January 24th 2008 3:07 pm
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A spaying we will go, a spaying we will go, hi ho the merry-o, a spaying we will go. Yes kiddies, Rhyval reached the ripe old age of six months a few weeks ago and to commemorate reaching this milestone she was spayed. Muhahahaha. That's evil! I know, isn't it? She of course did not know what was happening when I took her into the vet first thing in the morning the day before her six month anniversary, only that I was relieved. It's a fine line when a toy dog hits the six month mark as they will usually go into their first season around that time and that was one thing I did not want. Thankfully I was able to get Rhyval spayed before that happened. Yeah me. Now most breeders will recommend that a female has at least one heat before spaying so that the hormones can course through their body and help with their development. Unfortunately there is sound research to prove that having just one heat increases the chances of female specific cancers by 200% hence why I now spay my females before that first heat. I would rather have a slightly underdeveloped female, which I haven't had yet, than one who has a 200% chance of developing cancer at some point in their life. Cancer is bad, right? Very bad, sweetie. I knew Rhyval was close to her first heat as over the previous week or so she started mounting Gucci in a very dominant way. This behaviour was slightly different then when she stands on Gucci's shoulders to instigate play. Both the dogs and I picked up on the difference immediately so I made the appointment and they started treating her less like a pup and more like an adult. They're acting like grouches now. They aren't as accommodating now with her and are starting to show her where her place in the pack is.
So Rhyval was taken in and the deed was done. Turns out the vet and staff were very impressed with her as she never made a peep when waking from the anaesthetic and was a good girl during recovery. Due to her past history of temper tantrums I had warned them that she might bite if cranky - luckily she never did. I don't even remember what happened. First I was awake, then I wasn't. While she was under sedation I also had the vet x-ray her hips and legs to check her growth plates. I wanted to see how far along she was. When I went in to see the x-rays I was surprised to see that her plates were fully closed. To say I was shocked was an understatement. Due to the fact that her sex hormones never kicked in I was hoping for a delay in the growth plates and thus a greater chance of her growing a bit taller, like her big sisters did. That won't be happening now. So I'll always be the shortest one in the house? Not exactly. After my mother mentioned that Rhyval looked taller after her surgery I measured her and she topped off at 10" so she at least broke the 10" mark I was hoping for. Yeah! I finally grew! Anyway, I was able to view her hips, which are awesome, and was also able to get her last canine, which I had pulled while at the vets. I hadn't been able to save many of Rhyval's teeth as she tended to drop them outside more often than not and white teeth are impossible to find in the snow. Having her canine was a big deal to me as I had never had a dog whose canine curled like a fish hook before. As luck would have it, the one I had pulled was the one that always ripped my hands apart when she was younger. I'm innocent doggonit. Go figure.
So I brought Rhyval home where she slept for a few hours only to wake up and act like nothing had happened. My Dog, I got another Abbi! Unfortunately Rhyval didn't understand that racing around the house, jumping on/off furniture, and wrestling with Gucci was a bad thing just after surgery so Rhyval had to move into her new accommodations. No longer confined to her double crate set-up, she now has the luxurious space of the kitchen with lots of room to play with her toys, a separate potty area away from her stuff, and two baby gates to bounce against when she wants out. It's so huge I don't know what to do with it all. Maybe a new sofa would spruce things up. Funny girl. It's a biotch to climb over the gates all of the time but worth it for her sake. Plus, there's the added bonus of making her more responsible for herself when concerning potty time as she now has to actually go to the pee pads instead of them being right there.
Housebreaking has been a struggle compared to all of the other dogs in the past so of course Rhyval would have to surprise me by ringing the receptionist's bell for the first time by herself the night after her surgery It must have been from a latent anaesthetic high. Ha ha. I immediately ran to the kitchen's sliding door and let her out while making a huge celebration of her newfound skill. I assumed it was a one time fluke only to be shown how wrong I was. I'm happy to report that Rhyval now uses the bell whenever she wants to go outside. 8 times out of 10 she goes out to do her business, the other 2 times it's just because she just wants to be outside. Her need hinges on how fast I can move as she will repeatedly ring that bell like an obnoxious patron as a concierge's desk if I'm not moving fast enough to let her out. Too freakin' funny. Ringing the bell is fun. Even more fun to see Mummy running over even when I don't want to go out. Yeah, I am now running every time that damn bell goes off but I can't complain. Due to her newfound skill there have been less and less mistakes in the house and I am hoping that by the time she is a year old she will be considered fully housetrained. Only 6 more months to go!
Every week or so Rhyval has exhibited a new behaviour that thrills and delights me. I've loved watching her mature as she is a source of endless entertainment. The last few weeks have been ever so. With her coming of age Rhyval is truly taking on a more adult personality than a puppy personality. Now that she has found her voice she uses it quite frequently to warn me of some strange noise without having full backup from Abbi or Gucci anymore. They're too slow on the uptake. This has also transferred to our chase game as her growls are now peppered with yips while we are running up and down the hallway. In a more open space there is less growling and a lot more barking, Dog help me. That's what I've always wanted, a dog who barks constantly while running. I'm a Sheltie now! NOT!!! Another behaviour Rhyval has adopted is her sudden possessiveness of a small stuffed poodle holding a blanket. She now considers the toy HERS and HERS alone. Well it is. She will carry it around the house ad nauseam, whining when she can't find 'the right' spot to put it down or growling when the other dogs get 'too close' to the poodle. She'll even attack the dogs if she deems their proximity to the poodle too much of a risk. Abbi patiently lets the little one have her tantrum and usually ignores her pathetic nips. Gucci will just give it right back which simmers Rhyval's indignation considerably as Gucci's teeth are a bit bigger and she knows how to use them. Gucci just can't take a joke. Luckily Rhyval's love for her poodle hasn't expanded to the other toys or that would be a major issue. It's one thing to protect a favourite toy, another to protect every toy within a 20 km radius just on the off chance you might want it later on. Now a days the toys have grown to include the metal caps off of glass bottles, hair bands, and bird feathers - the latter being a bad toy in my books. There's always an endless supply of them all.
The only other development is Rhyval's need to lick everything in sight. What was once a cute fixation has now turned into a habit that encompasses everything from skin to cloth to frozen metal. The latter has been an issue as when it drops down to below -20 celsius the tongue will naturally stick. Rhyval has left at least half of her tongue on the outside window sill now and will sport a wonderful red mask around her nose when coming in as she tries to lick the blood away. It hurts too. I don't know if it shows a lack of intelligence or not but she does it time and time again. This last weekend she did it three times within a 3 hour period. I had to stand guard to stop her from destroying the top of her tongue completely. Some days I really wonder about her. LOL
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