Thursday, 15 January 2015

Recall Training

Hey there, ladies. 
 Bobby was officially released from his post-neuter "bedrest" a few days ago. He now has one remaining stubborn stitch left to dissolve.

We decided to bring out the long leash on Sunday, after adjusting the length and tying knots. Initially, I was wary of whether the clip would unexpectedly unclip, as his red leash does from time to time (good thing he has two!). Nevertheless, recall training surpassed my expectations of disastrous selective hearing to maniacal sprints and zoomies!

I have to say, he does the most hilarious facial expressions when caught on camera. Sis is still fiddling with the camera in regards to action shots though. 

We've been working on recall for a while now. Previously, his recall was "come" which was soon poisoned when he stopped responding to it and when it was used in frustration by everyone. After changing the word, practising it in the house and backyard and making sure that I only said it when I knew he would come, we headed out to the park. Bobby sure is enjoying his extended freedom where he can sniff to his heart's content. 

And graze on grass like a cow.

These shots were all from today. Whilst the leash did tangle and he did need a gentle tug on the leash a few times, he performed marvellously. Much better than I had expected. Got to watch out for his zoomies though!

Hopefully, he'll be trustworthy off-leash soon. Meanwhile, a few pictures of Bobby posing:

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Cone of Shame: Day 9

I don't think we can continue titling Bobby's post-neuter recovery entries as "Cone of Shame..." anymore. Why?

To prevent him choking himself, we used a pair of scissors to cut through one of the tabs that connected the cone to his collar. The other that hadn't come off during his stunt was manually pulled out.

Can someone please tell Bobby that his cone is not a leg warmer/piece of armour? Thanks.

After this stunt, he was left cone-free. He did lick it despite my attempts to stop it but otherwise, left it alone when the novelty wore off. We tried to put it back on him later but Bobby wouldn't have it. He managed to remove the twist-tie, open the cone and leave it hanging on his back. Subsequently, we had to remove the cone again.

Now, he is loving the freedom.

We've decided to let him be cone-free, rather than risk him choking himself at night. We'll see how he behaves tomorrow. If he persistently insists on licking and the wound shows irritation, we'll be getting him another cone. Hopefully it won't come down to that.

Whilst enjoying the A/C, I gave Bobby his Kong. Surprisingly, the chicken neck took him longer than expected to remove. Overall, the Kong kept him occupied for a little over an hour. 

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Cone of Shame: Day 8

The postman delivered sis's "microwave potato chip maker" this morning and Bobby was given the box. Whilst the chip maker failed to meet expectations, the box did not. True to his nature, he did not let the cone of shame stop his fun.

The swelling has decreased again; a welcome sight. Half his stitches are gone and the incision is healing pleasantly. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for his cone. Having now torn the top and middle tabs that hold its shape, Bobby fashioned his cone as a bib/bamboo hat/hoodie for much of the day until mum fixed it with a twist-tie through the holes he made. Hopefully, this holds up until his stitches are all gone.

I took him out with the intention of checking the mailbox and letting him go for a sniff walk in the afternoon. Normally, Bobby likes to walk ahead and when he failed to after leaving the house, I grew suspicious. Looking beside me after closing the door, I saw him enthusiastically sniff some sort of yellow package. Turns out, Bobby had found a package from sis's American pen-pal!

Of course, after reluctantly giving up his latest find, we had to reward him with something.

It's going to be 38℃ tomorrow. As part of lunch, I've frozen him a Kong filled with a chicken neck, his mix, some egg and a scoop of plain yoghurt. Let's hope it occupies him for some time.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Cone of Shame: Days 4 - 7

Nothing much to report for these days either. Bobby has been relatively calm and mellow in the house. The vet has prescribed him around two weeks of no strenuous exercise. Admittedly, we've been a little more lenient when it comes to his freedom and have let him wander and run a little in the backyard.

Swelling has reduced. Stitches are intact and dissolving.

It has helped that it is now summer, the season in which Bobby enjoys sleeping through whilst reserving the best location for maximum cooling (a few metres in front of the A/C). We've been training the "mat," "wait," "steady," "table" and "down-stay" commands, all of which keep him relatively still whilst working his mind. When he gets particularly rowdy, we work on the "bring" command with a few of his stuffies.

Mum takes him for his long, daily walk. Meanwhile, I've been taking him on one or two short walks every few days with the main focus on sniffing. Yesterday, Bobby brought home a sealed bag of lollies (exchanged for a small piece of banana bread). Today, Bobby was tempted to bring home a plank of wood. It's been useful in keeping him stimulated.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Cone of Shame: Day 3

January 1 marks the beginning of a new year, a new beginning.

And miraculously, Bobby has transitioned into the new year with a mellow attitude. Greatly appreciated by all during his third day of recovery. However, it was probably the midnight fireworks that kept him up and sleepy throughout the day. Luckily, Bobby is not afraid of fireworks.

The tabs of the cone have been coming on and off. For now, his tolerance of the cone seems to have increased. Today, I worked on his "bring" command with his slobbery, stuffed elephant and the "steady" command. The training tired him out enough that he spent most of the afternoon napping on and off, probably catching up on lost sleep.

Not much to report. His swollen scrotum seems to have decreased slightly in size and his stitches are still intact! He jumped and ran a bit and almost broke out into a zoomie towards bedtime though.

Whilst he didn't get the frozen Kong, he did get something else. Today sis made banana bread. Bobby agreed to model. His only condition: pay in banana bread.

With a temperature of 38℃ tomorrow, he's probably going to get the frozen Kong. Let's see how well he behaves.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Cone of Shame: Day 2

It's only Day 2 and Bobby's cone has suffered another battering. If the cone was not connected to his collar, he would have been free from his cone of shame. Now adorned with numerous bite marks and dents, the cone looks as if it has been through a war. Not quite sure how long this is going to hold up for.

Bobby has completely bounced back behaviour wise. He is back to his high energy, mischievous self who can't keep still without his usual exercise. Great. No surprise that keeping him calm and quiet has been a difficult, arduous task. 

I've been occupying him with training sessions involving extending his "down-stay," "touch" and "steady" commands. It's just not the same without our usual play sessions. In the meantime, we have settled for leashed walks around the neighborhood. According to the post-op information online, this should be fine. 

No one expected the vet nurse to call today! According to sis, he was laughing at our attempts to keep him quiet, fully aware that Bobby would not be so compliant. I'm not sure whether I want to know what kind of impression he left at the vet. 

Like yesterday, his scrotum is still bruised and swollen. Regret not mentioning this to the vet and nurse. Neither mentioned it either during pick-up so I assumed that it was fine and common like the post-op information stated. Hoping it clears up soon in several days. It doesn't seem to bother him at all. His stitches are still holding up. Shot an email to the vet, waiting for a reply.

I've prepared a frozen banana, blueberry and yoghurt Kong for him to keep him calm for a bit. Here's hoping that he starts 2015 on the right foot, calm and settled in the house for his recovery. 

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Cone of Shame: Day 1

Today, Bobby lost his balls. Now, he is milking it for all its worth, using the cone to garner pity and sympathy for his tragic situation. I'd like to rename his "cone of shame" to the "cone of exploitation."

On a more serious note, as expected, he was groggy and slightly disoriented. After the nurse brought him out with a satellite dish around his head, he greeted us and proceeded to raid the bucket of cat toys. On our trip home, he rested his head on the compartment in the console and curled up beside mum, whimpering softly every now and then. His first trip was to the backyard in case he needed to pee due to the drip he was on. He didn't.

We gave him a small portion of his dinner. He vacuumed it up as the nurse expected him to. He did a poop and came inside to nap, waking up occasionally before crashing again. I've never seen him so sad in my life.

He was soon back to his old self, crashing, bashing and ramming his cone through doorways, walls, people, chairs and his crate. He did try to chew, pull off and whack his cone off before he decided that it was a fantastic method to look pitiful and milk as many treats off of us as he could. He even got a short walk.


I'm onto you, buddy.

We took him out for regular potty trips. Turns out, he still marks. No biggie. He does have a nasty smell to him though. Guess who's getting a bath in two weeks?

I'm expecting a tough day tomorrow in regards to keeping him calm and quiet. Knowing him, his batteries will be fully charged and he'll be ready to raise hell.