Friday, March 5, 2010

6 Days! Really?

Eclipse has been home for six magnificent days. Honestly, though, I can't believe it's only been six days. It feels like he never left. Yes, there's 9.5 months of his life that we didn't have a direct hand in but he's the same goofy, loving, crazy boy we knew and loved so long ago.

He's doing quite well, other than scratching like crazy for no apparent reason. He's got severe flea allergies, always had, but that's not the cause of his itching. He's got flea meds on and there aren't any fleas here (I know from having a white dog, if there are fleas they are easily spotted on Kira!) but still he itches. He itches so much that he scratches his face and the scratches scab over. Unfortunately I don't know how long he's been doing this, although it's been going on since before he arrived home since there's a nasty, toe-nail looking scab on his face that is slowly healing. I'm thinking the itching could be from a food allergy and since his "output" is not quite healthy (stinky, like stressed-out shelter dog stinky) I'm wanting to get him switched from Canidae to Solid Gold (one of the best choices I found locally) as soon as possible. Although I'm sure the foreign bodies he's relieving his intestines of aren't helping his poo quality at all. (Seriously, I found part of a leash in one of his piles. And no, it wasn't from here) Since Canidae has never quite agreed with him I'm thinking that may be the culprit. He's only on Canidae right now because I didn't want to "cold-turkey" switch him to a much higher quality food than what he was on previously and Canidae is on the same quality "level" as whatever he was being fed at Joy's. Soon, I'll give you all a review of the Solid Gold food Eclipse (and Eva it sounds like) will be going on. We'll also be putting them on SeaMeal. We used SeaMeal at the Safari and so I'm quite comfortable with the Solid Gold brand and quality. What can I say? I like sticking to things I'm comfortable with (HP, Sony, Solid Gold, Premier)

Poor Eclipse was subjected to a bath Wednesday. He was stinking horribly so a bath it was. I put it off as long as I could but I don't like having stinky dogs around and I don't like my house smelling like dog so a bath for the boy it was. His coat is still lacking the undercoat part of it so we're hoping a better food and supplements will help him grow that in by next winter. It's also not as soft as it could be, again we're hoping the food and supplements will help that. When he arrived he had sores on his stomach/thighs and those are almost all cleared up now. I'm not sure of the cause of them although Eva's appear to be caused by urinating on herself and it sitting there overnight so who knows. It's just nice to see his skin clearing up. Now just to get the itching under control! We're also monitoring his and Eva's weight closely, they'll be getting weighed every two weeks to keep an eye on any fluctuations. Eclipse currently weighs in at 51.4 lbs but I'm still not happy with that weight so we're going to keep giving him super high calorie additives to try and get that number up and some padding on his ribs/hips.

Behaviourly he's got some manners to re-learn but he's still amazing. We're working on threshold respect again, as well as getting "out" of the kitchen when food is being prepared and "go to bed" while we're eating. The "go to bed" isn't because he's trying to steal food from us but he wiggles around while we're eating and his tail almost always ends up in our plates which is just nasty. We've introduced the clicker to him and make him work for treats and his food. It's nice to see that he still loves taking off socks just for the fun of it although the other behaviours (get it and switch mainly) he'll only do if there's food around and he only does them for the food. Light work really frustrates him so while we work on it a couple times a day we keep it to two times in a row at most. His counter-surfing habits are quickly being rectified without physical corrections or set-ups. He's easily corrected verbally and many times I can see when he's about to "up" on the counter and tell him to leave it then. Although one time he was mowing down on some cheese when I walked into the kitchen so he got a nice correction then... in fact, haven't caught him doing it since then. He's been waking me up in the middle of the night with his scratching and moving about at 2 a.m. every morning but I've yet to determine if it's general restless or a need to use the bathroom, so I let him out and then we head back to bed. For curious minds, no, he does not sleep on our bed with us. It took a couple nights but he quickly realized the dog beds on the floor are for him to sleep on and the bed is for Alex and I. He's quite content on the floor and doesn't bug us to be allowed on the bed hardly at all. Although, if I'm still in bed when Alex leaves for work sometimes he gets invited up for a couple hours before we get up for the day. He simply curls up at the foot of the bed and chills until I say his name then he scoots up for some loving, grabs a toy and wiggles his way through the house.
When we first started working on "go to bed" he decided "get it" would be much more fun since we had just working on that. Eventually I got it through his head that I wanted him to lay on it, not bring it to me!
The stain is not pee, it was there when we moved in
He's such a goofy goofy boy! He discovered one of Kira's golf balls today and his love of the golf ball was quickly seen. He was first introduced to golf balls when he was 9 weeks old and at that age he'd pick it up and "toss" it away from him and pounce on it. The way he plays with it now is similar and oh so cute. Don't worry though, I keep a very close eye on him, don't want no swallowed golf balls in this house. Not to mention he's small enough that it's not that great of a concern. He also discovered the "giggle ball" today. That was a hoot! He dropped it and when it made noise he just looked at it and cocked his head. Then he was trying to make it giggle by chewing on it and hitting it with his foot and only realized it was the dropping of it when I threw it for him. So he started picking it up and dropping it then pouncing on it. Oh, it's so nice to have him home.

It's all of Eclipse's little quirks that I love about him, his goofy wiggle and "sneezing" on you when he's happy, his love of playing with balls by himself but almost zero interest in them if they're thrown, his head cocks and how if you stop petting him he puts his head as far back as it will go and look at you until you laugh. He absolutely, one hundred percent warms my heart and I love him every bit as much now as I did when he was just a little baby. The depression I've been in for the past 18 or so months (before Eclipse, obviously) is slowly being lifted and would be almost completely gone if it weren't for my incompetent employer and ongoing health issues. Eclipse is my medicine and an amazing medicine at that.

Six days down, baby, an indefinite number to go and I couldn't be happier.

Ally, Eclipse, Teddy & Kira

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