Monday, April 23, 2012

Its Getting HOT Out

I hate to say it, but summer seems to have sprung upon Las Vegas a little early this year.  For the last three days it has hit 98 degrees and stayed there most of the afternoon.  This being my 4th Vegas summer I know what we are in for but I was not quite prepared for it to happen this early!  Kerrigan was not prepared for it to happen at all.

Saturday we went to Pet-a-Palooza (I would link you to the event site but they seem to have ripped it down nice and fast here).  It was an OK time, we got to visit with some of our animal rescue friends and our training place was there but boy was it hot.  It was even a little too hot to enjoy and we only stayed for about an hour.  Copley stayed at home because he is only a few days into his antibiotics and I hear it can make dogs sensitive to the sun.

I only took a few pictures-
Hiding from the sun while we enjoy some lemonade

Hot.  Look at that cure little tongue panting!
I am beginning to question the wisdom of getting a black dog.  She gets hot so easily poor little thing.  To help beat the heat I have pulled out some of my favorite summertime treats for the dogs.  I made goat stock ice cubes, froze some kongs with yogurt in them and bought a kiddy pool for splashing in the yard.

We also are happy to enjoy some good ole air-conditioned indoor fun, like chewing on bully sticks!

I am in the process of teaching Copley to go to and stay on that pink blanket so I have a more portable option than the crate for when I need him to stay put somewhere.  Right now he only gets his bully stick on that blanket and he has to stay on that blanket to keep it.  Things seem to be going well in that department.

You may notice the new snazzy collars they are wearing too.  I am going to make a post about it once Kerri's final tag gets here.  They are really cool collars and really cool tags, I can't wait to get everything in!

Friday, April 20, 2012


I have gotten a little addicted to pinterest lately.  Mostly I am pinning about dog stuff- but I also pin stuff of general interest to me.  You can follow me by clicking this button-

Follow Me on Pinterest
Or the pinterest button in the sidebar

If any of you are on pinterest let me know in the comments and I will follow you.  Or if you know any interesting people I should be following let me know that too!  My favorite celebrity pinner is George Takei-  That man is amazing and today is his 75th birthday.

Since this post was totally not dog related here is a picture of one for you.

You could even pin it.  Hows that for tying unrelated things together.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lyme Diesase

With all these random issues Copley has been having lately I decided to run a tick panel.  It was just a feeling me and Ben had- and the vet agreed to do it- although we all assumed it would come back negative.  After all we don't even have ticks in Vegas.  I use topical preventative whenever we travel and this side of the country does not have huge numbers of infections anyway.  Well guess what?  It came back positive for Lyme!

So what does this mean?  It may mean he has Lyme disease or it may not.
  1. He could have been vaccinated for Lyme before we got him and the titer they see in the test is his reaction to the vaccine.
  2. He could have contracted the disease before we got him, been treated for it, and now it is gone.
  3. He could have been exposed but does not have an active infection (as in this is not the cause of his joint pain).
  4. He could have Lyme disease.
What are we doing from here? Well we are running another test.  If this test comes back positive it will mean he IS actively infected with the disease.  If it comes back negative it is still possible that he has the disease but it didn't show up on the test.  Lyme is tricky like that.  Our plan is to treat with antibiotics regardless of the outcome of the second test.  We could wait and re-test in a few months but I feel that because he has the most common symptom (unexplained joint pain) I am going to treat now regardless.  It is tough because I am not a fan of antibiotics unless you absolutely need them and going on a month of antibiotics just because of a "hunch" makes me a little bit uncomfortable.  In this case though, with his unknown history and a positive titer I am going to go for it.

Instead of being down about this we are taking it as a good thing.  If he does have Lyme then all of his problems can finally be explained and I don't have to keep going to the vet saying "I know he LOOKS fine, but something is not quite right!"*  If his knee pain, hip pain, random eye discharge, sudden onset car sickness and (for the last week) inability to sleep through the night can be taken care of with antibiotics then I am calling it a miracle.

The woods where Copley got bit by a tick.
Just Kidding
Except maybe not, if he got bit by a tick in my care it was probably in these woods.
It was a tough sly tick too- to make it through the topical tick repellent and jump off before I found it.

*I haven't blogged about it because I was a little worried I was a dog hypochondriac, but we are at the vet a lot these days.  Every time we are told that he is fine, or given some OTC idea for taking care of the symptom that I imagine the vet thinks I made up in my head.  Most recent he is on an antacid for stomach upset but in the past he has also been in for eye discharge and of course the knee/hip pain.  And for the record I still think the chiropractor has helped with his posture because Lyme or not- he is not winning any awards for "best hips" or "great genetics."

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Nom Nom Nom

Today I was out walking Kerrigan at the park when we stopped to let a little kid and his mom pet her.  The little boy first told his mom that she was very skinny, then asked me why I couldn't afford to feed my dog. I told them she was a healthy weight and we fed her very good food.
As the mom walked away she told the boy that not everyone takes as good care of their pets as their family.

WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING TO ME?  My dogs are not skinny, they are healthy.

Here is a picture of our underfed chihuahua chewing on a bully stick.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Copley's got a Chiropractor

First of all HAPPY EASTER!  We celebrated the holiday by enjoying yummy treats (dog and human) from our amazing neighbors and ordering rabbit meat for the dogs.  What is more fitting of the season than nom nom nomming on humanely slaughtered, pastured bunny rabbits?  Well... probably lot of things.  I try not to think too much about the fact that they will be eating rabbits but the fact is dogs need to eat meat and these rabbits were much more humanely raised than the poor supermarket chicken they are eating for dinner tonight.  If I find humanely raised meat from a small farm for a good price I am really inclined to buy it no matter what it is.

In other news Copley has been seeing a chiropractor.  Did you even know animal chiropractors existed?  I didn't until I saw a brochure for one and did a little research.  They even have a national certifying agency The American Veterinary Chiropractic Association.  Copley has been adjusted twice and it really seems to be making a difference.  You may remember the injury he had back in January.  The month of total rest and 6-8 weeks of slowly going back to normal activity seems to have done the trick for the leg but I still felt like he was not 100%.  When I saw the flyer for the chiropractor I thought it might be just what he needs to make that final recovery.  After just two sessions with the chiropractor Copley is playing more with his sister, more enthusiastic on walks and even the waddle in his gait is improving a little bit.  The improvement was not overnight, nor was it like a shocking change in behavior, but I do see it making a difference with the little things.  He is never going to have the perfect posture or gait because his genetics are working against him but some improvement in that area hopefully will help hold off injury and arthritis as long as we can.

One thing I have noticed is for the first time ever Copley is laying straight on his own.  He will lay straight when we are doing rally or I ask him too, but when he just plops down he ALWAYS tucks his right leg under him.  Lately I have noticed he is using his muscles to lay down instead of just plopping down on his hip.  I looked through pictures and could not find ONE of him laying straight like this until this week.

I was so happy to catch him laying like this with my camera nearby that I let him break the rules (paws in the kitchen) so I could take the picture.  He has been laying like this for a few days but I keep the camera by the treat jar so every time I went to get it he got up.

I am curious if any of you have seen a chiropractor for your dog?  Did you notice results?  Most of the people I have talked to who use one are doing it to keep their performance dogs in shape but I would be curious what your experiences were for other uses.  Our primary vet was supportive (make sure your chiropractor consults with your vet before you begin any treatment) but I am curious what other vets have have to say about this "alternative" treatment.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Weekend Visitor

We had a visitor this weekend and his name is Wally!  

 Wally is a 12 week old mastiff puppy who is owned by friends of ours.  His owners had big plans this past weekend and needed to be away from the house for 14 hours both days.  Since he was a 12 week old puppy somebody needed to watch him and I volunteered.  Every time I see a socialization opportunity for my puppy I always jump on it and this seemed perfect.

Copley had a good time for 90% of the day.  Being 12 weeks old Wally is a little short on the dog social skills and constantly jumped right in Copley's face.  Luckily Copley is great with puppies and even though this puppy was  10lbs bigger than him, he still treated him with the patience he usually has for puppies that age.  They played and had a good time and Copley appropriately corrected Wally for his rude behavior when needed.  Wally learned a lot and by the end of the day was a little less in your face with Copley.  For the last three hours he was here Copley hid in his crate with his back to the door.

Kerrigan had a good time that evolved into an interesting time.  She initiated play with Wally a LOT.  They played one of Kerri's favorite games "bite the face" where they both bit each others face.  I was right there and extremely surprised that Wally was so gentle with her.  That was the good time.  The interesting time was when she wanted to play chase with him.  She would initiate a game of chase- play bowing and howling and just begging him to play.  Then when he actually did chase her she got scared of this big clumsy dog coming after her (I can't blame her for that) and would jump up on the couch to hide with her tail tucked between her legs.  I can understand this once- but she did it over and over again.  She was so excited to play that she forgot what the consequences were.  I did my best to stop her and encourage games that didn't involve running.  Overall things went pretty smooth.

I had a great idea to take a picture of them all sitting in a line next to each other for size comparison but it was a little tough.  The picture I got in the end was not half bad-
Kerri- 8 months 5.8lbs, Wally 3 months 35lbs and Copley 3 years 21lbs

They are not looking at the camera, Kerri isn't sitting and Copley is plopped down with his legs like all over the place but I am proud.  It is not blurry, they are all in it and you can see their faces.  Believe me it is an accomplishment.

Final verdict on the weekend: Wally is a very well behaved puppy and my dogs had a good time playing with a new friend.  Most importantly I had a great time hanging out with an adorable wrinkly 12 week old puppy for two days.