Friday, February 12, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Winter Daze

It's been a lazy couple of months for Savage. Between his owner being quite busy at work, and the occasional below freezing temperatures, he hasn't gotten as much exercise and attention as I intended. On days when the temps are above 10 degrees we go for walks along our road, but when it gets colder than that we are both content to stay inside. I try to keep him entertained with his stuffed animals and discovered he loves to shred newspapers during playtime (which is fine, as long as he doesn't do it when we're not playing). His "daddy", Randy, has been laid off from his job on and off this winter so at least Sav has someone around during the day. When I come home from work they are usually both stretched out on the couch together. In January I started taking him for runs alongside my snowmobile and my puppy seemed to be doing great, not biting at the skis, or generally freaking out. After the snow melted off the road a little and it rained for a day, the road turned slick and icy. With his long legs I'm afraid Savvy will slip and hurt himself running, so no more snowmobiling until we get more snow!
I've been trying to keep his unknown allergies under control by giving him fish oil with his meals. I first noticed his scratching and ear infections last summer, and treated the problem with Benadryl, and later, Temaril-P. The ear infections eventually disappeared, and I am keeping up with a routine of cleaning his ears with Mal-Otic ointment once a week. Savvy still scratches his ears occasionally, and licks his feet a lot, so I'm sure he's still dealing his the allergies. He's only been on the fish oil regimen for a month or so and I'm hoping things will improve. I started giving him fish oil capsules but he's an expert at finding pills hidden in treats. The emulsified omega-3 fish oil that I'm giving him now is in liquid form and he actually doesn't mind it when I pour a tablespoon of it over his regular meal.
Nevertheless, my Great Dane is doing all right this winter. His weight is pretty stabilized because I have not been over-feeding him like I used to do, and trying to get him out running as much as possible in the cold. He's still kind of crabby around other male dogs, but I've pretty much decided to keep him on leash when we're around them just in case. On the weekends we've been doing some ice-fishing, which requires 165 lb. Savage to ride on the front of the snowmobile seat while Randy reaches around the dog to drive. Me, I'm sitting in the sled. When we're fishing Savage goes minnow hunting, searching around the ice for unused minnows discarded by other fishermen. He digs them out of the ice and eats them, and if I leave our minnow bag open he has been known to knock it over to get to the little fishies inside. We have to be careful to unhook our bait as soon as we reel in lines because I know Sav would attempt to eat the hooked minnows, too. If we are fishing with friends I'm constantly warning them about this, which doesn't make me the most popular ice fishing partner.
I don't mind. It's all about Savvy.