Just to show you what he can be like, here are some pics of Shug in better health.
Shuggie wondering where the duck went
Shuggie & Mairi
Shuggie asleep on my bed
When walking the mutt, it’s often the case that when you get chatting with other dog owners and people in general, they ask the name of the dog.
Me: “No, Shuggie.”
Fool: “What does it mean?”
Me: “In Scotland, men with the first name ‘Hugh’ get the nickname ‘Shuggie’. Like men called Douglas get the nickname Dougie. Or Doogie.”
Fool: “Oh, so it’s Shoogie then?”
Me: “No, it’s Shuggie.”
Person wanders off, confused.
I Love People!
This is a bit of an advert for a friend, Julia Boggio, who has set up a photography business.
Julia has been a keen amateur for a long time, despite some major setbacks while travelling, but now she’s taken the plunge and quit the day job, strapped a Lowepro to her back, grabbed her [insert expensive camera here] and is now accepting commissions.
Her website has portfolio galleries of examples, including a gallery of Portraits, divided into Little People, Big People and Furry People. The latter is currently a bit empty – which is where I come in. Julia has offered to do a shoot of Shuggie gratis, so she can put them up on her site. Fame!
This is cool. Julia gets some great pictures for her portfolio, and we get some great pictures to put in frames and show to people. We need to figure out a date, but it’ll be soon. I’ll keep you posted.
[edit: never happened]
He’s finished his antibiotics, he doesn’t need his lampshade collar any more, and he can now enjoy picking the scabs off (the latter being optional)
Every day in every way, he’s getting better and better. And bigger. And naughtier. And hairier – we had to trim his ears last night, because we has beginning to resemble a Fennec Fox.
OK, here’s some pictures of the little fella with his stitches and amusing (for us) collar: Flickr Gallery
Poor fella. He has to stick with the collar for a few more days, as his stitches heal (they’ve dissolved according to plan). Not too much exercise, lots of attention and most of all, NO EATING ANY MORE WIRE.
He’s home! Shuggie came home yesterday evening, groggy, half shaved, with one of those cool vet lampshade collar things round his neck to stop him biting his stitches out. Frankly he looked rather disreputable. Photos will be taken tonight.
He’s got antibiotics and anti-nausea stuff, and special soft food to eat, but he’s only allowed 2 spoonfuls every few hours. This means he spends the rest of the time whining with hunger, and fetching his bowl and bringing it to you. That is so cute. The vet said he could come back yesterday because he’s making such a good recovery, with no vomiting, and excellent appetite. I guess he’s bouncing back – kids do that, don’t they. Puppies, I mean.
p.s. A person who was once my friend said that dogs with those vet collars on are ‘pikey dogs’. She now has some making up to do.
A rather worrying occurence. On Sunday afternoon, Shuggie wandered into the bedroom, under the bed, and found a box containing Christmas decorations. He got into it, found a pretend holly branch made of wire, with red plastic berries. He proceeded to eat part of the branch, berries, wire and all.
In the days that followed, he seemed a bit under the weather, vomiting bile every few hours, sometimes containing bits of red plastic – but no wire (we weren’t sure if he had eaten the wire at this stage). But in between, he was still eating, playing, and going to the toilet – but he was also sleeping a lot. In the end we thought it would be best to take him to the vet yesterday morning. A quick examination, and the vet said he should have an X-ray, and they kept him in. I was off work with a rotten cold anyway (despite the heat), so I just sat around, waiting for the call. The call came, and I was told the X-ray showed a 3cm ball of wire in his stomach, which wouldn’t be passed naturally, and which was in danger of perforating his innards. Surgery was required, and was quickly performed, with no complications, thank goodness. The wire came out, there was no infection (fingers crossed) and no perforations.
So yesterday evening, we visited him just as he was coming out of his anaesthetic. He looked pitiful – all droopy, with one of those big lampshade collars, green socks holding in a drip, and with his belly shaved, revealing a 5cm row of stitches. Mairi and I couldn’t stand seeing him like that.
He spent last night in the Animal Hospital in Streatham. He may be able to come home tonight, depending on his progress. I’ll keep you posted.
My alarm goes off at 7. But Shuggie has got it into his scruffy head that 6.45 is wakeup time, complete with scratching at the bedroom door and whining. But one mustn’t open the bedroom door when he’s whining, because that gives the impression that whining gets results.
He’s also in the habit of not peeing all night (despite the Training Pads left in the hallway for him) so by the time I get up he’s desperate. Add to that the excitement of me getting up, and it being time for breakfast, and there have been some accidents. So I have developed a strategy.
The trick is to get up, get the flip-flops on, and make myself half decent before opening the bedroom door, grabbing the dog and taking him downstairs to pee in the garden before he has a chance to think, or pee elsewhere, or on me (which has admittedly never happened).
Unfortunately, first thing in the morning, I’m desperate too. I don’t get up in the night, because I sleep like the dead. I almost slept through an attempted burglary once. But valiantly I hold it in, while waiting for the mutt to do his business on the decking. It’s most frustrating if he prevaricates. I’d go in the garden myself if it weren’t for the neighbours’ kitchen windows staring down at me.
Urination successful, I whisk him back upstairs, and say the word, “Dinner!”, which sets off the hopping-on-the-spot which is most cute. Strictly speaking it should be, “Breakfast!”, but his vocabulary isn’t that great yet. I’ll write more about that later.
He demolishes his bowlful in about 20 seconds, which almost makes me feel guilty (“Are we feeding him enough?”) for a second, until I realise that he’s putting weight on at a rate of knots. Already we’re looking at the pictures of him we took in April at just 2 months old.
“Aww, he was so tiny!”
looks at lanky hound now, chewing his slipper
“Now look at him.”
The 20-second eating window gives me the chance to do my business. But I have to be quick, because as soon as he’s eaten, he’s likely to want to POO, which is much better done outside. So I then watch him like a hawk, while making tea and toast, and at the first sign of the circling/squatting thing going on, it’s back down the stairs to the garden.
I should clarify this thing about the stairs. We live in a purpose-built flat, part of a terrace built around 1906. We have our own front door, behind which is a set of stairs leading up to the flat. Then at the back are more stairs leading to our own little garden. The back stairs are bare wood (at the moment) and very steep, so Shuggie needs to be carried down and assisted up. This is why the whole thing is so awkward. Possible solutions: carpet the stairs; add a slide/winch assembly; wait for the dog to grow bigger and get him to carry his own lard-arse up and down the stairs.
Anyway, once the poo is safely disposed of (over the fence – only joking! ah aha ha haha), then, and only then, can I dump the dog on the bed to bite Mairi’s face (most amusing) and get in the shower for some peace and quiet.
Shuggie seems to be teething, as is reasonable at his age. He’s nipping and chewing at everything. In fact Mairi had the idea that we should rename him Chompsky. To which I replied that if we caught him chewing something he shouldn’t, we could shout, “No(am), Chompsky!”