These past few days have been pretty exciting for Orso and the rest of us at home. On Saturday, we had some of our dog-loving friends come over to meet Orso. It was a great opportunity for him to socialize with adults AND children who he had never met before. Since he got shots on Friday, we were cool with allowing people who have pets to come over and interact with him. It was great to see that he was not shy at all and loved all the new faces (and fingers, and shoes, and toes, and towels, etc). He, Mouse and Luna spent most of the BBQ with us, but also were given some time out throughout the day to recharge. It's a lot to handle when there are lots of new people around, more for Orso than the other two, so we didn't want him to get stressed out with the commotion. We took a ton of photos and would like to share the ones that have dogs in them!
A great highlight of Saturday was that most of us were in the pool and Orso was VERY curious about this giant water bowl in the middle of the patio. When I was in the pool, I took advantage to gently introduce him to it by carrying him while I was in the shallow end of the pool. He barely struggled the first time and the other two times I did it, he cared less. Each time when I set him down on the first step of the pool, he was totally chill with the whole thing and actually seemed very amused by the whole experience. He kept trying to lap up the water, which I don't like because of the pool chemicals, but there was not too much I could do about it. I also was extremely careful to not get his head or ears wet. Below is a great video of the day from start to end. It is a LONG compilation video - almost 6 minutes - and the background music runs out before the video by a couple minutes, but it's well worth the watch.
On another note, Orso's ears are doing great! Gus and I removed the tape Sunday night to check on the ears. They are BOTH standing!!!! YAY! However, we felt that it would be sensible to tape them lightly just to make sure they continue to both stand nicely. He is also still on his antibiotics for the infection. So we, with the help of YouTube, struggled like amateur nurses to tape Orso's ears. Poor guy. He was not impressed with our clumsy taping skills, but took it like a champ.
Orso is also spending a lot of time trying to play with Luna and Mouse. Not so much with Mouse since he is the more timid one and keeps to himself. Luna is very curious with him and seems to like the attention she gets from him. Orso, being a puppy, is absolutely relentless in his pursuit of Luna. He bites her tail and goes skiing behind her, which she has impressively tolerated. She has given him a few gentle corrections here and there, but is being a great "mom" to him. I think both Mouse and Luna are worried about playing with him since we are always watching like hawks; afterall, we are responsible for establishing his place in the pack, so they know that one bad move and we'll jump. Overall, though, everyone is very relaxed around each other and seem to be getting along great, which is a wonderful thing only 2 weeks after bringing Orso to his new home.
Today was Orso's visit to the vet. This appointment was for his 2nd set of shots, an ear infection recheck and possible taping of his ears. Over the last few days, the infection on the ears has gotten much better; the redness and inflammation has improved but the right ear remains completely floppy. Also, since the ear
was infected and swollen, it made the droop worse.
From an emotional standpoint, this was really bothering me all week because we walked into the vet's office Saturday morning with his ears healthy - one was droopy - but they were healthy and infection free. 2 days later, they were terribly infected. I am carrying a huge amount of guilt for allowing someone with no experience to lay hands on him. It's been killing me, especially since I am sure this has caused Orso distress and to some extent, a bit of suffering.
Meanwhile, from a financial standpoint, we are footing the bill for something that should not have happened. I have wanted to address it with my vet, because it was really weighing me down. My relationship with my vet goes back decades. I trust him as a veterinarian and as a human being. He is a good, decent and
honest man, so I was stressed that I would offend him by addressing my concerns. I suppose it's all in the approach - at least that is what Nichelle (our dogsitter and vet's technician - she has worked for him for years - cautioned me before our appointment. She was right; I approached the topic with sensitivity and a ton of disclaimers (let's not leave out a whole lot of anxiety) and he was OK with it. At the end, it doesn't fix or change anything, but at least I was able to voice my concerns and alleviate the discomfort I was feeling by not having spoken about it with him.
Anyway, back to the appointment. A few things were done during Orso's visit. The vet rechecked his ears and was pleased to see that the infection had gone down tremendously. A technician took him to the kennel
area and disinfected the area with a special wash and then "installed" a contraption that will hopefully keep his ears up - BOTH of them. Orso was not pleased with this by any means. His reaction led to a plethora of skin glue and support tape, not to mention a satellite dish on his head and some light tranquilizers to get him past his puppy hysteria. He weighed in at 27 pounds! He's up 3 pounds since Monday's visit! WOW! He also got his second set of shots - with the exception of Lepto, since we are holding off on that one until at least 14 weeks of age. For the most part, he behaved pretty well, but his patience quickly ran out once the ear dressings were begrudgingly bestowed on him - poor Orso, he's a heartbreaker with that look of misery. See below for a couple of pictures and a video of Orso at the vet's office.
We are now home with him and he is not a happy puppy. The light dosage of Acepromazine kicked in and he is passed out. We are completely anti-meds, but given the circumstances, we recognize that sometimes you have to make exceptions. Lunch time is approaching, so we are planning to wake him up for his feeding. I anticipate that between the stress, the vaccines and the Ace, it's likely that his appetite will suffer today. I am sure he will make up for it as soon as he is feeling better.
Since the economy is still in a downturn and we spent all the money we had on Orso, we have decided that we will no longer buy him puppy toys. Instead, we will allow him to wander our property looking for toys himself. In the spirit of our new perspective on puppy toys, check out the video clip below. By the way, I am just kidding, we will still continue pumping money into the commercial puppy toy industry!
Orso's ear infection is much better today! He slept quietly through the entire night, for which I am EXTREMELY gracious! The antibiotics have definitely kicked in and the redness/inflammation is considerably down. His spirits are very high today. I swear that he is making up for being a little lethargic yesterday because he has been a firecracker all morning. I took him out for a little bit of activity outside to wear him down a bit. Below is a clip of part of our morning tennis ball fetch session. He definitely understands the concept of the game and has learned to follow us around the house with his toys and drop them at our feet. Too cute!
We just got home from our follow-up appointment at our vet's office. Luckily, our regular (and absolutely wonderful) vet is back in town and saw us first thing in the morning. We removed the tape from Orso's ears to find that he has developed an infection throughout both ears. His ears were fine when they were taped on Saturday, so this must have been a result of the taping. Maybe there was moisture trapped under the tape and the incision was folded over or the tape was too tight, who knows. Bottom line, Orso has no tape on anymore, the ears are infected, the right ear is still totally drooped, he's on a slew of meds to fight the infection, I tormented poor Diane with a phone call, Orso is one very unhappy pup right now and I could benefit from some strong anti-anxiety medication to lower our stress levels!!! Happy Monday!
My parents did the cutest thing today! I got a call from them while we were at the gym to find out if we were home because they wanted to come by and visit their grand-furkids. I told them we would be home shortly and that they were welcome to stop in. They are one of the few guests allowed to visit since they don't have any pets of their own, so the chance of them bringing anything with them that could get Orso sick is practically nonexistent.
I told them we would be home at 4:30 and promptly at that time they were pulling in to our driveway. The cutest part of this whole thing is that they came bearing gifts for everyone! They walked in with a bag full of ropes and balls and chew toys for all 3 dogs! It was so cute! You have to realize that my parents have no pets and they know how absolutely OCD we are about what toys we buy the dogs, so I could just picture my parents doing their research and tormenting the folks at PetSmart before making their toy selection! It was very endearing. Orso immediately and graciously took possession of his new toys much to my parents' delight. I don't have any children, so my parents know how incredibly important my dogs are to me, so this gesture was awesome of them!
This entry's title was the reaction I received at the vet's office when I arrived with Orso to re-tape his ears. Maybe no one came out and said this to me for fear of my reaction, but it was very clear that everyone was thinking it. I had a very stressful visit to the vet several hours ago. If you see my previous post about my regular vet being on vacation, you will probably know where I am going with this. Apparently, veterinary schools don't teach ear cropping anymore - which is fine - but it does not mean that it is no longer performed, so if you are a vet, I think that you should be taught at some point in your career how to - at the very least - tape ears that have been cropped. No such luck today.
As Orso and I waited patiently in the exam room, I could overhear all the technicians and the green vet on staff debating who was going to tape my puppy's ears. It didn't help that they were aware that he was a show dog, so it was especially crucial that the taping be done correctly. No one who was there had ever taped ears!!! Distressed by this, I made them call all the local clinics to see if there was a vet anywhere within a 10 mile radius who was comfortable with this practice - zilch! Having taped Mouse's ears when he was a puppy, I was prepared to do it myself rather than allow someone else to do a poor job, but I had not done it in a long time and was scared to wrap the ears too tight and cause a circulation loss issue. The vet, the technician and I brainstormed until we came to a reasonable solution. My friend held Orso, the vet and the vet tech cautiously taped his ears while I showed them close-ups of photos from a few days ago that showed how they were originally looked. We all agreed that I should go back first thing Monday morning to see my regular vet, who crops show dogs' ears on a fairly regular basis to check the ears and re-tape them. Through this whole ordeal, Orso sat like a little gentleman on the exam table, completely unfazed by any of the raucous surrounding him. What a trooper!
Below are two videos. One is of Orso chilling out at the vet's office with my friend next to him and the other is him showing his unhappiness at having his ears taped again.
We woke up this morning and seriously wondered if we had forgotten to put Orso in his crate. He did not make one sound all night. Perhaps it was the sleeping pills we took that made us think this, but regardless, for the first time all week we got to sleep a solid 7 hours! Woohoo!
We have settled nicely into a routine. Wake up at 7am-ish, pee and poop, breakfast right after, play, sleep, play, sleep some more, lunch at 2-230pm followed by some more poop, playing and sleeping all afternoon, dinner at 8pm with an encore presentation of poop. We like our routine. It is predictable. We can recognize his different cries and tantrums. There is a distinct difference among the "I am being ignored," "I am hungry," and "It's bathroom time" tantrums. He has officially trained us to recognize the difference - all in less
than one week.
His ear is completely flopped down. By 830am, I am on the phone with the vet's office only to learn that my vet, who does beautiful ears and tapes quite proficiently, is on vacation. How dare he???!!!!! After panicking and making a call to - you guessed it - Diane, we decide to allow a green vet who is there in his place re-tape the ears. We made an appointment for Saturday mid-day. In the interim, we rub his ears with vitamin E and giggle at how funny he looks.
Check this out! Proof that at only 9 weeks and 1 day, Orso comes and sits on command. What a smart puppy! Obedience titles, here we come!!!!
LOOK, MA, NO TAPE! - 08.19.2010
Last night we slept less than 3 hours each. Orso had another fussy night; he must be missing his littermates. Overall, he is a great puppy and is doing wonderful! It is only 96 hours with us and he is fully housebroken, is getting along pretty well with the other two and sits on command! He is so intelligent. And he has discovered the joy of sleeping for hours on a sofa! His favorite toy seems to be the one we took home with us from Diane’s house. He is such an awesome puppy! He is eating very well. Every time he finishes the food, he pitches a tantrum to demonstrate his discontentment with the empty bowl.
Our only real complaint is that we have had a couple of rough nights because he cries at night. Since he sleeps in our room, we are both pushing only 2-3 hours of sleep a night for 3 straight nights. Hopefully he will feel more comfortable shortly so we can all get some rest… Diane’s theory is that he spends too much time snoring on our sofa!
We took the tape off his ears today, as instructed. It broke our hearts to pull the tape off. It pulled off so much of his fur and he struggled with us through it. We felt so bad! I had the honor of removing the tape. Immediately after removing the tape, his ears were standing beautifully. 10 minutes later, the right ear was drooping while the left ear was perfectly upright. We sent an email to Diane to find out what we should about it. Below is her response and some photos.
Glad things are going so well. Housebroken already??? I’m sending my pups to your house for training! I’m sure he would do much better at night if he were not sleeping for hours on the sofa……
His ears definitely need to be re-taped. That right one looks like it has a fold in it and should not be left too long. I would say let them air out for a day and maybe try to get him in on Saturday if possible. In the meantime get some vitamin E oil and try to massage the ear to straighten it and towards the inside (opposite of the way it’s leaning). Don’t worry, it will be just fine. My puppy looks just the same!
Thanks for the update!
NEW DAY, NEW ATTITUDE - 08.17.2010
This morning was bittersweet for me. For starters, no one, absolutely no one, slept in our house last night. Orso was pretty fussy most of the night and I took off early to the gym. The good news is that Orso woke up with quite the appetite! He inhaled his breakfast, lunch and dinner and was a firecracker all day! We also made unexpected progress with regard to getting all three of the dogs to hang out together. We didn’t expect this kind of interaction for at least a week or two! Everyone was relaxing on the couch for hours together. It was wonderful! Orso’s housebreaking is also going extremely well. No accidents at all. Not even last night with him feeling not that great. He has learned to sit on command and comes when you call him. Below are photos showing the progress with assimilating the three dogs together.
From Diane regarding Orso feeling better and the photos below:
“Well, that makes me feel much better. I’m sure it was just the stress of all the new things he was dealing with. Looks like you are going to have to buy yourselves another sectional since there won’t be too much room left for humans on that one once he starts to grow like his daddy!
Very cute pictures—thank-you!
Have a great night!
We were so pleased with Orso last night! He did not make a sound all night; he slept like a bear! LOL, get it, Bear – Orso, ha ha! He also had no accidents overnight, which is amazing. He had a good amount of energy this morning, so we got to play with him quite a bit before feeding him breakfast. He ate most of it and due to my negligence, we had a peepee incident in the pen, which ruined his good housebreaking streak. Clearly it was my fault because he was whimpering to go outside and I didn’t make it to him in time.
Later in the morning, we did the second round of introductions with Luna and Mouse and were extremely happy with the outcome. There was no growling, barking, nothing scary for him; it went very smoothly! The entire day was spent in the family room – Orso sleeping in his pen and the other two wandering around the house. Business as usual… The crucial first day went really well! Below is a cute photo of Orso deciding that he preferred a cardboard box for his nap instead of his cushy doggie bed. There is also a video below of all three of our dogs hanging out in the family room.
Unfortunately, we think all the excitement of coming to a new home may have made Orso's tummy feel funny. Orso didn't want to eat his lunch and ended up vomiting. He then had several bouts of diarrhea in his pen, ruining his housebreaking streak. I am sure it did not help that there were some major thunderstorms in the area. I suppose my nerves got the best of me, so I called Diane to ask her advice. She told me to keep an eye on him and to take him to the vet tomorrow if the vomiting persisted. He didn't want his dinner, which really stressed us out, but his activity level and interest in playing was high. He wasn't lethargic, so we tried to convince ourselves that it was just the change of environment getting to him. Let's see how he is feeling in the morning...