Archive for the ‘Dogblogging’ Category

Pupdate: Major Has A Home

November 9, 2013 - 11:56 am 5 Comments

And that’s official, records and contracts exchanged, signed, and collated, and Major has a new owner. I’ll be part of the transport chain to get her to her new home in about two weeks.

Thanks especially to Farmgirl, who raised money to help her and make it easier for whoever has her (her, me, any new owner) to cover her inevitable vet bills. All money raised will go by check or money order along with her health certificate during the transport- the hat was passed for her, and with her it will stay.

Special Needs Puppy: Make Me A Match

October 22, 2013 - 9:26 pm 23 Comments


This is Major. Today she’s about nine and a half weeks old, and she’s the remaining puppy from Kang’s last (most recent and really last, I plan to spay her as soon as her milk finishes drying up) litter.

The reason Major is still here, and why she’s getting a post here as opposed to having been the first or second puppy sold, is that she has a congenital heart condition. If it had been something straightforward like a PDA, I would have ponied up for the corrective surgery and sold her once she had recovered; unfortunately, the consultation I had with a veterinary cardiologist revealed what she’s actually got is pulmonic stenosis, a different and much less common (the cardiologist commented she’d simply never seen it in an Akita before now) issue. We do not yet know how severe the stenosis is- she was too young at the time to get a good picture- but the cardiologist suggested it wasn’t likely to be mild. We’ll know when she is old enough to have another, clearer ultrasound done in another month or two. She also has a defect in the wall between her ventricles, which the cardiologist said may either be making things worse or actually helping; apparently they often occur together and the treatment for THAT defect on its own is giving the patient an artificial case of stenosis. Apparently Major is very medically interesting! I could have done with boring, personally.

Major has no clinical signs that there is anything wrong with her heart. She was diagnosed as young as she was (around five weeks) because she had a loud heart murmur (stenosis apparently produces very dramatic murmurs) and I wanted to know what was going on. Depending on how severe it is she is increasingly likely to show such signs the bigger she gets. Right now she is a very active and exploratory puppy who appears normal in all respects unless you have a stethoscope.

Depending on how severe the stenosis turns out to be and what the topography of her heart is, there are options for treatment and prognosis. At the least she is very likely to need beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, and yearly cardiac ultrasounds for the rest of her life. Depending on how things shake out she may be a good candidate for surgery. The surgery only helps, it does not cure; it has a success rate, with success being defined as “successfully turned a severe or moderate stenosis into a moderate or mild one”, of about 75%. (Apparently some patients simply heal back the way they were.) Like pretty much all cardiac surgeries for dogs, it would require a veterinary cardiologist with some specialized equipment and cost somewhere in the range of 3-5k. The outcomes for severe stenosis vary all over the map; anywhere from death at around a year of age to living into their teens and dying of something completely unrelated to their heart. Prognosis and outcomes get significantly better with treatment and surgery, but a dog diagnosed as such will always have a risk of early death, the more severe the stenosis the bigger the risk.

Because of all this I’m looking to place little Major without taking money for her, unless said money is for transport expenses. If treated as I believe appropriate she will be far from a “free” dog, though exactly what the costs will be is pretty variable and hard to predict now. I am not willing to euthanize a pup with a perfectly lovely temperament who is as likely to life a full life as an abbreviated one; she will stay here as long as it takes for us to find the right home for her. While she is here she will receive whatever treatment is appropriate for her at the time and be raised and trained as a normal puppy. We do not want to keep her; three Akitas is more than enough Akita, and four would be doing a disservice to her, us, and the other dogs, but I’m aware it may take me awhile to find that home.

If it were not for her heart condition she would have been the first puppy placed; she was first pick by temperament for more than one person or family waiting for a pup out of this litter. She is confident, friendly and social even when stressed (she has been very sweet with all the veterinary personnel she has met so far), fearless, and very bright. She is easy to handle, talkative (she has some sort of comment about nearly everything, though she is not barky), and was the big explorer of the litter- she was always the first to dive into anything new and was the first to escape the whelping box as well. She is as well on her way to housebroken (she is a house puppy, just like every other pup raised here) as it’s possible for a nine week old pup to be, and while she is here she will learn everything I consider mandatory for a civilized housedog to learn- come, sit, down, leave it, mine (the response to back away from anything on the floor that a human moves purposefully toward). She will also be crate trained and will be some degree into learning to walk nicely on a leash, depending on how old she is when she is placed.

Heart condition or no, she is an Akita, and will come with every plus and minus that breed normally has. She was the smallest pup in the litter and while she did do some catching up in size to her siblings once transitioned to solid food, that was only up to a point and I now suspect she will always be a smaller bitch- in which “smaller” means likely to finish up at 70-80 pounds instead of 90-100 like her mother is and her sisters are likely to be. Still most people’s definition of a Big Damn Dog. Her mother, brother, and a distant cousin all coexist happily in a mixed group that includes one intact female and one mature intact male (i.e. our little pack here), so she comes from a line that is really quite good with other dogs by Akita standards- but she is still an Akita, which means she’s likely to be relatively dominant with other dogs even when well socialized. (Her mother is THE alpha bitch- I worry less about the young intact male when it comes to strange dogs.) She is also likely to come with prey drive- and the longer she stays here, the more likely it is that Kang will teach her to be a ruthless hunter, which is either a plus or a minus depending on your point of view. (Minus if your neighbor has cats that roam; plus if you want every varmint that comes within your property lines eliminated, which is what Kang does.) She is pretty biddable- again by Akita standards. If you want a dog that lives to please you, this is not the breed for you.

She will grow up to be a guard dog. She is social enough she won’t eat strangers on sight, but as she matures she will start to be suspicious of them and she will need socialization and guidance to channel those instincts productively and install good Identify Friend/Foe software. If she is like her mother in some other respects she will also be a pretty decent ad-hoc therapy dog, seeking out the sick and hurting- but THAT won’t be apparent until she is fully mature. She has had lots of early socialization and exposure to new people and new kinds of sights and noises and other novelties, but like any pup she will continue to need it as she grows to develop into a stable adult. Her parents both like children, but lacking any of my own and any belonging to close friends and relations, she has not met any yet.

So far several people have been interested, but everyone interested so far has either lacked the financial resources or the emotional resources to deal with the potential realities and costs of her heart condition, or else with the part where she’s an Akita and even a healthy Akita is still a pretty big undertaking. (It has been a pretty even split which was the deal-breaker.) Thus I am widening the net. If you are interested in little Major please contact us at the blog e-mail (nerdsatomic at gmail dot com), which I promise will actually be checked; I am happy to chat more about the breed, her parents, her condition, or her.

Monday. Right.

September 12, 2013 - 4:20 pm 3 Comments

So, it’s still Monday in Australia, right? This still counts? I ran outta gas. I had a flat tire. I didn’t have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from outta town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake! A terrible flood! Locusts! It wasn’t my fault!!


So, quick bit of administrivia first, my donation link seems to have a tendancy to go fubar. If you wind up at a generic KTKC page instead of what should be my personal donation page, please just search for first name Sting last name Ray and you should be set. And as a quick aside, thank you immensely for your donation, Patrick.

Next up, as suggested, if you don’t have any good ideas, steal someone else’s. JeffB is putting up a case of home brew beer as an enticement. Sounds like a good plan! Blogorado attendees will likely vouch my creations are at least better than PBR, so this may be worth a couple bucks to someone. Jeff is doing entry tickets at $10 per, so I’ll just keep on “borrowing” his plan. Every ten bucks you kick in, shoot an email to nerdsatomic at gmail dot com, and you get a shot at a case of homebrew. Most of what has been most popular from the nerd brewery has been in the darker range, but winner’s choice. Tell me what you like and I’ll try to build to your spec.

Now, on to the fuzzballs. Four weeks ago tomorrow, Kang went under for a planned c-section, and out popped 7 little bundles of fuzz. Six girls, Major, Minor, Poppet, Widget, Rarity, and Ninja, and one boy, Bosley. Ninja had a cleft palate and went about like Farmgirl’s cleft puppy. It was heartbreaking, but nature is a bitch. We lost Rarity a bit later for absolutely no apparent reason. The remaining five are, in the vet’s words, fat and sassy, although the pocket-pup from the previous post has a heart murmur that doesn’t seem to be clearing.

As with the litter Tank came from, they don’t care for heat much at all. Those thick coats of fuzz necessitate ice packs more or less constantly in the box for them to be happy. Or a high speed wind tunnel, whatever works.
Click to embiggenate the cuteness. The shutter froze the blades, but that fan is pumping some fairly non-trivial air over the little buggers.

They’ve been introduced to solid food…
…which could’ve gone better, but they were all game and eager to start figuring it out. They’ve definitely all got their personality files loading and processing. The whelping box they call home has a company logo of a newborn pup, eyes closed and smiling, printed on the back, which we may have to cover. The pups keep nosing it and will occasionally howl and cry at it when remains just a picture.

Kang is doing much better this litter. She’s getting a little tired of them at this point since their teeth are coming in, but she’s mother of the year compared to how she was with Tank. Kodos, as always, loves tiny things. He’ll come in and nose them or occasionally lick them and smile and wag like a big sappy lunk every chance he thinks he can get away with it. Tank is dealing well, and their presence seems to have triggered a fairly respectable streak of “I’m going to behave like a responsible adult” behavior out of him instead of his usual frat boy routine. Unfortunately for him, nobody trusts him any further than they can throw him just because he’s been in frat boy mode long enough that clumsiness is a concern, so everybody, including Kodos and Kang, watch him like a hawk every time he wanders within ten feet of the box.

Like what you see? Want beer? Want more puppy pictures? Kick a few bucks in to fight cancer and we’ll keep the ball rolling. As soon as we cross the $500 mark, I’ll even drag LabRat back to her keys and lock her there until she posts something, and repeat it every $500 after!

Squee Bait

September 8, 2013 - 12:57 pm 4 Comments

Is that a puppy in your pocket or are you happy to see me?

Say hello to Major. Wanted to get this picture before she didn’t fit, as happened last time with Tank. She was surprisingly chill about this and just kinda went with it until I decided the risk of a puppy peeing in my kilt was getting too high and pulled her out. You like? Consider donating to fight prostate cancer.

Domestic Exchange XV

April 21, 2013 - 5:54 pm 4 Comments

“….why are you teaching the dog to not fear fire?”
“You make it sound so sinister when you say it.”

Dog pictures.

February 13, 2013 - 10:27 pm 13 Comments

Image heavy behind the jump.

KTKC: Our First Request

September 12, 2012 - 9:36 pm 1 Comment

Manipulator of muscles ChristinaLMT has jumped first on the request bandwagon.

How about a pic of you in a kilt with TANK THE ADORABLE? And you have to SMILE in the picture.

And putting her money where her mouth is up front already kicked in a nice pile of cabbage. Hmm, let’s see. A generous donation for something I was already planning on running? I think we can make this one happen for what’s already on the table.

Grew Some

Not to worry, Ms. LMT will be getting the un-altered version privately. Thank you for the contribution, Christina. :)

Now as for the rest of you, I like what I’m seeing. We’ve gone from just $25 on Monday to within spitting distance of 50% of the goal. Thank you all, now let’s keep it up. You can use this link to donate to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. And I’m still taking requests. There’s not a lot off the table here either, so use your imaginations.

Stages of Dog Bath

May 18, 2012 - 5:15 pm 14 Comments

1. Denial. Dog will attempt to escape by repeatedly rotating its body away from the water source, until dog and bather are both dizzy.

2. Shock. Having temporarily run out of ideas, dog will mutely accept the water.

3. Bargaining. Dog will entreat the bather to stop, usually by licking and whining.

4. Shock, part 2. Dog has run out of ideas again and is also covered in soap, which is even worse than being covered in water.

5. Anger. Dog has been soaked, lathered, and rinsed. There is water in his eyes and soap up his nose. Depending on the dog will express this fed-upness in various ways.

6. Transcendent Joy. Dog has been released! Time to shake, spin, play-blow, tail-chase, and roll.

7. Caught Short. Sec, be right back.

8. Horror. Even though the dog is now free and there is no more incoming water or soap, dog is still soaking wet and smells of something decidedly undoggish. Depending on the dog, will make alternating efforts to towel itself off, run itself dry, or lick itself back to smelling like itself again.

9. Butthurt. Self-explanatory.

10. Exhaustion. Dog will collapse and nap hard for at least an hour. Depending on the dog and its coat, this has the side benefit of potentially waking up dry.


April 30, 2012 - 8:57 pm Comments Off on Sequelitis

Or, how Tank came to be all bloody. Part II; don’t you hate it when sequels replace established characters with “the next generation”?

Contextual information: Indy was occupying our guest room over the weekend.

LabRat: *Rises weekendishly late, feeds dogs. Notes outside front windows, Indy balancing precariously on on two crates while Stingray does something purposeful with a hose. Considers. Decides all things duly considered, would be better off not being involved and walks away to water the plants.*

In background: *excitement involving the rain gutters*

~Much later that night~

All humans: *watching Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil* *decide to pause for bathroom, soda refill, popcorn, etc.*

LabRat: *goes to let the dogs in, where they have been camping most of the night due to its being unseasonably cool out* “Dogs! Inside! Tank! Kodos!”

Kang: *way too sleepy for this BS*

Kodos: *also too sleepy, glares mournfully from comfy spot outside*

Tank: *is clearly otherwise occupied but paying attention*

LabRat: *cheerleads for a bit*

Indy: *returns from bathroom, joins varsity dog cheerleading squad*

Tank: *runs to join his fans*, *is also covered in blood on his face and left shoulder*

Kodos: *moseys unenthusiastically to join his fans*

LabRat: “Oh good lord. Here, hang on to Kodos while I look him over.”

*examines bloody areas extensively* *finds no actual wounds*

Stingray: *joins conversation* “Check Kodos. He probably busted a nail and then they were playing or something.”

Indy: *hangs onto Kodos while I examine his legs and feet*

Kodos: *endures stoically, is horrified I might cut his nails*

LabRat: *finds intact nails, no wounds*

Stingray: “Well… neither of them seems hurt, and neither of them is spun up at all…”

Indy: “Maybe they caught something?”

Stingray: “And Tank rolled in it. The face-to-shoulder roll.”

All: *To the yard! With flashlights!* *search!*

Tank: *pines from behind back door*

Kodos: *without words* “Screw you guys, I’m going to bed.” *exits scene*

LabRat: “Ah. Found it.” *shines light on late rat*

Regular Rat: *is very emphatically late* *is also somewhat squashed, as though rolled upon by exuberant 100-pound puppy*

Indy: “Ah, guess we don’t have to worry about the rat that was in the gutter anymore.”

Stingray: “It’s a big rat. He might have got some licks in.”

LabRat: “He’s a big dog. I don’t think any of it was his own blood. Here, I’ll keep the light on it while you go get a plastic bag.”

Stingray: *withering look at me* *picks up rat by hind leg, starts in direction of outdoor trash*

LabRat: “Or… you can just… do that… whatever.”

All: *join trek to garbage can for rat disposal ceremony*

Stingray: “Here, catch!” *flings rat at friend, in fit of high spirits*

Indy: “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” *undignified scramble*

LabRat: “…OK, from this end, that IS hilarious.”

Kang: *has slept through ALL OF IT* *does not give even one single damn*


Situation Normal

April 28, 2012 - 11:43 pm Comments Off on Situation Normal