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Everything posted by MaggieDog

  1. I do an even more gradual transition than BCJetta. Step 1: Get the behavior you want reliable with the regular prong. Step 2: turn the prong inside out (prongs out) and see if the behavior is maintained. If so, move to step 3, if not, go back to step 1 for at least a few more walks. Step 3:begin clipping the leash to a regular collar or harness toward the end of the walk. Gradually switch the leash earlier and earlier in the walk until you can start out on the flat collar. Step 4: get rid of the prong.
  2. Wonder if the court proceedings would be open to the public? If so and someone was able to find out the dates, it would be really neat to have a presence of true BC lovers at his court dates.
  3. Often for older pups who have trained their owners to continue waking up early I will do a gradual transition - initially you take them out a few minutes before they typically start carrying on (pre-empting the whining), then once you've got that working for a few days, every 3 to 4 days I add 5-10 mins onto the alarm clock setting. This is basically gradually moving wake up time to a more reasonable hour without having to deal with lots of complaining.
  4. I have PetPlan and a emergency fund because I have had 3 dogs until recently. Our emergency fund was heavily depleted by the vet care my oldest dog received in an attempt to stabilize her last week before we found out she had cancer. That experience really drove home to me the reason for insurance - we accumulated $1000 in expenses in less than 4 hours and still ended up losing her. She was too old to be included on the PetPlan policy when I enrolled my other two dogs. With multiple pets I just don't think it's wise to try and rely on a savings account for emergencies, but I do think regular expenses should be budgeted for rather than included in an insurance policy, just for $$$ control. I have budgeted money for normal vet expenses and a savings account to cover our deductibles and any expenses after the insurance kicks in. Z and Kes are both on plans that are injury/illness only (with congenital conditions *included*), $250 deductible, 90% coverage after the deductible (70% at specialty clinics), and an $8000 limit per year. We pay about $12/mo/dog. As long as I keep their premiums current, any conditions that appear while covered are not considered preexisting year to year, unlike many companies. I haven't had to use the Pet Plan coverage to date, but I have a friend who has a number of dogs and has used their coverage a number of times - she says the company is easy to work with and hasn't ever balked about paying out for her crew's various injuries and illnesses (Wobblers diagnosis, immune mediated hemolytic anemia, heart problems, etc.).
  5. I generally manage my dogs to prevent them from rehearsing behaviors I don't want - if I know someone is coming over who may not like a behavior I am fine with, the dogs are put up or leashed to prevent the visitor from even thinking about needing to "teach" my dogs anything. That being said, all of my dogs are desensitized to typical CM pssts and finger pokes early on in their time with me so I don't have to worry about their reactions if someone tries one of those stupid moves. Z and Kes both think finger pokes and tsst noises are methods of inciting play now, so anyone who tries doing it as discipline will be met with pawing and bouncing rather than the "calm submissive" state they were going for. It gives me great pleasure to see the person's reactions to my dogs' play behavior and plenty of time to remove the dogs from their reach. Similarly, both of my dogs (and Maggie before she left us) were handled frequently and even a bit roughly on purpose to minimize any risk of lasting effects from someone "correcting" them inappropriately. Z has allowed the vet to place staples, run hip xrays, etc. sans sedative, Maggie never raised a protest about being carried, xrayed, or otherwise handled even when feeling poorly, and Kes accepts all manipulation and restraint during regular vet exams (we're working on more invasive handling currently as he is a very bouncy guy). All three were used to my husband playing with their noses and ears as part of a game he invented. All the above work means that my dogs will bounce back quickly from rough handling and thus give me time to intervene because I know that I won't be able to prevent all inappropriate handling. People thinking they can discipline my dogs for behavior I consider appropriate will either be instructed on how to handle things appropriately in the future or will not be allowed to interact further with my dog(s).
  6. Thanks you guys - she really was a special dog and it means so much to me to know that others saw it too, even though most of you never met her in person. In some respects I'm glad she went so quick - it would've been totally against her nature to just fade away - but I will always wish I had more time with her.
  7. I never thought that I'd be saying goodbye to my special girl today, but I did. Maggie is the dog that taught me oh so much about dogs, myself, life, and change. She nurtured an interest in dog behavior that led me away from my original plan of becoming a vet and into the field of animal behavior. She joined the family at 10 mo - I was only 15 myself - and went from a crazy adolescent with socialization issues to a calm, mature therapy dog. She and I played in agility and dabbled in herding and competition obedience. She was with me through my transition to college from high school and my transition from college to career, four interstate moves, meeting and marrying my husband, the addition of two other dogs and a cat, tons of fosters, lots of travels, and she never wavered. She was a true confidant and teacher. She helped me see the importance of sunbeams, the chase, and long naps. Because of her I learned about different training methods, holistic medicine, dog sports, and the joy in hiking a trail with your best friend. It's been an amazing journey. Even today she taught me a few new lessons: the importance of taking time to tell loved ones how much you care for them, how much an hour can mean, and even though losing a friend is tough it can be the most precious gift to give. This morning Maggie refused her breakfast and appeared shakey. When I took her into the vet's they immediately thought she might have a splenic mass that had ruptured and xrays and bloodwork seemed to confirm that so we headed to the specialty clinic. An ultrasound revealed multiple masses on her spleen and liver - nothing could be done. The vet suspects hemangiosarcoma - she's probably had it for several months. The staff was amazed that she walked in on her own given how low her blood pressure was on admission and how advanced the cancer was at that point. That's my Maggie - a trooper through and through. We were told we didn't have the time to take her home and have our housecall vet meet us there, so my husband and I spent the next hour sitting and snuggling with her. I called my parents and they said goodbye over the phone, we gave her special dog treats at will, and even after she stopped taking them, she still gave me one last high five (her favorite trick). She started to fade away, so we called the vet in and she passed smoothly around 3:30pm. When I got in the car to head home without my girl there was an apropos song on the radio and I got the distinct image of Maggie running full tilt in a grassy, sunny field - I think that was her way of saying "thanks mom, I found the Rainbow Bridge ok, and am happy here". Run free Meegs, run free!
  8. I think this board was one of the first I ever signed up on - just had Maggie at the time, so I became MaggieDog. On most boards I'm Stardog (or stardogs or stardog85) because I think of all my dogs as stars (it's also become my "kennel name" for their agility registrations lol).
  9. Explanations for a few of my tag inclusions: The Loose = Lost idea came from another dog board I'm on. The dogs have collars with their name and my cell # embroidered on for hiking off lead, so literally the only time they are wearing these tags and would be off lead is when something is wrong and they need to be brought back to me ASAP. This is the first time I haven't included names on the tags and that's mostly because 1. I didn't have room and 2. I have enough dogs that it's nice to have extra tags that can work for anyone if a tag is lost. I also added the vet's number for the first time - I don't have a home or work number, just my cell, and I figured it would be nice to have the vet's number obvious in case the dog was found injured or I couldn't be reached. City, State only; I want the general location because I travel a fair amount, but I don't include the street because I don't want anyone coming to my house unannounced. Microchipped is added this time because the microchip tags keep getting lost *and* I want people to know that my dogs have permanent ID, so I can ID them easily if stolen.
  10. I just ordered new tags myself. All three were the same: Loose = Lost Owner 555-123-4567 Vet 555-098-7654 City, State Microchipped
  11. Like I said, the herbal mix was custom for my dog, so I can't be of any help there. We've had some luck with Rescue Remedy (available at most human health food stores) and a HomeoPet Anxiety formula (available online). I got the other meds from my vet directly - they gave me instructions for the kennel at the same time (i.e. when to start and at what dose). The intestinal powder is a custom blend from my vet as well, but I do know that it contained probiotics. You can find probiotics at a health food store as well. I can't believe your kennel charges per med per dose per day! All of my kennels don't even charge at all!
  12. Since you know she'll make herself ill, you might want to look into antianxiety meds before the next trip. My girl does the same thing and when she's boarded for more than 3 nights she is on a custom herbal mix for anxiety and a supplement for digestive support. We also have back up meds (metronidazole and one or two others) that are to be given at the first sign of loose stools. So far she's been muuuuch better when boarded.
  13. Perhaps he needs something other than Clomicalm? Seems like it's not really helping like it should.
  14. In the literature I've read, there are two recognized periods and a period that appears anecdotally. The first fear period is 2 weeks between 7 and 9 weeks or between 8 and 10 weeks depending on which text you read and the second is 3 weeks between 4 and 11 months. The anecdotally observed period is between 15 and 18 months.
  15. As a fellow primarily positive reinforcement trainer, I've been trying to stay out of the rather circular debates on the topic, but I did want to concur with the statements above. I was a crossover trainer - my initial exposure to dog training was a punishment based class that used collar corrections and I now teach clicker training to other pet dog owners and have for about 10 years now. My definition of when corrections become "necessary" has changed quite a lot over the last decade, but my definition of safe, reliable behavior has not.
  16. Just thought I'd add a bit to the thread since it's going to be quite applicable this weekend. I'm taking all three of my dogs on a trip from NC to IN (about 550 miles, 10 hours) starting tomorrow morning. What we're doing for the trip: - All three will be riding crated, despite the size of my small Subaru Impreza hatchback. Maggie gets her own Varikennel and Kes and Z will share a Midwest wire crate. - Attached to the crates are the ICE info packets mentioned earlier in the thread. The pencil cases were 99 cents at Walmart - yay for back to school specials! - Our ICE packets contain: a "Dogs' Emergency Info Enclosed" title page, a modified letter (similar to the one linked above), a summary of the dogs' vaccine status, a copy of their rabies certificate, and a summary sheet for any care providers (basic info on the dog, allergies, sensitivities, brief medical history, and special needs). - I have a duplicate of the above info plus a sheet with my basic ICE info (DOB, allergies, sensitivities, brief medical history) in my glove box in a labelled envelope. Just two pics. The dogs in the wire crate load up through the side door facing the back hatch, then I load the plastic crate and Maggie, and finally my stuff.
  17. I'm really confused - does the vet actually think it's ok to leave the bone sticking out of the dog's shoulder? Or is that temporary until surgery? And why not do the surgery right away?
  18. I know at the shelter I worked at the dog became property of the shelter after the holding period (3 days for county, 5 days for city) and after that they could do whatever they want. Was the guy visiting the shelter at all? We always told people to do walk throughs to make sure that no one was overlooked since we routinely got 75-100 animals/day. I'm confused about how he missed finding his dog before the hold was up. Either way, generally after the hold is up and the dog is the property of the shelter there's little you can do. Some might contact the adopter, but it's their decision; as far as I know there's no legal reason to do so.
  19. Keep in mind that wrapping and booties can be a vicious cycle - if you wrap and boot your dog their feet won't toughen up so if you miss using the boots their feet will be at more risk. Kes is a bull in a china shop at times, so we do what you're thinking of I think: run him on softer surfaces to get the crazies out before rougher hiking terrain and I make sure he doesn't run on rough terrain after getting his feet wet. His pads are toughening up nicely and he's not had an issue on dry feet for a number of months now, though wet pads will still get roughed up with a mile+ hiking afterward.
  20. I have a hatchback and like you the crate will only fit in the cargo area sideways unless I fold the seat down. My dogs ride in a slightly smaller crate than they use at home (32" vs 36") so that entry is easier.
  21. What brand/type of crate is the one pictured? I always like to use tested products and I'd say this qualifies. Also, by any chance did you have any plastic crates in the car? If so, how'd they hold up?
  22. I've always heard that rubbing alcohol is the best option when trying to cool a dog down. We had a dog come into the shelter on the brink of heat stroke (very overweight, senior Rottie brought in in the uncovered back of a pickup on a day in the low 90s) and the vet suggested rubbing alcohol on her belly and foot pads to cool her instead of water. The receiving room smelled like rubbing alcohol for the next few hours, but the dog recovered fairly quickly and needed no further treatment. My dogs have agility classes back to back and outdoors so at least once a week they have to be outside for 2 hours as things are heating up (9 to 11am), and each spend an hour training. I make sure we have a shaded crating area, lots of water, and opportunities to rest and take a dip in the kiddie pool and we've never had a problem.
  23. Both my cat and all three dogs eat Honest Kitchen foods - it might be a helpful option if you need to feed moist food exclusively and it's cheaper than buying canned.
  24. Carla is spot on - start small and work up rather than trying to swim upstream against the dog's ability to focus.
  25. Could she have just scraped it on something?
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