Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summer heat, Picky eating and Learning manners

Well today marks the end of the "cold snap" here in Florida. The past week has brought severely low temperatures in the upper 80's. I just returned from some errands and the thermometer in my car said it was 100 degrees outside. I wouldn't take that to the bank, but let's just take a peek at OK, it's just 94 degrees.. what am I complaining about? Humidity is 38%. Tomorrow is supposed to reach 98 degrees. Wonderful!

 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.


  1. Poor baby! I'm sorry he can't go to the puppy park. Hopefully it will cool down for you soon!

  2. My dad's really, really, really ancient beagle loves her doggie biscuits too! She thinks she needs one when my dad comes home after being away for awhile, when he goes to bed, when they come back from a walk, just whenever... The younger beagle likes them but not nearly as much.

    Skelly and Sophie make such a cute couple!

  3. Awww great to see Skelly and Sophie together looking adorable!!

    What a great way to give Skelly his meds! Toss it to him and he'll snap them out of the air! How clever is that! I think Skelly just want to have more fun!

    I hope his heartworm clears soon - poor Skelly! It'll be nice if he could use that park with the pond!

    Thanks for the updates on lovely Skelly!

    Take care

  4. Nuts! My comments disappeared :( Well, let's just go with:

    Skelly and Sophie rock!!

  5. Awww . They do make quite the odd couple.

    In Washington they used to give me a dog biscuit at the banks drive up window.(For Grull, not for me)
    She didn't get too thrilled about them.

    I think it's awesome how far Skelly's come in his training:)

    You rock!

    Love ,yo Mama

  6. Bravo! Greighson Andrew is the same way. What do they put in those doggie treats? And can I please get a Husband version?

    Skelly looks absolutely fantastic.
    Bravo to y'all!


If you don't have a google account, you can use this guest account to leave a comment.

Username: skellybull
Password: skeletor