Hawk's Schedule

8/4 Lake Mills
8/12 CCSDA Training

November 29, 2010


I guess that Monte figured that seven days with staples in his leg was enough. Last evening while we were sleeping, he was in his crate tearing off his bandage and ripping out every staple. We woke to a bloody crate with metal staples littering his blanket. We believe that they all remained external to Monte.

Completely embarrassed for not being able to take care of our puppy, we called the veterinarian to explain our predicament and request more assistance. I sheepishly dropped him off for his third set of staples in eight days. This will prolong our adventure, which started November 1st, at least another week, assuming all goes well.

All this damage was completed with his collars on, so he was retrofitted with a wider BiteNot collar to further restrict access to his paw. However, it's impossible to determine if it will work until he proves it won't. The vet sent us home with some additional ammunition, ten pills to sedate Monte, to be used at our discretion. It is tempting to keep him sedated until New Year's Eve, but are hoping that a nightly dose for the next week will be sufficient.

November 28, 2010


Never ones to pass up an opportunity to practice, we attended the graduation ceremony for our pal Harley and his human companion Olivia. Nothing out of the ordinary to report, all the puppies behaved themselves, so it was a good day.

Monte was wondering how old he has to be before we teach him the UP ON THE BED command - it's fairly cold on the floor in our house.

Homemade party favors were provided to all puppies in attendance, courtesy of an after school project. In addition to the decorations, each bag was filled with yummy treats (according to Monte as he intently sniffed each one).

At home, we took the opportunity to practice his LEAVE it command. Many thanks to the aspiring bakers and artists.



We have been reminded every morning that we were not watching Monte close enough when he ripped off his bandage and dislodged a few staples. We never found the bandage. Monte's explanation was that it had magically disappeared and the staples automatically popped out.

Our morning slumber has been interrupted, rather startling, by the unmistakable sound of dog's stomach preparing to let loose its contents all over the floor. On each occasion we have hurriedly rushed Monte outdoors or to the easiest to clean floor covering. We have succeeded in keeping the floor "clean", however, every time our famished puppy has instantly re-devoured the flotsam.

This morning after a repeat performance, I knew I had to do something. The best answer was Emesis, which I had never done before. So I checked a few internet sites to compare procedures and quantities before preparing my supplies.

No syringe handy; a plastic cup would have to do. My partner was still sleeping, so I prepared for battle alone. I poured the contents down Monte's throat with little resistance and five minutes later success. Everyone should sleep better this evening.

November 26, 2010


It was cold outside, but Monte found a comfortable and warm spot in the house today. An added bonus was the free entertainment. He watched two squirrels frolicking in the trees and fighting over a squash that our garden provided. He was occasionally distracted when a bird would fly by his line of sight. No barking - Monte was a good boy.

November 24, 2010

Split Second

Surviving the first three weeks without a mishap, our luck ran out. Giving Monte a break from wearing the cone and collar, when we are watching, worked fine until today. It only took a split second - the bandage was off and a staple removed. This required another unscheduled trip to the veterinarian for local anesthetic, one replacement staple, and two additional for good measure.

The rainy weather makes potty time even more fun. Along with removing the collars, we place Monte's foot in a plastic bag and tie it around the knee. He was uncomfortable for a moment, however after all that he's been through he quickly accepted the extra protection. He crinkles as he walks.

November 23, 2010

Repeat Performance

Since Monte enjoyed his surgery and rehabilitation and we relished the opportunity to play doctor, a repeat engagement was necessary. The second surgery on his left rear dew claw was completed on Monday without complication.

On Saturday, two days before surgery number two, I took Monte to the football field for a few minutes of free time. He couldn't do any damage to his leg and the wound wasn't going to heal. This was the first time being unleashed outdoors in three weeks. Ecstatic to be able to let loose, he raced back and forth on the grass with reckless abandon, sniffing and chasing everything and anything.

On Monday, the veterinarian removed a tad more of the bone and used staples to secure the wound this time. A brief discussion with Monte's breeder revealed that his eventual dew claw appeared more like an extra digit at birth, which confirms the veterinarian's assessment that there was a lot more bone than he expected. We saw the incision site for the first time this evening as we changed his dressing - much better. However, after a brief respite, the cone has returned.

In addition to ten to fourteen more days of rehab, we were informed that Monte has Demodectic Mange (mites, non-contagious). "It is generally a disease of young dogs that have inadequate or poorly developed immune systems or older dogs that are suffering from a suppressed immune system." His immune system was probably compromised by a combination of surgery, antibiotics, and rabies vaccination.

On Tuesday, since Monte has exercise restrictions, we had the unique experience of grocery shopping without a dog. It's so much easier, but always felt like we were forgetting something. Being two days before Thanksgiving, I wish that I had stayed home too.

November 19, 2010


Bad News: Monte's wound on his left rear paw has not been healing well. We made another trip to the veterinarian's office to see what could be done. Unfortunately, the diagnosis was not good and surgery is scheduled for Monday to reopen the wound and try again. Ten more days.

Good News: none

November 17, 2010

Half Full

Having a puppy with you 24x7 provides literally hundreds of training opportunities everyday. Whether we take the time to notice and provide the necessary positive/negative reinforcement is up to us. It's much easier to prevent a bad canine behavior from starting than reshaping the undesirable.

Generally our hard work and vigilance goes unnoticed. Others only see when our puppies misbehave or fail to do what we ask. That being said, we have had repeated positive experiences at the veterinarian's office.

Our vet, Dr. Mike, like to toss kibble to the dogs. Monte is a retriever, not a catcher, and the kibble always bounces off his nose ending up on the floor. Unlike other labs, Monte LEAVEs it alone, even after Dr. Mike told him he could GET IT. We told Dr. Mike that he won't eat it off the floor and he was impressed and he continues to test him each time we visit.

Those of you raising a "starving" Labrador know that they will chew on and eventually eat anything and everything. It seems as though they will explode before they stop eating, so getting a dog to resist a food temptation is the Holy Grail.

We began with the Puppy Choice game and he eventually got it. However, it doesn't work as well for food or food-like substances already on the ground. In this case, I see the glass as half full.

November 16, 2010


Day fourteen, the last ten stitches were finally removed from Monte's left rear paw and he received his last dose of antibiotics. Recovery should be complete, however, Monte's incision is not completely healed and we must continue our prevention efforts. We didn't plan for overtime.

Not sure who wants to discard the collars more, Monte or me. The apparatus must be removed every time we venture outdoors to potty and reassembled after we return. I guess that is a small price to pay. At least I don't have to wear it all day and night.

It has been two weeks of living with a "caged" eight month old high energy yellow lab. Fingers crossed that the infection clears up, Monte fully recovers without any long term damage, and life gets back to normal in a few days. I can't wait to watch Monte running and bounding through the (snow covered) field this weekend. He loves eating ice, so snow should be a treat.

Addendum: Speaking of a treat, Monte was put to work tonight to be the program dog to meet with a prospective puppyraising family. He was thrilled when the door to the house we arrived at opened and low and behold, another happy Lab appeared. Ike is a big handsome black lab, American just like Monte, but 2 years old. He welcomed Monte into his home but after a rousing doggy "hello," both were sorely disappointed this was not a play date, and they voiced their disappointment with heavy sighs and whimpers. They continually egged each other on; if Monte was laying down, Ike would throw a paw his way and if Ike was being good, Monte would cry--as if both of them were saying "let's ditch these humans and go for a good romp around the house!" However, both settled down and let the humans talk. Monte hopes to see more of Ike in the near future.

November 15, 2010

Fuzzy Ball

Dear Doug and Barb,

I had some "issues" this weekend you never warned me about. I was at Michael's on Saturday getting some yard with my Two-Legged Mom.

The yard aisle is a very difficult aisle to go down for us dogs! The wool yarn smells really interesting, plus it's round like a ball. I thought for sure Mom wanted me to grab some of those smelly balls!!! But, she kept making me take them out of my mouth.

Needless to say, TL-Mom made me spend a little extra time in the wool yarn aisle......... by myself!!! Sit, heel, stay, come - AND DON'T PICK UP THE YARN!!!

I caught on real quick! I had to, or she never would have let me leave the store!! I'd still be sitting in the yarn aisle.

That's a really tough aisle for us dogs - yarn balls smell really good!!!

This week, Mom said we're going to Menard's and looking at the Christmas Tree ornaments!!! But, I know.......I can't put any in my mouth!!

Christmas seems to be full of challenges for us dogs!!!

First the mall for three hours, then lunch out, then Michael's, then a bath at Animart!! It was a hard day!!

Paws and licks,

November 14, 2010

Game Time Decision

It was a big day for Montee. The Badger running back, Montee Ball, scored three touchdowns and rushed for 160 yards.

OccuPaws' Mantequilla, aka Monte, attended his first Badger football game, although the final decision wasn't made until game time. Still recovery from his dew claw surgery, one foot is slowly healing, we debated whether Monte should visit Camp Randall. The issue wasn't being out and about because he wouldn't be walking much. Our concern was the wet weather.

We took extra care to keep him dry and we all tolerated the moisture and cold as best we could. Taking his lead from the student section, Monte sat for the entire game. This may have had more to do with not wanting to remain in a DOWN on the cold wet cement - we will need to deal with this in the future. Other than that the biggest issue was keeping his water logged tail from spraying people when he was happy.

We were all happy to return to our warm abode and rest before the evening's hockey game.

Note: Looking for our nephew to thank him for the tickets, we met Todd Nelson, the UW Assistant Athletic Director. He offered the option to exchange our seats for a dry location with more "puppy room". We thanked him for the offer and for painting one of the dog bowls that was auctioned last weekend.

November 12, 2010

Stitch in Time...

Well, this was trip #2 to the vet this morning to get Monte's sutures out of his legs. Maybe the 3rd time will be the charm...We knew it was probably not going to be good news because he started limping on his back left leg late last night, and that incision was still puffy and red. So, he is now on another 10 days of antibiotics, 4 pills a day. We will go back on Monday and hopefully the rest of the stitches will come out. Stitches were removed from the right leg. For these short followup visits, the vet is not charging us, so we are not ringing up a bunch of bills. We still have not counted the number of stitches, and he came home with both legs bandaged again today since it is so wet and rainy outside, but there are a lot more than I thought there would be, maybe 8-9 per leg.

To Monte's credit, we know he is not thrilled getting his cervical collar and flying saucer put on, but he will stand there patiently while you get him geared up. He's thrilled when we give him a break and take it all off. He still has no idea how big his head is with that on and today literally chopped one of my plants in half when he shook his head too close to it! Just like that, he hit the stem just right and 2/3 of the plant hit the floor. What can you do?

November 10, 2010

Bad with the Good

Bad News: We will not be attending the final four hour Community Day event at the Boston Store.
Good News: We will be at Camp Randall watching the Badger football team - free tickets.

Bad News: After checking the wounds, our vet decided to postpone the removal of Monte's dew claw stitches.
Good News: The vet was not overly concerned with the "puffy" wound site on Monte's left rear paw - we thought it might be infected.

Bad News: We have to keep Monte away from his bandages for a few more days.
Good News: Dr. Boyle rubbed some antiperspirant on the bandages to offer a bitter taste when Monte licks, which worked immediately.

Bad News: The antiperspirant's effectiveness was short-lived, Monte has to continue wearing the cone.
Good News: He doesn't fight having the BiteNot and Elizabethan collar put around his neck or over his head.

Bad News: Monte's exercise has been reduced significantly.
Good News: It allows more time for Monte's second favorite activity, cradling - massage and paw rubs.

November 8, 2010

Respite Over

Monte's week of vacation has officially ended. Since his neutering last Monday we have been a little lax with our training. We may have felt a bit sorry for the boy (and still do since his dew claws have not healed) and let some things slide.

Today, we reintroduced the concept of HEELing on our walk, albeit a short one, and managed to find time for some grooming practice. He appreciated the brushing since it allowed him to be free of the collar contraptions. To supplement the walks around the block, we included a few shopping trip. We spent some additional time working on STAY.

The bandages were removed from his rear paws on Sunday and the stitches are scheduled to be removed on Wednesday. If they last that long, a couple are already coming undone. So I re-wrapped the paws hoping to keep the wound tight as long as possible/needed. Six days to go.

November 7, 2010


It was Monte's first day back at work and it began with a battle with his nemesis, Gordy. The battlefield was an event to sell Community Day coupon books at the entrance to the Boston Store. Who would sell the most coupon books? The adorable five-month old puppy and sorority girl versus the eight-month old bandaged puppy with his aged sales averse puppy raiser.

Having been cooped up since Monday, I was concerned that he might suffer from an overabundance of energy, but he acted normally as we greeted persons from eight months to eighty years.
To reiterate, these events are about more than selling $5 coupon books. These events provide an opportunity to promote the organization and provide a puppy fix for dog loving shoppers.

Yesterday was a special day, as Monte and I met three people who had recently said a final Good-Bye to their canine companion. Although difficult, each said that puppies were the best medicine to help them through the grieving process.

Before we knew it our two hour stint was complete and we had to vacate the premises. Next week we get four hours :-)

After a quick bite to eat, off to Francesca's first birthday party. The birthday girl appeared to enjoy the plastic bottle more than the sixty pound furry canine with teeth. With the exception of continually removing his birthday hat, Monte was on his best behavior.

The results of the showdown are still pending, I think I know who won.

November 5, 2010


Our ailing puppy was left home alone today in favor of a cute cuddly young puppy - the ultimate betrayal.

Instead of taking a risk on a potentially stir crazy canine, Lisa opted to share the spotlight with Gordy, the new and improved yellow lab. He accompanied her to a volunteer recognition program at UW Hospital. Oh, Mark and Barb were present also, but Gordy was the star of the show and by the end of the event everyone knew his name.

We came home to find Monte was even more depressed after his rejection. He barely noticed us as we entered the bedroom, where he has been sleeping since his surgery.

Nine days to go.

November 4, 2010

Hold It

Although Monte doesn't like the cone, he has found it useful for holding his toys when he gets tired. It works well because if they don't hit the ground then they don't get lost beneath the plastic.

Monte's recovery is progressing as expected, no issues yet. Based on doctor's advice, we have initiated short walks around the block which allows him more time without the contraptions. It's like being out of restraints.

We have also noticed that Monte is asking to go outside potty more often than normal. Our first thought was the medicine was the cause. However, it turns out that he doesn't always have to potty. It seems that he has figured out our procedure which involves removing the collars before going out. More time outside equals less time in confinement.

Not to be outwitted, we have started to ignore his requests. My guess is that it will not be the last time he outsmarts us.

November 3, 2010


We woke up this morning to find half of Monte's blue bandage missing. No sign of it anywhere. Apparently, our lean, lanky canine turned contortionist was hungry and found a way to nibble on his right rear ankle. Luckily he didn't reach the sutured incision.

Fortunately, he had a follow-up visit with the veterinarian to check the site and change the dressing. Doctor Mike and Bethany (Vet Tech) both remarked at Monte's energy level as they attempted to restrain him to remove the old bandages and for inspection. Everything looked good at all three surgical sites, Monte's feet are wrapped for protection, and we came home with reinforcement, an additional BiteNot Collar.

It turns out that neither the Elizabethan collar nor BiteNot collar were individually sufficient to keep our Houdini from nibbling his own toes. He now has to wear both collars - more torture.

He is surprisingly calm when wearing the collars around the house. It may be the extra weight, the restraint, or embarrassment. I can sense the energy build-up when the collars are removed; he is ready to run. Eleven days to go.

November 2, 2010

Cone-y Dog

In honor of Monte's ordeal we had coney dogs for dinner this evening. He did not appreciate the pun as he struggled to find the raw carrot that fell from his mouth and is now hidden by the Elizabethan collar.

We don't make him wear the collar all the time. It comes off for potty breaks, because he will not relieve himself when wearing the collar. The only other times that he can be trusted not to lick or nibble the bandages is when he is in our arms snuggling/cradling or eating. Surprising to me, he didn't have any trouble drinking.

The first time we placed the collar was an ordeal. Monte wanted nothing to do with "The Cone", but now he grudgingly accepts it (he is very obedient). After twenty-four hours, he has adjusted quite well and rarely bumps into things anymore. However, there are a few things that he still has trouble with. We have to guide him into the crate and he will sometimes lose a toy or bone under the collar - he gets very frustrated because he can see it through the plastic collar.

It's only day two and our high energy puppy is already stir crazy. In addition to pain pills, we could have used a week's worth of sedatives. Only twelve more days.

November 1, 2010


For his behavior at the assisted living facility in Platteville on Sunday, Monte earned a day at the vet's office today. He had three outbursts: scared by a balloon, walker, and music. Maybe this will teach him to be quiet :-)

He had to, or we chose to, have him neutered and have his rear dew claws removed. He will be resting for the next few days and officially on hiatus from OccuPaws activities.

After the surgeries, as Monte was just waking up the clinic called with an update. Monte was howling in the background. Pain, lonely, and scared? He hardly wagged his tail when he first saw me and then walked smack into the side of the car before I could get the door opened. Home, Sweet, Home. He's out like a light now. Must have been some good drugs.

The most difficult part will be keeping him immobile for a few days and away from the bandages. Thus the cone head, which apparently takes some time to get used to. Monte spent the first half hour trying to shake it loose and knocking into things. After he accepted the new attachment, he was still knocking into things because he has no peripheral vision. Hopefully we can avoid any additional injuries.

More Glow

As we were sharing our puppy raiser stories with customers at the mall, we were accosted by our two young goddaughters. They were in town, parents in tow, for Badger hockey games and were as surprised to see us as we were to see them. Their reason for being in the mall was miniature golf, not regular but Glow In the Dark, which apparently was our theme for the week.

Having four legs and no thumbs, Monte could not participate. Although he tried to help retrieve the errant shots which bounded out of bounds in his direction. It was a challenge for him to resist the urge to chase the rolling, glowing orbs.

Unfortunately, Monte had received a bath in the morning to prepare for the fundraiser. This washed out his blue hair dye, otherwise we would have had visual proof that we were telling the truth.

Hockey Note: Monte attended the Women's game on Friday and Men's game on Saturday and is getting more comfortable with the fog horn. He slept through most of the third period and was unfazed by the costumed humans.