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!