Life With Sharon, or, How Much Can a Dog Take?

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Let's See,

November 21st 2011 10:45 pm
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what have I been doing...Not much, with bad weather here to stay for a looong time. Mom and I took a very chilly walk down by the bay one afternoon. It was sunny but very cold. All us dogs had our warm coats on and I had my mesh harness on over my fleece coat. Mom wanted me to wear my Doggles because the sun was very bright, but I haven't gotten used to them yet, so I kept trying to rub them off. I still don't get the purpose of them other than another way to torture me. Apparently the eye doctor told Mom I have an eye condition that keeps my pupils from contracting in bright light, which is why I squint so much, but I haven't noticed that the Doggles help and I feel stupid wearing them. Mom thinks I'll want to wear them when I go in my bike trailer to keep the bugs out of my eyes when the top is down, but I don't think that will be a problem - she can't ride that fast.

I like having my teeth brushed. At first, I didn't like it at all and wouldn't stand for having to open my mouth, but then I tasted the toothpaste. It tastes like PEANUT BUTTER! Mom let me lick it off the toothbrush and then gradually she started putting it farther into my mouth so I started chewing on the brush. Now I'll not only let her brush my teeth, I beg to have them brushed. When she gets out her toothbrush to brush her own teeth, I put on my pleading look and wag my tail really hard. Then I get my teeth brushed, too. Yum!

 

Poochini vs. the Pit Bull

November 26th 2011 8:32 pm
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Something terrible and scary happened yesterday! My friend Poochini was out with her mom taking their morning walk and a pit bull rushed out of a back yard and attacked her! Her mom tried to pull her up out of the way but the pit bull latched onto her front leg and ripped at it. Fortunately the owner was able to get the dog to release Poochini from its grip and a passerby took Poochini and her mom to the vet in his car. At the vet, they rushed her in and hooked her up to an IV to stabilize her until they could assess the damage. Then her mom called my mom and we rushed over there. We had to wait for hours to find out how bad the wounds were and if Poochini would be all right. Poochini is a yorkie-poo and weighs less than five pounds, so we were all worried that she wouldn't survive this attack. When the vet finally came out to tell us the outcome this is what she said: The bite extended from her chest underneath and around the front leg and back up to her shoulder - the leg was almost ripped off. The lung wasn't punctured which was good, but the muscle was severely damaged and a bundle of nerves was exposed. The bone wasn't broken but only a strip of skin on the front of the leg was holding it on. The vet had to piece together the muscle and skin and stitch it up. She tried to clean it out as much as possible, but so much hair and matter had been chewed into the mangled flesh that it was impossible to clean it all out.

Poochini will live, but it's not certain that she will recover the full use of her leg and we have to wait and see if there will be nerve damage. Hopefully there won't be any infection. She'll have to go back to the vet quite a few times. The owners were stand-up people and are doing the right thing about paying the bills and they are very apologetic, which makes things a little easier for Poochini's mom. But there will be difficult days ahead.

When will people realize that pit bulls are dangerous dogs? All you pit bull fans can say whatever you want, but these dogs were bred to fight and kill, and as mellow as they might seem around family, they are dog-agressive. They are hard-wired to attack what they view as prey and can do so unexpectedly, and when they do there will be disastrous results. Their muscular jaws exert a vice-like grip that can't be broken once their instinct is engaged. Their unpredictability is what makes them so dangerous because no one knows what will set them off. People who own high prey-drive dogs need to ensure that their dogs are ALWAYS under their PHYSICAL control and/or muzzled, and they (the owners) should be educated about properly socializing their dog.

 

Merry Christmas!

December 16th 2011 2:56 pm
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This is our first Christmas in our new condo. Because it's pretty small, Mom wasn't sure whether she wanted to put up a Christmas tree or not, so she went looking online to see what the choices were in artificial trees. She was shocked to see how expensive artificial trees are, so that made this decision even more of a problem. But after hours of looking she found a quirky little silver, pre-lit tree that was just the thing. It's just right for our space and its off-beat look fits right in with our non-traditional style. We don't have a fireplace, so my stocking is hung on the storage closet door with care and all my favorite things are in it. I know because they fell out of the sack before Mom got them home and I nabbed one. There's also a mystery present - a silver box with a gold bow. I wonder what it is because it doesn't smell like food. Hmmm...will I like it if it isn't food?

Speaking of food, have any of you had a cow schnozz before? OMD, they are good! Mom bought it for me and gave it to me, but then before long she TOOK IT AWAY! She said it smelled like I was chewing on the other end of the cow! She was afraid she'd never get the smell out of the house. I thought it was the best thing I'd ever tasted! She even made me have a whisker bath. Then I smelled like a cross between cow schnozz and coconut shampoo.

My friend Poochini will have a happy Christmas after all. She's had her stitches out and is healing well, but she still isn't using her hurt leg much. It doesn't slow her down though - she's a tough little mutt.

Merry Christmas to all pups! Hope your Christmas stocking if bursting with goodies!

 

Sign Language

December 17th 2011 7:20 pm
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I've noticed lately that Mom can leave the room without my noticing it. Sometimes she's been in another room for some time before I wake up and see that she's gone. Then I have to race around from room to room to find her. Also, there are times when she has to say my name really loud before I hear her. She's noticed this too, so when we do my tricks she's started adding hand signals. I can sit, lie down, turn around, high five, high five with the other foot, stand from a sit, do push-ups, and wait. Now I can do all those things without words, just signals. Today we were practicing come, sit, wait, repeat - just with hand signals. I get it pretty well, but wait is always the hardest for me. Mom says I have trouble with impulse control. So much trouble that she always has to grab my harness before she opens the van door or I would bail out onto the concrete way, way below. ouch. Well, even if I can't hear her very well anymore, I can still feel her hugs and caresses.

 

By Popular Demand

January 18th 2012 1:37 pm
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My pals Coco Rose and Puff requested an update on what's been going on here - your bark is my command! Actually, not much, which is why there hasn't been a recent diary entry.
Thanks for asking about Poochini. She's back on all four feet again and feeling fine. She and her mom are back to their usual long, brisk walks. She doesn't seem to have any PTSD which is amazing.

We have snow, ice and northeast wind here and Mom had some virus after Christmas for a couple of weeks, so I haven't been out much. I persuade Mom to play bunny a couple of times a day, but that's the extent of my exercise, ergo, I've packed on a couple of pounds. Now Mom is rationing my food again; hope I don't have to go swimming again.

Mom tells me someone is going to be joining our family next week. She's a retired greyhound named Dinah. She's already buying beds and other things to get ready for her. I've been enjoying the bed in the meantime - it's HUGE! and I really like it. I don't know how I'll feel about giving it up. Maybe she'll share it with me. Mom thinks I'll like her - she remembers how much I loved Tanner and how much I missed him when he went to the Rainbow Bridge. Dinah is the same age that Tanner was when we lost him, so it's like life continues. Mom will post a picture of her when she arrives.

 

Dinah

January 28th 2012 9:17 pm
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She's here and we like her! Dinah arrived yesterday and we liked each other at first sight! She's reservedly friendly - just the personality type I like. Someone who's not too much into my business. We've even shared the same bed and I think we'll get closer as time goes on. She reminds me a little bit of Tanner, but a more feminine, dainty version. She has the most wonderful wide,toothy smile that makes her nose crinkle. It makes Mom laugh! We had kind of a rough night last night with three in the bed. Mom says we may have to work on different sleeping arrangements tonight. Mom is very excited that she learned to use my potty right away. It saves lots of trips downstairs. She's settling in pretty well, but isn't totally relaxed yet. I'm trying to help her with the elevator - she's pretty skittish about it. It is pretty confusing when you go into a little room,there are strange noises and then you come out in a different place. I'm an old hand at things like elevators - all kinds of transportation, actually. So I can help her with a lot. Like when we go outside, for example. She's a little nervous and has to stop and look at things a lot. I show her there's no need to be nervous - I just show her where the good sniffing spots are. She didn't want to eat at first, so I shared one of my favorite treats with her - cottage cheese. That whetted her appetite so she started eating dog food. We have a couple of things to work out, but she's fitting in pretty well. I'm glad for the company and the increased activity.

 

Dinah, Part Deux

January 29th 2012 7:05 pm
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Dinah is sleeping. She must be dreaming. Her cheeks are puffing in and out like she's running hard and her feet are twitching. Her eyelids open a little and then close again. Did you know that sometimes greyhounds sleep with the eyes open? She went to a greyhound run today and joined in with a gang of seven to chase the dog that was chasing the ball. Most greyhounds aren't interested in balls because they just sit there and don't run, but one of the hounds was obsessed by a ball. One of the humans threw the ball, that hound chased the ball and all the hounds chased him. And the game was on!

Dinah has the cutest smile! If you didn't know, you might think it was a snarl because she lifts her lips, crinkles her nose and shows all her teeth. But she does it when she's happy and excited, or glad to see someone.

Dinah was in a foster home for about six weeks before she came to us and before that she was at a Texas track. She was sent from the "halfway house" to the Northwest Canadian Greyhound League and then to her foster home. She was a racer and quite a good one when she was younger. She ran 40 races and won, placed or showed in about half of them. Usually, if she didn't place, it was because she was bumped. Racing can be very dangerous for greyhounds. If you go online you can find out what horrible accidents can happen in a race. Dinah was lucky that none of her "bumps" seriously injured her. When she retired from racing, she became a brood mom and had two litters of puppies. Some of her offspring became racers and some did not. We hope that the ones that did not make the grade were adopted out.

 

What a Surprise!!

January 31st 2012 8:42 am
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Living on the West Coast and not being an early riser, I'm always the last to know everything. Imagine my surprise when Mom opened my mailbox this morning and it was full of wonderful messages and prezzies! Thank you all so much and thank you Dogster for the honor that brought me all the attention AND a new pup pal. This has been quite a week for me!

 

Why Does My Head Feel Funny?

February 10th 2012 7:01 pm
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I had a broken tooth extracted today. My brain feels fuzzy
and ... I keep ... drifting... huh? What was I saying? Oh, yes, my tooth... It had been causing me occasional pain which I tried to rub out on the floor, but Mom didn't know what was making me do that, so we went to the vet who checked my whole face and found a broken tooth that was loose. So today I had to have it out. When Mom picked me up from the vet this afternoon, I made a big show of running out and acting lively, but by the time we got home Mom had to carry me out of the car like a limp noodle. I managed to eat dinner even though I nearly fell into my bowl, and now I'm kind of in and out of consciousness.

Dinah has so much to learn. She's afraid to go down the stairs of our building, which is not good in case we have to evacuate. Today (while I was under the anesthesia) Mom made her practice going down our stairs. It took a lot of persuasion, praise and patience, but in the end she was able to go down two short flights of stairs and back up. Mom was able to sweet-talk her into stepping down two steps with her front feet, but she left her back feet up at the top. She didn't seem to know what to do with them, so Mom helped her move one of them down one step and that got her momentum going. Mom told her what a brave girl she was and what a good job she had done, but she didn't want to do the rest of them. It took a lot of petting and praising and encouragement before they were back up where they had started. Mom decided that would do for today - more practice to come.

 

Old Age

April 1st 2012 12:30 pm
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Old age is not for the faint of heart. It's a good thing I have a good attitude and always look on the sunny side, because things are getting harder. Back xrays showed that some of my vertebrae have lost their cushioning and are rubbing against each other - guess that's why I don't want to walk very fast anymore. Of course, I don't mind - slow walking is all the better for sniffing. When Mom and Dinah want to walk fast, I go in the stroller. Dinah doesn't like that so much because Mom has her attached to a short belt so she doesn't get to sniff.

The xrays I had also showed bladder stones - four of them,all in a neat little bunch. So now I have to eat this food that looks like gray school paste and nothing else - did you hear me? NOTHING ELSE! NO TREATS! OF ANY KIND! This has to go on for at least two months. Fortunately for me, I don't mind the taste of it, but it would be nice to have a little variety and some crunch once in a while.

Next week I have to start swim therapy again. Punishment on top of pain! See what I mean about old age? Phooey!

 
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