Thursday, April 26, 2012

That Was Close!

  Yesterday, Phoebe seemed a bit off.  She had a touch of diarrhea over the week-end but I wasn't concerned.  She had been to the vet last week for updates on all her shots.  The vet also thought she needed to add a couple of pounds so we've increased her food.   As usual after an exam, Phoebe was plied with treats so some tummy upset wouldn't be alarming.
  Yesterday morning, though, Phoebe was reluctant to get off her cot for breakfast.  She ate well but just stood by her bowl afterwards with her head hanging.  I decided she needed to come into the house for a thorough going-over.  She slowly walked to the back door, her feet literally dragging in the grass.  This was definitely not like Phoebe!  Usually, as soon as she sees she's headed inside, she races for the door, impatient for me to catch up.
  Once inside, Phoebe did try to detour by the cat's bowl for a snack (a good sign) but didn't make an attempt to get up on the grooming table for me.  I hoisted her up and took her temperature--normal.  I ran my hands over her, looking for any bumps or bites--nothing.  Checked her mouth--just her pearly whites, no irritation or inflammation.
  She had some dirty spots and her coat had a couple of mats.  I misted her with grooming spray and gave her a nice brush out.  That perked her up!  A treat for being so good on the grooming table was gobbled up and made her tail swish a few times.  I lifted her off the table, gave her another tiny piece of treat and she danced a bit.  I decided to let her stay in the house for the morning as I knew what was wrong with her--she was starting with a case of the prima donna's!  I needed to nip this in the bud before it became full blown!
  I've had to re-arrange kennel assignments and Phoebe has recently been rooming with Dixie.  Dixie was bred in March and we keep watching for signs that it was successful, which means she gets lots of attention.  Jackson went to the winery with us Saturday, Sophie has received extra attention lately and this clearly does not sit well with Phoebe.  She had shown some discontent on Tuesday when the weather was nice enough for a play day.  Jackson knocked into her during some rough and tumble play with Lauren.  Phoebe gave me an "ugh, dogs" look but she does that frequently so I didn't pay too much attention to it.  I guess I should have though!  Happily, a day inside, extra attention and a couple of treats was the remedy Phoebe needed.  By dinner time, she was ready to go back into the kennel, her bout with the prima donna's over and forgotten!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

How Did She Do That?

  Spring has brought a wave of girls in season!  Phoebe started the rise of hormones and now Gemma is finishing it up by being the last to come into heat.
  To keep the boys from being frustrated, as well as discouraging any stray, would-be suitors, Gemma is in the house, crated at night.  Even though the room is for the dogs, I don't want them to get into mischief during the night.  But, somehow, Gemma did!
  I heard a crash the other morning, followed by silence.  Then, a flurry of noises that I didn't believe Sophie (who is not crated) could possibly make.  When I opened the door, I was greeted by a happy Gemma and a bewildered Sophie.  The area rugs I use in the whelping box had been pulled from the shelf, my grooming bucket had been pilfered, the slicker brush had some tooth marks added to it, the chalk stick   broken, toys were strewn about, the water bucket was almost empty but there was plenty of water on the floor, the bottle of ear glue had been chewed and was oozing glue onto Sophie's floor mats.  I hurriedly cleaned that up before the mats were glued together, finding some glops of glue on the floor, too.
  Poor Sophie had glue on her foot and slobber on her head.  I'm sure she was sound asleep when Gemma broke out of her crate and was completely surprised by all the commotion and Gemma's attempts at play.
  But how did Gemma get out of her crate?  I thought maybe my husband had not latched it the night before when he brought Gemma inside, but no, the latch was in the lock position, although the bottom latch looked like it had not been in place.  Could she have worked the crate door out of position, thus escaping?  I'm not taking any chances now, though!  I'm using a coupler to keep the door extra secure and will plan on taking one with me for any shows Gemma will attend.  I don't mind scraping glue from the floor but definitely don't want to chase down a dog at a show!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Happy Birthday, Sophie!

  Sophie is now thirteen years old!  This is new territory for us, as we've never had a collie go past twelve.  We take one day at a time with our senior girl and enjoy every minute of it!  Sophie has good days and then some moments that make us realize she won't be with us forever.  She seems to have lost her hearing and sometimes is easily knocked off balance.  But, Saturday, she ran along the fence line as I drove down the driveway!  Her gait looked awkward and I was afraid she wouldn't be able to stop without crashing into a bush or tree, but her tail was wagging and her eyes were shining with happiness.
  We celebrated the birthday milestone with doggy blueberry muffins for everybody.  The birthday girl got full size muffins while everyone else got the mini's.  What a hit!  I think the dogs would like philosophy of  the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland and celebrate the un-birthdays, too, and have muffins every day!
The muffins are ready--let the party begin!

Sophie enjoying her birthday dinner and muffins.

Checking for an overlooked crumb or two.

The look on her face seems to say, "There's no more"?  But, her bowl is very clean!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Jackson Meets Taylor

  Our 7 month old granddaughter visited last week to try out the swing Grandpa put up.  I took advantage of the pretty afternoon and her parent's willingness to have her pose and took lots of pictures.  While I was getting some nice shots of Taylor and our daughter in law by the forsythia, the dogs let me know they thought it was time to be introduced to the newest member of our family.
  We took Taylor over to the kennel and I brought old girl Sophie out but Taylor wasn't interested.  She only wanted to see Jackson!  He was very excited about the tiny visitor and was barking and jumping against his fence.  Taylor wasn't afraid at all!  Krystle held her closer to the fence and Taylor put her hands through the fence to touch Jackson on his nose and muzzle.  He was very good, gently nuzzling her fingers (which she liked!) and clearly wanted to get closer to her.  Grandpa thinks we have a budding junior handler!  I sure hope so--I know I'll be fostering her interest in collies!
  Here's a few pictures: