The weather in the Ottawa region warmed up more nicely than the forecast gave us cause to anticipate. With full sun and slight wind and the temperature rising to -5 C. we were able to take our two little dogs out into the ravine for our quotidian trail ramble without their having to wear boots, for a nice change. It's a bother putting those boots on them, and taking them off, as well; a bit of a complication on top of their wearing little coats to keep them unfrosted
, given their size, one a miniature- the other a toy-size poodle.
So off we went, and found to our delight, that Stumpy, our bold little ravine squirrel was out scrambling along with other black squirrels, but they fully tailed, underneath one of the bird feeders that a kind soul had put in place. We see the squirrels swinging from time to time, from the feeders, extracting as much seed as they can. The couple who supply the seeds whenever the feeders run empty - and that's often enough - have finally wryly agreed there is nothing more they can do to dissuade the squirrels.
Because it's a Sunday we came across other people using the ravine trails from time to time, most of them with dogs of their own. One older woman alone, walking a little Welsh-terrier mix as small as our toy poodle and wearing an identical coat for warmth, kept us talking for a while, clearly as pleased to see us enjoying the wonderful resource we share, as we were to come across her. And, of course, it's always fascinating to see the dogs interact. Her little dog was lively and engaged, ours clearly unwilling.
We came across a young pair of girls walking a Nova Scotia
and since that breed is very often hostile, we figured it best to keep our own hostile little dog away from another who might very well reciprocate bad feelings. The larger dog would have the clear advantage; always best to avoid unpleasant encounters, though our encounter with the young dog walkers was pleasant enough.
But then came along a bumptious puppy, just a tad larger than our miniature poodle and more heavily haired with swirls of caramel and soft white, and I instantly snapped up our black miniature poodle. She has always been inoffensive, never given to fending for herself against other dogs' unwanted close contacts and now that she is fully seventeen years of age, we prefer to protect her from misadventure.
Such as the one that occurred yesterday during our ravine walk when that same excited puppy danced all over her, actually flattening her to the ground and once pinned there, continued to prance all over her in its frantic-antic display of puppy-affectionate playfulness. Yesterday, her rescue was belated and she was rather dishevelled and perhaps also a trifle miserable over the encounter, because when I picked her up she was trembling, poor thing.
Today, there was no repeat of yesterday's occurrence. We didn't bother doing anything about our toy poodle, but let him toddle along at his own pace, to confront the happy-go-lucky puppy. Our toy poodle is ten years old, and while not grumpy, not given to heartily and cheerfully greeting other canines. Confronted by a squirrel, a cat, a rabbit, he's amenable and kindly; by a dog, completely otherwise.
The happy puppy found itself confronting a cantankerous
elder, and quickly backed off. I meant to speak quietly to its owner, to suggest she make an effort to socialize her puppy to its own advantage, and hers. Because it is a very small dog, and its habit of jumping up repeatedly at and over and around other dogs might very well land it in hot water some day when some large, mean dog might take violent exception.
Besides which, it's really hard not to laugh out loud at this little dog's enthusiastic antics. He's so blissed out on life. Doesn't want to miss anything, including greeting strange dogs and inviting them to some boisterous playtime with him. Dogs really are like people in so many ways, with their little idiosyncrasies
and habits and feelings of prerogative and entitlements needing to be constrained for their own good.
Our daughter is now experiencing some difficulties with one of her small dogs, a Sheltie
. She has encountered a number of difficulties with this little dog. From the time he was young he had problems with his back legs; a genetic legacy of shallow sockets and joints, resulting in easy dislocation. Occasionally his leg would slip out of the socket, but not badly enough to cause problems.
Glucosamine helps ours with this same problem, but Stevie's problem is far more urgent.
The original veterinarian who examined Stevie in fact mis
-diagnosed his problem. And now that he is eight years old, he has become more susceptible to really serious dislocations. One of which occurred a month ago, leaving him in pain ever since. Our daughter thought that things would clear up as they usually did.
Stevie is a rambunctious, excitable, energetic little dog, and he’s likely to expend too much vibrant energy in places that might present as dangerous to him in particular. That’s what appears to have happened. Perhaps on one of their daily walks. Our daughter's dogs, large and small, all ten of them, are also accustomed to wrestling among themselves, fairly strenuously, and it’s possible that one of those events took its toll on him.
When his condition did not clear of its own, despite that our daughter kept him isolated from the others to try to give him space and time to recuperate, she finally took him to a veterinarian whom she trusts. This woman gave a diagnosis that seemed to explain all of Stevie’s problems. The prognosis doesn
’t look good, however.
It’s highly likely he will require surgery to try to ameliorate his problem and permit him to regain mobility. In the interim, hoping that less stringent measures might still be useful, the vet fixed his leg back into the socket, immobilized his leg, binding it toward his stomach area, and he’s not to use it for the next week, at which time our daughter will return him to the veterinarian and she will assess his progress, if any has occurred.
In the meantime, she has had to devise a sling to put over him, to help him with his balance when she takes him out to allow him to defecate or urinate. In contrast to that kind of misfortune, we've been fairly fortunate with our older dog, Button. She has lost some of her front teeth, her hearing is impaired and her eyesight not as keen as formerly. But she remains energetic and interested in everything.
She eats well, and heartily. She is uncompromisingly herself. She leaps effortlessly onto the sofa when she wants to, although from time to time she will 'miss'. We're hoping for as many more years as possible yet to share life with her.
Labels: Animal Stories, Companions