I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.

For me they are the role model for being alive.

~ Gilda Radner

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Weekly Berner Report (April 10 - 17)

We've made some huge strides this week.

The Berner has really packed on the weight, since he was wormed (Thank you, Sandra!.) HUGE difference! He still could stand to gain a couple more pounds, but just a couple.

He no longer believes Stumpy is the boss of everything. He's told her several times to back off and respect his space and she's is beginning to believe him. Not a bad thing, because Stumpy always pushes, everyone and everything, usually past their limit.

He shows no signs of anxiety as long as he is allowed to go out, when he asks. I can prolong his stay in the house with treats. But sooner or later he panics.

I'm going to make another appointment with a vet in the beginning of May (or maybe as soon as next week!), giving him a few more weeks to settle down and in. The logistics of getting him to the vet include renting a car and picking up that car (and returning it) to the rental location over 50 miles away. It gets tricky!

I've contacted a couple of vets and a local rescue to work with me on this. I am not looking for financial assistance. The transport (we don't know how he rides) and the kenneling, pre and post surgery could be major issues. The rescue was quite helpful and offered her vet's discount, the use of a smaller kennel and some advice. I didn't talk to a vet directly, but hopefully I will within a couple of days. Their staff was patient, courteous and polite. I was more than a little dismayed when one woman suggested calling animal control. The local county run shelter is a kill shelter. This is a big, black, intact, unsocialized dog. Judge me if you wish, but I would have him euthanized before I subjected him to 7 days in a shelter kennel, where the end result would more than likely would be euthanasia.
A short video with some information regarding Black Dog Syndrome

Google black dog Syndrome or Bias for more information.

In 2008 the Western Arizona Humane Society took in 2851 animals. Of those, 655 were returned to their owner and 738 were euthanized. Not very good odds. If you're involved with rescue or shelters at all, you know they are full and many aren't even using a waiting list at this point.

PLEASE! I'm not saying I will euthanize, I am saying there is no way in hell he's going to a shelter. Keep in mind, I have, 2 possible homes lined up and now 3 rescues willing to help

Saturday, April 10
Berner dog was here when we got up in his usual spot

Stumpy wanted to know if we could eat now that he's here.

After breakfast the Berner tried to nap. Sound really travels, here, and he listens to every dog bark. The video is nothing but watching his head turn to every dog bark.

The Berner has a few things he would like to add.

He's leaning up against my back in that picture :) He's very opinionated and always has a few things he would like to say.

Does he look like he might be enjoying his belly scratches?

He and Stumpy played.

It seems to me that the Berner has a purpose to engaging Stumpy in play. He'd like her to join him in his walk about. As they play he moves closer to the road and when Stumpy doesn't follow, he comes back to play some more.

The Berner returned at about 9am, it was already about 70˚, but felt a lot warmer. He came back for a drink and some shade. Stumpy wanted to play, but he just wanted to lie down in the shade. I tried to talk him into coming into the house, but he was not to be convinced, bribed, baited, lured or cajoled. I think if he would lay down on the nice, cool tile, a couple times, I wouldn’t have to do any convincing.

I didn't see him again, on Saturday.

Sunday, April 11

He still hadn't come home when I got up this morning, but by the time my coffee was ready and I went out to the deck he was in Stumpy's chair.

He waited patiently for his breakfast (I'm no longer making it in advance.)

Totally relaxed, right?

He and Stumpy enjoyed their bones and then they both got belly rubs and back scratches.

Stumpy tried to talk him into some fun.

He stayed until 9am this morning! He looked like he was ready to go a few times, but each time I called him he stopped, laid down in the driveway and stayed awhile longer.

Berner boy showed up around 10pm, looking very tired and worn.

He came in for dinner and went right back out to the deck. He wasn't in the mood for hotdogs and cheese.

Monday, April 12

The Berner was in the chair in the morning.

After some convincing came in for breakfast. He had a stretch while I was making breakfast.

Stumpy wasn't happy about having to wait and let him know. She rarely barks.

I don't have to stay in the kitchen while he eats.

I closed the door it was no big deal, for about a minute. He laid down close by and appeared to be relaxed.

Then anxiety set in. He began shaking, whining and tried to climb into my lap, up on the desk and out the window. No pictures, I was trying to protect my laptop. I didn't let him get too upset and the next time he went to the door and asked to go out, I let him out. I was SURE he would take right off. But he didn't! :) He paced the deck for a few minutes and then settled down for some hotdogs.

I think we made some headway; time will tell.
He rested in the chair for a bit

He stayed for a belly rub and some fun with Stumpy

and then beat feet outta here.
Stumpy watches his departure.

I had a little nap and went to let Stumpy out when I woke up. It was really windy and raining outside.

The Berner was sleeping in the hallway! This is a first!
I called him in and he came right in and went into Stumpy's kennel.

He was ok for about a minute and then he began to panic. I let him back out and he laid down in the hall, again

An hour later, he's still here.

I joined him out on the deck for awhile, when the rain cleared out. He laid down beside me and asked for belly rubs and scritches and I obliged. He left, again after that.

Thunderstorms, hail and high winds moved in a couple hours later

and so didn't the Berner. He was, once again, napping in the entranceway.

I invited him in and he went right for Stumpy's kennel. An hour later and he's still there, but I have left the door open. Maybe the door closing is a trigger? I'll find out soon enough.

He'd been in the house for a couple of hours! I made and fed them dinner. After dinner Mr. B relaxed for a few minutes (note: he did not even think about going out!)

Then the two had their dessert of hotdogs and cheese

Then the Berner returned to Stumpy's kennel.

He went in and out, napping in different places and seems to be pretty comfortable where ever he decided to hang out.

Tuesday, April 13
The Berner was sleeping in the entranceway when Stumpy and I got up this morning!

On his way into the kitchen he stopped to pick up one of Stumpy's toys (Weird! He'snever shown the least bit of interest in Stumpy's toys!).

He and Stumpy played while I fixed breakfast.

He lasted about about a half an hour, in the house with the door shut, before he started to panic. I was able to distract him with cheese and hot dogs for a bit. When he tried to go through the window I let him out.

He and Stumpy chomped their bones until all the dogs in the neighborhood began to sound off. The Berner went on full alert. I thought I heard a strange dog bark (I think I am familiiar with most of the neighborhood dog's bark and placement.) The Berner left at that point, marking everything on his way out.

I have to work today :( So I won't be home to monitor his comings and goings.

When I got home from work the Berner was over at the neighbors. Strange! And then I see he has company! I am thinking, "@#$%!!! My landlord is going to shoot me dead!"

It took me a minute or two to realize they are the trash and animal hoarding neighbors dogs, that used to live there. Yeah, you know, the dogs that used to beat on Stumpy. I have to say, with the way those dogs wandered, I was surprised they hadn't been back earlier. And guess what? At least one of them is in heat. AWESOME!

Anyways, the Berner traveled back and forth all afternoon. I don't know if the other dogs have left, but he is out on the deck at the moment.

I convinced the Berner to come in. Closing the door is no big deal, at this point. He slept in Stumpy's kennel until about 11pm then as I was pondering sleeping arrangements for the night, he asked to go out.

Wednesday, April 14
No picures this morning! I was too busy! Mr. berner knew the best idea he ever had was scratching at the door to come in! I didn't even have a chance to check on him. He must have heard Stumpy and I moving around. He came in all wiggly-waggly (another first) and happy to see us.

I'm always pulling thorns out of the Berner's coat. I pulled something a little different out this morning.

He ate his breakfast, hung out for a back scratch and massage and then asked to go out. The hoarders dogs were still in the neighborhood and he left us, for them :(

Thursday, April 15
Berner boy never came back last night and although I was bummed I was kind of figuring that might happen, considering the company he was keeping.

One of his new friends was still next door,this morning

And he was here this morning, too, in the chair

and once again asked to come in. Poor guy. He got bit by something since the last time I had seen him and his face was all swollen. I was mad at myself for not having benadryl on hand.

In my defense, I could have sworn that I did. I was totally surprised that there was none in my dog's emergency kit or my own. To add salt to the wound, today we distributed food at the food bank so I wouldn't be able to run to town to pick some up and come back. Even if I did there would be no guarantee he would be here when I got back, anyways.

His appetite wasn't very good,either. He didn't finish his breakfast.

When I left for work, he stayed put.

I got some benedryl in town and Berner dog must have been close by when I got home because he was in the house right behind Stumpy and I. His face doesn't look any worse than it did this morning. Hopefully the benedryl will help, but I am thinking he needed to get it earlier to make much of a difference. I gabe him the benedryl (kid's dose) hidden in cheese.

It's a bout 7pm, now. Mr. B has been in and out of the house, all afternoon, in between naps.

Oh! And the x-neighbors finally came looking for their dogs. I had called Tuesday morning. So it only took them two plus days to get here from 3 miles down the road. By then their dogs were gone.

He ate a good dinner, too, and that's a good sign.

There is NO anxiety now when the Berner is in the house. He acts like he's lived here forever. Of course, when he wants to go out, I let him go.

He was in the house until about 11:30pm. He slept for as long as Stumpy would allow, then they played and wrestled for an hour or so longer. mr. B then started pacing and asking to go out.

I have to wonder if he would stay longer if Stumpy didn't torture him, endlessly. I can call her off 1000 times and she leaves him alone for about 15 minutes and then she is back at him. Girls just want to have fun!

Friday, April 16
Two steps forward and one step back.

No Berner boy this morning. :( Plus, I found 1/2 of a benedryl capsule on the deck, so he didn't get a second dose :(

2pm and still no Berner dog. It's pretty warm, today (77°.) I would have thought he would be back, by now for shade and water, never mind something to eat.


PHEW!!! He's home!!! I gave him a stern talking to, too.

I couldn't even take my regularly scheduled Friday nap I was so worried. His face is back to normal, but he's still drooling. Have I mentioned that dog drool grosses me out? I hope this is just a left over symptom from whatever caused his face to swell.

He's eaten and he resting on the deck.

Did I say Resting? No, he's passed out.

Stumpy may look like she is standing guard over him, but really she just wants him to wake up and play.

he remained passed out on the deck until about 8pm,

While Stumpy remainied on the lookout for coyote

Then he came in and slept for an hour or so and then he and Stumpy had some fun.

Then he wanted out, so we all went out and I came in and fell asleep. I woke up in a total panic because I had left Stumpy out! She was fine, and everyone came back in.

Saturday, April 17
Look who was still inside in the morning!

ALL NIGHT! no Panic, no anxiety!

He and Stumpy had their bones on the deck.

Right now, though, he's over in the neighbor's yard, who happens to like to sleep, barking at nothing :(

Yes, it's time to take it to the next level.

If you're a new visitor to our blog, the Berner's story can be read in the posts listed, in chronlogical order, below.
#1 Who's been sitting in my chair?
#2 Runnin' with the big dawgs
#3 There's a Berner in my living room!
#4 He's everywhere!
#5 He's gone
#6 The Berner: coming and going
#7 Berner News
#8 The Weekly Berner Report (March 28 - April 3)
#9 The Weekly Berner Report (April 3 - April 10)


Stella said...

You and Stumpy have made great strides with the Berner Boy, he is such a beauty! He is seeing some great advantages to a "home life", but now and then the wide open spaces calls him which is when I think he panics. I have had two "runners"and they just never really get over it. One of them was 13 years old and had congestive heart failure and would have taken off anytime I would leave a door open. Its the lifestyle!

So Cheers, keep on keeping on with this boy and we can feel a real sense of pride in what you are doing.

Stella and Jo

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! said...


What a great post - up's - down's - UP'S - DOWN'S


I'm furry proud of his paw placement and khomfy napping pawsitions - I akhtually think he goes to the library during the day and studies my blog ;-)

He is so going to make someone an awesome furiend one day -

BUT I do wonder how Stumpy is going to do without a playpal!

We love his khoyote/wolf inspired voice so much!

As fur the drool, my furiend Baloo the BMD akhross the street tends to be that way - and I don't think it is just bekhause of me!


PeeEssWoo: Mom wants to know if that is a Trooper she sees...

Sam said...

My gosh, you have done so, so much for this dog. More than any one I can think of. If he has made this much progress - staying in your house for extended periods, playing with Stumpy, etc. etc. - then I think the sky is the limit!

Sorry he got bit - but his face looks better in the most recent pictures!

Looking forward to next week's update!

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

Cyndi you and Stumpy are doing such a good job.. That Stumpy is just like Callie girl always antagonizing us boys.. It sure is nice that he is beginning to trust you more and even spent the night.. Stumpy you keep up the good work keeping him active...

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Cyndi and Stumpy said...

Stella, I know all about wanderlust, I have a bad case, myself. I am hoping the wide open space won't call quite so persistantly when we get him neutered!

Khyra, I love his howling, too. Stumpy would really like a friend that is willing to play 24/7. "Red" my 36 year old Trooper. She is a beauty! But, she is also the reason I can't get out of dirtville. She runs pretty good, but stalls for no reason, that anyone can figure. Getting stuck in the desert, with no cell service scares me!

Cyndi and Stumpy said...

Sam, it feels really good to be involved with something that I feel passion for. Of course, this sweet boy makes it easy, too.

Heelers, I still can't believe he spent the night. I am hoping it wasn't a fluke.

Brenda's Arizona said...

I love your video about black dogs. We have 3, and each time the rescue group has PRAISED us 10,000 times for adopting a black dog. It amazes me the fear and ignorance that prevents them from being adopted.

Man, I love LOVE these Berner updates. I await them every weekend! I keep thinking... would he live with a doggy door? haha, my husband would kill me. Ya think?

Cyndi and Stumpy said...

Brenda, the Berner doesn't have any problem going thru a screen curtain that serves as a screen door. I'm sure he could adapt to a doggie door. Father's day is coming up... how mad could he get? Just sayin'

tula monstah said...

cheese & hot dogs anytime- it's working wonders! how wonderful stumpy- you have a brudder:)kind of..but, he sure has lots to say..wroo wrooooooo.

kissies to all of ya,

Unknown said...

Never mind mom's comments about you being a pest. I don't think Bernie Boy would come over if it wasn't for your ambassadorship! I mean think it you were Tula. Tula wouldn't share anything! I try with her.. and no luck. So tell your mom you are better than hot dogs and cheese to that Bernie Boy.

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

We are so glad that everyone liked the egg cake.. Hope you are having a great weekend..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Cyndi and Stumpy said...

Tula, it's working BIG wonders on Stumpy's waist, too! HUUUUUUUGE!!!

Norwood, Stumpy does pretty good considering how possessive she can be...as long as I am watching her! And yes, Stumpy is waaaaay better than hotdogs and cheese... even baked brie with roasted garlic!

Sandra said...

First, I never knew about a black dog bias. WTH? People ARE crazy.

I am so happy to see he is almost there. I really do think Miz Thang has had a positive influence on him. Remember when he wouldn't play with her. How things have changed! A snip snip will do him wonders. It's called brain surgery with colts and I think it is universal. Brain surgery I mean.

BTW, my Grace is a big black dog. Bah on the fools.

Cyndi and Stumpy said...

Sandra, the black dog bias is soooooo stupid and so real! yeah, people are crazy but that's not news. Crazier than we ever thought possible.

I'm a believer in brain surgery and I am sure it will make a world of difference!