Lucy Update

[Originally posted to blogoSFERICS]

We timed Lucy’s heartworm treatment so she could get her second round before we left on our Fairbanks trip, and have her follow-up test done after we got back. She got a clean bill of health on that, and although she seems a little out of shape from getting so little exercise (I can relate) we are working her up to a greater activity level.

The day before we left for Fairbanks, Lucy exhibited signs that she is, indeed, not yet spayed. While we were gone she managed to get out of the yard once, but so far it doesn’t look like she’s in a puppy way. She’s supposed to go in again in December for another round of vaccination booster shots, and we think we’ll arrange to have her spayed then, if she still appears not to be expecting. That appointment still needs to be made…

Chris also wants to get her into an obedience class fairly soon. Improving her response to commands is on my list of Things I Would Like Very Much™. She understands “Sit” reasonably well, but “Stay” still eludes her.

She’s getting along better with our smaller cat, Suzie Q, and Chris reports that Lucy and Taz, the big, cantankerous (neutered) tomcat, have managed to sniff noses without Taz doing his usual growling or hissing. So maybe they’re getting used to her. She has gone out of her way to be inoffensive to both cats, except during the very brief time when we were feeding Lucy in the house—she gets jealous of her food dish if a cat even goes near it. (Heck, she gets jealous of her food if she hears a fly buzzing near it.)

One thing has given clear indication that she used to be an indoor dog (aside from her almost spotless record): when she hears the doorbell, she runs to the door. One time she was here with me and the computer made a ‘ding’ sound. Lucy jumped to her feet and raced downstairs.

Well, that’s the Lucy report for now.

Friday,  October 15, 2004  McGehee

It’s Not a Fit Day Out for Man nor Beast

[Originally posted to blogoSFERICS]

Dustbury inspired the following, which was originally a comment left there:

I had to drop off our dog at the vet this morning. One of the outermost bands from Ivan was passing through the neighborhood when I opened the garage door. Lucy, who normally loves to go anywhere as long as she can show off her stylish harness and leash, took one look at the downpour and said, “On second thought, I think I’d rather stay in and eat bonbons.”

Unfortunately for her, we’d already paid ahead of time for this vet visit, so if she’s getting bonbons today it’s not at home. But I didn’t even have to say anything when I opened the door to the truck. I half expect the next time I need to take her anywhere in bad weather she’ll open the door herself.

I was going to post on this anyway, and that comment was too good to rewrite.

Anyway, today Lucy’s getting the next (we hope, last) bit of heartworm treatment—this time to kill off the immature worms that might have survived, or hatched since, her first treatment four weeks ago. For some time after we brought her home from the first treatments, she was tired and uncomfortable, but she bounced back very quickly and has been her usual frisky self for most of the time since. In fact, I thought it would be worth the risk yesterday to let her out into the yard for a romp, which she enjoyed very much though. We’ll probably have to keep her confined until she’s pronounced completely cured (hopefully October 4), but after that…

That girl needs exercise, and obviously enjoys it.

UPDATE: Lucy is home and in excellent spirits — no apparent discomfort.

Thursday,  September 16, 2004  McGehee

Lucy Goes to the Vet

[Originally posted to blogoSFERICS]

Lucy’s got her shots and a rabies tag, as well as a flea-and-tick treatment that should actually work, unlike the retail treatment Chris bought and we applied shortly after we first got her. We received reassurance about some of the things we’d noticed about her—a dewclaw that was growing the wrong way, a couple of bare patches on her chest that the vet called “hot spots,” and so on.

She did not, however, begin a heartworm preventative, having tested positive for those potentially deadly parasites. The vet is sure we caught the infestation early enough that we don’t even need to be in a massive hurry to get her treated (though we will start the treatment as soon as feasible). The treatment will take a grand total of about six weeks, during which we need to keep her confined and her activity level down. And it makes sense that we keep her activity level down until we can get her started on the treatment. So no more of those running-hellbent-for-leather romps I discovered she likes. And maybe after the ‘worms are all gone and we can resume those romps, she’ll take longer to decide she’s had enough anyway.

The vet also couldn’t find any sure indication that she’s been spayed, and he thinks she may have had a litter of puppies once upon a time. Oh, and although I had thought she could be four to six years old, the vet says more like 2½. So it isn’t just that she’s an unusually cheerful middle-aged dog who tires easily because she’s getting old, she’s a cheerful young dog who tires easily because she’s not altogether well. But she will be. And I thought it was hard keeping up with her now.

Anyway, after the heartworm treatment we’ll get her spayed, and then we think we might go ahead and have her implanted with an ID chip.

Tuesday,  August 17, 2004  McGehee


[Originally posted to blogoSFERICS]

Well, we’ve picked up another stray, and this one appears to really be a stray. In the photos she looks a lot better than she did when she followed one of my wife’s co-workers home a few days ago—she’s been bathed and exercised since. The red collar she’s wearing is all there is, no tag, no tattoos, no distinguishing characteristics.

I’m estimating her age at four or five years; she has no gray at the muzzle yet but her collar, though loose about her neck, has been on its current setting quite some time. We figure she’s been wandering loose for some time but she was quite happy to hang around at my wife’s co-worker’s house before we came and picked her up. Part of that, though, may be because we were having something of a heat wave until yesterday, and we’ve noticed she really doesn’t like to be out in the heat.

She’s got some very minor problem behaviors, the nature of which lead me to believe she may not have been an only dog at her former home. She likes to jump up on people but we’re working on breaking her of that. She will often respond to a whistle but when she gets far enough away only a loud, stern yell will bring her back. Out of habit I yell “Dog!” but it’s possible any word will do, including a name. We’ve taken to calling her Lucy.

She appears to be at least half border collie, and someone suggested to my wife yesterday there might also be some lab blood. Despite the picture at left (pictures appeared in the original post), her ears really look more border-collie-like than lab-like.

My wife’s co-worker says he and his family asked around in the neighborhood where they found her to find out if anyone knew where she belongs, but had no luck. Yet unless she’s just a stocky dog she seems to be a little overweight, which wouldn’t suggest she’d been on her own for all that long. Yet she at least hadn’t been bathed in quite a while and I suspect her previous family either didn’t have much time for her or simply didn’t know how to discourage unwanted behaviors and teach such basic things as sit and stay. We hope she’s not too old to learn.

And yes, that does mean we expect to keep her.

Friday,  August 6, 2004  McGehee





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