Monday, September 30, 2013

Bender is a secret Greyhound (and goodbye to Olive, again)

I can hear you all rejoicing because the Furkid Palace Official Photographer has returned to provide much better imagery for the blog!

Having a DSLR camera gives you a different perspective of your pets. There is so much that you miss when you are just throwing a ball and watching them run. For instance with Bender, we miss his almost double suspension gallop.... here he is in the 'tuck' stage....

here he is at full stretch.

Bender's not a young pup anymore, he's 7 and a half and he has slowed down significantly in the last couple of years. People who don't know him think he is still doing well but we can see the difference. The problem is that her will never stop going hard at the ball.

After a slide like this you can guarantee he will be missing skin from his paw pads. We had to go home after a mere half an hour at the dog park today because he was bleeding, as usual. We don't think he will ever learn to slow down.

At the park you can see why Olive didn't make it as a racer. She isn't a super competitive doggie and she doesn't run around at top speed just for the sheer joy of it. In all the photos she is level with Bender or just behind him. Barbie likes to run as fast as she can for no apparent reason. She doesn't have to be chasing anything. She doesn't need anything chasing her. She just likes to go! Olive just keeps pace with the dogs she is running with and doesn't run random 'hot laps'.

After our little trip to the park, Olive's new owner came to pick her up. I was very sad to see her go, but for her sake I tried not to show it. Olive's new family has recently lost two toy poodles - I met one of them a few weeks ago but unfortunately he had to go to the bridge, he was blind, deaf and very arthritic but he was still so sweet and brave. I expect Olive will be providing them with plenty of distraction and cuddles to help them through a difficult time. It was very strange waking up this morning without a dancing white greyhound standing over me, poking me in the face with her nose and repeatedly bashing her tail against the bedroom door. Hopefully she will 'stick' in this home because if she gets bounced again it would be very hard to let her go for a third time.

We are going to miss her and her silly tongue.

We are taking an enforced break from fostering now with the exception of Olive if she is bounced as I couldn't bear the thought of her going somewhere else. There will soon be construction going on at the block next door. They need to build a retaining wall so they will be taking down our fence temporarily. The good thing about that is the fence will be more secure and far less ugly once it is replaced. I will be less concerned about it blowing over in a squally storm so that is a plus. Barbie's recovering leg has already gotten me into the routine of doing potty breaks on leash and I should be able to add Bender to that pretty easily. It will be all the better when Barbie can walk a proper distance. They will be totally spoiled with 3 walks a day!

There are also a few things that we need to do around our house and those things will be easier without an extra dog. Of course some of these things will have to wait until Barbie's foot is healed as well. The control-freak part of me wants to draw up a chart.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Barbie's leg - update (and praise for the Medipaws boot)

We went back to the surgeon today and he was happy with how her foot was healing. She has a solid layer of granulation tissue and now the little skin cells have to link up over the top. She is off the antibiotics, so unfortunately for her, no more breakfasts!!

Not feeding breakfast will at least make my mornings a little easier when I am trying to get ready for work. One less step is all the better.

Every morning I have to fiddle around with an IV bag and elastic band to put on her leg and keep the damp grass away from her dressing.

Then there are the people who want to talk to us when we are out walking. Everyone looks at her and goes 'aaaaawwww so cute, what happened to her foot?' They seem to want to stop and talk all the time, even if their own dog is a bit freaked out.

I signed up for the greytalk forums when Barbie went in for surgery and a couple of the members there suggested I order a Medipaws boot. I had to order it online and wondered if it would get to me in a timely manner. It only took a week so it looks like we will get plenty of use out of it, I can now ditch the IV bag and elastic band.

The other good news is that the surgeon has approved an extension of walk-times from 5 minute walks to 10 minute walks. The boot will keep her dressing nice and safe, clean and dry. We might even be able to resume our cafe visits this weekend! 

"Excuse me, can I please do my business in private? K THNX BAI!"

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Froufrou loves everyone - especially Barbie

Frou likes warm bodies. Any new visitors get a Frou installed on their lap within 15 minutes of sitting down on the couch. I am constantly peeling her off me so that I can get up and do things around the house. 

She had decided to make use of the dogs when I am not available for cat-warming duties. It used to be that Bender was her favorite doggie to snuggle with, but I think that he had dropped his Kong onto her head too many times. 

The 'new' dog definitely got a look in, but that love affair ended when Olive growled at Froufrou for licking her face. Bender loves it, but the greyhounds don't find it as enjoyable. 

Frou isn't silly, she knows when she is not wanted. Well most of the time anyway! I think she realised that she would get the most cuddle time with the dog who lies down the most - Barbie. She moved on to sharing Barbie's bed with her during the day.

Then she started kicking Barbie in the face when she tried to sleep on the couch at night. Barbie doesn't seem to mind, though she draws the line at face-licking. She will get up and leave if Frou insists on that part of the snuggle ritual. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Spying on the doggies

As Barbie is meant to be resting all day to help her foot heal, I set up a webcam and streamed it via so that I could watch her whilst I was at work. 

After a week of spying I learned the dogs' routine.

Barbie's is as follows:

8.30am - 12.30pm - sleep on the dog bed, with occasional leg stretching and roaching
12.30pm - 2.00pm - move to the couch for more sleep
2.00pm approximately - get up and get a drink, look out the window, dig at the carpet a little, scratch
2.10pm - 4.30pm - sleep on the dog bed
4.30pm - lie in the window to watch for my return

Bender's goes like this:

8.30 - 1.30pm - sleep on the couch
1.30pm - 2.00pm - move to the sun spot by the door
2.00pm - drink, maybe bark at someone outside
2.00pm - 5pm - sleep on the couch

I find it interesting that Bender hardly barks during the week. He barks when I am home and people are in the driveway, so maybe it is for my benefit? 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Olive the White Lion

The best thing about this was that when I put Olive's Lion Snood on, my two dogs came rushing over thinking they were missing out on something. I have trained them well!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Barbie's foot injury saga

For a few months now Barbie has had an issue with her rear left foot. It started off looking a bit like this after we had a good run around the park. I noticed it was draining a bit of clear fluid and blood, and took her to the vet. We tried a couple of courses of different antibiotics but it didn't fix the problem. It would heal up, the fluid would accumulate and it would open and drain again.

After the antibiotics I thought perhaps we would have to take more drastic action, so I consented to the vets doing surgery to see if they could find a foreign body in her foot causing the problem. They made a small incision though they needed many stitches because there wasn't a lot of skin for closure in the area. 

The vets didn't find anything in there on this first try and believed that they had cleaned it up enough that it would just heal normally. We had to change our weekend activities and Barbie spent more time riding in the car with us to visit cafes and go on very short walks.

Unfortunately a week or so after her stitches were taken out, I took her for a normal leash walk and her foot puffed up and was quite swollen. It was hurting her too, so I took her to the vet that night. A shot of Metacam bought it back down, but the skin on the bottom of her foot split open and it weeped quite a bit of fluid. N took a photo of it when it was particularly weepy. By now it was being referred to as a 'chronic draining sinus'. 

Our vets put her on a long course of Baytril, which was a third antibiotic. Unfortunately it didn't change much and so I went back in for a referral to Perth Veterinary Specialists to do some imaging. 

She was off the antibiotics for a week when she was admitted for a CT scan. The contrast dye didn't move very far from the local area but they didn't see the foreign body either. 

The surgeon then told me the next step was surgery.

His plan was a more aggressive debridement of all the damaged tissue in her foot, at the same time taking samples in case of an a-typical infection and looking for the root cause of the damage. I looked him up on the internet before I said yes, he has a very long string of achievements in his specialty, so I decided I could trust her with him. 

Unfortunately he didn't find the foreign body, but the superficial nature of the damage gave him some cause to be optimistic but he was overall quite guarded in his prognosis. He isn't the kind of Vet to tell you what you want to hear. The skin on the bottom of her foot was too damaged to close so he had to leave an open area, which means that she is going to be in a bandage for a couple of weeks, or longer.

They tell me she did well at PVS, and she stayed three nights in total. When I took her back in on Saturday for a bandage change she was pretty happy and seemed to want to go out the back. I don't think she enjoys their crates though as she has a sore bit on her nose, I think from shoving it into the bars. She does really enjoy all the attention from the vet nurses, and now she is home I am pretty sure she loves all the sympathy she elicits when people see her out on her toilet breaks in a cone, with a big bandage and a plastic bag on her foot. 

Her next checkup and bandage change is on Tuesday. The surgeon will be having a look at healing and adjusting the stitches as well. I believe she will have to go back one or two more Tuesdays after that, depending on how it is going. 

At the moment she is supposed to be contained, the rules are NO running, NO jumping, NO stairs, NO playing, NO getting on the furniture...etc etc. The only way to get into the Vet surgery is to go up stairs, so I have been carrying her in directly from the car. It has also been raining frequently and heavily so I have been spotted jogging through the car park carrying a totally ragdoll floppy 26 kilogram greyhound. I am only 158cm tall and it must be a pretty amusing sight. All the rain has made timing our toilet breaks very important at home as well and it doesn't look like letting up any time soon with rain forecast all week!!

I'll update on Tuesday when I get more info from the vet and I'll try and get a photo if it's not too gorey. I am not sure exactly how many stitches she has but I think there are a lot! 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Book Review: Big Honey Dog Mysteries #1: Curse of the Scarab (H.Y. Hanna)

We don't usually do book reviews on this blog, but one of our favorite bloggers, Hsin Yi (of Honey The Great Dane), has gone out on a limb and self-published her first book!

The book is 'juvenile fiction', which means that everybody in our house is a bit older than the target market (even little Mittens is now 30 in cat years), but as we are such dog lovers I wanted to buy the book and read it as soon as I could.

(remember when Barbie was a teenager?)

The plot is great and the characters will suck you in to the story straight away. It revolves around the dogs and their adventures, with the humans playing a very peripheral role.  

If this book existed when I was a 'tween' I think it would have been a favorite that I would go back to over and over. The cast of characters include a pit bull, a jack russell, a husky, and of course a Great Dane called Honey. There are even cats in the book. Without giving any of the plot away, the dogs really do know how to get out and do things independently, and whilst the dogs with a strong breed-identity do live up to the stereotypes, there are some surprises along the way. I think the overall themes of accepting those who are different to you, looking beneath the surface, courage under fire and team work are really valuable for the 'human pups' who read the book. There is a touch of darkness about the book too, it's not a Disney fairy tale, but kids these days don't believe in those anyway.

You can buy the book very easily on Amazon via your Kindle or other e-reader. You can even read it on your computer if you don't have one of these e-reader gadgets, just follow this link. It's available on other e-reader platforms and will come out as a hard copy too if you want to buy a present for the younger humans in your life. There have been some delays with the hard copy but it is coming! 

As a grown-up reader the only regret is that it was over all too soon! I think the best thing about it all is that Hsin Yi is planning on writing more Big Honey Dog mysteries. 

If you want to keep up to date with all things 'Big Honey Dog Mysteries' wise then check out the new website -

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Barbie goes for a cruise around Roleystone Markets

The dogs know when it is the weekend. If it is past 8.30am and I am still pottering around the house, they start to follow me closely. They cannot let me go out on an adventure without them! The plan for today was to go and check out a friend's market stall and partake in some goodies.

I briefly considered bringing both greyhounds, but decided I wanted to be able to socialise and purchase food without worrying about a bouncing dog on the end of the leash (looks at Olive). Naturally Barbie was my choice of companion. Olive tried very hard to state her case by leaning against my legs whenever I tried to move around the house.

(Olive said I couldn't use the photos I took of her attempting to trip me over. She suggested I use this photo from yesterday when she got dressed up to support my Aussie Rules football team, the Fremantle Dockers)

When we first arrived Barbie was a tiny bit nervous, I think the place reminded her of the Canning Show where we helped with a Greyhounds as Pets Display. She really didn't have a great day there, there was a noisy band with brass instruments, and it rained pretty much the whole time we were there.

The markets were pretty busy but it was a nice mellow atmosphere with an acoustic musician playing and quite a few other well behaved doggies perusing the stalls.

There were pony rides and so I was happy I didn't bring Bender, he is petrified of horses. After we walked around and were there for a while, Barbie decided to just flop down onto the grass. She is such a cruisy dog.

It made it very easy to partake in the goodies my friend was selling, and people mainly didn't bother her. She waited patiently for me to get her a treat. I think she wanted a soft serve icecream, but I got her a sausage instead.

The people at the sausage sizzle were a little bit confused about my request for a 'sausage sizzle for me and just a sausage with no bun for the dog'. They only charged $1.50 for Barbie's sausage and gave me a bunch of serviettes to carry it in until it cooled down enough for her to eat. 

Overall I think Barbie enjoyed her day out, even if I didn't buy her an icecream as well. She was so well behaved, I think I will definitely go to more dog friendly markets in future, even if I do have to drive to them. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Olive Returns

Olive didn't last too long in her trial. It seems that she had an issue with the Alpacas, she rushed at the fence and scared them. Unfortunately every time they saw her they let out their 'alert' call which apparently sounds like a 'demented squeaky toy'. I am not sure what self-respecting dog could resist that kind of sound!

She was only gone for 5 days and so she settled right back into our routine very quickly.

She shared Bender's dinner with Frou Frou - there are never any bowls of kibble left at the end of the night, with everyone finishing off everyone else's food. 

Frou also tested out Olive's tolerance as they shared the couch....

She is such a delightful little girl and gives great cuddles. In fact, I think that Olive is so sweet she will rot your teeth! She is also a bit of a nut case and has taken to sprinting out the back door as soon as I open it, so a couple of times I tried holding on to her collar. It didn't stop her sprinting but because the tiles are slippery she just ran on the spot.

Olive certainly doesn't know that all greyhounds are made from spun sugar and will dissolve in the rain. She loves to walk in the rain and stomp in the mud. My floors are much dirtier when she is around!

I think Barbie was a little put out by the return of Olive, but Frou made sure she got an equal amount of cuddle time. 

Olive and Barbie also spend a lot of time lying in close proximity. Perhaps it is because they both want to be in the sun puddle in the lounge room, but I like to think they enjoy each other's company.

I have been switching up walking partners so each dog gets their share of one on one time. I think my least favorite combination is the Bender-Olive combo as they both have their crazy tendencies and it takes a lot more concentration to keep them both on the straight and narrow. 

I have rewritten Olive's biography, so hopefully it will attract some more interest. 

Related Posts with Thumbnails