Friday, February 28, 2014

One Week Down

We have finished the first week of Noah's new routine and so far, so good. It's a lot more work, but we're already seeing some results so we'll keep going.
I've been chopping lots of veggies for his dinner. We start by browning a pound of ground turkey.
Then I add 4 cups of chopped carrots, 4 cups of chopped sweet potatoes and 4 cups of frozen peas.
To all that I add 4 cups of water and 2 cups of barley. Then we cook it down and wind up with this.
Noah gets 2 cups for breakfast and 2 cups at dinner so this big pot makes about 4 days worth of food.
Add in his vitamin, calcium and fish oil and the boy is feeling better already. Though the stool isn't normal yet, it's better and he's only going twice a day without all the straining. Dr B is pleased that he's already showing some improvement.

Noah likes his new food, but he misses the treats. Today I made a big batch of sweet potatoe chips for him and I'm sure that will cheer him up.

We're also addressing his anxiety.  He spends part of each day outside playing with his sisters while Fudge stays inside with me. It's a win-win because Noah doesn't have to put up with Fudge's bullying and Fudge doesn't have to share my attention. It's been a little calmer around here since we started doing this.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Two Sides Of Fudge

You've heard many times that Fudge can be a bully. He loves to tease the other dogs and see who reacts, even though he usually gets the worst of it. I can't count the times he's gotten cut or scratched when someone objected to him pushing them around or stealing their toy. He almost lost an eye one time when he tried it.
Fudge drives me crazy at times, too. He's always jumping all around me when I try to walk and he spins in front of the door so I can't get it open. He grabs my sleeve sometimes when he wants my attention and has even torn one. He steps on me when he gets on the sofa next to me and he jumps on me when he gets on the bed. He barks when I'm trying to listen to the news or weather on TV and he's just a general nuisance.

BUT, Fudge has another side to him. When Samba and Sky were sick, he stayed close to them and would sleep beside them. He never tried to take Sky's ball from him when he was so weak and he grieved for them for a long time.
Morgan is frail now in her old age and walks slowly. Fudge always waits for her outside and escorts her up the hill and into the house. He lies next to her in the evening and he doesn't tease her or steal from her.
Fudge also does something else for me. He tells me when one of the other dogs needs my attention. Earlier this week he alerted me to the sore in Morgan's mouth. He kept going to her and sniffing the area till I took a look. This isn't the first time he's done this. Fudge is the one who showed me that Lola had been stung by an insect. Lola didn't act like anything was wrong, but Fudge wouldn't leave her alone. He followed her around and kept sniffing her foot. When I looked to see what he was so interested in, I saw that Lola's toe was swollen about four times it's normal size.
He's pointed out red ears before they've gotten badly infected and any cysts or sores get his special attention. Even with our language barrier, Fudge has been a great helper in keeping the pack healthy. So I guess even a bully can have a good side.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Last Friday we lost one of our friends. Daisy left us.
Daisy lived in Oz with Bella and Roxy. She enjoyed walks and rolling in the grass and wading in any body of water. She really loved hunting for cats.
A little while ago Daisy's peep found a growth in her mouth. The vet said it was the bad kind of growth and he was right. It kept growing and pretty soon it got too big and the options available were all bad ones. So Daisy crossed the bridge.

Over the weekend I noticed that Fudge would stop when he walked by Morgan and sniff her mouth. At first I dismissed it, thinking that he was checking to see if she'd had a treat that he'd missed out on, but yesterday it began to bother me. I went over and opened Morgan's mouth and there was a big nasty looking growth on the inside of her cheek.
I know that I tend to overreact to these sorts of things ever since Samba and Sky died, but with Daisy's illness on my mind, I immediately called Dr B. He had an opening in the afternoon, so Rob and I drove Morgan over to get it checked out.

First he checked out a couple of new bumps that have appeared. One on her shoulder is one of those cysts she gets that fill up, then explode with goop oozing out. It had just exploded, so he cleaned it up and told me to put a compress on it twice a day followed by some medicated ointment.

The next bump was on her belly and felt like a little sac of fluid. He said it was a fatty growth and there was another smaller one close to it. No problem.

Then he looked at her mouth and got 'that look' on his face. He said he had good news and bad news. The good news is that it's benign. The bad news is that it's rubbing on her tooth and won't heal so it needs to come out. This is bad news because Morgan at age 14+ can only have surgery done with a local and operating on her mouth with a local will be very hard to do.

He examined her legs and eyes and ears while he thought about the options. Then we discussed them. We agreed that he would inject a steroid under and behind the growth to try to get rid of the inflammation and shrink it a little so it might heal. Morgan was very good s he injected her. We'll give it a couple weeks to work.
If this doesn't work Morgan will spend the day with Dr B and he'll operate to remove it. He says it may take a long time because he'll only be able to do a little at a time, then give her a chance to relax before doing a little more. It won't be easy and it won't be fun, but he's sure it can be done.
So we all want to thank Daisy for reminding us to pay attention to these little signs and take action before little problems become big ones. We  miss you Daisy.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Here We Go Again

I really do try to be a good person, so why are the Poop Gods so angry with me? I must have done something to annoy them because the past two years have been filled with poop events. Let's recap.

It all started two years ago when my entire pack had the Cryptosperidium experience. It lasted for months and ended tragically with the loss of Samba and Sky. I was spending most of every day and night dealing with explosive diarrhea.

Once we got thru that horrible experience, last year Fudge and Noah started having bright orange diarrhea that we couldn't control. They both lost a lot of weight and were pretty sick. The university tested them and found it to be Corona Virus which is normally a puppy illness. After being re- vaccinated and having meds prescribed, they both got better, but again it was a couple months of poop.

Then Lola started having diarrhea and all three of her sisters caught the bug from her. The three sisters got over it fairly quickly but Lola had a harder time and we treated her for several weeks. She's fine now.

Now it's Noah who has a problem. This time is a little different. Noah has a poop problem, too much and too soft, but he has some other things going on, too. You see, Noah has always had an anxiety issue. Noah was the littlest pup in our litter. The others were all between 8 and 10 ounces at birth, but he was only 5 ounces.
He was developmentally behind the others by about a month. When the others started racing up and down the stairs on the way to the back yard, he couldn't do stairs and would whimper till one of us carried him. Once outside the others loved climbing the rock pile, but he was too little and couldn't negotiate the big rocks. He couldn't jump into the wading pool with the others and so forth.  His anxiety seemed to start there.

Then there's the Fudge problem. Fudge is a bully and like most bullies there's not much behind the facade. He likes to get in the other dog's faces and he likes to sneak up on them and bark to startle them or steal whatever they're playing with. The girls all know that Fudge is all bluster and they either ignore him or chase him away, but Noah overreacts. He either attacks or runs away and hides.
Last week Noah's poop problem became a crisis and we met with Dr B on Tuesday. We did an exam and some blood work. The blood report was good but from the weight loss and straining and loose stool, we're convinced that he has colitis. Last nigh we had a long conversation about how to deal with the problem and came up with a plan.
Noah will no longer eat dog food. I'll be making him a stew from ground turkey, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes and barley. He'll eat only that. For treats he'll get sweet potato chips. He'll take supplements of calcium, B complex and fish oil plus a multi-vitamin.  For the stress that's contributing to his intestinal issue, he'll have time away from Fudge to play with his sisters, plus some obedience training to help build his confidence. He's also wearing a bandana sprayed with a calming pheromone.
Unfortunately, this is a plan that Noah and I will be living with for the rest of his life as there is no cure, only maintenance.

So obviously I  have done something to get myself on a major 's**t list' and I'd really like to get off now. I promise to be good.

Monday, February 17, 2014

President's Dog's Day

Hi Everybody, It's me Fudge. 
Today is President's Day but I asked Mom when the dogs in the White House have their day and she didn't know. So I decided that today should be President's Dog's Day. 

I did a little research and found that most of our Presidents have lived with dogs. Some had it better than others, though. Let's start at the beginning, George Washington is credited with founding the American Foxhound. He used some Coonhounds and bred them to use for hunting. I don't know if he ever had a favorite or a house pup. He had some weird names for his dogs, Drunkard, Tipler and Tipsy. Do you think old George had a problem?
John Adams, who is related to our mom, was the first pres to live in the White House. He had several mixed breed dogs including Satan and Juno. His wife Abigail once wrote, " If you love me... you must love my dog." Our Mom feels the same way.

Thomas Jefferson had some Briards which are herding dogs. They worked his flock and also lived in the house with him. They didn't get to live in the White House, but stayed home at Monticello, which is a pretty nice place to live.
Hey Woos, James Madison had a Siberian Husky.

Abraham Lincoln had a yellow dog named Fido. When the Lincolns moved to Washington, Mr Lincoln paid a family to take good care of his dog back in Illinois and insisted that the dog live in the house. When Mr Lincoln died, Fido went to watch the funeral procession go by.
James Buchanan and Ulysses Grant and Rutherford Hayes all had Newfoundlands. That's a lot of dog.
Listen up, Ruby and Mitch and Molly, all these Presidents had Airedales, Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge.

Calvin Coolidge must have really liked dogs, he had lots of them including a couple of white Collies named Rob Roy and Prudence.
Herbert Hoover had a bunch of dogs, too. This one is King Tut, a Belgian Shepherd.
Franklin Roosevelt had several dogs but the most famous one was Fala, a Scottie.
Dwight Eisenhower had a Weimaraner named Heidi.
John Kennedy had a whole bunch of dogs, maybe as many as we have. Maybe the best known was Charlie, a Welsh Terrier.
Lyndon Johnson 's best known dogs are his Beagles, Him and Her, but he also had a Mutt names Yuki that his daughter found roaming at a gas station.
Richard Nixon had Checkers, a Cocker Spaniel and King Timahoe, an Irish Setter.
Gerald Ford had Liberty, a Golden Retriever.
Jimmy Carter had an Afghan Hound named Lewis Brown, but I don't think he ever lived at the White House.

Ronald Regan had Rex, a King Charles Spaniel.
George H.W. Bush had Millie, a Springer Spaniel.
Bill Clinton had Buddy, a chocolate Lab.
George W Bush had Barney and  Miss Beazley, a couple of Scotties.
And guess what. The current canine residents of the White House look just like us. That's because they're our cousins. Both Bo and Sunny Obama are Portuguese Water Dogs. 
We know that they're loved because they get to play ball with the President .....
And they sit on the First Lady's lap for story time.
 We think we might like to visit the White house, to run in the big halls and swim in the fountains, but we think we'd rather live here together with our Mom and Dad. Happy President's Dog's Day to all of you in Blogville.

Your pal, Fudge

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Special Day

Happy Valentines Day to all our Blogville friends.
Now for the really special part of the day.

Happy birthday, Fudge.
Fudge is nine today but you'd never know it. He acts like a silly puppy most of the time.
We did convince him to sit with us for a little while, but he was much too busy to stay still for long.

Then the big truck man came with a special box for Fudge.
It was from our friends at Chewy and it had a special treat for the birthday boy.
These are TidNips by Canidae.
They're a soft chewy treat and they got 40 paws up from this crowd. Everyone agreed they were great and are to be added to our treat list. Thanks Chewy.
Happy Birthday to a special boy from all who love him.