Tuesday 17 December 2013

Seasons Greetings

Wishing all the best to our friends, family and all the owners of our Schnauzers. 
May you all have time to relax and enjoy the season. 
We are anticipating the arrival of pups, due Christmas day.  It will be nice to turn my attention to a brand new litter of pups and the joy they will bring to their new families.
And with that.....Merry Christmas

Sunday 15 December 2013

New fallen snow

So very quiet

Saturday 14 December 2013

A wolf's heart

Dinsdale's Hope -- March 27th 2001 - December 13th 2013

My beautiful Hope passed yesterday, she would of been 13 years old in the Spring. 

I have so many emotions about my journey with Hope, she probably taught me more about dogs, and, well.....life in general, then any other I have owned.  Lessons about how fragile their bond to us can be, how these pets, that we think of as almost human, are only a heartbeat away from their wild ancestors.  I lost Hope at 10 months of age, she wandered out an open gate and was gone for a week in January.  We had many sightings of her, but, during that time she reverted to that feral being that is within them all, but, is seldom shown to us.  I thought I would never get her back, and when I finally did, I held on, probably too strongly.  I made mistakes, had regrets with how I handled things, but Hope, she just moved on with life.  

Hope delivered four beautiful litters to Dinsdale, she was the most sensational mom, protective, playful she always raised her pups well.  At home she was part of my Dynamic Duo, Cutter and his sister Hope.  The last couple of years she has been the one that sleeps in our bed at night, I miss her steady breath and the assortment of toys that she liked to sleep with.

There was no extended ailment with Hope, she fell ill and I said a final goodbye to her all within a week.  Seven days of worry, mixed with a couple days of feeling optimistic and then the final diagnosis of Bladder Cancer and my decision to let her go.  

I cannot believe it is time to say goodbye to my beautiful, loyal girl, Hope, my companion who possessed the heart and soul of a wolf.

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Cold outside...damp inside

Last Thursday while out performing my farmyard duties Hope was inside peeing.  Now, Hope is 13 years old and on heart medication that causes her to drink a lot and pee a lot, but, even so, she has never soiled her crate, or, peed in the house.  I cleaned up, cursed myself a bit, but didn't think too much of it.  Come evening she started trotting back and forth to the door, all evening, then she squatted and strained to pee in the house before bedtime.  I called my vet first thing in the morning, took in a urine sample which showed a very bad bladder infection.  I was somewhat relieved as I was imagining all sorts of problems.  Hope was in a lot of pain, panting, pacing, hunched up and straining to urinate all day and night.  By Saturday evening, after a day and a half of meds, she looked a little brighter, tail not clamped and she was no longer hunched over in pain.  But, OH the peeing!!!  If you have ever had an adult incontinent dog in your home you can feel my pain, I tried dog diapers with a pad inside, these would overflow within minutes.  Next step, incontinence pads....EVERYWHERE.  Although this was working to keep my furniture clean, it was upsetting to see Hope soiling herself, and worse she had no idea she was peeing until she was soaked,  poor girl.
Another call to the vets yesterday to confirm that this was not normal behaviour after almost five days of meds for a bladder infection.  Last night I started her on Propalin, a medication to help dogs regain control of their bladders.
Today, Hope is feeling good, tail wagging, a little happy roll and the peeing has slowed dramatically.  Fingers crossed that we are on the way to being able to remove the pee pads from my furniture.

This is the first bladder infection I have had with one of my dogs, and other then Gussy, who lost control of her bladder during the paralysis of her rear legs, never have I dealt with a totally incontinent dog in 25 years of owning dogs.  I have been discussing with other dog owners and am completely floored by the number of dogs that have suffered from Spay incontinence starting in very young dogs.  Hope is Spayed, but, she wasn't until her last litter at about 7 years of age.  I don't believe this episode is connected to her being spayed, but, due to age and I have a haunting feeling there may be something more serious behind this sudden change in Hope and her bathroom habits.
Having a geriatric dog is difficult, they suffer from the same ailments as us humans, but, they cannot tell us what hurts, this means we are usually behind the ball in catching and correcting them.  It is my hope that this is just a bit of a hiccup for my old girl and that she will pull through and carry on happy and comfortable for some time yet.
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