a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Poo Dog, Poor Dog, Pooped Mom, and Weekend

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Poo Dog, Poor Dog, Pooped Mom, and Weekend

SUMMARY: Boost's habit of rolling in smelly stuff; Tika's anal glands; my hip & knee; more USDAA coming right up.

Poo Dog

Boost's only major flaw is her propensity for rolling in what some, more particular, people might refer to as "poo". Tika's in most particular. The first couple of times she did it, I was properly horrified, rushed her carefully upstairs into the shower, and gave her a nice bath with warm water and gentle shampoo and all that. The next three thousand times--ferget it. It's the hose in the back yard, with the nozzle set to "shower." Even though she loves to play with the hose spray when it's play time, she's not so keen on the hose dominating the interaction for however long it takes to remove the noisome globs of offensive material.

The other evening, I spent 3 hours down at city hall to try to ensure that dogs like her can continue to be born--San Jose is considering adopting a new animal ordinance that includes limiting litters to one per female per lifetime unless you're a Commercial Kennel, in which case all kinds of inspections and regulations and licensing fees and restrictions such as "must not occur within 250 feet of another dwelling" apply. Since Boost is from her mom's second litter, she might not have been born if such an ordinance had existed. (Maybe more on that topic some other time.) However, sometimes I wonder--

When I got home--late--long council meeting--she greeted me very briefly albeit enthusiastically at the door and then vanished. I didn't think about it while I had a soft drink and talked to my housemate and scritched Tika a bunch, but then realized that Boost had not been around. I went looking to see where she was, and she was lying in the cubby under my desk. Huh, thought I, that's really weird; why is she hiding? "Booster," said I, "why are you hiding under my desk?" She put her ears back, tipped her tail briefly, and scootched back into the dark recesses among the computer cables as far as she could.

My fatigued mind began to make connections. "Oh, you didn't--" I reached under and put my hand in her collar, and felt--something--on her face that shouldn't have been there. I started to withdraw my hand and I didn't have to take it very far before the odor confirmed my dawning suspicion.

I had thought for quite a while that it was my tone of voice or body language when I saw that she had enpooed herself that would make her turn and run, but in this case I had had no clue until after she had already turned, and run, and hid. So she has clearly made the association between being covered with poo and getting hosed off. And yet--and yet--she cannot help herself! It's like the worst kinds of addictions! You rue it after you're done, but the next time the temptation occurs, whammo! there you are indulging once again.

Poor Dog

Over the last 3 or 4 weeks, Tika has been licking more and more insistently at her anal area. Not all the time, but when she begins, she doesn't want to stop. I thought it might be her anal glands, but since I've never had to deal with them before (only one of my 6 dogs ever needed help emptying them, and then the vet had to do it), I really didn't know what I was looking for. Plus she's extremely sensitive about being touched anywhere except in a petting sort of mode (which makes going to the vet a major source of traumatic stress disorder right on the spot). Plus she can lock her little remaining tailbone down over her netherlands so tightly that a hydraulic jack couldn't lift it. Plus all that thick, thick fur.

I finally decided that something had to be done since it was obviously bothering her. So I took her to the vet, along with a clicker and a huge bag of cut-up goodies. Did a lot of tricks and lying down and settling and stuff in the waiting room, and every time I'd go for another handful of goodies, she'd throw herself against the exit door, desperately trying to escape. Her respiration rate doubles or triples--and for Tika the always-over-the-top-dog anyway, that's an accomplishment. Fortuately she's very food motivated, so as long as I had a piece in my hand, she'd hang in there. But so agitated that any attempts to get her to take it gently (read: leave fingers attached to hands) were unsuccessful.

The vet has never, ever, heard her normal heartrate. They always say it's quite elevated. But they can also see that she's about to hyperventilate and then explode from the stress. She was really very good for a dog who normally shrieks when the vet tries to look in her ears. She's never shown signs of trying to nip at anyone during this kind of ritual torture, but she is by far the most-stressed vet-visting dog I've ever had.

Anyway--her anal glands are infected. So I need to try to get some ointment under the locked-down tail twice a day, and give her an antibiotic pill twice a day, for about a week, and then take her back in two weeks for another stimulating visit.

Pooped Mom

My knee has been bothering me a bit. I try to walk normally, not favoring it. But my opposite hip has been flaring up for the last week, off and on. Feels more like something's out of alignment (my thumb sometimes does that, and if I kind of twist and yank it, then instantly it's better--but I haven't found a way to twist and yank my own hip) than merely sore. Feel like I need a chiropractor, not a doctor. Last night, by bedtime, it was so bad that I had trouble falling to sleep, and then it woke me constantly, probably every time I moved in my sleep, all night. I might have gotten 3 hours of sleep.

When I finally dragged myself downstairs around 9 a.m., it hurt with every step and I really was using the handrail to drag myself to the computer to try to find more info about chiropractic care on the Kaiser Medical web site. I sat at the computer for about half an hour, and apparently it rearranged itself during that time, because I was then able to walk, and shower, and dress, and even go to Boost's class, with only minor discomfort.

I haven't been to a chirpractor in many years--hmm, last time my hip was bothering me, in fact. Went to a new one recommended by my renter. Doctor seems nice, and competent, too. Also has 2 dogs and knows what dog agility is, which in my book is always a plus. But he didn't want to do any twisting and pulling until he had done xrays, and it was the end of the day and he was already staying late to see me, so he'll have the xrays processed over the weekend and I'll see him again Monday morning.

But meanwhile that leaves me with ice and antiinflammatories to get me through the weekend. What a pathetic body!

This weekend

Which brings me to this weekend: More USDAA. And a very rare trial in which there is not a single Tournament (national qualifier) class. Just double everything except Relay.

I've managed to work on Boost's weaves only once so far this week. Who knows what the weekend will bring. The scary thought is that she *could* get 2 more standard, or 2 more Snooker, or one more gamblers, this weekend, and move up to Masters in any of those. We are SO not ready. Her AAD (intermediate title--Advanced Agility Dog) requires just 2 Standard, a jumpers, and a relay. We are so so SO not ready for masters. But if she keeps failing to do weaves, the standards aren't likely to come any time soon. On the other hand, if she has fits of perfect weavage like she did this past weekend, we could conceivable finish that title this weekend.

Nope, don't even think about it.

1 comment:

  1. Those compensatory injuries are a bitch. The body's like a house of cards, once one thing goes all the other things that depend on that one thing start to follow. And it's not like you can just sit around forever waiting for the first thing to heal.

    Good luck with the chiropractor, mine is great and has helped a lot with my back. I have to 'pop' my knee into place myself every once in a while, esp. after sitting a while or riding my bike, or my hip starts to scream.

    Good luck this weekend, lots of ice & drugs should see you through. And don't even get me going on stinky dogs.