Sunday, December 31, 2006

Interceptor aftermath

Morning, and Chandler is fine.
One of the going theories is that the cats tried to assassinate him by knocking the box off the entertainment center.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Bad Puppy! (and we saw the orthopedic specialist)

I have been told a theory that we get good dogs for our first dogs, and thereafter are sent more challenging ones. By and large, this has been true of Chandler, and perhaps it has made me a bit too complacent.

He's never snuck anything off of counters, but today he apparently decided a new six month supply of heartworm meds would make a great snack. Fortunately, after two frantic calls to emergency clinics, and another two to different animal poison control hotlines, I found out that he should be ok. Thankfully, he does not have the MDR1 mutation that would make him more vulnerable to such a dosage. Thankfully, I had got him tested for it, and was able to tell the vet on the poison control line that it was not a factor.

So I'm keeping an eye on him for 24 hours, and he's been acting like his usual active self. Now, if I could just get my jangling nerves to settle down...


Chandler had his visit with the specialist Thursday. It's mixed news.

From the xrays taken in August, his right hip is dysplastic although the left is pretty good.
His left has about 75% of the ball in the socket, but the right only has about 55%.
(At his guess that would probably get a good OFA on the left and a fair to poor on the right.)
There may have been some degenerative joint disease starting on the right.

He said it is possible that he had some loose joints that might have tightened up as he aged, but the right got injured when that other dog slammed into him in July.

He suggested that doing and OFA or PENNhip would mostly be a waste of money for me, and instead suggested that I should just consider getting some more diagnostic x-rays and palpitations of his hips done if he gets worse or if we already have him knocked out for a dental or something.

In the meantime, as he's mostly fine 99% of the time, I've been told I can give him some aspirin if he overdoes it. His gait is a little "off" and he puts more weight on the left side, but we can live with that as long as he's not in great amounts of pain. I just have to try to make sure he doesn't get slammed around too much-which will take a bit of planning with his Akita friend.

Technically the vet said he should have more on leash exercise, but that sort of thing actually made him worse over the summer, so I think I'm going to stick to letting him run on the hiking trails. Swimming was also recommended, which should not be a problem. (Keeping him out of water would be much more difficult.)

So, it's sort of a "wait and see" situation. I'm happy I at least got some straight answers from SOMEBODY.

Monday, November 6, 2006


Two of Chandler's pictures made it into the 2007 English Shepherd calendar!
(Ok, so they're just little adjunct pics and not the main monthly ones, but I'm still happy.)
Now I have to figure out how many to order...already have one request from one of Chan's fan club.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The results.

I'm trying to decide if this is better or worse than a torn cruciate.

The new vet at the practice finally managed to track down the source of Chandler's mysterious appearing and disappearing lameness. It wasn't his knee as we had feared; unfortunately it's not panosteitis either. His right hip is not very solid. The vet said he didn't have any problems repeatedly popping it out of socket while Chandler was anesthetized. I'll have to decide if I want to get him OFA'd or PennHIPed to get a better idea of what is going on. It actually doesn't seem to bother him unless he really jars it, and he's been put on joint supplements in hopes that they will help.

I'm not sure why this wasn't caught when the x-rays were first taken. This whole fiasco caused me to rest him and now he's lost much of his supportive muscle.

At least his MDR1 just came back as normal/normal. He should be ivermectin etc safe.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Upsetting end to a good weekend

Well, Friday night went very well at the Modernmyths party.
I took Chandler out for a great run in a local park beforehand,
he was quite happy to get petted by all the Smith girls, and didn't freak out at any of the men.
He actually stopped a car in the parking lot by being criminally cute while doing a high-5.

And then this morning happened...

I went out to the park today early when there was only three other dogs there.
Chandler was doing figure 8's around a friendly lab when he suddenly did a slight twist at low speed and yelped. He held up his right hind leg for about half a minute after that, and then started using it again.
Of course, now he seems to be putting weight on it, but I think that doesn't mean anything...
I'm calling the vet Monday to check for laxity and a cruciate tear.

He was zooming around hiking trails offleash Friday with no problems.
He just started agility class.
The MA English Shepherd meet is 3 weeks away.

Saturday, September 2, 2006

Minor update

I had a great trip to Ikea with friends last weekend. (You know who you are.) Amazingly, the cinnamon buns lasted until Thursday. I'm hoping everyone is enjoying their little globe lights, unfortunately I haven't had time to find a spot for my two lanterns yet. And yes, Chandler ADORES his dragon.

Lyssa and Tlttlotd- I am blaming my betta obsession on you. :)
I picked up Jabberwock, a white betta with blue wash and reddish fin tips soon after visiting, and have just gotten a blue crowntail as of yesterday. He doesn't have a name yet. (Name suggestions solicited!) I'm still searching for the perfect Boojum to replace my deceased Snark on my desk at work-none of the bettas at Petsmart last night seemed quite right.

Tomorrow Chan and I will hopefully be off to the birthday party of his cousin, Nixie. I'm expecting him to become a happy, muddy, tired mess.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Chandler update

Chandler is REALLY not having a good summer.

The good news:
His hot spot is better, and we're almost through with the antibiotics.
His lame leg seems to have cleared up, we went to the dog park for the first time in a month yesterday, and there was no yelping or limping.

The bad news:
He ripped up his pads zooming at the dog park yesterday.
I guess they've lost their toughness after a month of rest.
There's no sign of blood, but he has only a single paw that doesn't have some kind of scrape or a flap hanging off it.
Needless to say he's a bit sore, and we're resting.
(I'm also glad he's still on antibiotics)
I'm probably heading out later to look for some sort of dog booties for him to wear to keep the scrapes clean for a few days.

Friday, August 11, 2006

dog is better, fish is not...

Chan seems to be doing fine during his convalescence.
He's trotting around, and doing his best to bounce while I'm doing my best to stop him.
The cats are being driven crazy, because he wants to play.

So the dog is better, but my betta Snark is looking a bit ill.
He's all washed out and was sitting on the bottom of his little hex tank.
I've changed his water, and I hope that will perk him up.


...the fish didn't make it, despite administration of medication. *sigh*
I'm bleaching his tank to make sure bacteria and viruses are dead before I try to put another fish in there.

Chandler is just not having a good summer.
I discovered a large hot spot with painful scabs on him.
So, after another trip to the vet, he's got antibiotics for two weeks,
and I'm trying to keep him from licking at the spot.
I may need to borrow an Elizabethan collar from a friend,
and I'm sure he won't like that.

In the meantime I'm trying some green tea compresses on the hot spot,
as I've heard these can help dry them up and stop the itching.

At least the weather is going to be beautiful this weekend. :)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The results of today’s visit to the veterinarian.

Although Chandler is favoring the leg, his limp is not pronounced, so they knocked him out to do x-rays and manipulate his leg.
There is no laxity in the right knee-so if there is a cruciate tear, it is tiny.
They also said xrays showed nothing abnormal.
(Plus his hips look good (informally); Yeah!)
Diagnosis was either a soft tissue injury or panosteitis, which I guess translates into he did something to a muscle or has growing pains.
The bottom line is that he is supposed to rest for another month, although he can go on leash walks and do other easy exercises like swimming. No bouncing or running allowed.

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Chandler rant...I need to vent worries.

This first showed up on the 14th, when a dog collided with him in the dog park, but he had been playing very roughly with another dog two days beforehand so I can't rule out anything. Anyway, he yelped at the collision, yipped once again when he flopped down on his side, and yelped coming up the riverbank during his last "you just yelped; we are going home" rinse. And complaned a bit while settling into the back seat. He seemed fine the next day, so on the day after that we went out on a play date with a friend's ES dogs. He then yelped a few times that day, but nobody could pin anything down by looking at him. (There was no obvious limp and there never has been)

Rested him for a week, he seemed ok, so we went to one of his Akita friend's birthday parties. He won best swimmer, and only yelped once while playing-but I thought his Akita friend stepped on him. So we went hiking with my friend and her ES the next day, whereupon he hurled himself over a fallen sapling-and yelped. This time my friend could definitely see his limp, so we went into the vet on Tuesday.

The vet felt his hind legs, and watched him walk. She declared he had a stiff right knee, and proclaimed it either a sprain, strain, or a stretched or partially torn ligament. She then gave us anti-inflammatories until Friday, and orders to rest in the apartment for a week. After that, we were supposed to "take it easy". I was and still am not pleased with the vagueness.

We've mostly rested for a week-keeping a 9-10 month old ES from galloping around the house is not easy. We went to his class last night and his trainer said his right heel was wobbling a bit, and it was messing up his gait. It also looks like he's not putting all his weight on the leg-it has a tendency to toe-out.

I took Chandler out for a swim today.He seemed rather quiet for his first time off leash.
On land, it looked like his right leg was moving out to the side a bit when he walked, or something.
The fact that it's not easy to see is driving me crazy.

So we're back to the vet on Friday, because he's not quite right. This time we're seeing the head vet of the practice, so its sort of like having a second opinion.

It's just frusterating because his limp is so subtle, and they're being very vague. Plus I have other opinions ranging from "did you check for lyme?" to "it could be growing pains"...none of which have been ruled out as far as I know.


Anyway, here's a view of Chandler's valiant defense of the mud puddle, before all this happened.
Yes, he soaked up most of it into his fur.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Overdue update, and my poor puppy. :(

I haven't posted in a while. So I'd better first say that I had a great time on my first vacation in years down in DC with friends, even if I did find out that Goths were dangerous. ;)

I have also discovered that there seems to be absolutely no Indian restaurants in Waterbury. Argh. Just when I finally got to try some Indian food in DC. Too bad, as it was delicious.

Otherwise life goes on, and lesson plans for next fall are being worked on.

My major worry at the moment is Chandler.
he has been showing some pain in his rear hind leg (occasional
yelping running or coming up a steep slope, with very infrequent
limping that tends to be subtle) and after a week of rest didn't
settle him, I took him to his veterinarian yesterday.

The verdict was that he'd done some kind of soft tissue damage to his
knee. He's only 9 months old and must have overdone it somehow. The
joint seemed "stiff" but not loose, so perhaps he'd stretched or
slightly torn his anterior cruciate ligament. We were sent home with
anti-inflammatories to take until Friday, and told he needed indoor
rest with only potty walks for a week, after which we could "take it
slow", depending on how he is.

That last bit is unsettlingly vague for me.

His trainer thinks I should treat it like a full ACL recovery, and
only let him walk on leash or swim for the next three months, and make
sure he doesn't back up, play with other dogs, or make tight turns for
the next 6 months.

Complicating this is that he was supposed to start a puppy agility
class on Thursday, which I am thinking we had better put off for now.

Friday, July 7, 2006

In Requiem

Today I start my day with tears.
My friends' dog is gone, taken by the problems of old age.
I knew her well, because they were kind enough to let me and my cats stay with them for a time.
Sometime in the past week, they had to make that choice that is so wrong for you, and yet so right for a suffering pet.
That is love.
I wasn't there to offer support because I was off on vacation, and didn't know.
I offer this now, and the fruits that will come of a few extra errands today.

I remember Candy and her sled dog smile...
I remember her "woowoo!" which startled a friend of mine that was not northern breed saavy.
I remember how joyous she was when my cat Rowan snuck out the back door when I let the dogs out. She thought kitty had come to play.

I'm sorry she never got to meet Chandler. They probably would have adored each other.

I start my day with tears for an old dog and her "mommy and daddy", and also with a few good memories that I hope will not be forgotten in the pain.

This is for all three of you, and Melody too.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Overdue update- Meeting other English Shepherds

Chandler had a great outing to meet another CT resident's female English Shepherd crew,
Nixie, Finn, Flurry, and Irma last weekend. Also present was chaperone
collie Willie. Despite being a goofy boy, he managed to blend well
into the pack and only got corrected once for uncouth behavior.
(After which he gave many apologies for biting too hard-he must be
playing with too many pit bulls and labs.)

First introductions were to Nixie and Willy in the Southbury dog park,
where it was difficult to decide whether Nixie or Chandler was faster.
My friend observed that Chan was "all boy"..and I had to concur as he was
making an utter mess of himself splashing around and wrestling with a
poodle in a huge mud puddle, much to Nixie's disgust.

Fortunately the mud was soon washed off as we took the entire crew off
on the rear trails to a tiny beach on the Pomperaug River. I'm just
hoping her girls will someday finally teach Chandler to swim a bit
more, as he's mostly a wader. Flurry had a good time retrieving
floating biscuits, however.

Unfortunately the morning ended too soon, as the "girls" had a hiking outing
planned with a friend, and the dog park was getting a bit too full for
the enforcer nature of some of the ES. Both Chandler and I are
looking forward to the next outing.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

on the dangers of Petsmart...

...or more accurately, the dangers of being well known to Petsmart employees! *laugh*

The scene: Supplement/books/cleanup and housebreaking aisle, where I am practicing stays with Chandler.

Groomer: Chander! What a good puppy! (Chandler just got groomed yesterday, and apparantly behaved very well.) Does he like toys? (to me)

Me: Yes, actually he has one of those pastel sheep.

Groomer: Oh, you have to see this one, everyone loves them. (Leads the way to the toy aisle and takes down a loofa dog.)

Chandler: *sniffsniff* *GRAB* *CHOMP!* *tugtugtug*

Loofa Dog: *squeeksqueek-wahwah*

Chandler: *chomp* *chomp* *tug*

Groomer: Oops, he's got the tag off already.

Me: Well, I guess we're buying that one...

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Chandler's best friend Crevan the Shetland Sheepdog.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

rambling on...mostly about Chan, for those who want updates

I am really tired feels like it's been a long day, but it really hasn't. No notes done today, although I spent most of the Olympics last night correcting papers. Instant replay is so really don't miss anything, and there is the added bonus of slow motion.

I did manage to start setting up for my groundwater lab next Monday, although Chandler was not crazy about lying around in my classroom while I washed 30 beakers. Boring I guess, when he could be off finding someone to adore him.

I am continually surprised at how people are amazed by Chandler. He sits, downs, comes when called except when in the middle of something like intense playing, follows off-leash in the dogpark or deserted school corridors, periodically seems to check in when off-leash, plays well with other dogs (even if he is sometimes intimidated if he gets flattened), and rarely barks (compared to other dogs, I guess...well somebody said he was surprisingly quiet.) He also loves people, and I'm taking full advantage of his "adorable puppy license" to get him introduced to as many people as possible. (I'm so proud of him! He went right up to a man in a wheelchair in Petsmart today! Wheelchairs tend to freak out a lot of dogs.) But people seem surprised he does all this...and I probably just seem befuddled because he's my first dog. (You mean this isn't normal puppy behavior?)

Maybe I like hearing this too's good for my puppy-raising ego, and proof that I'm doing *something* right when I finally got my own dog. But I also feel I should be trying to gauge at what stage of development he should be at, and I have no personal knowledge for comparison.

Ok...he does sometimes act totally deaf to commands, but I'm trying to figure out whether he's distracted, stubborn, still sleepy, or if the problem in communication is on my end. He also gets a bit intimidated by new situations, but usually his "happy tail" is back to wagging in about half an hour or less. Really, he is just about four months and one week old so I think I should allow some leeway. Of course, I know his "teenage months" are looming ahead, which is all the more reason to work on training *now*.

But overall, I'm happy, he's happy. According to some people, he's amazing. I wish I had more time to train him, in between the quizzes, notes, and other school projects. I need to teach him a few tricks like "shake hands" or "high 5." Heck, I need to work on "stay" and "drop it".

...and I think I've hit the end of this babbling ramble...exhausted after going into work and taking Chan to the dog park for canine socialization.

Monday, February 13, 2006


SNOW DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Quality extra time with puppy-Chan! :)
Time to make up the Environmental Science exam and work on Marine notes. (bleh)

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

...and on an amusing note.

The following conversation took place while I was out this afternoon at the local sledding hill with Chandler.
(Sledding hills are great puppy socialization spots, lots of different people, enthusiastic shrieking, and zooming going on...I'm working on bombproof here.)

Kid: Cute puppy! What's his name?
Me: Chandler. Chan for short.
Kid: Chan? Jackie Chan! Puppy Chan!
Me: (deadpan) Well, he hasn't shown any martial arts ability yet.

Snow Day!

Actually, freezing rain, ice pellets, and then snow day....
but the essential effect is the same.
An extra day of puppy bonding and socialization!
(I suppose I'll work on those tests and worksheets in between...
time for more sleep now, though.)