Tuesday, October 23, 2007

4 Weeks Post Surgery

Zane continues to progress nicely. He really enjoys romping in the backyard. He no longer tires the way he did prior to the surgery. We followed up with Dr. Durkes and will continue to heed his advice regarding Zane's activity level. We are advised to always be careful of activities that could strain Zane's neck. The new tissue growth there will never be as strong as the "original equipment." No more games of tug... guess we won't be giving Zane that 4 foot long rope toy that we had stashed for Christmas. We thought it was so cool since it was Zane size!

Our new foster Daizy Lu has come down with an upper respiratory infection and pneumonia. She is not doing well. It's a challenge to get her to eat, but she does seem to enjoy being spoon fed the good canned food. We use Merrick and Eagle Pack canned foods and all the dogz just go nuts when I open a can. They don't normally get canned food so they are enjoying their spoonfuls whenever Daizy gets fed. Zane actually jumps up and down like a kangaroo when he sees me open a can!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

3 weeks Post Surgery

Great News! On Monday, I phoned Dr. Durkes for our 3 week follow up call. He felt that Zane was stable enough for us to remove his neck brace. He was pleased to hear that Zane was doing things we had never seen him do before and that his gait has continued to improve. I thought that Zane would be running around like a nut case once I took it off but he opted for a nap instead. It must have felt odd to him.

By the afternoon, Zane was back to stirring up trouble. He has really taken to our new foster dog, Daizy Lu, the Rottweiler. She loves him too and can often be seen licking his mouth and grooming his ears. We try to keep a close eye on their playtime as we don't want Zane to overuse his neck muscles while they continue to heal. I can't help but wonder whether or not Zane is actually aware that he has more control of his body now. He seems to just go about his day business as usual!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

2 weeks and then some....

I've fallen a little behind on the updates because my schedule has been so busy lately. So here is a run down on what's been going on this past week.


Zane had his first public showing since his Gold Bead Implant Surgery. We had an adoption event at our local Petco and Zane came out to greet the visitors and tell them about Rescue. I think he enjoyed his time for the first hour but then was ready to go. Like Mom, he has limited patience for social events. We hung in there together and vowed never to stay so long in the future. While Zane loves to greet people of all ages, he clearly gets tired of all the commotion. At times, he would just charge towards the door to make a break- a-way for the van. It was fun to see his Dane friend Luke who has stayed at our home in the past. We helped raise money for Luke to have hip surgery #2 to repair a bad break from his running-as-a-stray days. Soon they will both be able to play together. Zane also enjoyed hanging with his Dane friend Itsy from the Rescue. They chatted about old times and marveled at how much taller Zane is now and how much wider Itsy is now. Once Zane made it home, he crashed on my bed for a good long nap.


Zane stayed home today while I headed to the Rescue to help with Open House. It was another super hot day out in the blazing sun. Where is Fall? Many people came out to visit with the Danes and their friends. Their applications will be reviewed and hopefully more dogs will be finding new homes by the next open house. Several of our rescue dogs left for their new furever homes. Always a blessing to see them get new homes!


Impromptu road trip to Augusta, Georgia. My rescue friend Renee joined me on a journey to the Dog Pound to check out a Dane mix in need of rescue. The dog turned out to not be Dane. We selected six dogs to bring back to the rescue. This shelter has an 80% euthanasia rate. That means that for every 10 dogs that walk in to the shelter, only 2 actually get to walk back out. They haul a truckload of dead dogs and cats to the landfill every day. Horrifying. We chose dogs that would have been euthed the following morning. Not a single dog that we brought back was a Great Dane but each one is still precious.


A day of recovery! The whole pack enjoyed a lazy day together. We played ball, drank from the communal water bucket, and caught up on snuggle time.


Another road trip! This time it's to Mountain City, Tn. A young Dane had been owner dropped off at a rural animal shelter, along with two other dogs. One of the dogs was put to sleep the day before for food aggression (like that's not fixable?). The Rottie would be next as he was limping. Tough decision here...all time high number of dogs at the Rescue (with 6 new ones that were not Danes) and Rescue owners reluctant to take a Rott....what to do? Can you leave a dog's companion behind when you know it will surely die? I took the Rottie for a walk to see how friendly it was. It walked by my van and hopped in. Easy enough. I got the Dane next (he has cherry eye) and we headed back to NC. The Rottie was clearly in pain so I dropped her at my vet's to be boarded for the night so he could xray her in the morning. I also needed to buy some time to figure out what to do next.


Yet another road trip! I stayed within the state today as I headed out for a 2+ hour drive. Turned out to be a waste of time as one of the animal control officers released the 2 danes to a different Rescue yesterday. They were holding the dogs for me to pick up and failed to communicate this information to each other. I am frustrated at the waste of time but happy that the dogs are rescued. Spoke to the vet regarding Daizy Lu's limping. Turns out that her paws are all torn up and raw. Every step is painful for her. She will need a month of healing. I brought her home so she could have a soft surface to walk on while I try to place her in a Rottie Rescue. She is getting along well with the rest of the pack. Zane has tried playing with her but I shoo him away because I know she is in so much pain. He actually seems to understand. She is even sleeping on his bed tonight!

Friday, October 5, 2007

11 Days Post Surgery

Zane continues to do well. His ability to keep up with the other two dogs is amazing. The greatest improvement that we still see, is how well Zane can run now. He twists and turns his body and keeps on running. Occasionally, I still see him take a tumble when he is wrestling with Zeke but is it really out of the ordinary? Zeke does somersaults and flying leaps from the top of the furniture and cannonballs into Zane so I think that would take just about any dog off his feet.

He also continues to impress and annoy us with his new found ability to stand up on his back legs to reach things that were formerly out of his reach. He's just getting into all kinds of trouble now! I swear that dog laughs at me anytime I give him a hollering for misbehaving.

Zane is a 120lb puppy, no more no less. Zeke stayed puppyish for a long time when he first came to us. I think he was well over 2 before he stopped getting into things on a regular basis. He still enjoys chewing up a Croc every now and then. Zoe, on the other hand, was an angel from the get go. She was always sweet. We never had any trouble with her chewing up things while we were gone. Even when she was out of commission for her ACL surgeries (2 within a year), she would sweetly chew a bone until she drifted off to sleep.

Not Zane. Chewing bones gets Zane excited to chew other things. We have more chew toys in our house than you could imagine. There are bones lying on the floor of every room. Nothing like flying out of bed in the middle of the night to get a vomiting dog outside and landing on one of those bones. Or there is always the good toe jab you get from inadvertently kicking one as you head back to bed in the dark, after cleaning up the vomit mess because you just weren't quick enough this time.

Many people have recommended Kongs. We've got them too. We have to buy the largest and heaviest because power chewer Zeke blasts through the traditional red ones. Nobody likes the hard black ones. Hand a dog one of those 5 pounders and they give you the fake out. It looks like they are taking it ...until they let it roll out of their mouths and onto your foot!

Chewies are still my best friends. Give a dog a rawhide and you can have 5-7 minutes of blissful peace. Unless you are Zane and your Chewie runs out before your brothers. Then you must get within 12 inches of his face and bark relentlessly until Mom gives you another Chewie. Works every time!

Monday, October 1, 2007

1 Week Milestone

Today marks one week since Zane had his surgery. At the one and three week marks, we check in with Dr. Durkes via phone. He is pleased to hear that Zane is running well and that his back legs are no longer flying out to the side. Zane can also turn around in tight spaces now and doesn't always need to back out of areas like hallways. He can make turns as he is running without having his feet slide out from under him. I haven't seen him fall in days while out in the backyard playing. Zane still tires easily but that is expected to improve over the next couple of weeks.

While we were in Indiana, the Dr. explained to us how to loosen the neck brace if it becomes too tight and causes Zane to have trouble breathing. It has appeared as though the brace has been impeding his airflow so we did cut into it a bit to loosen it. We then retaped the whole thing. At least the brace is all shiny white again...for the night anyways!

Zane was getting into more trouble again today. He took a bunch of boxes from off the dining room table and shredded them all over the living room. Our table is much higher than a standard table; it's counter height. What Zane is doing is actually pretty amazing. He is standing his front legs up on the table to grab the stuff that's piled in the middle to keep it out of his reach. He has enough leg control now to stand up that way. He has always been a counter surfer with just his head but now he's even putting his front feet on the kitchen counter. He thinks it's pretty amusing. For today, so do we! Now tomorrow will be a different story.

I was out of the house quite a bit today. I figured the pack would sleep well as we were over run by teenagers most of yesterday for Jordan's 15th birthday. They had a marathon session of eight player Halo 3 running for most of the day. The dogz didn't think a whole lot of all the noise and seemed a little stressed by the end of the day. They crashed even before I left the house this morning to go on a rescue run down in SC. Apparently it was Brindle Day as I had the honor of pulling not one but two beautiful female brindle Great Danes out of animal controls in both North and South Carolina. Tonight, I just got word that we will be taking in another female brindle Great Dane that is being owner surrendered to the Rescue. We don't often see brindles at the Rescue but when we do, they always come in threes! Two in one day seems to be a first. Zane was part of a round of three brindles that were surrendered to the rescue last spring. Lately we have had such a run on black Danes that it's nice to get a little color variety in for fall! I love being able to help these sweet dogs get placed into new homes. Here's a link to the website for the Rescue. I will add pictures of the new girls on Tuesday. Their names are Sara and Lady and they will be on pages 6 and 7 of the adoptable dogs. www.greatdanerescue.org