I U-turned Frisco and we high-tailed it OUT of there.

I’m not sure what else I could have done. Stayed and argued another hour with them? It just makes me sick, I feel sick right now, knowing that these people are planning litters with dogs from puppy mills, with no health or temperament testing, and sending the breed to shit. I am all for a freaking license to own dogs. Pass a damn test, please. And owning intact dogs should be illegal unless you have a Master’s in genetics and animal behavior.

What do you think? I’m still so upset I can’t think clearly. I’m going to go snuggle some puppies and try to cheer up.

Oh, and Charlie was a super star at the KPA workshop. SUPER STAR.

More Puppies

19 May

So I need your help!

This is our current set up:The “family sleeping area”/nursing area is in the half crate. They’re laying on an orthopedic pad under which is a heating pad on low, and a blanket covering the whole shebang. The gray rolled up thing is another blanket to just take up the space the ortho pad doesn’t reach. The door faces the left of the ex pen where the pups’ potty area is. There’s a rug that’s under the length of the crate and is under the entire potty area, which is covered in wee wee pads and a rug runner (the brown thing) to help the pups’ footing, so they’re always insulated from the cold tile floor. To the right is mom’s safety area where she can relax from the babies when she’s sick of them. She’s got a blanket there, but also has access to the tiles if she’s too hot. Her food and water is also there. The entire ex pen area is draped with heavy blankets to keep the drafts out.

I think it’s a pretty good set up, just curious if anyone has ideas on how to improve upon it.

And here are some more pictures:

Pups’ teeth buds are just just starting to show little toofers poking through. I can tell they’re uncomfortable because they’re gnawing on anything they can get their mouths on. It’s so painfully cute!

And that’s momma eating some grub and puttin’ on some weight. Though she hasn’t eaten much today, taking a fast I guess.

Nursing Puppy

18 May

Are you ready for the cutest thing you’ve seen in your entire life?

Little man puppy was doing poorly so I finally got in touch with the vet. He phoned in an antibiotic prescription and within an HOUR he was nursing like superpuppy. He’s been regularly nursing ever since. Looks like I get to sleep again! (Assuming mom learns how to go to the bathroom during normal hours.)

Mom’s been having really bad diarrhea with some bright red spots of blood in her stool. I gave her some Slippery Elm Bark powder to help soothe her gut and may need to run a fecal on her, though the rescue said she’s been dewormed 4x with them. She may need another wormer for a specific critter.

I’m painfully and frighteningly behind on KPA work, which is THIS WEEKEND. But Charlie’s so awesome I know he’ll make me look good no matter what. OK I shouldn’t say no matter what. But he’s a star. And Emma’s gained so much weight. She looks like a different dog.

And my apartment’s a disaster. I hope no one calls the HazMat squad on us. Yes, it’s that bad.

Please let me know if you know of anyone who wants a weaned to raw puppy to adopt, ‘cus I’ve got two!!

Puppies!

15 May

Looks like it takes a pair of two week old puppies to get me back into the blogging world!

Kiss me!!

The little guy’s been worrying me a bit. I weighed them this morning.

Little guy’s barely 2.6 #s. He’s got some clear discharge coming from his nostrils and is a bit sniffly. I haven’t seen him nurse quite as often as his behemoth of a brother. I originally had esbilac to supplement his meals with, but then learned that goat’s milk is actually a better choice. I just hope he doesn’t grow up and start bleating. He seems OK to me right now. I’m hoping he can beat his sniffles with regular meals.

Mr. Behemoth weighed in at a huge 3.8#s! He’s so big he barely fit on my scale! He’s got the largest, roundest tummy out there and nurses like an addict. What’s funny is that he surfs nipples. He’ll suckle at one for a bit and then go down the line. He’s also a huge cry baby and whines when I pick him up.

Mom’s been an absolute doll. I gave her a break from the pups this morning and she just snuggled with me on the bed. She’s such a sweetheart! She’s taking to the raw food, albeit slowly. I still have to mix in a good amount of milk and freeze dried food to get her to eat the ground mix, but the important part is that she’s eating. It’s been raining all day which really sucks because she’s uncomfortable going outside as it is and ends up holding it longer than she should because she doesn’t want to be outside.

I even got time to work with Charlie today and he blew me away and conquered a five part behavior chain. Of course he was barking the entire time, but that’s nothing new. I might even give him a hair cut tonight.

Hello Fostering!!

14 May

I found out about a new local rescue organization yesterday. The first in my neighborhood.

Today I came home with my first fosters ever.

Lucy and her two two week old puppies.Poor girl was set to be gassed somewhere in the South and was saved last minute and shipped up to NYC.

She was so extremely emaciated that the rescue had no idea she was pregnant at first. With some real food she ballooned in a few days and then gave birth to eight puppies. Five were stillborn. One died this morning. And I’ve got the other two.

She was so stressed out at the rescue center when I went over today that I got my car and brought her home on the spot. They were having their open house and all the people and dogs were just too much for her. She’s an absolute sweetie and so gentle with her pups. She’s quite nervous of cars, and doesn’t seem to be housebroken, but makes up for it with sheer love. She’s all ribs and bones and obviously still getting over all the stress she’s been through recently, but she’s a gem of a dog.

I’m still not sure how long I’ll have her and her pups. Not sure what age the rescue thinks they’re suitable for adoption. So far they’re letting me feed her raw and I’m planning to wean the pups onto raw, so hopefully we can find homes that can agree to keep them all raw!

Unfortunately I have to bring her back to the rescue next weekend when I go to KPA workshop number two with Charlie. I’m trying to find an alternative to that – maybe pay my brother to house and animal sit. That way I’ll not have to send out Tigress and Emma either.

And of course this sets me back even further with my KPA work. I was planning on working all day today and instead spent the day rearranging the house set up to accommodate Lucy and getting us all into a rhythm.

I’ve been singing “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” to her all day. I think she enjoys it.

A Few Updates?

9 May

We’re all well. The KPA’s got me so busy I don’t have much time for anything else. Workshop two is in two weeks and Charlie and I are behind. I’ll try to get back on the scene once things cool off. I know I missed a lot of awesomeness.

I am going to send out Charlie’s blood to Dr. Jean Dodds and have her run a 5 panel thyroid test. Hopefully she’ll have some answers for us.

Tigress has lost a total of FIVE pounds exactly since December. She’s at 12.2!! Talk about keeping your New Year’s Resolution (not that she had any say). If only I could keep myself on a similar program!! She’s now terrorizing me with her new abilities. All counters need to be protected.  As well as the kitchen sink. She’s lately discovered she’s actually an acrobat under all that weight.

Tigress is also a clicker training addict and learning faster than Charlie. But please don’t tell him I said that, he’d be quite upset if he knew. In two sessions she’s got touching a target stick with her paw and with her nose (separately) on cue.

Emma’s perfected her jumping into my arms routine. And she’s slowly learning how to sit.

Charlie’s learning how to respond to verbal cues better than he ever has. And he’s crawling. SO cool. I’m also weaning him off the Clomicalm, as I have my suspicions it may be affecting his thyroid. Once he’s off for a week, I’m going to try him on Prozac. So far (8 days into the weaning) I haven’t seen a terrible increase in anxiety, but he’s so anxious anyway that it could be hard to read. Poor pup trembles any time he sees another dog. We can’t relax at the park anymore because he’s so worried about where all the dogs are =-(.

Charlie's ashamed to be pictured with Tigress wearing a dog harness.

Emma makes silly yawns.

At a loss

6 May

My neighbor’s 6 month old Puggle was just killed by a hit and run driver.

I heard some commotion outside my window, saw a young woman bending over a limp dog in the street. I ran out and yelled at her to get in my car.

We raced to the vet but it was obvious that it was too late for the pup.

This was totally preventable. They let this dog and their other dog (who I haven’t seen in months – a black Pit Bull) roam collar and leashless. I’ve personally almost hit the Pit Bull with my car when coming home at night more than once.

I’m infuriated that this happened, but my heart is breaking to pieces and I’m crying with her for her dog. I’m so shaken, I’m so sad, angry, and hurt. I feel so bad for that girl.

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