Nov. 18th, 2010 03:16 pm
juliet: My dog Sidney jumping off the bandstand in the park (sidney jumping)
Sidney is back home & perfectly fine, thankfully. I'd like to think that she's learnt some kind of lesson from this experience, but I fear that that is monumentally unlikely :)

The vet nurses all think she's lovely, though, and curiously, she was much more relaxed on returning to the vet today for final blood test (she came home last night) than she has been previously.
juliet: My dog Sidney jumping off the bandstand in the park (sidney jumping)
Did you know that grapes & raisins are toxic to dogs? No, me neither, until Monday around midnight, when we discovered that the 0.5kg of raisins Sidney had stolen earlier in the day might give her renal failure.

So it was ho! for the emergency vet in Streatham (I have taken that taxi ride too many damn times, although this was Sid's first visit), where they admitted her and stuck her on a drip for 48 hrs. She was transferred to our own vet yesterday morning so I got to go and visit her in the afternoon, when she was clearly very perky, if a little stressed at being stuck in a small kennel in a strange place.

All blood tests have come back fine, she's peeing fine, she's eating & not vomiting, and she seems well in herself, so we've been cleared to take her home tonight. (This decision may have been affected slightly by the fact that while they were cleaning her kennel out today she bit through her lead and tried to go for a wander, in classic BORED NOW mode*. Thankfully, if slightly to my surprise, she hasn't tried to chew through the drip.)

Aaaaanyway. She'll be fine. But apparently raisins are (or can be**) toxic to dogs, so there we go.

I have probably been doing other things, but right now they have gone from what passes for my mind. Oh yes, [livejournal.com profile] dogrando & I went to Camber Sands the weekend before last, and it was lovely. Primarily featured were: reading, eating, having the odd beer, walking on the beach.

* She is apparently undertaking a tour of S London supermarkets, having bitten through her lead and followed me into both the local Co-op and the Morrisons in Streatham. She always looks terribly pleased about it as well. "I got bored! So I came to find you! And here you are!" I have now learnt better, yes, at least until we get around to getting a chain lead for her.
** No one knows quite why. The evidence to date is that some dogs have a couple of grapes & go into renal failure; others gromph pounds of the stuff and even without treatment experience only a dodgy tummy for a day or so. Obviously we didn't want to take the risk with Sid, hence the proactive kidney-supporting fluids. It's thought that it *might* be some sort of bacteria or fungus or... something, but it's all a bit of a mystery.
juliet: My dog Sidney jumping off the bandstand in the park (sidney jumping)
Pete took some photos of Sidney in the park.

This weekend she has alternated between being really quite good, & being Very Bad Indeed (turfing the contents of the kitchen bin all over the kitchen & hallway). She is v cute throughout, though.
juliet: (tea)
Latest stage in ongoing housetraining attempts with Sidney: me staying up until 3am to take her out every 45 min or so (unsuccessful: she doesn't like going to the toilet when on-lead, & if let off-lead in the square at night she gets wildly distracted & goes sniffing round the rat-holes at the bottom). At that point I was sufficiently stressed that it wasn't worth keeping going, so I slept on the sofa in the living-room instead (until handing over to P at 7am & sleeping for a couple of hrs actually in bed). The good news is, she was clean overnight. The bad news is, I am absolutely knackered & drinking coffee for the second time this week :-/

Did go climbing yesterday, though, which was top fun. Did assorted 4* bouldering problems, and then worked out the first half of a V0, which I was pleased with . (And Sidney was left alone for 3 hrs & seemed fine with this, although she did rip up a bit of abandoned cardboard once she'd finished with her Kong.)
juliet: Grown-up Bramble rat with baby Ash and Rowan rats (ash bramble rowan)

Things we have learnt this week from or about Sidney:

  • She can go through a Pedigree Chum Jumbone chew in 3 minutes flat (I timed her). After which she will evince gastrointestinal distress in the form of *unpleasant smells* for the next several hours.
  • She thinks 7am is the correct time to wake up. If the humans refuse to wake up at this time; well, she is resourceful and self-motivated. She can find ways to amuse herself.
  • Apparently, the Andrex puppy commercials are in fact documentary. Who knew?
  • DM shoelaces are fun to chew off. As are DM tags. Veggie DMs are apparently a lot less interesting (ha, SCORE FOR THE VEGANS).
  • Pigeons, when chased, flap off in a big kerfuffle. Crows, when chased, lift up about 3' and glide grumpily about 3' & then settle back down again.
  • Crows also *remember* you if you chase them, and then they send one of their number to divebomb you when you are trying to evacuate your bowels. (This actually didn't seem to bother her all that much. I was the one getting a bit worried. If it came to fisticuffs, I'd bet on the crow over Sidney.)
  • Chews are not toys. Chews are food. Thus, if you hand over a chew at 11pm (in the hope it will be morning entertainment in place of the DMs) a) it will not still be there in the morning to be entertaining, and b) what goes in the puppy must come out of the puppy again.
  • It is possible to fit a Sidney-sized dog through a surprisingly small gap in the banisters, if the Sidney-sized dog is feeling motivated enough.
  • Smaller dogs make excellent hurdles, if you have failed to decelerate fast enough on your way towards them.
I am bloody knackered atm, I can tell you that. (Woke up twice last night thinking she might need to be taken out; actually took her out once.)

juliet: Grown-up Bramble rat with baby Ash and Rowan rats (ash bramble rowan)
Sidney is settling in beautifully, bless her. Housetraining still a little erratic, but we're getting there. (For now, she is not allowed upstairs, where there is carpet.) She's basically very obliging/keen to Do The Right Thing, as & when she understands what the Right Thing is :) Her table manners are pretty good (i.e. she stands or sits and stares longingly at us, rather than sticking nose-under-elbow) although her human-eating-on-sofa manners aren't quite there yet (stands a bit too close for comfort!).

I let her off-lead in the park yesterday afternoon & this morning, on the grounds that a) she does know her name and her on-lead / in-house recall is good, & b) she was getting relaxed enough to start pelting off on the extending lead, & I was worrying that she might hurt herself when she ran out of lead. (If we want to use it much in future, we'll need to get a harness instead, I think; but being able to let her off-lead when she doesn't need to be on a short lead would be far preferable.) It went very well! Although there were a couple of occasions where calling her over for a treat was unsuccessful: just too focussed on whatever she was sniffing at to hear me. When I got her attention, she came back happily. Hurrah.

More importantly: she runs very, very fast, and she clearly loves just hooning around in circles, although it is EVEN BETTER if she has a thing to run after. She jumped straight over some poor dog this morning: pelted over to say hello & couldn't decelerate quite fast enough, so she bounced over him instead and screeched to a halt.

Sidney: Hi! Who are you? Hello hi hello!
Other dog: Um. Hi?
Sidney: Hello hello hi hello! Are you going to run? C'mon, come and run with me!
Other dog: Um. [looks a little worried]
Me: Hey, Sidney, I think he doesn't want to play.
Sidney: OH WELL fair enough [zooom off towards me]

I am bracing myself for the expected bad behaviour/boundary-pushing in a fortnight or so (lots of rescue dogs go through this once they've settled down a bit & stop being all "HELLO I AM LOVELY WELL-BEHAVED DOG PLEASE LET ME STAY!".
juliet: My rat Ash, at 6 wks old, climbing up the baby-rat-tank and peering over the edge (ash exploring)
[livejournal.com profile] dogrando & I went to Battersea again yesterday, and came home with a dog!

She is an 11-month-old mongrel (bit of lurcher, bit of terrier, bit of a lot of other things) called Sidney (she already knew her name & it suits her well enough so we're keeping it), & there are some photos of her on my Flickr.

She's fairly hyper in a young-dog-type way, but she's also very eager to please, already knows Sit (and is learning quickly that I don't think it counts as a Sit unless you have all four paws on the floor and are being still), and is currently having a snooze on her bed in the corner, so she is *capable* of being calm for a while. She isn't properly housetrained at the moment (although was clean overnight), so we're working on that (I actually think the major problem is that Outside is scarier than Inside so she's a bit too nervous when she's out there; so as she calms down it should get easier. In the meantime, it is Watch Like Hawk And Take Out Every Two Hrs time.). She's a bit overvigilant at noise right now as well, but again, that should calm down over time. And she only whined for about 10 min last night when shut downstairs, which isn't bad going.

She also likes playing the Fetch In The Hallway game, and is enthusiastic about training (because it involves treats!), and she reliably comes when called (because you might have a treat, I suspect, but hey, that'll do).

(Anyone wishing to recommend games-to-play-with-adolescent-dog, do comment; my dog experience is all of slightly older dogs, and while Sugar, the dog I had as a teenager, was up for playing, we mostly played "run around the garden" with her :) ).
juliet: Tiny baby shoot of rhubarb (baby rhubarb!)
I made half a cold frame!

This afternoon I have mostly been sitting on a train to Aberdeen. The train has free wifi which is awesome, and I have been a very good human being and proofed 6 chapters and written an article. Less awesome is the hour or so that we'll be late, and the fact that at present the bar is NOT OPEN, so my lovely & charming sister cannot fulfil her very splendid suggestion of getting something to drink. Rumour has it that it will be reopening soon.

Also the Battersea person came round today & I now have a card confirming that we have a suitable house to rehome a Battersea dog in. Hurrah.

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