Thursday, April 28, 2016

And The Winner Is...

You may remember that a few weeks ago we received a huge box of goodies from our friends the Lapdogs and Chewy. Inside were two new toys, a lobster and a moose. Sebastian was so happy to receive the lobster. It may be his first new toy of his very own and he's very gentle with his toys. The other toy was a moose.
 Fudge claimed the moose.
Fudge likes toys. He carries them around and teases the other dogs with them. He also sleeps with a stuffed lion each night.

Fudge like toys that fight back.
 They sometimes put up quite a struggle.
 In this case the winner was the most persistent pest in the house.... Mackey.
Patience pays off again.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Stormy Weather

You may have heard on the news that the midwest was due for storms yesterday and today. Yesterday it did get dark and windy but except for one quick thunderstorm in the late afternoon, nothing much happened. It seems that around here the bad weather is sneaky and likes to appear during the night time hours. At 2:17 this morning a clap of thunder woke me. The dogs woke and found different sleeping spots, but didn't get too excited.

When I first went outside this morning, it was obvious that we'd gotten some heavy rain, but except for a lot of small sticks in the yard, there was no damage. Then I noticed this two houses up the street.
This used to be a pretty big tree.
Here's the rest of it.
But on the other hand, you know what April showers bring.
 Today has been sunny and warm, a lovely day with a strong breeze. We're told that more storms are in the area, so we'll see what tonight brings.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Momma's Little Helper

Noah is a Momma's boy. It's Ok, nobody teases him and I enjoy the fact that he wants to always be with me, no matter what I may be doing. Sometimes I feel a little sorry for him because he has to make hard choices.
This morning I went upstairs to take a shower and Noah came with me as he always does. He settles  down next to the bathroom door and waits for me. I had just stepped out of the shower when I heard Rob call the dogs to go outside. Noah looked toward the door and looked at me and I knew he was torn. I told him it was OK to go and he started toward the door but turned and came back to stay with me. Then he heard the dogs in the back yard and ran to the window to watch them. I felt really sad for him, so I dressed fast and took him into the front yard on leash. He loves being on leash and danced all around the yard.

When we came inside, the others were still out, so I decided to let my little buddy help with our Chewy review. This is the item we're taste testing, Sojos Good Dog treats. I chose the blueberry cobbler flavor because blueberries are good for all of us. Lucy and Morgan both ate blueberries in season and took blueberry capsules the rest of the time. Besides being good antioxidants, they're excellent for the brain and those two were having some brain fade toward the end of their lives.
These treats are wheat and corn free with no artificial preservatives. The ingredients are oat flour, rolled oats, blueberries, canola oil, vanilla, eggs and honey. All good stuff.

So how do they taste? Let's ask Noah.

Yes please, I'd like to try one.
 That was so good. Could I have another one?

 Noah thought they were wonderful and I'm sure the others will all agree. They're tiny little bone shaped treats and I have a special purpose for them. My pack started getting bad about coming in after their last outing at night and I had to grab a flashlight and round them up, so I started a new routine. Anyone who came in as soon as I called got a special tiny little treat. At first I was using Zuke's minis, but the trick worked so well that we ran out. Now everyone but Bailey comes in without even being called and occasionally even Bailey remembers and comes in for a treat. These little treats will be perfect for out late night 'come in' treats.

Chewy sent us this cute little box of tasty treats at no cost to us in exchange for our honest opinion.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Chewy Brings Us A Surprise

When I received this month's Chewy review selections, there was a brand I was unfamiliar with, so I did some research. I was more than pleasantly surprised with the results  and I'll share them with you.
The brand of dog food was Wild Calling. I had never heard of them and before I feed anything to my pack, I want to know where, what and why.
Wild Calling makes both kibble and canned food. They are a family owned company based in Colorado, USA. They got started when Tim Petersen, a dog food distributor, his wife, two grown sons  and daughter wanted a food for their family dog and didn't find what they wanted on the store shelves. It took years to come up with the right formula with the right nutrients, but they did it.

Now here is the very best part. If you have a dog with special dietary needs, this may be the food for you. When a dog shows signs of a food allergy or sensitivity, the vet usually suggests a food with a unique protein source.  My vet tells me that the three most common food sensitivities are beef, wheat and dairy.

In our case, Fudge and Noah have both become sensitive to beef. Noah can eat chicken, but Fudge can't. We solved the problem by feeding duck, a protein that neither boy had ever had before and tolerated well.

The problem arises when the dog can't eat any of the common protein sources and here is where Wild Calling comes in. All their food is 100% grain free and 96% meat. None of their sources come from China. They offer many unique protein sources so that even the most sensitive tummy should find one that works. They offer the usual beef and chicken, but also turkey, rabbit, buffalo, salmon, duck, elk, lamb, pork, alligator and kangaroo. They also have some combos. They have added liver to each of their foods and show on their site and their containers that the salmon and triple delight combo both contain chicken liver, for those with a chicken issue.

So armed with all this info, I ordered Wild Calling Rainbow River for my girls to try. It's 96% salmon.
 Here are my observations.
First, I love the label designs.
Second, I expected it to be more pink in color. Back to the web site to find that adding liver tones down the pink color. OK.
Third, it was very wet and somewhat mushy. I'm used to canned food being fairly firm. I learned that this is because it's 96% meat and no fillers. OK.
Fourth, it smells!! Fortunately I feed in the garage because this smelled really fishy. The whole garage seemed to smell fishy. It's 96 % fish, duh!!!

So what did my girls think? I set the bowls down and picked up my camera, but by the time I turned it on, Tess was the only one who hadn't finished. I guess they liked it. They liked it A LOT. And so did I. I'm not sure how I'd like the fishy smell in the morning, but for an evening meal, it was fine.
If you have a dog with food sensitivities, check out Wild Calling. You might find an easy answer to a tough problem and I think your dog will thank you.

As usual, Chewy sent us a case of Wild Calling Salmon at no cost to us, in exchange for our honest review.

Friday, April 15, 2016

All's Well That Ends Well

On Wednesday we had a visit with Dr B. It was time for a recheck on Sydney's shoulder. First he watched her walk, then he felt her shoulder and moved her leg a little. He said that the joint must have popped back into the socket and the swelling was down. When I asked how I could prevent this happening again, he told me not to worry. He said it was a freak accident and she probably couldn't do it again if she tried. You can imagine how relieved I was to hear that.

So now Syd can run free again. She is very happy about that decision.

Next up was Fudge. He had all his sutures removed and all the incisions looked really good. There is still one area of his tail that I have to watch. I also have a gel to apply to it to help the hair follicles keep from getting infected again. Fudge is delighted to get rid of the hat he's worn for  two weeks and doesn't mind my treating his tail twice a day.
Today Tess, Bailey, Noah and Mackey had their second flu shots, so now the whole pack is protected. All is well in Portieland tonight.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Getting Better

Well, we all made it thru the weekend. Believe me, at times it wasn't easy, but now that we're a few days into our health disasters, we're all doing better. Sebastian's eye is back to normal and he's happy that I'm not putting those awful drops in it anymore.
Fudge is getting around just fine. He really wants me to take his hat off, but I know he'll mess with his stitches if I do, so it stays on. The only incision that has really  bothered him so far is the one on his face. He keeps trying to rub it on the furniture.

Then there's Sydney. The vet said it might take eight to ten days before she put her foot down, but not only is she putting it down, but starting yesterday, she's walking on it. She may be little, but boy is she tough! We know how much damage she did to her shoulder, even if she doesn't know or care, so she's still on bed rest and will remain so until her checkup. We're trying to decide how to prevent this from happening again and so far haven't come up with any good ideas.
 Now for all of you in the north and east who are getting winter weather again, here's a glimpse into your future.
 My crabapple trees are gorgeous this year.
 Lola is just enjoying the beauty of spring.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Three Strikes and You're Out

Did you ever run away from home when you were a kid? I did. I was about four and got mad about something. I packed a suitcase with a book, my doll and a peanut butter sandwich and left. We lived in the country and I wasn't allowed to cross the street, so I put my suitcase down at the end of the driveway and sat on it for what must have been hours. OK, it was actually about five minutes, but it sure seemed like hours. I guess in that time my anger dissipated and I went back inside and unpacked. Well, today I again had the urge to run away. It's been a rough week in Portieville.

Strike 1....
Thursday morning I let the dogs into the back yard as I prepared their breakfast. Then they all came in to eat but I got that sense that something was wrong. I took a good look at Sebastian and saw that the white part of his left eye was swollen on the inside corner. It was also turning a lovely shade of pink. I took him upstairs to show Rob and by then it was even more swollen and looked truly awful. He was also trying to rub his eye with his paw which couldn't be good. I'm squeamish about eyes, so Rob took him to the clinic. Dr B  wasn't in that day but Dr M stained his eye to check for scratches. There were none but it appeared that the tear duck was blocked.
We're using a steroidal eye drop three times a day and today his eye looks pretty normal.

Strike 2.....
Friday was a big day for Fudge. Early in the morning we dropped him off for surgery. He was being neutered and this stud tail was being addressed. I also pointed out three growths to Nurse Sara and said to show them to Dr B. I left it up to him whether to remove them or not. I came home and paced. When I pace, my pack paces with me so it was an unsettling morning. I got a call in the late morning that Fudge had come thru surgery very well, his blood pressure and oxygen levels had remained good and he was starting to wake up.

At 4 when we picked him up the doctor gave me the good and bad news. First, he had removed the three growths, one on his back, one on his chest and one on the side of his face. They were all OK. He had performed the neuter and it went well, but there was a tumor in one testicle. It may be what was causing his recent personality changes. It was completely removed and should cause no further problems.
 The tail is a different matter. The correct term for this condition is supracaudal gland hyperplasia. It's an infection in the scent glands at the base of the tail. In un-neutered dogs (and cats) the gland can be overstimulated by hormones and as in Fudge's case adenomas can form. If left unattended these can become malignant. Fudge had an adenoma and Dr B wanted to remove it. The problem is that the tail is a tight area, not a lot of extra skin to work with. He removed the adenoma and as much of the bad skin as possible leaving enough to close the incision, but he's not sure he got it all. He and Dr M both looked at it and just can't be sure. We're hoping it's gone and his tail will heal and because the hormones supporting the tumor aren't an issue any longer, that his tail will be fine from now on. BUT, there's always a but, if the adenoma starts returning, probably withing the next three months, Fudge will become a bob-tailed Portie. The only way to protect him will be to dock his tail. This doesn't please anyone, but you do what you have to do.

Strike 3....
Sydney, my crazy dog, is totally obsessed with squirrels. When she sees a squirrel, she doesn't see or hear anything but that squirrel. This morning after the other dogs were fed, I went outside to call Syd in for breakfast. She was staring at the tree and yes, there was a squirrel on the branch. I called her but she didn't even glance at me. The squirrel began to run thru the trees and onto the back fence with Syd in hot pursuit. I heard the thud when she hit the fence and I heard the scream of pain.
Rob rushed Syd to the clinic while I stayed home with the other invalids. When they returned after almost three hours, I heard the news. She has a partial dislocation of the right shoulder and she hit so hard that she ruptured a blood vessel. She's now on pain meds and is getting complete crate rest. She only goes out on leash to potty, then back to bed.

Does anyone want to adopt me?