Thursday, April 9, 2009

My Baby Gal is Coming to 3 Months Old!

Time Flies. My adorable, mischevous, hyper and at times, stubborn little gal will be 3 months old this coming Saturday. She has been with us for 2 weeks. More or less, she is getting accustomed to her home. We hope she will settle down comfortably in time to come.

At this time, she is still at her teething stage, so she literally bites/chews on anything she can sink her tiny teeth into. The vet has advised that this is a very common issue for her age and when her full set of teeth grows, she will drop the habit gradually. On our part, we are also trying various ways to stop her biting/chewing, while hoping at the same time, she can grow up faster and stop this habit soon.

Since Rossi came home, we realised that she has gained a bit of weight. At first, we thought it was her fur that had grown longer and fluffier, giving the impression that she has increased in bulk. However, when we carry her, we could feel her frame weighing upon us. We could easily lift her up with one arm when she first came back, because she was so small and light. Now, we could feel the strain after awhile if we only use an arm to carry her. Also, whenever I give her a tummy rub (she seems to enjoy a nice tummy rub!), I could feel a small pauch on her pinkish belly. Guess we got to give her more exercise to keep her in shape.

In the past few days, we have stopped putting her into her cage for bed. We let her sleep outside her cage, so that she feels cooler and could go to "toilet"on her own whenever she needs to do so anytime at night, without having to call out for us. When it's time for bed, we would switch off the living room lights, turn on the light stand and pass her a doggy soft toy, which we call "Mei Mei", to accompany her. It is also meant as a cue to let her know that its time for her to sleep. She seems to know this and would usually hold on to Mei Mei, chew it all over then fall asleep eventually.

When she is asleep, hubby would usually go to his study room to surf the Net, while I would go to our bedroom to watch TV. Occasionally, we would peep at her from where we are, to ensure she is sleeping well.

Although she can be so naughty at times, I still love her alot. When I am not at home with her, I would think about her and worry over her well-being. Then once I knock off from work, I would dash to the bus stop like the road runner to catch the bus home to be with her ASAP. My hubby thinks I display symptoms of separation anxiety (Anxiety resulting from not being able to see her).

Whenever hubby or I am annoyed with her for being naughty, she seems to be aware of it. She would start to become very quiet and tame like a good gal. Later, when we go over to pick her up, she would kiss us with licks here and there. We can't stay mad at her for long. (Normally, she is quite stingy with her kisses! She only gives us licks of kisses automatically in the morning when she wakes up, in the afternoon when she has her lunch and at night when we come home. Whenever we ask her to kiss us, she would just give one small peck on our faces. Sometimes, after pecking me or my hubby once, she would reluctant to do it again even when we ask her to do so repeatedly!)

Another thing about my baby gal is, she might look and feel fluffy like a little soft toy, but she doesn't like to be cuddled, nor does she like to be held for too long. Whenever we cuddle her, she would struggle to come loose with her mini paws. Then everytime we hold her to clean her up after her pee/poo or to walk about or just to sit around to watch TV, she would try to wriggle herself free from us and start protesting with her impatient little whines. Sometimes, hubby tries to imitate her whines and his act would stun her into silence!

What she really loves, is to run and jump about in the living room freely on those agile, slender limps of hers. When she got tired after all the activity, she would rest with her legs slightly apart and paws perched on the floor. After awhile, she would begin her activity all over again. In short, she is a bundle of endless energy. Playing with her is a sure-fire way to lose weight. No diet needed! (Great for Hubby!)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Zen of Sleeping

Something lighthearted to share here...Through our observation on our little furkid, she has various sleeping styles and postitions. She has her own favorite sleeping corners in her little den and loves to sleep on the floor outside her cage, most likely, because the floor is cooling.

One thing we have noticed is, she could not stay still in one position or one sleeping style. She can wake up here and then walk to sleep at another corner. Sometimes, she sleeps with her toys and at times, she sleeps with my old shirt. Recently, we even caught her sleeping at her toilet pan!

We have managed to capture a few of her cutie sleeping styles, which I term as "The Zen of Sleeping": -

"Sweet Mummy-Gal"
This is Rossi sleeping with my old shirt. Probably the shirt makes her feel mummy's with her and she feels secure sleeping with it!

"I Want my Bone-Bone"
Rossi is asleep with her bone toy. Most likely, she is craving for something, perhaps a bone to chew on? I got this bone for her from Precious Thots, its actually a support for resting the wrist while navigating the computer mouse. I thought it's really cute, so I decided to get it for her.

"Wat's UP"
Rossi is sleeping on her back with 4 paws up, right outside her cage. This is one of her favorite sleeping corners.

"Dun Disturb Me"
Another picture of Rossi sleeping on her back with paws up at yet another one of her favorite corner. We notice that she likes to sleep at the four corners of her den. Maybe she feels safer sleeping against the wire guards.

"The Cliff-Hanger"
Rossi is hanging her head over the edge of her toilet pan. We didn't know how she ended up sleeping in this manner. She was chewing on her donut at this corner, while we were watching TV. Then when we turned to look at her later, she was asleep like this. Hubby quickly grabbed his hp and snapped a shot at this funny sight.

A Matter of Integrity

Okay, back to the vet visit.

A lady vet attended to Rossi. Besides Rossi's sneezing problem, we also asked the vet to do a checkup on her.

Firstly, the vet checked Rossi's apparent sneezing and diagnosed it to be "Kennel Cough", a common sickness that could arise in a kennel environment housing mulitple dogs. We were told that Rossi was not sneezing, but in fact, it was a cough. A cough mixture was then prescribed for her to consume.

Then the vet proceeded to examine Rossi's body, hind legs, paws and eyes. She also noticed the fur loss on Rossi's nose area. Then she took samples of her fur for a culture test to determine the cause of this fur loss. She told us that this fur loss was not normal and needed to be checked if it was a fungal infection. At the same time, she also swapped a cotton bud on one of Rossi's ears to check for ear infection.

Then the vet told us that Rossi had slipped kneecaps on both her hind legs, which was most likely due to genetics. For now, there would be nothing we could do for her legs and as they did not seem to affect Rossi, she told us to monitor for any limping and if need be, we could opt to correct her legs through surgery at a later age. As for the fur loss, we would have to wait another three days to know the result.

Generally, the vet told us that there was nothing serious with Rossi, it's just that we got to monitor her cough and legs. As Rossi 's 3rd vaccination was approaching, we asked if she could still take her vaccine. The vet said No, we got to wait for her cough to get well before doing so.

Three days later, the vet called me. The result for Rossi's ears was fine, but the result for the fur loss on her nose area was negative. The fur loss was due to a bacteria infection. I got a shock and was very concerned, but the vet assured me that the antibiotic present in the cough mixture could help in her fur loss and if it did not help much, a medicated shampoo could be given to her. She advised that we could bring her back for a review if we were unsure.

Rossi's cough seemed on and off. During the weekend, especially in the morning, she was coughing quite harshly. Over the weekend, hubby and I slept close to her den to monitor her cough situation. Then on sunday, we decided to take her to another vet to obtain a second opinion. The second vet we went to, gave us the same diagnosis as the first vet for Rossi's cough and fur loss. He also gave Rossi an overall check up and told us that she was fine and there was no cause for concern. But he also advised against letting her take her 3rd vaccination. He told us to delay it for another week or two until Rossi got better. After a visit to this 2nd vet, our hearts felt more relieved.

Now, here comes the integrity part.
I am referring to the integrity of the place that hubby and I got Rossi from. We got her from one of the reputable local pet farms. Believe me, I very very much want to announce the name of this unethical pet farm, but I could not do so, as doing so could spell trouble for us.

The people at the pet farm told us that the fur loss on Rossi's nose area was very common. Later on, the hair on her forehead might also shed off. They advised us to let her take some omega or fish oil supplement and she would be fine. Very Obviously, what they told us was a whole shitload of BULLSHIT! They were lying through their rotten teeth!

Also, initially, Rossi was transferred into a cage by herself after we placed a deposit for her (half of the selling price). We wanted to take her home, but were not allowed to do so, as she was not fully 3 months old yet. Then on the day we went to pick her up, she was sharing her cage with another 2 dogs. The scenario was, 3 dogs sharing a pathetic cubicle with barely enough space to even sit! But we did not say anything about this at that point, as we just wanted to take Rossi out of the cramped living quarters and put her into the nice, cosy home we have specially prepared for her. Before the other 2 dogs joined Rossi in the cage, she had no signs of fur loss during those times we visited her. It was when those 2 dogs joined her out of nowhere, that her fur loss occurred. I really suspect that the bacteria infection that caused Rossi's fur loss was due to this.

It was very obvious to us that they squeezed the 3 poor doggies in the small cage, because they wanted to free up new cage space to put up new dogs for sale and feed their hungry pockets. The fact that they did not take care of Rossi even after we paid them a deposit really pissed me off!Because of their irresponsibility, Rossi had fur loss and kennel cough, which delayed her 3rd vaccination.

The least they could do, was to inform us that Rossi was not well, then we could take action and provide her the necessary medical attention. But instead, they kept quiet about her condition. Luckily, I insisted on bringing Rossi to the vet on her 2nd day with us. I could not imagine what would have happened to Rossi if we did not seek medical attention for her in time.

These people have no conscience! Their conscience is apparently consumed by GREED! Such scheming, heartless and inhumane bastards! They are not fit to be called humans! They are monsters! Their vile acts make me feel disgusted and sick to pits of my stomach! I am surprised that these two-legged creatures could even sleep at night after all their evil deeds!!

Now, there is nothing we could do. If we complain against them, they might offer a new dog in replacement of Rossi and we do not want this. We only want Rossi and No other dog can replace her in our hearts.

I want to take this opportunity to strongly advise whoever is reading my blog, to be very careful with any pet shop/farm that you purchase your dogs from. Check through your doggies' carefully and if you see or feel anything amiss on them, be it their physical appearance, behaviour or temperament, please DO NOT simply just believe any explanation by the personnel at the pet shop/farm. It would be best to verify any doubts with a vet. I would suggest taking your dog to the vet for a checkup ASAP after collecting your dog.

I am sharing my own experience here, in hope that others can learn from my case and be more well-informed, so as not to get cheated by any unethical breeder out there.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Biker Rossi

Yes, exactly as the title suggested, Rossi got on the bike.

Actually, we brought her to see the vet on the bike. As Rossi had a sneezing problem and some fur loss at her nose area, I was very concerned and bugged my hubby to take her to the vet for a checkup. The vet was not too far from our home, probably 4 to 5 bus-stops away. At first, I had wanted to carry Rossi in the doggie bag and walk over if no cab wanted to take us.

However, hubby disagreed. He said that even though the clinic was not far, walking would still requite a fair bit of time and stamina. As for cabbies, we had also heard of many cases whereby they refused to take passengers with pets. Therefore, he decided that we bring her there on his bike since the distance was not too far. He said, all I needed to do was to put her in the doggie bag and hold her close to me. Also, we just put a collar on her and secure the collar to the latch in the bag as a protection. Then all should be fine.

I was quite skeptical about the bike idea initially, as I personally found it risky for Rossi, especially when she's still so small. What if she got stressed and tried to jump out of the bag? What if I didnt manage to hold on to her tight enough and couldnt stop her from jumping off? I was also worried that a Traffic Police might spot us doing this and penalize us. But hubby insisted it would be all be okay.

We placed Rossi in the bag and I placed her on my lap, holding her close as I sat on the bike. Once ready, Hubby zoomed off. He rode at a slower speed than usual. During the journey, Rossi hid herself into the bag. I held her as close as possible, while assuring her that it was alright and she did not have to be afraid. I was also nudging hubby to slow down further too. Eventually, Rossi calmed down too and put her little head out of the bag's opening as we reached our destination safely.

On the return ride home, I reminded hubby to go slow for Rossi's benefit, while I did my best to put her at ease. This time, Rossi poked her head and a mini paw out of the bag! I was so afraid that she was going to jump off! I tried to get her to go back in, but she insisted on havinig her head out. As she was not wearing any protective gear like helmet or goggles, I tried my best to cover her face with the palm of my hand. I didnt want foreign particles in the air to hit any part of her face, especially eyes. But to our relief, she did not get jumpy. In fact, she seemed to enjoy the ride!

When we reached the carpark and parked the bike, we praised her lavishly for her bravery on the bike and for not getting nauseous from the ride. It was then that I realised that without my knowing, Rossi had loosen herself from the collar! And I did not know about it! Oh gosh! I was shocked! This meant that if she were to jump out from the bag, there might be a possibility that I might not be able catch her in time without the help of the collar. Luckily, she was fine.

Bravo!! Our darling is cool little biker gal!
The name, Rossi, suits her more than ever!

Rossi's First Few Days at Home

It has been a busy week with Rossi back home. Now, I finally have time for some updates.

We have set up a cosy corner of our living room as her very own little home. It consisted of her cage with a red bed, blanket and a metal pan covered with newspapers for her toilet needs. We placed a few pieces big pieces of metal guards to surround her little home, while ensuring she had ample space to move around within the guarded area. The cage would be her den where she could sleep, rest or hide and the outside area would be her "territory".

The moment she stepped into our house, she was jumping and running around with Little Mocha. It was fun to see both doggies play together. Rossi was not really afraid of her new surrounding, as we thought she would. But she bit almost everything she came in contact with. (She's still at the teething stage. I also read on the Internet that this is how puppies play together and this is their way of showing they want to play.) We just hope she would pass her teething stage soon. At the same time, we would also have to teach her to express herself in other ways other than biting.

We placed a light stand and a ticking clock beside her cage. (We have read on the internet that puppies are afraid of the dark, so having a light nearby would be good. Then a ticking clock has a calming effect and could help regulate their heartbeats.)

When night came, we placed her into the cage gently with a doggie soft toy that we have prepared beforehand for her. (The soft toy is to let her have some form of security by having something to cuddle while she sleeps.) As we were very concerned that she would whine in an unfamiliar environment, we couldn't sleep, especially on the first few nights.

We were monitoring her throughout the nights, peeping at her every now and then from our room. To our amazement, she did not whine at all and slept till dawn! Wow...we were so relieved. We believed that the light, clock and soft toy did a wonderful part in putting her at ease.

The next challenge would be to train her to do her toilet business in the right place. Well, this was defintely not an easy task. I held a container filled with vinegar in one hand and tissue in the other hand, ever ready to wipe out her toilet marks when she peed/pooed at the wrong areas. Then we put samples of her pee and poo into the metal pan, so as to let her know that this was the place to do her business. After the vinegar wipe outs here and there, on her 3rd day, hubby and I saw the light.

We went out for a couple of hours to purchase something at the pet shop. I was talking to my hubby, wondering when she would know where to do her business. At the same time, I was also concerned that she would do her business all over her little home while we were out. Hubby was telling me, we just have to clean after her if she misqueued during our absence.

When nearing our doorstep, I was bracing myself for the accidental mess of pee and poo to come into sight as hubby opened the door. We were rendered shocked when we looked over to Rossi's little home. She was sitting outside her cage, quietly waiting for us and her pee+poo were deposited into the metal pan! No accidents! We saw the light! She knew where to do her business. Then from then onwards, she would do her business into the metal pan.

She also recognized that the cage was her den and would not dirty it. At night when she slept in her cage, she would call out to us to let her out to do her business. Initially, we did not know. We thought she was just whining to get attention, so we ignored her. Then she got no choice but to empty her bowels in the cage. But we noticed that she did it at the far corner of her cage, away from her bed. Therefore, we took note to wake up when she called out to us at night and let her out to " go toilet".

We wanted to train her up to be able to stay alone at home when we were outside or at work, thus we began a series of going outs and coming backs, starting on the very next day. She did whine, but her whines were not loud nor continuous and we ignored her. By and by, we increased the time we stayed out. This was to desensitize her of our absence and also to let her know that we would definitely come home to her. Of course, we left toys and water for her. We have also left the radio playing and the fan functioning continually. I must admit, this was a heart-breaking exercise, but somehow, Rossi must learn that when Daddy and Mummy were not at home, she got to play by herself, then when we were back, our time would be all hers.

As of now,it's her 7th day with us. I would say she is still doing fine. She is not the type of doggie that barks at the slightest sound or whine non-stop nor is she a loud speaker. She is happiest during her meals and at night when we spend time playing and bonding with her. During the day, she would usually sleep outside her cage, on the floor of our living room.

One good point about her is, she is not easily affected by noises around her. There was an occasion when it was raining with loud thunders and she was sleeping. I myself was admittedly shocked by the loudness of the thunders, but she just reacted by waking up for awhile and looking around briefly, then soon, she fell asleep again.

She can be really naughty at times, but she also has her merits.
To us, she is our sweet little gal.