Friday, September 6, 2013

From Bad to Horrible

I haven't had heart to update on Bella too much as of late. Things are not okay.

Bella is in an almost constant state of obsession nowadays. She's so stressed and unhappy that it is stressing me out to no end. I cannot pinpoint what exactly made this turn into such a huge problem, the behavior had definitely started midsummer but it seems it truly exploded after her surgery. The puppy probably plays some part but I have been super careful to not allow her to harass Bella.

The neighbor's cat is the focus point of Bella's obsession. The photos below are all taken of her place in the living room where she will stop and stare out the living room window.




This is where my capabilities end. Plastic bags have turned into cats that must be murdered, outside there is an army of ghost cats waiting to taunt Bella, she can't relax when we go out to pee or poop. Since the surgery she has pooped inside more often than outside. She has started peeing as little as once every 24 hours and then it's only when she can't hold it in any longer. She's stiff and unresponsive, she's super anxious. She's terribly terribly unhappy.
Two days ago she took off when I took her and Tosca to a place where I go to let them be off leash during our walk. She has not once in her lifetime done that before. She was lost for an hour and wouldn't answer my call.

I am so lost and demotivated. I have been working so hard to try to avoid her getting into the obsessive state while tending to her needs. It feels things just keep getting worse no matter what I do and I'm heartbroken about it. Right now there is no one enjoying any part of the day with Bella. She's just constantly in her program. I can do training with her but she's clocking out whenever there's a moment's break in my program.

I did try calling a behaviorist today only to find out she's taken the entire month of September off.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

This and That

I'm still debating whether to create a special blog for Tosca related things or keep Bella and Tosca stuff together in this blog.

However, here's a short video from today with Tosca when we went to meet two dogs owned by my cousin. The smaller is a daughter of two narcotics dogs (police dogs) and the older (furrier) has been SAR trained. I did mention them when I first really got interested in doing nosework with Bella as I got demonstration from both (tracking and SAR).

I probably would SAR train both Tosca and Bella if I would be willing to go through the general newbie SAR training. You can't really train for SAR in Iceland unless you intend to be on active duty. Tosca's grandmother passed her A-level test but we found out she run off a cliff and died in the fall. Tosca's brother is supposed to go into SAR.
Actually, I would like to train dogs for tracking/trailing, nosework and SAR if I had three different dogs. Does it show that I like scentwork?

But when it comes to Bella, after the surgery she became really snappy with Tosca. I have been devastated and trying to keep them separated to not have things escalate but suddenly this afternoon, Bella went right up to Tosca with wagging tail and wanted to play. There's a huge burden off my shoulder, now I know this will work even if it may take time for Bella to be at peace with that hyperactive puppy.

Friday, August 16, 2013

We're back!

Me and Bella took the entire family out of town for a week and just got back this afternoon. I admit I'm glad to be back!


My stepdaughter leaves tomorrow and my son goes back to kindergarten on Monday. Yup, the summer holidays are almost over! I'm actually excited for autumn and winter.

I took Bella's cone off this afternoon and so far she's behaving well. However I feel like I'm performing animal cruelty when applying the daily mouthwash as the vet instructed. It smells exactly like human mouthwash and I suspect the burning sensation is the same for a dog.

Little Tosca is growing like weed, she really enjoyed her time in the countryside.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Amazing Terriers

Bella's surgery was today and I'm pleased to say it went very well. As I write this we're taking it easy in the sofa now that the kids and puppy have gone to bed.

Bella after surgery

It was terrible to see her when I went to get her, she looked so vulnerable. She was shivering most of the evening and was half comatose to begin with. But when I took her outside to pee she was going to charge off (in slow-motion) and wasn't going to give an inch when it came to getting food. She even got the bodysuit I put her into off.

She's supposed to take it easy tomorrow and the day after, I was sweating about her getting peace and quiet in this busy home, now I'm worried how to hold her back! Terriers are just amazing little fighters no matter what life throws at them.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


I had a vet look at Bella's molar this morning and it was very clear cut, it has to come out. It's in two individual pieces, it's cloven from bottom and right through the root. I have known the entire weekend that it would come to this but when the vet told me I started feeling anxious and trying to imagine that I didn't need to put Bella through this. Which of course is just not true.

The vet was ready to do the surgery today but after discussing spaying with her we decided to do both operations tomorrow so she wouldn't have to go through anesthesia twice. I can't stop thinking if I'm being unfair on Bella making her go through these two operations at once. I want what's best for her but sometimes it's hard to know what's best.

Tosca 8 weeks

Bella did get antibiotics today and has been gung-ho all day but when playing with Tosca earlier this evening I think something started hurting and she went from wanting to play to running away from Tosca with her tail between her legs so I split them up. I'm really glad the tooth will be extracted first thing tomorrow morning, it's an infection waiting to happen.

I'm actually quite stressed! 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Summer Holidays

We got our puppy on Friday a week ago. Say hello to Tosca.

Tosca 8 weeks

My stepdaughter came to us for three weeks the day after so we currently have a full house! Things are just settling into some kind of routine now and I'm starting to catch a break on moments like now, where my fiancé has taken the two older kids leaving me with the youngest and the dogs. Yes, that's called a break in my household!

Bella was very disgruntled about the dog intrusion the first two days but now she's always wanting to play with the puppy. If she's not playing, she's obsessing about our new neighbors cat as seen below.


Bella is a great dog, but oh my gosh, I hate dealing with the obsessive behavior!! She will hang in this spot for hours if she is allowed, and the cat is always jumping up and down our fence which reinforces Bella's obsession.

For some bad news, I found out yesterday that one of Bella's molars is broken. It seems pretty bad, it's split from bottom and seems to go further up than the gums. I could move the fragment before she flinched. I'm gutted not having seen it before because this is a long weekend in Iceland and I can't make a vet appointment until Tuesday at the earliest.
I have no idea when it happened or how, I'm just going to have to watch it closely for any signs of infection.

I'll try to do some puppy-spam soon but here's two more photos to begin with:

Tosca 8 weeks

Tosca 8 weeks

My 9 week puppy is already taller than Bella!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Some News

Okay, I'm done with all the melodrama for now. Let's just say I had a bad week.

Bella the deck dog

Bella has false pregnancy but it seems a fairly mild case as the only side effect I notice is that she lactates and I believe another symptom was that for a few days she was peeing unusually little, like once every 24 hours. I was driving myself mad taking her out almost like a puppy and watching her for a sign of any illness.

However she seems just fine now (it's not fully over). I'm watching out for whatever but she's pretty much her normal happy self. Maybe even a little more playful than usual for some reason.

Bella the deck dog

We finally finished building the deck and painted it so now I suddenly have more time to relax. So I decided to use leftover timber to improve the jumps I built over a year ago. Now I've got one sturdy jump that goes up to 55cm or so.

Bella the deck dog

I've been focusing on finding ways to engage Bella more in training and have been reading and watching a ton of stuff to help us break through the rut we got into earlier in the summer. We're doing touch training (nose touching hand) and it was easy as pie for her to learn the gist of the game in one session. Now I'm focusing on having fun building on it. I already see the huge benefit of it doing heeling.
I am also trying yet again to use toys as rewards. After my research I'm less frustrated about it though. I'm just glad for times such as today when she jumped for me in order to chase a ball.

Bella the deck dog

Anyway, what riled me up last week was that we did look at a 4 year old German Shepherd that was up for adoption. We were fully committed to the adoption but then then I don't know what happened. The owner was super super busy and kept postponing things until we just didn't want to participate in it and dropped out of the deal.
I was pretty gutted because I've secretly been wanting another dog and was scouting for suitable matches amidst all the Border Collie mixes available. That's when things got really weird all of the sudden we ended up at a German Shepherd breeder's home. Although it happened very quickly I had been thinking about it for a very long time so it wasn't really too difficult to make the decision to get a puppy. Yes, a GSD puppy.

We're picking our little girl up tomorrow afternoon after her vet check and puppy shots, yippee!

Bella the deck dog