Friday, April 29, 2011

Little Princess

I didn't set my alarm to wake up earlier than usual this morning, but was wide awake just before 6am so I immediately turned on the TV and caught the very end of the royal wedding ceremony.  Maisie considers herself a true princess so of course she dressed for the occasion, but needed to rest during the procession to Buckingham Palace after missing a precious hour of beauty sleep.

I think she's slightly offended that she wasn't invited to the actual wedding, but proper etiquette prevents her from ever saying so.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Escape from Cone-y Island

Yes, it's true...the stitches are out!  The cone, it is retired!

Maisie is left with the possibility of a scar, but I think her fur will probably cover it if that's the case.  If not, well...we do live in Uptown, so I figure it will just give her some much needed street cred.

Maisie gained a whole pound in just under two weeks from lack of exercise, but now has permission to run and play with no restrictions once again.  Even so, the incision area is still kinda raw so I think I'll take her to work with me for one more day, then allow her to roam free at daycare on Thursday.

I am thrilled to have this whole situation behind us.  Maisie was her typical terrified shaky self at the vet's office and is very glad to be home.  Now if she could only get her mama to stop making her sit still while that annoying flash goes off in her face...
"OMG, another photo???  Find a new subject, woman!"

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bundle of Joy

Maisie was so fidgety last night, I barely got any sleep.  She kept moving around, jumped off (then back on) the bed and was just generally unsettled.  I assumed it was because she's super sick of sleeping in the cone at this point, but when I reached over to pet her in an attempt at reassurance at about 4am (after hours of tossing and turning), her fur felt cold.  I realized maybe that was the problem.  I have old-fashioned windows that require a crank to open/close, and though there are five windows upstairs, there is only one crank up here.  I had left a window in the bedroom open last night and though I too felt a bit chilly, the crank was on a window in another room and I was too tired to go get it.  Needing a lazy person's solution, I quickly bundled Maisie up in her throw blanket like a little cone head burrito.  She instantly fell asleep.

And remained like that until I woke up three hours later.

I'm glad she finally settled down but I am still exhausted...and it's Monday.  Ugh.

CONE COUNTDOWN:  Just 34 hours 'til stitch removal!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bunny Ears!

Maisie still has a few more days of wearing the E-collar/cone before her stitches are taken out Tuesday evening.  In the meantime, I have captured the three different looks of her "cone ears" for your viewing pleasure.  Enjoy...

1)  the Full Floppy - both ears flopped downward, as when cone is not present

2)  the Half and Half - one ear up, one ear down

3)   and finally...Bunny Ears!
"I looove the cushy chairs by the office front door, cone or no cone!"

Maisie's wound is healing nicely and I have actually allowed her to be cone-free fairly often (when I can keep a close eye on her, which has been most of the time).  I can tell she's dying to run or play with her (select few) doggie friends as we pass them on our walks but overall, she's been surprisingly well-behaved and calm throughout this whole ordeal.  Still, I will be very happy when the stitches are gone and we are able to resume our normal schedules.  Though Maisie does seem to like coming to work with me every day instead of just three days a week, I'm pretty sure she wouldn't mind that part being permanent!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Walking Wounded

Last night, Maisie got hurt.  Hurt in a way that scared me more than I've been scared in a long time.  When I got home with her yesterday, Chrissy was waiting for us on the deck. While Maisie excitedly greeted him, I dropped her leash to grab my house keys.  As she occasionally does when feeling hyper, she took off to run a lap around the fenced perimeter of the house.  After just a second or two, we heard a horrible cry and Maisie came limping back towards us.  Her right thigh was torn open all the way down to the muscle. Not knowing exactly what happened but completely freaked out nonetheless, we rushed to the car as I called the vet and told them we were on our way.  I simultaneously drove and cried, Chrissy sat in back with Maisie and attempted to console her.

My vet stayed open late to take care of Maisie.  Thankfully, they were able to just use a local anesthetic (combined with morphine) and didn't need to put her under.  It took eight stitches to close the wound and with the exception of vomiting, Maisie was a trooper throughout the whole process.

I was so grateful that they allowed me to take her home immediately afterwards, even in her extremely dopey state (and wearing the E-collar she'll be sporting for the next two weeks).  Maybe they just couldn't bear listening to me cry like a baby any longer.

She couldn't make it down the stairs by herself, just kind of hung out slumped over on the steps until I finally picked her up and carried her.

Maisie woke me at 6:00 this morning, whimpering.  I figured the morphine had worn off. She's on Rimadyl and antibiotics for seven days but can't go to daycare, the dog park, playdates or the dog walker's house until the stitches come out a week from next Tuesday. So we are about to have two very trying weeks.

Once it was light out, I went around the side of the house to see what could have caused such a deep, terrible cut.  I discovered one of the plastic covers for the filters on the air conditioner unit was broken and had a sharp, skewer-like piece of plastic protruding just a bit.  I can only assume that was the culprit.

I am very fortunate that I can bring Maisie to work with me every day for the next couple weeks as she recovers.  I took the cone off for a while today to let her nap more comfortably in the office, though I watched her like a hawk the entire time.  She actually seemed to gain energy towards the end of the day and jumped up on the bed all by herself when we arrived home.

The area in question looks slightly better today, mostly because I cleaned off the dried blood with a little water.

All in all, it was not an experience I ever wish to repeat.  I cried for about three hours straight, convinced it was my fault for letting go of the leash (something I do all the time without incident).  Did I mention that yesterday was my birthday?  :(

Monday, April 11, 2011

Summery Sunday

Yesterday, in the midst of endless temperatures in the 40-50 range, Chicago suddenly received the gift of a nearly 85 degree day...on a Sunday, no less!  Maisie was feeling much better so we went to the dog park, which was packed as expected.  But since the sprinkler for the pooches hasn't been turned on yet, it was too hot for Maisie and we left after a half hour or so.  I was still determined to enjoy the gorgeous day, so I brought the patio furniture up from storage and invited Chrissy over for an afternoon of champagne on my deck (aka the lanai).

Of course Maisie joined us.  I set up her outdoor pet cot so she would be as cool and comfortable as possible.

I live in a coach house behind a three-flat, and when Maisie is out on the deck with me I attach a tether to her collar.  The tether is a super strong wire cord which I have looped around a post on the porch of the front building.  It prevents her from wandering away, but leaves her enough room to survey the full scene.

Although she sometimes prefers to check things out up close and personal.

Maisie also tried to catch a couple flies that had the nerve to invade our space.

But mostly she just chilled out with us.

As always, Maisie thoroughly enjoyed her time with Chrissy.

And even did a happy treat necessary!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sick Puppy

Poor Miss Maisie is not feeling well today.

She was uncharacteristically sleepy this morning, which I attributed to last night's playdate with her friend Mister Peepers.  But when she didn't want to get out of bed for breakfast, I started to think something might be wrong.  She walked downstairs very slowly, refused her chicken flavored glucosamine chew and seemed reluctant to eat (but did).  Since she normally wolfs down her food as soon as I "free" her, this was highly suspicious behavior. Shortly after we returned from our morning walk, she vomited...and yes, cleaning up an entire meal's worth of regurgitated raw meat really is a lovely way to start one's day.

Off to the vet we went.  Maisie received subcutaneous fluids and shots of both Pepcid and an anti-nausea medication, while I received nothing but an invoice for $168.  We went to the office with a diagnosis of "possible flu bug" and Maisie slept the whole day.  I gave her just a bit of food and water about 45 minutes ago (yeah, I was supposed to wait 12 hours instead of 10...whatever) and she has managed to keep it down.  She actually still seems hungry.  As long as she doesn't get sick again, I can go about my weekend as planned...I almost never take her to daycare and later crate her within the same day, but of course Murphy's Law is in effect and that was the schedule for tomorrow due to me having an unusually busy day/night. Fingers crossed that Maisie is feeling the meantime, my sweet little baby is getting more much needed rest before we attempt dinner!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


When presented with a plush toy, Maisie will rip it apart.  She can eviscerate a tennis ball in record time.  When I discovered teeth marks on the corners of my coffee table, I realized that this is a dog who loves to chew.  Every so often, Maisie will gnaw on a toy made specifically for chewing.  But that's kind of a rarity.

Maisie has a sensitive little tummy, so while bully sticks and marrow bones are special treats, I needed a rawhide alternative that she could have on a daily basis.  I was thrilled to find something she really loves to chew that causes no intestinal distress...deer antlers!

These are actual antlers of a deer, which they apparently shed naturally and then regrow.  People collect the shed antlers, clean and cut them, then sell them as dog chews.  They have been a lifesaver for me and are a great energy outlet for Maisie, so I keep them everywhere.  At home, there's always an antler or two downstairs...
A couple more upstairs...

And yet another one at work.

I even began keeping one in the backseat of the car after Maisie chewed halfway through her leash one day while I was driving.  Though the antlers can be pricey, I came across the website for a local company called Grateful Shed (best name ever!) that sells three antlers for about the same cost as just one in most pet boutiques (but you have to call since they do not offer online ordering).  Sometimes Maisie seems to lose interest in a particular antler, but I discovered that if I scratch the end of it on the sidewalk or another cement-like surface for a minute or so, it becomes "refreshed" and usually makes her want it again. 

The antlers don't smell or stain or get slobbery like rawhide.  They withstand serious power chewing and last a long time.  Antlers not only preserve my shoes and furniture by giving Maisie an appropriate chewing device, they also help keep her teeth clean (especially important for a dog like Maisie who eats raw, wet food).  And they seem to make her pretty happy too!

Monday, April 4, 2011

I Got Got

This is not one of my typical "Maisie is so cute" posts.  This is unfortunately more of a "some days with Maisie are not good days" post.  As I've mentioned previously, Maisie is a dog with issues.  Though we've been through a lot of training together, a couple major problems persist.  First, she continues to go into full-on attack mode whenever anyone she doesn't know enters the office when she's at work with me.  And second, she is still terribly leash aggressive.  The latter is what led to a very bad situation this morning.

Maisie generally comes to work with me for the entire day on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  I take her for a walk before I get in the shower, then a second quick one right before we get in the car.  While on that second walk this morning, we encountered another dog who also appeared to have leash aggression.  He/she immediately began barking and lunging at Maisie, which made Maisie's aggression even worse than usual.  As I pulled her in the opposite direction of the other dog, I must have placed my arm in front of her face and the fact that she was insanely snapping at the enemy dog somehow resulted in her biting me.  HARD.  Even though she bit through my jacket, she still managed to break skin and cause a near-instant bruise.

I yelped in pain (and shock, really), but Maisie was too out of control and focused on what she perceived as the threat at hand to notice.  Within seconds, the other dog was gone and Maisie was back to her normal, mostly obedient self.  I put her in a "sit" and sat myself down on a stoop as I tried to process what had just occurred.

Because under normal circumstances Maisie is my little shadow and snuggle bug, I sometimes forget that she is above all, an animal...a creature who acts primarily on instinct.  That instinct can be somewhat amusing when she sees a squirrel or a bird she's convinced she can catch, but I also need to remember that at any moment, without warning, her instincts can turn dangerous.  And that's not a pit bull thing (though I'm sure many people would view it as such), it's a dog thing.

Within five minutes after arriving at the office, Maisie was relaxing in her bed as if nothing had happened.  In her mind, I'm sure that was the case.

I know Maisie did not mean to bite me.  I know she trusts and loves me and would never hurt me intentionally.  But I'll have a reminder for at least the next few days that I can never, ever let my guard down with her when other dogs are present.  Lesson learned.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ready for Her Close Up

When I was taking pictures of Maisie yesterday, I had the opportunity to get a few close up photos.  I am always touched by not just the different perspective they provide, but also the trust involved.  The bond between us is what allows me to be so very close to Maisie without her reacting at all (even when I have my pesky camera in hand).

It didn't hurt that she was sleepy after daycare (and getting acclimated to the new bed).

She's actually resting her snoot on my knee in this one.

And this may be one of my all-time favorite Maisie pics...she just seems so peaceful.  Also, it can be tricky trying to capture any expressiveness in her dark eyes (without getting the evil blue glow), but they look so bright and shiny here.

Although this post is 100% sincere, hope you have a happy and safe Happy April Fool's Day!  ;)