Monday, September 26, 2011

I Feel Better; We Get A New Pack Member

See the dog on the right? Doesn't look like me, does it? That's because it's not. That's Poptart, the newest member of our household. You'd think a blog about me would be about, well, *me*, but apparently I'm yielding the floor once again.

Let me update you about *me* first, then I'll tell you the story of Poptart.

You may remember from my last post that I was not feeling well. Turns out that I had an upper respiratory infection, or at least as near as anyone can tell. I was on antibiotics and steroids for a couple weeks, and just before they ran out, I started feeling better. And my nose stopped drooling, which everyone appreciated. I'm over it all now, and back to my old self. jc is quite happy about this, as he was pretty worried. Upper respiratory infections can be really bad news.

Now on to Poptart. jc and Cindy occasionally transport dogs from the animal shelters to the farm, or from the farm to intermediate pickup points so they can go to their furever homes, or rescue groups that are just for their type of dogs. Canine Pet Rescue handles mostly German Shepherd Dogs, but occasionally miniature Australian Shepherds. jc had picked up a few dogs from DeKalb Animal Control to take to the farm before, but Poptart was the first GSD he had transported.

When he picked her up on May 18th, 2011, she was quite pregnant, and kind of smelly (shelter conditions aren't really conducive to keeping one's self clean). But she had a personality (why don't we have doganalities? We're dogs, after all...) he really liked, and he had kinda made noise about bringing her home at some point. Poptart went to the farm, got renamed to "Bella" (which is a *whole* 'nother story), and then had her puppies, all which got adopted out. Now she was looking for *her* furever home.

jc and Cindy go out to the farm to take pictures of the dogs now and again, and each time jc made noises about how cool Poptart (also known as Poppy) was. They talked about bringing her home either for fostering or for keeps, but decided that 4 dogs was just too much. I wasn't sure about the idea, although it would be nice to have a dog that would play with me. Moon (also known as Jurassic Golden Retriever) doesn't play. Makeeta (the 10 year old Shiloh Shepherd) doesn't really play either, or at least for only a very short time.

Well, sometime in August, Poptart ("Bella") thought she found her furever home. There were other dogs there she got along fine with, but a daughter who didn't live at home would bring her dog over, and apparently they didn't get along right away. The people decided she wasn't fitting in, and wanted to send her back. The lady who runs CPR was livid! The contract the adopter signs has a check box that specifically requires human initials in it to indicate they understand that it could take several months for the new pack order to be established, and problems may come up that have to be worked through. Nonetheless, they wanted to return her. jc heard about this, talked to Cindy, and they agreed that Poptart should join our pack. Cindy commented she thought it was inevitable, and that everyone knew sooner or later Poppy would be a Wren pack member.

On August 28th, jc and Cindy picked up Poptart from the farm, and brought her home. Over a couple days we all got introduced, and for the most part got along famously. The agreement was that they would foster her for two weeks to make sure there weren't going to be any serious issues, and then they'd adopt her. On 9/11 (that's a famous date in history for two reasons now!) jc let it be known that Poptart had joined the Wren pack as a permanent member. He also said something about that anyone who calls her Bella is going to get a pop in the nose! Poptart is the name she meant to have from the beginning, and it's a much better name.

For the most part, things are going great! Poppy and I wrestle like two crazy dogs, throwing each other around, jumping on the couch in jc's office (we're allowed to do that on that couch. The one in the living room is strictly off limits), tearing up and down the hallway, and playing ball constantly.

Oh, I don't guess I mentioned this, but we all think she's about 2 1/2 years old or so. jc said her birthday is the same as mine, which is the same as his (April 30th), so we're all getting a *huge* cake next year :). You can also see some other pictures of her here.

The only issue we really have is that Makeeta likes to be the fun-police. If we start horsing around too much and she's around, she sticks her nose in our fun and goes postal. She's also got Poppy thoroughly cowed (sigh, kinda like me, if the ball rolls to a stop near her, jc or Cindy has to go get it. Actually, sometimes, she's kinda mean to me). There's been one or two minor altercations, but jc has no hesitation about stepping in and putting a stop to it [OK, so maybe sometimes jc isn't very bright. --jc]. Poptart doesn't start anything with Makeeta, but she won't back down, either.

Expect to hear more about the adventures of me and Poppy. Even though it's my blog, I'll share space with her.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Am Not Feeling Well; My People Love Me

There's Moon (front), me (middle) and Makeeta (back) sacked out on the floor. It's a 3 dog pile-up in the hallway! Humans dancing everywhere as they try to step around us! It's a fun game.

What's not a fun game is that I don't feel well. Monday night around 5pm I started panting a lot, drooling, and some hacking. jc got concerned that I might have flipped my stomach, a condition known as torsion, or GDV, so they took me to the emergency clinic.

The clinic people X-rayed me (click here to see my guts), and didn't see evidence of GDV, intestinal blockage, or an enlarged heart. They were very nice to me, although I wasn't too pleased about being rolled on my back for that picture of my lungs.

I've been hacking some, like I've got something just on the back of my throat that won't come up. I've also been standing around panting, and can't get comfortable when I lay down, unless I flop over. jc and I don't really know why that might be. He wonders if I snapped at a bee and got stung, and it's making my throat irritated. And sometimes when I'm breathing, I whistle a little bit, like my throat is closed down.

Tuesday morning, jc and Cindy took me to Chateau Animal Hospital, as soon as they opened. I was presented with a little wet dog food, which I did eat, so they're also convinced I haven't got GDV. Dr. B was speculating that maybe it was some sort of gastric upset, but I don't think jc is convinced of that. He's an engineer and slightly mechanically inclined, and watching and listening to me, he thinks it's more likely it's a trachea issue.

That afternoon I ate boiled chicken and rice, which means I know I'm not well, and that my people are taking care of me. jc bitches about how much my vet bills are already, but I know he'd do just about anything for me :) He didn't get mad at me when I woke him at 3am for an hour with my panting. He just got up, got me some water, and petted me until I finally laid back down and went to sleep. He didn't even get mad when I accidentally peed on the carpet this morning before he took me out! Just said it was his own damn fault for not taking me out as soon he woke up, since I drank a quart of water in the middle of the night.

Wednesday morning I don't think I feel any better, but I'm no worse. I didn't eat the chicken and rice breakfast, which I know bothered jc. I did go outside and do my business, so that's a pretty sure sign there's no intestinal blockage, and everything is... ummmm... "flowing smoothly".

Being a sick dog is just no fun. I've had a blast going swimming a few times since my last blog post, and when I feel better, I'll share some pictures that Cindy took of me and jc splashing around in Lake Lanier. I may not be one of those dogs that heads straight to the water when I see it, but I like going in and paddling around. Wish me well that this is nothing serious, 'cause I know jc gets very stressed out when I'm not well.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A New Leash On Life; Doing The Hurky-Hurky

As you may surmise, this is not a picture of me either.  Rather, this is a picture of what went down me, then came back up. Yep, I chewed the handle of my favorite leash.

I generally like to be near my human, jc. He was in the living room watching a movie, and I was laying in the office. Makeeta, the old cranky big dog, was laying in the doorway, so I couldn't get from the office to the living room. Sometimes when this happens I get frustrated and vent that frustration on things I'm not supposed to. Towels, shoes, socks, dish cloths, other odds and ends.

Cindy was out of town and jc had taken me and Makeeta out for our afternoon walkies. While picking up a package on the front porch, he set the leash on the table in our office, and forgot to pick it up. He was sitting there watching a movie [District 9, not bad --jc] and heard a noise. He came in, and found the leash laying on the floor, and part of the handle missing. That's because I pulled it off the table, chewed it into bite-sized chunks and swallowed it.

jc is not one to panic, but he does get upset. I got kinda got yelled and fussed at, and I knew he was pretty pissed at me. So I wagged my tail. He called the emergency clinic and they said "give him 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide. If he doesn't throw up, give him two more in 15 minutes. If that doesn't do it, bring him and we'll give him an injection that will for sure make him throw up." Sooooo I got two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2, for you science-minded types), and then I was rushed outside. About 30 seconds later, I started hurking. And hurking some more. And again. And at least one more time. After about 15 minutes, I get another dose of H2O2 and go through this again. Nothing was coming up this time, but was I trying!

Then I get tied off to the porch railing (in case I hurk again), and jc snaps on some rubber gloves, gets a baggie, and starts poking through my barf-piles, picking out the bits of leash. You can see these in the picture above. We then go inside, where he proceeds to wash them off, lay them out and dry them. I'm thinking he's doing this so I can have them as snacks again later on, but apparently not. Rather, he gets the tape measure, figures out how much is there, and how much SHOULD be there. They appear close enough that he thinks none went though my stomach (I'm told it was fortunate that he noticed quickly, and that I also had some dinner still in my stomach when I chewed it up).

Well, I pretty much got the cold shoulder and glared at the rest of the evening. jc usually doesn't get put out with me, but this time, I think I really screwed up. Luckily we had some hydrogen peroxide in the cabinet, or he'd had been *really* put out with a $300 visit to the emergency room. Not to mention that leash was about $30, too, and he liked it a lot. There does seem to be enough to make a short lead, if he can find someone that works leather.

Over the next two days, I had my poop carefully scrutinized to make sure no leash bits were in it. While I'd have probably passed them, if they got tangled up in my intestines, I could have been in a world of hurt. Did I learn anything from this? Probably not.

Of course, jc can never stay mad at me for too long, so the next morning we were back on good terms, although I had a nick-name for a couple of days that I'm not sure was flattering. Is it bad to be called "Dumb-assed Dog"?


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Put A Rottweiler In His Place; Things Are Said

I have learned that going to Petsmart to "expose me to the doggy populace" is going to be a regular thing. Last night, I loaded jc and Cindy up in the car and we went back to Petsmart. I was doing pretty well, ignoring other dogs, strolling through, and generally raising the class of the establishment with my presence.

At one point, I was laying down and the humans were standing at the end of an isle, and other dogs from a class were going up and down. I was cool with that, and would glance at them, make sure they knew I was confident they were inferior beings, and then ignore them. All was well, and I kept getting my ears rubbed, which was nice.

Then this fat Rottweiler walked by, gave me some stink-eye, and turned towards me. I jumped up and did my "Don't you mess with me!" bark (which is nice and deep, and makes me sound like a bad-ass). We were asked to move somewhere else... And it wasn't even really my fault! That lady didn't tell her fat dog to behave and just kept baby-talking to it. Ugh!

Since we had to move, we went back to strolling around the store, and I met some more people that petted me and told me how nicely behaved I was. I don't jump on people, and typically stand or sit down so they can pet me. When I sit, it makes it easier for them to reach my ears :)

I did end up barking at one other dog that surprised me when it cut right in front of me, so jc and Cindy decided it was time to leave. I'm supposed to go to Doggy Day Care on Thursday, and I expect jc will take me up there again.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Shocking, I Tell You, Just Shocking!

As I mentioned in the previous post, I've been to Doggy Day Care a couple times for socialization. I still keep trying to open a can of whoopass when I've got a leash on, but when I'm with people or running free among other dogs, I'm cool. This weekend, I had a rather shocking experience.

You may recall from a post a ways back, What I Learned At Camp Diana, about what happened at Petsmart. Last weekend I went to some peoples house that have fifteen Rottweilers. They show them in Europe (I've never been there, even though I'm German), and do some training. Tommy, the trainer, says he can fix this problem with me.

We showed up at the house, and Tommy had jc turn me loose into the backyard. I sniffed around, peed on a tree or two, and just checked the place out. A few minutes later, this one-year old Rottweiler comes ambling over, and she and I do the doggy dance greeting. We got along, and after a couple minutes, I even tried to get her to play with me. It seems they wanted to see what my reaction was, which was basically none at all. So jc snapped a leash on me, took me to the front yard, and brought her out again. I didn't do anything except sit there, grinning like an idiot.

Since they're expecting a reaction from me, I tricked them! I didn't do anything. Tommy brought out another Rottweiler who was huge! He said things to German to him, and he sat, laid down, went and got a ball, and a bunch of other stuff. Sticking to my plan, I did nothing. A few more dogs, and still I sat there :) I think jc was pretty proud of me, but they knew it wasn't that easy, and I'd still act out when I wasn't supposed to.

Tommy said we should go up to Petsmart, so we loaded up and went there. He also put something around my neck that made a noise now and again for reasons I can't really figure out. I decided Tommy should hold the leash when we went into Petsmart. As I started to lead him through the door, he gets me a headlock between his knee and door frame! WTF? I'm supposed to lead, I'm sure of this. Apparently not, according to him. I'm suppose to walk beside him. He kept stepping in front of me so I couldn't pass him. Clearly, this human is going to need some training.

I saw some other dogs and start intently staring at him, and he'd say "Uh Uh!" and jerk my collar, then steer me away and praise me. I'm told I'm being "rewarded" when I ignore the other dogs. It could take a bit to get this straight in my head, I'm thinking. So I stare at this one dog, he says "Uh Uh!" and I ignore him, and I get this shock on my neck that scares the living poo-poo out of me! I rear up like a horse trying to get it AWAY! I don't like that one bit, and someone is gonna pay (but they don't know that yet).

We play this game for a bit, and every time I start to stare at a dog, I get yanked, steered away and praised. Tommy says jc's timing is off on getting this right, and just needs practice ("Training the dog is easy, it's training the human that's hard". Ya think?!?).

At least lots of people stopped to tell me how handsome I was, so it didn't *completely* suck...


Thursday, May 19, 2011

I Attend Doggy Day Care; I Get Whizzed On

Hello again, faithful followers! As you may recall, I had turned my blog over to jc so he could tell you about DINKH, who is now named Tango. At last check-in, Tango is doing well, and should have started his Immiticide injections by now. Hopefully all is well with my GSD buddy!

From previous posts, you know I have "issues" when I have my leash attached to my human and I encounter another dog. I'm told this isn't really acceptable, and it prevents me from attending some interesting sounding events such as Pawfest and Woof Stock. Since I am by nature a social dog who loves people, I figure it's time to get over this problem.

To that end, jc enrolled me in Doggy Day Care at Camp Woof. Both he and myself are proud to say I did most excellently, and the staff really liked me! jc likes the fact there's a web-cam he can watch from work and make sure that I'm on my best behavior and that I'm not being molested by some ill-mannered mutt.

After jc dropped me off, the staff took me back through the introduction area. This is a fenced area where I can sniff the dogs already in the room, and they can check me out without any issues. I was in there a couple minutes, and then was introduced into the room. We all sniffed around, made introductions, and then pretty much ignored each other. I spent a lot of time milling around, and didn't really find anyone to play with. I guess after I go a couple times, I'll get comfortable enough to start playing with the other dogs.

Nothing very interesting happened on the first visit, although there was one of the girls in the room (there's always at least one human in with us, and sometimes as many as four) that I really took to. I followed her around for a bit, and she kept petting me, so I figure we're friends now.

I stayed about 8 hours and jc came and picked me up. They folks there allowed as how I was a really nice dog (I am), and didn't have any problems. jc told them that he suspected I was just fine with other dogs when I wasn't on a leash, and as we all know, I love people, so nothing new there.

I've been a second time, and while it was pretty similar, something untoward did happen. I was sitting there minding my own business (really!), thinking Sherman thoughts, when this dog snuck up behind me and WHIZZED on me! Just peed on my back leg. None of the kennel staff noticed, but it turns out jc was watching me on the web-cam, called the place and demanded I be bathed. Good human! He also told them how this other dog was running around trying to hump every other dog in the room, too! I'd say *that* dog has some issues. At any rate, he didn't bother me any more after that.

I'm told I'll probably be going to Camp Woof about once a week for a little while, for socialization, and maybe so I can get some play time in with other dogs, and get worn out a little. It's only late May, but it's already so hot that I really don't want to go to the park in the afternoon. Of course, if someone didn't go work every day, he could take me to the park in the morning. Although if he doesn't go to work, I guess he can't buy me dog food, so maybe that isn't such a good idea...


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Home Is Found

[JC filling in for Sherman again] Good news! DINKH has found his furever home. A fellow I know through one of my hobbies was interested in the DINKHster, and on Thursday, April 21st he headed to his new home.

DINKH didn't seem too concerned about all the goings on. We loaded up in the station wagin and headed out to meet up with William at the Forsyth County Jail that evening. Introductions were made, and after a little while of socializing and passing along all his info, DINKH had no hesitation about leaping into the back of an unfamiliar car. William's wife and 2 kids couldn't make it, but he was well received at home. DINKH has formally been renamed 'Tango', a name which I think is quite excellent (even though he'll always be DINKH to us).

Also good news, DINKH will be receiving top notch heartworm care. He started 30 days of Doxycycline, an antibiotic. It turns out that heartworms, which are a parasite, have a parasite inside of them. The Doxycycline kills off the parasite, which in turn weakens the heartworm. After the Doxy regimen, an injection of Immiticide is given. 30 days later, two more injections are given, 24 hours apart. For 60 days from the first injection, DINKH will have to have an absolute minimum of activity, and remain crated most of the time. This because while the heartworms are dying, there is a risk of them breaking up and causing a pulmonary embolism. What's desired is that the worms slowly decay and are eliminated through urination. This is going to be a bummer of a time for DINKH.

However miserable he is for 60 days, it's a small price to pay for killing those creepy heartworms and giving him the normal life span of a healthy dog. There is some risk associated with the procedure, but DINKH is otherwise healthy, and the vet felt really good about how he handled the anesthesia when he had his harbls removed.

On the home front, Sherman does seem to miss DINKH. They had gotten pretty tight, and enjoyed charging around the house playing (which as I mentioned before, usually meant DINKH putting his mouth around Sherm's neck and "winning"). When we got back from handling DINKH over, we went upstairs, let Sherman out, and he went racing back to the bedroom waiting for DINKH to be let out of his crate. No DINKH! Very sad, guess we'll have to foster a GSD to keep Sherm company :)

In one of those many examples of the "small world" syndrome we run into, it turns out Meghan used to work at a Banfield veterinary clinic at a Petsmart. I was telling the DINKH story to my dental hygienist and had gotten to the part about describing Meghan's outgoing nature when Marla (the hygienist) says "Was her name Meghan Seabolt?". When Marla had gotten her boxer, they went to Petsmart for a basic checkup and ended up liking Meghan so much they stayed with her. Indeed, a small world!

Next time, we'll be back to our regular Sherman programming, and we'll find out how Sherm did after a day at the Camp Woof doggy day care center.