Kitten adoption almost leads to its death within 2 days

January 20, 2009

We adopted a 2 month old kitten from the pet store. The owners could not look after it and it was growing too big to be a popular kitten for sale. We had a cat for years, but he died after dogs attacked and fatally injured him a few years back. I am very hesitant to get a new kitten since that time.

Well, Chewy immediately took a liking to us and after he calmed down after the stressful car ride, had some food and water to drink, felt quite at home – on our bed!

It will take a while to socialize him with our dogs, except for MJ and Clara who were used to a cat, because they grew up with Felix since they were puppies. I immediately saw a potential problem with Coco and Cliffie. They both catch birds and kill rats at a regular basis. A domestic cat will have no chance.

Coco stormed into the house this morning, with Cliffie close on her heels, just as the husband was leaving for work this morning. The poor kitten has now already lost one and a half of his nine lives, because Coco pounced on the cat the moment she saw it. Luckily Chewy was on the armrest of the dining table. He must have jumped a meter high into the air from fright!  The moment he landed on his feet, Cliffie was on him, trying to kill him.

I panicked. If I didn’t do something quickly the kitten will not survive. I grabbed and cracked our whip hard, right next to cliffie – it distracted him long enough for the kitten to scurry under a sofa. Of course I sent the dogs out the door immediately, where they will stay, permanently until I can think of a safe and suitable solution to this problem…

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Puppies sold out – Buyers want more crossbreeds!

January 19, 2009

Coco’s pups were all sold out on Saturday morning. Within 2 hours! I was so surprised when the pet store lady phoned me up to hear if that was the whole litter. We only brought 3 in, because I kept the one puppy for myself.

The pet store is just outside a grocery hypermarket. One lady saw the pups and wanted a pair, but did not think of paying for them and just keeping them in a kennel to collect again after she finished her grocery shopping.

When she returned, there was only one pup left. She was so disappointed that she asked the pet store owner if she could call me up to find out if I sold some more pups at a different pet store. Of course the buyers request felt a bit awkward, but she did what the lady asked, anyway.

Well, I kept the most beautiful pup at home, but she unfortunately had a small graze almost on the end of her tail, which I was still treating to prevent infection. I agreed to bring the pup in for inspection and possible sale.  Because the pup had an injury, she was not in perfect condition, I had to drop my price to minimum – Pet store rules (to keep the customer happy). Of course the pet store did not drop their part of the proceeds.

Of course when I went back to bring the pup in for the new buyer, she fell in love with the pup immediately. She did not mind the little mark on the tail at all!  I felt rather disappointed, because had I known she would not have mind, I would have kept the pup at full price!  The buyer thought it was the bargain of a lifetime.

She stopped to chat to me before she left. Asked for my phone number and even asked whether I would consider breeding them again, because she would at least buy another 2

I’m not so sure about that. I’m not a breeder.

Any comments or suggestions from readers?

Help! Puppies yelping outside my door

January 17, 2009

Coco’s four puppies are now five weeks old, and becoming quite a handful by the day! In less than a week they learned where the kitchen door is and comes running every time it opens. One of the pups – I affectionately call her -and this is not profane language – “little fat bitch”  (she looks like that) – comes to the door and yelps on end until I come outside. No, let me rephrase – until she hears me approaching the door! 🙂

This kind of behavior must be kept in check, otherwise the dog will be crying in front of the door all the time. Especially when they want to come inside when they have to stay outside for a while or when they get bored or lonely.

This little pup is a food ingesting machine! She would finish her bowl of wet puppy food before two other pups are even half way with theirs. The other pup, a male,  also greedily finish his food almost always shortly after her. It almost seems like a competition between the two of them.

Because Coco lactates only four puppies, they get more nutrition from her milk and larger amounts to drink. So they develop and grow faster and bigger than other pups would for their age if the litter were bigger.  Their baby teeth was already cut through the gums by the time they were just over three weeks old!

They were starting to bite Coco so she started to wean them off her about six days ago.  This was a problem because they need milk up to four weeks, but five weeks is best.  I had to start feeding them wet puppy food earlier than expected. They still drink from her, but they are developed enough to rely only on their puppy food now.

I saw them drinking water from the water bowl the last few days I place close too their play bed, so they will be all right to go to the pet store soon.

They will try to drink from Coco up to 2 months if she lets them. But in my experience with MJ having large litters twice, the bitch will start to warn them they shouldn’t try it, when their milk starts to dry up. She will do this with a warning growl and quick yap.  The pup will then crouch, with their head down and submit.

The adventure of owning a fox terrier

January 16, 2009
Cliffie, my Fox Terrier

Cliffie, my Fox Terrier

If you never heard of the phrase “trouble comes in small packages”, you will understand, after you meet Cliffie, our tough, tenacious and exuberant fox terrier.

Do not be fooled by this small dog’s size.  This little guy seizes the day and everything in it. His big spirit and enthusiasm is sometimes scary, especially when he takes on an aggressive guard dog such as my Rhodesian Ridgeback who were bred to hunt lions!

He hates birds and chases them around our 1 acre yard all day, every day. We are blessed with lots of bird life on our small farm.  He will sit under one of the trees and bark at them as if to say – “come out and play you silly fools! Or are you chicken?”  A couple of times he has caught one in flight when he chased it while it was grazing on the lawn.  I see it as a form of self-exercising as it alleviates the amount of exercise I have to give him myself.

He loves playing catch with a tennis ball! It’s really hard to get him tired. You can throw the ball at great distance for at least 15 minutes before he starts taking a breather before he picks up the ball, runs back to me, drop it at my feet and asks to throw it again.

He has lots of adventures in our big garden, which can occasionally lead him into trouble, such as digging over my newly planted dutch irises garden bed!

Grumpy old lady

January 16, 2009
Clara, my Black Labrador

Clara, my Black Labrador

Clara is a faithful aging family dog.   When she was younger, she had a strong desire to please. A Black Labrador is known for this characteristic. Yet, as she’s getting older she’s becoming more grumpy and unsociable, especially with the other dogs…

The last two years she became more snappy towards all the other dogs, especially during feeding times. Growling at them when they come close or walk by, like they are trying to steal her food or something!

She would lie down when feeding, throw over her bowl and rather eat each kibble from the ground,  piece by piece. I watch her regularly, sometimes she will take all day to finish her morning feed. Or she would just lie by her food and shelter it from the younger dogs who would quickly gobble it all up!

Occasionally, this does happen and if she was around and saw it, she would charge at them with loud growling, pulling back her jowls and show her teeth! I have to reprimand her often with a stern voice to get her to calm down.

Unfortunately with Clara starting to age, she’s becoming less responsive and not keen to play games anymore.  Clara prefers sleeping and lazily laying about watching what goes on around her. The most exercise I she does is to chase the neighbors dogs, on a daily basis, charging up and down the fence, barking at them the whole time.  She has always been quite a vocal dog, barking at strangers, the neighbors, and of course driving me nuts when she runs along that pesky fence!

Most nights she sleeps in our bedroom, on her own bean bag bed,  keeping me awake with her loud snoring. It’s like a competition between her, MJ, and the husband!

Clara is a a very special dog. We got her as a 8 weeks old pup, almost 8 and half years ago.

My girl MJ

January 15, 2009
MJ, my Rhodesian Ridgeback

MJ, my Rhodesian Ridgeback

MJ is my favorite dog of all time. She’s just over 4 years old now.

The reason for this is that MJ contracted the Parvo Virus about 10 days after she received her first vaccinations, including a shot that had to protect her against the virus. That was just after we got her at 6 weeks age, together with her brother, Charlie, two beautiful pedigree Rhodesian Ridgebacks.

They received their shots at the same time and got sick at the same time.

She and Charlie dehydrated so badly, even with me feeding them electrolytes and all the kinds of cures I know of from my vet book, that they had to be admitted to the vet hospital.

The poor things!  Charlie died of oedema complications (how ironic) because the vet missed the vein the first time when he inserted the drip into his front leg. I was so angry. That was pure negligence! They should have noticed the paw swelling if they checked up on the pups regularly.

Anyway, MJ was in hospital for 3 weeks on a drip. Later she learnt to keep her kennel clean from the gastric upset by turning her butt towards the grilled door and then aiming the shot… 😉

Well, you can think how grateful I was that she survived and was back home. Of course I shivered when I received the vet bill..But my pup was alive.  I had to adjust her diet to skinless chicken and rice or brine tuna and rice, with a raw egg yolk every other day mixed in the rice.

My cat, Felix adopted her and soon she learned the way of a proud and graceful cat. Up to today she still washes her whole body, except her back of course, just like Felix would. She’s specifically peculiar about the cleanliness of her front legs, paws, nails and between the toes. This is a morning and evening ritual with her.

It drives my husband crazy of course, with all the licking. I don’t mind. She’s my girl.

Can Parvo Virus be contracted from the Veterinary Practise?

January 15, 2009

Is it possible that the Veterinary Practice can spread the Parvo Virus, or can it be contracted by receiving the shot itself?

As a matter of fact, for some reason all my new puppies that received shots against the parvo virus at six weeks age, contracted parvo virus. I cannot explain why because none had contact with other dogs at the vet.

The only thing I can think of is that all my pups got infected with the virus at the vet. This happened without exception with me losing at least 12 pups from different sources to parvo virus in a row (within 6 months period – it was terribly awful time) every time they received their first shots between 6 and 10 weeks of age. Even one of my older dogs (Nera, a black lab and Clara’s sister) contracted parvo when she received her annual shots  including parvo at a year old age. Luckily she survived. She was unfortunately and sadly stolen a year later.

There’s something oddly wrong with that picture, don’t you think too?

For one, none of the other pups I raised after that received their parvo shots and they also didn’t get sick.

Anyone who knows more about Parvo, please leave your comment.

Meet all My Pets!

January 14, 2009

Introducing My Pets!

Currently, I have five dogs and one has four puppies who are five weeks old this week and developed enough to go to the pet store in a couple of days.

  1. There is Cliffie (Clifford) and he’s a fiesty and energetic fox terrier. A bit more than 2 years old.
  2. There is MJ (Mary Jane) and she’s a human Rodesian Ridgeback. She’s 4.
  3. There’s Clara and she’s a retired grumpy old lady- lovely Black Labrador. She’s 9 years soon.
  4. There’s Charlie and he’s a loving black Labrador, although not purebred. 2 years old.
  5. Lastly we’ve got cheeky Coco and she is a beautiful crossbred between a border collie and black Labrador, but she looks exactly like a Madrid Mastiff. She’s also 2.  Her litter of four pups shows lots of border collie colors. I didn’t name them because my heart will break the day I have to hand them over to the pet store lady.