Saturday, January 29, 2011

Poor Dexter indeed! The results.

Well there's good news and bad news from our vet visit today. Here is why I knew we needed to visit asap!

That white thing is his lower right incisor tooth. (It's a single tooth, I'll get to why the lower left and upper right and left front teeth aren't visible in a moment.) It's huge - it ought to end somewhere around where you see the gums (pinkish bit to the bottom left of the tooth) but instead measures at 2cm long, which is long enough to be poking into his upper lip.

The good news is that his general condition is good otherwise, aside from my thoughts about his manky looking ears being correct and not just an issue he gets when he's moulting! (Mites, requiring topical application to get rid of.) The long lower incisor got trimmed today and is likely to require routine trimming.

The bad news is the tooth situation was definitely not limited to an overgrown incisor which I'd kind of suspected but hoped I was misjudging given the ear lowering and slightly atypical chewing motion. With a second pair of hands holding him we got a better view of the rest of his front teeth which I'd thought were just worn oddly. Nope, the upper incisors and lower left incisor are fractured. This is likely from an injury several months back that simply broke all 3 of them off near the gumline. They may or may not regrow, only time will tell. If they don't and require removing, it will be difficult to extract them because there is so little to grip onto to loosen them.

When we were able to view inside his mouth to his molars using the otoscope, the upper right premolar #1 is missing and the left premolars #1&2 have puss which means the start of an abcess going on. The good news on that is that it was caught in the early stages. In addition the lower premolar and molars are misaligned. Poor lads mouth is a right proper mess! So the damage for anyone who thinks rabbits are a "cheap" pet btw was at about $150 today (consult, trim, antibiotics and revolution) and $30ish for each retrim every 3-4 weeks! He will go back in a week for another antibiotic (Pen-G) injection ($30) and dental x-rays (about $350ish) to see what is going on in his mouth. Hopefully it won't require further surgery to remove the teeth which would of course be more on top of that. Here's a video on normal rabbit teeth and routine problems from Medirabbit for anyone curious:

Friday, January 28, 2011

Poor Dexter...

I noticed his one ear was down. This in itself is nothing big, they do that sometimes but this just a bit more relaxed looking than normal and more often than normal perhaps. I thought maybe I'm just being paranoid. He was okay otherwise, eating well, active, normal litter box output and he could put it up, nothing wrong with his ears either so far as I could see.

Then I looked a bit closer, hm, was he chewing a bit oddly? A bit more to one side than the other perhaps? Nothing huge, maybe even just the difference between him having less fluffy lips with his short rex coat meaning the movements are more exaggerated than the others?

I had a little niggling suspicion. Ear down on the left. Chewing to the left. Ears on pups often go down when teething as the ligaments are goofing around, perhaps something sort of akin to that. So I went to peek at his teeth. I can't see them all, lacking a rabbit vets tools to see the rear dentition but as it happens I didn't really need them. I am really amazed he didn't show more signs or more obvious ones earlier - I'll try to get a picture when I have someone to hold him.

So we'll be visiting the vets. I do believe that sound is the sound of my wallet sobbing at the thought of Very Expensive Dental Work!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

21 months

Is waking up to snuggles and lazy morning bibi - a girl after her mothers heart who values a snuggly quilt and staying in bed for awhile after waking in the morning.

Uses any excuse to grab my mobile or a telephone and pretend to gab.

Loves to dance till she's dizzy anytime a song comes on or someone claps for her. And then dance some more after laughing at herself for having fallen.

Is giggles that melt my heart, endless kisses freely given and a cheeky smile that crinkles the corner of her eyes.

Loves her brother to bits, trailing after him with stars and heroworship in her eyes... except when she doesn't. La is becoming familiar with the fine art of apologizing to someone half his size, twice his stubbornness and who holds a grudge the size of Texas when wronged.

Adores dogs. Especially WOOKA, who hops up onto the woodpile to peer in the window and play peek-a-boo while she peers out at him on the couch. Although for a pillow while you nap Sierra is the better choice because it tends to stay still longer.

Listens when you say no, actually stops and puts things back if told to do so, helps clean up, helps put away dishes/laundry when pointed to the correct cupboard and is generally well behaved. A novelty considering we're used to struggling with her brother on four of those five counts. Gods it's nice to have an EASY child, however un-PC it may be to say!

Recognizes Doctor Who on sight (Doctors 9, 10 and 11 all claimed as Doctah... 11 to her daddy's delight and mummy's dismay...) and includes Tah-dish as part of her vocab. A proud, if geeky, moment all around.

Loves vegemite on toast, mandarin, nashi pears, ginger biscuits, cucumber and anything sweet.

Still can't stand an open door and MUST close it.

Climbs like a terror and is fearless in exploring her physical limitations. Shades of her brother, although she's saner about choosing her footing and gauging her risks and doesn't deliberately TRY to fall.

Amazes me with the degree from which she can go from sunshine in summer - sweet, warm, going with the flow (99.5% of the time) to a strident and implacable Napoleon (0.5% of the time). This is a girl who knows her own mind and is sure enough of it she will stand against the world in her beliefs.

Still has curls in her hair but only on the tips now for the most part.

When she tantrums, she will taken comfort when SHE is ready and not an iota of a second before. Try it - as several well intending friends have found - and she'll pause just long enough to say NO in no uncertain terms. When she's ready no will change to yes and she'll be back to cuddles.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bobbing bunnah

When I got Dexter, I'd been told that he only drank from a water bottle and previous attempts to get him to use a bowl hadn't worked well. I prefer bowls as the buns drink more water per minute, a good crock can keep cool and ice cubes won't jam it in hot weather. So I was keen to get him on a bowl but he was less certain about this whole switch-a-roo business! The first attempts were, well, "less than overwhelmingly spectacular". I started coaxing him by first holding pieces of veg just above the water and later dipping them till Dexter ended up bobbing for (proverbial) apples. LOL It didn't take a few sessions before he noticed it was good for DRINKING too! I'm not sure if it's because of his short rex coat or what but he dunks half his muzzle and comes up with his whole muzzle sodden and dribbly as well, which inevitably seems to result is whomever is nearby ending up a bit wet as well!

Completely unrelated I'm also trying to organize myself to get a plan going for all the things I want to do around this place. One of the major things I want to do is knock off more from our monthly mortgage repayment than we're currently doing. I also want to pad out our "vet/pet" savings a bit more each month as I am very keen to have another Aussie pup and either this year or next a PBGV now that La will be in school full time. I was very tempted to adopt one who came up a few weeks back but more practically I ought to attend to other things first, particularly wrt Shadow because we don't know how long that will take, neighbors weren't amused at the time and Nic is grumpy on the subject to say the least.

We need to do a major overhaul for quite a few things including:
  • new computer - current is from 2003 and I want a lap top!
  • new stove/oven - our current one is almost as old as me, the oven bit is completely kaput and cannot be repaired
  • new washing machine and fridge - both are really old and have been fixed a million times, with the warning from the fix-it guy that they are on their last legs
  • restump the area under the bathroom - the only place NOT restumped and currently sunk
  • renovate the bathroom - new bathtub, flooring, tiles etc
  • repair the ceiling in the study (water damage from the other year, it's fine but really ugly and warped)
  • a new chainsaw and drill
  • repaint and refit the laundry, study and loo
  • put down pathing stones on the walks, to cover the road base and cut down on the mud the dogs drag in
  • I also want to start saving toward a hydro bath and force dryer for the dogs
Totally aside from all of that I'd like to get Sierra, Rin and Luka all competing and with titles this year, have Hopie finish (or come as close as possible to) her Flyball Masters and finish up her HSA-s. Nothing too reaching given I'll likely reroute some money from training/comps/travel for the other stuff.

Part of it is that we do need to do all these things and I want to get them all sorted out of course but I am also very keen on being able to take the kids overseas - particularly I really want to have us all go to France and be able to visit Dives sur Mer, St Lo etc and financially I know that will not happen until we've taken care of those expenses and knocked a bit more off the mortgage so I'm shooting for having enough for a proper holiday there in 2012-2013.

Unintentionally Trained

Anyone who is owned by an Aussie knows that it means you will never, ever be alone again. Humans, the Aussie Shepherd is sure, NEED proper supervision at all times or something awful is liable to befall them. Mine are convinced I'm particularly in need of a full escort and this annoyingly seems to include trips to the loo.

Unfortunately for them, I have an annoyingly human habit of not recognizing that The Evil Drain Monster might suck me down the loo when I flush and prefer privacy to a furry escort. The first several times they did it I told them firmly to shoo. They backed up, just enough to be out of the room so I could close the door. Having banished my valiant vanguard they then started laying down with noses and eyes pressed to the crack under the door. Again I had to tell them to SHOO. At which point they all back up exactly one step and lay down as near as possible without being ordered to scram. Now Luka, who is on holiday here has picked this up and I've realized when they took one step back, lay down and SIGHED dramatically in SYNC they've all picked it up unintentionally trained behaviour chain... oh the joys!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Random randomness

  • It is very sweet to wake up to a bunny curled up on your pillow next to your cheek.

  • My kids grandfather may be a professional international dancer/instructor but they themselves are going to be ones who get 'points for enthusiasm'.

  • It's really annoying when the universe presents a lovely "would jump for it any other time" opportunity but at a not-so-perfect-for-lovely-opportunities time. It's not the be all and end all but it is annoying all the same.

  • No matter how many times Laurent mispronounces words like "interesting" as "in-STIR-ing", particularly as he tends to say it like a demented Sherlock Holmes I laugh.

  • Jasper (kitty) is very glad to finally have a rabbit in the house who thinks cats are good for sharing a bed with instead of thumping in annoyance or give him what for if he comes too close. Dexter was raised with kitties and doesn't mind sharing his cushions or cuddlehuts.

  • Lily is rocking out with a lot of sentences at the moment, most of which involve the dogs in some form - "Luka, here puppy!", "Titty (that's 'the kitty' btw) wants kiss.", "Luka! LUKA! Where areeeeeeeee you???", "Luuukkkkaaaaaa! Have a ball?" She is SO my child! (Luka is the only dog in the house at the moment to routinely be hollered for by name, so I'm not just leaving out her calling for Sierra, Hope or Rin.) Non-dog sentences include, "Close the door!", "'ere you go mum!" and just-for-her-brother, "Oh WOW, COOL!"

  • Babies - be they four legged milk breath pups or two legged little infants are possibly the most dangerous creatures on earth. They make me stupidly clucky in under a nano-second.

  • I miss my dogs at the rainbow bridge. I want them back. Veri and Cami. Cade, he's on my mind all the time at the moment, every time I see a little dog. Bella and Bria, even 5 and 10 years on. I know it's impossible but the hole where they should be is just too empty for bearing sometimes and I'd give just about anything for even one more day. While I'm wanting the impossible I'd like my little Matilda Muzzie back too.

  • I hate that I'm seeing age in Sierra recently. She's healthy and fit, a young and bouncy 10 - most days by sheer dint of verve you'd swear she's younger than Hope. Occasionally on very cold days I see her stand up just a bit slower and stretch herself from some ache or doze in the sun in a certain way that speaks of age and it reminds me that my eternal puppy one day will be an old dog in a way I'm not at all ready for. I very much prefer to play ostrich with my head in the sand on the matter just now.

  • I hate the number of my friends who have had to learn to live with the sorrow of having lost their loved companions lately. Cancer, in all it's awful forms, sucks.
  • among the reasons I will be glad Nic is going back to work from vacation
    1. he left a can of spray paint out - with an unsupervised 5 year old... 'nuff said
    2. he left food dye (for play dough) next to the kids snacks (crackers, raisins, nuts etc) and Darling Tornado Child has decided when he was given permission to get raisins from the cupboard for a snack the dyes presence meant it was okay if he dyed them blue. Turns out counters... and kids... dye better than raisins.

  • Your not quite 2 year old proudly demonstrating she knows how to breastfeed (holding her teddy bear for bibi) is unspeakably cute. Especially when she is SO pleased with how clever she is!

  • I am a hopeless handler who is good at doing remarkably dorky stuff - witness this weeks genius: giving poor Hope the signal to come around to my right side (right hand held in a flat 5, moved from hip forward - usually used in obedience/freestyle) instead of her release signal to get the ball in flyball (similar but with the LEFT hand) resulting in the poor gal looking rather baffled but humoring her clearly mad partner by coming around to my right and sitting. She was clearly wondering A.) why the heck I was using a non-flyball cue especially when the start lights had CLEARLY gone off and B.) why the heck I was repeating it when she'd already done as asked. Ladies and gents - I assure you, red is not my natural hair colouring....

  • Small boys make up for being Tornados most of the time by cuddling their sister, rubbing her back and singing, "We love Lilypillie, she's our pretty baby, she has chubby tummy and a fatty little bummy and we loves her cuz she's our little bayyyyyyyyyybeeeeee!" complete with dance hands for the finish.