Friday, April 17, 2015

Toe Trouble

Ok, you knew it was coming, right? Yesterday morning I checked Lola's toe and it was still swollen and red and it was oozing. Swollen and red I can handle but oozing means infection, so off we went to the clinic.

It was Dr B's day off so we saw Dr M. She's a very nice lady who the dogs all seem to like. First she shaved the toe and cleaned it. Then she took a good long look at it. Her first question scared me. She asked if we had any snakes in the yard. We do have a black snake living in the rocks but they aren't venomous and I haven't seen it this year.

The toe didn't really give us many answers. It could be a bite, either a snake or a spider, or it could be  foreign matter that worked it's way into the toe. We do have foxtails but they usually come out later in the summer. We'll treat all those options pretty much the same way.
Lola is getting an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory. Once a day we soak her foot in Povidone solution and warm water. Twice a day I clean the toe with some medicated gauze that the doctor made up for us. Lola is wearing a cone so she doesn't try to fix it herself.

This morning after her breakfast I gave her the meds. Then after an outing I soaked the foot and cleaned it. The swelling is down quite a bit and though last night the ooze was thick and yellowish, this morning I don't see any ooze at all. There is a little bleeding though. I think I see two cuts or scrapes on the toe, one large near the top and a smaller one near the nail. She may have done those herself by chewing when it first happened. She's putting full weight on the foot and I think after a couple more days on the antibiotic, she'll be good as new.

Dr B popped in just as we were finishing yesterday and got the story from Dr M. He laughed and said that Lola does about fifty miles around the yard before noon, so toe problems are to be expected. I'll be checking back with him on Monday to give him an update on her condition.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Catching Up

Fudge is napping, so maybe I can get a post in before he's back at the computer. I thought I'd bring you up to date on a few things that we left hanging. First is Noah's eye. It's doing great!! Yeah!! We put his medicated ointment in twice a day and drops in between. The eye is clear, no goop, no red and no itching. He'll be visiting the vet later in the month for another dryness test but I think we have it under control, finally.
Next is Miss Morgan. The infection in her jaw is gone and she's eating like a little piggy to make up for any meals she missed. Because of her age and the fact that she's a little confused a lot of the time, I want to make sure she gets all the nutrients she needs from her meals. After a conversation with Dr B, we started her on Ensure. We used that when the dogs were all sick a couple years ago and they like it a lot. We pour it over Morgan's kibble and it looks like a bowl of cereal and milk. She thinks it's wonderful and laps it up. Lately she's been coming over to me n the evening and asking for a snack. Sometimes I give her a few spoons of canned food and other times I give her a bowl of Ensure.

Because she's a little shaky going up and down stairs, we put her swim harness on her. It has a handle on the back and I can grab it to give her a little help with the steps. She seems to appreciate it and she hasn't had any crash landings lately.
 Fudge and Noah are both eating their home cooked food mixed with a special kibble and both are maintaining their weight. The poops are more normal and they seem to be doing well.

Fudge mentioned Natto in one of his posts recently and a couple of you asked about it. When Samba and Sky were sick, Dr B suggested trying it. It's great for digestion and has lots of protein and vitamins. It's a Japanese food made from fermented soybeans. The dogs love it, but a word of warning, it stinks and it looks gross and though I haven't tasted it, I hear it tastes about as bad as it looks (to humans). If your dogs are like mine, they adore anything stinky and gross. We buy it at the Oriental food store and keep it in the fridge. The dogs get it about once a week.
It's been almost a week since the injection in my hand. This morning I took the brace off and I'm hoping the thumb is better. I can't really tell yet because it's still a little swollen and all my fingers are a bit stiff from not being used for a week. So far, so good.

Spring has arrived and with it came bugs and bees, and with them come bug bites. This morning Lola showed me her front foot. One toe is swollen and hairless. There didn't seem to be an abrasion, so I put some medicine on it and gave her some Benedryl. She's wearing a cone of shame for now. Tonight I'll soak her foot and watch it closely. Hopefully the swelling will go down soon. If not, we'll be going you know where.
So that's what's going on here, but things change rapidly.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Fudge Spills The Beans

Hi Everybody,
The other day we read some funny questions and answers on Mitch and Molly's blog . They made us smile and I thought I'd like to give our answers. I hope we don't shock you. Here goes.
1. Do you do anything that really annoys your peeps and what is it that you do?
Oh, where do I begin? I jump really high to greet Mom and I spin really fast when we get to the door. She can't even get past me and has to hold out her hand to stop me. The thing she hates most is that I step on her all the time. If she's sitting on the couch or lying down in bed I want to be close to her. She doesn't mind that but I always step on her while I'm getting in position. She says I go out of my way to step on her and maybe I do because I love her.
Noah annoys her because he barks at imaginary noises. He thinks he hears things outside and runs to the door barking. Then we all have to follow him and bark too because maybe he did hear something. Mom hates all the noise and tells us to stop, then it starts over again.
Noah and the girls are all counter surfers, too. Usually they just look because Mom puts stuff where they can't reach it, but once in a while they get something good.

2. Have you ever escaped from your yard and if so where did you go?
I've never escaped because I like to stay near my Mom. One day Norma Jean and Lola got out and started walking up the street. Mom saw them from the kitchen window and ran out and called them. They came right to her. Noah and Sebastian got out once. Noah came when Mom called but Sebastian took off running. Dad got in the car and drove up the street. He opened the door and Sebastian jumped right in. He loves to ride.
3. Have you ever caught a critter and what did you do with it if you did? Did you eat it?
The girls are the critter catchers. Bailey caught a squirrel one day and brought it to Mom. It wasn't hurt and Mom just let it go over the fence. Tess caught a squirrel and Mom told her to leave it. She did and Dad tossed that one over the fence too. Not long ago they caught a mole and the girls all passed it around. They didn't eat it, just chewed it up a little. Mom was disgusted and made Dad go take it from them. They dropped it for some cookies.

4. What's your very favorite food in the whole world and are you allowed to eat it?
I love cookies or cupcakes with sprinkles. Really I just love sprinkles. Morgan loves bacon more than anything. The Portie girls all really like sardine fish. Mom hates them because they stink and look like little dead fishies but she gives them to us anyway. We also like Natto which is stinky and slimy.
5. If you're a boy, do you cock your leg when you pee or do you squat like a girl? Same for you girls... do you cock your leg?
I started lifting my leg when I was just a little pup and so did Noah. Sebastian usually lifts but sometimes he gets lazy and just stretches out. They girls all squat except Baily. She balances on her front legs and lifts her back legs off the ground. It's a pretty neat move that she learned from Samba. It isn't easy to do, you have to have really good balance.
6 . Do you drink out of the big white bowl in the bathroom?
Morgan used to but now the lids are kept down because we Porties like to play in the water. We stand on our back legs and splash the water with our front feet. Mom say we make a mess. I also like to try to pee into the water but it's tough to reach that high.  Mom keeps the doors closed too because Morgan likes to play with the paper on the roll.

7. Have you ever had a go at flyball, agility, lure coursing etc etc and how good at it  were you?
We do Rally Obedience. It's lots of fun and I even competed and got ribbons and a title. Mom does it with some of the others for fun but they haven't competed yet.

8. Have you ever competed at Westminster, Crufts or the equivalent, or even dreamt about being at Westminster, etc?
 Mom had dreams about going to Westminster but it didn't work out. She says I could have gone but I don't behave very well in the show ring. I like to jump and spin and  try to make everyone laugh. Mom says the judges don't like that but I am who I am. We don't do the shows anymore.
  9. Have your Mom and dad ever left you behind while they went away for a holiday? Where did they leave you and how did you greet them when they returned?
No, they don't leave us. A few time some friends have come by to take us out when Mom and Dad had to be somewhere but there are ten of us, so it's hard to leave us.  Beside I don't want my Mom to leave me with anyone else.

10. Is there any peep or other of your own kind that you really hate and why?
 No, I like everybody. I'm not crazy about Noah, but he is my son, so I'm stuck with him. We Porties all get along well with most everybody. Mackey is shy and doesn't like to be close to strangers. Sebastian is a really friendly guy except for one dog that he saw at the vet's office one day. He didn't like that dog as soon as he saw him. We think it maybe looked like the dog that hurt him when he was little. Sydney only likes Mom and Dad. She doesn't get along with anybody else, peep or pup. Dr B says she's emotionally challenged, Mom says she's crazy.

11. Do you get raw meaty bones to eat and if so what kind of bones are your very favorite?
 None of us ever get bones. Tsar and Sky both broke a tooth and had to have very expensive root canals so Mom says no bones, antlers or hooves. We don't get to chew hard stuff.

So now you know lots of stuff about us. We'd love to see how you answer those questions. 
Your pal, Fudge

Friday, April 10, 2015

Let's Play !

Mackey is a pint sized athlete. A couple months ago she showed us how well she played soccer.
Now she's trying her best to catch the frisbee in flight. Most of the time she just misses...
But this time she caught it.
Then she had to deal with the problem known as sharing with your big sister. Sydney likes to have whatever anyone else has, but Mac has the patience to wait and usually wins.
She may be little, but she's tough.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

It's Back

Things were going along pretty well till they weren't. Just before Christmas I had a steroid injection in my hand for tendonitis. I didn't expect it to work but it did. The day before Christmas I took the brace off my hand and there was no pain. I was able to use it and I did.

The doctor had told me to give it a good workout so I tried to use it as normally as possible. That wasn't easy to do with the memory of the pain fresh in my mind. I did a lot of stitching too but one thing I didn't try was knitting. I was just afraid that it would stress the tendon too much.

Last week I felt a couple little twinges of pain. Then one night I made a fist and it hurt to straighten my hand again. The catch was back in my thumb. I started wearing the brace again and on Monday I called the doctor. I was lucky to get an appointment for today.

Just got home and I had a second injection. He really hit this one right on the spot. It hurt a lot and now my thumb is hot and swollen and pretty painful. It's our hope that this one will last longer. If not, the next step is surgery.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Another Goodbye

There's never a good time to say goodbye to one of our fur kids, but the pain of losing two close together is almost unbearable. I know from first hand experience.

Today we're saying goodbye to another of the Lapdogs. Zeus went to the bridge last night.

He joins his sister Lola who went ahead in January.
It seems especially unfair to ask a family of peeps and pups to adjust to such a loss in so short a time. But age and illness don't respect our feelings.
Goodbye Zeus, we'll miss seeing your sweet happy face. I know you're with some of the big boys now, Tsar and Monty and Phantom and Thunder and Bart and Gizmo and Thor. What a  handsome line up of the big guys who are guarding the little ones at the bridge. All of you can sleep in peace knowing that you are much loved.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The 20th Annual

Welcome to our 20th Annual Easter Treat Hunt. The participants have changed over the years. So has the location and the flavor of the treats but the enthusiasm has remained high. We started this tradition in our townhouse in Maryland when we had three dogs. The first time we tried it, we hid treats in the living room and the dogs caught on quickly. It was so much fun for them and for us, that we've continued it.
Some years we've had to change the hunt to accommodate the animals involved and this was one of those years.  Because the boys have a strict diet, we used sweet potato chunks this year. That way everyone could play. Miss Morgan is too old now to hunt with the others. She's a bit slow and the others would knock her down, so she started first. We hid her treats in plain sight on the deck.
 Then she started hunting. At first she waked right past the potatoes, but then she caught on. She found one and wanted to go inside to eat it, so she'll continue her hunt a little later.

The next one to get a solo hunt was Sydney. She doesn't play well with others, so we let her play alone to prevent her from becoming stressed. When under too much stress, Sydney attacks, so this way she got her treats and avoided a fight.
Then it was time for the main event. Rob and I 'hid' the potatoes. Some were placed so they'd have to search to find them and others were just tossed in the grass.
 Here come the eager participants.
Tess was the very first to find a treat. This is a huge first for her. Every other year we've had to help her find a treat, but now she knows just what to do.
Last year Mac and Sebastian both needed some help, but this year they have it figured out.
 Everyone was having a great time gobbling potatoes, then we noticed that Norma Jean was finding one, taking a bite, then dropping it and running to find another. She found the most and ate the least. I guess it's all about the hunt for her.
 We were almost done when Sebastian found one inside the tower and then he found the very last one on top.
Another successful Easter Treat Hunt is complete. Have a wonderful day  everyone.