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Jasper's diary

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My FCR would have a heart attack with that many balls. They have free access to toys, but tennis balls and dummies are kept for training.
Sighthounds aren't generally very toy oriented, Tarimoor, so there's never been a need to restrict him. Part of the reason for this obsession is that his legs aren't up to leaping and bounding around the garden any more, but I'm sure it's also a symptom of his dementia - along with the hole digging.
Rhuna has always been obsessed with retrieving, more so than many FCRs, and I think this has rubbed off onto Branta, my young black Labrador. I do remember some years ago, I rescued an old black Labrador, my original Rhuna, and I always thought if I had the right girl I'd reuse the name. That Rhuna had been a working gundog all her life and had obviously had a few litters. Her owner was hospitalised, dying of liver failure, and all his gundogs were put to sleep apart from her. She had a bit of a spark, and as it was a friend of a friend, I offered to take her in and see how she went. She'd been kennelled all her life and was petrified of being inside at first, but slowly came round to the idea. My old girls now not with me, Indie and Tau, helped her to learn to play, and whilst they were busy rough housing, Rhuna used to nick all the tennis balls and take them back to the dog bed almost like she was nesting on them. It's funny how they all have different ways of doing things with the simple objects we share with them. I couldn't trust my current youngsters, or to be fair a couple of the older two, with tennis balls, they'd be defluffed and destroyed.
Yes, Jasper used to 'peel' tennis balls when he was a youngster, though he grew out of it. Actually he did get quite excited the other day when a bit of the fabric had come away and he managed to grab it and shake it till it was 'disembowelled' - he then found two more he could do that with.

That blue spiral toy on the right-hand-side of the photo has always been one of his favourites, and still is if he feels energetic. When he cavorts round the garden with it, it gets thrown around his face, and my theory is that it's a similar feeling to rabbit limbs, or possibly innards, wrapping round his face - his idea of heaven. He has a larger version as well, so we call them his 'small intenstines' and 'large intestines'.

Differences in dog types are fascinating. Lurchers may love to chase balls - and anything else - but retrieving them is another matter altogether. Their attitude is 'If you want it, get it yourself!' I did teach J to bring me things on request, but it certainly didn't come naturally.
Zasa has always been a bit of the attitude that if it's not the real deal she can't be @rsed, unless someone else wants the retrieve. Her daughter Branta is twenty levels of enthusiasm above her when it comes to retrieving. I remember last year, after helping out at a working test we (dummy throwers, even the bad ones) were offered some free training from the judges and others there. I got Branta out and warned them she is show bred so not quite the same as their 'type' of Labrador. One of the judges said he'd never seen such a retrieve driven dog with just tennis balls. If only my training and handling were good enough!

I love the differences in them all, Jasper seems to love doing his own thing in the garden which I'm sure puts a smile on your face watching him.
My boy:emoji_blue_heart:


He's getting a little clonkier, with more frequent stumbles (even though he can, and chooses to, walk a couple of miles), and a little more anxious. The gabapentin makes his coordination worse, but really helps with the anxiety... My heart breaks a little every day.

We have a couple of friends and their lurcher coming over this afternoon, so I won't give him his afternoon med - he and the other dog are just companionable, they don't play, but I don't want to risk him feeling vulnerable. And the presence of friends and food should distract him from his anxieties.
He’s lovely Judy..:rolleyes: and I know just how you’re feeling xx hope he enjoys a peaceful afternoon with his friend. A day at a time ….xx
hope he enjoys a peaceful afternoon with his friend.

Thank you Mayblossom - he was thrilled to see them, but I'm not sure it was peaceful! They are quite generous when it comes to treats, so of course he mugged them the whole time, and the break in routine, plus us eating in the garden, made him a little unsettled. It was lovely though - they are very much dog people and we have a lot in common.
So pleased it all went well, I’m sure he enjoyed something a little different from his routine :rolleyes: although a little unsettling, always find it brightens Lily up if we do something a bit different but then the day after she’s usually very quiet …must be the excitement :D
That is such a lovely pic of Jasper, makes me a bit emotional when I read your posts sometimes as it reminds me of my journey with Jake...and I can remember how it feels... thinking of you both @Judy and @Mayblossom
One day at a time is absolutely it eh...
more frequent stumbles
I met a couple the other day, whose dog had previously been stumbling because of broken communication between the brain and the legs - which was a part of dementia. Their dog had been prescribed a human alzheimer drug (I didn't ask what, but maybe Aricept?).

Is that worth exploring? Their dog was walking steadily when I saw her.
I don't think his stumbling is related to his dementia - I first noticed it a long time before I noticed behavioural changes. But it does look like Aricept has had good results with dogs, so it's definitely worth suggesting it to the vet. I'm reluctant to add anything in to the mix just at the moment - he's on Onsior, gabapentin, paracetamol, Aktivait, Vitofyllin and YUmove Plus - but one to consider in the future.
That’s a fair few tablets Jaspers on :rolleyes: bless him, hoping they help keep him active and happy! Lily is sometimes lame on her front left as you look at her, another few days and no lameness at all …she’ll suddenly start limping , go a few strides and is sound again, luckily more sound than not :) Wonder if there a link with dementia? Does Jasper stumble on uneven ground or just randomly ?
Does Jasper stumble on uneven ground or just randomly ?

More on uneven ground, but sometimes on level ground too. I've noticed him knuckling a few times - going over onto the top of his paw, because he's not lifted his leg high enough when he takes a step.
Has the Yumove made any improvement ? Must admit at my age I can often trip over a matchstick :D maybe it’s the same with Jasper, we just get clumsy with age :rolleyes:
I can't really tell if the Yumove has helped, as he started that at a time when he was limping heavily, and he also started on anti-inflammatories at the same time. It could of course have slowed his decline, but that's not really possible to tell. So often with different medications and supplements, we start using them when going through a bad patch, and in general, bad patches do get better anyway, so it's easy to think the meds did the trick.

He's always has poor rear end awareness, and that coupled with muscle loss is bound to have an effect. But I think there is probably some nerve damage somewhere - when he's been out in the rain and shakes, there's a long delay between his front end stopping to shake and his back end stopping!
Yumove does get great reviews ,but as you say, it’s hard to tell if it’s working or not , then you don’t want them to stop taking it just in case it is! :( That’s interesting regarding Jaspers delayed shakes :) Lils had a little shake at the top of the stairs and promptly fell down a few stairs before I managed to catch her :eek:
What a good job you were there to catch her! I can't let J upstairs now, as he can't get down again. And I dread to think what would happen if I tried to catch him:eek:

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