Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Tail's Tale

I should have known things were going too well with Reyna. She hadn't had anything significant wrong since the bump on her rump back in January. Which was a good thing, since pretty much all of my energy was taken up with Dad, Mikey, Per'la, Duncan and Loki.

Last Friday, I was testing out the theory that Ben-Gay might keep Reyna from chewing on her tail. I was drying off her tail and I noticed little streaks of blood on the paper towel. Sigh. I checked her tail and finally found this:

It doesn't look too bad, right? Of course, this being Reyna, I took some photos and sent a couple off to Dr. L so he would be aware of it. His recommendation was to monitor for a week or so and see how it progressed. By Sunday, the red bump was gone. My guess is that Reyna managed to snag it with her paw during on of her many fits of chase-the-tail. It was raw, but not awful. By Monday evening, Reyna was obsessing over the spot and had created a second sore. By Tuesday evening, we had ickiness (I'll spare you that image. But trust me, it was icky). Wednesday morning, Reyna was on her way to the vet. They shaved it and put her on antibiotics for two weeks, hoping we can get ahead of the infection. I also have to hot-pack it and clean it with betadine twice a day. Reyna's very tolerant of that, thankfully, although she's already fighting me on the antibiotics. Here's what it looks like as of Thursday evening:

The top area is the result of the initial mass. The bottom spot is what Reyna contributed. Paws crossed it doesn't get any worse.

Oh, and it turns out that Ben-Gay *will* keep Reyna from chewing her tail. But she doesn't seem to realize its on there until she gets a big mouthful of it. Silly girl.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Drafting Dog

I'm exhausted, sun-burnt, and my foot is killing me, but it was SOOO worth it! Duncan and I attended a drafting workshop near Charlottesville, VA, yesterday. We left the house at 5:15am, got home at 7:30pm, and were passed out on the couch by 8:30pm. It was a long day but so much fun. The Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Central Virginia hosted the workshop and allowed all breeds to attend. Duncan was the only GSD, but we also saw a Siberian husky, a poodle, two corgis and a Cavalier King Charles spaniel. The workshop was geared primarily towards new dogs and handlers, but there were several advanced handlers there to both help and show their skills. Duncan and I were assisted by Jerry, a fellow who's had drafting dogs for many years - several of them with Master Draft Dog titles.

After taking Duncan through the basic steps of pulling a drag, a sled, and walking with shafts near his face, Jerry quickly realized Duncan was ready to be hitched to a wagon. Duncan definitely liked this wagon a lot more than the cart that was made for him a couple of years ago. This one was much, much lighter and very nicely balanced. Before the morning was over, Duncan was handling bumpy terrain and making turns like he'd been doing it for ages. After lunch, we put Duncan through the paces of a Novice Draft Dog test (without the additional 20lbs he'd have to pull). He did everything just fine, including the weave poles, the narrows, and even backing the cart up. There's a two day Draft Dog test at the end of September near DC - I really hope Duncan and I can get there.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Happy Birthday, Reyna!

Thursday was my sweet girl's 8th birthday and Saturday was party day.

Aunt Mary gave Reyna a brand new basketball! Reyna wasn't too sure about it at first, but after a bit of shaking and gnawing, she decided it was A Good Thing.

And then it was time for cake! As always, the cake from Gourmutt's Bakery received the Pup Seal of Approval.

Happy birthday, Baby Girl! May you have many, many more.