Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

Daisy’s Humiliation – The Dreaded Sink Bath

Yes, we’re taking yet another precaution against Daisy hurting her back again…though the surgeon would be emphasizing the fact that it can be genetic and it can happen from a sneeze or a stretch!

It’s the dreaded sink bath.

Daisy isn’t a fan of baths as it is, but when DH would bathe her in the tub, she had too much space and she’d walk around, slipping here and there, sometimes making a futile attempt at escape. Even when he’d be shampooing her, she’d get jostled around a bit.

We decided that was now too risky, so we’re bathing her in the sink like when she was a 3-pound puppy. Then she disappeared in the sink, but now it’s just the right size to contain her. We also put a non-skid foam net in the base so she can’t slip around and we’re shampooing very gently.

Her humiliation level seems to have risen exponentially, as you can see.

Oh I don't believe this!

Oh I don’t believe this! I refuse to even look at you.

OH...MY...GOD... You're taking pictures of this humiliation?!!

OH…MY…GOD… You’re taking pictures of this humiliation?!!

You may be able to force me to take a bath, but I'm scheming to repay you. Trust me on that.

You may be able to force me to take a bath, but I’m scheming to repay you. Trust me on that.

We’re part of the Thursday Barks and Bytes Blog hop!

 

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Daisy and the Tornado Watch

We’ve had the most insane weather here. Below freezing one day, 60 degrees the next. No wonder everyone’s getting sick!

Last night we were under a tornado watch. The winds were scary – it reminded me of the early stages of Hurricane Sandy – and the rain was pelting the house with such force, I thought it would break through the windows. It sounded like Mother Nature was furious and trying to break in.

Daisy did not like this. At first she barked every time the windows creaked and the house groaned. Then she started barking at the rain slamming against the windows.

That is, until she found the perfect nesting spot underneath the folding table I was using for my computer, then the combination of comfy and closeness turned her into a laid back, come-what-may kind of gal.

I'm perfectly safe in here!

I’m perfectly safe in here!

I'll just take a nap while you guard the house against the storm. Wake me if we need to leave...

I’ll just take a nap while you guard the house against the storm. Wake me if we need to leave…

We did hear a metallic crash outside – I took a picture of what it was this morning:

street light

street light 2

The power company doesn’t seem to be in any rush to take care of this, even though the light was on all night, the interior is exposed and sitting in a pool of water, and the wires are exposed. I called them at midnight and again this morning, but still no one has come out. I guess our entire lawn and house need to catch fire before they’ll venture out.

Meanwhile, Daisy is taking it all in stride.

I have my comfy blankets in my snuggle spot with Mommy, and all is right with the world. :)

I have my comfy blankets in my snuggle spot with Mommy, and all is right with the world.:)

We’re part of the Thursday Barks and Bytes blog hop!

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The Beautiful Blizzard of 2016

I know we’re in the minority, but we’ve been so disappointed with the unseasonably warm temps this winter. Looking out of our windows on Christmas day and seeing our grass greener and healthier than it was all summer was not a welcome sight to us. Seeing the daffodils shoot up through the ground in January was just wrong.

But the beautiful blizzard made up for it all – with gusto! It started snowing four hours earlier than predicted; that storm blew in at 8 PM on Friday night and went straight through Sunday morning! Saturday was incredible with wild winds and tons of snow – we got 2 feet and drifts of over 4 feet! And I must say, it was a very considerate storm to start after everyone was home from work and end in plenty of time for everyone to shovel out on Sunday!:)

Here’s the view from our back door, you can see how deep the snow is outside. We still haven’t been able to open that door! And here’s Daisy in her new winter coat!

View from the back door...yeah, it's kinda deep...

View from the back door…yeah, it’s kinda deep…

Can we go out this way Mommy? It's way over my head, but I'll just burrow through like a gopher!

Can we go out this way Mommy? It’s way over my head, but I’ll just burrow through like a gopher!

We resurrected Daisy’s Winter Pee Patch – this will give you an idea of how high some of the snow was – other drifts were even higher!

Thanks for the nice high wall, I have lots of Pee Patch privacy now! :)

Thanks for the nice high wall, I have lots of Pee Patch privacy now!:)

We had a huge snow overhang off the roof that looked like an avalanche waiting to happen and an icicle that got longer and longer every day:

That icicle is over 3 feet long!

That icicle is over 3 feet long!

That Sunday closed with a beautiful winter sunset, complete with tree silhouettes:

blizzard 2016 6

And our little sweetie wrapped up her day in one of her favorite ways – a good cuddle with a good friend:

The snow was fun, but it's great to be warm and cozy inside. :)

The snow was fun, but it’s great to be warm and cozy inside.:)

We’re part of the Thursday Barks & Bytes blog hop!

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Taking All Precautions – Introducing a Puzzle Bowl!

We’re trying to head off any unforeseen setbacks before they can rear their ugly heads, and one thing we decided to do was switch from a regular bowl to a puzzle bowl (aka “go-slow or slow feed bowl”). We read about them on some of our blog buddies’ sites, who also introduced us to “bloat”, a horrible condition we’d never heard of before.

Daisy doesn’t actually scarf her food, but she does cough sometimes while she’s eating. We didn’t want her doing anything that could jar her little body and maybe cause pain during her recovery, and I’d been considering getting her a puzzle bowl for a while now, so we decided to stop considering it and just get the darned thing.

Kong came through with a BPA-free winner that we found at our local PetSmart.

And they had it in pink for our little girl!! :D

And they had it in pink for our little girl!!😀

Deep enough, but not too deep.

Deep enough, but not too deep.

Even with all those nooks and narrow passageways, we’ve found it extremely easy to clean because of its polished surface. But the real test was with our little fussbudget, who is quite particular about the vehicle that carries her food.

First, the sniff test.

First, the sniff test – underside.

Sniff testing it right side up.

Sniff testing it right side up.

The flip - just to make sure everything is still okay. Can't be too careful with the thing that carries your food!

The flip – just to make sure everything is still okay. Can’t be too careful with the thing that carries your food!

And now for the BIG test – actually putting food in.

Is that my food in the new bowl?? BRING IT!!

Is that my food in the new bowl?? BRING IT!!

After some tentative sniffs…we have lickoff!

Hey, this is fun!

Hey, this is fun!

I found more food back here! Wow!

I found more food back here! Wow!

And the thing that thrilled us most – she was voluntarily standing in the crate to eat! Her recovery is going much better than any of us anticipated.

You can see her left leg right there - it's almost back to normal!

You can see her left leg right there – it’s almost back to normal!

It did take our little adventurer some time to realize there were pieces of kibble in narrow areas and it took even longer for her to figure out how to get them, but that’s partially the point of the thing. Besides the pieces being so spread out, the juices are also spread out, so she can’t lap them up so fast that she gags (which she used to do). Since she’s been using this bowl, we haven’t heard a cough or gag once, and it takes her about three times as long to eat her food. What a brilliant little invention!

We’re part of the Thursday Barks and Bytes blog hop!

 

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Holiday Daisy

I think Daisy deliberately waited until the holiday season to throw her disk out of whack so she wouldn’t be forced to:

  • wear her reindeer antlers
  • wear her candy cane jingle collar
  • partake in tree decorating (aka being wrapped in garland and lights)
  • or any of the other humiliating fun Christmas traditions she tolerates enjoys.

But in the spirit of the season, I’m going to post some pictures I never got a chance to put up last year of our Daisy stealing water originally destined for the Christmas tree. In Daisy’s mind, water in anything other than her bowl is “special water” and is irresistible!

What's that over there with the water in it?

What’s that over there with the water in it?

I'll just keep it company...I'm not doing anything...

I’ll just keep it company…I’m not doing anything…

Just repositioning...nothing to worry about...tra lala...

Just repositioning…nothing to worry about…tra lala…

This is looking pretty enticing...

This is looking pretty enticing…

Maybe just a sniff...

Maybe just a sniff…

OOPS! Caught in the act!

OOPS! Caught in the act!

You're okay with me, buddy!

You’re okay with me, buddy!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all our blog friends who have been there for us all year, through the good, the bad, and the difficult!

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Canine Disk Surgery Recovery Journal – Neurosurgeon Follow-up Visit (Day 16)

Let’s get right to it – the neurosurgeon was thrilled with Daisy’s progress so far! Especially considering that she was in such iffy condition when we brought her home coupled with the fact that the surgeon had said we should only expect to see small improvements weekly, specifically NOT daily. BUT as you saw in this recovery journal, Daisy did make progress daily, and our little girl surprised even a highly experienced neurosurgeon.

The surgeon asked, “Can she walk a little for me?” DD put Daisy on the floor, and she tore across the room to run and hide behind me! I walked a little so Daisy would walk, and I must say, she put on her best show! The neurosurgeon was impressed with all of her progress. Still, Daisy has to have four more weeks of strict crate rest – we still have to carry her down to the curb to go potty, and no extended walks yet. But those four more weeks are shorter than were expected – it was supposed to be eight weeks of strict crate rest; two weeks were shaved off.:)

Her left rear leg did react to testing, which it wasn’t doing before the surgery. And that’s only after two weeks, so it will probably get even stronger and better over time.

AND – no more sling! We can take her on her short walks without using the sling at all – at this point it wasn’t holding her up anyway, it was just there in case she needed it and to give her confidence. Walking her and carrying her in and out will be much easier now.

And we can bathe Daisy and groom her – thank goodness! She’s getting a bit…::ahem::…scented these days…and her hair has gone wild without a trim!

LOOK AT THAT CRAZY BEARD!!

LOOK AT THAT CRAZY BEARD!!

That’s the good news – which is all the most important stuff anyway.

The medium news, which we can adjust to: no rough play, meaning no more tug-o-war, no more chasing toys, no more intense running – EVER. And while we can certainly eliminate those more high-powered activities, it’s going to be a battle getting Daisy to stop. Tug-o-war is her favorite game, and racing like a lunatic through the house is a favorite activity. We can ignore her prompts to play tug-o-war (though it’s hard not playing something with her that we know she loves, especially when she teases us with a toy), but how do we stop her from racing around? Maybe we’ll have to limit her to smaller areas of the house – lots of baby gates will be needed!

Also, though her incision is healing well, the surgeon said she seems to be having a bit of “suture reactivity”, meaning there are little bumps along the incision from the stitches under the skin (possibly an allergic reaction). It’s not bad, though, and we can put either Vitamin E or triple antibiotic cream on it to help it along. She said if we see little ends of stitches popping out through the incision anywhere, “just pull them out” – I think we’ll leave that to DH, he’s much better with icky stuff than we are! Hopefully we won’t have to deal with that anyway.

Peach fuzz is getting longer and softer, but doesn't this remind you of a fire break in the woods? :)

Peach fuzz is getting longer and softer, but doesn’t this remind you of a fire break in the woods?:)

The bad news: this could happen again. The surgeon said she’s seen dogs go through 2 or 3 disk surgeries in a lifetime, though it’s not common…but it can still happen. DD asked what we can do to prevent it, and the answer was “Nothing. If it happens again, it’s not your fault – this is a degenerative disk disease.” So while we will limit her activities, the surgeon said she could pop a disk just by stretching or walking off a curb. We’re praying it doesn’t happen again – mostly because we don’t want her going through that agony again, but also because our wallets can’t really handle any more expensive surgeries!

In my view, the good news far outweighs the bad news and the bad part may never happen anyway. So we’re happy, she’s happy, the surgeon is happy – our Christmas will be jolly!😀

I got a good report from my surgeon - I'm a happy pup again! :D

I got a good report from my surgeon – I’m a happy pup again!😀

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Canine Disk Surgery Recovery Journal – Day 13

Yet more progress today – Daisy tried to scratch her ear with her left back paw! She actually picked up the paw and made an attempt, but it wasn’t strong enough yet to do the job. So after a few slow, cautious swipes that either didn’t connect or were just too weak, she gave up. DD went over and gave her a good scratching, and did Daisy ever love it! Now I’m more sure than ever that her back leg will regain its strength and ability, and even if it ends up not being quite what it was, it will be enough for her to get around and use it. But hey, only two weeks ago she had NO use of it at all!😀

And now when one of us comes home and goes straight to Daisy’s crate to pet and calm her, when we open the door she’s actually trying to come out! More good progress.

Cuddling with one of her favorite soft toys

Cuddling with one of her favorite soft toys

We go back to see the neurosurgeon on Monday, and I’m anxious to hear what she says. Daisy does want to walk more, so I hope she says we can do that. I know she’ll still be confined to her crate for another 4-6 weeks, but she’s very interested in her twice daily walks and is trying to walk faster (we’re not letting her do that until we get the okay from the doctor). DD only uses the sling as a precaution now, she doesn’t actually hold Daisy up with it. This little pup is doing it all on her own.😀😀

She also did a full shake-off today, and her tail is up again. Always a good sign!

Her favorite crate position  - always with her head on her little pillow. :)

Her favorite crate position – always with her head on her little pillow.:)

My wonderful holistic doctor, who has four big super-healthy dogs of his own and has done extensive studies on the dog version of holistic medicine, has given us a lot of good advice along with turmeric and probiotics to put in her food. So I feel like she’s getting the best care from every medical direction.:)

And on a lighter note, some peach fuzz is starting to grow in on her shaved back.:) Meanwhile, the rest of her hair is growing out of control! Just wait til that first bath and grooming…😉

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Canine Disk Surgery Recovery Journal – Day 10

Things are going along well – Daisy peed outside twice again today, and she went back to her normal habit of peeing in several different spots rather than just going once. She’s pooping normally again too – WHEW! I never thought I’d spend so much time focused on a dog’s bathroom habits!

Daisy actually seems to focus on figuring out how to work her now only partially lame leg. Sometimes in her crate, she’ll drag her back half around, then stop and stare at the leg – she seems to be thinking about what to do. Usually she’ll make an attempt at standing in a different way; a couple of times she’s fallen over, and it’s so hard to keep myself from rushing over to help and to stop myself from gasping. But I know I can’t or else she’d become dependent on help and sense my emotions. In the end, she doesn’t seem to get hurt and she always figures out how to work that leg. It’s like watching a little 15-pound miracle. I so admire the instinct and determination in dogs.

She’s back to being Crazy Daisy again – she gets super excited when one of us comes into the house, so now DD has to get down on the floor, open the crate door and try to hold Daisy semi-still while the other of us who just came in hurries to reach in and pet her/calm her. This will be our biggest challenge – trying to keep her from re-injuring herself by getting overly excited to see us. It’s great that she has that joy back, but it’s also dangerous, both now and once she’s out of the crate. We’ve tried many ways in the past to get her to calm down a bit when we come home – she jumps with all four paws off the floor and sometimes spins around; a couple of times she landed in scary ways, though she never yiped. But that has to stop now, I wouldn’t be surprised if all that contributed to her disk problem.

So now that we’re in a relatively calm period (though we still take notice of and celebrate every tiny new improvement), I’d like to post a few pics of us passing your POTP and kindnesses on to Daisy – I know you all helped her healing along…and you still are.

Good morning, Sunshine! :D

Good morning, our little sunshine!😀

Passing the POTP lovies on to Daisy; she's sending lovies back with a big lick.

Passing your POTP lovies on to Daisy; she’s sending lovies back to you all with a big lick.

Irresistible!

Irresistible!

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Canine Disk Surgery Recovery Journal – Days 8 and 9

TUESDAY SPECIAL PEE-MAIL EDITION!!!!

YES! You read that right – Daisy peed on her own this morning and tonight, and they were good long ones in a normal squatting position! Shout it from the rooftops – Houston, we have pee-off!😀😀😀

This is the best Christmas present we could ever get; it’s truly an answer to our prayers. I can’t tell you how ecstatic we are! All your prayers, POTP and positive thoughts helped so much; and now our dear friend Easy can at long last uncross his tightly crossed POTP paws that were praying for Daisy’s “yellow river” to arrive – what a relief for him!:)

Minutes before the momentous occasion - have you ever seen so much human support surrounding one tiny pup? LOL

Minutes before the momentous occasion – have you ever seen so much human support surrounding one tiny pup? LOL

AND – as if that’s not enough – Daisy most definitely used her left leg today, both to balance and to walk! Up until now that left leg was hanging at frighteningly awkward angles when she stood or lying like a limp, broken noodle underneath her, sometimes dangling in front of her right leg and tripping her when she tried walking, which is why we had to hold her back end up with the sling so that only her toes touched the ground. But today, look at this stance!

Look at that balance!! Her back legs are actually spread and the left leg is solidly on the ground. :D

Look at that balance!! Her back legs are actually spread and the left leg is solidly on the ground.😀

The sling is relaxed - not holding her up at all and she's holding her own - STILL STANDING!! :D :D

The sling is relaxed – not holding her up at all and she’s holding her own – STILL STANDING!!😀😀

She’s very excited to come out of the crate to go outside twice a day, and she seems to want to stay outside for as long as we’ll let her. But we’re still under strict orders from the neurosurgeon not to let her walk much, so we’ll just stay with the program until our appointment with the neurosurgeon on Monday.

I missed posting yesterday because I spent hours out of the house, making up for the past week of doing nothing but helping DD take care of Daisy’s needs (DD is proving to be a super amazing pup-nurse!) – and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. But I’m behind in everything and yesterday was just a start at trying to catch up.

Day 8 (Backtracking, written late Monday night)
On Monday we saw yet another improvement in Daisy – she did a couple of big stretches in a sitting position, stretching her head straight up long and hard. We were thrilled! She’s also using her left back thigh muscle a little more when we take her outside. We’re hoping that will lead to her being able to squat soon because the vet now wants her to pee twice a day, not just once. We know that’s better for her, but all this time we’ve been told that once a day was all that was needed. Now he says she needs to pee every 8-12 hours, which would mean two trips down to the hospital. It’s 25 minutes each way, which doesn’t sound bad until you do it every single night and are then faced with doing it every morning plus every night – add it up and it’s almost 2 hours of travel time per day (without any traffic delays – we have to take two highways). And the morning run would be during work hours, which is impossible.

So getting her to go is now reaching a crisis point. The vet says that by just going once a day, she’s still facing a risk of infection AND a risk of having a distended bladder.

In better news though, she’s sitting up even more often – always to eat and sometimes to get lovies or just to say hello.:)

31 Comments »

Canine Disk Surgery Recovery Journal – Day 7

Yep, it’s one solid week – 7 days – since we brought our sweet girl home from the hospital. In that time we’ve really seen marked improvement in many areas.

DD took Daisy outside for a little more time twice today and tried a couple more of her favorite sniffing areas, but still no results. I noticed from when Daisy was a puppy that she was stubborn, and she is – she doesn’t like doing things differently, so she’ll just put her little paw down and flatly refuse. And unfortunately peeing with a lame leg and a sling around her seems to be one of those “different” things that make her refused to pee. The only reason she poops at the vet’s is because she’s so upset at being there, it literally scares the crap right out of her (sorry for the crudeness!); however, today she did a small one after DD tried expressing her. Sometimes that seems to stimulate her bowels – either that or the sheer fear of being expressed produces one! Anyway, looks like we’ll be making yet another trip to the vet tonight. ::sigh:: I can’t even tell you how stressful this has become.

She did a mini half-shake today, which is another new improvement. Shaking was something Daisy had a hard time doing before her surgery, so the fact that she gave it a try and was able to do half a shake is positive. Isn’t it amazing how the little ordinary things become so extraordinary and noteworthy at times like these?

Almost a complete curl!

Almost a complete curl! And looking very much more normal.:)

Evening update: It was back to the vet for expressing, but we had another encouraging sign: when DD opened the crate door to lift Daisy out, she sat up, then started moving toward the open door on her own! She stood up on “all threes” – still not wanting to use that lame leg – but she’s never shown a desire to push herself up or walk out the door of the crate. We were so excited about that!

So really it’s the whole bathroom issue that remains, otherwise we’re on a good track. But two funny things – while waiting at the vet’s, a couple came in to pick up their cat…named Monster! What mischief that kitty must get up to! And also, when I went up to the receptionist when we got there, a vet tech passing by looked at me and said, “Daisy, right?” I didn’t know whether to laugh or blush!

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