Milady (Brinks' new playpal!)

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Dabbles's picture
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Joined: 2009-02-20

Well, I know I said I was going to wait until Don & I had regular paychecks coming in before I got a playmate for Brinks…  But evidently that just wasn’t meant to be.  I’d like to introduce everyone to Milady!


Sorry about the white eyes...   I was in a hurry!

Milady is a rescue, so I don’t know much about her.  They said she was about 10 months old, but some paperwork indicated she is probably around a year & a half.  (If she was 10 months I don’t think she could have had any shots on 1/29/09 at 4 months.)  Her age doesn’t really matter to me other than being able to give the vet some direction. 

MM (Mostly Mutts – the rescue I got her from) told me she had been in at least 4 foster homes in the past month with stays in the kennels at the rescue in-between.  Not because of her but because 1 went on vacation, 1 had a family emergency, etc…  The poor baby was so skittish & confused.  While I was talking to the “foster’er” that brought her in, Don took her lead & sat on the concrete floor petting & talking to her.  She just leaned against him & shook & shivered.  Don is (of course) the practical one, but he looked at me – before I said anything – and said “It’s not the best timing but this little girl needs us.”  (This could also explain why we’ve had several foster teenagers over the years!!  Their need outweighs our practical…)

One of my concerns is to get some weight on her!!!  When we got her on Saturday you could see her ribs from 20 feet away & her hip bones could puncture wood!  She’s gained a bit since then but not much.  She has had puppies in the past (which would really concern me if she WAS 10 months!) her teats are enlarged but not engorged as they would be if she had whelped in the recent past.  (It’s been a long time since I bred Danes so memories from the dim past make me think at least 3 or 4 months ago.)

The night we brought Milady home Brinks was very gentle with her.  Of course he wanted to play (he always wants to play!) but he was very restrained – like he instinctively knew that she didn’t have the strength or the stamina for rough-housing.  I was very proud of my boy!  She wanted to play too – did the “play bow” & jumped around with him a few times, but mostly she was exhausted & needed to sleep.

There are other problems (mostly physical- have seen no aggressive tendencies), as there are with most rescues, but I think this is long enough for now…

So here are a couple more photos of Milady & Brinks…

Left to right:  Milady, Don, Brinks

She doesn't even have basic obedience but learned to sit for treats really fast! (Brinks fore, Milady rear)

First night they slept butt to butt - 2nd night was like this (Milady's head on top)

Moved a bit, but still cute!

Amy with the latest in home decor - Doberblankets!!!  Milady's 3rd night with us

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

God Bless you Dabbles. You are a special family with a second very special dog. She looks like she realizes that she finally has the loving home she deserves. Brinks will definitely help her make the transition as she will take her cues from him.

Don't over feed her. Just feed her the normal amount with just a about an extra cup or so and let her put the weight on slowly. Just as I had to take the weight off Red slowly (50 pounds over 15 months). Now my task is to maintain him at 95-100 pounds. He is now up to eating 10 cups a day (5 each twice a day).

Lady Kate's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-28

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How I love these pictures, I still tear up when I see the two snuggled up together. Brinks has the little sister he's always wanted.
You are an angel Dabs... Milady will bring you so much joy!! What a blessing for all of you.
Hope to see a lot more pictures as you 'fatten' the little girl up.

Q Tip's picture
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:D Oho Dabbles...you have the most perfect bookends :) they are just beautiful together. I wish you every joy with Milady. 'Hugs'
Q and I are seeing an SPCA dog trainer on Tuesday to see how we get on with our possible new puppy. Fingers crossed if it goes well she could be with us in two weeks. SPCA requirement that she will be spade before leaving the centre.

Dabbles's picture
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Joined: 2009-02-20

Update on Milady!  Went to the vet today!

The vet scales weigh her at 49.5 pounds, height 25" at the shoulder.  (We definitely need to get some weight on the girl!  Doctor scales are always heavier than home scales...)  She has gained some weight in the last week, but Dr. Weaver says she needs at least 10 more pounds - possibly more if all the gain is muscle.  All tests came back negative so no heartworms or other parasites - yea!  No signs of mange or fleas, just extremely dry skin (suggested olive oil - which Lady Kate already told me about.  See how smart you all are?) and keep bathing her in the oatmeal & aloe shampoo.  She said as Milady gains some weight & she grows less stressed her fur will grow back at the base of the tail & on the back of her hind legs.

Now for the yucky part - I gave the vet Milady's x-rays & asked her opinion of her ribs.  Before she looked at the x-rays she did a through but gentle manual examination of Milady's rib cage.  I didn't even mention the "pectus excavatum" diagnosis by the other vet until she told me it looked like a case of trauma as in a foot to the rib cage - probably when she was a young puppy!  Then I hauled out the papers MM gave me & showed her those.  She said it could be a slight case of P-E but she didn't think so & showed me on the x-rays why.  The malformation is only on one side , it doesn't affect the sternum by pushing it up into the rib cavity & it's not affecting her heart or lungs, plus the rib bones show larger mass only in that one area (you know how broken bones grow larger at the break than the surrounding bone?  That's what the x-rays show.).  So, she told me that Milady has had a rough life for a young girl... but she seems to be getting what she needs now & to keep up what I'm doing.

She did, however, make a face about the chicken/turkey necks and said she could not recommend them...  She said the surgery - if a bone splintered & tore the stomach or intestine - was quite expensive.  Since I can't afford to take the risk, no necks for my girl. 

One last note - when the vet tech took Milady back to the scales to weigh her it almost broke my heart!  She kept looking back at me like she was saying "Please don't leave me!  Please don't let them take me away!"  They were only gone a couple of minutes but when she got back into the exam room she glued herself to my leg & was shaking again.  It took quite awhile to calm her down & she never really relaxed until we got home.  Next time I'll take her back myself - I don't think I can take that again!

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

The known aspects of many rescue dogs is heart rending, and the unknown worse. She is doing well. Slow weight gain is what she needs, because sudden weight gain will put a stress on her system and her muscles may not be up to it. It's like a person who becomes dehydrated, they give them water slowly so the body can absorb it at a reasonable pace. There is such a thing as water poisoning, in fact there is a lawsuit over a radio contest in which a lady died by drinking so much water her system could not handle it and it shut down. Plain Water.

As to going back with her the next time she's weighed - don't. She must learn that she can trust you. Short separations from her family in a situation like that are a learning experience for her. The next time she should not be as stressed out because you were still there this time. If she never learns that, a short overnight stay at the vet's for any procedure would be traumatic.

Besides, if she goes there enough, she will become like my Red and Princess when they go to the vet. They get to visit with friends who care about them. My vet has one of those walk on scales for the dogs in the walkway when you are leaving. Of course with Red, he get's weighed every time he goes through their door to keep his under control.

If she weighs just under 50 pounds now, I cannot comprehend how little she weighed when saved. I personally would love to have about 10 minutes alone with someone who abuses dogs, but then it probably would not be worth the prison term for me.

Lady Kate's picture
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Thanks Richard.. my sentiments exactly. When I read Marti's missive ( her word not mine) re:Her new sweet Milady, I just cringed and cried. I do not understand cruelty in any manner. Especially toward those incredible creatures who love unconditionally and completely.
If Cesar Milan is correct, she will live in the "now" and her now is a loving caring home. I cannot think of another place more suitable for Milady.. As Mr. Dabbles (Don )said: "this little girl needs us."
Bless you dear ones and know that the entire Forum Family has you in their thoughts and prayers.

I'm late on reading this post about your new baby(been super busy with my litter of puppies). I'm so happy that she has a new home that will love and care for her. I was reading how they thought she had been kicked. It brings tears to my eyes to think someone could hurt one of these guys, yet it happens everyday. All I can say is Thank God you have her and can provide a good loving home for her, something ALL dogs deserve. Love the pictures of everyone, looks like she is fitting right in!

I did notice and wanted to caution you about having the choke collars on the dogs when they are loose. I used to do this until a good breeder friend of mine told me what happened to her Great Dane. They were wrestling in the house and one of them got their tooth stuck in the collar, she couldn't get them separated and the dog actually died. Since then I've heard of more people with similar stories. They are dangerous to leave on. As your dogs really start to know eachother and do the typical dobe play they will begin playing more rough. Something to be aware of.

Good luck with your new dog, cant wait to hear all the good updates.

XandersMom's picture
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There is a special place in hell for those who would mistreat an animal.  I'm sorry that Milady experienced something so heinous.  Her luck has clearly turned as she is now with a warm and loving family.  Good on you!  (Though, you will receive so much more from her than you give... such is the nature of these beasts).

That pic of Milady and Brinks sleeping is so precious!  Makes me almost want to bring home another dobie for Xander to pal around with.  Almost.  ;)

Keep doing what you are doing.  It's all good!

rgreen4's picture
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I almost lost a Miniature Schauzer with a standard collar. He was trying to dig out under the fence and got the rabies tag caught in the fence. In trying to get back out, he got the collar twisted which then began to choke him. My big female Dobe at the time started really carrying on and alerted me. I could not hear the other Schnauzers, but her deep bark carried though the walls and I heard her. I actually though he was gone, as he did not appear to be breathing. I laid him on the kitchen floor and went to get the vehicle ready and when I came back in he met me at the door.

To this day (this was about 10 years ago) he has a rasping bark and when he gets excited and breathes hard, he wheezes. In the house and in the yard, they have no collars. About 4 years ago the vet started taking the collars off hand handing them back when I would take them in to board. I think they had a problem with a dog getting a collar hung in the bars of the crates, but I'm not sure. The use a lead with a loop on it to walk and control the dogs making choke collars unnecessary.

I did notice the choke collars in a few photos, but they are obviously not on all the time because they are not in all the photos. Mine know when they are going for a ride, because I get out the collars.

Dabbles's picture
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Rgreen, I'm taking your advice & getting weight onto Milady slowly.  She no longer looks emaciated & she's muscling up nicely due to daily trips to the park.  The girl LOVES to run & she is fast!  Brinks has to give it his all just to stay within 20 feet of her.  Surprisingly, Brinks (4 inches taller & at least 30 pounds heavier) changes direction faster but on a flat out run she's faster than any dog we've met.  Her favorite game at the park is to chase after Brinks when he's going for a tennis ball, take the ball away & prance around trying to tease him into chasing her.  I've been trying to get a video of them - so far no luck!  I'm much better at stills than videos... plus, I am the thrower of the balls & must keep them in the air at all times or else will get the "look"  :P

I kept the nylon adjustable collars on both of them for the 1st 2 weeks, using the choke collars only for walks & trips, but this last week we've been having "naked time" (anyone with kids will recognize that term!! ;D).  This week we've been using only the flat collars for walks however yesterday Milady slipped her collar twice!, once in my yard going to the truck & then again at the park before we got inside the fence (panic panic panic!!).  She came to me when I opened the door to the truck both times & jumped in fortunately.  Today we are going back to the choke collars for walks & trips!!! 

We also have plans to visit the vet's office at least twice each month to desensitise both Milady & I.  Thank you for your excellent advice Rgreen, I do need to build up her trust that I will be there for her.  It will take a little while, but the techs, assistants & I are all working on it together.

Now for 2 quick questions...  Do I need to change their tags over to the choke collars, or can they wear both nylon & choke together safely while we are out?  They've both been microchipped but I do have a tag on each with their names & my phone # & of course their rabies tags.

Rgreen, how much "roughhousing" do you allow in the house?  An hour to 1-1/2 hrs at the park plus 2 walks in the neighborhood are okay for Milady, but Brinks is still in high-energy mode at 13 months so he'll take a 20-30 minute nap & be ready to go again!  To get Milady to play Brinks' favorite target is her ears!  (I don't think she's had dry ears for more than a few hours a day the whole time she's been here  :D)  As you all know, dobie play can get rather loud & rough.

rgreen4's picture
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I have the opposite problem, my female bugs my male. Of course it's the age difference. Red likes to play to a point and then he zonks. Princess lays down for a while and then it is like his ear time to wake him up. When I put them up of course they are separate. Red in his crate in the office/computer room (there is snoring behind me) and Princess in another room. When I let her out, she immediately runs to "Uncle" Red's crate. I don't know if she is tying to tease him or just anxious for him to come out and play.

She almost refuses to go out alone. Of course except for the week I took her to Texas, she has not been away from him since she arrived at 9 weeks of age.

You can put tags on the choker collars. Put them on the same ring to which you attach the lead. For many years when I was young the family dog had only a choker collar, and I used them on my first few dogs. In fact, I still have one around her from a dog I had back in the '70's which is a three wide chain that almost looks like chain mail. I have not seen one similar in years. It still has tags on it.

Brinks may gain speed. Up to now he really didn't have a challenge. Racers gain speed by competition. Red has increased his speed and can almost keep up with Princess now when she is full out. She however, periodically slows down so he can catch her, for she would rather tussel than race. When Red and his extra 25 pounds gets the better of her, she just takes off. Of course since my neighbor and I don't have a fence between the property and the area immediately behind his workshop/garage building is open as is the area behind my storage building, they have a little over an acre to themselves. As I have said, I almost have my own private dog park. Access to it is about a 40' space between my one storage building and his garage with fences and woods bordering the rest. One advantage of living out in the boonies.

Dabbles's picture
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Found out today that Milady is a very quiet counter surfer!!!  She snagged 3 slices of ham out of the plastic container while I was on the phone (rang while I was making my lunch & I didn't put things up as I usually do).  I don't know if she shared with Brinks or not, but both of them had their "who me?  I'm innocent" faces when I went back to get my sandwich...  Oh well, the bologna tasted ok but I really wanted ham!  I peeked around the corner when I went out of the kitchen -  There they were, Milady with her paws on the counter & Brinks circling below!!

rgreen4's picture
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Well, considering her background, I am not totally surprised. She probably had to scrounge to get to eat. You need to work on her gently to get her to not do it. But I do have to agree with her in one respect. Ham is tempting.

Of course, I'm still working on Princess. Of course she does it while she still has kibble in her bowl. Her retort is that Royalty does not eat peasant fare. She and Red really like popcorn though.

Q Tip's picture
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;D ;D ;D
I'm so glad that everybody has a counter surfer ;D ;D I caught Q going out the door with a tub of butter last week. And yesterday i found my purse in the garden with the visa card right up by the compost bin. That may have been my fault as i often get him to carry my purse around the market. It settles him right down for some reason and he likes the job.  :DI must have left it somewhere that he could swipe it.
Everything is quiet here...its midday and the heat has sent both dogs to sleep  ;)

Dabbles's picture
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Well, RGreen got a "trace" of snow in south GA - here in north central GA we got about 3".  The opinion of Milady & Brinks was not very favorable when it came to doing their business.  If translated I believe I would've heard major complaints about frozen paws & frosty bums!  (to say nothing about the constant shakes of the bodies to get rid of that wet, cold, white stuff on their backs) 

Taking them for their last walk of the day was...  interesting.  Milady was evidently never taught leash manners (along with any basic obedience) & Brinks is following her example (starting another thread about that in Training) so there were several sets of grooves in the snow where I was trying to set my heels to pull them back but the ice under the snow wasn't having that!  I'm sure it was quite funny to watch, but I was completely frustrated by the time we got home.  4-wheel drive is great, but it ain't got nothing compared to 8-paws when it comes to pulling!!   ::)

All that being said, here is a picture of their reaction when it was PLAYtime in the snow!

Lady Kate's picture
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Milady is filling out nicely.. Good job Marti!! They look like they're having so much fun.  Can just picture the grooves set in the snow.. Laughed so hard.
Now for some nose thumbing.. we went for a long walk/run in the flower covered fields yesterday and picked wild flowers.. It's a glorious 78 degrees here.

rgreen4's picture
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Yes, Milady looks as if she is near or at her ideal weight. She is having a ball, and that is so wonderful considering her background. Brink's is just being a teenaged (relative) Dobie and has the slim figure to go with it.

You are now discovering the pleasure given by a pair of Dobies. I don't recommend that for everyone, as we all know what a handful even one can be. But the pleasure each gains from playing witht he other is truly a great reward.

Bless you and your family for giving Milady a home every Dobie deserves.

BTW - our Snow was gone by morning and I am still trying to convince Princess it was all just a bad dream. Not having too much luck though as she keeps sneaking her snout arount the display of the laptop while I am posting. Maybe she's just trying to find the weather forecast?