Oz Working Dogs - Assistance & Working Dog Equipment

For assistance/service dog equipment, as well as guide, therapy, detection, search & rescue, police and dogs in training equipment check out my website http://www.ozworkingdogs.com.au - I make and sell vests, capes, belly bands, harnesses, handles and more... and will post to the world!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Planning Knightley's Birthday plus more, searching for a pup, a nasty fall for me

11 months 2 weeks 6 days

Knightley wet from his paddling pool as a 16 week old youngster,
cooling off from the summer heat. A photo in a million.
So, Knightley is coming up for his 1 year birthday, and I want to do something special for him - especially considering everything that has been happening to him. I'm looking for ideas, but I do have a few myself. He always LOVES playing in his paddling pool in the backyard, even when it is a freezing winters day (then I only let him get his face and feet wet), and loves the storm water drain when he's allowed to frolic in that. So one idea is a bunch of water toys that he can get off the bottom of his paddling pool (loves sticking his head under and blowing bubbles through his nose), and can float on the top and more.

Knightley blowing bubbles with his nose many many months
ago, 16 weeks old. Still has his puppy fluff.
Another idea is another plastic paddling pool, but to this time fill it with sand as he absolutely loved the chance to dig whilst on the beach. I'd also get some other toys to round out this idea as well..... maybe ones I could bury in the sand, different balls of every type imaginable and all sorts of other bury-able toys that he could dig up. Both of these plans would work well in terms of sharing with a new addition.

If anyone else out there has any further ideas for birthday presents for my gorgeous boy, let me know! I think after being retired before our lives together have barely started, he deserves it. Not that he'll really understand.... just he won't get to go much anywhere to exciting places anymore.

One more thing - if any of you out there have become attached to Knightley over the weeks or months of reading this blog and wish to share in his birthday, we would welcome birthday presents. Or, if you would rather, you could contribute to some puppy toys for the new puppy when it comes! We weren't expecting the expense of another dog, and simple things like toys would be appreciated by Knightley and the yet to be named (and found) pup! So, if you are interested in sending anything to us, and it doesn't matter if it gets here a little late for Knightley's birthday (28th July), contact me via either:

  • info (at) ozworkingdogs (dot) com (dot) au or
  • downunder (dot) assistance (dot) dog (at) gmail (dot) com

You don't have to by any means, only if you want to!

Anyway, Knightley's limp has improved vastly. Obviously despite the severity of his hip dysplasia we will have at least some time in hand without a default daily limp - I was worried for a bit there that the x-rays had set off something more permanent! We had a lot of fun together in the backyard this morning, and I let him do quite a bit of running around and barely saw him favouring that hip at all. It is important that he doesn't lose his fitness and muscle bulk, as that will make his hip problems worse. So there is a fine line to be found between letting him run, and stopping him before he makes himself lame. Today I rode the line perfectly and he was happy to come inside and sleep after our fun together. I do wonder what having another puppy will be like. It will change the dynamics completely. I have never had more than one dog, and it does make me wonder whether my bond with this second puppy will be as close as it has become with Knightley - as when Knightley was a baby he had only me to play with, but with a new puppy, Knightley will always be there to bond with first.... and only then me. I will have to make sure we have a good deal of time together alone.

The breeder I said I emailed isn't going to be breeding another litter for a while yet, so I have emailed another two breeders, one of which has a litter who is four weeks old now - with 7 males. I don't know how many of those males are still available, but it one of the breeders I originally emailed, and if you have possibly read my very early posts, it was the breeder of the bitch whose mating didn't "take"..... to be polite, heh. Looking on the online Golden Retriever breeding database, k9data.com, the hip score background of sire and dam are pretty good - back several generations it is all good or excellent, but a few more back there are some worse scores. Despite having mostly really good scores my experience with Knightley tells me that you just don't know what recessives are still lurking in breeding dog's genes. Hip dysplasia is hard to breed out but it can be done - it was done very successfully with racing greyhounds. I really think they need to change to PennHip even though it is a lot more expensive and very rare here in Australia. BVA is obviously just not doing the job, sigh.

Anyway, if the breeder with the 7 males happened to have a suitable boy, which would be relatively unlikely but possible.... it would be coming home mid August. As for a name for a new male puppy, I have absolutely no idea. From early on I wanted to call a puppy Knightley as I always liked the character Mr Knightley from Emma, and while I also very much like Mr Darcy from Pride & Prejudice I very much doubt the hubby will stand for that!! It needs to be something that sounds quite different from Knightley to avoid problems when you call the names out. So, I need my thinking cap on. You can't quite make up your mind until you've met the dog though, can you?

I've been thinking a lot about how all our plans for Knightley have changed, and I have decided something... if it is possible that is. From the beginning I intended that if Knightley had the temperament for it, and they let me do it with my mobility problems, I wanted to do therapy dog training with him. He definitely can't be a mobility assistance dog with his hips the way they are, but perhaps he could be a therapy dog?? I think he'd be really good at it, he is such a friendly, happy dog that people just can't help smiling when they see him.... anyone would cheer up to see that golden grin. The local training people don't allow dogs to start therapy  dog training until they are 18 months old, so I think I shall concentrate on training towards that, and also concentrate on getting a good joint supplement regime going to stabilise his hip. It makes me feel significantly more positive that we could work towards being a therapy dog for Knightley. It means he won't get to miss out on all the dreams I had for him. In many ways he will bring as much hope and happiness this way, it just won't be just to me.

Anyway, I had a rather nasty fall today. Thankfully I was inside, but even so it was pretty awful. Somehow I tripped over my own feet.... I swear something makes me clumsy these days. I fell down really hard almost full length, landing on the knee of my 'bad' leg and bruising it pretty badly, jarring my badhip, bruising the other leg and hitting my head hard. It was such a shock I just lay there and gasped for a while, but Knightley was a bit confused.... I think he was wondering if it was some sort of new game, but at the same time he seemed worried. Eventually I managed to pull myself up and inspect the sore bits which are swollen but not broken, and I think then he realised I wasn't playing but was serious and he became all licky and clingy.... trying to even lick my knee .... (owwwww). He crawled onto my lap after I hobbled off to get ice and seemed to try to reassure me that everything was going to be ok. What a good pup he is. Expecting my knee to be very sore indeed tomorrow. :(

Knightley in a large tracking harness, also
with the euro leash which does everything
you would ever wish a leash to do!!
My new cape with pockets is now for
I also have a few more products on Oz Working Dogs - and if you missed the announcement, am selling to overseas now too. There's a cape, with or without pockets, a 3m/10ft euro leash, a lightweight but super strong comfortable collar, a very mobile mat that can be strapped to the back of many of my vests and bands, and a multipurpose tracking harness. I'll soon be selling clickers, safety vests for dogs, flashing lights for collars/vests, and small water bottle/bowls that can fit even in handbags - plus more.

So, despite everything life does continue.

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