Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How Much is Enough?

I’m wrestling with my inner self and trying to keep my mouth shut in order to keep peace at work. A coworker and her husband are witnessing the abuse of a dog behind their house. They have called the police several times as well as the animal control authorities.

Whether the authorities have actually come out they don’t know. But at this point she has said they’ve done all they can and they are going to ignore it.

Which makes me angry and sad. A dog is being abused. There is no excuse for shooting a dog with a BB Gun or hitting it with a rake (plastic or not). Dogs deserve to be loved - they are companions, helpers, and workers. They are not punching bags.

How much is enough? I understand her concerns. They have to live near this guy and if they try to contact him directly he could turn his abuse toward their home, or even worse, their dog. But can’t more be done to help this poor abused animal?

Why haven’t the police or animal control taken the dog? Isn’t it a bad sign that a person tortures a dog? Doesn’t it speak to his capacity to harm other animals … that he could one day (if he hasn’t already) hurt a person?

How far would you go to save an animal from abuse and torture? What if it was a neighbor doing the abuse? You have to live there still … would that matter to you?

I honestly can’t say how I would react but if I saw a neighbor shooting his dog I would not be able to help myself. I’d be yelling, hollering, and calling the police. Not to mention video recording it. Would that be the wisest move? Perhaps not, but sometimes acting with courage isn’t always the wisest thing but it is the right thing.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Witnessing Abuse and What to Do?

My coworker has been witnessing some horrific abuse of a young dog behind her house. She told me about it this morning and it made me ill.

Apparently some monster started beating his dog with a rake Friday evening and did it again on Saturday. Then Sunday they saw this piece of filth shooting at his dog with a BB gun.

Is there anything more repugnant?

I wish that our laws dealt with such abuse more harshly. There is a direct link between the abusing of animals and the prevalence of criminal behavior.

Apparently the dog is a Husky or Husky mix which makes my blood boil even more … Huskies are working dogs and need to be kept active and stimulated. When they become bored they become destructive. As a puppy, Kodiak ate all of our wedding candy! Not only that, he chewed the corners of our coffee table and kept trying to steal our socks and bury them in the back yard. We never once beat him for his adorable (though often destructive) puppy behavior.

My coworker thinks that the dog is doing something destructive in the yard but it sounds like he’s locked in the yard at all times. And I don’t care what a dog does to misbehave - there is NO excuse for taking a rake to him or shooting him with a gun. Even a BB gun! The dog doesn’t know why he is being mistreated. All the dog wants is to give love…and all his owner is doing is sowing fear and creating a potentially dangerous dog.

It breaks my heart. And what can be done? Thankfully my coworker called the non emergency police number and the sheriff’s department said they were sending someone out. She didn’t see the dog this morning but is going to check again tonight. If she see’s it happening again she plans to call again and if worse comes to worse will go over and try to rescue the dog herself.

This dog will need serious help from a rescue organization. I pray that he (or she) is rescued soon and one day finds the proper loving home that he deserves. The “person” abusing this dog needs to have charges brought up and a severe punishment (nothing short of hitting him with a rake and shooting him with a BB gun would really be enough) including monetary fines.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Sad Zoo

Bullet is on her way to her new home. A day earlier than I was ready for and as soon as she left I started sobbing. :(

The sweet little girl is really excited and didn’t seem too shaken up when Bullet knocked her over. :) It was so cute. Bullet is just so rambunctious and gets a little too excited when people come over. They had plans to stop at PetSmart on the way home to get her some food and treats.

Bullet seemed a little hesitant when we walked passed my car to get theirs. Like she knew. She jumped right up into their vehicle but immediately started jumping over the seats to try to get back to me and then up to me when I walked toward the front.

Do you think she’ll remember us? I don’t want her to be sad in her new home and I know that I’m just assigning her human emotions - which is ridiculous. I know that she will get used to a new routine very quickly and be so happy with a new doggy and kids. She’ll have a nice big property to run and hunt on.

I now know that I am not meant to be a foster parent. I miss her so much right now it hurts. Although all three dogs are sleeping right now - something they wouldn’t have been able to do if Bullet were still here. She is just a mass of pure energy!

I’m glad that her new ‘mom’ works with me and can keep me updated with her antics. She will be missed and remembered…



Farm Dog

Sleepy Head

Peek a Boo

Sweet Eyes

Friday, August 22, 2008

Very Bad Malamute!

When Trooper was around 9 months old or so … plenty strong enough to knock me on my feet if he’d chosen … we took all three doggies to a local park for a nice long hike. So Kodiak and Trooper go in the back of the truck, Quinn goes in front with us. It’s not always easy to get the dogs out of the truck (at least it was a lot harder then…Trooper now “knows” how to sit and stay before I let him out … sometimes) and as hubby is lowering the truck bed door Trooper jumps OVER my shoulder, hits the ground, and starts to run…


Complete and total panic with no rational thought is the first reaction when this happens. I don’t even know what we did with the other two dogs while we both ran after Trooper. Finally I had a coherent thought and realized that chasing him was the exact opposite thing I needed to do so I started calling his name and running the other way. Thank GOD he followed … we grabbed him by the neck scruff and got his leash on and that has never happened again.

Until yesterday.

I pull into the driveway at agility (it’s a very rocky, pot holed driveway) and start looking for a place to park. As I glance back in my side mirror I see this blur of fur outside the car.

Yeah…Trooper JUMPED OUT OF THE f*&()&() CAR!!!

At first I thought that I’d hit him but he kept going to I threw the car into a space, rolled up the windows (I had Bullet with me too and she’d have followed), got out of the car and started screaming like a banshee.

I was so flippin’ scared and angry. I am not a cussing type of person but I was letting the expletives fly. He hadn’t just run off and was sniffing around the parking area looking all innocent. I knew that he knew I was pissed though because as I’m yelling at him to come to me RIGHT NOW he’s slinking toward me with his head down and ears back … “Uh Oh…Mama is MAD” look on his face. :)

When he got to me I grabbed his leash (he almost always has a leash on when we drive anywhere) and drag him back to the car where I FORCE him back in (yes…forced…he did not want to get back inside but I AM alpha and he WILL do my bidding!).

He had to sit and wait until I said “ok” before he got out of the car.

I'm Sorry Mommy

I *think* that is when I started breathing again. It took me about 10 minutes to really calm down. One of the trainers told me that if I couldn’t calm down I might as well go home…which is true. He had already forgotten what happened and was excited to work so I had to take some deep breaths and switch my mindset.

But dear Lord in heaven above I was scared. I never in a million years thought he’d do that.

And from now on the windows will only be open a crack!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mouth Breathing Dog

I’ve been watching my poor little Quinn girl go downhill the last few months. This morning as I sit at home working she is laying on the floor and trying to breath through her nose but can’t. It sounds all stuffed up. So she’s having to breath through her mouth. Not panting … just opening up her mouth to take a breath and then trying to exhale through her nose. Kind of like I do when I’m all stuffed up. :(

Her vet is on vacation next week and the week after that she is scheduled for surgery for her little lip growths. They’ve gotten bigger and another one started growing.

I just want her to be healthy and comfortable. I think that she is allergic to something in the house. We aren’t the best house keepers and hubby thinks she gets a lot worse when she’s in our bedroom. It’s super old carpet and of course never completely vacuumed - there’s lots of dust and dog hair trapped in corners and behind dressers.

Can I give a dog something to clear up her nose? Like Benadryl? I don’t want to make her sleepy - she already sleeps a ton. If it stops raining I’m going to take her around the neighborhood … maybe during lunch. I think the fresh air is good for her. She doesn’t walk fast but enjoys sniffing and marking everywhere.

Quinn loves to Sunbathe

It’s hard to listen to her snorting and trying to get breath … there’s just nothing I can do to help her. :( It’s so painful to not know how to help my sweet little girl.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Trooper is Throwing Up

I hate it when I don’t know what is wrong with my dogs. Trooper started throwing up this morning. He was kind enough to jump up on the bed to do so. :) Right on top of hubby. Wasn’t that sweet of him to share?

It wasn’t chunky…just pure liquid … kind of yellow / milky. He threw up three times. I’ve been watching him like a HAWK ever since and only fed him 1/4 of his normal meal for breakfast. I’ll give him a bit more later on if he keeps it down. So far so good.

He’s not lethargic and was playing with Bullet a few minutes ago. His appetite was good - he ate all that I gave him. He’s drinking water as I type. And I think he’s still hungry.

So I’m not going to call the vet just yet. They already own my entire paycheck for the month. That’s another story that I will share soon.

What causes dogs to throw up?

Well when I google “dog throwing up” the first link is to this forum where some of the members suggested that a hungry dog will throw up yellow, frothy bile. !!! Really?!?! I’d never heard of this! But it made me feel a TON better. And it makes perfect sense for my big boy.

I also found this

If your dog is throwing up in the morning before breakfast, it may be because the time between dinner and breakfast is too long. Try splitting dinner into two separate time, one at the normal dinner time and the other right before bedtime. This will leave food in your dog’s stomach throughout the night, and it should prevent or at least minimize the morning vomiting.

Dinner time is at 4 p.m. and he gets his two scoops of dry kibble (or one scoop of dry and a cup of The Honest Kitchen dehydrated food). He generally gets a treat or two before bed but sometimes not. Clearly he needs to have *something* in his belly before we go to bed.

I think I will go give him the rest of his breakfast now.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Narcoleptic Poodle

While visiting my Entrecard buddies I stumbled across this post at The Gang about a Narcoleptic poodle. Is it wrong that I started laughing when this poor guy plopped down asleep. The poor thing!!! I hope they figure out how to fix him so he can have a normal doggy life. But it’s still kind of cute.

Here I pray for my dogs to sleep! Well, at least for Bullet to sleep. She went to daycare today!!! At this moment, 5:30 p.m. Pacific time she is sleeping at my feet. In the 3 weeks we’ve had her that is unheard of. Woohoo!!! A tired dog is a good dog…except when it’s Narcoleptic. :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Quinn Diagnosed - Oral Papillomas

My poor girl. *sigh*

Hubby took her to the vet yesterday to find out what the growths on her lips could possibly be.

The diagnosis was surprising - Oral Papillomas - a benign tumor caused by a Papilloma virus. It’s actually supposed to target young dogs (6 months to 4 years) but because she is older her immune system is more vulnerable to things like this. They’re sort of like warts but bigger.

It could have come from Bullet, our foster dog, who is 10 months old, but we haven’t seen any signs of oral growths on her. Though it is hard to get her to sit still and examine her. My suspicion is that she picked it up on her visit to the farm with us last week for agility. We took her, Kodiak, and Bullet to play in the neighboring field while Trooper and I trained.

The treatment is surgical removal or “benign neglect” as the book says. I’m going with neglect in this case. The lesions do not affect her ability to breath, eat, sleep, or do any other normal activity. I’d rather save the money it would cost to do electrosurgery. Plus I don’t really want to put her under anesthesia again.

So the plan is to monitor her and see if they go away on their own. It could take up to 24 months according to the print off the vet gave us, but should be between one and five months.

I would worry about our other dogs because it is apparently very contagious but since none of them show any signs it seems that they are immune. I hope so because the last thing I want to deal with is separating all my dogs for five months. Sheesh.

Wordless Wednesday - On the Farm

Bullet on the Farm

Bullet with Jordyn

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Eating Ice Cream and Getting Slimed

Eating food can be a dangerous task around here. Our dinner table has only been used for eating a few times. We eat on the couch and the dogs are happy with that - it means more chances for scraps. Though rarely from me - papa is the worst at falling for their puppy dog eyes.

I do have a bad habit though (only one!). When I eat ice cream I let the dogs have the empty container (because let’s jut be honest…I never eat part of a container!) so they’ve come to expect that.

Trooper waits patiently … staring at me with his tongue hanging out.

And the drool pooling!


Grrr...My Ice Cream


It’s really gross. I didn’t realize that he was part St Bernard!!!

What is THAT?

Once again Quinn and daddy will be making the trip to the vet, more than 30 minute away from our house.

I took her on a walk on Sunday afternoon (she’s looking a little chunky and ever since Bullet arrived she hasn’t gotten a lot of attention) … so we’re going along at a super slow old lady pace and she’s panting and I see something a little ‘off’ in her mouth. It almost looked like her teeth were sticking out somehow.

On closer examination I realized that she had some weird growth on her lips!

Quinn's Growths

My poor baby girl. Getting old sucks.

I don’t know what the growths are…I’m hoping it’s something easy that the vet can easily remove or treat without too much effort. I don’t want to put her through a ton of traumatic testing or procedures. She’s already at the point where she doesn’t like the vet office. *sigh*

She still seems to have energy and is very alert. I think the walk was a little tough because by the end she was walking behind me. Slowly. The arthritis in her back must be worse - and her weight doesn’t help. Papa need to be more careful about the amount of food he gives her.

Sweet Girl

Monday, August 4, 2008

Making Progress

Trooper and I are doing fairly good in our agility training…at least in my opinion. I’ve gained confidence in the last few weeks with my handling and I think that Trooper has really started to get it - watching me to know where he needs to go and recognizing word commands.


He had been doing the Weave Poles perfectly two weeks ago but now he will do half of them and then think he’s done and stop weaving. The goof ball. So it’s more practice doing the weave pole dance (this involves lots of treats and specific placement of my feet and hands) until he can do it perfectly again.

The table and A-frame are his favorites…probably because he gets so many treats on both of those exercises. We’re working on touches when he comes down on A Frame. He’s so big that he can jump off and out of the proper area in one stride (the dogs have to stay on the various objects down to the bottom or end and get docked if they jump over or off).

On the other hand I am having a hard time visualizing when and where to do front and rear crosses. Simple ones I can figure out but when the instructor asks where we’d put a cross I go completely blank! It’s really frustrating. And confuses Trooper when I am trying to move quickly and guide him at the same time.

We have another agility demo coming up this Saturday and I hope I do a better job than I did last time. I also hope the course is a little larger too.

Through the Chute

Apparently when I run I stick my butt out. Ha! Which is funny because I used to run with a straight back. I need to work on that.

Yesterday’s class went really well. There were SO many dogs that we were split up into mini groups within our groups and one of the trainers asked me to watch over my group. It was scary but kind of cool that she’d ask me to do that. Not that my group needed watching over…it was the more advanced group.

I really am kind of hoping that they’ll move me up soon to the more advanced class. I think that Trooper can handle more difficult tasks and I hope that I’m up to learning new things.