OK, I know it’s been weeks since I’ve updated things here! I wish I could say that things have been vastly improved with Lady, but it has still been quite a slow process.
Her cough and itching have been greatly improved while on the steroid, but as soon as I tapered her down too far, they both started coming back. So I called the vet and got another bottle. I’m not starting her back on the high dose though–just 1/2 to 1 tablet once a day, and it’s definitely helping.
Her fur is growing too-slowly but surely! In fact, I even trimmed her butt fluffs a few weeks ago because I figured it was less fur to soak up her pee when she piddles in her crate and then lays in it! So as you might have guessed, potty training is still a bit of a challenge.
We had great success with crate training Murphy when he was a puppy. Dogs have a tendency to NOT want to soil in their living space. But for a mill dog–that’s all they’ve known! When you’ve lived your whole life in a cage or other small area, you don’t have much choice but to lay in your messes. So unfortunately, that’s what she does. The past week has been better, but for awhile there it was an every day thing. The ASPCA has a good article on rehabbing mill dogs, and includes information on potty training. It points out that it’s no different than potty training a young child, really. A baby spends its first two years going potty in its diaper, and then at some point we train them NOT to do that. Same thing with a mill dog–they spend a good chunk of their life making a mess in their living space, and we need to patiently teach them that life is much more pleasant when their fur isn’t caked with poop and reeking of pee.
Other than that, we’re definitely seeing some tiny bits of progress. Not to mention cuteness! 🙂 John snapped this picture of her one night while she was sound asleep in her crate–
Another little surprise actually happened this morning. I was making breakfast for the dogs, and Lady was doing her usual romping back and forth in front of her crate to see if I was bringing her food yet. This in itself is hilarious to watch. The entire rest of the day, this dog is a virtual couch-potato. But the minute I take her dish into the kitchen, her ears perk up and she bounces out of her crate to pace around the dining room until I bring her food. So this morning I was spoiling the dogs by making some scrambled eggs to put in their food, and I guess I was taking too long! She scampered back and forth, pausing to peek around the corner to see if I was coming yet. I stopped and said, “Lady, do you want your breakfast?!” She looked right at me and let out the cutest little bark! It’s only the third time we’ve heard her bark at all in the three months we’ve had her, and the first time she barked in a communicative way. Shailee pointed out the irony of the whole situation….we’re always trying to get Murphy to shut up, but we get all excited when Lady barks. I guess it’s all relative, eh?