Saturday, November 24, 2012

Why Can't You Boys Get Along?

Bud's first meeting with Michelle's dog, Gin, was disastrous. We first had them meet on Michelle's property. Gosh the dogs hated each other!

The next meeting was in my driveway, which again yielded horrible results. Gin is a high energy mostly white with black ticking Border Collie/Shepherd(?) mix rescue dog who gets nervous around bigger dogs.  He's about 47 pounds, versus Bud's ~76 pounds. Bud still remember a time when a young white dog scared him and ever since hasn't liked white dogs.  So, we expected some difficulty between the two knowing that they each fit the other's trigger!

Bud is very easy going with some dogs. Dogs have stolen toys from the house and laid on his bed, taken his food etc.  Gin often goes into a submissive role and has been used to help socialize other rescue dogs.  He's great with smaller dogs, but is fearful of dogs larger than him and especially larger dogs with darker fur/hair.

Last week we finally got it right. We had them meet at the beach just by my house. Bud was busy digging and Gin was busy chasing balls. How wonderful to have these sweet dogs enjoy spending time together! I know better than to introduce these two sensitive boys without thinking it out.  The first couple meetings on each dog's respective territory reminded me of such!  We followed up the neutral territory beach meeting with a harbor trip; this helped expose the dogs to each other further.  Gin was hesitant to go in the water past his elbows, yet was fascinated by seeing bud jump in and vigorously swim for the ball.  They mostly played side by side with their own balls.  At one point they both went for the same ball in the shallow surf.  Gin came out with the ball, and Bud was okay with that.  There was no growling or posturing at all by either dog.

We are grateful to have our boys get along. Thanksgiving was spent with Michelle, her boyfriend Ryan and our dogs playing and being lazy together.  Their relationship still needs work, but they're clearly warming up to each other and feeling less threatened and more safe.  Getting them to truly get along will still be a process.  Our next hurdle will be having them side by side together peacefully in the car!  Until then, enjoy these pictures from Thanksgiving of our boy's relationship progression:

The Boys at the Harbor:

Me giving and getting loving kisses from Gin:

Gin sneaking into Bud's crate (he's crate trained and feels safest in crates):

And finally...the boys parallel playing:

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's Part Of The Job

Jewel, one of my staff, is shown in this picture with Bud after swimming him in the rain. She is a slave driver! Bud hates the after bath ritual-especially when it includes walking on wet grass to get hosed down. Batman, Jewel's dog, is cheering  her up.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dogs Need Downtime

Dogs like people get tired; their bodies need rest too.  Bud is five now, so I watch his activity levels to ensure he doesn't overdo it.  When he swims, I time him so he stays in the 30-40 minute range.

Some days, he gets sore- just like I do.  When I see him favoring his back knee, we stop.  That's when I say "okay, we're taking a down dog day!"  It's okay to have down days sometimes.  It gives us time to stay home, regroup and treasure our time together. Here's a picture of Bud and Batman having a down day:

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Feel Good Dog Hero Story

Recently I read a wonderful article about the hero dog above, Kabang, who is a native of the Philippines. This amazing dog risked his life to protect two young girls from getting hit by a motorcycle.  In the process, he had his snout sheared off by the motorcycle.  He has made a miraculous recovery thanks to the wonderful people at the William R. Pritchart Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at UC Davis.  Beyond my love of dogs and joy of hearing of Kabang's recovery, I share an appreciation for the wonderful staff at the UC Davis Vet Hospital because they took such good care of my Bud when he had his elbow surgery.  Dogs give their life for their packs including humans!

It's a wonderful story which you should read about here:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Drooling Bud

Bud drooling for brussel sprouts!

Bud has been smelling and  watching me make brussel sprouts the past half hour.  I roast them in olive oil, garlic, and spike which is one of my favorite seasonings. I pour on a little Bragg liquid amino acids which is also a house favorite. Bud has excellent digestion!

Bud devouring a brussel sprout off the fork!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Surprise Birthday Trip

Yesterday was my birthday; yay I'm an old lady!  I started my day with my usual beach walk with Bud for two hours.  It was yet another beautiful Cayucos morning with the birds out and Bud playing in the sand.  Perfect for my birthday!

 I received a wonderful call from my son wishing me a happy birthday from him and his beautiful family.  I then went to an AA meeting to see my friends I love and headed to the Cal Poly pool.  As I was getting ready to climb into the pool, my back seized up on me to the point that I couldn't sit or stand upright.

So guess where I went next?  On a birthday Emergency Room trip to French Hospital! 

Here's the young and handsome Dr. Mcleod who took great care of me.  He's a dog owner and lover. He has a lab and a doberman.  Just like everyone else, he fell in love with Bud!

For fun, since I know how to make fun of myself, here's a photo of me making a silly face in between debilitating muscle spasms.  My hair is still all oiled up with coconut oil which I use to seal it before swimming.  This picture would be perfect for my dating profile, don't you think???:

Doctor's orders are that I lay low the next few weeks to let my body heal.  Let's see if I can sit still for more than 10 minutes!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bud's and My Exciting Exercise Schedule

Bud has special needs just like I do.  Bud lives with elbow displasia and arthritis as a result of his ruptured knee ligament that he had surgery on.  The best way to deal with our daily pains is daily exercise and weight control.  Some mornings Bud doesn't want to go trotting and walking on the beach, but we both do it.  Just like Bud, some morning I want to be lazy pazy too but I can't.  I gotta get up and get moving.  I fast walk then trot Bud a few blocks down to the beach to warm him up.  Once we get to the beach, he walks with me on his leash.

After his surgery, I can't let him play too hard.  We walk for 1.5-2 hours.  He walks next to me really well.  If he's good, I let him dig in the sand at the end of the walk.  He loves to dig huge holes on the beach.  It's a good aerobic workout for him.

Then later in the morning he gets to swim in the bay for about half an hour.  After he gets his swim, we head off to my swim where I swim laps and do aqua aerobics for about an hour.  Swimming is a family affair!  What can we do better than take care of our bodies?

Here's Bud waiting while I swim:

Me waiting while Bud swims: