My Dogs Don’t Act Guilty

Chase Little Bed
Chase Little Bed

I am one of those odd people who think that dogs don’t feel guilt. I think guilt is a human emotion. I am more of the mind that the dogs know Safe and Dangerous. And when you come home and your dog has gotten into the garbage and scattered it around, and he cowers… it’s not guilt. He just knows that you coming home with garbage scattered around is dangerous because you might explode for no reason that he can understand.

(oh and this is Chase trying to fit in the teeny dog bed I got for Jet. LOL)

Jet is in his chewing age now… he’s six months old and that’s to be expected. We do not, ever, get mad or punish him for chewing. Ever. We don’t do that with any of our dogs. We just direct him to something more productive. I do want him to know that some things are off limits, like cardboard displays or chairs or furniture, but I just push him away, tell him Leave It, and give him a bone that is a good thing for him to chew.

Lucy has Mega-esophagus and often regurgitates quite a bit. She is also pretty incontinent and will pee accidentally while she is laying down if we don’t take her out frequently.  But Lucy never, ever acts guilty for either of these acts.  I believe it’s because we have never punished the dogs for there being pee on the floor, or poop, or throw up… or the act of any of these.  So none of the dogs think these things are dangerous in any way and don’t show the ‘guilt’ signs that people interpret as guilt… but I interpret that the dog is afraid of something dangerous might happen.

I’m very proud of this.  I don’t want my dogs to think there are things dangerous in the world… mainly me or my husband.  I want them to feel safe at home. We train in other ways. We encourage success. We DO set boundaries and limits and the dogs have good manners.  But a growing puppy needs to chew, an incontinent dog is going to have accidents.  These are not reasons to punish… actually, there are not really any good reasons to punish. 🙂  Redirect, encourage, and set up for success. I love positive training!

A Year of Megaesophagus

megaesophagus chair
Megaesophagus Chair
Well it’s been almost a year since Lucy was diagnosed with Megaesophagus. For anyone who doesn’t know, it’s a disease where her esophagus doesn’t work anymore and is enlarged. So it won’t push her food down into her stomach anymore.

Well I have to just tell you all that Lucy is doing wonderfully! I think she’s a bit skinny but my husband and the vet say she is fine. 🙂 She eats a liquid diet at least four times a day. We put her kibble in a blender with water and blend it up, after letting it soak for an hour or so.

Lucy is in great spirits, she plays and my husband takes her to the dog park about 3 or 4 days a week. She’s 10 and a half years old, so she’s getting older too, but she’s happy and healthy now and doing well on her diet. The worst part is not being able to give her treats. But sometimes we do before we feed her to push the treat down. And sometimes she gets bully sticks, which she loves to chew, for an hour or so before we feed her again so that the food pushes down any bits that she has chewed off.

So we don’t have any POS systems in our house…. but then what would that have to do with Lucy anyway? LOL I dunno. We are just thrilled that Lucy is doing so well. A year ago we were putting her through all kinds of tests trying to figure out what was wrong with her, why she would regurgitate all the food she ate. Now we are certain she’s got some good years left. She’s my baby girl after all. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since Lucy puppy landed on a plane and came out of her crate bouncy and happy. Dogs just don’t live long enough. She is my sweet smooth collie girl!

There’s no H in Lucy

Silly Lucy
Silly Lucy

We have a soft-tile floor in our basement and we often have to tear it up if one of the dogs has a peeing accident on them.  So quite often the tiles are up and being washed, some of them are scattered around drying.  The tiles have our dogs’ names spelled in them, and our cats. Though we don’t have Muffit and Tatum’s names because they came after the floor.

So Lucy is feeling better!  When she feels good and she wants dinner she brings me toys. With her megaesophagus she hasn’t been bringing me many toys in the recent past. But last night she was bringing me the H out of one of the floor tiles. I kept telling here there is no H in Lucy but she didn’t want to listen! I had to hide the H under the tv stands and then go and get her some dinner.

Oh but before I hid the H, I threw it for her a couple of times and she went and fetched it. She had fun and was prancing around like she used to. I’m so glad she is feeling better. We have been feeding her smaller meals, too, and she’s not throwing up quite as much.

She is still quite incontenent though and so can’t sleep on the bed with me. I really want to find some good diapers for her but I haven’t seen any that I really liked online yet. Anyone have any recommendations?

Lucy and her Megaesophagus

lucycouchAnd as the days go on, we continue to deal with Lucy’s Megaesophagus. It’s not fun.. and each time we have to sit her up in the chair to feed her, I am saddened that she has this awful disease. And each time she regurgitates on the bed frames, I feel bad for her.

Her weight is holding steady at about 61 pounds, which is good for her. We don’t want her to get below about 58 or so.  She has been up to 65 in the past, but 61 is better for her anyway.  My Husband has been taking her for walks to the local park about three times a week, which is great for her muscle tone and strength. Plus, she loves getting out!

She usually still regurgitates on a regular basis though. Mostly after she sneaks a drink of water that we don’t know about.  Sometimes her food doesn’t seem to go down, though, and she’ll regurge the food too.  But for the most part it stays down.

She just turned 10 on February 15. And we realize that once a dog is 10, they are considered getting old.  I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since little puppy Lucy came to live with us.  I wish she would live as long as us.

We are managing the megaesophagus okay, I think. I wish she wouldn’t ever regurgitate, I need to look it up and see if it’s normal for dogs to continue to do so, or if there are ways to prevent it entirely.  All in all, our Lucy girl is doing pretty good, all things considered.

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.