Thursday, June 28, 2012

Puppy Class and a School Visit with #RiddickPup

Wednesday's puppy class was earlier than usual because the pups had to have their injections and then we were going to visit a nursery school!
Because school visits and getting accustomed to children is part of the guide-dog pup's training, I took Volt with me as well. Its a little tricky trying to control Riddick and Volt, especially when there are other puppies around!
Riddick and Apollo getting their shots
Abby and Aristotle waiting their turn
Once the pups had had their shots and a deworming tablet we set off in convoy for a nearby nursery school.
School visits are very exciting for the children and the puppies! The pups are mobbed and the children are given little treats to feed to the pups. The pups have to learn to take treats nicely without snatching at fingers, they have to learn that they are not allowed to jump up on or nibble on children and they must remain as calm as possible.
Our SAGA PDS took charge of Volt for me as a part of these school visits is for them to observe the pup's behaviour with the children.
The puppy walkers sit on the floor with the pups kept as calm as possible in front of them, and the children come and talk to us and ask us questions about the pups and tell us about their own pets.
The children were particularly intrigued by the fact that Riddick is blind. Many of them asked why he's blind and what happened and if he's sick. And of course when Riddick is insecure in a new setting he whines and howls like mad which had a few kids a tad uncertain about approaching him. Once they started giving him cookies though he settled down. And I kept repeating to the children that they must give Riddick a flat open hand because he can't see the cookies and their fingers smell like cookies and he will snatch if something smells nice (we're working on it). The last thing I wanted was a child to cry over nipped digits.
sitting and listening to children and other puppies
I showed the kidlets how to gently rub and cuddle all the loose skin on Riddick's body and I gave them each a turn to brush him softly with his brush, and I was quite speechless when he fell fast asleep! Our SAGA PDS was quite astounded when she announced it was time to go and Riddick was lights out on the ground!!
Riddick actually fell fast asleep!
I was very proud of Volt! He was so very good and our PDS said she was very happy with how he's doing! He listened when she spoke and he was good with the children- even though he got far less attention from them than the little puppies did. When our PDS took him for a walk around the playground- which is done to teach them that swings, jungle gyms, slides and such are harmless- she said he kept trying to make a bee-line for any of the yellow pups he saw just in case one of them was his "little brother" Riddick!

When we got home both my boys were quite exhausted from their working morning and fell fast asleep!

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rest In Peace Beautiful Diva...

My beautiful Diva... My beautiful beautiful Diva...

For a couple of weeks now she's been eating pretty much normally but she's been listless and I noticed she'd lost some weight. Then she started breathing rapidly like Turk did and I was immediately worried. This is never a good sign and its very tiring for a cat. It made her even more reluctant to move around. Then a couple of days ago I realised she was favouring her right back leg. She's never been big on being touched but I tried to have a look at her leg and didn't find anything. The big paw pad looked a little swollen but I wasn't completely sure... Although some of you may remember Turk having a weird thing with his one front paw pad that the vet's couldn't explain.
I managed to arrange some cash and took her to the vet. I told them Turk's story and they went to work.

The diagnosis and prognosis was dire. FeLV. Lymphoma had caused a growth in her chest which was pressing on her heart and lungs and her liver had begun to battle. The swollen paw pad was indeed infected somehow, but the vet wasn't sure what it was and said it was probably also due to the lymphoma.
We had three options. Start a lengthy chemo treatment, which would mean her having to stay at the vet every week and being uncomfortable and prolonging her life for maybe a couple of months. Or take her home and let the cancer "run its course". Or put her out of her misery today.

I could never let my beautiful Diva live a life of pain and discomfort. I couldn't let any of my animals go through that.

I held her as she went to sleep and then I held her and cried as I said goodbye.

Going home with an empty cat box again just broke my heart.

Always dainty. Never a cuddler. Not even deigning to come when called for treats, madam would sit on the stairs and wait for it to be brought to her. She loved sleeping on a warm body- but on her terms, not those of the body she was sleeping on. She loved chicken and snuggling with her furry house mates.

Beautiful Diva, I will miss you. I do miss you.

Give my love to my Taxi and my Turk and my Grampa Scratchy. Tell them I miss them terribly.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Thirty Four Week Old #SAGApupVolt

My gorgeous puppy weighs 30.3kg this week so his weight remains steady between 30kg and 30,5kg. He has a little under a week to go before he is a full eight months old! I can hardly believe it!
We are once again walking on a regular basis and we both missed it!

Its been really cold this week, and Volt discovered that he can actually get under his duvet if he squirms enough, so I started putting it over him and he LOVES it! I also put the duvet inside his crate for him to sleep on at night and if its really cold in the day he'll go and climb back into his crate if I haven't pulled the duvet out onto the floor.

Volt's current favourite toy- apart from STILL chewing up my one pot plant if he has a chance- is an emopty coffee tin! It makes a dreadful racket on the floor but he has so much fun with it and it lasts much longer than anything else he's played with!

A lazy Volt and Riddick together on the back lawn.

We were at the vet this week to get Volt's upset tummy seen to... Since he came back from his castration we've battled on and off with a squishy tummy. He'll be fine for a couple of days and then its upset for a bit and then fine again and so on. Its not healthy at all. I took him back to BVH (they look after SAGA's pups) and the vet put him on meds to treat his tummy. I now have to give him a tablet twice a day for a few days, and he is on some Eukanuba Intestinal (Puppy) food for a while, which is easier to digest for a dog with an upset tummy. Let me tell you, Volt is quite a pro at spitting out tablets! All the handling training we've done definitely makes it easier to medicate him though as he trusts me if I put my hands in his mouth. And my son showed me a way to give him a tablet that doesn't stress him and we don't have to wrestle!

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#RiddickPup Is Twelve Weeks Old

So my pickle- as I call Riddick- is a whole twelve weeks old today!
He weighs 9.4kg which means he's gained a whopping 1.4kg since last week! He is learning really nicely to sit still on the vet's scale too, I was very proud of him this morning.
I had to giggle when I realised that Riddick drags his back toes when he walks just like Volt does!
He's getting much better on the leash and we've had almost no accidents in the house this week! He is also learning to "sit" and "wait" with Volt when I open the door for them to go outside. Its great having Volt to set an example for him.
no one can do "puppy dog eyes" like Riddick!
Just lookit that naughty face! I caught him at the top of the stairs!
And yes, I still let him sleep on the couch. I also let him sleep on our bed. He's quite happy on the floor too.
asking to get up on the couch
He is now eating 120g of Nutriphase Puppy three times a day. I was still half filling his bowl with water to slow him down until Wednesday, but he takes in the water too and ends up with a big, fat, bulging tummy which I found rather disturbing, so we're back to spreading it out on the floor again!
sharing the duvet inside Volt's crate
Twice I have found him on the couch when I didn't put him there, so I think he may be able to get up on his own (it will be harder to keep him corralled if he can) but I have yet to actually see him do it...
so cute...
On Tuesday one of my worst fears was realised when Riddick fell in the pool! I was delivering cupcakes and left the puppies- Volt and Riddick- locked in the house as I don't leave Riddick in the garden unsupervised for more than 5 minutes yet. My maid was home and I asked her to let them out for busies and lock them in the house again if she was planning to leave before I got home. She called me when I was on my way home and said he'd fallen in! I was on the brink of doing a U-turn on the highway and head home but she said he was fine- she pulled him out and he was inside the house again with Volt. When I got home he was still damp and very dirty, so I bathed the mud and dirt off of him and rubbed him dry. He doesn't like bathing NEARLY as much as Volt does!
This is how lazy puppies play!

On Saturday we popped in at my folks' and Riddick had a lovely time playing with a balled up piece of paper whilst Volt played on the grass with my parents' dog Toppy.

I had to take Volt to the vet this past week to get his tummy seen to and took Riddick with me. Of course, this being a new place for Riddick he was VERY loud inside the vet's office. He eventually settled down but it was a real mission having Riddick AND Volt on leashes with me! Wow! Riddick was dewormed while we were there so he wasn't just a visitor. And the vet who saw us remembered looking at Riddick's eyes when he was still a tiny pup.
a sleepy Riddick having a lovely sleepy time cuddle with his "nanna"
Thelma and Louise are slowly warming up to Riddick, I make sure he doesn't pester them too much or eat their food, and I don't leave them alone together. Puppy teeth are sharp and they are very bouncy which gets on old ladies' nerves. Louise is the most chilled with the pup, as she was with Volt, but Thelma is relaxing more and more.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Puppy Class With #RiddickPup!!

This afternoon was the third puppy class for the 11 week old "A" litter, Riddick's siblings. 
We missed the second class because I had another event to attend but we were back today.
We started out- as usual- sitting in a circle with the pups having to sit quietly in front of their "mom" or "dad"- which obviously takes a while with these little furballs wanting to play with each other- and then we talk to our PDS about how they're progressing with their training.
Riddick is on par with his siblings with everything but the walking on lead. I am very glad he's doing well, and then they went off to do a walking exercise and Riddick and I stayed behind as his constant noise on the lead is very distracting for the other pups, and he doesn't really have to "work" quite as hard as the other pups are expected to do.
When he's better on the lead I'll attempt to do the exercises with them.
By the time we got home Riddick was exhausted!
I am so grateful to SAGA for allowing Riddick to attend with his brothers and sisters, the socialisation is awesome for Riddick as it means he learns how to behave with other dogs and people.
petite pretty Abby and her much bigger brother Aristotle saying hello
brother Aristotle
brother Apollo
sister Abby
brother Askii
Riddick... exhausted by the time we got home!

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