Monday, 30 April 2012

putting the Pawz shoe on - the easy way

We've conquered  how to put on the Pawz shoe! It is really easy if you do it this way:

Added note May 1st: I've realised you don't turn the shoe inside-out. It just goes on the container the same way as on the foot. 

 (I feel annoyed that other videos come up here alongside my clip about the Pawz shoe, especially the other brands of shoes that I DO NOT think are half as good as this one. I've tried those ones where you  have to wrestle with velcro and jam the dog's foot in, and I think they're terrible for dogs with sore joints or a sore paw. I'd love to hear from anyone who knows how to stop these other advertisements coming up, because my blog is only my own experiences and I've always been resolved to have no advertising. Sorry about this rant, but I saw red when I clicked on my little clip and got other brands.)

Sunday, 29 April 2012

humans deserve nice food bowls too

Penny has a gorgeous bowl for her dinner, so why shouldn't I have one too? Yesterday my friend who imports Polish ware had an open day, and I decided the humans in our household deserved bowls as nice as Penny's one. You can see my friend's lovely tableware at her Pinterest board.

So, when Penny and I came home today from our exciting trip to the beach, she crashed on the couch to sleep the afternoon away (and, hopefully, to let her sore paw recover), but I was hungry. It was a temptation to just have a slice of toast, but I looked at my nice new Polish-ware bowl and I was inspired to cook a proper meal.

 Fry up some home-grown garlic - yumm! Add some chopped fresh tomatoes, some Arborio rice, water, celery, a shake of pepper, race out to the garden and grab some rainbow chard and cavolo nero leaves, and presto! you have a meal. Oh, and I mustn't forget the fresh beans my neighbor gave me the other day.

Isn't the bowl lovely? I bought a set of bowls, all in different patterns. I don't think they have to be identical, because the overall 'blue' style is consistent.

Penny digs without the pawz shoe to protect her foot

Well, Penny had a fabulous time at the beach today! I decided not to take my camera - not sure why - and of course there were heaps of wonderful shots I could have taken.

 I thought we'd try the trip without the protection of the Pawz shoes I'd bought - once again, I'm not sure why I made such a silly decision. I think it was because I wanted to see how she would go. Well, Penny surprised me by deciding, after racing around with the other dogs in Cindy's walking group, to dig a hole to China. She hasn't dug at the beach in years, and who would have guessed she'd give her surgery scar such a workout?

I grabbed my old phone to get a few shots of her:


sitting in her hole (yep, I know her head is missing! It was so sunny I couldn't see the screen of the phone. But the picture gives a bit of an idea of how deep the hole was.)

lying in her hole

She was happy!

And when we got home, her scar didn't look too good! At first we thought the whole thing was opened up, but on calmer reflection we've decided to wait until tomorrow evening to see if it is scabbed over. She's not licking it or attending to it in any way, so I don't think it is worrying her. We've wiped it a couple of times with antiseptic.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

trying out the Pawz shoes for a dog

Today Penny went for a short walk in Darebin Parklands, wearing a Pawz shoe to protect the scar on her foot where she had the biopsy.

As it says on the Pawz site, Penny was fine about wearing the boot. (We've had it on a couple of times in the kitchen, accompanied by treats, to help her see it as a positive experience.) However, walking on the rocky hillside seemed to hurt her foot and she really wanted to lick it! But she was easily distracted.

I'd vote the shoe a success. The reason we were keen to try it was that we're going to Brighton Beach tomorrow and I don't like the idea of sand getting into her surgery scar.

When I picked the shoes up, from Melbourne Veterinary Specialists, I was told to stretch the top of the shoe for a couple of hours, just to make sure it's not too tight around her leg. I stretched it on the top of a small glass jar.

Also, we need to take care not to have the shoe on for long periods, because dogs sweat through their paws.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Penny walks once more

Penny had the stitches out today and when the vet examined her foot he said she should be fine to go for walks, even though her foot might be 'tender'. The original problem, which seems to be a build-up of calloused skin, hasn't been resolved, but the vet thinks the large slice he took out for the biopsy might result in new blood-flow to the area and thus solve it. The problem seems to be developing on her other front foot, though. I guess we'll deal with that when necessary...

 She set off enthusiastically for her first proper walk in two weeks, sniffing around Yarra Bend Park.

And, joy of joys, she found a ball.

(In this photo you might see how she is leaning to the left to take the weight off her right front foot. That was the behaviour that made us take action to try to resolve the issue.)

 After lots of bounding around and rolling, Penny noticed her foot was indeed tender. More than tender, by the body language.

So we headed home.

Monday, 23 April 2012

the cone of shame picks up signals from Pluto

I had to laugh at this joke on Slavenka's site. It's funny on so many levels.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

kitchen training

Now that Penny is feeling better after her biopsy but isn't allowed to go on long walks, we've returned to doing some kitchen training. Today I thought I'd revisit a trick where she is supposed to look at a toy in my hand and choose the matching toy from scattered items on the floor. It's delightful to see her returning to her happy self. We'll still put the dreaded cone of shame on at night, at least until Tuesday, when we go back to the vet to get the stitches taken out. It went okay (except for my embarrassing tendency to repeat commands!), but I suspect Penny isn't sure what I'm on about.

Friday, 20 April 2012

the saga of the paw continues

The results of the biopsy on Penny's sore paw came back and it turned out our vet had made a good diagnosis - she had a chronic infection, of unknown origin. Perhaps a trauma of some sort, perhaps from licking. The vet and I are both of the opinion it may have originally been some sort of trauma.

He took quite a big piece off her paw for the biopsy and thinks the surgery itself may help healing, because of the increased blood flow to the area.

All good...

On Tuesday she was doing well after the surgery, and went back to the vet to get the big, padded bandage off. He put a lighter bandage on it, and repeated the important instruction to keep the bandage dry. Human number two soon spotted the fact that Penny's limp was much worse.

How could this be?

Well, she went back to the vet today - and the bandage was putrid and damp! We have no idea how it got wet. It's quite a mystery.

Thank goodness human number two picked it up. Now Penny has no bandage, but has to suffer the cone of shame.

She wasn't too happy when she came home, but it's all worth it if the paw heals cleanly and quickly.

We've got one of the old-fashioned types of collars. I'd have liked to try the new one I saw on a recent post by The Portuguese Water Blog or the Kong EZ Clear Collar reviewed by Hound Girl.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Penny's feeling unhappy

Sometimes it's so easy to read a dog's body language. is this a happy dog?

No, you reply.

And why? Because today she had a piece cut out of her poor sore paw and sent off for testing. It's been months now that she's had a problem with a sore paw, so the vet and I decided to investigate further.

When I see her feeling so bad, I regret the necessity for this little surgery. But it's in her interest to try to find out what's bothering her about her foot.

Here's hoping we can solve the problem soon.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

counting the seconds between a dog's woofs

It's unusual for Penny to stay outside barking, but yesterday evening she decided to go to the backyard and see if a little bit of woofing would bring someone out to tell her to stop.

I decided to let her go ahead for a bit, to give her the message that barking won't be rewarded by someone coming out to see what she's up to. I stayed near the back door, ready to call her if it seemed she was working herself up into some serious barking, or if she went on so long that the neighbors might be annoyed.

I was counting the seconds of silence, ready to call her when she'd been silent for at least ten seconds, thus rewarding silence rather than barking. I count seconds by saying to myself, "one cat 'n' dog, two cat 'n' dog, three cat 'n' dog" etc. I read recently on the blog called separated by a common language that there are many different ways around the English-speaking world of counting seconds.

Just as I was ready to give up, she came in. Whew! I sure hope she doesn't try this little trick again.