Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

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

National Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Just a quick post to make all animal lovers and pet owners aware that there are some things you can do to help prevent cancer in your pets.

Read this important article at Dog Channel for nine ways to prevent canine cancer – these strategies can be used by cat owners too.

More to come on this topic next week.

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Havachon Hair Fashionista

This was before my first haircut. ::sigh:: I'm gonna need some mousse for this thing....

This silly puppy emphasizes her girlyness all the time – she has a thing about her hair just like human girls do!

After playing for a while, Daisy will preen the long hair on her tail, seemingly trying to straighten the curls and waves into some kind of order. She’ll actually grab the long hairs sticking off the end of her tail and pull them straight with her teeth over and over again, until they comply. Then she studies them to decide if they’re organized well enough.

Much better now!

When DD uses a flat iron to straighten her hair (curly hair runs through our whole family, so Daisy’s definitely one of us!), Daisy watches her intently as if she’s figuring out just how to do that.

Funny little puppy!

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No Puppy Bath For TWO WEEKS Now…..

Now that the worry has passed about Daisy’s spaying, I have to say that the next worst thing is the fact that we haven’t been allowed to bathe her for two weeks – until her stitches come out on Saturday.

How humiliating! I HATE baths!

Guess what’s happening Saturday afternoon?? LOL

We’ll have that sweet-smelling doggy shampoo ready and waiting when we get home from the vet! We’re SO looking forward to seeing her hair all fluffy and clean again. I just hope he gives us the “all clear” to bathe her right away. If not, you can bet that our Countdown to Bathtime will continue and she’ll be bathed the first minute of the first day it’s allowed!!

The strange thing is that she still feels silky-soft and, unless you put your nose right up against her, she doesn’t have that “doggy smell”. I guess it’s the cooler weather that’s helping – during the summer, we always knew when bath day was approaching because we could smell HER approaching! LOL

Daisy probably thinks she’s really getting away with something since she hasn’t had to tolerate a bath for so long. Boy, is she in for a rude awakening soon! 🙂

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Bad Vet Chalks Up More Victims

Before we found our current vet, another vet was recommended to us by a friend, who still uses him. He’s part of a veterinary hospital chain, and before he nearly killed our puppy, we’d never even heard of chain vets.

I'm so happy we don't go to Bad Vet anymore!

We know of several patients at our new vet’s office who also left Bad Vet (and the office staff tells us there are many more) – a few were botched spay surgeries, and others were illnesses that Bad Vet didn’t bother diagnosing, so the dogs and cats were getting progressively worse while this joke of a vet just stood by and collected their money every time they brought their sick pet in.

How could he be so heartless and uncaring?

My friend still uses Bad Vet, and her dog nearly died recently too. Her dog was vomiting violently around the clock for two days straight, could hardly walk, trembled, and had no interest in anything. Not typical of this normally energetic Jack Russell.

She took her dog in after the first bout, and Bad Vet said he could alter the dog’s medication (she’s on an anti-anxiety med and something else for hyperactivity), which didn’t work at all. After the second bout, she took the dog in again, and Bad Vet said there was nothing he could do.

This is exactly what we heard him tell another patient, an elderly man dearly attached to his cat, who he was now told was going to die. He held that cat close as he walked out of the vet’s office, his head bowed down and tears streaming down his face at the morbid diagnosis. I wish I could have found that man after we left Bad Vet and told him to get a second opinion – his long-time companion may have been saved.

My friend took her dog in to see a different vet, and lo and behold, it turned out that her dog has an enlarged esophagus and had to be fed in an upright position to help the food go down. Miracle of miracles, her dog is fine now and running around like a puppy again.

So simple. But a vet has to care enough to diagnose a dog, not just give up on it.

Just like with our own doctors, we need to ask questions of veterinarians, get second and third opinions, and do our research. Just because someone has a degree doesn’t make him/her a good vet, nor does it mean he/she has your pet’s best interest at heart. We are the voices for our pets, since they can’t express themselves verbally. We know them best, we know the signs when something’s wrong, and they rely on us to help them. There are plenty of good vets out there; take the time to find one.

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How Spaying Spoiled Our Havachon!

“Spoiled” as in “bratty” – not “spoiled” as in “ruined”! LOL

Daisy has now fully returned to her energetic, playful self, but with one extra unwanted facet – she’s acting like a spoiled brat. Queen of the castle, ruler of the house. Very self confident to the point of taking risks and trying new things that aren’t allowed.

This is not going over well with us. At all.

It seems that two solid days of cuddling her when she was really hurting, whining in pain, and unable to move around well, followed by another three days of attention and companionship served to spoil her just as much as they served to help heal her. During those days, she’d stare into my eyes with the sweetest, softest yet most pathetic expression that looked like a cross between “help me” and “thank you”.

But now it appears that her previous training has gone right out the window, along with her doggy “manners”. She’s demanding, bratty, aggressive, and seems full of herself – if she was a toddler, she’d be having LOTS of time outs.

How fast puppies can unlearn good behavior and limits when they’re catered to for just a short time!

In addition, she’s jumped up on the sofa twice and has, for the first time ever, jumped up on the raised brick hearth in the family room. This wouldn’t be a problem except, as you can see from the photo, we have some decorative items on the hearth, which we now may have to remove since there’s no way to keep her off the hearth.

Today we went back to basics and started retraining her from square one. No allowances for cuteness, no deviating from Jan Fennell’s original training  rules that worked so well the first time around. When we’re busy doing things or walking from room to room and Daisy starts jumping on us as well as leaping high in the air and lunging AT us hard (this is all the new aggressiveness), we tell her “no” firmly and ignore her, going about our business. After a few more futile attempts, she gives up – this is what’s supposed to happen; she’s learning that this behavior doesn’t get her what she wants.

When we’re sitting on the sofa and she stands up with her front paws on the sofa demanding attention or to be picked up, we tell her “down”. She listens, but grumbles and/or yaps a lot, eventually calming down. Still, we’re achieving the desired result, and it’s taking root faster than when we first trained her. Clearly she remembers the rules; she just chose to forget them for a while. Eventually the grumbling should stop and she should go back to behaving like she did pre-spay.

She’s overly playful in an aggressive sort of way too, and that sweet expression in her eyes has been replaced by a look of dominance and demands. So far she hasn’t done anything threatening, but we’re not waiting around to see if it would get to that. She clearly sees that we’re in a power struggle now, and she’s starting to back down.

It’s a battle of wills and we’re not giving in. We want our puppy back.

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Dog Toy Bacteria Danger – Wash or Waste?

Daisy has one toy that has survived her sharp teeth for several months – it’s the only “veteran” in her toy collection. Clearly the best made toy we’ve invested in!

This is the toughest toy I've ever had!

It’s a small stuffed ring with little squares of material protruding from it like stumpy spokes. Every other “spoke” is filled with a crinkly material that makes a crunchy sound when Daisy bites it. Daisy LOVES anything with sound to it.

Lately I noticed that when she plays with this toy, the stuffed ring gets saturated. Not just wet – saturated. It’s pretty gross. Thinking about this, I became concerned about the bacteria that could be growing inside this toy and could possibly make Daisy sick.

Yup, it sure can.

Apparently, stuffed dog toys are notorious bacteria breeders. Your dog can get any number of symptoms from diarrhea to gum issues because of the bacteria growing in toys, and even if your vet gives Puppy an antibiotic to clear up the problem, poor Puppy will just keep getting re-infected if he/she keeps playing with that dirty toy.

It’s been suggested by companies like Hartz that chewing ropes and stuffed toys can “harbor all sorts of microbes”. (::shudder:: ) A US government study found that bacteria can be killed by microwaving bacteria-producers like sponges, and some dog toys can be microwaved safely too.

To keep your dog from ingesting potentially hazardous bacteria, Hartz recommends cleaning these types of toys:

  • Chewing ropes – these can be microwaved for one minute, but it’s recommended that you keep an eye on the rope just in case, and use protective covering on your hand when removing the hot rope from the microwave. An alternative is to run the rope through the hot cycle of your dishwasher without adding detergent. The water is much hotter than running hot sink water over the toy, which won’t kill bacteria.
  • Stuffed toys – wash in your washing machine on the hot water setting; flimsy toys may not be sturdy enough to withstand a wash cycle, but a better made toy will. They should also be able to go through the dryer.
  • Any toys that are breaking or that your dog can bite chunks off should be thrown away. We had a Nylabone that Daisy was able to destroy within a few days at only 4 months of age. However, we found a hard plastic Nylabone specifically made for tough chewers, and she’s been working on that for 2 months. She’s only just now starting to take small shreds off it and make good-sized dents in it. She’ll be getting a new one in the near future!

I put Daisy’s ring toy through the hot water wash with her bath towels and blankets; I use one of the “free and clear” detergents with no perfumes, dyes, etc. to make sure nothing irritating gets left behind. That magical ring went through the washer and dryer and still looks like its ol’ self! And it was only a $4 toy!

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