Sleep Like A Dog

Sadie had a great January!  The weather has been unseasonably warm and Sadie has enjoyed lots of long walks and backyard play sessions.

Sadie visited the Vet to get blood drawn to renew her heartworm medication.  She is not yet full-grown, but weighed in at a very fit 30 pounds.  The Vet said she was doing great!  We celebrated with a new collar and of course, more bones!  😉

We are still working on the proper greetings (aka no jumping) and ALWAYS coming when called, but her obedience is going well.

Sadie also hit a mini-milestone… drum roll please…

She no longer sleeps in her cage at night!!  Sadie loves the new sleeping arrangement.

I bought her a new bed with sides for her head.  It sits where her cage was, next to our bed.  She spends most of the night in her bed and usually jumps up on our bed for an early morning snuggle.  I get a cold nose wake-up call when it’s breakfast time.  🙂

Her old bed was moved into the office.  She usually keeps us company when we work on the computer.

She still has a cage in our family room that she goes into when we leave the house.  We haven’t started letting her have run of the house, yet…

Sadie has some exciting plans for February… we’ll keep you all updated.  Have a good week!

No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap.  ~Carrie Snow

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Clean Bill of Health!

The Vet called Friday afternoon with great news…

The growths on Sadie’s paw are caused by a harmless, puppy virus.  It will clear up in a month or so and is not contagious.

He said it was unusual to find the growth on her paw, but the biopsy confirmed it was nothing to worry about.  Yeah!

We celebrated the good news with a backyard play session!  The area they took the biopsy from is healing well and she is walking, running and playing like usual.

I recently printed all the pictures I have taken of Sadie to put into her puppy scrapbook.

I made two albums for Daisy and it is great to look through them and remember all the joy she brought us.

I have plans to get started on the album this week… rainy fall days are great for scrappin!

I saw this at Target and couldn’t pass it up.

Sadie’s first Christmas ornament!  It holds a photo and has the year engraved on the small heart.  I love ornaments that hold photos!

I also bought her Christmas stocking.  It has bells all over the top and I ironed her name down the front.

We are all set to spoil her with gifts!  😉

Sadie needs a pink bandage-themed Halloween costume!

Happy Halloween!  Sadie had a visit to the Vet this morning.  Yesterday I noticed she had a few growths off her back foot pad.  She wasn’t bothered much by them, but one of the growths was bleeding a tad.  Being the worrier that I am, I made an appointment with her Vet this morning to have them look at it.  I’d rather spend $45 having a doctor tell me it’s nothing, than fret for a month.  Plus, my need to Google kinda elevates my stressful worrying.  🙂

Sadie was great at the Vet.  Playing with her feet when she was younger has paid off.  She laid on her side and let us examine her easily.  She even took to the pink bandage with no issue.  Such a great temperament!

Unfortunately, the Vet said she was glad I brought her in, because it was not “normal”.  They took a biopsy of one of the growths and sent it off to be analyzed.  Hopefully we will have some answers by the end of the week.  Needless to say, my $45 visit went up quite a bit with the biopsy, but I’d rather have answers than “watch & wait”.

Other than the foot issue, Sadie is doing great!  Lots of love & fun!  I snapped a few photos of Sadie’s favorite snuggle spots with Dad.

This is her absolute favorite spot… she crawls up and warps herself around the back of Marcus’ neck.  He calls her a ferret!  😉

Don’t eat too much candy this week!  🙂

Post-Op

The morning went well today.  Sadie got up at her usual (6 am) time for breakfast.  I took her out to potty and then back up to our bedroom.  I decided it would be mean if I ate breakfast and she couldn’t.  Kinda cruel.  So, I decided sleeping was a good distraction.  🙂

I let her lay on my bed and turned the TV on.  She whined a little and then jumped down and went into her crate.  We slept until 7:45!  Nice surprise!

I dropped Sadie off at the vet a little after 8am, as planned.

I went back home and enjoyed a quiet breakfast.  Then I felt a little worried about Sadie, so I decided to go shopping for a recovery toy for her.  I also needed to return the plastic cone.  The technician told me three things about cones;

1.  it works best if it is longer than her nose, so she can’t reach her body parts (the one I bought was a bit too small)

2. some dogs don’t need one, so don’t waste the money unless you need it

3.  the comfy cone is the cone they find is the best

So, I returned the plastic cone and decided I’ll wait until tomorrow to see if she needs the comfy cone.  I can bring her into the store to get the best fit, if she needs one.

The Vet called at 3:30 and said she did great and was recovering nicely.  He went on and on about what a great dog she is.  Preaching to the choir!  🙂

When I went in to pick her up, the technician told me that the Vet carried her around all day, gushing over her.  Funny, but easy to imagine.

Sadie ended up having 2 surgeries.

1. Her spay went as planned.

stitches will dissolve - no return visit needed!

shaved arm for her IV

she went right to the couch when we got home

2. She had a puppy tooth removed that did not fall out properly when the adult tooth started to come in.  Sadie had a sore on her top gum that I was watching for a month or so.  We knew, if it wasn’t cleared up by the spay, the vet would x-ray her mouth and we’d see what was going on.

The vet gave me copies of the before and after photos.  This surgery went well, too.  And, we saved $300 by doing it today because she was already under anesthesia for the spay.

They sent her tooth home, too.  Gross, huh?!?  It’s about to go in the garbage.  🙂

She will get one of these syringes each morning with breakfast.  It is an oral (no needle) medication for pain and swelling.

And, I have to keep her calm and quiet for 5-7 days.  We’ll see how that goes.  I have a trick up my sleeve that I’ll show you tomorrow.

For now, she is out cold. I’ve NEVER seen her this quiet.  She made almost no noise when I greeted her.  Strong drugs… I’m glad she isn’t in any pain.  This vet was worth every penny!!!

Pre-Op

What did you say we are doing tomorrow?!?

Sadie has her spay tomorrow.

I’m a little nervous.  I’ve done this before with Daisy and know it’s a routine surgery, but it’s still surgery.  And, keeping a ‘high energy’ dog calm and quite for days on end to recover is a little challenging.

I bought a cone today at Pet Smart.  We had one for Daisy, and of course, I can’t find it anywhere!  I’m assuming I donated after Daisy died… but I also have a nagging feeling I’ll find it in a month or two!  🙂

I ended up with a traditional cone.  I spent some time looking at the new, soft cones and inflatable donuts.  While comparing items, a Pet Smart worker came over and offered his two cents.  He said they get a lot of returns on the donuts.  He said they are more comfortable, but don’t prevent most dogs from reaching areas at the lower end of their body.  He said Sadie would most likely still be able to lick her incision site.  He also told me I had 60 days to return the cone, even if used.  So, I decided to start with the traditional cone and see how it goes.

Sadie didn’t love trying out the cone.  I decided not to push my luck.  You’ll be seeing photos soon enough.

The Vet called today and went over what to expect tomorrow and what to do tonight.

Sadie was allowed dinner today and then no food after 8pm tonight.  She can have water all night and tomorrow morning.  No food tomorrow.  I fed her dinner 1 1/2 hours later than normal, hoping to buy some time tomorrow morning.  Sadie loves breakfast and I don’t want to hear her whine for 2 hours tomorrow morning.

I need to drop her off between 8 – 9 am tomorrow.  I also need to bring a comfort item for her.  I’m going to bring Ellie, her stuffed elephant.  She sleeps with Ellie and it was her first comfort when we brought her home from the breeder.

They said I can pick her up between 4 – 6 pm.  The surgery will be over in the morning, but they will monitor her all day and keep her on IV fluids and pain medication.

Sadie played a lot today.  We went on our usual neighborhood walk and played in the back yard several times today.  Marcus came home for lunch and she got a bonus session.

I also took Sadie to the dog park for a little socialization.  Sadie was a little overwhelmed by the number of large dogs at the park.  She was good one-on-one, but didn’t really get into the group play. I need to take her to the dog park on a more regular basis after she heals from the surgery.  I think mornings are a little calmer at the dog park, too.  Better puppy play.

She is currently sleeping  passed out on the couch next to me.  Here’s hoping a few days of jam packed exercise will roll over for the next few days of recovery!

Peace of Mind

Sadie has had a fun and busy couple of days.  Our walks are truly enjoyable for both of us!  NO JUMPING!  Yippy!!

I found it was most successful to distract Sadie from jumping.  Saying No wasn’t effective.  I kept taking her back to the park where I used 3 distractions.

  1. Find the birds, Sadie! She is a bird dog.  She loves to find them and chase them. 
  2. Letting her pick up sticks and walk with them in her mouth.  Sadie still likes to chew on sticks, but she doesn’t eat them, she spits out the bark.  I don’t love that she chews them, but I’m ok with her picking up a stick and walking with it.  She drops it pretty quickly in search for a better stick.  This has also helped with teaching drop it and leave it.  I’ll let her pick up sticks, but tell her to leave garbage or to drop something she picks up like the large seeds that fall from the trees.
  3. Pointing out a dog ahead of us on the path.  Sadie loves to meet other people and dogs.  Walking behind other leashed dogs has helped distract Sadie from jumping.

I have kept the park walks to 30 minutes.  The shorter walks may help, too.

We went to our new Vet today.  LOVED her!  Sadie and I thought this clinic was perfect.  The staff was great and gave Sadie tons of love & treats.  The Doctor (and staff) made me feel very comfortable.  This is just what I was looking for!

We discovered the old vet forgot one of the booster shots for one of Sadie’s vaccines, and that reassured me that listening to my gut is invaluable!  Sadie will go back next week for 2 booster shots.  We discussed scheduling the spay for the month of May.

I had a long discussion with the Doctor about why they charge so much for their spays.  I called 2 other vet clinics and the average cost was $375.  This vet is around $450.  The Doctor gave me an itemized list showing all the charges for a full spay.  I really like the transparency of this clinic.  The extra money covers an IV with fluids, a staff person assigned to Sadie that will be with her all day and all pain medications.  I am very comfortable paying this extra money.  You know the saying… You get what you pay for.  I think Sadie will get treated very well here and all risks are minimized with these extras.  I’d rather pay an extra $50 to keep Sadie’s pain to a minimum than save the money and have her suffer needlessly.  I’ve decided to skip the spa treatment I was going to schedule as a reward for the half-marathon I ran and use that money to off-set the extra costs.  I’d rather have peace of mind over an hour massage.  (For those of you that know me…. that’s saying something!  🙂  )

Sadie has a puppy class tomorrow, two play-dates later in the week and she will meet my parents’ new black lab!

Puppy School

Yesterday was a fun-filled day for Sadie.  The results equaled 7 full hours of sleep for Mom!  Yeah!

First, I have to mention that we are looking for another vet.  Thank you Stacey, for asking about Sadie’s Bordetella shots!

I assumed she was given the vaccine because the reminder sheet the vet sent home said December 15, 2011 for her next Bordetella.  But, it bugged me that a yearly vaccine would be needed before her first birthday.  Why 12-15-11?  So I made some calls and it turns out the vet assumed the breeder gave her the vaccine.  Why?  Sadie was born 12-23.  How did she get a vaccine on 12-15?  This was after I discovered they messed up the Rabies paperwork.  Puppies get a 1 year Rabies vaccine, than adults get a 3 year vaccine.  They sent us home with 3 year tags & paperwork on Monday.  I called to make sure she got the correct vaccine and the vet verified that she did.  It was just an office error.  Fine.  But how many office errors do you excuse before you being to think they mismanage their practice?  Sadie is a family member.  I want the best for her.  I just don’t feel good about letting them spay her.  Too much can go wrong.

So, we have an appointment with our neighbors’ vet for Sadie’s second Lyme vaccine.  This vet happens to be recommended by an online pet magazine as a top choice award for local vets in STL.  My only concern is that this new vet seems to charge a much higher price for spaying than surrounding vets.  I’ll need to discuss this with the vet.  I want a competent vet that I can trust, but that shouldn’t cost me an extra $200.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  🙂

Back to our day… we rushed over to the “assuming” vet for a quick Bordetella vaccine and then a reward trip to Pet Co.  Sadie loved Pet Co… so many treats to sniff!  🙂  We bought some training treats and some new chew bones.  I bought a pack of puppy edible Nylabones and a pack of bully sticks.   When we returned home, Sadie enjoyed a bully stick in the back yard.

She loved it and it took her about 45 minutes to finish it.  But, it smelled gross.  And, you have to try not to think about what it is – dried bull penis.  Yeah, I know, gross!

After the additional vaccine and a bully stick afternoon, Sadie was tired.  But, we had puppy class to get to.

Sadie slept in the car on the way to class.  With ridiculous traffic, it took us 45 minutes to get to class.  Fine for one class, but I’m not sure I’ll sign up for another series.

Awesome discovery – Sadie’s brother Marco was in the class with her!  So much fun to watch them reunite!  I don’t have any pictures, but I’ll try to get some next week.  The class was a little too crazy to add the element of taking photos!

The puppies had some social time in the beginning and then we practiced Touch, Sit and Go To Your Bed.  There was a disorganized discussion time and the class ended a bit abruptly.  Not sure if I love it.  It’s good for Sadie, she gets to see her brother and with only 4 classes left it’ll be fine.  There is one puppy that is aggressive and doesn’t like other dogs.  He snapped at Sadie last night.  I don’t like that he is in the class, even though I know he needs to learn to socialize.  I’m not crazy about him learning at Sadie’s expense.  I have some reservations about letting her interact with him.

All in all, it was a long day but Sadie enjoyed the experiences.  I’m off to buy her city dog license and a membership to our local dog park!

Sleepy Monday

Ah, yes.  Proof.  Sadie went into her crate yesterday morning to chew on her bed sheet.  She is chewing because of her teething.  {Sigh.}

Yesterday was a big day at the vet.  Sadie got her DHPP, Leptospirosis, Lyme and Rabies vaccinations.  We have to go back in two weeks for the second Lyme vaccination, but other than that, she is good until December.  Sadie weighs 14 pounds!  Growing girl.

I did discuss the spay with the vet.  He suggested waiting until Sadie is close to 6 months of age.  Some research has shown links between early spaying and incontinence in females later in life.  But, you want to do the spay before the first heat to reduce cancer risks (and dealing with a heat).  Sadie turns 6 months old right around the time we are taking a vacation up at the cottage.  I want Sadie to have a blast playing in the lake and not worry about stitches and taking it easy.  I am going to push the spay until after the vacation… it is only a couple of weeks and the vet says it should be fine.  {lets hope the heat doesn’t come early! 🙂 }

This is how Sadie spent the rest of the day…

Do you mind?! I'm sleeping here!

The vaccinations really knocked Sadie out.  She barely perked up for Dad’s arrival home from work, which usually is a huge, hyper production.

Sadie woke up this morning with all the energy in the world!  Ready to go!  It is supposed to be a beautiful day and we have our first puppy class this afternoon!  I’m off to Pet Co to buy treats for class!  🙂

The Gift of Making People Smile

It has been a very busy week!  Sadie is growing like a weed!  We have another Vet appointment on Monday.  I’m interested to see her weight.  🙂  I’m also going to be asking about when she will get her rabies vaccine and finding out more about her spay.  I am not totally “sold” on her current Vet, so I have some more questions before I feel good about him doing her spay.

I noticed some dandruff on her this week.  I read that puppies get dry skin because their oil glands are not yet fully developed.  Brushing helps distribute their oils and reduces puppy dandruff.  I have not been brushing Sadie since I shaved her down – time to start!  Blueberries made it simple.  We also had another successful nail clipping session.  I’ve brushed her everyday.  Her coat is glossy, but she still has some dandruff.  I’m keeping my eye on it.

Tuesday night I went to our first puppy class.  It was owners only – no pups.  We met the trainer, got some basic instructions and homework for the week.  It’s a bit of a drive from our home, but I’m really happy with the trainer and her teaching methods.  I’m really excited to see Sadie meet some new puppy friends and learn the obedience commands!  🙂

For this week, I started walking Sadie on the gentle walker harness.  She was walking well on just her collar, but she was pulling a little when we were on the street heading back to our house.  The harness helps with the pulling, the leash attaches to the front and when she pulls, she gets turned sideways and looks back at me. To get her used to the harness, I put it on her and then we played frisbee.  Once she forgot about the harness, we left for a walk.  It was great!

On our walks this week, I noticed how Sadie has the gift of making people smile. It is fun to watch strangers see us walking and they instantly smile at her.  There was a woman I noticed sitting at a red light.  She looked miserable, then she looked up and saw Sadie and a huge grin appeared on her face.  Same thing happens with people we cross while walking in the park, too.  Some people stop and ask to pet her.  We spent about 5 minutes visiting with an older gentleman walking with his nurse.  He just loved Sadie.  It makes me so happy to see how such a small interaction can make both Sadie & the other person so happy.

The other “puppy school homework” was the Touch command with the clicker.

You are supposed to use a highly loved treat for the reward.  I’ll go to class with something really yummy, but at home, I’m sticking to fruits.  This week, I added diced strawberries.  Can you tell she’s ready to train!  🙂

She learned Touch very quickly.  With touch, I lower my hand, palm out, and say TOUCH.  When she touches my hand, I click, then treat.  Apparently, this is a basic command that we will use for come, sit, etc.

After our training sessions, we end with play sessions!  Off to play some more!  Have a great weekend!

Optimism

Yesterday morning we woke up after a good night’s sleep to discover that the left side of Sadie’s face was swollen.

It continued to swell during the morning.  It was very tender to the touch, too.  By the time we went to the scheduled vet appointment, she looked more like a pit bull puppy, not a springer!

She slept a lot during the day, but she ate normally and played in the snow.  Yes, snow!  Don’t worry, it is melting as I type and it will be 70 on Thursday!  Ha!

After the morning snow play, we went inside and I gave Sadie half a frozen banana.

She loved it!  Yum-O!

The vet appointment went well.  She weighs 10 pounds!  She received her scheduled vaccination shot and got a much-needed evaluation on her facial swelling.  The vet said it looked like muscle swelling only, not bone damage.  He said she may have gotten her muzzle stuck between the crate bars or it was due to the chewing and biting the crate cover.  He gave her a shot to help with the discomfort and swelling.  He also gave me a few pills to give her over the next 3 days.  He said to monitor the swelling, and that it should go down in 24 – 48 hours.  I am happy to report it is 90% better this morning!  Exhale.

He told me to continue with crating her when we leave.  He agreed the cover may have made her more upset than being able to see the entire room.  He suggested we set up a video recorder to tape what she does while we are gone.  We need to determine if she screams the entire time we are gone versus intermittently.  I am going to set up our old-school video recorder and see what happens.  More to come…

Sadie is on the mend and I am hopeful this will work itself out.