Received a lovely update for Tucker the middle of January from Lisa. Tucker is from Casper and Blottie's litter of nine little Blenheim pups born March 2019.
How are you? I hope you and your family are doing well and enjoyed the holidays together.
Thank you so much for continuing with the blog. I still check it at least once a day and love the updates, and more recently seeing the photos and videos of Blottie and Ernest's pups. They are definitely at Maximus Cutieness.
Tucker has been well and is such a lovely pup. He’s been looking after us with plenty of cuddles. In May, we moved to a house not far from where our flat was and Tucker has his own garden now, which he likes to watch over from his bed by the patio doors. When the weather was warmer, he often sunned himself on the deck.
The first lockdown was a bit tough on him because his daycare closed temporarily. We took him on long walks each day, but it was hard to find dogs for him to socialise with regularly and he definitely missed his pack at daycare. Luckily, since June, daycare has been open most of the time. He has such a good time there.
It's been wonderful going on longer walks with Tucker, about 6-12km long. He's better at pacing himself than when he was younger. He still climbs up steep embankments and can jump to an impressive height. It’s quite a sight when he chases after a squirrel and flies over obstacles. His weight is a steady 11.6kg now.
His training is going well, and he more frequently offers good behaviours contextually. For example, if I stop for a bit when out on a walk, he'll come back to me and sit.
The main thing that needs more practice is him being comfortable on his own at home. With the Covid restrictions, at least one of us is always at home. After a break, Tom and I have started just short walks down the road most evenings to try to build this up. Tucker sits looking out of the window for us but thankfully doesn’t seem as tense as he used to when we tried this when he was younger.
A thing I’ve been meaning to ask your advice on... Tucker is still occasionally keen on digging into and then eating/chewing what looks like mud to us, but for all we know has the tastiest morsels of something or another in it. I redirect him if I see him doing this on a walk, but I don't always get to him as quickly or effectively when he does it in the garden (his listening skills are distinctly less good when in his territory). Any advice or thoughts you have on this would be most welcome. He doesn't seem to suffer any ill effects from it generally, though it's possible that this is how he had a run-in with giardia.
About which, our vet said she'd seen increasing amounts of giardia lately in the area and that he could have picked it up from anything, e.g. licking a contaminated puddle / bit of ground. This was in October. It was so sad for about a week. Tucker needed to go out a few times overnight even and would strain to poo. When he did manage to poo, it was very liquidy, and had that distinct 'cow pat' look, and an awful smell, that I now know is a sign of giardia. He was definitely feeling a bit understandably sorry for himself. We had it diagnosed by providing a fecal sample to the vet and repeated the test a week or so after treatment to make sure he'd cleared it, which he had.
Also had a brief run-in with cherry eye. One day his daycare got in touch and sent a photo of his eye (attached to this email). I knew it was cherry eye having read about it on your blog - thank you for writing about it and thanks to Caroline, who has Tucker's brother Alfie who had it, for sharing her experience.
By the time I'd picked Tucker up a short while later, to take him to the vet, it had resolved itself, i.e. popped back in. The vet examined his eye the same day anyway, using some dye, and gave us some goo to use, just in case it was infected. Since then, it hasn't happened again, so fingers crossed it was just a bit of bad luck, maybe a mild infection or something in his eye so he rubbed it too hard causing the flip.
Over time, Tucker has become even more of a lapdog and better at asking politely for a lap. When Tom and I are each at a desk and Tucker wants a cuddle, he'll come up to your chair, do a good-boy sit, look at you with puppy eyes and gently paw at you to ask for a lap. He is also a lot better at not moving around so much if we let him on the bed in the morning. He particularly loves it if we let him under the duvet - he'll snuggle right next to you and rest his chin on your shoulder.
Thank you again for giving Tucker such a wonderful start and letting us give him a home. He's such a lovely boy.
Apologise for not replying sooner. Good to hear from you and to hear about how things are going with Tucker. Giardia can be picked up anywhere and it is a good idea to be dosing a dog with fenbendazole from time to time.
I suspect the upsurge in the vet seeing giardia is probably weather, as we had a mild 2020. They love warm puddles and so do dogs. We rarely see a flea on our dogs, but last year we just kept seeing them on the dogs, more than I like to see them and fumigated our home twice, whilst regularly treating the dogs and flea combing them. I spoke with the vet and was told it had been a year for lots more fleas about and just keep doing what we were doing.
As for the mud eating, our dogs do this from time to time. It can be stress, they smell something tasty in the soil or nutrition. Our dogs also love getting in where the lawn clippings are and digging the top layer off to eat what is basically silage and it does not seem to do them any harm, except you don't want them to lick your face after eating it. It does give them nice very dark tight stools. I think it most probably is nutrition. I don't think it means your dog's diet is lacking what they need. I think they know stuff we don't know and the consummate scavengers they are are just not letting good mud go to waste . As for eating grass that is silage, grass silage can be 16% crude protein or over.
I would hope that the cherry eye was a one off. Caroline who has Alfie considers it was him being such a ruffin, as he was a bit of a boisterous player as a puppy. They can often pop them out if playing roughly with another or bumping into something. Thankfully it popped back in and fingers crossed it stays there.
Blottie's pups all have a very loving vibe about them and great to hear that Tucker is a loving boy. The paw thing is very much like his Brittany Granddad Henry. Henry can be very persistent in the pawing you department when he wants a smooth. Henry enjoys having a front leg smoothed if pawing you for attention.
Thanks for the photos and videos, also keeping me updated on Tucker.
Love from us all at Poundlane
Look after yourselves and give Tucker a big hug from me.
Active, sporting, sound little spaniels
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