Monday, November 17, 2008

Cool weather at last

Tonight it may actually go below freezing here. I know that many areas of the country have had frost and even snow. We are a bit cold weather resistant here due to proximity to the coast.

So we've put straw in the kennels so that the Labradors can hunker down. They love having new straw, as evidenced by their running around inside their houses, rooting at it with their noses, and then flopping down with only their noses exposed. Labradors really like to snuggle in that straw although I doubt that they would be too cold without it. They have excellent coats right now.

Over a few days, the straw will start to get mashed down and pulled out side their houses. About every 2 weeks it has to be changed out and fresh straw put in. I've never had any problems with the Labradors getting skin or eye problems from the straw. But it is necessary to change it out before it starts to break down.

Of course, the older guys and the greyhounds are in the dog room with a heater. Tilly is still the queen and hanging in there at 14 years of age. The greyhounds don't like to get chilly, although they don't seem to mind going for a walk on the beach or running at dog park.

Hope that your dogs are all ready for the cold weather that is to come.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Biting the hand

A friend of mine adopted a Lhasa Apso when one of her greyhounds died from cancer. She had decided that she wanted a small dog. The Lhasa had a temperament problem from the beginning. He was an un-neutered male who was crate protective and who growled whenever anyone would try to pet him.

She had him neutered and worked with him extensively. He went with her everywhere. She could groom him and hold him up near her but there were also times when he would suddenly get a demonic look in his eyes and growl.

She asked me to let him out one afternoon as she was going to be away until late in the evening. I was supposed to walk him on a leash of course. However, he wouldn't let me put a leash on him. He looked at me and growled menacingly. So I lassoed him with the leash. The problem came in trying to get the leash back off him. He barked, growled and lunged when I tried to take the leash off. So I left it on him and beat a fast path to the car.

Eventually, my friend revealed that the dog had bitten her toe and then her little finger. She took him to a no kill shelter to see if he could be adopted but no one wanted the growling Lhasa. I urged her to work something out to place him because it seemed that it wouldn't be long before someone would be hurt by this little dog.

The other day, she called to tell me that he had bitten her hand, hung on and had put deep puncture wounds in her flesh on the top and bottom of her hand. She went to the emergency room. And she called to ask if I would take the dog to the Charleston County SPCA.

So I picked up her little dog and took him to the shelter. I'd never dropped off an animal there or even been to the shelter. Thankfully, there was an open house going on so there were lots of staff available. I found someone that I knew and told her about the problem of the aggressive Lhasa. She helped me to get him to the intake staff who gave me paperwork to fill out on his owner's behalf.

The dog is now at the shelter and will be there for 10 days because he bit his owner. He has been deemed unadoptable. I realize what the result will be. But it makes me sad that this little dog had a great home, but due to poor breeding and perhaps lack of socialization early in his life, he now faces death.

I wish that things had turned out better for all concerned.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Moose is adjusting

Moose Traks, the rescued greyhound, seems to be doing well. He lets us know when he wants to go out. He is now sleeping in the house at night, without a crate. He leaves the cats alone and only seems interested when the Siamese decides to run like crazy away from him.

The only issue that I had was that he likes to pick up anything left on the floor and play with it. I left a pair of undies in the "dirty" clothes pile and he grabbed them, played with them and then proceeded to rip them. So everything has to be picked up which isn't a hardship since I don't like to leave any clothes on the floor anyway.

Fortunately, Moose doesn't like to chew up toys. His room during the day has lots of dog toys and he seems to not be interested in them. I worry about the dogs chewing up and swallowing any clothing or stuffing from toys. It can cause a blockage and in many cases, such a blockage will cause the intestine to deteriorate resulting in death to the animal. So if you have a Lab who is prone to chewing up toys or eating clothing, be very careful. It's best to remove anything that would be a potential danger and let them play with toys only under supervision.