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Chilli pics

Thursday November 8, 2012

Our friendly amatuer wildlife photographer Karen sent in a few pics of Chilli enjoying himself this morning.

Naturally, these are reduced for bandwidth conservation, but the full pics are glorious.

Here he is with his golden locks flopping around…

‘Work it Chilli-Pom-Pom! The camera loves you!’

and here he is in full ‘leg-it’ mode, about to turn around JC’s cover, with Jen hot on his heels…

Hee-hee! Run Chilli! Run!

Thanks karen.

Chris

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Thankyou woofs

Thursday November 8, 2012

Jen and JC would like to thank all their doggy chums for the lovely birthday card that dropped through the letterbox yesterday.

After a nice long walk in the forest they invited our friend Tati the Labradoodle to their little party, and we all had some cake and other delicious treats.

Yum!

Chris

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In memory of Bailey

Monday October 15, 2012

It causes me deep sadness and no small amount of distress to tell you that Bailey the Beagle is no longer with us.

Bailey joined the pack on a full time basis just 3 weeks ago.

Over this time, he progressed beautifully from howling tearaway, becoming a well behaved and well liked character, not just within the pack, but also with the friends that we’d regularly meet during our excursions around the countryside.

His characteristic ‘Woo-woo-woo’ of excitement inspired a chuckle from all quarters, and his playful nature and slightly floppy gait soon earned him the pack nickname of Muppet, which he responded to with glee.

He was particularly friendly with Jen, and they would spend hours at either end of a rope pull, tugging each other around the living room, each of them returning to the other to offer the toy after one was victorious in the game. They also enjoyed a similar game with a stick whilst out walking, although this often appeared more like a game of tag.

Bailey learned fast and with a click of the fingers he’d slam his little butt to the floor, waiting for a tasty morsel. He also learned the ‘wait’ command, sitting beautifully to be leashed or unleashed, and holding the position until released. His recall improved day by day as can be seen in the videos, and we grew in confidence with each other.

By the second week, Bailey knew that he was getting the exercise he needed and had calmed down appreciably. In the afternoons, he’d curl up on my lap and sleep away the remaining time until he was picked up, occasionally gazing up at me with sleepy eyes, and worming his way into my heart.

For the last 3 weeks, Bailey ran free with his pack across open country, and revelled in every minute. He brought a zest for life that infected all of us.

On Saturday, Bailey ran from his home and was hit by a car. The vets were unable to save him, and he was put to sleep.

Explaining his absence has left me in pieces today, and I can only imagine the pain his family must be enduring. My heart goes out to them.

Goodbye little Bailey Muppet, I’ll always remember you.

“Woo-woo-woo!”

Chris

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Expressing anal glands

Thursday October 11, 2012

A quick lick is fine for young Rover, butt you know that he’s not meant to chew it,
your least favorite end, of your four-legged friend, needs attention so why not just do it.

Okay then…distasteful as it may seem, let’s talk about your dogs’ anus.

“If you insist. More tea Vicar?”

Just inside your dogs’ anus are 2 glands which coat their poop with scent, allowing them to mark their territory and identify each other.
Occasionally, these glands fail to empty, either due to blockage, or the stool being too soft to activate them. This can cause the dog significant discomfort, leading to the dog dragging his butt around (‘scooting’), excessive licking, chasing the tail, or chewing at the rear end (often leading to hair loss).

You can fix this problem for him in 30 seconds flat, and all you need is a finger and a rubber glove (and perhaps a stiff drink).

Procedure:
Approach the dog with a weird grin, whilst waggling your eyebrows and snapping the rubber glove into place. Stand the dog up and lift the tail. At this point the dog will look quizzically between your face and his backside a few times as if to say ‘erm…what ARE you doing?’. Ignore him, he’s just playing coy.

Gently push your first finger up his bottom. There’s no need to call out Dynorod here, you only need to go as deep as your first knuckle to reach the glands. At this point he’ll realise exactly what’s going on, and will generally relax.

If you think of a clock face, you’ll find the glands as hardened lumps at 4 and 8 o’clock, just inside the anus.

Squeeze them gently between your thumb (outside) and forefinger (inside) to expel the tan coloured liquid, and remove your digit from his bum.

Your dog will instantly display his happiness, and if he doesn’t, it’s probably because you made him feel dirty with all that pervy eyebrow waggling.

Chris

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Clipping claws for the great outdoors.

Saturday August 25, 2012

I see your skipping, sideways gait, your manicurist needs the sack,
with one quick clipping, you’ll walk straight, and be able to run with the pack.

It’s important to keep your dogs claws clipped, even if they just spend their time padding around the house or walking on a lead. When they get too long they start to push the toes up out of contact with the ground, causing the dog a little discomfort. Left unchecked, a dog will start walking on his heels to alleviate the pressure where the claw meets the toe. At home, this can easily go unnoticed or simply attributed to the age of the dog.

Out in the field it becomes a little more obvious; the dog will avoid full extension of the hind legs, either hopping or skipping along to avoid running straight over their painful claws. Younger dogs may adopt a sideways gait, crabbing along at an angle. All of these symptoms restrict the dogs ability to fully enjoy its environment.

Unclipped claws are more likely to snap across the quick when worked hard causing a lot of pain to the dog.

Regular clipping will solve these problems, and can give what looks like an old dog a new lease of life.

One of the easiest ways to determine if your dog needs its’ claws clipped is to listen as he slowly walks over hard floors such as laminates or kitchen tiling. If you can hear the claws tappety-tapping with every small step, it’s probably time to clip them a little.

Let’s get to it…
Before we reach for the clippers it’s important to understand the basic anatomy of the claw. Extending some way down the middle of the claw is blood vessel and nerve material (the ‘quick’), which will cause the dog sharp pain and bleeding if we cut into it. If your dogs claws are seldom clipped, the quick may extend almost the full length of the claw, but it will recede with regular light clipping.

On light coloured claws you can often see the dark quick in the center, and can therefore easily cut beyond the point to which it extends. With dark claws it’s more difficult. Look at the underside of the claw and you’ll see that the end of the claw is hollow. Further up, the claw fills in and somewhere inside this swelling is the quick. It’s safe to remove the hollow portion as long as you cut at an angle (paralell to the ground is a good guide) that avoids the swollen part altogether. If necessary, we’d then start clipping a fraction off the full nail at regular intervals.

Break out the positive vibes
Now then, as with all things, it’s best that you do this when the dog is calm and relaxed, ideally whilst he’s resting after a nice long walk (with me, natch). Make sure you approach the dog in a positive, relaxed, and happy frame of mind. If you can get him to roll over it’s much easier to see under the claws, but sat on a table will do.

If the dog pulls his paw away mid cut it can cause sprains to the toe, so make sure to hold the paw firmly enough to stop this happening. Also keep a light grip on the clippers, and be prepared to release them in case he does manage to pull away. Spend as long as you like lining up the cut, and when you’re happy with the position make the cut firmly and swiftly, taking care to minimise any leverage into the toe and paw.

With clipping and regular free running, your dog will be happier, an his claws will be stronger.

Guillotine clippers are available for a few pounds from most pet shops.

Chris

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