19 March 2018

Trials and tribulations with Nightmare

Continuing the Nightmare tale...

If you remember, I mentioned that the dog had a pretty bad infection on her forehead, which had oozed out and caked the fur around the wound.

My first order of business the next day after taking her in was to try to clean the wound as well as I could. The only disinfectant I had around was medicinal alcohol, but that one really stings. So I went with "grandma's recipe", camomile tea.

It took me about half an hour to clean the fur and then the wound and, even if the tea is very mild and wouldn't hurt her, my patting and rubbing surely caused her quite a bit of discomfort. Surprisingly though, she made no move to stop me or draw away, she just lay there with her eyes closed, in complete resignation.

Feeling down in the dumps, poor girl...

She was actually quite lethargic the first couple of days, sleeping a lot, eating only a little and generally unwilling to walk around much. She was also picky about the food and didn't want the kibble or treats Aschiuta had at the time. I eventually bought her a can of dog food and she seemed to like that. She also liked mozzarella. I later on bought a brand of kibble (Bosch) that we used to feed Aschiuta when we were on a budget at the vet's recommendation and which we have kept giving her from time to time. The big black dog seemed to like the kibble, so it is again a staple in the dogs' diet.

But I digress... After cleaning her wound, I continued to do it from time to time, since it was still suppurating. I decided I would have to finish work early and try to take her to the vet. This way we would get her wound checked and also verify if she had a microchip.

Our vet is not very close by and usually with Aschiuta it takes me about 30 minutes on foot. I gathered my usual supplies of bags and tissues, put the leash on the dog and we were on our merry way to the vet.

Unfortunately, we didn't get too far. We had just reached the public street (yes, there are private streets in my town...) in front of our building and made a few steps, when the dog decided she was not going to take another step. In neither direction. She planted herself on the ground, just like when climbing stairs, and would not budge. After a few good minutes of trying to coax her to go further, I had to spend almost as much time convincing her to go back. We were going home, no more scary long walks.

We would need to switch to plan B then... taking our car. Luckily, we have our own car, complete with safety accessories for doggies. But more about that next time...

15 March 2018

Lost pet commercial break

Stay tuned for more tales of Nightmare! We will be right back after these messages...

Did your dog run away from home or got lost while roaming off leash? We all know these kinds of stories and it is very likely that if you are a dog owner, this has happened to you once or twice.

What can you do to make sure Fido does not take off on its own?

First of all, prevention. Yes, it is better to prevent than to solve a problem. Here is the recipe for success with a safe doggo:
  • Ask your vet to microchip your pet or to register you on the pet's chip if you are not the first (responsible) owner. The microchip helps rescuers identify and contact the owner of the pet, if the pet is lost. It is a small implant and is very easy to insert, with little pain to the animal. Some countries require it by law and it is also the sensible thing to do. Tags on collars also work, but if your pet slips out of the collar, it will not be of too much use...
  • The leash is dog's best friend! The majority of lost pets are those walked without a leash. There are far too many dangers and temptations in today's modern world, from traffic to other animals. Unless you are in a safe enclosure, using a leash is highly recommended.

    Extensible leashes... for that extra bit of freedom, without cutting on the safety.
  • Sometimes, even the leash is not enough, as we have reports of some dogs slipping out of their collars or harnesses in fear or excitement. Avoid going out for walks during loud events such as fireworks shows or lightning storms. Use a harness rather than a collar and make sure it is not loose. And always, be mindful of your surroundings.
  • Don't ignore your pet during walks. Do not tie up your dog in front of a shop while you go in and don't lose touch with reality (while chatting with someone or using your phone). It is very easy for the pet to get in trouble or even get stolen.
If prevention didn't work, act quickly and efficiently. Search for your pet yourself (mobilise a  small army of friends and family too if necessary). If the pet is out of sight, make use of those networking connections. Ask for help with the search on your social media and post ads on lost pet sites (rewards are always a good incentive). The classic poster is always useful, but takes time to produce and "publish" in the neighbourhood. Always check the "found" sections of the lost pet sites and don't lose hope. If your pet is found by nice people and taken to a vet, the microchip (or collar tag) is your best bet of getting your furry friend back!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled program...

9 March 2018

Traumas and phobias

Continuing our Nightmare tale...

Where we last left off, we had just taken in the anonymous (back then) black dog in our home.

My husband said he would set up an inflatable mattress and sleep in the kitchen with her, while I would nap in the living room with Aschiuta.

Easier said than done, for my side at least. I kept tossing and turning, wondering what we were going to do. I was afraid the dog would be reckless or traumatised or not potty trained (actually that was the least of my concerns). I had all sorts of concerns, a new one on each side of the pillow.

In the morning, I decided to work from home and stay to take care of the dog while Scorp went to work.

First things first. The dog would need to go out and do her business, so she would get into the routine and not leave us any "presents" inside the house.

However, there was a problem that had shown up the night before when trying to bring the new dog home. The dog absolutely refused to go up the stairs. She climbed the few steps leading to the front door of the building and up to the first landing and then she simply tried to back up frantically, as if she were being hurt by the stairs. My husband had to carry her in his arms all the way to the 5th floor.

Now, I have myself been a dog carrier for a long time, carrying Aschiuta in my arms all the way to the vet when she was smaller or even lately, to pretend that I wouldn't let her make paw prints on the freshly washed floors, I would carry her up the stairs. But even that is only until the 2nd or 3rd floor.

The new dog was larger than Aschiuta, I would not be able to carry her up and down the stairs. Luckily, the elevator had been installed and working (most of the time), so we rode the elevator. She seemed almost used to this means of transportation, which makes me believe she had used it before.

She seemed to understand what the walks were for and left some "presents" for me to magically make disappear. I took her 3 or 4 times the first day, because she took so long to do anything and didn't do everything all at once.

I kept her shut in the kitchen while I worked and visited with her during breaks. I felt like a new mother and also a nurse. Because, besides the staircase phobia, our new friend also had a serious health problem... an infected wound on her forehead. But more on that later...

Bad booboo on such a sweet face...
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