Thursday, 1 December 2011

Introducing Dexter

I thought that I should give a little background on each of the fur babies.   Dexter came first, although he was not planned he certainly was special from the beginning.    As I said in my earlier post, Dexter was a freebee.   He came from a hunting pack, but I think he missed the memo on how hunting dogs live because he clearly had a different plan on how his life was going to be.   Dexter's first three months of life was spent in a barn with the rest of the pack.   Foxhounds are hunters, they are working dogs.   I think we should have explained that to Dexter.   From the beginning he was a snuggler.

In hind sight, I may have spoiled Dexter a little bit.   He was so little and so cute that I was constantly allowing him to sleep on my lap.   Seemed like a good idea at the time, but I had no idea he was going to grow into such a big boy.
Dexter also had energy to burn.   He was what some may describe as a little on the crazy side, with the running and jumping.   It is hard to explain to people who have not had puppies, but he would actually run circles in the room and sideways on the couches.    I watched many Ceaser episodes and bought lots of books to read up on how to fix this.   They all had the same answer, exercise, exercise and more exercise.   So it began, our evening trips to the dog park.    Nothing stood in the way of those trips, not rain, not snow and it was never too cold.   We made the mistake of wimping out one day, and Dexter's way of reminding us that exercise was a necessity was to chew the shingles off the barn beside our house.   Lesson learned.   Dexter had a knack for training us to exactly what he wanted.

Remember I said Dexter was a freebee, well I was soon to learn that nothing is free.   There are the expected vet bills, vaccinations, neuter, and annual exams.  Well with Dexter, there are the unexpected vet bills.   The first one was an injury, self inflicted of course.   Dexter was running so fast at Upton Farm that he forgot to put on the brakes, and he also forgot to look where he was going.   He ran smack into some poor unexpecting dog owner.  Luckily he cushioned her fall, but the screaming out of him was ungodly.   Mike and I moved pretty fast to get to him.   Nothing appeared broken, but he was limping and crying just the same.   A quick phone call to the vet, and off to the emergency clinic with him.  He was ok, no damage to his hips and no broken bones.  A $100 vet bill and pain meds and we were on our way.     
The next emergency incident is kind of embarassing.   We had gone to Halifax for the day and had someone checking in with Dexter  throughout the day, to let him out, feed him, and make sure there was water.    The last check in was 3:30 and all was well.   We arrived home at 6:30, and all appeared to be ok.  Then I noticed a chewed up package on the floor, odd, then I remembered that there was a package of birth control pills on the counter when I left and they were not there now.   Dexter ate a full month of birth control pills.  Another emergency call to the vet and off to the emergency clinic.   Something to note, birth control pills can be toxic to a dog, especially if they ingest the full month.    Stomach pumped, meds given and sent home, $200 vet bill.   
There were other trips to the vet, our first weekend camping with the dogs.  Dexter drank some water that he shouldn't have.  Phoebe knew better, one sniff and she walked away from it, Dexter on the other hand, not so bright.  After drinking the water, he immediately got sick, off to the vet, $100.   The next day that same weekend, Dexter thought he would try a piece of shrimp that my friend was planning on eating.   He kinda helped himself, allergic reaction in the form of swelling, no vet this time, thankfully there was Benedryl on hand.   We have learned that an emergency first aid kit is key to owning a dog like Dexter.    
Dexter is three now, and the vet trips are slowing down.   He still has his quirks, his unexplainable fear of pretty much everything, doors slamming, vacuum, and brooms.   He will only eat out of a certain dish which needs to be placed away from everything.   Oh, and don't forget the baying, hounds have a unique sound, not very pleasant to listen to.   He is special and we love him just the same.   
Ok, I could go on and on about Dexter, but enough about him for now.   In my next blog post you will meet Phoebe.   I am actually liking this blog idea.   The picture upload feature is troublesome for me, so no pictures today.   Until next time. 

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