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?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I love our groomer

I've raved about our groomer before. But I haven't lately and I'm overdue. He's been really fantastic about Lucky, his breed and his Addison's. Unbelievably phenomenal. After every grooming with have a brief post-mortem about how he did, what was stressful, etc.

Lucky, being the intelligent dog he is, clues in very quickly that he is at our club not to run A-Frames or dog walks but for a grooming. And he starts shaking. And it's hearbreaking. This time it was bad enough that our groomer had to carry him back to the grooming area.

So when I went to pick him up, I asked him about the possibility of coming in maybe once a week or so to just hand-feed Lucky his meals and begin to counter-condition him to the whole process. And he was 120% for it. I have free access to the whole area, including the grooming room, whenever the place is open. Even if he has other clients. Unbelievable. He is so amazing.

Anyway, if you look at the last post, you can see what a fuzzy blob Lucky was before grooming. When I pulled his fur straight, it was 4" long. I think he may have given the groomer a bit of trouble with his head cause it's not quite 'right', but, still, it's like a different dog!

I am so charming.

Pounce on Mom!

What do you mean stand still?
Sleeeeeeeeeeeeepy puppy

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Life is Rough

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bath Day!

It's been awhile since Lucky got a bath. To the point where I didn't have a black and white dog but a black and gray one.

Baths always result in post-bath zoomies. If it were nice enough out, we'd let him zoom around the backyard (he's not one who goes to roll in stuff right afterwards). But we still have a foot of snow on the ground in some places so, alas, it was carnage in the house.

Ohgod. How do I get this water off me?!

Is that a grin of joy that he's no longer filthy or relief that the bath is over?

Too Fast for Film

This is MY spot! MINE.

Now. Where's my Chicken Treat??!

Monday, February 2, 2009

6-Month Checkup: The Results are in

So, we went to the vet on Friday. First we get weighed in and guess what? He lost 3 lbs!! So he's now at 53.3 lbs. This is fantastic news, really, cause it's the dead of winter here, so I'm sure the rest of the weight will be coming off quickly once we get into spring.

Our wonderful vet drew his blood and glanced over our chart. She noticed that we were due for his heartworm test in April, so she suggested that, as long as they had blood going out that we should just get that done now. She went to price our options out and came back to suggest we do a general "wellness" lab that would cover the electrolytes, heartworm, and also test basic bodily functions like liver function, CBC, kidney function, etc. Made sense to me.

So she called with the results today and said that everything looked "perfect". She sounded so pleased on the phone, which makes me pleased. Having spent the last 6 months dealing with regulating a long-term disease, worrying about medication dosages, dealing with side effects of the meds (immune suppression, reactivity, weight gain), managing his stress, etc. etc. it's a wonderful feeling to know that, overall, he's incredibly healthy.