The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #154445   Message #3931197
Posted By: Stilly River Sage
16-Jun-18 - 10:35 AM
Thread Name: BS: Our Amazing Dogs
Subject: RE: BS: Our Amazing Dogs
We lost Cinnamon last December, one of those trips to the vet you dread, but know the time has come. She was having so much trouble doing things, and was losing interest in regular food. I took all three for a short walk across the road to Cinnamon's absolute favorite walking place, the woods. She didn't sniff around as much as the others, but I didn't expect it. I took them home and put Cinnamon in the car and we went down to the vet, and the vet could see the time was here also.

Zeke and Poppy are companions but don't play together; Cinnamon was the official kiss administrator, offering up love frequently. These two will kiss me, but not each other. That third dog really was the lynchpin in the pack (me included in that pack). She also energized them.

The sheriff called me at work last month to say I'd left my garage door open, so I told him about the button inside the back door of the garage (separate from the house). I have a stall area in the garage around that door and the gate is kept closed to keep the dogs out of the rest of the area. I told him there is a stick to use to reach the button and don't worry about the dogs, they'll bark but they're friendly. But there wasn't a dog in sight. The entire time. These two spend most of their days in the house now.

Two weeks ago I learned of the city animal shelter putting all dogs on a $10 adoption fee because they were so over-crowded. The next step is the inevitable euthanasia, so I decided to act and researched the breeds and ages they had. I ended up coming home, after several hours in the hot, noisy, crowded, and stinky shelter, with a blue heeler mix I've named Pepper. She's about 3-4 years old, is a little over 40 pounds (could stand to gain about 5 more), has had puppies at some time in the past, was spayed about six weeks ago, is heartworm positive (as are most of their animals).

My vet saw her a few days later, says she's looking good, and says he can go along with the "slow kill" approach to heart worms. The shelter put her on a 1-month Rx of an antibiotic to kill a bacteria in the blood stream that the heartworms feed on, and they give the monthly treatment to kill larval heartworms. After a few months there have been no new young ones and the older ones have slowly died off. If she exhibits symptoms, then we think about the more expensive fast-kill vet method (that requires she not run around for four weeks as the worms are absorbed into her system).

So, Pepper is a pip. She and the others greeted each other at the door, the others are okay, though Pepper would like to be the main dog. There have been a few growls and a couple of snaps, but I think that is mostly past, because she knows I'm the pack leader (primarily because I control the food). I've taught her what the others already knew, to wait to eat until I tell her (the bowls sit on the ground until my "eat" command). She is trained already to the Invisible Fence, because we don't know if she's a climber or jumper or digger, however she got out or was dumped or whatever, we don't want to have happen again. A couple of months at the shelter was pretty rough, but Cesar Millan says dogs live in the now, and this sweetheart is certainly doing so.

First thing when she arrived, we walked out back so she could take care of business, then I put her in the tub because her coat was full of dandruffy debris and dirt. Mud flowed down the drain as I rinsed her. (Everyone is getting a bath today - there will not be joy in Mudville!) That evening before I fed them I took all three for a walk, with Poppy and Zeke on the double lead leash and Pepper on her own on the other side of me. She walks beautifully - like Cesar Millan himself has taught dogs. This dog has had attention at some point, was house trained (though she is a counter surfer), sits. And to Zeke's astonishment the next morning, when I threw his large black and white training bumper for him to retrieve, there was a blur of black and white that flew past me, past him, and grabbed the bumper from him and returned it to me! We tried a couple more times and she tugged the bumper from Zeke and returned it. There was one point when I threw it for Zeke and he sat, dejected, as much as saying "what's the point?" His depression is past, as we're working on sharing - I grab Pepper by the collar, call out "Zeke!" then throw the bumper, then do the reverse for Pepper to fetch. They're getting the hang of it.

For the first week, especially while I was training her to Invisible Fence, I kept Pepper in the hall bathroom at night so she wouldn't go into the yard without me, and she stayed in there while I was at work. What a change from the noisy shelter. She was okay with that, but after a week there was some crying that she wanted out, and the next morning I found Zeke, who usually waits outside my door for me, lying outside the bathroom door waiting for Pepper.

So she's loose in the house at night now, and when I'm at work. I leave my bedroom door open at night but the dogs know it isn't an invitation to sleep in there (unless there is thunder and lightning, at which time Poppy comes in to sleep). One morning midweek I hear the clatter of claws on the tile and Pepper's head pops above the mattress edge. "Where's Zeke, this is his job?" I ask her. Darned if she didn't turn around and head into the hall; moments later both Pepper and Zeke clatter into the room to tell me it's time for their breakfast.

Poppy is okay with Pepper, but she's a lot older and is also part blue heeler, so also wants to be my main dog. They are very faithful to their owners, that's why I got another blue heeler instead of another lab mix or pit mix. (I feared too many comparisons to Cinnamon if I got another pitbull right now.)

The new dog met the mail carrier the other day and was happy to do so, but a day earlier there was an unexpected knock at the door and there was a burst of dog barking at the door, they then came to bark at me in the office to tell me there was someone at the door. I opened the wooden door, leaving the steel and glass security door in place, and they barked a couple more times before settling down to hear the conversation, in which I told a guy who wanted to discuss cable versus fiberoptic infrastructure to get me to change my Internet provider, that he needs a permit to peddle in the village. I'm sure he had no clue as to why the four of us were so pleased with ourselves over our performance at the front door just then.

I think this about catches the Mudcat world up to my dog situation.