Dogs in Hot Cars

Since I have become a ‘dog mom’ I have noticed that on hot days I LOOK for cars with dogs in them. Obviously, I hope that I don’t see any, but this summer I have found too many. I have called the police when necessary, and each time I see a dog in a car it angers and upsets me. Where is the common sense? Why do people do it? Most dogs like car rides, so why wouldn’t you take them along, right? Wrong! When it’s hot, a car, even with a window open, is no place for a dog. There are several graphics, like the one below, that have circulated Facebook illustrating how hot a car gets in a very short amount of time.

Even though with my car I have the ability to leave it fully running with the AC on when I take my key out (it’s one of those handy dandy magnet keys that you just stick in the ignition and don’t have to actually turn it), I try not to be hypocritical and don’t take Nola with me when I am going shopping somewhere like Target during the summer months (I could spend HOURS there). On the occasion that she comes with me to run to the grocery store or other short-ish errands, I don’t feel bad about leaving her in the car because she is nice and cool. But, since I have seen so many dogs in cars lately, I don’t want people to freak out (like I might do) and think that Nola was left in the car with the windows shut. To prevent someone from smashing my window to rescue Nola unnecessarily, I came up with the idea of putting this sign on my dashboard.

If I was concerned about a dog, went up to the car to investigate, saw this sign and confirmed the car was indeed running, I would be ok leaving the dog. What do you think? Is this a good solution? Has anyone else seen anything like this?

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Pitties on Parade!

Guess who we got to see Saturday? Laynie! I was SO excited to see her in person. I have been seeing lots of update posts from her family on Facebook, but it has been two months since we brought her to her forever home and I really miss her. The occasion was the Old Hallowell Day Parade. BURN is based near Hallowell (for all you non-Mainers, it’s about an hour from Portland, near Augusta, the state capital), so they invited us to walk with them.

Photo courtesy of P, Laynie’s forever mom

Nola, the Mr. and I were the first ones to arrive in the meeting place. We found a shady spot and waited. I could hardly contain my excitement. I could not wait to see Monkey! It was worth the wait, when she arrived she looked great! She was so happy and she even had her pre-baby body back! Nola was not as excited as I was, she gave Laynie a bit of a “no way in hell you’re coming home with us again” warning growl when Laynie got too excited and in her face. Once they both settled down a bit, and I reassured Nola that Laynie had a new family and would not be coming with us, they were fine.

Look at that svelte body!

Monkey looking all pretty in her BURN bandana.

Exploring together, just like the old days.

As if seeing Laynie Monkey wasn’t enough, we also got to meet one of her puppies, Hazzard, who is still up for adoption. He is 7 months old now and such a sweetie! He’s got Laynie’s petite body, but is much taller and has a MASSIVE head and paws. I think he’s going to be a big guy. He also reminds me of Nola Muffin. He has her coloring and her eyes. It was hard to tell them apart in some of these pictures!

Look at that handsome mug!

Nola, Laynie and Hazzard. If it weren’t for her yellow harness it would have been tough to tell Nola and Hazzard apart!

Hazzard is such a sweet boy.

I always wonder if mom dogs recognize their puppies after they are separated. It was hard to tell with Laynie. She didn’t seem overly exited to see him, but she didn’t completely ignore him either. All I know is that I was as giddy as a school girl to see both of them!

Me loving on Hazzard and Laynie.

The parade itself was not that great. It was just too hot for the pups. We were 24th in the line, and we kept stopping. A 1/2 mile parade took an over an hour to walk.

Hazzard lead the way.

Nola and Laynie brought up the rear of the group.

The pups were panting pretty heavily and we were doing our best to keep them cool with water and wet bandanas. Nola and the Mr. turned around half way through because we were nervous about doing too much walking for her leg if we went to the end of the parade and then had to walk all the way back to the car. I continued with Laynie and her mom and sister. She was a trooper, but she needed shade and more water by the end.

I miss that face!

On the car ride home it was a mix of emotions. The most overwhelming feeling was that of happiness and love. Laynie looked great and seemed wicked happy. She has come so far from when she came into our lives that night in March. It is amazing what love, patience, and attention can do for a dog. I was also happy that she seemed to remembered me. At one point I was sitting in the shade and she came right over and laid next to me. It was sweet. I was hoping she would, because I know I will never forget her. I was also a little sad. I miss her, a lot. I miss her snuggles and her grunts and her toothy grin. I miss her tail wagging a mile a minute all the time. And most of all I miss that monkey face. But, I know that she is loved and happy and that’s all that matters. I made plans with her mom to meet up again for a hike when Nola’s leg is better. I am so glad we got to see her and I already can’t wait to see her again!

Nola Muffin Monday: My Pal Zoe

Over the weekend Mommy and Daddy brought home another dog, Zoe. She is a really small dog, and she kind of looked like a mix between one of those cat things that don’t want to play with me, and one of my stuffies.

At first I was nervous she was going to play with my toys stay for a long time, but Mommy assured me it was only for the weekend. I had met Zoe before, at Mommy’s boss’s house when we hiked the mountain with all the kids. Mommy reminded me that because Zoe is her boss’s dog I had to be nice so she wouldn’t get fired. I don’t know what a boss is or how you get fired (isn’t fire that red hot stuff that smells like sticks?), but I assured Mommy I would be good.

I was hoping Zoe would play with me, since I have lots of energy because I haven’t been on many walks with my hurt leg. But, all she wanted to do was lay around. She didn’t even react to my best play bow! I think she is old or something, because she walked really slow and all she wanted to do was lay on the floor or the couch by Mommy and Daddy.  And man, did she have stinky breath!

The first night went ok, she is too little to jump on the human bed, so she slept on the floor. I thought for sure she would play with me the next day since she was all rested, so I was excited when Daddy got out the mowing machine. She must love to bark at it and chase it like I do! Just when I was getting ready to show Zoe how to run down the ramp off the deck (Pepere made that for me so I wouldn’t hurt my leg with the stairs, but I think it’s really fun to run and jump off of it!) at the mowing machine, Daddy blocked off the stairs with a chair. I don’t know why he always does that, he knows I can’t get thorough it! Imagine my surprise when Zoe took one look at the chair barricade, walked right under it, down the ramp and plopped in the grass! She escaped and didn’t even go after the mowing machine. What kind of dog is she?

You know what else? Mommy and Daddy kept picking Zoe up and carrying her places. Man, I hate that. They told me it was because she’s old and it’s hard for her to walk, but I don’t buy it. She just wants attention. I tried to jump up on their legs and walk right at their feet to let them know I do not like when they pick up other dogs. I don’t really like it when they pick me up, but even though I don’t like it, they shouldn’t do it with other dogs. That’s just not right.

I tried a few more times to play with her, but then I gave up. Mommy said I did a good job and that I was very respectful when Zoe would ignore me. I don’t think I got Mommy fired, but I just hope I’m not that boring when I get old.

Oh, and Zoe wasn’t the only dog I had got to visit with this weekend. Can you guess who I saw on Saturday? Mommy says she won’t make me write about it (I wasn’t all that thrilled about the meeting anyway) and that she would post about it tomorrow.

Nola Muffin Monday: My New Game

I love the beach. I can’t help it- the sand, the smells, the water, it’s just all so fun! But what’s even better is the new game I invented to play there. It’s pretty easy to learn, and the best part is you can play all by yourself. Mommy and Daddy always seem to laugh at me when I do it. I think they are just jealous they aren’t having as much fun as I am.

I’ll teach you how to play in 5 easy steps:

  1. Dig a hole in the sand.
  2. Put a ball in the hole.
  3. Dig/fling the sand out of the hole so that the ball flies out.
  4. Chase the ball and catch it.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for 15-30 minutes until tired.

If you are more of a visual learner and need to see the steps in action, here is a video of me playing my game. (Please excuse the camera work, Mommy isn’t very good on her eye-phone.)

Dog Sitting Sockeye

A couple weekends ago we dog sat a yellow lab named Sockeye overnight for a work friend of mine. You might be thinking, “Sockeye, what a strange name.” Well, my friend’s last name is Salmon, like the fish, and Sockeye is a type of salmon. Cute, right?

Well even cuter than her name is Sockeye’s personality. She is so mellow, loving and funny! She loved Nola’s pool.
She loved the hose.
She loved the car.
She loved being loved.
She slept in our room on Nola’s dog bed (Nola got to sleep in our bed, of course), but the second Jim got up to use the bathroom Sockeye jumped right up into his spot. She put her head right on my pillow and started snoring. When Jim came back in the room he took one look at Nola by my feet and Sockeye in his spot and went out to the living room to sleep on the couch. That is true dog love!

We loved having another dog in the house, it definitely scratched our fostering itch for the weekend. It also made me realize that two dogs isn’t so much work when their personalities fit well together. Sockeye is six years old and mellow, and she was a good compliment to Nola’s hyper two year old personality. Laynie and Nola were so much work because they were both high energy and I always had to watch them. Even going outside to go potty they had to be separated or they wouldn’t do their business. It was just the opposite with Nola and Sockeye. They enjoyed each others company, but went about their own ways. Hopefully our next foster will mesh with Nola little better and two dogs will be a cinch.

As for Sockeye, she can come back anytime!

And It’s Over, Faster Than You Can Say ACL

Last week I wrote about Nola’s promising agility career. We were scheduled to go to our third class on Saturday. But, after noticing a slight limp this week, and a vet visit, Nola’s agility days are over.

I’m not really sure what happened. I got back from Miami on Saturday of last week and Sunday we took Nola for a swim at the river. That afternoon I started noticing a slight limp on her back right leg. I asked Jim if he had seen anything unusual while I was gone. He said he noticed she was a bit tense with it when he gave her a bath. Over the next few days I watched, when we walked, when she ran, and I couldn’t say for sure she was limping. But something just didn’t look right. By Wednesday, I decided I would make an appointment with out vet. What was the harm? If it was nothing then we would be out $40. That’s chump change when it comes to the health and well being of my baby.

Well, it wasn’t nothing. It turns out Nola has a slight tear in her anterior cruciate ligament, more commonly known as an ACL. For those of you who lucky enough to not know anything about the ACL, this ligament, which also is called the cranial cruciate ligament in animals, connects the back of the femur (the bone above the knee) with the front of the tibia (the bone below the knee). The ACL is responsible for keeping the tibia in place beneath the femur and stabilizing the knee joint. The vet did a couple tests, including the drawer test and the tibial compression test. (Read more about the injury from Pet WebMD) He knew right away she had at least a tear. He thinks if it was completely ruptured she would be showing a lot more signs of distress, like completely lifting the leg.

What does this mean? Well, short term it means she needs lots of rest. No walks. No swims. No jumping. Just laying down and resting, which is what we did all weekend (see my post on Facebook). She has started on some anti-inflammatory medicine and we have to go back in a week to see if there is any more damage that the swelling hid initially. Long term, it means probably no more agility, a high risk ACL rupture, and a higher risk of injuring it again.

It also means our Fourth of July lake plans are cancelled and it will mean a very hyper dog if we can’t find something to stimulate her mentally to replace the physical activity. What’s even more sad is that we were in the works to foster another pup, Angus, at the end of this week, but the vet recommended we do not introduce another dog into the house until Nola is fully healed. Since it could be anywhere from 2-4 weeks (or longer depending on what we find out next week), it looks as though fostering will be postponed indefinitely.

After lots of tears, and researching everything I can about ACL injuries and treatments for dogs, I’ve come to accept the situation for what it is. We will rest her for the next couple weeks in hopes that the injury heals on it’s own and doesn’t get worse. I have seen how the recovery from surgery can be long and painful (my friend’s dog Payson is just finally able to walk after his PTLO surgery months ago) and I don’t want that for my Muffin. Even though it is going to be tough trying to make an active dog into a couch potato, we will do whatever we can. We will use toys, bones, bully sticks, and maybe some low impact training to keep her as immobile as possible, and just hope and cross our fingers it will heal back up on its own!