Stretched out now that he has the bed to himself…Kenai 3 yrs
Remember that tick bite and the normal CBC? Remember I didn’t quite buy the normal results? Yeah. While we waited for the results of the tick titer, Brown’s behavior got even more absurdly intense and intractable, not to mention jumpier and wilder…
He wouldn’t eat despite steroids, he would stop harrassing BB, he wouldn’t stop whining, he wouldn’t stop charging around barking at every noise, his legs hurt, his tummy was touchier. Just like every other time he’s spiked a titer.
The weirdness that caused me to go get blood drawn in the first place only got worse. The vet was surprised but I wasn’t: Kenai’s tick titers are off the charts again. Reinfected, with Ehrlichia again.
This will be the 7th round of antibiotics, the 5th recurrance or re-infection in his 3 yr life. (Thanks to a messed up immune system…)Advantix religously applied or not, body checks for crawlies everytime he’s out or not, he was bitten by one, ONE, tick.
What are the odds that that ONE would be infectious? Pernicious little beasts.
The next 2 weeks + are going to be hell for us all. The weirdness will continue, probably worse, added to by worsened anorexia, nausea, die-in-the-rears…
he doesn’t handle doxy well at all and it’s the only class of drugs that are effective on tick diseases. I’m scared again, plainly said.
He has totally refused his food this past week–won’t touch any of the Bravo raw or cooked, not even the oven roasted chicken I make for them. After two days of empty tum, I broke down and got him a small bag of grain free Taste of the Wild kibble.
He ate it like nobody’s business and wanted more. Boy likes his crunchy foods. Butt explosions are now inevitable, unless he pulls a contrary about that all of a sudden. For some reason, kibble and even dried meat, will give Kenai the runnies. No clue why.
He is taking cerenia for nausea, so I hope that keeps his appetite up. The doxacycline will worsen his appetite over time, no doubt, as it’s side effect is anorexia. Perhaps the cerenia and the kibble will keep him eating.
If he doesn’t keep eating as in the past, he drops terrifying amounts of weight. Like 10 pounds over a weekend. That’s what scares me most–his body scavanges its own muscle to keep going and that can become dangerous pretty fast.
As for behavior, I’m gonna have to be on my game to keep Kenai’s el-bizzaro boy under control. His intensity is hard to explain. Like he’s on a 220 outlet rather than a regular plug in.
It reminds me of the manic state of bipolar disorders. I’ve called it “going native” in the past. It’s as if he cannot hear you or understand what you say–his brain’s on fire, obsessive and fixated, hyper-reactive to stimuli. 24/7 all over the place.
This sounds unbelievable, but training is a waste of time: first he doesn’t respond at all, and he doesn’t learn anything. It was so frustrating, finding this out the hard way. But it does make sense if you think about it.
Any dog over-stimulated struggles with learning–you see it at classes and sports events. So once I realized Kenai is wildly overstimulated all day and night when fighting Ehrlichia, it clicked for me. Clicking for him is pointless, but I finally “got it”.
Question is, whadda ya do then? What can ya do if he never does get back under threshold?
He does respond to you when you get seriously dog-whisperer on him. Emotion he picks up on, sensitive to it to begin with. Skip the superficial (learned behavior), and go straight to the operating system (instinctive behavior).
That’s why I have to be extra calm to quiet him any and extra calm assertive to stop his harrassing BB. To work with a weirded out dog like mine, it takes fluency in dog-talk. In other words: body language, emotion, sensitivity, and intention.
Kenai does best when I use less of a correcting energy and more of a just bearing down insistance: “not what I want, love, I expect something else” without words. That’s also hard to explain! Maybe I can get a video up?
And I’m gonna have to shut up. Talking to him when he’s fixated is useless anyway. But human that I am, my first reactions are usually verbal. Then I can get irritated if my verbal instructions are ignored for a long time. Species clash…
So I guess the next few weeks will be an exhaustive exploration of how Cesar Milan Dog Whisperer works on a nutso dog brain? Definitely a concentrated lesson on how to be more patient and persistant than the nutso dog.
It feels kinda new agey, staying in touch with and using your energy and emotions to “talk” to a dog. Hard for me to sustain, too. You’d be surprised how much energy it can take, durn Chronic Fatigue. And with my anxiety issues, I have to first deal with myself and find that “zen” sorta state before trying to deal with Kenai.
Dogs have this way of finding their human’s weaknesses and making us straighten them out–or is it just me? They’re like mood rings, with fur. What I feel manifests in the boy’s actions, whether I was aware of what I felt or not.
The upside is: what’s hard for me learn usually is what’s best for me in the long run.
I suppose it is a good thing in the long run to delve deeper and take on my own anxiety difficulties. Left to myself I’d be likely to merely manage it just enough to get by. Brown’s gonna make me take control of it.
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on April 29, 2011
Guard puppy, watching a man with a push mower. Kenai 3 yrs.
Well, after reflection (aka, after “oh no, no, no, please, no…”), I should have not been taken by surprise that BB tried to bloat up on us. The spring weather and a new backyard meant he was getting more exercise, moving meant more stress, loose in the house with K meant more excitement…
Guess that means a little bit of a PSA is in order: now that you and your dogs are going to be out more, and finding “funner” things to do than winter’s dreary weather allowed, it’s time to start keeping bloat in mind.
Danes are prone to it, in fact it’s the leading cause of death in Danes. Barring just old age of course. It’s a danger all year round but especially in summer. Over yonder is a page about bloat and goes into more detail that I will in this post.
Here’s what happens: gas begins to build up in the stomach and intestines, next the pressure causes the stomach to twist (vets call GDV), and eventually the stomach and bowels can die from lack of blood supply.
The symptoms can be very subtle at first, but if you catch it early your dog is much more likely to survive. Marked restlessness, panting, and just general disinterest in the usual activities are the first wave of signs. Next will come an enlarged abdomen, pale gums, vomiting, and refusing to eat or drink.
Many vets will preventitively “tack” a dog’s stomach surgically if they are of a breed or have medical conditions to be at higher risk for bloat. Often the tacking is done during neutering or another surgery. This will prevent the stomach from twisting itself, which is when most of the life threatening damage is done.
BB was thankfully tacked, so he didn’t actually wind up in the vet having surgery. The surgery and aftercare can be very expensive, in the $1000′s of dollars for a dog the size of a Dane. And worst of all, there is no certainty of survival. You could go broke AND loose your buddy.
Since I have had past experience with bloat, and knew the underlying cause is gas, the doses of gas-x and vomiting meds were my first line of defense at home. But if my bent bottoms boy had not shown me signs of improvement within 30-45 min…
Well, experienced or not Beebs would have found himself hefted into the car and having an encounter with Dr Susan. He got a little gassy again after supper, and had one more dose of gas-x, and that was the end of his attempt to make me die of fright.
The faster you recognize and get treatment, the better the outcome is likely to be for your dog. There are some preventions or precautions you can take, and I’ve just incorporated them into our routines.
no exercise or exciting situations for 2 hours before and after meals. Play, going places, or anything that can rev up your pup might outta be avoided
not leaving your dog out in temps above 80-85F, and that includes the temp inside the car if they are out with you. Heat stress can precipitate bloat very quickly. Danes are not stay outside dogs for more reasons than they go bonkers alone.
Also restrict the water or don’t provide any until your dog has been inside and cooled off for at least an hour or two. They may be thirsty, but withhold it awhile. A panting dog will swallow air as well as water when drinking.
the ‘higher strung’ dogs seem to have a higher risk, so working to reduce your dog’s overall anxiety and stress levels is more than just being a good owner, it may well prevent a life threatening problem
Thankfully BB is fully recovered, resiliant as he is. The vet gave him a check over yesterday at a standing appt and found him in good shape. But he gave us a nasty scare.
I’ve been thinking…I know, uh-oh…but I have been thinking about ways to motivate Kenai to “work”. He’s lost interest in the clicker, and doesn’t want treats or toys, so how does a girl reinforce the click?
Really I just need more compliance with an occasional sit, down, or stay and he’s slower than frozen syrup about it.
I make him wait to get on the bed with me, that works. I want a polite sit stay at the door when someone comes and he’s cool with that as long as BB isn’t around. (Then it’s a zoo). You know, a little more listening in general.
But HRH has reached a point with many ‘requests’ like answering to his name (not again…) that if what he wants is combined with what he doesn’t want, he just walks away from the whole affair.
UHG! Jeez dog, enough contrary already. Even Lisa the trainer gets the disinterest when she wants his attention now. To get a bit more co-operation, I need to find a reward he actually wants. And won’t tire of in 10 seconds.
Nosework? Scent training, modified for my purposes? He wouldn’t care a fig about the birch oil officially used to begin scent training. But he would care about say, animal scents? Hunters use them to lure prey; perhaps I could lure a sit outta Donkey Dog with it?
If answering his name leads to a good game of sniff, I wonder if I would get more intrest in the name-calling (yeah of that kind too *grin*). If? I mean, with Kenai, any kind of training is a crap shoot, but still he’s the world’s original nose (and getting in trouble for it).
Lisa the trainer thinks it’s definitely worth a try. Me too. What shall it be; rabbit, deer, elk, possum, absolutely no skunk…
As for Big Brown being slightly off, the vet visit was a little relieving. The CBC and all showed no rise in immune activity, no drop in platelets or red blood cells, and nothing to indicate a problem. The tick titer has to be sent off, so we’ll see about that.
Still, the platelets have been our best diagnostic with tick disease flares in Kenai. That leaves pain to explain the pookiness and reluctance to eat. Perhaps the increased exercise? I’d have thought to see that the first week or so in the new house.
Perhaps not having a couch? He does wander is boy self off to my bed shortly after his supper, rather than hang out on the living room floor. Still, he won’t use the crib mattress when I put it down for him, and during the night he will go from my bed to the floor and back.
Maybe it’s just simple as the same reason for me: the weather. Fronts have been hitting us almost every day or two the past couple weeks, and it is rampaging all over my sorry tush. The FMS/CFS can leave you in ruins when it’s in the mood.
Chronic Fatigue syndrome has more than just the CFS moniker by the way.
There’s post viral fatigue syndrome, PVFS (sounds like a building material, don’t it?),
chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome, CFIDS,
and a really scary sounding one; myloencephalitis, ME.
Personally I think we should settle on myloencephalitis, since many if not most people sorta tune you out or dismiss the severity of problems when you say fatigue.
Many people with whatever you call it have been initially misdiagnosed, with things like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, cardiac conditions, and even dementia–that’s how severe the symptoms can get.
Despite that, most doctors get a sorta deafened ear, about half thinking you’re a hypochondriac. There are still some who won’t accept CFS is real, regardless of how much proof you give them.
Oh the fun of an “invisible” disability…
Anyway, my Lovely Rump Boy may just plain and simple be getting hammered by the up and down of the barometric pressure. I’d love to believe that, but considering his history, I’ll believe it when the tick titer comes back negative.
And my allergies have gone crazy too–new house, new area ie new allergens. Maybe he’s a bit worn down by an allergy response? I wonder about giving the guys an allergy pill. hum. Try it on myself first, as usual.
I’m the guinea people ’round here, as opposed to having guinea pups. And no, I don’t have fur between my toes, he, he, he. (I checked…)
Kenai will have a little car ride this morning–a run for lawnmower gas–if we aren’t having downpours anyway. Princess that he is, he won’t get in and out of the car in the rain. Drizzle, yes, wet not if he can help it. Danes…
I’ve only had one Dane that actually liked the water. He would race ya to the tub for bath time, make silly boy noises while lathered, and had a squeaky ball to squish while being rinsed. Brazos couldn’t wait to be soaked, by showerhead or hose mattered not.
Mostly though, Danes generally hate getting wet. BB has the funniest droopy dog face on him during bathtime; those big ears slide down his head like they’re melting, and if he could shrink enough to hide in your pocket he would. Ya can’t help but laugh at his pitiful.
And Kenai gives ya moose face from pre-wetting to final rinse. He doesn’t abandon his dignity, but makes no attempt to hide his disdain for soap. It’s like a Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon.
They don’t know it, but bathtime will be soon–waiting for a nice warm day for them to air dry in. Ow the sorrows of being a boy! Life is a drip when you’re wet…
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on April 21, 2011
Kenai and Andy saying good morning!
I’ve got a few years left with my two Brothers, but it doesn’t stop me from considering what I’m looking for next time. As far as size, I’d like another shorter boy 35″ or so like Kenai. And he’ll need to have a strong build to bear up under my tonnage.
But the personality is the key: work drive but not too energetic, attentive to me more than environment, not easy to spook and recovers quickly from a startle, and food motivated.
My SD candidate will have to grow into a Boy that walks without distraction, can do long down-stays without moving, isn’t phased by the goings on of a restaurant, doesn’t mind weight and equipment on his body, and can perform tasks that may not be frequently used in addition to the usual.
Tall order, huh?
At least I don’t need as much from a new Boy as a guide dog, or hearing dog–that training is the big time, and amazingly varied. I can turn on my own lights, and pick up dropped items for myself. That doesn’t mean I will be able to later on, so Boy will have to be quick to learn new things as an adult.
Knowing what I need, the amount of exercise I can reasonably provide, and having help to get there is where I start.
BB’s Friday training time revealed a kink or two in his puppy hose: I’ve wondered about barrier frustration in regards to him. Yep, if someone stands outside the door or the other side of the baby gate, particularly using hand movements, he becomes borderline aggressive.
He’s always been weirdest when penned, and when he does a lunging bark at someone it’s almost always when they are walking away from him. He’s done it 3 times now with a serious intention. Most of the time, he’s loose and much calmer. Just…
So I gotta figure out what to do with that. He’ll even bark and lunge at the door with me being the door-hitter wacky hand gal. It freaks him out. Boy, I’m tired just thinking about all the work that pup’s rehab’s gonna take. And wouldn’t it be nice if the working with Mom’s dog didn’t fall on me for a change?
Lisa the Trainer had a Barks n BBQ Saturday, and I missed it. (Naturally, ’cause I had wanted to go). The CFS had a death grip on me, and the FMS was a double whammy as a deep low pressure system hit us. Lordie but it was cold and blustery.
I’ve reached a point of proficiency with Facebook now that I occasionally get bored! How ’bout that? Dino learns new trick! But before ya get to believing I’ve lost all my brontosaurus ways, I’m not figuring out how to find the cool people on twitter even a little…grin
Kenai, of course, doesn’t care if I’m internet smart, so long as he gets his photo shoot up! (He he he). Most of Kenai’s pics are taken when he’s stopped to smell or listen or watch something. But even now he still “poses” for the camera. I’d taught him as a tiny guy to ‘hold still’ and such until I got a pic or two and released him.
Have ya ever just known something wasn’t right with your dogs? Nothing big enough or obvious enough to put your finger on, but still just not right.
Kenai was unusually cuddlesome the whole hour before we got the other half of the four pack up Monday morning. Something wasn’t right with either of the boys, and with Kenai’s breakfast mostly untouched, I figured Mom had forgotten their steriod.
We give them, okay, Mom gives their pred around 11pm or so, since that time seems to do them the most good, and I’m already long since in bed. Overnight is when they go the longest without eating, and the pred keeps them till morning.
BB ate just fine, though he seemed to be achier. Still, they were happy when Lisa the trainer came. A little subdued, but not surprising if they were more physically uncomfortable. What was surprising is BB didn’t want his treats. Any of them. uh-oh.
Not long after his lunch, eagerly eaten mind you, Beebs started vomiting liquids. Right off I gave him his vomiting medicine, and it came up in 10 minutes. What I said wasn’t repeatable in polite company, and stuffed some more vomiting meds in him.
There was belching, a bit of refluxing and the like but it stayed down. Still, he didn’t perk up, and his belly seemed just a tiny bit bigger than it usually did. So it was tums and gums time, and sure enough there was enough gas in his tums to make patting them sound positively hollow. Oooo BB…
Since he was tacked, we didn’t have to worry about a GDV where the stomach twists and bowels die from lack of blood supply. But he was indeed bloated, with gas enough to lift a hot air balloon.
Hence he got not one but 2 extra strength gas-x and a call to the vet to let them know they might have visitors, in not too good a state. I wanted to see how the gas-x did for him before pulling the panic trigger so to speak (vet trips and x-rays are very hard on Beebs).
So unless there was no change or he got worse we’d just wait and see an hour or about. Just before they closed, I called back and let them know he was better and I was hearing peristalsis again in the bowls. The belly was back to normal and a tapping sounded solid like it should.
A little bit of water stayed down the BB hatch without incident, too. Insert monstrous big sigh right here. Twice. He’ll be watched after supper and if I have to give him gas-x again, he’ll be in first thing to see Dr Susan.
She was waiting to hear, had his chart pulled, a blood donor lined up if needed, and planned to call me at closing time if I didn’t call her. Can ya tell she likes my guys?
Kenai was a little pooky, but I didn’t hear gas or anything amiss. He is not tacked and could go all out GDV on us, so Big Brown will also be closely watched through the night as he ate supper. I’m hoping their normal dose of steroid at the normal time will return all to normal.
The only thing I could figure as a cause was the missed steroid and BB eating a full breakfast, whereas his bro fasted himself. Oh man…the greys will show through the hair dye at this rate.
I knew those two were behaving too well for there trainer! It was just a feelin that wouldn’t shake; something ain’t right.
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on April 18, 2011
ahhhhh, finally the boy gets a nap, Kenai 3 yrs
I came across a new service dog evaluation system. Several big name SD programs use this now, called CARAT. http://flyingdogpress.com/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/. I’d like to learn more about this and puppy raising in general, of course. It would seem I need to attend a seminar to get the nuts and bolts of CARAT.
I did however find some fabulous articles on training: http://flyingdogpress.com/content/category/4/13/97/ with a whole slew of topics. The first one I hit on was rewards, lures, and bribes seeing as Kenai can be tough to reward. It talks about the 4 major influences on rewards (timing, intensity, variety, and frequency).
Then I read the “Hard to Train” and she’s condensed everything I’ve learned from Kenai!
Dog training/puppy raising is both ridiculously simple and ridiculously complicated. How they learn is filtered many times, through hardwired dog-style, inherent breed traits, and individual personality. They do not live in the same sort of world that we do, and to really “get it”, ya have to think like a dog. Not so easy, sometimes!
What was easy? The Brothers Grin’s training session: it went very well Tuesday! Kenai is totally unaffected by the doorbell outside, and knocking inside now. He’s gotten downright nonchalant when hot and tired. And the rattling of a measuring tape, sliding drawers, and service techs too.
BB really seemed to catch on to the doorbell game. Outside he rarely reacts to it. We haven’t tried inside yet, since there is the occasional little woof. He had his supper out on the front porch, as the bell rang and the door muffled the sound a bit.
A sort of doorbell a la mode turkey dinner for BB, who is no longer a “Beluga Butt” boy, getting skinny on the exercise regimen. One or two woofs was all (didn’t your mother teach you not to bark with your mouth full?), even with the door open so the sound carried better.
The weather is supposed to turn cold again, (almost 90F to snow?!!!) so it may be BB’s lunch that goes out of doors rather than breakfast or supper later in the week. Al fresco ain’t so much fun in layers of fleece, at least to me.
BB wouldn’t care about wearing his coat, but Kenai has the most indignant expression when it gets near him, the man-snob. He gets this look on his face, “DO I LOOK like a Yorkie to you?” …
Getting back on the subject, doorbell ala mode is a great idea to change Beeb’s association to the doorbell sound–he’s the world’s original chow hound. Enthusiastic to say the least about meals, and food in general. BB is going to morph into a Pavlov doggie…
Kenai is greatly enjoying his time out in the backyard, and now he has the room really build up a head of steam on the way by–harder to get the tushie! Goosing the golden grizzly requires treachery these days, he he. I wait for him to be engrossed in something, then GOTCHA!
When not running too hard for his skin to keep up, which has an eerie similarity of appearance to a reporter standing out in a hurricane (why exactly do they do that?)…Brown is something of a straight line wind, where as little bro is more of a Zen Master of Zig n Zag.
Anway, Kenai does present a gorgeous picture when someone pulls into the drive: a big beautiful boy all alert and stacked. He hears long before he sees, thanks to that mobile radar installation on his head. My once upon a time fruit bat pup now fits into those ears.
He barks until he recognizes the person, which I’m cool with as it’s just an alert bark, rather than a panic bark. Once he knows who it is, he’s all happy and wiggles. I’ll get a pic of it when Lisa turns in tomorrow morning. (Bragging ‘mom’, I know)
It’s amazing the difference the new house made in allowing the brothers to get along together. They are together all the time now, save at night when they split to sleep with their humans. And as soon as Special K and I get up, BB wants up too! Not gonna happen with night owl Mom.
There is one sleepy time though the boys share: my afternoon nap. Mom’s usually puttering about, cleaning or emptying a box, so Beebs likes to come in and crash on the carpet. Kenai of course believes the floor beneath him to be beneath him…no, he just likes my bed and being close. We’ve always napped together, and that continues.
Wednesday started off hard, for me at least. Not only out of Lyrica for the fibro, but a deep low pressure system gonna hit Thursday. Ouch. Still, the show goes on, with their trainer coming at 9 am. Kenai seems to be feeling it too, poor guy.
http://hearingelmo.wordpress.com/ had a good blog about hyper-vigilance. As opposed to simple awareness. I’m definitely hyper-vigilant, anxious, and anticipating what could cause a problem for me next. I feel vulnerable almost everywhere I go but home, even though the truely “bad” experiences are not too frequent.
Probably, at least with me, the bad experiences stemming from a disability don’t have to be frequent. It’s the helplessness ya feel that gets you, and psychologists have suggested that a sense of helplessness is one of the most important factors in the development of PTSD and anxiety disorders.
As usual, Denise simply and clearly explains the “unspoken” beauty of a service dog–not so much the tasks they do as the fact they are there and can be relied on. How many times since my special K had to be pulled from public have I longed for those warm strong shoulders at my hip…
It is hard to explain that loss of confidence after the onset of a disability to someone else. It’s often just a generalized feeling, that underlying fear you could be hurt or humiliated by something that another person could just shake off.
Not to “wallow”, but I’d like to pull out the several years of pre-med studies in my college years, and add to it what I’ve learned from research and documentaries about the workings of anxiety and PTSD in our brains.
After a traumatic event, the bulk of that feeling of vulnerability lies mostly below the surface, just beneath conscious thought. And out of the reach of reason. The limbic system, a deep and primative part of the brain, is what controls the fight or flight switch.
The limbic system also has a bit of kill switch for the frontal lobes, which allow us to analyze and control impulses. It can literally overpower our reason and re-evaluation of something that has startled or disturbed us.
In people with post traumatic stress and anxiety disorders, the limbic system is enlarged and overly active, and the inhibitory areas of the brain are less active than someone without anxiety. So when the limbic system in our brains is in a chronically heightened state, we have a problem with hypervigilance.
It is stunning the difference a dog makes in the lives and brains of PTSD sufferers and anxiety. As Denise pointed out in her blog, her blood pressure has gone down. She has been able to place some of the responsibility of recognizing what is a danger and what is not to Chloe!
The same effect is measurable in combat vets. A dog isn’t a total cure all, mind you. The person has to come to trust that service dog before they can really have the benefits an SD provides. Denise and Chloe are an A-1, top shelf example of trust aquired.
I’ve felt it myself, one dark winters night when the outdoor light went out. There I was, in the dark, hearing coyotes and movement in the field all around me: the chest tightened, my hands shook, my eyes darted everywhere trying hopelessly to peirce the darkness…
Right at the edge of panic. And Kenai had to go whiz, badly. I had no escape other than teach him to hit the toilet better than most men. Big Brown…I held his collar and let him lead, not a moment’s guide dog training either. When the light sensor switch the flood back on?
My golden boy had stopped me in the exact place I always stood, not one foot short, not one foot beyond. He knew, he could see, I was safe. There was a palpable relief, and a release. The fear fell away like the snow off the cedars.
I would still feel some tension outside in the dark after that, but a deep breath and a check with Handsome kept me from that grip of terror from then on. If his nightvision and keen ears didn’t find what was around us dangerous, then it was okay.
I’ve felt myself relax when crowds began to “close in” and jostle, because Kenai took it upon himself to lean into people too close and it made them move away some. Wouldn’t you if a dog that big gave you just enough of rump bump to make you notice your proximity?
That is the near miracle of an SD, the deep and primal trust in their vastly better senses. Their eyes are better than any humans, better than the sight a person has lost ever was. Their hearing is tremendous, and no human could match it.
A dog allows you to relax, and you realize just how uptight you had become without fully noticing. Wonderous and breath-taking that another creature can have such a profound effect on us!
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on April 13, 2011
Kenai discovers his neighbor, Andy
Big Brown now has a playmate his own size! Imagine that, neighbors that don’t hide under the car when he turns up…Andy is his name according to his humans (who by the way are really nice). Get this: Andy is also a survivor of Ehrlichiosis.
The tumult inside between the brothers has subsided quite a bit, thank heavens. Partly because Kenai began his Friday morning run in twilight so early I couldn’t see him for most of it. He ate well, then whined while I got online.
I only got one load of leftovers moved Friday, not surprisingly. It being suddenly well into the 80′s F and excessivly humid didn’t help. I actually turned on the AC in the house at 9:30 am. The heat/AC in my car isn’t working, so the single box-pick-up-trip for Kenai was all he wanted. Me too.
The addition of a friend to the workforce Saturday means we’re not only in here, we’re out there. Finally. Now all I have to think about is if the auction goes well–it’s an absolute auction, which means the house goes to the highest bid of the day, period.
It’s a bit of a strategy, since the very serious, credit approved buyers show up ready to pay. Yet if the highest bid doesn’t reach what we hope for, too bad, they walk off with the keys. It’s all about getting the big money folks to hear about it in time to get credit approval.
The Brothers Grin had so much exercise Friday that Friday night with my dear furry gentleman friends was downright peaceful. Even feeding time, the time to expect the most fuss between multiple dogs, was almost effortless. That I could get used to.
Another thing I can get used to is going all of 10 feet to the deep freeze for their food and never having to change outta the slippers, rain or shine. An attached garage has its advantages, small or not. We also now have some nice, tidy shelves in that garage.
And I love the Oreck sweeper. Love it. Haven’t opened the cannister vac they threw in the deal yet, but plan to next week when it’s time to clean the hairball of a car with my name on the title (they wouldn’t accept Kenai’s driver’s license at the DMV).
The Oreck really is light, and the brushes stand up the carpet pile well enough to get at any hair and debris. The bags are very big, too, so I won’t have to change them all the time, even using it every day. This new house is about the same size as the old house’s large living room!
Okay, before I start sounding like some consumer report site…Kenai and BB both have decided to start using their crib beds some. No luck yet on Sasquatch sleeping on his couch. I tried for Friday’s nap to just stretch out and leave him no room but he sat on me. uh, plan B.
And I’ve gotta throw in as many thanks as a girl can say to all the prayer-ers and good wishes-ers that have stuck with me and my boys the past few months when getting by and getting online had gotten hard. You know who you are!!! Thank you so much.
I just found via facebook a great great link I need to check out really close: http://www.barkoutloudweekly.com/featured-guests/irith-bloom-dog-stress/ Ya’ll let me know what you think if you watch it–no telling when I’ll get a chance to sit down and concentrate.
After a beyond-exhausting Saturday, the last of our “keepers” are out of the other house, and my tidy little living room is a combination of box pile and houseplant jungle! It was almost 90F and I have a sunburn, predominantly on the left side from all the driving.
Thankfully the heat and all the outside time has made the boys lazy, because there isn’t room around the box piles to horse around!
I’m planning on an absurdly quiet Sunday. Have a little breakfast, unpack and unclutter a bit, and just have a day at home. My closet will be the primary point of attack, too. Wow what a mess. Next week I’ll worry about next week. All four of us could use a day off.
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on April 9, 2011
First night in…Kenai’s usual profile, 3 yrs.
It ain’t all here, but we are. There’s enough of our things. I didn’t want to drag it out any longer, so I put in a monstrous heavy duty day Thursday. I was gonna move singlehanded if I had to (mostly I did), though if it wasn’t for Robin the auction lady this day would’ve been a very very long way off.
How I did it is grit my teeth and take my growth hormones…at double dose. The vitamins too. It’s not really safe to do that for an extended period, and I hurt like the dickens this morning. Lots of muscle tremors. But enough was enough, as I am fast burning the last of the fumes in my fuel tank so to speak. If I didn’t get it done, it wasn’t gonna get done.
Fatigue and impatience meant a few important things got left behind with the last less important things, but we’ll make do until I can fetch them in the morning. Big Brown kept me up most of the night, not being settled yet in an unfamiliar place. Insecure boy whined alot, and liked neither his couch nor the crib bed.
And he definitely has fleas. Grrrrr. Got a great tip to use borax on the carpets and everything to kill them. Next trip out.
Kenai’s all spooky of the place behavior from the other day went away, and I guess having his brother and everyone together here, as well as a quick turn in the gigantic new “playpen” did the trick. They ate supper, and suddenly the easy to manage (ie Kenai, leave your brother alone) also went away. Uh.
Their long lost clicker trainer will be here Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Big bill but with any luck, big help too! They really need to learn to just hang out, and quit the incessant sniff-n-lick stuff. Gross. It’s not as if they don’t know each other for pity’s sake. Seriously fellas quit with the nose…
I’m hoping his first real morning outside will satisfy HRH. They remodel guys will be back to finish a few odds and ends late morning Friday–they decided to start both the bath and kitchen the first week of May. Though impatient, I do realize it will work out better. Then they’ll have a whole crew and knock it out fast rather than drips and drabs.
I suppose Friday morning I’ll empty out boxes, then take Kenai back to the old house for a load of the aforementioned forgotten and less important. The bulk left to unpack is the kitchen, which I’m not going to unpack much, just to repack for the changes in May.
But there is still Mom’s closet she never packed in the first place to shift to the new house, and the fragile things like music boxes to situate. You know, stuff. I do need to move the contents of our old fridge, and find the bread maker. Wouldn’t a loaf of fruit bread hit the spot? Okay, not so much for Kenai, but the backyard will have to do for Mr Particular.
BB is fairly easy to satisfy–food does it for him. He was whiney too, after Kenai and I went to bed that first night. We’ll get ‘em all settled eventually.
My hopes for an easy transition were kinda dashed by 3 outta 4 members of this here four-pack. The boys wouldn’t stay chilled out and Mom had to cause a fuss about the TV (what else?).
Wasted my whole first evening here on the boob tube I didn’t care about. She bitched and carried on that I had to do all the fixing for her, as if she couldn’t make a dang phone call to dish network for herself. So disgusted I went to bed without bothering to find myself some supper once the TV worked right.
Couldn’t stand any more nonsense from her after the day I’d had. It’d been 18 hours since I started hefting boxes the morning before. My day had started at 3 am. Man what a day, and I was looking forward to putting my feet up with the boys snoozing and post up some jabber ’bout how lovely it was! Didn’t happen, not even remotely.
I suppose frustration and disappointment is a red flag for unrealistic expectations. The boys kinda led me on, behaving well at first, the teases. They did so well together when we were here last!! Mom, I shoulda known better. Still, not all hope is extinguished–the boys haven’t had a morning in their “playpen” yet!
Nothing like playtime to chill out and happy up pups…
There will of course be pictures of Kenai in full sprint next time! He and I have the early morning together, just the two of us, and I’m really looking forward to it. There’s a full 200+ feet for him to stretch from north to south, at at least 60+ feet from east to west. Room enough even for a sasquatch.
These here things can cover some serious ground, especially considering there are four of them!
He’s a bit on the small side, his growth maybe got stunted a bit by all his health problems, so he never really grew into those feet. Big’ens, the old timers here would say.
You know the neighbors were wondering what a fence that size was for–they’re about to find out!
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on April 8, 2011
new home, new habits, BB and Kenai 3 yrs
3 April 2011
Check it OUT!!! The Brothers Grin actually relaxing together! ‘Course they’d been in the cars in 85F heat for 2 hours, but I ain’t seen them stop horsing around and flop for a long time. No expen in sight. We had to be out of the “old” house for a showing, hot or not.
After a few moments of cantering back and forth together, investigating the new house, they mostly chilled with a little encouragement now and then. The only thing I “ach”-ed at was too much backside and uhm, dangle sniffing. Indelicate. Male thing.
Anyway, to be sure they got the idea that this house means relax together, I asked for a few downs during the 30 mins. If the canter/trotting picked up pace I would distract them with a whistle or twooooooo, and there was ample clicking going on.
I’m so excited, so excited! Yeah, about the house too. But overly excited about how easily the boys got along. We continued the together streak at the old home: I didn’t automatically put up the expen barrier and there weren’t any problems.
This was a RED LETTER DAY!
Here’s the photo I had planned on leading the post with. He and I got there first and had a moment or two to ourselves.
This is typical. You usually see him, it’s just from behind as he patrols the perimeter. He was a little shy of the laminate floor in the kitchen, but he was brave enough to walk across it next to me. He really likes having carpet though!
BB arrived shortly and they had this wiggly sort of “hey we ain’t seperated bro–let’s go investigate”. When they check out a room together, Kenai does the windows looking for critters, BB peeks in closets looking for stuffed critters.
Here’s one of the asked for downs.
And BB looking out the door at the car: I think he wanted to go! His lunch and a couch was at the other house, you see.
Not too long from now he’ll have his own new bed in this living room. We aren’t putting together the crates for them, because of space restrictions.
So their place to go and be left alone will be the bedrooms. We’re buying crib mattresses for them, two in the living room and one in Mom and BB’s bedroom. Kenai will have a loveseat in his bedroom. He really misses his upstairs loveseat, so I hope he’ll enjoy having a couch to snooze on again. And look out the window on it too!
Back at the old house I didn’t put up the expen that night at all. I did Monday morning because I was heading out to the new house early. The propane tank was coming, as was the fence guys.
Today is Wednesday, and the TV guys should deliver and install the wall mounts for our TV’s. We got our heavy furniture moved in yesterday! Kenai is here at the new house with me this morning, and he’s not sure about it for some reason.
So we decided to play a game of catch me if you can and ring around the rosie around the living room furniture. He got the wiggles from that! He still isn’t sure about his new couch, even with old couch cover, so I’ll put some sheets from the old house on it for him.
Sometime today I have to shift the garden stakes and tarps etc to the shed. That will loosen up the garage a bit. There’s so many little details to keep track of…something’s going to be forgotten I’m sure.
This afternoon, once Kenai and BB are fed and tucked in at the old house, I have to go do a bit of shopping. Gonna buy an Orek vacume, some crib mattresses, and just a bunch of little stuff. They won’t like being left at home. Kenai’s already disturbed by its relative emptiness.
I’ve been seeing a flea here and there on the guys, depsite the advantix. Bet ya it’s from all the cats that wander around our old house. Gracious I hope there isn’t going to be any difficulties with fleas. I hate those things, and they’re so hard to get rid of.
Just a day or two more and Kenai will have the biggest “playpen” he ever dreamed of. Right now he’s unsure ’bout all that machinery, even after I told him they’re making him a big ol playpen. He didn’t bark after that, but the noises…
silly boy, that’s for you!
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on April 6, 2011
am I tuckered out…Kenai, 3 yrs.
Here’s a good thought provoking blog post: http://hearingelmo.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/disabled-grimace/. It is about the word disability, and how people react to that word, both those with disabilities and those without. Truth is, we aren’t reacting to the word so much as the realities it represents.
“Disability” means an ability is lost or wasn’t there, be it the ability to hear without assistance, to get around easily, and the like. There is a loss, and there’s no escaping that reality. Many people with sudden disabilities like myself go through a strikingly grief like emotional process. There is often anger, frustration, and often profound questioning of individual worth. Rare is the person who genuinely takes it in stride, not just pretending or being in denial.
Much of the hurt and loss is because of our expectations of ourselves and for ourselves. Take “Rosalie” in the movie “Twilight”. She had expected to be a mother, to have a pre-planned human life until a horrible violent event and her subsequent changing into a vampire ended that dream. Something was lost, irretrievably lost to her.
The pothole in that internal process of grief is getting stuck in what was lost, of never really coming to terms with the fact that some of our expectations will never be. Nigh on 100 yrs later, Rosalie was still angry, still making decisions (if Bella should become a vampire) based on those feelings of loss. Getting stuck isn’t just a pothole, it can be an ankle breaker!
Once our feelings of loss are made peace with, and old things let go of, what it left is 1) determining what we can still do, which dreams we have not really lost, 2) how what we used to do can still be done, just perhaps requiring us to do it a bit differently, and 3) what have we gained because of that loss.
That is the upside of a disability: what you gain. Yes, there are upsides. There’s an opportunity in every hardship, and a pothole in every opportunity. You may find the gain of new friends. Or actually noticing that people are more good inside than you had thought, even if they flub the attempt to “help”. Maybe even open up your heart to new dreams that would not have occured to you to consider otherwise.
There is something that helps with this process: the emotional and mental skill, either natural or aquired, to let go of the pre-concieved. If a person is good at a “what is is what is” perspective, not wrapping our whole world and worth around what we wanted for ourselves, transitioning from what was or what could have been to what might be now is much easier.
That internal process of coming to terms with a new reality, a different one, is often complicated by the external: those without disabilities. Some are just nasty people, but the vast majority simply don’t recognize nor understand how this person’s life must be a tad different than their own. How could they understand it, save in the broadest and most generalized terms that often won’t apply to a second persons disability?
Disabilities come in such an array of variety. Even a broad category, like mobility issues, doesn’t explain that one person could walk say 20 feet uphill but another would never make 5 feet downhill. And individual’s limitations are individual. Geez if our family members who live with us can’t really understand every way a difficulty will present itself, even as we explain it to them, how on earth is a stranger to know?
Again, expections rear their head. What can I reasonably expect from my family, from strangers? I can’t actually to expect them to viscerally understand how going to a new store for example might affect me. I plan. Alot. Because I don’t have energy to waste, I figure how to get from point a to point b with the least steps and effort. Mom can’t understand that enough to adopt that way of thinking herself. Do I have any right to insist she does?
I’m the one with the limitation, not her. What I can ask, since she is family and has to make allowances for me at times, is that Mom respect that I know my body well enough to know what I can ask of it. If I say no I can’t make a quickie stop here and another there and still get done what I need to do later…she should accept that. Doesn’t mean she will.
Doesn’t mean your teenager will. Doesn’t mean your husband or wife will. But it is not unreasonable to ask a near family member to accept your limits and respect them once you’ve explained what they are. We have to respect also, that our families go through a process too. If your disability means you can’t go with them on back country hikes anymore, then perhaps they have to go without you. Then find a new activity to enjoy with you.
The older I get the more I understand the saying that life is all about how you look at it. Perspective. The flexibility to change perspective when you need to is the most valuable asset in life! The discernment to see the gains in your losses is a huge benefit to living in a world we do not control so well as we’d like.
Finding the upside and staying in it doesn’t deny the downside, it is just the deliberate choice to live above and beyond it.
Back in moving land, now. We went from this to this in one day:
Friday I had Robin’s help and we got some 3 truckloads of non fragile boxes shifted to the new house.
Saturday we moved the remainder of the not too breakable with the help of my nephew. ‘Course he’s not one to get up in the morning, so we set the time at afternoon. But that’s cool. I can have boxes out of the way of the smaller furniture.
Does that sound like a semi-devious plan to you? Let the young and healthy heft the heavy? Well, it worked. (We paid him of course–kids always need money and it’s hard work) This is what we’re down to Saturday night:
A few things at the edges! The bad news: we have to pack the rest of the kitchen, Mom’s closet, and Mom’s desk. Shift that, and all that will be left is extremely breakable (unpackable) things.
But seeing that room sized stack gutted is intensely satisfying.
I guess I hadn’t posted any pics of the new place yet, have I? Well, here’s one:
That’s the front yard. The survey showed the backyard to be 12′ shorter in width than I had thought. You would think the unkempt brushline would be the property boundry. Not. Appearantly, I have some 12×200′ of grass to keep cut that doesn’t belong to me.
Though not as wide, it’s still over 200′ long, so Big Brown will hardly be hurting for room to stretch his legs in back. The front yard is plenty big, and I’ll be thinking about flowerbeds and stuff next fall or winter. Right now I’m moving, and my reward will be the veggie garden!
The poor little boys were left at home alone most of the day Friday, and it seems that might be the case all weekend. Until 2pm Sunday anyway, when we all have to be out for a realtor showing.
I do believe that a weekend of more work than is sensible deserves a trip to Braums for a milkshake. I could be wrong, but if so, I shall partake of the folly anyhow! Chocolate…
Poor little sweet peas, all sad and wanting snuggles. Pretty soon my love, pretty soon. He can’t think of all the sunny spring days he gets to be outside in, so I’ll think about them for him…
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on April 2, 2011