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finding a hobby or a job… for the dog

4 Feb

So my high energy dog needs a hobby or a job. Behavior training is just not enough. He has been there, done that and is ready to move on.
I investigated around town for specialty training and it is a tie between nose tracking and agility. I am not sure which one will be better, I hope one will work.
It is hard to know what to do exactly as he won’t tell me his preference. I am going to give him a shot at both. I think the other dogs will like it too, they will train along side of him at home.

Hopefully I will have an update.

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Calculating dog to human age How old are they really?

12 Jun

 

It always seems to me  like a dog ages in behavior/personality (capacity?) in the following way:

0 – 6 months upto a human 1 year old

6 months – 2 years – human toddler (2 – 4 years old)

2 years – 5 years human teenager

5 years – 9 years human adult

9 years on – human senior

 What have you found?

 

This is an excerpt that I found from an excellent and fun article.  Gayle did a nice job on this. 

DOGS
By Gayle Hickman

Aging is much faster during a dog’s first two years but varies among breeds. Large breeds, while they mature quicker, tend to live shorter lives. By the time they reach 5 they are considered “senior” dogs. Medium-sized breeds take around seven years to reach the senior stage, while small and toy breeds do not become seniors until around 10.

Many veterinarians agree that a pretty good guess on the age of pets can be made using the following formula. Although still simple, it is much more accurate than the seven-year method.

Assume that a 1-year-old dog is equal to a 12-year-old human and a 2-year-old dog is equal to a 24-year old human. Then add four years for every year after that. (Example: A 4-year-old dog would be 32 in human years.)

Since this method takes into consideration the maturity rate at the beginning of a dog’s life and also the slowing of the aging process in his later years, Martha Smith, director of veterinary services at Boston’s Animal Rescue League, feels that this is the more accurate calculation formula. Here is a chart, for easy reference:


 

A dog’s average lifespan is around 12 or 13 years, but again, this varies widely by breed. The larger your dog is, the less time it will live. Female dogs tend to live a little longer.

Dog emergency – Poison

4 Jan

Well, fun times for the holidays.  I went out to have lunch with a friend.  As the crazy times of the holidays were in full swing, I unfortunately had to cut my luncheon short due to an appointment that was rescheduled at the last-minute.  So as I returned home, and I walked in through the door I looked around and saw the family puttering along and the dogs lounging throughout the room.  I looked down on the floor so see a mutilated yellow box that I know contained mouse poison! 

Oh no!!!! I have a real challenge here.  No one saw which dog it was, no dog was confessing, the door bell was ringing, the kids were beginning to understand this situation, I got the vet office on the phone….chaos insued

The first thing I was told to do in induce vomiting in all dogs.  I had no idea which dog it was, so they all needed to be checked.  How do you accomplish that task?  Have them drink a tiny amount of hydrogen peroxide.  So as fast as we could, we all grabbed a dog (4 of them) and began to have them ingest the peroxide.  It was difficult to say the least.  I didn’t know a dog could spit…but they can.  We got the appropriate amount into each of them, and then put them in the back yard.  I spent the next 10 minutes following them around so when they did up chuck I could look at it to see if there was evidence of the poison.  3 of the 4 dogs got sick and all 3 were free of any poison.  The last one, the smallest, refused to throw up.  I call the vet back and they said to run him and gently shake him.  So we did.  We,  as gently as we could,  shook him like a soda bottle and ran him up and down the drive way.  He is only 10 pounds.  He would not vomit.  So, as a process of elimination I grabbed the empty box of poison and the dog and went to the emergency vet clinic. 

Within minutes they were able to induce vomiting with a single injection.  He was the guilty party, he ate the entire contents of the box.  Fortunately he only had it in him for about an hour, so there is no harm.  We were all Blessed for the timing of everything and that he didn’t hide the container.  The vet said that most dogs come to them when the symptoms begin to manifest, then it can be too late.  We were given medicine for the next few weeks and a bill of health. 

Wow, crazy stuff and I am glad it is over with a happy ending.  Now I know what to do if it ever happens again.  Also I have eliminated any other mouse poisons from my house!

Christmas for the doggies

21 Dec

Seems kinda like they have Christmas all year.  At least on their terms.  Walks, belly rubs, back yard inspections, fence barking, chasing anything in their domain, and not to mention full run of the house.  There are bones, table treats, cushiony things to lay on…or chew, and of course so many markings….so little time.

Regardless of all that fun, and endless sleeping times, I feel compelled to get the canine companions a Christmas gift.  I certainly don’t want them to feel left out.  I can’t have that now…

So as I look at the stores and what they offer I begin to thing – hmmmm perhaps something home-made would be better appreciated.  Afterall mommies loving hands made it.  So I go to the other store and look at what it takes to make a cushion, all the parts and pieces and then add up the time.  Then I think…dogs don’t have the ‘its home-made from you -so I appreciate it more’ gene.  They have the I want to ‘sniff, lick, then gobble’ gene. They also have the I want to ‘run with, chase, bark, roll, and tug’ gene.   Or the I want to “sniff, mark, destroy, then bury’ gene.  So my gift needs to be more fitting.

So more rope, rubber tires, chewy yummy (home made) dog treats, and a blanket… again.  They don’t know why they are getting it, or why the house is turned upside down with human activity…but they are happy as can be to get what they have received.  Now if they would just leave the christmas tree upright and the ornaments in tact!

 

post surgery cones

14 Nov

So is there anything funnier than the canine post surgical head cone?  That funny shaped plastic protection. 

I know it is necessary and it actually does protect the surgical site.  My dog’s eyelid had a procedure, so it is very important to protect the suture.  But…..I can’t help but giggle at the sight of that cone.

He bumps into everything.  He tips the water and food bowls over every time.  I am happy to clean it up without complaining.  (not big enough not to laugh).  He drags it on the ground while smelling things, looks like a vacuum hose when he is face down to the ground. 

He went outside and enjoyed the nice weather, sitting stoically on the ground…with the cone.  HAHAHAHA!! He was sooo cute. 

It does drive him nuts.  I can tell his frustration from hitting into the walls and stairs as he is walking around.  He bumps into everything, and it has to be tiring for him.  He is being good-natured and is just moving forward…so to speak.    I am happy his surgery went well.  I am glad he is healthy.  What a blessing!!  I can tell you that it is a bit funny, knowing that he is ok, so watch the cone of healing.

 

 

Dog having surgery

11 Nov

Well, as it goes you can’t have 4 dogs without one of them needing some medical something or the other.  My dogs are young and healthy.  I have never been one to spend a lot on medications and treatments, but sometimes when it is necessary – it needs to be done.  I do the time left probabilities, quality of life potential vs cost ratio.  I hope I don’t have to use that formula on family members, because I have gotten good with the formula.  (just saying…)

So needless to say the puggle has a cyst on his eye lid.  It looks miserable.  He is young (4), otherwise healthy and this should be a quick surgery and repair.  No rehab, a little pain med and a funny plastic neck helmet for a few days – back to normal.  Now the doc wanted me to send the removed tissue to get lab worked for cancer.  On my family, of course I would do this.  I’m not so convinced it is a good idea with a dog. 

I have 2 family members that had dogs with cancer.  Both rather young.  One was aggressively treated the other just pain meds.  The out come was the same, except the non treated one went a bit sooner.  She was also discovered soooo late staged.  It is outrageously sad.  I can’t think about the potential loss of my dear canine companions.  It pains me to try to write this thought process out.  I have never had a human tell me that the treatment for cancer they have survived was a piece of cake.  That it was no big deal.  I understand that if you catch this early then odds are in your favor.  But at least humans have better meds, treatments, testing, and better insurance coverage.  Even with pet insurance – is it worth it?  Perhaps.

Its an uncomfortable concept, and one I don’t think I am faced with.  I lean against putting an animal that I love so dearly through the ringer.  I think in this case(when it is a pet), where something may be aggressive and painful, maybe making good memories and best remaining times is more compassionate.  Sometimes not knowing is better.  Perhaps just foolish. 

I hope he recovers without a hitch.  Cyst’s can grow back easily.  So I hope there is a good long term outcome for his eye.  Here is hoping for one of those routine deals that we forget about in a few weeks.

Training dogs vs training humans

31 Oct

Well Banjo has been sprung from the po po.  woo hoo.  lol…lot o O’s. 

Let’s just say it has been an interesting first few days.  Here is how it went down:

 

Sunday 9 am Banjo’s mom arrives at the kennel.  Trainer/Parent review and education ensues.  Banjo is doing quite well.  Obeys, wants to please, is happy, and understands what is happening.  All is good.

11:00 am Banjo arrives home for the first time in 6 weeks.  He is greeted by his pack with good will, there is joy and happiness.  No other human is home but me.  It is peaceful and fun. 

3 pm a new dog arrives to live with us.  He is accepted smoothly with no issues. 

 

From that moment on the rest of the evening is smooth as glass.  Fun, obedient, orderly.  All is great.  And then….

Monday morning.  I leave out of town for two days on business.  I arrive at 9 am from my flight to the phone ringing off the hook.  Banjo and one other dog have run off.  No where to be found.  Family is either late for work or school.  I tell them to just go and hope the dogs will be ok.  11 am, I get a call from a local animal hospital that they have my dogs.  Some good Samaritan picked them up and brought them in.  I either needed to come get them, or the police would be called. 

Great…I’m 1000 miles away, everyone is at work or school….ugh.  I got hold of someone who was able to get them and lock them up at home.  Ok, that is great.  All is well.  I give specific instruction on how to manage Banjo and the other dog.  Commands, not suggestions! 

Monday night, 8 pm…the phone rings.  Do I really want to answer it?  Sigh…  Guess what one of the dogs (possible 2 dogs) have made a biological mess of my carpet – at epic proportions.  So bad no one will clean it.  Literally.  It was waiting for me when I got home.  It was horrible. 

I get home, I organize the dogs and suddenly there is peace.  They are all 4 laying at my feet sleeping and content.  I say come they come, I say down they lay down.  No barking, fighting, or messes in the house. 

So I call the trainer.  She is going to set time aside to come visit the humans and train them.  The dogs get it.  The humans do not.  So, human training 101 will begin next week.  Hopefully we can get this right.

Good luck to us.