Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Photo Overload

Eclipse is doing well in the adjustment to being home as a pet and seems to be enjoying himself. Photographic evidence: a smiling Eclipse at Coreena's!
Random: Eva's version of "lap"
Saturday we ventured out to some of Eclipse's original stomping grounds, Whistler's Bend Park!
Eva had a clingy moment and decided she had to be touching Coreena... or was that Eva-tude for having that thing on her face?
Eva and Eclipse romped on long lines on the muddiest hole (#1 of course) and got disgustingly dirty before Max decided he couldn't play the whole course due to the mud hurting his leg. So, we continued on without them. You can see some of the mud on Eclipse's face in this photo. We're working with him on carrying a backpack on the disc golf course although it's undecided as of yet whether he'll be carrying drinks or the discs but we have a long way to go before then since the shifting of the liquid kind of wigs him out.
Once we got to the holes that are a bit more spread out Eclipse got to go completely off-leash and Alex and him had some nice guy bonding time.
But of course we couldn't let this amazing opportunity go by without practicing Eclipse's off-leash recall every chance we got! He did phenomenally, just like he did as a babe.
Some more guy time. Yeah, that backpack is a bit too big for Cip but don't worry it only had a long line and easy walk harness in it. We're planning on getting him another one that fits better soon.
Eclipse practiced looking like a field golden, although he could never be a hunting dog due to his specialness ;-)
We also practiced being on leash in exciting places and he did well, thankfully he was a bit worn out already so we had little pulling on the leash to contend with.
See? We Alex only played 8 of the holes but Eclipse is obviously out of shape (as am I) and he was tuckered out! While his stress in vehicles has been greatly decreasing each time we go out and he doesn't have to work it was nowhere to be seen after Whistler's! Um... yeah, he's sleeping like that...
The fun part! Before going discing we stopped by Petco and got Eclipse's new food. It's quite expensive but one of the best foods I've seen for our situation. There are a few others I was considering but I settled on Solid Gold Wolf King (Large Breed Adult Formula). It's made with bison and ocean fish and has no corn or wheat in it. It's got 22% protein but the protein sources are the most usable proteins for dogs so it works, not to mention that's very low protein content. We're halfway through the transition to being completely on Solid Gold and already he seems to being better on it, namely, his stool is more firm (Thank Goodness!).
We're also giving him a supplement that I mentioned in my last post, it's called Seameal and is recommended by most golden owners as goldens tend to be very prone to allergies (as my Eclipse is) and the Solid Gold kibble with the seameal tends to help skin and coat conditions, reduces the need for steroids/antihistamines (spl?) and really seems to help all dogs as it's said it ups the digestability of foods almost 10%. In fact, Teddy and Kira are getting it now too. Solid Gold suggests using seameal with their foods since the supplements are not cooked in the food since cooking reduces the amount of nutrition, instead you purchase it separately and add it to the food to get the full effect.
Making Eclipse's breakfast and dinner takes a little longer now and this morning I started making Teddy and Kira's food the same way so that adds on 5 more minutes to my morning routine. Oh well. First I put a small amount of water in the bottom of the food bowls, add the seameal (Teddy and Kira get 1/4 tsp and Eclipse 1/2 tsp) and salmon oil and stir. Then I add the kibble and stir to make sure it's evenly distributed. (The Solid Gold is the larger kibble)
All three of them love their kibble and even more so now with the supplements added in. I hope in a couple months to see Eclipse and Teddy's hair grown in more/thicker and Kira's hair whiter (two of the common noticable changes in reviews). Teddy and Kira can't get enough of it and I detect some jealousy that Eclipse gets fed twice a day and they get fed only once. (They eat under 1 cup of food a day each, splitting it up would be pointless)
To make matters even worse Eclipse gets half of his breakfast in a frozen Kong which he loves! He was never too interested in Kongs before but now he carries his red Kong everywhere until I take it away to make the next day's breakfast.
Yesterday we got him a thing of Milkbones not only because he's spoiled (which he is) but because they are very high in calories so if we give him at least one a day that's an extra almost 150 calories. I've also upped his food intake just a bit so he's getting 4 cups of kibble a day, along with a Milkbone and peanut butter and Nutrical in his morning Kong. He's already looking healthier weight-wise but we'll see in a couple days if that shows on the scale as well.
In camera news, I decided not to get one right now, not even a point and shoot. We got Alex and xbox 360 from Max and Coreena (that I love) and some games but then I decided spending the other money on things we need for ourselves, the house and the dogs would be a more responsible way to spend the money. So, we each got a few pairs of new jeans, we got some things for the bathroom and Eclipse's food and supplements and some other things for the boy, along with leaving some money in the bank, which is always a nice thing to have. A new camera will be coming soon, May at the latest we hope!
As I've mentioned before, Eclipse has a horrible flea allergy, absolutely atrocious. So it's imperative that he be on flea medication at all times. Unfortunately I'm not aware of the last time flea stuff was put on him before he came home but it's been more than a month ago. I did put some advantage on him but it was for a dog less than half his size so it did little, although it did help some it seems. The area we run into issues is that I'm extremely allergic to topical flea meds and so I had to decide if I was going to neglect Eclipse for a couple days each month when I could hardly touch him or go with a different plan. I did some research and we've come up with a workable plan. I placed an order online at last night for Eclipse's flea stuff for the next couple months and here's what I got; 6 (oral) tablets of Capstar (kills the fleas on the dog but doesn't prevent or stop the life cycle), 6 months of Program (oral medication that stops the life cycle of the fleas but takes a couple weeks to show results, thus the Capstar) and when spring hits for real we'll put him on Frontline Plus. (I also got him a giant Galileo and Wishbone just because they're so cheap and I wanted those for him anyway!) The reason for the Frontline Plus is that we obviously go discing a lot and hope to go hiking and camping a lot this summer. In this beautiful area of Oregon there is a lot of tall grass and bushes and such that ticks hide in and like to prey on our dogs. Program does not prevent ticks at all and while I have an organic spray for the dogs for mosquitos and flies it doesn't work on ticks, so Frontline Plus it is. I'm hoping that will only be used 6 months out of the year as it's twice as much as Program and I'll have to be careful after I have Alex put it on him but it's worth it to protect the boy. Also during the spring/summer fleas are of course worse so the added protection will be nice, although when he's on Frontline he won't be on Program, no overdosing my boy!

He's an expensive boy, certainly, what with his $50 food (for 33 lbs), $35 seameal (1 lb), $15 salmon oil (8 oz), $45 Program (6 months! Nice!), $45 Frontline Plus (3 months, urgh) and toys that he must have! And that's all before going to the vet for a heartworm test (since I know he wasn't on heartguard or anything of the sort as an SDIT), heartworm preventatives, stool sample, booster shots (if I ever get his shot records, I hate over inoculating dogs...) or shot series if I don't get his shot records, Urine Analysis and a current water deprivation kidney test. High maintenance little golden we have here... but we wouldn't have it any other way :-D

We've also tried different ways of getting him to walk politely on a leash once again. The Gentle Leader was immediately nixed since he shuts down as soon as he sees it (he won't even play with Eva!) so we looked at other options. I bought him an easy walk harness as soon as I found out he was coming home but it's not as effective as I'd like it to be so don't use it much. I've tried clicker training him (and he loves the clicker) but he gets so excited/stressed/over stimulated when on-leash that he refuses food and I've yet to find a high enough quality treat to get him past that, but we're working on it. I bought him a training collar simply because his collar is too loose to use on walks in town (it's as small as it will go and the next size down is too small) and small corrections with it are very effective. We'll keep exploring and working with him and see what works best, although I did try the Halti on him that I bought for Eola and we use on Charlie and he did well on it, no shutting down or freaking out, although he did still try and get it off it wasn't the only thing on his mind. We'll figure it out though!

Onto new adventures with our little pack, even though they have to be documented with a stinky little camera for now, at least they're happening to be documented!

Ally, Eclipse, Teddy & Kira

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if you're interested, but I buy my guys' Frontline Plus from Amazon directly from Merial (the co. that makes it, not another seller) a 6 month supply for about $55-$60 with free shipping. Good luck with the food switch, I went holistic a few months ago and it was so worth it.