Daisy – Free At Last

The recovery collar is gone, the confinement is over and the hell raising has begun! Last night Daisy’s vet gave the ok for her to resume to normal activity. I’m not sure he realized what “normal activities” for Daisy are. No sooner did the collar came off, the zoomies came on. Four laps around the house, bouncing off the furniture and chasing cats didn’t take the edge off.

Almost 2 weeks after the collar came off Daisy is finally starting to settle at times. She’s still bouncing off furniture, chasing cats and trying to rob us blind, but at least there is some quiet time.

A month and a half after surgery it looks like settling any more isn’t going to happen. We’re grateful for what we got (which isn’t much). Daisy still runs around like a loon, chases cats and steals things she shouldn’t to get someone to chase her. Oh well … she’s a 10 month old Beagle puppy.

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Daisy – Growing Up and Settling Down

But it’s certainly not by choice! At 9 months it was time to be spayed. We dropped her off at the vet the night before. The house was so quiet I almost couldn’t stand it. I worried the following day until I heard surgery went well and Daisy was doing great. She could be picked up that night. She was still a bit dopey when we got there, but so happy to see us. We were sent home with a list of instructions, including keep her quiet for 2 weeks. I guess “If you want her quiet, you keep her” was the wrong response. She couldn’t walk a straight line from the truck tshe o the house, but hoping up one the sofa immediately wasn’t a problem.

Day 4 – Monday, rainy and the first day I had to deal with Daisy on my own. Unsettled and mad about being confined, this was a day of temper tantrums, fussing and seeing what she could get into in the two rooms she had to roam.  She was disgusted by being forced to sleep on the floor or in her bed and not spending all day on the sofa. She did t want to be on a leash anymore and pitched fits when she couldn’t try to rub her donut off in the fence. Somehow the little bugger figured out how to get rid of that donut. Collar still around her neck and Velcro still intact, but the donut was hanging off the side of her neck. It was like wrestling a wild calf trying to get it back on. Ugh … now she couldn’t be trusted to keep it on and I was a prisoner since I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. A trip to the vet and miss smarty pants was fitted with an e-collar and surgery site was checked.

Day 7 – Destructo pup has successfully demolished 3 recovery collars. Daisy has lost her patients over this situation and wants to play.  She wants to stay outside longer and not be on a leash anymore.

Days 8 & 9 – Another recovery collar (we’re up to 4 now), a ballistic pup and 3 cats that like to tease her. It’s going to be a really long 5 days!

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Furball – part 4

Life at the farm was good. It was on a quiet back road so we didn’t have to worry about traffic. There was a covered front porch to lay on, a back deck to sun himself on, a huge yard to play in, fields and woods to hunt. He didn’t have to worry about getting into fights with other cats. I left the back door open so the cats could come and go as they pleased. From my office window I could watch them play in the yard. When it was time for serious hunting, Furball would give Jazzie a smack for following him and send her back home.

Furball turned into a “puppy cat”. He’d follow us all over the farm. If we went to the barn, he was there. Me yelling let’s go for a walk brought both cats running. Farm life suited him …. until the horses arrived. Along with the horses came new hazards. He just wasn’t sure about those huge things that smelled funny and insisted on sniffing him. If he wasn’t careful, they’d give him a little shove. Suddenly the area that used to be open had this fence around it. Now he had to duck under. And one day he wasn’t paying attention. As he walked under the electric fence, he put his tail up. The fence zapped his tail, he yelled and took off like a grey and white rocket. We didn’t see him for 3 days. When he finally came home, it took him awhile to go to the barn again. He was more careful about the fence.

The Life of a Farm Puppy (Mocha – part 2)

Along with the standard puppy lessons, Mocha was learning how to be a farm puppy. She was pretty good during my work day. At lunch we’d play in the yard and work on her lessons. We’d walk over to check on the horses. After I was finished work we’d go out to do stalls. She learned another lesson that I wasn’t happy about – how to roll in and eat horse manure. Oh well… she’s a farm puppy. She also learned that a bath with horse shampoo in the barn yard wasn’t as much fun as rolling in manure.

Mocha and Jazzy were becoming best buddies. They spent hours playing, which kept Mocha out of trouble for the most part. After dinner and dishes and after the horses were taken care of was now play time instead of relaxing time. Refusing to play resulted in her stealing something that belonged to the person she wanted to play with, finding that person and running off with her treasure. She had to be chased around the house. When she had enough she’d drop what she stole. Playtime was over and we could relax.

Mocha loved people and had to visit all of them. The oil man, the guys that lived in the other part of the house. It didn’t matter who as long as they made a fuss over her. She had the oil man laying on the ground one day, standing on his chest and licking his face. Wasn’t one of my reasons for a dog a watch dog? That wasn’t going to happen.

It had been quite some time since I had a puppy and I’d forgotten how stressful if could be at times. I also forgot about the middle of the night trips outside because puppies couldn’t sleep all night. I was quickly reminded about all of it. Getting a puppy in the winter wasn’t very good timing either. With temps in the teens at 2:00 am Mocha decided it was the best time to sniff the entire yard for a spot to go. Every night, like clockwork. I found it to be funny, but I wasn’t the one standing outside freezing at 2 am. I at least got to freeze at 6 am.

Winter finally turned into spring and we could get out more. We roamed the farm and found the stream and creek. Mocha and Jazzy played in the water. Furball had no sense of humor for the pup so he didn’t go for walks with us. She graduated to a 30′ line to see how well she listened and give her more room to run. That was going so well I decided off leash training could start. As soon as she was off the line the pup couldn’t hear a thing I said. The nose went down and she was off chasing scents. I was off chasing down Mocha. This was going to take quite a bit of work to get her to listen to me instead of her nose.

 

 

How Do They Do It?

It starts when you bring them home. They take over your sofa, bed, the entire house and somehow, when you’re not looking, your heart. Are they born with this ability? Do their Mamas teach them? Or is it something they read in the puppy handbook? I certainly can’t answer that question, but they all seem to have the ability.

We adopted a Beagle on February 15, 2010. They told us he came up from West Virginia with five other Beagles. There was a kennel fire and only the dogs in outside pens survived. They told us he was 3 years old and that he had been on meds for a cough. He had been adopted, but they returned him because he wasn’t a good fit. Underweight to the point of spine and hips sticking out and afraid of everything, we brought him home. Poor little guy did nothing but sleep, eat and occasionally go outside for 3 days. He was housebroken, learned his commands and eventually started coming out of his shell.

On Memorial Day weekend, just 3 months after we got him he got loose and took off  up the side of the mountain with me following in sweatpants and slippers, without my cell phone. Almost an hour later he returned home. It took me a little longer. After a good drink and a bath (for both of us) we resumed our day. Later that night he collapsed and couldn’t get up. An emergency trip to the vet and several days later he returned home to recover from pneumonia. It turned out his cough was chronic bronchitis and had to be managed with meds. He also turned out to be much older than 3. This was the start of Raisin’s medical issues. Over the years there would be 3 hospital stays for pneumonia and a couple of “we caught it in time and he can be treated at home”.  Change in weather, humidity and inability to test the fluid in his lungs to properly treat him were the culprits. We finally found the right meds and he was pneumonia free for over 3 years. That didn’t stop us from worrying that he wasn’t coming home every time he had to go to the vet.

At first both of us refused to get attached to him because we weren’t sure he was going to live. Somehow, when we weren’t looking, he took over the house and weaseled his way into our hearts. Instead of being afraid of being petted, he loved everyone he met and was offended if someone didn’t pet him. We took him everywhere we could. When I had a store, he went with me every day and greeted customers. Raisin told us when we were late with his dinner, when it was time to play and when it was time for bed. He was my best buddy. I work from home so he was with me all day, every day. We’d spend time outside at lunch. He and the 3 cats had a love/hate relationship. He’d chase them, they’d run. If they didn’t want to play they’d lift a front paw and Raisin came to a screeching halt (before he got smacked in the nose). Harlie watched over him like an old mother hen.

On November 16, 2015 there was another trip to the vet. He’d been on meds for what they thought was a bladder infection and things took a turn for the worse. It turned out to be an inoperable tumor. It was time to say good bye to our beloved Beagle. He visited with both of us. He knew what was going on and he was ready. He grew impatient as we said our goodbyes. Raisin had a wonderful life for the almost 6 years he was with us. The day we were always worried about had come. We went home without him.

The following days were difficult for all of us, but especially for me having to be home all day working without him.  The cats were unsettled, we were unsettled. I finally got a call from the vet. We could pick up Raisin any time. I didn’t want to go to the vet’s office and at the same time I wanted Raisin to be home, where he belonged. I ran over that day after work. The strangest thing happened when I got home. An eerie peacefulness fell over the house almost immediately. Unsettled changed to calm. A beautiful wooden box with a name plate, his paw print and a few very nice cards are in the curio cabinet with his collar. Harley sat on the step next to the cabinet every day for weeks. We swear she was visiting him. She still does, but not as often. I miss him every day. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. I know he’s still here. Once in a while I feel a nose touch my leg or his fur rubbing on my arm. He weaseled his way into my heart far deeper than I knew.

We can’t thank #Douglassville Veterinary Hospital enough for going above and beyond to take such great care of Raisin.

Reblogged from My Life With Horses. Originally published 3/12/16.

Jasmine – part 2

Jazzie was growing like a weed, but certainly not settling down. The bigger she got, the more things she could get into. Climbing up the screen was easy if you used the window to push against. When a window was closed, she’d sit on the top frame of the bottom window. I still don’t know how she didn’t fall off!

It was time to be spayed. The surgery went well. We were to keep her quiet for at least a week. You’ve got to be kidding! That was going to be an impossible task unless she stayed in a crate for a week. She was still a little groggy when she got home. I opened the carrier door and she immediately jumped up on the (chest) freezer and smacked Furball. This was going to be a long week! We finally got the ok for her to resume her normal, hell raising activities.

Furball decided she was old enough to go hunting with him. Every morning I’d let them out and she followed him across the back yard to the hedgerow. My daytime company left me and if was certainly quiet! They’d pop in during the day for a snack and off they went again, showing up in time for dinner. After dinner they stayed around.

On nice evenings both of them would go for a walk with us. There was a small stream on the property that only had water after it rained. Jazzy was fascinated by the water. One evening we walked to the bottom of the property where there was a larger creek. The silly cat started playing in it. The next thing we knew she was on a rock in the middle. Whoever said cats don’t like water didn’t know her! On the way back to the house I lost sight of Jazzy. I found her swimming in a small pool in the stream.

Summer or winter, rain or snow Jazzy was out, enjoying all the things that life brought. The horses got used to her blasting thru the pasture and into the barn. At night she’d crash on somebody’s lap or curl up with Furball.

 

 

Daisy – Puppy’s First Christmas

It was a week before Christmas. I had all the presents and they were wrapped, food was here, I was ready…. except for the tree. At 6 months Daisy was a complete terror. She was into everything she could possibly think of and she was very creative. Greg and I decided it was probably not a good idea to get a tree. Daisy’s track record for destruction lead us to believe a tree wasn’t going to survive very long. The antique ceramic tree was going to be our Christmas tree.

For the first time in my life there wasn’t going to be a Christmas tree.  I was depressed. It may sound silly, but having a tree was probably one of the things I look forward to the most. We get a smaller tree. It only gets lights and an angel on top (we have the worst cats in the county) and it makes my allergies go haywire, but it just wasn’t Christmas without it. We pass the place we always get our trees on the way home from the barn. I looked over and saw the cutest tree. Greg told me to go back to look for a tree. Home we went with our 3 1/2′ tree. Let the games begin!

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On Christmas morning we took our coffee and tea into the living room. I took Daisy’s stocking down and sat on the floor. She was so excited!  She took turns playing with her toys and taking naps all day. She got to visit with (maul) my Mom in the afternoon. Daisy was exhausted by bedtime. She has a great first Christmas!

The tree? Most of it survived. It had bottom branches missing, more pine needles down than usual and in more places throughout the house. It remained standing and the lights stayed on. It came down on New Year’s Day because I was really tired of taking tree pieces out of the puppy’s mouth.

 

 

Furball – part 3

There was no more hiding the cat. Furball got permanent dishes, a litter box and toys. He was still an indoor/outdoor cat, but he was spending more and more time in. He’d sleep in the office while I was working. If he was in a night he’d sleep at my feet. It was nice to have the company.

Greg was afraid Furball would be discovered and I’d be kicked out. I kept telling him to relax. How would they find out? They never come around. And then the toilet broke. I had to call maintenance. This was going to be a problem. I could hide bowls, litter box and toys, but I couldn’t hide the cat. Some crazy in the area was catching cats and killing them. There was no way I was letting Furball out until they caught him. I greeted the maintenance man with “Hi, come on in. I have a cat and he’s not going out until they catch that loon that’s killing cats”. He said it was fine. Quite a few tenants had cats. That was a relief. Furball could stay and I wasn’t getting kicked out.

It was late October and Greg moved in. Furball wasn’t sure he liked that arrangement, but tolerated it. My office moved to the living room and the spare room became the guitar room. Furball claimed the sofa for his. When Greg had his surgery and was home for 6 weeks he spent days laying on Furball’s sofa, watching TV. This just wouldn’t do. Furball started going out during the day. Apparently the spoiled house cat didn’t like spending that much time outside anymore. The only way Furball was getting “his” sofa back was to curl up with Greg, so he did. To his surprise Greg was ok. He was getting pets and scratches that he usually didn’t get during the day since I was busy working. This became a daily routine and Greg became Furball’s buddy.

We stumbled across a farm for rent. It would be cheaper since we could have the horses with us and would have to pay board. It was half of a huge farmhouse, the downstairs of the barn and about 17 acres. We could fence as much as we wanted. Animals were welcome and I could get a dog if I wanted. It was closer to my Mom and Greg’s kids. It seemed like a very good move. I gave my notice and started packing to move. Furball was definitely ours and he was going with us.

Right before we moved I thought about getting a kitten for company for Furball. He was used to having outside cat friends. When Greg’s daughter was visiting for the weekend we went to a local shelter and let he pick out a kitten. Jasmine came home with us. We were a two cat family still living in a place where we weren’t supposed to have any cats. Furball immediately “adopted” Jasmine and they were buddies.

 

Daisy – Puppy Lessons, Socialization & Exhaustion

Daisy’s lessons started right away with housebreaking being first. She also started learning come, sit, stay … all of the standard puppy things. She’s smart caught on quickly.

Since she could only be in her crate for a limited time, we took advantage of it and got her used to the truck. I put a “go bag” together for her and she went everywhere we could take her. Daisy loved going to the barn. She was fascinated by the horses, loved playing with the goats and there was people that made a huge fuss over her. My husband and I would take turns riding/puppy sitting. We sat on the grass next to the ring and goat pen so she had plenty to look at. We did this every weekend until she started to get car sick.

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I work at home so every day I’d eat my lunch and we’d go out in the yard to play. It didn’t take her long to catch on. I’d put the food away and she’d demand to go outside immediately. After I was finished work, we’d go out and play for a half hour. It didn’t take long for (my) exhaustion to start setting in. Keeping Daismaniac out of everything was a full time job! The bigger she got, the more she was able to get into.

Fall turned into winter and we weren’t able to spend as much time outside so Daisy quickly learned how to terrorize inside. I was beginning to think our exhaustion was permanent and I knew winter was not going to be fun.

Raisin – part 2

The poor little guy finally caught up on sleep and started being a dog instead of a lump in a dog bed. He started wondering around more and showing some interest in his toys. I quickly found out he wasn’t housebroken and he had no clue what come, sit or lay down meant. Our full grown dog started “puppy” lessons. Every night after dinner we’d go over basic commands – sit, lay down, stay, come. He wasn’t catching on. After almost a week he still had no idea what I wanted. We were starting to think we adopted the dumbest dog in the world. I continued our lessons, despite him not learning them. I tried different ways of asking the same thing, used treats as a motivator and still nothing. One night something in his little doggie head clicked. He understood everything I was trying to teach him and did it very willingly. I don’t think anyone ever tried to teach him anything and he didn’t know how to learn. Once he figured it out, he learned everything …. good or bad.

He was still underweight and it was cold so we bought him a coat. He wasn’t really thrilled, but it kept him warm. He was gaining weight and becoming stronger every day. His tail started to wag more. I think for the first time in his life he was a happy, although still scared dog.

We can only assume his prior training involved a good amount of beatings. Anything in your hand that Raisin thought could be used as a weapon sent him flying upstairs under the bed. Over the course of the first few weeks that we had Raisin we did several small projects around the house. The tape measure and a hammer sent him upstairs. Greg shaking the ketchup bottle resulted in more of the same. This poor dog. What a life he must have had prior to us.