>Crappy Guidework

>Well, it looks like I have more adventures with the Trixter. I was just starting to think we were going to cruise along without incident. Nope, I can think again.

Last week, I started to notice that Trixie’s guidework was, in a word, off. If we were in familiar territory, I could compensate for it and be ok, but if I went somewhere I hadn’t been before, I was in trouble. I went to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things, and sweet holy lord what a disaster. From one moment to the next, her work went from good to bad to excellent to sweet merciful crappy. I went home wondering what on earth I had done to provoke this, or what was going on. That’s when I noticed she wasn’t drinking water, even though she’d been puffing. She also didn’t want to play much, which was odd.

The next day, She seemed playful and energetic, so I thought it was just a fluke the night before, but while out, she blew down a step without warning me, which is bad, bad bad bad. This shook me up some more. Over the next few days, I noticed I just couldn’t trust her as well. Then I noticed she wasn’t pooping as much. We even went out to play, and she didn’t poop then, which is a time when she’s almost guaranteed to go. Hmmm. Trouble ahead? I decided to visit the vet Monday.

On Sunday, I went to my friend’s wedding, and oh good lord it was not a good scene. She had 0 focus. It was like I had an ordinary dog at the end of the harness. It was so embarrassing. She didn’t follow who we were following, then followed at the expense of running other people down who were in our path, and she tried to dive into a reflecting pool! I was mortified. Mortified, and worried. It was hard to carry on conversations like everything was cool because all I could think was what in hell’s wrong with Trixie?

Monday we went to the vet after she would not relieve in the morning, and they said that for one thing, her anal glands were impacted to all hell. Well, that wasn’t the way they put it, but I got that sense. This surprised me, because there have been two other times when I’ve had to have her glands expressed. Once when she got rudder tail, and one other time, and both times, I could tell it had to be done because she would look back at her tail while guiding, or try to chase it for a minute. This time, she didn’t do that at all! The only thing I can say I noticed was she was licking at her butt/crotch zone a lot the last little while. Yeah ok, I know that sounds gross.

He also told me that the new food I had her on might have had too much protein in it, and other dogs have had trouble metabolizing it. He recommended the Wellness diet. Well, since other folks have said it’s good stuff, I’ll have no problem switching her to that. In the meantime, he said to buy canned cooked pumpkin, just plain old unsweetened canned cooked pumpkin, and add a tablespoon of it to her food every meal. Pumpkin? Ok then. Will do.

Of course, the thought that the food I had chosen could have caused all this misery for her sent me into guilt trips. Then I wondered if she wasn’t getting enough exercise now that she was getting all these nutrients. I mean, some days, we don’t walk a couple miles or anything. But I realized we do get out most days, and if we haven’t gotten out, usually I let her run around for a good long time on the flexi, so she couldn’t be that deprived.

So the Trixter’s been getting pumpkin with her meals since Monday night, and what does she think? I think it consists of yum yum yum yum chomp chomp burp gone. I was worried she wouldn’t like the pumpkin, but it’s always gone, gone without a trace, and it’s sure doing its job. At first, I was worried that it wasn’t, but things seem to have gotten back to normal.

And ever since they cleaned out her anal glands, she seems to be back to her old self, both in the guiding department and in the play department. I think it’s just me who has to stop looking for the smallest sign of distress. I’m such a spaz. But at least whenI was spazzing out last week, it turned out to be for a valid reason.

So, to anyone who’s been down this doggy constipation road before, here’s a dumb question. How do you know when to stop with the pumpkin? I mean, she’s good now, but if I stop with the pumpkin, will she go right back to where she was? But if I go too far with the pumpkin, will she get the runs? I was also recommended an enzyme to use called hollistic transition when doing a food switch. Anybody heard of it? I was told to sprinkle a teaspoon of it per 10 pounds of doggy weight on her morning food. But here’s the question. If I go that route, when do I stop with that, too? With humans, as far as I know, enzymes are supposed to replenish what our body has forgotten to produce until it recovers from amnesia and starts producing it. So is it the same for dogs? How do I know when I’ve reached that magic spot? I feel like I’m turning Trixie into a guinea pig!

So that’s my latest Trixie misadventure. Wow, a whole post on doggy constipation. When it’s a dog, it seems there’s no shame in talking about anything. Hope I didn’t gross anyone out.

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