Monday, December 14, 2009

Two Random Photos


He's not spoiled at all

Photographic proof they don't hate each other!

Sharing the same chair

Curled up on the same bed

Lucky using Indy as a head rest

Yeah, we're pretty chill now.

Monday, December 7, 2009

He lost 5 lbs!

Took Lucky to the vet and had him hop up on the scale. It read 47.5lbs. Last month it read 52.5.

It was such a surprise that, when they were ready for us, the vet tech had me re-weigh him. That's a lot of weight to lose in a month's time. And, in an Addison's dog, unexplained weight loss is not a good thing. But, talking with the vet, I think it's 4 things.

1) The Spouse had reduced his food intake this month by nearly 1/2 cup a day
2) They've been better about getting those nightly walks in
3) He and Indy actually play every day now, so there's a lot more activity
4) We just got back from a long weekend up north, which is a lot more activity than normal as well

So I told The Spouse to take his food intake back up to normal. We'll see if he remains at the same weight or not. If he drops again, we'll probably need to run bloodwork to make sure everything is ok.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Grooming Day!

Before they left - hairy beasts with no eyes.


That would be Lucky being his usual gregarious self and Indy absolutely terrified. The Spouse freaked her out because when I opened the door he was crouched down with the camera up - GIANT BLOBBY THING WITH ONE EYE IN THE KITCHEN! AUGH! She tried to run right back out the door.


Tug of war with...a squeaky ball? Whatever works, I guess.

Indy with the remains of the Dino Cuz
(he lacks feet, spines and, after this photo, a tail)

Pretty girl with her new 'do!

Indy curled up by The Spouse, snoring loudly

"Oi! Can you pipe down over there? I'm trying to sleep!"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lucky's last labs

I know it's been a while and I said I was going to post these.

Anyway, we ran a full panel but here are the lytes.. these would be 28-day lytes:

Normal Ranges:141-1564-5.627-40
10/09/09 (28-day):1455.029

So, like the doctor said, "Perfect". And all the rest of his labs - BUN, creatine, glucose, etc. etc - are smack-dab in the middle too.

In other news, if you follow his YouTube channel, you can see that he has decided to forgive us for bringing Indy home. They now play and wrassle and we even had a bit of Sharks this past week.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Lucky wins an award AND is Dog of the Month!

It's an exciting month to be a Lucky Water Dog!

First of all, he is Dog of the Month at his daycare! We got a call at the beginning of the month from the owner to let us know and also to check if we were ok with them mentioning his Addisons (of course). Here's the clip from their website:

Oak Creek, WI October Dog of the Month!Congrats, Lucky! This is Lucky. He is a Portuguese Water Dog, a breed that has recently been in the news. Lucky has been coming to XXXXXXXXXXX almost since we opened 3 years ago amusing us with his PWD antics and fun. A little over a year ago mom and dad noticed that Lucky just wasn’t as energetic as a young PWD should be. They took Lucky to the vet and it was determined that he had Addison’s Disease. Fortunately, this is a treatable condition with medication and in no time Lucky was back to his normal energetic self. Lucky has many friends here in XXXXX and the handlers enjoy his company in the play groups. We are fortunate and happy to have this distinguished dog in our playgroup in XXXXX.
Then today, Lucky got passed an award from his friend Bentley over at Secondhand Scottie for being such a general trooper with all the vet appointments AND coping with the addition of a new sister.

Lucky would like to thank the Academy, his mom and dad for putting up with his crazy PWD antics (countersurf? who me?), his awesome vet, and sends a grudging "Woo-Woo!" out to his little sister, Indy, who isn't quite so bad as he thought but is still annoying on occasion.

Lucky would like to pass this award on to Ace, who is apparently learning to live life on the wild side with the thieving and whom he shares a passion for socks with, and to Jackson, disc dog extraordinaire, who has sent several words of encouragement with regards to getting along with a new weirdo sister.

Monday, October 12, 2009

An Addison's-related post

In a good way. Really, there's not a whole lot to tell. He's been very stable on his new 1mg of prednisone (down from 1.25mg).

Also, we've been slowly lowering his Percorten dose with the goal of getting him down to 1mL. We had our monthly shot yesterday - down to 1.2mL - and sent some blood off to check lytes (which would be 28-day) and liver/kidney function. I don't have the exact numbers just yet - I'm hoping to get them tonight when I pick up his pred refill - but the vet says things look "perfect".

If things continue this way as we drop his dose and if he remains stable on the 1mL we'll hopefully be able to switch to once-a-year bloodwork to test values. Which would be fabulous in many ways, including the bottom line of our pocketbook - lab and medication costs went up.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Trip to the Farmer's Market

Walking in being very well behaved.

People love us. We got lots of pets and greetings.

Wait, wait wait.... is that FOOD?

Mom, PLEASE? Please can't I have some bread?

Another dog!

Black devil dogs, coming to a Farmer's Market near you.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lucky gets a sister

Her name is Indy and she is a large miniature (or small standard) poodle.

He is, as yet, somewhat uncertain about her. They snuggled on the ride home, but once he realized she seemed to be staying, he became rather sketchy.

She needs a bit of work. Her obedience has to be brought up to snuff and we've had a couple growls over toys - only with him so far though. Fortunately she seems responsive enough to a good, firm "EH! EH!" and Lucky, being the awesome dog he is, has no desire to get in a scuffle over any inconsequential item.

I think eventually they'll be good friends. We just have a few bumps to get over.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lucky Dog - bringing the crazy since 2005

Post-swimming zoomies.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lucky swimming up north

I have fifty-zillion videos of him swimming but this is the best one. You couldn't keep him out of the water.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Summer Hair Cut

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Happy Fourth Birthday, Fuzzy Butt!

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday Dear Lucky!
Happy Birthday to you!

Hard to imagine he went from this:

To this:

His birthday was yesterday but I was hoping to have a video of him eatuing his annual ice cream cone. But we didn't make it out last night. Tonight though!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

One year

It's been 1 year since Lucky started first showing signs of Addison's Disease. He was officially diagnosed on June 2nd, but started exhibiting symptoms on May 26th. Funny how quickly that year went by. Now it's routine for that monthly shot and morning "peanut butter pill".

At our vet appointment on Friday he decided he wouldn't oblige us with a stool sample. But the vet thinks it's probably just mild colitis, so we're giving him probiotics to see if that helps.

Otherwise it was your typical Memorial Day weekend. Here's some pics.

Lucky's favorite spot

Lucky in the garden

Another Lucky shot

I also have a video I need to upload, once I finish editing it. I tried getting it done yesterday but the software kept crashing on me. But the wait will be worth it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Monthly Vet Appointment

Another month, another Percorten injection.

Today we're sending along a fecal. He's been having the occasional loose stools this week and I want to rule out the Return of Giardia or other form of parasite.

I think I also want her to check his glands. He's been scooting more than normal - whether due to the loose stools or not, I don't know. He is not going to be a happy puppy. He's pretty much used to the shots but rectals get tongue-flicks galore. Poor pook.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Quick update and then PHOTOS!

First, Lucky seems to have snapped part of the crown of one of his pre-molars off on a hand-me-down bone. On the downside, we can't get it x-rayed without having him put under anesthesia. On the upside, it doesn't seem to be bothering him at all.

Otherwise his Addison's is perfectly under control.

And now on to the photos! The first few are from Big Black Dog Sleepover Two, where we had Ozzie for 2 weeks.

Good dogs laying down

Lucky taking over Ozzie's bed

Random photos of Lucky lounging (he is so cush)

Doing work in the garden:

Working on his "Presidential Dog" image. Very noble (ha!).

Monday, April 13, 2009

Upset Stomach or Potential Crisis?

Vomiting, excessive thirst, diarrhea, mild lethargy/odd behavior... upset stomach or crisis? Without knowing any other background, which would you say?

On Tuesday I was upstairs in the bathroom and noticed a crusty spot on the bath mat and what I deduced were pieces of puke that he didn't re-consume. He must have gotten sick during the day.

Wednesday he woke me up at 3am whining for water. He drank 3 full cups. Afterward we went back to bed and he jumped up on top of me and curled up right next to me with his head resting on my shoulder. He's generally not a tactile dog, so this is unusual.

Friday I had off and was in the yard doing bomb duty when I ran across a reasonably fresh pile that was basically liquid. The Spouse got home and we were sitting on the chair talking and Lucky hopped up, sat on my lap and laid himself along my chest. image He didn't move until I shifted him so I could take care of dinner. He fell asleep at 8pm.

As it turns out, it was likely just an upset stomach - he ate "something" unidentifiable at the dog park on Sunday and on Thursday he had Ozzie's food for dinner and stole two rawhide chews (he never gets rawhide). But if I didn't know that we probably would have been at the vet Friday afternoon.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Pill Cutting Day

I'm pretty sure if the DOJ got these photos out of context they'd be busting down the door.

This is Lucky's latest bottle of prednisolone. Each pill had to be cut into quarters. I have a pill cutter from the pharmacy but it's complete crap. So, instead, it's me with a razor blade and a chopping block.

The pills are incredibly small to start with. So cutting them into quarters isn't easy. I lose about...5-6 pills per bottle to mis-cuts.

We're exploring the idea of perhaps switching to regular prednisone at 1mg. I'm uncertain how I feel about this. On the one hand, it's a slightly lower dose than we're on now. And it would be more regular from day to day since his dose wouldn't be dependent on how I cut the pills. But going to prednisone means his liver would have to metabolize it into prednisolone... and I'm uncertain whether I want to go that route since he'll be on this medication for the next 10-12 years (god willing) and I worry about the long-term effect on his liver.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sometimes they do know they're being naughty

In the training world, it's something of an adage that dogs do not know that what they're doing is naughty. I know it's because most people have misconceptions about canine behavior, so a sweeping generalization of "They just don't know" works better than "Well, they generally don't know but sometimes they do". Dogs don't poop in the house out of spite. They don't tip the garbage to get back at you for leaving them alone. Dogs do these things because:

a) they were not trained to NOT do them
b) they were trained that it meant something else
c) they are scavengers and opportunists by nature.
d) there's something medically wrong

And 99% of "misbehavior" can usually be traced to those four things. Usually because their person inadvertently taught them that, like by chasing and shrieking at Fido while he wig-digs around the living room in front of your grandma with your red lacy thong clenched firmly in his teeth. You taught him it's a game, not that it's naughty.

But some dogs... some dogs KNOW that it's naughty. Some dogs know how to manipulate events and use active deception to fool you. SOME DOGS revel in this behavior. Just because they can.

I own one of those dogs.

Not every "naughty" thing he does is deliberate. Most of it falls under one of the above categories. I know him well enough, though, to know when he's about to do something. There's a glint in his eye, a subtle change in tail set, an altercation in his stride. If I'm really good, I can short-circuit his half-formed thought before it becomes a plan.

Usually I'm not that good.

Last night I was going thru the mountainous pile of mail from our week vacation, creating piles for recycling, shredding, reading and filing. Lucky had just finished dinner and was standing and staring at me, one of his favorite past times. Clearly bored with trying to creep me out with his strangely human regard, he trotted out of the kitchen. I saw the tail end of him as he went around the corner and up the stairs and thought "Oh no". Cause his flag was up and over his hips, blazing as brightly as a nautical signal flag. I know what that means. It means he's looking for socks. Or underwear. But preferably socks.

We've never engaged in chasing him when he stole things like that as a puppy. We knew that would make it a game. We would either ignore these antics until he gave up or we would calmly trade him a real toy for the stolen item. The thing is - he doesn't want to be chased. He just wants to interrupt whatever you're doing. He doesn't even necessarily want to play when you've broken away from your other task. Even making eye contact with him is enough satisfaction - he knows he got you, so he'll drop the item and walk away. He's just being naughty to be naughty.

Sure enough, about 60 seconds later I hear thundering paws coming down the stairs at 50 miles an hour (because he gets louder and more brazen when he's gotten into something naughty, the better to get your attention). He went tearing around the far corner towards the family room, full body wags engaged. I glanced up to see what he'd gotten and it was a pair of my underwear. I continue opening envelopes, waiting to see how long it would go on before he tired of it or I had to intervene.

And he's putting on quite the show. He's shaking his head all the way from his shoulders in big, woggly swoops all the while he's dancing and prancing, leaping and crouching, circling around, dipping down, bouncing up. It's like watching some canine rain dance, only he's probably hoping it will rain socks.

Finally, he leapt a full five feet, giving his head a huge shake mid-leap. He landed in a play bow facing the ottoman and my underwear landed 5 feet behind him. He held the playbow, staring in front of him, for a good 5 seconds before slowly swinging his head to look at me. Because I am giggling hysterically. I couldn't help it. The Spouse was laughing too.

Mission accomplished, he spun in a circle on his hind leg and sprinted to catch the underwear up. Giving in to the inevitable, I walked over to him and he dropped into a play bow. I told him to drop - he did, stood up, and backed away, wagging his tail happily. I retrieved the underwear and he trotted off to settle down with a bone to gnaw on.

Sometimes they do know.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Why the average owner shouldn't get one

We don't often deal with destruction.

I say that so people don't think that Lucky is under-exercised or under-stimulated. He gets plenty of both. After all, he's lost 6 lbs in 2 months - how many people can say the same thing?? He gets plenty of mental and physical exercise. I think I can safely say that, since he came home, we have ended up with half-a-dozen items chewed beyond repair. Maybe.

But, every now and then, we do deal with the occasional item being chewed on. Usually out of boredom or creative mischief. And it is always our fault. Always. Once I left my new iPod Nano in its work-out arm band. And left the arm band within reach. Fortunately the iPod still works, though I have to admit that is the one time I seriously got angry with him, even though I knew it was my fault for leaving it out.

This one? Is The Spouse's. He took Lucky for a walk last night in the pouring rain/sleet. To dry things out, he hung the items in our spare bathroom.

Unfortunately, he left the half-full pouch attached to his jacket.

Chewed straight thru it. I'm HOPING I can patch/fix it cause it's a NICE treat pouch. But, word to the wise - if you have items that you love, perhaps you should consider another breed. Or a plant.

Good news on the med front again!

Lucky lost another 3 lbs this month!! He's now down to 50.2lbs!

We also reduced his Percorten this month to 1.3mL. Our vet is confident we can push as low as 1.0mL.

She also only gave us about 3 months worth of pred. She's going to check into the meds for us because she thought she read that they were going to be releasing a 1mg pill of prednisolone. Which would be really fantastic cause that would mean I don't have to cut pills.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A PWD for the Obamas?

The dog world is a-twitter: Michelle Obama confessed in a People Magazine interview that they were looking for a PWD. There's been no mention of a "doodle" for weeks. It seems that they have officially narrowed in on the breed.

I've not been "in the breed" long. But I think, perhaps, that gives me a unique viewpoint to what the Obamas face. You see, 5 years ago The Spouse and I were also in the same position as Barack and Michelle (minus the fact that one of us wasn't leader of the free world). We were looking for a hypoallergenic dog, medium to large in size, that fit in with our active lifestyle. We were first-time owners, though we'd both grown up with dogs. So Lucky was the first dog either of us has trained on our own, from scratch.

Let's just say "It's been interesting." But photos tell the story better. All of the following photos are from the last week in our house.

Noble. Stately. The PWD is an ancient breed.

They do love to snuggle though. PWDs are "people" dogs - they do not do well when separated from their pack members.

They can also be very cush. A PWD without a good leader will walk all over their human owners. They need a firm but compassionate hand.

Sometimes they like getting a little TOO snuggly.... but a well-trained PWD is a devoted and loyal companion.

PWDs make good watch dogs. They were used for centuries on Portuguese fishing boats and one of their duties was to guard the catch.


the breed seems to be constantly striving for bipedality. They are notorious counter-surfers - a trait which even the best trainers and behaviorists state is simply genetic. They love being on eye level with everyone, which results in an almost un-extinguishable jumping-up behavior.

The aforementioned counter-surfing leads the PWD to steal all sorts of items - the stinkier or more dangerous, the better. Here, Lucky has stolen The Spouse's winter hat that they wear on their walks together.

Not only do they steal items, but they feel very little shame over such thefts. In fact, they brazenly parade their thefts in front of their mentally-slower owners. Should the owner be intelligent enough to not engage in a game of chase, the dog simply regards their owner with a "What?" expression when the item is recovered.

Should the Obamas choose to add a PWD to their family, this may answer one of the most important questions of this administration:

Mr. President - Boxers or Briefs?