Friday, 7 September 2012

Fence, faecal, and fat (girl) Friday!

It was a day for all the 'F's! Today was the day that we had our garden fence installed (essential for free range exercise for the puppies), said puppies got their second round of de-wormer, and is the day of the week that most of the staff at the vet go out for lunch together and pig out on delicious food from one of the nearby eateries.

In the case of the last 'F', we got lunch from Hungry Howie's today, who serve utterly delicious pizza and moreish dough sticks and garlic knots. Om nom nom! One of our sweet clients also brought in some treats for us, lovely lady that she is, so we were also spoiled with mini packs of M&Ms, Milky Way bars, Snickers, and other such chocolatey tastiness.

In decidedly less tasty events (although if you're Bertie, you'd probably dispute this - her new favourite snack on any given walk is random poo she can find in the two seconds you aren't watching her every move), the puppies needed a few boosters, some blood work, and a second dose of the dewormer Drontal. The latter is going to make them pooptastic as of tomorrow morning - we decided against giving them this medication today as they had to travel back in the car with me, and I know from prior experience that diarrhoea plus back seat does not a happy combination make. Seriously. So it's technically Shaturday, not Faecal Friday. Also, they had their first Lepto' vaccines today, so if they reacted to those I wanted to know if it was the vaccine and not the Drontal causing the runs. NB There's nothing technically 'wrong' with the pups, it's just that they're, well, puppies, so they have worms. Bertie was cleared of her initial puppy worms but then we found tapeworms in her stools - lovely! Satine was abandoned and, when tested at just under 5 months old, had three different types of worms, so needs several doses of dewormer to see her right. She's doing so well, though! Basically we just want them both in the best of health, especially as neither of them got a good start in life, so they're having everything the vets and veterinary staff recommend.

This makes me realise that I've not actually explained any further about how our menagerie grew from one dog, to one dog, a rescue puppy and cat to one dog, a rescue puppy and cat and an abandoned puppy who ended up staying at our house on a permanent basis. After we had adopted Bertie from Animal Control, we found that a) we absolutely loved having a puppy, once we had managed to start sleeping again, and b) Bertie seemed to be needing more dog-on-dog interaction that our older dog, Ender, does not want to and cannot provide. It's not fair to either of them, even though he joins in in his own way, and seems rejuvenated in several ways since B came to live with us.

I digress! I suppose (admit) that "a and b" are just excuses, as Satine (our abandoned, beloved little lady, as pictured below) had my heart from the moment she clambered out of the far-too-small crate she was dumped in on the doorstep of the vet where I work, gingerly came up to me, and let me pet her, and then wagged her tail. Whatever she's been through, she remains the sweetest, most gentle girl you could imagine, and for a five month old puppy it's even more impressive to see how calm she is with people. It's so sad, but we had to teach her what toys were and that it's okay to play and have fun. With the amazing resilience of a canine and the advantage of youth, though, she's already a happy, playful, settled pup even after only three weeks of living with us. She's an absolute darling, Bertie loves her and loves having another puppy around all the time, and we are so glad we took the (somewhat risky!) step of adopting her on the basis of 'it felt right'. I knew she was the right dog for our family, so wanted to take care of her, and it's so wonderful to see her having a happy, deservedly peaceful life with people and a "sister" who love her. The first time she fell asleep on me, I cried a little, as she had at last learned to relax. By the way she flinches when someone moves their hand upwards too fast, and how long it took her just to sit down for more than three seconds when at home with us, I think she's known some cruelty. Well, not now. So, meet our new girl, with our Bertie girl. So happy and lucky to call them ours!


That leads me neatly (sort of) to something we wanted to do when we just had Bertie, never mind two puppies: fence the back yard in so that she had her own outdoor space in which to run around and go puppy-crazy. In Charlotte, dogs are not allowed off leash except for in designated dog parks (not even on greenways or trails), and these come with some inherent risks (unexpected own/other dog aggression, unsuitability for puppies, Leptospirosis) so they won't be a viable option for a couple of months yet. So, today was Fence Friday. Obviously we won't let them out there alone, and they'll never be left out there by themselves whether we're in or out, but the idea is that they can get to know their own strength, tire themselves out, learn to play with and control their energy, and really run. And can they ever run! I only let them out in the yard for about ten minutes today, just to let them explore, and they went bonkers! It was a real joy to see. I'm so looking forward to tomorrow (apart from the inevitable Shaturday element), when we can spend the morning sprinting around with them, throwing them a ball, and watching them really play. Standby for some 'F'otos!

Playing now!

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