Three Old Dogs

Three Old Dogs
Three Old Dogs

It’s tough having three old dogs in the house. Of course we love them all, and it’s not like we have to spend  lot of time exercising them and doing lots of things with them. However, as they age, we have to spend more on medical care. And make sure they get high quality food, a fair amount of exercise to keep them in shape, and good health care.

This picture is from May 5, 2002.  We got Angel back in 2002.  From left to right, Lucy, Angel (in my husband’s lap), and Levi is with me.  All our smooth blue collies.  They are such dolls and we love all of them.

Lucy now has megaesophagus and she’s just 10 years old. But we are thrilled that we are managing it okay and she is doing well. Lucy is also pretty incontinent and we need steam cleaners to keep the carpets clean, but we don’t have many carpets so that’s good! Angel is about 12 years old, we are guessing, because she’s a rescue. Angel is very healthy though and so we are happy about that. And Levi is 9.5 years old. He’s also very healthy but he does have arthritis now, typical of an older dog.

I’ll be a wreck when these three go.  I love them all. And Levi is my soul mate dog. They are unique and wonderful and we hope they live a few more years with us so we can cherish and love them!

Levi Has Arthritis

Levi
Levi

Levi was limping a week ago when I took him to obedience practice.  It was odd, because he hasn’t shown any lameness before that.  But he had been a bit low energy.

So my husband took him to our vet. They moved his legs around and he even yelped because it hurt, poor guy!  She said he has all the symptoms of arthritis.  Darnit!

Levi is getting old.  He is 9.. almost 9 and a half.  So I know I have to keep an eye on him for any symptoms of old age. And this is one! My poor collie boy, I hate that he has arthritis. And I hate that he is getting older.

So I turned on the wall fountains for some soothing sounds at home, and we gave him some metacam.  We are also giving him Duralactin, which people have had a lot of success with. It’s milk from hyper-immunized cows.  I haven’t been able to find how these cows are treated, as that concerns me. It can’t be good to hyper immunize an animal, I don’t think!  I’ll look into it a bit more.

For now Levi is doing better. He’s not going to compete in any AKC Obedience, because they don’t have a preferred jump height in Obedience, so he’d have to jump 24″ and that is just too high for him. We’ll continue in ASCA Obedience as he only has to jump 16″ there.

And he’s entered in DOCNA agility this weekend. If he does okay, I’ll run him. If not, then he can just come and be with Mom.

I love my Levi Collie Boy.

How Would You Fix The Purebred Dogs?

Arizona Doberman

So… there’s so much controversy in the Pure Bred Dog world about the health of pure bred dogs. You can’t turn a corner without hearing such and such is wrong with this breed, such and such is wrong with that. It’s quite sad, actually, and as we all know us humans have created the problem.

So lately I’ve been wondering what people thought about fixing the pure breeds.  According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), and probably the United Kennel Club (UKC) as well, to be a registered pure bred dog both of the puppy’s parents have to be registered pure breeds.  I don’t know how far back this goes, but I’m betting pretty darn far back.

What if your registered dog… maybe now called a Registered Member of the Breed, instead of a Pure Bred (as Pure Bred states that the dog was Bred Pure… and maybe in the future he’ll not be Bred with “Pure” blood lines…) could have other breeds mixed in once again, to improve the health of the breed.

What would you do? Would you take the Doberman Pincher, and breed some healthy sight hound into him? Would you take the collie and cross him with some greyhound maybe?

Do you think it’s actually possible, with this method or any other, to fix the genetic problems of a specific breed, maybe even adding in some mixed breeds? Or do you think the Canis lupus familiaris is so far gone that he has no hope at all?

Lucy Made It To 10

Lucy Is 10
Lucy Is 10

Yay! Lucy is 10 years old today!  I’m so happy… last year this time when we were trying to figure out why she wasn’t keeping food down, and she lost so much weight, I was so worried she wasn’t going to live to 10 years old.  We found her megaesophagus though and she’s doing so much better now!  She’s still a bit skinny and she has bad days where she regurgitates a lot of her food. But for the most part, she’s doing well.

She loves to eat, and we feel bad that we can’t give her solid treats anymore. We do give her some, sometimes, just before we feed her a liquid meal. Kibble blended with water, mostly.

Sometimes she plays with the other dogs, and my Husband has been taking her to the dog park on a regular basis so she gets too exercise. So she is doing well, and we are happy for her.  Hopefully she’ll have a few more years with us.  Though we realize 10 is getting up there for a big dog.  She seems healthy otherwise. Well, she does have calcification of the lungs, still, but that doesn’t seem to be bothering her.

Yay for Lucy! Happy Birthday Funny Faced Baby Girl Lulu.

Lucy Had A Bad Day

Lucy didn’t have a very good day yesterday. We always worry about her when she doesn’t eat, and she skipped two meals yesterday. She ate her first morning meal and her second noon meal, but after that she just didn’t want to eat. And she seems to drop weight if she eats less than four meals a day, and we don’t want her to drop weight.

Lucy and Tatum
Lucy and Tatum

My husband reminded me of how her organs might end up shutting down… starting with her esophagus, and maybe now her bladder. She’s doesn’t want to go out to pee much. And so she leaks in the house. It could be just because we have snow outside now and she doesn’t want to go out. But we worry that it could be something wrong with her body, too. The megaesophagus could be just stage one of her falling apart… she needs some new performance parts instead of her old falling apart parts… but that is too sad to think about and so I just love her and hope she has a few more years left with us. This first picture is kinda cute… Lucy is eating in her Bailey’s Chair and Tatum is thinking she really wants to take a lick. But Lucy usually gives a nice solid growl and Tatum keeps her distance. Lucy is a good girl and is very appropriate with her growls.  We love it when Lucy eats well.

Lucy Eating
Lucy Likes to Eat

Fortunately this morning she ate all her breakfast and even some raw honey, keifer, and coconut oil. All good things that, hopefully, will keep her strong and as healthy as possible for as long as possible.  She also ate her lunch meal and she seemed to be hungry for both, yay!

Lately we’ve been changing our dog beds. We have to have washable beds now. I did buy a water proof liner the other day, and so now perhaps we can buy a cheap dog bed from Costco and put the liner on it so Lucy won’t ruin it. We can’t have dog beds with cedar in them, because we can’t throw them in the washer and they get ruined.

Anyway, so yesterday was a bad day, today seems like a better day. She’s eating and keeping her food and water down.  Going out to pee a bit more than yesterday too. All good things that we take advantage of with our healthy dogs.  We do love Lucy and we do all we can for her as long as we can.