I wanted to give you a few quick updates on the pups. First, Hush is in season. This is her first heat cycle, and so far we’re doing well. She went into season on Monday, May 16, 2011 (putting that on the blog, as I’m sure I’ll have to refer back to it at some point!). I had a feeling this was approaching, I’ve blogged about it in the past, but last week there were more and more symptoms. First, when grooming her she transformed from sweet puppy into common street walker when the high powered dog dryer came near her tail. Second, while drying her after her bath I noticed a smell – not an infection smell, or a dirty smell, just a distinct musky odor. So, it was no surprise on Monday when I saw some blood on her fur. All of the signs are there – bleeding, swollen vulva, enlarged nipples, change in personality, interest in other dogs, etc. Now, I have the joyous task of keeping her away from males for the next 4 weeks, and making sure she doesn’t leave blood on my white carpeting. Did you know that even neutered males still try to mate females when they are in heat? I didn’t. They can even get tied like an intact male would during breeding, crazy, isn’t it? So, it’s just us girls for the next month. Mind you, since males can smell her from up to 6 miles away, we have to be insanely careful in everything we do. To be extra safe, I keep a diaper on her when outdoors. And of course, she is always on a leash.
Milly is scheduled for her semi-annual senior exam today. I always get a little nervous, since the later years in life are so critical for preventative care. Milly is 11ish, and it might be time to make her 12, and in great health and extremely fit and active. But, I won’t feel at ease until all of her blood panels come back after today’s exam. I worry. I noticed what I think might be tape worms in both dogs’ stools two weeks ago, and so we’ll also be doing stool samples on them. Neither dog has fleas, but they did get into a few dead animals, which is another way to contract tape worms. I am confident in the ophthalmologist I have been using with Hush, but because the specialist is out of town, I’m going to let my general vet take a look at Hush’s eyes to see if we can put her on something until our next ophthalmologist appointment.
Finally, this weekend I will be going to the dog shows in Manassas, VA to watch. While there, I will be meeting with a very well-known dog show handler to discuss Hush. I have decided, while I do want to do some showing with her myself, I feel I need to improve more in my handling abilities before taking her in the ring. I want her first few times to be very positive, and a professional can guarantee that. He will be doing an informal evaluation of Hush, and if he deems her show quality, which we know she is, we’ll then discuss a schedule. Because of her age, she isn’t likely to win that much at this point in the game, so we will be very selective in what shows we enter her in. This handler lives about 2.5 hours from me, so relatively close, and Hush will be boarded with him and his wife (also a well-known handler) leading up to any shows for training and conditioning.