Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Riley joins the play group

Riley (front) and Trooper (rear)
Trooper's nose is brown because he's been engaged
in a major excavation project in the dog yard.
I've had the female rottweiler Riley for a couple weeks now.  I've been keeping her in a kennel by herself during the day, and in a crate in the shed at night.  She had been doing some vomiting so I wanted to keep an eye on her.  I tried her with Lana briefly several days ago and it went well enough.  Both girls come across as rather dominant so I wanted to make sure they were well acquainted before I put them together.  I assumed that she would beat up Hank, just has Lana had done.  That's just the way female dogs handle Hank.

Trooper and Riley dancing.
She wanted to lead.
She hasn't gained any weight so I think I'll worm her again, although her poop looks good.  A vet visit may still be in order, but she seems happy and healthy so today I decided to let her meet some other dogs.

Riley meeting Lana, up close and personal.
Lana mostly just wanted to be with me.
I started by taking Riley into the dog yard alone with our Trooper.  Trooper has the worst social skills with people of any dog we've had since Gypsy.  But as bad as he is with people, he's that good with other dogs.  He's like Molly was in that respect.  He gets along with other dogs, can read them well, can draw them out, and plays appropriately.  She initially tried her dominance routine.  He didn't react to it badly, but told her off when he'd had enough and she backed off without escalating things into a fight.  She also responded to my verbal correction, which I was glad to see.

Riley with Hank and Lana.
Lana may like the fact that Hank will have
someone else to bother for a while.
After they were together for a while I brought in Hank and Lana.  Hank initially tried his badass routine, but she ignored it as all dogs seem to do.  She was more interested in Lana and followed her closely for a while, but there was never a problem between the two girls.  Hank was mostly upset that she was interested in anything other than him.

When Riley and Lana had exchanged pleasantries to their mutual satisfaction, she turned her attention to Hank and they were soon running and playing together. 

I think she's very happy to have the company and it will make things easier on me to be able to keep all three of them together in the big kennel, dog yard, and the shed at night. 

Hank and Riley soon found a game they both enjoyed.

You would think that betting on the rottweiler in a tug of war would be a safe bet.
But Hank is a tenacious little mofo who doesn't give up until he gets what he wants.

Trooper got involved and made it a three way tug for a while.
Lana had no interest in the tug game, didn't see the point of it.
Trooper soon went back digging and left Hank and Riley to shred the blanket.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Portrait of a pretty girl

Gigi and I went to the vet today.  Nothing serious, she had an ear infection and I wanted to discuss her weight (she's eating twice a day now), her ears (the edges are kind of funky), and her skin and coat (we are adding raw food and fish oil now). 

Mostly we sat in the exam room and I took pictures while waiting for the results of the ear cytology.  She's a little tough to photograph by myself because she was insecure and insisted upon being as close to me as possible.  On the plus side, she's not the least bit camera shy and is happy to have me flashing pictures in her face from a close distance.  Here's a few of the results.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Diagnosis: Skanky Skin Syndrome

Everyone cancels discretionary vet visits on bad weather days, so I knew there would be openings.  Odie and I went into town for a 3:00 p.m. appointment. 

He has skanky skin.  (That's my term, not what the vet called it.)  He looked a lot better after the bath, but the skankiness was coming back.  It's a yeast infection, and likely bacteria along with it.  He's getting another bath tonight, we are doubling the dose of antibiotics and may add an oral anti-fungal med as well.  He's also going to start on prednisone to help the itching and make him more comfortable, and when the vet calls with the results of the thyroid test I'm going to ask about adding an antihistamine as well. 

I bought Odie a bag of venison and potato dog food that he will be on exclusively, and I'm going to use of the ground venison in my freezer instead of canned food to get him to gobble up the handful of pills that he will be taking.

The underlying cause for this could be allergy, thyroid, or an autoimmune disorder, or some combination of those or other problems.  I'm hoping for allergy or thyroid, as they would be easiest to manage.  It might have been a flea allergy that just got way out of control.  All we can do is get him well, back off the meds, and then see what happens.

The good news is that he tested negative for heartworm/lyme/erlichia and his stool sample was negative.  He got all the basic vaccines and I fixed him up with a nice new collar with his new tags, but I'm not putting it on him while he's still so skanky.  The other good news is that he was good with the vet, handling, blood work, and all.  And his teeth are in good shape, worn down in front from chewing, but little tartar.  He may not be as old as he looks right now. 

This evening he started on the prednisone with his evening antibiotic and the new food.  Then he came in and had another bath.  This one was easier, he wasn't scared and trusted me more, and I think it felt good when I was scratching the dry flaky skin off his back.  The only part he really didn't care for was the ear cleaning.  I basically climbed into the tub with him and sat on him when necessary and we got along fine.  He is sleeping away in his crate this evening and not scratching at all. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Work/Play day

Odie is less odiferous after his bath, but I think he'll be due
for another one very soon.  He LOVED  running in the pasture today.
Since I got Babe moved yesterday, I used the impending Frankenstorm as an excuse to blow off the VGSR adoption event in Gainesville on Sunday.  I had been on the road with dogs on Friday and Saturday and just didn't want to do a third day of it.  Besides, I really needed to get some work done outdoors. 

I did a couple winterization projects for the dog kennels and sheds, and bought four bales of fresh straw for the kennels, sheds, and the mud pit outside our door. 

Gigi is too thin.  I've started feeding her twice a day now,
and she's getting some of Zachary's raw food in addition
to the Taste of the Wild dry food. She doesn't mind.
I mowed some grass, something I hadn't done since before our trip to England, and then I took six of the pups out to the pasture for a good romp.

For years, only our first rottie, Jack, ate the pears.
Then Bremo started, then Cabell, and now Lady too.
I gathered up those that were laying on the ground.
The tree will soon be bare and it will be the end of pear season.

Odie and Hank got along well today. 
Hank tells everyone that he's the boss; no one believes it.

Lana just isn't tall enough for the classic "head over the back"
dominance move, but she tries.  No problems though.

Odie loved running in the pasture and seems to have no
orthopedic problems anyway.
His skin is just flaking off now after the bath.
We will see a vet early next week.

Lana and Hank, then Gigi, followed up by Odie.

This was Odie's first chance in months to get out and run,
since his time as a stray.  Now he's getting both
exercise and food on a regular basis. 
He seems very happy about it.

Vince had a good run too.  He and Gigi both stick very close
to me.  Gigi tries to play with him but he'd rather she didn't.


Odie doesn't look his best right now, but you can tell that he was and can be quite a handsome dog.

Storm prep

Many people spent most of their Saturday preparing for a storm that may or may not happen.  They are prudent.  The most I did was move the recycling from the back porch into its larger containers so it wouldn't blow away.

I guess I did spend much of the day preparing in a way, but my storm prep involved moving Babe to a new foster home.  We met in Harrisonburg Saturday afternoon so neither of us would need to go to Gainesville on Sunday.  It sounds like the wind and rain may not even start until late on Sunday, but with Odie coming yesterday I didn't want to miss the chance to move Babe.  Odie had brought us up to nine indoor dogs, which is really pushing it.  With Babe gone we are back to a very reasonable eight indoors with five more outdoors, but they all have outbuildings at least in the event of really bad weather.  I'll probably buy some straw tomorrow to help with the mud and we will then just hunker down and try to stay dry through the rain, hoping we don't lose power.

Babe's new foster home has cats so we'll get a first hand reading on how she is with new cats in a new home.  It's also much closer to the folks who are interested in adopting Babe, so I hope it was a step towards her adoption.

Saturday morning I went to meet a potential new foster dog in Charlottesville.  He's got medical problems that his owner can't deal with.  He's about a year and a half old.  Looks like a bad allergy problem that is completely out of control.  His feet are red and swollen, he scratches himself excessively, and he's got a bad secondary infection on his skin.  I'll make a vet appointment early next week for both him and Odie, pick him up from the owner, go to the vet, and then bring him home with me. 

He's a cute little guy, but he may be a bit of a project.

The view out my window coming down from Afton this afternoon.

Friday, October 26, 2012


Today was a busy one.  I got everyone fed this morning and enough outdoor time to do their business and then I headed down to Exit 175 on I-81, Natural Bridge, to meet my doggie dealer.  She had "Old Dog" as she had been calling him.  He had been living in her barn for quite a while, after she pulled him from her shelter so he didn't get put down.  She kept asking me about him and I knew I'd take him eventually.  I have prospects of moving Babe this weekend, so I figured today was as good a day as any. 

He didn't have a name and she was just referring to him as the old dog, which I abbreviated to O.D. and then turned it into Odie.  I've had an Odie before, but it's been a while and Odie is a nice name.

He's a nice old guy, good with other dogs, but not with cats.  I expected him to be dirty, but he was more like grungy.  I think he's got a yeast infection raging on his skin and his coat was sticky, almost the point of being wet.  Not surprisingly, he smells.  She said that he had been missing about 30 percent of his hair when she first got him, so I guess he's better, although his coat is still very thin.

I will start him on antibiotics for his skin infection, but he will be a project for the vet, next week. 

I loaded him into the van and we headed to Charlottesville.  I dropped off a small dog that I was just transporting and then we headed to the SPCA.  Vince was in one of the crates in the van and he had come along to visit his SPCA friends.  Many days he runs out the house and goes to the van, and I know he's telling me that he wants to go see his friends.  The only other place I've ever taken him is to the vet and I know he's not wanting to go back there.  He would go to the SPCA every day if he could.  I had to push the elevator buttons for him, but I'm certain he could find his way around in there if he needed to. 

Vince's visitation wasn't our primary reason for stopping at the SPCA, however.  The other crate in the van held Babe, who was going to meet cats.  Babe has a prospective foster home, and even better, a prospective adoptive home, but both of them have cats.  I had been informed that she lived with a cat, but you never know if that information is reliable, or if it will translate to a new cat.  However, Babe was cool, probably the best cat test I have seen.  I'm going to try to get her to the foster home tomorrow, which is much closer to the prospective adopters anyway.  We had been planning to meet in Gainesville on Sunday, but Frankenstorm Sandy may wash out that event anyway. 

Sad, wet dog look
I got back home again mid-afternoon, let Odie meet Babe in the dog yard, and then took him inside for a bath.  I used both Malaseb and Sebozole shampoos on him, and cleaned his ears thoroughly.  Afterwards I had to have a shower myself although I was already quite wet.  He's an old guy but he could hop out of the tub on his own.  He could also handle the stairs without difficulty and jumped into my van without any problem.  He seems to be housetrained.  He went back out to the dog yard to air dry and he met Trooper and Bremo without any problems.  I'm not sure yet where I'll keep him.  He would make 9 dogs indoors, and that's a lot, even for me. 

The head shake
I've got to get half a day's worth of work in this evening and I'll do the other half tomorrow. 

After the bath

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Good news, and (sort of ) bad news

First the good.  These are pics of my former foster, Cooper, the lab or lab/golden.  Obviously very happy, working out well in a really great home with his bossy shepherd sister.  Happy, happy. 


And now the bad news.  It's not terrible, but I seem to have messed up Hank's adoptions prospects.  I had been contacted by someone who was interested in Hank before we went to England.  While we were away and when we returned, I just plain forgot about it.  Someone else came along who was very interested in Hank, interested enough in fact that he took the unusual step of getting in his car and driving down here to meet the dog.  However, before that adoption happened it turned out that his landlord wouldn't allow the dog.  Someone else came along and I drove up to meet them in Gainesville last weekend.  However, it turns out that they aren't ready to adopt for another month Or they weren't interested in him, whichever it is, it doesn't matter, I came back home with him that day and am now fresh out of prospects.  Hank is happy enough here with Lana, but I really need to get him adopted, I have two more coming in.  I'm going to contact the originally interested guy and see if he still is interested in spite of me absent-mindedly blowing him off.