3 articles Tag Chuck

Maureen – One Year On #PethoodStories

We’ve been asked by Petplan Pet Insurance to tell you one of our Pethood Stories.

When we lost Chuck back in December 2017, we said it would take us a long time before we ever considered getting another dog. When he passed, we told the girls our belief that energy can never be destroyed which means that his energy would pass into something else and maybe that energy would find its way back to us one day, but we expected to be a petless family for quite some time.

Then, a month or so later, my friends dog had a litter of puppies and one of them was born with a broken tail which looked EXACTLY like Chuck’s. I showed Husband the picture and it took us about 30 seconds to decide it was too much of a coincidence and we needed to have her. I messaged my friend and thankfully the puppy hadn’t been reserved by anyone else, so she was ours. We had to wait until she was ready to leave her mum at 8 weeks and we decided that we’d keep it all a secret from the girls and surprise them.

 

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We spent weeks making surreptitious arrangements, buying a crate, a puppy pen, a bed, researching Petplan Pet Insurance and all sorts of other stuff that we had to try to hide from Sausage and BB, but amazingly enough we did it. On the day we were due to collect our puppy, we didn’t even tell the girls where we were going, we just said that we had to go somewhere to collect a package. In fact, our sweet, trusting babies didn’t even realise what we were there for, even when we were standing in my friends’ living room, surrounded by puppies!

It’s been a maaaaaad year. Having a puppy is a shock after having an elderly dog who was already trained to do everything when he got him, aged two, but actually the toilet training and other stuff all went amazingly well. She’s a really intelligent, enthusiastic dog who fitted in with our family from really early on.

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We’ve had ups and downs – one low point being when Maureen managed to steal a chicken skewer from a plate and swallow it, stick and all. Leaving her at the vets to have emergency surgery when she was just a few months old was really hard, but she made it through and we learned a LOT from that day…mainly not to ever leave plates unattended.

Next Tuesday marks a whole year since Maureen came to live with us and it’s gone so fast! She’s grown into such a fabulous dog, and although she’s still a boisterous little monkey at times, she’s loving and loyal and an absolute pleasure to be with. She’ll never replace Chuck, but she’s taught us how to love again after losing such an important part of our lives and for that, I’ll always be grateful.

So, here’s to Maureen. A year as a Crammond and carrying on your brother’s legacy of being stubborn, greedy and the best kisser in the whole house. We love you, Beansy.

For more Pethood Stories and the results of the Petplan Pet Census 2018, head over to their site. This post is in conjunction with Petplan but all thoughts are my own

 

Taking Care of an Elderly Pet

One thing that we’ve come to realise now that Chuck is older is that taking care of an elderly dog is vastly different to caring for a younger one. His drives have completely changed now that he’s an old man (he’s the equivalent of around 80 years old in human years) and we’ve had to make some changes to accomodate him and keep him healthy for as long as possible. Here’s some of the things you might want to consider if you have an elderly pet:

Mobility

Just like with old people, old pets can struggle with mobility. Chuck used to race up and down the stairs with ease, walk for hours and think nothing of jumping up and down onto the bed or sofa to snuggle with us. Now, he’s a lot less mobile, so we’ve placed water bowls both up and downstairs so that he never has to go too far for a drink and we’re also looking into getting some pet steps so that he can get up onto the bed without having to jump.

Diet

This one is a double-edge sword. Now that he’s less mobile, he doesn’t exercise as much and therefore doesn’t need to eat as much. However, since his drives have turned away from procreation, they’ve turned firmly towards food so he acts like he’s hungry MOST of the time! We’re careful to limit table scraps and have moved him onto a senior diet which gives him the nutrients he needs with fewer calories so that he doesn’t get fat!

Exercise

We know for a fact that he’s suffering with heart problems and suspect that he had a heart attack sometime last year. This means that the dog who used to walk for literally hours now barely makes it 800m. We’ve decided that we allow him to completely dictate how far he wants to go; on days when he’s not feeling it, we leave him be or let him have a little plod to the end of the road and back, but if he seems pretty spritely we let him dictate the pace and distance and it seems to be working pretty well.

Vet Care

Some pet owners are lucky to rarely ever need to take their pet to the vet, but once they get older it’s vital to get at least a check-up. Chuck takes a variety of medications for his heart and an anti-inflammatory for his joints which means that he gets to live out his old age with minimum pain or discomfort. If you’re worried about vets bills, the PDSA offers treatment if you’re in receipt of benefits, so it might be worth having a look if you have an elderly pet.

Temperament

We’re incredibly lucky in the respect that Chuck is an amazingly wellbehaved dog with our kids and is soft and loving with them. However, now that he’s old and struggling with stiffness etc. we make a point to make sure that the kids aren’t too rough with him and give him plenty of space. We trust him completely but it would be heartbreaking for him to get hurt or feel overwhelmed and lose his cool with one of them. We don’t think for a second it would happen but it protects ALL THREE OF THEM if we remove the risk altogether.

Do you have an elderly pet? Have you found any new challenges have arisen since they’ve got older? I’d love to hear from you.

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday