Monday, October 27, 2008

Day 61,2 and 3

The weekend is over and it was back to work today but not before Bear went to the vet for his pre-surgery checkup. He did very well and the vet really looked him over! He's gained 11 pounds since he has been with us which seemed odd to me because it doesn't seem like he has grown all that much. As per the vet, he should top out at somewhere around 100 pounds. His bones won't seal until probably around 18 months so he's got the bulk of his growing yet to do. As the vet put it, he is going to be a very substantial dog!

Bear does have a diagnosis of being a "Mouth Breather" and having "Breathing Problems." He checked his face thoroughly and could not be sure whether the problem with his snout is due to a break or genetic as there was evidence to support both, including the chipped canine which he could have done himself. In the end, it doesn't really matter because the result is the same. He cannot be muzzled, because of the breathing and with the breathing combined with his coat and coloring, he's going to have a rough time in the heat and we need to keep him cool. ( I guess this means we won't be moving to NC to be with the kids anytime in the near to immediate future but should start thinking about summering in Alaska or Nova Scotia.)

The other thing that might be breathing related but might also be breed related is the just stopping and laying down in the middle of our walks and play. Bear gets short bursts of energy but wears out pretty quickly. This could be breathing but could also be that he looks to have St. Bernard in him...and Bernese Mountain Dog...and Rottweiler...and Boxer/Boston terrier or Pug... but not Akita or Chow. Without a DNA test, we're probably never going to know what he is exactly except that he's an "All American, web footed Mutt" and a really cool dog!

I'm okay with that.

The vet and staff were all very impressed with how well Bear was listening to me and how intelligent he is! I swear it was the starvation for the blood work because he really was perfect the entire time. He alerted on the vet the first time the vet walked into the waiting room but didn't growl or anything, just watched... which is what he's supposed to do. The vet looked at me when Bear did this and said to me, "His job is to take care of you, isn't it?" I had never really thought about it that way before, but it really is and he does seem to take this very seriously. He was "working" the entire time we were out and made sure to check everything and everyone to see if they were "friend or foe" in the office...not so much to him, but to me.

He didn't have a problem with any of the other animals there...and there were dogs and cats who were just kind of wandering around the office and waiting area, except right before we left when a man came in with a Doberman mix that he couldn't really control. Bear didn't growl or lunge but he did place himself very solidly between me and this other dog and gave him "the glare" that said, "If you really feel like coming over here, it's really gonna be the last thing you do." The vet was really great about it and calmly told the owner of the other dog that Bear would not tolerate this dog getting near me, while he navigated Bear and I to a "safe area" in the waiting room and body blocked the Doberman into an exam room because it kept lunging at Bear and I. Bear stood his ground, but did not get aggressive toward the other dog, which was really good because the way this dog and owner were acting, I was about to and the only thing preventing this was Bear! He also didn't make a sound through that whole thing, which was interesting.

Anyway, I was really proud of him! He listened to me the entire time but also kept constantly assessing the situation even while he was being examined and that is exactly what he is supposed to do. He also read me very well and picked up on what he was supposed to do and how he was supposed to behave. The best thing was that he operated in concert with me .... without a whole lot of verbalization on my part which really surprised me a lot!

So, should everything come back okay with his blood work, we are on for Friday!

As to the nail file... So far, it takes getting used to for both of the dogs. Neither will tolerate me doing their nails with it yet, but both allow Tom to. As far as the job it does... eh... I think at this point a clipper would be faster and less of a hassle for them. The other thing about it is that, because of his coat and the webbing on his feet, Bear has a lot of tactile hair between his toes and the vibration tickles him a lot so we can only use it for very short time periods before he goes nuts and tries to eat it.

Would I recommend it? I think its to early to tell at this point as it definitely takes the dogs getting used to. My one note on this is that if you're going to get one, don't get it from eBay. Ours was supposed to come with four extra emery's and an instructional video. It came with one extra emery and no instructions.

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear


~Marie~ said...

Sounds like Bear was awesome at the vet!! Good luck with him getting teutered!!

Thanks for the info on the filing thing.... I want to try it, but I will till I hear more about it.

Chris said...

You seem to be doing really well with him. He seems to be training up nicely. Hopefully after he is neutered he will calm down quite a bit.

saratogajean said...

I'm so glad the vet's office was a good experience. It sounds like you have a really good vet.

Irene said...

It sounds like you and Bear are perfect for each other and that he is really tuned into you. That is so great, I am really happy for you. There is nothing like a dog who cares about you a lot and pays attention to what you expect from him. That's true bonding. He did a good job at the vet's. You can be proud of him and yourself too.