Thursday, June 17, 2010

'Tis the Season for... Limber Tail Syndrome (Just a Reminder)

It's summertime (well, officially in about 4 days), and we all know what that means for Labs:  water play!  :)

What fun!

Well, most of the time.

As a reminder to all of us who have water-loving dogs of any kind, I'm re-posting the informational blog entries I've run here before on the condition known as "Limber Tail Syndrome" or  "Cold Water Tail" or  "Limp Tail" or "Broken Wag" or "Flaccid Tail Syndrome" (it goes by various names).

Often unknown to veterinarians (until we educate them), this condition can scare the bejeebers out of pet owners whose beloved canines suddenly develop wagless tails (yes, the tails just sadly hang off their hind-ends like limp noodles). The bases of the tails are often tender to touch and quite uncomfortable for the dogs.

The condition is temporary, though painful, brought on by exposure to cold water.

Rather than rewrite everything here, I'll just supply the links to my previous entries.

Just so you know, every one of our labs, except little Chessie of course, has developed Cold Water Tail at one time or another.  Some, a couple of times.

All rebounded well and without complications, most within 2-3 days (Ridge was our longest at about 5 days).

And (another fyi) the information I posted about this syndrome, by far, generates more traffic to LabTails and more comments than any other subject about which I've written.

It's a common problem. Given the current season, a timely one, too.

I hope it helps!

'til next time,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Fun with Captions!

It's your turn, once again, to add titles, captions, or thought bubbles to the pics below.  I've numbered each picture and ID'd who's who, so just add your ideas by referencing those numbers/IDs using the comments feature at the bottom of this entry. 

Feel free to do as many or as few as you like!  In any case, have fun! :)

1. Elsie and Chessie:

2. Ridge and Chessie (Ridge is Chessie's dad):

3. Chessie:

4. DH (the human), Chessie (middle), Elsie (front):

5. Chessie:

6. Elsie and Chessie:

7. Tuc and Chessie:

8. Pinot (1):

9. Pinot (2):

10. Chessie (left foreground) and Tuc (sitting on step):

11. Elsie and Chessie:

12: Tuc (rear) and Pinot (front):

13. Tuc and Chessie:

14. Kenya (Chessie's mom):

15. Elsie and Chessie:

That's it for now! Can't wait to see what you come up with. :)

'Til next time,

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chessie has a New Bud! :)

Though we wondered about whether or not she would, the little Chessie girl doesn't seem to miss her littermates nearly as much as we expected.

In fact, it seems that her littermates' absence has encouraged the development of new "relationships" among our canine crew.

In particular, Chessie seems to have adopted Elsie as her new best bud (hehe).

I would love to know what Elsie thinks about all this.  Hehe...  (I'll leave it to you all to come up with thought bubbles for her!).

What I do know is that our tried and true mom, Elsie, puts up with everything Chessie throws at her -- always patient; always gentle, always tolerant of the little squirt's antics, and ever maternal.

At least when she feels like it.

LOL, generally Elsie just ignores Chessie (poor little thing tries so hard).

But in the end, they're buds now, and Elsie seems happy enough to have little Chessie by her side.

I'm not surprised.  Elsie, the Grand Dam of the canine crew, broke in Kenya, Pinot, and Tuc when they were young pups just joining the pack. And she's whelped two litters of her own.

What does surprise me sometimes, though, is that for all her canine wisdom and orientation, she's still primarily our Elsie Bear; her greatest affection is reserved exclusively for her humans. That's the neat things about Labs.

During this all-important socialization/imprinting time, I do hope we can foster the same kind of human trust, loyalty, and devotion in Chessie.

Elsie may be her new bud for now.  But we, her humans, want to be Chessie's best buds for the long haul.

I suspect, if so far is any indication, that that will be the case.  We just have to work at it.

Only time will tell. :)

'Til next time,

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Thank You, Dear Regular Readers!

Regular long-time readers have noticed, I'm sure, that the actual writing content of LabTails significantly decreased about 18 months ago. Oh, to be sure, I tried to keep up with photos of the canine crew and vignettes of our life with them, but I just didn't have the heart to write the way I once had; real-life sucked the wind from my sails and the life from my soul -- it's been tough.  And so it has been for the past two-and-a-half years.

Ahh... but as I noted in yesterday's post, the winds have shifted, and changes are happening -- both in our circumstances and my heart. I'm finally feeling alive again.

Our recent litter, for whatever reason, reminded me of all that's good and right in this world and in our lives. All I need do is glance at the pups to remember that each day brings adventure and fun and things to giggle over and dance about, no matter what the hardships may be.  I can smile still.

And that reminder seems to be restoring my heart and mind and soul. I'm feeling more like myself these days.

And I want to write again (for a writer, that's huge).

So thank you, DRRs, for hanging in there with us.  Thanks for your patience and perseverance while I've waited for "me" to return. :)

It truly is good to be back.  And I'm looking forward to sharing this new season with you (thankfully the last season is behind us).

Here's to grinning and giggling together in the days to come!

'Til next time,

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Our New Design and Last Litter Update!

How do you like the new look?  Yup... *gasp* ...LabTails has changed!

Though I didn't want to confuse our Regular Readers (especially those of you who've been following along for quite a while), it seemed like, after five years of the same old look, it was time for a change.

Especially since changes are in the wind. :)

Indeed, we are in transition.

As of this morning, all pups from Kenya's March litter are now with their forever families, except Chessie, of course, who's our forever girl.
  • Just a few hours ago, Miss Orange (who is now called Bonnie, or Sweet Bonnie Belle) left with her new human parents and eight-year-old human brother (hehe... new litter-mate!) for her new home in the northeastern part of Pennsylvania.
  • Miss Yellow (who we called "Pip" but whose new official name is "Kona") left last evening with her new human parents to live in the southeastern part of the state (PA).
Both families were incredibly excited to pick up their new wiggly bundles of joy, and both pups were delighted (waggling tails and puppy kisses and all) with their new humans.

That made it far easier for me to let go. After 11 weeks, as you can imagine, we've grown quite attached. Knowing and being confident in their placements, however, makes it okay; we're certain the pups will be well-loved and well-cared-for; and we know they'll bring great joy, loyalty, and affection to their humans in return.

It's all good.

In fact, I really enjoyed some extended 1:1 time with the little Chessie squirt this afternoon--something I couldn't do when the litter was still here.

And in case you're wondering, yes, she is looking for her litter-mates. That's why I thought a dose of extra attention today would be good for her. She's also got the rest of our canine crew (Ridge, Elsie, Kenya, Pinot, and Tuc) to keep her company, but we want her bonding with us, too.

So here are a few pics from the last week. The pups went to vet Monday evening for their 10-week check-ups and immunizations, and all survived. They didn't even howl in the car this time (good puppies!).

Here they are...

on the way to the vet at 10.5 weeks old (l to r: Bonnie, Kona (formerly "Pip"), and Chessie):

at the vet's on the exam table with DTS (Aunt Jeanie) and DH (l to r: Kona, aka Pip; Chessie; Bonnie):

on the way home from the vet (l to r: Chessie, Kona, Bonnie):

romping in the yard:

sleeping on the deck with the nufties, assorted toys, and each other:

and (Bonnie and Chessie) looking and wondering, after Kona left last night:

 Now we're down to just Chessie:

All is well, from the reports we've received so far about the pups and their adjustments to their new homes. Crate training has gone fabulously (all three pups were routinely crating overnight for six hours and still dry and clean in the morning!), at least while they were here; we suspect Bonnie and Kona will continue to do well in their new homes.

Chessie is house-breaking well (no accidents yet) and doing basic commands consistently, too (especially "sit" and "wait" and "leave it" -- and she drops her butt to the floor for mealtimes - a voluntary "sit" without command). 

So all is well.  We survived this litter without complications; all the pups are thriving; and we're content, satisfied, and greatly relieved. :)

Don't any of your worry about Chessie, by the way.  She's got plenty of buds here (just all bigger than she is), and you'll see more about that in my next post.

So that's the big change here: we're down to just our gang now.

Oh... and I've reclaimed my kitchen!!!!  Yay!  It feels like a human abode again!

LOL...hehe...oh, the things we do for our kids, human and canine! :)

'Til next time,