Sunday, February 24, 2013

#RiddickPup Is Forty Seven Weeks Old

Today he weighed 30.4kg on the vet's scale (300g up on last week) and the vet's receptionist comments on his progress every time we visit! He's done so much growing up in the last few months! When we arrive at the vet he waits until I say he can get out of the car (on lead), and then we go to the lawn for busies before heading in the door. He now heads straight for the vet's scale and then sits - after sniffing it thoroughly and with a treat for encouragement - and waits until I have a steady weight for him before heading home.

The reason I started "handling" with Riddick the same way I did with guide-dog puppy Volt is to pick up physical problems early. Handling means you can examine your dog- top to tail- in a relaxed state. And because of our handling sessions I have discovered that one of Riddick's top front teeth is a little off-colour... its not loose and its not hurting him, and I don't know if he's bumped it or something, but now I know to keep an eye on it for deterioration.

On Friday evening we took Riddick for his first walk in the street since his accident two weeks ago.
We've been taking short walks inside our complex- like we did when he was a puppy- so that I could make sure he was completely healed before attempting a regular walk, and on this evening in the street he was very definitely freaked out by cars going past us. There are cars inside our complex of course, but they don't move around a lot... We approached his hesitance by cutting our walk short, calling him to me and distracting him with a treat whenever a car was approaching, and doing short obedience exercises ("sit" "wait") away from the road when a car was passing.
What also helped, quite by accident, was a group of young guys walking up the street and Riddick being distracted by their lumo-yellow football as they kicked it around between them.
By the time we got home he was already coping better, but we will be approaching it slowly over the next few days.

I took the empty chlorine dispenser out of the pool and before I could toss it out Riddick made it his new toy!
One odd thing we've noticed is that up to a point, about a third of the distance in our daily journey to drop off my husband and son for work, Riddick is calm and practically asleep on the back seat. But we turn a corner - a left turn to be exact - onto a different stretch of road, and suddenly he's up and whining and yawning and  he just won't calm down! I don't know if its noisier or what, but he really doesn't like that part of our trip!

He still has a rather unhealthy taste for socks... And other underwear if he can get hold of them! He loves chewing on anything, but socks are a favourite. The problem is not holy socks- that I could probably live with- the problem is that he swallows them as he chews them! That means he either throws up at around 3AM, or they come out of his other end... We watch him like a hawk but he still manages to get hold of socks every now and then. I am very worried a sock is going to get stuck and tangle up his insides!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Thelma And Louise News

We saw a dog on TV that looks just like Thelma and Louise! Its a Hungarian Mudi!
Thelma and Louise don't have the medium length, slightly wavy coat, and they certainly don't have the high-energy behaviour of these specially bred working dogs, but they do have the lovely affable personalities, the build, and the size! I wonder if there isn't a little Mudi in the girls' bloodline somewhere...?
Hungarian Mudi
Some sad news is that Louise had another epileptic seizure last Friday.
While she's seizing she's quiet- panting hard and foaming at the mouth- but quiet. As she starts coming out of it though, she does this yelping scream that gets the entire neighbourhood's dogs barking! Immediately after a fit she's exhausted and thirsty and immediately wants to go "busy", but she's also not all there. She's wobbly and walking around but she's not really seeing where she's going. Twice before she's fallen in the pool, just walked in as if she didn't even see it. She also doesn't seem to recognise or hear me or the other dogs for a while.
The lights are on but nobody's home.
She is on medication for her epilepsy, but she's now on the second highest dose I can give her and I am very worried about the future... With her diagnosis, a seizure every three months or so is "normal".
Below I have put in a video of a dog seizing like Louise does.

PLEASE don't watch it if things like this really upset you. 
It is distressing if you haven't seen it before.

I have uploaded it here purely for educational purposes as I have never filmed Louise's fits.
You'll see and hear in this video how he talks calmly to his dog and touches him gently, I do the same with Louise but some dogs actually get aggressive during or immediately after a fit. Louise even snapped at me once! You'll also see how long it takes the dog to get up after his fit, Louise is the same.

Monday, February 18, 2013

#RiddickPup Is Forty Six Weeks Old

I measured his height today and he's 59cm tall at the shoulder! He hasn't gained much weight the last few weeks (he weighs 30.1kg, the same as last week) but he's certainly grown taller.
I had a busy work week so I didn't get very many pictures of my puppy dog.
This had me giggling though! I got up to go to the loo and when I got back Riddick had taken my spot on the bed!
And this is a picture of Riddick crashed on the couch with me! I had a snooze on Monday afternoon and he joined me! He still snores!
He seems to have suffered no ill effects of his close shave, although a brief ball game did have him limping a little again, so we're taking it easy on the walking and playing until I am 100% sure his paw pad is healed.

Monday, February 11, 2013

#RiddickPup Is Forty Five Weeks Old

He is still eating 210g of Nutriphase Adult and he weighed 30.1kg on the vet's scale.
Our puppy sleeps on our bed with us at night, though he's not there all night as he gets hot and he gets kicked, but he does sleep on our bed. He does stick to the foot of the bed too so he's not a nuisance. And if I have a chance to take a nap in the day he naps with me, usually curled up on my husband's spot!
I love my little shadow to death, and this week past we had a dreadful scare! Thursday was one of those mornings that are a disaster all round! We were running late, I forgot to lock the house properly, I left Thelma and Louise inside the house, and I did NOT put on Riddick's Roadie when we got in the car. My son shares the back seat with Riddick on our morning drive, and on Thursday he was hot and irritable as we were stuck in traffic and Riddick sheds something awful. So he opened the back windows. Had Riddick been wearing his Roadie this would not have been a problem, but in this case he shot out of the window and into oncoming traffic!!!
I have NEVER been so grateful to be standing still in traffic as I was that morning!! Riddick caught a glancing blow on his right shoulder from a passing taxi - also moving fairly slowly, thank heavens - and ran off onto the side of the road I had pulled up onto! Had it not been for my hubby telling me to pull over, I would have left the car running in the middle of the road to catch my half-blind puppy!!!
My husband and son caught him fairly easily, he was wearing his collar and leash, and we set off for the vet.
Our silly Riddicklepickle is okay thank heavens – he limped for the day, the pad under his dewclaw is torn and his foot was a little swollen but the vet didn’t suspect anything was broken. The pad will heal on its own so its not stitched or anything, and he got a shot for pain. We have some anti-inflammatory tablets for him for a few days and if the limp or the swelling gets worse I have to take him back to the vet.
Needless to say I will not be leaving his Roadie at home again.
He is fine though! He's not limping, his foot isn't swollen and he's completely his normal self! I am SO relieved!
my baby's got some big feet!
On Sunday morning we had a bit of a ball game in the garden as he loves to do, but he made the tear on his paw pad bleed again so we won't be playing ball for a few more days.
in this picture, Riddick is NOT disturbing Magic and Minx's game
"...are you taking my picture again...? I'm trying to sleep here..."

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cat Quotes

“Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.” 

― Christopher HitchensThe Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

Monday, February 4, 2013

Our #RiddickPup Is Ten Months Old!

He's a full ten months old and I sometimes can't get over how grown up he's become!
He is a teenager, but he's more confident and much quieter in the car and on trips to the vet. When I let him out the back door he waits to see if I'm coming too, and if I don't he races off to go and get up to mischief on his own. He's happy to chill out on his own in the garden, and when he wants to come back inside he has a special single bark to let me know he's there. He loves pulling the stuffing out of Thelma and Louise's night-time cushions so I have to make sure they're kept away from him in the day. And if I have a chance to take a nap during the day, he naps on the bed with me!
He has never liked me trying to force his half-check collar over his head for us to go for a walk or get in the car, so for several months we've been working on making him do it himself using treats - I hold the collar loop open and tell him to put his head in. He's now started doing it without a treat reward! Its so cute! I'm going to try and get it on video so you can see what he does.
And I love watching him interact with his "daddy". They have their own games that that play - they roughhouse with each other which I won't do, and when Neels does the 11pm shift to lock the house and do last "busies" with the dogs he and Riddick have their own "language" that they communicate in. Its so sweet.
On Saturday we spent the better part of the evening with my family at my parents' house, and we hitched a ride there with my sister. Riddick sat in the front foot well and didn't make a sound the whole trip! I was so proud of how he behaved all day - he was as good as gold and he had LOTS of children to play with! He was absolutely exhausted by the time we drove home and even fell asleep squished in the foot well!
He weighed 30.2kg at the vet (a small gain of 200g) so the 210g of Nutriphase Adult is perfectly sufficient. I think he's pretty much stopped growing in terms of weight gain, but I suspect he may get a wee bit taller... I am going to measure his height in two weeks time so we'll see.