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Jasper's diary

and seems more confident on her lead being close to me
Sorry just catching up! I found this with Jake, he was a bit more relaxed and confident when I kept him on lead(plus he used to follow random people at times and get quite confused!:confused:). I've also noticed the same with my little Jack recently, she's getting on now and her eyes and ears aren't quite what they used to be, she seems quite worried off lead but as soon as I put her back on it she perks up and bimbles along with me quite happy. They definitely seem to get reassurance from the lead and being close I think.
@Tinytom so sorry to hear about Tiny Tom, after losing 2 so close I can only imagine how sad this time is...x
Lily sometimes tries to follow other people too :D especially if the clothes are similar colour ! She’s definitely more confident on the lead too :)
Poor Jasper hasn't had a good day... I've had a day of granddaughter cuddling (7 weeks old today :)), and he is still not at all sure about this strange little squauky think, particularly when I hold her. Everyone tells me this is jealousy, but I wonder if it's as simple as that sounds.

We play musical stairgates when GD is here, to keep her and J apart, but we slipped up - he got access to the stairs sans stairgate, and was straight up them, only to realise that he couldn't get back down again because of his dodgy back legs. Mr R tried to support his back end with the sling I made a while back from a bag for life (thank you to whomever suggested that a few months back) while I encouraged him from the front. It wasn't ideal, as the angle meant the support was pulling back towards his joints rather than pulling upwards, and J was trembling in fear, but we managed to get him down. He then got a Bonio, because food always helps him get over stressful times (as he often tells me!).

If it happens again, we might try a whole sheet underneath him to support him better, but the deep chest and tucked-up waist makes it harder to support the right bit than with a dog where the belly is more of a straight line.

He did at least enjoy helping with the disshwasher preclean though;)

Ah - you know how to please a dog!

I agree the reaction to GD isn't jealousy, but a whole raft of other emotions, with anxiety to the forefront. What IS it? It smells, it does things in the house I haven't done since I was a new puppy, it makes prey noises and might attract predators, Danger! Danger! And Mum carries it about but hasn't eaten it yet.

I wish more people were as sensible as you with keeping them apart, plus the application of Bonios etc. when appropriate.
Sunday afternoon, Jasper's back legs were all over the place and though he managed a fairly long walk, he was walking as if he was drunk a lot of the time. Pretty much how he's been for some time, but more so, so I assumed that it was just his weakness progressing. Then it struck me - a couple of days before I'd started giving gabapentin in the morning and lunchtime as well as in the evening, and ataxia (lack of coordination) is one of the side effects.

Yesterday I went back to just giving gabapentin in the evening, and he did seem better on his afternoon walk, though he didn't want to go far, so it was hard to tell. I feel a bit shocked that, given the precarious state of his back legs, this side effect could have been the final straw and I wouldn't have realised what the cause was - certainly something to mention to the vet next time we speak.

This means I'll probably have to put more effort into keeping his anxiety at bay throughout the day. It's lucky I don't have a heavy work load right now.
Have you tried any of the Dorwest herbal remedies for anxiety for him? Some of the combinations may just take the edge off a bit and they can be quite gentle. Though I would check with regards to the suitability with the other meds he's on...
Mekuti Body Wraps for dog anxiety and sound sensitivity
There's also these but again it's how well he'd tolerate wearing one!
I've tried various calmers in his younger days, Flobo, and never seen any effects. Wraps wouldn't be an option for him either - he gets scared enough if I even try to lay Vet Wrap over his leg! He's not been too bad today - which basically translates as him being fine if I'm with him, and he doesn't want a wee, or a drink, or a poo, or to lie in the sunny spot when it's on the sofa and he can't get on the sofa any more.... Oh, and he needs his 'fix' of Lily's Kitchen several times a day, even if it doesn't have the drugs in.

His coordination was much better this afternoon - just a few wobbles, as opposed to a wobble every few steps. He's been a bit more unsettled at night, but I do have the option of upping the bedtime gabapentin dose if I need to.
Guess who gets more gardening done at the moment? ;)
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All this landscaping involves a lot of barking, I'm not sure why. He did fall into the hole closest to the fence yesterday, I just about managed not to laugh :D
He’s a lovely chap deserving of respect (and gratitude) in his senior years. Have said it before - we’ll never be able to give them what they have given us.
Grrr, that was annoying... Jasper and I were nicely settled on a verge when a woman came round the corner with a retriever and Airedale, who threw themselves to the end of their leads, barking and swearing at J. He got to his feet and swore back, and then the retriever's lead came unattached somehow :eek: Thank goodness, it was all mouth and no trousers, and the woman managed to get hold of it pretty quickly, but of course J was very stressed as he's so vulnerable now. After several biscuits, which always helps, he decided to come straight home again.

I can't really blame the other woman - she wouldn't have known we were there till she rounded the corner, and had a lot of dog to hang on to - but we really could have done without it.
How exasperating. I'm sorry you both had to experience that.
This is when I'm really happy we developed our 'Mum, that was a bit stressful, do I get a treat?' approach - it gives J a coping strategy which is very rewarding for him and shifts him into a happier mindset ('Actually Mum, I'm so stressed I think I may need another, and another, and... yes, still a bit stressed, thank you Mum...'. And it could have been a lot worse - J hates Airedales, and if it was the Airedale that got off lead, the combination of Big Terrier plus Airedale Hater could have been a lot uglier.

I even took the woman's poo bag home with me - she dropped it in all the excitement and planned to collect it on her way home as she wanted to increase distance as much as possible, but I said I'd take it so people didn't think someone had just dumped it. Then it occurred to me that J might not appreciate the lingering smell of his attackers following us home :confused:
My son came over with his wife & our granddaughter again today, and I'm delighted to say that Jasper is much more relaxed around her now - to the extent that we have to be careful, because we've started to relax and drop our guard, and there's always a chance he could have a funny five minutes...

I had the opportunity to cuddle a 12-week-old cavapoo earlier this week and can say that J is not bothered in the slightest if I cuddle a puppy, so he definitely doesn't see human babies in the same way he sees puppies. But goodness, the difference between this pup and Jasper at the same age! She was so passive and floppy she might just as well have been a pyjama case. I think I felt her teeth at one point, but she was just so gentle - J was all teeth, claws and wriggles at that age, desperate either to chew your hands and face off or to escape so he could chew on your ankles instead :confused:
Why couldn't I have a dog that sleeps more when he gets old, like dogs are meant to???

We had a fair bit of needy whinging this morning. This afternoon, we went for a loooooooooong walk (not sure how far, but according to my new Fitbit I've covered 6.26 miles in total, and the morning walk was fairly short) - further than is good for his joints, but he really wanted to get to that bit of heath, he really enjoyed it, and still kept up a reasonable speed on the way home. I thought I'd get a bit of peace when we got in, but no. He wanted to play in the garden, then he had to inspect all his holes and bark at them continuously. I managed to get him to settle for a bit, but once he'd had his tea and I had to cook ours, he set to crying again because he wanted me in the front room with him. Peace has descended now, probably because I gave him a gabapentin with his tea. Tomorrow I'm going to try a dose with his breakfast, in the hope that the ataxia it causes won't have kicked in till after the morning walk, and will have worn off before the afternoon walk.

It's interesting that he seems completely his normal self on walks (with the occasional stop when he can't decide where to go, possibly because his brain wants to go somewhere fun but his legs want to head for home), but the moment we get in, the neediness and hole-barking resurface. His happy/content times still far outweigh the times when he struggles though.
Thanks Flobo - I actually have one of those stowed away, which I got when he was waking at night. It didn't seem to help. It might be worth digging it out again to try in the daytime (or night if he gets worse).
Jasper has been continuing his work on the landscaping and hole-barking. I'd love to know why these holes need barking at, but I guess the answer is simply 'he's barking' :D

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Never too old for a game, though
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Whaddaya mean you've thrown enough balls, Mum? I need you to throw more balls to me! ALL of them!! Mum, COME BACK RIGHT NOW!!!
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