I’m Confused

Just when I think Lucy and Cindy are finally getting along, one of them proves me wrong.

The last week or so I’ve been keeping Cindy out of the cage pretty much every minute someone is home (with the exception of night time – then she’s in the cage). So, it makes sense that it seemed Lucy and Cindy were sloooowly learning to get along better. The snapping, growling and lunging incidents from Cindy had pretty much disappeared; now she kind of just of lets Lucy do her crazy business – jumping, hopping, running around – whenever and wherever she wants and just kind of lays there. She doesn’t join in, but she doesn’t snap out either.

In fact, this is what I walked into tonight from the kitchen:

Hi Mommy!

Hi Mommy!

After dinner we had our normal play time; Lucy and I played with her ball while I kept up a constant stream of petting for Cindy. I’m not sure if Cindy is feeling so great but Lucy was her typical nosy self.

Lucy with the start of crazy eyes

Lucy with the start of crazy eyes

Then out of absolutely nowhere, Cindy snapped, growled and lunged at Lucy. Lucy had done absolutely nothing to provoke the attack; she was just sitting there chewing her ball! I scolded Cindy then not even two minutes later she did it again for seemingly no reason. So I was forced to separate them which breaks my heart.

Sometimes I can understand why Cindy acts out. Lucy is still a puppy and is definitely more active than Cindy. But tonight they were both getting equal attention – maybe that’s what was bothering Cindy? She wasn’t the center of attention?

A former co-worker suggested a local trainer who deals with all sorts of behavioral and training issues, including working with multiple dogs in one household. We won’t be keeping Cindy forever (once she’s healthy we’ll find her a forever home!) but she’ll be here long enough that it might be worth it.

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Pee, Puke and Poop

From Friday afternoon through Sunday night it was just me and the girls. Marty coached at a two-day track meet from Friday night through Saturday night and then on Sunday he and his team hosted their annual High School Invitational so he had to be at the track all day to supervise that. Leaving me and the girls alone all weekend 😦

Do NOT let this picture fool you. A smooth weekend it was not.

Not as sweet as it may first appear

Not as sweet as it may first appear

On Friday I attempted to take Lucy for a walk along the river. We lasted five minutes in each direction before she was done. But she managed to fit in two bouts of diarrhea during that 10-minute span. Which somehow got onto the front of my jacket.

Saturday I had to keep a very, very close eye on both dogs. They’re still not exactly relaxed around each other. The periods of growling and overall crankiness has been somewhat limited, but only if I am on the ground acting as a buffer between them. Hard to get stuff done that way, so I had to limit my personal productivity to the times they were sleeping – Lucy on the couch, Cindy on the floor pillow.

Sunday morning started out with Cindy peeing on the floor five minutes after Marty left and was capped off by Cindy puking up her dinner (two-plus hours after the fact) 10 minutes before Marty got home. This morning Cindy decided to round out the trifecta by pooping on the carpet while Marty sat there and shouted to me in the kitchen, “Cindy crapped on the floor!” Guess who cleaned it up? Not Marty.

I know I sound like I’m complaining and I sort of am – in a very lighthearted way. Things could be way worse and nothing that happened over the weekend isn’t anything I haven’t dealt with before. Coming home to their wagging butts and happy dances are well worth pee, puke and poop. Not that I’m hoping it becomes a habit πŸ™‚

Meier’s Pharmacy

I don’t own a doggy pharmacy. But I almost could.

Meds ,meds and more meds.

Meds ,meds and more meds.

What we have here is an ungodly assortment of meds for both Lucy and Cindy. Let’s start with the “easy” patient first: Lucy.

Lucy’s meds are the two bottles on the far right and the large white bottle in the back right. ALL of them are for treating and preventing yeast infections in her ears, wrinkles and feet. When I took her to the vet a few weeks ago because she would not stop eating her feet, it was found she has yeast in her ears, wrinkles and feet. Lovely. She was prescribed steroids as a quick fix to the itching and yeast (so a few weeks ago there would have been another bottle of pills). And now I maintain a yeast-free Lucy by cleaning her twice a day with the various bottles previously mentioned.

Now, onto Cindy. The rest of the bottles – in addition to the large white bottle because ALL bulldogs need their wrinkles cleaned – Cindy has a grand total of 11 pills a day she has to take! We have to give her five pills a day for Lyme/heartworm, four antibiotic pills a day and two joint supplement pills.

In order to get her to take nine of those 11 pills (the joint tablets are easy enough to sneak in her food), I have to put every one in its own “pill pocket” treat, hence the bag in the back.

Cindy also needs eye drops four times a day – that would be the small bottle with the pink cap in the front. By far the easiest of the medicines to give either dog!

Let’s also not forget the importance of real food (the plastic container on the left), a humidifier to keep their noses damp (on the far right) and an assortment of air fresheners (back row) and we have started to run out of space on the dogs’ table.

High-maintenance dogs, yes, but so freaking cute!

Lucy

Lucy

Cindy

Cindy

Sick Doggy

You wouldn’t know it by looking at her (ok, maybe you would), but Cindy has a few lingering and concerning health concerns that we need to get addressed ASAP.

Poor, sick Cindy.

Poor, sick Cindy.

First and foremost, the girl needs to be spayed. She’s still leaky and spaying will likely fix that. However, believe it or not, we have more pressing issues. Cindy tested, and re-tested, positive for both Lyme disease and heartworm. Those are the issues that need to get fixed first.

Unfortunately, treating heartworm is a very difficult and lengthy treatment – and a slightly dangerous one. It puts a lot of added stress on doggies’ hearts and lungs so the treatments need to be stretched out over longer periods of time; that way it’s not too intense over a shorter period of time.

The first step in treating heartworm is also the treatment for Lyme disease – a 30-day treatment of pills. Cindy will then go on a second 30-day treatment for heartworm only and then she’ll go on to get injections on day 60 and 90 & 91. Poor, poor girl.

I really have no way of knowing how these two diseases are making her feel right now. She drinks a lot of water but has an appetite, increasing energy, her lymph nodes aren’t swollen and her heart is just fine. So I think she’s either learned to deal with any symptoms she has – which would just break my heart, or she’s actually feeling relatively fine.

Luckily we have a tremendous vet who willingly answers my one million questions and we’ll definitely get this girl healthy. Crossing my fingers that there aren’t any permanent effects from either of these diseases and someone will want to scoop up this sweet, affectionate girl and give her a forever home where she can get all the attention she wants and deserves!

The Current State of Affairs

It’s been just over a week since we brought Cindy home and we’ve had lots of ups and downs. It’s been a lot of work handling two dogs (duh!), especially when one needs various different medications, special feedings (still floor-only!) and is just a wee bit slower then Lucy. πŸ™‚

I’ll update on Cindy’s health status soon (let’s just say it’s going to take a few months to get this girl fully healthy). But for now, here’s the current state of affairs between Lucy and Cindy:

All 55 pounds of Cindy sprawled out on the big floor pillow...

All 55 pounds of Cindy sprawled out on the big floor pillow…

...and Lucy on the couch with her beloved toy.

…and Lucy on the couch with her beloved toy.

Of course, this is only the case 50% percent of the time. The other half of the time they’re together Cindy is trying to relax on the pillow and Lucy is busy sniffing her butt. Her ears. Her paws. Anything. Normally this would be great except for the fact that on three separate occasions Cindy has growled and lunged at Lucy. Took five years off my life each time. Cindy never bit her – I really just think it was her Mommy-dog way of saying “leave me alone.” Regardless, I am incredibly tense and stressed when the two of them are both on the floor together.

So, we’re cautiously extending Cindy’s time outside the cage. It goes much more smoothly if Lucy is relatively tired and isn’t too high-energy for Cindy. But, I also want Cindy to learn patience – Lucy isn’t one of her puppies looking for food πŸ™‚

It’s too early to say but I’m not ruling out the possibility that Cindy will want a forever home where she’s the only dog in the house. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it, though. For now they’ve eached marked “their” territories and as long as the co-mingling is limited for the time being, we’ll remain one happy home.

Poor, Neglected Lucy

Ok, not really. Lucy has received just as much, if not more, attention than B.C. (before Cindy). However, I’m sure she feels like she’s gotten less attention. She is still the first one to go outside, the first one to get food, the first one to get pets in the morning.

But, Cindy goes outside, too. And Cindy gets treats and food and pets and cuddles. So in Lucy’s mind, I’m sure she thinks she’s being slighted. I also suffer from “Mommy” guilt. I feel badly that Lucy now has to split a little bit of time and attention with Cindy, especially since Cindy has so many…issues πŸ™‚

Therefore, this picture can be interpreted two ways:

The girls

The girls

Lucy is either mildly curious about Cindy and actually kinda wants to be near her…or she’s guarding her bowl and being super possessive (even though that’s Cindy’s bowl…whatever!).

My thought? A mix of both. When we leave the gate open but Cindy’s still in her cage, Lucy will often hang out in the kitchen alternating between sniffing Cindy through the wire or sitting and staring at her from a distance.

Marty and I have given Lucy a bit of extra attention and snuggles and treats. Plus, Cindy is a ridiculously sloppy eater…

Food everywhere, every meal

Food everywhere, every meal

…so how could Lucy not like her even a little bit? Lucy gets all the extra food scattered on the floor, extra treats when I give Cindy a treat (there’s that Mommy guilt again) and she gets the entire living room all to herself all day. Cindy will lose weight (puking up your dinner will do that), Lucy will gain and I’ll be back to one normal-weight bulldog and one fatty. πŸ™‚

It’s been less than a week so it’ll be interesting to see what more time together will do for the Lucy-Cindy relationship.

Oh, the Things We Take for Granted

The past few days with Cindy have been an adventure, to say the least. From picking her up, getting her settled, scheduling vet appointments, taking care of two dogs, etc., it’s been a whirlwind of a few days. Not to mention that this afternoon the vet called with Cindy’s bloodwork results – the poor girl has Lyme’s disease and tested positive for heartworm 😦

Add on top of that the fact that Cindy wasn’t eating and the result is I’m a wreck. Except tonight I was able to (sort of) stop worrying about her eating, or lack thereof.

To rewind, at lunch today I tried feeding her the normal mix of rice and bouillon.

The only two bites of food she managed at lunch

The only two bites of food she managed at lunch

She gave up after two slurps. So, I tried again after dinner – same thing. I even switched to regular, yummy (?) dog food – still nothing. That is until Marty came up with might just be our solution, at least temporarily.

No bowl for Cindy - she prefers a plate!

No bowl for Cindy – she prefers a plate!

Marty said she’d probably never eaten out of a bowl – she didn’t know what it was or how to eat out of it! Of course! The puppy mill probably just threw food on the floor! I was so shortsighted to assume all dogs knew what bowls were and had always eaten out of them.

By putting the food on a plate, Cindy actually ate some! Although she preferred shoving it onto the floor and then eating it instead πŸ™‚

Floor, plate, whatever! At least she's eating!

Floor, plate, whatever! At least she’s eating!

Now, she did promptly puke up at least half of the food two minutes later (so we need to work on quantity and type of food), but it was progress that she even ate anything at all! Go Cindy!

Paging Dr. McCaffery

A big day in dog world today – Cindy had her first vet appointment. Sadly, it was probably her first-ever vet appointment! I heaved all 57 pounds of her into the back of my car and got assistance bringing her into the vet’s office πŸ™‚

So where do I begin?? First things first: she was a champ! She moved around as best she could so the vet could watch her walk, she sat there like a little lady while they examined her and she didn’t make a single peep! In fact, she was soaking up the attention!

Happy!

Happy!

They quickly ruled out pyo(metra) which is great! If she’d had pyo they would have had to do an emergency spay and with her weight she is no shape to go under anesthesia at this point! Her leaking is more than likely an infection so she’s loaded up with antibiotics. Her left eye is scratched and scarred from an entropion and likely a resulting ulcer. The ulcer is gone so we just have drops to treat the scarring.

Her teeth (the ones she has left!) are a mess and when they spay her they’ll do some dental work, as well. Not sure yet what that will entail but we’ll find out more once we schedule surgery.

What else…her ears actually look great, they cleaned out the wrinkles and I’ll keep up with the anti-fungal wash I have. We’ll stick with a rice diet for a few days to make sure she can keep all her meds down.

So what’s next? Operation Biggest Loser: Cinderella (a.k.a. Cindy)! She’s at 57 pounds and the vet would like to see her down to 45 pounds! That’s a crap-ton of weight so we’ll take it day by day. We’re going to take her for short (very short!) walks and hopefully that, combined with controlling her portions, will help the weight fall off. Not only will losing weight allow her to have surgery but it should also help her walk better, breathe better and hopefully be a little more comfortable overall.

Her shoulders are a wreck – no dog should be bred like this! – but we’ll get some weight off, give her some glucosamine and then take it from there in regards to how to proceed on her shoulders/elbows. Not sure there’s anything more we can do but we’ll explore all options.

Hang in there, Cindy!

P.S. – After bragging that she was house-trained (and I still think she is!), she copped a squat on the vet’s rug in the waiting room. I guess all the poking and prodding did a number on her bladder. Hey, when you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go!

Meet Cindy

So D-Day, or Pickup Foster Dog Day, came and went yesterday and what a 24 hours it has been!

I arrived in Harrisburg at 9:30 yesterday morning to pick up Cindy (who at the time was going by the name T.J. – not girly enough if you ask me!). First reaction? She is HUGE! Too big, obviously, but a very large girl and it was obvious from the start she has trouble walking. Her front elbows bow out dramatically; not sure if that’s breeding or a result of not getting much physical activity for most of her life.

First meeting

First meeting

And the poor thing has clearly never been taken care of. She smells and not of the typical dog smell. She has barely any teeth so I’m sure she has gum disease which will contribute to that smell. Cindy’s wrinkles have also clearly never been cleaned, neither had her tail pocket, and she has vaginal discharge. I know. Poor, poor baby.

Her boobs are practically bigger than mine (had to lighten the mood somehow!), so she’s clearly nursed quite a few litters. In fact, that’s why were toldΒ Cindy being surrendered by her owner; her owner had no use for her anymore because she was done having litters. How sad!!

However, she is the sweetest, sweetest thing. We’ll never know exactly what conditions she lived in and how much human interaction she had, but she is just a lovebug. You can tell she feels safe when she’s in her cage and seems to not pay much attention to you when you’re in the same room as her, but as soon as you let her out of her cage she comes right over and just looks at you with her big, crusty cow eyes.

Sweet Cindy

Sweet Cindy

And little Lucy? Well as expected, she has no idea what to make of this new (temporary) addition. I am keeping Cindy crated both because of Lucy and because she seems to feel very safe and comfy in there. I have a baby gate up between the kitchen and living room as Lucy is very…nosy and jumpy around Cindy! I don’t think Lucy likes her, necessarily, as they exchanged a few growls yesterday, but I also don’t think she dislikes her, either. I just don’t think she has any clue what to make of her – understandable, if you ask me!

To be honest, I’m feeling both overwhelmed and happy that we saved Cindy (I hope that’s what we’re doing!). The other bullie who was rescued from the same place with Cindy is far more detached than Cindy, apparently, but has similar issues – smell, poor teeth, etc.

Cindy and I have a vet appointment Monday morning so I’ll know a lot more after that. I know this is going to be a project to get her healthy enough for someone to adopt and I think it will be slightly stressful around here until then.

P.S. – Her new name came at the suggestion of a co-worker who thought Cinderella, Cindy for short, would be a good name and it’s perfect! We’ll get her from rags to riches soon!