September 11th, 2008


Zodi at almost 5 months

Zodi is looking so grown up to me even though she's not yet 5 months old. She's still very silly and loves nothing better than to gallop around at full speed even though she frequently crashes into furniture, slips on the floor and goes skidding into a wall or misses a step and goes ass over teakettle. She always hops up very cheerfully and continues on her way without really missing a beat but sometimes I wonder if she's ever going to be able to do a dogwalk without falling off.

She's started some classes--2 a week--so that it forces me to do some training. Otherwise I've just been too busy trying to take care of Devon (more on him later), give Jaime some exercise and keep Zodi from bumping into Devon. The only pictures I can get of her are when she's standing or lying still because my camera doesn't do action photos. Even the slightest movement causes it to blur.

I really wish that last one was in focus because it so aptly illustrates one of her favorite things to do--writhe around in the monkey grass and run amok under the shrubs.

With all her activity though, she's one of the sweetest dogs I've ever had. She loves to sit in front of me and let me kiss her all over her face. She never gets tired of it or of getting a good scratch or tummy rub. Very unlike Devon who would prefer never to be touched except for an occasional butt scratch. And forget about rubbing the tummy--that just ain't gonna happen. You can force him into it by holding him upside down in your arms like a baby but he's so stiff and tense that it's only fun if you feel like torturing him a little. And lately I definitely don't feel like torturing him.

I took him to the vet school for his re-check yesterday. It's been three weeks since he's been on the Azothiaprine and Prednisone together. And his platelets were only about 60,000. They said that if the medicine was working the way it should he should have closer to 100,000. Even so they think it's too risky to take him off the Pred and Azo because if he starts to bleed there's no way to replace the platlets he'll lose. If he were human you could give him fresh frozen plasma but that doesn't exist for dogs.

And the prednisone is making him into a different dog. He's gained about 4-5 pounds which on a dog 14" tall is a lot. He can barely jump up onto the couch anymore either because he's too fat or because he's lost too much muscle. And he also exhibits a lot of muscle tremors now. He's also turned into an eating machine. When he's inside he thinks about nothing else, doesn't even want to play if there's the slightest chance someone could be eating food somewhere.

He has to sleep in the back hall which we've lined with paper towels to try to stop all the pee from running under the built-in cabinets back there. He has to stay in there whenever we're not home and even when we are home he'll just let loose and pee all over the floor sometimes because he doesn't want to go outside and lose a chance at getting something to eat. We've gone through so many paper towels in the last month I'm starting to feel like we need to plant a few new trees to make up for them.

I spend a lot of time keeping him and Zodi apart. She just doesn't get why she's allowed to play with Jaime but not with Devon. And she's not gentle with him. So I'm constantly taking dogs out, putting them in crates so I can take the other ones out, then going back to let the first ones out again. And by then it's time to get Devon out again to pee. So, I'm not getting a lot of training done. I do what I can in little bits and pieces and it will have to suffice. At least I did good job socializing her the first few months. Now when I take her places she's very relaxed and convinced that everyone already likes her and is there to give her treats.

I'm so glad I got a Dobe this time. There may not be another breed that is so right for me. I love everything about her--not the least of which is the new feeling of confidence I have when I'm in the woods alone except for the dogs. And even when she's off leash and Jaime's running off into the woods, she stays nearby rather than following him. Granted it's probably because she's afraid to go too far away but it's nice nonetheless. And I just enjoy doing things with her. It doesn't really matter what it is we're doing, it's always fun with her. I can't wait to take her to the beach and camping later this month. I've really missed having a camping/hiking companion who will stay with me and not try to drown herself or bug me to throw the stick the whole time we're hiking. She may never be a great agility dog or even have very good manners but she'll be a fantastic companion and friend and I couldn't ask for anything more.