Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Dog Day Afternoon

I am in that woozy stage of lack of sleep today. For the last three days (and nights) my older dog, Kate, as been going through a bad spell. She must have eaten something she shouldn't have and has been in severe discomfort. This means she was pacing around the house night and day trying to find a somewhere safe to lie down.

I finally had to set up the portable doggie playpen in the living room for her. I covered one end with a blanket to make it cave like and then put her dog bed under there. This seemed to help. Whenever she is in this state she stops eating food and drinking water. That meant I had to syringe at least 35 cc's of water down her throat every hour or two. She also needed to go outside (she thought) every three hours and it was easier for me to just put her out when she wanted to go. But when she gets like this, she stops noticing just where she is so I had to go outside with her to make sure she did not fall down the stairs.

Yesterday she started eating again and this morning she started drinking water on her own, so, although we are not out of the woods yet, the trees are thinning. She is still sleeping a lot today but when she does wake up her eyes are clear, which is a great relief. Still, I was worried about her and needed something to lift my spirits and, thankfully, my other dog Duke provided just the thing.

Since hunting is over for the season Duke has gone back to his old game of chasing squirrels out of his yard. Today a squirrel got into the platform bird feeder so Duke, knowing where his duty lies, started stalking him. He would carefully move only one leg whenever he took a step and he would pause at least five seconds between each step he took. I did not know a dog could move that slowly. At one point he thought the squirrel was looking at him so he froze with his right back foot off the ground. That caused his body to rock but, being a professional, he maintained his point.

When he decided he was close enough, he sprang, barking furiously, causing the squirrel to race to the top of the pole holding the feeder. Dog and squirrel stared at each other for a few seconds and then the squirrel made a mighty leap over Duke's head and raced toward the tree. Duke was right behind him and I swear close enough to grab him but instead he eased up and let the squirrel run up the trunk of the tree. I thought that was the end of it and went inside.

A few minutes later I heard Duke bark and looked outside. Duke was still under the tree but now he was in his play stance; bowing down with his butt and tail in the air and his front legs on the ground. He would bark a couple of times, stand up, spin around, drop back into the play stance, and bark again. I started laughing. This is why he did not really try and catch the squirrel, it's all a fun game to him and now he was inviting the squirrel to play some more. The squirrel, not understanding dog, did the smart thing and stayed up in the tree. Duke's antics were just what I needed. I feel much better and am even more confident that Kate will keep improving.

Aw, crap. Kate just threw up.

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