Stop press: Flo officially neglected – cruelty case to follow!
I think that’s what today’s headline would read if Flo could type it herself. Her leg has been dodgy for a few weeks again but, because of having to go away and everything that’s been going on, she hasn’t been rested. Until this week. She’s only had one walk since Sunday. What’s worse, I’ve been taking Sunny for walks WITHOUT HER!
It has been awful leaving her behind when I go to collect him, especially when I take him to our doggy gang meeting and poor Flo can smell all her besties on my legs when I come home. It’s not as though I could try to hide it from her… she gets all the information in a few sniffs. Obviously she has let her displeasure be known, mainly with washing removal.
What’s worse, I can see her energy levels rising on a daily basis. Normally, in the morning our routine goes something like this. I wake up and go over into her pen where she raises her weary head and sleepily accepts a glucosamine tablet. She discovers that the weight of the tablet combined with her weariness makes it impossible to keep her head up, so she puts it back down again and starts doing that paw over the eyes thing. I go through to feed the cats. Flo stays in bed. While I’m feeding the cats I usually hear the click clack of her coming up the hallway followed by the schlumpf of her collapsing in a heap on her bed in the living room. I pop my head round the wall and she’s got her head down again. I go and get her bowl from outside, give it a wash and put her breakfast into it, walk to the door, followed by George and Fergus, who want out. I let George out. Fergus looks at me with a furrowed brow, lets out a plaintiff cry and then disappears off to a window ledge somewhere to watch what her dumb brother gets up to outside. I call Flo, who looks up and stares at me for a few seconds while she registers that Flo is her name, then hauls her rather cute but quite heavy backside up off her bed and staggers to the door, ready for breakfast. That’s typically what happens. What’s happening now that she’s not been burning any energy off on walks is: I wake up to the less-than-fabulous sound of whining. I ignore said whining. I then hear the sound of something being chewed. I lift my weary head off the pillow and look up to see what she has in her jaws – it’s got to be either her stuffie, her bed or her blanket. I ask her what she’s doing. She looks at me, forehead wrinkled, hears ‘blah blah blah’ and then carries on. I get up to go and give her her glucosamine tablet. She’s already standing by the time I get there. She tries to take a finger with the tablet. We try again until she takes it gently. I go to feed the cats, stopping to give George (who is usually sitting in the hallway) a scratch on the way past. Flo is at the kitchen before me, sniffing what’s on the kitchen bench, just in case something new has been put there since she went to bed the night before. I get the cats’ food ready with Fergus wrapped around my ankles, George’s tail underfoot and Flo’s nose everywhere. I go and get Flo’s bowl, wash it and put her breakfast into it. She goes outside, I put the bowl down and she ignores it and heads off downstairs to check for washing. I’m right behind her, ready to gather it in.
In the afternoons, when I’d normally come home and have a nap, Flo would normally have one too. Now she goes and pulls all her toys out of her toy tub and throws them round the living room, then chooses one to eviscerate.
In an attempt to busy her mind we’ve taken up more training with mini chicken treats. Yum. I’m trying clicker training. She’s incredibly smart. She was always the quickest at puppy school, doing things for the trainer that she couldn’t usually get puppies to do, and I had her sitting and lying down really soon after she arrived home. However, training kind of stalled. Actually, it was more a dead stop, with engine off. I suppose my lazy justification was that I didn’t mind that she wasn’t perfectly behaved and I was hoping that she would just become more settled once she was over 2. I know. Don’t say it. Anyway, it’s been quite fun re-connecting with her through training. I’m getting her to focus on me when I call her name (yes, sounds basic doesn’t it…) and we’ve also learnt ‘paw’, when she shakes my hand with her paw. She can already ‘touch’ – this is where I hold my hand out and she touches it on command with her nose, and I’m going to try and work this one up to finding treats under cups. I’m also going to try to get her to ‘roll over’, which is one of the things the trainer was surprised to have her doing in the space of 10 minutes at puppy school. I’m not sure if she’s going to go for this one – she doesn’t normally roll over naturally, I think her frame makes it awkward to do that, but I could be wrong.
Really, I just want her leg to get better, and preferably before she rediscovers the REinstalled reticulation pipes. The weather has cooled down by a noticeable few degrees in the last 3 days, which means that Flo’ll be more active during the mornings when it’s now only about 20 or 21 degrees C. I know those of you that live in cooler climates will be guffawing loudly now – I really don’t mean to sound glib about what would be, in Scotland, a temperature which triggers the baring of a lot of pasty white flesh, but when you’re used to a fairly unwavering 26-32 degs, a drop of 5 or 6 degrees really is a shock to the system. So please stop laughing. We know we are lightweight namby pambies.
If anyone has ANY tips for helping Flo’s legs please feel free to share. I’m giving her glucosamine plus a joint health chew every day. I have also been adding coconut oil to her food. Any other suggestions will be gratefully received.
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