Poor Duke had the “Cone of shame”, aka an Elizabethan collar, on for some time and was getting well and truly fed up with it! So was I. He kept jabbing me in the throat with it. It was killing me.
Last Monday Duke had a check up to look at how his stitches where healing. The vet was much happier this time; she said he didn’t have much longer till it was all healed. Cue a sigh of relief from me, my husband and our bank balances. Karl and I bundled him back into the car happy that, although he was stuck with the cone, we would be able to exercise him a lot more throughout the day. Exercise keeps Duke a lot happier and a lot more relaxed. He’s less likely to jump around if he’s had a few good walks and a throw around with the ball. However walks with the cone can be difficult especially when Duke puts his cone over a hole in the ground; because he isn’t prepared for what pops out ! A little mouse popped out last time and he hid behind me. “Lion dog” my bottom.
Karl went away two days after the vets visit. So it was just me and Duke for a few days. Dukie is always brilliant when I am on my own. He takes brilliant care of me and is always good as gold. I finally managed to teach duke to let me take the cone on and off without him going crazy. He would allow us, begrudgingly, too slip it off and on again to enable him to walk around unrestricted. The trick was to give him lots of treats after it went back on.
He finally had his cone off Monday! The first thing we did was have a long walk down the cove. I was a little bit worried he would go crazy. Especially after being restricted for so long. However, proving me wrong, was really well behaved. He was pretty chilled and enjoyed rolling in the see, trying to catch the seaweed and catching his ball. I thought he would chase every dog he could clap eyes on but after 10 minuets or so he just focused on us. This is a win. We even went to the pub and had a pint without him crying the whole time or begging for attention…. Much better than previous trips. We were sat not far from another dog too. He is most definitely making progress. Perseverance and consistency seem to be the key.
The next day we headed over to see Murph and Laura. The weather was too hot to take a walk yet so we sat in Laura’s garden; wet towel on the floor for the two dogs to lay on and lots of shade! Laura has the most beautiful 8 week old baby to whom Duke decided to go and say hi; he did this by giving her a nice big sloppy wet kiss on the face. During our visit Duke also learnt to jump fences! His teacher? His partner in crime Murphy. Duke looked very proud with himself when he realised he had a new trick up his paw. He proceeded to demonstrate this trick about 20 times. The git.
It was a very exciting trip for him as he also met some little baby Shih Tzus. They are beautiful; but very tiny compared to my massive 6 stone beastie. He was so gentle with them surprising me yet again. Duke gave them a little nudge and a sniff but was as soft and careful. He kept jumping the fence to go and see them, which I wasn’t so impressed with, and playing with their mum and dad. I’ve been considering letting him off the lead in more public places for a while, the last few days he’s definitely put my worries about it to ease. He’s been much calmer approaching other dogs (apart from Murphy. He loves him too much) and seems much more controled.
We had guests Wednesday, my brother and his fiancé. Normally when we have visitors duke can pester them and can get realy anxious. No signs of anxiety this time!! Win. He was chilled and relaxed with them being in the house. Although he made sure he got attention. We had visitors Friday too! One of our friends is scared of dogs. Realy scared. Particularly when they jump up (Duke’s favourite trick). Duke was unbelievably good! I kept him behind the stair gate to start and by the end of the night he was playing fetch with her! Duke winner of hearts.
I caught a tummy bug this weekend and the dog did not leave me side. He is such a sweet heart. I’d slept downstairs so as not to keep waking Karl getting up to be sick. Duke snuggled up to me, head on my tummy, every time I stirred he gave me a little lick then waited from me to get comfortable again before going back to snoozing. He stayed snuggled up from 1 am till 12 (normally he would be pestering for a walk). 11 hours of patiently cuddling up to me.
He is a good boy.