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Progress on the doggy front!

I took Rainier to get a bath yesterday.  He didn't enjoy it, but his coat looks a lot better.  I was primarily concerned with keeping things clean because of the skin infection (so I used the oatmeal shampoo and conditioner), but I was really surprised at how much better he looked.  After his first bath (just over a week ago), his coat felt greasy and was kind of a flat black and off-white.  Yesterday, he looked all glossy and clean, and his white seemed a lot brighter...or maybe it was just the contrast with a nice dark coat.  Not sure.  

I didn't dry him, though, because the groomer told me last week that he didn't like the dryer.  Not that I was expecting much, but I get the sense he wasn't bathed very often.  We'll have to fix that.  We walked home from the bath place and it mostly dried, except his legs.  I'll take him again next week as I don't expect the rash will be completely gone by then.  I think I'll try drying his legs, maybe start on getting him used to the dryer.  He's going to have a gorgeous coat when it comes in, but I imagine it'll be a bit of work to take care of it.  (I know fixed females coats are more prone to mats and stuff like that than unfixed females, but I don't know anything about males.)

We tried soaking his front feet in a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water.  His right foot is still tender, and he didn't keep it in very long.  The left foot went better.  Hopefully this will help them to heal up as they're very inflamed between the metacarpal and toe pads.  I was wondering if he'd been hot and/or was digging for food a lot after his 'liberation'.  The groomer said she'd had to clean a ton of stuff out of his feet.

I was petting him yesterday afternoon while he was lying on the floor, and you won't believe what he did: he flipped on his side (almost on his back) and wanted a belly rub!  Seriously!  I think he was still not 100% sure about it, but he let me rub his belly for a while.  :-)

We're working on getting him to wait before he starts eating.  This is really hard for him, but he's starting to get it.  He's learned he has to stay seated, but once the bowl is on the floor, he wants to go for it.  On the up side, he seems to have no issues with food aggression at all.  I've taken away his bowl a couple times when he was in the middle of eating, and the only thing that happened was that he looked at me with those pleading eyes of his.  Yesterday morning, the cat decided he wanted to try some of the rice goop that Rainier was eating, so he stuck his head in and helped himself.  Rainier let him and just kept eating himself.  So not only is he okay with people taking his food, he's okay with cats taking his food.  (Ada hasn't tried it yet, though, so I have no idea what would happen if another dog tried.)

I think I need to work with him on some heeling, though.  He really has no idea where to go when we're walking.  He's incredibly alert to human body language, so he stops when I do, but if he gets ahead of me and can't see me, he'll start circling around me, which makes walking difficult.  I think he'll pick up on the heeling fairly quickly, though.

He still seems to have a strange relationship with Ada.  There are more 'corrections' going back and forth from each of them.  She plays too rough, and she's okay with his mounting to a certain point.  The humans are getting less freaked out when these corrections happen, which is good because there's usually 2 or 3 each day now.  But they still like to play together.

Rainier has started to run in short bursts, just a few steps each time.  I'm hoping this will improve once his feet are better and he's lost some weight.  I think he needs to lose 10-15 lbs.  He's got some serious neck rolls and I can't feel his ribs.  The good thing is that he really enjoys walks (comes running whenever I pull out the leash), so I think exercise will be an easy way to work on it.


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