Thursday, April 27, 2006

22 - 23 Weeks

Lately I've been working with Savage every day on walking on a leash. I found that if I take him out early in the morning when he's still sleepy he doesn't chew on the leash or pull too much. So we've been doing that each morning and taking at least one more leashed walk in the afternoon. Other than that, he gets to play along the shore and chase balls in the yard without a leash. He comes when called about 90% of the time, though when he's with another dog he just follows them and couldn't care less about the humans around him. The only thing that will make him come to me immediately is the call "food!" which is what I say when I serve him dinner. Of course if I say that, then I need to feed him, but I know if he ever got in trouble and I needed to get him near me fast I could use "food" as a command. He will do anything for a treat. Savage is getting better at walking calmly on a leash, which I know is a necessity. Slowly but (I hope) surely.
I'm still feeding him turkey backs as a staple, with mashed pumpkin, mashed sweet potato, ground beef, ground pork, ground turkey, cooked beef liver, chicken liver, chicken leg quarters, canned pink salmon, canned mackeral, and the occassional turkey neck.He gets tiny pieces of hot dogs for treats when I'm teaching him new tricks or going over the old ones. Once in while I give him raw fresh broccoli to chew on because it amuses him to tear it apart, and R. lets him chew on celery, though he won't actually eat it!Along the way he gets some people-food leftovers as part of his meals if we have pork chops or steak for dinner, though I'm careful to trim the meat from the bones. Sometimes during a car ride when he needs a snack I buy him a piece of beef jerky or a beef stick or a small piece of cheddar cheese. When he's in the bar with me I give him ice cubes to play with.
Of course, that's not to say that's all he eats! When R. and I are eating a meal in front of the TV Savage has sneaked up and stolen snacks off our plates. At which point he gets directed to his crate so the humans can eat in peace. He occasionally eats a little grass outside, and I'm sure he's swallowed his share of ants during the "ant hunt" on the deck. The raw diet seems to work very well for him, no digestive or gastrointestinal problems to speak of. He's had a few episodes of gas, but I'm sure that's normal, and he was sick a few weeks back, vomiting up food a couple times. I fasted him for one day, and then everything returned to normal.
Physicallly, he is in great shape. He has energy when it's required for play or walks, though he loves nothing more than stretching out in the sun and napping. His coat is a beautiful, glossy gun-metal color, that sheds minimally so far.I brush him very rarely. The back toe-nail that ripped off a long time ago is still growing back, almost completely now. All his adult teeth are present and his eyes are always bright. He does have tears and "eye-boogers" frequently. Maybe this is due to the saggy skin around his eyes, I'm guessing. In any case, watching him run around outside, his beauty is almost breath-taking. Of course, I may be exaggerating, but I think a great dane is the most awesome breed of dog in the world. I'm lucky to have my own little representative of it.


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