Wednesday, June 26, 2013

50 Weeks!!!

Wow! The end of Maddie's FIRST YEAR is fast approaching!  Time really does fly no matter what.  I remember wondering what Maddie would look like as an adult... like her father or like her mother?  And then suddenly she is almost all grown.  I think 26 inches is her height.  It has not changed at all in the last couple of months.  And she was 58.5 pounds yesterday.  I thought she would be 59 or 60 pounds by her first birthday, but I am wondering if she may stay at 58 something. Houndstooth might be back in the running with her guess of 58.6.  Regardless of her final numbers, she did end up being exactly the size I wanted.
The abscess on Maddie's face is looking much better.  It actually drained again over the weekend and appears to be well on its way to healing now.  I can see the black hairs starting to come in.

I did end up putting her on antibiotics.  My other hounds will easily scarf down a pill hidden inside of a treat, but Maddie is too much of a taster and a chewer.  There was no way she was not going to chew up a treat as big as it would take to hide these capsules.  So I would push it down her throat and then give her a treat..... three times a day.  Maddie was so cute.  Once she was into the routine, she would just open her mouth for me and let me push the pill down the hatch.
Since our two seniors, Stacker and Allie, are gone, there is no reason for my husband to continue to come home from work at lunch time.  So a milestone for Maddie is that she is now handling the full work day without a potty break and she has done fine.  I hate leaving them all day long, but I do get home at 3:30 PM which is pretty early for a full time job.

Another big event was getting Maddie microchipped.  I confess to not doing well with medical procedures personally and I tend to apply the same fears when I make decisions for the dogs.  The idea of the doctor shoving an ice pick through my skin is downright terrifying to me.  I would have loved to have waited until Maddie was asleep for her spay, but that is still another year from now and I did not want to wait that long.

So I was brave (and brought Stephen to do the dirty work). I usually have him hold them for chipping since I have no positive energy for this procedure.  Well, Maddie jumped and started to freak out when the vet started to push through the skin.  She is just not as food motivated as my others.... like Seven, who is a drama queen, barely noticed the microchip or her joint injection because she was in food heaven at the time.  I think you could probably perform surgery on Seven totally awake if you just keep the peanut butter flowing. The same strategy did not work for Maddie.

At this point, Maddie knew the chip was coming and I did not want them to restrain and force the procedure.  All of my hounds are really good for the vet and none of them freak out, so I did not want my puppy to be traumatized.  I was ready to just wait for the spay when my vet suggested lidocaine.  I don't know if anyone else has ever used lidocaine for a microchip, but I welcomed the idea.  Maddie handled the lidocaine needle much better although she was still not happy about it.  Ten minutes later, the vet was able to insert the chip without incident.  I am so glad that is over!  My pulse is racing just having to type about this.  Eeeeekkk!
Since chipping did not go as easily as I had hoped, I have been working Maddie more on handling and restraint.  For example, I will restrain her for a pretend blood draw from the neck, give her a little pinch near her jugular, and then give her a treat.  Or hold her leg, squeeze the forearm, give her a little pinch, and then a treat.  I also noticed that she easily lies down flat for me on her left side (I trim nails with her on her left side), but I have totally neglected teaching her to lie down flat on her right side.  In fact, she is quite resistant to being pushed onto that hip and over onto her shoulder.  So we have been working on that too.

Maddie is also learning that she has to lie down in the evenings if she wants dinner.  The pup is still graded on a curve, but I will not even get up to start dinner until the three adults (who know better) are lying down.  I won't mention any numbers, but you can see in the above photo who is often the one who screws it up for the rest.  Here is a super cute video of Maddie's wheels turning in her head figuring things out.

As you know, Maddie's parents are coursing greyhounds.  Her hunting genes are starting to kick in and she really takes notice of all the squirrels and rabbits now.  Here is a cute video when Maddie noticed a rabbit on our driveway.  I had Stephen chase it away so everyone could go back to sleep.
BUT she is also showing some impulse control so my training is paying off also.  We were training in a barn last weekend at an agility trial and Maddie was staring at a bird hoping around on the ground.  But she never left me and I appreciated that she was not impulsive at that moment.  So I called her name and when she looked at me, I rewarded her with "break" which means she is free to do what she wants and she took off after the bird, it flew away, and she came back to work.  So I was really happy about that.

Also, at the agility trial, we did some training ringside and a lot of tugging.  Maddie did great with all of the distractions.

Unfortunately, this venue does not have a very good play area for Maddie and her friends.  I found a good strip of grass between an arena and a chain link fence that contained them and gave them some room to run down and back.  I experimented with letting Maddie and Riley play with a toy.  Maddie is great, but Riley can be very intense.  She has no sense of give and take.  Selfish is probably a good way to describe Riley's play.  But they had some nice moments of tugging and running together with the toy.  It was a good way for them to both burn some energy.