Sorry to be so quiet lately. Bucky really is a full time job these days, especially as he feels better, and my pet sitting schedule has been a little busy as well, so blogging got sidelined.
We are working hard with Bucky to get him out of the crate, which means he has to be nice to the other dogs in the house, which hasn’t been his strong suit. He and Gracie aren’t fans of each other, but through some careful reintroduction work in the last week, we are making progress. They don’t have to love each other, but they need to be able to co-exist peacefully, and little by little we are getting there, though all time together is supervised. They are getting a long walk together each day and that is going very well, and I spend time with both of them together, re-direction attention when needed, and praising for quiet relaxation in the same room. They will never be good friends, but they aren’t fighting either, so Bucky is getting a few hours out of the crate each day that isn’t time spent on training and PT exercises. Gracie was feeling a little left out, I think, with all my Bucky time, so she is getting special time of her own as well, and that seems to be helping. Phew!!
Bucky’s PT is going very well, though he’s not a fan of the exercises, but we still do them daily. Just in case you’re interested in what PT looks like for a dog, here you go.
Bucky’s back leg is getting stronger, though there are still 3 fewer inches of muscle mass on it than on the right leg, so that’s a goal still. The challenge is that the front leg is struggling with his activity level, which he needs to help the back leg. And he can’t have NSAIDs to help with the pain of the front leg because it will stall out the healing of the back leg. That famous Catch-22. There is a new treatment for dog’s elbows (the front leg) that is a radioactive injection that can erase pain for up to a year, but…and it is a big but…you cannot be close to the dog for more than 15 minutes a day for a month after the treatment or you over expose yourself to radiation. I can’t figure out how we could manage Bucky with only 15 minutes of close contact a day, so we are going to pass on that, at least for now, and must do our best. The surgeon says I can give him Carprofen for pain on really bad days, not more than once a week, and we will try to balance everything. Sigh.
As Bucky feels better he is missing activity more, and his response to the frustration is to jump at us (and he can reach my face) and grab clothes, arms, and other body parts with his big jaw. Very unpleasant. He was nuts the other day, and I took him outside to the 30 foot lead, and even though I shouldn’t have, I threw a ball for him and he ran like the wind for a minute or so. Not at all allowed, but he sooooo needed it. He calmed down immediately. We are trying to find ways to get him as active of each of his legs can manage to reduce the stress and frustration, which means we have to be active with him, hence my fatigue!! (I’m too old for this!)
Despite some of Bucky’s antics I have to give him credit for being a smart dog. He is so trainable. Here’s one of my favorite new ones. Bucky used to rush out of the crate, bowl me over and be impossible, and now he waits, and he even waits for his food. Good dog Bucky!
One of Bucky’s favorite ways to burn off some frustration is searching for food on the front lawn, so after our PT exercises he gets to go hunt for treasure (Cherrios!) on the lawn, and also get food from a couple food puzzles. It’s a reward for working on the PT exercises, and it also tires his brain. Here is he on one of his hunts getting food from his flying saucer.
All of that is keeping me hopping, and I fall into bed at night and sleep soundly, so I guess that’s good. Bucky’s pins come out 11/15 –did I tell you that previously–but his PT will continue for some months still. It has been, and continues to be, quite the journey.
Quick update on the kittens: they get spayed and neutered Monday and two of them, Camila and Sergio have a home together. Still have applications open for Julieta and Carlos…fingers and toes crossed something comes along soon. Adoptions have been very slow this year. My sense is that so many people adopted last year that the pool of possible adopters is much smaller this year.
That’s the news from here. Hope you’re all enjoying the fall weather finally!