sasha_feather: dog looking over a valley (dog and landscape)
Unexpectedly, I feel relieved, like there is a weight off my shoulders.

Read more... )
sasha_feather: ken watanbe with a horse and dog (ken wantanbe with pets)
Feeling like I'm on doggie death-watch. Sorcha was doing pretty well up until this weekend. in case you don't want to read this )

...and now she's eating some kibble, so who knows what tomorrow will bring?
sasha_feather: neat looking overcoat (coat)
Sorcha is still whining incessantly. I see from my journal that this has been going on for more than a month -- probably more like six weeks. I'm taking her back to the vet on Wednesday to get her thyroid levels checked.

Other things we've tried:
I moved my bed so she can see me better from my crate.
I turned a night light on overnight.
Sitting with her on the couch to watch TV and movies. Three feet away in my chair isn't close enough-- I have to be like, touching and petting her to stop her whining. And I can't type with her on the couch because she paws at the screen and keyboard.
Distracting with treats.
A thundershirt. (Had to take a break from the shirt today because I may have left it on too long yesterday.)

The worst is when I try to lie down for a nap and she won't let me sleep.

I posted on the Greyhound bulletin board-- run by the rescue group-- asking for advice. So far, no help.

She does not seem to be in pain, not that I can tell. She still runs hard at the park, some days, and still hops in and out of the car, walks fine, etc. It seems more like anxiety, but that strange thing it how it started relatively recently.

Any ideas??
sasha_feather: dog looking over a valley (dog and landscape)
Last year we didn't need dog boots; but this year has been much colder.

The first pair we tried were the only ones in stock at a pet supply warehouse, and turned out to be a total piece of crap product. They were similar to this "fashion" boot and dissolved after one go-round at the park. (I did like the cord tightening design). I returned them for store credit.

Next we tried Muttluks. These do seem to be a good product, but they don't stay on Sorcha's feet. It's possible we have the wrong size, I suppose, but I think the real problem is just that she runs really hard at the park and they fly off. Plus she doesn't have much fur for the boot to grab onto (little friction). So we lost one boot within the first week; it's buried somewhere in the snow. I tried affixing rubber bands on but that still doesn't help. Some people recommended putting on vet wrap around her ankles before each trip to the dog park, which I haven't tried, because it seems like too much work.

Next I tried the rubber balloon style PAWZ. These are made to be disposable after a few uses, and they have to be since the dog's claws pierce the rubber. They offer a barrier to salt and water, but no insulation from the cold (and it's been seriously cold here). They take three hands to put on-- two to stretch the rubber and hold the boot, one to hold and position the dog's paw. They also come off when my dog runs. The package of 12 didn't last all that long, and to keep buying them all winter is not a good financial choice for me.

Next, at the recommendation of my local independent pet product seller, I bought some "Ultra Paws" boots. These are "guaranteed to stay on" (I'm skeptical). They are much easier to put on, and probably would work well for most dogs. However, my dog, a greyhound, has really high toes. I tried them just on her back feet today and after a pretty long run/walk at the park, she had scraped bloody her two middle back toes from rubbing them on the boots. I plan on returning them.

I would rate the Muttluks highest out of all of these, but I am still unsatisfied and am unsure how to protect my dog's feet from the cold. I know that Greyhound-specific products exist, and I may try those.
sasha_feather: a fox curled up around a rabbitt (fox and rabbit)
By lucky timing, Sorcha and I happened to be at Mounds pet store when the Greyhound rescue folks came in to table and do a meet and greet. So, we stood for a while and were breed ambassadors with two other greyhounds. People admired her scarf and very soft fur.

Later I went to comics club and had a very nice time.
sasha_feather: ken watanbe with a horse and dog (ken wantanbe with pets)
Tough couple of days for the dog! Right now it is thundering which is so unfair and scary! She is pacing around whining.

Yesterday at the park, another dog knocked her down and she fell on the hard-packed snow. I thought she was fine but later saw that she had a huge, horrible-looking red bruise on her belly. I took a picture this morning. Squick warning. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sasha_feather/12659091483/

doggie!

Feb. 14th, 2014 06:02 pm
sasha_feather: dog looking over a valley (dog and landscape)
I took Sorcha to the vet this week because she's been whining more than usual, especially in the evening and at night. She was keeping me up and waking me up with her whining, and also refusing to hop up into the car, which is unusual. I saw a new vet whom I liked much better than the previous two-- this one is not nearly so alarmist or in favor of intervention. She gave Sorcha some pain pills which seem to be helping, and then today called and said it could be due to a bit of hypothyroidism, which is treatable. She is the first person to call Sorcha's weight "perfect", rather than saying she's underweight. All in all, pretty good.
sasha_feather: ken watanbe with a horse and dog (ken wantanbe with pets)
[personal profile] wild_irises asked: What's the best thing about Sorcha?

There are so many good things about Sorcha! She is a very loving and affectionate dog, and when I am around her, I think that I am a more loving and patient person. (Not that she doesn't try my patience sometimes! But her challenges are pretty minor ones.) She brings a lot of simple happiness to my life. She is a good cuddler, sometimes lying on the couch with me and putting her chin on my wrist or leg. She makes cute sounds like clacking her jaw when excited (a Greyhound trait), huffing air through her cheeks, or little growls and yips when she is dreaming.

I've been around animals most of my life, so all this isn't unexpected; but, it is a surprise how easily she fit into my life when I got her. It's like she's always been here.

There are some ancillary benefits to dog ownership: A pet is a neutral topic of conversation to bring up with co-workers, family members, and strangers, unlike a lot of my other interests (which most people think are weird, or which at least require some explanation).

Walking at the dog park once or twice a day has been very good for me and Sorcha, it's a nice routine, it's social, it gets us out in the fresh air, and I've met some very nice people there. The kind of small talk that happens at the dog park is very non-demanding and seldom stresses me out, unlike small talk almost anywhere else-- often we talk about dogs, sometimes about work or the weather.

Having an unusual, recognizable dog means that people will approach you in the neighborhood when you are out walking. This could be good or bad, depending on your circumstances, but for us it's fine since Sorcha is generally very calm. So, I've had some nice interactions with my neighbors and gotten to know more of them.

Oh, and she takes a good photo. :)
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (neko case)
I will take writing prompts for December if you like! Add a specific date or just do a general prompt-- I'm feeling footloose and fancy free.

Thanksgiving was a bit stressful for me and my dog. I wore the wrong shoes and my legs, hips, and feet ached the whole time. With 6 small children present it was noisy and chaotic. Sorcha had no where to retreat to (she isn't comfortable going up the staircase on her own), so she got really stressed. I think part of the solution might be to get her a travel crate.

Anyways, we are both happy to be home and I am happy to catch up on the internet.
sasha_feather: Kaylee from Firefly (Kaylee)
1. I bought the new Neko Case album today. I got the deluxe edition. ^__^

2. I gave away three plants by setting them out on the curb with a sign.

3. [personal profile] were_duck got me a watering can in the shape of a baby elephant. It is super cute.

4. Under the cut, a picture of Sorcha wading in the lake.

Read more... )
sasha_feather: ken watanbe with a horse and dog (ken wantanbe with pets)
First, a brief me-health update: I completely forgot to give myself my shots this week. I even forgot to pick up my Enbrel from the pharmacy. I only remembered just now because my knee started hurting. I really don't like forgetting things. I am also getting PT again, for my shoulder.

Second, Sorcha-health update. Twice on Sunday her back legs sort of gave out briefly and she staggered and caught herself. It looked like a drunken stumble. This was alarming and I took her to the vet the next day. The vet said she has a lack of reflexes in her hind legs. They offered me a referral to a doggie neurologist which I said I would think about. It doesn't seem that they did any blood work, which I may call back and request. It looks the medical term for this symptom is "ataxia". While she normally has tremors in her hind legs, they seem to be more pronounced lately, and happen while she is walking, not just while she is standing.

----

Third, Reading Wednesday!

I am Currently Reading

Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon.

Chapter One was definitely the slowest and densest. Still, I don't think I will finish this book before it's due at the library. It is also heavy and hard to carry around. I may purchase the e-book. This is not an activist book. It's chiefly about parenting and families. It's still quite good and wrestles with a lot of identity issues that I find fascinating. In general it includes a lot of first-hand accounts of parents and children.

Chapter 2: Deaf. A nice overview of D/deaf history and cultures, and the difficulties therein. The politics of this world are really complicated and fraught, and while they make some people's lives profoundly better, the politics can also stand in the way for others. A dense chapter with a lot of information.

Chapter 3: Dwarf. I definitely learned things in this chapter. One of the issues brought up is that this identity is considered humorous to the wider culture.

Chapter 4: Down's Syndrome. Briefly talks about institutionalization, independence, and mainstream vs. special education.

Onto the next chapter, Autism!

I am also reading:

Tangles by Sarah Leavitt. Graphic memoir. I love this so far. It's a funny and heartbreaking account of her mother's Alzheimer's disease.

I recently finished

I love Led Zeppelin by Ellen Forney. I think she is my favorite graphic writer/artist! This book is oversized and NSFW. Includes a handy how-to section, collaborations, and misc. comics. Interesting and fun.
sasha_feather: ken watanbe with a horse and dog (ken wantanbe with pets)
I went to the park fairly early this AM. I don't know why I got up so early!

When I walked in, a man warned me and some other folks, "Don't go into that corner," (gesturing), "there are some abandoned dogs and a Pitt Bull attacking other dogs...." he rambled a bit and I couldn't understand entirely what he was getting at or why I should avoid the corner. Another lady almost got in a fight with him, accusing him of Pitt Bull prejudice (lolz). He said Animal Control had already been called.

Anyways, I am the sort of person who will go directly to the corner I'm advised to avoid by a slightly incoherent stranger, because I am curious and concerned. Indeed there were two dogs there: a small, white, shy dog that was perhaps a Terrier of some kind, and a very large un-neutered male brindle Pit Bill, limping a bit, who was super sweet and friendly. Attacking other dogs? Huh. He limped up to me for an ear scratch, then returned to the gate to whine pitifully. It broke my heart.

I just could NOT leave those dogs there alone. Other people went by and said "That's a shame," then walked on, when I told them. But I waited for twenty minutes or so with them. One other woman stopped to make sure they were OK. Me and Sorcha greeted the van with the woman from animal control, watched her catch the dogs, and I helped lift the big Pitt Bull into his crate.

They have gone to the Humane Society. I hope they either return home or find nice new homes! They were sweet.
sasha_feather: beautiful gray horse. (majestic horse)
In the GPA newsletter, there's a link to the site greyhound-data.com, where I found this data on my dog:

She ran in 84 races between 2005-2007
She won 19 of them
8 offspring are listed, and they all appear to be from the same litter, born May 2008. I don't know if she had other puppies or not. She came my way in early 2012, so what she was doing in between there is a mystery to me.

Sorcha (SE's Double Take) was born 21 Dec 2003.

my dog

Mar. 25th, 2013 04:33 pm
sasha_feather: ken watanbe with a horse and dog (ken wantanbe with pets)
Here is another cute picture of my dog, which is reminiscent of that luck dragon in the Never Ending Story.

cut for photo )

Once I get approved for the dog park email list, I'm going to send this note about my dog getting bitten today.

angry note )
sasha_feather: ken watanbe with a horse and dog (ken wantanbe with pets)
I don't think I yet shared this photo of Sorcha's scarf that my mom made for her. It is a polar fleece "neck gator" (a closed loop) that fits underneath her coat. I picked out the pattern. It is so cute that I sometimes leave it on her for hours.

cut for photo )

ROAR

Jan. 11th, 2013 10:29 am
sasha_feather: Uncle Iroh from avatar: the last airbender (Iroh)
I've been working with Sorcha patiently and it seems like things have been getting better. I use a cheese lure (actually a trail of cheese) to get her out of her crate, then herd her out of my room. From there she jumps up onto the couch. At this point it's much easier to convince her to go outside. At other points when she whines, I'm a little firmer with her about telling her to lay down and go to sleep (in the middle of the night). If she doesn't want to eat I lead her to her bowl with the leash, then I sit by her and pet her until she eats.

Of course, just when things seem OK, we are presented with a new challenge! Today some restoration people came to work on the problem of water in the walls and floor. This is good news because it's been an ongoing issue in the apartment. They inspected things and laid down some neat looking mats with hoses attached to dry out the wood. Unfortunately they attached a shop vac to these hoses, and this vac is going to run ALL WEEKEND. Also we had to move the furniture out of the way.

Naturally I am not happy about this, but I can deal. My dog, however, is much more sensitive to noise and to change. We have to walk past this obstacle to leave the apartment. I am trying to think of places we can go to get away from it for a while. Obviously there is the park, and it's fairly nice out (39 degrees F, about 2 degrees C), but we can only stay there so long even so.
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
Does anyone have advice for how to get my dog out of her crate? Treats are not working (turkey and cheese). Usually if I sit around and wait she comes out eventually, but she hasn't been out to do her business since last night!! This problem seems to have gotten worse since it got cold out. Climbing in and attaching her leash and then pulling on it doesn't really work and causes her to yelp. Singing her name/calling her hasn't worked today.

I am going to lay down for a bit: it seems like when I take a nap, that is when she whines to wake me up and wants to go out.

more love

Dec. 18th, 2012 11:14 pm
sasha_feather: dog looking over a valley (dog and landscape)
Last year [personal profile] thefourthvine posted a big poll asking "what would improve your life in 2012"? I clicked "more love."

I'm pleased to say that my wish came true. In April I adopted my dog Sorcha, and in late November I started dating someone. I also get a lot of love and support from my family and friends, and have been feeling that lately. My heart has grown.

I think for 2013 I will wish/ask the universe for more money and/or financial stability.

Sorcha had a mishap at the dog park yesterday. We were walking in the dark (normal for work days). She was running and must have hit a hole or something; I heard a loud barking noise and turned my flashlight to see her stumble and fall. After that she wanted to leave, and when I got back into the light at home I saw that she had a cut on her leg, and basically a black eye.

I took a photo of her poor little face. She got some doggie aspirin in cheese, antibiotic cream for the cut on her leg, and a bandage.

She is doing much better today and went back to the park for a nice frolic. She seems to be feeling fine.

My dad and I were discussing dogs via email and he wrote, about their Border Collie:
"Tegan managed to get too close to Tiki [one of the family horses] and got kicked. Just caught her above her eye, enough to cut and bleed. Looks like it’s healing. That’s how close she came to being not a dog. Maybe that’ll teach her to be more careful."

I love my dad's emails, they are really funny.
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
1. I went to the dog park twice today. My feet and legs hurt badly, but I still was able to walk around in the sun, and had a nice time with my dog. One man I was talking to (a dog park regular) asked if Sorcha ever wags her tail. "I can get her to wag her tail," I said, standing up from the bench. I danced around for a moment, waving my arms around, singing her name and generally making a fool out of myself. She wagged her tail.

1.5 I found my dropped mitten at the dog park. My mom made those mittens! :o

2. I caught up on Elementary and am still enjoying it. It will be nice when the election is over because, no more political ads for a while.

3. I plan to stay in and read fan fic tonight.

--

Does anyone have advice for hurting feet/ankles/legs etc? I have the pains I'm used to dealing with: my face, head, shoulder, and stomach/gut. These other ones, I'm not used to and they are kinda rough. I am going to PT for the knee, but right now my feet hurt way worse than my knee, and all the walking I'm doing, which I thought would help (it usually does help my knee), isn't actually helping my feet.
sasha_feather: ken watanbe with a horse and dog (ken wantanbe with pets)
One day at the park, we lucked out and encountered a bunch of other Greyhounds all at once. Here is a picture of Sorcha right in the middle of of three others; she is the white one, grinning to split her face. One of the fawn colored ones is called Gracie; I don't know the other fawn or the brindle. Not pictured are a black one named Hal, and a Whippet named Bucky.

A pack of greyhounds

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