Dienstag, 22. Juni 2010

Week four - Night shift and meeting other dogs

Week four was a little strange for Orion I guess.
We lived at Ine's place and Mischa was around all day.
I returned from Work at 6.30AM and fell asleep after we walked a little and Orion had breakfast.
When I got up at 11ish we walked again and then I prepared whatever was necessary for the day and the upcoming TOY-RUN (a biker event I have helped organizing the last 10 years).
Then usually we went for another walk and another and finally picked up Ine at work and after dinner I went to work again at 9.30PM.

Frequently we met other dogs and Orion got better meeting them rather neutral and getting along with them rather than growling and barking at the first glance.

On Friday we had to wait for Ine to finish this and that at work, so we went to a dog-zone near "Haus des Meeres". On the way there we stopped at a "Royal Canin" stand (a supplier for high quality dog food) and Orion was given a bag of food. Stuffed with all sorts of special food for his sensitive digestion system. As Mischa was with us, he was given another stuffed bag with special food for slightly overweight dogs. Ine had to admit that I was successful getting about 5 kg of dog food for free (looking at her own bag containing about 250 grams of free dogfood).

When we reached the dog zone with our heavy load there was a German Shepard. Mischa went there to greet him like he always does and Orion was a bit suspicious. This dog was just the size he usually dislikes and is very angry with at first sight. This time he sniffed a little and the ignored the other dog. I could even take his muzzle off and he ran around happily for about half an hour (while Mischa as usual collapsed and rested in the sunshine).

Sunday, the day we went to the TOY RUN the dogs had to stay at home alone for a long time. We left at 4:30 in the morning and returned at 6PM. The welcome we received was chaos. 2 happy dogs jumping around barking, whining, licking hands and faces and the boys were very glad to be walked.

We went to a small but beautiful dog zone well hidden and clean. When we arrived it was just Mischa and Orion who inspected the zone but then two women arrived with two small dogs and Orion fell in love with one of them. A cute white little one that ran around like crazy and Orion followed with passion. It was very funny to see the two rushing around vanishing into bushes and reappearing again. Orion squeezed himself through the smallest holes just to keep in touch with the little one. Everybody watching was laughing  and as other dog owners arrived they joined in. Meanwhile the other small dog tried to hump Mischa who was very grumpy and tried to get rid of the thing clinging to his butt.

Orion seems to lose his aggression and it gets easier  for us to go to dog zones and parks leaving Orion the freedom to run around without lead and muzzle. Something we had not expected to happen this fast.

Dienstag, 15. Juni 2010

Week three - the vet again and being socialized

Orion has settled in rather fast and he took over our hears as well as all parts of the flat.
By now he owns a giant dog-bed (120 times 80 cm) and raised pair of bowls for food and water so he can eat without "kneeing on the floor" a harness, a collar, different leads, a proper dog tag (yes he's registered) and a rabies-shot tag.

We went to the vet again. Orion is still limping a little, but I'm positive that he'll be fine soon. He likes his food that by now contains Pankreoflat (for his digestion) and Devil's claw (for his joints). He shows no fear from the vet and so it was not at all a problem to get his rabies shot.

We walk a little longer now and we meet other dogs. In General it's not a problem, but about every 10th dog is not what Orion likes so he growls and barks immediately. I generally keep him off the lead wearing a muzzle (the dog, not I). Once he shows he's friendly the muzzle is taken off, especially in dog-zones.

Orion gets breakfast before me and Thursday he enjoyed a second breakfast. I prepared everything in the kitchen (coffee, toast, liver-paste) and went to the bedroom to gt my glasses, so I can read the newspaper (Yes I am this old by now). While I was not in the kitchen Orion managed to steal the liver paste from the table and in no time managed to eat it. So he had an extra breakfast containing liver paste with lingonberry and I had toast, plain toast. I think there's a little work to be done to keep his head off the table.

We went to a restaurant meeting friends this week. I was not sure about Orion's reaction to a couple of strangers in a new surrounding, but he did very well. Off course he growled a little at the beginning, but in the end he walked around in the whole restaurant, got cuddles from everybody and rested right in the middle of the way, so the waitress had to step over him.

The weekend meant meeting more family members as we went to my parent's place where Orion will spend two weeks in summer while we are on holiday. He behaved like a normal dog and even the neighbor's dog was no problem at all. Mischa and Orion enjoyed a weekend on the countryside with swimming, longer walks and running in the garden.

Donnerstag, 10. Juni 2010

Week two - Night shift, the hirarchy question and the bonefight

Week two started very nice. I did not have to get up as my shift started at 10 PM so the four of us, Ine, Mischa, Orion and I could sleep a little longer.

We spent most of the time in Ine's flat and Mischa the flat's top dog behaved like he always did. Everything was his and he could do whatever he wants. That's what HE thought. And he should soon find out that things were not this easy any more. A few topics underwent a significant change.

First there was the attention I had given him for the last months. Now part of this attention - I admit, major parts - went to Orion and often you could see the question marks in Mischa's eyes because he could not see any reason for the presence of that other dog and the attention this dog got.

Then there was Ine's attention as well. A small part of this was Orion's now and once more Mischa did not really understand what was going on. As he is a good dog that adapts to many things without complaining he sulked a lot but did not try to get more than his share. Only his excitement when he saw me showed some change. His tail wagged less and he jumped less high.

The next topic, one that was more obvious, was the several places Mischa used to collapse at and feel comfortable. The mattress in the bedroom, the mattress in the living room the spot under the giant desk. Orion occupied these places without asking and Mischa once again sulked and accepted the loss. After a while they shared the mattress in the living room (in fact we all sat there together cuddling each other - o.k., Ine and I cuddled the dogs). And to avoid problems in the bedroom Orion got a mattress of his own.

But the worst one was food. Mischa's mind is rather one-tracked. Once food is involved it's his, no discussion! Now there was this other hairy thing and we all had to learn a lot. Feeding the dogs at the same time even in different places caused Orion to growl at Mischa and to show his shiny teeth. Mischa looked at Orion and his look just said "what?". Mischa inhaled his food like a hover, while Orion ate a little, had a little water, walked around the flat and ate a bit more. Well, as soon as Orion left his bowl, Mischa considered that Orion had finished and the leftovers were Mischa's now. This ended in even more growling and showing teeth. And Ine and I told Mischa that this food is not his. Now, this was the end of the world for Mischa. We tried several different kinds of feeding them. Same time, different places in the kitchen, same time, different places in the flat but what worked best was: Ine prepared Mischa's meal and while he inhaled it, I prapared Orion's and served him in a different room. No growling any more and we thought we'd won, but we should be proven wrong within no time.

As the two dogs had shared a rawhide-bone the other day I decided to get one rawhide bone each. Not the usual stuff. Rawhide filled with paunch. They got them the same time and had to work for it. Sitting with the "bones" in front of them for a few seconds. But then they were in doggy heaven and started chewing them. Mischa, the expert, in the office. Within less than 30 minutes the 23 cm bone shaped chewing stuff had changed to a palm sized piece of rawhide with no paunch left.
Orion, the novice, went to the living room and we could hear his teeth working on the rawhide. After a short time (while Mischa was steadily chewing on his "bone") Orion came to the office again, heavily breathing. A look at his chewing stuff showed that he had managed to chew 1 cm and to eat the paunch at the same length. I had to go to work so we walked the dogs together in the fading daylight. When we returned, orion immediately went to the place where he had dropped the "bone" and put it on the floor in the hallway, where Mischa saw it and - as everything edible is his - tried to get it. Growling was not enough now. No, Orion went for Mischa and they started fighting. Luckily I could get them apart before they had time to harm each other, but Orion had thus clearly stated what was his and that he did not want to share food with anybody.

Or was this only the revenge for the three times Mischa had peed on Orion's head today while the large dog was sniffing?

Now we (Orion and I) are back in my flat again and he tries to get all the cuddles Ine gave him the last days from me now. Pascal, as I expected, already wants to stay at home instead of walking the dog, though he was the one promising that he'd help me with walking and feeding. Never trust a teenager!

Dienstag, 1. Juni 2010

Week one - meeting the vet and settling in

On May 23rd Orion hurt his left front leg so we visited the vet on May 25thFrau Dr. Jordan is very nice and Orion showed no fear or aggression at all. (I don't know why the vet at Tierschutzhaus refused to have a look at Orion when we got him.

Dr. Jordan examined him and diagnosed pain in his left shoulder and, as a result to the limping, in his right knee. Otherwise he is healthy and has clean and shiny teeth. He got a shot to take the pain away from him and some tablets that he has to be given the next three days. And she weighed him. His actual weight is 31 kg. He is not allowed to play and run around the next 3-4 days ans should sleep a lot. We'll make this possible, especially by getting him a new comfortable bed on Wednesday.

Right now he's at home with the boys for the first time as I am on late shift. Let's see how excited the big boy will be when I return from work ... 

Looks like our planned holiday is very likely not to happen.

We wanted to go to Norway with the dogs on July 5th, but Norway is a country where rabies does not exist. As they don't want rabies to come to Norway (which I understand), a dog has to have its blood tested 120 days after the last rabies shot to prove the existence of antibodies. Well, I doubt that Orion can meet this as he will get his last shot on June 7th. Now we hope that it is just a refreshment and not a basic vaccination. A look at the vaccination card will tell us more.

And the vaccination card tells us, that Orion had his very first rabies shot on May 11th, 2010. Now we asked the Norwegian embassy to get a special permission to bring Orion. If we can't get it we'll have to spend the holidays separated because Orion will not go to a "pet hotel".

Orion spent the first day at home alone while I was at work and the kids at school or work. His welcome for me when I returned was enthusiastic. He jumped around, neglecting his sore shoulder, whined full of joy and licked my face. I think he sees the family as his herd.

Unfortunately he is still limping a lot and it seems not to get better. Well, we have at least two days to go ... 

The limping slowly gets better but the dog still is not allowed to run and play and he misses it and gets grumpy. 

The Norwegian authorities will not allow the dog to enter without a positive test showing  the rabies antibodies 120 days after the last shot. So I'll introduce him to my parents and if they get along with each other, He'll stay in Carinthia while Ine and I are in Norway.

So we managed to get through the first week without major troubles and hope we'll not have to face trouble in the future.