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Discussion Starter #161
I took AU to the farm and ranch place today. My back's been giving me a lot of problems so it's been awhile since I've taken him there. I got him out of the car and he was being extremely playful...dancing around and grabbing at the leash. I let him have a section of the leash and he started to just kind of walk himself....head up and tail wagging and a spring to his step.

He wasn't pulling on the leash or anything and was packing his section of it, almost like he does when he has a toy in his mouth that he's going to take outside. I was enjoying watching him in that playful state.

Then....

Some guy comes out of the building and within several steps sees us, and comes our way.. He says "Beautiful dog..." I say "Thanks" He then says...
"You really shouldn't let him have the leash like that, it's poor discipline"

I told him Au behaves just fine on a leash and sometimes when he's feeling playful I allow him to hold it...and didn't see any harm in it.

The guy just responded with a '...well.. really it's a bad habit to teach them, as a leash shouldn't be looked upon as a toy.'

I just shrugged and said 'I'm not having issues with it, so for me and him, it's not a problem'

The guy looked at me as if I were an idiot and walked off.

AU and I went into the store, where he dropped the leash because there was too many other things that had his attention. I took him to the treats aisle and got him and Jaya some treats and we went to the counter area. There were two soldiers standing in line and one of them looks at AU and goes.. "Oh No!" with a laugh...and the other soldier was like "Can I pet your dog?" and I said sure, and he comes over kneels down and starts petting and roughing up AU's fur in a good way. AU's loving it..

The other soldier said... 'That's what I meant by 'Oh No...my friend can't see a friendly looking dog without wanting to pet and play with it' lol.

The soldier who was petting AU finally got up and told me that he though AU had some of the softest fur he ever felt on a dog...by this time the other soldier was petting AU too.

They finally got motioned up to the counter and I softly said 'Sit' to AU and he did so immediately, and looked all calm and collect after all that exciting attention.
One of the soldiers laughed and told me I made a heck of a drill sergeant" LOL

When my turn at the counter came, AU got his treat and he knew that was coming...he knows the routine at that farm and ranch place pretty good...lol.
He sat down on his own that time to get his treat and the lady at the counter was so impressed with how well behaved he was in doing that.

I was proud of AU, and just glad I'm not a total idiot in messing up his training...lol And yep...we walked out of the place, AU with some of his leash in his mouth.

Stormy
 

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Sounds like AU is pretty well recovered. Been an ordeal for all of you. Makes you feel so good when they feel good and are playful.

We are still struggling with Samantha and her auto-immune disease, the medication and all the side effects. She has had a really rough past six weeks, and so have we. I believe the plan the neurologist has, will include reducing the dose of steroids early next week, to eventually have her completely off them, then we wait and hope for the best. She has responded to the meds, now primarily dealing with med side effects, not the disease itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #163
I'm so sorry to hear that Samantha has been having such a rough time of it. I hope that soon, that she will be feeling better.

I found out today that AU likes the taste of warm, lightly vinegared spinach. He ate a couple of teaspoons of it. He didn't get any more than that, because I like the taste of it too, and it was my lunch...lol

Stormy
 

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Spinach is one of Samantha's favorites. She loves it, and if we are having any, sharing with her is mandatory.
 

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Discussion Starter #165
:wave:Well....

AU got skunked tonight.

We had a HUGE rainstorm...thunder, lightening, and after a hot day, the temps really dropped too. Finally it eased up just as the sun was starting to go down, so I let the dogs out and threw open all my windows to let in that fresh sweet smelling cold air...and it was cooling off my house wonderfully....then....

The fresh sweet smell went away and in wafted the stinging sharp smell of skunk.

I get up and am just Hoping the dogs didn't trigger it. I go out and both dogs are not where I can see them, so I call them and in a few seconds they both come bounding around the side of the house....and the closer the they get the stronger the skunk smell.

AU is like :wave: and all happy to see me...and Jaya is even wagging her tail. I stopped AU on the porch before letting him in and took a whiff, and yep it was on him. Jaya, I had to wait until I got her inside and she went into the room were she likes to sleep. I got close enough to her to smell her and fortunately...she hadn't been hit. :thumbsup:

In the meantime, AU is just ecstatic...he's trying to catch his tail and then dropping and rubbing himself on his doggy mattress... in the mean time, I thinking about what I have to get the smell out. I haven't had any 'Skunk Off' product in the house in forever. It's a product I use to use all the time when I had my dog Ernie....it quickly kills skunk odor.

So, I grabbed some Downy fabric softener...grabbed AU, and took him into my small walk in shower...where I also had some lavender shampoo and I had some dog shampoo/skin care stuff too under the sink.

I first washed him with the lavender shampoo, using the hand held shower head my shower has..and then rinsed that. Then I used some Downy on him...and rinsed and rinsed and rinsed...then to make sure I got the Downy out, I used the dog skin care shampoo...and rinsed again. I then let him out, and got him towel dried and then stepped into the shower myself real quick to rinse off all the 'splash' I got from AU while

I must say, the Downy fabric softener did a great job in killing the odor. The lavender shampoo I used, I could still smell skunk after I rinsed it off pretty good...but it did take a lot of the smell out, but the Downy really knocked the smell down.

My back is absolutely burning though... having to bend over and also had to use a lot of strength sometimes to keep him from trying to leave the shower stall.

I hate to do it, but the bedding he rubbed against, will have to wait until tomorrow...my back just won't let me pick it up and unzip the cover... it's a big heavy dog mattress. I put some carpet fresh type powder on the carpet to help absorb the smell where he dropped and rubbed upon first coming in.
I will have to vacuum that up tomorrow too.

I've used up about 4 towels on him to help dry him off, then after he settled down on the sofa. (which I put a blanket on first)... I used another blanket to cover him up so he wouldn't get chilled as he continues to dry. So...I'll have that laundry to do too.

AND... they both will still need to go outside one more time tonight - and I know their first move is to head out around the side of the house to see if they can find it again. Even if it's not there, the scent is probably on the ground or the tall grass that grows on the other side of my well-pump shed.

I'm hurting and tired right now... but know in a few more days this will be a more humorous story...lol. He sure was one happy looking puppy when he came in...he knew something special happened to him...lol

The Twerp.

Stormy
 

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I prefer vinegar and tomato juice for skunk scent removal from dogs, 3 pats tomato juice to one part vinegar. Skunk spray is oily, the acidity of that mix cuts that oil and gets it off. Then a gent'e shampoo and conditioner after that.

Not unusual for at least one of mine to get it two or three times a year, though my boys are older and wiser now so, didn't get it at all last year. Now I have Kaila, a 3 month old pup so, I expect she will get skunked soon enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #167
I've tried the vinegar and tomato juice...had to, back in the 1960s and 1970s, ... I don't think they had anything else for skunk smell removal....or if they did, our local stores didn't stock anything like that. I never thought it did that well for killing the skunk smell, it got the worst out, but I could still smell skunk for over a week afterwards, even if I gave them another bath in it.

If I hadn't had some other choices last night, I would have used it though. I keep vinegar by the gallon as I use it a lot to clean with, and I always have stuff like tomato sauce, paste, stewed tomatoes, and soup in the cupboards.

In a pinch, I've used Dawn dish soap, but even that doesn't quite get rid of the smell, even though it's good at stripping the oil off of stuff. Wildlife rescues use it all the time for cleaning animals caught in oil spills.

I had 1 dog, Sampson, who was hit once... and never ever again.
Her puppy, Hey You, got hit about once a spring...
Then Ernie came along.... Omgosh... 4 or 5 times a Year! He's the reason I found out about Skunk Off (this was around 1994) I would by it special order, by the quart...otherwise it just came in like a small 8 or 10 ounce bottle.

Skunk Off killed the skunk odor instantly...but it still left a scent behind. It definitely wasn't skunk, and it wasn't overwhelming either, and it left me were I could breath and not have my eyes watering, but the house and dog did smell different for about a 4 days - then the odor completely faded away.

I've never used Downy before to help with skunk smell, but I know that a week or so after doing laundry I can pull a shirt out and it still has that scent on it and it's a pleasant enough smell. I am, very impressed with how well it worked on AU. I rinsed him well enough that I'm not smelling the Downy so much, but I'm also not smelling skunk on him...except in one tiny area on top of his muzzle.

Stormy
 

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Ah the joys of dog ownership. Their natural curiosity can get them into so much trouble, and cause us so much extra work. Ya gotta love them regardless, despite these incidents they are so consistently there for us.


Sorry you are having so much trouble with your back. My wife went through a six level fusion surgery, front and back, some years ago. Though the surgery corrected a lot, she needs cane to get around, due to some nerve damage. Overall, she is in better shape, then she would be, had she not had the surgery, but it was a long painful ordeal.


Samantha continues to respond to her meds for the auto-immune disorder she was diagnosed with. We are slowly, reducing the steroids she has been on. The side effects from the huge does of steroids she has been on, are terrible, and she makes sure we know it. She has been getting me up two or three times during the night, to let her out to relive herself. Annoying as it may be, I am thankful she is so persistent, so my annoyance stays with me as I reward her for being such a good dog. I believe another drop in medication dosage is in store for her, after I talk to her doctor on Monday. This is a very long process.
 

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Discussion Starter #169
It's been like Forever since I've done an update... but I've had so much going on.

My old car broke down a few months ago and I had to refinance my home in order to get some money to go buy another car. I loved my 23 year old Ford Aspire, also known as 'The Skittle' due to it's magenta coloring...but I couldn't justify the repair costs and I know that in being 23 years old, there were other engine parts that would probably break down soon, or the brakes, shocks, etc...would need replaced.

I ended up buying a 2007 red PT Cruiser. I still haven't found a nickname for it... I usually gave my cars nicknames...lol... yeah, I'm weird. :p

Then part of my bedroom's ceiling collapsed after almost a week of hard rain. Contractors don't want to come fix 'little jobs like that' when they have whole houses they can build and make big money on.

My sister is friends with a couple and it turns out the husband is actually a minister...without a church at the moment. He offered to do all the labor for free..fixing my roof and my ceiling. The only hitch is, he can only work on it a few hours every 4 or 5 days or so...so the going will be slow. But I don't care...he's doing it for free because he feels that ministers should help those in need. (even if they are an atheist :eek: )

Only one slope of the ceiling slumped and cracked -- to the left of the beam it's ok...but to the right...ugh. Btw, in the first photo, my walls are not that color, they are white like the ceiling...it was just the light coming through my blinds that did that.

So, the ceiling's being cut out, the old wet insulation has been pulled now, and I sprayed lysol on everything up there that was exposed, to reduce any mold issues. Then a few days later, the guy working on it, sprayed a bleach/water solution on it, and allowed that to dry. He's now in the process of repairing one joist that didn't look good, and will be putting up new insulation soon.






Now AU (and Jaya too), having a good time. :)
I uploaded 3 videos to YouTube and tried to keep them short.

AU is a gentle, friendly dog, the video is of him playing with a dog he just met only a few hours prior to me recording them at play.
Doogey and Molly belong to my brother, and I watched them overnight when my brother and his wife, had to go out of town.

AU had never met Molly before, although I have watched Doogy three or four times.




This last clip, I was trying to get AU to run a lap around the yard, but it wasn't quite dark enough for him to see the laser light as it got further out into the yard. To me, when I was filming this, it looked darker outside and I didn't think the video would even show up that well, but it seems I could have waited another 15 minutes or so and had a better chance of AU seeing that light at a distance.

But, as you can see he's moving quickly, nimbly, and pivoting around with ease. He still does his bunny hop on short runs, but once he gets going a ways, he switches to a normal running stride... unfortunately, I couldn't get him into a flat out run...like I can at night and he chases 'The Bug'

Jaya... my lovely, lovely girl. For a long time she was afraid of the laser light, but the first time I tried it at night outside, she went for it! And since then, she even comes into the living room and plays with AU when I use it.
I rarely let the sessions go for more than 3 or 4 minutes and only about three times a week. I don't want them to get too obsessed with light flickers. So far, no problems with that.

Anyway, Jaya... my heart just swells with satisfaction and love for her, when I see her standing so close to me and she's Relaxed! We can look each other in the eye now and she doesn't panic and run, and I think she sometimes even enjoys that I am talking with her. Still, if I would have stepped off the porch...she would have high tailed it...and probably under the porch, she will never shed all of her feral like ways.

Here's AU and Jaya chasing "The Bug"


And in the end... it all tires a dog out. lol. AU likes to lay on the sofa, his head on the arm, and watch me while I'm in my recliner reading a book or playing on the kindle. I took this photo of him after he fell asleep in his 'watching mode' Usually, when he's done watching, he sits up, then lays down with his head off of the sofa arm.




Stormy :)
 

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Very rewarding that AU and Jaja are doing so well. We certainly have that special bond with our four legged pals. Sorry you have had so much going on, hope you are doing better with your back.


Samantha is still on a very low dose of the steroids, but she seems to be slowly building up her strength. She is still a long ways from her normal activity levels, or perhaps she now has a 'new normal', don't know. She is not in any pain, and both Vets taking care of her, seem to feel she is doing very well. The auto-immune disease she has, can be so devastating, we were fortunate to have our Vet refer us to the right specialist, and to have been able to start aggressive treatment early in the diseases progression. Early treatment is critical, if there is any hope of any recovery. We have had great Vet care for her, also a major contributing factor in how well she has done.
 

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Discussion Starter #172
@Laco

I hope things continue to go well with Samantha, she's so lucky to have you.

Jaya, in that video... her sides and the top of her hips near her tail... her summer time allergies will have her scratching or chewing on herself. She looks terrible right now.

In that video, she has some really raw red spots on her. She's had 3 steroid shots this summer...and every other day or so, I have to treat her by using cool wet cloth to soak and kind of clean her 'hot spots'

The raw areas will weep if not out right bleed, and then hair will stick to it all. So the soaking helps to get the gunk loose from the hair and cool down her skin. She then gets some antibiotic cream, mixed with some anti-itch cream rubbed onto her wounds. The whole time I'm doing this and scissoring away as much hair as I can... she has her whole body just Locked up...tense, and just scared.

I would love to do more for her...like give her a complete bath once a week, but my back and her reaction to being handled...I just do what I can and get it over as quick as I can so she's not feeling afraid of me for too long and it's easier on my back too.

Soon, it will be winter here and she will get a nice long vacation from the itching...and no more steroid shots either until spring.

Again, I hope Samantha's health returns and she's back to her normal activity level in a near future.

Stormy
 

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Too bad Jaya has to suffer with the skin issues. They can be really difficult to treat and clear up. I know a number of people that fight this with their dogs. At least as you point out, she will get relief during the winter months. Its been so many years since I have lived in a climate with hard winters, not really sure I could cope with it any more, and I know I don't want to. There are lots of issues and problems with California, but climate isn't one of them.


Hope you get your roof and ceiling taken care of, before you are into the bad weather season. Good luck with your new wheels, we have the Chevy version of the PT, also an 07. Have had it since new, and it has been one of the most reliable cars I have ever had, just keeps running and running. Had some front end issues, probably caused by towing it behind our motor home, but nothing else, other than routine maintenance. Wish you the same with your PT.


Samantha continues to show signs of improvement, and though she may be fortunate to have, us, I know for certain we are very fortunate to have her. From the day we adopted her, years ago, she has been the 'perfect' dog for us. She blends right in with our life style, and is just an agreeable, lovable dog. I have told our Vets, as long as they can offer reasonable hope that we can keep her out of pain, and she can have a decent quality of live, we will continue to go the distance, helping her fight this horrible immune system issue.
 

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My cat is allergic to everything, I had him tested. I'm giving him allergy shots every three days, which may be too much for Jaya. But while I was waiting to start them the medication Apoquel made a huge difference in reducing the itchies. You can mix it with vanilla ice cream so she'll eat it. I only give it to him every three days and he's not raw and bleeding anymore like he used to be from constantly scratching.
 

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Discussion Starter #175
I've tried Apoquel with Jaya, and it didn't help. Sometimes at night, when Jaya is itching pretty bad, I will give her a benadryl - it doesn't really stop the itching either, but it does kind of knock her out so at least while asleep she won't feel the itching.

There are even times when the steroid shots don't help that much... or I should say for very long. One time it was only for two weeks. But usually she can go about a month and a half before needing another shot. I hate having to give them to her, I know they are hard on the system...but at least she gets some relief from the worst of the allergy itching.

Stormy
 

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Discussion Starter #176
Hi All : )

Sorry it's been so long. I've been having back issues and it limits the time I can sit at the computer.

Things are going good with AU. He is living up to his image of being a twerp though. He's discovered a new storage place for his stuff toys.

In my walk in shower. lol.

The first time I opened the shower curtain and looked down and saw something brown and furry laying there, I almost had a heart attack before I realized it was a stuffed brown bear. Sometimes there are two toys in there, sometimes three...sometimes just one. This morning, I had to toss an old tennis shoe out of the shower before I got in.

He's also found out how fun it is to dig holes... craters.... deep deep craters. The thing is, he kicks the dirt out so far and all around the hole, that I cannot gather enough of it back together to fill the hole in again. I'll probably have to buy some bags of sand or something next spring to fill in the holes and then cover them with a layer of dirt just so the riding lawn mower doesn't tip over if it hits one of them.

It's November here and it still hasn't snowed... so Jaya's still dealing with her summertime allergy issues. If it would just snow and 'stick' within a week or two, Jaya will stop itching...but as it is, I might have to go get her another allergy shot.

My cat, Song, hurt her rear right leg...a ligament...the vet showed me how 'tight' the good leg was, and how loose the one in the back leg was that she was limping on.

But, the vet said, that it might not require surgery...just a lot of rest and a series of three weeks of pain and anti-inflammatory. But, because cats are weird...she could only be on the meds for 3 days...then off of them for 4 days so her system can be cleared of them, otherwise it's toxic for cats and can kill them. Cats are more inclined to adverse reactions to a lot of meds that are safe for humans and dogs.

She finally quit limping about 2 days ago... so I'm relieved... I thought I might be looking at a $200 to $300 dollar surgery bill. My vet guessed the timing pretty close when she said to give it 3 weeks and see how things go. :)

I hope everyone else's dogs and cats and other pets are doing well. I often think of Laco's, Samantha and hope she's improving.

Stormy
 

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Stormy, glad to see you are back online again. Hope you get your back issues under control.
Samantha has been up and down. When we took her off all her meds, she went about 10 days and relapsed. Her neurologist put her back on meds again, she recovered, or more correctly went back into remission, but its clear she will need some medication for the rest of her life. We are now slowly reducing dosage, to find the minimum dose that will hold the disease at bay. We hope to be able to get her on an every other day dose. Its been very up and down for her for the past eight months, and it has definitely taken its toll on her.
 

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Discussion Starter #178 (Edited)
@Laco

I'm sorry to hear that Samantha wasn't able to get off her meds. : ( I do hope she will be able to do the every other day dose and have it be a very low dose too.

I always hate having to give Jaya the steroid shots... they will shorten her life and they are so hard on her kidneys...and on me too...because for about 3 days after getting a shot, she can't control her peeing...and she can't warn me fast enough to let me know she needs outside. So I have to just keep my spot cleaning machine out and ready to use and my back is on fire from the clean up... I have to bend over to run the cleaning wand on that little unit.

But... this morning I opened the door and saw snow! A nice thick layer of it. Jaya and AU ran out and rolled and rolled in it. I think the snow has already done wonders for Jaya. It usually takes a week or so for her to quit all scratching, but just yesterday I was thinking of taking her to the vet this week and getting her another shot. But that snow rolling must have rid of fur and skin of a lot of the allergens and while she's still scratching a little bit... it's not a frantic scratch and she's not stopping every 30 seconds to do it.

I vacuumed out her room and tossed her blanket in the wash today to help on that end...and I just hope the snow sticks. This afternoon a lot of it melted, so I am seeing a few grass patches in the yard, but mostly it's snowed over.

Also... on a side note... Wednesday, the 7th... will mark the day I had to put HaHa to sleep. He's been on my mind a lot lately. I miss him, miss him, miss him!
He was by far the best dog I ever owned and I have had super wonderful dogs in my life, so that says a lot about him. I've been crying a lot today and I'm sure tomorrow will find me in tears on and off too. I can usually think of him now without the tears, but there is always this small knot of pain in me when I think of him... it's just something I've never experienced before with the loss of a pet...other than my cat, Ashley, that I had for 21 years

But with Ashley, I had an easier time accepting her death... she had Years of life, and I will always feel like HaHa was cheated in that regard...in only getting 5 of them, and 2 of them were for him, a bit miserable being he almost starved to death because the breeder and the shelter couldn't figure out how to feed him so he could keep his food down.

So, yeah, there's a bit of bitterness in me too, when I think about how unfair life can be... even though I know, that there never has been any expectations of that for me.

Stormy
 

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Discussion Starter #179
I have to share these... the first one was from the day I adopted him and the 2nd one...HaHa could make me laugh... he was so goofy most of the time....even when just sleeping. : )





Stormy
 

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Stormy,


You gotta love them, goofy and all. Samantha, when she is feeling good gets into her goofy mode, which only amuses us. As she has gotten older she has developed quite an attitude, and can be very insistent about getting what she wants, when she wants. She and my wife kind of got into it yesterday, when they failed to agree on exactly when snack time was.
 
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