Friday, January 31, 2014

"That dog sure is spoiled!"

I don't get a comment like that a lot, once in awhile, in casual conversation, somebody refers to Elka as "spoiled". Arguably, that's a pretty rude thing to say, but she's just a dog, right?

Anyway. Is Elka spoiled? I think it's kind of in the eye of the beholder.



Friday, January 24, 2014

Madison is safe and found, but you can still help her out!

Madison the Doberman mix (I think I saw somebody speculate the might be a Doberman-Kelpie cross?) is going to be staying with Illinois Doberman Rescue for the time being.

She was due to continue transport to Doberman Rescue Alliance Wisconsin, but in her veterinary checkup after she was found, the vet was concerned about her traveling any more. You see, the back injury they knew she had is apparently a broken L-7 vertebrae (like, literally in two pieces broken), and it could be considered a miracle that she still has continence and control of her tail.

Madison is also apparently heartworm positive and their vet has detected which might be an additional murmur. I've written about Doberman heart problems before; being a mix doesn't exempt her from such possibilities, unfortunately.

(picture from IDR Facebook page)

Donations for Madison can be made on her page on the Illinois Doberman Rescue Plus web page, via PayPal. She'll be staying in Illinois, as the vets think she's an excellent candidate for surgery, and they have access to good specialists that work with the rescue.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Obie for adoption Pennsylvania

Blue is no longer listed on the Distinguished Doberman Rescue website, which per usual, I will take it to mean she's found a home. Is optimism a bad thing? I hesitate to judge it so, in cases such as these.

So today we're going to talk about Obie, who is for adoption through Dreaming of Better Endings Rescue, inc.

(picture from Doberman Talk thread on Obie)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Arthritis and Supplements for Dogs , sponsored by Lintbells


How to spot the 7 visible signs of ageing

We don’t like to think that our dog is getting older but it is important to recognise the signs and remember that some signs of ageing are not always visible. Many of the following can be seen simply as ‘old age’ however many of these problems are treatable and your dog can still live an enjoyable life:

Stiffness and joint pain

Does your dog:

• Appear reluctant to walk, jump, or play?
• Limp? 
• Lag behind on walks? 
• Have difficulty rising from a resting position? 
• Yelp when touched?
• Sleep more?

If you answered YES to any of the above signs your dog could be suffering from joint stiffness and pain. This can occur as your dog gets older, a long walk may have strained their muscles or joints or, as in humans, joints can deteriorate over time (osteoarthritis).

To help your dog with their joint issues find out more about the UKs fastest selling joint supplement - YUMOVE

Change in coat colour and appearance

As a dog gets older more white hair will appear in their coat especially around the muzzle. The body also finds it harder to produce the natural oils needed to keep their coat healthy. Ask your vet or vet nurse to suggest an Omega 3 & 6 supplement to help your dog’s skin and coat restore its natural beauty.

Change in toilet frequency

Muscles in older dogs can weaken causing them to need the toilet more often. Let them out more frequently to prevent any accidents in the house.

Loss of sight or hearing

Older dogs can begin to lose their sight, you may notice they bump into things that have moved in the home. Try not to make any big changes in room layouts as this can be stressful for them. Dogs losing their hearing can often be mistaken for being old and stubborn so we shout instead. Why not try to retrain them with hand signals – old dogs CAN learn new tricks!

Losing or gaining weight

Older dogs have different nutritional needs to younger dogs. You may notice that your dog has started to gain or lose weight. Feed them a diet tailored to their needs, and take your dog in to see your vet nurse for regular weight checks to monitor any changes in weight and catch any problems early on.

Plaque build-up & eating less

You may notice that the smell of your dog’s breath has changed. If caught early enough, dental problems may be able to be managed at home with a dental diet or tooth cleaning so it is better to catch the problem sooner rather than later to prolong the need for full dental treatment.

Drinking more

An increase in thirst can be due to many conditions. It is best to discuss with your vet, or vet nurse if you have noticed your dog drinking more, as to what the cause could be.

It is still very important to go for regular checks at your vet practice during your dog's senior life to spot any underlying problems and keep them at them at their best.

Source: Lintbells.com and this page about supplement for dogs

Holding her Licker

Elka licks. It's a thing she does.

She licks people who let her (and sneaks it in sometimes on those who do not), she licks her toys, she licks herself. Occasionally I've had to utter the improbably phrases "Elka, don't lick the floor" and "Elka, don't lick the couch."

With a tongue like that, you might as well use it, I guess.



Friday, January 17, 2014

Statistical Fun

It's been awhile since I've posted about what brings people to the Elka Almanac. Actually, since Google changed the way their searches work, search terms are encrypted now a lot of the time which makes things difficult. For the most part, it seems like my business cards do not, in fact, drive traffic. It's a good way to give people my email address, anyway.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January 19 is Illinois Doberman Rescue's Adopt-a-Thon



This sounds like a great event! You get to meet a bunch of dogs at once, which would otherwise be difficult, since IDR has no central "shelter" facility but rather relies on fosters. To check out Illinois Doberman Rescue's adoption policies, you can go here. You can sign up to adopt at the event if you are not already an approved adopter, and if you'd like, you can sign up to volunteer with IDR+!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Conversations with Dogs

Every time we have a "new" person, they must acclimate to Elka. I don't mean in the "we let her do what she wants and so they have to deal with it" way. I mean in the "this dog is as intelligent as a toddler and that can be kind of mind blowing at times" way.

Elka tries very clearly to communicate with us. I sort of get the impression that a lot of Dobermans, and other intelligent breeds, do as well. They want to get their point across. And because we've always talked so much to Elka, her comprehensive vocabulary is pretty good. I've never tried to count how many words I think she knows. I don't mean cues or commands specifically, I mean words in general.




Friday, January 10, 2014

The Cropping and Docking topic rears its head again

Dogster.com had an article this week, written by Annie Phenix of "Ask the Trainer" columnship, on her stance of cropping and docking. She seems to be of the opinion that it causes behavioral, emotional, and social problems for dogs, which is an interesting topic, to be sure, though not one any actual scientific research has been done on (that I know of; the body of research I have at my fingertips could be considered limited. I'd love to read it if such studies have been done and published!)

However, she also opens the article with the obviously-meant-to-be-facetious comparison that she wanted her (grown) German Shepherd to "look more tough", so decided to dock and crop the (adult) dog. This is simply not done. A tail dock at an adult age is a full on amputation, and that dog will miss his or her tail. A tail dock done to a puppy is minimal, done at 3ish days before the bones have ossified, and with appropriate pain management and anesthetic. Ears must be cropped prior to 12 weeks, or you'll end up with a crop and flop, so might as well have gone natural anyway. I also found the article to be rather anthropomorphic, but as I attribute thoughts and feelings to Elka all the time, I don't really want to be a hypocrite. Just thought I'd mention.