So hey, all you graduates of Dogsafe, what was one of the first things we covered in class? That's right, prevention. So K9ABCs is now branching out to help you, the pet owner's and industry to help prevent a very real preventable disability that many dogs needlessly have.
We're going to do our best to do this through education and and spreading the knowledge.
The knowledge of the DOUBLE MERLE. A lot of you already know about it already, many don't. But there is a huge issue of breeders not educating themselves to the risk and of course those who know and still breed to merles together.
Skye is one of the many, many dogs who was at a big disadvantage of being born with one of the two conditions. She is hearing impaired (completely), others are blind and some are both. So yes, Skye is doing very well and you occasionally see dogs doing very well in sports etc with these disabilities. Some go so far as to say that they make the best dogs ever. What you don't see is the number of dogs euthanized because of these disabilities and how many are homeless. The ones you see excelling in their homes only do so because their families have put a tremendous amount of time and dedication into their training.
Skye herself was surrendered to a shelter because of the challenges of training a deaf dog. As far as I can tell she really didn't have much training at all, absolutely no volume control, startles very easy at the smallest visual cue, jumps awake from deep sleeps darting around until she see me and knows she's safe. I shocked myself by actually thinking of looking for a better home for her because I've felt so overwhelmed. We've come a long way but we have a long way to go. Granted this is not just because she's deaf, she is an adolescent Catahoula after all.
So I've discovered a small non-profit rescue group dedicated to rescuing Double Merle's. Keller's Cause does what they can rehoming them and educating people about the situation. If people put more pressure on breeders to not breed merle's together perhaps it'll make a difference. So check out their site, They've been good enough to share one of their info pamphlets so I can spread their message. I'll be sharing that very soon.
I know they have dreams so I can only imagine they can have nightmares but can they fear what they haven't experienced?
Skye has been with me for four months now, in fact she's turning one in just a few days. She came to me from a shelter were she was surrendered, supposedly because they lived in a condo and were being fined for her barking and because people accused her of being a pitbull (another can of worms for another day).
I don't doubt her barking was an issue in a condo but I'm sure her being a hearing impaired Catahoula Leopard Hound and the challenges that presents in her training and needed exercise level would have been strong factors as well. Not fully understanding what I was getting myself into, and I have a fair bit of resourceful friends and professionals helping me with her, I get this.
But I wonder just what she experienced in life before she came home with me that day in February. She was only in the shelter for two days and seemed very happy there with the staff. I realize that being deaf creates an extra need of constant reassurance that she's safe. When she sleeps she's always jumping awake from a deep sleep to run in search of me only then to flop back down in her deep sleep when I've been located. Except when she is in her crate (covered), she is always so happy to go in it and that's her safe den. When she goes in there at night, even if she's still full of energy, she's quiet. I don't hear from her again until morning when she may whine or bark if the bathroom is an urgent necessity.
So imagine the wonder last night when after only maybe an hour in her crate, Quincy and I hear Skye barking her loudest, aggressive bark. Quincy started of with her low growl and low volume woof, much like when the racoons were trying to invade our truck while we were in the tent. Waiting to have access at the threat. We waited a short bit to see if Skye would realize that it was a bad dream and settle again. No go. After 30-60 seconds of the barking she was not giving up. Quincy stayed where she was when told as I went to check. I turned on the lights, lifted the kennel cover and poor Skye was glued to the back of her crate in fear. I gently opened the door and smiled, signing her to come. She came and buried her head in my chest and hugged me with her grappling paw, there she stayed for a good minute. After a couple of minutes of cuddling her, keeping her in the crate, she settled again and remained quiet in her crate the rest of the night.
All is back to normal this morning, but still I wonder......
Let me start by thanking you, everyone for all your support over the last week and half. It's amazing how quick Quincy went from healthy to, on the edge of surviving and back to her old self (almost).
Her staples are being removed next Wednesday and we have an appointment with an Internalist that day to discuss how to best move forward to prevent this from happening again. What happened? Her small intestinal wall was thick with inflammation likely a sort of inflammatory decease but possibly a parasite also.
So, the bills may just keep rolling in, sigh. She's my new roof right now lol.
I'm just going to throw out an idea in reference to the expense to all of this. A friend suggested one of those fund raising things, go fund me, or something like that. This is not something I could ever do. However, I am going to say that if you'd like to help Quincy and your dog at the same time, please consider registering for one of my Dogsafe Level One classes. I'm looking at hosting a class just for Quincy but until I get that figured out, there is a class in Langley on May 21st. So all of my friends who said in the past that they'd like to take the course, now's a really good time. It was skills I learned in this class that alerted me to Quincy's being in real trouble this time. If those skills can save your dog one day the course will have paid for itself twice.
Double-tap to edit.
Those of you following on FB thank you for all your support and prayers. I'd better catch everyone else up though. The whole ordeal started last Saturday night when she started vomiting, by morning that stopped but she was just not right. Refusing water, food and all her favorited treats.
Now I know dogs can get stomach viruses etc and a trip to the vet is rarely warented but when you know your dog as well as I know Q, it was needed. Over the following days she continued to refuse food, drank minimal water, stopped vomiting but started a rectal bleed, X-rays good, lab results all normal leading us to a referral to the Boundary Bay Animal Hospital for an ultrasound.
That was yesterday, and although it ruled out a lot it still left us with unanswered questions. So she also went in for surgery late yesterday. Again some questions answered but not all. We now await the results of several biopsies that were taken, we'll likely see them on Monday. Could it be cancer? Yes. Could it be other GI diseases? Yes. Time will hopefully tell.
Meanwhile, Quincy remains in the hospital with the same previous symptoms and recovering from surgery. An NG tube was used to feed her today hopefully it will trigger her desire to eat. Tomorrow the doctor and I will discuss the next step.
This is a very stressful time and good friends have been key in helping me make some big decisions. Our old vet in Surrey, Dr Daugee was amazingly supportive and informative when I needed a sounding board to help with some big decisions. And Dr' Evan Crawford and all the staff at Boundary Bay are amazing with Quincy. Many of you know how I don't trust many to care for Q as much as I do but I'm very comfortable with her in their care.
So tonight I sleep in my own bed for the first time since last Friday, not the floor with Q or a borrowed bed. Skye is now set to go to a day care this week so Q can have the necessary space and attention to recover. If she comes home tomorrow it may be with a feeding tube but she's worth it. Everything else about her indicates that she has a very long life ahead of her. We're not done yet 🙂
Growing up in rural Cape Breton one never really thought of giving a dog a job but I guess they just created their own jobs. Door bell, property security, vacuum cleaner, land scaper, car chasers, hunter, kid security to name a few.
If you don't give your dog a job, trust me, they will pick a job for themselves and it may not be to your liking. Quincy has had many jobs over the last ten years, my liking buddy, agility partner, demo dog in our Dogsafe classes, biking companion, snuggle bug, paddle board companion, security, and most recently a big sister and role model for Skye.
Some of these jobs came naturally to her others we learned together with training and fun diligence. All of them have led to an incredibly strong bond and communications so in tune that we rarely even think that we are two species.
How do you choose a job for your dog? Well, think about you and your dogs personalities and needs. Apart from the common jobs of companionship and door bell think about a ball retriever, scent worker (use that sniffer), agility (burn some energy), flyball, joring (combination of dog and human power in pulling & running/skiing/biking or here's a new one to me Sulky pulling. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqaqGYFaYW4
I haven't decided which one(s) Skye and I will do but rest assure, with her energy and brains we will have one. Presently our focus is on our sign language and recall.
Yesterday we ventured out to a newer off the road trail out here in Chilliwack. I have a strong belief that this was Skye's first adventure in the wilderness and she loved it! Quincy, whom I couldn't loose if I tried, was off leash. This also helped to keep her safe from injury from Skye's tether. Skye was on a 4 meter line tethered to me, and my waist is sore for sure lol, with her spaz runs...
Quincy "walked it" on a couple of fallen trees and Skye had to try after as well. Skye's recall, when she sees me calling is instant and great. Soon we will have her vibration collar so we can start recall practice off leash (in a fenced area initially).
Two super girls, I can't wait to see what adventures we'll do together.
Coming very soon, on Feb 27 and 28, 2016. K9ABCs will be at the Petlover Show in Abbotsford again this year. You'll find us at our usual table, first barn, at the end of the second row on your right.
A few things to note this year, firstly, anyone who registers and pays for any of the scheduled Dogsafe Level One classes will not only get a 10% discount but the choice of one of the four preselected charities for K9ABCs to donate $10 to on your behalf.
Second, we've been asked to do our presentation,"Canine First Aid; Don't Learn it by Accident" again this year, yay!! This is a 30 min presentation on prevention, all the way from puppy's to seniors and a whole lot in between. On the Seminar Stage Sunday at 3pm
Third, we're doing a second seminar!! A hands on demo and practice of canine CPR. Yes, hands on, manikins. Come give it a try. Note: this will be oriented around Canine CPR but is not a lot different from other species. Let's face it, if you're at the point of choosing CPR, any CPR is better than no CPR. On the Seminar Stage Saturday 11:30am
It's also worth mentioning that you'll will see and hear that they're allowing the public to bring their own dogs to the show this year. Please please please do not do this without thought. Because there will be a lot of people doing it without thought who do not really know how to read the necessary signs in animals to avoid confrontations. Just saying.
Well our move to the Fraser Valley is coming together but don't think we've forgotten our friends in Surrey and Langley. We know some of you will be up for renewal for your Dogsafe Level One certification. Can you believe it's been 3 years already!! Well Quincy and I would love to catch up with you, so we've scheduled a couple of classes in Langley for you.
For those new to canine first aid, thank you for caring enough to improve your skills in caring for our four legged friends. I hope your interest isn't in hindsight, and if it is that things turned out ok. Regardless, after a day of learning and practising different skills, you will be much better prepared to cope with an injured or sick dog. Or even better, you'll be able to prevent the need for using a lot of the skills covered in Dogsafe Level One.
Check out what courses are available and register on line, or contact me direct.
8 year old Nova Scotia Duck Toller (mx??) rescued by the SPCA and adopted by my human, Laurie. Now I'm the pretty face on this webpage that's meant to help you humans better keep us canines safe. (like we need help with that, whatever).
Hope to Langley B.C. area but open to teaching in surrounding areas if invited.
"Laurie, thank you . I think this course was amazing.
Ena Moore Jan. 2013