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Greyaholic (9/9)

  1. Hello from a fellow SoCal resident! My buddy Aston (featured in my avatar) passed away in 2014, but I still lurk and occasionally contribute because GT is great Aston's weight held steady at about 72lbs, and he was a tallish guy. He had a high prey drive, resulting in the occasional false-start lunge after a squirrel or darting feral cat, but he never pulled hard enough to hurt my shoulder or pull me over. I did slipknot the leash around my wrist to avoid dropping it, so the risk of dislocation was there, but I favored that risk over the risk of Aston taking off. Aside from the mini-lunges, back when I first brought him home and he was still getting used to the new sights, sounds, and smells in my neighborhood, he would "statue" during walks. There are lots of GT threads about this, mostly from new adopters This was problematic because I couldn't very well just sling Aston over my shoulder and carry him home if he didn't want to walk anymore This behavior diminished somewhat with time as he got used to the new sensory input, but in the meantime, I did find myself in jams, especially if we were far from home and/or I couldn't afford to sit and stare at a squirrel with Aston all day. My solution in the beginning was to shorten the leash, pin his shoulder to my hip, and get him moving in a few tight circles with a high-pitched, happy "Let's go!" -- that would often shake him free of whatever was causing him to mentally freeze, though I would often have to repeat the maneuver on the same walk. He was also very reactive to seeing and hearing smaller dogs, so I ended up clicker-training him to look to me when triggered instead of fixating on other things, which had the indirect benefit of giving me a way to get him out of the statue mindset, but that took lots of practice. In the meantime, small circles I could never lift Aston outright, though I had always wanted to train up with a duffel bag full of sand, just in case; I never got around to it. He ended up with progressive lumbosacral stenosis that depleted his hind-end strength to the point that he was sometimes unable to hop into the back of my car on his own. I couldn't lift his whole body, so I would instead bring him perpendicular to the edge of the car, manually lift each foot and place it inside the back of the car, then get behind him and happily yell UP UP! with an upward boost to his hind end as ergonomically as I could manage. The maneuver was surely awkward-looking, but Aston kindly obliged with the help of lots of associated treats. My big fear was that Aston would suffer a major illness or injury one day and would need to be carried to a car, and I wouldn't be able to do it alone. I was married at the time, so often had a partner at home; but otherwise, I got to know my neighbors and identified who the 'dog people' were who I could call on if I needed help lifting my buddy. Aston was a veteran home-hound when I got him at age six. Upon adopting him, I proceeded immediately with alone-training per my adoption group's instructions, but found that he already had that framed certificate. When I first got him, I arranged to take long lunches to drive 25min to/from work and home to walk him at lunch, but found more often than not that Aston couldn't be bothered to interrupt his couch time to go outside during my stop-in (?!). I then learned after a while that he had his own way of doing things -- he would time his major drinking to when he knew he wouldn't be alone for long stretches, still consuming lots of water overall, but only sipping during the day if we were away -- and the routine for him was the same if we were home all day on weekends. He was used to going out for walks pre-work and post-work, but would only stand outside in the backyard and stare if I let him into the backyard during a lunch break from work. So, eventually, I gave up regular daily checks, and he would often go 9-10 hours between potty breaks. I know that this is not a safe assumption for any dog, but it worked in Aston's case. In your case, being able to go home during the workday is great you would get to know your dog, and go from there. As for the tiny apartment, I had a two-story condo at the time, but each floor was tiny and crowded with furniture. Aston was allowed on our one sofa, so he parked himself there most of the time, and then joined us in the bedroom at night on his own bed. He would do 30-second indoor zoomies at night, but always managed to avoid smacking into furniture, which was amazing given that he was a 72-lb bouquet of elbows As for the weather in SoCal, I did have to exercise care with Aston despite the mild-ish weather compared to other parts of the U.S. He actually got chilly enough indoors in the winter that I found him pacing around at night; I bought him some lightweight jersey-knit four-legged jammies (with a Camaro print!), and he stopped pacing and was able to sleep through the chilly nights thereafter. Because he was so thin-coated (and dark-furred) and had no insulation via fatty tissue, he would also FRY in the sun during warm stretches. I was careful to avoid walking him in the middle of hot days, and would seek shady routes. His back would heat up to the touch so quickly!! I wanted to get/make him a light-colored sun shirt to reflect some of the direct sun; I probably could have just put his head and front legs through a cheap white undershirt, in retrospect. After walks in warm weather, I was always careful to wipe his chest, armpits and paw pads down with a cool rag to help him normalize. I can't comment on the whippet things, since I don't have any experience. Fostering the whippet for a bit sounds like a good idea, though? The only downside I can think of in looking for a petite, low-prey greyhound is that you might end up waiting a bit, as petite (especially female) greys and low-prey greys seem to be in highest demand. However, dark-colored, giant, bouquet-of-elbows goofy dudes are generally bouncing around in abundance <3 Best of luck with your search!! It has been a while since I posted here about Aston. I sure miss that guy. Greyhounds are the best.
  2. That looks almost exactly like what Aston had on his rump years ago. I initially thought it was a hotspot/lick wound, even though Aston was never prone to them. It scabbed up heavily and then puckered up, yanking the healthy tissue in around it. It then burst, revealing necrotic tissue that had to be removed via surgery, with antibiotics afterward. The wound showed evidence of pseudomonas infection (greenish discharge around the edges). In retrospect, the vet thought it was likely a necrotic spider bite. Check out the second photo here: http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/293763-astons-licking-wound-e-vet-or-wait-until-morning/ You can see that the intact scab looks almost identical to the one that you posted. I think a vet visit is definitely in order. Hope the scab isn't painful for the sweet hound; Aston was going bonkers trying to bash his with a muzzle before we ran him to the vet.
  3. Such a beautiful tribute. In tears over here, too. I am so sorry for your loss. Daisy was, and is, so very loved.
  4. I am so very sorry. In tears with you. It's just so hard. There are no words. I'm sure my buddy Aston greeted Lou at the Bridge. I miss him dearly.
  5. I wish I had known about this treatment for Aston. He had one awful recurrent corn on one toe that rendered him with an "idiopathic" limp until a grey-savvy vet finally figured out what was happening, when Aston was nearly eleven years old. I'm so glad that this treatment is working for these poor hounds!! Also, <hijack> HI ADRIANNE </hijack>.
  6. How is Lou doing? Thinking of all of you.
  7. From your mention of Irvine, I'm guessing that you're in Southern CA? I am, too, but in Los Angeles County. I am so sorry. It is so, very, hard. I made the decision for my Aston. He was on something like nine prescription meds and a bunch of supplements when I called it. And running (awkwardly) and playing for a minute or two each day, as he usually did, and eating like a champ. And he had no idea what was going on when the thought crossed my mind -- his hind end was sunk to the ground in the middle of our walk, but his front end was busy drooling over a squirrel across the park. He had a progressive spinal issue (lumbosacral stenosis) that I managed as well as I could without sacrificing his quality of life to side effects, but that morning, I knew I had reached the tipping point. I knew that acupuncture might buy him a few more weeks of reduced weakness, but the returns on sessions had been diminishing, and he could still have bouts of severe weakness therein. And what if he was home alone when it happened? What if he couldn't get up, and panicked? Alone? I knew everything he had been through without breaking, and I felt that I owed it to him not to test his breaking point. I had him on prednisone at doses that made him feel G.R.E.A.T.!!!!, but wasted his muscle down to nothing. Infections would rage out of nowhere because he was immunosuppressed; random joints would flare up; he would pee traces of blood. I was vigilant and raced to treat each time, and he was a wonderful patient... It was an absolutely miserable call to make, especially when the severe-but-temporary bout of weakness resolved before we entered the exam room that morning. The vet tech blinked at us, having been the one to receive my tearful call saying that we were bringing him in and to please prepare a room... and he asked, "are you sure you don't want us to just examine him to adjust his meds?" I told him we were sure (my then-husband left the decision to me). We asked Aston to lie down on the blanket they laid out, and out I pulled a bag of his at-the-time favorite stinky chewy crocodile cookies from Costco. His eyes got big, honed in on the bag, and he got drooly and chattery, and I just kept stuffing his beautiful face with them as the tech started a line, and the vet came in. Aston suddenly got sleepy mid-chew, and laid his head down. He was gone before the pink syringe was empty. His body had really been so very tired. I had never hugged him while he was alive, thinking he might not like it. But when he was gone, I draped myself over his body. I didn't cry. I didn't try not to. I just felt that he was gone. And being the last one out of the exam room, I turned to study him one last time; he had been beautiful, but what was left was his shell, eyes open, soft, frozen in time. I have his clay pawprint in my desk, and memories of him in my heart. Afterward, I went through a period of "what have I done? I ordered my dog to be killed." But I told Aston when I brought him home at age six, that I knew he already had medical baggage (don't we all, to some extent), and I was going to try my best to make him better, and give him the best quality of life I could. And I tried my best, and drew the line before the fight broke his spirit. It was awful, but he had been through so much so stoically, from back spasms to recurrent corns to a necrotic spider bite to recurrent UTIs and... and he went out dreamily chewing his favorite cookies. It is such a personal thing. I don't know what to say that isn't much along the lines of what has been said, but many of us have been there. I am so sorry.
  8. Oh, no, no, no. No. . There are no words. I know my guy Aston was there to greet her, though. So sudden, too, too soon. I am so sorry.
  9. Welcome!! Yes, photos please!!
  10. I am so very sorry to see Charley's name in a Remembrance thread. He was absolutely stunning, and I always loved seeing his photos. Thank you so much for sharing him with us. I am so sorry for your loss. Charley is so loved.
  11. There are no words. I am so very sorry...
  12. I'm pretty sure I went through a few courses of Amoxicillin with Aston's UTIs. I don't recall having him on cephalexin. Amox was usually the first one given to him, and if it didn't work, a culture/sensitivity was run on his urine to determine the right abx to use. Or -- Amox was given while the culture was being run at the lab, and then the abx was switched once the right abx was determined. I think he was put on Baytril initially for UTI symptoms another time, but it was also not the correct med. Depends on the bug(s) involved.
  13. I have not been there because of osteo, but I have been where you are. There are no words. I am so, very, sorry.
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