Welcome to my journey! This blog is about my adventures in dog training, pet therapy work, rescue work and life with my menagerie of animals. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

So much to do, so little time

I can't believe summer is nearly over and the kids go back to school soon! It has been quite the summer with a new puppy in the house, not to mention construction going on and teaching classes! The biggest thing to make this summer a bit more stressful rather than relaxing was the medical state of Jojen! poor baby has had a rough go of it this summer. Within the first week or two of getting him home he came down with "puppy strangles" or Juvenile Cellulitis, luckily he had a very mild case. However the treatment of prednisone and antibiotics left the task of potty training a disaster! I was on constant potty watch and still missed it many, many times! I will say to Jo's credit, not once has he pooped in the house! (Hopefully I didn't just jinx myself). It was exhausting; for both of us. The meds made him a bit edgier, bloated and left him peeing like a dripping faucet…constantly! We managed to make it through and he healed very well. He remained a happy, sweet puppy throughout and his socialization continued albeit a bit stunted due to his lowered immune system. He wasn't able to attend many of his puppy classes, which I was very sad about. About 4-5 days after finishing his meds and getting back to his old self, he got stepped on by Beanie and the result was a fractured wrist extremely close to the growth plate! So infuriating and terrifying! He had a very large and cumbersome cast on, that of course couldn't get wet or dirty…no easy task! We made it two weeks with cleverly constructed ziplock bags to take him out for potting (which thankfully became more regular off the prednisone) then he got a fancy cover for his cast and we worried about it no longer! He was impossible to keep calm! Once he mastered moving around with the cast on, it was like it wasn't even there! His spirit is 10 times the size of his body and he was just happy with life in general! He healed quickly, was in the cast for 4 weeks (all of july) and has been cast free for about a week and a half. His limp has lessened significantly and his muscles are strengthening. He's back to bounding up and down the stairs to go out to potty, chasing the cats (although he never really stopped doing that), bouncing up and down to lick beanie's jowls (all was forgiven!) and run little puppy track races around the backyard! He is joy personified in a little red body! The next hurdle he may face is surgery to correct the result of the fracture being so close to the growth plate. It is causing his foot to turn out as the Ulna grows. I am dreading that whole process!

I am happy to report however, that save for playing with a myriad of other puppies or dogs, his socialization has been right on track! He's definitely seen countless vets, and even when he was in pain he had nothing but tail wags and puppy kisses for them, lots of kids and grown ups, ridden in shopping carts and a stroller, heard crazy construction noises both at home and during his many trips to Home Depot. He's sat in his crate in a field while I taught classes, he's peed on bark mulch, grass, dirt and rocks, he has met big and little dogs and even been to the beach (although he was still casted and didn't get to play in the sand). As far as his training he is so fun and super quick! He has great leash manners, can sit at heel position or front, lie down, spin in both directions, pretty good with leave it, waits until released for food bowl, has excellent attention and the cutest recall ever!! I am excited that now he is through all his trials he and I can attend an actual class! We will start our AKC Puppy S.T.A.R class on the 21st, he will be able to earn his certificate and little medal! Beanie earned his and I so wanted to get one for Jojen too!

Because I have hopes of doing dog sports with Jo, I've been a little overwhelmed on what to teach him that will give us a leg up. I have determined that heeling is the most universal and important behavior as well as being able to calmly sit in a crate amid great distractions. The rest will come with time and careful, fun introductions!

I'll try to keep our progress updated, but life moves pretty fast with Jo and I just have to hang on and enjoy!

"whoa, you're big!"

At the Emergency vet

No more cast! Hanging at the pool while his girls swim!

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