Tuesday, January 24, 2006

9 - 10 Weeks

Tomorrow Savage will be 10 weeks old, and things have been so busy I haven't had time to write this summary until now. The big news involves his ears. Two nights ago he finally got his hat (styrofoam cups) off, and since we had a vet appointment the next day I just let his ears fall naturally for a day. Since the area of his stitches is almost completely healed we decided to start taping them upright, which involves athletic tape and 5/8" foam "caulk-sav'r" tubes. It's actually easier to do than I expected and he looks so handsome with his ears up and moving independently. Because the foam tubes are stuck down into his ear canal they do bother him a little bit, but generally he doesn't seem to notice. I can't wait til his ears stand! He's already so beautiful I can't imagine how awesome he's going to look. Of course, we have a long way to go still.
Two days ago I took Savage on his first real snowmobile ride. Before that I had taken him down the trail about a minute, then turned back. For his first longer ride I wrapped him up in R.'s snowmobile jacket and sat him right behind the gas tank, between my legs so he was secure, and off we went. Of course, going was slow because driving a snowmobile with a great dane in front of you is pretty awkward, and because it was cold, I ended up holding my gloved hand over his face and ears. I can't say he loved it, but he also didn't dislike it. After we visited some friends and I started the sled up he ran right up to it and put his little paws on the running board. Now it occurs to me that I might have created a monster, because it's not going to be long before he won't fit in front of me anymore. Well, at least snowmobiles won't frighten him. He's growing so quickly that I just moved the divider in his crate back to accomodate his size (his weight is 26 pounds). But what's really great is how smart he is. Now that he can get both front legs up on the coffee table he figured out that if he tips over the water glasses he can drink up the water. He has his own stainless steel water bowl in the kitchen, but I'm sure this way is more fun! Just a few days ago he began running to the door and scratching on it when he needs to go potty. I was just floored that he understands this concept this early, especially when my friend's 7+ month old puppy is just beginning to get it. Stuff like this gives me more confidence in my "mom skills". I think Savage and I are bonding so well and he actually listens to me when I correct or praise him. He still cries in the early morning when he wants out of his crate. He still chews absolutely everything within reach. I have bought him dozens of toys, some soft and fluffy, some hard and chewy, but other things are too irresistible. As I'm writing this he's alternating between chewing on R.'s tennis shoe and my full set of keys for the bar. The biggest problem we're facing is getting Savage to chew anything but our arms and pantlegs! A sharp but quiet "no" or "oww!" is understood and then we redirect his attention to one of his toys. This works wonderfully when he's somewhat mellow. When he's completely wired and tearing around the house nothing can stop him from ripping at fingers, toes, faces, etc. In the picture below you can probably see some of the damage he's done to my boyfriend. His arms and face seem to be healing well, though. It's hard to be mad for long. I know Savage NEEDS to chew.
In order to get him used to grooming I did clip his toenails already. Since he's so small I only did the hooks on each one, but he was so tired at the time he just laid still and let me finish the nail-clipping. I hope he learns that the nail-clipper is not the enemy, that it doesn't hurt, and that the calmer he is, and faster it will be over. That all went well and then yesterday morning I let him out of the car at my sister's house and noticed a little blood on the snow!! Seems that Savvy ripped the outside nail on his back left foot almost off!! The strange thing is that both R. and I spent the entire morning with him and never noticed. He didn't yell or act like he was in pain or anything. Then this. The vet examined him and said that the toe itself wasn't dislocated but that the nail should be removed. They reccommended putting him under anesthesia for the operation but I declined. He already went through that for his ear-crop and he's only still a baby. Ended up deciding to take him to a closer vet to get it done and we will do that as soon as possible (tomorrow morning). In the meantime, he isn't bothered by it and it's not infected, therefore I will not be giving him the anti-biotic ammoxicillin that the first vet prescribed for him. I don't want to medicate him for something he doesn't even have yet.
Also, the first vet diagnosed Savage with an umbilical hernia, which is harmless at this point and he suggested be removed when I have Sav's neuter done. I assumed that it was just his belly button healing and the lump would disappear but having no experience with young puppies, I just didn't know. Through all this the idea of pet insurance lurks in the back of my mind, and remains something I have to keep researching.


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