Monday, 22 July 2019

snoozing privately

In a busy household it can be difficult to get a few moments' private rest.

But Penny seems to have solved the problem. In an unused doorway that looks out to the street we keep one of Penny's many beds. This one is an elevated one and her preferred spot for sleeping or keeping an eye out for passers-by.

As I walked past, this evening, I did a double-take.


What? A closer inspection showed a canine outline inside the curtain.


Here's hoping she manages to get off the bed without tripping herself on the curtain. (You have probably guessed that we think Penny is more important than clean curtains.)

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

physiotherapy for an old dog

Penny seems to have a weakness in her right  rear leg, so we're doing 'reps'. Or maybe we should call them 'sets'. Who'd have thought it would be so complicated being an old dog?

Anyway, Penny doesn't care what we call them. She just wants to eat the food she's offered. (Usually little bits of raw carrot.)

She puts her front paws up on a little stool.




I tap her left rear leg and she lifts it and I support it gently, not taking her weight, but just reminding her to keep it in the air.



Seeing she's totally focused on gobbling the food, she seems to hardly notice she has her weight on her weak leg. 

I think it might be working, because she jumped from the footpath into the back seat of the car recently, the first time in months we haven't lifted her in.




I wish she didn't lick her paws, though. You can see how stained they are. We're working on that problem too.


Friday, 3 May 2019

senior dogs and mental stimulation

Wow! I see I haven't posted since February. And I know why.. It has been so hot that Penny has been less willing to go for a walk.

She has spent most of the time each day snoozing, and we had put that down to her age. Our vet agrees that perhaps she doesn't deal so well with hot weather these days, so we have let her set the pace on walks and if she didn't want to go we'd let her lie. However, we do manage a walk of some sort most days.

Lately, though, it has become cooler, and we're wondering if her sleepiness might be as much due to boredom as to her senior status. So, we're trying to play a few games each evening, and use some of the lovely Nina Ottosson games when feeding her. ( A bit tricky, given that these days we only feed raw meat, with some additions of vegetables and vitamins.)

Also, today I took her for a swim in the warm water of the indoor pool at Kepala.

Afterwards, I asked in the office whether it would be okay for us to pop into the agility area to see how Penny would cope with it. As soon as we stepped through the gate, she headed for the tyre and the tunnel!

Before I even had time to give the 'begin' signal, she was through. I hurried to catch up so she wouldn't jump over the higher items (because of her arthritis.)

She managed the little seesaw like a pro.

And what was that in the distance? A set of weave poles...



Yes, she sort of still remembers how to do them. Hooray! So, next time, after a warm swim to get her muscles loosened, I think we might try this again.

Thursday, 28 February 2019

hot weather as a start to Autumn

It's been a while since I posted, but the hot weather we've been having takes the energy out of me and out of Penny.

But we still manage a walk most days, even though often a short one if it's a hot day.

Yesterday we headed off to Yarra Glen for a Bowen therapy session for both human and canine together.

And how wonderful it was, for me with a sore aching back and Penny with her arthritic joints.

On the way home we stopped off briefly at Heide Museum of Modern Art for a quick lunch. There's a huge garden with outdoor sculptures and various installations, and many old, substantial shade trees. Dogs are welcome as long as they are kept on lead.

However, because Penny and I had been in an air-conditioned car driving the fifty minutes down from Yarra Glen in the hills, I hadn't realised how hot it was, even in the shady outdoor section of the cafe. I had already ordered my lunch, so while we waited I quietly poured my drinking water onto Penny. (As you can see in the photo, the kindly waiter had brought the dog drinking bowl inside for us.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

tale of a dog, a djembe and a kangaroo tail

One of the humans has a new goatskin stretched across his dejmbe, so of course he had to try it out as soon as he got it back after the repair.



And of course Penny had to have a look at it as he placed it on the floor. Unfortunately for any future joy she'll have in listening to djembe rhythms, he gave a nice loud thump just as she looked up into the bottom of it. It sure must have been loud to a dog's hearing, as her head was inside the cavity of the drum.

So now Penny hates it. Here she is peeping around the corner of the next room to check what the scary noise is.


To cheer her up, I presented her with the enormous kangaroo tail that we recently bought for her. We got such a huge one because I worry about her choking on a small bone. (Yes, I know it was a bit of overkill.)


As usual, she headed out the doggy door to bury her bone. But what a problem... The bone wouldn't fit through the small space. So round and round and round and round she went, trying to figure out how to get to the backyard.

Until I took pity on her dilemma and opened a door.


So the search began for a place to bury a long, long bone.


This way?  No, perhaps this spot?


And finally, a good hiding place.


By the time she was finished, you couldn't even see there was a bone. I'm constantly amazed at how much dirt she can move with her nose.


And back inside.


But then she changed her mind. She decided to fetch it. At this stage it wasn't a red juicy-looking bone. It was dark with soil.


And so the day continued. Chew, chew, chew, chew... Until she was so exhausted with the effort that I began to worry about her.

Eventually I decided she was panting so much I'd try to take it, as planned. I swapped it for a frozen cube of mashed vegetables in warm water.

Hours of fun for all.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

sardines

Tinned sardines are our stand-by food for Penny when we've accidentally run out of the raw meat diet we obtain from Barking Good in East Ivanhoe.

We did try the raw sardines sold in that shop, but for some reason Penny wouldn't eat the non-tinned variety.

She get sardines about once a week, and I was pleased to read this article on Dogster about the benefits of this food.

We've always aimed to feed her only wild-caught fish, packed in fresh water. It's not always easy to obtain those, so we stock up when we see them, especially if they're on special.

One thing we will NOT buy is a tin of sardines (or any other seafood) from Thailand, because of the likelihood that the fish were caught by enslaved men. Penny's food, as far as we know, is not supporting the modern slave trade in Thailand.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Christmas Kong toy for Penny

I intended to begin this post by reporting that for the first time in Penny's 14 years I succumbed to the commercialism of Christmas and bought her a gift, but on looking back through my blogs I see that I did the same in 2011.

This time I decided it was years since Penny had a new toy, and it's never too late to liven up an old dog's life with something novel.

She loved it and immediately hunched possessively over it.


So of course I couldn't resist trying to get it from her. But no way!


After a while I could have sneaked up to steal it while she was sleeping, but she did have her paws resting on it, so I thought I'd leave her in peace.


The instructions say it should only be used under supervision, so I'll put it up on a shelf when I'm not there to watch her.