lederhosen: (Default)
It's not quite six months since we were a two-dog household, and now they're both gone. We took Basil to the vet just last Thursday and he was surprised by how well Basil was looking, but warned us that it probably wouldn't last.

Read more... )

He was so very different from Dog-Or. Dog-Or was an uncomplicated dog who loved everybody and assumed they loved him back (mostly correctly). Basil had a lot of defensive behaviours, he bit all of us at least once, and he was cautious about us - he would give my hand a very polite little lick when he was feeling friendly. When you called him, he'd stop to think about whether he really wanted to come. (Baths: no thank you.) But it was clear he liked being around us, and not just at mealtimes; when Rey was out he'd camp by the door waiting for her to come home.

I wish I knew where he came from before the Lost Dog's Home, whether there's somebody out there wondering whatever became of their little black-and-white borglie. We only got the last quarter of the story, but we did what we could with it.

*squish*

May. 25th, 2014 08:19 am
lederhosen: (Default)
Today we were almost trampled to death by a small black-and-white dog who wanted us to know that it's Feeding Basil Time.

I can see subtle hints of illness; the vet told us "could be as quick as three weeks" and it's already been almost two. But for the time being he's happy and getting a lot of love.

Memories

May. 23rd, 2014 09:42 pm
lederhosen: (Default)
Committing these things to memory:

A white-tipped tail, quite out of proportion to its owner, standing high above his head when happy, waving as if he's trying to hail a taxi.

Pointed ears, one straight, one folded, twitching at the mention of his name.

The rituals of Wanting Something. The plaintive eyes, head slightly cocked, showing off those ears to best advantage. The small polite lick on my hand, like a gentleman offering his card. The offered paw, a preamble to the rollover and the belly. The frantic circles at feeding time and the leap-thump-leap-thump as he overcompensates for the shortness of his legs.

The appetite, gulping down food unchewed before it can be taken away.

The shedding. So much fur, finding its way into everything.

The mind, too sharp by half, that always knows what we're up to.

The fears. Alarm at loud noises, the tail tucked down between his legs as cars drive by. The jealousy over food and the reflexive snarl when suddenly woken - and the apology afterwards. The dog who crept into a dark cupboard on his first day with us and sat there so quietly that we looked there twice and missed him; the dog who sneaks under our bed at night like a little ninja.

The sore spots that we never understood but eventually learned to avoid.

The delight every day when we come home, sniffing our legs to find out where we've been and who we've seen, tail lashing hard enough to hit himself in the face.

And now, counting cans and wondering if the dogfood will outlast the dog. Oh, little fellow, I wish you were staying with us.

*sigh*

May. 13th, 2014 03:04 pm
lederhosen: (Default)
This morning the vet diagnosed Basil with advanced lymphoma. This was quite a shock to us; he's not a young dog (somewhere around 11-12) and he's had a few health problems, but we certainly weren't expecting this.

We might be able to get him a year or so with chemo; from what I can make out, chemo doesn't knock dogs about as badly as humans, but I think quite likely it'd still be very stressful for him. He's a nervous dog who's afraid of a lot of things, including the vet's office, and I can't imagine he'd deal well with having a drip inserted regularly.

Otherwise it's palliative treatment, and probably only a couple of months.

Poor guy. At least with Dog-Or we knew he'd had a long and happy life with us. Basil's a rescue dog; we'll never know his story before he came to us, but I don't think it was a happy one. He's always been defensive, the sort of dog who'd bite you if you touched him in his sleep (and then apologise afterwards) but he's mellowed out a lot in the time he's been with us; there are still behavioural issues but he clearly likes us and wants to please us. I really did hope we'd have a bit longer to enjoy one another's company.

Basil-fit

Jul. 14th, 2012 06:24 pm
lederhosen: (Default)
(Probably nothing for concern here)

Basil may've had a small fit this afternoon. He was sitting on the sofa for a while; I looked around and saw him moving around on the floor next to the sofa. He might've just been scratching himself on the rug or something, but it looked more like a fit, twisting from side to side. When he had a fit before, it was like he'd lost the use of his back legs (and was trying to get up but not managing to do it). This looked like it might've been the same sort of thing.

I held his head gently (so he wouldn't bump it on furniture) and he stopped moving around. When I let him go, he sat there quietly for a while, not obviously distressed but not responding when I called him. After a few minutes he got up, but he was looking a bit quieter than usual for a while.

Didn't last as long as last time and he didn't seem as distressed. Last time he was better by the time we got to the vet, and they couldn't find anything wrong with him. I'm guessing epilepsy or something of that sort; having only seen it happen twice in the last year-and-a-half, I'm not too worried. Just making a note here in case things change and I want a history.
lederhosen: (Default)
Dogs have uncanny powers.

For example, Basil has figured out that Freddy Krueger (or whoever's doing his job these days) is waiting to kill Rey and myself in our sleep, and he has been heroically trying to prevent that from happening. What a loyal noble doggie.

In unrelated news, would anybody like a small black-and-white dog?

Training

Jan. 29th, 2012 01:12 am
lederhosen: (Default)
It's just over a year since we adopted Basil from the Lost Dog's Home. He seems to have decided he likes it here. Unfortunately he still has some stray dog instincts that are hard to lose, and he's bitten each of us a couple of times, but I think we're making progress with him.

I made the mistake of incorporating "feed my dogs" into my morning routine as the FIRST thing I do after getting up. So I had only myself to blame when Basil started waking me up earlier and earlier in the hope of getting breakfast NOW NOW NOW.

So there's been a change in the routine. If Basil wants a morning shower, he wakes me up before seven and I give him a shower (he needs them fairly often anyway for skin allergies). If he doesn't want a morning shower, he lets me sleep until my alarm goes off, and I feed him. He's a bright dog; it only took two showers before he figured out the new rule.

We've also discovered that he has a Magic Spot just above his tail. Rub it just right, and his hindquarters collapse and he starts doing Happy Growl Leg Thump. (Happy Growl sounds very slightly different from his "RHAAR I CUT YOU" growl.) Rub it a bit more and he falls over altogether onto his back.

Dog-Or is getting old, alas. He's 13 this year, and slowing down quite a lot. He's less steady on his feet, he sometimes passes when Ratboy offers him a walk, and once (but only once) I had difficulty waking him for food, which REALLY had me worried. But he's doing OK; I don't think he likes the hot weather, but other than that he seems happy. Still not wild about Basil, but they manage to get along without too much trouble.
lederhosen: (Default)
Basil can eat 250 grams of chicken in 5 seconds. This extrapolates to his own body weight in just over three minutes...

Also, even when he's got a splinter in his back foot that's hurting enough he won't walk on it, he can still pogo higher than my elbow, repeatedly, at the scent of somebody else's dinner. He has a sort of "For this instant I am tall!" look on his face when he does this. It is adorable.

(Still lots of grr grr argh between him and Dog-Or, because neither of them has worked out how to understand the other dog's body language. Le sigh.)
lederhosen: (Default)
As Rey posted a couple of days ago, the dogs were getting very stroppy at feeding time - Basil wolfs his down and then goes for Dog-Or's, snarling and snapping ensues etc, and Dog-Or was getting very stressed to the point where he wouldn't even go downstairs. (Basil has shown no interest in the Land Upstairs, and we're quite happy to leave it that way.)

We've settled on a new routine: Rey and I leash the dogs, lead them to separate spots on the patio, and they both have to sit before they're allowed to eat. Basil stays leashed until Dog-Or has finished his bowl or abandoned it. This seems to have helped things; they're not growling nearly as much, and even shared a beanbag for a while today. I don't think Dog-Or was really enthused about this, but he didn't growl or flounce. Progress!
lederhosen: (Default)
I have the undivided love and adoration of a small black dog. I am not certain whether he realises that my chocolate croissant is ALL GONE, and NOT FOR DOGS.

Being short but energetic, he does the Corgi Pogo when he thinks there might be food happening. So cute.
lederhosen: (Default)
Basil seems to be getting used to the place. He still spends a lot of his time playing "invisible dog" hiding in little niches around the house (quite the opposite of Dog-Or) but when I walk into the room he'll come out and say hello, and accept pats and scritchies for as long as I'm willing to give them. He seems to have hurt his foot somehow, so he may be in for a vet trip tomorrow.

Dog-Or is learning to live with him. He's been an only dog for eleven years, so I can't blame him for getting a bit jealous, but I think he'll get there. They both love w a l k s and that should help them bond a bit.

Work stuff. )

More dogs

Jan. 23rd, 2011 07:09 pm
lederhosen: (Default)
Dog-Or has decided that the interloper will be tolerated, as long as he recognises who's alpha dog and doesn't so much as LOOK at Dog-Or's food. Or sit on the beanbag. (So we got Basil a new doggie bed, and Dog-Or has decided he wants that one now...)

Basil is settling in, but a bit nervous about dealing with a new place and a new dog. He vanished this afternoon and we turned the house & garden over twice, trying to find him; eventually he turned up in the cupboard under the stairs. We'd already looked there twice, but he'd wriggled past boxes right to the back and was sitting there being a black dog in darkness. I don't think he's been a stray all his life, but I get the impression he's had a bit of a rough time one way or another.

Dogs

Jan. 23rd, 2011 12:58 pm
lederhosen: (Default)
Today we adopted Basil from the Lost Dogs' Home. Basil is a corgi/border collie cross, about 8 years old, history unknown (ex-stray, hadn't been desexed or chipped when they got him).

Dog-Or is... not entirely thrilled about this, but they seem to have accepted one another's presence, mostly. Dog-Or has explained that the red beanbag is the prerogative of the Senior Dog, and Basil is a little bit timid, but I think they'll learn to live with one another.

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