Dog trains man

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Rock

The last photo I made, before the "steak"
When I would have a nose that was sore and looked like a raw steak, I would feel pretty sorry for myself.

Not Viva.

She invented some new tactics, on how to play with Kenzo, crash through low bushes, and greet her favorite people, without her nose being touched. I learned you can actually greet people with your side - or your butt - first.

And when the nose gets too painful or itchy, she shows me with some grins, or rubbing the side of her face, it is time for her pain relief.

She has always been bossy.

When we train, and I missed a perfect behavior, she reminded me so far with two quick nose bumps on the pocket where I keep the treats. Tap-tap. That has been exchanged by two snorts. She really wants to remain in charge of my training.

And she is as excited as always to go for walks. Sniff out the local dog newspaper - meet friends, play and act crazy. Learn the youngsters how to be polite to a lady.

Viva The Rock.

Me? Not so much. I second-guess myself and my vet. I go on wild-goose chases for treatments that don't seem to exist. I lost my control over the situation.

Fact is, DLE is illusive, and I have to face I might not be able to help Viva with this. This is her battle.

Thank god she is The Rock. And I am her biggest supporter.


Update November 7:

Viva's nose is deteriorating rapidly now.
The vet, bless her honesty, suggested it might be time to say our goodbyes. We still have a little time left to let her go without suffering.

I have to do what's best for her, and will use the next couple of days to spoil her rotten.

I write this to all of you beautiful people that have been so supportive for Viva and me during the last years, through all her ups and downs. You all helped me help Viva having a good life and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that. I will give her a kiss from each of you.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hovawart TV: Puppy Avalanche

Ready? ... Set ... avalanche!

Now get that smile off your face!


Sunday, October 20, 2013

What Every First-time Hovawart Owner Should Know: Before You Buy

This is the last in a series of blogs about "What Every First-time Hovawart Owner Should Know", in which each subject is selected - and contributed to - by Hovawart owners.

Before You Buy

Now the series comes to an end, you are officially armed to meet some real Hovawarts in real life, although .... be prepared to find out we hardly even scratched the surface! There is so much more to discover.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

What Every First-time Hovawart Owner Should Know: More Socialization

This is a series of blogs about "What Every First-time Hovawart Owner Should Know", in which each subject is selected - and contributed to - by Hovawart owners.

Venka, a Hovawart service dog, Mind Your Dog

More Socialization

Continuing on the subject of socialization, after last week's socialization with dogs, there is more to talk about still.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hovawart TV: Scuba-Wart

Probably the most busy Hovawart among us, Kim, takes some time off from housekeeping and rescuing, and goes scuba diving:

Tea Vardjan's video collection featuring Kim is some of the best Hovawart TV out there, and there is a lot more on her youtube channel. Ski-ing, diving, searching, you name it. Check it out, you'll love it.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

What Every First-time Hovawart Owner Should Know: Socialization with Dogs

This is a series of blogs about "What Every First-time Hovawart Owner Should Know", in which each subject is selected - and contributed to - by Hovawart owners.

Socialization with Dogs

To socialize your Hovawart is one of the most important things you will do.

Puppies have a “critical period” that spans roughly from 8 – 16 weeks of age. This period marks the time when your puppy is most impressionable, and they learn best.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Could It Be? A Sign Viva's Nose Is Improving?

A big crust came off from Viva's nose this morning, and it didn't reveal yet the next open sore. Instead, a clean and fresh pink piece of skin presented itself.


A first sign Viva's nose is improving ... Knock on wood.

Since our last update, Viva had a biopsy taken to confirm it was Discoid Lupus (DLE) and our vet consulted a specialist if there was anything we hadn't tried that could help.

So far we had tried every known medication- and herbal based treatment, without success. Of course apart from giving her steroids, which works with most dogs, but cannot be used for Viva, because of her Cushing's medication.

The specialist recommended us one more, last treatment based on a special type of antibiotic together with another supplement boost of vitamine B, E, and fatty acids.

Other than that we just continued to keep her out of the sun, and the nose protector she wears as you can see on the photo, was a great help with that. Although the sun still shines, its power fades, and the days get shorter. We rub some vaseline on the crusts, and apply some xylocain - a local sedative - when we see her wounded nose bothers her.

I really don't know if the last treatment helped her. And it might be just because the sun is fading, we start to see some improvements. But who cares, just she gets better!


Friday, September 27, 2013

That Guy With The German Shepherd

I guess every neighborhood has at least one. The talkative dog walker that you seem to run into whatever time of the day you go for a dog walk. Ours is like the local-dog-gazette and seems to know everybody that walks our trail, and I knew she would be happy to hear we just made some new friends.

"Really? Did you really met that guy with the German Shepherd?". Now she made me feel uncomfortable, and I stumbled: "Eh, yes. Why? Is that bad?".

There were some red flags. The guy didn't made a lot of effort to initiate a meet with Kenzo. And he did say his elderly German Shepherd girl could "protest", as he described it. I always walk away with red flags like that. And why I didn't do exactly that this time, I really don't know.

The GSD girl was a bit of a loner. She didn't seem very eager to meet us. She wasn't nervous or aggressive either. And as Kenzo didn't perform any calming signals - he just wanted to come closer - I thought there was not too much to worry about, and hoped we wouldn't regret following my feelings on this one.

It went very well. The GSD girl did interact a little with Kenzo, and like he said, "shouted" a few times at him. The guy seemed to be a little surprised too, the "shouting" didn't scare us away. But Kenzo loves that, and is used to that from home - with Viva. It just motivates him to do an even better peacock impression.

"You better be careful when you run into them. Many people had problems with that dog". I could imagine that, but it didn't necessarily meant the guy and his GSD were doing anything wrong. Still, I only met them once, who am I to know, and changed the subject to something else.

Occasionally we met the couple again, and when I didn't have Viva with me, we let them meet. With Viva around, we just nodded to each other or raised our hands as a hello. Kenzo was still always happy to meet her, tried to impress her and invite to play. But she always stayed reserved - she didn't even accept a treat from me - although she always had a smile on her face when we met again.

One day I was rushing home with Kenzo because I was late for work when we noticed them going on the far end of the trail, slightly off it, like they usually do. It was months ago we had seen them last, and I was in doubt what to do. I just waived, and felt bad I really didn't have time, and Kenzo and me picked up our pace again.

The GSD girl had noticed us as well and her head got higher while she saw us passing by in the distance. Just when we passed them at that 90-degree angle, where she realized we were not coming over, she decided to drop all her reservations and took a sprint towards us, as fast as her old legs could go.

She greeted Kenzo loud and jumped up as much as she could. Then she pushed her body against my legs and just stood there. She wanted a rub. Our first rub. It just took a minute and off she went again, back to daddy, who was still standing there with his jaw-bone dropped on the floor.

I always thought she was special. And now she made me feel special. The local-dog-gazette is not going to believe me.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

What Every First-time Hovawart Owner Should Know: Training and Exercise

This is a series of blogs about "What Every First-time Hovawart Owner Should Know", in which each subject is selected - and contributed to - by Hovawart owners.

Training and exercise

Dog training and exercise are god's gift to Hovawart owners.

Without it, things tend to explode in your face. But when you train and exercise, you are set up for success.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Hovawart TV: Day At The Beach

Kenzo ... excuse me ... Kenzo "Jay M." the Hovawart ... is sooo jealous right now:

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