Posts by Foster Dog

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Aggie Update, September 24, 2011

Now that I've had a few days to live with Miss Aggie, I've got a bit better handle on her.

I still maintain she's not pure dachshund. Mostly dachshund, for sure, but there's something else in the mix. There's too much leg, too little bend of stifle and a head that speaks to another breed (Beagle, maybe?). All in all, no biggie, but just something to keep in mind.

Her current weight is between 17-18 pounds. It's shifting around, so it's hard to say exactly where she needs to be, but I'd like to see her around 15 pounds. That's going to take awhile to accomplish because while there's something besides dachshund in the mix, I think there's also some pig in there. :)  Miss Aggie is a chow hound.

Her deafness isn't total. She can hear when I pitch my voice right. I'll see her ears go back and her head will come around. Not always, and I'm not sure exactly *what* she's hearing or how, but she is hearing. I'd say she can hear at most 10%. Still, we got her Deaf Dog bandanna in the mail today (I'll try to get some modeling shots tomorrow), and she'll be wearing that when she goes out of the house.

Now for what I see are the negatives that are going to need work.

She hates being picked up. She'll struggle and fight and while she won't bite, her mouth is definitely open and she's gnawing sideways at your hand. Once she's in my lap, she's fine. She'll give kisses and be sweet. I'm going to work on this hard. She has got to have a less panicky response. Since she's so food oriented, it figures that rewards are going to be very liberal (one reason the weight loss may take some time). Somehow or other I'm going to have to figure out how to cut her toenails. This may be a case of needing Valium. :)

She really has no idea how to relate to a pack of dogs. She gets along just great the vast majority of the time, but when she's startled, she strikes out. And since she's practically deaf, she sleeps like the dead and one of the dogs waking up next to her startles her badly. She jumped Haley (my senior dachshund) last night when Haley decided it was time to get up and head into the kitchen. It wasn't serious, but her teeth were flashing and there was some serious growling going on. Again, this happened very close to me, so I was able to jump right on it. This time, she got a tap across her muzzle to go with the finger in her face. It doesn't take much for her. Correction is something that really upsets her. I suspect this is something that will happen less and less as she becomes more comfortable in her surroundings and with the other dogs. But it's something to watch for, and it will take time for me to trust her.

She also did the usual food aggression bit when everyone was cleaning a plate the other night. I've been expecting that since I think it's happened with every dog we've fostered, the behavior was corrected and it hasn't happened since. This tells me that while she has negative behaviors, she also learns from her mistakes. I've been watching for this, and I suspect it will only take the one time and I won't see it again.

And for some real positives.

Aggie is incredibly sweet. Really is. She's learning the petting and kisses and rewards part of being a pet. She's a dog that may find a forever home with someone, but with her personality, I wouldn't object to it being here if it needs to be. She's not a beautiful dog, but she has a lot of love to give.

Cats. She's actually doing really well there, and I would have no hesitation putting her in a home with dog friendly cats. The only cat she has an issue with is my Devon Rex hybrid who can be a bit pissy. Aggie and Howdy will sometimes lock eyes, Howdy gets puffed up, and Aggie responds accordingly. No chasing, but I stop it before it gets there. And about 99% of the time, she and Howdy ignore each other. Ditto for my big black cat.

Her age is sort of up for grabs. The vet in Wichita Falls put her at about 10. I thought he might be right until I had a chance to be around her more. I don't think she's 10. She's a senior, but she is VERY active. VERY fast. Also, I've not seen any senior cloudy eyes. They look clear from what I'm seeing.

Monday I'll call the clinic and schedule and appointment for her with Dr. Walthall. I'd like to get the HW staged. I'd also like her to go over her and make sure there's no obvious medical reason she doesn't like to be picked up. I know it's not her back, and I think it's something she doesn't like because of a past event, but I'd like to be sure.

I'm hoping to give her a bath mid-week. That should be fun. And I'll try to get some outside photos with her new bandanna tomorrow or Monday. Stay tuned.