Tag: dog

Happy Birthday

A big happy birthday to my big girl Harper-Lee who is 6 today. It seems like yesterday when we got her as a tiny puppy of 6 weeks old.

M and Harper at 6 weeks old
Harper today, 6 years old

As always our girls are spoiled on their birthdays, this year is no exception with lots of toys and treats. We get to do it all again next month as it’s Mazikeen’s birthday next.

Topaz Blue Bear – Jack

Thought I would share some photos of Jack M’s dad’s dog. He is gorgeous, but I feel, starved of affection. He was great company for M whilst he was there. We will miss him loads, and were quite tempted to sneak him back with us, our girls would have loved him. His KC name is Topaz Blue Bear, in case you were wondering, and Jack is his pet name. Although we would have either called him Badger or Bear.

Jack
M & Jack
Me & Jack

Dog DNA Testing

K9 DNA Kit

M and I had our DNA mapped a good few years ago with 23andMe and loved the experience of finding out lots of things about ourselves from traits to health and of course ancestry. But I always thought it would be fun to have the dogs DNA mapped, and see what they are made of, health, allergies and reaction to drugs etc. I always thought it would be a bit of a pipe dream and that no one would do such things. We did have Lilu’s DNA done, but that was in case she was stolen, and having the DNA map meant that we would be able to get her back if she was stolen and her chip changed.

Today, I received an email from our insurers about having DNA mapping for dogs, and that got me thinking again about it all. I found kits on the usual sites, but nothing too exciting. Then I came across Wisdom Panel who are part of the Mars group and do full DNA mapping for dogs. After a good read of the site, I think I will take the plunge and get them done. £75 each and you get full ancestry, breed and health reports with drug sensitivity that you can share with the vets. One of the things I noted that when you buy a kit you get a code that you can share with family and friends to give a discount to them, but when buying 2 kits no discount is given so I will have to buy a kit, then order another one and use the code unless I can find a code on the internet. I have found ones that work with the .com site, but nothing for the British site, which is about right here, most companies are tight-fisted in the UK.

Once I have had the DNA done I will share the results with you all. If it is anything like the experience when we had our own DNA done it will be both exciting and interesting.

Her tail stopped wagging…

Yesterday was one of those bloody days.

Through the night Mazikeen could not settle and all in all was moping about and generally restless through the night, making funny noises and the odd whimper.  We thought, this is it, she is going to have her first season (in-heat), as some dogs react that way, but alas no.  In the morning after a shocking night of sleeplessness, I discovered that her tail was sore, and was not wagging.  My thoughts immediately went to a broken tail.

We have a 24/7 vet phone service that is part of her insurance, so I called them to see what they suggested.  They can do a video chat so you can do a version of “show and tell”, but as with all technology that is new, it did not want to work on her side.  Her first question was “has she been swimming?” which deserved an answer of “yes and no”.  We had been to the beach on Thursday and she was in and out of the water, although she was soaked from top to bottom, she had not actually swum, just jumped about in the sea running after shells I was throwing in the water.  Her suggestion was that it could be a swim tail or broken.  I quickly explained that her tail was still wagging most of the evening, and the swim tail would be out, but a broken tail was possible.  Harper is twice the weight of Mazikeen, and they do love to play rough, but usually, this means Mazikeen dominating Harper and jumping on her, but I could not recall any rough arsing about.  She suggested getting her to the vets to get her tail x-rayed.

I called the vets at 8am and got an appointment later that morning.  The vet felt about her tail and found two places he thought it may be broken, and took her in for x-rays and examinations.  She had the first of the anaesthetic injections whilst I was there, and then I had to go so they could do their thing.  Just after 12 I was called and told to come and collect her after 1:30 and the vet would chat to me about his prognosis.  Duly at that time, I went to get her, and like the morning appointment, waited about for ages.  Eventually, I was called into one of the rooms with a nurse who explained that she had not broken it, so that was good news, but she had badly sprained it and that she needed some rest for the next few days, no rough playing and anti-inflammatories for the next 14 days which had a little painkiller in them to take the edge off for her.  

Today, her tail is wagging, not as fast as usual, and she is a little slow on her feet, but she is in good spirit.  So quite an expensive day for a sprain, however, our dogs are our kids, so we do not mind spending money on them, especially health, which I seem to go overboard with.

A little bit wet and dirty

One Year On…

No daft titles here today.

A year has flown by since Lilu passed away.  It is amazing how fast that seems to have gone.  8760 hours, that have ticked away without increasing speed, but in our minds, it seems like only yesterday we said goodbye to her and watched her silently pass from this world to the next, via the doggy rainbow that we have no access to.

All around we have our memories of her, on the walls, on the many bookcases, and I even have a tee shirt that has both Lilu and Harper (at 8 weeks old) on, which I have on today.

If I did not know better I would swear that Mazikeen is a reincarnation at times of Lilu.  She has so many of the same mannerisms and the same spirit of adventure.  Even the spiral staircase in the middle of the house was no obstacle to Lilu, and Mazikeen is the same, however, Harper puts her front paws on the first step and stands there waiting for us, never daring to climb even after watching the pup fly up and indeed when she was a pup herself watching Lilu go up, slowly as her walking was not the best after her spinal stroke, but she still wanted to go up, just for a potter about.  But I know by the Buddhist cycle of reincarnation that it is not possible, as they say, saṃsāra is an endless cycle without pause or end unless liberation is achieved by insight and the extinguishing of desire.

A year on and we still miss her like mad, and now and again emotions stir, a tear is shed, but the fun times and great memories are in abundance.  So I will leave you with a photo of her in one of her favourite places, the beach.

Lilu – Posing for a photograph before launching herself into the sea

Goodbye FaceBook…

I had grown tied of Facebook some time ago, but kept it open due to the dog training as they only communicated via that and posted the classes and so called homework on it.  So, as we no longer go to the training classes I decided to get rid of my account.  I joined 12 years ago, and at the time I thought it was a great thing, however, over the years I have grown tied of it and with the data handling and general BS all over it I decided, enough was enough.  Yesterday I dowloaded all 3558 photographs I had on it, and pressed the delete button, with no regrets.

Today I imported all the images into my iMac’s iPhoto, and it was nice seeing all the things I had done over the 12 years, and especially seeing photos of Lilu, from when she was young back in 2006 up to a few days before she passed away.  Some of the photos I did not remember, so made me smile, and others that are very close to my heart.  One of them I have added to this post from back in 2006.  I have far to many ones that I am fond of, but this is one of my all time favourite photographs, so I hope you like it too.

Cooking for Dogs…

Dogs looking out

Mazikeen and Harper looking out at the Natajack pool

I was talking to the trainer last week regarding the food that I make for the dogs, including the biscuits, and she said that she used to do that but after a few weeks gave it up as she didn’t have time to do it.  This I found odd.  I prep the veg, usually carrots, sweet potatoes, cabbage, green beans and broccoli and shove it all into the electric pressure cooker, and press steam.  That’s it!  Not hard or time-consuming at all, it takes all of 5 minutes to prep and the cooker does the rest in 5 minutes.  The only thing that takes more time is cooking the meats.  I usually make them lambs liver, kidney and hearts, turkey, chicken, pork, but even that does not take much time.  I usually just put some olive oil in a large pan, and lightly fry the liver and kidney for about 10 minutes.  The liver I cook as it comes, which is usually slices, which breaks up in the pan, but the kidneys are whole, so I slice them before cooking.  So about 10 minutes whilst the veg is cooking and cooking.  The whole lot get decanted into dishes and popped into the fridge.  I timed it today and it took less than 30 minutes, and that is done every two or three days.  I also do rice in the pressure cooker all of 3 minutes and that too goes into a container in the fridge.  In a week I would spend about an hour to an hour and a half each week to cook everything for them, which in my mind is not that long at all.

The biscuits obviously take longer but when it is raining like today, there is nowhere to go, and so I may as well make a batch for them and put them in an airtight container.

Last week I decided to do the kidneys in their own doggie gravy and added some garlic granules, this went down very well.

One thing I have to keep in mind is that balance is the main thing.

  • High-quality protein (meat, seafood, dairy or eggs)
  • Fat (meat or oil)
  • Carbohydrates (grains or vegetables)
  • Calcium (dairy)
  • Essential fatty acids (egg yolks or oatmeal)

I also give the dogs boiled eggs and add pure salmon oil to their meals, and of course, they get dog vitamins.  All in all, I think they have a healthy intake of food, and I enjoy making them lovely foods.

Puppy Class…

Tonight I took Mazikeen to her first puppy class, and it was really good.  A few dogs that were far too vocal and uncontrollable, but I guess that is to be expected.  However, Maz, being a Gun Dog was silent and watched on with what I can only describe as mild amusement.

We went through the usual of getting them to sit on command which she has been doing from the age of 9 weeks, then stay and retrieve, again she has been doing since she was 9 weeks old.  We got her when she was 8 weeks, and these were the first things I taught her.  She is a gun dog, so is very intelligent and wants to learn and please her humans.  Tonight was no exception.  We had to bring beds for them to sit in when they were not working, she loves her bed and sat quite contented in it, and was the only one who did, but she is an odd dog as she prefers her bed to our bed, which is not the case with Harper.

The breeder we got her from said that he often took his trained dogs to the park and did a bit of showing off, and I know why, and I did the same too at the training class.  I let her lead/leash go and threw treats across the floor, she fetched and returned to be every time, and of course, was rewarded for this.  No one else let their dog go, which is fair enough, but I had confidence that she would do exactly what was needed.

I am looking forward to next weeks training session and developing this week’s lesson and taking it further, ready for next week.  Maz is still a little timid around other unknown dogs, even the little ones, but did make friends with a German Shepherd called Buddy, who is over twice her size, but a big softy.  One thing that surprised me was that she approached Buddy, so good for her.   As a reward and a socialisation lesson, I have just booked her on the next Puppy Club Party which is in a few weeks time, so she can go play with other dogs, have lots of social interaction and leave with a goody bag of treats and lovely stuff.

Being a Springer she is not food obsessed, so is not the biggest eater, and her food sitting in her bowl is not exciting to her, so we ended up throwing it around the kitchen so she could search for the kibble and eat it that way, however, as she is getting bigger I changed her feeding bowl to a lovely ceramic spaniel bowl, sloped on all the sides so her ears are not dipping into the food, and she has taken quite a liking to it and has started eating more.  Tonight, she had all her dinner, then an hour later was sat at her bowl, obviously waiting for more food.  I duly put more in, and she ate it, so I gave her a lot more and she finished it all off in record time.  Whether it was the new bowl or she has developed an appetite from the fun at class tonight, who knows, as long as she is eating I will go with it.

Vet Update…

Mazikeen has recovered from her bout of illness.  The vet gave her injections to combat the stomach problems, which turned out to be gastric irritation which had caused thickening of the gut and irritated it.  She also had injections of anti-sickness and antibiotics.  They examined her and did x-rays to make sure she did not have any foreign objects stuck in her tummy, and thankfully for all that she swallows, nothing was trapped.  I picked her up at 4pm and she was really happy to see us, although she was a little dopy due to the anaesthetic, but she soon recovered from that and was running around the house playing with Harper like nothing had happened.

The only thing the vet said to do was to feed her steamed chicken for a day or two as it was easy on the stomach and get her back into eating.  Needless to say, chicken is her favourite food, so she gulped it down every time we fed her (little but often).

Today she jumped out of bed early and has been on the go ever since.  Her only quiet moment was when she came back from the forest after a long walk and slept on the couch beside me for an hour.

Glad she is all better, but at £160 for that one trip, I would hope that she stays well.

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