It’s been a long time since I published a blog post. I just haven’t felt moved to share anything lately. Recently I bought a puzzle toy for Frankie, and so I’m doing a product review.
This puzzle is the Outward Hound Paw Flapper. It has 8 treat cups and 4 flapper doors, with scent holes between the doors. The idea is for the dog to smell and find the treats and use his nose to lift the appropriate door to get the treat. Frankie caught on very quickly and was able to lift the doors almost right away. He hasn’t used the scent holes to sniff out the treats yet. This toy needs a human to supervise because you need to put the doors back down. Frankie got scared of it when a door attacked him. He needs to learn to rotate the toy to position the doors over the treat cups.
I like this toy and I think Frankie likes it.
Smooshy faced dogs and cats often have a condition called stenotic nares. Their nostrils are too small to allow them to breathe efficiently. We’ve had 2 Boston Terriers, and both have had this problem. In both cases our vet surgically reconstructed the nostrils to improve airflow in their poor little noses. We had it done at the same time the dogs were neutered, so that they only had to be anesthetized once. There is an associated condition called elongated soft palate which is also found in these dogs and can be surgically corrected if necessary.
Here’s an article that explains the procedure. http://www.vetsurgerycentral.com/resp_brachycephalic_airway_syndrome.html
Frankie just had his surgery last week and once the swelling is down completely he will be a new puppy. Here are his before and after picturesYou can see he still has some swelling. It’s only been 4 days. I don’t know if it will stay pink, and the nostrils are not quite symmetrical but he’s not a show dog so that’s not important to me. I’m just happy he can breathe deeply.
A few weeks ago we took Charlie to the vet because he was having pain in his back. He probably injured it while jumping from furniture. The vet gave him steroids and by the time he was done with the prednisone he was feeling good as new. I think I must have had a premonition, because I had asked the vet to draw blood, just because he’s getting a little older, to keep tabs on him really. The blood results were a bit wonky…high white cells, low red cells. He was put on an iron supplement and antibiotics. Two weeks later there was virtually no change in his lab results. The vet suggested an ultrasound. We had to take him to a clinic that does ultrasounds and the vet there found a large, grapefruit sized tumor on his spleen. Long story shortened….he had surgery, spleen removed, tumor tested and it is cancer. Charlie is 11 years old and we had expected to have several more years with him. He truly is our furry little child and this diagnosis is heart breaking. The vet feels he could have 6 months left. Now that we know our time with Charlie is limited we’ll be enjoying every moment with this funny little guy.
There are a few posts about Charlie on this blog. You can search his name and come up with them if you want to read more about him. I’ve linked to 3 of them.
I think that all pet owners are pretty fed up with the China Connection as it relates to dog food and treats. When I’m looking for treats for Charlie I spend a ridiculous amount of time reading the labels. I’ve found a couple that I feel are safe to give him, but I could probably make treats for him in the same amount of time I spend reading labels and researching recall lists.
Here are some treat recipes you might like to try. I’m also giving you horse treat recipes, just because I love my minis and they do get treats sometimes as well. They love bran muffins!
3/4 cup hot water or meat broth/stock
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 egg, beaten
3 cups whole wheat flour
Pour the hot water/broth over the margarine and mix to melt it. Stir in the powdered milk and egg. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Knead 3 to 4 minutes, adding more flour as needed, to make a very stiff dough. Roll to 1/2 inch thickness and cut out with cookie cutters or cut into rectangles sized for your dog. Place on greased baking sheet and bake at 325 for 50 minutes/ Cool and let dry until hard. Yields about 1/4 pound of treats.
PUMPKIN AND PEANUT BUTTER DOG TREATS
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Whisk together the flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Add water as needed to help make the dough workable, but the dough should be dry and stiff. Roll the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick roll. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
3. Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 40 minutes.
Makes about 25 treats.
Wafer ice cream cones
1 shredded apple
1 shredded carrot
1/4 cup horse feed (pellets or whatever you feed)
1 1/2 cups bran
Enough molasses to hold it all together.
Stuff the mixture into the cones.
Or, you can stuff it into cored apples. These treats are sized for full size horses. For minis, they only need about 1/4 of a treat. They’ll tell you they want more, but don’t listen.
You can also modify the dog biscuit recipes for horses. Experiment!
About 10 years ago Lee and I decided that it was time to downsize our miniature horse activities. We stopped breeding and showing them, and sold most of our best horses. The ones we kept were minis who had special needs. It’s hard to imagine anyone else giving the kind of care we give to these needy ones. Of course that’s an arrogant way of thinking and I know that really there are many people in this world who would do a good job with them. What I ended up with was a small group of miniature horses with health problems, so I knew that I would be dealing with lots of nursing care and special diets with supplements,and extra vet and farrier visits. I also knew that my little herd would dwindle. In the 10 years since we dispersed the main herd, we’ve euthanised 3 of the chronically ill minis, and now this week makes it 4.
Cody was born here. At the age of 17 he dies here. He had a chronic, we think genetic, condition involving his trachea. His dam had the same problem. He also had chronic bouts of laminitis, although not since last winter. Recently I became aware that he was having other, very serious problems.As he got worse I struggled with making the decision to euthanise him. This week I realized we couldn’t make him better, he continued to go downhill,and I couldn’t bear to think he might be suffering. Although we don’t know exactly what was going on with him (we didn’t do a necropsy) we do know that he had something bad. At the end his blood pressure was sky high, his abdomen was bloated and full of fluid, he was dripping in sweat in the mornings in the last few days. The vet guesses heart or liver, maybe both. The last thing I did before the vet got here was to take Cody in the grass so he could graze for the first time in years. Grass is a no-no for laminitic horses. He loved it. He never lost his appetite.
He was my little trick pony who answered questions with a nod or a shake of his head, and gave kisses whenever he was asked for them. He loved kids and they loved him.
Thanks so much Dr. Anne Clary for your compassionate care of my minis for all these years.
Please enjoy this slideshow of pictures of Cody, from his birth, through his show career, to his most recent pictures at the age of 17. Cody was loved by many and he will be missed so much, especially by me.
Charlie has a birthday this month, his 9th. I haven’t written about him lately, so here’s a little update and some recent pictures.
Charlie continues to be incredibly quirky and a little bit crazy. He’s a Boston Terrier, and that’s how they roll.
One of his quirks is his obsession with making a nest of my clothing and other items he finds. He only does it when I’m not in the house and it can be pretty funny to see his pile and the treasures he’s amassed. One of his favorite items is an orange fleece jacket and it’s a recurring theme in his nest. He especially loves soft and fluffy fabrics. He finds things hanging on hooks, and his technique for snagging them is a jump and grab sort of motion. He takes things out of the hamper. He takes shoes and slippers. He never chews on anything. He just wants to possess them. Usually his lime green snaky is a part of the pile. I’m really impressed with Charlie’s ability to hold a piece of clothing in his mouth and jump with it onto our very high bed. He sometimes makes his nest on the sofa and will drag things from the bedroom into the living room.
Here are some pictures of Charlie’s nesting. There’s also a picture of him praying for food to fall from the table and into his mouth. Some people would call this begging but I prefer to call it praying.
- He’s watching me. Afraid I’ll touch his snake!
Charlie is one of those STRONG CHEWERS, even an AGGRESSIVE CHEWER. Buying toys for him was an exercise in futility until we learned that he can destroy most any toy within minutes. Over the years we’ve found a few toys that take much longer to shred. He loves anything that squeaks, but his goal is to get at the squeaker and he soon renders the squeakers silent. I found the stuffing free toys to be longer lasting, and he even still likes them after he’s killed the squeak. They’re good for shaking. He also gets a lot of playtime out of Wubbas.
Recently I ordered a stuffing free snake from dog.com. Reading the reviews of the toy, I felt it would be a long-lasting diversion for him. It’s about 2 feet long, and has sections. The tail has a rattle, and the body is 3 sections, each with its own squeaker. The catalog (and reviews) said that the squeakers won’t stop working, even if punctured. What? Yay! A few days later the perfect toy arrived. Listen to this…Charlie hasn’t let that
- Charlie’s favorite things:the snake and the heat vent.
thing out of his sight since I gave it to him. He adores that snake. Carries it everywhere with him. When he goes outside, he carries it right to the door, and only drops it just before he steps out. He picks it up again the second he’s back inside. He takes it to bed with him and snuggles his nose into it. When he’s feeling sociable, he gently bites on it and it talks to him in snake squeaks. The only time Charlie leaves his snake is while he’s eating. This has been going on for days, and the bloom is still not off the rose.
I don’t know why Charlie has fallen in love with this snake. He’s never taken such a liking to a particular toy before.
I recommend this toy for dogs who destroy their toys!