Saturday, January 22, 2011

Introducing Will

We have a new foster puppy in our midst. This is Willie Wonka, but we're calling him will for short (We decided against calling him Willlie for obvious reasons). He is a 13 year old standard long hair (And I mean standard. He's about 25 pounds. He makes Gauis look pretty measly)

Will came to us in pretty horrible condition. He needed a dental very badly. And on Thursday had 7 teeth pulled including his two top canines. Habitual chronic ear infections have left him almost completely deaf. His nails were so over grown that several of them had looped back around and were cutting into his pads leaving painful sores. He had whip worms (thank g-d no heart worm), and his skin is a mess, itchy and flaky with patches of hair missing, which is such a shame considering he is obviously a really pretty dog. His eyes are cloudy and I'm not 100% sure how well he sees. I'm also guess he may have a slipped disk, as he has that sort of drunken sailor walk some dachshunds get when they have minor spinal injuries. Though he doesn't seem to be in much back pain. We've been carrying him up and down stairs right now. And he could go to lose a couple of pounds. And on top of all of that he was nuetered on Thursday!

That's a lot for a thirteen year old dog to handle! Let me tell you, he came with a whole pharmacy. We're at about seven pills a day with ear cleaning twice a day and topical antibiotics. He could really go for a bath too but with the neuter we'll wait till Sunday.

And through it all, Will has been nothing but a champ. Sweetest dog you could ask for. Never growls or shows any signs of aggression despite his obvious discomfort. Just wants to be held. He gets along with Gracie and Gauis (Cat and dog friendly). He has lovely leash manners. Just a total doll baby.

He could use a brush up on his potty training (my carpeat has taken it's first casuility since moving -sigh-). But with all the medication he's on and the neuter it might not be his fault. I'm going to wait till he's off drugs to really officially declare him un-potty trained (Which would really reduce his chances of being adopted).

The owners surrender form had financial reasons listed for giving him up. She apparently just couldn't afford to feed him any longer. That's the only thing I can think of that she could have possibly been spending money on. She certainly wasn't spending any on medical care. The vet she listed had never heard of her or Will which suggests he may have gone his whole life without veterinary care.

But in the end she did the right thing and now he's in more capable hands. We'll get him in tip top shape and hopefully find him a home. Let's just keep the other two animals she still owns in our hearts and hope she is keeping them in better condition.

So here's a question for the audience. Anyone have any ideas how I can clicker train a deaf dog? Is there a hand signal I can use to mark correct behaviors?


Chelsea and Wilson said...

Sorry no hints for training a deaf dog here =( but he is a great looking dog. Its been so long since I have even heard or seen anyone with a standard doxie, once he is all better I'm sure someone will want him.

Sandra said...

He looks like a sweet heart. Not totally sure on the deaf dog training, but I would guess it is going to be all hand signals and body language with Will. Hope he gets through all his medical issues.

flash, alven and dottie

p.s. Alven sends a fellow standard doxie a shout out.

Sophie said...

Hey, just started following you. Gaius is such a cool Daschund! :)

I just wanted to chip in and say I've heard of using a laser light pen to mark correct behaviour: e.g. flashing the light once on the ground in front of the dog. Good luck.

Elizabeth said...

Wow that's a really neat idea Sophie! I'll have to do it without Gauis in the room as he's a bit nuts for lazer pointers, but I love it.

Sophie said...

If Will has trouble with the laser pen, you could instead try a strangely coloured flashlight (for a stronger, brighter beam)--like a blue-light flashlight, something you won't be using in general life.

Also, if the light appearing suddenly on the floor beside Will is alarming, you might want to try showing him your palm and flashing the light on it. That way, you still get the 'click' marker, but without alarming him at the sudden light bursting next to him.

Cynthia said...

I know this is late, but go for the light or a buzzer ... My dad is deaf and he can detect vibration really well. Piper, my partially deaf dachsie, also does real well with the motion of a finger snap as her "click." Because I tend to sign unconsciously due to my dad, both my dachsies respond to sign language -- sit, flat, roll, wait, stop, go, finger/target touch. One way I really got my dogs to focus on my hands and face was to always treat them "from my mouth" -- the treat seems to come out of my mouth to give them -- just a little sleight of hand, or you can "spit" a treat like a peanut or something.