Weekend End Frenchie Photos

Tula's 3 French Bulldog puppies

The boys, their last weekend together

Here are some photos from the last day or two – and can I just ask, completely without any prejudice, aren’t these boys growing into the most handsome fellows?

Teddy’s markings are so eye catching – his mask may have faded, but his “eyeliner and mascara” are still in place, giving his a sort of doe eyed prettiness that’s hard to look away from. Simon – now Zeus – is in his awkward phase. His head, while still gorgeous, looks too small for his body. It will all even up in a month or so, and in the meantime he’s just a gloriously gallumphing little guy. He’s growing into quite the snuggle monkey, too.

Alvin still looks like Alvin – round, cartoon eyes and that adorable little grin. He’s just to cute to be anything other than a muppet, I swear.

And speaking of little Alvin, he left today, back to Paula’s first, and from there on Sunday he’s on to his new home. Paula tells me he was NOT happy about the solo car ride home, but he’s settled in well at her place, and is behaving like the little gentleman we know he is. I know he’s on his way to a FABULOUS new home, but I just can’t help missing his little tiny muppet face. His brothers, on the other hand, have been gleefully cackling “More food for US, sucka!”. Hellions, I tell you. Cute hellions, but hellions none the less 😉

You can see the photos over on Flickr, or check out our iPhoto slideshow below.

Cat Shows and Puppy News

Teddy and Tula

Sorry for the long gap between postings – work has been rather busy, and my time has been rather limited. Given a choice between coming home and spending an hour on the computer, or spending an hour playing outside with puppies – well, you can guess which one usually wins 🙂

Speaking of the puppies, everyone (Teddy included) is doing fabulously. Hard to believe that it’s two weeks since his emergency surgery on Wednesday! He’ll be having his stiches out later on this week.

Alvin has decided that he’s actually a French Laphound, and to this end spends his every waking moment screaming for someone (anyone!) to come and pick him up, so he can be carried around like the little princeling he is.

Simon and Teddy, on the other hand, spend most of their spare time playing a game called “Pull My Leg”. This involves one of them crawling underneath the chair in the living room. Once in place, the other puppy grabs the leg of the hiding puppy in their teeth, and tries to pull them out from underneath the chair. Much loud, horrid sounding screeching then occurs, after which they giggle, switch places and do it all over again.

No wonder Alvin wants to keep as far away as possible from these two little hooligans!

They also discovered a nest of baby garter snakes in the garden, which led to much digging, followed by much excited running in circles and barking. A good time was had by all, and we’ve discovered that there’s an untapped puppy toy market to be had in garter snakes. Please note, however, that no snakes were actually harmed during these play sessions.

Oh, some sad news (sad for us, at least). Heart, who we thought was due last week, and who an ultrasound had shown to be carrying one puppy, has turned out to have NO puppies. No idea what happened there – she could have lost it some time after the initial ultrasound, or she could have re absorbed it (a phenomena fairly common in dogs during the early stages of their pregnancies). Either way, we’re quite disappointed, and we’ll have to try again next year with our fingers crossed even more tightly.

I spend Saturday at a cat show, as part of my work. I discovered a few things there, namely that:

a) if you thought dog shows were nutty, you’ve never been to a cat show
b) there’s literally NOTHING that you can’t put glitter or sequins on
c) cats can be walked on leashes, but they don’t necessarily enjoy it
d) cats in baby strollers – see above
d) did I mention the nuttiness?

Most of all, I discovered that cat show people are really friendly, and that they have a LOT that they could teach the CKC and the AKC about how to increase show entries. CCA cat shows, for example, routinely offer classes for altered pets – and why not? Lots of us have had to spay or neuter a dog just before they got those final few points, thus leaving them unable to complete their championship. Why not offer altered classes, and let them compete there for a special ‘altered’ championship?

CCA shows also offer classes for ‘Household Pets’ – ie; ordinary, un registered house cats. I learned that, while initially the “Household Pets” faced some discrimination from the purebred exhibitors (‘They’ll have diseases!’ ‘They’ll ruin our shows!’), over time they’ve come to be regarded as one of the most beneficial aspects of CCA shows. Many rescues have been adopted after being featured at CCA shows, and it’s another fun way to encourage the general public to start attending shows – some of whom have since gone on to purchase and show purebred cats in the more traditional classes. Wouldn’t it be great to see classes – even if just exhibition classes – offered for rescues at showcase shows like the Purina National? Why not allow breed rescues to do a “Parade of Rescues” in between groups? I think the general public would love it, and it would give rescues a great chance to show off their adoptable dogs.

My guide on Saturday was Chloe MccBeth, of Siberlynx Siberian Cattery of Toronto. Thanks to Chloe, I discovered one more thing – I want a Siberian Cat! Want want want! Beautiful, striking, playful and affectionate, these are some of the most adorable cats I have ever seen. Given enough time and a few drinks, I might even be talked into showing it – but I draw the line at wearing anything with sparkly sequins or glitter on it.

The baby strollers are another story.

Canine Aristrocrats in the 30’s

From British Pathe comes this fascinating little snippet of a film. Shot at the 1930 Richmond Dog Show, it features (in the words of Pathe) –

“various shots of rather plummy people introducing their dogs, including Russian Greyhounds, King Charles Spaniels, Bloodhounds, a French Bulldog and Great Danes. Several sets of cute puppies of various breeds are seen, including Wire-haired Fox Terriers and Bedlington Terriers.”

Link – http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=8340

Breaking what isn’t broke

Teddy eating his first meal of raw dog food mixed with goats milk.

I’ve been raw feeding my dogs off and on for almost twenty years now. Back when I started, raw feeding was something that you turned to in desperation, when all the other diets had failed you. It was also something you didn’t advertise to most people, as you were almost assured of being considered a ‘kook’. I remember several potential puppy buyers who balked when informed that my pups were raised on raw food. A few thought it meant that they’d be walking salmonella farms, and one or two actually believed the old myth about ‘raw meat making dogs savage’! Times sure have changed – you can now buy raw diets commercially, some puppy buyers specifically come looking for pups who’ve been raised on raw and lists for raw feeders abound on Yahoo Groups.

No matter how long you feed raw for, it’s still possible to have the occasional crisis of faith. Mine came when it was time to wean the chipmunks. As always, I started them on a slurry of raw dog food mixed with goats milk. I then gradually reduce the milk, until they’re eating just raw. This time around, a week or so in and the little hellions all went on a hunger strike. In an adult dog, this would be time for a case of tough love – eat or go hungry, is generally my motto. With babies, it’s a little bit more worrisome – they can’t afford to skip meals, and they don’t have the energy reserves to make fasting practical.

And so, I admit it – I panicked. I picked up a bag of premium quality, grain free kibble, I soaked it in some goats milk, and I offered it to the kids. And, of course, they loved it. Like sucky, over indulgent moms the world over, instead of just insisting that the kids eat their damned broccoli, I gave in and fed them the canine equivalent of a trip to McDonalds. Initially, it seemed a simple solution – give in, feed them dry and say ‘so be it’. It wasn’t quite that simple, however.

As soon as the pups went on to the dry food, they had constant diarrhea. This wasn’t the truly frightening, dehydrating diarrhea, either. Excuse the crudeness, but their poop looked like pudding, and poor Alvin was suffering from a wicked case of diaper rash as a result. Not life threatening, but not pleasant, either, and I was desperate to get it under control.

First attempt? Re worming. I use Safe Guard, which covers the widest variety of intestinal worms, and also addresses any potential Giardia. Nothing. Next attempt, a precautionary dose of Baycox, an  almost impossible to get wonder drug that knocks out Coccidia in one dose. Still no change. Alvin’s bottom was so sore I was applying zinc oxide cream four times daily, and the poor little guy still looked miserable. Next up, we tried a course of Flagyl (aka metronidazole), surefire cure all for all mystery cases of runny poop. No improvement. Final attempt, a pricey box of FortiFlora, which my repro vet swears by. Still runny poop, still scooting their little bums, and still a sore bottom on Alvin.

On Friday, I’d had it.

I decided to switch them back to raw, whether they liked it or not, and put down a dish of raw lamb dog food. Picky as always, they sniffed at it and said ‘no thanks’, until I sprinkled a remaining packet of FortiFlora over top of it, after which they scarfed it down like they were starving.

End results? By Saturday morning, their poop was fifty percent better, and by Saturday night, their poop was 100% normal, for the first time since I switched them to dry.

Lesson learned! I’ll be sticking to raw from now on, and if another batch of puppies get picky, I’ll ride it out and use tough love until they get their appetites back, instead of feeding them junk food. As Sean said “If you know raw works, why were you messing around with their food?”. It was a simple case of breaking what wasn’t broke, and I’m not going to make that mistake again!

“Miracle” Pawz

Pawz dog boots are great for senior dogs and degenerative myelopathy dogs

I read a review of Pawz dog boots on line, in which someone mentioned that they gave their senior dog extra traction when walking on slippery floors. This has been a huge problem of late for Tessa – while she does well on carpeted floors, or even on grass, she just can’t seem to keep her feet when walking on our hardwood. Anything that could possibly give her more traction would be a godsend. Intrigued, I bought a package of the small size Pawz boots, and decided to give them a test run.

They’re not fancy – basically, they look like natural rubber balloons. You slide them on your dog’s foot, and the rolled edge keep them in place. First impression is that your dog is wearing balloon animals on their feet. Second impression? That your dog, who previously was slip sliding on her rear, is suddenly walking with more stability and balance than she has been in months!

I decided to try them out on Mae, who has Degenerative Myelopathy. Same effect! Mae is now running around and playing, instead of wiping out and falling every few steps!

There are twelve pairs in the package, and I paid $20 Canadian for them. Each pair is re usable, and when they start to show signs of wear, you just toss them in the garbage.

I am completely blown away by what a difference such an inexpensive product has made for my two wobbly reared girls. Pawz get two pawz up from Tessa and Mae!!

I am pretty sure that they’re available in the USA as well as in Canada. I did find some for sale on eBay and Amazon, and their website is http://pawzdogboots.com/about/