A Small Dog Update
Apart from the odd reference, I haven’t mentioned the dogs much recently – there hasn’t been much to say! They’ve settled into the new house really well and are enjoying the variety of walks we can do from our door. Cinnamon usually leads the way…
…and Cookie usually tries to bring something home.
However, Cinnamon has been getting more and more stressed by THE WORLD AND EVERYTHING IN IT recently, so I thought I’d do an update on both of the dogs.
What’s going on with Cinnamon and her stress levels? She’s a nervy kind of dog. It’s the breeding, I suppose; she’s a Jack Russell/Chihuahua cross. Chihuahuas always seem to be trembling and Cinny is no exception. She trembles with excitement and she trembles with fear, especially during thunderstorms. She also trembles when someone is shooting nearby. And although we haven’t had thunder for a while, hunting season is in full swing at the moment, and there is somebody ‘shooting nearby’ every Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Thursday. The result is that Cinny now refuses to leave the garden. I insisted she come with me two days ago, Saturday. The valley seemed to be quiet – maybe no-one was hunting? No such luck! We turned up a lane to head up the hill and… BANG!BANG!BANG!BANG!BANG! Cinnamon stopped dead, almost pulled herself out of her harness and then tried to climb up my leg into my arms. Ok, I said, we won’t go that way, and we took a route that went through the village. It’s fairly safe from hunters in the village, thankfully.
Unfortunately, she has become so stressed by the shooting that she has now decided that the fire crackling and sparking is a scary noise, too. This means that the minute I light the fire, she scurries off, looking for a dark corner to hide and tremble in, and if she can’t find one, she literally puts herself right under my feet. No matter what I’m doing. On the loo? She’s there. Carrying a pot of boiling water? She’s there. In the shower? Well, she’s not under my feet, but she’s waiting just outside so she can stand under my feet while I dry myself. I’ve trodden on her several times, which I’m sure isn’t helping her nerves. At the moment, the coat & boot cupboard is her go-to place. Maybe I’ll put a bed in there for her.
Short of dosing her with Anxikalm every single day, there’s not much I can do. There’s another 6 or 7 weeks of hunting to go. Sheer hell for Small Brown Dogs with heart murmurs.
We had a vet visit today. Confession time – I’ve been a bad dogmother. I’ve lost their passports. I’ve been looking for them since June, when their vaccinations were due, but to no avail. I left their vaccinations go out of date, as I waited for the passports to surface. We were full sure that they would turn up when we moved house, but they didn’t. I finally bit the bullet, got new passports and re-started the vaccinations (and no, I don’t believe that dogs need to be vaccinated every year, but if we want to leave them in kennels, it has to be done).
Cinny was first on the table. We discussed her heart murmur, it’s still there (no surprise there, really) and then I brought up the subject of an anti-inflammatory for her. On top of her general state of panic these days, she’s also started yelping suddenly, for no apparent reason, and she has slowed down noticeably. I’m concerned there might be some arthritis setting in, so we’re trying her on anti-inflammatories for three weeks to see if the random yelping stops and if she gets more enthusiastic about walking. Then it was time for her jabs – two of them. She was very brave until it began to sting, and then she screamed pathetically.
Cookie looked on quizzically all the while Cinny was on the table. I’ve a feeling she knew she was next. She has a history of not being great with vets – at one stage she was even difficult about the electronic scanner passing behind her head to read her chip – but she was a trooper today. She hid her head under my arm and endured it all without as much as a growl – teeth check, heart check, ear check, mammary check and two jabs. A huge improvement for our little rescue dog! Once she was off the table, she rolled and scratched the back of her neck like mad, I guess those vaccines were stinging.
When we were finally on the way home, Cookie was uncharacteristically quiet. She just lay curled up beside me the whole way, not even sitting up when I stopped to take this photo!
She definitely wasn’t talking to me! Cinnamon was her usual self, all bright eyed and big-eared, listening out for those damn hunters.
We went for a little walk when we got home and they’re both curled up beside me now, snoozing happily.
Time to put another log on the fire…. bye, Cinnamon!
Finally, this evening I started something I haven’t done for years. I’m baring my soul here :
And before anyone goes “Oooh it’s Flurry” it’s a flippin’ donkey, right??!! In some ways it’s not bad for someone who hasn’t done more than a doodle for yonks… in other ways I’m thinking the nose needs to be shorter… the eyes are slightly off… Anyhow, I’ll chip away at it for the next few days and keep ye posted.