Skelly and Sophie: hanging out under my desk while I work - their favorite passtime.
Honestly, I don't personally mind the heat much anymore. I've lived here since 1994. You learn to take cold showers, avoid traffic jams, and stay indoors unless you're poolside. Skeletor's walking routine has been adversely affected by the heat though. If we're not out the door by 8am, it's already scorching. His heartworm condition adversely affects his stamina, which is exacerbated significantly by the heat. Sometimes we end up going after dark when it's cooled off a bit... but other times it's just not feasible. If he doesn't get his walk, not only does he become a terror, but he also has trouble keeping up his appetite.
What a goofy duo
We are all really looking forward to putting this whole heartworm mess behind us. If you met Skelly, you wouldn't even know he's sick at all. You might not peg him as a pit-bull unless you really knew the breed. He is in no way shape or form your typical stalky, bulldog-like pit. He's a wiggly, long-legged klutz.
With the extreme temperatures and dog spoiling tendencies around here, Skeletor has definitely become an inside dog. Just like his mentor Sophie, he will go outside, go to the bathroom and instantly bark to be let inside. He wants no part of the microwave oven that is our back yard.
There's a local dog park with a pond that is totally fenced in so you can let your dog loose to play and splash with the others. Unfortunately, they have a strict "no testicles" policy. We'd like to get him fixed asap, but the heartworm treatment takes priority. Surgery would only prolong the process and the sooner he's rid of those pesky parasites, the sooner he can put on the rest of that weight, and get up to 100% health.
Skelly is due for a bath though. Perhaps I'll fill up the kiddy pool after work and get him clean and cool.
Sick Dog Tip: I found a great way to give Skelly his meds. Normally I put them in with his food, but that will only work if you've jazzed it up enough to get him to scarf it down. (peanut butter, liver, or whatever) Sometimes he ends up missing the pill regardless. We've been trying to get Mr fancy pants to eat more normal dry food anyways. One alternative is manually putting it in his mouth and holding his snout skyward until he swallows. This is an effective method, but you end up with plenty of drool on your hands. The best pill delivery system ever is to simply toss his pill to him. He'll snap it out of the air and so far has swallowed it every time! I always follow it up with a dog biscuit to help with the pill taste.
Skelly's Training Update: Lately I've been trying to work with Skelly on his leash manners. The stronger he gets, the more he likes to prove it by pulling you around on walks. I've found online that the best method of training is to reverse direction when they begin to pull. This is supposed to teach that the only safe place to walk is right beside me. It's a work in progress, let me tell ya. By the time we're done reversing direction 10 times, Skeletor is all tired and ready to get back into the A/C.
Another trick I've been trying to get him to figure out is "wait" when a door is opened. This is actually a very important behavior because it could save your dog from bolting out the door and rampaging through the streets.
The key to Skeletor's cooperation is in the doggie biscuit. I swear, this dog would take a bullet, give a kidney and ride a pogo stick at the same time as long as you waved a biscuit in the air. He goes to bed without any fuss, he waits at the door, he lays down, he rolls over, he sits, stays, shakes paws, you name it... but no biscuit, no way!
If the planets align just right, he will occasionally eat dry food :)
If only they made doggie biscuit flavored dry dog food.