It's the middle of the week, and it's been a few days since the last post. So here is an update on how everything is going. It's been almost a week since the cones came off, and Miss S and Mr. M's ears are healing nicely. The adhesive is mostly off- with the exception of a few spots that don't seem to want to come off yet. They are doing well and terrorizing the big puppies again like normal. They are finally getting big enough to almost keep up with Miss B and Mr. C in the yard when they are playing at normal speed. They can't keep up with them when they do their turbo charged zoomies around the yard yet, but that understandable- you almost need instant replay with slow motion to catch in action when they go into turbo mode.
Mr. M discovered that he can bark back and forth with the dog in the yard behind ours and runs to the fence whenever the other dog is out in the yard. We are glad that he likes other dogs but are glad that there is a fence because I don't think the other dog could handle rough play. He's big and tough behind the fence and talks smack to Mr. C and Miss B, but I'm pretty sure the littles already outweigh him...Miss S doesn't bark at him but is very interested in what he and his little buddies are doing on the other side of the fence.
We are constantly reminded of how observant Miss B and Mr. C are. They like the neighbors beside us (the lady looks a lot like Grandma) and know what their cars look like. In the picture below, Miss B is watching as one of them pulls up. Whenever they have company over and there are different cars in the driveway, they get very concerned and head directly for that side of the yard to make sure everything is OK. They do the same thing when we rearrange the pillows on the couch or put something there that isn't usually there. They have to smell it and make sure it's supposed to be there.
The puppy shots are finally over! We have been getting puppy shots off and on for the past 4 and 1/2 months. So now, we are finally finished with all of that. The vet visit was rather uneventful. The littles got their microchips while we were there. With the older two, we had the vet put in the microchips when they were getting spayed/neutered, so we didn't see the size of the needle, and they didn't feel it at all because he did it while they were already asleep for their surgeries. Had we realized how huge the needles are that put the chips in, we might have waited until the littles were getting spayed and neutered to put theirs in as well. They didn't flinch when he gave them their shots, but they yelped and squirmed when he was putting the chip in. The insertion site was even a little bloody- the vet had to put a little glue on both of them to stop the bleeding. But now at least that's over with, and they even have the bling to show for it.
After the vet, we stopped by Grandma and Grandpa's for a visit- and to invade their kitchen to see if the treats there were any different than the treats at home. Grandma had peanut butter and muffins! What happens at Grandma's stays at Grandma's.
It was a busy day.
Sound the trumpets! Bring out the DJ! The cones are off!!
We were supposed to keep the cones on until next Tuesday, but yesterday when we were putting the cream on their ears, we noticed that both of the littles had red, irrated skin under the edge of their cones where the cones were rubbing them raw under their chins. They have grown quite a bit in the nearly three weeks since we had their ears done, and I think they simply outgrew their cones. We took the cones off to see if we could adjust them and to put A&D ointment on their poor little necks, and called the vet. He gave us the go ahead to take the cones off. He told us that the ears were most likely finished and set already but to just keep an eye on it. The basic idea was that if they took the tape off that was fine but otherwise try to keep it on until Tuesday.
Mr. M's tape had been loose on one ear for a few days already anyway. We had used the little tape in our camping first aid kit to keep it in place. So within a few minutes of having the cones off, the tape on his left ear was pulled off the rest of the way- it was a joint effort between the two of them.
Miss S and Mr. M were soooo happy to have the cones off! She immediately started rolling around on the floor making the funniest noises ever while we took his cone off. As soon as his was off, he started scratching at the tape that was still on at that point. Then the two of them looked like they had gotten a turbo boost. They ran circles around the dining room table at top speed- happy to be able to run without bumping things with the cones. They both drank out of the water dish at the same time, and then wrestled with each other, chewing each other's collars and chasing each other around. We were a little cautious about bringing the big puppies out at first. We were afraid they would mess with the ears too much or try to chew on them. We let Mr. C out first because he is calmer than Miss B. He went straight over to them- he had a serious look of concern on his face. He smelled their ears and then smelled the other end. He didn't try to lick the ears at all. After that went so well, we let Miss B out, and she did the same thing.
Once the tape was off of Mr. M's ears, Mr. C and Miss S both tried to lick his ears where there was still adhesive stuck to the fur. Google says that we should try olive oil or peanut butter to loosen the adhesive. Seeing as how all four of them go nuts when there's peanut butter around, I think it may be safer to try the olive oil first. I will post an update on how that goes.
So far, Mr. M's ears are looking good. They are standing up nicely and he hasn't been scratching at the adhesive. Mr. M sat very still and let Mr. C lick his ears for quite a while this morning. He seems to have gotten some of the adhesive off, but we will still try the olive oil thing too. Miss S's tape seems to be holiding really well, so we don't want to mess with it, but I will be glad when we can take that off too.
UPDATE: Miss S's tape on one side was a little loose, and we were worried about the plastic form being pushed into her ear during playtime without the cone to deflect the other puppies. So we used a little bit of olive oil and gently took hers off as well. There was still quite a bit of adhesive left, but it was easier to take off with the olive oil on the tape.
Mr. M and Miss S are on the mend, and the countdown is on until we can take off the bandages and the cones of shame. We cannot wait for those cones to come off! Miss B and Mr. C are getting more and more attached to the littles every day. They have even started napping cuddled up with them- which is something I have secretly been hoping for since we brought them home. I decided to use this waiting time to post a public service announcement of sorts about owning pitbulls.
The pitbull parents out there know (and can tell non pitbull parents) that pitbulls are not the mindless killing machines that the media paints them to be. I was surfing Google one day and read that you are more likely to be killed by a shark than you are a pitbull, and I believe it. But the truth of the matter is that a great many normally logical people believe the hype in the media. Of course, I am not sure why we believe much of anything in the media these days, but that is an entirely different post topic. The point is that there are people out there who are just looking for an excuse to rid the world of pitbulls if you give them the chance.
Having a pitbull is not like having other dogs- not because pitbulls are that much different than other dogs- but because they are easy targets. Being a pitbull parent is a serious role that shouldn't be taken lightly. You are responsible for your dog in ways that others don't have to be. Not only do you have to watch out for the usual things, like making sure they don't eat anything that is bad for them or swallowing something that could get stuck, you also have to worry about them being targeted by viscious people.
If a different kind of dog barks and wags its tail, most people will assume that it is friendly and wants to play. If a pitbull barks while wagging its tail in front of the wrong person, the person could overreact and think the dog wants to eat them, resulting horrible consequences for the dog. This was exactly what happened in this example. (Warning, the video is disturbing).
People who don't have pitbulls won't understand their activity level or their play style. A coworker of mine recently told me about her friend who was fostering a pitbull lab mix puppy. The foster mom took the pitbull to a dog park (mistake #1) and let it play off leash (mistake #2). She watched calmly as the puppy who was less than a year old, went up to another dog and started playing tug with the other dog's toy (mistake #3). The owner of the other dog freaked out and reached down between the two dogs to pull the toy out of the mouth of a dog she didn't know (which is totally stupid on her part). In the confusion, the pitbull mouthed the lady's hand after mistaking it for the toy. She didn't break the skin and released as soon as she realized it was the lady and not the toy. The lady didn't like pitbulls and called animal control to have the dog confiscated, quaranteened and tested for rabies. This is mostly likely a death sentence for the pitbull based on the Houston SPCA's anti-pitbull policies.
The foster mom wasn't bothered at all and was immediately given a different kind of dog to foster.
The point here is that if anything negative happens, your pitbull is likely to be blamed even if he didn't start it or do anything to contribute.
It is your responsibility as a pitbull parent to put your pitbull is situations where he or she can succeed and keep them away from situations where they could fail.
If you know you dog doesn't like kids, don't take him to a playground. If she doesn't like loud noises, don't take her to a fireworks show or parade. You know your dog better than anyone else, and you should have an idea of what he or she can handle.
NEVER let them run off leash in a public area, and if possible, avoid taking them to dog parks. There are a lot of strange people at dog parks. Plus, you don't know how healthy the other dogs are. They could have worms or illnesses that your well cared for dog could catch.
Becoming a pitbull parent is not something that should be taken lightly. Most of the time pitbulls need protection from humans way more than humans need from them, and it is your job to make sure that they get that protection.
Pitbulls are amazing dogs. As a pitbull owner, you have the chance to show the world how wonderful they are, but only if you put them in situations they can handle. Know your dog's strengths and use them to let him or her shine.
After a busy day yesterday, we took the opportunity this afternoon to work in the yard. There were some tree limbs that had grown long enough to rub against the edge of the roof, so the puppies volunteered to help Dad trim them. They had never seen Dad on the roof before, and Miss B barked nonstop at him until he was finished. Miss S took cover in Mom's lap while all of the branches were falling. Once they were all on the ground, the puppies did their best to drag them around and pull some of the leaves off.
The dogs in the yard behind ours are interested in our puppies. The male is not friendly toward small animals, and I am convinced that if he weren't so small himself, he would attack our littles if he could. He used to stalk Miss B from the other side of the fence too- crouching low and then charging the fence. Eventually he gave up and now just runs back and forth along the length of the fence with Miss B and Mr. C when they pay attention to him.
After that much excitement in the yard, there was only one thing to do... All four of the puppies helped Mom make dog cookies in the kitchen. Mostly, they just kept her company hoping random goodies would make their way down to them from the counter. Afterwards, Mr. C and Miss S acted as the official testers before Miss B and Mr. M realized that the treats were ready.
The littles were supposed to have their stitches removed tomorrow, but we finished all of our Saturday errands early and decided to take them in today instead. As luck would have it, there was another dog about their same size having his stitches removed as well. We got to talking with his person, and his person said Mr. M looked familiar and asked us where we got Mr. M and Miss S. As it turns out, the other cute little puppy (Mr. B) was their littermate! He had opted to have his ears cropped as well but like us, had wanted to make sure that he took him to an actual vet. We couldn't let them play because our puppies aren't quite finished with their puppy shots, but Mr. M was very interested in him and was wagging his tail. Miss S was already in the back getting her stitches out and didn't get to see Mr. B. We were relieved to see that his cone of shame is flower shaped now too. So our puppies are not the only ones who are hard on their cones! Mr. B has a human baby to play with, and we were very glad to hear that he watches out for his two-legged baby, even checking on him when he cries.
Hopefully as they get bigger, we can get together with Mr. B and his family to let the puppies play. Mr. B's parents were telling us that he had had the same worm problem our two had in the beginning. His mom told us that he is a big fan of nibbling on sandals and toes- just like our two.
We were glad that we decided to take them in today. If we had waited until tomorrow, we wouldn't have met Mr.B and his people.
On a side note, it's funny how when you have dogs and meet other people with dogs, you forget to ask the people their names. We only know the puppy's name, so we only know the people as Mr. B's people.
So lately, we've just been hanging out at home, waiting for the cones to come off. The littles get their stitches out this weekend; then we just have to wait a little bit longer. We are definitely ready for these stupid cones to come off. I mean seriously, they are at that stage where you just want to play with them and kiss them on their cute little heads, but we can't because the cones are in the way!! I get that they are necessary, but enough already!
In the meantime, they have been growing and playing. We have been starting to work with the little ones on their leashes. They are so used to following us around, that so far they just walk with us wherever we go without noticing that the leash is there. Hopefully we can keep this up. It's so much more enjoyable when they don't pull on the leash! Miss B and Mr. C aren't quite there yet, but I kind of think it was harder with them because they were older when we got them. Plus Miss B's hyper and gets distracted easily.
Here are some random cute pictures from the yard.
We've decided that Mr. C missed his calling in life. With his gracefulness, he should have been a ballerina puppy. (That was sarcastic of course). After bringing the littles home, Mom worried about them falling off of the bed. Even though none of the dogs sleep in the bed, occasionally we bring them onto the bed for a few minutes just to snuggle before sending them to their own beds. For about the first month that we had them home, Mom would wake up every night worried that we had forgotten to put them in their kennel and afraid that they had fallen off the bed- especially Mr. M since he was the smallest. She would pat around the bed in the dark trying to feel for the puppies, and Dad would ask what she was doing and then reassure her that they were safely asleep in their kennel.
In reality, Mom should have been more worried about Mr. C (currently the biggest of the puppies at 53 pounds). As it turns out, he is not in the least bit graceful, and to make matters worse, he likes to roll over on his back to sleep. Last weekend, Mr. C and the two littles were resting cozily on the bed- Miss B had decided that there were just way too many puppies on the bed and had gone back to her fleece pillow to stretch out by herself. Mr. C was laying precariously close (and parallel) to the edge of the bed. All of a sudden there was a loud BANG! CRASH! and just like that, Mr. C was no longer on the bed. Apparently, he had rolled over onto his back but ran out of bed and rolled off onto the floor. Oh the humanity! He snorted and walked over to nurse his bruised ego on his fleece pillow next to Miss B's. Miss S was extremely concerned about all of this and ran over to Mom for safety. She had a hard time falling back to sleep after that. Mr. M just looked up and then rolled back onto his back next to Mom's legs.
The worst part is that this is not the first time he's rolled off the bed. He fell off once before when the littles had been with us for about two weeks! So graceful and dignified!
In other news, we got a box. As it turns out, the box was more interesting to the puppies than the dog food that came in it.
Apparently, the cones of shame are supposed to last for at leat 10-14 days until the littles have their stitches removed. We are only 5 days in, and already the cones look like they've been run over by a monster truck. Mr. M somehow removed the staple in the top part of his. They are no longer cone shaped but rather resemble a translucent flower. The vet said to let them play with each other and take them outside to play for a little while each day. They stay inside almost all of the time (hence the newspapers in all of the pictures) in an attempt to keep the cones clean, but even from the few minutes of supervised play in the yard, they have dirt down in the adjustable notches. It is wedged in between the pieces of plastic, and I can't seem to get it clean.
I think the vet underestimated just how active these two are. Add to that two very rambunctious and curious older siblings, and I'm not sure the cones stand a chance. We were going to take them in at 14 days to have the stitches removed but may end up taking them at 10 or 11 days just so that we can get new cones.
Thankfully, the littles are doing better than their cones. They have been flying around the house at top speed, chewing on Mr. C and Miss B and eating whatever they can con us into giving them. All four of them love when it's time to put the antibiotics on their ears because it means that the peanut butter jar comes out. They sit really still for us as long as we keep the peanut butter coming.
I am constantly reminded how resilient pitbulls are. It was only three days ago that the littles had their ears cropped, but aside from an occasional attempt at scratching their cones of shame to get to their ears, you wouldn't even know anything happened. The evening after their surgeries, they had fairly loose bowels and pooped a lot. Our entire floor looked like we lived in a print shop because we plastered almost all of it in newspaper. I thought that they probably wouldn't really like us anymore for taking off part of their ears. If I were a dog, I don't think I would like my owner anymore if they did that to me, but the littles still go crazy and give me kisses all over my face when I come home from work.
I thought that the cones would slow them down a little, but they are as fast as ever and have been jumping like crazy- jumping when they hear the treat bag, jumping trying to get on the furniture and even jumping on the big puppies. I thought that their appetites might be affected by the pain medicine or the anesthesia, but I was wrong on that count too. They are eating as much as ever. The only difference is that we have to tilt the bowl a little so that they can eat the last little bit because the cones get in the way.
I thought that Miss B and Mr. C wouldn't care if the littles were there or not, but last night, I had them on the bed with me while I was doing some work on the computer while the littles slept in their room (aka the guest bathroom with plenty of space for their bed and a tile floor that is easy to clean up in case of accidents). Mr. C was super restless. He kept looking around the bed, under the covers, under my lap desk, and he kept making a little quiet wimper. I couldn't figure out what was wrong at first. Finally, I asked them if they were looking for Miss S and Mr. M. Instantly, they began wagging their tails. So I went and got the littles and put them up on the bed with us. Mr. C and Miss B calmed down right away and went to sleep. They actually like the littles. They haven't even tried messing with their ears too much. They smell their cones and kind of check things out, but then they back off right away.
I was worried when we first brought them back from getting their ears done that I wouldn't be able to get them to hold still long enough to put the anitbiotic drops on or masage the antibiotic gel onto the bottoms of their ears. As it turns out, as long as we keep the peanut butter coming, they don't mind at all.
Pitbulls are amazing at not showing it when they are in pain. I know their ears must hurt, but there is absolutely no difference in their mood or behavior. The more time I spend with these four dogs, the more I realize that I don't think I will ever be interested in a non-pitbull again. Other breeds are ok too, but pitbulls are where it's at in my book.
First time pitbull owners who found two pitbull puppies abandoned on the side of the road and decided to adopt them...And then loved them so much, they decided to get two wonderful mastiffs.