Thursday, October 30, 2008

His E-Collar

Chow Chow is back home!

Hubby and I picked him up last evening from the clinic and he was happy to see us when the nurse released him from the cage. He was wagging his tail excitedly and let us pet him.

The vet, Dr Megumi Kodera, printed out her instructions for us on the post-surgical care for Chow Chow. It reads:

"Your Dog Chow Chow has been castrated. This procedure involves surgery in a very sensitive area and therefore needs care for sometime after the event. Unfortunately Dogs do not always understand that they must rest so we need you to assist us with Chow Chow's recovery.

When you pick Chow Chow up from our clinic he may be a little drowsy. This is quite normal following an anaesthetic and surgery. The drowsiness should reduce over the next 12 - 24 hours. There will be some bruising, the same as human, so he should not be expected to be completely normal for a few days.

Keep Chow Chow in a quiet, warm place. No food, water or medication is to be given on the day of the surgery. He may be fed and watered normally from the next morning.

Most Dogs will have recovered fully within a few days. Unfortunately this does have some disadvantages in that Chow Chow may start jumping, running around and generally trying to do everything that he can to upset the surgery and/or sutures. Please try to keep Chow Chow as quiet as possible for the next 10 days.

Generally there are very few complications after the operation. However, there are some signs to watch for that may indicate a problem:
1. Dull and listless (especially after the first 24 hours)
2. Excessive redness, irritation or discharge around the suture line
3. Swelling or lumpiness around suture line

If you notice any of these signs please bring Chow Chow back to The Animal Clinic, Sunset Way for a review.

Note: Chow Chow has had internal, dissolving sutures put in. He does not need to return unless problems occur."

We got him an e-collar so that he will not reach for his wound. He was a little disorientated when we put the e-collar on and he had a bit of a problem moving around. His head was kept low and the e-collar kept bumping into things whenever he tries to move around the house. I believe at some point he was frustrated with it but Chow Chow is still a good boy and didn't whine for us to remove the e-collar for him. We only took it out during meal time and when he goes out for his walks. Hopefully, his wound will heal very quickly and we won't have to make him wear the e-collar for more than 3 days.

This is how Chow Chow looks with the e-collar, his 'costume' for this Halloween. :P
Sleepy Chow Chow slept with his e-collar on. My poor baby, get well soon!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

You'll be fine

I wonder if Chow Chow slept well last night. I wonder if he is feeling alright. I wonder if he thought we have abandoned him.

Last evening, we brought Chow Chow to The Animal Clinic for him to stay the night cos his sterilization surgery is the next afternoon. Before we left for the clinic, I gave him an early dinner and a walk thereafter. He was happy and active as usual, and we were extra loving to him, showering him with more hugs and pats.

He seems to enjoy my husband's attention more. His pats always get Chow Chow's tails wagging, non-stop. Mine just warrant a few wags for the first 5 seconds.

At the clinic, we had to weigh Chow Chow to determine the final surgery cost. The dog now weighs a hefty 13kg! He is now 2kgs heavier from last month! A lady at the clinic was surprised to see our 6-month old pup so big. Her 7-month old puppy, a mixed breed I think, looks so puny in comparison.

While we were waiting for the nurse to allocate a cage for Chow Chow, the dog got restless and whined whenever we made him sit. As if he sensed something was not right, he refused to come with us into one of the rooms, dugging his nails firmly to the floor as we dragged him inside. The nurse had to leashed Chow Chow inside a consultation room as none of the cages were available yet. I hope they will not stuff him into a tiny cage eventually.

Chow Chow was rather unhappy about staying in that room, but there is nothing we can do to help him. We tried to soothe him and calm him down and left the room quickly, hoping he will not be too distracted. I really wonder how he is doing now.

Back at home, his absence is sorely felt. It's only been two hours and I missed him already. I missed touching his thick, soft coat, and of him lazing around the house in his favourite corners of the living room. I can't believe I have grown so attached to him in just a matter of a month. I guess I can be too emotional for my own good.

I can't wait to fetch him home tonight and see how he is doing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chow Chow and Grandpa

My dad is an animal lover and he is especially sweet to Chow Chow. Whenever he has the time, he would pop by my house to see the dog. And he is always looking forward to bring Chow Chow to the park for his walks. Now that he knows Chow Chow loves pork liver, he has brought three bags of it so far for his favourite pooch.

Just yesterday, he popped by for a visit again and had two bags of pork liver for Chow Chow cos he knows that the dog is going for his sterilization surgery tomorrow and reckons Chow Chow needs more protein and nutrition for a speedy recovery. How thoughtful of dad!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Earth Cafe

Over the weekend, we decided to bring Chow Chow to a dog cafe to chill out plus dinner. We drove to Club4Paws / My Dog Ate It Cafe cos it was supposedly the nearest to our house. However all facilities, including the cafe can only be used by registered members. As we are not members and the cafe doesn't look too impressive from the outside, we decided to go somewhere else. Plan B was to check out Earth Cafe at Thomson. Luckily the place wasn't too difficult to locate.

The cafe was clean and it was not too packed. There was a very friendly pomeranian who scuffled to Chow Chow to say hi. As usual, that got Chow Chow very excited and he was sniffing and trying to get on top of the pom. We quickly drag him away and find a table further from the little pom and his owners. Chow Chow wasn't too pleased initially with being leashed to the wall. He was kinda agitated and wanted to explore the cafe a bit. The cafe staff were very nice and they quickly offer Chow Chow a bowl of water the minute we sat down.

Chow Chow calmed down a little after all the pacing around. The cafe staff were pretty curious about Chow Chow and asked us about his breed, age and gender. I guess Chow Chows are not very common and that is why many people are curious about this 'lion-lookalike' dog.

While hubby and I started to have our meal, one of the cafe staff came around and offer Chow Chow a teletubby for entertainment. But what makes Chow Chow happiest was his bowl of beef and vegetable dinner. H e was so excited he started to whine and whimper and let out a bark when the cafe staff poured some of his dinner into another bowl so that it will cooled more quickly and the eager Chow Chow can have his meal sooner. Chow Chow simply can't wait to sink his teeth into the yummy-looking food.

After the sumptous dinner, we brought him to Botanical Gardens for his evening walk.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chow Chow and Huijun

About a week after we got Chow Chow, my dog-crazy friend Huijun decided to drop by to pay Chow Chow a visit.

We brought Chow Chow out for his afternoon walk and he actually peed and pooped at the park. The first time he eliminates outdoor! We were overjoyed! LOL!

Since then it was elimination outdoors all the time. I've never been so happy picking up his poop! No more cleaning and mopping the floor at home after Chow Chow does his!

Thirsty dog went straight to his drinking bowl after each walk.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Chow Chow and Coco

Meet Coco, my in-law's six year-old Shih Tzu. We all love her very much as she is sweet, adorable and friendly all the time. However she is not too friendly to the dogs. Whenever a dog passes by the house, she would growl and bark incessantly at the passing canine until it is out of her sight. Once we brought her to the dog run and she was so unhappy. Her tail was down and she refused to face the other dogs. We always joked that Coco must have thought she is a human as well. She loves people, but just not species of her own kind.

When we first brought Chow Chow to the house, Coco was totally petrified. She keep growling and barking at poor Chow Chow who only look at her with his innocent eyes. He probably couldn't fathom why this little dog is so worked up when he has done nothing to her.

Coco's fear for Chow Chow worsened when Chow Chow tried to sniff at her and chase her. We had no choice but to keep Chow Chow outside the house. It has been more than a month already and both dogs still can't stay in the same area without Chow Chow going after Coco, and Coco scrambling for our protection from the bigger dog. Chow Chow can only go inside the house when Coco is on the second floor. Coco also gets jealous when we pet or brush Chow Chow. She shows her jealousy by barking at us. She would only calm down when we acknowledge her or pet her back.

I really hope soon Coco can overcome her fear for Chow Chow and see him as a playing companion instead.

It's Chow Time!

Initially, I wanted to write this blog based on the dog's perspectives. It's cute and many people are doing it. But then again, who am I to do that? I am not Chow Chow and I can't be sure of what he is thinking and feeling all the time. So I've decided to blog based on MY own observations and opinions on my darling Chow Chow. This blog is an attempt to record our days together. I prefer to keep it this way :)

For those who are interested, here are some facts and figures of our lovely pooch.

Colour: Red
Date of birth: 12 April 1008
Place of birth: Victoria, Australia
Breed background: It's Chow Chow on papers, but we highly suspect he's a mixed of Chow and Shiba Inu
Day we brought him home: 23 September 2008
Likes: going out, food, chasing birds
Hates: confined space
Temperament: stubborn, quiet, usually mild-tempered and placid at home in the day, active at night, sometimes too hyper when going for walks, kinda shy and timid, curious
Usual Routine: Daily walks in the morning, afternoon (sometimes, depends on weather), evening and night (depends on weather and if the owners are feeling hardworking). Weekly trip to West Coast Dog Run for some fun and run and socialising, then to my in-law's place for weekly bath and chill-out.

Chow Chow has been with us for more than a month already! And he grown quite a bit too! Here are his pictures taken when he was 5 months old.

When he first arrived, we put him in his crate for a couple of hours each day as part of his training. He absolutely hates it.

He much prefers to get out of his crate and a week later, we let him roam the house freely. Just no access to the rooms. He behaves quite well so we no longer put him in his crate. He's outgrown his crate too by now, I'm sure. If anyone is keen, we are letting go of the crate at $20. Just leave a comment if you want more details! :)

Poor Chow Chow had skin allergies, so he was scratching himself all the time. We have stopped giving him chicken now and I think it helped a bit in relieving the itch.

His favourite spot is under the coffee table. Two of the coffee table legs have been gnawed by him.

His favourite toy, the rope. Perfect for his teething needs.

Chow Chow hates car rides. He gets all nervous and tend to stand on all fours on the back seat. It takes a lot of coaxing for him to sit. And that last for just a minute if we are lucky. He has fallen a few times in the car and now has developed balancing instincts. If you see him shifting his body slightly to one side like he is surfing when the car turns, he is doing his balancing act.

Happy and running free at the dog run!

Chilling out at my in-law's foyer. We fenced him up the first time cos the family Shih Tzu was terrified of Chow Chow.
More pictures of Chow Chow and Coco, the Shih Tzu in the next post!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

And the rest they say is history....

One lazy Sunday morning, I dragged my hubby out for breakfast and then suggested we go to the countryside to check out the nurseries and pet farms. And so we did.... we even drove all the way across the island to check out the doggies in the pet farms in the east. At the last pet shop, my hubby pointed out an extremely cute Chow Chow to me. I've never seen a Chow Chow in the flesh, and boy was I smitten!

The red Chow Chow was a 3-month old puppy in a glass cage. It has the most adorable closed face, looking so much like a bear that you just wanna hug and pet and kiss it! It was huge for a pup (but of course, it's a Chow!) and it let out a low bark, rather inaudible actually. Now, this cutie pie comes with a hefty price tag of $2400. My hubby doesn't mind forking out the money "so long that we love him...cos we will have him for the next 10 to 15 years." But I'm not so sure. We could do a lot of things with $2400 and with me not drawing a single income for the past months, I think we need to be more level-headed with splashing out money just like that. We lingered a bit around the shop and then left. I just couldn't stop thinking of the Chow Chow and kept going "Chow Chow!" whenever I missed the dog. My hubby was amused and annoyed at the same time. But I'm also sure he likes the Chow Chow a lot.

In fact one of his fonder childhood memories consisted of petting and hugging a couple of huge Chows that belonged to an elderly man in his neighbourhood. He remembered that the dogs were friendly and good with children and let the kids play with them and follow them home.

Now, if you think we got the Chow Chow in the pet shop in the end...well, you are wrong.

Two days later, I was looking for suitable dogs to adopt online and I came across an adoption post for a 5-month old Chow Chow. I checked with the hubby immediately and he was cool with it. So I text the number in the adoption post and immediately I got a call! The lady was pretty eager and wanted me to see the dog in the afternoon, once her boyfriend (the dog owner) finished his class. Hubby and I could only make it in the evening and so we arranged to meet the very night.

This is all very exciting cos we tried to contact two dog owners previously on adopting their dogs and we got no response from the Corgi owner, and the Japanese Spitz owner was pretty relunctant to give up her dog. So now, finally we are on our way to meet the dog, a Chow Chow pup (!), and his owner and the Chow could very well be our new family member!

Everything went well and fast. We saw the dog...a tad too big for me...but I think I can get used to it..LOL! His fur is so soft and fluffy to the touch. He looked healthy and active and pretty happy too. The owner's reason to give the dog up was that his new dance studio is starting really soon and he is going to be super busy and will not have time for the Chow Chow (which he named Coffee). The poor dog was kept in his crate the whole day and was only let out for walks in the evening when the owner is home. The owner was glad to know to that I will be at home all day so that the dog will not be too lonely. And so, we exchanged the dog and it's documents for $500. A token sum for all its expenses incurred so far. The owner showed us his receipt - he got the dog for $2800 at Pet Safari at VivoCity.

It was a challenge for us in the first couple of weeks with Chow Chow (we decided to name him simply Chow Chow!) as he was eliminating in the house and I was going nuts cleaning after him. Walking him was extremely trying as well. But we are glad to say that after some time, Chow Chow has learnt to eliminate outdoors. We are also getting to know him and his body language a bit better. Walking him can be a breeze most of the time now too.

He is usually calm and well-behaved at home so we are very thankful for that. However he does go into his hyper mode which leaves us exasperated and we have a few quarrels over him. We have been reading up on dog training and dog nutrition so hopefully things will get better and we can really bond and be happy living and playing together.

Chow Chow is now 6-months old. I hope to record our days with him in our lives. Life will never be the same anymore now that we have Chow Chow in our family.

Here's some pictures of him as a 3-month old pup. Pictures taken from his previous owner's adoptation post in Pets Channel. Oh, I also found out that the owner has been wanting to give him up for adoption since August! Gosh! That means only one month was spent with the dog. Oh well, I really hope that Chow Chow is better off or at least happier now that he has us.

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