Friday, January 25, 2008

How to embarass a border collie

1. Dress him up in silly holiday clothes.
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2. Make him take a bath.
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Alas, it is all too easy for a puppy such as Scorch to regain his dignity!
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It has been an extremely hectic few weeks here. My older Cairn Terrier, Mugsy, who lives with my parents, was diagnosed as being in kidney failure. Over the Christmas holiday, she crashed. She had stopped eating, and was essentially dying. I raced into work to pick up a bag of lactated ringers for subQ fluids, and some wet dog food for syringe feeding. I kept her going until I could bring her into work, where I sobbingly prepared to euthanize her.

My boss encouraged me to try a round of IV fluids before making a decision... and he was right. She is doing much better now, although it has been a rollercoaster of up and downs. Sometimes she eats (boiled chicken only, plus supplementation mixed into her lixotinic iron liquid), sometimes she doesn't. She developed a UTI + vaginitis so we're battling that, and waiting to see if the antibiotics for that make her nausea worse.

(She's the wheaten Cairn, in the sweater)
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Plus I'm working on my May move to Sarasota, which has proven stressful. There are still too many unknowns... all of this, plus raising a puppy and some personal issues have left me stressed. Thank god for Scorch and Wolfie, who have been infinitely patient while I tend to Mugsy.

Scorch's training has progressed beautifully, despite having less time than I'd planned. The latest trick I'm proud of involves him putting his front feet up on a milk crate and consciously moving his back feet around. It's not very graceful yet, but it's entirely free-shaped and I'm damn proud of that. He's beginning to understand the concept of free-shaping. I don't use a clicker very much, mostly because I keep leaving it either at work or home (wherever I'm not), so our marker word "good" has become very strong.

He is a lovely little puppy, and I couldn't be happier.
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Somewhere along the way, the tiny white tip on his tail disappeared. He's changed colors so many times, I've lost track.

He's turning out so amazing though. He's been universally appealing, to all kinds of breed lovers. He's also shaping up to be a great demo dog, laying quietly beside me while I instruct. I'm so proud of him.

1 comment:

Buzz's Food Lady said...

Scorch is just lovely, as is the Cairn and your whole clan. Glad to see an update & hear about Scorch's training...sounds like he could out-trick my Buzzmonster!