Thursday, February 28, 2008

"I've Finally Grown In To My Ears!!"

Happy Birthday Bruschi... well, happy birthday + 1 week. Bruschi turned 2 on February 22 (last Friday), and of course, celebrated properly with a full day at "camp," lots of fun treats, and gifts to tear apart.

Brian and I celebrated surviving nearly two years of puppiness. The first photo of Bruschi was taken only hours after he was born, and he was just a teeny tiny brown wiggly loaf. We were in love, of course, immediately, and anxiously awaited every photo the breeder sent. And, when we picked him up at the airport 8 weeks later, we melted at the sight of his itty bitty snout. At 4 pounds, 7 ounces, Bruschi was all ears and nose.

The little guy came out of the cage nose to the ground, sniffing away, each ear nearly twice the size of his head. While he has finally grown in to his ears, he has not stopped sniffing.

With that nose, Bruschi is an eating machine!!! He can sniff out the littlest crumb under the biggest blanket, and we have yet to find a food he'd refuse.

We've become quite creative in Bruschi food, to keep his skin allergies and weight under control, and to reward him appropriately for good behavior. To celebrate that, March is "My Goodness, is that a Treat?" month. Check back at the blog throughout March to read about fun, healthy, easy treats for humans and dogs!!

That's a wuff for now!


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What's That A Fish Terrier?

Over the past few weeks, Kodi has clearly indicated her desire for eradicating our backyard of squirrels and birds. True to her breed description, she chases them, barking up a storm until they are out of sight, then standing guard to ensure they do not return. Apparantly, this instinct extends to fish as well... Goldfish... in a fish tank!

Only minutes in to her first vist at my parent's house, Kodi spotted my dad's fish tank and became fixated on the jumbo red and white fish. She became determined to get the fishy, climbing on anything and everything to get to the tank, barking, and even trying to bite the fish. It really was quite a scene! And, it was an infatuation that lasted most of the 24 hours of our visit. Apparantly anything the size of varmin is fair game, even if it is has gills and is submerged in water!
I am guessing that this means our pond will be fish-free this summer :)
That's a 'wuff' for now!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Kodi Kommunications

When we first brought Bruschi home, Brian and i knew nothing about what to do with a puppy (save what people told us and what we read in books), but nearly everything about what Bruschi had experienced during his first 8 weeks of life. We asked a record number of questions from farm where he came, all in effort to learn more about what he couldn't say. He was the nutty puppy (shocker), who would try to explore, then whine and cry when he couldn't get what he wanted. Some might say we were maniacal in the questions we asked, and the records we kept about his puppyhood. But, we are analysts, and it's our nature to want to be "in the know" and make connections from oh, say, between the time it took him to finish his dinner to the time he passed out for the night.

Thankfully, our overzealous desire for details has subsided somewhat, and we are more level-headed when caring for the foster pups--which we know nearly nothing about when they are placed with us. And, we've learned that dogs tell us what they've been through, and what we need to know -- you just have to 'listen' in a different way.

In the past two weeks, Kodi was telling us a variety of things without speaking a word (unless it's a relative of Mr. Ed, dogs don't talk in English). She was saying "look how simply adorable I am" as she trotted around the house with toy-in-mouth. She was saying "what were you thinking not staying home with me" in her bark/scolding when we came through the door. Last Sunday she showed us just how athletic and graceful she can be running around the dog park, keeping up with the larger ones (such a beautiful site). Most importantly, she started to tell us that something else was going on with her face, separate from her eye injury. And, of course-- who knows better than her?

Earlier this week, our vet told us that he strongly suspects Kodi was attacked by a big dog and shaken around a bit at one point in her life. She has a mouth-shaped scar on the left side of her face, drools a lot when nervous, and is not producing an adequate amount of tears in her left eye. She also has nervous shakes that have been lessening, but are still present. And, she behaves differently when around bigger dogs. The vet believes this attack left her tramatized, and with some nerve damage. The nerve damage is responsible for her not being able to control the drool on one side, and probably the damaged tear duct. The nerve damage is probably also why she got a stick stuck in her mouth-- she couldn't feel it while chewing.

We don't need explicit details on the exact series of events between the time of the attack and the stick, but knowing what we now do know, we can better care for her, watching out for other complications that may result from nerve damage, and work hard at getting her comfortable and relaxed so she isn't as stressed. Nerves do not regenerate, but her quality of life will not suffer. She's told us what we needed to learn.

As I type this, Kodi is nudging my hand as if to say 'stop typing, start petting me.' So, I will!

That's a 'wuff' for now!

Friday, February 1, 2008

New Year New Dog: Welcome Kodi!

Brian (husband), Bruschi (resident Puggle) and I officially adopted our foster dog, Kodi. Kodi is a 10 pound American Rat Terrier who is about 2 years old, and full of spunk and personality.

We began fostering her in December when she was rescued with a serious eye injury. She was then placed a home that later became unsuitable, so she came back. We remained committed to finding a better forever home for her... until Kodi decided that our home was where she was going to stay-- permanently.

Kodi bonded with us quickly and wanted nothing to do with other adopters that were interested in her. And, we realized just how much a part of our lives she became. Since my plan as a younger adult was to have three laboradors, two years apart, one of each color--I figured a 10 pound tri-color dog was no trouble at all... heck, the combined weight of the Puggle and Kodi do not even equal one 6 month old Lab puppy!

Kodi was rescued from Georgia the first weekend in December 2007, with a stick lodged in the back of her mouth, protruding into the left eye cavity. She was in a great deal of pain for a while, but thankfully, the injury has healed and she can see out of the eye.

As with most rescue dogs, new families know little about them or their history. You glean insights here and there by their actions, and the behaviors they display. With each passing day, Brian and I learn a little more about Kodi, and what the early part of her life may have been like.

I've created this topic on Puggles 'n' Prose to share what Brian and I are learning about Kodi. It is simply fascinating to us, and we think others may enjoy our collective story as well.

Throughout the month of February (and maybe in to March), please check back here often to read up on how things are going, and what rascally little things the two dogs have accomplished (we learned that BOTH enjoy eating Brian's sandwiches). There is a chance Kodi will need eye surgery to resolve a tear duct issue, so we'll keep you posted on that as well.

That's a "wuff" for now!