Foster Puppies!

Syrah and Ranger now have some four week old fosters friends. Ranger is doing very well, he usually avoids foster pups, not even going in the same room as them but this time he is poking his head in and even came and sat next to me while I was supervising feeding time. I really proud of my boy and he seems to have grown in confidence over the last year. The pups are not allowed to interact with my dogs until they have been here at least 10 days and even then it is only a brief hello possibly in the back yard. I judge each case separately depending on how comfortable the pups are.




Tetanus in Dogs

My dog Ranger is currently in the animal hospital suffering from Tetanus. I looked around online Saturday night to find some information on it and it was very limited as a result I took him into the emergency vet where he has been since then. For those wanting some info here is his story so far. Also for the record I have no idea where he got it from and the vets said that very few people do know where their dog got it.

Friday morning I noticed Ranges eye’s looked a little funny, funny as in his third eyelids were showing. This was his first symptom. I mentioned it to my husband as I was running out the door to just monitor it and I would see him when I got home. Husband did some research online and whenever third eyelids were showing there wasn’t any good news and his mouth, ears and eyebrows had started to become very stiff and taut.  So that night we took him to our local vet. This is a big deal for Ranger considering his anxiety but he coped very well. The vet had never seen it before and called for a second opinion, who suggested tetanus but sent us home to monitor him.

The next night I got home and he was still the same with no improvement, so late Saturday night we took him to the emergency vet in Sydney. After three opinions the vets all concluded that it must be tetanus (because it couldn’t be anything else) however gave me the option of taking him home to monitor him… or I could leave him there to be administered an anti tetanus drug, penicillin and eye lubricant as he couldn’t close them. I chose to leave him there and I’m glad I did. His case was very early on in its progression and the vets are usually only confronted with cases when the whole body is stiff. He has been there for two nights (tonight his third) and hasn’t made much improvement. I will update this blog when his story continues however wanted to post in case anyone else wanted the information.

Tetanus is easy to prevent but difficult to treat. If signs are detected early and the disease is not too severe, treatment can be successful using antitoxin and antibiotics. – NT Govt


Ranger came home today and is on a heap of medication included eye lubricant. He is doing well however no exercise for the next two weeks and we go back in 10 days to evaluate with the vets. This is how he looks today which is a little better however his face is still very tight from the tetanus. His eyes look a little better though.

Ranger, face muscles tight from the tetanus.

Ranger, face muscles tight from the tetanus.


The black dog in this link is not Ranger but his face looked like this on the first night of symptoms:

Useful blog post:


Training Day 4 – Obedience Class

I take Syrah to obedience most weeks and today as I could fit two crates in my car I decided to take Ranger too. Syrah loves getting in the car, travel and going anywhere really as the drive is the fun part for her. Ranger got in the car without too much fuss, I had put Syrah in first so it might tempt him to jump in. As soon as we started driving though he was back to hiding his head in the corner and shaking. When we got to the turnoff to class he surprised me by jumping up  and sniffing and getting quite excited so that was really positive!

I took Syrah to her usual class then half way through put her away and got Ranger out. We didn’t go into a class but just kept about 5-10 metres away from the class I had just been in. At first he appeared really nervous, tail tucked, ears back, eyes darting and had a small lunge and bark when a lovely Collie just looked at him, we did a quick ‘lets go’ and walked away, returning a little while later. I just kept shoving treats in his mouth, he was happy to take food when he wasn’t looking around (like how we started with the birds). After a few minutes we started a bit of a routine of him looking at the other dogs, to get him back to me I marked the behaviour with a ‘yes’ and he would turn around to get his treat… like we did with the birds. If he had looked at the dogs for a while and voluntarily looked at me I also gave him a reward, we worked on lengthening the time he was looking at the other dogs between every treat and I was really happy with his progress. If I ever thought he was starting to go from a look to a ‘stare’ or it was becoming intense I called him name and rewarded him.

We had to walk away a few times when I thought people or dogs got too close and the whole session with Ranger took about 10 minutes and he did very well, he was gaining confidence the whole time and we ended on a good note.

This is his little vest that he wears which I think is a nice level of warning without making people afraid of your dog.

Training Day 2 and 3

Ranger was faced with some massive challenges over the last two days. I decided on a spontaneous visit to the Hunter Valley and of course the dogs had to come too. Ranger is afraid of the car and the two hour drive was his first big challenge. I fitted two crates in the back, one for each dog so he at least had a safe space to be in when we went into wineries.

Day 2

I had to lift him in to his crate initially to get us moving and on the road. He was terrified and was shaking for a long while, with his head in the corner, this is something we really need to work on. I do realise this is not a great position to put him in but I think it was much more important for him to be with us than left at home.

One really positive thing about Ranger is he has a very speedy recovery time, on arrival at our cabin he was happy as could be and excited to explore. Its great to see him so comfortable and in the bush and with lots of space for him to be off lead he is so happy, his whole facial expressions and body language is instantly joyful. I really love seeing him like that and it makes the scary car ride worth it. When we are not interacting with him he was content to be tethered to a tree with my other dog Syrah (chocolate).

Lots of good smells on the pee tree :)

Lots of good smells on the pee tree 🙂

Its interesting to note that he has little problem getting in the car when we are away and whenever we stopped for a little explore or toilet break he was very keen to get back to his safe crate. The dogs behaved so well over the weekend and its almost like Ranger is a different dog when we are away.


Day 3

This morning we had a good walk and explore around the property we were staying at, including a dam which he walked right into for a dip. Ranger is very good off lead so was allowed to roam freely while Syrah did all her exploring on a long lead. Doggies had a lovely time and we quite happy to chill in their crates while we stopped at a cute cafe for breakfast and coffee. The trip home was once again challenging for him but he is home safe and sound and ready to get back into training tomorrow.

Do I spy a roo?

Do I spy a roo?

The Dogs of Kata, Phuket

My husband and I left our two puppies behind and went for a holiday to Phuket for 2 weeks, staying in some lovely accommodation on the hill in Kata. Even riding from the airport I noticed how many dogs there were wandering. At first I was so sad to see all these stray dogs everywhere, most of them were scratching and itching and some had skin conditions.  Then as we were heading into the second week of our stay I noticed that Kata Beach seemed to only have about 10 main dogs (I’m sure there are many more but these are the one’s I saw regularly and hung around the same places). When I was out walking I asked a few of the locals if the dog/s belonged to them, I got a “no” every time. By the second week I followed that up with “Do you feed the dog?” which usually got a “yes, everybody does”. Despite the skin conditions they all appeared to be well fed. It made me think about all the dogs that didn’t get fed or were scared of humans and what happened to those dogs. There were a few dogs at Ao Nang and the Tiger Temple that looked a lot worse for wear. One gorgeous little boy that I didn’t get a photo off was missing a foot, still all he wanted to do was play. I would have loved to take him home with me.