Friday, February 22, 2008

Pulling Bo's Leg

The first night we had Luke I lay awake in a total crisis, asking myself just what the hell I thought I was doing getting another puppy. Bo was a total nightmare at this age and continues to be a large pain. Last night Luke was very sleepy and wanted a place to snuggle, so I picked him up and he just fell asleep on his back snuggled in my arms. Totally justified the purchase. He and Bo are starting to play together now, which is hilarious. He goes up to Bo and starts gnawing on one of his hind legs or hanging off of his fur by his teeth. Bo lifts the abused foot up as high as he can and puts up with it all very patiently. Finally Bo gets to a point where he had it, and roofs at Luke smushes him to the ground with his front legs.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How to Tape (or Brace) Puppy Ears

Our new corgi puppy, Luke, has one ear with a crease in it. His ears are not up yet, so this one flops back a bit, rather than over the front. To correct this, the breeder's vet recommended that we use Breathe-Right (TM) strips. I tried this, but one good shake of his head sent the strips flying. I have modified this method and it seems to be working really well. Luke is almost 7 weeks old. This method may not work as well with an older puppy or one with ears that have thicker skin or really dense, heavy fur. I used a generic drugstore brand of the nose strips and the thin tape that you use to attach gauze to a wound. Don't use the heavy, super-sticky stuff. This will weight the ear down too much, causing it to sag down, and will pull off fur more when the tape is removed. Pull one nose strip off and place it over another so that you have a single strip of double thickness. Trim the strips down so that they fit inside the ear as pictured above, but don't go down into the ear canal and irritate the ear. Place the strip INSIDE the ear. Pull of two strips of tape that are about 4 inches long. Wrap them around the ear, front and back taking care not to bend or distort the ear, and to secure the nose-strip. Leave the ear braces in place for a week, but replace them if the ears appear to be set oddly or the tape becomes tattered or is falling off excessively. If the ears are still not corrected inside a week, contact your vet, groomer, or breeder for some help. The puppy will be irritated with the tape initially, so distract him with some play time or a good chew toy. Luke got used to them in about a half hour. Happy taping.

Edited to add: Because the floppy ear was not standing up enough, I used a couple of inches of tape to attach it front and back to the other ear. I left about 2.5 inches of space between the two ears. This forces both ears to stand up a bit more. After just one day, both ears are now consistently up. This has not corrected the crease however.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Meet Luke. He is our brand new Pembroke corgi puppy. We got him this Saturday from a breeder in Fair Oaks. He is one of a litter of five puppies (one female and four males). Because we are so unoriginal, we once again kept the name that the breeder had given our puppy. Bo was also named by the breeder, but now we have our own little Dukes of Hazzard!

We originally thought we'd go with a female, but female corgis tend to be the alpha dogs, with males being more laid back. This was certainly the case with this litter. Luke's loan sister, Leia (yes they were all named for Star Wars characters) was a little pistol. We didn't think Bo and Kasey would deal with that well, so instead we picked the quietest pup in the group.

Bo has taken this pup in stride quite well, but Kasey is totally miserable. Poor cat spends all day on my bed in the back of the house. She comes out to eat, and if she happens to encounter the little guy her eyes get as big as saucers and she growls and hisses at him. Bo has been around other dogs so little, his only problem with the pup is interpreting puppy play signals. When Luke paw slaps and yaps at him he jumps like he's been stung. When he tries to get playful with Luke he yaps and bounces so fiercely that he sends the poor baby yelping and scooting for cover in terror.

He is a total handful when he is awake, so thankfully he sleeps something like 20 hours a day. I've been getting up once a night to take him out for a pee which I don't mind. The only problem is, it takes me at least an hour to get back to sleep. Then I have to get up early to make sure he's gotten out to pee again and have something to eat. Three days after getting him and I'm already staggering around in a stupor, hair unwashed and laundry undone, like a new mom. It's all worth it though!