Sunday, June 10, 2012

Weekly Update For #SAGApupVolt

He is 32 weeks old today and his weight is steady at 30kg. He is getting fed twice a day, although he stares longingly at Riddick gobbling up his lunch every day.
This last week he has been out to worry me! If he was human I might have thought his jealousy over the new puppy was manifesting as hypochondria, but puppies can't do that so I am feeling sorry for him and giving him lots of attention.

On Wednesday afternoon when I got home from Riddick's puppy class, Volt's left eye was swollen and drooping, and he was blinking to keep it closed!
It wasn't weeping or bleeding and I couldn't see any obvious injuries, but one thing SAGA doesn't mess around with is their dogs' eyes! After speaking to our PDS I gently wiped and rinsed his eyes with saline and it looked like it got better, but a couple of hours later it was the same again! It looked a little like allergic conjunctivitis but I couldn't think what might have caused it and I don't know if dogs can even get that! I used the saline solution again and it improved again. Thereafter it was a little droopy but there was still no weeping or bleeding and he wasn't trying to scratch or rub his eyes so I don't think it was painful... On Thursday our PDS came to see him to have a look at his eyes and whilst she couldn't see anything in his eyes and it was far better than the day before, she gave me some "isee" to use for the next few days. Her visit became an unplanned, informal home visit and after strolling around the garden and chatting a bit we both suspect he may have stuck his eye on the cycad plant when he and puppy Riddick were chewing on it! So if there was something in it it has now gone, we'll just keep using the eye ointment for a few days to aid the healing.
He has also had a bit of an upset stomach and I can't figure out why! Riddick and the girls seem fine and they share waterbowls so I don't know whats up with him...

Thelma, Louise, Volt and Riddick sitting and waiting for a cookie treat
On Friday night Volt and I attended the prize-giving and auction at the Annual SAGA Golf Day, held this year at the Kyalami Country Club for the first time.
A record 36 four-balls took part and SAGA surpassed their R150K fund raising target for the day! At events like this, we puppy raisers attend with our pups in tow so that the sponsors and guests can see where the puppy sponsorships go to, and see the pup's training in action. As young as they are, pups like Volt (and younger pups) are exceptionally well behaved, and these events are also really good training opportunities for them.
Volt was very good during the auction and the speeches
Our sweet Volt is very much a part of our family, even though we know he won't be with us forever. It is going to be very hard for us to part with him when he goes back to SAGA for his formal training and then his partnership with a blind person... but we are also going to be so very proud of him! I love to cuddle him and rub him and brush him, he still has the softest most beautiful coat! He has the most incredible nature as well. He is gentle with Riddick and loves to play. He loves people and he loves attention from people. He loves his food and the word "cookie" will bring him running even if he is ignoring me at the time!

Volt is as good as gold in the car, jumping in and out without arguing, and lying calmly on the back seat or sitting quietly in the front foot-well.

I have been loaned a nice leather leash by SAGA for when Volt and I are out walking and its much easier on my hand than the canvas one I was using.
Our handling sessions- at least a couple of times a week- have become our special one-on-one time with no puppy Riddick in attendance and Volt just loves the attention! I can't imagine me trying to put eye ointment into Thelma and Louise's eyes as easily as I do for Volt. All the handling we've done means he trusts me not to hurt him and touching his face- ears, gums, eyes, teeth, nose, and so on- is part of his "handling".
his "hot spots" are all healed, there are just a couple of patches where the hair still has to completely grow back but they're barely noticeable now.
When people come to the house, Volt is put on-lead and he has to greet people properly, without jumping or barking or anything. This usually goes well- until its someone he knows! Then the excitement level escalates!
Volt is definitely still an "adolescent" when it comes to puppy development, and just like a human teenager he takes every opportunity to push his boundaries. Had I not known this was coming I may have worried that all the training we had done until now had been a complete waste of time!

Between Volt and Riddick, there are no doggy toys left at home! Everything has been chewed to bits! Does anyone know of something that might actually survive the attentions of a Labrador!!?

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