Monday, 28 June 2010

From the other side of the counter.

I've just spent a pretty miserable two weeks trying to stop a bored, under exercised lurcher from trying to wreck the house. She was spayed 2 weeks ago tomorrow- I didn't do it, my surgical skills are probably not up to a bitch spay as I haven't done one for over 7 years. It's pretty major surgery for a dog, so I didn't fancy 'practising' on the family pet.
I decided not to let her have a season, even though it would have been my preference. We are going away in August and have some house sitters looking after the beasties and garden- and you can bet money on the fact that she would wait until then to come into season.
The old dog had a fractured tooth that needed removing, so I had to withhold food from him for the morning and I thought I might as well starve both of them.
Everything went well; and when I got them home both were pleasantly drowsy which lulled me into a false sense of security.
The next she must have felt okay, because she was desperate to get out for a walk. I didn't take her out but she escaped into the garden a few times and did some laps. The next couple of days I took her around the block on a lead; it was like walking a kangaroo and my right arm is not 1.5 inches longer than my left.
On the 4th day, I took her for a longer lead walk around a local reservoir. She managed to pull the lead out of my hand at one point and dove joyfully into the water to play with the other dogs. There was no way she was coming out, so I had to stand on the shore and wait for her to decide when she was ready. She received a long acting antibiotic injection after that escapade.
We went back to road walks after that. The kids didn't enjoy these as there were no playgrounds, so I had whingy kids as well as an annoyed dog.
She managed to escape out the front door twice during this time, and once shot across the road in hot pursuit of a neighbours cat. I had to close the door and leave the kids alone in the house while I cornered her in a front garden down the road.
She has eaten the leg off the sand table and dug up one of my blueberry plants. She killed the football ( maybe she was trying to tell us something?), popped the paddling pool and excavated enough of our lawn for a bomb shelter. She has also taken to doing a wall of death around the garden 4-5 times a day and has stolen pretty much every one of the kids' soft toys and played with it enough to make it soggy.
So imagine my joy on Friday, when I could finally let her off lead. I thought she'd go mad with excitement but it must have been too hot as she had a gentle run, then plodded along behind me. She's been the same over the weekend- just doesn't seem to want to run around and play. Hopefully it's just the weather and next week she'll be back to her usual mad self.

It's been an experience though, and one I'll bear in mind next time I talk to my clients about getting their female dog neutered. I can't remember it being such hard work last time but that was almost 20 years ago and I had a whole lot more energy!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Lost and Found.

Every week, someone contacts me to check if anyone has handed in a stray dog/cat/rabbit/bird or to tell me they have found a stray animal. Because I don't have a surgery, I can't take in lost pets, so refer them to one of the local rescues but I do write down their details and keep them to hand, just in case.
Last week, 'just in case' happened. A lady rang to say they had found a young black cat in a certain area, then just an hour later someone else rang to say they had found one. So I gave the loser the finders number and a family got their much-loved pet back. They had just moved house and the cat escaped and was last seen high tailing it over the garden fence. She wandered into a house that backed onto her own garden and made herself at home. They were very lucky as the cat wasn't wearing a collar and wasn't micro-chipped.
Every year, thousands of pets aren't as fortunate and end up in rescue centres looking for new homes, or even end up being put to sleep, because there is no way of reuniting them with their owners.
By law, dogs must wear an identification tag on their collar if they are in public. People put a combination of their pet's names, their address, and phone number. My dogs simply wear a phone number on the basis I'd rather no one knew their name if they were stolen. Tags are available on line from the Kennel Club site or from most pet shops.
Cats can wear a tag as well, if they will tolerate a collar but the best method of identification for all pets ( including dogs) is a microchip.
June is National Microchipping Month and many Vet Clinics are offering discounted microchipping to encourage people to make sure their pets are permanently identified. Check here to see if there is an event near you.
The Visiting Vet is offering Microchipping for just £10 with any vaccination for the month of June.
Please phone, email or text me if you'd like to take up this offer.