dogs · Journal

Kane chronicles – 14 weeks

Kane was 14 weeks old this past Friday, I continue to be amazed at how quickly he is growing, and how time is flying by. He keeps us busy (and entertained).  The poor guy loves the snow, but really struggles with the cold. Lucky for us he is very cooperative with getting dressed in his boots and jacket to go out.

14 week photo
Sporting his boots and jacket
It was +2 on the weekend, so he got to enjoy snow with nothing but his collar and harness

We have been working on all his existing “tricks” and added in shake a paw last week. He is doing so well with clicker training, he has all the things we have taught so far down pat. His first puppy class is tomorrow, so I am very excited about that. Not only will I get to see people, but it will add in some normalcy into getting a new puppy.

I wanted to take a minute to talk pet insurance in this post. I have had Insurance on almost all of my pets and can’t say enough good about it. When I was in clinic I saw hard decisions made because of financial issues and I never want to be in that situation. Brogan maxed out a $10k insurance plan and I only paid 10% of that. I wasn’t thrilled with the company I was with for Brogan, and realized a plan with a limit wasn’t great so before I got Kane I did a lot of research on insurance plans. I decided that Trupanion was the best fit for what I was looking for.

If you are getting a new pet or have one and have been thinking about insurance I definitely recommend you take a minute to check them out:

My pet is protected with Trupanion and I thought you should check them out! They offer medical insurance for cats and dogs and it gives me so much peace of mind. Use my link to check them out: http://r.trupanion.com/3fzjLZ

dogs · Journal

Kane Chronicles – 13 weeks

Well he is almost 14 weeks and I’m just writing his 13 week post…but I committed to one post a week (to myself) so better late than never…

We started clicker training with him this week. I had done it with my 2 rottie’s and with Brogan and Rosco in puppy classes, but had since lost my clicker. I ordered a few off Amazon and we introduced him to it this week. It’s amazing how easy it makes marking and shaping the behavior you are looking for. I had to refresh some of my timing, it’s pretty easy to click and reinforce something incorrectly. I accidentally got him looking away instead of lifting a paw (for shake a paw) and now he randomly offers that. I will definitely work on something to go with the look away though. Maybe are you ashamed or embarrassed…something that can be a cute trick. He is eager to please, but has a short attention span, so training sessions can only be a few minutes before he loses interest or quits trying. If it’s a trick he knows that’s a different story, but learning something new is kept short and sweet so no one gets frustrated.

He now happily goes in his kennel and doesn’t seem to cry much. I’m not always home once I put him in now, but he seems to be okay in it. He still has his calmeroo puppy in his kennel and a stuffed Kong and of course some treats. He goes in and out randomly throughout the day, but doesn’t go to sleep in it on his own yet. He would rather sleep with Rosco or by one of us.

Sleeping with Rosco

We still haven’t gotten a lot of leash walking in, just on our way home from our off leash walks, but I did get him a new harness that should work well. I like front clip harnesses for training. I’ve used head halters too, my 2 rottie’s loved them, 2 bordeaux’s hated them and Rosco is okay with them, but the front clip harness worked great with my 2 bordeaux’s so that is what my plan is for Kane.

He happily wore it around the house
We managed to get our weekly photo (after many bloopers)
He is wearing Rosco’s boots. Rosco doesn’t need them unless it’s much colder, so when Kane outgrows them we will order him his own.

All in all Kane is growing like a little weed, but is still SO affectionate and loving. He is learning new things every day and we couldn’t love him more.

Tomorrow he is 14 weeks old, so I better save something for next week’s post ðŸĪŠ

dogs · Journal

Kane Chronicles – 12 weeks

Hard to believe we have had him in our lives for a month. It seems like just yesterday I was on my way to pick him up. He continues to fill our lives with love and laughter. And we are so thankful to have him.

We continue to work on the basics. Sit is offered anytime he wants something and he does it the second you say the word, lie down isn’t offered as freely but he definitely knows it and does it when asked. Wait is still a work in progress, he can do it, but the word confuses him. So we are working on him doing it and rewarding it without a word. The word will come.

Kennel training is being worked on daily, he runs to his kennel as soon as you mention the word, wonders in and out numerous times throughout the day but still spends a bit of time crying once he is in it and alone. This emphasizes how important kennel training is to having a well balanced dog that doesn’t struggle with separation anxiety when he is older. It’s hard to be consistent with it when I am working from home, but because I understand how important it is we will continue until he is completely content in his kennel (and can be trusted unsupervised).  I can’t stress how important it is to have a kennel trained puppy. It helps then when they are at the groomer, or the vet clinic, or if they ever need to be boarded. Most importantly it helps them be calm and relaxed when you aren’t there. I don’t know how many dogs that we saw that had some level of separation anxiety when I worked in clinic, but even one is one too many. If you are one of the many people that got a new puppy during this pandemic and are working from home please make sure you set your puppy up for success by making sure he is kennel trained and is left alone some of the time. It will make your life so much better once your dog is older and life gets back to normal.

dogs · Journal

Kane Chronicles – 11 weeks

Another week with our new family member. He is definitely bringing a lot of joy and happiness. His joy is infectious… everything is fun and exciting and it’s hard not to laugh at his antics.

He went for his 2nd vaccination appointment this past week and weighed in at 20.8lbs. He won’t end up being as big as Brogan, but still should be in the 100lb range. He definitely has more energy than Brogan (or even Rosco) did as puppies…He actually reminds me a lot of Kira, our first rottie puppy. He is a fast learner and I’m sure I will be reading up on all sorts of trick training once we have the basics covered.

Rosco has been the best big brother. He tolerates Kane’s constant biting and wrestling and allows him to cuddle with him when he is tired.

Kane doesn’t love his kennel, but is definitely improving, he goes in happily and the crying doesn’t last long now. I think in part to keeping it fun (The best treats), and short and in part because of his calmeroo puppy. It is a stuffed toy that has a battery operated heart beat and a heat pack to make it warm. Kane snuggles with his “Teddy” whenever no one else is available.

Kane snuggling with his calmeroo puppy

He has sit and lie down perfected and is working hard at wait. That one is a little harder, but is so important in life. We are doing a little on leash on every walk to get him used to walking nicely on a leash, but since we are at the cabin we still do the majority of our walks off leash. His recall remains perfect. He can’t come back fast enough when I call. Almost beating Rosco back some of the time.

Puppies are so much work, but they are definitely worth it all.

I hope that all of you had a very Merry Christmas 🎄

dogs · Journal

Kane Chronicles – adventures with our new dog!

Well we did it, we got a new puppy. He is busy, smart and the most cuddly dog we have ever had. But the most important thing is that he was exactly what we needed to bring joy back in our lives.

This time we got a cross. We have always gotten purebreds when we have chosen them. Gunner and Rosco came into our lives, and weren’t purebred and we couldn’t have loved them more, so this time we figured we would try a mix of 2 breeds I’ve always loved. Kane is a pitbull English mastiff cross.

Kane has been with us for a couple weeks and is cuddle buddies with Rosco already

We got him a couple weeks ago and are pretty impressed with how quickly he catches on to things. He has sit down pat, and sits anytime he wants anything…

He is pretty consistent with lie down, house training is going well, he still is hit or miss for asking, but definitely goes to the door. We are working on wait (he struggles with that one because he doesn’t have a lot of patients). He has the best recall and walks like a champ off leash. We are working on walking on leash, but since we are mostly in secluded trails lately and he has a great recall and doesn’t go far I will worry more about leash walking when we need it.

He HATES the cold, but loves the snow when it isn’t too cold. Luckily he is very happy to have his coat put on and is also not so big that I can’t carry him when he is too cold and needs to be carried to warm up.

Ready for his walk with his coat

We are working hard at socializing him with as many people as we can…covid19 has made that a little trickier, but we are introducing him to as many people as we can. I was so happy that I found a puppy class, as soon as he has a couple more vaccines under the belt we will enroll him in puppy classes. In my opinion it is one of the best ways to both socialize and teach them to focus on you when there are a lot of distractions.

I know some people wonder how you can get another dog after the heartbreak of losing one…well for me I know when I’m ready and have room in my heart. They never replace the ones that we lost, but take a new spot. I know going in that eventually they are going to break your heart, but I focus on all the joy they bring while they are with you. And I can honestly say Kane is bringing us a lot of joy, and love, and affection.

dogs · Journal

Happy birthday in heaven Brogan ðŸ’”

Well Brogan, today you would have been 9 years old. It was a milestone I was really hoping you would make. We fought hard, and I think you had a great life, even though it was cut shorter than we wanted.

You were an amazing dog and I miss you everyday. Today I shed a lot of tears thinking about you, but also smiled at some great memories of the goofy things you did.

You were one of a kind and the outpouring of love we got from friends and family was amazing and showed how much you touched everyone’s lives, not just ours. I hope you had a great day doing all the things you loved.

Happy birthday and rest easy big guy âĪïļ

dogs

Heaven gained an amazing dog, good-bye Brogan.

I haven’t written about Brogan in a while. Mostly because I wasn’t sure what to write. He took a turn for the worse on March 1st, with a lot of collapses on his walks, then we noticed his heart was stuck at 200 beats per minute (normal should have been between 60 and 70 for a dog his size). So after numerous trial and error with drugs we finally got him on new drugs that seemed to be working and he was making progress every day. I knew that all the racing his heart had done would have caused damage, but I was still optimistic about how he was doing and was hoping to get many more years with him. My logical brain knew it probably wouldn’t be years, but my heart was hoping he would shock everyone and live to the crazy old age of 13.

Brogan died in my arms on June 15th at 4am under the lilac tree’s. Where he wanted to be. We went to the cabin Thursday night and he had a great weekend, ate well, played in every puddle he could and even convinced me he could go for longer walks. Then Sunday night when we got back from golfing he was laying behind the door by the washing machine and his color was terrible and his belly looked like he had bloated. So I gave him simethecone and laid with him on the floor. He seemed to be improving a bit, but I was still worried. So Rodney and I decided to come home at 10:30. We got home and by 1:30 I realized that it was probably fluid in his belly, it kept accumulating and was painful. I gave him more diuretics and hoped he could at least be comfortable until morning so I could bring him in and get him euthanized. (covid19 has changed who is allowed into most vet clinics and none that I could think of offered emergency services or will allow you to be with your pet while they are euthanized) But it didn’t work that way. At about 2:30am he wanted out, had a few painful bouts of diarrhea and then just wanted to lay under the lilacs. So I came in the house and got a sleeping bag and laid with him. He died at 4am. I came and told Rodney and we all went out. Rosco wouldn’t leave me and Brogan so we laid out there with him until 7:30 when we came in. 
Took a bit of a rigamarole to get him in to be cremated (more covid19 restrictions on services allowed), but when Rodney and I got there to drop him off the owner let us know he would do it all at no charge. Very kind of him and not necessary for sure. The owner works for the company that the vet clinic I used to work at has used since I was there. He didn’t remember me, but knows the girls at the clinic and felt bad about everything I think. And is just generous. 

I cried for him so much yesterday, I thought I had so much more time because he was doing so well. We were struggling with his appetite, but as long as I fed him what he wanted that was improving. I told Rodney we got robbed, but Rodney said Brogan took the hard decision about when it would be time to let him go out of our hands. And he died after having a great weekend at the lake, a truck ride (which he loved) under the lilacs, which he loved. 
He was an amazing dog, who will always be remembered by everyone as the big gentle giant. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body and will be missed by more than just us. He let people know what he wanted and was thinking without being able to speak. And oozed Broganisma (a word a friend came up with and I never forgot because it fit him so well)
I’m trying to focus on the fact that we got way more time than any vet thought we would with his heart, and that although he didn’t quite make 9 he was almost there and that constitutes an old Dogue de Bordeaux, even for a healthy hearted one. 
Rosco is sad, but is cuddling and loving up Rodney (he became a dad’s suck in the last couple of years) and we are all just trying to get by without our goofy Brogan to brighten our day. 

dogs · Journal

Brogan update

Wow, once again writing has taken a back burner, it feels like I’m constantly busy, but I can’t really tell you what I’m busy doing.

However, I wanted to take a moment and update all of you that have been following my blog for updates on Brogan. I am so happy to say that he turned 8 1/2 this month. I’m now celebrating the 1/2 years too, because he’s blown away everyone’s expectations for keeping on going. He was diagnosed with right sided heart failure when he was 5 and they thought I’d be lucky to have him for 6months. I am so happy that everyone was wrong. That being said we are seeing some big “old” dog signs now. He sleeps a lot, our walks are shorter and sometimes I think he forgets what he was doing (not that I can talk, I often do that too 🙄). All in all though he is doing so well. We changed his meds around again this fall because he was losing weight and collapsing a lot. Since that change we have gotten some weight back on and he had one big collapse in the last 3 months. That’s a huge success.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that both of our dogs will be 9 this year. I’m so blessed to have them both. And I am grateful for every day that we have with them.

They have truly taught me to focus on the positive and appreciate every day.

dogs · Journal

Remedy Hemp oil

Someone is tired after our walk

I haven’t written for a while again… seems like I have the best intentions to keep my blog current and then the wheels fall off the bus, life gets busy and honestly a little bit of self doubt creeps in (after all what is so special about what I have to say). I am going to try to be more frequent with my posts again though. I still enjoy doing it.

Last time I wrote about Brogan trying out a fitbit to see if we could catch a dizzy episode or collapse with him, or even just a little insight into what happens when he gets excited. But we were lucky, or I should say are lucky, because the change in his heart meds has seemed to eliminate all his symptoms… hopefully for a long long time. I’m still not brave enough to let him cruise around off leash, but we do go for longer walks and we play in the backyard and he gets really goofy with Rosco and seems to feel good.

He hadn’t been doing a lot of that, even when he wasn’t feeling dizzy or having symptoms from his heart condition. We were noticing that he was sore and had a harder time getting in and out of the truck and definitely wasn’t cruising up and down the hallway and leaping in and out of the bed…then we tried hemp oil. Since then he is a big goof. Always wants to go further on our walks, but his heart still plays him out, just no more discomfort, so he thinks he should be able to go forever. It’s great to see my older guy feels so good that he is determined to go longer, and is always eager to go for a walk. It’s hard to see your furbaby age, but seeing him feel so good again makes me very happy.

He isn’t wearing his fitbit anymore because I think we have everything under control…for the moment anyway. And that is good enough for me…we will continue to do what we can to keep him happy and comfortable, and as healthy as we possibly can.

If you are interested in trying the remedy hemp with you furbaby, or yourself, or just want to learn more about it reach out to me at remedypawsitivevibe@gmail.com

dogs · Journal

Using a fitbit to monitor Brogan’s heart

I saw a post a while ago of a Veterinarian using an apple watch to quickly check a dogs heartrate and figured I’d give it a try with my fitbit versa and Brogan. It worked amazing, but I wasn’t willing to give him my fitbit versa…however I did have an old charge HR that was just sitting in a drawer. I charged it and put it on him…and it works

Now I’m going to leave it on him and hope it does a decent job of monitoring what his heart is doing. We did a holter monitor on him a while ago, but didn’t really find out a whole lot from it, probably because that was only for 48hours, and I don’t think he was very comfortable wearing it. This doesn’t seem to affect him at all. And its mine, so it doesn’t cost me anything for him to wear it or check it.

So what brought this on you might wonder…

He has had more dizzy moments in the past month and I am a little concerned that his condition is getting worse. I managed to catch him before he collapsed 2 weeks ago and his heart was racing so fast I couldn’t count it. For those of you that are new to Brogan’s ongoing heart mystery the racing heart (tachycardia) was what got our initial diagnosis. He was put on a beta blocker to help control that. However it was very obvious that it was happening again. I talked to my Veterinarian the next day and we decided we would try increasing the dose of his beta blocker to see if that would help him out or not. He is now 1 full week into his increased dosage and seems to be doing okay. So now we will go back to more activities and see how he handles them.

I sure hope the fitbit works well enough that we can get a good baseline heartrate for him, and also see what happens when he is excited or when we are going for a walk.

Actually I kinda hope we don’t see any episodes and the fitbit doesn’t need to do anything.

In the meantime we will leave the fitbit on him and see what happens one way or another…