Friday, July 29, 2011

Sad Puppy :-(

It's been a rough time for my little buddy. Two weeks ago he got shots which gave him bad diarrhea and required a followup visit for the vet. While there we asked about the little scabs that had shown up all over his body (including areas that he can't really get to easily), and the vet also prescribed that we give him Benadryl for a bit, as it appeared to be an allergic reaction.

This past Thursday, he was finally neutered. I think that I took it worse than he did - it definitely was not fun leaving the vet's office without him. Fortunately, everything went well, and he was released sooner than we anticipated. He hadn't licked at his stitches at the vet's office, so he was sent home without a cone of shame. We did receive instructions that he wasn't to run, jump, or climb stairs for two days.

When we picked him up, he didn't even seem to recognize us, or to have a clue what was going on around him. He was walking very wobbly, and had a hard time raising his leg to go to the bathroom. So when we got home, I didn't think he'd be that hard to keep off the steps. I held him while Aaron went down to the car to bring up his travel crate to block the stairs. And of course, the second daddy was gone, he had a moment of lucidity, and went bounding down the stairs.

For most of the rest of the night, he did what you see in the picture above - laid around looking half asleep. We were told to feed him at 6, but he didn't end up eating anything until 11. He whined on and off through the night, which of course made me feel terrible.

Friday morning he was almost entirely back to normal. Which meant that he was incredibly upset by the fact that I said No whenever he tried to jump on something, and that I would not play fetch with him. I ended up spending much of my time reassuring him that he was still loved.

Today he was even harder to get to stop jumping. He's not really acting like a dog that had surgery just two days ago. I was surprised at how fast he has bounced back from the procedure. I honestly expected a day or two of lazy Marcus!

Monday, July 25, 2011

New Toy!

There will be a more substantial post in a bit, but I wanted to share this video of Marcus with his new toy!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Grooming + New Food!

Marcus has a slight problem. He's a boy. His aim is terrible. Half the time he either pees on his own feet, pees on his belly, or falls while peeing getting it all over himself. This plus a new hobby of rolling in dead things and poop meant that Marcus reeked. I decided to take him to Great Dogs of Great Falls to get groomed, because I'd heard good things about them. Also, I was hoping a bit of trimming of his belly fur and his pants would make him a hair less messy when he was going potty, and I wasn't really willing to go at him in sensitive areas with a pair of scissors. Let's not traumatize the poor boy before he gets neutered!

So he got a nice bath, a nail trimming, and a teeny bit of his fur trimmed, and came back to us smelling like a clean dog, and very, very happy. Marcus really loves being pampered. The groomer said he was a perfect angel the whole time he was getting done. And he has this cute little bandanna on that he seems to at least tolerate!

I've been doing some research on dog foods just for giggles, and I came across discussing of Proportions. Basically, there philosophy is that it's difficult to get all the necessary nutrition into a dry food. While dry food is still a component of the diet, there is also a dehydrated fruit and vegetable component, and a pumpkin and chicken stew component. It's apparently one of the more complete dog diets out there, without some of the side effects associated with a raw diet (like potential gastrointestinal issues, or nutrition issues).

I decided rather than to use their kibble that I was going to just use the kibble that Marcus is already on, and add the stew and fruits/veggies in the evening. He's been on it for two days, and so far he seems to really enjoy it. He licks his dish clean (and then some) and he gets more excited about it than basically anything else I've given him, save cooked lean ground beef. I think it reminds him more of human food as well, so he feels like he's getting the same food that his Mommy and Daddy are.

I've been pretty fond of it too. He's been playing with his food less and actually eating it more, and he seems to be begging for our food at dinner less (although, he's never really done it a lot). It adds about an extra $1.50 per day to the dog feeding expenses, but I think in the long run it will be worth it. I assume it'd be a bit cheaper if I went with their kibble and did the bundle deal, but he really likes his kibble and I didn't want to mess with that.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fourth of July Weekend

We didn't want to do anything with potential for explosives of Fourth of July since we didn't really know how Marcus would handle them, so we ended up visiting my parents on the 3rd so they could meet Marcus. As you can see from the short video clip, Marcus liked having a huge yard to run and play in. It's really hard to video a fast moving Corgi.

While we had burgers, Marcus got to sniff things, pee on things, roll in things, and run around like crazy. He seemed to enjoy himself thoroughly despite the fact that it was really hot out. Fortunately, we kept Marcus cool with a combination of lot's of ice water, trips into the house, and a spray with the hose (which he was less than fond of).

Perhaps one of the funniest things to happen during the day was when Marcus met Pongo, my parent's African Grey. Pongo was alright with Marcus, so long as he didn't get too close to her cage. The problem was, Pongo kept whistling, not realizing that's frequently how we summon the dog. So Marcus would walk away, Pongo would whistle, Marcus would come running over, then Pongo would start growling at him for being too close. It was quite funny.

For July Fourth, we stayed in. We were near enough to some fireworks to hear but not see them. At first, Marcus seemed curious about the noises. Then I made the mistake of trying to take him out for his nightly walk while the fireworks were going off. He alternated between trying to run towards the fireworks and trying to run to the noisemakers that our neighbors down the street were using. As a result, he ran back and forth and back and forth until I finally managed to get him back into the house. He was a little skeptical of going outside afterwards.

I've ordered a couple packets of Proportions dog food. It should be arriving soon. We intend to keep Marcus on the kibble he is getting now, and add the broth and veggie packs from Proportions. Hopefully, he'll like it.

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Great Day to Be a Dog

Yesterday didn't go so hot. I'd slept in after Aaron left for work, and awoke to find Marcus chewing on a pair of my shorts. Normally when I sleep in, he doesn't need to go out until noon at the earliest, but yesterday his bladder decided 11:45 was good. The UPS truck was near my bedroom window, and he kept running into the bedroom, barking once, then coming back out to the living room. He doesn't really bark at the UPS truck, so I went into the room to make sure nothing else was up. I came back into the living room to find him peeing on the vacuum (which is the one thing he is absolutely, positively terrified of). After apologizing to him (I felt terrible for making him wait), I took him for a walk. but I only took him for 1 walk, and he's used to 2-3 before I go to work, so he didn't want to get in his crate. While Aaron and I were at work, we discussed some things with our morning routine. Specifically, since Marcus is crated away from us all night, he seems to really, really want to play at 7am in the morning. I work til Midnight. That's not so good with me. We decided that there was no real reason for him to be created at night. There's not much to destroy in our bedroom, and we're both there. We sleep with the door closed. The problem was, we've established that he's allowed to be on the bed when he isn't in his crate.

Insert an hour of trying to train "down" with positive reinforcement. Unfortunately, when he did down correct, he got so excited about it he wanted to jump on the bed again. We finally resorted to jingling a bag of pennies when he jumped up on the bed.... and after two attempts, down was learned. The rest of the night was pretty uneventful. He jumped up at 6am, and we ignored him, and he went back to the floor. And he didn't whine to wake up until 8:30 (typically, he's very reliable about needing to come out of the crate at 7am). Unfortunately, today was the ONE day we forgot to set the alarm clock, so it would have been nice to have him wake up early... but what can you do.

Marcus wasn't out of his crate like a shot at 7am, so I got a much more casual start to my morning. It was a rather nice day out, so I decided to take Marcus out for a nice long walk. The park is a mile from our house, and I'd like to not have to drive there all the time, so I've been walking on building Marcus' stamina. It was not too hot out since it was still early, and there was a nice cool breeze. We made it the whole 1.3 mile journey there with no incident! Yay!

The way back was a bit rougher, as once the sun was up, it got quite warm. I'd brought a bit of water with me, but Marcus didn't seem to want any of it, he just wanted to sniff things and pee on things. I don't necessarily know that he realizes that if he doesn't drink, he runs out of pee to mark with. I finally got him under a nice shade tree, where we had a nice drink, and Marcus tried to eat grass.

Then Marcus decided it was time to run home. 2.6 miles of walk for the two of us, and when we got home, Marcus was the happiest little guy. He should sleep QUITE well tonight! I'm glad that after yesterday's kind of crummy day that we were able to make up for it today. This weekend's adventure - toenail care with the dremel!