Puppy walking

An adventure in looking after a puppy until it is old enough to be properly trained as a guide dog for the blind.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Today we went to the vet so she could check out Rockwell's stinky ears. Now that I have decided to put him in the back seat when we're driving, he seems more settled. He can move from side to side and look out the windows back there, as well as glance through the windshield to see what's coming in that direction. I also don't have to struggle with him trying to climb into the driver's seat - not that he wants to drive, necessarily. I just think he is trying to see out of the left side of the car.

We're getting some of the tail end of that weather they've been getting on the Eastern seaboard of the U.S. and it poured while we drove to the CGDB. Miraculously, it let up as we got there and we didn't even get wet running into the building. We met another puppy waiting for the vet. Her name is Queenie and she is also a cross like Rockwell but turned out quite red in colour. As we waited while Queenie was being looked after, two kennel guys kept coming and going from our hallway. At first, Rockwell leaped up every time one appeared and strangled himself on his collar, causing my biceps to increase by another 1/4 inch. Eventually however, he settled and just sat as they went to and fro, as long as they didn't make eye contact with him of course. But, being kennel guys, they know better than that!

When it was our turn, I explained to the vet that I had been cleaning his ears for over a month and for the last two weeks or so with diluted vinegar. She approved of that because with a yeast infection, you want to acidify the environment to keep the yeast from growing. I explained how I had been cleaning with a cotton ball soaked in vinegar and she approved of that too, except for the fact that I wasn't getting deep enough. So she proceeded to show me how to clean with a Q-tip. Well. I have always been warned away from Q-tips by vets who don't trust lay folks with pointy objects. I was quite pleased that she felt confident enough in my abilities to give me this instruction. She also showed me how to work a cotton ball if I didn't feel right with the Q-tip.

All the while she was doing the cleaning and application of the anti-yeast meds, her assistant Rob stood there calmly holding Rockwell's nose. I'll try to get a photo of Peter holding Rockwell that way, because that is what is going to start happening tomorrow night for the next two weeks. I told Peter he would have to do the holding and he was okay with that. As a vet, she is so accustomed to handling dogs that they just become calm around her and don't fret about her poking in their ears. So I have to immediately develop that same calm (and so does Peter) and we will be able to handle Rockwell nicely for the duration of his ear cleaning and medication.

We also talked about how you can over-clean dogs' ears so that they become too sensitive and get worse. I used to do that with Uma's ears until I learned to leave them alone. So I'll do this stint for two weeks and hopefully Rockwell will not only be none-the-worse but better for the ordeal.


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