Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Farewell to Abby

We had to say good-bye to Abby this morning. She had liver and pancreatic issues and nothing could be done so we gave her the last gift we could and let her go peacefully and without pain. Abby was born in Scotland, April 4, 1997.

Abby left us with lots of memories. She was a rehome and had been a very well-known competitor in the high level Border Collie Herding Trials with her former owner. We got her when she was 9 years old. She had been a kennel dog but adapted to being a house dog right away. She liked having two meals a day, sleeping inside, getting treats and a never ending supply of ear rubs.

I trialed her a bit on sheep, geese and ducks and she earned several Herding Championships. She was horrified that I would ask her to herd DUCKS, but ever the lady, she humored me. She was too pushy for geese and they hissed at her. Quite comical. We even ventured into the arena with Cattle a few times but I didn’t like being afoot in an arena with steers and Abby was too brave for her own good and I was afraid she would be hurt so we stopped that. She never felt she was getting older and slower.

Abby’s herding skills never left her and she would go around the house counting noses. She preferred that everyone (dogs and people) stay in the same room so she could keep track of them. Herding dogs are control freaks you know. The other dogs were boys so Abby was the reigning queen of the pack.

Abby is best known to my Etsy friends as the dog who ate all the trimmings off a dozen of my Medicine rocks then denied having done so. However, what goes in tends to come out and we were pooper-scooping turquoise nuggets, carnelian and citrine beads as well as random small shells and fibers for days after. (She never did admit eating this stuff.)

Abby was kind to her stock and got along well with other dogs. She loved having company and greeted each visitor as though they were long lost friends.

It was hard saying good-by to this dear girl but she will live on in our hearts.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Here's Hootie...

Here's Hootie....

Hootie is the newest member of our family.  He is a 6 year old Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie) who was the companion of my sister who is suffering from Alzheimer's and has had to be placed into Care. 

Hootie (Hoot and he is one) is fitting in very well around here except for one dog who keeps wondering when Hootie will be going home.  Fortunately,  all the dogs are easy-going and we have minimal squabbles.

He came to us very overweight and has lost 10 lbs already.  He's quite active but the excessive weight did do some joint damage.  Hopefully, that will improve as with the weight loss, he has become more active.

I managed to get his toenails down to normal length and scaled his teeth so now he has a great smile.

Hootie has a very dense coat and was so matted that my niece had a groomer come in and shave him.  He looks like a little lion.  The hair is starting to grow back now.

So, here's a reminder.  A fat dog is not a healthy dog.  Keep that weight down.  Use low calorie treats, exercise and control the food dish.  My dogs think green beans are a fun treat.  Also, keep those nails trimmed or have your vet or a groomer do it.  When the nails start to curl under it causes stress on the feet and toes and your dog will pay for that down the road.  Finally, dental health is just as important to dogs as it is to people.  Keep the teeth clean and don't let the tartar build-up get out of hand.