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Topics - Amy (guffer)

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Behavior, Housebreaking, Obedience / therapy visits: advice?
« on: May 07, 2009, 07:33:05 am »
So we've been taking Apollo and Zeus on therapy visits to the children's hospital every Friday for the last two months.  It took them a few visits to get used to the smells (food trays, trash cans, bedside commodes, etc.) but they're finally ignoring all that.  They love all the attention and seem to get a real kick out of it.  The only problem that we're having is we often can't get them to pay attention to the child in the bed (the ones that we're actually there for).

I think part of the problem is that it's a little crowded in the rooms, and they have a hard time squeezing in between IV poles and recliner chairs.  Usually they'll start going up to the bed, maybe sniff the kid's hand, then they back out and go to the other people in the room for snuggling.  I try to encourage them to stay up by the bed, but its not working.  I'm not allowed to use treats (per TDI rules).  I was thinking about using a squeaky toy, but Zeus and Apollo don't really like toys.  I'm at a loss for ideas.


I just bought a big bag of Canidae ALS and started to slowly introduce it.  We were switching because after a few months on the Blue, the dogs were still having soft stools, Apollo'a are actually very loose.  Anyway, I thought it was a good quality food, but my mom just sent me an e-mail about a class action lawsuit against Canidae.  Here's the link she sent:

Is anyone else feeding Canidae?  Now I don't know if I should give it a try, or attempt to get a refund and try a different brand all together.  Suggestions or advice?

Just wanted to share my pictures of the dog show last weekend with you all.  We had such a blast.  There we're so many BPs and all of the owners were so incredibly nice.  My favorites were the pyrs (of course), the malamute who crawled into my 9 year old's lap, the big ol' bullmastiff, the lab who played young Marley in the movie, and all of the therapy dogs from my hospital (Children's Hospital of Michigan).  I can't wait until next year when hubby and I get to bring Zeus and Apollo to the show to hang out with all of the other therapy dogs!  We were invited this year, but I didn't feel right since we haven't officially had a therapy visit yet.  But orientation at the hospital is next week!!!  Yeah!!! ;D  Anyway, I hope you enjoy the photos!

My mom just sent me this link and I had to share it with you all.  Reminds me of my yellow lab I had as a kid.

Anyone watch the Golden Globes last weekend?  I missed it 'cause I was working, but I just ran across this story about how Mickey Rourke thanked his dogs in his acceptance speech.  I used to like him back in his "Rumble Fish" days, but he sort of fell off the radar.  Now I might actually go see his new movie "The Wrestler."  Anyone who loves his dogs this much can't be too bad, right?  Here's the story:  I kinda like a big tough guy who isn't afraid to express his love of a little paw!  Too sweet! :)

Great Pyrenees Pictures / Holy Blizzard!
« on: January 10, 2009, 08:58:30 am »
It's coming down good here in SE Michigan.  I hear we're expecting about 7 inches.  How's it looking elsewhere?

Big Dogs with Jobs / Wish me luck today!
« on: January 07, 2009, 07:47:00 pm »
Hubby and I are taking Apollo and Zeus to the Children's Hospital for an interview today at noon.  They have their CGC and TDI certifications and this is the final step!  Basically we're just going to hang out in the lobby (during the busiest time of the day) and see how the dogs react to everyone.  The good news is that the lady who runs the pet therapy program is a nurse on my floor and she LOVES big dogs.  Her dog, Chief, was a huge golden retriever who logged over 700 hours visiting the children in his lifetime.  He unfortunately passed away last year, but I met him a few times and he was a wonderful boy. 

I have confidence in my boys that they are going to love greeting everyone.  I'm just nervous that they're still kinda puppyish.  I don't want them to get too excited by all the commotion.  I'm planning on trying to wear them out in the morning playing in the backyard.  The sidewalks are still too slippery for a good walk.  This is weird, too, but I've noticed that my attempts to expend as much energy as possible before training classes usually backfire, because they seem too tired to listen to me.  Does that make sense?  Any suggestions on keeping them at their best behavior would be appreciated!

Treatment & Preventative Meds / Dew claw nail ripped off!
« on: December 05, 2008, 02:41:58 am »
Yesterday, Apollo came inside with a bloody front paw.  He and Zeus were wrestling around and apparently managed to rip the dew claw nail off completely, leaving the quick exposed.  I'm attaching pictures, because I've never even heard of this happening before.  It looks clean and pink so far, so I'm not worried about infection yet, but it obviously bothers him a bit, since he's been licking it everytime he lays down.  Even Zeus was trying to lick it for him this morning.  (Such a thoughtful brother!)  Has anyone seen this happen before, and if so, should I be doing anything with it?  I'm pretty sure he'd never keep a bandage on it.  I just took some pictures....  What do you guys think?

I wish I had room for another one...  I wonder if he's from the same person that bred my boys...  That's a horrific thought.  Someone out there breeding these wonderful creatures and neglecting them until they run off...   :(  Anyway, here's the link:

Great Pyrenees Discussions / Check out these new Canine Good Citizens!!!
« on: October 30, 2008, 12:46:36 am »
Apollo and Zeus passed their CGC test last night!  I'm so proud of them both. ;D ;D ;D  Now we just have to take the Therapy Dog International test and they can finally volunteer at Children's Hospital of Michigan, where I work.  I'm so excited to share these guys with all the kids at the hospital!  I just can't believe how far they've come since last year!  I'm such a proud mama!   ;D ;D ;D

Great Pyrenees Pictures / Update on Zeus and Apollo (pictures!)
« on: August 07, 2008, 07:30:16 am »
Hi everyone!  I know I haven't posted anything in a while, but I still love this group and read everyone's posts often.  I've learned so much from you guys and I just really appreciate what a caring group of people BPO is.

Zeus and Apollo are doing excellent!  They are about 2 years old now and have really filled out.  Both are 100 lbs of fluffy, white sweetness.  They are currently in obedience class and we hope to get them certified for therapy work this year.  We've also started taking them to an indoor/outdoor dog park in Detroit and they just love socializing with all the dogs.  We also started taking bike rides with the dogs and now they run about 3-4 miles a day.  (Boy, does that make obedience class easier when they've had a nice long run just before! :D

I'm just amazed what a difference one year has made for these guys. When we got them in June of 2007, they were skinny, slightly nervous, very hyper and destructive, and occasionally aggressive with one another.  And now they're just the most wonderful companions I could've ever wished for.  And I thank you all for the advice and encouragement this BPO group gave me.  You guys helped make them the great dogs that they are now. 

I'm adding a link to some photobucket albums, one of the dog park they go to, and one of my family walking the Detroit riverfront with the dogs.  Hope you like it!

Helpful Groups & Dogs in Need / Newfie and pyr/collie? mix in Detroit
« on: April 23, 2008, 06:45:17 pm »
There's a really cute pair of dogs at Detroit Animal Control.  I'm attaching a links for their Petfinder pages.  If anyone's interested, I could pick them up!  They look so sweet!  The shelter's hoping they get adopted together because they're "brothers."  I wish I had the space. I'd sure love to have them!

Helpful Groups & Dogs in Need / Great Dane in Michigan pound
« on: March 31, 2008, 08:55:52 am »
I just saw this guy this morning and had to post his link here, in case anyone is looking for a beautiful Dane.  He must have just came in because I didn't see him there when I looked on their site Sunday.  This is the same shelter I got Zeus and Apollo from. The adoption fee is $35 but they don't provide any vet check or anything.  They told me last year that they don't put their dogs down much anymore unless they run out of space, or have a reason he can't be adopted out.  So I don't think he's in danger yet or anything.  But if someone's interested, I could put in a call.  Here's the link:

Group Discussions & Photos / New slideshow of the boys!
« on: March 24, 2008, 10:33:59 am »
Hi all!  I've been real busy lately with work and the skin kids.  Three of my four boys had birthdays this month!  I'm so partied out!!! ;D  Anyway, Zues and Apollo are doing great and I just wanted to post a little slideshow I made today.  I took a bunch of pictures of them playing at the tennis courts near my home.  We go there when the ground's too muddy and mushy for them to play in the yard.  They just love it there!  Well, you'll see by the smiles on their faces!  LOL!  Here's the link:   ;D

Treatment & Preventative Meds / Benadryl-Too drowsy?
« on: February 06, 2008, 07:48:38 pm »
Apollo has been itching alot for the last few days.  Itching everywhere.  Legs, belly, the pads of his feet...  His skin looks fine, no redness or flaky areas.  So anyway, I took him to the vet and he thinks it's probably allergies, so he recommended 75mg of Benadryl twice a day.  I'm also now giving him 3V Caps (Omega3 fatty acids and Vitamins A, D & E) in case the problem is wintery dry skin.  He hasn't had a bath since November, so it's not a shampoo thing.

Anyway, I was a little nervous about giving 75mg, because in people we dose 1mg per kg, and in dogs apparently it's 1mg per lb. which is double.  So I started him out on 50mg because I didn't want to stone him.  He still itched like crazy but was acting normal, good energy level.  Maybe a little more calm, but OK otherwise.  So after listening to him scratch all night again, I woke up and gave him the 75mg.  Now he's laying around and looks wiped out.  But he's not scratching as much!  :) 

Do you guys think this is okay?  Is there anything else I should be doing?    As far as allergies go, I haven't changed anything like his food or bedding or anything.  He does have an ear infection in his left ear, but he was itching before I started the ear drops for that.  I'm just at a loss right now.  Thanks for any advise!

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