Mittwoch, 30. Mai 2012

Obituary for Orion

I am not the world's best blogger. Usually I have other things to do and facebook very much tells you what is going on. Only when really important things happen, I take the time to write here.

Today something sad happened. As Orion turned weaker and weaker over the past 2 days and this morning could not even hold his pee and collapsed on the way down to the park, we called the vet. The first results of his blood- and urine-tests were not too bad. But something in the blood showed an inflammation and the blood was too thin. So we had an extra examination using utrasonic at a different clinic.

The result was shattering. Various tumors on his milt and liver and the arteries near the heart perforated. Every heartbeat pumped blood into his abdomen rather than into his arteries. Half way through the examination the doctor decided to discontinue because there was no more evidence necessary. Treatment? There was no treatment. Our dog was bleeding to death and all we could do is either to decide to stretch his suffering a few days or to end it as soon as possible by having him put down.

As we knew how active he used to be and how weak he was now there was not really a decision left. We spent the 3 hours until the first vet opened again in our home cuddling the large dog and making him feel safe and comfortable.

Today, May 30th, 2012 at 5.30 Orion's heart stopped beating and our fighter had lost his final battle. But the way the cuddly giant won our hearts I am sure he will be in there for ever.

Orion was a wonderful companion. When he looked at you, slightly cross-eyed, with his ears up and demanded what was on your plate, you could not help cuddling him. We drank beer together and we played a lot. We had long walks and we swam in the sea. Life will never be the same again and I will miss his cold wet nose on my cheek in the morning telling me to get up and take him for a walk. I will miss his elegant bouncy walk and the confidence in his owner.

REST IN PEACE, Orion. I hope you had a good time here with us.

Montag, 5. Dezember 2011

Too much to mention ...

A lot of time passed since I wrote the last blog entry about Orion. My partner's prolapse and the Operation was the main topic from the beginning of April to the end of May. Then she had to recover and to undergo physiotherapy, meanwhile we tried to get all the necessary papers from various countries to get the permission to get married in Austria. Orion was with us and walked and fed as usual. He had his ups and downs and his regular diarrhoea-attacks. He was with us at the marriage and on honeymoon.

We went to Norway and he enjoyed rushing out of the door onto the veranda and climbing rocks, running for his tennis ball and swimming in the sea. He regained his confidence in his swimming after he had lost it when he almost drowned in the new Danube in July. I went to rescue him after only his nose was visible above the water surface.

The three weeks in Norway passed way too fast and we went back to Austria again using car and train. Orion and Mischa made sure we had a cabin of our own with 6 seats to use for sleeping.

After another week on vacation in Vienna I went to the army and Orion decided to shake hands with death. His stomach turned, but as I had read about the symptoms and Ine's first dog had died from it, we rushed to the nearest animal hospital and 30 minutes later Orion was operated, the stomach turned back again and the next day we found a very skinny dog with a giant scar that was too weak to stand for more than 3 minutes but barked as he demanded to play. We took him back home after 3 days and you can still see the areas where he was shaved. He recovered quickly and his appetite was better than ever. His hyperventilation - something we almost got used to - was gone and soon he played again.

So far to the short summary of the summer 2011 for Orion. Now we have to move a lot of furniture and stuff from Ine's flat to our's, organise a family Christmas celebration and a New Year’s Eve party. Than we have to clear the flat and return the keys by the end of January 2012

This was the preview of the coming months and I hope I'll have more time to write then and to post some of the hundreds of pictures I took of Orion so far.

Mittwoch, 11. Mai 2011

The family dog and - he is no mixed breed.

When we took Orion home we were warned. We were told he's dangerous, aggressive to other dogs and not cuddly at all. Sure! When you give a dog a home and make it feel that it is safe there is no aggression any more. And Orion turned out to be the cuddliest dog on earth.

He loves to curl up on the sofe with us and happily sleeps there. He wakes up at night and makes sure that I am still there. He follows me like a shadow where ever I go and waits in front of the toilet's door when I am inside (maybe one of his former owners disappeared through a toilet).

He gained muscles and loves running. As I was asked more and more often if this dog was a certein breed I started some investigation and finally discovered that Orion is not a Greyhound-German Shepherd-Mix but a Podenco Canario. The pictures you can find and the behaviour describe my doggy up to an extent that there is no doubt. Even the vet had to agree.

Lately he showed the first signs of getting older and every now and then you can see that Orion is in his 11th year. We started adding magnesium and zinc to his food and this helps him to still be able to run for about 30-60 minutes per day.

In August we'll take Mischa and Orion to Norway and they will be with us on out honeymoon. I am Sure Orion is happy with the life he lives now and we will have to visit the Tierschutzhaus again to show them what a wonderful dog Orion turned out to be.

We still meet Elisabeth, Orion's former foster mother, once a month and she agrees that Orion is happier than she ever saw him before and that she had never expected him to be as social and well behaved as he is now.

Mittwoch, 1. Dezember 2010

And he is as healthy as a dog can be!

Time passed and Orion became a member of the family.

He felt save and secure and started pushing the borders a little. One thing he started to do is stealing everything that looked like food and munching it down. Fixing pot-lids with rubber rings did not work and putting it on the cooker next to the wall neither. As all the food he got that way was spiced and not treated with the medicine he schould get because of his not-working pancreas.

And he survived. So we decided to leave the medicine away as Orion every now and then threw up because of the enzymes working on his stomach.
Two weeks passed and the dog was still healthy. He became a little calmer and less nervous and as he moved a lot he gained muscles.

A visit at the vet with an examination of his blood and poop reveiled that the dog is perfectly healthy and does not need any medication at all and that he has gained weight, 2 kg.

What a surprise and what a huge improvement to his and our life!

A visit at the animal shelter made his former carers wonder how well he looked, how shiny his coat was and how muscular he was. They, who cared for him for 8 years, could clearly tell that the dog felt well and looked well looked after.

As he learned quickly he is no longer a threat to other dogs and can run arond free as he likes it in every dogzone in Vienna.

Samstag, 28. August 2010

Weeks twelve to fourteen - getting better and causing laughter

The weeks passed by like a speed train and Orion by now was a part of my life that I don't want to miss. He had turned out to be less complicates than everybody expected and I think he felt at home.

We visited the annoying little maltese terrier named Snowy that Orion loved to hate and whenever Snowy was around and Orion was not allowed to have him as a nutricious snack the large dog got nervous. When Orion is nervous the food won't stay inside him and he got diarrhea. That made him lose a little weight but we are on the way to gain weight again.

Orin got used to having 2-3 play-sessions per day where he ran after the tennis ball for 15-20 minutes per session. His limping is gone and he is more social than I ever expected him to get. The vet even mentioned that he got more muscular than he was when I got him.

And he makes people smile when they see him. Once they even laughed: We were on one of our walks behind Votivkirche and 2 couples sat on a bench in the park. Orion went right there sniffing and then marked his territory - as male dogs do. Nothing special if he would not have done it right behind one young man. The other 3 started laughing and the one who nearly got pissed (off course Orion missfired) jumped up like bitten by a tarantula. With a broad grin I commented "The dog is rather old, so he missed" what finally made the young man laugh too.

By now we are well known in the nearby parks and dog-zones and Orion rarely attacks other dogs. The only thing he still dislikes are thunderstorms and this is also the only time he is allowed in bed.

Montag, 9. August 2010

Week eleven - back to daily routine

The week started with 3 days off and I had time to give Orion several longer walks per day and to offer him a lot of movement while playing with the tennis ball.

We went to the vet and discovered the Orion had lost weight. So I decided to raise the ammount of food he gets from 500gto 600g per day (the recommended ammount is 420g). After a while I'll check if he gained weight again or if the extra gramms are just a waste of food.

Thursday night at about 1Am Orion git very nervous and started walking around the bedroom. As I woke up I saw lightning at the sky but could not hear thunder, so the thunderstorm was far away. As it got nearer Orion got more and more nervous. Once you could hear thunder, he tried to climb into the bed and you could see fear in his eyes. He was allowed to use Ine's side of the bed (as she was not there this side was empty) and as soon as he was near me he calmed down. I am sure he enjoyed sleeping in our bed but he knows that these were exceptional circumstances and so far he never tried to get into bed again. Let's see how he reacts to the next thunderstorm.

The last two days I worked on early shift starting at 6 AM and returning home at 4PM. Pascal took care of at least one walk with Orion as I walked Orion the first time at 5 AM.

On Friday Ine Mischa and Snowy (he'll be with Ine until September) visited us and Snowy and Orion showed that they'd probably never be friends. They growled at each other but as long as Snowy was on the bed (he sleeps a lot there) everything was fine.

The situation escalated on Sunday when we returned from a walk with the three dogs. Orion's muzzle was already stored and I was about to take his harness off when he grabbed snowy again and started shaking his head. I managed to make him open his mouth and let Snowy go. The little one ran away and it took a while to calm him down again. Luckily even the third attack did hot leave more than a few red scratches on his skin but he was not hurt at all.
Orion had to spend a while tied to the living room wearing harness and muzzle and after this we tried to keep him from getting near Snowy.

Week ten - back to work on night shift

Holidays were over and I had to return to work again. It was probably the shift Orion liked most. Night shift, when I start working at 10 PM and return from work at 6 AM. Pascal and Brian spent the week with their mother and unlike usual I had to stay at my place because Snowy was at Ine's place.

We did the last walk at 9PM and the first at 7AM and between 8 and 11 AM I slept a little to walk my dog at 12 again.

Orion went on demanding to play and I did so as often as I could though I got weaker and weaker because of the lack of sleep.

On Saturday the boys returned to my place and on Sunday we made a trip to Lower Austria. Near Gaming you can find the Ötscher Tormäuer.
We went there and along a cold and cristyl clear river Brian and his girlfriend, Pascal, Ine, Mischa, Snowy Orion and I enjoyed a walk in the forest (the dogs even had a bath in the river).