We went to the local dog event here on Whidbey this past weekend (WAIF's Wag n Walk). (NOTE: Here they are, in front of a booth of one of our other favorite organizations, Dogs on Deployment! - FMNAS)
This past week I took all five of my dogs to a nearby off-leash park. I was a little concerned about packing them all into the van but it went well, and there were no negative responses to the jostling for space on that front seat. I almost got a photo of Max in the kiddie pool they have set up, but he was too quick in getting out. He, of course, harassed every other dog person there who was throwing a ball for their own dog.
I have to confess that I do not call him "Max." That is just too common a name for me (you might have guessed seeing my other dogs include one called "Nebuchadnezzar.") I'll continue to reference him as "Max" when I write to you, but his official name (as on his Island County license) is now "Ogopogo." Since you said he came from Okanogan county, I thought I'd use that name (even though the lake is in Canada.) He answers to it now. And I always like it when people roll their eyes at the names I choose.
Did a blood test this week to check thyroid levels and they appear to be too high, so reducing dose and will retest in a month. He has lost 5 pounds so far. My vet thought his level could be due to his disposition if he was anxious all the time. I told him he was happy all the time, and I didn't want to cure that.
Otherwise, no news. He seems to like sitting on the porch with his collection of balls, kongs and fir cones (which he brings me if he cannot find a ball right away.)
Things are fine here. I think he really feels at home now. You know how I can tell? He barks!
He barks when I look at him like we're about to play ball. He barks when it looks like dinner time is nearing. He barks when he finds a particularly juicy stick for me to throw.
Things are going well here. One of his favorite things is to sit at the window and drool over the prospects of a juicy squirrel for dinner. (Feeder is just outside the window.)
He is a little less "grouchy" as time passes. This week I took in a 3 year old hound mix through Dogs On Deployment, and they are getting along great. We still go for a daily walk down the road and play ball a little each afternoon.
Intent on the Douglas squirrel at the feeder (brown "object" on back of the gray feeder.)
Things have settled down now. I think he feels more at home and is not being as grouchy with his new pack mates as he was that first week.
I even had my frequent guest dog for three nights this week and there were no fisticuffs. The other dog is also obsessed with ball playing, so I had to lay off that to avoid conflicts. (But maybe you didn't know he also will collect fir cones and look for them to be tossed? I find them now inside the house in "his" spot.)
All's well, except we are sweltering here on Whidbey with 81 degrees (77 inside house.)
Not much new to report, except maybe that he has discovered sticks can be thrown as well as balls. (And are cheaper to acquire.) Seems to be having less difficulty getting up off the floor most of the time.
Still going for short walks and although he waits patiently by the feeders, not one squirrel or chipmunk has yet to jump into his mouth.
Somewhere in your emails, the adoption paperwork, or the web site it mentioned adding photos to facebook. However, I plan to die without joining fb, sending a text, or tweeting, so feel free to use whatever I've sent if you want to do a happy ending for him.
That's it for now.
My vet concurs with most of what you've already done (and was impressed you guys do so much.) He recommends moving to rimadyl after the meloxidyl is used up. He also said I could use Dasquin in place of the Cosequin and Duralactin. We'll do blood work again in 6 months to make sure levels are stable.
I'm glad you told me about that time he snapped at you since I mentioned it and sure enough as the vet was trying to check his ACLs he tried to bite (both of us.) I'm thinking he's had quite an eventful week, so we'll try again later in the summer. (He also had a tussle with Wizard when we got home during which he did manage to bite me. Luckily his teeth aren't sharp -- or even there.) I think I'll just let him settle in and get to feel this is his home and hope he feels less vulnerable. He did allow me to pick him up to load and unload for his vet trip, though.
He was 65 pounds, so still a few more to go.
Otherwise, it's going ok (except for today's episodes.) Going for walks every morning and playing ball for short periods. He seems to be able to get up on his own most of the time and seems to have already picked a favorite spot on the floor (not on one of the beds, though.)
Last night he slept on a dog bed near my bed (which -- there's a long story here -- is a mattress on the floor in what used to be the dining room. So he was able to come right up to me with the ball yesterday morning. This morning we "slept in" until 7:15. My usual goal is to be up by 9AM (and out of my pajamas by noon), so I hope we can get back to that soon.
Today we went for another walk on the road and maybe we'll go a little further each day. He was huffing and puffing again when we got back and plopped down on the porch for a rest (me, too). We also played ball a little this morning, and he seems to be able to get up easier today.
Our ride home was uneventful. I know it's wrong to anthropomorphize dogs, but I could almost see Wizard think "crap, another one." Wizard has been through this many times before. Max rode shotgun part of the way, although that is Wizard's usual seat. We got out of the van on the ferry, but Max seemed very nervous about that so we didn't tarry. I couldn't use the ramp due to cars being packed in closely, but Max allowed me to help him in and out of the van without issue.
Introductions with the other three dogs went fine. One of them is an inveterate humper, and Max didn't take kindly to that. Which is good since he doesn't need a 50 pound dog climbing up on his shaky back legs. Nebuchadnezzar got the hint right away and hasn't bothered him since. Did you know Max really likes to play ball? And is quite vocal if you fail to play along with him? (Of course you did.) He eventually let it go and explored all the new smells in the fenced dog area.
By watching the other dogs he quickly learned the dog door (just a big hole cut in the back door and covered with heavy cloth the dogs just push through.) He had a bit of trouble getting up off the wooden floor he lay on while I watched TV, but once he learns what those big soft beds scattered around are for I think he'll do better with more traction.
I think he slept in the kitchen his first night. Maybe because the floor was cooler and he's used to being outside? He came over and greeted me (with ball in mouth) at 6:45 -- obviously he doesn't understand what the word "retired" means -- which was good since the floor in the kitchen is smooth also and I wasn't sure he'd be able to get up by himself. He went out to do his morning business and settled down while I had my coffee (one of my other dogs has a pill she takes 30 minutes before a meal, so that worked out well. Besides, it took about 30 minutes just to dispense Max's various meds.)
Breakfast went ok, although he'll need to speed it up a bit (the other dogs all run around checking each others' dishes to see if any one left something behind.) He followed me around after that -- either he's very needy, thought I had more treats for him, or just thought I was fun to be around. As I write this he is on the floor beside me. I'm guess it's the "fun to be around" reason.
We went for our first walk down the road. He was very interested in the chipmunks at the ground feeder in my driveway. Walked well, but just a short distance today. Very stubborn about being coaxed out of the road when cars passed, but finally let me guide him onto the shoulder. A little out of breath when we got back, but still had strength enough to pick up a ball and walk around with it in the back.
So, it all looks good so far. I will send you another update later in the week (not as wordy, I promise.) Please thank the volunteers who helped make his shelter stay as comfortable as possible.