A DECENT EXCUSE

I know I’m wicked late with my Blog Post, but I’m thinking I’ve got a pretty good excuse this time. A couple of them really. Not only is it school vacation week, which means we’ve all been really busy around here, but look at my paws! How am I supposed to type with these?

I don’t know what happened. I didn’t do anything different. I was out playing with my friends last Friday, like usual. Maybe I spent a little more time outside than on a regular Friday. I don’t know, but when I cam in, my paws were killing me. I could hardly stand on either of my front feet.

“Could be because you ran around a lot more than usual with your friends, and the rocks in the yard were wet, and they aggravated your pads. It’s strange, cause you’re not a puppy anymore, and you’re used to playing on our rocks. Your feet ought to be tougher than that, but yeah, they were looking pretty raw. You licking them didn’t help, either.”-Editor/Mom

Well, they were itchy and sore. But I didn’t have much choice after Auntie Jen and Uncle Aaron put all that goopy stuff on my feet and wrapped them all up with bandages, did I? Slippery bandages, I might add. I had a hard time walking on the floor without sliding around. 

“Yup, and that’s why we gave you a benadryl, so you’d be able to rest without them bothering you.”-Editor/Mom

And it worked, cause I took a really long nap on the couch before bed.

The only problem was, when I went to bed I had a really hard time chewing on my bone, but I figured it out. 

Saturday morning, my bandages started falling apart after I went outside to pee, and I was happy when Mom took them off. It was like magic, they didn’t hurt at all anymore! Briar Rose was there, and I was hoping to get to play with her, but everybody said I had to stay inside for the whole day to make sure they were all healed.

It was a long, boring day, but it worked! By Sunday, I was running around like nothing happened, and they’ve been fine ever since. 

“A little rest never hurt anybody, David. And maybe we’ll have to limit your rainy day outside play for awhile.”-Editor/Mom

 

 

 

 

FUN AT THE FAIRMONT

Boy, oh boy, did we have fun last weekend in Boston. We had the whole weekend off and stayed at the Copley Plaza Hotel. It’s really nice there, and everybody was super sweet to us. I’ve been there before, but it was Waya’s first time staying in a hotel. Our room was awesome, even though we all had to share one giant bed, which wasn’t too bad cause Waya slept in her crate. It wasn’t very nice outside at first, so our walks were kinda short, but we got to hang out in the lobby by the fireplace and play in our room.

We met all kinds of really nice people that stopped to say hello when they passed by us. There’s a dog that works there, her name is Carly, and some other dogs that were staying with their parents. It would’ve been fun if we all could’ve played in the big ballroom, but I guess dogs aren’t allowed in there. 
Finally, on Sunday it stopped raining and the sun came out. We got to go for a really long walk in the park. We hung out and showed off some of our Training skills.

But do you know what the best part about the park is? 

That’s right, the squirrels… 

“What about the birds, David? You’re a Springer Spaniel, remember? You’re supposed to like birds. There were tons of them to choose from. Little chirping birds, ducks and geese in the water, and even the first robins we’ve seen this Spring. What about them?”-Editor/Mom

They’re alright, I guess. But the squirrels are super fun to chase. They like to play hide and seek in the trees. Someday I’m gonna catch me one of them.

“You might want to be careful there. Those Boston Common squirrels are pretty tough. They “might” be able to take you. That might be embarasing.”-Editor/Mom

Yeah, I wouldn’t like that at all. Maybe I’ll just stick to scaring them when they’re not looking.

“Well, I’m glad you had a good time, even though the weather wasn’t the best. At least we had one good day.”-Editor/Mom

Yeah, weekends off are always fun, Mom. Cause even when they’re almost over, me & Waya get to have extra wrestling time at home.

GROWING PAINS

Can somebody tell me how much longer it’ll be before Waya’s puppy teeth fall out? Cause boy do they hurt, and I’ll be happy when they’re gone.

“Well, typically they’re pretty much gone when you reach five months old. Yours were, and we were all very happy.”-Editor/Mom

I don’t think mine were as sharp as hers. Have you noticed all of the little scabs I have from playing with her? I feel like a pin cushion.

“I have to agree with you, David. She’s got the biggest and sharpest puppy fangs I’ve ever seen.”-Auntie Jen

And is it me, or is she growing really fast? 

“Yeah, we’ve been noticing that, too.”-Editor/Mom

She’s already almost as big as me, and she’s still just a baby. How big is she gonna be when she’s my age?? I remember Jazzy was bigger than me, but not a whole lot heavier.

“Hard to say. Jazzy only weighed about 8 lbs. more than you do, but at this rate, Waya could be a lot bigger than her.”-Editor/Mom

Great, I can barely knock her down anymore as it is. At least I can still outrun her. 

“Well, I wouldn’t count on that for much longer if I were you. She’s been closing that gap on you the last couple of weeks.”-Editor/Mom

“Yeah, you’re screwed, Buddy.”-Auntie Jen

So you’re all saying that she’s gonna be bigger “and” faster than me? Boy, I better start working out. The good thing is I’ll always be older and wiser. And maybe she’ll learn to put some of her energy towards other things that don’t involve chewing on me all the time. 

“We can hope, but she really does seem to enjoy picking on you.”-Editor/Mom

Yeah, no kidding. And have any of you noticed that black pitchfork shaped mark on her forehead? What the Hell, I mean Heck, is that all about?

“You might have been right the first time. She “does” seem to have a little bit of the Devil in her, doesn’t she?”-Editor/Mom

“Yes, and speaking of scabs, I can’t help but notice that scar you gave her under her right eye. You’re gonna pay for that later, David.”-Auntie Jen

I didn’t mean it, but I had to defend myself. It’s already almost gone, so I think she’ll probably forget about it.

LANGUAGE BARRIERS

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I don’t know what people are talking about. I know what you’re thinking though, and you can go ahead and laugh, but it’s not because I’m stupid. 

“Nobody said you were stupid. Language can sometimes be difficult to understand, even for us humans. Not to mention, you live in America, which means you speak English, and English is the hardest language to learn.”-Editor/Mom

I agree. I’ve been doing a little research, and the Oxford English Dictionary says there are 171,476 words, and that doesn’t even count old words nobody uses anymore, or slang words, or contractions, whatever they are. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says there are 1 Million words! 1 Million? Do you people really need that many?? I also learned that the average dog only knows 165. How’re we supposed to keep up? 

 “Actually, it’s believed some dogs can learn up to 1,000 words. I think what also makes it even harder for dogs in breaking the language barrier, is that us people use whole sentences to get our points across, and you dogs communicate using single words at a time.”-Editor/Mom

You’re right! I mean I can pick words out of a sentence, but half the time it’s all gibberish. For example, you might say: “I’m gonna go out and start the car so we can take a ride to the beach.” All I hear is: “Bla blah bla OUT bla blah bla bla bla bla bla blah bla RIDE bla bla BEACH!” I get the gist. You really only needed to say 3 words. I don’t know why you gotta make everything so difficult. 

“Maybe we don’t want you to know everything we’re saying, unless we’re actually talking “to” you.”-Editor/Mom

Okay, that’s fine, but what I’ve had a hard time with is why Waya doesn’t listen when I tell her stuff. Like “NO” when she’s biting my ears. Everybody knows NO, it’s the first word we learn. I thought she was just being fresh and ignoring me. Then I realized that Mom and Auntie don’t use the word NO with her. They say NAY. What the Heck is that all about? Is NAY even a word?? 

“Actually, I think it’s one of those slang words you mentioned before, or maybe just one that nobody uses anymore. Doesn’t matter which, the reason we’re using different words with Waya than you is because she’s going to have a different job around here than you do, and we might want you to do different things at the same time.”-Editor/Mom

So, what difference does that make? A command is a command, isn’t it?

“It is, but if the commands are the same for both of you, what happens if we want you to “Sit”, and Waya hears it and sits when we might be wanting her to do something else? That’s why Auntie chose to have her learn some different commands than yours.”-Editor/Mom

“She didn’t want to just use random English words, so she thought the French words they use to train dogs would be perfect. That’s why we say “Sit” for you, and “Assis” (ah-si) for her. “Down” for you, and “Coucher” (coo-shay) for her. We don’t want the two of you to be confused about who’s supposed to be doing what, although I think Auntie sometimes gets confused herself.”-Editor/Mom

French? What’s French?? 

“French is a whole different language. And if you ask Aleksa, she’ll tell you that there are 6,500 different languages. Think about it David, if there are 171,476 words in every language, that would be, ummmm, 1,114,594,000 words to choose from.”-Editor/Mom

What? My head hurts. And who’s Aleksa? Can I ask her stuff, too??

“Well, you can try, but we speak the same language, and she never understands me.”-Editor/Mom

SMACKDOWNS 101

“So David, how’s about a little update on how things are going between you and your new puppy?”-Editor/Mom

Puppy? You mean Waya? She’s not a puppy, she’s a piranha! Have you seen the fangs on her? She’s not afraid to use them, either. 

“So, apparently you’ve forgotten what you were like when you were four months old. We couldn’t even let you near Jazzy, because all you wanted to do was jump on her and bite her. She wanted nothing to do with you.”-Editor/Mom

I don’t remember that. And hey, I like it when we get to run and wrestle together. Nobody likes a good Smackdown more than me, but boy oh boy, do those teeth hurt when she chews on my head. I figured out the best way to stop her, though. I just grab one of her legs and hold on ’til she lets go. Then I start running so she can’t catch me.

It’s fun when we have toys or sticks to play with, except that she always wants the one I have. We’re learning to share, but it’s better when we each have our own to run with. 

“So, all in all, it sounds like things are going well. We’re glad that you two are getting along, and that we’re able to leave you alone outside together, even if it’s only for short periods at a time.”-Editor/Mom

Yeah, it’s fun taking turns knocking each other down. I just wish she’d learn what it means when I say “Uncle”, and let me go. And have you noticed that she’s getting bigger? Just look at the difference in the first four pictures from the beginning of the week, and these last ones from today. She’s almost as big as me. She’s getting faster, too. I’ve really gotta turn on the turbo to stay ahead of her now.

The most important question of all is: When are her puppy teeth going to fall out? 

“Not soon enough, David. Not soon enough.”-Editor/Mom

BUILDING BUDDIES

Me and Waya have been spending a lot more time together lately. We’ve been out playing in the snow, and going on walks, and just hanging around in the house. It’s fun being out and about, cause we get to investigate new things. 

Being off-leash is always the best, cause we get to run and run and run. I run, and Waya chases me. We can only do that when we’re in our yards though, cause Waya doesn’t know how to come when she’s called yet. She’s learning stuff really fast though, so hopefully it won’t be too long before we get to run together other places too, cause she gets really mad when I get to run and she can’t chase me. 

It’s not quite as much fun playing in the house, cause it’s harder to get away, and all she wants to do is bite my ears. It’s kinda fun at first, but boy, does she have sharp teeth. And then she cries when I bite her back and “I” get in trouble. 

“You forgot to tell them about her new favorite game to play with you, David: “Spaniel Surfing”. It’s tons of fun and can be played indoors or outdoors.”-Editor/Mom

Right… I didn’t know it had a name.

FEBRUARY FUN

Man, this has been the BEST WEEK EVER! I LOVE the snow!! 

“Well, I’m glad you enjoyed all of our recent blizzards, David. I can’t say that I share your enthusiasm, though.”-Mom/Editor

Why not? It’s so much fun to play in. You get to run and jump in it. 

It’s super fun digging in all the giant snowbanks.

“I’m glad you like them, but you do realize who builds all those giant snowbanks don’t you? The humans find that snow is a lot of work. We’re all exhausted after this week.”-Editor/Mom/Snow Removal Expert

Really? Cause I never get tired of of it. Sometimes you find toys that the other dogs have lost. My favorite thing is playing “King of the Hill”, then jumping off the top. 

“That ‘is’ a fun game, and I love watching you play it, but by the time I’m done fixing all of your piles of snow, I’d really just rather go inside and have a cup of hot chocolate.”-Editor/Mom

“How’d you like being “King of the Patio?”-Editor/Mom

It’s not a bad view from the tall chairs. And you know what else is really cool? Getting to go out side when it’s snowing at night. You get to make fresh tracks, and sometimes you find new ones that some other critter has made. I always follow them and try to find them, but they must be really good at hiding. 

“Yes, there’s nothing I like more than shoveling at 11:00 at night. And those tracks? Probably that bunny that we saw hanging around in the Fall. He must be living nearby.”-Editor/Mom

Do you know what the Best thing has been this week? Playing in the snow with Waya. She loves the snow as much as me. We can’t wait to go outside and run and wrestle in the snow. I run and she chases me. It’s the most fun we’ve had together since she came.

“That I can agree with. The snow has really helped the two of you bond, and it’s fun for us watching the two of you play together.”-Editor/Mom

“It’s fun now, but what are you gonna do next year when she’ll be bigger and faster than you?”-Auntie Jen

Hmmmm, maybe I’ll learn how to hide like the bunny does. Meantime, I have a question: How come it hardly ever snows here? It’s so much fun, I wish it would snow ALL the time. 

“Are you kidding me? You know there are probably a lot of families in Montana who would love a handsome Springer Spaniel like yourself. It snows a lot there, you’d be very happy.”-Editor/Mom

What? You wouldn’t! You’d miss me. Come on, you had fun in the snow, too.

“You’re right, I would miss you.”-Editor/Mom

A Hidden Gem Dusted Off and Unveiled

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What could this hidden Gem be? Free Dog has always had an emergency fund for our members, and it has helped many over the years. The fund has assisted long term members who have lost a job and feared they would lose their membership keep their dog enrolled. It has helped those who felt they needed to choose between a critical test or procedure and their membership. It has helped front a costly medical procedure that would otherwise bring financial hardship on a family. It has been used to help save member’s lives. Last year it was used to help cover the cost of caring and training an abandoned dog named King so we could help him find and be successful in his new forever home. Today the remaining funds are being used to help care for a member’s dog who has been with us for over nine months. One of our very first members was in a serious car accident and her young, newly rescued dog and beautiful kitty needed our help. Our sitters visited and cared for her cat, and we took in her dog Brody. Unfortunately, our friend is not able to care for her pets, so we used the funds to ready the kitty for a forever home, and to help cover some of the expense of caring for Brody while we help him find a new forever family.

How does the fund get replenished? We have a raffle where each ticket costs $1.00, and the last Friday of every month a winning ticket is drawn for a free day of Daycare. We hope to build the fund back up so that if an emergency happens, we are in the position of help our extended family members. Each year, if the funds are not needed, which would be fantastic news because it means all is well in our extended family, then we will take a portion of the money and give it to charity or set it aside to assist a non-member.

Over the next six months, we will examine if and how we may expand the emergency fund to the regular walking clients and our boarding “frequent flyers.” So, if you’d like to win a Free Day of Daycare and contribute to a great cause or two, get a Raffle ticket when you’re dropping off or picking up your dog from Daycare.

What You Should Know About Canine Papilloma Virus

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First let me say that if you google this, the images you find, just like most all things, will be extreme. Can oral papillomas become this bad? Of course, but it is rare. First lets understand a few things; this virus generally occurs in dogs less than 2 years of age. Also let us take into consideration this virus is spread by direct contact with the papillomas, and has an incubation period of 1-2 months, which just means that if your dog has oral papillomas, he or she got the infection quite some time ago. Lastly, this virus is NOT contagious to people or other animals, except other dogs.

This virus can cause the growth of small round skin tumors commonly referred to as warts. These are benign skin tumors, and though you shouldkeep an eye on them, unless they are causing problems for your dog, it’s recommended not to treat them. The papillomas will regress on their own over 1 to 5 months. Dogs that contract oral papillomas will not contract it again in their lifetime

There are some treatments out there, however they should only be reserved for severe cases, as they can be expensive.

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So here are the most common places you will find a papilloma: lips, tongue, roof of mouth, inside cheeks, on chin or near nose.

You may also find them on eyelids, between toes or on paws, however this is rare.

These warts are often rough and tend to look like cauliflower.

When can my dog come back to daycare or socialize with other dogs?

2 months after the papilloma disappears. The reason is the incubation period is 2 months, thus it could take 2 months for the last papilloma to appear. Usually it takes 1-5 months for a papilloma to regress, and although there are some treatments to decrease the recovery period, it’s not typically recommended.