Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Getting Spayed

Well, today is the big day.  I dropped Margot off at the vet a little after 8:00 a.m. this morning to be spayed. I know this is a routine surgery, and normally I wouldn't be so nervous, but because I know that Margot has Von Willebrand disease AND after I almost lost Lexie during her enucleation surgery because of the same disorder, I can't help but be a little anxious right now.

Cheering me up on Christmas Eve.
When I got to the office, the receptionist told me that they had cleared almost the whole afternoon for Margot's surgery.  This made me feel both comforted knowing that they are not treating her surgery as a typical, routine spaying, but it also made me a tad more anxious than I already was.  I guess knowing that Dr. Ellis is taking Margot's surgery so seriously kind of also made me realize exactly how real the possibility is that the vWD could cause complications.

I've been trying all day not to even entertain that possibility, however.  I just keep telling myself and others that I know she'll be fine, but she was supposed to go into surgery around 10:30 a.m. and it's already 12:45 p.m.....

Spent Christmas cuddling with Margot and Sam.
Whew!  No joke, just as I was typing that last paragraph, Dr. Ellis called from the Animal Care Clinic!  She said that Margot is just now waking up from anesthesia and is looking around at everyone, and she seems to be doing well.  Dr. Ellis also said that the surgery "went fine," but they "had to use three vials instead of two."  I'm not 100% certain, but I think what that means is that Margot didn't do quite as well during the surgery as they had hoped.  I know that they had to order some vials of a certain medication to have on-hand during the surgery in case Margot's blood didn't clot on its own, and from what Dr. Ellis said, it sounds like they had to use more of that medication than they had originally anticipated.  However, at least they HAD the extra vial of medication on-hand, and Margot IS currently in recovery, so I'm just not going to think about how smoothly (or not-so-smoothly) the surgery went.  What's important is that she survived it, and hopefully she will be coming home tonight.  I'm supposed to call around 4:00 p.m. to see if I'm able to bring her home.

THIS was my Christmas gift last night.  :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Margot the Destroyer (6-Month Progress Report)

It’s hard to believe my little Margot turned 6 months-old last week!  This morning, she came into the bathroom with me for the first time since she was a tiny puppy and I used to keep her in the bathroom with me while I got ready for work.  I couldn’t resist taking a photo of her sitting on the bathroom floor like I used to back then, but when I compared her 6 week-old photo to today’s 6 month-old photo, my heart broke a little.  She’s gotten so big! 

6 weeks vs. 6 months
I know that people like to say that they wish they could keep their dogs as puppies forever, and I do agree with that sentiment somewhat, but I have to say that I also love watching Margot grow up.  I’m just so proud of her for being such a sweet and relatively behaved girl (you know, for a puppy).  The only non-toy thing she has ever chewed and/or destroyed in my house since we first brought her home was the cord to my disco ball, and she just did that within the last month.  I wasn’t paying attention because I was busy stringing some Christmas lights.  I thought Margot was chewing on one of her toys on the floor beside me, but it turned out she had gotten hold of the cord to my beloved disco ball, which I always use during my annual Christmas parties each year.  I was disappointed in her for chewing through the cord because, like I said, she’s never done that before, but of all the things she could have destroyed at least the disco ball wasn’t a huge loss.   I’m still not sure what made her decide to try chewing on a cord instead of her usual toys, though, because she has always been perfectly happy destroying her own stuff.  People may think Justin and I spoil Margot by constantly buying her chew toys and stuffed animals, but I honestly believe that’s the main reason why she’s never chewed on our shoes, furniture, or anything else in the house….besides that one darn cord. 

I will say, though, that lately Margot has been more focused on purposefully destroying her toys, especially stuffed animals and balls, rather than playing with them.  It’s like tearing apart every new toy she gets as quickly as she can is her #1 main goal.  If you give her a tennis ball, the first thing she wants to do is pull all of the fuzz off the ball with her teeth.  Then, she will work on chewing the ball with her very back teeth until she finally punctures it.  Finally, she will use her paws to hold the ball while she rips the rubber into pieces with her teeth.  She will even pick up the pieces of rubber and chew on them like they’re chewing gum, but I try to throw them all away before she starts doing that because I don’t want her to actually eat the ball or choke. 

With stuffed animals, the first thing she wants to do is find the squeaker and remove it, which is funny because she always seems so disappointed when her toy won’t squeak anymore.  Once the squeaker is removed, then it’s time to remove all of the stuffing.  When the animal is no longer stuffed, no longer squeaks, and is merely a limp piece of cloth, you’d think she’d be done, but oh no!  Not Margot the Destroyer!  At that point, she will hold the cloth between her paws and pull it apart with her teeth until my floor is covered in hundreds of little threads.  It’s a mess to clean up, and every time I pick up the carnage that was once one of Margot’s toys, she always looks at me like, “Hey!  That’s mine!” 

I recently discovered a baseball while I was getting my house ready for our Christmas party, so I decided to give it to Margot to see if she’d like it.  I thought, no way could she destroy a real baseball as quickly as she destroys her dog toys, and if nothing else it would give her something to work on for a few days.  Within just about an hour, though, Margot came running up to me with a completely bald baseball in her mouth!  I could not believe that she managed to remove the stitched leather from around the baseball’s core in such a short amount of time!

I love Margot's yawns.

As far as actually playing ball in the house goes, Margot does like for us to throw the ball for her, but she’s not very good at giving it back.  In fact, she’s pretty awful at it.  She will bring the ball back to us after we’ve thrown it, but she always stops right in front of me or Justin and just stares at us with the ball in her mouth.  If we reach for it, she backs away, as if she wants us to try and take it from her.  If we ignore her, she will bring the ball closer and sometimes even put it in our laps or touch our hands with it, but she never actually releases the ball.  As soon as we try to grab it, she turns and runs away.  If we REALLY ignore her attempts to get our attention with the ball, she will eventually release the ball either right beside us or on our laps.  However, again, if we try to grab it, she will attempt to snatch it away from us first. 

The funniest thing is whenever we are able to get the ball from Margot and throw it into another room, if the ball rolls underneath the Christmas tree, under a table or chair, or into an area that is surrounded by other things, Margot will not even try to get the ball.  Even if it is easily accessible, she will look right at it and whine, then stare at us until one of us gets the ball for her.  Sometimes it’s really funny, but sometimes it’s very frustrating, especially when we’re busy and there’s no good reason why she can’t get the ball herself.  It’s like she’s afraid to even try, which neither of us understand.

As for the Christmas party I have mentioned a few times already, we had a great time this year, as always, and Margot was a big hit with my guests.  She was very well behaved, especially around the food, although she and Sam did have to be told to stay away from the food table once or twice.  After a couple of hours of mingling with all my friends, Margot and Sam decided to just curl up on the couch together like it was a regular night at home, which melted everyone’s hearts.   In fact, at the end of the night, we all voted for partygoer superlatives, and I was tickled when one of the ballots for Cutest Couple was filled out for Sam and Margot. 

Family Portrait

Justin and I tried to get a family picture taken with the girls earlier in the evening, and while it isn’t technically the best photo (bad focus is one of my major pet peeves), I still think it’s pretty cute.  My friends were obviously holding treats behind the camera to get Margot and Sam’s attention.  Oh, and please note that Margot is now officially taller than Sam.

*sigh*  Seriously, where has the time gone?!?!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Margot's Afraid of Santa...and Rain

Screen shot from my phone of the newpaper photo of Margot and me.
Margot and I made it into the newspaper last weekend!  I took her up to the dog park last Saturday, Dec. 1, because PetSafe was hosting a celebration to mark the end of Phase I of the dog park construction and the beginning of Phase II.  “Santa Paws” was there taking pictures with all the dogs, so of course I couldn’t pass up that opportunity.  Margot definitely didn’t like the looks of Santa at first, but once he started giving her treats, she decided that he was okay after all.  

When I look at the photo from the paper, I really cannot believe how big she is now!  She’s almost as tall as Elsea (my friend, Brett’s, 2 year-old, red Dobe), although Margot’s body is still obvious that of a puppy.  She hasn’t really developed her big, barrel Dobe chest yet, and she still has a little bit of awkwardness to her gait when she runs and romps around.   In addition, Margot still isn’t barking very much, except for occasionally when she plays at the dog park.  She also barked at Justin’s parents’ cat a little bit during our visit on Thanksgiving (in a playful way), but overall, she really isn’t very vocal.  She actually chirps more than she barks.  Yes, I said “chirps.”  She makes this funny little, high-pitched sound whenever she’s really excited or while she’s playing with Sam at home.  It’s hilarious and weird, but of course I think it’s adorable.
Margot playing with Buddy at the dog park.
The biggest milestone I have to report is that Justin and I have started transitioning Margot out of her crate.  We have left her out on several occasions for various amounts of time, ranging from a quick run to the store to an entire night while we slept upstairs, and so far she has done incredibly well!  We haven’t come home or woken up to any major disasters or accidents, which is a relief.  Mostly, I think she just curls up on the couch with Sam whenever she realizes that we’re not going to be back for a while, because that’s where we usually find her when we return.   We haven’t tried leaving her out during the day while we’re at work yet, but we’ll get there eventually.  She IS still a puppy, so we don’t fully trust her not to get bored and chew through some cords or destroy something else while we’re gone, and she’s still not 100% housebroken yet.  So, we’ll probably just continue to leave her out on random occasions in the evenings and on weekends to see how she does until we feel comfortable enough to try leaving her out during a work day.  Justin always comes home for lunch, so at least if he comes home to find a mess he’ll be able to crate her for the rest of that day.  Like I said, though, it will probably be at least another week or two before we do that.

My dog's cooler than your dog.  :P
As for the dreaded housebreaking report, Margot only seems to have accidents now whenever it’s raining and she doesn’t want to go outside, or if she absolutely cannot hold it during the night.  I do feel sorry for the girls whenever I make them go outside in the rain, but Margot is simply going to have to suck it up and get used to it the same way Sam has.  This morning, it was POURING when I opened the back door to let them out.  Sam walked hesitantly out onto the deck, but Margot put on the breaks the minute she saw the rain.  She tried to run back into the house, but I literally shoved her out the door and closed the door behind her.  I then proceeded to put some clothes into the dryer and fill the girls’ food and water bowls, thinking that both Margot and Sam would probably hurry and go pee so that they could come back inside as soon as they were done.  Well, Sam was soaking wet when I let her back in.  Margot?  Not quite as wet.  She had obviously NOT gone out into the yard with Sam and just stayed huddled by the door, but I didn’t have time to take her back out.  As I was putting dishes in the dishwasher, though, Margot came in and peed right at the kitchen door!  I immediately yelled, “NO!  Margot, go pee!” and opened the back door to let her out again.  This time, she quickly ran outside because she knew she was in trouble, but I seriously doubt she used the bathroom anymore while she was out there.  Again, she probably just waited right by the door until I let her back in.  I wish there was some way I could get her used to going out in the rain by herself, because she’ll go if Justin or I stand out in the rain with her while she pees, but we’re not always able to do that (nor do we want to).  So, the housebreaking saga continues…