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urge to herd

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  1. I live in Sonoma County, about an hour north of San Francisco and about an hour from the Pacific. Quite close to where the first patient came off the cruise ship. My tiny town is suburban as all get out. County population is about 484,000. Confirmed cases of Covid 105, one death confirmed. I'm mostly at home, infrequent trips to stores. My roommate works in automotive paint supplies, which is considered an essential industry, so he gets to go to work. I'm self-employed as a professional organizer. I've had no income since mid February when it all started to boil up. I'm devising some approaches to working with clients over the phone. No one else has any income, either, so we're all in the same boat. (unless they're already millionaires, it seems). Fortunately my ex is a generous soul (not a millionaire, but has great retirement income) and is contributing monies so I can pay rent and eat. Governor Newsom ordered shelter in place on March 6th, I believe, the first or second state to do so. New York state was the other early adopter. There are some beautiful walking paths within walking distance, (very handy!) Alas, it is pouring down rain today. California needs it, so I'm trying to not complain too much. Gibbs is delighted to have me home All The Time. If I could teach him to vacuum and fold laundry, I'd be delighted, too! There are lines to stand in now, to get into stores. Waited 45 minutes a couple days ago to shop at Costco. The line at Trader Joe's that day was so long I gave up. Pizza is still being delivered, so roomie and I splurged yesterday evening. I had cold pizza for breakfast, one of my favorite things. I've talked to my sister in Houston a couple times, the second time right after TX got a shelter in place order from their governor. My niece had to cancel her May wedding plans. I was going to go back for a visit, attend the wedding, and hang out w/Sis for a while. We'll do that later. Good to read/hear from my border collie community. Keep healthy, stay safe. Thanks everyone for your updates. Ruth & Gibbs
  2. Please post your question in the 'General Border Collie Discussion' section below. As described, this section is for training questions about border collies and stock work, such as herding sheep and cattle. Ruth & Gibbs
  3. Hi, Kris, the post you responded to is 5 years old, just so you know. I tried Prozac with a now-departed dog of mine, ( lost her 6 years ago or so) and it didn't do anything for her. The vet behaviorist suggested trying Clomicalm, which affects brain chemistry differently than Prozac ~ I'm not a vet so can't get any more specific than that! In any event, the Clomicalm worked wonders for Shoshone. She went from a nervous, on-edge-all-the-time bundle of nerves to a dog who would willingly plop into anybody's lap if they sat down on the floor with her. The takeway here is that if you try a particular drug w/your girl and it doesn't work, see if your vet will prescribe a drug that works differently. Clomicalm was also pretty inexpensive, as I remember. Good luck! Ruth & Gibbs
  4. Hi, Barbi, My 12 yr old Gibbs has damaged ACLs on both knees. After taking him to a veterinary orthopedist, I decided to not have the surgery, for the reasons that you listed. I've also read/heard that the recovery/rehab is long. The vet I saw suggested doing some physical therapy exercises with him to keep the muscles as strong as possible and encourage circulation. They're basically the exercises you'd be doing with a dog post-surgery anyway. Gibbs also gets gabapentin, (for pain) and rimadyl. (for inflammation) I know the rimadyl has some bad long-term effects, so you'll want to think about that one. The exercises are pretty simple, like having the dog circle around a chair or stool, in both directions. Another one is to have the dog do some weaving in and out between obstacles. Any exercise should be done slowly, and build up slowly to more repetitions. On-leash walks were also suggested, building up slowly to longer walks. Gibbs enjoys these 'games', as he gets a few treats here and there when I work with him. These exercises seem to help Gibbs a lot. His limp is definitely more obvious when I've skipped a day or two of exercise with him. You might try these with Billie, starting very slowly with 1 or 2 repetitions a day for a total of maybe 3 sessions a week. You could also put a ramp in place over the stairs, if that's possible. that might be easier for him. Letting him run and jump might be making the injury worse, and you also run the risk of injuring his left knee. There are some other exercises the ortho vet recommended, I'll look those up and post again. Ruth & Gibbs
  5. Rigby he's gorgeous! If I could take him I would in a heartbeat. You might try contacting Dogwood Animal Rescue Project dogwoodanimalrescueproject.com I've known these folks for years. There's a contact option on their page. Please tell them Ruth and Gibbs referred you to them. Thank you for taking him someplace safe. Ruth & Gibbs
  6. Definitely block off furniture. You might try hiding the toy in another room and reinforcing for finding the toy and bringing it to you. Then you hide it again. You'd need to train a solid fetch first, of course. Finding games are a lot of fun and work off some energy in a good way. If there are nose work classes available to you, check those out as well. Ruth & Gibbs
  7. Agreed, Amy Coapman. As experiments go, I got what I needed ~ confirmation that he's a healthy weight and I can take that to the vet for the next visit. Ruth & Gibbs
  8. One of my all time favorites, GL. Thanks for the New Years Eve giggle. Ruth & Gibbs,
  9. The great Weight Gain Experiment is coming to an end. Fed him the satin balls for a week now. No change in weight at all, AND he's pooping even more. The stools are well formed, no problem there. It seems this boy is doing well at around 38 pounds. I'll probably use up the satin balls gradually, phase them out. Not worried anymore. Thanks for the input and support, folks! Ruth & Gibbs
  10. I agree with what others have said. In my experience, what border collies need and crave is doing something as part of a team with a human. That can be agility, nose work, herding. tracking, etc. Years ago there was someone on the board who had a bc trained for tracking humans. He was in law enforcement, and his girl turned out to be very, very good at tracking. He was able to work her for several years in that capacity. The only think I can remember seeing is that b collies don't necessarily work well as guide dogs for the blind/handicapped. Too much change, too rapidly in environments, I think. And I could be misremembering. Give her something to do WITH you, and odds are she'll be fine. You can teach her silly tricks even. There are a TON of dog trick sites on the Web. there might even be some info about training dogs to work chickens. Good luck ~ let us know how you get on with her. Ruth & Gibbs, who was trained to work sheep and has lived quite happily as a pet for 9 years or so.
  11. So I made the meat mixture this afternoon and just gave Gibbs a very small amount with dinner. He has no problem at all with a little meat mixed in with his kibble. The veterinary hospital is close to where I live, so I can pop in and weigh him whenever. It's pretty cool, it's a step on scale in the lobby, so no appointment necessary at all. Will keep you all pup-dated. Aschlemm, I hope you find something that works for your dog. Ruth & Gibbs
  12. No worries, Aschlemm. The back pain was a while ago, a few years at least. He was pretty much on 'bed rest', the Gabapentin the vet put him on helped him relax. It just gradually got better. I actually did try swimming therapy with him for that, now that I think about it. There was an RVT in my area who had an above ground pool that she used. He really, really hated the water so we quit that. Maybe that could help your dog? He's on Gabapentin again for his knee/acl damage. R & G
  13. That's pretty cool. I've not had a dog who noticed much besides motion, smell, and sound. Did you get a pic? Ruth & Gibbs
  14. Gibbs turned 12 in October, so not ancient, but definitely a senior. My other b collies have gained a little weight as they aged and I've had to really watch what how much they ate, I'm used to that. This is my first time dealing with unanticipated weight loss. I've remarked previously on the Boards that Gibbs has had more skeletal issues than my other 3 b collies put together. Lower back pain so bad he almost couldn't stand, shoulder pain, and the tear in acl ligaments in both knees. I think there's another issue that my memory banks won't pull up right now. We are frequent flyers at the emergency vet clinic. You'd think these dogs have secret pocket calendars so they can look at an upcoming 3 day weekend and say, "Ooooh, time for an emergency trip! Ruth & Gibbs PS - Amy Gibbs says thanks for the extra scritch. He soooo loves getting his rib cage scratched and massaged.
  15. Yep, I get that. Gibbs has weighed 40 lbs, or very close to that, for years. His ribs have always been 'feelable' but not prominent. The reason the ortho vet remarked on it was that he'd lost a couple pounds in 2 months, and I was feeding him the same amount I always have, about 1 and a quarter c of kibble divided into 2 meals. Plus treats, those are never in short supply. I'll start with just a couple oz of the satin ball recipe added daily and then take him to the same vet to weigh him after a month. Will keep you all updated. Ruth & Gibbs
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