Saturday 30 March 2024

Just a random post


 This is just a random post to keep Penny's blog alive. So many beautiful memories. There will always be only one Penny. 

But Peppa is beautiful and lovable also.

She's great company when we're watching tv. I was never sure Penny registered what was on the screen, but I feel sure Peppa does. 

Monday 16 October 2023

Finally getting back to training and fun

 Since we've been attending the Play and Train classes at Warringal on Sunday mornings, life has become more settled at home. Peppa has had frequent tummy upsets and visits to vets, and we seem now to have found foods that she can stomach. 

And, best of all, we've found that her appetite is improving and she will take food as training rewards.

Consequently, we're able to play in the kitchen with the toys I bought from K-Mart. 


At the moment, I'm rewarding for simply not being scared by the new objects in the house. I was surprised, after fifteen years with phlegmatic Penny, to realise that Peppa is a totally different personality, who needs lots of time to adjust to novelty. (Penny thrived on novelty!)

Tuesday 19 September 2023

Peppa in 2023

 I thought I'd post something today, in the hope of keeping this blog going. 

Life with Peppa is quite different to our previous times with Penny, but that's to be expected, as they are very different dogs.

Peppa is not a morning 'person', and sometimes sleeps or snoozes until late in the afternoon, after which she's ready for a walk or some play. 

In the evening, she's happy to sit on the couch and watch tv with us, and if we turn to Dog TV, she enjoys that too.

Wednesday 12 October 2022

Re-reading my own old blog posts

 Peppa raced out the door this afternoon when our neighbour called, and we did our usual heart-searching about our awful standard of dog training. 

And then I began to wonder whether we had the same issues, so many years ago, when we had Penny living with us. Our vet agrees with us in referring to her as 'Saint Penny', haha. In comparison to Peppa she was indeed a saint.

I thought I'd look back at my own old posts from 2007, when Penny was around the age Peppa is now. And I'm finding it not only entertaining, but also actually helpful. 

One thing I'm noticing is that Peppa is more of a digger than Saint Penny was. I might have made an error of judgment in letting her 'help' me when I was weeding around the strawberries. She sure did love digging that big hole! It was a bit of a pity that a few of the strawberry plants ended up strewn around the area. But hey, she had fun, and it wasn't all that hard to replant the ones she removed.

I guess we'll find out soon if I've created a 'digging monster'.

I'm going to do a search on my old blog for references to digging and see what comes up. In the meantime, I'm intending to scroll through fifteen years of Penny's blogs to see which links still work and make a note on each post as to which links are no longer viable.

Wednesday 13 July 2022

Lhasa apsos, cones on heads and grooming

 When Penny died, it took me four months to even think of continuing this blog, and for a while I just added the occasional post to keep it alive. And to keep Penny alive on the internet. (She's alive forever in our hearts.)

And then we made the enormous decision to bring another dog into our household. During the worst of the lockdowns here in Victoria in Australia, many people discovered the joy a dog can bring, so we had difficulty getting an older rescue dog. Given my age (not too young is what I'll say), it was a momentous decision to start over with a puppy.

But what joy she has brought us. 

And what a further education in living with a dog. I thought I knew so much about dogs, after fifteen years with one. Now I realise each dog is a new experience. Getting a lhasa apso puppy was a tribute to the fact that we thought Penny had been a lhasa.

Well, no.

Lhasas have special coats. Just because Penny looked like a lhasa does not mean she was one. The groomer warned us. 'Don't think this will be like caring for Penny. She didn't have a thick coat. It was fine and easily managed.'

Yep. She was so right. Peppa's coat is a whole new ballgame.

Recently she had an operation on her right front paw to remove a grass seed buried inside it. 

While the weather was good, sunny and dry, we coped. But once the winter rains set in, we didn't go so well. It eventually turned out that the bandaged foot had healed well, but had got wet under the bandage and needed more time to recover. So, the cone went back on. 


The dreaded cone... 

If you've seen the movie 'Up', you'll know it as the Cone of Shame. From now on, I'm going to call it the Cone of Messy Fur.

That darned cone made such a mess of Peppa's head and neck fur.


Here are the ears, the worst affected: 


In all the kerfuffle over the paw, we've missed out on our scheduled grooming session, and our lovely groomer is going on holidays, so I bit the bullet and decided I'd have to start getting her coat back in order. 

I'm rather pleased with the work I did on her ears. The first one 'only' took thirty minutes.

And then I started on the other ear - the left.

Another thirty minutes - after which it was time for a rest, each of us in her own way. Peppa in her crate, me on the computer.

I figure in another hundred hours we should have the whole coat looking good.

Monday 4 July 2022

Covid and dogs with grass seeds in their paws

 Recently I succumbed to the Covid wave here in Australia, and spent a couple of weeks in bed. When I started to feel better (and was not required to quarantine), I took Peppa for a walk in a local park. It's winter here, of course, and the grass in the park was mowed and short, but I think that was the day Peppa got a seed in her paw. 

At one stage, after playing vigorously with lots of friendly pups, she lay down and didn't want to walk. I thought she must be exhausted. In retrospect, I ask myself why a healthy young pup would be exhausted by some play. Now, with 20/20 hindsight, I think she might have had a grass seed stuck in her paw. 

I'm resolved to check her paws after every outing to a grassy area.

So, she began to limp. We went to the clinic and the vet on duty checked her and thought perhaps she had broken a toe. An x-ray ensued, and it was sent off to an expert for another opinion. While we waited, we came home with a cone on her head and pain relief medication - Metacam. 

She sat around staring morosely into space, and the pain relief injection she'd been given at the vet seemed to have spaced her out so completely that she couldn't even keep her legs under her and kept swaying and sinking to the floor. Such a stressful day.

I took the cone off, because she wasn't paying any attention to her foot. And I didn't give the Metacam because I thought she wasn't in pain. (I've since been told it was an anti-inflammatory also, so I guess I should have given it.)

Back to the vet clinic a few days later, for an examination by our usual vet. He couldn't see any sign of what the problem was, but suggested an operation to open the swellings (two on top of her toes and one between her pads). It was organised for two days later.

What a relief it was when the operating vet called to say that after a long search she had found a grass seed buried in the flesh of the paw. 

So, home again with pain medication and antibiotics and instructions to keep the bandaged foot dry. Hmm...that meant no walking in our jungle of a back garden, which at this time of year is damp with dew for most of the day.

All was going well until last night when I noticed Peppa had removed the bandage and dressing. So, off at midnight to the Animal Emergency Clinic to get it rebandaged.

But what a surprise awaited us there! It was fortunately a quiet night there, so the usual offering of stressed and suffering animals wasn't as bad as it can be. And who was there?

The first Lhasa apso we have ever met! So exciting. He's a Golden, and looks a lot like Peppa, so we were very pleased to have it confirmed that she is also a Golden (which is what she was sold to us as). And the owner knew the breeder we had got Peppa from and said she's a good breeder, which made us feel even better. 

So a good ending to a stressful evening. Peppa has a nice new bandage on and we'll continue to keep it clean and dry (here's hoping) until we go tomorrow to have it checked. The vet nurse at AEC says it's healing well.

The other owner has also had a grass seed removed from his dog, so we're warned to be ever-alert after walks. He said it's because of their thick fur that they tend to pick up grass seeds.

Forewarned is forearmed.

Monday 25 April 2022

training a lhasa apso

 When we brought Peppa into our lives, we knew it would be necessary to get her used to grooming. So we did our best, and she's used to being up on the table getting special attention (and extra special treats) every evening. Fortunately, she loves it. We did come up with the theory that she had seen her mum and dad being groomed and thinks it's part of being a grown-up dog. Who knows what goes on in the clever little head?

She's more clever than we thought she would be, and has trained her people pretty well. Here are some of the favorites:

1. Jump appealingly up onto the human's legs and allow said human to stroke your head and tickle you behind the ears, at the same time slo-w-ly, quie-t-ly stealing a handkerchief or  tissue from their pocket. If tissue, tear it to shreds and enable them to get some isometric exercise bending to collect the shreds. If a handkerchief, mouth it dramatically as if you're going to swallow it and might subsequently need to go to the amazingly expensive Animal Emergency clinic. Wait until the human races to get you a super-nice treat and willingly 'give' the hanky to them in exchange for the treat, and get praised for being so co-operative.

2. Whenever you see a baby gate left ajar, race into the forbidden room and ostentiously wait in the doorway for the command to come 'this way' and receive a treat for your obedience.



3. Go out into the backyard and bellow at the top of your voice at any movement in the adjoining apartments and wait for the command to 'come'. Race in and get a treat. 

I suspect she's working on a few more commands for the humans to obey. I'll report when she has us even more under her control. 

Oh, and now that I have a close look at that photo I posted, I think I'd  better get off this computer and do that grooming. Obviously today was a rather exciting and messy playday.