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About Samwise

  • Birthday August 13

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  • Real Name
    Alexandra Sophia

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Montreal, QC
  • Interests
    Knitting, tea, camping, & long sweet-smelling baths

Samwise's Achievements

Grey Pup

Grey Pup (4/9)

  1. Sam likes people very much, but in his own way. He's always in the same room as us, but isn't so much into physical affection.
  2. They are immigrants, like my own grandparents. They're not even sold on the idea of dogs living in the house at all. But, we have had a breakthrough! Not the best one I could have hoped for, but still- good news. Turns out he loves Arthur and wants us to keep him. But he's taking this opportunity to voice his opposition to Sam. He says he thinks Sam is too big to live in the city, but I suspect he's somewhat afraid of him. He didn't want us to bring Sam with us when we moved in in August, but we eventually persuaded him. We thought he had become accepting of Sam, but it turns out he's just been talking to other family members about his issues. Bringing home Arthur has just brought his concerns back up, and he is now saying that it's Sam he wants gone, whether or not Arthur stays. OBVIOUSLY we are keeping Sam, but this means that I think we will also keep Arthur. DH's grandmother is physically healthier but mentally worse than his grandfather, but when we brought Arthur to their apartment to introduce him, she lit up in a way I haven't seen in months. He's a wonderful dog and I think he will be happy with us, and we are already more than happy with him. We are going to work with DH's grandfather to try to warm him up to Sam. If he is slow to do so, Sam may spend a little bit of time with DH's parents who live nearby, and who dote on him constantly. They love him to bits and take him on long walks through their well-forested neighborhood, so it wouldn't be torture for him to spend some time there This whole situation is stressful and confusing. It's so hard dealing with a person who is in cognitive decline. I think things will turn out okay, but I wish I could have an open and frank conversation with DH's grandfather. That's not really possible anymore.
  3. Arthur will be going back The decision was made for us. Our landlord/DH's grandfather, a 91 year old in ill health, has rescinded his permission for a second dog. My heart is breaking.
  4. Here are some photos! ^The three of us at the adoption event ^Arthur hanging out under my desk, his favourite place to be as I'm studying ^ Watching Pride and Prejudice (DH has never seen or read it!) ^Arthur is possibly the only creature on God's green earth who could find Sam's bony little butt comfortable as a pillow...but, there you go. The only thing beagle-y about him his is coloration, the shape of his muzzle, and his tendency to follow his nose willy-nilly on walks. The rest is very Italian Greyhound-ish to me!
  5. Firstly-- I think I follow you on Tumblr! But seriously, ALL OF THIS. I'm especially hoping that the second dog will help me better appreciate Sam on his own terms instead of mourning the kind of dog he is not. Arthur, as we have been calling the whiggle (whippet-beagle!), is very snuggly, and when I started to get panicky yesterday he leapt right into my lap to give me kisses and check up on me. He is wriggly and cuddly, and will shove his way under any limb he can to get close to you, and has learned how to get under the covers for maximum warmth as I'm lying in bed. But he also slept all night in his crate will only a few small squeaks as he was settling in. The past few days have only strengthened our belief that if a second dog works for us, then he is the perfect one. But that is a big "if", and there are other things to consider: the financial commitment, the change in schedule and routine while our lives are fairly unstable (I am a student and DH is job hunting). Additionally, our apartment is in a walkup owned by DH's 90+ y.o. grandparents, who live in the building and are rather unsure of dogs in general. Sam is the first dog they've allowed to live in the building, and even that took some convincing. They like Arthur because he is cute and small, but I'm scared that they'll change their minds in the future, since their mental health is deteriorating along with their physical health, and they have become more nervous, stubborn, and unreasonable with age. (A post for another time!) Because I know that my judgement is clouded, the final decision is DH's. Especially because he is the more skeptical of the two of us when it comes to a second dog, I can trust that if he gives the okay, we're both on board. But I know that just his acceptance or tolerance of a second dog won't be enough: I need him to be enthusiastic and even joyful about the plan. So he said he will mull it over, and we will make our decision tonight. But thank you ALL for your replies, it made DH feel better to hear what other people in similar situations have felt. I know that Arthur will find a very happy home, whether with us or with someone else. And we will either gain a small, goofy, snuggly friend, or we will save some serious $$$ and be able to go back to our lives as a happy three-person family. No matter what, things will turn out fine. I'm sure of it.
  6. We've had our greyhound, Sam, for almost two years now (he's just shy of five years old). We love him dearly, and although he is very affectionate and demonstrative for a greyhound, I've found myself longing for a doggy-er dog, one who will play fetch, snuggle enthusiastically, and who is generally more people oriented than Sam. I've posted about it on here in the past, and have been idly looking at adoptable dog posting for several weeks, but after our move to NYC in August and our wedding in October, it's gotten a little more focused. Well, I think we've found the dog that fits the bill! We are fostering-with-intent a lively adolescent (1-2 y.o.) dog, who was billed by the rescue group as a beagle mix. I personally suspect is a Beagle/Italian Greyhound (most likely) or Beagle/Whippet mix, since though he has a beagle colouring pattern, his build is very slight (he can't be more than 20lbs) and his personality is milder than the beagles I've known. He's friendly and very people-oriented, loves to snuggle, but isn't vocal and is fully house-trained. If we do decide to get a second dog, it will be him. The foster period is more to see what our home is like with the two-dog dynamic. We're both very open to seeing if it works, but we're also willing to return him to the rescue if it doesn't, since he's become comfortable with us so quickly that he would probably be happy in any home. The trouble is, I keep feeling guilty for wanting a second dog and for bringing one into our home. When I'm petting our foster, I feel as though I'm somehow betraying Sam. My husband's not helping, since he keeps reminding me "not to forget about Sam." DH was perfectly happy with just us & Sam, so he's a little skeptical of this new addition, but is humouring me to see how things go. As for Sam, he was mildly curious at first, but now generally ignores the foster. DH joked that Sam thinks the three of us have gotten ourselves a pet, and that's fairly accurate to how he's been acting. Am I just anthropomorphizing Sam, or could he really be jealous? Are these concerns totally off base?
  7. Our boy raced at 70lbs or so and is now in the ~75lbs range. We feed him 4 cups or so of high-quality dry food a day (1.5-2 cups every morning and evening, with another 0.5 cups, give or take, in a treat ball over the course of the day to help with his separation anxiety). Every dog is built differently, but for him, if we can see his last 3 ribs and hip bones fairly well while he is standing "at rest," then we know he's in good shape. We switched his food a few months ago when we moved to the US, and we cut him down to 3 cups a day because we were concerned we were overfeeding him. He got tired, sluggish, stopped getting excited for walks, etc., and just seemed to lose his spark. We chalked it up to stress over the move, but then DH suggested that maybe he wasn't eating enough. We were so concerned about letting him get overweight that I think we were actually underfeeding him. That's definitely been corrected now: we increased his food, and he bounced right back to his usual self!
  8. It's rarer in dogs than in people, but is still possible. My chief point is that Lyme is complex, and shouldn't be ruled out just because the symptoms present don't match its "typical" presentation, at least not without involved bloodwork being done.
  9. Lyme disease is sneaky because it often doesn't conform to "typical" presentation. Lyme will often by accompanied by a rash that may look like bruising or "bullseyes," often far from the site of the tick bite. I don't know much about the platelet situation, but I do know that Lyme is insidious, good at disguising itself, and vastly more complicated than people give it credit for. Something to take into account!
  10. Sam will give up ANYTHING for coconut oil, he goes NUTS for it. I sometimes use it as a moisturizer on any skin that's extra dry, and then he follows me around trying to lick it off me! I have been thinking of freezing the oil in an ice cube tray to give him as treats. I will take your advice and try to trade him next time! Do you have any advice on training a "drop it" command?
  11. I tried jogging with our boy, Sam. Being unable to stop and sniff at stuff left him frustrated and he didn't seem to enjoy it, like NeylasMom said. It also made him irritable on our other walks. It set up a "me vs. him" dynamic, and I got the impression that he started to see me as the "mean baddie" who made him do unpleasant stuff. It made it harder to build the kind of collaborative and cooperative spirit I was developing with him on walks. I think everyone's made good suggestions already, but if the growling continues, maybe try cutting out the jogging and see if that helps?
  12. So Sam is MOSTLY very good about letting us take food and toys from him if we have to. He'll let me stick my fingers into his mouth to fish things out if he tries to eat things on walks, he'll tolerate us touching his bowl/reaching into it while he's eating, and he will let us take toys. However, if he is chewing on a larger food-like item and we approach him, he gets growly. This includes hide chews, turkey necks, raw bones, and the like. This isn't a new behaviour. Ideally, I would like to be able to give him these chew-able items but retain the ability to take them away if the need arises (for safety, portion control, etc.) Is there a way to train Sam to be comfortable giving up these chews and allowing me to take them? The only safe alternative I can see is not giving him the large items that cause the possessiveness. He's so good about letting us take stuff from him when he's playing or eating normally that I don't see it as a big loss if this is where we draw the line. What do you think?
  13. Sam knows "Jump" via command, and will get up on his hind legs with his paws on my chest via hand signal (treat held between index finger and thumb on my right hand, with the back of my hand against my forehead). We are trying to teach him more!
  14. I think the biggest thing about canine body language is also the one that gets most neglected, because it's the most subtle: stiffness or tension throughout the body. Tail-wagging, lip licking, and yawning are easier to talk about because they're clear actions, but identifying tension takes time and familiarity with your dog. I find that being able to identify tension will also help you figure out whether a dog's specific behaviour falls into the category of calming/appeasement signals or not. For example, Sam will lick his lips and yawn when stressed by a person, wag his tail furiously when he is concerned by another dog, and growl low and soft when he feels that someone is in his personal space when he doesn't want them to be. He will also lick his lips after he's eaten something delicious, yawn when he's tired, wag his tail when he's happy or excited, and let out a big deep groan when he's contented! Over time, I've learned to distinguish between instances of the first type and instances of the second type (it took a few warning nips!) by paying attention to what his WHOLE body is doing. Are his ears perked up? Is his mouth tight and hard? His lips and jaw? Are his shoulders tense? Is his breathing shallow and fast? Are his eyes wide open, showing the whites? These are all signs of a tense dog, and a tense dog who shows behaviours that may be considered calming signals is more likely to be using them as such. I also consider the context for the behaviour. Has he just eaten when he's licking his lips, or just woken up as he yawns? You can sometimes identify a calming signal by whether or not the behaviour is actually effective at what it would otherwise be trying to accomplish. Sam's nervous lip licking are shallow flicks of the tongue up over his nose: if he were trying to actually lick something away, he wouldn't be doing a very good job. Simlarly, his nervous yawns are exagerrated but just for show: with a wide open mouth, a noisy little sigh, but they're shallow (not a deep breath) and much quicker than a regular yawn. Basically, contextualizing a behaviour into what your dog's whole body is doing at any given time is important. But more important is learning about your specific dog, with all his quirks and unique attributes, so you can learn to read his specific language. And it seems like you're doing just that!
  15. So Sam has a pad his left front paw which has been tender for almost two weeks, the majority of which he has spent limping and whining. He spent almost a week hopping around like a tripod! Although he was getting better on his own, we took him to the vet this morning to make sure it wasn't anything too serious. The vet examined the pad, the paw, the leg, and the shoulder, and said that maybe there had been a cut or a corn on the pad of the paw, but that he looked okay. The vet joked that greyhounds come in two varieties-- the stoic, and the dramatic. And Sam can definitely be a drama queen! We took Sam to the dog park this evening now that he has been given a clean bill of health. He was finally running and playing normally. It was such a joy to see him finally acting like himself again! He was as happy-go-lucky as I've ever seen him. Well, withinn five minutes of getting home and Sam hopping up on the couch, I noticed a few speckles of blood. "Oh," I thought, "he must have nicked himself. I looked over to his other side and saw a huge bloodstain, on the blanket and on his paw. "OH," I thought. "THAT'S A LOT OF BLOOD." Upon closer examination, it turns out he tore the carpal pad on his right paw (not even the one he had previously injured) almost clean off. It was wildly bloody, but it doesn't seem to bother him too much. He wasn't really limping, and he let me disinfect and wrap it. We're totally stumped as to how it even happened. He didn't fall or collide with anything (or anyone) at the dog park, so we can't figure out how he manage to hurt himself so badly. I guess the vet was sort of right-- greyhounds can be stoic, dramatic, or sometimes both! We wouldn't have even noticed Sam's injury if I hadn't spotted all the blood. So when its nothing, he makes a fuss, but when it's serious he plays it cool. Have any of your dogs torn their carpal pads? Are your pups stoic, dramatic, or both?
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