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“1500 Miles” video and a new road trip to see cheetahs

September 20th, 2010

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Thank you Kami for an awesome video of Miles trip to freedom from the Taos, NM, shelter. And the PERFECT song called “1500 Miles”.

We are still working on the separation anxiety! We got another 6 week dose of amitryptiline. He will not go near the kennel since his setback, so that’s out of the picture now. I’m working on him staying relaxed without me in the yard. And also in Mom’s house when she goes away, as long as he has her dog for company, he’s done okay with that for short doses. The vet said that homeopathic remedies are Lavender and Turkey. So, he’s getting turkey bits for training and I have lavender oil in the house and am thinking of putting some on his Tripawds Scarf. 🙂

Funny story: We were in town and a guy was petting him and he laid down and rolled on his back and put 3 paws in the air, rubbed his belly. Hopped all over the lot, then he mentioned, “Why’s he limping?” I said because he’s missing a leg. He felt foolish, he didn’t even notice!

Last weekend, Cemil’s Mom came up to go see our cheetah run. She didn’t bring tripawd Cemil, but old gal Alle, who’s diabetic. We made a nice bed in the back of the camper for her for the day trip:

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Here’s Miles in Mary’s lap. I think he’s happiest when we are on the road… 😉

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And here’s a picture Mary took of Moyo:

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Here’s a short vid:

We had a great day!


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Separation Anxiety flipout

August 28th, 2010

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All has been great with Miles and he was showing great progress with the separation anxiety. He is on amitriptyline during a training phase of 6 weeks. There’s no way he’s ready to stay in the house yet, I couldn’t afford the damage. So, I’ve been training him to get comfy with the kennel, which has a chainlink top and concrete around the bottom. It’s shady and large and in the yard.

I would take his favorite treat: Yam wrapped in chicken. Go into the kennel, get a yammy treat. Then I’d close the gate and leave him for 10 seconds, get a yammy treat. We worked up to going in there for a few hours when I’d run to town on errands and he seemed comfy with it, but I was putting Mom’s dog Cowgirl, his little buddy, in with him.

Well, I guess I jumped the gun, the drug stopped working, or he just had a setback, but I left him in there for a few hours *without* Cowgirl a week ago and he was screaming like a little girl when I got back. 🙁 After that, I couldn’t drag him to the kennel, not even for steak. It’s not a Happy Place any longer. And to top it off, I think given time, he could actually chew his way out. Least case scenario, he’d bloody his face or break a tooth and go to the vet’s.

On the side of the kennel:

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In the gate:

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It’s a substantial hole in the gate now:

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I am at a loss! I am going back to Baby Steps. Using raw tritip chunks to lure him into the kennel, Yammy Treats aren’t getting it anymore. And not leaving him, just getting him there, and we’ll start all over and build from there. He’ll need more amitriptyline, his 6 weeks are up.

My Mom lives next door and she’s my daycare when I am gone. But it’s wearing thin as she is sequestered if I am not home, not having any options for leaving him anywhere at all unattended without damage to property or himself. She’s missed lunch dates and a meeting or two. I keep promising her that he will get better…

Miles, come on sweety, I will NOT leave you forever.

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Camping and loving life

August 21st, 2010

Here’s a Smushface Dog riding in my ’63 VW. He fits in the back seat and rests his face between the bucket seats. This is what I see in the rear view mirror:

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This week, I only had less than 24 hours set aside for camping, but better that than not going at all! Left Monday at 5pm, climbed a steep grade one-lane road to my special place in the Sierras at 7500′ and never saw a soul. Left to come back home at noon the next day. Betty was cleared by her vet to come along. 🙂

Miles had a blast! He never strayed far without a leash, so I let him hop around and explore. That separation anxiety is good for something!

Happy Summer Everyone!

Settling in and separation anxiety update

August 14th, 2010

Miles’ amitriptyline is working, or it’s the fact that he’s learning the routine here, or a combination of both. 🙂 For 3 weeks now, he goes next door to Mom’s for day care when I leave for work. The 2nd week I would put in him the kennel with his favorite Yam with Chicken treat and mom’s dog Cowgirl since they are now buddies. As soon as he’d lay down, usually only a few minutes, I’d let him back out. No big reunion festival, just sort of a non-event, good boy. Then the 3rd week, I would do that when I leave for work and then Mom would come and let him and Cowgirl out after I drive away. This is weaning him to the routine that I will leave him in there, but he doesn’t have to stay in there long yet… No more digging or biting the chain link or panicking, here is where the drug has helped. I would never take the chance with leaving him in my house yet, but I am sure we can get there eventually. We are only using the drug for 6 weeks as a training tool. They say it makes them more “trainable” and then once the behavior of relaxing is learned, they don’t need to be on it. Hoping!

Around the house, Miles is the perfect dog. He likes to sleep upside down.

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He only gets on the bed sheepishly, I don’t think he was allowed in his past life. But when he’s there, he’s in 7th heaven.

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Betty is sharing HER couch with him now.

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And he eats slower, so when she’s done eating, she goes and licks his bowl right in front of him and he let’s her. Betty had her xray followup for her pneumonia and she still has some fluid on her lungs, but is 80% recovered. She’s a tough old broad. 🙂

Here they are, Miles always wagging, Betty pretty much always sleeping:

It was a nice summer day and Mom and I went to get ice cream. It was too hot to leave the dogs in the truck, so they got to come and wait outside the store while we ordered. They made friends with a ton of ice cream eating families. 🙂

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Another beautiful day!

A beautiful poem

August 8th, 2010

A poem for Betty and Miles and all the people with your beloved dogs out there:

I’ll lend you for a little while

My grandest dog, He said.

For you to love while he’s alive

And mourn for when he’s dead.

It may be one or twenty years

Or days or months, you see

But will you till I take him back

Take care of him for me?

He’ll bring his charms to gladden you

And should his stay be brief

You’ll have treasured memories

As solace for your grief.

I cannot promise he will stay

Since all from earth return.

But, there are lessons taught on earth

I want this boy to learn.

I’ve looked the wide world over in my search for teachers true.

And from the throngs that crowds life’s lanes

With trust I have selected you.

Now will you give him your total love?

Nor think the labor vain,

Nor hate me when I come

To take him back again?

I know you’ll give him tenderness

And love will bloom each day

And for the happiness you’ve known forever grateful stay.

But should I come and call for him

Much sooner than you’d planned

You’ll brave the bitter grief that comes

And someday you’ll understand.

The “Missing Dog Parts” ranch

August 7th, 2010

My little farm actually has an official name:
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And there’s a group of 6 of us gals in the area with Dexter cattle that we milk and we call ourselves the Dairy Queenz:

But my vet affectionately calls my place the Missing Dog Parts ranch… Betty had her eye and spleen removed and Miles is a tripawd:

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And today I discovered Miles is a S Q U I R R E L dog. Lazing beside me in the yard, suddenly ears pricked and off like a rocket! There was no catching him and he could care less how much I yelled his New-To-Him name. Thankfully, the squirrel went up a tree about 100 yards away and Miles almost went up after him, didn’t matter that he’s a dog or only has 3 legs, the spirit was willing! So, note to self, have him on a leash when out in public just in case of S Q U I R R E L encounters…

Squirrel!

My “cattle dog” and Betty’s improving

August 5th, 2010

Miles was afraid of the livestock here when he arrived. Well, he had a showdown with the bull calf the other day and now has discovered his Inner Dog Powers. Here’s the calf:
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Miles was in the pasture and the calf came to play with him. He actually was so scared, he pooped himself, poor guy! I came running to save him from a headbutt from the calf’s mother cow, who was also running for him. Then the heifer joined in the stampede and we were all running to the rescue; the cows to the calf, me to Miles. He was cornered and started barking aggressively out of fear and the calf stopped in his tracks and backed off. I got there and he hid behind me and I escorted him out of the pasture. Well, the next day, he now boldly goes up to the fence and barks at the cattle, all proud of himself and his new Tough Dog Status. He did fend off a bull and a couple cows after all!

He’s also taken to thundering across the pasture to the road fenceline on garbage day to bark and chase the neighbors wheeling their garbage cans down the dirt road to the corner. This was Raven’s favorite day of the week and it made my heart soar! Neighbors don’t mind and they were happy to see a tripawd rottie back on the property doing his Guard Dog Thing.

Betty’s vet thinks she’s dealing with pneumonia, not congestive heart failure or hemangiosarcoma. 🙂 She is on lasix, which makes her drink more, but we don’t want her fluid building up. She also has an inflamed throat and palate. Ice cubes solve them both! Soothing to her throat and keeps her from drinking too much. Miles is interested, but respects the Old Broad’s space.

And this morning, Betty actually *allowed* him to share HER couch.

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Looks familar…here she is with Raven in the past (look, she has two eyeballs:)):

All is well on the farm. Thankful for one day at a time. 🙂

Miles’ tail always wagging, Betty hanging in there

August 3rd, 2010

Betty is still with me, but has had a hard go of it getting through the weekend and awaiting a radiologist’s report on her xrays. She’s on lasix to control the fluid buildup on her heart and lungs and I’m awaiting a call from the vet this morning.

Meanwhile Miles is always a happy boy. He likes to sleep upside down next to the steps to “Betty’s” couch. I know it’s ugly, but that’s what we do for our dogs, huh? Here’s a video I just took”

Every day with my furkids is a good day. 🙂

Miles’ roomie Betty is having heart problems

August 1st, 2010

Betty is my little senior rescue bulldog. She was Raven’s roommate for two years. She started life as a breeder in a puppy mill and when she wore out at 6 years old, she was adopted out. But that family had a baby and she didn’t fit in their lifestyle any longer, so she was sequestered to the garage/laundry room for 4-5 more years. She went up for adoption as an approximate 10 year old and bullies only live 8-10 years. She was waiting for over 9 months when I ran across her and brought her home to Raven and I. She’s blossomed here, sleeping with me and on the couch for the first time in her life. She’s had health issues, an eye removed, 4 mammary tumors removed, and a spleenectomy last year a few weeks before Raven’s amputation. I didn’t even biopsy her splenic tumor, it could have been benign, it could have been hemangiosarcoma. She always rallies from these surgeries so well, like a little Timex watch. She deaf from age and has cataracts in her remaining eye. I call her my little “Almost Helen Keller” doggie.

Betty has been to the vet a few times this week because I could tell that something just wasn’t right. She slower, breathing a bit more labored. Xrays yesterday showed fluid around her heart and lungs. Normally, I would think age related Congestive Heart Failure, but we won’t know without either further tests or at least a radiologist looking at the films. It’s Sunday, so we put her on diruretic Lasix for the weekend. Monday or Tuesday the full vet staff can look at the films and possibly retake the xrays without the fluid in the way. I fear hemangiosarcoma may have returned. CHF can be treated, but at her age she could go downhill fast. I am trying to not get ahead of myself, but after losing Raven I guess I always fear the worst. She is still here NOW and snoring beside me as I write this, so I am thankful for every moment God grants me with this wonderful creatures. I *never* would have expected Betty to outlive Raven and she was there for me in my darkest hour. I am soooo thankful that I have Miles to get me through this one if it indeed is time.

Here’s Betty at the vet’s office:

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And at home with Miles:

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Prayers for Betty please?

My “guard dog” is percolating

July 31st, 2010

He does the same thing Raven did. 🙂

We let the chickens in the yard to hunt bugs and there’s one outside the kitchen window:

Happily, it’s a weekend, so I don’t have to leave my Separation Anxiety baby until Monday. Although, we are doing little doses in and out of the house for training purposes. Honestly, I’m not seeing any change yet, he’s been on the drug for 3 days…

Also, I was thinking about Dog Whisperer and how Cesar Milan almost always starts with exercise. I don’t take my dogs for walks because I live on property. But there is value in “going someplace” as a pack. So, Miles, Mom and I went for a 1/4 mile loop trail at a nearby trailhead. Very short, but he’s a tripawd and it’s 92 degrees. His tail was wagging the whole time!