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lefty's random dog thread. - Page 198

post #2956 of 4044
oh I'm aware. luckily the home visit vet in the area is happy to administer the chemo treatment at home for the same price they'd cost at a vet, which I think will help her out a lot if we decide to pursue that course of treatment. when I go into see the oncologists for a consolation, I plan on saying that I'm looking for a treatment plan in the $1,500 range, that doesn't require constant hospitalization, and see what they think is applicable and what statistical outcomes exist. I just spent a few hours reading some lymphoma treatment articles in PubMed, and it seems that although more 'aggressive' protocols exists (which use more drugs and thus are more expensive), the standard protocol costs around that and shows extremely good remission rate outcomes. but as always, the thing that's most important is her quality of life.

it just is so sad frown.gif we've only had this dog for about a year and a half, and she's already been through so much. and then I look at the fucking moron undergrads in my classes who adopt dogs and just don't give a shit about their health - no heart worm, I'm sure they aren't visiting the vet for annual checkups, are giving their dogs bong hits - and nothing bad ever happens to their dogs. I know that it's beyond my control, and that it's good that she's with us because we're willing to take care of her and make she lives the best life that can be, but It's still frustrating and angering. like there's one dumb bitch who worked for me over the summer who adopted a dog, let the dog run away (hello don't leave your skittish dog with a collar that's 4 inches too loose), and then adopted ANOTHER dog four days later. fuck her.
post #2957 of 4044
Good luck sorting everything out! Poor girl has had some bad luck. Do you have pet insurance or is everything out of pocket?
post #2958 of 4044
Originally Posted by lefty View Post

You have all the facts, so good luck with the decision.


I'll add something that I always thought was very smart when it comes to euthanizing an animal (Jan will know the source).


"You put a dog down when there's still something left of him other than his wounds."




I have never heard it put like that before. As much as I hate what it means in the end I like it because it is true.


Would have bet it was ehrlichiosis, a lot of my friends dogs have come down with it lately and it sounded identical. Sorry to read what it turned out to be, I wish you the best and good luck Teger.

post #2959 of 4044
it's been a rough few days. made an appointment with an oncologist next week, who is one of the best in the state. will go over treatment options and such then.
post #2960 of 4044
Thread Starter 

CI, it was written by Vicki Hearne who was a dog trainer/philosopher. She was a smart gal but tended to zig and zag when it came to dogs. Still, well worth reading. I think her best book is Bandit.  Well worth picking up.



post #2961 of 4044
Good luck Teger. I went through a similar story with a senior dog we adopted at something around 8-10 years old - a number of health problems from the get-go, and lots of tough decisions along the way. At one point we opted to perform a mastectomy for mammary cancer (she was intact when abandoned, and thus almost preordained to get it eventually) despite a heart condition, and though it was wrenching at the time I'm so glad we did... she got several more years of good quality with us. Eventually she developed nasal cancer, and we made the opposite and equally difficult decision to manage her symptoms as best we could and prepare for the inevitable. There are no right answers - just what you think is right under the circumstances.

Consulting good specialists is helpful. In my experience they give it to you pretty straight.

No matter what happens your dog sounds like she has a great owner. I wish you and her the best.
post #2962 of 4044
Originally Posted by lefty View Post

CI, it was written by Vicki Hearne who was a dog trainer/philosopher. She was a smart gal but tended to zig and zag when it came to dogs. Still, well worth reading. I think her best book is Bandit.  Well worth picking up.


I thought that line came from somebody else whom she quoted. A strange and remarkable lady, Vicki Hearne. I admired her greatly and had several lengthy telephone conversations with her.

Years after her untimely death, I learned that my brother-in-law had known her. He didn't like her. "She thought she could write," he remarked dismissively. Well, I thought she could write and write very well. However, my brother-in-law's credentials as a writer are probably better than my own. He was runner up for a Pulitzer Prize a few years back. Nearly all that I ever generated were gun articles, a dreadfully schlocky genre, I must confess, and a few works of recondite scholarship.
post #2963 of 4044
Thread Starter 

Maybe. It's been a while since I read the book. While she did act as a funnel for a lot of dog trainer folk wisdom it does smack of her writing style. Some of her stuff was a little convoluted, but there's no doubt she was a good writer.


What compelled you to call her?



post #2964 of 4044
thanks for the well wishes. she's been doing a lot better lately - it really seems that our mood totally dictates hers. when we're sitting around crying she's bummed out, not eating, but if we take her for a long walk and come home and make dinner, she's totally animated and chowing down.
post #2965 of 4044
I'm trying to figure out what to do about my dog. I adopted her about four months ago from a pretty unstable home, and worked pretty hard to make her feel comfortable. She went from being a pretty neurotic dog to being much calmer and generally happy over a few months or so. All of a sudden, she's gone absolutely nuts. She'll destroy things in the yard if I leave her home alone, or even sometimes when I am home, so I've had to start crating her. She never relaxes unless I've take her to the dog park where she can run flat out for an hour (which I don't have time to do unless it is the weekend). In the evening, she paces around the house and never relaxes. She will go sit in another room away from us, but whenever we laugh or even put a glass down on the coffee table, she'll come running to see what is going on. I give her the same amount of attention and exercise as before, so I don't quite know what the deal is. It's been a real strain on my daughter and me.
Originally Posted by lefty View Post

"You put a dog down when there's still something left of him other than his wounds."
I am a firm believer of this. My lab of twelve years was getting old and having bouts of not eating or getting out of bed. The bouts became more frequent and lasted longer. The vet didn't seem to know what the problem was without doing extensive testing, and my dog was no longer happy. I had a vet make a house call to euthanize my lab, and she surprisingly tried to convince me not to do it just yet. It was pretty upsetting, but I told her that if she didn't want to do it, then I would just take her to another vet.
post #2966 of 4044
Zissou, your dog sounds somewhat similar to my current dog (rescue dog, high energy, neurotic, etc.). I've had him for about 20 months. A couple thoughts come to mine based on my experience:
  1. After a few months, my guy's personality was still coming out. In retrospect we were still feeling each other out, even though we had seemingly already settled into routines and addressed some of his most pressing behavioral problems.
  2. Your first few months with your dog also corresponded with summer (assuming you're in the Northern Hemisphere), when some dogs seem to operate at a lower energy level. From about June through now, my little guy gets spent after about 10 minutes of running, even in relatively cooler weather. From fall through spring he can seemingly run all day if we let him. She might have a higher energy level than you realized.
  3. If she's as similar to my dog as she seems, she may get bored easily, regardless of exercise. We have to constantly keep teaching him new tricks to keep him stimulated. Every other dog I've ever had would be as lazy as we let them be, but not him. Using his brain tires him in a way that exercise alone doesn't. The good news is that small investments seem to have a big payoff - a few 5 minute training sessions a day coupled with mixing work into play (i.e. making him do a trick before I throw him a ball) and he's happy. If we slack off he starts looking for trouble.
  4. Likewise, if she's at all like mine, putting more of her food into things she has to work at may help a lot. My dog gets about 3/4 of his food from Kongs, treat balls, etc. He gets just a little in his dish. We give him the other things when we leave for the day (with some "high value" stuff like cold cuts along with the food), and make him wait nicely to get them. Since we started doing that he's not anxious when we leave, and a lot less likely to cause trouble while we're gone. It's just another form of work and stimulation... you may be seeing a pattern here.

Sorry if I'm overstepping with my thoughts here - let me know if I've completely missed the boat. It just sounds like a very familiar story from the limited details.

I've never had a dog that required so much work - not just exercise, but more effort and thoughtfulness from us. My wife and I both grew up with pretty "easy" dogs, and then adopted a sweet little senior dog together who was the definition of a lap dog. We were pretty cavalier in adopting this guy and got much more than we bargained for. smile.gif It has been an eye-opening experience for sure!
post #2967 of 4044
I think you've really hit the nail on the head. It's quite a contrast from having a dopey lab for so many years. One of the greatest struggles is that my time to spend training her is fairly limited, being a single parent, homeowner, university prof (and leathercrafter). I always make sure she has exercise a few times each day, although probably not the intense running she needs. Even after that, she wanders the house whining. Looks like I need to think about more daily training. I did buy a bunch of fancy toys from which she can get food, and she destroyed every single one within three days. The only thing left is the Kong with peanut butter.

sigh. If you can recommend a good book or website with training ideas, I'm all ears!
post #2968 of 4044
Sad to hear your story Teger, all the best. My family has lost three dogs in my lifetime and whatever path you choose its not easy...

Happy to report back here that me cracking down on the inlaws hovawart seems to work a bit. I turned out that part of the problem came from him not being able to deal with his own energy. Having talked to the inlaws we realised this, and after a few days of him getting more exercise he isnt as interested in picking fights with other dogs...
post #2969 of 4044
Originally Posted by zissou View Post

One of the greatest struggles is that my time to spend training her is fairly limited, being a single parent, homeowner, university prof (and leathercrafter).

I thought my wife and I were busy, but you sir have got quite a load... I feel for you! The good news is that it gets easier.
Originally Posted by zissou View Post

I did buy a bunch of fancy toys from which she can get food, and she destroyed every single one within three days.

Yikes. Sounds like you have a real chewer on your hands. Out of curiosity, do you have any idea what breed/mix she is?

This treat ball has worked really well for us for dispensing kibble and keeping him occupied:

Basically the dog just pushes it around and small amounts of food fall out when it rolls in just the right way. The design is such that chewing doesn't accomplish anything, so at least in our case our dog never got in the habit of chewing it. But our dog is a jack russell mix (large-ish for the breed at 27 pounds, but not a big dog), so if yours is bigger she may just chew the thing to shreds anyway. Regardless, there are other similar things out there that work more by pushing and rolling than by chewing... maybe one or more of them will work a little better for your girl.
Originally Posted by zissou View Post

If you can recommend a good book or website with training ideas, I'm all ears!

This book has been pretty good for us:

It's exactly what it sounds like - just a large collection of tricks with illustrations on how to teach them, step by step. There are also plenty of free resources available, but having a physical book with its own training log helped keep us diligent. If your daughter is of an appropriate age you can have her do some of the work too. smile.gif

Let me preface everything that follows by saying that I am not a trainer, so please take the rest of what I say with a fist-sized grain of salt.

A professional trainer has been invaluable to us. I don't know if your budget allows, but if it does I recommend trying one. The really good ones diagnose your problems and train you to train the dog. But different trainers have different strengths, and we had to try a couple before we found one that "got" our dog and clicked with us (e.g. a trainer that specialize in puppies might not be right for an adult rescue dog, and someone that specializes in training hunting dogs might not be right for housetraining your Frenchie, and the trainers may not realize their own limitations).

Clicker training has been an invaluable tool as well. It makes our training sessions much more productive (meaning you can do more with less, which is important for busy people). We started doing it under the guidance of a trainer, but there are lots of free resources on the web that can help get you started. Definitely watch some videos - the idea becomes much clearer when you've watched people do it. There are criticisms of the method as you'll see in the wikipedia article, all of which have some validity but IMO none outweigh the benefits.

One question: how long is your dog typically left alone during the day (the longest stretch of contiguous time, not the cumulative total)?
post #2970 of 4044
This is another good option (same idea as the treat ball above):

Much bigger than a standard kong (a few of the user submitted pics on amazon give a good idea of the size). It's made of hard plastic, so it's not meant as a chew toy. My dog loved it, until she got tired of knocking it around and chewed through the top to get to the treats. This, at least, took some effort on her part since it was hard for her to get her mouth around it.
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