Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hungry Bugs + Agility + More!

Yesterday, about an hour after Bugs' bleeding started, she threw up. And then in typical dog fashion, she ate it. I wasn't too worried because usually if they barf it up and then eat it, it means it just didn't agree with them the first time and everything is fine.

A little while later, she threw up again (I didn't let her eat it.). This time she seemed really distressed and asked to go outside, so I let her out for awhile, and then put her in her crate for quiet time, since she wasn't feeling well.

Then I got a hold of the vet, who said that the vomiting is unusual but can happen with first heat, and is nothing to worry about for now. (They gave me a list of warning signs so I'll know when/if I need to bring her in.) But poor Bugsy!! The vet said to give her a tablespoon of Pepto Bismol, and then put her on a 12 hour fast.

Buggles is a rapidly growing puppy and is accustomed to two meals a day with plenty of treats in between, so those twelve hours were very difficult for her! I made sure to feed to other dogs in a separate room so she wouldn't smell it as strongly, but it didn't make a difference - by morning she was rooing and crying for breakfast.

She ate her breakfast as though she hadn't eaten in a year - so fast that I had to take it away and meter it out, because deep chested breeds like dobermans can get a very serious, often fatal condition called bloat if they wolf down their food. All day she's been giving me the hungry eyes, but because of the fast, I can't just pack her full of kibble. I'm going to split up her evening meal and give her some around 4, and then the rest when we get back from our evening walk.


I've been in contact with some of the members of the Grand Rapids Agility Club and we've come up with a great plan of action! In April, Buggles will start an in-depth obedience class at The Well Mannered Dog. These trainers also teach the agility classes, so she'll learn much more than in the typical obedience class. We'll start working on body awareness and focus, and then probably in another 6 months she can start basic agility classes! She can't do jumps, A-Frame, or other very rigorous agility exercises until her growth plates are completely closed, because there's a very big risk of serious injury before that. At this point we have no intentions of doing any sort of competitive agility, but we'll play it by ear and see how she does. If it turns out that we're both great at it, then we'll go further. I will be attending the next local agility trial in May as a helper, so I can see first hand what goes into it. I'm excited about it - I told Bugs but she didn't seem to care either way, lol.


My good news is that in addition to apprenticing with my trainer and volunteering at Mackenzie's Animal Sanctuary, I will be starting my formal dog training education at the end of February - much sooner than expected! The school is budget friendly for most people, but I run a tight ship and had to make 100% certain that I could afford the monthly payments. So starting in a few weeks, I will officially be a student of CATCH Dog Trainer's Academy!

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