Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Happy Gotcha Day, Maisy!

Maisy at 5 months old.

Eight years ago today, I brought Maisy home. To date, it remains one of the best decisions I ever made.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: Honest Kitchen Wishes Treats (courtesy of chewy.com)

Maisy tested, Mom approved!
This month, our friends at chewy.com asked us to review the Honest Kitchen Wishes treats. These are some seriously high-value treats. I knew they would be the second I opened the box: they have that special fishy smell. Okay, they stink. But you know that's a good thing for the pups!

These are dehydrated fish, and pretty awesome for a number of reasons:
  • A named source of fish (haddock, as opposed to more general "fish")
  • 100% haddock, so no grains or fillers
  • Caught using sustainable fishing practices
  • Made in the USA with human-grade ingredients
  • Easy to break into small pieces with minimal crumbage.
These were a big hit with my dogs - and my kitty, too!

I didn't pay for these, but I wasn't paid for my opinion either. My thoughts are my own. :)


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Pyg Pen



Woke up to find Pyg's crate looking like this. Now, a normal dog might choose to keep toys or chewies in their stash of treasured items. But Pyg? Pyggy has chosen the following items (listed clockwise starting in the top left corner):

- Half a scented bath bomb
- Chewed up candy wrappers
- A dog food bowl
- A fork
- Some bird seed, and
- A coffee mug

I'm pretty impressed by the coffee mug, to be honest. I'm not entirely sure how he managed to get that in there. I literally fell over laughing when I saw it.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Well, shoot. (Medication Update for Napi)

The last time I updated about Napi's progress, I had just had my primary vet consult with the local vet behaviorist. Based on that conversation, we increased his fluoxetine (Prozac) from 10mg to 12.5mg. That was about a month ago, and initially, the dose increase showed some promise. Napi was still barking at things/sounds around the house, but it seemed like maybe it was less intense. On top of that, I was able to interrupt barking fits by calling his name - and he would respond!


But now it's become clear that despite these positive signs, this is NOT the med for my sweet boy. Frankly, he is not very sweet these days. He has gotten more possessive of me; he's growling, snapping, and even biting the other dogs AND my husband if they get too close to me. He's more irritable and tips from excitement to aggression very quickly while playing. He's starting dog fights. It's not good.

So, it's back to the drawing board. We will need to wean off the fluoxetine and then switch to either parotexine (Paxil) or amitriptyline (Elavil). Maisy takes Paxil, so I am biased towards that. The amitriptyline is a TCA - a different class of drug entirely - so it could be a good one to try. I will chat with Dr. Jessy this week and find out what to try next.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Review: Primal Freeze-Dried Beef Liver Munchies from chewy.com

This month (well, last month, but I'm late in posting about it because OMG I got married!), the dogs got to try Primal's Beef Liver Munchies, courtesy of chewy.com

We like them! I don't think of them as training treats- they are too big (and too rich? I didn't test it, but liver makes me worry) for training involving quick repetitions. But! They make great single rewards. They break in half (not super-small, but smaller) easily, and the dogs think they are awesome.

Plus, Primal has long been one of my favorite companies. US made, US raised, antibiotic free cows. They have quality products.

And chewy.com? Well, I love chewy! I order all my pet food from there now: great prices and 80 pounds of food delivered to my door - for free - in just a couple days? You can't go wrong.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Year in Review

January
 Pyg had his 1st birthday! Maisy celebrated her 7th gotcha day. And then got diagnosed with entropion and corneal dystrophy by an ophtalmologist.

February
 I got engaged, and then realized that meant I would soon have four dogs.

March
 Maisy re-grew her bladder stones. Napi joined the "cool dogs club" and started taking fluoxetine/Prozac.

April
 After a diet change, Maisy's re-grown bladder stones disappeared. Thankfully.

May
 My friend Megan lost her Buzz. Pyg and I went backpacking!

June
 We all moved in together.
July
Maisy got her first leg towards her RL3. Napi celebrated his combined birthday/gotcha day. Fenced yard!

 August
 Lola turned 4! The second book in Denise Fenzi and Deb Jones' Dog Sports Skills series came out. I'm incredibly proud and honored to be apart of these books as the editor.

September
 Lola and Pyg failed the CGC in a most hilarious fashion. Maisy "graduated" from the ophthalmologist. We took all four dogs camping.

 October
Maisy had her 8th birthday. We celebrated Pyg's 1st gotcha day.

November
 My friend Nicky lost Shanoa. I applied to grad school.
December
We increased Napi's fluoxetine/Prozac dose. Denise Fenzi and Deb Jones' Dog Sports Skills Book 3: Play finished the first round of edits. I got married.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Napoleon Updates: Class and Meds

Napi and I have now gone to three sessions of our "class" (actually just a couple friends and I renting a training space and each doing our own thing). Napi and my thing is to sit and eat treats while other people and dogs are in the same building. I'm really pleased with how he's doing, actually. The first time we did something like this, he wouldn't eat at all.

Here's a 3 minute video showing how Napi is doing. We are sitting right next to a half-height door, so he cannot see - but can hear - what's happening in the next room (my friend and her boxer working on personal play). About ten feet away to the left, there's a closed door to another room, where another friend and her two dogs were.


 Overall, I'm quite please with Napi so far. Obviously, we have tons of work left to do, but he's making nice progress.

On the medication front, since I cannot afford to take Napi to see Maisy's old veterinary behaviorist, I had our primary vet, Dr. Jessy, consult with Dr. Duxbury on the phone. This is an awesome (free) service. The result was a nice discussion of our options. The first thing we are going to do is increase Napi's Prozac dose. If that does not work, we are going to switch to either Paxil (Maisy's drug of choice) or possibly amitryptiline (which I know basically nothing about and am possibly spelling wrong; I think it's a tricyclic?). And depending on how that goes, we will experiment some more with trazodone, clonidine, and/or Xanax.

I really just want my poor boy to be more comfortable around the house. As it is, the noises that my other three dogs ignore (even Maisy, who used to bark at basically nothing) set him off in spasms of barking. It's annoying to listen to and undoubtedly painful for him to live like that.

I must have a thing for reactive dogs, because I'm just in love with this dog. He's so sweet, affectionate, and funny. If we can just get his anxiety under control, he'll be perfect.