The T-shirt of shame

Over the last few days Tilley’s spay scar started to play up. It was looking good the first few days we had her and she didn’t mind us touching her belly or even the scar itself. But, this morning, an area of her scar had swollen up quite badly and she showed slight discomfort when we touched it.

After Sunday afternoon’s ‘deposit’, which was rather runny, she was clearly under the weather. She just wasn’t her normal self (normally her tail is held high, lots of wagging, and wanting to be near us). She clearly couldn’t get comfortable, held her tail low and often went to her crate and looked rather sad. She wasn’t that keen either to go out for her evening walk.

When I came down to do the the middle of the night trip to the toilet, she was out cold and very slow to get going and not keen on going out. She did a quick lap of the yarden, while I did the watering can trick, but she went straight back to her crate where sadly she did a leak before I could get in and do anything. From what we’ve read, this is most unusual as dogs don’t like to toilet where they sleep.

Quite worried, we called the vet up as soon as it opened on Monday morning and got an early appointment. The staff at the Kingsway vet’s in Skipton were so nice and caring – full marks to them. Tilley was reasonably OK to get into the car and very energetic in the vet’s waiting room, since there were people to be met and other animals to be wagged at! The vet agreed that the scar was unfortunately infected. She cut off the bit of the stitch that was sticking out and pricked a hole in the worst bit of the infected lump, without a yelp from Tilley. She really is very good. Tilley was prescribed antibiotics and we made a follow-up appointment for next week.

The vet suggested either a Cone of ShameTM or t-shirt to stop Tilley from licking or otherwise messing with the wound. We settled for the t-shirt since we were very sure that the cone would drive her nuts. We found out that she is 11.2Kg, so not a big dog at all, and the vet is pretty sure that she is near fully grown now too.

We tried to get Tilley back into the car and she wouldn’t any of it so we decided that Peli would walk her home and I would drive back and get the crate ready and go to work. After a hour’s walk home (where all the loose-lead training went right out the window) and the first installment of the antibiotics both Peli and Tilley were rather shattered! Tilley did receive lots of compliments from fellow dog-walkers on the walk, however, and she wagged (and pulled) a lot in return. She seemed to perk up during the day, and spent a happy hour knocking about her Kong and plastic bottles in exchange for kibble.

When I got home from work Tilley was spreadeagled across a cross-legged Peli and took some time to wake up and greet me. I’ve just spent 30min playing with her and her favourite toy. Hopefully she will be better for tomorrow evening as it is her first day at school – Junior doggy training.

Day nine in the dog house

We didn’t have time this weekend to write a post to mark a full week with Tilley. She has been good as gold and Peli has done some splendid work with her. I walked her for 15 minutes one night with a loose lead and no pulling at all. It’s not her natural walking state, shall we say, and it’s taken a lot of patience (using Victoria Stilwell’s ‘reverse direction’ technique) to get to this point!

The bin men came and went without any noise from Tilley, we even had someone knock on the door and she didn’t bark. Though when the postman did his drop she had something to say. Dogs never change!

A normal day in the dog house, I get up around 4-5 in the morning depending on what time we put her to bed, just to see if she needs a leak. We get up again at 7.30 – 8 am and immediately take her for a walk. Our morning walks are rather chaotic – she understandably has a lot of energy in the morning after a night in her crate! Then we chill a bit with some gentle training – sits and downs and stays and a game of ‘ping-pong puppy’ which allows us to practise her ‘recall’. Then feeding time at the zoo is noisy because we hide her kibble in various toys and bottles, so that she has to work for the food. She loves this, and her tail never stops wagging as she hunts out the grub! It also exhausts her and she tends to have a good long nap after food.

Sorry for the lack of photos and quality, just got so into it that I forgot and when remembered only had a phone camera at a hand.

Just before 10am I leave for work and Peli has her for the day. Peli’s well tired when I get home and Tilley is still happy to play more! She gets training walks, play sessions and quick bursts of training throughout the day, interspersed with lots of dozing, depending on what Peli’s schedule is. When I get home at 6pm Peli shows me the new tricks and a run down of the ‘day at school’. πŸ™‚

While Peli cooks I check the internet (to see if it is broken) and since we don’t have desks yet I sit on the floor. I usually then have a cuddly and rather tired Tilley plonked on my lap, half on me and the other half on both sides of me, most uncomfortable but she snores away and is generally affectionate and adorable!

On Saturday we took her to a local reservoir for a walk. Getting her in to the car was a bit tricky as she isn’t that keen. The idea was to get her to get used to the car and the journey with small ones at first, so she hopefully would learn that the car would mean a fun walk at the end. Sadly the five minute drive ended with her emptying her guts (again) in her crate. We’re going to have to work on this!

All the training that Peli put in was right out the window since this was new ground to be explored. Tilley saw her first rams, met seven other dogs and three kids covered in great smelling candy.

She did brilliantly when she saw the rams and got within 3 metres, OK she was pulling like a mad thing and was keen to get closer to them, but there was no barking or growling or even herding. The same was with the other dogs though she went extra mad when the other dogs were off lead. The three little girls got to pet her and feed her treats, though she was more interested in licking their candy-covered fingers. She’s definitely a gentle soul who likes meeting new people.

Getting her back in the car was hard work and we had to part-lift her in. She was rather glad to get out when we got home, but went into the crate to sleep as we went shopping for more dog food.

You can’t go into a super pet store and only go out with dog food, we came home with a Kong Wobbler for to play with. She was nicely tired for the rest of the day after she had food from the Kong.

The next day she was very good meeting and playing with two new friends (Peli’s sister and her partner), with next-to-no jumping. (Though she did try to take some cake from a plate on the table, of course you see how far you can push it when guests are around, especially when the cake in question is so delicious!)

First bath and working day

Tilley was smelling rather like the bad end of a smelly thing, the second time we saw her she had poo stuck in her fur. We had planned to leave her smelly for a few days to keep the trauma to a minimum. But since she was so relaxed and not really bothered with what we did to her we decided to something with her smell.

Armed with treats and shampoo we went to the bathroom, first letting her smell the place and figure out what was in there. Then we lifted her in to the tub and ran the water at first she was happy with the water and shampoo. We could keep her in the tub with treats and praise but she was getting rather keen on getting out. So it was a quick wash and therefore very few photos of the bath time. A big towel was thrown over her before she did her shake and then we ruffled her down which she looked like she enjoyed. Her fur was so much better looking and she smelled so much better, still a bit of kennel smell, which we will get next time.

Peli has been dead keen on getting the training going, so when I get home from work Tilley is rather tired so my greeting is rather less jumpy compared to when we first met her at the Dog’s Trust. The sit is coming along fine, every time we lift our hands up and look like we are holding food in them her bum hits the ground. Though getting her attention is proving a bit hard, so Peli has been working hard in the kitchen and yarden on walking on the lead and sit and even down.

The new party trick was a trick my grandmother used to play on me. She would let some water run and off my bladder went, as it still does to this day, a certain noise that water can make when running makes me hunt for a place for nature to do its call.

Peli found that using the watering can and let it run on the stone flags in the back garden, works just the same on Tilley, handy if we need her to take a leak before bedtime.

I came home to hugs and Peli tells me that she had been looking for me around the house. We can touch any part of her body while she eats out of our hands very gently. She rolls over for belly rubs and loves to sleep in my lap and I can play with her teeth, ears and paws. She goes and lays down in her crate by herself.

Day one in the doggy house …

… and Tilley is settling in or is that we are settling in.

She came home and was pretty settled in and was calm, some odd jumping around mostly to see what is going on and to smell all corners.

Things we have noticed:

-She: when sniffing something next to a wall, likes to lean against it, looks comical.
-She: does know what dogs sound like on the telly.
-She: is obsessed with reflective things, went a wee bit nuts when she saw herself in the fireplace’s shiny brass and marble.
-She: just comes and dumps herself on you if you are sitting on the floor and she wants to be cuddled.
-She: is now going into her crate by herself and lays there.
-She: found the corner in the “yarden” where we are sure the previous dog went potty.
-She: found that the stone slab in front of the fire is the most comfortable place to play with her Kong.
-She: when hearing babies cry is not sure what that noise is and does a little bark.
-She: when hearing the alley cats having a fight, did bark, though a quick distraction stopped that.
-She: eats from our hands ever so gently.
-She: sits or lays next to us when we are eating, doesn’t try to take the food off the plate at all, no begging.

We have only had two leaks in the house, which is understandable since the house probably still smells from the last owner’s dog and she had a long stressful day. First one we didn’t see and the second she did so fast that we didn’t had the time to do anything.

Last night we did her evening walk, where she barked – almost the very first time that she bark – at me for standing in the dark and making noises, and set the alarm for six hours later. Only one little whimper from her as we went upstairs and got ready for bed. At 5am we got up to find her looking very tired and slow and went to take her out for a five minute walk where she had a looooong leak. Got home, put her to bed (from now on “Go dodo”), she had a little whimper as we walked upstairs to have few more hours of sleep.

When we got down for a real morning walk she was really full of beans and ready to go. Before we got ready she leaked and made a deposit in the yarden. The morning was spent mostly at the end of the lead since she was very awake and we weren’t. We met one other dog which she did bark and growl at, mostly I think because she wanted to play and couldn’t.

We left her alone today for the first time and left the house to get more treats and toys along with doggy shampoo. There was not a whimper as we left or when we came home 30 minutes later. We let her stay in the crate for a few minutes while we unpacked and then let her out without too much hoo-ha. Though she put her mark on the matter by leaking in the front room, we should have taken her out into the back yarden, just in case – so bad humans.

The only thing we have found wrong with her – she doesn’t like pigs ears! (Discerning pup.)

Meet Tilley

Today we picked up Scrappy, from now on known as Tilley, from Darlington Dog’s Trust. We had a 45 minute talk about us what to expect and what support we can get from theΒ Dogs Trust and then filled out a few forms. We were pleased to get four weeks’ free insurance from the trust, as well as a welcome pack of food, a harness and lead, a subscription to Pet24, and all Tilley’s veterinary information. All this for a donation of Β£80. It is such a good way to welcome a dog into the family.

Tilley was all over the place at the end of the lead, this way then that way. One of the staff from the trust gave her a bone and she jumped right into the car and crate happily. We had a hour and a half journey back, but we heard nothing from her, not even when she puked in the car. Poor thing was a bit car sick, clearly. A quick stop to clean the crate and a little more talking into the car we were off. She was rather quiet after that and fell fast asleep.

Arrived home and she was rather happy to get out of the car, a whole new world for her and tons of new exciting smells. We closed the downstairs up so that she had a free run of the kitchen and the yarden (garden + yard, see what we did there…). Nothing major, just the nose everywhere, that corner to this corner.

After 20 minutes we sat down for some dinner (lunch for you lot from down south) and she just looked at us eating our food. After a minute or so of that she laid down and enjoyed the sun, though with a keen ear, nose and eye on what we were doing.

No barking and very gentle jumping, we just have to get used to having this trip hazard around our legs as we are moving around the house. She will need a bath but that will be tomorrow, because she does have that kennel smell. Welcome home, Tilley! I’m sure we’re all going to have lots of adventures together.

The Dogs Trust

Well after a few years of nagging I have finally managed to drag Peli to a place to look for a dog to have. Lots of talking to and fro over the last years – rescue or kennel dog? Listed the pro and cons about where to get it from, what kind, size etc etc etc. I have always had dogs while growing up and pretty much all my friends and family has dogs. Peli have grown up dog less – cats and horses was her thing. Though while on tour we meet plenty of lovely dogs, both wild/farm and at friends and this have turned Peli around. Luck would have it that her asthma isn’t playing up while around dogs and she really likes walking them too, she even scooped the poop πŸ™‚

After a lot of talking and surfing various dog related websites, we had narrowed it down to a Lurcher or Working Cocker Spaniel. So today we went, pretty much last minute, jumped into the car and went.

We arrived at Darlington Dogs Trust was greeted by great staff and went around to look at the dogs there. We found beautiful Lizzy the whippet/lurcher who we fell for right away, but sadly (for us only) she was picked by others while we where there.

Though then there was young Scrappy a “border” collie cross (crossed with what?) who came and said hallo to us – full of beans, 6 months old, gentle, lots of jumping and no big time licking. It is hard not to like her even when we said that border collies was not the dog for us. She was all over the place on the lead, though that is something we can train out of her.

She will for sure keep us fit, lucky where we live we got three length walks for her to do – doggy park one 2min away, doggy park 6min away and 10min away the Yorkshire Dales hours of fun!

Here is a couple of snaps, the only two that we got with her, all the other photos are where she recently was πŸ™‚

We will pick up Scrappy (but soon to become Tilley) next Saturday, can’t wait!