Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Update: Spring 2011

FYI, Claude's doing great, especially for a 13½-year-old dog! He still acts like a puppy after mealtime, when a postprandial surge of blood sugar gives him so much energy he can't contain himself, tearing around doing laps around the house at warp speed.
A Blue Lacy's considerable ENERGY needs channeling...

A couple of months ago, Claude was doing his usual after-dinner run-around-the house, tossing his dog toys in the air and just generally having a blast, when he returned from the other side of the course limping badly. I don't know what happened, but he'd obviously hurt himself somehow, probably his right front leg/shoulder. He seemed better after a couple of days, so we tried to go for "walkies", but within a block, he was limping dramatically again, so we called it a day; no walkies.

After about a week of no walkies had passed (and he was still limping), I took him to his vet to make sure nothing was broken, although I really didn't think anything was, and sure enough, the vet didn't either.  After a thorough exam, she said that Claude had probably sprained his shoulder, and that he should just rest; no running around!

Well, in my experience, you can't keep a Lacy from channeling that boundless Lacy energy, even when they're old. (Hey, if there was a way to hook Claude up to a generator,  we could probably go off the grid!) 
You'll never wear out a Blue Lacy on foot...but keep trying!
So keeping him from running around was a huge challenge, and impossible whenever he spotted another animal  trespassing in "his" back yard, but after a couple of setbacks (a cat in yard, squirrels in yard, etc) his injury eventually healed up and he was, and is, just fine again.
Even a Lacy puppy can be an inexhaustible running partner.....

Like a typical Blue Lacy, Claude's always ready and willing to work, but we don't really have any traditional Lacy work to offer anymore. We live in the city now, and no longer have any livestock for him to herd.
Claude, about 10 yrs ago, living in the country outside Austin.
And here in central Austin, there are no feral hogs to chase, thank goodness (so far!), so he's a Lacy without a real mission. Trying to help him channel that energy constructively reminds me of the time I rode a very recently retired race horse.....that's a HUGE amount of energy, and no simple way to channel it.

Fetching things (Frisbee's, dog toys, whatever) is all the "work" we've been able to come up with, and he definitely enjoys it. He's pretty good as a retriever, but sometimes takes whatever we've thrown to him and prances around triumphantly shaking whatever it is for awhile first before he'll bring it back. He's a funny guy.

Old dogs, like old people, tend to have health issues, and Claude's no exception, but fortunately he's never had any serious issues, and does have a great vet, as well as a comfortable, very loving home, so he's a happy camper. In terms of medicine, he takes a daily anti-inflammatory (Rimadyl) and a thyroid supplement, and that's all; he's not diabetic, thank goodness. He had some surgery to remove a benign growth from his back, and recovered and regrew his shaved coat very quickly.

Claude's a regular goodwill ambassador in the neighborhood especially with the kids; they all love him and come out to pet him and give him treats. And he loves everybody, human or animal. He also likes to go for rides in the car, and always prefers to keep his "pack" together; every night he waits for our roommate to get home from work, and then comes straight to me to "tell" me that he's home, and keeps whining until I go greet roomie with a hug, so Claude can see that  we're all together.

What he doesn't like is being left behind, but he deals with it. He's such a good dog. An awesome dog, really. I'm so proud of him, and love him so much......everybody should have a "Claude" in their life!

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