Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Change Of Pace

 Happy National Dog Day. Isn't every day national dog day? Around here it is.

Last week when I heard Morgan's diagnosis, I made a decision to make some easy changes in her routines. One of the most difficult challenges I have now is getting her to eat enough. The only thing she consistently likes is her 'milkshake', so now she's getting one in the morning as well as her evening treat. I've also tried to find things with a strong smell or taste that will cut thru her fog and tempt her. Bacon is always popular but I don't want to cook bacon daily. We've done sardines and they were very popular. Strong cheese and other fishy treats mixed into her kibble have helped keep her interested in her dinner.

Last night another old trick worked. I was preparing Mackey's dinner and taking some dog food out of a little bag for her. I noticed that Morgan was watching me very closely. I offered her a couple pieces of the kibble from the little bag and she ate them right up. Then I remembered that dogs equate food in little bags with special treats. I fed her some more and she remained interested. I was doing a couple other things so I asked Rob to continue feeding her the 'special treats' and she finished the bag.
So tonight I'll refill the treat bag with kibble and see if she'll fall for it again. I've used this trick before and it almost always works.
I've started Morgan on the new supplements that Dr B recommended but it'll take some time before we know if they're helping.

Another problem we've had is sleep issues. She's been sleeping hard during the day, then wakes at 2AM and paces for hours. I've decided to put a gate across the steps so she won't fall while pacing. I also wanted to see if we could reverse her sleep pattern. I've been trying to stimulate her during the day to keep her awake and more interested in her surroundings. She no longer is interested in toys, but does like to go onto the deck and watch the other dogs play in the back yard. We've also started taking her on short walks during the day and at least once in the evening. When I say short, I really mean short. We go from the street light at the corner of our property to the garage door and back. These walks take some time because she walks very slowly, but I think the exercise is important for her.

I'm happy to report that this all seems to be paying off. Saturday night she woke up at 2. I took her outside, then allowed her to pace for about ten minutes. Then I took her back to her bed and she went back to sleep. Sunday ,Monday and Tuesday nights she slept thru and didn't do any pacing. I don't know how all this will play out, but we'll do our best.

My Grandfather always told me that to train a dog, first you had to be smarter than the dog. Lately I've wondered if I am, but I do have a few tricks up my sleeve and so far , so good.


Bella Roxy & Macdui said...

Sounds like you're one step ahead of her! The dogs always get kibble at the river. It is usually the breakfast of one of the dogs who refuses to eat it at home. However, at the river, she's into the food with the others. Love your 'treat bag' idea.

Hailey and Zaphod and their Lady said...

Glad you were able to get her to eat and to get her to sleep (so you could sleep). Hope this continues!

rottrover said...

I like that treat bag idea, too. Ruby and I have been going on SHORT walks, too, after she eats to let gravity help her food go down. We go about 5 houses up the street - on a good day - and she loves sniffing and watching. One day we even saw a cat!! She just stood and looked, but she seemed to really enjoy it! We ol' gals have to stick together!

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

Oh my goodness, great ideas with good results - you are so smart!!! How about getting some of that precooked bacon? Just take out what you need each day.

Your little walks remind me of my last days with Phantom - he so wanted to walk, he didn't care how short, just to feel like he was still doing it:)

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

Pee Ess - Lightning has no trouble at all getting up and down from the coolaroo - it is route around the table when he is trying to get away from me:)

Foley Monster, Pocket and River Song said...

You are doing a wonderful job with her. When you have a special needs dog you become so close to them. Sending blessings to you both

Molly the Airedale said...

Your mom loves you, Morgan♥ Keep up the great work!

Lapdog Creations said...

Great idea on the little bag refilled with kibble... you're right, little bags and also treat jars = must be good.
As for bacon, give it a whirl in the microwave... no mess, cooks a bit faster too!

Ruby said...

Ma used that kibble thing with my predecessor, Angel Annie. She couldn't have any treats at all, because she had such bad colitis, so the only thing we could safely feed her was her kibble. Ma would keep a jar of kibble on the table and give her one instead of treaties. I, however, know the difference between my kibbles and a tasty mouthwatering yummy COOKIE!!! And, I heard Ma say something like if Gpa doesn't stop feeding me 'secret treaties', all the treaties are goin' out of the house!!! WHAT??!!! What is this craziness??!!! So, i'm a FEW pounds (six or seven or eight...) overweight! Is the Treat Police really necessary??!! Geesh. Oh..sorry....went a little off the road there....
Anyhu, I loves that idea, and I'm super duper glads that my Sista is eating her foodables!!!
Ruby ♥
{{{hugs Miss Morgan}}}

SissySees said...

Morgan is so very lucky to have you in her life. You are an inspiring dog-ma and we are all so lucky you share your wisdom and tricks with us. We think of you and your pack every time we cross our paws!