Valuable Lesson

Sunday evening, I found myself wide awake in the middle of the night. While I tried to get to sleep, I heard River make a noise every now and then. After a few times of hearing her, I turned on the light. She looked at me, as if nothing was wrong. So, I turned the light off.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_e601

She repositioned herself. I started to pet her and she rolled over so I could rubbed her belly. She seemed perfectly content.

Not long after, the noise came back. Then, finally, she got up and acted like she was leaving the room. Finally, I decided to see if she had to go out.

Boy did she ever. As soon as she knew I was getting out of bed, she raced down the stairs and proceeded to do her morning ritual of running around the living room and throwing herself at the door. I was barely able to put on my shows, put on her leash and grab a flashlight, she was so excited.

As soon as we got outside, I knew why. She had to go. And it wasn’t normal – she had doggy diarrhea.

Poor pup.

I went into “Dog Watch” mode. All night, I kept an eye on her, only having to take her out one more time. In the morning, she seemed ok, but I worked a short day to be on the safe side.

For the first time since owning dogs, I fasted River for 24 hours since her last meal to help give her system time to settle down. Once that time was up, I started her on rice and chicken.

She seemed perfectly normal. No more problems.

Then, I made a huge mistake.

On Wednesday morning, I assumed she was fine. So I started to re-introduce her to her normal food. I did this and went off to work.

I came home to a mess. I’m sure most people would have just sold the house instead of cleaning it up. … OK, it wasn’t that bad, but there was a lot of diarrhea to clean up.

Much to her disappointment, I re-started the process – which meant a fast until 24 hours after her last meal. The next day, I worked from home so I could keep an eye on her and feed her small meals of chicken and rice throughout the day. She wasn’t thrilled with these small meals, but at least she seemed to be improving.

I learned a valuable lesson – never rush a dog recovering from GI issues. And never re-introduce normal food (even a little) and leave for the day.

This time around, she’ll be eating chicken and rice for at least a few days. (Thanfully, she isn’t complaining about the chicken.)

Scaring the neighbors

I never let River out alone – she runs off, even when I do watch her. It has been a whole two weeks since she did.

I let my guard down.

I was chatting with the neighbor kids, who had recently said good bye to their own dog Bo. I was distracted – River took advantage and slipped out of the fence as quickly as she could.

I ran after, not locking the fence behind. Usually, I catch up before she had gone too far.

This time, I couldn’t keep up and I started to worry about Bear trying to follow us.

River slipped into a yard and disappeared.

I couldn’t see the house anymore and decided to return to check on Bear and fetch a leash.

As I did so, I came across a Mom and kid walking their two small dogs. They heard the commotion and was scared. They asked me to walk with them.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_e5dcNot sure what River would do, because I really don’t know, I asked them to come with me while I checked on Bear. And promised to walk them home.

Bear was safely on the deck. Confused. But safe.

I ran inside, grabbed a leash, locked Bear inside and took off in search of River. And tried to re-assure the Mom all was okay.

Halfway down the road, River greeted us.

She was easy to catch, but the Mom wasted no time continuing on her way home. As soon as I leashed River, I knelt down in relief to having her under control. I glanced around and saw the Mom and her pups scurry to their home. I’m still not sure into which house, they just wanted as far away from the loose dog as possible. I couldn’t blame them. I couldn’t re-assure them River was safe. And she just wanted to be out on a nice stroll with her dogs.

River has escaped enough times to scare me into something I don’t want – better fencing. Tomorrow’s task will be setting up a new barrier for her. We will see if it works.

Until then, I’m pretty sure a walk of penance is in order. If not for her, for me. The neighbors shouldn’t be scared of her. And I at least owe them an apology. If I can find them.

Shelter from the 70s

I realize it has been awhile since River has had the spotlight.

She realizes this too.

So, here is a “Where’s River?” picture:

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_e4e0

More often than not, when I can’t find River, she is hiding in the “Junk Room”. Admit it – you have one too – the room where you just put stuff in until you can’t even walk in yourself.

River LOVES this room. She routinely finds shelter in it – usually behind the rocking chair straight out of the 70s.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_8269

Finally – Proof!

I finally have it: proof River is influencing Bear.

At first, Bear just looked comfortable.

unadjustednonraw_thumb_e48b

But something seemed off.

I took a step back to see if anything stuck out.

unadjustednonraw_thumb_e48a

At first, I missed it.

Then I noticed.

He’s sleeping just like River.

unadjustednonraw_thumb_e48d

 

First thing in the morning

Some mornings, I wake up to this:

unadjustednonraw_thumb_e47f

At least it is quickly modified to this:

unadjustednonraw_thumb_e483

Despite the “in my face nature”, I do find it rather adorable.

unadjustednonraw_thumb_e485

Yoga Dog

River has this really weird thing she does – she twists and contorts her body until she is comfortable. At first, I thought nothing of it. But she has continued to do it and now Bear is starting to do it as well. I can only guess, it is her odd way of doing yoga.

unadjustednonraw_thumb_806f

Old dogs deserve comfy beds

I never thought much about dog beds. Then I realized I had senior dogs. Then I thought a lot about dog beds. I went the extra mile, and got extra comfy beds for my senior dogs. (Or what I thought were extra comfy beds.)

Flash forward to couple of weeks ago. I noticed Bear hadn’t been using the beds that much. River uses the couch, but Bear spends more time on the floor than the bed. I was curious about this, so I went over to one of the beds and sat on it. When I first got it it was comfy. Now, my boney butt sank right to the floor. I bet to Bear, laying on the bed was no different than laying on the floor.

I was a bit disappointed – I spent decent money on those beds. But in reality, they were just overrated egg crate foam.

Just by chance, something popped up in my FB feed – a high end dog bed seller was having a fundraiser for rescues. I started thinking, and researching and decided to go all in on a new bed for Bear. And, it was nice to know part of the proceeds would go to a good cause. I even picked a rescue specifically for senior dogs.

It was a lot more than I’d ever admit spending on a dog bed. But it has a 10 year warranty – all the dog beds I’ve owned in that time won’t equal the cost. And, I know for a fact I feel better on a good bed. Senior dogs with achey joints have got to feel the same way.

I was excited when the dog bed arrived, hoping it would live up to the hype. Bear and River were also excited.

img_0053

The box was relatively small, given how big the bed is. But, it is made of memory foam and I’m always impressed how compressed it can be.

img_0054

River was VERY excited about the bed. (She was a bit disappointed when I told her it was for Bear.)img_0055

After all the unwrapping, the bed expanded to its normal size. Seriously? How did they fit that in the box?

img_0056

Once I put it where Bear’s old bed was, River promptly made herself at home. Non-confrontational Bear found a spot on the floor.img_0060

It didn’t take long before Bear found his way up onto the bed.

img_0061

And let’s just say…img_0063

I think he enjoys it.

img_0065

And, for comparison, here’s the old bed next to the new one – doesn’t come close to matching size, comfort or quality.img_0070

(Some things are worth the cost.)

Meet the AmStaff mix

img_0354I’ve only every had mutts. I’ve never had much interest to know what they are made of. Josie was particularly interesting, and during her many trips to various vets I heard lots of suggestions about what she could possibly be. But unfortunately, I’ll never know.

After being inspired, I decided to do DNA tests on Bear and River. Mostly for fun. But a part of me was really curious about River. A neighbor down the street swears she is a Boxer/Point – something I don’t see. So I figured it would be fun to see if he was right.

I’m still waiting on Bear’s results, but River’s are in. And the neighbor was wrong. She’s got American Staffordshire Terrier (mostly), Australian Shepherd and Labrador Retriever in her, and trace amounts of lots of other stuff.

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-7-28-52-pm

Can’t wait for Bear’s results. In the meantime, meet my AmStaff mix – aka a MUTT: River.

The brat

img_1059River is officially a brat.

If I leave her out of her crate when I take Bear to work, there is a good chance she’ll pee and/or poop on the floor. Easy fix – lock her up.

But on Friday, I was in the backyard with the two dogs. Bear got sick and while I was tending to him River decided to explore the neighborhood.

She didn’t get far, but I wasn’t very happy about having to run after her while Bear was so sick.

Looks like I need another solution to try to thwart her escape attempts.