Thursday, November 25, 2010

Blown Up in my Face

So just days after I let Cadie have the run of the house I'm in the middle of a personal panic. Her leg seems to be getting worse. I mean, she can still run, and jump, and walk, but she seems to be holding her back right leg more than she was even a week ago. Is she getting worse? Am I imagining that she's getting worse? Who can say. All I know is that I've decided to limit her access to the bedroom during the day because I don't want her jumping down from my mattress which sits almost 2.5 feet off the floor. I've also decided to step up her physio massage things that I've been giving her.

I know that I have a tendency to overreact, and last night I started to cry, thinking that she needed surgery, or that she was dying, or something. The cool light of morning shows me two things:

1) Her ears are down more than they have been in the past, this could be a sign that she's in pain, or it could mean that she's tired.
2) While Cadie may need surgery, she's unlikely to die, so I can stop playing that scenario out in my mind.

If nothing else, I'm determined to ensure that Cadie has a long, healthy and happy little dog life.

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's Finally Happened

Yes, it's finally happened! I think I've finally broken through Cadie's need for lengthy exercise outings. well, not most of the week, only on Sundays. It seems that Cadie is much more interested in sleeping in on a Sunday morning, she lounges in bed until about 8, when she rolls over, stretches, has a quick look around to make sure that I'm still in bed, and then nods off again. The only thing that can derail this is my getting out of bed.

Yesterday I had the nerve to get out of bed, and be working on the computer, Cadie came and found me, and herded me back to bed. Once back in bed she threw herself on my lap so that I couldn't get up again. Alas though, it was too late, she was already so keyed up that she wasn't able to get back to sleep, so we headed out into the freezing cold to see the first snow of the year. Since Cadie isn't a big fan of precipitation of any kind we made our way home again within an hour. Once home, Cadie headed right back to bed, where she stayed mid day when I took her out to watch the Santa Clause parade.

Maybe her need for more sleep is a sign that she's getting older, maybe it's a growth spurt, or maybe it's just that Cadie is hibernating until the weather improves, either way, I'll take it.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Doc's Advice

I know you've already seen this picture, but I wanted to show it again. As you know, my biggest fear is that Cadie will break her very long legs, and we will have to fix them. This fear isn't totally irrational as my last dog had a broken leg, and the care she required at that time haunts me still.

I had noticed a change to Cadie's gait a while back, and I kept asking people if her legs looked broken. They always answered no, but I was convinced that there was something wrong. So I brought it up with my vet. She had Cadie walk up and down the stairs several times over, then she watched Cadie walk straight across the room.

It turns out that Cadie has a ligament injury on her back right leg. So she's been favouring the right by shifting her weight to the back left (something you can see her doing in the picture above).

Not great news, but obviously it's not a break, so it's not terrible news. However, it means that we are now doing some light stretches after our walks to help ease the injury, in the hopes that Cadie will stop shifting her weight. This will also make a difference to the way we play with the tennis ball, no more high balls, from now on we have to roll them across the grass. I'm glad we caught this early.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dog Days of Flu Season--Do Dogs Get the Flu?

There 's nothing worse than seeing my fur baby sick, and Friday morning, I had to see her very sick. She was sicker than I had ever seen her. As expected, she made it through the illness, and is doing much better, though she now has an infection in her left eye. Luckily it's not a very bad infection, though it is unfortunate the she developed this infection while I am visiting my mother, without her eye drops. Oh well, this kind of thing happens, I suppose, and we are seeing the vet tomorrow morning.
Poor Cadie, she was sleeping soundly last Thursday night when all of a sudden the peace was broken. The worst of her sick day went on for about an hour, her stomach settled out after that, but she still looked terribly tired and drawn, which isn't all the surprising given what she'd been through. She flopped down on the couch and barely moved her head. I looked at her just wishing she could talk, so she could tell me where it hurts, and what was wrong with her. Unfortunately  I couldn't stay home with her that day. But Cadie and I are both very lucky to have Aunt C working at the end of our street, so she popped up to check in on Cadie at noon.

It was great Aunt C called me to tell me that my dog was doing better, she was tired, but frisky, interested in food  and visiting. I was most heartened to hear that Cadie had refused to come back in, because she was enjoying the cool grass and fresh air so much.

It's funny, in an awful kind of way, to think that our pets, perhaps even children or aging parents challenge us to handle things from which we normally shy away. As well paired as Cadie and I are, she has a tendency toward eye problems (this is her third eye infection) while I am totally creeped out by having to touch eye balls. I'm so freaked out by eye balls that during my first aid class--while looking at the picture of a pencil sticking straight up into an eye, I put my hand up and asked what a trained first aid person should do if they genuinely can't provide assistance to someone because their injury freaks them out too much. I was told to suck it up, and that when you are in the moment you won't remember your hang ups. I didn't believe them at the time. I know people who are terrified of needles, and then find themselves having to administer insulin shots to their pets. I have a friend who is creeped out by vomiting, she can't even listen to someone vomit, she is now the mother of 2 small children, and she still calls me to calm her down if she has to be with her children while their sick. It's so weird to think about what we can do if we have to. What's a person to do? if Cadie needs me to rub salve in her eyes, then that's what I have to do, just as my friends have to sit with their children and inject insulin. We do what we have to do, and somehow, as responsible care givers we dig deep and manage to muddle through.

So, Cadie and I have survived her first really serious illness, none the worse for the wear, but stronger and ready to face our next scary health crisis.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What time is it?

Time as measured by the 24-hour clock is artificial, if you don't know that to be true you should look at the way animals behave around the time change. They honestly have no idea what's happening. Yesterday, the first day when I really had to work with the new time Cadie was slow and reluctant to get out of bed, but then when we emerged into a bright sunny day--at 7 am--she was thrilled. She stood on the stoop and looked around totally bewildered, then she gave me an annoyed look that said that she resented not being brought out earlier. That too was fleeting, as she happily set off down the steps, and started trotting up and down the sidewalk. She sniffed, and there, wagging her little cocktail wiener tail the whole time. I was out of the dog house--that is until I tried to bring her back in the apartment.

Cadie was having none of it, she was here for a good time, and darn it, she was going to have a good time, and soon our happy walk dissolved into a battle between dog owner and dog owner's owner (dog). The dog owner won, but do you really win when you make your dog give up something that makes them so happy? I don't think so.

Cadie was further disappointed when I got home last night, in spite of getting home in good time, it was just too dark to head up to Sherwood Park. Instead we walked up Yonge Street, then back down Mt. Pleasant. We did find a park with lights on at one point, and Cadie was able to chase the ball for a couple of minutes at least. Still these hours will take some getting used to.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How to Groom A Ganaraskan

Cadie, planting her figurative flag on my chest. "This one's mine"
So I noticed by looking at my stats that one person found this site by googling "how to groom a ganaraskan". Unfortunately this is not the best site to show you how best to do that. This is the only good picture I have of Cadie with the proper Ganaraskan cut, this was done by the groomer when we picked her up, I have NEVER insisted on this in any subsequent grooms for 2 reasons:

1) At first my friend was doing my grooming and she didn't know how to make the eye brows (that's the lynch pin in the Ganny cut), and I was so grateful to have her doing my grooming that I easily compromised on the eye brows. Now that I am having her groomed in doggie parlours, they don't know what a Ganny cut is, and I end up with a schnauzer, which I don't like on her

Blurry I know, but she just looks so cute all shaggy!

2) I really like both the puppy cut and the shaggy dog cut on Cadie. They are easy fore me to maintain, and it makes it easier for her to fly around the park, so I think we both prefer a "do" with few bells and whistles.

So I apologize to any potential readers that were looking for some help with their Ganny cuts. I am, however, not totally useless, in that I think I can make a good referral. This site. is a great site. I suspect, based on the name of the people who run it, that they are connected to the breeding groups in Port Hope. I was in contact with them when I was first thinking of getting a Ganny, and they are very responsive and helpful. So happy hunting, and I hope you find what you're looking for.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday Blahs

Cadie and I have a routine, I get up at 6 and start getting ready for the day, while Cadie stays in bed. Once I'm ready to face the world, Cadie is supposed to get up and go through her morning routine. However, it's becoming more and more common for Cadie to put up a fuss. Firstly she doesn't want to go out for her morning "checklist". Then after fighting to get her out there, she won't come back in. However, once back in the apartment she heads right back to bed.

She will get up for her own breakfast, but she will make an appearance for a chance at stealing a mouthful of my breakfast, that's when I swoop in and try to make the bed, but Cadie is too smart and too fast for me, as soon as I head back to the bedroom she comes charging in, and I'm left making the bed around a persistently stubborn little road block.

In other news, Cadie did wear her costume lat night. At first she hated it, as you can see by the look on her face, but, once the kids started coming and making such a fuss about her she started to warm up to it. Though I have to say that I have learned 2 lessons:

1) tie the costume good and tight, it was much more wearable for her last night then it was when I took this picture.

2) I will never again get such an elaborate costume for her. In the days before Halloween I found an adorable lady bug costume that I like even better than this one, and it's much more wearable because it's just a shirt they slip on over their heads.