Saturday, July 31, 2010

First Summer Outing

Sad but true. This is really the pups' first real outing since we moved. We went on a church picnic at the river. The boys had lots of fun meeting people, especially the kids who were just the right height for kissing on the face. They licked lots of faces. And none of the faces screamed or cried. That's a pretty good day. Bradley wanted to swim. So we let him swim a little, but they have strict leash laws and we were not prepared to get in the water ourselves. So while we tried to stay dry he splashed around. Bradley and Brodie are on a tandem leash. Brodie had no desire to swim unless he was retrieving a ball so he was trying to stay up on the edge with us. There were lots of other dogs out enjoying the water. I think if we had been tubing our dogs would not have been riding in the tubes. I think they would have been swimming and pulling us. Which means we probably would have been down the river in about 5 minutes. Bradley can be pretty lazy though so I could see him eventually wearing out and laying in a tube, but Brodie not a chance. But they had a really good day getting to hang out at the park and meeting lots of new people, showing off tricks and getting petted.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Reading



This is what it looks like when I am trying to read.
One of the pictures
is blurry.
But you get the idea.



Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Wise Dog Knows. . .

If Bradley opened a fortune cookie it would read : "What goes in, must come out." If Bradley only understood that what goes in must come out, he might not eat so many things. His favorite is grass and sticks. We recently moved from a large yard with plenty of sticks to chomp on all day. Our new home is in a fairly new neighborhood without mature trees. And the types of trees of very different. So there really aren't many sticks. In fact, there are no sticks. At one point Bradley was going through such withdrawal he was breaking branches off the rose bush and eating them. That was scary. How do you make a pup understand that thorns are not good. Really sticks are not good, but we compromise with him since he's not that smart and stubborn to train. We finally broke him of the rose bush. Then one day I see him with a stick in his mouth. A good stick by dog standards. I take it from him to inspect for safety and to see where this stick may have originated. It was one of the chimes off my bamboo wind chimes. It is windy where we live and our neighborhood is almost in a wind tunnel since it was built where a creek bed once ran. So sometimes it gets extremely windy. The wind had blown off two of my chimes because the strings have grown old and weak. I searched the yard for the other chime without success. I did find it a few days later while on poop patrol.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hillbilly Dog

Bradley loves to eat grass. He just grazes on it all day long. He's our little cow. So today he comes running in the house (because he heard the ice dispenser) and he has grass stuck in his bottom teeth. I told him he could have a piece of ice if he let me take a picture with my phone so he sat patiently waiting. I wish you could see his bottom teeth. When he came running in his mouth was open just a little so you could see his bottom teeth. He has this huge hunk of grass stuck in his teeth. He looks like such a hillbilly.

**Doggie Dentist recommend NOT letting your dogs eat ice as it can crack and damage their teeth, as we have been told repeatedly and I have repeatedly told Rob. This was a singular incident and is not indicative of the usual treatment of our animals. Never mind the fact that he came running to the sound of the ice machine.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Appropriate Behavior Around An Assistance Dog

July 26 is the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Learn correct etiquette when an assistance dog is working with someone with a disability.
How should people behave around an assistance dog?
The Americans With Disabilities Act guarantees people with disabilities the right to be accompanied by a service animal in all areas open to the general public. Service animal means any assistance dog or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Here are some tips to follow when meeting or approaching a working assistance dog and his or her partner:
  • Don't be afraid of the dog. Assistance dogs from organizations like Canine Companions for Independence and other members of Assistance Dogs International are carefully tested and selected for appropriate temperament. They have been professionally trained to have excellent manners.

  • Don't touch the dog without asking permission first! This is a distraction and may prevent the dog from tending to the human partner.

  • Never feed the dog. It may be on a special diet. CCI dogs are generally on a feeding schedule as well. Food is the ultimate distraction to the working dog and can jeopardize the working assistance dog team.
  • Speak to the person, not the assistance dog! Most handlers do not mind talking about assistance dogs and their dog specifically if they have the time.

  • Do not whistle or make sounds to the dog as this again may provide a dangerous distraction.

  • Never make assumptions about the individual's intelligence, feelings or capabilities.

  • Be aware of potential architectural barriers to the individual. Be respectful of the assistance dog team. They are a working pair going about their daily lives.
Business owners: Some customers and employees may be anxious or nervous about an assistance dog in your establishment. Reassure them that the dog is thoroughly trained and has a legal right to be there under the ADA. People with assistance dogs deserve the same respect as any other customer.


Taken from the Canine Companions for Independence website.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Brodie's Biopsy Results

Brodie's biopsies came back and it showed no signs of cancer. Good! It did show that he may have IBS or Food Intolerance. So we are changing his diet yet again. He is responding well to the medication so far. He still needs to gain weight. He enjoys taking his pills because 1) Bradley gets closed out of the room and 2) the pills gets wrapped in bread which is something he never gets. Not sure how we are going to continue pills for the rest of his life with a food intolerance. But we'll cross that with the doctor when we need to. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Seeing Eye Dog

A blind man walks into a store with his seeing eye dog. All of a
sudden, he picks up the leash and begins swinging the dog over his
head. The manager runs up to the man and asks, "What are you doing?!!
"" The blind man replies, ""Just looking around. """

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Brodie Comes Home from the Hospital

When we visited Brodie at the hospital on Tuesday he was already standing a little, his tail wagged a little and he could hold his head up a little. He just wanted me to hold him, sweet baby. He already looked so much better. You could tell he felt better. So the fluids are obviously working. They told me not to visit him on Wednesday because of his procedure. But then they didn't do the procedure. So Rob stopped by on his way home from work. He said the difference was amazing. Brodie was pushing on Rob trying to get by like he was saying, "Daddy, we gotta get outta here." He was still just getting fluids and no food, but I guess that's what he needed most. Brodie's endoscopy was postponed until Thursday morning because they were trying to make sure that he was good and cleaned out before they tried to put the scope in. I thought this was ridiculous since he had not kept anything down since about Saturday and had not eaten anything in the hospital. They had given him about four enemas on Wednesday, poor baby. I suggested that maybe there was nothing to come out. The doctor said that when there is no food going into the intestines they shut down and quit moving stuff out so usually there is stuff just sitting in there. Yuck! So they did the scopes on Thursday morning and saw no obvious masses or signs of cancer. They saw lots of inflammation on the anus. DUH! They believe that the problem was the valve between the stomach and the intestines not closing properly allowing the digested food and bile to reflux back into the stomach causing him to vomit. That's not usually something that can be corrected with surgery. So he may have to be on medication his whole life. But I would rather him be on medication and live a longer, happier life than a shorter, more painful life without medication. If this route doesn't work then we may have to do exploratory surgery. I'm hoping that if this works we will be able to see if he does not have "severe allergies". But for now his diet stays the same. Getting him off the prescription food would allow that money to go toward the medications and it would be nice to not have to be so strict on what he can eat. Let's hope this is the end of his battle.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Brodie Goes To The Hospital

This picture of Brodie was taken just last week.
During the move Brodie was on his medicine for one of his stomach episodes. After a couple of weeks he slowly started throwing up again. It has gotten increasingly worse and startlingly so over the weekend. He just wanted to sleep. He actually wet the floor while sleeping. When he walked he looked like an old dog. He couldn't keep anything down and eventually quit eating but continued vomiting and had some diarrhea. He looked like he had lost weight. He was pitiful. I've never seen him so sick. So Monday I looked up veterinary diagnostician. I found one and made an appointment for that afternoon. We went in and I figured they would want to keep him overnight to give him fluids and they did. And I had expected him to have lost weight since he looked like he had. But I had not expected this. He's lost 10 pounds in one month! They did some blood work and as usual the doctor came back amazed at how perfect his blood looked. I said "I know." We can never find anything wrong with him. They did an x-ray of his chest to see if he had this condition where the esophagus relaxes causing them to regurgitate, but that was normal to the best they could see. They did an x-ray of his abdomen to make sure he wasn't aspirating, which he was not. They also did not see anything abnormal in the bowels. They said that they have an online community where they post the picture so that veterinarians from all over can look at the x-rays and see if they find something that is being overlooked. I liked that idea. We visited him today and he was already feeling better. He was able to stand and was actually wagging his tail a little and holding his head up some. He was still not eating. He is staying because he is still on fluids and he will be getting an endoscopy Wednesday. They are going to take a look inside and see if they can find anything and go ahead and get biopsies. Our doctor back home had also said that this would be one of her next steps so I was not surprised by this either.  I knew that Brodie would have a hard time when we left him again and he did cry when we walked away. But when we got home Rob told me that he could still hear him crying from the lobby. My poor baby. Please pray that he will do okay with the surgery tomorrow.

**If you need background story, go to the side, under Stories Including and click on "Brodie's Health"

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bradley's First Birtday!


This week Bradley turns one year old!!!!!Since he was adopted we don't know when his actual birthday is. Here is how I calculated when to celebrate. I remember the date that I first saw him, of course, who wouldn't right? At that time, the vet tech told me that he was 8 weeks old. So I counted back exactly 8 weeks from that date. That's the best I can do. He may be a little older because he was a little big. But he's always been a little big. Here's his one year photos. This fire hydrant is a garden statue. I thought that people would see it in the photo and think that Bradley is HUGE! Well, he is, but not that huge. And I think he's still growing. He's starting to settle down a little. He still has his wild moments and I think at times Rob still wonders why we got him. But I keep telling Rob, "In 2 or 3 years, he's gonna be a great dog!"

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Treat Dispensing Giggle Ball

Our dogs never eat from a bowl. This is a bowl. We have added a couple of other treat dispensing toys to feed from. But this will always be the first love. When they are puppies you can hear it giggle so you know where they are and that they are not digging in your plants, etc. It's pretty sturdy, but can be torn up so we started taking it away when he was finished eating. Brodie loved it. We would say, "Where is your big green ball?" And he would go find it for us so we could put food in it. The experts say that it is important for them to work for their food. Don't freak, they have to do it in the wild. It helps with behavior, attitude and obedience. People always complement us on how well behaved and smart our dog is. We actually think that a lot of it has to do with the fact that he had to work for his food by using this toy since he was a wee little pup. The thing to understand about treat dispensing toys is that you do have to teach them how to use them. If you just give the dogs a toy with a treat in it, the natural things would be to rip the toy open to get to the food. So you have to show them how to roll the ball around and where the food comes out. This may take a few times and patience on your part and the dog's. Once they have learned how to use the toy, you can then just fill it up and give it to them.
Brodie eventually tore out the little wind tunnel that make the sound. We got a new one and trained him to quit playing with it when he was done eating. Now Bradley uses it to eat. It is more difficult for Bradley. He rarely gets all of the food out. But he doesn't try to tear it up, however we do put it in the closet when we are ready for him to quit eating.  Excellent purchase!

PROS:
  • makes noise so you know where they are
  • occupies them for a little while
  • sturdy
  • makes them work for their food
  • increases intelligence
CONS: 
  • can be destroyed so don't leave in kennel or alone unsupervised
  • only comes in two sizes. needs a medium size.
  • can be difficult and dog may become frustrated or bored

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hanging Out on the Porch

After our recent missing dog episode I've been a little nervous about letting the dogs be outside for more than a few minutes without checking on them. I know that kinda defeats the purpose of having a doggie door. And I've put a lock on the inside of the gate. But still, I'm just anxious. So the day after the episode they were outside for, I don't know, maybe two minutes when I felt the need to know where they were. I look outside and they were both lying down next to each other on the porch just looking around. Brodie caught me spying and got up. I slowly backed away to go get the camera. This is something I thought I'd never see. 1. Brodie relaxed. 2. Brodie intentionally and willingly lying down next to Bradley. I slowly crept back up with the camera. Brodie was still standing but I was taking pictures anyway. Brodie was just sniffing the air. Bradley was watching the jets fly over. He likes to look at planes and helicopters go over. He thinks they are really big birds. Then Bradley saw me. He stood up and stared at me through the window because he wasn't sure who I was. Gave me a woof warning in case I wasn't supposed to be in the house. Then I called out to him and got a great big puppy love greeting.