Hi everyone! I hope you all stay warm and dry throughout the rest of this wet, icky weekend. We are all cuddled up on the couches after a busy day. Lexi and I took a trip up to Dogs In Harmony this afternoon to visit our friend Denise and collect a bunch of “stuff” Lexi had amassed there! Lexi’s wonderful Auntie Kim generously left us several cans of pumpkin and an adorable pair of “short-sleeve” jammies, perfect for spring time! They are made by the same company as her sock monkey jammies and we love them! They have super cute monkeys on them :). Unfortunately, they were a bit too small in the chest area and I could only get one of Lexi’s front legs in! We took some new measurements when we got home and sent them to Kim, so she will have the jammies re-made in a bigger size. I hope it isn’t too much trouble for her! We really appreciate such a sweet gift for Miss Lexi and they will definitely be put to use ! We have some awesome friends!
We also had presents waiting for us from Lexi’s former foster mom and forever friend, Laurelin. She left us Lexi’s swamp cooler (a really cool piece of dog clothing!), a bag of her Merrick grain-free kibble, and, drumroll please, HER MEDS! YIPPEE! Handsome Dan’s Rescue graciously placed an order for 60 days worth of cyclosporine to get Lexi started and it arrived this week to Laurelin’s home. Today (Saturday) she will start back on it. It must be given on an empty stomach, either 1 hour before a meal or 2 hours afterwards, so we plan to give Lexi her daily dose around 8 o’clock tonight. I am really hoping she doesn’t experience any side effects, the most common of which is stomach upset. Fingers crossed that her tummy agrees with the cyclosporine so that it can begin to combat her allergies again and give her relief!
We also grabbed another 10-pound box of THK Thrive and a smaller box of THK Keen for Zev. Tomorrow we will begin mixing small amounts of dehydrated food into Zev’s kibble to ensure that he likes it and his tummy agrees with it. He has had a few spoonfuls-worth of Keen from sample packets, but that was a few weeks ago, so we will basically start the process over.
Lexi and Zev are both doing well together. They have had a few scuffles surrounding toys so we are being extra careful about leaving antlers and toys out and monitoring their time with said toys. They have been playing very well together and walking well together. One of the issues we are working through is keeping Lexi relaxed and focused on John or I when she is on a walk and encounters another dog, leashed or unleashed. We encountered an unleashed dog on a fairly busy walking trail the other day and John had to ask the owners to leash him. We had both Zev and Lexi with us and the dog was coming toward them. It did not appear aggressive at all, but Lexi was yapping and whining at him excitedly and it would not have been a good situation if the dog approached our two. The owners responded that they hardly ever leashed him but grabbed onto his collar as they passed by us. Mind you, this is not an “off-leash” area, and John and I were both pretty perturbed. The couple and the dog were very friendly, but their dog approaching ours while they were probably 20 or so feet behind him could have led to an even more stressful situation and certainly was no help in our efforts to train Lexi. Needless to say, I really wish people would leash their dogs. I will quit ranting, but I could go on and on about leashing, as I’m sure many of you could as well.
Anyway…when she and Zev are walking together in a quiet area she is great, but seeing other dogs on leash gets her very excited. She gets excited about seeing people as well, but that has proven much less of an issue and we are able to settle her before allowing people to meet her. Laurelin and Heather (HDR’s founder and head trainer) have explained that this is an issue Lexi had been working through in foster care and would probably require more work with still. When we encounter another dog we try to use our “sit” and “look” commands to keep Lexi’s attention on us rather than the passing dog, assisted by treats, of course. I have also been trying to solidify her “look” command in several situations throughout the day so that she will eventually be very responsive when I give the command. We are also using Zev as a tool in these situations because he is almost always calm and nonchalant, and often that energy will help calm Lexi down. We will figure out what works for John, Lexi, and I and implement this plan consistently. Many of our walking areas become very crowded in the summertime (thanks to an influx of tourists), so this is definitely something we want to work on very hard with Lexi to make our walks as enjoyable and pleasant as possible.
Otherwise, not much else is new in our lives. Once Lexi has been back on the cyclosporine for a few weeks I plan to bring her in for a follow-up appointment with Dr. Tapp, the dermatologist she first saw a few months ago.
So, that’s it for now. I have just a few pictures to share today. Enjoy!
That’s it for us tonight. Paws crossed that Lexi takes her medicine well. The adventures continue tomorrow! Much love from Lexi and Zev.