Wednesday, April 13, 2016

In Which I Have Two Dogs During The Year

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while or if you are new and checked my about page, you may know already that I have two cats (Manta and Berlioz) and one dog, Kenji. So you may be wondering what is this nonsense of me having two dogs during the year.
Well, let me elaborate, maybe some other doggie owners can relate, and maybe this post could be helpful to others to understand your furry companion better.
Some facts about Kenji, he’s 6yo, he’s a libra, born on October 4th 2009, and he’s been with me since November 15th 2009. He’s a mix breed, Shihtzu with Lhasa Apso, but for short I say he’s shihtzu since his features are more shihtzu than lhasa.
This is how he should look

But he’s a rebellious boy, and he loves to move his head until he get the look on pictures below.
Kenji is a very, very pamper boy, he doesn’t like to go out for walks, in fact in the rare occasions I took him for a walk I ended carrying him on my arms after just a few steps.

He sleep in bed, my bed, not any dog’s bed. He refuses to eat on the floor, seriously, so instead we put his little bowl between my mom and myself in bed while we are watching tv and we must pay him all the attention that he wants, if we get distracted he barks at us, and leaves the bed, so we must talk to him put our fingers in his bowl so he grunt to us and eats, he loves to play!

Actually he never, ever eats without a toy on the bed, and he has lots of toys. He loves to welcome mom (his granny) and barks and plays and runs around the house, lick her and search her handbag for bread, he loves bread! When she bakes, he’s the one to let us know that the bread is ready and demands a good piece for himself.

He’s a happy dog, until spring and summer time comes.
Living in Sunny Hell (Veracruz), Mexico, spring and summer are extremely hot, usually I joke with my friends saying that the Winchester brothers must left open once more the gates to hell, because it’s hot, really hot!

So when spring starts I take my sweet boy to the vet and they groom him and cut his fur super short, is not like I never cut his fur during the less hot months, I trim it, but not that short, so of course when this period came is chaos for Kenji.

The first day is the worst! He’s so uncomfortable that he makes a pillow fort and hide his head because he’s so ashamed, he wants me to put him t-shirts and he has nightmares during his sleep, even when the vet treat him nice and they are very careful with him.
The next days he’s really, really sad, he looks at you with those beautiful brown eyes full of sadness that breaks your heart, and for a week, the barking is gone, completely gone.
Instead of that sparkly, full of energy and fun boy, I have the shaker, the fragil, the saddest doggy on earth.

He refuses to eat unless you talk to him tenderly and hug him, you have to give him lots of hugs and kisses, in fact on those first days, we turn on the AC and I sleep with my mom, he loves that because he sleeps in the middle of us, I guess he feels more protected that way.
It takes time, and a lot of patience and love until he “smiles” again, and is the same playful boy as usual, but during that period it seriously broke my heart how fragile he looks, how sad he is, and even makes me regret my decision of taking him for the groom.

I know is necessary, because he could suffer a heat stroke, even when I left a fan turn on for him during the day, all the windows open and enough water while I go to work, but Shih tzu breed can suffer breathing difficulties, for their flat face and short nose.  So between a heat stroke or a depressed dog, I choose the second one, taking the necessary cares.

If your dog is like mine, here’s some of the things that help him to overcome his fur trauma.

1. During this time I control my temper more than ever. It’s not that I’m a violent person, not at all, but like usual, when something felt or I hit my foot with the bed, is normal that people curse, and their voice obviously changes, so I keep this in mind and try not to curse at all or raise my voice, because he tend to take everything personal since he’s more sensible, and thinks it’s his fault.

2. Once per week I treat him with a tiny piece of bread, because he loves bread, nothing sweet or with lots of sugar, he loves crunchy and regular toast.

3. Extra hugs and extra kisses always are welcome

4. A variety of fresh t-shirts helps a lot because he doesn’t feel comfortable without them

5. Coconut oil for his fur the first days helps a lot with the scratching

6. Baby wipes are life savers to keep the fur and face clean

7. Patience, lots of patience, is normal that they from time to time have accidents, for example he runs to bed and accidentally throws all his kibbles on the blanket, he looks at you waiting for you to tell him “bad dog”or something so instead on raise my voice I kiss him and scratch his ears while I put all the kibbles back on his bowl, I keep in mind that he’s very sensible during this time, and raising my voice only makes him feel worst. I know he didn’t throw them on purpose and while usually when I raise my voice to him, he barks me back as playing, when he’s without his extra fur he’s more fragile, so no raised voices for him.

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