Mr Rowdy's therapy

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    No fancy vet. In fact, no vet period. No Occupational Therapist (OT)'s or PTs. lol

    A few months ago this poor old boy (14) could ever so barely make it across the patio, at a snail's pace.....literally. I was worried. Age caught up to Rowdy all at once. Last fall he was as he always has been. Ok so maybe not puppy like but normal. Then this spring I noticed he was not moving. And I mean NOT in barely getting up long enough to eat some food and do his business. He would not get up and move around on his own unless given no choice.

    So we started working with him. A walk every single day. First just as far down the alley as he could make it, which was about halfway and back and he'd collapse on the patio unable to make it back into the kennel without resting. Then he made it the length of the alley and back. Then around the block. Then two. Travis kept him at that for quite a while as his pace was still terribly slow and it seemed to tire him.

    Travis and I discussed the putting him down thing. My fear is that if I could not get his movement level up before winter, the cold would stop him moving completely and he'd likely freeze to death. Hellova way to go in my opinion. Not to mention there would be a burial issue because I could not do it in frozen ground, my yard is tough enough due to it once being a parking lot type deal. But we kept working with him. I wanted to give him the summer and fall because he was willing to try his best and he continues to grin at me.

    The other day Travis decided to let him go where he wanted. He took the normal "small" walk the dogs take, about a mile!! After a couple of days doing it, we added Maggie in because she needs a longer walk and it gives him incentive to move a little faster. Oh, he did wonderfully! :D Ok, he's still slow, but Maggie picked up his pace quite a lot and he was just beaming! Maggie was thrilled to death to walk with Rowdy and walking her the 2 miles with Molly first kept her from going too fast for him.

    I've also noticed that when he's in the yard he tends to get up and roam around again, which he would not do in the beginning. He gets up and greets the girls when they come outside too. :)

    So I'm holding on my decision for now. I did tell Travis though, now that cold weather is moving in we'll have to up his walks to twice a day to make certain he is up and moving and stays that way. If I see issues, well then.......we know the option. But so far it looks like he should do ok over the winter unless it's a really bad one.

    I'm so happy with his progress because he really had me worried for quite a long while. :)
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wonderful! Yeah having outside dogs in a bad winter is hard. Thankfully we dont get such harsh winters like you do but I hated having to keep dogs outside. Now we have Abby inside but Tony and Cory just got a set of beagles to keep in the kennel out in the yard! Im having nothing to do with

    Im amazed you are walking the dogs so much. You are a better woman than me. Im doing good to sit out on the steps and play
  3. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Wonderful!!! I hope Rowdy continues to keep up!!
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Janet, I will never ever have another outside dog.

    It wasn't so bad on Rowdy when the kids were younger, he got quite a lot of attention, exercise, and of course lots of social and play with the other dogs ect. But once they hit late teens and then became adults........well, he's not had much of any of those things compared to what he used to get. I've tried to move him inside several times. He's never been house trained but not once in his whole life has he ever gone in the house, so that isn't an issue. He just doesn't like it. When he was younger he liked to come in and play with Molly, tops for about an hour. He'd tolerate coming in due to frigid weather but we'd have to crate him after that hour or he was going bonkers trying to go back outside. It makes him really uncomfortable for any real length of time and he does not get used to it if we try to press the issue.

    I don't necessarily think it cruel to have an outside dog, I think that would depend on the owner. Growing up we had several and trust me, they got as much attention as an inside dog because we were always outside, same with my kids. But I did notice as the kids got older Rowdy tended to "slip their minds" and be forgotten a lot of the time and I've never liked that aspect. He wasn't neglected by any means......but not the same as with the inside dogs and well........honestly, I wish I'd have started him in the house. But years before him we had a beagle, great dog....except one really bad fault, he whizzed on the kids beds at any opportunity. Drove me insane. So when Travis just really wanted a male........not wanting to go through that again, stupid me put him outside. But I laid down the law with Fred, there would never be a tie out. He would have his huge kennel and he'd have his lead that spanned 30 ft in a wide circle......later the lead that spanned the yard. We didn't have a fence until here.........and shoot I tried to let him have the whole back yard but he refused to give up his kennel. lol

    The walking I have to do because of Maggie. Until I do some repairs on the fence, she can't run the yard to burn off exercise. So.......we walk her. And since Molly is packing on pounds by leaps and bounds (omg all that svelte figure gone!) because she sneaks Maggies food whenever she gets the chance.......she walks too, not that it's helping much. lol Sidewalks make it pretty easy. But I'm going to have to start feeding them separated because Molly has truly gain a TON of weight and her old joints don't need it.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member dogs arent overweight at all. I have a hard time believing Abby is eating enough...lmao. I put down her food in the morning when she goes outside (about a cup and a half) along with her big thing of water and then later in the afternoon I let her back in the house. She normally doesnt even finish that food dish. She does come in and snack from the dish I have out for her and Buddy in the kitchen during the afternoon and night before I put them to bed at night. I have about got her house trained. Or I am house I watch for her signals that she is looking for a place to go and I rush to put her out. If I go with her she just looks at me like I have lost my mind.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    So, looks like Maggie is being one incredible therapist for EVERYONE else in the house!
  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That's great news!

  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    IC, Maggie is an amazing dog. She radiates pure love, I swear. Nichole says she has "angel eyes". So far, she's not met another creature that she does not try to share this love with, with exuberance. lol in my opinion Maggie "shines" or "beams" she doesn't just smile. Molly and Betsy are love wrapped in fur and they've been known to "beam" a bit themselves.......but with Maggie it never goes away. (Maybe it was that way when Molly was younger, I can't recall that far back)

    Maggie is adored by everyone during our walks. I thought that would stop once she got a bit bigger, it's only gotten more so. She greets strangers with her entire body wagging and when she is nearly as big as Molly, that is a sight to see. She greets dogs, cats, whatever with that same enthusiasm, makes her hard, if not impossible, to resist. Even the feral strays from the hoarder house down the alley are warming up to her and will let her greet them now. With Rowdy, she has adored him since the first moment she laid eyes on him. She wags so hard she has issues keeping her balance. lol She'll jump over him (quite a feat) and crawl under him......trying to cuddle up to him anyway she possibly can. So far, he's had the patience to let her.

    I also worried this was going to be a problem with her guard dog role. But so far, she'll bark without that exuberance when someone knocks. Once I let them inside.......well, she loves them. omg lol If I notice it becoming to much over the top for her to protect the house.......I might curb her socializing a bit. But I think winter will probably do that for me like it did with Molly, a rare few venture out in the snow and the cold.

    Maggie does have her faults. So while she may have Angel Eyes, she is far from an angel.

    Currently, she is determined to eat the dining room carpet. I think the boys have managed to ground in some food in spots and it drives her a bit nuts because she doesn't do it anywhere else. She's not the first dog to do so, Betsy ate a rather largish hole before I caught her for the same reason. I've discovered there is hardwood under it......but by the front door there might not be (they put in a modern register and around it looks like there is no hardwood). I'm hoping to tear out the carpet completely and clean up the floor and tile by the front door. The carpet was on it's last leg years ago (ultra cheapo delux carpet to begin with), but I don't want her thinking that is normal.

    She also greets you with such wild abandon that it can be overwhelming. Not too bad for adults.........but Maggie utterly adores Connor (we've no clue why him more than the other kids) and will not leave him alone. She wants to literally smother him in kisses. Having sensory issues, it makes him scream. Maggie thinks he's upset with her and wants to make it better, so covers him in more kisses.........until I separate them for a while. omg lol I'd like to say it would get better if she saw him everyday, but I doubt it, not with the way she greets me or Travis when we get up.

    I'm having some issues training her to greet without so much, ohmygodiloveyousomuchIcan'tstandit. I'm not having much luck. Only area she seems difficult to train in. Maybe it's because she is still such a puppy. Think itty bitty puppy in great big body. lol But I keep trying.

    I think previous owner was a tad stupid. If she's St.Bernard.......well, let's just say it's extremely doubtful. Large breed yes, just not that one. I realize the german shepard part is contributing.....but still. Her energy level is far higher than Molly's was and Molly had a 10 yr old girl to hang around with all day who was very active. St B's don't have that energy level. Newfie maybe, but I'm not seeing any characteristics. Great Pyranese is high on the list, she reminds us a great deal of JoJo, just the coloring is that of a shepard. Know what I mean??
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'd be guessing - from behavior - that there's got to be a bit of Lab in her somewhere...

    The greeting-training stuff?
    Best advice we got was to really get on top of "sit" and "down" - as in, instant response and don't move until I tell you. As soon as she gets "over the top", you "down" her. Then let the Person respond to her, rather than the other way round. Takes a while with a friendly dog... but it works. Ours know now that we still let them interact, but "under control"... well, except for that long fluffy tail that seems to have it's own built-in battery.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Abby has that awful meet and greet stuff with me but not so much others. I am met with incredible love, kisses and hugs. I tend to need to put whatever I have in my hands down on the counters when I come in the house and she greets me with wild abandon. She jumps on the couch, gets all up in my face, covers me in kisses and basically attempts to climb all inside It wouldnt be so bad if she was 6 pounds but she is about 30 pounds!