Saturday, December 03, 2005

Ridge is Howling Again

Poor Ridge. Elsie's in the prime mating phase of her heat cycle, and Ridge's testosterone is in overdrive (as it should be). The poor boy only wants to do what his body chemistry is telling him to do.

But he can't. Not yet. And he's howling in protest.

We have one more heat cycle to get through (after this one) until Elsie will be old enough to have her hips and eyes screened. Once we have her screening results, then we'll know whether or not we can breed her. Until then, we need to keep her away from the boys while in heat. Besides, she's still too young (only 15 months old).

In the meantime Ridge must wait.

Mercifully, we have Benedryl. Our vet recommends using 75mg. (Ridge weighs 85 lbs.) of Benedryl as a sedative when Elsie is ripe. It really does calm him, and it doesn't have any lasting effects. Elsie is prime now (at least according to Ridge's behavior), so I broke out the pink and white capsules today.

Despite the Benedryl effect, we still have to crate Ridge and Elsie when she's in heat. We do this crate rotation thing to protect her. If Ridge is out, Elsie stays in her crate. If Elsie is out, Ridge must stay in his. And if I have to go out and can't supervise them, both go into their crates.

Baxter, sweet neutered male that he is, no longer needs a crate; he has a doggy bed in the family room. And he's oblivious to it all.

The howling problem occurs only when Ridge is crated. If Elsie is crated and Ridge is out, he's content to sniff and pace and sleep next to Elsie's crate.

When Elsie is out, however, and Ridge is crated, the howling begins. If both are crated, Ridge howls then, too.

The funny thing is, Elsie's heat cycle is the ONLY time Ridge seems to mind his crate. He really likes it most of the time, though he doesn't need it; he's so well behaved.

We leave Ridge's crate up for him all the time only because Ridge seems to prefer it. It's his den. When Elsie is not in heat, we leave Ridge' s crate door open all day, and he comes and goes as he pleases. When he naps during the day, he prefers to mosey into his crate for a snooze. When he wants a break from Elsie and Baxter, he goes there and lies down. He likes his crate.

Well, most of the time. Just not when it keeps him from in-the-prime-of-her-heat-cycle Elsie.

Elsie, little imp that she is, still needs hers (she's still chewing things she shouldn't chew if I'm not in the room). And her heat cycle is the ONLY time she LIKES her crate (she seems to prefer being there to being sniffed and mounted; I suppose I would, too, if I were her).

LOL. She and Ridge are polar opposites. At least during heat cycles.

Ahh, but this too shall pass. And it may even pass before Christmas! Yay!

I can't imagine dealing with Christmas and heat cycles at the same time! How thankful I am for small mercies (like Elsie's prime occurring right now and not two weeks from now).

Now if we can just get through the next week and stay sane...(thank you, Benedryl!).

'Til next time,

1 comment:

Aidana said...

I added you to my blog links today & used the photo of all 3 dogs as a teaser, let me know if you mind.