Raisin’s New Life

Little by little Raisin was coming around. There’s less cowering and more tail wagging. As he started to put on some weight and feel better he became more active. He was learning how to play with his toys and harass cats a little. The weather was getting nice and he wanted to lay on the deck in the back yard while I was working. I’d check on him once in awhile and found him sunning himself. Raisin was finally starting to relax and enjoy life.

It was Memorial Day weekend 2011. It  was such a beautiful day we decided to sit on the front porch and have coffee/tea. We put the baby gate at the entrance so Raisin couldn’t get out. There was a 2 1/2′ wall on one side and the rest was fenced. He could sit out with us and enjoy the pretty morning without being on a leash. We opening the door to go out. Raisin ran out the door and came to a screeching halt at the baby gate. He looked around, quickly turned left and over the wall he went. We were in shock. How did that little sickly dog with bad legs scale that wall? Over the wall I went. Up the hill into the woods in slippers and sweats. I could hear him baying as he gained ground. I followed him thru places only a rabbit could fit. I followed his baying over the mountain, down the other side. I called and called. No use. That nose had him and wouldn’t let go. I was in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone. I was soaked and exhausted. I finally caught up with him at a small creek. I called him. He wagged his tail and took off … nose down, tail up and baying. At least he was heading toward home this time. The baying stopped and I had nothing to follow. The only thing I could do is head home and see if he showed up. I finally made it to the road. Easier walking. Greg met me on the road and said Raisin was home. 45 minutes after this fiasco started, it was over. Raisin and I was soaked to the skin and filthy. It was 7:30 am. I’d already had my exercise for the week and almost no coffee. As much as I wanted to collapse, Raisin and I headed to the bathroom. Raisin got his bath and I handed him to Greg for drying while I showered. We spent the rest of the morning relaxing while Raisin slept in his bed.

By late afternoon Raisin couldn’t get up. I called the vet and they said to come right away. The on call vet would meet us there. We explained what happened as Dr. Geoff examined him. Raisin’s chronic cough turned into servere pneumonia because of his morning dash. He had to stay in the hospital. It was going to be touch and go for a few days.

Daisy Makes It Difficult To Keep Her Alive 

Puppies eat anything is certainly an understatement when it comes to Daisy. Unless she’s kept in her crate 24/7, she going to get into something she shouldn’t. At 11 months she still has to be watched like a hawk and we do. If you take your eye off of her for a nanosecond she’s into something. Her favorite things to eat are anything she’s not supposed to have or things that can kill her.

May 1st (2017): shortly after lunch we were getting ready to go to the barn. My husband thought he should take an allergy med before we left. He was sitting at the kitchen table and opened an Allegra D. It hit the table and bounced on the floor. He dove on the tablet, I dove at Daisy. We weren’t quick enough. She grabbed the pill and made her escape. It only took a few minutes to get her and take what was left of the pill out of her mouth. Calls to the vet, calls to the Pet Poison Hotline, induced vomiting and several hours of waiting/monitoring to see if there was a reaction. She would have been fine with a regular Allegra, but the Sudifed is harmful to dogs. Around dinner the uncontrollable sniffing and tracking arrived, along with dilated eyes. An hour truck ride to the emergency animal hospital led to an overnight stay. She was given a sedative and her vitals were monitored over night. We picked her up the following afternoon. She wasn’t 100%, but she was going to be fine.

Two weeks later Greg brought a guitar downstairs and put it on the sofa. No sooner did he turn his back when she stole a nylon guitar pick out from under the scratch guard. We have no idea how she got hold of it. He has a hard time getting it out. Just that fast, she swallowed. She was smart enough not to touch the hydrogen peroxide-peanutbutter mixture so we took her for a truck ride.  Like clockwork, 20 minutes in the truck and up things came. Everything except the pick. Since dogs can only regurgitate about 70% of their stomach contents we thought another 20 minutes may produce the guitar pick. More came up and still no pick. So we wait to see if it comes out the other end. After 4 days of watching her outside and looking for a pick I decided it was time to take her to the vet for X-rays to see exactly what was going on. No signs of the pick or any type of upcoming blockage was the good news. Another vet bill wasn’t. Still no signs of a pick, but no problems either.

A week or so later we were both in the kitchen. Daisy put her front paws on the refrigerator. Instead of getting down like she was told, she slid the calendar down the refrigerator door so it was low enough for her to steal a 1″ square magnet that was holding the calendar. Fortunately we got it back.

Since August 2016 our house has been continuously redecorated. If it’s within puppy reach, it leaves. The coffee table has nothing on it, the bottom 2 shelves of the book cases are bare, now the bottom of the refrigerator. As she grows, stuff goes. She eats books, magazines, furniture, curtain tiebacks, curtains, mini blinds, rugs, linoleum, rugs, baseboard, tags off of furniture, grass, mulch, rocks, weeds.  Is it ever going to end?

Daisy is making it very difficult to keep her alive until she’s old enough to outgrow this.

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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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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.

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.

 

 

Daisy

It was late August 2016 and we were on our way home from a very long day. We drove 6 hours round trip to pick up a horse trailer. While sitting at a stop light I saw a sign that said Beagle puppies. My husband pointed out that we just had a very long day, he had teeth removed the day before and we were both tired. We could see them the following day if I wanted. We were talking and listening to music as I drove.  A few miles out of town I mentioned that I’d never seen a Beagle puppy. Since I’ve been around dogs all my life, he couldn’t believe I never saw a Beagle pup. He told me to turn around.

There was one female pup left. I picked her up and I was done. She licked my face so much she made me laugh. She was beating my ribs with her tail. I handed her to Greg and she did the same to him. I put her down and sat on the floor with her. She sniffed and crawled all over me. I was really done. Although we enjoyed not being tied to the house, we both missed having a dog. We lost our old Beagle just before Thanksgiving the prior year.

We had bowls, beds and a crate. We needed a collar, leash, food and toys. And there was that matter of putting fence up. I couldn’t stand to look at it after we had to put Raisin down so it came down. Ready or not, we were going home with a 2 month old Beagle pup! The cats are going to be thrilled …. or not.

Even though our 3 cats grew up with dogs, they stayed true to form when we came home with the new pup. Harlie was Raisin’s best buddy. She’d check on him every night after he went to bed, before she came up on our bed. If she thought he was sleeping too long, she checked on him. After he passed away I brought his ashes home and put them in the curio cabinet. Harlie sat by the box every day for weeks.

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Raisin and his buddies

Harlie was the first of the cats to hiss, spit and run when she saw the pup. Life as the cats knew it came to a very abrupt halt. It’s amazing just how much a 6 lb puppy can disrupt a household!

For the next few months we didn’t see much of the cats. They had dry food, water, toys and a litter box upstairs and a bouncy, annoying, tri-colored reason not to go downstairs. Their can food was served to them on the stairs. When they did see Daisy it was hiss, spit, growl and swat. I was beginning to think they’d never accept her.

I’d had enough of not seeing the cats during the day. I work at home and they always visited while I worked. Indy sat on my office chair behind me every day. I brought their dry food down and put it back where it belonged. If they wanted to eat more than twice a day they were going to have to suck it up and face the puppy. It took a few days, but they eventually came down looking for food.

Daisy hasn’t helped herself with the cat situation. She wanted playmates.  There were 3 in the house and she couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t play with her. Being the typical over active, playful Beagle pup tried playing with them which resulted in more hissing, spitting, growling and swatting. Oh well, at least the cats were coming downstairs.

It’s taken 8 months, but Indy and Mouse have finally accepted Daisy…. sort of. They’ll cuddle and rub on Daisy then swat her in the nose.  Indy will take a light away at Daisy’s tail as she walks past. Daisy bounces and barks. When the pup gets too noisy Indy swats hard and ends the play. Daisy is scared to death of Harlie and the cat knows it so Harlie toys with her.

Raisin

We were without a dog for almost a year when I really started to miss having one. Greg convinced me that we should get a Beagle.  He said they were just like Labs, only much smaller and manageable. A local shelter had received about a half dozen Beagles from West Virginia. It was a cold Saturday in mid February and after being snowed in for several days, we were ready to venture off the property. When we got to the shelter most of the Beagles were already adopted. They said Beagles go quickly. There was a smaller male that was under weight, a bit sheepish and wore a cone of shame since he’d recently been neutered. We asked to see him. I took him outside for a walk and to spend some time getting to know him. What a different dog! He strutted with his head held high in the too big plastic e-collar. He was very friendly and wanted to be fussed over. We really liked him, but decided to go to another shelter to see what dogs they had before we adopted one. I walked him to the door to go back in, opened the door and he put on the brakes. He wasn’t going back inside. After a little struggle I did get I’m inside.

At the other shelter there was only a young female Lab and she really had no interest in me. We left and stopped for lunch. We decided to go back to see the Beagle again. If he was still there, we’d adopt him.

He was still available! After I had finished the paperwork and paid the adoption fee they told us he had been adopted by a young couple but he wasn’t suitable and they returned him after a few days. Oh boy – lets hope it was just a mismatch. They also said the information that came with him was that he was 3 years old and fully housebroken. We saw him come out of the back but he didn’t see us right away. When he did his head shot up and he started to run toward us. At that moment he was probably the happiest dog in the world. He pranced out the door and across the parking lot to the truck that waited to take him to his new home to start his new life. He strutted around Petco like he owned the place as we picked out a collar and leash, a crate, a bed, food and some toys.

We took our new dog and all of his belongings in the house. The introduction to Harlie, Indy and Mouse went better than I expected. The cats seemed to take to him right away. He found his bed and laid  down in it. And there he stayed. For the next three days he did nothing except sleep, eat and go outside once in awhile. Greg was starting to think we made a bad choice. I was hoping he was exhausted from everything he’d been thru. Tired, underweight to the point of his spine sticking up with slightly deformed back legs, he was our new dog and he was here to stay.