Friday, October 9, 2009

Curing Doggy Depression

We received bad news last night. Our friend Sunny had her foot operated on yesterday and although her family is still waiting for the final results of the lab work, it looks like probable cancer. It's still too soon to know exactly what they're dealing with, but they could sure use your good thoughts and wishes for full recovery. Sunny was very lucky that she had alert owners and a doctor with great instincts, so that this was caught before it got a chance to spread even further.

In a multi dog family it seems that medical problems come in groups. We've had a pretty healthy summer. There have been the seasonal itchies and scrapes and bruises from overly energetic play and those sorts of usual and easily treatable problems. But this week we got hit with a bunch of things that need professional attention.

I scheduled Fudge to get a haircut so that he looks presentable for the trial next week. I may have jinxed things by making that call to the vet's office, but immediately after that I noticed that Sky had chipped the tip off his reconstructed tooth that he had the root canal on. Tsar's root canal tooth looks ugly, too, so I scheduled them to see Dr B today. I have a feeling I know what he's going to say and it doesn't make me happy. I think both boys will need some major dental work to fix things.

We've noticed that Morgan has been limping a little at night and we thought it was probably her arthritis acting up after a day of play, but then she started licking her right front foot a lot. Morgan is OCD, so licking isn't unusual for her, but yesterday I decided to check that foot and when I touched it she pulled it away and didn't want me to see it.

A trip to Dr Nicki showed that she had broken her dew claw and was chewing up the foot around it. With a local they were able to cut the nail back to the skin and put some soothing meds on the damaged skin. She has to take antibiotics for a few days and since she won't leave the toe alone, she's forced to wear an e-collar.

She's feeling very depressed. Fudge came back from the groomers thinking he's the most beautiful dog in the world and also the greatest stud. All evening he was trying to impress this on the other dogs, especially poor Morgan. He's been getting in everyone's face and there was a lot of growling and snapping going on.

I did two practice sessions with him last night to try to redirect his attention and he did great, but that only seemed to encourage his high opinion of himself. Finally, a little crate time then a run in the cold rain calmed him enough to get thru the night.

It poured all night and the yard is one big puddle. The dogs are all damp and unhappy and Morgan is showing signs of major depression. It's time to do somthing to change the mood in here.

We pulled out the bag of stuffed toys we bought last week at the thrift shops. There's nothing like a new toy to improve a dog's mood.

Everybody chose a toy. These were toys they hadn't seen yet. We were saving them for just such an occasion.

This seems to get everyone's attention off their problems.

Of course after playing with a toy for awhile, they each traded toys.

They threw them around a little and pounced on them.

They carried them around showing them off.

Fudge and Sky, who play well together, started a game of tug.

These two are pretty well matched in size so the game is fair.

The toy sometimes suffers, but this sturdy teddy bear held up to some rough tugging.

This is good for Fudge who really likes to get his own way. With Sky as a partner, Fudge has learned that he doesn't always win.

This game ended in a tie. Both dogs laid down and neither would let go of the toy. Eventually they got tired and the game was over.

Morgan perked up. A new toy can make a girl feel like a new dog.

I started a baby blanket last night. Don't forget about the challenge on my last post. The preemies need your help.


Heather and Ellie said...

I love the Lupine collar on Fudge! I have that pattern too plus many others.....Do the rest of the dogs wear Lupine?

Channon said...

Uh-oh! Sending healing thoughts to all of your ailing pack.

GoldenTracks said...

Thanks for spreading the wishes for thoughts and prayers. There's no such thing as too much good karma!
Fudge looks quite handsome. Can't wait to hear how he does at the trial.
When it rains it pours with health problems in a multi dog household. Why is it we can't have just one problem at a time?!?

Martha Basset said...

I liked Fudge's collar too - very autumnal!
I must admit I have never really thought of doggy depression before.
I loved the idea of news toys coming out to play with!
We were sorry to hear about Sunny and will make a point of dropping by.
Poor Morgan, mind you that nice yellow bone cheered her up!!!
Have a great weekend.

Nichole said...

More healing vibes coming your way.... hugs!

Rocky Creek Scotties and Java said...

That last picture of Morgan is soo pitiful - we wish we could give her a hug!!

And Fudge should think he is handsome and studly -he is!

Piper, Carrleigh and Java

Brownie said...

Oh no, I hope everyone in your pack feels better soon... sounds like you had a rough couple of days!

Marjie said...

Poor babies! Good thing Mommy had lots of new toys.

LizzieJane said...

Boy Sue, taking care of that lot is a full time job! Things can go wrong so quickly in our little animals. Hope they will all get back to normal soon.
Have a great weekend!

Mack and Sally Ann said...

Y'all have had a bad week. Next week will be better.
Sally Ann

bbes tribe said...

Thanks for visiting us. That is really too bad about Sunny and about the it hasn't been a great week for you either. Hope everyone starts feeling better realllllly sooooon.
Ernie & Sasha

bbes tribe said...

PeeEss:: We agree the thrift store is the best place to get those soft toys. Mom goes there and buy a bunch for us too. The prices are just right. She sometimes saves them up too.
We get really excited too.
Have fun
Ernie & Sasha

Sam said...

Love Fudge's haircut! So sorry about the medical dramas in your pack. At least the dogs know how to distract themselves from it with their stuffed animals.

Rose said...

Loved the pics of the dogs playing with the new toys. Never thought of going to a thrift store for them. What a great idea. And you've given me an idea for my next post. (MaggieMae has a toy storey also.) Sometimes it's really hard to come up with something new to post, when routine seems too much of same old, same old!

Anonymous said...

Warmest thoughts to Sunny a worrying time I am sure.You seem to be having a busy time at the vets too, I love all the pictures with the toys. Julie.C

Dughallmor Beagles said...

Hello Sue! Well I was so looking forward to visiting you after such a long break....but such sad news about poor Sunny :o( And i'm so sorry to hear also about all the ailments your pack have had too....but reading on brought a smile to my face (as your posts always manage to do) Leave it to dogs to make the best of a bad situation and be happy for the little things :o)
My lot also love a new really seems to bring out the puppy in them....especially the ones from the charity shops.....I think it's because even after laundering they have a 'people smell' about them! Do we recognise that yellow toy that Morgan has?
I also loved your previous post about counting your blessings, very touching :o)
Here's hoping things brighten up in your corner of the world soon!
Nicky & the Beagles xx

Maggie and Mitch said...

Yup, new toys will always do the trick! We're sending lots of AireZen your way and lots of good thoughts for Sunny!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

gaylen said...

Oh honey you had a full weekend. Hope Miss Morgan is doing well. Fudge looks a bit sparce. I love his curls and they are missing. g

Dianne said...

Poor Miss Morgan having to wear the "collar of shame" as it is known around here. There is nothing like a new toy to brighten things up - or new yarn...