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Posts posted by KrisK

  1. We let our Cricket go yesterday. She was a great border collie. She wasn't a working dog but that didn't matter to us. We got Cricket at 6 months old from  a couple who should never have owned an energetic BC. She had become so nervous that the first thing her owner said to me was 'She needs to be put to sleep!" We bought her and discovered in short order that she was terrified of everything and at 8 months of age we found out that she had severe hip dysplasia. We opted for an operation and later that year moved to our farm. She blossomed, and could run like the wind. Last fall, she started having more issues with her hind quarters and we were worried that she wouldn't make it through the winter. She had terrible arthritis - could go down the stairs to the back yard but not climb back up. She weighed 45 lbs so we would carry her up. DH built an elevator for her early this spring which helped a great deal. She was on pain medications and we knew that it would likely shorten her life but we opted for quality not quantity - she was 15 after all. Friday morning we knew the time had arrived - even with her pain meds, she could only walk a few feet before collapsing - quality - not quantity. She was laid to rest with Jazz and Zach under a beautiful lilac tree.


  2. Hi everyone, it's been quite awhile since I posted here. My Cricket will be 15 in a couple of weeks.

    . She has arthritis which inhibits her mobility to a degree but she manages with pain medication and supplements.

    What is concerning to us, is her cognitive abilities. While she seems to hear and see well enough, she seems to 'stare off into space' a great deal and doesn't acknowledge that we are speaking to her.

    We know that we are fortunate to have her for this long and we just want to make her remaining time comfortable as possible.

    Does anyone use supplements that might help?


    Thank you.

  3. I had a border collie mix who absolutely couldn't swim. There was nothing wrong with her physically but she had no idea about swimming. Mind you, we didn't live in an area where we could teach her to swim either. She would wade in the water but that was it. We found out she couldn't swim when a "friend" tossed her into the water. She sunk like a stone and needed to be rescued.

    I put life jackets on my dogs when we are boating and they do well with them but first we got them used to having them on and swimming with them. The rationale for the life jackets - we're generally 2-3 kms from shore in our canoe so it's a long swim for anyone. If I had a pool, I'd be teaching the dog how to swim

  4. So, it's been a month since Spark has been on the medication (colimcalm) He continues to do well and we are getting more focussed attention from him - there is still a LONG way to go! He is sleeping better which is a good thing. And now, for the newest behaviour. He has discovered the sheep for the first time since we got him in 2013. He even does the classic crouch. It's not like the sheep haven't been in plain sight all along - they are right by the house. I'm not sure where this might lead, but it's seems that his ever racing mind has started to calm down. As we progress toward spring, I hope to see more benefits for Spark and for all of us.


    Chene - yes, he's crate trained but is allowed free run of the mudroom which he loves because it's so much cooler there than in the house. He does have free access to the livingroom etc during the day - when he tends to sleep more.

  5. Spark (7-8 yrs old) has been in the household since June 2013. He has always been obsessive and last February, he took a turn which we've not been able to explain. He focussed on Flint (3 1/2 yrs old) and attacked him. We cannot have them together without a fight happening.


    His obsessive behaviour was escalating, so in December, we decided it was time to see if medication worked. He is on 1 clomicalm a day (1/2 in the morning, 1/2 at night) It's been 3 weeks. We have done focussing exercises and he seems to be calming down to a degree.

    Here are some observations


    On entering the house, Spark will empty all the water bowls even though he has plenty of water in the mudroom. I have finally got him to sit, stay and then I give him permission to access the waterbowl. Sometimes he drinks, and sometimes he doesn't. That's a change!


    He is completely obsessed with our cat, Lucky. In order to stop the continual staring, I decided to leash Spark. Instantly...yes, instantly, he laid down beside my chair and relaxed. Lucky can walk right by his nose and Spark will look at him, and lay back down. I am not sure if he feels the leash gives him permission to relax, but it's working.


    I have often wondered how much he actually slept. His preferred sleeping area is our mudroom. It's cool and he has a heavy coat. I set up our trail cam on Sunday night. It was enlightening to say the least - He hardly sleeps at all. He may settle for 15 minutes, then he's on alert. I only saw 1 hour where he did actually sleep. I am wondering if he feels the need to be 'on guard'? I am going to keep the trail cam on for the next few days to see if this is actually a trend or if it was just a 'one-off' event.


    Any thoughts on this behaviour and ways we can continue to progress with him would be appreciated. In many ways, Spark is a lovely dog and we are committed to giving him the best life we can.



  6. Tea, a beautiful tribute to Diane. May her family and friends find peace in knowing how much Diane meant to a lot of people - many, like me, who never met her, but enjoyed her posts and the joy she took in sharing her knowledge.


    Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy." - author unknown.


  7. Spark is an 8 year old BC that I brought home in 2013. He has always been obsessive - running circles, barking in the other dogs faces, etc but until last February, we never had issues with him being overly aggressive with the other dogs. Without going into all the details, the fight seemed to have been misdirected aggression toward Flint due to some idiot in the area firing his rifle repeatedly. That was the first indication that Spark was vey noise phobic. From that time, we have not been able to have Spark and Flint together without fights. Spark's obsessiveness seems to have escalated as well. We had his thyroid checked - all normal so we are trying clomipramine with some behaviour modification exercises as well.

    Just wondering if anyone else has had experience using this medication and did you find it helped.

  8. This is a general question - Because of where I live, trainers are not within easy travelling distance - some are 5 hours away, some are 8 hours away. Is there anything wrong with training with different trainers? Each has successful dogs and of course, their training methods have differences.

    What are your experiences in working with more than one trainer - the good, the bad and the ugly.


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