Hello everyone! Dante here, I knew I’d get myself some blog time sooner or later! We want to give a big thanks to www.dogfencediy.com for this bloggy post. Sampson does seem to be stealing the lime light lately don’t you think? Myself and Daisy Boo were begging to feel a bit left out from all his publicity, but enough about them too this post is all about me. Well, about me and my sore back leggy problem, it has really gotten worse over the past fews months and is making me and Mum rather sad, my whining was making everyone feel sorry for me –hehe, at least I am milking lots of attention. But Mum wants to right this post from her point of view, but don’t worry it is still about me!
Words from Mum- Dante is my first dog, the first dog that taught me everything I know, Dante taught me how to handle those sharp puppy teeth trying to chew you and your wordly possessions to peices, those seemingly endless weeks where your pup doesn’t grasp why he cannot just pee and poop where ever his heart desires and why on earth you start flailing wildly when you have a tiny..ok rather large ‘accident’ on the carpet several times a day.
The day I got Dante I finished work and drove the 2 hours north to the border, initially to see some tiny cream 5 week old Labradoodle pups. I drove into the outskirts of Carlisle to a lonely little farm sitting quantity in the middle of the fields- it looked like something out of a certain Werewolf film! When we pulled in we were greeted by some very aggressive barking from what we assumed was the ‘farm dog’ coming from the nearby barn. We entered the house, and were greeted by squirming yelping little cotton wool balls of pups and were told we could leave a deposit for the pup of our choice and come back to collect it in a few weeks’ time. Obviously I was smitten by the adorableness of the little ones, the breeder then went on to say that she had three 12 week old ‘Labradoodle’ pups out back that were ready to today home today. Foolishly I said I would take a ‘look’. Twenty minutes later I had a very confused black lanky puppy sitting in the back seat of my car. A rather rash decision on my part, considering I had not seen either of his parents only this now rather bewildered pup and his two boisterous and scruffy brothers. So to this day I do not know the true parentage of my supposed ‘Labradoodle’…now when people ask what kind of dog he is I always reply ‘He is a good dog’.
Since his puppy hood Dante has always walked with what he have called a ‘waggly’ gait, meaning his back end has always swayed with the grace of an elephant trying to do the Samba and his back left leg has flicked out at a slightly crooked angle as he ran. He was taken to our vets at the time as I was concern that he may have a hip/leg problem that would cause him issues when he was older- but my worries were dismissed and I was told ‘it’s just the way he is’ . But that concern was always at the back of my mind. Dante had a happy healthy adolescence we were constantly going on hikes and day trips, besides his ‘waggly walk’ we had no indication that in a few short years my fuzzy bear would be struggling to go about his day to day life.
The terrible twos -enter the Daisy Boo! When Dante hit two our second scrufster entered our lives and Dante relished the job of teacher and brother albeit with a slight limp to his walk. We took him again to the vets who gave us several course of ant anti inflammatory tablets that did nothing to shift his limp. This limp-drug cycle continued for another year or so with Dante, not being in pain as such but he did look uncomfortable a times. We also had a spell at hydrotherapy, which amazingly made him so much worse, the poor dog was in agony after each session, we could see the benefits were seriously being over shadowed by the short term negative impact it was having on it, so after a few months he was taken off the programme.
In the few months after Sampson finally entered our lives we knew Dante wasn’t right- he was less exuberant on our walks, less active at home and as a result began to pile on the weight, which in turn made the limp and his hips much much worse. But thankfully, due to an overdue change of vets Dante was thoroughly x-rayed with his arthritis and dysplasia confirmed which at least gave us something to work with.
Now he has been diagnosed Dante has had a few life alterations, firstly he is on the dreaded D-I-E-T, the vets did say because of his condition it would take him several months to shift the extra bulk, but that means NO treats and teeny portions of food. He still needs his walkies, but they are to be ‘gentle’ which is often hard to stick too when your arthritic dog gets his uncoordinated zoomies! Dante loves to swim, and although he over does it at times, I try to take him and just him to the beach when the tide is in so he can do what he loves most without being competitive with his brother and sister.
Along with his diet Dante is on his Joint Supplement tablets- as are Daisy Boo and Sampson. They get crushed into their second meal of the day, Daisy Boo gets one and Dante & Sampson get 2 each, to help keep their joints supple too!
Along with drugs to help lessen the progression arthritis Dante also has his pain relieving and anti inflammatory medicine ‘Meta Cam’ which we give him if he is having one of his bad days. We try not to give him too much as in the long run it can cause liver damage so we keep its usage to the minimum.
Dante is also helped with the little things, we try not to let him jump from any great height, we have a special ramp which- although I took him some getting used too, does reduce the stress on his joints getting in and out the car. He is also encouraged not to lie on the hard floor, so he is given free reign for any sofa or bed in the house he wants!
People have said it is our fault for not buying responsibly, neither of his parents have been hip scored, but at the end of the day he was still born and I would relive this journey had with him without a second thought, he has taught me so much not only about the joys of dogs but how to see the light in everything, even when you’re hurting. Dante can keep his gentle good nature, even when he is in severe pain; I hope one day I can be as patient as my boy. Obviously in the future we will have to take further measure to keep him happy and comfortable, methods such as steroid injections and hip surgery, but that is a bridge we will cross when it comes to it, but in the meantime, although he is not the most active dog in the world, he certainly is one of the happiest!