Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Chronicles of Louis the VII Rottweiler

As you can see Louie is making himself right at home!  We have had a good and bad week.  First the good, he is not as possessive with his toys and is learning to give them to us.  We have not revisited the rawhide bone issue steps.  He is really focused on his toys and would play until he dropped if we let him.  With the kind of heat we've had recently we limit playing outside to early morning and late evening.

We did get him a new toy to channel some of this energy.

A Boomer ball!  Tyson, the first male we had before Edgrrr, loved his Boomer ball and could actually pick it up in his mouth (he was a BIG boy).  I don't think Louie's gonna make that happen.
But not for lack of trying.  He loves it to say the least and lets us participate in a little yard soccer. 
Louie is walking nicely on leash and is getting use to the Gentle Leader.  This morning we took him down to the Harbor and walked the length of the docks.

He was the perfect gentlemen, meeting all kinds of people and a few of the dock dogs.  He also probably had his first encounter with stairs, but after a puzzled moment took to them readily.

He had to revisit the Vet this week, and while it was better than the first visit, he still needs improvement.  They had to shave a little section where his tail meets his back and didn't take to that too well.  Although he did cuddle with the tech afterwards and didn't hold it against her.  He has some nasty old flea bites that got infected so we have a spray and antibiotics.  With Lily and Ed I use to just open their mouths and shove them down........luckily Louie LOVES his dinner, so I just open the capsules and mix them in.  He lets The Husband spray his flea bites and kind of lets him put drops in his ears.  He gets better every time.

Now for the bad.
This is Angus T. McTurtle (aka Gus). He wandered into our yard in early May and liked it, so we built him a little pen in the yard.  He is very tame and not afraid of us so we think he either escaped another yard or some numnut let him loose.  When he hears the sound of my voice he will usually come out from under the bush in his pen.  He is an older male Gulf Coast box turtle, he likes eggs, sardines, strawberries and LOVES blueberries and blackberries.

Lily never really paid Gus no mind.  She investigated his enclosure right after we built it but that was about it.  When we brought Louie home he kinda did the same thing, showed a little interest but not a lot.

I get up really early, like 4 or 5.  I like to sit outside have my coffee and look for satellites and meteors (call me crazy).  Louie likes to get up early and, well....pee.  Tuesday we go out he does his stuff but doesn't want to come back in, so I leave him out while I make coffee.  When I go back out I can't find him (it is dark outside) finally I see him .....IN GUS'S PEN!!!! He's rooting under the bush, pulls Gus out and tosses him in the corner.  I run, yelling for him to stop (waking up the is about 5am) and haul him out of the pen.  Louie slinks to the house and I put him inside.

Gus is in the corner and has gone 'turtle' tighter than my favorite jeans.  He looks none the worse for wear and finally pokes his head out, gives me an indignant look and marches off back under the bush.  The next time Louie goes out he takes a wide route around Gus's pen.

Yesterday I get home from work and ask The Husband how everything went.......all was fine until he took his eyes of Louie (damn those iPhones).  He looks up to Louie rooting around under the bush and toss Gus like a frisbee OUT of his pen.  After a lot of' "Louie NO' and "Bad Dog", he gets Louie in the house.  Gus has once again gone 'turtle'.  He was unharmed but I think, is understandably pissed.

We don't think Louie means to hurt him but just play with him.  But a 2 or 3 pound turtle is no match for a Rottie.  So Gus is getting a renovation on his digs to keep the unscheduled play dates at bay.

And Louie's list of things to learn gets longer.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Needing a Little Help from My Friends

I have a question for all you rescue pawrents out there.  Have any of you had to deal with a dog that is toy/chew bone or food possessive?  Louie has given us some major lip trying to retrieve toys or chew bones from him.  We don't know if this is just an issue with rescues or an aggressive problem on his part, we are thinking it might be just an issue because he is a rescue.  He also had a major issue with the vet.  We are thinking this might just be a rescue/insecurity thing as he has shown no other signs of aggression to people or other dogs.

We are mapping out a plan to break this, and have been reading about the trade up method, trade them for something better than their toy then give to toy back to them, etc.  Any other ideas or methods that worked you?

Any ideas about the vet?  We took him again with Saturday when we went to pick up Lily's remains.  We wanted to show him the vet can be fun.  This one is tough for us because ALL of dogs have LOVED going to the vet.

It has only been 6 days since Louie moved in, and while he seems to have adjusted I'm sure he is still apprehensive about things and that some things will take time.  He is such a good boy we just want to make sure we do things right.

Thanks for any insight you can provide.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Chronicles of Louis the VII Rottweiler

Louie is settling in nicely.  We could not have asked for a better dog, he is quiet, polite, listens very well and is eager to please.  He had his Vet check (which he wasn't too crazy about) and weighed in at a whopping 93lbs!  We thought maybe 85, boy were we wrong.  Aside from an ear infection he is in great health.  The vet put him at 1 1/2years which is what we thought.

We are doing our best to make him feel at home and show him the sights and sounds of his new community here in Destin.  The Husband took him to get his oil changed (his car's, not Louie's).

Louie meets Brad, our great mechanic.  Brad finds just the right spot to scratch, Louis approves!

Louie isn't as much a fan of the Beetle as he is of cooling off.

His new friends, Max, the big guy and Cooper along with our neighbor Dave, welcome Louie to the neighborhood with open paws.  Max was Lily's boyfriend, she was quite smitten with his handsome features.  I'm sure she is smiling down on the trio.

Even though he listens very well and has already learned new commands readily, Louie is signed up for an intermediate training  class beginning on July 7th.  Since he will be an only dog, we want him to have as much interaction with pets and people as possible.

Only 5 days into his new life, there is so much more ahead, stay tuned for more Chronicles of Louis the VII Rottweiler.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Life Goes On............

It has been a hard 2 weeks in our household.  We have not been without a dog in over 29 years.  And Lily required a lot of time and care these past 10 months, her passing left a big, big void.  Not only in hearts but in just our every day routine.  The Husband and I couldn't seem to find a groove, we always seemed restless, everyday without purpose.

Finally we started to talk about another dog, but it was hard and it was hard not having one.  We were so torn.

I think the turning point came last Saturday after we cut the grass. It was the first time since Lily's been gone that we cut it and a ritual in our house is that when we get done, we go in the house and call "Fresh cut grass!  Who wants to roll in fresh cut grass?" and out  both Lily and Edgrrr would go.  Well, it really hit me for some reason, such a mundane chore as cutting the grass seemed purposeless because I had no dogs to run, roll and relish in simple pleasure of fresh cut grass.

I cried, and cried, and cried some more.  The Husband cried, and cried, cried with me.  Finally he said let's at least go look at some dogs on net.  We looked at rescues and puppies.  Most of the rescues we were interested in were in central or south Florida, most of the puppies were there too, and more than we could afford at the moment.

Then a young man caught our eye.  We emailed the rescue, he was available and the more she told us about him the more we were interested and he was only 2 hours away.  We made arrangements to see him on Monday.

But Sunday night I got terrible cold feet.  Could I love him? Would he love me?  Would he truly be my dog, someone else raised him?  We had no experience with rescues, what if were getting someone else's problem? Maybe it was too soon? But the house was so empty..........what should we do?

We went........and we are so glad we did, meet  Louis the VII (Rottie)....

He is from Last Hope Rescue in Tallahassee. Him and his Dad were rescued  from the Pasco County shelter in April.  His Dad had already been adopted out and this guy was still waiting for the right home.

They said his surrender papers said he was 3 years old but we are thinking more like 1 1/2 - 2 yrs.  He is the sweetest dog, smart and lovey.  We have only had him a little over 48hrs but he is settling in nice.

I still miss Lily so much, tears welling up when I think of her.  I can still feel myself massaging her little stump while she laid in my lap every evening.  And I think of Ed often, missing his clownish behavior.

But life has a little more meaning now.  It has purpose.  It has Louie.......................

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Over the Rainbow Bridge.........

Our Sweet Lily
01/26/2002 - 06/07/2012

With a little help and her head cradled in Momma's lap Lily crossed over the Rainbow Bridge this morning.  Free of pain and sporting four fully functional legs she met up with her buddy, Edgrrr, who introduced her to her new friends Wysti, Echo, Emily and Tyson.  Run free my sweet baby............

Last Thursday at the holistic vet was so promising we didn't expect the turn she took on Monday night,  heavy panting, diarrhea, lack of appetite and restlessness.  The Husband took her to her regular vet Tuesday.  She had picked up a gastrointestinal bug, apparently it was going around.  Though she fought off the infection in her stump and the infection in her bladder this one proved to be too much for her.  Or perhaps she was just tired of it all, perhaps it was just her time.

I can't tell you how much we miss her, but I'm sure all of you know, probably having been in our shoes once or twice if you own a pet.  It hurts, you second guess all the decisions you have made along the road that lead to this.  But it changes nothing she is gone, as we knew someday she would be and it hurts. Deeply.

This is the first time in almost 30 years that we have not had a dog.  And it hurts.  Deeply.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

It's Electrifying.......

The orthopedic vet couldn't find anything on Lily's x-rays.  So we found a holistic vet in the next town.  She found calcified discs in her mid-spine.  It is pretty severe, both back legs are not functioning and they cross when we lift her which I guess is a real indication of nerve damage.  If Lily wasn't so healthy or vibrant as she is she would not recommend treatment, as it is she is giving her a 50/50 chance of possibly regaining ANY type of  function.

Here she is getting her first electo-acupuncture treatment that day.  She was great through it all.  We have physical therapy exercises and massage therapy to do several times a day.  She also is on a Chinese herb mixture twice a day.  She has also recommended a diet of turkey and or ocean whitefish along with Omega-3's for her diet.

She has told us not to get our hopes up too much, due to her arthritis and age, and it may be a few sessions before we see any improvement, if any.  Not what we want to hear but this is our only option, we are willing to give it a few sessions to see if it helps.

It has been about 3 days since her session.  We are trying not to be too optimistic or see improvement where there isn't any.......but we have noticed a small  improvement.  She is trying to use her back legs to get up when we lift her, trying to feebly push up a little, which she wasn't doing.  When we practice setting her feet and putting weight on them she is improving, a little bit more each day.  Mind you she still can not stand on her own or move her back legs in a walking motion but we take any little glimmer of improvement.

We are not expecting a miracle, that she will wake up one day and be able to walk again.  But we are hopeful that she regain some use of her hind legs to assist us in walking her.  Little steps.....we are keeping our fingers crossed!

I want to thank everyone who stopped by to offer their best wishes and ideas.  We are very grateful.