Monday, January 01, 2007

Sam Recovery Day 3

I spent the night on the aero bed with Sam, which was pretty uneventful. He got up once in a while to turn around and switch positions, which woke me up every time. I would just lay there while he did that. I figured that if he knew I was there, he would want attention, or would expect someone to be there all the time, so I just lay there awake until he got settled again and then fell back asleep.

Of course I woke up for every sniffle, snorfle, burp, or movement, so I’m pretty tired. Hubby reported that Meeshka slept well, but Sam slept with his nose on the baby monitor and every time there was a noise, he’s get up and smack hubby awake with his mutant paw. Loki is turning into quite the babysitter for Sam via the baby monitor. So far he has alerted us whenever Sam makes any sort of noise and is slightly frantic until we go check and make sure he’s ok.

At 5:00am, Sam woke up and needed to go out. Hubby slept through my asking him via the baby monitor if he was awake, so I went up, let Meeshka and Loki out, woke up hubby, let the pups in, went down and we took Sam out. Sam wanted to inspect the entire yard before finding a pee spot. Yippeee a pee! We brought him back inside, took his temp (102 degrees), put him back in his crate. Lesson learned, temp and pill him before putting him back in the crate because he’s turned into quite the impossible to pill in a crate dog. He’s learned how to turn his head in such a way that I can’t get the pill down his throat, then he spits it out and glares at me. So, back out of the crate for the pills, then he refused to eat dog food, so he got some more turkey bits.

As soon as Petsmart opens, I’ll be going out to buy more of the pouch food that he eagerly ate yesterday (and I’m sure he’ll refuse to eat once we have plenty of it) and to also go to the grocery store and buy the ingredients for “Satin Balls”, which is pretty much raw hamburger with a bunch of other goodies mixed into it. Satin Balls are pretty handy, since they contain just about everything a dog needs to survive, but also can help an emaciated dog gain weight, or prompt a dog that isn’t eating to actually eat. We used them when our 17 year old husky Nova went on a hunger strike because of liver issues. He ate them, he wouldn’t eat anything else.

We’re trying to approximate our normal work day today, to make sure that we work out all of the kinks in doing the morning routine (pups fed, Sam out and fed, us getting ready, etc.). We have more kinks to work out, namely not falling back asleep after the whole routine of feeding and taking them out ☺

Meeshka was very angry about my sleeping downstairs and not having me as her pillow. She greeting me this morning by sitting on the upstairs couch and glaring at me. Loki was beside himself, wiggling and happy to see me, like I had been gone for years. After tending to Sam and getting him back into his crate, Loki proceeded to catch a mouse in the yard, which he gave up nicely and got tossed over the fence in a plastic bag. They both refuse to come back inside now. I just checked hubby and Sammy and they’re both back asleep. Sigh, I guess I’m the only one up now since I can’t get Meeshka and Loki inside. I’m thinking a nap is in order later this afternoon after the Petsmart run.

After herding the dogs back inside, I managed a restless nap of sorts with stupid dreams. Sam was still asleep, so I took that time to take a shower. Just as I got dressed, hubby came up to tell me that Sam wanted out, so out he went. After some cursory sniffing, he let loose with a gargantuan pee that lasted a while. Steady flow at first, then squirt, squirt, then dribble, then much relieved, he decided he wanted to run. Lesson learned: put the little leash on him to control him, as he almost drug me and the sling along with him. Tail going 90 miles per hour, he was quite the happy pup after that pee.

We’re trying to decide whether we need to modify the schedule, if he had to pee so bad at 10:20, that means that it would have been 2 more hours he would have had to hold it before we would have come home for lunch puppy duty. Of course, we could be over-analyzing everything as usual.

Back in the crate, a few whines and he’s sacked out again. Hubby is taking his opportunity to take a shower, and after that I’m off to the store for Sam foods and us quick foods... and a thin leash.

It only took me an hour to dash into petsmart, grabbing as many of the food packets as they had and a roll of that dog food that comes in a round package like a Swiss Colony Beef log, got two small recovery bowls, and a long little leash, paid, then ran to Safeway. Got all of the ingredients for Satin Balls (I’ll post the recipe here later in case anyone needs it, or wants it) and shoved as many microwave meals as I could in the cart. Dashed to the RAV and went home, just in time for the noon feeding. Of course he wasn’t thrilled with the dog food pouch. Figures. The other dogs liked it when I put some of it in their food though, so we’ll see.

He ate some, wanted to come out, so out in the yard he went. There is a kitty that is new to the area (hope it has enough sense not to come in our yard) and he smelled that, so pretty much that’s all he wanted to do, smell the kitty. He did sniff a pee spot and appeared to make an attempt, but lost his balance and the moment was gone. We’ll try again later, and hopefully we’ll get a poo out of him too, but he hasn’t eaten a whole lot actually.

He’s currently in his crate howling mournfully. Hubby is spending time down there, even though I think its wise to leave him alone and get use to being alone... but he does sound incredibly pitiful.

Made Sam’s Satin Ball recipe:

Satin Balls Half Recipe -- recommended amount to mix up

5 lbs cheap hamburger (for high fat %)
1/2 large box Total cereal (about 6 cups cereal)
1/2 large box uncooked oatmeal (about 7.5 cups oats)
5 raw eggs
1/2 of 15oz jar wheat germ (about 2 cups)
5 packages Knox unflavored gelatin
5/8 cup vegetable oil (this is pretty close to 2/3 cup)
5/8 cup unsulphered molasses

I, like a dork, forgot the wheat germ, but made up the batch anyway. Meeshka gave it her seal of approval, so I guess its ok without the wheat germ. We’ll see if Sam gives it his seal of approval later on. I can hear him panting in the baby monitor. He continues to get bored, moan pathetically, then dozes off.

The satin ball mix was a great success (today) he ate more than he’s eaten since he’s been home. Of course he now thinks that he needs to come out of the crate now, which we’re not letting him. I’m sure this will make him angry, but he has to get use to being alone in his crate. Hubby came upstairs and we’re seeing if he’ll settle down on his own. The other dogs are on the deck, looking for the new kitty probably.

He started getting very agitated. Since we just fed him a lot, I suggested we take him out just to be sure. Hubby said we have to stick to the schedule. I asked him how could we possibly stick to the schedule now when he’s been sitting down there with him, comforting him every time he whines. He doesn’t get my point, I get his point, but feel that the whole “routine” was a failure today and we have things to learn for tomorrow, such as: don’t sit down there with him, don’t come running every time he whines, only take him out when we wake up, at noon, and at night.

He’s now pawing at the crate. I thought the sedation was suppose to last for 12 freakin hours. Actually, he was biting at the crate. I yelled for him to knock it off, and he lay down. argh.

Hubby bought a “white noise” machine for him, which I’m thinking of setting up for tonight. I was just reading the 10 soothing sounds it comes with. One happens to be “lull yourself to sleep with the rumbling of a thunderstorm”. I laughed until I cramped. Meeshka is afraid of thunderstorms, totally freaks out. Great, wouldn’t that be lovely, a dog recovering from spine surgery and Meeshka being frantic. Icing on the stress cake right there. We won’t be using that noise at all, nor any with thunder in it.

Continuing our series of tough love, Sam continues to be restless in his crate. I’m manning the baby monitor while hubby has locked himself in the bathroom to study a college course. Sam has learned to turn himself to face the baby monitor and make very loud wooing noises and pant loud. I will let him woo and pant, but I will tell him to knock it off if he starts clawing or chewing the crate again.

We tried a kong last night, and then realized that he’s a stand up kong chewer. We were hoping that he would lay down and gnaw, but no, he kept trying to bend down to get to it, so I ended up holding it for him. We got him a chew bone, which he’s ignored. I don’t know of anything that we could get him that he could spend his time chewing on and not being bored. Open to suggestions, and remember: he chews on things standing up, so lets not suggest bones, kongs or any other thing like that. I guess I could get him a roll of toilet paper to guard. Sam loves to steal a roll of toilet paper, then just lay next to it. He doesn’t destroy it, just lays near it. I’m guessing he would destroy it if the other dogs didn’t plant themselves really close, waiting for him to slack his guard on the toilet paper. I think Sam is a stand up chewer because he’s also lousy in the “give” or “trade up” department. He’s probably at the ready to grab and run the treat if someone comes near him. Apparently he doesn’t realize that he’s in a crate and impervious to someone easily taking his treat from him. My dysfunctional husky. I guess I could give him something stuck between the bars of the crate so he could sit and chew on it.

Very loud, pathetic woooo. 2 hours until dinner, and sedative. I may very well go insane at this point. Long pathetic woo. This is for his own good, this is for his own good, I will not go down there, I will let him settle down on his own and realize that nobody is coming to comfort him, this is for his own good. We have to be strong, we have to let him work it out that nobody will comfort him, that he has to go to sleep, he has to settle down, he has to get better. This really sucks.

Still crying and wooing sadly. I broke down and cried, its so sad sounding. I wish we could make everything better, make the hurt go away, let him be free from the crate and run around like an idiot, but we can’t.

We went down and fed him his satin ball mixture, which he seems to like, except we have to goop it into a smear on our hand before he’ll eat it. He’ll decide that he won’t like how one is squished and will flick it out of the crate with his tongue.

After he ate and drank, we waited a half hour and took him outside, where he strolled around the yard, seemingly finding adequate pee spots, but not peeing. He did fart something nasty, so we’re hoping he’s got a poo brewing back there soon. He got his meds, and his temp was 102.2, which is higher than this morning, but we took it after his little stroll and have to wonder if that’s why its .2 degrees higher than it should be. We’ll freak tomorrow if its higher. His hot spot is dry after I clipped it and he doesn’t seem to be licking at it any more. Doesn’t feel as though its abcessing or anything, which is good. Its scabby.

Since we would normally be home now, I’m on the wireless laptop down here with him spending some quality time while the other pups are outside. He finally lay down, looking somewhat comfortable now, and he sighs. Good sign, the sigh. We’ll take him out for his “final” per the schedule later on tonight and hopefully he’ll have worked up the poo that is lingering.

Sammy is now laying in his sleepy position. Meeshka had a fit because I was sitting down with him and she’s not allowed down here. She’s a huge brat when it comes to getting her way. When our deck was being built, we put up one of those 4 foot high plastic fences to keep her from getting in the construction area. Shorty after they dug the holes for the supports, it poured rain and they couldn’t work for a few days. We didn’t want her falling in one of the holes. So, we were outside watching all three of the dogs to make sure they wouldn’t do anything devious (they’re huskies, they’re devious 100% of the time), and Meeshka looked at us with a “look”, then proceeded to ram herself against the plastic fence so hard it broke and she happily tippy toed around the holes.

Another time we put up a fence to keep her out of an area that we had just thrown grass seed in a futile attempt to grow grass in the yard. We put up the fence, secured it, went inside, looked out the window and somehow she managed to get over the fence and was laying right on the grass seed with a look that said “if I had a middle finger I’d be holding it up”. This is what we have to deal with in keeping her and Loki away from Sam.

Its slightly raining, we had him out, but he’s so goofed up on Ace that he just stood and sniffed the air. Going to bed now.